Things ‘go’, even if I don’t

I’m still working on the plug-in. These things seem to take more time than a person would think. I’ve learn a lot about the WordPress API, and using functions.

There is a TON of stuff buried in WordPress that I can’t even begin to grasp, let alone understand. Filter, hooks, and includes. These are just some of the stuff that I am working through. I’m sure learning my way through isn’t the fastest, but it is fun in a geeky/nerdy sort of way.

In the mean time, I’ve made it out flying a couple of times. Once to King Mountain, and then again a few days ago.

The King trip was fun. Over Memorial Day Greg, Kyle and I went over to Moore, Idaho to the Spring Fling at King. We left early and got there early enough to get Kyle off lower launch for his second ever paraglider flight. I didn’t know he was so new until we had his wing spread out on the ground.

All three of us had a nice sled ride, then Greg and I joined all the pilots back on lower launch for a real flight. The day had clouds and moisture moving in from the south, so the clouds were present, especially over Mackay to the north. Most of the pg guys got over the ground in rapid succession, and we had a respectable gaggle going in no time.

I was able to work my way up over the knob, and then up to about 9000′. At that point I noticed about 95% of the pilots landing at the upper LZ. I then looked up over my head and saw the cloud forming over King. It had taken on a dark color at some point.  So I punched out over the valley and landed pretty close to the lower LZ.

That night we had a really good time at the BBQ. Even with the rain.

The next morning John Kangas kicked us out of bed because Coyote was flyable. The three of us got to launch in time to see Aaron launching.I got off the hill and made it up to the peak. It was a really good flight, nice smooth air with enough lift to go around.

Five pilots got off the hill that morning, and we only landed when it started raining.

To get Greg’s perspective, and some images check out Idaho Paragliding.

Tuesday I went out with Greg to scout a potential flying site just north of Arrow Rock Res. I had spotted some roads on Google Earth that looked like they would take someone up to the top of Deer Creek where the elevation was a respectable 6000′. The best part was that it is about 40 minutes from Boise.

Sadly we got out there and all the roads were blocked as they are now on private property. I haven’t’ been beaten, only stalled. I will find a way up there, I just hope I don’t have to walk the while way.

We stopped at Shaw to see what the flying possibilities might be, turns out not good enough to fly. We managed about 45 minutes at the Crowe on our way home though.

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Finally fixed my installation of ‘Now Reading’

I finally dug deep enough to fix my installation of the Now Reading plugin I installed. Nothing wrong with the plugin itself, but the Apache Server this site is running on was blocking part of the image URLs that the plugin uploads into the database.

I added

SecFilterEngine Off

in my .htaccess.

Now I am customizing the plugin to fit my site.

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Woe is me, or my experience with WordPress Plugins

I’m going to try writing a WordPress Plugin.

Why? To see if I can.

What problem this is going to solve in these turbulent times? I’m afraid I can’t really say it is going to do anything that hasn’t already been done. I just want a plugin that I can show what book, or books, I am currently reading. Maybe put up a review of what I thought of them etc.. Nothing ground breaking.

I’ve already experimented with writing a few experimental plugins, and I think this might be a pretty involved project for someone who isn’t very experienced with coding. All I have done thus far is prove that I can say ‘Hello’ on the admin menu.

Stay tuned, this might be fun. Ok, maybe only a geek or part-time nerd would find this stuff fun.

I’ve already found a plugin that says it does what I want to do, but it won’t work in the newest WordPress. Here is a link to the most recent Now-Reading plugin that I know about. It just won’t finish the process of adding a book that was found in Amazon’s database. I narrowed it down to the fact that the url comes back with “.image_s” in it. Minus the “_”.

The code is so convoluted (it probably makes sense to a real programmer) that I can’t straighten out the logic.

Anyway, here I go.

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Wind power Land speed record

I saw this on Gizmag. 126mph with nothing but a 30mph wind. Link here.

March 29, 2009 With a wind speed of just 30mph (48kmh), British engineer Richard Jenkins has set a new land speed record for a wind-powered vehicle at blistering 126.1mph. Driving the Ecotricity sponsored all carbon fiber land yacht Greenbird across the Ivanpah dry lake bed on the Nevada / California border Jenkins eclipsed the previous benchmark set a decade ago by American Bob Schumacher by almost 10 mph. It also continued a the rivalry between Britain and the United States for setting speed records that dates to the 1920s, when Sir Malcolm Campbell set several records on land and sea.

The Greenbird team were on stand-by in September 2008 at Lake Lefroy in Western Australia but were unable to run due to unseasonal rain. Jenkins has been chasing his dream of setting the record for 10 years and Greenbird is the fifth version of of the land yacht Jenkins originally called Windjet but renamed in a nod to Bluebird, the record-setting racers Britain’s Donal Campbell drove in the 1950s and ’60s.

The Greenbird is a 600 kg carbon fiber composite vehicle that uses wind (and nothing else) for power. The only steel in the vehicle is the wheel bearings and bearings used to make the vehicle steerable. The land yacht is a very high performance sailboat that uses a solid wing, rather than a sail, to generate movement. The aerodynamic design and light weight allows the vehicle to achieve speeds three to five times faster than the wind speed thanks to a phenomenon known as ‘apparent wind’.

For an example of apparent wind, imagine you are riding your bicycle on a completely calm day with no wind. You can feel wind on your face and it feels stronger as you pedal faster. That is because as you move forward, the motion creates its own wind. Now imagine you are riding your bicycle but there is a strong breeze coming at you from the right. This natural wind is called “true wind”. When you add this side wind to the cycle ride, the wind the rider feels is now somewhere between the true wind (from the side) and the man made wind (from ahead). This resultant wind is know as the ‘apparent wind’ and will have a speed and apparent wind angle, measured from the direction of travel to the apparent wind angle.

Iron Duck, the previous record holder driven by American Bob Schumacher was a similar design and the record was set at the same location. The primary difference between the two is that where Greenbird is all carbon fiber the Iron Duck was steel framed with foam and fibreglass fairings.

Richard Jenkins also has an ice version of the Greenbird so the next challenge is to settle the debate about whether traveling on ice or land will be faster.

I wonder if and airplane could be build on those principals, or if the friction of the wheels is necessary for the forward velocity.

YouTube Preview Image

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What the …!?

Some guy lost his finger in an accident and replaced it with a usb ‘thumb’ drive.

Umm…. maybe this will give you an idea.

Some guy's usb finger

Some guy's usb finger

I saw this on Wired. So full credit goes to those people.

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