Category Archives: Nature, Photography, Videos

STS-117 SRB & ET Launch Footage Compilation

I recently merged some STS-117 NASA launch video footage from four of the six Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) cameras and also the External Tank (ET) camera into a single synchronized video compilation. Below are a few teaser frames from the compilation:

. Title frame

. SRB Separation frame

. SRB Splashdown frame

The video compilation is about 10 1/2 minutes long and runs in real time starting from launch all the way through SRB splashdown and even through Orbiter (Atlantis) separation from the ET. It’s a pretty cool video to watch because you get to see what happens behind the scenes with the SRBs after separation.

I used Adobe Premier Elements version 3.0 to compile the video. It’s a very powerful consumer video editor program, but it’s also quite user friendly so you don’t have to be a video editing expert to be able to use it. It costs a hundred bucks, and you can download and use a free 30 day trial here:

Below is a high bandwidth link to the finished compilation video. It is in Windows Media Player 9 (WMV) format. Enjoy!


STS-117_SRB&ETLaunchFootageCompilation (LAN Quality – 1150 Kbps – 960×720 – 30fps – 90 Megs)

Here is the lower quality YouTube version:

P.S. For those in the audience who are complete perfectionists, I did not attempt to synchronize the time counters in the corners of each of the videos to each other. That would have taken me much longer and would not have ended up looking very much different. All I did was synchronize major events (like liftoff and SRB separation) to occur simultaneously to my own eyes. Actually the video in the lower left appears to be a few seconds off from the rest on it’s time counter. Especially towards splashdown of the SRB’s. So synchronizing that video’s time counter would have actually thrown it off from real time.

Photos from New York City trip

My work recently sent me to NYC for a few days. In between work I was able to see some sights. My main sightseeing goals were to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I also wanted to see a Broadway Musical while I was there. I bought my ticket to see “Curtains” starring David Hyde Pierce & Debra Monk about a week before the trip. I sat in the 3rd row center! Wow, that was awesome!

Everything else that I got to see while I was there was just icing on the cake … especially getting a standby seat for The Late Show with David Letterman. I never dreamed I’d actually get a seat in the audience with little or no notice! I got to experience some great local food and got to walk quite a bit around Manhattan. My feet and legs tell me that I walked around a little too much!


Statue of Liberty Me and the Statue of Liberty

Inside Ellis Island registration room World Trade Center memorial in Battery Park

World Trade Center construction site Broadway Musical Curtains

Line for Letterman show Me at NBC Studios Tour

Times Square at night Me at Rockefeller Center

Trip to San Francisco & Silicon Valley

Last week I was in the Silicon Valley for a work related conference. I wish I’d had my camera with me when I was walking between the San Jose convention center and my downtown hotel, because I saw something that you probably won’t see outside of Silicon Valley … a homeless man with a laptop computer. He was sitting against the theatre building on the corner of West San Carlos Street and South Market Street plugged into an exterior outlet on the side of the building. With his laptop sitting on a cardboard box, he was typing away at his keyboard. It looked like he had what could have been a USB WiFi device plugged in. There’s WiFi all around Silicon Valley … even on their Light Rail System.Another thing I saw that I don’t think you’ll see much of anywhere else but in Silicon Valley was a vending machine in my hotel lobby that sold snacks, but it also sold electronic cables, wireless headphones, and even a $200 iPod nano. I’m pretty sure you have to swipe your credit card for the iPod. Can you imagine paying 200 bucks for an iPod in a vending machine and it getting hung up like a bag of chips?! Then the next person gets two for the price of one! Only in Silicon Valley.Well, here are a couple of my photos from San Francisco. It was foggy and late in the day, so they’re not my best work.

The world-famous Sea Lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco


The world-famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco


The world-famous Cable Car Trolleys in San Francisco


The world-famous Lombard Street in San Francisco

East-Central Florida waterspout photos

On Thursday July 20, 2006 the following photos were taken by some of my coworkers in and around the Kennedy Space Center in East-Central Florida. This impressive waterspout was only a mile or so from the building where I work. I only got to see the waterspout with my own eyes because when the tornado alarm went off I was in a meeting in a temporary trailer and we all had to move from the trailer to a permanent structure. We all got to see the waterspout as soon as we exited the trailer.

For those Northerners reading this: Waterspouts are tornados over water. They usually break up pretty fast when they hit land. They’re fairly whimpy tornados over water. The water helps feed them, and they can’t maintain themselves over land.



Check out ACME Catapult!

If you’ve never seen household appliances or heavy lawn equipment catapulted hundreds of feet through the air for entertainment purposes, you need to check out

Aside from the fact that the ACME Catapult was designed and built by my stepdad and his buddies, and also aside from the fact that I created this particular website for them, I think you’ll like it anyways.

Here are links to two pretty decent videos of the ACME Catapult on (Google Video) YouTube: