When the chips…

…are up, or down? I can’t remember. However, I did find this casino chip from the Casablanca Casino in Aruba while sorting through some old travel memorabilia. The Casablanca was in the Hilton Hotel on Palm Beach when I first entered. The hotel went on to become a Wyndham and now it is a Westin. Here’s look at the chip.

$25 that thing was worth. I’m sure I used it on the craps table back in 1994, when I arrived in Aruba for the first time. Gambling is one bad habit I’ve given up. Those casinos aren’t built by the winners. I’d rather spend the money on fine food.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Flying Over Water

My latest flight took me over some old stomping grounds along the coast of Delaware and over the Delaware Bay. My first stop was Ocean City, Maryland, where there is an excellent airport for small planes like the Cessna 172 that I enjoy flying about. Here’s a look down at the field.

You can see there are two runways, which makes landing easier when the winds shift. You’ll find friendly faces there, too, and fuel if you need it. Nearby, is Ocean City itself as you can see from the next photo.

I followed the coast north to Cape Henlopen, climbed to a higher altitude, then crossed the Delaware Bay. You always want to be high enough to have enough vertical distance to glide to terra firma should your single engine decide to quit. Hopefully, I’ll never have this experience. Looking down at the anchorage you can barely make out a few ships between the strut and the end of the wing. See if you can spot them here among the smudges on the window.

The bay and ocean were flat calm, the kind of day when I used to build reefs in these waters. Now I fly over top wondering what the fish are up to. To complete this trip, I made a stop at Cape May Airport then headed back to my home base.

Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Diaries on Display

The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City has often showcased amazing books. This time, they’ve hit a new high with “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.” On display, you’ll find journals that range from a pirate to John Steinbeck to a NYC police lieutenant taking notes about 9/11. Incredible.

Check out Einstein’s calculations or Hawthorne’s ramblings or Sir Walter Scott’s struggles after a series of strokes. The Morgan Library has them all for you to review. There’s one from Bob Dylan, too, which gives a great example of depth and breath of this exhibition. As the keeper of numerous journals of my own, it’s a wonderful opportunity to take in the scribbling’s of others, especially in their own hand. I doubt very much anyone would be interested in my musing about artificial reef construction, flying about in a small aircraft, travel through Spain, or island life in Aruba. Then again, you never know.

Published in: on January 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Diversion Flying

No, I wasn’t flying to divert my attention from a writing project. My flying was diverted because the weather at the intended destination deteriorated and the wise thing to do was return to home base. As you can see from the photo above, the Susquehanna River has some ice and nearby Penn Valley Airport (Selinsgrove, PA) is surrounded by snow.

The airport is the dark strip of asphalt in the left side of the frame. Here’s a closer shot.

I landed there for a little break then took off, heading west for State College, but the ceiling got low. Hence, the diversion. I turned around and headed to Schuylkill County’s Joe Zerby Field. There I took another break before flying further south. On the way, I passed Reading’s Airport. It’s plenty big to accommodate all manner of flying machines. Take a look.

Reading is a controlled field, which means they have a tower with controllers directing traffic. I had no need to trouble them as I had plenty of fuel, knew where I was and where I was going. Hence, back to home base. Better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air then in the air wishing you were on the ground.