Requiem for the Big Fitz

Relatives, public gather for ringing of ship’s bell each November

The story of the Edmund Fitzgerald has inspired song, prose, and art including this 18,000 piece 1:60 scale model by high school teacher John Beck. The project began in 2004 to teach his high school students about shipping. Nine years later it is almost complete.

The story of the Edmund Fitzgerald has inspired song, prose, and art including this 18,000 piece 1:60 scale model by high school teacher John Beck. The project began in 2004 to teach his students about shipping. Nine years later it is almost complete.

Most upper Midwesterners know the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a lake freighter that sank in Lake Superior in boiling waters kicked up by a snowy gale around 7:15 p.m. on November 10, 1975. The mystery surrounding its sinking has entranced people far and wide since it was only 17 miles from the safety of Whitefish Bay when the ship met its end.

Each anniversary of the sinking, relatives of the 29 people lost on the Edmund Fitzgerald, in addition to locals, and the curious but reverent general public; crowd into the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum’s shipwreck exhibit at Whitefish Point to memorialize the event in a somber ceremony.

I attended the event in 2012 and had a chance to talk with two family members about the men that they knew on the “Big Fitz”, plus witness the ringing of the ship’s bell which was retrieved from the sunken wreck in 1995.

Continue reading

Historic Woman and Aircraft Land in Madison

First woman since 1944 to qualify on the B-29 to appear at Air Power tour event

Debbie King at the controls of "FIFI", the CAF's B-29. King is the first woman to qualify on the World War II bomber since 1944.

Debbie King at the controls of “FIFI”, the CAF’s B-29. King is the first woman to qualify on the World War II bomber since 1944.

Its been sixty five years since Dora Dougherty and Dorthea “Didi” Moorman became the first women to be fully qualified in the B-29, the most advanced in the World War II Allied aircraft bomber fleet. Last summer Debbie King, 44, became the first woman since that time to become a qualified pilot on the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) B-29 “FIFI”, the only remaining airworthy B-29 in the world.

Beginning today thru Sunday (July 26-28) in Madison the CAF will have military aircraft from that era including “FIFI” and two other bombers, four fighters and a trainer on hand for people to see and also hop rides. The Air Power History Tour is a traveling showcase of CAF aircraft that in total number 160 and are operated and maintained by the nearly 9,000 members of the organization.

Continue reading

One Night at Ingersoll and Willy

Blues Artist Paul Geremia plays Mother Fool's.

Blues Artist Paul Geremia plays Mother Fool’s.

Here are a couple of shots of Willy and Ingersoll Streets on Saturday evening March 23, 2013. Above, Blues Artist Paul Geremia plays for a full crowd at Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. Below, Roman Candle Pizzeria always seems to be a striking photographic subject both day and night. On this evening, the still night air perpetuates a lingering goodbye between two lovers.

A moment in time at Ingersoll and Willy Streets.

A moment in time at Ingersoll and Willy Streets.

Stefan’s Dream wins KVSC Trivia Marathon

Veteran team triumphs again in 34th annual 50-hour trivia contest

Trivia 2013: A Space Oddity winners Stefan's Dream XIV: Stefan's Rentry. The team modifies there name each year to match the theme. Photo Courtesy: KVSC-FM

Trivia 2013: A Space Oddity winners Stefan’s Dream XIV: Stefan’s Re-Entry. The team modifies there name each year to match the theme. Photo Courtesy: KVSC-FM

Stefan’s Dream XIV: Stefan’s Re-Entry won Trivia 2013: A Space Oddity, KVSC-FM St. Cloud’s 50-hour trivia contest for the fourth time since 2005. One of the larger groups in the 62-team field they bested second place Pull Start Diesel by 595 points. Diesel barely fended of last year’s champion Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women by 25 points.

Dream, Diesel, Learned Pigs are perennial front runners in the last 10 years with each dominating for several years at a time. The winning margin seemed yawing compared to last year when Learned Pigs beat Mustache and Stefan’s Dream by 25 points and 30 points respectively. It was the closest finish in contest history.  Continue reading

Gallery: The Trivia Teams

Mr. Choo Choo and Capt. F accompanied KVSC-FM Station Manager Jo McMullen to the headquarters of several trivia teams during the midnight hour Saturday night. McMullen conducted live remotes with Hey, You Got Voodoo in my Panties, Stefan’s Dream XIV: Stefan’s Re-Entry, and House Of Insanity.

What follows are images from Stefan’s Dream XIV: Stefan’s Re-Entry and Hey, You Got Voodoo in my Panties. No photos, only video was shot at House of Insanity but the tableau was the same. All the teams at the time of the visit were in the top 10 of the standings.

Gallery: The Shake – A – Hamster Band

Nature Hamster gives direction to the horns section through the intercom.

Nature Hamster gives direction to the horn section through the intercom.

The Shake – A – Hamster Band is a group of KVSC Alumni and area musicians that gather during Trivia to create trivia related tunes based on popular songs. We look-in as they are rehearsing a funk-based song. The band features drums, bass, two guitars, keyboard, vocals, and a four piece horn section called the Power of Sauerkraut.

LiveBlog: Trivia 2013: A Space Oddity

Follow the action of Trivia weekend here

34th annual 50-Hour trivia marathon is based in St. Cloud, MN but teams play all over the world

34th annual 50-Hour trivia marathon is based in St. Cloud, MN but teams play all over the world

You can listen to the contest, which runs from 5 p.m. Friday until 7 p.m Sunday, by visiting KVSC.org and using there tune-in link. #Triviaweekend Facebook

The Goat Posse will be releasing productions throughout the weekend. Sometime after they air they will be posted online at GoatPosse.com

You can watch the Goat Posse as they work by visiting GoatPosse TV

UTVS, the campus student TV station has built an amazing set this year and they can be seen here.

Don’t miss the Goat Posse’s “Captain to Captain Show” when they takeover the airwaves for two hours of the contest on Saturday February 9, 2013 from 7 p.m to 9 p.m.

Finally, the awards ceremony will be broadcast live on radio, television, and online on Sunday February 10, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Read a summary of the weekend here

The Whole World is Flying to Oshkosh

‘World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration’ underway

Overhead at EAA AirVenture, the largest fly-in anywhere. Courtesy: EAA

Seven Days, 10,000 aircraft, 500,000 people, eight air shows including one at night, 800 exhibitors, and over 900 registered media are all you need to know that the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (July 23-29) is the world’s largest fly-in and convention.  Continue reading

One if by Land, Two if by iPad

Non-commercial pilots have historically been the early adopters of technology for use in the cockpit; however the iPad has been a game changer. You see your iPad is not only a cool thing to watch movies on; for the last few years pilots have been using it as a portable moving map display. Before the iPad and other tablets, having a moving map in a light aircraft has been prohibitively expensive.

Now companies are making technology to enhance the performance of the iPad in the airplane as demonstrated by the unveiling of Stratus, a wireless GPS receiver for use with iOS devices . Sporty’s, the largest pilot shop in the United States made the announcement at Sun ‘n Fun 2012 last week. The receiver connects to the iOS device via WiFi for use by an app called Foreflight. The iPad has changed the way pilots manage their navigation information, as the paper charts that visual and instrument pilots use to navigate have mostly been reduced or eliminated. That has saved weight and time flipping through books to find the right chart while flying the airplane. I can hear the trees cheering. Continue reading