Bug, Meet Windshield


Of all the passions the human condition can summon, the appreciation of fine art, the attraction to epicurean delights, the enlightening experience of exotic travel, the devotion to beautifully composed music—even golf, for God’s sake—on certain days, none are more enervatingly futile as flying airplanes. But at least doing so is consistently expensive.

And here, a trigger warning. If you tend toward the pollyannish with regard to your interest in aviation, stop reading now. If you now or have ever actually teared up when reading High Flight, stop here. If you have ever uttered the phrase “we’ve got to encourage the next generation to become pilots,” tap the brakes. You could be entering the hot zone. Otherwise, proceed at your own risk. Also, I’ll admit this is a recitation of First World problems. But I live in the First World, so let’s also collectively get over that.

The other day, I decided to go flying. Bless me Father, but it has been several months because I had a minor foot injury to recover from. When I arrived, the right hangar door wouldn’t open. Wouldn’t budge, in fact. The reason is that our hangar, being a coastal dweller, is pretty corroded. Normally, when I open the door, little flecks of rust rain down so I carry a comb to flick them into a little pile for later disposal. This kind of acceptance of the bizarre is a normal thing in aviation, I think. There may be an equivalent in golf. Spill it in the comments.

I reported the door problem to the airport administration who said the contractor was awaiting parts. It would be awhile. Meanwhile, being a top-notch service-oriented airport, they generously offered me another hangar that happened to be available. The maintenance crew kindly pried open the door for me so I could extract the Cub.

It’s a superb hangar, the loaner is. Newish, drywalled on the inside—drywall!—and with a sealed floor. The previous occupant left some oil stains but apparently never had to slum to combing rust flecks out of his hair. On the other hand, the hangar is in a bad neighborhood. (I’ll get to this.)

Comfortably settled in my temporary quarters, I tugged the Cub out for the first flight in weeks. Before starting, I always check the radio. Stone-cold dead. New batteries didn’t bring it alive. It’s one of those new Sporty’s PJ2s loaned to me for long-term test. There have been issues with the battery box that they’ve since sorted out. But at $199, even if it lasted just a year, I’d buy another one. It outperforms the Icoms, sounds better and is easier to use. It also has full-size jacks, a huge plus.

But dead is dead. At this point, I’m on my third attempt to fly. Back in the Rust Palace was the Icom IC-A6 the PJ2 replaced. Still has the Velcro on it to mate to the mount. I laboriously clean up all the contacts, switch the batteries and stick it in the Cub. Good to go. Except … no audio. No radio-like sounds or pilots cursing one another in the pattern issues forth. I have exhausted my resources for the day and vow to return the next day with another Icom, an IC-A-22 I have at home that I’m pretty sure works.

Except it doesn’t. Cleaned up contacts and fresh batteries yields a paperweight with a rubber ducky. So ends day four. Somewhere, I think, I have one more radio and sure enough, after an hour of searching, I find an absolutely ancient A-20—Marconi signature series—clean the contacts, install the batteries, plug in the adapter, slap on the Velcro and it yields scratchy audio and weak transmission. It’ll do.

And on the fifth day, there was flight.

So this sort of thing—the man-against-nature (or machine), the meeting of daunting challenges and the thrilling satisfaction of overcoming adversity but is really just &^%ing around with batteries—is something the would-be aviation acolyte should be made aware of while still in the wide-eyed phase. It’s possible this might really appeal to some people. It’s possible that it once appealed to me, but, bless my heart, it no longer does. It’s similar to smashing my nether parts with a ballpeen hammer.

Adding to the annoyance is that I know I could fly the Cub without a radio, since Venice is non-towered. I don’t do this not because I think it’s particularly risky, but because it annoys other people who think it is. They get agita and transfer it, as if by magic, to me. Then I get pissed because I secretly suspect they’re probably right but wish they could come around to being more expansive about the need for radios in the pattern.  I sometimes think the art of flying without a radio is maybe a Midwest thing, but on the coasts, it’s apparently like black socks with sandals. One simply doesn’t.

Listen to this article here.

Now, about the hangar neighborhood. The hangar faces south. Good. Lots of sun to match my effervescently solar personality. It faces the intersection of the two runways. Good. You can watch the airplanes take off and attempt to land. It also faces the runup area. Not so good. When I learned to fly, I’m pretty sure the runup took about 20 seconds. Push it up to 1700 RPM, mag check, see if the alternator and vacuum pump worked and maybe cycle the prop. Now, the two-minute screeching runup seems to be a thing among CFIs, even in a Cessna 150. Anyway, all that noise rolls into the open hangar—where I am ankle-deep in alkalines—and I’m suddenly sympathetic with the noise Nazis off the end of Runway 5.

The hangar also faces a transient tie-down ramp where there happens to be parked an Eclipse jet. You remember them, right? The game-changing jet that turned into an aeronautical Chernobyl, but without the glow-in-the-dark radiation. For some reason that I can’t imagine, the Eclipse owner decided it would be a good idea to start the airplane and taxi it right in front my loaner hangar and park there whining away for, I dunno, four hours? It was probably less, but it was enough to fill the hangar with the eye-watering fumes from his engines, the wind being out of the south and directly into where I was standing.

Those little Pratt PW600s are really quiet, but not when they’re running 76 feet from where you’re standing downwind. I know it was 76 feet because I paced it off after he finally taxied away. If you own a jet, a turboprop or hell, anything that makes noise, don’t park for that long in front of someone’s occupied hangar. The guy in that metal box could be one undervolt Duracell away from Falling Down.

I’ve forgotten what point I was trying to make here, but while I think of it: Does golf require batteries?

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  1. How long are you going to be displaced. I don’t need my hangar in the new neighborhood until mid March. Even then, it is only for one week. You are more than welcome to it if you like. By the way, I enjoyed the Falling Down reference.

    • Thanks for the offer. I think we’re in the loaner hangar until ours is fixed. I’d say less than a month.

  2. Well…I think you may have reached a certain age where these feelings come naturally. The good news is you are in south Florida and surrounded by people with similar feelings. Good luck with that. Wink wink

  3. Jack H. was spot on–“you may have reached a certain age where these feelings come naturally.” I know I HAVE! (smile).

    As I was reading the article, I couldn’t help but think about Clint Eastwood’s “Get Off My Lawn!” I find that I too get overwhelmed (well, Perhaps only “whelmed”) by a series of constant minor problems.
    Instead of becoming a “bitter old man”–I find it easier to laugh about my issues. This is more like Seinfeld (a show about nothing!” than Eastwood. It is also a chance to write about self-deprecating humor.

    “I sometimes think the art of flying without a radio is maybe a Midwest thing…” It IS–just ask Paul Berge how it’s done. (Of course, here in the Midwest, we just go FLY–with or without radios.). While we don’t have to worry about not flying because of dead radios, we DO have other issues–having to preheat the airplane–shovel out the hangar door –make sure we have cold-weather survival gear (the Cub “heater” will keep your left foot from freezing–nothing more). And about the time you’ve shoveled out your hangar, the x*x* SNOWPLOW piles MORE SNOW in front of your hangar!
    “Flying ain’t for wimps!”–no matter WHERE you liveI. It IS worth all of the time, trouble, and expense though–no matter WHERE you live. Thanks, Paul–you’ve brought that Seinfeld humor to perhaps the most mundane part of flying–getting the airplane out of the hangar. THAT’S TALENTED WRITING–KEEP IT COMING!

  4. Grumpy Bertorelli at his best. I find it is good to spend time with young people who are not yet as jaded as I am. For example, I detest being stuck in traffic – and I’ll go to any length to avoid it, even if it means leaving at 4am. Once, I was to drive three young people to the Glastonbury festival in my camper and I told them we’ll have to leave at 5am to avoid the traffic. They looked at me bewildered and said words to the effect of “why does that matter, you are with friends, we’ve got food, drink and music – what’s the problem?” And they were right. Thanks for the smiles, Paul!

  5. Sounds like “Murphy’s Law” has caught up with you. It’s nice to know Murphy picks on others besides me. When things like this begin to get me down, I rely on a little poem I saw as a kid in Seinert’s Bakery, Holdrege, Nebraska
    As you ramble on through life, brother
    Whatever be your goal
    Keep your eye upon the doughnut
    And not upon the hole.

    Entertaining reading, Paul

  6. As a former professional driver of 60 ft. long, articulated, downtown buses, I have had many experiences like our esteemed Mr. Grumpy.

    All the small problems that can pop up as you are preparing for your day, especially when it is ice cold and snow on the ground. First getting into the bus can be a chore as the humidity in the air supply lines might be frozen solid, totally preventing powered operation of the doors, until the bus is thoroughly warm, taking at least an hour. And you are not supposed to have your bus standing idling for an hour are you?! That is against the health regulations, to begin with.

    Usually, the doors are OK, and the engine starts, after some coaxing, so you’re off when you’re supposed to, but the heating system takes a long while to heat up the windows and not least the steering wheel. Thick gloves don’t work very well manipulating small switches on the dashboard, but holding an ice-cold steering wheel for a couple of hours is definitely not my cup of tea. Sometimes my fingers have gotten so stiff that I couldn’t straighten them enough to press the buttons for the doors.

    None of these problems are really of any magnitude, not like being rammed by a forklift, slipping backward for hundreds of feet, due to nil grip, down a narrow winding road with no possibility to stop at will, medical emergencies, fire, and fighting passengers.

    Same reason I haven’t disassembled, or renovated, any car or motorbike engine for the last 40 years, as there are so many things that can go wrong, or get mislaid during the process. Don’t need to get grumpy over those things, I spare my grumpiness for mismatched socks or downed internet!

    My flying is restricted to models, which is a source of joy and despair, as things go wrong, of course!

  7. Lots of people can’t play golf without battery powered range finders now. Huge bucks.
    They eat batteries like aeroplanes drink gas. (almost..)
    If you really want to wind them up use the free measuring app on your iPhone. And tell them how range finders cause gonads to mutate.
    Of course for that pleasure you also need to buy silly trousers, T shirts with collars and lots of balls, even if you use the clubs your granddad bought and used for a week.

  8. QUOTE – It also faces the runup area. Not so good. When I learned to fly, I’m pretty sure the runup took about 20 seconds. Push it up to 1700 RPM, mag check, see if the alternator and vacuum pump worked and maybe cycle the prop. Now, the two-minute screeching runup seems to be a thing among CFIs, even in a Cessna 150. – ENDQUOTE

    You know there is an article in that bit. Drummed into me back in the day when swinging into the runup area was a mixture of “head to wind (maybe tail to wind in the winter or the oil would take forever to warm up)” and “make sure there will be nothing behind the plane”. Simple courtesy to not prop wash someone away. And runup before you get to and block the hold short on a narrow taxiway.


    And then there is the tiedown neighbor behind you. It’s a calm day and just for a few moments I have the canopy swung open, hanging on its strap and not supported by my hand while I perform some maintenance item. The sudden propwash as they hit the starter a nanosecond after calling “clear” (if they actually did call clear) threatens canopy and my sanity. It’s a fricking 150 behind me – you couldn’t pull her out and swing her so the propwash blasts down the open lane instead of across the tied down planes?

    Sometimes makes me wish I had some smoke oil loaded so I could demonstrably retaliate – I mean show them the error of their ways…..

    Can I join you in the “Grump” bin?…..

  9. Adding to the joy are hangar rental prices – don’t forget that, Paul. Rust must have a really exotic name in some language, perhaps French: Le hangar avec rouille. Now that’s class.

  10. Paul, I 100% share your frustration, and I absolutely agree it’s something that needs to be discussed with would-be pilots before they get too far into their training. When I was training for my PPL, I had the luxury of having the flight school decide to do a nose-to-tail restoration of their Skyhawk 2 months after I started. So I’m very well aware of how rusty I can get after just 3 weeks, even more so after 8 weeks, out of the cockpit due to the plane being down, the weather, the CFI being sick (or in my case right now, the mechanic). Those long delays between lessons helped me deal with these kinds of frustrations. But they’re still frustrating.

    I’ve been running straight 100W mineral oil in my 150 for the last 13 flight hours to break in a cylinder that was overhauled at annual. I have an AeroTherm engine heater, but I don’t want to fly when it gets below 25F until I get 5W20 Phillips X/C in the engine. Now that I’m ready for the oil change, I decided to take this opportunity to have my mechanic, whose shop is 45 nm away, install the Tempest spin-on oil filter modification. I’ve had the part for the STC for two months now. The first day I planned to fly over to his shop, 3 weeks ago, my mechanic called in sick. The day I’d planned to fly was clear and a million, temps in the mid 40s. So we rescheduled for the following week (2 weeks ago). it was supposed to be mostly sunny and in the 40s. Except it wasn’t. It was low IFR all across the region. I burned an entire vacation day sitting at the FBO staring at flight conditions on ForeFlight & talking flying & music with the airport manager. Plan was to call this past Monday and schedule a day this week to get it done. Except 2 of the 4 guys that work in the shop tested positive for COVID, so naturally they’re not letting anyone come in this week.

    The STC takes maybe an hour to install. Just bolt the adapter on the oil cooler mount of the O-200, desolder the oil screen & replace the cap with the oil temp probe. And since I’m doing the oil change also, the old oil could be draining while this is going on, so just fill it up with oil at the end, do a run-up leak test, nd Bob’s your uncle.

    End of next week is looking great to hopefully go get this out of the way…except the temps are going to start dropping into the teens. Every time I talk to other pilots about it, I just shrug and say,

    “That’s flying.”

  11. Good reminder Paul about our travails being First World variety. Poor us. I do remember the other world days of wondering where my next gallon of avgas would come from and whether the local not so well regulated militia would let me take off on any given day. Now I’m getting spoiled by $2.50 ethanol free 91 octane at the local truck stop, $15 worth of which gives me an hour of midwest flying. In radio silence. Does golf require batteries? I wouldn’t know since I’d rather read the phone book than play golf, but I’ll bet $15 or even $30 won’t buy green fees let alone batteries where you live.

  12. Another fun to read article but with so much relatable truth to reassure one that they are not alone in the struggle to enjoy their passion of aviation. I’ve had similar hand held radio issues and problem with a neighbor running up/ cooling down his turbocharged Cessna while Jet A exhaust filled my hangar to the point where my eyes were watering. The last time I attempted to fly recently my brakes failed on run up due to a leaking brake line. I’m hoping to try again soon after I put in new brake line since I’ve got my BFR this month. We’ll see…

  13. WTH ?? Avweb is now providing “Blogs on Tape” for visually impaired pilots, too ?? Or are you planning on providing the blogs so we can “listen” while we fly if we’re NORDO? Either way, sweet.

    This may be one of your best works but it’s getting hard to tell if it’s you or the other Paul writing it. This time I took away two new forms of common words … enervatingly and agita. BTW: neither spelling passes the Avweb Reply block’s spell check ?? You may want to check which version is running these days? Google found the latter but not the former ? I’ll try to remember ’em but I failed my last Alzheimer’s memory test so …

    Speaking of “grumpy,” just yesterday, I was standing in a very long conga line at an abandoned Sears store in Jacksonville awaiting my turn with the Covid vaccine needle. Since the State is prioritizing seniors, the line gave the appearance of a Soylent Green factory (sic). Since the needle area was behind high privacy curtains, I wasn’t so sure that it wasn’t. I even told my wife that “this is what the end of the world will look like.” The only thing missing was the video of me flying an F-15EX and taking out some bad boys in an electric powered airplane. The gabby lady behind me had an irritatingly loud cackle and took up opining on all manner of subjects at 100db with some guy she’d never met (and likely will never meet again). And she kept on charging into my 6′ safe space flapping her lips incessantly while tossing in the cackle just to be sure. It was like the sound of fingernails on a chalk board! After 20 minutes, I had had enough! Maybe it was less but it seemed like an eternity. Finally, I turned around and told her to zip her pie hole — exactly that way — and to start acting her age or I’d have to go get one of the Air Guardsmen to explain the rules of civility and etiquette to her. She told her new friend that I was “grumpy” whereupon I activated my anti-social ‘I can scare Frankenstein’ face learned from a career in the military. It worked but only for five minutes; a quick glare back along with a “Grrrr” — kinda like Achmed the dead terrorist — re-set her manners. SO … jet noise, loud chatty old ladies … makes no difference. The damn world is filled with these uncouthed humanoids that think they’re the center of the solar system.

    And just while I’m typing the above — with the weather channel running in the background — on comes a segment showing an interview with the NASA Armstrong Chief project person on the X-57 Maxwell showing it running on the ramp in front of Scaled Composites at Mojave. I turn up the volume to hear him say that the batteries weigh 800 pounds and the airplane grosses 3,000 pounds and the endurance is 30 minutes. Are those freaking people CRAZY?! Or are they just drunk spending OUR money?? Grrrr …

    BTW: I have a drawer full of black socks that surely must be made out of kryptonite if anyone needs some.

  14. Gee, hard to follow Larry S, but here goes. 😉

    Paul, very on point, as usual. Back when I was a lowly student pilot I got irritated when the plane I had reserved wound up in the shop with a problem, or it was flyable, with half of the instruments tagged out by the previous student. Oh how I wished for the days when I could afford to buy my own plane and experience the true freedom of flying whenever I got the urge. No more balky trainers for me! Well, you know the rest… Now that I own my little bundle of aluminum joy, like most children, it seems to delight in testing me with those thousand little irritations. As you say, it isn’t anything big, but the little things that seem to be the most disruptive. The main wheel tire that isn’t flat, but just flat enough to demand attention. Now I can’t remember where the damned air chuck wound up. Or the plane’s battery that refuses to spin the prop because someone unplugged the Battery Minder even though it was hooked up to the plane. Oh yeah, I unplugged it to use the air compressor to pump up the tire last week!

    At least I don’t have a problem with being too close to the run up area, but there is a guy who parks his Robinson helicopter in a hangar across from mine. He always seems to be coming back for a landing just as I start prepping my plane for the pre-flight. He insists in hovering over to the ramp outside his hangar and then slowly settling down while blowing every bit of FOD from the ramp through my open door. He’s a nice guy so I resist the urge to bash him in the head with my torque wrench. But, I’m with you; even with all the trials, it’s still better than golf!

  15. I think I own five separate GPS devices, counting the one in my phone. They all require batteries or at least being plugged in for charging. One is a dedicated aviation unit, one is a dedicated golf unit, two are designed for hiking but have software that makes them suitable for use on my boat, and the last one is a general purpose app on my phone. I’m not sure which is worse, having so many avocations or having GPS units for each of them. On top of that, I have an old KX 99 handheld navcom that still works like a charm. There’s a place in town (probably in your town too) that sells batteries and light bulbs that can still order the batteries!

  16. By joves, I HAVE it … you could become — are ya ready? — The Airplane Whisperer. You could have your own TV show right after ‘Airplane Repo.’ OR … you could sell aviation themed audioblogs … kinda like Mike Busch is now reading for his own Maintenance books. Why this could become a side revenue stream for ya allowing you to put a glass panel in that Cub so you wouldn’t peep off the Neanderthals. You wouldn’t need 800 pounds of ’em to run the stuff for the short flights you make. Just remember us all down here once you get famous and are living in Malibu.

  17. Paul, I need to thank you. After reading and commenting to the blog, I decided to check the batteries in my own handheld radio. Sure enough, dead as a stone. At least they weren’t corroding, so I didn’t have to clean out the batter box. Fortunately a new set of AAs and it actually works! Thanks for the reminder.

  18. Speaking of hangers, my hanger is a couple of corrugated sheets of sheet metal with a pebble stone “floor”. No heat, no A/C and the roof leaks. This is what I accept for flying 🙂

  19. “Hi,” my name is Tom and I’m a grumpy old man. The older I get the grumpier I get and I like it. Grumpy keeps people I don’t like away from me and that’s pretty much everyone. Grumpy is good. In today’s world grumpy is almost looked upon as a virtue except my minimum distance isn’t six feet, it’s more like fifty yards. I like it that way. The more distance the better. The older I get the longer that distance becomes and I like that. Yes, grumpy is good.

    A drop of oil, or, hydraulic fluid on the ground be it bike, car, or, airplane, I’m in the shop for a tear down and I am grumpy. I have a thing about leaks and the older I get the bigger that “thing” gets the grumpier I get. I like my drawer full of white socks my wife incessantly buys for me to the extent I have to start another drawer and that’s ok. I wear them all. I only wear my black socks with my sandals. “Soylent Green,” that just gave me shivers.

  20. Outstanding blog Paul. Long live the “curmudgeon’s” of the world. I are one!

    In previous years I noted that old folks got a pass on their honest comments with the phrase, “he’s just getting old”. In other words, there is a point where old folks actually get societal permission to say what is actually on their mind. However, there is a conundrum to decide when you really want to take advantage of this “permission slip”. When I was 50, the age range to qualify as old ( in my mind) was 65. When I became 65, the official old age bar was raised to ( in my mind) 75. In other words Paul, when is the OFFICIAL age range where I can take advantage of ” he’s just old” , giving OFFICIAL permission to say exactly what is on my mind with perfect comfort and ease? Some people seemed to have made that determination while other have been struggling when they can OFFICIALLY be a curmudgeon of sorts without much, if any, retribution. Inquiring minds want to know!

    As far as aviating goes, my hangar is the oldest on the field, grandfathered in, to allow its shanty town look/vibe, complete with creaking, rusty track, flat wheeled, hard to open doors, mice infested, mostly dirt floor with a small cemented area that barely fits the main gear (complete with several painted faded stripes that when used never allows for the Bonanza to be perfectly centered), that has a definite but initially imperceptible slope that makes pushing it back into the hangar without bashing one of its irreplaceable magnesium ruddervators an almost herculean event worthy of an Olympic gold metal. In other words I am getting almost the same satisfaction of greasing a landing when I get the airplane fully backed into the “bad section of town” hangar. So, in many ways, just putting away the airplane without any assistance is a very sweaty but satisfying experience nowadays.

    To add more complexity to my flying, I purchased from Harbor Freight, a winch…and from Wally World a car battery…and from Lowe’s, never straight over priced 2×4’s…and using all my engineering prowess…cobbled together a strong frame mounted on a very flexible shanty like, corrugated, metal framed, and small tube reinforced wall, to which my winch wired to a battery minder, plumbed to 75+ year old hangar wiring (that supplies power to the single bulb light (formerly used by Gestapo era agents when interrogating POW’s) to power my Rube Goldberg, Bonanza retrieving contraption. What could possibly go wrong?

    The supreme sense of satisfaction in all this is…I, my airplane, my hangar, are the same age. After reading your blog, I now realized i am experiencing aviation nirvana. I am one with my aviation universe.

    I leak, my airplane leaks, my hangar leaks. My hangar is breezy, my airplane is breezy (nice in the summer…not so much in the winter), and I am reaching the age where I can be “breezy” should I find myself qualified to use my “he’s just old” trump card. Plus, I can boast I have an almost “green” 68 year old airplane with its all electric landing gear, all electric prop, all electric flaps ( all using 68 year old wiring, switches, and micro-switches), combined with my unleaded, non-ethanol fuel, locally sourced, powering the lopey but very cool sounding idle, 68 year old engine ( now you might be able to guess my age), being electrically assisted, cranked into my “bad side of town”, hangar through 75+ year old wiring, dimly lit by a very dim single bulb. The only thing I am missing is nobody come close to my hangar to fill it with prop blast, FOD, or exhaust fumes because, I am on the “bad side of the tracks” inside “poor side of town” hangar. I guess the environment of what my hangar looks like combined with my age, the airplane’s age, and the maintenance mysticism safely ( mostly anyways) of an all electric 68 year old airplane, has now made it cool to not taxi any where near me. Instead, I get a steady stream of curious folks, flying way nicer airplanes, wanting to see my time machine and its hangar now turned into, a time capsule museum of sorts.

    Oddly enough, the curmudgeon has become sort of hip. Me, my airplane (complete with its “swamp cooler AC), and my hangar is now perceived as “iconic”. Maybe it IS the Right time to play the “he’s just old” card. Thank you Paul from making me entertain that idea!

  21. I got my first life lesson when I was a 17 year old Ordinary Seaman (ie E 1J Canadian Naval Reserve Diesel Mechanic. One of the first tasks I was given on my first day in an actual ship engine room, was to replace the packing in a valve. The first thing I needed was a circlip tool. By the time I finally got the clip out, I had fixed the tool, to fix the tool, to fix the tool to fix the circlip tool which was badly bent.

    That life lesson on how sometimes the simplest tasks turn out to be incredibly long and frustrating was good preparation for life in general and anything to do with airplanes in particular

  22. Paul, Either I initially missed the brief 7 second animated clip at the end, or perhaps you added it after you posted the article. Either way, it was reminiscent of the old Monty Python animations — I am guessing that was your inspiration? The giant handheld crushing the poor fellow (you) I get, but the significance of what he is holding over his head is unclear. Guess I’m just dim-witted. But thanks for sharing your woes and annoyances with aviation. And take heart — while you have had to endure such aggravations, your readers are entertained and are the better for it!

    • No, you didn’t miss it. I added it later.

      Technically, you’re not supposed to do this in web publishing, but I’m pretty much a malcontent so I do it anyway. I thought of it when writing the blog, which I was late getting done. It just took a few more hours to do. (Animation is time consuming, let me tellya.)

      What he’s carrying on his head is the globe with 1st and in First World problems mentioned in the blog. I don’t know that it was Python inspired, but who knows where the muse comes from?

      • Gotcha — well most of us who read your stuff know that you’re a bit of an outlaw!

        And yes, video animation is even more tedious than straight up video editing, so thanks for your efforts and creativity. Stay safe and keep those batteries on hand.

      • Now THAT is funny … to a pilot !! Ya made me laugh.

        When I need something to run a long time reliably on AAA or AA batteries, I choose Duracells. Now, I see they have something called an Optimum version … haven’t tried ’em yet but if they’re better than the regular Duracells, they should be just what the Doc ordered for the HT’s. When I change out the Duracells, I recycle ’em into flashlights to eke the last life out of them. Try that with the cheap HF batteries and you’re fiddlin’ w/ failure.

  23. “….. It’s similar to smashing my nether parts with a ballpeen hammer…..”
    That’s the loudest I’ve laughed since Wuhan released the you-know-what! …. I needed that.
    Ever tried two ballpeen hammers????…. twice as much fun 🙂