Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A Day for the Windmills

Originally uploaded by gailontheweb.
On Sunday morning we went flying, and it was gusty! I would've filmed our crazy-bumpy landing, except it was rather precarious and I thought shoving a camera near the windscreen was probably a bad idea at the time...

High up at 8500 ft, it wasn't so windy. The air was thinner, and my head felt weird -- not like a passing-out feeling, but I couldn't stop yawning.

(Some years ago, someone told me that scientific research debunks the notion of yawning because of lack of oxygen. Even though he was a Biology major, I still find that hard to believe. I think it's too much of a coincidence that people yawn when they're tired. If it's not to bring oxygen to the brain, why do we do it?)

Anyway, I kept yawning and David asked how I was doing. He says he checks to see if his fingernails turn blue. I was OK in that department, but I had a bad case of the yawns, and my eyes kept tearing up. We've been up at 8500 ft before, but I think the temperature has dropped since the last high flight a month ago, and because it's colder the air is drier. The outside temperature was -10C!! Thankfully the heater works well inside the plane -- it comes directly in from the engine.

shadow (it's called glory)
Originally uploaded by gailontheweb.

high in the clouds
Originally uploaded by gailontheweb.

Even though it was a gusty day, we found some clouds to play around with, and once again I was able to get some shots of our shadow projected on the denser ones.

Cherry Ridge Airport
Originally uploaded by gailontheweb.
Where David houses his plane. Nothing like JFK, but they're friendly here and there's no Passport Control.

Tobyhanna Army Depot
Originally uploaded by gailontheweb.
This is where the Civil Air Patrol meetings are held. The first time, they told me "no foreign nationals", but since then they've just let me in without delay.

Recently, the analysts I work with wrote about a new development for tagging inventory electronically, which Wal-Mart intends to employ, and will no doubt affect other large consumer goods stores with warehouses. The tagging will go on the box, not its contents, so it wouldn't require any sorting of inventory, thus making storage more space- and time-efficient. That development is not fully appreciated until you see the scale of storage that chains like Wal-Mart require. Flying over one of these distribution centres, I was still amazed by the sheer size of it; it's the size of an airport!!

(I am really NOT a Wal-Mart person. It has to be a last resort before I'll shop at one. I realise there are people who don't have the money to shop anywhere else, but I'm not a fan of giant distribution centres. For one thing, have a look at the trucks parked here. These trucks clog up the roads and the highways -- why aren't we using railroads for this? Our predecessors toiled at building railroads, and those railroads are now replaced by highway pollution. If people with low incomes are economically forced to shop at Wal-Mart, how is it economically favourable to them to have to own a car to get to Wal-Mart in the first place? And then, they have to buy a ton of stuff to make the trip worthwhile?)