Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to Fix Honda Element Clunking Noise (video)

This video shows the location of the rubber bushings on a Honda Element. If your Element has a clunking noise, swapping (or replacing) the rubber bushings may solve the problem.
Additional details (part numbers, diagrams) can be found at How to Fix Honda Element Clunking Noise.

Explanation & Animation of Solstices

This video shows how the orbit and angle of the earth are related to the seasons and solstices.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Methow Valley Fat Bike Information from MVSTA

Bike in the snow... This winter, fat bikes (aka snow bikes) will be allowed on selected cross country ski trails under the right conditions. See the MVSTA Snow Bike page for details and maps. Always check the Grooming Report before heading out (scroll to the bottom of the grooming report to see the bike trail summary).  Orange indicates fat bike trails for this season:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Free College Courses via offers a wide variety of online classes free of charge. The instructors are from top universities.

I've taken one programming class and it was well done with good projects, quizzes, and lectures. For additional assistance beyond the lectures, there are online forums to discuss specific issues.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tennis Stringing: What to do if string is too short to wrap

Suppose you have a drop weight tennis stringing machine, and you're just about finished but find that you don't have enough string to wrap the clamping mechanism (over/around/through). You might be able to get away with using a separate clamp to hold the string. For example, instead of going over around and through, only go through, then apply a clamp to the portion of string sticking out. With the clamp firmly in place on the end of the string (against the drop weight string slot), you can apply tension without the string slipping through.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lance Armstrong USADA report 200 page PDF

Interesting reading... it reads like a novel.

And here's the USADA site for all the materials. Click the tabs at the top to see Appendices and Supporting Materials such as videos and affidavits.

Betsy Andreu's affidavit is very good.

Editorial from The Observer: Drugs in cycling: it's not only Lance Armstrong who has questions to answer

Nike's official response: “We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be impacted,” Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi said in an emailed statement. ”Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors.”

Michael O'Keeffe article regarding alleged Nike $500,000 payment to UCI president Hein Verbruggen 
Nike Denies Covering Up Positive Lance Armstrong Drug Test
Anti-Doping director: Detectors may have known of Armstrong doping (WADA Director-General David Howman)

Update: Armstrong Is Dropped by Nike as He Quits Role With His Charity (10/17/2012)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beginners Guide to Stringing a Tennis Racquet

These instructions are for a "two piece" string job. This means that one piece of string is used for the mains (vertical strings), and one piece is used for the crosses (horizontal strings). YouTube is an excellent source for stringing information, and I have included a few videos that I've found helpful below.

If the racquet still has strings in it, mark the holes with tape so you know where to start and tie off the mains and crosses.

Remove the old strings. Cut the strings from the center of the racquet and alternate main/cross cuts. See video below.

Look up the string pattern to confirm the tie off locations, string length, and which holes to skip. KlipperUSA has a good list.

Measure the string required for the mains and crosses. You may need to add a foot to make sure you have enough string to pull tension. When you cut the string, cut it at an angle to produce a pointy end that is easier to push through the holes. Suggestion: wear some safety glasses so you are less likely to poke your eye with a sharp string.

Configure the machine. Adjust the base so the racquet fits within the clamps. Start with the center clamps to "center" the racquet. Tighten the side clamps gradually, and make sure the racquet frame clamps are positioned between the holes. Also try to position the supports so that you can clamp next to the frame if possible. Select the desired tension by positioning the drop weight or otherwise.

Start with the mains.

Once you get to a "skip" hole, you can weave the crosses to avoid having to push around a string covering the cross hole. Finish the mains. Tie a tie-off knot such as a Wilson Pro Knot. Cut the remaining string so there's a 4mm tail (too short and it could pull through, too long and it could stick out past the edge of the frame).

Tie a starting knot for the crosses. There's a variety of these with some bulkier than others.

Carefully, do the crosses. It is easier to weave the next cross before pulling tension on the current cross.

Tie off the crosses. Trim remaining string. Trim starting knot.

Record date, name, racquet, string type, tension.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Current Tennis String Selection

For restringing tennis racquets, these are the strings I have at the moment. I can help you select a string based on your playing style and past preferences. (509) 996-8179

Current String selection:

Multifilaments (great feel, less durable, arm-friendly):
Wilson NXT Tour 17
Wilson NXT Max 16
Wilson NXT 16
Wilson NXT Control
Wilson Sensation 16
Wilson Sensation Control
Wilson Sensation 17
Gamma Revelation 16 (pink!)
Gamma Asterisk Tour 16

Polyester / Co-poly (less feel, good for spin and/or hybrid setups, more durable):
Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 16
Kirschbaum Spiky Shark 17
Gamma TNT2 16
Yonex PolyTour Pro 125 / 16L

Nylon / Synthetic Gut (good all around string and value):
Gamma Synthetic Gut 16 (variety of colors)
Gamma Synthetic Gut with wearguard 16
Babolat Synthetic Gut 16 white

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Methow Valley Farmers Market Info

The Methow Valley Farmers Market has a Facebook Page and Website.

The website has links to the Application Form and Policy Handbook.

Musicians/Entertainers are encouraged to contact Market Master Willie Getz if you are interested in performing at the market: 996-2747.

The market is open 9 to noon on Saturdays.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to Change Honda Element Cabin Air Filter

This video explains how to change the cabin air filter in a 2003 Honda Element. Over time the filters get clogged with dust and bugs. The filters are located behind the glove box and easy to replace. See the following video for a demonstration. To find replacement filters, search via google for "honda element cabin air filter".

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mountain Bike Ride, Buck Mountain, Winthrop WA

Buck Mountain is a great ride, and this year there is an alternate starting point from Buck Lake. Check with the bike shop for details.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tennis Racquet Stringing Service

Tennis Stringing in Winthrop WA
Need a racquet re-strung?

Racquet stringing: $15 + string cost.

I have a variety of strings (synthetic gut, polyester, multifilament) you can pick from, or you can supply your own.

Phone: 996-8179

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Where to play tennis in the Methow Valley

Winthrop has two locations:
- Town Courts behind the public library. Two courts with lights. Free.
- Liberty Bell Courts by the Liberty Bell School. Four courts with lights. Free.

Other options:
Sun Mountain Lodge has four courts (2 by the stables, 2 by main lodge)
- Mazama Country Inn has a court

Twisp does not have any public courts.

 Corrections/additions welcome.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics

Search Engine Optimization is about producing content that will be well positioned in Google search results. To make a website that is easy for Google to interpret start with these steps:
  1. Write descriptive content that includes keywords related to your site that people might be searching for in Google (or other search engines). The keywords should be in paragraphs, not separately listed.
  2. Write timely content via a blog. When Google compares two pages containing similar content it will favor the more recent page in results. For example, if you add a new product page to the website, do a blog post describing the new product and link to the new product page. 
  3. Find other popular websites that will link to your site. For example, directories or chamber websites ( ). 
Information and Resources from Google:

Google-friendly sites (short and easy to read)
Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (long detailed information)

Click Image below for a good beginner guide to SEO from

Read the Beginner's Guide to SEO

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Methow Valley Rodeo May 26 & 27, 2012

For 2012, the Methow Valley Rodeo is Memorial Day Weekend, May 26 & 27. The rodeo grounds are accessible from Twin Lakes Road just south of Winthrop, WA. For additional information, see

Telluride Mockumentary (part 1 and 2)

The Lost People of Mountain Village

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bike Plow Revisited after 3 years (video)

Bike Plow video revisited after 3 years: more than 360,000 views, 132 likes, 527 dislikes, 404 comments (mostly obscene, but some quite funny).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to Get Dressed for Ice Hockey

Steps to get ready for playing ice hockey:
1. get naked, then put on the following items:
2. (optional) pair of lycra shorts
3. jock strap with cup. note: you can buy shorts that include a cup that have velcro sock holders
4. socks (on your feet)
5. knee and shin pads
6. hockey socks or light weight sweatpants (over your knee and shin pads). Attach your socks to velcro sock holders if applicable.
7. hockey pants (padded shorts that protect your upper legs)
8. (optional) lightweight synthetic shirt
9. chest and shoulder pads
10. elbow pads
11. jersey
12. (optional) neck protection pad
13. (recommended -- helps reduce concussion risk) mouth guard
14. skates
15. (optional) wrap tape around hockey socks to help secure them
16. helmet (secure chin strap first, then straps that hold cage to the side of helmet)
17. gloves
18. grab your stick and hit the ice.

My favorite rink: Winthrop Outdoor Ice Rink (Winthrop, WA)

Online Hockey Gear:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Concrete5: How to have editable block on home page appear on other pages

To have an editable block on the homepage automatically appear on all other pages, use the following pattern in your theme. Change 'logo' to whatever you want the editable area to be called:

if ($c->getCollectionID() == 1) 
  $a = new Area('logo');


  $pc = Page::getByID(1, 'ACTIVE'); 
  $a = new Area('logo'); 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to Paste Text from Word to Blog Post

Pasting text from Microsoft Word to a blog post isn't recommended, but here's one way to paste only the text. 

1. Open a plain text editor like Notepad or TextWrangler.
2. Copy the text from Word, paste into a plain text editor.
3. Start a new blog post
4. Copy the text in the plain text editor
5. Paste into blogger compose window
6. (optional) configure desired links and formatting

Notes: text should not be copy/pasted from Word to a blog post because proprietary formatting tags can lead to display problems. Search engines may also favor blog posts without proprietary formatting.