Picture of the Day and “Mayday”

Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge
Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge, Oregon

“Mayday, Mayday!”

An air traffic control tower suddenly lost communication with a small twin engine aircraft. A moment later the tower landline rang and was answered by one of the employees.

The passenger riding with the pilot who lost communications was on a cellular phone.

He yelled, “Mayday, mayday!  The pilot had an instant and fatal heart attack. I grabbed his cell phone out of his pocket and he had told me before we took off he had the tower on his speed dial memory. I am flying upside down at 18,000 feet and traveling at 180 mph. Mayday, mayday!”

The employee in the tower immediately put him on speaker phone and said,n”Calm down, we acknowledge you and we’ll guide you down after a few questions. The first thing is not to panic. Remain calm!”

He began his series of questions:

Tower: “How do you know you are traveling at 18,000 feet?”

Aircraft: “I can see that it reads 18,000 feet on the altimeter dial in front of me.”

Tower: “Okay, that’s good, remain calm. How do you know you’re traveling at 180 mph?”

Aircraft: “I can see that it reads 180 mph on the airspeed dial in front of me.”

Tower: “Okay, this is great so far, but it’s heavily overcast. So how do you know you’re flying upside down?”

Aircraft: “The pee  in my pants is running out of my shirt collar.”

Huntington Beach Airshow

p1010142bsmallSometime early this year of lat last year, I began seeing items touting an airshow involving the U. S. Air Force Thunderbird aerobatic team on the beach. Yeah, right. Well, last February (I think) an F-16 did a preliminary recon of HB — hmmm . . . maybe, maybe.

Well, this last weekend it became a reality.

Late Thursday morning I took Charlie (my wife) to an appointment at her hairdresser’s in Newport Beach. I returned home to read and wait for her call. About 1 pm I heard a tremendous roar and looked out to see a flight of jets (the p1010158bsmallThunderbirds) flying over our house heading southwest to the coast. It was their first practice flight over the beach for the Saturday/Sunday show.

Charlie called a few minutes later and I climbed into the car to pick her up. I saw a good deal of the jets practicing their maneuvers on the fifteen minute drive to the hairdresser and on the return pointed them out to Charlie. It was the first she had heard of their being a show and was thrilled to see the planes — and wanted to go.

p1010172bsmallI thought Friday, the practice day, would be best because the crowds would be smaller than those on Saturday and Sunday but as luck would have it Charlie wasn’t feeling up to it. Sunday was supposed to be cool so we decided to make the visit to the beach and show then.

Sunday dawned cool and moist. I had charged up her scooter (the same one we p1010200bsmalltook to Europe) and loaded it onto the Buick’s carrier. About noon we headed over to Mike and Sandy’s where we were going to park the car for a short, block and a half, “stroll” down Beach Blvd to the show.

After speaking with our friends for a few minutes, they were going to Long Beach p1010214bsmallto see a live theater show that afternoon and had already seen the airshow, we set out for the beach. Di had her British jacket and I had a USC hoodie and an umbrella in case it decided to rain — it decided to begin sprinkling just about the time we crossed PCH and got to the beach.

We missed the opening parachuting but saw several solo aerobatic acts and both of the jet aerobatic demonstration teams. In addition to the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds the Breitling Jet Team also gave an impressive demonstration. p1010228bsmall

Airshow Jets

The Breitling Jet Team flies the Czech built L-39C Albatros. The Albatros is a sub-sonic twin-seat military jet trainer.

The Thunderbirds fly the Lockheed Martin Fighting Falcon F-16 supersonic single-seat air superiority/ground attack fighter.

There was also a demonstration flight conducted by a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet.

At the airshow

p1010243bsmallThe weather turned steadily wetter and I quickly had to don my hoodie and unfurl our umbrella, but the rain was an inconvenience, not an outing killer — and we do need the rain.

We spent most of the afternoon around the Beach/PCH area and tried to stay away from tall people who could block Charlie’s view of things. She (I) bought a Thunderbird t-shirt and was most disappointed that she couldn’t get closer to the HB Police horses. p1010127bsmall

We were there for a bit over three hours and thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was the second time I’d seen the Thunderbirds. Dad had taken my brother and I to see the air races at Fox Field where the Thunderbirds were also performing. this was some fifty plus years ago when they flew the F-100 Super Sabre. The thing I remember most about that show was being able to walk up and “touch” some of the racing aircraft: P-51 Mustang, P-38 Lightning, F8F Bearcat, etc. I’ve also seen the Blue Angels perform.

p1010251bsmallWhen the Thunderbirds finished their show, we (and most everyone else) headed home. Many of those walking and riding their bikes were thoroughly soaked. Charlie got wetter on her scooter than I did walking. It took a few minutes to get the scooter secured to the carrier while Charlie waited in the car, but we still made it home by 4:30 pm. She changed into dry clothes while I made p1010272bsmallher a hot cup of tea.

And I, I poured myself a nice whisky . . . all in all, it was a very pleasant day.



The Trip — 2016: Part 4

First to baggage to pick up our suitcases and then to the surface to find our ride. She found us, because of Charlie’s scooter, and we were soon loaded into the car and bound for Hopton to the northeast of London. It was supposed to be a two and a half hour drive that morphed into a three and a half to four hour drive because of Friday traffic and a stalled lorry on a two-lane country highway — with Di and the driver nattering away about either Brexit or Trump for almost the entire journey.Trip - The Cedars

It rained a bit, but we missed the day’s downpours and safely reached The Cedars, the home of Gerry and Maria, Di’s cousins. (In Britain many houses are named and without street number addresses — good luck finding a place without detailed directions and/or local assistance. Their postal service survives with a rather esoteric system of postal codes, but I don’t know how, so I guess we can too.)

Gerry and Maria greeted us warmly, and with Gerry’s help I carried our bags to upstairs to our rooms. Yes, upstairs seventeen steps and then down one step and again down two steps — then the reverse to go downstairs. It’s a bit tough on Di, but she seems, with help, to be managing. She needs both her cane and rollator “wheelie” to successfully navigate the house but does so without complaint.

Trip - The CedarsWe had a nice dinner the first night and slept with no sign of jet lag. Part of this may be due to the excellent company, food, wine and whisky provided by our hosts.

If you think that American television these days spends too much time and effort on the election campaign, you might be surprised to learn that British television, and newspaper coverage, spends at least as much time and effort on Brexit.

If the term “Brexit” means nothing to you, here’s a brief explanation: the United Kingdom last Thursday (June 23, 2016) held a referendum on whether or not to remain in the EU (European Union) or to leave. BRitish EXIT.

To the surprise of many, if not most, UK citizens and politicians, pollsters and bookies the LEAVE side won: 52% to 48%. Some areas, such as metropolitan London and Scotland, voted heavily to remain in the EU and others voted just as heavily to leave.Trip - The Cedars

Even the bookies were wrong in their guesses as to which side would prevail. More money (the richer bettors) was bet on the “Remain” side, but more small bets (the poorer guys) were placed on the “Leave” side of the equation — “Leave” won the election.

The Prime Minister resigned; the financial markets were in turmoil; politicians, pollsters and pundits scrambled to explain the results; many Europeans said the equivalent of “Leave quickly”; and many “Leavers” were quite pleasantly surprised but unsure of what to do next. A number of disappointed (and possibly outraged “Remainers”) began signing an online petition to force another referendum.

A couple of days later the online petition was stripped of many electronic signatures for obvious irregularities such as several thousand signatures coming from British citizens living in Vatican City — with a population of about 800. Hmmm . . .

(to be continued)

Mother’s Day 2016 — Memories of Mother

Mother’s Day always brings a host of fond memories — and a few regrets.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, here are a few thousand words about my mother — Gladys AuBuchon (Wahlberg), 1912 – 2000.

Mother's Day
Mom’s Parents: John and Christina
Warroad, MN High School -- Class of 1930
Warroad, MN High School — Class of 1930

Mom's album7 3a copy

Mom with her best friend May and daughter, Joyce.
Mom with her best friend May and daughter, Joyce.












Clara, Mon, Esther
Clara, Mom, Esther
Christmas: John, Mom, Dad, Joe -- Buzz, Grandma Jo, Joyce
Christmas: John, Mom, Dad, Joe — Buzz, Grandma Jo, Joyce
Family in Warroad, MN
Family in Warroad, MN
Mom, Dad, John, Joe
Mom, Dad, John, Joe
Mom, her brother and sisters
Mom, her brother and sisters
Mom and Peggy Stoner
Mom and Peggy Stoner
Mom loved to hunt
Mom loved to hunt
Mom in Warroad kitchen
Mom in Warroad kitchen
Mom in Greece
Mom in Greece
At Joe's Wedding
At Joe’s Wedding
Mom, Joe, Di, Fer and Lola
Mom, Joe, Di, Fer and Lola
Mom at Knoll House
Mom at Knoll House
Mom in London
Mom in London
Mom at the Charlton House
Mom at the Charlton House
John and Mom in Japan
John and Mom in Japan
Mom with John's Mother-in Law
Mom with John’s Mother-in Law
Mom with her brother, Carl
Mom with her brother, Carl
Mom with grandkids, Mari and George
Mom with grandkids, Mari and George

Sunroom Cats – Watch the Birdie Show

Sunroom CatsOur two cats, Mist and Smoke spend a good deal of time in our sunroom. This room used to be our open-air patio — that is, it was outdoors and Mist and Smoke are indoor cats.

Now, however, they are allowed into the sunroom and can get some ten feet closer to the birds. We have lots of Mourning doves, hummingbirds, sparrows and similar birds and the occasional crow, Coopers hawk and squirrel. Sunroom Cats

In the morning they crowd the feeders and the ground under them. In the afternoon their shadows appear on the shade which my wife has lowered to prevent the sun from shining in her eyes.

Sunroom CatsMist, the female and smaller of our cats, finds these shadows fascinating. She watches them from the floor, the chair, the TV table and Charlie’s “wheelie/walker.” For about two hours, until shortly before sunset, we can find Mist, and occasionally Smoke bird watching while Charlie reads or watches TV. Sunroom Cats

We enclosed our patio and built the sunroom so Charlie would have a room of her own to read, play games, watch TV, drink tea, smoke and enjoy her garden. It’s nice to have a room that her cats also enjoy and can spend time with her.


Sunroom Cats

The Cat.

By Oliver Herford

OB-SERVE the Cat up-on this page.
Phil-os-o-phers in ev-er-y age,
The ver-y wis-est of the wise,
Have tried her mind to an-a-lyze
In vain, for noth-ing can they learn.
She baf-fles them at ev-er-y turn
Like Mis-ter Ham-let in the play.
She leads their rea-son-ing a-stray;
She feigns an in-ter-est in string
Or yarn or any roll-ing thing.
Un-like the Dog, she does not care
With com-mon Man her thoughts to share.
She teach-es us that in life’s walk
‘T is bet-ter to let oth-ers talk,
And lis-ten while they say in-stead
The fool-ish things we might have said.