A week…..

This morning marks the end of Heidi’s and my first week of living together. I won’t get into to many details but it has been good, if not stressful. Moving locations I have come to appreciate is not an easy thing at all. It is very stressful and takes a toll not only on the body but also the mind. Last Sunday was a tough one, we were moving stuff until fairly late and we both got a little emotional. But the move is complete

Our apartment looks like a mess right now with boxes everywhere but we are determined to take some of our long weekend and turn it into a very productive time getting stuff in the apartment cleaned and arranged. We need to be creative with some of our storage as we realized that we have quite a lot of stuff between the two of us and some of it is doubled up.

As we move towards finding a comfortable life with each other, it is so different actually sharing my time with someone all the time. I haven’t lived with someone like this before, and it is different. Ever since I moved to the USA, I had lived alone. I could do what I want, when I wanted and nuts to anyone who said different. But I can’t really do that now can I? But it is time to get out of those stubborn ways and move towards a better, easier life.

So as time moves on, I am sure I will be come less stubborn, more compassionate and a better person. At least I hope so!

Football Season!

It is getting towards that time of year again.. Football!!! With the ending of summer fast approaching, the NFL starts up for the year. Pre Season is currently in effect and then the first weekend of September sees the season get under way. Last year I missed out on being able to go to a game. The tickets were just so expensive and since I didn’t really feel like going on my own and a lot of my friends here are not football fans (some are, some aren’t) I never went.

From Life in Seattle 2014

Things are a little different now and since Heidi & I officially started our relationship on Superbowl Sunday (that is the photo above of course), along with the fact that I know someone who has season tickets to the Seattle Seahawks (of course that is Heidi’s favourite team), things could possibly go down well. I was happy to hear that we could snap up those season ticket seats for one of the Pre Season games. It wouldn’t be a normal season game, but hey.. Football is Football right? I wish it could have been a Patriots game, since I have only ever seen them once, but I can’t really complain right?

So that game was last Friday night and Heidi & I had a ball. The Seahawks were playing the Chicago Bear and “Da Bears” (apparently that is how you should refer to them, mocking them… not sure why) got absolutely smashed. The game wasn’t all that amazing from a competitive stand point but it was good none the less. The best part was the seats!

From Life in Seattle 2014

Look at that view, look how close to the action you are! Amazing! I don’t know how long they have had their season tickets (I do know they have been a season ticket holder as back as far as the King Dome days) but seriously who would I have to murder to get seats as good as that on the open market at the price we paid. Awesome++

Topping it all off with some Skillet action from the Truck at the game and Mal is a happy boy. Plus continuing the tradition of Mal eating a Skillet meal before a Seahawks game, and having them win. That is a good thing right? I think Heidi is going to ensure that will happen any other time in the future.. especially if the Seahawks make the Superbowl again.

From Life in Seattle 2014

Yes that is me wearing a Seahakws Superbowl Champions hat. I had to wear it, don’t judge me…I still love you New England Patriots… I swear!

Icy Cold

Last night I took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where you dump a bucket filled with ice water all over your head. Why? Because it helps raise awareness for ALS which is a disease that affects a good friend of Heidi’s family.

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I was challenged by Heidi’s best friend Sylvia, and after I made my $35 donation (if you don’t bucket dump, it should be a higher donation) Heidi & I both did the challenge, right in the middle of the apartment complex’s driveway. Did I mention that we had just been to the gym on a hot summer afternoon? Ice Water over my head was so worth it (Heidi’s aim though was a bit off).

Proof that I donated

Proof that I donated

At the end of your challenge you can nominate 3 people to do the same thing. I had so many people I could have called out, but then so many of them seem to just not care. Everyone has their own opinion, and they are entitled to it, so I will leave it at that. I challenged my old trainer Andy, my good friend Yena & the Sales Manager at work, Jeff, who is someone who would do this and with his endless stream of people who look to him, he could make a big difference.

But don’t let it be said that I am one to step down from a challenge. I could spout on about how some people aren’t doing it right, but in the grand scheme of things $35 tax deductible donation isn’t a big deal, and hey I needed the cool down. Yena, Andy & Jeff it is your turn now.

Moving Stress…. again

Well it is time to move again… not me though. This time it is Heidi’s turn. We are moving her into our apartment. This is a big step for me as I have never lived with someone over here in the USA and it has been a while since I lived with the folks. But I can handle that I am sure. The thing that I am worried about is handling the stress of moving again.

Last night we did the first move of Heidi’s stuff into the apartment. Heidi doesn’t have all that much stuff to bring over (compared to me when I moved in) but we moved a good portion of the big stuff last night. As evidenced by this photo:

First Load from Heidi’s house in the back of the truck

So as you can see, it isn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things. But there is plenty of stress because what little this is, these are Heidi’s prized posessions. I need to respect that and I need to make sure that I let her take charge so we don’t butt heads. The worst thing I can do is try and be an idiot and have Heidi stress out (she did last night).

So on Saturday we move the rest of the stuff over to the apartment and I guess we will probably spend some of Sunday moving stuff around. I have to remount some artwork that I had up, as we had to move it around to fit in some of Heidi’s stuff (I knew it was coming, was just being lazy and not yet doing it). After all is said and done and Heidi is moved in, it will feel more like home. Until then, probably going to be lost of stress… Lots! But we can handle it!

Rolling down the highway

For my birthday week I wanted to go for a ride on my bike before breakfast out. Originally we had planned to ride around Alki on West Seattle for something totally different and then head to IHOP afterwards for my free breakfast (yes I’m cheap & I had never been before so it seemed a good idea). However when the voucher for IHOP came in, it had to be for a specific location. That was going to be a problem as the two of them were ages apart… Woops!

To fix that Heidi & I decided to try out riding on the I90 trail. The I90 runs from downtown Seattle and runs the entire length of the USA. The I90 trail runs from Bellevue (well Factoria) across Lake Washington to Seattle. Along the way it crosses a couple of bridges, an Island & then best of all, across a floating bridge then through a tunnel. How awesome is that! The full trail is 10 miles, one way… Maybe not! So we decide to go for just part of it from Mercer Island’s trail head across the floating bridge and then through the tunnel & back again.

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The ride went well for me now that my bike is fixed (after my embarrassing ride on the Interurban) and I flew across that bridge. Even though I was freaking out for part of it when on the floating bridge, thinking I was going to fall into the lake or get hit by a car, I still loved it. Heidi on the other hand didn’t have as good of a time.

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Heidi’s bike had a bad day. It looks like somehow her back tire got buckled & it was making her slower than she wanted. I gave her half a tunnel head start on the way back and managed to beat her out (although it was by maybe an inch). The weather though & the scenery made it enjoyable none the less.

I want to go back & try the whole trail now, probably bus back though to make it easier on the return. Either way it was a great way to start the day… And how did it end?

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SeaFair…. Little bit different this year

With SeaFair last weekend (and I only just managed to get through the 2000 or so photos taken last week so yeah this is a bit late) it was a big weekend for a plane spotter. I was planning on heading out on both the Saturday and the Sunday. I wanted at least one day at Boeing Field for the take off & landing shows etc that are conducted by the aircraft and the second day, somewhere by the lake. I had done a lot of planning to head out onto the I-90 bridge high rises this year, but that never happened.

Saturday went pretty damn good, ok well it went pretty good, there were certainly moments that I did not see coming. Heidi was with me most of the day and we had a blast. We spent a bit of the morning at the Museum of Flight, checking out the Marine Corp equipment spread around. Heidi actually enjoyed herself more than I expected, so that was a huge suprise. I know she was looking for plenty of men in uniform, and she certainly got that wish… but no dress uniforms… thankfully. Wierdest moment of the day happened while looking over the Osprey we had just about to walk over to get a bit closer when all of a sudden the skies opened. The rain started pouring down, so we took shelter under the wing, along with a couple of the crew of the aircraft. They joked that the Osprey comes with it’s own rain prevention system (aka… the wing) and when it started coming down harder, we fled to the inside of the aircraft. About a minute or so after getting in out of the rain, it began to hail. My first thought was OMG THE TRUCK!, but then it was more.. WHAT THE HELL IT IS HAILING! A freak storm had come out of no where and the aircraft was getting pelted with small pieces of hail.

After some time at the Museum of Flight we headed around to the far side of the airport, onto the Boeing Access Road (that’s the actual street name, not a private road, we weren’t breaking any laws :P) and parked along the fence line. Thanks to having a truck I could get up above the fence height without needing a ladder or having to try and scramble over people. We could also sit out in the sun and enjoy the day (since it wasn’t all that bad), although that would later turn out to be my downfall. I got heaps of great shots as the Patriots came and went, the Marines all started to wait, then just as the last of them started to head out… another freak hail storm hit. Right as the Hornets got clearance for take off, it came out of no where dumping hail everywhere… take a look for yourself. Here they are just prior to clearance:

From Seattle Spotting 2014

Then moments later

From Seattle Spotting 2014

I was up there for as long as I could, and got a little bit drenched. At first I didn’t know it was hail and was more worried about all the windows of the truck being open. Didn’t end up needing to worry that much as by the time I got into the truck, it was well and truly finished. Back outside I went! After all was said and done I wasn’t that badly burnt and had a metric butt load of photos (ok around 1200 or so) but by the end of the day I was totally wrecked. I had been up since around 530am since I was at MoF really early to get some photo work done for the blog when no one was around. I woke up the Sunday morning with no energy at all!! I could barely move so I ended up staying around the house. I had dehydrated myself pretty badly it seemed (I didn’t think so at the time) so I just stayed home. I ended up missing out on a second day by the lake, but I did manage to get a lot of photos already processed (well at least the ones I took early last week)

Right now there is one thing I know you really want…. photos! So take a look here but you can find the rest at my main photo folder on Picasa

From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014
From Seattle Spotting 2014

A special Thank you…

Today is my birthday and I really want to thank everyone who has reached out to wish me a happy birthday and make me feel special this year. But there is one person I really want to thank, Heidi. Let me explain why.

From Life in Seattle 2014

My birthday is never really that much of a special day for me in the past (at least since moving here to the USA). I get the great gift from the US Navy (and this year the Marines… more to come in future days) and all but really, it is never that much of a big deal. Last year I got back from Oshkosh the day before my Birthday and back at work after a week off… stuff that. The year before that I was only over here for a few months, so didn’t really have a big solid group of friends at that point.

While I was back in Australia, at work any birthday was a big deal. There was cake, their was food (or in the case of my old team… sausage rolls thanks to Theresa), their was presents, their was signs and photos that would make you dread walking into the lifts of the building for fear of getting embarrassed. Over here, nothing like that at all. Sure I get the usual “Happy Birthday” verbals from people at work, but that is it. I have come to accept that the biggest difference with my life over here is that my birthday shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I am now so far from my family that I can’t really think too much about it. Until now.

From Life in Seattle 2014

Heidi has made me feel so special. Worrying about what to get me, wanting to make sure that the day is perfect. Right now she is sitting an exam and although she was studying like crazy for this last night, she still had time to worry about giving me a gift. Considering that my birthday is a few days after our 6 month anniversary (which we delayed to celebrate by a few weeks due to other conflicts) my focus is on her, not on me.

So to the one that I love the most, to the one that I want to spend so much time with ever since the day we first met. I love you babe. Thank you for making me feel so special on this day when I want to make you feel special instead. I truly love you! Seeing the photo you put on facebook this morning (which I have gone and uploaded to my site instead) just made me remember just how much I love you for who you are. You said this morning I am the most generous man in you life. I don’t even come close to your generosity, your love of life and your ability to make me feel loved.

Me & Heidi

Me & Heidi

Heidi… I love you.

Yes i know that was a sappy, mushy post… get over it you #avgeeks.

Tuesday Afternoon Spotting… not something I usually do

Last week I was invited to watch as the United States Marine Corp came and “invaded” the Museum of Flight. They were coming in to set up for Marine Week in Seattle, and I got the opportunity to hang out with fellow Avgeeks at the Museum of flight. Watching as the Marines rolled in was great (especially when the Abrams got fired up to roll off its trailer) but for me, it was the spotting. I took a few hours off work in the early afternoon and headed over to Boeing Field early. I got to enjoy my lunch in the car park, jumping in and out of the back of the truck wearing work clothes (not that easy… trust me). But I know what you want..

From Seattle Spotting 2014

United States Marine Corp – MV-22 Osprey

From Seattle Spotting 2014

United States Marine Corp – AV-8B Harrier

From Seattle Spotting 2014

UPS – Boeing 767-300ERF

From Seattle Spotting 2014

United States Navy – C-40A Clipper

From Seattle Spotting 2014

United States Marine Corp – AV-8B Harrier

From Seattle Spotting 2014

United States Marine Corp – AV-8B Harrier

From Seattle Spotting 2014

United States Marine Corp – MV-22 Osprey

From Seattle Spotting 2014

United States Marine Corp – KC-130H Hercules Tanker

A Fun Weekend.. Planned and Unplanned

I know I haven’t been posting much but life has been in the way. Busy all day with work, not much in my life to talk about other than work, work and more work. Life outside of work has been fairly routine, as per my new tshirt Eat, Sleep, Work, Run.. Repeat. But this weekend, Heidi & I had a pretty good time, some things planned, others not so much.

Saturday was the FHC Skyfair and since Heidi had to do some stuff for her Pacific North West History class, we decided Heidi’s first time at the Boeing Everett Factory was worth it. For me it was the third time this year (I think… might be more, I can’t remember) that I have been in the factory (twice on the floor, once in the roof). Heidi had never been to the factory before and I tried to not be a know it all as much as possible. Heidi had a good time, which is a great thing, because now she can’t complain when I go see planes (or drag her with me).

From Life in Seattle 2014

After the factory tour we headed over to the Windsock for some of the Warbird action as Plane of Fame in Chino had brought up their P-38 and their Corsair for the days activities. That is all I really wanted to see, so after they did their demos, we were about ready to leave when the Tigercat came out. I had mentioned to Heidi that the plane was named “Bad Kitty” which then meant that we had to stay. Heidi was determined I get a great picture of the nose art on the Tigercat. Heidi does love her kitties (apparently also the ones of the plane variety). I had given Heidi one of my cameras to use for the morning so she can get used to it when we head to Japan later in the year.

From Life in Seattle 2014

On Sunday we had absolutely no plans. Down to the fact that after waking up it was “Do we go to the gym or for a ride?” “I don’t know you decide” “I don’t know, you make a decision” (in the end we went to the gym). Funny thing was after heading to catch up with her dad at church (yes, I do go to church on occasion with Heidi, no you can’t judge me for it, no I don’t go because she drags me, I go willingly because Heidi appreciates that I do go with her) he offered to take us “Plinking”. I was so up for that! What is plinking? It is just target shooting with a small .22 Rifle. We headed way up into the State Forest up near Greenwater and it was pretty awesome!

From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014

The shooting was lots of fun. I didn’t hit many targets (then again none of us really did) but I did get a number of hits. We were shooting at paper cups, since they were easy to find and easy to recycle afterwards. There was a numerous amount of cups without any holes at all, which was dissapointing… kind of.

From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014

I would love to get out and do some more of that, but I know that will just end in a giant money hole. I already have one of those, it is called my camera. I don’t need another. So many comments about being hunted by Heidi’s dad with the gun or being taken out into the woods for a “conversation”. But nothing untoward happened and Heidi’s dad is pretty relaxed. It was a great time and something that I have wanted to do for a while.

All in all a pretty relaxed weekend. Looking forward to the upcoming week as it is Seafair and Marine Week all in the same week. I have some assignment work for Airline Reporter to finish and then I also have the MCAS Boeing Field stuff to write about. Looking to be a fun couple of weeks (I guarantee a few thousand photos to work on).

5 of 6 787-9s

Yesterday I managed to add the 4th of 5 flying 787-9s that are out and about in Seattle and around the world (only 1 has been delivered to Air New Zealand). So here they are:

#1: ZB001 – Boeing Test Flights (going to Air New Zealand Eventually)

From Seattle Spotting 2014

#2: ZB002 – Boeing Test Flights (going to Air New Zealand eventually)

From Seattle Spotting 2013

#3: ZB789 – Don’t have this one yet, but it will go to JAL (next on my hunt list)

#4: ZB197 – All Nippon Airways

From Seattle Spotting 2014

#5: ZB167 – United

From Seattle Spotting 2014

#6: ZB003 – Air New Zealand – ZK-NZE – All Blacks Livery (Already Delivered)

From Seattle Spotting 2014