Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trip to Mesa

Boeing wanted me to go on a business trip to Mesa, Arizona, which just happens to be the place where my parents have retired too, and also near by where Jacquelyn's parents have retired too. What great luck. So I went down early and got to spend some time with my parents. It would have been great if Jacquelyn and Caleb could of come too but she and Caleb had to stay home. I left on Friday, we spent the weekend together, I took a day of vacation on Monday, worked at Boeing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and then travelled home on Friday morning.

It was fun to spend the week visiting with my parents and the weather was just great. It was mostly in the the 70s but did get into the 80s one day. Mom and Dad are doing real good and we had a great time visiting.

They live in Leisure World. This is the front entrance and the following picture is along one of the golf courses. I tried to take a walk each day, usually along the trails through the two 18-hole golf courses. We also went to several nice restaurants and spent a lot of time visiting and watched some movies and shows on TV.

I did have to work some though. The main product of Boeing in Mesa is the Apache attack helicopter. The production lines for new ones are in Mesa and that's also where they bring ones that get shot up in the wars for certain kinds of rework.

On this visit I was consulting with them on this UAS called the Hummingbird. A UAS is an Unmanned Aircraft System, meaning no pilot either on board or remotely. You program in a mission and it goes out and does its thing, and then flys back and lands. They go on simple type of missions, but the military needs unmaned systems, the saying goes, when things are either boring, dirty, or dangereous.

I am including some pictures of the desert cactus. They are amazing my parents have these right in their front yard. Although these pictures are from out in the country.

My parents and I did a project while down there that was a lot of fun and ended up taking us four days. Just a little each day though. I bought a small recorder and interviewed them and recorded their life histories. First we did Mom's childhood, then Dad's childhood, and then their married time together. It was very interesting and I heard some stories I had never heard before. Now I just have to figure how to get the recordings transcribed onto paper. Anyone got any ideas? We also scanned some old pictures to go with the narratives once I can get it out of the recorder. Here are two samples to give you a preview. This is Mom and Dad as teenagers.

Mom with best friend Betty.

Dad with younger sister Sue and older sister Betty (a different Betty).