My status

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing everyone out there a wonderful Christmas.
We are all so truly, truly blessed.

Cheers & Best wishes,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hobby #7 - Flying

Now back to my hobbies. I started flying back in 2003 and logged about 25 hours that year. However, I had a setback that cost me some time which was a kidney stone that forced me to not get my FAA Airman's Medical certificate. (no solo flying training) I ended up having to wait to get doctor's sign-off over a year later to continue my flight training. I logged only a few hours in 2004 due my hectic work schedule, but I was determined to continue towards my goal. After my divorce, I pressed myself strongly towards finding things that we not negative, but based on things that would clear my mind and allow me a chance to really enjoy life. In 2005, I logged the remainder of my hours and quietly got my Checkride completed. It was a quiet time in my life when I had little other going on but work and just living...getting to know myself again, so it was a good time to practice on something fun.

I went through 6 instructors during that time, 3 flight schools & 6 different airplanes. I started in a 1960 Cessna 150 which was about like flying in a cockpit the size of a 20 gallon fish tank. At 6'3", 210 it made for some rather interesting days in the saddle --- When calculating the basic weight & balance loads, it was extremely tricky with such a small plane! I only flew 2 flights in this plane and while the 150 was economic for rentals, it was just too small. I then moved up to the Cessna 172 which has the dubious honor of being quite simply the most produced aircraft ever invented in the history of the world. I enjoyed the extra power, payload and roominess of this aircraft. Even with the multitudes of units out there and still running strong, Cessna planes are a unique breed of aircraft, an iconic tribute to preliminary aviation training.

Piper Warrior - Flight Training Aircraft

After getting used to the Cessna aircraft, I moved on to a few different Piper models, including my old standby --- 1978 PA-28-161 (Piper Warrior III) --- which I relied on for the majority of my later training and experience. Going through instructors was an interesting experience. The variety and range of experiences are truly overwhelming. Each instructors has his or her own style, method of teaching, method of instruction, method of correction and method of living. Ranging from obsessive, psychotic, argumentative, or arrogant to approachable, humble and even introverted...the entire gambit of flight training can be found...if you look hard far enough and go through enough instructors!

The cost of flying makes it a rich man's sport, no doubt. To this day, I cannot even fathom nor justify the expense of even the cheapest and oldest Cessna plane out there. They are expensive to own, insure, maintain & fly....simple as that. I love flying, so I keep my skills alive and well by practicing on Flight Simulator X with a full gambit of accurate flight instruments, controls and gear. The flight models are extremely accurate, responsive & much cheaper than doing it the real world. :)
* (I do have to take a BFR - biannual flight review in 2009 to stay current)

Nearly all of my FT was done at KHDC - Hammond

Perhaps one day, I will get back to flying & even get my own small plane. For now, I am content to know that I have known that I reached a very important and fun goal in my life. A goal that I haven't share with too many people in or outside of my family simply because it was just a personal goal...

But heck it is one of my hobbies...and so it is here on my personal blog! :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Music leads us....

Ran across the fact that my .MP3 files were missing, so I went off to retrieve them and starting searching for my old favorites. I have always been amazed at the incredible ability to match songs, their powerful lyrics and various phases and times in your life. For example, there is one song that I vividly remember after my divorce that always seemed to play when I was on my road to my apartment in Ponchatoula. It was Ryan Cabrera's "On the Way Down" --- the lyrics almost mirrored my internal struggles at that desperate time in my life. I was hanging on to someone to try to ease the fall, the collapse and that person simply didn't possess the strength nor maturity to know how to help. As the lyrics rang forth, "Sick tired of this world....there is no more air....going direction....I took a dive in. ---- On the way down you saved me from myself....I almost fell right through but I held onto you."

On the way down
I saw you
And you saved me
From myself
And I won't forget
The way you loved me
On the way down
I almost fell right through
But I held onto you

Sometimes you look outside of yourself for the strength you need, when you truly need to look inside. Finding the truth, finding the real meaning of living and loving is much more than just finding someone to ease the pain, to distract you...finding something to make this all worthwhile. It is being that strength, more than just a safety net from going "all the way down" - It is growing, maturing and not losing sight of who you are ---

Another lyric: "I won't forget the way you loved me..."
This is a special message to those who during that difficult time were there for me in whatever way...who struggled to know me, and love me in spite of my downward spiral. In spite of myself, I grew stronger and better. :)


Thank You.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I am dreaming......of a SNOWY THURSDAY!

Woke up this morning to quite a surprise...a surprise that is slowing melting away, but a very uncommon sight to most people in Louisiana.


Here are a few pics of the rare event. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!! :)
(All shots taken with D2Xs)

Katey in the snow!

Found a Meerkat hiding in the snow! hehe

Sonoma in the Snow

Backyard - Snow Pic 12/11/08

Global warming, my igloo.... :)