Saturday, May 26, 2007


We are in Aberdeen.

The night before we left Kilmarnock for Aberdeen we went to see one of Pat's nursing school roommates and her husband. Their home was beautiful, set high over a valley with a wonderful view. They also had a full kitchen or maybe a better way to put it was a kitchen with States sized appliances. I haven't seen many like it here. Pat was a little envious, can't blame her, it was a beautiful 100+ year old home in a spectacular setting.

The super markets here are running the small shops, the butcher, the green grocer, the fish monger, out of business and what to me is very strange is how every thing in the super market is pre-packaged and how many items are pre-prepared. You can find bacon cooked and ready for the microwave, green beans are cut and wrapped as are the peppers, carrots and almost every thing else, few of the veggies are loose. I guess if I had to work in some of the kitchens I've seen I would want things ready to heat and eat as well.

Friday, May 25, 2007

From Scotland

Pat and I are in Kilmarnock visiting her folks.

My vacation was to start on the 16th, on the 16th I was still in Africa. We were scheduled to leave Portland at 07:45 on the 17th and catch a connecting flight out of Newark to Glasgow. I spent the night of the 17th in the Canary Islands, no way to make the Portland flight. Luckily the GIV was booked to go through KJFK and spend the night before going on to McMinnville. I hoped to make it to KJFK on the 17th in time for me to jump off and get to Newark to meet up with Pat on her flight to Scotland. We left the Canaries at 10:00 local, with the time changes after 7 hours of flight we arrived in KJFK at about 13:00 local. I changed into my jeans and grabbed a cab to Newark getting there just in time to catch up with Pat and board the 19:45 flight to Glasgow. I had a whole 30 minutes to spare. Talk about working without a net.

We haven't done much yet other than visit and catch up on sleep. Today we walked around the city for several hours and I even had time to make a couple of images.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Notes from Vacation

I’ve been on a long road trip. One of those if this is Tuesday then we must be in Italy types. We had just landed in Kuwait City and made it back to the hotel from the Afghanistan day trip and were looking forward to our first day with out a flight or a bag drag since the start of the trip, our ass was dragging, when the phone call came. "We have a Lear in Abu Dahbi that we want you to move to Kuwait tomorrow". It gets worst, they wanted us to catch a 04:30 flight with two of the Principals, wait in Abu Dahbi while they finished up their meeting and bring them back with the Lear. We put our foot down and said "no way Jose", we will get some crew rest, take a later flight and initially only I would go so one of us would be rested for the next day’s flight to Egypt. After I started planing the flight I found out the crew member in Abu Dahbi they wanted me to use didn't have a U.S. fixed wing pilot's certificate. After much thrashing around it was decided that my co-captain would have to go anyway.

We get to Abu Dahbi in the early afternoon load the aircraft, BTW it is my favorite Lear in our fleet, a really beautiful airplane. I let the other pilot take the left seat even though it was my leg because he has very little Lear time (< 200 hours) and I figure it would be a good time to do a little instruction. Little did I know how much instruction I would have the opportunity to do. Just after rotation, as I called "positive rate" the left engine shot craps and rolled back. Once I got the airplane cleaned up and we were climbing, my first thought was “why in the hell did I pick this time to teach”. The obvious good news is he did a OK job and we made it around with out bending anything or hurting anyone.

As it turned out the biggest problem of the day was when we tried to get on the airliner to fly back to Kuwait.....our passports had been stamped out and we didn't have a stamp back in...try explaining that to Passport Control.