Sunday, May 20, 2018

Quick Trip in an RV-8

Back in February, I spent an evening airport hopping with my buddy Bob. I wound up taking so many pictures that I figured it should be its own post!

Bob occasionally flies his friend's RV-8. It won an award at Oshkosh a number of years ago, and I always feel lucky when I get to tag along for a flight.

Someday I will hopefully have an airplane with this label inside, too.  :)

The weather that day was absolutely gorgeous; you could see all of the ridges perfectly clear out in the distance. Bob put on some 70's funk music through the intercom, and we cruised off to the south.

Bob had planned a round robin flight that stopped at several airports along the way. First up was Louisa County (LKU). Bob ducked down for a touch and go, then climbed back out and turned to the east.

We flew down around Lake Anna. The air was perfectly smooth, and the sun reflecting off the lake was really pretty.

We eventually looped back up to the north and headed for Orange County (OMH). Aside from the skydiving plane that was climbing out with a sunset load of jumpers, we were the only ones around.

Honestly, everyone else was missing out. The scenery was fantastic. Bob ducked down for another touch and go, then we climbed out and headed north.

We stopped by Culpeper (CJR) for one more touch and go as the sun dipped below the mountains.

It was a pretty sweet sunset, especially from the air.   :)

We eventually finished up the loop and headed back to Warrenton. This was on final to runway 15; Bob definitely has the better view from the front seat. It had been a fun flight...I'm glad I got to tag along!

Friday, May 18, 2018

February Recap

I know...it's been a while. It's been a busy couple of months! I'm going to try to post a bit more often going forward, especially since I've been doing some fun things.   :)

A new set of days off means new people to work the overnight shifts with. One of the controllers in another area had this sweet setup in one of the break rooms so he could 'mitigate fatigue' on his break.

I wound up getting sick AGAIN. I swear, it's like I just can't build up my sick leave beyond a certain point. At least I had some company while I hung out on the couch and burned through my sick leave.

Since the Eagles were in the Superbowl, Mark and I figured we'd actually watch it this year. Mark made us a pizza from scratch...

...and we had some tasty drinks, too.

I finally wasn't sick and the weather finally cooperated, so I was able to sneak out and fly for a bit. This flight put me up over 1500 hours of total flight time, which was a cool milestone to reach. Now, on to the next 1500!

Mark and I have been watching a LOT of the Great British Baking Show, and we decided to start trying some of the recipes. We started with a Victoria Sponge, which was delicious...

...and moved on to creme caramel, which was a bit more work but also delicious. We had to make caramel from scratch, which was neat.


I think they turned out really well, especially considering we'd never made anything like them before!

Giz was starting to slow down quite a bit, and started having problems with stiffness in his legs. The heating pad seemed to help a little.

We got a few nice breaks in the weather; this was the sunset at work one night.

We made sure to take advantage of the stretch of nice weather by spending some time hanging out on the porch. Wembles liked to feel the wind in her fuzz...

...and Bacon and Giz hung out on one of our comfy outside chairs.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend much more time with Giz. He woke up one morning in a lot of pain and we knew it was time to say goodbye. It really sucked. There are just no other words for it. I still have a hard time thinking about it, and honestly, that's a big part of why it's taken me so long to update this.

From happier times a few years ago, hiking up in Shenandoah.

Part of what made it suck even worse is that a couple hours after it all, I had to leave to spend a weekend in southern Virginia for a workshop. I had been really excited about going, but it couldn't have worked out to worse timing and I had a tough time being excited about it by the time I left.

The EAA Sportair Sheet Metal Basics workshop started bright and early the next morning, and I threw myself into I so I wouldn't have to think about how sad I felt. We spent the first couple hours learning some basics in the classroom, then moved into the shop to try out some skills.

We had two projects to complete; the first one involved riveting some pieces of metal to a piece of angle...

...and the second one involved building a mini wing section. It took me right up to the end of the second day, but I finished it!

After I got back, Mark made us another Victoria Sponge. Zach had come with me to the workshop and hung out for a bit after we got back, so the cake didn't last very long with the three of us there.

Toward the end of the month, I finally wound up with a stretch of good weather and was able to do some flying. First up was a cross country flight through the SFRA with some friends.

We stopped at Easton, MD (ESN) for lunch; I had one of the best cheeseburgers I've had in a while.

After flying to lunch with my buddies, I wound up going up for another short flight with another buddy in his C210...

...then got to do a sunset flight with yet another buddy in an RV-8. That was definitely one of the best flying days I've had in a while!

Even better, some of the hyacinths were started to poke their noses out in our front yard. I was looking forward to seeing them all bloom.


I rounded out the month with a short solo flight in the local area. I figured I should take what I could get with the weather!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

January Recap

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything here; I swear, every time I blink another week has passed! I'm going to try to keep this fairly up to date with monthly recaps through the year, and random other posts here and there to fill in the gaps. So for now, here's January (just a little late)!

Happy New Year! I kicked the year off sitting on position at work. The supervisor brought around little plastic glasses of sparkling grape juice, and one of my coworkers yelled a countdown across the ops room. Really, it wasn't a bad way to start the new year.   :)

Mark and I worked the mid that night, went home for a quick nap, packed up the car, and drove up to NJ. More sleep would have been nice, but oh well. We did Christmas stuff with our families and had fun catching up with some friends for a couple days.

We made sure to eat some delicious breakfast at the Liberty Diner...

...and played cards with Granny and Zach.

We stopped at my parents' house for a little bit before heading back to Virginia. Mom is hiding behind stupid poophead Meatloaf.

Mark and I have been watching a lot of the Great British Baking Show lately. It's so refreshing to see a reality TV show where everyone is so happy to be there and there isn't any sabotage or backstabbing! Plus, it doesn't hurt that everything they make looks delicious.

I've been trying to spend some time relaxing with a book in my office once in a while. The wiener doggies like to hang out with me sometimes.

Watching so much of the Great British Baking Show has made us a lot more motivated to try new recipes. Mark wanted a round loaf of bread, so we found a recipe and gave it a try.

It turned out really well, especially when we paired it with some of the fresh eggs my buddy gave us.

We eventually got around to putting away all of our Christmas stuff. As part of that, we took all of the Lego train track we had and built a giant loop before putting the train away. Bacon went nuts and kept trying to eat the train as it zoomed around the track.

It had been a while, but I finally got back in the air with my plane! My buddy Ken came with me, and we flew out to the mountains to enjoy the view for a bit.

Visibility was pretty nice to the south...

...but there was snow in the forecast, and you could see it moving in from the north. (Don't worry, we made it back to the airport well before the weather moved in!)

Mark and I both moved to Mondays and Tuesdays off for this year, and as part of that, we now get to work Friday days shifts. We decided to celebrate by going out to dinner in Culpeper. It was so weird, being out on a Friday night like normal people!

We both had the mid that week, which meant that we both had most of Sunday free, too. We decided to take advantage of that to go out to brunch at Claire's at the Depot. So fancy! (And of course, we've been completely opposite mid schedules since then, so no more delicious brunch for us.)

We had a bit of nice weather, so we put it to good use by hanging out on the porch with the doggies.

We also watched the playoff game with the Eagles. We never watch football, so it was especially crazy to watch them win. Off to the Superbowl!

I finally tried out my hangar microwave and finished off my brunch leftovers while taking a break from playing in my shop...

...then I spent a little time flying with Dave in our friend's C152. Dave has thousands of hours in helicopters and King Airs and flies his own C210, so the C152 was a fun change for him!

He did a few crosswind landings, then decided he'd had enough fun for the day. (In his defense, it was a pretty healthy crosswind.)

I spent a little more time playing in my shop...

...then Mark brought Wembles out for a visit.

We were still watching lots of the Great British Baking Show, which meant we were still feeling pretty adventurous with new recipes. We wound up making pulled pork in the crockpot, and tried out some sweet potato skins with some leftover sweet potatoes we had grown.

We also tried another bread recipe, which turned out pretty good (though maybe could have used a couple extra minutes in the oven). Overall, January was basically delicious and a bit lazy. Not that bad a start to the new year!