The misadventures of Commander Merlin and the crew of RV-103
Monday December 30th 2013

Archive for February, 2010

02-18-10 What Day Is It?

Prior to our shakedown cruise, Gypsy and I were shopping in the local Camping World and saw an odd clock that marked the days of the week, not the time as usual clocks do.  They are called…get this…Day Clocks.  We both laughed at it and talked about how we had seen [Read More]

02-13-10 Gold Panning at Sutter’s Mill

Today we went gold panning at Sutter’s Mill.  Sutter’s Mill is on the south fork of the American River that carries the melt water from the snows of the Sierra Mountains to the Pacific.  Sutter’s Mill is the site of the first gold discovery sparking the 1849 gold [Read More]

My Father’s Blog

If you’re looking for some funny reading, I would recommend my father’s blog.  He has been describing life as a child on the farm and some family history.  He practices what he was taught by an older Uncle; don’t let irrelevant details get in the way of a good [Read More]

02-02-10 Propane! I need more Propane!

Though the temperatures here in CA are actually currently warmer than it is in FL, it still does get a bit chilly at night.  That means we need to run our propane furnace at night.  Propane not only runs our furnace, but our refrigerator and hot water tank.  Even though [Read More]

01-31-10 Sutter Gold Mine

We spent the day today at Sutter Gold Mine.  It is a functioning gold mine, but sections of it are open to public tours.  Gold is found inside the mine in veins of crystal that can be up to 8 feet wide.  The crystal was left over from seawater that flowed in the rock bed [Read More]

Endeavour is Safely Home

Endeavour landed safely at Kennedy Space Center at 10:20 pm EST. The crew installed the last major piece of the International Space Station. Only 4 more shuttle launches until Obama kills our Human Space Flight Program. Well done to the crew, the contractors, and my friends [Read More]

01-27-10 Sunshine!!

Today, it stopped raining.  I knew it was too quiet.  No thunderous pitter patter on the roof, a strange bright light flooding through the windows, and it was warming up quite nicely.  In fact, from this day to late-February it was to be actually warmer than it was in [Read More]

You Know You Are In California

You know you are in California… When you hear marijuana shops advertizing on the radio. When the traffic report says rush hour at an intersection is being blocked by panhandlers. When you meet someone on a professional level and their name is “Blossom.” [Read More]

01-08-10 to 01-26-10 Where is the California Sunshine?

The Beach Boys used to sing about the California Sunshine and I am beginning to think it is just a myth.  For the last 18 days it has rained nearly every day.  And the wind!  Storm after storm coming off the Pacific has brought winds that would gust up 50 mph.  I would [Read More]

Off Topic, but Important

Though this is a blog chronicling the misadventures of the crew of RV-103, many of you know I am retired from Kennedy Space Center and Human Space Flight is near and dear to my heart.  A major event recently occurred that I want to comment on.  It is not a launch, but [Read More]

Endeavour Launches!

This picture was taken by my friend Larry Tanner.  He was on the outside staircase at the Launch Control Center way past his bedtime to get this shot.  The LCC is only 3 1/2 miles from the Pad. [Read More]

Endeavour Launch Rescheduled

According to NASA: “Managers officially have scheduled space shuttle Endeavour’s next launch attempt for Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST. [Read More]

The Beginning of the End

Space Shuttle Endeavour, or OV-105, will be launching early Sunday Morning, February 7th 2010, at 04:39 am EST.  This will be the last night launch of the Space Shuttle Program and after this mission, only 4 more shuttle flights will be left before the program is ended in [Read More]

01-07-10 San Joaquin Valley Part Two

We arose the next morning, filled our propane and proceeded on our way. The scenery started to change from what we had seen yesterday. Though the farms were still there stretching out to the horizon, there were fewer aqueducts and you could see the desert reclaiming the [Read More]

01-06-10 San Joaquin Valley Part One

We arose early that morning and continued our trip.  We bypassed Los Angeles and started north through the length of CA.  The mountains we had seen so far had been beautiful, some of them snow capped shining in the sun. We climbed some mountains just north of LA.  RV-103 [Read More]

01-05-10 Off to California!

We left that morning for California.   It didn’t take us too long before we got to the state line.   I was surprised to find another checkpoint, this time an actual structure, which we had to pass through to enter California.   The officers said it was to “check for [Read More]

Wandering the Desert for 40 Years

Gypsy had to fly back home to take care of some personal business with her family during our stay in AZ.   While there, she had described to her son and daughter-in-law about the many varied cactuses we had seen during our hikes.   When she came back, she informed me that [Read More]

Thar Be Gold In Them Thar Hills!

We did some dry panning in the BLM land next to our campsite. Though the streams were dry, we actually found some silver ore and then…WE FOUND GOLD!!! Our second day of dry panning we actually found some gold flakes, some imbedded in hardened mud balls that were [Read More]

Suffering Technical Difficulties

Having some trouble posting.  Customer Service is working on the problem.  Until then, enjoy The Survival Podcast. [Read More]

12-22-09 to 01-05-10 Black Canyon City

We spent 2 weeks at the Black Canyon City KOA about 45 minutes north of Phoneix AZ.  Typical KOA, but it had a jewel that the other KOA’s we visited did not have…70,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public land.  Right outside of our front door.  We spent [Read More]

Latest Topics

Goodbye and GodSpeed Discovery RV-103.

Goodbye and GodSpeed Discovery RV-103.

What can I say, but that it is an end to a major chapter in our lives.  Today I turned over the keys to our great and [Read More]

CollisionTEC: A Review

CollisionTEC: A Review

Towards the end of Mission #2, RV-103 had a mishap with a pole, as detailed here.  Last month, I finally got an [Read More]

Breaking News: Obama proposes an end to NASA’s Planetary Science Program

Breaking News: Obama proposes an end to NASA’s Planetary Science Program

“Word has leaked out that in its new budget, the Obama administration intends to terminate NASA’s planetary [Read More]

Mismatched Models

Mismatched Models

Most advocates of Human Space Flight programs always model HSF with the airplane model.  Government subsidized at [Read More]

Human Space Flight Trivia Week 7

Human Space Flight Trivia Week 7

First of all my apologies.  I had to take care of some duties at home that prevented me from posting the newest [Read More]