Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oshkosh 2010 - Day 3

Today was shopping day. The forecast had predicted a cloudy and possibly rainy morning and that's exactly what we got. That was, surprisingly, good news to me. Egg wouldn't care since she'd be inside the exhibition building working at the Girls With Wings booth, and I would take the opportunity to get my shopping done. The morning rain keeps people at home a little longer, thus alleviating some of the crowding in the exhibition buildings. It's more than a little frustrating to have the opportunity to buy things at show-special prices but not be able to get within six feet of the vendors.

I was a little early for the shopping, though. I drop Egg off at 8:00 so she can go in and get the inventory unpacked and shelved, but the buildings don't open for business until 9:00. I wandered around a little bit and happened across an RV-6 that I recognized. It belongs to Doug Reeves, the founder and Chief Bottle Washer of the wonderful Van's Air Force web site. He provides an invaluable gathering place for all things RV. Lately he has been working with Garmin as a tester for their new line of high-end avionics for the Experimental market. Take a look at this:

You wouldn't have to search very far to find an airline pilot that would be insanely jealous of that set-up. Or, for that matter, an RV-6 owner that you're all very familiar with that would be equally desirous. Yeah, that's right. I'm talkin' about yours truly.  While Doug's plane was there, Doug himself was not. A bit of a shame, that, as I like to say hi whenever I get the chance. He links to my blogs a lot from his site and I appreciate that. It takes a lot longer to write these posts than it does for you to read them, so sending readers my way helps make it worthwhile to me.

The goal of my shopping was to find a good special on a Dynon D-6 to replace the mechanical gyros I pulled out of the plane a few months ago. It hasn't been too horrible flying sans gyros in the intervening period, but I got to thinking a couple of weeks ago when I was skirting my way around some storms in a thick, hazy sky that it might be best to have some kind of attitude indicator in the panel in case I were to stumble my way into a cloud. With the shops not being open yet and Doug nowhere to be seen, I continued my walk. Lo and behold, I came across a local oil distributor selling Phillips 20W50 oil for a very attractive price.

Now I'm all for buying when the price is good, but there was the not-so-simple question of how exactly I was going to transport four heavy cases of motor oil all the way back to my car. "No problem," the guy said, "we'll deliver it for you. Just load it into that golf cart."

Hmm, a quandary. You see, I would be more than happy to not have to carry four cases of oil across a mile of airport, but, well, I'm not at all a fan of the ubiquitous golf carts. I have on more than one occasion fantasized about going all Mel Gibson on some knucklehead in a golf cart honking at people walking in posted vehicle-free zones. Could I in clear conscience become, albeit only temporarily, part of the problem?

In a word: yes. Yes I could. Oil is heavy, you see. And such a long way to go! I'd be able to live with myself. In fact, I argued, one should ride a mile in someone else's shoes before criticizing them, right? I'd just consider this an attempt to be fair. Yeah, that's it. It would only be fair.

Unfortunately, the oil guy was one of the rudest golf cart drivers I've seen. I was a little embarrassed to be seen with him. But I saved a lot of money on a two year supply of oil! Very mixed emotions.

Sure, the road looks wide open. That's because the wake of strewn bodies is behind us:

A bigger man than I would have refused the ride back, just on principle.

Me?  I asked if I could honk the horn.

The problem with walking riding that mile in someone else's shoes is that you just might find them to be more comfortable than you had imagined.

Karma seemed to have been either okay with that or just not paying attention. I found a good deal on the Dynon too.

With the shopping done I was able to go for another walkabout. I swung past the RV section and stumbled across Mr. Reeves talking to my other favorite RV guy, Rick Gray. Rick brought his 16 year old daughter Lauren with him this year. She, as with all of his family, was heavily involved in the building of his airplanes. I hope Egg is inspired to help me now that she's had some good training and a positive example to emulate.

And to top off a very successful day, I found an RV-4 painted in the same colors that I'm planning for the RV-12:

1 comment:

  1. Oh... DR, the Rocket, an RV and Rick. Dreaming, dreaming...