October 2007 Archives

Fire Bombers

Off we went on Saturday through the desert in Southern California. Northwest of Lancaster I saw numerous colorful tails at William J. Fox Field. We headed over to check them out.

The sky was gray and just starting to clear after a weak cold front moved through the area. The fire bombers were grounded by the weather and waiting for a chance to get to work. While we were there, the engines came to life and most of them took to the air to fight the remaining blazes in Orange County or San Diego.

Fox Field is home to the National Forest Service base for air operations in the area. They have maintenance facilities, loading stations for fire retardant and even their own tower. It was a powerful sight of aircraft built long ago that are still capable of performing a very gallant task.

Our thanks to all the firefighters and first responders who have helped so many. And our thoughts, best wishes and prayers for those victims of theses massive, fast moving blazes.

This P2V-5 Neptune was built in 1954 as a submarine patrol aircraft and bomber. It still carries on the bomber role against a different enemy. The main engines are Curtiss Wright R3350-32WA 18 cylinder radial engines. It also has two Westinghouse J34-WE-34 jet engines. Capable of delivering 12,000 lbs of fire retardant on a pinpoint target this is one beautiful airplane, especially to the firefighters on the ground watching the flames approach.


A Neptune taxis with the canopy open for some cool air.

Make sure you check out the new gallery with more photos of the air operations, and also some other interesting shots from the outing in the desert...

Route 66 Rendezvous

Each September you can get your kicks by attending the Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino, California.
This event is huge, they close the entire downtown area to normal traffic.  If you enter the event with a cool car, you get a parking place and permission to cruise all you want. While your car is parked it becomes part of the show.

Commemorating the "Mother Road" which extended from Chicago to LA the cruising route runs along the historic highway for a few blocks and then circles the entire city center. It passes buildings and businesses that have been here since this was the main route through the area. In its heyday, before the time of freeways, this road represented the heart of America.

Here's a few photos from the event. There are more in a new gallery accessible from the home page.

All the blur effects are slow shutter speeds and panning, evening fun for the photographer.




Peterson Auto Museum

Recently we took another trip to the Peterson Automotive Museum. We heard the Microcars were there and wanted to see the tiny little things. The SMART car looks positively large compared to some of the little vehicles on display. There's a new gallery of images on the website that features images of them as well as some of the other vehicles in the museum.

The museum is a difficult place to take pictures, it's dim and no tripods are allowed. Flash is allowed, but with all the reflective surfaces it's difficult to expose with an on camera unit. I've been there numerous times and tried a number of different techniques. The best I've found is to use a beanbag on the camera and find places to support it that aren't off limits.

Here are a few images with cars that have memories attached...

auto_museum (9 of 31).jpgThis 1957 Ford Convertible Hardtop is just like the one that my Mom had when I was a kid. I can remember watching in awe when the top retracted into the trunk. There are a number of cars with this feature today, but it was one of a kind back then.

auto_museum (29 of 31).jpgSteve McQueen's Jaguar XKSS. This car made runs along Mulholland Drive on numerous occasions. I lived on the road and can remember all the Mulholland racers.

auto_museum (30 of 31).jpgJewelry Nudie had this car parked in front of his store on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood almost every day. He was quite a character. I once flew with him from Nashville to Los Angeles and heard humorous stories while he tried to sell me every piece of jewelry he was wearing. 8 watches, 16 rings, 6 pairs of cuff links, pins, broaches, etc, etc...

If you get a chance, go visit the museum. The cars will bring back memories.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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