greg hughes - dot net - Random Stuff http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ Note that the contents of this site represent my own thoughts and opinions, not those of anyone else - like my employer - or even my dog for that matter. Besides, the dog would post things that make sense. I don't. http://www.greghughes.net/images/gregheadshot1.png greg hughes - dot net - Random Stuff http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ en-us Greg Hughes Tue, 25 Oct 2011 01:44:00 GMT newtelligence dasBlog 2.1.8015.804 greg@greghughes.net greg@greghughes.net http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=671f3aa5-5448-4086-8bf6-48715fde1b11 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,671f3aa5-5448-4086-8bf6-48715fde1b11.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,671f3aa5-5448-4086-8bf6-48715fde1b11.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=671f3aa5-5448-4086-8bf6-48715fde1b11 2

A few weeks ago a friend and I installed a kit full of micro vortex generators (VG’s) on the wings and tail section of my airplane, a 1975 Piper Cherokee Warrior PA28-151, N639MR. As I described in some detail before, the VG’s modify the flow of the air over the surfaces of the wings, making the air “stick” better, resulting in smoother air flow and better air flow where it’s needed – over the control surfaces at the trailing edge of each wing.

Micro Vortex Generators on Piper Cherokee Warrior PA28-151 Well, I’ve now flown the plane several times since installing the VG’s and the results are in: It’s truly amazing the difference they make.

In a nutshell, here are the results of the modification. I’ll start out with takeoff, talk about in-flight changes, and then finish up with benefits at landing time.

  • From the beginning, the plane gets off the ground sooner. A lot sooner, in fact. And it doesn’t need as much airspeed to initially get into the air. That translates into shorter ground roll and a much sorter takeoff. I’ll have to measure it to see exactly what the distances are.
  • The plane climbs faster. In situations where I used to get 500 feet per minute I often now get 600-700. In those situations where I used to get 700-750 feet per minute, it’s not unusual to get 800-1000. And if I want to convert some airspeed to altitude, pulling back and riding it up is fast and fun.
  • The airplane is faster in cruise flight. Truly faster. You’d think that adding nearly 200 metal tabs to the flying surfaces of the wings and tail would create drag and reduce top speed, but nope. Apparently the improved airflow over the wing is a great tradeoff – Add a little bit of drag as a result of adding the VG’s, but reduce overall drag over the wings and tail thanks to improved laminar airflow. Net result is higher airspeeds at the same engine RPM.
  • Related to that, I can now fly at a cruise speed around 120 mph at a lower RPM than before, which translates into burning slightly less fuel going cross-country. It used to be a real chore to get the plane up to 120 mph in cruise and maintain it there at 2500rpm. But now it’s often flying well over 120mph even at 2400 rpm. That 100rpm difference makes a real dent in fuel consumption, believe it or not. And if I want to fly at around 115 miles an hour, the difference in RPM required is even greater. So, I can get there faster on the same fuel as before, or take my time and burn even less.
  • In flight, one of the critical tests you put an airplane through when you are becoming familiar with the way it flies is aerodynamic (wing) stalls. Needless to say, I have been stalling this plane more times in the past few weeks than is typical as I get to know the new flight characteristics. Again, the difference is substantial: It’s almost impossible to get it to drop it’s nose and stall, one wing or two. In power-on stalls, much of anything beyond a buffet is very difficult to make happen. It just keep on flying and buffeting along at 44 miles an hour or even slower -- which is a lot slower than it used to stall before the VG's. In a power-off stall configuration I’ve flown it in a slight headwind down to 40mph indicated airspeed, and all it really wants to do is drop the nose a little then and keep flying. I literally flew it power-off at 45mph in a buffet for half a minute, no stall. Of course, eventually it will drop, but it sure hangs in there, and loses very little altitude. Compared to before the VG’s, stall speed is at least 5 mph lower, probably more like 7-8 mph less.
  • The control surfaces respond quickly, sharply and with authority in flight. I thought the plane rolled left and right pretty quickly before the VG modification, but it’s much cleaner and more responsive now. Similarly, although not as important or pronounced at cruise speeds, pitch changes happen quickly and yaw is solid with good authority thoughout.
  • Steep turns (45-degree bank or more) are so much more fun now. The plane carves and holds it’s altitude in steep turns, and is so easy to control you just have to wonder if you jumped in the wrong plane by mistake… Nope, this is my plane. Okay, cool. :)
  • As a final note regarding in-cruise flight, the plane generally feels much smoother and more solid moving through the air. It's hard to explain, but it's noticeable when you fly.
  • The rest of the major differences are seen when preparing for landing and during the landing itself. This phase of flight is so different than pre-VG’s that some people will tell you that you'll have to learn to land all over again, and they’re right. At lower the speeds flown in preparation for landing, the control surfaces respond much more sharply and with more authority than before the VG’s. Not only that, the plane simply won’t descend as quickly anymore. It just wants to fly. So, careful reduction of speed to under 80 mph is needed to make sure you’re descending soon and fast enough in the landing pattern.
  • Landing pattern turns are clean and sharp. The sluggish, slightly-mushy sort of feeling is associated with rudder at the slower speeds in turns and when slipping on approach is gone.
  • In the landing flare, one simply must pay attention and fly the airplane slower than used to be the case, since the plane just floats along over the runway like nobody’s business if you’re too fast. Cherokees – especially the tapered wing models like the warrior – are kind of famous for floating, but now the effect is VGs - how they work - from Micro Aerodymanicseven more pronounced. In fact, I’m flying almost 10 miles per hour slower over the numbers at the approach end of the runway than before I installed the VG's, and the plane settles to the runway at a substantially lower speed than before - and quite a bit below the lower end of the white arc. Makes for some smooth, short, nose-high landings – which is great.
  • One of the chief complaints some people have about Cherokees at landing time, when the plane is slow, is that the rudder (which controls yaw, or the direction the nose is pointing) and the stabilator (which controls pitch, or how high or low the nose is pointing) lose their effectiveness. With the tail section VG’s installed and the improved flow of the air over these surfaces at landing time, rudder and stabilator authority is much improved in a very noticeable way.

So, is it worth the time and money? I spent almost $1500 on the kit and a couple evenings installing them (under the supervision and with the approval of my IA). And the plane flies great – faster, more responsive to control inputs and more efficient, plus a longer glide and the capability of going to and departing from noticeably shorter fields. The Warrior isn’t intended to be a back-woods airplane, but shorter-field capability is definitely welcome and valuable.

So, yes – It’s definitely worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Other items addressed lately by the aircraft shop include a new landing light – a Whelan LED model that will never burn out (which beats the heck out of 30-hour or so per halogen bulb) and a newly-rebuilt attitude indicator (the gyro had seen it’s better days, and was in desperate need of repair before I start my instrument training). Needless to say, I won’t be dumping any more money into the plane for a while (at least not voluntarily), since it’s emptied my wallet this summer, to be sure!

Related links:



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Micro vortex generators on my Piper Cherokee Warrior -- The results are in! http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,671f3aa5-5448-4086-8bf6-48715fde1b11.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/MicroVortexGeneratorsOnMyPiperCherokeeWarriorTheResultsAreIn.aspx Tue, 25 Oct 2011 01:44:00 GMT <p> A few weeks ago a friend and I installed a <a href="http://microaero.com/">kit full of micro vortex generators</a> (VG’s) on the wings and tail section of my airplane, a 1975 Piper Cherokee Warrior PA28-151, <a href="http://N639MR.com">N639MR</a>. As I <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/InstallingMicroVortexGeneratorsOnPiperCherokeeWarriorNdashPartOne.aspx">described in some detail before</a>, the VG’s modify the flow of the air over the surfaces of the wings, making the air “stick” better, resulting in smoother air flow and better air flow where it’s needed – over the control surfaces at the trailing edge of each wing. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/bf60a171f5ad_D35B/DSC00492.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 15px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00492" border="0" alt="Micro Vortex Generators on Piper Cherokee Warrior PA28-151" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/bf60a171f5ad_D35B/DSC00492_thumb.jpg" width="408" height="231"></a>Well, I’ve now flown the plane several times since installing the VG’s and the results are in: It’s truly amazing the difference they make. </p> <p> In a nutshell, here are the results of the modification. I’ll start out with takeoff, talk about in-flight changes, and then finish up with benefits at landing time. </p> <ul> <li> From the beginning, the plane gets off the ground sooner. A <em>lot</em> sooner, in fact. And it doesn’t need as much airspeed to initially get into the air. That translates into shorter ground roll and a much sorter takeoff. I’ll have to measure it to see exactly what the distances are.</li> <li> The plane climbs faster. In situations where I used to get 500 feet per minute I often now get 600-700. In those situations where I used to get 700-750 feet per minute, it’s not unusual to get 800-1000. And if I want to convert some airspeed to altitude, pulling back and riding it up is fast and fun.</li> <li> The airplane is faster in cruise flight. Truly faster. You’d think that adding nearly 200 metal tabs to the flying surfaces of the wings and tail would create drag and reduce top speed, but nope. Apparently the improved airflow over the wing is a great tradeoff – Add a little bit of drag as a result of adding the VG’s, but <em>reduce overall drag</em> over the wings and tail thanks to improved laminar airflow. Net result is higher airspeeds at the same engine RPM.</li> <li> Related to that, I can now fly at a cruise speed around 120 mph at a lower RPM than before, which translates into burning slightly less fuel going cross-country. It used to be a real chore to get the plane up to 120 mph in cruise and maintain it there at 2500rpm. But now it’s often flying well over 120mph even at 2400 rpm. That 100rpm difference makes a real dent in fuel consumption, believe it or not. And if I want to fly at around 115 miles an hour, the difference in RPM required is even greater. So, I can get there faster on the same fuel as before, or take my time and burn even less.</li> <li> In flight, one of the critical tests you put an airplane through when you are becoming familiar with the way it flies is aerodynamic (wing) stalls. Needless to say, I have been stalling this plane more times in the past few weeks than is typical as I get to know the new flight characteristics. Again, the difference is substantial: It’s almost impossible to get it to drop it’s nose and stall, one wing or two. In power-on stalls, much of <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/bf60a171f5ad_D35B/DSC00365.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 15px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="" border="0" alt="" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/bf60a171f5ad_D35B/DSC00365_thumb.jpg" width="339" height="192"></a>anything beyond a buffet is very difficult to make happen. It just keep on flying and buffeting along at 44 miles an hour or even slower -- which is a lot slower than it used to stall before the VG's. In a power-off stall configuration I’ve flown it in a slight headwind down to 40mph indicated airspeed, and all it really wants to do is drop the nose a little then and keep flying. I literally flew it power-off at 45mph in a buffet for half a minute, no stall. Of course, eventually it will drop, but it sure hangs in there, and loses very little altitude. Compared to before the VG’s, stall speed is at least 5 mph lower, probably more like 7-8 mph less.</li> <li> The control surfaces respond quickly, sharply and with authority in flight. I thought the plane rolled left and right pretty quickly before the VG modification, but it’s much cleaner and more responsive now. Similarly, although not as important or pronounced at cruise speeds, pitch changes happen quickly and yaw is solid with good authority thoughout.</li> <li> Steep turns (45-degree bank or more) are so much more fun now. The plane carves and holds it’s altitude in steep turns, and is so easy to control you just have to wonder if you jumped in the wrong plane by mistake… Nope, this is my plane. Okay, cool. :)</li> <li> As a final note regarding in-cruise flight, the plane generally feels much smoother and more solid moving through the air. It's hard to explain, but it's noticeable when you fly.</li> <li> The rest of the major differences are seen when preparing for landing and during the landing itself. This phase of flight is so different than pre-VG’s that some people will tell you that you'll have to learn to land all over again, and they’re right. At lower the speeds flown in preparation for landing, the control surfaces respond much more sharply and with more authority than before the VG’s. Not only that, the plane simply won’t descend as quickly anymore. It just <em>wants</em> to fly. So, careful reduction of speed to under 80 mph is needed to make sure you’re descending soon and fast enough in the landing pattern. </li> <li> Landing pattern turns are clean and sharp. The sluggish, slightly-mushy sort of feeling is associated with rudder at the slower speeds in turns and when slipping on approach is gone. </li> <li> In the landing flare, one simply <em>must</em> pay attention and fly the airplane slower than used to be the case, since the plane just floats along over the runway like nobody’s business if you’re too fast. Cherokees – especially the tapered wing models like the warrior – are kind of famous for floating, but now the effect is <img style="margin: 10px 0px 10px 15px; display: inline; float: right" title="" alt="VGs - how they work - from Micro Aerodymanics" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/What-VGs-do_4.gif" width="290" height="308">even more pronounced. In fact, I’m flying almost 10 miles per hour slower over the numbers at the approach end of the runway than before I installed the VG's, and the plane settles to the runway at a substantially lower speed than before - and quite a bit below the lower end of the white arc. Makes for some smooth, short, nose-high landings – which is great.</li> <li> One of the chief complaints some people have about Cherokees at landing time, when the plane is slow, is that the rudder (which controls yaw, or the direction the nose is pointing) and the stabilator (which controls pitch, or how high or low the nose is pointing) lose their effectiveness. With the tail section VG’s installed and the improved flow of the air over these surfaces at landing time, rudder and stabilator authority is much improved in a very noticeable way.</li> </ul> <p> So, is it worth the time and money? I spent almost $1500 on the kit and a couple evenings installing them (under the supervision and with the approval of my IA). And the plane flies great – faster, more responsive to control inputs and more efficient, plus a longer glide and the capability of going to and departing from noticeably shorter fields. The Warrior isn’t intended to be a back-woods airplane, but shorter-field capability is definitely welcome and valuable. </p> <p> So, yes – It’s definitely worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. </p> <p> Other items addressed lately by the aircraft shop include a new landing light – a Whelan LED model that will never burn out (which beats the heck out of 30-hour or so per halogen bulb) and a newly-rebuilt attitude indicator (the gyro had seen it’s better days, and was in desperate need of repair before I start my instrument training). Needless to say, I won’t be dumping any more money into the plane for a while (at least not voluntarily), since it’s emptied my wallet this summer, to be sure! </p> <p> Related links: </p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/greghughespdx/sets/72157627654352899/" target="_blank">Flickr photo album of pictures from the Micro VG project</a> </li> <li> <a href="http://microaero.com" target="_blank">Micro Aerodynamics</a> is the company that makes the VG kits for almost every airplane you can imagine</li> </ul> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,671f3aa5-5448-4086-8bf6-48715fde1b11.aspx Aviation Random Stuff
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=18dfe247-6909-4988-bc5e-bd46e9f3cb22 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,18dfe247-6909-4988-bc5e-bd46e9f3cb22.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,18dfe247-6909-4988-bc5e-bd46e9f3cb22.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=18dfe247-6909-4988-bc5e-bd46e9f3cb22 1 Installing Micro Vortex Generators on Piper Cherokee Warrior &ndash; Part One http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,18dfe247-6909-4988-bc5e-bd46e9f3cb22.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/InstallingMicroVortexGeneratorsOnPiperCherokeeWarriorNdashPartOne.aspx Sat, 01 Oct 2011 07:52:51 GMT <p> A couple months ago I dropped by <a href="http://microaero.com" target="_blank">Micro Aerodynamics</a> in Anacortes, Washington after putting together a big fireworks show there for Independence Day. Micro Aerodynamics makes kits of micro vortex generators that can be installed on aircraft to improve performance in a variety of areas. Under the supervision of A&P <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/What-VGs-do_4.gif"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="What-VGs-do" border="0" alt="What-VGs-do" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/What-VGs-do_thumb_1.gif" width="251" height="266"></a>mechanic and IA (plus all-around-good-guy) Danny from <a href="http://www.twinoaksairpark.com" target="_blank">Twin Oaks Airpark</a> in Hillsboro, I’m installing the micro vortex generators on <a href="http://www.n639mr.com/" target="_blank">my airplane, N639MR</a>, a 1975 Piper Warrior PA28-151. </p> <p> What the heck are vortex generators (VGs) and why would I want them? Good question. </p> <p> VGs can reduce stall speeds and improve an aircraft’s aerodynamic performance. They allow the wing to develop more lift and fly at lower airspeeds, as compared to not having VGs installed. In turn, this can reduce takeoff speed and improve the rate of climb. VGs also help to retain effective aileron (toll) control and enhance your rudder (yaw) authority in higher angles of attack. </p> <p> As air flows over a clean, efficient wing the air "sticks" or adheres to the surface of the wing – a function called “laminar flow.” This clean, laminar flow of air over the properly-shaped wing's surface results in a high pressure zone underneath and a low pressure zone above the wing, which is how lift is produced – The wing moves toward the low pressure zone as the difference is equalized. If the air flowing over the wing surfaces (especially in the low-pressure zone on top of the wing) loses its laminar flow, wing and flight performance can suffer in the form of increased drag, loss of lift and higher fuel consumption. </p> <p> NASA researchers developed micro VGs to control this flow delamination by producing miniature, controlled spirals of air, called "vortices." The spirals of air laminate well to the surface of the wing and as a result airflow over the wing is more efficient and “sticks” better across the entire surface, including at lower air speeds and higher angles of attack. The result is reduced drag and increased wing efficiency and lift (or you can think of it in terms of <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00401.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00401" border="0" alt="DSC00401" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00401_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a>less engine power being required to produce the same amount of lift). In a perfect world, the end results for the pilot are shorter take-off distances due to more efficient creation of lift, lower aerodynamic stall speeds, ability to land slower and therefore in a shorter distance, snappier and more responsive control inputs for roll, pitch and yaw at all speeds (including critically slow speeds such as in landing configuration), and in some cases even increased top cruise speeds and smoother ride due to the resulting aerodynamic improvements (in the case of especially inefficient wings). </p> <p> Anyhow, I dropped about $1450 on the kit, and after discussing with my mechanic and discovering I could install them under his guidance and supervision I adopted a measure-twice-mark-once methodology and a friend joined me in the hangar to begin the process of installing the micro VGs on my airplane. </p> <p> The Micro Aerodynamics kit, first of all, is incredibly complete and well put-together. It includes literally everything you need, with the exception of a couple items I needed to pick up at the local store (90% or higher concentration rubbing alcohol, and in my case some paint and blue painter’s tape, since I would be painting the VGs myself). The VG kit has all the thread, masking tape, adhesive, of course the nearly -200 aluminum VG pieces, self-adhesive patterns to stick on the wings, <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00432.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00432" border="0" alt="DSC00432" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00432_thumb.jpg" width="139" height="244"></a>abrasive pad, razor knife, a metal measuring tape – even a sharpened pencil all ready to go. I imagine the only reason I had to buy the rubbing alcohol on my own was because it’s not normally easy to ship that in the mail. </p> <p> Preparation consisted first of a thorough washing of the entire aircraft to remove all the dirt, dust and bug crud, especially from the wings and tail control surfaces. Another good friend helped me with that a few days prior. On the day we started installing the kit, a lint-free cloth and some rubbing alcohol removed any final layers of crud from the areas where the VGs will be applied – The wings, stabilator (horizontal stabilizer on the tail) and the vertical stabilizer (the upward fin portion of the tail). </p> <p> I shot a few “before” pictures of the airplane a jotted down some recent performance numbers to help my memory. Typical cruise speed is 117 to 120 MPH properly trimmed at about 2500 RPM and typical sustained climb with full tanks and just me in the plane is about 600-700 feet per minute on a standard-ish day. The airplane stalls with full flaps and in landing configuration (power off) at a pretty low speed – around 50 miles per hour or less. Under full power it’s hard to get it to do a full stall at all, but seems like it’s about the same speed in slow flight at altitude (3000 feet). But ultimately the test will be flying the airplane, hands on the controls and butt in the seat, and seeing how it flies. </p> <p> Installation consists of following a set of provided diagrams and instructions, and carefully measuring parts of the plane, making marks where indicated, stretching black thread between points to define reference lines, and then applying a <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00449.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00449" border="0" alt="DSC00449" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00449_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a>bunch of patterns made of self-adhesive contact paper. The pattern templates have cut-outs where the VGs will go, as well as notches you line up with the thread lines and the various reference marks you made in the measurements phase. </p> <p> Placement is important, and the templates make it pretty easy to get it right. In fact, the creator of the Micro VGs told me one customer, who happens to be an airplane mechanic, gave the kit to his 12 and 14 year old buys to install on his airplane (supervised of course, and with great success). Measuring twice and having a helper to provide a second set of eyes will ensure you get everything in the right place. In fact, there are many parts of this project that are much better done with two people. </p> <p> We completed the full installation in two evenings over about . The first evening was spend measuring, marking with a pencil, stretching thread lines and putting the contact paper templates in place. Then the measurements had to be re-checked carefully, since the adhesive that’s used to stick the small aluminum VG pieces is basically permanent. There’s no moving them once they’re on there. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00464.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00464" border="0" alt="DSC00464" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00464_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a>Day two consisted of finish painting the VGs and allowing them to fully dry (I’d actually recommend doing this the day before you actually install them, though) followed by prepping the surfaces where the VGs would be glued down. Pre consists of using a Scotch Brite pad (supplied in the kit) to break the glossy paint barrier, and then wiping the surface clean using rubbing alcohol. </p> <p> The adhesive in the kit comes in two parts: A small aerosol can with chemical activator that is sprayed on the surface of the airplane skin where the template cutouts are, as well as a syringe of adhesive material, which is applied one drop at a time to the bottom tab on each of the 196 VGs. Needless to say, it takes a while and is some careful, tedious work to glue nearly 200 little metal tabs. </p> <p> Probably the easiest to mess up and least-forgiving part of the whole project is the process of getting the right amount of adhesive on the bottom of each VG. It’s easy to get too much on there, and the result is glue squeezing out from underneath. When it cures, it tends to turn from clear to <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00472.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00472" border="0" alt="DSC00472" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00472_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a>a brownish color, so you don’t want that stuff left over when you’re done – It will just make your wings look cruddy. So, a package of 100 cotton swabs is also included in the kit, along with the razor knife, to allow you to clean the excess adhesive before it becomes a problem that can only be solved with a Dremel tool. </p> <p> The first few VGs we applied were not pretty – I ‘ll just admit that up front. I had to scrape enough adhesive off that it took paint off the VGs, so I will be spot-painting those in the next day or two so they look proper and nice. But after applying a few, my friend and I got in the swing of things and discovered exactly how much it takes. One thing the kit doesn’t have that I think would be of huge benefit is a few practice VGs and a template and piece of aircraft sheet metal. For someone who’s never done this before, a small amount of practice could be really helpful before defacing the skin of a real airplane. But that’s just an idea, and in the end this is not rocket science. </p> <p> The adhesive cures quickly, and we adopted the recommended method of applying a little at a time in stages. Activator first, then glue on a group of VGs (maybe 20 or 30 or so). Let the previous set cure and harden while you install the next set. Once cured, you just peel the contact paper templates off from around the VGs, <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00476.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: right; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00476" border="0" alt="DSC00476" align="right" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00476_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a>clean up any excess adhesive and tape and crud, and then move onto the next section. Applying all the VGs took us about three hours of solid work as a team. My friend Matt applied the glue to each VG, while I sprayed on the activator and then placed each VG on the plane in the gaps provided by the templates. On the wings the VGs go on top of the wing surface a few inches aft of the leading edge. On the tail, it’s different. The horizontal stabilizer VGs actually go underneath the wing, and on the vertical stabilizer they go just in front of the “rudder” surface, in the middle of the stabilizer structure. You need to be careful to make sure the ones you apply to the vertical surfaces don’t slide out of place due to gravity – a few of mine wanted to, so I had to make sure they stayed in the right spot until they cured, which takes only a couple minutes. Less is more when it comes to adhesive, we found. But <em>too</em> little and you’re also in bad shape, so really it’s all about the art of getting just the right amount on the base of each VG. </p> <p> The end result is an airplane that looks pretty darn different – Those little tabs really give the old plane teeth. Next up is a final inspection and (hopefully) signoff by the shop, completion of some required FAA paperwork, and then I’ll get to test fly it, which will be fun. Until then, just have to wait!<br> </p> <p> <b>Update:</b> The plane was checked and given the green light on Sunday and I flew it for an hour or two. Results were great, with a number of pleasant surprises. Will post more info soon. </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00498.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00498" border="0" alt="DSC00498" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00498_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00485_1.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00485" border="0" alt="DSC00485" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00485_thumb_1.jpg" width="139" height="244"></a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00492.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="DSC00492" border="0" alt="DSC00492" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/cf44af1760e8_928C/DSC00492_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,18dfe247-6909-4988-bc5e-bd46e9f3cb22.aspx Aviation Random Stuff http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=50c35df7-2b5b-43fd-9ce2-a2f1f051bdf5 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,50c35df7-2b5b-43fd-9ce2-a2f1f051bdf5.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,50c35df7-2b5b-43fd-9ce2-a2f1f051bdf5.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=50c35df7-2b5b-43fd-9ce2-a2f1f051bdf5

Note: The scholarships for 2011 have been awarded, but check back at the EAA-105 web site in future years for other opportunities.

If you're 16 to 21 years old (or 15 years old but will turn 16 this year), and if you live in the Portland area and want to learn to fly an airplane, there are a handful of $1000 scholarships available - and you should apply! They are sponsored by the George and Lillian Bogardus Memorial Trust, and will be awarded at the end of June, 2011.

Applications are open now though the local EAA chapter. Ten hours of paid-for flight training with an instructor is a pretty cool deal -- See the PDF file linked here and feel free to contact me for more info!

EAA Chapter 105 will be awarding 4 scholarships each consisting of the recipients choice of either:

  • Option 1: 10 Hours of flight training in a Cessna 150 with an instructor through Starks Twin Oaks Airpark in Hillsboro, Oregon
  • Option 2: $1,000 towards aircraft rental for flight training purposes at Starks Twin Oaks or other flight school of their choice

RULES:

  • Applicant must be between the ages of 16 through 21. The applicant may be 15, but must turn 16 in calendar year 2011.
  • The scholarship is non‐transferrable.
  • Option 1 must be completed by October 31, 2011.
  • Option 2 must be completed by December 31, 2011.
  • The scholarship may be utilized towards any level of flight training (beginning student through advanced ratings).
  • Children and/or grandchildren of chapter directors, Bogardus trustees, and scholarship selection panel members are not eligible.

TO APPLY:

Submit an application packet (via email in PDF format) to michelle.smith@eaa105.org by Friday, June 10, 2011. This packet must contain:

  • Biography and contact information.
  • 1 to 2 page narrative describing applicant’s interest, experience, and future plans in aviation.
  • 3 letters of recommendation (2 must be from other than family members).
  • Parental approval and signature (if under 18 years of age)

Interviews for up to 10 selected applicants will be held on Saturday, June 25th.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Learn to Fly - Scholarships for Youth in Portland Available http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,50c35df7-2b5b-43fd-9ce2-a2f1f051bdf5.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/LearnToFlyScholarshipsForYouthInPortlandAvailable.aspx Tue, 17 May 2011 01:41:14 GMT <p> <b><em>Note: The scholarships for 2011 have been awarded, but check back at the EAA-105 web site in future years for other opportunities.</em></b> </p> <p> If you're 16 to 21 years old (or 15 years old but will turn 16 this year), and if you live in the Portland area and want to learn to fly an airplane, there are a handful of $1000 scholarships available - and you should apply! They are sponsored by the George and Lillian Bogardus Memorial Trust, and will be awarded at the end of June, 2011. </p> <p> Applications are open now though the local EAA chapter. Ten hours of paid-for flight training with an instructor is a pretty cool deal -- See <a href="http://www.eaa105.org/Bogardus/Images/Flight%20Training%20Scholarship%202011.pdf" target="_blank">the PDF file linked here</a> and feel free to contact me for more info! </p> <p> EAA Chapter 105 will be awarding 4 scholarships each consisting of the recipients choice of either: </p> <ul> <li> Option 1: 10 Hours of flight training in a Cessna 150 with an instructor through Starks Twin Oaks Airpark in Hillsboro, Oregon</li> <li> Option 2: $1,000 towards aircraft rental for flight training purposes at Starks Twin Oaks or other flight school of their choice</li> </ul> <p> RULES: </p> <ul> <li> Applicant must be between the ages of 16 through 21. The applicant may be 15, but must turn 16 in calendar year 2011. </li> <li> The scholarship is non‐transferrable. </li> <li> Option 1 must be completed by October 31, 2011. </li> <li> Option 2 must be completed by December 31, 2011. </li> <li> The scholarship may be utilized towards any level of flight training (beginning student through advanced ratings). </li> <li> Children and/or grandchildren of chapter directors, Bogardus trustees, and scholarship selection panel members are not eligible. </li> </ul> <p> TO APPLY: </p> <p> Submit an application packet (via email in PDF format) to <a href="mailto:michelle.smith@eaa105.org">michelle.smith@eaa105.org</a> by Friday, June 10, 2011. This packet must contain: </p> <ul> <li> Biography and contact information. </li> <li> 1 to 2 page narrative describing applicant’s interest, experience, and future plans in aviation. </li> <li> 3 letters of recommendation (2 must be from other than family members). </li> <li> Parental approval and signature (if under 18 years of age)</li> </ul> <p> Interviews for up to 10 selected applicants will be held on Saturday, June 25th. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,50c35df7-2b5b-43fd-9ce2-a2f1f051bdf5.aspx Random Stuff
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=11cfb4b6-1654-4f39-b470-375b949fcabf http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,11cfb4b6-1654-4f39-b470-375b949fcabf.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,11cfb4b6-1654-4f39-b470-375b949fcabf.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=11cfb4b6-1654-4f39-b470-375b949fcabf Track Santa's progress and get a phone call from Santa this Christmas http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,11cfb4b6-1654-4f39-b470-375b949fcabf.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/TrackSantasProgressAndGetAPhoneCallFromSantaThisChristmas.aspx Fri, 24 Dec 2010 07:07:07 GMT <p> Time has come for Jolly Ol' Saint Nick to pay his visits to the good little girls and boys this year. Here are a couple resources you can use with the kiddos to interact with Santa and build up some additional excitement for the Christmas event. </p> <p> As always, NORAD is tracking Santa's progress throughout the Christmas delivery window. You can go with your kids to <a href="http://noradsanta.org" target="_blank">http://noradsanta.org</a> for lots of information and links to various tracking resources. There's even a mobile version of the site (<a href="http://m.noradsanta.org" target="_blank">m.noradsanta.org</a>) and a Twitter feed (<a href="http://twitter.com/noradsanta" target="_blank">twitter.com/noradsanta</a>). Oh, and on Facebook, too at <a href="http://facebook.com/noradsanta" target="_blank">http://facebook.com/noradsanta</a> of course. Here is the obligatory YouTube video: </p> <p> <span> <object height="304" width="380"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RapJevrCKag?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RapJevrCKag?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="304" width="380"></embed> </object></span> <br /> But, that's not all. For those parents who might want to arrange a call from the Jolly Old Elf himself, there's an app (or two or three) for that. For those living in the Android world, here are a couple: </p> <p> <a href="http://www.androlib.com/android.application.redrabbit-callme-christmas-qCqiD.aspx" target="_blank">CALLME! Christmas</a> - Allows you to choose a child's name and a message and receive a "phone call" (actually an app that plays the audio locally) that you can answer with your child. Lots of good options and pretty cool. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-jeremyraines-santa-qnqFt.aspx" target="_blank">Christmas Call from Santa</a> - This one allows you to receive up to four actual calls. In this case, any phone can be used and a real phone call comes in with a good or "don't be naughty" greeting. </p> <p> And - from the BONUS department - Check out the interactive <a href="http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-outfit7-talkingsantafree-qBCpn.aspx" target="_blank">Talking Santa (free)</a> app in the Android Market. It's a lot of fun and the kids will enjoy it. </p> <p> For those without a smartphone, there's also a service on the web called <a href="http://www.santashotline.com/" target="_blank">Santa's Hotline</a> that you can use to arrange calls to your child - by name - from Santa. You schedule and choose the call. Very cool. </p> <p> Merry Christmas everyone! </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,11cfb4b6-1654-4f39-b470-375b949fcabf.aspx Android Random Stuff http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=28953773-ef43-4c20-af56-289e57b41bad http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,28953773-ef43-4c20-af56-289e57b41bad.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,28953773-ef43-4c20-af56-289e57b41bad.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=28953773-ef43-4c20-af56-289e57b41bad 2

I recently went on a trip across the country with a good friend, and ended up in the town where we grew up – Los Alamos, New Mexico. My final stop before returning to Oregon was the Four Corners area – Farmington, Durango and Shiprock. Here are a few pictures from the New Mexico portion of the trip, which a few people have asked for hi-res copies of. You can click on each one to see the full size version, and then right-click on the large version and choose to save it to your computer if you like. And since it comes up more often than not eventually, please note that commercial or publication use just requires asking nicely. :)

Shiprock, New Mexico

Shiprock2 Shiprock1

Front Hill Road view, Los Alamos, New Mexico

DSC00056aaa DSC00095aaa

Clines Corners, New Mexico

ClinesCornersSign

Fence, 210 North Allen

DSC00113aaa



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. A few pictures from northern New Mexico http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,28953773-ef43-4c20-af56-289e57b41bad.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/AFewPicturesFromNorthernNewMexico.aspx Thu, 09 Dec 2010 09:04:00 GMT <p> I recently went on a trip across the country with a good friend, and ended up in the town where we grew up – Los Alamos, New Mexico. My final stop before returning to Oregon was the Four Corners area – Farmington, Durango and Shiprock. Here are a few pictures from the New Mexico portion of the trip, which a few people have asked for hi-res copies of. You can click on each one to see the full size version, and then right-click on the large version and choose to save it to your computer if you like. And since it comes up more often than not eventually, please note that commercial or publication use just requires asking nicely. :)<br> </p> <p align="center"> <em>Shiprock, New Mexico</em> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/Shiprock2_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Shiprock2" border="0" alt="Shiprock2" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/Shiprock2_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="165"></a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/Shiprock1_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Shiprock1" border="0" alt="Shiprock1" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/Shiprock1_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="165"></a> </p> <p align="center"> </p> <p align="center"> <em>Front Hill Road view, Los Alamos, New Mexico</em> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/DSC00056aaa_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="DSC00056aaa" border="0" alt="DSC00056aaa" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/DSC00056aaa_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/DSC00095aaa_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="DSC00095aaa" border="0" alt="DSC00095aaa" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/DSC00095aaa_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="139"></a> </p> <p align="center"> <em>Clines Corners, New Mexico</em> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/ClinesCornersSign_2.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="ClinesCornersSign" border="0" alt="ClinesCornersSign" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/ClinesCornersSign_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="93"></a> </p> <p align="center"> <em>Fence, 210 North Allen</em> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/DSC00113aaa_2.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="DSC00113aaa" border="0" alt="DSC00113aaa" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/AfewpicturesfromnorthernNewMexico_10115/DSC00113aaa_thumb.jpg" width="244" height="145"></a> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,28953773-ef43-4c20-af56-289e57b41bad.aspx Photography Random Stuff
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As many know, I shoot public fireworks displays now and then for Western Display Fireworks, a company located right here in Oregon. That means I’m typically off at some big show each July 4th in either Washington or Oregon, the two states where I am a card carrying pyrotechnics display operator. This year I was with my fine crew in Anacortes, Washington – a town located between Seattle and the Canadian border. We fired the show out over Hidalgo Bay, and it was a good time. The people of Anacortes are terrific, and the show went off without a hitch. For a while earlier in the day the winds were pretty bad, but Mother Nature cooperated and they died off before the show started.

Below is a video of the show as well as a couple setup videos. You can see more video of the setup process at http://qik.com/greghughespdx as well if you like, and once I can get the show video from the other camera downloaded (it was giving me fits last night when I tried) I will post that, as well.

Enjoy.

Anacortes July 4th Fireworks - 2010 from Greg Hughes on Vimeo.

Loading shells

Wiring up the show



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. July 4th Fireworks show in Anacortes, Washington - Video http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,65c0c6be-23f4-4aaa-82cd-98289754af67.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/July4thFireworksShowInAnacortesWashingtonVideo.aspx Tue, 06 Jul 2010 23:12:47 GMT <p> As many know, I shoot public fireworks displays now and then for <a href="http://www.westerndisplay.com" target="_blank">Western Display Fireworks</a>, a <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2010/07/family-run_western_display_fir.html" target="_blank">company located right here in Oregon</a>. That means I’m typically off at some big show each July 4th in either Washington or Oregon, the two states where I am a card carrying pyrotechnics display operator. This year I was with my fine crew in Anacortes, Washington – a town located between Seattle and the Canadian border. We fired the show out over Hidalgo Bay, and it was a good time. The people of Anacortes are terrific, and the show went off without a hitch. For a while earlier in the day the winds were pretty bad, but Mother Nature cooperated and they died off before the show started. </p> <p> Below is a video of the show as well as a couple setup videos. You can see more video of the setup process at <a href="http://qik.com/greghughespdx">http://qik.com/greghughespdx</a> as well if you like, and once I can get the show video from the other camera downloaded (it was giving me fits last night when I tried) I will post that, as well. </p> <p> Enjoy.<br> </p> <object width="501" height="282"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=13136788&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=13136788&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="501" height="282"></embed> </object> <p> <a href="http://vimeo.com/13136788">Anacortes July 4th Fireworks - 2010</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/greghughes">Greg Hughes</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.<br> </p> <p> <object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,115,0" width="425" height="319" id="qikPlayer" align="middle"> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="movie" value="http://qik.com/swfs/qikPlayer5.swf" /> <param name="quality" value="high" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#333333" /> <param name="FlashVars" value="streamID=5d3a734ff7714901b8246ee85f99ee7a&amp;autoplay=false" /><embed src="http://qik.com/swfs/qikPlayer5.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#333333" width="425" height="319" name="qikPlayer" align="middle" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="streamID=5d3a734ff7714901b8246ee85f99ee7a&amp;autoplay=false"></embed> </object> </p> <p> Loading shells<br> </p> <p> <object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,115,0" width="425" height="319" id="qikPlayer" align="middle"> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="movie" value="http://qik.com/swfs/qikPlayer5.swf" /> <param name="quality" value="high" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#333333" /> <param name="FlashVars" value="streamID=c2896ef50347476eaedb935b37e0ba2a&amp;autoplay=false" /><embed src="http://qik.com/swfs/qikPlayer5.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#333333" width="425" height="319" name="qikPlayer" align="middle" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="streamID=c2896ef50347476eaedb935b37e0ba2a&amp;autoplay=false"></embed> </object> </p> <p> Wiring up the show </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,65c0c6be-23f4-4aaa-82cd-98289754af67.aspx Fireworks Random Stuff
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Facebook is huge. It serves hundred of billions (literally) of pages a month, and 1.2 million photos every second. Wow. It's generally considered the world's largest web site. I'm waiting for an episode of Build it Bigger to air talking about Facebook, but I doubt they'll do it. Software scaling is hard to show in TV (but data center pictures are exciting to some, I suppose).

Operating software, databases and infrastructure at Facebook scale is a massive and complicated undertaking, and they actually do a lot of it on open-source software.

Pingdom takes a look at how Facebook does it, and describes some of the open-source technology the company leverages, in an interesting article called The Software Behind Facebook. It's worth reading.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. How Facebook is able to serve such a huge user community http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,9bf1e4bf-2cf3-46a5-bf3e-c9168e55f113.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/HowFacebookIsAbleToServeSuchAHugeUserCommunity.aspx Mon, 21 Jun 2010 04:14:29 GMT <p> Facebook is huge. It serves hundred of billions (literally) of pages a month, and 1.2 million photos every second. Wow. It's generally considered the world's largest web site. I'm waiting for an episode of Build it Bigger to air talking about Facebook, but I doubt they'll do it. Software scaling is hard to show in TV (but data center pictures are exciting to some, I suppose). </p> <p> Operating software, databases and infrastructure at Facebook scale is a massive and complicated undertaking, and they actually do a lot of it on open-source software. </p> <p> <a href="http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/06/18/the-software-behind-facebook/" target="_blank">Pingdom takes a look at how Facebook does it</a>, and describes some of the open-source technology the company leverages, in an interesting article called <a href="http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/06/18/the-software-behind-facebook/" target="_blank">The Software Behind Facebook</a>. It's worth reading. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,9bf1e4bf-2cf3-46a5-bf3e-c9168e55f113.aspx Random Stuff Tech
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I decided yesterday to start using my Nikon D200 digital still SLR camera to do some interval shooting, and then took the series of images to make a time-lapse film. It’s something I’ve messed with before a little bit, but for some reason I decided I wanted to dive right in.

I made a couple so-so quick and dirty videos yesterday, and then shot some night clouds moving across the star-lit sky last night. The nice thing about living where I do is that there’s lots of sky and trees to help frame the shots, and the city lights are fairly far away. So clouds get a glow on a long exposure at night but the stars show up nicely, too.

Anyhow, another cool thing about this new little hobby tangent is that I can spend three to five minutes setting up a interval series shot, click a couple buttons, and then walk away for about 90 minutes while the camera takes its pictures. That works great for quickly starting a shot between work calls or what have you.

I used to be a photographer professionally – back when people still shot film. That was two careers ago, and I miss it at times. So I have a pretty solid understanding of how things work for different types of exposures, and all the weirdness that goes with long exposures. But with digital cameras things get messy when you do exposures more than a second, and the whole video noise thing is really pretty annoying.

At any rate, I came up with a few videos, so I thought I would post them here along with a few noted about how they’re made.

My initial videos were kind of messy, but you can click the links to see them if you like. Gotta start somewhere, heh.

I’ll start here with a video I made today, which took advantage of the rather spectacular clouds building in the sky over my house this afternoon. To see this video in its highest quality, view it in HD at YouTube.

The night shot at the end of the above video was filmed last night. I didn’t quite capture the stars as brightly as wanted, but it still turned out pretty nice.

So, tonight I decided I wanted to try again. I adjusted the shooting exposure (went from a 10-second exposure to a 15-second one) and the result was the quick video test below, which shows the stars much more clearly I think.

Night clouds and stars take two from Greg Hughes on Vimeo.

It’s not really too hard to do these time-lapse films. I have a camera that will do interval shooting, and I also have a remote intervalometer shutter release for it. Some consumer cameras have this feature, some require an external controller like the one I have.

Once the series of photos is made, I import them into QuickTime Pro. You just choose File > Open Image Sequence and then point at the first file in the numerical sequence. As long as the files are one complete numerical list, QuickTime will import them in the right order. Then I export the files as MP4, 1920x1080 and 5,000 Kbps or higher bit rate.

After that I pulled the film segments with the soundtrack audio into Windows Live Movie Maker on Windows 7, produced the video with transitions and what have you, then exported to a new hi-def video. I also automatically published to YouTube.

That’s about it. I will try to post a more detailed tutorial sometime soon, after I do a few more time lapse sessions.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Learning some DSLR Time-Lapse Video Technique &ndash; Day and Night http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,117cd943-500b-48ea-8d52-9d8994a67d25.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/LearningSomeDSLRTimeLapseVideoTechniqueNdashDayAndNight.aspx Sat, 08 May 2010 09:52:44 GMT <p> I decided yesterday to start using my Nikon D200 digital still SLR camera to do some interval shooting, and then took the series of images to make a time-lapse film. It’s something I’ve messed with before a little bit, but for some reason I decided I wanted to dive right in. </p> <p> I made a couple so-so quick and dirty videos yesterday, and then shot some night clouds moving across the star-lit sky last night. The nice thing about living where I do is that there’s lots of sky and trees to help frame the shots, and the city lights are fairly far away. So clouds get a glow on a long exposure at night but the stars show up nicely, too. </p> <p> Anyhow, another cool thing about this new little hobby tangent is that I can spend three to five minutes setting up a interval series shot, click a couple buttons, and then walk away for about 90 minutes while the camera takes its pictures. That works great for quickly starting a shot between work calls or what have you. </p> <p> I used to be a photographer professionally – back when people still shot film. That was two careers ago, and I miss it at times. So I have a pretty solid understanding of how things work for different types of exposures, and all the weirdness that goes with long exposures. But with digital cameras things get messy when you do exposures more than a second, and the whole video noise thing is really pretty annoying. </p> <p> At any rate, I came up with a few videos, so I thought I would post them here along with a few noted about how they’re made. </p> <p> My initial videos were kind of messy, but you can <a href="http://vimeo.com/11543511" target="_blank">click</a> the <a href="http://vimeo.com/11540469" target="_blank">links</a> to see them if you like. Gotta start somewhere, heh. </p> <p> I’ll start here with a video I made today, which took advantage of the rather spectacular clouds building in the sky over my house this afternoon. To see this video in its highest quality, view it <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l8Lh2rO6JM" target="_blank">in HD at YouTube</a>. </p> <div style="padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; width: 425px; padding-right: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-top: 0px" id="scid:5737277B-5D6D-4f48-ABFC-DD9C333F4C5D:9ee10c44-ae2b-4581-864b-3d45c2262038" class="wlWriterEditableSmartContent"> <div id="28715761-c927-41f5-8d9b-647f8ca7411c" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; display: inline;"> <div><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l8Lh2rO6JM&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;hd=1" target="_new"><img src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/LearningsomeDSLRTimeLapseVideoTechniqueD_2879/video98d95a8b7957.jpg" style="border-style: none" galleryimg="no" onload="var downlevelDiv = document.getElementById('28715761-c927-41f5-8d9b-647f8ca7411c'); downlevelDiv.innerHTML = &quot;&lt;div&gt;&lt;object width=\&quot;425\&quot; height=\&quot;355\&quot;&gt;&lt;param name=\&quot;movie\&quot; value=\&quot;http://www.youtube.com/v/6l8Lh2rO6JM&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;hd=1&amp;hl=en\&quot;&gt;&lt;\/param&gt;&lt;embed src=\&quot;http://www.youtube.com/v/6l8Lh2rO6JM&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;rel=0&amp;hd=1&amp;hl=en\&quot; type=\&quot;application/x-shockwave-flash\&quot; width=\&quot;425\&quot; height=\&quot;355\&quot;&gt;&lt;\/embed&gt;&lt;\/object&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&quot;;" alt=""></a> </div> </div> </div> <p> The night shot at the end of the above video was filmed last night. I didn’t quite capture the stars as brightly as wanted, but it still turned out pretty nice. </p> <p> So, tonight I decided I wanted to try again. I adjusted the shooting exposure (went from a 10-second exposure to a 15-second one) and the result was the quick video test below, which shows the stars much more clearly I think. </p> <p align="center"> <object width="501" height="282"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11573377&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11573377&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="501" height="282"></embed> </object> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://vimeo.com/11573377">Night clouds and stars take two</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/greghughes">Greg Hughes</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>. </p> <p> It’s not really too hard to do these time-lapse films. I have a camera that will do interval shooting, and I also have a remote intervalometer shutter release for it. Some consumer cameras have this feature, some require an external controller like the one I have. </p> <p> Once the series of photos is made, I import them into QuickTime Pro. You just choose File &gt; Open Image Sequence and then point at the first file in the numerical sequence. As long as the files are one complete numerical list, QuickTime will import them in the right order. Then I export the files as MP4, 1920x1080 and 5,000 Kbps or higher bit rate. </p> <p> After that I pulled the film segments with the soundtrack audio into Windows Live Movie Maker on Windows 7, produced the video with transitions and what have you, then exported to a new hi-def video. I also automatically published to YouTube. </p> <p> That’s about it. I will try to post a more detailed tutorial sometime soon, after I do a few more time lapse sessions. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,117cd943-500b-48ea-8d52-9d8994a67d25.aspx Photography Random Stuff Tablet PC
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Once again this year, I have been asked to shoot an Independence Day fireworks show for Western Display Fireworks, and this year it will be in beautiful Anacortes, Washington up on Fidalgo Island, next to the San Juan Islands. I’ve never been there before, and am looking forward to the shoot. There’s an airport up there, so I may just have to plan a weekend flight up that way to scout out the site before the show.

If you think you might be interested in being part of the volunteer fireworks crew, this is your invitation to find out more and see if it’s something you’d be interested in. It’s hard work, but that never hurt anyone. We do some heavy lifting at times, and it’s a bit of a dirty job. But once you’ve experienced it, it’s awfully hard to stay away the next time around. I first smelled the smoke and caught the commercial fireworks bug back in 2000, and soon after that I got licensed as a pyrotechnician/operator and have been shooting shows ever since.

This year we will head up to Anacortes on July 3rd, set up all day on the 4th, shoot the show and clean up after (yes, it’s quite a long day), and then return to our respective homes on the 5th. You'll handle the shells, set up and load the mortars, help wire them all up to the firing equipment, learn all about how they work, participate in a full set of safety lessons, and - most importantly - you'll be a key part of bringing an awesome July 4th celebration to the people of Anacortes and the surrounding area.

We need a crew of about 6-8 people, and at this point I have myself plus three other people confirmed and on the crew list. So, there’s room for a few more! Pretty much anyone who can handle explosives per the federal government can participate (I’ll explain those rules to people who express an interest, but suffice it to say pretty much anyone can help).

Last year I asked for volunteers here and on Twitter and we ended up with a great crew of people who had a lot of fun. So, I’m hoping for the same thing this year!

The fact is, it’s not often you get a chance to blow up thousands of dollars of someone else’s stuff, and we’re talking about the real thing here – not the little stuff you buy at your local fireworks stand. This year’s show consists of 3-inch to 6-inch diameter shells and is bigger than the show we shot last year in Des Moines, Washington (a couple of videos from last year’s show are embedded below to get your appetite going).

If you think you might be interested, drop me a line at 503-766-2258 or email me (address is in the side bar). I’m glad to answer questions!

Here are the videos from last year – The first one was shot from right in the middle of the mortar tubes at the firing location, and the other from the spectator end of the pier. Enjoy!

July 4th 2009 Fireworks - Des Moines, WA from Greg Hughes on Vimeo .

Fireworks - July 4th 2009 - Des Moines, WA from John Losey on Vimeo .



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Come shoot a big fireworks show with me on July 4th &ndash; in Anacortes, Washington http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,652f8497-62c8-4919-923d-f1a5b6a394ca.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ComeShootABigFireworksShowWithMeOnJuly4thNdashInAnacortesWashington.aspx Thu, 06 May 2010 06:16:00 GMT <p> Once again this year, I have been asked to shoot an Independence Day fireworks show for <a href="http://westerndisplay.com/" target="_blank">Western Display Fireworks</a>, and this year it will be in beautiful <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=UTF-8&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;q=anacortes,+wa" target="_blank">Anacortes, Washington</a> up on Fidalgo Island, next to the San Juan Islands. I’ve never been there before, and am looking forward to the shoot. There’s an airport up there, so I may just have to plan a weekend flight up that way to scout out the site before the show. </p> <p> If you think you might be interested in being part of the volunteer fireworks crew, this is your invitation to find out more and see if it’s something you’d be interested in. It’s hard work, but that never hurt anyone. We do some heavy lifting at times, and it’s a bit of a dirty job. But once you’ve experienced it, it’s awfully hard to stay away the next time around. I first smelled the smoke and caught the commercial fireworks bug back in 2000, and soon after that I got licensed as a pyrotechnician/operator and have been shooting shows ever since. </p> <p> This year we will head up to Anacortes on July 3rd, set up all day on the 4th, shoot the show and clean up after (yes, it’s quite a long day), and then return to our respective homes on the 5th. You'll handle the shells, set up and load the mortars, help wire them all up to the firing equipment, learn all about how they work, participate in a full set of safety lessons, and - most importantly - you'll be a key part of bringing an awesome July 4th celebration to the people of Anacortes and the surrounding area. </p> <p> We need a crew of about 6-8 people, and at this point I have myself plus three other people confirmed and on the crew list. So, there’s room for a few more! Pretty much anyone who can handle explosives per the federal government can participate (I’ll explain those rules to people who express an interest, but suffice it to say pretty much anyone can help). </p> <p> Last year I asked for volunteers here and on Twitter and we ended up with a great crew of people who had a lot of fun. So, I’m hoping for the same thing this year! </p> <p> The fact is, it’s not often you get a chance to blow up thousands of dollars of someone else’s stuff, and we’re talking about the real thing here – not the little stuff you buy at your local fireworks stand. This year’s show consists of 3-inch to 6-inch diameter shells and is bigger than the show we shot last year in Des Moines, Washington (a couple of videos from last year’s show are embedded below to get your appetite going). </p> <p> If you think you might be interested, drop me a line at 503-766-2258 or email me (address is in the side bar). I’m glad to answer questions! </p> <p> Here are the videos from last year – The first one was shot from right in the middle of the mortar tubes at the firing location, and the other from the spectator end of the pier. Enjoy! </p> <p align="center"> <object width="400" height="230"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5478352&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5478352&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="230"></embed> </object> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://vimeo.com/5478352"><font size="1">July 4th 2009 Fireworks - Des Moines, WA</font></a><font size="1"> from </font><a href="http://vimeo.com/user586522"><font size="1">Greg Hughes</font></a><font size="1"> on </font><a href="http://vimeo.com"><font size="1">Vimeo</font></a><font size="1">.</font> </p> <p align="center"> <object width="400" height="270"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5503271&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5503271&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="270"></embed> </object> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://vimeo.com/5503271"><font size="1">Fireworks - July 4th 2009 - Des Moines, WA</font></a><font size="1"> from </font><a href="http://vimeo.com/user2004881"><font size="1">John Losey</font></a><font size="1"> on </font><a href="http://vimeo.com"><font size="1">Vimeo</font></a><font size="1">.</font> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,652f8497-62c8-4919-923d-f1a5b6a394ca.aspx Fireworks Random Stuff
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I spent the afternoon and the better part of the evening with my friend Dave the other day. We're close friends of ten years, both pilots and generally good buddies. We spent the day keeping each other company and - although we only briefly spoke about it - supporting each other through the anniversary of a difficult, life-changing day. It's so hard to believe it's actually been ten years - Both an eternity and a blink of the eye, all rolled into one. So much has changed in that time, yet so much seems the same.

Life can make remembering the good stuff difficult, if we let it. My son died suddenly the day before Thanksgiving so many years ago. He was 15 years old, and Dave was his good friend in high school. While much has happened and changed in both our lives in the intervening time, there's a slice of us that was sort of put on hold back then - almost as if one dimension of time simply stopped still while others kept on moving along. We both miss Brian, but we're also thankful for the times we had together.

So, the Thanksgiving holiday is always a bit of a rough time for me - one with mixed and conflicting feelings. Every year, however, I purposefully try my best to remember what this holiday is all about and to reflect on all the things in life for which I am truly grateful, and there are many. One of the ways I accomplish that is by writing and re-writing these words annually, adding to them and making them paint a picture of life at the time. I do this partly for me, and in no small part for others who might be feeling much the same way and just happen to run across this. So in some ways I'm repeating myself here, but that's what it's all about really - to keep looking back, reflecting on progress, changing and growing as we move forward.

Life's not perfect, and from the depths of the desperate situations and experiences that substantially change us - often things that we would never wish to have happen again, to anyone - we are destined to learn and grow, and hopefully to become better people in the end. I know I have experienced that over the years, and my life is quite different as a result.

Not too long ago some friends of mine impressed upon me the importance of adopting an "attitude of gratitude" in life. What they meant - at least in part - was that the place where you focus your thoughts is pretty much where you'll end up, and that being grateful for what you have - rather than obsessed or angry about what you don't have - is a good thing. For the most part I think they're right. This time of year I tend to think about a lot of different things, some difficult and some pleasant. But every year I try to take some Thanksgiving time to remember that even though life is crazy and our time is often too-short, there are so many things in life for which I am grateful and give thanks.

So, ultimately this message is supposed to be about what I am thankful for. About gratitude. So let's get to that.

This has been an amazing year for me. So much has changed in my life. I am thankful for Laura, my new and amazing wife who somehow understands me and has truly changed my world for the better. And for Megan, Nick and Sam, three of the greatest kids one could possibly hope for. I only hope I can be what they need me to be. They mean so much to me and I love them all very much.

I am also grateful for our many terrific friends, my (now much larger) extended family, my job, our home, my goofy dog, and now another goofy dog. I'm thankful for flying and wakeboarding and skiing and concerts and so many special things we get to experience. I'm grateful for doctors who fixed my damaged body a few years ago and for people who cared enough to put their lives on hold and help me when I needed it. I often wish I was better toward those who have been so good to me, and I strive to find ways to both give back and pay forward. I truly appreciate them, and am thankful they are a part of my life.

There are many, many people in this world much better than me, and a few of those good people I've had the privilege to know personally. I am thankful for them, even if I don't or can't always show it when it counts. I only hope in the future I can be more more worthy of their qualities.

Thanksgiving doesn't have to happen just one day a year. We can - and should - remember these things every day. But in a busy world of hurrying to get from here to there every day it can be easy to forget, so a little reminder never hurt anyone.

I'm grateful for my life - all of it. The people in it, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, and for all the possibilities of the future - whatever those may be. I've been lost and found again. Even though I'm not sure how or why, I think I've come out of it all at least a little bit better of a person. At least I hope so. Our experiences and what we do with them when he times get tough make us who we are. I've been very fortunate in so many ways, and am truly thankful for that.

As they say, "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."

Yes, it is.

Happy Thanksgiving.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Thanksgiving, loss, and finding ourselves again... http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,0cf4358c-2d48-4d3a-a2e6-1943227a7e7f.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ThanksgivingLossAndFindingOurselvesAgain.aspx Thu, 26 Nov 2009 17:47:19 GMT <p> I spent the afternoon and the better part of the evening with my friend Dave the other day. We're close friends of ten years, both pilots and generally good buddies. We spent the day keeping each other company and - although we only briefly spoke about it - supporting each other through the anniversary of a difficult, life-changing day. It's so hard to believe it's actually been ten years - Both an eternity and a blink of the eye, all rolled into one. So much has changed in that time, yet so much seems the same. </p> <p> Life can make remembering the good stuff difficult, if we let it. My son died suddenly the day before Thanksgiving so many years ago. He was 15 years old, and Dave was his good friend in high school. While much has happened and changed in both our lives in the intervening time, there's a slice of us that was sort of put on hold back then - almost as if one dimension of time simply stopped still while others kept on moving along. We both miss Brian, but we're also thankful for the times we had together. </p> <p> So, the Thanksgiving holiday is always a bit of a rough time for me - one with mixed and conflicting feelings. Every year, however, I purposefully try my best to remember what this holiday is all about and to reflect on all the things in life for which I am truly grateful, and there are many. One of the ways I accomplish that is by writing and re-writing these words annually, adding to them and making them paint a picture of life at the time. I do this partly for me, and in no small part for others who might be feeling much the same way and just happen to run across this. So in some ways I'm repeating myself here, but that's what it's all about really - to keep looking back, reflecting on progress, changing and growing as we move forward. </p> <p> Life's not perfect, and from the depths of the desperate situations and experiences that substantially change us - often things that we would never wish to have happen again, to anyone - we are destined to learn and grow, and hopefully to become better people in the end. I know I have experienced that over the years, and my life is quite different as a result. </p> <p> Not too long ago some friends of mine impressed upon me the importance of adopting an "attitude of gratitude" in life. What they meant - at least in part - was that the place where you focus your thoughts is pretty much where you'll end up, and that being grateful for what you have - rather than obsessed or angry about what you don't have - is a good thing. For the most part I think they're right. This time of year I tend to think about a lot of different things, some difficult and some pleasant. But every year I try to take some Thanksgiving time to remember that even though life is crazy and our time is often too-short, there are so many things in life for which I am grateful and give thanks. </p> <p> So, ultimately this message is supposed to be about what I am thankful for. About gratitude. So let's get to that. </p> <p> This has been an amazing year for me. So much has changed in my life. I am thankful for Laura, my new and amazing wife who somehow understands me and has truly changed my world for the better. And for Megan, Nick and Sam, three of the greatest kids one could possibly hope for. I only hope I can be what they need me to be. They mean so much to me and I love them all very much. </p> <p> I am also grateful for our many terrific friends, my (now much larger) extended family, my job, our home, my goofy dog, and now another goofy dog. I'm thankful for flying and wakeboarding and skiing and concerts and so many special things we get to experience. I'm grateful for doctors who fixed my damaged body a few years ago and for people who cared enough to put their lives on hold and help me when I needed it. I often wish I was better toward those who have been so good to me, and I strive to find ways to both give back and pay forward. I truly appreciate them, and am thankful they are a part of my life. </p> <p> There are many, many people in this world much better than me, and a few of those good people I've had the privilege to know personally. I am thankful for them, even if I don't or can't always show it when it counts. I only hope in the future I can be more more worthy of their qualities. </p> <p> Thanksgiving doesn't have to happen just one day a year. We can - and should - remember these things every day. But in a busy world of hurrying to get from here to there every day it can be easy to forget, so a little reminder never hurt anyone. </p> <p> I'm grateful for my life - all of it. The people in it, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, and for all the possibilities of the future - whatever those may be. I've been lost and found again. Even though I'm not sure how or why, I think I've come out of it all at least a little bit better of a person. At least I hope so. Our experiences and what we do with them when he times get tough make us who we are. I've been very fortunate in so many ways, and am truly thankful for that. </p> <p> As they say, "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." </p> <p> Yes, it is. </p> <p> Happy Thanksgiving. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,0cf4358c-2d48-4d3a-a2e6-1943227a7e7f.aspx Personal Stories Random Stuff
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The other day I went flying in the plane with my friend Dave. We went a few places, including the avionics shop at Aurora and an early dinner at the Mulino Hangar cafe. Then we flew around Mt. Hood as the sun was going down. It was a calm, clear and beautiful day, much improved over the recent rains. You could see all the mountains clearly, from Sisters and Jefferson to the south, to Adams and St. Helens to the north, and even all the way up to Mt. Rainier, clear as a bell. We climbed up to about 10,000 feet and I steered the aircraft while Dave took a few pictures.

Hood3 Hood1 Hood2



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Flying around Mt. Hood http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,802a9b5d-eb23-4812-812d-8afda2c8b0ac.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FlyingAroundMtHood.aspx Thu, 26 Nov 2009 17:40:30 GMT <p> The other day I went flying in the plane with my friend Dave. We went a few places, including the avionics shop at Aurora and an early dinner at the Mulino Hangar cafe. Then we flew around Mt. Hood as the sun was going down. It was a calm, clear and beautiful day, much improved over the recent rains. You could see all the mountains clearly, from Sisters and Jefferson to the south, to Adams and St. Helens to the north, and even all the way up to Mt. Rainier, clear as a bell. We climbed up to about 10,000 feet and I steered the aircraft while Dave took a few pictures. </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/FlyingaroundMt.Hood_8809/Hood3_4.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Hood3" border="0" alt="Hood3" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/FlyingaroundMt.Hood_8809/Hood3_thumb_1.jpg" width="244" height="184"></a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/FlyingaroundMt.Hood_8809/Hood1_4.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Hood1" border="0" alt="Hood1" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/FlyingaroundMt.Hood_8809/Hood1_thumb_1.jpg" width="184" height="244"></a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/FlyingaroundMt.Hood_8809/Hood2_4.jpg"><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="Hood2" border="0" alt="Hood2" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/FlyingaroundMt.Hood_8809/Hood2_thumb_1.jpg" width="244" height="184"></a> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,802a9b5d-eb23-4812-812d-8afda2c8b0ac.aspx Photography Random Stuff
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Here’s a video of the fireworks show we operated for the people of Des Moines, Washington this past weekend. It was both Independence Day and the celebration of the city’s 50th anniversary. It took an afternoon plus the better part of a full day to set up, and we shot it off in about 17-18 minutes.

Thanks to everyone who helped out on the crew this year - It was a great team!

The camera angle is a bit of an unusual one. In this video you are looking straight up at the sky, and the camera is fastened to a bench on the pier where we fired the show. The three-inch mortars are just to the left of the camera, so you’ll see smoke and sparks sometimes, as well as glowing materials falling back toward the camera. Enjoy.

July 4th 2009 Fireworks - Des Moines, WA from Greg Hughes on Vimeo.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Fireworks show &ndash; Des Moines, Washington &ndash; July 4, 2009 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,3e40d8e9-1d43-4a12-ae9a-96d63f428ffe.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FireworksShowNdashDesMoinesWashingtonNdashJuly42009.aspx Mon, 06 Jul 2009 23:19:19 GMT <p> Here’s a video of the <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FireworksFanComeShootABigShowWithMeOnJuly4th.aspx">fireworks show</a> we operated for the people of Des Moines, Washington this past weekend. It was both Independence Day and the celebration of the city’s 50th anniversary. It took an afternoon plus the better part of a full day to set up, and we shot it off in about 17-18 minutes. <br> </p> <p> Thanks to everyone who helped out on the crew this year - It was a great team!<br> </p> <p> The camera angle is a bit of an unusual one. In this video you are looking straight up at the sky, and the camera is fastened to a bench on the pier where we fired the show. The three-inch mortars are just to the left of the camera, so you’ll see smoke and sparks sometimes, as well as glowing materials falling back toward the camera. Enjoy. </p> <p align="center"> <object height="288" width="501"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"> <param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5478352&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1"><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5478352&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="288" width="501"> </object> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://vimeo.com/5478352">July 4th 2009 Fireworks - Des Moines, WA</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user586522">Greg Hughes</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,3e40d8e9-1d43-4a12-ae9a-96d63f428ffe.aspx Fireworks Random Stuff
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I’m going to file this one here for my own use, and hopefully someone else will benefit in the process. I bought two new batteries for my late-90’s Yamaha WaveRunners because the old ones were dead. I got the batteries all prepped, charged them per the instructions, and went to install them in the watercraft.

I hooked them up and tried to get the Wave Runners to start, but both were dead as a doornail. I checked fuses and electrical connections and all was good. Hmmm. But something seemed familiar about this, like I’d dealt with this problem once before. It really struck me that was the case about the time I pulled one of the fuses out. Hadn’t I done something like that before and didn’t it require me to do some freaky WaveRunner mojo in order to get things started again?

As usual, the Internet was my friend. I did some searching and discovered the same thing my dealer had told me some times ago: When you disconnect power, the WaveRunner goes into an anti-theft mode and won’t run until you do a few things.

Here are the steps that I followed in order to get them to turn on:

  1. Install the battery
  2. Hold down the MODE button on the console until the display flashes the word CODE
  3. Enter A A A A
  4. Now you can start the watercraft

And that’s it. As I recall, you can set your own code, too – But I’m not doing that in my case. I’d just forget it anyhow!



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. How to get a Yamaha WaveRunner with a new battery to start http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,13e5689a-ecc5-4ecf-95bb-86f93e0893df.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/HowToGetAYamahaWaveRunnerWithANewBatteryToStart.aspx Thu, 02 Jul 2009 22:03:23 GMT <p> I’m going to file this one here for my own use, and hopefully someone else will benefit in the process. I bought two new batteries for my late-90’s Yamaha WaveRunners because the old ones were dead. I got the batteries all prepped, charged them per the instructions, and went to install them in the watercraft. </p> <p> I hooked them up and tried to get the Wave Runners to start, but both were dead as a doornail. I checked fuses and electrical connections and all was good. Hmmm. But something seemed familiar about this, like I’d dealt with this problem once before. It really struck me that was the case about the time I pulled one of the fuses out. Hadn’t I done something like that before and didn’t it require me to do some freaky WaveRunner mojo in order to get things started again? </p> <p> As usual, the Internet was my friend. I did some searching and discovered the same thing my dealer had told me some times ago: When you disconnect power, the WaveRunner goes into an anti-theft mode and won’t run until you do a few things. </p> <p> Here are the steps that I followed in order to get them to turn on: </p> <ol> <li> Install the battery</li> <li> Hold down the MODE button on the console until the display flashes the word CODE</li> <li> Enter A A A A</li> <li> Now you can start the watercraft</li> </ol> <p> And that’s it. As I recall, you can set your own code, too – But I’m not doing that in my case. I’d just forget it anyhow! </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,13e5689a-ecc5-4ecf-95bb-86f93e0893df.aspx Random Stuff
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After a year and a half of doing some fun security and IT consulting (along with taking some valuable personal time off), last week I returned as a contractor to work full-time at the "parent" of the company I used to work for. Fiserv acquired CheckFree last year, shortly after CheckFree acquired Corillian - which was the company I at worked for about eight years.

My new responsibilities involve working on enterprise security strategy for the company as a whole. I'm excited to be back working with a bunch of people I respect and admire. Completing the full-circle path this transition represents, I'm even sitting back at very the same desk I occupied when I managed Corillian's IT department several years ago. Funny how these things happen! It's been fun to catch up with my old coworkers and to get back in the seat.

Who knows... I might even be inspired to write more here in the future, now that I'm getting my brain back into technology again full-time. :)



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. What's old is new again http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,88a600b3-2142-4cc2-b231-afca364dd96b.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhatsOldIsNewAgain.aspx Tue, 09 Jun 2009 03:52:29 GMT <p> After a year and a half of doing some fun security and IT consulting (along with taking some valuable personal time off), last week I returned as a contractor to work full-time at the "parent" of the company I used to work for. Fiserv acquired CheckFree last year, shortly after CheckFree acquired Corillian - which was the company I at worked for about eight years. </p> <p> My new responsibilities involve working on enterprise security strategy for the company as a whole. I'm excited to be back working with a bunch of people I respect and admire. Completing the full-circle path this transition represents, I'm even sitting back at very the same desk I occupied when I managed Corillian's IT department several years ago. Funny how these things happen! It's been fun to catch up with my old coworkers and to get back in the seat. </p> <p> Who knows... I might even be inspired to write more here in the future, now that I'm getting my brain back into technology again full-time. :) </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,88a600b3-2142-4cc2-b231-afca364dd96b.aspx Personal Stories Random Stuff
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Here's a non-technical post. I shot a few pictures in my yard this morning as the sun was coming up. We've certainly been blessed with some incredibly nice weather recently, after a whole bunch of rain. There are a zillion wild irises blooming across my property. Click each image for the full-size version, if you like.

 



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Spring Flowers (It's not all about computers, you know) http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,da9f91e9-3b17-4511-b0e8-b1359cf1a487.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SpringFlowersItsNotAllAboutComputersYouKnow.aspx Thu, 28 May 2009 14:02:46 GMT <p> Here's a non-technical post. I shot a few pictures in my yard this morning as the sun was coming up. We've certainly been blessed with some incredibly nice weather recently, after a whole bunch of rain. There are a zillion wild irises blooming across my property. Click each image for the full-size version, if you like.<br> </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Iris1.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Iris1-thumb.jpg" border="0" height="459" width="308"></a>&nbsp; <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Flowers1.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Flowers1-thumb.jpg" border="0" height="458" width="307"></a> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,da9f91e9-3b17-4511-b0e8-b1359cf1a487.aspx Random Stuff
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=253c5d71-d486-4dae-8a83-c72c12ccf636 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,253c5d71-d486-4dae-8a83-c72c12ccf636.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,253c5d71-d486-4dae-8a83-c72c12ccf636.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=253c5d71-d486-4dae-8a83-c72c12ccf636 2 Fireworks fan? Come shoot a big show with me on July 4th http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,253c5d71-d486-4dae-8a83-c72c12ccf636.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FireworksFanComeShootABigShowWithMeOnJuly4th.aspx Tue, 19 May 2009 23:49:36 GMT <p> Many people already know that I hold fireworks display operator/pyrotechnician licenses in both Oregon and Washington. So, every year I "shoot" a few (or more) large public display shows. In other words, the professional shows that cost quite a bit of money and make big noises and splashes of light. </p> <p> Every year I invite people to come help me with the operation of the show on July 4th. It's a fun and exciting way to spend Independence Day, and it's not often that people get a chance to set up, load and shoot a big fireworks show. </p> <p> But, here's your chance. If you're interested in joining me for July 4th in Des Moines, Washington (which is just south of SeaTac airport and north of Federal Way) to set up, fire and clean up a big show for the city, let me know by sending me an email or giving me a call! My contact info is in the sidebar of this site. We shoot this particular show off the end of a pier over the water. We'll start in the morning and load all the equipment down to the end of the pier, shoot the show and then remove the equipment and clean things up. </p> <p> It's a bit of work, but it's also a truly unique experience and a whole lot of fun. Heck, how often do you get to blow up thousands of dollars of someone else's stuff? You'll handle the shells, set up and load the mortars, help wire them all up to the firing equipment, learn all about how they work, participate in a full set of safety lessons, and - most importantly - you'll be a key part of bringing an awesome July 4th celebration to the people of the city of Des Moines. </p> <p> Feel free to let me know if you might like to participate. Safety always comes first and you will be trained in everything you need to know to safely be a crew member. Don't be bashful, there are a few crew slots open and I welcome your help and participation! The requirements for crew participation (per the U.S. government) are: United States citizen or legal resident, at least 18 years old, no felony convictions, and a few other details that I can explain to anyone who wants to participate. </p> <p> Thanks, and hope to have you on the crew! Get in touch! To pique your interest, here's a sample video of a show we operated a couple years ago in Walla Walla: </p> <p> <span> <object height="307" width="380"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/eOsuiYIhUp8&hl=en&fs=1" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/eOsuiYIhUp8&hl=en&fs=1" allowscriptaccess="always" height="307" width="380"></embed> </object></span> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,253c5d71-d486-4dae-8a83-c72c12ccf636.aspx Fireworks Random Stuff http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=0c19fb22-c0a4-4441-87f5-9c203b9cf56d http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,0c19fb22-c0a4-4441-87f5-9c203b9cf56d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,0c19fb22-c0a4-4441-87f5-9c203b9cf56d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=0c19fb22-c0a4-4441-87f5-9c203b9cf56d

Tech Crunch posted a list of Easter eggs - little hidden software treasures you have to search for inside a program to find. It's a good list, and has a few that I had forgotten about. Among those is what some say is the original software Easter egg (I beg to differ, it might be the first video game Easter egg - but we can save that for another day), from way back in 1979 in the Atari Adventure game (wow, I remember playing that one when it was new!).

Of course, Easter eggs aren't limited to software. DVDs have become a popular place to hide fun little things, too. The Lost DVDs are a good example of discs that have extra stuff you have to poke around to find. Web sites are also often sources of Easter egg fun, and http://www.eeggs.com/ is a good site to find out how to find the in a wide variety of places.

There are nine others in the TechCrunch list, plus a couple more scattered around in the (off-topic) comments. Check it out over at TechCrunch.com.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Easter Eggs - Some Favorites From the Past for Your Geek Holiday http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,0c19fb22-c0a4-4441-87f5-9c203b9cf56d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/EasterEggsSomeFavoritesFromThePastForYourGeekHoliday.aspx Mon, 13 Apr 2009 01:22:51 GMT <p> Tech Crunch posted <a href="http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/12/some-of-our-favorite-easter-eggs/" target="_blank">a list of Easter eggs</a> - little <a href="http://www.eeggs.com/" target="_blank">hidden software treasures</a> you have to search for inside a program to find. It's a good list, and has a few that I had forgotten about. Among those is what some say is the original software Easter egg (I beg to differ, it <em>might</em> be the first <em>video game</em> Easter egg - but we can save that for another day), from way back in 1979 in the Atari Adventure game (wow, I remember playing that one when it was new!). </p> <p> <span> <object height="307" width="380"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gVbu2BssrzE&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gVbu2BssrzE&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" allowscriptaccess="always" height="307" width="380"> </object></span> </p> <p> Of course, Easter eggs aren't limited to software. DVDs have become a popular place to hide fun little things, too. The Lost DVDs are a good example of discs that have extra stuff you have to poke around to find. Web sites are also often sources of Easter egg fun, and <a href="http://www.eeggs.com/" target="_blank">http://www.eeggs.com/</a> is a good site to find out how to find the in a wide variety of places.<br> <br> There are nine others in the TechCrunch list, plus a couple more scattered around in the (off-topic) comments. <a href="http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/12/some-of-our-favorite-easter-eggs/" target="_blank">Check it out over at TechCrunch.com</a>. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,0c19fb22-c0a4-4441-87f5-9c203b9cf56d.aspx Geek Out Random Stuff Tech
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As of this evening, I am among the ranks of those who call themselves licensed pilots.

"Wow, what a day! I woke up this morning and started in on some non-flying related stuff that I had on my list, and at about 8:45 this morning my instructor, Kelly called me. Turns out one of the local FAA examiners that conducts check rides for private pilot candidates had today open and so he wanted to see if I could be at the airport for my FAA check ride at 1pm today. It wasn't quite where my mind was focused at the time the call came, but I quickly started shifting gears in my brain and agreed to be at Twin Oaks Airpark to meet Kelly at noon so we could make sure all the paperwork was in order."

Read the whole story about the exam and check ride on my flying blog.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. I'm officially a private pilot! http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,cb9199a0-70a3-47d9-a161-7d019707d7c9.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ImOfficiallyAPrivatePilot.aspx Tue, 03 Mar 2009 07:40:39 GMT <p> As of this evening, I am among the ranks of those who call themselves licensed pilots. </p> <blockquote> <p> "Wow, what a day! I woke up this morning and started in on some non-flying related stuff that I had on my list, and at about 8:45 this morning my instructor, <a href="http://www.fly-oregon.com" target="_blank">Kelly</a> called me. Turns out one of the local FAA examiners that conducts check rides for private pilot candidates had today open and so he wanted to see if I could be at the airport for my FAA check ride at 1pm today. It wasn't quite where my mind was focused at the time the call came, but I quickly started shifting gears in my brain and agreed to be at <a href="http://www.twinoaksairpark.com" title="" target="_blank">Twin Oaks Airpark</a> to meet Kelly at noon so we could make sure all the paperwork was in order." </p> </blockquote> <p> Read the whole story about <a href="http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/2009/03/i-officially-private-pilot.html" target="_blank">the exam and check ride on my flying blog</a>. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,cb9199a0-70a3-47d9-a161-7d019707d7c9.aspx Personal Stories Random Stuff
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Update: Thanks to the visiting crews from Clark Public Utilities in Washington for coming over to our side of the river and helping the CRPUD crews out with this huge outage during the holiday season. The power was restored in our area Saturday night, almost exactly 72 hours after it went out.

Yesterday evening I hooked up a new generator, freshly purchased from Lowe's in Longview, Washington because the electricity has been out at my house since about 6:00 p.m. on the 24th. In my neck of the woods (which, by the way, is a fairly literal description), we have two utilities: electrical and telephone service. Internet is via a wireless broadband service and an antenna on my roof that points to a mountain over in Washington. I don't get standard phone service, since I use a VoIP-over-Internet provider. So, when the electricity goes out I'm basically shut down here.

After nearly three days without power I now have a magical gas-powered, electricity-generating box humming away outside and a few awesome orange extension cords running under the big outer garage door, then under the door between the inside of the garage and the house. I've hooked up a small space heater, a fluorescent bulb, my refrigerator and even the Internet equipment (priorities, heh) and now I’m up and running!

This morning I was even able to make coffee. It amazing what a difference that can make when your house is sitting at 47 degrees. I'm going to have to toss out most of the food in my refrigerator and probably the stuff in my freezer, too. There' still little to no running water (I have an electric well and the natural pressure is just a very slow flow at best), but the combination of fireplace and generator/space heater can put the temperature to the upper 50's or better with some effort. It's freezing outside, and it was as cold as around 22 degrees a couple nights ago, so some heat is good to have. Most importantly the pipes won't freeze when the temperature drops.

We've had a big storm here over the past week or so, at least by Northwest Oregon standards, and especially in the City of Portland. We have just over three feet of wet snow on the ground here at home in the woods north of Portland. Broken tree branches and fallen trees litter the area, falling across roads and of course on top of power lines. The other night while outside I could hear trees breaking left and right, and branches falling. Lots of people in the area are without power. On Christmas Eve a couple brothers who are friends of mine made the four-wheel-drive trek from Portland to my place in the blizzard and found utility workers asking us to wait to drive over the fallen lines until they cut the power, and burning wires in the roadway. Those Columbia River PUD guys, out in the cold instead of home with their families, racing from broken line to broken line for more than 48 hours before going home... Those guys are pretty darned great. Tough job. I've seen this much ice and snow at my place only one time before in the six years I've lived here, but the impact has not been this significant and the power has never been out for three straight days. I know they've had extra crews from surrounding towns and counties working 24/7 on getting service restored, and the weather just keeps complicating things.

Now that I've experienced the pains of a slightly drafty house in the cold weather, I'll need to work to find the draft sources and try to fix them up a bit. Trying to heat a house with a slight draft is not exactly fun. It'll help with the energy efficiency of the house anyhow, so it's worth it. To try to keep the heat in the downstairs area rather than trying to heat the whole house, I hung a thick blanket in the stairwell on the recommendation of a neighbor. That was a great idea. It's chilly up there (but not frozen), and respectably warmer downstairs as a result.

Oh, and my outside dog is now an inside dog, at least part time. He's thrilled, like a king is his castle, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well behaved (and non-messy (in the gross kind of way)) he's been.

There's the added difficulty of three feet of very wet, heavy snow on the roof of the house. At least one of my gutters is pulling away partially with the heavy icicles, so that will need to be fixed. So far the roof is okay, and I'm hopeful the snow on there will melt some before more comes. One of my neighbors was shoveling the wet, heavy snow off his roof on Christmas Eve because he discovered his double-wide home was actually separating along the roof peak where the two halves join together. Luckily, the roof on my site-built home was specially engineered due to a county redesign mandate when they reviewed the builder’s original plans, so it's engineered to handle some massive amount of snow specifically because of the likelihood of this type of storm. They had to re-order roof trusses at the last minute that were designed to hold a lot more weight. I’m directing some thoughts of thanks at whichever person it was in the county engineer's office that caught the design flaw and forced the builder to do that structural upgrade.

At any rate, the utility company says they hope to get a crew working on our area today and to get this large region back online soon. I hope they're able to. It's been an adventure for sure, but I'm definitely ready for the electricity to come back on.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. I won't take electricity for granted anymore - Power's out and it's cold outside http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,1ee4e7c1-4bcb-4969-8e32-d6615d040df2.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/IWontTakeElectricityForGrantedAnymorePowersOutAndItsColdOutside.aspx Sat, 27 Dec 2008 18:21:39 GMT <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_0010.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_1.jpg" align="right" border="0" height="224" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="250"></a><i><b>Update:</b> Thanks to the visiting crews from Clark Public Utilities in Washington for coming over to our side of the river and helping the CRPUD crews out with this huge outage during the holiday season. The power was restored in our area Saturday night, almost exactly 72 hours after it went out.</i> <br> </p> <p> Yesterday evening I hooked up a new generator, freshly purchased from Lowe's in Longview, Washington because the electricity has been out at my house since about 6:00 p.m. on the 24th. In my neck of the woods (which, by the way, is a fairly literal description), we have two utilities: electrical and telephone service. Internet is via a <a href="http://www.cascadenetworks.net/" target="_blank">wireless broadband service</a> and an antenna on my roof that points to a mountain over in Washington. I don't get standard phone service, since I use a VoIP-over-Internet provider. So, when the electricity goes out I'm basically shut down here.<br> <br> After nearly three days without power I now have a magical gas-powered, electricity-generating box humming away outside and a few awesome orange extension cords running under the big outer garage door, then under the door between the inside of the garage and the house. I've hooked up a small space heater, a fluorescent bulb, my refrigerator and even the Internet equipment (priorities, heh) and now I’m up and running! </p> <p> This morning I was even able to make coffee. It amazing what a difference that can make when your house is sitting at 47 degrees. I'm going to have to toss out most of the food in my refrigerator and probably the stuff in my freezer, too. There' still little to no running water (I have an electric well and the natural pressure is just a very slow flow at best), but the combination of fireplace and generator/space heater can put the temperature to the upper 50's or better with some effort. It's freezing outside, and it was as cold as around 22 degrees a couple nights ago, so some heat is good to have. Most importantly the pipes won't freeze when the temperature drops. </p> <p> We've had a big storm here over the past week or so, at least by Northwest Oregon standards, and especially in the City of Portland. We have just over three feet of wet snow on the ground here at home in the woods north of Portland. Broken tree branches and fallen trees litter the area, falling across roads and of course on top of power lines. The other night while outside I could hear trees breaking left and right, and branches falling. Lots of people in the area are without power. On Christmas Eve a couple brothers who are friends of mine made the four-wheel-drive trek from Portland to my place in the blizzard and found utility workers asking us to wait to drive over the fallen lines until they cut the power, and burning wires in the roadway. Those Columbia River PUD guys, out in the cold instead of home with their families, racing from broken line to broken line for more than 48 hours before going home... Those guys are pretty darned great. Tough job. I've seen this much ice and snow at my place only one time before in the six years I've lived here, but the impact has not been this significant and the power has never been out for three straight days. I know they've had extra crews from surrounding towns and counties working 24/7 on getting service restored, and the weather just keeps complicating things. </p> <p> Now that I've experienced the pains of a slightly drafty house in the cold weather, I'll need to work to find the draft sources and try to fix them up a bit. Trying to heat a house with a slight draft is not exactly fun. It'll help with the energy efficiency of the house anyhow, so it's worth it. To try to keep the heat in the downstairs area rather than trying to heat the whole house, I hung a thick blanket in the stairwell on the recommendation of a neighbor. That was a great idea. It's chilly up there (but not frozen), and respectably warmer downstairs as a result. </p> <p align="center"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_0006.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_2.jpg" border="0" height="283" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="380"></a> </p> <p> Oh, and my outside dog is now an inside dog, at least part time. He's thrilled, like a king is his castle, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well behaved (and non-messy (in the gross kind of way)) he's been. </p> <p> There's the added difficulty of three feet of very wet, heavy snow on the roof of the house. At least one of my gutters is pulling away partially with the heavy icicles, so that will need to be fixed. So far the roof is okay, and I'm hopeful the snow on there will melt some before more comes. One of my neighbors was shoveling the wet, heavy snow off his roof on Christmas Eve because he discovered his double-wide home was actually separating along the roof peak where the two halves join together. Luckily, the roof on my site-built home was specially engineered due to a county redesign mandate when they reviewed the builder’s original plans, so it's engineered to handle some massive amount of snow specifically because of the likelihood of this type of storm. They had to re-order roof trusses at the last minute that were designed to hold a lot more weight. I’m directing some thoughts of thanks at whichever person it was in the county engineer's office that caught the design flaw and forced the builder to do that structural upgrade. </p> <p> At any rate, the utility company says they hope to get a crew working on our area today and to get this large region back online soon. I hope they're able to. It's been an adventure for sure, but I'm definitely ready for the electricity to come back on. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,1ee4e7c1-4bcb-4969-8e32-d6615d040df2.aspx Random Stuff
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Got the kids all set for Santa's arrival? You can help them track the jolly ol' elf's progress via NORAD's Santa tracking service on Christmas Eve.

There's also a Google Earth feed that you can use to track Santa's progress in 3D - Way cool for all the younger geeks among us! They also have cameras positioned around the world to allow us to see Santa's progress on Christmas Eve!



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Track Santa online in 3D with NORAD http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,9eb2dac6-24dd-4a6b-83f5-4876cc996e22.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/TrackSantaOnlineIn3DWithNORAD.aspx Wed, 24 Dec 2008 07:30:33 GMT <p style="clear: both"> Got the kids all set for Santa's arrival? You can help them track the jolly ol' elf's progress <a href="http://www.noradsanta.org/" title="" target="_blank">via NORAD's Santa tracking service</a> on Christmas Eve. </p> <p style="clear: both"> <a href="http://www.noradsanta.org/" class="image-link"><img src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/TrackSanta1.png" height="211" width="248" style=" text-align: center; display: block; margin: 0 auto 10px;" /></a>There's also <a href="http://www.noradsanta.org/en/track3d.html" target="_blank">a Google Earth feed that you can use to track Santa's progress in 3D</a> - Way cool for all the younger geeks among us! They also have <a href="http://www.noradsanta.org/en/video.html" target="_blank">cameras positioned around the world</a> to allow us to see Santa's progress on Christmas Eve! </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,9eb2dac6-24dd-4a6b-83f5-4876cc996e22.aspx Geek Out Random Stuff
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I know, it's not in any way tech-related but when it snows for the first time each year, I just have to write about it. It always snows and sticks where I live before it does in the city of Portland. We got a couple inches of snow overnight.

The snow started last night at around 8pm and that's what I woke up to. The power went out three times last night, but each time came right back on. It's been snowing off and on all day and the forecast is for more tonight and into tomorrow. This first snow is wet and heavy, so I kind of hope it melts off some before today is over, so my neighbors and I don't end up snowed in due to a frozen layer of slush under the next snowfall, like happened a few years ago.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. First snow of the Winter http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,42428f9d-7ee0-4e1c-9eed-50fd16ba5b72.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FirstSnowOfTheWinter.aspx Sat, 13 Dec 2008 23:00:36 GMT <p style="clear: both;"> I know, it's not in any way tech-related but when it snows for the first time each year, I just have to write about it. It always snows and sticks where I live before it does in the city of Portland. We got a couple inches of snow overnight. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/snow-dec08b.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/snow-dec08b1.jpg" style="margin: 0pt auto 10px; text-align: center; display: block;" height="460" width="308" border="0"></a> </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/snow-dec08a.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/snow-dec08a1.jpg" style="margin: 0pt auto 10px; text-align: center; display: block;" height="255" width="380" border="0"></a>The snow started last night at around 8pm and that's what I woke up to. The power went out three times last night, but each time came right back on. It's been snowing off and on all day and the forecast is for more tonight and into tomorrow. This first snow is wet and heavy, so I kind of hope it melts off some before today is over, so my neighbors and I don't end up snowed in due to a frozen layer of slush under the next snowfall, like happened a few years ago. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,42428f9d-7ee0-4e1c-9eed-50fd16ba5b72.aspx Random Stuff
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Try explaining to someone that you're thinking of flying a route into the State of Washington from Oregon that will take you close to Rainier. It's not quite as simple as it sounds...


"Where are you?"

"I'm near Rainier."

"Ummmm..."



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Isn't the world confusing enough without our help? http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,b4079950-137f-418d-9cb7-44864b5badde.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/IsntTheWorldConfusingEnoughWithoutOurHelp.aspx Sat, 13 Dec 2008 06:41:18 GMT <p style="clear: both"> Try explaining to someone that you're thinking of flying a route into the State of Washington from Oregon that will take you close to Rainier. It's not quite as simple as it sounds... </p> <p style="clear: both"> <img src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/screen-capture-4.jpg" height="332" align="left" width="354" style=" display: inline; float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0;" /> <br style="clear: both" /> "Where are you?" </p> <p style="clear: both"> "I'm near Rainier." </p> <p style="clear: both"> "Ummmm..." </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,b4079950-137f-418d-9cb7-44864b5badde.aspx Humor Random Stuff
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Just a quick note to mention that I've been posting a lot to my flight blog at http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/, which I started in order to document my lessons and experiences as I work to become a private pilot.

My latest flight, which I made to Salem, Oregon on Saturday, is documented both in text and as a podcast MP3 file. Let me know what you think. The entry can be found at this link.

I'm truly enjoying learning to fly. I'd say "I should have done this years ago," but in truth I'm enjoying having something new and challenging at this point in my life.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Audio podcast from my flight lesson Saturday http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,7dc94044-8532-4699-801e-7d5f0fd1aa52.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/AudioPodcastFromMyFlightLessonSaturday.aspx Sun, 30 Nov 2008 09:28:13 GMT <p style="clear: both"> Just a quick note to mention that I've been posting a lot to my flight blog at <a href="http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/</a>, which I started in order to document my lessons and experiences as I work to become a private pilot. </p> <p style="clear: both"> My latest flight, which I made to Salem, Oregon on Saturday, is documented both in text and as a podcast MP3 file. Let me know what you think. <a href="http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/2008/11/short-cross-country-practice-to-salem.html" target="_blank">The entry can be found at this link</a>.<br /> <br /> I'm truly enjoying learning to fly. I'd say "I should have done this years ago," but in truth I'm enjoying having something new and challenging at this point in my life. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,7dc94044-8532-4699-801e-7d5f0fd1aa52.aspx Random Stuff
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I wrote all about it on my flying blog, but Sunday was an exciting and cool day, because I flew an airplane solo, all by myself with no one else in the plane, for the first time. This whole flying thing might work out, after all!

The full story is documented on my "Coordinated Flight" blog, should you care to read all about it.




greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Flying lesson update: Flew solo for the first time http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,8517b592-28f7-471d-9371-fd33f7064bb6.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FlyingLessonUpdateFlewSoloForTheFirstTime.aspx Mon, 17 Nov 2008 08:42:29 GMT <p style="clear: both"> I wrote all about it on my flying blog, but Sunday was an exciting and cool day, because <a href="http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/2008/11/first-solo-and-some-other-stuff.html" target="_blank">I flew an airplane solo</a>, all by myself with no one else in the plane, for the first time. This whole flying thing might work out, after all! </p> <p style="clear: both"> The full story <a href="http://coordinatedflight.blogspot.com/2008/11/first-solo-and-some-other-stuff.html" title="" target="_blank">is documented on my "Coordinated Flight" blog</a>, should you care to read all about it. </p> <p style="clear: both"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Zi6_3.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Zi6_4.jpg" height="287" width="380" style=" text-align: center; display: block; margin: 0 auto 10px;" /></a> <br style="clear: both" /> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,8517b592-28f7-471d-9371-fd33f7064bb6.aspx Personal Stories Random Stuff
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Well, we're getting going full swing for a week of TechEd conference in Barcelona, Spain. video, audio and stage presentations will be keeping us busy all week. If you're here, please let me know, or drop by and say hi at the "fishbowl" or TechEd stage.

The weather when I flew in yesterday was bumpy and wet, but today it's beautiful and sunny outside - more like the Barcelona I remember. Not that well be out in the air much, this week - but it's nice to look outside and see sun. The hotel and conference center are right on the sea, and as long as I can stay heathy this week, it will be great.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. In Barcelona all week - TechEd IT conference http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,5c3aa206-5755-41d3-99de-4fadb0aacb7f.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/InBarcelonaAllWeekTechEdITConference.aspx Mon, 03 Nov 2008 12:53:03 GMT <p style="clear: both"> Well, we're getting going full swing for a week of TechEd conference in Barcelona, Spain. video, audio and stage presentations will be keeping us busy all week. If you're here, please let me know, or drop by and say hi at the "fishbowl" or TechEd stage. </p> <p style="clear: both"> The weather when I flew in yesterday was bumpy and wet, but today it's beautiful and sunny outside - more like the Barcelona I remember. Not that well be out in the air much, this week - but it's nice to look outside and see sun. The hotel and conference center are right on the sea, and as long as I can stay heathy this week, it will be great. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,5c3aa206-5755-41d3-99de-4fadb0aacb7f.aspx Random Stuff
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I had the opportunity today to spend some time chatting with Ben Jackson, who's the owner and technical director of Brainjuice, LLC. His company created Blogo, the app I use on my Mac to write posts like this one.

But today we weren't talking about Blogo, we were discussing a new iPhone game Brainjuice is in the final phases of completing called Arcade Hockey. It's just about done and will appear in the iTunes App Store in early to mid November. It's a table hockey game and it's a lot of fun, well-executed and designed.

Here are a few screenshots of the game screens, so you can see what's coming. You can click on each image to see the full-sized version.

The splash screen, which you see when the game first starts:


You have the option of playing a one- or two-plater game. In the one-player version you play against the computer's artificial intelligence opponent. More on that later in the article.


You can choose a few options, like the size of the paddles and pucks, as well as the version of the game (standard arcade deck, or "boomerang" style.


Game play consists of a classic table hockey game, and you use the tip of your finger on the touch screen to move the paddle and hit the puck. The physics of the game are pretty good, and the puck reacts pretty how you'd expect and want it to.

The classic and boomerang tables:



When you've played your "best-of" set, the game makes sure each player knows who won and who lost.


As a former air hockey addict, I can say this game is quite a bit of fun, and there's something to be said for pulling the game out of your pocket and playing a surprisingly accurate and realistic game on the bus, before the movie, while out on a hot date you want to impress with your skillz, or at lunch.

Since I had his attention, I asked Ben a few questions about the new game and it's development, as well as future product dev plans.

This is Brainjuice's first iPhone app. Until now you've focused on Blogo, your Mac-based blog authoring app. Why did you decide to create this game?

We wanted to start with something light rather than jumping right into Blogo for the iPhone. Table hockey is fun, the competitor is selling and we thought we could do much, much better. Also, there's something about sliding your finger around on the phone which is a natural fit for air hockey.

When will it be available, and how much will it cost?

It will be available as soon as Apple accepts it, likely in November. It will sell for $4.99, but we plan to offer it for free for an initial period of time.

What's left to be done before you ship it?

We are really only working on the (computer opponent) AI at this point. Besides that it's pretty much done.

What did you learn in the process of creating the game?

We learned that getting though the whole certificates and code signing process is a huge hurdle. And a lot of physics.

How many people worked on the game, and how much time did it take to build?

Brainjuice and INCOMUM (the design and creative team) have 8 team members between them. On this project one developer and one designer did all the work. Total dev time... About two months total. Our team is based in Brazil and Philadelphia, but we spend most of our time here (in Brazil), as the weather is nice.

What other apps can we expect to see from Brainjuice for the iPhone in the future?

We're planning to devote a fair share of out attention to creating Blogo for the iPhone after Arcade Hockey is out the door. We're itching to see what we can do with it.

FInally, here's some (unfortunately somewhat fuzzy) video of Arcade Hockey in action on my test iPhone today. I had a hard time looking around the camera to see the screen while I was trying to play, but you get the idea. Look for this cool game coming soon to the iTunes App Store. Or if you happen to see me around, you can feel free to ask me to show it to you.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Sneak Peak: New Arcade Hockey game for the iPhone/iPod Touch http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,10fd283c-d2e2-4a34-baaf-2be888b73758.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SneakPeakNewArcadeHockeyGameForTheIPhoneiPodTouch.aspx Fri, 31 Oct 2008 06:34:26 GMT <p style="clear: both;"> <img src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/ArcadeHockeyIcon2.jpg" style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; display: inline; float: right;" align="right" height="136" width="147">I had the opportunity today to spend some time chatting with Ben Jackson, who's the owner and technical director of <a href="http://www.drinkbrainjuice.com" target="_blank">Brainjuice, LLC</a>. His company created Blogo, the app I use on my Mac to write posts like this one.<br> <br> But today we weren't talking about Blogo, we were discussing a new iPhone game Brainjuice is in the final phases of completing called Arcade Hockey. It's just about done and will appear in the iTunes App Store in early to mid November. It's a table hockey game and it's a lot of fun, well-executed and designed. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> Here are a few screenshots of the game screens, so you can see what's coming. You can click on each image to see the full-sized version. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> The splash screen, which you see when the game first starts: </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_2.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_4.png" border="0" style="margin: 0pt auto; text-align: center; display: block;" height="375" width="250"></a> <br style="clear: both;"> You have the option of playing a one- or two-plater game. In the one-player version you play against the computer's artificial intelligence opponent. More on that later in the article. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_0004.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" border="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_5.png" style="margin: 0pt auto; text-align: center; display: block;" height="375" width="250"></a> <br style="clear: both;"> You can choose a few options, like the size of the paddles and pucks, as well as the version of the game (standard arcade deck, or "boomerang" style. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_0005.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_6.png" border="0" style="margin: 0pt auto; text-align: center; display: block;" height="300" width="200"></a> <br style="clear: both;"> Game play consists of a classic table hockey game, and you use the tip of your finger on the touch screen to move the paddle and hit the puck. The physics of the game are pretty good, and the puck reacts pretty how you'd expect and want it to. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> The classic and boomerang tables: </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_8.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_9.png" border="0" style="margin: 0pt auto; text-align: center; display: block;" height="300" width="200"></a> <br style="clear: both;"> </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_0020.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_10.png" border="0" style="margin: 0pt auto; text-align: center; display: block;" height="300" width="200"></a> <br style="clear: both;"> When you've played your "best-of" set, the game makes sure each player knows who won and who lost. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_0003.png" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/IMG_0003.png" border="0" style="margin: 0pt auto; text-align: center; display: block;" height="300" width="200"></a> <br style="clear: both;"> </p> As a former air hockey addict, I can say this game is quite a bit of fun, and there's something to be said for pulling the game out of your pocket and playing a surprisingly accurate and realistic game on the bus, before the movie, while out on a hot date you want to impress with your skillz, or at lunch. <br> <div> <br> Since I had his attention, I asked Ben a few questions about the new game and it's development, as well as future product dev plans.<blockquote style="clear: both;"> <p> <b>This is Brainjuice's first iPhone app. Until now you've focused on Blogo, your Mac-based blog authoring app. Why did you decide to create this game?</b> <br> <br> <i>We wanted to start with something light rather than jumping right into Blogo for the iPhone. Table hockey is fun, the competitor is selling and we thought we could do much, much better. Also, there's something about sliding your finger around on the phone which is a natural fit for air hockey.</i> <br> <br> <b>When will it be available, and how much will it cost?</b> <br> <br> <i>It will be available as soon as Apple accepts it, likely in November. It will sell for $4.99, but we plan to offer it for free for an initial period of time.</i> <br> <br> <b>What's left to be done before you ship it?</b> <br> <br> <i>We are really only working on the (computer opponent) AI at this point. Besides that it's pretty much done.</i> <br> <br> <b>What did you learn in the process of creating the game?</b> <br> <br> <i>We learned that getting though the whole certificates and code signing process is a huge hurdle. And a lot of physics.</i> <br> <br> <b>How many people worked on the game, and how much time did it take to build?</b> <br> <br> <i>Brainjuice and INCOMUM (the design and creative team) have 8 team members between them. On this project one developer and one designer did all the work. Total dev time... About two months total. Our team is based in Brazil and Philadelphia, but we spend most of our time here (in Brazil), as the weather is nice.</i> <br> <br> <b>What other apps can we expect to see from Brainjuice for the iPhone in the future?</b> <br> <br> <i>We're planning to devote a fair share of out attention to creating Blogo for the iPhone after Arcade Hockey is out the door. We're itching to see what we can do with it.</i> </p> </blockquote> <div>FInally, here's some (unfortunately somewhat fuzzy) video of Arcade Hockey in action on my test iPhone today. I had a hard time looking around the camera to see the screen while I was trying to play, but you get the idea. Look for this cool game coming soon to the iTunes App Store. Or if you happen to see me around, you can feel free to ask me to show it to you.<br> </div> <div align="center"> <br> <object height="344" width="425"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WKKyFkbPLQs&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WKKyFkbPLQs&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="344" width="425"> </object> </div> </div> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,10fd283c-d2e2-4a34-baaf-2be888b73758.aspx Apple Random Stuff
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I ordered some new business contact cards since I ran out of the old ones some time ago. They arrived today. Rather than going the standard route or reordering the ones with my mug on the front, I decided to shop over in the UK via the Internet.

I ordered one of Hugh MacLeod's designs from over at gapingvoid. He's made a bunch of his designs available for online ordering at Street Cards. The quality of the cards is great (I ordered the coated cards), and I received them just in time for my trip next week to TechEd EMEA in Barcelona and the Dev Connections conference the following week in Las Vegas.


If there's one thing I've learned working in IT and security management over the past several years, it's what these cards convey. It's been a bot of a motto of mine over the years, so it's appropriate for my business cards, I think (click the link to see the full-sized image).

Thanks to Hugh for making it possible to use his artwork. He makes them available for download and use from his site, and they're great stuff.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. New Business Cards from Hugh's place http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,30b88bb4-736a-49b5-ac18-fc432c9fbd82.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/NewBusinessCardsFromHughsPlace.aspx Fri, 31 Oct 2008 04:07:12 GMT <p style="clear: both"> I ordered some new business contact cards since I ran out of the old ones some time ago. They arrived today. Rather than going the standard route or reordering the ones with my mug on the front, I decided to shop over in the UK via the Internet. </p> <p style="clear: both"> I ordered one of Hugh MacLeod's designs from over at <a href="http://gapingvoid.com" title="" target="_blank">gapingvoid</a>. He's made a bunch of his designs <a href="http://gapingvoid.streetcards.com/" target="_blank">available for online ordering at Street Cards</a>. The quality of the cards is great (I ordered the coated cards), and I received them just in time for my trip next week to TechEd EMEA in Barcelona and the Dev Connections conference the following week in Las Vegas. </p> <p style="clear: both"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/NewBizCards.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/NewBizCards1.jpg" height="254" width="380" style=" text-align: center; display: block; margin: 0 auto 0;" /></a> <br style="clear: both" /> If there's one thing I've learned working in IT and security management over the past several years, it's what these cards convey. It's been a bot of a motto of mine over the years, so it's appropriate for my business cards, I think (click the link to see the full-sized image). </p> <p style="clear: both"> Thanks to Hugh for making it possible to use his artwork. He makes them available for download and use from his site, and they're great stuff. </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,30b88bb4-736a-49b5-ac18-fc432c9fbd82.aspx Random Stuff
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I got a call this morning, a variation of the same call I get around two or three times a month. Someone saw my phone number over in the sidebar and called me to find out about posting items for sale or rent on "Greg's List."

Each time the call comes in, I explain that the site they're looking for is actually Craig's List, which is on the web at http://www.craigslist.org. So, if you happen to be looking for Greg's List, it's actually called Craig's List, and there's the web address for ya. And don't worry, you're not the only one.

Of course, you can still feel free to call me up and say hi anyhow, if you like. :)



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Greg's List http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,ee0f90c6-aef1-4511-9fc8-4816fd26a765.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GregsList.aspx Thu, 30 Oct 2008 02:04:00 GMT <p style="clear: both"> I got a call this morning, a variation of the same call I get around two or three times a month. Someone saw my phone number over in the sidebar and called me to find out about posting items for sale or rent on "Greg's List." </p> <p style="clear: both"> Each time the call comes in, I explain that the site they're looking for is actually <a href="http://www.craigslist.org" title="" target="_blank">Craig's List</a>, which is on the web at <a href="http://www.craigslist.org" target="_blank">http://www.craigslist.org</a>. So, if you happen to be looking for Greg's List, it's actually called Craig's List, and there's the web address for ya. And don't worry, you're not the only one. </p> <p style="clear: both"> Of course, you can still feel free to call me up and say hi anyhow, if you like. :) </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,ee0f90c6-aef1-4511-9fc8-4816fd26a765.aspx Random Stuff
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Want to watch tonight's final presidential debate live on the 'net? Everyone should watch, and please don't skip your opportunity to vote in the election. It's just too important.

Hulu.com is again streaming this debate, and you can watch it right here. Who needs a TV, anyhow?




greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Third Presidential Debate - Streamed live right here via Hulu.com http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,b7ff4bea-e6ca-4711-9a63-3e099daf018e.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ThirdPresidentialDebateStreamedLiveRightHereViaHulucom.aspx Wed, 15 Oct 2008 21:27:34 GMT <p style="clear: both;"> Want to watch tonight's final presidential debate live on the 'net? Everyone should watch, and please don't skip your opportunity to vote in the election. It's just too important. </p> <p style="clear: both;"> Hulu.com is again streaming this debate, and you can watch it right here. Who needs a TV, anyhow? </p> <p style="clear: both;"> <span style="margin: 0pt auto; text-align: center; display: block;"> <object height="296" width="512"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.hulu.com/embed/2XRN_mQPtXSljKNzYcNCpA"><embed src="http://www.hulu.com/embed/2XRN_mQPtXSljKNzYcNCpA" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="296" width="512"> </object></span> <br style="clear: both;"> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,b7ff4bea-e6ca-4711-9a63-3e099daf018e.aspx Random Stuff
http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=80508365-cdb8-4f8c-b784-0009ca9c9a3d http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,80508365-cdb8-4f8c-b784-0009ca9c9a3d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,80508365-cdb8-4f8c-b784-0009ca9c9a3d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=80508365-cdb8-4f8c-b784-0009ca9c9a3d 2 Crop the Vote! http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,80508365-cdb8-4f8c-b784-0009ca9c9a3d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CropTheVote.aspx Mon, 13 Oct 2008 22:21:38 GMT <p style="clear: both"> Space Aliens for McCain or Obama? Could be... Someone's trying to get the vote word out, that's for sure.<i> </i><i> <br /> </i> </p> <p style="clear: both"> <b><i>Updates:</i></b><i> </i><a href="http://www.baggenstosfarms.com/products.htm" title="" target="_blank"><i>The corn field in the video is at Baggenstos Farms</i></a><i>, and you can go walk through it. Also, I'm geeking out a bit on the fact that I </i><a href="http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-113628" title="" target="_blank"><i>filed the video as a CNN iReport</i></a><i> that was featured all day today on the homepage of CNN.com and was viewed by 220,000 people in one day (wow). A portion of it was also aired on TV tonight on Anderson Cooper 360. That was fun.</i> </p> <p style="clear: both"> I had a flying lesson Monday morning and on the way back to <a href="http://www.twinoaksairpark.com">our home airport</a>, my instructor and I saw an unusual crop formation in a corn field from about 1000 feet above the ground. You'd never see it otherwise. You think someone out there is trying to send us a message? I captured it for you to see with my new Kodak Zi6 pocket HD video camera. You can get the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqN_TpLmcyU&fmt=18" target="_blank">higher-quality version of the video here</a>. </p> <p style="clear: both"> Oh, and by the way: Don't forget to vote! </p> <p style="clear: both"> <span style=" text-align: center; display: block; margin: 0 auto 0;"> <object height="307" width="380"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/TqN_TpLmcyU&hl=en&fs=1" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/TqN_TpLmcyU&hl=en&fs=1" height="307" width="380"></embed> </object></span> <br style="clear: both" /> </p> <p style="clear: both"> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Vote08CropCircle.jpg" class="image-link"><img class="linked-to-original" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/Vote08CropCircle1.jpg" height="241" width="380" style=" text-align: center; display: block; margin: 0 auto 0;" /></a> <br style="clear: both" /> </p> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2009 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,80508365-cdb8-4f8c-b784-0009ca9c9a3d.aspx Random Stuff