I hope you enjoy my blog, a collection of articles and thoughts regarding my interests. I'm a married father of two that loves to write about gliding, hunting, fishing, camping and any outdoor passion. Oh yah, I'm a quadriplegic. I hope this is informative to some, entertaining to others, and interesting to all. Let me know what you think. If you'd like an article for your publication, I've got words I haven't even used yet!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Summer 2016

Upper Lakes Kananaskis 2016

Ok, I know, I haven't been doing much writing lately. You're thinking .... "WTF ya been up to?" Well, believe it or not us gimps get busy some times.

As I'm writing this we are getting our 1st dump of snow (ick) and it is only October 9! I'm not ready for this stuff, and might have to use my degree in power-whining to see if that helps. Anyhow, with Radio Margaritaville in the background I'll think happy thoughts and recap some of the fun.

Burning Off Altitude
The spring was great, and started with several awesome flights at the Edmonton Soaring Club ranging between 2 and 3 hours each, and reaching heights of 12,500 feet! It it so amazing to stay aloft for hours using nature instead of an engine ... better not get onto this subject or I'll ramble for hours ... everybody has something that rattles their chain and gliding sure does it for me!

Then there was camping, what a hoot. Early in the summer we camped southern Alberta with friends Joe and Sue. Waterton Lakes area was amazing,so many fantastic mountain and lake views. Terry and Sue are avid photographers and geocachers, Joe and I are really good followers. Since Joe is a Newfie, he had an unfair advantage when it came to happy hour and I took a distant second place ... training will begin sooner next year. The girls and
Waterton Park
their hobbies led us to fantastic scenery, geocaches, hikes, and a tour down Montana's Beartooth Highway - "America's Most Scenic Road". The scenery lived up to the hype and we had a great 2 weeks, ending in our fav Kananaskis Country!

Then there was Fathers' Day. I have been so good (just ask me) that my wife and kids got me a 360 camera. It takes 360 pictures that you can scroll around ... I'd love to post them here, but of course they don't @#$%-en work on my blog ... cheapo me. But you can see what they're like here:

In the summer I was playing with my mostest-favoritest-toy in the world, my Phantom 2 drone ... and crashed. :( A post-mortem determined extensive gimbal and camera damage, and the crash report revealed a catastrophic failure of a $.02 wire between a motor and speed-control resulting in $1000 damage due to loss of control, but no collateral damage to the civilian population. I summoned the top drone-surgeons available at the time, and instructed the technician how to delicately 'tweak' the gimbal back into place. A test flight  resulted in more tweaking, and we set forth to do so.

"Just grab it about there with those pliers and reef on it, harder ... harder ..." instructs I.

Drone Crash - Mechanical Prob - Not Pilot Error Eh
""Should we power it down?" Says he (oh ye of little faith).

"No, this way we will know when it makes a connection." Insists I.


"Turn it off, turn it off!" Exclaims yours truly.

Big cloud of smoke ensues. Much scrambling and running follows. We all know what a full lipo battery can do! Long story short we let the smoke out of quite a few circuit boards and wires (smoke is factory-installed in electric components ... can't be purchased aftermarket, apparently installation is difficult). We successfully made a huge problem out of a minor one ... again, mission accomplished. So now I have spent most of the summer farting around trying to get my old Phantom 2 going, without success. What a freaking waste of time.Time to implement Plan B, major whining. After several months I think my wife finally got tired of hearing the things we were trying to do to get this damn thing working again, and tired of picking up parts at the post office that we would replace only to find out there was other stuff not working. Problem was solved a week ago with a simple cha-ching, and for my Birthday I received a receipt for a new Mavic Pro drone on order, and now a lot of the old crap is on eBay for someone else to fart around with until they get it fixed! (Just call me the squeaky wheel).
Mavic Pro

The DJI Store is a man's DeBeers ... "Drones ... that'll shut'm up!"

Joe, myself, and
Paddle Full :)
In September we convoyed back to the Kananaskis and enjoyed riding the trails, inhaling copious amounts of campfire, quaffing a few cool ones (Joe won again), and staring at the mountains. We enjoyed exploring geocaches, especially the one that situated Joe and I next door to the Grizzly Paw micro brewery. Joe wanted to buy a 'Growler' (aka big jug) of craft beer. We thought it was prudent to make an informed decision as to the flavor, so we summoned 2 "Paddles" (a canoe paddle with 4 test beers on it). It turns out indecision may or may not be our problem, and were about to demand a re-test when the successful
Paddle Empty :(
Geocachers arrived. After a few sips the girls cast their votes, had no sympathy for our indecisiveness, and were ready to go back to camp. I quickly received the full education on the Growlers, and off we went with 2 in hand! My condolences to Jim and Sheila, who weren't aware of the possible rewards of geocaching, thereby missing the Grizzly Paw.

On Sulphur Mountain With Jim and Sheila
We did get to ride the Sulpur Mountain Gondola with Jim and Sheila, but that's another story. Murphy (from Murphy's Law, an acquaintance of mine) wasn't available for comment at press time, but suffice it to say that he was afraid of Jim after getting his butt kicked in Alaska by Jim and his brother Rob for shutting my chair down. We had no problems at all ... amazing!

Anyhow that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Will check in later!