Category Archives: Family

Problems with Blade Nano QX 3D Replacement Motors

We recently got a Blade Nano QX 3D and it’s really quite cool. However, after not really very much flight, and no poor treatment, we had to get replacement motors as one of them just stopped working.

I got official replacements from a local hobby store, but they seem… weaker. We tried both new motors in the front right spot. The motor works but the help can’t get off the ground anymore.

Anyone have ideas on how we can resolve this?

So we went on vacation – part two

Last episode, we left our heroes (my family) slumbering away their mediocre McDonalds in Louisville, KY. The next morning we raided the hotel’s free breakfast cereal counter – a legendary delight the kids remembered from last road trip; three kinds of cereal! As much as we want!

Back into the van and away we went. 700 miles yesterday, and about 500 miles today. We should be at grandad’s in the late afternoon. Maybe we can even go swimming when we get there. We grabbed a Starbuck’s in downtown Louisville and we were on our way.

This leg didn’t quite go as swimmingly. The six bladders-on-board were nowhere near as resilient or synchronized as the day before. So more stops. And this was the mountain leg of the driving, which always takes longer.

And we had another last-minute waypoint in the works. Helen was hoping to meet up with a friend who lives in North Carolina. A few emails and phone calls were exchanged as the morning went on on we had a plan. So we typed the new destination into the borrowed Garmin nüvi and it led us on our way. Though the distance was little different than just going straight to my dad’s, it was slower going because of the smaller, winding roads and 30 mph zones as we moved through the small towns. But, man… it was lovely. We ended up going through a bit of Virginia, which I’d never seen before. Wow.

Well, we were making our way – slower than I wanted, but it was OK. But there was a flaw. I tend to be a bit of a ruthless packer: I don’t want to haul extraneous things around. Well, I misunderstood something about the borrowed nüvi. I left the auto adapter at home because I already had a USB auto adapter. Mistake. While it can be charged via USB, it will not operate while plugged in to USB. So I had to charge it, then use it, the see “OK, I have 50 miles before the next turn” and charge it for a while. Monkey business. And part way through Virginia, it ran out of power. I’m in Virginia for the first time and the GPS that took me there is dead. Ken gets grumpy.

I had a paper map and finally figured out where we were. Helen called her friend and figured out where we should be going (enough time had passed that plans had to change). We finally made our way to wide, fast, and welcome I-77.

As a side note: I really like paper. I mean, I love my gadgets – computer, iPhone, GPS, etc. – but paper is so much nicer and more convenient and “information dense” than a screen. (For the geeks visiting, yes, that’s a very Tufte-esque observation.) A paper map shows so much more in such a small space… layers and layers of information. I love paper maps.

Anyway, the evening approached and we accomplished our rendezvous with Helen’s friend a bit north of Charlotte. They hugged and and spun (see photo on bottom) and gabbed, while I enjoyed the entertainment inside the Outback:

Henry at the Outback
Henry at the Outback

Friendly waiter, but not very satisfying food. I’m 0-2 on culinary satisfaction so far on this trip.

Back on our way. We approached Charlotte. On a number of levels, I always love seeing “Billy Graham Parkway” on a street sign. I know my way by heart from here, and we rolled in to grandad’s place sometime around 9:30. Get the stuff in and the kids to bed. Day two done.

Driving totals:

Ken: 1,200 miles

Helen: 0 miles

So we went on vacation – part one

The last two weeks of August, we had a road trip. Our goal was to make it to South Carolina to visit my dad, and then down to Charleston for a couple of days. Two weeks… ahhhh… enough time to actually relax.

I’ve had all sorts of things I wanted to post, but wasn’t sure how to organize it, so I’m just going to start and see what happens.

I got to leave work the Friday before with that great “the desk is truly cleared” feeling. We had a little too much to do over that weekend, but we got things together pretty well, and Monday morning before 6am we were on the road, and were well into Wisconsin before the sun was actually up. Great start.

I’d loaded up the iPhone with History of Christianity I from Reformed Theological Seminary on iTunes U – awesome stuff – and that kept me occupied while everyone snoozed away the morning.

Our goal was to get to Loiusville, KY where we’d find a room for the night. We were making great time, until…

Helen had a plan. And as the morning progressed and emails were exchanged, we found that we had a stop to make. Near Chicago.

The Martins Invade Jellyfish Labs
The Martins Invade Jellyfish Labs

Yes, Jellyfish Labs, where Phil Vischer (creator of Big Idea… think Veggie Tales) is building a wiggly Jellyfish army with which he’ll rule the world. Actually, he’s building, a Christian, internet-based media network for kids. Excellent stuff, well done, and with a little humor for the grown-ups thrown in. (See, too.)

Post-Jelly Naptime
Post-Jelly Naptime
I expect Helen and the kids will want to write their own blog posts about it, so I won’t tell everything, but we had great time. Absurdly nice people and sneak peeks and puppet shows and I even got to squeeze in a little geek tech talk; something for everyone.

We left saying “That was so GREAT!” about a million times, and then everyone fell asleep again. (Well, except for me. Mostly.) And we made our way to Loiusville. We got there a bit later then we expected and got a couple of rooms at the Fairfield Inn on the north bank of the river, where the nice desk clerk worked hard to get us a good rate. I ran over to McDonald’s to get us some passable burgers and way too many fries (what was I thinking?) and off to bed. So ended day one.

Driving totals:
Ken: 700 miles
Helen: 0 miles

Enjoyed the Star Wars exhibit, we did.

We went to the Star Wars exhibit at the Minnesota Science Museum a couple of weeks ago. Pretty cool stuff. They had some fun hands-on stuff; making maglev Lego cars and programming little robots.

My camera wasn’t capable of catching it, but the detail in those models is really incredible. It was also fun to see goofy little things like the cockpit of the medium-sized (post-episode IV) Millennium Falcon model had a big bent green LED as one of the mechanical “details”. Interestingly, Luke’s lightsaber wasn’t there. Here’s a few pictures: