Tag Archives: flight

1 balloon to lighten your day

balloon 1

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VinFiz

On April 3, 1912 , Cal Rogers was flying his aeroplane over Long Beach , CA . Crowds on the beach were watching . Cal flew right into a flock of birds and , as a result , crashed into the ocean and died . His was the first aircraft downed by a flock of birds .orville wright in flight

1911 cal rogers on phoneCal Rogers crash

Of course , CA wasn’t CA back then . 1912 was too long ago . People , at least in this country , still spoke not only in complete sentences but also in complete words . CA was California back then .

Then it became Cal . That got a little confusing since one of our great state universities was also called Cal . I have a nephew who attends Cal . They call it  ” Berkeley” now , I think . I guess you could call it  ” UCB ” , too . I haven’t heard that one much . Maybe never heard that one .(But , of course , I’m a southern Cal guy .)  Not like “UCSB” , and ” UCLA “. Those are all over the place .

I never herd [ intentional misspelling ] anyone talking about UCLA as ” The University of California at Los Angeles ” . Well , I’ve heard that once or twice in my lifetime , but I can’t remember when or where or why or who -( m ). Doesn’t matter , does it ?  Anyhow , I am an alum- (nae ? na ? nus ? ) of LA , so’s I should know  [ Na ! Nobody says  “LA” when they mean UCLA . Leastways , not in my neck of the woods . Could be they’re saying it behind my back , I suppose .I just put that in there to see if your [ intentional misspelling ] still paying attention . (Attention spans have gone down in this country , you know , from an average 16 seconds to an average 12 seconds . )[ type of script unintentional ].phone old

I should know grammar ’cause I took lots and lots of English classes at  LA  UCLA . I imagine they must still be teaching English classes over there . I haven’t been back lately to check . Probably their [ i. m. ] all on computer now , though  . Well , maybe not computers , as such . Maybe it’s all on Smart Phone , or iPhone , or clone phone , or whatever they got nowadays . I’m a little behind on the new tech stuff . I’m just now learning how to add friends’ names to the contact list on my flip phone . Keep learning ! They say it’s important !phone old (2)

Going back a bit :

one : Where you going to school ?

two :Berkeley . 

one :Wow ! Tough to get in there these days .

two : I guess . 

NOT :

one : Where you going to school ?

two : LA

one : Wow ………

Well, back to Cal Rogers and Long Beach , California , and pigeons . Maybe sea gulls .  After California became Cal it quickly switched over  to Calif . It was kind of a perpetual question : Cal – if . If only ! No one  [ that I know of ] said  “Calif.” It was strictly a written thing . Businesses did business in Calif . People at the other end of cards and letters lived in Calif.oil field 1930 playa del rey

Calif. was a pretty good place to live [That’s ! a generalization . Kind of depended on who you were , when it comes right down to it , wouldn’t you think  ! ]  during the Calif. days . Lots of water , anyway , and green lawns for kids to play on . Little League Baseball . Pancake breakfasts . Prop planes scooting people around and letting them out on the tarmac . Disneyland . Davy Crockett hats . Smog.  Restricted neighborhoods, etc.   Etc. [  see Kevin Starr volumes ]

I’ve been working with old post cards over at the Arcadia History Museum . It’s no longer the History Museum , though . It’s the Arcadia Museum of Cultural Heritage . The thoughtful people in the city bureaucracy got rid of the history moniker . Too threatening , I guess . Not inclusive enough . ” Heritage ” sounds more  suave and  debonair , I’m sure .

Anyhow .

Some of the cards in the collection have  Calif . , some have  CA , and some have California addresses . Often that’s about the only clue I have to the date of the card .( If the ” Heritage” museum has a carbon-dating machine , I have found it yet .)  And , of course , there’s the zip code /or not , or  the  ” L.A. 46 ” , or ” Los Angeles 6 ” , and the occasional phone numbers , eg. ” Gladstone 4117 ” . Not to mention the stamps on some of the cards , too , as clues : the one cent stamps ; 2 cents foreign .

So , you may wonder , what does all of this have to do with Cal Rogers ? (or , with anything ?) Who remembers Carl Rogers , anyway ! Brought down by a flock of birds . All I can say is : Let that be a lesson to you !  (Or , maybe you weren’t paying attention ? )

Some heritage history : William Randolph Hearst offered a $50,000 prize to anyone who could fly across the country in less that thirty days . Cal Rogers took the challenge . He bought a Wright Bros. plane , took 90 minutes of instruction from Orville , and took off from New York . Cal landed in Pasadena 49 days later . No prize money , too late ;  but , he gave a demonstration over Long Beach for the interested crowds a few days later . His plane he called Vin Fiz , which was the name of a soft drink made by his main financial supporter of the cross-country flight.poster-vinfiz

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VinFiz

On April 3, 1912 , Cal Rogers was flying his aeroplane over Long Beach , CA . Crowds on the beach were watching . Cal flew right into a flock of birds and , as a result , crashed into the ocean and died . His was the first aircraft downed by a flock of birds .orville wright in flight

1911 cal rogers on phoneCal Rogers crash

Of course , CA wasn’t CA back then . 1912 was too long ago . People , at least in this country , still spoke not only in complete sentences but also in complete words . CA was California back then .

Then it became Cal . That got a little confusing since one of our great state universities was also called Cal . I have a nephew who attends Cal . They call it  ” Berkeley” now , I think . I guess you could call it  ” UCB ” , too . I haven’t heard that one much . Maybe never heard that one .(But , of course , I’m a southern Cal guy .)  Not like “UCSB” , and ” UCLA “. Those are all over the place .

I never herd [ intentional misspelling ] anyone talking about UCLA as ” The University of California at Los Angeles ” . Well , I’ve heard that once or twice in my lifetime , but I can’t remember when or where or why or who -( m ). Doesn’t matter , does it ?  Anyhow , I am an alum- (nae ? na ? nus ? ) of LA , so’s I should know  [ Na ! Nobody says  “LA” when they mean UCLA . Leastways , not in my neck of the woods . Could be they’re saying it behind my back , I suppose .I just put that in there to see if your [ intentional misspelling ] still paying attention . (Attention spans have gone down in this country , you know , from an average 16 seconds to an average 12 seconds . )[ type of script unintentional ].phone old

I should know grammar ’cause I took lots and lots of English classes at  LA  UCLA . I imagine they must still be teaching English classes over there . I haven’t been back lately to check . Probably their [ i. m. ] all on computer now , though  . Well , maybe not computers , as such . Maybe it’s all on Smart Phone , or iPhone , or clone phone , or whatever they got nowadays . I’m a little behind on the new tech stuff . I’m just now learning how to add friends’ names to the contact list on my flip phone . Keep learning ! They say it’s important !phone old (2)

Going back a bit :

one : Where you going to school ?

two :Berkeley . 

one :Wow ! Tough to get in there these days .

two : I guess . 

NOT :

one : Where you going to school ?

two : LA

one : Wow ………

Well, back to Cal Rogers and Long Beach , California , and pigeons . Maybe sea gulls .  After California became Cal it quickly switched over  to Calif . It was kind of a perpetual question : Cal – if . If only ! No one  [ that I know of ] said  “Calif.” It was strictly a written thing . Businesses did business in Calif . People at the other end of cards and letters lived in Calif.oil field 1930 playa del rey

Calif. was a pretty good place to live [That’s ! a generalization . Kind of depended on who you were , when it comes right down to it , wouldn’t you think  ! ]  during the Calif. days . Lots of water , anyway , and green lawns for kids to play on . Little League Baseball . Pancake breakfasts . Prop planes scooting people around and letting them out on the tarmac . Disneyland . Davy Crockett hats . Smog.  Restricted neighborhoods, etc.   Etc. [  see Kevin Starr volumes ]

I’ve been working with old post cards over at the Arcadia History Museum . It’s no longer the History Museum , though . It’s the Arcadia Museum of Cultural Heritage . The thoughtful people in the city bureaucracy got rid of the history moniker . Too threatening , I guess . Not inclusive enough . ” Heritage ” sounds more  suave and  debonair , I’m sure .

Anyhow .

Some of the cards in the collection have  Calif . , some have  CA , and some have California addresses . Often that’s about the only clue I have to the date of the card .( If the ” Heritage” museum has a carbon-dating machine , I have found it yet .)  And , of course , there’s the zip code /or not , or  the  ” L.A. 46 ” , or ” Los Angeles 6 ” , and the occasional phone numbers , eg. ” Gladstone 4117 ” . Not to mention the stamps on some of the cards , too , as clues : the one cent stamps ; 2 cents foreign .

So , you may wonder , what does all of this have to do with Cal Rogers ? (or , with anything ?) Who remembers Carl Rogers , anyway ! Brought down by a flock of birds . All I can say is : Let that be a lesson to you !  (Or , maybe you weren’t paying attention ? )

Some heritage history : William Randolph Hearst offered a $50,000 prize to anyone who could fly across the country in less that thirty days . Cal Rogers took the challenge . He bought a Wright Bros. plane , took 90 minutes of instruction from Orville , and took off from New York . Cal landed in Pasadena 49 days later . No prize money , too late ;  but , he gave a demonstration over Long Beach for the interested crowds a few days later . His plane he called Vin Fiz , which was the name of a soft drink made by his main financial supporter of the cross-country flight.poster-vinfiz

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4 balloons to lighten your day

balloon 1 balloon 2 balloon 3 balloon 4

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flying

I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3

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