Sunday, March 26, 2006

Remembering Flipper

(click to BIGGIFY)

Thirteen years and 31 days ago,
my flight instructor went for a routine
solo check flight, after maintenance.
Somehow, between the time he took off
and the time he landed,
he had engaged the parking brake!
The instant his wheels hit the runway.
the wheels were locked up,
and this absolultely beautiful work of art
flipped over on its back
and was completely destroyed.
It doesn't look so bad in this photo,
but there was not an unbroken part on it.

Thankfully, the pilot was unhurt.
Except for his pride.
I didn't fly with him after that.

Needless to say,
since it was my airplane,
it was not a good day for me.

I sent the pile of pieces
back to the Waco factory
and had them build a fresh one for me.
They rebuilt the pieces of the broken one
and sold it to a guy in Germany
who had it for about 10 years.

About six months ago,
I got an email from another German pilot
who said he was interested in buying my old airplane,
and heard that it had been wrecked,
and did I have any photos of it at that time.
I replied that I had some photos,
but that my scanner was FUBAR
and that I would send him the photos
as soon as I got my scanner fixed.

I didn't move too fast on that scanner fix,
and in the meantime the guy bought the biplane
even without seeing what the wreck looked like.
I guess it would be like wanting to see
what your girlfriend looked like before her nose job.

Yesterday I got my scanner fixed.
So I got the photos, scanned them and sent them.
Click on the small photo for a closeup!

From that day forward,
we referred to that instructor as


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Yeah, but you should see what the OTHER kids look like!

(click to see BIG photos of the other kids)

Yup, that's me as a scout,
about 50 years ago.
Why am I treating you to this rare photo?
Long story.
My scanner has been FUBAR for a couple of months,
and I just installed a replacement today.
One of the oldest jobs waiting to be scanned
was a couple of very old photos
that I wanted to send to the
50th reunion
of my elementary school.

So, if you want to see what
all the other kids looked like
just click on my photo.

I remember some of the faces
like it was yesterday,
but many of the names are lost to me.
But I bet I'd remember them if I heard them again.

San Diego in the Snow!

Click on the photo above
to see San Diego with snow!
Photo taken this month.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Sounds of the Sea

Hey, check it out!
This blog now comes equipped
with the sounds of the sea
free, with every visit.

Too loud? Can't hear it?
Fiddle with your volume!

I keep the continuous play
turned low as soothing background
while I work.

Try it!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

It's a fine St. Patrick's Day,
here in Southern California:
raining, cold,
dark and miserable.
Typical Irish weather.

Perfect for quaffing a pint o' Guinness,
in a pub full of friends.

Wish you were here!

But because you're not,
here's a few traditional Irish blessings
straight from the heart:

May the lilt of Irish laughter
lighten every load,
May the mist of Irish magic
shorten every road.
May you taste the sweetest pleasures
that fortune e're bestowed,
And may all your friends remember
all the favors you are owed.

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

May your home be filled with laughter,
May your pockets be filled with gold,
And may you have all the happiness
Your Irish heart can hold.

Walls for the wind
A roof for the rain,
And drinks by the fire.
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all that your heart may desire!

Hills as green as emeralds
Cover the countryside,
Lakes as blue as sapphires
Are Ireland's special pride,
And rivers that shine like silver
make Ireland look so fair --
But the friendliness of her people
Is the richest treasure there.

it's the one place on earth
that heaven has kissed
with melody, mirth
and meadow and mist.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Inspirational Quotes

There's a new feature added to this blog:
Look on the sidebar to the right
just above the Google ads.

5,000 inspirational quotes
in this ticker are sure to keep you
coming back for more.

Thanks to reader Barry Barker
for letting me know about this
free service.
Get yours at

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New Money!

New Ten Dollar Bill, above.
Old Ten, and the Old, Old Ten, below.

There's nothing like new money!
I mean *really* new money...
never touched by human hands,
fresh and crispy,
clean and germ-free,
and it's even better when it comes
in a brand new design.

If there's a special advantage of being
a director of Landmark National Bank
it's got to be that I can order up
some of the good stuff.

Thanks to global counterfeiters,
the US has taken to redesigning our money
with new security features,
and this new Ten is loaded with them.
Check out how we make it tough on the bad guys.

These new tens are nice,
but my all-time favorite is the Two dollar bill,
which always brings a smile when
I give one (or several) as tips!

Driver (me) carries maximum of $20 in cash!

With credit cards, cash is becoming obsolete.
And soon enough, credit cards will go the same way,
replaced with RFIDS and fingerprint readers
in our cell phones,
and we'll all be flying around with
personal jet-packs...