This summer has certainly been interesting. From my travels, the death of my mom, flight simulator releases, triathlon training and my award winning recipes, I feel like my summer has been full of extremes.
The highs include traveling to Colorado and visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and having lunch with the elk to winning “Best Meat Chili” at the company cook-off for the second year in a row. The lows were extreme in their own right. I laid my mom to rest after months of heart disease and visits to the doctor. I also decided not to participate in the local triathlon this year, feeling that I was not quite ready.
I look back over the entire experience with a long list of emotions, but look toward the future with optimism and happiness. Afterall, this November we get to get those icky, destructive, Republicans out of office. I will continue to train for next year’s triathlon season, studying up on productivity and leadership, and keeping you all informed of my reality and the flight simulator world!
As I look forward, I offer these images of summer as a point of reflection.
Boats on the beach near Santa Barbara’s harbor.
The USCG cutter "Blackfin" in Santa Barbara Harbor.
I just got back from a very quick trip to central Colorado to deal with some family matters. I haven’t been to Denver since I was born there (my parents left Denver when I was just one year old). I must say, Colorado is a beautiful state. Denver is sort of like Seattle, only with not quite so many wacko drivers, and much drier. I visited Boulder and Estes Park (the Santa Barbara of the hills) before driving through Rocky Mountain National Park. I am still amazed at the stunning scenery, both the rolling hills and meadow of Denver to the peaks and rock of the Rocky Mountains!
The wildlife was very lively as well (maybe that’s why they call it wildLIFE?) Above the tree line on the open tundra along the ridge, three elks made a showing as they grazed on the flowers. I really think the elks came toward the road to laugh at the traffic jam they would create. Tourists will do anything to get a picture, including stopping in the middle of the road suddenly without warning because the woman screamed Elk! Anyway, I actually parked, changed lenses and walked to where the elk was to get the below picture. Yes, I am a nice obedient tourist that is considerate of others.
Since today is the original St. Patrick’s day for 2008 (the church moved it to Monday since it was interfering with their holy week), I thought I would celebrate by making something other than the typical Irish-American corned beef and cabbage. After reading a number of Irish country cooking books, it was clear that Colcannon is a very special dish as it is served serving the Lugnasa (August) Festival following the first harvesting of the new potatoes of the season. Often, this meal was started out with a saying, “Death to the Red Hag,” referring to famine.
The dish is quite simple, consisting of leeks, cabbage, potatoes, butter, garlic, salt, ground pepper and mace. Simply braise the cabbage until tender and set aside. Boil sliced potatoes with the skins on until tender and set them aside. Clean and slice the leeks and place them in a saucepan, covering them with milk. Bring to a near boil and simmer until tender. Mash the potatoes and add the leeks and cabbage, but don’t mash the leeks and cabbage too much. Add the salt, garlic, mace, ground pepper and butter. Pour into an oven safe dish, make some kind of a neat design on the top and then broil until browned. Serve once cooled slightly.
My impression is that this is nothing more than mash potatoes with a bit of spice. I used a combination of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon as I didn’t have any mace sitting around, so I think the spice was more intense than it needed to be. I would probably add a bit more garlic and salt, as well. I might even try it with red cabbage and rosemary, which has more flavor than the white cabbage. Heck, I might even stir in some chopped Irish Boar sausages or corned beef for experimentation.
Nicholas Chapman did us all a great favor by painting up N888TY, a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ). It has got to be one of the most fabulous paint schemes to ever adorn an aircraft. This livery is special to me, as N888TY is often parked on the ramp at Santa Barbara Municipal airport (SBA). In the late evening light, it is absolutely stunning. In the photo below, you can see it in the background as a Gulfstream takes off. The screenshots that follow are from FS9, although FSX compatible files are included.
real world pic (N888TY in the background)
Something is coming our way
YES!Its the coolest BBJ ever!
Touching down on Rwy 25, SBA.
Parked in her spot, SBA.
File Size: 9,799kb
File Name: os_73g_bbj_n888ty.zip (avsim)
Repaint Author: Nicholas Chapman
Model by: Project Opensky
I spent some time with my pencil, paper, and ruler and measured out a basic kit for the “dog trot” papermodel toolshed living unit I designed. I started typing this post offline, but before I knew it, it had exploded into a mini documentary of what sustainable living is and how this design fits into it. It was way too complex for what I wanted. I simply wanted to present the model, it being what it is. I even lightly colored the base paper with color pencil to show the ground layout; the brick along the front and down the “breezeway”, the black represents the parking area, and green is grass.
One thing I must note is that this design is NOT a dog trot living unit. A dog trot design has all rooms under a single roof, with the breezeway being half the width of the front rooms. Since the pictures below show three toolsheds, this is simply a dog trot inspired design.
The Front View
The Front Perspective
The Back Left View
The Back Right View
I have not decided if I will make this version of the model available. The roofs are currently not part of the kit and it looks rather rough. I think I might refine it some more before releasing it. If anyone is interested in such a kit, please leave a comment. It might inspire me to work harder on it!
This was taken on my recent trip to Texas. The American Eagle Saab 340 is about to startup after all passengers boarded at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (KSBA). It is taken through a very scratched window of a CRJ900 awaiting taxi clearance. The wonders of photoshop definitely help clean it up.
I took this sequence of photos about a year while walking on the pier at Goleta beach Park. In this case, an America West Express (AWE) CRJ-200 was leaving SBA on runway 7 and climbing out on the departure. Unfortunately, I only had a 200mm zoom lens and no tripod, so the quality isn’t what I usually get with my Canon Rebel XT. The fourth photo is my favorite with a little blue sky, the clouds, and the graceful roll of the CRJ.
It has been years since I carved a pumpkin. When I went off to college, I never had the chance and I now live in a place where trick or treaters would have to be on drugs to walk around begging for candy. But, this year I decided to participate in the pumpkin carving contest at work.
After thinking long and hard about what to carve, I decided to just start with the mouth and go from there. So after carving the mouth, I came up with the concept of Mr Datahead. Mr Datahead has a chart on his head. Making the chart was a little easier than I thought and the eyes are part of a template I found online somewhere. The asparagus coming out of his head was an after thought that shouldn’t have been. Oh well! While the concept is better than the reality, I do like him.
I guess I should start planning for next year’s contest.