Visiting the Columbia Icefield

I just walked on a glacier!  We were visiting Canada’s Banff National Park and decided to take a day trip up to the Columbia Icefield.  I fully understand that by taking a tourist trip up a glacier we are increasing its melting rate, but we don’t get a lot of chances to hang out on a glacier we went for it!,-117.2769318,8682m/data=!3m1!1e3







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Banff National Park

We just came back from an excellent trip to Canada’s Banff National Park.  Here’s some of what we saw during our visit!

We recommend the Tea House Challenge at Lake Louise!

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Let’s make electrical outlets!

Now that I have a good table to work with, the next step is to install some electrical outlets.  Any good workbench needs a place to plug in tools, and any good desk needs a power source for your computer.

We had an existing outlet on the right side of the door but the contacts were bent and corroded.  I decided to keep an outlet there and also splice a second one over to the left side of the door by the workbench.  Rather than try to run run new wires in the wall I opted for a design with mounted PVC conduits holding the conductors.  Here it is!



  • 2x two-plug device box
  • 2x weatherproof duplex outlet and wallplates
  • 3/4″ x  10′ PVC pipe and 3 elbows
  • 3/4″ pipe hangers
  • PVC cement & primer
  • 12′ outdoor electrical wire
  • 8 oz sample of color-matched exterior paint

Always disengage electrical power from the circuit – confirm with multimeter!  Then remove old hardware and install the first new device box and outlet.  Feed the wire into the PVC and start cutting and cementing each piece into place.  Then install the remote device box and outlet.  For a great look, bring in a color sample from your wall and Home Depot can mix up a custom match!  Use the color-matched exterior paint to make the conduits invisible.

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Visiting Hawaii’s Fissure 8

Our trip to Hawaii coincided with the lower Puna eruption on the eastern side of Kilauea rift zone.  The area had not experienced a volcanic event since the 1960s and several housing communities had been constructed including Leilani Estates and Vacationland.  Fortunately the lower Puna eruption caused no fatalities but it did cause dozens of injuries and $800 million in damages to the area.


We first tried to approach Fissure 8, the most active volcanic area, on foot but the National Guard was deployed to prevent access and we were stopped at the 130 to 132 intersection (19.491535, -154.940722).  Even from a distance we were close enough to see the billowing gases and the unearthly red glow filling the sky.  This picture was taken from Pahoa High & Intermediate School.


With our interest piqued in learning more about the active fissues, we did some research and discovered that helicopter tours were the only way to get a closer view.  The Hilo airport helicopter tours are usually focused on the local waterfalls and rainforest, but they had been suspended due to poor visibility and risk of flying into volcanic plumes.  As it happened the tours had re-opened the day before and we were able to book a last-minute 7AM flight.

During our flight we gazed into the roiling caldera of Fissure 8, inspected the various stages of the lava river flowing from the fissure and marveled at the steam plumes formed where the lava reaches the sea.  No photos can capture the experience but here’s my best attempt!

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Table surgery

You may remember my first draft of a table.  That table did NOT age well haha!  I started to get fancy and thought it would be good to pull out all the screws holding it together and pound some dowels in their place.  All-wood design sounds great, right?  Well, the problem was I didn’t actually glue all of the joints together so the table was on life support from day one.  That’s OK – we can fix it!


I barely got the table on saw horses before the whole thing came apart, but then we could start the triage.  I glued the five top planks to the cross beam and added the front legs and two dowels per join.  Then I assembled the rest of the structure but this time with full glue coverage at each join.  After drying took the dremel to all the uneven dowels, put down a coat of Danish oil and finished with light polyurethane.  Much better!


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Rocking out in Campbell

Me and the band were down to two members, but we took to the streets anyways!  Here’s midnight busking in Campbell, CA.

Struggle – “Lung is full”

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Far Cry 2 trainer

With the recent release of Far Cry 5, I started getting interested in (what in my opinion is the best game of the series) Far Cry 2.

Modding is tough for Far Cry 2, but Gibbed published some new tools that help a lot!

Here is my interface to streamline the modding process: FarCry2_trainer.

Still the best game in the series:


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