May 31 2010

Spoleto (2 of 8)

Tonight’s presentation was at the Simons Art Center at the College of Charleston.  The performer was  Leszek Mozdzer who is a jazz pianist  with the fastest hands I have ever seen.  He was excellent and played a lot of inventive and unusual compositions.  What I liked was how he put objects on the piano strings such as books, drinking glasses, pushed towels under the string stops.  The objects totally changed the sound of the piano and gave it a synthesizer effect.  Very good.

May 29 2010

Dance (review 1 of 8)

I just got back from the dance and can say it was ….most interesting…  There was 7 dancers (4 female, 3 male) a simple empty stage and for the first half, I didnt know what to make of it all.  The second half was better and I think the music was better too.  I enjoyed looking at the gal’s buns and marveling on how all the dancers moved.  Lots of fast twitch muscle’s for sure!  I couldn’t figure out what the stories or message was but it was fun to watch. 

While I was watching the dancers jerk around and move, I thought: “there’s the reason I dont date younger women, they are so spastic and move around too quickly”.   There is no way I could keep up with them.    Way too much energy! 

Give me a older gal with a walker.  Now that’s my speed!

Overall 1 thumbs up…

May 29 2010

Start of Spoleto

 This is the first weekend of the International Spoleto Festival.  

From Wikipedia

Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the world’s major performing arts festivals. It was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who sought to establish a counterpart to the Festival dei Due Mondi (the Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy. The annual 17-day event showcases both established and emerging artists in more than 120 performances of opera, dance, theater, classical music, and jazz.

When Italian organizers planned an American festival, they searched for a city that would offer the charm of Spoleto, Italy, and also its wealth of theaters, churches, and other performance spaces. Charleston was selected as the ideal location.

 For YEARS, I viewed Spoleto as an inconvenience, just some art show happening downtown.   Every year,  I would hear about it daily on “Spoleto Today”  (PBS radio), read about it in the newspaper, see it on TV but had NO interest in it.   I avoided Spoletoas much as possible and the only time I actually ventured downtown during the 2.5 weeks of the show was with visiting guests.    Spoleto, who needs it?  Bah…Humbug he said with a scowl!!

It is surprising that now, I am a volunteer usher for the festival!  I just love Spoleto.  It changed when I because a volinteer usher.     I heard about volunteering, signed up about 3 years ago.   

I just have to dress smartly with a white shirt and tie, help guests to thier seats, be polite and show up early for that show..   How easy is that!  The advantage is I get to see lots of shows I would never normally select or even have an interest in seeing.    I getting some  “public exposure” of a good kind.   

I have been exposed to some great shows and real crap.   Yes, CRAP!   I felt sorry for those who had to pay.    Just ask me about the ancient Japanese sliding screen show.   Talk about not making a bit of sense!     Or the one person show (Japanese again) where the geisha turns out to be a guy dressed as a woman.   I wondered why the geisha gal seem so flat chested….    Maybe I should swear off Japanese performance….cant seem to understand them.

I have also seen some unbelievably good shows too.  The Italian Marionettes were fantastic.  Little puppets of all kinds which told a fantasy story in exactly the same way one would have seen it in the 1700’s.  The high tech entertainment of the past complete with dragons (fire breathing), marching army’s, witches, all wrapped up in a love story.    Sounds like something we would see today on HBO. 

So here is the deal…..   Over the next 2 weeks, I have about 8 shows that I am assigned to.   After I see them I’ll let you know what there were and if they were good or crap.  

I have one today, May 29th I’ll see Gallim Dance studio perform “I can see myself in your Pupil”   Huh? What the hell?  Hey, I didnt pick it, it was assigned to me by the staff.    Of the 8 shows, I only could choose 3 shows for my “wish list” and indicate to the staff I was available for assignment on other days.   Trouble is I can remember what I chose, but I KNOW I did not pick this one.    Exposure…just what I need.

Today, I did some extensive walking around the city people watching.   Tourists come to Charleston to check out the city, I go to Charleston to check out the tourists.   I think it was even busier today, because a Carnival Cruise ship was in port.  

Lots of walking therefore lots of pictures.    I have grouped them as much as possible.  I am going to try and go into Charleston city center (all of 8 miles away) to take pictures….  Enjoy.

These is a small arts show at the park.   Look closely at the painted pictures, especially the shrimp boats.    Surprisingly, they are photos of painting, printed on matted paper (to look like stretched canvas) put into a frame, and then the “artist” uses clear RTV to high light things such as rigging, cable, etc., different things on the print.  It really looks good, and is an easy way to make a print look like a painting…. so easy a caveman can do it!

I have been looking for an egg plate for a long time and purchased a beautiful ceramic red deviled egg plate from a vendor….      They had a bunch of different colors, so I just put the fake eggs on different trays, asked a few passing women for a group vote on which presentation (with the white and yellow eggs) looked the best.  The all chose the red one.   Bet they enjoyed spending my money.

I enjoy making deviled eggs and taking them to parties.  Easy to make, lots of my “secret” doctoring to the recipe and who doesn’t like deviled eggs?  I like competition and it is fun to see which plate empties first when other people also bring their egg resipes to a gathering.   I rarely take any home.

May 29 2010

Spoleto Calhoun Park

These pictures are from Calhoun park.  There was a strange marching band dressed in strange costumes.  Reminded me of Fantasy Fest in Key West…. 

May 29 2010

Spoleto Market Street

The entrance to the “old slave market”, not because they sold slaves, but this part of the city used to be an old creek which was filled in to build a farmers market where the slaves could go to buy fresh vegetables. 

The cruise ship dominates the skyline at the end of the market.

Personal grip… I hate power poles.  I have written (and have had published) 3 letters to the paper about improvements in the market street.

You can see the effect I had on the higher powers of the city……

My favorite store in the market… free samples of pecan pralines at the candy store.   A small bite, just the right size.

Lunch was at Toco Boy, a great little eclectic tex-mex restaurant.  I have never been there when it has not been crowded.  Sort of a college after hours type of place. 

The trellis is made out of concrete rebar.  The creative use of materials in unusual ways is the hallmark of this restaurant.

Nice place… I’ll be back.

May 27 2010

Grease car glow plug oil heater

I have a break from working on the plane for the next few days, so I started some yard work.    It is extraordinary how quickly opportunistic plants take over your yard if you dont keep up with them.   I am trying to do a little yard work each day in the mornings when it is relatively cool in Charleston.  I ended up with a HUGE pile of branches and I only cleaned a very small part of the yard.  Wow, I have a lot of bushes to clean.  All this effort makes me want to yank up everything and just have grass to mow.

I also made a few parts for the car fuel system.  The part on the  left is a glow plug oil heater.  It routes the WVO past an engine glow plug to rasie  the oil’s temperature.  There is a temperature sensing switch on the top which shuts it off at 190F.    I plan to install immediately before the injection pump to pre-heat the WVO when I initially switch from diesel to WVO.  It should reduce my warm up time before the stitch over.   The two block above the heater are failed piece.  Stupid little mistakes which which made the unusable.  The part on the right is a temperature senor which can be installed in different locations to measure and analyze fuel temperatures.

May 26 2010

Antenna Brackets

Today was spent mounting more parts for the electrical system.  The XM antenna was mounted in the nose area so Pat can easily remove it IF he want to use XM with his portable GPS in another airplane.   There will be connection plug near the antenna so the wiring in the plane will not be disturbed.

The three GPS antennas were also mounted in the plane as well as the starting solenoid.

I also fabricated the elevator trim spring.  I’ll check out the flexibility of it after curing and if necessary add more glass to stiffen it up.

Next will be finding a place and installing  an external ADS-B  antenna (the last one!)

May 25 2010

Electrical Started

Work has been started on installing the components of the electrical system.  The area behind the passenger headrest is incredibly tight with components.  I wanted to install as much as possible in this area to make the electrical parts easily accessible and to remove them from heat of  the engine compartment.   When I get to actually wiring the plane, firewall penetration bushing will be machined out of fiberglass rod to protect the wires allow the installation of fire stop around the wires.

The forward fuse panel will be inststalled under the thigh rest.  These fuses should never blow (clock power) so access would be rarely required.

May 17 2010

Static Ports

Today a few parts were machined…  Pat didn’t like just a simple hole in the side of the fuselage for the canopy rotary latch.

A rod of Aluminum was machined to make a nice trim piece for the opening.  The trim is now going to CA to be engraved and anodized prior to installation.  It will make a very nice looking part.

A set of static ports were also machined.  They are threaded to allow easy removal from the fuselage. 

I  have always believed the standard method of static port installation doesn’t work correctly.  You will NEVER see a production plane with a simple hole drilled in the side of the plane.  The reason is there is no way to adjust the static pressure (to adjust the air speed indicator).    I found on my plane, the boundary layer of air creates an error in the airspeed indicator (ASI) of almost 10 knots.   I had to put a “step” (a small wedge) in front of my static port to correct my indicator.  It “trips” the air, changing the static pressure to reduce my airspeed to the correct indication.

With this plane, the static port can be removed and re-machined as necessary to correct the ASI. 

Installed on the plane.  It looks big, but it is actully only 3/4 in in dia.

May 14 2010

Grease Car part 2

The car is running on waste vegetable oil (WVO) now!   Funny thing happened with I first tried the newly installed system.  I switched it on and the engined died a few seconds later in an intersection.  It took about 5 minutes of cranking to get the engine running back on diesel again.  I thought “CRAP” all that effort and the freaking system doenst work!    While driving back home with a sense of dread, I tried one last time and thought something wasnt right becuase I noticed NO difference at all between the WVO or the diesel!  There must have been some air in the system which caused the car to die, because now it works great!

I took the Sherman over to some friends house and most of us agreed the exhaust smells like steak on the grill.  It is hard to identify the odor, but is does smells good to me!

I had a slight problem with leaking anti-freeze with my installation.  I thought I had a bad heat exchanger (made in China).   Turns out the fitting were leaking.   Some teflon tape (I never like to use it) ended up fixing the leak.  I retested the core in some water under pressure to make sure all was well before the re-installation.

I had 42.1 miles on the car and the odometer stopped working….  CRAP.    The car is in the shop now which gives me a change to make a few more parts.  I have some ideas for increasing the efficiency of the WVO heating system and making an electric pre-heater for the oil.  I want to raise the temps of the WVO and reduce the time it takes for switching the engine over to WVO when the engine is cold.