Touches of springtime everywhere on a hike in Seoul

Strawberry bouquets in the hotel lobby. They smelled so good!



Strawberries were even hanging from trees. :)IMG_5286


I don’t know what kind of flowering shrubs these were on the hiking trail, but they were so bright against the bare branches and leftover brown leaves from last winter.IMG_5287 IMG_5288


Forsythias in bloom, just like home! This does seem very early for Seoul. There was hardly ANY snow this winter, it seemed. Or I just missed it on my flights in, which is fine with me. De-icing at Incheon International is one of my least favorite experiences.IMG_5290


Not sure what the significance of the bunny and the pooping dogs on the park sign is. Maybe one of my Korean speaking friends can enlighten me. :)IMG_5291


Bulbs coming up! They should be blooming by the next time I’m here.IMG_5292

A Dozen Rakes, Renegades, and Rogues now available in all online stores

It had been a Kindle only purchase, but not anymore!



Apple -

Kobo -

Page Foundry -

Scribd -

Fog in the valley

I was tired this morning after returning home from Tokyo late yesterday, but this view and a cup of coffee was just the thing to wash away that post-flying, all-nighter “funk.” The mist is Tule fog out in the Sacramento Valley.


Why are there so few female pilots?

IMG_4767A good friend sent me the link to this blog posted by The Smithsonian.

I’ve long known that the percentage of female pilots who are major-league commercial airline pilots is microscopic. One-percent or even less, worldwide. Why? There is a lot of misinformation out there, as the blog says. I encounter girls and women who tell me they aren’t going to pursue or didn’t pursue a career flying planes because they they weren’t good in math. I don’t know why that myth persists. Math has little to do with flying. As long as you’ve got ten fingers, you’re good to go. :) If I had to sum up the skills required it’d be good spatial awareness in three dimensions, and a can-do kind of confidence that propelled you to pursue the dream of becoming a pilot in the first place. Not math.


Secrets of the grapevines

Every year around this time we must prune the grapevines in our vineyard. This year it was so much easier than last year, our first winter living here. Before that who knows when anyone last trimmed the vines? The property had been neglected for a long time before we purchased it. This year it took about two weeks pruning on and off. But last year it took about 6 weeks! But the weather’s been glorious, sunny and mild, and it’s a beautiful chore when you can be out there in the sunshine listening to birdsong. Eventually we hope to make wine, but for the near future we just want to keep the vineyard alive until we can get irrigation to the vines.

As we were pruning back the dead canes and leaves we kept discovering these little nests, almost hummingbird size. I wonder to what kind of bird they belong. Finches, maybe? Any ideas?



Some spectacular photos from 40,000 feet

I’m not exaggerating when I say that only about one in fifty flights over the remote Russian city of Petropavlovsk is cloud-free enough to afford me  a view of the ground. But on my latest flight to Seoul, it was so spectacularly clear that I was able to get some great photos of the volcanoes that tower over the city.

Here’s the approximate location of “UHPP,” the aviation identifier of the airport at Petro:

FullSizeRender Approaching the volcanoes:

FullSizeRender_3Check out the ice limning the INSIDE of cockpit window on the lower right side of the photo. That’s normal, from the extreme cold outside and the humidified air inside the B747-400 cockpit. It melts on the descent and makes “rain” inside, causing annoying dripping on us pilots:
FullSizeRender_2 Just amazing, this view! Wow.


Until next time, fly high! :)