Friday, October 19, 2012

Another day and more questions than answers

Every day brings something new. As I mentioned a few months ago, I am new at this, by that I mean communicating through blogs and twitter.I have given up many years ago to attend schools in order to learn something new. I buy gadgets and when I get them home I assemble them without looking at the instructions. Why, you ask? Because that is me. I continue to learn every day without formal training. One of my occupations I practiced for a number of years was cooking, but for me it was not just cooking. It was creating dishes that looked good and tasted out of this world. Many times I was asked where I received my formal education in the culinary arts? My answer was always: OJT - On the Job Training. I worked with some fantastic people and I watched and I learned. I am still that way.
So here I am some 4 months into my blog and I learn every day. Blogs contain so many secrets that it hard for me to take them all in at once. When I was in my hay-days, I would usually worked on one secret at a time. Yesterday I found a shocking example of how my blog keeps track of who looks at my pages. Now it is not unusual to find that most of my viewers are from the USA. Then I have some from the UK and Australia but the most shocking was that my second highest hits are initiated from China. (Perhaps they more more about my adventures than I thought they did. Maybe I should have my book translated into Mandarin and see how many copies I can sell there.
As I previously mentioned, I will use to raise the funds to publish the book. If any of you have looked at this site you will notice that it is ordinary people who fund these projects and they receive a reward associated with the project. I'm currently working with a company in Vietnam (yes, Vietnam, it has been many years and we must all forgive and forget - or not) to produce a mahogany desktop model of a WB-57F. I also am working with a company in China (because no one here is doing this kind of work here yet) to produce the model from crystal. I am really looking forward to seeing the prototypes arrive stateside. In addition to these great rewards, there are 10 original drawings contained in the book and some of my contributors will receive lithograph copies of these drawings. I will keep everyone abreast of the progress we are making.
I have started to pen my notes for book two, the years 1968 to 1982. I don't want to get into any of the details until "Number One" is out there and reviews come back in.
 Just a couple more photos from my collection. Top photo is of the "Felsenkirche" Church in the Rock with the Burg Bosselstein sitting on top of the rock. The lower picture is of Schloss Oberstein. Perhaps some day I can get into the story of the Church in the Rock.
On a totally different note, I am proud to have been a Lane Goodwin follower and supporter and I am saddened that Lane lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday.Lane should be an inspiration for all of us who have had a family member or friends taken from us because of the decease. Lane knew his chances were not good but he never lost faith. He smiled 'til the end. He now has his angel wings. I have asked my two best friends in heaven to look out for him and take him under their wings.

Monday, October 15, 2012

3 World Records set in single jump.

Yesterday I was glued to the TV almost all day. Felix Baumgartner finally had his opportunity to go higher in his helium balloon than any man (or woman) had ever done. He would jump and fall, or dive, from 128,000 feet at speeds up to 729 mph. That is 39 mph faster than the speed of sound at that altitude. What made me so interested that I would sit there, cursing at the television when they would not show a live feed?
46 years ago, I found myself in a similar situation. We were flying at altitudes no man had ever achieved. Months of training had prepared us mentally for the task, but physically we had to wait until it actually occurred. We were told the good news, that the aircraft and its contained environment would make us save and comfortable. Although the space suits of the day were very cumbersome compared to that worn by Baumgartner. We were told what possible might happen to us if we had a malfunction and had to bail out and of course worst case scenario what would happen if we were shot down. Yesterday I received my answer. We could survive if our egress was successful and perhaps spend the rest of our lives in a foreign prison camp. In my book "Force of Fate" I go into more detail about the harshness of space at such an altitude.
If all that what is going on these days with the still flying WB-57F and the recent movement of the last one from Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona I can only speculate that much more is to come and NASA took a very close look at yesterday's events. The information gained will certainly benefit the WB-57F program but also future space launches by giving us the knowledge that we can still abort during assent and descend and survive.
People are chastising the government for not doing projects such as these and that the private sector is now doing more for space exploration than NASA. What is wrong with that? It costs the taxpayer less. People are still being employed by the companies who design and build these machines. Last, let me make it perfectly clear, Red Bull did not build anything for this mission. Their advertising fees payed for it and I thank them for having the foresight to do this. Just like we would not have NASCAR if it was not for the advertising.
Not to be forgotten , where in the world did this take place, here in our country using our men and women to provide the expertise. Yes Felix is Austrian and if we shared all of our endeavors with the rest of the civilized world we would be much further ahead.
For comparison I have inserted photos of the suit worn by NASA pilots and the photo of Baumgartner exiting the capsule.

Notice the curvature of the Earth behind him.
Note: Step down, pick up my soap box and head home to my friends, Koko, my Black Lab and Maggie, my Dingo.