Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Making our solar-charged LED garden lights brighter

The other day, Bob had a cunning plan to make our solar-charged "garden" LED lights brighter.

Our lights have a single LED at the top and we were losing light out through the hole at the bottom of the "globe" and down the tube of the spike.

We took the foil seal from a Maxwell House coffee can and used that as material for a reflector cone to insert at the bottom of each of our lights.

I cut out a circle of foil a bit larger than the circumference of the "globe" and cut a slit from the edge to the center of the foil circle.

I twirled it into a cone shape and placed it in the bottom of the "globe", pointy side up. Thus providing a large reflective surface and also keeping the light from being lost down the tube.

If you have enough foil and patience, you can experiment with the height of your cone for maximum results.

This modification makes quite a difference.

We have three of these garden lights outside the boat.  Yes, I know they are not proper anchor lights but I like having lights at deck-ish level. Anything that makes us easier to be seen by boats zipping through the anchorage at night is a good thing. Anchor lights at the top of the mast can be difficult to see against city lights, plus I find it difficult to judge the boat's distance.

We also use one of these as a nightlite in the salon... Just have to remember to put it outside in the morning to get charged up for another night ;)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Come on, I just like Casio watches...

I love Casio watches. The ones I buy are inexpensive and do the job. I currently wear a LW-201 but my normal watch for the last 30 years is more like this one... the Casio F-91W.

 Casio F-91W - Buy yours now from Amazon!

I like this watch. It's small enough to not be clunky and catch on everything. It has features I like such as a backlight, beeps on the hour if asked to, and shows date & time. A countdown timer would be useful, but, for less than $12, I won't complain.

Plus, I always love this bit... "water resistance to 50 meters (165 feet) -- suitable for swimming but not for diving." I guess you can use it at a depth of 50m but not in a water environment :)

It has been in the news lately that this is a preferred watch of Al Queda and Taliban members. Read the Boing Boing post: Gitmo interrogators: Casio F-91W digital watch is back pocket hanky code for "I'm a terrorist"

I think everyone should buy one of these nifty, sturdy watches to protest against government profiling... Come on, it's just a watch... What percentage of consumers who bought this model of watch are terrorists? This really makes me angry, but I'll spare you any more ranting :)

You can buy your watch (less than $12) here on Amazon. Get one for your ferret, too.  It would go great with this outfit...

Remember the bit from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles where they try to barter a Casio for a hotel room?  Great movie!

So It Goes...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Marina Gasoline Prices in St Croix, US Virgin Islands

Today we bought 4.5 gallons of gasoline from St Croix Marine in Gallows Bay, Christiansted, St Croix, US Virgin Islands... The price has gone UP...

  • On April 7, 2011, the price for gasoline at the gas dock was $3.75/gallon
  • On April 23 (today), the price has gone up 50 cents to $4.25/gallon
Wow!!! St Croix is supposed to have "cheap" gas because of Hovensa fuel refinery. It is less expensive at the gas stations. We have to sign a piece of paper each time we get gas at the marina because it is supposed to be a special price, thus you'd think cheaper...

It is, what it is...

So It Goes...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bay of Pigs - 50 years!

Lawyers, Guns & Money reminds us that today is the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs.

I was pretty little, but I do remember this occasion and the concern it caused, although I didn't know what was up.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

CATURDAY: Cat playing with dolphin video, etc

I hope that Buffy & Willow don't see this YouTube video when they surf the net after we go to bed... They'll want one, too!

The video (not ours) was taken in 1997 at Theater of the Sea, a marine animal park in Islamorada, Florida.

Our cats love to chatter at the seabirds that fly by the boat and sometimes a leaping ray will catch their attention. Willow can become very enthralled by things in the water that humans cannot see.

They like playing with their tube. It makes a crackling sound.

Boxes and paper bags are a great source of entertainment that also become favorite places to sleep.

Enjoy your Caturday. It is a beautiful day in St. Croix. We plan to walk up to Pueblo and hit the Animal Shelter's thrift store on the way and check out their book selection.

Here are some good tunes with "cat" in the title...
  • Stray Cat Strut
  • Year of the Cat
  • Cat Scratch Fever
  • Cool for Cats
  • Alley Cat

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Remember the Osborne Portable Computer

The Osborne 1 was born 30 years ago today... April 3, 1981 when announced at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.


Wow, I remember this as being so COOL. Really wanted one. Our first computer was the Atari1040STF, with a monochrome (better) display.


Had a dot matrix printer for it, too.  Learned lots about computer programming with this computer and have many fond memories. It was much superior to the IBM PC-types of its days.

There is an interesting article about the Osborne portable at
Osborne! The machine, the man, and the dawn of the portable computing revolution

Computing seemed to be more fun back then... So It Goes...