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Here We Go A Ramblin’

This past weekend Magpie and I met Ramblin’ Kathy who was in town visiting her daughter and grandson. We try to get together when she visits and we always manage to have a new adventure (at least for Magpie and me) – lots of catching up to do and, of course, lots of photos which I am sure you will find on their upcoming blogs.

Here they are posing for a photo I have decided to call…wait for it…..

…BACKGLASSWARDS

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Ben and Jax

Some of you may remember that a little while back we made a trip to Texas to visit my new grand nephew, Benjamin. It’s been too long since I saw Benjamin, and now he’s  a terriblefic TWO!

Ben loves The Wiggles (oh my God, The Wiggles!) and has his own iPod. You should see that kid swipe back and forth. He loves to look at pictures. In fact, he loves pictures so much that we got him his own camera. (Haha! Can you see why I love this kid?)

But guess what else? Benjamin is a big brother now, and this time I got to meet his little brother, Jax!

“Action Jaxson” is always smiling. Like most kids his age he likes to put things in his mouth. He stole my heart the minute his big, bright eyes met mine. It was love at first sight.

So, that was where I went. And may I say that I really admire those of you who work AND blog faithfully. I barely have time to sit and read anymore – not to mention that it’s hard to get together with my fellow adventurer, Magpie, now that we both have *gulp* j*o*b*s. Going to change that pretty quick – Ramblin’ Kathy is in town!

Have a super weekend – and remember to be good to each other!

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Still one of the most beautiful places on this planet (or any other).

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

Shortly following the events of 9/11 an American Flight Attendant, Valerie Thompson, formed a foundation dedicated to the memory of the professionals who crewed American Airlines Flights 11 and 77 and United Airlines Flights 93 and 175. She and her husband, Dean, continued their vision for six years joined by numerous members of the aviation community and others. On July 4th 2008 the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial was dedicated in Grapevine, Texas, just north of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

It is a bronze sculpture based on the design of Bryce Cameron Liston of Salt Lake City, Utah and sculpted by Dean Thompson. It is executed in the Grande style which is one and one half life size. The Memorial has five figures; two pilots, two flight attendants, and a child representing the traveling public. The figures are 14 feet high and with the base stand 18 feet. It is sited facing west on a compass rose. The figures stand on a single block of white Texas limestone. The names of the crew members of the 9/11 flights are engraved on slabs of granite surrounding the base.

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

The figures on the monument pay tribute to all flight crews — representing the valor, dedication, and awe-inspiring commitment that flight crews exhibit. These individuals place their lives on the line every flight and are never sure when they may be transformed from everyday citizens to heroes, catapulted into the pages of history. Here is a description of the monument from a sign posted nearby:

A stone column rises to support a large globe, symbolizing how the aviation industry spans the world. The impressive eagles, a national symbol of freedom, represent both airlines, American and United that lost flights that morning.

The Captain stands at the highest point, his copilot to his right, as it is on the airplane. The Captain is charged with the responsibility of protecting passengers, fellow crewmembers and the aircraft.

The First Officer is alert, his safety manual in hand, pointing to the western horizon, the intended destination of all four flights. Back-to-back placement of the Flight Attendants to the Cockpit Crew shows the teamwork of all flight crews, especially now — post 9/11.

The young girl with her teddy bear represents the traveling public. She is the family on their big vacation, the newlyweds on honeymoon, the grandmother on her very first flight, the weary businessman and unfortunately now… she is the soldier off to war.

The role best known by the general flying public is portrayed by the male Flight Attendant. He drapes a blanket around the small child. His duties show a commitment to passenger care and service.

Indicative of her role as a safety professional, the female Flight Attendant stands in the protected position: her hand held in the International sign for “stop”, shielding her passenger from harm.

Artifacts from 9/11 sites

Alongside the statue are stones from the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA as well as a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. It was very awe inspiring, and I got the goosies while standing there. I can only imagine what it must feel like to stand at Ground Zero.

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

I’m On Vacation!

Which actually means something since I’m working now. I hope that explains why I haven’t been around.

This is “The World’s Largest Chile” which inexplicably sits inside a fence outside a motel in Las Cruces, NM. It is 47 feet long and contains over 2 tons of concrete. I guess this is the Chile Wagon sitting beside it.

Now I just need to find the “The World’s Largest Margarita”!

Hope Your Weekend Shines

California Dreamin’

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point Lighthouse near Half Moon Bay

You can probably tell by the last few posts that my mind is several hundred miles from the Arizona desert. In particular I am thinking today of our trip to the northern coast of California that we took a couple of years ago. I can remember this day like it was yesterday. It was so cool that I had to wear a sweatshirt. In August!

I am thinking that two years is way too much time in between trips so…I’m lobbying for something up the Oregon coast. I read once about a guided tour hunting for fossils along a beach somewhere. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Do you know how some days you’re the windshield and others you’re the bug? Well, today I felt like the bug. I don’t know how fast the car that hit me was going, but they were definitely breaking the speed limit. SPLAT! That’s how my day went. As if that wasn’t bad enough, someone kept smacking me with the windshield wipers! But, tomorrow is another day, and thinking back to this trip makes me feel better.

A few observations I made today:

  1. It must be an election year. Everyone thinks they have something important to say (or know someone who does) and is convinced I want to hear it.
  2. When Neil Armstrong got frustrated because something didn’t work, did he say “They can send me to the moon, but they can’t make this simple thing work”?
  3. It must be an election year because I’m starting to hear all the same promises I heard 4 years ago.
  4. If something gets ruined in the wash it will be your favorite pair of shorts.
  5. If it only rains for 5 minutes a day it will be when you walk from your car to the office. And forgot your umbrella.
  6. A bad day on the water is better than a good day at work.
  7. It must be an election year.