Category Archives: Hobby

Best Flight Ever!

Nothing to do with Singapore Airlines or even Southwest! I’m talking about the flight I just enjoyed over a fallow tobacco field.

And did I mention that I was the pilot? And that the plane has a wingspan of four feet?

I’m talking about a flying model, of course.¬†After 20 years away I’m finding myself back in the RC (Radio Controlled) Flying hobby. No, the army didn’t invent drones, but they have taken the idea to a new level.

My first experience with RC was over 20 years ago, back when it meant spending hours and hours gluing together a box of wooden parts, covering it with shrink-wrap film, and bolting on an engine before filling it with expensive radio equipment and servos to make the moving parts move and control the throttle. Then you have to find a flying field and someone to help you through those first flights. The building was ok, the end result attractive, and the flying wonderful! But somehow I managed to let that plane gathered dust as life brought on it’s other distractions. Fields were few and far-between, the radio equipment became obsolete, and I never did care much for those gas engines and their mess, not to mention the chance of losing a finger in a high-speed propeller accident.

A couple of years ago I moved to my new home on 5 acres with a huge yard. Two make a long story short I eventually brought home a ready-to-fly electric powered airplane ¬†that came with it’s own radio. In just a few minutes it was ready to fly! And fly it did! Right into trees! Twice! The second time it was about 25 feet off the ground and it took some doing to get it down. From there it went into my back bedroom until a few weeks ago.

Skipping over a few more details I ended up dusting off the old new-plane, buying a fresh battery, and making a few flights. I found a more appropriate place to fly near my house (no complaints from the neighbors, so far) and I have even discovered an all-electric flying club that has a field just 3 miles from my house! I’m now an official member, not to mention webmaster! (www.flykvegas.com) I’ve spend more money than I ever intended and am having a wonderful time! I even purchases a simulator (realflight.com) so that I can practice and crash and nobody gets hurt, including my pocket book.

Tonight’s flight? Just 10 minutes of flying back and forth during the last hour of daylight on a beautiful, still summer’s evening. Just myself, a chihuahua, and a lot of fun!

My Daily Bread

Don't let your meat loaf!

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to “make peace with yeast” and learn to bake bread, and perhaps pizza crust. This decision was born of my move towards reducing the amount of processed foods I eat and trying to eat more “whole” foods. Delicious breads are available at several bakeries in Greensboro, and certainly other places, but what could be nicer than bread from your own kitchen? Not to mention fresher.

Armed with no-knead bread recipes from the internet and a 5-lb bag of whole wheat flour I attempted my first loaf last week. The bread came out with a stronger yeast flavor than I really liked, but I’ve been slowly eating it. I did discover that the yeasty bread was delicous when dabbed in a little extra virgin olive oil, and paired well with a bowl of pinto beans.

For my second loaf I deviated from my 100% whole wheat goal and made a loaf of 2/3 white flour, cut back slightly on the yeast, and added a tablespoon of sugar. This recipe did require a quick knead before the second rise, but that went well and the resulting loaf can be seen above. Not only is the yeastiness improved, but it has a wonderful crunchy crust. It was so crunchy in fact that it was difficult to slice. After cutting a few by hand I was inspired to try using my electric knive, the one I use to carve turkey with on Thanksgiving! Incredibly even the electric knife had trouble piercing that beautiful brown exterior. Once it did it make beautiful slices. I think I can slice nearly as quickly by hand, but I do like the smooth surface that the electric knife leaves on the slices.

Aquarium Update

Day 5. I replanted the floating plant and added a little more gravel. It’s looking good, but desperately in need of some fish. I check Walmart and Petco last night but didn’t bring anything home. I was tempted to buy all 4 of the large fantails at Walmart but didn’t. I bought a 30-gallon setup off Craigs List yesterday, which came with a siphon/vacuum and some other equipment that will come in handy. I plan to eventually set up that in my bedroom. Will make a nice night-light.

Update: I went by PetSmart and ended up walking out with 5 small goldfish. At $1.99 each I couldn’t resist. Besides, it’s more satisfying to by them small and watch them grow than it is to buy the big ones. And younger means they’ll live longer, right? Anyway, I took my time letting the temp adjust by floating it on top of the water, then I dumped it into a bucket and added some tank water. Finally I scooped them out with a net and added them to my tank. After being in a 5 gallong tank with about 40 fish they must’ve said “where’d everybody go” when they suddenly found themselves in a 55 gallon tank. I immediately thought “I need some more fish”, but am going to hold off. They were looking so healthy by late tonight that I decided to go ahead and feed them a little, which they seemed to be happy about.