Sunday, June 26, 2016


"The sun it did shine. it was too hot to play. So we sat in the house on this 98-degree day."

How hot was it? It was so hot outside today that both dogs ran past me out the front door this afternoon, then turned aroud and CAME BACK IN.

Can someone tell me why I moved here again? After a hour in the back yard with the weed whacker under this insane sun, I can't remember.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

More National Museum of World War Two pics

Their Boeing building looks like my room when I was a kid--airplanes hanging from ther ceiling everywhere. Only there aren't models.

Four levels of airplanes hung from cables, with observation decks so you can see 'em fairly close.

Above, this Douglas Dauntless looks like it's about to dive-bomb some Toyotas out in the parking lot.

And this Corsair--an F4U-4 variant--is coming in for a landing.

There's a beautiful Grumman TBM Avenger here, too.

You can look right down and into it's cockpit.
There's a gun-nose B-25 Mitchell here.
And a whole B-17.
The B-17, an E model, was one that crash-landed in Greenand during the war. It was recovered in the 90's and brought here for restoration. Story here.

And last but not least--a P-51D Mustang.

Head back into their other building--the main one--and they've got this C-47 on dispay that actually flew in here to be preserved after more than sixty years of flying military and civilian cargo.
This engine is ready to turn over again any time.
And it'g got a Spitfire Mk. V to keep it company.

And yes, all day long I was calculating the tensile strength of those cables...(My weight * xft of drop / long fall to hard floor if performed incorrectly...)

Great day...and just fifteen minutes by bike from my house now.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Another museum of note finally visited

Sorry for the ack of posts. Work's had me pretty busy as of late.

But today I skipped work and went to see these:

And these:

And lot's more stuff at the National World War Two museum, just a fifteen-minute bike ride from my front door.

More pics tomorrow, I promise. I gotta go out now, but these should whet your appetites (Excpet for Displaced Louisiana Guy and his brother Matt, who were just there, and Old NFO, who has been everywhere, including in the background of several of the museum's period Pacific War shots. (I'm pretty sure that was him standing next to MacArthur on the deck of USS Missouri when the Japanese formally surrendered.)

Great museum, great time. Anyone else wants to come see it, drop me a line.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Saturday treat

So Saturday, early in the afternoon, I'm roused from blissful slumber by a text from The Displaced Louisiana Guy asking my if I'd like to join him and his brother for lunch at Mothers Restaurant, a real New Orleans institution that I haven't been to yet.

My first thought was that they were down here for Saturday's scheduled parade, but they claim that they were really here to see the World War Two museum...not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-)

Traffic and parking being what they were, both because of the damned parade and because it's New Orleans, I just hopped on my bike and made the two-mile ride in little time. and I only had to kick two cars on the way for incursions into my right-of-way.

I got there and met them both outside, and then we stood in line to wait to get inside to stand in another line to order the food, in this case, three "Ferdi Special" po'boy sandwiches, which were messy but well worth the ride. Of course even without the food, the company made the day. It was a nice hour or so with two great guys and a welcome break from the housecleaning that I was just getting ready to start. And a bonus--no one stole my bike while we were eating. (It happens so often around here that you learn to be grateful every time you come back and actually find your bike where you locked it.)

Thanks for coming down guys, and thanks for the invite. I hope you enjoyed the museum. (And the parade if you stuck around for it. Hey, I'm not judging or anything...)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Eglin's pre-Century birds

Eglin AFB's Armament Museum sure has some beautifual old jets parked outside.

This Lockheed T-33 trainer taught a whole new generation of pilots how to fly jets.

And Republic's swept-wing F-84 carved it's niche in early jet aviation history too as a fighter and a nuke bomb carrier.

But the classiest of the old classics just had to be the North American F-86 Sabre.
If I could have one, it's be this one. No question. Chuck Yeager described it as the jet that flew like a prop fighter, only faster.

And here's an old Northrop F-89 Scorpion. You don't see a lot of these anymore, even in museums.

So many planes there...and so little time...and too much daylight for me to get one on my trailer hitch and tow it off to Louisiana.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

My fav...the F-105

I saw this one at the Eglin Armaments Museum, too--a Republic F-105D "Thunderchief", aka, the "Thud".
She's one of the few aircraft that is indoors, and she takes up much of the gallery all by herself and the surrounding display of weapons that she could carry.
I've always loved this plane and it's storied history of high-speed, low-level bombing and Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) suppression in Vietnam. It was a huge but lightning-fast single-engined monster that was originally designed to deliver nuclear weapons on one-way trips into the Soviet Union.
Many of you readers knew or read the books and blog of Ed Rasimus, who flew these in Vietnam. I couldn't help but think of him as I looked at and touched this aircraft. I remembered talking with him about efforts by F-105 pilots and the Collins Foundation to put one of these back in the air as a flying exhibit just like Collins has done with the F-4 Phantom and others. But the Air Force owns all of the F-105 airframes and refused to allow it, and when the proponents started lobbying Congress for it, the Air Force, in a fit of spite, ordered every single existing J-75 engine left destroyed by the driving of spikes through the compression chambers.

Sure enough, just a short time later, when I was talking to the museum staffer who maintains the aircraft, he told me that this one had a complete J-75 when it came in, and that a few years ago, he was ordered by the Air Force to spike it's engine. And he did. Until that moment though, he said, this one was essentially complete and in flying condition.

That ain't right.
Because fighters have guns, dammit.

It was said that the Thud validated the theory that if the Air Force built the world's longest runway tomorrow, Republic would immediately design a fighter that needed every foot of that runway to get off the ground. And the Thud needed a lot of room, and a water-injection system to boost thrust enough to get her and her full compliment of weapons in the air, but once aloft...look out, enemies of America.

I regret never having seen one of these fly. And no one else who hasn't already seen it ever will, either.

Friday, June 10, 2016

River Dogs.

It was hot yesterday, so after a morning vet appointment for Belle ($$), I took the hounds down to the river to play in the nice cool water.

Even Belle went in for a dainty wade.

Murphy was, of course, all in.

Belle can be trusted to just wander around off leash.

Murphy can be trusted Murphy. Sigh.

And he's on his way to Algiers...

Get back here, you blockhead!

It cooled them off, and Murph even earned bonus points for shaking dry right next to a large woman who was panhandling at the top of the steps. I don't know why he always has to shake next to someone even if he has to walk twenty feet to do it, but I tacitly approved this time.