More logistics.

Stawell Aviation Services sent me a pilot questionnaire. That had to be filled in. Emergency contacts, passenger information, mailing addresses, how many hours do you have, what airplane will you be bringing on the tour, what's its registration number, etc. etc. Filled it out and sent it back. "Oh, VH-SDN! We know that plane," they said. Heh.

In their information document, I looked up fueling. In many cases, the small fields we'll be stopping at in the Outback don't have credit card or cash-based fueling, they use 'fuel cards' - specific avgas authorization chip-and-pin cards. I don't have one of those. Had to confirm with the renter that VH-SDN will be made available with a 'fuel carnet' - or set of those cards - since I'm renting wet.

Realized I should probably borrow a pair of small binoculars, not just for sightseeing; small runways are actually sort of hard to see in the middle of deserts or open ground from a distance away, and one thing everyone keeps telling me is that the Outback is bereft of good landmarks for pilots. Dead reckoning all the way, although I'm going to cheat with technology and bring a glass cockpit with redundant GPS units in it - and have three more in our cell phones and my iPad, just for good measure. But I'll have paper charts in the airplane.

I bought a SPOT GPS satellite messenger. Considering buying a GoPro camera for the trip. One thing about taking an insanely expensive adventure vacation - things you'd normally be reluctant to spend money on start looking cheap.

The info doc says that for phones, I should be sure to get either a phone or sim card from Telstra, and to make sure it's 'Outback capable.' I don't even know what that means. But I guess I"ll find out! Fortunately, one of the advantages of owning an outdated AT&T iPhone (4S) is that they don't bother fighting you about unlocks - go to the web page, enter your IMEI (which you can get by dialing *#60# on the phone) and they'll let you know if it's eligible - if so, after a couple hours, you should be able to back up/restore it using ITunes, and it'll unlock it. So they claim.

My application docs for my Certificate of Validation and my ASIC and my ARN should get to CASA sometime tomorrow. I'll call next week and double check. Another thing everyone I've talked to says - keep a constant check on CASA, they'll lose stuff and never tell you.

Getting closer.

Also! I started seriously trying to lose weight in April of last year. I weighed 360 lbs when I started. I managed to get down to around 335 by July, and then I started to pingpong around that weight - I switched jobs, and I hadn't been exercising, just dieting. Dieting alone is good, but easy to get plateaued. And switching jobs - for a dotcom with a massively-stocked snack kitchen and endless Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout among 12 other beer types and a full bar in the back? That's not good for the waistline. So by January, I was back up to 345.

On March 1, roughly, I was told by my doctor that she wanted to put me on a second blood pressure maintenance medication. That flipped some sort of long-rusty and frozen switch in my head. I guess I'd been waiting for 5 years for that switch to flip. I went home that night and powered on the Stairmaster that has been in my living room for a decade but almost never used.

Somehow, I've been using it a minimum of 5 times a week ever since.

And a month ago, I bought a pair of dumbbells and started doing basic lifting exercises with them.

March 1, 2014 I was 345 lbs. This morning, I stood on my scale (I have one of those FitBit WiFi scales - step on it and it automagically uploads your data to the Cloud, no backsies, no cheating, it's one of the strongest weight loss tools). It said I weighed 317. I'd started the week a good bit heavier than that, so I weighed myself again. Sometimes the scale is off by a few pounds. It said 313. I tried a third time. 315.

I'll say 319. Still.

Not bad.