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2005/06/28 Riverdance
π 2005-06-28 23:50 by Merlin in Trips

After walking around the city the first Saturday and gotten fairly lucky with the Ha'Penny Bridge musical I was able to see at the last minute, I got some tickets to see the famous Riverdance, which happened to be showing in its native home over the summer.
I went with a coworker and his fiancée, and quite frankly I initially almost wlaked out as the show opened with recorded "dubbed" tap dancing, which was not entirely in sync with the dancers. My friend did not notice right away, but I was able to tell right away and it bothered the crap out of me.
Luckily, that was only during the opening and after that the tap dancing was either amplified or heard directly. I talked to one of the managers after the show and he said they had problems with the sound carrying throughout the room (understandable for tap dancing), although IMO that does not excuse pre-recorded taps.
That said, the rest of the performance was quite good, and varied from two black talented black dudes who had a tap dancing and style contest with the resident Irish (you got served style), which was frankly hilarious (and very well done too)
All in all, a good show. You can find the rest of the pictures, and a few videos in my pictures from Dublin





2005/06/25 And she resurfaces... Dublin Town
π 2005-06-25 16:47 by Merlin in Trips

Oh, yeah, no, wrong blog, I got confused, sorry :)

Anyway, I stopped in Dublin on the way home. While this week I didn't do too much except work the regular shift and then evenings to match Mountain View time, I spent the day outside visiting the town today.
Quite nice indeed. I'm just lucky it didn't rain today (the weather here is crap, just like the food I got at work in Dublin :) )




This book is probably older that your country by a factor of more than 2 :)


I ran into a gay pride that day, funny

I finished the evening after a little local fun, by going to a Musical I noticed in the paper, which was set in Dublin in 1921 during the civil war. It was a bit of a cross between Les Miz and Riverdance, which was a bit funny. That said, overall it was pretty good (I'm a tough customer, it's hard to top les Miz in that genre and I hear that Victor Hugo isn't writing any new musicals nowadays :) )



This was the Ha'Penny Bridge Musical :)



Anyway, good time was had, more tomorrow, time for bed now...
2005/06/17 Paris Air Show @ Le Bourget
π 2005-06-17 23:05 by Merlin in Flying

Current Music: Top Gear - 06x03
Current Mood: Good

When I landed in France and was driving back from Charles De Gaules to my Dad's we had somewhat worse traffic than usual (it sucks regardless), and I found out that it was because of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget which happened to bethat week.
The best part was that the next day (Friday) was going to be opened to the public. So I got there bright and early around 09:40 (getting there was "interesting", so I ended up getting a cab that took the back roads and left me from some walking distance from the back entrance, but got me there in reasonable time). By then, the line to get in was already longer than 1h, swell....
Due to a small queueing misunderstanding, I got in a bit early :) and proceeded to see as much as I could before the air show started. The Airbus A380 (two decker, 800 people) was the show's star and the crowd favourite. I also got to see its first flight in front of spectators :)
As for the other planes and displays, it was quite nice to see other things than US planes, from Mirages, Rafales, Eurocopters (including one doing a backflip in the air, impressive)































There are lots more pictures, including a visit of the very nice Air Museum all here

This was really time well spent, I had never been to that Salon or the Museum and I don't regret having done so. The only thing was the mad crowds, but turns out that it was actually a piece of cake compared to people who went on Saturday and Sunday (more than half a million total)
2005/06/14 Check ride
π 2005-06-14 20:21 by Merlin in Flying

Current Music: Rising Stars - April 2005 - DJ Chilli
Current Mood: Just tired.

So, after much work to try and find a CFI at the last minute to do my check ride this morning, I got scheduled for my check ride flight this morning.
It turned out to be harder than was I was hoping for, mostly because I had a bad night and showed up fairly non awake.
I was first quizzed on procedures and knowledge, and did fairly well there. For my flight, I did well enough, except steep turns, and I came out too early on a no engine landing (although I did land the plane anyway, but a bit too far on the runway due to my resulting speed on approach).
Outside of that, the check ride went well and the instructor said he was happy with my performance (I wasn't though, since I knew how to do the two things I screwed up, and was annoyed at struggling due to a bad night).
Oh well... Anyway, that's behind me for now, and I'll worry about the rest when I come back from Europe in July
2005/06/12 4 years of A State of Trance
π 2005-06-12 10:09 by Merlin in Clubbing

Current Music: AvB - ASOT 200 :)
Current Mood: Good

My week has been a bit busy, and I've been flying on thursdays anyway, so unfortunately I missed the live broadcast of Armin's 200th show. Not the end of the world since I've already downloaded it, but it would have been nice to listen to it live and be on the irc channel when it was being broadcast.

Anyway, he's now been spinning every thursday for that show, for 4 years straight. Pretty cool.
What was really nice about this show was it was a compilation of the best of Trance for the last 4 years, and the result was absolutely awesome. Sure, it was a lot to cram in 2H, but Armin did a great job of it again. I'm sure however that it's even more enjoyable when you know all the tunes he played and you could recognize them early in the transition and pick out the ones that were new mixes.

If you've ever been just a bit curious about Trance mixes (or Techno in general), or you're not really sure this is your kind of music, but you're willing to give it one (last?) shot, give this mix a try (2H, 170MB). If you don't like it, you'll know for sure :)
I know that I'm personally not a big fan of Rock, but I've actually come to appreciate some artists like Linkin Park, so go figure...
2005/06/09 Too high: stuck in clouds, too low: power lines :)
π 2005-06-09 23:51 by Merlin in Flying

Something weird happened the last two days: in total defiance of state regulations, we actually got rain after May. In June actually... WTF?

Anyway, that was good, it gave for a very sketchy day and very low clouds, rendering VFR flight impossible (1000 feet cloud base is required, and we had 800 with the first layers at 500 feet).
We got a special VFR clearance, which can be given to only one plane, and it was me since I was the first one. This allowed me to go practise and fly without instruments while being the only one in the pattern.
It was quite interesting as we got to fly very low (300 feet or so), and do a pattern from a pretty low altitude. At that point, I actually had to worry how close I was to the ground, power lines, and other fun stuff like that.
The weather gradually got better over the following hour until the field went VFR again soon before I came back in.
The other fun part was that the plane looked it had a bad oil leak, but turns out that it was actually graphite coming out of the engine. As a result, I had an aborted takeoff since another pilot reported me on runup, thinking that I had a bad engine leak. Another good practice for that day.








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