Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Colors and Other Misconceptions

Let's start with "other." There seems to me that there must be some kind of misconception over the topic of annual flu shots. They make me sick. Each and every year, I feel lousy after getting a flu shot. This is NOT to say that I believe the shot has given me the flu!  Yet every time I mention being sick as a result of the shot, I get lectured that "dead flu cells can't give you the flu!"  Never said that they could, did I?  

Why so huffy about it? Well, because I just had another miserable four days after getting my flu shot. And insult to injury, the girl that gave me the shot also managed to give me a bruise that I still have a week later.

I often wonder if it might be better to just roll the dice on getting the flu.... at least there is some chance that I won't.

This is also the time of year when people ask me if the fall colors are spectacular from the air. Intuitively it must seem so, but in reality, not so much. First of all, the trees don't all change at once. It is very rare to see vast expanses of fall colors; it's nearly always a mix of green, brown/orange/red, and barren deadness.  Second, there is almost always haze in the air that deadens the ground colors when viewed from above.

Every now and then, though, we get a few super clear, cool days. Case in point:

I flew over to Urbana for breakfast with a group of other pilots, mostly to give me a chance to test the new position/mount for the standby GPS. I was quite please with it:

Another hallmark of fall flying is morning fog. It was light and well spread out:

The breakfast we well attended. I have nothing but admiration for the guy that flew a Pietenpol Air Camper in the briskly cold weather. Open cockpit with temps in the high 30's?  Huh. I wouldn't do it.

Nice looking bird, though. I wouldn't mind having one for summer evenings.

Being as I was already halfway there, I continued on out to the farm. Conditions were perfect for giving the Schmetterling CEO a quick ride in the newly painted plane. We just flew down south from the airport and circled the ranch.

The timing was perfect; the air was still glass smooth and the temps were just about perfect for not-too-hot, not-too-cold.  By the time I left for home, it was a completely different story. The winds had picked up and the air was choppy all the way up to 5,500'.  Still, with the clear air and bright sky, it was a nice enough ride.  By the time I landed, I had completely forgotten that the sickness-that-cannot-exist wasn't bothering me anymore.

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