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07/20/11: approx 4:10pm CDT. Sometimes analog is better than digital:

I don't remember exactly where I was when my last car turned 100,000 miles, but I remember being on a side street where I could slow down and watch all the numbers slowly roll over. Digital just doesn't have that same effect. Blink, and you've missed it (unless you have a camera-phone handy!)

07/04/11: I hope all of you had a great Independence Day. We did, except for the fireworks. I've never been a big fan of fireworks, and I am even less so because of the way Kisu is freaked out by the noise. She's getting worse as she gets older, and now heavy thunderstorms bother her, too, but when the idiots in the neighborhood start with the fireworks weeks before the fourth, she just sits there and trembles. That part I cant wait until it's over.
     But before the noise started, we had a pretty nice day. We did something that brought back a very pleasant and a not-so-pleasant memory from my childhood. The picture you see here is the Farmers Insurance zeppelin, which is on a tour of the United States this summer. They claim it's one of only two zeppelins in the world right now, and it spent the last weekend based at the DuPage Airport in West Chicago. Stephie, Kisu and I tooka nice ride out there this afternoon to stand outside the fence and see it. And no, we were not the only one's there.
     It reminded me that when we were kids, my Mom and Dad would load us up in the station wagon and drive up and down Central Avenue over by Midway Airport whenever the Goodyear blimp was in town. Goodyear used Midway as a base, and usually had the blimp parked outside one of the hangars that backed up against Central. This was before airport security turned into the nightmare it is today, and all that was between the blimp and cars full of gawking kids was a couple hundred feet of pavement and an easily-see-through cyclone fence. As cool as it was to sometimes see it in the air, it was even cooler to see it on the ground, where you would have some perspective of how big it really is. It was such a simple thing to do (and my Mom points out "cheap, cheap!") but I remember it fondly.
     What I don't remember fondly, and my folks reminded me of yesterday, was the time they took us out to this same DuPage Airport for an air show. We can't remember the exact year, but I was probably 10 or 11, but they thought it would be a great idea to go and check out the planes. I don't remember much of the trip, just the impression that it was hot. And since it was an airport, of course there were no trees or anything to give us shade. In fact, my sense was that the planes didn't even cast a shadow on the ground because the sun was too bright! Apparently we were only there a couple minutes before we left to find something cool to drink.
     But the zeppelin was pretty cool today. It's supposed to make its way through here sometime in August. Maybe we'll go again and see if we can't get a little closer. In the meantime, if you click this picture, you'll see another one which includes people as a size reference.

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