Archive for May, 2007

Thunderbird Practice

29 May 2007 at 5:22 pm
by Berck

Shortly after we got home yesterday, I heard a loud noise. I looked out my window and saw all 6 thunderbirds flying by. That’s always cool. USAFA graduation is tomorrow, so they did a bit of timing practice for the hat toss flyby and the aerobatic show afterwards.

This morning they did a bit more practice, and I watched them from the roof of our tower– many of the turns to set up for the runs over the stadium were directly overhead.

After flying a new-hire instructor as well as a semi-annual check on one of the air force guys, I met Joanna in the parking lot. We drove over to the stadium at about 1pm for the full up airshow practice. Getting there was a bit tricky, since many of the roads shut down so that there’s no one in the “box”.

We waltzed right up to the press box and then onto its roof. There couldn’t possibly be a better vantage point. The clouds were pretty low, so they were constrained to the “low show” which precludes some of the high altitude maneuvers. After the show, they had to stop while a train went through their “box”, then did another practice flyby for the hat toss.

Anyway, it was like our own private thunderbird show. There were probably only 20 people standing on top of the press box, and another dozen in the stadium. It was weird to see an air show with no one there. I’m not sure where I’m going to watch them from tomorrow– either my apartment, or maybe I’ll see if I can get onto the airfield and watch them from the roof of the tower again. I could get tickets to graduation– but the only part really worth watching is the airshow, and I got to see it without sitting through three hours of graduation. I could go and clap for my students, but I don’t think they’ll know.

Anyway, there’s a some pictures and video clips of the practice at the gallery.

Memorial Day Weekend!

26 May 2007 at 10:22 am
by Jonah

In keeping with America’s tradition of honoring its war dead, we’re off to burn gas and avoid state troopers for the long weekend.

Atheris Desaixi

26 May 2007 at 8:03 am
by Jonah

Mt. Kenya Bush Viper

Why be an ecoterrorist when this is so much more effective?

25 May 2007 at 10:12 am
by Jonah

EUREKA, Calif. (Reuters) – Nine bare-breasted women briefly halted logging work near California’s contested Headwaters Forest on Friday in a protest against what they said was unconscionable logging of redwood trees.

“These gorgeous young women were belly dancing. One logger actually got down on his knees and kissed the ground,” said Dona Nieto, a California activist who has staged several “Strip Tease for the Trees” protests.

Nieto — a poet who goes by the name “La Tigresa” — said the protest interrupted logging work for about two hours at a point known as the “Hole in the Headwaters,” an area of second-growth redwood trees left out of a 1999 deal between Pacific Lumber Inc. and state and federal officials aimed at preserving the Headwaters Forest about 250 miles north of San Francisco.

The protesters, who gathered at around 5 a.m., stripped off their shirts, sang, chanted and handed out chocolates to surprised loggers, tying up traffic for about two hours until police arrived to clear up the scene. There were no arrests.

“The loggers and the cops were absolutely stunned,” said Nieto, who launched her anti-logging protests last year with demonstrations of what she calls “Goddess-based, nude Buddhist guerrilla poetry” to a number of timber and logging sites in and around northern California.

This action marked the largest environmental strip-tease to date.

One of the protesters, a 22-year-old who gave her name as ”Maple,” said she was surprised at how agreeable the loggers were when confronted by topless women.


23 May 2007 at 2:22 pm
by Berck