Posts Tagged With: trenton

Final Flight

Today is a special day… It marks two different but important events for me.

First off, last night officially marked my last flight with 437 (T) Sqn. I had a few fun days in Lviv, Ukraine, but it was surreal to think that this was the last mission I was to be part of with this true family of a Squadron. The last 4 years has swept by like a vicious hurricane, but I can confidently say that my time at the Squadron was the best 4 years of my life. Four years with travel to over 30 countries in 5 out of 7 continents all around the world. I not only traveled, but traveled in style and pride on the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-150 A-310 Airbus aircraft, flying over 1,200 hours in the air in total, which amounts up to 50 days of my life spent in the air. Now that I’m leaving off to a new adventure, I can speak about the utmost pride and pleasure that I had while serving multiple dignitaries on our Airbus; personally serving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General David Johnston, Royal Family members Prince Charles and Camilla from the UK, while they flew to high-class events, meetings and summits around the world. I would also like to mention that is was an absolute honor to care for over 100 WWII Veterans that we flew to the Netherlands for the “Liberation of the Netherlands” battle they fought in, to drive out the Nazis and liberate the country. I also had the awesome experience of flying several famous Canadian athletes, singers, comedians, and stars, including Arlene Dickinson from “Dragon’s Den” to locations across Europe and Kuwait to entertain our hard-working and deployed troops who were away from their families.
Again, working at 437 (T) Sqn was a big part of my life, a place my heart holds close to and I will truly miss it and the people who I flew with; but I know all good things have to come to an end at some point. It’s time to move onto new and exciting adventures, a whole new world awaits me; and all of it, undiscovered with limitless opportunities. I look forward to this new chapter in my life and I have many to thank for helping me reach my goals – so, in saying that: Thank You!

Secondly, today also marks 7 proud years of full-time service with the Canadian Forces. Undeniably, it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life and I look forward to the next 20 (at minimum).

Here’s a video of my wet-down (make sure to play it in 1080p HD quality for the best experience).
On the final leg of every member’s last flight with the Squadron, an informal congratulatory ceremony called a “wet-down” is held at the entrance of the plane. The member walks down the stairs to then be soaked head-to-toe with bone-chilling water. I took part in many of these events, but it was strange to feel that it was my turn this time around. Thank you to everyone who took their personal time to show up for the wet down, it really meant a lot to me!

Thank you 437 (T) Squadron for the best years of my life!

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Memorable Memories

Wow, what a memory of a photo!

I was elated to know that I was going to be around to take this photo with my Squadron. It’s been a few years since we had the last Squadron photo and it won’t be long before I’m off onto my next posting. At least I have this valuable portrait to hold onto and display with pride to my family and friends.

The two planes we are positioned in front of are CC-150 A-310 Airbus aircrafts that are modified to military standards. We just had one publicly displayed at the Quinte International Airshow that just took place on the 25 and 26th of June, 2016 in Trenton, Ontario, Canada – along with several other aircraft from Canada and abroad. Notably, I really enjoyed watching the historic Lancaster and P51 Mustangs fly over head, something that you definitely don’t see everyday.

Aside from that, I’m proud to say that I’ve finally earned a few notable awards! First off, without getting into any specific details, I’ve earned my first medal from a mission I took part in several years ago. I also earned my 1,000 hours flying certificate (I actually have about 1,200 hours now). The important thing to note here is that each hour is an actual hour in the air and not hours spent on the ground in a foreign destination.

437 Sqn group photo

437 Squadron photo taken on the flight line located on 8 Wing Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton, Ontario on June 03, 2016. Images by: Cpl Rob Stanley, 8 Wing Imaging

Categories: Canada, Ontario, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ice Fishing in Canada

Ever wondered what to do during a Canadian Winter? Ski, Snowboard, Ice Skate, Snowshoe, Sled, Dogsledding, Curling?

This is what I do:

That's me - Ice Fishing!

That’s me – Ice Fishing!

Ice Fishing!

It’s pretty simple, really; you make sure the lake is frozen – preferably over 3″ thick, so you don’t fall through. You then drill a hole with an “Auger”, manual or gas-powered:

Gas-Powered Auger

Gas-Powered Auger

Once you’ve drilled your hole, you clear the snow and ice from around and in the hole and then you’re ready to fish!

I’m no Ice Fishing expert; but the good news is, you don’t need to be one to enjoy this cold-Winter past-time! It’s a little bit of technique but even more luck. The fish are so cold, they won’t want to swim a lot, so you have to hope that you drilled a hole over some fish or at least close to them.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Categories: Canada, Destinations, Ontario, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Weekend in Ontario

Like the saying goes: “Time flies when you’re having fun”. Well, that’s true, but I also believe that time will fly even if you’re busy and not having fun, but thankfully, this past weekend was tons of fun!

For most people in Ontario, this weekend was a three day weekend because of a provincial holiday called “Civic Holiday”.
I didn’t waste any time this weekend. I started off Saturday having a Breakfast out with Amy at a local restaurant called “Dapp’s Restaurant”. The restaurant has been there forever and the base of clientele they have established is immense! Almost everyone that dines in is a “regular”.  I don’t think Amy and I are too far from attaining that title; maybe just need to age another 50 years or so first to gain some seniority. The price of food is excellent, with the most expensive Breakfast meal being around 12.50$ and the cheapest I remember seeing was around 6.95$; you don’t find many deals like that these days, most restaurants overprice all of their food, especially the orange juice, don’t even get me started with the orange juice! Several restaurants have a machine that mixes a concentrated-juicy syrup with water to produce what you call your Breakfast orange juice; there are no free refills and they charge you about 3$ for a medium sized glass. Redonkulous if you ask me…

After a delicious Breakfast, I walked over to “Riverside Music” for my 3rd Piano lesson; I want to be modest, but truly, I am catching on very fast to the theory and of course the practical portion of the instrument. Maybe its because I have so much interest in learning? At the moment, all I have is a simple 150$ keyboard, without a full set of keys and the keys themselves aren’t even weighted, I’m missing the pedals too. I was looking at the “Casio Privia 350BK”, I think that’s the name of it… Anyways, it seems like a good bang for my buck and it’s somewhat affordable for a person that doesn’t have thousands to dish out but is still serious about learning how to play the Piano.

To finish up Saturday, I headed over to a coworkers house with my good friend Jon for a surprise Birthday party hosted for her husband’s 40th birthday. I picked up a bottle of wine for him named “Guilty Men”, I thought it would give them some laughs for sure, I’ll have to find out tomorrow. It was a good night, complete with good people, good drinks, good food and good fun. Jon and I played “Horseshoes” against a few other people, but had our asses kicked every time; I don’t think the game was made for us at all, or maybe it was, but just to have our asses kicked at it all the time!

I woke up early on Sunday to get an early start on a day full of “Antiquing” with my good friend Jon. We headed out into a town called “Bloomfield” (sounds like a name out of a “Silent Hill” movie), to start our adventure and worked our way out to Picton to finish it. The entire time was spent in what’s called “Prince Edward County”, where many vineyards and microbreweries/craft breweries are located due to the outlay of the landscape and excellent conditions in the area. I didn’t really find anything other than a “Banana stand”, which really isn’t an antique to begin with, but there were several of treasures that I did run into that I couldn’t quite afford at the moment; perhaps next time I’ll come back with more treasures!

As soon as I returned home, I packed up my gym gear and biked down to CFB Trenton’s gymnasium for a lengthy workout of about two hours. The bike ride to the gym and back was just shy of 8km too.

Today, Amy and I drove out to Belleville in search of a new, high-quality frying pan. Yep, we destroyed our old crappy one from Zellers… Let’s just say you get what you pay for. This new one we bought is a brand called “Panderno”, it’s apparently a brand that’s used amongst the professionals in the cooking industry. The pan is obviously non-stick, you can stick it into the oven at up to 750 F and it has a 25 year warranty; I guess that alone shows that “Paderno” truly believes in the quality of their own product if they’re willing to give a warranty that will last so long. Did you know? Apparently cooking sprays such as “PAM” are not good for your pan, it damages it! Apparently it’s better to just use cooking oil and nothing else.

Amy and I just got back from the base’s outdoor pool; nothing like a refreshing swim on a hot and sunny day!

Well, time to practice on my Piano, the next lesson is tomorrow!

Categories: Canada, Ontario, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Transit

Today broke off the usual work routine; usually I’m in the office mission planning for flights or flying! Today was spent sitting in on several business meetings discussing various topics.

My generous neighbor once again has helped me out; this time he repaired my damaged bicycle to a ride-able condition, which to me, almost looks good as new! The bike itself was quite expensive, around 1000$, but that’s only pennies when talking about the professional bikes you can purchase for the avid bikers out there. Have I ever said that my neighbor is generous? Well, everything that he does for us, he never expects a dime for. He’s mowed our lawn on several occasions, fixed up some problems on my car and fixed my bike. All he asks for is the money for what the repair cost, nothing more. I decided to give him more money anyways, for his time and generosity; as I said in an earlier post, you don’t run into these kind’ve people everyday, so respect thy neighbor!
I decided to take my bike out for a spin for the first time in about two years. It was running almost as smooth as it was once I first bought it. Took a ride over to Canadian Tire to pick up a new bike lock, as I lost the key to the old lock, which is a total bummer, because I have a high-quality “Kryptonite” U-lock. I bought something similar and I hope the quality matches or surpasses what I paid for it. I’m not sure if theft is a problem in my town, I sure hope it isn’t… My Father had his bicycle stolen from him while it was locked up, by an office building at his work. The road that it was locked up by is quite a busy road, which I thought was weird how his bike got stolen in front of several citizens walking right by. I guess thieves these days are real experts at what they do, they always find a new way to get around and look for the “loop-hole”.

I think the community that I live in; Trenton, Ontario, is lacking in a few departments. First thing is, we don’t even have a bike path, let alone a bike lane for us to safely enjoy biking in. What are families supposed to do with their children? Bike on the side of the highway? Doesn’t sound very safe to me… Second thing is, Trenton lacks a proper transit system. Sure, Trenton is no major city, it’s just a town, but having a decent transit system would be extremely helpful at times, especially families that have only one car, but need to be in different destinations at different times, or lower-income citizens, which is prominent in this community. Sometimes I wonder if we are just lacking budget, creativity or demand for these simple ideas. I wonder if there’s a way I can find out…

Well, tomorrow is T.G.I.F and soon to be the start of a long weekend here in Canada; Monday is a day off because of the holiday called “Civic Holiday”. Not exactly sure what the meaning behind the day is… The meaning is probably meant to stay home and enjoy a day off, at least that’s the way I like to see it!

I’ve got my third piano lesson on Saturday and will probably spend a good portion of the weekend riding my bike, working out at the gym, maybe go for a swim at the pool if its warm and sunny outside.

Canadians, enjoy your long weekend and whoever else has the extra day off!

Categories: Canada, Ontario, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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