Monday, August 16, 2010

August 2010

I'm crazy busy but I finally managed to write an update.

Family Stuff
We've done several small vacations at Ocean Grove , a quiet little town just south of Asbury Park on the Jersey shore. Great beach, clean and well groomed sand with excellent lifeguard and beach operations staff.  Plain boardwalk that's well maintained, with clean changing facilities and showers. Ocean Grove is particularly interesting as it started as a Methodist camp town. The original tent homes are still used and definitely worth a town committee tour. My wife loves checking these house tents out every time we go.
There are no bars, so Ocean Grove attracts more family oriented visitors. If you like your beach without rowdy, partying crowds check out Ocean Grove.

The shops are neat and Barbaric Bean on the smallish main drag does a fairly decent espresso.
For fantastic, fairly priced ice cream: Forgo the mess over at Nagles on Main and walk several blocks over to 48 Pitman to relish the superior product and service at Day's Ice Cream.

We made the trip to Pine Island, NY for METRA's NERRF 6 rocket festival on June 25-27, 2010.
Like last year it was oppressively hot. Thank god for EZ-Up tents, ice cold water and good company.
The kids and I were joined by my brother Dave and his wife Pattie, Friday and Saturday. Our friends the Walkowiaks came on Saturday.
My girls flew their well-used Performance Rocketry Little Dogs as well as their newly made 29 mm Stealths.

Art Applewhite's Stealth's are great, look like stealthy pyramids. These rockets fly low and slow and recover extremely well, even in high winds. I'm considering buying the 54 mm to use with one of my favorite motors, Aerotech J275W.

I managed to put my favorite rocket, Smoke on the Water, a 4" diameter Binder Design custom fiberglass job up on the incredible Kosdon KBA L2300 motor. This quick-burning, green flamed L motor is the largest I've flow to date and it's quite impressive that it fires it's whole load of propellant within 1 second.
The flight went quite well with a tad of wind cocking on the way up. It computer simulated to Mach 1.2, however my data acq altimeter didn't operate properly so I can't confirm if it passed MACH. I recovered well thanks to a GPS tracker in the nose and a helpful farmhand. Final altitude was approx 7400 feet-would have done 9,000 if it hadn't cocked.

L-R Myself and brother Dave prepping Smoke

Smoke launching on KBA L2300-FAST!
I'll redo the data acquisition altimeter and fly the KBA L2300 again at Red Glare 9 and see if I get past Mach on this rocket.

My friend Steve and his daughter had some cool flights. Steve flew his largest motor to date an I600 Red on his finely crafted Binder Design Galaxy.

Steve W's Galaxy on an I600 Red

Finally after trucking the thing to three different launches Steve put up his Q-modeling Vega. A very nicely detailed low power rocket. I missed the flight but from the pictures the thing flew arrow straight. The rocket is designed with cool outerrigger pods with working shock absorbers, and Steve's rocket recovered nicely on them.
Steve's Q-Modeling Vega, exquisitely finished

Upcoming launches: We are eagerly awaiting the announcement for when our club: Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association Red Glare 9 will be scheduled, either October or November. This launch will benefit the Susan G Komen for the Cure. Our group will be my twin girls, my brother & sister in-law and some friends. Perhaps Marisa will join us...

Level 3 Certification
Still chugging along with my Level 3 certification scratch-build rocket, Cerberus. My unique homebrew carbon fiber rocket design with outrigger engine pods. I plan to make major progress with this build in September 2010 and flying it at Red Glare 9.

Mixed Martial Arts

My MMA/Kick-boxing training at Tiger Schulman's in Hoboken proceeds well however I did pull my right calf muscle last month during training. Occurred when I was starting to execute a right roundhouse kick. My legs are pretty strong and I did stretch well before so who knows why it happened.

The calf  was pretty swollen so saw an Orthopedic doctor. She said it was a partial pull but didn't seem like any ligament damage. So my kicking exrcises are keyed down until I see the Ortho later this month.
Been training twice a week with 9 PM core courses and one adv kick boxing class. Currently a high-white belt with a secondary stripe. I feel much stronger and look a lot fitter than when I started 8 months ago. Go me!
Our sensei, Kat Diaz is competing this September in a pro MMA tournament at the Capitale on Bowery St. It will be the first MMA pro event I attend and my wife will be coming with me. Buddy Jeff and some other friends at class will be there.

Science Fiction
I finished reading Windup Girl. It was...exquisite. As one reviewer mentions, it's similar to Neuromancer but without computers..I really hope Bacigalupi offers us more of this world.
What's funny is the cover art put me off when I initially saw it--the picture of the elephant and bazaar background...just ew....

To-read list: Amazon just delivered my copies of William's Machinery of Light the third and final book in the Autumn Rain trilogy. This one looks to be the best of the three. Also got River of Gods,  the first book I'll be reading by McDonald.
Some great science fiction discussion can be found here at SFF World Forums

Inception: Director Christopher Nolan did a great job on this. Cool, layered dream sequences that flow together. The movie asks the ever important question: What is really real? Highly recommended but there are some fundamental flaws: Parts of the film were a bit dumbed down with unnecessary explanations being made to 'supposed' experts in their field. There's some interesting discussion regarding every bit of the film at the fan forums here.
After seeing Inception I had to go back and watch his Academy Award Nominee, Memento again, which is his best film in my opinion.