I still can't believe this summer is basically over. I'd ask where it went, except the answer is glaringly obvious: I spent it working. A LOT. Sure, the money was nice and the constant flying kept me sharp in the air, but I can't count how many days I only had time to eat, sleep, and work. My running dropped off, I didn't fly my plane much at all, and poor Mark probably forgot what I looked like for a while there. Lesson learned...next year I'm going to be a little more careful with my schedule.
Thanks to the FAA, though, I get a time-out of sorts. I'm writing this from sunny, exciting, Oklahoma City! (Well, from Moore, a suburb just to the south.) They sent me out here for a few weeks to take OE/AAA: Obstruction Evaluation/Airport/Airspace Analysis. For someone who hated math in school I'm really enjoying this class. Basically it covers the evaluation and approval process for building a new airport, as well as evaluating proposed structures that people want to build in the vicinity of airports. For a while there the instructor was using me building my own grass runway as an example of how things worked. Those may be the most thorough notes I've ever taken.
Since I'm here for so long I jumped at the chance to stay where I did when I was out here for my initial training. It's definitely one of the nicer apartment complexes on the housing list.
|This is my living room...|
|...and my kitchen.|
I wound up with a two bedroom apartment this time, but since it was the same price I'm not about to complain! Each bedroom has its own attached bathroom, so I sleep in the one further back that stays darker. I would have taken a picture but since I haven't made the bed and have a pile of shoes and clothes in the middle of the floor (hey, I have to do laundry...there is a full sized washer and dryer behind those double doors), you can just imagine what the bedroom might look like. My apartment looks out on the golf course, so it's pretty quiet.
One of the best parts about being out here this time, though, is my rental car! Apparently when you do a short term trip they let you get a rental car, too, and since they were out of tiny crap cars when I got there, I have a brand new Hyundai Elantra. While there is shuttle service to the Academy from the apartment complex, it's the first pickup in the morning and the last drop in the afternoon, so it's nice to be able to zip right home at the end of the day. It's even nicer to be able to go wherever I want on the weekends. I spent this past weekend flying (yes, there will be another blog post very soon, with pictures!) and running, and I'm heading to Arkansas this weekend to run a half marathon on Saturday before returning to fly on Sunday.
Maybe the only bad thing about having a rental car, though, is being exposed firsthand to Oklahoma drivers. I thought my instructor was kidding when he said that you can pick out the out of state drivers by who uses their turn signals, but no, it's true. Nobody uses turn signals (except for us foreigners), so you just have to guess what the other driver might want to do. Also, when they built the highways around here apparently nobody bothered to factor in space to merge from the on ramps, so when you get on a highway you have about 50 feet to completely merge into moving traffic before your lane is gone. I've never seen people actually stop on an on ramp before, but yup, they do that, too. No wonder so many cars have huge dents in them. Being the typical NJ driver that I am, some of these people make me want to tear my hair out, so I've started taking a slightly longer way home so that I only have to merge once (they don't have much of a grasp on merging at any speed).
I'm hoping to get another blog post up sometime in the next few days, and I'll have more pictures and a race report sometime next week, too. I'm out here until next Thursday, so I figure I might as well enjoy the change of scenery while I can! :)