Posts Tagged ‘Blue Angels’

Blue Thunder, Sore Gums!

July 28, 2010

This past Sunday, July 25, Megan and I attended the U.S. Navy Blue Angels “Extreme Blue Thunder Air Show” in our home town of Idaho Falls, which drew a paying audience of about 50,000 people on Saturday and Sunday.

Here is a link that tells you all about the show.

The Blue Angels have been putting on air shows across the country since 1946. The last time they put on a show in Idaho Falls was 35 years ago (which I didn’t attend).

We enjoyed the air show immensely. I snapped a few photos with my iphone – which, I admit, are a tad lame compared to all the zoom photos and video footage being taken by spectators all around us. Oh well, these photos are all I’ve got.

It’s noon and we are seated in our folding chairs near the six Blue Angel F/A -18 Hornets – parked almost in front of us:

For the next three and a half hours in the scorching sun we watch several other air show pilot performances. Here you see stunt pilot Matt Younkin performing feats in his Daytime Twin Beech 18 Aerobatic:

And Megan trying to keep from baking to death under the mid-90-degree sun, demonstrating the feat of holding the umbrella while managing her $4.50 puff of cotton candy:

The U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon soars overhead like a continuous explosion – it can reach speeds up to Mach 2 at altitude, or about 1500 miles per hour:

… which feels like it could blow your eardrums apart. Megan is wearing earplugs with her hands over her ears.

It’s 3:30 PM now – time for the Blue Angels! The first four F/A-18 Hornets have taken off, simultaneously, side by side:

Followed by the other two:

They perform all kinds of aerial maneuvers,

passing over the runway in front of us, inches apart, upside down:

They soar off into the deep blue sky,

circle the perimeter of the city, soar back in front of us again, and charge upward:

Wow!

All six are soaring skyward in a diamond formation now.

They climb thousands of feet, and then roll and drop simultaneously, ejecting smokey white streamers that lay a giant firework formation against the crystalline blue sky:

The show leaves me awestruck and inspired – not to become a Navy pilot, mind you, although those Blue Angel pilots are incredibly skilled.

Megan and I have to make our way home now through the foaming crowds and terminably stalled traffic. But it’s okay. We had fun.

That was Sunday.

On Monday I get a gum graft. No kidding. As I’m lying there in the dentist’s chair waiting for the novocaine to take effect I’m thinking about the last time I went through this. It was 35 years ago. Believe you me, I remember it vividly. I had to have gum sliced off the roof of my mouth and grafted in front of my lower front teeth. And treat my sore mouth very gingerly for a while. Boy! Not my idea of the ideal weight-loss plan.

Well, I guess that gum graft took a beating through those 35 years, because gum had to be grafted again on Monday in the same spot.

Yeah, so, as I was lying in that dentist chair I was thinking about how this week I experienced two distinct once-every-35-years-events in the space of two days: a local Blue Angels Air Show and a gum graft. Hmmm.

And since I had strict instructions from the dentist not to talk for one whole day following the surgery (can you believe it? Not even on my cell phone – it was torture), or laugh (why would I laugh? Like gum grafts are funny-), or walk (the vibrations could also dislodge the graft, apparently), I’ve had no recourse but to write on my blog.

Oh, and I can’t pull down my lip and look at it either, not for at least a week, the doc says. So, sorry, dear readers, I can’t take a picture of my gum graft and post it for you on my blog. (Awwwww…) At least yet. Hmmm. Maybe in this case it’s a good thing my iphone camera doesn’t have a zoom.

Gum graft?

Yeah, gum graft. Which, if you need one, that link will tell you how. Although, I figure I should make it past ninety before I’ll need another one.