Back to good news, it's almost Christmas! Just so everyone knows, we are leaving out sometime between the 5th and 10th of December and basically staying for the month. We'll leave just before New Year's, as we'll most likely be with a group of friends in Tokyo on the way back to Okinawa for that one. Unless someone wants to buy us a nice jet we can just fly when and wherever we want, we kinda have our 'ole Uncle Sam's opinion weighing in on when we have to leave. (In other words, we have to plan around holiday airport travel issues. The Uncle is kinda grouchy, and doesn't care if your flight got delayed. You should have thought about that.)
New since this summer? We moved, as most everyone knows, I think. The military's infinite wisdom saw fit to start a new rule in August that all incoming military had to move into base housing. We were grandfathered, since we already live offbase. Making a long story short, this put a cramp on the real estate market (sound familiar?) so prices on everything hit rock bottom. We got a place that normally rents for $4000 per month. (Keep in mind a 1300 sq ft apartment here also rents for about $2000 per month.) We got lucky with timing, and ended up finally moving into exactly what we wanted. Now that we're here, we are ready for the visitors to come see! Not everybody at once, now. We don't have a pool.
Ben got to go to Arizona for four days to a weapons course at Raytheon, which ended up being a really good lesson in how jetlag affects humans. The course was awesome - crossing the dateline on a 26 hour travel day to stay 4 days then go back was less than awesome.
The biggest event since the summer was probably Emily's spouse taxi ride in the Eagle. We both went to the squadron and got Emily some emergency briefings (mostly "don't touch this"..."that will hurt"..."if you do something dumb we told you not to and you can't sue us" type of stuff.) Then she got fitted for her life support gear that we normally fly with, and the plan is to go out, start the jet, drive to the runway, and do a high speed taxi to 100 knots (about 120-130 mph). As briefed by the boss, "if you get airborne, I recommend using all the gas, then eject just to see what it's like and watch the fireball. You'll never fly an Eagle again." Subtle, but effective.
We had a great time, Emily made all of the radio calls from the jet to ground control and tower, and then back to the squadron to tell them the jet was "code 1," ready to "fly" again. She also got to drive while we were taxiing around, and for the high speed taxi got to push the throttles up and light the afterburners. She also decided to see how much brake pressure it takes to lock up the tires. Then she didn't get to drive anymore. The only bad part is not getting to actually fly, it only takes about 4.4 seconds to be at 100 knots. Wo don't take off at that speed, but with the afterburners, another 4.4 seconds would put you at about 250+. So yeah, almost 300 mph.
Here are some pics from that day, and once we finish moving in we'll get some photos of the house. See ya in December!
Checking the brakes. Different technique than Emily's.
Preflight walk-around. Yep, two motors. That's good.
Up you go. No, you can't sit up front.
So you think couples fight about money, moving, kids? Try strapping into an Eagle...
Okay, give me serious face.
I have to pee. You should have thought about that before we got in the car, jet, whatever!
Looking sharp back there.
That's mine! It doesn't have your name on it. As a matter of fact...
I leave you with this.
Anyone else hear that giant sucking sound?...