AIT, Golden, Jeff's Birthday, Brewfest, and points in between 
Monday, October 10, 2016, 07:24 PM - Work, Weekend Fun, Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Here's a bunch of random things:

AIT Visit. I hosted a couple colleagues from the Austrian Institute of Technology in the lab to work on hardware-in-the-loop testing of a smart inverter. It was great to have Roland visit, as the two of us have shared some fun times in Japan, India, and France.




NREL meetings. I had a bunch of GMLC meetings in Golden, which sounds boring--and it was--but Spencer lives 5 minutes from NREL and he had a spare mountain bike! We rode over the mesa to dinner and had a couple local brews along the way. It was great to ride again with my ex-housemate while on work travel.

Flying. I went paragliding again - I took my 30th flight and finally got my P-2 rating!



Bike and Brew. Jeff had a bike pub ride for his birthday. He had a good time.



AMRC Brewfest. I survived 12 hours of volunteering at the AMRC Brewfest. Love that event because I see so many of my friends.



UNM talk. Thursday, I gave a talk at UNM on my solar research. "The Science & Society Distinguished The Public Talks are co-sponsored by the Albuquerque Section of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and its Life Members Affinity Group, Sigma Xi (the Scientific Research Society), the UNM Department of Physics & Astronomy, and the UNM Division of Continuing Education."

AMRC mission. The next weekend I responded to a stuck climber at Diablo Canyon - but the rest of the team beat me there and got them free before I could be fielded.

Tennis. Jess and I played about 20 minutes of tennis before getting completely soaked in a monsoon deluge.


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Sandia Hikes and Flying at the Craters 
Monday, October 10, 2016, 06:27 PM - Weekend Fun, Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Taking advantage of the nice Sept weather (i.e., dodging the recent monsoons), Jess and I hiked La Luz from the tram after work one Thursday night. We got out of the parking lot a little after 5pm, so I knew that we were going to struggle to make the last 9pm tram. There was a great sunset and then it got dark around the rock slide. I pulled out the headlamps and we pushed on but we skipped the upper shortcuts because they were so steep and Jess's calves were tired. We finished off the 9-mile, 3900 ft climb at 8:50 and grabbed the last tram back down the hill - that was a close one!






Not much later, JJ and I hiked up to the TWA crash. The Domingo Baca Trail was well marked up to the crash site, but then we kept going to the crest and it got mighty steep and then the trail vanished for the last 500 ft. Why? I have no idea, but it's probably to keep La Luz hikers from inadvertently dropping down the TWA canyon. It was really cool to finally get up to the crash site because this incident was the start of the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Team where I volunteer.






It's also green chile season! :)


Paragliding at the Craters in AZ
Aug 26th I flew out and back to Berkeley for a work trip. I landed back in ABQ at 7:30pm and drove 4.5 hours to outside of Leupp, AZ to a paragliding site called Sheba Crater. I was dogsitting Jason's pup, Chama, so he got to accompany me on the trip. It was a warmish night and I slept in the Outback with the rear hatch open so I had more foot space. The coyotes howled through the night so it was nice to have Chama there to keep an eye out. He didn’t seem to be bothered by them.



At 6am, a storm rolled in and provided a great rainbow in the early morning. When the rain finally started, I let Chama into the car with me and I took a couple minutes to warm him up and help dry him out when I noticed he was trembling. He slept by my side until I got up around 7:30am. Five of us paraglider pilots met up that Saturday morning at Sheba. Spencer brought his smaller Border Collie/Terrier mix, Ellie, and Chama played for a while. The rain started again so we went to Flagstaff to get coffee and wait out the storm. At 11:00, we drove an hour south to another paragliding site called Apache Maid. No one flew because the launch was difficult and mid-day thermals are typically unfriendly.





We drove back to the more beginner-friendly Sheba launch site. Since the wind was from the North, we decided to move again. Chasing the wind is common for paraglider pilots. We went around to an easy launch site on the North side of Mirriam Crater, a larger volcano next to Sheba. From there, we kited and took a couple sled runs off the bench to the field below. The flights were less than 5 minutes each but it was still good to finally get into the air. At the end of the evening, toward sunset, the winds shifted East so I never got a final flight. Instead, we had a couple beers and then drove to Flagstaff to get dinner.






Afterwards, I noticed Chama had not eaten anything. He had been going through waves of serious illness (possibly heart cancer) over the last 6 months and not eating was common. I drove the ~30 min to camp near Sheba at 10:45 (35.268832, -111.405448) and Chama barely moved when I opened the door for him. I thought that was strange. His head was on my sleeping bag. I said, “someone had a big day” and I helped him out of the car. He walked around a little and I set his food out for him. As I was getting my toothbrush and tent out of the car, I also noticed Chama defecated in the car. I was worried at this point. I knew Chama was beginning to re-enter one of his low points. (A few month before he developed terrible ascites, didn't eat or move for 5 days, and came within a hair of death.) However, he was mobile now and seemed strong all day, so I figured he was ok. I was completely exhausted so I quickly setup my tent and collapsed into bed. When I got out of the tent at 7am Sunday morning, I walked over to check on Chama. The food was untouched and he was lying under the car. I said, ‘Good morning, Chama!’ but there was no response. I gave him a nudge. There was no movement. I instantly felt my heart sink and I pulled him out from under the car. He was warm and flexible but I could see there wasn’t any breathing and his tongue was unnaturally hanging out of the side of his mouth. I held him a little bit and looked into his open eyes. “I’m so sorry Chama.” He must have expired 30-60 minutes prior. I packed up camp quickly, let the guys know that I would be leaving (they were still in bed), and drove back to Albuquerque to arrange the cremation per Jason's request. Telling your friend that their dog has died is absolutely awful. If Chama suffered, he didn’t give any indications. We knew he was fighting something chronic that would eventually claim his life, so I was happy to him a great day in the wilderness of Arizona before he went. I saw a smile on his face all day long.
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Paragliding Lessons 
Sunday, August 9, 2015, 06:34 PM - Weekend Fun, Week activities
Posted by Administrator
The last couple weeks I've been focusing on paragliding. Justin sold me his old canopy, reserve chute, and harness for a good price, so now all I need to do is learn how to fly the freaking thing.

I've been taking classes with Chuck at Enchanted Air Paragliding and I've been progressing quickly. We did a day of front inflations, ground kiting, low tow-in's, and then a couple higher tow-ins to get me ready for releasing from tows. I finally released from the tow at dusk last Tuesday and Chuck gave me the nod for higher weekend flights.

After two weeks of training with Chuck, we went out to the middle of nowhere near Tome and I did my first high tow. I met some of the crew: Jim, David, and Larry. Jim looks at me and asks how many releases I've done at the Balloon Fiesta fields. I tell him, "One," and he looks surprised and says, "Well, it must have been a real good one then!"

Getting hooked up to a truck with a mile of empty, straight gravel road ahead got my blood pumping. With that driving distance it's possible to hoist the pilot hundreds of feet into the air (~1000ft/mile). I'm going through my preflight with everyone watching and there's a lot running through my head to ensure the flight goes safely: lockouts, weaklink failures, checking surges, all the training instructions, etc. I had an ok inflation and takeoff, and then tried to keep things lined up for the 6 minute drive. The air was much more dynamic at altitude so it was challenging to maintain the perfect heading. As the truck reached the end of the road, I comfortably held the release for about 25 seconds, wanting to eek out every last foot of gain I could get. I pulled the handle and the release was clean. I was flying somewhere between 500-800 ft above the ground! I did my best to practice a few turns, but they were painfully slow - something that I will have to perfect in the future. I didn't make it all the way back to the intersection LZ, but was able to come into the wind along the road for my landing. I didn't get out of the seat early enough but otherwise a nice landing and a great first high-altitude flight!




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Korean Visit and AMRC Training 
Thursday, May 29, 2014, 08:20 PM - Week activities
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I hosted my Korean colleagues from KERI for a few days. We took the tram up to High Finance and got Korean BBQ in Nob Hill. Overall, it was a very pleasant visit.



That weekend, I helped out with the AMRC OCC activities. I ran a horizontal lower and raise, and played patient while Mike did the vertical litter exercise. Allison is part of the class, so Mike and Allison came over to play in my tree... while I reclined in the hammock :) Mike did also manage to get my prayer flags stuck in his grigri; much like his mullet issues in Moab.










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TTT at Chris and Harmony's Place 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 09:19 PM - Week activities
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About 24 hours back in the country, I did the 25-mile round trip bike ride to Chris and Harmony's place on the westside for the monthly wine tasting. They have a stunning place with a pool and a great view of the Sandias. The Spanish reds went very well with the aged cheeses that I brought from France.




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Week in ABQ 
Sunday, September 23, 2012, 10:37 AM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Sunday - Soccer game against a bunch of young Mexicans. Luckily we squeaked out a 4-4 tie after going down 4-2 early in the 2nd half. Roasted green chiles!

Monday - Headed up to the LANL/NEDO Smart Home demo in Los Alamos. Sushi, Saki, and head honchos (New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, NEDO Chairman Kazuo Furukawa, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, LANL Director Dr. Charles McMillan, Kyocera Vice President Tatsumi Maeda, Toshiba CEO Norio Sasaki). Got to have a short discussion with the governor about Mesa Del Sol.

Tuesday - Watched WE: A Collection of Individuals with Tim and a collection of mountain rescue folks.

Thursday - PV group BBQ, beers at Tractor with Nate, Grant, and Todd, lots of biking.

Friday - Mesa del Sol meeting, work, and lots of biking. Fri+Sat riding: 56 miles. Free fitness!

Saturday - Planned to mountain bike with Kevin on the Faulty Trail, but decided to go to the ongoing NMSAR mission at Blue Lake. Searched for a missing 49 year old man believed to be on drugs and unclothed. No sight of him.

Sunday - Soccer game with Lovelace. Got the first goal in our 3-1 victory!

Heat for the year


Biking in Albuquerque.

Big

Mission to Blue Lake.

Big







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Training (T-minus 2 weeks to Cochiti Lake) 
Monday, July 9, 2012, 08:23 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Monday: 5+5 bike. 7.4 mi run in the rain and lightning. Good pace though: 8.5 min/mile.
Tues: 5+5 bike.
Weds: 5+18 bike.
Thurs: 5+10 bike.
Fri: 2000 yd swim.
Sat: 48 mi bike. Brutal reaper at good pace. Switched to S 14 and managed OK for a while, but then lost the edge and peddled slow up to the top of the climb. Some combination of breaky, sun, heat, exertion was enough to make me sick - biked home hard with older guy trading off the draft. Going to suck it up at Cochiti!
Sun: 2000 yrd swim. 7.0 mi run - 9 min/mile pace. IT band is pretty tight/torn. Not looking good for the next few days. Vitamin I, here I come.


Big
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4th of July near Cedro Peak  
Thursday, July 5, 2012, 05:06 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Ben and Tobi joined me for a mountain bike ride in the Cedro Peak area. I originally expected to do some combination of Coyote Trail and Chimisoso, but after being lost for the better part of the trip, ended up on the rough Powerline trail. I managed to hit a tree with some help from the babyheads, and now my shoulder's all torn up.

Here's the scoop:
The hard Powerline/Chimosa Trail, unmarked, leaves FR452 west of the tower at the powerline. It starts steeply descending the rocky powerline. After a couple of switchbacks, a narrow, less-used trail takes off to the right (east) through dense juniper, pinon,scrub oak along the north side of the Cedro Ridge. The trail is definite but not used much until you get closer to the intersection with the Chimosa / Mighty Mule (marked). There are some really nice stretches but rocky. The trail climbs up and down several rocky drainages as it generally descends to the intersection. Take the Chimosa or Mighty Mule Trail at the intersection.


We were the yellow line, well off any of the trails that I knew about.

Big
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Cochiti Lake Tri Training 
Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 08:22 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Signed up for the olympic distance cochiti lake tri. 28 days to train. Time to get busy!

Monday - 5+5 mile bike. 3.3 mi run.
Tuesday - 5+11 mi bike. 1.1 mi swim.
100 free
100 breast
400 free
800 free
300 free
200 free
100 breast
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High Winds 
Monday, May 7, 2012, 05:34 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
It's so hard getting to work with a sustained 25 mph wind in your face! Especially on a Monday!

Coming back I nearly couldn't hold a turn into the wind... but I did get home in record time. I hope these are the conditions for the tri. I'd be the only one still on the bike by the end!

CURRENT WEATHER from the Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Laboratory at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Latitude: 35.05 N Longitude: 106.54 W Altitude: 1657 m (5436 ft)

Wind this morning on the ride in
Speed(5 min avg): 12.5 m/s ( 28.0 mph)
Direction(5 min avg): 86 ° (E)
Peak Speed(20 min): 19.6 m/s ( 43.8 mph)

Wind this afternoon coming home
Speed(5 min avg): 15.5 m/s ( 34.7 mph)
Direction(5 min avg): 84 ° (E)
Peak Speed(20 min): 22.3 m/s ( 49.9 mph)
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Week synopsys 
Friday, April 20, 2012, 04:39 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Sunday: Soccer game with lovelace. Had a couple shots not on goal and it ended up being a 1-1 tie even though we were clearly the stronger team.

Monday: Sore from soccer, but broke out the Roubaix for the commute to work and added the 5 mile loop out to South Gate on my return ride. The aerobars are fun and fast, but slightly uncomfortable and in the high winds pretty dangerous. More training to come with these!

Weds: Tried to run some, but was really flat and could only get about 2 miles in.

Thurs: Kickball game with St. Mary's and then Cheesy Climbing Movie night at Leigh and Justin's. We watched the descent and I had glimpses of evil creatures when I got back to the house.

Fri: 9/80 gardening all day. 2 trips to Ace Hardware eventually led to "repaired" front and back drip systems. I finished setting up the garden beds, planted everything, and gave a good watering to all my thirsty seeds. Ran 4.2 Miles around the neighborhood and hit to pool for another mile.
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Free Fitness 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 09:02 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
2.5 mi run + BBQ and slacklining with Josiah, Briana, Frank, Mary and company + 2.5 mi run back home.


Big
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Ultimate Ski and Snowboarding Challenge Banquet! 
Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 08:22 PM - Week activities
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Four races: 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd and somehow I ended up winning the Advanced Division and collecting the winning team trophy for the SNL Snow Temple Pilots! Take that snowboarders!


Corporate Cup Unlimited Trophy Winners (and bystanders (me))


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CSers 
Sunday, February 12, 2012, 07:13 PM - Week activities
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Dinner with Sarah and Eddy.




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Lunch Run 1-30-12 
Monday, January 30, 2012, 08:27 PM - Week activities
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Bigger
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Week activities 
Thursday, January 26, 2012, 10:25 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Took a 6 mile run with Mike and Mandy after work on Tuesday.

Wednesday, I joined a handful of AMRC people for a training at Flake 'n Bake. Cool to running a high-angle lower off the cliff-face in the middle of the night with the city glowing below. I could see about 10 lights on tramway cycling through red/green.

Thursday, listened to Sec. of Energy Chu during his post-state of the union tour. Actually found him to be intelligent, personable/funny (joking about guys in basements with red staplers - then telling everyone to go watch Office Space), and he emphasized high-bandgap transistors and PV energy. Even if the money isn't coming in, it's nice to see the people at the top care about the stuff that I'm working on.

Tuned and waxed skis tonight in preparation for Saturday's race.
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Wine Tasting at My Place! 
Sunday, January 22, 2012, 09:22 PM - Week activities
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The spread:


The crew:


Voting:


Unveiling:


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8.7 mi Run! 
Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 10:42 PM - Week activities
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Calves are goners.


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Bike Repair 
Friday, July 15, 2011, 06:52 PM - Week activities
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Last weekend, after heading down to Ahh, All out Sushi with some Mountain Rescue folks I was biking home at 1am and stripped a pedal (for the 2nd time!)...barely made it back. I finally got around to fixing it today.


Full
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First sport leads 
Friday, May 13, 2011, 09:00 PM - Week activities
Posted by Administrator
Did a couple climbs on big block leading the sport pitches. Not terribly hard, but I'm glad I knocked them out without getting cheese grated on the limestone. Info:

Big Block 1 - 5.7+: A very short route to the highest point on the Big Block. Very crimpy but it is about 15 degress less than vertical. Up 3 bolts to chain anchors.

Big Block 2 - 5.7+: Another short route just right of Big Block 1. Same angle and crimpiness as the first. Up 3 bolts to chain anchors.
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