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Thursday
Aug052010

Homebuilder's Workshop - August 2010

Ready for Sloshkosh

By Ed Wischmeyer

In a normal year, I’d be in Oshkosh before the show had even started, either unloading at the farmhouse or wandering around the grounds, getting keys and such. This year, however, a good friend is getting married and his family is stayed with me—a treat. So, when Sunday afternoon came along,  I went home from the reception, changed clothes, loaded the car with the Oshkosh stuff and the pup and headed on over.

You’ve probably read by now that Oshkosh has had record-setting rain this month, and even though they didn’t get the seven inches of rain that closed the Milwaukee airport for a while, there’s been enough that there is no airplane parking, no camping allowed and no wheeled vehicles on the grass. Though sunny days did make an appearance, there’s an organization that can deal with that kind of wet mess, it’s got to be EAA. They’ve got volunteers that really know how to get things done.

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Monday
Jun212010

Homebuilder's Workshop - June 2010

Watch Out for Loopholes and Potholes

By Ed Wischmeyer

Here’s one that you should not be happy about. The government charting office, whatever they call themselves these days, has decided that they need to make more/lose less money. So they will no longer sell charts to outlets that sell less that $5,000 worth of charts per year, and, they’ve tightened up their policy on returned charts. What this means, then, is that you probably can’t get up to date charts at your local airport. I can’t. Or maybe at any airport nearby.

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Tuesday
Apr132010

Homebuilder's Workshop - April 2010

I’m Alive, I Promise

By Ed Wischmeyer

My nephew graduated from Duke last fall, one of only a handful of Air Force ROTC there. For a graduation present, I invited him to come spend a few days with me, and we flew maybe seven hours in the Cessna and an hour in the AirCam. He’s now most of the way through IFS, Initial Flight Screening, where potential air crew get a chance to show that they are in tune with and will succeed in the Air Force’s style of flight training.

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Thursday
Mar112010

Homebuilder's Workshop - March 2010

Snow Blower Follies

By Ed Wischmeyer

Even the natives have been tired of this Iowa winter since two weeks after the first snowfall, and that was what? Thirteen years ago, without a break? But I’m probably repeating myself. Again.

Damn snow.

Here’s a story that has nothing to do with homebuilding, but is still pretty interesting. Out in the garage is a big old Sears snow blower, one-year-old, kind of a big boy’s toy when the snow is only an inch or so deep, but pretty useful for clearing sidewalks when they’re four- or five-inches deep. One of the problems is the thing is so big and clunky that you sort of have a choice between the effort of pushing and shoveling snow and the effort of rasslin’ with the snow blower. But I digress. Then again, this whole section is a digression. But then… never mind.

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Sunday
Feb212010

Homebuilder's Workshop - February 2010

Snow Job

By Ed Wischmeyer

Iowa is gorgeous during the summer and not bad during spring and fall. Right now, however, it’s winter, and we’re all celebrating the latest meteorological extravagance – not only did we have two days in a row above freezing, the night between those two days was also above freezing. But no more, now we’re back to highs in the low teens and lows in the high sub-zeroes.

Today was light snow, but drifting like mad in the winds, gusting to 45 knots. But drifting snow can show amazing aerodynamic effects.

For example, did you ever see a photograph of the leading edge of the Concorde wing, with the gentle curls and swoops in it? I regularly see that same contour in the snowdrift that forms from the front flowerbed onto the front porch.

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