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Happy Eighth Birthday Annika!

Happy Ninetieth Birthday Nana!


Happy Birthday to ME!

Game 3

March 10th Launch

Volleyball Game 4

March 13th Rocket Launch

Rockets: Nice day but no numbers

Brigitta's Spring Concert

Wednesday Rocket Launch


Flower Power Joan

Love you, bye


Easter Eggs




3-31-2013 ~ Blog # 515



OK, this first photo is really from last night.  We were watching Jurassic Park; this was during the kitchen scene.











Check out this 8X speed/time-lapse movie of our neighbor's Easter egg hunt.


















I Love this woman!




3-30-2013 ~ Blog # 514



It was a beautiful day today.  I got in a nice bike ride and we hiked at Howe Meadow, we call it Africa.






I like this shot enough I posted it twice.







The peeper (frogs) were out in force today.  Brigitta almost caught one.

Here's a video that captures how loud they are.












Easter Eggs










These are old blown eggs.  Joan pointed out today that she made some of them when she was a child.







3-24-2013 ~ Blog # 513



We spent over six hours at the launch site today; it was a windy day and we had a rough time.  The winds were around 15 MPH and were blowing in from the East and not the West as usual.  Although we launched from the far East edge of our area, we lost two of our first four rockets that we sent up.  Both of these were the primary rockets of each team.  An hour was lost looking for these two rockets.   We then moved our launch pad 1300 feet East of our regular launch location to the edge of a muddy, plowed corn field.  We didn't lose any more rockets but it was a long muddy walk to the barn between launches.  I think we had more fuse failures than actual launches; this ate up loads of time.  Svea's team flew both of their rockets; one flew 45' low, the other 175' too high.  They cut down the air-brake streamers on the low one, and called a qualification shot. Their score would have been around 21, but their egg broke.  On their second and final qualification shot the ejection charge failed and the rocket was destroyed.  By this point 10 of our 12 shots of the year, from all four teams, had been used and no scores were close.  One team had two qualification shots left, but it was late and the wind was picking up.  On their first shot their egg broke and their altitude was low due underperforming Cesaroni motor.  One ran back for a new egg and they reloaded in the field.  Then, on the last launch, 16.48.  That number is not a shoe-in, but it stands a reasonable chance of getting in the top 100.  Our NAR official pointed out that with a higher four point penalty on the time window (48 to 50 seconds), we will likely see higher scores for the top 100 cut-off.  Our fingers are crossed.

Click here to see a short HD movie of eight launches.




















This is the one: 16.48


Flower Power Joan

I'm not even going to try to explain this right now; more to come.



Love you, bye

So apparently as I hung up after making an appointment with my mechanic I said, "Love you, bye."... At least that's what my kids told me... Joan had called about 10 minutes earlier; I was talking to the mechanic and Svea kept asking me, "Is that Mom?.. Is that Mom?" Then as I was finishing up with the mechanic I heard Joan pull in, so she was totally on my mind.
After I hung up Svea said, "That was too Mom".
"No it wasn't" I replied.
Svea: "You just said, "Love you, bye."
Me: "No I didn't."
Svea and Annika, "Yes you did"
Me: "I did?."
Svea and Annika, "Yes, you did"


Brigitta's Spring Concert


3-22-2013 ~ Blog # 512



On Tuesday Brigitta played Rebecca in the fifth grade two-microphone concert-play.








Wednesday Rocket Launch


Wednesday was cold and a bit windy, but we launched anyway.  We didn't loose any rockets!  One team attempted a qualifying launch, but their score was way beyond what might qualify.  Svea's team has two flyable rockets, so the four members split into two teams of two.  Svea sewed a hemispherical parachute that is effective enough to get their time in the right window.  Flat 15" parachutes are just too small for a heavy hard body payload section, egg and altimeter.  Their latest concept is to eject a soft payload section out of the main body tube.  This is just a sock with minimal padding, under a 15 inch flat parachute.  The lightness of the payload section also appears to be producing reasonable times.  They had two altimeter failures, so we are not too sure if the altitude is right.  Sunday is it.  Two team need to take their two shots and two teams need to take their last remaining shots.  Stay tuned.

































Rockets: Nice day but no numbers

3-16-2013 ~ Blog # 511



Today we had the least wind that we've had on a launch day in a month and for the first time in quite awhile we didn't lose half a rocket or more to trees.  Svea's team, however, has a new rocket that returns to Earth in three pieces; with the nose cone falling with a streamer.  They did manage to tangle their nose cone and streamer in a tree, but that's a pretty minor loss.

Only one team called an official qualifying launch attempt; their score will not make it to nationals.  Other teams tend to be flying a bit high and the times are a bit short. 











This baby took a nice core sample.






Our NAR official launched his rocket.  Look closely at the flame; notice the two inch pulse loops.

Close up: 100% crop, 1/8000 sec, f2.8






Svea listening to the audible altitude code emitting from her rocket's altimeter.





Volleyball Game 4

3-15-2013 ~ Blog # 510



Brigitta played well last night, but they lost to a more experienced traveling team.















March 13th Rocket Launch


We are running out of time and things are not going so well.  I seriously doubt if Cesaroni motors have a consistent thrust output.  It's not uncommon for a single rocket to fly with the same motor, loaded exactly the same, under the same flight conditions and have altitudes vary by over 100 feet.  On the up side, all four teams have two or three complete rockets, we have plenty of motors and two qualification launches left per team.  Also, two teams out of four seem to be flying in the ball park.  On the downside; we have eight days left.  Qualify or die!  We flew last Wednesday after school.  In the two hours on site we had winds of just under 10 mph and clear skies, followed by 25mph winds mixed with near white out snow.  We lost one half of a rocket when a 12mph wind launch picked up into a 20 plus mph gust as the last flight of the day hit apogee.











March 10th Launch

3-10-2013 ~ Blog # 509



We launched today and were lucky that we only lost half a rocket to a tall tree; it was very windy.  We called it quits early due to the wind.  Svea's team managed to recover the tail section of their original rocket; it has been stuck in a tree for the past three weeks.  I'm still loving the new/old 80-200mm f2.8 AF.
















Game 3

3-9-2013 ~ Blog # 508



Brigitta played well last night and I got to test my new/old 80-200 f2.8.  I am very happy with it.  I really wish they'd fix the lights at Elite; eight out of fifteen lights are out.


















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Happy Birthday to ME!

3-6-2013 ~ Blog # 507



I turned 48 today.  Joan made a great steak and shrimp dinner followed by the best homemade apple pie ever (her crusts rule).  I've been studying Nikon autofocus fast/low light zoom lenses for quite awhile and finally bought a 20 plus year old Nikon 80-200mm f2.8; it just happened to arrive on my birthday.  A good time was had by all!
















With the new lens: Annika at 80mm f2.8 above

A random car at 200mm f2.8 and only 1/90 second/ISO 1600 (dusk) and 140' (below).  I'm loving this new lens and look forward to Brigitta's volleyball game on Friday.





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Happy Eighth Birthday Annika!

3-5-2013 ~ Blog # 506



Annika turned eight yesterday.  She brought in awesome brownies for her classmates and Joan cooked her favorite meal.  After dinner Anni opened presents, shot her new bow and we went to Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt. 





















Check out the shallow depth of field and soft focus in these two shots.  50mm at f1.4




Greater depth of field in these two shots.  50mm at f2.8 (above) and f5.6 (bellow







Happy Ninetieth Birthday Nana!

Nana turned 90 on Friday.











We launched this Sunday but called it quits as the wind picked up.





Normally our teams tape the nose cones to the payload section.  Taping the payload section to the body tube, however, turns a rocket into an expensive lawn dart.










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