Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I’m flying ’cross the land, tryin’ to get a hand

Just some randomness in my mind I thought I should share. I just saved alot on my car insurance... ok, that almost true, it wa smy motorcycle insurance and it went down by $10 a month. But I've always wanted to say that.

I had a good weekend, thanx to the help of my friends and my lovely Susan. Saw a few old co-worker buddies Saturday night and the new version of B-52's. The new place is not nearly the same as the old one. It lacks that certain "you could really break the crap we have and e won't notice" ambiance. The new place is almost too classy for our airline refugee group.

I did manage to get out of there with a persoanl best on the bar tab... this time it was cheap. ANd Grace came away with 3rd place in the costume contest. So she actually made money. I on the other hand made a fool of myself dancing, but It was fun.

On Sunday I made it down for a quick visit to Susan, and the Montgomery zoo. Apparently theres a baby rhino, and it a big deal. OK, so is cute and all, but I still am partially to the lions and tigers and bears (oh my). But I do njoy the time i get to spend with Susan, she really is awesome.

I also discoverd that its faster to drive from MGM to SDF than from PTC. I think this ma have had a little to do with the lack of traffice between BHM and BNA. But it was nice and for the first time I could leave the cruise control set for the majority of the drive.

ANother revelation was that apparently Alabama doesn't have gentlemen's clubs. I was struck by this as i neared the state line to Tennessee and notice an unusual amount of advertising for such places. Theres like 5 on the first exit. Of course, I have visited such establishments in the past, and for the most part I can do without. But, I must say, I was tempted to stop at "Big Jim's Boobie Bungalow". Mainly out of curiosity as to what a boobie bungalow looks like and then to smite "Big Jim" for coming up with such a stupid name. And then I noticed that these places were in the middle of nowhere, and I suddenly had images of banjo playing stippers with no teeth, who jist left their day jobs at the waffle house to come make some extra money. No thanx. I have standards.

IN other news, I have to report that the Savannah trip is off. I'm in a bit of a financial crunch at the moment, and it seems I'm not alone. Intead I'm thinking of just an outing in the metro PTC or Atlanta area. Or we could stay in and just make our neighbor hate us. I'm tasking my social secretaries (Susan, Grace, and Jersey) to submit ideas by the end of the week.

I did find one redeeming factor of the Kenuckiana region this morning. I needed to replace the beer I drank that I didn't buy. SO i stopped at the Liquor Barn. Now, imagine a liquor store the size of a Publix. It's huge, and they see to have about everything there. A huge assortment of Wines on several aisles, and on the next one an large assormtnet of cheese and crackers to go with the wine. ANd beer from many nations (though no Victoria Bitter) Theres much potential there.

Well, I'm off. I'm working afternoon shifts this week, and I must say its much more pleasant to wake up naturally than to the sound of an alarm. Stay tuned for info on any brithday gatherings. I do apologize for the lack of the SV excursion. I know many were really looking forward to it, as was I. We'll find some trouble to get into though.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some of its magic, some of its tragic, but I had a good life... all the way.

Since I have time and a stable internet connection (thankyou Starbucks) I thought I'd turn out a quick little note. I'm feeling much better this week. I think it has alot to do with the wonderufl weekend I had, the amazing girl I love, and that the financial crunch has lightened up a bit. I still have to come up with ways to pay for the Savannah trip, and ar tags. but It should be relitively ok. I'll figure something out, I always do.

I would also like to take moment to apologize to Cha's. I had no idea I had overlooked such a momentous day and humbly ask for your forgiveness. I'll make it up to you next time theres a Brown opening. You too can be screwed by the TWU.

Its cold and rainy here, fall/winterish weather. And it sorta makes me smile. Not that I don;t enjoy summer and sun, but its time for a change of season. Plus the rain washes some of the dirt of my car. Unfortunately its been raining steady for 2 days now and creeks runneth over. I'm trying to send some of the moisture south. I would hate the idea of my friend down there running out of water in 90 days.

Otherwise, I'm in a better mood overall. And as always I look forward to the weekend. ANd the next and the next.

And for the aerosexuals, and just plane curious. Put some more "jumpseat" pictures up. These form a DC-8 (N819UP for those who like registration numbers), a plane that was produced before anyone reading this was born. But it gived u an idea where i sit.

Well, I can see my battery life is running short and I'v got emails to write. Congrats to Joe and Tanya (now officially TanJoe in the eyes of the law) on their nuptials. And also congrats to Chrissie for her recent engagement.

And last but not least, way to go Grace on her skill full avoidance of the bride's bouquet. You would have thought it was on fire the way she kicked it way :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Looking for greener grass

What a great weekend. I really do miss living full time in the Atlanta area. Something that hit me this weekend. And to be air, I haven't given Louisville a chance to shine, but I can't imagine it being the great place that the ATL has the potential to be. Not that its the city so much, but that I have the coolest friends here. Unfortunately I'm not around much to be in contact with everyone.

For instance, life in the bachelor pad here is like party every weekend. Weekends theres always people here and always seems to be a social event. Again, I haven' given Louisville a chance. But the job isn't making it easy. I'm very bored there and my glimmer of hope that I would start the process to become a qualified brown dispatcher has been extinguished. Thank you TWU. And now I just feel I'm wasting my time. And while some of you may feel that sitting around all day doing nothing and getting paid for it is a dream job. And I admit, its not bad in the beginning. However after the third month of mostly staring at screens and reading the same manuals for the third time.. its kind of miserable. I can only surf so much internet (they monitor it) and I can't bring a book to read.

Then again, maybe they will give me something to do if I start reading books in the office.

Oh well... we'll see what comes about. I suppose f I have to I can grin and bare it nd just live for the weekends, when Susan visits and the impromptu cocktail parties happen. How much time do you have to give a situation to improve before u exercise escape options?

Anyways, I had a great weekend. Th Tanjoe wedding was fun, Everyone all dressed up is nice to see. And spending some time showing Susan the "big city" was great. Hanging out with the doomed.. i mean groom, was fun.

OK, well, enough groaning, I'm off to star packing for the return to Kentuckiana. Joyous Joyous Yay!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Be wary of those who believe in a neat little world because its just f!@ing crazy

Be wary of those who believe in a neat little world because its just f!@ing crazy
The only thing I can say about today is, my head is in a completely different time zone from my body. I know in the past I've said i wanted to run way from it all and move to some tropical island and be lost to civilization. Well, I feel almost the same way again, except I don;t quite want to elave it all behind. I want some elements around to em to come with me. Well, mostly the friends. Susan of course has to run away with me, and Grace and Jersey and TanJoe and even Adam and Jon. I can;t go with out Darci.

I guess the moral is, that one thing is really keeping me happy right now. And she's amazing for doing so. Hopefully things will birghten up soon. Its just a money crunch and a stressed work relationship. And then the potential of moving so far away from everyone. Its a long drie, i know. I pondered all this on the way up. ANd i didn't get the car in emission passing condition, so its going to have to come back down soon.

And i understand now how Grace gets some time, it would be grat to spend 7 consecutive nights in the same bed... This commuting is getting old.

Thats all for tonight, later loyal fans.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

And some have sailed form a distant shore, and the company takes what the company wants

This is a quick one. But lets cover the important events. I'm thoroughly disenchanted with my union, who has held up my training, thusly pushed back any raise i would get by 6 months. Thanx for looking out for me!

But, I really can't bothered with that crap, since Susan is near and we're enjoying the weekend, even though she feels a little under the weather. But i'm doing my best to take her mind off it and make her have fun.

Thirdly, the house I had picked for Savannah was booked (damn them). So, we're looking at these now... this one and this one. I'm kinda leaning toward the second one for economic reasons, but the first one seems to be convenienter (yes i made that up) to everything. But we'll see what comes back from my inquiries.

Otherwise, Ryan is trying to still convince I should move to Abu Dhabi (he wants me around between his weekend trips to Malabo and Katmandu... he's really getting away from it all), Charles is leaving for a cruise and I hate him for that, and its freaking cold in this starbucks. So I'm off. Oh, and I put wedding pictures from last weekend if anyone's interested.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I want to run, I want to hide, I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside

I don't have much of anything interesting to say. I'm all about getting through week. I'm halfway through the work week, and it's been pretty good. Of course having a half a day on Monday doesn't suck. I am going to need to take a new look at my budgeting as things are running tight this month, but thats mostly due to one time expenses with the car... damn emissions tests and tags!

Otherwise, life is great. The weather has turned slightly fall-ish here in Kentuckiana, and the its a lovely clear day. I'm chilling at the Starbucks enjoying a coffee drink and watching the sun go down. If only I had some company. So, i think its decided that we're getting the first house in SAV. SO, come one and all for the festivities! SO anyone who's interested let me know It promises to be fun times.

I don't know if I put this out last week, but I was actually sluffing around at work last Friday... well, I was actually busy most the day. However at the point that this story happens, I had just began sluffing. At any rate, one of the senior brown dispatchers was having an issue with Russia and we all know the Russians are real assholes when it comes to overfly rights. And Mike.. we'll call him Mike as that is his name, was dealing with that. Mike is also the training guy for international desks and has been letting me do a few of his releases when I'm bored. Very kind of him. Anyways, next thing I know Mike walks over and is like "Hey, can you do these 3 flight plans for me real quick?" Woo hoo, validation of my existence at UPS. That made me happy Friday.

No one, however, can relate that story to my roommate. It seems that no one is really wanting to train him because of an attitude conflict. And I feel almost bad that I've been shown all these neat features and tricks with different systems and he hasn't. And I've been asked not to tell him that people are training me. Oops. Let this be a lesson, personality counts.

Theres a proposed training schdule for us, hopefully it will work out and I can get some interesting stuff to do. Is it sad I think learning aircraft systems interesting?

Well, thats enough rambling for the evening. I've accomplished my goals at the Starbucks... and time for $2 pint night.

no catchy subjects tonight..

Random thing:

I had a great weekend. It was awesome and exciting and fun. I got to spend time with Susan, hang out with the remainders of my former harem, visit Taco mac, and have a lovely lunch with Jersey. ALl in 2 days. It does suck that I had to fly to Orlando to get to Atlanta, but I made it and was greeted at the airport by a hot young thing that I'm crazy about.

I manage dto get half a day off today and took care of some much eneded, although slightly expensive, errands I'd been putting off. The oil changed, new windhsield wiper blades, screen cleaner for the laptop, and I reported a credit card lost (long story, don't ask). The stupid question fo the day goes to the card company, who after asking what state i lost th card in, I was aksed where I lost it. I so much wanted to say if I knew where I lost it, it wouldn't be lost. But it seems everything is in order.

I also went to check out a couple of apartment type places around Kentuckiana. And while one was very nice and AMLI-esque (the pool had a water fall built in, and plenty or potential to keep the drunken, naked swimming tradition alive), the other ws some lofts in the downtown area. By downtown area I mean projects. Yeah, i didn;t even go talk to the people. On the upside, there was a Long John Silver's right in front. That's a major perk. SO the house hunt continues here. In due time.

Well, it's off to relax, I've been lacking in the sleep department of late and I hope to remedy that... though I'm not complaining. I've been kept up for very good reasons.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I have been around the world and I have seen your love.

Ok, this may be a bit esoteric or just plane out there (pun intended as you will discover). So, Brown announced this week they are retiring their older 747's by the end of next year. And to just give you an idea, these are what is known as the "classics" or in the office as the "whales". Anyways, Boeing is currently building UPS brand new (with that new airplane smell) 747-400. The older ones are the -100 and -200 variety.

Before i get into this too deep, look at the bottom for links to places I'm checking out for staying in Savannah... still accepting interest.

SO, lets pick one of these airplanes and just ponder the history shall we. This has the potential to get a bit thick with airplane talk, so bare with me. Lets look at one particular plane, N682UP. This airplane was delivered to the original customer on April 27, 1971. That makes it older than all my friends (even Jonathon). Originally operated by the airline that set the pstandard for all airlines, Pan American World Airways, as N654PA, and named Clipper White Wing. The airplane was the 110th Boeing 747 produced (the latest one UPS received a few months back, N570UP, is number 1388 off the assembly line).

While in the service of Pan Am, I just get this (possibly over romantized) images of this airplane plowing the skies around the world. No airline today has the worldspanning route system that Pan Am once operated. This airplane carried people across the oceans for places like Hong Kong, Sydney, London, Bangkok, Rio, and other places that only saw American flags that were painted on the tail of this plane. And this in the day when flying was a treat. It was an event you were expected to dress for. They had piano's on the planes in a lounge. Gourmet foot.. in coach!

Well, tat lasted apparently till about 1977, with the Clipper White Wing was renamed Clipper Pacific Trader and converted to a freighter. No, god only knows what she carried (and still carries) in her holds. And again, Pan Am still operated a far reaching network. Eventually, she was renamed Clipper White Wing (Pan Am named every plane a Clipper).

So, by 1983 Pan AM ended its cargo flying and she was sent to fly the skies for another aviation pioneer, The Flying Tiger Line. Tigers can trace their lineage back to pre WW2 days when Gen. Claire Chenault and his volunteer pilots fought the Japanese on behalf of the Chinese. Now after the a war ended, a few of the aviators cam back to California and bought some surpluss airplanes and started flying cargo. Eventually they became "Legends in Air Cargo" and with the motto "Anything, Anywhere, Anytime".

So, now this lady, registered N817FT, is flying even more exotic stuff to even more exotic places... Tehran, Bombay, Singapore, etc. And again, around the world she flew in the polished aluminum shine that Tigers left their planes in (removing paint saves weight and allows more cargo to be carried). And in those colors she operated until 1989, when Tigers ceased to exist and taken over by another well known airfreight company... Federal Express. She was re-registered again an was known as N626FE. Now, she left the purple fleet before I got to load her full of even more random crap. The only 747's i loaded at fedex were full of Seimens fiber optic cables and then much alter 270,000lbs or so of cigarettes.

In 1991, she was sent to wear brown and re registered N654UP. ANd for the past 16 years she's been to the orient and back. Toured Europe a little, and finally spends most her time flying the friendly skies of the US. Occasionally she gets out of the country and visit the old stomping grounds.

And that brings us to the current days, where she will fly till around March 15th (beware of the ides of march). After almost 40 years of moving people and their stuff, most likely flying troops home from Vietnam (and unfortunately flying many there that didn't return), flying supplies to both Persian Gulf Wars. Whisking family's away to exotic vacations, or even solo travellers to backpack around Europe. And most recently, delivering all those things you ordered from Amazon or Old Navy.. and just in time for Christmas.

See, i told you this one would be odd. Its almost sad that in a year from now, most of this airplane will probably be relegated to holding your beer or cokes as aluminum cans. I may try and take a jumpseat ride on one of these last 9 airplanes (all with similar histories) before they're sent to the scrapper... or if lucky they'll be picked up by another cargo carrier.

Anyways, for some pictures.. go to this page

Otherwise nothing new to dwell on, this week is going so slow. Its because I'm very much looking forward to the weekend, and seeing Susan. I'm also checking around Savannah for places to stay. I kinda like this one and this other one.

Just some ideas... and looks like it could be cool. OK, thats enough ramblings for tonight. And you might have noticed, I don;t have much going on tonight.

Monday, October 1, 2007

She made us drinks to drink, we drunk ’em... got drunk.

Its Monday, abot 1800 local time in Kentuckiana. And my hangover headache has finally disappeared. Again, not s young as I used to be. This was from Saturday nights festivities at Adri's. And it was a great time. I met lots of interesting people from interesting places. Seriously its like the United Nations at her place. It was kind of nice to be one of the token Americans. The only damper on the weekend was that some low life scum apparently walked off with one od Adri's birthday presents. This asshole just happened to take the thin of beauty that I had given so selflessly to her... a 2 liter bottle of Grey Goose. I like to ive gifts that keep on giving.

But otherwise, it as a blast. there was dancing, there was beer funneling, there was jello shots (which I happy to say the quality control department started sampling at 5 pm to ensure they were up to standards). And this being the first real time I've spent in upstate Mass, I kinda dig the place. Amherst is a funky little college town and the area is very pretty. Maybe a return visit is in order. And its the inspiration for the Scooby Doo cartoons. good to know.

Now I'm back in the real world. And it kind of blows. I had tot ake my car in to see why the check engine light is on. I really got pissed off when I showed up for my 9:15 AM appointment at the Honda dealership only to be told they couldn't get to it until 3 pm. Then why did I make this early ss appointment? I could have stayed in bed! And in the end I found out a few things... the secondary O2 sensor has failed, they don't have one on site, but could order one and replace it maybe tomorrow or the next day, and it will cost over $400 to do that. No thanx. I'll get it done some other time.

Unfortunately I have to get it done soon so my car will pass Joeja emissions test. Even though the car doesn't live there anymore. What a pain in the ass this is.

ON a lighter note, after explaining (to mostly blank stares) where it is I sit on UPS planes (this came righ after the "what do u do?" conversation), I decided to actually take some pictures on the way home of the area I sit. This ill be of some interest o a few of you airplane types, as well I hope to a few of the non airplane types.

So if you go to my pictures and check the 'Airplanes" album, you should see 2 pictures. I flew home on an UPS Airbus A300. Its a European made widebody, twin engine airplane. Its a little similar to a Boeing 767, only wider (and slower, and mostly French... FIRE THE MISSILES!). One pictures is looking in through the L1 door (the mane boarding door in the front of the plane on the left side). You can see on the right the "jumpseats." The fold down into a regualrish seat, and on this plane there are 4. I would say they are wider than your average coach seat, and theres no leg room issues. On the left is stowage compartments for food, coffee maker and convection oven, and just random equipment (oxygen, fire extinguishers, life vest..etc..). The other picture is from the area of the left mot jumpseat looking forward.. and you can see into the cockpit (no door.. no reason for it) and the back of the captains head. On the left is the door for the lav. Theres another jumpseat in the cockpit (or technically the "observers" seat) we can ride in if the captain is kosher with it.

Now, on the airplane I flew up to BDL on (UPS B-767), it was very similar except there was only 3 wall mounted seats and there were in the cockpit. There was no wall separating us from the crew, and one can see everything thats going on and out the windows. it's a much cooler view. If i ca manage it, I'll get some more pictures for people.

So does that clarify the "do you sit on the boxes" question? Its actually a great ay to fly, plus it makes me feel better about myself as the seatbelts are not nearly as tight as on a regular pax seat. And the only whining children on board are the pilots.

Well, thats it.. I'm pretty much vented and ranted enough for the day. I did have a great weekend, though I as missing my sweetheart the whole time. But I wasn't too nauseating i hope. Now its time to forage for dinner. Oh and I've had no interested but from Susan, Grace, and Darci about going to Savannah... hello people??? Anyone out there!!