Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Amercian Pie

I’ve just spent the past two weeks on a course in Chicago and had a fantastic time (the course wasn't too bad either). I can’t wait to go back. Amazing architecture (Hancock Building, Wrigley Building), awesome music (Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy & John Lee Hooker), great food (Chicago Pizza Pie!!!!!!) but shocking roads and awful traffic. I’ve been fascinated by America ever since went there as a child. The size, history, politics, scenery, people, culture – This is the country that didn’t necessarily invent anything significant but has showed people how to develop and market products – Who designed the iPod – A brit! Who invented the TV – a brit! Who invented the jet engine – a brit! However, who turned the iPod into the product of the millennium – Steve Jobs - An American!, Which company developed the worlds best selling jet aircraft – Boeing – An American Company! Who produced The Godfather, When Harry Met Sally, Shawshank Redemption – Americans. Anyway, I’m not going to go on. Here are a few ‘funny’ things I observed on my trip

• Driving while on your mobile phone is a legal requirement. If you can reverse while using it you get a special award.
• The higher the fuel consumption the better the vehicle.
• City driving requires the largest SUV you can afford.
• Never stop at a traffic light if it’s orange. It has to be red for several seconds.
• While waiting for a traffic light to turn green keep inching forward.
• Undertaking should be performed at every opportunity.
• Saying thank you is optional but if you say thank you should expect ‘uh ha!!!’ in response.
• People can eat a whole meal with just a fork.
• If you order a take-out work out what you want and then half the order. Still expect to throw most of it away.

I’m not being serious – well only a little as the above could be applied to most countries. What amazed me the most is the number of people driving and using a mobile phone. These people have cars that cost tens of thousands of dollars, mobile phones that cost hundreds of dollars and they can’t afford a $5 hands free kit.

Enough said…..

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The iPhone has landed

I've just purchased one from the local apple store and managed to unlock it to Vodafone. Words cannot describe how cool it is. It's has Form and Function. Prepare to be blown away.

Dilbert had something to say about the iPhone this morning and Abi said that it was spot on. I am officially a MacFan!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Google Earth just blows my mind

Abi's flight was delayed by 5hrs 45minutes because of a couple of hydraulic failures. So instead of arriving at 14:15 local time I probably won't see her until 21:00 or even later.

Anyway I was trying to find a web site that would show her flight location so I could track it in. Most sites only cover North America BUT I came across a very interesting Google Earth Blog that described a service run some guys at FBOWEB.COM. They provide services to pilots including live flight tracking. Most of it being subscription based. However they provide some sor
t of link from Google Earth enabling you to see live flight arrivals at several of the major US airports. What they didn't explain is that you can see EVERY flight that is on it's way to the airport in question and not just those coming into land. For details go here. Check out these pictures of Abi's flight.

Check out these pictures of Abi's flight.
There are two other aircraft very close to Abi's. The first is an Air India 747 going from Heathrow to Chicago. The second is a private Lear Jet Ambulance going from Goose Bay (Canada) to Iceland.

Abi's flight landing at Chicago O'Hare - She's the one with the yellow track.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Interesting weather

Thunderstorms and all sorts expected in the midwest this evening. Everyone was sitting around talking about it - mostly worried about tomorrows flights. We are supposed to have a severe storm around 6pm tonight. Looks bright and sunny outside at the moment (5pm) so I'm interested to see what happens.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Random photo

Did you know?

Loch ness is 20 miles long and 750 feet deep. It contains as much fresh water as all the lakes in the uk and is deeper than the north sea.

Live from loch ness

No sightings of the monster so far but i did see something resembling nessie when i looked in the mirror this morning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

In search of a stag

Its 730pm and we are moored at the castle. We had an uneventful journey with a solitary tornado for company. Abi has been on the lookout for stags. We've heard lots from our mooring but only seen a few on a distant hilltop through the telephoto lense. 'stag watch' continues tomorrow.

Overnight mooring

We've made it to the end of the canal. We reached fort william yesterday afternoon but decided to spend the evening a few miles back up the canal at Gairlochy locks. A lovely setting next to loch lochy with hardly a soul around. Today we are heading back throug loch lochy into loch Oich then mooring at invergarry castle.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Captain Abi

We couldn't find a patch.

Dive bombing

Cruising across loch lochy at 1030 on a tuesday morning and the RAF have got nothing better to do the scream across the loch in their jets. Seriously though its fantastic. I keep trying to take photos but by the time i hear them they are long gone. Ar per the request the speedos will be coming out tonight. You'll wish you hadn't asked.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Peace and quiet

We spent the night in fort augusta and sampled a few of the local ales. Nice place which is full of tourists by day and just the locals and boaters in the evening. After a hearty breakfast of porridge (apparenty i could have had a heart attack inducing scottish breakfast if i'd walked 100 meters up the road) we attempted a staircase of 5 locks. Due to the size of the locks the boats had to be pulled through. If we had left the engines on we would have suffocated. It wasn't too hard but with all the tourists watching we tried to look like pros. It took an hour to get through before we were on our way again. Cruising across loch Oich we spotted a couple of stags and even more exciting were the two tornados that buzzed us at very low level. We've arrived at our home for the evening, Laggan Locks.