Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mother's Worry List

We regularly check on line to see what our son's daily training schedule will be, or what he has been doing the past few days. Last night my wife text me, "Do you know what Tim did today[?]" A colleague of mine finished his service as a flight instructor at NAS Corpus Christi after he returned from Vietnam. He happened to have been in the same training squadron as my son - only forty-five years earlier. He said his dad would have given anything at that time to have been able to follow his training progress on the Internet, like we do today. Now that our son is at NAS Kingsville, seeing whether the type of activity[ies] for the day will be an exercise in the simulators (Sim C) or time flying (Flight),  is usually enough to meet our curiosity. But once-in-a-while, I will cut-and-paste the Event code into the Web browser and look up the PowerPoint briefing for that event. This next Monday's 1.3 hour event is titled: 

All of this jargon has to do with preparing several students for flying close to one another in formation (1). Below is the Recommended Flight Conduct for the event from the brief, shown with my interpretation of what a mother of a naval jet pilot in-training would see when read: 

start Malfunctions
ground Emergencies
interval Abort
interval take off with Emergency
parade visual flight rules
instrument flight rule
engine Emergencies
flight control Emergencies
electrical Emergencies
environmental control system Emergencies
fuel system Emergencies
Precautionary approach
section approach 
Missed approach with Emergency
visual flight rules Recovery and pattern Emergencies
visual flight rules landing pattern  


(1) Just as my son was taking the freeway exit into Kingsville last autumn when we helped him move from Corpus Christi, several T-45's in formation were doing their break away pattern to land. It was pretty exciting to see. Tim is now preparing to do the same - a bit of a scary thought - several inexperienced ensigns learning to flying in formation together.


Postscript, April 6, 2012: The F/A-18 crash in Virginia Beach yesterday, made this blog posting about emergency procedure training sobering. A news video clip can be viewed clicking here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Plainfield Sibbling - Another Ellie Bogardus

Encore Un Peu - Ellie Bogardus, 1975
I received a comment on the Hotel California blog post of the photographs of Ellie Bogardus paintings provided by the University of Southern California instructor Trixy Sweetvittles. The Plainfield, New Jersey Public Library has a collection of paintings, and one donated by Joseph Da Rold is titled Encore Un Peu - Still A Few by Ellie. Da Rold is the director of the library, and in his background biographical sketch, it mentions: During the 30 years he lived in California and worked in the library science field doing advanced research projects for Warner Brothers, Da Rold eventually became the director of a small municipal library and served as president of his condominium association. So, a California connection that may have been when he acquired the Bogardus painting. I sent an email to find out more details.
Postscript - March 29, 2012

I wrote to the director of the Plainfield Library asking about details regarding the Ellie Painting he donated to the library. Below is his reply - more information behind the painting.

She is one of the few artists whose work I have purchased that I never met.   While I was Director at the Santa Fe Springs City Library (Los Angeles County) I was asked by the City Council to acquire paintings by area artists for the City Hall.  I worked with Tom Enman, then Director of Laguna Beach Art Museum, and Micheline Schwartzkopf, owner of Abraxas Gallery in Newport Beach.  On one of my art buying trips I saw the Bogardus paintings in another gallery.  Although I did not select one for the City's collection, I purchased one for myself, which I eventually donated to the Plainfield Public L[i]brary where I have been building an art collection for 20 years.

The date (1975) is on the painting itself; the title is on the back.  I have never known her first name or anything about her, except I understood she was in her late 80's or 90's back in the early 1980's.  My staff has been gathering biographical information on the painters in our collection, which is why I have been reaching out to find out something about her.  I wrote to the Laguna Beach Museum a few years ago but never had a response.

Thank you for getting in touch.  I'm sorry I don't have any other information, but If you have any details you can share with us, I would be very appreciative.

Joe Da Rold

In response:

Thanks for the reply and the details. Below are links in my blog that have a fair amount of information about Ellie to pick through, and some links about vital information - she was only 67 when she died in 2002. She was a neighbor near my parents' second home in Cambria. I have been collecting information about Ellie through the blog, and have acquired photographs of her works from various folks who have replied to my blog - such as you!

Feel free to use the information. Ellie was an artist on some of the earliest television cartoons, and on television cartoon features such as Charlie Brown and Garfield. I have also been in communication with her former husband and his children (not her children) who are French and all artists in their own rights.

Have a good weekend,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Still Crazy After All These Years

County of Denver Ballpark
I have been watching and wondering with anticipation through MLB Spring Training - will Jamie Moyer make a place on the Colorado Rockies rotation, and put another record in the books? The New York Times ran a good article today - the latest of a string of novelty articles around the country pointing towards the potential for more baseball history in the making. I hope the season turns out being more than a novelty, and his wins record continues to climb, the ERA goes down, and the number of home runs given up stays just where they are right now. I guess you have to be focused and crazy to keep running (and throwing) after all of these years - still crazy after all these years.
Another good article here, from his former team town Philadelphia.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Waiting By The Phone - So To Speak

Happy Ensign
"Safe on deck, home soon! Phone was dead all day[.]"

Very glad to get this text message this past Wednesday evening. We can keep track of our son's daily schedule and what specific training events are planned for the day. The preparation for his first solo had to be restarted this week because of bad weather last week. Before soloing for the first time, the trainees must have a check flight with an instructor to certify they are ready. Because of the weather, the maximum time window allowed between the check flight and solo was exceeded, so another check ride this week and hope for good weather in the next three days. Success in the skies for both. Without knowing that his cell phone was not working caused some worry on my part when there was no confirmation of good weather for flying or a successful flight (and landing) more than four hours after the scheduled one-hour time for the solo. The marvels of internet and cellular technologies - imagination fills the voids in time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jumping Jack Flash - Flying Squirrels

Hanging Twenty
The weather has been warming up, so the squirrels in our backyard are out in force. At least one of them has learned how to by-pass the baffle this is supposed to keep the critters off of our bird feeder pole, and the suet feeders get cleaned out in just a few days. Our peach trees have been blooming, as have the early daffodils along the freeway or in town and along streets where the thermal units have been adding up faster than in our yard. The trees are still bare, so as it has been during the winter, I can watch how the squirrels leap from one tree to another, their extremities stretched out showing the skin that forms a small gliding surface.

These Eastern Gray Squirrels are not at all the leapers that Northern Flying Squirrels are that have large gliding surfaces between their fore and hind legs. I never saw the flying ones when I used to backpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, even though Hamilton Lakes where I camped a few times was supposed to be a place where they could be found - or at least my old Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America said so. I hadn't looked at any actual range maps for flying squirrels before, but one for California shows it to be wide-spread.

Hanging Twenty #2
Even though I have never seen a flying squirrel fly, I imagine if you look at this link you can get a good idea for what it would look like, at least through binoculars with excellent magnification and resolution. Only if I were younger.

Early Warning System

Desecrated new cereal box
My eldest son made a short trip down from Oregon to visit grandparents in California - just a few days portal-to-portal. He spent last night at my folks' house, so was there this morning to experience their early morning routines. He sent me a text message with a photograph that was captioned, "Guess what creature had a hard time getting into the cereal this morning[?]"

My response, "Grandpa Steiner."


My warning a text exchange later, "...just remember, you will have Mom and me like this in 30 years, and then you and Anna will be the same."

His response, "...And I do realize that we will be in this same position soon a while though[.]"

Parenting doesn't stop after children have grown to be adults. I find when I look at multi-generation family photographs, that I do some quick math to calculate out how old my folks were when looking at the younger children - trying to figure out where my age lines up with that of my folks when they were that age in a similar scene. Regardless of when looking backwards - the difference in ages then - the difference in ages when looking forward doesn't look as great now - especially when I look in the mirror and see the face of an old man. It is funny how when walking in crowds of younger people or when alone, I think I am young; but mirrors tell the truth.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

(My) Midnight in Paris

Cafe de Paris, Columbia MD
A friend from work and I went out to dinner last night. Since Jan is on the west coast - it was a good break from three nights of Chinese food leftovers from the Joy Luck takeout close to our house. Charlie is a regular at the Cafe' de Paris in Columbia. He is single now, and says he typically eats out half of the time. When I asked whether he wanted to go out this week, he immediately asked,

"Would you like to go the the restaurant a friend of mine owns, but it is a long drive?"


After following him on the freeway north to Columbia and stopping by his house to let the dogs out - really nice dogs - he rode in my car and directed me to the restaurant. He asked if it was OK that we sit in the bar - sure - so we sat at a bistro table by the window, while a couple of musicians played and sang familiar tunes fitting for an over 40's crowd and as patrons slowly began to fill the small lounge on a dark and rainy Friday evening.

We pretty much avoided talk about work, other than how the folks at work and friends had helped him make it through the past couple of years since Jane died. Charlie is interesting to listen to, he is taking guitar lessons to get back his level of competency he had in the 70's, but for jazz rather than rock music. What I learned new was he is a collector of aviation art and books, with a specialty for World War I planes - an expert. He said he has even written pieces for the Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine, and was working on a book until his co-author died. I did a Google Scholar search, and found Over the Front, the magazine of an association for WWI aviation. With a little cross searching, I found in the the magazine's 1998 issue table of contents an article: The Last of the Foggiani by Theodore M. Hamady and Charles L. Walthall - I will have to request a reprint. One of his books showed a print of an airplane scene in Nancy, France (1) - he has the original.

Scallops and the fixings
The owner of the restaurant, Erik, stopped by to chat a couple of times while after we had ordered and waited for our meals. (the chef gave his regards, too.)  I learned during one of our conversations that his 16 year old daughter had announced that she wanted to go to the Naval Academy - he said that he was quite surprised with the news, but was quite pleased - that would be one college expense he wouldn't have to worry about. When our meals arrived at our table, there wasn't much room for the two entree plates, but the presentation of both was perfect. My Blackberry camera doesn't do justice to the presentation - one of the dinner specials: scallops with Bearnaise sauce, glazed vegetables, and saffron rice. Cutting into thirds the scallop closest to me, and tasting the first piece - magnifique. The saffron rice steamed as I broke into the neatly piled scoop - the vegetables were warm and crisply fresh. (I wondered whether they were organic.) 

It was a great meal - a Julia Child experience - and will be worth a road trip for another meal after Jan returns.
(1) Funny coincidence, Nancy is the city where Mathias Bonnard lives - the gentleman who sent me photographs of numerous Ellie Bogardus paintings.