Friday, August 26, 2011

Baseball History

We decided last week to buy tickets from StubHub for the Yankees day game on August 25th, 2011. We bought 3 tickets in the upper deck, section 410 for $11 each. We started our drive up to the Bronx at 9AM and arrived around 11AM. For some reason, I decided to take Harlem River Drive after the George Washington Bridge. HRD is a great way to get to the bridge after the game, but I was not familiar with it getting to the stadium. There were no signs to the stadium and we got a little lost. Once we got turned around to head back in the direction of the stadium, we found a parking lot for $25. Normally parking near the stadium is $35 so we decided to park here. It was a bit of a walk but we made it. I probably would never do again though. No other Yankee fans did what we did, so it was probably not a good idea.
We walked to the stadium and it started to rain lightly. We packed a lunch and ate it undercover in a parking garage near Gate 4 of the stadium.
After we ate, we went in and headed for the Yankees Museum. Then we went to Monument Park. It was raining hard all this time. The start of the game was delayed 1.5 hours. When the game started it was still raining lightly. Phil Hughes did not pitch well and got the Yankees into a 7-1 hole. We were disappointed but in baseball, anything can happen. Russell Martin hit a solo home run to make it 7-2. Robinson Cano then hit a grand slam to make it 7-6. Russell Martin hit the Yankees second grand slam to make it 10-7 Yankees. The Yankees would load the bases in this game 16 times. Curtis Granderson later hit the Yankees 3rd grand slam of the day and made baseball history. Of all the major league baseball games ever played, this had never been done before. The Yankees would up winning 22-9 in a game that lasted 4.5 hours. Many fans did not stay to watch the whole game and missed history. They probably will never admit though. We got home around 9PM very tired.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hobbyzone Champ Radio Controlled Airplane Success

I have loved models planes and cars for a long time now. When I was a kid, radio control was not as common as today. I grew up with Cox .049 gas cars you had to chase after and planes that were flown on a string. Cox did come out with an electric RC plane that I bought but I crashed it on the first flight. There were no simulators back then either. Now that I have a son, I became interested in the hobby once again and loved seeing all the variety of RC models available now. Last year I purchased the Wild Hawk, ready to fly (RTF) electric plane at the recommendation of Dave Powers. After several violent crashes and many hot glue repairs, I was never able to fly this plane. Dave Powers is correct that the Wild Hawk can be easily repaired but I don’t want to keep running back to my garage and fixing it. I just want to learn how to fly it. Next, I bought the GWS Slow Stick after reading several favorable reviews about this being a great beginner plane. I was never able to fly this plane successfully either. This plane survived crashes a bit better than the Wild Hawk. I just could not keep it in the air. I cracked the stock prop even with a prop saver. I kept practicing on the simulator but gave up on these two planes for a while due to shattered confidence. Next I came across the Hobbyzone Champ. I watched videos of it and read many reviews on how good this plane was for beginners. I was hesistant. I went to an RC night at a local school gym and most everyone there had a Champ. Winter came and my interest declined. This spring, my interest started again. I was thinking of buying the upgrade MicroJet V3 motor kit for the Wild Hawk thinking that would solve my flying problems. My Wild Hawk was now all reinforced and I had extension surfaces on tail and rudder. I kept coming back to the Champ as the way to go though. I gave myself 2 weeks. If I still wanted it after 2 weeks, then I would buy it. The 2 weeks passed and I bought a new Champ from a seller on ebay. It came 2 days later. After charging the batteries, I went out early on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful morning with no wind at all. I had the radio set to low rate. I set it down on pavement near a baseball field. I gave it speed and it took off. I was flying! I was flying for more than 1 minute too. Two, three, four, five, six minutes passed by of continuous flying over the baseball field and I was grinning ear to ear. This plane is AWESOME! It flies great and is very forgiving. I mostly flew at half throttle and it was fine. I did not want to run down the lipo battery so I landed it after about 6 minutes. It probably could have gone a little more, but I need to learn more about that. After all these years, I finally had success with an electric rc plane! This is the greatest plane. All the positive reviews are absolutely true about this plane as I can now attest. My only recommendation if you are just beginning would be to first get the free FMS simulator and use it to get practice with orientation, controls, take offs and landings. There is a Champ model that you can import into FMS. Then get the Champ and you will be flying first time. Definitely worth every penny!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boatbuilder's Brass Bevel Gauge

I made this small brass bevel gauge out of brass plate that I purchased from Lowes. Sanded up to 1000 grit, then polished on buffing wheel with green compound. Used brass hardware and deformed end of screw slightly so nut won't come off when loosened.

The brass plate from Lowes is found in the doorknob aisle. It is a door push plate I think

Monday, May 2, 2011

Twist Lock Marking Gauge

I made a Frank Klausz design twist lock marking gauge. Plan is from American Woodworker, Issue #42 from December 1994.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Solar Panel System Completed

On March 25, 2011, PSE&G came out and changed out our old meter to the new digital meter which can run backwards. This was the final step needed in order to be able to turn on the solar panel system. It works great. We have had 4 days in a row of sun, so the system has produced well over this period. Total cost of system = $13, 410. I signed the contract on 9/16/2011, so it took about 6 months to get a system installed and working. Hopefully this process will become more streamlined for future customers but dealing with the state and local inspectors may always take time. Now I need to sign up for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Solar Panel Installation

We just had solar panels installed at our home. They are not fully hooked up yet, but the bulk of the installation is now complete. Last year I did research on solar energy and decided it was the right thing to do now. While I am not sure about truth of global warming, I do feel alternative energy sources need to be explored and supported, especially energy that is coming to us free from the sun. While the technology to deliver this energy from the sun to our homes is not cheap, it is becoming more affordable. Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) and electricity savings make the panels a good investment. A better investment than a bank or the stock market casino. I was also concerned about the rising cost of electricity and solar is a way to help offset those rising costs. As more people buy in, the costs will come down even more. I also feel good about doing my part to support the local economy with alternative energy jobs. I will report more as my experience with solar progresses.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Outdoor Ice Skating This Morning

Last night I passed by a small patch of ice on the side of the road. This is the patch my son and I played ice hockey on last January. I stopped to check it out and it seemed fine with no cracking. I hopped back in the car and headed home. This morning I decided to get my skates and go over to this site. It was 7AM and about 32 degrees outside. A light rain was falling as I laced up my skates and started. Cracks started to show but nothing that would stop me from having about 30 minutes of exercise and fun. This ice was soft and water underneath was starting to seep up on the surface. My hockey stop shavings turned to slush. The conditions were not real good but good enough to skate around with the stick and puck. I can see now how the outdoor ice conditions helped the hockey players of old become great skaters. The outdoor ice today for me was slushy, soft, and bumpy. I also had to side step (skate) dog paw prints that were molded in the ice surface. When I get to skate on the pristine zambonied ice surface at the local rink, my skating will be different. I still love ice skating outdoors. This was my fifth time this year. Not sure how many more outdoor skates I will get this winter. I was tempted just to stay inside the warm house on a rainy Saturday morning. I am glad I can still skate for free.