A summary of this year's soaring camp, well, sort of...
Over the last year I managed to gather my required 50 hours of solo flight time, and yesterday was a good time as any to take my exam for a passenger's license.
The exam itself was basically a revision of most elementary flight manoeuvers (stale turn, high turn, stalling, etc.), accompagnied with an additional back tow (i.e. when the cable does not release).
While I succeeded in my exam, it goes to show that even those things really have to be maintained; I was a bit rusty in performing some manoeuvers. Guess I'll be practising them a bit more.
Finally got the final parts of my computer: the HD's.
Currently, I was using an old HD (a Maxtor 500GB) from my previous system. The idea with the new disks is to set up two Raptors in a RAID0 configuration. As Raptors are already fairly fast, the additional RAID0 - I've been using this method a few years already - should give it an extra edge.
I'm keeping the old HD in to have additional 500 GB of pure storage (like downloads and such, things that don't need the speed).
Having a bit of a problem with our toilet at home lately: the flushing mechanism gave out. Apparently, the thing was a bit exotic, as we had to wait for about 6 weeks for a replacement part. Luckily, my father is not all uninventive...
So we actually have to pull the toothbrush in order to flush the toilet. It's actually funny every time we have guests over, and are explaining the quick-start usage guide on our toilet. Their faces are just priceless!
Still no luck with my new computer. With the holidays (or so I'd like to believe), I still haven't received the memory, videocard, and disks. Guess I'll have to be training my patience some more.
But it's not all hopeless: the BD/DVD-combo drive did arrive last week, so at least I'll be able to build in that. Joy!
Beware when you go shopping with your credit card or bank card.
Apparently there are some new and very clever ways to copy your cards, and steal your PIN.
It shows how Eastern-European gangs use the latest technologies to copy cards, and steal PIN codes, without the victim's knowledge.
It's actually a bit scary to see how far they have developed.
A quick update on the build of the computer. So far, not all components have arrived yet, but the ones that were present already allowed me to start building the system.
The case, motherboard, CPU, PSU have arrived and are built in. See the attached screens for a shot on these, and take a look at the attachment list to see descriptions with each pictures.
A few important things are still missing: RAM, video card and disks. Oh yeah, and the BD-drive.
Crap! Looks like my 8800GTX video card is broken. That's a serious bummer.
The card does some very serious funny things: as soon as going in-game, the card doesn't really freeze up, but has some sort of memory corruption problem, which remains throughout reboots.
Very coincidentally, I just ordered new hardware for my new gaming computer. The only thing not being replaced was the video card, because I thought it would be better to just wait a while until the next generation of cards from nVidia were available.
Apparently, Fate has decided otherwise.
So I finally got my 15 hours of solo flight time in, and worked up the nerve to take the final check for obtaining my license. And guess what...
I succeeded in obtaining my license. Yes yes, it's still a license for solo flight (still 35h fly time to go), but it's a start.
Now I can start for competition training, etc. The worlds open up, again.
After 9 months, my nephew is finally born. His parents have named him Mathies.
And yes, he's just as cute as you would imagine.
Up until now, I was flying my solos with a Twin Astir II. It's a 2 seat glider which we use at our club for training (among other things).
The instructors thought it was time I moved on to something else: a Club Astir (also known as the Jeans).
The Jeans is a one seater, sort of the 1-seat equivalent of the Twin Astir I (yes, there's a difference between Twin I and II). It's a small and swift craft; not very recent, and it's a bit fickleish at times. In short: I love it!
I'll be flying this for a while, at least until I've enough hours on the thing to move up to the next glider.
Enlisted myself for a evening course of French. Since the latter is horrible, it is a very good idea, no?
Anyway, for those that are interested, can check out the website of the organizing party:
The website is in Dutch, but they also teach that, so it should not be a problem at all.
Time for a new experience, and a new hobby in my life.
Thanks to Bart (aka: my boss), who took me and a collegue of mine for a figurative spin around the block: in the form of gliding...
Next thing I know, I was signing myself up at Albatros Zweefvliegclub (note: website in dutch) at Hasselt (Kiewit), and already have had two lessons.
Those that care may keep their fingers crossed each time I'm in the air (usually on saturdays), and pray that I don't drill the glider down into the ground... ;-)