Dirtbike Fun

January 27th, 2012

Here are a couple of videos of my riding buddies and I. The first video was done by my good friend Oliver and includes a lot of me on my new bike. The 2nd video is a real short clip showing some funny oops moments.

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New Dirtbike!

October 30th, 2011

I splurged a little and went out and bought a new 2012 KTM 500 xc-w. Its more powerful and lighter than my previous bikes, which were all “dual sport” kinds of things. This is a real dirtbike that’s had the minimum done to make it street legal. I took it off roading this weekend and it was amazing.

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A KTM and A Boy Ride South

June 17th, 2009

When the girl friend tells you there’s a family gathering and she wants you to come, primal instinct kinda kicks in; you grimace and plan for the worst. When the girlfriend then tells you that the family gathering is in the Texas hill country and SHE suggests you take your motorcycle; you perk up a little, at least I do. I don’ think she had in mind the same route I did though. Once she learned that my route stretched a 4 hour car trip into an 8 hour bike trip she regretted the suggestion. Oh well! Too late now, hopes are up, let’s find some dirt!

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Lake Whitney Ride

May 31st, 2009

Just a quick day ride down to Lake Whitney and back, this ride was about 6 hours. The end destinations were 2 loops, both dirt, both swing by state parks. Actually, they probably weren’t even state parks, just parks, very basic. First was Nolan River Park; second, was Lake Whitney State Park. Just nice weather, no traffic, and big skys. The trip was pretty uneventful, lots of time to think to myself about this that and the other. OH! I did learn a lesson, PACK EVERYTHING ON YOUR BIKE. I had my camera bag on my back… 3 hours in and my shoulders and back were KILLING ME. I’ve since done longer rides with nothing but a camelbak on my person and what a difference!

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Possum Kingdom Lake, TX to Knoxville, TN via Thievery

April 26th, 2009

Enter one three day weekend and the desire to ride motorcycles and camp. Day one is a Friday, my good friend Oliver and myself have the day off; we decide to make a 2 hour trip to Possum Kingdom Lake from the center of DFW last 8 or so hours. How does one do this? Why does one do this? On bikes one must seek out the twisty and the rough, or one is not having fun. Riding strait down the highway is for Harleys. We’re young and full of piss and vinegar as my dad might say. Bring on the monkey butt!

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You Say Potato, I Say Kaboom

March 4th, 2009

“Dude, I’m gonna build a potato gun”, and with that quick blurb our destiny for this Wednesday night was set. Further plans were hatched, materials were purchased, apple juice was drank and we had ourselves a shiny new potato gun; dubbed the widow maker. Twas actually one undisclosed friend/co-worker and his undisclosed female friend who conspired to make le ole widow maker come to fruition. I could not have been more surprised with how well the pictures came out. I basically grabbed my camera last second thinking perhaps i’d get a neat blurry fireball out the end of the PVC canon…. boy was I wrong. I just threw it into manual, set the shutter to 2 seconds, iso to 800 and hoped for the best… 3, 2, 1, thoomp… whoa! It looks like flippin red hot steel!
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FRDS Gen 2 components

January 12th, 2009

The first generation FRDS system has been around in one form or another since 1991. The system has been continuously upgraded over the years to add features and reliability. All of this ‘feature creep’ made the system more and more complex and in some ways more unreliable and complex than it should have been. Couple that with poor maintenance in the field and a growing number of components being obsoleted by various manufacturers and you’ve got a pretty good reason to do a ground up redesign. At some point in 2005/2006 Air Tractor decided it was time to move forward on the Fire Retardant Dispersal System Gen 2 and who better to design the system than the guy who built the first one?

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Tilt It, Shift It

December 28th, 2008

I’ve been jonesing for a tilt-shift lens for a while now, but their price tag kept me away. The more I read about them the more I decided I wanted one. Did you realize that in the early days of photography with the large view cameras getting your focal plane correct was as important as exposure? Yep, it wasn’t until cheaper/easier to use cameras became popular that the focal plane was fixed parallel with the film. As their popularity took off people became accustomed to seeing photos a particular way and that was that. Once I found out that the tilt shift lens would let me get just that little bit closer to the way the famed Ansel Adams took pictures i was sold. Anyways, how’s that phrase go? If I never asked, I never would have gotten any? …I dunno, an old boss used to say it. Anyways, I put a tilt shift lens on my Xmas list, on the off chance that my parents would spring for it… well they did, and I’ve got me a shiny new 24mm Tilt Shift lens, boom chow.

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Pirrelli Girls Gone… Waste Management?

December 24th, 2008

So there I am walking from corner to corner at a joint ALMS/CART race in Houston, Texas when a golf cart limo stops in front of the ole porta potty station with a load of Pirelli girls, oh my. So me with my camera and no sense of decency decide to document this rarely witnessed occasion. I’ve never taken my self too seriously, so convincing myself to camp and wait for the shot of an attractive girl, fully decked out in a Pirelli jump suit exiting a porta potty wasn’t too difficult. Fortunately it didn’t take long and click click click, I had myself the shot of a lifetime.

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FRDS Gen 1; Vibration Isolation System

December 22nd, 2008

In 1991 the owner of the company I currently work for developed a fire retardant delivery system (FRDS) for a Texas agricultural aircraft company, Air Tractor for fighting forest fires. This system controls bomb bay doors on the bottom of a 800 gallon hopper that is normally full of fertilizer. The FRDS takes into account head pressure, g’s and a number of pilot inputs to achieve a linear flow rate by hydraulically servoing the doors, or firegate. Pilots use this control over flow rate to lay down even “lines” of water or retardant out in front of a forest fire.

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Drop It Like It’s Hot.

December 17th, 2008

Ever hold on so long you just knew you were going to split? I’m sure we’ve all been there. I just happened to catch the tale end of a couple of these episodes. Anyway, I know its crude and what not, but I’ve got these pictures on my computer and I can’t NOT share them; so read on.

Somewhere between DFW airport and Japan an age old tale plays out…

We’re almost there, I can hold it for a real bathroom.  Toilets on planes are too small and this late in an international flight they’ll be dirty…  I can hold it.  OK final approach, doing good, just a little longer.  I’m sure they’ll have a restroom before customs, I’m sure.  OK common common, let us off the plaaane.  RestroomRestroomRestroom, TOILET, home free… Read the rest of this entry »

AVAST, Pictures!

December 17th, 2008

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to posting a few picture galleries over in the image section of my site.  I’ve been busy organizing and editing pictures from the days of yore.  I’ve finally gotten a queue of 10 or so galleries built up so I figure I am at a point to start posting them online.  I’ve got a long way to go before I can call it quits editing images.  I’ve got something like 50,000 images to sort through dating from 2003 to present.  I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom to organiz/edit and I am really happy with it.  It has greatly sped up the process of sifting through hundreds of pictures and doing quick little edits.  I hope I can post a few galleries a week and eventually catch up to current pictures.   Fortunately with wordpress I can date the post so it looks like the post was made when the photos were taken.  This is real nice as it puts the posts in cronological order.  Anyhow, enough blabbing, swing by the image section and leave me some comments!  Thanks for reading.

The roof, the roof… well it was on fire.

November 18th, 2008

So Thursday, November 6th my parents house decided it was too cool for school. It caught fire sometime before 3:30 in the afternoon, a neighbor called 911 and then my parents. Another neighbor (perhaps the same one) kicked in the back door and was greeted with super heated smoke. At this point there was already fire licking its way out of the roof in areas with smoke billowing from the eves. It is through this door that we believe a dog and perhaps a cat escaped. Sometime later when the firemen showed up and broke more windows and kicked in more doors 1 or 2 other cats escaped; another cat was rescued from inside. The last cat was unaccounted for until late that evening when making a pass through the house. All animals survived unharmed.

When I arrived the fire was out and the firemen were surveying for hotspots and unstable sections of house, as well as looking for the culprit. It wasn’t long before they found a charred fuse box on the exterior of the house servicing the AC unit; this little box had indeed started the fire. As far as my parents know, the box has never been messed with since the house was built by the previous owner years and years ago. An electrical lug appears to have been loose which caused arcing, over time this arching heated up the wire enough for the insulation to catch fire. This lead the fire into the wall and up into the attic where it quickly spread across the whole house.

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Blogging along

October 9th, 2008

Hello World.

Here will be a general blogging area.  I don’t think I really have too much to say, so I think I’ll use this area to post pictures that are less than serious.  Snapshots from trips, or interesting things that I come across.  Pictures of motorcycle rides, camping trips, solidworks projects, etc.  Anyway, thanks for looking, be sure to inform me of any bugs or flim flams you run across on the page.

Speaking of the webpage; I should mention that the coding is not done yet.  I have lots of tweaks to make to the formatting before I am content.  I’ve also got a few more features I would like to add, but I’m going to hold off on those until I get the formatting tweaks taken care of.  I am more or less at a point where I can finally add content easily, so expect more images showing up over the next few days.