Post the First

As in first post of the new year. Hooray!

If I have resolutions—and I’m not saying I do—one would be to finish writing the memoir I started last year. Others would be to keep posting to my weblogs, perhaps setting up a separate blog for Air-Minded posts, while continuing to send out Paulgram newsletters. Perhaps I’ll try to climb out of the lowest common denominator sinkhole we call Facebook. That last one feels like a dieting resolution, one I know will be nearly impossible to keep.


Our daughter was over New Year’s Eve, taking photos of herself in party attire (in lieu of actually going to any parties). I do believe she intended to sneak off with my selfie stick, but I thwarted her nefarious plan by hiding it. Stick in hand, I took my first selfie of 2018 at the air museum on New Year’s Day. The aircraft behind me is a Balair C-97. Balair, a Swiss airline, was a major participant in the Biafran airlift of 1967-1970, the second largest humanitarian relief airlift operation after the Berlin airlift of 1948-1949. Balair bought old USAF C-97 freighters, hired former USAF crews to fly them, and painted the aircraft in the colors of the International Red Cross. Which did not stop Nigerian Air Force fighter pilots in the air, nor Nigerian Army gunners on the ground, from trying to shoot them down. Click the link; it’s a hell of a story, and that old plane is a piece of history.

I’m starting 2018 with a four-day motorcycle ride. My friend Ed and I leave tomorrow for Palm Desert. Thursday we’re riding north through Death Valley to Beatty. My son Gregory plans to ride his BMW up from Vegas and meet us there. Friday we head south: Gregory will peel off in Vegas and get back to work; Ed and I will continue to Yuma and a night in the historic Coronado Hotel. Saturday it’s home to Tucson.

I installed a Bluetooth rig in my full-face motorcycle helmet and am hoping Gregory can show me how to work it when we meet up in Beatty. But who knows? Maybe I’ll have it figured out by the time Ed and I get there.

Today I’ll get the Goldwing sorted out and ready for the trip, then make a run to the credit union for cash. I’m not taking the big camera on this run, just my iPhone and GoPro. And what’s left of our Ibuprofen so my knees don’t ache too much.

When my sister Sue died I made a commitment to attend a reunion with my other sisters in Missouri this October. We’re planning to drive there and back, mainly because airline travel is so awful. That’s the only big event on our schedule for 2018.

That, and doing what I can to take Congress away from the Republicans. #Resist.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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