Thursday, January 12, 2023

Overdue Road Trip


I made a long overdue road trip down to Charleston a few days ago... the weather was very nice... got up to 65 degrees three days in a row but it was a little nippy at night. I found a Tartan 33 sailboat that has  been on Facebook marketplace forever and I finally got around to going down to take a look at it...  it is a bit if a fixer upper but it does have some brand new sails... which is rare for a boat this age. The engine had been replaced somewhere along the way. I shot some drone video while I was there and made a short video of the marina. I used DaVince Resolve to create it. My subscription to Adobe Premiere had expired and this a free package with a ton of helpful videos on using it on youboob. I never was all that handy with the adobe stuff but all the online tutorials for the Black Magic software made it a lot less painful. I had downloaded it a while back but after I looked at it... it looked painfully not user friendly. With the expiration of my Adobe software I was motivated to try DaVinci  again and found some good videos on youboob right off the bat.. there is a ton of stuff on youboob about it.

Friday, January 6, 2023

ChatGPT the new AI Portal

ChatGPT has only been online for a few weeks now and there are already hundreds of videos on youboob on how to make money using chatGPT and if you make the mistake of watching one you will be overwhelmed with a barrage of videos related to chatGPT. Unfortunately youboob has become so repetitive and mind numbingly boring as to suggested content that it has become one of those sites you love to hate. I think I need to ask chatGPT how to get better content to show up on youboob.

I had to try out the new chatGPT AI portal... I'm an old electronics nerd of sorts and spent a lot of money over the years on everything from Arduino to Raspberry Pi just to hit the high spots. As someone who has spent a lot of time over the years on discussion boards related to everything from homebuilt drones to electric bikes and quite a few software support sites... it was a welcome change of pace. No smart ass responses... responses were immediate and if you asked a follow up it was smart enough to know what you just asked and expand on it. 

 I owned a sailboat for a short time and kept it at Carolina Beach in NC. The Carolina Beach inlet has a nasty current and if you try to make the passage at the wrong time... it was a hand full to put it mildly. This sailboat under power would only do about 5 knots or so and the current could be close to that. I made the mistake once of trying to help a couple on a jetski whose engine had failed and they were it the inlet.. I attempted to tow them and it was a lost cause. We were coming in and the current was going out so we were bucking it. I had to let them go and within minutes their jetski was several hundred yards out to sea. A sea tow did rescue them in short order... and I learned I would never try that again. 

I asked the AI portal to write me a story of a rescue gone bad in the Carolina Beach inlet... it was not particularly creative but it was an interesting experiment... I went from that to asking it to create the code for a web page that would run on a Raspberry Pi that would allow you to upload a file to the server. That was much more in its element I think... and it was able to expand on the details when asked... and it remembered what you and it had already said. So if you are bored and want to try it out here it is... chatGPT  but I'll warn you ahead of time if watch any youboob videos about it... you will be inundated with all sorts of videos telling you how to make money and all sorts of other things using chatGPT.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Those were the days

Once upon a time the internet was more adventurous and filled with surprise. Not long ago I googled Dave Smith... he was mentioned in some political based commentary and I had never heard of him so I went looking. I found Dave Smith but probably not the one they were referring to... he was said to be the father of MIDI and heavily involved in the early development of music synthesizers and had recently passed away.

MIDI was the musical instrument digital interface and allowed one keyboard to control another through this interface. It also allows a computer to control multiple keyboards. He developed the first polyphonic synthesizer. One that could play more than one note at a time. I bought an Ensonic SQ80 around 1986 that was the the latest thing in 8 bit analog synthesizers. It could play eight notes at once and each sound like totally different  instruments.  It is the same vintage as the Roland D50 and had a bunch of cool features. It had a sequencer which could record your key strokes in real time and then you could play it back and play along with what you had recorded. It had midi and could control instruments as well. It was limited by the processing power of an 8 bit microprocessor. 

Now days we have 64 bit processors with 8 cores in cell phones. I used to enjoy the randomness of youboob and the internet as well where you would find interesting things with no connection with what you might have been looking for without even trying. Now on youboob the majority of what shows up is something directly related to what ever you just watched and you will be hard pressed to find anything that is not related to something you just watched. I'm referring primarily to when you're logged in to youboob and go to your home page and the recommended videos that show up there are mind numbingly boring and repetitive. I suppose I'm giving away that I probably spend way too much time on youboob. Perhaps its youboob's way of trying to wean me... that or hope that I will subscribe to youboob for the real experience. 

I'm not that great of a musician but I really do enjoy playing along with songs on youtube... either on the bass guitar or on a Roland D50 that I now own. My dad taught me to play the mandolin and the guitar long ago. I miss him greatly and the randomness of the early days of the internet... RIP Dave and Dad.

This pic from about 1975 or so

Thursday, May 19, 2022

1930 Chrysler

Its not often that you see a 1930 Chrysler this nice... let alone get a chance to drive it. I was surprised to see that it had a six cylinder and wood spoke wheels. Got to take it around Little Mountain a few times 😁

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Berry's Pond

I'm going to put serious effort into posting more often here... I got a new drone that I've managed to get past the first few flights without any unfortunate incidents... hope it stays that way. I recently posted this pic on the Friends of the Tygerberry Landing which is on Berry's Pond. I grew up on the banks of the Middle Tyger River in Turkeypaw... actually Tucapau aka Startex. A little mill town that no longer has a mill. Back in the day it had its own hydro electric generator and there was also one at Berry's pond. I have a page about the old power plant at Berry's Pond.

Berry's Pond is on the South Tyger River and Tygerberry Landing is a site that is open to the public and if you are into canoeing or kayaking you can paddle upstream there and quickly enter into a window back in time as there is very little development on the river. There are a couple of access points in Duncan as well though I'm told there is a log jam just below the access point at Beech Springs in Duncan. I hope to help in a project to clear the log jam there so you can put in there and take out at Berry's Pond.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

120 Year Old Shotgun

It's not often you get to work on something that's over 100 years old... but this Remington Arms 12 gauge double barrel shotgun with the home defense barrel is close to 120 years old and has an added customization of 1928 and 1941 Mercury dimes inset into the stock.

This one belongs to a good friend of mine who routinely has me working on very old things that are in his collection. He has had it for quite some time but recently decided to try to shoot it and found that it was very difficult to move the safety to off... it didn't help that the serrations that are supposed to give it grip are very worn. I reduced the tension on the spring on the right as that was what was making the safety so hard to move.


Friday, May 7, 2021

Another Road Trip

 I made another road trip shortly after the one to Bath to buy this beauty. It also serves to remind me just how old I'm getting. Stitch and glue type boats like this one used to be kind of new... 30 or more years ago... I've always been of bit of a boat nut and followed Phil Bolger and Dynamite Payson and a bunch of other folks that were designing boats made using this technique. One that I always admired was the Whisp by Steve Redmond. I found one last fall that was again on the NC Coast near Wilmington, NC.  It was late in the season when I bought it and just put it in the water for the first time this year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


You dont always find what you are looking for when you search online... this started as a search for ship building in Columbus times. I did find that a lot of the ships used in war in those days were privately owned. I also found this info about wages of the day.

And so you open your purse, which hangs from the cords attached to your belt and find five shillings. Except that there is no shilling coin in the late 14th century. The smallest gold coins are the half-noble (3s 4d) and the quarter-noble (1s 8d), so if you have one each of these, you can make up the sum. Alternatively you will have to make it up from the silver coins: groats (4d), half-groats, pennies, halfpence and farthings (¼d).

How much did medieval shopping items cost?

Prices in the 1390s*
Ale, ordinary: ¾d–1d per gallon
Wine from Bordeaux: 3d–4d per gallon
Bacon: 15d per side
Chicken: 2d each
Cod, fresh: 20d each
Sugar, loaf of: 18d per lb
Apples: 7d per hundred
Eggs: 33d for 425
A furred gown: 5s 4d

* Prices from the account books of Henry of Lancaster, Earl of Derby.

Wages/salaries in the 1390s
The king’s physician: £40 per year
Officers in the royal household: £20 per year
Mason: £8 per year (6d per day)
Carpenter: 4¼d per day
Thatcher: 4¼d per day
Labourer: 3¼d per day
Valets in a lord’s household: £1 10s per year
Manservant in a yeoman’s household: £1 per year
Maidservant in a yeoman’s household: 10s per year
In old money, there were 12 pence (d) to the shilling (s) and 20 shillings to the pound (£).

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Road Trip to the Home of Blackbeard

I have always been a little crazy about boats and boating. My folks had a place on the lake when I was growing up and helped my dad build two boats. The destination for this trip was to Bath NC which was the home of Blackbeard. It is a very small town on the Pamlico River which is part of the Pamlico sound... a huge area protected by the outer banks. Lots of farmland once you get away from the coast. There was one plant in abundance that was in bloom that I did not recognize. Turns out it was cotton. The Upstate of SC was once dominated by cotton mills and yet I had never seen a cotton plant.

The ghost of Blackbeard is reported to wonder about the area in search of his long lost head. I went to look at the boat below which is a crab skiff built on Harkers Island. you could sail it, row it, or use the motor. It is well suited to the area and sorry to say that I was not able to complete a deal on this boat. 

But I am planning a return trip to the area.

Another reason for the trip was to visit the River Rat Yacht club over on the Pungo River side of the peninsula that is also the home of Bath. 

I had connected with a guy who lives aboard a sailboat there and has quite an extensive cruising background... was lucky enough to get a few hours out on the water in one of his boats. 

The famed River Rat Yacht Club... It's in the sticks for sure.