Category Archives: Video

Do Yourself A Big Favor Today

Watch this video:

I do so dearly love Disturbed version of this song, and I’ve raved about their original video, which is spectacular. But their music and the accompanying video of our planet from space – I could just wallow in that combination of sounds and sights for hours.

Thank you, NASA Johnson! And Disturbed! And Paul Simon!

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Space, Video

Looking For The Word…

…to describe the action of puckering your lips, blowing, emitting vowel-like sounds in your throat, all while simultaneously flicking your finger rapidly up & down across the lips to make “bur-burbeling” sounds.

You all know what I’m talking about. It’s a universal thing, we learn it as we’re pre-verbal infants, from the Australian outback to the strollers of Central Park. If you have no pride or self-respect and are willing to record yourself doing it and then putting that video clip out on the internet for all the world to see, it’s this:

For the record, Siri was no help, although she was hilarious. In particular, the first answer returned was profound!

So, that. THAT sound or noise or action or thing.

What’s that called?

1 Comment

Filed under Paul, Photography, Video

Really – Smoky, Cloudy Sun Over Ramp Pano – Plus Video

Yesterday I said it was self-explanatory, only to push the “Publish” button instead of the “Save Draft” button before I could actually upload and insert the aforementioned panoramic photo. Which is:

The picture I had uploaded was very nice, but it wasn’t the one advertised. This is.

Enlarge it for the detail, you’ll see that not only did we have the smoke, the clouds, the sun, and so on, but we had a whole bunch of guests on site. They got to see our P-51 Mustang do a couple of passes. Because you deserve the best, here’s a gorgeous, high-speed pass with a great high-speed break and 180° climbing turn. Listen to her whistle!

Finest kind! Watching this and hearing that Merlin engine purr is one of the reasons I do all of this work for the CAF SoCal Wing.

1 Comment

Filed under CAF, Flying, Panorama, Photography, Video

Birthday Present For FedEx

I wasn’t privvy to many details, but from what I heard there was some sort of anniversary or birthday party that FedEx was throwing for itself down at their LAX facility. That facility sits atop what was once one of the primary North American Aviation factories during World War II, back when LAX was known as Mines Field.

We happen to have two magnificent examples of that particular North American factory, our P-51 Mustang and our PBJ bomber.

They asked if we might be able to send those two aircraft down for the party. To the best of my knowledge we’ve never had our planes at LAX before, nor are there many that ever go in there with the big aluminium tubes from the airlines. So we went.

It was a nice day for flying in SoCal. (Not that I got to leave the ground – someone had to pay the bills today.)

It’s great to have our P-51 flying again after being down over a year with a complete engine rebuild, and the PBJ is going strong and hitting her stride after her first flight last year following a 23-year full restoration.

Coming soon to an airshow near you, especially if you’re on the West Coast or in SoCal. If nothing else if you’re in SoCal, the 2017 Wings Over Camarillo airshow will be at our home base on August 19th and 20th. Come out and see our facilities and planes! (I will not be there for the first time in years – it’s a total solar eclipse weekend for me.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Airshows, CAF, Flying, Photography, Video

Gary Gopher

From yesterday’s groundbreaking:

I was glad to see the little guy. I figured if he wasn’t too nervous to come out, if his little gopher senses weren’t all a tingle, there probably weren’t any rattlesnakes in the immediate vicinity.

It didn’t occur to me until just now that he might be thinking the exact same thing about us…

1 Comment

Filed under Critters, Habitat For Humanity, Video

Not A Once In A Lifetime Thing Any More

As mentioned yesterday, Space X just launched out of Florida on Friday and  then was going to try to launch out of California today, an unprecedented feat for a private space company, and one which even NASA the Air Force and their subcontractors don’t try.

So yeah, they succeeded. Brilliantly. Ten new Iridium satellites were delivered perfectly into their proper orbits – and the booster was recovered safely, landing on the Pacific Ocean based barge, “Just Read The Instructions.” Go ahead, watch the video that Mr. Musk links to and tell me that it’s not impressive as hell.

Going out of Vandenberg, a two-hour drive north of us, on a Sunday afternoon, one would think it would be a perfect opportunity to go see a launch. You can’t get on the base, but there are viewing spots in the Lompoc area where you can get a pretty good view.

Here’s a video that my friend Kate Squires posted on FaceBook. I just love the “ripping” sound you get at about 1:05 as the noise hits you:

I had commitments that kept me from going, but it’s not even a bad thing – BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO DO IT AGAIN. Soon. And then do it again. And again.

A launch used to be something that was almost unique unless you worked for NASA or the Air Force or a subcontractor or lived in the area. For guys like me with a “normal” job and a need to travel to see a launch, it was a destination and something to be planned out. It was a big freakin’ deal. A given launch might not be a true “once in a lifetime” opportunity (well, maybe Apollo 11, or the first shuttle flight, or the last shuttle flight…) but it was definitely not an every day occurrence.

SpaceX is well on the way to changing that. We might be a few years away from them having daily launches – but that’s what they’re aiming for.

They’re already talking about landing some of the boosters not back at a big, open landing site a mile or two from the launch pad, but back on the launch pad itself. They’re serious. They’re talking about a day when they have so little refurbishment necessary that they launch, land back on the pad, load the next payload on top, refuel, and launch the same rocket again within 24-hours. At which point they presumably would do it again.

That may be a ways off, simply because the market isn’t there for that yet. But it’s a chicken-and-egg problem. The market isn’t there because no one is designing projects that require hundreds or even thousands of launches because there was no conceivable way to get a thousand launches. But if you could, and if you could get those thousand launches for what it used to cost to get ten launches, and you could use those thousand launches to…

Look at the time! It’s late – we’ll have to continue that thought tomorrow or the next day. But you get the idea.

As for true “once in a lifetime” events, there’s one of those coming up in two months, which we also should talk about in the next day or two.

(I’m such a tease!)



Filed under Astronomy, Space, Video

Bomber Flight Video

​​​Videos from yesterday’s flight in our PBJ bomber. One of the striking things to me was the differences in the sound of the engines in various places.

From the waist gunner’s seat on the starboard side, just aft of the wing. ​​

From just aft of the round (and open!) hole on the starboard side. Listen to the sound of those pistons popping!!


From the tail gunner’s position, looking out the back.

Leave a comment

Filed under CAF, Flying, Video