Friday, February 27, 2015

As Long as We Remember...

...he will not be dead.

I am not the biggest Star Trek fan but I do enjoy the series.  It took me a long time to realize this based on some of the perceptions of Star Trek fans (or should I say, rapid Star Trek fans).  Of all the characters on the show, I would have to say that Spock was my favorite.  He represented an ideal, where people base their judgements on logic and reason but could take the human point of view when it counted.

In interviews I've seen with Leonard Nimoy, he seemed to carry that ideal to his own personality.  He seemed like he would be a very likable and fun person to be around.  He seemed to be the one to mend fences with the other actors of Star Trek.  He was definitely the best part of the Star Trek reboot.
Even the Spock character that this figure is based on could see the irrationality of a world that was opposite of the Star Fleet ideal.

I will miss Leonard Nimoy.  His final tweet was pretty cool too:
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"

Given my hobby,  I try to preserve those perfect moments but even then it is still the memory that makes them come back to life.

Enjoy the stars, Mr. Nimoy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Sherman Tank

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a movie called "Fury".  It stars Brad Pitt and is about a Sherman tank crew towards the end of the war.   It was a pretty good movie but a little graphic.  The language was pretty colorful but then again, if I were a Sherman crew that survived to that part of the war, the last thing I would care about is my language.
 As a result, I've been wanting to take pictures of my diecast Sherman.
 The M4 Sherman was designed by the US Army Ordnance Department as a replacement for the M3 Lee Medium tank.  The main difference between the Sherman and Lee was that the Sherman's main gun was mounted in a fully traversing turret versus the side mounted one on the Lee.  It was also equipped with a gyrostabilizer giving the crew a reasonable chance of accurately firing the gun on the move.  Design work began in 1940.
 The first tank rolled off the Lima Locomotive Works and was given to the Americans for evaluation.  Subsequent tanks were sold to the British.
 The initial Shermans were powered by gasoline engines.  This proved to be a vulnerability early in the war, so some models were switched to diesel engines.
 The Sherman fared pretty well against the earlier German tanks but not so well against the later model Tiger and Panther tanks.  The Shermans had to close distance with the Tigers and Panthers in order to penetrate their armor.
 This fact caused the Sherman leaders to use mass tactics.  A couple Shermans would have to distract the Germans while others came in to flank the enemy.  This was not good for the men who crewed the tank.  Still, it wasn't a bad tank because it was fairly reliable and could easily repaired.
By the end of the war, almost 50,000 Shermans were produced.  They saw service in the US Army and the armies of many of our Allies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another Trio of Airplanes

I saw that there were a couple of airplanes flying around Ann Arbor Airport as I was heading home, so I decided to stop there again.
 This is a rotating beacon light.  It indicates the position of an airport for pilots flying at night.  This particular beacon alternates between green and white which indicates that it is a land based airport with lights.  It is very similar to the beacon of a lighthouse.  This is not to be confused with an airway beacon which was an early way to indicate air corridors.  The first lighted airport was in North Platte, Nebraska (at the time it was lighted with gas powered lights).
 The first plane I got a picture of was a Delta 767 that was flying over head.
 Next was the Cessna 152 operated by the Michigan Flyers.  It was doing touch and go landings for a couple passes when I got there.
Soon it was joined by the Cessna 172 which is also operated by the Michigan Flyers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Highflying Halftime Action

The halftime show was pretty neat.  It was some group out of Chicago that does basketball acrobatics.
 They had a pair of trampolines set up in front of the net so that they could get some air under them.  It was a four person group.  For the first couple of shots, the front guys would set up the dunk for the trailing guy.
 This was pretty cool.  He did almost a barrel roll on the way to the basket.
 A double dunk.
One more for good measure.

Eastern Michigan Basketball Vs Central Michigan

So I went to the Eastern Michigan Vs. Central game tonight.  I was hoping that Eastern would get a lift from their first MAC road win.  As the game started, that looked like that may have been the case.  It didn't take long for the tide to change.

These are my favorites from tonight...for others go to Eagle Totem.
 Mike Talley directing the offense.  He actually didn't look too bad.
 Olalekan Ajayi guarding the basket but Central wasn't in this area too much.  They preferred the firework attack.
 Jerome Hunter trying to get to the basket.
 Mike Talley getting mugged on the way to the basket.
 Ethan Alvano getting tripped on the way to the basket.
Even this wasn't working.

Eastern would go on to lose 72-56.  With the exception of the opening of the game, they were pretty much out of it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Trio of Airplanes

As I was heading home from work tonight, I looked up in the sky and I saw a couple of planes wandering around.  So  I decided to stop.
 This is a Cessna 152.  The Cessna 152 first flew in 1978 is a continuation of the Cessna 150 series.  It is a powered with a Lycoming O-235 Engine which has 110 horsepower.  It is a two seat aircraft used for a variety of purposes.
 This is a Piper Archer.  This first flew in the 70's.
This is the plane that I talked about on Friday.  This is a picture that I wanted to get.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Marblehead Lighthouse

As I said in the last post, I decided to head over to Marblehead.  I wanted to get lighthouse pictures today.  Although, I think I really wanted ice covered lighthouses but I didn't really feel like heading over to the west coast to do so.
 There wasn't any ice on the lighthouse, but there was plenty of snow around it.  For the most part, they did a pretty good job keeping it accessible.
 I wanted to get a shot of Lake Erie behind it.  Apparently, the Lake is nearly entirely frozen over.
 Looking up at the lighthouse.
The lighthouse is across the bay from Cedar Point.  I could barely make it out though.  This is just kind of a reminder that warmer weather is coming.
 The lighthouse from another angle. 
 Another attempt at getting Lake Erie in the background.  Sadly with the weather, I wasn't able to see the Commodore Perry memorial.
 The keeper's house stands silent.
 I think I would have liked this picture more had I not had the fish eye effect.
 A little further out.
If I were ever going to do a Christmas card, I think this would be a good candidate for the cover.


I decided to head down to the Marblehead, Ohio today.  I was actually thinking about going over to Grand Haven but I got a late start.  I figured that Marblehead would be cool.
 I stopped at a rest area and I saw some squirrels wandering around, so I decided to get some pictures.
 This guy looked pretty cool.
 And then one of them headed up the tree.
 He started to look around.
 Then there was a pair of them.  I kind of liked the picture.
 And they looked around.
One more squirrel pic.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Damverine

I've been wanting to get pictures of Wolverine in front of the Barton Dam for a while.  Usually when I catch pictures of it, I stick around Depot Town.
 The train approaches.  I think the dam makes a good backdrop for the train.
 The train passes.
And one more shot.

The Barton Dam Again

I decided to head over to the Barton Dam again.  I wanted to try and catch the eastbound Wolverine as it passed in front of the damn.
 This part of the Huron River was still frozen over.  It looked like there might be a couple of cracks in places.
 The railroad bridge.  I thought this would make a good setting for a train picture.  If I ever find out that one of the steam engines pass by, I will try and get a picture here.
 Another angle of the Huron.
 One of two swans that was hanging around in the water in front of the dam.
 The water wasn't quite as smooth today and the sun wasn't out.  But the water running made for a nice picture.
 The dam from another angle.
 From a better angle.

 I was shooting it through the branches.  I kind of liked the layers of snow over the branches.
 Looking down the dam towards the power house.
 A close up of some of the waterfalls.
 Going with a slower shutter speed on these.
 I was able to go up the stairs to get more straight on shots.  I kind of liked them a little more.
 Another shot of the falls.
 One more shot of the power house.
 Another swan.
Kind of a stream.