5.01.2003

Found a great site via Lileks this morning, it is an estate auction site based out of Billings, Montana.  They are auctioning items off from a Roundup Grocery Store that was closed in 1952 due to a family death and the doors haven't been opened since then!  Everything that was in that store is just like it was in 1952, there are some amazing things that they are going to auction.  I wonder if there was a whooshing sound when they opened the door, like opening an Egyptian tomb!  Here is the site and make sure you look at the pictures: 
 


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4.30.2003

Good day here today, we are cranking through a lot of documents today.  Some folks from the other field offices are starting to rotate in and we are having a great time.
 
The NASA Appreciation dinner last night was great.  The different agencies were given plaques and Sean O'Keefe gave a great presentation thanking everyone for their hard work.  The astronauts on the Space Station even had a nice "thank you" for the 1000 or so people at the dinner.  Members of 4 of the seven astronaut's families were there and expressed their gratitude for everyone's hard work.  It was really a great experience.
 
Today I finally tracked down the GIS folks working on this project and got to sit in on a presentation that showed all of the mapping technology they used for this project.  They made over 30,000 maps in a 90 day period - that is very impressive.  Also discussed in the presentation were some of the analysis thay have done using the ballistic coefficiencies of the debris, correllated with the radar returns from the day of the accident.  They used this information to plot out search areas based on the size of the radar return or "blip".  Using the mapping software, they could project the information into 3D space and view the data from any angle.  
 
They also showed 3D bathymetry data from some of the lakes and reservoirs they searched.  The water searches did not yield much debris due to the fact that when the reservoir was created 40-odd years ago, they did not remove trees, houses, they just flooded the valley.  In the 3D model of one, you can see the original creek bed, a dike along the creek and several bridges, trees still standing with limbs, etc.  Any debris would blend right in and could not be seen.  Floating logs and schools of fish also show up in this high-resolution data.  Fantastic stuff. 
 
Well, I have a pile of stuff to do, talk at ya later.


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4.29.2003

Tuesday Morn'

A Gorgeous Tuesday Morning here, just spectacular. 
 
Tonight is our "appreciation" dinner at the civic center, it should be fun.  I made it to JC Penny's and now have a new pair of jeans, new dockers and a couple of new shirts. I didn't bring many clothes with me, so it is nice to have a few new things to put into rotation.
 
I have been corresponding with a few folks that I worked with at a couple of the sites and it is interesting how much people miss working on this project.  They are all home back working at their regular jobs and of course it is not as exciting or as important as this work.  I am probably going to be finished and heading home this weekend after a brief visit with my buddy in Austin. 
 
I have made some great contacts out here and I am looking forward to keeping in touch with these folks.  I have open invitations to Wallace, Idaho, several places in Montana, California, Maine, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania and all over California.  I have also made some good contacts regarding future employment so I will be following up on those too.
 
Well, I should get back to it.  I will write more later as it comes to me.


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4.28.2003

Howdy,
Still plugging away, crunching, merging, colating, scanning.  We are making some very good progress on the un-challenging but-gotta-be-done portion of the project.  It's not exciting or cool, at all, but we have to do it and do it right.  All of the hard work everyone put in during the past couple of months won't be worth anything if the data isn't usable.
 
Big excitement for today is going to the trip to JC Penny's this evening to pick up some trowsers for an appreciation dinner tomorrow night.  I hope there are some left because all of these big boys from Texas will have to go buy some to meet the requirement set for "business casual" at the dinner!
 
Not too much else to report.  I did find a coffee shop in town but they weren't open this morning at 6, not a very good way to run a coffee shop.  The hotel is still good and has all the stuff I need to get by.
 
Well, back to it, I just wanted to pop a quick entry in, but I will try and write more later.
 
 


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