Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Whirly Bird!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I jumped into the RC hobby world with this fun purchase:

Thanks to the friendly help at Walt’s Hobby I decided to go for the Blade 120 SR instead of the smaller coaxial Blade MXC2. Both are 4 channel((Throttle, yaw, pitch cyclic and roll cyclic)) birds with yaw gyros for stability, but this one uses the conventional tail rotate for anti-torque. It’s about 50% larger (main rotor is 12.5″ in diameter), so it does pretty well outside even in a light breeze (as I proved tonight). It could fly indoors, but you’d need a pretty big space…. maybe once I get to be a better pilot.

At this point I’m proud to report I exhausted three rechargeable batteries (each about 7-8 minutes of actual flight time) without breaking anything, so I’m off to a good start. It’s certainly going to be a challenge to fly in a well controlled manner, but it’s awfully fun right out of the box.

Photo dump pending…

Monday, March 26th, 2012

So it’s been nearly three months since I posted anything. Rather than even pretend that you haven’t been dutifully informed on our goings on from K’s continuously active Facebook page, I’ll just move on. Facebook killed the blogging star… or something like that.

As I finally complete the processing of many hundreds of pics taken during our recent trip to London, I leave you only this one.

If you know me well enough to recognize anyone else in this picture, than you probably know me well enough to know why this might be relevant to our trip.

More to come soon. Really.

Me! In Concert!

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Thanks to Teresa Campbell of the Cazenovia High School, I have acquired some recordings of our recent Cazenovia Community Band performances. We were only one of several groups which performed at the Cazenovia Choral Festival this year.

It’s been quite a bit of fun playing trombone again. In addition to myself, we have a music teacher who majored in trombone, a woman from a family of trombone players and our director, who plays trombone himself. This allowed us to close out our portion of the concert with The Trombone Rag. (Yes, that’s yours truly on the high notes.)

Without further ado, here are the three pieces for your enjoyment.

  1. Old Comrades
  2. Salvation is Created
  3. The Trombone Rag

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Happy Halloween from the Schierers!

IMG_4903

(Yes, Mom(s) there will be pics of the kids later.)

The Joy of Fall

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The past week here in CNY has been the epitome of perfect fall weather. In particular the weekend with sunny 70 degree days and crisp clear nights. Morning bike rides through the crunching leaves in the mid to high 50s.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit Wolf Oak Acres “Balloons and Bounty” fall festival.[1] As is often the case, entering an event like this one solo with a camera and a couple of lens bags gets you pretty much unlimited access to the activities.[2]

IMG_4597

The launch was supposed to be at 4PM, but it was close to 4:30 before they really got started. Over a dozen balloons lifted off, with the last one leaving the ground an hour later. The bright fabric, green grass, bright blue sky and setting sun made for some fun photography. I shot almost 300 pictures in two hours.

I hope you enjoy the results almost as much as I did taking them. As always, more in the gallery.

IMG_4380 IMG_4398 IMG_4412
IMG_4430
IMG_4464 IMG_4443 IMG_4482
IMG_4500
IMG_4514 IMG_4559 IMG_4562
IMG_4587
  1. We were hoping for a family outing, but R was sick, N was busy playing with a friend, and K was otherwise disinterested. []
  2. I paid my admission to the farm, but I’m relatively certain that civilians were supposed to stay out of the balloon prep area. []

A bad moment at D*C…

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Is still much better than a good day at work…. which would be a worthwhile comparison if recently there had been a lot of good days at work.

However, as I downloaded images from my phone[1], I came across this little gem:

Image0045

Somehow, a big pink fuzzy alien managed to cram into the front bench seat of a 12-passenger van AND manipulate a phone to take a picture of his alien visage peering back through the rear view mirror. It was awkward, hot and uncomfortable to be in that van…. but I’d rather be there.

  1. Does the fact that ‘downloading images from my phone’ still amazes me, signify that I have, in fact, reached the top of the hill which one inevitably ‘goes over’? []

Geek Cred Intact

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

So far today I have:

  • Discussed D&D miniature color schemes via email.
  • Watched The Man Trap streamed over the internet in Dolby surround on my TV via Netflix.
  • Noticed that the planet orbit scenes in same were remastered CGI.
  • Was actually disappointed by this (but not disappointed buy the sound cleanup)
  • Watched Season 4 of The Guild via internet streaming to my PC via Netflix
  • Am about to hack numberless goblins online.

Oh yeah, AND: filled the kiddie pool, took N kite flying, swung wildly on the swings, pushed N&R (at the same time) on the swings, ate two (cooked one) grilled meals on the patio, played three games of dominoes and read Chapter 9 of Charlotte’s Web at bed time.

How was your Saturday?

Mainely Back to Reality

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

The Schierer family has returned from their awesome week in Maine. We managed an entire week with sunny weather.[1] We all had a great time visiting K’s folks and K&I enjoyed a few days and nights to ourselves in Ogunquit.

Personally, I deem the trip a success because I managed to get all the way through my book[2] AND spent some part of five consecutive days on the beach.

I’m way behind on posting pictures. So stay tuned for the remainder of the DC pics AND the pics from the Maine trip. We also had pics taken by a local photographer (so I could be IN them instead of ‘behind them). K has shared these already, but I’d like to get them up on the Gallery for completeness.

Also , for those in CNY, the Caz Community Band will be playing in Manlius, NY, behind the Swan Pond at 2PM tomorrow (Saturday 17 July).

  1. Technically, there was rain on Wednesday but it interfered with none of the day’s activities. []
  2. Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin []

Public Service Announcement

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Now having the benefit of a fully awake brain (and the appropriate precautions and concerns of our friends and family), I feel obligated to remind everyone that if you should ever find a bat in your house, do not release it. The animal should be captured (if this can be done safely) and provided to an appropriate authority for rabies testing.

Unfortunately, my instinctive desire to protect the poor critter from our cats prevented me from even considering that some harm could (or had) come to us. What was an amusing sleep-deprived anecdote has the potential to be a legitimate health concern. Come to find out, there are reported cases of people being bitten in their sleep and not even knowing it. This is extremely unlikely mind you, and by my unpracticed eye the animal seemed to behaving normally (for a small creature trapped in a foreign environment being chased by predators).

So we will resist the desire to freak out while we consult with the appropriate health service agencies to determine the appropriate course of action.

A crazy night.

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

So I was out late gaming with friends last night and got home a little after midnight. I was surprised to see K was still awake (she’s typically zonked out by 10) and we talked for a while. I put the fan in the window, managing to let a June Bug in. I chased it around the room for a while before releasing it out the open window. With the hot humid air in the house, and the cooler night air blowing in the windows, neither of us seemed comfortable enough for sleeping.
A seemingly short while later (close to 1:30 AM) the cats starting making strange meowing noises, but I was too sleepy to recognize them for what they were.
Each cat would jump onto the bed, dash to the other side and jump off again. In seemingly random directions.

Eventually I woke up enough to figure out they were chasing something in the room. Clearly something flying because they were looking up.

“Great. They’re chasing a bug. Probably a moth or another beetle,” I thought.

I fumbled with a flashlight and started playing it about the dark room. After noting where the cats were staring intently I highlighted a dark shape against the white crown molding. “That’s a really big…”

“Oh! It’s a bat!” said K tremulously as she quickly pulled up the blanket for protection.[1]

Now bats are awesome, so I didn’t want to hurt it, so I stood there thinking about how to capture it when it started doing laps of the bedroom.

You could see the cats were thinking: “It’s a bird! It’s a mouse! It flutters temptingly! I must have it!!” They resumed dashing around the room in fits and starts.

Opening the bedroom window I hoped it’s sonar would see the opening and bail… but no joy. Eventually it landed to rest above the bathroom window and I was able to contain it in a cloth grocery bag[2].

Once it realized its predicament I was assaulted with the most penetrating series of electric clicks, whirs, buzzes and chirps I’ve ever heard. Take the pulsing crackling noise of a spark plug firing, combine that with the staccato of a frustrated astro-droid and kick the pitch up into the TV turning off register. I can only imagine what was going on in the ultrasonics, but this thing was seriously annoyed with me.

I managed to open the bathroom window with one hand and hold the bag out the window. After some shaking and manipulation, I finally just held the bag wide open for a minute or so and the poor bugger flew out to freedom.

Happy bug munching… and stay out of the house please.

  1. Now if you know K, you know she isn’t really of the easily frightened female stereotype, but this seemed to pin her mind rather effectively. []
  2. Thank-you Wegmans! []