Surreal rain delay at EWR

A couple of weeks a go I was on my way home to LA, and was significantly delayed by some serious lightning storms. Newark airport was shut down completely, no planes going in or out. We had already boarded our flight, so we just sat there waiting out the storm at the gate. When the storm finally passed, there were dozens of planes jockeying for position to get out of the gate and onto the runway. What’s more amazing is how the mess of planes very quickly organized into neat single file lines awaiting their turn for takeoff. Some photos of the planes moving into formation are below.

What a mess!

What a mess!

Things are moving

Things are moving

Lining up

Lining up

Ready to fly

Ready to fly





Notre Dame

I could not believe the news of the fire at Notre Dame cathedral. We visited it in 2014, and below are some pictures we took. I’ve also included some of the pictures from news orgs post fire for some perspective. We did not take pictures of the roof that was damaged, we just got the facade and a little of the interior.

Front of cathedral, looking at the iconic towers.

Front of cathedral, looking at the iconic towers.

Close-up of the front main entry doors

Close-up of the front main entry doors

Rose window on front facade

Rose window on front facade

Inteiror of cathedral - we chose not to stand in the very long line to get to the front close to the altar.

Inteiror of cathedral - we chose not to stand in the very long line to get to the front close to the altar.

Altar inside Notre Dame - the image is pixelated as I had to zoom since we were outside the area immeidately next to the altar.

Altar inside Notre Dame - the image is pixelated as I had to zoom since we were outside the area immeidately next to the altar.

Interior with holes in roof (photo credit Christophe Petit Tesson/AP)

Interior with holes in roof (photo credit Christophe Petit Tesson/AP)

Interior damage to Notre Dame (photo credit Christophe Morin/Bloomberg)

Interior damage to Notre Dame (photo credit Christophe Morin/Bloomberg)

The interior burining (photo credit PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images)

The interior burining (photo credit PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images)

Interior smoldering (photo credit PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images)

Interior smoldering (photo credit PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images)

Photos from most recent trip to NYC

I love taking photos out of airplanes. Snapped a few over LAX, EWR, and a couple on the way. Read on, especially the caption of the last picture of the 757-200 that I was on yesterday.

View of Marina Del Rey

View of Marina Del Rey

Kalitta Air Boeing 747 taking off

Kalitta Air Boeing 747 taking off

Dusky cloud cover off the Santa Monica Bay

Dusky cloud cover off the Santa Monica Bay

Snowy Rocky Mountains

Snowy Rocky Mountains

Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ

Looking down the runway at EWR (Newark Liberty International Airport)

Looking down the runway at EWR (Newark Liberty International Airport)

Dusky cloud cover over Oklahoma

Dusky cloud cover over Oklahoma

The 909

The 909

United Boeing 787 Dreamliner

United Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The actual plane I was flying on yesterday, a Boeing 757-200. Copyright Radim Koblizka; you can link to photo  here , and see stats on this 29 year old plane  here . Interestingly enough, the decision by Boeing to not produce a successor to the 757 had some bearing on United’s position regarding the 737 Max when Airbus came out with its new A320 and A321 neo planes. Boeing had to jerry-rig the 737 to be bigger, have longer range, have bigger engines, and hold more passengers. Kind of like the 757. Which is why airlines still use it 30 years later.

The actual plane I was flying on yesterday, a Boeing 757-200. Copyright Radim Koblizka; you can link to photo here, and see stats on this 29 year old plane here. Interestingly enough, the decision by Boeing to not produce a successor to the 757 had some bearing on United’s position regarding the 737 Max when Airbus came out with its new A320 and A321 neo planes. Boeing had to jerry-rig the 737 to be bigger, have longer range, have bigger engines, and hold more passengers. Kind of like the 757. Which is why airlines still use it 30 years later.

Netanyahu must go

News broke that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is working to bring in Otzma Yehudit - a racist right wing political party - into the government. This, on top of the so-called “nation-state” law, puts the current Israeli government squarely in the zone of appearing to have no moral anchor. Mr. Netanyahu, you must go - you are hurting, not helping, the Israeli state. You are hurting the cause for peace. You look craven and desparate to hold power no matter the cost. No state should be sanctioning racism and de-legitimization of a people, especially one whose people have been on the receiving end of such treatment for millenia.

Boy is the GOP & Trump stupid

I had really thought you had some shred of sense to get yourselves out of the mess you’re in. Boy are you stupid.

Political momentum amidst crisis

There’s a lot that’s happened this week. Midterms and Trump’s press conference meltdown. Another mass shooting. Multiple fires in California. The firing of Jeff Sessions only to be replaced by a shady operator that opposes the Mueller investigation. And oh by the way, on the way out Sessions signed a last minute memorandum limiting the Justice Department oversight of police abuse. Trump suspending all asylum rights for any undocumented immigrants fleeing their country. I’m sure I’m missing more.

Feels like we’re going off a cliff a little bit.

But I do take some heart in the outcome of the midterms. If you just take a moment to breathe, the Democrats took control of the House and seven - yes seven - governorships. Ohio and Florida were heartbreakers - assuming the called results in FL still stand - but were really close, as was of all things, Texas.

I was talking with a good freind of mine, and he got me into a better place by explaining that with those margins, Ohio and Florida are actually flippable in 2020 with the right candidate. Barack Obama won both states both times. But - you really need Ohio, which let’s not forget re-elected Sherrod Brown. if you take the states that Obama won, subtract FL and VA, you still get to 290 votes and a win. So - the issue is less about the fact that OH and FL went slightly Republican this time - the issue is about who will be the candidate that can take these states and flip them to the blue column.

For the record, it is true I natrually gravitate towards Democrats; my views are more often than not closer to Dems than Republicans. But I don’t have a problem with conservatives per se; as I’ve said in a previous post, conservatives - real ones - provide a natural ballast to debate. After all, no one is always right, and everyone can have boneheaded ideas. My problem is the current Republican Party and its support of Trump and Trumpism. And a majority of the country also has a problem with it. Which means in 2020 there’s a real shot at taking this country back from Trump. The 2018 midterms are actually a great start in that direction. Let’s keep that momentum going!