Wings Over Camarillo This Weekend

So last night I got sort of unexpectedly dark and pissy about missing Worldcon this year (AGAIN!!!) and while I feel fully justified in being pissed off about that, the reason we’re missing it is not without a bit of upside.

I’ve written and shown lots of pictures about previous yearsWings Over Camarillo airshow – it’s a nice, mid-sized show with lots of neat stuff to see, including all of the CAF SoCal planes we can get into the air. (For those of you who might just be joining me here, in addition to my day job I’m in my fifth (?) year as the Finance Officer of the CAF SoCal Wing.)

So if you’re in the greater Southern California area this weekend and you’re looking for something to do, swing on by! Aside from all of the other things there are to do at the show, when you swing by the CAF hangers (we’re at the far western end of the part of the ramp that’s open to visitors, four huge hangers and all the warbirds you can eat) and say hello. Ask just about anyone in a CAF shirt where I am and they can track me down. I’ll be running around like a lunatic all weekend doing Finance Officer shit, but there’s always time to say hello, both for old friends who might come out to the show and for new friends who I just haven’t met yet.

Oh, yeah, there might be pictures this weekend. Plane pictures.

Leave a comment

Filed under CAF, Flying

No Worldcon For Us – Again

My calendar reminds me that right about now is when I was supposed to be finishing a long drive from LA to San Jose and checking into our hotel for this year’s World Science Fiction Convention (aka “Worldcon”).

That’s not happening. I’m not thrilled.

About six or seven weeks ago we cancelled our reservations and told friends that we weren’t going to be there. The Wings Over Camarillo airshow is this weekend and as the Finance Officer for the Wing it’s sort of critical that I be there. Last year I wasn’t (it was the total solar eclipse!) and for that I made the trip. And then had to work twice as hard for quite a while to get caught up. It was worth it (TOTAL FREAKIN’ SOLAR ECLIPSE!!) but as much as I love going to Worldcon, I have to do the responsible, “adulting” thing this year. There will be another one next year.

But as I saw the posts of friends from all over the country and even all over the world heading to San Jose, I got to thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve been to Worldcon. Then I got really depressed.

Nine years.

The last time we went was 2009 in Montreal. Which was great, because we had gotten to Denver in 2008. And the family got to LA in 2006. (I didn’t since I was doing my MBA program at Pepperdine and had class that entire weekend.) And we all went to Toronto in 2003 and San Jose in 2002! And from 1978 (my first con of any kind) in Phoenix through 1984 in Los Angeles I went for seven years in a row!

But since Montreal I’ve missed Melbourne, Reno, Chicago, San Antonio, London, Spokane, Kansas City, and Helsinki. Fine, London when I was unemployed for a while might have been a reasonable, responsible call. And Kansas City was fairly soon after I started my current job and I probably didn’t have any vacation time accrued yet. But what’s up with that Reno, Chicago, and San Antonio stretch? What was the excuse then?

I’m sure it was something along the lines of, “There will be another one next year.”

So next year it’s Dublin. And in 2020 it will be New Zealand. (Okay, the 2020 site selection voting is going on this weekend, but no one else has a bid, so…) And likely to be (only one current bid) Washington DC in 2021 , Chicago in 2022, and Minneapolis in 2073.

Too early to start planning my excuse/reason for missing it next year?

I’ll watch the Hugo awards and masquerade online… Wait, it just hit me. No, I won’t. They’ll be on at times when I’m tied up with my job at the air show.

Y’all have fun in San Jose. Say hello to fandom for me. I’ll be over here being adult, boring, mundane, and contemplating the similarities between a rut and a grave.

(Wow, THAT escalated quickly!)

Leave a comment

Filed under CAF, Fandom, Paul

Thinning Patience

A half hour last night, another half hour tonight…

We have a problem with our cable signal and of course we can’t get anyone on the phone other than people who want us to reboot our cable box, make sure that our wires are all tightly connected, and check to see if we’ve got the TV set to the correct input source.

Anyone want to tell me horror stories about DirectTV or AT&T or Dish or whatever other options or out there so that I’ll realize just how good I’ve really got it?

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Freakin' Idiots!

New Mycelium Attack Plan – Early & Often!!

Okay, gather ’round! Here’s the new plan for taking over Paul’s lawn! Instead of four or five big mushrooms pushing up on Wednesday just to get cut down on Thursday, let’s have a bunch of small ones pop up on Monday!!!

It could work!

(David Attenborough narrator voice: “It will not work.”)

But in that little gap between the sidewalk and the grass was this guy, who freaked out of his pinhead-sized brain and started scurrying around like a lunatic until he went straight off the sidewalk and into the gutter, where he continued to scurry until he suddenly froze.

Smaller than my little finger, maybe he thought if he closed his eyes and he held really, REALLY still and he couldn’t see me, then I couldn’t see him.

I do love my little lizard pals!

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Critters, Photography

Forty-One Hour Old Moon

I don’t know that I’ve kept strict records, but this has got to be about the earliest I’ve ever seen the new moon. One day, sixteen hours, fifty-nine minutes as of the middle of this series of photos – forty-one hours, give or take.

I saw it first through binoculars – it was so faint in the still illuminated sunset sky that it was another ten minutes before I could see it with the naked eye.

As light as the sky was and as dim as the moon was, there was very little contrast between them.

In a minute though, Venus popped out, still fairly high in the sky. (Remember Venus?) I ran to get the other camera, since they were still fairly far apart.

Venus in the upper left, the moon just above the tree tops at the lower right. (Click to enlarge.)

Contrast got a touch better as it got darker, but the moon was still very close to the sun, which meant it was setting soon after the sun, before it could get very dark.

Tomorrow night it will be higher, closer to Venus, still up when it’s darker. And we start the cycle over again.

Go check it out!

1 Comment

Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space

Bearcat Closeups

When you get up close and personal with an F8-F Bearcat, it’s all nut, bolts, wires, metal, grease, and rivets – designed to tear through the sky like a bat out of Hell! It’s a beautiful thing.

Leave a comment

Filed under CAF, Flying, Photography

West & East

When it’s getting golden in the west…

…the trees light up in the east.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized