AAA for Boats

Not being a boat owner, I had never thought about what happens if you should break down.  I suppose if you were out in open water, the Coast Guard might be an option but to be honest I have no idea.  When you are on Lake Washington, I guess there is a towing service available.  I saw this boat bringing someone back into Kenmore.  I assume they had broken down and needed help getting back.

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Take Your Pick When Refueling

The F-105 Thunderchief (or Thud) is a beast of a plane. Sadly I never got to seem them in action.  One is parked outside at Cavanaugh in Addison TX.  Its camo is a bit bleached by the Texas sun (it was just over 100 degrees the day I arrived and that was towards the end of the afternoon).  The thing that caught my eye, though, was the refueling receptacle or, more specifically, receptacles.  USAF aircraft have the flying boom refueling system.  This was not always the case and jets like the F-100 had flight refueling probes for the hose and drogue method.

I assume that the Air Force was in a transition mode when the F-105 was being designed so they had both.  On the upper side of the nose there is a ramp for boom refueling to take place.  Below that on the port side is a retractable refueling probe for hose and drogue use.  I didn’t realize that any jets had been built for both (aside from the UK and French E-3s which are a bit larger and more able to accommodate the extra kit.  I wonder which one was more regularly used since the techniques for each type differ.

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Turtles Fighting for Space

The pond in Point Defiance Park was busy with ducks everywhere but they weren’t the only occupants of the water.  There were quite a lot of turtles, particularly given how small the pond was.  There was one rock in the pond that appeared to be the best spot for a turtle.  It was fully occupied.  A couple of other turtles seemed to be interested in getting on but the inhabitants were not intent on sharing and they were “discouraged” from joining.

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Cascades or Buckets?

Watching a bunch of arrivals at Vancouver, I got a lot of shots of aircraft reversing thrust.  Current jets fall into one of two categories.  Cascade reversers or bucket reversers.  The bucket reversers aren’t quite as obvious as those fitted to the old 737-200s where they clamped across the whole exhaust but the effect is much the same.  Bucket reversers look like they are doing the job to me.  They hang out and you can imagine the flow being turned around as they power up.  Cascade reversers are far more subtly as the nacelle translates aft and the flow is redirected out of the based of fins that is now exposed.  I imagine they are similarly effective but I have no data to back that up.  If someone knows more, please let me know as I am genuinely interested to find out.

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Pacific Bonsai Museum

Located in Federal Way, the Pacific Bonsai Museum is not the easiest place to find.  It shows up in my GPS but, when you arrive at the turning, the signage is either too small for me to spot or nonexistent.  I turned in to the entrance, more as an act of faith.  Once on the access road, there were signs but then you drive for a long time before you get to the place.  You do start to wonder whether it is a spoof.

Once there, though, it is worth it.  Entrance is free which was a surprise, particularly given how good the trees were.  Everything is outdoor with the trees displayed in groupings around the space.  Backdrops provide some visual separation and information boards explain their individual histories as well as telling a little about the styles of Bonsai and the history of the art form.

Individual plants are intermingled with compositions that involve many plants, sometimes over fifty different plants being incorporated into one display.  The sizing of some of these is carefully tailored to give an increased sense of depth.  The bases are also chosen to emphasize different elements of the plants.  As with any activity, when you find out a little bit more about it, you discover just how much complexity is involved.  Old trees are not as important as those that appear to be old apparently.

The place is very impressive and, if you are in Federal Way, definitely give it a look.

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Astar Over My Head

These shots are from a few years ago.  I had the privilege to spend a day with the late Alan Purwin during the filming for one of the Transformers movies in Chicago.  I got to fly with them on some of the shoot but I also was on the ground when they went off on part of the filming.  I put myself directly ahead of the Astar when they took off and Alan buzzed me.  I noticed when going through the images that the cameraman was tracking me with the stabilized mount on the nose as they flew over the top.

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Fish Selection

This post is about fish.  No other reason than I was running through some shots and came across these pictures from the Ocean Coast Aquarium in Newport OR.  Taking pictures of fish through thick aquarium glass is a bit of a crapshoot as the distortion can be bad and the potential for reflections is high.  Since fish can be so fascinating, though, I always give it a go.  Most of the shots turn out to be disappointing but a few work out.  Some of the fish have happy looking faces (allowing for some anthropomorphizing) while others look sullen.  You can let your imagination run riot.

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Cavanaugh Air Museum

I have been to Addison in Texas a few times recently for work.  The trips have been pretty much in and out with little spare time so I have not been able to check out the Cavanaugh Air Museum before.  On a recent visit, though, my flight got in at a time that meant I could get there for the final 45 minutes that they were open.  Not a lot of time but better than nothing and the temperature was over 100 degrees so being out for too long was not going to be fun!

It was a quick trip around but still fun.  Some nice examples of aircraft in the hangars and a few interesting bits outside.  The intense sun meant they were hard to photograph and I wasn’t going to hang around out there too long.  The ramp was reflecting the heat even more so it was roasting out there.  Lots of nice stuff but the F-104 and the pair of A-1 Skyraiders were probably the high points for me.  The painting gallery was also well worth a look and it was in the air conditioning so definitely a welcome spot.

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Seattle Post Intelligencer

The Seattle Post Intelligencer was one of Seattle’s newspapers before we moved here.  I used to read some of their work on the aviation business but they sadly went out of business a few years ago.  We were watching a program about Seattle on TV and they showed this building near the water with a globe on the roof.  This was the old building for the paper.  When we were up the Space Needle, it was easy to pick the building out.  I think it will have to be visited at ground level before too long!

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A Pair of Douglas’s Finest

The Lyons Museum included a few larger types in the hangar.  At one end they had both a DC-3 and a C-47.  While notionally different types, they are in principle the same aircraft and one that Douglas churned out in huge numbers.  The DC-3 was configured in a slightly more comfortable way than the C-47 though.  Troop transport was not a luxury business.  Get as many people and bits to where you are going as you can.  The paying passengers were a more demanding crowd and the interior is designed to make them feel like they were being treated accordingly.  Either way, they are both great looking aircraft.

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