July 31, 2003

Eye Candy

I realize that I haven't posted any pics of planes flying. I'll try to do something about that. In the meantime here's a start. From the Daily Airshow.

Posted by jghiii at 06:43 PM | Comments (2)

Pop Quiz

Who knows what airplane this is? Actually this is not the original, that's in the Smithsonian. This is a replica. I think it actually flies too.

Posted by jghiii at 06:37 PM | Comments (1)

Around the Field

Thurday's Column

Posted by jghiii at 06:02 PM | Comments (0)

Red Three

This is an example of the customized volkswagons that the high, muckety-muck leaders of this event get to ride around in.

There are hundred of vehicles, large and small, being used on the grounds by various staff and volunteer. Why, even I get to zoom around on a little scooter. But there are only about 20 VWs and only the most senior EAA folks get a VW.

They come in different colors: green, blue, white, yellow. But the red ones are VERY special.

Paul Poberezney is the grand-daddy of this whole organization. He's 80 now, and he basically created EAA with a few friends in his garage back in the 1950s.

When they first created these volkswagons, Paul's was a red one cause 'Red' was his nickname, or his military callsign, or both. His VW was labelled Red One. His wife, Audrey, got one labelled Red Two. For years those were the only red VWs.

Paul's son Tom now runs the whole show. Paul and Audrey are around, but mostly retired. Tom drives Red Three. That's the one in the picture.

Every now and then we still see Paul tooling around in Red One.

Posted by jghiii at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

Now look.

A few days ago I showed you this picture of my campsite the day after I arrived. Click the picture at right to see what it looks like now.

Posted by jghiii at 02:53 PM | Comments (3)

Good morning.

We had a massive thunderstorm here last night. A line of them passed by us, to the north, in the early evening. But then around 11pm one hit us straight-on.

Lots of bright lightning flashes, booms of thunder, and VERY heavy rain.

I was curled up in my tent listening to reports of the storm on my scanner. I had prepared the back of my car just in case I needed to take shelter in something a little more substantial than the tent. But I didn't need it.

One reason the tent was OK was that the wind never really got going. The rain was heavy, but little wind.

By morning the floor of the tent was wet, with a couple of puddles. I think I have a leak in one of the floor seams, and in general the tent walls could use a waterproofing. But I had everything up off the floor, so other than a corner of a blanket that got wet, no problem.

Check back later for more pictures.

Posted by jghiii at 12:00 PM | Comments (2)

July 30, 2003

Flight reinvented

This is an historically accurate replica of the original wright flyer. They will be flying it at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 2003 to commemorate the original first flight.

Interesting thing. They actually aren't 100% sure it's and exact replica since there are no surviving copies of the Wright Brothers' plans or engineering notes. The folks that built it have spent the last 4-5 years trying to recreate the plans from photos, journal entries and descriptions.

Posted by jghiii at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

Around the Field

Day Three

Posted by jghiii at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

You too.

As promised I went over to look at the U2 plane that arrived. I almost didn't recognize it. They have all sorts of parts taken off. Probably for displaying all the spaces where cameras and scientific equipment can be stashed.

This aircraft is actually called a ER-2. It's operated by NASA to carry scientific intruments high up in the atmosphere for various experiments.

Posted by jghiii at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)

Great minds think alike.

Among the exhibit vendors here are alot of "mom and pop" companies that have had a good idea, they come here to try and sell it. These folks have created a dolly to help move around your airplane on the ramp. What caught my attention is that they're using an off-the-shelf cordless hand drill to power it.

The drill is attached to a drive shaft that drives the wheels and is clamped in near the handle.

What caught my attention is we've done a similar thing at the lake, using a power drill to crank and anchor winch.

Posted by jghiii at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

See, they're real.

Yesterday I wrote about the company that is retrofitting vehicles with tracks for wheels. My brother David replied: "Check out the web site for the Mt. Washington Auto Road, they put these things on their coaches and drive up during the winter."

Posted by jghiii at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

Stay tuned

I've been a little distracted this morning, but I'll be posting more stuff soon. One thing I'm gonna head out and see is the U2 plane that arrived last night.

Posted by jghiii at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2003

Around the Field

Here's the second installment.

Posted by jghiii at 06:58 PM | Comments (0)


I thought this was a joke, but it's not. They can put these tracks on an ATV or even your pickup truck.

[Later] Everyone I show this pic to comments on whether the tracks can turn fast enough. When I took the pic it was 7:30 in the morning. I plan to go back when they're open and ask them about this.

BTW their website is litefootatv.com

Posted by jghiii at 01:55 PM | Comments (3)


These are B-25 bombers. They are the same aircraft that Doolittle's Raiders launched off of an aircraft carrier early in WWII to attack Tokyo. There are only about 10 of these still flying. A few years back, on the 50th anniversary of the Tokyo raid, all of them were here at Oshkosh.

Posted by jghiii at 09:22 AM | Comments (3)

Crouching Ping, Hidden Pong

Departing once again from Oshkosh coverage... This pretty funny.

Posted by jghiii at 08:51 AM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2003

On the road...

Let me pause from my reporting on AirVenture to express my sadness on the death of Bob Hope. I don't know why, but the Hope movie that has always come to my mind first is, "The Lemon Drop Kid". "We've got to help the Old Dolls."

Posted by jghiii at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)


Look! There's one now.

Posted by jghiii at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

Around the Field -- Monday

My first daily column is available on the net now. Check it out.

Posted by jghiii at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)


The Constellation is a regular visitor to AirVenture. A few years ago there were two of these here. I think there are only two airworthy ones in existence.

Posted by jghiii at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

What the...?!

The Segway folks are here somewhere at AirVenture Oshkosh loaning/renting their weird and cool, two-wheeled scooters. I've almost gotten run down by them twice.

I wonder, if a Segway runs into you will your body not fall over?

Posted by jghiii at 01:21 PM | Comments (2)

July 27, 2003

Beluga, Big

The big, exciting happening today was the arrival of the "beluga" cargo plane. It's big. It's ugly. But mostly, it's big.

Posted by jghiii at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

Oshkosh Report: Day Three -- Saturday

My first full day here.

The wind was blowing like crazy here this morning. The weather said it was 17 knots, gusting to 27. That's like 22 mph/32 mph. It was blowing.

My tent was holding up well, although it was flexing in the wind in a sometime unnerving way.

[By the way, the area around my tent doesn't look like that anymore. Most all of the space around me is filled with campers now. Sun afternoon.]

I rode my bike down the the convention grounds to see what was up. This is becoming a tradition for me. They don't usually let bikes into this area, but it's still so early that no one is checking.

There are people setting up all over. The convention is still three days till opening, so most things are far from finished.

Later in the day I hook up with the AirVenture Today folks. Most of these people I've been working with every summer for 6 years now. It's become a very pleasant family of aviation-loving, writers and photographers. Fun people, nice people.

Later, Saturday evening we all gather, at the home of one of the photographers who lives here, for an annual welcome dinner. He lives on the lake just north of the field and we have a great evening catching up, eating and drinking.

Posted by jghiii at 04:33 PM | Comments (2)

Oshkosh Report: Day Two -- Friday

It seems that I always misjudge the length of the second day's drive. And this year was no difference.

The day started out well enough. 6:30 am start from the Angola Service Area just west of Buffalo.

Barrelling on through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana. As the morning progressed it seemed that I would arrive later than I'd originally thought, but still no later than around 5pm.

But that was before Chicago's traffic had it's way with me.

Last year I resolved the I would never drive through Chicago again. Then, ten months later, when I was planning this trip, I decided I'd blown the whole thing out of proportion. "It's bad," I thought, "but it's not unbearably bad. Just don't over think it, and tough it out." Well, it is unbearably bad.

One 3 mile stretch was so clogged that it took us an hour and a quarter to go the distance. It then sped up to a speedy 10 mph.

All told it took me 3 hours to get through the 50 miles of Chicago metro area.

From north of Chicago I passed into Wisconsin, past Milwaukee, and north into Oshkosh. I arrived just before 8pm, just as it was starting to rain.

But even the light rain can't dampen the coolness of the annual arrival in OSH.

I took the long way in so I could drive past the approach end of runway 9 and the legenday North 40 camping area, where thousands of planed park and their owners pitch their tents under the wing. The row after row of airplanes with tents, is one of the classic images of OSHKOSH.

I pulled into the campgrounds, registered, and drove over to the area where I'd camped last year.

There are no assigned spaces here. The campground is basically a huge, former, farm field, and it's first-come-first-served for claiming a space. I found a spot near the south fence, under a shade tree.

With a light rain falling, and thunder storms passing by the the north and south, I pulled my gear out of the car and pitched my tent.

I rolled into my cot, planning to read a bit, but I gradually nodded off for the night.

Posted by jghiii at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

One Down, Seven to Go

I wrote my first colum today. It will appear in the paper tomorrow morning. It will also appear on the AirVenture website. I'll post a link to that site when it's available.

Posted by jghiii at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

See Pictures

I've just added some pictures to the Oshkosh Day One report. If you've already looked at it, look again.

Posted by jghiii at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

Oshkosh Report: Day One -- Thursday

Today I started the drive out here. I had hoped to get going around noon, but last minute errands and packing delayed me until 2pm.

My route took me down through SW New Hampshire and across southern Vermont.

Each time I've taken this route I've been amazed at how beautiful this stretch of Vermont is. The mountains and the lakes and the charming small towns.

Brattleboro, Wilmington, and Bennington. I'm not sure which I'd pick for most charmaing and cool.

Leaving Vermont the route takes me across eastern NY state and down into the Hudson River Valley at Troy NY.

I don't know why but Troy always makes me a little nervous. I don't know if it's an inherently scary town, or if it's just that I always get lost finding my way onto the proper Interstate highway here.

The drive is going really well, but for no good reason my first "pit stop" makes me very uneasy, when I am away from my car for about 10 mins. It's a remnant of the Youngstown trauma, but it's over soon and I'm on my way.

One of my favorite parts of this drive is up I90 in New York, along the Mohawk Valley following the Mohawk River and the route of the old Erie Canal. I always envision the day when canal barges would head up and down the river. There are still red and green bouys marking a waterway, but I don't think I've ever seen a boat on it. Maybe Scott and I should bring the kayaks here someday.

Tomorrow I forge on through Cleveland, Indiana, through the evil Chicago, and into the promised land.

Posted by jghiii at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2003

Up, Please

These are weird, amazing technology. Space elevators.

Posted by jghiii at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

Live from Oshkosh

I've arrived safely in Oshkosh for the 2003 editon of the world's largest fly-in. I'll start posting reports on the event here soon. Including a couple of backdated reports on my drive here.

Posted by jghiii at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

Flash Mob Story in Globe

Sherm sent along this link to the Boston Globe's recent story about Flash Mobs.

This story caused a minor uproar in the Boston Flash Mob community when the reporter contacted the group while writing the piece and the group thrashed over whether this publicity would help or hurt the plan.

Posted by jghiii at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2003

On the road again.

I'm heading out soon, on my drive to Oshkosh. I plan to post here regularly througout the fly-in, so check back often. Although I may be offline until Sunday which is when I expect to get my internet access back.

See ya.

Posted by jghiii at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)

Baby Steps

From a NY Time piece on Flash Mobs:

At 7:05 a furtive-looking guy, hidden under a dark hat, began handing out slips of paper indiscriminately -- apparently assuming that the entire clientele of Pamela's was part of the project. And it seems he was right, as at 7:07 nearly every patron picked up and began skulking en masse down Lafayette Street...

Everyone keeps struggling with a definition of what these are: performance art? an inside joke? or just "for no reason"?

I have an opinion.

They are a proof of concept (beta-test?) of one of the ways that the internet is enabling us to communicate, and organize.

The future is a distributed one. Centralization is fading, even dangerous. Individual power, and the power of small groups is rising. For good and for bad.

If we are to live in a world threatened by small, powerful, ruthless, extremist groups, then we need to learn how to harness the powers of our new technologies for good things as well.

Flash Mobs are an example of the 21st century taking its first baby-steps, laughing joyfully at this new skill it's discovered.

Posted by jghiii at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2003

Where's Boston?

One of the blogs that I look at regularly is Boston Common which summarizes some of the things appearing on various Boston blogs. But it hasn't updated in 4 days. 'Zup?

Posted by jghiii at 10:29 AM | Comments (2)

July 22, 2003

No Joy.

Multiple thunderstorms all through NE today, yet nonw of them really hit here. At one point there was a brief period of some lightning flashes, but no real thunder. It did rain really hard for about an half-hour. I need to check the rain gauge to see how much fell, but it started to wash out some of the drainage ditches.

Posted by jghiii at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

No women

Moxie is concerned that this list of the 20 Greatest Americans contains no women. While I agree with her, I consider the source.

The site that did the survey admits to being pretty conservative, and think about it, the top five are Abe Lincoln, three founding fathers, and RONALD REAGAN. Reagan is the second greatest American of all time! And you're suprised there are no women?

Posted by jghiii at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2003

Salilboats Galore at Fundy

Until two days ago I hadn't seen a single sailboat at the Fundy boat launch, where I'm spending alot of time on this summer's Milfoil education program. Then, two days ago, I saw my first one... yesterday, the second... then today we hit the jackpot: four sailboats.

The most charismatic of them all was Joe Brunault's home built Weekender II: "Reflection". Here are some pictures of it.

Posted by jghiii at 08:38 PM | Comments (3)


I'm moving into serious "preparing for Oshkosh" mode now. I leave on Thursday for the annual EAA convention that I've attended now for 13 consecutive summers.

For the past 5 years I've been a member of the staff of the EAA convention newspaper. I write a daily column called Around the Field. I tell the stories of the regular folks who come to the convention to celebrate their passion for flying.

I'll be posting pointers here to the online version of Around the Field. This year I'm also gonna try to also add some exclusive tidbits from OSH in this blog. Stay tuned.

Posted by jghiii at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2003

Halley writes:

Off to see My Fair Lady tonight. I must admit I love all the fighting and bickering between Eliza Doolittle and Henry HIggins and how they are so busy convincing one another how much they loathe the other while they are hopelessly falling in love. In the end, he knows he's hooked.

I love this story too. But one thing to remember is that over the years, and the versions, of this story, there have been TWO different endings. One where they end up together, and one where they don't.

I'd need to look up the specifics, but I believe it's gone like this: the original book (Pygmalian), they don't end up together. The non-musical movie, they do. The original stage musical (My Fair Lady), no. The movie musical, yes. The various stage musical revivals, it varied.

As I understand the history, GB Shaw's original intent was for them to NOT end up together.

Posted by jghiii at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2003

Baby names

The Social Security folks have posted data that shows the popularity of various first names over the years.

When I was born John was #4 and Jack #57. Today John is #17 and Jack #43.

Soc Sec babynames website.

Posted by jghiii at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Old Friend

Steve Garfield is a great friend from my illustrious past. He was the first "meeting coordinator" for the original BCS Mac group. He saw my posting to the Boston Flash MOB list and sent a hello. Hi Steve.

He also posted a link on his blog to the My Mom's Guide Series. Thanks.

[Later] I've just been reading through his blog. Some really fun stuff there. Check it out... And who is that woman pictured in the sidebar "CamGirl"? I'm hoping she's not, like, Steve's daughter, cause that would make me REALLY old.

Posted by jghiii at 11:17 AM | Comments (1)

Seamless City

This is a very cool project. A continuous visual image of San Francisco. I've been thinking about doing a similar thing here at the lake, but my idea was not nearly so elegant. I may have to do it his way. [Thanks Steve G.]

Posted by jghiii at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

Flash Mob Info->
Boston Flash Mob->

A Flash MOB is being planned for Boston on July 31. I'll be out of town :-( Hopefully the second one will be soon after.

Posted by jghiii at 08:53 AM | Comments (1)

July 16, 2003

misstatements, lies, fibs, fudges

Josh Marshal, Talking Points Memo:

...it's become a given among reporters and editors that most of what the president is saying on this subject has little connection to anything that's actually going on. And the two keep diverging more and more.

Posted by jghiii at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)


Gizmodo: "Anti-mosquito phone"

This probably doesn't actually work, but SK Telecom in South Korea is offering its subscribers an anti-mosquito download for cellphones that tweaks handset so they'll emit the kinds of high-frequency sound waves that are supposed to annoy and repel mosquitos.

Posted by jghiii at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2003

PDF yuck!

Jakob Nielson: "PDF: Unfit for Human Consumption"

Users get lost inside PDF files, which are typically big, linear text blobs that are optimized for print and unpleasant to read and navigate online. PDF is good for printing, but that's it. Don't use it for online presentation.

PDF is great for one thing and one thing only: printing documents... For online reading, however, PDF is the monster from the Black Lagoon . It puts its clammy hands all over people with a cruel grip that doesn't let go.

Posted by jghiii at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2003

I wanna go

Ed Cone writes about his trip to Alaska:

One afternoon we paddled in quite close to a brown bear as it munched grass in a cove by a waterfall, and watched a bald eagle pluck a fish from the water, the next day we landed via helicopter on the Patterson glacier... We saw a big humpback whale†breach the surface, almost standing on its tail, and witnessed chunks of sapphire-blue glacial ice fall into the blue-green, thousand-foot-deep Tracy Arm fjord while dozens of harbor seals lazed, unconcerned, on the drifting ice nearby.

Posted by jghiii at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2003

What he said

A few days ago I wrote about Wil Wheaton. Here's something he wrote in his weblog:

When people come up to me at a convention, they are usually approaching TVSWILWHEATON(I hate that guy), but Mrs. Wheaton's Husband is usually who they meet. This is because TVSWILWHEATON(I hate that guy) just doesn't exist any more, as far as I am concerned. He flew off to some other dimension last year.

Posted by jghiii at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

Jack, Environmentalist

This morning I went out on a special mission for the NH Dept of Environmental Services. They needed a volunteer to collect water samples from a nearby stream that flows through three farms that are nearby our lake. I met with Andy Chapman of the DES yesterday and he gave me a map and the supplies I'd need.

This sampling needed to happen today because rain was forecast, and the sampling should be done just after a rainfall so that any bad stuff will be flushed into the stream and can be captured.

At 9:30 am the rainfall amount reached the magical level and I headed out with map in hand, and sampling bottles in backpack.

I knew that the seven sample sites were in some woods and pastures along a local road. What I didn't realize was that the pasture was covered with thick, tangled, and now wet, grass. And the forests were thick with tangled brush, mud, thorny bushes, and very few trails.

Within minutes of entering the tall wet grass I was soaked from my hips down. At the first sample site I got stabbed by some sort of evil thorn bush that seems to have left tiny, invisible barbs in two of my fingers.

The third site was down a muddy, two-track trail, that was downhill, AND slanted to the left. Oh, and it was not simply covered with wet mud, it was wet cow manure.

Well anyway, it's all in a good cause, to protect our lake, which is the destination of this stream, from the run-off from these farms.

Posted by jghiii at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

Left Coast Geocaching

Sherm (my friend who insists he's not into weblogs, but uses my comments area just like one) pointed me to this article on geocaching. Excerpt:

Dave Grenewetzki, 52, was on bended knee, rooting through bushes in downtown San Rafael, and eliciting bewildered looks from nearby beauty-school students. With a global positioning system unit in one hand, he appeared to be either a tech-savvy bag man or an obsessed arborist.

Posted by jghiii at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2003


Last night I was the presenter at SeaMac, the Seacoast NH Mac Users Group. It was alot of fun. I did a demo of iTune 4 and the Apple Music Store.

Posted by jghiii at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2003

I like it too.

I once said that Porter Square was that ideal place to live in the Cambridge area. lukwam.com agrees with me: "I've really gotten to like Porter. Just about anything you need is available within walking distance. Plus, we have a number of 24-hours places, like Dunkin' Donuts, CVS, and the White Hen Pantry. The Star Market used to be open one of those, but that changed a year or two ago, which made me so angry! As far as places to eat, we have the Newtowne Grill, Christopher's, Wok & Roll, Passage to India, Anna's and more!"

Posted by jghiii at 06:30 AM | Comments (0)

Do ducks cry?

Washington Post: "Robert McCloskey, 88, author and illustrator of the children's classics "Make Way for Ducklings," the tale of a mother mallard shepherding her brood to safety in Boston's Public Garden, and "Blueberries for Sal," died June 30 at his home on Deer Isle, Maine." (Thanks Wicked Good, and Boston Common)

Posted by jghiii at 06:21 AM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2003


the ONION: "WASHINGTON, DCóCiting the need to safeguard "America's most vital institutions and politicians" against potentially devastating attacks, President Bush asked Congress to sign off Monday on a $30 billion funding package to help fight the ongoing War On Criticism."

Posted by jghiii at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

July 4, 1776

The Declaration of Independence: "...certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." (Thanks Scripting News.)

Posted by jghiii at 12:34 PM | Comments (1)

July 02, 2003

It's a real world after all.

My brother Scott has gotten deeply involved in geocaching, where one hunts for a "treasure" with only its GPS coordinates to go by.

TidBits: "A growing number of innovative hobbyists have ... established Web sites to track the mostly non-commercial transit of everything from toys to books to money."

[Update: And here's some forum posts about how to connect your GPS to a Mac.]

Posted by jghiii at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2003

What does this button do?

Wil Wheaton played Wesley Crusher in the early Star Trek Next Generation episodes. Most fans have no use for the character, but it turns out the Wil is a pretty cool, well-adjusted, guy. And he has a very popular weblog.

He's on a roadtrip right now and he tell a nice story about playing with the buttons in his rental car.

Somewhere before Williams, Anne said, "What does this button on the mirror do?" as she pushed it. The radio fell silent, and a voice said, "Connecting to On*Star . . ." (I swear, you could hear the asterisk in the computerized voice)

We both looked at each other, sort of shocked, and I said, "It's a rental car. there is no way the On*Star (again, I made sure to pronounce the asterisk) is going to be turned on."


Posted by jghiii at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Geek stuff

RSS (0.91, 1.0, 2.0), RDF, Echo.

Ever since I got involved in the blog world I've read about the technical and political merits of these tech protocols. But I've never dived in to really learn the attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Maybe now is the time to change that. More later.

Posted by jghiii at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

God told him to do it.


According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush
said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I
struck them, and then he instructed me to
strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am
determined to solve the problem in the Middle
East. If you help me I will act, and if not,
the elections will come and I will have to
focus on them."

(Thanks to Talking Points Memo.)

Posted by jghiii at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)