A Day to Remember


It’s nearly midnight, and the end of a beautiful day . . . low 70s, a nice breeze, clouds lazily drifting overhead, and pizza.

I was sitting at the table, eating the last of the allotted slices when out of the corner of my eye I catch a movement through one of the smaller nook windows. Hummingbirds were out there dive-bombing each other, so I thought nothing of it, and I continued looking out through the sliding glass doors.

. . . and I see a bear calmly walk along the back fence of my lot. 

“Bear!” I yell as I get up and go out onto the deck. 

“Bear!” I repeat, since Melisa did not hear me. 

We both get out there and watch the bear climb the fence and drop into the neighbor’s yard. It looks around, and we notice he’s heading toward the court to our north. Children were playing in the yard of one house. 

We yell out repeated warnings, but they don’t hear us, or didn’t pay attention.

The bear double-backs into the yard of our neighbors to the NorthWest. He goes out of sight, and we hear a scream and the slamming of a door just before the bear reappears in the yard to our West. Luckily the two small dogs that live there were not out.

I ran in and call the Security company to let them know of a bear sighting.

You have to expect that this time of year.” So says the nice man on the other end of the call. “I’ll drop by to keep an eye on it.

Well, I’ve lived here nine years, and this is the first I’ve seen a bear in my yard. I don’t have pets or kids, but you know, I have one of them there soft fleshy exteriors. 

Melisa occasionally asks me why I always wear a gun, even when working out in the yard. From now on, “bear” will be my one word answer.

We were lucky; there are normally more kids out playing in the yards all around us. Not that this bear was aggressive. It looked to be scoping out the place, and did not seem frazzled nor concerned about our yelling. 

It headed West, toward the highway, going from backyard to backyard. I grabbed the camera, and went out onto the street. I was hoping to catch him when he crossed the road.

I stopped in front of the house at the end of our street and looked at a spot about 150 yards away, where I thought the bear might come cross. 

Then, I saw a rabbit booking not 40 feet in front of me, crossing the drive of the house. I knew why, and I backed up across the street. Sure enough . . . 

He's maybe 60-70 feet away . . . it looks young, which could be bad (they might not be so good at gathering food, and be hungry).

He’s maybe 60-70 feet away . . . it looks young, which could be bad (they might not be so good at gathering food, and be hungry).

But no . . . he just wants to keep moving.

But no . . . he just wants to keep moving.

Bear Bear

He looks small here . . . that's deceiving.

He looks small here . . . that’s deceiving.

Bear Bear Bear

He does cross the road heading out of the subdivision, and heads toward the highway (about a quarter mile away). But first, he must go through a few more yards.

Bear Bear Bear Bear

There are fewer houses and more trees across the highway . . . I hope he made it.

Meanwhile, perhaps I’ll not work outside in the evenings. At least not until winter sets in.

BUT . . . the day was not over!

We had just finished watching the new Doctor Who (meh) that we had recorded, and I stepped out to look at the sky. Stars shone brightly above me . . . and then the whole eastern sky lit up, showing a massive cloud. 

I assume it was cloud to cloud lightning, but there was no sound. I called Melisa and we watched in awe of the spectacular show. It reminded me of the cloud in Close Encounter of the Third Kind (at the 1:33 minute mark), when the giant cloud approached, lights playing within it.

We watched for a good five minutes before I remembered the camera. The photos are not that good as I was trying to figure out the settings I could use, and tried to capture the flashes when they occurred (not as difficult as it sounds since they were nearly constant).

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

My neighbors keep their lights on, so the foreground takes away from the show above . . . trust me, it’s not something we will soon forget. The pictures do not do it justice.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

You can click on the photo for a larger view, and you can see the stars in the clear areas of the sky.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 6400

Those were taken from the sliding door. A small cloud was passing overhead, and dropping some rain on us, otherwise I would have been outside.

I then moved to an inside window, and set up the tripod, although by then the show was not as dramatic.

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 3200

3.0 sec. at f/2.8, ISO 3200

I took a few more at different settings, but they did not work out.

I checked the radar loop . . . it was a very strong cell about 25 miles away, and we never did hear any sounds of thunder.

All in all, a GREAT day!

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Animals, Black Bear, Photography, Stuff, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Flowers and Flash


The world right now seems even more so the type of place I want to desperately leave. 

2014 Flowers,

2014 Flowers,

Make it stop!

Copyright 2014, E. J. D’Alise

Chapter 1
Claire covered her ears. The words became indistinct, but she could still hear the tone. Anger. More anger. Loud. Louder.

It was always the same . . . One of them said something, usually something Claire did not understand. It triggers a snide retort, and that lead to accusations, and accusations lead to yelling. 

Claire closed her eyes, shutting them tight as if doing so would also shut the noise. It didn’t. Her tightly closed eyes did not stop tears from forming and silently rolling down her cheeks, disappearing into the fabric of her nightgown.

She lost track of how long before the yelling stopped. She removed her hands from her ears, and waited. She could hear no sound, but she did not yet dare hope that it was over. A minute, then five. She opened her eyes and stared at the closet door. The small space was her refuge, her escape. She got up, and cautiously opened the door. Climbing into bed, she pulled the covers up to her chin, holding them tight. 

As she drifted to sleep, Claire counted the years, months, and days until adulthood. She would leave this place, these people, and find peace. Find a true refuge.

Chapter 2
Twenty-two years old Claire hugged her knees as she watched the images flash across the screen. As if those were not enough, a scrolling marquee told of other horrible events.

War. Riots. Killings. Bombings. Famine. Disease. Hate. More hate.

She rocked slightly, hugging her knees even tighter, as if doing so made her small enough to escape what seemed a world gone mad. It was not enough . . . she would never be small enough.

She turned off the television, and pulled the covers up to her chin, holding them tight. For a moment the quiet enveloped her, and then she heard a siren in the distance. Someone’s life had just taken a turn for the worse.

A tear rolled down her cheek as she realized there was no refuge. There was no place far enough, no closet to run to for escape  . . . the world was too small. 

The End.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Have you ever looked around your office, and I mean really looked, and found the place was kind of messy? 

Messy enough that you would not want a stranger to see it?

“How did it get like that,” you wonder?

You start to pick things up, filing some stuff, throwing other stuff away. But the mess is too much for a quick clean-up. All you end up doing is rearranging a few things, and promise yourself you’ll not only not let it get worse, but will clean up the place. 

Only, a month later you notice that it’s worse.

That’s how the world feels right now.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Resting Place

Copyright 2014, E. J. D’Alise

Joe stepped up onto the wrap-around covered porch. He put down the duffle bag he carried and turned.

To his left a thick wall of trees seemed to swallow up the driveway that came up from the main road. To his right, a small patch of grass sloped down to the water, and the view opened up onto a five acre lake. All of it was in the middle of a 35 acre parcel of land.

He turned to look at the house. Smallish, but enough room for him. He dug into his pant pocket and took out the key to the front door. 

The inside already held his belongings. They had been delivered the week prior, and the local realtor had been kind enough to be here to receive them and make sure they were unloaded properly. Joe looked forward to setting up the few things he had kept.

He thought of Claire. She would have liked it here. She had lost her battle with cancer a few years back. Joe had known what he would do when the time came. He suffered through the condolences, the words of concerned family and friends. He did not need to hear them, but it helped people to speak them. 

He went to one of the boxes and pulled out a coffee maker. Six cups ought to do just right.

He walked out and sat on the chair by the door. He could hear the coffee maker percolating. He heard the wind through the pines. He heard a few birds. He listened to the lapping of small waves onto the shore.

He closed his eyes, and rested his head against the wall behind him. 

Perhaps he’ll wait a while before getting an Internet hook-up. Perhaps he did not need a hook-up after all.

The End.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Do you know what I think? I think humanity needs a frontier.

We don’t have one, you see. They say space is the next frontier, but there is nothing in the immediate horizon that will open that particular frontier to regular people.

A few millionaires will go up in orbit, but there won’t be the equivalent of forty acres and a mule opening up travel to the stars. An asteroid and a space tug as an incentive for people to venture off-planet is not around the corner.

People don’t want to admit it, but the universe wants to kill us. Everything out there is multiple times deadlier and more unforgiving than what we face on Earth.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

One Way

Copyright 2014, E. J. D’Alise

Joe had jumped at the chance. He might have been in his seventies but was still fit. Aside for a few aches and pains when he first got up, he was mobile, still relatively strong, and healthy.

The ideal candidate, especially since by now he had lost contact with nearly everyone from his previous life, when Claire had still been alive. 

Joe grabbed the hand-hold to his right, planted his feet, and pushed off. He drifted slightly; something he would eventually learn to compensate. He had about seven months to practice.

He caught the other hand-hold, and pulled himself so that his face was as near to the thick glass as he could. 

“Lights off,” he spoke softly.

He looked out at the points of light. As his eyes adjusted, he started to see more and more. It was beautiful.

He sensed rather than saw the movement. He looked over at Sarah, her face also pressed against the glass. 

“Sorry; did I wake you?” He spoke in a near whisper.

“No. I don’t sleep much these days.” Sarah answered in kind.

They kept their voices down as they tried to identify various constellations. Tony and Lucy were still in their sleep rotation.

After a few minutes, Sarah turned to Joe.

“Ever have second thoughts?”

Joe thought a moment before answering. 

“No. Not even once. You?”

Sarah turned back to the window and did not look his way as she answered. 

“No. I dreamed of this since I was a little girl.”

“You dreamed of being an astronaut?”

“No. I dreamed of getting away from Earth.”

“Even if it’s a one way trip?”

“Especially on a one way trip.”

Joe turned to once more look out. Their names would live in the history books, but all four of them would die far away from Earth, setting up and preparing the first outpost for future space travelers. He thought of Claire, as he often did. She would have liked this.

The End. 

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

As I finished writing the above piece, and as I write these words, I am listening to this song:

There are those who poo-poo discussions of overpopulation.

“We have more than enough resources!”
“Technology you can’t even dream of will solve most of our problems.”

They do not understand . . . it’s not the depletion of resources, the cost of providing water, delivering food, cleaning up our garbage. It’s the fact that there are so many of us. 

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

It’s about the quality of life, you see. 

Sure, by some metric we should be happier than pigs in excrement mud. But by other metric, we are in excrement mud, and not all of us are pigs. 

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

My gut tells me to run away. To go far from the things of man. 

. . . but there’s no frontier, you see. Beyond that, there’s no place where the world is not going to touch your life, and that introduces a measure of sadness that permeates every aspect of our lives.

You can have momentary escapes, but everything done by people, even people with good intention, will affect your life beyond your ability to control how it will unfold. Sure, you can’t predict or control most things in your life, but humans are especially good at throwing obstacles in each other’s way. 

. . . it gets old . . . hell; it was old thirty years ago.

2014 Flowers, 2014 Flowers,

Well, I hope I cheered everyone up.

Just a reminder about the SmugMug gallery HERE

That’s it . . . . this post has ended, except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Creative, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flowers, Macro Photography, Musings Stuff, Personal, Photography, Photography Stuff, Religion, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grass Does as Grass Seeds


Over the past few weeks I’ve been collecting grass seeds specifically with the intent of recreating the success of my previous seed post. We’ve had a fairly wet Spring and Summer, and that means lots of grasses doing very well.

I planned on using one of the penguin bottles I have . . .

seeds, grass seeds

. . . but upon reflection, I decided for something with a duller finish.

seeds, grass seeds

I think it goes better with the seeds. Just handling this particular stalk caused a number of the seeds to separate and drop . . . in my office, in the great room, on the stairs to the basement, and on the treadmill (my staging area). Let me tell you, these seeds are a bitc . . . er . . . difficult to pick up.

The spindly strands seem to push away from you as you try to pick them up. You can’t group them, can’t carry them, can’t do nothing but swear at them.

seeds, grass seeds

Most of the seeds around the base came from this particular stem. When I picked it all of those strands were lined up along the seeds, giving it the look of a horse tail. Within a day of being picked, they flared out. It makes the seeds easily dislodged by either brushing them or blowing on them.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here are the pair of seed stems . . . both of these have lost seeds.

seeds, grass seeds

Here are a pair with all their seeds (as far as I can tell).

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here’s a closer look at the two . . .

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These next seeds are from a relatively low-growing grass. The stalks are fairly rigids, and the seed part waves a bit like a flag on the stalk.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These are both angled upward, but when still attached to the rest of the plant, the seed pods hang slightly down, and even the slightest breeze will set them swaying. A bunch of these plants together in a group look kind of neat.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These next seeds are from a much taller grass, and the seeds themselves are substantial.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here’s some close-ups . . .

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

By the way, these photos are also in THIS SmugMug gallery.

Some seeds resemble cypress trees.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Even though I grouped these two together, I don’t think they are the same plant or seeds.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Another seed stalk that looks a bit like the others but is not the same.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Here’s another cypress-like stalk, but not quite the other two.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

These next two stalks are actually quite heavy. I mean, I’ve been working out, so they were no match for my brawn, but they felt substantial when holding them up.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

And wouldn’t you know it? . . . it rained. Yes, right there in our entertainment room.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Now, this next one is from one of my ornamental grasses . . . 

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

Very thin, wispy, and prone to move from what appeared my breathing about 2 feet away, or even the air currents generated from me moving my hands.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

And yes . . . it rained again!

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

I was hoping for better photos, but I was fast losing the light, and Melisa called me; my mushroom risotto was ready.

Sorry folks, but these are the best I could do. I mean, I like you guys, but mushroom risotto! I can’t pass that up! I’m rushing these last ones; I got to go.

seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds seeds, grass seeds

As I said, the SmugMug gallery is HERE (there are a few more photos in the gallery).

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dark Turns the Mind of Men

Dark Turns the Mind of Men

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Wow! . . . 986


This is my 986th blog post. 

. . . crap, I was supposed to start with a photo! Hold on, let me find something . . . ah, yes, from days gone by.

Zone-3_Leak

Amazing, isn’t it? That rebar going through one of the sprinkler lines. The photo is from 2006, almost four years before I started my blog, and the second summer we spent at our current location. 

It sure does make you think, don’t it?

Anyway, here I am August of 2014, fully sixty one years of age, and with 985 posts under my belt. The good thing is those posts did not add any inches; still a 33 waist.

However, all them posts did demand something of me; they demanded something I gave willingly. Time. It’s 1:07pm.

No, I mean, I spent a lot of time writing them posts. Hardly seems real when I read the number . . . 985 posts . . . counting this one, 986; that’s a lot of posts, Bob.

Yes. Yes it is, Bob.

Have I learned anything about life, the universe, and me while producing all that content?

Not really.  Oops; time for another photo.

ejd-3

Wow . . . look at all that hair. That’s me as a grad student teaching the lab portion of the materials class, circa 1977. What does that have to do with this post?

I don’t know; I just grabbed a photo at random. Here’s another one from the same era.

ejd-2

That’s the path around the campus lake at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Anyway, back to this post. Why celebrate 986 posts, you ask? Why not wait until the 1,000th post?

Frankly, I’m tired of people favoring certain anniversaries over others. There’s nothing special about 1,000 posts as opposed to 985 or 1,008.

Now, 1,017 is a special number, and should be celebrated because it has two ones, a zero, and a seven, and I don’t need to tell you all what that means!

But, that’s another story.

Instead, let me add another photo. I hear people can’t read stuff without some sort of photo to distract them from thinking.

Shadow_13

We liked all the cats that shared our lives, but Shadow, pictured (he’s the one on the left), holds a special place, in part because he succumbed to a tumor while still relatively young. 

Anyway, I started this blog because I lost a lot of content from two previous blogs hosted as part of forums I used to belong to. I determined I needed to be in control of my own content.

Here’s the thing . . . I’m still not in control of my content. WordPerfect is pretty good, but they mess with stuff. You see, their main concern is not me, the user. The main concern is making money. 

I understand that. But it also means I’m considering moving my stuff to something under my direct control. Or, closer to my own control. I still have to use the internet, you see. 

Oh, right! 986 posts since March 2010 . . . that’s 18.26 posts per month. More exact, 0.609 posts per day. In metric units, that’s 609 microposts per day (FSM, I hope I did that right – mighty embarrassing if I screw up my calculations).

The other stats are 566 followers, 54,807 views, and 8,234 comments. I’m planning a big celebration when I get to 632 followers, 87,327 views, and 9,875 comments.

Of course, I won’t celebrate anything if I don’t hit those three numbers concurrently.

5048_19SEP09_1

There is a surprising amount of fiction in them posts. Not that many eyes have dropped on any of it. Also, there are a lot of photos, but not in the earlier posts.

I initially thought people would want to see high resolution photos, so in my early days of blogging I included only a few photos in each post, and linked to my SmugMug galleries, where the bulk of the photos were presented.

Boy, was I wrong. The majority of people just want something they can quickly look at, and they don’t have the need for high quality photos. More than that, they don’t want them.

Let’s be clear; by high quality I don’t mean “good”. I’m only referring to resolution and presentation. One thing WP still does not do well is present photos in their best possible way. At least not my photos.

. . . maybe they are not that good to begin with.

Snack

Anyway, I just wanted readers to be aware of the monumental milestone . . . once I hit publish, I will have 986 posts on this blog. No need to send congratulatory telegrams.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Close-up

Close-up

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Creative, Musings Stuff, Personal, Stuff, Writing, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The Museum of Flight – 2004 – Part 3


Angelica: Would you like to hear one of my poems?
Joe Banks: Sure.
Angelica: Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair… covered the emptiness of my hand… Would you like to hear it again?
Joe Banks: Ok.
Angelica: Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair… covered the emptiness of my hand.

I remember the first time I met another human being who liked Joe Versus the Volcano (besides Melisa). I even remember who it was. Well, enough of that; on to the rest of the Museum of Flight’s photographs.

DSC_0083-Boeing_Air_Museum_DIGI DSC_0084-Boeing_Air_Museum_DIGI

The Caproni Ca.20  is the world’s first fighter plane. I say ‘is’ because this is it . . . the original, the one, and only one ever made. It’s presented as made, without any alterations or repairs, showing almost a century of wear and tear.

Designed as a fighter, a Lewis machine gun was installed above the pilot, placed above the propeller disc, with a false eye level sight. The Caproni Ca.20 has all its original parts with the exception of the rubber of the tires, which was chewed by rodents while stored in a monastery.

It did not take long for humans to realize the potential of the airplane to inflict damage from above.

DSC_0085-Boeing_Air_Museum_DIGI

From rocks, to flechettes, to grenades, to bullets to many bullets from a machine gun, to bombs . . . once you are above the enemy, you have a wide array of choices for inflicting death.

 DSC_0087-Boeing_Air_Museum_DIGI

The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a pictured above is a reproduction.

From the description webpage:
“One of the best Allied fighters of World War I, the S.E.5 was considered fast, strong, and simple to fly. Flyers who commonly had nothing good to say about the designs of the Royal Aircraft Factory, had to admit that the S.E. was pleasantly different.”

It goes on to say:
“In the improved version, the S.E.5a, designers continued to amend annoyances and create one of the war’s most venerable fighting machines. Many of Britain’s most famous aces, including Mannock, Bishop, and McCudden, flew the S.E.5a into combat.”

Sad to say, but none of those names are familiar to me . . . unless Joey Bishop was a British WW I ace, and I never knew it (he wasn’t).

Albatros D.Va (L24) Reproduction

Albatros D.Va (L24) Reproduction

The Albatross was not a good plane, but they were quickly constructed. “The Albatros factory was willing and capable of producing large numbers of planes and the war was raging. The result was that, when an Allied pilot encountered a German fighter, it was usually an Albatros.  Pilots were instructed not to dive too steeply with this plane”

. . . that must have been a real booster for the ole confidence meter, I tell you.

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The Nieuport 24bis reproduction was also flown by the same aces as mentioned above. And here I thought aces only flew one machine during their service. 

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Tell me the front of the plane doesn’t look like a face; a surprised one, at that. I’m thinking Pixar got the idea for their Planes movie from seeing the above.

“The Aviatik (Berg) D.I at the Museum of Flight is an extremely rare original. Part of series 101, the fighter was built by Thöne and Fiala, in Vienna — one of five manufactures that made the aircraft during the war.” 

Maybe the surprised look stems from what it saw humans are capable of.

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The plane above, the one showing us its tail, is a Sopwith Camel F.1 Reproduction. All I knew about this plane was that it was one of the choices for planes in Atari’s Combat cartridge (which I still have, and still works).  The name sounded as strange to me then as it does now.

“With a Camel, a pilot would become an esteemed and experienced combat flyer, or he’d die trying. The agile featherweight could run rings around many German fighters and was murder in the hands of a flyer who knew how to handle it.”

“Casualties among those learning to fly this notorious fighter were very high. The torque effect from the Camel’s rotary engine could cause the plane to snap into an uncontrollable spin and then crash during a tight turn. If the fuel/air mixture was not adjusted after takeoff, the Camel often dropped into a stall, followed by a spin.”

I can attest to dying many time while playing those games. Of course, my deaths were less permanent than those flying the actual planes.

The plane it’s going after is the Fokker D.VII Reproduction.

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“Most experts agree that the Fokker D.VII was the finest single-seat fighter plane of the war.

Allied aviators began to dread the appearance of the angular fighters with their “coffin noses.” Because the Fokker stayed very controllable at high altitudes, pilots often were able to make the D.VII “hang on its prop” and blast away at higher-flying Allied machines as they tried to escape. Many British flyers said those “straight wings” seemed to be everywhere.

At the end of the war, the feared Fokker D.VII was the only airplane mentioned specifically by name in the Armistice Agreements.”

Now, this next plane . . . ‘The Phantom of the skies’?

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That’s the Fokker Dr.I (reproduction), and at first, German airmen weren’t too impressed with the odd-looking airplane. 

One, however, made a name for himself while flying a Dr.I . . . “Werner Voss and Manfred von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron, were very pleased with the fighter’s high rate of climb and remarkable agility. They soon racked up many victories over Allied machines in the Triplane.

Even though most of the men in his squadron had switched to newer biplanes, 19 of von Richthofen’s final 21 combat victories came while he was flying his trusty all-red Dr.I.”

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The Nieuport 28 C.1 looks odd, perhaps because of the paint job, but I liked the design of it, especially the mounting of the machine guns.

“The first airplane Americans flew into combat, it was loved by some and feared by others. Flying 28s, Douglas Campbell and Alan Winslow each shot down a German fighter on April 14, 1918, becoming the first U.S. airmen to destroy a plane in combat. Famous ace Eddie Rickenbacker scored many of his twenty-six victories flying his Nieuport.

On the other side of the coin, Rickenbacker, America’s beloved hero, was almost killed when the upper wing fabric on his 28 tore apart in flight. Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Quentin, and ace Raoul Lufbery were also killed while flying Nieuport 28s.”

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The famous SPAD XIII . . . reproduction.

“After the experiencing the characteristics of their delicate Nieuports, French pilots couldn’t help but notice that their new SPADs were solid as rocks. The SPAD had other rock-like features too — they were slow climbers and not particularly maneuverable. But, at least, they could dive away from most German fighters with ease.”

I swear . . . I’ll not make a crack about one of the most loved feature was the ability to run away. Mostly because I see it as a viable option to fighting to the death.

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The Curtiss JN-4D Jenny (Reproduction). 

“The Jenny’s second life had begun as Americans of the 1920s used the readily available craft as “Barnstormers.” The Jenny was used to sell the many Americans “their first airplane ride.” While others were used in wild flying stunts and appeared in scores of movies”.

It’s good, after looking at all these reminders from one hundred of years ago, to see what we accomplished in a relatively short amount of time.

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. . . I wonder if there’s any wood making up the structure of the Blackbird?

I’ll pick this up in the next post. Meanwhile, you can see larger versions of these photos in the SmugMug gallery HERE.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Target Practice

Target Practice

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Aeroplanes, Airplanes, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Museum of Flight – 2004 – Part 2


Chores done for the day, food eaten, sipping wine, and listening to ABBA, Jose Feliciano, Mocedades, Shriekback, Strange Advance,  Mungo Jerry, and Jennifer Rush, to mention just a few.

. . . maybe I should share my 131 videos playlist . . . nah; people would think me weirder than i am.

Looks like I’m set for my second post about my visit to The Museum of Flight. Hold on . . . heading into the WW II exhibit . . . by the way, this won’t be a long post . This was in my prior to my let-me-take-a-crapload-of-photos days. Although, I wish I had.

Ah; here we are.

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The Messerschmitt BF 109E-3 dominated the skies until the introduction of the Spitfire. The E-3 is a variant introduced in 1938.

. . . and this is the machine that squared off against the BF 109 (and more).

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The Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX. If I’m reading correctly, this plane was part of the air support during D-Day, and later was used in the filming of The Longest Day, after which it was owned by the actor Cliff Robertson. Quite the life.

You can read more about the history, design, and deployment of the planes HERE.

When it comes to WW II, my favorite plane is . . .

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. . . the Lockheed P-38L Lightning. I think I first saw the plane in the movie A Guy Named Joe. I think that was the movie since the Aircraft in Fiction Wiki only lists a few movies for the P-38, and that’s the one I remember watching. You can read more about the history of the P-38 HERE.

Of course, one has to like the Curtis P-40N Warhawk (although the N is a variant).

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This one is painted in the Flying Tigers color scheme, although I read the Tigers flew P-40Bs. The paint scheme remains one of the most recognizable from that era.  The P-40s were featured in many movies, and even a training film starring future president Ronald Reagan.

Another plane recognizable by many, the North American P-51D Mustang at the museum has a very colorful history. I won’t go into it here, but it’s worth reading (click on the name to go to the link). For information on the plane in general, click HERE

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Mustangs remained in service with some air forces until the 1980s, and many were subsequently favored for civilian air races and ownership.

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The above plane is a reproduction of the Nakajima Ki-43-IIIa Hayabusa “Oscar” Japanese tactical fighter. This reconstruction makes use of parts from three different planes. To read about the design of these planes click HERE.

The Vought F4U Corsair is another plane I like, mostly for the shape of the wings. The model below is a Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, meaning it was built under license by Goodyear. This particular model was fished out of Lake Washington and restored in 1983.

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At first I mistook this Yakovlev Yak-9U Frank for a japanese plane, but it is from the Soviet Union. This model is one of four original planes known to exist, and the only one in display in the West.

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You can read a bit more about the Yak-9 HERE.

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The Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat was a carrier based fighter. I could say more, but those interested can read about the plane by clicking on the link. It’s not a particularly nice-looking plane, but the pilots seemed to like it. At least some, anyway.

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The Republic P-47D (F-47) Thunderbolt looks like a huge plane, and almost seems like it would not be worth much in a dogfight. This particular model was repatriated from Latin America.

Pilots liked the Thunderbolts because they could walk away even after crash-landing a severely damaged airplane. That’s something lacking from modern fighters. Every crash I hear or read about involves a great big ball of fire. Anyway, one can read more about them HERE.

That’s all I have for the WW II planes. Thy did not seem to have many, and I captured the ones I found interesting.

I leave you with another shot of the P-38.

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From there we traveled back in time, and wandered over to the WW I display . . . but that’s a post for another day.

I’ll pick this up in the next post. Meanwhile, you can see larger versions of these photos in the SmugMug gallery HERE.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Devoid of Stress

Devoid of Stress

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Aeroplanes, Airplanes, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Museum of Flight – 2004 – Part 1


In the Fall of 2004 we ventured out to Seattle (WA) with the intent of possibly find a place to relocate our belongings, and us with them. I’ve already done a number of posts about our two weeks there, and now I give you our visit to Boeing’s The Museum of Flight.

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That’s a Harrier Jump Jet, a VTOL aircraft. The main purpose of this jet was to evolve into the second generation Jump Jet that was featured in the movie True Lies.

Other aircrafts on display outside the entrance are as follows:

Grumman A-6E Intruder . . .

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. . . and the Grumman F-14A Tomcat.

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We then went inside . . . and looked out to capture more of the Jump Jet and a part of Boeing Field.

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Oh, wait . . . I forgot one. I swear, I’m beginning to worry my mind is going.

Fiat G.91

Fiat G.91

It’s an interesting plane, and I traced it using the plane’s graphics . . . the Frecce Tricolori flew the pre-production  Fiat G.91 version for several years, and those are their insignias on the plane. Eventually they switched to the Aermacchi MB-339.

By the way, the copyright on the photos says 2014, but all these photos were taken in 2004. Yes, I made a mistake (I have a lot on my mind – heavy duty stuff like the very understanding of The Waffle and its planned purpose for humanity in general, and me in particular), and I did not want to go through the process of fixing it. The camera used was the still-viable Nikon D100.

Inside They have a Blackbird . . .

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. . . but not just any Blackbird . . . that is a Blackbird Mother Ship.

What I thought was a third engine turns out to be a drone. A drone mounted on what are provisions for, you guessed it, a drone. The drone program was canned after an accident, but the original intent was to send drones over dangerous areas after getting them close.

They ended up just making the Blackbird too fast to catch.

DC-3

DC-3

DC-3

DC-3

The main entry to the museum has a lot of interesting stuff, but I don’t like how it’s arranged. Also, the large glass window made photography a dicey thing. The lighting was all messed up-like, you know?

. . . I tried to do my best but I was not happy.

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Stearman C-3B – Western Air Express livery and the Swallow Commercial – ‘Varney Swallow’ livery

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The wooden plane is Boeing B&W Replica – Boeing and Westervelt, the very first Boeing. Also an early U.S. Mail truck – I don’t think it flew.

The place looked kind of busy, and it was difficult to get a feel for the individual planes; everything jumbled together.

Curtiss Robin C-1

Curtiss Robin C-1

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In fact it felt a bit like a typical airline flight. The technology and trappings are impressive, but one never quite gets comfortable.  We walked about kind of lost, me snapping pictures in the hope it would help my focus.

. . . I mean, the pictures are in focus, but I wasn’t.

Stinson SR Reliant

Stinson SR Reliant

Hmmm . . . now that I look at the photos, I must have had some wits about me . . .

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So, what are those neat-looking planes?

The top one is the Northrop YF-5A prototype for what would become the Northrop F-5. These planes were used as the ‘bad guys’ in the Top Gun school, substituting for similar MiG fighters.

Below it is a Bowers Fly Baby 1A. You can read more about these planes HERE.

La freccia azzurra is the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter. You can read more about these popular planes HERE.

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The little helicopter you see at the edge of the frame is the Hiller YH-32 Hornet.

And, finally, the plane doing the barrel roll is the Stephens Akro, and you can read a bit more about them HERE. You’ve seen this plane before in a previous post, only it had a Budweiser paint design.

I can only look up so long before my neck starts hurting, but before we go back to the ground, here’s a shot of part of the great hall. You might notice, as this post progresses, that I did not snap a photo of each plane in the hall . . . too bad, that.

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Well, OK . . . one more shot looking slightly up, but only because it’s the Blackbird.

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It almost looks as if it should be an alien craft . . . and if conspiracy theorists are right, maybe it was.

Gee Bee Model Z replica

Gee Bee Model Z replica

The Gee Bee Model Z had a brief but interesting career . . . this is a replica, so you can guess how it ended.

Hello! . . . this is something interesting!

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That’s the Taylor Aerocar III . . . for all them whiners still waiting for flying cars, you missed them; they were around in the 50s and 60s. Read more about them HERE.

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The Phantom . . . or, more precisely, the McDonnell Douglas F-4C PHANTOM II. The Phantom has the distinction of being the last U.S. fighter flown to attain ace status in the 20th century. Also, for some reason, I feel an affinity for this plane . . . probably because it was flying when i was a teen. You can read more about it HERE. You can also see a list of all the F-4s on display around the world HERE.

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One of the planes that faced off against the Phantom was the MiG-21. This one has an interesting history . . . it was saved from the scrapyard in the Czech Republic, bought, and transferred here. You can read more about MiG-21 planes HERE.

Yup . . . it’s time for another view of the SR-71 Mothership.

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Awesome . . . simply awesome. That’s the Lockheed D-21B drone riding atop the Blackbird.

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I’m sure if I did some research I would figure out what this plane is. It’s not currently listed in their displays, so it may have been on loan from someplace that wanted it back. I should have taken a picture of the plaque.

From the Great Hall we ventured outside . . . 

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I presume I don’t have to identify the above plane. 

This next one is probably the most famous Air Force One, used by presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It is the Boeing VC-137B.

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You can read a bit more about these planes HERE.

From there we headed back in, and wandered over to the WW II display . . . but it’s getting late, and I’m tired.

I’ll pick this up in the next post. Meanwhile, you can see larger versions of these photos in the SmugMug gallery HERE.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

State of Being

State of Being

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Aeroplanes, Airplanes, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments