Number 27 - See an Erupting Volcano

Climbing the final leg on foot, you feel a small rumble and then hear a tremendous roar as you climb, Yasur is greeting you. What a sight to behold.

Number 49 - See both Solar and Lunar eclipses

And while it was not total in Brisbane (83%), it was a strange thing watching it through the solar glasses seeing a massive slice of the sun missing.

Number 98 - Take part in a Demonstration

Remember, remember! The fifth of November. The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!

Number 11 - Storm Chase a Tornado*

Partial complete, but an amazing experience even as they were "Rain Wrapped". Huge epic storms with beautiful structure and powerful lightning.

Number 67 - Visit... The Grand Canyon

A lot of things that are "Must See" have a habit of being quite overrated, this is not one of those things. Truly epic in size and scale, the helicopter is a must.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Number 19b: Taste the "Top 10" Vodka's in the world

Completed 24 December 2015 - 23 April 2016.
10 Vodkas - 7 Countries.

Vodka has always been one of my "go-to" drinks, from the early days of mixing it with soft drink or orange juice through to nowadays when I'll drink it neat or on the rocks (or in the case of cheap Vodka, with ice and water). So I thought why not go full pretentious and import and taste the top Vodkas in the world.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Number 14b: Watch all of the James Bond movies

Completed 9-11 November 2015.
23 Movies - 3 Days, Duration: 48.25 Hours.

This is the first thing completed off my "Bonus Round" list, a list I decided to create where I could add new things I think of that might be fun or exciting without cluttering up my base list.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Number 92: Own an Original Work of Art

Completed 17 February 2015.
Think Tank, Issue 6 / Page 20 - Rahsan Ekedal.

This one started off in a very different way, I was originally looking at your normal types of original art, like paintings, photography and other design work and while there were some interesting ones, there wasn't anything that really grabbed me or worth the insane price tag that came along with it.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Number 94: Get Something Named After You

Completed 10 August 2014.
Gamble's Theorem -

How, oh how was I to complete this one?

"Get a star named after you." Everyone said, unfortunately as an astronomy nerd I know how little they actually mean. For the record (and I hate to completely ruin the romance here) all those star naming companies, are basically not worth the paper they are written on.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Number 11: Storm Chase a Tornado

Partial Complete Attempt 12 May 2014 - 22 May 2014.
Tempest Tours: Tour 3 - Base Camp: Oklahoma City.

Heads up, this might be a long post.
Now with my love of the extremes of Mother Nature this was always going to be something I would do. Planning started well in advance, probably a good 18 months before the trip was actually set for, with looking at companies, watching flight prices and planning the entire trip to America. So flash forward and the trip was planned, you can read more of the general details here.

Fly to L.A., Fly to Vegas, Fly to Tucson and finally on to Oklahoma City. Finally I was there and ready. 

12 May 2014
So I headed to the base hotel from mine, and waited in the lobby and it wasn't long before you could start to tell who was also there for the same thing. With a few initial introductions done, we were all taken to a small conference room for official introductions and instructions. We met our tour director - William (Bill) Reid and drivers - Bob and Rook as well as all the other guests. 

With that we were into it, now the first few days were fairly quiet storm wise, however we still take in a number of sights, cities and towns such as:
  • Monument Rocks,
  • Joplin, MO - the site of the 2011 EF5 tornado, 
  • Walmart!
  • Gorgeous sunsets,
  • Awesome abandoned houses in the middle of nowhere, 
  • Cruising through the Rocky Mountains (complete with snow, which I didn't pack for),
  • Incredible scenery and beautiful country towns.
Monument Rocks

17 May 2014
Our first real day with a chance for some storms to pop, and we did get a little taste in eastern Colorado with a few good shots taken, but nothing too dramatic in the way of supercell storms. 

18 May 2014
Again a day where there was some slight chance of some cells developing, so early in the day we were playing the waiting game, visiting Lost Springs, Wyoming (Population: 7), some abandoned farm houses and general photography practise. 

Chilling reminder that people live with this threat
A cell really started to pop north of us, so that's where we went, but by the time we got their it was fading fast and the another one back south was going up, so back down we went only to catch the tail end. Although we did subsequently catch a nice night show.  

19 May 2014
Another day and now we were really getting into the thick of it. Lots of chances and lots of big beautiful storms that put on an impressive show in the Nebraska panhandle.

20 May 2014
This was the day with the second highest potential for storms for the entire trip, and it did not disappoint. Multiple supercells, impressive light shows, 2 inch hail and some great photo opportunities. The howl of the hail core as it approached was something I'll always remember. 

21 May 2014
This was the day, it started looking like a significant storm day 4-5 days in advance and the SPC (Storm prediction Center) had put up a small warning area showing 10% chance of tornadoes. The entire group was excited and eager to get going from our hotel in Ogallala, NE towards Denver/Fort Morgan, although it seemed like the entire chasing community had the same idea on the day.

Around 14:00 the SPC issued Mesoscale Discussion 640 advising of hail and tornado chances increased in the Denver metro area which aligned with out direction of travel a little two perfectly. The one thing you don't want during a chase is to be stuck in suburbia where the roads don't give you straight long paths to travel and instead give you short roads that curve around not giving you a lot of opportunities to chase.

We stopped for around 10-15 minutes in central Aurora, CO to watch what's called a "Tornadic Mesocyclone". When the tornado sirens started wailing, it became real and quite an eerie experience. It's a situation where it becomes real and you realise that people live here and have to live with this situation on a constant basis. Suddenly, instead of you crossing your fingers for a tornado to drop, you cross them and hope that if it does, it's not in the middle of suburbia.

We got a move on and headed out of the direct path of the storm to take in the size and scale of it, I must confess in my storm chasing experience I've never seen a storm with as much "Greenage" as I saw on this day.

News report from the day, confirming 6 tornadoes
22 May 2014
Our last real chase day, so we headed south through Colorado and into Texas where there was a slight chance of some type of activity. The landscape was much different through Texas, a lot more dry and dusty. The visibility was really low at a couple of points throughout this chase, although there was a pair of gustnadoes while exploring an old abandoned church and also a possible slight tornado (dust cloud leading up to a funnel cloud) however with visibility so low and dust everywhere it was difficult to confirm.

So all in all, I'm counting this as a partial complete as we didn't get that clearly identifiable tornado profile and that iconic shot. An incredible experience that I'll happily repeat to get the shot and to mark Number 11 as complete.

To Be Continued...