Just thought I'd give y'all an update...  I have about 20 hours into my instrument rating with approx 3 of the hours in Frasca 141 SIM time.  Today, we worked on approaches on the Frasca 141 SIM.  Just did several VOR and NDB non-precision (obviously) approach.  Keep in mind that as a relatively fresh instrument student when I say 'did' you should translate that into 'he desperately attempted to perform' <grin>.  Actually, I didn't do as badly as I would imagine though just before the end of the SIM lesson my instructor, just for fun, told me to go ahead and complete the approach with a landing.  You ever try to 'land' one of these things?  No sense of depth,,, fellow flying friends...  the landing in the SIM was ugly to behold <GRIN>.  Thankfully I don't do that with the real thing or the FBO would be replacing nose wheel struts and main landing gear constantly...

Well, any simulation you can walk away from is a good one, as they say!

Pictured above:  An 'ancient, medieval' Instrument student 'torture' device know as the Frasca 141 simulator - this is a pic of the same unit I did my ground-based simulator work in.

I have a double lesson this week because my company service van got sick last week so I did a 'make-up' lesson today and will resume with a lesson on my regular day tomorrow.  After today's session my instructor asked if I would like to do time in the plane, tomorrow (as we were scheduled to do) or if I thought I should practice approaches on the Frasca SIM for another session (I had actually mentioned this at the beginning of today's lesson, but he suggested I wait and see how I felt about the lesson, afterwards).  So, I told him if I went with my 'heart' I would like to fly 'for real' tomorrow, but my intellect was telling me that my training $$'s would be better spent if I did another session of approaches on the Frasca SIM tomorrow to make sure I had the procedure firmly in-mind.
Though I know I made the right decision, it sure would have been nice to fly tomorrow,,, but heck,,, the weather is beautiful out here in Northern California SF Bay Area and would only make it tougher to put the foggles on when we went into the 'clouds'.  I made the right decision!
I actually have some tips (even early in this game as I am) for anyone starting their instrument rating.  Try to expose yourself to as many different types of learning; video, computer testing, computer simulations (I've found OnTop IFR Simulator & VOR/NDB Simulator both very helpful, FS 2004 has some very interesting features though I don't know if I find it as useful a learning tool as OnTop IFR Sim), read several different basic IFR information manuals as possible - so far I've really liked the US Govt's NEW Instrument Training book (very well illustrated and bearing no resemblance to the previous edition which was worse than poor), Rod Machado's Instrument manual (must be read AFTER reading a basic IFR training book,, as it expands on the basic concepts introduced in most beginning IFR training books) and the other by Kirshner.  I also have the King Instrument Written DVD videos coming in by tomorrow or the next day, which I will delve into during the weekend.  My wife is off on a business trip for about two weeks so it will be a great time to woodshed on my instrument pilot study without my wife glaring over at me <grin> wondering when I'm going to get my head out of the IFR books.
I wanted to mention (and this may just be something that is unique to me,,,, but just in case it is not), the real value I am finding in reading through several instrument training manuals is that often I find that the way one author presents a concept makes it 'click' better than it did when explained by another author.  If anything the three or four books together seem to overcome any 'weaknesses' that may exist in one book but not in others.
I'm sometimes amazed/overwhelmed pouring through all the information, but then again I know that it is just exposure and it will come.
I'll sure be glad when all of this is firmly assimilated into my noggin!

Good Flights!