Paddle Boarding

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Ron on Paddle Board
Fran on Paddle Board
Fran on Paddle Board

We try out my new paddle board today. It is an inflatable from Sea Eagle. I chose the 14′ needle nose model with kayak seat and paddle options. We bring it to Beatty’s Ford park, in Denver, NC. Jackson plays in the playground with Mom and Grandma while I inflate it. Then they join me while I try paddle boarding for the first time.

I paddle around on my knees at first. The paddle board wants to go in a straight line, but I figure out that I can turn by paddling backwards.  I go close to shore and stand up. I have to lengthen the adjustable paddle to reach the water. I don’t go very far before my legs start getting tired from balancing. I go back in and let Fran try it.

She starts out on her knees and then stands up, like I did. When her legs start getting tired, she kneels down again.

When she comes back I inflate the seat and try kayaking. It is easy to paddle in a straight line but hard to turn. I go back to shore and remove the slide-in skeg. Now it turns like kayaks I have used before. Fran tries kayaking too.

Then we deflate the paddle board and seat and put everything back in the van. It went well for our first time paddle boarding. The 14′ needle nose is very big and heavy. Fran decides that she would like to try the 11′ long board model for herself.

Website Update

I updated my website today. I wasn’t planning any big changes, but I started looking at some things and ended up making major changes.

Links to this Blog

I added a link to here on each page. This blog existed before, but you had to know the URL http://questeria.info/wordpress to get to it. Now you can press the “WordPress Blog” button to get here from any page.

New Google AdSense Format

I started advertising on my website with Google AdSense since 2008 to help offset website costs. I have a text/image ad at the top of the page and a link ad at the bottom of the page. I’ve made a whopping $4.78 since then. The ad formats were designed for desktop and  I wasn’t happy with the way the ads looked on tablets and phones.  The last major update was to use different style sheets for desktop, tablet and phone, but I was still using the original desktop ad formats.

I changed the top ad to a new responsive format, that adjusts to the screen size of the device. I am much happier with this format. The bottom ad was just too small to see on a phone, so I just don’t display it .

Viewport

My website development skills are self-taught. There are a lot of resources on-line, but it takes a lot of trial and error to make things work the way I wanted them to. I had the website looking how I wanted on a desktop, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the way it looked on tablets and phones. I was searching for web and discovered a tag that I didn’t know about; <meta name = “viewportcontent = “width=device-width“>. This tells the browser to set the viewport, or window width, to the device width.

I added this tag to each page of my website. I had to make a lot of changes to my phone style sheet, but after that it made the pages more readable on my iPhone and Kindle Fire.

iPad Style Sheet

When I updated my website to have separate style sheets for desktop, tablet and phones, I used my laptop computer, Kindle Fire and iPhone 5 to look at the results. My Kindle Fire is one of the first one available and is about half the size of an iPad. We have an iPad but it belongs to my wife, Fran, and is usually being used. But when I did look the website with it, it seemed like everything was too big. So I decided to add a style sheet for the iPad and similar devices.

iPad Screenshot
iPad Screenshot

I’m pretty happy with the way my website looks on all the devices that I have tried. This will probably be the last major update for a while, unless I find some other cool tags to try.

Clemson

Erika, Myself and greg
Erika, Myself and Greg

I drove from Charlotte to Clemson for graduation weekend. I arrive at 4:30, just as Greg is finishing cleaning out his college apartment. Fran is in Charlotte, helping Alicia. I am staying on campus, in an actual student dorm room.

Greg, Emmy and I meet Erika, Steve, Karen and Dwight for dinner at Sullivan’s Grill, in Anderson.

The next day I pick up Greg and Emmy and we go to breakfast at the Harcombe dinning hall, on campus. Then we go back to Greg’s place and play Yahtzee.

At 2:00 we go to The Smokin’ Pig for lunch. Everybody from the night before is there, plus Mike, Emmy’s dad, and Jack, Greg’s friend from Myrtle Beach. The wait is long but the food and fellowship are worth it.

The graduation starts at 6;30. It is the last of three. It’s not as long as we thought it would be.

After the graduation we go to Greg’s for a pizza party with some of his friends.

I have a great time visiting with Greg, family and friends.

Route and Track Utilities

I wrote some Perl programs a while ago to help me with route planning and documenting my tracks. I thought they might be useful to others, so I cleaned them up and made them available on my website, under Tools for Cruisers, Utilities.

You must have Perl on your computer to use these utilities. I use ActivePerl for Windows.

I usually open a command prompt window to run these utilities, but I included a bat file so you can use the utilities with Windows Explorer. (I don’t use a mac, but I’m sure you can run these Perl programs.)

There are two utilities:

clnrte.zip – Clean Route will process GPX route files to optionally renumber all waypoint names in numerically increasing order and/or replace waypoint symbols with the default “Waypoint”, or any other symbol name.

gpx2csv.zip – Create a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file from a Route or Track GPX file. A route file will have Waypoint, Latitude, Longitude, Distance (NM and Feet) and Bearing. A track file will have Latitude, Longitude, Date, Time, Depth, Elapsed Time, Distance (NM and Feet), Speed (knots) and Bearing.

When you down-load these utilities there is a txt file that explains how to use them. Look for some posts in the future that show how to use these utilities.