Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today's big literary news

Doris Lessing won the Nobel prize in literature. Soon to turn 88 years of age, she has written dozens of works of fiction, short stories, an autobiography and some science fiction over the past 40 years. I learned that she never finished high school and had educated herself through voracious reading. Today's papers said she was born in Persia, raised in Rhodesia and is currently living in London. Her fascinating biographical background is said to feature in many of her works.

How is it that I, another voracious reader, with a major in comparative european literature, had never heard of her until tonight's PBS Newshour report? I'm grateful to have finally learned of her work and to now have a whole new literary persona to discover and digest in detail. Her wikipedia entry can be found here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some of what I've been up to...

My husband and I attended the Gathering of Mustangs & Legends (World War II warbirds) at Rickenbacker airfield the last weekend of September, flying our Cherokee 180 over several states. The picture accompanying this item is just one of the lovely views from above.

There were 81 P-51 mustangs at the show along with B-17 bombers, a Lancaster, numerous P-38s and the airforce's current crop of F-15s, F-16s and an F-22.

The exciting part for me was beginning to learn to read (ie interpret) the Detroit sectional aeronautical chart. You have no idea how much information can be crammed into how little space until you've seen a sectional. I learned how to look for obstructions such as towers, hang gliders and parachute jumping areas. I was able to spot power transmission lines, roads and railroads and became a bit more proficient at finding the various airports' unicom and AWOS/ASOS radio frequencies for my pilot/husband.

Here is what the view from my side of the plane looks like when coming in for a landing - yes, that is the runway below. And a very espensive GPS to keep the plane on track is on its left.

As far as exercising body/mind and spirt, believe me, we walked for miles at Rickenbacker airfield!!! I was more than glad to finally sit down and watch the acrobatic pilots. It was a wonderful weekend to be outdoors in the 80 degree sunshine - nature can be very spiritual. And I more than exercised my mind with airport radio frequencies, elevations and reading sectionals.