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

June 26, 2006

My Fathers Day, boating adventure, and the first listing

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:45 pm

Last year for fathers day I got Loki, about 2 weeks early since Nickey got him from the pound. He’s the gift that keeps on giving….and giving…. The dogs got worse farts than anything I’ve ever smelled. He has some other “endearing” qualities that I won’t go into here, but I still love that guy and I waited a long time to get him.

This year I got my gift about 2 weeks early as well but that was because of how everything fit together. Nickey and I went to Yakima the first weekend of June to go to a friends parents poker night fund raiser for the three day walk. I don’t play poker very often so I was a bit trepidatious about playing but decided to play anyway. I ended up 4th out of 12 surprisingly.

My fathers day gift was for me to play at Appletree Golf Course. It is a picturesque, well groomed, and interesting course. It’s not always that way with public golf courses. There were lot’s of water fountains, ponds, apple trees and (very important) wide fairways. I had a great time and my beautiful wife came along and drove the cart for me. I was actually more excited about my wife coming along with me than I was about playing the course. She also was the photographer and took some pictures along the way which can be seen in her Photo Gallery. I did horribly but it was the first time I’ve played in over 2 years.

On to the boating news. For the last few months I’ve been trying to get the boat back in shape again – at least to a respectable level. This time I got the panels for the radar arch done and installed along with new speakers. We set out Saturday morning and I dropped Nickey and Hayden of f at the Imaginarium, it’s a cool kids interactive museum in Everett that Hayden loves to go to, and I went to the boat to clean it up and install the panels and railing. After I was done I picked up the wife and kid and we went on a boat ride. We didn’t go very far because we had to be back by 6:00 but we went down the river, fueled up at the fuel dock then rode back. It was about a good hour ride which is probably a good amount of time for Hayden, the last time we went out it was for about 2 hours and he got sick from the motion. After the boat was put back in its slip and was tied down and cleaned up we headed to Chuck-E-Cheeses to meet up with a friend and her kids. That was a pretty fun day for Hayden!

On Sunday we went to Bremerton for an open house at our friends house – Nickey’s first listing!!! She sat site while our friends, Hayden and I went to lunch and then to Port Gardner for a Civil War re-enactment. I know, I realize the irony of the re-enactment in Washington – can’t get farther away from where the war took place and that topic came up a few times (our friends are from Texas). The open house started out slow but it sounds like it picked up after a bit and there was someone who came back with their realitor twice to look at the place. We’ll see what happens.

June 20, 2006

DVR: here’s my story

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:04 am

About….3 years ago I decided to convert one of my computers to a DVR – a digital video recorder. I bought 2 Hauppage 250 video cards for about $95 each off of Ebay and installed mythtv. I’m a 100% linux (Debian by choice, RedHat ES by trade) guy so it absolutely had to be open source software. I’ve never tried freevo or any of the other dvr software because mythtv, after a little tweeking, seemed to be almost everything I needed in a modern age video recorder. On a whim I decided to check out what the TiVo had to offer and bought a Series 1. To make a long…long story short, after three years I’ve found myself addicted to my Tivo (which is now a series 2, my son has my old series 1) and have dumped my mythtv.

Okay – paragraph two – stay with me my devoted mythtv fans. 90% of the reason I’m now 100% TiVo is because I switched to DirectTV last year. Unfortunately it’s not an easy conversion for mythtv, especially when the DTV box is in another room. Try changing DTV channels using mythtv-kenisis, it ain’t happenin’. I’m sure there are plenty of tips and tricks available but to be honest I’ve got a LOT of other projects going on and can’t devote my time to discovering all of them.

On to the purpose of this post. It is basically about galleon. Have you heard about it? I now have a completely new respect for my TiVo and all of it’s capabilities. I installed galleon, the linux version of course, from http://galleon.tv/ and have been quite happy with the results so far. Galleon is software that downloads recorded programs from a specified TiVo to a PC hard drive. The main reason I was so excited about mythtv is because I had total control over my recorded programs – now with galleon I 99% control over my TiVo. How sweet it is.

On a side note about TiVo, I was dissapointed to find out today that they no longer offer a lifetime subscription service and have also increased their monthly service fee from $12.95 (I think) to $16.95 a month. I’m glad I have two of them with lifetime service contracts so I don’t have to pay a monthly fee – that would be a big negative to me and would probably inspire me to re-investigate a linux pvr solution again.

Hope this is usefull to someone out there. This post, of course, is just one man’s opinion.

Next post: my fathers day adulation(s) – with PICTURES! What a kick-ass family I have.

June 1, 2006

How (not) to install your own radar arch

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:28 am

Last summer I took off the radar arch on the boat because the supports were getting pretty rotted. I remember when I bought the boat that the previous owner said every couple of years the arch needed to be taken down and new 2×2’s needed to be installed. That’s probably not true normally, but seeing the job they had done in the past on the supports I can see why they thought they needed to.

When I took the arch off I gave a moment of thought to how to put it back on again, but then in true “me” style I just disregarded the problem and assumed I’d come up with some way of getting it back on. This, of course, turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought it might be. It’s not that the arch is neccessarilly heavy or anything it’s more that it’s too wide and ballancing something like that is a bit too difficult for one person to do. Since I took it down by myself, however, I was bound and determined to put it back up by myself too. I came up with what I thought might allow me to do this. It was kind of a pulley type system using quite a few 2×4’s, bolts, heavy duty rope, etc. This failed miserably. I took a whole week to plan my next attack on the arch.

The next design I came up with was far simpler and used less hardware and wood. It was a little gangly at first until I made a few adjustments, then it went pretty smoothly. I was able to lift the arch, pull it into place, and have it fully supported while I drilled the holes through the wood and mounted the arch onto the boat. Here two pictures – one of the arch on the support and one of the arch fully attached to the boat.

On the support

No support

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