Flights, lights & feels so right

Boone County Regional Airport shut down last week because of ice on its runway, so we didn’t hear air traffic for over three days. There’s not much anyway — mostly general aviation, plus one or two Southern Airways puddle-jumpers each day.

I pulled up a couple of tracking utilities on my computer around 7pm CST last night. Both Flightradar24 and FlightAware showed our skies to be pretty much clear of traffic on a Sunday evening. Only looking east toward Memphis, west toward the Oklahoma border and south in the direction of Little Rock did I see two or more aircraft clustered in the vicinity.

No balloons this time, but it’s not unusual to see them on radar, transiting the region.

The airspace over The Mountain is even quieter than it is here in Harrison. There are a couple of county airfields in the area and small dirt strips flank the White River, accommodating fly-in fishing.

We’re not naïve about what goes on over our heads, certainly, but there’s not nearly the airborne commercial and military hubbub we saw where we lived in Ohio. We prefer it this way.

I have no reason to think of myself as a trendsetter, but I’m not much of a follower, either. Though there are people whose opinions I respect and, occasionally, whose example I follow, I don’t take every recommendation and I’m not prone to mimicry.

As I said a few months ago, I follow a YouTuber by the name of Dave Whipple, aka “Bushradical.” In a number of his videos he’s mentioned a headlamp he favors — simple and cheap, typical of his choices, it’s a Rayovac that takes three AAA batteries.

I like the whole headlamp concept. Deb and I have been quite happy with our rechargeable Streamlights, each of which set us back only $20. But I do have a thing for flashlights, and Whipple’s raving about the Rayovac as “indestructible” piqued my interest.

I dropped 16 bucks and ordered one.

My first impression of the Rayovac was that this thing is a serious chunk — much larger and, with batteries, four times heavier than my trusty Streamlight. But it’s also brighter (300 lumens vs. 180 lumens) and it’s rated “waterproof” (IP67) as opposed to simply “weather-resistant.”

With fresh alkaline batteries and set to its lower output, the Rayovac is said to be good for 14 hours. The Streamlight, on a full charge, is rated to last nine-and-a-half hours. While I can recharge the Streamlight from my truck, the Ranger or a power pack and be ready to go again in less than two hours, to resurrect the Rayovac I’d need to carry a spare set of AAAs.

Each headlamp has its advantages. I’m sure that the “indestructible,” waterproof Rayovac will find a home somewhere in my kit. I’ve become a big fan of rechargeables, however, and for now the Streamlight will remain my go-to.

Now here’s something that matters only to me. Even though it has everything to do with Deb, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t move her needle much.

See, I’ve been waiting for this specific day — Monday, February 6th, 2023. This is the moment in time when I can say that Deb and I have been together longer than my ex and I were.

Today’s the day, my friends, and that right there’s my girl. This is the longest committed relationship of my life. And that’s a big deal to me.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

Sunshine and warmer temps the last couple of days have dispatched the last of the snow and ice lingering on The Mountain. Things are drying out, according to Deb’s cousin, and we have a couple of weeks of relatively pleasant weather coming up. After weeks away, we’ll be back there tomorrow.

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