Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Prognostications for 2016

Happy New Years everyone!  Well here we go again, with a fun post on what I guess errr, prognosticate... will happen in 2016. I hope you have a laugh or two, please enjoy!

Fellow prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil having his prediction read at Gobbler's Knob, PA.

1. The presidential race in the US.  This is the oddest election I have ever seen.  My prediction is that a Republican is almost a certainty - after two terms of Democratic leadership, the choice of the people will be a republican candidate for a lot of reasons... but whom you may ask?  After much deep pondering on this, a figure emerged from the haze and I saw the outline of an HP calculator with a giant B on the screen.  Either some kind of stack overflow or -  a Bush / Fiorina win.  Although a Trump / Clinton presidency would be far more interesting / entertaining - and probably what people would vote for if given the chance because it would turn the evening news into the highest rated sitcom TV has ever seen... alas, an impossibility. But I do think - marketing gold for a new show based around that theme.

2. The coordinates of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra may remain a mystery but I think search teams will finally locate MH370. Hopefully the new aircraft satellite tracking system will prevent this sort of tragedy in the future. Why didn't we have that already?

3. Time for a seismic breakthrough in social media inter-connectivity.  Something like, but bigger than a Fitbit, that allows you to find people to jog with by tapping on a map and spinning a virtual date and time wheel, or virtual reality headsets that plug into a virtual world communities so throngs of people could debate or make speeches - huge numbers could attend and then vote on something...  So... new concepts of significant social import will emerge as a result of clever app writers connecting dots in new ways.  Yup, that's what I predict.

4. Sea trains.  Yup, this is one that's been rolling around the old bean for a decade now... If we can send an unmanned re-supply rocket ship to the International Space Station... Convoys of container ships afloat as a sort of "sea train" delivering cargo to ports with only a single pilot ship being manned and 5 or 6 unmanned motorized hulls in a convoy. The cargo ships would have an engine room a small crews quarters for emergency manual operation, but no pilot house and an entire hull designed around ISO containers. Move over Hugo Gernsback (my inspiration for this one)

5. El Niño is bringing wacky weather to North America again. As a consequence, me thinks we will see a hurricane of Katrina proportions in 2016 make landfall in the South East US.

6.  The FCC will move to drastically limit the allowable transmitter power for drones.  Making powerful long distance or high altitude operation legal for only those trained and approved by a licensing scheme similar FAA pilot requirements. A test flight with a drone driver's ed inspector and of course.... a large fee and a neat plastic card to put in your wallet, possibly with a drone hologram on it. A clamp down on drones in 2016.

7. The Akatsuki probe team will announce a cool discovery about Venus.  Maybe we'll finally get an answer to: Why does Venus spin backwards? Don't we all want to know that?! What a feat this team has already pulled off in getting this probe into orbit!  The dawn of a new science day for Venus.

8. I'm going to carry over the electric car range prediction again... I'm thinking we'll see a 350 mile range on an affordable plug-in electric.  I call this the "EV tipping point..." and I think we'll see it in 2016.  It will be the start of a huge electric hybrid proliferation in many automobile models that will push fuel economy numbers through the roof.  AND - it's about time, if I do say so.

9. Pet glasses.  Want to see what your dog, cat or horse sees?  Just buy a pair of these spectral filtered glasses at your nearest pet store and you can view the world as your favorite pet sees it. I think this would be big on the Home Shopping Network...There must be an app for this already...

10. Dieselgate will expand to other manufacturers as the emissions regulators start to look for defeat algorithms in engine controls behavior.  I think we'll see that the diesel debacle and the as yet undiscovered software tricks out there for spark ignited and diesels will end up having a net positive influence on the advance of e-vehicles and the pull ahead launch of transformative technology. Glass is always half full!


That's it for the last post of 2015.  I wish you all good health, happiness and prosperity in the year ahead! 

See you next year!

All My Love  NLO, JRO, and SEO All My Love

Monday, December 28, 2015

Pre-Prognostication Post...

I'll post my new 2016 wild guesses about the future in a couple of days, but first
let's see how good I did last year...

1. The vortex returns and North America has another long cold winter.
2. Crude oil prices will bounce like a rubber ball back up by spring.
3. Li Ion battery chemistry is now able to drive a Tesla 400 mi on a charge... recharge in 30 min. will re-define the "gas station" experience as a place to relax and recreate for a half hour every 400 miles... I think - renewable breakthrough...
4. A major motorcycle brand will introduce a production hybrid
5. Major sub sea volcano makes news
6. Kryptos final message will be decoded
7. Genetic pharma breakthrough
8. Emilia Earheart's Lockheed Electra is found and brought to the surface
9. Major quake in Cali
10. Big news out of CERN in 2015...


1. Vortex happened YAY
2. Crude oil continues to tank... there's a BIG BOO
3. Wishful thinking... 270 mi range as of this writing.  BOO-HISS
4. Sort of... There are the random rumors about all of the major badges playing around with this. YAY
5.I'm going to claim this one... and this one,  YAY
6. Wow, part 4 still unsolved...  BOO
7. Yup, several news blurbs about breakthrough advances YAY
8. Nope   BOO
9. Lots of shaking, thankfully no major quake!  BOO
10. YES... a whole new class of particles!   YAY

So how did I do?  Looks like 50%  LOL so my crystal ball is no better than a coin toss!

After much pondering and the occasional cup of tea and nap, I have the 2016 prognostications nearly finished.  Stay tuned!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

More snow has made for a picture perfect Christmas

A twilight long exposure of the snowy forest.
Time to revisit last years prognostications!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas my friends!

Wow, another year has gone by.  Thanks to all who have visited my humble blog! I've been thinking about posting some forced response torsional vibes stuff - leaning towards a New Years resolution to do that!  I'm not sure I'd really like to code java to do the numerical solution, maybe.

So on this Western Christmas Eve, I will try to thank you in the languages of many who have visited.

Merry Christmas
buon Natale
 לעבעדיק ניטל
щасливого Різдва
 Fröhliche Weihnachten
 joyeux Noël
 счастливого Рождества
 Selamat Hari Natal
 Feliz Natal
 god jul
 क्रिसमस की बधाई
 Wesołych Świąt

To name just a few of the many countries of origin that visit my blog!  My kindest regards to you all, 


The horses will get some molasses in their oats...

I wish you all peace.


Monday, December 21, 2015

The story of the Pink Elephant...

Every now and then you run into the unusual.  I always think about fun stuff to post, and keep an eye out for things like this.  I find the odd stuff on the side of the road interesting and when there's a story - well that's post material - I say!

Today's post concerns a giant Pink Elephant wearing glasses.  This near sighted giant can be found at a gas station just off of  I-90 a few miles North of Madison, Wisconsin. 

This elephant has been watching the cars go by since the 1960's. Made by a company called Sculptured Advertising, it first sat in front of a dinner club called "The Pink Elephant...." in Marquette, Iowa.  Then found it's way to the gas station it is at today.  The roadside attraction has been photographed many times and there is actually a wall inside the station that chronicles  photos people have taken in front of the iconic pachyderm over the many years.

A photo on the wall capturing a parade appearance in the 1980's...

 I'll keep on looking, and I hope you all enjoy the pics.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

A winter graduation at the University of Wisconsin

Wow, I forgot how moving these can be.  We had the good fortune to attend a winter graduation at the University of Wisconsin today.  This university is one of my favorites and the commencement ceremony was beautiful.

The ceremony was at the Kohl Center

The Nicholas Club is a great new addition!

Digital banner of the day!

We entered the arena about 45 minutes before the start of the proceedings.

I'll post a pano later, but as this pic suggests, the arena was filled as we listened to some very inspirational speakers and were honored to see nearly 3000 students receive PhD's, MS and BA/BS degrees!

Another "Seen on the side of the road," report... At the entrance to a defunct resort in Northern Wisconsin on a lonely stretch of Highway B stands this fiber glass figure of Paul Bunyan... the figure is around 10 meters high and holds an ax over his left shoulder.

Another great weekend!  I hope all enjoyed the pics, "Wisconsin" is a truly a wonderful university.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Santa's '50 Chevrolet tow truck...

Not enough time to post a lot tonight, but I did stop to take this quick pic of an old tow truck on the side of the road...

A little rusty, but bedazzled with lights and

Presents and of course ood old St Nick

I'm experimenting with some longer exposure holiday themes and will post more when I get a chance!


Sunday, December 6, 2015


Another warm weekend, thank you El Nino!  After spending a little time at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, we wandered over to the James Hill House. I thought it was ironic that we would see a great old steam powered locomotive pulling out of Union Station the very next day...

The Minnetonka Center for the Arts had a great gallery full of interesting and beautiful original art in many medias.  It's a wonderful place to visit. I got some great ideas for a project or two after this winters visit. 

James Hill was the builder of the Great Northern Railway... This railroad tycoon's mansion can be toured and it was ironically just a few miles from...

 The North Pole Express... and the Milwaukee 261 steaming underway.

Here's a treat, the 261 leaving the station...

Oops, here's the rest of the whistle!

Last but not least, seen on the side of the road... this giant beaver!

A fine school mascot!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Starting to look a lot like ...


Just starting to get into the Christmas spirit!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The last rainbow of 2015...

Somehow we had a double rainbow last week, and then the cold air came in. 

I'm pretty sure that this was the last rainbow of 2015...
Then the heavy frost that accompanies single digit F night time temps gave us this a couple of days later...

The heavy frost coated all of the trees which made for a really beautiful sunrise!  Wwwhere's my grain!? Says Sophia.

A summer flower booms once more with ice crystal petals.
Another sunny day here today, a great day for a short trip up to Duluth.  These scenes caught my eye, I hope you all enjoy!

This is a 1000 ft long lake freighter known as The Indiana Harbor, wintering over in dry dock.

The light at the break wall in Duluth Harbor.

The Coast Guard station in Duluth with an outbound sea going vessel in the back ground. I liked the lighting in both of these pics. 
Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all of my visitors in the US have had a nice Thanksgiving and that you took the time to reflect on what we are grateful for.  This is one of those holidays where I like to reflect on my own little world and recognize those things that I am truly grateful for.  So here's to you - good health, happiness and prosperity!  Never forget those you care about, and always give thanks for what you have. 

Right before Grace...
I wish you all the very best,


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Seen on the side of the road...

This one made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it.

Another one of those road side gems!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Brrrr it's getting colder...

This is the time of year when there isn't enough snow to ski, it's cold 20 to 30 F in the mornings, and I usually don't hike or get into the forest too often.  I did notice the beautiful ice formations on trees and plants this morning from the condensation in the air.  As winter approaches the climate gets colder and very arid.  Humidity will move towards 20 or 30 percent and the below freezing temperatures begin to sustain. 

So here are a few pics from the morning's wander...

There's a small creek in there somewhere... sparkling ice and a clear blue sky. A beautiful day!

Last summer's flowers bloom one more time... this time with ice crystals.  Soon they will be buried in snow to return next spring. 

Whats this?  Well let me tell you!  I discovered this at a diner around an hours drive North from where I live and I must say, this is a most delicious mango pepper sauce to put on just about anything.  It's from Jamaica and it's fantastic!

Just a short post this weekend.  Hope all are well.  AML NLO, JRO, SEP AML

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Trip to Houghton Falls

Sunrise on Basswood Island (one of the Apostle Islands at the Northern Tip of Wisconsin) this Saturday morning...
One more installment on roadside oddities.  This siting was near Superior, Wisconsin.

Hard to really visualize the scale from this view

This is a little better... the chair is about 3 meters high.... this is along the highway and I'm not sure why...

Another super delightful weekend!  Seasonably warm temperatures and time for a little hike.  This weekend we checked out Houghton Falls near the very Northern tip of Wisconsin.

These next two pics are a strange footnote as to how people get around on the Apostle Islands.  Once the water freezes over and the car ferry's are no longer in service, air boats and ice bridges become the transportation mode.

Note the radial engine and cut back prop.  The aero engine is pulling, which made the slipstream directly behind the cab a very dangerous area.

Yeah, had to add this too.  A knot in a prop shaft...

Ok on to the Houghton Falls tail.  This is typical terrain.

The river flows through a pre-Cambrian sandstone gorge on it's way to Lake Superior.

A really interesting place geologically.

Some of the upper falls spilling over a sandstone ledge.

A beautiful day for a hike and this river gorge was beautiful!

A lot of moss covers the rocks and trees down in the gorge.

Hard to visualize in this pic, but the water drops about 60 feet from one tiered ledge to the next.
At the bottom of a rock slide, the stream emerges.  Very beautiful area.

Approaching the river's end into Lake Superior.

Following the trail to the lake shore, the view to the left shows the sand stone erosion caused by lake ice and weathering.

The view to the right, under a November mid-day sun.  Lake Superior is expansive!

This little tree was in a nearby park and I thought it looked really nice and the right pic to close this post with.
Hope you enjoyed Houghton Falls!


Friday, November 13, 2015

First snow of the 2015-2016 season

What a nice summer and fall we've had.  This snow arrived last night and won't stay, but soon we will have a few inches on the ground...

A "dusting," of snow on 13 November...

I'm looking forward to a little hiking around Lake Superior this weekend, so maybe I'll get a chance to post this Sunday.