Skip to main content

MetLife Blimp Returns

The MetLife blimp returned to Orlando this week to be a part of the Arnold Palmer 2011 Invitational  being held at Bay Hill (right across Apopka/Vineland from Sandlake Hills, where I live). While I have absolutely no use for golf, I was certainly happy to see the MetLife blimp return.

MetLife Riding High
MetLife Blimp, March 2011
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/1000s, f/5, ISO 100, 83mm, manual

MetLife Blimp Mooring Shot (11/365)
MetLife Blinp, January 2011

I wrote about the MetLife blimp last January. As you can see from the second photo, the little MetLife had a complete livery change, up in Tennessee. While I will miss Flying Snoopy, I certainly think the new livery is better, certainly brighter and more cheerful. With white being the predominant color, it will certainly stand out while in flight.

I'm curious about the flight characteristics of the blimp now that the sides are mostly white, instead of mostly dark blue. White absorbs far less heat than dark blue. Will it take more helium to achieve the same buoyancy? And if there's more helium in the blimp, will it handle any differently? These are questions that came to mind after I left.

MetLife Nose Detail
MetLife Blimp Nose Detail
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 123mm, manual

MetLife Port Head-on
MetLife Port View, Head-on
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-200mm
1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 50mm, manual

MetLife Starboard Rear
MetLife Blimp, Starboard Rear
Olympus E-1 with Sigma 30mm
1/1000s, f/5, ISO 100, manual

MetLife Tail Detail
MetLife Blimp, Tail Detail
Olympus E-1 with Sigma 30mm
1/1250s, f/5.6, ISO 100

MetLife Gondola Detail
MetLife Blimp Gondola Detail
Olympus E-3 with Zuiko Digital 50-2000mm
1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 158mm

MetLife Head-on
MetLife Blimp, Head-on
Olympus E-1 with Sigma 30mm
1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 100, manual

MetLife Helium Stores
MetLife Blimp Helium Stores
Olympus E-1 with Sigma 30mm
1/4000s, f/2.5, ISO 100

I didn't meet Airship Bill this time. There were two different pilots this time. One of the ground crew told me that they were flying tomorrow over the golf game, along with a video camera operator. Since I live on the west side, and work on the east side, I doubt I'll see it in flight.

But maybe, if I drive by early enough in tomorrow morning, I'll get to see it lift off.


The photos were taken with two cameras, an E-3 with the 50-200mm and the E-1 with the Sigma 30mm. When I post-processed the E-1 images, I was surprised at the rich colors produced by the E-1, colors that seemed richer without any post-processing than those produced by the E-3. The E-3 turned in a stellar performance, but the E-1, under the same lighting and the same subject, was just a little bit better. Nearly everything was taken with both cameras in manual mode, except for gondola and helium bottle photos. The helium bottles were taken with the E-1 in aperture priority, and the 30mm was opened up as far as possible until the shutter speed hit 1/4000s, the E-1's maximum. I wanted the background as much out of focus as possible.


Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.