Archive | July, 2011


28 Jul

Dear Diary, today I …….

Did you have a daily diary when you were a kid? I got one for my 10th birthday and for the first few weeks I dutifully filled the pages with the minutia of  my life and trust me, when you’re 10, in most cases minutia is being polite. I tried really hard to find something to say but I got bogged down in the need to physically put words on paper.

One of many mouldering old buildings in the Okanagan

When I was in school, I did exceptionally well when it came to composing stories, at least as long as I was partnered and my partner was willing to be my scribe while I dictated. I helped with the vocabulary but not the spelling since I sucked at it.

Which leads me back to the stupid diary. I could talk to it all I wanted and no words would appear on the pages and since I hated to write, it didn’t take long before the diary got stuffed in a drawer and forgotten. To this day I really don’t enjoy the physical act of writing. If I write slowly and carefully, my writing, so I’ve been told is quite lovely, but since I am usually trying to write as fast as my brain is coming up with the words, it usually devolves into something even I have difficulty deciphering.

A beautiful insect that posed for me on the back deck.

As for typing, well, I’ll give you a small glimpse into my adolescent thinking. It was Grade 9 and we were required to decide what courses we wanted to take as electives. My choices were between typing class and Gourmet cooking. I reasoned that if I took typing, I would end up being someones secretary and as far as I was concerned that just wasn’t ever going to happen, so cooking won out.  Eventually, I graduated with honours plus a complete inability to type. The funny part about that is eventually I landed a job as an executive secretary for one of the Regional Managers of what was then known as Radio Shack. He was well aware of my lack of typing skills, but it was my personality that won me the job, besides he figured even using the hunt and peck method I could eventually put together a respectable letter, given enough time and White Out. Ever since then I have perfected the 4 finger typing skills that I currently employ.

Talking on the other hand is certainly a skill I have in abundance. My brain is filled with jokes, stories, trivia and a great deal of information on many different subjects gathered over the years. I could keep just about anyone entertained for hours and did so for over 15 years as a fishing guide. You’ve got to have something to talk about when the fish aren’t biting and being able to hold intelligent conversations with people from all walks of life makes for a good time for all concerned, as well as resulting in fairly large tips.

I also have what many seem to think of as a bad habit. Anyone who knows me well has certainly heard me talking to myself. Hell I’ve even been known to argue vociferously with myself and I don’t care what anyone says, I’m not crazy!

Having a conversation with myself has allowed me over the years to write well received speeches, worked out ways to ask for raises and to tell people to bugger off in such a manner that they weren’t even aware they’d been insulted. It also helps me write this blog. I pour over subjects I want to explore, I work out  how it will sound by saying it out loud and that works for me. The only problem I have is I’m still waiting for voice activated computers like they had on “Star Trek”. I want a bloody computer that hears what I’m saying, waits till I tell it to write it down, prints it in a readable format then sends it to this blog.

I can dream can’t I?

Another old building abandoned and allowed to return to the earth in it's own time. There are many of these scattered all over the region.

When I get into conversations with people and we start to talk about our lives, eventually they look at me and say, “You should write a book.” I answer by saying, “Thanks, I admit that my life has certainly taken some interesting turns and the thought has occurred to me, but my journey isn’t even close to being over yet and maybe, when I’m old and decrepit I’ll think of putting words to paper.”

Yeah, right, only if I can find a Boswell who’ll work for free. Though perhaps technology will come to my rescue. The eldest was just telling me last night about an app on I Touch that just might do the trick. So who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll be telling you about my new book, though please don’t hold your breath waiting, it could well be a very long wait.

In the meantime you’ll just have to be satisfied with the poor ramblings of an over heated brain as I blog my way through the ether.



Come Fly With Me!

14 Jul

We finally got home on Monday after spending 5 days at the Arlington Fly-In. Arlington is in Washington State, just off the I-5, south of Seattle and is the 3rd largest air show of it’s kind in North America.  We on the other hand, coming from Penticton, came over the Cascade Mountains.  They sure were pretty!

One of the many peaks of the Cascades

We found many small towns along the road including this one. A beautiful representation of the old west as seen in the movies.

The whole town looked like this!

Now, you will notice I said, “of it’s kind”, because this type of show is a little different than the shows that most folks have seen.

Never did figure out what this one was.

First, it’s called a fly-in because more that half of those attending, fly in, in their own small planes. Second, this type of show celebrates, home-built, experimental and antique air craft. Not to mention antique cars and military equipment. There is a military camp called Camp Adams, set up at the very edge of the grounds and they showcase everything from cars and motorcycles, to guns, tanks and planes, with nothing younger than the Vietnam War. Most of this stuff was from WW2, with lots of folks in costume appropriate to the time frame.

These folks spent the entire show living in Camp Adam and dressing the part.

Do these guys look like they were getting ready for their next mission? Perhaps they were waiting to board the B-17 that came and spent the week with us.

Crews on board and she's ready for one last mission!

This old beauty was parked with the antique bi-planes.

There were lots of antique cars, one of a kind planes and most interestingly a few that were the only survivors of their type left in existence like this restored Bi-plane below.

A Boeing 40, the only one in existence!

A Fly-in is the place where those who want to learn more, can, since there are many workshops available, as well as venders selling everything an aviator could possibly want to or need to build or outfit their newest projects. Those who don’t have planes but enjoy them, can come onto the grounds and camp for 5 days while the shows and displays go on all day.

The Grummy in at the very top of the photo, see if you can find her. Look for the green shade. There's only a small number of RV's showing as this was the last day!

Traditional air shows usually involve military planes doing formation acrobatics as well as purpose built planes doing their shows, with static displays that you never actually get to touch.

This beautifully restored Spitfire was one of the few you couldn't get up close and personal with

There was a little of that at Arlington, with a few purpose built acrobatic planes, and a couple of antique war birds doing simple fly overs, but most of the shows were done by average guys flying home built planes or older WW2 Trainers. Plus all the planes that had been flown in were parked in groupings of their type, where everyone could look at them, and in lots of cases touch or even get inside of, with the proud owners available to answer questions.

A group of like minded individuals who own the same plane and work hard to have fun!

We were treated to fairly impromptu shows like this one for the entire 5 days! Not only that but Camp Adam wasn’t just a pretty face. These folks came loaded for bear and were more than happy to show off their wares. Nothing like a little tank battle and flak gun shoot to give you some idea of what the sights and sounds actually were during the latter stages of WW 2.

One of the many types of tanks and support equipment on display.

These guys were having just too much fun!

Just so you know, these were all my photos, but it just seemed apropos to present some of them in the era appropriate format.


This flak gun was fired, giving us all a sense of the drama those in the sky must have felt when approaching their bombing targets.

There were a couple of these old Harvard Trainers and this gorgeous DC-2. The DC-2 was fully restored and open to walk through. Apparently there are only 2 left flying in the world.

This was one of the more interesting acrobatic participants. She was amazingly graceful!

This old girl looked like she had just taken a break from her usual route to come and visit for a while!

On the last evening, these folks turned up and gave us quite the show, called a Light Up. The wind was a little too high for flying but that certainly didn’t stop all of us from being highly impressed with the beauty of Hot Air Balloons.

First one up and lit.

Going for the full burn.

Trying to coordinate the light up

The last thing I did, was go for a ride in a 1929 barnstorming bi-plane. It was quite the exciting end to a terrific time. Next time we’ll head over to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the biggest fly-in there is. You know the saying, “Go big, or go home!”

My ride has arrived!