Ever since I first saw it, I’ve loved the movie Always, the last of the great 1980s movies from the Spielberg, Kennedy, Marshall production team of Amblin Entertainment. There’s a lot to love in this gem. You can’t go wrong with the likes of Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, and Audrey Hepburn. The story behind the story is almost as cute, campy, and compelling as the movie itself.
For me personally, Always may in part be why I wanted to become a pilot. The movie merged together flying awesome airplanes, mountains, and classic music. In the words of Al Yackey (Goodman):
What this place reminds me of is the war in Europe. The beer’s warm, the dance hall’s a Quonset, there’s B-26s outside, hotshot pilots inside, an airstrip in the woods. It’s England, man! Everything but Glenn Miller! Except we go to burning places and bomb ’em till they stop burning.
One of the joys of being a pilot with an airplane at my disposal is being able to fly my family on summer “air trip” vacations. We get to explore places we would otherwise never even consider driving to. Last year, we worked our way out as far as Kalispell, Montana. This year, we knew we wanted to get to Sandpoint, Idaho after a stop in Spokane, Washington. Since it’s a very short distance from Spokane to Sandpoint (by air), we had an opportunity to visit Libby, Montana, one of two primary locations where they shot Always.
Continue reading Always and Eventually
Back several months ago, perhaps as early as January or February, my wife suggested I consider taking a beekeeping class. Both of us have been mildly interested in bees for a while, and I love honey on or in just about everything (as do my children), so it seemed like a good idea. For about a month and a half, every Tuesday evening I drove up to Silverdale to attend a beginning beekeeping class. I bought equipment sufficient for two hives, figuring that since I didn’t know what I was doing per se, having two hives would give me two data points so I’d be slightly less driving blind. Then on one particularly sunny Saturday in April, my pre-ordered two packages of bees arrived.
According to the experts, there were about 10,000 bees in each package. Each package is a small, thin wooden box with screens on the long sides for ventilation. Inside are the bees, plus a canister of food (sugar water), and a tiny box housing a single queen.
Continue reading I’m a Beekeeper Now
The road to a dormant blog is paved with good intentions. I had all sorts of opportunity over this last year to write, but something or another more important always usurped priority. Even more so, I had no shortage of topics with which to opine. There were many aviation trips, numerous adventures with my family, and a plethora of ideas to investigate. One such family adventure involved one of the shortest aviation trips we’ve ever taken and raises to mind some ideas about natural overreaction as a standard response.
This story begins, as many of my stories seem to the last couple of years, with a flight in our airplane. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, or more specifically: Saturday, June 14. (I love flight logbooks.) We didn’t have a lot of time that day, so we decided to hop in the airplane and make a very short trip from Bremerton National to Longlake, a trip so short you hardly get into a cruise configuration before you need to setup for descent. It was just an excuse to enjoy the water on a summer afternoon.
Our airplane is a boat-plane amphibian without floats, so it sits fairly low in the water. This is me in displacement taxi on Longlake:
We came in for a landing toward the south end of the lake, and we were down and into idle-power displacement taxi in a few seconds, having only consumed the bottom quarter of the lake surface.
Continue reading Crash on Longlake