2016-11-02 I Actually Watched A Baseball Game

I don't follow sportsball. Never have. But this time it's different.

A long time ago, in a city far, far away, when I was 11, my Dad offered me a trip to go see a baseball game. The Cleveland Indians play SomeoneWithBalls which, on it's own, wasn't of much interest, but we would be FLYING there. "Hell yeah" I thought to myself.

The flight was as magical as I imagined albeit far too short. We climbed aboard a huge 4 engine airplane, FOUR engines! Yes, they were piston engines but I didn't know the difference nor did I care. Takeoff was enthralling, spreading out the land below in an incredible perspective that seemed so impossible, so compelling. I'm sure my head scarcely left that window. Good thing every seat was a window seat.

The game itself was some nonremarkable collection of white noise from the crowds, grown men playing with sticks and balls, changing colors out in the field and tiny figures running around, set to a soundtrack of ridiculous organ music. The Indians lost, I do remember that.

Through the years I've watched my Dad enthuse over Cleveland's sports and continued to hear of the Indians losing. They've had at least 1 close call with victory, though, which was kinda cool, but no cigar.

Life landed me in the Chicago area for 20 years and my ardent disinterest in sports continued as before. But we wound up with some good friends who were interested and they would always enthuse over the Cubs. "Some day" they would say. Of course it was always disappointing to them but, somehow, they remained loyal fans. Then this year happened: the Cleveland Indians would be playing the Chicago Cubs. Wow, talk about underdogs.

In a way it's perfect: I couldn't lose.

So I hatched a plan to visit my parents in Naples with the intent of watching the last game, possibly two, with Dad (for as long as he could stay awake). That is exactly what Tim and I did. Even Mom watched.

Of course I love visiting them anyway so it's just another excuse but this was more fun. 

As we all know now, the Cubs won game 6 forcing it into game 7 for a series deciding nail-biter that the Cubs won after the Indians tied it up in the last inning. The whole series was a super closely fought affair.

Bummer for Dad, for sure, but the Cubs hadn't won in forever. In the waterfall of statistics that cascades from announcers I got that it had been 108 years. Wow. Generations have died in disappointment. So if there was a team that I could root for to beat the Indians, this would be it.

Oh well, it was great to see my parents--we enjoyed the visit. Maybe next year.


Tim and I flew down on Tuesday morning, returning Thursday morning.


Landing Gear Anomaly

After all that baseball, Tim & I headed home in the Bonanza. On downwind leg to Flanders field, I put the gear down while explaining things to Tim who is interested. I have to slow below 140 mph and like to get well below. Before I had yet verified the gear Tim says "when does the down light come on?" It normally takes only a matter of seconds so I insured the nav lights were off (they dim the gear light) and, sure enough, the gear light was not lit. The nose down pointer was in the up position, too. We had a bona fide gear problem.

So I leveled out, started a turn to South, got the flaps up, and set the power to be slowly accelerating in a very shallow climb. I feared the gear were partially down judging from the power required but couldn't tell for sure.

With the airplane happily flying, slow climbing and headed for Winter Haven's nice long runway, I started trouble shooting. The first thing is always the circuit breaker. I've got the whole procedure to crank it down on my Checklist but indeed the breaker was popped. It was cool to the touch, so I pushed it in, put the gear handle down and voila, wheels. The green mains light lit and the nosewheel pointer pointed down so we continued to a normal landing.

While unloading the plane I found out what happened. A bag in the back seat floor had a strap catch on the emergency gear handle in a way that engaged it. That's not easy to do. It had apparently wrapped itself around and caused a high current flow, popping the breaker. Good to know it works that well. Note to self about bags. The handle cover isn't very secure so I'm going to put a bit of velcro or tape around it to make this less likely. I'll make sure I can break it loose from the pilot seat.

Here's to not having to do a gear up landing!

An interesting aside to this story is that I use a power setting that's high enough so the airplane won't descend unless the gear is down, or at least mostly down. That's an effort to prevent me from forgetting the gear. Of course I still look at the gear down indications and do a "GUMPS" check but none of that is infallible. Here's the thing, my method of using some power like this doesn't work in a partial extension scenario. It only works only to prevent forgetting the gear. Just something to file away.



Game 6, the first one for me, went bad for the Indians right away and went downhill from there.



Cecilia when she was very young is reacting to a Chicken clucking. She kept the ice cream cone, I'm told.


In the office.


Before game 7 we got some exercise.


Ma, Pa, Tim during gametime.


I get in there.


Tim is getting into it but he's rooting for the Cubs. We still love him.


More from Game 7.

The Indians losing. What a nailbiting game, going into the 10th inning and all. I must confess, I did get into it even though I was doing other stuff while it was going on. There were intense times of interest.

© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!