Category Archives: Uncategorized

Deer On Orcas Island

Our trip to Orcas included a fair few encounters with deer.  Sometimes this was while at the place we were staying.  They would wander through the yard.  If we came down the steps and they were behind a bush, they might just freeze and wait to see what we did before leaping off to safety.  Out in the parks, we would come across some while driving or hiking.  One was standing right by the road as we drove up and it didn’t care at all.  I wound the window down which, I thought, would spook it but no.  It actually nosed up to the car.  No camera at that point of course.

HMS Monitor

I didn’t even realize HMS Monitor was an exhibit at the Royal Dockyard at Portsmouth.  I was looking at something online and saw it mentioned as being alongside Victory.  Since I had some aerial photos of the docks, I decided to see if I had photographed it without realizing.  Turns out I did.  Not a large ship but an interesting one nonetheless.

Ten Years of the Blog

March 14, 2011 was the day I first posted something on this blog.  At the time I did it, I didn’t have any idea how things would develop.  Initially posts were sporadic.  I then started to have a post every other day.  I would draft them ahead of time – as I still do.  However, I was developing quite a backlog and transitioned to a daily post to get the backlog back under control.  I haven’t changed since then and still I post daily.

One thing I did was change the focus on odd days.  Having aviation related posts was not of interest to lots of friends and family so I decided to alternate between aviation and non-aviation themes each day.  This has proved to be a good formula for me given that the arrival of new subject matter can be erratic at times.  If you ask Nancy what I am thinking whenever we are out somewhere, the answer will be something along the lines of “thinking of blog posts that will result”.  What would have been a single post in the early days is now likely to be broken down into individual topics.

I have no idea how long the blog will continue.  Viewing numbers have been stable for a long time now but that isn’t really the purpose.  Now it is a personal challenge.  I am coming up on 3,000 different posts and that is something I would not have thought likely when it all started.  I haven’t used the same tracking system from the beginning so I can’t say for sure which is the most popular post but this is the one about a 767 that never was currently shows as the most read and the most read non-aviation post is about the desert side of Maui.  We shall see how long it goes on for.  Thanks for coming along on the journey.

What Is It With the Dorniers These Days?

The Pacific Northwest suddenly seems to have a bunch of Dornier 328Jet ops at the moment.  I posted here about one coming in to BFI.  I saw another one on the BFI ramp recently too and Paine Field had a visitor over the holidays.  The weather was pretty nice for this one when it showed up so I popped out to get a shot of it coming in.  I was not familiar with Taos Air.  They had made a couple of stops before arriving at Everett and departed for California shortly afterwards.  I wonder what the story was behind that?

Frozen Kelp

Previous posts have included some of the frosty scenes from the beach at Tofino during our visit there last year.  Aside from the logs, the strands of kelp that had become washed up on the beach were also frosted.  The kelp itself seemed to have maintained its moisture without being damaged by freezing but the surface had accumulated a layer of frost that looked really pretty in the early morning light.  As the sun got high enough to warm the kelp up, the frost was soon gone.

Blossom in the Neighborhood

The walk around the block was one of the things were were allowed to do when shelter in place took effect.  This started at a good time for the local flora.  As we walked up the hill near the house, we could see across to the grounds of a large plot near the street.  They had a row of bushes that were all in flower providing a beautiful burst of color.  I was carrying the small M6 but took a sequence of shots to stitch together.  I also include a few other shots of the flowering we saw walking around.

Will There Be Any New Posts If I Can’t Go Anywhere?

I write these posts as I think of them based on what has been going on.  They tend to get scheduled out ahead of time so I might write something weeks before it shows up on the blog.  As I write this, I am sitting in my local pub with a beer in front of me and a safe distance from everyone else.  COVID-19 is causing everything to be shut down (I hope this place stays open!) and the chances of going out and doing stuff are pretty limited.  I wonder what the near future will hold.  I anticipate that, in due course, the virus will run its course and things will return to normal for many people.  For some it won’t.  For others, the economic impact will change their lives significantly.  We don’t know what will occur.  I just hope it works out okay for as many people as possible.  Maybe by the time this posts, it will all be cool.  I hope so…

UPDATE:  Well, that was the last day the pub was open.  Things are definitely not cool right now.  We’ve been at home ever since and things have been pretty awful for a lot of people either medically, emotionally, financially or combinations thereof.  Another month of restrictions in our area so who knows what will come along.  All posts for quite a while will have a throw back element to them since, even when this ends, it will be a while before we have done much that is new.  Hang in there everyone!

Old British Locomotives

In the process of scanning so many old negatives, I come across shots that I had no idea I had taken.  When I still shot film, I would not go nuts taking shots but I was certainly willing to take a shot of anything that I found interesting at the time.  Since I had no idea that I was going to have a career in rail, I didn’t think trains would be very important.  However, I am an engineer at heart and any big mechanical items catch my interest.  It isn’t surprising that I found a few photos of trains.  Some of my old colleagues will find these of interest.  Others may just like them because they like trains.  My sister will probably like the Class 50 just because she used to commute to work behind them for a number of years!

IPMS At Museum of Flight

The IPMS has a gathering of their members for a display of their models each year at the Museum of Flight.  I went along to say hello to my friend Jim and to see what creations were on display.  While it is held at the Museum of Flight, it is not restricted to planes although there are plenty of those.  I was interested to see quite a number of rocket models including a great Atlas/Mercury launch pad diorama.

Everything was laid out on the main museum floor around the M-12 which is certainly not a bad background to have for an event.

Woodinville Skate Competition 2018

Not far from where we live in Woodinville, there is a skate park.  It is always popular with people hanging out be there skaters, scooter users, BMX riders or just people enjoying the park.  I have been meaning to walk down and watch some of the skaters but have not got around to it before.  However, last weekend, as we drove home, there was clearly something going on at the park so I decided to walk down and see what was going on.

I got there just in time for the beginning of the 15th annual Woodinville skate competition.  Loads of skaters had turned up to compete and they were warming up when I got there.  Indeed, the competition started shortly after I arrived.  They had a bunch of age categories.  The first to go was the 10 and unders.  They grouped skaters into pairs or threes and they had two runs of two minutes each in which to put together their based performance making use of as much of the park as possible and varying the tricks.

We had a brief downpour so, once the group had finished, they had a prize giving for the winners while we waited for the weather to improve.  This wasn’t the only weather interruption but, on the whole, conditions held out and the team did a good job of drying the park out when the rain stopped so that the competition could carry on.

Next came the 11-15 category.  The same format of competition with two runs each and there were a lot of competitors to get through.  The skill levels varied a bit but the nice thing about skating is that everyone is very friendly and supportive so they were all willing to not only do what they knew they could land but also to push themselves to try and get better tricks in.

There was a single group for the female contestants that came next.  Again, a mix of skills on show but again an enthusiastic approach to the competition and, with the conditions looking better, the weather was heating up as much as the competition.

Last to go where the 16 and over group.  Here you had adults in against the older kids (and one kid who was clearly not sixteen but was skating at a very high level.  The advantage that size brings in carrying speed and in athleticism showed itself with the competitors really making some impressive runs.

The finale was the best trick competition.  First the rail was used and everyone took it in turns to have a go at pulling of something cool on the rail without causing themselves unfortunate damage (although a couple came close to straddling the metalwork!)  Then it was over the car for the second phase.  By now the weather was beginning to turn so it was a race against time to get everything in.  When all was done it was time for prize giving.  Scoring for the runs was for the main prizes along with side prizes for best tricks during the runs and then the best trick competition itself.

It looked like a great time for everyone and I thoroughly enjoyed watching and shooting the event.  For those that were there, I have a  larger gallery of shots taken throughout the day which can be found at the link below.  At the bottom of the page are pictures of the winners after receiving their prizes.