A Race to the Finish

So I’m wrapping up graduate school this week and turning 40. Pretty big milestones! But I’m also looking to the future–goals and hobbies–and hoping for a very positive 4th decade on earth.

To that end, Dale got me the greatest (slightly early) birthday present! A digital 3D camera that will allow me to take 3D photos in order to create personal view-master reels (so excited!) and create anaglyph 3D images I can put on the blog! SO EXCITED.

I plan on ordering a bulk of red/blue 3D glasses so if you don’t have a pair lemme know and I’ll drop some in the mail to you (if I actually know you! Ha!).

Otherwise? Buy your own!

Anyway, here’s a quick gallery of images I created last night! Click on any image to make it larger!

Dale’s Aerobatic Flight!

Dale had talked about going on an aerobatic flight for a very long time. One day last winter Groupon offered a great deal for a trick flight with Gauntlet Warbirds, located in Aurora, Illinois. Dale told me about it and I bought it for him for his birthday in June. The flight had to be rescheduled several times due to weather in the spring and he didn’t end up getting to take the flight until August! And I had to learn to edit video in order to create this post! So, yay for new skills.

Anyway, he ended up on an Extra 300, one of the most maneuverable civilian aircraft in the world.

He was geeked, obviously. He had to gear up and wear a flight suit!

His co-pilot took him out onto the tarmac to greet the Extra 300. Dale’s carrying a parachute on his back.

There she is! In all her terrifying glory. I was pretty much crapping myself and secretly glad that the flight and tricks would be too far away for me to see it happening.

Dale, cinching his bits in place. He had to be strapped into the cockpit.

Who is that? Why it’s the World War II flying ace The Red Baron!
Dale gets a final debriefing before the flight…

Anybody else singing “Highway to the Danger Zone” yet? Because I totally am.

Here’s a quick video I took of Dale’s flight taking off–with some smudge of something on my lens. Oops. I was pretty much crapping myself at this point. Then I went to Starbucks and Dale did this…

This is a 14-minute version of Dale’s flight. I know that’s long but it’s my first attempt at editing a video–and it was really flippin’ hard because I don’t have a Mac, ok?

It was a 30-minute flight. This is the take-off and the bulk of the tricks. I put little title cards in to let you know what’s going on (it’s like a silent movie). If you want to skip right to the tricks go in about 3 minutes!

To give you an idea how insane this whole thing is: at 1:30 in the video the pilot asks Dale if he’d like to take the controls–they let you drive the plane with no lessons! How insane is that? And Dale took the controls and did a roll! Craziness. There are a few tricks after that point that pretty much make me want to toss my cookies. But as we learned in the video I posted from Yellowstone? I pretty much always want to toss my cookies when it motion.

Dale says that he had a lot of fun on the flight and he would love to go on another one–and if anybody out there is looking to buy Dale the perfect Christmas present he says he’d happily accept the responsibility of an Extra 300 of his own.

Birthday at Medieval Times!

For my 38th birthday I decided I wanted to go to Medieval Times! So a few friends kindly agreed to come along…

Lara and Tony were there! Lara’s looking hot, isn’t she?

Dale managed to drink A LOT of margaritas, starting with this giant 40 ounce goblet right there.

Rebecca & Pat were there, too! Loved the flower in Rebecca’s hair. Adorable.

We also invited Lara’s parents–Trish and Rudy! Lara and Trish brought plastic silverware and napkins–I love them for that! You see, you eat with your hands at Medieval Times!

In addition to a tasty bunch of hand-eaten foods? You get a spectacular show!

It’s filled with romance, horses and feats of daring! And you get to cheer on the Knight that your section of the theater.

We got lucky! We cheered on the Green Knight–he’s the villain and gets lots of time in the stadium. And he was cute, too. I cheered him like it was my job (and it was).

A picture of all the fellas! It was a pretty fun time. I think a few doubting Thomases in the crowd didn’t think it would be as awesome as it was (but I secretly knew it would be all along).

Any ideas for next year?

Dale’s Birthday

So Dale’s birthday was last week. I made him a cake and bought him a couple of presents that did not arrive in time for his birthday! GAH!

Happily, his coworkers made up for my hugely sucky planning! They decorated his cube!

And his desk. And then took him out for his favorite–sushi–for lunch.

Thanks Armi and Caroline! I appreciate you picking up my slack.

Dale picked Pizza Fusion for his birthday dinner. Organic pizza and a gorgeous garden salad…yummy. One of his presents STILL HAS NOT ARRIVED IN THE MAIL! I can’t take it.

Anyway, we’re also going camping this weekend as part of Dale’s b-day celebrations so we’ll share pix of that adventure later (after it happens, natch).