29 November 2011

Good Shot!

Local news reports a woman shot an intruder in her back yard when he pointed his gun at her.  I'd like to believe it went something like this:

But since one got away I'm guessing not.  Police recoveredthe bad guy's weapon at the scene.

Still good job there! The good people are alive and unhurt, and there is one less bad guy in the world.

24 November 2011

My Worst Nightmare

This is pretty much my worst nightmare as a pilot - a crash that takes out the entire family. 

Short version: A plane has crashed in the mountains on the east side of the Phoenix metro area.  Reports are it carried 6 people, including three children.  According to news reports it flew in to pick up the children to take them to a Thanksgiving celebration with dad.

There are far too little facts known at this point to understand what happened to cause the crash.  Local news offers plenty of speculation, I don't feel the need to contribute to the noise.

As the title states, this is my worst nightmare.  Instead of hiding under the covers, we do everything to stack the deck in our favor.  Though I am signed off to fly at night, we plan our trip for daylight hours.  The engine doesn't know it's dark out, but the consequences of an engine failure are much higher at night.  Also terrain is harder to see at night.  Also while I am certified to fly in the clouds and maintain legal IFR currency, we plan our flight for good weather.  "Legal currency" != Proficiency.

Flying for ourselves allows us the flexibility to say "I don't need to fly today.  Weather's bad?  We'll go tomorrow.  Weather's fixin' to turn south, gotta go today!"

Godspeed to the deceased and surviving family members.  You have just realized my worst nightmare.  I cannot fathom your pain of losing the loved ones and now forever associating Thanksgiving with losing your family.

Update:  The family has a site up for the wee ones.  Wish there was more I could do.

17 November 2011

Aw Cr@p....

This post may be a bit on the depressing side, but there is a lesson we've learned the hard way.  Feel free to skip to the last three paragraphs.

Long time readers may recall we lost the SCDad's wife a couple years ago. See here and here.

Though the end was on the horizon for quite some time, no funeral plans had been made.  I can understand that, no one wants to go down that path.  Unfortunately Dad had to work through the funeral details after the fact and in less-than-optimal circumstances.

Anyway, the mortuary has a program where they contact survivors of loved ones a couple years down the road to set up their own final arrangements so the descendants don't have to and there is nothing to fight over.  This is smart from a business standpoint, as they get the $$ for dad's funeral arrangements today in return for a burger tomorrow, but also benefits us because he made the choices us offspring units would otherwise have to make. 

Hey great, glad he made the choices we'd have to make when he expires.  I suppose there is a risk that the mortuary could go Tango Uniform but they have been around as long as I can remember. I wish I had as much faith in the federal treasury.

Visiting over the weekend, SCDad mentioned there was one choice he opted not to make - Who would get the Flag draping his coffin.  You see dad went into the USArmy and did > 20 yrs in the reserves achieving the rank of Lt. Col.  I hope my siblings and I can agree on an appropriate sharing arrangement when the time comes.

Now here comes the hard lesson... I mentioned the above "Y'all have to decide how to share the flag" to the family as we drove home from the airport.  The SandCastle Son piped up and asked.... "  So where is great-grandpa's flag?"  (My SCGrandpa was in the Signal Corps in WWI).

OH CRAP!  I know my grandmother had it... she used to fly it from her flagpole when family was in town.  What happened to it when she moved on?  It probably was just a folded up flag, not in a presentation box.  So whoever came across it probably didn't recognize it for what it was.  It's almost surely gone forever.   Sorry grandpa...  [weep].  

There is the lesson... If something is intended as a family heirloom, make sure everyone knows that it is, and mark it as an heirloom with the meaning of the item.

Update:  The SCQueen thinks Dad has it and she knows where it is.  Best news in a long time!

14 November 2011

Coming Home...

Called out of town on an emergency basis. 
(Thursday 2PM) Customer:  "We really need you on site tomorrow".
(Thursday 5PM) leave DayJob(tm).
(Thursday 9PM) on the redeye
(Friday 12:30AM) get to hotel
(Friday 9:30 AM) arrive at the customer's lab
(Friday 7:30PM) head to stay with dad for the weekend.
But there are still a couple niggling issues and he wants to turn the project over Monday AM.  So we work all day Sunday and get it done.  I think Friday will be a comp day.

Now I am coming home.

(note to self... if this isn't on the MP3 player, it needs to be).
More on the stupidity that is Security Theater later.

05 November 2011


The NRA will turn 140 on November 17 and with it comes a special opportunity for Amateur radio operators.  Quoting from the YARC page:
The NRA's 140th anniversary is coming soon and with it comes a special opportunity for the many NRA amateur radio operators. 
The Yavapai Amateur  Radio Club (YARC) of Prescott, AZ, will operate a special event  station November 17, 2011, in celebration of the NRA’s 140th birthday.

The special event will operate from the Gunsite Academy’s 2,000-acre campus in Paulden, AZ, north of Prescott.  The special event call sign will be K7NRA. It will conduct operations on the following frequencies from 0800 MST to 1700 MST (1500 to 2400 UTC): 7.250, 14.050,14.250 and 21.335 MHz (+/-).

Mark the date on your calendar, tune up your antennae and heat up the finals! I just upgraded my priviledges and acquired a new radio that I'm itching to use.  The radio only puts out 5W but Paulden is just a hundred miles and one mountain range as the wave flies.
Unfortunately for me that weekdaily inconvenience known as the DayJob(tm) expects my presence exactly those hours.  But maybe I can work something around the edges.