Monthly Archives: July 2009

Relaxing in the air

It was raining today down at the airport, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to fly, but we did go up — there was a cloud layer blocking the sun and with no wind or turbulence I think it was the calmest day I’ve ever flown on. Today was more spins and spirals which are a ton of fun. I was in a lot of pain yesterday and today when I got up, but going flying got my mind off it and made me feel much better. I feel very comfortable in spirals and pretty much all aspects of flying, but I’m very sloppy when it comes to proper protocols (checks, radio work, etc.) so I really have to focus on the “boring” end of things so I can write my student/radio tests and get ready for my full license test.

I’m working as fast as I can on the license, having a surgery coming up (biopsy on my legs), as well as what I think will be a very unpleasant week or two in the hospital as they shift me over not to methadone as originally planned but Subutex (buprenorphine). It interacts badly with the opioids that I’m currently prescribed, so they have to put me through full withdrawal, and as you can imagine I’m not looking forward to that one bit. For me this is for pain treatment, but it’s commonly used for heroin addiction and so on a la methadone — if anyone has gone through this process — for either pain or for addiction — please drop me a line by email or friend me on facebook (but include a note so I know who you are), as I’d like to hear firsthand what to expect.

I still can’t believe I’m colorblind by the way. I am sure that I can see all the colors… I think it’s just some neurological problem I have with the Ishihara tests. I’m sure in some ways that is bad too, but won’t stop me from flying at night at least!


How is this possible?

So I had my medical for the pilot’s license today, and when they got to the Ishihara tests for color blindness, I thought they were especially confusing, and could barely make most of them out, and some not at all — unless I made some very lucky guesses, I’m sure I’ll have failed them. When I got home I looked at tests online, and even though I swear I can see all colors, I don’t seem to be able to do the tests. It’s actually pretty upsetting. I mean, how could I go through my whole life — I’m 35 now — and not notice that I’m color blind? Seriously, wtf?


I can’t read any of the above by the way. I don’t think this will affect my ability to get my regular VFR pilot’s license, but it might limit my ability to go and get a night flying license, should I want to. I’m still very weirded out by the whole thing and am having a lot of trouble believing it.

Other than that, my old friend Dave stopped by to catch up and helped me push the Sterling in to get its mechanicals worked on. You can see in this photo what a tiny little car it is. It’s just slightly a trick photo since Dave is seven feet tall.


Other than that, we all went to the park again after supper — a consistently nice way to cap off the day. Tomorrow is another day at the hospital, which is always very draining and although it’s important and it is hopefully moving me toward a solution and/or resolution, in many ways I am not looking forward to it, and especially because of being given the unsettling shock of discovering my potential color blindness, I’m quite pensive and will be happy to have tomorrow pass and Friday come, when I’ll again be up in the air doing spins in the plane.

Police, McDonalds, and other Tuesday stories

Nefarious and I finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today. As is surely no surprise to anyone it was a big hit, and I’m looking forward to starting on the sequel tomorrow.

Today began with flying — reviewing stalls and spins, which are lots of fun, although spins/spirals are a little disconcerting because of the G forces being so much higher than anything else I’ve done in the Cessna and it really doesn’t seem like it can take that much loading. I would love one day to learn aerobatic flight, although what I really want is a sea plane, so I think getting certified on that, along with my instrument certification, is what I want to do next.

On the way to the airport I got hassled by the cops once again (they ignored the blatant speeders and pulled me over instead). First they tried to tell me that my tires weren’t street legal — even though they are, and it says right on them that they are. Then they complained that they stuck out too far, which they don’t, because I have extra-wide fender flares to cover them. Finally they fell back on the old standard of “you need to have mudflaps”, which first of all is not true, and second, even if it was, they can’t cite me for it on a sunny day. Failing to find any legit reason to ticket me, they told me that they were going to send me to the ministry so they could do a complete audit of my truck for legality and roadworthiness — right then and there. I told them that I was headed to school, and pointed out my books and headset, and the cop rolled his eyes and said something snide like “oh, it figures you’d be a pilot.”

He did end up letting me go, after I promised to put mudflaps on later in the day. Largely to save myself the headache of constant harassment from power-tripping pigs that don’t know the law, I actually did end up picking up a $30 set of mudflaps that I’ll screw on next time I have a spare moment. I’m not flying again until Friday, but tomorrow I’ve got my medical for my pilot’s license, and then on Thursday I’m at the hospital for other stuff.


After supper I took Nefarious and her friend Cassie to the park — it’s really nice playing there in the evenings because it’s a little cooler. Someone had left newspaper lying around so I made paper hats and paper planes for all the kids in the group to play with and we had tons of fun. Caitlin stayed home and tells me it was good timing on account of our neighbour (the one with the band) and his girlfriend having one of their screaming matches.

Before going to the park, we stopped at McDonalds to get McFlurries at the drive-through. They took my order and confirmed it, and then took my money. The line was moving slowly, so I probably had to wait about five minutes by the time I got to the final pick-up window. The girl stuck her head out the window and asked me what I ordered. I repeated that I’d gotten three McFlurries, and she said, “oh, the ice cream machine is broken so we’re not serving those today.”

Then she goes back in to doing other stuff. I’m sort of confused by this, and wait. She comes back to the window and stares at me, as if she’s wondering why I haven’t left yet. I’m like, “um… so… I’m not getting my McFlurries?”

“No, we don’t have them today.”

And she just stares at me.

“So… are you going to give me my money back then?” I ask.

“Oh, you wanted to get a refund?” she says, acting surprised.

“Of course I want a refund if you’re not going to give me what I ordered!” I tell her and, after waiting another couple minutes, she comes back with my money. Very strange that she would think that I wouldn’t want my money back.

Anyway, other than that Nefarious has been putting on concerts, which are arrangements of her own songs, combined with a dance routine. What I thought was really cool — and certainly beyond anything I thought to do as a six year old — is that she’s not only been writing out lyrics, but when she writes them out, she also scripts her choreography! I just love it… she really lights up my life! She’s been asking to be put in a performing arts program (singing most of all), so I think it’s definitely time for that and when the school year starts, something will be sorted out for sure.


Continued Flying Lessons

I’m greatly enjoying flying again — I feel much more confident at it now than I did in the past, both on the technical issues of flying, as well as secondary things like radio protocols, which I tended to stumble over in the past. Today was a lot of fun because it was so turbulent, and the plane was getting tossed around quite a bit. I do my medical on Wednesday, so I should be flying solo quite soon. I’m definitely looking forward to getting the whole license completed so that I can do things like rent planes and take much more interesting and unrestricted trips than would otherwise be possible — especially if I want to go explore Nunavut and other places that can really only be toured by air.



Rainy Day at TT

The stormy weather stopped us from committing to a lengthy drive only to be stuck in swimmingless waters, so instead we went to Tommy Thompson park (it’s only open fully on the weekends) and walked most of its length. Nefarious and Caitlin were on snail rescue duty, moving them off the path, where many had been crushed by uncareful stompmasters, and into the bushes — not that they could keep up with the multitudes of them that littered the road. I always enjoy going there, but the many mosquitoes made it a bit less fun for my companion hikers.


Later on I read lots more of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Nefarious and Cassie — she enjoyed it as well because they’re studying it at her school and we were at about the same point in the book as she’d left off at. And now it’s time to get Cassie home and Nefarious off to bed so that I can watch the fight! As I said, my fight predictions for the main card are Lesnar, St. Pierre, and Henderson. I’ll refrain from commenting on the results for those of you who have to wait for the torrent!