New Artwork Added
I've added several new renders to my artwork page.
Anaglyph 3D Images
I've started experimenting with 3-D renders for some of my models. These images require red / cyan 3D anaglyph glasses for proper viewing.
Industrial Park at Night
Inspired by watching buildings and roads pass below while flying into Detroit Metro Airport after dark.
The scene shows a typical collection of light industry and commercial buildings. The final design was completely lit from within the scene. No external lights were used. The scene is fictional and does not represent an actual location.
An alternate history piece based on Herman Melville's "Moby Dick". In this time-line, Ahab and the crew, after a short and largely uneventful chase, have successfully killed Moby Dick. The try-works are fired up and the crew is preparing to render the great leviathan into lamp oil.
His plan for vengeance carried out successfully, Ahab would retire from waling upon returning to Nantucket. Earning his living as a landscape painter of only marginal talent, Ahab spent his remain years in relative obscurity.
Posted 28 December 2012
Some Photos of Ongoing Demolitions in Jackson
Two major buildings are coming down in Jackson. One is a former Sheraton hotel, while the other formerly served as headquarters for Consumers Energy.
A few years ago, the empty hotel was used to film a Sony commercial featuring Alice Cooper. The video can be seen on YouTube.
Photos Taken on December 7th
Photos Taken on December 25th
Preparing the Former Consumers Energy Building for Demolition in 2013
Photos Taken on December 25th
Posted 27 December 2012
Visit to the Michigan Renaissance Festival
Just wanted to upload a few photos from a visit to the Michigan Renaissance Festival.
The annual event is located near Holly, Michigan and operated on weekends from August 18 thru September 30th this year.
Hundreds of performers and vendors provided a variety of entertainment, food and craft items. Special demonstrations included jousting, fencing and falconry.
I had a good time and will try to visit again next year.
Posted 13 October 2012
Jackson Civil War Muster
Some photos from my visit to the 2012 Jackson Civil War Muster. The event was held on August 25 and 26 this year.
Posted 13 October 2012
I visited EAA-AirVenture in July. One special event this time was a performance by the group Tora, Tora, Tora. The group, associated with the Commemorative Air Force, flew a number of replica aircraft depicting the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
I looked through my Airventure 2012 photos and added some new photo-sets to my archives. Updates include images for a UH-60 Blackhawk, an EA-6B Prowler, an Airbus A-300, and a McDonnell Douglas DC-10.
I have rearranged the photo galleries a little. Helicopters are now on their own page.
Posted 3 October 2012
Updates to Image Puzzle Game
A new version of my puzzle program has been uploaded. The program now includes twelve images from my archives.
Upon puzzle creation, each piece is rotated a random number of 90 degree increments. Right-click using your mouse to rotate a piece 90 degrees.
New Features Added:
A totally redesigned image selection screen allows for a larger selection of images. (A dozen in this version, many more in the future.)
The game timer has been improved, and now includes the time of the last puzzle completed during the current session.
Several game elements have been animated, including puzzle creation and piece rotation. A toggle switch on the image selection screen allows users to turn the animations off if too slow on their computer.
Sounds have been added for certain events! This represents my first experiments using HTML-5 audio. The sounds seem to work OK in Firefox and Chrome, but do not function properly when using Microsoft Internet Explorer.
A shadow has been added to the puzzle pieces. This increases the contrast between light colored pieces against the white background. Shadows can be toggled off and on using the S key.
I added a small window displaying the entire image. Users can reposition the image with their mouse if desired. The window is on by default, but can be toggled off and on using the V key.
Posted 15 September 2012
Image Puzzle Game
I've added a new browser game. It's called Image Puzzle and allows players to create puzzles from any of the six included images.
The program splits an image into squares and randomly places them in the playing area. Use the mouse to click and drag the pieces to their proper location. When a piece is near its final location, it will snap into position and will no longer be selectable.
The game opens to a splash screen from which the user can select an image.
When the puzzle has been created, press the 'P' key to cycle between 12, 48, and 108 piece puzzles. An optional grid is available. Press the 'G' key to toggle the grid on and off.
Near the bottom of the screen, feedback is given as to the number of pieces placed correctly and the percent completion.
Posted 22 August 2012
Color Picker Program
In general, color pickers provide the RGB color code for a color selected by the user. The generated color code can be copied and pasted wherever it is needed.
The program I created allows users to choose colors several ways.
In the top right is a two-dimensional color space created with two primary colors. Users can select either reg and green, red and blue, or a green and blue color chart. Clicking anywhere within the color-space will select a color and provide its RGB color code in the box below. Simply copy the code and past it where you need it.
On the left is an array of 25 color samples. While the current color is at the center, the surrounding samples show variations on the center color. Sliders below the color chart can be manipulated to adjust values for the chart.
The RGB color codes for that value will appear in a box near the bottom.
Posted 21 August 2012
Lunar Lander Game
I'm in the process of developing several HTML5 browser games. The first one, a simple lunar lander game, has been uploaded.
The objective is simple. Safely land your spacecraft on the surface before running out of fuel. To land successfully, the terrain under your lander needs to be relatively flat. Additionally, your horizontal speed and vertical sink rate must be within predefined limits.
When the game first runs, a starting screen will display user controls and provide the player with a choice between three terrain maps. Select a map by pressing its number or by clicking with your mouse. The up and down arrow keys control the main engine throttle, while the left and right arrow keys fire your maneuvering thrusters. Press the 'H' key to cycle the data display on and off. Data is given for vertical velocity, horizontal velocity, and fuel remaining. If your speed is too high, the number will turn red. Values within acceptable limits will be green.
The game has been tested successfully in Firefox 13 and Google Chrome 19. Some older browsers, that do not properly support HTML5, will not be able to play the game.
I have a number of ideas for a future upgrades, including a randomized terrain generator that will improve the re-playability of the game, and the ability to record the number of successful landings a player makes.
Several more games are in progress and will be uploading them in the future.
Posted 26 June 2012
June 2012 Updates
I've made several updates to the website. I plan on posting blog entries on a regular basis in the coming months.
Artwork Gallery Page Added
An artwork gallery page has been added featuring some of my illustrations.
Some of this content has been posted before, but I have added some new material. Wire-frames, color maps, and detail images for some of the artwork has been added. I also included many of the 2D illustrations created for Historic Spacecraft and other space publications.
New Photos Added to the Mining Photos Page
Several photos from a 2010 rock hunting trip have been added to the Mining Photos page.
The Webpage has been Updated to Meet the HTML 5 Standard
I'm currently working on a number of HTML 5 browser games and should be adding the first of them in several weeks.
Photos from Airventure 2011
Airventure is an annual event hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association. The week-long event includes over 10,000 aircraft and over 800 exhibitors.
We camped in Camp Scholler and had a great time as usual. During the week, I had an opportunity to hear many interesting forums, including presentations by Burt Rutan, Dick Rutan, Chuck Yeager, Sergei Sikorsky, Gene Cernan, Jim Lovell and Joe Engle. George Lucas presented the trailer for his upcoming movie "Red Tails", set for release next year.
I have updated the Aviation Galleries - Modern Military page with several new photosets. Included are photos of a Lockheed P-3 Orion, a Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion, a Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, and a McDonnell Douglas C-9B Skytrain II.
Attractions this year included a Zeppelin NT operated by Airship Ventures. The airship carries a crew of two and up to twelve passengers.
The Honda exhibit featured ASIMO this year. ASIMO, a humanoid robot, performed two shows per day. The bipedal robot demonstrated some impressive feats, including running, and climbing up and down stairs.
On Thursday, an F-16 overran the end of runway 36 (left photo). I'm not sure if the plane had a mechanical problem, or was going to fast. We did hear that the pilot got out OK and was taken to a hospital for observation.
The next day, the wrecked F-16 was still in the grass (2nd image). Ironically, another aircraft, an FJ-4, had also ran off the end of the runway and was being worked on (right two photos).
During Airventure, the EAA offers rides in Bell-47 helicopters. Originating at Pioneer Airport, near the EAA Museum, the rides cost 45$ and follow a circuit over the Airventure grounds. During previous years I considered buying a ride, but the wait was always over an hour and I didn't want to spend that long away from the other events. This year I arrived around eight a.m. and was able to board a chopper without waiting.
The ride was a lot of fun. The following photos were taken during the flight.
Posted August 10, 2011
Photos from AirVenture 2010
Going through my stack of stuff, I realized I've yet to post any photos from AirVenture 2010. As usual, I visited the event last July and was able to take a large number of photos.
Approximately 40 DC-3s and C-47 aircraft visited AirVenture in 2010. I have added around a dozen new DC-3 photosets to the airliners page. Also found on that page are new photos of a DC-2, DC-4, and a DC-7.
Photos of two F-4 Phantoms, a CV-22 Osprey, a P-3 AEW, and a Huey have been added to the Modern Military gallery page
The World War II gallery now includes some photos of a TBM Avenger and British Lancaster Bomber.
Posted March 7, 2011
Michigan Gem & Mineral Society of Jackson 48th Annual Gem and Mineral Show
Over the weekend, I volunteered at the Gem and Mineral Show. Having joined the MGMS last year, this is the second show I've helped at.
Over 20 dealers and demonstrators were at the show. Attendance was higher then last year.
Posted March 25, 2010
Locomotive Page Updated
The Locomotives page has been updated. I was in Chicago the other day and visited the Museum of Science and Industry. I've added some photos of the Empire State Express No. 999, as well as several early steam locomotives. Also find images of several new railfan t-shirts at the bottom of the page.
Posted October 7, 2009
Quotes Page Updated
Posted September 20, 2009
Railroad Gallery Page Started
My railroad photos page is now up and running. Highlights include photos of the newly constructed Leviathan 4-4-0. The Leviathan, along with a number of other operating steam locomotives, was displayed at Train Festival 2009 in Owosso, Michigan. I have also included photos taken at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC, as well as some shots taken in Jackson, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois. I plan on adding many more photos in the future.
Posted September 14, 2009
Visit to EAA Airventure 2009 at Oshkosh
As with past visits, we were witness to an impressive display of aerial demonstrations, forums, and aircraft static displays.
A highlight of the event was the arrival of WhiteKnightTwo. Build by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, the twin fuselage, four engine, all carbon composite aircraft was designed to lift SpaceShipTwo to its launch altitude. SpaceShipTwo, scheduled to start flight testing later this year, will conduct passenger flights into space.
WhiteKnightTwo, along with SpaceShipTwo, will be operated by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space tourism company.
Also appearing was an Airbus A380. Truly an impressive aircraft, the imposing A380 conducted a series of flybys before landing.
Other highlights included a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Predator-B drone and an Erickson Aircrane S-64F Helitanker known as 'Elvis.' As usual, some impressive formation flying was witnessed each day. One of the formations included 37 aircraft!
Posted August 3, 2009
North Carolina Mining Trip
In May, I participated in a mining trip with the Michigan Gem and Mineral Society of Jackson. Over the course of five days, our group visited half a dozen mines. Most of the mines were near Franklin, NC. We looked for sapphires, rubies and other minerals.
The mines provided a supply of dirt, either already in buckets or visitors could dig from nearby piles. Equipment, such as buckets, screens and a flume were also provided. The screens were wooden frames with a wire mesh bottom. The flume is a wooden trough with water flowing through it. The idea was to put some dirt in the screen and place it in the running water. Miners would rub the dirt on the bottom screen to wash the gravel. After a short time, any gravel would be clean enough to evaluate. Examining the clean gravel would reveal gems and minerals such as sapphires, rubies, emeralds, kyanite, garnet and a variety of other specimens.
On the last day of our trip, we visited the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine, located near Spruce Pine, NC. Our party, along with several others, boarded a van for transport to the remote quarry site. Upon arrival, we were provided with buckets and rock hammers. For several hours, we were able to look for specimens in the quarry. Tours to the mine are conducted several times per week. Operators of the mine periodically conduct blasting to expose new material. Our tour was the first to visit the site since the last blasting. As a result, we were able to find a variety of nice specimens, including pieces of aquamarine, tourmaline, garnet, mica, feldspar, and other minerals.
A great time was had by all!
Visit the Mining Photo Gallery to see more photos.
I've started a Rocks and Minerals page showing photos of specimens from my collection. I'll be adding more content as my collection grows and as I learn more about rocks and minerals.
Posted July 7, 2009
Washington DC Visit
In December, I traveled to Washington DC for a couple of days. Primarily to visit the museums on the Mall and the Udvar Hazy aerospace museum at Dulles Airport.
At the museums, I took several hundred photos of space exploration hardware. Many of these can now be viewed on my space history website - Historic Spacecraft.
I also shot photos of the monuments and sites around D.C.. Some of the photos can be viewed here.
This was my first long-distance ride on Amtrak. (In the past, I've always traveled via commercial airliner or by driving). I rode the Wolverine from Jackson to Chicago. Then, after a 2 hour layover in Chicago, I boarded the Capital Limited for the 18 hour ride to Washington DC.
I found the ride to be very comfortable and quite. The crew was courteous and helpful.
Being six foot tall, I'm often unable to get comfortable in a cramped airline seat. (And I'm too cheap to upgrade to 1st class.) On the train, I had all the room I needed. Even when riding in coach.
The many hours on the train went by fast. Not having to drive meant I could relax and work on some of my writing projects. I actually accomplished a lot on the train.
I didn't try the dining car on this trip, but I did make use of the Cafe car on several occasions. The Cafe car offers cheeseburgers, pizza, soft drinks, and other fast food items.
I found Amtrak to be a good alternative to air travel. The major downside, and it's a biggie, is the travel time. A person can fly to DC in only a few hours. Even driving that distance can be accomplished in less time than taking the train.
All in all, this was a great trip. And, if you can afford the time, I can recommend Amtrak as a method of travel.
Posted March 4, 2009
New Racing Site Now Online
My friend Kevin recently started Chase-This.net, a website devoted to racing. Thus far he has added printable schedules for various racing leagues, including Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Camping World Truck, ARCA, NHRA, IRL, and F1. The schedules can be viewed on the website. He also has versions of the schedules formatted for printing. A racing links page, as well as a photo gallery from past events is offered on the site.
Posted February 28, 2009
Visit to EAA Airventure 2008
In July, I taveled to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and visited the EAA Airventure 2008 event. Here are several of the photos I took.
Posted August 9, 2008
Photos of Space Exploration Hardware
I have now added a link to HistoricSpacecraft.com . Historic Spacecraft is a project I've been working on for several years. At its core is a collection of several hundred space exploration hardware photos I've taken over the years. Included are photosets of historic space capsules, spacesuits, rockets, and launch facilities. I plan on adding many more photos in the future.
Additional content of interest to space buffs includes a list of upcoming missions to the International Space Station, a list of upcoming robotic space exploration missions, a list of space related quotes, an extensive list of acronyms, and a timeline giving the year of launch for hundreds of space missions.
Posted July 28, 2008
Visit to the Michigan Steam Engine and Threshers Club Annual Reunion
On July 25th, I visited the Michigan Steam Engine and Threshers Club Annual Reunion. This event is held each July near Mason, Michigan. The event draws over 200 antique tractors and includes plowing demonstrations, threshing demonstrations, tractor pulling, a flea market and much more.
Visit the Photo Gallery to see more photos.
Posted July 26, 2008
LSM-275 Webpage Updates
I have recently been contacted by two LSM-275 crewmembers, Bobbie Gene Smith and Ronald B Garrigan. Mr. Smith has provided some additional photos and Mr. Garrigan has provided a short written history of his time on the ship. Expect more photos and information to be added in the coming months.
Visit the LSM-275 webpage to see the updates.
Posted July 18, 2008
Mineral Hunting Trip
In June, a friend and I went on a rock and mineral hunting trip in the Upper Peninsula. We visited the Caledonia Mine near Mass city, Michigan. Visitors can purchase a two yard 'pile' of ore for $50. We had around four hours to dig through the piles. Minerals such as copper, calcite, epidote, feldspar and datolite can be found. Anything you find in the pile is yours to keep. As you can see from the photos, I found some nice pieces of native copper.
We also visited the Quincy Mine in Hancock, Michigan. The tour included both an underground portion and a tour of the hoist house. The massive, reinforced concrete, hoist house enclosed the worlds largest steam hoist.
This was actually a good time. I might visit them again in the future.
Visit the Photo Gallery to see more photos.
Posted July 17, 2008