I found some additional pictures that fit in with the first post, so I’m posting those before we move on to some of the other rides.

Upon arrival
Upon arrival

The lower level of the carousel featuring the sea dragon
The lower level of the carousel featuring the sea dragon

The view from the top level of the carousel
The view from the top level of the carousel

the Flare, heading up... I'm guessing some of us are on it, but cannot tell for sure.
the Flare, heading up down… I’m guessing some of us are on it, but cannot tell for sure.
Lori and Grandpa Ron
Lori and Grandpa Ron

Way back when (oh, about a year or more ago) we had promised the kids that we would go and spend a day enjoying the rides at Kemah Boardwalk.  Grandpa Ron’s visit, coupled with nice weather and Ben being able to take a day off work seemed a propitious time to fulfill that promise and enjoy a great day of fun together.  Rather than one big post (which I’ve started a couple of times but keep running into technical difficulties), I’m going to make this into a bunch of posts, so bear with me.  On Thursday, April 10th we made the trip, purchased all day ride passes for all (well, we did make Grandpa Ron buy his own pass) and had a great time.

Here we go with pictures and stories…

The first ride that we went on all together was the Ferris wheel.

 

the girls on the Ferris wheel

 

Lori and Davison up in the air

 

Daelynn and Danaya looking out

 After the first ride, we sort of split up.  Lori and Grandpa Ron took the young lads to the double decker carousel. The girls headed off to one of the more exciting rides – the Flare, which I don’t have a good picture of (but you can see it in the background in this picture – it’s the loop structure in the background).  And despite it looking like Brock has face planted a post, he survived the ride just fine.

Dad and Brock on the Ferris wheel

I caught the girls getting off the ride, which they seem to have survived. The lineups to get on this ride (and just about all of the others) were just about non-existent, so it was usually a matter of getting off, walking around the ride, and then getting back on again. We (not including Lori, Grandpa Ron, Davison and Brock) went on this ride a bunch of times. It was a little stomach churning, and there were times when you hung motionless upside down, but it was great fun.

They’ve survived “the Flare”

But back to the carousel…

Riding the top deck…

 

IMG_1660.JPG
Thanks goodness for seat belts!

And that is it for post 1, the iPad isn’t handling the pictures and editing all that well, so we’ll see how quickly I can get the next post up.

 

i spent the day today at a customer briefing day with Dell.  The day is ending at the Dell corporate suite at NRG Stadium watching two of the NCAA March Madness tournament.  The first game is UCLA vs Gonzaga; the second game being Duke vs Utah.

Some of us were here at the stadium at the rodeo a couple of weeks back.  It’s quite amazing the difference from the large dirt span back then to the court now.

   

 

Spring is being quite fun this year (albeit pretty rainy).  In the picture the tree on the right is in our back yard, while the two farther to the left are in our neighbor’s yard.  I think the dark pink one is a peach tree.  I have no idea what the tree in our yard is, but it dropped a lot of leaves and pods into the pool over the past few months.

On Christmas morning (after we opened stocking stuffers, but before we opened presents), we sang some songs, read a scripture passage and then did a wee bit of reminiscing about Christmas’ past. Here’s the video of the reminiscing part.

Hmm, according to my thesaurometer, I’ve already used up my quotient for the year for the word “reminisce”.
Ben

One of our family traditions is to open stocking stuffers during breakfast on Christmas morning (and to make sure everyone has a few small stocking stuffers). Part of this tradition is that the Huber guys get one or more matchbox cars as part of their stuffers. For your enjoyment is a timelapse video of our fun Christmas morning breakfast together. The young man in black with his back to the camera is Rett, who was able to spend a couple of weeks with us around Christmas this year.

I opened one of my regular gifts before breakfast, as I knew that it was a kit for the iPad which provided a tripod mount for it. I setup the iPad on a tripod, and kicked off the time lapse video recording, taking one shot every 5 seconds. Post video, there was some additional doctoring done to slow to down a bit (extending the video from the original 35 seconds out to about 2.5 minutes, adding some old video artifacts, and a (questionable) soundtrack.

Hope you enjoy it! Today we’re hoping to head off to Galveston and to hit Rudy’s BBQ with Rett.

One of the areas at Space Center Houston that the younger set enjoyed was the kid’s play area, with an Angry Birds theme. Many thanks to Daelynn who took most of these pictures.


When dealing with the gallery format, you can get the full picture by double-clicking on it which opens a window with full gallery mode (which also allows you to comment on individual pictures). Enjoy!

The second stop on the tram tour was at the Rocket Park. Out front, they had some older rockets which were used for early Mercury missions and to push early satellites into orbit. The big feature was inside the building, where a Saturn V rocket was on display. This is the rocket that got men to and from the moon back around the time that I was born. My photos from this part aren’t really complete, as I was engaged in some other creative work, which will show up in one of the next couple of posts. But there are pictures of people here who you know and love, so if you want to find out more about just the rocket side, there’s some good sources on the Internet.

Picture of US flag on rocket fuselage
Rocket fuselage flag
This is a picture of the lower fuselage (I’m sure there is a more ‘rockety’ term, maybe ‘Stage 1 ancillary exterior’).

Picture of girls being silly
Mikaela, Kiersten, and Heidi
Picture of girls being silly
Heidi, Mikaela, and Kiersten
Picture of kids
Ethan, Heidi, Mikaela, Kiersten, and Brock
By this part in the tour, the younger ones were done with reading exhibits and walking slowly.

Picture of Saturn V rocket
The view from near the top
Picture of Saturn V rocket
Looking down the length of the Saturn V rocket
A couple of pictures trying to capture the size of the rocket.

Picture of F-1 Engine placard
Rocket facts
Some facts about the Saturn V rocket.

Picture of Lori and the girls
Lori, Danaya, and Daelynn
Some of my most favorite people in the world.

Picture of Lori, Daelynn and the Saturn V rocket
Lori and Daelynn look at the details
Picture of Lori, Daelynn and Saturn V rocket
A larger view
Picture of people looking at rocket
Danaya, Dad, and Daelynn check out the nose section of the rocket
And to finish off this particular post, here are some pictures of us looking closeup at the rocket. These pictures were taken of the top of Stage 2 showing the fuel (or possibly oxygen) tank, as well as looking up into the next stage. I haven’t taken the time to really understand how this rocket worked, but I’m guessing that the big open space that we are looking at was where the lunar lander was located during the trip into space.

This was the second and last stop on the tram tour, I think I have two more posts and then we’ll be done with Space Center Houston.

Ben

On the tram ride, there were two buildings that we stopped to tour. This post is about our tour of the
Space Vehicle Mockup facility. We were pretty happy to get there, as we were all pretty cold from the Tram cross-campus trip.

Picture of sign
the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility
This building is one that the astronauts use to train on different space vehicles, mocked up in real life. The tour consisted of walking down a second floor hallway with full glass windows overlooking the facility. I didn’t see any astronauts, but took pictures of some of the other nifty things.

Picture of Soyuz training capsule
Soyuz capsule
The Soyuz capsule is the current way to get to and home from the International Space Center. (At this point I need to make the caveat that the knowledge being shared here is not extensively researched, but is from my memory, so while I believe it to be the case, it may not be strictly true). It is launched on Russian rockets from Kazahkastan, and currently is the primary vehicle to and from the ISS.

Picture of Brock at SCH
future Astronaut Brock
I’m not sure what to say about Brock, other than he and I stuck closely together during the tour.

Picture of SCH facility
Non-cutting edge stuff
Some of the things, particularly the work areas didn’t look really cool. You’d probably never try and sell lockers as “designed and used by NASA”, but I guess to keep costs down, you don’t really need outer-space looking designer lockers, computers, screens or tools.

Picture of sewing machine
NASA approved sewing machine
On one of the tables, were two of these sewing machines. Just image the sales pitch that you could come up with for those… “Singer sewing machines, used by astronauts for holes in their suits, just imagine what they could do for you”.

Picture of vehicle docking training apparatus
Vehicle docking trainer
This particular item was used for training in docking vehicles. Apparently, the docking apparatus has to be pretty versatile, as I guess you don’t want to bounce off it, or dock haphazardly in space. It looks less unwieldy (maybe you could say “it is more wieldy”) than the apparatus seen elsewhere used for docking supply ships to Skylab.

Picture of NASA cool stuff
Robotic prototypes
I didn’t quite catch the tour guide’s talk about these, but I’m thinking that they are different robotic prototypes that were in development at some point, or are really great and will be used going forward.

Picture of weird NASA stuff
Quadtaur? Centquad? Decoy?
Here is a bigger picture of the quad-sort of thing. I’m not sure what use it would be, other than the obvious quad like functionality that it seems to have. Do you talk to the robot front half of the machine? “Let’s go a 2.3 miles southeast, but watch out for barbed wire”. Do you pull on his ears to steer? The seat also looks a bit uncomfortable for bouncing around the lunar landscape.

PIcture of NASA robot
Book reading robot
I also am not sure the functionality of this particular robot is or was. The tour guide talked about how sensitive the touch and movements were in that the robot could turn individual pages of a book. Come to think of it, Brock can do that too!

Picture of NASA Orion capsule
Orion capsule
This one is interesting as it is one of the new Orion capsules, the first of which they just flew on its first test-flight this week. It is supposed to be the next version of NASA space vehicle, likely more functional and comfortable than the old Mercury and Apollo capsules ever were.

Picture of NASA space habitat
Space habitats of the future
These were possible future space habitats, maybe picture them on the surface of the moon or Mars, or the pages of a Popular Science magazine from 30 years ago. I guess if you are going to live on the moon you have to sleep and eat somewhere. They seem like they would feel a little constricting though.

Picture of NASA space buggy
NASA space buggy
This is a possible vehicle for getting around some distant planet, moon or asteroid, maybe while wearing a bulky space suit. The tires and undercarriage seem like massive overkill- they remind me of the wheels and tires that we used to install on cultivators (an oversimplification of my Dad’s business while I was growing up). It would have been fun to have seen someone trying to drive this around, but alas no astronauts were training that day. I guess that astronauts get Saturdays off as well.

That wraps up the first building of the tram tour. Please forgive any mocking tone that you detect while discussing NASA technology. I’ve heard (but need to get this post done without being sidetracked any further, so am not researching this) that the computers in the space shuttles were 386 computers, like the one that I bought in 1990. Given that the last one flew in 2011, that’s pretty old technology.

I didn’t get a picture of this, but one of the strange things about driving around the Johnson Space Center campus were all of the classic-type bicycles (i.e. pre-dating 10 speeds, anyone remember those?) parked around the campus. My take is that people use them to get around the large campus from building to building, or maybe ride them from their cars to their offices. There certainly wasn’t room for any of them to hop on the tram.

Ben

Right after we arrived at Space Center Houston we needed to find bathrooms. Right after the bathrooms, we saw the lineup for the tram ride, which was leaving in just a few minutes. So, we decided that it would be good to go for the tour.

Picture of crowd on the SCH tram
Getting ready for the tram ride
So, this is all 14 of us on the tram. We took up the front 3 rows of one of the cars. Prior to getting on the tram, we had to have our picture taken as a group for security reasons, possibly since we were going on a tour around the Johnson Space Center.

Picture of Dad in the picture
Tram selfie
Ben figures that he should be in on the picture as well.

Picture of kids on SCH tram
Happy campers on the tram
At this point everyone is pretty happy, once we go out into the wide open spaces, and the blowing cold everyone got pretty cold. Being used to Houston weather, I don’t think that any of us were dressed warmly enough.

Picture of Heidi and Kiersten
Heidi and Kiersten
At this point, you are probably wondering if this post is only pictures taken of people on the tram, while they are still happy because they aren’t cold yet. You’re right! More pictures coming up.

Picture of Kayli and Mikaela
Kayli and Mikaela
We (or rather I) hadn’t read the description of the tram tour, or understand that there were actually two different tours (we took the blue tour, but there was also a red tour available). This particular tour made two stops where everyone got off and went into a building for a tour. But those details will be part of future posts, so I won’t cover them now.

Picture of kids on SCH tram
The front row
Huber boys and face-making, I just don’t understand it. Also, did you see Danaya and Daelynn in the background taking a picture of themselves?

Ben