Helicopter snaphots

We’re flying with the doors off the Robinson R44 in order to avoid being baked to death in the recent weather (over 90 degrees in God’s chosen system of units). That enables your humble instructor to snap a few iPhone 12 Pro Max photos from the left seat.

On the ramp at our local airport (KBED), the F-18s that Joe Biden recommends for personal ownership (try to get a friend to pay for fuel, though!):

See if you can spot the Black Lives Matter banner on the all-white church in the all-white town of Concord, Maskachusetts:

The Concord-Carlisle High School, a $93 million project (about $71,000 per student, half paid for by the state) that taxpayers wisely decided not to use for a year (#AbundanceOfCaution; it was closed entirely for 6 months and then students were able to start attending half time):

The Lincoln K-8 school, a $110 million project, including the solar panels that were borrowed against in an off-books accounting maneuver, ($250,000 per student, 100 percent paid for by the town):

(This is being done as an in-place renovation, with students displaced to trailers for three years, because the campus supposedly does not have enough room for the usual “build new building in parking lot or on soccer field, then demolish old one” process.)

One of the families whose next 30 years of property taxes will fund the bond for the above. #InThisTogether:

(Imagine the legal fees if the “dependent” spouse “pulls a Melinda” and sues the spouse who earned enough money to build the above house! The happy plaintiff can beat the heat with Tinder dates by the pool.)

Mitt Romney’s legacy, the Mormon Temple in Belmont, MA:

Put on a mask and let your cows and sheep graze for free on Cambridge Common:

MIT Lincoln Lab:

Scroll to 1970 on the timeline and you’ll see that the Mode S transponder that is the building block for ADS-B was developed here.

Why can’t you get a seat on the Red Line trains that run every 10 minutes starting at Alewife? Check out everything that has been built recently near the station (center right of frame):

(the three red brick towers in the foreground are public housing (777 units for the worthy poor: “the towers—like many high-rise housing projects of the era—quickly became associated with crime… the complex is still a focus for law enforcement activity, and in 2008 the Cambridge Police opened a substation at the towers”) and, until a few decades ago, were the only significant buildings)

The Gropius House in Lincoln (cost about 4X/square foot to build as a typical house of the time):

A helicopter CFI gets current. We went to downtown Boston to get away from some light rain showers at Bedford:

It is a little unnerving to be using one’s phone as a camera through the open door of a helicopter. Lean out too far into the 90 mph breeze and it will be time to visit the Apple Store (don’t forget to make a COVID appointment, buy a mask, and get temperature-screened!). Maybe a case with a strap?

13 thoughts on “Helicopter snaphots

  1. > See if you can spot the Black Lives Matter banner…

    I see it! I see it! But why so small? That church has four enormous white pillars – why not a huge banner spanning them all. What’s this rinky-dink little sign stuff? They have the money for something much larger and more grandiose. Concord looks like an all-white neutron bomb went off over it. Everything is gorgeous, the architecture and city itself look perfectly preserved, but there are barely any people. It’s almost a Wax Museum City.

    At the Lincoln K-8 school, I notice lawn maintenance (presumably gasoline-powered) being done at the empty baseball diamond near the empty school with the beautiful unused pool. At least we know the guy who mows the grass and cleans the pool filters is doing his job.

    I’m glad nobody tries to use the Gropius House for Air BNB because is the ugliest home I have ever seen. I hadn’t seen it in years and now I cannot unsee it. Thanks, @Philg! You’re not leaving anything that great, at least not any more.

    • Also: Is the #InThisTogether residence one home or two? It looks like they need a self-driving car to get from the main house to the “pool house.”

    • Looks like two houses to me too. They already thought of divorce in their prenuptial agreement. That’s why the pool is far: it is incorporated and for pay use by family members to avoid loosing it.

    • A prenuptial agreement should not prevent a plaintiff from acquiring both the main house and the pool house, regardless of the language, so long as the plaintiff can get custody of at least one child and say that the real estate is “for the child”. See http://www.realworlddivorce.com/MassachusettsPrenuptialAgreements

      (the prenup won’t be enforced at all if, in the eyes of the judge, it would be unfair at the time of the divorce (e.g., if the plaintiff had stopped working during the marriage))

  2. I believe it is the F15 not F18 which is the best equipped to take on the government. Also Nuclear weapons were recommended. The B61 nuclear bomb can be delivered by the F15 (also the F-18) and more than 3000 have been built. Plenty to go around! Don’t tread on me!

    • As the Soviet experience has shown, you don’t need any fancy weapons to defeat a massively nuclear-armed country. All you need is to convince the citizenry to withdraw consent to be ruled by that government.

      Etienne de la Boetie was right.

  3. That was a fun flight, when I wasn’t trying too hard to remember how those things work.

  4. “The new building also includes many updated safety features that the old building lacked, including fewer exits and entrances.” How is *fewer* exits a safety feature?

    How many stories is that school? If I remember correctly, in my home state of Ohio schools can’t be built with more than two stories so that if there’s a fire, it’s easier to get out.

  5. philg is a helicopter flight instructor. That’s just totally awesome. Doesn’t matter what else you say or do, your boys will think you’re the greatest!

    • First British colony was in North Carolina. First surviving colony was Jamestown, Virginia. If Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a very special member of original 13 colonies how come US needed Kentuckian Abraham Lincoln to abolish slavery, Western US troops to actually win civil war and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania industry to arm the troops?

  6. Nice view of the New England Aquarium, and the Indigenous Peoples Waterfront Park! Have they torn down the oppressor statues yet?

    Also you can see Great Blue Hill on the horizon, which happens to be just a touch lower elevation than the chopper. Although they really should rename it according to its native name, Massachusetts [Hill].

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