The other day I was at a stop light next to a hopped up Civic with a fart-can exhaust pipe. I got to wondering if the Bolt was faster than a Civic Si. I did some research and the answer is yes (depending on the year & trim).
The Chevy Bolt clocks in at 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, and a quarter mile in 14.9. My old WRX could run the 1320 (1/4 mile) in 14.3 seconds. But as you can see, the Bolt is no slouch and it’s in pretty good company with some cars that people would associate as sporty:
Lately I’ve been stressing about making sure everything is running smoothly for a new music ensemble we’re kickstarting at Minnesota Brass: MBI Winds. While things are generally going smoothly, there’s always concerns from week-to-week: filling our remaining positions, facilities, and staying on budget.
I found myself losing sleep and having high anxiety about it all, and especially about things I couldn’t control. Despite having put together a fairly extensive meditation program for River Valley Sound (728 Cadets winter winds program), I wasn’t putting any of it into practice for myself.
Something I noticed at rehearsals was that I didn’t have time to worry about everything else. There was literally not enough space between the notes to let my mind wander. Live music has a way of demanding everyone involved to be present. Could I be absent and simply go through the motions? Sure. But live music to me has never been about going through the motions, it’s about turning yourself over to the performance.
This mandatory meditation is magnified in a group setting (i.e. rehearsal). At home during practice there’s always extra space where my mind can wander. At rehearsal everyone is counting on everyone else to do their part, and do it correctly. Be present, or be damned.
Bringing it Home
Some of these self-reflections about making music are things I could incorporate into other areas of my life. Being present for family and work, and not giving way to let anxiety creep in. I’m not there yet, but like the monks say, it’s always a practice.
This is a great find. The only disappointing thing was the size of the box it was delivered in from B & H Photo:
Couldn’t it have been sent in a bubble mailer? 😕
Disassembly & Prep
If you’re looking to gently take off your original jack, it (dis)assembles the same way as the replacement.
My old jack was bent, so there was no point in saving it. I cut the wire but made sure to not cut the strain relief sleeve. Alas I realized you must disassemble the old jack to get the strain relief sleeve out anyway.
Once it’s free, drop the sleeve into the new replacement casing.
Put the sleeve and casing on the wire, followed by the included clear insulation sleeve.
It’s imperative you put these on before soldering, because you can’t put them on after soldering 😬
Carefully strip the outer cable sheath. It’s very flexible and rubbery. Inside the three wires don’t have traditional insulation. They have a braided insulation that is similar to the wire itself. Separate them and wet your fingers to keep the twists tight.
To keep everything together, pre-tin the wires.
Here’s the layout of the jack. I double checked with a multimeter before soldering.
I started by soldering the sleeve wire. Then I used a tweezers to thread the other wires through the holes.
Test & Final Assembly
With all wires soldered, but before crimping, test it out. I carefully plugged the headphones into a computer and verified sound in both ears and double checked correct left-right balance.
With everything confirmed working, we can now button it all up. First crimp the jack to the cable sheath with a needle nose pliers.
Technology is great and technology sucks. It’s true that it’s the best of times and the worst of times. Technology is great when it works, but it’s terrible (and often unfixable) when it doesn’t.
This may be a farewell to my Fitbit Charge 4, and a warning to fitness tracker developers out there. Rigorously ensure sure it works or people will not just abandon your product, they’ll abandon your platform.
I brought my new kayak to Lake Minnetonka and planned to paddle around Big Island. I’ve tried both GPS settings on the Fitbit Charge 4: Built-in GPS and Dynamic. Dynamic will use your phone if it’s nearby, then fallback to built-in. That day, I had the watch set to “built-in GPS.” I went down to the dock and hit start on my Fitbit. It was still trying to get GPS signal by the time I had my boat ready.
I went out on the water thinking the clear view of the sky would help it quickly lock on to GPS signal. I sat there for several minutes, then decided to switch to Dynamic since I did have my phone in the boat. After several more minutes of no GPS signal, I got my phone out. Opening the Fitbit app on my phone immediately established GPS signal. So I got underway.
Then as I rounded the first corner of the island, the watch vibrated. The screen displayed “Cannot establish a GPS Connection. Turning GPS off” 😡
You can see how far I had gone when the Fitbit gave up, it’s the untracked distance between the start and finish point.
The Strava app proved to also have (different) problems than my Fitbit
I already had my phone out of my dry bag, which I didn’t want to do, because I’m in the water 🌊 But here I was, so I fired up the Strava app and hit record. Before got into the channel I got out my fish finder just to see if there were any lively spots that we should hit later on the pontoon. 🎣
But while getting out the fish finder, the Strava app decided to engage “auto-pause.” Auto pause seems like a good idea until it doesn’t auto un-pause. I was on the other side of the island before I noticed it was paused. While on the water I had to figure out how to unpause. I went into the settings and turned off auto-pause. Auto Pause settings are accessible by using the gear icon from the record activity screen. Not the main screen gear icon. ⚙️
But it was still paused! The only way to forcibly un-pause the activity was to click “Finish” which brought me to a confirmation screen, then I was able to choose “Resume” which un-paused the activity. It’s not clear that there will be a confirmation after clicking finish, so I’m showing an example here:
You can see the line that goes through the island on my activity. Clearly I didn’t do that, but that’s how it will be recorded “because technology.” Now imagine if this was your first experience with either of these devices and services. I wanted to throw both my watch and phone in the lake! 💦
But since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ll be trying something else to replace these failed experiments. Currently looking at the Amazfit GTR series watches because battery life looks good. Recommendations welcome – please comment with your suggestions!
In my shed I still had my canoe trailer for my bike, what should I do with that? An email to Wike revealed all I needed to carry a kayak with it instead was a different width crossbar. I made some measurements and ordered a new crossbar so I could keep the trailer for the ‘yak. Here’s how I tow my new Perception Joyride kayak:
This kayak uses perception solo mounts for ram accessories like fishing rod holders. They’re two large screw-in ball mounts. There’s an interesting side-effect of using these mounts – the ball serves as a rigging point for the Wike trailer straps.
The best rigging setup I found is illustrated below. The wike towing tee has a strap that would normally hook up to a canoe seat, but instead I run it around the solo mounts (shown in red). Then the straps from the cart go over and in front of the solo mounts, securing the tee strap in place (shown in green).
One of the most important pieces of this setup is a third strap that is not provided by Wike, from their site:
A third line (you must provide) from the bow ties to the post of the ‘T’ to keep the front of the canoe kayak from tilting up or down.
I used a small bungee to go around the beefy perception handle at the front and secure the Wike tee to the front of the boat. It seems to be at the perfect angle where the back of the boat doesn’t touch the ground, and the tee is at an angle where it doesn’t interfere with my bike rack.
Death wobble ☠️
One issue I have yet to solve is a fish-tail that seems to happen when I’m going very slowly uphill. It seems the cadence of my pedaling while standing, and perhaps the sway of the bike combined with the short length of the boat create a feedback loop. What happens is the nose of the kayak starts to turn left and right. Then the feedback begins and it starts turning more and more, as my pedaling seems to amplify the effect 😲
Death wobble is a misnomer – nobody died. It only happens when I’m going up a hill at 4-5MPH. I only describe it as death wobble because the sensation can be a bit unnerving.
The solution might be to stay seated as long as possible and adjust my cadence. Maybe I could load the kayak to put a little more weight on one end? If you have any ideas, comment below and I’ll try ’em.