Friday, October 28, 2011

Google Car

On the way home last night, I spotted the Google Car. I understand that sightings of the car are pretty rare, so I snapped a few photos to memorialize the occurrence.

Here is the 360 degree camera. Apparently, it pops up on its pole when the car is driving around documenting the street views.

Pretty cool (although a little Big Brotherish)!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Air Show

After the ship tour, we headed over to Crissey Field to see some of the air show. We saw a little bit of it from our apartment on Friday, but our position only lets us see a few fly-bys when the planes are turning around.

The Canadian Snowbirds made an appearance this year. We got there just as they were ending, but what we saw was pretty impressive. They will be in Houston October 15-16 for those of you in that area who are interested.

There were a few interesting acts before the Blue Angels' big finale.

An F-18 fighter jet put on a dazzling display.

A United Airlines jet flew over Alcatraz.

A Red Baron biplane performed some aerobatic maneuvers.

As an introduction to the big act, the United States Marine Corps C-130T Hercules, nicknamed "Fat Albert," entered the airspace.

Then came the F/A-18 Hornets. I can't explain why - maybe their near-perfect formations, flying within feet of each other, or the thunderous roar of their engines - but they are so awe-inspiring that they give you butterflies in your stomach.

Here they are, flying over the Golden Gate Bridge,

over the sailboats,

and over the Bay Bridge.

Pretty spectacular!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ship Tour

Yesterday, we got an up close and personal look at the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Amphibious Assault Ship.

I didn't know what to expect when we went on board since I have never been on a military ship. It was much better than I imagined. We were allowed to walk around the belly and the deck, and explore the tanks, jeeps, helicopters, weapons, and more.

Tom in front of an armored personnel carrier.

Me in a high mobility artillery rocket system,

flipping the "fire" switch.

Me with a bunch of marines.

On the upper deck, I got to sit in the CH-53E Super Stallion, whose mission is to support the Marine Air Ground Task Force Commander by providing assault support transport of heavy equipment, combat troops, and supplies.

Tom toured a CH-46 personnel and cargo helicopter.

We saw an Osprey, which can take off vertically and then adjust its wings to fly horizontally.

This Harrier jet can also take off vertically.

At the Cobra attack helicopter, Vengeance, I sampled some of the gear.

I then tried out some of the weaponry. Maybe I missed my true calling!

Me with a carbine sniper rifle

and an M-19 grenade launcher.

Finally, we checked out the light armored vehicles

and a reconnaissance drone.

On the way out, we spied a security detail, keeping the ship safe.

After we deboarded,

we had a nice, greasy breakfast at Red's Java House.

We had an entertaining morning as tourists at the military enthusiasts' amusement park.