Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial – A trip to Put-In-Bay

Put In Bay, from Perry Monument

It is 200 years since many of the American/British/Indian engagements on (or near) the Ohio Frontier occured.  This constituted the western front of the War of 1812. One of the significant battles was the Battle of Lake Erie, a naval engagement which took place on the western end of Lake Erie on September 10th 1813. The American success resulted in the cut off of supplies to support the British Dockyards at Amherstburg and Fort Malden,  both near the mouth of the Detroit River,  as well as the British army in Upper Canada, and their Indian Allies.  A month later on October 5th, it lead to the defeat of the British and Indian army, and the death of the Indian leader Tecumseh at the battle of the Thames in present day Ontario.

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1635: The Papal Stakes

Book Cover: 1635: Papal Stakes

1635: The Papal Stakes
by Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon

Series: Ring of Fire Series by Eric Flint

Publisher: Baen Books

Published: 2012

648 Pages

rating: 5/5

I have enjoyed reading the novels from the 1632 Ring of Fire series. It is kind of a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur Court series, but set in the turbulent time of the 30 Years War. A West Virginia town is plunged into the middle of the 30 years war. They have to adapt to the times, but more importantly, the times have to adapt to them. It is a time with traditions that tend toward the medieval, but is transitioning to the modern world with the Americas, Printing Press, Reformation. I’ve been listening to a set of tapes on the Late Middle Ages, where the lecturer concludes that the “Modern” Period has only just begun, in the late 19th early 20th century. This appears to be short sighted. My inclination is to place the beginning of the modern period much earlier than that, before the “Glorious Revolution”, and perhaps exactly at the time of the 30 Years War.

It seems like I’ve been waiting a long time for this book [Nearly 6 yrs?]. Papal Stakes continues where Cannon Law left off, covering May-August of 1635 in Italy. It continues from the Pope’s escape from siege, and Frank and Giovanna Stones’ imprisonment. It has two slightly connected story lines, the protection and defense of the Pope, and the rescue of Frank and Giovanna. Continue reading

A Balloon data acquisition system for the Raspberry Pi (part 1 of ??)

raspberry pi


I hope to fly a Raspberry Pi in a high altitude balloon as a data acquisition and logging system. An intriguing capability the Pi could add to a balloon payload is to host a web server and web page for testing, configuring hardware before and during launch, and to download data after or even before landing. Data could be accessed before retrieving the payload from the tree :), This is a first look at some of the software and hardware to support this effort. This could be considered a first draft as I have learned some things the require different choices in hardware. The Pi offers a low cost computer system. I’m using version A (2011) hardware with the Raspbian “wheezy” 2013-05-25 software image ( ).

Prototype Board

1st draft balloon prototype board.

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Fire with Fire by Charles Gannon

book cover

Fire with Fire
by Charles E. Gannon

Publisher: Baen Books

Published 4/15/2013

450 pages

series: yes? First book?

rating: 4/5

I recommend this book. This story makes extensive use of the hero’s  acute perception to successfully step through mine fields. It reminds me of Ender’s Game, which I read so long ago that I don’t remember much about it except that I enjoyed it immensely and its on my list of important SF books. It is not quite up to that level, but is an enjoyable read nevertheless.

This is a “First Contact” story. After a successful first contact with a less developed race, Earth is invited to join an interplanetary federation. But first, Earth must be accepted by the various factions of the alliance.

The intriguing technology of the story is “cryosleep”. It is used to kidnap the hero into the future, about 13  years, where he is shanghaied into the initial first contact mission.

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