Tag Archives: personal history

Solo!

One last thing before going to bed. I would be remiss in my reputation as a perveyor of date-related facts, if I didn’t point out that 7 years ago today, September 21, 1999 I did my first solo flight ever–in a Cessna 152:

[From my diary, 9/21/1999]: Solo! I did it. I flew a plane by myself (while Pete [my instructor] sat on a bench and watched) and did a total of 5 takeoffs and landings. It was absolutely incredible. I have been waiting for this ever since I was a little boy and it was well worth the wait. I’m elated. It still hasn’t hit me.

I still have my “shirt tail” from that day, a tradition committed against student pilots who complete their first solo flight whereby the instructor rips off your shirt tail and decorates it to commemorate the flight.

My first cell phone

Nine years ago today, on September 15, 1997, I ordered my first cell phone. I ordered it through AirTouch (which I don’t think exists any longer). I ordered their “Cal 30” plan, which cost $20/month for the first 3 months and $30/month thereafter. We could make free phone calls to our home phone number and had 30 minutes of calling time per month included.

Compare that to my current cellphone (a Razr) for which I pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $70/month, but for which I get 2000 minutes/month, unlimited nights/weekends, and unlimited calls to other T-Mobile customers. All this, in 9 short years!

The picture above are the pages from my diary from 9 years ago. The specific entry about the cellphone is on the right-hand page, about halfway down. This was before I switched to the red “At-A-Glance” standard diaries in 2000.

Graduation 1994

My graduation from UCR was 12 years ago today, June 18, 1994. Normally, I would have remembered something like this, but it took external events to remind me. I was listening to my autobiography playlist, specifically, to the college era section, and I heard a handful of songs that remind me of the period right around graduation. And as if through osmosis, it occurred to me that today was the anniversary of my graduation.

The details of my graduation have been blurred by the years, but there are a few things I remember. First and foremost was the heat. It was a particularly hot day in Riverside, California, and, of course, the graudation was held outside. Second, was the length. The graduation went on forever. It drove me nuts! Once I had gone up and received my fake diploma, I didn’t even go back to my seat. I left the graudation entirely and headed back to my air conditioned apartment and waited for my family to show up an hour or so later. Finally, I recall the one big disappointment of my graduation: the fact that my grandparents could not make it for some reason. It was probably the only time in my life that my grandpa ever disappointed me.

I can’t believe it was twelve years ago.


Today is always Father’s Day, and I spoke to both Dad and Doug today, wishing them Happy Father’s Days.