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 buffets.

 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

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Chilly Two Mile Walk

  Today was golden for local auto body shops. Each Winter the first few light snow / black ice conditions sends cars a flying into each other and then off road. Early morning commuters had a long wait at best or were off in a ditch themselves.

Our 2 PM drive to take a walk was still a bit icy
   We had slept in today and Kathy wanted to take a cardio walk in nature, so with winter coats, hat and gloves we drove to the lake to walk. It was a fast-paced two miles.

The white in the water is ice
  I did notice something interesting in the sky on the walk. A twin engine airliner made a u-turn in the sky above FL300. Then two F-22 fighters tore after it. Nothing on the news tonight, so it must have been a military exercise, fun to watch and hear though.

  Now for a few more museum pics....

  This is the first plane you see inside the museum.

This is the Travel Air 6000 B I had been looking for. It is now green instead of black and up in the air with fat tires.

  I will go back there this week and take a few more pics and find out what this plane is.

This is why I did not enjoy the museum, too many planes in too little space.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Alaska Aviation Museum


  Today was another 21-32 degree day and I was at the air museum when it opened. I had not been there since the early 1990s. It has improved, but they need a larger hanger to display the fine 1920-1930s aircraft. Most are or could be airworthy.

1928 Stearman C2B
  The weather forecast is for more of the same until Sunday. The Sunny clear skies have been nice.

  This museum is about aircraft and people who flew in Alaska.

Pilots still die way too often up here

OX 6 engine from 1910s Very reliable for the time & thousands made for J4 Jenny trainers, sold cheap after the war . That is how barnstorming came to be.

85 HP Franklin on left, unknown center, Continental 85 on right 

Stinson L1F military observation airplane

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A clear and Chilly Day

Mt Denali from Anchorage on a clear chilly day
  Today was the last of many health appointments and we are good until November when we have two more. It was a blood draw today and Docs will discuss results with us then.

Anchorage is pretty on a clear day
  My friend Cliff will not be taking me flying this year. I thought we were going up this weekend but he got the rest of the parts he needed and started taking his engine off. I called early this morning and got sad for me news. He says I will enjoy flights next year in his hot rod plane. He is replacing a 145 HP engine with a 200 HP engine. It is a spendy fix and I hope he is happy with it.

  After ten years without my own airplane, I am starting to miss it. I might have another if we settle down somewhere with mountains and valleys to explore. Helicopters are far more fun to fly but beyond my means to own.

    I still have a few things to do before the snow comes. They should be done this week before our Vegas trip. After we get back it will be getting packed and doing the last efforts before leaving for the winter. I think we have another concert and another show or two.

Enjoyed a Hawaiian Folk Slack Key Performance

Keola Beamer & Henry Kapono
  It has turned chilly around here and I actually put on a light jacket today. I normally live in flannel shirts until a heavy coat is needed. Last night we went to this great and funny show. They travel a lot and if you like slack key guitar playing these guys are good. My pic is lousy but taken quickly with a phone. 

  I spent a few hours conversing with my friend Pete about carrier telecom and how it had changed from his start in Tropo to my finish in terra bit fiber optics and all the steps in between. Kinda amazing how some systems lasted decades and some were gone before they started. Just good fun at his dining room table. He has been retired 24 years and takes long walks daily and is very healthy and happy.

  I got my 22 cal bore snake delivered today and if I do not go shooting next week it will be time to clean my plinker good for the year. A bore snake is a handy tool for cleaning a barrel.

We had pretty good seats for the show
  In a week we will be in Las Vegas for five nights and hopefully, it will feel like the same safe entertainment place we know it to be. Time is speeding up for me now as summer comes to an end.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Flu Shots Today

  Today was return books to the library and both of us got a flu shot. I have the plant pots put away as well as the mower and the water hose. It is getting the time of year when snow may come any day and then it is too late. The temps have been staying high this Fall but nature marches on. 
Meds have vastly improved life in the last 100 years

  Not a lot been going on. Doctor appointments, a few dinners out and otherwise home reading or watching movies. I did mow the lawn and started getting the garage for Winter mode. Two vans inside and all Summer tools put away. 

This display at liquor store seems a bit ominous 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

What We Did In Our Six Years Not Working

    Fall beauty has gone yet we still have nice temps. Those heavy rains and 40 mph winds cleaned most trees this week. These pics taken before the two storms.

  Have not been up to much this week, many rainy days do that to me.

 We have not worked at a job since 2011. We retired a few months apart due to me wanting to finish a project at work. A new company had bought the great company I worked for and things were going downhill anyway. They kept me on call for tech support until last January and that was nice for me to back out of work slowly, I am thankful for that. Going full bore to Lazyboy would have been hard.

 Since I have always run my life on a government year, I chose 1 October to be our official retirement date. My jokester old boss confirmed I quit working on 1 October and played until 11-11-11 Armistice Day to retire anyway. My wife retired in September and has never looked back. Being in education she was more used to Summers off and changing schools etc.

 Year one was a flight to our Cabana on the day after I retired and that helped with the transition a lot also. The first year was about visiting family and exploring the North East coast. Then several weeks in Tucson with day trips to places bloggers rave about. We enjoyed it a lot. Summer was sealife viewing boat trips, hikes, explore Alaska and starting to master the fun little Robinson R-22 helicopter. The week of the 4th of July was spent in Denver area.

 Year two was fly to Boston to pick up our car we left there and explore Maine and Canada coastlines and explore Nova Scotia and enjoy the Celtic Music Festival, then chase the leaves back to Florida. That was mega fun and I would like to do it again. Once again we spent three weeks in Tucson and surrounding area. I love the desert.

 This was the Winter I had a Gout issue and then pneumonia and suspected it was the end of me. Then Kathy found a specialist who got me the help I needed. Then PT then whipped me back into shape, I still do the exercises twice a week to this day. The Summer was basically the same except I mastered that silly R-22 and it is so nice to be at one with a machine. I find Alaska a nice place to spend a Summer. The week of the 4th of July was spent in Denver area. Our old home is big for two people and a kitty and that is nice.

 Year three was Disney a lot and Tucson twice. Then a Gate 1 Travel trip to Peru to see the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca and other old ruins. The stonework at those places is amazing. It was a great trip that we may do again someday. Summer in Alaska with our 4th of July in Denver Colorado area.

 Year four was a fun trip in our old 1994 Winnebago Adventurer. We started in Tucson and then Coronado California and then all the way up to Northern California. After heading South with plans to finish in Tucson, we met a couple that was going to give up their military storage site. I went with them and found like I already knew, no sites available and first come first serve. The man said he would give up his site if I could have it. It would meet the first come first served requirement. So after some hoops were jumped we had a spot to store our camper near the beach on base. We use it once or twice a year since then to stay on the beach. It is in the desert and 14 miles from the beach with a 35 mph base speed limit, propane, commissary, PX, Class VI booze store and fuel en route to the beach. Hope it runs a few more years as it makes a nice beach tiki shack for us. Summer about the same with helicopter flights and boat tours and hikes. The week of the 4th of July was spent in Denver area.

 Year five was Disney pass and lots of visits and a Gate 1 Travel trip to the Gallipolis which was fantastic and I would do again if possible. Then a flight in a T-6 Texan airplane to prove I could fly and then a flight in a TF-51D which surpassed a childhood dream. Taxi, takeoff, formation flying and then stalls and slow flight before running through the acrobatics and return to land nice in a 15 Knot crosswind and taxi back to park. That made my life goal. Then more Disney and shows and Time in Oceanside on the beach and back to Florida to get ready to fly home. Back in Alaska a ten night trip to Hawaii which was great! Then helicopter rides and the 4th of July in Steamboat Springs Colorado, we had a great time with nephew Dave.  That was a Summer of a lot of physical exercises and a lot of hikes. That August I had a (widow maker heart attack) and was lucky to be at the right time and place and the stars aligned and I am still here. Mucho physical therapy got me back stronger and more fit than I had been in years. Kathy helped me a lot.

 Year six was Halloween Horror at Universal Studios with nephew Dave. Then we flew to MOAB Utah to spent three weeks exploring the parks and mines with 4 X 4 master driver Dave. My PT really had me in shape to out hike both of them. It is a beautiful country out there. Back at the Cabana three trips to Disney each week to walk my buns off to get and keep myself in shape. Thanksgiving with family in Tampa, then after Christmas off to the Camper in California for a three-week stay and an unlimited aerobatic aeroplane ride for me. SCA is awesome. Then a simple life back at the Cabana with 3 helicopter rides before we flew back to Alaska. Again we spent ten nights in Hawaii until it warmed up a bit in Alaska. We stayed on a low budget here with trips to Fairbanks and Seward and lots of chilling at home. Then my big trip to see the Total Eclipse of the Sun in Rexburg Idaho, a mind-bending experience one must see in their life. I had a most awesome aerobatic ride with an airshow pilot and experienced things I never knew a T-6 could do. Then another trip to Fairbanks and Denali Park and two more trips to Seward on Sunny days. I hiked above the treeline this summer which I had not done since I was in my 30's. It was a goal I set last summer. This has been a very rainy summer and I have spent a lot of time indoors reading, surfing the net and watching movies. It is also the first year I did not get a plane ride with Cliff, but he did get my van transmission rebuilt. 

 So that is what we did in our first six years, hope we get another six just as fun and without any health issues this time. We managed to stay within our budget most years and this has been a lot of fun. Our spending for the 72 months comes to $ 5562 a month. (total spent divided by 72) Kathy made most of this possible with her travel agent mind and coupon / Groupon ways and trips on the shoulder season when it is half price and not crowded. I am a lucky Guy indeed. Our common goal to not have any house payments or car payments also made this possible.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Verizon Data Speeds Tested

Charley Brown was right, they are rushing Christmas

  I noticed my New Unlimited Data plan which they claim is restricted to 600Kbps is really 54Kbps or the same as the very old dial-up service. So I complained via chat. Not sure it will do any good.

  So I used my 3rd phone which has or had 2 Gig of high-speed data on it.  I get a download speed of 7.92 Mbps or what you would expect from an internet provider in this age. 

  Been a windy night and morning here. Got the trash out and emptied many plant baskets that had froze and stored them in the shed. Glad I did not waste time raking the yard again as we have many more leaves now.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Starting Year Seven of Not Working For A Living

Largest Crane In Alaska
  We finished year six with a six-mile fast walk at Eklutna Lake. It was breezy and 51 degrees and sunny. Fantastic weather for a cardio walk along the now full lake.  Then drove home and had dinner and watched SNL and called it a good day.

  This crane has been in the news a bit and has been used to lift a full-size excavator up and over to an old dam the native corp wanted to tear down. The excavator had a jackhammer instead of a bucket. When this is transported only one track fits on a giant truck and that should give an idea of the size. They completely disassemble it to relocate.

These hydraulic cylinders are holding up the extra weights  

 Sunday is forecast to be sunny and cool also, so yard work is planned. I will see how much I get done before the week of rain comes. 

 Car thefts have been the big crime in the news this week. Guys are hitting car dealers and stealing those expensive keys and stealing a few nice cars also. Appears to be an odd crime to me.
Update 10-8-17: Police say a house was rented in Eagle River and converted to a chop shop where cars were stripped of high dollar items to be sold. Many of the stolen cars found in pieces there.

Liebherr LR 1600/2 $ 3.125 Millon Lifts 660 Tons

  I watched a horror movie on DVD from the local library last night. It is called GET OUT and reviewed as terrifying. I laughed my buns off and thought it was a comedy. It is written and directed by Jordan Peele. If you want to see a funny mystery watch it. Too much for local Police and beyond FBI ability, not to worry TSA is on the case.

  Now for a few lake pics, for those not into machines.

A sunny day brings out a lot of people and dogs
  Today started with the farmers market for me and a volunteer job for Kathy. So now were are stocked for a week on good things to eat.

  I will make a post soon listing all the things we did in our first 6 years. Not every meal and poopie, but places we went and things we did.