• Birds – Memorial Day

    Went to my parents house for dinner this memorial day weekend which also meant I got to do a little bird photography while I was there. I was very happy to see the pileated woodpecker show up and saw three orioles, although they all decided to show up when we were inside eating. Also caught a glimpse of a humming bird as well as several other birds.

    Blue Jay

    Blue Jay

    Female Cardinal

    Female Cardinal

    Pileated Woodpecker

    Pileated Woodpecker

    Chipmunk

    Chipmunk

    Baltimore Oriole

    Baltimore Oriole

    Nuthatch

    Nuthatch

    There are more birds and outdoor photos in my flickr gallery.

  • Super Sunday?

    This weekend I finally had time enough and good enough weather to break out my HobbyZone Super Cub LP model airplane. I bought this guy last fall along with a flight simulator to use to learn to fly over the winter. This was the first weekend I wasn’t too busy and had good enough weather to try it out. I can tell you this is one durable little plane thank god!

    Super Cub

    Super Cub

    After assembling, binding, reading the instructions (though not all of them apparently) and watching the instructional video a few times I took the plane out for a flight. First flight I let the thing go and it lurched hard to the right. I tried to correct by pulling up and trying to get it straightened out, but instead I lost lift and nosed it into the ground. I lost a few pieces off the tip of the wing at this point too.

    I gave it another shot and got it into the air a bit longer, but was still suffering from severe control issues. Ultimately I crash landed again. At this point I realized that the tail was not in a neutral position which was causing the severe pull to the right. In retrospect, the chipped left wing was now also pulling it left, so things were in quite a crazy state at this point. I tried to straighten the tail using the fine tuning on the transmitter. Then gave it a third ill fated flight where I didn’t throttle up enough for some reason and nosed it into the ground.

    Flight four was a success as I got it airborne and flew it for 7 minutes. I even executed a loop. Kind of lost a little control a few times, but it was at this point I realized that the plane had a pull to the left. The same left wing that had a chip out of it. I’m going to find out from the hobby shop this week if the chip was enough to cause the pull to the left, or if I still had a tail alignment issue, or if I had the wing on off center. After flying for a while I tried to land and managed a controlled crash landing.

    With not much damage I made flight five. Did a loop and some circles before the throttle seemed to sputter a bit. I knew I was probably close to being out of batteries so I decided to try and land the plane. It was headed my direction and I briefly thought I could just catch the plane out of the air. I thought better and dodged out of the way in time to perform my second “crash” landing.

    All in all the plane still appears functional, and I did have a successful 7 minute flight, so I’d call it a success.

  • Mother’s Day Birding

    A trip to my parent’s house on Mother’s Day gave me a chance to take some shots of their birds. They’ve got a good number of feeders and usually attract a good variety of birds. Got some good shots of a white crowned sparrow and some gold finches on the feeder. I hope to get some woodpecker and oriole shots this summer.

    White Crowned Sparrow

    White Crowned Sparrow

    Gold Finches

    Gold Finches

    There are more birds and outdoor photos in my flickr gallery.

  • Boston 2011

    We made a quick in and out trip to Boston this past weekend to catch 2 Red Sox games at Fenway. Last year we decided that rather than taking several trips to Boston for Red Sox games we should try and get a couple back to back games to maximize our baseball and save ourselves some driving back and forth. We got some good tickets to the Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels, and made the best of what turned out to be a surprisingly warm first weekend in may. First stop was the “new” Boston Garden where we visited the Boston Sports Museum. Lots of neat stuff in there, plus the employees were getting the rink ready for Wednesday night’s Semi-Conference finals game against the Philadelphia Flyers so we saw them checking out all the displays, score board, and sound the goal horn. It was really cool, and really empty.

    Boston Garden

    Boston Garden

    Champions

    Champions

    obstructed view

    obstructed view

    Monday night was the first game at Fenway Park since the anti-terrorist raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, and the Red Sox organization went all out to honor our country. We had a couple Celtics and Bruins joined by a war veteran throw out the first pitches. Had members of the military come out for a moment of silence before the game and national anthem. And, the Red Sox unfurled their huge American flag over the Green Monster, which is usually only reserved for opening/patriots day games. So that was really cool to see. Plus the Red Sox won the game! Hooray!

    Fenway Flag

    Fenway Flag

    NESN

    NESN

    Tuesday we went to the Boston Museum of Art and saw a really great Chihuly glass exhibit as well as some of the ancient art from Egypt, Greece, and Rome. We enjoyed the Japanese Garden outside in the courtyard of the museum. Afterwards we went to the New England Aquarium for a while and visited the new Shark and Ray Touch Tank where we got to touch the many rays that swam by. We saw the penguins too. Afterwards it was on to fenway for our second game. The Red Sox won this game too, and we saw David Ortiz hit another home run (his third of the season was Monday, and fourth was Tuesday).

    Boston

    Boston

    Chihuly Glass Art

    Chihuly Glass Art

    Chihuly Glass Art

    Chihuly Glass Art

    Chihuly Glass Art

    Chihuly Glass Art

    All in all a really great, if not really quick trip.