Sunday, May 31, 2009

Playing catchup.

I just spent 4 hours getting caught up on my daily blog reads. Now I can get back to not posting any content worthwhile with a clear conscience.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hot-lanta, baby

I've been in ATL for the last few days. And when the lightning strike took out the phone and DSL here at the farm, out of contact too. But I should be home tomorrow and the fun shall be related then.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Drama, o noes! We have it.

And I'm sick of it. It was manufactured as far as I can see. It was blown up with a blacksmiths bellows rather than let quietly burn out. The communication was NOT between the offended parties, but third persons. Then when one of the nicest ladies I know offers to pick up the torch and relieve the stress from this person after she's basically announced that there will be no more get togethers arranged by her, she's rudely rebuked and told the name is copyrighted and to pick something else.

That was the proverbial straw. I don't care how mad you are, how offended you are, when you treated someone who was not involved in the drama llama and only chimed in out of the kindness of her heart to help with next years the way you did, you gave up any chance at sympathy on my part.

I'm done with the whole fiasco. And I'm going to recommed my friend rescind her offer to help.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's spawning a life of it's own.

A few days ago I posted the immortal (or should that be immoral) Dancing Alan. It seems to be taking on a life now. Go on over to FreeThinker and see what's happening.

By the way, stick around when you do and read some more.

Edit to add: And here at The Real Gun Guys too.

OMG! And here at The World of Newtonism too!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Official Ahab/GunNuts:TNG Radio show drinking rules.

Okay, we've been doing this online for the show for a while now with no hard and fast rules to go by. So, to try to stave off the slew of alcohol poisonings that I know are coming here are the rules, such as they are and subject to additions as the BAC rises

  1. He changes hats - drink
  2. He mentions para, lda, or blackhawk serpa - drink
  3. He stands or sits - drink
  4. He gestures wildly - drink
  5. He talks about frangible bullets - drink
  6. Whenever he talks over the caller or guest - drink
  7. He asks breda something - 2 drinks
  8. He ambushes Breda with an unknown topic, you slam the rest of the drink
  9. But if you post drink to the chat room first, you don't have to drink and everyone else does.

Any additions?

Jennifer brings up a good point.

10. If you misspell "drink" - drink.

Edit: After the show, I think we need to define wild gesture better. A wild gesture will by any time his hand move outside of shoulder width apart. Must be both hands. Either seperate or together. I don't have enough alcohol otherwise.

Random Thoughts

On a gunboard I frequent on IRC we were discussing the availability or lack thereof of ammo. One of the regulars was whining about hoarders and blah blah blah.

I had to say the definition of hoarding anything is:

If someone buys it before I can, it's hoarding.
If I buy it first, it's just stockpiling.

Simple, no?


is off.

There's a park southeast of me that I want to check out. It has a nice hiking loop.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm home for a bit.

It's been a tough week of flying. So, in the vein of linky no thinky I give you Steven Crowder.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Night in the Day in the Life of a Charter Pilot.

Okay, fun day Saturday. Saturday night/Sunday morning... not so much.

But first let me give you a basic lesson in meteorology. And believe me, any lessons from me will be about as basic as you get.

The life cycle of a thunderstorm, as we pilots learn, can be characterized into 3 stages. (This comes from AC 00-6A rev.1975)

A thunderstorm cell during its life cycle progresses through three stages - (1) the cumulus, (2) the mature, and (3) the dissipating.

The key feature of the cumulus stage is an updraft. The updraft varies in strength and extends from very near the surface to the cloud top. Growth rate of the cloud may exceed 3,000 feet per minute.

Precipitation beginning to fall from the cloud base is your signal that a downdraft has developed and a cell has entered the mature stage. Meanwhile, updrafts reach a maximum with speeds possibly exceeding 6,000 feet per minute. Updrafts and down drafts in close proximity create strong vertical shear and a very turbulent environment. All thunderstorm hazards reach their greatest intensity during the mature stage.

Downdrafts characterize the dissipating stage of the thunderstorm cell and the storm dies rapidly.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with my flight Saturday night? Well, let me tell you about my day.

Saturday started pretty early. I'd promised a friend that I would help him set up a table at the gun show and help out where I could. The gun show was fun and I got home around 6:30. I'd barely gotten seated to eat dinner when the phone call happened. Ah, the dreaded phone call. There's a pop up trip to Tampa Bay.

On a side note. When the weather is as bad as it was in Texas this last weekend, you can bet we'll get pop up trips. You see, the airlines won't be able to get in somewhere because the weather is too bad and the people who get bumped from the flight will invariably call the charter outfits to get them where they want to go. Because when the weather is so bad that a jumbo jet can't get through them, the much smaller corporate jets will... Umm, you see it's like this. A massive thunderstorm will take a larger passenger jet and really shake it up, so to speak, but a jet that's only a 10th the size of an airliner when it penetrates the storm will.... Okay, think about it this way. The turbulence in a large thunderstorm that's producing tornadoes will affect a small relatively light corporate jet differently than a larger airliner because... the small jet is safer because...

Yeah, I don't get it either. People, listen carefully. If the airlines can't make it somewhere because of the weather. There's a VERY good reason they can't. I can guaren-damn-tee you that that corporate jet is no safer. Some charter outfits will take your money and the loss of the airplane, the crew, you and your loved ones are just the price of doing business. Yes, it can be that cynical and cold with some of the outfits out there.

Anyway, we load up the guy, his wife and kids and plot a route that looks to be the safest and away we go.

We'd filed for 41,000 ft and we were slowly clawing our way up there. At about 39,000 ft, that's about 7 and a half miles straight up, we hit one of those updrafts I mentioned above. The vertical speed indicator shoots through 6000 ft/min and hits the peg. We blast through our assigned altitude and through the next thousand feet. We topped the updraft, or flew through it, around 42,500 feet and then the downdraft took over. We got sucked back down to under 40,000 feet with us doing everything we could to NOT get sucked into the thunderstorm proper. Ignitors on, throttles to max temp... We get 5 minutes of max temp before "bad" things happen to the engines, or at least that's what the engine manufacturer says. We get a block altitude of 39,000 to 43,000 feet and got our airspeed under control and continued on.

You see, we're experienced Lear pilots and we weren't scared at all. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Oh, and 43,000 feet wasn't enough to get over the storms. It was just all that plane could do.

The rest of the trip was... uneventful. Till we got back from Tampa and had to descend through that shit again.

Fun times... fun times.

And I finally hit my pillow just after 5am.