I want to welcome our fifth grandchild, Oliver Elijah. Born June 3 2014, 5:18am, he weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz. Congratulations Alicia and Jeff.
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.
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 .
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 = “viewport” content = “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.
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.
Greg graduates. He was a student, but now he is an alumnus. We are very proud and happy that we are finished with tuition payments.
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.
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.
I turned 60 today. I had a great birthday. First I went out to lunch with Fran, Alicia and Jackson. Then I got my hair cut and got a senior discount because I was 60. Next I had cake that Fran and Jackson made.
Finally, Fran and I went out for dinner to Chillfire Grill and had a great meal.
After creating the Distance Time Speed calculator I thought about creating a calculator for finding distance and bearing from two locations, or a second location from a location, distance and bearing. While investigating how to do this I discovered how to get a current location so I integrated this in the tool as well.
I also added the abilities to convert between three formats of latitude/longitude and to pass a distance to the Distance Time Speed calculator.
Here is a screen shot of the tool on an iPad.
To use this tool you enter a location as a latitude/longitude pair. You can enter a location manually, or get your current location, if supported by the device. In this example, I get my current location by pressing “Set Current Location” (press it 2 or 3 times for the best accuracy).
It found my current location, with an accuracy of 16 feet. Next, I enter Location 2 in the format “dd mm ss” for a latitude of 35° 35′ 32″ N and a longitude of 081° 02′ 13.6″ W. The tool accepts latitude and longitude in several different formats. This lets you copy and paste from other tools, such a Google Earth.
When I press “Submit” I get the distance (in nautical miles and feet) and the bearing (in true degrees).
The distance is 1.436 nautical miles, or 8722 feet, and the bearing is 145 degrees true.
There are three formats for displaying latitude and longitude. (The tool will keep the original precision independent of the display format chosen.) If I want to see my locations in a different format, I can use the tool to convert between formats. In this example I want to convert from degrees minutes to degrees minutes seconds. I press the “Format” button and select “dd mm ss”.
When I press “Submit” the format will change.
If I want to calculate the speed to get from Location 1 to Location 2 in 21 minutes, I can send the distance to the Distance Time Speed tool by pressing “Send to Dist Time Speed Calculator”.
Then I enter 21 minutes.
When I press “Submit”…
I see that my speed is 4.1 knots, or 4.7 mph.
In the next example I calculate where I will be if I travel from my current location for 1.42 nautical miles at a bearing of 43 degrees true.
When I press “Submit” I will see the latitude and longitude of my location.
The formulas used by this tool are not 100% accurate so you may see some difference if you calculate a distance and bearing and the use the results with Location 1 to calculate Location 2.
Another feature of the tool is the “Swap” button. This will swap Locations 1 and 2. You can use this feature to calculate the distance and bearing traveled between two locations. For example, press “Set Current Location” as you start of your trip. (You may better accuracy if you press it 2 or 3 times.) When you finish your trip press “Swap”, “Set Current Location” (2 or 3 times) and “Submit” to see distance and bearing traveled.
I learned a lot developing this tool and I think that I came up with something useful. At least I think it will be useful. Hopefully you will too.
Fran and I are still in Charlotte, waiting for our next grandchild. We didn’t plan things this way, but it is nice to spend Easter with some family. The Easter Bunny came and Jackson got a T-Ball set, an airplane and lots of candy.
We had a huge spiral ham for dinner. Looks like we will be having left-overs for the next few days. But that’s okay because we have stuff to make bean soup.
It was raining this morning, so we hid eggs inside, but it cleared up and we went outside later.
It was a great day and we were happy to spend it with some family.
When we are cruising on Questeria, we are always doing distance, time, speed calculations. Traveling on the Intra-Coastal Waterway, ICW, complicates it even more if we need to convert between nautical miles and statute miles. It’s not hard to do all this when you are sitting at a desk with pencil, paper and calculator handy, but it becomes more challenging when steering a boat.
I had some extra time, so I decided to write a web utility do this. Here is a screen shot of the utility on an iPhone 5.
You can convert between nautical miles and statute miles or knots and mph and you can calculate distance, time or speed by entering two values.
For example, if I am cruising up the ICW, look at my ICW guide and see that the next bridge that I need opened is 8.7 statute miles away, and I look at my GPS and see that I am doing 5.2 knots, I enter 8.7 into the Statute Miles field and 5.2 into the Knots field.
Then I press “Submit” to see how long it will take.
It shows me that it will take me one hour, 27 minutes and 14 seconds. It also tells me that 8.7 statute miles is equal to 7.56 nautical miles and that 5.2 knots is equal to 6.0 mph.
The values in the fields will stay until overwritten or cleared by pressing “Reset”. So say that after 4 nautical miles, I am still doing 5.2 knots, and I want to see how much time is remaining to get to the bridge. I need only change the “Nautical Miles” and clear out the time.
Then I press “Submit” to see the new time.
I see that I have 41 minutes and five seconds to get there. It also tells me that 3.560 nautical miles is equal to 4.097 statute miles.
This tool is on my website, under Tools for Cruisers, then Distance Time Speed. You can use it on any device, with a web browser, that is connected to the internet. Sorry. There is no off-line version at this time. I hope you find this useful. Stay tuned for a post on the Location Distance Bearing tool, which can work with the Distance Time Speed tool.