More Flights of Fancy, and some difficult news.

Last weekend I was in Northern Virginia and on my way back from the Bull Run battlefield I noted an exit for the Udvar-Hazy Center which was very close to my hotel. I popped in with camera to check it out. It was 90 minutes from closing, so I was unable to see the entire museum. I did capture some highlights however:

An F6F flies over.

The sole remaining Do 335 in the world.

The sole remaining Ar 234 in the world.

A P-38 with Patina

A rather historically significant B-29

You don't see P-61s around too often.

It was really a dash, with inadequate equipment (I really should have had my monopod for better shooting in the low light) but it was an interesting place that I’ll have to return to some time. You can see the rest of my shots here.

My life all went awry later when I received a call from home with Sue informing me that her mother had passed away. This news was both shocking and upsetting. Sue’s mom just spent several weeks at our home, on her usual summer trip to visit family, and she looked better than I’d seen in years. In fact she had accompanied Chris & I to the airport when I left for the east coast, as Chris was dropping her off at King Street station to ride the Cascades down to Portland to visit her brother next on her trip. Sue was beside herself, as you would expect.

It always seems that things like this happen when I’m away on business trips. šŸ™

Thankfully my new employer is understanding and compassionate, and in short order I was able to change my travel plans, cutting short my stay in northern Virginia. I’ll return again sometime soon however.

A day off in Northern Virginia

National Airport

I’m on the east coast this week, in Northern Virginia to be specific, visiting my new employer‘s facilities. As I have some downtime over the weekend, I figured I’d hit some sights that I’ve never seen. When I was a child I had relatives in Maryland and visited all the major sights of the Capitol: the Lincoln and Washington Memorials, the Capitol, and of course the Smithsonian museums. This time I decided to drive down to Manassas, the site of the first major battle of the US Civil War. I brought my camera along so I could share.

I stopped at a few sites of minor skirmishes, but the main battlefield at Henry Hill provided the best photographic opportunities…

The guns of the Union Army line.

An odd 1930's statue of Stonewall Jackson done up in what can only be called Stalinist/Superhero style

Guns of the Confederate line

Where Bartow fell

The Union Memorial, erected right after the war

Henry Hill

Where Thomas fell

Rickett's guns

Where Ramsey fell

After Manassas I drove to the Capitol and stopped along the river to shoot low-flying aircraft (seen above) and then over to the Jefferson Memorial. I’ll post those images soon.

On the roadā€¦

On the Road Again...

OK, so I haven’t really been on the ROAD, so much as up in the air, or in a hotel, or working at my new gig. Apologies dear readers, for the dearth of updates, and the complete lack of “car photo of the day” posts. I am at home now after spending two weeks in northern California being immersed in my new job. Facebook is a very cool company to work for, and my new colleagues are awesome.

My time home here is really just a “touch & go” visit, as I arrived back very late on Friday (actually Saturday morning!) and will be flying out to the east coast on Tuesday afternoon. While I’m here I’m taking care of household issues. While I was gone the skylight over our “sun room” sprung a leak during the first rain in ages, and caused the back room of our basement to collect some water. It is as if the house knows we’re leaving and is throwing a fit. Yesterday I bought sheets of polycarbonate twin-wall to replace the 30+ year old poly sheets, and this morning Nick & I were on the roof replacing it. I did a better job of installation, using silicone sealant and bonded washers on the stainless screws. It should last another 30+ years.

I’ve also finished the complete dismantling of the BioDiesel refinery out in the barn (Sorry Bruce!) so now we’re ready to move when I come back from the east coast.

Hopefully the east coast datacenters will be less distracting than my visit to Silicon Valley, where meetings at HQ interrupted my time in the facilities learning the Facebook way of doing things. If so, I should be able to have some time in the evenings to post to the blog here. (sound familiar?)

OK car geeks… where was the above photo shot?

Car Photo of the Day: Flights of Fancy

I’m flying today, so here’s some airplane pictures for you. (though the lead image has a car in it!)

I’m going to be in a 737 from SEA to SFO, but these photos were taken somewhere in between those places, notably the Evergreen Air & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. Chris & I stopped there on our father-son roadtrip last summer. The photo above is the mount of a MoH recipient.

I love this photo of Chris and an early Grumman Navy jetā€¦

Inside the museum you’ll find some iconic American hardware, that when you look at them and realize they are contemporaries of Packards and Pierce-Arrows it sort of blows your mind…

A truly iconic visageā€¦

ā€¦as is this one.

The drop-tank of this ME 109 has an inscription in German: “Return to a Post Office for a 10 RM reward.”

OK, here’s one for the car- er… plane-spotters in the audienceā€¦

Everyone recognizes the 1:1 scale Supermarine Spitfire, but what’s that model under its wing? Can you name that plane?

Here is an image taken while poking my head out the top of a B-17. The enormous tail structure is fro this museum’s most famous exhibit…

ā€¦the Hughes H-4 Hercules Flying Boat, aka “The Spruce Goose”:
The H-4, wingtip-to-wingtip

I was very proud of myself for being able to capture the entire wingspan of the world’s largest aircraft.