bigbumble: (Egglofter)
2016-10-02 02:22 pm
Entry tags:

National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet

NARAM as it is usually known as. I am going to be Contest Director (CD) next year. I have finished talking to the National Contest Chair and we have worked out a final list of ten contest events. It will run from July 29 to August 5 next year 2017. The hotel is in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the flying field just east of Muskegon, Michigan. Even if you don't fly rockets, you are welcome to come watch.
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
2016-08-23 12:55 pm
Entry tags:

International model rocket stuff

The International model rocket contest (Internats) live coverage is starting now. Just in case you haven't had enough Olympics.
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
2016-08-04 06:58 pm
Entry tags:

Rocket Recap

Well, my plastic model of a lunar lander survived its flight. In fact it had a most excellent flight and I moved up to second place. So my overall results at NARAM were two second places, in plastic model conversion and 1/2A-superroc altitude, and a first place in C-parachute duration multi-round. Combined they gave me a 3rd place overall in C division.

bigbumble: (Egglofter)
2016-07-29 01:23 am
Entry tags:

NARAM rocket contest

Yesterday I placed second in 1/2A superroc altitude. Today I took first place in C parachute duration multiround. 1/2A superroc is a skinny little 1 meter tall rocket that I managed to get 103 meters into the sky. In C parachute duration multiround I managed to get 36 inch diameter parachutes into 3/4 inch diameter tubes. I had two flights of over 5 minutes and 1 flight that was timed until 8 seconds short of 5 minutes.

Tomorrow is "Plastic Death". We will see if my plastic model survives.
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
2016-07-23 11:21 pm
Entry tags:

National Rocket Contest

I've made it safely to the 100 degree heat of Springfield, MO for NARAM. I've learned that I won't be giving a talk for my R&D project. Oh well, at least I get valuable flight points. Tomorrow I have to rebuild a model for E-Scale Altitude. Any good hobby is spiced with a certain amount of masochism.
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
2016-03-03 01:31 pm
Entry tags:

Coffee Barista Herpatologist

I was at the local coffee shop last week and the discussion turned to scary things. The barista admitted to being bothered by spiders with too many legs, but that snakes and lizards didn't bother her. It seems she has several pet lizards at home.

I mentioned that I had seen several lizards crawling about during my travels through Mali on the way to Timbuktu. I even had a photograph of one. I brought the picture in to the coffee shop yesterday and she identified it, with the help of a smart phone, as a Rainbow Agama or Agama agama to be scientific. Apparently it is a member of the iguana family of lizards.

The broken tail is likely the result of battles with other male lizards.
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
2015-09-28 12:59 pm

Local glass working shop in Kalamazoo

We have been fortunate to have the West Michigan Glass Arts Center in my area. The center has fallen on hard times and is asking for help. I personally have donated a substantial sum to the cause. Here is the kickstarter:

Check out the nifty glass rewards for a donation.
bigbumble: (Blood Donation)
2015-09-19 08:08 am

My Brother Dan

My brother Dan is dying of inoperable liver cancer. Neither alcohol or smoking were the causes. ( nonsmoker, extremely light drinker)

A year ago last summer he traveled with me to NARAM ( the national model rocket contest). We went on a side trip to Yellowstone that he enjoyed immensely. We camped at the same campground we stay at during our childhood trip "out West".
bigbumble: (Tricycle)
2015-08-15 08:31 am

No more Lightfoot Cycles

Lightfoot Cycles, the company I bought my giant tall fat guy tricycle from, went out of business today. (see userpic) I was checking out their web page last night and learned the sad news. I still have my trike, but that means I won't be able to replace it when the time comes. I'm convince it is the reason I am alive today, since riding it is the major exercise I get.
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
2015-08-14 12:42 pm

Musecon Blinkie

I have learned that a Musecon Blinkie can operate at least 72 hours on the original battery.
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
2015-06-28 01:47 pm

Kalamazoo Irish Fest

I went to the Kalamazoo Irish fest Friday night to see The Tooles with Amy McNally:
bigbumble: (Tricycle)
2015-03-17 07:48 pm

Doctor Appointment

The results indcate that I am probably not going to die this year.  And it's getting to be tricycle season!

bigbumble: (Two gallon donor)
2015-02-03 06:59 pm

Be nice to me.

Donated a pint O'Blood today and dragged along my nephew Andy who donated a pint as well. So two pints of O+ in the bank. Afterwards we retired to the restaurant for a steak dinner.
bigbumble: (Train Traffic Cone)
2014-12-14 08:22 pm

This week's adventure's

In two days I am off to my niece's PhD graduation in Clemson, South Carolina. This will take a minimum of 3 days for the trip. The graduation is on Thursday and I will head out Tuesday night and stay at my brother Walter's house in West Milton, Ohio (near Dayton), then finish the trip on Wednesday. I hope to get back late Friday or early Saturday. The annual cookie decorating party is at my place next Sunday afternoon and this old rumpled hermit needs to shovel out his house before the guests arrive.

In other news, I picked up a new Oxford World Atlas using a 25% off coupon at Barnes and Noble. It is the sort of book I can stare at for hours on end. It is also Very Heavy.
bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
2014-10-27 03:03 pm
Entry tags:


Classic long hair musician Brooke demonstrates the proper way to play the Banjo-Viol.

bigbumble: (Octopus and Traffic Cone)
2014-10-25 01:55 pm

OVFF 2014

Cat Faber and the latest instrument case fashion statement at OVFF.

bigbumble: (Then I saw it)
2014-09-08 09:41 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

What is wrong with this sign?

bigbumble: (Timbuktu)
2014-08-07 07:58 pm

Yellowstone Park

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:


More pictures beyond the cut.
Read more... )
bigbumble: (Egglofter)
2014-04-11 08:42 am

Light Bulbs and Ion Drive

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.
bigbumble: (Blood Donation)
2014-04-08 09:53 pm
Entry tags:

Be nice to me

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.