Thursday, August 28, 2008

no subjective subjects

Current mood:impervious

I know Grace has been reading up on being a better writer, and seemingly is getting a lot of practice in on the blogging. I was thinking I should be more prolific in my own literary expeditions, but I'm not that interesting.

However, I did have some lovely days off in Birmingham. And it's always great to spend time with Susan. It's kind of weird though, I just hang around her place all day while she's herding a pride of 5 year olds around. And it's just like that, she even carries a lion tamer's whip. Then I get to spend lovely evenings with her.

Last night, I spotted a Melting Pot restaurant, and Susan thought it would be the best place ever to have dinner. Now neither of us had ever experienced fondue for a meal, though Susan has a fondue cooking apparatus. But the look on her face when they bring out raw meat was most amazing. We made it through the initial melted cheese stage no problem, but then the raw fish, filet, sirlion, chicken, and shrimp came out. And basically we boiled the food to a tasty finish in a caribbean citrus base. Very tasty, and the upside is you are forced to eat slowly and that precludes you from really overstuffing yourself.

The the funniest thing is watching 2 people who hardly ever cook anything cook their own dinner in public. It was a fun outing, and after my initial resistance, a glad I let her win that particular debate. :-p

in other news, I'm going to try and head down to ATL next week. And would like to see if anyone out there is interested in a Thursday night trivia outing? Or maybe a Braves game? I haven't been to a baseball game all year, and that's a little sad.

Anyways, today is my Monday and I get to work the long Labor Day weekend. Hopefully being a holiday weekend will it will be nice and quiet. But first, I need find food and get motivated to move off the couch.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

文章は、名誉ある Dees San

Current mood:hungry

Greetings from the Greater Birmingham area. I'm down spending a relaxing (for me) weekend at Susan's place. This essentially means I get up when she does, drive her to work, and then come back and sleep another 4 hours. After that "nap", i go out and explore the area. Usually ending up at a Barnes and Nobles. Though currently I'm enjoying a Starbuck's atmosphere.

My first week as an official brown dispatcher is over, and how eventful it was. I've gotten to be part of an irregularity report (not my fault, I just dealt with it), missed a NOTAM I should of read and used an airport that didn't like us as an alternate, and dealt with tropical storms and a volcano. But as my old boss once said, no one died, so it was a successful day in the airline business. The highlight though are the fine people a NRT (Tokyo) who refer to me as Dispatcher Dees San. I kind of like the sound of that and I'm thinking of requiring that everyone address me as Dees San.

And in more important news, I discovered the cafe (and hookah lounge) near my place is not onl open 24 hours, but serves a full bar 22 of them (4 AM- 6 AM is off limits for some reason). SO yesterday, after getting off work from a particularly annoying night at 0615, I had pancakes and a beer. I think this is is a great discover with much future potential, especially since pancakes, eggs, and hash browns come for under $5.

I'm also becoming a fan of Southwest airlines, not only do they fly non-stop from SDF to BHM (i know, its a stretch for non stop flying, but they have the technology). But they also have seatbelts that fit, go close to on time, and are really good for me to jumpseat on. No offense to my delta connection family, but they're way nicer.

And since I'm off middle of the normal persons week now, I'm thinking everyone else should change their schedules to suite me. So now, everyone will be required to be off Tues-Thurs and refer to me as Dees San. I am thinking of dropping into the ATL area next week, so plan accordingly for my visit.

Oh, and since no one cares. I'll give you an update on Ryan's whereabouts. He's been in Moscow since last week, and best I can tell been standing in line for the McDonalds there until yesterday. Luckily he's there just in time for the new cold war to start. First the middle east, now Russia. I think we all need to keep an eye on him and report anything suspicious he does to the proper authorities.

Well, I've finished my coffee and I'm getting a little hungry. Later

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Here come the jesters, 1,2,3... it’s all part of my fantasy

Current mood:gallant

I'm back in the ville. And back to work. It's almost exciting to be going to work now, since I'm doing my own thing and being my own dispatcher. THe down part is, going to work means I have to leave Susan behind in BHM. At least we both seem to be liking our jobs at the moment, hopefully we'll keep it up.

So, as a momento at Brown for getting through training, they take a copy of the first flight plan you send and have it immortalized on a plaque. So, there's a little pressure to make sure that one is right. After that, who cares?? Nah. But I think it's a nice idea.

It seems I found an episode of Friends on I've never seen, its the One with Nana Dies Twice. Amazingly I've never seen it, who would have thought.

Other than that, not much is happening. I've officially leased a garage for the bike. Now I just have to get it up here. Anyone interested ina road trip?? Cha's???

Well, thats all I've got, its time to make some dinner and soon I'll be off to work.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we may die

Current mood:melancholy

It's been a roller coaster week, and it's only Wednesday. As many of you know I'm kind of a fan od Dave Matthews Band, hence the 24 concerts attended. Yesterday, founding member LeRoi Moore died. That makes me sad. Amazingly, the rest of the band played a scheduled concert last night, as they had all summer with since LeRoi's ATV accident earlier this summer. It's kind of sad how some one I have never met has a profound effect on my emotions. I'll miss hearing the solo's live.

I also learned an acquaintence lost her child, shortly after a premature birth. It's always sad to hear a light extiguished before it could grow birght. My best wishes and thoughts to the family, and it's just a reminder that life is short, and we should do our best to enjoy our time with the people we care about.

Now, for the ups of the week. Ms. Linda has set a date to become Mrs. Linda. That's very good for her, and look forward to the event. Though she seems to be against my suggestion of a pirate wedding. I guess that leaves it to me to put that one on.

On Tuesday, I had my last checkout at work. EVen though there was a minor hiccup and an ensuing delay, it wasn't my fault and we persevered through. I blame the Russians really, they changed the airway. But at any rate, I'm now offically certified and qualified to tell brown planes where to fly anywhere in the world. While this means I'll be working weekend midnight shifts for the next decade or so, it also means I'll be the recipient of a 26% raise. I'll take the good with the bad.

To celebrate, I immediately left Lull-vull and flew down the hot and hazy B-ham and Susan's well air conditioned apartment. Which is where I'm composing this literary gem. I've really been missing her for the last weeks, and her demeanor has markedly improved with the start of the school year. She's seems much more happier and vivacious.

And while she herds children all day I've got big plans of pool side sitting and doing nothing really until i fetch her from work. It's nto a bad weekend really. Friday night I return to work, and start my the new shift. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

Thats about it, hope everyone is well. I apologize for being out of touch of late, I've got all the messages and notes sent my way, and I've been thinking about calling a few random folks I haven't heard from in a while. Unfortunately, I usually think about this around 3 AM, and that's generally a bad time for random calls.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gooooooooo TEAM!

I'd like to give a big hell yeah for the US swim team. They're doing great in keeping us ahead in the medal count. I'd also like to give props out for the Aussie team, who's running in third. Not bad for a country with the population roughly equal to that of New York City.

I've been taking in a lot of Olympics of late, it seems that badminton is the best thing on TV at times. Plus we can get them turned on the big screen at work, and it provides a much needed break from break from Fox News. And with the recent, um, disagreement in borders in the Russia area, there's minute to minute coverage of Barrack on a beach. And that's just useless to me.

So, it's time for a couple days off and then back to work at 0615 on Saturday. Which SUCKS!. I'm not a morning person. But it will be my last training rotation. That makes me happy.

As a side note, I love technology a little more. Since Susan had a MacBook donated to her from the school, we're able to video conference. It's like the old scifi movies or Star Trek episodes where the idea of video phones was just amazing. Now we got it, and it's kind of cool. Saves me from subjecting Susan to my horrible typing. And while we're on technology, lets talk about my new mobile phone. It's pretty cool! Who would've thought 10 years ago I could have a cell phone capable of full interweb access, worldwide roaming, and the ability to send video and pictures across. Amazing when you think about it.

I need to spend the next couple days cleaning and laundering. I have week old dishes in the sink begging for a wash. Sad I know. So, that seems to be the plan for my days off. I know, it's a party.

I'm looking at getting some Tech-Miami tickets for Nov 20th. It's a Thursday game and I could make i down without having the problem of work getting in the way. Anyone wanna go with me??? $40. The only other Thursday night game is August 28th against the JSU Gamecocks. As much as yelling "Beat those Cocks!" with 30,000 other people would be an experience, I don't think it's a game I'm really wanting to see. Though the idea of taking a day off and going to Boston to see the Tech/BC game.

Thats all for now, look for more tomorrow!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the word

OK, not long winded political banter this time. I promise. It's a lovely Sunday afternoon and I'm just waking up. I'm looking forward to doing nothing of any great seriousness today, unfortunately I have a feeling this plan is going to be ruined by hving to go to work in a couple hours! Blah

So I made an all to quick trip to BHM Friday evening. This work schedule seems to align perfectly with the flight schedules of various airlines serving BHM in a way that really minimizes the amount of time I got to spend with Susan this weekend. Luckily the work schedule is changing. But at least I got to spend a little time there, and even was lucky enough to do some work in the classroom. It's not as bad as I expected it, I think Susan tended to over exaggerate a little. I do feel bad i had to leave in the middle of the work.

In other news, I luckily got to ride ina first class seat on the way back to SDF, first time in years. And if you get the chance, fly in the front. Even on a domestic quick flight, it's just so much more relaxing. And I actually had a real glass drinking glass. I didn't think they did that anymore. I've also been making some slow progress in reading Long Way Down. And in the book, they meet random people who also feel worthwhile to trek across Africa, from a youth who decided to backpack around for a year to a guy who had decided to circle the globe using only human powered means (apparently its been 13 years since he went home).

While the idea of crossing the pacific in a boat I have to paddle (after of course roller blading across the USA) seems ludicrous and a waste of my time and energy, the cocnept of being gone from home, and the world of bills, work, and responsibility, does have a certain appeal. I'm not saying I'm up for bicycling around Africa for 8 years, but I do love so much traveling, and getting away from it all. Of course I'm not dwelling on the small issues of visas, border crossings, crappy food, and being generally alone. I tend to only think about the good parts.

The Olympics are currently underway in Beijing (or Peking as we called it during my elementary school days, you know back before my girlfriend was born). And while I don't normally get all inspried by the pure competition of sporting events, I do enjoy watching sports on TV you don't normally see. Currently I'm watching the Argentina/Australia soccer match (AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OY OY OY). But really, beach volleyball, cycling, swimming, diving, rowing, and water polo... all something we don't get to watch often. Probably with good reason.

But more importantly, football season has returned to the US. YAY!! Something to watch on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I mean I do enjoy never ending marathons of Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, and VH-1's I love the 80's; I've seen them all... many times over.

I'm thinking of getting some GT tickets for a home game this fall. Probably a thursday night game in November against Miami. Hrrrmmm.. more on that as things develop.

Well I suppose ts time get ready for work.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

They’re crossing their fingers, they pay the truth makers

Last night while at work, i had several great ideas and impressions I though would be fun to share with the world. Unfortunately, after a few hours sleep this morning I seem to have forgotten most of them. It' amazing how inspired one can be to rant after watching Fox News all night.

I don't pretend to be a republican, but on the other hand I don't pretend to be a democrat either. I pretend to be king of the world, but no one else seems to recognize my authority, thus I rule a kingdom of one. And not that well. He has soaring debt and tends to ignore issues at home. At least I didn't start war... yet. However, the closer the election comes the more disheartened I am with my options.

With the exception of a few issues, the candidates for change seem to have decided to changed their minds on wt exactly change is. One day its no oil drilling off shore, the next its limited. Soon, we'll be annexing the Bahamas and making each island an oil platform. Don't get me wrong, I think we as a county need to invest in a better way to meet our future energy needs. And yes, more drilling would be a way to do that. But we, as a people, need to realize that oil will run out, and we need to be prepared for it. Some people say we've hit this mythical "peak oil". Some people were saying it back in my youth. I think some people are full of poop. Also wonder how we know exactly how much oil is under a given spot.

For instance, there's 10 Bajillion barrels of oil under the ANWR lands. How do "they" know? If it's so easy to find 10 bajillion barrels of crude, shouldn't we be able to find it not under wildlife refuge but under some place no one cares about, like Detroit? I guess my point is we have no idea how much, or how little, oil is under the ground. So, should we drill for more in restricted places??? Sure. Should we have the most elaborate safe guards that can be designed by man to make sure we're not spewing crude into the gulf of Mexico or over a herd of moose... definitely. Will that increase the cost, you betcha. But at $4 a gallon, gas is still cheaper than bottled water or Starbucks drinks.

And lets go for these alternative energies. Solar.. thats a great idea on sunny days. what about during cloudy stormy days??? How about wind. Awesome. Why don't we just build windmills with solar power cells on them? Oh yeah, its because everyone thinks windmill farms look cool driving by them in a distant desert, but not in our daily line of sight.

So here lies another issue I have with our political parties. For gods sake this country doesn't need some one to bend to our mass will and desire, but some one who will do whats best for the people regardless how many people it pisses off. Kind of like a parent. We, unfortunately, have become a nation of whiny brats, and our leaders keep catering to us. We get worse... at some point, some one needs to say" No, go to your room, no mortgage tax credit for you".

I'm kind of annoyed my tax dollars are paying for the houses of people who didn't read the fine print on their mortgages. I should get to spend a week or something in the house at least... like a vacation timeshare.

Anyways, that's my rant for today, again I have to watch too much Fox News, who by the way are as heavily slanted to the right as CNN is to the left, fair an balanced my ass. I miss the days when people just reported the facts, and not try to interpret them for me.

IN other news, i put some pictures up so y'all can get an idea what I stare at all night at work (besides Fox). People ask what I do, and I usually try to explain but it always ends up with "oh, you work in the tower." At which point I just nod yes. But there, in pictures now, is a general representation of my 3 screen computer, which takes 7 minutes to run the full start up routine, and another 15ish minutes to sign in to all the various things I use.. I timed it last night. Whats more fun is behind all the windows you see, are a plethora of other windows that are open to other stuff i use... online charts, more wx, ATC flow control, historic fuels and payloads, Yahoo!, and USA Today.

Its an obscene amount of information... but there's lots of neat toys and pretty colors involved too! And for fun I can track Grace and Ryan (sometimes), and send pithy text messages when they land. Ryan is a little harder to track, service in Kerplackistan is spotty at best.

I'm going to go think about cleaning the apartment and taking a 5 mile jog. I'm not gonna do it, but I m thinking about it... just as good right?

Monday, August 4, 2008

The wheel in the sky keeps on turning

Imagine being awoken by a phone call early Sunday (ok, maybe 1:3- pm doesn't exactly constitue early) and told you have some free concert tickets available for that night. But there's a catch, it's 430 miles away.

Yes, it can happen to you!

Grace called and informed me that Amie has 2 spare tickets to that nights Journey concert at Chastain Park Amphitheater if I was still interested. She had mentioned that they might have some a few days ago, but some how had become unavailable. Well, now they were available again.

One of the benefits of airline employment is the pleasure and ability of flying away on a whim. I personally haven't been exercising this particular ability much of late, but hey... Its Journey! So off to the airport I rushed, and with only a change of clothes in my backpack. UNfortunately, I missed the first flight. Apparently some Germans thought just because they missed their first flight they should take my seat on the next one. Damn German tourists.

But, I luckil made the next one, which should work for getting em there in time. And after resolving an seatbelt issue in the jumpseat, I was on my way.

Grace whiscked me from the airport, and informed me the concert started about 5 minutes ago. Oh well, we missed the opening band. Well turns out there are three bands touring with Journey, opening was CHeap Trick, and then Heart followed. Last on was Journey. We made it in time for Heart, and they put on a good show.

ANd they did something right, they only played their old hits. That's why we paid for these tickets (or rather why we took these free tickets). Journey kept infusing songs from their new album in. Who knew they had a new album?? Who cared?? And how do they keep finding guys who sound like Steve Perry?? The little gy had a dead ringer of the famous voice. And he was all full of bouncy energy and seemed o have a nice vertical leap.

After we left the show, it was off to southern dining's fines, the Waffle House. A little couch surfing at J's. And back to the airport the next morning. I manged to clock out of the parking deck at SDF 23 hours and 56 minutes after i parked.

Well, thats all for the most part. Though while I waited to board my return flight was inspired by a speech from Obama. He's got some good ideas, but he has some bad ones too. I supose its time to start talking politics. But not now, its time to get ready for work. Thanx to Amie and R for the free tickets! And Grace for being my "deate", an J for lending me his couch.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

But rushing around seems whats wrong with the world, Don’t lose the dreams inside your head

"No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater than central air"

That's almost how I feel today. After spending a lot more time than I like without air conditioning, I'm just content sitting inside and doing nothing. And enjoying the miracle of 72 degree air. By the way, I'll buy a beer for whoever can name the movie and character who said that, no googling aloud.

It's been about a week since I've been blogging, and boy has it been exciting. The air conditioning in my apartment kicked off Monday morning not to return until Wednesday. It's been a long time since I've had to sleep in ridiculous warmth. It didn't help that this week I've been working midnights. So add the normal issues I have sleeping during the day to the added bonus of a 90 degree room temperature. If you ever get the chance to experience that, don't. It reminded me of my drum corps days when we had no a/c in most the places we were housed. I however was more resilient in my youth, and now I seem to be much more complacent and wimpy about it.

However, that episode passed. Once we found an electrician ho could replace the breaker, I had full power and cool air. Though it was interesting that the lights would dim whenever I toasted a bagel.

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. I continued my training and Thursday night I was signed off to dispatch brown airplanes to Central and South America. One more portion of the world to go and I'll be fully qualified. And more importantly I'll be getting a raise. It has also dawned on me that I'm in the last phase of having weekends off work. I start transitioning to working weekends starting next week. That's going to require a little bit of a lifestyle change. Not so much for me, but everyone else who wants the pleasure of my company.

In other news this week, I made it to the doc for him to tell me the results of a recent theft of blood from my body. Amazingly, I seem to be in decent health. For some one who pretty much eats fried anything through the car window more than I care to, I'm doing ok. There are a couple of minor things, but no big deals. Seems I'm going to live. It also keeps me a little inspired to cut back on the fast food and cook at home. I've been doing pretty good on for the most of the month. Though at the end of the month I seem to run out of food and have some aversion to grocery shopping. For some reason, grocery shopping is one of the least fun things I can think of.. and I don't know why.

Though I seem to be sore today. My arms, chest, legs, and feet hurt. I know why, and I'm surprised that the soreness resulted from the activities I've been engaged in. And its sort of pay back for being a nice guy I guess. I came home Thursday from Border's to be asked for help by a neighbour. She had a large, heavy TV she needed moved. So being the swell person I am, I said sure. Turns out it needed to be moved down the steep stairs, and to the waiting Suburban across the street. I hope she was moving and not stealing it, but nevertheless I helped carry it down.

The legs and feet come from my Friday excursion. I awoke about 2 pm and set off to downtown Louisville. I thought I'd go have lunch, a few beers, and then get in early for the nights Dave Matthews Concert. Well, I went down and found some parking, just a few blocks from the stadium. One thing about Louisville I like is it's cheapness in compared to Atlanta. For example, I paid $25 to park at Lakewood last month. I paid $5 here.

Since I was bored and hungry, I walked a mile or so to 4th Street for lunch. There's a nifty english pub there, cleverly named The Pub. So I sat up at the bar, and realized it wasn't much cooler in there than outside. I know times are tough and we're all trimming costs, but seriously turn the AC on. I was then informed by the bartender their AC was out and being worked on. Oh well, I was there, i was going to be outside all day, I might as well deal.

The bartender seemed to be bored, given the lack of patrons. ANd we had a nice conversation. He enlightened me to the news that Louisville is having a Jazzfest next summer at Churchill Downs. It's being put on by the people behind the new Orleans Jazzfest and its said that they have booked some pretty good folks in already, including Carlos Santana, Jimmy Buffett, and Van Morrison. Now I realize this could been all BS, but if it happens, this could be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it.

After I finished a couple beers and a really good salad (with cranberries and mandarin oranges), I walked the mile and half back to the stadium. I did stop on the way and purchase a large bottle of water. Did I mention it was hot? I also was overflown by a formation of fighters. Since the approach to SDF comes in right over downtown, an airplane overhead is no big deal. But I could tell by the engine sound these weren't your standard QR-19445.6 passenger planes, but were the military type that fly fast, look hot, and blow shit up.

I continued to the stadium, and even though the gates didn't open for a couple more hours, there was a line around the corner to get it. I'm apparently just not dedicated to getting up early and standing in line all day for concerts anymore. Instead, I went inside to the brew pub and had a couple more beers while I waited. A co-worker bought the extra ticket I had was going to meet me there. She was late, so I continued to enjoy the AC. Once she arrived, we headed into he heat and concert atmosphere. Unlike your normal amphitheater, this was being held at Louisville Slugger Field. The stage was set up in center field, with General Admission being in the outfield. SO we found a nice spot in front of the sound booth and settled in for the evening.

Opening for DMB this time was Willie Nelson. Yes, the guy who's been singing and writing music for 40 years is the opening act. It was cool to see, and I can check that off the list of things to do in life. As the sun set, the band came on. there was rocking, there was dancing, there was singing. A general good time. I lost my "date" early in the set. Oh well. I managed alone. Plus there were fun people around me. Unlike the Atlanta show, I wasn't completely surrounded by teens smoking pot. I actually only got a whiff of second hand smoke once or twice.

I did very much enjoy the show, and its been a pretty decent week all in all. This coming week is more of me on the midnight shift. And really not much else going on. I'm feeling a little bit of wanderlust set on. I want to go somewhere, and soon hopefully I'll be able to afford traveling again. I didn't get a big adventure in this past summer, or even a beach trip. Maybe in the fall I can get away for a weekend... oh wait, i work those now. Well, an airline weekend (Tues-Thurs).

That's about it, I'm off to do not much of anything. And I'm going to enjoy it.