slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
Today we reviewed what we had learned the day before on parts of the boat and such. Then we learned about points of sail and jibeing on the downwind run in the book work section. We also had a contest to see who could tie a bowline the quickest :)

After the 3 hours book work they placed me on one of the club 22 foot catalinas, Brown Eyed Girl. Me and one other guy with our instructor, Terry.

We were doing jibes. I don't know I like that much. Plus, my first time at a tiller. Then we swapped off and on either being helmsman or working the lines.. The 22 footer you helm from a seated position. You change sides when you jibe or tack so your back is always windward. That was hard a bit hard on the knees. But I figured it out and managed to do it without hurting anything. We even put out the whisker-pole on the jib once on a downwind run to open up the sales. jibeing back and forth when we needed to. I let my student partner work the foredeck. He was a bit more sure of his footing than I was today. I'm still working on my sea legs and like to have something close by to hang onto if I need to. When 3 o'clock came and we had the boat back at the dock so my fellow student could leave (he wanted to go try sail his boat now), Terry asked if I had to be somewhere or did I want to sail some more. I said sure, let's go!

Out we went again and he let me practice tacking back and forth. I thought about making a comment about thanks for taking on the slow to learn student on tacking with a tiller, but instead I just said thanks for taking me out to practice some more. He laughed and said it's all practice, besides, it was too nice a day to quit just yet. I have to say, it helped. Back and forth across the lake I would say "Ready to Tack?" he'd say "Ready" I'd say "Helm to lee" and push the tiller away from me while he ran the sheets on the jib for me. He also showed me how to heave to, that is to bring the boat to a stop. I'm not sure I really have that down, but it was neat to give it a shot. I knew it was getting close to time for us to get back and I could see he was itching for the helm so I asked if he'd like to take the helm and I'd work the sheets for him. He grinned and said that was taking care of your skipper, that he'd been doing checkouts and the classes and hadn't had much time to just sail. So I then let him have the tack back and forth and around while I ran the sheets for him. Running both sheets by yourself you very quickly realize why the gloves are a great idea! Soon it was time to head back to the dock though. As he brought us in I deployed the bumpers and he had me furl the jib on the roller furler. I dropped the main when he asked me to while he started the little outboard to slide us in the dock. I hopped off the boat onto the dock and grabbed the boat and muscled her into the slip and tied off her bow. I stayed and helped him flake the mainsail on the boom and put the cover on and clean/close up the boat. On the way out we ran across the guy who runs the sail away program and stopped to help him square away his boat. I learned how to flake and fold a jib off the boat on the pier!

Boy, am I wiped out right now. It was 100 and about a 40% humidity at the lake. Even with all the water I was drinking I'm a bit dry now.

I wore lots of sunscreen today, but did get a little burned.

Sheesh! This will wear you out when you aren't use to it. I'm going to request that I be put on another club boat at least one of the two days I have left. I want to stay in something with a tiller and get better about it.

So, you sit with the wind coming over your back (windward side) while you are either on a beam reach or close hauled and to tack you push the tiller away from you and then switch sides so the wind is again on your back. When you jibe you are running with the wind while your back is to the windward side and you pull the tiller to you and change seat to the other side while you guide the main over with your free hand so it doesn't swing wild on you. Things to remember.

One on one after 3 hours in the heat for an hour and a half will wear you out in a sailboat. Next lesson, weekend after next.

This is a LOT of fun!

Day 1

Jun. 5th, 2010 07:16 pm
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I got to the marina early and checked in. They had the US Sailing textbook Start Sailing Right! for us as well as a syllabus. It looks like somewhere north of fifty people are in the class. The age range ran the gauntlet from maybe 19 to 20/21 or so to a couple in their 60's. The first 3 hours of our day was spent learning the parts of the boat, the parts of the sails. They gave us a short section of rope and taught us the first two knots we will need to know. The Bowline and the figure 8 Stopper knot. The bowline was a little confusing at first but I got it together. Then the other 3 on my table were having problems with it so I tried to show them how it worked for me. I think they mostly got it figured out. Then we talked a bit about what was to come. They called out all our names in groups of 2, 3, 4 and called out a skippers name as well. These are the the people in our crew for today. Every day we will be in a new crew with a new skipper on a new boat. That way we get to meet more of the people, we get to try different sorts of boats.

My skipper's name today was Bob. He sails a 30 foot Catalina built in 1984. It's a very nice boat. We spent the next 3 hours being introduced to the various stations around the boat, each getting a chance to try our hand at sailing at the helm, working the sheets on the jib and the mainsail. Talk about an upper body workout. Even with being able to grind the winches to help bring in the sails it's work.

It's so cool though...
to feel the wind in the sails...
the power in the lines/sheets, in the helm...
it's like being in control/riding a living breathing creature of immense power...

It is cool...
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I'm going to at long last be able to learn to do something else I've always wanted to. This weekend I get to start a 4 day beginning sailing class on a local lake!

Sailing a boat is one of those childhood dream things I've always wanted to do but never have had the chance before. I think I probably wanted to sail boats before I even wanted to fly airplanes, and those that know me in real life know how much I have wanted to fly airplanes.

I grew up/spent a lot of my youth around the Texas gulf coast. Like most boys watching Errol Flynn movies and tv re-runs in the 60's and 70's, tall ships, sloops, cutters, boats of all kinds and the sea were very much in the foreground of my consciousness. My pre-teen and early teen years I spent the summer, winter, spring and fall on the waters of the local lakes in my dads old fishing skiff with him. Sometimes it was more about just being outside and futzing about on the water in the skiff with that ancient johnson outboard-motor puttering along as it was for the fishing.

So this weekend starts the first half of the class, we'll spend the mornings doing classroom work, the afternoons sailing. Each day we sail on a different boat so we get to see what different ones are like. We sail this weekend, take a weekend off, then the next one.

I've got my sunscreen ready, I'm ready to go!


May. 17th, 2010 01:05 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (4gr)
Another step is taken.

Met the local 'good' AME in the area that likes to handle interesting cases. I passed everything for the class III with the exception of the right eye. He said all my paperwork and tests were in good order. I had just about every piece of paper the FAA will likely want to see. Now he submits it to OK City and we wait for the papermill to turn and spit out a temp medical and an introduction letter to the local FSDO for a medical flight test to prove I can land a plane with only one eye. This I already know I can do, Mischa and I have been flying in the cheetah and I've ironed out most of my problems there already.

So another step is taken and now I'm back to waiting. I've already waited 6 months since the initial event. I can wait a little while longer.
slipstreamsurfr: (4gr)
The packet from retina doc arrived in the mail. Scanned and sent to my senior ame friend to check it. He says, go get your medical and start the ball rolling with the FAA to get your medical back unrestricted after the monovision medical flight ride.
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I started work on an undergrad degree, any undergrad degree, off and on, some 26 years ago. There were years I didn't go to school. Work, life, all sorts of things getting in the way. Along the way I changed my mind, my major, many times. There have been many ideas, many dreams, many plans over the years. In the end I opted to take the smart way out, to complete, in what I could complete in with what I had. Realizing that all I had to do was fulfill some lower end credits with CLEP exams and a couple of higher level classes I set to work. It took about a year to take the 27 credits, 6 classes of CLEP exams(18 of those 27 credits), this with taking a handful of upper level English classes to round out what I needed to complete.

Then it was done. All the t's crossed, all the i's dotted. The petition for graduation was submitted and I waited. Had I really gotten everything together for them, was it all there, did it all count. I got the letter telling me I had met the requirements and was scheduled to have my degree conferred on the 5th of March.

As I sit here this morning and look at my undergrad degree hanging on the wall of my office I think about all the things that have transpired in my life since I started this journey. It's been very nearly a surreal trip. I wonder what the future will hold. I've got a grad school application in progress. I've investigated what it will take to be able to fly again. Who knows what the future will bring. There were many times I never thought I'd be able to sit here and see my diploma on the wall.

Of course there are side effects.

Everyone asks me now... how do you say your middle name? ;)
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I've never scratch baked much of anything before. I thought I'd try making a simple bread to go with the baked beans we'll be having for dinner tonight. You can't get much simpler than making a soda bread so I opted for an irish wheat soda bread.

the recipe and pictures to follow! )
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I also got my grade score from ETS for the GRE. I scored well enough on the verbal to place at my local school in the grad program, however I fell just a little short on what it states they want on the essay portion. I don't understand how that could be. I felt they were really strong essays.

Well, the report is headed to my college now. I'll queue up the final transcript after March 5th from TESC and we'll see if the graduate committee decides I am a strong enough candidate for admittance. I feel I interviewed well with the grad advisor of the program. I've got the undergrad advisor on my side personally as well as with a letter of recommendation, as well as a letter of recommendation from one of the professors in the graduate program there. My final letter was from another senior lecturer I had in the department. I should be able to meet the 3 out of 4 criteria for successful admission. I think. But then again I thought I had done better on those essays on the GRE too.

We'll see.

Time will tell.


Feb. 12th, 2010 02:46 pm
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I got a couple of letters in the mail today.

One was from Thomas Edison State College. It contained two rather formal pieces of paper as well as a pair of photocopied pages.

The formal pages say...

To Whom It May Concern

This is to certify that name redacted has completed all of the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree with an area of study in Liberal Studies. This degree was certified on February 5, 2010 and is scheduled to be conferred upon name redacted by the Board of Trustees of Thomas A. Edison State College on March 5, 2010.

it's really done..
I really do have an undergrad degree after all these years...


Jan. 27th, 2010 12:37 pm
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The GRE is done.

I was right, it was an obnoxious test. At least it's done. I've scored well enough to place at my school pending scores on my essays.

slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
Adjusting a previously written paper for submission as your writing sample is a nerve wracking experience. In part because you don't know exactly what the readers are looking for in your writing. I talked with my undergrad advisor/mentor friend at the school and she agreed that I should submit not only the 7 page paper I'm fiddling with but also one of the extremely densely written Philosophy in Literature short papers I wrote for one of the more demanding professors.

Hopefully between the two papers my application will pass muster on the writing sample side.

Then I just have to worry about the GRE.

Always something. :)
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I'm still dithering about which way to go on grad school. I'm starting to lean more towards going ahead and going for my masters in english. While it may sound like the less wise path than going the MBA/INSY route I'm not so sure. Truth of the matter is that while I enjoy the information system classes I really don't like the business classes that much. I honestly think I'd enjoy the english masters much more. As for future employability with an english masters, it's not really as bad as one might think. There are a lot of things I could use it for later in case I'm not successful in following the goal of teaching.

Still thinking... considering...
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I've been doing some digging in my area on teaching positions for community as well as 4 year colleges in the two subject areas I'm most likely to want to go. I note that both areas pay about the same to adjuncts at the community colleges and alas they all seem to require at least a masters in the subject area now(if not teaching experience, which I'm not sure where to get on the information systems side). It's when you get to the 4 year colleges that some big differences come to play, and mostly I fear it's due to the number of qualified applicants going for the jobs. It would be much easier to get a job at a 4 year college in the information systems/business fields than in something like english or history.

This research tends to push me more towards the Master Science or MBA with a focus on Information Systems. Plus, the information systems focus will tend to make it easier to pick up other work to make things work out while I try to develop a living wage out of teaching. Still not sure how to pick up teaching experience while working on the masters when my college doesn't tend to employe GTA's from the master's program, they tend to use phd students for that duty.


Dec. 16th, 2009 01:12 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (overGlasses)
I took another CLEP exam. No sense in letting this eye thing stop me from moving forward. I passed the Human Growth and Development exam today by a fair amount.

What does this mean? Well, it means I'm done!! Complete! Finished! I talked with Thomas Edison State yesterday and got them to approve a class they had marked as a duplicate, leaving me with a bare 7 credit hours needed. I have 6 hours going to them already from College Board from CLEPs I passed earlier this fall. Today's CLEP puts me at 9 hours, 2 over. Assuming there is no final hang-up with them on the credits, I am done! Degree to be granted either in March or June, depending on if I can get into the queue fast enough for the early one or not.

I will have a BA in Liberal Studies. This is their version of an interdisciplinary degree that allowed me to use all of the oddball credits I have in my rather long and twisted academic career. Soon I'll be able to check that box on a job application stating that I have a 4 year degree in something or the other!

Next up, I guess it's time to decide if I want to go to grad school, and if so, what in. I'll most likely lean to the business/IT side and do an MBA with an Information Systems focus and try to get in teaching at a college somewhere. That's what I ultimately want to do in the end. In this economy, having the MBA won't hurt in the future.

I think I'll take at least a little while before I start studying for the GMAT. At least few days! ;)

We'll see... that's for the future, for now, I'm just happy! Now to make sure all the paperwork goes through correctly!
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
Happy Thanksgiving all

I'm glad each and every one of you is in my life.

And for those of you on my friends list in other countries that don't celebrate that rather American holiday of Thanksgiving, I'm still glad that you are in my life. ;)


Nov. 20th, 2009 10:50 am
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
It's weird today...

It's been a week since it happened.
I am dreading today.
Like, I think, I'm afraid, it'll happen again.

That's a messed up way of thinking...
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
it'll be a while before I ever complain bitterly about work again...

it's all in perspective now I guess..
a hard way to learn this lesson.


Nov. 7th, 2009 08:39 pm
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Congrats to R today for the successful completion of her Private Pilot checkride! Way to go girl!

Another pilot gets their wings today, the first one I've been officially instrumental in seeing to completion.

This is an awesome feeling!
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
sitting here...
chilling out for a few...
it's been a quick and intense 4 to 5 weeks...
and one more groundschool class to go to wrap up and give them their certs...

but man..
it is SO FREAKING COOL to watch nearly all of them succeed on the practice exam..
and the one that didn't, I know what he did, and I know how to fix it for him...

it's like it's what I was made to do...
this feels freaking fantastic!

it almost makes up for the h*ll work is putting me through...

slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
Up reasonably early for a saturday, but it's to the airport, so who cares!

While I hadn't planned on flying the club 172, it seemed that fate had determined that if we were to fly, that's the plane to do it in today.

Now it's been so long since I've been to Lancaster that they've forgotten my standard breakfast order, I'm gonna have to fix that. They were busy this morning, not EVERYONE was going to the airshow it seems. The little military jet they keep out there took off while we were eating and came back for a low pass on the runway, that thing just looks like a whole lot of fun.

Heading back to the plane Kathy and I decide to head up the east side of the metroplex. I've never landed at 1F7 Airpark East so it was on the checklist. Other than not seeing it until nearly too late it was a fun little field to shoot. The runway there is in really nice shape. The taxiways are a little rough, but all in all it's a nice little field. I like! We hop back up in the air to take a look at Rives. The AFD warns that the runway is overgrown with 2-3 foot weeds and grass and that the surface is asphalt in poor condition. I hadn't decided yet if I wanted to commit the 172 to the little airport or not until I turned into their downwind pattern. Looking over the field from pattern altitude there was nothing down there that looked appealing. In fact, if I had an engine out I think I'd take the field beside the strip before I risked the pavement. The entire northern end of the runway is completed overgrown, there are big clumps down the rest of the runway. I decided to take a pass on logging that one in the logbook this morning.

So then where to go next, where to go next.

Well, if I'd just been looking at an overgrown runway, I figured it was time to show Kathy a real NICE grass runway, T48. Jim's field is certainly on the short list of places to visit so we head over there. Overflying the field I noticed that they've put down some runway edge markers with white painted tires. Nice. The field looks good, a bit damp off the north end, not bad, and we won't touch down there in the turnaround anyway, the rest of it looks just fine. Once I got into the left pattern for 13 I called my position and intentions on UNICOM. A voice from the ground comes up on the radio, "You shooting touch and go or coming to visit?" I laugh in the cockpit, that's a first for me, "How about a visit for a while!" I say and work the pattern. Over the trees, full flaps and a decent soft field landing is turned in. I turn around and taxi up to the hanger and shut down as two trucks pull up. Michael Jaffe steps out of his truck to introduce himself just as Sue Phillips is doing the same. We pull up some chairs around the little patio table and spend what has to be the most enjoyable hour or so I've done in a long time talking. Enjoying the sunshine, talking airplanes, watching the deer in the fields walking through with the horses. After a bit a 150 joins the pattern, and Michael tells us it's Darrel, he keeps his plane there in the hanger, so another is added to the party. You couldn't meet a nicer group of folks if you tried.

It just doesn't get any better than this folks.

Sue and Michael both said, several times, to spread the word, T48 is open and more than happy to have folks come do touch and go's, land, visit, what not. Just come out and fly! The picnic tables will be coming back before too long Michael said. They are committed to continuing to make the airport a better place for us to fly into. We definitely need to plan a flyin picnic out there in the spring. You can't ask for a better location and field.

Be warned though, when you announce yourself in the pattern, don't be surprised if someone asks if you are coming to visit, and if you've got the time, then sit a spell. It'll sure cure a lot of what ails you.

We got aboard the 172 and I did my first soft field takeoff in a lot longer than I care to admit and we were up and out of the field with nary a problem. It wasn't long before we were crossing Mesquite, then talking with Executive before spooling into the pattern at GPM. I like the field I fly out of a lot, but T48, is like stepping back to a simpler, more honest time. Put it on your list of places to fly to, at 3344 feet and nice grass, anyone can land there. You'll be glad you did.


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