Weekend: birds, blues and ballgames

My computer is running two models and while I wait for the results to roll out, I’ll grant myself a moment to write about the weekend.

On Saturday, my host, Steve, took me to the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, about two hours from Granville. Along for the ride was Steve’s son Matt, who knows an astonishing amount about military aircraft for someone who just turned five.

The museum hosts about 400 aircraft, ranging from the earliest World War I open-cockpit propeller planes through modern-day stealth fighters. The collection includes several aircraft that played a key role in history, such as the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki to end World War II. There are also a number of prototypes, including several X-planes.

The Consolidated B-24D Liberator “Strawberry Bitch”. An American heavy bomber, the B-24 was produced in greater numbers than any other type of aircraft used in World War II.

Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk. This American fighter was used extensively in World War II, by the Americans and their allies alike.
Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk. This American ground attack aircraft from the end of the Cold War was the first plane initially designed around stealth technology.

Steve and his wife invited me to a concert by Scott Ainslie in Granville that night. Ainslie is a blues and folk musician, a musical historian and a great story-teller. I’ll admit that blues and folk are not high on my list of favourite musical genres, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying the concert. In fact, it wasn’t just a concert, and that’s what made it so much fun. Ainslie told as much stories as he played songs, and he spoke with a passion that made it impossible not to appreciate his tales.

I spent Sunday evening watching part of the first NFL semi-final and the entire second semi-final. Yes, that’s American football: a sport I never understood and never saw more than a few minutes of. (It’s easy to go without American football in the Netherlands, because there are only a handful of clubs and it’s hardly ever shown on tv.) It turns out that the rules are quite simple and once I knew what they were doing, I actually enjoyed watching the games.

The NFL regular season runs from September to early January, followed by a series of play-off games and the big finale, better known as the Superbowl. The Sunday games were effectively the semi-finals, and the winners will play in the Superbowl on February 3rd, the second-to-last night of my visit to the US.

3 thoughts on “Weekend: birds, blues and ballgames”

  1. It was a pretty wild game eh? I actually thought the reported temperature was even colder than -1 F, but same difference. Those girls must’ve been thinking about Arizona already ;)

  2. If I remember correctly, the game started at -1 °F and finished at -3 or -4. At those temperatures, though, I don’t think a few degrees make much of a difference anymore :-)

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