Woo hoo!

I’m currently without an aviation medical. If you want all the gory details as to why, you can read
this entry in my old journal, and you can read why it’s taking so long at this other entry.

In order to not just sit around on my ass having all my skills atrophy, I decided to check out in our club’s Lance. The club requires a 10 hour checkout, today I did 1.5 hours.

It was a lot of fun. The plane is big and heavy and a bit of a wallowy pig if you let it get slow, but at 90 knots on a standard landing pattern or 120 knots on an ILS, and it is steady as a rock and lands smoothly. It’s touchy on the throttle and propellor controls. But it’s fast and carries a ton literally – it’s got a max gross takeoff weight of 3600lbs and an empty weight of 1241. I’m looking forward to taking some long trips in it.

One bright spot

One thing I am looking forward to this weekend: Last time, Alyssa and I had an hour to fill in between the checkout time of the hotel and the start of the movie we went to see, and so I stopped for a walk along the Ottawa River. I’ve always loved the Ottawa River – when I lived in Ottawa I’d frequently go out of my way to drive or bike the River Parkway on the way somewhere.

On this short walk, we discovered some amazing sculptures done in the river. I remember this artist from 10 or so years ago – he wanted a place to set up his easel to do some painting, and arranged the flat stones that he found in the river into an Inuktuk. He liked it so much that instead of doing his painting, he made dozens of Inuktuks, mostly in the shallow parts of the river. Well, evidently he’s still doing it, but he’s progressed beyond Inuktuks – some of the things he’s doing now are amazing. I hope they haven’t been swept away, as I’d like to document them.

Second and Third

Reader’s Choice Awards–PDA Software Winner

So CoPilot came second in the poll, which is a real vindication of this wonderful unpretentious and understated free software. Coming second to the flashy, expensive and hugely processor intensive Anywhere WX (which only runs on PocketPC because of the processor requirements) is no shame. If I had a PocketPC I’d probably want AnywhereWX or WXWorks.

But I’m surprised to see that number three is another piece of software that I’m slightly involved with – GPSPilot.com’s Fly 5.1. GPSPilot.com are the nice people who bought me my lovely Sony Clié as thanks for doing my waypoint generator for them. It appears that they’re paying more attention to the connection to AeroPlanner than to my generator now, so I probably won’t be able to convince them to replace the Clié now that it’s getting kind of battered looking. Oh well.

If I can just convince Vicki to replace her clunky old Handspring Visor with a Palm Tungsten E, I might be able to get away with buying a new PDA next year. I’m so crafty it hurts – too bad I’m letting the cat out of the bag here.