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About 80% of general aviation aircraft fly using Lycoming engines. Clearing the trees at the end of the runway. Leaving 4500ft for 6500ft. Maintaining airflow and generating lift across the wings. All are impossible without a reliable engine. Lycoming powers my training aircraft and so fuels my quest for a private pilot certificate. This blog is a record of my thoughts and experiences on life, flight, and learning.

29 November 2008

Clark Griswold is an Amateur

Beth and I went on a quest to find the perfect Christmas tree yesterday. We managed to pick up a modest 13ft tall Serbian Spruce at Sheetz's Christmas Tree Farm in Coshocton, OH. Beth is still in recovery, but I love the huge tree! Go big....or go home! Clark Griswold is an amateur!

01 November 2008

Vegas, Baby, Vegas!

It's been a little while since I have blogged, but that's mostly because I've been busy at work and doing other stuff! Well, last week was a busy week. I flew on Monday and spent the rest of the week in Las Vegas for a tradeshow. It was a pretty hectic week, with all of the customer meetings and frantic schedule, but there were some bright spots. We stayed in the quite new, and quite opulent Palazzo Casino/Hotel. It was over-the-top, just like everything in Vegas, but most importantly, it was only a short walk away from the tradeshow.

Bright Spot #1 - Playing golf (and conducting business) at the Revere Golf Club in Henderson, NV. I played in a scramble, so I don't really know what my score was, but I probably would've shot about 100, the way I was playing. It was a beautiful course, but really surreal to be standing on lush green grass in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I can't imagine what the water bill is for this course! It was a little different to play golf where you were pretty limited as to your choices for shots....as in, there was a clearly defined landing area, and the rough...well, it was rough! I wish that my camera battery didn't die half-way through the course, because it was beautiful. Oh well, I managed to get some decent photos before it all went south.

Teeing off, getting ready for my 300+yd drive

Looking down the 18th fairway of the Lexington Course

The picturesque 12th hole at the Lexington, with Mt. Charleston in the background

The bunker-rich 7th hole, complete with waterfall at the end!

Bright Spot #2 - Tasting the succulent wholesome goodness of a Double-Double, Animal Style at In-N-Out Burger. Yum. Oh, and a very good spicy Octopus Roll at Japonais at the Mirage was pretty nice too!
In-N-Out! Best Burger in the Land!

Spicy Octopus Roll at Japonais. Very tasty!

Mom enjoying her Orchid Martini - pretty tasty

Bright Spot #3 - Hanging out with my big brother, Mr. JNW and hiking in Death Valley. The last time I was in Death Valley, I was recovering from a $220 speeding ticket (87 in a 55), no A/C in my car, and not much money in my pocket.. Things have changed over the last 10 years, but I still don't have any money in my pocket!

Death Valley National Park. They even had a handicapped parking space out here!

A couple of German tourists at Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point....my feeble attempt to copy the great Ansel Adams

Sitting on the fence...or the California State Line. Almost in Governator territory!

The famous sea level sign near Furnace Creek in Death Valley

A couple of artists, hanging out at the Artist's Palette

The long, lonely road to Badwater

Yes, there is water in Death Valley. It's pretty salty, though...with bugs and crap floating in it. Yuck.

Lowest point in the US! - 282ft below sea level

Frozen Ice Floes in Newfoundland....or muddy salt flats in Death Valley?

Early Morning Sun on the Death Valley Dunes

Fuzzy Cacti, looking south down the Death Valley Basin

The Beatty Club - a cozy, quaint honest-to-goodness cowboy saloon

Cool sand on my feet, looking northeast over the Death Valley Dunes

Cool shadows on the sand dunes - I could've shot 100 photos of the sand here.

Death Valley Dunes

Death Valley from Dante's View - 5400ft over Badwater - Very Impressive!