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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The land of the midnight sun...

...another name for Alaska, is where I'm going next. It's the only State I've never visited (unless you count flying over the Aleutians; I don't) so I'm planning to do it up right.

I'll be starting in out Anchorage:

Then taking a train:

To Denali National Park:

I plan to visit the Alaska Pipeline:

After which is a 100 mile riverboat ride on the Yukon River:

Followed by a 1,000 mile cruise ship ride to Vancouver:

Maybe I'll get to do some whale watching:

Those things are just "the tip of the iceberg", so to speak.

Anyway, I'm leaving in a few days.
(I'll be gone a couple of weeks)

Hold my calls. And my emails...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Get your wings!

Before air conditioning was standard equipment on vehicles, the "wing" window had to suffice:

Well, I added a variation on 'em to my Harley, in lieu of the small, clear ones that were on there when I got it.

The lower fairings already came with louvers to let more air through, to cool the engine...and the rider.

Here's what one of the "wings" looks like in the closed position:

And then, when it's open:

It was hot riding up to New Hampshire for Laconia Bike Week:

They really do seem to make quite a difference...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Flying in Paradise...

From a Boeing press release:

Hawaiian Airlines will expand its interisland fleet with the addition of four 717-200s to be leased from Boeing Capital Corporation. The expansion is part of the airline's response to market needs created by the recent closing of its primary competitor, Aloha Airlines.

Hawaiian's current interisland fleet comprises 11 717s, which are used for 150 daily flights among four of the state's islands. It will add two airplanes in September and one each in November and December, for a total fleet of 15 of the Boeing twinjets, all on long-term lease from BCC.

"The 717, with its operational capabilities and fuel efficiency, is an ideal match for Hawaiian's market. We're delighted to be able to support Hawaiian's expansion as it responds to the community's need in the wake of Aloha's closure," said Jordan Weltman, BCC vice president for the Americas region.

BCC is the largest lessor of 717s. The airplanes destined for Hawaiian are already in BCC's portfolio and coming off of long-term lease with another operator. The airline also is planning to use a reserve 717 in active service and add a long-haul 767-300 it already operates to its Honolulu-Maui route to help meet the interisland travel demand. It is also recruiting additional pilots and ground staff to support increased operations.

This interests me for a couple of reasons.

Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines had been taking advantage of a limited clientèle for some time. Although fuel costs are decidedly higher in Hawaii, the prices they were charging for the distances flown were rather exorbitant.

Enter "Go!"; here's what their website says:

Over the past several years, interisland airfare has increased while the number of interisland travelers has steadily decreased. It's about time you had access to cheap airfare. go! brings you the cheap Hawaiian tickets and great service you deserve. Whether it's one-way or round trip, go! will make traveling less expensive and more enjoyable. Before go!'s entry into the Hawaiian market, it was not uncommon to see tickets selling for as high as $171 each way. But all that has changed since we entered the market in June 2006 offering regular one-way fares from $39* to $79*. Support affordable interisland airfare by flying go!. We look forward to becoming your interisland airline of choice.

I flew on "Go!" when I went to Molokai in February. They're a big part of the reason for Aloha Airlines going out of business. Hopefully a bit of healthy competition will make Hawaiian Airlines more reasonable...otherwise, they might just go out of business too.

The other reason for my interest is that as a Boeing employee, what's good for the Company is good for me...

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