Aaron's blog

Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Trilogy: Jedi Search

By aaron.axvig, 10 January, 2020
Date completed
1 year ago

I probably read this book back in middle school as I used to read a ton of Star Wars and Star Trek books back then.  Anyways, now I have read it again.

I believe I read a while back that the new Star Wars movies have removed all of the Expanded Universe books from canon.  So it was a little weird to be reading this book and be thinking all along that it isn't really "true."  Of course it is fiction, but now it is like discarded fiction.  Still a quick enjoyable read though.

Completion status


Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

By aaron.axvig, 8 January, 2020
Date completed
1 year ago

This was a nice read about memories and memorization techniques.  The story of the author is woven in pretty well and my interest was held throughout.  He described the techniques used in a good amount of detail--enough to understand but not so specific as to get boring.

Overall I now know a little more about the topic and it was also an interesting story.

Completion status



By aaron.axvig, 4 January, 2020
Screenshot of 2048 stats page
Date completed

I played the version available on F-Droid. On my third attempt I achieved a 2048 block. The statistics say that I have played for 0.92 hours.

I see that 5x5 grids and larger are available too so I may try that out sometime.


Completion status

Digital platform

Dog with a flaw

By aaron.axvig, 31 December, 2019

There once was a dog with a flaw
Who e'er kept a brew in her paw
She was not a witch
Just a basic bitch
Her favorite drink was White Claw


Vero Beach

By aaron.axvig, 27 December, 2019
Newly installed microwave

From Cocoa Beach we (Aaron plus two other boats) left at first light.  At some point in the morning the wind went around enough for a close hauled sail so all three boats put some sails in the air.  The wind became pretty brisk so I reefed both sails heavily but both Fruit Bat and Walkabout in their heavy Pearson 424s were able to keep full sails flying, even Walkabout's 150% genoa.  After a few hours the ICW became more winding so everyone put in their sails, but they both had roller furler jams so had to spend a few minutes figuring those situations out.

They carried on for about ten more miles as I pulled off to stop at the Vero Beach City Marina.  I waited for about 15 minutes for the fuel dock to open up and then fueled and arranged for a mooring ball.  They assigned me to raft up on ball five with another boat so I prepared the lines and fenders, motored over to my new neighbor, approached nice and slow, and had a successful "docking".  I took Louise for a walk to the very nice dog park (and every evening after that!).

I believe the next day was the Monday gathering at Mr. Manatee's for the Seven Seas Cruising Association.  I went and mostly talked boats with some people and had a very good burger.  I had snacked that afternoon so didn't go for the Colossal Woodrow Burger which is one pound of hamburger plus lots of other things.  If you eat it you get a T-shirt, which makes the $19 price a little more worth it.  I was still in Vero Beach a week later so went again and did earn the shirt.  I should not have also had two one liter beers, as I was in quite some misery for an hour afterwards.

I spent the week there doing some boat projects (clean the brown stains off the hull with lemon juice, coat the hull with wax, put away the remainder of all our goodies from Costco, sew some rips in the mainsail cover, replaced the microwave) and going to a few social events.  Also I ordered some miscellaneous things and the supplies for a big project: a replacement bimini + spray dodger + full enclosure.  In order to know what to order I had to understand what I was going to be doing so I spent about four hours watching Sailrite how to videos on YouTube.  After several more hours of thinking, measuring, and double-checking I placed the order, getting a nice Cyber Monday discount.  Just that small part of the project felt like a huge accomplishment!

I also looked around for a used paddleboard.  A shop nearby had some used models but they seemed a bit fancy.  We ended up buying one from a guy on Facebook Marketplace and he delivered it to the marina.

Anna returned from Minnesota.  She flew to Orlando where her aunt and uncle were at a dog show, and her uncle was nice enough to drive her a couple hours down to Vero Beach.  I think it was two nights later that we left to go to Stuart.

Dirty swim ladder
The swim ladder was really dirty after being in the water there for a week.  Most places it does not grow stuff this fast.



Honda EU2200i rain revival

By aaron.axvig, 12 December, 2019
Honda EU2200i running in companionway

I left our Honda EU2200i generator out in the rain and it wouldn't start.  This wasn't a crazy torrential rain and the outlets were on the leeward side so I thought it would be OK with the extensive plastic shrouding but I guess not and I will try to keep it mostly dry in the future.

To troubleshoot I took of the big side panel (for oil changing and air cleaner access) and things looked pretty dry in there.  I also suspected the kill switch so managed to get my multimeter probes on the contacts there and it made and broke contact appropriately.  A peek in at the spark plug showed it was all dry (didn't actually pull the spark plug).  I pulled off the end panel on the outlet side and there was water pooled on a few components there...probably the problem even though many things are potted.  I blew into all of the various outlets.  Removal of the outlet plate itself showed very minimal water inside of there.

But still it wouldn't start.  Twice it sputtered for one second to taunt me.

Then I tried slamming the whole unit into the floor from 2-3 inches up.  It has pretty good shock absorbing feet so this didn't even jostle the generator that hard, but it fired right up after that!  So I guess a few drops were shorting out something (likely in the kill switch circuit) and the abrupt movement shook them loose.

BTW when we run the generator there the exhaust gasses can swirl around behind the dodger so we keep the companionway fully closed.  And there are some small cracks there but our dorades and the overall suction on the back of the dodger should keep air flowing outwards through those cracks, plus we would not sleep with it running.

Hunter 376 microwave replacement

By aaron.axvig, 10 December, 2019
New microwave installed

Our presumably stock microwave bit the dust a while back.  I delayed replacing it for a week or two as I was intimidated by the task of doing the job without irreversibly damaging the cabinetry.  I removed a screw that went up into the bottom of the microwave and was able to move the unit around a fair amount, but it looked like the microwave was just a little to big to slide out without more disassembly.  I would later find out that the microwave was screwed to a big board anyways...no way was it coming out!

Eventually I got out the tools and drilled out a few of the screw-hiding plugs on the face plate.  Some hid screws and some didn't.  It turned out that only three screws needed to be removed to pull the face plate off--the one in the middle on the left and two on the right.  I was then just barely able to wedge the face plate out.  It would come out significantly easier if the swing-down cabinet door next to the microwave was removed, but I did not do that.

Then the microwave and the base plate that it was attached to came out easily (I had already removed the screw going through the bottom of the cabinet with its point in the base plate).  I made some measurements and chose to order the BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 from Amazon.  Many measurement pictures can be found below.

A few days later the new microwave arrived.  I played around with different things for spacers to put it at the correct level so that the door would open through the existing cutout in the face plate.  With the microwave and spaces attached to the base plate (see image captions below for some more details on positioning) I put it in the cabinet.  Then I finagled the face plate back into place...again this would be significantly easier if the nearby cabinet door was removed.  I tried to remove it but did not do it carefully and stripped a screw so did it with the door in place.  They are PH1 screw heads BTW, which yes I was using but still stripped one.  Anyways, a couple pounds with the cordless drill battery and the face plate popped into place.  I screwed it in with the same three screws and attached the bottom reinforcing piece better than before (described in a photo caption below).

I still need to read up on how to put the teak plugs in, otherwise it is complete and working well!

Width of the microwave: 18 1/16"
Depth of the main body of the microwave: 11 1/2"


Cabinet depth at top left
Microwave depth including cord stopper: 13 1/4"
Height of the microwave including the board it was screwed to; 11 1/16"
Height 2
Height of the microwave itself: 10 1/2"
Cabinet depth
Cabinet depth on right-hand side
Cabinet depth
Fabine depth on left side
Cabinet depth on top
Cabinet depth on top right
Board dimension
Board depth on left side
Board dimensions
Board depth on right side
Board width
Board width
Base board
The base board with holes drilled for the old microwave feet to sit in
Spaces undernearth the new microwave
One piece of Starboard and two small washers used as a spacer.  Also visible are the pieces of tape I put on the base board to mark where the Starboard sits when the microwave is aligned correctly.  So then I could take the microwave and base board out and screw them together in the correct position.
New microwave in place
Microwave in place with no faceplate.  I positioned it to be lightly pressed up against the cord plugged into the outlet on the right hand side, thinking that we might be able to store things like cutting boards in the gap on the left side.  Blue tape strips mark the position of the Starboard spacer on the base plate.
New microwave in place with faceplate installed
New microwave in place with faceplate installed.  The door takes up most of the gap on the left side when it is opened so it is important to position the microwave towards the right side of the opening.
Reinforcement piece for bottom strip of face plate
Reinforcement piece for bottom strip of face plate (I rotated it after taking this picture so that the countersink-drilled holes were facing up).  I put the face plate in first and wasn't going to bother with this piece, but then I realized that it could be put in with the microwave and faceplate already screwed into position.  This little strip had been screwed into the back of the face plate but the screws did not hold well.  So I drilled out the teak plugs that were in the faceplate and screwed this piece in from the front, which I guess is how they originally intended it to be done since all of the holes lined up perfectly.  And then I put screws through the piece into the bottom of the cabinet.