Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aviation Camp

I told The Girl on our way out to Kent State that going to Aviation Camp would probably be one the of the strangest things we ever did together. Now that it's over, I pretty certain of that fact.

We stayed in the honors dorms at Kent. These are some seriously fancy-pants rooms. Especially when we got to tour the rest of campus and saw how everyone else lived.

Look how high these ceilings are!We had our own bathroom, refrigerator and microwave in our extremely roomy room.
We were introduced to almost all career possibilities in aviation. Piloting, engineering, mechanical, military aviation, commercial aviation, air traffic control, working for the airlines, private ownership, and federal aviation. It was a total immersion in the topic.

We got a behind-the-scenes tour of Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Here we are meeting the director of the airport.
We got to go through doors and into elevators that were restricted.
We toured the Operations Room where they keep an eye on everything happening in the airport.
We also got to go up into the tower, but you are not allowed to take pictures up there.

After the airport we went over to Parker-Hannifin's hangar. Besides serving us a lovely lunch we got to mess around in these fourteen million dollar planes.Including getting to sit in the cockpit.Back at Kent, our lessons continued. In my opinion we got just a bit too much information about Air Traffic Control but three of our four student guides were in the ATC program so that's what they liked to talk about most. Kent State has a very cool Air Traffic Control simulation training room that we got to play in. At one point they separated us into different rooms. I was the pilot and The Girl was the Air Traffic Controller in the other room telling me what to do over the headset.
It was interesting but sitting in the dark all day looking at a blips on a screen is not my cup of tea.

And finally it was the day to go flying. They started us out by making us train with the simulator.
We crashed and burned horribly.

But we still got to go up in the real thing. Here's our plane.

And here's The Girl flying it!

We got to fly over Kent State. The dorm we stayed in us the light gray "L" right smack in the middle.
This whole experience didn't cost us a penny. We submitted an application to attend the camp on a fluke and were accepted. They only took seven mother/daughter sets this year. The eighth girl in this picture was a girl who attended last year and returned as an aide.
So is The Girl all psyched up now to pursue a career in aviation? Actually she learned it's not for her. But that's okay. At least now we know!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Off We Go!

Tomorrow The Girl and I leave for Aviation Camp.

There shouldn't be too many opportunities for me to drop a camera into a body of water. But you never know.

Lots of pictures and stories when we get back!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Birthday and a Crash

Here is what I bought myself for my birthday.A cast iron dutch oven!Isn't it a beauty?
Of course it had to have legs to get charcoal underneath and a concave lid to put the charcoal on top. I can't wait to take this thing camping.

I baked my birthday cake in it. Devil's Food Cake with raspberry. Yum! Warm cake right out of the dutch oven with cold ice cream was bliss.

From the kids I received a new super soaker to replace Pixie's Gun which finally bit the dust. Here's the boy with Pixie's Gun back in 2006. Pixie's Gun was a gift from my secret pal at camp back in 1991. I'm pretty sure Flame gave it to me. I spent many a summer day terrorizing little girls with that super soaker.

My new gun is a bit of an upgrade.

When both tanks are full it weighs over eight pounds. It has a strap attached to help you carry it. It has three settings: Light, Medium and Soak. It's an intimidating thing indeed.

A nice dinner out, family on my patio and a new watering can rounded out my birthday into a lovely day.

Then I gave myself one final gift.
In a moment of sheer grace I fell off the back porch and proceeded to get the worst scrape I've ever had. It hurts like a mother.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Pleasant Valley Splash

So I didn't Facebook post even one time at camp. There is no reception out there at all. The campground in literally in the middle of nowhere so it shouldn't be a big shock but all the same I was irritated.

It's probably a good thing that I could post because real time camping would have looked like this:
  • WTF? You can't drink the water here? Thanks for advance notice GS!
  • Deer flies! They're everywhere! They seriously give me the creeps!
  • This cabin is not GS clean. Leaving this place better than we found it will not be hard at all!
  • Running to Tiffin to get water. What is with all of this traffic?
  • Another train? I'm never getting back to camp!
  • It's never too hot out for campfire s'mores.
And on and on from there. It was hot, steamy hot the whole time even when it was raining. The cabin had mice which makes you distrust any surface unless you personally just wiped it off. And there was something making loud sporadic buzzing noise just enough to jar you awake over and over again.

With all of whining said and done I can honestly say we had a really good time.

Duct tape is a great thing to play with when it's too hot to do anything else. Look at the lovely water bottle make-over.The Girl attempted to create a duct tape bikini. Here's the front and back of the bottoms. She ran out of yellow tape to put it together. Will she ever finish this? We'll see.
I mentioned the mice. Here's what we found our first morning out there. Check out the tiny tooth marks. I imagine some little mouse had a tummy ache after this feast.Our second day, we decided to beat the heat by wading in the creek that runs through the property.
Co-Leader Supreme found a deep spot much to her dismay, I mean delight.It was not so buggy down at the creek and the water was ice-cold.Look at the size of this crayfish! None of us are the type to pick them up. Lucky crayfish!
This shot was supposed to be another crayfish but it ended up being just shine on water.
I included that last shot because right after I took that one I found a deep spot in the creek. Plunk I went right into the drink. The camera was in my pocket. Obviously the memory card is fine because I have these pictures. So far though the camera itself is acting wonky.

I've got high hopes that the camera will pull through this. During day camp two weeks ago I dropped my cell phone in a bucket of water and it came back to life two days later. Three days after that The Girl had a water bottle self-destruct in her purse and soak her phone completely. It took about two weeks but now her phone is fully-functional again.

It's good to be home now. Tomorrow The Boy will be home from his camp and we'll all be together again, for exactly one whole day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Happy Happy to The Sister

Today is my beautiful and brilliant sister's birthday.
I'm sure she won't mind if I say here that she is 33 today which is the age, if she were a hobbit, that she would be considered an adult.
But of course she's not a hobbit, but it's an interesting fact all the same.

Happy Birthday darling! I hope you find being an adult hobbit enjoyable!

As for us, in just a few, The Girl and I are headed out to camp. We are going to Pleasant Valley which is a Girl Scout property out in Tiffin. I hope it's just a bit cooler out there. I'll be posting every now and then on my Facebook, so check in there if you're dying to find out what we are doing. I'll post pictures when we get home.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Fourth

The poor Boy hasn't spent the Fourth of July home in five years. That's the week his troop picks to go to camp because it is the least crowded week of the summer. Go figure.

Here's the crew of them just before the took off. It's going to be hot and dry this week which is a big change from their usual camping weather which can be described as monsoon-like.
Coolest dudes ever!

So without the boy, but with the parents and the brother we spent our Fourth at the Lake Erie Crushers game. The Crushers spent the whole game behind but then really turned on the stink in the ninth inning. They lost 12 to 4. It was brutal to watch. But everyone stayed to the bitter end because of this:

Whoo-hoo to the "fireworks" setting on the camera!

Quite good fireworks too. We took The Boy to see fireworks on the third in neighboring town. (Our town can't shell out for the show anymore. Boo!) The fireworks at the ballgame were just a smidgen better than those. But after two night of being stuck in post-firework traffic, this little patriotic girl has had her fill of fun.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Yeah, I'm one of them.

The Girl and The-Girl-Who-Thinks-She-Lives-Here convinced me to take them to the midnight showing of Eclipse on Tuesday.
Okay, it didn't take much convincing. It was more like, "You want to go to the midnight show?" and I broke out in a little happy dance.

Yes, it's true. I am very much one of those girls. A girl who loves the Twilight series and the movies. Judge me if you must, but a fact is a fact. Oh, yes, I can hear you already....

Stephanie Myers is just a fair to middling writer.
I completely agree. Hearts are broken and things are hot as hell as Stephanie belts us with cliche after cliche. It's frustrating but certainly not unreadable.

Bella is a flat, boring character who has the inability to just speak.
Again, true. She can mumble, murmur, scream, whisper, moan, whine and cry. Find a sentence that ends with 'Bella said." and you've got gold. But come on! So Stephanie owns a thesaurus. Who doesn't?

Who does Stephanie Myer's think she is rewriting vampire myths?
Oh, shut up. Really.

These stories are not meant to be great literature passed through the ages. They are what they are-- fun, fast reads populated with beautiful men. There isn't a thing wrong with that. The bookstores are full of this kind of writing. Stephanie just hit the right chord at the right moment.

So we went to the midnight show. I wasn't expecting the crowd. I should have expected it. It was huge. Cars and people (mostly girls) everywhere. The line was reaching around the theater. We already had tickets and heard a rumor passed through the crowd that they were seating our screen. So we jumped out of line, weasled our way to the front and slipped in the theater. That moved scored us completely decent seats. Not cool of us, but boldness was demanded in the situation. No way I was going to sit way up in front staring straight up a the screen.

The audience was in agreement that everyone needed to shut up and watch the movie. There were a few moments of catcalls and some whoo-ing, but for the most part everyone was extremely well behaved. That was a relief. When we went to see New Moon the audience was almost riot stage the entire time. The girl next to me was there strictly to see pretty boys it seems. Anytime Bella would talk she would mutter under her breath, "Shut up. Shut the hell up. Get off the screen. You are so stupid." Poor thing. But you can't have pretty boys fighting over a girl without the girl. Some things must just be tolerated.

We'll be going to see Eclipse again before long. The Man wants to see it and so does The Boy I suspect. But just for the action scenes, of course. Not for the pretty girls.