Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Tomaso Files: Birds, Blimps and Jets, some Lighter than Air blather...

One of Thy Mighty Goodyear Blimps lit-up at night. (Source: Images)
Yo Clark Kent,  wasn't that a Tweedy Bird who just flew by? As I thought I saw the Goodyear Blimp floating past us...

Oopsadaisy! In my last enthralling Tomaso Files story, I failed to mention learning about a new species 'O winged wonder. As I'm not talking about the "Camp Robbers" who used to frequent Mount Rainier's picnic tables as we sat 'N ate a leisurely lunch with thy late Awntie Harriet. As these feathered friends would swoop in looking to steal any morsel left unattended during our yearly picnic's at Mount Rainier, before your blind 'Vurd Botcherer would push Harriet up Thy Mountain in her wheelchair; Aye Karumba!

Bush Tit'

After I finished guffawing, Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen asked, haven't you ever heard of a Bush Tit Tomaso? For which I've since discovered there's eleven sub-species of various Bush Tits, scientifically known as Aegithalidae.

Since ARSE-Sumedly, I' thought No Fenders 'Offical Photographer and HUGE GerRanimals' admirer Carpetz' would want to know this, right? 

Ironically, just days prior to our setting off for Thy Other Florence, aka Oregon's Sand Dunes capital, news broke about one of the countless Oil Trains blotting our nation's landscape having an accident in a town I'd never heard of before named Mosier.

As this accident which dumped 42,000 gallons of Oil into the Mighty Columbia River has now been traced to defective lag bolts found along the nearby railroad track corners of the sixteen car derailment...

Whilst it's funny now recollecting upon our Puget Sound's Heat advisory the weekend we left when temperatures were expected to hit 90deg-f, which for Seattle is extremely Hot!

Having met a very pleasant "Dog Lady," originally from Switzerland at my favourite beach trail's stairway to Smuggler's Cove, i.e.; Oswald West, where we tried out Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen's newly acquired Doggie Stroller for the 'Ol Hoond Mad Molly.

As surely we make quite the comical sight with me hanging onto the converted child stroller with said grumpy 16yr old Mad Molly inside I-T as Mary Ellen pushes it along the trail frequented by Surfers carrying their boards!

There she told us that traffic was horrendous and all the hotels were booked as everybody had left Portland which was experiencing two days of 102deg-f heat followed by cooling down to only 99 degrees! All of which obviously pales in comparison to what California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico have endured recently; but I digress...

Two other topics loosely associated with Thy Pacific Northwest came up while I was traipsing about Thy Coasts, aka East and West, albeit Indianapolis is inland, eh?

Puget sound airships...
Ensconced upon the shiny silver aluminum grandstands at Mother Speedway this Memorial Day, alongside my personal Mother Speedway Sherpa Carpetz', think it was during the Pre-race interlude Sunday? When Dave mentioned that the MetLife Blimp was circling overhead. Quipping 'bout somehow he doubted that Indy Cars official rubber supplier Firestone wouldn't approve of some rival tyre manufacturer's light airship circling overhead instead!

Naturally, when I hear the word blimp, the Goodyear Blimp immediately springs to mind. As it conjures up images of being a teenager and being able to see its second iteration's Mega incandescent bulb covered Airship hovering overhead on Bainbridge Island one summer night!

Or watching it land and take off during two summers at Sand Point Naval Air Base when practicing as part of the Seattle All City band in preparation for marching in Seattle's Torchlight parade amongst others, whilst the Goodyear blimp, presumably from Carson, California was a yearly fixture during Seafair and more importantly the Unlimited Hydroplane races.

As I was unawares' that during the Goodyear era of Indianapolis 500 domination, that the Pole winner would take a flight aboard said Airship days prior to the race, which sounds like another trivia Questione to Mwah, and NO! You two One Take Only Catz' aren't included; Hya!

As I've got NO idea momentarily who the last Goodyear shod winner of the Indy 500 was?

Ironically, it appears that both the Goodyear and Met Life Blimp fleets currently consist of three Airships apiece, albeit Goodyear probably has more since all three of their main Airships are based Stateside, with others operating in Europe, ironically by the very same company in charge of their competition...

Met Life appears to have only two Birds' Stateside, as NO idea if it was Snoopy-1 or Snoopy-2 circulatin' above Mother Speedway? With Snoopy-J being based in Japan.

Also, Goodyear's in the final phase of upgrading its Airship fleet of three blimps, which technically aren't Blimps due to their semi-rigid construction, but due to their legacy, they'll always be fondly known as Blimps!

As the first Goodyear Blimp named Pilgrim took to the skies Wayback in 1925, whilst the Blimp(s) I witnessed as a 'Wee lad with the original incandescent lighting, way before today's current "Eagle Vision" LED lighting became common, the GZ20 models being replaced were 192-feet long, 59.5-feet tall and 50-feet wide, with a top speed of 50mph with seating for seven.

Compared with today's semi-rigid "Dirigibles" LZ-07 Wingfoot class "Blimps," being 247-feet long. Traveling at a Hypersonic 70mph, with Gondola seating of twelve which even features the luxury  of an onboard bathroom; Wee-Wee!

As Goodyear's largest Blimp ever was 403-feet long, which was only half the length of the legendous' Zeppelin's Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin which were over 800-feet long and 135-feet in diameter as the largest passenger carrying Airships ever!   

As somehow I'm sensing that Goodyear's NOT too broken up over not having one of its Blimps overhead IMS, since after all they've got Daytona, and everywheres' I go people always ask me 'bout 'RASSCAR; URGH!

as even my Apartment's Maintenance Man commenting upon my nice racing artwork just weeks following Indy - which is A-L-L Open Wheel inquired if I'd ever been to a NASCAR race? While surely he only knew the name Juan Montoya due to his past Taxicab service...

Returning home from Indianapolis, I was asked days later if I'd heard that a Blue Angels pilot had died? Which I hadn't heard the news regarding this accident in Geo. Phillips Backyard on June 2nd.

Although the Blue Angels actually reside in Pensacola, Florida, nonetheless, some of us 'Ol Geezers here in Seattle still consider the Blue Angels to be ours, since they're a yearly tradition as the centerpiece to our Seafair celebration, which culminates with the Unlimited Hydroplane race on Lake Washington, while those thundering Blue Angels Dazzle us overhead!

Once again, dippin' into Thy Wayback machine, I still fondly recall when the Blue Angels flew the Vietnam-era A-4 Skyhawks, as even think they did a maneuver with their tail hooks down? While it's hard to believe they've just celebrated their 70th anniversary on April 24th, with Seattle's legacy with the Blues dating back to the early 1950's.

Yet I'd have to say I enjoy their current fighter jet, the F/A-18 better and still recall being "BUZZED!" by one of the unsuspecting Solo planes sneaking in above us from our vantage point in Madrona, as they're FRIGGIN' L-O-U-D!

While my favourite memory of the F/A-18 Hornet will always be a Royal Kuhnaidiun version performing at Edmonton in 2010 for the IndyCar race flying so LOW over the nearby train station that it set off numerous car alarms in the adjoining parking lot!

while I'm pleased to read that the Blue Angels have resumed flying after a two week layoff, with word of who'll takeover the fallen Solo pilots role coming shortly, since they had a show slated for June 25th. All of which means Seattle will once again be treated to the iconic sights 'N sounds of the Blue Angels flying over Downtown from Boeing Field en route to Lake Washington shortly...

As this concludes the Non-Racing Scatter for now, especially since thee Fourth 'O July's done BOOM-BOOMMED bye!