Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween and Blog Progress


Well, progress is a little slower than anticipated - looks like I'll be adding to this record for a little longer yet. Makes sense that I didn't get much of it done on the road. It's mostly picking through and prepping photos that takes the time.

Also, if you're checking back later for articles of interest, I thought I'd flesh out my tag system:
  • Anachronism (like Halloween in this case) - a post containing description of something occurring on a particular day that doesn't fit in with where I'm up to in my travel record
  • Travelogue - a basic "went here, saw this" post. Generally, if I did something on a specific day it'll be either this tag or the first.
  • Curiosities - may be standalone or alongside a "travelogue", but basically saying "I noticed a funny thing today".
  • Eng - some form of relation to engineering
  • Notes - a post that exists purely to list/itemise disconnected observations or "Curiosities"
  • Meta - a post about the blog
So... Halloween. My first real experience of it, save for the time a couple of groups of kids showed up at Drummond St and nobody knew what to do. Chris said "Wait, I just might..." and then disappeared, reappearing several minutes later with a tin labeled raspberry drops. Upon the triumphant opening of the lid, it became evident that the sweet red spheres had undergone significant polymerisation. With the Drummond St residents looking somewhat dismayed, the contents were still offered to the semi-patient kids somewhat sheepishly. I forget the resolution however.

But this time, it's real American Halloween! Our lovely landlords/upstairs residents suggested we might like to try our hands at pumpkin carving. What follows is a brief photographic depiction of the process.

San Diego - USS Midway Museum


Having left the mission, I went for a bit of a cruise through the Mission Bay area (see point C on the map linked in the title). As it turned out, the most interesting parts were navigating the freeway system and catching a small glimpse of the SD Sea World complex. Wetlands I'm aware are genuine natural reserves, but in this case stretches of green-brown around water dulled by the cloudy sky and criss-crossed by freeways didn't feel super photogenic. That and the difficulties of vantage points mainly being freeway bridges precluded much in the way of pictures.

Next stop however was the USS Midway Museum - aboard the retired USS Midway aircraft carrier. In contrast I've spent quite a bit of time thinning out photos from here. From the outside - it's difficult to get the scale of it into the pictures (the wiki article linked does have some good aerial shots though). Additionally the wide-angle lens tends to make things look a little shorter (both vertically and horizontally) but here it is...

In the wiki pictures the 3 configurations for the deck are pretty clear:
  • 1945 Straight deck with 18 5-inch 54 calibre guns + light defense
  • 1957 Angled deck (2.8 acres), 10 guns only, new steam catapults
  • 1970 Angled deck (4 acres), light defense only

First up is the crew quarters - in particular a comparison of enlisted and junior officer fit-outs:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More on Taps

In an earlier post on the constraints of hotel bathrooms, I lamented the scarcity of dual-input water sources in the US.

In the (well furnished) basement in which we now reside I present to you a wholly different animal. Look and lament ye unlucky.

So, now feeling more than fully resourced, I offer a contender for your "groaner of the day" - it never sprays but it pours?

The third spigot does have a reasonable use, but I invite you to suggest some more exotic potential applications.

San Diego - The Mission


So, my main day in San Diego. How to start but with the Mission San Diego de Alcalá - one of many notable Spanish settlement sites across Las Californias, and one of few-to-several that I would actually see. Also not so far from my Motel.

I'm not really in the mood for writing history (and if you're in the mood for reading it, there's always wiki). Hence, expect photos. Also, expect overexposed sky at the Mission.

The obligatory facade shot, compare to an earlier iteration:
The Mission San Diego

Andrew and Apples

(2/10/2010 and 4/11/2010)

Well, after much wrestling with analytical solutions for the volume of an expanding spherical flame within a pent roof combustion chamber (sound familiar anyone?) I decided that a change of pace for my brain might be nice. So here's a quick look at our new place during the chaos that arises when moving house and imminent international travel meet devoid of goodwill.

But first, a shot of a healthy snack being put to good engineering use as a visual aid (compare with this image of a cylinder head).

Now, Andrew St. The good: