Escape. 

There’s too much bad news on the Internet today. I wish I had the time to go for a flight during my lunch hour but that would irresponsible. Instead, I’m watching a boat go through Lock 20 on the Erie Canal. 

I enjoy our local park. 

   
   

Visitor.

Earl and I went for a ride in the Jeep after supper tonight. Since I work from home, it’s good for me to get out of the house once in a while. We stopped at a bakery for a little dessert but even though the door was unlocked, the bakery was closed. No one was tending to the counter or cash register.

We went elsewhere.

It’s a very common theme in this area, to close up shop early in the evening. Local restaurant owners complain about the chains taking over the area, but they don’t like to stay open as late as customers want them to be. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Or something like that.

When we got home, there was a small bunny rabbit in the yard munching on grass. He or she (I couldn’t tell) was sniffing around for just the right bit of fauna from our lawn. When we got out of the Jeep, he or she jumped just a little bit out of our way. The nose was wriggling, the eyes intent, but food was to be enjoyed under the evergreen tree.

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Lines.

Now before I start this rant, I will say that I realize that today’s American society is driven by fear and chaos. People get some sort of thrill by disorganization and living on the edge of some sort of Armageddon. Citizens are ready for that moment when zombies jump up out of a manhole. That would lead to chaos and chaos gives one an adrenaline jump, or something like that.

Why, in the name of all that is holy, is it now no longer socially acceptable to park between two lines in a parking lot? (If you’re following along from the EU, I’m talking about a Car Park, which sounds better than Parking Lot, especially when you say Parking Lot in the very flat, nasally midwestern accent prevalent in this area).

Back in my day (because I’m old), you might find some bonehead defying the directional arrows painted on the pavement in a parking lot once in a while but rarely did you find a car parked outside of the lines. Reagrdless of how they got there, cars would be lined up relatively neatly. It was orderly. It allowed the parking lot to be used to its fullest potential, as one car per space equaled the ability to park to maximum capacity.

Today, it’s become too common to see a vehicle haphazardly thrown into a space in parking lot. Forget following the painted directional arrows on the pavement, they’re completely ignored. But my god, in any given parking lot in this neck of the woods you’ll probably see 20 to 30 percent of the vehicles just left anywhere. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one is completely damned.

I just parked next to a vehicle that was not between the lines painted on the pavement. I chose to keep the Jeep in between the lines that delineated a space, this resulted in my Jeep being so close to the vehicle next to the passenger side that there was absolutely no possible way for the driver to get into her BMW. If she wanted to enter her car before I left, she’d have to crawl in through the passenger’s side and thread herself over the Corinthian Leather.

Am I dick? I don’t think I am. Well, I am, but it made my point because when I came out of Dunkin’ Donuts, she was assessing the situation.  She glared at me but didn’t say a word when I walked up to the Jeep.  

“I parked between the lines”, I said.

She started to say something but I just got into the Jeep, having the ability to easily swing my door open even though there was a car next to me, I started up and backed out.  I waved in her direction as a left.

She flipped me off.

She’s a dick too.

Here’s the thing. If you can’t park between the lines marking out a space in a parking lot, you’re a self entitled ass that probably has very little in the way of a positive contribution to give to the world. You’re most likely married to a jerk that is cheating on you and it’d be a safe wager that your kids are probably hellions that are going to grow up to be self-entitled, whiny babies that will do drugs at age 10 and join a terrorist organization because they have no coping kills nor any amount of common sense.

Don’t mess with me. I will share license plate numbers from now on.

Mid Century Modern.

As I was wandering around the Internet tonight, I stumbled upon photos of mid-century style homes throughout the United States. When Earl and I move again, and we will when Earl retires in a few years, it is my goal to convince him that we need to purchase a mid-century modern home wherever we decide to move.

This photo of a 60 year old electric stove control panel caught my eye, as Grandma Country had this exact stove in her kitchen. Gramps had built the house in 1959 and the original stove lived there until a kitchen remodel in 1980, when the very attractive (at least to me) late 50s deco was replaced with some colonial style cabinets and linoleum.

As a toddler I was known for turning the stove on when no one was looking because I loved pushing the buttons that were well within my reach.

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I found the photo on this page, which is an article about an immaculate mid-century kitchen recently found in Chicago, completely untouched and intact.

Fat.

While I was in Greenville for work I ran into a former co-worker who now works for the same company that I do. Life works out that way. We shook hands and hugged on the street of the beautiful downtown area and then he commented on the fact that I had gained weight. Apparently it made him do a double-take.

I hadn’t gone on a bike ride since before my surgery during the first week of July; the comment about my weight inspired me to get back on my bike this morning. I enjoyed a nice 13 mile bike ride through the local SUNY campus and around the quiet streets of suburbia. I feel good after my bike ride and I’m planning on finding the stamina to get back into my routine this week. Hopefully my body will cooperate and not go all wonky in my sensitive parts. I’m determined to not have that surgery ever again.

On the road for work this past week I discovered that it’s nearly impossible to eat healthy at most restaurants scattered throughout this fine country of ours. Portions are gigantic and I always give into the temptation to clean my plate. Whenever I watch one of those foolish food competition programs, where the judge eats one spoonful of a gorgeous plate of food, I want to slap the taster right across the face and/or throw a living room lamp. The waste of delicious food, right there in technicolor.

I hate to admit it but the comment about my weight gain stung a bit. I’d like to think that I fit into the growing popularity of the “Dad Bod”, but to label myself in such a way would be silly since I’ve never really been that fit in my life. Yeah, I can put a thousand or so miles on my bike during a riding season, but I’ve never been one to be that muscular; I’d rather throw the aforementioned lamp instead of hurling a Volkswagen or something.

Nevertheless, I’m going to try for the bajillionth time to eat healthy again. The trend should last a day or two until I start reading another article about the acceptance of the Dad Bod.

Rationalization is beautiful.

DL 2013.

I’m pecking this out on my iPhone. I am aboard Delta flight 2013 from Atlanta to Syracuse. Sitting in seat 1A, I’m enjoying the amenities afforded by those upgraded to first class. My vodka cranberry will be arriving shortly. 

I’ve chatted with my aisle mates on both flights today, something that I rarely do on commercial flights. I’ve been working on coming out of my shell and striking up conversation helps. When I get home, I’ll tend to my INTJ nature and spend some alone time to recharge. 

My first aisle mate was a handsome man from Minnesota. He noticed I was traveling with the headset I use as a private pilot and asked if I had my license. He has taken his Private Pilot check ride twice and passed but declined the license both times. He didn’t feel confident enough to have the license. I didn’t say this out loud but that thought never ever crossed my mind. 

My aisle mate on this flight has flown from Iowa to Syracuse via Salt Lake City and Atlanta. He said he was tired and is currently napping. He is very pleasant. 

My next trip to Greenville, S.C. is already booked for next month. I hope Earl can join me for part of it but we shall see if that comes to fruition. 

In the meanwhile, I shall enjoy my first class vodka and cranberry. 

   
 

G’ville.

Greenville, S.C. is quickly becoming my home away from home. Granted, my experience of the area has been limited to the very quaint downtown, but I am impressed by what I have experience.  I’m looking forward to coming back again next month. 

   
 

DL 3374.

I’m on Delta flight 3374 flying from Detroit to Greenville, S.C. This is the final leg of today’s flight. The flight attendant on this Embraer 145 is Cynthia. She is very nice and has made me feel most welcome. I find that many flight attendants in the Delta fleet do their job well. That’s why I tend to stay loyal to the airline.

I’m excited to be back in Greenville to work with the rest of the team this week. There will be a lot of collaboration and productivity this week. I’m ready to immerse myself in work and get stuff done. It’s been a challenge learning what I need to know for my new job, but I believe it is going well and I’m happy with my personal progress.

If the weather cooperates, I’m going to fly with an instructor out of Greenville Downtown airport on Wednesday evening. I’m looking to log some time in a Cessna 172 and this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I’m still trying to decide as to what kind of airplane I think Earl and I should buy, hopefully next spring, and flying the C172 will help me narrow down my choices.

Earl has been traveling since Wednesday and he’ll be back home this evening. I just started my travels today and I won’t be home until late Friday night. We don’t do the “power couple” a thing a lot when it comes to travel, but sometimes it’s necessary and we just do it because it needs to be done. Thank the stars for today’s technology with Skype and FaceTime and the like, it makes being apart that much easier for us. It’s not like being home together, of course, but at least it’s the next best thing to being there.

Accomplishment.

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do as a private pilot is land the Cherokee on a grass strip, just like my grandfather and father did all the time. My path to becoming a pilot was different than the rest of my family members’ in that I learned to fly at a towered airfield with a really long hunk of concrete that we called the runway. My dad and grandfather learned on grass strips that were basically mowed sections of grass alongside a farmer’s field and as best as I can remember, they never talked on the radio. I know neither even had radios in their homebuilt airplanes.

This weekend, the Recreational Aviation Foundation worked in conjunction with their owners of the Boonville Airport, located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, to host the annual pig roast at this small airport. Located about 30 miles from home, this is the airport’s way of reaching out to the community to let folks know what goes on at and around these two strips of mowed grass in the woods. I like community involvement like this.

Lsat year Earl and I drove up and had a lot of fun with our fellow pilots and friends. This year I decided it was time to fly the Cherokee up there and land there myself. Since I had only simulated soft-field take-offs and landings on a hard surface, I asked our friend Russ, who is a flight instructor, to go up with me and shoot some landings and take-offs from the grass strip so I could ramp up my comfort level and get in and out of there safely. Mother Nature decided that she had better plans, and Russ and I scratched three planned flights last week due to weather. On Friday I decided that I was going to break out of my comfort zone and figure it out on my own, sort of the next step in confidence building and playing around with the airplane.

Getting in and out of Boonville Airport on Saturday morning turned out to be an very enjoyable adventure. I brought the airplane down onto the grass strip with ease. Russ encouraged me on the radio a little bit and my fellow pilots from the flight club were alongside the runway watching my first landing on grass. All turned out very well and I felt great. When it was time to go, my short-field take off went equally as well and I decided to go play around with the airplane in the local practice area before heading back to home base, where I had another beautiful landing on the familiar hunk of concrete. It was like a butterfly setting down ever so gently on a hot tin roof.

Every time I fly I discover something new about myself, something new about flying the airplane and something new about flight in general. I never tire of it and I often find myself daydreaming about the next time I can go flying.

I’ve started working on the next step of my piloting career and have started studying for my instrument rating. I hope to be flying in the clouds before the end of 2016.

Life is full of adventure and I intend on not missing a minute of it.

Mall.

  
I am sitting at the mall wondering why I’m here. As you can see by the photograph shown above, there’s not much going on at the local mall. Sears has left the building. Buses keep stopping at the entrance. The only person on said bus is the driver. No one gets on, no one gets off.

Earl is out of town until Sunday. I go out of town on Sunday. We are experiencing what we call “power couple time”, two career minded people passing like airplanes in the night, blinking our lights at one another, making radio calls and blowing kisses in the wind. Things will be back on track next Friday.

I just worked at 12 hour day and because I work at home, I was going stir crazy so I had to get out of the house. I had planned on flying after work today but it was too windy for me to derive any enjoyment from flying and once the wind settled down it was too late because the airport closes at 9:00 p.m. for construction. The construction was slated to be completed in July but now they’re saying September. So they’re closing the airport every night to work on fixing whatever they ripped up earlier in the year. 

Our tax dollars at work.

Next week, during my travels for work, I plan on flying with an instructor in a Cessna 172. Aside from that one time in Kansas City, Mo., I’ve always flown low-wing airplanes, so going up in the high-wing 172 will be a newish experience for me. This is another step in determining the type of airplane I want to purchase for us next spring. I spoke with the instructor today and she seems nice. Since airplanes handle differently, it’s always good to go up with a qualified pilot when flying a new model of airplane for the first time. Most insurance companies require a couple of hours of proficiency flight and when I’m trying something new I always want another pilot with me.  I’m really looking forward to the experience.

It still amazes me that our local Sears store closed and yet our downtrodden, dilapidated Kmart remains open (they’re both opened by the same company). Our Sears was a decent store. I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse. Personally I think Sears could use a sprucing up by adding a little bit of class to their stores, something like this model of store, using the old logo from the 1960s. 

  
  I think it looks kind of sharp.