By lex, on June 20th, 2010
So, not to toast to one’s own and that, but happy father’s day to those in the audience that had the audacity to collaborate in the act of procreation (a trivial task in itself, a labor of love, really) but only to the extent that it enables you to be an actual, you know: father. Which is a great deal more than just making contributions to the gene pool’s complexity.
Card’s there will be, and “what would you like to do’s?”, but I don’t know that I myself can – at this stage of my fatherhood – know whether or not I’ve been worth a damn at it, take things as a whole. Spent an awful lot of time away on the briny back during the formational, so all the good things – and there are many – in my lovely brood I attribute to the Hobbit’s good sense and where there are flaws (however trifling) I tend to hold myself accountable.
We are all re-united today, though four-fifths of us yet slumber. Son Number One has but recently arrived from Pensacola for to share a few days with us and square away his car title from the state of California so that he can become a proper resident of the state of Florida, with all the rights and privileges attendant thereto. Which state can be a bear to separate from and useless to do any business with at a distance, for it’s come ye hither on bended knee, like, to ask for any class of service, be it ever so trivial as placing a car title in the mail. He has gotten his up chit, completed his initial flight screening in the mighty Cessna 172 and, having soloed, is all set next Friday to “class up” for aviation pre-flight indoctrination. This formerly trivial milestone in an aviation career has become more than a little daunting when Navy is +180 student pilots over requirements and looking for reasons real or imagined to trim that figure a’fore the next thousand aspirant aviators from the class of 2010 come galumphing in.
Eldest Daughter has chosen to grace us with her company so recently returned from Portland’s rainy heart, and celebrates our audience by catching up on all the sleep she gave away preparing for finals. She promises to look for paying work this summer, perhaps tomorrow or the day after, and in the interim would $20 be any trouble at all, for the bi-weekly allowance doesn’t go very far when you spend it all at once?
The Kat has but recently completed her sophomore year in high school and is working her way into her first summer of freedom, what with a driver’s license in her pocket and her own set of car keys. If history is any guide, we expect to see little of her during our own waking cycle until the car is nearly out of gas, at which time the weather will turn fair and breezy with a good possibility of smiles. Rinse, repeat.
The perceptive reader will have noted that yesterday was but a slow day for blogging, all of you having actual lives and your host struggling vainly to keep up with you, for it is far quicker to read these lines than they are to craft, and isn’t that a pity? That plus the four flights we were assigned down at the local aerodrome, which is quite a lot of airport time for a warm Saturday in June if anyone asks me, which no one did.
The first flight was a 30-minute learn-to-fly with Richard, a stout Midwesterner come hither with the missus for to visit with their Carlsbad-based progeny. Richard had but recently been graced to witness yet another revolution about the sun, in gratitude for which his young man had gifted him a flight in the mighty Varga Kachina, 1200 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal. Birthday gift or no, Richard took my learn to fly brief with all of the transparent enthusiasm of a man sitting on a corn cob with a case of the piles.
We were assigned the (shorter) left runway for take-off, which I didn’t give much thought until we were nearly half way down the tarmac and yet to reach rotation speed, your host being no lightweight and Richard himself amply prepared to survive at least the first three to four weeks of the famine on his own carefully shepherded resources. I cast a gimlet eye at the RPM gauge to ensure that we were in fact developing full power, and if there had been an afterburner detent I would have selected it, noise complaints or no and to the devil with the burn rate.
We got her airborne at that, and milked our way over to the coast for some turns, speed changes, climbs and descents and a demonstrated power-off stall. Would Richard like to try one?
He would not.
No, not really.
Fair enough, and it was back to the aerodrome for a squeaker and taxiing back I saw the first real smile of the day, yer man was that relieved to be on deck and back in the loving arms of.
The next three bouts were summat of a blur, the faces and names running all into one another. Mike, I remember, was the first man I’ve ever flown with that has blown chunks in the middle of the first bout and – having given me the airplane to fly – asked us to press on to victory. No quit in that young man, and he felt much better on the next two hacks. Jim, I discovered to my dismay on the second dogfight flight, was a La Jolla-based insurance litigator, but I gave neither him nor his estate actionable cause, and he flew the machine with joy in his heart, tipping us a twenty when it was all over and done, so all was forgiven. Adam did the best he could on the fourth flight of they day, but in the end his winsome young lady friend walked away with the honors, and I adjudged him more clever than aerodynamically proficient, for the smile on her face would have brightened the pathways of Torech Ungol.
So at the end of the day it was 3.1 hours of flight time the hard way, and much in need of refreshment I took the rest of my Saturday in leave from you, gentle reader. This day too I expect but a trifling presence in these our communally shared digital demesnes.
Have a great day, and if he’s still kicking give the old man a call and tell him what a great job he did, even if you don’t believe it.
I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.