I had two different clients waiting for aerials photographs but due to my schedule, weather and vacation those projects sat on the back burner for a few weeks. Sunday was perfect so I shot some new aerials of Grand Rapids this afternoon...such a perfect day. Two quick observations:
1. Call me superstitious but I always hire the same company when I shoot aerials (they're a good company and, you know, so far so good). My usual pilot wasn't available when I called but I was happy when they said they could still get me flying within a couple hours with a different pilot. I was a little taken aback when the new pilot came into the office to introduce himself. I must be getting older but he only looked to be about 17 years old. To me it was like he should have been mowing the grass out by the hanger instead of holding my life in his hands while we spun tight circles around buildings over Grand Rapids. He seemed official though (he had charts and stuff) and as we looked over sections of the city we would fly over, I started to gain more confidence before take-off. My initial anxiety turned out to be be unfounded. It turned out to be a nice flight and I would definitely fly with him again...but holy cow that kid was young!
2. The high price of petroleum is affecting everything...the cost of hiring the plane increased by $65/hour from when I flew last fall (and it's not like it was cheap then). I've never been more frustrated with government. Our current administration has been asleep at the wheel with their foreign and domestic policies over the last 8 years. The absolute hubris of Bush/Cheney is disgusting. If winks toward the media pool and wearing large belt buckles could get the job done then we'd be in great shape, but I suspect GWB thinks that's all the job entails. Bush came into office an oil man and he certainly did nothing to wheen us off of fossil fuels. Let's hope the next President has some guts to truly foster a new economic model around alternative energy.
In the words of my brother-in-law Bill...it's too bad we still have to wait until January to get a new bus driver.