Monday, July 16, 2018

Lime Bikes are Slime Bikes

I remember when they built the docking bicycle ports near my sailboat. One at Cabrillo Beach, one by the Double Tree Hotel and one next to the homeless rec center at 22nd Street Park. These docking station required a slab being poured and mounting racks with a solar panel charging the batteries to operate the log in.

Notice the missing grip on the bike
Then came along the dock-less version of urban pollution the Slime Bike.
Hard to ride with handlebars this low

I was walking the two dogs one morning when I first encountered
the bikes sitting across the street from a Metro Docking Station. 
There is no shortage of internet stories about how ugly these things can be. At first the slime folks came out in their rented vans an picked up the broken ones but lately they don't seem to give a fuck as now the hot item is the scooters that they rent and the charges are higher.
The scooters require a daily service truck to recharge the internal battery. If you check out the California DMV Code you will see that you must have a valid divers license, wear a helmet and
DO NOT OPERATE ON THE SIDEWALK

One of my bike geeks "Neon Fred"was running stairs to get in shape for mountain bike riding on a coaster brake. He found the rear lock off a slime bike laying in the gutter. I took his discovery and with the addition of a tamper proof socket I took it apart (the lock) but before I did that I sent an e-mail to Lime Bikes saying I had their parts if they wanted them back.
They did reply to my e-mail but since reading and writing is not a skill required these days they went to the wrong place so I took the lock apart. Lots of neat gears controlling the locking bar, a speaker, a nice battery plus GPS a couple of other LSI circuits. Not cheap.

At first the cute Chinese Flight Crews that visit the Double Tree started riding them and that was enjoyable. Probably doesn't beat girls in Holland.

Then the homeless started riding them in great numbers. That is a hard figure since you need a smart phone with an downloaded app and a credit card for payment. You can get a cell phone for free if you are on any welfare plans but you also need a credit card? The lock can be forced open by breaking the small plastic gears inside the lock. I see Slime Bikes with dogs in the basket and homeless cruising.

The e-scooters have been banned in various cities up and down the coast of California. same with the dock-less bicycles. YouTube has plenty of dock-less in Asia.
Lots of media jumping up and down about this great cure for transportation.

I see these as another slur a rolling graffiti. Dumped everywhere and anywhere. The ocean is great for rusting and maybe the Pacific will rust this scum.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Virtual Address

Happy the Yorkie


I live on a sailboat. The sailboat is tied to a dock. The dock is anchored by a gangway to the shore and moves up and down with the springs and neaps tides. There are several marinas located in San Pedro, California and the one where I am has a street Address. It has a Street sign and recently after a year the city fixed the street lights.
Lucky during the heat wave

being such in essence or effect though not formally recognized or admitted 
  • virtualdictator
being on or simulated on a computer or computer network 
  • print or virtual books
 
  • avirtual keyboard
 : such as
a occurring or existing primarily online 
  • virtual shopping
b of, relating to, or existing within a virtual reality 
  • virtual tour
of, relating to, or using virtual memory
of, relating to, or being a hypothetical particle whose existence is inferred from indirect evidence 
  • virtual photons
 — compare real 3
I am not sure how my address became such. Years earlier (not sure as I forget important dates) I was corresponding with the Los Angeles and State of California and my letters kept coming backing as my address here in San Pedro was not legit.
Lucky the Yorkie asking for Ice
Today the Yorkie started barking as Rich (who says he is a surf God) came by the boat to asks if I had heard about a floating body. I had not, searched the Web but found nothing
today. He said he had heard about it from a friend that uses the App NextDoor. So I  tried to use the app again but as usual my address is not verifiable. So I went to their trouble shooting link and wasted an hour dealing with people who can't either type or read.
tent to block the sun
Rich the Surfer God just came by and said there was a floating body in the marina east of here and he personally talked to a security person. As one can observe my blogging often contains up to the minute reports.
The marina here asked liveaboards not to use the marina office as a mailing address so I got a post Office box at Fort Mac Arthur instead of the main post office in downtown San Pedro because it was then homeless center on Beacon Street.
So after I got my PO Box I filed a change of address with a forward from the marina to the PO. That forwarding is only good for one year. In January of this year I filed for additional coverage on my Kaiser insurance and because the form refused to allow a PO Box I used the marina address. 
Tongue out
Then three weeks ago Kaiser sent me three letters saying they were going to cancel my main plan because my address was not valid. I replied to all three then two weeks later received an invoice showing credit on the additional plan. I then drove to Kaiser member service and was told the additional coverage was cancelled because I didn't make any payments. I never received anything' Then after member services to the post office where I was explained after my forwarding had expired (one year) all mail to that address would be returned to sender. So Kaiser kept getting their invoice back marked "return to sender" but my account showed my other address of the PO Box which they failed to use.




During June I bought some batteries on Amazon which were never delivered (awaiting refund) and the seller suggested I search the local post office and seek out my carrier and try and find them.
Barbie
Not sure where my floating address will be next.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

More Bird Pictures Without Homeless

In the morning my day can start early usually before the sunrise here on the Pacific Coast. My cabin entry on the sailboat has three drop boards that can be closed at night but yesterday was another Global Warming record setter here and the boards stayed on the cabin top.
Cooper Hawk
I have several sun shades or rain covers and yesterday it was way over a hundred here and I got out the hose and sprayed water on the shades, sail cover and topsides trying to cool off the cabin. The dogs lay in the sole of the boat and the water temperature of the harbor is about 62 Degrees so the dogs have a nice place to lay.

The morning dog walks are never the same as Lucky the little Yorkie must avoid other dogs for he can be rather ugly. We found him and rescued him (not my best decision). The German Shepherd Happy loves everybody except noisy motorcycles and the Shepherd has been known to bark at homeless especially those on skateboards.
Each morning lately we all head up to the small hillside park below Fort MacArthur to try and see the Cooper's Hawk Nest and the three little guys Mama and Papa Cooper are bringing up.
The Shepherd starts to whine if I take too much time with my Nikon trying to capture a good shot.
When I was done this morning I placed my camera back in my backpack and we headed down the sidewalk back to the boat when we ran into Jimmy. Jimmy is easy to recognize here in San Pedro for he always has a white styrofoam cup which is empty if he is going to the liquor store or full if he staggering back.
Jimmy continues to cost the tax payers lots of money here when he is roused out of his homeless camp by several Port Police and several Hazmat trucks. He was living in the bushes north of the Aquarium when a hard nose cleaning crew took all of his stuff so he moved back to his old haunt across from the office building on Via Cabrillo Marina where Mark (the boat painter) found him one afternoon passed out on a bench with a 40 ounce rum bottle. 
Mark then flagged down a Port Police Security Car (not police) and the Security guy made a u-turn but could not find Jimmy. With a little help the Security guy found Jimmy's bottle under the bench and then Jimmy in the bushes at his camp ground. Then more Security Cars, then more Port Police Cars with flashing lights, then Fire Trucks, (three) then an ambulance as Jimmy couldn't stand up. There is probably more to the store but I left as I have seen this repeated before.
Jimmy used to have a totally crapped out filthy sailboat here and he would often be led back to his boat by the police. Why put a drunk on a boat when he can't walk is hard to understand but I have seen it happen here. The marina here finally threw him out and he moved south to the next marina. 
egg I found below nest
A few years ago one afternoon I was paddling my surf ski when I saw Jimmy paddle by in a kayak with his brown paper bag and while he was chugging on the bottle he fell out of the kayak. I docked my ski and went into the office and reported Jimmy was floating around somewhere. I then went back out and found him trying to get out of the water at the docks east of here. It is very hard to get out of the water without a ladder so I parked my ski and hauled Jimmies wet sorry ass out of the water. I guess I saved his life. Now must I be haunted by doing so.
I saw Jimmy Thursday getting drunk next to the Von's Parking lot on Gaffey and this Saturday while we were returning from taking bird pictures he was shit faced at 7 in the morning. 
Jimmy returns from store while we are birdwatching
The Title said without homeless and so these last pictures were added later.

Jimmy with is infamous white cup passed out




Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Switching From Homeless Pictures to Bird Pictures

My blogging jumps from one subject to another. If you go back several years with this blog you will see lots of motorcycle material. Maybe a remark about bicycles too. My senior daughter started blogging and so did my granddaughter but since I have to much  to remember and prone to forget I not sure when that was.
My first serious Digital Camera was a Nikon D80 that I bought from those Jewish New Yorker from their web site.  My old Minolta was very serious with motor wind and half a dozen lens but it grew weak and died. I still have my first D80 but I can't get it to work correctly and the cost of repair was quoted around $250.00 for repair so I bought a refurbished unit on E-Bay for $95.00 that allowed me to continue to use the lenses I already had.
The first Nikon sat unused as I switched to Samsung Galaxy phones that had really good captures and with a finger touch the picture or video could be uploaded with out any reformatting. So the internal clock battery on the Nikon discharged and when I tried to reuse it the errors said the lens was not installed so "go figure". I have been reading manuals (even wrote a few) but it some times can be to confusing and difficult to understand them.
So my son Dylan @whoisdylan got a Canon that does MP4 so I started searching around and bought a Nikon D90 but the glare on the screen during day light hours makes it hard to see what the fuck you are filming. So to increase the difficulty by a factor of two I bought another D90.
Plate 1
Then a neighbor gave me his tripod that was loose and wobbled. Several more lens and adapters later I have a moderate collection of camera stuff. 
Plate 2
Maybe three years ago I was walking around Point Fermin and there was a frenzy of bird nuts taking pictures with Canon's and giant lenses of the nesting of a Peregrine Falcons along the cliff edge. I usually only take pictures of the cliffs when there were are jumpers going off of them. It is hard to get good pictures of jumpers after the fire department shows up. 
Plate 3
So one day below the Korean Bell I  was walking my German Shepherd and saw a Red Tail Hawk in a palm tree and after that I started hauling a hefty camera along during my daily dog walks. We walk between 5 to 7 miles each and every day. The cameras being digital don't analog with us.
Plate 4
Taking pictures with two angry killer type beasts on a leash is sometimes a problem. The dogs not only scare cute chicks away but also shy birds. As any new birdwatcher I decided not to throw money away and went to the public library here in God's Paradise San Pedro where the Ocean is near by and the Homeless are even closer. Years ago before the smart Phone the downtown dregs were the bus station. At Ninth and Gaffey in San Pedro Amtrack has a bus stop next to the library. At the library I got several bird books and took them back to my sailboat and as always I rode my trusty bicycle up the hill. San Pedro makes San Francisco look like Kansas or the Mountains of Florida. 
Any Fence will do
The library is very persistent about returning books so I actually bought two really old bird guides on E Bay and I use them frequently (both the books and e bay).

The pictures within are of Black-Crowned Night Herons and they were taken with a Nikon D90 using a a 300 mm Nikon Lens in the Auto Focus Mode. 
Nesting in trees
Nycticorax nycticorax is the fancy name for this bird but if you break it up it becomes NY CTI CO rax which might be a banking concern on Wall Street.
By the Harbor
I never took Birding 1A but plumage of birds change as the birds grow older and molt. A brown seagull will become white when it reaches maturity. The plates above (I be fancy now and call my   Birds  pictures Plates) They show First Year