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August 29, 2010

Greetings From 37000 Feet

Hi guys!

I'm posting this from somewhere above Montana - there are blue skies as far as the eye can see, dotted here and there with patches of clouds.

I hope I never become immune to the wonder of flying. Will catch up with email, comments and the like momentarily.

Posted by Cassandra at August 29, 2010 02:59 PM

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I hope I never become immune to the wonder of flying.

Nobody becomes immune to it -- they only forget to be aware of it.

Posted by: BillT at August 29, 2010 03:46 PM

From 37,000 feet to sea level takes more than a moment for most people, which is usually very good. Even today, with all of the hassles and flying commercially, I love being in the air. The old TV signoff for those who stayed up late and want their B&W memories refreshed.

For the youngsters, the soundtrack text is this sonnet, which sends my imagination flying.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor even eagle flew—

And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Posted by: htom at August 29, 2010 03:51 PM

I love flying.

Friday afternoon we sat down at the waterfront and watched the sailboats and seaplanes taking off. The weather was just perfect :)

I would have given anything to be taking off in one of those planes!

Posted by: Cassandra at August 29, 2010 04:38 PM

Sailboats fly in the boundary of sea and sky ... try it! (And in the right boat and conditions, you can feel a boat become partly "airborne".)

Posted by: htom at August 29, 2010 04:56 PM


At the risk of...well, risk, I offer you the opporunity to become a vict...err...passenger next time I am plying the skies near your 'ville.

Nothing ooky, or spooky - that's not how you win friends as a pilot. But if you want, you will have the controls.

I can't say when, but knowing that I am going across the ocean in a while...it is a standing offer. I am a good pilot, never bent an airplane (yet - my dad used to say there were two kinds of pilots: The ones who had bent up an airplane, and the ones who had not done it yet. He was in the former category, but with about 30K hours, he was pretty good.)

Have fun in SEATAC area. I always hit the Boeing museum, and eat lots of pho. I have a unit in Tacoma, so if you see ugly Army ships, thems mine! LOL

Take care. Semper Fidelis and Semper Paratus!


Posted by: kbob in katy at August 29, 2010 08:35 PM

Thanks, Kbob :)

The other thing I loved about Tacoma and Seattle was driving around down at the docks. I have no idea why, but I love to see the big ships coming in and being loaded up.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 29, 2010 09:23 PM

I love to fly, too. It's just airlines I hate. :)

I haven't been to Seattle, but my sister either was there recently, or is going there soon. I can't keep up with the girl. She came down here last weekend, though, for our cousin's wedding. (Which, by the way, was a lot of fun.)

Posted by: Grim at August 29, 2010 09:41 PM

Operation Over-Lording

I can't believe that someone let the cat out of the bag and leaked the fact that Big Guy was going to be running against former President George W. Bush in 2010. We were hoping to keep it a surprise, like D-Day or the sexuality of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Now everyone knows.

Axe and Toes say that running against W is genius, and that the American people won't bother to notice that the former President has been out of office for, oh, 18 months. Or that the only things you could really blame on him were his failure to clear all of the mesquite off the 20 acres toward the southern edge of his ranch in Texas, and that he turned the manuscript for his book into Random House 18 hours late.

I don't know how you blame10% unemployment, 12 trillion in new national debt, an increase in attempted terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, snickering about our failed foreign policies from our allies in Europe, and being a wholly owned subsidiary of China in less than a year in office, on President Bush.

But if there's a guy who can pull it off, it's our guy. But don't tell him I told you so.

Posted by TOTUS

Posted by: TOTUS at August 29, 2010 10:14 PM

The preceding came from the blog:


Posted by: TOTUS at August 29, 2010 10:17 PM

Lucky you! I used to love flying when I was younger. There was something about the rush of taking off, getting airborne and level that just amazed me. One of those 'how did they ever do that?' moments. While I know there are principles of physics involved, it still doesn't take away from the awesome of the whole experience.

Landings were the same. To control a big jet, to bring it in safely, and to a complete stop.
While it was a letdown, it was a good one. Mission complete; journey over, but there are thousands more to complete.

Happy journeys!

Posted by: Cricket at August 30, 2010 10:31 AM

HIGH FLIGHT (as supplemented by Federal Aviation Regulation

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth(1)
And danced(2) the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed(3), and joined the tumbling mirth(4)
of sun-split clouds(5), — and done a hundred things(6)
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung(7)
High in the sunlit silence(8).
Hov’ring there(9),
I’ve chased the shouting wind(10) along, and flung(11)
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious(12), burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights(13) with easy grace
Where never lark nor even eagle(14) flew—

And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space(15),
Put out my hand(16), and touched the face of God.

(1) Flight crews must ensure that all surly bonds have been slipped entirely before aircraft taxi or flight is attempted.
(2) During periods of severe sky dancing, the FASTEN SEATBELT sign must remain constantly illuminated.
(3) Sunward climbs must not exceed the maximum permitted aircraft ceiling.
(4) Passenger aircraft are prohibited from joining the tumbling mirth.
(5) Pilots flying through sun-split clouds must comply with all applicable visual and instrument flight rules.
(6) Do not perform these hundred things in front of Federal Aviation Administration Inspectors.
(7) Wheeling, soaring, and swinging will not be accomplished simultaneously except by pilots in the flight simulator or in their own aircraft on their own time.
(8) Be advised that sunlit silence will occur only when a major engine malfunction has occurred.
(9) "Hov'ring there" will constitute a highly reliable signal that a flight emergency is imminent (except for rotorcraft).
(10) Forcasts of shouting winds are available from the local FSS. Encounters with unexpected shouting winds shall be reported by PIREP.
(11) Be forewarned that pilot craft-flinging is a leading cause of passenger airsickness.
(12) Should any crewmember or passenger experience delirium while in the burning blue, submit an irregularity report upon flight termination.
(13) Windswept heights will be topped by a minimum of 1,000 feet to prevent massive airsickness-bag use.
(14) Aircraft engine ingestion of, or impact with, larks or eagles should be reported to the FAA and the appropriate aircraft maintenance facility.
(15) Air Traffic control (ATC) must issue all special clearances for treading the high untresspassed sanctity of space.
(16) FAA regulations state that no one may sacrifice aircraft cabin pressure to open aircraft windows or doors while in flight.

Posted by: BillT at August 30, 2010 10:48 AM

Great flying story here.

Posted by: david foster at August 30, 2010 10:52 AM

Mr. DeBille,...*snnnicker*...that was good.

Posted by: DL Sly at August 30, 2010 11:38 AM

Say, what's become of bthun? Does anyone know if he's OK?

Posted by: Texan99 at August 30, 2010 12:58 PM

BillT -- guffaw!

Posted by: htom at August 30, 2010 01:30 PM

Say, what's become of bthun? Does anyone know if he's OK?

I will email him, T99. I have been kind of worried for a while but didn't want to bug him. He's used to me checking up on him though - hopefully he won't be too annoyed with me.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 30, 2010 01:33 PM

Bill always brings teh funny :)

Posted by: Cassandra at August 30, 2010 01:36 PM

Bill, that's evil - and I want a copy for my victim, er students. Yeah, students.

Posted by: LittleRed1 at August 30, 2010 03:35 PM

It's one of about five versions that have been floating around the web since the early '90s, LR1.

And, of course, there's the ever-popular


Oh, I have barely slipped the muddy clutch of Earth
And thrashed the skies on dusty, untracked rotor blades;
Earthward I've auto'ed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of moths and bees--and done a thousand things
That would scare the s**t out of you--skidded and drooped and flared
At weed-level. Hov’ring there,
I've chased the frantic armadillo, and lost
The race to insignificant headwinds.
Forward, and a little up, taunting LTE
I've topped the General's hedge with drooping turns
Where never Eagle, or even Warthog flew.
And, shaking with low-frequency vibration, I've lumbered
The low uncontrolled airspace below Victor Airways,
Put out my hand and searched for FOD.

Posted by: BillT at August 30, 2010 04:53 PM

Bill ~ that one cracks me up every time.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at August 30, 2010 08:40 PM

Yup, it's a classic from 1975 == long before *any* of the Ladies here were born, of course...

Posted by: BillT at August 31, 2010 12:02 AM