We’ve been all over the place this week, and unfortunately, it’s winding down with me fighting a cold. I hate having a cold, but at least it’s not something like Swine Flu.
The week began simply enough, but on Thursday … way too early in the morning … it was off to Orlando for the Women in Aviation International convention. Since people thinks of aviation as a male-dominated field, the WAI Convention offers a different perspective on the business. I had an opportunity to talk to some delightful ladies from the Women’s Air and Space Museum in Canton, Ohio, as well as women from across the spectrum of aviation, from student pilots to airline captains and the first woman Marine aviator. It was a busy couple of days.
Of course, there was some flying in the mix as well, and in a real twist, there was a classic example of the old saw “Time to spare … go by air.”
We’d brought the ANN Cirrus over from Tampa, where it had been two weeks for an Annual, over to Kissimmee. My landings are getting better. But since I was scheduled for a JCCI event Saturday morning, the plan was for Jim to fly me back to Haller Airpark in Green Cove Springs, where the car was parked, so I could be at Cecil Community Center at 0930 Saturday morning.
I’d texted Andie to say, if all went well, I’d be home by 7:30.
All didn’t go well.
We departed from Kissimmee, and as we climbed to 3,500 feet, Jim started to lean the airplane. For the uninitiated, that means changing the air-fuel mixture getting to the cylinders so that the engine runs more efficiently, burning less fuel. It started as just a little “buff” in the engine, and the more he worked with the mixture, the rougher the engine ran. As long as we ran it at full rich, it ran fine, if burning about twice the gas as we would have liked.
So, rather than flying to Haller, we turned and headed back to Tampa Executive Airport to talk to the mechanics.
Long story short, the airplane is still there. Of course, when the mechanic was sitting in the airplane, pulling the mixture while sitting on the ground, it ran fine. But there was no reason to risk flying it until they’d had another chance to check it out.
That left us in Tampa, with the car in Kissimmee, and my car in Green Cove Springs. Only one thing to do. Jim rented a car, and we drove through the traffic that just the night before we’d been a bit smug about flying over to get home.
I dropped Jim in Kissimmee, and continued to GCS with the rental car. Rather than 7:30, I got home about midnight, and the dry, hacking cough I’d been fighting for two days was starting to gurgle a bit down in my lungs, and my nose was getting a bit stuffy.
Which didn’t stop me from going over to the Cecil Community Center early Saturday morning for the City Budget workshop, which Skip Cramer of JCCI had asked me to help out with. You can read about that in my column Monday at The Jacksonville Observer. It was a very interesting workshop, and I’m looking forward to more of the sessions over the next few weeks. But we went right from Cecil over to High Springs for a visit with Mike and Linda. We went over to the Fort White Gun Club and expended some handgun rounds, then back to the house for steaks on the barbie. Sunday, it was back to the gun club for a few rounds of sporting clays, which really is more fun than the handgun target practice, and then back to Jacksonville.
On the way home, just at moonrise, I had to pull off the road and shoot a huge, full moon as it crested the ridge which FL Rte 121 follows as it makes its way northeast to I-10. This shot was particularly interesting as I shot it with a UV Haze filter on the lens, and the moon reflected off the lens, then the filter, and back to the digital sensor, which gave me the double image of the moon. while the original is just a big white disk, the reflected image lets you see some of the shadows and such on the lunar surface. A mistake, but it’s pretty cool.
So, home now, with cold medicine at hand, and hoping that it’s short-lived.
As an aside, my SiteMeter statistics say I’m within 100 visits of 20,000 on Life’s a Beach. I’m a little bit amazed that the site has been visited nearly 20,000 times. It’s enough to keep me writing, hopefully more often than I have been these past six months.
And thanks to all of you for your visits. I wish more of you would leave comments …
But I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read.