C’mon Trump…

While I was landing at LGA last week, I noticed Donald Trump’s plane was parked not too far away from the landing runway.  I have to admit though, I was disappointed Mr. Trump was only rockin’ a Boeing 757.

Donald Trump's Personal Boeing 757

Seriously, as much as he hates President Obama, cannot he at least get a better plane than Air Force One to show that he is at least trying to one up the White House?  And I am pretty sure Mr. Trump can front the ~$200 million dollars needed to upgrade to a Boeing 787 Dreamliner…

Now I have to wonder: is Donald Trump just toying with America? If so, he is doing a good job.

Why the Boeing 767 Rocks

To my the best of my knowledge, I have flown in the following aircraft:

  • Airbus A319
  • Airbus A320
  • Boeing 737
  • Boeing 747
  • Boeing 757
  • Embraer E-190
  • Embraer ERJ-135/140/145
  • McDonnell Douglas MD-80

But by far, my favorite plane to fly in is the Boeing 767.

Whereas the smaller planes I listed can feel cramped, and the B747 cold and sparse, the B767, at least to me, strikes the right balance between comfortable familiarity and spacious roominess.  As an example, I have never been a fan of planes with more than three seats per row, especially towards the ends of the fuselage when trying to go to the bathroom from a window seat can be a complete pain in the butt.  While the majority of the planes I listed fail in this instance [as they usually come in a 3-3 or 3-4-3 configuration], the B767 usually comes in a 2-3-2 configuration, something that makes me feel like less of a jerk whenever I need to relieve myself.

It certainly helps that the times I flew in a B767 were the result of a memorable trip:

  • Iberia: Going on an orchestra tour of the Mediterranean regions of Europe and Africa back in the summer of 2001.
  • American: Visiting my older brother on two occasions when he lived in San Jose, CA back in 2003.
  • Delta: Going on a brief study abroad stint to Firenze back in 2004 when I was enrolled in college.
  • Asiana: Travelling to Central Asia back in the summer of 2004.

It would be nice to eventually fly aboard one or more of the following planes:

  • Airbus A330
  • Airbus A340
  • Boeing 747-8
  • Boeing 777
  • Boeing 787

Until then, the Boeing 767 holds the crown in my book.

Some Lessons from Myrtle Beach

  1. Golf is not an easy sport: it requires A LOT of patience to fully understand the basic fundamentals.
  2. A trip to the South requires an obligatory visit to one of the following: Chick Fil’A and/or Waffle House.
  3. Raccoon squirrels are deadly: not only do they like to eat food scraps, but they also enjoy chewing up Longchamp bags.  Ask my Mom…
  4. The TSA agents [and airport personnel for that matter] at Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) were some of the friendliest I have ever encountered, something that corroborates my experience with TSA agents and airport staff at Raleigh-Durham (RDU) in North Carolina.  I suppose it partially has to do with the Southern Hospitality [and not being in a New York City area airport too].
  5. While the experience did not totally stink, Spirit Airlines still leaves a lot to be desired [like no complementary snacks and beverages].  Oh, and all those fees…
    1. As my Dad pointed out, it would have been a better idea to fly out from Islip-MacArthur to Charleston via Southwest.
  6. As much as I hate LaGuardia Airport (LGA), this trip reminded me how the views of New York City proper you can get leaving and/or approaching the airport are untouchable.
  7. I need to take more pictures…

Photography Pains

As much as I like photography, I also hate it, especially when things break.  For example:

  • In the past three years, I had two Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lenses break on me for the same reason: a zoom barrel design flaw that resulted in my being unable to rotate the zoom ring due to a loose screw.  Both times, I unsuccessfully attempted a manual repair, only to destroy them beyond hope.
  • Of late, my first good Canon EF mount lens, the Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical, has developed a worn flex cable.  In other words, I get the dreaded Err99 every 60-100 shots or so.  If only I had known about Tamron’s spotty quality control…
  • Lastly, my Canon EOS 20D needed its shutter release mechanism replaced, which thankfully is an easy fix if you know how to solder and willing to open up what effectively is a fancy computer.

Worst of all, the money I lost on those three subpar zoom lenses (~$1100) could have been used to get something of significantly higher quality [like the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM].  It goes to show you get what you pay for.

On a related note, a friend asked me yesterday which camera, namely a dSLR, is a good one to invest in as a gateway into photography.  I implore you all to do the following:

  • Buy a used dSLR and/or one that is within your means.  A new Canon EOS 60D without a lens will set you back $900, whereas a used Canon Rebel XSi [which I think has one of the better Canon APS-C sensors made to date] with a kit lens can be had for less than $400.
  • If you want an affordable lens of good quality, go for a fixed focal length prime lens.  Consider how for the price of a Canon EF-S 17-85mm, you can get a Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM that has significantly better optics and is not prone to zoom barrel design flaws.
  • Use the damn camera, and if necessary, learn how to take better pictures.  After all, what good is an expensive tool if you cannot properly utilize it?

Which reminds me: I really should get around to teaching my parents how to master a dSLR, especially if they plan on taking many pictures during their travels.