The Negative Voice
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2003-07-04 - 11:19 p.m.

Battle Creek

Happy Fourth of July, all. We celebrated a day early, going out to Battle Creek to see Binder Park zoo and then the USAF Thunderbirds fly at the Battle Creek Air Show. Binder Park was neat- I've never seen a place where you could feed and pet the giraffes before. That picture will be a keeper. We ate at Red Lobster, then watched the fireworks, slept poorly, and came back for more air show goodness.

The state of the art in aerobatic flying is quite impressive. I saw a pilot coax his plane into a vertical climb, then hold it vertical for several seconds after he ran out of airspeed and began to fall backwards. Impressive to watch, but I think I'd pass out if I tried to ride along during such a maneuver.

I had some fun playing with the new camera at the airshow, although my 216mm (35mm equivalent) zoom was nowhere good enough to take good shots of anything but the activity right over the runway. I had better luck shooting during my tour of the B-17. I don't know how the original crews could get around in those planes, unless they were all a lot shorter than me. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and carrying a camera. They had to wear heated flight suits under flak jackets and (potentially) carry 80 pound cans of ammunition. Yikes. I love military history, but I'm hoping to miss out on any actual war myself, thanks very much.

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