Like I mentioned recently, I've always been a big fan of World War II aircraft. Over the next few weekends in the Seattle area, warbird fans will have an amazing opportunity to fly in a B-17 Flying Fortress or B-24 Liberator bomber. The Collings Foundation is conducting their Wings of Freedom Tour and is selling seats on these iconic bombers.
Even cooler, you can go up in a P-51 Mustang fighter!! The latter is amazing since most fighters from that era were single seat, so rides are impossible; however, the Collings Foundation has a trainer version of a P-51C that has two seats.
Perhaps even cooler still is the WWII Crew Fantasy Camp that the Foundation runs. This is a two day training program where you train for and fly a simulated bomber mission on a real B-24. You get to suit up, help load ordinance, shoot live and blank .50 cal rounds from the aircraft's guns, and drop 250lb dummy bombs! They also planned to have a P-51 Mustang and German Me-262 jet fighter in the air too! (You can sign up to fly in the P-51 or Me-262 instead). Crazy awesome. They ran the camp in May. Hopefully they do it again sometime because I'd love to try it.
Anyway, despite the fact another classic B-17 burned this week after an emergency landing, I hope to be able to go up this weekend, maybe with Andrew (13).
Michelle and I took the boys to Tankfest at the Flying Heritage Collection museum in Everett today. The FHC is a collection of World War II aircraft collected by Paul Allen (who has way more fun with his money than BillG does, IMHO). I love these old warbirds, and the fact that many of them are flyable is even more exciting.
Anyway, to celebrate Memorial Day, they were hosting Tankfest where local collectors brought their armor and other weapons in. They had three tanks - A Russian T-34/85, a German Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer, and a more modern British FV101 Scorpion - plus big artillery (including a few German 88s) and jeeps, half-tracks, and other cool WWII era stuff. They were driving the vehicles around and did a little shooting (blanks, of course) as well.
The Jagdpanzer and T-34
.30 cal machine gun on a half-track
Taking aim on a 20mm anti-aircraft gun
Andrew (13) manhandling a bazooka
WWII era radio set in the back of a Jeep
As I mentioned I love old warbirds, so it was exciting to see the planes too.
P-40 Tomahawk in Flying Tigers livery
Warning by the cockpit of a Hawker Hurricane
I'm looking forward to going back on their flight days to see some of the planes in the air. They have "Mustang Day" coming on up June 4 and especially exciting is the debut of their FW-190 on June 18. This is the only flying FW-190 with the original engine left in the world. You can find their Free Fly Days schedule here.
I've been a huge fan of Wikipedia for a long time, but like many people, I never made any contributions. However, I finally jumped over the line today and made my first changes. I saw the news that Mascalzone Latino, the Challenger of Record for the next America's Cup, withdrew from the competition. This change wasn't reflected in the articles for Mascalzone Latino, Club Nautico di Roma, 2013 Americas Cup, and America's Cup, so I made the edits.
These were pretty minor, but I am happy to have made a small contribution to this site that I love so much. I hope to make more contributions in the future.
This week I’m back in Beijing for the first time since we moved back to the US. It just so happens that I walked past the Apple Store in the posh Sanlitun Village shopping mall last night, the night of the iPad2 availability in China. There was a huge line at least 100+ people deep sitting outside the store. Inside, there were big curtains up so people couldn’t see into the store. Here’s the end of the line. The big white circle of light at the top is actually the Apple logo. The line extends under that sign and around the corner to the left.
Yesterday, my new team released Microsoft’s first major app for iPad – Bing for iPad. The response has been better than anything I can remember. Overnight, the app is already the #1 free app for iPad and the reviews have been insanely great. You can see my colleagues Zach (the dude who really lead our effort) and Stefan (our killer PR guy) demoing the product in this video.
I wish I could take credit for how great this app is, but it was already almost done when I joined the group. It’s perhaps a good reminder that often, the best thing a manager can do is stay out of the way…
Title: “Bing for iPad Rocks”
Best quote: “Bing for iPad is so delish I could lick the screen.”
Title:”Bing’s Beautiful iPad app blows Google’s out of the water”
Best quote: “We can quickly see this app becoming a go-to portal for the web on your iPad”
Title:”Bing launches a killer iPad App”
Best quote:”The user experience is highly intuitive”
Title: “Bing’s flair for visual search comes to the iPad”
Best quote:” The app amplifies Bing’s strengths, namely its visual and design aspects”
Title: ”Microsoft releases bing search app tailored specifically to the iPad”
Best quote:”brings an arsenal of goodies”
Title: “Bing for iPad arrives – Win for Microsoft”
Best quote: “The app’s trends page is most impressive”
It's hard to believe that it's already been 2.5 years since I announced we were moving to China. I'm sitting in a hotel room in Beijing right now on my last night here, ready to fly in the morning. Michelle and the kids went back to Bellevue a few weeks ago so the boys could start school at the beginning of a new semester as I finished packing up in Beijing.
I've learned a lot during our time in China. I definitely have a more nuanced view of China through this experience. And, as is always the case when you travel overseas, I think I've learned more about my own country. I'll probably reflect and write more on these in the next few weeks.
I'm happy to have made a lot of friends while here. It's always hard to leave friends, but I'm fortunate that most of my friends will come to Seattle regularly, plus I expect to travel back to Beijing occasionally on business.
While I will miss my friends and many things about China, I'm really looking forward to being home again. At the end of the day, I'm American, and Seattle is home.
When you order a steak in China (typically at a Western steak house), they will often not understand what you mean by "medium-rare", etc. Aside from the language issues, they use a different , numerically based system here.
- Very red and cool center == #3: 三成(sān chéng)－肉很红且凉
- Red, warm center == #4: 四成(sì chéng)－肉红，中心温热
- Pink center == #5: 五成(wǔ chéng)－中心粉红色
- Slightly pink center == #7 七成(qī chéng)－浅粉红色 (I presume #6 is between Medium and Medium well)
- Cooked throughout == 全熟(quán shú)－全部烤熟，无粉红色
Once again, Michelle has found (for us anyway) another gorgeous, beautifully designed product. This time, it's Wasara paper tableware. These drop-dead stunning plates, bowls, and cups are designed by a Japanese company and made from sustainable, biodegradable products -- bamboo, reed pulp, and sugar processing by-product. Some of the items have thoughtful design touches to help you carry the items one-handed -- a nice touch for a paper plate. Even the packaging is beautiful.
They're not cheap ($12 for 8 plates vs. $4 for 36 Chinet paper plates - 13.5x more - Amazon has them in bulk for a little less), but when you want or need to use more elegant disposable tableware, Wasara looks perfect. (Even though they are made in China, we can't buy them here. Oh well.)
Baidu, the largest search engine in China, has started an English language blog called Baidu Beat (beat.baidu.com) to comment on Internet trends in China, expanding on their top queries (top.baidu.com). Here’s a link to a good recent post on top internet phenomenon.
If you’re interested, other good English-language sites that comment on the Chinese internet industry and trends are chinaSmack, China Hush, and TechRice. TechRice has a good list of other China tech news sources too.
We spotted this store in the Kerry Centre Mall, near our apartment in Beijing. The women inside didn't seem to match the named target audience.
All views on this site are mine and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer, family, or any known acquaintances. Besides, who would want to take credit for my looney ideas...