Sunday, April 27, 2008

This could be the big one!

Current mood: mellow
I'm back in Louisville. I'm fu of BBQ an coke. I thought about having a beer, but I'm just too stuffed to really manage that.

It was a good weekend, though too quick. Was off to a birthday party friday night for Charity's sister's co-worker who turned 40. I have no idea who he was, and I think some one pointed him out to me, but we took the opportunity to have fun. We got our dance on and our drink on. I realized walking into Sutra Nightclub I had been there before, only it;s been 6 years. Chandra found it and we went in and had a good time, but I think the 3 of us made up the majority of the clientale in the bar.

I was also struck by an odd thought while chilling in the "Ultra Lounge", as their called these days. There was a time when we went out to these places and stood in the lines to pay the then ridiculous covers. And we went in, and every table was reserved or in the VIP area. I kept thinking who ae these snobs who walk to the front of the lines, don't pay cover, and have these special rooms and tables set up for them.

Well, Friday night we walked right in, didn't pay a cover because we were "on the list," and were hanging out int he VIP room. It seems the last few times I've been out to one of these clubs, it's beena simlar experience. Apparently, I'm a snob now! I don't know how it happened, I guess I just know people who know people who know people that can roll that way. It's fun, and I do think that we should do it again sometime. Maybe a nice outing were we all get dressed up, a nice dinner, and an evening of clubbing. Kind of like a prom night for adults, except not as formal, we can legally buy alcohol, and (since most my friends are in some sort of relationship) most of us wil probably score.

Anyway, I found that little observation amusing, how things have changed. I also have been observing that I'm not the guy who can party hard all weekend and bounce back with no trouble. I think I'll see a test of my endurance this weekend. Wish me, and my liver, luck.

This week marks the beginning of my official OJT. I'm back to the place where I know nothing about airplanes or how the fly. It's time to attempt to be a sponge and learn things. Even though I may no the, already. I was tol the other day I was too smart to be a Manual Revision Specialist. Whatever, its low stress if boring. And I'm not the only person I know who's smarter than their jobs.

Finally, thanks to jersey for providing my housing for the weekend, and driver. Thanks to Grace for the rides, the outing, and sue of "our" car. And Darci for driving back up to el airport.

And if the trend continues, this will be th blog that puts be over 10,000 views. Who are you people that are reading?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blogging like a rock star!

It's been a good news/bad news day. Well, lets get the abd out of the way. It doesn't look like I'll get to see Susan this weekend. I was looking forward to spending some time with my lady, but for various reasons we're hoping to get together for a full weekend in a couple weeks. I do miss her and it sucks not gettign to see as often as i would like (or constantly).

OK, the good... I had a really nice day at work today. It was my last day of classroom training. The whole week has been focused on learning the flight planning software we use, and today wa spretty mucha free for all. The morning was spent just running random flight plans and seein if we could make the new "test" either crash or just figuring out if there were any issues or function we didnt understand. Then, the whole class, which consisted of the 4 or us normal dispatch types plus some IT types who do some of the tech support for our flight planning system and thought it would be a good idea to know what it does, went out for lunch to celebrate Julie's birthday. SO after a fun mexican lunch, we headed back to the classroom, and we found out we could go get some sim time if we so choose.

THe instructor being the laid back person he is realizes that getting time in a flight simulator at Brown is an accomplishment, and gave us a 2 hour class break to go play.

And play we did. If you ever get the chance, fly a full motion flight simulator. It's like a video game, only with full surrond sound, full motion, and full realism. I went first, we each got a take off and a short cruise around the Kentuckiana area, then they lined us up on approach and we got a landing. Between the four of us, 2 people have (or had) their pilots' licenses, I had lots of tim in a jumpseat and a couple landing attempts in a sime a few years back, and Julie pretty much took some flying lessons back in high school.

I managed to get the plane in the air, which is the easy part really. And then did a flyby of one of the taller buildings in town with the occasional warnings for over doing turns or flying to close to soiid objects. Then, the landing. Like i said, we were lined up on final approach and flew it in. Well.. most the way. Initially the auto pilot flew in, and we're only suppose to run the throttles. Unfortunately, the airplane wasn't quite set up for my trip down to the runway and Auto was not going to where it should be going. So it was all on me. ANd I must say, I impressedmyself. I didn;t crush the gear. I didn't overshoot. I didn't miss the concrete. And unlike last time i played ina sim, I was pretty much on my own (last time I ha da pilot running the throttles and backing me up). I won't claim it o be a pretty approach. SOme would even say it ws "unstable". To et a good idea, watch the beginning of Top Gun where the guy freaking out was landing the plane.. it probably looked a lot like that. The guy who was runing the sim swears I've had a lot of time doing this, beleiving my swerving on final was intentional. It weren't

So, I was the apparently the only one who could fly and play with the throttles simultaneously... yay for multitasking.

And even better, today was the last day of classroom training for me. I start 6 weeks of OJT next week. Thats something to look forward to. And then the big test to see if I'm competent. ANd I'll be stressing about that later. So look for it!

I saw an article on Yahoo! earlier about 10 little known jobs. Apparently blogging qualifies as a job. I have to ask, where's my money??? I gots to get paid!!! I want to blog for cash. Seriously, this can be a job?? And i wasted 8 years of college.

I'll be around Atlanta this weekend, stop by and say hi.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

blinded by the light... wait, I fixed that.

I'm feeling very good. I'm rested, I'm still kind of sniffly and coughy, but nothing compared to what I was over the last week. I think I've moved from the cold phase to the pollen allergy phase, which believe it or not is an improvement. But the weekend was a productive one. I not only slept a lot, but I managed to some stuff down round the house.

Apparently around age 31, men seem to really get into home improvement and become addicted to shopping at Home Depot. Suddenly, look around the apartment here theres all these things I think I could do, as a hand rail, paint, expand a closet. Ad most of them I could manage, but I also have this issue with starting somethign, and just never finishing it. But this weekend, with a borrowed drill (and if anyone is looking for a gift for me, a black and decker cordless drill is on the list) i set about to install blinds.

The day started off rather inauspiciously, nothing I did was right. I was missing a big part of the blind installing process, apparently you're suppose to drill the screw wholes and not just try and power the screws into the wood. Who knew? Certainly wasn't on the freaking instructions, however the screw directly into the wood part was. SO, once i figured that part out, and spent some quality at the home depot (my third trip in as many weeks, I became the proud owner of a set of drill bits.

Eventually I whipped the blinds into shape, and now the windows are covered. Which is for luck for anyone staying in the "guest room", since is a 6 foot by 4 foot window with a clear view from the street. And as much as Grace or Tanya (who I think are coming up next month) enjoy being exhibitionists, I don't need a crowd on the front lawn. Unless i can sell tickets.. hrrrmmm

I also, managed tog et the remains of the moving boxes out to the garbage, only to be replaced with blind boxes (yes, they can't see, its very sad). I also replaced the headlight bulb on the car, which is a fairly simply procedure I managed to complicate by dropping the bulb. Of course i couldn't drop it so it would fall through to the ground...Noooo. I felt into some small part of the car thats really not easily accessable.

Eventually, i fished out the bulb and installed it. And viola... 2 headlights!

The rest of the afternoon I think will be further chilling, and laundry. It's never ending excitement here in the ville!

Friday, April 18, 2008

shake, rattle, and rol

Current mood: rockin
I had a new experience this morning. And it was very unexpected and slightly unnerving. Many of you may have heard there was a mild earthquake this morning in the Southern Illinois vicinity. Well, it happened about 5:37 this moring, and even though the center was 130 or so miles away from Louisville, when my desk start vibrating, followed by a perceived one inch shift of everything to the righ. Everything consisted of me, the desk, the computer, the chair, the building, the... well you get the point. After that there was a sort of undulating of the world for a few more seconds.

Those of you who my be out on the left coast are probably going big deal, but the first timeit happens to a southern boy who's recently relocated to the midwest, where these things don't happe, its a bit freaky.

The first impression I had was that a large and highly powered airplane was departing from the airport across the street, In the last week following the air show, there have been a number military aircraft depart, nd seemingly at afterburner. You could feel the building rumble a bit. And that's sort of how it started, and then the shift. About that time everyone in the room started looking around and one astute individual vocalized what we were all thinking... "What the hell was that?!?" The first thought was there had bee something very bad happen across the street, in the form or an explosion. As the world continued to roll and then settle, we finally realized it was not an exploding fuel farm or air disaster

SO, that was my big earthquake story. A big surprise, a slight sensation of vertigo, and a lot of laughs... especially when the local media started the live continuing coverge of what is sure to be known as The Great Quake of 2008.

The morning only got more amusing as we listened to the news station air random calls from people who had been affected. Everything from"I thought a helicopter was hovering low above my house" to "my bed moved across the room". A slight exaggeration I think. I fully expected to ehar reports of a tsunami rolling down the Ohio river and taking out New Albany (no big loss if it did).

I did have to reflect on thing. Since I've been staying in the Kentuckiana area, I've seen tornadoes, floods, a "blizzard", and now an earthquake. I'm outta here if next months if a plague of locusts swarm by or the Ohio river turns to blood.

In order to calm my nerves after the traumatic events of this morning, I've decided to take advantage of a sunny 75 degree day and sit outside and drink beer My alcohol low light has been illuminated for a couple days and needed to be extinguished. And really what more can youask than an Irish pub with outdoor seating and free wi-fi? Well, i could use company, as I seem to be surrounded by lesbians here on the patio... and no the hot kind you see on internet videos.

I seem to be moving past the illness that had me dragging all week, could be a cold or polle, hard to tel. All I know is I felt like crap. But that has passed, I'm in the sun, I have a pint of Stella, and a basket of greasy goodness in the form of onion rings on the way. Life is pretty good.

Don't all of you want to move to Louisville now? This weekend will eb dedicated to finishing the apartment. It's suppose to be very rainy anyways. So blinds will be hung and floors will be swept. Boxes will be disposed of and stuff will finally be put away.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

So what, I’m Drunk! It’s the freakin weekend I wanna have me some fun.

OK, so I'm not really drunk, yet. I did find some Kronenberg 1664 at the liquor barn. It's a tasty French beer that is responsible a few fuzzy memories during my trip to Paris. Who knw the French could make good beer?

Today was the big Thunder over Louisville, and I think I may have some inkling of what living in Sarajevo must've been like a few years back. There's been fighter planes buzzing around all day. It's been kind of cool to. I did venture out with the intent to take in the Thunder in person. However, I felt that $20 for parking, and that being th cheap lot, was a bit extreme. So, I came home, bought some supplies, went to get lunch, and watched the show on TV, and occasionally from the back deck.

I had remarked all week to various random individuals how I as more interested in the planes than the fireworks, and that's still true. I had attributed this to the fact that recent fireworks veiwings have been lacking in the certain umph that I had hoped for. I probably was spoiled by seeing the most fantastic display a few years back in Sydeny. It was fairly amazing and incredible. Well, Watching the Louisvill fireworks, they're not quite up to that level, but damn fine job. I think I just really like when they look like they're trying to blow up a bridge. So next April, everyone should think about taking in the show.

Otherwise it's been a quiet weekend at home. I've tried t catch up with a couple people and just be relaxed. Tomorrow I plan to do more fo the same, and then back to work and more training. Yay.

It also looks like I'm going to be taking in the derby this year. If anyone is interested let me know. But I have some old TransMeridian pals coming into town and we're suppoe to party like rock stars. Also found a new bourbon that's pretty damn smoooooth. Of course, that being said it's most likely $100 a bottle.

Well, my attntion needs to be diverted elsewhere. I hope everyone is well.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What manner of Jackassery must I deal with today?

It's Friday, which means I'm off work today and U have nothing I need to do. SO, I'm essentially doing exactly that. Well, Not exactly true. I managed to run some speaker wire and place the surround sound speakers. Unortunately the center channel speaker is dead, and has been for years. I've just been working around it. But I may have to actually replace it now. The other problem I'm having is that I despise exposed wires. And theres no good way to hide aall the various wires running around the room and, since I can see them, deal with the nest of wiring behind the TV stand. SO the answer is obvious, I need a new entertainment center that I can't see behind, and a new TV to fit in the entertainment center!

But I have my income earmarked for other necessities and stuff thats more important than that. But at least I have surround sound again.

Well, tomorrow is the big airshow here in the Ville. I'm not thinking I'm going to make it out there, mainly because the eather is suppose to be kinda crappy. And I just don;t know about venturing there alone. However, I did see a flock of Apache helicopters and the little airport nearby, and thy looked really neat. It's a short fence, I bet I can take one.

We'll see how I feel tomorrow,

In other news, I was told this week that there has been a change at work, I'm now to plan to go all the way through training. Initially, I wa sonly to go through the classroom portion and then wait until an opening came around for my OJT. Well, seems the powers that be have changed their minds, and with the new people hired I can be sent through the full domestic training. That makes me happy. And a little nervous. Still no word on the promotion, the alleged quitter has yet to resign, but has been out on disability for 3 weeks. So, we'll just wait.

Also, I've been getting Kudos at work, which is always nice to hear. Though it's disrupting my plan to lay low and go unnoticed.

Last night, I was invited out with coworkers again for adult beverages. I think one of them has decided this new bar is our new favorite hangout. It's a nice little place, and last night they had some good blues being played but the band. It's not crowded, but theres people. The music is good, but its not overpowering and you can still hold a conversation. It's nice to hear about things in the office. I'm very much an outsider to all the little cliches, but I like to hear opinions and ideas on how things work, or don;t work as the case may be. The trick is rememebring these are just opinions, and to keep them in such perspective.

On the upside, my union shop steward was there, and decided I wasn't allowed to buy beer until I was upgraded. I'm not good at accepting people paying for me, I'm getting better. But I still prefer to pay my own way. However, the sentiment was much appreciated, and Charlie seems to be a good guy. His kids are interested in marching Drum Corps next summer, and we were discussing that. Small world.

Anyways, today is nice out, mid 70's. The sun has decided to make an appearance. Unfortunately, more raind anc cold is coming in tonight. I'm attempting to enjoy it as much as possible. But, I have boxes to break down and I should do some cleaning.

Also, Mt niece turnd 20 today... I'm getting old! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I’m le tired

DOes anyone remember when traveling was fun??

Rant on:

So, i’ve been spending a fair amount of time of late in various airports in the country. Mostly Louisville, Atlanta, and recentl Montgomery. I like the Montgomery airport for a couple of reasons. Its close to Susan, its very easy to navigate (through all 6 gates), and there doesn’t seem to ever be more than one plane there at a time. For the first time ever, I didn’t experience a line for the TSA checkpoint. Which for me means less public to deal with.

Now, I’d like tot hink I’m a people person. I’m fairly friendly and understanding of most individual’s plights. But I’m becoming more and more convinced that the human race, on average, is getting dumber. Let me give you an example from today.

As I waited patiently in line to attempt to get a jumpseat on a flight to Louisville, the fine ASA folks were attempting to board a flight to Columbus, GA. Now, as I stood in line for about 20 minutes, I heard agent say several times over the PA system that they were boarding this flight. And then, 3 or 4 final boarding calls, complete with calling individual passenger names, they closed the doors and sent the flight on its way. Now the plane was due out originally at 4:10 or something. Its not 4:20 or so.

Idiot number one comes up, sees the sign that says "closed," takes out his earphones, and asks when they are going to board the Columbus flight. After he is informed that the plane is gone, he gets visibly agitated asking why they never called for boarding. When the gate gate agent calmly tells him she did make several announcements, and to please check with customer service counter for them to rebook him on the later flight ( a few hours later) he gets all huffy, drops a few F-bombs about the incompetence of the airlines, and storms away.

Now, I would have thought that if you were waiting for a flight to be called, one would take out the ear buds and listen for the call. And seriously, those announcements are loud, what the hell was he listening to? And if the next plane isn’t leaving soon enough for you, well theres a van that goes 28 times a day... its Columbus, GA, not Ouagadougou (there;s a place for u to look up Grace).

So, then, after idiot number ne left, another woman approached the gate looking for the CSG flight. She looked as if she had came to the gate as fast as she could, possibly late from another flight. I can understand how that would sour ones mood. You had a tight connection and was delayed, trhough no fault of yours, and have to hoof it through the airport. Well, after arriving at the gate, for the 4:10 flight, seeing it had been delayed till 4:20 (the sign said so), proceeded to get upset that the plane left with out her.. those F&^%ing airlines, its only 4:23!!! ANd something to the effect off.. These airlines are always making me late!! It’s only 4:23, why didn;t you hold it?

Well, if they held it, you would be late. Then you would complain about that! Again, theres a van 28 times a day.

I feel for Grace, and to a lesser degree J and the latter have of TanJoe! They have to see that every day they go to work. Its been re affirmed in my mind why I don’t work in a customer service job and why I tended to gravitate to cargo.

rant off

OK, I feel better. I had a wonderful weekend with Susan! And though I didn’t get to see the PTC crowd or make it down to MCO for the wedding, the weekend was very nice.

I’m hoping this week goes better than last. Seems a few people I know had a real rough week with personal losses. Not to mention the few thousand people in the industry who lost their jobs. I can only hope the best for them, and definitely send out my deepest sympathies.

Anyways, here’s to a new week! Let’s hope its a good one!

Friday, April 4, 2008

No navigator to find my way home.

I’m not where I’m supposed to be. I should be at AMie’s Birthday extravaganza, but I’m in Louisville listening to it rain. And it’s been raining steadily for about 24 hours now. The town is floating away, and the river is rising. Well, maybe not that drastic.

ANyways, I was unable to obtain a seat on a flight to ATL that would get me there before 11 pm. So, since I was missing the party, I resigned to stay here, rise at the crack of dawn, and fly to my love in Lower Alabama. I’m very much looking forward to that. I’m still struggling with the weekend plans after I have to leave Susan. It’s certainly not working out the way I had planned.

At any rate, i just finished a delicious Sushi dinner and now I’m having a meaningful and thought provoking conversation with Samuel Adams. ANd I was just reading another airline is shutting down this week. That’s 4 this week. It’s very sad to think about all the people who are out searching for jobs in an unbelievably small industry. Again, with all my friends in he industry, I’m happy we all, for the moment, have good jobs. Lets hope it doesn’t change.

So, wish me luck in travel tomorrow. It’s sad that I only get a short time with Susan, and its sad I didn’t get to see the remnants of the Harem (and their husbands/non-boyfriends), and I don;t get to hang with the BFF.

Even more disconcerting is I probably won’t be down for a few weeks. I as hoping to host some Airshow fun, but i think we’re all busy. It sucks when life gets in the way of having a life.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Mine’s started off pretty rough, but I hope it gets better.