Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Making Our Way North for the Summer

At Cowtown RV Park, Aledo, Texas...

My wonderful state of Texas is not a great place to be in the summertime. Until they air condition the entire state (don't laugh--big stuff happens here), those who have the means and the time to do so tend to evacuate to a cooler clime. We hung around Conroe to attend grandson Mason's eighth birthday party on June 3, and then it was time to start making our way north for the summer.

The first stop was the DFW area, where we have been unable to wean ourselves from our beloved family doctor and dentist, both of whom I needed to visit. The visit to the dentist was to get a broken tooth repaired. I didn't include a photo of the snaggle tooth, lest it be used by some of my hopelessly evil friends to "out" me as some kind of tooth-gapped backwoods redneck which, as I think about it, does describe some of my lineage. It was one of the upper front teeth that broke, seemingly for no reason other than to remind me that my choppers have been hanging around for 70 years and that some of them are like other body parts of mine that have worn out and been repaired--like my hip, for example.

Fortunately, my longtime dentist, Roger, a true artist, was able to patch it up amazingly well without doing a cap, and it looks as good as new. No one would believe now that, besides having a hip made from a ball bearing, my teeth are held together with Bondo. Sometimes I feel as though I belong in an auto body shop.

The second stop was to our family doctor and an exam to acquire a new pilot's "Basic Med" medical certificate, required to keep my pilot's license active. In an unusual retreat from unnecessarily burdensome government requirements, the FAA changed the rules for obtaining a medical certificate for pilots of most small airplanes that carry no more than six occupants. Now with the new rule, these pilots no longer have to visit an FAA-designated physician every two years. They can see any state-licensed physician and have him or her perform an exam and fill out a relatively simple form that will suffice as a medical certificate. This must be done now at four-year intervals instead of two. The only other requirements are that the pilot must have held a standard medical certificate within the past ten years and that he or she must have completed a brief video course on recognizing medical conditions that could impair pilot performance. Pilots of larger high-performance airplanes still must abide by the original FAA rules for medical exams. Since I won't be flying jet airliners any longer, this new rule is perfect for my occasional pleasure flights in small airplanes.

This exam was the first of its kind for my family doctor, and he seemed glad to learn of the new FAA regimen and the allowance for all physicians to participate. After the exam, he said that he didn't see anything that would indicate I would soon assume room temperature, so he signed the form. I now have the exam record loaded into my cell phone, which will suffice quite nicely in case an FAA inspector asks to see it.

I took care of a few other chores while we were in the DFW area, like an oil change for Mae and a trip to our accountant's office while Sandy did some shopping with LouAnn, and old friend, after which Bubba joined us for dinner. On our last night, we got together with LouAnn and other dear friends Harvey and MaryLou, for dinner at Horseshoe Hill Cafe in Fort Worth. Sandy and I shared an excellent rib eye steak with some wonderfully fresh sides:



(Sorry, but I had eaten most of my half of the steak before I thought to take a photo; it was really good.) 

Our friends said their chicken fried steak was terrific, so Horseshoe Hill will certainly go on our list of favorite restaurants linked here on the blog.

We talked about a Hawaiian cruise that we're planning to take next summer, and there was plenty of laughter to go around as we lingered over dinner.  We hugged when we parted, knowing we would get together again at the end of summer.

Today we depart for Texarkana on our way to Memphis, where we will spend a week before turning northbound.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.



14 comments:

  1. Nice to get back on the road again, travel safe and enjoy the journey.

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    1. Thanks, George. You should know something about finding cool air in the summer!

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  2. I hope North includes Portland. Would love to see you again.

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    1. Hi, Betty! I don't think we will make the Pacific Northwest this summer, but we do intend to get back up there as soon as we can. And you can bet that we'll look you up. You are often in our thoughts and prayers.

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  3. Have a great time. We are finally out of the heat in Utah but the wind is keeping us company.

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  4. As I am a retired FAA technician do you care to comment on the latest about Air Traffic Control and the FAA. Will understand if you do not.

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    1. Hi, Mike! Thanks for your comment. Having seen the ATC system from both sides, I have a couple of different perspectives: From a pilot's point of view, I have always had great respect and admiration for our ATC system and the professionals who make it work. While flying, I never had the feeling that the system was broken or even inefficient. However, I retired from airline flying 20 years ago and have had little interaction with ATC as a manager in FAA Flight Standards since then. So I wouldn't be able to offer an opinion as to the difficulties that have been alleged in recent years. From the perspective of an FAA manager, I was certainly aware of the natural inefficiencies of a government bureaucracy; my inability to get rid of bad employees was particularly frustrating. I can understand how privatization could be an attractive alternative in this regard. So, this probably sounds like I'm punting on the issue, but the bottom line is this for me: I am usually of the opinion that the private sector can do anything more efficiently than a government. However, I'm not sure this is applicable to ATC. I am reluctant to suggest fixing something that doesn't seem to be broken. I hope this made sense.

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    2. Thanks for your reply. Guess we will have to wait and see.

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  5. We have followed your blog for three years and have always wanted to meet you. We will be at Tom Sawyer until June 29. If it turns out that you will be here, please visit us on site 53. . . Dan & Peggy

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    1. Well, what do you know? That's where we're headed; we'll look you up!

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  6. We've had a couple of similar Texas days so I understand wanting to go north. I don't complain about our heat, basically it isn't steady like what you've seen. :)

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    1. We're just glad we have the opportunity to change our location to a more hospitable one whenever we wish. I know you feel the same way, Patsy.

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  7. We are on Portland, OR. Pretty cool here:) I have not had an FAA physical for a long time, so I would have to start over. I think RVing will be it for now:)

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    1. Portland sounds wonderful, Chuck; I wish we were there. Well, I just had to take my grandsons up for a flight, otherwise I probably wouldn't have renewed my medical. I doubt if I'll be doing much flying other than that. I will say that getting the original FAA medical was quite a hassle since I have some health issues, but now that is behind me, and the self-med is a piece of cake!

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