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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Game Over - Duke Gets TKOed in Madison Square Garden

11PM. I am halfway home in Atlanta. Looks like I will arrive at midnight in Tallahassee. ACC stunk up the weekend. Both FSU and Duke lost on the road.

Our good friend Paul emailed to say we could use his tickets Feb 1st when Wake is in town.

Harry's iPhone

Harry - Got home at midnight. Had hot chocolate with the boys at 4 after the game at the Garden. At 5 caught a cab to La Guardia Airport. Was at the plane gate at 5:30 - took off for Atlanta at 7 - landed in Atlanta around 9. Left Atlanta at 11 - arrived in Tallahassee by 11:45. Lulu was there with the car - I was in my bed by midnight.

Halftime at The Garden - SJU 46 - 25

The score says it all. Duke is down 21 at the half. The Garden is packed - pretty evenly divided red and blue.

Tickets were tough - lots of scampers and cops. Someone gave me a free ticket. Then drew bought one for $12 and sold it for $70. Finally we found 3 good ones together for $50 each - face value $65. I am behind them with my free ticket.

Here is Drew - Robin - Keith and the garden behind them.

On Train To The Garden

Lulu is on the plane heading home from Providence. Drew and I are on the train to NYC - meeting up with Liz and Keith. The train arrived on time at the downtown Providence Station. We pulled out at 7:20 and arrive at Penn Station at 10:50 under Madison Square Garden.

We do not have tickets for the 1pm game between Duke and St Johns. Keith - Drew - and I all took courses at SJU in the 90s when Lulu was a professor there - but today we will all be Dukies because Liz and Drew graduated there.

The trip was a birthday gift from Robin to Drew yesterday for his birthday. It was quite a surprise. Robin is a real trooper - home alone with two and two - one two weeks old and one two years old.

After the game - Drew - Keith - Liz will take the late train home. Lulu got me a last minute flight out of LaGuardia for 25000 Frequent flyer miles. I'll be home around midnight - as a bonus Delta bumped me to first class.

Harry's iPhone

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FSU Women end Miami's 17 Game Winning Streak - 66-59

Chasidy Clayton and Cierra Brevard - All Ball

Last night Lulu had to teacher a class from 6 to 8. So unfortunately she had to miss one of the best basketball games of the year - live.

FSU girls (16-4) beat guest rivals Miami (18-2) at the Civic Center. No matter what sport - whenever the Hurricanes come to town - things heat up.

The Noles used a stifling defense to hold the two top scorers in the ACC below their season average. 59 points was the lowest Miami scored all season. FSU had a balanced scoring attack that had 5 players scoring 9 or better. But it was the defense that sealed the Hurricanes fate by cutting their shooting percentage to 30% from the floor.

Courtney Ward leads team in cheer

One of the best bargains in college sports is the 55 and older season pass. For $30 - you get 15 tickets to see the women play. Since you are allowed to sit in any seat - we were able to sit along the rail beside the court. Just like a prize fight - you are close enough to see the sweat fly.

College women athletes are special. They are students first - and play for the love of the game. They realize they aren't going to make a fortune as a pro - so many of them are outstanding performers in the classroom too.

Last night - I attended with three neighborhood friends - Manny Shargel - Wayne Wiegand - and Shirley Wiegand. We enjoyed being "rail rats" at the gym.

The last few seconds

The Leaf - America's First REAL Electric Car

Here comes the people’s electric car, America, ready or not.

Fast-charging stations, a necessity for longer treks, are few and far between now, but a network of them are planned to begin operating within the next year or so. Leaf buyers who buy the optional $700 Quick Charge Port will be able to use a direct-current fast-charger to replenish their batteries to 80 percent of capacity within 30 minutes and continue on their way.

The next quickest solution, Nissan’s 220-volt home charging units, cost $2,200 installed and can give a full charge in eight hours, the company says. The majority of public charging stations planned will also use this so-called Level II charging protocol.

With the battery topped off, the Leaf — a midsize car as defined by the E.P.A. — has a range of 100 miles, Nissan says. In my testing, I never dared to drive the car that far, mostly because its dashboard range meter said it would not be possible.

After charging overnight in my garage on a conventional 110-volt household circuit, the Leaf’s meter never showed more than 88 miles of possible range; once, it promised as little as 66 miles. Nissan specifies a 21-hour recharge time using house current.

At a starting price of $33,630, the Leaf is by far the least expensive battery-electric car produced in significant numbers; with a 24 kilowatt-hour battery, it qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit as well as incentives offered by various states. The Leaf will be sold initially in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington; by the end of 2011 it will be offered in all states.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Have Your Wedding at This Parking Garage in Miami Beach

A Miami Beach Event Space. Parking Space, Too.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — For her wedding over the weekend, Nina Johnson had worked through a predictable checklist of locations in town: hotel ballrooms, restaurant halls and catering outfits.

In the end, though, she opted for the most glamorous, upscale and stylish setting she could find — a parking garage.

“When we saw it, we were in total awe,” said Ms. Johnson, 26, an art gallery director. “It’s breathtaking.”

Parking garages, the grim afterthought of American design, call to mind many words. (Rats. Beer cans. Unidentifiable smells.) Breathtaking is not usually among them.

Yet here in Miami Beach, whose aesthetic is equal parts bulging biceps and fluorescent pink, bridal couples, bar mitzvah boys and charity-event hosts are flocking to what seems like the unimaginable marriage of high-end architecture and car storage: a $65 million parking garage in the center of the city.

They are clamoring to use it for wine tastings, dinner parties and even yoga classes. Or taking self-guided tours, snapping photographs and, at times, just gawking.

Created by a colorful Miami developer and a world-renowned architecture firm, it appears to be an entirely new form: a piece of carchitecture that resembles a gigantic loft apartment, with exaggerated ceiling heights, wide-open 360-degree views and no exterior walls. The structure, 1111 Lincoln Road, is so distinctive that Ms. Johnson put its image on her 230 wedding invitations.

It is, in many ways, an ode to Miami’s flashy automobile culture. Rather than seeking to hide cars, as garages have done for decades, it openly celebrates them.

While car enthusiasts rejoiced, eager to showcase their Aston Martins and Rolls-Royces, something unexpected happened. Ordinary people, many from far beyond Miami, came too — with no intention of parking there.

“I went to the top and worked my way down,” said Peter Lampen, an architect who traveled 1,200 miles from New Jersey to see the seven-story garage.

Ben Traves, a graduate student, has taken so many photographs of the building that security guards have shooed him out. “I am just really drawn to it,” he confessed the other day as he toted his camera around the structure.

The garage has an unlikely back story. Its developer, a contemporary art collector named Robert Wennett, bought the property in 2005, inheriting a drab-looking bank office and an unremarkable parking lot at the corner of two well-known boulevards, Lincoln and Alton Roads.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Noles Hammer Boston College 67-51

This picture was produced by - 

I am a photographer for Florida State University Athletics, Unconquered Magazine, Seminole Boosters and a stringer for AP while also shooting events for various clients as time permits. Law pays the bills, photography keeps me sane. While a good deal of my photography involves sports and outdoor images, I also own and operate BaselineShots Photography Studio for glamour, fashion and product shoots.

You can contact Mike Olivella here -

We just got back from the game with FSU in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Both FSU and BC entered the game with identical 4-1 records in the conference. It was a tough ticket.

We left our house at 6:30 for the 7:00 game. We drove the Prius and were lucky to find a free parking spot in the FSU faculty parking lot. While Lulu parked the car - I went to my usual "begging" spot and held up two fingers. The game was supposedly sold out - and lots of newbies came up to me to ask if I was selling tickets. Two fingers means you want two - but many people showed up for the night's event without tickets.

One scalper offered me two tickets for $200. It was 6:50 by now - and I said that in 5 minutes I would be going home and watching the game on TV. All of a sudden a couple came up to us and asked us to follow them to the "will call" window. They had 4 tickets waiting for them and their friends could not make it. When they got their envelope they handed us the two tickets - free.

When we got to our section - it was dark and they were already introducing the players so we had to wait. Our tickets were in Section V1 - lower level - if that half court line was 12 & 6 o'clock - we were sitting at 7:30. For the lace being sold out - there were quite a few empty seats - good seats. I am guessing maybe 11,000 were there.

The Noles led the whole game - but only by 2 at half time. 75 legend players were introduced for the half time show including Dave Cowens and Kirk Luckman. Lulu spent half time gabbing with Jeannie - one of her former students from Tampa - that drives up for the games with her husband.

In the second half - it was all Noles - the final score 67-51 was the largest margin of the night.

The Noles are now 5-1 in the ACC for only the second time in their 18 years as a member. Duke is also 5-1 - but their loss was here in Tallahassee.

We left at the buzzer and traffic was moving nicely. We were home in 10 minutes. Free parking - free tickets - and Lulu brought along free snacks. Throw in a route - and it was a fun evening. Now we will watch the game on our DVR and see what really happened.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tigers Eating Goat in China - Caution - Do Not Play Video If You Do Not Want to See Goat Eaten Alive

Do not view if you do not want to see a live goat get eaten.

My friend Brandon Taylor is living and working in China. The other day he visited a game preserve and sent home this video of tigers eating a live goat. Did you ever go to a zoo and buy animal feed? At this zoo in China - you buy a live goat - and then feed it to the tigers. So Brandon bought a coat and filmed the action.

Brandon is a foreign expert for an English daily newspaper in China.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Seminoles on a Roll - Beat NCSU by 13

We had a Saturday afternoon game here today. A good crowd showed up to see the Florida State Seminoles after they beat undefeated Duke on Wednesday night. The Noles took an early lead - nursed it to 20 - then finished with a 13 point victory. They are now tied with Duke to lead the ACC.

Lulu and I went over to the game - bought a nice pair of seats - lower level - for $5 each. Face value is $18 now. Next Saturday night the Noles host Boston College.

Tallahassee Weather

January in Florida. 23 degrees in Tallahassee. Keith just emailed from Switzerland in the Alps saying it is 45 degrees there. At least you do not have to shovel cold air. Looking forward to Tuesday.

FSU Girls Lose to Unbeaten Duke by 17

Last night we enjoyed the biggest girls basketball game of the year. A really good crowd came out out for the clash with the unbeaten Dukies. Unfortunately - Duke had just too many good shooters.

The Lady Noles whittled it down to within 3 with about 10 minutes to go but emptied their tanks doing it. Duke girls shot near 50% - and they left down with a nice victory.

The game started at 6:30 - we left home early at 5:45 to get really good seats at center court just about 5 rows from the center line. Girls games are still festival seating - you can sit where you want.

Today FSU boys play NCSU at home at 3:30 PM. Everyone is excited after their knocking off the top ranked Duke boys team. We will be there - don't have tickets yet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

San Diego to Tallahassee - 54 Hours - 3 Days - 2 Nights - 15 States - 5 Cities - 4 Airplanes

We took the long way home

We left our hotel in San Diego on Tuesday morning at 5 AM. We expected to have two quick flights and be home before the day ended. But a freak snow storm in Atlanta changed all that quickly. When we got to the airport - we were greeted by an unruly crowd filled with librarians. They all wanted to get back to their libraries - and were cranky to find out that most flights east were cancelled. It was everybody for themselves trying to find a way home.

Tuesday - The ticket agent said that we probably would not get home for a few days - so we relaxed a bit - and received the news of our granddaughter being born on 1/11/11. We got a hotel un Old Town San Diego - and enjoyed a nice sunny day touring all the museums and just walking the streets and eating Mexican food. The airline said we could make it home the next day if we agreed to take the long way home.

Wednesday - We got four planes tickets to Los Angeles - Detroit - Atlanta - Tallahassee. If everything went right - we'd be home late that night. It started out strangely enough - when we had to walk about 100 yards under the stars to catch our commuter plane to Los Angeles. We were just happy to be moving east - so the walk seemed like a positive step. The airline gave us first class seats for the 20 minute flight up the coast. We flew very low and got a great view of the Catalina Islands. I recalled Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson dying there when he was diving off his boat to fetch items he threw overboard in a rage. The place seemed peaceful enough now. The first leg of our flight would have cost $778 if we were paying cash.

While sitting at the gate in LA - a fellow came over and tapped me on the shoulder. It was my neighbor Mario Feinstein. He had bought a car - drove across the country from Tallahassee to Pasadena with his son - now he was flying home. Small world huh?

After a long layover - we left on a Boeing 767 to Detroit. This flight was over 4 hours - and we enjoyed a nice meal - movie - and avoided the free drinks. Lulu and I were in the same first class row - but each of us had a window - six seats apart. We could exchange hand signals - but most of the time Lulu was talking library and grandkids to the lady next to her. The flight was a little late and we were sure that we would miss our next flight leaving Detroit. The motor city airport terminal is long. We had to run at full gallop past 40 gates - hoping to make it before the door was closed. I had to go to the bathroom badly - but does anyone want to spend an extra night in Detroit? That ticket cost $1013. Boy am I glad I am not paying for this odyssey.

At the gate - while scanning our airline ticket - the attendant told us we hit the lottery and were awarded "business class" seats. In case you do not know what that means - when you press a button - the seat changes into a bed. Even though this flight would only be 2 hours - Lulu and I were tempted to press the button and pull the curtain to join the mile high club - but we didn't. We did catch a little sleep and a few drinks - and finally we were circling the forbidden city - Atlanta. From the air it looked more like Allentown than Atlanta. Everything was covered with snow - a strange sight. School was closed for 5 days. Since this was the "big hurdle" - we were confident that we would be in our own bed that night. This segment of our voyage with bed was $797.

All smiles we romped off the Boeing 777 - sure that we would catch one of the remaining jumps to Tallahassee. We went to the flight board to see if the Tallahassee flight was on time - but there was no listing for our home city. We went to the help desk - and were informed that our flight was cancelled - not for weather. While we were at the help desk - Lulu could see the Duke at FSU basketball game on the TV in the bar. She shielded her eyes because she wanted to watch the biggest game of the year on the DVR later. We planned to be at that game - but no luck.

Starbucks had advertisements for books on their cup holders - a double whammy for Lulu

The agent was getting ready to close down the help counter - she said that no hotel rooms were available - we would have to spend the night in the terminal. We refused to accept that. Even flashing my Gold Delta card could not raise her sympathy - she escaped to the faculty room behind the door with the digital button lock. I tried everything - finally another agent came to try to get rid of me. I had to think fast. I reached into my backpack and pulled out my CPAP machine. I placed it on the counter - and put the ventilator mask on - I looked like a creature from one of those Avatar movies. She said she could call a medivac unit to help - I said I was okay but I just needed a place to plug in. I asked if I could crawl behind the counter for the night. All of a sudden she was playing the computer like a Steinway piano - and she handed me a voucher for a hotel room and vouchers for $60 of meals.

It took forever standing in the 10 degree weather - but the shuttle finally arrived - "Days Inn - East" was written on the side. We got to the hotel - it was a dump - but it was our dump. The place supposedly had free wifi - but the signal did not reach our room. We could see our breath as we turned on the heat. We were smiling because we still had one ace in the hole. We got undressed - put on the nightshirts from the airline help box - crawled under the blankets. We turned off the lights and turned on my iphone. If you do not know what a slingbox is - do a search on my blog. Simply it allows us to watch our TV and DVR from home. For the next hour or two - we watched the entire Duke at FSU basketball game. We expected a slaughter of our Seminoles - but our stars were aligned. When the smoke cleared - FSU won - and 1000s of people stormed the court. We were stuck in a 40 degree hotel room - under the blankets - but it felt like we were on the court. Go Noles!

Thursday - we slept in late - got to the airport at 10 AM. The hotel still looked bad - even in the daylight. We did not care - we had a nice brunch in Lulu's favorite bookstore/French Cafe - and after a short jump flight - we were home. Our bags beat us to the terminal - they came two flights before us. This flight cost $442. Ironically - Lulu and I sat in the last row - the last seat - right next to the toilet. We didn't mind. George was there with the van - and it was good to be home.

With tickets - hotels - and meals - the flight cost $3190 per person - $6380 total. But you all know I did not pay a penny.

Lulu and I were flying on a frequent flyer companion fare - which means one person flies free. Our total cost of the round trip was $438. Yes - about $220 each. Even though the 7 day trip turned into 10 days - we had a great time. All our bags arrived home on time. During the flight our granddaughter was born - and FSU knocked off the number one team in the land.

Flying over the Rockies in Colorado

Santi Anita Racetrack in California

The Great Plains of Nebraska and the Platte River

A deep meandering canyon in Utah

Lake Meade and Hoover Dam in Nevada

Business Class - where the seat turns into a bed

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grounded in San Diego - We Toured Old Town Today

Sitting in the San Diego Airport - wondering what we will do for the next 24 hours.

When we got to the airport at 5am this morning - it was full of people with cancelled flights. It seems that virtually all Delta Airlines flights first go to Atlanta before they go somewhere else. There were tons of librarians trying to get back east. Lucky for us - San Diego Airport has free internet - and Lulu and I were enjoying messages and pictures of our new granddaughter from our son Drew.

Lulu quickly got on the computer and found a hotel near Old Town - a historic collection of frontier buildings

Tomorrow morning at 5am we fly to Los Angeles. Next we fly to Detroit. Then we have a visit to the hub in Atlanta. Finally - we fly to Tallahassee arriving around midnight.

I have to tell you that I am not too confident about the flight to Atlanta. I have a feeling that tomorrow night I will be writing from an airport hotel in Detroit saying we're spending another night on the road.

Granddaughter is Born on 1/11/11

We are sitting in the San Diego Airport. Our flights home are cancelled due to Atlanta being snowed in. This place was a zoo - with lines all over. We will be here one more night. We will fly all over the country tomorrow - San Diego - Los Angeles - Detroit - Atlanta - Tallahassee. You would think we would be all upset - but we are just smiling away. Our granddaughter was born this morning - 1/11/11. Everyone is fine. And we have free wifi at the airport :-)

Email me directly for more details -

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I Stop at All Auto Museums Especially One in Southern California

Kids in Southern California favored "woodies" to haul their surf boards around

Hippies favored the underpowered VW microbus - underpowered - tons of room

When I was growing up - California was the center of the world. It seemed like Carlifornians set the pace for everything young - new - and exciting. I spent a lot of money on car magazines that featured customized cars designed and produced in the land of "California Dreaming." So it was so much fun reviewing all the cars that kids in the Coal Region could only dream about - seldom seeing them on the street.

The San Diego Automobile Museum in Balboa Park has exhibit areas evenly divided between a permanent collection and a current exhibit. The current exhibit featured customized cars on loan from the owners and designers. The permanent collection featured a timeline selection of cars from the 1890s to the present.

A more liberal collection of auto safety laws - a mild year round climate - soldiers returning from World War II - and dry lakes beds excellent for racing - produced a hot bed for incubation of these wonderful cars. The Beach Boys introduced a string of "surfing and auto" songs that captured the attention of the rest of the landlocked country. Kids identified with songs like "409" - "Little Deuce Coupe" - "I Get Around." Movies like "American Grafitti" and "High Times at Ridgemont High" romanticized 1960s instead of reviewing the problems of the Vietnam War.

The Meyers company made a kit called the Manx. You took the body off a VW beetle and dropped on this fiberglass shell - making the light and fast dune buggy

Jaguar made the first super car - the XK120 - named that way because it could go 120 MPH. Soon after that came the Corvette and Thunderbird

Ford produced the first production race car - this Speedster - stripping the Model T down to the basics

This German motorcycle was the very first vehicle with the Wankel rotary engine. Quiet - light - and very fast

One of my favorite cars is the Morgan - made in Malvern Link - England. They have been making the same basic car for over 100 years. The Morgan has a wooden frame - is very light - has a bone jarring ride - and is very fast. The first Morgans had only 3 wheels to avoid the high taxes of an automobile. Morgan still only makes a couple hundred cars a year. During our last two summer in London - I arranged tours of the factory - only to cancel for travel arrangements. This summer I will get there. The Morgan is the ultimate British car.

The 1948 Tucker had a rear V8 engine. These engines were left over helicopter engines from World War II

Tucker only made about 55 cars - but 47 remain in driving condition. There is one here - another one at the Tallahassee Auto Museum

American Extravagance - this 1920 Cadillac with a V16 engine

Saturday, January 08, 2011

This Cadillac Went From San Diego to New York and Back - NONSTOP - in 1952

Louie Mattar's 1947 Cadillac

Our hotel is 2 miles from Balboa Park up in the hills. That park houses the San Diego Zoo and several other museums. You can imagine my delight when I googled "auto museum san diego" and up came the San Diego Auto Museum.

Since the 2 miles were uphill - I took a cab up and walked down. Balboa Park is a beautiful setting overlooking the city. When jets come into the airport - they cruise very low coming over the park - it is a pretty setting.

I will be doing a story about the whole museum later - but this story will focus just on one car. It is a 1947 Cadillac that Louie Mattar retrofitted for long range travel and camping. In 1952 - this car made a NONSTOP round trip from San Diego to New York City. It traveled 6320 miles with 3 men taking turns driving in 5 hour shifts. They even refilled the 250 gallon gas tank 3 times while on the move.

Two years later - 18 days in 1954 - they made an even longer - 7482 mile trip - NONSTOP - from Anchorage Alaska to Mexico City.

You may recall that Lulu and I owned a bus back in 1978. We used to take groups of kids to Disneyworld driving 20 hours (including stops) from Pennsylvania. We thought it was a big deal - even with plenty of stops for fuel - meals - and bathrooms. But this Cadillac did not have the benefit of Eisenhower's Interstate Highways.

The Caddy is equipped with all sorts of neat features like a toilet - stove - sink - washing machine - bar - shower - bed - and much more.The shower is used by standing on a platform on the side of the car. A video demonstrated them going down the highway changing a tire and showering. They could also change the oil on the fly. You could automatically fill the radiator - fill the tires with air - and lube the wheels and joints without stopping.

The odometer reads 265,000 miles.

To see more - google - "louie mattar"

Tape Recorder - Whiskey Bar - Turkish Water Piper

Cadillac with Trailer that went 7500 miles nonstop

The builder of this special Cadillac - Louie Mattar

Trailer held 250 gallon fuel tank and 50 gallon water tank

Map shows 7500 miles nonstop trip from Alaska to Mexico on 1954 roads

San Diego to New York City and back nonstop - filling gas tank from a truck on the move - three times

This trailer carried 250 gallons of gas - originally designed as camper

Tires changed on the fly using this red platform

Bed - toilet - washing machine - iron an ironing board - sink - all in back seat

Friday, January 07, 2011

Today I Took the Trolley to Visit the Mission of San Diego

The Mission of San Diego - founded in 1769 - is a classic adobe Spanish style church/fort. Note - the wall carillon with bells in each niche. Some of the bells are over 200 years old

When I was a kid - I was impressed with the El Camino Real. No - I am not talking about the sleek little pickup truck/car that Chevy made back in the 60s. I am talking about the Royal Highway that the Spanish constructed when they still ruled California. They constructed a series of 20 missions - each about 30 miles apart - extending 600 miles from San Diego to SanFrancisco. In these missions - the padres shepherded the Indians to Christianity and the European ways.

Today - I took the San Diego trolley into the hills north and east of downtown. The trolley went through the barrios as it meandered through the arroyos. After switching trains - and passing through San Diego State University - my first stop loomed ahead.

The mission was up on a hill about a mile from the trolley station. The weather was nice - and the climb was leisurely. After a $2.00 gray head admission - I pretty well had the place to myself. I spent a little less than two hours looking at the sites and reading all the story boards.

This mission is still used today as a house of worship by the Catholic Church. After the Mexican War - the USA used the chain of missions to fortify and administer the territory. During the Civil War - Abraham Lincoln gave the San Diego Mission back to the Catholic Church. It has fallen into disrepair many times during its 240 year history.

In the early 1900s - it was still used as an Indian school.

The church was long and narrow - because builders were limited by the roof trusses made from local trees

In 1906 - after a recent renovation - this picture was taken of the Indian school class. Note the early US flag - California was made a state after the Gold Rush.

Inside the mission are beautiful gardens

This area reminds one of the Alamo where Davy Crockett was killed in the Mexican War. The Alamo was another Spanish mission

The inside of the church is plain but elegant. The floors are made of large clay tiles - the roof is rough hewn lumber

This is a model of how the mission looked in the 1800s

Just 1 mile west of the mission along the train track is the stadium where the Chargers play - and where we once saw Penn State beat BYU in the Holiday Bowl. Heisman Trophy QB Ty Detmer played for the Cougars and passed for 576 yards but still lost.

Thursday I Spent 3 Hours Aboard the USS Midway in San Diego Harbor

The stern of the USS Midway in downtown San Diego

While Lulu was at the library convention - I was free to roam about town. It didn't take me long to migrate to the water and board the USS Midway. I enjoy a leisurely 3 hours going in every nook and cranny of that ship.

The USS Midway is an gas turbine propelled carrier built in 1945 right near the end of World War II. It never saw action in that war - but made up for that in Korea - Vietnam - and Iraq. Very simply - it has four giant turbine engines - that make steam by heating water with fuel oil. The steam turns the turbines that turn 4 giant propellers.

This aircraft carrier was a floating city sometimes holding 500o people and 150 aircraft. Planes could land and takeoff simultaneously from its quarter mile long flight deck. It served off the coast of Vietnam - helicopters brought refugees aboard when Saigon fell.

It worked for our government for 45 years - finally being placed in mothball storage in 1991. In 2004 - it was moved to San Diego and a non-profit group of naval veteran takes care of her.

Our present carriers use nuclear power now to heat water to steam. They sail with 20 years worth of fuel. They make their own drinking water and can stay out to sea for years - just need food and supplies.

The largest plane on deck was this Hawkeye with its 20 foot spinning radar antenna

This F-8 Phantom was the first plane to fly 1000 mph. It is hooked to a catapult that would launch a plane from 0 - 170 mph in two seconds - even if the plane's engines were off

The Huey helicopter was used as a rescue craft off the coast of Vietnam. One time a Vietnam vet bought an airstream motor home from me because he said it looked like this chopper. He was later involved in a high speed chase by the police.

This A-6 Intruder was most lethal - it could carry several atomic bombs if needed. It also was capable of refueling other planes in the air

This vet was explaining how the planes land by catching a tail hook on a cable or flying into a crash net. He said if was really scary at night

The F-14 Tomcat was made famous in the movie "Top Gun." It carried missles on it wings and you can see its Gatling gun below the "205." This plane could go 1600 mph using its afterburner. "I'm switching over to guns"

Up until 1955 - every Naval aviator started out in this trainer. I used to go to Willow Grove PA with my Dad to see the weekend warriors practice landings in these planes

Harry in the brig on the USS Midway

Sailors had more room in the brig than in their regular quarters. Also cool stainless steel plumbing

Sailor checking into the brig
The captain had the biggest cabin

The USS Midway is right downtown in San Diego since 2004. Admission was $15 for grayheads