California Is On Fire

Not all of it.  But it may seem like it from the news reports.  And the smoke in our area is intense.  Please pray for the firefighters who are battling these blazes and for the people who have been displaced and lost homes.

Here is a map of the fires.

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On “Not Waiting Until Someday”

One of the discussions my wife and I have from time to time is that we don’t want to wait until “someday” to do things.  Mainly travel and seeing the country.  I remember my parents having the same discussions except someday never came for my mother.  Mom and Dad got to travel a bit but didn’t get to see the country like they wanted.  I’m making plans for an early retirement but again, that’s someday.

To help bring someday a little closer I have come to a decision.  It’s not an easy one for me to make.  If you know me or have read this blog much you KNOW how big a part of my life aviation is.  For over 25 years aviation has been a part of who I am.  But it’s not a part of who my wife is.  And she’s an even bigger part of who I am.  I have decided to sell my powered parachute and trailer and begin the process of buying a smaller travel trailer that I can tow with my truck.  As much as I enjoy flying, I think I would enjoy weekend trips and camping with her even more.

I used to feel sorry for the pilots I knew that seemingly one day decided to just sell their airplane and buy a motorhome.  I couldn’t understand their motivations.  I remember declaring “I’ll never do that!”  Well… I’m ready to do that.  Now, this doesn’t mean we’ve given up our dream of big truck, big 5th wheel trailer to travel in full-time.  That will still happen… someday.  But for the here and now, we’ll settle for a somewhat smaller dream.

I just have to figure out how to break it to the guys at Six Chuter.  They have been wonderful at helping me through every issue I’ve encountered and all issues appear to be ironed out now.  Someone is going be buying themselves a wonderful machine!  I’ll be coming up with a “For Sale” post on this blog soon.

An Awesome Week!

So I’ve been going through some of the blogs and YouTube channels I follow.  I’ve been enjoying all the amazing adventures these folks seem to have on a daily basis.  So I want to tell you about my adventures this week!  First of all, on Monday I got up and went to work!!  Isn’t that amazing!  It was so much fun I didn’t have any time to take any selfies.  After an AMAZING day at work I went home and… ate dinner with my family!!  I know, awesome right?!!  We Netflixed and watched re-runs of Person of Interest which was AMAZING!  But that’s not all, just before bed… I hope you’re sitting down… I took… A SHOWER!!

It was AMAZING!!

So yeah, my tongue is firmly in my cheek as I write this.  It’s okay to have regular days.  You don’t have to live up to the artificial expectations you see in social media.  They aren’t having as much fun as they appear to be.  You can have fun in the here and now and you don’t have to tell the world about it.  (Even though I just did)  ((Well, all 5 of the people who actually subscribe to my blog and have made it this far once they found out there’s no pictures)).

Get out of social media.  Read a book.  Take a walk.  Just live in the moment and enjoy it.  You don’t have to brag about it to your (so-called) friends.  And don’t believe the hype you see on social media.  It isn’t what it appears to be.

Just…            live.

30 LBS Down

Happy to report that I am now 30 lbs lighter than I was back in December!  The weight initially came off quickly but has slowed down in the past month.  I’m fine with that as long as it’s a general downward trend!  I’m anxious to see what the total loss is when I reach the one year mark.

California CCW Reciprocity

Times have changed since I was first training to get a CCW here in my home county.  At that time, only Arizona honored a California-issued CCW.  Now almost half of the states in the US honor a California CCW.  However, California does not honor ANY other state’s CCW permit.  Hopefully this will change one day.

CCW-Reciprocity

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Map and statistics from Guns to Carry.

 

 

Resurrection Day Weekend

You call it Easter, I call it Resurrection Day.  We all celebrate Christmas as the be-all end-all day in the Christian faith but I believe it should be Resurrection Day.  The day my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ defeated death.   He paid the price for our sins once and for all.  If we believe that He died for our sins then all our sins are forgiven.  This sounds like mythical nonsense to the unbeliever, but to those who believe, it is our guarantee of our salvation.  Our guarantee of eternal life in the presence of our heavenly Father.

Okay, sermon over, pass the collection plates.

So how did we celebrate this Resurrection Day weekend?  Well Saturday morning I headed out to New Jerusalem and took a nice long flight in my powered parachute.  I didn’t take any video or pictures of the flight because sometimes I like to just live in the moment and enjoy it for myself.  I was joined by a powered paraglider pilot friend.  Always good to have company.

I flew around the San Joaquin river between Highway 132 and the City of Tracy here in California’s vast Central Valley.  The engine purred without any hiccup or flaw during the whole flight.  I kept my RPMs right at about 5400 RPM.  This put me in a slow climb.  I flew around for about 40 minutes enjoying the butter smooth air.  ZERO turbulence.  I made my way back to New Jerusalem airport.  Made one pass over the field to check my windsock and then set up to land.  I made a slow power-on approach and let my machine drift as far down the runway as it wanted to.  I wanted to make this landing a smooth one and I wasn’t disappointed.  I held in just a bit of brake pressure on the parachute and smoothly applied full brake just as the wheels were touching down.  I killed the engine and kept kicking the break pedals and the chute fell down behind me.  Perfect.   My PPG friend took another flight and I paused to watch a while before leaving.

I packed up and headed home to pick up Cristy so we could head up to Jack and Myrna’s place in the foothills, Red Hills Ranch.  This has become a tradition for Cristy and I.  On the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter/Resurrection Day they hold a potluck for family and friends.  When I had my airplane we would fly in but now we drive up.  Much easier on Cristy.

 

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So here’s something for people who know about flowers.  I know nothing about them.  So if you do, can you help me identify these?  They are EVERYWHERE up at Jack and Myrna’s ranch.

 

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Flower 1 – What’s this?
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Flower 2 – What are these?
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Flower 3 – What’s this?
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Flower 4 – The white ones, what are they?
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Flower 5 – What are the bright pink ones?
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Flower 6 – What are they?

 

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Flower 7 – The purple ones with the white tips. What are they?

That’s it for the flowers.  Would love some help identifying them.

We enjoyed our time up with the Moyle’s.  We’re always treated like family.  Can’t wait to visit again.

Sunday morning we all got up and went to sunrise service then later in the morning we picked up our son and brought him to the 11:30am service.  Cristy made ham, potatoes, and green beans and for dessert, apple cobbler!

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All in all a wonderful weekend and a wonderful way to celebrate our Savior’s victory.  I hope your weekend was as good or better.

 

 

20 Lbs Down

I hadn’t really wanted to chronicle my weight loss journey because I’ve been on these journeys so many times.  However, I’m at a minor milestone so I just wanted to mark the occasion.    Back in December I had decided I had finally had enough.   My feet were hurting (still are), clothing was not fitting correctly, and in fact it was becoming harder to find clothing.  My (overweight) doctor has been nagging me for years to lose weight.  I have lost weight before but for the wrong reasons (which I won’t go into) but I always gained it back.  This time, it was strictly for me.

So, again, back in December I changed my eating habits.  First of all, portion control.  Restaurants serve really BIG portions of food.  I tried to eat the vegetables first, and then the meats, and then the starches.  I tried to eat only until I didn’t feel hungry any longer and then stop.  Also, I did not limit the types of food I eat.  I hate diets where you can only eat this or that.   I eat whatever I want, just less of it.

Which brings me to the second change I made: I only ate when I felt hungry.  Meaning; when my stomach started to growl.  Eating on a schedule just doesn’t seem to work for me.  Rather, it works too well.  In other words, letting my body tell me when I was hungry rather than the clock.  The third major change was to cut out soda, period.  In fact all sugary drinks and fruit juices.  I still have fruit juice on occasion but I try to shoot for no more than once per week.

That’s pretty much it.  I haven’t really increased my exercise regimen at all, just trying to keep up the activity I engage in now.  All of this has had the net effect of helping me to lose 20 lbs as of yesterday.  I’ve gone down two pant sizes and about to have to buy the next size smaller.  Do I think this would work for everyone?  Nope.  But it’s working for me.  I don’t really have a target weight in mind but I’m going to keep this going for as long as it does NOT affect my health.  In fact I’m hoping it improves my health.  I have a lot of life planned for the future!