I did it! On February the 15th 2010 I became a certified Private Pilot. After a few spot on lessons with my instructor he signed me off for the practical exam. I called the examiner and set a date about two weeks in the future. My instructor gave me the name of the examiner but if you are unsure you can use the FAA search tool to find someone local. I was lucky enough to get the one day of the entire week where the winds never went above 8kts. The visibility and ceiling were basically unlimited. The actual oral and flying took about 3hrs and went off without a hitch. I will try to write more about the actual ride in another post.
Now my mission has changed. While I will always be a student of flying in one way or another I can approach flying differently. I can find new airports and places to explore. Best of all I can now share my flying with family and friends. Well those who dare at least.