Tag Archives: Adventures

Here’s to new adventures

The bag is empty, no cats here. Our move to Klamath Falls is now eminent!

Last week we put down a deposit on a nice little 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in the Altamont area of Klamath Falls. The original plan was to live in town for a couple of years while we build on the property we purchased back in June 2016. Over the course of the weekend, there was a rollercoaster of ups and downs emotionally but in the end, we were very happy with the results of the weekend.

The property we bought in 2016 is not going to be a good fit, but we have worked out the details and it looks like we won’t loose any money, or very little at any rate. We still have the capital we invested over the year to invest in another property a little farther down the road. Once we get established in KF we will start looking for a property for our forever homestead.

Back in April, we made the commitment to set some target dates for moving and finding work. The advantage of setting those dates was having targets to aim at. With a target in sight, we started packing the non-essentials early on to distribute the chore of packing. Last weekend we planned to go up to KF and look at a couple of rental properties with the hope of at least getting to know some of the realtors and property owners in the area. Actually finding a place was only secondary.

The Universe was smiling on us and we found a great little house with nice neighbors and a great property owner to boot. So, we came home renters for the first time in over 20 years. It’s been a very long time since either of us has lived in a house and nearly as long since we rented. Anyway, you look at it, we are in for an adventure.

Once we got home, the Universe continued to smile as we purchased a trailer kit and a bunch of accessories and paying several hundred dollars less than expected. I also was able to round up everything I needed in short order. The trailer is a lot like the one I purchased as a kit about 25 years ago after coming back to the area from rebuilding a house in Stockton. The assembly was about what I remembered with only a few changes. I got the entire frame up and structurally completed in two days. One more day and I should have it road ready with all of the electrical.

Next week I plan on wrapping up the electrical and getting started on the box which should only take a day or two. The good news is, I don’t need to have the trailer finished until June 30th. Come the first of July I will begin making trips up to the house. We will be all moved up by August first, which is good since that is when we need to be out of our apartment.

One of the things I am very much looking forward to is having a good radio antenna up for HF radio. I am also looking forward to having some room for woodworking projects. Who knows, I may even get to an aircraft build some time soon. I don’t know how all of these things are going to work out, but I am confident we will move forward in our goals.

Until next time,
~FlyBoyJon

September?

Okay, I confess, I have been one lazy blogger this year. There are a number of reasons for the lack of posting, but a lack of things to post about is not one of them. Trying to finding my voice for this blog is the main reason I haven’t been posting much. Another is that we have been flying under the radar on some personal matters.

Let’s begin with the former, shall we?

Voice

A blog must have a distinct voice of its own for it to be ‘successful.’ At least that’s what I have heard. In part, I guess my dilemma is that I’m not sure what I want the blog to be, how to gauge success, or what I would even consider that to be.

As the name FlyBoyJon implies, I am a pilot and the early intent for the site was to chronicle the journey of an adventure pilot. Something that I work on for several years was a series of adventure flights. Sadly those plans fell through and with them the aviation adventures I had intended to blog about.

Over time life has impinged on my flying to such a point that it has now bee quite some time since I took to the skies. This is something that nags at me far more than I often let on. There is nothing sadder than a grounded pilot.

Itching to get back in the air I had begun an experimental aircraft build project. Once again life stepped in. I ended up going back to school to get my FAA mechanics license and a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology. A good thing to be sure, but it made me seriously rethink my choice in aircraft for the experimental build. Something I do plan on getting back too.

Further keeping me from aviation posts here was the decision to separate my personal aviation from business aviation. I added a domain for my professional aviation work. And once again life has a way of changing plans. My professional aviation pursuits have also been tabled for the time being.

By now I bet this is sounding rather whiny, it is to me. Believe it or not, I’m not complaining. It’s just the way things have gone down. I’m no spring chicken and I’m not loaded with disposable cash so some things just have to wait and I’m okay with that.

A long-time interest that resurfaced during mechanic school was amateur radio. I finally got my ham license and rose through the licenses and started volunteering as an examiner for license tests. Ham radio is a specific, narrowly focused interest though and it required another blog, and domain all its own. I also ended up getting a commercial radio license with hopes of it being of use in my aviation pursuits.

My wife and I also have a personal site. For a long time, it was a personal journal and email site, then a genealogy site, and later back to just an email host. Now it is our online business site.

We currently have five domains with three active sites. The two inactive ones being for commercial interests. With all of these domains and sites and not much going on in my aviation world I just didn’t know what to do with this site. So I’m back to Voice. What is the voice for this site?

Land ho!

As to the second matter, flying under the radar… That has to do with our future planning. All things tallied up, there is no way in hell we will ever be able to retire if we stay in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. That’s like 10 counties of no-way-in-hell.

To be brutally honest, I have really grown to hate California. The legislature seems to collectively suffer from cranial-sphincter insertion syndrome and has a nasty habit of passing really bad legislation. The urban sprawl has become grossly over-populated, the economy sucks, and it’s just too damn expensive. It has also become very difficult to find any meaningful work here that would make staying viable.

With California not making much sense for us, we decided to look for some rural property in southern Oregon. Back in June, we purchased a two-and-a-half acre lot outside of Bonanza, Oregon, about 30 minutes northeast of Klamath Falls. As crazy as it sounds, we still haven’t made it out to look at the property. We were in KF in May and had planned on working with an agent based in Bonanza. After several ‘scheduling issues,’ we dropped the agent and came home. I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the trip and was feeling frustrated and generally in a funk when we came across this lot and jumped on it.

I had a good feeling about this property and Tammy had an uncharacteristically neutral feeling about the whole thing, almost zen like. When it comes to buying a rural property, that’s about as in sync as I think we could get. Since then we have both been gearing up for the big change physically and emotionally.

So when will we be moving up north? Who knows. We have been paying off the land, which is just that, land. I will need to build the homestead. I do want to get up there fairly soon because I don’t want to be 60 trying to build a house, but we aren’t in a huge rush. We need to bank some materials and resources, most likely find a gig for a year or two, maybe longer, or get really lucky with some online work. We certainly don’t want to try and move or build during the winter so it will be a spring or summer affair in the next year or two.

This kind of planning takes a long time. I had been studying a lot of building, farming, and permaculture subjects for over five years to get to the point where I was ready to make this happen. This has been a long time in the making.

So why haven’t I been blogging any of this? Ther has been too much fluidity in everything involved. We have a gig now and we didn’t want to stir anything up with a potential move and no defined timeline for one. We still don’t have a defined timeline, but we are much closer to having one.

One of the reasons I didn’t start posting in June was that we haven’t been able to get up there and do a land and resource survey of the property. It’s tough to make a building plan without knowing where it is going to be seated especially if you are hoping to work with the land and not forcing the land to your will.

What we have been able to do is to start the weather tracking now that we know where the land is, and follow the seasonal trending. We are also going back into the historical weather record for the area. There is a webcam a few miles from the property, but that is of limited use.

Back to the blog and its voice

So what does this have to do with finding a voice? I’m not sure. I have things to say and it’s usually something of an editorial nature on several somewhat related subjects. Mostly in the theological, sociological realms. Really it comes down to, will this be an editorial or journal, or maybe a hybrid? I honestly don’t know at this point. What I do know is that I want to be writing and this is a good place to do that. For now, I’m going to let things flow and see where it leads.

Until next time,
~Jon

More of not much

20150222_143627Holy crap! What do I write about…

It’s weird, I am in a strange head space right now. I have been thinking about a lot of projects I want to get going or moving forward on but it seems like the entire universe in in a holding pattern. I have aviation projects I want to get working on, radio projects, homesteading projects, building stuff, woodworking, furniture, the list goes on and on, but everything is on hold, well almost everything…

We have been working on putting together a bunch of projects of stuff for sale to try and get a crafting/restoration business going to start generating some funds before we make the jump to a new location but it sapping all our energy and some funds with not much in return as of yet.

What was once going to be a website for a completely different business idea has turned into our families crafting/restoration site VintageAeroWorks.com. We have been working on a bunch of projects and posting them on the site. We also have several projects we are just wrapping up to post over the weekend. All of my energies have been going to getting more build projects done.

While building all of this stock and working side-by-side with Tammy are is a good thing in theory, my head is spinning with all of the things that are on hold while I focus on this. Most of it is stuff that would be on hold anyway. I can’t justify starting any other projects that would require a lot of time or materials right before making a big move. It just wouldn’t make sense. I am trying to cut down the pile of stuff that needs to get moved, not add to it.

Keeping spending down to a bare minimum is also a priority, while still keeping up with what we need to spend money on to get the build projects done.

It’s all so tiring, and I can’t get my brain to switch off. It’s like having 100 projects all running at the same time but having 95 of them all waiting on some outside thing to happen befor you can go any further. You go through the list everyday and try to plan for the next phase of each and every one, but you can’t because that outside thing is a variable and the direction of the project hinges on that variable. 95 variables for 95 projects, all floating around in your head while you try to stay on top of all 100 projects and get that small 5 that you are not waiting on anything done.

Just thinking about thinking about it makes my head hurt. Welcome to my head, watch your step, mind the squishy bits.

The basic plan is for a land acquisition in May with a move date sometime around September. I don’t know if I can hold out that long. I’m relatively sure my perception is skewed, but it sure seems like the Stupid and Ignorant quotient is getting larger every day, and I’m finding my tolerance for it is in very short supply. Fortunately working from home keeps me out of the majority of it but even going out only a few times a week has become a very trying experience.

I guess I need some more shop time. 🙂

Till next time,
~FlyBoyJon

The passing of 2015

20150222_1436272015 has been an interesting year. You could say it was full of weird and wacky adventures, loss, sadness, backsliding and headaches. It has also seen some forward progress, accomplishments both personal and professional, and a lot of forward momentum on future planning.

The pic is from our vacation/scouting trip up to Klamath Falls, Oregon back in February. It was a great trip. We had a lot of fun and it helped set a lot of things in motion for our future.

I’m not really sure what it all means but 2016 promises to be a big year of change. Tammy and I are already working on getting fit. She has been doing Weight Watchers and hopping on the treadmill. I have been working on getting back to Paleo and tredmilling as well. I am also getting back to isometric strength training. The fitness kick is more than a general health looking in the mirror thing, it is in preparation for moving forward with homesteading plans.

We have talked about it for years and I have been studying a variety of subject areas. I am now well versed in alternative construction techniques and permaculture design, though there is always more to learn and I am by no means an expert. I am versed in a wide range of sustainable systems for the homesteading environment and I am excited to get building.

Gardening has presented the largest challenge. Our 6′ x 10′, west facing, covered, patio space is not even close to ideal. We have had better luck keeping plants alive inside than outside. A while back we resigned ourselves to holding off on building the gardening skills until we are in a more rural environment with enough ground space for a full kitchen garden.

I have been studying up on Hügelkultur, permaculture soil building and earthworks, pioneering plants, cover crops and general land rehabilitation. Depending on the site, it is likely that the first year or two will be spent more on soil development than anything else.

We have also been working on our food preservation skills. Tammy has been getting into canning, mostly jams and jellies. I just finished canning four pounds of jalapeño peppers which filled eight pint jars that are now cooling. Over the spring and summer I dried a lot of Serrano pepper from the three pepper bushes I was able to grow on the back porch. I am hoping to do more soups and veggies in the coming months.

Speaking of food… the livestock issue is one where we are pretty much complete novices. I have had a little experience with rabbits and chickens but that was over 40 years ago. Based solely on our regular food patterns, raising chickens is pretty much a must. Anything else would be more a function of site.

Soil needs, available resources, what the site can support, structures, and systems, these are all site dependant and since we don’t have a site yet, we are at an impasse in these areas. Over the last few years we have been acquiring the foundation information and resources to get started. With this in place we are turning our focus on doing what we can do, close out debt, save as much as we can, and focus on getting property.

So that’s where we are, looking for land.

Until next time,
~FlyBoyJon

12 things I want to do for the next 40 years

I love aviation. For someone not IN aviation it can be difficult to understand how all encompassing this love is. It is not just one aspect of aviation like flying, for me it is nearly everything about aviation as a whole.

As a kid in the 70s I always wanted to learn to fly. One summer my aunt took me on one of those Bay Tour helicopter flights out of the wharf in San Francisco. Ever since then, the desire to fly has been rolling around the back of my mind.

Once I started flight school it woke up all of those fascinations of childhood. They are here to stay. There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to share with friends, family, and anyone else who is interested in aviation and flying.

Some people ask what I want out of aviation and what I want to do in aviation and the two questions are so tightly woven together that it seemed easier to make a list with a little detail.

12 things I want to do for the next 40 years:

Fly: Kind of obvious don’t you think. I love to fly. There is nothing like flying along the coastline at 500 feet a little off shore, or flying through mountain passes and landing on remote grass airstrips out in the middle of nowhere. A feeling of freedom and exhilaration I have yet to find anywhere else.

Add Ratings: There are so many different kinds of aircraft to fly; so many related things to do that need some kind of rating or endorsement. To pursue aviation is to be a perpetual student.

Exposure Flights: Part of the joy of flying is sharing that joy with others. There are so many people of all ages that would love to go for a flight who have never done it before. Giving people an opportunity to fly is a gift I am thrilled to give.

Adventure Flights: I am an adventurer at heart and there are a lot of adventurous flights I would love to plan and fly, not to mention sharing the experience with everyone else.

Write About Aviation: When I am flying regularly there are so many things to share with different groups in the aviation community.

Photo Missions: Along with writing, taking pictures is another way to share the joys of being airborne and of seeing those other magnificent flying machines that show up at fly-ins, and the tips and tricks that can be shared with images.

Produce Media: Audio and video can enhance articles and other stories that I would like to share. From education to entertainment the written word, still photography, audio, and video can come together to become amazing and expressive multimedia that is a great way to share aviation with the world.

Movie Pilot: Flying for motion pictures and other media, ether on screen or as a platform is one of those dream gig kinds of things.

Build and Restore Aircraft: I am a hands on kind of person, I like to build, maintain, and restore stuff in general. Building, maintaining, and restoring aircraft is another extension of who I am. The satisfaction of completing projects and enjoying the fruits of the labor.

Participate in Air Shows and Fly-ins: Participation in the aviation community at large is one of the integrating elements of the rest of this list; it is the getting out there and sharing with the flying community. An opportunity to take aircraft out and show them off and promote everything else I am doing in the community. It is also one of the best ways to fellowship with the community, meet and greet, hanger talk, and see some of the exciting people and machines out in the wild.

Aircraft and Powerplant Research & Development: There are a lot of new things going on in the aviation industry, changes on the horizon, and I have ideas. From new designs to unique applications of off-the-shelf materials there are test to be done.

Teach: While last on my list, it is by no means least. I learn when I teach, and I love to learn. With every new rating, endorsement, and project there are opportunities to practice and teach new skills.

Navigation

Colonial SurveyorMaps and charts of all kinds have fascinated me as far back as I can remember. Some of my fondest memories are of time spent using or making maps. I have had numerous occasions where my skills with maps and charts have allowed me the pleasure of teaching others the art and science of navigation; on land, sea, and in the air.

As a Boy Scout I used topographical maps frequently in a wide variety of environments. As a Search and Rescue team member I used them almost daily and was an instructor for land navigation from time to time. As a pilot and ground instructor I have worked with students on chart reading and all aspects of aviation navigation. Throughout my life I have used maps and charts in my day to day work. Being a navigator with all of these experiences I have noticed a trend over the years (much like the societal trend) to rely on electronics. In this case, reliance on electronic navigation aids.

GPS is an awesome tool! I have been working with GPS systems since the 80s and I love using them with all of their advanced tracking, trip calculating, and time/distance features. They can help navigation by taking on the simple and tedious calculations and displaying the results in an easy-to-use format. As a pilot I use other radio navigational aids as well as GPS. All of them are fantastic tools, but they do share a common down side; they breed laziness, complacency, and a degradation of basic navigation skills.

It would be fair to say that well over half of the people using GPS in recreational navigation, if forced by circumstances to use a map or chart, a compass, and having an initial bearing and heading, would find it very difficult to get from point A to point B, let alone points C, D, E, and F. Even in aviation where navigation and situational awareness are critical, the advances in safety through electronic navigation have come at a potential cost: the disuse and thereby degradation of basic navigation skills.

A disheartening indicator of this complacency and loss of basic skills comes from an unlikely source, the USGS. Due to budget constraints, rapidly changing technologies and rapidly changing topography, topographical maps have gone out of use at an alarming rate. As a USGS Earth Science Corps volunteer, I supported the USGS efforts as a map annotator for many years. Several years ago the ESC was disbanded and a new organization put in its place with a new task for its volunteers; providing GPS coordinates for prominent structures. This change happened at about the same time Google Earth hit the open market, making the new USGS project seem a bit superfluous.

Even before the technological and organizational changes at USGS came the changes in product cycle. It seems that the only topos being updated were ones needed for special projects. The rest of the catalog was ignored entirely, despite vast amounts of changes taking place in the Quads. A prime example of the neglect in the new cycle is the San Jose West quadrangle. The current version is dated 1 JAN 1980. This map is now almost 30 years old. I live near this quad, I can assure you that a few things have changed, including the addition of a six-lane freeway.

I firmly believe that terrestrial navigation should be a regular subject in primary education. It leads to proficiency in so many other areas that it should be considered a foundation skill set, but with the tools available, one has to ask… Has the USGS completely lost it’s focus? Should it be retasked? Or has it become so useless, like the Census Bureau, that it should just be eliminated all together. I would hate to see the service abandon, but I think the service should be seriously reevaluated. It has become a clearing house for demographics and basic geodetic data with little real unique value due to the proliferation of GIS services offered by private companies like ESRI; a task I might add that is duplicated by the GIA and other TLA agencies. However, an increase in topographic map consumers to meet the needs of basic navigation education might drive a better product response from the USGS and generate a revitalized commercial market for there topographical products.

My apologies for the soap box here. Government waste has been piling up, and I get frustrated seeing services like the USGS destroyed with scaled-back funds rather than retasking and developing a new fiscal plan. It makes no sense to reduce budgets and staff, then expect the same workload and quality. Something has to give, and it’s usually the product. It would be better to disband the organization all together. Ether elimination or retasking would produce a better budget reduction.

But back on the subject of navigation basics. A good understanding of the basic principals of navigation can be a strong character building skill. The tasks in navigation quickly and easily become analogues to the skills in navigating life.

So what does all of this posturing mean? I guess it is thinking out loud. I have been developing projects for so long that I have gotten into the habit of thinking of projects first from the cloud perspective, then deconstructing to the smallest elements then reconstructing from the ground up.

While putting together plans for some short adventures I began working on a Basic Survival Kit (a story in and of itself) but it got me thinking – more important than the basic kit, is the foundation knowledge behind it. The tools are of little benefit unless you know how to use them. In some cases the tools will do more harm than good without proper background knowledge. The same is true for navigation, and navigation is in the top five of primary skills in a survival situation: fire, shelter, water/food, navigation, communication.

From the adventure perspective, I am looking at the basic skills needed for a successful adventure where navigation moves to the top of the list in the planing phase. You need to know your route before you can asses the equipment and materials you will need. Even the Basic Survival Kit is determined to some extent by the navigation/planning.

From a navigation sense, it is back to the basics; a topo, compass, straightedge and a pencil. Time for some back to basics thinking.

Until next time,
Trek Safe

Where is he going with this?

Taking NoteA fair question, indeed.

When I started this iteration of the website as a blog in March of 2008, the idea was to use it as a personal site only. Later it migrated to an idea of a purely commercial/organizational site, and has morphed into several variations since. In the most recent morph, I closed down a couple of other sites, redirected them to this site and cross-posted the entries from those sites here. Sounds like a mess, doesn’t it? I spent a lot of time on this site planing and preparing for this grand Aviation Adventure program (which I have not given up on, by the way) that was to become my primary focus professionally. Due to many circumstances, that plan has not born any fruit.

This post is a “clear the air” article, more for me than anyone else, though it may contain tidbits useful to others. I wanted to put the new plans out there for the universe to see, and to be a personal motivator and reference point.

Shortcomings in personality have much to do with the lack of forward motion on several plans for the site. I am a born puppeteer leader. I lead from the wings, not on stage. Getting things done is much easier for me if there is a “face man” to motivate the masses and sell the product. I am a skilled sales person and I do have the interpersonal skills to get the job done, I just don’t like to be the face man. I can do the jobs of a good sized team in the background; just don’t throw me out on stage and things will work out fine. This is my biggest hurdle in getting projects moving forward. This is also a contributing factor in this most recent change of direction.

The last few posts have been about me, not just in the subject sense but in the personal sense, and this is part of the new direction I am moving to with this site. It is a change of perspective and attitude, to view the adventures more the way I see them. The plan then is to do the adventure stuff but approach it from the back stage perspective. Go through the planing, plotting and set up, then into the training phase, on to the execution, and the grand finale, the post production documentation phase. With this perspective I will be able to do and share all of the things I love, the planing, training, adventure, and production.

As much as I would love to start building that Nieuport right away, that just aint gonna happen. As a kid I was never in shape; I was an active person, I was just an active fat person. Over the years, I have abused my body with long hours, little sleep and lots of burst activities. The kinds of things that put high strain on the body. Now, as I reach for middle age, I realize there are a lot of things I miss doing that are adventures in and of themselves. I want to get myself in better physical condition to do some of the more infrequently done adventures. One thing I have wanted to do most of my life is fly around the world as pilot in command (PIC). To do that I need to be in good physical condition, certainly better condition than I am now.

So, this is where the adventures begin. I am embarking on a physical fitness program, still in development, that is my first adventure. This change in direction began with the 5k my wife and I participated in a week ago, and moved forward in the preparation of yesterdays article on shoes. Last night I plotted out a 5k through my neighborhood and that is my new training ground, until I bump it up to a 10k.

This is the beginning of my basic fitness program. As I put together more of a program I will put up a Basic Fitness page to elaborate on what I am doing in that arena. At present, the first Adventure, with a capital A, will most likely be the Skyline To The Sea trail, from Skyline down into Big Basin State Park. As soon as I get more on the planing of that trip I will start the Adventure page. As I accumulate more Adventures, I will sort them out a bit, but the blog will contain posts about all.

Monetization is where the biggest change in plan for the site takes place. I had always planned for the site to be monetized, it was originally intended to be very early in the game. Now that element is taking a back seat. I plan on acquiring sponsors and selling advertising at some point. For now that is an incidental, not a driving factor. This is a huge shift in the sites initial concept. Where it was originally money driven, it is now a personal thing. Don’t get me wrong, I will be pimping the site in short order, it just wont be the driving force. I think that this change in attitude about the site will help to over come my personal obstacles about being the face man.

Shoes

Walking ShoesShoes, shoes, shoes, shoes… shoes!

As a young kid I learned about foot care. I remember as a small child, going to the Buster Brown shoe store with my mom. The salesman at the store had been there for a long time and seemed to be much older than my mom, and I can remember him telling her about arch support and proper foot alignment and how important they where for a young child’s feet. This would have been somewhere around 1975.

Foot care took the spotlight again when I was a Boy Scout. One of my Scoutmasters regaled us with stories of the British troops and how important foot care was to the military; officers that had let foot problems develop were even court marshaled. Hmmm…. a dishonorable foot discharge… Anyway, It was made clear on many occasions that taking care of your feet on hiking trips was very important. I recall more than one instance where I, or another scout, had slacked on our foot care and regretted it most strongly.

Over the years it had just become a part of the routine to take care of my feet. When I was in search and rescue, I was often the one to remind some of the other team members about taking care of there feet. On several survival course trips I was one of the few that fared toward the top of the class. On more than one expedition I have been very thankful for my scouting experiences in foot care.

As I got older I took on responsibilities that did not require the durable footwear I had grown up using. I had also become so busy with work that weekends just turned into more workdays. The activities that I participated in, mostly Renaissance faires, required ‘alternative’ footwear and my work shoes were cheap seekers. I got out of the habit of taking care of my feet.

The last time I bought ‘good’ shoes was in 2002. I bought a pair of Wolverine work boots, and they were very comfortable, they fit well and offered a lot of ground shock absorption. Just what I needed at the time. As the years wore on, the boots slowly deteriorated, unfortunately for me, it was very slowly. I had grown attached to them and wore them all the time. I bought $10-20 shoes at Wal-mart or Target for general ware but the boots were the primary footwear. The cheap shoes usually lasted 6 months or less, compressing and becoming uncomfortable or just falling apart. Us big guys are hard on shoes, they break down on us rather quickly. The Wolverines had broken down but I hadn’t noticed until I realized that they were now causing foot problems.

After realizing that my boots were now causing problems, I decided to bite the bullet and spend a little more for a ‘decent’ pair of shoes, not good shoes, those are too expensive, just decent. Bad move. I know better, but I have gotten cheap in my old age.

The 5k that my wife and I participated in last weekend was the first ‘real’ walk in the new shoes. They didn’t hold up all that well. I got away with 3 blisters, 2 large but not bad blisters on my left foot were on the pads of my foot under clauses. They healed back up without any attention in just a few of days. The small one on my right foot was on the little toe and after 2 days I had to peel it away. All and all not too bad, but the reason for them in the first place was my choice of shoe. A size a little too long to accommodate the width of my foot allowed my foot to slide a bit in the shoe and the ‘spring’ heel floats around in all directions a little also contributing to the movement inside the shoe. The heel has broken down some and is now very squishy, because I am a big guy.

Some discussion on footwear with my wife over the last week and the decision to make some marked improvements in our out-and-about time prompted a walk over to the new Sports Authority store, so conveniently located in the same center as our usual Starbucks haunt. Turned out, they were having a big 4th of July sale including, you guessed it, shoes. My intent was to get a pair of hiking/walking boots that we had seen on one of our scouting expeditions in the store earlier. I did get the boots, but I also found a pair of walking shoes in the clearance aisle at close to 50% off. While we spent a little more than I had planned on, I am now in much better shape to embark on the new walking/hiking plan for this summer.

Old BootsI retired my Wolverines along with some cheap slip-ons I bought last summer as soon as we got home.

As a small preview of a day adventure to come, we are planning a day hike from HWY 9/HWY 35 down into Big Basin. Some of the old timers from my scouting days will remember this as the Skyline to the Sea hike. We will only be doing the Skyline in to Big Basin part, but it is still a good day hike. I will be setting up some interesting stuff for the post on that soon.

Until then, may every day be filled with adventure!

Aviation Adventures

Hey all, I just wanted to let everyone know that a new welcome page is up. Things are moving forward slowly but surely. And now for the gacked page…

Aviation AdventuresFBJ-AA-logo-02-b

Aviation adventures is about having fun. It’s about getting off your butt and just doing it. There are so many flights every pilot wants to do, we often just don’t get around to doing them; FlyBoyJon.com is all about getting out there, planing and flying those adventures.

Our first adventure will take us to every public use airport in the state of California, That’s 253 airports in 16 weeks!. While flying to each airport we will be taking pictures, video and  interviewing people at many airports. Along the way we may find ourselves doing some other interesting and fun things on and off airport. Each airport will be the subject of a blog entry and will include information about the airport and links to people and places at the field. It will be a lot of fun meeting new people and hearing about all of the airports in California.

Details of the planning will be posted and updated regularly to let everyone know where we plan on being and when we will be there. Post flight blogging and special feature podcasts are posted frequently as we move from one destination to the next. We look forward to seeing you in the air and on the ramp you.

Don’t live in California? That’s Okay, we will be all over the country at fly-in’s and airshows too. One of FlyBoyJon’s goals is to visit every public use airport in the 48 contiguous states! That’s over 5000 airports! We are always looking for great adventures as well as the dozen we have on the planning table now, so drop us a note with your suggestions. We just may add it to the list, maybe even drop by to say hey.

FlyBoyJon.com is starting out as a grassroots, zero budget start-up.  We can only do this with the support of sponsor members and corporate sponsors. This is your chance to be a part of the adventure we are working on special sponsor member thank you gifts and benefits that we hope to have available soon.  Please help support aviation adventure by becoming a sponsor member at FlyBoyJon.com.

“Blue skies and smooth air”
~FBJ

Adventure

FBJ-AA-logo-02-bIn April of 2004 I had an idea.

I was having a lot of fun flying and working on my instrument rating and commercial pilot certificate, spending a lot of time in the air and with fellow pilots at the Hayward Executive Airport. With a fresh new red Miquelrius notebook I began journaling some of my aviation adventures in training. One of the pages in the notebook contain a series of adventures I have yet to do. A list of flights that would be wonderful accents to my journal, logbook and life.

Among the list of adventures are two trips around the world, one by the latitudinal route and one by the longitudinal. Of course there would need to be some less ambitious trips first like a transcontinental, trans Atlantic and trans Pacific flights to get the ball rolling. I have been mulling this around for some time now, I just haven’t gotten to it. If I am going to get any of these adventures under my belt I had better get to it.

Being a pilot is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have in life. It can also be a terrible curse. When you don’t fly for long periods a longing builds inside. You can spot a pilot over due for some time in the blue, when ever a plane or helicopter flies over head the look up almost gleefully, as it passes by their  head slowly lowers and the glee turns to longing. You find yourself looking for excuses to run errands near an airport, any reason will do.

It’s not just the longing to fly that pains me, it is the longing to share flying with others. The posting about the days flight, recorded bits of cockpit audio, photos of the coast and the Golden gate bridge that I took while crossing over it at 1,500 feet. I miss that very much. I miss flight planning.

I was asked by a friend what I wanted to do in life and it took a while to think about it. I finally to him I wanted to be an adventurer; I knew it sounded like a response from a young child, but that was what I thought. Since that exchange I have been thinking about it a lot. It is not that I want to be and adventurer, I am one. I just have not been on any adventures lately. I have been getting caught up in the grind and lost sight of where I was going, what I had set out to do on the 22nd of April, 2003; my first flight. I forgot what I had accomplished on October 23, 2003, my first solo. I had misplaced my drive that got me through my Private Pilot, Instrument Rating and my Commercial Pilot check rides. I had lost touch with the joys of teaching ground school, the anticipation of teaching flight in the airplane.

I have had some wonderful adventures in my life, I am an adventurer. I am due for some more.

~FBJ