Archive for August, 2016

The Laddie Reckons Himself as a Poet!

Since we’re discussing Pink Floyd…  OK, we aren’t actually…

Right, Then…

This was some random thing that popped into my head.  Nothing more than a stringing together of individual thoughts or ideas that I have that somehow coagulated.  I’ve done some polishing, but not much.  I come across as a self-important twat in graf 2; I would be if I actually said that shit, but being that it’s in my head, I think it’s OK…  So, grab a snifter of brandy, settle into a wing backed chair, and enjoy…

I went to the place

To talk to The Guy about the Thing

And he said: “Fuck that.

No way.

I don’t think so.”


I went to the place.

And everyone was there

And I thought, “Don’t you have homes or jobs or other shit to do?

Why don’t you come here some other time, when I’m someplace else?

Like Tuesday afternoon, when I’m at work…

You fucking people.”


And the Thing and the Guy and the Place

Are too fucked up to handle

And the Motherfuckers are Motherfucking it

Every chance they get.

So fuck ‘em.


I went to the place

And they were closed…

And I thought “good for them!”

But I still had shit to do

And when I come back

Everyone will be there, just like before

And The Guy will still be a pisser


Categories: Uncategorized

Can’t Keep My Mind from the Circling Skies..


Right, then…

Apparently, this song is a metaphor for David Gilmour’s feelings about being the new leader of Pink Floyd after Roger Waters left/got booted.  I can live with that, I guess.  But let’s talk about me, now…

Growing up, my father used to talk about flying.  When he was young, my uncle – his older brother – had a Piper Cub…this was in the 1940’s, after the WWII, I assume.  Dad would talk about how it was true seat-of-your-pants flying and that it was better than sex.  My brother disagreed with the latter statement…but that was when he was in his 20’s; I’d reckon he’d have had a different take in his 50’s.  But, I digress…

About 25 years ago, I signed up for an introductory lesson from Tradewinds Aviation in San Jose.  This was back when they were located at SJC, and SJC – like OAK –  was a “not SFO” airport.  I think back then, the intro flight was something ridiculous like $25.  When the day came, I got a call from the instructor – he had to reschedule due to weather.  I think back then, I was working 30 hours a week and taking 8 units, so rescheduling never really happened.

Then, my brother died.

My last post talked about this and how – most importantly – it was rather unexpected.  Some years ago, I saw Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman give a lecture.  Adam responded to a question about what words of wisdom he had and – amongst others – it was “You have more time than you think.”  Which is true, I guess, until you don’t.  So that sudden change got me back to enjoying alcohol again.  It also got me back to the airport.

25 years of inflation and – more importantly – rent, I assume, jacked the intro flight up to $159.  Fortunately, I make more than I did back then, so I was able to swing it.

The flight was cool, surreal and nauseating.  Cool, because – wow, I’m actually doing this.  Surreal, because when you do this, you’re in the left seat and sort of flying the plane (with lots of help of the instructor in there right seat).  So, you’re going down the runway at 60 kts, and then you’re flying, just like that.  Our path took us over Stanford to a stretch of coast between Ano Nuevo and Half Moon Bay, where we practiced ascents, descents and turns.  Also, I was instructed to bring a camera as there was going to be some good scenery to be seen.  Which gets us to nauseating – much to my dismay, I started getting motion sick.  I think it was a combination of general disorientation due to looking through the viewfinder on the camera as well as not expecting some maneuvers that the instructor did.  But, I kept my cookies about me, and once things leveled off, and I put down the camera (and took off my sweatshirt) I started to feel better.  We were  on approach to Palo Alto Airport and just like that, we were on the ground again.  Surreal.

I must have liked it, as I signed up to join Sundance Flying Club, two days later.  That was three weeks ago.  I now have a grand total of 3 hours of flying time – 1 in a Cessna 172, and 2 in a Piper Cherokee Warrior II.  The reason for the shift is due to availability – All of the clubs C172’s are currently scheduled or in for maintenance or inspection; an anomaly, my instructor assures me.  But, not wanting to wait, I scheduled the Piper to continue my lessons.

Overall, I like the Piper and Cessna equally.  The Cessna is high-wing, so you get a good view of the ground when you’re aloft.  The  Piper is low-wing, so you get a good view of the sky when you’re flying.  The both seem to handle about the same.  With the Piper, you have to remember to use the electric fuel pump and primer to start the engine, as it has to pump fuel from the wings up to the engine; with the Cessna, fuel gravity feeds to the engine.  I’ve noted no difference in performance, in my limited experience.  One gripe about the Piper – it only has 1 door.  So you have to crawl across the right seat to get in and out.  Also, there’s only a small port window next to the pilot; contrarily, the Cessna has big fold-down windows to let air in.

Before my first flight, I did some light Googling and found that one can expect a loss of approximately 4F, for every 1000 feet of altitude.  So, if it’s 76F at sea level (which KPAO is, or at least close enough for this conversation), it should be 64 at 3000 feet.  I’m sure it was outside of the plane…but inside that goddamn greenhouse, it was winding out to the low/mid-80’s.  Flow through ventilation only does so much to fix that.

Regardless, thereabouts of mid-September, a few of the planes should be back from their annuals, so I might switch back, depending on availability and cost.  Now, the Piper cost me $123/hr.  This is in line with most of the Cessna’s, but some of the newer ones run about $145/hr.  Add $144 for 2 hours of the instructor time, and that’s a spendy afternoon, for not having any booze.  But more practically, part of the romance of flying is being able to take friends/girlfriend up for sightseeing and/or trips and part of that involves seeing the ground…which the 172 is better suited.

As for the student, he’s slowing progressing.  When I started, I had a hand in getting myself airsick.  That subsided on the second lesson (I bought a pack of ginger candies, just in case).  Last week, I was spending too much time looking at the gauges, taking my hand off of the throttle during maneuvers and not using enough rudder.  This week, I’m still spending too much time looking at the gauges – to the point he said that he’ll resort to blocking the gauges, if necessary – but I’m a little better.  I did much better keeping my hand on the throttle and was better using rudder.  Now, I need to adjust how much input I give to the plane – some turns were too steep, some not enough.  Also, I overshoot my heading and altitude marks, so I need to figure out when to actually stop the turn or climb/descent.  But this is all in due time, I’m told.  The good news is that – in the instructors words – I’m “nothing special”; everyone goes through some of this.

So that’s it for that.  I’m looking to have at least one lesson/week.  Some say it’s better to have two/week, but that gets real spendy real quick.  I often wonder how some folks with pilots licenses are actually able to afford it.  This is a hobby that makes boats and motorcycles look cheap, by comparison.

But back to the issue my father posed:  Is flying better than sex?  Me, in my mid-40’s – would say that both are zesty enterprises, but I would not be wiling to give up one for the other, just yet…