Yeah, you don’t want to dare me that

I’ve written earlier about how I have flown so little this year that I’m seriously considering going “inactive” in the club? Well, on top of that, I’ve been Secretary for the club for most of the time I’ve been a member – I think it started soon after I created a web site for the club on my own. I suck at it. I’m not organized enough, and I don’t like doing it. I got free of it once, but the person who took it on quit after a year or two and dumped it back on me.

And the club communications are now totally dysfunctional. There is a “officers” mailing list for officers and board members to communicate, but the current president of the club, and a couple of others, totally refuse to use it. Instead, they send email to long lists of CCs, which means that you personally have no control over what email address you receive the message, or in what format. It also means that sometimes you find out that a conversation is going on because sometime in the middle of it somebody stops hitting “Reply All” and uses their own address list. One extremely annoying example of this happened when the club officers and BOD were discussing selling the Lance (which I knew about) but didn’t include me in most of a long thread about some of the details in spite of the fact that I was one of three members of the club who used the Lance, I was one of two officers who used the Lance, and the detail they were discussing had to do with on-line advertising. Anyway, the President last year said “I can see why people would want the email list, but I’ll continue to use my own list”, and subscribed. But sometime between then and now he’s unsubscribed again (which I didn’t know). Meanwhile, he’s stubbornly using his alias list (which includes people who haven’t been officers in 4 or 5 years and who don’t live in the US any more), and I’m stubbornly using the mailing list.

So last night (it’s now 3:30am and I haven’t been able to sleep all night because I’m so riled up about this) he sent me an email basically saying “communicate with me my way, or we’ll replace you as secretary”, and talking about how he didn’t want to be president but it was thrust upon him because nobody else would take it. I responded with an ecstatic “YES, PLEASE DO” and explained how I didn’t want to be secretary, have had it thrust upon me twice, and have been doing it for about 10 years total of my 15 years in the club.

I guess I’ll have to wait to see if I’ve called his bluff or whether I’m really going to be free of this horrible task. Maybe I’ll spend some time converting the club web site to Joomla so I can hand off more of that to others in the club.

More madness

This morning I went flying. First time since I got back from Oshkosh. I had to take the club’s Dakota out to Batavia for its annual. It reminded me what I loved and everything I hated about flying. It took an hour to scrape the snow and ice off the wings, and then it took most of the way to Batavia to get my toes to stop freezing. I made a couple of rookie mistakes on the departure, including making a wrong turn on the taxiway and actually forgetting to push the push-to-talk at one point. But by the time I got to Batavia things were going pretty good, and I made three perfect landings. I definitely need to squeeze in some time to do this more often.

This afternoon I went paddling. It was even colder than last week, but it wasn’t windy at all and it wasn’t snowing and blowing like last week. I wore an anorak over the wet suit and polytherm I wore last week, and it was too much – I actually ended up taking off my toque for much of the time. As well as Dan and Steven, we also had Doug along. He hasn’t been out for a while, and his boat still has his race number for the Long Lake race on it. Steven was trying a different boat, the KayakPro Marlin that I kept asking Ken to try all year but the rudder wasn’t working. And sure enough, half way through it the rudder broke again. Doug and I paddled on ahead while Dan and Steven worked on the boat, and next time we saw them Dan was in the KayakPro Marlin and Steven was in the Epic 18X that he’d been trying last week.

There was a ice on parts of the canal – for much of it there was ice up against one bank or the other coming out a few feet. It was thin enough that if you got into it you could paddle through it and it would break. But far more fun was to paddle along beside it, because as your wake flexed the ice sheet it made a sound very much like electrical wires twanging in the breeze. It was erie and cool.

Dan was in top form today, taking time to call out encouragement and advice to everybody about their strokes. He was really riding Stephen’s ass too – it seemed almost mean, but Stephen gives as good as he gets and still has that desire to start paddling like crazy when he should be slowing down and thinking. I was doing an ok job of hanging on to Doug when he was paddling at a moderate pace, which I thought was a sign how far I’d progressed. I still need to work on not letting my technique fall apart when I’m tired or when I’m thinking of other things.

Oh, and just to top a perfect day, I was able to get out of my kayak at Dan’s dock without help for the first time. Now if only I could get the spray skirt on without help.

It never fails

It never fails that when on “FAA Data Reload Day” (which occurs every 56 days on the ICAO cycle), I manage to screw something up and end up staying up late. It doesn’t matter how early I start.

Today’s screw up was after loading the data, I realized that I’d done something wrong, and needed to restore the database to the state it was before I started the load. For reasons too complicated to go into here, I load the data on my home Linux box, and then scp it up to my colo box where the web site lives. The database that lives on my home box doesn’t have all the same tables as the one on my colo box, just the tables that are important to data loading.

So, I thought, the easiest way to get back to the data as it was before the data load is to upload the script I use to export the appropriate tables on the home box to the colo box, run it there, copy the file back to the home box and load it. Except after I loaded it, I noticed a distinct lack of data on my home box. As a matter of fact, it appears that the load went way too fast, like it had no data at all. A quick look at the export file confirmed that there wasn’t any data in it, just some table deletion and creation stuff. Oh oh.

That’s when I realized that one of the consequences of having different versions of PostgreSQL on the two boxes was that “pg_dump … -t waypoint -t comm_freqs -t runway…” works on my home box, but not on the colo. Not thinking too straight, I then used a ‘for table in …” command to run pg_dump on each table individually. When I copied them home, I discovered that this messed up the foreign keys rather badly. So I tried to manually stitch all the files together. That wasn’t working very well, because I had things in the wrong order and the foreign key stuff still wasn’t right.

That’s when it suddenly hit me. Duh. The whole reason I have an external drive on my machine is so that I can do hourly rsync backups. I have a copy of the postgis.dump file that I copied over 56 days ago. As a matter of fact, I have dozens of copies of it. The only reason I was avoiding it was because I had done a few small manual modifications to the database since then. But those were still in the history buffer of psql, and so they were easy to reproduce. I restored the backup, made the changes at around 10:45, ran the updates again, and now here it is at 11:30 and everything is finally done.

I just hope this doesn’t happen again in 56 days, although I’m sure it will.

Blind. Sided.

I renewed my aviation medical today, and while it was relatively painless, I failed the vision test without my reading glasses, and so now I have a restriction. Which is stupid, because I have no problem reading things at the distance of my charts or GPS, it’s only really close up and in dim light that I need my glasses. Also I still appear to have some twitchiness in my right eye, the one that was having problems, due to lack of sleep and I have no doubt that I’d pass the test on a normal day.

Oh well. It sucks getting old.

Losing my religion?

I haven’t flown since I got back from Oshkosh. I haven’t even replaced my log book, which was stolen a few days before I left for Oshkosh. My medical expired on August, and I haven’t bothered to renew it. I’m beginning to wonder if flying, the activity that I longed to do since I was 12, and which I used to revolve my life around, just isn’t important to me any more. If that’s the case, I kind of wish I’d discovered that before I spent $2000+ on replacing stuff that was stolen before Oshkosh.

Since I’m moving from my high paying job to a lower paying one, maybe it’s time to go “inactive” in the flying club.