Saturday, September 23, 2006

Calvert "Lowell" Williams, 1922-2006

Sad news.
The man who taught me to fly has passed into the next life.

Lowell Williams (he's on the right, that's me on the left) is pictured here on his birthday in 1994, with a P-51 Mustang, all painted up with his name and squadron numbers to match the Mustang he flew in WWII. A bunch of his friends chipped in and bought him his first ride in this great aircraft in almost 50 years. Boy was he surprised!

Lowell Williams saved my life countless times, and he also saved me from wrecking my biplane (which he truly loved) even more times, all during the time he was trying, patiently, to teach me how to fly, safely, professionally.

Lowell accompanied me as safety pilot on my trip with N250YM (the second Waco) from the factory in Michigan, in the summer of '94, the long way (6 weeks!) back to California via Philadelphia, my college reunion in Maryland and a fly-in gathering of Wacos in Creve Couer outside of St. Louis MO. We eventually got back and I learned a ton about flying from Lowell on that trip. And I gained a lot of confidence.

Lowell and I went on other long distance flying tours when I was still learning to fly. During these trips, Lowell would never touch the controls, except in the rare case where damage would have occurred within seconds if he did not touch the controls. This happened almost every flight at first, and then every other flight, and then one in ten, and by the end of the summer it was none at all. I felt "graduated".

Next he taught me aerobatics! That was Lowell's specialty.

I couldn't have had a better flight instructor.

We became good friends.

He was a great, yet humble and quiet man.
He let his actions speak for him.
I never met a single human being who didn't like Lowell.

Aye, Lowell, we're going to miss you...

For more photos of Lowell and his friends,
click here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

New Mikie's Fun House T-Shirts

After an enormous amount of planning, scheming, design,
re-design, and re-re-design ad nauseum
the new t-shirts have finally arrived and have been
parsimoniously doled out to very special people who have
distinguished themselves in one way or another as being
someone who deserves such an honor.

It has been 13 years since the last Mikie's Fun House t-shirt,
and all supplies were exhausted long, long ago,
and my current MFH t-shirt wardrobe is quite tattered
and no longer presentable in formal sitations,
so I had to bite the bullet and get some new ones.

The design for the front was a last minute inspiration.
The five stars do NOT represent a military theme
(some people immediately think 5-star general)
but rather the Attitude of First Class.
The highest rating for hotels and restaurants is 5 stars.

The design for the back is a slight modification of
the Waco Airplanes neon sign that hangs over my desk,
and the wooden prop that was on my open cockpit biplane
when I flew around Europe for 3 months.

For much bigger graphics of these two images,
click here (caution: 10MB file).

The excellent design for the back was done by Tom Voss,
who was referred to me by Adam Rowe.
The printing was done by Custom Logos in San Diego,
with the able assistance of Darren Golden, the salesrep on the job.

The shirts were ordered in two basic colors, gray and blue.
And in long sleeve and short sleeve.
And in S, M, L, XL.
With all of those combinations of size, color and sleeve,
and only 144 shirts in the total order,
it's amazing how fast I ran out of some selections.

Those few friends who have worn them in public
have mentioned that they get lots of positive comments.
I think it is primarily because of the 5 stars!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Changing the way changes are tracked...

Lots of changes to the website lately.
In fact, I've even changed the way I keep track of changes!
Now you can find a list of all changes to the main website at
this link.
This new (blog) format for keeping track of changes will allow you to subscribe to the RSS feed and be notified immediately of changes to

Check out this excellent site:

It's not what you might think.
It's not about hickeys, bitemarks, scratches, etc.
Seriously. Check it out.
It's G-rated,
and could be good for your business!

Another example of "community" on the Internet.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

They are real, and they are Spectacular!

Click photo for more info on my computer system

Pool shooting buddy Dan visited yesterday
to help install my new dual Dell 30" monitors,
and they are spectacular.
Dan is a total genius when it comes to computer stuff.
He is head geek at a
video game software development company,
so what he doesn't know about this stuff doesn't exist.
He made it painless and did a great job.
So I gave him some chocolate chip cookies
and a Fun House t-shirt.

How do I get so lucky to have such good friends?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mikie's Multiple Mongo Monitors

Two things I can't get enough of:
horsepower and monitor space.

I upgraded the former a couple of months ago,
and today I upgraded the latter
with TWO 30" monitors for a total
of 8,192,000 (yeah, over 8 Million) pixels.
And I intend to put every one of them to good use.

This setup will complete the long overdue upgrade
to my computer system.
These two monster monitors will replace my existing
three 18" monitors and provide double the monitor real estate.

My head may explode!