Archive for June, 2005

Jun 30 2005

Hullavator Vehicle Roof Rack System

Published by under Uncategorized

Hullavator Vehicle Roof Rack System

This is pretty neat.

No responses yet

Jun 26 2005

Buckman Springs Bike Ride

Published by under Biking,Declan

Had a great ride today with Jim and Dan. Here’s the route:

It’s about 40 miles and took 4 hours, and we stopped in Boulevard, CA for some Mexican food.

Old Highway 80 has some really cool rock formations:

Some of the hills were rough for a fairly new rider, but I made it. Now I’m going to sleep for a few days. 🙂

Here’s the elevation chart:

One response so far

Jun 25 2005

San Diego Red Tide

Published by under San Diego

If you’ve never seen a red tide at night and you are in the San Diego area, I urge you to go take a look after dark.

I grabbed this from Flickr. I wonder how sudsyfist set the camera up.

It looks like the tops of the waves are alive with blue, electric flame. The effect is subtle until your eyes get used to the dark, then it can be quite dramatic.

For more about the red tide, I’ll paste something sent to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (part of UCSD) here:

The red tide has finally arrived. Innumerable tiny single-celled organisms called “dinoflagellates” (Greek for “whirling whips”) have been growing slowly over the past few months, and have finally reached such high concentrations that they color the water.

The dominant species this year is Lingulodinium polyedrum. These cells are golden-brown, covered in a prehistoric-looking set of cellulose plates. Two flagella allow it to swim, moving upward toward the sun during the day to photosynthesize. This is why the brown color of the water is most intense around noon: the organisms aggregate at the surface if the wind is weak enough.

This dinoflagellate is not toxic – if you drank the water you’d die of salt-water overload before you would die from anything related to the red tide. On the other hand, it will give us one of nature’s most beautiful displays: the dinoflagellates are bioluminescent. Each cell can create its own eerie blue light. It does this in a sudden flash, presumably to either warn away predators, or to attract visual predators to eat the organisms that are eating the dinoflagellates.

The cells will also flash when they are disturbed by mixing. So the breaking waves, swimming fish, surfers, swimmers, and kayakers will all be lit up with a blue glow at night. Go down to the beach after sunset, to a place where there are not too many lights, and you will be in for a visual treat. Even your footsteps will sparkle in the sand! Swimming in the red tide is amazing. Your hands will glow in front of you, and you’ll be covered in tiny glowing stars when you come out of the water.

One of my favorite things to do is to get a jar full of water, and take it home. I put mine in the bathroom, where it is cool and has no windows. After the sun sets, my daughter and I go in, shut the door, wait for our eyes to acclimate to the dark, and then play with the “glow-in-the-dark” water. Last night we used an electric toothbrush to get a glowing blue blob. The grand finale is when we add vinegar: the acid causes all the cells it touches to give off a burst of light. The show will be over (the cells cannot bioluminesce again for another day – assuming they survive the acid), but it will be spectacular! And it’s all free!

These red tides are unpredictable. I’ve worked on them for years, and I still could not tell you whether we’re going to have one in a given year, when it will occur, or even what species it will be (we have two main species that cause local red tides). They tend to occur in the summer and early fall, though I’ve seen them in winter and spring. They are moved around by the water currents. This one may be the same one that was in Redondo Beach two weeks ago. I think that this bloom has been trying to get going for many months – the cells have been in the water since about February, but the conditions have not been right for it to really get dense. The bloom probably started about 30 feet below the surface, and has been growing down there for some time. Divers might have noticed a band of bioluminescence near that depth at night. Now that it has warmed up a bit, and the sun is actually shining, the cells have moved upward, forming a dense layer near the surface.

I’m guessing that this red tide will last at least two weeks, and maybe a lot longer. It depends a lot on the weather: if it is too windy, the turbulence will kill the cells, and the bloom will rapidly disappear. The ocean currents can also sweep it away. But we might have a great oceanic light show for July 4th!

Peter Franks

10 responses so far

Jun 25 2005

I gotta get one of these suits!

Published by under Declan,Fun

No responses yet

Jun 21 2005

Erin makes Orange Belt!

Published by under Erin,Family

Erin made her next belt in Kajukenbo.

So did many of her classmates.

Click here for all of the pictures.

One response so far

Jun 17 2005

Gabe needs to get one of these

Published by under Friends,Poker

No responses yet

Jun 11 2005

A Long Night of Poker

Published by under Friends,Poker

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by gebl.

No responses yet

Jun 11 2005

Bad Beats on Video Poker

Published by under Declan,Poker

I just can’t catch a break in poker this week… First Gabe kicks all our butts again (yawn…) then I do a little practise at home and get (I’m the “Loser” position each time):

Then I go all in again in this:

Think it’s time to head to Vegas? 🙂


One response so far

Jun 09 2005

What kind of lock was it?

Published by under Uncategorized

I’ve received a lot of nice mail about my stolen bike.

One question that is often asked is, “What kind of lock was it?”

Well it was a Kryptonite Model: RCL III

Here’s what that lock looked like when I bought it a week before the theft:

And here’s what it looked like about 30 seconds after the thief layed hands on it:

A nice closeup of the clipped cable end:

Bottom line, this was is a useless locking device. I wish I knew that before buying it. It sure LOOKS impressive.

Here’s what Kryptonite’s site says about their cable locks:

Q: Do cable locks have an anti-theft protection offer?

A: Kryptonite does not offer an anti-theft protection plan for our cable locks. Although cables are the popular choice of some cyclists, they offer deterrent protection only. For best protection of your bike Kryptonite recommends using a U-lock and cables when securing your bike.

I don’t think that was on the lock’s packaging.

One response so far

Jun 04 2005

The Sounds of Apple Support Page

Published by under Uncategorized

The Sounds of Apple Support Page

Very funny site I saw on the BagLady‘s site.

No responses yet

Next »