Back in High School (1990 and 1991, to be specific), I was a student pilot in the Adrian Soaring Club, flying out of Lenawee County Airport in southern Michigan. I trained with various instructors in their Schleicher ASK-13 wood and cloth glider.
According to my log book, I flew 23 times totalling roughly 6 hours and 41 minutes of time in the air. Yes, some of the flights were short--like the unplanned rope break exercise at 180 feet. It was challenging and fun. But I ran out of money before I could solo. I was close. Quite close if I recall.
By the time that ended, I was flying on my own. I'd fly takeoff, tow, landing, and everything in between. The instructors were along for the ride to make sure I didn't screw up and to help me practice more advanced maneuvers (I had a few left to learn).
Fast-forward 11 years. I recently discovered that a friend of mine at work had just started taking flying lessons--in gliders! I had always planned to get back into the cockpit someday so I jumped at the chance to start flying again.
We fly as part of the Hollister Gliding Club in Hollister, California. It's roughly a 1 hour drive south on highway 101 from where I live in the Santa Clara / Sunnyvale area.
I've started a separate flying blog to record my aviation adventures and related stuff. (There are three entries as of now: one, two, and three.) I may occasionally post any really interesting or important stuff in my main blog, but if you're curious about my progress, I suggest to read my flying blog.
Oh, there may be a couple bugs while I get the flying blog working. Lemme know if you see problems. I know, it needs template and CSS work yet.
It sounds like I'll be helping with some multi-terabyte MySQL tests in the not too distant future. This is good not just because I get to play with neat toys, but it'll finally help me to answer the "how well does MySQL deal with BIG data sets?" question. Until now, I've had to appeal to my knowledge of how MySQL works as well as some second or third-hand reports of what others have done in this area. It'll be nice to have some concrete data and tests that I understand and can explain to others in detail.
Stay tuned for more.
Had dinner last night with Jim and James, the creators of HotOrNot.com at The Tied House in Mountain View. Interesting discussions about Yahoo's former practice of assimilating other companies, weblogs, TiVo, and lots of other stuff. They're good guys. I hope to hang out with 'em again sometime.