Sunday, July 27, 2008

Favorite Airplane

As with colors and numbers, everybody has to have a favorite airplane. At least in the world I live in. To fight aging, my favorite aircraft has to be active. Nothing sreams old timer like a guy that claims the Fokker Dr.1 as their favorite...

Since September 2006, my last favorite aircraft has been retired. It is about time that I pick another.

But I digress. Lets look back into the relatively short history of Mikes favorite aircraft.

My first love was the Sopwith Camel. (Old timer!) Why you ask? Because that is what Snoopy flew in his many battles with the Red Baron. He didn't really fly one, it was his dog house, and he was a cartoon character.... But that didn't matter! If Joe Cool flew the Sopwith Camel, the Sopwith Camel was my favorite airplane. That would be my favorite airplane until I discovered libraries, the original internet.

When in elementary school we'd have library day every Friday or something. The memory is hazy. What I do remember, is that I would often migrate towards the books on planes, trains, and automobiles. One airplane caught my attention and lit my imagination on fire... The Convair B-58 Hustler.

Look at that thing. It screams bad ass! How could a young impressionable transportation geek NOT fall in love with it. As far as I knew, that thing could fly around the moon and back... In a second.

Sadly, they stopped flying before I was even born. (Our library was a bit out of date)

As I got older (6th grade) I determined that I needed an active aircraft to be my favorite. It came on slowly at first, but but it was cemented in the summer of 1986. Here is a video of the very moment I knew.

The F-14 Freakin' Tomcat! YEAH!!

Sidebar... I actually cried tears of joy watching that. No joke there is water in my eyes right now. I have seen that countless times and every time I get goosebumps and tear up. Often I will clap like a little girl. The intro to this movie actually make Kenny Loggins cool! Never has there been a better opening to a movie EVER!

This baby was big, beautiful, fast, and packed a punch. The swing wings put it over the top. For twenty years this airplane had my love, and it will never be forgotten. But as I mentioned above, it was retired in 2006. Iran still has active F-14s but I don't count them.

It is now time to claim a new favorite. I have narrowed my list down to five currently flying aircraft. The B-1B, F-15, F-16, F-18E/F, and the F-22.

The B-1B is impressive (all these are impressive), and with the swing wings hints of the F-14. Unfortunately as a bomber it just can't match the fighters when being tossed around.

The F-16 for a long time was my second favorite. I love its shape. It's downfall is the single engine. Blame the F-14, but twin exhausts out the back are much cooler. Even on cars.

The next three have my favorite things on a fighter in common. Twin tails and twin engines.

The F-15 is one loud, powerful, brutal beast. Seeing that thing takeoff, stay low then go straight up at the end of the runway is amazing. It's high speed flyby at the airshow was deafening. The age of them hurts its chances.

The F-18E/F comes in a close second.

It's demonstration at the McChord Air Expo last weekend was more impressive than the F-15s. It seemed very agile, they were tossing it around more. The fact that it takes off and lands on a carrier helps a bunch.

As of today, my favorite aircraft is the F-22 Raptor.

It has a ton going in it's favor. The newness, the power, the looks... No swing wing, but the thrust vectoring is really cool. I jut need to see it fly. They had two on static display at McChord but that just doesn't cut it. Standing still the F-15 looks much more menacing bristling with hardpoints. Since the F-22 keeps all that stuff internally it looks too pretty to be mean.

Nothing here is set in stone yet. For example, if the F-14 was to be re-activated (no chance), I would kick the F-22 to the curb in a heartbeat. No contest. Also, I have heard rumors of a 'new' Top Gun movie. That both horrifies me and excites me at the same time. 'IF' done correctly, it could put whatever airplane it features (the F-18E/F??) over the top.


Heads Up

Just a heads up... I created an easy address to find all my Flickr photos. That address is

Of course you can still get to the photos by however you were getting there before.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mariners Baseball

I just discovered one of my favorite things to watch Clyde do... Romp through tall grass. I could watch it all day.

Today I met up with a friend at the Marymoor dog park in Redmond. It has been a bit since I have been there and the grass was quite a bit higher than before. I would toss Clydes bumper into the grass and he would go after it like Pepe Le Pew after a black cat with a painted white stripe. Bounding, hopping on all four legs. Pretty quick you wouldn't be able to see him, all that would be visible was his tail sticking straight up like a periscope. He was having as much fun running through the grass as I was having watching him. It was a great time.

We ran enough that he slept the whole way home, and has been pretty quiet all evening. Double bonus.

Now, as I have titled my blog post Mariners Baseball, I will tie it all together 'six degrees of Bacon' style using the cartoon Family guy as a center piece.

Here is a video showing the Marymoor Dog Park.

This video was narrated by Gary Berghoff, Who played Radar O'Reilly on M.A.S.H.

On the TV show M.A.S.H. his co-star was Jamie Farr, who played Maxwell Klinger, the cross-dressing corporal. (one degree)

Jamie Farr guest starred on the Family Guy episode "Believe it or not, Joe's walking on Air". The Mayor of Quahog, the town where 'Family Guy' happens is named and played by Adam West. (two degrees)

Adam West is best known for playing Batman in the TV series way back when. One of the Riddlers henchmen in that TV show was 'Across' played by Jim Lefebvre. He wore tights. (three degrees)

From 1989 to 1991 Jim Lefebvre managed the Mariners. He was the first manager of a Mariners team to break the .500 mark in a season. He was promptly fired.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Heart Diamonds

Thunderbirs one through four in the diamond formation at the McChord Air Expo 2008.

Dragged the big lens down to Tacoma this weekend and shot the McChord Air Expo 2008. Took over seven hundred pictures that I have now culled to under seventy. When I am done I may only have twenty or less. Some were out of focus, some were out of frame, some just didn't look good, and many looked the same. (the camera will shoot six frames per second...)

I had a great time, but Iwas a bit sore from swinging my lens around trying to keep it pointed at my target.

Here are a few of my favorites, keep an eye out, I should have more up soon.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Bit Emotional...

My buddy Jeff pointed this video out to me the other day. Fantastic!

Four things that I love in no particular order. America, the NFL, aircraft, and Rich Eisen. Throw in some afterburners and Mike starts to cry.

Not too much longer to go!


Land Shark

Clyde eyes dinner out on the porch

Clyde looking to strike...

He really hasn't snatched anything off the table in quite awhile, but you still have to watch for the tongue. He has quite a reach with the thing.


Saturday, July 12, 2008


I figured out what Clyde has been up to when Carrie and I are at work... Check out this news report.

Wow. He has to be stopped.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

What I am Thinking...

Inexpensive patio tables are no match for ninety-plus pound Labradors... It is only a matter of time before we get our drinks spilled in our laps.

Home fireworks are still annoying... Some people can put on a good neighbor hood show, most can not. Three years ago the kids down the street put a hole in my garage door with a rocket, and showered my backyard with spent bottle rockets. This year a different set of kids started setting stuff off at 9am and didn't stop until midnight. REEEEEEEET! REEEEEEEET! REEEEEEEET!
Freakin' annoying.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tour de France Streetview

I used to be into the bicycle racing big time. No, not just during the Lance Armstrong years, I'm talking Bernard Hinault, Laurent Fignon, Greg LeMond, Charly Mottet, Sean Kelly, Lie Vie Claire, Systeme U, 7-Eleven, Roy Knickman and his hammerhead time trial style, Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, Jean-Paul van Poppel... (Sorry, name dropping, I'm legit yo.) I've watched hours of it on television and starred at the pictures in the magazines. Not until now has there been a greater tool for feeling like you have been there even though you have never been farther east than Denver.

Check this out...

View Larger Map

That is not your typical idyllic Pyrenees mountain scene, that is the Col du Tourmalet a wicked hell-climb that they will ride their bikes up this year.

This is possibly the coolest use of streetview that I have seen. You can click on the arrows and follow the route they will take across France. It looks like I'll be spending some free time this long weekend exploring!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sonics Leaving

I feel gutted and bitter.

In my mind the Sonics died the day that Nate MacMillan left to coach the Portland Trailblazers. That year I took my dad to game 5 of the first round playoffs vs the Sacramento Kings. They won, moving on to face the Spurs in the next round. The crowd was electric. Nate MacMillian, Mr. Sonic, had coached the team to its first playoff series win in quite awhile. The future looked bright that night.

Not long after losing to the Spurs in six, Mr Sonic was swept up by the Blazers. It has been all downhill since that day, culminating in the news that they are leaving for sure today.

I don't hold much hope for the Howard Schultz lawsuit. I blame him 1/3 for the downfall.

Clay Bennett can !!!! !! !!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!! my lily !!!!! !!!! !!!!! !!!! I am sickened that I actually thought at one time that he was trying to keep the team here. I don't have much more love for the people running the city of Seattle either.

The only good I take from the news today is that Seattle can keep the SuperSonics name and colors.



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