Flying Wing? interesante….

     Posted on Sun ,14/04/2019 by candybowl

while this sounds interesting, may be tough to do this for such a small plane…..?

Horten HX-2 ‘flying wing’ makes its global debut

Other similar planes include the ill-fated Northrop YB-49, much of this same footage from the YT video also appears in part in the 1953 War of the Worlds movie when they use it to drop an A-bomb on the Martians (to no effect). Apparently even the Japanese had tried building one in WWII after hearing about the German plane.

Big list of Flying Wing Aircraft and drones to date, incl the recent B2 Bomber, also by Northrop, effectively a flying wing.:

candybowl

awesome…!

     Posted on Sat ,13/04/2019 by candybowl

PDX is calling me…..

candybowl

The Conscience of the King – Star Trek:TOS

     Posted on Fri ,05/04/2019 by candybowl

So i’ve watched a few original Star Trek episodes here and there over the past few years, despite having seen them all a bazillion times by now. However they may have dated – and definitely many have – there are still some cool aspects of them to watch.

But, since CBS took over several years ago, they reissued all 79 original episodes on DVD. You’d think that was a good thing, and for the most part, it’s fine, BUT, they also took the ‘liberty’ of updating CGI into them. Again, you’d think well, in some cases, the special effects are pretty bad (i’m thinking of The Constellation flying into the Doomsday Machine scene in particular, where it is ridiculously obvious it’s a model on a stand in front of a tv screen showing the effects, right at the very end of this clip:

.

However, I find in watching these ‘redo’ episodes that I mostly dislike the redo of the “CGI”. Maybe it’s just an old man ranting, but I just think in many cases, the original approach with the huge original model lit from within just simply looks better than their attempt at ‘muted’ CGI – naturally they can’t “really” do CGI because that didn’t actually show up until TRON and The Last Starfighter, over 16 years later.

The first YT video below shows the difference side by side (original vs update), from this episode, and you can see what I mean.

As to the episode itself, mixed reviews. Too much Kirk (no Sulu, Scotty at all), the plot is somewhat contradictory of itself (why does Kirk keep the attempt on his life such a big secret and, why does he yell at Spock, twice, for trying to keep him from getting killed, especially when that’s Spock’s JOB?). Also, his attempts at getting laid are simply lame and way too obvious, and like so many ST attempts at including Shakespeare – this probably being among the first given it’s from the first season of TOS – just detracts from the melodrama already in play (literally). And Uhura’s otherwise fine song in the rec room is obviously dubbed, much like the clip I watched of good ol’ Clint Howard in The Corbomite Maneuver as a (literal) kid, playing a scary alien. But i’m probably just jaded….

candybowl

Pearl Harbor Memorial, Oahu – Part 1

     Posted on Wed ,20/03/2019 by candybowl

No first trip to Honolulu (or Oahu, for that matter) would be complete (for an American, anyway, maybe not someone from another country excepting possibly Japan) without a trip to the WWII Pearl Harbor Memorial in Honolulu harbor.

I had a series of WWII books when I was a kid, one was specifically about the story of the USS Arizona, sunk in the attack (and now with a memorial of its own in the overall park). However, when we were in Hawaii last week, we found out they have closed the Arizona Memorial because of cracks, and apparently there is no real timeline (despite some false starts) to reopen it anytime soon.

So that, to me, was a notable disappointment in visiting the park. I found out later that the boat that normally ferries you over to the memorial (it sits out in the water, atop where the ship was sunk during the PH attack) was still running, just doesn’t take onto the memorial itself. Had I paid closer attention when there, I would have done that, but I figured it was all closed up, so didn’t – doh!

Meanwhile, I went to the USS Bowfin sub moored nearby, then took the bus to the Aviation Museum. I had already seen a battleship (the New Jersey, many years ago) so didn’t want to bother with the Missouri – they’re fairly similar).

First up, the Bowfin. They give you the option of a self-guided tour using an audio device, which I used, a good addition. While the ship itself is pretty big, I couldn’t help thinking about being underwater for weeks at a time in a smelly, hot metal tub full of barely-showered men, at sometimes up to 120 degrees in there (because of the engines and the inability to surface in some tricky situations to vent heat, etc.). Hard. Core. Then you have to survive water battles, sinking enemy ships while trying to sneak away from Destroyers and Torpedo Bombers trying to sink you with depth charges and torpedoes!? A truly tough tour of duty, at the very least – and many didn’t come back, as we know.

Compared to seeing at least one German sub of the era a few years ago in a museum (can’t remember where/when now), the Bowfin is definitely bigger but I’m sure otherwise likely just as challenging to live and work in from day to day.

The other thing that really struck me was the slow speed at which it traveled – in the Pacific theater, that thing must have been trucking along for over a week(?) to get to the Asian Pacific area in fighting the Japanese – a modern day CAR could drive there faster (if you had a road and unlimited gas, of course). Wild stuff.

here’s some pics:

 

The Bowfin’s home page gives you a LOT more historical detail and history of this amazing sub. To those who served on her, whether through complete tours or died in action – RIP and thank you for your service.







candybowl

Foster Botanical Garden, Honolulu

     Posted on Tue ,19/03/2019 by candybowl

So another highlight of the recent Hawaii trip last week was a visit to the Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu. While unfortunately all the pics I took were way overexposed if not just garbage (memo to me: read the camera manual next time or just use the stupid ‘smart’ phone) – the garden has a lot of HUGE, exotic trees from all over the world, besides just some big native examples. And the outdoor butterfly garden is cool, although I only saw a couple. I saw a couple parrots in a tree near the end too, which was also exciting.

here’s some sites that give you an idea of what it’s like – DEFINITELY worth a visit, takes at least an hour or more to walk the grounds and see everything.

Map of the garden

Yelp reviews of FBG

To-Hawaii.com‘s FBG site with pics

Recent walk-around videos of FBG from YouTube



candybowl

Diamond Head, Oahu

     Posted on Mon ,18/03/2019 by candybowl

So we were lucky enough to go to Oahu, Hawai’i this past week, related to a kerewin work trip. On Friday, I was able to visit the Foster Botanical Gardens (post forthcoming) and Diamond Head State Monument.

So I had seen a bit of Oahu recently via Marvel’s Inhumans (the show has since been cancelled) and I think at least some of the Jurassic Park movie(s) have been filmed on Oahu, too – but all of that is showbiz. But there was a scene in Inhumans where they show Diamond Head from the air, and that you can drive into it via a tunnel – pretty cool – and hike to the top of one of the rim(s), also cool.

So I took the bus to a nearby stop Friday afternoon the 15th, and started walking. You can walk all the way in, pay your $1 (cars, buses and taxis pay more) and pretty much start hiking, which is largely what I did. I would equate the hike to about 2-3x the hike up the back side of Smith Rock in central Oregon, which we’ve done a couple times in the past when visiting relatives over there, near Madras.

There are a couple good staircases, but most of it is switchbacks. Also near the top, as I hate heights for the most part, I didn’t do the very tippy top exposed staircases, but I was still pleased with the hike nonetheless, got up to almost the top in about 20 min.

the video linked here below gives you an idea of the hike – enjoy! Very cool, beautiful views and scenery, and an inexpensive way to get some exercise, to be sure.

candybowl

Star Trek: TNG – Honest Trailers

     Posted on Sun ,17/03/2019 by candybowl

hilarious – highlights include ‘The Riker Maneuver’, ‘Worf getting his ass kicked’ and ‘acting’ 🙂

candybowl

PS – if you see a T-Mob-lame ad on this clip, F T-Mob-LAME!

VW Dreamin’…..

     Posted on Mon ,04/03/2019 by candybowl

How fun!

BaT Auction Success Story: Family Adventures in a 2003 Volkswagen Eurovan Weekender

candybowl

ST: Discovery E5 – Saints of Imperfection

     Posted on Mon ,18/02/2019 by candybowl

Hmmm…again more of the same – we have (very, grudgingly one might argue) incremental progress in the “Search for Spock” but have at least one ‘save the world’ scenario along the way. No offense, but I think we need to get things back on track, everyone. At least last year we had Malfoy and the Klingon war/back story as a common thread, but they aren’t doing enough to push the Spock story forward, IMHO.

I like the fact that they are (yet again) drawing out Section 31, but at the same time, it begins to risk credibility when it seems like S31 has all the great toys and tech that could have won the war with the Klingons – then why was the Federation on its knees at the time? This was a minor problem in DS9 days too – hard to know….

Time will tell..

candybowl

ST: Discovery E4 – An Obol for Charon

     Posted on Tue ,12/02/2019 by candybowl

Hmmm….Once again, Discovery giveth, and taketh away. On the one hand, we get the teaser of Number One coming to visit at the start of the episode (in the form of Rebecca Romijn – nice!) but despite the V’ger-esque main plot, we get a bit of a distraction with the parallel Tilly/spores plot, which IMHO wasn’t nearly as well executed (even though I actually enjoy Tig Notaro’s character well enough, kind of a blue-collar Scotty with even less respect for authority).

But I’m still unsure why they (the writers, not the actors) arguably strayed from the main longer-term plotline (going after Spock) to detour to these weird, arguably derivative minor side stories? The one involving Saru was completely predictable, guys? Come on.

The acting is still great, hoping for more for other members of the bridge crew as we go….onward….

candybowl