Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Tag

Christmas Sailboat D25 Wins Again at the 107th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade   Leave a comment

photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

For the 12th consecutive year, skipper Peter Barbour and Christmas boat D25 earns a first place victory in the 2015 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The décor at D25 for 2015 features a Christmas dolphin guiding a sleigh filled with gifts and pulled by a giant seahorse.
Click here to see all the 2015 Newport Beach Boat Parade Winners

Here are D25’s Records
2015: Best Sailboat
2014: 1st Place Animation & Special Effects
2013: 1st Place Animation & Special Effects
2012: Best Sailboat
2011: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
2010: Best Boat Under 30 Feet
2009: 1st Place Best Animation & Special Effects, Theme: Joys of Christmas Toys
In 2009, D25 demonstrated one of the most complex designs in the series. The entry included a matrix of colored ornaments, made with hundreds of individual bulbs. The matrix enabled the computer controller to make an amazing array of “bouncing ball” images that danced across a black background.
2008: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality, Theme: Tropical Island Cheer – Lanterns to Lights
D25 for 2008 was inspired by the origins of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade on July 4, 1908, when John Scarpa, a gondolier, led a parade with eight fellow small boat operators.
2007: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Surf’s Up – Light Wave: Surf’s Up on D25 features over 5,025 lights illuminating a holiday surfer’s dream. In the middle of November, Original Productions, Inc. asked Peter to appear on a documentary on intense holiday decorations for TLC: The Learning Channel. The episode “More Crazy Christmas Lights” premiered on December 8, 2007.
2006: Best Boat Under 30 Feet
Theme: North Pole Holiday Magic
2005: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Classic Christmas. D25’s second design was inspired by a classic Christmas living room scene. A large decorated Christmas tree with presents stacked below the bows and a star atop, red brick fireplace with a roaring fire and stockings hung below a mantle.
2004: 2nd Place Best Use of Lights and Animation
Theme: Santa’s Sailing Sled. D25’s debut design was inspired by the idea of Santa’s sailing sled being borrowed by a mischievous elf.

More information on the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

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Re-Invent Your Career with Transferable Skills   Leave a comment

wayne yoshida tech writer screwdriver image

Here’s an example of a re-purposed item. An ordinary Phillips head screwdriver became something new by adding a few bends in its shaft. The bends were transferred from some other screwdriver ideas . . . .

Everyone has a set of skills and expertise, no matter who they are or what they do. Think of your skill set as a collection of things you learned from your earliest memories to present day. This is especially important when contemplating your next career move: All of us can jump from one career or position to another, but the jump must be realistic and make sense to anyone looking at your profile and work history. I call this our inventory of transferable skills.

Take a close look at everything you do and everything you know, including any personal, time-off activities such as sports and hobbies. Make a list of your skills and knowledge, then think about how these elements can transfer into your next career. You may discover more possibilities as you examine your list.

IMG_0764 wayne yoshida Tech Writer

While helping my friend Peter decorate his boat for a Christmas parade, we talked a little bit about work and career events over the last year. Of course, I had to mention LinkedIn and how it helped me. Peter is not on LinkedIn (yet) but I hope he decides to give it a try.

Peter’s extreme Christmas decor aboard his boat includes thousands of individual lights, four microcomputers two generators and hundreds of feet of wires.

Connecting all of these elements together and making them work on a short schedule is a demonstration of Peter’s knowledge and skills. Many, if not all, of these skills are transferable to several career paths.

Here are just some of the skills and expertise needed to create an award-winning Christmas boat entry:

Project planning/project management
Advertising and marketing
Public information/public relations
Computer/microprocessor programming
AC circuitry
Ocean navigation
Electronics
Programmable logic controllers PLC
Electrical safety
Computer software and hardware

The list is impressive, and it is even more impressive when you remember this is just a short list of things based on one hobby-type of activity.

So as this year comes to a close, I encourage everyone to make a list of transferable skills and expertise, and remember to include both work and non-work activities.

Learn more about leveraging LinkedIn as a career management tool at the LinkedIn workshops at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. If you are out of the area, watch for postings about our live, online sessions. Check the “Calendar & Events” page for dates and times.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and see my other LinkedIn Publish posts.

D25 – A Boat in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade   Leave a comment

Celebrating 10 Consecutive Years of Winning

Peter Barbour, a fellow ham radio operator and volunteer of the Huntington Beach Fire Department RACES group, has been sharing his holiday cheer and enthusiasm of the Christmas season by decorating his sailboat and entering the Newport Beach (CA) Christmas Boat Parade. As this is being written, winners for 2014 have not been announced, so stay tuned and cheer for D25!

Peter combines his computer programming and hardware-hacking skills with his knowledge of sailing that result in a series of award-winning and crowd-pleasing displays.

I am proud to be one of Peter’s helpers in constructing some of his award-winning entries.

2014 marks Peter’s tenth entry and it continues the D25 tradition of “more is better.”

Here are some pictures of D25 under construction:

IMG_0756 wayne yoshida D25 light matrix 1

 

IMG_0753 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 light matrix 2

 

IMG_0751 wayne yoshida D25 light matrix 3

 

IMG_0748 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 Peter inspecting

 

IMG_0755 wayne yoshida tech writer - clock discussion

 

IMG_0766 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast day

 

IMG_0771 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast work at night

 

IMG_0775 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast

 

IMG_0779 wayne yoshida tech writer - computer

 

IMG_0772

 

Where is D25 Right Now?

D25 is equipped with an Amateur Radio tracking system called APRS. Click here to see D25’s real-time location and map.

For more information on ham radio APRS, the Automatic Packet Reporting System, click here.

D25’s Records
D25 2004: 2nd Place Best Use of Lights and Animation
Theme: Santa’s Sailing Sled

D25’s debut design was inspired by the idea of Santa’s sailing sled being borrowed by a mischievous elf.

D25 2005: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Classic Christmas

D25’s second design was inspired by a classic Christmas living room scene. A large decorated Christmas tree with presents stacked below the bows and a star atop, red brick fireplace with a roaring fire and stockings hung below a mantle.

D25 2006: Best Boat Under 30 Feet
Theme: North Pole Holiday Magic

In the middle of November, Original Productions, Inc. asked Peter to appear on a documentary on intense holiday decorations for TLC: The Learning Channel. The episode “More Crazy Christmas Lights” premiered on December 8, 2007.

D25 2007: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Surf’s Up – Light Wave

Surf’s Up on D25 features over 5,025 lights brilliantly illuminating a holiday surfer’s dream wave. D25’s strobe light marks the lip of the wave and a hot-doggin’ holiday penguin is in the cave catching some gnarly tubular action.

D25 2008: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Tropical Island Cheer – Lanterns to Lights

D25 for 2008 was inspired by the origins of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade on July 4, 1908. John Scarpa, an obscure Italian gondolier, led a parade with eight fellow small boat operators. The boats were illuminated by Japanese lanterns.

D25 2009: 1st Place Best Animation & Special Effects
Theme: Joys of Christmas Toys

In 2009, D25 demonstrated one of the most complex designs in the series. The entry included a matrix of colored ornaments, made with hundreds of individual bulbs. The matrix enabled the computer controller to make an amazing array of “bouncing ball” images that danced across a black background.

D25 2010: Best Boat Under 30 Feet

D25 2011: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality

D25 2012: Best Sailboat

D25 2013: 1st Place Animation & Special Effects

Some facts and figures of the Christmas vessel D25

The boat: 11-foot dinghy with a Nissan 4-stroke, 5HP engine. Oars for backup

Typical number of lights: Over 10,000 (Peter counted them once, but now simply adds lights up to the generator capacity)

Current consumption: Approx. 33 amps at 120 VAC

Power source: Two Honda EU2000i generators providing a total of 4,000 watts at 120 VAC

Wiring: Over 625 feet of custom extension cords

Safety items: GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) on all circuits and an automatic bilge pump

Communications: A 5 Watt VHF ham radio is interfaced to a GPS for reporting location, and is available for emergency

Sound system: 150W audio power with wireless mike for music and personal greetings

Computer controllers: Four Light-O-Rama (LOR) controllers 

Other items:
A masthead rotating strobe
An automobile classic “AH-OO-GA” horn
Fog Machine
Simulated flames & coals in fireplace
Chasing rope lights

 

A Christmas Party, the Lytro Camera and a Coupe Goof   Leave a comment

The San Bernardino Microwave Society (SBMS) had a Christmas party this past weekend, and it was a good break from doing sheet aluminum work. The event seemed smaller this year, several of the usual suspects were not able to make it. There was lots of food to share and gifts to exchange. Happily, regular guests Mel WA6JBD and his better half, Tisza KI6DBR came and brought their usual homemade treats, including Tisza’s famous chocolate truffles, microwave dish cookies and a chocolate sculpture. This year’s sculpture was a 10GHz horn and a section of waveguide. And yes, they really do work at 10GHz. Mel measured the return loss of the horn and waveguide and reports more than 17dB or something like that – pretty respectable for an edible 10GHz antenna.

Here are some pictures of the event. . .

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Where else but a ham radio Christmas party would one find a 10GHz horn and waveguide made of chocolate – that actually works

Tisza's homemade chocolate truffles - Yum!

Tisza’s homemade chocolate truffles – Yum!

kh6wz 011

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Gift exchange crowd

Gift exchange crowd

What in the World is That?

After the party wound down, I stayed to get a closer look at Dennis’ new camera. It does not look anything like a camera, but it really shouldn’t because it makes images in a whole new way and enables a whole new way to enjoy still images. I thought it looked more like a kid’s kaleidoscope, rather than a camera.

The camera and lens system optics look very simple. And that is one of the points: You do not need fancy telephoto or macro lens capability. It is done in software.  There are no fancy controls or buttons, only soft pads on the rubberized parts of the case. There is a power switch, a zoom control and a shutter release. An LCD with touch screen is on the back. Here are some pictures of this new gadget.

WHAT is THAT!

WHAT is THAT!

The Lytro camera. At left is the lens cover, it attaches magnetically. That's an item that will be lost immediately. Center, the camera, showing the front glass and lens. Right - a tripod adaptor.

The Lytro camera. At left is the lens cover, it attaches magnetically. That’s an item that will be lost immediately. Center, the camera, showing the front glass and lens. Right – a tripod adaptor.

As I mentioned on my LinkedIn update, the Lytro camera introduces a paradigm shift in the way we can look at still pictures (pun intended, sorry). At first, I thought this camera simply used some sort of image processing to “fix” images, simple things like contrast and color adjustments and maybe some image manipulation, like PhotoShop. But then Dennis said that you can change focus and “raw image” features, like zooming in – after the image is stored on your computer.

The images are not jpg or other familiar formats – but then – these are not ordinary images, either. You can actually change the depth-of-field – change the point of view of the image.

Watching some of the demos on the Lytros website made me think of scenes from the TV show “CSI:” because you can see an image captured by the camera, and you can actually zoom and move around the various places on the image, and see what else the camera captured.

Visit the Lytro website, pictures and demos and details are worth closer examination. Unfortunately, I don’t have any Lytro images to share – yet.

The Coupe Goof

The day after the party, I went back to work on the Coupe. Something bothered me as I looked at the images and some postings of other builders. The driver’s side footbox and the front, where the pedal box mounts, looked different than mine. And I found another driver side footbox front panel in my box of aluminum parts. I looked at the part number of the “extra” footbox front (15312) on the packing slip, and noticed the description: “Driver Footbox Front Wall, Coupe Wilwood Pedals.”

Argh. Since I have the Complete Kit, it came with a Wilwood pedal box. Part of the confusion is the way Factory Five Racing packed the sheet aluminum – the major parts are held in place on the chassis and are shipped in place. This would be fine for the builders using a donor Mustang pedal box, the “Basic Kit” version.

So, I had to remove the driver side footbox front panel and replace it with the proper one. The good news is that I had all these things in place with Cleco fasteners, not rivets and silicone. And, I used the old panel as a drilling guide for the new panel. Now I have a spare sheet of aluminum I can use for – something. Hatch covers, maybe.

On the left is the wrong driver side footbox front panel. This is the one that is shipped in place on the chassis. The one on the right is the front panel for the Wilwood pedal box. Good thing I didn't silicone and rivet that panel!

On the left is the wrong driver side footbox front panel. This is the one that is shipped in place on the chassis. The one on the right is the front panel for the Wilwood pedal box. Good thing I didn’t silicone and rivet that panel!

Disaster averted - the wrong footbox front panel was removed and replaced with the correct front panel for the Wilwood pedal box.

Disaster averted – the wrong footbox front panel was removed and replaced with the correct front panel for the Wilwood pedal box.