Sunday, November 15, 2009
Poor flight planning can be a reason for an accident. I am guilty not doing a thorough job of flight planning years ago when I went on a cross country flight in my gyro. I had neglected to check the runway condition of a field where I planned to land . I had landed there years before and at that time the small strip was well maintained and in good condition but in the intervening years the asphalt had suffered greatly and there were deep chuck holes all over the runway.
Fortunately for me , the wind was blowing about 30 mph. and that allowed me to make a no roll landing thus avoiding running into a chuckhole. The high wind allowed for an almost vertical takeoff when I departed, again avoiding the holes in the runway. If there had been no wind I could not have landed there safely as a landing roll or takeoff run was not possible because of the holes in the runway.
And if I had to fly to an alternate airport I would have had a major problem as I didn't have enough fuel to make it to the next airport. As I said, it was poor flight planning and is an example of what could cause a gyro accident. If there had been an accident I could have been cited by the FAA because it is an FAA rule that the condition of the runway to be used be checked prior to departing on a cross country trip.
Recently a gyro pilot friend with some years of gyro flying experience crashed his gyro. His accident was one of those that shouldn't have happened but it did. My friend was not injured but his gyro was totally destroyed . Knowing that the accident was his fault he has asked me to write about it for he believes as I do, that there is a lesson to be learned in every accident. He is to be commended for wanting to try to prevent someone else from similar grief. It will be a day or so before I can get to it but at his request I will describe his non fatal accident.
Till next time.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The pilots found the small powerful McCulloch engine in military surplus stores, in garages and just about everywhere. Of course, most of the engines had bit the dust when the aircraft they powered was shot down. But, the good thing about the engine, it was affordable. Most could be purchased for about $200 or less. As most of the pilots in our group were young folks with small children, the small price of the engine fit our small budgets. Gyro pilots bought the surplus engines, learned what to do to make it airworthy and flew it. It weighed 70 pounds and came in 72 and 90 horse power versions. The weight to power ratio was loved by gyro pilots, me included.
Down through the years modern engines came on the scene and many pilots adapted them to their gyros but some pilots still loved and flew the McCulloch. I was one of them.
To start the engine that didn't have a starter, one had to pull the propeller through. That means to turn the prop fast by hand. That isn't something for the faint of heart to do. It is a dangerous procedure and there are many gyro pilots missing a finger or two who can attest to that last statement. But with my husband always there to start or ' prop' the engine for me, I never gave a starter a thought. To fly, all I had to do was suit up and sit on the seat and Docko would prop the engine and start it for me. As I said, I was spoiled.
Fast forward...Docko passed away, I retired from flying then 12 1/2 years after his passing I started flying the gyro again. Now getting my engine started became a big problem for I only knew two gyro pilots who knew how to prop the engine and they were not always available to lend a hand when I wanted to fly. I needed a starter!
On the Rotary Wing Forum, a site on the internet which I visit often, someone offered a starter kit for the McCulloch engine for sale! Oh happy day! I ordered a kit and my friend , gyro pilot Dave Bacon installed the starter on my gyro. I wrote all about the installation in an earlier blog. Fast forward again to the last weekend of September , 2009. That's when we have the annual gyro fly-in on the El Mirage dry lake and that's when I made the first flight of my gyro with the new starter. The picture above was taken as I arrived at the fly-in site. I am still getting used to the feel of the machine with the added weight of 30 lbs. of starter and battery but I can say one thing for sure, to turn the switch on and push the button and have the mighty Mac come to life is a thrill! As Jackie Gleason would say, " How sweet it is".
The photo was taken by my friend, Edna Arlt, affectionatly known as Ed.
Till next time.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
I'd let the engine run a minute or so , shut it down and then do it all over again and again.
That's a photo of me on my gyro with the engine running.
After giving the new starter a work out we put the gyro on Dave's trailer and went over to a gate way to do the hang test to determine the CG ( center of gravity). A hang test is necessary when big changes are made to a gyro, in my case we had added a starter and a battery for a total of about 30 lbs. of weight.
The hang test involves attaching a hoist to the teeter bolt and with the pilot in the seat, lifting the gyro clear of the ground.
Someone then takes an angle finder and holds it against the back of the mast then reads the degree of angle that the gyro hangs from level. For the the center of gravity of the machine to be correct, the gyro should hang from 0 to 3 degrees nose down. My gyro came in right on target with a nose down angle of 2 degrees.
Teddy had made some modifications to his gyro recently making a hang test necessary for his machine also. So, after my hang test was done, we repeated the whole thing with Teddy in the seat of his gyro.
We started about 8 AM hoping to beat the heat but this is summer time in the desert and it was well over 100 degrees by the time we finished.
So, although I haven't flown the gyro since the addition of the starter, just having the starter and a successful hang test made my day! There will be cooler days to fly. Just knowing that I can start my gyro myself whenever I want to fly is a giant step of independence to me.
I am very appreciative of the work that Dave has done in getting my gyro to that point. He is a man in demand for he has taken on the job of going completely through someone else's gyro and bringing it up to flying condition. When he isn't working on gyros, Dave tries to decide which of his three gyros he is going to fly!
Till next time.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
But, it didn't fit in the mounting bracket. Dave cut off a little bit of the bracket and still the starter wouldn't go in. He said that he could cut a piece off the edge of the starter itself and it would fit, " but", he said, " if it doesn't fit, we can't return it to the store. You will have a pricey shelf ornament. What do I do ?".
Since I figured we were about out of options regarding starters, I said, " make it fit". And he did . Back to the hack saw he went and took off a bit of the starter and then it went right into place in the mounting bracket like it was made for it.
After buttoning up everything and securing the new battery in it's holder on the keel tube, we pushed the gyro out to the run up pad and started it up. The engine started easily. I was amazed at the power with which the starter spun the propeller.
So, like a kid with a new toy, I would start the engine ( push button start, imagine that ! ), let the engine run a minute, shut it down and start it again and again. It looks like we have a winner in the new starter!
The day was hot, 103 degrees hot, and it was getting late in the day so we decided to put off the all important hang test until Saturday, August 8, when Dave will make the trip up to the desert again. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas as I wait for Saturday,August the 8th. to get here !
Dave has gone to a lot of effort to help me achieve the freedom to fly whenever I want . He lives a couple of hours away in a much cooler area and yet he comes up to the high desert and works on my gyro in 100 degree plus weather . That's a real friend.
Till next time.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
If I happen to be on a tight schedule I will leave the items on the counter and go on my way . In an auto parts store the clerk kept answering the phone while no less than eight customers waited for service. He answered call after call . Finally one of the waiting customers announced that he was going to go home and call the clerk on the phone as it seemed to be the only way to get his attention .
The man who delivers our water is addicted to his cell phone. You never see him not talking on it. Recently I was standing there with a hundred dollar bill waiting to pay for the load of water and he had the cell phone between his head and shoulder and was carrying on a conversation while writing out the receipt. He hadn't even bothered to say 'Good morning' to me.
In the supermarket one day I saw a male shopper talking on his cell phone while shopping. He seemed to get the other person's opinion on every item he put in his shopping cart. He happened to finish at the check stand just about the time I did and he still had his cell phone cradled against his shoulder and talking away.
I watched as he left the store just as I did...he had a bag of groceries in each hand and was still yakking away on the phone. I wondered if he would let go of the phone to stow his purchases in the car...no way! He set one bag on the ground and unlocked the car, put both bags inside , got in and drove away still talking. Now that is addiction!
About land line phones, I will be getting a new one in a couple of weeks. Because of my hearing ( or lack of hearing ) I use a TTY relay system with the telephone . It works great for me but callers are reluctant to deal with the operators who type their words, as the operators at times , have to interrupt the caller to check spelling or tell them to speak slower , etc. And also , many people don't know how to use the TTY system. When I called the animal hospital to check on my dog the girl who answered, said " We don't want any ", and hung up the phone , probably thinking the operator's explanation of TTY was a sales pitch.
The new phone I am getting is voice activated so the the callers words will be automatically typed for me to read and I will also be able to hear the caller's voice which my present system doesn't allow. I'm told the new phone, called, Cap-Tel , is more user friendly as it will be like making a regular phone call. Let's hope so . I'm looking forward to it. I promise not to become addicted .
Till next time.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Today you have to examine every word six ways from Sunday to see if it will offend the other person before you say it. Example, I was in the supermarket and there was a lady in a wheel chair ahead of me in the isle. Her path was blocked by an empty shopping cart that was sitting cross ways in the isle. There was no room for her to go around it and it looked like she was having trouble trying to reach it to push it out of the way.
Naive me, I said, " I'll move it out of your way". Well, she darn near jumped down my throat! Looking ready to fight, she said , " It's in EVERYBODY'S way !". It would have been in everyone's way , if there had been others there but at the moment it was just the lady in the wheel chair and me .
It was in her way more than mine for I could easily move it whereas she could not. I figured that I must have said something politically incorrect by offering to move the cart out of her way but I was at a loss to know what I said that had offended her . So, I just moved the shopping cart without responding to her outburst and went on my way, thinking to myself, "she can move the next one herself ".
I talked with a man who worked for the Post Office. All postal employees had to attend a sensitivity training program where they would learn what was safe to say and what could get them a sexual harrassment lawsuit. He said he had learned that it wasn't safe to tell a coworker that she looked nice, or that her dress was very becoming, or any thing that a reasonable person would take as a compliment. In today's workplace he said, the big thing he learned was to just do his work and keep his mouth shut for that was the only safe way. Best not to talk to any female coworker, he said.
A man I talked with recalled having his grandchildren in a fast food place and one of the young ones was acting up and ignoring granddad when he repeatedly told him to settle down. He said, " I spanked him once on his bottom and it suddenly became very quiet in the resturant and everyone in the place was looking at me". The granddad then said in a loud voice to everyone in general , " Don't anyone say a word", and they didn't. Spanking an unruly child is not PC in todays world.
The granddad was lucky he didn't get hauled off to the pokey for child abuse by today's standards . Having raised four children, I can attest to the fact that sometimes it takes a smack on the bottom to make the kid behave.
Well, enough about being politically correct with every word ... Saturday , July 11 is the meeting of PRA Chapter 1 and we will talk about gyros and the upcoming gyro fly-in and we won't worry about being PC.
If you're near to the El Mirage dry lake in So. Ca. (30 mi. East of Palmdale), and have an interest in gyros, come to the meeting. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for directions .
Till next time.
The photo is of my daughter Linda holding a Mojave Green rattle snake which she killed in her yard a couple of days ago.
Linda's cat was looking out the window of her home and was acting very disturbed. Linda looked out to see what had her cat's attention and there it was...a very large rattle snake just off the edge of her front porch and about three feet from the side of her house, all coiled up and waiting for something!
She grabbed a shovel, her weapon of choice, ( not mine though), and went outside to dispatch the snake to rattle snake Heaven which she quickly did . It was a good size snake with 6 rattles and a button.
This is desert country and rattlers are a part of the wild life out here. My son and daughter and I have all killed rattlers that were in our yards and close enough to be a threat to us. Lest anyone think we enjoy eleminating the snakes, I assure you we do not. I hate it when I have to put a rattler down and I know my children feel the same way.
BUT, we are a long way from medical help and it takes a medical helicopter an average of one hour to reach us, a fact that was observed once again last week when a neighbor with an injured leg waited for the emergency helicopter.
The venom of the Mojave Green is particularly dangerous and is life threatening if help isn't immediate. So, it's us or them!
With the activity of three dogs running here and there on my place I am seeing fewer and fewer snakes but Linda's place is much more serene than mine .
Lucky is the smallest of my three dogs and she is the rattle snake watcher. She is always on the lookout for rattlers. When she spots a Mojave Green she doesn't attack , she just sounds the alarm and we hop to.
Till next time.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Things had been going nicely with the starter adaption to the McCulloch engine on my gyro. There were a couple of set backs that had to be dealt with but Dave Bacon is a resourceful man and he took the challenges in stride .
When he found that there was simply not enough room to accommodate both the starter and the Wunderlich prerotator that is on my gyro , he switched out a part of the prerotator for a different one that would leave room so that I wouldn't have to give up the prerotator.
Finally last Saturday, a 102 degree day in El Mirage, after working all day in the hot hangar it looked like we were on the home stretch. We rolled the gyro out to the cement run-up pad and started the engine. It fired right up and I was pleasantly surprised at how powerful the starter was.
Still not having everything buttoned up, Dave shut the engine down after a very few seconds of running. I looked at him expecting to see a big smile on his face but instead his face showed great disappointment and I knew that something was wrong. He pointed to the propeller.
We found that a brass bushing had come out of the front end of the starter and had contacted the propeller leaving two gouges in the hub area. The starter that had come with the kit was a reconditioned one. Dave checked out repairing the starter but considering the importance of the starter and it's it's closeness to the prop he opted to pick up new starter.
So, no work on the starter this weekend, the 4th. of July but next weekend is a whole new ball game. What's left to do is install the starter, that should go fast now, and hook up solenoid and battery wires for good and then run that baby up !
After the engine run up will come the hang test. To do that we will use a comealong and lift the gyro off the ground with me sitting in the seat and holding the gyro level with the control stick . Then with an angle measuring device , ( sorry, I can't think of the name of it), we will check to see that the center of gravity is correct. In this case, the gyro should hang 0 to 3 degrees nose down. If all is Ok then it will be time to go fly.
So, we're gettin' there.
Till next time.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I didn't have an opportunity to use the fuel pump for a variety of reasons until day before yesterday. I have been busy trying to make a dump of a hangar into a decent place to keep my gyro and with the help of Linda, it has become a decent and clean place to house my gyro and also a good place to go hang out if I need to get away from the sometimes hectic life at home.
On my gyro there is a 1/4 inch diameter plastic tubing that runs on the outside of the fuel tank from the bottom to the top of the tank. It is easy to see the level of fuel in the tank through the clear plastic. That tubing is the " instrument" by which I know how much gas is in the tank . Imagine my surprise when one day I saw the plastic tubing had shrunk and pulled off the top fitting and was short of reaching it by a good inch or more. Good thing I noticed it on the ground !
The tubing had to be replaced but the tank had to be drained first and wouldn't you know , the tank was full ! So the tank was drained and a new and better kind of tubing was installed, then finally, I had the first opportunity to use the fuel transfer pump .
The advertisment says it will transfer the fuel in one minute...it took me more than one minute because I would turn the pump handle and watch with joy and fascination as the av gas rushed from the container up through the clear tubing of the pump and into the fuel tank then I would turn the crank a few more turns and stop and watch again. No heavy lifting ! Thank you Linda for your wonderful gift.
Till next time
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
In time their injuries healed and they were eating on their own and ready to be set free so one morning I put them out in the pigeon house in the back yard. One of them flew out immediately so I thought he would adjust quickly to his new freedom. The white one just stayed where I put her in the pigeon house.
In the evening after the birds have all gone into the pigeon house and into the large cages I close the doors to keep them safe from predators of the night. So that evening I went out to close up the pigeon house. The white pigeon was still in the same spot where I had left her that morning . She never took her eyes off me. The other young bird was hanging on the door of the pigeon house. I picked him off the door and set him inside on the floor. He immediately went to cling on the door again. Once more I took him off the door and this time I put him on the floor next to the white one. He hopped onto my arm. Meanwhile the white bird is watching me and her eyes are saying, " Take me home. How could you leave me here ?"
Softie that I am, I picked the two young birds up and took them back into the house and put them back into their recently vacated cage. They immediately settled down and looked oh, so contented . I'll try again in a couple of weeks to set them free...hopefully freedom will take next time. My cats, dogs, and birds have no trouble training me !
Till next time.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Then one day, I saw it, a cute little golf cart for sale in someone's yard. When I say cute, I mean cute the way the Flintstones vehicle was cute in the old TV program my children liked to watch.
The little golf cart in the yard was what people mean when they say of someone , "he has a face only a mother could love". But I wanted that golf cart...I began thinking of it as mine when I first saw it. So it needed painting, so it needed new seat covers, so it needed new batteries ( 6 of them at roughly $ 100 per battery), for it is battery powered.
I'm handy, I thought, I can paint it and I can make new seat covers, maybe even raid the piggy bank and come up with the ransom for 6 new batteries. I gotta have that golf cart! So after some negotiation with the owner, the ragged little cart was mine. Mine and my dog Buddy's, that is. He took to it instantly when we got it home.
Where I really expect the golf cart to be useful is at the annual gyro fly-in we have on the El Mirage dry lake the last weekend of September. I like to walk the line, gyro line that is, and check out what's new and who is flying what , etc. Sometimes the gyro line-up is long and being that my legs are old , being able to ride the line and have a seat to rest the back is very appealing.
The fly-in is the reason for the bright " look at me, don't run over me ", new paint job on the cart. The colors are highly visible.
And you can see from the photo that Buddy doesn't mind the ' stop your heart' paint job. He spends hours sitting in the cart so he will be ready to go when the cart moves.
While waiting for the fly-in to put the cart to work, it has proved to be very useful around home. I carry the trash bags down to the dumpster in it, and yesterday Linda and I used it to haul some plywood and a work table to the bead shop she is building on her place next door. Of course Buddy rode along on top of the building materials every trip. We also made a trip to the mail box and back in it and the mail box is a mile away from home. So far so good. and besides, the golf cart is cute!
It has already proven itself, so come on fly-in time , hurry up and get here. Me, my gyro, and the golf cart are ready and waiting...Buddy will have to miss the
fly-in for that's not a safe place for a dog to be.
One last note for today, I'm having a starter put on my McCulloch engine, Oh Happy Day ! More about that as it progresses.
Actually, two last notes,
To the person who commented on my post re the 80th. birthday celebration flight, Thank you for your comments and if I can be of help to you in getting your Bensen in the air, steer you to parts sources, CFI's , etc. I would be happy to do so. I can be reached by email at email@example.com. I'm happy that you are going to be a Bensen gyro pilot!
Till next time.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Store clerks were pleasant too. Back then a customer in a store received good service and a thank you for shopping there. But that's all gone with the wind. It's a cold hard nosed world out there today.
I think a lot of attention to the customer left with the demise of the family owned , or, mom and pop stores. Success to them meant keeping the customer happy but with the chain stores, there is no closeness between customers and store owners.
The work ethic of the past is just that, a thing of the past. It seems like the clerk, or the technican or whoever the person is who is supposed to be offering service just doesn't care about the job .
Here is an example. I am severly hearing impaired and to use the telephone, I rely on the TTY, relay system. The relay system is for hard of hearing or deaf persons. It would seem to follow that an operator who works for the TTY company would understand that it is for people who have severe hearing prblems. That seems clear to me. But, recently when my daughter called me on the TTY system she asked the operator to speak slowly to me when I answered the phone. The operator asked, " Why, is she hard of hearing, or something ?". Unbelieable!
Till next time.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Well, Let's see, on the plus side, I have lived a good life, not deleriously happy every moment, but that's life, right ? I was happy more than I was unhappy.
Docko and I raised four healthy and good children to adulthood. That's another plus.
I was able to live my dream of flying while caring for my home and family, another plus.
My marriage lasted for over 48 years, chalk up another plus mark.
I believe my husband Docko, was happy with me ( most of the time ) ,and with our children ( most of the time) and he enjoyed our life together ( most of the time), that's three more plus marks. From the vantage point of 80 years of age I think it says a lot to have more pluses than negatives in my long life.
To be sure, there were times when my patience was sorely tried, especially when the four children were small. It seemed that my four kids and several of their friends were constantly in the house wanting something to eat, or wanting me to taxi them somewhere, or I had to go pick up a kid from somewhere. And all the sibiling squabbles I had to settle!
The house cleanig , laundry, cooking, and taxi service and peacemaker for the family was a round robin...it had no beginning and no end. It was just constant!
There was sweet little Coby with the face of an angel , forever standing in a corner because she had mischieviously stuck her foot out and tripped one of the other children as they walked by. And Dave, one day he leaped from the roof of the garage onto a tree limb like Tarzan. The limb broke and so did his arm when he hit the ground. The same summer my youngest Donna, fell off the porch railing and broke her wrist . Tough little trooper that she was, she finished eating her peanut butter and jam sandwich on the way to the hospital...no tears for the wrist. And Linda, always , always, a free spirit. Yeah, those children ran me ragged and at times I wondered if they would ever grow up. Then suddenly they did and then they left home to follow their own drummer through life.
I remember having tears in my eyes as I watched my baby Donna, walk down the driveway to meet the school bus on her first day of school. It was long ago but it seems like yesterday. Today Donna is a grown up lady and getting ready to retire from the post office.
So, if I could do it again ???? Well, what I really would like if I could live my life over again, would be to raise my children again. I realize now from the point of time how precious those early days were and how swiftly they are gone. Yes, I would love to raise my children again.
Till next time.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
On the wall I hung a framed picture of myself flying my gyro . The photo is from an article in Aviation History magazine and is about my gyro flying career. I feel a little self conscious about the title of the photo...it says, 'Gyrocopter Queen'. But hey, Teddy presented the framed picture to me and wanted it to be placed on the hangar wall. Self consciousness be darned, I don't want to hurt his feelings by not hanging the picture. So, it graces the wall to be joined in time with many photos of my gyro flying friends.
Awhile back I made curtains and installed them on the hangar windows. Some of the guys laughed at the thought of curtains on the windows of an aircraft hangar...they thought it was too cutesy or girley or something, I guess. But the curtains give me light inside when they are open and they keep prying eyes from seeing inside when they are closed and no one is around.
Besides, they look classy.
All in all the hangar is looking good all except the ratty old roof which needs to be repaired. But that job doesn't have my name on it. I think my children would have a canniption if I got up on top of the roof but they don't have to worry about me climbing up there. Oh Man, I would hate it if I got up there and the roof gave way under me and I fell on the gyro and damaged it !
So after a day of this and that in the hangar I came home tired , but it was a good tired. I define a good tired as being tired from doing something I really don't mind doing, like working to make things better for my gyro , as in fixing up the hangar . Another kind of tired to me is when I've done some thing that I dislike doing but it has to be done. Housecleaning, grocery shopping, yard work , for example , are just plain old tired and nothing good about it.
So, about 5 PM I came home tired ( good tired) got a cup of coffee , sat down in the easy chair and turned the TV on to see how Tiger Woods did at the Masters. Well, Tiger didn't get the green jacket this time so if he went home tired, it probably wasn't it wasn't a good tired.
Till next time.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The two women were doing more talking with each other than they were checking and bagging groceries. They were just visiting while customers cooled their heels in line waiting to be waited on. By the time I got to the head of the line my legs were tired and my back was aching from the long period of standing . My patience level had dropped to zero.
Finally, when the checking and bagging of my groceries had completely stopped so they could continue their discussion, I said to the bagger, the one doing the most talking, " If you will stop talking the clerk can do her work and I can get out of this store before bedtime". It was about 11 AM at the time. All converstion between the two stopped and they finished up with my groceries very quickly but the bagger put the bag containing the eggs in the cart hard enough to break two eggs..." take that, old woman", she was probably thinking. So I got two broken eggs for my auduacity in speaking up.
My friend then told me of his recent experience with a salesgirl in a Radio Shack. The salesgirl was leaning on her elbows on the counter while a male co-worker was standing beside her patting her posterior. After waiting to pay for his items and being ignored , my friend said to the sales girl , " I want to join the party". She asked him what he meant...he said , " I want to come behind the counter and do like he is doing".
With all seriousness, the girl replied that he couldn't do that. My friend couldn't believe that she didn't get the message that he was being sarcastic and was in his own way telling her that she
should be waiting on customers.
So he and I talked about the work ethics, the rudness and generally how different is is today from the time I was young. He said me, " you just have to put up with it for that's how is is today ". In other words, the ethics and morals and courtesy and consideration of the past is gone and forgotten, outdated.
I don't believe that common courtesy , consideration for others and good work ethics is ever outdated. They are just not practiced today. The best book I ever read was ,
" Atlas Shrugged ," by Ayn Rand. It was all about personal responsibility in everything. The book was published in 1957 and has been in print ever since. I read recently that ' Atlas Shrugged', is used by most big businesses as part of their code of ethics by their management...I can't believe that managment took the book seriously considering that so many of those big companies are being bailed out by government today because of mismanagement and how so many of the CEO's took huge salaries and split when the company received the government's support money.
Yeah, things are sure different today but not better, sad to say.
Till next time.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I live in a mobile home so storage is limited, thank goodness, for if it wasn't then I would likely have much more stuff to try to keep out of sight. So I do toss some of it but the good stuff or stuff I might need some day and other stuff gets put in the middle drawer of my computer desk.
It's risky putting anything in that drawer because the drawer is not attached securely. If I bump the drawer it comes tumbling down to the floor and when that happens, my six year old , forever young cat Georgie , has a great time going thrugh the stuff while I am trying to pick it up.
Yesterday the much overloaded drawer fell to the floor and this time I will have to repair it before I can put it back in the desk and refill it with the stuff that fell out of it. Meanwhile, I put everything that came out of the drawer into a plastic dish pan and set it on the table ( the loaded down table is a whole other story ). Georgie who has always considered the desk drawer her personal property anyway, is in kitty heaven now for she naps on top of all the stuff in the dish pan and when she wakes up she entertains herself by pawing through and scattering the stuff she digs up from the pan.
I wish I had the nerve to dump the contents that used to be in the drawer into the trash but there's probably stuff in there that I will need some day.
But I have been wondering, where do other people keep their stuff ? I have a friend whose house looks like no one lives there . Nothing out of place, no signs of life there at all, just antiseptically clean and neat.
Another person I know vaccums her living room so that the vaccum cleaner leaves a pattern that no one dares to step on and muss up the pattern. Her house has no stuff anywhere to be seen. It's just clean and neat and without life.
I know these people must have things like pencil erasers, extra key holders, pens, note pads, and the kind of stuff that overloaded my middle desk drawer but they keep it well put away and neat. Tha'ts something I never have gotten the hang of.
But at least Georie is happy with all my stuff sitting on the table in the plastic dish pan where she has unlimited access to it.
Till next time.
Monday, April 6, 2009
After conducting a preflight inspection of the gyro and pronouncing all OK, we refueled and I suited up in my orange flight suit and helmet and cool looking shades then strapped into the seat, ready to fly.
Since my engine doesn't have a starter someone has to pull the propeller through to get it started so my friend Peter Prentice, also a gyro pilot, propped the machine for me.
My daughter Linda and another gyro friend Teddy, were there with cameras at the ready.
I started the blades spinning with the prerotator and with the strong wind helping they were ready to fly in no time. After a short take-off run I lifted off and went straight up. What a thrill the take off is in wind!
The flight was around a half hour in length, not long at all but wonderful! I can't think of a better way to celebrate a big 80th birthday than to fly a gyro.
Teddy made a video of the birthday flight and put it on YouTube. If you want to check it out , look under Tadgyro , then Marion Springer 80 birthday flight.
The amazing thing is that the magic of gyro flying is as great today as it was back when I was young. May it always be so.
Till next time
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
A cat had mauled the baby pigeon so after having a doctor stitch up the lacerations my daughter brought her to live with me. Coo learned to fly in the bathroom. It was obvious that she was happy living in a very large cage in my living room so I never considered setting her free . Coo was much loved.
Recently she developed a large tumor and her health began to fail. The doctor talked of possible surgery but considering her age, surgery seemed too risky.
I decided to just take care of her until nature took her from me. Today nature did just that.
Tomorrow she will be laid to rest beside her longtime Doberman friend, Vokie .
I have lost animal and bird companions before so I know that in time it will be easier but right now that point in time seems far distant.
Fly away Coo. I will miss you.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
That is a picture of me holding my wonderful Christmas present from my daughter, Linda.
Maybe to most moms it wouldn't look like anything to get excited about, probably they wouldn't even know what the heck it is , but this mom was very happy to receive the five gallon fuel transfer pump for Christmas.
What the fuel transfer pump means is that instead of having to lift a heavy ( about 30 lbs. ) 5 gallon can of aviation fuel up to about shoulder height and use a funnel to pour the fuel into the fuel tank on my gyrocopter, now I can just turn the crank handle on the transfer system about 20 turns and the fuel/oil mix is transferred in less than one minute from the fuel can into the fuel tank on the gyro.
My son made a small cart type carrier on wheels to move the fuel transfer system about. Now it's just a matter of wheeling the small carry-cart with the fuel transfer system on it out to the gyro, give the handle a few turns and wow, the tank is refilled ! I am so pampered !
Down through the years I have received the most unusual gifts from my children. Coby gave me a set of screw drivers one year. Linda gave me a set of motorcycle handle bar grips another time. I hasten to add thatI used and much appreciated all those gifts. Those children had my number!
I overheard my daughter Donna ,when she was about eight years of age and her friend discussing their mothers. My daughter had the last word when she proudly proclaimed , " well, my mother is a TOMBOY !" So I guess unusual gifts are just right for a tomboy mom.
Till next time.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday had already been a long day. My daughter and I had just returned home from a day in town . It takes an hour to drive to town from our home in the desert and an hour to get back home .
Friday's trip to town had included a visit to the doctor which had taken up much of the day so both my daughter and I were happy to finally get home and I was looking forward to just taking it easy for what little was left of the day.
But as it turned out, relaxing was not an option. We were soon on the road to town again !
My two Doberman pups and our other little dog were happy to have us home and they were running around and being very frisky. Then I noticed a tuft of hair standing up on Connie's back . It was a fresh tear in her skin...a V shaped tear on her back . The legs of the V were about three inches long. It was nearly 4PM and every Vetinary office we called were closing at 5 PM.
There is an excellent Emergency Animal Clinic in town and they are open all night. Wouldn't you know, the Clinic had moved to a new location since we had last used their services so that entailed some driving about to locate them. Their new location is so new it doesn't even have the name on the building , so that really made it hard to find!
But we did find them and Dr. Edwards stitched up the tear in Connie's back. Connie and her brother Buddy, have a condition known as Von Willibrand's disease. What that means is that their blood does not coagulate as it should and should they sustain an injury and start bleeding it could be fatal to them. Fortunately, the tear in Connie's skin was not bleeding.
Connie spent the night in the hospital and she is home now and is wearing a hood to keep her from pulling the stitches out. She is very unhappy having to wear the hood . The white item you can see in the photo is one of the drain tubes which the doctor placed in the tear. I don't know what she caught her skin on to cause the damage but she is going to be Ok and I'm happy about that. My budget took a big hit with the emergency repair service but she is worth it!
Till next time .
Sunday, January 18, 2009
He was just standing there along the side of the road . I stopped the car about even with him and he didn't move at all. I approached him , talking to him all the while and still he just stood there. I had the feeling that he was waiting just for me.
He walked a few inches away and then stopped and waited for me to pick him up. He didn't struggle, or try to get free. It was eerie , but nice too.
I held him during the ride home he was very relaxed and comfortable, not struggling at all. A large flock of pigeons live on my place. When the new bird is well settled I will put him outside with the other birds .
My daughter Linda had a pigeon that called out to her for help. Linda was sitting on the porch when a beautiful black and white pigeon circled her several times just screaming. The pigeon landed nearby and we could tell that it was injured.
Later that evening it went into an open cage and we closed the cage door and cared for the bird for several weeks until her leg healed .
When her leg was well we opened the cage door and set her free. She spent quite a bit of time sitting and staring at Linda's window.
It was obvious that the bird wanted to be taken in so Linda took her into her home and the pigeon became Linda's beautiful Lacy . The black and white speckled bird was in pigeon heaven living with Linda.
Birds are smart. I don't know if the hitchhiking pigeon I brought home had followed me when I left home that morning or if he was a total stranger to me and just needed help. He doesn't appear to be injured . I think he was just lost and probably scared for it was getting late in the day with night not too far away .
He knew when I stopped that I would help him . He was very happy to get some food when I got him home and settled in . He has a home for as long as it pleases him to stay here.
Till next time.