Monday, July 30, 2007

Trip To The Center Of The Island

I took a trip.

But, Mr. and Mrs. Gawpo, Sr. came to visit me the week prior to my flying up to the San Juans to return the favor. They drove from California to north of the southernmost portion of Victoria, Canada. Drove. In a car. Together. You do the math. My dear father is attracted to certain language. See below:

This was an inscription protesting the military action in Iraq. But overruled overruled Mr. Gawpo, Sr's attention. Nothing personal. Just business. The man is a magistrate. What should I expect?

Now, my trip...

Having departed at 3:15 Post Meridian, four minutes later I am looking back at the beautiful Yaquina Bay and Bridge. My target altitude is 9,500 feet. Because my heading is between 181 and 359 degrees (355 degrees for this flight), I must assume an altitude with an odd numbered thousand (like 5, 7, 9) plus five hundred feet. Anyone flying a heading between 001 and 179 degrees must assume an even thousand plus five hundred feet. This provides a safety margin of separation.

Nine minutes after departure and I am climbing through five thousand feet. Not quite enough for the mile high club, but nearly. The airspeed indicator shows that I am maintaining 100 mph to help engine cooling. The vertical speed indicator shows that I am taking it easy with a four hundred foot per minute rate of ascent. The heading indicator shows that I am flying slightly east of 360 degrees and that will have to be corrected by the time I complete my ascent. The artificial horizon indicates a slight nose-up attitude.

At 9,500 feet in under 20 minutes. Not bad.

224 miles to go; 1:22 minutes to get there; 160 mph (statute); and flying a heading of 355 degrees. S47 is the airport designation for Tillamook; KPFC is the designation for Pacific City. Just put the little airplane on the line and you will get there. Gotta love the GPS!

Roughly 45 minutes to Astoria, Oregon's northernmost airport. In the middle of that river--the mighty Columbia--lies the border between Oregon and Washington. Lewis and Clark were here.

In about an hour and fifteen minutes, I am already at Hood Canal. Just below me is the city of Shelton, WA. To the right is Olympia (it's the water).

Descending through 8,700. Speed is rewarded with the airframe's acquiescence to gravity.

To the left are the Olympics, a mini-8,000 foot wall to catch the great storms off the Pacific and render the locale in their shadow with the same weather you'd expect of Nevada, Eastern Oregon or Eastern Washington, all of which sport low annual rates of precipitation owing to the Cascades and the Sierras. But instead of the high desert in the rain shadow of these mountains, the Olympics run interference for a different clime: An archipelago of islands that turn the ocean into a series of connected lakes whose mirror-like surfaces can be traversed by vessels as small as a canoe. These are the San Juan Islands.

That snow up there represents billions of rain drops cheated of reaching the San Juans. Average annual precipitation ranges from 19 inches at the foot of the mountain range at Sequim (pronounced Skwim) to 27 inches at the northernmost island, Orcas.

To the left is Sequim and Dungeness Spit jutting out into Puget Sound. Off in the distance is none other than Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria. Oh Canada, Baby. Dungeness Spit is the world's longest spit into the ocean.

Destination reached! Friday Harbor. That's where you'll find OC and Quilldancer these days, you know. Because of my injured back--another story--I was not able to fly over and see them. I had to pick up the nephew and his girlfriend and beat feet over to our little island in paradise, Center Island. Little did I know on this Monday that I would be lying on the carpet, on my back, on ice packs for the next seven days.

Yes, he's a babe. And yes, he's legal. But he's taken...... her.....

While Uncle Gawpo flew the airplane, Nephew snapped pics of Mr. Gawpo, Sr's boat headed back to the island with the rest of the family.

Is this not a poster-perfect advertisement? Only golf carts are used for transportation on this island. The only gas rigs are used sparingly by the caretakers to help move bigger loads for folks when they arrive with supplies. The guitar is mine, but the Nephew plays a mean "Classical Gas."

It looks like we are having chips and corn, but you'll note the bowl with the prawns that Mr. Gawpo, Sr caught. Not pictured are the remnants of the rack of lamb BBQ'ed with an amazing Sicilian basting sauce. Salad, of course, too. Pictured are the Nephew and his Grilfriend, Mrs. Gawpo, Sr., Niece (with her back to us) and her friend, Taryn, whom I addressed as "Ms. Paper." It didn't take her long to get the joke, either. Smart girl. Gawpo likes people who get his jokes.

Saw lots of this guy and his friends...

Washed of her Original Sin, the "surprise" niece enjoys some holding from her daddy. At only .75 years old, she had a great time on the island. Mr. Gawpo, Sr is adjusting his bluetooth.

View off the back deck...

This is the first one I'd seen since they were removed from the Endangered list. I took out my Bushnell Yardage Pro and ranged the bird at 27 yards...

Last photo of my stay. This is Mt. Baker pictured in the last gasp of sunlight for the day. This is looking northeast from the back deck...

This is what you see just after taking off to the north from Center Island. In a minute, my left wing will be on the east side of my route. I miss my family already...

Mt. Adams on the left. Mt. St. Helens on the right...


This is the video of the landing upon my return. My friend, Don had my car out of the hangar and was there to push the plane in since my back was still on the mend. Thank you, Donaldo!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

By the power of Grayskull, I have the POWER!!

This is the Logophile, and I have hijacked de blog de Gawpo and made it my own, HA!
Here is a picture I took of Gawpo at my 'puter. His back went all wocky on his vaca though, so just moments after allowing him to view my blog I gently encouraged his to do some stretching and STOLE my computer back, bwah hah hah hah hah!

K, now he is sleeping on my floor, snoring ever so gently and I must wake him to haul to town and we will eat and then I will make fly away in his cool little airplane which is how he arrived here. I must go now.

buh byee

Friday, July 13, 2007

Some Time Ago

Some time ago, I said I would go dig up some photos of an earlier time. When I was in California, I snapped some pictures with the Cell Phone (sorry, Murray!) of---get this---Mr. Gawpo, Sr's screen saver slideshow. So here they off the computer screen.

To this very day, seeing this exhilerates me. I am standing next to noneother than the greatest baseball player of all time. Well, in my eyes he was. Mostly because he played for the San Francisco Giants and I got to meet him. My father took the picture with his 4X5 Poloroid and we got Mr. Mays to sign the photo. I have it framed in my bedroom. Ironically, this function took place at the S.O.S. (Sportsmen Of Stanislaus) Club in Modesto (go to Diesel's page to see the latest rating on this city's liveability). What makes it ironic is the fact that people of color were not admitted into membership at this all white club. This has changed.

Ever a Giants fan, this is young Gawpo, the model, eating icecream at Penguin Icecream. This was an advertisement shot for the business. Photograph by Mr. Gawpo, Sr.

I think this is my father's 8th grade class. Redwood City, California. Mr. Gawpo, Sr is seated in the front row, far left as we face the photo. I believe that at the very far left, but in the very top row, is Dave Verner. Dave was in the YouTube video I posted some posts ago, landing with me and the MRE on Center Island. He looks older in the YouTube video than he does in this photograph.

Closer look at the boy who would become my father...

This is my father's father, Antonino. And I believe that he is with his father, seated. My grandfather was a barber.

My Jewish mother, Mrs. Gawpo, Sr. She is with Mumino--Sicilian nickname for "Jimmy," which is what he went by. He was my grandfather's brother.

This gangster-looking gentleman is George Joseph. George is Persian (Iran). If you ever get a chance to hear the C'e la luna mezzo mare rendition on Louie Prima's "Live At Harrah's," you will hear George Joseph and his buddies whistling from the crowd. They started out in the back of the room and worked their way up. If you listen, you can hear the volume of their whistles increase as a result of getting closer to the stage. I believe this is the rendition I posted some time back. George came to Salt Lake City when my father was in law school and handed my father a copy of the album with his whistling debut. Awesome.

The Baby Gawpo

This is Dora, my mother's mom. My mother says she is not sure if she is depicted, or if it is her sister or her brother. My maternal grandmother's side is from the Romanian diaspora.

These three classy broads are wives of judges. When these gals get together, let me tell you---court convenes! At about the time that lady on the far right had her first child was when I got borned. All three ladies have very Italian sounding surnames. But that one on the far right looks a little Jewish if you ask me.

Mr. Gawpo, Sr is a photographer. He took this shot on one of our trips to Yosemite.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

You Tell Me...

I have no idea how this happened. Had there been a camcorder set up in the house---just some interior surveillance equipment---we would all know. But we do not know. We cannot know. Yet, there has to be an explanation. A good one.

Last night I pulled into the carport after a very difficult 12 hour shift and the 18.2 mile drive out to the homestead. The sun had not yet set. The scorching heat of the whopping 87 (or so) degree day had begun to subside hours prior. It felt good to be home.

With a slam of the door to the Ford Exploder, I balanced my mail, my coffee mug, my keys, my camera. I ascended the seven steps to the back deck. And then I saw it.

You know how when something really out of place happens and your brain has to go somewhere within its experience to make sense out of something it has never reckoned with before? Yeah, that.

My first thought was that there was now a white lace curtain draped across the double pane sliding glass door. Who could have put that there? Not satisfied with this translation, my eyes continued to marshal data to my brain, but without any interpretation of what lay before them; something had been bizzarely altered. The entire door had been shattered and thousands of crazed avenues of refracted light spat out the beautiful contortions of a patterned report about a single, mysterious moment of chaos that had taken place when the tree fell in the woods and no one was there to hear it.

"All dressed up," and thinking possibly burglary in progress, I withdrew my sidearm and mini flashlight from their holstered perch on my utility belt. Very slowly, I opened the slider until I could see into my family room, just off the deck. The Bushnells I used the day before to determine if the deer in the yard was a doe or a buck lay inches from the door. I could see my old unstrung classical guitar---propped against the stereo speaker when I left for work in the morning---now lying on the carpet. Beyond the binocs, and just in front of the TV, was the displaced magnetic disk normally housed in the base of a magmount radio antenna. Beyond that, in the kitchen, were the shoes Cindra found for me at Goodwill two years ago. I had placed them the day before, shoulder to shoulder and neatly ready for my next slide into them after the work week. Now they looked like Sasquatch had tried them on, taken one step, and then dismounted from them where they now mocked me from their new configuration. Beyond the shoes, and under the dining room table, was my Yaesu FT-2500M 2 meter Ham radio with the 30 inch whip magnetic mount antenna still attached by the feed line. For those who don't savvy radio lingo, that's a cord.

And then just beyond the dining room table, in the little entry way, lay the explanation to what had happened. Oh---and did I mention I have a cat? Her name is Carmela.

I holstered my weapon and clicked off the flashlight.

But here's the big question: How did a wild baby bunny get into the house? The doors were secured. No windows were left open, save those with screens in place.

Apart from the as yet unsolved mystery of how the bunny got inside my house, this is what I have pieced together: First, the bunny was in the house. Second, Carmela saw the bunny in the house. Third, Carmela advanced on the bunny and the chase was on. During this chase, Carmela somehow interacted with the radio equipment. I am going to assume that she was under the computer table upon which rested that radio and from which dangled its many wires (power cord, linear amplifier cord, antenna cord--or to you who know radio lingo--the feed line). When she bolted for the bunny, she ran right through wires and caught them by her legs and or shoulders and then pulled the works along with the momentum of her hunt. The radio pulled the antenna, the antenna pulled the binoculars right smack into, and shattering, the window. Caught in the feed line to the antenna, Carmela panicked and then, tearing through the house, the magnet fell from its base.

There was no blood. No fur. Just disarray and a shattered 32X78 inch sheet of glass.

So, you tell me: How did the bunny get into the house?

Oh, and that deer the other morning. It was a doe. Fat with fawn. And yes, I am now really afraid...

You have to admire Carmela's feigned feline insouciance. As if with a shrug she ever-so-cautiously approaches the guitar as if to say: "Hey, look at this. This is strange. I wonder what happened here."