Thursday, December 31, 2009


Well, I finished my last trip of the year at 0100 this morning. Maria and I headed back to Hollywood around 1100. As we drove past a small lake next to the hotel, I spotted a small alligator enjoying the warm sunshine. Maria thought it was a log until I tossed a small pebble in the water and the gator headed right for it. I think this little guy was probably around 3-4 feet long (1 meter or so). In the bottom photo, you'll see the little guy in the lake just below the shrubs reflection and between the two trees. Just goes to show you that even in town, you'll see wildlife hanging around. Pretty neat, I must say! Since today is the 31st of December, I'll wish everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! Thanks for checking out my blog. See you next year!!! karl

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well, what better way to spend Christmas than with your girlfriend and unlimited lobsters???? Yep, that's what I did!!!! Maria came up to Orlando (MCO), and spent the last few days with me since the flights to Madrid (MAD) were all oversold. What a nice Christmas present!!! We found out that the Boston Lobster house was just around the corner from the hotel so out we went, and boy were they goooooood!!! I think Maria loved them as much as I did too. Here's a couple of shots of us with the "Lobster mobile". One looks like the lobster is "interested" in the car, doesn't it? Pretty neat though, I must say. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Last week before I went to Houston for my annual check ride, I was stuck in Boston (BOS), during the major snowstorm. I waited almost EIGHT hours for my flight to depart.......ugggghhhh! However, all was not lost when the storm system finally passed over Boston. One of the most beautiful skies graced the horizon for a couple of minutes. Here's a shot of the sunset from the BOS terminal. This would have been a great picture if the catering truck hadn't decided to jump in. Oh well...................such is life.


Well, I'm in Houston (IAH), and just finished my two days of annual simulator training. The first day we practiced engine failures, emergency procedures, low visibility approaches (CAT IIIa -- or literally such reduced visibility approaches with "auto land", that a human doesn't have time to react to land the plane, hence the airplane lands itself!!!), and instrument approaches with one engine out. The second day is a "LOFT", or line oriented flight training session (a real-time flight scenario, with an abnormal procedure thrown in to see how we handle the situation). It's definitely a "stressful" time of the year for pilots when they come to do their annual checkride. Our instructors were superb and made the experience a very enjoyable one for us. Here's some photos of Continental's newest simulator, which has only been operational for a couple of weeks. It was INCREDIBLE! The visuals, the "flying", and the realism of this machine was nothing less than IMPRESSIVE! Any person getting in this thing would think they were in a real airplane. Click on the photos to make them larger. Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. At least I can breathe easy once again!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Well folks, unfortunately this will probably be my last post for this year. I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow, then head to Houston for my annual check ride, and then head to Panama City four times on my next trips.....with NO breaks in between. I won't be done till 1 January. Sooooo.....Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks for checking my blog and check back again soon. karl

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Went to the beach today..........and it was gorgeous as always (30 Celsius, 86 Fahrenheit!!). Not many folks out enjoying the warm weather though. Even the folks riding the parasail were fake today. Click on the photo and see the "dummy" getting a nice free ride. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, must be tough to make money flying this guy around. :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Last week during one of our flights, our flight attendant, "Bob", stopped and put his head up against the jet way. We didn't really understand what he was doing until he stuck out his arm and pointed to the other signs by him. I HAD to get a shot of this for you. It's certainly nice to fly with someone with a great sense of humor!

Friday, December 11, 2009


So...........I'm finally showing you a shot of ME taking some photos (in St. Maarten of course), for not only my blog, but my website too. I get told a LOT, that my photos must be fakes.........but, after watching me take a few, people change their minds. My girlfriend Maria thought it was easy to take an airplane picture........until she tried to do it. She now lets me take the airplane shots.......LOL. By the way, Maria took this photo of me, and since I wasn't moving 160 miles per hour like a plane, it turned out pretty good. :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


While flying to Houston (IAH) last week, we had two sunsets that caught my eye. I've downloaded them so you can enjoy them too. The "duller" one was taken as we were passing through the "snow clouds" that had just visited Houston, and the other was the next day. Hard to believe something so far away can generate such a beautiful site for us. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Finally home for a few days.........whew!!! The good thing is I have a week of vacation. The bad thing is that we're trying to move into our new home and I'm laying hardwood floors and cleaning up, so I'm not getting a vacation. :-) Anyway, here's a couple of shots of some incredible cloud formations that we saw flying from Miami (MIA), to Houston (IAH) last week. It was strange that this was the only small area of high winds which creates this "wind blown" look. My first officer and I couldn't get our cameras out quick enough. Luckily, mine is super fast and here's the result. Hard to believe the winds were almost 130 miles per hour at this altitude!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Here's a neat shot of what it looks like to fly through another planes contrail several minutes after the plane has passed by. Usually a contrail will fall approximately 3-500 feet or so, but this contrail held its altitude pretty well. We were flying at FL370 (flight level 370 or roughly 37,000 feet above the earth's surface) when I snapped this shot. Every now and then while flying through a contrail like this, we'll experience a nice "bump" or jolt in the ride. Ahhhh......all in a days work! Well, tomorrow I'm off to work for four days. I'll be back on the see you then!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


While Maria and I were having lunch in St. Maarten last week (SXM), the daily KLM B747-400 was getting ready to depart. As you can see through the trees, our hotel (the Sonesta Maho) is VERY close to the end of the runway. That's one of the neat things about this place........location, location and location (the famous real estate saying). A minute after taxiing into position for takeoff, the throttles come up and the windstorm starts. Check out all those "daring" tourists getting the sandblasting of their life...................(we've all done it once just to experience it). And once is all they'll ever do it.....because it hurts like the dickens, and you'll be cleaning sand out of every crevice and cranny on your body for the next month. LOL Click on the photo to get the "big picture".

Monday, November 30, 2009

SUNSET VIEW OF SXM's a view from our room in St. Maarten last week. Arnoldo (a front desk manager at the Maho), took care of us and put Maria and I in a great room with a FABULOUS view. I've attached a few other shots so you can get an idea of just how neat being in SXM is. (I've included a shot of Maria on the balcony so her mom and dad can see how great she looks!!!) Now you know why I want to retire there!!! How cool is this????? The sunset speaks for itself. Click on the photos to enlarge them. More tomorrow. ;-)


Hey everyone, sorry about being out of touch for so long, but I've been on the road and pretty busy over the Thanksgiving day holiday week. Of course I have the privilege of working Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND New Years......the holiday trifecta............and on top of that I'm getting ready to start moving into a new hang in there with me and I'll get some new stuff out in a day or so. Thanks for checking in.... karl

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well everyone, I just got back for ONE DAY of rest and recuperation, and then head back to work for the next seven days, so here's my "one" new post. On my last trip to St. Maarten, I noticed a menu that had pizzas named for different airlines. First on the list was Continental Airlines pizza. Pretty basic pizza if you ask me. Luckily, my job seems to have a lot of the toppings I need. :-) I want to take a moment to thank everyone for stopping in and reading my blog. I'll try to do better at getting more posts up, but for now it looks like it'll be eight or nine days before I get the opportunity to post again. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Bermuda is one of the most beautiful islands we fly to. Unfortunately, we don't have any overnights there, but that's okay since it'd cost a paycheck just to have breakfast. LOL. Well, maybe not an entire paycheck, but yes, it IS quite expensive. The approach and arrival is just gorgeous. They collect rainwater from their roofs and that's what they use for everything. Ahhhh...... the life of an islander. Well, off to work for a few days. I'll post more neat stuff when I get back.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Well, my computer is finally up and running again after a NASTY virus shut it down and took all my files with it. Luckily I have an INCREDIBLE computer whiz who was able to get it back up and running like new in just two days! Thanks Yoram!! So, here's a shot I took last night of the LARGEST CRUISE ship ever built, the Oasis of the Seas. It's docked here in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days and then off it'll go. I think the ship will be based out of FLL for a while. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to ride in her one day............ Quite a massive ship, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Well, today I was playing one of my favorite slot machine games, Texas Tea, and hit the BIG ONE!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!! As you can see from the photos, (snapped quickly since they don't let you take pictures in the casino), I ended up hitting five oil derricks, which gave me the "BIG bonus" round. I selected the biggest winner in the oil derrick selection portion and hit big time there!!! As I was betting $4500 a pull (mom please don't kill me), I ended up being lucky and hit for $435,000!!! Now the bad news.... it was only on my computer, so it was all FAKE money. Rats............ (but wouldn't it be nice to win something like that in REAL life????) :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009


While commuting to work a couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Air Force 2 (the vice presidents plane as it is called when he's on it) parked in Fort Lauderdale. It was pretty neat, although I'd have rather seen AF 1 (the presidents plane). President John Kennedy was responsible for the paint scheme currently used on the presidential fleet. I have to admit that it really does seem "presidential" doesn't it?

Saturday, November 7, 2009


For the past 12 years, I've been flying into and out of Mexico, and had remembered seeing some Aztec pyramids located SOMEWHERE on our departure route out of Mexico City (MEX). Well....I FINALLY found them again and was able to capture a "fair" shot of them. (My camera was acting up).'s my ATTEMPT to take a couple of quick photos of these elusive pyramids. I've heard that you can take tours to the pyramids, but unfortunately their wasn't enough time on this trip. Hopefully one day I'll get to go check these out. See why I like my job so much?

Friday, November 6, 2009


The other day while enjoying my time at the beach, a Grumman Goose flew by several times. Here's a nice shot I took of it while it was zipping down the beach. I looked up the registration number on it and it was built in 1940!!! This plane is 69 years old and still going strong!!! Just goes to show you how well built some things in this world are! Too bad they don't make them like this any more.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


While taxiing out of Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) the other day, we had two neat sites: Air Force 2 (VP Joe Biden's plane), and a B727 known as the "Vomit Comet". A company called Zero G has a specially fitted B727 that goes out and flies parabolic arcs which creates a "weightlessness" in the aircraft for 20-30 seconds at a time. Here's a shot of the plane. Apparently 33% of the folks have a hard time keeping their lunch down during this flight. Maybe one day I'll be able to save $5,000 to go do this for an hour or so......or maybe not. ;-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Even though Chicago (ORD), isn't one of my favorite overnights, I was able to stock up on some great Fanny May chocolates, and get a room with an incredible view. I'm always amazed at how engineers have figured out the strength and materials required to build such massive buildings without fear of them falling down. I couldn't build a small structure with building blocks when I was a kid without it collapsing before I'd finished it. :-) Here's the view I had from my room. Nice!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I just finished flying a four day trip with overnights in Columbus, OH (CMH), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), and Mexico City (MEX). It was a great trip with a lot of good flying. But one thing that stood out in my mind was how expensive parking at our hotel in downtown Chicago was. I've attached a photo to prove my point. Personally, I think it's pretty sad when parking for a day costs almost as much as airfare from Florida to NYC. I guess some people aren't feeling the recession.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Here's an older photo I had taken of Maria and I before we went flying. A dear friend of mine, Vinny Pipitone, brought his buddy's seaplane down to Ft. Lauderdale for a couple of weeks. He called us up and asked us if we wanted to fly it to Lake Okeechobee and do some water landings. Talk about fun!!! Hopefully he'll bring the plane back down soon so we can do it again. Thanks for the fun Vinny!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So, here's a gull just yawning away. A few minutes later he was laying in the sand taking a nap. How peaceful............. Now, if it was just that easy for ME to zonk out. It's kind of funny how so many animals mimic humans............LOL

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It's been quite some time since I've seen a "skimmer" at the beach. Yesterday I finally saw some flying around. Looks like they're back for the winter. They're a cool looking sea bird. They call them skimmers since their lower beak is skimmed along the surface of the water and that's how they catch their fish. They also make a neat little "honking" noise when they're flying around. Click on the photo for a nice closeup shot. Welcome back to Florida guys!!! ;-)

Monday, October 26, 2009


Today while enjoying my daily beach run, I noticed a lot of beach goers standing near the water and pointing. Usually this means either a dolphin, big fish, or SHARK. It was the latter! I grabbed my camera and took this shot. It's a bit fuzzy, but you can definitely see the shark in the water. It was about 25 yards out, but it still got every one's attention. I was surprised because a few folks even went IN the water to see how close they could get to it. And you wonder why we have shark attacks?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I just ran across a couple of shots of a small owl who posed for me a few years ago. This little guy was sitting in some rafters in an open-air picnic area loft. He was only six inches tall, but seemed much larger in the photos. What a graceful and wise looking bird.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


The other day at the beach seemed to be a smorgasbord for gulls finding and eating fish. Here's two shots of gulls with "dinner" in their beaks. I saw a few others, but couldn't get a good enough photo of them for you to enjoy. The gull flying makes quite a racket (noise) when it has a fish in its beak. Within minutes it had several other gulls chasing it to get a bite. Typical birds, eh?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Sometimes seagulls are obnoxious, pesky, sea birds. Other times, they are beautiful while soaring the sky. Here's a picture I took at the beach of a seagull out enjoying his day. If only I could have been born a bird and soared the skies.........nah, on second thought I'd rather be a pilot! :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Sometimes I think people just want to be seen. Nerdy, geeky, goofy, or just plain silly is what I have to classify a lot of beach goers. Here's the "nerdy" look I captured today while enjoying the wind and waves. It's almost a "European" look with the black socks and shoes. (And I've seen better legs on a table....LOL). I'm thinking maybe I should have a recap of some of what I see on the beach. Whaddya think????? :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009


One of the things I see a lot at the beach is people trying to push wheelchairs through the sand. Folks, it doesn't work...........unless you have one of THESE. What a cool wheelchair, don't you think? This is only the second one I've seen in five years of going to the beach. The other one wasn't powered, so someone had to push it. But both of them had the balloon tires, so they glided over the sand pretty easily. Now....if I could only come up with an invention like this!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Adriana, my girlfriend's daughter, spends a LOT of time doing homework. (And I mean a LOT.........usually from 7 PM til 1AM almost every night of the week). Here's a shot of Adriana and Maria while Maria is playing on the computer (and if you click on the photo, you'll see she's checking out my blog....:-) ), while poor Adriana is sitting on the floor and working on a school project. I have to tell you, I certainly don't miss those days of worrying about getting my schoolwork done. Adriana is in an International Baccalaureate program and it is one tough program. She's doing extremely well. Keep up the great work Adri!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


As I was enjoying a day at the beach last week, I found out just how uncoordinated some people are. Their was a large group of folks having a "beach day" party. They had all types of games and obstacle courses set up. One of the games they were playing involved getting in a plastic kayak, paddling about 50 yards, and returning to shore. I'm guessing that well over 90% of the teams took more than four minutes to accomplish this seemingly easy task. But alas, most of the teams spent more time trying to get in the kayaks than they did rowing. It was pretty hilarious. I'd think at their age that some sort of coordination/mental skills would have kicked in. I was wrong. These guys were all over the place. One would get in and the other would tip the kayak over causing the other person to fall out. Talk about teamwork, or lack of it....LOL. It was pretty fun to watch though.