...and other misconceptions I made 09-11-22
2009 Nov 22
August 23rd 2014
Ninth Famiversary

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I’m running out of new things to say here.

Nine years. I can’t even remember life before the girls. The China trip a few weeks ago really brought this home. We are So. Incredibly. Lucky.

As I mentioned before – we don’t have the first Famiversary on this blog. But here are the others:

The second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth Famiversary.

H2 and S2

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July 31st 2014
New jewlery

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I’ll admit, I think that’s adorable…

S2 and H2Twin Sisters

July 13th 2014
I think I have too many hobbies…

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… but how bad can it be to add just one more?

This video was taken with a GoPro attached to a Blade 350 QX quadcopter… the “wobble” effect that you see in a few places (especially in the last segment) is caused by rolling shutter – sadly there are no reasonably priced CCD action cameras that actually have decent image quality…

The embedded video is rather low resolution, if you click on it and go to YouTube you can watch it in HD – the original is actually in 2.7k resolution, so 2704×1524 pixels…

Oh, and if you are worrying about the very end of the video… not to worry. That last bit was from yesterday (you can tell by the blue skies / sunshine) the first clips were from earlier today. The quadcopter “landed” in the tall pine tree about 70-80ft (~23m) above the ground – and got seriously stuck there, beeping sadly for hours. After talking to the fire department (who didn’t have a long enough ladder to get there) K2 suggested the old “sling shot, lead sinker, fishing line” trick. So I bought a sling shot, 250m heavy duty fishing line and a selection of lead weights and started trying to shoot the line up into the tree and over the branches on which the quadcopter was sitting. Which turned out to be incredibly hard. Three of us tried and after at least 50 missed attempts I finally managed to position the line where I wanted it. But the fishing line had too much stretch and we were worried of having it snap. So we used it to pull up a much sturdier nylon line. That was only 150ft long which turned out not to reach all the way up and down (given the horizontal displacement). So in desperation I tied a heavy duty outdoor extension cord to it. Once that was in place two of us jointly shook the branches like crazy. Finally after several minutes we managed to dislodge the quadcopter. It fell from branch to branch down to about 25ft / 8m. In the process the GoPro got knocked loose and it miraculously landed in a net that we had put up – unharmed. With a long ladder a friend of ours was able to get close enough to use a long pole to push the quadcopter from its new resting place and it again tumbled from branch to branch until it stopped about 5ft above ground.

Miraculously it was basically unharmed. I have lost the battery compartment door (no idea where it landed) but except for a couple of small scuffs and green smears it appears to be in perfect flying shape (as the videos from today would appear to confirm).

What an interesting and exciting start into this new hobby. Did I mention that the 350 QX, the GoPro and the transmitter all arrived yesterday, so this was day one of flying it? Yeah, right. Oops.

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June 26th 2014
Almost home

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staying awake

The long flight is behind us, we’re at SFO, waiting for our flight to Portland. The girls, as usual, were excellent travelers so far. They each slept about six hours on the flight from Beijing and have been reasonably cheerful and remarkably cooperative. Everyone is tired and exhausted. We had an amazing trip but now we are ready to be home…

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