Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The twirl
It is kind of nice when you get to the point in life where you no longer really care what anyone else thinks. That place where you just do what you love and enjoy every step along the way. Dancing is that place for me. I remember dancing as a teenager and worrying what I looked like, what other people thought. No longer!

My philosophy: if you don't like the way I dance, stop looking at me!

I recently started Salsa lessons in Western Australia. This is a fabulous, intimate dance that is really not that difficult. To all you men out there - Go do it! As Joan Rivers used to say: Can we talk? The truth is, this dance would be great foreplay (I'm just guessing at this, not stating from personal experience), it is that sensuous. In fact, after my very first full twirl, swirl, swing around the floor with divine dance instructor, Cris from Argentina, I threw my head back and laughed aloud, saying, "I love this dance. It's like sex!"
A little tall for those heels
[Note: I realize this is not a sex blog, but now that 50 Shades is out and all but two of you have at least snuck a peak at it, I think we can speak the word]
My new boyfriend
Anyway, every man who braves the dance floor has several key advantages:
  • First, the ratios: Generally 1 man to 2, 6, or 15 women. Really. You'll be the beau of the ball, in constant demand.
  • Second, the adoration: Who cares if you step on our toes? We're just happy to have a hand to hold that isn't also wearing heels and a skirt.
  • Third, the opportunities: You can figure this one out.
Just get silly. Who cares!
xox, Cate

Monday, October 22, 2012

Latest Adventures in Oz

In the last post, I mentioned that the Glasair Sportsman I 'd recently flown was built at my home airport, Arlington (KAWO) in Washington State.

I met the Glasair owner, Jack, through a chance conversation at the local health food store. Ann, the store owner, and I hit it off and, during a subsequent lunch, we realized we had aviation in common. She introduced me to Jack who kindly offered to take me aloft (see previous post).
Further interesting connections transpired when I learned that Jack had sent his mechanic, or LAME (Australian acronym for licensed aircraft mechanical engineer, it is pronounced "lamie") to do the Two Weeks To Taxi program at Glasair ( When he mentioned the fella's name, Hamish, I recalled meeting him at my FBO at KAWO. During my time owning Out of the Blue Aviation, I met many Glasair owners from various countries, who came in for a friendly cup of coffee, a chart, or a couple hours of flight instruction. Nevertheless, it was a delight and surprise to encounter one of them in this distant country.

We all got together for a social visit last night and Hamish recalled flying with one of my instructors, Marla Patterson, during his stay in Arlington. Marla, I told him, taught me to fly. And so the tight circle of interconnectivity continues. I'm not sure how Kevin Bacon fits in there, but I am sure we are all linked by six degrees of separation. Or less. Again and again in my travels, I find common grounds and shared stories with people. I try to engage virtually every person I meet, whether barista or taxi driver or plumber, in some sort of conversation, then I just sit back and see where it leads . . .
in this grand adventure called LIFE.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Flying Over Oz

I had the pleasure of flying yesterday with my new friend, Jack Shiner, owner of Red Dirt Seeds, a company that purchases native seeds from aboriginal gatherers and sells them for reseeding mined-out areas. His beautiful lead-gray and orange Glasair (built at my home airport of Arlington, Wash State) lives in a hangar at the top of his 100 acres, in the shadow of the Porungurup Mountains, Western Australia. While pre-flighting, he explained how practical this aircraft is for getting him to remote mines and aboriginal communities and how easy it is, in this pastoral countryside, to land just about anywhere. Sounds like the way aviation should be.
After an easy startup, we taxied 600 meters downhill, through the oat fields, to the dirt runway. With a 30 foot incline, it made sense to takeoff from the far end, regardless of winds. Our flight took us north to stop for a "cuppa" with Jack's mate, Pleun. A Dutch native, Pleun immigrated to Western Australia thirty years ago and has created a unique fly-in destination. With his own hands, he built a 5-story windmill for grinding his own Spelt wheat (sold at local restaurants), then added a 16th century replica Dutch house, restaurant, and guest rooms. Of course there is a large hangar with room for his Jabiru, several vehicles and a corner for the band (he plays the sax and has an impressive assortment of instruments). There are currently two decent runways at this little piece of paradise called "The Lily," and he is planning to put in a third. The most recent acquisition is a DC3 purchased in bits (all the bits, Pleun assured me) which will be restored into a unique guest accomodation.

The gorgeous view and recreational activities of the Stirling Range draw in the visitors.

Our return flight was delayed slightly by a rain squall pushing through. With the mountains and maritime exposure, weather changes in minutes here. After a bit more chitchat, the rain had swept by
and we were off again to Albany.

What a great day swapping flying tales with fellow pilots in Australia and exploring by air - the best way to really see the world!

On the way home, we detoured to go waterskiing along the coast line. If not for the strong prop wash, I would have opend the door and dipped my toes in, we were that low. Really!



Monday, October 15, 2012

Albany, Western Australia
I am fascinated by huge wind turbines. These pictured are part of a wind farm on the south coast of Australia. My overactive imagination pictures them as a crop of alien babies, reaching arms for their mothers.

Many of us have flown over turbines (in Ellensburg for example) and they don't look like much from the air. But driving or walking among them makes you realize their ginormous size (great word, learned from my teenagers). Did you know they can travel as fast as 320 kph (200 mph) at the blade tips? Yet they look almost leisurely twirling graceful through the air.

I remember seeing old, derelict, broken-down turbines at Ka Lae, or South Point, on the big island of Hawaii (the southernmost point of the US). Still jutting into the sky, they looked surreal, blades idle and cocked at odd angles, like something out of the Planet of the Apes. Sometimes I ponder what a future visitor will find on our planet, long after all humans are gone. Lots of plastic? Unexploded mines? Rusty turbines? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anyone who knows me knows I have a fondness for slapstick humor and total silliness. Sure, I can be serious and wax poetic and go deep into the zen zone. But sometimes a bad joke just hits the spot. So here is a little holy irreverance for the day: (Courtesy of my funny son, John Tarzan)

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it’s good) …..

A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I hope this video link works, because this is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. It literally took my breath away.

You gotta watch it if you like to fly, like to swim, like to boat, like dolphins, like hunky men, like to breathe. Whatever. Just watch it and imagine the exhilaration.

Click on the link:   "You Can Fly"

Thanks Dane K. for sharing!