Uke six, oh and uke five, and oh.

Did I neglect to mention there was a week last week?

A while ago I rescued a couple of computers from the curb. One appears to have been made in August 1999; I took the power supply out for future use and Kenny’s been disassembling the rest for fun. The other appears to date from 2003. Almost all the internal cables were unplugged, but when I plugged them in it booted up just fine, if booting into Windows 2000 can be described as “just fine”. I installed Linux off a CD — the CD drive worked, the DVD drive had gone insane. Last week I put out a call for a DVD drive on Freecycle and this week someone gave me not one but two, one of them a writer. So the trashpicked computer is in pretty good shape now.

Also last week I made a little electroscope out of a transistor and an LED. And a battery.

And I made a PongSat — a payload enclosed in a ping pong ball to go up on a balloon flight to about 100,000 feet. Apparently it’ll go up on Sep. 22. They’ll be flying around 1200 PongSats that day. My payload is strips of five kinds of sticky tape stuck to a piece of PVC pipe. An identical control will stay here in my desk drawer. We’ll see how cold temperature and near vacuum affect the tapes. And I’ve bought a tiny analog data logger for a slightly more high tech PongSat to go on a future flight. Or maybe it’ll go in a model rocket, or both.

After taking a couple weeks off due to an overabundance of caution regarding my foot, I went on a bike ride again a week ago Sunday. No problem. Then I went to the dojo Tuesday. Didn’t run, jump squat, or jumping jack, but the heel complained a lot the next morning. It’s been pretty good since then so maybe no major harm done, but I need to stay off the mats for a few more weeks, I guess. A friend loaned me a night cast, which may be helping.

Last Sunday I went on my first group bike ride (first I can recall anyway), a Cycle in the City ride from the Inner Harbor up to Liverpool, around the north end of Onondaga Lake to the end of the paved trail, and back again.

Last week’s uke singout was at Carol’s Polar Parlor on West Genesee Street, within walking distance of home. Kenny and I took the car, though, because some of us went to the mini golf course nearby first… still could have walked but I wanted someplace to stash the uke while we were playing! In the audience were Heather’s sister and nephew from a mile or so away, and Heather’s mom (Sue) and Sue’s partner (Al) — they having just arrived from Tacoma, WA.

Ice Cream Review: Um, I can’t remember what I had. Single scoop of something in a standard cone. It was good. Not as many flavors here as at Gannon’s but their sign explains what they are! I like Gannon’s better but Carol’s is a heck of a lot closer.

Mini golf review: I think I went here last sometime in the 1960s. I’m no expert on mini golf courses but I like this one. It’s clean, well built, and well maintained. A lot of the holes are built largely of stone! No rotting plywood and ripped green carpeting here. Nice place.

Friday last week was Kenny’s summer jazz band concert. Also walking distance, and we walked. They did great.

Saturday Heather and Kenny headed to Buffalo for a family reunion. I stayed home, geocached, and went to the Black Belt Graduation to see Sensei Bidwell get his 5th degree belt. Among other graduates, of course.

Sue and Al spent some time with us, and gave Kenny some late birthday presents including a couple of model rocket kits; Kenny also dug out some of his old model rockets. One of the new ones was a big “Magician” that can take an E motor… three of which he also got. Monday was the first Monday of the month, which meant it was the day of the Syracuse Rocket Club meeting at Walt’s Hobby Shop, something we’ve never gone to in part because Mondays we’re usually at the dojo until the end of my class, but due to my plantar fasciitis I wasn’t training. So… we went. Found five middle-aged guys sitting around a table. Kenny pulled up a chair. Some of them didn’t seem to know what to make of him but one was happy to talk, and they gave him yet another model rocket; meantime we’d been told about their launch on the 18th, featuring egg payloads, and then we found the store had an Estes Eggscaliber kit so… so we’re making an egg-carrying rocket. Also E motor capable, though the egg launch will be limited to D motors.

Another Uke and Ice Cream Therapy on this week at Gannon’s Shady Brook.

Ice cream review: Um, Gannon’s again. I reverted to my ill-advised ways for two scoops (Moo Moo Mint and Cookies and Cream) in a waffle cone. Yeah.

Friday Heather took her final exams in Organic Chemistry II and prepared to leave on the trip she’s been planning. Kenny and I also prepared to leave for the Adirondacks this weekend, but Kenny twisted his ankle at the dojo. We’ll see if that alters our plans.


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