Blake

About Blake

Aeronautical Science

Hometown: DeBary, Florida
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Ever since I was little I knew that I wanted to fly, and ever since I knew about Embry-Riddle I wanted to go here.

May 6

I seriously can’t believe it. Two years ago I was graduating high school, I got accepted to Riddle, and life was going by so quick. Now, here I am saying good bye once again at the end of my sophomore year of college. This year has flown by and, when I thought nothing could top my first year of college, I couldn’t be more wrong. My second year was amazing and I’m glad that I got the opportunity to share it with all of you! I have had a busy month, so I have a lot to tell, but let’s begin by wrapping up the classes!

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – Well, I’m really going to miss this class next year. Fortunately, I will be in another class which will be even harder! This class dealt with Daytona’s airspace and next semester we’ll switch to Orlando’s airspace! It should be pretty fun. I ended up taking our final test and I got an A in the class, so I’m definitely happy about that.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – Well, after I wrote my paper and did my presentation, the class was pretty much over. We had an optional final exam that would replace the lowest test grade, but I didn’t need to take it because I managed to pull a 90%! Overall, this class was pretty cool. Although I didn’t enjoy the writing aspect of it, I did like learning about the past of the airline industry. A lot of interesting stuff happened to the airline industry in the past. You should google it some time!
TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – I got an A in this class as well! I liked my professor so much that I signed up for another class in the Fall with him. He is a really cool guy and I like his teaching methods, so I figured why not take him again? Overall, this class was definitely one of the most interesting. Learning how all the aspects of a plane fit together so that it can produce lift and actually fly is pretty wild. You tend to not think about it once you are surrounded by airplanes, or even just fly them for traveling purposes. You never really stop and think about how amazing it is that something so heavy can cut through the sky…sorry, didn’t mean to get all weird! Anyways, cool class.
TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – On my way to a 4.0! I got an A in this class, so I’m definitely happy about that. I enjoyed this class for a couple of reasons. One, the stuff we went over directly relates to what I am going to be doing, which is nice. Not crazy situations or stuff that will never happen. Also, the way the class was structured, there was no hour and a half lectures followed by hours of busy work. It was an open discussion type of class with only work that directly pertains to what we were doing. I liked that. It felt like I was learning exactly what I needed to rather than some nonsense gibberish.
TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – Well, this semester was going good, then I got a B. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those people who have a nervous breakdown at the sight of a B, I just prefer A’s! I got an 88% and I just couldn’t seem to break the 90 barrier. Oh well, the class was cool though. Jet engines are fascinating and now I know a lot more about them than I used too!
TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – Well, I finished up my instrument rating and I jumped right into my commercial course. I asked my friend Ryan if he had any availability, and he scheduled me for a bunch of activities. I mean, a lot of activities. Usually, you’ll have about three activities per week, well Ryan scheduled me for three activities one day, two the next, and then another two activities! I have recently slowed the pace down, but I’m definitely glad I was able to get a jump start on it. I’ll be working on my commercial over the summer, and then if all goes to plan, I’ll start working on becoming an instructor at Riddle! I could even be your instructor one day! That is kinda scary, not in a bad way, but it seems like just yesterday I had never flown a plane and now I’m getting closer and closer to showing other people how to fly! It’s crazy!
Well, this past month has been amazing. No exaggerations, this has been one of the best times in my life. I’ve been busy with so many things, so time just flies by. From Frisbee to AOA to random flights and concerts, it’s been awesome.
Next semester, I signed up for some pretty tricky classes. I am taking Air Traffic Management IV, Aircraft Performance, Aircraft Systems & Components, Flight Physiology, and my Flight Instructor ground lab. It should be a pretty busy semester.
One of the best choices I have made this semester was joining AOA. After being in it only a semester, I am already kicking myself for not joining sooner! There are so many cool guys that are graduating, so I won’t be seeing them next year. Fortunately, there are still a lot of cool people still in, and hopefully more joining next semester.
In April we gave tours of the College of Aviation (COA) building to all the new students for next Fall. Maybe one of you saw me! I was in a burgundy shirt, well, so was everyone else… Anyway, I had a lot of fun giving tours and answering questions. I’m looking forward to doing that some more next year. A couple of weeks ago we had a fundraiser for AOA by bowling, and me and my friend Cris placed 5th out of 15. Not too bad considering we both suck at bowling!
One of the best memories I have had this semester was when I went to Charleston, South Carolina for an AOA retreat. There were about 15-20ish of us that drove up to a friend’s beach house and spent the weekend up there. We went to Fort Sumter and downtown Charleston and had a blast. It was a great experience and I got to know everyone on a different level, so it was definitely a good trip. There are so many memories, but I’ll share one with you. You won’t get it, but I will never forget this: “I could really go for a cheeseburger.” HAHAHAHAHAHAH I’m laughing now, maybe you’ll get it someday, but you really had to be there!
Next year I will be the Philanthropy Chair for AOA which means I will be in charge of all the philanthropy events that we do, which is a lot! My friend Jake was the chair, but now he is going to be the president. I hope I can do as good of a job as he did, but I have some big shoes to fill! If you are a future student reading this and are majoring in Aeronautical Science, you should definitely come check us out. There really is a great group of people here, and we have a lot of fun doing what we do!
In mid-April, I went with my friends Cris and Adam and flew to Miami for the day. We rented an airplane and flew down in the morning. My friend Cris lives in Miami, so we got picked up from the airport and had a lunch cooked by his mom. Then we went out to the beach for a couple hours and had dinner with his dad. We cruised around South Beach and saw some pretty amazing cars. We were cruising around in a 1977 convertible baby blue Bug, so we got some looks too. Overall, it was fun to get out of Daytona for the day and fly to Miami.
Any golfing fans? By the grace of God, I somehow had the opportunity to fly to Augusta to watch the practice round of golfing at the Masters! Four of my friends in AOA were going to fly to Augusta for the Masters and to see Hootie & the Blowfish, but one of my friends had to cancel at the last minute, so they asked me! We flew out after my last class and landed in Augusta in just enough time to grab some food and go to the concert. I have been listening to Hootie & the Blowfish for a long long time and I am so glad I got to see them in concert. They put on an awesome show and I would definitely see them again if they come to Florida. The next morning we went to the Masters and saw the Par 3 Contest and we got to see all the golfers practicing. It was wild; I mean I’ve seen it on TV, but seeing it in person is amazing. I’m so thankful I got the chance to do that!
Speaking of concerts, I went to go see Pepper in Orlando and let me tell you, they put on an awesome show. I went with my friends Cris and Adam and we had a blast. I just found out that Pepper is going on tour with Slightly Stoopid (best band of all time) this summer! They are coming to Florida and I am wicked psyched that they are coming back. They actually just played in Virginia, and while my roommate Adam was home, he saw them and actually got to go backstage and hang with them! He got one of the singer’s numbers and he said to give him a call when they come down to Florida to get backstage after the show! That would be amazing if that actually happens!!!
Well, sadly we had our last Frisbee game one week ago, but we are trying to see who will still be around for the summer so we can still play. I went to the team barbeque last week and got to hang out with some of the guys on the team outside of when we are playing, which was pretty fun. We had a lot of fun and had a lot of food. Seriously, there was so much food.
Oh, another flight I went on was to Savannah with my friends Aaron and Chris. We flew up to see my cousin who goes to SCAD. We went out to lunch and got a tour of the city. We ended up flying back a little later, but it was a lot of fun. I like to just hop in a plane and go fly somewhere. It really is fun.
This past weekend my friends Annita, Stephanie, and Leslie came down from Gainesville to hang out in Daytona. We went to the beach and hung out, and then we went to Razzle’s, which is a club in Daytona. I’m not really a club guy, but somehow they convinced me to go and I’m glad I did because I had a lot of fun. Probably sometime in about two weeks, me and some friends will make the trip up to Gainesville to go hang out at the University of Florida. Should be good times!
Over the summer, my friend Jake is doing an internship with American Airlines and he will be writing journals like mine. I don’t have the link yet, but I’m sure it will be somewhere off to your left around late May. You should definitely go check them out and send him emails asking him to do the Soulja boy dance. Trust me, its well worth it!
Well my friends, here we are at the end of the journal, but this journal isn’t like the others. This is the last one! I know I thought that one year ago I would be writing my last journal, but I got the chance to write it for another year, and I couldn’t pass that up! But now it is time to pass the torch (figuratively speaking…I don’t have a torch) to the next person! I hope that you have enjoyed reading these journals as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Hopefully you learned something or laughed or something along those lines. I’m definitely excited to be here and you should be too if you are on your way here! I hope everyone has a good summer and a good life after that! Stay in school, drink your milk, and fly planes as much as possible. Trust me, once you get in a plane and you are the only one flying it, there’s nothing else you can do; you’ll be hooked. Just make sure you get hooked at Riddle, they’ll show you how to turn your passion into a career. I’m already on my way, and I hope you’ll be there soon too!
-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/

videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

April 9

Well hello to everyone! Long time no talk! I have had a crazy month with school, spring break, and a hundred other things going on. I’ve been having a blast here in Daytona, and I have some great news! I am now an instrument rated pilot! I’ll be sure to tell you all about my festivities and my new rating, but I’ll go over some classes first.

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – We have worked as controllers in all parts of Daytona’s airspace, and our last section that we are working on is called the Final Sector. There are four sectors: North, South, High, and Final. Final Sector is basically the airspace that extends from the end of the runway outward where all the planes get vectored to land. You have to line them all up, but keep enough spacing between them. And of course, you’ll have a Delta flight going 200 kts and then a Cessna going 100 kts so everything gets messed up. I think I’m finally getting the hang of it though, and my friends and I definitely have a lot of fun, so it’s all good.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – This class is becoming more and more frustrating. I just took my 3rd test, I think I did pretty well but our professor hasn’t graded them yet. The thing I’m frustrated about is our group paper. Long story short, one group member dropped the class two days ago, and didn’t tell us; another member didn’t turn the paper in until 4 days after we all agreed to have it turned in; and another member still hasn’t turned it in and the paper is due in 4 hours. So, as of now, I’m not a big fan of group projects. Hopefully I can talk to the professor and work something out.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – We took our 2nd test and, after the extra credit was added, I ended up with a 109! Woo woo! I was pretty excited about that. Other than that, nothing new in this class; just some aerodynamical action.

TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – I definitely enjoy this class, because every class is like a discussion and not just a teacher lecturing for an hour. We actually played Jeopardy last class, and my team won! Our professor came up with questions and we split into teams and answered them. It was actually pretty fun and in my opinion a good way to learn. It was definitely different than the normal class and I think a nice change up is always good.

TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – On our last test I ended up with an 88, so as of now my average is an 88.5. I’m working hard to bring that up to a 90 so I can get an A in the class, so we’ll see how that goes. Other than that, there’s really not much else to say about this class, so yeah.

TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – So it’s official . . . I am now an instrument rated pilot. Since August I have been working towards this, and I finally am done! I had my oral a while ago as you now, but I completed the flight and simulator portion just a couple days ago! Overall, it wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. I ended up being in the zone and I did everything right so I passed with flying colors (I’m not sure what that means, but flying colors sounds good). But here at Riddle, there’s very little time to rest. I am currently in the process of signing up for a flight block so I can start my commercial course. I will start it in April and continue flying over the summer. Hopefully I’ll get it completed by next fall so I can move on even further!

So classes have been going good, flying has been going great, and everything else has been just awesome! I’ll start with how the Spring Break went.

Colorado . . . Awesome. I had a blast out west and me and my friends are already planning a trip next year. It really was incredible. I got out there on a Friday and met up with my friend Alex. We got to go do some ice skating and snowboarding on Saturday before we went back to the airport to go pick up my friends Cris and Aaron.

We were supposed to pick them up at 10pm, but after flight delays they didn’t get in until 12:30am. Then we drove two hours away to our hotel in the mountains. We all went to bed around 4 and woke up at 8 to go snow boarding. My friend Aaron grew up in Pennsylvania, so he has been boarding for a while. My friend Cris is from Miami, and he has never snowboarded before, so we were teaching him the whole trip. He actually picked it up pretty quickly, well, at least a lot faster than I did when I first started. We had him going down some black diamonds by the end of the trip.

After we all went snowboarding on Sunday, Alex and a couple of his friends that were with us drove back because they had school on Monday. So it was just me, Cris, and Aaron. We went snowboarding on Monday and Tuesday as well, and since Alex had a season pass, he was able to get us wicked cheap lift tickets. I mean wicked cheap. So that was nice because the trip was already costing lots of mula!

After a long day of boarding on Monday, Cris had the bright idea to go snowboarding on a small mountain behind our hotel. Of course Aaron and I thought it was a great idea as well. The whole extravaganza took over 3 hours and was quite a workout. It started hiking to the mountain which was basically crawling through 5-6 feet of powder and trying not to fall through. Once we got to the base, we started hiking up which proved challenging because of all the fresh powder and the fact that the mountain was about a 45 degree angle. We finally got to the top and the view was pretty nice. You could look right over the little town of Winter Park and even see where we boarded just hours before. Finally, it was time to go down, which was a lot more fun, and quicker. I put all the pressure on my back foot and just cruised through the powder. It felt like I was riding through clouds. I have never experienced anything like that before. It was amazing. After that, we were pretty beat, so we went to hit up the hot tub.

Overall, the trip was awesome. No broken bones, it snowed every night, lots of fresh powder, and snowboarding in the best place I have ever gone with good friends. You can’t ask for much more. Unfortunately, the trip home was anything but awesome. I don’t want to go into too many details because the trip really was awesome, but I’ll give you a time line:

4:00am – Wake up, get ready, hop on shuttle for the airport.
7:00am – Arrive at airport, plane doesn’t leave until 10, why am I up this early?
10:00am – Flight gets delayed, then delayed, and then some more delays.
1:00pm – Finally leave Denver.
5:00pm – Arrive in Philly, run to plane that is supposed to depart any minute.
5:07pm – Get to plane in record time. I’m sweaty, cranky, and tired. Find out the flight is delayed. A 2 hour delay.
7:00pm – Leaving Philly, next stop Florida!
8:30pm – Wait, plane broke, everyone off plane. Get on new plane. Now to Florida.
11:00pm – Land in Florida!
11:30pm – Get bags, realize there is still an hour drive ahead of me.
12:30am – Finally in my own bed, so tired, set alarm for 7 hours, work tomorrow :/

Looking back, it wasn’t too bad. The whole time I was there with Aaron, so time went by pretty quick. Also, it’s good to stay positive, so I just viewed it as getting some practice living in airports because that’s what I’ll end up doing when I’m older!

The rest of spring break, I just ended up working a bit and trying to make some money. On Easter I went to go see family which was fun. I don’t get to see them too often, so it’s always nice to see them.

It has been getting hotter and hotter, so beach weather is rapidly approaching. I went out last week with some friends, and even though the water was still pretty cold, we threw the Frisbee around and caught some rays, as the kids say.

As many of you know, my roommate did some aerobatic flying a while back, and I recently got the opportunity to do some as well! There was a professor that was doing a research study involving pilots recovering from bad situations. All the tests are done at high altitudes so as to not crash. I was part of the control group who received no special training, so basically I got to go mess around in a Decathlon. We did loops, barrel rolls, and various other aerobatic maneuvers. The pilot that I flew with showed me how to do them, and then he let me try. It was a blast! The whole thing was free and apparently I helped them in their study, so everybody won. I ended up pulling 4.5 Gs (four and a half times my weight pushing down on me) and we got to 0 Gs as well (floating in the air, like an astronaut in space)!

In other news, I’m having a lot of fun in AOA. I’m getting to know the members more and more and they are all great. Just recently we had a fly out to St. Augustine, which is where 9 people rented 3 airplanes and we all flew to go grab dinner. It was a lot of fun! I got to fly an older airplane that had the round dials instead of the two big screens like I’m used to, and it was awesome. It is such a different experience, and I’m definitely glad I got to experience it. Also, we entered in a gliding competition where we built a glider out of balsa wood. We ended up getting 2nd in distance, and 1st in design! We walked away with around $250, so it was definitely successful. We put all the money into Relay For Life, which took place this past weekend.

If you don’t know about Relay For Life, it’s a great cause and you can find out more here: http://www.relayforlife.org/relay

Basically, it is an event where you raise money for the American Cancer Society and we ended up raising just under $1000. The whole night was full of activities and fun things to do, and our whole group has a blast. The theme of the whole event was movies, so we chose Super Troopers as our movie. We made pancakes and walked around with badges and handcuffs. A couple of us ended up staying up until 7am just playing Frisbee and battling each other on some American Gladiator type obstacle courses.

One of my friends in AOA works on the Delta ramp at Daytona’s airport and he got the whole group to go out one night and see a Boeing 757 up-close and personal. We were all allowed to walk out on the ramp and go underneath the plane. We hopped in the engine, saw all the landing gear and got a general tour of the whole plane. It was really cool to be so close to such a huge airplane.

This past weekend, I got the chance to go to Sea World with Cris, Aaron, and 8 of Aaron’s residents. Aaron is an RA, and a cool one at that. We all piled into Embry-Riddle’s housing van and drove down to Orlando. We saw some dolphins, turtles, sharks, seals, and of course SHAMU!!!! I actually liked the dolphin show more than the Shamu show, but still, both were awesome. Yet another perk of living in Daytona, so close to all the theme parks.

Well, I think that will do it for this journal, but stay tuned for next time because I have some good stuff to cover. For one, almost our entire chapter of AOA is going on a retreat to South Carolina next weekend, I’ll be signing up for next year’s classes soon, and I am planning a trip to fly to Miami with my friends Cris and Aaron. It should be a fun next couple of weeks.

Be sure to check out some pictures online. I have added some already, and will add more soon. Also, I have been having trouble with my YouTube account, but hopefully I can clear that up and upload some more videos! Until next time . . . you stay classy . . .

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/

videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

March 31

Well hello to everyone! Long time no talk! I have had a crazy month with school, spring break, and a hundred other things going on. I’ve been having a blast here in Daytona, and I have some great news! I am now an instrument rated pilot! I’ll be sure to tell you all about my festivities and my new rating, but I’ll go over some classes first.

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – We have worked as controllers in all parts of Daytona’s airspace, and our last section that we are working on is called the Final Sector. There are four sectors: North, South, High, and Final. Final Sector is basically the airspace that extends from the end of the runway outward where all the planes get vectored to land. You have to line them all up, but keep enough spacing between them. And of course, you’ll have a Delta flight going 200 kts and then a Cessna going 100 kts so everything gets messed up. I think I’m finally getting the hang of it though, and my friends and I definitely have a lot of fun, so it’s all good.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – This class is becoming more and more frustrating. I just took my 3rd test, I think I did pretty well but our professor hasn’t graded them yet. The thing I’m frustrated about is our group paper. Long story short, one group member dropped the class two days ago, and didn’t tell us; another member didn’t turn the paper in until 4 days after we all agreed to have it turned in; and another member still hasn’t turned it in and the paper is due in 4 hours. So, as of now, I’m not a big fan of group projects. Hopefully I can talk to the professor and work something out.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – We took our 2nd test and, after the extra credit was added, I ended up with a 109! Woo woo! I was pretty excited about that. Other than that, nothing new in this class; just some aerodynamical action.

TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – I definitely enjoy this class, because every class is like a discussion and not just a teacher lecturing for an hour. We actually played Jeopardy last class, and my team won! Our professor came up with questions and we split into teams and answered them. It was actually pretty fun and in my opinion a good way to learn. It was definitely different than the normal class and I think a nice change up is always good.

TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – On our last test I ended up with an 88, so as of now my average is an 88.5. I’m working hard to bring that up to a 90 so I can get an A in the class, so we’ll see how that goes. Other than that, there’s really not much else to say about this class, so yeah.

TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – So it’s official . . . I am now an instrument rated pilot. Since August I have been working towards this, and I finally am done! I had my oral a while ago as you now, but I completed the flight and simulator portion just a couple days ago! Overall, it wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. I ended up being in the zone and I did everything right so I passed with flying colors (I’m not sure what that means, but flying colors sounds good). But here at Riddle, there’s very little time to rest. I am currently in the process of signing up for a flight block so I can start my commercial course. I will start it in April and continue flying over the summer. Hopefully I’ll get it completed by next fall so I can move on even further!

So classes have been going good, flying has been going great, and everything else has been just awesome! I’ll start with how the Spring Break went.

Colorado . . . Awesome. I had a blast out west and me and my friends are already planning a trip next year. It really was incredible. I got out there on a Friday and met up with my friend Alex. We got to go do some ice skating and snowboarding on Saturday before we went back to the airport to go pick up my friends Cris and Aaron.

We were supposed to pick them up at 10pm, but after flight delays they didn’t get in until 12:30am. Then we drove two hours away to our hotel in the mountains. We all went to bed around 4 and woke up at 8 to go snow boarding. My friend Aaron grew up in Pennsylvania, so he has been boarding for a while. My friend Cris is from Miami, and he has never snowboarded before, so we were teaching him the whole trip. He actually picked it up pretty quickly, well, at least a lot faster than I did when I first started. We had him going down some black diamonds by the end of the trip.

After we all went snowboarding on Sunday, Alex and a couple of his friends that were with us drove back because they had school on Monday. So it was just me, Cris, and Aaron. We went snowboarding on Monday and Tuesday as well, and since Alex had a season pass, he was able to get us wicked cheap lift tickets. I mean wicked cheap. So that was nice because the trip was already costing lots of mula!

After a long day of boarding on Monday, Cris had the bright idea to go snowboarding on a small mountain behind our hotel. Of course Aaron and I thought it was a great idea as well. The whole extravaganza took over 3 hours and was quite a workout. It started hiking to the mountain which was basically crawling through 5-6 feet of powder and trying not to fall through. Once we got to the base, we started hiking up which proved challenging because of all the fresh powder and the fact that the mountain was about a 45 degree angle. We finally got to the top and the view was pretty nice. You could look right over the little town of Winter Park and even see where we boarded just hours before. Finally, it was time to go down, which was a lot more fun, and quicker. I put all the pressure on my back foot and just cruised through the powder. It felt like I was riding through clouds. I have never experienced anything like that before. It was amazing. After that, we were pretty beat, so we went to hit up the hot tub.

Overall, the trip was awesome. No broken bones, it snowed every night, lots of fresh powder, and snowboarding in the best place I have ever gone with good friends. You can’t ask for much more. Unfortunately, the trip home was anything but awesome. I don’t want to go into too many details because the trip really was awesome, but I’ll give you a time line:

4:00am – Wake up, get ready, hop on shuttle for the airport.
7:00am – Arrive at airport, plane doesn’t leave until 10, why am I up this early?
10:00am – Flight gets delayed, then delayed, and then some more delays.
1:00pm – Finally leave Denver.
5:00pm – Arrive in Philly, run to plane that is supposed to depart any minute.
5:07pm – Get to plane in record time. I’m sweaty, cranky, and tired. Find out the flight is delayed. A 2 hour delay.
7:00pm – Leaving Philly, next stop Florida!
8:30pm – Wait, plane broke, everyone off plane. Get on new plane. Now to Florida.
11:00pm – Land in Florida!
11:30pm – Get bags, realize there is still an hour drive ahead of me.
12:30am – Finally in my own bed, so tired, set alarm for 7 hours, work tomorrow :/

Looking back, it wasn’t too bad. The whole time I was there with Aaron, so time went by pretty quick. Also, it’s good to stay positive, so I just viewed it as getting some practice living in airports because that’s what I’ll end up doing when I’m older!

The rest of spring break, I just ended up working a bit and trying to make some money. On Easter I went to go see family which was fun. I don’t get to see them too often, so it’s always nice to see them.

It has been getting hotter and hotter, so beach weather is rapidly approaching. I went out last week with some friends, and even though the water was still pretty cold, we threw the Frisbee around and caught some rays, as the kids say.

As many of you know, my roommate did some aerobatic flying a while back, and I recently got the opportunity to do some as well! There was a professor that was doing a research study involving pilots recovering from bad situations. All the tests are done at high altitudes so as to not crash. I was part of the control group who received no special training, so basically I got to go mess around in a Decathlon. We did loops, barrel rolls, and various other aerobatic maneuvers. The pilot that I flew with showed me how to do them, and then he let me try. It was a blast! The whole thing was free and apparently I helped them in their study, so everybody won. I ended up pulling 4.5 Gs (four and a half times my weight pushing down on me) and we got to 0 Gs as well (floating in the air, like an astronaut in space)!

In other news, I’m having a lot of fun in AOA. I’m getting to know the members more and more and they are all great. Just recently we had a fly out to St. Augustine, which is where 9 people rented 3 airplanes and we all flew to go grab dinner. It was a lot of fun! I got to fly an older airplane that had the round dials instead of the two big screens like I’m used to, and it was awesome. It is such a different experience, and I’m definitely glad I got to experience it. Also, we entered in a gliding competition where we built a glider out of balsa wood. We ended up getting 2nd in distance, and 1st in design! We walked away with around $250, so it was definitely successful. We put all the money into Relay For Life, which took place this past weekend.

If you don’t know about Relay For Life, it’s a great cause and you can find out more here: http://www.relayforlife.org/relay/

Basically, it is an event where you raise money for the American Cancer Society and we ended up raising just under $1000. The whole night was full of activities and fun things to do, and our whole group has a blast. The theme of the whole event was movies, so we chose Super Troopers as our movie. We made pancakes and walked around with badges and handcuffs. A couple of us ended up staying up until 7am just playing Frisbee and battling each other on some American Gladiator type obstacle courses.

One of my friends in AOA works on the Delta ramp at Daytona’s airport and he got the whole group to go out one night and see a Boeing 757 up-close and personal. We were all allowed to walk out on the ramp and go underneath the plane. We hopped in the engine, saw all the landing gear and got a general tour of the whole plane. It was really cool to be so close to such a huge airplane.

This past weekend, I got the chance to go to Sea World with Cris, Aaron, and 8 of Aaron’s residents. Aaron is an RA, and a cool one at that. We all piled into Embry-Riddle’s housing van and drove down to Orlando. We saw some dolphins, turtles, sharks, seals, and of course SHAMU!!!! I actually liked the dolphin show more than the Shamu show, but still, both were awesome. Yet another perk of living in Daytona, so close to all the theme parks.

Well, I think that will do it for this journal, but stay tuned for next time because I have some good stuff to cover. For one, almost our entire chapter of AOA is going on a retreat to South Carolina next weekend, I’ll be signing up for next year’s classes soon, and I am planning a trip to fly to Miami with my friends Cris and Aaron. It should be a fun next couple of weeks.

Be sure to check out some pictures online. I have added some already, and will add more soon. Also, I have been having trouble with my YouTube account, but hopefully I can clear that up and upload some more videos! Until next time . . . you stay classy . . .

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

March 7

Full speed ahead. I am always moving full speed ahead!

I don’t know if I have always been this busy, and I just haven’t noticed or what. But I seem to have a thousand things going at once, and yes I counted.

About one thousand I’d say (Dane Cook joke, maybe you get it). Anyway, school is busy and I keep finding fun activities to do. I’ll go into some of those fun things later, but now we’ll see how the classes are doing.

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – This class is a blast! I mean it is still work and you can’t just goof around, but me and my friend Aaron have so much fun. We are in charge of about 35ish airplanes over the course of 45 minutes, and they all seem to show up in packs. We tell all the planes what to do and where to go, but we are still learning. We often have close calls where planes get way to close to each other! You get so focused on one area or airplane and forget about others. So we are working on that and the near mid-air collisions are getting less and less, which is good.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – Well we took our first test a while ago and I got a 79, which isn’t too bad but I definitely wanted to do better. So when it came time to take our 2nd test, I got a 90! I was definitely pretty happy with that. My group is working on our team paper now, and we keep getting more and more sections done, but we have a long way to go. I’m not looking forward to writing that!

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – We took our first test and I ended up getting a 105! I thought that I was going to do pretty good, but not that good! The class average was a 90, so everyone else did good as well. One reason that I really like this class is that the professor is constantly relating the material to practical applications. It isn’t a class where you are sitting there asking yourself, “When am I ever going to need to know/use this?” The professor usually shows interesting short videos to help explain concepts and generally makes things pretty clear. That’s good.

TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – This is also a class where we always relate the material back to practical applications. This class is usually more of a discussion class, so we just openly talk about the subject and if anyone has any questions, you just ask. We have group work a lot, so if you don’t understand something, usually someone else does so they can explain it. Also, we’ll often make jokes in class and generally have a good time.

TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – Some of the stuff in this class is over my head, so I normally have to study a lot outside of class. We have gone over all the engine basics, now we are going more in depth into each part of the engine. It is definitely some pretty interesting stuff.

TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – So I ended up passing all of my pre-progs, so I got scheduled for my actual check rides! I did my oral about a week ago and I passed! The instructor that I had was real laid back and made it stress-free, which I greatly appreciated.

We talked for two hours about weather and different aspects of instrument flying and he thought that I had enough knowledge, so I passed! Now I am waiting to get scheduled for my sim and flight, which should be any day. I’ll let you know how everything went by next journal.

So school has been busy, and I have also been working on the side, so I haven’t seen a lot of free time lately. My typical day for a Tues and Thurs is class from 8:15-12:30, then lunch and some h/w; from 3:45-5:00 is another class, then Frisbee to about 6:30; then an AOA meeting from 7:00-8:00/8:30. My typical day for a Wed and Fri is class from 10:30-11:30 then work until 8:00ish. So I am definitely glad when Friday rolls around.

In other news, Bike Week is currently going full swing. There are bikers everywhere and it’s definitely getting pretty crazy. I haven’t gone to Main Street yet, but I’m planning on renting scooters with some friends and checking that out this Saturday. I’ll be sure to post pictures just like I did last year!

Well if you are a regular reader, which I hope you are, you know that Monday night dinners are becoming a habit in our apartment. This past Monday I called up my friend and asked what he was cooking, so he went and bought the cheapest steaks they had at Publix.

They were no Steakhouse steaks, but they were pretty good.

Things have been going pretty good with AOA lately.

There are definitely a lot of cool people in there, and I’m proud to say I am a part of it. Just recently we had a charity event which involved sleeping in cardboard houses. In a nutshell, different groups on campus raise money for charity by building cardboard houses and sleeping in them overnight. Well we built an awesome house, but at about 4:00am it started pouring and the winds got up to 30 something mph. So our house kinda blew away. There are a lot of pictures and I’ll be sure to post them online soon. The next morning we cleaned everything up and AOA gave tours of the College of Aviation building. It was parents’

weekend so we gave tours all day to students and parents. I had never given a tour before, so that was fun.

As you know, I’m a hockey fan and I got to go to Tampa last Wednesday to see the Tampa Bay Lightning play! I bought the tickets in December, so I had been planning it for a while. I got them as a Christmas present for myself, so I decided to get wicked good seats. Usually I’m in the nose bleed section where I am literally in the last row. Literally. I could stand up and do jumping jacks and no one would yell at me because there isn’t a soul behind me. Just a concrete wall. So I did almost the opposite and got tickets that were 4 rows behind the glass! That was the closest I’ve ever been and it was amazing! I definitely want to do it again. I took bunch of pictures of that as well, so be checking for those in the next couple of days.

Well the last few journals I have been alluding to what my Spring Break planned festivities were, but I never said.

For some reason I thought it would be fun to build suspense and not tell you what they were, but now I’ll tell you. On second thought…I better wait till next journal! Or not, I guess I’ll tell you now. Well, it’s probably no surprise but I am going to go snowboarding in Colorado!!! I’m wicked psyched. I am going with my friends Cris and Aaron and we are meeting up with Alex who lives in Colorado. We’ll leave on Friday and come back on a Wednesday. I’m so pumped, you have no idea.

There are several reasons: 1. It’s friggin Colorado! No Florida, no heat, just snow and coolness. 2. I get to go snowboarding. I love snowboarding. 3. It’ll be the first time I get to snowboard with my friend Aaron. He lives in Pennsylvania so he grew up boarding, but we have never gone together. 4. My friend Cris has never gone before. He’s only seen snow a couple of times, but we convinced him to go buy a board with boots and bindings and a full wardrobe! I’m sure he’ll pick it up quick, but until he does he will be our source of entertainment!

So I think that will wrap it up for this journal! I’ll be posting all those pictures shortly, so be sure to check for those. Well hope everyone is having a good year, and if you’re not, hopefully you’ll be in Daytona next year, because then it will definitely be a good year! Later!

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

February 19

Busy, busy, busy. Basically that sums up my life. Life here in Daytona is getting crazy! With school, work, and living in a place where thousands and thousands of people travel to for various things, I am staying busy. With race week and the Daytona 500 winding down, I can’t help but think to the next couple of weeks with Bike Week and Spring Break. This is definitely a busy time of year for Daytona and its residents. I’ll tell you about some fun things that have been happening lately, but first we’ll go over some classes!

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – Well, we’ve just started our real labs, and it is pretty fun. I’m partners with my friend Aaron, so when one of us is the controller, the other person is the pilot. Both he and I have already been the controller and the pilot, and there were a lot of mistakes that we made. In the lab there are so many planes and it is at such a fast pace, so it can get overwhelming sometimes. We both have fun though, and we learn from each others mistakes, so it’s all good. I look forward to the labs we have coming up, because for the most part we all have a blast.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – Well this class has way more writing than is acceptable. The acceptable level is no writing, and this class exceeds that by a lot! I am in a group of 5 people and we are all writing a paper together, but on tests, there are essay questions! I haven’t had a test with essay questions since high school! Other than the whole writing part, the class is going pretty well though.
The subject is pretty interesting, so it’s not all bad.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – I have a test coming up this Thursday and I’m not sure what to expect. We don’t have to memorize the formulas that we need to use, so that is good news. One thing that I like about this class is that the professor will relate the material to real-life applications as much as possible. Sometimes you’ll be in a class and you’ll wonder how this stuff relates to your job, but I don’t worry about that in this class.

TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – So we just took our first test, and I got a 97! I did a lot better than I expected, and there was also some extra credit that boosted my grade. We were going over some aerodynamic stuff and our teacher said that if we made a paper airplane that could fly from one side of the room to the other, then we would get 5 points extra credit! A lot of people made planes that could, so she gave us extra credit for our test. Our next big subject is going to be weather and I think that weather is a weaker subject for me. We won’t be talking about the general weather like we did in our weather classes; rather, we’ll go into the different types of reports and maps that pilots use on a regular basis and how to decipher all the information that is on them. So I’m glad that we are going over some of that and hopefully I can learn more and understand it better.

TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – We took our first test in this class as well and I got an 89! The test was wicked hard but the questions that I didn’t know for sure, I just guessed and I guess I’m a good guesser! Haha. So now we are moving on to the next section and hopefully I can repeat these results for the next test, or get even better!

TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – I have one more flight, then I am going up for a “pre-prog” sim and oral which means I go with another instructor and do the activities as if they were the final tests. Then that instructor tells me if I am ready for the actual test, and if I am, I sign up for a time to take it! I’m definitely getting more and more nervous as the time approaches, but I think that I am ready! One thing that I really love about Riddle is all the things that are offered to students to help them with their tests.
We have a flight tutor lab that is free of charge that allows students to go in and study any aspect of their course and practice with mini-sims. Also, since you are surrounded by people who are pilots, there is always someone at your current level or above so they can help you with anything you have questions about.
For example: My good friend Cris is a flight instructor and my roommate is multi-commercial rated so they can answer anything that I have questions about. Also, you can observe flights and orals to help you prepare. Just last week my roommate wanted to brush up on some instrument procedures so he hopped in the back of the plane when I had one of my flights.
And my other friend, Ken, is just a little bit ahead of me in the instrument course, so he is about to have his final oral exam and he said I could observe it to see what it is like. That means I could see an actual final oral exam that will be just like the one I will have soon. So basically, if I observe his and there is something I don’t understand or don’t know, the chances are they will ask me when I have my oral so I should go home and study that. That is huge! It’s like cheating almost, but it is encouraged and 100% allowed! I did that last year for my private and there was some stuff I didn’t know, so I went home and studied that and sure enough when it was my turn they asked the same thing! Every oral is different, but the material covered is usually pretty consistent. So definitely a big plus for going to Riddle!

Well, those are my classes. In other news, things with AOA (the Aeronautical Honor Society) have been going well. We have some fun things planned for the upcoming weeks and we’ve had an eventful past two weeks. We had a new member social where all the new members meet with the old members and try to get to know one another. We went bowling and everyone had a blast. I love to bowl, but I haven’t gone in such a long time. I’m by no means “good”, but I definitely have fun whenever I go.

Also, last week we had a date auction for charity. Basically, there were people being auctioned off for dates and all the money that was raised went to charity. We had an AOA member there to be auctioned off and when he came on stage he did this little dance thing and Snoop Dog was playing in the background. It was pretty funny. He ended up raising something like 60 bucks which was pretty good because some people barely got 10! So all in all, it was a success. After the date auction, I met up with some guys in AOA and we hung out at one of their apartments. Later on we went to an Embry-Riddle hockey game. I sometimes forget that we have a hockey team, which sucks because I really like hockey! It was the last game of the season, so the place was packed. It was so much fun yelling and chanting various chants. We played Florida State and, at one point, a fight broke out between a guy from each team. The refs broke it up and the guy from Riddle started skating back to the bench with no gloves or helmet on. The Florida State guy was skating behind him and tried to take a cheap shot when the Riddle guy wasn’t looking, but before he could the Ref tackled him! Just flat laid him out!
I’ve seen Refs stop fights and even prevent them to a certain extent, but I have never seen a ref rough tackle someone! It was hilarious. We had to leave early, so there was still 15 minutes left of the game, but the score was 10 to 2, Riddle winning. So needless to say, we won.

On Mondays, my friends and I have decided that it is dinner night. Basically, every Monday me, my roommate, or one of our other friends will cook dinner. My mom came over again and cooked for us and she made some delicious stuffed shells. Next week it is my friend Aaron’s turn. I wonder what he is gonna cook!

So as I mentioned last journal, I got the chance to go see my sister in New York, and I had a blast! I left on Friday and I was supposed to get back on Monday (I’ll explain later). Last time I went we did all the touristy stuff like roam around Times Square and go to the top of the Empire State Building, but this time we had a much more laid back, relaxing time. My cousin happened to be in town so we ended up hanging out with her a lot. I also saw my Uncle Cliff which was cool because I don’t get to see him that much. Other than that, we just did some exploring, ate some delicious New York pizza, and enjoyed the cold weather! I had so much fun and I was real glad I got to see my little sis.

I decided to go over this weekend because we had President’s day off, so I could have the most time there. Unfortunately I missed the Daytona 500 though. I’m not a real big NASCAR fan, but I definitely had a blast last year. But honestly, I was kind of glad to get out of Daytona. As much fun as it is, Daytona becomes a zoo with thousands and thousands of people.
So just being able to escape was nice.

Unfortunately, while the trip was fun, the traveling wasn’t! I was supposed to leave on Monday afternoon, but they canceled my flight. After two hours of trying to get in contact with anyone who worked for the airline, I finally managed to book a flight that left the next morning. So I had to travel back to the city, got to see my sister again, and then got in a cab at 4:30 in the morning. I ended up back in Daytona today (Tuesday) at 11:30 and got picked up by my friends then ran to my class. I missed two and a half classes, but I emailed my professors so I got all the make-up work that I needed. After that class, I had a meeting with my Aviation Legislation professor and my group, then I ran home, showered and went back to school for my last class. Then I had a flight followed by an AOA meeting which was followed by another meeting! So needless to say, I’m pretty wiped out. I had an energy drink earlier, but now that is wearing off. I predict that sleep is in the near forecast.

Well I think that’ll wrap it up for this edition of the BLAKE GUILES JOURNAL EXPERIENCE!!!!!! I’ve never called it that before, but it has a nice ring to it.
Anyway, I mentioned that I was excited about my upcoming plans for spring break. I think I’m going to tell you next journal though. I want your mind to be wondering “What is Blake doing for spring break?!?!?!”
Not that you really care or anything, but I’ll give you a hint: If you know anything about me, you know that this thing that I will be doing is one of my favorite things to do, but I can’t do it all the time.
Mainly because of stupid Florida. Anyway, by the time of next journal Bike Week will be just about to start!
Exciting! So stay tuned for that and other fun antidotes! Bye Bye!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

February 6

Happy February! Hope wherever you are it is cold, because here in Florida there was a high of 85 the other day! Yeah! 85!!! If that sounds good to you . . . you might be crazy or you might just be freezing cold in a place that gets way too cold. Either way, if 85 sounds good, you have something to look forward to! Anyway, other than sweating a lot, I am doing good. I’ve had a busy two weeks, and I have some big plans coming up… more on that later . . . now, some classes!!!

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – Well, we have taken our first test and both my friend Aaron and I got a 98! Definitely a good way to start off the year. Our second test is scheduled for this coming Wednesday and then after that we’ll be in the labs! I have gotten 6 practice hours in the lab so far and I’m pretty excited that our class will start to consist of only the labs. I’ll try to take some pictures of the labs the next time I’m in there and post them online.

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – We had our first test in here last Thursday and I still don’t know what I got. The test was different than what I am usually used to. Usually, all other tests in my different classes have consisted of multiple choice questions; however, in this class there are only 10 MC questions and we had to write an essay. I’m not a big fan of writing essays, but I think I did alright. The subject seems pretty interesting, so all in all, it’s not too bad.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – This class is starting to kick it up a notch. We are already jumping into some pretty wicked stuff, and now I’m realizing that I am going to need to study for quite some time before my test. The test should be sometime next week, which is good because I have some other tests coming up this week. The professor for this class is definitely pretty cool; he just goes off on tangents a lot, so sometimes it’s hard to learn for the whole hour and fifteen minutes. The class is fun though, so I’ll just need to do some extra work outside of class to make sure I get a good grade.

TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – This is one of my classes that I will be having a test in soon, and I’m kind of nervous. I have (for the most part) always done good on tests since I’ve been here at Riddle, but in my past two classes that dealt with flying (instrument and private) I didn’t do the best. I ended up with an A last semester, but my entire first year I got B’s. And I’m not one of those people that freaks out if I don’t get straight A’s. I can handle B’s and C’s, but I always try to get A’s. Anyway, the only B’s I’ve gotten at Riddle were the ones in those classes and I really had to work to get an A last semester, so I’m expecting a lot of work this semester so I can keep my GPA up.

TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – Oh yes, I am way over my head in this class. I am starting to grasp some concepts in this class, but after looking at all these formulas I need to know how to use, I begin to feel like a physicist! I’ll take a picture of the formula sheet and post it online, it’s pretty wicked. Anyway, I’m pushing my way through the class and trying to get ready for the test that is approaching ever so fast. I’ll let you know how that goes when I take it.

TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – Well, I am finishing up my instrument rating and I actually got done with everything I was suppose to do, but I didn’t meet the minimum number of hours required. So basically, that means I need to do a few more activities, which is a good thing because some more practice would definitely give me some more confidence. So I’ll be doing some more training over the next two weeks or so, and then I’ll start my final tests! I actually just took my written test the other day and I passed with an 83!!! I am definitely stoked about that because now there is one less thing I have to worry about. I’ll be sure to let you know how the last few activities go!

Other than the school stuff, I have definitely been keeping pretty busy. I’ll start by talking about the Rolex 24. For those of you unfamiliar with the race that is known as the Rolex 24, go here to find out more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24_Hours_of_Daytona

Anyway, in a nutshell, it is a 24 hour race in Daytona and I went with a bunch of friends to go see it! We got out the racetrack at around 9 or so and pulled into a huge grass lot and backed up all our cars and cooked out. We had cheeseburgers and hotdogs and just kind of hung out for a while. I mean there wasn’t really any rush; the race is 24 hours long. After a while we bought tickets and started walking around on the infield area. We went to one of the hair-pin turns and got pretty close to see the race. After a while we stumbled around in different areas and then the next thing we knew, we were in the pit area. You had to pay to get a special pass, but somehow we happened to get in! We were walking down the main road in between all the tents for the racers and we heard a car behind us, so we all jumped out of the way. It ended up pulling into the tent next to us and the driver was yelling to his crew about something and they started working on the car! We were like 15 ft away! I took pictures with my phone so I don’t know how’ll they’ll look on-line, but I’ll put them on the site. After that we ended up going to Waffle House at like 3 in the morning. All in all, it was a pretty fun experience.

I mentioned last journal about my roommate’s aerobatic adventures, but I didn’t really tell you all about it. Basically, he is getting a “tail wheel endorsement” which is done in an aerobatic plane. The planes we train in at Riddle don’t have a tail wheel, so you need special training to fly those types of planes. So my roommate is getting that training, and since it is done in an aerobatic plane he gets to do flips, go inverted, and do high G turns! I want him to finish up everything so he can take me up for a ride! I think that sometime next semester I will try to get the tail wheel endorsement, but I’m not sure though. I’ll just have to see where I’m at then.

So the super bowl was intense! Sorry to all you Pat fans, and congrats to all you Manning fans! Also, just some FYI, favorite commercial was the Doritos one with the mouse trap and then the giant mouse jumps on him. If you didn’t catch it, you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5lBdLEi3ns

Anyway, me and my roommate had some friends over to watch the game and we made some delicious burgers and a new dish: cheeseburger pizza, which was pretty good. I’m looking forward to the next time we have an excuse to cook that again!

As I said last journal I applied to become a member of AOA (an Aeronautical Honor Society) and I just found out that I was accepted!!! I’ll go more into the club itself later, but basically there is a meeting every week and there are activities that we will do through out the year. I’m very excited about being apart of AOA and I look forward to telling you guys about some fun stuff that is going to happen!

Well, as you loyal readers know, my sister goes to school in New York and I am going to go visit her in less than two weeks!!! I went up in October and it was so nice to see her in the city, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing her again! I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and tell you all about it next journal. Also, I have a little something planned for spring break coming up in March. It’s a little trip with some of my friends, but I don’t want to give too much away now. You’ll have to wait until next time to see what it is! (if you even care!!!)

On another note, my mom came over to my apartment and cooked dinner for me and some friends. We made garlic chicken which is a recipe that my grandmother use to make all the time and now my mom gave it to me! It’s by far my favorite meal and I can’t wait to make it on my own, although it probably won’t be as good! Anyway, it was nice to see my mom and hang out with her and my friends. We ended up watching American Gladiator afterwards which was a blast too!

I promise that I will upload some pictures and videos soon, but I’ve been wicked busy lately. Check up on that sometime within the week and there will be some new stuff. Also, thanks to everyone who is sending e-mails with questions and comments. I have responded to a lot of them and I should be almost caught up with everyone. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me an e-mail. Well, I’ve got a lot of tests to study for, so the journal ends here. I’ll see you in two weeks!!!! Adios…

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/

videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles

January 28

Well, well, well… Here we are a couple weeks into the semester, and I can already tell that it is going to be a fun, yet very hard year. I’m taking some pretty exciting classes and I think that I like all my professors, so it should be a good year. Other than school, I have been very busy with a lot of other fun stuff. I’ll tell you all about that later, but now I’ll talk about my classes that I have! Be prepared for some reading, this is a long one!

MWF 10:30am-11:30am – Air Traffic Management III – This is my 3rd ATC class and this time it gets a lot more fun. The first two classes were lecture only, meaning that you went to class, took notes, and had a test. This class has a lab so you learn something and then you actually apply it. Our first couple of classes consisted of taking notes and we’ll have two tests coming up soon, but after that we get to go into the ATC lab and actually apply what we’ve been learning. In a couple of weeks we’ll start practicing in the labs and one person will be in the lab acting as the air traffic controller while the other person will be in the classroom acting as the pilots that are being told what to do. By mid-February, we’ll be done with the lecture aspect, and then we’ll only be in the labs. Some of my friends and I have already gone in to mess around in the labs because we have to get practice lab hours. It’s pretty fun to see all these planes landing and taking off and trying to vector them around. I look forward to the labs coming up!

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Legislation – Well here we go again. Every semester I tell myself that I will never schedule a class at 8:15 in the morning again, and every semester I find myself waking up at 7:00 yelling at my alarm clock. I guess the only good thing is that I am used to getting up that early because I’ve always had a class at 8:15. Oh well, this year will be the last time I’ll get up that early (or so I say). So… Aviation Legislation. Yep. I didn’t really know what to expect for this class. After going to a couple of classes, I figured out what we’ll be learning. Basically, we are traveling back in time to the early 1900s to see what the aviation community was like back in the day, which was a Wednesday by the way (if you don’t know Dane Cook, disregard that last comment.) Anyway, back then they didn’t have any regulations and there was a bunch of crazy, borderline suicidal pilots doing whatever they wanted. So, the government came along and started regulating things to make it safer. The class consists of a couple tests, a term paper (Yuck!), and a lot of video watching. When you first think of watching movies, you think of a high school class substitute that doesn’t know what they are talking about so they pop in some boring movie and you have to take notes or something. Well, it is a little different in this class. The movies are actually pretty cool and they are based in the early 1900s, so you can actually see a visual of what it was like back then. I think this class will be alright, because even though there is a paper and the class is early, there is a lot of interesting stuff to learn and the movie approach is a lot better than slaving over a text book.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Aerodynamics – In high school I took a lot of math classes, so when I got to Riddle, I didn’t need to take any! I was really happy that that worked out; however, I did need to take physics classes. As I was in physics class last year, I found that a lot of the stuff had a base in math, so if you didn’t take any math you’d be lost. But since I had a good foundation of math, physics went pretty easy. I thought that when I got done with physics, I would be done with all that stuff. Well, I thought wrong. Aerodynamics is basically like my physics class then turning it up a notch. I really like the professor and I think that the class won’t be too bad as long as I study and pay attention in class. The professor seems really cool and he offers extra credit, so that should help. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes.

TTH 11:15am-12:30pm – Commercial Pilot Ops. – Well, here at Riddle I took Basic Aeronautics (freshman year), Intermediate Aeronautics (last semester), and now I’m in Advanced Aeronautics. Each of these classes corresponds with your flight training. For my Private Pilot I was in Basic, then for my Instrument Rating, I took Intermediate, and since I’ll be done with Instrument Rating soon, I’ll move on to my Commercial Certificate. This class will help me with all the commercial stuff I need to know. Basically a commercial rated pilot is a Private Pilot that knows a lot more. You need to know everything a Private Pilot knows, but then you also have to expand more on it. My professor seems like she really knows her stuff, which is good in this kind of class. There are so many technical aspects; you want to make sure that whoever is teaching, knows their stuff.

TTH 3:45pm-5:00pm – Aircraft Engines – Well, I can now say I know more about a jet engine than I do about the engine in my car. Well, not quite, but the point is that I definitely don’t know too much about cars and I’m learning a lot about jet engines. The subject is most certainly interesting, but it also seems kind of hard. There are so many formulas and equations to compute a thousand different things, it is somewhat overwhelming. My professor is real soft-spoken so he has a microphone that hooks up to speakers so we can hear him. He definitely knows his stuff though. In the class, there are actual engines that you can look at and get some hands-on experience. I’ll take some pictures of our classroom and my other classrooms and post them online.

TTHS 7:45pm-12:00am – Flight – Yes, you read the time right. My flight block (when I can be scheduled for flight activities) is from 7:45 at night to midnight! The instrument course (the one I’m in) focuses only on inside the airplane, so you don’t need to see outside. Therefore, all the instrument students fly at night, so the private pilot students can fly during the day. Last semester I lucked out and got the flight block that started at 5:30pm, but now I can be scheduled as late as 9:00pm or 10:00pm. It all works out though because there are other things I do from the time I leave my engines class at 5:00pm until I start an activity at 8:00 or 9:00pm. I am approaching the end of my course, so now comes the time where I do a lot of studying in order to prepare for my check rides at the end. If you don’t know how the check rides work, I’ll give you a quick run-down. (I’ve explained this for your private, but now I’ll do the instrument portion!) There are three sections that must be completed: Written test, oral test, and practical test. The written test consists of 100 questions out of a 1000ish question database. You can go buy a book called “Gleim” and that book will give you the exact question and the exact choice of answers that the actual test will have. So you already know what the questions will be and you already know the answer. You just have to study all 1000ish questions and then when you take the test, there is a random selection of 100 questions that you need to answer. If you get a 70% or better, you pass. The oral test consists of sitting down with an examiner for around two hours usually and they basically ask you about different aspects of instrument flying. You have to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about, and then they decide if you pass or fail. Your practical test is broken up into two parts: the flight and the simulator. The flight is relatively short and you just have to shoot an approach into Daytona and do a couple of other small things. The simulator is more in-depth and that consists of doing basically everything that you have learned while doing the course. So as of now I have all the knowledge to pass the written, I just need to study more so I can be confident. I will have a practice oral exam with my instructor soon, and that will prepare me for the real one. Also, I have a couple more flights and sims just to make sure I’m still proficient with all the procedures. I’ll keep you updated on my status in the coming journals!

Wow, that is a lot of reading! If you read all that, take a break and go grab a drink and stretch your legs.

You back? Good! Well there has been a lot going on other than classes and flying. I just recently celebrated my 20th birthday, which was a blast! I got to have dinner with my dad, step-mom, and step-brothers, and then with my mom and my sister before my sister left for New York, which was fun. I got some cool DVDs and a couple PS3 games and I got a new watch from my dad. I haven’t worn a watch in like 10 years, but I love my new watch. After dinner, we went back to my apartment and met up with 5 or 6 friends and actually played Rockband. If you’ve never played Rockband before, it is pretty fun … and addictive. We played for a couple hours just passing off the instruments to each other and I actually got my mom to play! And she was good! Not to say I was surprised, but I was! All in all we had a blast and that was a good way to spend my birthday.

We had another activities fair last week, and there are some things I’m excited about. First off, the skydive club is something I want to do more with this year. I only jumped twice last semester, and I hope that I can get out more this year. Also, I found out that there is a rock climbing club! I haven’t been rock climbing in a while but I thought that it would be fun to join that and go more often. One thing I’m really excited about is some Ultimate Frisbee. I have a couple friends who play all the time and they finally convinced me to go out and play. I had a blast! I mean I sucked, but I had a lot of fun. I already knew the basic rules before I got there, but apparently I can’t throw a Frisbee for anything. I could toss it back and forth with someone, but once there is somebody 2 inches from my face screaming “STALL 1!!! STALL 2!!! STALL 3!!!” I can’t seem to connect with someone’s hand, only the ground. I’m pretty good at running fast and I catch most of the ones thrown at me, I just can’t throw. Oh well, I’ll keep practicing and see how it goes.

One thing that I definitely want to do is join AOA, which is an Aeronautical Honor Society. Only Aeronautical Science students and 3% of the student body are accepted. I have a friend that was in my Business Communications class that joined last semester, and he said he really likes it. I figured I’d apply and see if I’m accepted. Hopefully I will be and by the next journal I will tell you all about it!

Well, I still have some things to say, but I think I’ll save them for next journal. I’ll tell you about my roommate’s recent adventure of aerobatic flying and how my friends and I went to the Rolex 24 last weekend! All this and more next journal!!! Until next time . . . go Pats and/or Giants, depending on who you are going for! I personally am going for the commercials! Later!

-Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

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January 7

Well hello to everyone out there in internet land. Here it is 2008 and frankly, I’m not sure that it has hit me yet. I’ve finished my third semester here at Embry-Riddle which means I only have five semesters left. Time is flying by and I am having an awesome time. I had a pretty good break, but I’m ready to get back to the grind because I have some exciting classes. I’ll go into that later, but I guess I’ll tell ya about my break.

School’s out – Christmas Eve: After I finished up all my classes, I did a couple more flight activities and then ended up heading home for the break. I moved back into my old room and it felt like high school all over again. I starting working for my Dad and helping him out with different things to put some money in my bank account. This past semester I didn’t work too much, so my bank account has been slowly declining. Now I have some money in the bank though, so that makes me happy. On December 16th I drove down to West Palm Beach for my Mom’s graduation. She has been going back to school for the past couple of years and she just finished up working on her Masters. She has been doing night classes in Orlando, but the main campus is in West Palm. I drove down with my cousin and a friend, and we met up with my Mom. My Mom thought my sister couldn’t come because she still had to be in school in New York, but we arranged for her to fly down on that day to surprise her. We showed up right before she went backstage and my sister jumped out and my Mom was so shocked! She had no idea she was there. Overall it played out perfectly and I’m so glad she didn’t find out until we surprised her.

Christmas: After I finished up my shopping at 6 o’clock on Christmas Eve, there was a huge weight taken off my shoulders. And I needed that. On Christmas morning I did what I’ve been doing for years. I woke up with my Mom and sister and we opened presents. I ended up getting a lot of new clothes, some DVDs, and a PS3!!! When the PS3 first came out I wasn’t sure if I wanted one or not. Well, after playing it for a year in Walmart and Circuit City, I finally asked Santa to get me one. I’m not sure if that was a good decision because I have some pretty tough classes this semester, and a PS3 will definitely be a big distraction. Oh well, I’ll still be fine. After we opened presents, we drove to Orlando to visit with family. I got to see all my aunts, uncles, and cousins on my Mom’s side of the family. We had lunch and then I went with my sister to go see my Dad. We had dinner there and that was Christmas.

After Christmas – New Years Eve: After Christmas I just relaxed around the house and enjoyed playing some PS3 with friends. On the 28th my Dad, sister, and I flew up to Maine to visit some friends. My Dad went to high school in Maine and he kept in touch with friends, so now we visit them every year at Christmas time. It ended up snowing for a couple days, so there was snow everywhere. They have an ice rink in their back yard so we went ice skating and I tried to play hockey. I think I’m much better at watching it, rather than trying to skate and shoot the puck. I had fun, well mostly, until my friend Marissa checked me. I obviously fell and was waiting for a roughing penalty, but then I realized there wasn’t a referee and I was taunting her. So I guess I deserved it. Oh well, I’ll be training and next year I’ll be much better. On New Year’s Eve, my Dad and sister flew home but I stayed in Maine because I was going to visit my friend in New Hampshire. So I watched the ball drop with Marissa and some of her friends. We had a blast. Well, that was 2007. Now . . . 2008.

2008: On New Year’s Day I met up with my friend Alex, who I’ve talked about before. He was born in New Hampshire, moved to Florida for middle and high school, and now goes to college in Colorado. He picked me up in Maine and we drove to New Hampshire. I was up there until the 5th, and we did some snowboarding and tubing. We went in his back yard and made a small jump that we would hit while we weren’t on the slopes. We ended the trip with no broken bones or hospital visits, so it was a success. Two years ago, we weren’t so lucky. Alex ended up going down this wicked narrow trail and caught an edge on a tree trunk and broke his arm in three places. So that didn’t end too well. However, this past trip ended quite well. After I got back to the wonderful, hot state of Florida, I went on a business trip with my Dad and sister. He had to drive up to Atlanta for a trade show, so my sister and I went up with him. We helped him set up and run the show for a couple days. We ended up staying with my Aunt Wendy, who lives in Atlanta, so I got to see my cousins. I actually went to a hockey game with my oldest cousin and we saw the Atlanta Thrashers vs. the Florida Panthers. We had awesome seats, and we actually had a waiter come serve us! It was a blast, but unfortunately the next hockey game I’ll see, I’ll be in crappy seats. Oh well, I can still see the players, they’ll just look like ants. Overall, the whole Atlanta trip was fun, and it was exciting to see what my Dad does at trade shows. I look forward to the next show I get to see!

A Look Ahead: Well, this semester is going to be a tough one. I’ll tell you the classes I have, and next journal I’ll tell you about the first impressions and what-not. I am taking Air Traffic Management III, Aviation Legislation, Aerodynamics, Aircraft Engines, and Commercial Pilot Operations. These classes sound fun, but they are going to be very demanding. I guess we’ll see how it goes. Well, that was my break and I look forward to telling you about this year! As always, send any e-mails with questions if you have them. Also, be sure to check the pictures and videos, because I will be posting a lot up within the next few weeks! Stay tuned for next journal, and until then . . . go build a snowman!!!!! (Assuming you live in a snowy climate.)

December 12

Well hello to everyone out there in internet land! I’d like to first start by apologizing to everyone who reads these on a regular basis. As you may know, my fellow journal writers had there journals online by last week. Unfortunately, I have been running a little late.

This past week was the last week in school and I had 4 tests and my big paper due. On top of that I have been having some personal troubles which translated into a pretty tough past week. Overall, school has been going great, but other things haven’t. It’s nothing to worry about though, life goes on and I’m excited to be done with school! I’ll go ahead and tell you about my last weeks of classes . . .

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Weather – We had an option final exam, if we wanted to take it. The final would replace our lowest test grade, but since I had an A average, I didn’t need to take it! Overall, this class was beneficial, but I’m glad it’s over. It was early in the morning, but it did cover a lot of valuable information that I will use on a regular basis. I have some friends that are minoring in weather, which is something that I think I’ll pass on. This class was a great overview of all of aviation weather, but I don’t think I would like to go way in-depth like other classes.

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Business Communications – I am so relieved this class is over. I was dreading this class from the beginning and I couldn’t be happier now that it’s done. My group turned in our paper and I could feel the weight being lifted off my shoulders as we handed it to our professor. I was really impressed with what we accomplished. I’m not sure of my grade in the class, but I have been making Bs on all my papers, so hopefully I can at least get a B. An A would be great, but I am a horrible writer! Can’t you tell just by reading! 😉

TTH 12:45pm-2:00pm – Intermediate Aeronautics – This class has been great for numerous reasons. For one, it directly pertains to my flight course and what my instructor and I have been doing, and two, the professor was great. He made the subject fun and interesting, and I liked him so much I signed up for a class of his next semester. We took our third and final exam and I got a 95! I ended up with an A in the class, so I’m pretty psyched about that! If you have read my previous journals, you know about the three steps in attaining your pilot’s license. There is a written test, an oral test, and a practical test. Well, the same goes for your instrument rating. I took a practice written exam in our class which simulates the real thing and I got a 91%. There is a test bank of 926 questions, and I have been studying non-stop for the past three weeks. I was so happy when I found out I got a 91!!! Now I have to sign up for the real one, and I’m getting kind of nervous. Hopefully it won’t be too bad.

TTH 2:15pm-3:30pm – Air Traffic Management II – Well I am very happy I chose to minor in Air Traffic Control, because it really has enforced everything I have learned. I enjoyed the class as a whole and I’m looking forward to next semester because I am taking ATM III with my two friends that I was with in ATM II and another friend. For ATM III, we actually get headsets and have to look at screens and talk to each other, so it should be fun.

TTHS 5:30pm-8:30pm – Flight – I am at the point where I have learned almost everything I need to know, and now I just have to review it and practice. I am going to take a break until next semester, and I’ll pick up where I left off in January. Over the break, hopefully I’ll have a lot of time to study, but I know that I’ve said that before! I’ll give it a shot though, if I don’t study over the break, I’ll slowly start to forget things. That’s not good!

Well, I’m going to have to cut the journal short this week. To be honest this past week has been one of the toughest periods in my life, even if school wasn’t part of it. But then you throw finals and papers on top of that, wooah. I promise that next journal will be longer and more informative. Until then, I’m going to do some working over the break, maybe do some snowboarding, and try to enjoy life.

I hope everyone has a good holiday season and I look forward to seeing you next year!

-Blake
email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com

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November 19

Well time is definitely flying by . . . I can’t believe that it’s already Thanksgiving!!! I have really been enjoying life down here in Florida. I mean I always enjoy life, but this past two weeks have been something else. I have had a fun-filled, very packed past two weeks and I can’t wait to tell you about them. Well, I guess I’ll wait until I tell you about my classes. . . . .

TTH 8:15am-9:30am – Aviation Weather – As I already told you in a previous journal, this class is half lab, half lecture; however, the labs are only worth 20% of your final grade. We take three tests which account for 60% of the grade, and there is a project that is the remaining 20%.

Usually the project is a big long paper about something weather related and most of the time only mildly interesting, which is why I’m glad they decided to change it. Instead, the project consists of making a webpage that is weather related. I like this project for two reasons:
1. I enjoy working on the computer a million times better than writing a paper.
2. It is very practical. I am almost done with the project, and once I put the final touches on it, I will put it online. So now when ever I have a flight, I can just go on the website that I created and gather all the information in one place! And I know that it is all the information I need because I created the website!

TTH 9:45am-11:00am – Business Communications – Well, since we have this huge paper due in a couple of weeks, we haven’t met in class that much. Instead, we just meet in our groups and try to work on the paper. I’ve got to say as much as I dislike writing huge research papers, I have really enjoyed researching my topic (Boeing’s new 747-8). Out of all the things that I research in high school, this is by far the most exciting for me. Just the engines alone I would read about for hours. Technology is getting pretty crazy; just check out the 747-8 engines here http://www.geae.com/education/theatre/genx/

TTH 12:45pm-2:00pm – Intermediate Aeronautics – I am definitely learning a lot in this class, and I think I really lucked out with my professor. I haven’t heard a lot about the other teachers that teach this course, but I am so glad that I got the professor I did. I actually signed up for a class next semester with my professor (Professor Harmon) and I’m looking forward to it.

TTH 2:15pm-3:30pm – Air Traffic Management II – We took test number 4 out of 5 last week and I got a 98. Definitely happy with that, but my stupid friend Aaron had to go and get a 103 just to prove no matter how smart I am, he’s still smarter! Well, good for him. He is majoring in Air Traffic so he should be better than me, because I am only minoring in it.

TTHS 5:30pm-8:30pm – Flight – I am at the point where I have learned almost everything about Instrument flying, but now I need to study and practice everything to get better. It’s cool to see how much aviation has changed in the past 30 years. I have been practicing different approach procedures and some were used 50 years ago and work, but aren’t very accurate. And sometimes I practice with GPS which is amazingly accurate. You go from one extreme to the other, and it really makes you appreciate how much easier it is getting to navigate in a plane. I know I’m glad that I have GPS!!!

Well since I only have classes Tuesday and Thursday, I obviously don’t have class on Thanksgiving, which is good. However, for some reasons my professors decided that we should start our vacation early and take Tuesday off! No arguments here! So now I have a full week off, but loads of homework to do.
Oh well, welcome to college.

Well I have been having a lot of fun this past two weeks. It all started with homecoming and its festivities. There was a lot of stuff going on, so I’ll just touch on the stuff I did.

There was a stunt pilot who graduated from Embry-Riddle years ago and he now is a professional stunt pilot. He came and did a quick show over Daytona’s airport and it was insane. I was actually getting ready to go on a flight with my instructor when the show started. We ended up just staring at the sky for 15 minutes. The stunt pilot shot across the ground and went straight in the air until he stopped, then he started falling back down backwards. Then he twisted out of it just feet off the ground! He was doing some crazy stuff, much crazier than the stuff I get to do!

There is always entertainment during homecoming, and this year we had some country singer whose name I already forgot, and Pablo Francisco who is a comedian. I actually have been a fan of Pablo for a while and that was real cool to be able to see him live. He had an opening act that was pretty funny too. He’s most known for his “movie-guy” voice, and I still laugh every time I hear that joke.

Along with the homecoming activities, I have been doing some other things as well. For example: There is a place about 45 minutes away that has indoor rock climbing, and I went twice this past two weeks. It is a whole lotta fun. You pay around $15 and you can climb until they close. They have over 30 walls with different paths on each wall, so you never get bored. Also, they have bouldering, which is where you don’t get hooked up to a rope, and you just climb stuff that is right off the ground. Overall it is definitely a work out, and a fun one at that!

One thing I was real excited about was the fact that I got to see my favorite band in concert, Slightly Stoopid. I have been listening to Slightly Stoopid for a couple years, and they continue to be my favorite band. They came out with a CD a couple months back, and I actually saw them over the summer down in Boca Raton. They are constantly on tour and they always make a stop in Orlando! I’m already anxiously awaiting their next visit!

So rock climbing, Pablo Francisco, seeing my favorite band live, you would think this week couldn’t get any better. Well guess again.

I got the chance to see my favorite comedian as well, that’s right; I got to see Dane Cook! I went with six other friends to Orlando and we saw Dane Cook in his tour, “Rough Around the Edges.” When I first found out about the show, I bought tickets 10 minutes after they went on presale.

The seats we got were pretty good, but not the best. There is the stage, all the floor seating, then the lower bowl and finally the upper bowl. Well, we were in the second row of the lower bowl. We were a little to the left of center stage, which I was bummed about at first, but then I realized that just to our left, Dane Cook would be running out from behind stage.

When the time finally came, he walked out with SuFis blazin’ and for just a second he turned to his right and looked right at me and my friends. He just stared as we gave the SuFi back and then he ran up on stage. He did all his jokes and there was laughter after everything. It was so cool to see him on stage and in person. After he finished all his jokes he ran off right by us again and I reached out to give him a five, but I was just short. Then, the arena got so loud I thought I was going to go deaf. A couple seconds later he ran back on stage, passing right in front of me and my friends again. He did a couple more jokes and then he thanked the audience and it got even louder. Then he tore his shirt off and threw it into the crowd and started running off stage. I tried one last time to slap his hand as he ran by, but this time I overshot. I leaned too far forward and grabbed his shoulder by accident and he kinda stumbled past me. I was so excited, I mean I know it sounds stupid, but I’m a huge fan of Dane Cook and now I can say, “I touched Dane Cook!!!!!”

Well I think that’ll wrap it up for this journal. I am exhausted after this past two weeks and I am looking forward to relaxing, eating turkey, and seeing family. I hope everyone has a safe holiday and I look forward to sharing my next two weeks with you!

See ya later! -Blake

email: wasteofsoap@yahoo.com
pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasteofsoap/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=blakeguiles