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Week ending Sunday, August 28st, 2011
What Earthquake?! Hurricane safe!!

Ok well first off I just want to say how sorry I am and sad it is to hear that people passed away during the Hurricane. I feel very fortunate to be in an area that didn't even catch the edge of Hurricane. We should all feel blessed because it could have been as bad as Katrina was and what it did especially to New Orleans. Glad that the damage overall was minimal and I don't think the people to the North East of me need to worry too much.

So this week we also had an Earthquake. Well that is what they called it here but given how long I lived in the SOCAL area it was a baby and I barely felt anything. There was definitely some damage to some National landmarks but overall, again, it was very minimal. None of the buildings here are specced for Earthquakes like it is back home in CA. The funny thing is several of my coworkers were like "Hey, thanks for bringing those Earthquakes from California here to VA!" My response was "That's not an Earthquake by my standards!" And trust me, I went through the Northridge earthquake which is a doozy. In fact, just before I moved here to VA in March we had a big one down in Baja that was pretty scary. Either way we're all OK here and minimal damage.

Due to the weather I wasn't able to fly this weekend but we did some time in the simulator where I got work on Slow Flight, Power Off stalls and Power On stalls. Kind of fun and a lot less scary when you're in a simulator. The instructor of course shut the power off and said "Find a place to land..." which of course there was the Winchester Airport so I had the perfect line and just as I was about to land he pushed the power to full and yanked back the yoke. Of course the plane crashed and he said "This is what happens when you don't compensate correctly or handle stalls". Got it :)

This weekend I watched another Horizon sermon which was good. Like I said last week it was really great to, why I am not in a seat, I am still there! My friends have suggested another Church around here so I may be checking it out next week. They even have Saturday evening services so that would be great for me as well.

This weekend is the Indy GP so I'll be watching that shortly (online because it's 10x better than watching it on Speed and getting commercials and commentators!) After that I am not sure what I am going to do the rest of the day. It's actually nice out so maybe I'll go hit the pool or something. There's no football today but a little birdie told me I *may* be at the Bucs vs Washington game on Thursday night. We'll see if it happens but that'd be great, even if it's a preseason game.

Ok, off to watch the MotoGP race. Got my fingers crossed and prayers for them al and hoping Hayden can finally get on the podium. Ducati has a lot of work to do (even Rossi will tell you that). Have a great rest of your weekend!



Week ending Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Ok this was definitely a fun week!

Finally! I got a good day with good weather and I was able to get back into the seat and do some flying! As I said before, the plane can be "all weather" but I am a "fair weather" pilot. I hate turbulence and flying with low clouds and/or rain is not the best idea. Let's not add into the fact that you can't fly in that kind of weather as a VFR pilot anyway so that is good.

When I showed up at Leesburg they had a WWII B-17 Bomber (pics on Facebook) and were giving rides in it. I kept that in mind when my instructor showed up (about a half out past our time because he had another student). We did our briefing, filled out our flight plans (they say IFR but that's the way you have to fill them out here in the DC area). The takeoff was good and I headed West to the training ground where we just basically took assessment of the area we were in.

We did some slow flight maneuvers and basically some VFR flying and learning what was around the area (markers). Then the instructor wanted to do some stalls and I told him "Hey, not ready for that yet. I haven't been flying in years and I just need to get used to everything and then we can do some stalls". It's not that I hate doing stalls I just need to get used to the controls again.

On the way back we had some traffic, of course. Another instructor with a student and of course, the B17 bomber. We had to keep an eye on both of them while we made our way back to the airport. It sometimes can be scary because you really have to keep your eyeballs open and make sure you don't miss anything. We made it back and I even got a compliment from the instructor on my landing. We're going to fly again on Thursday after work while we still have the sun out this late. Overall it was a pretty good feeling to get back in the seat.

Thursday night I got to watch the Bucs/Patriots preseason game and man did we get our butts handed to us (I say US but it's not really me and them, it's them, haha). But they learned what they have to adjust to and there's still some time before the season ends. Also, this is the last week of "The Glee Project". I don't even watch Glee so you'd think I wouldn't watch this reality show but it's actually compelling. Twelve kids working their tails off to have a chance to be a star on Glee. Every week one of them gets eliminated and actually FOUR made it to the final show so it will be interesting. If you haven't watched it, it's on Oxygen at 9pm EST so watch it. They're going to have a season two so I am looking forward to it.

I also watched the services from Horizon so it sort of makes me feel like I am home again, regardless of how much I miss San Diego. It's definitely been a learning experience for me and especially not being able to find a good Church here. But I know that God's plans are by far better than any plans I have for myself so I just need to go wherever He wants me to go.

Well that is about it for now. MotoGP racing next week from Indy so I'm hoping Nicky can get something done. We know Ducati caters to Rossi, that's for sure.

Have a great rest of your week!



Week ending Sunday, August 14th, 2011
Kind of a boring week

Not that it's a bad thing. Work has been busy as usual and again this weekend I was trying to get an hour or more of flying with the instructor. Of course, due to the weird weather here in VA that didn't happen. Well, not saying that I didn't take a flight with the instructor. We used the "Red Bird" simulator which is very, very cool. It's a full Cessna 152/172 Cockpit with 5 view screens that pretty much looks real to me.

We got to work on start up procedures, taxiing to the runway, clearing the runway, take offs, stalls, some navigation and calls, etc. It was actually pretty good. I am going actually have a flight with my instructor I think next weekend if the weather permits. Really, the weather has been the major factor in a lot of the reasons why I haven't been flying as much. On the plus side I picked up a knee board today and pretty soon I'll buy a "David Clark" head set and a flight bag.

Originally I thought I would be able to finish my flight lessons and get my certificate (license so to speak) in 20 hours but I am thinking it's going to be at least 30 hours. Given that the plane at a minimum is $130-140 per hour and then another $60 per hour for the instructor -- well -- you can do the math. It's going to be expensive. Much more than it was back in the 90s when I first started flying. It's ok though because it's a really good investment for me. As a kid I always wanted to fly Fighter Jets and because I had bad eyes back then I couldn't pass the tests.

I still need to study for the ground exam. I haven't finished that yet but I have been working on it. Weather and airspace are the main issues right now. The maps are sometimes hard to read and a lot of the questions on the tests are centered around "How long will it take you to get here or there" and so on. Now-a-days the planes all have GPS and panel instruments like Commercial Aircraft have so that is very cool. I still need to know how to fly without using flat panel screens (and the Cessna 172 R models have them) so it's good practice for me.

That's pretty much it for the week. Watched some MotoGP this morning, a Bucs game on Friday night and I still have chores to do and of course more studying as well. I also need to watch this week's sermon from Horizon in San Diego (RSF). I still miss that Church and not having one here is really bothering me. Sooner or later, the Lord shows you the way. Just need to be patient and seek His guidance.

Hope you had a great weekend and be safe!


Week ending Sunday, August 7th, 2011
Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday to my mom. If she was still around right now she would be celebrating her 65th birthday today. I definitely miss her for sure and wish she was still around. It's been hard on our family but we're dealing with it. I know that we are in sorrow when we lose someone we love dearly but it's really our loss that we are sad over more than anything. Lord knows -- and I have seen this myself -- that my mom is in a much better place where she is now. God has greater plans for me than my own and I know when my duty has been done here that I will see my mom again.

At the work front it's been extremely busy. I've set up the entire Disaster Recovery site and now I just have to work on the replication part of it. It's definitely a job where I am left to figure things out on my own and I don't have anyone hoarding over me or harassing me to get my job done so I really enjoy that aspect of it. Yes, we have deadlines like everyone else has but in the end you have to get the priorities taken care of and make sure everything is running as it should be.

This weekend I was supposed to fly for the first time in years but due to the weather the instructor called it off. Then we talked about doing it today but again the weather was bad. The instructor really doesn't have a lot of time so I think I am going to choose someone who has more time/freedom to fit my space. I also have to take the ground exam and I am not quite ready yet. There are still a ton of things I have to review and so I work that out with the new instructor.

Everything else is going ok. There's really not a whole lot to do here in VA. I have been watching the Horizon services online so that's good. Not being able to find a good Church here has really made it my only choice for right now. I trust that God has great plans for us all so we have to trust in Him that He will lead us to the right Church that we belong. I definitely miss San Diego and definitely miss Horizon.

Well that is about it for now. There are thunderstorms rolling through and I don't want to have my PC turned of if we get another bolt of lightning (which tends to happen here a lot). Hope you had a great weekend and we'll talk to you soon!


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