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Week ending Sunday, June 26th, 2011
More fun stuff!

So this weekend I stopped by the Toyota dealer here in NOVA. A couple of weekends ago the rubber trim on top of the truck had torn away on the passenger side so I had to have it replaced. Of course, Toyota replaced it for free. Earlier in the week I had been looking at Flight Schools so when that was done I stopped by Leesburg Airport.

When I got there I headed for the "highest" rated flight school there (AV-ED). They have the kind of planes I am interested in such as Cessna, Piper, etc. They do have Cirrus Aircraft but since a) It can spin out of control b) I hate the controls c) Its extremely expensive to fly and d) Cirrus is now owned by a China company (you know, US companies cannot buy Chinese companies (it's illegal in China) but we (the USA) will sell our companies to China. How is that fair? We're also the only country that will allow anyone to enter the US and have a child and the child is instantly a US Citizen. Weird. Sorry for the rant.

Anyway, I had a lengthy discussion with the most Senior Instructor and we got along, had the same ideas about flying for fun -- and most of all, we both agree that you never take your hand off the throttle during landings or takeoffs. There's a good reason for that and something I learned from the Marines when I talked to our pilots all the time. Anyway, we worked out a deal and for the next 6 weeks I'll be taking Ground School classes at night. Once that is finished I'll start taking flight lessons and hopefully in the next 6 months I'll have my Flight License. I took lessons in the mid 90s but never finished it due to the cost to run cross country flights. I had done them with the instructor, took IFR lessons and a lot of touch and go landings. It was fun, but very expensive.

I like the fact that if I want to fly a Cessna 152 it's relatively inexpensive (the cost of the rentals includes aviation fuel). On top of that they have 172s as well if I want to take passengers. You just can't fly near DC which is reasonably understandable given what happened on 9/11/2001. Some of the plane have recovery chutes but I hope I never have to use them. I just prefer to fly to the Beach, the Mountains or do a cross country flight to CA or FL. We'll see how it goes. But, I have all my books and my navigation equipment so I am ready to get this deal going.

Everything else is going ok. The guy I am renting this Town Home from is going to replace the bad refrigerator (finally!) and the furniture store is going to replace the broken drawer on the bed and finally deliver the dresser I have been waiting on. Hopefully I can pay off all my bills in the next 12 months and then start saving and paying for the flights I want to take. My goal next year will be to log at least 100-200 hours. That means I'll be flying all over the place.

Well I guess that is for now. Work is going good and the SAN network is stable so I am happy. Definitely need to go play some golf as well, haha, since I fixed my swing. Hope all is well with you and talk to you in July!




Week ending Sunday, June 19th, 2011
Good Week :)

It's been a really good week to say the least. I actually showed up early to work most of this week since my internal clock has been messed up since relocating to VA. I'm really enjoying getting a lot of hands on work on the EMC VMAX array. It's really a spectacular machine and I know the skills I am learning here will last me my entire career. It's not so dissimilar to the DMX Array but definitely not the same.

Actually I got a lot of stuff ironed out and the team where I work is really great. Just trying to make the adjustment to a different style of management and learning to work within the rules and boundaries I have been given.

Bad news this week is a "little birdy" told me that a former G/F (not sure if I can call her that since really she never took me seriously at all. Like most exes, they got out of me what they wanted then moved on to the next guy) is moving out here to VA as well from San Diego. Here I am thinking "Great, new job, new area on the complete other side of the Country and bam, that ex (who said nothing but unkind things to me when I was hospitalized last year) is coming here. I'm annoyed but I can deal with it because I am 100% positive I won't have to see her or her ex around. The contract I am on is very small and it's not in DC (where most people work).

The funny thing is -- the last 3 girlfriends have all ended up marrying the next guy they met after me. I think I am springboard for helping other people find marriage and healthy (I hope) relationships but I've always been the one who has nurtured a broken person to health and then proceeded to be dumped and they think the next guy is the best thing ever. I'm sort of of a by-proxy "Hitch" where I don't help other guys (though I have, quite often, fix their relationships) but I completely fail at my own.

Maybe I am just attracted to people with baggage that I want to fix and once their fixed they no longer look at me as an attractive, in shape, fun, happy guy to be around but a springboard to other guys who are complete head cases. I guess the old adage is true "You reap what you sow". I wish them the best of luck though and I personally haven't dated or even thought about dating since the accident last year. I'm much more concerned with what God's plans are for me and wherever He leads me, I will follow. Lord knows He has been exceptionally good to me, more so than I have deserved that is for sure.

Speaking of which I have looked at Church after Church here and haven't found a suitable place of worship so I think in the meantime I am just going to watch Pastor Bob's sermons. It's almost as good as being there and by far he is a Pastor that I admire a lot and feel like I am truly hearing God's word and not something "man" has made up -- their own rules.

Played Golf today and that was a lot of fun. There was a DEER walking around right by the "Starter's" box and she was just minding here own business so I took a photo. On Saturday I went and looked at new wheels/tires for the Tacoma since the ones I have need to be replaced and I want to be able to handle the snow this winter.

I also checked out "Atlantic Airways". It's a flight school that is in Leesburg which is just up the road and close to the Maryland border. They have Cirrus Aircraft which are new to me. The cool thing about them is they are fast and and also have "parachutes" in them in case you get in trouble, you can float to a safe landing. Neat idea! The class is expensive but since I never finished my flaying lessons in the mid 90s I guess now is as good a time as ever to get that license and have fun.

Well that is about it. Time to watch some WSBK and AMA racing and then next week I'll be watching the MotoGP race. Hope you had a great weekend and talk to you next week!


Week ending Sunday, June 12th, 2011
Long, long drives...

So I took a paid day off on Friday to drive all the way down to South Carolina to attend the wedding of one of my good friend's brother. I actually left on Thursday after work and made it there right at midnight so I got settled in to the hotel. On Friday morning we all got up early and hit a really nice golf course there. I didn't shoot too bad and when I got hold of the drives they were averaging close to 300 yards which is good for me. That means all the working out is helping, lol!

After that my friends had to go to the practice session so I took a nap and relaxed a bit. Later that night we got to go hang out downtown in Greenville, SC. Actually, it's not that bad. The Down Town area kind of reminds me of San Diego's Gas Lamp district. There was a place called Soby's which wasn't bad at all. After that we all retired and got ready for Saturday. In preparation for the wedding I took a lot of pictures because the Chapel was on the top of the mountain overlooking a valley and it was quite a pretty setting for a wedding.

After the wedding we did the post-nuptial things (dinner/dancing/etc) and had a great time. It was really great to hang out with so many friends from home. I hadn't seen some of them in like 20 years so that was fantastic! The drive to and from VA took about 7-7.5 hours. Not bad at all really and long drives always give me time to think and reflect in peace. While I was there I took the opportunity to buy some clothes that I needed as well. The wedding was fantastic and we all had a great, safe time so there are no complaints from me :)

That's about it for this week, really. I will post some photos my time in South Carolina as soon as I can. I'm actually just really beat from all the driving so come this Thanksgiving I think I am going to fly home to Florida instead of driving 12-14 hours (again) haha. Besides, I don't need to rack up a ton of mileage on my truck, either!

Have a great rest of your week!



Week ending Sunday, June 5th, 2011
Things you learn...

It's funny the things I learn as I get older. Habits, let's say, that never seem to change about one's own personality. You know what I mean. There are certain idiosyncrasies about ourselves that we just never seem to change. Mine in particular is "thinking out loud". It's when you are thinking something in your mind and then, unfortunately, you say it out loud. Mostly with me it's unconsciously saying things I am thinking that I shouldn't say.

It's not that I'm unintelligent or don't notice that it do it from time to time. It's that feeling of awareness that says "Hey, you are saying something out loud that you are thinking -- and it's not always a good thing". It's not like I am saying something malicious or negative (though I can sometimes be harsh when giving advice). It's just some things are better left to one's head than one's mouth. There's an old adage that says "It's better to be salient and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt". And with that I can say some tithing said out loud are very foolish. Hard lessons learned.

So to everyone I've ever said anything to out loud when, even though I have thought it to myself, I should have never said it loud. The last thing I would ever want to do is berate, insult or otherwise create distrust among friends. I've even said to people "Sorry, I just think out loud when I should just shut up..." but that's not an excuse. You just have to be far more careful what you say, when you say it and to whom you are saying it to. Silence is sometimes a very, very blissful gift.

Ok with that off my chest -- I'm getting more things done at work. I can say that I really do love what I do. I like working on Storage Area Networks. Some of the best technology out there and I get my hands on them a lot. The new position I have is definitely different than NMCI but I am learning to make the adjustments.

I played golf for the first time here in Virginia. One thing I have found is near where I live the golf courses are definitely not cheap. I did get to make some new friends and also someone who wants some help with learning things about Storage requirements. Hopefully that will lead to my company getting more business in the future. I think the golf course is a great way to make business contacts -- and of course, friends.

I watched the MotoGP race today and I am really disappointed in Nicky Hayden. I am not sure if it's the Ducati or simply the fact he doesn't have the killer instinct required to win at the MotoGP level. I think he has one more year left on his contract so I am hoping that going back to the 1000cc GP bikes will help him. It's definitely more suited to his riding style and of course the kind of bike he won the MotoGP title on. Of course he'll still be on a Ducati and they're not really the best manufacturer of motorcycles in my opinion (sorry to the Ducatisti out there -- but I'm a Honda guy).

Still searching for a new Church and haven't made any inroads. Hoping that by being vigilant and not giving up that eventually God will put me where He wants me. And of course I truly believe that God has His best plans for us who follow Him and His Son, Jesus.

Well I think that's about it for the week. My allergies are driving me up the wall. All the normal, obnoxious symptoms are there and right now all I want to do is sleep it off -- if I could. I think I have a record for the number of times I've sneezed in a day (one meeeeeeeeeeelllllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooon, I think). Hope you have a great rest of your week and see you guys in South Carolina next Friday.


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