Archive for July, 2005

Jiggity Jog

25 July 2005 at 9:12 pm
by Jonah

Home again!

23 hours total on the road, and we still didn’t finish the new Harry Potter on audio.

Gone

22 July 2005 at 5:36 am
by Jonah

We’re off for Mobile!

First Pink Slip

20 July 2005 at 3:36 pm
by Berck

I passed my oral without much trouble, unfortunately I probably shouldn’t have elected to take the flight test with the current weather conditions. He asked me to do the maneuver I find the most difficult first, which never helps things out. After takeoff, he had me remain in the pattern. I performed a takeoff, and then he asked for a power-off accuracy landing. I wound up stupidly high and performed a go-around. Then he asked for a short field. I wound up low, and performed a go around, even though I might have been able to save it. He asked for another, and I planted the airplane right on the point, but touched down with a significant amount of side-load. And that was that.

There’s always next week.

Flight!

16 July 2005 at 8:44 pm
by Jonah

Berck’s instructor let me come flying today! I prepared by not eating anything, taking a ginger capsule, and drinking a ginger ale on the way to the flight school. We took off and headed south, looped back north to over Lake Thunderbird, climbing the entire way. It gets COLD at 8,000 MSL! And Berck had his window open, blowing straight on me. I really didn’t mind, though.

All of Norman was apparently racing around in speed boats on Lake Thunderbird. All I could see from so far up in the air was white trails swimming around in the water. Berck tells me that they headed over the lake because no clouds form over it. I wore a spare headset to keep me from going deaf, but no one had a splitter, so I couldn’t hear Berck “teaching” his instructor Ed how to fly.

Finally, we stopped climbing, and Berck suddenly performed a steep turn, doing 360 degrees at 50 degrees of bank. Whoa! It was wildly disorienting, like being on a loopdy roller coaster. Then he did another one going the opposite direction. Next he did a 60 degree banked 180 degree turn. Two G’s! Berck said later he was afraid these would make me sick, but I thought it was fantastically fun.

Next we chased a towering cumulus cloud, flying around all sorts of smaller clouds to get to it. That was great fun…highly recommended.

Berck closed his window and took off his headset to tell me the next order of business. A steep spiral descent. We flew over a farmer’s field, and Berck picked a big, red building to use as a center point. Then we fell out of the air. It was wild to feel the air get hotter and hotter as we descended.

Then we stayed over the same field as Berck practiced eights-on-pylons, lazy-eights, chandelles, and goodness knows what else. I started to feel quite queasy. Oh, Berck says we were doing lazy-eights and chandelles earlier. I wish I could hear what they were saying so I would know what each maneuver was.

Finally, we gained speed and started flying in a straight line, right to the river, descending and following it. Berck turned around grinning and pointed down. We were buzzing (at a perfectly legal 500ft AGL altitude) some sunbathers on a sandbar in the middle of the river (most of the river IS sand). Then Berck waved his wings at a convoy of ATV’s splashing downstream. Then we picked up speed and descended even more, flying below the treetops on either side of the river. What a rush! That was fun enough to make me forget how sick I was feeling.

After a few more exercises, we headed back to Norman, flying over OU’s campus for my sightseeing benefit. And finally land, sweet land. I climbed out of the backseat of the 172, trying not to fall over from hyperventalating or throw up.

I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked to since playing with the camera was making me feel even more ill. I can’t wait to fly in the front seat sometime when I can actually see where we’re going. Still, what fun!

More Johansson

9 July 2005 at 8:07 pm
by Berck

We just watched A Love Song for Bobby Long because Joanna said she wanted to. I agreed because Johansson stars in it. After I picked it up I realized that John Ravolta is also in it, and decided that they probably cancel each other out.

They did. Not a bad movie, but nothing special. It’s a little proud of itself and felt exactly like the film adaptation of a third-rate novel that it is.

Johansson, while not at all southern, manages to play a redneck reasonably well. I never believed she was a redneck, but I’m glad that when her accent fell short she merely dropped it for a more neutral dialect rather than making my ears bleed with an horrible affected accent. There’s nothing worse than a drawl than a FAKED drawl.

And I really don’t understand the whole New Orleans thing. I’ve been there, I’ve eaten the food, heard the music, still unimpressed…