Coping: Guardian of the Windshield and Other Flying Notes

This morning’s column will be blissfully short (on your side, not mine) due to our plans to be off the ground by regular publishing time in order to airlift G-II down to Skydive Spaceland, also known to airmen as TE-88.

It shows up on aeronautical maps are a simple red ball with an R (as in restricted) in it.  And prior permission and coordination with the jump planes in the air is required.   I took care of getting the permissions to land on this private field.

Still, it’s not a bad little airport: About 3,500 feet, paved, and with a turn-around circle at the south end of runway 13.

To get ready for it, G-II and I went up and did a little flying work Wednesday morning after Peoplenomics and an interminable delay getting G-II ready.

The simple fact about flying in really small planes, where climb outs are slow, is that the best time of the day to fly is sunrise until noon.  The closer you get to noon, the more the (thankfully returned) Texas sun heats the ground differently and you get thermals.

The first landing yesterday was at KJSO (Jacksonville, Texas) and it’s an interesting airport that has the approach end of the runway sitting on something of a bluff.  The only other airports I’ve been into with bluffs to them are the one in Branson Missouri, and of course Tacoma Industrial up in the PNW.

These are good “mental discipline landings” because your eye has a tendency to look at the face of the bluff, rather than “the numbers” of the runway.  The idea is to land on “the numbers” despite the optics of it…although people get trained formally to look for “the aiming point” which seems to me like it’s a good walk from “the numbers” (the runway heading with the last digit lopped off) and a waste of good pavement..

But, as always, it was a fine landing, right on the centerline and then full power and off again..

Before departing we had a little father-son conflict…which happens even when son is 34 and dad is 66.

G-II wanted to suction cup the GoPro onto the windshield.

No dice.  “This is a see and avoid deal” I reminded the boy.

We went round about this for a couple of minutes with me stating the regs (and zealously guarding my visual scan area which would have been somewhat blocked).

His next ploy was to install the GoPro suction onto the dash.

No-go there, either.

The problem was, this alternate installation obscured the old man’s view of the exhaust gas temp (EGT) which on a warm day is something to keep an eye on.

Eventually, G-II finally understood that Dad wasn’t going anywhere with his vision obscured,. so G-II ended up using a head mount for the camera, which worked out fine and I have to say was pretty good footage.

The last landing of the day was perfect, on the numbers, and stopped in a hair over 350-feet. 

The two major learning points to share:  Parenting doesn’t stop at 18, 21, 23, or any other magical numbers.  Us old folks have to keep passing on knowledge until the end, it seems.  They don’t believe any faster as they get older, either.  And they do require documentation.

Second is that our kids are truer reflections of ourselves than we’d like to think.  G-II’s bullheadedness and determination to have his way reminded me of someone else I know like that. I just can’t place this other fellas name at the moment.

The third point?  When visiting a hot state and sitting in a Plexiglas sauna of a cockpit at noonish under the hot Texas sun, outside air temp 90, it’s not a good idea to wear a pair of black pants and as black “tactical” shirt.  May play as macho up north, but…

There’s a reason why folks wear light colors (like white) in hot weather, regardless of the fashion trends in Amazoft Land:  No sweat.

By the time of last touchdown, G-II was pretty sure that he’d be ready to depart a lot earlier this morning and maybe one of them “old man” shirts wasn’t such a bad idea, after all.

Life in the Surveillance State

Nope:  No freshly installed SAM missile installations or odd folks in camo at any of the airports we landed at Wednesday. 

Why, to read all the spew about Jade Helm, we were ready to repel invaders from Mars, or worse, but no repelling was necessary.  Just the odd puffy cloud.

But, we’re not out of the woods yet, advised reader CJ from up in the north lands:


Just making sure you see the follow-up on the story…

Franken wants answers on FBI surveillance flights over Twin Cities

Though Franken is inquiring, to look good (IMO), the public won’t get the answers they deserve. 

Do we ever?…

Thing about Franken is that he came to politics from comedy…so in a sense, his career hasn’t really changed.

In fact, SNL made more sense than Congress in that everyone on SNL read the script and knew where the punch-lines were.  Unlike the original amateur hour on the hill, now.

Still, Franken and Garrison Keillor would make a better joke for the White House than any other the other (*inadvertent) bit players who are reading for the part currently.

My pet theory is that Jade Helm is just a distraction so the FedGov can take over all the dairies up north and turn them all to making strawberry ice cream for the alien  overlords…yeah, dat’s it…uh huh…and I’m sticking to it.

Ahead and Behind

Whew:  The Vice of Technology.

I was in the throne room this morning reading about how for $2-bucks, back in the Depression (the earlier one, not this one) you could get a custom letterhead embossing machine made.

Machine is a bit charitable:  Pair of pliers with letterhead info,  but still, a dandy idea…not unlike the embossing seals once used on legal documents.  (Seems everything is wet stamps now since they copy better).

On  the far side, music production hot sheet Mix OnLine  reports on the growing amount of product being built for 2.4 GHz wifi channels, including some dandy remote microphones.

Which gets me to wondering if this is a way for the government to get live tunes down the pipe?  Naw…but still.

Not to worry, notices my buddy Roger out in Tucson.

He directs us to an article here about the satanic underside of Hollywood.

Why imagine that!  Possessed humans and aliens controlling Hollywood!  Who would have thought?

You ever work out the math on 100-million people seeing just 10-murders each on an evening of television?

Our pathetically small brains, with an outdated operating system, just don’t have a freakin prayer.

And speaking of the bad O/S, looks like autism may be a reaction to I/O overload.  I kid you not.

Remind me to keep some strawberry ice cream in addition to the armor piercing rounds, please.

Write when you get-rich…or if you’re from Publishers Clearinghouse…


6 thoughts on “Coping: Guardian of the Windshield and Other Flying Notes”

  1. Sen. John McCain once said “Washington is a Hollywood for ugly people. Hollywood is a Washington for the simpleminded.”

    The similarities between the two is perhaps not a coincidence.

    • Uh…between which two? Mike McCain and the simple-minded? Er…. Or, I may have prop lag

  2. The Tacoma Narrows air port is fun to land to the north I like to use no Flaps and just Crab it is a fun challenge, So far I have not hit the Bluff but I sure would not like to live below it 5754F

    • And the current through the Narrows down there is…uh…50 degrees this time of year

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