Friday, July 28, 2006

oshkosh 2006

Any pilot in their right mind desires to visit Oshkosh at least once. A few of my friends did in college, and I was definatly jealous. I have not had my chance yet, but maybe someday soon. Dennis Collins had a daily blog with photos over at Hangar View. They make me want to go out and buy my own plane, maybe do some modifications....

Update:

More beautiful photos here by airventure, Jack Hodgson, and moeyknight at the Oshkosh 2006 photopool at Flickr.

The AOPA has some coverage, but I haven't had a chance to look at it yet.

AND... you never know who you'll meet at these things.... anyone have any good stories? I had a buddy meet Jay Leno at Chennault in Lake Charles, LA.

UPDATE: A good Christian dude I know has an ammusing account of his journey to Oshkosh here.

UPDATE part deux: More photos of trip to and highlights of here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

thank goodness for small victories


It was a great weekend for US sports. I wish I could have watched more of it, but painting the house took priority. An eighth straight American victory in the Tour de France and another British Open under Tiger's belt, made all the more meaningful by his response and comments about his Dad. He was there Tiger, he was.

It always gives me great pleasure when we can beat those Europeans at their own game, Especially the French. Now if only we could get US Men's Soccer to follow suit... minus the head butting.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

good links

The new job has been such long days lately I have not been posting as much as I would like to. I'll try to keep things comin', but other things take priority sometimes. The dog is hard to ignore. Here's round-up of stuff I have found the last few days:

I am really digging the blogger round up and map view of the Isreal/Lebanon conflict over at NZ Bear's blog. A bit of help understanding the sad, scary, craziness ensuing, along with views from people who are actually there.

La Shawn Barber linked to a sweet website for Christians serving in the military. Oliver North is associated. You know I will be checking it out.

As always a great Cox & Forkum political cartoon. Too bad the other standard cartoonists don't stand up.

A new podcast last week from Just Pete at the Bored-Again Christian for new good tunes.

the wild blue all to myself

The opportunity to take a jet for a spin all by myself is a wonderful, rare thing these days. In pilot training, particularly the fighter track, students have so many solos you almost get to the point they are boring... almost. They are casual at the very least. Ordinary. Flying T-38s, I figured I would be heading to a single-seat fighter and everyday would be solo. I took them for granted. Now my job requires me to have someone else in the other seat. Everyday, every sortie. And for the most part, they don't know what they are doing, simply due to lack of experience. Seriously, who else but the military flies formation at three feet? It takes most people a few rides to catch on.

But anyway, so for a person who has always wanted to fly that single-seat fighter, those solos, however few and far between, are a breath of fresh air. And yesterday was my first fresh air of my instructor career. Strange doing all the maneuvers and practice emergency patterns that students are not allowed to accomplish solo. But nothing beats total silence (minus the radios of course), no student maneuver requirements, no dead weight in the other seat. It was glorious! There is no better way to slip the surly bonds.

Except maybe if it was a solo formation....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

something funny for a tough tuesday

I have decided I won't write stories about my current students, on the off chance they read about themselves on this blog, but my grandfather sent me some aviation humor that might help lighten up your Tuesday....Don't stop me if you've heard these.

There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked." Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two behind a B-52 that had one engine shut down. "Ah," the pilot remarked, "the dreaded seven-engine approach."
*
A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked, "What was your last known position?"
Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."
*
When Hillary Clinton visited Iraq last month the Army Blackhawk helicopter used to transport the Senator was given the call sign "broomstick one". And they say the Army has no sense of humor!

And my dad is an MD80 driver, so gotta poke a little fun his way...

One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the runway while a MD80 landed. The MD80 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the MD80 crew got on the radio and said, "What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?" Our hero the Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with: "I made it out of MD80 parts. Another landing like that and I'll have enough parts for another one."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

true professionals

When I raised my right hand and promised to defend our country, the idea I had for what that would intail was not entirely whole. I think I knew the big picture, the part where I give my life, work hard every day, sacrifice for my country, all that. But you do not really think about the little things. There's no promotional commercials for the 12 hour days you work for 18 days straight. No one glorifies the months (or in some cases years) you do not get to see your family. Granted, I am not deployed, nor will I be for quite a while. But that does not mean I am not sacrificing. It is just different. My job, training pilots to be the country's war fighters, trash-haulers, emergency rescue-saving, crisis relief-providing aviators, is still a full up, 12 hour a day, sometimes seven day a week job. Especially when you do not have a family yet. The more I get into it, the more I understand how important it is. At first, I was very dissappointed I would not be going on to my Viper, blowing stuff up and killing people out there on the front lines, like I pictured I would be doing when I signed up for this gig. But as I teach my very first student tomorrow, I will be proud. It will be hard to watch pilots that I taught go on to bigger and better things, places that I wished I could be, but because I taught them, a little bit of me goes along with them. There was a really good quote they used at our instructor training course in Texas:

Whenever we talk about a pilot who has been killed in a flying accident, we should all keep one thing in mind. He called upon the sum of all his knowledge and made a judgment. He believed in it so strongly that he knowingly bet his life on it. That his judgment was faulty is a tragedy, not stupidity. Every instructor, supervisor, and contemporary who ever spoke to him had an opportunity to influence his judgment, so a little bit of all of us goes with every pilot we lose.

— author unknown

I think about that a lot. I hope demanding more of myself will help me demand more of my students, and in turn, some day, it will save a life. Quote found here. Plenty more where that came from.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

so busy!

I have been a bit light on the posts this week, and after Mr. Glenn Reynolds launched me a few days ago, that's totally rude to all my new readers. I never accept excuses, but this week, work and moving into the new house just came first, and I am still not done. I don't even have that much stuff! But I am totally excited about flying with students (maybe Friday!), and finally having a "real job." Not that flying will ever be a real job. I'm just thankful they pay me to do what I love. I'll be putting up some new flying sites on the side bar also, in between painting my room and moving my couch.... Thanks again to all of the new visitors! I appreciate the comments.

Monday, July 03, 2006

net neutrality

While surfing yesterday, I came across the first time my blog has been referenced by someone I don't know. It was fairly exciting, but at the same time I realized how bad my post was. It seemed very juvinille, and I wished I would have said something a bit more profound about my Snow Patrol concert experience. I want to have a really good blog, that other people reference. It might help if I have a more focused subject, or more time, or more expertise. Hopefully that will all flesh itself out here soon. Until then, I'll be jealous of great bloggers that I read on a daily basis.

But there is something that should concern everyone who blogs, reads blogs, or uses the internet in anyway. The net neutrality issue currently in the Senate Communications committee should be of interest to us all. And along with that, these comments by Sen. Ted Stevens (R- Alaska) should scare us all. Someone on his staff should give him a clue.... via Wired via InstaPundit.

There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn't going to go through the interent and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let's talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes.

We aren't earning anything by going on that internet. Now I'm not saying you have to or you want to discrimnate against those people [...]

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says "No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet". No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time. [?]

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.

[...]

Now I think these people are arguing whether they should be able to dump all that stuff on the internet ought to consider if they should develop a system themselves.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

It's not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

The whole concept is that we should not go into this until someone shows that there is something that has been done that really is a viloation of net neutraility that hits you and me.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

on the road again

Yes, faithful readers (I know there are not many of you, but you are faithful), I'm on the road once more, on my way down to the Florida panhandle to enjoy some of the July heat by the beach, along with the canine and a good book. I'm currently taking a break at one of my favorite places, Starbucks of Montgomery, and enjoying a nice iced caramel macchiato. The last two and a half hours of driving through small towns and past fields of kudzu-choked trees was made a bit less boring by a nice half-hour pit stop to walk the pup and various podcasts. I highly recommend them, seeing as they are free, and you can find them on practically any subject. I frequently listen to the Bored-Again Christian, the Relevant podcast, Max Lucado, Wizbang, InstaPundit, Pajamas Media: Blog Week in Review, and IndieFeed.

Well, pitstop is over, Squirt is getting restless, so I think we will be off once again. I'll be thinking of you while I'm relaxing on the beach.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

weekly top ten.. a new beginning

So I decided I'm going to start a weekly top ten. Every weekend, I'll have a random top ten, a la Letterman, and hopefully just as funny, or interesting in some way. This is one I have been thinking about since my drive back to Columbus.

Top ten things I miss about San Antonio:

10. The great parks and hiking available in beautiful Texas hillcountry. It was great fun mountain biking around when I got the chance.

9. Tubing on the Guadelupe. What a way to relax on the weekend.

8. The concert music selection available in central Texas. Between Austin, Gruene, and San Antonio, there was something good to see every time I wanted to hear some good music. Snow Patrol, The Fray, James Blunt, and Lifehouse were among the bands I saw while I was there.

7. Starbucks... need I say more? Well, Target too. And Macaroni Grill. And every other store or resturaunt that is not available in Columbus.

6. Playing Settlers (my favorite game) with Brent and Mary, Jon and Christina, and everyone else who joined us for game night. I always have so much fun on those little get-togethers.

5. Ok, some things I will not miss: being a student, the heat of Texas, being a student, talking the whole time while I fly, driving so far to get anywhere, being a student....

4. Living with Ellen and Sam! They were great roomies. Squirt misses Bandit too. There isn't anyone he can destroy a toy with.

3. Oak Hills Church and the singles group there. It was so easy to meet people and get involved. There was always something to do, whether it was going to lunch with everyone after church or sand volleyball or small groups.

2. My women's small group. They showed me how much I need a core group of Christian women as a support in my life once again. I needed reminding.

1. The friends I made there. I am always amazed how close you can get with people you didn't know very well to begin with in such a short time. And everyone needs some non-AF friends. They were in abundance in San Antonio. You guys changed my life, and for that I thank you.