Friday, January 9, 2015

Day at the Museum

Where is the rest of the bird?
Went to the Smithsonian on the Saturday after New Year's, of course we had to hit the Air and Space part first. Little Bit wanted dinosaurs. The grandmothers wanted to see the Hope diamond, The WSO was up for anything. Big Time, his Dad and Yours Truly wanted to see aircraft! (The Godfather and his lady were content to follow the crowd. Sigh, to be young again.)
Aircraft everywhere!
It was a drizzly, foggy and downright nasty day in DC that Saturday. It was nice to be inside.

One thing about the National Air and Space Museum is that the aircraft are all crammed together. They just don't have the room like out at Udvar-Hazy. So things were a bit crowded. Oh yeah, there were approximately 8.5 gazillion tourists in there as well. (I know, I know, we were tourists as well.)

Of those 8.5 gazillion, I think there were a gazillion Europeans, 5.5 gazillion Chinese and the rest were apparently from India, based on their attire.

Photo by Adam Jones Adam63 Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Okay, the men weren't dressed like that, just the ladies.

So it was rather crowded, with aircraft and people.

And what is it with people?

"Hey, what's next? I know let's stand here right in the middle of the walkway and talk!"

Not just the foreigners, Americans do it too. Most annoying! Ah well.

Here's a bunch of photos of me, playing the fool while standing in front of various aerospace vehicles of a war-type nature.

I say old boy, why is that Yank flying right at me? Bloody low isn't he?

Und so, vhile zis Idiot vas trying to get to ze off ramp, I opened fire mit meine 20mm cannon...

Ciao! Imma ready for summa pasta and summa chianti. Grazie!


I have ever been a joker.

The museum also has an awesome model of the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65).

The WSO checks which squadrons are embarked.
Hhmm, those birds look familiar...
Damn, is that VF-2, the Shit Hot World Famous Bounty Hunters?
Why yes, yes it is!
(Note the red, white and blue stripe just under the pilot's canopy. The famous Langley Stripe.)

We had a good time. Later we went to the Museum of Natural Science. Animals everywhere! All stuffed or in a rather bony, fossilized configuration. We were all amazed. I have pictures. Which I will share. But not today. (Gotta save something for the future don't I?)

The Hope Diamond? Meh...

A shiny rock. Though a rather large shiny rock. (Why are all those women drooling?)

Hope Diamond by David Bjorgen Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Okay, it is kind of, er, um...

Alright, it's very nice. Very shiny.

No, we didn't get that close to it, the display was mobbed.

By people (not all women mind you)...



  1. I see you remember your hand flying lessons (always shoot the watch), but you're in the target's plane of motion and your nose is in lag. You need a Hi Yo Yo to get turning room to pull lead before you can effectively express your discontentment with a burst of 20mm.
    Been to the Air and Space many times (Udvar-Hazy was just a dream at the time). Enjoyed it everytime, even though it always had 8.5 gazillion people visiting.
    Didn't realize the WSO had flown Tom Kitties.

    1. Ah, so you recognize that I'm about to go Hi Yo Yo...

      Hahaha. Not!

      I always remember to "shoot the watch" and always forget the whole geometry thing when hand flying.

      The WSO has never flown in the F-14, 'twas before her time. (Actually I just checked, the Tomcat was retired the same year The WSO received her commission. So it hasn't been that long.) But the young lady knows her squadron's history (she is a good daughter) and recognizes her predecessors when she sees them.

      The model of the Enterprise shows her with her original island, that dome or beehive look was replaced with a more conventional looking island during a West Coast yard period in the late 70s / early 80s.

      I'll let The WSO know that you think she's old enough to have been a Tomcat RIO. She's already a bit miffed on having just turned 30...


    2. "I'll let The WSO know that you think she's old enough to have been a Tomcat RIO."

      Oooooh. Guns kill. You are NOT supposed to turn with the bug.

    3. No, merely that she's got a Dad who's old enough to have a daughter who flew Tom Kitties! :-)

    4. Heck Juvat, I'm almost old enough to have a daughter who flew Spads.

      But I'm not quite that old. Though I'm sure she would look at it the same way you did.

      Which means, "Sarge, put the shovel down. Hole is deep enough."


  2. On our trip to DC, which I mentioned the other day, we spent a good amount of time in the Air and Space Museum. It was one the highlights of our site-seeing maybe because we had an Air Force pilot showing us around. Of course he was an officer and a gentleman and quite handsome. I wish I knew how to leave one photo on a comment, but I don't. So, here is the blog post with other pics of our DC adventure, which did have some good pics. Thanks for sharing your pics - it was a good reminder of our time in DC.

    1. Thanks for sharing that post Lou, great photos. I am jealous that you got to meet Joe Galloway and Hal Moore, two very brave men!

      I'm guessing that many people have posed in front of that Macchi C.202. Small world!

      I too wish I knew how to leave a photo in a comment. Sometimes that would be helpful. But the link to your post was better, I got to see the whole thing!

  3. "Hey, what's next? I know let's stand here right in the middle of the walkway and talk!"
    Just be happy they didn't have shopping carts [insert silly smiley graphic here].

    O/T (in that it's only about museums) - GS and I spent a similar type of day in Cleveland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
    It was miserable rainy, stormy, crappy outside and most delightful inside.
    It was also crowded.

    Back on topic... I see the Enterprise model has the fixed array radars of it's original profile.
    They always made it easy to recognize.

    1. OMG. Shopping carts. Good point. We experienced that at the Costco in Alexandria the Saturday before New Year's.

      Museums are excellent places to visit, especially when the weather is bad.

      Funny you should mention the profile of the Big E. I had just finished looking up when that refit was done when answering Juvat's comment above.

      In the museum I didn't recognize her until I saw her hull number painted on the flight deck.

  4. Great pics and recounting Sarge. Last time I was at Air&Space Mike Collins was the director. Looks like it's gotten a bit seedy.

    The gears really seem to be turning in the WSO's head. If she's anything like me, looking at the olden stuff and comparing it to more recent experience stirs a lot of complex thoughts and emotions.

    1. I think you're right PA. She was examining that stuff pretty closely.

      The Mike Collins of Apollo fame?

  5. Yep. The fellow who Charles Lindbergh said had experienced " aloneness unknown to man before." Coming from Lindbergh...

    Collins wen't from NASA to Air&Space in 1971. I think he left in '79 or '80.

    1. Cool!

      Can't imagine what that must have been like. Over 200,000 miles from Earth, the two guys you came with are walking on the Moon, and you're orbiting that Moon all by your lonesome. In a very small capsule which now probably feels very roomy after the long flight and being alone and all.

      Lindbergh nailed it! (And he would know wouldn't he?)

  6. Aircraft always make the day better. Thank you for improving a Friday that has totally sucked!!

    1. Sorry to hear your Friday sucked, Russ.

      Glad I could help make it better. I think you'll like tomorrow's post.

      Involves Disney characters. Sort of.

  7. Since you've apparently declared this to be Museum week and since I was the only one in the family with the day off today (Stock Show Weekend), I did some research at the National Museum of the Pacific War today. Pictures on Monday. Guns, Airplanes, Ships and even quizzes, something for everyone.

    1. Excellent!

      Your posts make me wish it was Monday right now!

      But for the benefit of all mankind, I'll be content with it being Friday night. And not Monday, yet.

    2. It will be there when you get back Skip.



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