Thursday, September 30, 2010

Whiteman Air Force Base Air Show - 9/19/2010

Scott invited me to take in the Whiteman AFB Air Show with him on Sunday, 9/19 . He drove and treated me for lunch which made it a really special event. The day started cloudy, cool, and windy. Around noon, the sun burned away the haze just in time for the aerial show to begin. I haven't been to an air show for many years so I enjoyed the heck out of it. In the photo below, the A10 Warthogs (Thunderbolts) are lined up on the tarmac.

A large cargo plane.

Air Force tanker.

An old B-52........still awesome.

The air traffic control tower at Whiteman.

A B-1B supersonic bomber.

The cargo bay of the medium sized freighter. It is large but the C-5 is even bigger.

The bay can hold one Abrams tank or it can be fitted with seats for 165 soldiers.

A aircraft carrier based WWII naval fighter/bomber.

F-18 Hornets ready to go.

The Army Golden Knights parachute team's plane.

Another view of the B-52. If you enlarge the photo, you can see major wrinkles in the skin due to age and the stress of flight.

The B-52's massive landing gear.

The B-52 bomb bay area.

Scott posing in front of the Air Force's monster truck fashioned after the A-10.

Another view of an of my favorite planes.

The business end of an A-10.

Impressive rear view of the B-1.

Scott in the bomb bay of the big as the B-52.

A B-26 bomber from WWII.

A P-51 Mustang.

The DC-3.........a Hall of Famer.

Japanese "Zero" fighter.

The B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Apache Attack helicopter.

Acrobatic Bi-plane was fun to watch.

Look carefully to see the "wing walker".

The Navy's prop driven acrobatic team.

An old Russian MIG-17 fighter taxis down the apron.

Fly over by the B-2.

The Air Force Thunderbirds (F-16's) await their show.

A Golden Knight parachuter with smoke trail.

Two Golden Knights streaking down together from 12,500 feet.

The two pull the rip cord and separate.

The Thunderbirds in formation.

An awesome show.
Below is a video of the airshow. Still photos don't do an air show justice. The video isn't great but it has its moments. I used Sigrid's little point and shoot camera instead of my Canon because hers had video capability and I didn't want to carry two cameras. Her camera doesn't have a view finder on it so you have to use the LCD screen to frame your photos. That is tough in bright sunlight and trying to follow fast airplanes with outstretched arms. Click on the Play Arrow to watch the video.
By the way, some people never learn a lesson. With the cloudy start to the day and with me wearing a hat and making it a point to stay in the shade...........I didn't think that the sun screen lotion that I brought with me would be necessary (remember Hawaii). I am almost done peeling 12 days later.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Passion Flower

Sigrid received seeds for the Passion Flower from her sister, Sonja, who lives near Frankfurt, Germany. Sigrid planted the seeds in a pot on our deck this spring and they are just now blooming. It is a pretty wild looking flower. It sure has lots of moving parts and those parts have religious symbolism associated with them.

Here is what we found on the web:

The Passion Flower with its various parts is seen as a symbols of Jesus' scourging, crowning with thorns and crucifixion.

This flower, a genus with numerous species, indigenous to the tropical Americas, is unique among the hundreds of old Christian flower symbols in that there is specific historical documentation of the time and place of its origin - the symbolism having been first perceived by the Mexican Augustinian friar, Emmanuel de Villegas, who reported it, with sketches, in Europe in 1610.

It is said that the test of the authenticity of the biblical Prophets was the enduring acceptance of their prophecies by the community. The same can be said of religious flower symbols, whatever their origin: if they achieve enduring acceptance, this signifies, as in the case of the Passion Flower,that they contain a certain "prophetic" unction which enriches the faith and devotion of the believers.

The endurance in religious oral tradition of the "galaxy" of flower symbols of Our Lady, and of her life and her mysteries from medieval times, as discovered and recorded for literate tradition by botanists and folklorists, bears testimony to their enriching prophetic unction, which we at Mary's Gardens propose for wider knowledge and appreciation.

The Passion Flower symbolism, as originally perceived, and then augmented, includes:

The spiraled tendrils- the lash of Christ's scourging
The central flower column - the pillar of the Scourging
The 72 radial filaments- the Crown of Thorns
The top 3 stigma - the 3 Nails
The lower 5 anthers - the 5 wounds
The Style- the Sponge used to moisten Christ's Lips with Vinegar
The leaves (some species) - the head of the Centurion's Spear
The red stains - Christ's Blood Drops
The Round Fruit- The World Christ came to save
The Fragrance- The Spices prepared by the Holy Women

This multiple symbolism of the Passion Flower combines a number of symbols found in flowers individually in the prior traditions of the rural countrysides of the Old World, from which the missionaries to the New World came.

The photo above is of the actual flower on our deck and it looks better than the one on the web site, even if I do say so myself.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Family From New Zealand Visits

We had an unexpected treat this week when one of my relatives dropped in to visit while travelling from Kentucky to Minnesota to visit other relatives.

Arnold Parr lives in Akaroa, New Zealand which is not far from Christchurch. He was born in Canada but traveled to the south pacific many years ago to teach. He is just retired from his position of Senior Lecturer at the School of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

Arnold is deeply into genealogy and has traveled all around the U. S. and internationally to research our family tree. His database includes over 3,000 family members........totally impressive. Arnold comes to the U. S. to visit family and do research almost every year. He has a son with family and many other relatives spread across Canada and the Midwest.

As for our exact relationship, Arnold's Great-Great Grandmother is my Great Grandmother. All our family on this branch is from Finland and immigrated to the U. S. (Minnesota) and Canada. It was taxing our brains too much to decide what the proper name for our relationship was, so we just agreed to be cousins.

We hope to see Arnold when we cruise to New Zealand in November this year and then again whenever he is passing though the Midwest.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Nice Photo of Sigrid

Sigrid volunteers for a number of things at John Knox Village. She, along with Edel DeMaria, runs the Ice Cream Shop at the Care Center on Sundays from 1 to 4 PM.

As a Hospice volunteer she maintains vases of fresh flowers in each Hospice patients room. This involves picking up the old vases, cleaning them, picking up donated flowers from Hy-Vee, arranging the flowers in the vases, and delivering them to the Care Center. She does this every week. There can be from 30 to 70 vases each week.

The photo below is from the Village Hospice Magazine and shows Sigrid visiting with one of her patients. She assists them in any way she can by doing light house cleaning, fixing meals, running errands, and just about anything else short of medical related things. She helps the families after the death of her patient if needed (not a normal Hospice duty). She has had three patients over the last couple of years, but currently doesn't have a patient.

It isn't a job many people want to do because of the emotional downsides. Sigrid has a great attitude about what she does. She knows that her efforts are enormously appreciated and makes one of life's most unavoidable and dreaded events a little more bearable. I totally respect and admire her for her efforts.

Retirement Goal Update - 2010

At my retirement in 2006, I set a couple of goals for our travels. The first was to visit all 50 states and the second was to visit 6 of the world's continents. It is time for an update.

On the domestic side, we have been to 37 of the states. All that remains is the upper Midwest and the northeastern states. One good driving trip, which may happen next year, could pretty much finish this goal. Of course, we wouldn't be able to see everything, but we could check the states off the list of unvisited places. I expect that after the driving trip, we would make more focused trips back to places like New York City or Boston and could fly rather than drive. Sigrid and I have been in some of these states individually for business or just getting from one place to another, but our goal involves being there together for the purpose of sightseeing.

On the international front, we have been to three continents so far. If I count the Australia/New Zealand cruise that we have booked and will be leaving for in a few weeks, we will be at four before the end of the year. This would include 22 different countries.

We will never see all the countries of the world and don't really want to due to the risks and costs. We do love the peaceful countries, their cultures, and arts.

South America and Peru (Machu Pichu) are high on the list as is the Mediterranean. Africa would be a great cruise as well.

Hopefully our health will continue and the economy will slowly get better so we can afford to complete our goals.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Outstandingly Good

I am finally getting really good using our new grill. I still prefer the taste of hickory briquet's to gas fired flames, but you can't beat the convenience.

Labor Day weekend Fillet Mignon's.........a rare treat. Even on a gas grill, they were fantastic. They looked just like the Ruth's Chris Steakhouse pictures. Are you hungry yet?