The lucky number is 8020

For some of you who may happen to pay attention to my tweets, you will notice I tweet about seasonal sports throughout the year (baseball, tennis, hockey, NASCAR, football and soccer). While i do consider myself lucky to have a job, it means that I can not watch most baseball games this time of year. I was listening to my beloved New York Mets on WFAN660AM. I decided to walk into work at the end of the 2nd Inning. The time was about 1945 local and my shift starts at 2000 local. I kept up with the game via tweets sent to my phone. I checked them all on my break. At that time I saw something from the Mets broadcast booth and sounded confused. But someone by the name of summed it up with the following:

Santana with a no-hitter… first in #Mets history! congratsss!

I was instantly overcome with joy and excitement. It only took 8020 games to do so, but this is a great thing in sports history. The passionate New York Yankee hater in me was upset on them winning in stinker fashion today. It would’ve been nice to see the Yankees lose, but I guess the baseball gods can only do so much. This is one of those moments I am not ashamed to be a Mets fan. I was not alive yet in 1986 for the other great moment in mets lore. the famous Buckner play

Maybe we will see the New York Mets in the playoffs this year. And for the curious ones out there, I am not related to the awesome Mets Closer from the 90’s with the same name.

Links to those mentioned: (the ever funny Howie Rose and his partners in the radio booth)

That’s all for now.

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Update from the world of planeliker

Ok so a ton has happened to me since the last update. I have been inspired to start blogging again because @CaptainAboard on twitter said he was going to add my blog site here to his “Connecting Flights Section. I will do my part on his behalf and ask you to check out and give it a like if you find his page interesting. As of this post, he is up to 27 likes (myself included)

OK So back to what’s going on with me and such. I’m not one for crazy graphics and stuff. It won’t hurt my feelings if no one foolows this blog formally. i just write this stuff down and put this out for the world to see at their leisure.

The last post I made was around Memorial Day 2011. The summer wen’t fairly well for me last year with a few speed bumps. For those of you who are my aviation tweeps, i did have an opportunity to ride back seat in a Civil Air Patrol aircraft in July 2011. The purpose of the ride was orientation flights for the Cadets in my squadron. On the last sortie of the day, a seat opened up and the Major who was flying invited me into the back seat. I thanked him greatly for giving me the oppurtunity to go flying as my main duty that day was to supervise on the ground.

A few weeks later, my family made what appears to be an annual trek down to Smith Pt. County Park in Long Island. It’s at the southern tip of the William Floyd Parkway and is home to a HUGE beach, 12 foot waves and the TWA Flight 800 Memorial. The TWA Flight 800 Memorial is very beautiful. For those of you who may want to check it out, I recommend a heavy duty bug spray as the mosquitoes are practically on steroids over there. It’s the tall grass that draws them in.

In late July of last year, I was involved in a car crash. I had to make a right hand turn into a commercial parking lot when some dude decided to rear end me. it spun my van around and I did my best to avoid a Lexus that was waiting to pull out but nope. The van was totaled. I wasn’t injured and neither was anyone else in my van at the time. 

August through November were quite eventful for my hometown. Tropical Storm Irene made landfall here in Connecticut around the city of Greenwich as forecast. Initial sustained winds in some areas were approaching 70mph. I was listening to the forecast in my car at the time since my place was without power. I was personally out of power for 72 hours. The shoreline section of East Haven, Connecticut (my hometown) was hardest hit. 30 homes along the beach were destroyed or severely damaged. I was called to duty with Civil Air patrol and I proceeded as ordered from my Squadron to our base HQ which was at the time HFD (Brainard Airport). I was released from duty after one day. The next day (Tuesday) the power came back on. I started watching youtube and saw a story CNN did right from the beach here in East Haven. That turned a light bulb in my head. On the following day (Wednesday), I drove the 5 miles to the beach with the initial intent to help homeowners for free in cleaning up storm debris. I stumbled upon a tent that was handing out Water and Chips to everyone down there on the beach. 

I kept coming back every day to this spot. Our little tent turned into a massive drop off point for food, supplies and money for affected shoreline victims of Hurricane Irene. You can do a google search on Shawn Hopkinson and read some of the articles yourself. he gets the credit for starting all this up, but I and a few others stayed with him throughout the whole ordeal. We raised about $5300 which went directly to these people who were affected. i know because i was there to hand out the checks to the people in October 2011. We fed everyone on the beach who was affected for 2 weeks before taking our slideshow of photos to the East Haven Fall Festival.

A benefit concert was organized by Phylicia Slocum in October 2011 at the town High School which raised even more dollars. For those of you with facebook, i am inputting in a video I was tagged in which shows what I went through as a volunteer. I am in a few slideshots wearing a CT Wing Civil Air patrol Flying Dog hat and a Wright Patterson AFB blue shirt. I did all of this outside of CAP and was able to earn a Volunteer Service Ribbon with two bronze triangle clasps. I am still awaiting presentation of the ribbon since my work schedule now conflicts with me being able to show up to my squadron meetings. Anywho, here is the link:

Last minute addition here: I’m sure some of you folks outside the Northeast heard of the Snowtober event? About 4 inches of snow was dropped in East Haven and other parts of CT got 2+ feet. Some towns had to postpone Halloween. Yerp, there was snow on the ground for Halloween. And then not much since. It was a dry and warm winter.

.. I guess facebook is being crappy today so I will worry about this stuff in another post. Or perhaps Comcast has issues again…

In December 2011 I had my 23rd birthday (I’m not getting old yet!) In mid December, I started paying more attention to the lack of Emergency Services qualifications for myself regarding Civil Air Patrol. I’ve had multiple opportunities since to get trained in whats called GTM3 status (Ground team Member Level 3). it is my personal gial to one day be able to get a lot of people in my Civil Air Patrol squadron signed off on GTM3 so that we will once again become the Emergency Services squadron we once were (way back in the 80’s from what I’ve been told)

Since December, I’ve had an awesome opportunity in May 2012 to get a VIP look at a Cessna Citiation 680 owned by the Whelen Corporation. Whelen makes emergency LED Lights for police, EMS, fire, NASCAR and Civil Air Patrol. CAP Vans that are retrofitted with strobe lights and Light bars are most likely manufactured by Whelen. Whelen’s corporate HQ are right here in Connecticut. Chester, CT. They base their two airplanes out of the Groton New London Airport (KGON). The two pilots have no issues with anyone who wants to publicly track their flights.

Pictures of the Whelen experience and pictures of my Volunteer efforts post Tropical Storm Irene can be found on my facebook and twitter.

So as this long blog draws to a close, I am listing some links for stuff that was mentioned in this post.


Civil Air Patrol:      

Jeremy’s Flight Deck (the facebook page is listed above so here’s his site)




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Memorial Day and what it means to Me

So I haven’t blogged in quite some time. I figured this Memorial Day weekend would be a revival of my blogging tendencies again.

Memorial Day… What does it mean to you? The answer probably means parties and cookouts and time off from work. For me the meaning is on the other end of the spectrum. How many of you can remember every Memorial Day from 2006 until now? Hey I can!

2006: I was in Orange, CT at my cousins house.

2007: I was at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, CT

2008: I was in Air Force BMT at Lackland, AFB

2009: I spent the day with my grandfather at home

2010: I attended Memorial Day Observances (not church you dimwits) in East Haven, CT on the Town green and the VFW Post.

2011 is still up in the air but I will not let it go to waste, even with me being scheduled overnight into Sunday morning.

Has anything seemed a bit un normal in that list? Back in May 2008 I was in a bit of a struggle against red tape to stay in Air Force BMT. I was on Medical Hold at the time for 30 days. On May 22nd 2008 I decided “the hell with paperwork” and asked to continue training. If it weren’t for my grandfather, that wouldn’t have happened. So anyways the only special treatment all trainees got on Memorial Day was standard protocol for the Air Force. PT was exempt at 0552 Central time. We were allowed lights out the night before at 2200 instead of 2100 and we woke up at 0545. The rest of the day was routine.

Long story short my luck ran out in June and I was ELS’ed in July 2008.

So now to the real reason why I’m blogging. I do not let Memorial Day go down the gutter anymore. Especially since my grandfather passed away in November 2009. Many of you who are reading this from my facebook page know he was a WW2 Veteran and a POW in Stalag 17 (Krems, Austria)

I would like to take the opportunity to say hey I salute everyone in my life, past and present, haters and non haters who have some sort of tie to the military. Whether it be someone who was directly at any time in the service, or whether it be someone I know who has family in the service. And especially for those who have gone into the unknown dimension. I would not be in the position I am today without the support of all my friends, family, fellow BMT wingmen/seppers, and my fellow volunteers in the Civil Air Patrol.

I leave you all to do some personal reflecting (no not praying- I’m not a religious numbnutz) with this rendition of Taps that shows the words behind the bugle call.

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Thoughts on my first solo flight (the real deal) from my 16th Birthday in 2004 etc

Back when I turned 16, I was in the midst of real world flight training. To have the oppurtunity to leave the shadows of the earth alone is a gratifying experience. And a challenging one too. Why was it challenging? Weight in aviation means a LOT, especially in general aviation. At the time, I had a full fuel load. But when my 200+ pound flight instructor was taken out of the equation, the Piper Warrior i was flying flew a lot differently. it lifted into the air easier and sooner. it also wanted to float more on landing. On my first landing, i chewed up about 1000 extra feet than I’d hoped for, just waiting for the wheels to hit the ground. Thankfully the runway I was using was 5600×150 feet.

OK enough of that and heres the real reason for this post. Those who know me and went to school with me know that i was taking flying lessons well before I got behind the wheel of a car. My solo effort landed me on the front page of the New Haven Register. 03DEC2004: Too Young to Drive, E. Haven teen takes to the skies instead.

Yerp. I was flying solo before I even had my drivers permit. At that time, my bike was my main mode of transport. After i made two solo flights, my grandfather had to pull me from flight training. When I was 16 1/4, I went to the DMV in Hamden, CT and obtained my drivers permit. What were my thoughts on driving: HOLY SHIT THIS IS SCARY! I went from an envoornment where there wasnt many airplanes in the sky to bumber to bumper traffic. In flying, traffic avoidance is at the sole discretion of the Pilot in Command, and sometimes ATC points out suggestions. Now multiply the feeling by 100 and youll know where I’m coming from. it was hard at first. I had the urge to floor the gas pedal (and I still do)

My mother tells me driving is supposed to be pleasurable. I think shes insane. To me, driving is a full time job almost. The instrument scan comes in handy in driving of sorts, especially when cruise control doesnt work. I can never just look straight ahead. ive always wondered how well many peeps would be in the air. I say theyd all suck. English and its understanding is important in aviation (its the international universla ATC language). But a lot of jerks on the road seem to have trouble interpreting road markings and simple english.

You probably guessed by now that I’m not afraid to use the horn and I hate slow drivers. Will I ever calm down behind the wheel? Who knows. My mindset is still stuck in the aviation world I guess. When on an active runway in general aviation, takeoff involves firewalling the throttles and getting airborne as soon as practical. I did take drivers ed. I had a pilot as a drivers ed instructor. He told me that theres no need to brake on onramps and while under normal conditions on the highway. So what do I do? I try to be at or near 65 mph by the time I get on the highway. I hate all the assholes on the road who think its ok to brake on an onramp. it just kills my momentum. if youre in front of me when that happens, I usually blare the horn as I pass you in the middle lane.

And youre probably wondering why Im a tad OCD about interstate highway speed. Back in 2002, i was riding along in a van with my mother when we got klobbered in the rear by an 18 wheeler. My mother said she was doing 40 and we were in the right lane. Ever since then, and especially when i started driving, doing 40 for me starts to get me freaked out on the interstate. Thoughts of getting klobbered from behind start creeping in again. So whats my solution? I stay away from the under 55 crowd on the interstate. if you want me to be doing 40, its for roads like US 1. I do my part to help traffic flow on the interstate by staying off the brakes and I’m not afraid to change lanes.

Yup. When I have the oppurtunity to get into the air these days, i relax. behind the wheel is still crazy for me. I’m the kind of guy whod rather fly than spend hours cramped up in a car. And that also applies to airline flying as well. Back in March 2010, i visited my now ex girlfriend in Columbus, IN. My mode of transportation for most of the way was via Citrus (AirTran) i got to IND in a fraction of the time for a lot cheaper compared to driving. Lets just say i know people who would rather drive the 14 hours to Indiana. theyd probably stretch that into a two day affair. NOT FOR ME. Plus theres no smoking allowed on airplanes which is awesome for me, but thats another post.

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Update on my Flightsim X Round the World trek

Since the last post regarding my status on this adventure, my pace of long flights in the DC3 has slowed down. Work and other interests have slipped inbetween. Currently I am at an airport in Eastern Russia with the ICAO ID of URKK. Its in the city of Krasnodar, Russia (the real world info)

From here forward Im not sure if I want to stay in Russia all the way to the USA or if I feel like hopping through the Himalayas. The DC3 has a service ceiling of FL232 (23,200 feet MSL) so I must keep that in mind. The 5.1 hour hop I made to URKK from Moldova was in a modified DC3 airplane with modern avionics. The person who came up with the plane for FSX modeled the thing after real world flight characteristics. This means that the DC3 will fly faster and with less sluggish responses to control yoke inputs. On this latest leg I was getting 150 knots indicated airspeed. With help from a nice tailwind I was getting a groundspeed of about 205 knots. To me thats exciting. Compare that to my first part oceanic leg back in December. I was at 11,000 feet from Providence, RI to Halifax, NS at only 120 KIAS.

So youre probably wondering when I’ll arrive back at KMMK and KHVN in CT? I dont have an answer. I am taking this challenge with almost a roadtrip like attitude in a car where I dont care.

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Nostradamus and my view on “Apocalyptica”

Most of you know that I was raised in the Roman Catholic branch of Christianity but I am a bleh person when it comes to going to Church. I’ve stated my reasons for not going in previous posts so that what I’m not going to talk about here. Today’s musing deals with all of the Nostradamus like hysteria I keep hearing about in the news.

For those of you who dont know who Nostradamus was, here’s a brief tidbit. he was a monk back in the 1500’s who picked apart words and phrases in the Bible to predict world events. Scholars have used his work to predict such events in history as the JFK assasination or the attacks on 11SEP01.

I’m sorry but I dont think one man can have the power to predict such things. The other part of my religious rant is all of this hysteria about 2012 being the end of the world. I cant wait for 23DEC2012 and also 22MAY2011 to come around, just so I can laugh at all you idiots out there. Whats the reference to 22MAY2011 you might wonder? Some uber religious assholes posted a billboard on I-95 here in CT stating that Jesus Christ is returning back to Earth on 21MAY2011. Now come on folks, youd have to be a psycho to believe that crap. They say he’s coming to Bridgeport of all places…. (yeah right)

If you happen to be a strong believer in going to Church and all of the hooplah with taking Christianity to the T, well then this post probably means nothing to you. I’m just trying to say that Science tells us how the Earth is going to end. In about 5 billion years the Sun is going to run out of energy. Before it does, it’s going to expand into this giant ball and swallow up everything from where it is now, and engulf the earth. Finding a way to get to mars may be a temporary solution but the sun is only going to become a white dwark and cast no further energy.

I am planning my life beyond the holiday season of 2012. There’s so many things that I havent experienced yet and I am not letting this apocalypse hysteria stop me at all. I wonder how many people will try to get away with not filing their income taxes in 2013?

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Shakeup at WTNH in New Haven

This deals with the shakeup of a local ABC affiliate that reports the news in CT. A few days before the blizzard two weeks ago, it was discovered one of our meteorologists was leaving WTNH for radio work on WPLR. At the time it sounded like Gil Simmons left on his own terms. Then last night it was discovered that a long standing institution known as Geoff Fox was leaving WTNH because higher up won’t renew his contract. What a bunch of hooey this is all turning out to be.

I have known Geoff Fox my whole life and I’m sure many others in the Southern CT area can vouch for the same. Isn’t it funny how many employers return the favor by giving you the “oh sorry we don’t want you anymore so fuckoff”

Geoff Fox is WTNH and it will be vastly different without him. There’s this new guy Steve Villanueva who does the weather for Matt Scott. Who the fuck is Steve Villanueva? His bio isn’t even up yet on the WTNH website. I determine he’s not even from CT. If WTNH wants to keep me as a viewer, then they must do some promoting from within in the weather department. The one who should be shitcanned is that Steve Villanueva dude. Hire Sid Starks as full time evening meterologist and move Gil Simmons to the weekends.

Oh and here’s a little tidbit on the traffic lady Terrsa LaBarbera. From a single guy standpoint she is definetely a hottie but she’s another annoying perky lady in the morning. Tom Michaels does a better job at reporting traffic.

If anyone reading this wants to do their part to save Geoff Fox’s ass, there’s a fan page that can be searched on facebook.

Some WTNH personnel follow me on twitter. If they are reading this, I suggest they forward my thoughts to WTNH and the assholes at the LIN TV Corporation.

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