Wednesday, January 28, 2009

take 2

Current mood:mellow

I wrote this earlier, and accidentally deleted it. Let's see if I can capture the whimsy again.

So, I'm calling on all my good friends to go out and spray some aerosol or run your cars needlessly. Lets get that global warming thing going, because it doesn't seem to be taking hold. Oh wait, it's now called climate change, cause apparently not everything causes warming.

At any rate, since Monday we've had sleet, then snow, then more sleet, then freezing rain, then finally.. more snow. So outside, on most surfaces, there an 1/2" of ice covered with 2" of snow covered with another ice layer, and then 4-5" of snow. Not only has it seemingly shut down most the town, but t's really jacked up work. I got called in for OT today, and I trudged in about 0530 this morning. Luckily the roads were mostly just wet by this point, except my little street which was all slushy. The freezing rain overnight put a nice glaze of ice on most everything. And while prettyish to look at, its unnerving to hear trees cracking and falling over. Usually taking a powerline, or worse cable line, with it.

At any rate, I broke the shell of ice on my poor car, and let her warm up for about 30 minutes. Enough of the ice shell melted to make the rest easily broken up. I have to say, my 12 year old Honda is really soldiering on. I crank her up, let here warm up, knock off the snow and ice.. and head out. Only to jump the foot high pile of snow to park in front of the house. I imagine some melting needs to be accomplished before driving off again. The only flaw was a 4 foot crack in the windshield that developed Monday morning. But that has been since remedied.

Nothing new on the work front, and frankly I'm tired of thinking about it. It'll suck to be demoted and lose the pay, but I'll manage. I did it before. It may mean I have to cut back splurging on outings, and no more super sizing meals for Susan on dates. I think she'll understand, but that extra $.99 can break me :-p.

So, as I gazed out on the front glacier, um, I mean lawn, I was quite happy to discover I still have electricity amd cable. My lucky day! Lets hope it keeps up Tomorrow is supposed to be above freezing, so maybe some melting will occur and my car be freed. I'm not entirely sure how I got it parked where I did.

Well, I think that just about covers everything on any interest. Hope everyone is doing well. Be in touch!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight

Current mood:optimistic

Apologies to all, I've been a slacker when it comes to writing. And since I know everyone out there in internet land needs to know every detail of my life, I'm truly sorry to have left you all hanging. Let's see, whats happened since.. New Years???

Well, the big stuff, we seem to have a new president. And there was a big parade. You can't have a new leader without a big parade. Luckily in this country, the big parade doesn't involve tanks rolling into you're capital and shooting at the old leader. While that makes for better TV, it's really kind of messy and should just be skipped. So, anyways, new president, yadda yadda. I have high hopes for the future and his administration, but we'll see. Some people say I'm a dreamer.

In more mundane news, I worked 11 days in a row last week. Well, over the last 2 weeks, it would be a real feat to work 11 days in a 7 day space. I'm fairly certain that I won't be doing that again for a while. I start getting a bit grumpy around day 6, and by day 8 I'm just tired of seeing most the people I work with. I did however score 2 double time days, so I'm looking forward to using those hours for something fun.

Add on top of the standard misery brought on my 11 continuous days of working the news I'm most likely going to lose my dispatcher status and return to the ranks of the assistants. And with that change I also lose 24% of my pay. Why? Well apparently the economy is bad and we're cutting flights, so less for us to do. And since we only made about $3 Billion (yes with a B) profit last year, we need to cut my salary by $15,000 to stay solvent. No, i'm not bitter... now wheres my table for one?

It wouldn't bother me as much if we were A) losing money and B) trying to run a decently efficient airline. But when you see your salary blown out the exhaust on a near daily basis, it kind of makes you want to run away to a tropical island and live day after day walking on the beach and snorkelling. Luckily, I know where there hiring for just such a position. I may need to borrow the TanJoe's video camera to create a video resume. Hopefully I want send them a special... personal... video of the TanJoe making.

So add to that Susan's been a bit under the gun with her job, things have been fairly craptastic (yes I stole that word from her) over the last couple weeks. I'm thus far not so impressd with 2009.

But, hey, we did get a new president and a big parade.

The point of hope on the Jamie not getting a ridiculous pay cut front is we have a new Tentative Agreement for a union contract at work, and one of the hopes was to create training and ATC jobs, so maybe I won't be downgraded just yet. However, we don't actually know what the TA says, and won't until Saturday (which kind of throws my weekend plans for a loop). The you have to vote it in, and that's no small feat.

So keep a finger crossed.

I've been hearing a lot on the news about "bloggers" and their reports/opinions/ideas/etc... and I'm wondering how those bloggers get TV time and I don't, and neither does anyone else I know who maintains a blog? Apparenly I need to do more self promotion so I can be mentioned, and maybe even interviewed, on Fox News. I, too, can be an "expert" on something!

I'm exploring collegiate options for finishing a degree. Why?? I dunno really, other than I want to be able to check the box on all the forms I have to fill out. I'm looking at Riddle, which holds a certain sense of irony considering how much I don't usually care for the arrogance of a Riddle grad. But at least its stuff I'm interested in (airplanes and running an airline). And I need to up my level of arrogance anyways.

I don't much else interesting to say. I'm down in BHM at the moment and passing the time while Susan herds kids. I'm feeling much more positive and relaxed just being here. The potential of a pay cut and continuing debt (how about a bailout COngress?!?!?) don't seem so bad with her around. And there's always that island job... would y'all come visit?

I'm looking for a big party soon, something that ends in hangover. I've been feeling kind of old and frumpy of late and could use a jolt of youthful dumbassery to keep me young... so some one plan something! And if anyone is interested, I'll be lending out space for Derby weekend should anyone want to come up. Make reservations now, Villa Dees fills fast.

That's about all I can think to type up, hopefully things will work out, I'm staying hopeful. Later!

(P.S. the subject line is the title of a song from a new U2 album, maybe a concert tour will come soon!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thoughts from an Insomnamaniac

Current mood:awake

Has anyone else noticed that you always seem to see a show or movie on TV that you like, and when you turn to that channel its always the same part? It's happened three times to me today. Maybe I'm just special.

Since this is the time of night that I am usually awake and at work, I am of course wide awake now on my night off. I was asleep earlier, more like just worn down and full. I crashed on the couch. Now it looks like I'll be up till the sun comes again. ON th upside, I did do something productive, I cleaned the bathroom and mopped the kitchen. (By mop I mean Swiffered). So now I'm awake and watching TV.

ANd about my TV, I made a small purchase in that area last week and finally have all the pieces put together and I think I have a fairly respectable home theater. I've moved my life into high definition. I don'tknow if anyone has made the switch, but the TV picture is like watching real life. I noticed this during the last World Cup while watching the same game on 2 different TVs, one was in HD, one not... You can't get a full idea of the difference until you have them side by side.

SO, in an effort to get my cable upgraded, I've gottn little sleep over the last couple days waiting on the Cable guy to come. Through a mistaken address and a just lack of paperwork by the provider, I finally had the box installed this afternoon. At least the cable people ehre are nice enough to give me a credit for both most appointments. And now here I sit.

In other news, there;s a little concer on the work front. Anyone who's seen any form of news media knows the economy is in the crapper by some ones definition. Thus, we are cutting back flights, and thusly cutting back the need for people flight contorlling. There's been no mention of a manpower reduction, but theres a chance I coul be sent back down to the minors. If not for the paycut that comes with it, I wouldn't be bothered. And even then I can manage on the lower pay, just will take longer to pay off balances I was working on. I should have some kind of clue in the next week how it's all going to play out.

Not much else is shaking in my world. We've gotten back to life after the holidays. I do prefer being on vacation so much more. It was a lot more fun spedning time with Susan and getting to hang out with some pals.

Through the miracle of Facebook, I've been reconnecting with a lot of old pals. Mostly from the Southwind Era, but som high school folks too. It's interesting to see how we've turned out. I notice the trend that most people are married and one their second child. Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake, but then again I've a great time. There's not too much I would change around.

There's also been a Facebook group formed in honor of the Pharoah Deesenkhamen. Now I didn't build his page, but I'm very appreciative that Woff did. It makes me feel a little special, and we all need that every now and then.

Well, I'm gonna pop in a DVD or rent a pay per view or something to entertain msyelf till i fall asleep again. Maybe it'll wake the neighbors downstairs, suitable annoyance for their trepasses against me.

I've got nothing else to throw at y'all. Good night!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Long and winding roads

Current mood:pleased

So lets catch up shall we! It's been a whirlwind 2 weeks of family, food, beaches, and a babe.

Where to start? I shot down to ATL on the Tuesday before Christmas. My mom was gracious enough to pick me up and put me up for a few days. It's weird staying back my old room at home. I tended to revert to the hod habits of just staying in my room and only coming out for food and drink.

I ventured out Christmas eve to do some last minute shopping. By last minute I mean most of my shopping. I headed out to Lenox Mall and picked up some things I was pleasantly surprised at how unstressful it was there. It was not to last. I also took a trip up to Roswell to pick up a gift for my youngest niece, Emma. I had been informed she enjoys walking in loud shoes on the hardwood floors of her new house. So, I felt she needed tap shoes to fully explore the decibel levels that could be achieved. I ordered a pair online but was worried they wouldn't show in time and that I ordered adult size. The back up was to buy a second pair... and I'm frankly surprised theres not a huge demand for toddler size tap shoes. However, once i returned home, I discovered the ordered shoes had arrived and were the right size. If anyone needs size 6 toddler tap shoes, let me know.

I tried to venture to a Best Buy or Target on Christmas Eve, and lost the desire and patience to do it That was true retail insanity. SO i threw in the towel, called Charles and met for a martini. Definitely needed to calm my nerves.

I spent the rest of the evening relaxed.

I awoke to the smell of Bacon early Christmas morning. I love the smell of bacon in the morning. ANd one of the true jos of Christmas is he pilfering the bacon mom is cooking. One strip at a time, stealthily as i walk through the kitchen. I think I may have ingested about a pound. Yum.

The family arrived, breakfast was served, gifts were exchanged (I got Sham-wow!). Emma danced about in her new loud shoes, the rest of the children got an amazing amount of stuff. For those of you who haven't experienced having nieces or nephews, try to dissuade your siblings from reproducing. Why?? Because it's the end of your really cool Christmas gifts! Once your parents get grandkids, it's over!

That evening I met up with Grace and J, or Grace-athan for a couple fo cocktails. For future reference, certain parts of Georgia feel the need to not sell alcohol on Christmas day... insanity! We being the lushes we are, we managed to locate libations.

Friday, I slept in and relaxed, then took off to New-nan to see Jersey and her family. I spent some time with them while they bowled it up and then we mini golfed our hearts out. Quite a competitive groue the Jersey's. I bid them fare the well and took off to Have a couple cocktails with the old bos, Ed, at Taco Mac. Whats a visit to Georgia without going to Taco Mac?? We talked, he gave me ideas for beach activities (more on that later), and had a few good beers.

AFter that, I met Grace at the TanJoe manor to visit the infirmed Tanya. She's hobbling about on one foot these days and we all wanted to get together before Grace took off to the dark continent. After a harrowing drive home (complete with some idiot walking out in front of me, as if he didn't see the bright headlights), I crashed and look forward to walking in the ocean soon.

Susan and I had decided a mini vacation was in order. Actually I think we decided a long extended vacation was in order but could only manage the mini one. So, Saturday, she bravely drove from Montgomery to Atlanta to fetch me (or play with mom's horses) and then we took off toward the beach. I'm so glad she was able to drive 4 hours out of her way to pick me up, she must love me. Not to mention the ridiculous traffic.

We embarked on the journey to see the ocean. I love the beach, and it's been too long since my toes have been stuck in the water. And we both really were looking forward to getting away for a few days. Susan knew of a neat little place in Mexico Beach, FL, and they were both priced right and vacant. A short walk form our room and we were in the Gulf of Mexico. Although we arrived after the office closed, our room key was left in a drop box out front (seriously) and we settled in. I reated Susan to a gourmet dinner from the Exxon as everything else was closed. Not that the selection was overwhelming, but I kid of like th smaller beach towns. Just down the road is Panama City Beach, and it's overwhelmingness.

A quick digression, it's been roughly 20 years since I took a trip to PCB. And boy has it changed, and I'm not sure for the better. Gone are the small motels and "mom and pop" places that used to sit all along the beach. In there place are large high rises of condos that block the veiw of the ocean and the sunsets. The old Miracle Strip amusement park is mostly gone, and high end retail seems to be the new order of the day. Though the t-shirt and souvie shops are still about, theres the large mall of standard stores. Which makes me wonder, why would you on vacation only to shop at all the stores you can shop at back home? Then again, it is the Redneck Riveria so maybe anything more substantial than Wal-mart may be a big change for some.

Oh well, back to the Driftwood Inn in Mexico beach. Cute rooms with antique furniture and ful kitchenette. Oh, and a beach! We spent the first day lounging about. It was a little grey and misty, but we still managed to stroll a couple miles along the shore. And then just sat out, watched the waves and the sunset, and read. The most unusual aspct of the day was the porpoises. Susan was vainly trying to point out a pod of them right off the beac, and just when I was thinking she was imagining things, one leaped out of the water and did a flip. It's was like being at Seaworld. I thought the dolphns were trained, apparently its a natural skill. So we watched them for a while as they swam about against the background of a sunset. We ventured out to dinner at a local place, and I had some tasty grouper with crab meat. Too bad they were out of oysters (though i think Susan was happy about that).

The next day we got up early (for us... the crack or 11 AM) and took another long walk down the beach, spotting shells and evena starfish. This after Susan was swarmed by a feeding frenzy of Seagulls. Apparently if you throw bread, every gull within 5 miles will know it. That afternoon we ventured into PCB for tourist activites and dinner.

I hated to leave, but we had a reservation at the TanJoe manor to keep. And they are so very gracious in allowing us to crash there I didn't want to keep them waiting. We were happy to be there, and to chauffeur Tanya about while Joe sat around the airport. The ball dropped, the New Year was rang in, and some idiot jumped a motorcycle on to the Arc D'Triumphe at Paris Las vegas. Unfortunately earlier that evening, Argyle Sillystring Argyle decied J was needed in Canadia and removed him from our presence. Damn them!

New Years day, it was time to return to real life. I hated leaving Susan, I hated returning to SDF, and I really just wanted to run away to the beach again. But I made it back. ASA was nice enough to give me (and 4 other coworkers) rides home. Its cold here, and a little lonely. I returned home to discover my cable modem was out. Nothing reset it, the tech support was unable to help... so I was without internet for a few days. And it's cold.

Which really bummed me out because i was planning to spend some money online to make myself feel a little better. Retail therapy if you will. I've been lookng for a while at buying a new TV and doing a lot of research and price shopping and what not. I knew what I wanted, and how much I wanted to pay. We brown types get a employee discounts froma few companies and I thought I had found the best deal for my money. But I'm blocked from ordering it. So I ventured out to HH Gregg to see what they had to offer. I got there right before closing. The salesman asked if he could be of help, I told him exacly what I wanted. he found it. 10 minutes later I departed with a new 42" Plasma, and cheaper than the UPS discounted one online for the same model.

It's like having a huge movie screen in my living room now after the years of the 27" TV. I do think the most amusing part was me getting the TV form the car to the living oom, and up the stairs. I willed it up the stairs, and I'm still sore. AFter I got the TV in the house, I ventured out to Target o return a gift I had bought for Olivia(some one else got her the same thing) and pick up a new TV stand. Thanx mom for the ift card that bought it.

Now, I'm waiting for the HD cable box to show up along with a new DVD theater system on Monday. But I'm happy with my purchase and everyone should make planes to come visit!

Otherwise, my internet service has been restored, I've made it back to work, and I'm settling back into life. There's an upcoming trip to BHM and maybe DXB coming up. We'll see how the second one plays out. There's also talk of schedule changes for the new year at work, and hopefully nothing that will negatively affect my paycheck.

Time to make dinner and get mentally prepapered for work. Hope eveyrone is well and has started of the New Year right!