Fourteenth Gathering of VPI Calgary, Fri 12 Oct 07.
1. E/On @ 1130 (earlybirds Dave, Ian, Don & Orest)
2. In attendance: Ian Gordon (swooped-in from his nest to the north, aka Airdrie), Dave Watson (back from holidays just in time), Dan McLean (managed another mid-day pass from Encana), Mike Luxton (short break from demanding business pressures), Don Little (never misses – must be retired) and Orest Cochkanaff (more later about this fine gentleman).
3. AWOL: Garth Irvine (family medical emergency), Austin Hayes (family medical emergency), Bill Moir (whereabouts unknown) and Brian Kaban (promised to attend if his Jazz bird landed safely and on-time – can only assume the best).
4. Tears in my eyes: What had promised to be a 100% attendance, because "regrets" had not been received from anyone by 0900, turned ugly in the next hour. Garth phoned to say that his son had broken a foot (playing volleyball) the night before and some TLC would be required by "dad". Then, an email from Austin saying that his daughter had been detained in the hospital following what had supposed to have been a "simple surgical procedure". Needless to say, some TLC had to be applied here, too. As for Bill and Brian, well, they probably just met at the airport "Cheers" for some VPI fellowship. Hopefully, you will all be able to make the next one, in February (if it doesn't snow).
5. Honoured guest: Orest Cochkanoff, from the VPI Wing in Halifax, just happened to be in town and honoured us with a visit. Would love to say that the prime purpose of his mission was specifically for VPI purposes, but not to be. He departed for points north (Lacombe, I think) following the gathering. Purpose: old flame. Orest has a PhD in aerospace engineering and over the years has been involved in projects such as: ASW tactics, systems and ops; helo haul-down design and ops; and as a consultant re offshore design and ops. He was, a few moons ago, the Dean of Engineering at the Nova Scotia Technical College and was anointed Professor Emeritus in 1991 and appointed as Honorary Colonel of 406 Sqn, Shearwater, in 1993.
Kind of long-winded here and although there are (supposedly) no ranks, nor titles, in VPI, this distinguished visitor (wiseman) from the east is given a few accolades because of his new-found status as being the first VPIer from outside our envelope to visit and pay homage to the boys of VPI YC. Great to see you, Orest. Come again, anytime, and bring some of your VPI HZ cohorts, however, next time leave your cane at home.
6. Discussion Time: Lots of items here and in no particular order.
Ian gave us the straight skinny regarding the water fight between Calgary and Balzac. Appears as if there's more H2O around than the public has been led to believe (further comment censored, due to political pressures). Also, provided some recollections of his AWACS tour out of Geilenkirchen.
Dave gave us a blow-by-blow of his recent cruise down the Rhine River (or was it up the river). This has to be the most scenic wine cruise in the world and it's for certain that the great German fruit of the vine didn't go untasted.
Mike was all smiles in informing us of the fact that he has added four new clients to his consulting stable. BZ, Mike! Great to be a civvy, n'est ce pas?
Don didn't have much to say (for a change) although he iterated a few salient details of some of his summer golf outings with fellow VPIer, Garth (both have been practicing for the next round of the McCurdy Open).
The C17, Canada's new buy for huge cargo-capacity, long-range transport a/c, is a "winner" by consensus of our VPI panel of experts. Conversely, government failure to provide funding for any sort of Aurora refit received a resounding "thumbs down". France's deployment of Mirage 2000 fighters to Afghanistan and the recent revelation that they had provided ground support to our troops, also raised a few eyebrows.
7. Alberta's Oil-patch Royalty Review: Lots of discussion, especially as we're all experts on this topic. Consensus (again) was that the province "tread lightly" in trying to grab too much of a bigger royalties share. Some of us "capitalists" have a lot at stake as stockholders. On the other hand, Dan the Man felt that better job opportunities would arise in Nova Scotia if Encana relocated considerable investment to the east coast. .Methinks that he already has passage booked – just has to sell his condo in a "down" market.
Webmaster: Dan McLean - firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Next Gathering: Fri. Feb 8th ('08) @ 1130 - 1330. Mewata Armouries. Book it !
11. E/Off @ 1345
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