I took a break from my vacation yesterday to go to the annual Abbotsford Airshow, the loudest thing on earth. I needed a break since every muscle and joint and bone in my body hurts from all the vacation fun. We’ve now moved 14 tons of gravel, 14 cubic yards of dirt, then moved some of it back out after I figured we’d created a physics error of sorts, having to do with what I’m calling the hydrostatic pressure dynamics at our retaining wall—at least that’s the theory I’m working on (Jo-Anne thinks I’m either nuts or a mad nutball scientist and non-union slave-driver); and we tore-down an old fence, dug-out the approximately 200-pound concrete clumps the old posts were set in, then rebuilt a fence. We also removed about 3 tons of old lumber and brought it to the landfill.
But the people here are so friendly! The accommodations are lovely. The weather’s been great.
So here are some pictures and a video of our day at the airshow. It’s an awesome airshow by any world airshow standards, with all the fanciest jets and acts around, performing right in front of our eyes, plus static displays that are really, really cool.
The U.S. Air Force had many of their coolest jets on static display, which we went to look at when the F-18s, F-15s and F-16s and so on weren’t performing. My wife Jo-Anne bought a souvenir C-17 baseball cap on board the very cool C-17 jet we’re standing in front of. This C-17 Globemaster airlift jet is the same kind that Canada, under the Harper Conservatives, recently bought four of (known here as the CC-177) —four not being enough evidently, because they couldn’t spare one for the Airshow. This one is a U.S. Air Force version. Anyway, we were very excited about the hat because it fit her, and she has a freakishly small head.
Here’s that jet from in front:
Jo-Anne’s hat cost $15 from the U.S. Air Force. A hat from another vendor with a Canadian military logo that also fit her… was priced at $45. Plus tax.
Here’s a small video (I made with my digital still camera) of a couple of jets. They did a really good re-enactment of a typical day in the life of the Canadian military effort in Afghanistan, in which a Canadian vehicle encountered a roadside bomb which nearly blew up their military Jeep; the Canadian soldiers in the Jeep and other accompanying military vehicles did some quick racial profiling and started firing their machine guns; and rather than engage in dramatic liberal-style “peacekeeping”, or engaging the enemy in a quick desert chat about that whole “bombing Canadians” thing over a nice tea and buns, Layton-style, they called in fighter aircraft air support. Out of nowhere the F-18s started roaring in and dropping “ordinance” on the appropriate racial profiles. It was amazing and absolutely awesome. A Canadian transport helicopter (not a Sea King) came in and dropped more battle-ready soldiers (not liberals) on the ground, who immediately assumed positions flat on the ground, machine guns pointed, ready to fire real ammo (not tea and donuts) to defend the helicopter and the Canadian fighters. The F-18’s kept circling around in the meantime, just to present an awesome shock and awe show of force and freak out the enemy. The ‘copter lifted off, went away, and returned with more non-peacekeeper actual fighters rather than pantywaist liberals armed with tea and buns; then it took off again with the wounded soldier and a prisoner… unfortunately (for the prisoner) not to Gitmo but to some prison in Afghanistan instead… instead of being shot on the spot in the battle.
UPDATE: New video – added a bit
Here’s Jo-Anne doing what most other wives and girlfriends do at the airshow—looking down at a book most of the time, instead of up at the passing 700 mile-per-hour jets. You can see a couple other women in this picture doing the same. The guys are all standing up saying “cool!” about eight times a minute. But at least my wife was looking at a cool book—the firearms book for her firearms training course she’s taking next week.
I noticed the usual Canadian Snowbirds presentation was a little different this year (finally, after all these years of very nearly boring me to tears). This year, the music and the overall tone was a lot more aggressive—more macho—not all Celine Dion singing ballads and Enya soothing us as if the Canadian Military, as run by liberals, was still trying, as they apparently were up to now, to attract to the military those home decorators and fashion stylists from the Home and Garden Channel and other similarly excruciatingly effeminate men and metro-sexuals and women to our military. Apparently they want tough men, and find their old pitch wasn’t necessarily the model of success.
The difference between the Snowbirds and the U.S. Thunderbirds, which also performed, was still easily identifiable. The Thunderbirds use F-16 fighter jets and elicit bone-shaking thunder throughout their show, over rock and roll on the airshow speakers. The Snowbirds use ancient little trainer jets which are quiet and quaint by comparison. The Thunderbirds ramp up the excitement. the Snowbirds, well, don’t (despite their better effort this year).
For the first time in memory, they closed the show not with the Snowbirds, but with the Thunderbirds. I thought that spoke volumes.