Thursday, January 31, 2013

Batteries for sale???

Way back in the previous century, we would occasionally drop in at Boeing's warehouse store where they sold all kinds of neat stuff... airline seats, tools, electronics, drafting tables, office equipment, punch card readers (this was pre-1980!), stainless steel and aluminum tubing, etc.

Now it looks like they might have a good deal on lithium-ion batteries :)

So it goes...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What hosting service? DreamHost

Many people ask what hosting service do we use for our websites... DreamHost.

We have been with them for five years and we are very happy with their service. They offer much more than just basic hosting but, unfortunately, I haven't had the time to experiment with such things as Ruby on Rails, using MySQL, exploring ecommerce, etc.

Last year I had problems uploading my files via FTP but that turned out to be caused by our super-slow ISP (BroadbandVI). Since we have changed over to ChoiceWireless, our uploads just zip up to the server with nary a problem.

As I said, we have been with DreamHost for five years. I wish I had switched earlier from our problematic hosting service. I stayed with them for at least two years longer than I should have because I thought it would be a big hassle to port our websites from our BooHiss host to DreamHost.

Fear not! It was a very easy and seamless process. They have a comprehensive "wiki" documentation site that answers most questions but if you still need help, drop Support a line and they will get back to you quickly.

And, continuing on the Burns' Night weekend theme, DreamHost's prices appeals to my Scottish roots. They are a very reasonable price at $8.95/mo for 2 years or $9.95/mo for 1 year, and domain registrations are only $9.95/year.

So it goes!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Burns' Night... TONIGHT!

Wow, it's too late to prepare a haggis (thank goodness) as I just realized that it is Burns' Night!

Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25, 1759. He wrote many poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues. Perhaps his best known work is "Auld Lang Syne", sung at New Year's Eve celebrations around the world. Burns is one of Scotland's important cultural icons and is well known among Scottish expats or descendants around the world. He is also known as: "Rabbie Burns"; the "Bard of Ayrshire"; "Scotland's favourite son"; and in Scotland "The Bard".

Download your FREE Burns' Night App (both iOS and Android) here:

Burns' suppers are held by people and organizations with Scottish origins worldwide, particularly in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States. These may be formal or informal events with men in kilts and women wearing shawls, skirts or dresses made from their family tartan. Formal events include toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns. 

The evening centers on the entrance of the haggis (a sausage of sheep or calf offal mixed with suet and oatmeal prepared in the animal's stomach) on a large platter to the sound of a piper playing bagpipes. When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the "Address to a Haggis", an ode that  Burns wrote to the Scottish dish. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.

Food associated with Burns' Night include: cock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leek soup); haggis; neeps (mashed turnips or swedes) and tatties (mashed potatoes); cranachan (whipped cream mixed with raspberries and served with sweet oat wafers); and bannocks (a kind of bread cooked on a griddle). Whisky is the traditional drink, of course.

You can learn more at

Chartering the Barge Scottish Highlander would be an excellent venue for Burns' Night! Find out more at

Here's an interesting twist... a fun fusion of Burns' Night and Chinese New Year (from

Photo credit: Deb Martin
"Perhaps the best of the fusion Chinese New Year events is the annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner, which takes place Sunday, January 27 at Floata Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown. Vancouverite Todd Wong created the annual dinner in 1998 and the first party consisted of 16 people in a living room. As of 2012, the event included about 400 celebrants. As for the name, Gung Haggis Fat Choy is a play on words: haggis is a traditional Scottish food, while “Gung Hay Fat Choy” is a traditional Cantonese greeting for Chinese New Year."

So It Goes...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our new ride... Hobie Mirage Oasis

We've got a new ride...

Yesterday, Bob was lucky enough to catch a classified on Craig's List minutes after it was posted for a 14-foot, 2-person Hobie Mirage Oasis kayak.

Similar to this, but a previous model... no fishing rod holders :(

The seller took us out to Green Cay Marina to look at it and it was a no-brainer... excellent condition.  The price was the cost of one Mirage drive unit by itself! I'm so excited.

We peddled it back to the boat and it was a piece of cake even with towing the dinghy behind us. When we've finished our afternoon coffee we plan to take it for a spin. Go peddle power!

To make us "street legal" we plan to buy something like this:

Here's a video from the Hobie web site.

See why I'm excited by our newest purchase... We can also make a new dinghy and swap the Mirage Drives between it and the kayak. Cool...

So it goes!