By lex, on February 16th, 2008
Just the one flight today, which might seem like a long walk to a small house, but once again, someone else was paying for my flight time so up I went without reservation. My man was all of 13 years old, Jake y-clept and wide-eyed and eager at the whole of it. There were times during the brief when I wondered if it would all work out, since himself seemed on the verge of losing the plot when the talk turned to the advantages accruing to the combat Varga pilot in a two-circle rate fight over those adhering to the once-circle radius fight, not to mention the finer points of trading off of potential energy in the form of altitude for kinetic energy in the form of airspeed. I hesitated to mention g required for level flight as the sine function of bank angle, but there was nothing else for it.
By lex, on February 13th, 2008
The city of Berkeley has had a busy week or so of it. Today the City Council went on record by a 7-2 vote to say that, no, US Marines aren’t really inherently evil, and yes, they can stick around for a while longer in their stupid recruiting station. They couldn’t quite muster the political will to apologize for ever having thought differently however.
The vote gathered an assortment of the usual Code Pink loons and ANSWER goons, who themselves were opposed by pro-troop activists. Apparently Berkeley High School found the event educational enough to suspend classes long enough to let students, variously, sketch the protests or take part in them.
By lex, on February 9th, 2008
Flew three times today, and it’s amazing what you can get used to after a long, dry spell of looking up at birds wistfully. It was an absolutely perfect day for flying, nary a cloud in the sky and the dome above a crystal blue the like you’d want to drink from, or swim in maybe. Maybe both.
Warm enough by 1000 to toodle up the five in a leather jacket – courtesy of some small hole-in-the-wall in Osan, Korea. It’s a USAF A-2 style, complete with a faux, but authentic-looking blood chit – and lightweight cargo pants. I’ve a mad notion to lay it by in favor of a Vanson Manx – an entirely more suitable jacket for a motorcycle – but it isn’t like they’re giving them away, are they?
No. No they are not.
By lex, on January 20th, 2008
After church today I asked the Hobbit to move her car out of the way the better for to unlimber the motorcycle. I was scheduled to fly this afternoon at Palomar, and while the trip up the 5 is predictably smooth, the return trip south is predictably chaotic, for some reason. You’d think there would be some sort of unified field theory, a “goes inna – goes outa” constraint to limit southbound traffic to a less than or equal to value. But I’m telling you from experience that, for whatever reason? The math is out of balance. Eventually we’re going to flip poles and the south will be on top, what with all that accumulated iron down there.
Just you watch.
By lex, on January 19th, 2008
This morning, as I might have mentioned, was much taken up with the attempt to fashion a perfect spreadsheet to capture several thousand flight hours, landings and instrument approaches. Dreary work up front made filling in the blanks a little less tedious on the back end. But I started at around 0645 this morning and by 1500 – having worked through lunch without realizing it – I was only up to April, 1985.
This is going to take a little while.
By lex, on December 16th, 2007
Yesterday I had set two main tasks before myself: I would complete the chapter outline of my revised thesis proposal and fill in the somewhat astonishingly numerous employment documents sent to me so that I can get paid to fly on weekends. Neither task required much intellectual effort – just putting the time in.
At 0930, while your correspondent was enjoying his second cup of coffee and lounging about in what he likes to consider his Saturday morning slops, the Hobbit peeled an invite off the fridge and reminded him that a shipmate’s retirement would be in 30 minutes – had he forgotten, at all? Was he concerned?
By lex, on November 27th, 2007
It’s funny the things you can forget about the country you sprung from – even when you are reminded from time to time by going back. Little things, but ones that sidle away from you when you’re not looking. Especially when you live in a far off place that – however mild the weather, and however beautiful the beaches – hasn’t sunk the shaft into your heart and will therefore never quite be home. There are things that spring out at you when you come back as if they had been lying in wait, patiently certain that you would return, carrying with them the weight of a hundred associations, the baggage of a thousand memories, real and received.
By lex, on November 20th, 2007
Obviously the military places great store in obeying the orders of properly constituted authority – we can’t very well go around having a council of war at every different level once the whistle blows. But for all things there is a time, and for every rule an exception.
By lex, on November 8th, 2007
Turbojet engines like the one installed in the A-4 Skyhawk series typically run at about 33,000 RPM or so when firewalled – what we call “mil” power, or military rated thrust. They idle at around 61-64% of that speed on deck and a few percentage points higher in flight due to the “ram” effect of high velocity airflow – say 65-67%.