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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Some cool things I have seen.


With all that is going on, I have seen  bunch of things that I thought were super cool. Check this out.



A few weeks ago I taught a class - yes I had to use a powerpoint, I hate them but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do - with an iPad mini. that is right an iPad mini can drive a projector. Who knew? All I had to do was spend $50 on an adapter. You can even charge your iPad while driving the projector. To make this even better you can then control your powerpoint (actually it was a keynote) with your phone. I think that is super cool, and it really appeals to my minimalist side. 

Check out this Casey Neistat footage from the new DJI Phantom 4 jump to 6 minutes and 14 seconds!



I really think this footage is incredible, and not just because Casey didn't crash into the ocean - which he has a habit of doing - but this just looks sensational. I have been waiting patiently for the GoPro Karma drone, particularly because I don't like the idea of buying a drone with a  camera - I already have a camera - but this really has me intrigued.

Last night I watched the big short. Which opened with a  great quote:



This quote should be burned in the brains of everyone who is active in the outdoors. the number of times that I have been told "of course it is safe, I have done it this way hundreds of times!"

Finally I am reading the new NOLS book Lightning. It is sensational, and finally brings some real science to this topic. Check it out, it is worth the read.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A new certification

I am generally not a fan of certifications for outdoor skills. I tend to feel that it creates instructors with more skills than experience. (Read about it here.) But when opportunity arises to get a certification for free, you take it. Unfortunately, this will not be a kayaking certification, that opportunity arose last year and then quickly vanished. Next month I will be taking part in a two day ACA Stand Up Paddle boarding instructor course.

Last season I taught a couple of SUP classes and enjoyed it. It will never replace kayaking for me, but it is a fun change.


This was my view a couple of times last season, and I think it will be a regular view this season. Ill let you know how the training goes, there will certainly be video and photos on instagram.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

End of an Era

If you don't already know, a week ago, on my way home from the gym I was involved in a car accident. I was traveling west, and someone on a cross street ran a red light and ended up in front of me. I couldn't stop in time to avoid the collision.


I'm not sure how fast I was going at the moment of impact, but the first thing to take the brunt of the blow was the tow hook in my front bumper which had a permanent position for securing kayaks. If you look closely you can see it folded flat against the front of my car. Everything in front of the wheels is flat, though oddly the airbags didn't deploy. I was fine, the driver of the other car was fine, but I asked EMS to check me out. My Blood pressure and pulse were both - understandably - very high, but within 15 minutes they were back where they should have been. 

Incidentally, I had interactions with 6 different EMS people, both basics and paramedics and not one of them did a physical exam. Shame on you all. Other than that they were great. My car was towed away, and I started the upsetting process of dealing with insurance. 

For the record, while I was sore immediately after, and really sore the next day, I am fine and have no significant injuries.


Unfortunately my car can't say the same thing. The damage didn't look bad to me, but alas my insurance company decided she was a total loss. I was immediately depressed at the loss of this object. She was purchased in 2011 with 9000 miles with the primary goal of driving to Alaska to do the inside passage. She did the Alaska trip twice. 

Paddle North - Episode 1 from Paddling Otaku on Vimeo.


getting there from Paddling Otaku on Vimeo.

But she also took part in literally hundreds of other trips. From the beach, to family in New York to teaching dozens of WFA's, and hundreds of other classes. I truly loved this little car, and she will be very missed.

We have a two fold plan for replacing her. First, in the next week I am going to buy another yaris, but this time the 4 door hatchback version - it turns out the sedan version (particularly in manual transmission) is hard to find. The 4 door hatchback will allow my roof rack to make a seamless move to the new car. Then in the next few months we are going to shop for a used Sprinter cargo van.


Something like this. With the goal of turning it into the ultimate road trip/adventure vehicle. They are very tall, and I am going to have to figure out the best way to get a kayak or two on the roof. That is the plan. stay tuned for updates.