Wednesday, December 24, 2003

The Mothership has landed at Tranquility Cove. No, not the Tranquility
Cove on the moon but the one in South Carolina. We drove straight
through from Kitty Hawk to this location in seven hours last Saturday.
We have really tested the heating system of the Mothership because one
night it got down to 23 degrees and with the dual furnaces we were cozy
as can be. We are spending Christmas with Bob's mom and dad and
enjoying just kicking back and relaxing. Bob helped his dad activate
the second tuner on his Tivo yesterday. We ran a second coax feed from
his dish which already had a 4 output multiswitch on it. So, it was an
easy job and it is really nice having that second tuner running so he
can record one channel while watching another or record two different
channels at the same time.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


This is the Harry Combs replica. The guys on the Wright Experience
Team, (the ones that attempted the flight), suggested that we walk up
and take a look at this one. They said their replica was a little worn
from all of the flying and that this one was a pristine replica. We
actually felt the Wright Experience Replica was probably more like what
the Wright Brother's plane looked like after all of its flights.
Actually, as you can see in the photo below, the Wright Experience
Replica is quite beautiful. We told them that they had done a wonderful
job at demonstrating what a difficult thing the Wrights had
accomplished. Mr. Combs, now 80, is a significant figure in the
aviation field. He was president of Gates Learjet Corporation from 1971
to 1982 and commisioned this copy of the 1903 Flyer. The reproduction
was built with over $1 million donated by Combs. The plane was donated
by Mr. Combs to the Wright Memorial on December 17, 2003 and will be on
permanent display at the Visitor Center at the Wright Memorial.

Today, Thursday, June 18, is the day after the official closing of the
Centennial of Flight Celebration. We drove by the memorial and the main
entrance was closed but we decided to go around to the First Flight
Airport to ask if we could come in and take photographs. Everyone we
talked to were friendly and told us we were welcome to walk in and take
photos. We went to the Wright Experience EAA Pavillion and talked with
the members of the team who said it would be fine if we took photos.
This is a small example of one of the photos. I am going to create an
album to store the higher resolution images. I will post a link to that
site when it has been completed.

Wright Experience - Reconstructing the Wright Brothers' Legacy

Wright Experience - Reconstructing the Wright Brothers' Legacy
The above link is to the website published by the group that created and learned to fly the replica of the 1903 Flyer. It is the most complete assemblage of information, photos, and documents relating to the Wright Brothers and their flight experiments.

2003 - Vol. 31, No. 12 - Capturing History - The Daniels/Wright Photograph

2003 - Vol. 31, No. 12 - Capturing History - The Daniels/Wright Photograph

The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers

The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers The Library of Congress Collection.

Root Candles

Mr. A. I. Root's account of the Wright Brother's activities, Jan 1, 1905
Mr. Root was a beekeeper who wrote extensive books called, "Gleanings in Bee Culture." I learned of Mr. Root from my dad who was an avid beekeeper many years ago. The following quote is from The Root Candles Website by Amos Ives Root:
"A.I. was a visionary with faith in others who dared to dream. A friend of the Wright Brothers, he published the first account of their flight (found today in the Smithsonian Institute) when few others believed what they had done. He was a humanitarian lauded by 11 year old Helen Keller for his kindness. "

The Root Candles Website

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Aviators are a persistent group of people. This was the view around
eight o'clock this morning in cold pouring rain. The word was out that
the best view was from the hill where the monument is located. We
chose to try to be close to the starting point but the rain prevented
the attempt from taking place while we were out at the field. We are
both too tired and cold to go back out but you can be assured that most
of the people you see in this photo are still out there watching. - Bush honors anniversary of first flight - Dec. 17, 2003

CNN filed this excellent report. An attempt to fly took place a few minutes ago but the wind was not sufficient to help the small 12 horsepower engine and the Flyer ran the length of the rail but did not leave the ground. We must remember that the Wrights did their testing at Kitty Hawk because of the wind. The day they flew the wind was blowing over 20 mph. During this afternoon's attempt it was no where near that velocity. There is no doubt that another attempt will be made soon. - Bush honors anniversary of first flight - Dec. 17, 2003
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An impressive force travels with the president. These are only some of
the helicopters that arrived with him. These were Marine Corps Blackhawks.
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The president departs in his helicopter. After about half an hour Air
Force One flew over the field.
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We watched President Bush make a speech but had to watch him on the
Jumbotron since we were on the other side of the field near the takeoff
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Here we are about an hour into the rain. At this point we were still
hopeful that the clouds might lift and the Flyer would make its
flight. But, after a couple of more hours of this we could take it no
longer and returned home.
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This photo says it all. The flight this morning was scrubbed due to
weather. We arrived before daylight and within an hour were huddled
under a small umbrella in pouring rain. We did get to see the
president and John Travolta so that was neat. We are back in our house
drying out. We just turned on the tv and CNN says the attempt to fly is
going to happen in thirty minutes. After a couple of hours we were both
soaked to the bone and so cold that we could not stand it any longer. We
don't even think we can get back to the field in that amount of time so
we will probably just watch it on CNN. They may do it again tomorrow
and if they do I will go back out. Barbara has had it with mud, rain,
and cold.
It is 5:35 AM and we have had breakfast and are getting dressed for our trip to the Wright Memorial. The weather forecast calls for light rain this morning followed by a break and then heavier rains after that. We are hoping they can get in an attempt to fly during the interval in the rains. Our dilemna is how to dress. It is warm this morning, around sixty degrees F, and after the rain passes through it is supposed to drop to cooler temperatures. We are going to try to take our big umbrella and hope security will let us take it inside. John Travolta is the master of ceremonies this morning and rumor has it that the president will be there for the ceremony. This is the big day and we hope the flight will be successful. We are exctied and will be on our way to the shuttle pick up shortly.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Today the Celebration of Flight honored all of the aviation greats. On stage were John Glen, Buzz Aldrin, Bob Hoover, Chuck Yeager, Jeana Yeager, and many others. It was an amazing assemblage of aviation greats. Tomorrow is the big day for the reenactment of the first flight. The weather forecast is for rain and wind so we are not sure how it will go but we are planning on being there VERY early in the morning. We plan on catching the shuttle around six in the morning.
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Barbara contemplates some of the major milestones of aviation highlighted in the Century of Flight Monument.
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We discovered this wonderful monument to 100 years of flight. It is located at the Kitty Hawk, NC visitor centor. Each of the metallic columns contains plaques that document major milestones of aviation from all over the world for the last 100 years. It was a very well done and informative monument. The metallic columns, polished metal, gave the monument an aviation feeling while honoring all of the major accomplishments. We learned a lot and both Barbara and I continue to be amazed at the dramatic advancements that have taken place over a very short period of time. Images :: Outer Banks Horses

Here are the photos we took of the Outer Banks Art Horses. We took a break from the Centennial to track down the horses that are part of the celebration of the one hundredth year of flight. We met other people who were photographing the horses and spoke with a lady at a gallery who was involved in painting some of the horses and for keeping them looking freshly painted. There are about a hundred or so of these winged horses at various locations. Tomorrow's weather forecast is for some rain and wind. We are glad we came because we now have a better feel for the weather conditions that the Wright Brothers had to deal with out here. Enjoy the horse photos by clicking on the link below. Images :: Outer Banks Horses

Monday, December 15, 2003

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This is a replica of one of the Wright Gliders in the Centennial of
Flight Pavillion. The exhibit also contained very interesting displays
about the Wrights, the Outer Banks, and examples of what conditions were
like back then. We have learned that the Wrights dealt with a Category
II hurricane, extreme winds and temperatures, and clouds of mosquitoes
that would block the sun. They called the cold nights "five blanket
nights." These guys had to really want to fly badly. The other thing
that we have learned is that they approached the flight problem very
methodically. They seem to have been among the first to use a project
management approach to solving the problem through experimentation,
design, and testing.

Winged Horses of the Outer Banks

Winged Horses of the Outer Banks

Outer Banks Press: Winged Horse Extravaganza

Outer Banks Press: Winged Horse Extravaganza
We have been seeing these really neat horses at various places out here on the Outer Banks. We are going to take some photos of as many as we can locate.

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Kitty Hawk and the Outer Banks Horse article.

Kitty Hawk and the Outer Banks Horse article.
Seems that the horses are so popular that people are rustling them.
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Another crowd shot. Look closely at the horizon on the monument hill
and you will see a small fraction of the thousands of people climbing to
the top.
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Here is a closeup of the Orville statue that is part of the Wright Flyer
Monument and sculpture. Note the boy climbing on board next to Orville.
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This is Barbara standing next to the Wright Flyer Monument that was
dedicated last Friday. It is an all metal copy of the Flyer. We
noticed that kids loved it because they could climb on it and pretend to
be flying it. There is a statue of Orville lying on the wing as if he
were flying.
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I think there is pretty good coverage of this event. Look at the
network satellite dishes. I am sure there will be DVDs published after
the event. Set your Tivos or VCRs for December 17th at 8pm and 11pm for
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This is a shot of the "Heritage Flight" flyovers. This one is a P-51
Mustang with two A-10 Warthogs and an F-15 Strike Eagle. There were
several flyovers with P-51s and modern fighters in various
configurations. Very impressive. One flight was the P-51 and the F-15
in TIGHT formation. On the final pass the F-15 pilot kicked in the
afterburner and climbed away and the P-51 peeled off. We were impressed.
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Yes, it was as cold as it looks. We enjoyed talking with the gentleman
who took this picture for us. He said that he was an aircrew member in
dive bombers during World War II and was also a sailplane pilot. He
told us of flying off Vero Beach, Florida at 10,000 feet at night to
serve as practice targets for the F6-F pilots who were practicing
intercepting them as targets. He said they would fly back and forth for
four hours at a time and that it was very cold. He was waiting for his
wife and grand nephew who had climbed up to the memorial. His grand
nephew was 13 years old and lives in Oregon. He wrote them letters a
year ago and planned to attend. He was laughing that the letters
arrived addressed with only their first names in pencil.
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Our first day at the Wright Memorial was cold and breezy. This photo
gives you an idea of the thousands of people who attended today.
Transportation was excellent with travel to the memorial on shuttle
buses that pick up at regular intervals along the beach highway. There
is a pickup about two blocks from where we are staying so that worked
out well. We suspect that in those thousands of people there was
probably a high number of pilots based on the conversations we
overheard. All of the people we talked to were either pilots or had
served in the military as air crews. All were extremely friendly and
fun to talk to. We did not get to go in the Experimental Aircraft
Pavillion where the Wright Flyer Simulator is located but will do that
tomorrow. The field where the flight is to take place was still wet and
muddy from the rain on Sunday. I spoke with one of the Emergency
Medical guys and he said it would be completely dried out by Wednesday,
the day of the flight reenactment.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

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We drove along the beach yesterday and saw a few homes that are still
showing damage from the recent hurricane. This is a particularly
dramatic instance. We feel bad for the owners.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

We arrived in Kitty Hawk and drove by the Wright Monument on the way to our rented cottage. Lots of activity going on but by the time we got settled it was too late to attend today. We were lucky enough to catch complete coverage on tape on the local public channel. While driving back from getting lunch we saw someone hang gliding over the beach. This person's airmanship was so astonishing that we had to park and watch. He was flying over the dunes and the buildings in 25 mph winds. He was actually working the lift off individual buildings. I have never seen such skill in my life. I snapped this shot from a distance.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

We are in South Carolina on our way to Kitty Hawk for the Centennial of Flight Celebration. Spending one night here in SC and then off to Kitty Hawk in the morning. Had a great trip yesterday except for the last hour and half which was absolutely awful in driving wind and rain.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Sony ImageStation Product - DSC-F828 Cyber-shot® Digital Still Camera

My goodness! An 8 megapixel camera from Sony for $999. I remember when a digital camera less than this capability costs $12,000. Amazing!

Sony ImageStation Product - DSC-F828 Cyber-shot® Digital Still Camera

Monday, November 03, 2003


This map shows the overall route of our trip. The main route was 1,907
miles which does not count all of the side trips and exploration that we
did. Have not totaled all of the gasoline consumed yet. That will be
interesting to see. We have traded our Saturn for a PT Cruiser and that
will be our towed vehicle. It is about 500 pounds heavier than the
Saturn so that will be a factor on our next trip. We are planning on
installing an auxiliary braking system in the Cruiser for safety sake.
I have a lot more observations on the trip to post but will do that at a
future date.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003


Barbara and a couple o friends she met at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. =

My Uncle Edgar walks through the rainforest exhibit at the Botanical Gardens in Atlanta.

We have been at Stone Mountain, Georgia for two days now. Yesterday, we visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They have a great tropical plant house and orchid house. The faciity is quite nice and we highly recommend a visit to anyone in Atlanta. The plant houses are grouped by climate and it was fun to go from tropical rainforest to tropical mountains as we walked. I must say that the Andes were the most pleasant enviornment being cool and damp. The orchids and other plants were very unusual and beautiful. We get underway in the morning to head south. We have had a wonderful visit with my aunt and uncle and will have dinner with my cousin and her family tonight.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

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This is a photo of the shop at Tinker Creek Woodworks in Roanoke, Va. We had a great visit with the owner and master woodworker, Rob Erwin. Must have spent an hour and a half talking about wood and woodworking. We bought some items for our home here.

Thursday, October 16, 2003


This is our neighborhood here in Salem, Virginia. It is a real little
village. Note the niced paved streets and parking areas on the sites.
We are at the back of an area of permenant modular homes. The school bus
runs every day and the garbage trucks come once a week. Everyone has
been very friendly and helpful here. Not bad for only twelve bucks a

This image is the route we are planning to take on the next leg of our
trip. Our destination is Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta with an
intermediate stop at a campground in Gaffney, SC. Our present plans are
to depart Roanoke on Sunday, October 19. We will spend the night at
Gaffney, SC and continue on to Stone Mountain the next day, Monday,
October 20.
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Just a sample of the fall colors. The mountains are brilliant with color.
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A classic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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While driving the Blue Ridge Parkway we stopped at the Peaks of Otter
Lodge and Restaurant for lunch. This is the view from our table looking
at Sharp Top Mountain. There is a road going almost all the way to the
top but you have to take a bus to get there. We did not take the ride
up this time but when we did a few years ago it was really scary. There
were steep drop offs and the bus seemed like an old school bus converted
to ferry service on the mountain. The guy driving said he had not lost
anyone, YET! The view from our table at the Peaks of Otter Restuarant
was like a scene on a postcard.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

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Monday, October 13, 2003, we drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway near
Roanoke. The Parkway extends 469 miles along the southern Appalachians
and links two national parks - Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains
National Parks. We entered the Parkway near Roanoke and drove northeast
enjoying the fall leaves and the cool temperatures. While the leaves
have not peaked to their maximum color they are nearly so and very
beautiful. The cool mountain air was refreshing and we saw many people
relaxing and just enjoying being outside. Last night, Tuesday, October
14, a cold front passed through rapidly bringing very high winds and
rain. Some trees in the area were blown down and the power was out in
some areas. Today is clear and pleasant but still very windy. This
photo was taken near Roanoke Mountain.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Parked in Roanoke

Left Statesville, NC this morning around 9 or 10. Climbed into the
hills on I-77 reaching 2,788 ft. as we passed Fancy Gap, Virginia. I-77
into Virginia is a beautiful drive as it climbs into the wooded hills.
The trees are just starting to show signs of color and will probably
reach their peak in another week or so. The fog had not burned off
completely but visibility was still pretty good. Turning east onto I-81
and joining the convoys of 18 wheelers that use this route the sun began
to burn the fog away. We enjoyed seeing the color patterns in the trees
and noticed that some of them were changing to fall colors from the top

We arrived in Salem, Va around noon and drove to the campground location
using our GPS. We were worried about there actually being a campground
at that location because we saw none of the usual camping roadside
signs. We arrived at the location and found a modular home village
called Salem Village. No one was in the office so after waiting around
for thirty minutes or so for someone to show up we decided to go ahead
and drive through. We found some motorhomes parked in the back of the
area. I knocked on the door of one and a very friendly gentleman
recommended that I just pick a site and setup. He said that they were
pretty casual here and we could park and locate the management later.
He did indicate that the creek behind the campground floods if there is
a lot of rain but we have our weather radio and always keep an eye to
the sky. The gentleman that we met said if heavy rains are forecast we
will just crank up our engines and head for higher ground. The forecast
is good though. The campground area is clean and quiet and those are two
things we like a lot.

Underway for Roanoke

We are on our way to Roanoke, Virginia. The map is the GPS location of
our campground near Statesville, NC. As we approached Charlotte, NC on
the way here we saw a sign that said, "I-485 Freeway." It appeared on
the map to be a bypass around the downtown part of the city. What we
did not know that it was incomplete and found ourselves on a small two
lane highway in a fifty foot rig including the auto in tow. Fortunately
we were running the GPS with a moving map display on the laptop. With
the aid of the GPS we were able to navigate our way back to the
interstate. While it was not a path we would have intenionally chosen we
both found ourselves not stressed out about it. The fact that we are not
on a limited number of days as we were while working had a lot to do
with it. We just saw it as an interesting diversion since we are not
using up our limited annual leave days. We saw parts of Charlotte that
we would never have seen had we not taken the incomplete beltway road.
It was also a good thing that we called ahead and made a reservation at
a campground because when we arrived we found it filling up fast.

We drove over to Statesville and were surprised at the development that
has taken place since we last visited here. The last visit was well
over ten years ago when we picked the first glider I owned, a Libelle
H-201 that I bought in Elizabethton, Tennessee. On that trip we went on
to Blacksburg, Va. to visit Barbara's mom and dad and then came back by
Statesville. We both remembered that Statesville was a small town at
that time and the only place to eat was a local barbecue place, The
Carolina Barbecue. We had a lot of fun that time because people kept
asking us what was in the sailplane trailer. When I told them it was an
airplane they were disappointed. Most people in this area wanted it to
be a race car of some type and they expressed their disappointment at it
not being one.

That's about all the news from The Mothership for now. No internet
connectivity at this time so this will be uploaded at the next place I
can get online.


Monday, October 06, 2003

Uncle Bill's new car (note the WWII glider logo on the door)

We got up at 6 am this morning and drove into Sumter, SC to have breakfast with all of my aunts and uncles. Bill, who is 90, treated us all to breakfast. He has just returned from a World War II Glider Pilot's Convention in North Carolina. My cousin, his son, went with him to the convention. Bill is on a tight schedule because he has to return to his home in Fort Walton Beach to attend an invitational radio control model airplane meet. Bill is a talented RC flyer and builder. This is Bill's Pontiac Vibe which he just bought to transport his models to the flying field.
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Sunday, October 05, 2003

Mural by Carl

Carl's mural at a local restuarant near Columbia. His specialty is Tromp L' Oeil, "fool the eye", murals and production design for shows, live, film, or television. He is works as art director for theatre, film, and television shows. Ok, a shameless plug for my friened. He is Carl E. Copeland, (803) 996-5665, Fax (803) 857-8066, 5354 Augusta Road, Lexington, SC, 29072.

Great Day.

We had a great day with friends and family. Jack and Emily Shuman, my cousin and her husband, invited us over to their home near Columbia for a great meal and hospitality. Emily invited my old friend Carl Copeland and we had a great time reminiscing about old times. Carl has had more adventures and experiences in his life than twenty normal people. He should write a book. He is a very talented artist having worked on many movies and television shows. The mural in the above photo was painted by Carl in a local restaurant.

We visited the fantastic home theatre that my cousin, John, built in his home. Visit John's web site at to see details. John's web site has some great photos but nothing can convey the quality of his theatre like an actual visit. Kudos to John for creating a world class home theatre. I don't think I have ever heard a more perfect sound rendering when playing a cd than in John's theatre. Wish I had taken more photos but the web site has some great photos and info.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Our table at the supper club


Mom and dad belong to a group that meets on a regular basis to have dinner or "supper" as it is called in this area. We were privileged to be invited as guests to a wonderful meal and good fellowship. The decorations and table settings were beautifully done.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


The weather continues to bless us with intensely clear days and crisp
cool nights. It has been in the mid to upper seventies each day and
down in the fourties at night. We are enjoying the temperatures and the
low humidity a lot. The heat in the camper comes on a couple of times
early in the morning so we know the motorhome is well insulated. It is
great not having to unpack and pack each time we arrive at a
destination. We have been in SC parked in my parents yard since last
Friday. Today, the installer arrives to put in my folk's new DirecTv
system with a DirecTivo as part of the package. We think they will
enjoy the convenience of the Tivo a lot.

My dad is having his house repainted while we are here. The house is
looking nice in its new coat of paint. They are doing a great job on
the painting.

We have not visited other family yet. We plan on doing that this
weekend. Friday night we are having dinner with a group of my mom and
dad's friends and on Sunday we are traveling to my cousin's house for a
big get together where we will see a lot of the family. Our plans are
to depart next week and work our way up to Virginia to see Barbara's
brother and sister-in-law. We always enjoy their warm hospitality and
have a lot of fun with them. After that we hope to catch the fall
leaves in the mountains and work our way back down to Atlanta where we
plan on visiting my aunt and uncle for a couple of days.

Yesterday we watched a gaggle of Canada Geese in the front yard. We
have been treated to beautiful sunsets every evening. Tried to capture
them with the camera but that never does justice to the real event.
That is about it for now.....more updates to follow.

Monday, September 29, 2003


Cool Morning

Woke up to a cool crisp morning. Must be in the low 50's. Just watched the Weather Channel and they said temps are running up to 10 degrees below normal for every area except S. Florida. It is a refreshing change from the hot, humid, and rainy weather at home. We have been helping my dad get his entertainment system rewired and will make another trip to Florence, SC this morning to exchange some stuff we bought yesterday that did not work out as expected. We are having a nice visit with mom and dad but have been very busy doing those kinds of things for them.

The sailing club meeting was nice. Sailing was slow with light winds so no excitement there but the hospitality of the club members was wonderful. We had a lot of fun there talking with the club members and enjoying a fantastic covered dish dinner with everyone. That was their last race of the season and it was a time for some to say goodbye for the winter. I met some people I had gone to high school with and we had some fun talking about people we knew and remembering some of those times.

Sunday, September 28, 2003


We have had warm weather for the first two days here in SC but the
weather is changing. The winds are shifting around to the west and
weill continue swinging until they are northerly. The forecast is for
temps to drop to near 60 tonight and tomorrow night down to 49. Next
week should be ideal with daytime temps in the low to mid 70's and
getting down to the 50's at night. It is a beautiful clear and sunny
day here at Tranquility Cove and we are enjoying being away from the
hustle and bustle of the South Florida urban area for a change. We plan
on hanging out here for a few days and then working our way on up to
Virginia where we willl stay for a few more days.

A Slow Race


This is the last race of the season and now wind. Very light air so the race was slow. The evening meeting and meal was great with good fellowship and food. We appreciated being invited as guests to the Jimmy Snyder Sailing Club.

This flower is on a bush right by my mom and dad's back door. It is called a Confederate Rose. I think it is a species of Hibiscus.

Friday, September 26, 2003


Here is a snap of my dad's grapevines.

This view made the drive worthwhile. This is the sunset from my mom and dad's front porch.

This is our trip plan for today.

Interesting Night

While driving through rush hour in Jacksonville we started selecting our landing site for the night. Our campground GIS on a CD rated Hance's First Florida very high. It is in Gross, Florida. Upon entering the campground we were presnted with a clean, well maintained site, with all concrete roadways and roads. Upon setting up, as seen in the previous photos, we settled in only to lose power in the mothership. A short trip to the office and we learned that the plugin for that site, number 13, had had troub le in the past. Switched to the other plugin in the box and all was settled. So, we went to bed nice and cozy listening to the frogs outside and at 2 am were awakened by an extremely noisy and strong electrical storm. Once that passed all was well and the frogs started up again lulling us to sleep. This is a really nice campsite and is on our list for overnighters near Jacksonville. Twenty one dollars for the night and we slept in comfort in our own bedroom. Today, we have a two hundred and fourty mile hop to my parents house where we plan on staying for a few days. Stay tuned for the next transmission from the mothership.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Image(12).jpgUnderway with the mothership and the escape pod.

Is this one of those hanging chads?


Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Be sure to check the Mobile Blog link in the left side panel for the latest photos. I am using my new Nokia 3650 camera phone to update pictures there using my free picture Blog at . You can subscribe when you go to the link to be notified when new photos are posted.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


The link below takes you to some neat optiical illusions. I have always loved these things. You know, the stare at them until they change into something else kind of things?

The latest works

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Airplane from "Never Cry Wolf"

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Testing a front end to allow posting of images to my blog by email.
This is the aircraft used in "Never Cry Wolf."

Looks like I may not need the TypePad account after all if I can use this to add photos while on the road. Pretty neat. The site is called Mfop2. Mfop2 allows you to moblog without setting up any special scripts on your own mail server. To use Mfop2, all you have to do is register some of your blog details and you will be able to post to your blog from your mobile by emailing your blog entry with images attached to


Picked up a TypePad account last night. 30 day free trial. It is a blogging tool but one neat feature is the ability to update a photo album with a mobile device. Could be a way to share pictures on the road easily when using the Nokia 3650? :-)

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I am completely tomrented and conflicted right now. Why you ask? Well let me tell you. My trusty T-Mobile Sidekick that I love is getting a bit long in the tooth. It works great even though it has some connectivity problems in buildings. But, the camera takes little postage stamp sized pcitures, the IR port does not work at all, but it has that lovely, wonderful keyboard for typing. My conflict is further increased because T-Mobile has a great deal right now on the Nokia 3650 phone that has a super camera, is tri-band (meaning international), plays mp3 files, and is Bluetooth capable. Being Bluetooth capable means it can talk to my laptop on the road which means I could also use the laptop to type messages and then the 3650 to send them. Oh, and did I mention the IR port works so it can communicate with my laptop through that too? The irony is that it has the funkiest keyboard I have ever seen on a phone. Some sort of circular thing designed by a Nokia engineer in a fit of style over function. I will probably call and get one of these babys though because the ability to send pictures that are bigger than postage stamps is very appealing. Oh, and I forgot to mention that on top of all of this an update to the firmware on the Sidekick is due any day now that enhances that device's capability. No, it does not make the tiny pictures any bigger but it supposedly increased the connectivity making that better.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Fire destroys motorbike collection

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Fire destroys motorbike collection This is an especially sad story for those who love old motorcycles. Apparently this priceless collection in the UK was lost to a fire.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

EAA's Countdown To Kitty Hawk

EAA's Countdown To Kitty Hawk is the web site about the re-enactment of the Wright Brothers historic first flight in December. We plan on attending this event of such significance to the aviation field. Read all about it.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Gallery Upgrade

Upgraded the photo gallery software this morning to version 1.4. The new version allows users to display the gallery in various languages. There are some other features but the typical user will probably notice no change. This is a great software package and is FREE. The homepage for PHP Gallery here.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Bob's Moblog

I started a mobile blog at Bob's Moblog Check it out.

Monday, August 25, 2003


Just drove across Howard Franklin Bridge in Tampa Bay going east to west. As we crossed the Bay we observed a waterspout form off to our right or north of the causeway. Of course our camera was in the other car. We could see the rotary spray on the surface of the water and the a long thin funnel snaked down from the cloud to the spray on the water. For a few minutes we were priveleged to witness a perfect watersput until we drove into the heavy rain of the storm.

Sent from Bob's wireless Sidekick!

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Blogging with my Sidekick

This post is using the browser interface with my T-Mobile Sidekick. In some ways this is better than my laptop since the connectivity is more universal and widespread. The WIFI coverage for 802.11 is not as universally available as the Sidekick's GSRM technology. There are some limitations but the ability to update a blog from anywhere at anytime is really useful while maintaining a travel blog. I am typing this from the rear seat of a car while traveling.

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No walk on the beach

This campground is right across from the beach so yesterday I went for an early morning walk. It was beautiful befoe the sun got high. Birds were everywhere. I saw pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Great White Herons, pelicans, and many other species of birds. I walked to within a few feet of a Great Blue Heron who was completely unafraid. I was surprised at the number of people strolling or jogging on the beach at 6:30 in the morning. There is a real family atmosphere on the beach here on the west coast with lots of cottages and public beach access.

This morning I will not go for a walk on the beach as I hear very heavy thunder on the Gulf. I am too aware of the danger of lightning even when the storms are 10 or 15 miles distant. South Florida, and particularly the Tampa area has more lightning activity than any place in the world so I will remain in the safety of the Mothership this morning.

Looks as if the tropical depression that was headed for South Florida had a lot of it's energy taken away by the mountains of Haiti. We have been keeping an eye on it to decide our travel strategy next week. If it strengthens and continues towards West Palm Beach we will add a couple of days to our stay here or perhaps even head north. If the storm strengthens and poses a severe threat my friend and neighbor offered tp put up our storm shutters to save me having to leave the Mothership to drive home for that task.
Sent from Bob's wireless Sidekick!

Sent from Bob's wireless Sidekick!

Friday, August 22, 2003

Report from the Mothership

The Mothership landed in Indian Rocks Beach a few days ago. Our crew has made forays into the local envioronment each day. We visited Ybor City a couple of days ago where we enjoyed the wonderful exhibits of freshwater and marine envioronments. Last night we had a wonderful dinner to celebrate our daughter Kim's birthday. Today we begin to strategize how we will cope with a developing tropical storm down south of Haiti. The forecast track seems to point right at West Palm Beach. Do we keep the Mothership parked here on the Florida's west coast and send the reconnaiscance module to that sector to secure the home base? Time will tell as we watch the storm's progress. Updates will follow.

Sent from Bob's wireless Sidekick!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Glider for Sale

Bruce and I decided to sell our Russia motorglider since neither of us seems to have time to use it enough to justify it. The link on the left, "Glider for Sale". has all of the pertinant information. The little ship is very nice, easy to handle on the ground, a joy to fly in the air and almost new. Someone will get a very good deal on it and I know they will be very happy with it.

Search Index

Just tweaked the indexing parameters for my web site so that the search engine is more effective. In the past the search engine was only indexing part of the site and now it does a better job. If your previous searches did not produce the results you hoped for then please try again. I think you will be more pleased with the results now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

My neighbor and friend is having a new pool installed. It is an all fiberglass pool and was delivered a few days ago. It was really interesting watching the crane lift the pool over his house and into the backyard. It is going to be a really beautiful pool that he and his family will enjoy for many, many, years. Take a look at the photos by clicking here. The crane operator placed it within 1/2 inch of the correct location the first time. The workers adjusted it so that it is precisely in place and perfectly level using survey instruments. Quite an operation!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

My Retirement Luau

We had a Luau last weekend at the Lake Worth Casino Ballroom to celebrate my retirement. It was a blast. How could we not have fun with Elvis in the house, a troop of polynesian dancers and singers, and a hundred or so good friends? That along with good food and drink made it a night to remember. I will post more pictures as they come in from everyone. A lot of people worked very hard to make this night possible and I cannot thank them enough. It was worth the 35 years of work to look around the room and see all of the smiling faces. Everyone had a ball. Click here for some fun photos from the party.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003

Last weekend on June 7th, at 3 AM we became grandparents with the birth of little Kaitlyn Moreno Brown. She was 6 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 inches long. She is the sweetest little baby you ever saw. Are we a little bit biased? Well, maybe so but she really is a cute baby and so sweet. Her mom and dad, Rob and Mavis, are doing great. Here is a snapshot of the little cutie.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

The problem with being punctual is that there is never anyone around to
appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Found a great free web portal. It has all of the standard features like Yahoo and other portals such as news, calculators, bookmark storage and others but makes its money with a different business model that allows it to not have banner ads and popups. It is very configureable and feature rich. Since we will be retiring in a month or two we will no longer have our business calendar available and I had to find a substitute. The site is and so far I am really happy with it. We are already using the calendar, which we can share with each other and family members, to schedule events that will take place beyond our retirement dates. By the way, in addition to my work countdown calendar at this location. I put a countdown calendar page up for Barbara. It is here. Check it out and follow our countdown to the big events.

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Thursday, May 15, 2003

Still reinstalling software on my new system. It is running really well with XP but even though I thought I had backed up everything I had not. I am using this experience to create a CD with all of my registration keys, serial numbers, etc. that one needs to rebuild a system. Hopefully next time I do this it will be a bit easier because of that. One big advantage of running a two drive system with the applications on the primary drive and data on the second is that all of my data files stayed intact. Windows XP seems to be a big step up from my old OS which was Windows 98.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Upgraded my processor in my computer last night. Called my local parts suppier and gave them the model of my motherboard and they said I could upgrade from my Athlon 900 mhz processor to an XP1800 for $84 so I did it. Sure seems to be running noticeably faster now. Flight simulator runs smoother at a faster frame rate. Thanks Kiefer!

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Tooth Fairy Project

I heard an interview with a university professor discussing cancer occurences in South Florida. He has been doing analyses of baby teeth for presence of radioactive isotopes such as Strontium 90. He made some really interesting observations based on his research that has become known as "The Tooth Fairy Project." He said that young children are much more succeptible to cancer caused by environmental influences than adults and as a result are like the canaries in coal mines that were indicators of low oxygen because they died before the miners were affected. The research indicates that cancer levels are 2 - 3 times higher than normal within 20 miles of a nuclear power plant. The radiation is distributed into the atmosphere and comes back to earth primarily as rain. Florida has a very rainy climate and so it drops back to earth fairly quickly around the plants. The most interesting thing to me was the suggestion by the professor that the number one thing that you can do to protect yourself from ingesting the radiation in your drinking water was to install a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Seems the isotopes are large enough that the RO membrane filters them out. He had a number of interesting observations that seemed really important to me. I found a link to a press release about his study which is at The South Florida Baby Teeth Study News Release. More information can be found at this site.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

PHP Gallery

Just finished updating our online photo albums with PHP Gallery. This is a really nice PHP program that has a lot of features and flexibility. Hope you enjoy our newly organized photo albums. Just click on the Photo Albums link on the index to the left to view them.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

We hacked our Tivo

Barbara and I worked together and installed a second hard drive in our DirecTivo this afternoon. We used a pre formatted drive from following their instructions. The instructions were very clear and precise. We had no problems with the process at all. When we powered the DirecTivo back up after the installation it sure was satisfying to see that it has 146 hours of recording time available. We can keep our favorite movies and shows online now without worrying about having enough space to record our other shows of interest.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003


Got an old and slow computer in the garage? Why not make a router out of it with Smoothwall? Smoothwall is a free download and the step by step process is at TechTV | Do-It-Yourself Router

Monday, April 14, 2003

Comical Ali

The We Love the Iraqi Information Minister is back online. Check it out.

Myths About Stereo Speakers

Polk Audio RM6700 - Electronics Reviews - has some good reviews on Polk Audio RM6700 speakers. I recently replaced my 20 year old KLH, giant floor speakers with these and am I ever glad I did. I did not know what a good sound system could sound like until I installed these little jewels. You can also read a very interesting article about Bose speakers at this location. It is a very revealing article and kind of deflates some myths about audio speakers. I am glad I read this before I shelled out a lot more money for speakers that would not sound as good as the ones I got.

Comical Ali Web Site Crashes

Ananova - 'Comical Ali' proves too popular online. This is really funny. The Iraqi Information Minister is now known as "Comical Ali" as a result of his hilarious news briefings. There was a web site devoted to his statements but it was so popular that it got 4,000 visitors a second causing the site to be shut down. The name of the site itself is highly entertaining. It is . The last time I checked it was still down. I can't wait for it to come back up again. Reminds me of the old "All your base are us." movement a couple of years ago.

Another Tivo "Enhancement" Site

TiVo Updating Over Dedicated Internet HOWTO is another good Tivo "enhancement" site. I ordered a hard drive this weekend to expand my DirecTivo to 150 hours of storage. That should allow us to keep our favorite movies on the unit all the time. Much better than VHS tape and much more accessible.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Tivo Info Site

DealDatabase Forum - Deals, Freebies, TiVo Hacking, HP Digital Entertainment Center - powered by vBulletin is another great source for detailed info on Tivo and Tivo upgrades. This one thanks to a referral by Leo Laporte on TechTV's Screensavers show who sent me the link by email.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Tivo Hacking Guide

Here is a detailed guide to expanding your Tivo's capabilities.

First Time Hack

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Audio Video Information Site

The following link is a great site for Audio Video equipment. What I like about it is the fact that you can click on images of the back panels and front panels of various units. You can really check out the connectors on these before you buy.

AVLAND Products

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Wireless Updates

Blogger Pro now has the ability to update Blogs by email. This means you
can update your Blog from any computer or wireless device capable of
sending email. Blogger or Pyra Labs was recently bought by Google which
probably means good things in the future for people who blog with
Sent from Bob's wireless Sidekick!

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Did some interesting video capture and editing today. Created a small movie of the flight simulator world by capturing a simulator session on my DV camcorder. After capturing it I was then able to upload the DV file from my camcorder to my PC using my Firewire connection. I then edited the resulting file in Video Factory cutting out mistakes and so on to produce a more coherent video. After editing was complete I then saved it out of Video Factory as a DV file. I used TMPGenc to convert it to a 480 x 480 mpeg2 format. I used Nero to burn this to an SVCD format video disk. I can now play the little simulator movie on my DVD player.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

We found a good kite flying field this weekend. It is called Buttonwood Park and is on Lantana Road across from the German American Club. The west end of the park is great for kite flying. Click here for Mapquest Location for Buttonwood Park. We flew the quad line Blasts until the wind starting dying down in the evening.
The Blast

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Watching TV as the Space Shuttle tragedy unfolds. I witnessed the Challenger explosion from the back of the office where I work. Even though we are in West Palm Beach which is about a hundred miles away from the Cape we could still see it clearly. This current accident brings all of those emotions to the surface again. This is a terrible tragedy. Space flight is a dangerous business. We sometimes forget the dangers involved and just how precarious those flights are. The forces acting on the vehicle during reentry are awesome. I hope the investigation reveals the cause so that steps can be taken to make future flights safer.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Flew to Jacksonville on the 29th. Our attempts to locate the building where our meeting was held are illustrated on the image at this location. This is our GPS
track superimposed on an aerial photograph.
Starting with version 1.2 of mozilla, a bug was introduced into the
"fast load" (startup) feature, that can cause mozilla to freeze,
usually when you try some action such as sending email or printing a
document. If your browser freezes, the first thing you should do is
kill the browser and try again (just in case it was a one time
thing). If it still freezes, try removing the fast load file as

1. Quit (or kill) mozilla.
*On UNIX systems:*

*rm ~/.mozilla/*login*/*XXXXXXXX.slt*/XUL.mfasl*
where *login* is your login name and * XXXXXXXX.slt* is
some random directory name ending in .slt that you will
need to determine by looking in ~/.mozilla/*login*

*On Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000 systems:*

Delete the file U:\.mozilla.w2k\User\puegzo40.slt\XUL.mfl

3. Start mozilla and try again. If it still does not work then
you should start over with fresh mozilla preferences. How Do I
Start With Fresh Mozilla Preferences?
Click here to find out.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

See Photos Below Text

Just got back from a great weekend in Jacksonville where we met my mom and dad and celebrated their 83rd birthdays. We stayed at Kathryn Hanna Park. This is a city park that is an exceptionally beautiful place. It is located in a dense live oak forest but is right next to the ocean. It is one of the finest campgrounds we have ever stayed in. It is close to Mayport, Florida which is a small fishing village right next to the Mayport Naval Station. I was stationed at Mayport briefly in the 60's when my ship was there for some repair work. We had some great seafood dinners at the local restaurants in Mayport where you can eat and watch the ships come and go right outside your window.

It was too cold to fly kites or do much activity outside but we had a great time exploring and eating seafood in Mayport. We ate lunch one day next to a table where a local author Bill Reynolds was signing his books. We did not know who he was until they left and the waitress told us. We bought his book in hopes of seeing him again to get him to sign it but no such luck. After we got home I did go to his web site and sent him an email which he replied to graciously. Mr. Reynolds said that if we were in Jacksonville again he would be happy to meet us and sign the book. By the way, the book, Jetty Man, is a very good read if you like southern gothic novels. Check out his web site at .

We took the St. John's Ferry over to Fort George Island where we watched kite surfers for a while. The bay at Hugenot Park on Fort George Island is a perfect place for kite surfing as it is shallow and protected from the wave action in the ocean. After that we returned to Mayport Village for a seafood lunch and then back to the campground.

Here are some photos of the area:

Park Entrance


Park Road

Too Cool

Shrimp Docks in Mayport

Captain Ray's Museum

Singleton's Seafood

On the Ferry