Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lightning Strikes Twice

I had the chance to go to the F-35A media event at Edwards AFB on August 27th. They took us out to the intersection of taxiway Bravo and the main runway and we watched AF-01 land after a test flight. Once the plane landed we climbed into the Air Force bus and they took us to hangar 1820 for the official briefing and interviews.

Media events are always interesting. They are, of course, designed to put the best foot forward for that particular program, but hopefully what you hear is said with good justification. Some are more successful at it than others.

I won't comment on my thoughts on that aspect (we are teammates on the program, after all, and subject to bias), but I will make an observation on how things are presented to the media. The Air Force did a great job for the most part. There were glitches, but flight test is used to that and so are flight test PR events. Regardless, the media had great access and good quotes and soundbites.

Lockheed Martin does an outstanding job with media events. Having gone head-to-head against them and being on the same team with them on different occasions, it is still an amazing thing to watch. Nobody else in aerospace - and I mean nobody else - does PR as well as those guys! I've seen them blow away Boeing and us many times. In that regard, my hat is off to them.

This event was no different, even though it was the Air Force's gig. Lockheed Martin provided top-notch images and background information to the media with DVDs and thumbdrives so deadlines could be quickly met. From the media side it is always fun going to one of their events.

And the plane was fun to shoot, too. I just wish the sun had been to our backs, but it was so high up in the sky it was probably a moot issue. Nevertheless I think I got some neat images. I even got artsy! That one I submitted to the 2010 Aviation Week photo contest. I will post that shot at a later date.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eoin Meets the Family

Christie sent out a bunch of photos on Snapfish, from which I shamelessly downloaded some of my favorites to show and share. I assume Mike was the photographer on most of them, with Christie taking a hand in the last one here. I have no idea who shot the group photo...maybe Mike's mom Jeanne.

Regardless, here are "official" photos of Eoin meeting his immediate family for the first time. Evie, as I mentioned before, declared herself satisfied with her baby brother. She certainly does look pleased in these several shots.

I'd say the whole family looks pretty pleased here. We are, too!

"Welcome home, baby Eoin!"
Some have commented on Eoin's features and how well-formed his face looks. I agree, he does look handsome. As I also mentioned before, his hair and skin tone is lighter than Evie's, so I think his Celtic side is going to be prominent in him. I wonder how much red he'll have in his hair when he is grown?

It's never too early to start reading to your kids! Good on you, daddy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Farewells & Welcomes - The Circle of Life

Photo by Mike Cotter
Photo by Wayne Pittman

This has been a roller-coaster of a week. On 30 August Tina's mom, Jean, passed away after a long, debilitating illness. It was a pretty stressful last few years for all involved.

And yet, a few short days later, we welcomed to the world our new grandson, Eoin Michael Cotter, born today, 8 September 2010, in Colorado Springs, CO.

The cliche' about the "Circle of Life" was indeed at work here. From sorrow and relief to joy and wonder. The end of one life and the beginning of another. And so it goes, generation upon generation. It's pretty amazing sometimes.

For those who care, Eoin weighed in at 7 lbs, 12 oz and was 20 inches long. He has big feet, lots of hair (although not as much as his sister when she was born) and a lighter complexion than Evie. The Celtic genes won out this round.

Eoin is pronounced "Oh-in." A fascinating look at the origin of the name is found at this site: http://medievalscotland.org/problem/names/iain.shtml

Eoin's cousins Josh and Nicole Pittman delivered Pooh and Eeyore to his bassinet.

Evie visited today and declared that she was happy with her new baby brother. Christie and Mike are breathing easier at the news. :-)

That's it for tonight; I'm pooped. More later.