Friday, June 25, 2010

Backyard visitors


Amy spotted them in our backyard this evening. The grass is almost taller than the fawns who are about the size of a small dog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Using iPad for a sermon

I got the iPad I ordered last Thursday and have been playing with it. It really is a cool little device.

I had earlier been asked to provide the sermon at the Presbyterian Church on Father’s Day Sunday. This provided me with an a timely opportunity to see if I could give a sermon using just an iPad.

I used Idea Sketch (free) to draw up an outline.


I used Instapaper Pro ($4.99) to download Wikipedia’s Father’s Day article (I did examine the referenced primary sources, just to be sure the article was correct) from which I would provide a brief history of Father’s Day.

Father's Day article

And finally I used OliveTree’s BibleReader (free) and the ESV Study Bible ($39.99). With the combination I could see both the Bible text and associated commentary, plus I could pop up my own personal notes that I had made earlier.


Armed with these three components, with flicks and taps, I delivered the sermon. Overall it worked out quite well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

20.5 inch Dolly!


A few days ago I found a site that provides fishing forecasts and times during each day when fishing is expected to be best. This morning that happened to be between 4:12 and 6:12 a.m. I was awake at 4:12, but decided to wait until about 5 a.m. to go out.

It wasn’t too long before I caught the middle (smallest) of the three. The hook was embedded pretty deep and it took some work to get out. I then cast out and the knot on the hook must have come apart and the lure went flying away. This makes two lures lost within 12 hours. I was happy to get a fish, but not happy to lose my second lure in such a short period.

Some 40 minutes later though, I caught the bottom one pictured. It was HUGE. I decided that I still had some time so I continued a while longer and caught the top one – not as big, but still quite large. The three caught today easily make up for the lures I lost.

After bringing them back home I measured the big one at 20.5 inches and weighed in (already gutted) at 2.25 lbs. Before gutting it might have weighed in around 2.75 lbs. – a very good size for a Dolly Varden. I think I’ll be filleting and/or butterflying them and probably grilling them over a wood charcoal fire today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

First cutthroat catch this year

I was out in the rain this afternoon trying my luck at catching fish. After about an hour of no luck it appeared I had hooked a small-ish fish – except that it didn’t act like any Dolly. The fish jumped and flipped out of the water over and over again. I thought for a few seconds there that perhaps the fish had escaped the hook, but as I reeled in the line I could feel tension again and did see that I caught it. After bringing it up I could see that it had black spots – definitely not a Dolly, but a cutthroat trout. It was smaller than 11-inches so back into the water it went after removing the hook. No pics, since it was raining and my hands were wet – I didn’t want to fish out my BlackBerry to take a snap and risk dropping it in the water. Another half and hour or so later, I caught a 16-inch Dolly which will be dinner in a couple of days.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sea Anemone

This morning I learned a new peril of fishing at low tide. The low tide today was –0.8. What that means in practical terms is that the tide line is now at subtidal level, exposing things like sea urchins, sea stars, and sea anemones. (The tide will continue to become even lower for the remainder of the week, making it a great time for exploring the beaches.)

I went out to fishing and caught and released a couple of small Dollies. I was doing well keeping the lure out of snags and rocks. And then it happened again: Only a few seconds after casting out and starting to reel back in the lure hit something that wouldn’t let go. It was still in the deeper waters so at first I thought perhaps the lure had caught a huge kelp. I tugged and tugged without it releasing. I thought it was rather odd: did the lure sink that quickly or was there an isolated shallow spot where it got caught? I pulled and tugged, moved around and pulled. And then I felt some response to the tugging, if ever so slowly. I continued to pull and I could feel continued movement in response. That was good news. I really didn’t want to cut the line and lose another lure. I continued pulling and pulling until I could see that there was something moving along the floor of the sea. I thought maybe it was a huge clump of seaweed. That is, until I finally got it dragged up onto the beach. That’s when I saw that I had caught a sea anemone firmly attached to a small rock. (More precisely, it had probably caught the lure when it touched one of the feelers.) It took some pulling to extract the hook out of it, but it did finally come out. I’m not sure how much the rock weighed, but I’m pretty confident that it weighed at least as much as a good sized salmon and now I know that my tackle and knots should hold up to a salmon.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

New personal record catch

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Caught around noon today: 18-3/4 inches.

Today was a much better fishing day. It is overcast and maybe that is bringing more fish to where I fish. I had a total of four bites during the hour I was out fishing.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Caught a fish at low tide

Catching a fish at low tide is a new experience for me. In the past when I’ve gone out at low tide, I’ve only caught no fish but often ended up with lost lures due to them getting stuck on rocks and snags at the bottom of the shallow waters. As a result I’ve avoided fishing during low tide.

The past two days I have had very little success fishing at high tide. Yesterday I got just three bites all from tiny fish and today just one during high tide, again a small fish. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy myself. For instance, I witnessed a fish doing a back flip out of the water, and I also saw a fish skip across the water.

Over the past couple of months I have been improving my casting and reeling in skills. When I started I didn’t have much control over the direction or the distance of the cast, and I frequently fumbled during the reeling and I didn’t have a good feel for the lures so that they would sink and catch on the bottom.

With the lack of luck during high tide and my increased confidence in controlling the lure, I ventured out during low tide. During the first few minutes I saw a decent sized fish following the lure a couple of times. Then nothing happened for a few more minutes as I kept casting and reeling, casting and reeling.

At around twenty minutes I cast it out and started reeling in. Then I felt strong resistance. I pulled back but whatever it hit wouldn’t let go. I pulled and pulled thinking I had finally gotten unlucky and got the lure stuck. That’s when I saw the line moving… Snags don’t move, I thought to myself and realized it was either a huge piece of kelp or a fish. I tugged and reeled in a bit more and when the line began to move left and right I realized it had to be a fish. I brought it in and could see that it was indeed a fish – not huge, but not small either. I carefully reeled it in closer to shore and then flipped it off onto the beach where I stunned it, bled it, gutted it, and took it home.

In other news, summer vacation has begun for the kids, and they received brand-new iPhones today.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Notebook PC is malfunctioning

For six months now my notebook PC has been exhibiting increasing problems. This past week it finally got to the place where it has become nearly unusable.

The first problem was its built-in WiFi began to fail intermittently. More often than not, the hardware failed to be recognized at all and wouldn’t show up in the list of known hardware. I could live with this problem by connecting a LAN cable or using a separate WiFi receiver. I contacted HP support but they gave me the usual try this and that, which I already had.

The second problem was that it began to randomly shut itself down with no warning. It seemed to happen most often when the CPU was running at its max and when the physical area near the CPU became very hot. I’m not sure why this didn’t happen when the PC was new, but it began to happen and with increasing frequency. Again, I could sort of live with this as long as I was careful to not run too many applications simultaneously.

However, the third problem introduced an unlivable problem. I had placed the PC on standby mode and when I tried to wake it, the power returned but operation did not. I forced a shutdown and tried restarting, but it would not. I looked up the support pages and found instructions on performing a hard reset, which I did, but it didn’t seem to do any good. The instructions also described a way of forcing boot into the BIOS to run a system check. I did that and the instructions actually worked.

I ran the system check and there the fourth issue appeared. The comprehensive hard disk check reported that the drive needed to be replaced. After running the diagnostics, I was able to boot back into Windows, so I backed up my data onto an external HD. Unfortunately I discovered my desktop PC doesn’t recognize this HD, so I had to back up the data to a different external HD.

With the data backed up I looked to see if the extended service plan I had originally purchased (through Office Depot) was still valid. Fortune was with me this time: I still have about five weeks left until its expiration! I called up the service and described the problems listed above. I didn’t get the runaround that I was afraid I would get (and expected) but I was promptly told that a service order had been opened and they would be shipping me a box in which to return the unit.

I am now working on my desktop PC which is not really adequate for all that I need. It too has some issues, mainly with the Operating System, so it is not a permanent solution. It doesn’t have a camera, speakers or microphone, so I am not able to run Skype on it, for instance.

I hadn’t been doing a whole lot with photography recently, and one reason is because of my various computer issues. I can’t run Photoshop on the desktop PC, and because of the suspected CPU/heat issues I didn’t want to try it on my notebook PC.

Since the beginning of the year I had been considering getting a new desktop PC for precisely the reason stated; however, I did not sense a decisive conviction that I should do it. I had been praying about it for weeks and I continued to be ambivalent about what I should do. It was during the Memorial Day weekend when I developed a strong feeling that instead of a desktop PC, I should instead go with the Apple iPad. Now I seem to understand why that happened. I most likely will not have the notebook PC back before we take off on our summer travels and the iPad will now serve as its replacement. This whole incident is quite annoying, but it appears now that things have and will work out okay.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

New personal record catch


High tide is now in the early morning hours (well, it also happens in the evening, but right in middle of or after dinner), so I went out at 5:30 a.m. this morning. I ended up with six bites, 3 of them small fish which I either didn’t hook too strongly and allowed to escape, or caught and released. One large catch escaped. These are the two with which I returned home.

While catching the smaller of the two there was a lady and her dog walking nearby on the beach. The dog was very excited to see the fish flopping about in the water and wanted it for himself.

The larger one was caught not too long afterwards. As soon as I felt it hook and began reeling it back in, I knew that it was going to be a big one, and I was not disappointed. I measured its length at 18-5/8 inches (1/8-inch longer than my previous record) and weighed in a 2-1/4 pounds (1/4-pound heavier than my previous record).