Sunday, November 19, 2017

18 Hours Left In The Land Of Squeaky Snow

  We have everything agreed on with the cat sitter who will be living in our home this Winter. I have enough food, meds, and litter for the duration on hand.

  Today is last minute packing and return library books. Our mail is forwarded, Giant trash cans being swapped for one very small can. All I know I have left to do is replace the batteries in all the smoke detectors and thermostat. This is the first year we have encountered anxiety leaving home. We have had that issue leaving the Cabana for years now. Is everything packed, did we forget something etc?

  My camera bag is packed as is my backpack. The backpack being the most important as it has the keys for the Cabana and car in it and our passports and visas. I have emptied and packed it twice since it has caused me problems in the past. All music players and Kindle Paper Whites are downloaded with books and charged. My chargers and cables live in there also.

  The two-degree weather is due to change as a front with warm air and snow arrives today.

  Kitty knows something is up and he hopefully will be happy to stay in his home with a girl he likes. We are going to be away from the Cabana so much this Winter we would have not seen him much at all. This was decided to be the best choice to cause him the least stress.

  Our neighbors had us over for a very nice dinner and last goodbyes. They leave for short trips in the Winter also as they are starting to prefer warm weather. Most of their trips are family visits.

 It is warmer up here than it was in the 1990's as I flew a lot then and today was always 10 to 20 below zero and a lot of work to fly. It is currently 9 degrees outside.

Update: 4 hours until our neighbor drives us to the airport. We got another three inches of snow and the squeak is gone as the temp rose to 16 degrees. I have all cars on a trickle charge now and garage door opener unplugged for the Winter. All smoke alarms have new batteries as well as the programmable thermostat. Our bags are packed and we had pizza for dinner. Just going through lists again and hope we are set to leave. My 15 Gig of high-speed data is now gone and that means no more posts unless I am in a hotel or Mc D. It still lets me add updates to this post, so that is what I will do.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cliff and I had our goodbyes at Air Museum.

A nice Sunset today
I was up early and started shredding more unwanted papers. Last night was dinner with friends and our goodbyes for the season. I took a nap after getting the suitcases out for packing. I awoke to Kathy moving around the room and was awake and dressed when my friend Cliff called to say he would pick me up for an afternoon at the air museum. I started shoveling the driveway as we got three inches of heavy snow this morning. It was 6 degrees when I was shredding and 23 degrees when I was shoveling the driveway. It is 21 degrees at midnight as I type this.
Fairchild 19 will fly again. I never noticed the BD-5 hanging from the ceiling

 Cliff took off work and took me to lunch and then to the museum. It made for a fun day and he enjoyed skipping work also. It was also a goodbye for the season event with him. I will see him again next summer if all goes well for both of us.
Wings fo Fairchild 19 and that red white and blue BD-5 top right

 After he dropped me off at home, I finished shoveling the driveway. I then did the Commissary run and picked up mail and filled the van with Gas and bought a few things at Costco we wanted.
This Fairchild back in its working days

 All vehicles except the old AWD van we are driving are parked for the Winter and have their batteries on trickle charge. I felt the 'oh shit we are leaving' feeling I get before we leave each year tonight. Most chores are done and it should go easy. I have old departure lists and will make a new one from them, just to make sure nothing was forgotten. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Land Loards Nightmare

Gensets produce low voltage DC current to thaw house heater pipes.
  This duplex has a hot water baseboard heating system like we do. For reasons unknown to me, the furnace quit making hot water and hundreds of feet of copper pipe in walls froze. 

 That is a costly event to repair. It is 6 degrees inside and outside the home. The doors and windows are open as it is the same anyway.

  The boiler gets fixed first and then each zone is isolated and a Neg cable on one end of the copper pipe and the Positive on the other and current applied to heat the pipe which melts the water. They then push hot water through the pipe and then connect it back to the boiler and keep it flowing hot water. Then they repeat with each zone and then check for leaks from split pipes etc. 

  They were working on it at 07:00 Hrs this morning and still at it at 10 PM.

Kitty staying home this Winter, hope he calls me if the heat fails

  We have been very lucky so far and had no major furnace failures.

  Lots more Doc appointments completed today and now that is over. Just a few meetings with friends and packing to do.

 We saw a  very funny play on Sunday, 39 Steps. If it is playing at a local event near you I would recommend seeing it. It is a comedy with four actors playing about twenty parts in quick order. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Call From an Old Coworker

Boeing 727 internet pic
  I got a call today from an old coworker who has now moved up on the power ladder. Do you still miss the cockpit? " Yes." Are you now bored with retirement and ready for adventure again? " Er No!." It has now been ten years since I worked in this office. After saying no to a temp desk job until a seat opened again, I went back into electronics which paid a lot more, yet was not as much fun.  I then retired for the 2nd time from an electronics job.

 It was good to hear from him and hear about the old gang. They are still complaining about pay and work conditions, same as when I worked there. He wanted to know what I did to occupy my time, after which he said I was not living the same life as the other retired pilots he knew. I retired early after my wife retired early also. He wished me well and says call him in Spring for a ride in his Super Cub.

 I may not live long enough to enjoy Winter after all the free meals provided for vets and my food choices there. Thanks, Applebees. Thanks, Texas Roadhouse. Thanks, Golden Corral. It was very nice that they provided good meals and made their times different at least for gluttons like me.
Alto Clef has been on my mind this week

 Near zero at night and teens in afternoon. The streets are icy and slick. It feels like Winter now. We have six more days of it.

 Today we had the first monkey wrench thrown into our vacation plans. La Quinta cancelled our Miami reservations before and after our flight to South America. Hurricane damage caused then to close and rebuild. So we spent the day setting up new reservations with car storage. That was stress we didn't need. We are spending a lot more but basically have same reservations at Holiday Inn. 

 Kinda odd that I do not have a burning desire to leave for the Winter this year. I was even looking at new snow blowers at Home Depot! Perhaps 6 tropical Winters can cure Winter burnout.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day!

 To all who served in the US military. Happy Veterans Day!

 This is also Armistice Day which marked the end of WWI. The War To End All Wars.

 This also the date  I chose to retire from the workforce in 2011. I last worked for pay 11 am November 11, 2011.

 Thanks to all who served.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

12 days until we are in Florida

Today just after 12:15 PM 

 Sad news for me today. The company I had planned to fly with in Florida cancelled my appointment.  I do not fit into their training program. I was and am disappointed, but on the good side. I do not have to give up beer to lose 8 pounds for the lesson. 

 Otherwise still getting the house ready to leave and reading etc. Kathy has Doc appointment early tomorrow and I have one the next day. Pneumonia shots for both of us also. Then a concert La Santa Cecilia on Friday. Time is zipping by now. There are only twelve days left before we are in Florida. That is good, as it is forecast to hit 5 degrees tonight with clear skies.

 Just wondering....Why did my last post only get 21 views over 4 days? Every post seems to get 70 views in 24 hours except that one. Bad title? Bad subject? Just wondering.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Las Vegas acro flight video

  This is the link to the video taken of my flight in this Extra 330 aerobatic aeroplane. It was an Afterburner ride and costs $ 529 total. They have many different types and lengths of rides available.

 I totally enjoyed this ride and it was just what I wanted from them. They picked us up at the Luxor and returned us after the ride. If you are a coaster fan or just love acro like me, this is the ride to take.
They operate out of Las Vegas, San Diego, and Lake Tahoe. This may become a yearly event for me if I am lucky.

Enjoy the video.

Update Sunday 9 AM: The fog is gone!!!! Now have low clouds and 3" of snow that came in the night. Everything is white for now and it looks pretty. Last night we enjoyed a great concert featuring Storm Large a very talented woman and her excellent band. She had a mind blowing performance. Kathy and both thought it was fantastic. You can hear her on youtube. Otherwise all quiet on the Northern Front.

Update Sunday 5 PM: 70 accidents due to new snow. 29 cars off road / stuck. Shoveled our driveway and put trash cans out. It looks very nice outside, everything is white.

Update Tuesday 1 AM: Still have 54 Kbps internet and can't make a real post. Today was 31 degrees clear and streets slippery as were parking lots.

Sun at 1 PM getting low on the horizon
 I did the errands today as we had not been out of the house since the concert Saturday. Storm Large is great. you can hear her and the band Pink Martini at this site.

Clearing sidewalks on base
  I picked up mail, taxes due on Cabana $ 1404.04 for 2017. That includes trash and recycling charges. Then headed over to Costco for Gas $ 1.83  and then a few groceries and headed home. That took a while as people have not learned to drive on ice yet. Spinning tires and going nowhere except into other lanes. No accidents seen, just slow.

  We are down to 13 days until we fly South. Shredding papers like a politician has been the activity lately. Transfering pics etc to travel Hard drive also to have them in Florida.

 Our free 'Obama Phone' shut off today and wants more money to operate. I contacted Verizon to raise my blood pressure and find best phone option for our four-nation trip at the end of this month. They suggested we buy the international plan for ' Obama Phone' before we fly out of the country. It will cost $ 40 and only give us 120 minutes and 250 Mb data and unlimited incoming texts. That is way better than the charges if we took our post-pay phones with us. It will only be used in an emergency anyway.

Friday, November 3, 2017

More Las Vegas pics

  Still Foggy and below freezing up here. Even the news guys are tired of the fog that just keeps staying. It is starting to seem like a horror movie scene. So once again I will post some cell phone pics of things seen in Vegas. 

Luxor Buffet room

    Today we got an email to come back to Las Vegas and stay for $ 28 a night at the Luxor and get gambling credits to boot. Our schedule is just too packed for that but it is tempting. 

  The hotels Mandalay Bay-Luxor-Excalibur are connected by hallways lined with stores, bars, and places to eat. Others have monorails or walkways to get between hotels.

Yes the buildings are leaning, kinda mind blowing

Just one of many amazing things from the past to see at the Mob Museum

 There are a lot of good shows to see on a week visit and a lot of good food to eat. Just seeing all the great buildings is fun. That is why we can enjoy a trip there even though we are not gamblers.

 The Titanic exhibit is a must see. They have a giant piece of the ship and you can see all the rivets required to hold it together. There are hundreds of dishes, passports, electric parts, water plumbing and more. I am amazed how some things survived like new and others just rusted or rotted away. A big cooking pot made of an alloy is just missing one of the metals, that is cool to see. There is a modern recreation of the grand staircase and crystal ceiling above it, very nice. They do not allow pictures, bummer.

 A few more pics of this fine car. 

Friday at 2 PM and it is still foggy and 32 degrees.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dense Fog Icy Streets Very Slick

Extra 330 unlimited aerobatic aeroplane
 It has turned cold and the dense fog came the night before Halloween and has stayed. It has made parking lots and sidewalks dangerous to walk on. Many cars have had boo boos also.   Kathy had to be at Doc appointment at 07:45 and I drove her. Thankfully we have good tires and all-wheel drive. After snow comes again it should be back to normal but for now, it is a hassle. 

Extra 330. all planes at SCA Sky Combat Ace
   I downloaded the pics from my phone and so you are seeing Las Vegas instead of fog. Nothing going on around here except making arrangements for the cat sitter to live in our home and care for Mr Kitty while we are away this Winter. 

PA-32 300 Like I once had

It will be the first time we left him behind and it is for his own good. He is a nervous traveller and it takes him time to adjust to each house and this year he would be left alone way too much. He is a social lap cat and not fond of humans being gone. He also likes the cat sitter a lot.

8 KCAB Decathlon aerobatic aeroplane like I took lessons in  

 Reading Sleeping Beauties by SK now. It would make a good miniseries or long scary movie. 

Motown Review was great to hear. pic was taken from the last row of cheap seats

  Home cooked meals and smaller portions, H2o replacing beer, to get my weight back down to 220 Lbs. I was 228 Lbs dressed to fly yesterday, I hope to reach this before January. I am scheduled to ride in a smaller Extra 300 in February and they have a firm weight limit of 220 Lbs. Good motivation for me.
Luxor Hotel

 November is racing by as I have much to do and only 18 nights till we fly away.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Back Home Again

  Back home and all snow is gone, We only have memories, pics, extra weight, and charges on Visa card to remind us of a great week. The pic above shows the street atmosphere. I do wish I had taken a pic of her rear in that thong, it was delightful. These girls and many other people will pose with you for a few bucks, kinda reminds me of a third world nation.

 Total cost of trip $ 2208.00
 Five nights in Luxor Pyramid, three shows, three museums, Shark Tank, SCA Extra 330 flight, Spa for Kathy, food, shopping, gambling, Ubers, and the flight there and back. Quite a fun time she planned.

 We ran errands yesterday and Kitty is doing OK. It is 42 degrees and overcast now at 8 AM. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cirque Du Soleil ' O '

We had a busy fun day. A spa for Kathy and playing dollar slots for me. Then a fine lunch and 3 mile walk to Atomic Museum. It was educational to see and we both enjoyed it. Then we rode Uber back to the Luxor Hotel. This is the first trip we have ever used the service. It started when we discovered it was nine pm at the Mob Museum! No taxis to be seen. I downloaded the app and a car was en route to pick us up. We have used it several times since.

 The main event today was attending O. Kathy got us front row center stage seats. We did get a bit wet but not soaked. It is a must see show and I do not know how they live through some of the acrobatics they perform.

 The stage is a giant pool of water with an open grate floor that lifts up to any level even above the water. Many separate grates make up the stage and they each can be at a different level. It allows for some amazing things to happen.

  Then a tram over to the Aria Hotel for a fantastic dinner buffet and Uber back to Luxor. We have one more show then Uber to the airport.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Las Vegas still fun to visit

 We had a good trip down an got a nice room. The $30 price has a $30 resort fee and the tax. It is still a good room for $78 a night.

 We enjoyed the Motown review musical, the mobster museum, the Titanic museum, and magician Chriss Angel.

 I flew with the same aerobatic instructor as I did in San Diego, fantastic ride! The ride was every which way but loose, a tight -6.5 G outside loop, 110 mph level snap rolls, tumbles, hanging on the prop, tail slides, lomcevaks, shoulder turns, and inverted flat spin for many turns. I got hit by the joystick and rudder peddles several times as a lot of fast control input is used to perform his act. Afterwards, he was very happy to have been able to show someone his routine. It was not a ride for anyone who does not fly a lot of acrobatics. The G meter recorded + 4.5G and - 6.9G for the flight. I thanked the owner for starting and keeping his company for people like me.

 I have been enjoying the buffet and their free beer.

 Still more to do.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Visit to Air Museum Again

 Today was another chilly sunny one. I went back to the air museum and took my Nikon to get the rest of the planes. Then post office and library to return movies. I met a nice worker there that explained a lot about the planes they had. He followed me around the museum so I will have to go back again to get the pics I want. He was very helpful explaining things, but I did not get all my pics. Nice I can go back whenever for that or just curiosity.

Denali from Anchorage 90 miles away

The big red plane was largest single wing single engine plane built. It was also first to have a restroom. 
Blue plane is smaller Grumman Widgeon 
Orange plane is a G-21 Grumman Goose
Green plane is Helio Courier STOL
UC-64 Norseman was a very useful bush plane