Decorative surfboard B Wing Star Wars vinyl

I took on a couple of projects this past week. First, I decided to refinish Jon's old surfboard for wall decor - of course it is still rideable. Then I went on to replace the old Ikea (or whatever) bookshelf with something larger, more permanent, and less particle board-y.

Ornamental surfboard prep ding repair

Jon's board has been around awhile, and some time back I did a low-effort repair on some large areas of delamination. I wasn't about to spend much time filling and sanding it to perfection, the rugged look would have to do.

Since I am not artistically inclined, I decided to do a flat color with a vinyl. And I went with a B-Wing for the vinyl.

A few stripes would help with the starfighter-y feel, so I put down a base layer of white and cut out a mask fit for a Rebel Alliance fighter.

Having some green paint on hand, I used that for a base coat and then went to the ultimate grey finish. While it was drying enough to not come off with the vinyl transfer tape, I fashioned a simple wall mount. The board rests on a foam-covered pipe sitting below two fins, the top is secured with a small wire loop.

After applying the vinyl and a couple layers of spar varnish, I had my new wall decoration.

Decorative surfboard Channel Islands

While I was at it, I rescued Connie's gorgeous CIS board from the garage rack.

Putting in custom shelving was always in the plan, and I finally got to it. The idea was to use the vaulted section of the living room to build a large set of shelves. I wanted to go with a trapezoidal shape, as the bookshelf would have 180 degrees of access.

Saw wood studs staining

Cutting, planing, sanding, varnishing. The usual. I went with a clear urethane for the shelves and a dark stain for the supports. As I was starting I decided that a white wall behind the shelf wasn't ideal, so I switched off coating the shelving materials and coating the wall.

The 2x6es went up first. Then the brackets. Then the shelves, top-to-bottom, attaching to the front 2x4s along the way.

Rob's bike is a fixture of the living room, so I found it a home in the new addition.

Living room triptych panorma lit up weimaraner couch bookshelf motorcycle kegerator


Blind Lady Ale House Cape Run 2016 BLAH capes San Diego trophy

This past weekend featured the annual Blind Lady Ale House Cape Run. It is not to be missed and we had a pretty strong showing for the pink team.
The capes

Blind Lady Ale House Cape Run 2016 BLAH capes San Diego jumping

While I was just proud of myself for ordering a pink cape in time, most everyone else actually put time and effort into theirs. Alfonso won best cape for his Teddy Roosevelt creation. Cooley's was... about what one would expect form him.

The run

Blind Lady Ale House Cape Run 2016 BLAH capes San Diego

The usual: 5K, Tiger Tiger, Tornado, Livewire, then back to BLAH for some pizza.

Kafka, spirit animal

Blind Lady Ale House Cape Run 2016 BLAH capes San Diego dog weimaraner

After thumbing through the official cape run rulebook, our team leader determined that there was nothing preventing a dog from winning the 'most spirited' award. Maybe it was because he had pink stripes. Maybe it was because he finished first on our team.

Dog weimaraner social media Blind Lady Ale House BLAH Cape Run


Ski snowboard videography gimbal stabilization postprocessing

Having played around with Jon and Derrick's GoPros this past month, I wanted to throw together a short video of the skiing, volleyball, and motorbiking. There were a few issues though.

For whatever reason, Rob kept rotating the camera pole, leaving most of his volleball footage shaky about the x-axis. At Northstar we had essentially the same problem, except the camera was pointed axially with the pole, resulting in roll. And at Snow Summit the camera was an afterthought so everything was handheld.

Software solves everything, of course, so I looked into postprocessing solutions.


Image stabilization interpolation VirtualDub deshaker skiing snowboarding

Some forums recommended a freeware application and separate plugin. As best I can tell, this tool rotates and pans each frame to generate a steady video. The software can zoom to the new frame boundaries and/or fill them with interpolated pixels. A given frame may look wonky, but it's fairly seamless at speed. Pretty neat.

Image stabilization VirtualDub skiing snowboarding postprocessing

The output is excellent, but there are a few drawbacks:
Video editing Deshaker parameters


Microsoft Hyperlapse demo skiing snowboarding video stabilization

A Microsoft product, free to try (with watermark), $50 to buy. It seems to do much of the same stuff that VirtualDub does, but apparently also applies some computer vision techniques.

Video processing Hyperlapse blurring comparison

I did notice a reduction in sharpness at times, I expect from some interpolation with zoom or between frames. There isn't much documentation on the tool and even fewer settings. I guess a workaround would be to shoot 4k and screen 1080.

It'd probably be best to get my hands on a copy of Premiere. Windows Movie Maker works okay for basic stuff but for anything where you want to sync the music and footage it is unusable. WMM inseparably links the audio track and video, so if you cut and rearrange the video, the audio goes too.

GoPro studio crash

The GoPro software is pretty powerful and intuitive. I just wish it didn't crash so frequently.
The vids

My first attempt, I didn't buy Hyperlapse so it's watermarked.


Classic California Republic flag

Wiffle ball cul de sac hit pitcher

The League of Sport took advantage of nice weather and Derrick's new cul de sac to play a full nine innings of wiffle. The visitors in red and green went up big early on the home team in red, then slowly collapsed defensively, only to hold out in the end.

Surf photos

Surfline surf report storm waves

The first December swell was supposed to be a good one. Since I had gotten a session in earlier in the week, I decided to take the housing out for its first non-small day. Previous shoots had taught me one important lesson that I would ignore - minimize the distance between the shore and the break. Doing so means less paddling (kicking), less current, and more standing. But since we had to avoid wind and get good light, we had to go at mega high tide. And since I wanted to get as many subjects as possible, we went to Del Mar where the break is way out.

Surf Del Mar cliffs high tide horizon waves

Sure enough, the morning brought big waves and offshore wind.

But the high surf and high waves reached the base of the cliffs and left the last bit very slick. Entry was not impossible, but we didn't think about exit.

Surf Del Mar photography back side spray

As I kicked out I could see part of the group getting rapidly pulled south. It didn't matter much, getting outside took about forty minutes. Ducking most waves was doable, but I couldn't get under anything that broke just outside of me. So though I didn't have much of a view, I never saw anyone pass me northward. Since I saw small groups to the south, I assumed my buddies just let the current take them to an adjacent break. I paddled/drifted south.

Unfortunately all of the groups turned out to be randos. But maybe it was for the best, somewhere in the process my focus setting was switched to evaluative which I previously learned is absolutely no good. Having a bunch of out of focus shots of buckets being dumped would have been pretty disappointing.

Getting out took about 40 minutes. I drifted/kicked down toward Torry Pines in search of familiar faces for 20-30 minutes. When I couldn't find them I got out at the rivermouth and walked back to 7th, arriving at about the 1:45 mark. I ran into Derrick and Grace, but it wasn't until later that everyone learned each others' stories...

Surf changing mat grass bleeding heel fin


I got washed up into the rocks and the cliff and fucked up my FireWire bad. There are scratches and dings all over it.
And I got stung by a sting ray. My foot is killing me!
I did get one good wave though. So, I would say worth it.


I started battling my way out with Erik for a while until one of the sets came through and I lost him, after paddling north for a while I ran into Nathan who caught a few. After some attempts to get up by the rocks I ended up paddling down to Torrey so I didn't get crushed. Not quite the epic long session I had hoped for.


I got sucked down to Torrey pines almost instantly. Not the best day to try to paddle out with the bigger board.


Oh well, I still think there are some good shots in there, plus it was a good time. The most exciting part was getting out of the water though, I think everyone has a good story for that. Thanks for swimming out there and trying to find us!

Derrick, I can't believe you got stung by a sting ray in December. Sorry to hear that (plus the firewire dings are a bummer too).


From my vantage, I saw Derrick and Shane disappear Southwards pretty quickly - like, before I even got my leash on. Nate paddled north through the whitewash, which shouldn't have been humanly impossible. Stuck with CR on the paddle out for a few minutes until the differential in surface area exposed to the wind (paddling vs. swimming) pushed me south as well, where I ran into Scott who got ahead of me on the way out and was rewarded with a set on the head, so I took the lead on the next clear patch. I thought I was finally outside until the next set rolled through and undid everything. I couldn't see anyone at that point and couldn't make out the cliffs because of the sun coming over the top, so I let the whitewater take me in when I could make out a silhouette. The landmark I found looks to be the brick bunker/wall around the outlet for the drainage ditch that parallels the tracks along del mar - so I was only a stones throw from Torrey Pines and where Carmel Valley meets 101/camino del mar. From the top of the wall I could see CR still bobbing around but finally outside the break and a group of paddlers having a little easier time than we did at the north end of torrey pines. It looked like a better paddle out from the river mouth and I thought about coming down to try again, but getting down from the cliff seemed more dangerous than getting up had and my arms were probably too dead to manage anyway. Shane's rig was gone when I got back to 7th (about 3/4 mile according to my google estimate) so I assumed he either survived or his car got stolen too.

I forgot how far out 7th breaks on big days. Whew.

Road trip. With a brief stop in Oakland to see the Chargers-Raiders game. OT victory, Charles Woodson's last home game, pure epicness.

Holiday spirit

Weimaraner Christmas gift toy unwrapping chomp

Holiday games egg nog pong with nutmeg

Chat Katy Perry Ms Steal Yo Chef

Tasting room Castello Di Amorosa Napa wine bottles

While I was in NorCal I got together with the old roomies for some wine tasting. Calistoga now has a castle, who'da thunk?

Twilight Struggle

Board games board Twilight Struggle


On my suggestion, Santa brought Jon Twilight Struggle for xmas. We got a match in and had a pretty good time I think - maybe not so much for the imperialist westerners who were smashed under the might of glorious revolution. The card/(real world) event driven element and serious asymmetry make it unlike many others.

Ski snowboard run lift Tahoe California Northstar

The little brother and I decided to skip New Year's Eve and hit the slopes to kick off 2016. It worked - Northstar was fairly uncrowded - and there was a slight dusting on the best January base in years (not that it's saying much). It was a great day, although with single digit temperatures a little wind could have made it miserable.

El Nino

La Jolla Cove El Nino storm swell Prospect

This week SD was pummeled by about as much rain and wind as conceivable (in SoCal). It was supposed to bring big storm waves, so I went to work from the 'Fish.