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).

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

On Sunday Heidi took me for my first Hike in the PNW. Something that she really enjoys to do, and something I rarely do but can and will do (or more like should do), hiking is something we talked about, but never got around to doing until now. Wanting to avoid the crowds, since it's July and it's blue outside, we headed to a trail that was recommended to us by Heidi's dad. Otter Falls was the destination but the guide book didn't tell us of the fact that we were not looking for the "Otter Falls" trail but the "Snoqualmie Lake" trail. Either way, we had a good time, but rather than bore you with details of "We Walked through trees without too much of a problem" (ok we did get lost a bit at the start) here are the pictures instead:
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014
From Life in Seattle 2014

How is it that after running for over 3 years now and not falling over at all, after endless kilometres that I wake up this morning and when I am about 3/4 way through my run (about 1.5km from home) I stack it? I am a clumsy person, I am covered in scars and burns and cuts and abrasions, but till now, I had not stacked it at all. I managed to this morning fall flat on my face but I got up within 1 second and kept going as though everything was fine (dripping blood down my leg though). I tripped on a small piece of pavement that I ran over last week without a problem, so what the hell is wrong with me! When I was training for Kokoda, I fell over countless times while trekking up and down Mt Cootha. There was not a session that went by where I was not flat on my ass at least once, and it was as though the training was not complete till I had stacked it somehow. Many a time on Kokoda itself I was expecting to go head first down a mountain. I think one of my problems is my lack of balance, I can't even stand up straight without almost falling over sometimes, so how can I expect to be able to run without a problem? I don't know how badly this fall this morning is going to effect my running (my knee is currently strapped up to ensure that the chunk missing doesn't go all over my jeans today at work) but hopefully I can keep going. Guess who is going to be doing weights in the gym tonight... THIS GUY!!!!! *** Funnily enough, I was wearing my Kokoda shirt this morning during my run. So maybe it was just a Kokoda fall come back to haunt me? ***

On Friday it was the 4th of July and that means one thing here in the USA, Public Holiday!!! Being on a Friday made it even more sweet as it was a 3 day weekend and it would have been perfect had Heidi not had to work in the afternoon, but we made the most of it! In the morning I convinced Heidi to go for a ride with me. However I was thinking around the lake somewhere, nice and flat. But since we had dog duty over the weekend (Heidi's parents were out of town so someone had to check on the animals) a ride down near Federal Way was smarter. Heidi assured me there was somewhere nice and flat called the BPA Trail. Sounds fine to me, even if it was a little bit short. Well it was short, and it wasn't flat. There was some DAMN large hills on that trail and it almost killed me. At a total ride of 8.5km (we had to take the long way back as they shut the trail for a fun run) it was shorter than my usual 10km, but the giant hills made up for it (I was on my lowest gear and still struggling up that hill!). After the ride and some breakfast, Heidi decided to take me off to experience some fireworks, my first real fireworks experience in the USA. 4th of July has a reputation for partying pretty hard with lots of fireworks involved. So even though fireworks are illegal in certain parts of Seattle (Renton being one of them), just a short drive from our house is the Muckleshoot Reservation, where anything goes! You know you are getting close when the queue of cars stretches out to a mile, and you can hear constant explosions going off. I was giddy like a school girl! This was refferred to by some as "Boom Alley" or the "Muckleshoot Fireworks Avenue", but to me it was like Sideshow Alley at the Ekka, only replace dodgy games with EXPLOSIVES! I had a blast scoping out some of the craziness and then Heidi took us to the one store she always went to, where they knew her by site (and her dad who holds a pretty decent reputation for dropping loads of cash on fireworks) where we got a decent sized range for the $10 investment. We let off all sorts of goodies in the pit and in the end, I got to almost blow my hand off, get a firework shot at me from someone else and have the beejeebus scared out of me after realising something we were told had a pretty hefty boom (it was smaller than a 250ml soda can), which we didn't believe, almost felt like it was going to knock me over. I had a blast (pun intended) at the Fireworks pit and after I dropped Heidi off at work, the rest of my day went into nothingness really. It was just same old same old (I did get to finish my Anchorage photos) really. The best part of my day was those fireworks and I know a lot of people got them, because from about 8pm till I went to sleep around 11pm it was non stop. It got a lot stronger after 10pm when the sun went down. But hey, that's the fourth of July for ya!

On Friday night on the 4th of July (which that day deserves a whole other post on its own) I finally managed to finish off all photos from my trip to Anchorage at the end of May. Yes I said May... it has seriously taken over a month to get all of these done. Mind you I did move houses in that time, so the house move did have priority, however it still took a decent amount of time. I was working on photos during my lunch breaks from work remotely. I was working late into the night some nights just continuously working on photos. In the end I culled down the 7500 photos I took, down to 368 photos in the finished album. That is around a 5% ratio, which while lower than my normal, well it is better than nothing. Now that I have all of them on my site, there is the daunting task of getting them up on Aviation Photographic, so Kevin (the owner) will have a rough time going through them all once I get them uploaded. But no more talk... Avgeek Porn time!
From Anchorage Spotting
A China Southern 777F having water sucked into its engine while it waits for its turn to take off
From Anchorage Spotting
An Everts Cargo DC-6 getting ready for takeoff
From Anchorage Spotting
The Alaska Starliner, more commonly known as the Retro Livery. I have chased this thing since i caught my first glimpse in 2009!
From Anchorage Spotting
A Condor 767 taking off in front of the Anchorage Mountains
From Anchorage Spotting
A G650, what I can easily say is a stunning example of a Business Jet
From Anchorage Spotting
A Southern Air 747-400F with a Beacon flashing while it turns onto the Active. Want more? Full folder can be found here
Anchorage Spotting