July 31, 2004

In Saturday's AirVenture Today

airventuretoday_146Today, in addition to my daily column, I also wrote a news piece about the talk that Burt Rutan gave on Thursday night.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:07 PM


avcowFor some reason AeroShell, a great sponsor of AirVenture, uses a cow as it's mascott.

Go figure.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:05 PM

Saturday Morning Audio Report

soundA voice blog entry. Recorded Saturday morning. (2:30 min mp3, 343K)

Please don't send me emails, I know I misspoke and called it AirVenture 2000, it's really 2004.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:02 PM

Saturday Morning

Is it really Saturday already? The week seems to be going by very fast.

Two of the staffers here at AirVenture Today, who live here in Oshkosh, give parties for the staff every year. Last night we went to the one at Barb Schmits Schmitz home. As always she showed us a really nice time. This is a really great group of people.

Saturday is the really big day, crowd-wise, here at the fly-in. You can already see that it will be big. As early as 8 am this morning the crowd was growing fast.

I'm hoping today to get over to the exhibit halls and see the bigtime commercial exhibits.

It rained yesterday, but it's beautiful today.

The C-5 departed a few minutes ago. It did a really impressive fly-by, but the batteries on my camera chose that moment to die. They're charging now, so more pics in a while.

More later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:09 PM

July 30, 2004

Friday Column

airventuretoday_146My column for Friday

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:02 PM

Friday Morning Audio Report

soundA voice blog entry. Recorded Friday morning. (2:45 min mp3, 365K)

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:58 PM

Bush Flying

Another plane with big tires. Good for landing on rough and/or soft ground.


Posted by jackhodgson at 02:06 PM

Chicken Pita Smoothies

I don't know what these taste like, but I hear they really clog up the blender.


Posted by jackhodgson at 02:01 PM

Good Morning

Well the rain finally arrived.

It rained pretty hard for about a half-hour yesterday afternoon. After that, the clouds never completely cleared, but the sun did return for most of the afternoon airshow.

But this morning the sky is overcast and threatening. Rain is forecast throughout the day.

In spite of that, there is a healthy crowd already here this morning. The Forum Tents and Workshop Sheds have lots of people checking out the action.

Side note: I got mentioned in Scripting News yesterday, so there have been a lot of new visitors in the past 24 hours. Welcome to the new folks, and thanks to Dave for the link.

I have some pics I took yesterday that I'll be posting later today. Also I attended the Burt Rutan/Space Ship One session last night, and I'll report on that. Finally, I'm having fun with the audio reports, so I'll probably do another of those later this morning.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:00 AM

July 29, 2004

Issues Three and Four

airventuretoday_146My columns for Wednesday and Thursday

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:46 PM

Tall and Spindly

Didn't we see this plane in a Roadrunner cartoon once?


Posted by jackhodgson at 03:25 PM

Thursday Morning Audio Report

soundA voice blog entry. Recorded Thursday morning. (2:32 min mp3, 355K)

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:49 AM

Some Forums

I've attended my first two forums of the year.

I went to one on digital photography, and another on local EAA chapter leadership.

I'm sorry to report that the digital photography one was pretty disappointing. The presenter was from Canon cameras, and he started out by saying he wasn't gonna plug their cameras, then he spent the whole session doing just that. Also, the content was neither aimed at beginners, not at power users. With the exception of one or two little tidbits, it contained no real useful info.

The Chapter Leaders session was just the opposite. Led by actual Chapter people, it contained a lot of good feedback, and suggestions about the tricks of running a successful EAA Chapter.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:29 AM

July 28, 2004

VoiceBlog from Oshkosh

soundHere's an experiment. A voice blog entry. Recorded Wednesday morning. (2:20 min mp3, 300K)

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:56 PM

Fly Market Purchases

As I told you last year, I'm a sucker for the Fly Market. That's the 8 day long flea market of aviation, and not-so-aviation, products, that is part of the show.

I suspected at the start that this would be a big fly market week for me, and it's definitely shaping up that way. Here are my purchases so far.

# Wednesday (so far)
collapsing mesh laundry basket
6x12 inch zippered storage bag
belt holster for my cell phone

# Tuesday
6 hi-quality tent stakes
4 small spring clamps

# Monday
clip-on sunglasses
helmet bag

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:24 PM

Overheard in the crowd

"I live up in Vermont. Our winters up there are kinda lengthy. Summer last year was on a Wednesday."

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:06 PM


There seem to be more small rotorcraft here this year. Here's a row of them parked at the edge of the Ultralight field.


Posted by jackhodgson at 12:05 PM

Good Crowds

Many of us are noticing that the crowds on these first two days of AirVenture 2004 are pretty good. Lots of people in the forums, workshops, and over in the exhibits areas.

If this is any indicators, the weekend crowds will be huge. Especially if this wonderful weather holds.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:03 PM

July 27, 2004

Rutan gives 60-day notice on X-Prize attempt


Rutan and his team have given its official 60-day notice, with the first X Prize attempt set for September 29 from the inland Mojave Spaceport in California. To win the $10 million, SpaceShipOne will need to make a second flight within two weeks, by October 13.

[Thanks to the Scaled at Oshkosh 2004 blog]

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:12 PM

More AirVenture Blogging

Here's another blogger covering Oshkosh. The author appears to be associated with (employed by?) Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites.

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:09 PM

Issue Number Two

airventuretoday_146The second edition of the paper and my column have been posted on the Airventure website.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:54 PM


We're used to seeing unusual aircraft around here. But this one is a little strange even for us.

It's not a helicopter. The main rotor blade is not powered by the engine, it just spins from the stream of air as the craft moves through the air.


Posted by jackhodgson at 02:47 PM

Forums and Workshops

This workshop is presenting about rotary engines. There are about 8 "sheds" like this one with workshops on subjects like sheet-metal working, welding, composite construction, fabric construction.


Posted by jackhodgson at 02:45 PM

Hangin' With Han

Last night was Party Night here at AV2004. For me at least.

We started at the Piper party. Mini-sausages, cheese cubes, and shrimp cocktail in a cup. Also an actual product announcement.

Next on to Cirrus. No product news here. Mini-brie, stuffed tomatoes, and beer.

Finally, on to the main event. Dr. BB's annual birthday party. Slabs of prime steak, margaritas, and potato shooting guns.

We resisted the impulse to go joy-riding in Tom's volkswagen beetle, and were rewarded by having Indiana Jones himself, Harrison Ford, pass within arm's reach.

He's taller than I expected.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:09 AM

July 26, 2004

C-5 Galaxy Arrival

The United States' largest warbird.
Posted by jackhodgson at 04:23 PM

Today's AirVenture Today newspaper

airventuretoday_146Here's a link to the whole paper. And here's my column.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:50 PM

Climb Aboard an Army Helicopter


Posted by jackhodgson at 01:23 PM

See what you're missing!

I'll do my best to show and tell you about the most notable things that happen here this week. But I probably won't get to everything. Here's EAA's list of the cool stuff.

EAA: "25 must-see sights at EAA AirVenture 2004"

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:31 AM

Day Zero

The show doesn't officially open until tomorrow. But, traditionally, today is the actual first day.

Many attendees come today, most of the commercial exhibits are open, many showcase aircraft have already arrived. EAA even sells admission tickets for today.

I'll report back later today on some of Day Zero's goings-on.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:31 AM

July 25, 2004

Super Pup

sopwithpupThis is a "Steve Culps Special Sopwith Pup". It was built from plans for the original Pup, which is the big brother to Snoopy's historic Sopwith Camel. But this "replica" was built to be "beefier and faster".

Instead of the original 80 hp engine, it has 320 hp (!). And the structure has been strengthened to support that engine and the ability to pull +/-10Gs.

[Click on the pic for a larger view.]

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:26 PM

It's a Jenny!

cjennyThe arrival of this plane took us by surprise. It's a restored Curtiss Jenny. It may be the only one still flying.

It landed on the ultralight area's grass strip, and then had to taxi to its parking without ever going on pavement. That's because it doesn't have a tail wheel. It only has a wooden skid.

This is a very cool airplane, and a major bit of history.

[Click on the pic for a larger view.]

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:20 PM

Look! It's me.

Geocaching. Some caches contain a disposable camera, and finders are invited to take a pic. Periodically the camera is retrieved, developed, and the pics posted.

Here's a pic of Scott and I when we visited this cache.

Interesting coincidence: The t-shirt I'm wearing is from Ardy & Ed's, a great burger and ice cream car hop place that is out here in Oshkosh.

I ate there the other night.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:57 PM

Happy Birthday

Today is my grandmother's 118th birthday. Edith Trites Hodgson, my father's mother.

I never knew her. Sadly, she died when my dad was very young.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:39 PM

100% online again

Well I've finally worked out my internet connectivity issues. I'm totally back online again. Those of you who use my regular email address, it's working again.

Things are really starting to get going here at OSH. A few minutes ago we heard our first warbird fly-by out over the runway.

I'm about to head out and see if there are any photo ops. I'll get back to you.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:27 AM

July 24, 2004

Don't smash my stuff

hiclaimvalueAs I mentioned, there's a lot of exhibit setup happening around here. These guys had an interesting way to try and motivate the shippers to be careful.

[Click image to zoom.]

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:13 PM

Good morning

It's colder here this morning than it was yesterday. I actually changed over to long pants.

Thing are continuing to come together for this year's fly-in. Exhibitors are setting up booths and tents, attendees are streaming into the campground, and small planes are landing at a steady pace.

The level of activity will really start to take-off tomorrow. Tuesday is the official opening day, but unofficially things open up on Monday, so a lot of the final prep must happen on Sunday. Most exhibitors know to be ready to show and sell stuff on Monday. EAA even sells a discounted admission ticket for that day.

The big show planes, like the military and showcase private planes, will begin arriving today and tomorrow.

Also arriving tomorrow are three of the large flights of private planes. In one of them, 100 Mooneys are scheduled to arrive as a group.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:24 AM

July 23, 2004

Lone Plane

Here's a pic I wish I'd taken with a better quality camera. It came out surprisingly good even so.

It's Wednesday afternoon, one of the first arrivals, parked in the "North Forty" airplane camping area.


Posted by jackhodgson at 03:06 PM

Political Parody Animation Sweeping the Net

I've been out of touch for a couple days, so maybe you've all heard about this already.

"This Land" is a pretty funny parody of the cliche personalities of both John Kerry and George Bush. Check it out.

[Note: It's getting a lot of hits, so try again later if it's currently unavailable.]

[Via the Bob and Tom Radio Show. (Yes, radio, that old technology that has been my only "online experience" for days now.)]

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:21 PM

Blog Administrivia

One of the first thing I needed to do after being offline for three days was to clean up all the comment SPAM that was left while I was gone.

Over 30 of them! And, not that I'm looking for sympathy, but it takes 12 mouse clicks to delete each one of them. Big pain in the neck!

I think I've gotten it all deleted now. Sorry for the garbage.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:01 PM

Online again!

Well, the EAA IT folks finally showed me the magical incantation that will let my laptop reach out onto the big net, from their local net.

As I suspected, the problem turned out to be a firewall that they've installed to keep the bad guys out. Unfortunately it also keeps the good guys in.

I still can't read or send email. That is hopefully in the future. But for now, let the blogging begin.

[One administrative note. You might find it easier to catch up on all the offline blog entries that I just posted, by scrolling down to "Near Toledo" and reading upward.]

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:34 PM

Unseasonably cold

When I was packing I almost didn't bring a sweatshirt.

AirVenture week here in Oshkosh has basically two kinds of inclement weather: hot/humid or pouring rain. Sweatshirts are seldom called for.

Well last evening "proved the rule" 'cause late in the afternoon it started to get chilly. Eventually I dug out the sweatshirt that I now think I was very smart to bring.

The overnight temp got down into the 50s, and this morning it's still comfortably cool. Almost weather to change from my hiking shorts, to long pants. But not yet.

Things will start to come to life today and tomorrow. It's been very quiet so far. But the campers are starting to flow in, and the show exhibitors are starting to appear.

I'm the first of the AirVenture Today out-of-town staff to appear. I'm sitting here in the office writing this, and it's eerily quiet. By this time tomorrow it will be a happenin' place. Many of the staffers will arrive today, the rest tomorrow.

[Internet update: I'm still writing these postings "offline" waiting for the internet connection to come to life. You readers have an advantage over me, cause you know when it will start working (cause you can't read this until after then), but I'm still sitting here wondering.]

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:08 AM

July 22, 2004

Is this progress?

I'm sitting in the AirVenture Today office... with no internet connection.

This building sits unused for 50 weeks of the year, then every July the Brigadoon-thing happens. A bunch of tech is installed, we all arrive from the four corners, plug in our laptops, and a daily newspaper happens. It's common for there to be glitches each year as new (and old) pieces of the installation are debugged.

This year we have a new way of connecting to the internet. Actually, I'm told that it's a newer version of an older system. In any event, it involves a radio connection, via a dish on the roof, that connects with a dish on some other roof, and voila, we have internet. Except not so much yet.

I'm confident that it will all be worked out. The fact that you're reading this means that it did. See, no worries.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:29 PM


Sitting at my campsite. I still haven't gotten back on the net. I'm hopeful that later today I'll accomplish that.

Yesterday afternoon I got the campsite more or less set up and started to get settled in. I'm next to a luxurious, huge, motor coach with only one person living in it. Ken from Florida. That's the life.

Last evening I rode my bike around the grounds a little. The show is still almost a week away, so preparations are hardly started.

The only new building I've seen so far, is the new Homebuilder HQ. It's located about the same distance from the runway, but further to the north. About abeam the NASA building.

They've taken down more of the old flight line fence. It's just about all gone now. For you newcomers... Up to about 5 years ago there was a chain link fence that kept non-EAA members from getting out among the parked airplanes. This was for the safety of both the people and the planes. Then they changed the rules, and now everyone is allowed everywhere.

Over the years they've gradually removed the fence and the turn-styles that controlled flow in and out of the "Flight Line". This year they've removed the fence that remained just to the north of the Tower and the EAA Archway. This is where the new Homebuilder building is.


Well I'm gonna head out and find some food and maybe an internet connection. Later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:00 AM

July 21, 2004

Made It!

Well I've arrived safely in Oshkosh.

As usual, it took longer than I expected. 29 hrs door to door. 7 of that was the sleep break. 14 hrs on day one, 8 on day two.

Big news is that coming through Chicago was a total non-event this time. One brief slowdown on I-80 just into Illinois, but otherwise I cruised on through. Either I've cracked the code, or I just lucked out on the timing. I came through tween 11 and 12:30.

I got a camping site in Row 42, right where I'd been planning. Just east of the S Africa camp. Next to the big motor home of a guy named Ken from Florida.

I'll post a picture later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:27 PM

Good morning

I was right, the front seat of the car was pretty uncomfortable.

I awoke at about 7am to the Ohio sunrise, and the rumble of 18-wheelers rolling past my parked car.

I've been inside, done the bathroom thing, bought myself a handheld breakfast, and now it's time to hit the road.

Look-out Chicago traffic! Here I come! I'm not afraid of you!

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:35 AM

Near Toledo.

Made a pretty good first day of driving. I left the lakehouse at 10:20am, only 20 mins behind schedule, a personal best for traveling to OSH. I drove until 1am and I'm about to snooze in a rest area parking lot.

I'm doing a lot of planning trying to avoid Chicago at commute time. Chicago traffic is bad 24/7, but wandering through there at 8:30 am seems like an especially bad idea.

If I can start driving by 7:30 am, then I expect to reach the near edge of the Chicago area at around 10:30, then, depending on how long it takes me to get through, I'll reach OSH about three hours later.

I was just trying to think of a couple of highlights from the first day's drive. But it really was uneventful.

Southern Vermont is still really beautiful... the drive across New York State is really boring... and I'm really not looking forward to sleeping in the front seat of my car.

There were no thunderstorms during the afternoon or evening, which would have livened things up, but they'll come soon enough.

Time to try and sleep.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:25 AM

July 20, 2004

Oshkosh or Bust

Well, I'm about to hit the road for Oshkosh. I'll be driving across NH, VT, NY then along the bottom of the Great Lakes. Turn north at Chicago, then up into Wisconsin.

I plan to spend tonight in upstate Ohio, then arrive in OSH tomorrow midday.

I'll be off the net until at least Thursday, and maybe till Saturday. I'll be blogging off-line, so I'll post a lot of things when I get back on.

I'm really looking forward to this year's AirVenture. I'm expecting the big stories to be SpaceShipOne and the new SportPilot Rule. But you never know what new thing will pop up.

Check back here after Thursday, and daily for the next two weeks. I'll share what I can.

The AirVenture site is reporting that Larry Flagg was the first to arrive. Maybe I'll be second.


Posted by jackhodgson at 09:57 AM

July 19, 2004

It's almost that time...

You may have noticed that I'm really getting into Oshkosh mode. I've been trying to post some pre-fly-in items each day to help, both me and you, to get into the proper frame of mind.

For the past few years I've headed off to OSH on Thursday afternoon, for a Friday arrival. This year I'll be headed out earlier. I'm leaving tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. I'm hoping to arrive around Noon on Wednesday.

I'll use the extra time to relax a little before I get into the swing of reporting on AirVenture Oshkosh 2004. I also plan to do some fly-in-setup volunteering during the first couple of days.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:56 PM

AirVenture Showcase Taxiway

aeroshell_sq_smHere's a list of some of the aircraft that will be on display at "show center". EAA has also announced that a C-5 Galaxy will make a visit too.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:38 PM

July 18, 2004

Bax celebrated his 80th birthday

102200311458Digging around for pre-AirVenture news, I came across this item about Gordon Baxter's 80th birthday this past winter.

I have always been a big fan of "Bax". His storytelling style inspired me to begin writing about aviation. If my articles are a fraction as warm and grass-roots oriented as his was, well, that will be good enough for me.

Flying Magazine:

In late February, 600 of Gordon Baxter’s friends and admirers gathered at the Holiday Inn in Beaumont, Texas, for an 80th birthday tribute celebration in his honor.

Flying readers perhaps know Baxter best for his much-beloved “Bax Seat” column, which ran in Flying from 1971 to 1998 and made it common practice for readers to begin Flying at the back. In the column, Bax wrote about the romance of flight and his lifelong status as an “airport bum.” And Bax was an airport bum. In fact, when his daughter Jenny asked whether he was famous, he replied that he was, within a one-mile radius of an airport.

762004155710Bax used to be a fixture at OSHKOSH. But about five years ago his health declined to the point where he was unable to keep attending. We miss him, but I'm glad to see that he is doing well back down in his beloved Beaumont, Texas.

This page has a links to some of Bax's best columns.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:00 PM

Hacking Planet Earth

"...the fifth annual Hackers on Planet Earth gathering... where attendees discussed computers, control, privacy and politics."


Also under discussion at the conference were fun ways to harass spammers. Some even discussed plans to build a Hogwarts for Hackers -- a national security college that would teach young adults security skills like lock picking, encryption, rewriting software in cars, running pirate radio stations and building nanotech labs from things stashed in the closet or basement.

[Via TechPopuli and Hack the Planet]

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:29 AM

July 17, 2004

Sport Pilot Rule Passes Final Hurdle

According to EAA.com, the Sport Pilot Rule has cleared its final government hurdle, and will be published in the Federal Register in a few days.

July 16, 2004 - A bright new age of aviation participation is ready to unfold, capping a decade of effort by the Experimental Aircraft Association and the aviation community, as the highly anticipated sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rule has cleared its last governmental hurdle. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the rule today to the Federal Aviation Administration, the last of many federal approvals that were necessary before this major rule could be published.


The regulation, commonly known as the "sport pilot rule," is now ready for publication in the Federal Register within several days.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:37 PM

5 Ks

One of my favorite baseball trivia questions is, "what is the record for the most strikeouts in a half-inning?" The answer is FIVE, and it's held jointly by two players, or so I was told some time ago.

Yesterday the minor league Lancaster JetHawks matched that accomplishment in a Single-A California League game.

Lancaster JetHawks right-hander Mike Schultz struck out five batters in one inning Thursday night in a 19-4 loss to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Thursday night.

By the way, this article claims that the major league record is only 4 Ks in a half-inning. It may be that my answer of five of them may be for all the pitchers in a half-inning, or the article may be wrong. In any event, I like my stat better.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:10 PM

AirVenture Setup Ongoing

Airventure.org has posted a gallery of pics of the preparation that is going on to get ready for the fly-in.

One of those scooters has my name on it... usually... I hope.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:48 AM

A New Baseball Paradigm

David Pinto writes about some interesting ideas for an unlikely expansion and reorg of the Major League Baseball.

In this new plan, teams would be assigned to divisions based on their results in the previous season. In his sample scenario this might be our division in a given year:

Ruth League - Williams Division

Atlanta Braves
NY Yankees
SF Giants
Oakland A's
Boston Red Sox

Some good teams there, including my "other" team, the SF Giants.

Of course, any team that ends up in the same division as the Yankee's is in trouble 'cause there are no wildcards. Win your division, or get a longer vacation.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:32 AM

July 16, 2004

OSH Preview: Sport Pilot Rules Approval Expected Soon

AvWeb is reporting that the approval of the new Sport Pilot/Lightplane rules may come very soon. If this happens it will be one of the big stories, maybe the biggest, at the upcoming fly-in. AvWeb:

After a decade or so in the works (and an extended stay at the Office of Management and Budget) the highly anticipated Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft final rule may (very, very soon) be ready for prime time -- we'll let the real world be the judge. Ron Wagner of EAA told AVweb on Tuesday that EAA is "very optimistic that we will have a pre-Oshkosh rule ... it's imminent."
Posted by jackhodgson at 02:10 PM

Prevent hotlinking

Thomas Scott, writing in A List Apart, proposes a clever way to block bandwidth theft, aka HotLinking.

...if someone tries to hotlink one of your images, it’ll fail — the browser, instead of receiving an image file, will receive the result of showpic.php , which is sent as text/html . It’ll realise it can’t display it, and produce a broken image placeholder. Bandwidth saved.

On the other hand, if someone tries to link directly to your images, they’ll get silently redirected to an HTML page with your credit on it! No red X, no silly “denied” image — just a handy page that shows them the image they want to see, and gives you credit for your work.

I wonder if this could be reworked to protect videos from hotlinking? I bet it could.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:04 PM

Bobby Fischer Found

Reclusive, and probably crazy, chess legend Bobby Fischer has been arrested in Japan. Reportedly for trying to board an airliner without a passport.


Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer has been detained by immigration authorities in Japan.

Fischer, 61, is wanted in the United States for attending a 1992 chess match in Yugoslavia in violation of international sanctions imposed during the Balkan wars.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:58 PM

July 15, 2004

Baseball Season Part Two

As the first game of the "second half" is about to start let me make a few comments.

Obviously the first half didn't go as well as we had hoped. We had a good April, and we thought that when our missing players returned from the disabled list, we'd really go into overdrive. Of course that's not what happened. Almost the opposite.

Seemingly, from the time those guys started to return, things got ugly. Is there a connection? I don't know, but I suspect that there might be.

A lot of fans and commentators are blaming this bad performance on new manager Terry Francona. They say that his easy-going style is too permissive, and that this "moneyball" concept, that they seem to be following, is disregarding the basics.

I don't think this faltering is Terry's fault, but it is his job to fix it. And if it keeps up much longer I may join the chorus of critics.


Nomar, Nomar, Nomar. What are we gonna do about Nomar?

From what I've read, he's extremely unhappy here. He's not happy with how he was treated last winter, and with the progress of his contract renewal.

I once felt that it was important for Nomar to play his whole career in Boston. I'm over that. It seems to me that his unhappiness must be affecting the clubhouse mood. If it's true that, one way or the other, he's gone at the end of the year, then I think it's time to make that move now. Get a little value for him now, get him out of the clubhouse. Move on.

I could go on and on here, but one last subject. Randy Johnson.

I dearly hope he does not come here. I confess that I was an early fan of last winter's plan to acquire A-Rod. But by the time it was all over I was glad that it didn't happen, and I hope the Randy Johnson thing doesn't happen either, 'cause I don't like the idea of spending big bucks to have some larger-than-life player come in here and win the pennant for us. I know I'm old fashioned, but that's not the way we should play baseball.

Maybe I'll add some more thoughts in the coming days, but that's all for now.

Go Sox!

Oh, one more thing, Jimi Williams is available.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:04 PM

MacWorld: Old Friends

One of the best parts of going to MacWorld always was meeting up with friends who you'd see only at these gatherings.

My circle is smaller these days, but the friendships are no less dear.

I attended the MacBraniacs session which had old BCS*Mac friend Andy Ihnatko as a panelist. I later ran into Andy on the floor and we chatted about old times, and current projects.

With Andy on the Brainiacs panel, as well as wandering the floor together was Rich Siegal. Rich and I crossed paths back in my days with THINK Technologies. We overlapped there for about a week as I was leaving that company, just prior to moving to California. Rich reminded me of something that I'd forgotten, that he took over my cube at THINK when I left. I attribute the "vibes" that I left behind as the force that led him to create BBEdit and found his software company BareBones.

I get to see them much more often, but I also chatted with BMac's Josh Weisbuch who filled me in on recent MacWorld Expos.

And as you see from recent posting here, I also met up with Steve Garfield. Steve was one of the founders of the original Boston Mac Group, BCS*Mac. Steve and I sat together in an interesting session by WGBH Interactive.

Steve told me that I missed a couple of other old friends who had been in town. Becky Waring and Raines Cohen, also founders of BCS*Mac, were here and I wish I had had a chance to say hi to them.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:02 PM

MacWorld Expo Boston

I spent some time both Wednesday and Thursday at MacWorld. Although some aspects of it were disappointing, it was on the whole a satisfying time.

As always, the crowds of Mac fans were excited and passionate. I've always enjoyed mingling with the faithful at these events. As a Mac fan we spend a lot of our time explaining ourselves. But at MacWorld you are surrounded by people who all "get it".

The exhibit floor was pretty small. This is the first MWE I've attended in many years. Some BMAC friends confirm that even the recent year's Expos in SF and NYC had show floors that were 4-6 times the size if this one in Boston. It was pretty small. A lot of this is probably due to Apple's notorious decision to not exhibit at this show.

And although the exhibitors in attendance had some very interesting products, there was an absence of the little, cool things, created by small teams of developers. There were no surprises.

But, the conference program seemed to be where the action was. I attended a few of these and they were fun and informative. I'll post separately my notes on these. But in retrospect I wish I had pulled some strings and gotten an admission with access to more of the sessions.

There were three tiers of sessions.

About a dozen sessions that were no-extra-charge with the exhibits admission. Then a Users Conference with the bulk of the sessions. And finally a Power Users Conference with a few, longer-form, advanced sessions. An Exhibits badge had a face-value of $35 but it was very easy to find free passes for this. The Users Conference cost $300 and the Power Users was $1200.

The energy level on the show floor, in the corridors, and in the sessions I attended was everything I've come to expect from this Mac audience. It's left me energized to continue getting more involved in the community, inspired me to pursue some new projects, and made me set the goal of attending the Big Show next January in San Francisco.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:00 PM

Breaking News: SteveG sleeps in car at Expo

LIVE FROM THE MACWORLD BOSTON EXHIBIT FLOOR: This picture was taken of SteveGarfield on Wednesday at Macworld Expo.

On Thursday at 1PM he was observed in the same location, still editing video.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:12 PM

Steve's gonna be on TV again.

Cool. From his blog:

The local news station, FOX 25, came to do an interview with me about blogs, video blogs and the Democratic Convention coming to town.
Posted by jackhodgson at 04:34 AM

July 14, 2004

Cause I Can...

I'm posting this little blog entry from a public terminal on the exhibit floor of MacWorld Boston.

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:19 PM

Blogging MacWorld Expo

Well, I'm down in Boston for a couple days to attend MacWorld. I won't have my laptop with me on the show floor, but I will be taking notes, and I'll post my observations tonight.

This will be my first MWE in a long, long time. Back in the early days of Mac I attended every MWE, in every town, for years. Not just Boston and SF, but the ones like Washington and DALLAS (!).

In the mid 90s I drifted away from this intense level of participation. I went to some of the SF events (I was living in the Bay Area at the time), and occasionally I planned my NE visits to attend the Boston event. I never went to the New York version.

But now I'm back, and I'm looking forward to seeing the sights, and maybe crossing paths with a few old friends.

More later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:18 AM

July 12, 2004

Breaking News

MGA of Concrete Frog, reports: "25 years ago today Disco Died."

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:43 PM

Busy Sunday

Big day yesterday.

I made one of my world-famous breakfasts in the morning. A good feed was had by all.

At noontime a herd of family and friends headed up to Rochester NH for the annual birthday bash for niece Brittany. We all spent the afternoon hanging out around the pool.

Some people fell into the pool, and some were pushed. I am being blamed for an incident of the later. I insist that I was merely defending a child from an evildoer. Nevertheless, it seems that I'm now a marked man, and eventually I will be punished.

Later in the afternoon I headed off for an evening doing Board Member duty in Prescott Park. We had a very good crowd out to see "...Dreamcoat". It's a fun show, you should check it out.

Tomorrow, the monthly water testing session, then off the Boston for MacWorld Expo.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:58 AM

July 10, 2004

Who said he could go on vacation?

The very excellent compilation of Boston-themed blogs, Boston Common, seems to be away on vacation. I seem to remember he did the same around this time last summer too.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:02 PM

"Around the Field" Archive

I've added a new link to the right-hand column. It is to an archive of all the past "Around the Field" columns I've written.

"Around the Field" is a daily column I write each summer for the eight days of EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This is the first time that I've pulled together a complete collection of all of them back to 1998.

I'm planning to expand ATF to also be a "more-or-less monthly" column that I write about visits to airports throughout the year.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:41 AM

Little airplanes

Heading out later today to visit the annual Ultralight fly-in in Greenland NH.

It's a wonderful, grass-roots gathering of UL pilots and enthusiasts. It's held at "Sanderson's Field", which is really just a private, grass landing strip on a family farm pasture in Greenland.

[Greenland by the way is a small town just inland from Hampton NH, and is more-or-less unrelated to the cold continent in the North Atlantic.]

I'm dragging my brother Scott along to this. He took some hang glider lessons a few years ago and I think he'll find this pretty cool.

I'll post a report, and some pics, later.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:33 AM

July 08, 2004

It was a dark and stormy night...

The second really big lightning storm of the summer passed through the Lake area just now. At the height of the storm we were seeing more or less non-stop flashes for a 10 to 15 minute period.

Afterward, looking at the weather radar, we see that the most severe part of a significant group of cells passed right over my location. Lots of red radar returns. Very cool.

It was made even more surreal by the fact that as it was happening I was also watching the 8th and 9th innings of the Redsox game where the sox gave up a 7-1 lead, then struggled to retake it in extra innings.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:05 PM

Mellvill and Rutan at Airventure

Rutan-designed StarshipSpeaking of "the other convention" Mike and Burt, of SpaceShipOne fame, confirmed that they will attend, and speak, at the upcoming convention.

EAA President Tom Poberezny was personally contacted by SpaceShipOne designer/builder Burt Rutan late Monday, expressing thanks for the support and congratulations from EAA following Monday's successful flight of SpaceShipOne over California.

Rutan also said he was "looking forward to a good event" at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this year, including four forum presentations by Rutan, plus his Theater in the Woods evening program "Fun at Mojave" on Thursday, July 29.

They've announced that they will be arriving in the Rutan-designed Starship, which was one of the exotic looking craft that we saw operating as "chase plane" for the historic flight.

It's probably too much to expect Rutan's "spacecraft" to visit OSH this summer, since they are in the midst of final work to compete for the X-Prize, but on the other hand, Burt is well known for his dramatic gestures, so there's no telling what might happen at the last minute.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:15 PM

Demo Convention Bloggers named.

Cyberjournalist.com has published a list of the bloggers who were granted "press" credentials for the Democratic Convention. Dave Winer, David Weinberg and Jay Rosen, three bloggers who I read on a regular basis, are on the list.

Gone East Pal Steve Garfield writes that he was not credentialed, but he's OK with it.

I would have been out on the streets, like Steve plans to be, covering the Convention's edge-stories, except I'll be out of town reporting on the "other" convention. Airventure.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:54 PM

Anita in the paper

I missed this article when it first appeared in the Portsmouth paper. It's about one of my fellow Prescott Park Board Members, Anita Freedman.

"Everybody should work for the candidate of their choice, and they should work like crazy for them," said Freedman, chairwoman of the Portsmouth Democratic Committee and a state representative to the Democratic National Committee. "They need all the help they can get."

Freedman counts such notables as former President Bill Clinton and Congressman Dick Gephardt as friends.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:39 PM

July 07, 2004

All 50?

Andy Ihnatko wondered whether he could name all 50 United States from memory. He came up with 46.

I'm not sure if I could name all 50, starting from scratch, but I quiclkly recognized the four that he'd missed. (They're all states I've slept in.)

ADDENDUM: In another post Andy weighs in on what it takes to "count" a state:

Do keep in mind that in this endeavour, merely passing through or sleeping in a state won't do; feet must be planted on the native soil and I need to overnight it.
Posted by jackhodgson at 10:20 AM

July 06, 2004


Tonight is the second meeting of the Pawtuckaway Lake Advisory Committee. Andy Chapman from NH DES will be a guest and answer some questions about sources of bad stuff in the lake.

It's an open meeting, it starts at 7pm at the Nottingham Town Offices.

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:26 PM

Edwards for VP

Of course the big news story today is that John Kerry has chosen Senator Edwards as his running mate.

I voted for Edwards in the NH Primary. As I wrote at the time, I voted for him mostly cause I wanted him to be able to stay in the race a bit longer to see what would happen.

As the primaries played out I came to like Edwards as a candidate, and I think I'm happy with him as VP candidate.

But I'm not so certain whether he is the best running-mate in terms of attracting swing states. I'll be watching this for awhile.

I also have some sadness at seeing a quality politician being relegated to the relatively uninvolved role of VP. I'll admit that VP Cheney has shown us that the VP can wield power, but I think his example has been an abuse of the system, not an improvement.

So Edwards has agreed to eight years of obscurity in order to bolster the ticket, and to be the candidate in 2012. Interesting choice.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:07 PM

Open the pod-bay door please HAL.

20q.net, a computerized, artificial intelligence system, plays 20 Questions with you, and is remarkably good at it.

When I played, after 20 questions it incorrectly guessed I was thinking of a "Vase", but after 5 more questions it correctly guessed "Coffee Mug". And by the way, I WAS thinking specifically COFFEE MUG, not just MUG.

[Thanks Joho]

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:15 AM

July 05, 2004

Happy 4th

fireworksAround 9pm last night people started lighting off fireworks from all around the lake. Some were of the sparkler/bottle rocket variety, but others rivaled some professional displays I've seen.

We all boarded the pontoon boat and headed out onto the water to see the sights.

There was a big spectator fleet out there. In the dark you could make out boats of all shapes and sizes. Most were displaying their red/green/white running lights, but others were ghost ships floating in the dark.

You had to maneuver carefully, because even the lighted vessels could suddenly appear very close to you with the optical illusions of colored lights in the dark.

You never knew what direction would offer the next spectacle. Look there, no over there, and there too.

After particularly impressive fireworks were shot off, many of the boats would honk their horns, and their passengers would cheer and applaud.

One boatload, who seemed to be fortified with adult beverages, broke out into patriotic songs. Other boats joined in. All in good fun.

Beyond the horizon of the lake's edge we would occasionally see the flash of distant community fireworks displays. The sparkles of the closer ones would occasionally peak over the treetops, but mostly it was colored glows in the sky and muted thunder in the distance.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:55 PM

July 04, 2004

Canadian Geese

Dave, my brother who is a Dad, was pointing out to his son, a flock of Canadian Geese which were swimming nearby.

"You know what sound they make?... 'Quack Honk, ay?' "

UPDATE: OK, so I guess I screwed up the joke.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:13 PM

Chaos, the good kind

We've been doing the Big Family Holiday thing since Friday morning. Lots of group meals, swimming, boating, paddling, tubing, watching for fireworks.

It's exhausting.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:06 PM

July 02, 2004

West Wing Syndication cancelled?

Is it just me? Or did the West Wing re-runs on Bravo end on June 30?

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:59 PM

Half of what?

It was just after noon, and I was asked what time I was leaving. I said, "Half past."

Lisa, my normally quite sane sister-in-law who seems to be operating from within a bit of a daze today, said, "Half past what?"

"Half past twelve."

"So what does that mean? 12:30? 12:15?"

So now I'm thinking that it's actually ME who's have one of those nearing-senior moments, until her husband chimes in, "What do you think it means?... Don't tell her"

For some reason she was confused as to whether "half" referred to the hour, or the half hour... I guess.

So I clarified it for her. "We're leaving 15 minutes after half-half-past."

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:18 PM


Marlon Brando has died.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:02 PM

July 01, 2004

Goin' to the show

Tonight is my first night of "Board Member duty" for the Arts Festival at Prescott Park. It will also be my first time to see this year's show "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". Usually I manage to get to see a rehearsal or preview, but not this year.

Of course, this is also the start of the holiday weekend, so the family is gathering for another of the chaotic, but really nice, weekends at the lake.

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:20 PM