Monday, April 8, 2019

Shedding monkeys and a bit of self indulgence

   Had my MRI last Thursday morning . I was told not to expect the results for a few days . But it seems the thing got read right away and I got the call that evening . They found NO cancer . Nothing remarkable about the confounded organ other than "moderate enlargement". Yea , I am getting a bit long in the tooth and have a lot of miles on the odometer . 
   So summing it up the Medieval Torture Biopsy / Easter Egg Hunt from last Halloween showed nothing , yet the doc felt there was still a 20% chance there might be something there , and now in theory this glorified microwave radar job clears up all doubt . I has been one heck of a terrifying ride since last July when this whole nightmare started with the bladder stone . It is a relief to finally have that monkey off my back , though I can't say I'll be completely at ease after this experience .
   The one aspect that has become glaringly evident how fleeting my own existence is . Time is ticking by , and for various justifiable reasons , for way too long , I have been holding back on the things I really wanted to do . Flying was once a big part of it all but somehow I let life get in the way . I'd sure hate to get to the point where I could not physically do it anymore and wish that I had . I want to get current again . Need to renew my medical certificate and find a place to rent an aircraft on a frequent basis to keep my feet in the game .
So as Saturday turned out to be a nice day , and I got the invite to do some instrument practice , we engaged in some unrestrained self indulgence  . . .
N67799 out of the hangar and topped off with 80 gallons of 100LL
First game plan for the afternoon .
While awaiting our departure clearance for RWY 18 we do our mag check and cycle the prop .
The plan is to simulate a panel failure and use the steam gauges to do the instrument approach into Brunswick instead of the G500 display .
Take off from RWY 18 KPWM
Passing over Portland headlight which is actually in Cape Elizabeth
Left turn on course to the BAILI fix
Passing Halfway Rock
Popham Beach on the nose
Entering the holding pattern at BAILI with the primary display dimmed all the way down to simulate a panel failure .
Going around the racetrack
The pink wedge depicts us in real time on the approach plate in the I-Pad. Outbound leg one minute , and then a one minute turn at standard rate , 3 degrees per second , takes us 180 degrees around for the inbound one minute leg . Four minutes around the hold . Shake and rinse three times .
Making the turn in the hold with Popham off the right wing about twelve miles out .
BAILI inbound
Down to 1700 feet before the CARMR fix and intercept the glideslope
Down to minimums at 263 ft, we retract the landing gear , add power and execute the missed approach as we pass over the solar panel array .
 The 01 approach in from the BAILI fix
Fly past Merrymeeting airport where I learned to fly thirty odd years ago
Over Pleasant Pond still iced in , we do the teardrop to reverse course and execute the approach to RWY 19 to a full stop .
After helping a couple Civil Air Patrol guys chase down an errant signal from an inadvertently activated emergency locator transmitter that's been going off for a couple days , we back the Bonanza into the hangar .
With this nifty rig made out of a Milwaukee Sawsall motor to power the nose-wheel
And took advantage of a smooth floor to crawl under the plane and clean the oil off the belly .
Back out in the afternoon sun
We taxi out past some big iron , a fifty million $ Gulfstream business jet . . .
. . .  and take off from rwy 19
And head back to Portland for a practice GPS RNAV approach to RWY 18
Controller brings us over the TOBKE fix
Then inside JANOB and requests we keep the speed up for traffic behind us so we come down the glideslope doing about 150 kts
Zooming in on the short north-south runway at Portland
This is what it looks like from the drivers seat

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Quasimodo emerges from his ice tomb

After installing the battery and giving it a couple of squirts of fresh gas in the carb throats it started on the first try .
 But the three inch thick layer of ice covering the ground had a grip on the wheels that could not be overcome . I had to use the come-along and the yellow tow strap tied to the base of the bush to pull it free .
The last three weeks were spent  doing a lot of this . . .
. . . and this . . .
. . . and some fine hydraulic engineering . . .(yea and the old Toyota started on the first try today too)
Hydraulic engineering that just barely managed to defy gravity
. . .  to keep this stuff from further flooding the Volvo shed and my garage
Quasimodo emerged from five months of stasis into the fifty degree sunshine .
Then we removed about a dozen buckets full of ice from under the various layers of plastic ground sheet . And then went for a spin in the Volvo .

Friday, March 1, 2019

Raw Physical Abuse and Pain

So I have this giant frozen turd behind the garage that caused great stress and pain last Sunday

 . . . when it rained and caused my garage to flood
So spent three hours this afternoon
Hefting this thirty pound breaker bar
 making ice cubes out of five inch thick ice
to accomplish this
And hopefully provide a channel for water to flow around
Meanwhile the neighbors across the street did the sensible thing . They sold the house , packed up and headed for Arizona leaving this god forsaken state in the rear-view mirror .

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Reason #5473 why I despise winter

Early last week we had ten inches of of this god awful garbage. . . .
. . . nasty sloppy wet filth with the consistency and weight of wet concrete that was impossible to move . Then on Sunday it warmed up a couple degrees just above freezing and rained all day . . .
 . . .  aaaand since the ground is frozen the water has nowhere to go .
I typically snow blow a path clear around the garage and the house , but the blower could not get through this sloppy wet slush . So it sat there and froze rock solid four inches thick . . .until it rained
Went in to the garage mid day Sunday to get a rubber O ring and found this mess
The Volvo shed I built last fall had about three inches of standing water and was coming under the sill plate of the back wall of the garage
Spent about six hours bailing water. Lost count somewhere past thirty buckets . But it must have been well over fifty of those five gallon buckets full . Figured I needed to stem the flow from the outside before I was going to make any headway . So I spent several hours outback in the cold rain trying to chip channels in the ice to divert the deluge , but even with the big heavy six foot breaker bar I could not cut in to the frozen ground deep enough to get it to drain .
That is about a half inch of standing water . Good thing  I built my workbench on rollers.
As it got colder and things outside froze , the flow stopped and I was able to get ahead of it . I was beat to crap Sunday night after that ordeal .
About six more hours of squeegee work on Monday before it got cold again and froze got us mostly dried out
Sure glad I saved those old kitchen extractor fans from various projects .
Of course now I have three inches of frozen water in the Volvo shed that will come back through as soon as it gets warm enough to melt again . I need to pour a six inch thick concrete pad in there this summer .