Thursday, August 30, 2012

Minuteman Missile Silo Photos

A couple photos from the Minuteman Missile Natl Park from my visits in 2011 and 2009.

Control Panel

Missile Replica in the Silo

Preserved Silo

Ending August

Wrapping up August by recruiting Cub Scouts and getting ready for a family campout.

We had a good recruiting event for Pack 3094 - over a dozen new scouts and more to come.  Time to round up some more leadership - we need a cub master, treasurer, assistant-everything and a bunch of parent volunteers for committee positions.  But enough of that!

This weekend - Kanopolis State Park!  We'd planned to hit Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, but the tropical storm is raining that out.  So we're heading West, just outside Ellsworth, KS.  Canyons, hiking trails, lake, just an hour from the Cosmosphere, more.  IF we can get everything loaded in the minivan with 4 kids, it should be a good trip.

See if I can find a tripod out in the garage and try for some astrophotography with the ancient Canon 300d.

Time to get packin . . .

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday the 26th

Up late, dialed into church.  Weak commentary on violence in the Old Testament.  'sometimes you have to move a lot of dirt to find the gold'.  Really?    Anyway . . .

Cleared up Mom's yard, de-vined the bushes and pulled crabgrass.  Installed safety bars at the steps between levels.  Began clearing the garage and lining out family camping gear.  Drove out halfway to nowhere to pick the boys up.

Shot a few photos of the moon - nothing very good.  Need less gain, more tripod.  300mm lens, F11, 1/1000th second at ISO 1600.  The old Canon does not do high ISO photos very well.

And this morning (Monday now) I find out that Hurricane Issac is headed directly toward central Arkansas, where our camping trip is planned this weekend.  Not the best omen for a family camping trip!  Perhaps we re-orient for the Badlands and Wall Drug?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2009 Riding Map

Got some good riding in for 2009, until I broke my collarbone in karate.  That'll stop that for a while!

Started out with an MSTA lunch ride; I camped out (or tried to) at Devils Den State Park.  Then off to BearSTOC 09 in Montana and back, on the Ducati!

Zoom out for the full view . . .

View 2009 Riding in a larger map

Whitebalance Fail

Was playing with the new (to me) Canon 300D this weekend and set a custom white balance for the very yellow 'soft white' CFL bulbs in the living room.  Ambient light shots in the living room came out great.  The dear wife claims my shot of her in the living room looks like a studio shot.  Then I did some other shots, without changing the white balance.

With the on-camera flash:

Flash photo while using custom white balance for 3000k CFL lamp. Fail.

In the boy's bedroom with his 5000K 'Daylight' CFL lamp for backlighting:

Backlit 5000k (daylight) CFL with custom white balance set for 3000k CFL.  Fail, but interesting fail.

And a gorgeous blue cast fail with the same 'Daylight' CFL for side lighting:

Gorgeous blue fail - 5000k CFL lighting while using custom white balance for 3200k.

Lessons learned?  You can get cool effects with custom white balance.  Reminds me of the old film days where you'd use tungsten film outdoors, or outdoor film under tungsten lamps.   Also, reset your settings before you change lighting situations.

Riding your Motorcycle in the Wind

Reading on the CBR250R forum some good tips on riding in the wind.

1 - Use your knees to keep yourself anchored to the bike
2 - Loosen your grip on the handlebars. Don't fight the bike, it will self correct
3 - Loosen up your arms. This will help with posture and keeping your grip loose
4 - Acknowledge that you will not keep a straight line and will drift a bit
5 - Once the gust is over, reposition yourself in your lane

and most importantly:

If it's too windy, and you begin feeling unsafe, PULL OVER. Nothing says you are required to continue putting yourself at risk.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday Wrapup

Got the meal plan for Crater of Diamonds State Park lined up.  Basic but solid foods.  Now to pull the kit from the garage and get it packed and ready to go tomorrow.

Got Alec's room cleared and his new desk built and installed!  He's quite happy as you can see.  It's not the best quality, but it fit well in the space he had in his room.  Missing one part; we'll have to call Monday to get another hinge for the drop front desk.  Sigh.

Nikki and I stripped the middle boys room and re-organized their clothes, closet and drawers.  Came up with 2 huge bags of donations.  Got through totes and bags of out of season stuff too.

Didn't get over to Mom's to get her grab rails done; that's moved to tomorrow.  Going to be a busy afternoon!

Dinner at Cozy's Cafe near Downtown OP; amazing food and service with a great, quiet atmosphere.  Alec tried something new (salmon) and I think he liked it!

Lots of fun, laughter, geeking out and generally an excellent day.

Kickin it with Kahn

Alec just got logged into Kahn Academy today. He's working on exponent math right now - very focused!

Saturday plans

Supposed to rain today, putting a crimp in outside plans.  So, indoor plans:
* steel hand bars for moms house
* plan and pack for Crater of Diamonds State Park camping trip
* clear Alec's room for a cool folding desk from Target

Friday, August 24, 2012


Wonder what happened yesterday?  300% jump in traffic - all the way to 10(!) page views.

Hm - maybe that's live stats reflecting me visiting the blog as I updated it for the first time in 6 months.

Friday Activity

Today: Project kickoff at work.
Tonight: Alec fixed dinner.  Chicken spaghetti.   I unpacked books from my mom's old place.  Found Stephen King, Fred Saberhagen, more great stuff from the 80s.

Scanned in photos for Nikki while I was unpacking.

Now kicking off journaling on this dopey blog.

Friend of mine, Jeff Schnieder, got me on the 'dopey' saying instead of a pile of cusswords.  He's up in Minnesota, eh, getting fitted for a new Aerostich.

In a couple weeks, I'll be puttin on the 'stich and rolling to Bull Shoals Lake for the BS Rally.  Nice long ride on a stock seat on the CBR250r.  Still riding.  Not sure why - it hurts when you do it, and I dread the rides before I go.

Not sure what I'll do with the books - I haven't finished a book all year.  Last winter I read about a book a day - Zane Grey westerns.

Bloging - not so much

Not so much of a blogger.  Twitter and Facebook have claimed the short updates / linksharing I used to do. Turns out I've never been much at journaling / blogging.  Last time I journaled regularly was 1983. Made it a week. I went to IGA and bought soda.  Then called in sick to school the next day.

It was actually interesting seeing the old notes in my handwriting from 11 years old.

So, perhaps I'll start journaling here.  No one reads this so it's as good as private, eh?

Only drawback is it's typed; when folks go back through your stuff when you're dead, the typed work just isn't as interesting or personal as hand written notes.  I recall going through my dads stuff -- his handwritten notes were interesting; the typed manifestos, not so much.  Couldn't tell if he was writing it, or copying someone else.  No personality in the typed page - or at least not as much as a hand written journal or note.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have legible writing.  But once in a while it's good to note down what's going on in life in pen in a good bound book.  Give someone something to decipher.