Hi, folks- remember me? If you don’t I wouldn’t blame you. First things first; let me start by personally wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014. May you have a great year of building and flying as well. My thanks also to all of you who’ve made a difference in 2013, and ARE the difference, to the life of the club. In addition, special thanks to the guys who volunteer to lead the club- they are truly the ones deserving of major kudos, and your thanks. Last, but not least- on behalf of myself and the rest of the Executive and Directorate, our very best wishes for a great new year to all of you, our fellow members. .
This is only the second tome in over a year (only one in 2013, in April) I’ve generated any communiqués. You may well ask, “what the hell happened” or “where the hell have you been”, or maybe, you haven’t even noticed the months having gone by without any word from Yours Truly. Serves me right… let’s try to update things, and put them in perspective, in terms as simple as I can make them.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, I had GOBS of time to sit down and share my thoughts, info, observations, and BS ad nausiam with all of you. Ah, for the good old days. My previous epistle went into some details regarding why they’re gone forever, so I won’t bore you with a repeat of same here. But- before we delve into more interesting matters- I will tell you of an amazing event which took place October of last year with such suddenness and speed, I still find it hard to believe as I sit here pecking away in front of Mr.’Puter telling you about it. In short, I retired… as in, from working. From the outfit I’d been with for 33 years. Done, finished, finito. Took the money and ran. All of this happening within a span of 30 days.
The stunning details / saga of how I started with no thoughts of “hanging up my six-shooters” September first, and was off the payroll and “riding into the sunset” by October first, would require a separate column and something akin to War & Peace in size to describe adequately. I’ll be glad to discuss it at length with you when we next meet in person. As 2014 begins, I am still connecting some dots regarding the $5 my former employer gave me, and how best to turn it in to $6 or more dollars (and not having it go down to $2) in the future. However, suffice to say that the bottom line is that going forward, I will have (I think) all sorts of time on my hands. The New Year looks like an interesting one, to say the least.
It’s an amazing feeling, even now. Just me and Brandy, the Wonder-Dog, at home during the day (she’s been giving me a queer “who are you, and why are you here” look recently). She doesn’t know from retirement. Thanks to her, I have not needed an alarm clock since she came into our lives back in 2004, God bless her. But at least I can go back to bed (yay!) these days if I so desire (at least for the immediate future). Why all this verbiage spent on this event? The key are those words towards the end of the paragraph above: “…all sorts of time on my hands”. Let’s hold that thought here for a moment, and take a break for some more interesting reporting.
The 2013 year of flying has come and gone for me with no remarkable (or even unremarkable) happenings. No major prangs or other disasters. Thanks to some nice, warm late Fall and early Winter days, did some more flying prior to the onset of the genuine article- weather wise- in early December. Once again- no great advances on the New Planes department. Equipment-wise, the Old Standby’s were in evidence, and only the occasional flights with the new Radian Pro I picked up earlier in the season stood out as being new and somewhat novel, as I have not been involved with gliders- powered or otherwise- for quite awhile (it’s a great aircraft, by the way). Helped out a bit more with Training Tuesdays (thanks for all your work, Al).
The two major events of the season for me- the Rhinebeck Jamboree and the N.E.A.T. Fair- were great. The former went off without a hitch (if you don’t count a minor “hard landing” involving the Bucker Jungman ARF of previous lore, that finally made it into the air). The highlights there were the four great flights and perfect landings with the (Fokker DR-1) triplane and some wonderful early dawn “silent” flying with the Park Zone SE-5A (the replacement for the one lost in the mid-air in 2012) all by myself on the runway just after sunrise, prior to the start-up of normal operations on Sunday morning. First time in almost 20 years of attendance I had the “stage” all to myself. RC flying doesn’t get better than that.
The N.E.A.T. Fair was, once again, a hoot. The improved accommodations provided by Mike G. (a larger, Class-C motorhome) and the collection of “the usual suspects” along with a super-cool internally-lit night-flying foamy ARF created by Mike and Peter P. made for a memorable, extra-special weekend. Too bad the wind continues to be a major factor, IMHO. I only flew twice- my Park Zone SE-5A and Albatros- and almost lost the latter thanks to some VERY nasty wind gusts. Note to self: next year, a larger, heavier plane will be needed.
Back now to my state of affairs. Another year has thundered by. But as I noted earlier, now I’m on what- for the moment- feels like an extended vacation. A veritable yawning chasm of time directly in front of me. But, at the same time, I’ve come to an amazing conclusion. I have a ton of models to build; and I mean a TON. But now I also have a weird sensation- a feeling that, now that I have lots of time, I don’t have enough… energy?… or drive, to tackle the job (anyone younger than 55 can stop snickering now…) the way I’ve wanted to- and looked forward to- for a VERY long time..
So help me Jehovah, the physiological changes involved in my daily routine have me a bit flummoxed. Moving around more than before (sitting at a desk for 6-7 hours prior) and the lack of sufficient exercise (due to my previous lengthy, crappy commute to the Big Apple) up until now have combined to make for an almost empty gas tank towards dinner time, and beyond. I’ve been ready to concede getting old for quite awhile now- but getting decrepit? Adding insult to injury, I am feeling a few systems beginning to indicate advanced wear and tear (Osteoarthritis in a knee and elbow, anyone?) and a general “creakiness” setting in. Plans are (yet again) in the offing to fight back, with more exercise, more rest, even (gulp) dieting. Will it be enough, and in time?
So who wants to hear about the start of your demise and downward spiral, Fred. The answer is simple. Profit from my experience. Don’t put off the modeling you can do today to tomorrow. Start that new project now. Make time to do even simple tasks and work required on existing equipment. Make it a priority just like eating, sleeping, etc. I got away from that mindset, and now I’m scrambling to make up for lost time, energy, and other resources. Damn if this quandary didn’t sneak up on me, tiny bit by tiny bit. Don’t let it happen to you, regardless of how much time and energy you have right now.
Yet, as I sit in the cellar glancing at the neatly stored boxes of un-built / unassembled aircraft acquired over the years, I feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store. It’s a good feeling. No, it’s a GREAT feeling. For now, I’m going to work hard at enjoying it. Not sure how long it will last, but I’m giving myself a long break, and making the most of it. And the W.R.A.M. show it just around the corner. Like I said- it’s a great feeling… I invite you to share a bit of it wherever you are, doing your own thing.
For 2014, fly safely, but FLY!