Thursday, October 30, 2008

Awesome Book!

I happened to see The Time Traveler's Wife by Aubrey Niffenegger on the library shelf a week ago (I work as a page). I vaguely recalled it being recommended to be, so I read it - and it was awesome! It's one of the best and most though-provoking novels I've read in a long time.
The basic idea of the novel is that Clare is an artist for whom time passes normal, and Henry is a librarian who spontaneously time-travels and teleports - hereafter referred to as timeporting. At random times, he time-travels to a random place and time, usually within 50 years of his present. He stays the same age while timeporting, but his clothes, money, etc don't travel with him. He can meet himself, including when he teaches him younger self to pickpocket, steal, mug, and run to escape trouble.
The book opens with Henry, 28, meeting Clare, 20, in real time. Clare has known him for years, but he doesn't know her. In his future (his 30s), he has timeported back dozens of times to when she was a girl, eventually becoming a friend to her. (No awkwardness, just actually a very unusual friendship). They hit it off despite their unusual future / past. The reader then gets a very neat story of their unusual friendship (and later love story). The second part is less love story, but still very interesting.
The story is amazing on many levels:
SciFi - the timeporting is logically consistent, mainly because Henry's past actions make what happens now, which influence what he does while timeported, etc.
Romance - This is a good if untraditional love story with two believeable and entertaining characters.
Comedy - There are some truly funny scenes in the book, like when Henry teaches his younger self survival skills. It also strikes me as ridiculously funny that Henry mentions that Chicago's finest hate him because he keeps disappearing from custody.
Though-provoking novel - lots of symbolism, but also some interesting themes here. An English teacher would have a field day here, but even I appreciate it.
It's also very helpful that at every section, the date, time, and speaker (Clare or Henry) is given, as well as their ages.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Parachutes. Sigh.

If for some reason you passed by my house, you would see the following in the front tree:
  • a large orange mass

  • string. lots of it.

  • a lead fishing weight

  • a red wire hanger

  • a large washer

The explanation: I made a 24" ouyt of this orangeish plastic material. One its sixth test flight, it caught on the very tip of a branch that shouldn't be there 50 feet up. That makes for the orange mass, string, and the weight - for testing the chute.
Then, I made a grappling hook from a hanger and a washer to get it down. That caught too. Sigh. On the plus side, both the 24" chute and its 12" safely recovered baby brother work great. I will use the 12" chute soon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happiness comes in a box marked ' Hazmat'

My order came yesterday. Everything looks great. D12 motors - the first 24mm motors I own - are huge! The D21, an 18mm motor, is lighter than a C6.
I finished painting the Cloud Hopper and SS1 over the weekend. My mom did awesome work painting the face, ears, feet, and tail onto the cloud hopper. I'll post pictures later.
The decals on the SS1 stink. They don't fit quite right and portions of them aren't cut right. sigh.
That's all for now.

Welcome, Everyone!

I also now have visitors from the grand state of Texas, Britain, and either Germany or Denmark. So, I'd like to say:
Howdy!
Good Day!
Guten Tag!
Goddag!
Please, everyone, leave a comment so I know how you like my blog!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hey Sweet!

I have visitors from Connecticut, Ohio, Colorado, California, and either Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands (USVI). I only know people who first here in two of those locations. Awesome!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

History Day!

Today held two of the best battles in history. In 1881, Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday took on Frank and Tom McLaury, Billy and Ike Clanton, and Billy Claiborne. The McLaurys and Claiborne were killed. The fight has been in every other western since then.
In 1944, a far worse battle took place in Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. The US and Japan clashed in three seperate but connected battles. The superbattleship Musashi was sunk, US forces landed on the islands, the imperial Japanese fleet was effectively demolished, kamikazes were first used, and Taffy 3 took on a superfleet. 6 light carriers, 3 destroyers, and 4 destroyer escorts, collectively known as tin cans, took on 1 superbattleship, 3 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 11 destroyers. We lost 4 ships; the Japanese lost 4 sunk and 4 seriously damaged. The book The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors is a great account of the battle.
In total, the battle killed over 11,500 men. 64 years.
In other news:
1797: Giuditta Pasta, one of the world's greatest female opera singers, is born. Thousands, sadly, laugh at her name.
1825: the Erie Canal opens
1861: the Pony Express ceases operations
1940: the P-51 Mustang makes its first flight. It will go on to dominate the skies of Europe.
1943: The German Do.335 with propellers in front and back flies, amazingly. It will go on to dominate the 'Albatross attracted to airplane' category.
1947: Hillary Clinton is born. No comment.
1948: Killer smog kills 20 and sickens thousands in Donora, PA. Ken Griffey Sr. is three years old and survives the smog.
1955: Austria declares itself permanently neutral
2001: George Bush signs the Patriot Act into law. Any action beyond breathing is automatically illegal.

Cape Ann

Good book: The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky. It's about Gloucester, MA, a fishing city 10 minutes from Gordon College and my sister. This is a great history of Cape Ann. I have personally climbed on two of the rocky areas shown with sketches in the book - the Bass Rocks:
View Larger Map
The view in the book is looking from the rocks out to Thatcher Island and its twin lighthouses. I can't pinpoint the exact location. The other location is on Wingaersheek Beach on the north side of the cape. The view in the book is from the base of the big rock piles on the right looking towards the rocks on the left.
View Larger Map
While I'm on the subject of Cape Ann, a few other cool places:
Rockport, a neat touristy fishing village on the tip of Cape Ann. The main peninsula is Bearskin Neck, a lovely tangle of shops and fishing shacks. The larger squarish projection out from its bottom holds the famous Motif No. 1:

In the middle of Bearskin Neck are Top Dog, with very cool and unusual hot dogs - mac-and-cheese on a hot dog, anyone? - and Helmut's Strudel, the best pastry I've ever had. Next to the tiny parking lot at the tip is a 20-foot seawall, easily climbable. The greyish and green peninsula on the right side of the image is the Headlands, with lots of climbable rocks. Somewhere down from that is the house where the first transatlantic cable came ashore.
View Larger Map
At the very tip of Cape Ann is Halibut Point State Park - the closest point in the US to Spain and therefore to mainland Europe. The big pond is an old quarry. Granite was mined in a failed attempt to make a breakwater offshore to make Rockport in to a big shipping port.
View Larger Map
The breakwater can be seen offshore:
View Larger Map
There's also an old WWII artillery spotting station, intended to protect Boston in the event of a German invasion. It's now a mini-museum, with a 16" Artillery shell as big as me in the lobby. You can go up about 20' in the tower.
For a better picture of the pond and tower: go here
And finally, Gordon College, current locale of my awesome sister. It was founded in 1889 by Adoniram Judson Gordon, named after missionary Adoniram Judson (Gordon's name is thankfully abbreviated as AJ). It moved to the Fens in 1919 to about 1500 feet of Fenway. In 1950, it moved again to the small town on Wenham. It's a small nondenominational Christian College with about 2000 undergrads.

View Larger Map
See! An informative and interesting post with nada about rockets!

Building Update

I actually found some free time yesterday afternoon and early this morning to do some building:
  • Rama is complete! I cut 3 3" circles from 1/16" cardboard, drilled holes for the engine tube, and glued the hole thing in with superglue. I tested the parachute by attaching it to the nose weight - 60+% of the total weight - by tossing it up in the backyard and watching its descent. It also added 3 clear plastic fin a week ago for stability. They violate my original plans for finless stability, but make it much safer. The original model Rama was incomplete and would have never flown. Rama 1.1 crashed. Now, Rama 1.2 is ready to fly on a C6-3!

  • Serenity is also making huge progress. She will be about 16 cm long, for a 1:400 scale from the original 63 meter ship. (See here) After two failed attempts, I drilled two perfect 5/16" holes through a yellow easter egg to hold the pen tube / engine mount. 2 inches of BT-60 (1.6") tube connect to the front of the egg. I carved up a large egg for the ring around the engine.
    I've also made the outboard tubes.

  • The Gauchito's engine mount failed a few days ago. I'm planning to get more tubing in an order.

The Wee Hours

It is 12:43 in the morning and I'm wide awake. I have been up 19 hours straight. And yet I am thinking perfectly straight. ...(Goes away for a while)
It's now 1:13. I've been up for nearly 20 hours and still operational. I fully intend to do two more blog entries and finish a book before going to bed.
It's amazing how I can go long periods without sleep and be fully functional at times when adults aren't.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

[Does little happy dance]

Yay lots of stuff! Yesterday i bought lotsa stuff from Hobbylinc last night:
  • BNC-5: Balsa Nose Cone for BT-5 tubing. This is for a 2-stage 13mm-motor rocket I'm planning. No details yet.

  • 2 18mm motor mount tubes. I always need more of these and they were a steal at 59 cents for two.

  • 15" of BT-50 Body Tube. (The 50 has no actual meaning. It's just an arbitrary number.)I've got a couple nose cones for this, but no plans.

  • 4 AR2050 (BT-20(18mm) to BT-50(24mm) centering rings. For putting a motor mount in BT-50.

  • A pack of A8-3s, for the Wizard and other small rockets.

  • A pack of B6-4s. Almost all my 18mm rockets use these.

  • A pack of C6-3s, for the SS1, Transwing, Invader, and Swissor-Wing Transport.

  • A pack of D12-0s, mainly for the Comanche-3.

  • A single D21-7 for Mach My Day. This was the most expensive single item in the order.

I will be havink fun next weekend!

Comcast stinks.

For two reasons. Number one, their 'high-speed' internet is pretty slow, even on a 100Mbps (Mega-bits-per-second) in-home wireless network.
Second, it says Google Chrome is out-of-date because it is not a 'modern, standards-compliant internet browser'. BS. Chrome is one of the best browsers out there. It's faster than IE, more secure (it doesn't need a third-party security suite), and it does well on the Acid 3 test. That test, the nastiest internet test around, checks for adherence to modern stuff like Javascript, ECMAscript, Document Object Modeling, and Scalable Vector Graphics. IE doesn't even support SVG without a plug-in. Webkit-based browsers like Chrome and Safari get between 75 and 100, Flock gets 71, Opera gets 85... and IE gets 14. And comcast.net supports IE 6.0 (completely fails the acid 3), and not the superior Chrome. Wake up, Comcast!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dos cosas sobre los cohetes

(Two things about rockets, en espanol).
First, it is confirmed that the A8-0 and A10-0T booster motors are coming back! According to this post on Ye Olde Rocket Forum (YORF), Estes is really going to rerelease them in the spring of '09.
Second, an update on my quest for NAR Level 1 Junior HPR certification. I've decided on a rocket - the Art Applewhite 10" / 38mm Delta Saucer. I think I'll go for the metallic gold one. This picture is from Art's site:

I'll have to borrow a 38mm Reload casing from a CATO (the rocket club I belong to) member.
A couple of sites which may prove useful to anyone else going for a Jr. L1 cert:
  • NAR guidelines for Jr L1: here
  • L1 certification form: here

  • Stability for Art Applewhite Saucers: here

  • One person's Jr. cert thread: here

  • A Jr. cert article: here


That's all for now, folks.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A summary of Estes products

Just thumbing through the Estes catalog (the 2007 catalog, without all the 2009 rereleases). A breakdown by type:
  • 3FNC rockets (3-fin-nose-cone) - the basic, boring rockets. I have only 4 of these - a RTF (ready-to-fly) Jinx, a level 1 (basic construction) Wizard, my Pen rocket, and my Mach My Day - a modified Quest Pipsqueak. The catalog has 42 3FNC rockets - 4 RTF, 18 E2X (Easy 2 Construct), 12 Level 1, no Level 2 (harder to construct), no level 3 (harder to construct, this is my level), and 2 E-powered rockets, both level 2.

  • Scale Rockets - there are 16 in the catalog. 5 RTF, 1 E2X, 4 L1, 4 L2 (one cluster, one glider), 1 L3, and 1 E-powered (supposedly L3 but more like L4). I have the L1 Gauchito, L2 Bullpup, L2 SpaceShip1 (should be L3), and a scratch-built Rama.

  • There are 9 payload models in the catalog. 1 holds an egg, 2 are empty (1 designed for liquids), and 6 are functional payloads - 2 film cameras, 2 digital / movies cameras, a spin sensor, and a speedometer. 4 are RTF, 2 are E2X, two - both empty capsules - are L1, and the egglofter is L2. I have the OOP (out of production) Estes L1 Loadstar, an old Astrocam, and an altitude tracking capsule.

  • There are 3 staged rockets in the catalog - the L2 CC Express and the L3 Renegade (fantasy scale - basically a fancy-looking rocket) and the L3 Comanche-3. I have the Comanche-3, the staged-payload Loadstar, Mongoose, the Screaming Yellow Zonker (built from a Quest Totally Tubular), and a basic 18mm booster stage made from an old Estes viking.

  • There are 5 boost-gliders in the catalog. There are a pair (counted as one) E2X, and E2X pop-pod glider, an E2X parasite glider, an L2 boost glider scale model, and the L3 Scissor wing transport. I have the SWT, an old OOP L3 Estes Transwing, a 2/3 downscale of the 1965-67 Astron Invader, an MMX glider, and my scratch-built boost-glider.

  • I have the one helicopter (technically autogyro) bird in the catalog - my first rocket, the E2X Cosmic Cobra.

  • 5 kits can be considered fantasy scale - two L2 and 3 L3 (one is the SWT, another is staged). I have the SWT.

  • There is one tube fin rocket in the catalog - the L1 Super Neon. A larger version will be released in 2009.

  • There are 2 cluster rockets in the catalog - the L2 scale Thunderstar and the L2 36 D Squared. I have none.

  • Finally, there are 7 odd-rocs in the catalog: the RTF snitch flying saucer, the E2X Pop Fly, the E2X Converter, the L1 Porta-Pot Shot, the L2 Rock-it, and two E birds - the short and fat Big Daddy and the super-tall (6 ft 7) super-roc Mean Machine. I have too many odd-rocs to count, none of them in the catalog.

There are 42 3FNC and 47 others in the catalog, for 92 total, give or take a couple.

Codes and Classic Rockets!

Two interesting but completely separate things.

First, I figured out the code in this comic. The code is simply letter reversal: a switches with N, B switches with O, etc. The decoded comic is:

AJ: WELL, IT LOOKS LIKE THE Y2K BUG DIDN'T REAR ITS UGLY HEAD.
Mike: YEP. THE DOOMSAYERS HAVE BEEN PROVEN WRONG ONCE AGAIN.
(Silent panel. Characters look up.)
AJ: DID YOU SEE THAT TOO?
Mike: HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

Second, it looks like Estes will be releasing a bunch of its old kits in 2009. We're talking 40 old/new kits added to a line of about 90. Most don't hold a lot of interest to me since I wasn't around to see them the first time, but I fully support the idea. There have been a few hints of this with some classic kits like the Nova Payloader, Mean machine, Astrocam, Super Neon, and Scissor wing transport. If this actually goes through, I probably will buy a few, especially now that I have a job. It also appears that they might be releasing the A8-0 and A10-0T booster motors.
This is great news for two reasons. First, the small booster motors make it easy to fly 2-stage rockets in small fields. The A8-0s would be perfect for my Commanche-3 and Mongoose.Secondly, this shows a HUGE change is direction for Estes. In recent years, they've been heading towards the Wal-mart market, with cheap, plastic, no-assembly kits and a smaller selection of motors. (See next post) By releasing the older kits, which are better but require more assembly, they're showing that they still want the loyal hobby market and not just Wal-mart. I personally like some Estes kits, like the SS1 and Comanche-3, but recently Quest kits seem to be a better value for scratch-building - Mach My Day and the Screaming Yellow Zonker are both mods of the Quest Pipsqueak and Totally tubular kits. The rerelease of the motors is awesome too, because Estes has seemed to drop their low-margin motors like the B6-0 booster and the C11-0, C11-5, and C11-7 motors in favor of higher-margin engines like their 6-bucks-a-flight E9s and the A10-PTs for rocket cars. Even though these low-power boosters are less profitable, they are a great way for Estes to win back its loyal consumer base.
Wow, that short update turned out to be a very long happy rant.

It's good to be certifiable.

For those not in the know, certifiable means insane. Kinda does describe high-power rocketeers, though...

Okay, I totally stole that punchline from here

But, it also means able to be certified. Those rocketeers that are over 18 can get their NAR (National Association of Rocketry) Level 1 certification. This involves buying 1 H or I motor (161-640 Ns / 36-144 Pound-seconds of total thrust), sucessfully flying a rocket with said motor with several certified witnesses, and sending the paperwork in. Then, you can freely buy and use H and I motors all you want. Cool.

However, you couldn't do that if you were a minor like me. Recently, however, the NAR rolled out the Junior L1 Certification program. It's almost the same as the regular program, but with a few differences:
  • An adult must purchase the motor for you

  • You must use a motor with an ejection charge rather than electronics-controlled blackpowder for recovery.

  • The supervising adult must be present when you insert the motor into the rocket

  • You can't go for level 2 certification (J, K, and L motors) until you turn 18.

I'm planning on going for mine soon. CATO, the rocket club to which I belong, has plenty of members willing to supervise me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Update on 'future' rockets

In the 18 days since my list of my 'future' rockets, I've done a lot of building:
  • The SpaceShipOne is still on hold until I can get white spray paint.

  • The upper stage of my 2-stage MMX rocket is lost. Staging failed yesterday with a new upper stage, so this rocket is dead.

  • The Flaming Hat of Death is on Hiatus. It's currently being replaced by an Art Applewhite saucer, which I'll use for my NAR Jr. L1 cert - next post.

  • Serenity is my next project. I'm downscaling it to a 16cm long MMX rocket made from two easter eggs. No side motors.

  • My 18mm machbuster - "Mach My Day" - is complete and will launch on November 15th on a D21-7T motor. It's risky, but I feel lucky.

  • The orion shuttle is on long-term hiatus as well. A man's just got to know his limitations.

  • Now that I've simulted that Mach my Day will indeed reach Mach, I don't need a 24mm machbuster now.

  • I bought an Estes Comanche-3 the other day. I painted and decaled it today. It's a 3-stage rocket 41" high. IF you load it up with a full engine load, and I won't, AND you sand airfoils into the fins - I didn't, it can go half a mile high.

  • My Cloud Hopper, a short (~8") and fat (1.3") rocket that looks like a rabbit. It's a modified Baby Bertha kit with the hopper built from 1970s plans. I used extra tubing and some steel wool to make an ejection baffle so I don't have to use ejection wadding.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Launch Report #4

I went out today after school and launched a couple of MMX birds. Nothing special.
  • First came the saucer-shaped IT to about 50 feet.

  • Next came a 2-stage rocket. The second stage failed to ignite. No damage to either part.

  • Finally came the top stage. It launched fine, but it came down without fins.


I am pretty sure that Micromaxx motors can't be used as booster stages due to the clay cap.
Update on rockets I'm building tomorrow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Launch Report #3

Well, I finally got to go out and launch some non-MMX rockets. I launched 3 A and 5 B motors in seven flights on five rockets, equivalent to a mid E motor. Here's the lowdown:
  • First came the Jinx, a short plastic rocket, on an A3-4T. This is a great motor for this bird. The simulations say 384 ft, but I'd say it was more like 250.

  • Next came Rama on a B4-2. It went about 20 feet up, spun around a bit, then crashed before the ejection charge. The back bulkhead is shot, but it will fly again with clear plastic fins.

  • Next was my Astron Invader on an A8-3. It went 30 feet up, did a figure-8 under power, then continued up 100 more feet. It ejected about 30 feet up and dived steeply.

  • Next was my modified mongoose on a 2-stage B6-0/B6-6 combo. Perfect staging, perfect flight, perfect recovery. Awesome.

  • Transwing on a B4-2. This motor is not powerful enough; it only reached 80 feet. When it ejected, the motor pod tangled with the glider - a "red baron". Thanks to mandachan for the rubber bands.

  • Jinx again on an A3-4T. perfect.

  • Astron Invader on a B6-4. Again, a too-long delay. It ejected maybe 50 feet up, for a 10-second glide.

More estimated altitudes posted as soon as I sim them.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Quickies

Just a few quick things:
  • Upon protest from mandachan, I rechanged my background color to almost the same as it was.

  • For Mr. Tang, the link to the encoded comic is here. It's the Jan 1, 2000 comic, not the jan 1, 2008 one that you saw.

  • On Mr. Tang's theory from last post: You correct in that spacetime itself can be warped. One example is called frame dragging - rotating massive bodies like the Earth spin and warp spacetime around them ever-so-slightly. You are also correct that a massive body can create sort of a dent in spacetime. Your metaphor is commonly used. Black holes are like an infinitely deep dent from which nothing, not even light, can escape. Next, there are some people like you who think in extra dimensions. The most popular theory involves an 11-dimensional Calabai-Yau manifold, a central component of string theory. Your Big Inversion is better known as the Big Crunch theory, which has 2 problems: 1, current theory predicts that our universe is flat and will expand at roughly the same rate forever, and 2, black holes could swallow the universe, but they actually can dry up and disappear before swallowing the entire universe. That's why the black holes created by the LHC are harmless - they disappear in 10-28 seconds. Essentially, you have hit on some of the oddball bits of modern cosmology.

  • Sorry, mandachan, I thought my counter was individual visits. I'll work on fixing it.

  • From the always humorous and intelligent xkcd, a simple, 27-word summary of string theory.

No posts till monday, probably. Sorry.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Randomness

First off, please note the lovely javascript counter off to the right, courtesy of here. It's the number of days till the wednesday after election day, when all the little political talking heads can go F4 themselves.
Secondly, note the hit counter. At this point I am within 8 hits of Mandachan, 438-430, despite starting my blog a month after hers. Therefore, I am actually more popular.
Next, I have painted my Cloud Hopper. I tried to paint my SpaceShipOne, but the spray can died.
Finally, I hate homework. Just saying.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Launch Report #2

Both my scheduled launch today and my plans to paint my SpaceShipOne were scrubbed by this morning's unexpected rain, but I managed to launch a couple of my MMX birds in my yard:
  • First came IT (Intra-Terrestrial), my saucer-shaped rocket. It boosted about 60 feet straight up and came down lightly. perfect.

  • Next came my boost glider. It boosted straight into a tree. All parts recovered, no damage.

  • Finally came the upper stage of my 2-stage MMX rocket. It boosted about 150 ft up over the neighbor's woods. Status: RIP

I used bits of toothpick to hold the igniters in the engines, and this made ignitions much quicker.
Just a possible list for two weeks from now:
  • Cosmic Cobra booster with MaxTrak altitude tracking capsule on a B6-4. Estimated height ~300ft

  • Astron Invader on an A8-3. Altitude is anyone's guess, since these guys are known to loop and do figure 8s under power.

  • Replaced upper-stage 2-stage MMX rocket staging MMX-MMX.

  • Rama on a B4-2. No idea if she'll be stable. If she's stable, altitude will be about 150-200 ft.

  • Transwing glider on a B4-2. Estimated altitude about 200 ft.

  • SpaceShipOne on something, maybe a C6-3 if a get a pack soon. That would give it 400ft.

  • Cloud Hopper, a kitbash I'm doing, on probably a C6-3 to maybe 400ft. This is usually a mini-engine rocket, so it'll be interesting.

More interesting stuff soon. I promise.

Friday, October 3, 2008

More Randomness

My mind is all over the place, so incoherency is the rule of the day.
  • The good news: I got a Pipsqueak kit (8.3" long) and modified it with a different engine mount and fins to be a machbuster. The bad news: Oops! I forgot you can't ignite a composite propellant (ammonium chloride, synthetic rubber, and aluminum powder) with a blackpowder (potassium nitrate, charcoal, sulfur) lower stage, and it's not possible to make a composite lower stage. The good news: an Aerotech E25-7T motor would let me hit mach. The bad news: they're not made any more. The good news: a commonly available D21-7 will hit mach. yay.

  • I completed my 2-stage pen rocket.

  • I like CA (superglue). It makes gluing fins on sooo much easier. yay.

  • I installed a big Vista upgrade yesterday, and now IE works, but I like chrome better. Ha ha, microsloth!

Grrrr, 2 essays due monday. My sister has 3 due, so I can't complain, because hers are longer than mine.
That's all, folks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Update

More notes from around the countryside:
  • I added a new pen-tip nose cone to my Pen Rocket. I attached this one with Kevlar thread so it'll stay on.

  • I've started on my 2-stage MMX rocket. It'll be about 5" high, made from a red pen. I have #s 2 and 3 of 6 fins gluing right now.

  • I've decided that I will buy and scavenge an Estes Hi-flier kit for my 18mm Machbuster. Any suggestions as to how I should paint it?

  • The White Sox are going to the playoffs, if anybody cares. Anybody? Didn't think so. Oh well, the Red Sox play tonight.

Gotta go to school. Only 9 days, ~8 hours till I see my sister. Yay.