26 June 2008


I finally gave in, after much youth persuasion, to buy a fishing license. My girls wanted to go fishing. It probably had nothing to do with the fact that fish and game officials were at the park teaching kids how to tie knots and giving them a chance at casting. Or the fact that my brothers and parents regularly go fishing. I'm kind of a cheap skate. I didn't really want to fork over $25 for a license when I know for a fact I probably won't catch anything. What can I say? I'm a bad fisherman. Or maybe I'm not dedicated enough. Nah. I'm just lousy at it. I could go fishing with a group of people and be the only one who didn't catch anything. This is probably the reason I haven't had a fishing license in the past ten years.

I couldn't find any of my old poles. It seems I most likely left them at my parents' house where they got commandeered by my brothers. For some strange reason, I couldn't find my tackle box either. I don't really think I would have given it away. I'm sure it's around here somewhere. Happily my family had given my two oldest each a pole, which they have never used. These were old poles, so I looked at them, and found the reel on one was actually broken, so I had to throw that one out. The other was in great condition. That is, until somebody stepped on it and broke the reel. So, we went to Walmart, where we bought new poles, and a few essential tackle supplies. I even got a little pole for Emily. She was so happy about it, she carried it through the store, gave it up only to check out and allow the checker to cut it off the packaging, then she proudly marched out of the store, carrying her new pole over her shoulder (it was a small teaching moment for her to no longer drag it on the ground).

For our first attempt, we went to fish in the river. We parked, then walked through the brush (Emily proudly carrying her pole all the way) and sat under a tree in a nice shady spot, because I'm crazy I didn't want a sunburn. Emily wanted to get in the water, so I kept pulling her back. I helped Tiffany get her pole ready first. Then I let her cast. She stood and threw her line out. She promptly caught the tree overhead. I showed her how to pull the line from the tree without breaking her pole. It took a while, but I finally got Katie set up, and helped her cast her line. Meanwhile, Tiffany reeled hers back in and cast again. This girl caught the tree at least half a dozen times. Not to mention that Katie and Tiffany tangled their lines together several times. All this before I even got Emily's line set up. Emily was very possessive of her pole. She didn't want me to touch it. She let me cast the line once for her, and I think she even got a bite. She wanted to hold her own pole, by herself. And practice swordplay with it. After I helped her reel it in, she didn't want the line back in the water. It took me a while to realize I needed to remove the hook from her line. After she impaled Katie's pantleg. Katie was really good and sat still most of the time. Tiffany learned to sit down to cast, so eventually she (mostly) avoided the tree. We only stayed about 45 minutes, but it was an exercise in frustration patience.

Next time, I think I'll choose a nice, quiet pond with no trees.

Tiffany asked if we could go fishing every day.

14 June 2008

How I spent my Saturday

Today I made a bike-cam mounting bracket out of an M5 x 0.8 screw and nut, a random chunk of spare metal drilled, heated, bent, and ground, and a 1/4"-20 bolt and nut. The little screw goes where the front reflector threads on, and the bigger bolt fits the tripod mount for a camera. Here it is mounted below my left turn signal (click for a slightly bigger view):

The metal was left over from a failed attempt to build a tool to work on my VW Rabbit so it was nearly free.

I was a little worried that the spot-welded nut that the reflector threads into would snap off the first bump I went over due to the weight of the bracket and camera, but the 'Yamaha' sheet metal badge it's attached to has some give to it for shock and vibration absorption. It also means the video ends up being a little wiggly but not too bad (you can just barely see my fender at the bottom right of the below video as a reference point for the wiggle). If you want to watch it, you may want to skip ahead to 15 seconds in as the first bit is really boring:

Clicky: http://tinypic.com/player.php?v=21j3y4z&s=3

I don't have a really cool video yet, unfortunately... this was just a proof of concept. :)

The project turned out ok, and really, half of my desire to make it was just to give me a reason to play with power tools, torches, and a sledgehammer... and it succeeded in that respect. The other half is, I thought it would be a cool thing to do after I watched a bunch of motorcycle videos on YouTube. One thing that you really notice on videos like that is that motorcycles are like airplanes when turning -- they really bank or lean. The interesting thing is that the lean seems much more radical on video than in real life. In the video, the corner was taken a fair bit faster than the recommended 10MPH (but still within the posted speed limit, I promise!), but it looks like I'm practically dragging a footpeg.

07 June 2008

Variation on an old theme

I don't know about the extended Thueson clan, but we all love "Yummy Potatoes" or "Funeral Potatoes" or "Wedding Potatoes" or any of the other dozen names it's known by. The other week we tried something a little bit different: "Easy Cheesy Salsa Potatoes", and they actually turned out quite good. No, this isn't a food blog but since Yummy Potatoes is a popular dish with just about everyone I know, I thought it wouldn't hurt to kick things up a notch.

Here's where we got the recipe: http://www.bettycrocker.com/Recipes/Recipe.aspx?recipeId=18970

06 June 2008

Rainbow Clouds

This was yesterday. There was a circle rainbow around the sun, and a second upside down rainbow in the clouds underneath. Unfortunately, I don't have a wide enough angle on my camera to get the circle, but I think I still got some pretty good pictures.