Tow Driver -- Pick up downed skiier

Posted on September 29, 2008 by Stephen

Here's how to pick up a water-skier or wakeboarder after they've fallen or are done with their run in the water.

Converting Between Decimal and Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

Posted on September 22, 2008 by Stephen

GPS coordinates can come as either DMS or Dec. format.

DMS: 37° 54' 56.52"N 121° 51' 21.96"W
Dec: 37.9157N 121.8561W

First Time Cruising the California Delta

Posted on September 20, 2008 by Stephen

We took out our friends for a cruise of the delta and some wakeboard riding. We launched out of Orwood (37.9389N 121.6113W) during a wakeboarding competition which slowed us down a bit while we waited for a time to pass. There is a place to set up your boat and pay to park before heading out (37.9382N 121.6124W).

Agents of Light and Darkness -- Simon R. Green

Posted on September 18, 2008 by Stephen

ISBN 0-441-01113-6

This is the second book in the Nightside series. This was also a very good book.. It was a quick read and many of the cool charaters from the first book made appearances in this book.

Fixing MySQL Tables

Posted on September 17, 2008 by Stephen

How to fix MySQL tables.

West High School 1989 Reunion

Posted on September 16, 2008 by Stephen

For those of you who had the good fortune to have graduated in 1989 from West High School in Bakersfield, California (aka Waste High), our 20 year reunion is coming in 2009. You can get your info at or on at

To buy tickets for the event go to

Please contact Anne Faletti Twist at & Erin Forden Doubek at add your information to the contact list, suggest ideas, or get involved in the planning.

Standard Horizon HX850S Marine Transceiver

Posted on September 15, 2008 by Stephen

I now have a hand held marine radio--the Standard Horizon HX850S(picture). This thing is awesome. I can sign up for an MMSI number so that we are safe out in the bay if we need to signal for help. The unit also has GPS tracking so that a distress call sends the most current position data along with the distress signal.

Somthing from the Nightside -- Simon R. Green

Posted on September 14, 2008 by Stephen

ISBN-10: 0441010652
ISBN-13: 978-0441010653

This book was recommended to me by a friend and what a good recommendation it was. The book was a mix of 1950's private eye meets twilight zone.

Accelerando -- Charles Stross

Posted on September 11, 2008 by Stephen

I just finished Accelerando (ISBN: 0-441-01415-1) by Charles Stross. This book is very heavy sci-fi. If you don't know what a Matrioshka doll is, you will loose a lot of the heady deep thinking in this book.

Weekend Bird Hunt

Posted on September 06, 2008 by Stephen

Over the weekend I went on a Dove hunt. My brother had set aside 8 acres of land. On Saturday we had 10 people surrounding a 4 acre plot. The doves came in regularly from 5:50am to 8:00am. I shot 6 but only found 2 birds. They are extremely well camouflaged for open ground.

That night we made dove poppers for appetizers.

On Sunday, we didn't see many birds and I shot none.

Labor Day fun at Lake McClure

Posted on September 04, 2008 by Stephen

Over the Labor Day weekend, we finally took our Chaparral 236 SSX out onto deeper water at Lake McClure. My 4.8L GMC 1500 hauled the 5500lbs boat and trailer (with surge brake) combo up over the Altamont Pass at 50-55 MPH and on to Lake McClure. Once she was in the water, all thoughts of work and stress faded away. Gas was expensive at the marina ($5.69 per gallon) but we had fun none-the-less--20 gallons cost me $114.00.

We still had 5 hours of burn-in time on the 320HP Volvo Penta 5.7L GXi engine which we took care of on the first day. After that, the fun really began. Using the trim function of the DPS Duoprop outdrive we achieved a speed of 51MPH (44 knots)--whew, that was great. We weren't the fastest boat on the water (the 1000lbs bass boats with 250HP still creeped by us) but we certainly smoked quite a few boats. The deep-V hull design cut through the wakes of other boats like a knife. The included Sirius Satellite Radio was a big hit with the party crew.

It was great to see the whole family together again on the houseboat. The adults liked the ride and the speed of the boat. The kids were afraid of the new boat and complained about their tubing experience. I think it was due more to the attachment point of the rope to the boat (ski ring near the swim platform which dragged the rope in the water which caused spray for the riders).

I can't wait to get her up to Lake Tahoe!