NorCal for the model aeronautically-inclined

Flying the UMX Radian at Belmont

Flying the UMX Radian with Ryan

This is a guide and a preview to upcoming articles I’ll be publishing, on Northern California through the eyes of a New Yorker, with an inclination to see things from a model aeronautic perspective. It is similar to my model-aeronautic take on Ogunquit and its  bipolar beach. Here I’ll examine various Napa Valley and Sonoma vineyards on their applicability to flying, while accompanied by my brother’s family. I’ll show you where to find legitimate flying fields manned by AMA chartered clubs, as well as secret flying places that fanatics frequent. We toured San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, Half Moon Bay, Point Lobos, Fort Ord Dunes State Park and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Useful pictures are uploaded to Wikimedia, for illustrations on various relevant Wikipedia articles, continuing my series of Wiki Vacations (from here and there). Some pictures here link to their full-resolution images on Wikimedia, as I only upload pictures up to 2048-pixels-wide to WordPress.

Continue reading

Posted in Being a Wikipedian, Photography, RC Planes, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cello sheet music: Adagio from Bach Organ Toccata

Folks, more free Bach cello music can be found in this new article. It is part of the Clean and Free Sheet Music initiative I’ve undertaken.

I took a detour from my usual Bach cello suite transcriptions this time. A while ago someone on Reddit posted a question asking for identification of music. It was a recording of Mstislav Rostropovich playing the cello for the Emperor of Japan, at the White House in 1994. The first piece at 0:37 caught my attention. I swore that I knew this music well – I could hum along ahead of Rostropovich. But I could not recall what this was. The music stuck in my head for days. The mystery drove me crazy.

I tried all sorts of “find the music” magics online, including by singing, by humming, by audio file, by playing on a on-screen keyboard, by entering notes explicitly, and by typing in the contour (shape). Nothing worked. Clearly this was a famous cello piece, but I just could not find it.

Not until I randomly searched for “Rostropovich” and various terms, that I hit the right combination of words. In hindsight, I could have found it in a few minutes, with just “Rostropovich adagio”. It turned out that this piece was actually Bach’s organ toccata, BWV 564. Pablo Casals transcribed it for the cello, and apparently it was one of Rostropovich’s favorite pieces.

Continue reading

Posted in Cello, Free Sheet Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is a Doob 3D Selfie?

Last year my family visited the miniature park, Madurodam. We had ourselves scanned at the Fantasitron, and subsequently our 3D selfies printed by Shapeways. I was so impressed that I wrote an entire article about 3D scanning, stereophotogrammetry and gypsum-based 3D color printing. We have since found another venue for making 3D selfies, this time in New York City. The company, Doob, delivers an impeccable service, starting from the first moment we made an appointment online. This smooth and professional experience extends to email reminders, in-store consulting, and actual 3D scanning. It concludes with flawless 3D-printed figurines delivered to our house.

Doob 4-inch 3D Selfies as received

4-inch 3D selfies as received from Doob

However, Doob as a company is rather secretive about its scanning process and 3D-reconstruction software. It is almost impossible to find any information about its 3D printing process. Unlike Madurodam and Shapeways, Doob offers no technical details on either its American website, or the English version of its main German website.

Hopefully this article will help answer some of the most frequently-asked questions folks may raise, concerning Doob 3D selfies. If you come across this article, make sure you first read the one about Madurodam/Fantasitron 3D selfies, to understand the basic concepts.

Continue reading

Posted in Being a Wikipedian, Drawings and Paintings, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Allemande from Bach Cello Suite 1 (BWV 1007)

This is one of the free and clean Bach cello music I am making available, as I transcribe them. See the parent article for context.

Here is a clean sheet showing only notes. You can print it out and add your own bowing and fingering marks. Click on the image to go to the PDF file.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Allemande Notes Only Icon

Click to see PDF sheet music

Following is my own markings. These most likely won’t work for you.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Allemande Fred Annotated Icon

Click to see PDF sheet music

Cheers.

Posted in Cello, Free Sheet Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prelude from Bach Cello Suite 1 (BWV 1007)

This is one of the free and clean Bach cello music I am making available, as I transcribe them. See the parent article for context. This is one of the most well-known piece, and as a result was the first I played. But it is the last one I entered into Sibelius.

Here is a clean sheet showing only notes. You can print it out and add your own bowing and fingering marks. Click on the image to go to the PDF file.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Prelude Notes Only Icon

Click to see PDF sheet music

Following is my own markings. These most likely won’t work for you.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Prelude Fred Annotated Icon

Click to see PDF sheet music

Cheers.

Posted in Cello, Free Sheet Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3D selfies made in Fantasitron at Madurodam

Writing a computer program to map 2-dimensional drawings to 3-dimensional models had once been my obsession. This stemmed from the endless hours I spent drawing, by hand, orthographic projections of 3D models, and vice versa. While this was condemned as a chore universally by my classmates at Escuela Técnica No. 28 in Buenos Aires, I quite enjoyed it. After my family moved to New York, I no longer had to make these homework drawings. Instead I wrote a C program to generate 3D polyhedrons from 2D polygonal views. The long paper I wrote alongside this program won the gold medal at the New York Math Fair.

3D Selfie in 1:20 scale scanned at Madurodam and printed by Shapeways

A 3D Selfie in 1:20 scale designed at Madurodam and printed by Shapeways

That seemed like a lifetime ago. In between then and now, algorithms had been invented to generate 3D models of people in color and with great details, all from simple 2D photos. But it is only in recent years that such technologies started to become commoditized. Just a month ago, Elisha and I stepped into, for a few seconds, a photo booth the size of a restroom, at the miniature park Madurodam. Three weeks later we received an exquisite 3D selfie printed by Shapeways.

3D selfie in 1:20 scale on a coffee table in a living room for size comparison

Where is Waldo? Find the 3D figurines on the coffee table next to the cello

One can be forgiven for thinking that the two 3D figurines in the close-up appear to have been given blurry faces. Look at this picture of the living room, and think again. Those figurines stand only 3.6 inches tall. They are on the coffee table next to the cello, and are guarded by the mouse in a funny hat holding a candy cane. They are tiny, and the resolution of facial lines is stretching the limits of gypsum-based 3D color printing.

Continue reading

Posted in Being a Wikipedian, Drawings and Paintings, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Minuet 2 from Bach Cello Suite 1 (BWV 1007)

This is one of the free and clean Bach cello music I am making available, as I transcribe them. See the parent article for context.

Here is a clean sheet showing only notes. You can print it out and add your own bowing and fingering marks. Click on the image to go to the PDF file.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Menuet 2 Notes Only 2016

Click to see PDF sheet music

Following is my own markings. These most likely won’t work for you.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Menuet 2 Fred Annotations 2016

Click to see PDF sheet music

Cheers.

Posted in Cello, Free Sheet Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gigue from Bach Cello Suite 1 (BWV 1007)

This is one of the free and clean Bach cello music I am making available, as I transcribe them. See the parent article for context.

Here is a clean sheet showing only notes. You can print it out and add your own bowing and fingering marks. Click on the image to go to the PDF file.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Gigue Notes Only Icon

Click to see PDF sheet music

Following is my own markings. These most likely won’t work for you.

Bach Cello Suite 1 BWV 1007 Gigue Fred Annotations Icon

Click to see PDF sheet music

Cheers.

Posted in Cello, Free Sheet Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Droning at and around Ogunquit Beach

This article is a part of the Ogunquit in September Guide I am writing, for the model aeronautically-inclined. It is the main and the last installment in the series. Together with the modern beach equipment installment, it details everything you will ever need, before you head out to fly a drone or two in this beautiful beach town.

My main interest in this trip was to fly RC planes by the ocean. To that end, I booked a suite at the Norsemen Resort, and for the second half of the trip a room at the Cliff House. This allowed me to fly my planes on a whim, at the Ogunquit Beach and later on a perilous rock formation at the Bald Head Cliff, without needing to plan for these activities. One moment I would be drinking my morning coffee on the balcony just after sunrise, and two minutes later I would be out there flying my micro sailplanes.

During the day I walked or drove to nearby oceanfront locations, to sample what this place had to offer. These day trips took me to popular tourist attractions such as the Marginal Way. They took me north to Wells Beach, Drakes Island Beach, and then farther to Gooch’s Beach, right next to president Bush’s compound. They took me south to Cape Neddick where I visited both the Long and the Short Sands Beach, plus the famous Cape Neddick Light.

Points of Interests around Ogunquit

Points of interests around Ogunquit

Continue reading

Posted in Being a Wikipedian, Photography, RC Planes, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ocean Terrace Rooms at Cliff House

This article is a part of the Ogunquit in September Guide I am writing, for the model aeronautically-inclined. This installment is about the Ocean Terrace Rooms at Cliff House, near Ogunquit. We stayed at this place during the second leg of our trip. And I had a good time flying my model sailplane, while standing on perilous rock formations, with multi-person-tall waves pounding on these same rocks.

Cliff House at Bald Head Cliff

Cliff House at Bald Head Cliff

We called the booking service of the hotel directly when making our room reservation. The agent convinced me to book a room at the highest floor available, for it afforded the best view of both the ocean and the cliff, despite its higher room rate. But I read afterwards on TripAdvisor that some of the rooms on the higher floors actually had balconies with partially blocked views. Some rooms were situated directly behind other buildings, so they looked over ugly rooftops instead of the ocean and the cliff.

I agonized over this issue before the trip. The uncertainties tortured me. There wasn’t much useful information and pictures to be found online, to ease my mind.

Those who have read the previous article on Tidal Rooms at the Norseman can be forgiven for thinking that I have the buyer’s remorse syndrome as a chronic condition. This article is born after the trip, partly because I am anal, and partly because I want to help the next guy in my situation.

If you landed on this article during your research for a room at the Cliff House, then you have found the right resource. Most of pictures showcased here are taken by Elisha Huang.

Continue reading

Posted in Being a Wikipedian, Gourmet, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment