After a month off from writing, I’m finding myself with some time on my hands and thought I’d post here. Elle’s right–this is tough to keep up with! I’m sitting in New Delhi where it’s 91° (but feels like 99°) at 1:40 in the morning! Last month turned out to be busier than I expected. After operating to Paris, we had a nice 36-hour layover where we got to meet some other pilots and eat some good French food, including mille feuille. I was excited to see it because Elle and I had recently learned about it as we re-watched The Great British Bake-off from the beginning. After that first night, we had a short trip to Milan where we got some shopping and good eating accomplished. Then we went to work. One night of Milan-Frankfurt-Paris, and then 3 nights in a row Paris-Cologne-Paris. We were whipped by the end and had a good break when we got a 36-hour layover at the end before heading back to Memphis. After that trip I was sure my flying was done. After all, I had only 22 hours left, and everyone assured me the schedulers wouldn’t use me for a trip that […]
I’ve been off the blog for awhile because I haven’t been to work. My desire to spend time typing is low to begin with, and it really wanes when I’m home with my family. I finished my last trip from Milan to Memphis in March and then flew back to Orlando. I visited a local dentist because they advertised they make crowns in house, and I wanted to get my new crown in one visit. Unfortunately the dentist said the bone decay under my tooth was too advanced, and that tooth needed to be extracted. He also said I’d probably need implants to keep my upper teeth from growing down into the gap left by the extracted tooth. The Air Force said the same thing when they extracted the tooth’s neighbor 8 years ago. Their solution was to wear a mouth guard the rest of my life to keep my upper teeth in place. That lasted a few months before I just stopped wearing the guard. 8 years later my upper teeth haven’t moved down a milimeter. Despite the dubiousness of the dentist’s claim, I had already decided years ago to get implants should that second molar be pulled. I […]
The train ride was easy and uneventful. They served a breakfast snack right after we boarded in Cologne, and a lunch snack just after Brussels. Since we were in the Premium class, we were able to fill out a form and pre-request a taxi for €7 extra. It was nice because the taxi line stretched from outside all the way into the middle of the station. We took the quick taxi to the new hotel, Hotel Paris Bastille Boutet. It’s near the Bastille Plaza, and in fact we drove right through it on the way to the hotel. I planned to take a quick nap and then go out, but I realized I would just skip everything if I didn’t go out right that second. I consulted Google Maps for the best way to get about, and I decided on going to the Louvre since it was a straight shot without multiple line changes. I turned left out of the hotel and walked about 10 minutes to the Reuilly – Diderot Metro stop. The ticket machines were easy to switch to English and accepted credit cards, though I had to use my pin. I barely have to use it since it still […]
Our second stay in Guangzhou was shorter than the first. I had time to take a nap, go to breakfast, take another nap, then hang around in the room until the late wakeup call. The captain chose to do a long, long, short, short rest cycle for the trip to Cologne, meaning we had about 3.5 hours on, 3.5 off, 2 on then 2 off before getting back in the seat for the landing. At the last company we used to split all the flights right in half, but current fatigue studies suggest breaking the rest periods up can be more beneficial than only one long rest. I slept pretty well during our first rest, and then while we were up front for the short period we got to see a lot of China. The weather was beautiful, and it was easy to see the many towns, military bases (we think) and other odd buildings that just seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. On the second rest I just read the whole time, and then we got back in the seats for the landing. The approach was one we don’t often have to fly, meaning the normal level […]
After the excessive amount of sleep the night before, I wasn’t able to go to bed very early in Japan. Part of the problem was the room temperature. Instead of a thermostat with a number, there’s a rheostat that goes from cool to warm with no numbers. I guessed how cool I wanted it, and I guessed wrong, waking up at least twice to turn it down more. When the phone call came in to wake me up, I was sound asleep and dreaming. Luckily I had mostly packed the night before, giving me extra time to stand under the shower and wish time would stop for a bit. There was a delay that caused the captain to be behind on his preflight. That gave me a lot of time without interruptions, and surprisingly I was able to complete all my duties promptly. Later he said it was my “best leg” and that I was “finally up to speed,” a backhanded compliment that was really saying “I didn’t say anything the last 4 legs but I was unhappy with your performance.” I had to chuckle a little and bite down hard to avoid saying it had a lot to do […]
Ok I managed to break my 1-day posting streak because I was just too tired when we landed in Narita. I was tired when I woke up in Guangzhou, though I’d slept a solid 7 hours before the trip. The trip was relatively uneventful, though the captain continues randomly flying the airplane for me for no reason. I get it, I’m new, but rather than proceeding from a presumption of competence and correcting mistakes, he just does things for me and says he wasn’t sure if I was going to do it. I was, but somebody else’s hand was in my way! I was whipped when we got to Narita, but like always the act of checking in and getting to the room woke me up a bit. After chatting with e, I went to the convenience store in the hotel and bought a bit of food. After eating I messed around on my phone a bit, then climbed into bed to take a nap before meeting up for dinner. Well, by the time I finished reading Facebook and a good bit of Jack Reacher, I didn’t go back to sleep until 3pm. I woke up at 11pm, then again […]
It’s been 5 years since I posted anything here. I’ve been on a lot of adventures since then that have been documented in thoughts, pictures, and my #1 fan’s blog. She suggested I start writing again instead of deleting the blog as planned, so I’m jumping right in rather than trying to recap the last 5 years. Sunday, March 4, China Time I’m in Guangzhou near the end of a 48-hour layover. We came in at 3 in the morning and leave at about 1am. That sounds bad until you realize it’s a fairly decent schedule back home, meaning I’m not yet totally out of sync with E and the boys. Just wait, my schedule will be totally screwed up by the time I get home! 😉 International travel is fun, and I do enjoy the time even when we’re off cycle from the world. I spend a lot of time awake at night and sleeping during the day, and usually I’m unwilling to go outside in the city in the middle of the night. I think that just makes sense. So what do I do? Yesterday we got to the hotel by about 3:30 am after a 3-hour flight from […]
Today was the 4th of July celebration. It was pretty well done except there was zero line control at the free food stands. And they were all next to each other in a narrow street, meaning there was one continuous line from one end to the other. I wanted to be polite, but since I refused to go hungry I forced my way into a few lines. The fireworks were very well done, although I would love to hear them with an actual symphony instead of a recorded performance. I miss the old days with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops.
How does it feel to treat me like you do When you’ve laid your hands upon me And told me who you are I thought I was mistaken I thought I heard your words Tell me How do I feel tell me now How do I feel That’s right friends and neighbors, Blues Monday in a deployed location. Yippee! In the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal. I work in an office most of the day so it’s not like I need my combat uniform. I just wonder how long it will be until the other deployed locations start getting out their irons and their shirt garters.
Today I got to go to work to brief an incoming team about airlift. The first thing I learned the hard way is that on Saturdays my usual door in the Embassy is locked. The other thing is that the bosses must not have anything to do on a Saturday because they went on and on and on. I got home eventually and walked to the Andino to eat lunch with Chuck before the daily torrential downpour.