A Little Thanksgiving Gift!

IMG_2113 For those of you who know me, I do like animals and have always enjoyed pets.  Lil and I have our little Cockapoo Wolfie who just turned 15 this year and both Lil and I have had other pets throughout the years.

Since we moved to Arizona, I have been wanting to get a cat to live with us.  Lil and I both looked at the adoption organizations and fell in love with all sorts of cats, but never had the ability to get one as we always made excuses — wait until we had a bit more money, a bit more time, a bit cleaner house, etc.  I knew we wanted a cat, but the excuses seemed neverending.

Until Wednesday night.

On Wednesday night, my carpooling coworker Tom dropped me off in front of the clubhouse at our community, and immediately I heard a pleasant chirping meow greeting me as I got out of the car.  Looking over to a boulder in the landscaped garden area, I saw a skinny, but adult calico shorthair cat looking right at me — as if she was talking right to me.  Being a sucker for petting cats, I went right over and started petting and scratching her.

Then the purring started — which absolutely melted my heart.

I picked her up and noticed she had no ID or anything.  She was clearly thin and was certainly dirty — so I knew she had been outside for a while.  Unlike many of the strays around the area, she was so friendly and had no aversion to being picked up or anything.  I thought “hey, if Lil approves, maybe this little one can be ours!”

So the cat and I scooted to our home… or I should say, she followed me!  She came inside without hesitation and Lil fell in love with her as well!  We fed our little girl and then promptly got into the Jeep and headed to the pet store to pick up a litter box, cat food, a scratching post (or should I say, cat condo) and other essentials including a grooming brush.

On the way home, Lil and I thought about what to name our new little princess — and in honor of Thanksgiving and her autumn colored coat, we decided on “Pumpkin”.

We got home to find her exploring the house and “feeling out” Wolfie.  Though Wolfie is extremely docile, the cat’s instincts were still kicking and so she growled and hissed a bit.

She immediately knew how to use the litter box and that took a load off.  Though Wolfie is housetrained, her age betrays her and she has been spotting a bit more than usual.  If Pumpkin were to take the same habit, it might have been a disaster.

IMG_2114 Pumpkin slept through the night well and has been a delight to have around!  She has a bit of a curious nature and has been jumping up on everything — counters, bureaus, furniture… you name it.  Other than that, she’s been great!

We took her to Dr. Benesh yesterday and he gave her a clean bill of health.  He estimates she’s about six months old and has no signs of FIV or Leukemia — what a relief!  Now, he wasn’t sure if she was carrying some little surprises of her own — but we’ll just need to cross that bridge when we get there.

I’m quite happy that Pumpkin “chose us” last week!  Her arrival into our house is much like many of the events that have happened to us over the last few years — serendipity in the purest form!

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Aviation: Reserved Unbridled Passion?

I was wandering through some of the archived stories in some of my favorite blogs from the past month and came across a nugget from Adam Webster’s Aviation Marketing Intelligence blog.

A post on how nuts we are in aviation.

Yep, nuts.

Read it at: http://adamwebster.com/2008/04/16/how-nuts-are-we/

planeAdam uses the example of a Pilatus PC-6 obsessed pilot who would literally do anything, anywhere — just to get the chance to fly a PC-6.  Yes, that’s the ugly STOL plane that can be found in the movie Air America… the one that looks like it stole aerodynamic theory from John Deere.

Anywhere means exactly that in this post — the PC-6 is used to get around in some of the most inhospitable areas — the jungles, the war torn, the mountainous.  Basically places where the closest Hilton is not just miles away, but time zones away.

I’d sell my first born for a gig flying a Supermarine Spitfire… but that really doesn’t count, right?

Regardless, it is a perfect example of how devoted many of us are to flying. A devotion that sometimes makes the most logically minded people make decisions that escape logic.

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The Almighty Aviation Network

rk_galesgrp I was reminded twice this past week about how small the aviation world really is.  It seems like the old saying that we “are all six degrees away from Kevin Bacon” is especially true in aviation — but in this case, we are all four degrees away from Harrison Ford.

Earlier this week I got an email via Facebook of a fellow alum of Daniel Webster College (though a much more recent class) who now works at avionics manufacturer Avidyne.  She said she works directly with one of my former coworkers at the Collings Foundation (I only had three) and was the direct contact with the avionics department at Cutter Aviation, my new employer. Her spot in my network basically represented the crossroads of my professional career!

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Tales of a Pilot’s Jacket

Z2102 Look in any pilot supply store, catalog, or website and you’ll notice there is are several products that everyone carries, mostly because their iconic nature in the personal inventory of a pilot makes them easy inventory to carry and sell.  You’ll surely find the old standards: the E6B, the fuel tester, the kneeboard, the logbook, the sunglasses… and the pilot’s jacket.

Just about anyone who is or aspires to be a pilot realizes pretty quickly that the symbolic aviators jacket is a must have — not because it’s a "need" per se, but because the ego forces it on you.  I mean, how many of us fly in a "Members Only" jacket afterall?

If you want to reinforce your new found hobby or career path with family and friends, the leather bomber jacket is a requirement.  Nothing screams "I watch Top Gun at least once a month and want to be Maverick in my C-150" like it. For some of us, it’s a love of the historic side of aviation that prompts us to go after that piece of stitched goatskin… to wear a jacket like the heroes of WWII is in some way, a tribute to their influence on us.

After a time, you may get a bit tired of wearing the sweaty leather in all climates and may switch to a nylon or cotton aviator jacket — while the leather gets relegated to the "dress" uniform.  The nylon jacket offers the bonus of washability if you have an oil-hungry plane in your care and for those gadget "cockpit is an office" types, the nylon usually adds more pencil holders on the sleeve than you can shake a No. 2 at!

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