Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Passed the final at Ground School - still flying the Grob. Enjoyed a great flight on Saturday, followed by meeting Daniel in Berkeley and enjoying dinner at Cafe Tibet (great place! - everything is made fresh!) Enjoyed the foreign film "Goodbye Lenin" afterwards, definitely recommendable.

I was supposed to do my first unassisted take off on Monday, as well as practice stalls, but the winds were too strong to fly. So, it's postponed till Saturday afternoon.

Yesterday I tried a Paradise Vegetarian Restaurant on 4th Street in San Rafael. Very reasonable prices, simple decor, and GREAT vegetarian dishes.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Flew the German-designed Grob on Saturday, WOW, what a plane! You can see it by going to Attitude Aviation's site and scrolling down to the Grob Barvarian. I'm now going to be continuing my lessons there. It is a sleek, sporty plane with a joystick and hairtrigger controls.

This week is finals at Ground School at Gnoss Field... we'll see how it goes!

Yesterday I tried a new Japanese restaurant in San Rafael - Tenkyu. Something to be missed. The actual food presentation did not match the one-page photos of their food, and it was quite greasy, and the sushi was heavy on the rice, light on the sashimi.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Had a really fun weekend with my Dad. We had a cute movie made of us flying on a magic carpet all around San Francisco. There is a company called Studio 39 that does this using a 'blue screen' technique. We finished off the Sunday activities with a Blue & Gold Fleet hour cruise around the bay. It was a nice sunny day to do it. We also went swimming and dipping in my hot tub as the pool opened for the season on May 1st. Nice relaxing weekend.

I did my first take-off from a busy (air tower controlled) airport on Saturday morning with my CFI, Dan. We took a little round trip to Santa Rosa airport from Gnoss Field to check out Katana airplanes that he thought I might enjoy learning to fly.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Well I've been totally absorbed in all things flying. I've long progressed since my first flight on 3/20. I'm half-way through ground school and working on 'ground maneuvers' - essentially, I'm flying the plane! Cessna 172 is the one. Will make some notes about it from time to time. I do love the beautiful scenery -- I am mostly flying over Sonoma/Napa valleys.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Last night I enjoyed an amazing evening dining on the top floor of the Transamerica Building. What an amazing view, and intimate dining space. One of the security staff told me that there were floors above it (48th), 10-15 stories of a narrow, spiral staircase, and only the engineers and mechanics were allowed access. Rats! Well, I wasn't dressed for it anyway. The Bank of America hosted the evening for clients/potential clients while the Mid-sized Pension conference is in town.

Saturday is my flying lesson! My friends have either changed dates, or cancelled, so I'm going alone on this adventure. It's going to be fun.

I've been making progress on planning Colin & Collette's individual 'weeks' with Auntie Anna. I've gotten reservations at Camp Curry in the tents for Colin and I, and fly fishing lessons set up. We may also go gold-panning if Mariposa isn't too far away from Yosemite. I'm arranging for a trip to Monterey for Collette, complete with a B&B experience in tents on a wildlife park, where an elephant will bring breakfast to us carrying it on his trunk... and we'll have an elephant ride as well. I've also looked into rock climbing lessons for Collette who seems to be able to scale anything verticle quite naturally. Hmmm... does she take after her auntie who never saw a tree she didn't want to climb to the top when she was Collette's age?

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Wow. What a weekend with the twins. We did have a good time. The kids loved the Disney "Princess on Ice" show at the Cow palace, which was the highlight of the weekend for them. After they left, I saw a GREAT film "Wheel of Time" a documentary of a Tibetan Buddhist initiation and mandala making, at the Castro Theatre, which is itself impressive. The "Wheel of Time" is part of the International Asian American Film festival which just opened up before the weekend. I had a nice lunch at Nirvana's on Castro, just before. Nirvana's serves Burmese cuisine which seems to be a fusion of Indian and Chinese food. Quite good. After the film, I couldn't resist something called 'rose petal' fudge at the Faerie Queene just up the street from the theater. I noticed a sign that said Faerie Queene is closing April 1st, hoping that didn't mean for good, but I have a feeling... anyway the rose petal fudge is absolutely amazing. I waited until coming home to sample it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Gearing up for Erika's visit with the twins this weekend. We're going to Disney's Princess on Ice show at the Cow Palace in SF on Saturday morning. In the evening we're attending an event with my marathon runner friends who are into a new phase for their organization, World Runners. I'm also looking forward to attending a documentary at the International Asian-American Film Festival on Sunday... still looking for a friend to use my other ticket. I enjoyed dinner at Robata Grill this evening. It can be rather uneven, the yakisoba was drenched with too much sauce this evening. But it's close and many of the small dishes are executed well.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Well, it's post V-Day, P-Day weekend. Had a great time with Erika & the twins in Long Beach after plans in San Diego didn't work out. On Sunday, Pia brought us some leftovers from Maggiano's Little Italy, their portions are really unbelievable. My little 2004 Salsa Red Prius was a dream driving there and back. Great gas mileage, mid-40's even with sustained periods of high speed (80-85 mpg).

Tried some new fun places recently in the bay area. Check out Ace Wasabi's in the Marina. I particularly enjoyed the tofu-asparagus salad with a light miso/sesame dressing. Also Cafe Pescatore in between North Beach and Fisherman's wharf has great Italian food... with Dungeness Crab in season, the crab ravioli were fabulous. Last night I enjoyed some wonderful salmon and great merlot at Caprice in Tiberon. The Caprice is build on/over the water and there is a jewel-like view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge lit up at night. It had quite a romantic atmosphere with red roses in roughly cut stone vases on each table with crisp white tablecloths. It was a good place to catch up with my friend Paul (C).

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Can't help but invite my friends to share the adventure! Linda & Kay are going to take flight lessons w/me on March 20th, and Cliff (my pilot friend) will come to cheer us on! Nothing like a little adventure to make one feel completely chirpy!

I'm enjoying a good book, "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari", which my friend Paul recommended. The book mentioned Ben Franklin's autobiography and his practice of evaluating his life against virtures each day. I thought that quite a coincidence since my friend Daniel and I have been creating a practice derived from this that we are using each day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The trip to Gnoss field was great. I met a potential instructor and a pilot friend was really great in explaining various features of the airport. I'm signing up for flight lessons, with my first time in the air on March 20th!

Today was the first day back at work for me on a full-time basis after conquering (again) a lung infection. It was started out nicely by attending a board meeting in Cupertino. It was a great drive down from San Francisco, the air was fresh and the sky was blue!

Saturday, February 07, 2004

My blogging has taken a long pause, but it's time to start up again. On the schedule this morning is a trip to Gnoss Field in Novato, to check out pilot training schools. Airward is the first stop as I was drawn into looking into this from its ad in the local movie theatres advertising a first lesson for $75. Will blog the results of my investigation later...