Archive for April, 2012

30 Apr 2012

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

Playing Tourist in the Nation’s Capital

What a full weekend. After rain & overcast on Friday, it was clear and sunny Saturday morning. We walked down the street to the Museum of Civilization. We gabbed a maple latte and a mochaccino and got the lay of the land then purchased our tickets and started off with an IMAX movie – “Flying Monsters 3D”. It was about as lame as you are imagining.

From there it was into the museum proper – we skipped the entire first floor and all the first nations mumbo-jumbo and headed for the postal museum section. It was pretty interesting, although dense. All those tiny stamps and envelopes. Kind of a lot to read and absorb. Some interesting exhibits though, especially the history of railway mail sorting and delivery. We also looked through a temporary exhibit on religions that was clearly designed by an agnostic multiculturalist liberal. Kind of content free – all the world’s great religions reduced to trivia.

By early afternoon, we decided to walk across the bridge to Ottawa and had lunch in the Byward Market. After fish and chips at the Highlander, we walked around the shops and parks – alternating a bit because of the chilly wind. We bought some bread and cheese and walked back across the river to our hotel and put our feet up, watched a movie and relaxed.

On Sunday, we had a lazy start then headed over to Ottawa around noon. We spent the afternoon touring the parliament buildings -that was very interesting. Brenda had seen them as a kid but I’d never gone inside. The stone work and scale of the building is quite something. We took one of the guided tours and heard some interesting stories, like the one about the stonemasons sculpting their own faces onto the pillars in the senate anteroom.

In the afternoon we went back to Vintage Wings to see how they run their Warbird U – since there will be a Warbirds U in Calgary in August. I even got to sit in the cockpit of the Swordfish!

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28 Apr 2012

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

Aviation Day

Yesterday was a full day of aviation related activities – it was a work day for Brenda. Brenda’s first meeting was at 10:00 at the Ottawa Aviation & Space Museum with one of the conservation technical managers named Mike. I was going to look at the exhibits while they met, but instead got to join in on the tour of the restoration storage areas and workshops.

It was a really cool look behind the scenes. Mike has been working on the restoration of the last Northstar & took us through the aircraft. I got some really neat pictures and will work on posting them later.

In the afternoon it was back to Vintage Wings for Brenda to meet with their management to talk about the joint Vintage Wings – Aero Space Museum plans for the summer. Since I’d spent enough time as a “tag-a-long” in the morning meeting, I asked if I could get a hangar tour while Brenda was in the meeting. So I spent a great couple of hours getting to hear about and look at the amazing warbird collection: P-40, Lysander, Fleet Finch, Tiger Moth, Cornell, Harvard, Spitfire, Corsair, Swordfish, Sabre, Hurricane and a visiting L-29. I got a good look in several of them including the Spitfire and the Hurricane. It was pretty cool.

In the evening we had dinner in the Byward Market area and then back to our hotel after a long day. Today we are going to walk over to the Museum of Civilization & then maybe tour parliament hill.

UPDATE: here are some piccies:


Brenda touring the Northstar


A P-40 in the back storage area of the Air & Space museum.


Air & Space Museum Voodoo 


Can opener from the Northstar galley being restored.


VWoC Spitfire under going maintenance.


VWoC Hurricane


VWoC Corsair

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26 Apr 2012

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

Ottawa Trip

It’s been a bit of a long day, but Brenda & I have made it to Ottawa. Actually, Gatineau to be precise. Brenda was invited to the Vintage Wings of Canada Spring Kickoff. VWoC has a large collection of flying vintage warbird and other aircraft and tonight is their launch to the flying season as well as a fundraising gala. I am lucky enough to be able to tag along on Brenda’s business trip as she represents the Aero Space Museum.

We are going to spend the weekend here as well – just a little getaway for the two of us. My folks are “vacationing” at our house and minding the home fires til we are back. Thanks Gram & Gramps!


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21 Apr 2012

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

First Motorbike Ride

Not for me, though.  A friend just picked up his new Triumph Thruxton today in Calgary.  Mark came in from out of town by shuttle bus and I met him at the drop-off and gave him a ride to the dealer.  Sean and his son met us there, too. 
It was really busy at the dealer since today was just about the first nice Saturday this spring. The staff was pretty busy. Mark needed to get some gear – riding pants and boots plus a tank bag to allow him to get his shoes home! Once that was done, he got keys for his new bike, put the plate on had the salesman give him the “care and feeding” speech. Then we were ready to go – well, ready once we retrieved Sean and Jordan from the Tim Horton’s across the street…

So we headed out for a ride – Mark’s first in quite a few years (14 I think he said since he last had a bike).  We headed east out of town and all had a nice lunch together at the Station in Strathmore.  Already we are thinking about how to arrange a little road trip! After lunch we took a few hero shots in the parking lot and then headed for home.

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