Dual XC: KMDH – KSUS- KMDH

This flight has been in the works for two weeks now, thanks to weather cancellations. It almost didn’t happen this time either, because I had planned to go to Paducah, KY but the clouds were low over Paducah so we went this route instead.

Flying cross-country during the day is relatively simple. There are lots of landmarks on the ground that are on my maps, so it’s easy to hop from one to next. My trouble came when I got into the St. Louis area. There’s so much stuff that it’s difficult to distinguish one landmark from another. At one point I was on my course and my instructor asked me if I could see the airport yet. I couldn’t pick it out of the noise around it so I started to doubt myself and felt lost. Thankfully, St. Louis has rather extensive radar service so they pointed me in the correct direction and I made it to the airport just fine. I did a substandard soft field landing, we turned around, and then flew right back out again.

On the way out of St. Louis I noticed landmarks that I had seen on the way in before I began to doubt myself. I was on the right track the entire time. I may have ended up overflying the airport, but I definitely would’ve gotten there. Oh well. The trip back was dead simple and I had radar following me the whole time. I managed to correctly pick out Carbondale from at least 20NM away, which is amazing because I almost never spot it until I’m 10NM from it. I put it back down with another horrible soft field landing, and that was that!

24JUN10 / C152 / N5198L / KMDH-KSUS-KMDH /Landings: 2 / SEL: 2.4 / XC: 2.4 / Day: 2.4 / Dual: 2.4 / Total: 2.4

Dual Night XC: KMDH – KEVV – KMDH

This was my second night flight ever. On the first, all we did was fly in circles around the airport to do a bunch of takeoffs and landings. Evansville, IN is about 50 minutes away in my little 152. My normal instructor paired me up with another instructor for this flight.

A bit about my current instructor. He’s a team leader and a check airman, which means that when people finish a course, they go on a flight with him and he checks them out to make sure they can fly up to standard. He’s got a ton of experience flying, and he’s generally rather chill.

The instructor I flew with for this flight was quite a bit more uppity. He threw some things at me on the ground that I wasn’t exactly expecting but wasn’t unprepared for. In the air, he kind of nagged me about things that I was probably getting around to but not currently focused on.

But the flight was pleasant enough, and I didn’t get us lost, and I even found the airport before he did. I put it down, we got some fuel, hung out at the FBO for a little while, then we came back. The way back was even less eventful.

We got in around 10 till midnight. We were the last ones in, so the girl working the dispatch counter was half asleep. We did our debrief and log completion in the terminal, and that was that!

17JUN10 / C152 / N95670 / KMDH-KEVV-KMDH / Landings: 2 / SEL: 2.5 / XC: 2.5 / Night: 2.5 / Dual: 2.5 / Total: 2.5

A roommate returns.

About midway through finals week, one of my roommate’s left. He said he was going home for a few weeks and didn’t really give a timeframe for coming back. That weekend, my other roommate moved out entirely to go live with his girlfriend. I had the whole place to myself!

I relaxed a little more. I kind of let myself spread outside of the confines of my room. All good things must come to an end, however, and my remaining roommate returned yesterday.

I almost wish he hadn’t left, because I got used to living alone. I could wander around the apartment in my underwear whenever. I could leave dishes and pans in the sink for a couple days. I didn’t have to get my clothes out of the dryer as soon as they were dry. I could leave a mess of razors and face cleaning stuff in the bathroom.

But now I have to go back to living-with-other-people mode. And it’s annoying.

Doom 3

Unlike a lot of people, I really enjoyed Doom 3. It’s a big departure from the first two in terms of atmosphere and gameplay, but it holds its own and looks good. I’m doing what feels like my yearly replay of it, except on Veteran (hard) difficulty and I feel like the increased difficulty is really exposing some of the less obvious flaws in the game. I may not even finish this playthrough.

Half of the enemies jump out of closets. It’s one of those obvious flaws that you learn about in the first 15 minutes of the game. On medium, it’s no big deal because you take a hit, turn around, pop them, and they die. On hard, you still take that first hit, and it’s always at least 15% of your health. So you can take two paths with it; you can keep rolling and slowly bleed out from repeated monster closets, or you can quick save after every fight and reload when you find a monster closet so you can better deal with it. It sucks.

Lost souls are the fucking worst. They were an annoyance in Doom 1/2 but never a real threat. In Doom 3, they’re tiny, they hit for at least 15%, they bounce out of the way if you hit them without killing them, and when they hit, your view moves. I died in the first encounter with lost souls. LOST SOULS. Flying, screaming skulls pecked me to death.

The shotgun, which sucks at any range beyond 1 meter in front of you, is the best weapon to kill them with because it’ll almost always kill them in one hit, except you have to wait until it’s charging at you and it’s right in front of your goddamned face before you can think about pulling the trigger. The shotgun only holds 8 rounds, and it takes forever to reload so you better not miss!

And let’s talk about how much the shotgun blows. The shotgun in Doom 1/2 is one of my favorite weapons. It is versatile and possesses a good amount of stopping power. The shotgun in Doom 3 is worthless beyond 1 meter ahead of you. If you are not jamming that shotgun into the bad guy’s face before you pull the trigger, you’re going to have to shoot them twice. That said, it will kill ims, soldiers, zombies, maggots, and those dumb teleporting things  in one shot, so what I’ve found myself doing is dancing around while they shoot at me, and then charging at them before I blast them in the face, then running backwards in case that first shot didn’t do the trick. It’s a huge letdown. It’s horrible. Thankfully the plasma rifle is even more awesome than it was in Doom 1/2.

Even playing on hard, Doom 3 is no more difficult. It is just more annoying. Playing it feels like work. I will probably abort this playthrough, and remind myself next time to play it on medium again, when the game is more fun.

Ne Cede Malis