Archive for November, 2006

New grap release

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Yep, I spent part of my Thanksgiving tending to a few grap bugs that have come in over the past couple months.  The result is the 1.40 release available from the usual place.  Consult the CHANGES file for the details of the bugs fixed.  FreeBSD port to come.

Every day isn’t this good

Monday, November 20th, 2006

I took a new guy at ISI, John Hickey, flying this week, because he was vaguely interested and I love to take people up. Another good thing is that when I take new people up something fun usually happens. This trip was no exception.

On departure we got ordered on and then off the runway as things got tight and then an IFR release came through. Not a problem for me, but it wasn’t the kind of smooth, orderly operations that you like to show a new GA passenger. John took it all in stride, but it wouldn’t have been fun for a nervous flyer, I expect.
It was a clear day, but pretty hazy in the basin itself. We took my usual tour of the basin, down towards Torrance and Long Beach, up past Anaheim and Fullerton, out as far as Chino and then back past Santa Monica. We did get to pick out a few sights through the haze – I’m grousing more than I should, the view was pretty good – and then headed out to Camarillo.

Camarillo’s usually a good choice for new flyers who like airplanes. The airport has such an active pilot community with so many experimentals and a strong CAF presence that there’s usually something interesting to see. Boy did they not disappoint today. Just getting in things were busy enough that I had to fly a modified entry – basically an overhead entry for beginners – while a flight of Lancairs departed. But the ramp was the real treat.

Mustang at CMA

It’s not every day you come across a mirror-polished P-51 Mustang sitting on the flight line, even at CMA. I don’t really know where the pilot was coming from or going to, but he was going in that brilliant piece of aviation art. We spend more than a couple minutes gawking at it and taking pictures. Times like these I’m happy that I carry a camera in my flight bag!

After lunch we cruised over to the CAF hangar and had the run of the place for $5. Not to be outdone, the CAF had a spectacularly restored Corsair on the ramp that another transient pilot had parked there while he did whatever brought him to Camarillo. We got to both get a close up view of the Corsair and to hear the restoration folks chat about the details of the restoration. I never tire of hearing skilled restorers pick over a beautiful plane like this one.

The trip back was pretty boring, though we did get a nice view of the Getty Villa. If John attracts planes like that I’ll have to drag him around more often.

New lease on life for an Iraq watchdog

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

I was perturbed eariler by Congress voting to close the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction eariler this year, but CNN tells me that folks have reconsidered.  Good.

That’s the look

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Keith Phipps understands ABC, too.

Stupid pilot tricks: Making a bad landing worse – much worse

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Here’s a video from a Citation overrun accident at Bader Field in Atlantic City. This bozo’s not doing aviation any favors. Fortunately, it looks like no one was injured. You’ll have to watch until about 5:00 in to see how bad this driver’s ideas get.

Alert plane spotters from ISI forwarded this to me from another aviation list.

Voting: Math is hard

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

I just love it when things get as easy as one and zero. From CNN: Electronic voting machine fails to count any votes for a candidate who voted for himself. Of course CNN considers this “offbeat news.” Nimrods.

Fewer corruption reports from Iraq?

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

You can expect to see fewer reports on corruption in rebuilding Iraq. The BBC tells me that the US is discontinuing auditing of rebuilding efforts.

Here’s an opportunity

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Our pals at the BBC (via Warren Ellis) tell me that:

With a rise in the popularity of Christian-style weddings in Japan, some Westerners are finding they can make a lucrative living by acting as priests.

Rod, Sam, you listening?

More interesting walking on the moon. Or dragonslaying.

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

I named this blog after the Police song as a play on words about my general aimlessness here and the fact that it’s broadcast from my secret base on the moon. A much better candidate for the name has shown up and I thought I’d point her out.

I’ve handed some space here to a friend who’s much more serious about walking than I am. She’s been a pretty dedicated race walker for a couple years now and probably would have continued doing her thing and never picked up a blogging pen except for a recent unfortunate event.

Some sap made the mistake of implying that she couldn’t take on the longest competition race in that sport. In public. Now, implying she can’t do something is already a strong impetus for her to just turn around and do it, but the human in question claimed she couldn’t do it because she was born with a pair of X chromosomes rather than an unmatched set.
As Bugs says: “Of course you know, this means war.”

Now, you might say that this is tilting at a windmill. I might even say that, if I was talking about anyone else. This friend of mine, however, has decorated her home in dragon scales from the victories she’s scored over opponents others couldn’t even identify.

She writes clearly and describes her road with humor and passion. Even if you don’t care a whit about racewalking, I think you’ll find something worth reading over here. Take a look. She’s been updating regularly. If you see something you like, drop her a comment; encouragement can only help her slay this dragon and us see more posts.