D E M E N T E D P E N G U I N . N E T

April 27, 2018

Adventure update, and bucket lists

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:32 am

I read an article today about two young boys – 5 and 8 – who are sailing a toy boat around the world. They equipped the boat with a GPS tracker and shoved off in 2017, it’s still travelling the world now. They have a “bucket list” of about 500 items and they are almost half way through it. Makes me think – why do people create and execute bucket lists during the latter half of life, why not when we are young?

On to the update: I bought a lot of stuff for the boat now – epirb, floating vhf with gps, AIS, autopilot, tender, new 14′ 8db vhf antenna, marine cell repeater, etc. For the past week I’ve been struggling to get my AIS to connect to my radar and navigation displays over nmea 0183, and even though the provided software says the AIS is transmitting and receiving (I can see other boats via the software) I still can’t pick my own transmissions up on any vessel tracking site yet. So I can’t see any other boats on my displays and I can’t find my boat on any tracking service. If at least one of those two things was working then I wouldn’t feel as stressed. It’s very frustrating.

Just about a month left until we leave and I still have so much to do. I head back home on Monday and won’t be back until the end of May about a week before we leave, so I *have* to get some of this stuff taken care of before I head home next week.

March 27, 2018

Moving a boat from Marina Del Rey to Puget Sound

Filed under: boat trip — admin @ 12:56 am

In the past two years we’ve moved from Los Angeles to Oregon, and then six months ago we moved back home to Washington State. There are lots of details in between all the moves, but it’s not relevant to this story – or at least better told at a later time. In July of 2016 we bought a boat – a 1985 42′ Jersey Dawn. I still work for a company in LA and the thought was to stay on the boat when I travel to LA one week a month, and then eventually move the boat up to where we lived. That “dream” didn’t start to come to fruition until recently when we moved to the Puget Sound area. Puget Sound is a mecca for boaters – sail or power. LA isn’t bad as far as places to travel to, way better in my opinion than the Oregon coast where ports of call and easily accessible destinations are few and far between, but it can’t compete with Puget Sound with everything from Olympia to the San Juan Islands, to Canada and beyond. But I digress.

I started doing research on piloting a power boat up the Pacific Coast. I quickly found there was a serious lack of personal stories or general information available. Even doing a search for a central repository of ports along the coast was impossible (I have yet to find any such data repository, other than scanning the coast using Google Maps, but maybe I’m just searching wrong…). If there were any accounts of trips northward up the coast, it was usually told by sailboat crew/captains and usually doing a southbound trip.The needs an operations of sailboats and power boats, and northward vs southward trips, are usually different by several aspects. I have been around boats almost all my life and it’s one of my life’s passions. That being said, the majority of my boating experience has been on lakes and in the Puget Sound, but never the Pacific Ocean.The boat we now own was decided on for a few specific reasons, one of which is that I believe it to be very sea-worthy – since we always planned to make the trip up the West Coast. Even though I have every faith that the boat will make the trip, it’s more in my knowledge and capabilities that I’m concerned about. We all need to start a new experience and adventure somewhere though.

The trip is currently planned over the first three weeks of June of this year. If we travel an average of 100 nm a day, then the trip should only take two weeks, but I added an extra week because of all the reports of unpredictability of the ocean and weather north of San Francisco and because the boat is 33 years old and it’s likely something will break on the way. I’ve also read about port closures if the weather is too rough and other complications like moving sand bars in places like San Francisco and the Columbia River. I plan to document, and possibly video, much of the trip. I have two people that will be making the trip with me – one for the entirety of the trip and the other we will pick up in Newport Oregon for possibly the remainder of the trip. The total distance will be in the area of 1300 nautical miles. The goal is to make it to home port well before July 4th so we can take it out to watch fireworks from Olympia to Canada.I hope to provide as much information as I can in case someone else is looking for the same information I’ve been working on compiling, with much difficulty, for the past two months. I’ll document all of the provisions, upgrades to the boat, ports, distances, travel times and many other aspects to the trip. I have at a minimum two more trips to LA before the planned departure and I still have a lot to do. I expect to update at least twice a month before the trip, and hope to update daily during the trip.

August 14, 2014

We’re moving, finally

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:32 pm

We’ve been in the same appartment complex for the past 4 years, and the neighbors keep getting crazier and crazier. We’re moving to a house next month and we can’t wait. The dogs and kid will have a yard, and I can get back to my eco projects once again.

April 22, 2014

The past year

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:48 pm

So many things have happened over the past year, I’ll see what I can remember.

We moved from our three bedroom apartment to the two bedroom…right next door, Felix is now a biiig boy and weighs about 90 pounds (puppy on the left in the Halloween picture below), Nickey cut her hair short and then decided to grow it out again, I went to Brazil last October for BGS again, my company took everyone to the Dominican Republic, Hayden has been home schooled (unschooled) since the beginning of the year, Seahawks won the Super Bowl!, we bought a brand new 2014 Ford Explorer, bought a boat finally, I’m moving to a new department and getting a bigger team at work, Hayden and I have been fishing more in the past 12 months and the whole family (dogs and all) went camping a few weekends ago, and Nickey and Hayden are going to see Grandma in New Zealand next month for three weeks. While they are in New Zealand Felix is going to be off to puppy university to learn a few things and hopefully come out at the end as a therapy dog.

I know there’s so much more, but that’s all off the top of my head. At least it’s a post….


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:30 pm

Just realized that I had a “Coming soon” page up for who knows how long that was hiding all of this highly valuable information. Now it’s open to the world once again.

February 25, 2013

Finally making time for another update

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:05 am

So what’s new…..

We moved a month ago – to the apartment right next door. Why? Because we only drop from a three bedroom to a two bedroom, which since we started purging extraneous junk we found we don’t really need anymore, which saves us $600 a month. Seems like an easy decision. We bought all new furniture after we moved so it’s almost like a whole new life. The dogs have less space but they don’t seem to mind.

Hayden has been doing really well this year in school and we’re seeing a marked improvement in his grades as well as information retention. Because he’s been doing so well we finally broke down and got him XBox Live last weekened. We haven’t seen much of him this weekend…unless he needs food.

Nickey has her hands full with three dogs, a kid, me, a whole apartment to manage, taking Hayden to Jujitsu, puppy training class for Felix, and now she’s training to run a marathon. She does a great job, but sometimes I have no idea how she does it. She gets up at 6am usually so by the time my day is really starting to kick into gear (6-8pm) she’s about to fall asleep. Our anniversary is on March 4th which will make eight years. Unbelievable. I’ve never liked anyone enough to hang around them for that long so that’s gotta tell you something.

Me, I’m still growing out my winter coat and trying to figure out this manager thing. Don’t let the picture fool you, I’m not homeless:

Four months of no beard trimming or haircuts

Four months of no beard trimming or haircuts

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from our three furry kids

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:53 pm

Maybe Nickey will get one with Hayden in there as well, but for now here’s our three puppies dressed up in their Halloween costumes.

From left to right: Felix the thoroughbred, Zoe the princess, and Truffles the spider

October 7, 2012

Live, from Brazil

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:42 pm

Since someone recently prodded me to update my blog in an unpublished comment (sorry), and I have a moment, I thought I would.

In the past 2+ years I’ve been fortunate enough to travel, literally, around the world for my job. The only part that stinks about it is that I have to leave my family behind for extended periods of time. We try to fix that as much as we can with daily calls and emails tho. So far I’ve been to Frankfurt, Singapore (2x), Phillipines, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and now Brazil. Funny to think that 3 years ago I had never been outside of the country.

Anyway, the family is doing well and I’ll have to post a picture of our new puppy, Felix, who we first fostered first from Angel City Pit Bulls and are now about to finalize the adoption.

Hopefully another update to come soon, but I am supposed to be working while I’m here 😉

September 3, 2011

Things I love

Filed under: general topics,vacation — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:20 am

What makes a man? There are the obvious choices – money, possessions, power. Not for me – I love my wife, my son, my dog, and my job; and in that order. If I were to lose any of those four things my life would be drastically impacted. Unfortunately my job seems to take up most of my waking hours, which is unfair to the other three. Thank goodness for having such a forgiving family, but it pains me that they have to be in such a situation. I am now in the transition to becoming a manager, and I still have my previous systems admin responsibilities on top of that, so I’m afraid of what will come from all of that. In the past two weeks I’ve worked until at least 5am 4 days, and at least until 2am the rest.

I am currently on vacation for just shy of a week. Since I’ve started on my vacation I’ve been checking and responding to work email, and took the family to work today for our bi-weekly “show-n-tell” where everything current in the company is showcased. I did that because I knew Hayden would like to go (he is so proud of anything to do with me and Riot Games), but is it a sickness, dedication, or an addiction? I’m pretty certain it’s at least a combination of two, if not all three of those.

In addition to work, we also went to Paradise Cove beach in Malibu today, then to Hayden’s jujitsu class. Tomorrow we are going to Knott’s Berry Farm and then to a Judo competition for Hayden on Sunday in the OC. Not sure what the rest of my vacation will bring, but I’m hoping to do some stuff with my new solar panel and planter box (post coming soon on ecoexist), as well as maybe make it to the Getty and/or the beach again.

June 6, 2011

Yay, an update (finally)

Filed under: vacation — admin @ 2:07 am

I am less than exemplary at keeping this blog up-to-date, and it seems to be noticed from time to time. So here’s an attempt at an update that will hopefully keep people happy for at least a little while.

I love my wife and son – they are the two best things to have ever happened to me. A close third would be our dog Zoe. My wife takes better care of me and my son than anyone has ever done, and way better than I ever expected anyone to. She’s borderline Stepford wife at times – but in a good way. And Hayden is awesome. He is constantly teaching me new things and, occasionally, a teaches me to have a heightened sense of patience. He’s 8 and all he talks about is Halo, other video games, the video game he’s designing, and guns. All of which are topics that are very near and dear to him, but way outside of the things I’m typically interested in. Sometimes I find myself not giving him the credit he deserves for his creativity and passion for his video games – both the creation of and the discussion of. I keep reminding myself that I need to appreciate him now, because in 5 or so years he won’t want to spend so much time with us.

I’m leaving for Singapore again on the 12th and will be coming back on the 19th. We’re going to do some on-site work to get things cleaned up and converted to a state that we can better support them, and for one of our new Operations Managers to get to know the Garena crew.  I’m excited to go, especially to see the Garena guys again, but I’m not looking forward to the heat and humidity.

We recently went on a company cruise to Ensenada Mexico. It’s the first time I’ve been to Mexico, or on a cruise for that matter, and it was an interesting experience. Nickey and I went to the La Bufadora (a.k.a. the blow-hole) and ended up walking through my own personal hell – about an 1/8th of a mile of street vendors doing everything they can to get you to come into their shop. I ended up buying a straw cowboy hat and a small ukulele like guitar (it has 6 strings otherwise it would be a ukulele). We gorged ourselves on the boat and drank a little. I’d say the highlight of the cruise was the last night we went to a comedy show and saw one of the funniest comedians I’ve ever seen. I really wish I could remember his name – I’ve tried to google for it but didn’t find him. That’s unfortunate. During the cruise there was a skeleton crew of people that stayed behind and moved the office from the old location in Culver City, to the new location in Santa Monica. It’s a lot bigger and has some cool perks, and is in a really nice place. So far it’s been good.

Since my last post I’ve been “promoted” to lead, and am in charge of my own group of minions. I think it’s been going well, at least much better than I expected, and I’ve even been approached to escalate my position again – but that’s still in the discussion phase. I have to say that I never really expected to be in any kind of lead/product owner/manager position, but it seems I’m heading in that direction. It’s a stray from my nice and safe systems administration functions, but sometimes we need to challenge ourselves and try out new things. That’s really the only reason I’ve agreed to the current discussion of my next proposed leadership role (proposed only, not definite). We’ll see where this goes.

Other than that, I’ve been working on some eco projects, as can be seen on my eco-blog, and I hope to be able to get my very own, and very first, full sized solar panel. Hopefully I can get it and have a place to put it….

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