60th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back in June we attended a celebration honoring the 60th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift (Die Luftbrücke) at the Rhein-Main airfield in Wiesbaden Germany. I find it fascinating when you think back to what if must have been like to have been one of the pilots and wondering if they had any idea about the historical significance of what they were doing at the time. What were some of the thoughts runing through their minds? Then there are the people that were on the other end of the airlift receiving all the food and supplies. There and to be some fear and anxiety on their part since the Soviet Union was flexing its muscles and trying to take contol of part of Berlin that wasn't alredy under their control. The Soviet Union was blocking off all surface traffic to West Berlin, which was contoled by France, England, and the U.S. If the Berlin Airlift had failed, the world and history surely would have been a lot different.

Anna and Sarah ready to take off!

One of the publicized highlights of event was to be the dropping of candy bars for the kids, much like the pilots during the airlift dropping off supplies. One plane flew around dropping candy bars around the airfield. It is too bad that we weren't able to get any for the girls but it was something to see all the kids (and their parents as well) following the plane around trying to catch one of the candy bars. I didn't manage to see any real close but I did see several falling from the plane with their parachutes.

While the event wasn't a huge air show exhibiting several different models of planes, there were several on display, including a huge cargo plane. I must say that it was impressive seeing all the different planes (and a few helicopters) on the field.

One of the decorated hangers

I really like this last photo showing the German and American flags. It shows the friendship between the two countries and peoples. I've posted several more pictures in an album at Flickr.

If you'd like to read more about the Berlin Airlift you can check out some of the following sites...

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Happy Half-Birthday, Hobbit

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hobbit at six months

Happy Half-Birthday, Hobbit! Hobbit turned six months old yesterday. It is really hard to believe that this time has flown right by. Hobbit has become a part of the family and it is hard to imagine life without him. A lot has happened in those past six months.

Christine and I were so excited when Hobbit’s litter was born. Fortunately for us, we were able to see the puppies shortly afterwards. Then it wasn’t that long until the girls got to see the puppies. Christine and I have wanted a dog for a while and now we were close to getting one. Most of my life I have always had at least one, so it something seemed missing the last eight years when I didn’t have one. All the visits to the breeder were exciting. After the litter was born, it took us a little while to decide between the black and white male (Hobbit) and the brown and white male. Christine had a sense of relief after we decided on the black and white one.

The day finally came when we could pick him up and bring him home and Hobbit’s life with us began. Bringing him home was kind of like bringing Anna and Sarah home, certainly our family changed with each edition and Hobbit has brought a lot of changes. I don’t really know how long it took him to get used to his new home and family but my guess would be that it was probably within the first couple of days.

The weather was pretty lousy when we brought him home and he didn’t quite have the hang of the whole going to the bathroom outside thing. He must have thought that we were crazy to want to take him outside when it was raining! I was so glad when the accidents became less and less and finally he was house broken.

The weekend after we brought Hobbit home, he attended his first puppy class. The class was outside and the weather was rainy and awful. It was so interesting to see all the other puppies and Hobbit didn’t recognize his sister in the class, but had a blast playing with her anyways. Hobbit got so muddy at that class that he certainly didn’t look like the dog that we brought there. When we drove home, Christine joked about getting the wrong dog, and this really scared Sarah, as she started to believe that we might have really gotten the wrong dog!

Hobbit has been very social right from the beginning. Early on, he seemed to look at his walks as more of a chance to meet people and play with other dogs. You could tell that his in enthusiasm and energy seemed to annoy some of the older dogs. Of course there are some people that don’t like dogs, but I’m still often surprised when we’re off somewhere with him and how many people notice him. He has made friends with many of the dog owners around here and many of the neighbors.

My parents’ dog, Angus, was one of the main reasons that we decided to get a Bearded Collie. Angus was not good about riding in the car, which was one of the reasons that we wanted to make sure that Hobbit didn’t have that problem. Early on, Hobbit would ride with Christine to drop the girls off at kindergarten and to pick them up, so he got used to the car fairly quickly.

An early Saturday evening in July, Christine and Hobbit had returned from a walk, and he started howling and moving his head around. He had part of a stalk of wild wheat lodged up into his ear and was in pain. Christine took him to kind of an emergency room for animals. Hobbit had to be put under full anesthesia to get the thing removed. It was really sad seeing the poor guy all groggy but we were all relieved that he was ok. After that we’ve been very conscious of all the things in the nearby trail and fields.

It is really neat how excited he often is when I come home from work and when he first sees you in the morning. He always wants to say good morning to Anna and Sarah when they first come down in the morning.

Last weekend we took Hobbit with us on one day trip. We were walking along and we saw a black Lab puppy that was about the size that Hobbit was when we brought him home. That was one of those moments that sticks in your mind, because then Christine and I realized how much Hobbit had grown and how, even though he is still a puppy, he has matured. I remember that he was a little smaller than these Boston Terriers and it didn’t take him too long to outgrow them and now he was towering over this black Lab puppy!

I’ve really enjoyed these last months with Hobbit and am so glad that he is part of our family. I have posted several pictures of Hobbit at our MySpace and Facebook accounts. Feel free to add us as friends but please tell me a little bit about yourself if I don't know already know you (reminding me might not hurt as well). If you like the blog, feel free to add us to your rss feed or subscribe via email. We welcome your comments.

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