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Road Trip Home From Fort Bragg

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According to Google, the drive home from Fort Bragg, Calif. should take ten hours. We did it in fourteen. Clearly, we didn’t follow Google’s plan. Instead, we stopped (or drove) anywhere something looked interesting — and took pictures.

  • A few roadside turnouts along the Pacific.1 The coast is so beautiful! We had to stop multiple times to take it in.
  • Drive-Thru Tree Park in Leggett. Six years ago, we had another Mendocino weekend and stopped here on the way home to take pictures. Traditions are hard to break.2
  • Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Kevin hadn’t seen redwoods before, so we had had our excuse to stop and take pictures. And hug trees. And sit on logs. And take more pictures.
  • Avenue of the Giants. Stopping in the park wasn’t enough redwoods so we drove through miles of those gorgeous, big trees. Amazing! And we stopped some more.
  • Paul’s Live From New York Pizza in Eureka. Mmm… How did we know where to eat before smartphones with maps and Yelp?3
  • False Klamath Cove just south of Wilson Creek and Crescent City. At six in the evening and still in California, we should have kept driving, but we were ready for a break.4 We knew there was going to be enough driving in the dark of the night that we might as well enjoy a little more beach. Kevin and I threw sticks and logs into the ocean while Suzi and Ashley wrote on the sand. It was well worth the stop!

And that doesn’t count filling the car a couple of times.5


  1. I think one was in the windy twisties. Those in the back seat (and maybe in the front) needed a break. 
  2. And why would you? 
  3. Yeah, that’s right. We used to just eat at Taco Bell… 
  4. And not yet halfway home… 
  5. And ourselves with coffee. Mmm… 
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Mendocino Weekend

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This past weekend, my brothers and I1 trekked to Mendocino, California. Brother Don arranged2 to have the lagoon at PUC’s Albion Biological Field Station named in honor of our parents. Nicely done!

We enjoyed seeing family and friends and seeing a part of California we used to visit twice yearly for camping trips.3

Here are a few of the pictures from the weekend.


  1. And a bunch of other people. 
  2. Yeah, I am the master of understatement. 
  3. Now I have the urge to ride the Skunk train, roll down sand dunes, and watch axes thrown at logs. I do not miss the yearly case of poison oak. ;-) 
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Kayaking With Mousse On Sunset Lake

For our Saturday excursion, Suzi and I rented1 four kayaks to explore Sunset Lake. Ashley got a larger life vest for Mousse.2

Suzi, Ashley, Heather, and I boarded our kayaks. Ashley had Mousse join her. Things went swimmingly until Mousse went swimming. Thanks to Mousse’s life vest and its handle, Ashley was able to get Mousse back on board. Turns out, Mousse likes to swim and is fast. And Mousse likes to swim a lot! With her life vest, we didn’t worry about Mousse getting dog tired. We could paddle next to her and let her dog paddle.

Another fun day on the water.3 :-)


  1. By the way, if you are looking for a nice place to rent some recreational kayaks around Seaside, Cleanline treated us well. I’m sure they’d do the same for you. The owner is friendly. That wasn’t too surprising. The kids who helped put the kayaks on my car were friendly, too, introducing themselves, shaking my hand, asking how my visit was, etc. Wow! 
  2. Although we also got one for Meisa, it’s going back; Meisa said nothing doing to putting on a life vest so she could sit on a tippy kayak. Instead Meisa relaxed, tied up at our campsite. 
  3. Yeah, that’s redundant. ;-) 
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Sunset at Sunset Beach

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Suzi and I preceded the kids by a day on our Fourth of July camping trip. This is likely the first time Suzi and I have camped without the kids since Ashley appeared on the scene. Wow!

We had decided late in the game that we were going to go camping this weekend. There were no reservations available so we thought we’d throw a tent in the car and head to the beach on Thursday after Suzi got home from working the night, hoping to find a walk in campsite.

So we did but we weren’t finding anything. Headed south, Suzi told me to turn right, she’d seen a campground sign. It didn’t look promising, but we pulled in to take a look. They had one site available from a cancelation just minutes before. As we were pondering, someone else called to see if there were any sites available. We heard the host discussing all the campgrounds that were full with the caller and decided it was either this place or our back yard. We took it.

We drove home to pack the rest of our stuff and then back again in time to see the setting sun.

Biking Recap for June 2014

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It’s the end of the month and time for me to recap how far I’ve biked this month and any major accomplishments. Sorry, but this was a fairly boring month on the bike. A little midday rain stopped me from riding as much during lunch,1 yet I didn’t get rained on during commuting, just a little heavy misting on a couple of mornings.

My June Bicycling Accomplishments

Mileage Summary

miles biked june 2014

Distance Time / Bike
306 Biked in June2
1,369 Biked in 20143
3,366 Biked on Sage4

How is your 2014 so far on the bike?

Keep pedaling!


  1. I don’t like having wet feet at work and don’t have dedicated cycling shoes. 
  2. 3,291 – 2,985 
  3. 3,291 – 1,922 
  4. 2,985 + 75 

Jamison’s 6th Grade Engineering Project — More Questions

A little more than four years ago, when Jamison was in sixth grade, he did an engineering project for his school’s science fair. It was a lot of fun for both of us.

Being the proud dad that I am, I wrote a series of blog posts on Jamison’s project as he was doing it. They have been some of my more popular posts and the subject of a few comments and many emails asking for help.

The first questions came from three 8th graders asked for help in the comments to the project’s first post. I did my best to help them and steer them away from danger.

More questions continued to come by email from college engineering students, many apparently hoping to score a quick senior project. One particularly excited individual described himself, “im really glad to see u in ur forum nd im doin btech 2nd year frm india..!!” He also asked for the information to “send me links which r accurate standard pdf…to make it as theory…!!!”1 I pointed out the information he was requesting had already been provided.

This morning, I received another email:

coils

Dear Logan,

I saw the interesting and simply designed wireless powering project it have been done in your website.

I am a PhD student, a part of my project is wireless power transfer.

I am wondering if you can send me the schematic of the wireless project.

I send you the attachment to know which project I mean.

I appreciate your help

Thanks

Regards

Nabeel last name2
prestigious university
country

I think this is the first PhD student asking for help—at least, he’s the first to admit it. Jamison should be proud that his 6th grade science fair project is helping graduate students worldwide. My response (with all snark hopefully removed):

Dear Nabeel,

Thanks for your interest in my sixth-grade son’s science fair project. I’m sure he’ll be proud to learn that a doctoral student would like further information on it.

Jamison followed the instructions documented in an Instructable: Low-Power Wireless Charging.3 There’s a lot of really good information in the Instructable, including a theory of operation section and schematics of the various modules. You should be able to find everything you need to duplicate Jamison’s project. After all, it was Jamison’s primary source of information.

Best of luck with your project. I know Jamison had fun doing it!

-Brent


  1. If only he’d gone to the Instructable Jamison used, he could have downloaded it as “accurate standard pdf,” and it includes a theory of operation section
  2. Almost all personally identifiable information redacted. But the requester emailed using his university email address and has a Facebook profile describing hims education as “Doctorate at [prestigious university] and stating his opinion that The Spice Girls are the greatest British band of all times. 
  3. This fact was mentioned in the fourth post of the series, Wireless Power Transmission, Part IV. I have added a footer to each post in the series to make this fact more obvious to future knowledge seekers. 

Thank You From The American Red Cross

I received the following in my inbox today:

tim

Dear Brent:

Thank you for giving blood with the American Red Cross on 5/30/2014. After first ensuring that local needs were met, your blood donation was sent to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC to help a patient in need. Your donation is on its way to changing lives!

Every day, patients like Tim receive blood for a variety of conditions including life-threatening illnesses, blood disorders and traumas. Your blood donations are critical to helping save patients’ lives.

You may be able to help more patients with fewer appointments by donating double red cells. Ask if you’re eligible to give a double red cell donation when you make your next appointment.

On behalf of the hospitals and patients we serve, thank you for being a Red Cross blood donor.

Sincerely,

richardsig2
Richard Benjamin, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer
American Red Cross

I would have given without the thanks (and have many times in the past). Regardless, it feels nice to be thanked, and is interesting to know where at least some of my blood went. I might just try the double red donation sometime in the future.

And yes, the email’s link was red. :-)