Category Archives: Paul

Wings Over Camarillo – Panorama Two

If you get there right after the gates open you can stake out your claim to a spot right up on the flight line.

Of course, what most people don’t realize is that some of those planes in front of you might have to get in back of you after flying some time during the day, and some of the planes in back of you might have to get out in front of you to go fly some time during the day. We work hard to set things up so that’s kept to a minimum, but when it happens, you’ve got to get out of the way.

But it’s a great set to have if you can hold onto it all day!

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Filed under Airshows, CAF, Paul, Photography

Staring Into The Fridge

After a couple of weeks of 10+ hour days at work, this weekend at the airshow, while a lot of fun that I’m looking forward to, will also be 12+ hour days. And with the reality-show related event going into overdrive on Monday at work, it looks like just one long, long day after another for at least a couple of weeks.

So you may have days in there when the best I have the energy to post here will be a handful of pictures from the WordPress phone app just as “proof of life.”

How run down and tired am I?

Tonight I caught myself after probably a full minute or more with the door to the refrigerator hanging open as I leaned on and stared in. It was dinner time, that was fine. the problem is that I had come into the kitchen because I had just zapped some leftovers in the microwave, which is next to the refrigerator.

I could have stared in that fridge all night long – the hot food was still going to be in the microwave.

Oh.

Yeah.

See you at the airshow, probably way too damn early tomorrow.

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Filed under Airshows, Paul

Shedding Load

Even though I don’t have an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) certification on my pilot’s license (in other words, I haven’t been trained to fly by instruments alone in clouds and lousy weather, so it’s Visible Flight Rules and relatively clear skies only for me right now), I do enjoy subscribing to an online series by PilotWorkshops.com that gives IFR scenarios and asks you to think through how you would handle them.

The current one talks about someone flying IFR when the alternator dies and they’re on batteries, which won’t last long enough to get to where they need to go. The need to start shutting down systems and instruments (“shedding load”) in order to stretch the batteries as far as they can go, while not turning off anything that they absolutely need.

If you’ve ever seen the excellent “Apollo 13” movie from Ron Howard, you might recognize a similar issue there. The fuel cells exploded, so the CM (Command Module) was shut down while they lived off of the LM (Lunar Module) systems. But the LM doesn’t have a heat shield and can’t survive re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Only the CM could do that. But its batteries were so drained and limited that turning systems on just before re-entry would overload them and shut everything down, leaving the crew to die in an out of control re-entry. The backup crews on the ground had to find just the perfect sequence of systems to turn on that would let them function without tripping the system into overload.

I know the feeling. It seems it’s been month after month after month at work where it’s been one crisis after another, and now we have a new project coming at us like a freight train. (You can see a bit about it here.) It should be great for the organization, but we’re trying to do months worth of work in just a couple of weeks, and it’s exhausting.

Add in the fact that my work at the CAF SoCal hangar has been “exciting” all year. THEN add in the fact that this weekend is our annual airshow at Camarillo, so I’ll be putting in a lot of hours all weekend.

And on Monday, after that long (but hopefully fun!) weekend, the work event goes into overdrive, ramping up to a week where I’ll pretty much be working 12+ hour shifts every day for about seven to nine days.

So…

I’m looking to do some load shedding.

What am I doing that’s expendable, or can be delayed or put onto a back burner?

And when I’ve done that and I’m still like the Apollo 13 simulations where I’m tripping the system into overload on every try, what is there that can still be done away with? And then, what next that I was sure I absolutely can’t do without but maybe need to reconsider and be viscous about prioritizing?

It’s not a matter of cutting fat but sparing bone – it’s more like, “How much bone can we truly afford to lose? And can we actually afford to lose 10% more than that? 20%?”

Damn, that Labor Day weekend’s looking pretty nice right now! But the only way out is through.

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Filed under CAF, Homes4Families, Paul

Another Straw

One thing about last night’s ISS photos is that the field of view is a bit narrower than normal. I was using the generic 18-55mm zoom lens that came with the Canon Rebel XT when I got it in 2005, but I wasn’t using it pulled back to the 18mm setting to get the widest field of view. It was set zoomed in just a bit, at 24mm.

That’s not a preference – that’s a workaround to a lens that’s suddenly getting glitchy. I first noticed it about three weeks ago when we were up in Ventura and the camera kept jamming. I realized that it would only jam when the lens was set to the widest zoom. When zoomed in all the way, it was fine. I played with it a bit and found that there was a point where it would work if zoomed out more. So I’ve been using the lens in that somewhat limited way ever since.

Yesterday I was troubleshooting. I have multiple camera bodies, so it’s easy to tell if it’s the lens or the camera that was going bad.

Same lens, different camera bodies, same problem when used the same way. Seems that it’s the lens.

One more pain in the ass annoyance to deal with.

It’s not much compared to what you see in the evening news. (Assuming you can still stomach the evening news.) It’s a little bit of “first world problems.” (Okay, it’s a whole huge chunk, not a little bit.) If this should be the worst thing that happens this week (it already isn’t, not by a big stretch) I should be grateful. And worst case, the lens dies and has to be replaced, well, I got almost 14 years of heavy use out of it, literally tens of thousands of pictures.

And yet…

Another straw that this camel could live without.

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Filed under Paul, Photography

Lesson Learned – August 04th

A two-day beard on a guy in a Hallmark movie means he’s hunky and sexy and probably the studmuffin de jour. It doesn’t matter if he’s the stick-up-his-ass city guy who’s going to get dumped, the old high school flame, or the small town single dad with a heart of gold who he’s going to be replaced with. Hunky. Sexy. Studmuffin.

A two-day beard on a sixties-something, slightly pudgy guy who just wants to relax a bit for the weekend does not equal “hunky.” Or “sexy.” Or “studmuffin.”

No – think “homeless.” Or “alcoholic.”

Or both.

No, there will not be pictures. A man’s got to know his limitations.

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No Context For You – August 01st

I leave myself reminders – then the weight of the world drags my head down to where I can’t even look up to see them.

The chains holding me down are no less strong or real for being non-physical. I have to remember that I can fly, both physically and emotionally, but it’s difficult when there seem to be so many things holding me down, pressing me into the earth and rooting me there like an maple tree.

But the maple releases its seeds as little whirligigs, spinning away on the breezes. Tomorrow I’ll try to remember that.

More whirli needed, perhaps less gig.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul, Photography

There Are Two Knobs

Speaking of adventures in driving, I’ve recently been routinely driving the Volvo for various reasons. It’s a nice car, but the dashboard layout is a bit unfamiliar to me still.

In particular, there are two big knobs in the center console, one above the other. One controls the fan for the heat and air conditioning, the other the volume for the sound system. There have been several instances (including again this evening) when I reach over without double checking. It’s been really hot, the car’s been sitting in the sun, and it’s important that I get the A/C kicked up to MAX AIRFLOW instantly if not sooner.

Guess what happens if I’m not careful?

Fortunately it was a good song. (“Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo.)

The ringing in my ears should go away in a day or two!

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Filed under Music, Paul