What are the odds of my boat getting hit by lightning?

Posted By on August 31, 2015

captlarryelectricitygraphicArchiving an educational post on lightning and boating. Although there may not be one perfect way to protect yourself or your boat when thunderstorms appear, putting the odds in your favor does make sense.

According to Boat U.S. “The feature reports that in any one year the odds of your boat being struck by lightning is about 1.2 in 1,000, with 33% of all lightning claims coming from the sunshine state, Florida. The second most struck area in the country was the Chesapeake Bay region (29%), while on the opposite side, 13 states had no lightning-related claims, including states such as Idaho and Nebraska.”

The odds are, of course, higher on a sailboat, and for some reason, higher still for a multihull sailboat.

Read Frugal-Mariner article for entire post (more…)

Fifty years ago radio personally Paul Harvey saw the future

Posted By on August 29, 2015

paulharveyMaybe it didn’t take much imagination to see where society and our country was heading … but it does give me the chills to listen to radio personality Paul Harvey’s broadcast from 1965 when Democrats embraced their big government solutions and promoted President Johnson’s Great Society program. (and the answer from today’s Liberal Progressives is that government is not big enough and that we need to tax, spend and control even more to solve the problem.)

Cautious mariners use the Danger Rule when watching Erika

Posted By on August 28, 2015


Most people watching tropical weather are focused on the eye of the storm … for good reason, but as a sail enthusiast, I tend to refer to the Mariner 1-2-3 rule when watching storm. This Danger Rule or Area applies the 34-knots of wind criteria as a way to keep boaters out of the worst weather. According to NOAA, 34 knots of wind was chosen because when winds reach this strength the sea state will change putting a vessel in more danger – see nhc.noaa.gov PDF.


TechFriday: What does it take to steal credit and debit cards?

Posted By on August 28, 2015

Most technology followers know the theory behind copying the swipe code from traditional magnetic credit cards, but few people swiping their cards at the gas pump realize that the “skimming device” is installed by criminals is installed out of site “inside” the gas pump.

  • Q: If you can’t see it, how do you know your card is stolen?
  • A: You don’t until it is too late. It’s a growing problem.


The theft starts with a universal gasoline pump key that unlocks the majority of the nation’s dispensers. With a $111 credit card skimmer purchased on the Internet, a criminal can set up an enterprise to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting motorists fueling their cars.

First, the thief installs a skimming device as small as a matchbox inside the dispenser cabinet. The card data can be downloaded and sold on the Internet. Or, with a $359 card embosser and some blank magnetic cards, fraudulent cards can be made using the stolen numbers.

Either way, with their new “crowbars,” thieves are stealing millions of dollars. Some are using more expensive Bluetooth-equipped skimmers so they can do their dirty work without having to retrieve the skimmer.

The problem of criminals, many of them organized crime rings, placing skimming devices inside gas pumps has come to the forefront recently as Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspectors uncovered 107 illegally placed devices in a statewide sweep.

Full story in PalmBeachPost.com

What’s the probability of a little wind in Florida from Erika?

Posted By on August 27, 2015


Looks probable. Should have removed the Bimini on Encore this summer … thankfully the sails are down and stowed safely away. Lines are doubled, but no longer as new and stretchy as they once were. Hm … as my buddy Mark would say, “that why we pay for insurance.”

My favorite VW travel thermos needs to be replaced

Posted By on August 27, 2015

vwthermos150824In 2008 the TDIClub gifted me a VW travel thermos and I’ve used it everyday since then. I use it primarily an insulated  water bottle, but it does did a great job with coffee too. It doesn’t sweat when things are cold and with just 2 ice cubes this little stainless steel Alfi Vacuum Bottle would keep water cold all day … and fits in a cupholder!

Unfortunately I dropped it a couple months ago and it must have lost whatever inert gas or vacuum because it is no longer doing its job. Now … what do I replace it with???


This Delta plane gets struck by lightning

Posted By on August 26, 2015

A passenger who was waiting for a storm to pass to board his flight caught the exact moment when a lightning bolt struck a Delta airliner.

Source: Watch this Delta airliner get struck by a lightning bolt!

Tropical Storm Erika is poised to grow by this weekend

Posted By on August 26, 2015

It is the time of year when the tropical weather in the Atlantic tracks across the Caribbean Sea and Leeward Islands. These tropical storms can grow into hurricanes and blast the US east coast or continue on into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The previous tropical storm turn hurricane for a very short while was Danny, but the new one called Erika east of the Leeward Islands may have a little more potential to grow. Time will tell what happens with this storm as currently Erika is confirmed to have only 40 mph winds and is moving west at 20 mph. Hurricane watchers have the current track and cone targeting the Bahama Islands and southeast coast of Florida and growing in intensity.

The Sony Mobile and ZMP Inc tests their new UAV

Posted By on August 25, 2015

sonyaerosenseAfter getting a chance to play with a quad copter last week, I’ve been a little more intrigued with the advancements in “drones.” Who knows, this innovation may find its way into the first realistic personal transportation device someday?

Sony’s Aerosense drone that takes off and lands vertically but during flight gets most of its lift from wings for more efficient and faster flight. I like the concept. Check it out.

Update: Rehab for Brenda is slow, painful but steady

Posted By on August 25, 2015

It has been 25 days since surgery and about a month since my wife’s fall off a ladder. The rehabilitation is actually going well when observing the healing from the outside — the incision is relatively clean. Brenda isn’t ready for photos … so I’ll just include the last photo (right) of her are pre-injury from July 2015. The incision photos from yesterday look pretty good although there is a sign that some internal sutures are coming to the surface and causing a little seepage. We are watching for infection (see below).

Unfortunately the internal healing will be much slower as the pelvis fractures and new “bionic” part (composite part) in her arm will take longer to heal property before she can use or put any weight it. Still the “passive” motion of her arm by the physical therapist and “pivoting” on Brenda’s right foot until the pelvis heals (weight off left) at least has her able to inch around the house a little bit without being stuck in a recliner or wheelchair. We do take too many things for granted as I walk back and forth “speedily” taking care of things. It is all very frustrating to someone as active as her.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.