Month: June 2019

Air Race Classic Terminus

The weather cooperated this past weekend, which allowed us to fly to Welland for the Air Race Classic events.


I assumed we’d be there for maybe an hour, but it actually ended up being over four. I ran into a couple dozen folks I know while we wandered around the events around the Dorothy Rungeling Airport. It was great to see such a turn out, as there seemed to be a constant stream of people coming in. At one point, they had me move my plane to accommodate the OMC (Oink, Moo, Cluck) food truck. Awesome fries!

It was a really good day and I was blown away with how long I lasted. I’m still experiencing more good days than bad, and I can’t describe how great it is. The only incident I experienced that day was when I was standing fairly close to my plane, talking to someone. We then watched s couple young kids (maybe around six or seven years old), run over 20 feet from their parents. They stopped under my left wing and started playing with my pitot static cover. One kid ran around under the right wing and started to sit down on the fiber-glass wheel pant. I screamed for the kid to get off and fortunately he listed. The parents just sauntered over without a care in the world. One of the people I was speaking with before this happened, walked over to the parents to tell them not to allow them to run around the airport and not to touch anything. It’s said that people need to be told this. I’m sure the parents wouldn’t have been happy if I stood on the hood of their car.


Earlier this week, I had to go let out some of my crickets. I was going through so much food. I let out probably close to 200. I left the egg medium in the tank too long, thus the abundance. Peanut and Zim need to start eating more, and not just staring at them:


I was attempting to watch tv from bed the other night, but my view was slightly impeded by a bunch of kitties. You can see my bangs behind Mya below the window:


Pinky has been much more frisky than normal, which has been nice to see. She’s usually quite sedentary and blobbish, so the extra exercise was good for her.


Meanwhile, Mya has been continuing with her opera lessons:


Today’s symptoms: This week has been quite good. I’m a little weary today but tomorrow will be better. I had more than normal nerve pain and a headache, but I think it’s just because I’m a bit drained.

Pet Expo and Flippity Flight

The joyous Niagara Pet Expo took place this past weekend in Niagara Falls.  We are used to going to the one in Mississauga and waiting in a huge line.  It was great to show up at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre to no lines and plenty of parking.  I wasn’t really feeling well that day, but was able to wander around for a couple hours.  There were plenty of adorable animals, plus tons of cute dogs running around.


This fella’s name is Tank:


I was able to resist obtaining any more lizards:


I also didn’t come home with any fancy chickens:


We relaxed for the rest of the day and started watching the Fast and Furious movies.  What are there – about 27 now?  Hehe!  Three of the kitties didn’t seem too interested in watching and instead, slept nearby in an adorable heap:


I couldn’t have had a better start to the day yesterday, as I took someone up for an aerobatic flight.  Just like my last victim, he handled all maneuvers very well.  I was even able to throw in some combos.  The fairly solid cloud layer made for a very smooth flight (even while upside down!):




It was such a blast!  Needless to say, the rest of the day seemed a tad boring after!

Today’s symptoms: I am still experiencing some really good symptom days.  The weakness I was dealing with almost daily for about two months is mostly gone.  My worst issue today has been some very sharp nerve pains and a bad headache, but that’s about it.   Also, the MS Hug I’ve had on and off since the weekend didn’t visit today.  Woot!  You can learn about the MS Hug here:

Air Race Time Trials

I just had one of the best weeks symptom-wise that I’ve had in months, if not years.  On most days, I had no weakness plus my fatigue level was much better than “normal” as well.  I would give anything for this to continue but if it all ends tomorrow, I will be disappointed but still so grateful for the experience.

On Friday, I flew over the Heartland Forrest Charity golf tournament, as I’ve happily done for quite a few years now.  Before flying over the golfers, I stopped at the nearby Dorothy Rungling Airport (Welland) to drop off some homemade Elizafudge for my aviation mechanics and also the guys at the Niagara Skydive Centre.  I was speaking with my tandem master Péter and convinced him to go up with me for some aerobatics.  He obliged, albeit nervously.  I’m say happy to report that he loved the flight and was able to make it through most of the maneuvers (except combos) that I know.  Check out this condensed version of our flight (you may need to unmute in bottom right):

My favourite part of flying is looking over and seeing my passenger smile.  I think this flight was a success!

I was at the airport in Welland again Monday evening, however it was raining so there was no flying in.  We had a nice social meeting with the Recreational Aircraft Association and Canadian Owners and Pilot Association groups.

Yesterday I was able to help out the Air Race Classic, in which the airport in Welland is the terminus.  I helped out with time trials, so did a few low passes over the runway starting from 10 miles out (for radio calls).  I invited Péter to join me, so at least I wasn’t lonely on the flight!  He was completely relaxed during this flight since I wasn’t doing aerobatics.

Today I have surprisingly more energy than usual.  Paws crossed this streak continues!  Whilst on the topic of paws, it looks like the weather for the next four days is going to be yucky.  I’m going to have to break it to the kitties that their naked sunbathing days have come to a stop, for now.





I told them that the wait would make the next sunning experience even better.  They all gave me a rather unpleasant look, then walked away.  One of them even flipped me the paw!

Today’s symptoms: Feeling better than how I normally do, so I certainly can’t complain!  I have had bad nerve pain for most of the day though.  C’est la vie!

Skydiving Experience Continued and Analyzed…

In my previous blog, I missed one of my favourite pics from my awesome skydiving experience on Friday. The ever awesome tandem master Péter and myself, soon before departure from the lovely aircraft.  And although I’ve only known him for an hour or so, there is Rob in the background being, what I would gather, Rob:


Spinning down to kiss the Earth:


I’m very strongly considering going for another jump. I would love to do the progressive free fall course and jump. However, I’m really nervous that my MS fatigue will kick in and I would be unable to complete the full five hour course in one day. I think I need to start having more good days than bad again, at least that way I could judge it better. The class is on Saturday, so my stupid body better smarten up and cooperate for a weekend. If it doesn’t end up happening, I will at least book another tandem.

I only had one disappointment with my skydiving experience. I got absolutely no physical rush from it.  The emotional high made up for it, though! Now don’t get me wrong, it was still an awesome experience and I will go again, but the rush would have made it a smidge better. I’m actually trying to remember the last time I had that physical  sensation. I think it was during the beginning months of my pilot training, and I’m sure it’s because I was so nervous. Up until I was in my early 20’s, I had terrible anxiety. I honestly don’t know how I made it though ten years of the Army! I would still love trying new and daring things, and loved the rush that kicked in after I finally convinced my body to Go! I was always so nervous, and I think that’s the main contributing factor to the physical rush, at least with myself. I would have given anything when I was younger to never be nervous or scared again – anything! Within a few years of my diagnosis of MS, my anxiety was almost gone and I rarely get nervous anymore. For the most part, I really love it. For example, I know years ago I could never have given my motivational talks in front of fairly large groups, but now it’s enjoyable. The downside is that I am now rush-less. I wonder if there is something out there I can do to cause it to return?  And was this caused by my own lengthy battle with anxiety, where I finally kicked its sorry arse, or is one of my lesions on the part of the brain that is involved with the rush sensation?

Today’s symptoms: It’s been much better than yesterday, where I crashed just after 2:00 and had to lay down for over an hour (unable to sleep, my bod just needed to rest).  I was able to trudge the 8 minute walk to downtown for an appointment this afternoon, but have been pretty spent since getting back.  Trying to keep smiling!


Epic Skydive!

I had an amazing treat to the end of another three day stint of being couch and bed ridden.  I was feeling quite a bit better on Thursday and just rested for most of it, plus a short (tee hee – like she is) visit with my mother.  It was a huge relief when I woke up on Friday morning to far less weakness than I had earlier in the week, plus my nerve pain was substantially better.  The plan for that day if I felt decent and the weather was clear was to fly the arduous 9 minute flight from St. Catharines to Welland and do a tandem skydive.  The stars must have aligned as both those stipulations were met yesterday!  Woot!  We took off from St. Catharines around 9:30 and landed in Welland less than 10 minutes later.  I was the only one scheduled through Niagara Skydive to go up for 10:00.

Just before we started the training, instructor and videographer Rob wanted to show me this new magic trick he learned.  He claimed he can cause someone to levitate from the semi-prone position by using only his mind!  It didn’t work but at least he tried.


Then I suited up:


My most excellent tandem master Péter was extremely thorough when getting me into my harness (which was very comforting!)


After doing the training and suiting up, the pilot, my tandem master, videographer Rob and a jumper in a wing suit climbed into the Cessna 210.  I decided to make a big dorky face on the walk over:

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We had a smooth flight over Niagara Falls on our way up to 12,000′.  It was quite nice to be able to see it from the right hand side of the plane (the scenic circuit is clock-wise), as I’m usually flying over it in the left seat.  By the time we got up to around 9,000′, the wingman and myself both had chattering teeth from the cold.  Once up to altitude, it was around -2 degrees.  I don’t think the tandem master actually needed to hook our harnesses together, as I was pretty much frozen to him.  However, I heard the hearty *click* of us being safely linked together.  I’m glad it was the sound of steel and not just some Velcro.  Soon after, the door went up and our camera dude climbed out onto the wing strut.  As he did, we scooched over to the door and dangled our legs beside him.


Since I was experienced with aerobatics, he suggested we do a few flips on exit.  I gladly agreed, since I can’t seem to do anything in a normal fashion!  So on his signal, off we tumbled.  Yuppers, three awesome somersaults!  I remember seeing a flash of the plane during one of them.  Pretty neat!  Péter nicely got us stopped and we enjoyed a free fall down to 5000′.  Rob followed us down and got some great shots and video.  Then Péter deployed the chute.  All went quiet and we got to enjoy the view, while dangling over Welland.   I then began the process of thawing my teeth, as I smiled way too much during the free fall.

I always wondered what those altitude-losing spins felt, as they seem to be quite quick.  I got my wish as Péter spun us down for a bit.  I have a great video of this that Mike took and I will share it in my next blog (soon!)  I was then allowed to guide us down to probably about 1000′ or so.  I could see Vyctor from above and he looked adorable, as did Mike!  Hehe!  I yelled “Hi Mike!” and waved, which will also be shown in my next blog.  I didn’t think he would hear me from up there but he could hear us talking from around 2000′.

Our landing was perfect:


And a high five from Rob.


That was really fun and I’m certainly going to do it again.  This was actually my fifth jump, as I did four static line jumps when I was with the Army back in 1997.

I would give anything to continue to feel like this.  It’s been so wonderful for these last two days.  Paws crossed tomorrow is as good!

Today’s symptoms: Considering my especially long day yesterday, I am surprised how well I feel.  I have only slight weakness and just feel a bit drained and headachy.  I did get the rotten MS Hug for about an hour today, but at least it wasn’t for too long.  Nerve pain has been on and off for the whole day.