Archive for ‘History’

July 4, 2020

Independence

Fourth Seven

– lovely ride up to Winthrop Harbor this evening . Quiet roads with few cars and perfect temperatures.

June 18, 2020

June 19th

Juneteenth

The oldest known celebration honoring the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended, and slaves had been freed. Everyone needs to Ride Free!

June 2, 2020

A Good Color

BLACK

May 17, 2020

Assembly Required

New Project

– here’s something that will keep me out of trouble for a few rainy afternoons. A 1/9 scale WW2 era Triumph 3HW. The ubiquitous single cylinder workhorse of the British forces. Indeed it is the motorcycle used by my grandfather George in his duties as a Military Policeman in the North African theatre.

October 21, 2019

European Theatre Transport

Crated Glory | spied at the Russell Military Museum near Kenosha WI is this spotless wartime Harley Davidson WLA. It was just the tip of the iceberg… acres of tanks, aircraft, helicopters, armored personnel carriers… fascinating place.

August 30, 2019

Ironwork

Gate Ajar | The Meriden factory gates closed permanently in August 1983 after final bankruptcy was called. I wonder what happened to these main driveway gates after demolition a year later… probably sold for scrap. However the Phoenix arose!

July 20, 2019

Intrepid

50 Years Ago | We ventured, only a small step in the vastness of the Universe, beyond our earthly home. A journey of 3 days over a quarter million miles to our neighbor the Moon. A scheme so daring and difficult it gave us a glimpse of what was possible as a race when minds and courage come together. This iconic photograph taken by Neil Armstrong of Buzz Aldrin shows a man standing on a grey dusty plain under a black sky lit by a bright sun. We really are amazing… it’s just a shame a a civilization we’re quite dumb some of the time too…

July 17, 2019

Mirrored Moon

On Reflection | all photography releases by NASA shows how beautiful the ventures into space truly are. The LM Eagle reflecting the cratered surface is like a delicate Faberge egg balanced over a rugged plain.

July 16, 2019

Nosecone

Moonship Cutaway | beautiful technical illustration of the Command Module. The three astronauts traveled to the moon and back in the claustrophobic confines of this vessel. Though in zero-g it became very slightly more voluminous. They also had the Lunar Module which was docked to the nose of the LM for more elbow room. The CM is the only piece of hardware that made it back to earth.

July 15, 2019

Standing Room Only

LEM | Lunar (Excursion) Module. Three days after embarking on the Trans Lunar Injection the Apollo spacecraft entered orbit around the Moon. Separating from the Command Service Module the LM descended to the surface with the Commander and Pilot standing at these controls in their full spacesuits. The descent and landing is well documented as one of the coolest pieces of flying by anyone anywhere. Like landing a telephone box, using the computing power of a Casio scientific calculator, onto a grey dust surface under a black sky…. with diminishing fuel and alarms going off.

July 11, 2019

Apollo

Command Module | Fifty Years ago this month three intrepid explorers headed off into a lunar rendezvous with destiny. Backed by countless engineers, scientists, mathematicians, computers (women who crunches the complex equations for orbital mechanics), skilled laborers, wives, budget analysts, lingerie manufacturers (the space suits required impeccable needlework); they headed beyond the surly bonds of earth atop the mighty Saturn V rocket. The cramped confines of the Command Module ‘Columbia’ took them the quarter million miles to our closest neighbor in the skies.

July 4, 2019

Fourth of July

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

June 7, 2019

Heavy Man!

Leadville | The prime destination last weekend was the old mining town of Galena. Historical seat of Joe Daviess Country and home of Ulysses S Grant. In the early C19th it rivaled Chicago in population and was the busiest steamboat hub north of St Louis.

May 4, 2019

Under a Blue Sky

Red Barn | One of the things I do when passing through the American Heartland is look out for old barns. Their vernacular spirit intrigues me as they always seem to complement the rural scene. During yesterday’s jaunt through Wisconsin and Minnesota I could have stopped at least a dozen times; however this structure stood out for a photo-op. The grassy ramp of this ‘bank’ or ‘basement’ barn gives access to the hayloft itself supported on the stone built livestock stable. A cupola is supported on the classic gambrel roof.

May 1, 2019

Ayrton

Senna | A quarter of a century ago today we lost one of the greats: Ayrton Senna fatally crashed his Formula One car at the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy. Let’s enjoy this simple image of him getting the shopping in at Monaco on his moped. The distinctive helmet is an icon of the racing world, his racing record up to his untimely death unparalleled. A record six victories at the Monte Carlo circuit is still unbeaten. His native Brazil consider him a national hero.