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Is This Blog Dead?

Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!

I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it!

One other update from mid-2019: I disabled all commenting on this site. The spammers are getting more creative, and since I rarely post, the spam battle is not worth fighting.

Chess Club Championship Recap

A couple of weeks ago I finished first place in the club championship at the strongest chess club in the county! The tournament ran seven consecutive Friday nights, one game each week, starting at 7pm and finishing at or before 11pm.

Although I was the third seed in a field of forty or so, all of the top seeds were close enough in playing strength so that it could have been anyone’s tournament. Nevertheless, this was a major win psychologically – before I used to stress out too much about making the right move not to blow it in positions where I “should” end up winning. Now I’ve just focused on making the best move every time, enjoying the game, and not being focused on the result – and due to all this I have been playing better!

The game by game recap follows. Continue reading

OTA VHF and UHF TV Antennas Again

It’s been so long since I’ve posted here, that this is the first post since I’ve moved – not too far, still in the same city, just six miles down the road. But it does mean that I now have a chance to talk about TV antenna issues. At the old house, reception was not an issue, I had line of sight to the transmitters on Mount Wilson (in the Los Angeles area), and so a cheap tiny antenna on the chimney would get all of the signals. Now I live in an area where nearby hills obstruct the line of sight to Mount Wilson. Continue reading

Adding Middle Row USB Ports to 2018 Honda Odyssey

I’m really happy with my new 2018 Honda Odyssey EX, but one disappointment is that it didn’t come with the middle row power outlets which the higher models have. I was inspired by this post and decided to add some on my own.

The first part of the plan was to unbolt the center console. The idea wasn’t to remove it completely, but to be able to lift and/or otherwise maneuver it to get the wiring through. Continue reading

Un-retiring from Chess, Twenty Years Later!

(April 2022 – My thinking on this has evolved quite a bit since I first wrote this – someday I will update, but right now it reads as I originally wrote it.)

I haven’t spoken much here about my past life as a tournament chess player. To sum up my prior post on the topic: I started playing in the early 1980s, rose to NM (National Master) level (a rating over 2200 – the top 1% of tournament players in the US), and then a short time later, abruptly left the game in the early 1990s when other things in life became a priority.

I’ve never really had the game seriously call me back, but on occasion I have given it some thought. Then I remember that in my latter years of playing, I had some holes in my opening repertoire which needed plugging. With the passing of time and with increased knowledge due to computers, those holes would be major breaches, and I might be lucky to make it out of the opening alive. The thought of retooling my entire opening repertoire just to be able to sit in the tournament hall would be a major disincentive to return after a long absence. Continue reading

New ElliptiGo!

In mid-December, I hurt my foot (plantar fasciitis) and decided it would be best to lay off the running for a while. I’ve heard of runners using the ElliptiGo as a cross training tool, and it just so happened that I was able to pick one up used!

Here’s some information on some tweaks I ended up doing to the ElliptiGo to make it more suited for my needs. In a future post I’ll talk more about how it is working out as an exercise/training tool. Continue reading

Photos from Tahkenitch Dunes Trail in Oregon

On another forum, Raina mentioned her run on the Tahkenitch Lakes Trail in Oregon earlier today. What a coincidence, this was an area where Clint and I made a pit stop and did a hike during my Oregon Coast bicycle tour! I shared a few photos on my Day 4 writeup, but there’s no better time than the present to share the rest. (By the way, at the time, I was less than enthused about getting sand in my bike shoes, but the scenic detour was worth it after the fact.) Enjoy! Continue reading

Using a Garmin Edge 810 for Navigation

TLDR version, April 1, 2018:

I don’t use my Garmin Edge 810 for navigation very often, so when I do, it seems like I have to re-learn how to do so every time. TLDR version of the steps:

  • Download route as TCX file from Ride with GPS or Strava
  • Connect the Edge 810 to the computer, and copy the TCX file to the /Garmin/New Files/ folder on the device
  • And, most important, go to that route on the Edge 810 and manually turn off Virtual Partner

And now back to the old post….

Although my Garmin Edge 810 is marketed as a bicycle GPS and does a great job recording rides, out of the box it is not the easiest to use as a navigational tool with maps. I don’t need this functionality at home, but when traveling out of town with my bike, I’ve always wanted to find someone else’s ride online, upload it to my Garmin, and then have the Garmin tell me where I need to turn without using a printed route slip. I am traveling this week and was finally successful (or should I say, finally spent the time to figure out what needed to be done) in doing this! Here’s how I did it.

Continue reading