Saturday, May 3, 2008

In which I ramble about things that I've been meaning to blog about

So, it's been like 37/58ths of forever since I've updated this blog (actually, based on the fact that I just watched episode 4 of this season of BSG, or ep 7 if you count Razor as the first two episodes, and the last time I blogged was right after I watched the season opener, or episode 3 depending on which numbering system you're using, it's been about a month), I thought I would post something.  I should really be in bed right now, and I'm not entirely certain why I'm typing and not sleeping, but oh well.  If this rambles, you've been warned.

Right now, I'm about a quarter of an inch away from collapse.  It's been a long day at the end of a long week at the end of a busy couple of weeks.  Today was mission trip fundraiser garage sale day.  I was up at church from about 6:45am* until about 5.  After that, aside from doing laundry, showering and eating, I mowed the lawn and ran a couple of errands.  So, yeah, I'm beat.  But the sale went well, despite the chilly weather in the morning.  Don't know full numbers, but over $3500.  And, based on the stuff that we had and what sold and when and at what percentage of the price at which it was marked, is a pretty good number.  It's more than I was expecting.  I think we'll be down a bit from last year, but we made a good bit of money and it will significantly help a lot of us with our fundraising for the mission trips.  I worked 20 hours over the course of this week.  I don't know what that will translate into in terms of dollars, but it will be significant.  Going into the sale, about 40% of the cost of my trip had been raised.  After today, that number will be higher.  Whoo-hoo!  And I managed to spend only $12 and came home with significantly less stuff than I took, which is always the goal.

Other interesting stuff this week:  I went to see The Music Man up at Temple Christian school last night.  Ian, one of my kids, is in it playing a character who's name I can't remember right now but might be Marcellas (I think that's at least close.  He's the ex-con man who lives in River City before Prof. Hill shows up).  It was a good show and I always enjoy the chance to see my kids in stuff like that.

I got to have dinner with Mike, Bobby and Naomi and the Zinks; friends from school and church on Thursday evening.  The affiliations overlap in some weird ways, but it all works out and, as always, it was a very enjoyable evening.  Plus, it's hard to go wrong at Mellow Mushroom pizza.

Wednesday morning I got to fly a real airplane with wings and a propeller and everything.  This was a part of a class that I was taking at work.  The course if taught by the US Navy Test Pilot School out of Pax River, Maryland.  They've brought the instructors down to Fort Worth a number of times which has allowed more Lockheed engineers to go through it.  It's an introduction to aircraft handling qualities with an emphasis on how the different aircraft modes of motion (you know, things like the Dutch Roll and Phugoid modes**) are tested and evaluated during flight test.  The first week of the course was academics and a bit of time in the simulator.  The second week allowed each student to plan a flight, go through a brief, fly the flight with the instructor pilot, write a daily report and have that report critiqued.  The flight, of course, was the highlight of the whole experience.  It was about 90 minutes long and took place in a Bonanza 33C aircraft which is a four seat, propeller driven aircraft that is acrobatic rated.  We didn't fly any acrobatic maneuvers.  That just provided an extra margin of safety in case any of the students got a little aggressive on the controls.  With the exception of take-off and landing, each student flew the plan for a majority of the flight.  This was my first time to ever have the controls of an aircraft and I will say that it was pretty cool.  I still have no desire to obtain a private pilot's license (which makes my mom happy), but I can easily see why others do.  I also reinforced the fact that I just don't pull g's well.  Women are supposed to be able to, on average, pull more g's than men.  I don't quite understand why, probably due to having stronger lower body muscles overall.  But, that doesn't hold true for me.  We hit 2.25g on a pull-up and I decided I had enough.  I wanted to make sure my breakfast stayed where it was and that I was able to enjoy the rest of the flight.  I also had a bit of trouble with the landing.  It was a very windy day and between the natural tendencies of the aircraft, the extra movement due to the winds and the fact that it was pretty warm, I was very, very happy when we got on the ground.  I managed not to revisit my oatmeal, but it was touchy for a bit there.  And, overall, it was a very cool experience.

And, if I have any hope of staying awake through church tomorrow, let alone waking up from my Sunday afternoon nap in time for small group, I really need to go to bed.  'Night.

*An hour when very few people should even be awake on a weekend.
**No, I didn't make those up.  Look them up on Wikipedia.