Friday, October 19, 2012

Pattern Change

Bay Area TV Weatherfolks rejoice, pattern change is coming!

This morning, the NWS Reno Office posted this graphic to Facebook:

Still three days out, they're forecasting more weather than they did a few days ago.

On Twitter I see @borealmtn still holding out hope for an October opening. A foot of natural snow would make it a lot easier...again, we'll see...

Boreal looking Autumnal, fans await snowmaking temps
This pattern change may play havoc with the National League Championship Series which returns to AT&T Park Sunday should the Giants and Barry Zito win tonight's Must-Win Game 5 in St Louis.

Another 72 ft America's Cup racer having troubles on San Francisco Bay:
Sweedish Challenger of Record, Artemis Racing had a bit if trouble during Tow Testing it's new AC72 Thursday. As fast as these racing yachts are, so far they seem a little fragile to this observer.

Knock on wood...this could be the end of Fire Season...let's hope!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


So El Niño looks like a fading memory for 2012/2013 according to the Climate Prediction Center's October 90 Day Outlook Discussion published today.

I'm guessing we'll have another slow start to Ski it a hunch.

Wednesday we had widespread Red Flag Warnings for the Sacramento Valley, Inland Valleys, and Bay Area ridgetops.

Here in the Inland Valley our nights are cooling rapidly, but the forecast is for warming through the weekend. There is some buzz about "pattern change" on the horizon, but the jury's still out on that one. It's time for the local TV weathermen to get antsy...they've gotta be bored to death with the same ol', same ol' summer forecast regime...

Back to the Drawing Board:
My San Francisco Giants will fight to get back on track this evening in St Louis. Tim Lincecum makes the start, and looks like 2010's "I've Got This" Lincecum in the post season.

Also going backwards back on San Francisco Bay, TeamOracleUSA pitch-polled their new AC72 catamaran America's Cup racing catamaran. They dug both hulls while bearing away in 25 knot winds into the biggest ebbtide currents of the season. The fast current swept the overturned cat out under the Golden Gate Bridge and four and a half miles out to sea!

Fortunately all hands are accounted for and no major injuries to the crew were reported. It took most of the night to tow the cat back to TeamOralceUSA's Pier 80 base.

Upside down at Pier 80
I'm no expert...but it looks like a total loss to my eyes...News reports place the value variously at $8-$10 million...the wing sail is a total loss, and the teams next AC72 won't splash until early next year. Ouch!

No forecast necessary here...this is a big setback for the Home Team

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I'm late...15 hours late...

My Giants played Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium in St Louis this afternoon.

I tuned in the radio at noon for the Giant's pre-game show on KNBR. The first pitch was at 1:07PM PDT (3:07 CDT in STL)

In the 7th inning, the forecast rains came and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued by the local NWS Office...

What followed was a 3 hour and 28 minute Rain Delay...and some hilarious Time-Sucking via Twitter...@MLBJesus was comedy gold as he tweeted:

"Let all Fans confess for my Rain shall wash away thy sins."

Hours of LOL-ing ensued...alas, SF Giants' fan's prayers went unanswered and the Giants lost 3-1

While I was enjoying hours of puerile hijinx, @TahoeWeather tweeted his latest Weather Blog. Monday he posted Sitting In Neutral.... where he said there could be some high altitude snowfall in the Tahoe Basin next week depending on how deeply the trough digs.

Today he's updated Monday's theory: High Elevation Snow Event On the Way? Still too early to tell what might transpire Tuesday.

Looking deeper, I checked out September 20th's 90 Climate Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. We are currently ENSO Neutral, that is neither El Niño or La Niña. Their October Outlook publishes Thursday 10/18.

I'm thinking it's gonna be another tough year on the forecasters...

It's mid-October and I took a gander at the Europe/Asia Snow Cover Page, and there's not much to may remember when I wrote about discovering these data sets and how they might be a new prediction tool for North American seasonal snowfall based on October snow cover over Northern Europe and West Asia.

Not much to see there. My Citizens Of The World post from December 1, 2011 shows the Europe/Asia Snow Cover from Nov 30, 2010 preceding our last big Winter...yes, these images are six weeks deeper into Fall, but I'm not seeing much on the horizon...most metrics are on the down low now...time will tell...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yin and Yang

Night and Day

Beauty and Sadness

Give and Take

Many synonyms for balance or conflict. Depending on which side you're on, last night's NLDS Game 5 was really something. Though I'm just a San Francisco Giants fan, I couldn't pull myself away from the last hour of the St Louis Cardinals at the Washington Nationals long enough to make a quick dinner.

The score was Washington 7-St Louis 5 at the top of the ninth. Nationals' reliever Drew Storen came in to close the game for the win. The first batter he faced, Carlos Beltran quickly hit a double. Storen retired the next two batters, bam, bam.

Five times in the 9th Storen and the Nationals were one strike from winning a berth in the National League Championship Series. He walked catcher Yadier Molina (yes, ex-Giant catcher Bengie Molina's brother)

Storen walked the next batter, third baseman David Freese...bases loaded, two outs.

The next batter, second baseman Daniel Descalso hits the first pitch sharply to shortstop scoring Beltran and Adron Chambers pinch running for Molina. Game tied 7-7 still 2 outs!

Once again Storen takes the batter Pete Kozma to 2 strikes. This is familiar territory to Giants' fans...we named it "Torture" in 2012.

On the fifth pitch,  Kozma singles in Freese and Descalso. Cards 9-7

What a roller coaster ride in Nationals Park. Extreme highs to extreme lows in the same inning. I still feel it twelve hours later...and I'm not a fan of either team.

As a result, my Giants have the home field advantage. The last two World Series Champions will battle for the National League Championship and a World Series berth beginning Sunday at AT&T Park.

One Pitcher's Park...AT&T Park, One Hitter's Park...Busch Stadium. I think I see torture on the horizon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Go Giants

Well they did it! The San Francisco Giants pulled it off. They went to Cincinnati down two games to none and had to win three straight to continue to the National League Championship Series. The Reds haven't lost three in a row at home all season...

Say hello to the 2012 Giants.

It's Income Tax Weekend at the Ancestral Digs, so I'll be on the down low until Sunday.

In Los Angeles, they're moving the Space Shuttle the final twelve miles to it's new California Science Center Home. It's going to take both Saturday and Sunday to complete the journey.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Baseball can be wonderful come playoff time.

Today I watched the San Francisco Giant's explode offensively to beat the Cincinnati Reds at their house, 8-4 after a Barry Zito start that lasted but 2.2 innings!

The Giants' bullpen performed masterfully and the Giants' hitters ripped the Reds pitching. Tim Lincecum, who had  a pretty raw September, came out of the bullpen in the 4th with two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd, and struck out Reds' left fielder, Ryan Ludwick swinging in five pitches.

Lincecum took the win, throwing 55 pitches (42 strikes) in 4.1 innings, gave up 2 hits, 1 run, struck out 6 and issued zero walks. He looked like the two-time Cy Young Award Winner we all remember. It was an electric performance. All his pitches were working...snappy late-breaking stuff and his dialed-in fastball helped with the swing and a miss strikeouts.

The Giants lead off with a home run! Center fielder Angel Pagan went long with the second pitch of the game. Left fielder Gregor Blanco hit a 2 run homer in the 2nd, and Pablo Sandoval went long in the 7th for another 2 run shot.

Somewhere during the game the ballpark became as quiet as a church on a mid-week morning.

During the evening game in Oakland it only got quiet for an inning as the rowdy crowd  watched the A's trail 3-1 in the 9th. The noise picked back up when the A's took to the batter's box.

Leadoff batter right fielder, Josh Reddick got a single, next up, 3rd baseman, Josh Donaldson doubles, putting men on 2nd and 3rd. DH Seth Smith doubles in Reddick and Donaldson, game tied!

Everybody is on their feet, the noise level deafening. I wondered how many blocks away you could hear the crowd. I'm sure you could hear it from the San Francisco shoreline across the Bay provided there wasn't a lot of wind.

After pinch hitter, George Kottaras pops out, and 2nd baseman, Cliff Pennington strikes out looking, Coco Crisp gets the walk-off base hit that scores Seth Smith and we're going to game 5 Thursday!

I don't think there's a better baseball name than Coco Crisp today. If the A's go all the way...and Coco Crisp becomes the latest Mr. October and World Series's that gonna work out when it's time to put his picture on millions of General Mills' Wheaties™ boxes. Coco Crisp sounds a lot like Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies...and thay say advertizing is boring...

Jeez! It's 2AM and I'm still amped...I gotta get to bed...Giants vs Reds starts at 10AM PDT

You know, since the All-Star Break, the Giants have been slugging like World beaters on the AT&T Park...not so much...I like our chances Thursday morning. Go Giants!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


God I hate colds. You're not sick enough that you want to just go to bed and sleep, but you can't do all the things you'd like to do because you're Typhoid Mary.

My fever broke this morning...but my nose is still running a be fair, it wasn't much of a fever...

I didn't do nothing exactly while fighting this thing...there was October baseball. Both Bay Area teams lost the first two games of their best three of five Division Series. Both teams won game three Tuesday. The A's are home for the last three, the Giants on the road for their last three. Do or Die time...

The Formula One race from Suzuka, Japan was great. Kamui Kobayashi was the first Japanese driver to stand on the podium at the Japanese round of the F1 Championship, much to the delight of the enthusiastic Japanese fans. Kobayashi finished third on the strength of his performance on the was fun to see. Tears of joy in the packed grandstands is something you don't see every day.

The America's Cup World Series was incredible! Next year's America's Cup Regatta will be contested in the new 72 ft catamarans. Up 'till now all the racing has been in 45 foot versions of the AC catamarans. The 72s are gonna be wicked fast and should make for spectacular racing just off the San Francisco shoreline.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tough Duty

Not a great Saturday for Bay Area baseball fans...the Oakland A's lost to the Detroit Tigers, and my San Francisco Giants lost to the Cincinnati Reds. There was barely a half an hour between the end of the Giants' game and the beginning of the Japanese Grand Prix.

A very enjoyable race with Championship implications.

It's also when I first noticed I was getting a runny nose and a bit of a scratchy throat.

Wow! I watched the America's Cup racing's wildly exciting compared to the staid old days of the 12 meter boats, khakis and captain's caps. Today's America's Cup sailors wear helmets...for good reason.

Looks like I'll be laying about all day makin' sure I get plenty of fluids...there's the two baseball games and the America's Cup Finale is on NBC from 1:30-3PM LIVE

Me? I feel a nap coming on...

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I'm trying to keep my driving to a minimum...what with the gas prices up in the Hope Diamond range here in the Golden State...still, when I am out and about I'm remembering to bring my little digicam.

Here's some signs that have caught my fancy:

In the window of Truckee's satellite Post Office
'Tis the Season
Douchebag Country

Happy dog storefront

"Red White and Blue" by
An extra million humans are expected in San Francisco this weekend! There's quite a list of events. NFL football, MLB Baseball playoffs, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park, America's Cup World Series racing on San Francisco Bay while Fleet Week has a parade of ships with the Blue Angels taking to the skies overhead Friday, Saturday and Sunday...oh, there's an Italian Festival with parade and the Castro Street Fair.

It's a good bet I won't be crossing any bridges this weekend...

Friday, October 5, 2012


I woke up to hear that gasoline prices went up in California as much as 50 cents/gallon overnight! I'm listening to the top of the hour National News now, and California's gas price hikes are the second story of the package. They say it's a supply problem caused refinery troubles, a contaminated pipeline and California's "only-in-California" low-pollution gasoline regulations.

Thursday Truckee's Local Newspaper posted an article on Facebook: "Gas Prices Soar Above $5 a Gallon in Truckee" Here's the accompanying photo:

This reminded me of a photo I took on February 25th, of the Chevron station's price sign across the street from the 76 station's sign featured in the Sierra Sun's story.

The $4.59/gal was outrageous at the time...

No new photo for Friday's freight...yet...

I don't know what they pay for petrol in Japan, but the Formula One cars are burning it as fast as they dare this weekend. The Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit is Round 15 of the World Championship. The race is LIVE on SpeedTV Saturday night at 10:30PM PDT

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Winter is coming. It's already littering my Facebook News Feed. The first wave hit Monday evening when posted some Winter forecasts and his take on Season 2012-2013

Wednesday morning a Facebook friend reports that it's snowing in Boseman, Montana this morning and the overnight low is forecast to be 18°F!

I vaguely remember a tweet about snow in the Colorado Rockies sometime in the last week as well...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I looked under the hood of CorduroyPlanet over the weekend, and I noticed some readers dug extra deep and looked at my take on the fatal crash at the Reno Air Races last year again.

"Chilled" is my most-viewed blog by a longshot. Over 14,700 pageviews to date. I reread it again, and there's a few things that are a little more clear to me now. I wrote about it back in April. I penned "Old Wounds" after the NTSB held it's first presentation on the Galloping Ghost crash...Jeez, it seems so long ago!

OK, here's what I think happened, given the NTSB comments:

The Galloping Ghost was a highly modified P-51D Mustang aircraft from the WWII era. Many features of the airframe were modified to reduce aerodynamic drag and weight.

Modifications were made to the elevator trim tabs: The starboard trim tab was disabled by design and faired into the elevator control surface, leaving the portside trim tab to do all the trim duties, saving drag and the weight of the control mechanism.

The stock hydraulic elevator trim system was removed and replaced with an electric actuator, adjusting the trim tab via a control rod.

As Jimmy Leeward ran the Galloping Ghost around pylons 8 and 9 there was a failure of the elevator trim system...the actuator may have failed, or it's mounting failed, or it's connection to the control rod, or the control arm on the trim tab failed, sending the aircraft into a 9+ G climb, rendering Jimmy  unconscious instantly. The rest was the Devil's Arithmetic, only the grace of God kept the crash from killing hundreds. Jimmy never regained consciousness. Flutter of the uncontrolled trim tab ripped it free of it's mounts as the craft was winging over, as visible in the photo posted in "Chilled".

In the days after the accident, I read an account from a corporate pilot who was in the grandstands directly behind the point of impact. He said he saw the Ghost pull up suddenly, and he was on his feet and running up the grandstands before the Ghost finished the wingover at the top of the climb. When the craft impacted the tarmac, this pilot was halfway up the grandstand and he was suddenly soaked with avgas and hit with bits of shrapnel. Miraculously, no ignition spark was generated by the crash preventing a truly horrendous tragedy.

The "Missing Man" pit stall
The ghost of the tragedy hung heavy in the air at Stead during Race Week, Jimmy's pit stall was kept vacant as a memorial, and there was a minute of silence each day during the Opening Ceremonies.

It's hard to say which was responsible for the semi-subdued atmosphere out at Stead, the smaller crowds or the raw emotions given the tragedy last year. I expect the crowds to return next September. This year's crowds were suppressed by the late word (mid-August) that the show would go on. Air Race Fans will return, you can be sure.

I know I'll be back in the Valley of Speed in 2013!

October Baseball!
The San Francisco Giants just defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, eliminating the Dodgers from the Wild Card Race. Barry Zito pitched a good game before the Bums came back to make it 4-3 in the 7th. The Giants bullpen by committee pulled it out in a game that seemed like a playoff game!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


All this fishing is taking a toll on my tackle.

I stopped by the SturgeUrge Compound Saturday afternoon on my way home from a morning of errands. I had to pick up the GPS Chartplotter antenna for modifications and my rod and reel so I could re-spool the topshot of monofiliment.

My little AVET SX reel has a couple hundred yards of 30lb Power Pro spectra line on it and I run 60 yards or so of Red Cast Cajun 17lb line on top of it.

I didn't chose the Red Cast by color, it was the only 17lb line in the sporting goods store the day I needed it. I've come to love the stuff. When you're trolling three lines off a street-legal boat (no wider than 8ft-6inches), tangles become a problem...especially if one guy is running a plug when everybody else is running spinners...make a turn and you're not fishing anymore, you're knitting!

With the Red Cajun line, it's much easier to un-plait the resultant macrame mess!

So I stripped off the old Cajun line and I'll tie up a new topshot in the morning. An Improved Albright knot and a couple applications of PlioBond glue to fair the knot and I'll be good to go by Wednesday when weather permitting, we'll splash the F/V SturgeUrge into The Sacramento River near Rio Vista again.

The economics are impossible to current market rates for Wild King Salmon - $22.99/lb at the Walnut Creek Lunardi's Market, bringing home just 3lbs of salmon pays for the trip! That's gas for the boat and tow vehicle, bridge toll, lunch and launch fees...

Did I mention that these fish are mostly bright chrome ocean-fresh fish or males just starting to turn red...think pastel pinkish?

The fish are right there...though I'm beginning to see Dungeness Crab Season on the distant horizon...

Upon closer inspection, Ocean Salmon and Dungeness Crab seasons overlap for eight days...very interesting...if halibut are late hanging around...with any could be a Captain's Plate kinda day...or days...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

You Shoulda Been Here Yestraday!

That's the Number One Fishing Report Worldwide...

SturgeUrge and I hit the river again Friday with king salmon in mind. We had new tricks to try, and Urge's brother came along too. I told the whole sordid story on my Club's Website:

Rio Vista Salmon 9/28 Skunk
We returned for another day to Rio Vista after taking one fish Wednesday.

We changed things up a little...we launched from Rio Vista instead of Vieira's...we added a chartplotter and an electric trolling motor.

Mother Nature changed things up too...the wind was blowing early and we could see "sheep in the meadow" when we crossed the HWY 12 bridge.

There was one third the number of boats compared to Wednesday.

The wind made trolling tough, and it aggregated the weeds so keeping our junk clean was a chore.

Still we were troopers and trolled for six hours around the top of the tide for no hits, no runs, and just a couple of unforced errors.

Fish were being caught...just not by us.

The Rest of the Story:
We added my GPS Chartplotter and a new electric trolling motor to our arsenal. The chartplotter gave us Speed Over Ground in real time. We used this capability to calibrate the trolling motor so as to replicate the exact trolling speed that worked so well Wednesday.

Well...that was a little tough...the stiff winds made the bucket unnecessary. SturgeUrge was really working hard on the main Sacramento to troll a decent line with the winds quartering across the F/V SturgeUrge's bow.

There's a lot of moving parts when the wind blows. The math get s a little complex...wind speed and direction...tidal current...engine speed...windage.

We didn't get a bite, the ultimate clue that you're doin' it right.

Even with 1/3 the number of boats, these boaters wanted to run too tight to us...the ones that weren't busy tailgating us...

After three hours of beating, we opted to seek shelter and began fishing the Old Sacramento from the confluence to up past Vieira's. We had lunch, the fish still with the lockjaw...

We finally pulled the plug at 4:30. Back at the ramp the dock's gangplank was underwater and the wind was still whipping. SturgeUrge said the wading felt good.

We learned a bunch of things that will come in handy on other waters, and help us dial-in our Delta Salmon Attack.

The chartplotter has a beautiful sunlight viewable LCD screen that should be standard on all digital cameras.

I'm pretty sure the camera makers don't use this screen because it costs too much and uses too much power. It would eat through camera batteries in no time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Gone Fishing Again

Take Two!

SturgeUrge and I are heading back to Wednesday's "scene of the crime" to angle for more chinook salmon.

I grilled some of Urge's fish Thursday for dinner, and it was delicious.

We worked on the F/V SturgeUrge Thursday...we hoped to rewire the bow-mounted electric trolling motor...silent running and all...

Well the bow-mounted troller was too far gone...more than wiring...rust never sleeps as they say...

No worries, SturgeUrge had a spare in stock. This one is a portable Evinrude unit. Some squirts of BR50 penetrating oil, install on the kicker mount and we're good to go. We added another rod holder, this one center mounted so we can troll three rods comfortably on these Delta trips. It's going to come in handy on dungeness crab fishing adventures's a perfect place to stow the gaff that we use to catch the crab trap floats, and the gaffman can stow the gaff right there without handing off to the skipper while hauling the trap line.

I finished the wiring for my GPS chartplotter Thursday after the SturgeUrge outfitting session. We're going to need the unit to calibrate our trolling speed when we run on electric power. It will come in handy come crab season too, it remembers exactly where we deploy every crab pot, and if the fog comes in, the chartplotter will lead us right to each pot, and back to the boat ramp too.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Salmon Fishing Report

 Here's the fishing report I posted to my Club's Website:

Wednesday Rio Vista Salmon
 We finally ditched California City and went the other way for a change. It worked!

We launched the F/V SturgeUrge at Vieira's Resort at 10AM and trolled down to the Sacramento main stem. I counted 45 boats at 10:30, and that didn't count those out of sight above Hidden Harbor. We'd seen one salmon boated on the Old Sacramento from the levee road before getting to Vieira's.

We turned downstream above Hidden Harbor and were trolling down the channel when my rod with the double chartreuse Silvertron went off. A coupled of head shakes, a couple of runs from boatside and a nice buck is in the net.

Woops, upon further investigation it was a Coho and back it went. The three athletic jumps should have clued me in...I'd estimate it at 7-8lbs

Well, at least we knew we were at the right place, at the right time, pulling the right hardware at the right speed!

On the next lap, in the same spot (off Ryer Island midway between the Old Sac and Steamboat Slough) My Silvertron did it's magic again, but it didn't stay on more than 30 seconds...I may have horsed it a little in the heat of the moment...

We made another lap and this time it's SturgeUrge's rod that goes off and his fish is head shaking harder, running harder and finally Sturge swims it into the net. Sturge was pulling a #5 silver Mepps.

This time it's the right kind, and it was 17-18lbs! It's still almost three hours to the top of the tide!

That was it for us, but we did see nets flying until 2PM, all in that same sweet spot, though closer to the eastern shore than we were running. I wouldn't say it was a hot bite, but after three fruitless trips to California City, it seemed like more than a scratch bite. All in all, we saw a solid half dozen fish boated.

I'm sure many were taken before we arrived on our Banker's Hours...

We're going back Friday. SturgeUrge's 18 pounder had the hooking jaw, and wasn't bright chrome, but the fillets are beautiful...krill-fed red. Yummy!

He he...
Giants looked good tonight beating the AZ Diamondbacks 6-0 behind another great start from Matt Cain Cain pitched 7 innings, gave up 4 hit, zero runs, walked one and struck out 6. Matt's now 16-5

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gone Fishing

SturgeUrge and I continue our quest for king salmon today. It's autumn and the salmon are making their way upriver. So we will fish the Sacramento River in the Delta near Isleton today.

Even this far inland, it's a tidal fishery and the tides are big all week. We'll be fishing the top of the afternoon tide...two hours or so before the top of the tide and a couple hours after.

The forecast looks good, highs in the upper 80s and afternoon winds up to 11mph.

C'mon fish!

New Camera Update:
It's all up to the Brown Trucks now. I called Adorama Camera Monday, and they sent me everything I needed to return the Samsung WB750 for a full refund. I bought it via Amazon Marketplace, and Adorama even pays for the return shipping.

I will order another one as soon as my card is refunded for this one. What are the odds that I'd get another one with a spot on the lens? Aside from the spot on the sensor, this little camera made awesome photos and the 1080p HD video it makes are beautiful!

Race 232 "September Fury"
Good news, the price has dropped from $161 to $139. The difference will pay for a Pelican Box to protect the replacement snapper!

Reno Air Race News:
Air & Space Smithsonian has a nice story on this year's races and the returning fans.

Space Shuttle Endeavour:
I'm seeing photos all over the internet of the Shuttle's final ferry flight over state capitols, the USS Iowa, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Los Angeles' Hollywood Sign.

As a taxpayer, it irks me that they've retired the shuttle program halfway through it's design lifetime, killing thousands of high paying jobs in America during the deepest recession since the Great Depression, and outsourcing those jobs to Russia. It blows.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More Loose Ends

Embedding the Wind Tunnel Videos has been real cranky this morning, so I split today's screed in half...I'm too tired to fight it this morning (I got up at 0430 to watch the Singapore Grand Prix, where the Formula One cars raced under the lights. It's a spectacular race venue!

Alex Zanardi Newz:
Wind Tunnel has been keeping an eye on ex-IndyCar Champion Alex Zanardi who won two Paralympic Gold Medals in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, and my be headed to the Indianapolis 500 next May. Enjoy Zanardi's Wind Tunnel interview:

Loose Ends

I'm amazed at how tired I am from my week at the Air Races. I've been slacking a little, but it's for a good cause...

Saturday night the San Francisco Giants clinched the National League West title with ten games still to play in the Regular Season. They have been on a roll as they say. Last night's win was their sixth in a row. AT&T Park sold out for the 150-somethingth time in a row. Three and a half million fans have been to the park this season.

Like I've said before, the Giants are playing a very enjoyable version of Major League Baseball this season. The starting pitchers have escaped whatever demons were giving them pause, and pitching like the World Beaters they were in 2010 when they did beat the World to become World Series Champs.

Reno Air Races:
The Unlimited Breitling Gold Race winner, Steven Hinton was interviewed after the show by SpeedTV's Dave Despain for his weekly racing wrap-up/bench racing show, Wind Tunnel:


Cookin' with TruckeeDave:
I'm tired, but I still tried a couple of new recipes Saturday:
From the Coconut & Lime Blog: Dill Broccoli Slaw I've been looking for the broccoli slaw in the grocery stores in the Inland Valley for a month. When I got back up to Truckee, my neighborhood Safeway store had it in stock. It's good stuff, crispy, tangy and a nice change from green salads.

My Safeway also had a great sale on fresh raspberries, buy one, get two free! I had planned to make a raspsberry tort, but Saturday I defrosted the garage refrigerator and found a pair of frozen deep dish pie shells, so Deep Dish Raspberry Pie it was!

This was the third pie in a row after making my Lumpy Peach Cobbler most weeks this summer. The pies have been turning out "a little sloppy" to put a kind spin on it...

Who knew there was so much juice in the little rascals? When I went into the kitchen this morning for some coffee, there was a note on the pie:

Sister K...whatta Kidder! I like "Head Wound Pie"

Space Shuttle Fly-By:
I watched NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour Friday morning as it flew around San Francisco Bay on it's way to it's Retirement Home in Los Angeles. I can't bring myself to opine on this today. I'll weigh in next week.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shuttle Update

NASA TV and SpaceflightNow have LIVE video of the Endeavour and the 747 carrier aircraft taxiing towards the runway at Edwards AFB

My Avation Week

OK...I'm up...

After a week in the high desert celebrating aviation's past by watching aged warbirds push the envelope at the Reno Air Races, today I witness personally the future of American Manned Spaceflight retire with a "Victory Lap" around Northern California before the Space Shuttle Endeavour becomes a museum piece in a Los Angeles museum.

I'll keep this short because I've got some driving to do to get into my photo vantage point.

My SF Giants' magic number is 3. #GoGiants

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Things I Like

It’s Wednesday night and I’m feelin’ it alright…

Giants’ Baseball
My San Francisco Giants began the night with a Magic Number of 7. For those not familiar with MLB minutia, the Magic Number in this case is the total of Giants’ wins added to LA Dodgers’ losses. When the Magic Number reaches zero, the Division Title is secured. The Giant s are playing an inspired version of baseball this month .

It’s all too rare when the Giants and their arch rivals the LA Dodgers are battling down to the wire in September.

I like when Tony Bennett sings “I left My Heart” after a Giants home victory.
Tuesday night, Tim Lincecum pitched his best game of the season…he had command of all his “stuff” and had a quality start and tallied the win…and Tony Bennett sang.

Wednesday night, Matt Cain recorded his 15th win and Tony Bennett sang.

When I was eleven years old, the Giants and Dodgers battled down to the last game. The pennant was decided by a playoff game…which the Giants won, sending them to the World Series vs the New York Yankees. My Dad pulled me out of school to attend Game 2 of the World Series at Candlestick Park where Yankees’ pitcher Whitey Ford humiliated the Giants’ batters with a 1-0 shutout.

49 years later, the game is so much deeper to me…exciting yes, but it’s so much richer to 60 year old me. Baseball has entered it’s second “Golden Age”. Most teams have built new, smaller, stadiums. Dodger Stadium built in 1962 is the third oldest park in the majors after Boston’s Fenway Park and the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field. These new more intimate parks really showcase the National Pastime to today’s fans.

Broken Stuff
All my life it seems like my stuff breaks all at the same time. Flurries of failures…It’s not just the new camera that needs do go back for replacement. My trusty old document shredder finally gave up the ghost, and a pair of my summertime shoes, Merrill Jungle Mocs finally blew out. It’s time for a new Winter pair of Merrill Orbits too.

My Fellowes shredder is more than ten years old, but I finally fed it something that disagreed with it. I spent an hour or more with a bottle of shredder oil and some dental tools trying to make it happy again…FAIL

I hit the internet and looked at new ones. I was prepared to spend around $80 or so, when I decided just to go to Reno and do some hands-on research. Office Depot, COSTCO, and REI are all on the same street, so I hit REI for some new Jungle Mocs before perusing the shredders at Office Depot.

There were no $80 Fellowes machines at Office Depot. The in-store prices were 25% higher than their online prices, and the $129 model was too wimpy for this shopper.

Next door at COSTCO, they had one Fellowes shredder. This one does 12 sheets at a time and eats credit cards and CDs! $99-SOLD! I grabbed a bale of toilet paper, and trolled the SD Cards and there was a $5 Off deal on the pair of 16GB cards I put off last time I was there…WIN!

I got home and assembled the new machine before the Giants-Rockies game. I fed it the first hank of credit card come-ons, and was surprised at how quiet the thing was! No grinding sound, just a firm steady whir…the loudest noise was paper crinkling when the paper ran up against one side of the feed slot!

The best thing? You don’t even have to open the junk mail! This thing eats anything! I read the instructions to find out one thing: How often do I oil it? It says oil it each time you empty the waste bin.

I shredded away during the ballgame, ripping through a year’s worth of junk mail backlog, and oiled four times. The authoritative whir of this machine is almost comforting!

This was an awesome buy all around! Amazon's price is $122.49 I win.

Giants magic number now 5. Giants at AT&T Park today at 12:45PM

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reno Air Race Aftermath

I found a story from Reno's ABC-TV affiliate KOLO8 on the attendance at this year's Reno Air Races to be a little off" from years past, but the story doesn't give any numbers...the numbers they do report are staggering. RARA's insurance premium went up more than six times! From $300K to $2Million

That ain't hay!

 New Camera Update: 
Without time pressure from the Air Race schedule, I had the time back at the DaveCave to diagnose the new camera’s problem. When making 1080i videos, there’s a visible spot just to the right of the center of the image. It’s in the top third of the field of view, so it’s really obvious when the sky is the top half of the images…

After Thursday’s action, I found a speck of who knows what on the lens. A spritz of Windex on a Q-Tip, a little rubbing then dried with a special No-Lint microfiber LCD Cleaner Cloth, and I was good to go for Friday.

I didn’t drag the computer out to the show Friday because the car would be parked in a lot far from my location until I headed out to the Fenceline after noon, so I didn’t see the blemish again until I got home and downloaded the photos and videos…the blemish was still there…

Interestingly, the blotch doesn’t show in the still photos, or in videos made at 720i, just at Full HD…exactly why I bought the thing! I hope getting a replacement camera isn’t a long drawn out story

Precious Metal Update:
When I last saw Precious Metal, she was turning on final to land after losing a landing gear door on lap three of the Breitling Gold Race Sunday afternoon. PreciousMetal’s Facebook fan page reports:

“Hi all, yes we were forced to mayday out of yesterday's Gold final. Ended up 7th but could have taken 3rd had the right clamshell gear door not blown off during the start. Apparently a spring broke on the uplock mechanism and allowed it to open up. No wonder we don't operate the gear over 170...

The airplane will be ferried to Teeters shop in Salinas this afternoon for repairs. We'll keep you all updated.”

Autumnal Light
Regular readers will remember that every year I write about seeing with my own eyes the first traces of what I call the Autumnal Light out a the races. Um, that was a No-Go this year. It could have been the high cirrus cloud deck early in the week, or the smoke haze for the weekend. Tuesday morning, there's a snap of Fall in the air and the haze is still hanging in around Truckee.

 Evening Camera Update: 
Well I spent another hour trying to clean whatever’s mucking up my images on the WB750. With an illuminated magnifying glass and a can of compressed air, I Q-Tip-ed and Windex-ed, blew DustOff into every possible orifice…all to no avail. She’s going back to sender just as soon as I have a secure broadband connection.