Saturday, May 26, 2012

USS Iowa Update

The Big Stick sails today at 11AM. SturgeUrge and I will be on the water for the occasion.

I'll post photos here Saturday evening.

Friday, May 25, 2012

USS Iowa- It's On for Saturday

The Weather Gods have calmed the savage seas off Central and Southern California, so the Pacific Battleship Center will move the USS Iowa from Richmond, CA to Los Angeles beginning on Saturday May 26th, 2012

Check that's one day shy of the 75th Birthday Celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The San Francisco Chronicle's story has a handy schedule and tips on where to view the battleship as it's towed through San Francisco Bay, and under the birthday bridge.

It looks like the northerlies that have been blowing hard all week will abate a little Saturday allowing SturgeUrge and I to put the boat on the Bay for some history and halibut.

LIVE Webcam link of Iowa's voyage.

On And Off

I'm ready to nod off wonder, I've been busy...and all without a nap...

I loaded the car this morning...maybe a dozen times up and down the stairs, locked up the DaveCave and headed out by 10AM.

As I was swinging through Soda Springs, I passed Jeweler's house and saw his car out front with the door open, and the front door of his place open as well...I hung a U-ey and pulled into the driveway next to the open car door...

We spent a half hour catching up before I pointed the car downhill and hit the SuperSlab.

I put it in long distance drive, and turned up the radio...road construction was much less onerous than on Monday's trip to the County Seat, and I kept it pointed west until I reached Vacaville and pulled off I-80 to hit my favorite Asian Grocery, where I picked up some baby bok choi, shitake mushrooms and some Chinese pea pods.

I arrived at the Ancestral Digs an hour before the Giants game's first pitch...the Giants were playing the Miami Marlins in the Marlin's brand new half a billion dollar stadium, resplendent with expansive views of downtown Miami thru the outfield windows, and the marine aquariums flanking home plate filled with neon colored reef fish.

The game went 1-1 into the 6th, when the Giants exploded for four runs! The Marlins answered with four in the 7th, and then the game really went off the hook! Final score Giants 14, Marlins 7! It was a wild one!

Mercifully, Mom said she'd take us out to Chinese, but I whined about spending enough time in the car today and Sister K went down to the closest Chinese joint and came back with four delicious entrees instead.

It turns out that the local joint is excellent! They gave Sister K a complimentary beer while she waited, and sent her home with dinner, plus a bonus grocery bag of fresh, local organic produce!  We'll be heading down to dine at the joint soon...not only are they the nearest Chinese Restaurant, but they're all organic, don't use any MSG, and they have a Sushi Bar too!

Sometime during the afternoon, the Pacific Battleship Center announced that the USS Iowa will set sail on Saturday morning from Richmond to Los Angeles.

Oh perfect, SturgeUrge and I will be out there on the Fishing Vessel SturgeUrge Saturday halibut fishing and giving "The Big Stick" an escort of sorts as she plies the Bay out under the Golden Gate Bridge that's celebrating it's 75th Birthday Saturday...perfect indeed...let's hope the halibut are biting!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

No Rest for the Curious

Formula One's Free Practice One LIVE from the streets of Monte Carlo begins at 1AM PDT about an hour and fifteen minutes from now.

I was starting to nod off when I saw a tweet touting LIVE coverage of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft performing some maneuvers including a "FlyUnder" of the International Space Station in preparation for Friday's berthing with the ISS.

Nothing like some untried spacefaring to juice up the ol' adrenaline levels!

Enjoy, you can all sleep after history is made!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Battleship Update

Tuesday 2PM Facebook post from the Pacific Battleship Center:

"Tuesday Weather Update: the system has picked up a little bit with gale wind warnings on Weds/Thurs/Fri down the central and southern coasts. We are still looking late in the week for departure. As soon as we have more information we will put it out there."

I was driving west from Reno about an hour after the Facebook post...those forecast gale-force winds were howling right down the Truckee River Canyon. One unplanned almost-lane change got my attention in a New York second!

Jeremy Bonelle Photo from The Pacific Battleship Center Facebook Album. Iowa's new paint looks great!
I know I promised photos, but I can't make any until Iowa is underway...and my attempt at eclipse photos yielded weak results...I need a solar filter for my 90mm telescope, or a digital point and shoot camera with a much longer lens than what I've got now.

At 96% exposure time is long thru the eclipse glasses...I was a little excited...
Enjoy this awesome photo I found online:

I'm pretty sure the Milky Way was photo shopped in back here on Earth. I love the New Moon's shadow on the cloud bank...I'm sure that's a real image, but these daylight photos from ISS never show stars...the Earthshine overwhelms the starlight, and after all, the Milky Way is all stars...

In a related note, SpaceX launched the first commercial spacecraft to go to the International Space Station Monday morning. It was pretty cool watching it LIVE online.

Now I've been watching live NASA launches since I was a kid...I started watching before there were astronauts onboard. Monday morning's launch had something I've never seen

When the Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on to made it successfully into orbit, the SpaceX people jumped up and down for children their joy and relief showed like CinemaScope on my little laptop was such a genuine human moment...something I never saw before... from the buttoned-down NASA guys.

The only thing close wasn't NASA per se, but JPL scientists getting first data from their planetary probes several years after they were launched...still great happiness, but no jumping up and down like giddy children.

We'll be seeing more scientists doing the happy dance when NASA's next Mars Mission arrives at the Red Planet on August 5th, 2012. This mission includes a Mars Rover named Curiosity that's the size of a small SUV.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Battleship Update

At about 0800 Sunday morning, the Pacific Battleship Center posted to Facebook:

"Facebook friends: The tow of IOWA has been temporary delayed on a day by day basis as we follow the weather system going through the west coast. The system is planned to cause a situation that would be dangerous to IOWA on Wednesday. We will keep you posted."

The LIVE streaming has been postponed as well, however there is an upside. The LIVE stream will notify you by text or em@il when Iowa  is ready to get underway...

What a fascinating Modern World we live in!


Not could say I'm splittin' the difference.

I'm off early Sunday morning to see a battleship on San Francisco Bay. Once I get my fill of snapping photos, I'm headed up the superslab to Truckee and my date with the Annular Eclipse. Multitasking Me...

I can't recommend highly enough that anyone near San Francisco Bay get to a good vantage point and watch the mighty USS Iowa cross the Bay and pass under the Golden Gate Bridge. Alcatraz or Angel Island would be great viewing locations, as would Crissy Field, Fort Point, and the Marin Headlands. Private boaters have a leg up on the landlubbers...

The Pacific Battleship Center, the non-profit that shepherds the Iowa, has hooked up a satellite webcam so everyone can watch LIVE video of the Iowa's voyage south.

Check it out about noon Sunday May 20, 2012 PDT on their website.

Baseball fans get in on the show too. The San Francisco Giants' broadcasts have been blessed with the services this week of the Hanger 1 Vodka blimp. You can be sure that the blimp will provide plenty of beauty shots of the Iowa on the Bay. The game starts at 1PM PDT on CSN-Bay Area, so most cable subscribers in Northern California will get a peek.

Sunday evening, the eclipse takes the helm, and will amaze and delight millions. The middle of the show...max eclipse is around 6:30PM PDT. Consult your local media outlet...your mileage may vary!

I'll post pictures in an extra blog Monday May 21st.

Enjoy the big shows...and be careful everybody!