Carriers and Cycling

I had dinner on Friday night with Jim and Jan, a couple who is retired from the Navy and are now volunteering with JAARS/Wycliffe. During his twenty-five or so years with the Navy, Jim served on at least three different aircraft carriers, including the USS Midway – the same one that I got to tour and party on at the beginning of August, in San Diego. He was telling us stories of the Vietnam and Cold Wars, and how Soviet trawlers would like to annoy large American ships by continually crossing their paths, tempting collisions. Carriers are big boats, and they don’t stop or turn easily. Plus, turning a carrier changes the direction of the deck runways, which isn’t good for any pilots who are airborne at the time.

Probably 50% or so of the people you meet on Center are volunteers, and most of those are retirement age. These are folks who are not content to sit by the pool with a beer and enjoy their money.

I went for a bike ride yesterday – the road here are neither straight nor flat, but they’re very well maintained. Well, either that, or the temperatures don’t get too extreme here. As the crow flies, the border with South Carolina is about two miles away, both to the south and to the west. So I rode into the next state. At the top of one of the steeper hills, the local bike shop has spray painted “OUCH!!” on the asphalt. Personally, I would have written “pant” or “burn” instead – it’s more descriptive of the post-climb feeling.

Flying a plane is no different from riding a bicycle. It’s just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. – Airplane, 1980


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