Saturday, March 31, 2007

Gotta Be The Shoes

I promised myself that this was going to be the first picture I posted from AirFest, but then I forgot about it until now. Some guy was actually wearing these shoes today. I think these were what let the planes find the crowd whenever they lost their bearings... Does Nike actually make shoes like this in this color scheme, or did this guy have them custom-made to go with a Marvin Martian costume at Halloween?

Almost Full

We interrupt this plethora of AirFest posts to show you this picture of the moon. It's almost full, so I'm going out tomorrow night to try and get some serious shots of it when it actually is full. I also hope to get it when it's just up above the horizon, so it's still got that beautiful color to it. But here's a little teaser from tonight. I need a new tripod, mine is too wobbly...

AirFest 2007-Part Four

See, they had civilian aircraft at AirFest in addition to all the military hardware. Here is the well-known Skyfighter, an all-styrofoam glider designed to infiltrate enemy territory without a sound and entertain their children.

AirFest 2007-Part Three

Ah, here are the paratroopers I mentioned in my first post for AirFest. They're streaming out of the back of this, umm, KC-135 maybe? I'm terrible with the names of these planes. I'm sure someone will chime in and tell me what's what. I'm too tired at the moment to look it up and see what it was. There's a better picture of just the plane below if anyone really wants to try and ID it. I know they had one of these on the ground that you could walk through. But this post is about the guys falling out the back there. Pretty cool, eh?

AirFest 2007-Part Two

I mentioned paratroopers in my last post, but these aren't the same guys. These folks are fancy hi-precision parachutists, which you probably can tell because of their fancy parachutes. Plus, most ordinary paratroopers don't fly flags... These were actually the very first act to go on at AirFest. Well, there were some radio-controlled airplanes flying around at the same time, but they flew off and on all day. These parachutists were actually on so early that they brought them back later in the day for all the people who missed them the first time around. So I've got more pictures of them that I haven't even seen yet. (The light was a little better later on, so I'm hoping those pics look better.) What else can I tell you about these guys? I don't know much. I think they are part of Special Operations Command, thus the USSOCOM on their chutes. I've got the pictures reversed, since the US flag guy came down first, and then the tandem pair with the Florida flag. After that they had flags for each of the 4 branches of the armed forces, one guy with a POW-MIA flag, and then I think the last guy down had a special USSOCOM flag. After a while, they all started to blur together. Oh, they trailed pink smoke for a while, but I didn't like most of the pictures that showed the smoke...

AirFest 2007-Part One

As promised, I went to AirFest at Macdill AFB today. It's going to take me several days to get up all the pictures I want to share, as well as several hours to get them on the PC from all the memory cards I used... But before I get to the planes, I just wanted to remind you what it's all about. It's about the men and women who are fighting to keep this country free. You may or may not agree with what's going on overseas with our armed forces right now, but we have to stand behind those men and women and make sure they are taken care of, because they are taking care of us. These fellows were waiting their turn to do a parachute jump, well, actually, first, they were going to demonstrate what they were going to do in the plane for the people on the ground to see, then they were going to jump. They were on the flatbed so that they could get to the demo area quicker. I happened to catch them during the playing of the National Anthem.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Oodles Of Doodles CCXIX

In honor of the NCAA Final Four basketball championship this weekend, which the Gators are sure to walk away with, here's a collegiate doodle. I couldn't find anything basketball related, but at least I got college and sports in there. This furry banjo picker hails from the flipside of East-West Collegiate Singers-College Songs (Spinorama MK 3014). I like it because it's simple and to the point. Nothing fancy about this one.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Goin' Back To Cali

Well, I guess I'm committed now. I bought my plane tickets today. I'm going back to California in June. Berkeley to be exact. I'm going to visit my friend who lives out there and who has been trying to get me to come out for years. My first trip was about four years ago for his wedding, which was when I took the picture above. Well, not actually at the wedding, but a couple of days after it. I'll be out there for a week, which should give me plenty of time to get around and take a couple of pictures. I hope it's as beautiful as I remember it.

Oodles Of Doodles CCXVIII

I came across this LP today, and I loved these little doodles. They're from the front of the record, which is odd, and it's a classical LP, which is even odder. I think it's also the first record I've shared a doodle from that happens to be classical, and on the Vanguard label. So it's a whole collection of firsts. These are all from Anton Paulik Conducting The Vienna State Opera Orchestra-Hi-Fi Hi-Jinks With Strauss (Vanguard SRV-104). The front cover claims this was a demonstration record showing the great sound produced by Vanguard Quality Control. No mention is made of Stereo, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this predates 1958 and the introduction of the mainstream stereo record.

See Spot Run

You may remember last week when I showed you some images of my CMOS sensor down inside my digital camera. It was covered in spots that were showing up on my images as little shadows. Well, I got my cleaning kit today, and Voila! No more spots! Or at least not as many. I can still see a few along the top edge, but nothing like I was shooting through before. Now I can shoot the Airfest this weekend, and not worry about having to touch up each and every one of my photos afterwards.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Airfest Is Coming

Airfest is this weekend at MacDill AFB! I'm so excited. They haven't had one since 2005, so I need to get my fix of air hardware. There're few things more heart-stirring and patriotic than seeing these jets in action. The shot above is from the 2004 show, featuring the Blue Angels. I'm still not sure why they had the Navy precision flying team at an air force base, but whatever. The 2005 show featured the Thunderbirds, and I believe they are back for this year as well.

UPDATE: I was mistaken. It is the Blue Angels this year. So once again, we are faced with the odd conundrum of seeing the Navy fliers at an air force base.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Some Art For You

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm always finding odd things inside of record sleeves that don't belong there. Here's another case in point. I've already forgotten what record I found this cardboard flexi-disk inside of, but I do remember that it had nothing at all to do with Art Linkletter. The disc in question is Art Linkletter-'Would You Cheat A Child?' (American Seating Promotional Cardboard FlexiDisk 33.3 RPM), and you can download and give it a listen by clicking on the name there. I'm sure many of you are familiar with flexi-disks, but if not, follow this link and educate yourself. I'm not sure what the date is on this record. Art's House Party TV show was on the air forever, from 1952 to '70. And the company he's shilling for here, American Seating, is still around and going strong, so that's no help on a date. This isn't the most exciting recording ever in the history of the world, but I'm sure there are people out there who like this sort of thing. And if you should stumble across this post, I hope you enjoy it.

The Last Week Of March

Here's the calendar page for this, the last week in March. These flowers come from one of my favorite flowering trees, the Bombax. Each year in February, these huge trees explode in red blossoms, each one the size of your hand. It's really quite impressive.