Wow, ok, so summer has arrived on the West Coast.
Last week or so has seen us in the middle of an entrenched high pressure ridge that shows little signs of abating. I saw my first cloud today in over a week.
It was kind of funny actually, I was outside on the ramp with another fellow who has recently earned his Private Pilots License and as we looked at a bank of high cloud approaching in a seemingly organized fashion, he said " ok, so what type of front is that? ". I opined that I thought it was a warm front type of cloud formation, high, advancing cirrus that tapered down to what appeared to be some alto stratus type clouds. I keep an eye on the weather, so I hedged my bets with a " but, as there is little in the way of active systems in our area due to the high pressure, it may also just be orographic cloud from the mountains on the island. "
I like to know what is driving the weather on a daily basis. I check the weather religiously, flying or not. Not so much to try and predict or plan around my predictions of what will occur, but more to understand and learn from what I am seeing. If I know a warm front is approaching, when I look up and see the actual weather, then I know, " A-ha, my Met instructor was right! ".
Turned out I was right, but the system was far to the north of us, but the first band of clouds associated with the warm front managed to reach us this far south. It actually gave us a much needed respite from the searing heat of the last three days.
Out on the ramp, there is no shade. There is only black tarmac, the unrelenting sun, heavy boots, dark coloured uniforms that cover everything but your forearms to protect you from exposure to fuel, hats, ear defenders, sunglasses, utility belts, radios and mikes, heavy rubber fueling gloves and lately, a nice slippery sheen of sunscreen. It gets a little warm at times.
In any case, I wanted to post a quick blog update as I have been more than a little remiss lately. I think this is probably the longest I have let the blog lapse.
I'd like to have readers who keep coming back, to engage with them and hear their feedback on my daily life. I'd like to meet new people who share the same interests as me and have interesting stories of their own to tell. I'd like to keep friends and family updated on my life, without enriching the pockets of FaceBook founders through their prostitution of me and my life's little details. Alas, this kind of necessitates some effort on my part.
Anyways, in a nutshell, the last couple of moths have seen the following in the way of news that I would have liked to share, but didnt...
My wife's pregnancy is progressing nicely. We are down to the last two months now. In fact, only seven weeks to go till D-Day. This is no longer a distant, abstract event. This is happening! We've been very fortunate that her pregnancy has been pretty easy so far. A little nausea, treatable and treated. The usual mobility and fatigue challenges. But for the most part very manageable to date, knock on wood.
I finished my Ultralight Instructor Rating a few weeks ago and have begun instructing at the local ultralight field. I've done a few lessons and a mock flight test so far. I am finding instructing a lot more enjoyable and challenging than I first thought. I feel a very strong pressure to keep packing my head full of all kinds of information, "just-in-case" a student asks me " what type of front is that? " or " what makes the airplane turn? ". But at the same time, I feel very comfortable in the instructing role. I had lots of great advice from really good instructors during my training, all I really have to do is turn around and share those little nuggets with others.
I actually did that the other day with the mock flight test. I pretty much copied the flight test I did for the same rating. I have to remember to mention to the examiner that I did this, in case he pulls this student for the actual flight test. He may need to vary his routine just a little or the jig is up.
I went on a nice little cross-country trip the other day, up to Lillooet. This was a fun trip and had a few twists, so it is worthy of a post of its own, but it was nice to get out of the local patch and take an Ultralight on a long(ish) trip. It took us about 4.5 hours total, round trip.
I was helping put some aircraft into a hangar the other day and the hangar tenants Chief Pilot was there while we were working. We were joking around with him a little because their company, which owns several jets, helicopters and other large and expensive aircraft, also owns a Cessna 182 that he has been flying A LOT lately. Turns out, he is the only one in their company approved to fly it. Insurance maybe, or company-approved training that hasn't been done for the rest of the pilots, who knows. He mock-complained about the situation and one of my co-workers pointed at me and said " well, he needs the hours, let him fly it ". I was mortified, but he turned and asked me how many hours I had. " Around 300 " I told him. He raised an eyebrow and said I should talk to the owner.
I'll do it, but I suspect my lack of an IFR rating is going to preclude my being of any real use to them. It was kind of neat to see this job paying off a little though ,in the network-prospecting sort of respect though.
Anyways, I'll try and post a little more, but who knows, maybe I wont... Lots of things going on, all of them good!
Going to be a daddy soon, getting to fly on a daily basis and not paying for it, loving my job(s) and feeling a little more optimistic about future job prospects.
Ah well, watch my next post be tomorrow night about the tornado that I.did.not.see.coming that flattens my home....
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