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Through the Looking Glass

I recently ran my first road race in over 25 years. Now, technology has certainly advanced a great deal in the past quarter century, and as an engineer I should probably not be amazed by this. But the truth is, having a mindset of someone who was happy to have a gas station map to get to his previous most recent race, the experience was pretty much indistinguishable from magic. Read more …

My Exercise Playlist

Well, everyone’s exercise playlist is different, and here’s mine. There is much on here that’s not really at a great exercise tempo. I’ve finally decided that there must be two things going on: I pick songs based on karma, and in many cases these songs go back to when I was younger – and faster! Read more …

Bill’s Obscure Playlist #12: “Grand Canyon Suite” by Refugee

The Refugee album cover is an informal pose of the three band members.Such promise, such promise. Refugee, so much more than “the Nice Mark II”, produced a gem of a progressive rock album in 1974 before keyboardist Patrick Moraz answered the siren call to replace Rick Wakeman in Yes.

Read more …

Watching the satellites

Last night several Facebook friends and I simultaneously watched the International Space Station (ISS) make a pass over the middle America. Several wanted to know how to get the data themselves so they can see when visible satellite passes are going to happen in their part of the world.
Read more …

An Interview with the “Spirit of Fire” Shaman

A man dressed up like a witch doctor.So, what is this?

It is an image of the Shaman from “Spirit of Fire”.

It looks like you. Is it?

Yup. Read more …

Bill’s Obscure Playlist #11: “Song of Seven” by Jon Anderson

Album cover for Song of Seven

This will be posted on Good Friday, so I decided I should pull the next thing on the List that would at least be spiritual in nature. With Jon Anderson you will always get something spiritual, although the specific spirituality in question tends to be a bit variable. Read more …

Bill’s Obscure Playlist #10: “Abaddon’s Bolero” (Live Version) by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Image of album shows view from Olympic Stadium in Montreal

You’ve got to admire a band that would perform a concert with full orchestra and choir in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The venue worked out at least as well for ELP as it did for the Montreal Expos. Read more …

Bill’s Obscure Playlist #9: “Charm” by Tony Banks

fugitiveThe bulk of “The Fugitive”, the second solo album by the Genesis keyboard player, is charming and the source of more than one of my obscure favorites. So it seems appropriate that “Charm” comes up first on the list. Read more …

Retrotech: The X-3, X-5, and the Joys of Inertial Cross-Coupling

On our visit to the R&D Gallery of the National Museum of the US Air Force, we saw two interesting research aircraft from the 50’s: the Douglas X-3 and the Bell X-5. And yes, I built models of these when I was a kid! Read more …