Just Fly One Time

I flew my first hour today (technically, 0.8 hours since the instructor handled the takeoff and landing) on a beautiful fall day over Puget Sound and it was absolutely incredible. That featherweight feeling halfway down the runway when the wheels leave the ground and it’s just you and your little Cessna 172P aloft in the clear blue sky left me in a rare moment of speechlessness. It was thrilling yet tranquil at the same time, a surreal feeling of defying the gravity that is otherwise completely inescapable our entire lives but with such ease and effortlessness that it felt comfortable, natural. I walked away beaming broadly and thinking furiously about how to arrange my next hour in the air.

Below is a video of my flight over Seattle – don’t worry, the hour is cropped and compressed down to just four minutes. I hope it somehow captures the amazing feeling that I’m still struggling to explain.

NWMotiv inMotion Show & Drift – September 2012

NWMotiv put on a great show and kept the energy high all day, bouncing us between the indoor car show and outdoor drift track and filling what could have been a very long 13-hour day with music, contests and some great rides. It’s been years since a Seattle show was this well-developed, dating back to the Hot Import Nights events circa 2004, so it was really encouraging to see a great turnout and some new momentum for the PacNW car show scene.

My Z was not at this show, unfortunately, as a sensor/hesitation ghost I’ve been chasing kept it home in the garage. I underestimated how odd and excluded it feels to be an exhibitor without a car, and how frustrating and disappointing it would be to repeatedly explain why it wasn’t there. Spending all day second-guessing my decision (“Should I have just driven it anyway?”, “Should I have towed to the show?”, “I probably could have made it this far”, “This is the spot it would be parked in if it were here”, “If it didn’t start at the end people would have helped me”) just meant that I chewed on myself sufficiently all day to prevent ever really enjoying anything. I also underestimated how bored I would be without a car to attend to, despite some worthy distractions. Filling my void of purpose with photography was only partially successful, as although I snapped several thousand shots of the show, the drift event, and everything in between, I didn’t enjoy that very much, either. In the end, there are some shots in here that I’m actually quite happy with, so apparently listless melancholy is a good artistic engine for me.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Shuttle Endeavor flyover

My flight out of Oakland today was mid-taxi, just about to turn onto the active runway and take off, when we suddenly came to a complete stop and the captain came on the PA to explain why. Space Shuttle Endeavor would be flying overhead, latched onto its special 747 on a flyby route buzzing the San Francisco Bay. The whole plane – passengers and crew – clamored for the left side windows, and I was one of the few who could get to my camera without unpacking a bag or booting up a phone so I took a couple awkward shots leaning across the window seat passenger. She was actually in my seat and I should have objected when I boarded since I pick window seats on purpose, but I was nice and let her keep it – now I wish I had been more pushy, as I could have perhaps taken a slightly better picture.

Regardless, it was an unusual moment that won’t happen again, as Endeavor’s landing marks the last time a shuttle will fly. The passengers buzzed excitedly afterward and then sat quietly without protest waiting for the runway to be opened again – a rare moment of reserved patience from modern air travelers. It was poignant and cool, a lot cooler than these pixely pictures indicate.

Lewiston Hot August Nights Show & Shine – August 2012

Photos from Day 3 of a 4-day roadtrip weekend with David and Tyler and the 3rd day of Lewiston Idaho’s 2012 Hot August Nights weekend, this is the Show & Shine along Main St on Saturday morning. Amazing hot rods, clever rat rods, beautiful classics and Lewiston hospitality!

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Double Cousins Week – June 2012

Just a few hours after my flight home from Oakland landed, LeAnna and Frankie arrived from Portland to spend the weekend with us. We had a great time with them, exploring downtown looking for dessert shops open after 8pm (there were more than I expected) and showing them some of our Seattle favorites. They also experienced what my friend Holly coined “the unshaven armpit of Seattle”, the Fremont Solstice Festival, including the crazily creative Solstice Parade, “art car” car show and all that comes along with spending a day in Fremont. The highlight of Solstice, as always, was Erica’s extravagantly-hosted pre-parade party, complete with genius orange-rind jello shots.

They scheduled their trip around a Mariners/Giants game that turned out to be a surprise overtake for the Mariners and a perfect night to be at a ball game. It wasn’t great news for all the Giants fans in the stadium – and there were a lot, including our guests – but it was nice to see Seattle’s fairweather fans make some noise for a change.

The “double” to the week was because I spent Wednesday night with MaryAnn, Mark and their daughter Claire. They are generous hosts who share a great homemade meal when I can schedule a night away from work during one of my weeks in Oakland. It’s been really fun getting to know them again as adults as we share a lot of interests in common and can easily spend the night talking about technology, architecture and urban design.

It’s great spending time with my cousins – they are awesome people and we have a lot more in common than just a last name. 🙂

A gallery of shots from the weekend is below:

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Product Review: Motorola S-305 Bluetooth Headphones

A third person asked me today what these headphones are that I wear all day at the office – either on my ears or loosely around my neck – so I thought it made sense to share them with everyone. They are Motorola S305’s and they are awesome. Why they are so great:

  • iPhone compatibility is great, including with non-native apps like Spotify.
  • They are pretty sturdy – mine have been rained on quite a bit, been smashed into my bag, and still perform flawlessly.
  • They are loud enough that you can drown out other sounds, but you can still hear through them well enough that it’s safe to walk around and cross the street and whatnot.
  • Batteries seem to easily last a couple full work days, although I charge mine every night along with everything else.
  • They use a pretty-standard micro-USB charging plug.
  • Although not great in a noisy place as the mic is way up on your ear, they double as pretty good headset, and switch back and forth seamlessly.
  • Comfortable, and very, very light. I like behind-the-head styles a lot because I can drop them around my neck and still hear ambient phone noises in relative privacy. And because they don’t mess up my hair (huge downside of traditional headphones).

For the price (under $40) they are really excellent. I hope Motorola makes them forever… although mine may last that long anyway.