Leaving Facebook

Earlier this month I deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts. There are both personal and global reasons for my decision, and I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say on the topic other than I don’t miss those services and you can no longer find me there. This space will continue to be my online home, as it has been since 2005. I hope you’ll come see me. 

Instrument Training Update

I’m continuing to work toward my instrument rating. I’m learning that there is much more to this rating than flying in challenging weather conditions. The rating is about developing discipline, precision and workload management. The little things matter: How you test and tune nav and comm radios, how you organize in-fight documents and how you determine the airworthiness of both your aircraft and navaids along a given route. The training puts a premium on minimizing mental and emotional bandwidth, both of which are precious commodities when flying through more demanding conditions. Eyes and other senses must also be disciplined and trained so not to misinterpret flight dynamics and control changes. Even language becomes more precise: VORs don’t broadcast a signal, they emanate a signal. My instructor is disciplined, and expects the same.  Training consists of ground study, simulator work and flying. I find that talking about concepts, applying those concepts in a simulator and then in actual flight provides a productive framework for deeper learning.

Harvard vs. Yale 2018

It’s cold in Boston. We spent the weekend with my sister and brother-in-law visiting my niece at Cambridge. This year’s Harvard vs. Yale football game was held at Fenway Park. My first time there. I regret not getting a picture of the clam chowder vendors walking the stands. Harvard 45, Yale 27.

This Must Be The Place

I recently visited my hometown of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. I haven’t been back nearly enough. Some things haven’t changed. Other things have changed a lot. I got to spend time with a few people who were deeply influential to me while growing up. I took Lauren to see some of my childhood homes, and we saw a Lyle Lovett show at the Virginia Theater. Incidentally, we ran into Lovett at the Austin Airport while leaving for Champaign. He spoke with us for a few moments and seemed as stunned as we were that we were all on our way to the same show. Everything you’ve ever heard about him is true.

I made a point to rent an airplane and go flying. Urbana’s Frasca Field is where my dad bought me a plane ride when I was nine or ten years old. It was a cosmic experience for me. I got checked out in a Cessna 172 at Central Illinois Aviation, and the next day took Lauren for an aerial tour of the area. We went out over endless miles of corn and soybean, then turned in and did an aerial tour of the campus and cities.

Later, we took in the University of Illinois homecoming game against Purdue. We walked through West Side Park on several evenings, and I caught myself missing this place.

Photos

Champaign-Urbana 2018