Why I Love Airfields 16 : 2020-06

How can you not love airfields?

I hate getting up early, but you really can't argue with a morning view like this. N2830Q sitting outside in all its glory.  And early morning weather in Colorado is pretty epic.

And here are two shots from Pueblo (KPUB).  How perfect are these views?  And Orange Blaze's (I call this plane 'Orange Blaze') paint scheme against that blue sky is basically perfect. What I really love about airfields is the timing...at this time, Orange Blaze had the entire ramp to itself.  You  can't make this up.
Flying IS Great!

- mm -


Why I Love Airfields 15 : 2020-05

Sometimes Meadow Lake (KFLY) is a veritable Oshkosh.  Ten aircraft in the pattern, low approaches, plenty of experimental aircraft, formation, vintage, ultralights, etc.  It really only happens on perfect days.  If you want the pattern to yourself, just fly when it's windy and/or cloudy.  I love flying under clouds so the arrangement suits me fine.  Just the other day, a two-ship of classics were flying around.  And the background was epic.

The black object in the lower right is the propeller of the Cessna I'm in.
I was pretty happy with the timing of this photo.

Flying IS Great

- mm -


Best Soap Dispenser : 2020-05

Many inventions are "by chance".  The inventor stumbles across them and the next thing we know something was invented that we never knew we needed.  This was a bit different. I was walking through Walmart thinking about the best way to transfer dish soap.  Yes, you could simply squeeze it out of the bottle, but that always seems to get messy.  You also have the labeled container (which I don't like) and it may not be the most convenient size (if you buy large).
Walking through Walmart it hit me...ketchup and mustard.  Those can also be very messy but what about the hot dog stand?  And Walmart (this is why I love Walmart) had the very dispensers.  So I bought a $0.99 dispenser and have used it almost every day since.

It has a lid, you can put the soap exactly where you want it and it's fail-safe.  Just so you know, my mustard soap container sits in the drain.  Yes, it sits perfectly in the drain (not the disposal) which also allows it to drain/dry.
By the way, I really only buy about six things for the house...bleach, 409, vinegar, Magic Erasers, Dobies and soap.  Paper towels and toilet paper are not in that list, but I use them (and buy them) quite often.  I wash my hands with dish soap, clean my sink with dish soap, and clean dishes with it.
Not listed, but deserves commentary...shampoo.  Personally, I use the lowest grade.  Walmart doesn't make a "Great Value" shampoo, but Suave continues to produce the lowest priced shampoo.  I love Suave and have used it for at least three decades.  But here's the secret.  It will destroy almost any stain.  Scrub the stain with shampoo before you run it through the laundry.  You will be impressed.
I also use shampoo to clean the shower.  Soak a Dobie with shampoo and you'll be able to scrub anything away.  You can do the same with liquid soap, but shampoo tends to win.  They are so similar I call them 'hair soap' and 'body soap'.  Clothes soap ("detergent") is in the same category.

- mm -


Why I Love Airfields 14 : 2020-05

Airfields give thousands of photo ops per day, but some days and some angles are just epic.  I was talking with a mechanic (who favors Bonanzas) and a Skyhawk was flying patterns.  The Bonanza we were standing by was beautiful as was the day.

Flying is Great!

- mm -


Tail Wheel Complete : 2020-05

I waited way too long to get this accomplished, but it finally happened.  By "this" I mean being legal to fly a taildragger airplane, or conventional landing gear airplanes.  And to be legal you need an endorsement saying you've been trained and that you can fly a taildragger.

A friend of mine has a friend in Texas that gives endorsements.  Once the schedules lined up, we both went to Texas.  Specifically, to T31, Aero Country airfield.  That's a great name for a Texan airfield.  We planned to fly the next day so after arriving to Love Field, drove directly to a shooting range, shot trap, an AK-47 and multiple pistols.  I was able to hit more clays than I thought I would so that made me happy.  And it was the first time I shot a .38 Special.

The school that had the aircraft is Four Winds Aviation.  I didn't know at the time, but they're quite renowned for tailwheel instruction.  They haven't figured out how to remove the Texas humidity, but it is a great outfit.  This is one of their shots of their fleet.
My friend flew the closest airplane in the picture, N33OMS

I flew in this bird, N72DL.  A 1976 BELLANCA 8KCAB Super Decathlon, with metal wings (vs wood), and a fuel injected 180HP engine.

Just crawled out after three flights and 40 some landings.  You can fly some tight patterns in these birds which gives you a lot more practice.  And this was the guy I flew with...

Mr René Dugas.

That picture is right after our third hop - where RenĂ© suggested I fly in the back because he knew I wanted to instruct.  He knew the value of seeing the different landings and takeoffs from the rear seat.  This guy was a ENT and facial plastics doctor and built two aircraft; a Velocity and a Turbine Legend - both of which were in his hangar!  He was quite an impressive man, never talked about money, and best of all, was an absolute pleasure to fly with.  We laughed about a lot of things.  I'm laughing in this picture.  It was an epic trip and an excellent experience.  If you need an endorsement, look up Four Winds Aviation!

These are his airplanes (beyond the Super D)...

- mm -


Colorado Nebraska 01

The absence of a job (you might call it Corona or a pandemic) has given me plenty of time to paint.  It's been great for me.  I know people have died and have gotten sick, but there's a blessing in time.  This is my latest acrylic. It's from a 19 year old sketch of a barn which I was going to use for a Christmas card. I did make a 'barn' card, but it's not from this sketch.  It's actually this sketch.  There's something about a building against nothing.  It always strikes me.  Eastern Colorado and Nebraska have little to offer in the realm of incredible landscapes, but they have their moments.  You just have to find them.

Colorado Nebraska 01, 2020
acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16"

I painted this over Ashley Koi - not because of Ashley but because it wasn't very good.  No one would ever want it/pay for it.  I actually painted this thing about four times.  Skies are and enduring challenge for me and everyday I look at them, I am completely and utterly amazed.  God just whisks them off his fingers and I cannot capture them.  So I worked on the sky and the clouds and the rough sketch of the building.  I'd show you but I'm so bad at taking pictures throughout.  All the practice was a means of covering a koi in the background.  I'm pretty happy with this.  Maybe an 8 or 8.5.  However, this painting forced me to 'let go' because it wasn't working.  And for that, I give it a 10.  This will be placed in the Miscellany Gallery.

- mm -



While not my KPHF, this is KFLY.  It's really hard to argue scenes like this and with an identifier of KFLY.  What else do you want to to but FLY?  I love being here but I miss the people of KPHF and hangar space is incredibly difficult.

God's skies never cease to amaze me - day to day.

- mm -


Why I Love Airfields 13 : 2020-04

Thirteenth in the series - no, I didn't skip 13 - was basically a moment of chance, and did take place at and airfield.  With a bird.  And with the bag I fly with.  And I love birds (most) without question.  I placed my bag next to the hangar and this little guy jumped right on it.  Almost knew he would.  Thought it was quite fitting.  I'd like to go flying with him.  By the way, I was wondering if he would do what birds often do when they land...he did.  But the pic was worth it.

- mm -


KDEN to KSFO In My Mind

KDEN to KSFO In My Mind
acrylic on canvas, 7" x 14", 2020

I love the landscape between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada.  And every time I'm flying over them, I find myself wanting to fly "right" over them.  Jets like thicker air and the air is much thicker right above the ground.  And our jets have sufficient power to make it a great flight.  Just think of the photo opportunities.  People would love it!  I wanted to add contrails behind the get to emphasize the speed, but you'd never make contrails just above the desert.  The hardest part of this painting (there were many hard parts for me) was adding the jet.  I had to use reading glasses because my eyes are failing.  Flying IS Great!

- mm -