Kennedy Skatepark – public skateparks on Long Island

Kennedy Skatepark is officially named Jarred A. Newallo Skatepark. It is located in the Town of Hempstead, in Nassau County. This article is a part of my Public Skateparks on Long Island series.

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Maloof Skatepark – public skateparks on Long Island

Maloof Skatepark is a 16,000 square-foot facility within Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. It features street and transition elements on three levels. This article is a part of my Public Skateparks on Long Island series.

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Far Rockaway Skatepark – public skateparks on Long Island

Far Rockaway Skatepark in Queens is a 15,700 square feet facility featuring both street and transition elements. It is located at the east end of Rockaway Beach. Its sister Rockaway Skatepark is located at the west end of the same beach, 3.5 miles away. This article is a part of my Public Skateparks on Long Island series.

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Canarsie Skatepark – public skateparks on Long Island

Canarsie Skatepark located in Brooklyn stands out among other skateparks in Long Island, in that it features a perimeter trail around the main skate plaza. Various ramps and obstacles are scattered along this trail, making cruising this trail a unique experience for inline skaters. This article is a part of my Public Skateparks on Long Island series.

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Astoria Skatepark – public skateparks on Long Island

Astoria Skatepark is located right under the Triborough Bridge, in Queens. It is a 21,500-square-foot installation with transitions on three levels of surfaces including concrete and bricks. For inline skaters, there are also paved trails around the Astoria Park, and an entire shoreline street closed to motor vehicles for bikes and skaters. This is a part of my Public Skateparks on Long Island series.

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Public Skateparks on Long Island

There are lots of “best skateparks on Long Island” articles online. Many are written by newspaper folks who didn’t skate. They probably gathered random bits and pieces of information elsewhere to hand in an assignment. Some are made by websites for the purpose of showing you ads after you click on their click bait titles. Some write about skateparks accessible only to local residents. A few are written by reputable thrasher sources. But none of them have extensive pictures showing what each publicly-accessible skatepark has to offer, with accompanying videos. I intend to fill in this gap. In this article, “Long Island” includes Queens and Brooklyn, but excludes Suffolk County. Basically, Long Island here means places reachable from Belmont Park within a 15-mile radius, without having to cross a toll bridge. If you are interested in connecting with your local skaters, consider joining r/NassauBladers at Reddit.

In this “table of contents” article, you won’t find verbose descriptions of each skatepark. You’ll just find a representative picture, plus the name of the skatepark. Click on the thumbnail picture to see a full article with extensive pictures and videos. You won’t find long descriptions of parks there. I have just discovered skateparks, and am not eloquent in trasher talk yet, at the time of this writing. Besides, I don’t skateboard. I am usually the lone inline skater at these parks. And I don’t pack a pair of aggressive inline skates either – I only have regular street skates. These pictures and videos are my attempt to make available what I could not find online, when I looked for public skateparks online. There is an Wikipedia article on Skateparks in New York City. When I am done there shall be a similar article for Long Island.

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Learn the Two-foot Grapevine on Inline Skates

This is a follow-up to my previous article: Learn to Skate the Two-foot Grapevine Analytically from 2016. The first article talked about skating Grapevine on ice. This article discusses how to skate the same Grapevine on inline skates. Almost everything from the first article applies to this article. Thus this article will not repeat the same prerequisite skills and context information about Grapevine that I already covered in the first article. This article will focus on showing differences found when skating this move on pavement, compared to ice.

Grapevine is a classic skating move skated exclusively on outside edges, which when done to perfection appears to an onlooker as if the skater had Jackson’s moonwalk power, and could magically propel herself indefinitely in a straight line while constantly turning forward and backward, and with both skates on the ground at all times without showing signs of any efforts to push herself onward.

Grapevine on ice (left) and on pavement (right)

I never did learn to skate Grapevine on ice with grace. I could do an ugly and rigid imitation of it, but never in a way that invites admiration form onlookers. And I never could sustain this movement past two rounds.

During the Covid pandemic, I picked up inline skating. And I tried to skate the Grapevine. I tripped, and I tripped. The pavement is very unforgiving of imperfect two-foot skating. On ice I could glide and turn on the ice with both blades flush against the surface. On the pavement with inline skates, the same task is near impossible to pull off.

So I turned back to the YouTube video of inline-skated Grapevine that I mentioned in the first article, to study how it was different from skating on ice. And I ended up discovering many reasons that explain why I never did manage to skate a graceful Grapevine on ice.

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Remodeling a garage

We’d been mulling over garage remodeling for a decade. The garage remained the same way we found it from the previous owners, for ten years. As cliché as this may sound, we decided to spend vacation money and time that we couldn’t spend this year due to Covid-19, on home-remodeling.

Garage before remodeling with tools and stuff strewn about
Garage before remodeling with tools and stuff strewn about

We pulled the trigger, and are very happy about the end result. Whereas tools and stuff were strewn about previously, now they are safely put away inside or behind cabinets. The garage floor is now coated with epoxy for ease of maintenance.

Finished garage, with all tools and stuff except for the Kayak safely put away behind cabinets and out of sight
Finished garage, with all tools and stuff safely put away behind cabinets

I agonized over a few decision points during this remodeling process. I have documented the entire effort, with pictures showing every step along the way. Hopefully this article will help the next person going through the same process.

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Geometric distortion in a triple-monitor setup for MSFS 2020, compared to XPlane 11

Microsoft released its new flight sim 2 days ago, on August 18th. This long-awaited launch got simmers really excited. I moved my flight sim equipment last month to a dedicated room in the basement, now with a triple-monitor setup, in anticipation of this launch. I set up XPlane 11 with these triple monitors, to make sure I got the hang of triple monitors. But all I wanted was the new Microsoft flight sim. I even took this week off from work, so I would not need to choose between work and enjoying the new simulator.

MSFS 2020 Loading screen, shown on a triple-monitor setup

Boy, do I love the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS from now on). It is clearly the next generation of flight sim, as folks have hyped since its announcement in June 2019. I say this, as a person invested in XPlane 11 (XP11), the previous greatest flight sim on Earth. I’ve made YouTube videos about using TrackIR with XP11, using Ortho4XP tiles with XP11, and adding Photoscenery Autogen and simHeaven Forests on top of Ortho4XP.

On launch day, version 1 of MSFS is, however, missing quite a few features that long-time simmers have come to cherish from established flight sims. For instance, MSFS can’t replay the adventure you just finished, or let you rewind and resume flying prior to a fatal mistake. Yet another example: MSFS supports TrackIR on day one (kudos to Asobo), but omits a command that pauses TrackIR, for when you want to lock down your current view. Clever simmers will try to compensate by setting up a button binding in TrackIR for pause. But MSFS resets cockpit view to the default view after 10 seconds of TrackIR inaction.

That said, everyone knows that these are minor issues. And they surely will be addressed in future updates. More importantly, there are workarounds that savvy simmers can resort to, for the time being.

There is, however, one fatal issue, for someone who has gone through the trouble of setting up three 43″ monitors, for the express purpose of re-creating a 180° surround view around the pilot.

MSFS 2020 does not yet support triple-monitor setups. That’s a bummer. Many have attempted to make it (sort of) work. Some even brag about it on Reddit, YouTube, and on AVSIM. But no one will admit that the geometric distortion is so severe that it distracts from rather than helps with flying. And this triple-monitor setup comes at the cost of lowered CPU and GPU settings. Quality settings need to be lowered, to accommodate 3 times the number of rendered objects and screen pixels on triple monitors.

Distorted side views in MSFS 2020 (top), compared to correct surround views in XPlane 11

At this time, it is not worth sacrificing visual effects and frame rates for two extra side monitors that show greatly distorted views of world objects. Triple-monitor setups are not common. And it’s not clear to me when Asobo will care to fix this problem for a niche market. Until then, the public remains confused as to whether MSFS can be said to “work as is” for triple-monitor setups. There isn’t a source online that compares distorted views in MSFS 2020 against expected, clean views in, say, XP11. Thus the YouTube video shown below, and thus this article.

Updated 2020-09-28: I am having too much fun. I made a second Federation of Triple Monitors episode.

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Wesley-Anny Wedding: Making of a Photo Shoot

This page hosts pictures taken a few weeks prior to the wedding, documenting the photo shoot session Aaron ran. Most of these are my pictures. Some where I make an appearance are taken by Elisha. I suppose you could call those pictures “Making of the Making of a Photo Shoot”. Most of these pictures turned into a slideshow for use on wedding day. See previous location recon pictures.

Making of a photo shoot - Wesley-Anny Wedding

Making of a photo shoot – Wesley-Anny Wedding

Here is the slideshow:

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