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Week ending Sunday, October 30th, 2011
A SURPRISING week, to say the least!
Ok before I give you the update I have to ask a silly question. "What's the deal with it snowing in October?! Where is this so-called ozone issue and global warming?!" It was 36 degrees most of Saturday and it snowed. SNOWED! The kids down the street were out playing in it and as you can see from the photos HERE, I am not kidding. And this was before the snow REALLY started falling. In San Diego I could ride the CBR year round but definitely not here. I'll have to park it for the winter, lol.

Work-wise things are getting done and I am ironing out issues that I suspected when I first got here but that's sort of changing. We think we have everyone on the same page and the changes I am making to the Storage Area Network are really starting to make a positive impact for the environment. So that's a good thing on your check off of "things to do list" that are at least, for this career, are finally going in the right direction.

Saturday night I watched Pastor Bob's sermon online. I don't mind the new Church at all but I don't really feel the same sense of warmth and "home" as I did at Horizons. It's so much like Saddleback where I feel like there is much more of God's word that I am missing out on and you sort of -- well to some degree -- feel left wanting to know much more. We'll see how things go. I am not too worried about it right now because I am still reading my Bible every night. At least two chapters a night (usually four full pages) before I go to bed.

On Sunday morning I had to clean off my truck. Couldn't see through the windshield with all the snow/ice. Took a long time for the truck to warm up enough where I could turn the heater on and start melting the ice off the windscreen. Once that was done I made my way out to Leesburg and had to do the same thing on the Cessna 162 Skycatcher. That is a new "Light Sport Plane" from Cessna (though made in China for some silly reason). That said, I had to de-ice the wings and control surfaces and then with my instructor we flew out to the practice area. I really liked the plane. It was really sensitive to control inputs but really easy to fly and actually very fun. Plus the view is phenomenal. If I can get the video from my instructor I will post it up.

Next weekend is the last weekend before the break for MotoGP. I'm going to miss "Super Sic" out there flying around. The funeral was very touching and I know that he and Valentino were very close. I know that Edwards is not going to race and they're having an AMA rider take his place. Doubtful he'll do well in a new environment, new track, new bike, new team, etc. That's a lot to ask anyone to do, IMHO. Given that Nicky had such a great start last week I am hoping that this final week he is able to get back up on the podium. Ducati has a lot of work to do with their bikes if they're ever going to be competitive.

Looking forward to my trip back home in three weeks. We should have a lot of things planned (Sebring ((Home)), Orlando and quite possibly hang out for a full day in Tampa. I will also be stopping through Georgia briefly to hang out with my dad and possibly record a song if we have time to do that. I also definitely plan on playing a lot of golf. I haven't played in a few months so I am rusty but I plan on playing a lot.

Well that is about it for the week. I hope you are being as blessed as I am. Every day I am grateful that I am alive and able to do something positive for others. One of these days I'll have God's will presented to me but in the meantime "To make things move you first have to move yourself!" And that is what I plan to do.

Have a great rest of your week!


Week ending Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Good news, Sad News kind of week.
Before I start my normal blog entry I have to say this is one of the saddest weeks in racing. Not only did we lose an Indy Car racer last weekend (even Danica Patrick said "This is enough" and moved over to NASCAR) but Marco Simoncelli died in the Malaysian Grand Prix today. I wasn't a big follower of him but enjoyed his character and antics in racing.

During the race apparently he lost the front, it grabbed again, the bike wheeled back over to the racing line where he was hit by both Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. It was the saddest thing I've ever seen because it also showed that his helmet came off during the crash. Of course speed has the dignity not to show the gruesome details (and we don't need to see that) they did say that he went into cardiac arrest during transport to the hospital and died from the severe brain and chest injuries suffered from the crash.

I love MotoGP racing and it's one of the things I am always excited to hear about during the weekend but this is a tragic accident and certainly reminds us that your life can be taken away at any time and you should really live your life to the fullest and listen to God's voice directing your path. My condolences go out to Marco's family and I pray for comfort in their time of loss. As the result of the crash they canceled the MotoGP race and that is fitting.

Everything on my side is OK but that crash certainly reminded me of the one I had racing in 2006. What I didn't realize is that in addition to breaking my collar bone I had also broken my neck on top of the concussion. I thought I hit the side of my head but it was closer to the top than I thought it was and yes, watching what happened this weekend reminded me how life is short and precious.

Work-wise all is going OK. Just a lot on my plate and there are a lot of things to get completed so I can move over to operations. On the plus side I got to test out my new David Clark head set which was a really nice upgrade from the headsets I had been borrowing from AV-ED. The instructor said he wants me to get ready to solo and I am ready for that. I don't even think we talked about landings but I think he knows both my takeoffs and landings are pretty good. I'm just really rusty with some aeronautical procedures but otherwise it's good.

The instructor likes to make abrupt maneuvers and I have to say I don't really like that because you never know how much force a small airplane can take and knowing history, it doesn't take much to rip a plane's tail off. I don't mind if we have a parachute or something but that isn't the case. The flight yesterday was good and that was one of the smoothest take offs and smoothest landings I've had so far. Now I have to go fill out the forms to do my solos and to fly the Cessna 162 Skycatcher :)

I wasn't feeling great over the weekend so I watched Horizon's service online and that's great for me too. I love listening to Pastor Bob but I hope I get back to my normal self soon. Got so much to do and little time to get it done. That said there is a Buccaneer game from London today at 1pm so as soon as I am done with this I'll be checking it out.

Hope you had a great weekend and we'll talk to you next week!


Week ending Sunday, October 16th, 2011
Smooth Sailing (If I had a sailboat!)
Not a bad week overall. Getting a lot of work done at the office, moving forward with the projects that I have under my belt and fairly soon I should be moving over to operations on a regular basis. What was also good is that they sent me my business cards. That will help a lot as well when I am golfing or meeting people, I can help introduce them to our company.

Also got some more flying this weekend. Working again on slow flight, power off stalls and power on stalls. We also did some "attitude recovery" and some bad weather flying (blind) practice as well. The instructor thinks that I am OK to start soloing but there are a few more things I need to get good at. Essentially I need to have a small notebook with me which has all the channel codes I need. Already know the squak codes for our area and what we use that that's good. I also ordered a new David Clark headset and bag because I am tired of using their headsets. I will also get certified to fly the Cessna 162 Skycatcher which I am looking forward too. Don't need the bigger, bulky 172s.

I did go back to McClean Bible Church this weekend and it wasn't so bad. The Pastor is OK and I suppose it will take some time for me to get used to him. I had grown such a strong about of love and respect for Pastor Botsford that it's just another thing here in VA I have to get used to. I did take some time after the service to talk to a few of the people there and they leaned that came from Saddleback and Horizons (which is a branch of Calvary Chapel). I did ask the Pastor why people don't bring Bibles and he said "Well we print it up on the screen for them." Ok that left a door wide open for me. "How then are they sure that is what Scripture said -- not that I don't believe it is, but we all need our Bibles with us. Me especially as I prefer to read directly from the word and study the Bible..." Of course, the Pastor smirked at me but I was trying to make a point. To truly be a disciple you really need to be into God's word.

Either way I made some new friends and it was so funny that they said it IS a lot like L.A./O.C. here. Everyone cares about the things they own and they're all trying to climb the corporate ladder. That's what I loved so much about San Diego. Everyone was laid back and they weren't trying to step on each other to get something they want. As I said, I knew all my neighbors in San Diego but I have yet to meet any of them here. I suppose when it gets cold that will happen. Not supposed to snow until late Jan-Feb. We'll see. I was hoping for a white Christmas!

This weekend I am going to watch the MotoGP race and the Buccaneer game. Let's hope the Bucs get their game in gear and that, in MotoGP (with both factory Yamaha riders out) that Hayden can get himself on the podium. He didn't do too bad as he qualified 6th but I hope they move him to 4th since no Lorenzo or Spies in the mix. I am already looking forward to next year when they bring out the 1000cc bikes again. Flash back to 2005 when Hayden won at Laguna and then in 2006 when he won the championship (despite his teammate who took him out in a race). Oh I and I finally did some grocery shopping today as well. It's been a while, haha. That tends to happen when you're living in blissful singledom :)

Hope all is going well with you and that you are feeling God's blessing as much as I am. Life is very short and God has great plans for you. Pray that He reveals them to you before your time clock runs out.




Week ending Sunday, October 9th, 2011
Quiet Week
Well this week as pretty quiet which I like. Not much really going on other than trying to stay busy and get my job done. It's been a rough 30 days or so but I am keeping my head above water and not going to let myself down. I do really like what I do and I try to stay as focused as I can. It's good that I don't have the nagging, annoying things that used to go on at work over here so that's a very welcomed change of pace.

On the odd side, I got some weird texts on my phone this week from two numbers I don't recognize. I'm sure it's probably just people who mix my phone number up with someone else's number. Not sure who would text me the word "cute" (I don't think I am -- just saying). The other one the phone said "I can't interpolate what this person is trying to send to you..." so I just deleted it. Weird stuff, eh?

I did some flying on Saturday. We did more slow flights, power off stalls and then power ON stalls (which is the area I am struggling). I think the biggest problem is that I am being very rough on the controls, especially the rudder. I am having a hard time keeping the nose straight when we do the power on stalls so one of the wing will dip to one side or the other side the natural reaction is to use the ailerons but that is a no-no. It's a sure way to get yourself into a spin. Once we worked on that we did some emergency landing procedures so I know I need to work on that as well.

Didn't make it to the new Church here but that's mostly because I am feeling a tad under the weather. I did listen to Pastor Bob's service from Horizon North County (www.horizon.org) and that was great. Reminds me of being back home in San Diego -- and of course I have probably been feeling a bit home sick. The service was great as always and I definitely miss sitting in that Church on Saturday nights.

That's about it for this week. Nothing special, of course. There is no MotoGP racing but I did watch the Lighting lose last night and am watching the Bucs get their face smashed in by the 9'ers. This is a game I thought would be more balanced but as I am watching it, it's 24-3 right now and I am wondering if they are not adjusting the time change. haha. Well I need some excuse for their bad play right now.

Hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Tomorrow is a Holiday for us so I think I am going to relax a bit, do some grocery shopping and be lazy. No gym for me either -- I get that day off and I need a break.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Week ending Sunday, October 2nd, 2011
Interesting week.
So this week was ok compared to the last couple of weeks. No major mess ups (which is always a good thing) and I actually got out of the house a few times. Last Thursday I did stalls for flight training which I always, always hate. At least this time the instructor is very aware that we don't want to be doing any un-intentional spins. We did slow flights and power off stalls which were OK but when we got to power on stalls we had some issues there. It's so hard to keep the nose pointed straight that when I was trying to do them the plane wanted to go into a spin.

The instructor caught it a few times and said "Well I think you need to relax and just do some seat time so you know exactly what you need to do. And just practice handling the rudder so you do ok." So that's where I am at with flight training. I need to set up a flight for this upcoming weekend. I do want to fly the new Cessna 162! It's brand spanking new and really neat so I can't wait to get certified to fly it. The instructor wants me to stick to 172s but I want to be able to fly any single engine plane that I want to fly.

Work wise, as I said, everything was ok. I have so much to do and there's always pressure but I am doing good. We've made a lot of progress and I've started replicating data from the primary site to the backup site so day by day things are getting better and better. I do like that we're not allowed to work overtime so that gives me a good work/life balance that I enjoy. I just wish there were more things to do here. Back home in San Diego I'd be at the beach or the Gas Lamp or even at a ball game :) But, you go where God wants you to go and I am at peace with His decision.

Also this weekend I went to "McClain Bible Church" which I was hoping was a lot like Horizons North County in Rancho Santa Fe but it ended up being a lot like Saddleback. Saddleback is sort of a "newbie" Church where they don't bring bibles and don't really read directly from the word. That's what I loved about Horizons because every service was reading more and more of the bible so your faith grows. The service wasn't bad but I was the only person there with a bible. And it was a remote site too, which isn't that bad. I mean the sermon was ok but it just didn't feel like to me that it was home. I think I'll attend more services until I find a church more like Horizons.

I watched some NFL games today and also watched the Japan MotoGP race. Nicky was actually doing well until he ran off track. I think he finished 7th or 8th but had he not run off the track he would have finished at least 3rd or 4th. "To finish first, you must first finish" is how I think the old adage goes and it's very applicable here. Tomorrow night the Buccaneers play on Monday Night Football so I am looking forward to that. Unfortunately the game doesn't even start until 8:30pm here. Talk about being just a TAAAAAAAAAAAAD homesick (and I think I am a little). I am so used to how things are done on the West Coast that I just need to learn to adjust.

Well that is about it for the week. Hope you had a fantastic week and talk to you next time!2


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