Archive for April, 2005

(Shave and Haircut) x 2

30 April 2005 at 5:00 pm
by Jonah

I had my second six-month evaluation yesterday. We’re scored on a range from 0 to 4, with 2 being “Satisfactory.” Last time I had all 3’s with one 2 in Knowledge and one 4 for Attendance. This time I had more 2’s (in things having to do with speed, efficiency, and judgment, since I’ve been shifted around to doing new things several times before I can get used to them rapidly) and a whole lot of 4’s (in things like consideration, cooperation, and teamwork). I also moved up a notch in Knowledge.

So, anyway, I got another 50 cent raise, which brings my hourly wage to $9.

Actual Fact:

In 1893 a priest named Casimir Zeglen invented the first usable bulletproof vest made from 1/16th inch steel plate sewn into layers of tightly woven silk. But he didn’t have much financial success with the vest. At one point, he contacted President William McKinley’s secretary, who scheduled an appointment to demonstrate the vest in a month. But only two weeks later, McKinley was shot in the chest twice.

April’s almost gone.

28 April 2005 at 6:47 pm
by Berck

And I’m still not a commercial pilot. A bit of a setback– while I passed the oral part of my stage check, missing only a handful of questions, the flight portion didn’t go as well. Mostly because I only had 9 hours in this type of aircraft, and I’d never flown the specific aircraft.

The first part consisted of cross-country testing. I’d planned a cross country, flew it long enough to prove that I can calculate groundspeed and give a time to next checkpoint estimate. Then I’m told to head somewhere else. In this case, my examiner picked a grass strip. While I flew right to it, I couldn’t spot it. I told him that I should be right over it, but couldn’t for the life of me point it out. We were indeed right over it. It looked more like a driveway than a runway. He was happy enough with that, and we arrived over the point within one minute of my estimate.

Then came the maneuvers, which ranged from excellent to mediocre. My lazy eights and stalls were excellent. Steep turns and steep spirals were passing, though not beautiful. I had some trouble maintaining altitude on the entry to slow flight. I didn’t get slow enough on my Chandelles.

Mostly I just felt rusty and uncomfortable. My Eights on Pylons were crap, mostly because I picked points too close together. I also had trouble keeping the plane coordinated, the rudder pedals were all sloppy which just made it hard.

I performed an adequate soft field landing, only I forgot set the prop full forward before landing. After forgetting the same thing during my botched attempt at a short field landing (I turned final too early, wound up too high. Not really sure why…), he decided enough was enough and to head back to Norman.

I feel like I’d probably do fine now that I’ve gotten some flight time. But now I have to wait around for another flight lesson, then another stage check, then a check ride again.

It’s looking like end of July at best before I’m done with everything.

At least it’s not hot here yet. We still haven’t had to turn on the air conditioner. It looks like we’ll have made it through April without it just fine. High today was 72. High tomorrow is 54.

April Trip Photos Up

25 April 2005 at 11:58 am
by Berck

Photos are up (see the photos page in the links section of the sidebar). I should probably write about and/or add captions. Perhaps later. A picture’s worth a 1,000 words, right?

And back again

24 April 2005 at 9:45 pm
by Jonah

We’re back home in Norman.

Is Watching

21 April 2005 at 3:42 pm
by Jonah

We’re in Nashville visiting Berck’s dad.

He sent us to the store this afternoon for lemons and lettuce. As we waited for the lady ahead of us in the checkout lane to finish writing her check, I weighed the options of paying by credit card or by cash. We try to conserve cash because we don’t have much of it. But paying a $2 tab with plastic seems a little silly.

To add some complication to the matter, signs had been placarded along the line reading, “For your protection, all credit and check transactions must be accompanied by ID. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.” That settled it. I didn’t feel at all bad about using a credit card for a couple of bucks worth of groceries. I could just say I was sorry for any inconvenience to them.

“Paper or plastic!” shouted the mentally challenged girl bagging. I made Berck decide. He picked paper.

I got my credit card and my driver’s license out of my wallet, placing my license on the counter for the cashier to see and swiping my credit card through the lane card reader. We went through the entire process of punching buttons and such, until I was sure I was through with the credit card and ready to put it back in my wallet. The cashier still hadn’t asked to see my ID. Well, maybe they just talk tough, I thought, but I didn’t put the card back in my wallet. Finally, the cashier handed me my receipt to sign. “Write your driver’s license number below the signature,” she said.

Berck, who can’t read, went ballistic. “What?! DRIVER’S LICENSE NUMBER?? What is…” But then he noticed that I was copying down my number (minus the OK that really should have gone in front of it to do any good). “Well, I guess I can’t stop you from giving them anything…” The cashier didn’t even glance at what I’d written on my receipt.

The mentally challenged girl bagging broke in, “It’s for your protection!”

“Then we don’t owe a penny!” Berck exclaimed, “The card company is liable for any amount!”

“It’s in case your card is stolen!” the bagging girl insisted.

I didn’t want Berck arguing with her, so I cut his protests off and said, “So you’ll know where to mail it if someone steals it?”

“No, it’s so no one can use your card!” she insisted.

I picked up the paper bag and turned to leave. “But how do you know I wrote down the right number?”

The poor thing looked completely stumped. But she was probably the only person in the store giving the idea any thought.

I suppose if I shopped at the store regulary I would just draw a quick scribble on the receipt. No, no inconvenience at all.