OVFF 2014

Oct. 25th, 2014 01:55 pm
bigbumble: (Octopus and Traffic Cone)
Cat Faber and the latest instrument case fashion statement at OVFF.

CIMG2005
bigbumble: (Then I saw it)
What is wrong with this sign?

CIMG1994
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
On the way to NARAM, the national model rocket contest, my brother Dan and I took a short side trip to Yellowstone Park.

Here I am next to yellow stone by Yellowstone Falls:

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More pictures beyond the cut.
Read more... )
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
On March 6, I went to Pittcon in Chicago's McCormick Place. Pittcon (originally the Pittsburg Conference) is a roving trade show for instrumentation. They also have seminars at exorbitant prices. However, Thursday was their free admission day, so that is when I went.

At one point, I visited the AirGas booth. They supply both industrial and laboratory gasses. We discussed the declining availability of helium from US supplies and the company's contract for future helium production in the Middle East. While on the topic of Noble Gasses, we touched on Argon being readily available at 1% of the atmosphere. We skipped Krypton (Sorry, Superman) and I learned that there will be a 2 year shortage of Xenon, the heaviest of the non-radioactive noble gasses.

It turns out that with the replacement of classic incandescent light bulbs, quartz-halogen, along with compact fluorescent and LED bulbs are an acceptable high efficiency replacement. The xenon is used as a carrier gas for the iodine used in quartz-halogen bulbs to redeposit tungsten to the filament in the high temperature and therefore more efficient bulbs. The AirGas guy told me that a requested order of xenon from one light bulb manufacturer was the entire world supply of xenon. There are no plans to expand production of xenon due to the high capital costs and expected limited duration of the shortfall.

Meanwhile, on the way to the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, the Dawn Spacecraft is powered by an ion drive that has been fueled with several hundred pounds of xenon.
http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/live_shots.asp
bigbumble: (Blood Donation)
Today I earned my three gallon blood donation pin. I went out for a steak dinner to reward myself. Besides, I had to recharge my iron supply.

Spring

Apr. 7th, 2014 07:24 am
bigbumble: (Tricycle)
At long last a crocus appeared in my front garden. Usually they first appear in March or even February. There are still some glacial remnants in my yard.

I put air in my tricycle tires and was off on my first ride of the season!

Mail Call

Mar. 24th, 2014 10:08 pm
bigbumble: (Octopus and Traffic Cone)
La la la!!! -RAQJASA
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
Snow has been building up on my rooftop this winter. Usually we get some sort of January thaw to clear things off midwinter. But so far no such luck. When the ice dam over my kitchen window started causing water to drip from the ceiling over my kitchen sink I felt it was time to hire someone to shovel the snow from my roof. So here they are, hard at work.


And best of all, my ceiling has stopped dripping!
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
A rocket friend of mine, Jack Haggerty, along with a member of my local rocket club among others, are putting out a book on the N-1 booster. If you want to help out, the kick starter is here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jhagerty/n-1-for-the-moon-and-mars-the-soviet-superbooster

It looks to be a massive tome. If nothing else, the Kickstarter video is fun to watch.

Apple Pie

Oct. 22nd, 2013 12:15 am
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
I made an apple pie today with Northern Spy apples. Lots of cinnamon and some ginger. It was determined to be good by sister and nephew.
bigbumble: (Tricycle)
This past Saturday I went to the Michigan Flywheelers Museum in South Haven, Michigan with my brother Dan. They were having their Antique Engine & Tractor Show! Lots of tractors and hit-and-miss engines, a little bit of steam, and this glorious music box:

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More pictures and maybe a video behind the cut.

Read more )
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
Went to MuseCon, kind of on the spur of the moment. Bonnie and Sam were making a classic 78 rpm record with an old record cutting machine.

http://youtu.be/JCHSSXwfhYk

Steve was being sound engineer and Bonnie was busily cleaning away the little groove cuttings or "swarf".

I'm not sure who was singing and playing, perhaps Bill Higgins knows.

Edit: Yes he did!
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
My rocket club SMASH held a model rocket contest last week end. The contest is called MAD Cow because we used to fly off a field called the Cowatorium. Now we fly just outside of Muskegon, Michigan at a wastewater treatment area of several square miles.

One of the events we flew was 1/8A-Parachute Duration multi-round. The idea is that a modeler gets two models and three flights. If you loose both models on the first two flights, you are out of luck. On top of that, you are only allowed to count the first forty seconds of any flight towards your total time.

1/8A engines are the smallest available, so exceeding 40 seconds for a flight time seemed improbable. Here is my model:
100_3811

To my amazement it stayed up for 38 seconds. The competing team, The Spanish Inquisition, flew a similar, but more lightly constructed model with a slightly larger parachute and got 43 seconds on their first flight. That counted for a max time of 40 seconds. Their second flight using the same model caught a thermal and started drifting upward. We lost track sometime after 3 minutes as the model drifted skyward in the general direction of the Mackinac Bridge. It still only counted for 40 seconds. As Gimli commented after Legolas took down an oliphant, "That still only counts as one!"
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
As I mentioned in a friends locked post, my brother Dan's polebarn/home burned down a couple of nights ago. No insurance and much was lost including personal items that money can't replace. He still has a lot, including rescued cash, some money in the bank, a car, and several offers of places to stay.

This is what his place looks like now:

100_3743

Life goes on. This spring, the paw paw I planted in front of my house finally flowered.

100_3745

Where there is life there is hope.
bigbumble: (Default)
Renee Macdonald has been accepted to Glorious Fancypants Opera School in Austria. She needs financial help to pay the tuition and costs to attend said institute. (Actually its real name is the American Institute of Musical Study in Graz, Austria.)

Her fundrasing page is here: http://www.gofundme.com/reneetoaims

You can donate directly or attend her fundrasing concert May 11 at
Disciples of Christ Church
2208 Winchell Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI

She is on a fairly tight time deadline to get her tuition in so help as you can.

Feel free to signal boost.
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
Renee Macdonald has been accepted to Glorious Fancypants Opera School in Austria. She needs financial help to pay the tuition and costs to attend said institute. (Actually its real name is the American Institute of Musical Study in Graz, Austria.)

Her fundrasing page is here: http://www.gofundme.com/reneetoaims

You can donate directly or attend her fundrasing concert May 11 at
Disciples of Christ Church
2208 Winchell Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI

She is on a fairly tight time deadline to get her tuition in so help as you can.

Feel free to signal boost.
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
Here is a video of a Pinata Rocket with a payload of plastic Easter eggs full of goodies.

http://youtu.be/VzXnJd5ACIA

Just in case you needed to be amused. Each little parachute carries a plastic Easter egg.
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
As I mentioned last week, I have been working on helicopter model rockets for teeny 1/4A3-3T model rocket engines. I test flew my first model last week. The blades deployed before landing, but just barely. I'm now working on a shorter model that I hope to test before the contest this weekend. Here is the model I tested with blades folded before launch.

Helicopter with folded long blades

More pictuces and stuff beyond the cut )
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
Week before last I went to a regular Dr. Appointment. I'm probably not going to die this year. I got my tetanus/whooping cough vaccination. The vaccination really knocked me over for a couple of days, that seems to be the nature of tetanus shots. Last week, I donated a pint of O+ blood. I'm officially at 18 pints now.

Saturday, I had my birthday party with friends and family over. Sunday I did Easter with my next younger brother, Dan, and my sister, Martha. Monday, I had an eye doctor appointment. I probably not going to go blind this year.

But for the really important news, I finished a model rocket helicopter model for 1/4A model rocket engines(teeny tiny engines)! Yay! I hope to test fly it in the next day or two.
bigbumble: (Then I saw it)
So I get a phone call from a Hilton Honors Lady. It seems I should accept their wonderfull offer of 4 days and 3 nights in their Las Vegas hotel for a mere $200. Of course, I would have to work out a way to get there on my own. I declined her kind offer. Not to be deterred, she added additional worthless inducements. She did stop short of adding complimentary passes to a brothel when she found out I was single. After giving up on Las Vegas, she tried Utah and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with similar deals. I told her that I really didn't want to go to either place.

I told her I did want to go to the North Slope of Alaska next winter and watch for auroras. Apparently Hilton is short on hotels in Northern Alaska. Go figure. I mean, what could beat watching an aurora from inside a triple domed building while paddling around in a heated swimming pool? Before she finally hung up on me, she did say she would write down the idea and pass it along. I'm not holding my breath, but it couldn't hurt to ask.
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