Love ’em. Dad flew them. Brother-in-law flies them. My sister works in them. And my boys have a pile of toy versions of them.

I almost think we males have something built into our DNA that’s attracted to defying gravity. Something that longs to go aloft. And I won’t just relegate that to men; women clearly have a similar tendency, though maybe it gets lost a little with all the engines and props and aircraft fuel and wires. (Though, as Dottie proves, flight mechanic chicks are pretty cute).

Still, perhaps in it’s in all of us to fly. To do the thing we can not do intrinsically without assistance.

So to watch a full-length feature film on planes that are inanimate-objects-animate is pretty spectacular. In fact, Disney’s ability to capture the sensations, sights and sounds of flight was exceptionally enjoyable. Even Joe, my bro-in-law, who—along with every other professional pilot—is quick to note when Hollywood butchers the mechanics of aviation.

“It was surprisingly accurate,” he told me as we walked out of the theatre with my kids. “Laws of aerodynamics and all. That was so refreshing.”

If I hadn’t seen Cars and Cars 2, the character arcs would have been less predictable. But the obvious (and intentional) references to the world’s genesis were clever. And certainly the Kilmer/Edwards tip of the hat to Top Gun was classy, and thoroughly fun to anyone who grew up with that movie in the 80’s. (So glad Goose never really died. That marker dye in the water haunted me until last night).

While not my favorite animated movie, Planes certainly has first place in capturing the boyhood dream of flight, and will be played and replayed no less than fourteen million times in my house.

By my boys, of course.



Beautifully Dingy Details

[Today’s post is dedicated to my Dad who first took me to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum when I was seven years old. I’ve never forgotten the experience.]


One of my favorite airport art displays is in Washington’s Dulles International Airport, hosted by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Arts Program and organized by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Captured by photographer Carolyn Russo, each image depicts the often overlooked details hidden amongst the Smithsonian’s larger collection of iconic aircraft. Any one of the stunning backlit frames is enough to stop even a timid aviation enthusiast in their tracks.







As humans we sometimes get annoyed with the details of our lives, as if they muddy up the waters and distract from the big picture – facial flaws, appointments, bills, phone calls, mistakes. But life’s larger piece of art is composed of those nuance-driven details.

Beauty is the composition and choreography of the insignificant.

Nothing is missed by heaven; God doesn’t blink. How you handle that conversation, that attitude, that mess, is a part of your grandeur reflection. Compose it well. ch: