I didn't have a lot of expectations about what I'd do apart from see spaceroo get married when I got out here. There was one other thing I knew would come. Spaceroo, Findra, and Skyler are all pilots in various stages of training; at some point we were going to fly. That time -- at least the first time -- came today. We didn't rush into it, mind. Findra, Skyler, and I prepared by eating at an English pub where I had more beer than I'd ever had in one sitting. That was a pint of something British whose name I forget, so I'll inaccurately call it Bournemouth, and half a pint of Sam Adams, because I panicked. And naturally we watched a Kurt Russell movie, specifically, Used Cars.
But then we set out, and I fiddled with setting up my camera (pictures to follow) while watching the pre-flight check, and we determined that I couldn't get the seat to stay upright. No matter. Before long we were taxiing down the runway, playing The Royal Guardsmen on the radio, and leaping up into the air and ... turning right around and landed again because the door was not actually closed. Well, I never closed a door with two latches before.
And then we set out, and up, onto the ``Bay Tour'', which is a matter of flying up along the Bay Area, and coming back. This let me get to see things like the parts of San Francisco International that are outside the customs processing and luggage re-inspection sections, or to see just how many air strips there are going up the peninsula. Clouds were just rolling in over the hills, for a lovely sort of waterfall effect through the clouds, and my camera's batteries ran out. Findra had some more, though, and I could get back to full in time for about four thousand pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge -- there's a building of some kind just under it on the San Francisco end -- and a couple pictures of the Bay Bridge, which doesn't get any love.
So I got to see the San Francisco area from a viewpoint I never figured on, and it turned out gave Skyler his first chance to fly the Bay Tour, and to listen to Findra gently nagging Skyler about the things he was just about to do so there wasn't any need to nag him. (Skyler really gets a hard time from all his friends, me included.) Altogether it was a wonderful afternoon, and I'll have pictures sometime.
Trivia: During the Revolutionary War the United States took out foreign debt of about $10 million. Source: Alexander Hamilton: A Biography, Forrest McDonald.
Currently Reading: Gateway, Frederick Pohl.