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Week ending Sunday, June 24th, 2012
And then were was even more flying!

Hah! Still flying my tail off. I just need to keep flying and getting my hours in so I can take the check ride with the FAA Examiner. However, I still need to pass the ground test and I haven't taken it yet. I will, it's just that I've been busy with work, the new home and all the other things going on that I haven't really started studying yet. I know that when I take a practice test I am scoring right at 70% so I know there are a few more things that I need to get down solid so that I can show my instructor two good practice tests in a row before he'll let me take the exam.

Once that is done then it's really just down to the simple stuff. Practice cross country, one more night flight and then the long cross country. Then we'll have another "stage check" ride and from there I should be ready to do the check ride and get my license. I am excited about it because now when I fly solo I know everything (well mostly, still need to work on my lingo with the controllers, haha) so the flight is actually fun and enjoyable. I am not sure why more people aren't flying. Let's just hope they keep those silly drones out of the airspace so we can fly.

Work wise everything is going ok now. Things are starting to settle down a bit so I've been working on a couple of big and small projects. Mainly just need to make sure the customer is happy and that they feel they are getting their money's worth. That's what it really comes down to.

Church this weekend was great, as always. Starting to warm up to Pastor Hamrick now that I've gotten to know him a little better. I still miss San Diego and Pastor Bob but like I always say, you go and do what God tells you to do, not what your own will is.

I also helped out a friend move this weekend and trust me it was a pain! There was a lot of stuff to move and I feel like I "slipped" in a P90X workout on a Sunday but, haha, at least I was in good enough shape to move everything and not feel burned out too badly. Not bad for an "old cranky fart" type of guy, eh?! ;)

Well that is about it. Might go watch some AMA Races while I finish up my chores and get ready for work tomorrow. CJ is excited about coming to visit me and so am I. We're gonna have fun running all over VA, DC, MD, etc!

Have a great weekend!



Week ending Sunday, June 17th, 2012
More flying!

So I got to do my first solo cross country flight this weekend (yesterday) and it was pretty good! I let some friends in PA know that I was coming up that way and that it'd be nice to see them -- and that lunch was on me! It was a 2.5 hour drive and for me it would have been about 2 hours with traffic and such but with a small plane doing about 130mph I got there in 30 minutes :) Basically the route was from Leesburg (the airport I live right next to) to Frederick and then from there straight up to York, PA.

What I didn't know was that they were having an air show that weekend, haha. The place was packed full of people and airplanes (lots of WW2 types). It was so packed that I had to park on the grass between the taxi way and the runway. That's not normal and I didn't say anything to my instructor but I am sure it's ok. The airfield marshall would have said something but there wasn't anywhere else to park. When I got there Penina and Jimmy were there to meet me so we went over to the restaurant and had some lunch and then I showed them the plane. We talked for about an hour or so and then when we said goodbye they took some photos and a video of me taking off, which is here on FaceBook.

You can see the photos and the video there. The flight there and back was pretty good. A little bumpy and there were a lot of clouds at my flight level so I either had to go around them or go underneath them. I used VOR navigation on the way to PA and GPS on the way back so I did ok. I parked the plane when I got back, paid the bill and then went home to relax a bit only to realize I've already logged 45 hours as "Pilot in Command". Good stuff!

After that was Church which was pretty good. It always is and I hate missing it (like I did last week) because I always come away learning something new and getting my relationship with God into shape. I definitely don't want to follow the broad path but the narrow path that leads to salvation. Ok, I know some of you don't like hearing me preach so I leave it at that.

Work was good this week as I got a lot of things done and we're making some progress. I know we have a new leader coming in so we'll see how that goes. Maybe he likes me, maybe he doesn't. I won't know until I meet him. We also have a new person taking over operations and I know him pretty well and we get along so that part should be OK. They really depend on me a lot to get things done and this job really isn't that much different from what I was doing in San Diego, it's just on a smaller scale. It's good though!

The new house is shaping up though I still need to buy the carpeting and stools that I need for the kitchen. I might have CJ help me when he gets here next month. The flight is already paid for and he said he wanted to come up and fly with me. I'm trying to see if I can convince him to sit in the pilot's seat and see what he thinks about that. It's a lot better that video games. Well that is about it, I watched some MotoGP this weekend (boring again). Can't wait for some WSBK or AMA racing where at least the competition is close :)

Have a great and blessed week and talk to you later!



Week ending Sunday, June 10th, 2012
Fly, fly away!

Good week for working and flying...but had to miss Church this weekend due to a very busy schedule. Hate when I miss it but I definitely make up for it by reading His Word as much as I can.

This week work kept me on my toes and busy as ever. There are a few new solutions that I want to get into place as soon as possible due to what we need at the Data Center so I've been focused on that a lot. Once I get that out of the way things should settle down. Hopefully that will get done before the middle of next month as my Nephew is coming up to see me for a week so I plan to take him to DC then to Six Flags and, if his mom let's him, he can come flying with me and my instructor.

Speaking of flying I did a long cross country on Thursday night with one of my instructors. We went to Charlottesville, VA and it was raining and there was indeed lightning but we took a Garmin 1000 equipped Cessna 172 with NEXRAD weather information which let us avoid all the storm cells. We did catch some rain but that was OK because it wasn't bad at all. I still have to do another 1/2 hour of night flying so I will see if I can either take my nephew out to do that or we'll take him to Martinsberg and see the C5s.

Speaking of Martinsberg, that is where I did my short cross country (doesn't really count, just different airfields within a 30NM radius). I flew from Leesburg to Martinsberg then I flew over to Winchester and then back to Leesburg. I told the Controller at Martinsberg that I was a STUDENT PILOT and she got that I was pretty new. Heck the Controller at Charlottesville ASKED me if I was a student pilot and the answer of course was YES. LOL. He figured it out due to me not being 100% familiar with the lingo. haha. Either way it was fun. Next weekend I am going to do one of my long cross country flights to PA so that should be a blast. I have to do both VFR navigation and then also work on GPS navigation. Looking forward to it.

Yes, I have been staying on my P90X program but don't let that fool you. I have still had a "cheater" day here and there. Not that often but sometimes you just need a break and some real food in your stomach (other than tuna fish and wheat!). I've lost about 10lbs and toned up a lot so I should be ready for the pool weather we're having now -- well, now! I should be able to do that but I've stayed extremely busy. Now if I could just get my neighbors to be courteous and polite all would be good.

Can't think of anything else spectacular. There are some photos from my solo on my FB page, you can check that HERE. I need to get my Sunday chores out of the way and relax a bit and charge up for the busy work week coming up. Can't wait for the week of vacation and acting like a big kid when CJ gets here. This will be the first time he's ever been on a plane :)

Have a great weekend and talk to you next week!



Week ending Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
Busiest week of my life...

All work related, of course. Even though I can't work OT (some days I probably need to), I tried to get as many things accomplished as I could. Not without some minor issues of course -- and working so hard I fried my brain halfway through the week. One thing I've learned about myself is I tend to "over" focus, if that's really an analogy at all. You know, the point where you're doing something and it has your attention so much that you can (and I do) miss some little details.

Either way, I'm getting things done but I would like to see them get done more professionally and without an small bumps on the road. Look, I know I am far, far from perfect (and only One person was ever perfect) but there are things I can do much better sometimes. So much data going into my brain at one time that sometimes the little details get pushed aside (or tossed out like trash). That would be much nicer if I could give it 100% -- that or just slow down. Nobody puts much of a timeline on me so I wonder why I do it to myself? It's not about being fast, it's about getting it done right.

No flying this week. I have to check and see if my "Night time" instructor is back from Colorado. I have to fill out the cross country flight form and then I hope to be able to start doing my solo cross country flights. Once that is done then it's a couple of stage-check rides, the ground test and then the flight test with the FAA examiner. I don't think I am ready yet as I have a lot more study work to do. I have almost right at 40 hours of flight time so I think I will be ready between 55 and 60 hours. Once that's done then I'll be able to fly anywhere I want, anytime I want (provided a plane is handy!).

Church was pretty good this weekend and it was a different spin on forgiveness. Sometimes I think we're so hard to forgive but then you get to see if from angles you never thought of before. I'm trying to be a forgiving person when it comes to my neighbors as they like to joke and smoke outside all night long (sometimes until 4am) and toss their cigarette butts on the ground which usually ends up on my property. That's just not a very neighborly thing to do and I don't think I should need to call the police to get some sleep -- nor should I have to wear ear plugs, right?! Either way I am hoping they get the idea they cannot keep their neighbors up all night. Many of us get up early (by 6am).

Everything else is OK. I'm on week #5 of the P90X program but I think I've cheated this weekend since my body just needs a rest and to catch back up. I've never been this sort even after 8 years of the gym. Other than that I watched some MotoGP this weekend and will watch the rest of the AMA races. Also, I really do need to dust the house -- regardless of how much I hate doing it! haha.

Hope you had a great weekend and talk to you later!


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