Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back at home

Tired. Very tired. Two days off and I fly out on Saturday.

Fry's had 300 GB Maxtor hard drives on sale....picked up on for the Media Center. Running great now.

New camera works great.

Flying at 40,000 feet was fun.

I made 2 really smooth landings and

Time to rest.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

So Christmas Day 2007. I am in Indianapolis, Indiana. Why? Because I am working. I am staying at a very nice hotel, The Hyatt Place. The hotel is very new and updated. The rooms are very nice with warm colors, nice wooden furniture and a 42 inch Plasma HDTV with actual HD content! For Christmas dinner I am having a Subway sandwich. Very tasty. Kelli and I knew going in we would likely not spend too many holidays together.



Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Sims 2 ....very liberal

So I have spent the week playing The Sims 2. I am having a good time. I actually took a Character thru College....graduated, married, had kids, took the kid to College, the main Character died, I then took the kid thru College again and married. Apparently the Sims 2 is quite liberal. I was playing around with a female character and low and behold....she kissed a girl! Heck the game allows same sex dating, kissing and even whoopie! I only tried with a female character. Took her thru college, married and had her "hook up" with a guy just to get preggo and then back with her girlfriend. Quite the game.


So I was a little off on when I was leaving for Chicago. I leave Saturday afternoon for Chicago. I stay in a hotel overnight and start flying on Sunday. Sunday is going to be a busy day. I leave Chicago at noon for Cleveland. We touchdown at 2:20PM and take off again at 2:50PM back for Chicago. We touchdown at 3:25PM and get a "break" until 5:05PM when we leave for Detroit. We arrive at 7:25PM (there is a time change) and leave again....30 minutes later. We get back to Chicago at 8:20PM with an hour break and leave for Oklahoma City at 9:25 arriving at 11:30PM. Long day! The next two days are much easier with just 2 flights per day. I do spend Christmas Day in Indianapolis. I arrive at 10:30AM and don't leave until 6AM the day after Christmas. I am done on Tuesday at 11:30 AM. I have a 1PM flight back to Dallas. Hmm.....that's only an hour and a half difference. As long as the weather is good it shouldn't be a problem.

So I was past my Amazon free trial period. I ordered a few more things and then sent an email asking if I canceled now would I get anything back.  Well they did something unexpected. They canceled the Amazon Prime account....even though I had used several "benefits". Nice I guess. I didn't say I wanted to cancel...just "what if". Oh well. The camera (Canon SD1000) arrived last night. Very nice camera. It's both easy to use and VERY customizable. One thing I don't like. The battery has to be removed from the camera to charge. The last camera would charge with the battery inside.

The Media Center is having issues. While watching TV it will pause, have lots of hard drive activity, then either skip ahead or lock up. There are no errors in the error log about hard drive failure. I will likely just buy a new drive and have it dedicated to recorded TV.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Shopping

So I have had my eye on a new digital camera for a while. The Canon SD1000. It is a small, full featured point and shoot camera. I wanted a camera that was easy to use, fast start up and recorded video at 640x480 with 30fps.  This one fit the bill. It was on sale for $150 the day after Thanksgiving...but I missed it. Since then local stores have had it for $180-$250. Amazon has had a fairly steady $165.  Speaking of Amazon...popular items have several different prices throughout the day. I also wanted a Zune. The price fluctuates over a $20 spread most days. Anyways I finally ordered the camera last night. Some time in the past I signed up for a free trial of "Amazon Prime" that gives huge discounts in shipping in exchange for a yearly fee. I am still in my free trial period. I got overnight shipping for my camera for $3! I ordered some shirts and socks with free 2 day shipping. Shirts and socks? Yeah Christmas gift to myself. I actually need white undershirts and black socks.

I am almost done shopping for Kelli. Three gifts or two to go.

American Eagle announced massive openings yesterday. This isn't a growth spurt. It's the results of a mad rush to the exits. There are over 200 openings at American Eagle right now. All on jets. The pilot shortage is here. I talked about getting in the flying years ago after reading about the predicted shortage.

I think I leave Saturday. I am going to call the training center today and firm a few things up.

For now....The Sims 2.

Good day at work

I had a good day at work. Less than a week until Christmas and I only have one gift for Kelli. Not sure what else to get. We are spending less this year given our smaller household we don't really need/want much.

Next August is rapidly approaching. My payoff on my car will be $15K. The trade in will be around $18-19K. I will likely buy it.....or buy a car with 0% financing. I dunno. I have pretty picky taste on cars. We will see.

I have the next few days off. I start work in Chicago on Friday. I will be flying up there on Thursday. My first time flying will be out of the winter. Can't wait.

The following photo was taken from in Montrose, Colorado yesterday. I downloaded it from my aviation blog with the webmasters permission.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Going up

Today is my first time on the "real plane". I won't be flying it though...just observing. I will be sitting in the cockpit as the 3rd man. I will be observing 4 flights today. I will observe a flight to Oklahoma City and back and then to Montrose, Colorado and back. First flight leaves at 7:25 AM and I should be back by 3:45 PM. I should start flying for real tomorrow or Wednesday.

Weekend was okay. We went to Kelli's Christmas party Saturday night where she proceeded to get drunk and then some as she does every year. This year was the pinnacle of her drinking though. That's all I will say about that.

I realized I didn't have any black shoes last night. Well I have black shoes....but they are scuffed up. I bought a new pair. Not sure how happy I am with them......will see.

I don't have my parking pass yet so I have to park in regular people parking. I should get my pass tomorrow.

Let's go to the work.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Passed the check ride....

So I passed the check ride yesterday. I did very well. I made a few small mistakes....there is no such thing as a perfect check ride. I barely made it to the ride at all. All week long I had 2 PM in my head for the time to be there. Well I was eating lunch yesterday and decided to check my schedule to see what time I had to be there today (Friday). Well it's 2:30 PM show time for a 4 PM sim time. I then looked at my check ride....1PM show for a 2PM check ride! It was 12:45PM! I gathered all my stuff, hauled ass (legally) and walked in the door right at 1PM. The check ride started right away. I was nervous enough being late. We hopped in the simulator at 1:30PM and finished just prior to 3PM. All done. I now have second in command privleges for the CRJ 700 along with the business jet version of the plane. Today I go in for a 4 hour sim session involving a real time flight to La Guardia and Washington D.C. Ronald Regan airport. After today I have no idea what's next or when. I assume I will have a "base day" where I get my parking permit and get a tour of the terminal I will operate out of (Terminal B). I will then get two or three observation flights where I sit in the cockpit and watch the crew fly. Then I will be placed in the right seat to fly for real. I still have to buy luggage. Prolly gonna order something today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Checkrides are like a jar of Mayo. You are warned to keep cool...and don't freeze. Never been more stressed in my life. Lucky I have tomorrow off. Gotta chill.



One Of Life's Lessons

"A Mayonnaise Jar and two cups of Coffee"

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--God, your family, your
children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions--and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first--the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Sunday, December 9, 2007

No $ means no say

So Kelli changed our power company to Green Mountain energy. We used to have Reliant. Green Mountain Energy is supposedly better for the environment. They are also 4 cents higher per Killowatt hour HIGHER at CURRENT rates as is the rates that any schmuck can sign up for. The power bill that used to be $130 is now $150. It's all nice to save the environment, but the "good" we do with Green Mountain energy is almost assuredly negated by the amount of trash we throw out that could be recycled. Kelli recycles...but only the stuff that she chooses to. A lot is throw away that could be recycled. Kinda like ordering a Diet Coke with a Big Mac. I don't put any money towards the bills so apparently I have limited say. Really pisses me off though. I am really working on saving money. Delaying trips, buying food only on sale. I have reduced what I spend on food to less than $6 a day! But when you don't put in.......guess you have no say.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cleaning house.....via eBay

So I am filling up a table with stuff that has to go. I am going to begin taking photos and listing items on eBay this evening. So what's for sale? Three General Motors keyless entry remotes (from cars I have owned), Jeppesen Flight Instructor video set, CX-7 flight computer, Matrox dual head video card, many laptop parts from Kelli's old laptop and, when I get it back my, Telex Stratus 30XT headset. I am sure there will be more.

Budgeting. I have never *really* set one before. I always spent money conservatively. Well I am going to have to budget on my meager salary. I earn a little less than 1/2 of what I did when I was at Pinnacle. With many set amounts (car payment, student loan for flying and student loan for college), it should be pretty easy to see exactly how much money I have left over. Should be fun.

I think my laptop is going out. Every now and then there is a burning smell from the back when I have it plugged in and charging. This can't be good. I am backing it up daily just in case.

My dieting is going well. I just have to resist the urge to splurge. I almost went out yesterday. Thankfully I told myself to save the gas. So I didn't. I then had a low fat organic hamburger (no bun) and a serving of tater tots. I haven't had anything fattening in over a week.

Time to get ready for the sim.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Getting Cold

So this morning it dipped below 32 for the first time. Kelli couldn't start her car. Well...let me rewind. She was in the garage using a cigarette lighter powered air compressor to fill up the air in her tires. I came out and heard it was running slow. She thought it was the unit....I knew it was her car. She started her car and backed out...and then turned the car off. That's where the fun began. The Prius is not a normal car. She came in and stated it wouldn't start again. I went out and sure enough all the lights on the dash came on and flashed. Not good. I figured I could jump start it. I backed my car out, opened my trunk...and realized that my jumper cables are in my Toyota Matrix...that I traded in 2 1/2 years ago. Nice. I then tell Kelli to call her Roadside Assistance. I keep fumbling with her car. I remember reading in the Prius owners manual or via a Prius forum that the car may not start if the battery is low and the key is not inserted into the slot. I insert the key and it fires right up on the second try. Before you get crazy the Prius has a smart key system that can normally just "sense" the key somewhere in the car and start up. Inserting the key allowed for direct contact. I back out and drive in circles in the cul-de-sac. I then go inside, grab my phone (in case the car dies) and drive around the neighborhood to charge up the battery. I think her battery is going out. It's the original battery and is 4 years old. A new one is $80. It's stored in the trunk....but shouldn't be too hard to replace.

Training is going well. I am in the simulator phase now. I am "done" training next week...then off to the real thing.