“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” Continue reading Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)
I have long been a critic of the Transportation Security Administration and its parent Department of Homeland Security since their inception following the attacks on September 11, 2001. That is not to say that I don’t think that we should have security at our airports, but that we should have more commonsense policies that don’t rely on a strategy of general harassment and exploitation of the flying public. The TSA strategy is generally reactive (please remove your shoes because that one guy tried to make them a bomb) and encumbered by bureaucracy. This sort of thing has led to labour slowdowns, periodic line freezes, and other general annoyances that do nothing to hinder terrorism while doing everything to annoy and patronise the flying public. In a way, the TSA simply proves that the terrorists won.
TSA: A Portrait of Inefficiency, Ineptitude, and Waste.
Here is the (not so) long-lost pilot episode of Afterburn, uploaded with pictures for your enjoyment! As always, do us a solid and comment, rate, like, follow and/or subscribe! Much appreciated!
In this episode of Afterburn, Drake imbibes alcohol, Hammy’s dad flies a B-1, and Atari still doesn’t have a job.
To me, the image is really funny…I just picture them on horseback with their scimitar swords and their man dresses on…on a ship, out in the water.
Today’s episode of Afterburn analyses Iran’s naval power (as well as the merits of Tusken Raiders having a navy). In addition, Hammy and Drake argue about guns and whether helicopters or aeroplanes are better. Meanwhile, special guest Blue reviews AMC’s orginal series The Walking Dead and Atari recounts an encounter he had in LA traffic.
Opening theme by Wixor.
Closing music by Jonathan Mann.
So, Drake, Hammy, and I–on a lark–started a new podcast last night. Entitled Afterburn, so far it’s a humorous look at aviation news while we rant about various topics and whatever happens to come to mind. Think Top Gear meets Diggnation but about planes and helicopters instead of cars.
I came to an all-too-important realization today while I was trying to write up bios for each of us, and that was that I should always do my word processing in a local file before typing directly into a browser window. Yes, internet common sense, I know, but I was running on some 3 hours of sleep, nursing a hangover, and fueled more by mania than anything else. That being said, I’m typing into a TextEdit window now before I do all the nifty formatting things in the WordPress publisher.
I’ve been on a little bit of a creative kick as of late–doing various projects that seem to satisfy that little creative spark I get every so often. Sketchuary, I guess, was a warm-up. For those of you who don’t know, I tried to start the Sketchuary project of a sketch a day for all of February. I made it about seven days, then promptly lost any time and energy I had set aside for it as the production of Anna In The Tropics drew ever-closer. I tried to catch up while on vacation in California (mainly by sitting in the relative comfort of Disney California Adventure’s Animation Workshop and being taught how to sketch various characters), but still only managed another three or four sketches.
Needless to say, this blog post is coming out of this creative mania. I have a few artsy projects lined up, and a few completed. I’ve already done a few frame jobs, and I have a couple of collages to do (one of Las Vegas souvenirs, another of Tron stuff from DCA, and yet more of squadron patches I got tired of keeping locked away in my firebox). I’m seriously considering more podcasty things to do, but I think the blog is pretty effective right now. Maybe if I get more interesting posts, I’ll be able to attract some followers?
I know I keep saying “expect more,” and rarely deliver; I’ll refrain from that this time, and simply say that I’m excited to stay busy with more creative projects–maybe my natural zest for showmanship will fuel a desire to keep showing off even the most inane things.
Meanwhile, keep an eye open for Twitter posts and feel free to browse my plethora of diversions scattered about to the four winds:
Got to make my flight plan before tomorrow. Checkride at 1430. With luck, I’ll be a commercial pilot by tomorrow evening.
I’m to take my commercial written exam (again) in the morning. No, I didn’t fail; it simply expired after two years.
It seems like every time I get something fixed, three more crises show up to replace it. I just need to get back to a good, solid zero and I’ll be generally okay. Let’s take a look at the updated situation since New Year’s Day:
I Received a notice of code violation from the county regarding Nadia’s truck that was still parked in the driveway at the house. I called a tow company to have it removed. No confirmation on whether or not the vehicle was, in fact, removed.
I also received some letter from the county building inspector alluding that my house is not up to code. Great. I don’t want the damned place, the bank doesn’t want the damned place, and no investor wants it either! Unfortunately, I’m on the hook for whatever this is, but it’ll be Monday before I can find out the details.
Granny gave me the money to get my flight account squared-away (back to zero), and I got details from Sandy at dispatch on how to monitor the account myself. At least I can keep an eye on it now. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get student loans to go into the account and get some flight time going. I still haven’t passed my instrument rating yet because of this financial craphole, but Chris is helping me stay on top of the game–as long as I keep him informed. Likely, what’s going to happen is that I’m going to not take a flight class this semester and, if I can get money in, fly “on the side” and take another required class instead. Maybe physics.
The downside to my flight account being zeroed is that now my checking account is sitting around ($350). That’s a negative amount, to the uninitiated. It’s all from not keeping track of the balance until it’s too late, so I have no one to blame but me. Unfortunately, I have to find some way to pay for shipping on my Amazon orders so I can continue to receive payments. I just sold my Transportation textbook, and I could use the $120 to offset the negative balance.
I need help from the parents, but when I earnestly ask my father for help to buy books–as he said he would–I just get the same old song-and-dance. I’m not asking for them to pay off my mortgage so I can try to sell the house again, nor am I asking them to bail out my irresponsibility with my checking account. I legitimately need help with school and keeping my head above water in the meantime. I would just like to be able to ask for help without being thrown for a guilt trip–it’s hard enough to swallow my pride enough to ask in the first place.
I’m starting to become more comfortable with being single. I really take solace in the fact that I should be by myself and get my own affairs in order before I get involved with someone who may take on a shared responsibility with me. That was a main problem with my ill-fated relationship with Nadia–neither of us had our idiomatic “felgercarb” together, and it caused a major rift. It’s best to learn from that. If there is someone out there in the meantime, the best thing she can do is be my best friend and confidant until the dust settles. So far, I’m actually fairly excited about staying in Cochran more often–it gives me time to myself. It gives me time to bond with my fellow pilots and start clubs and activities at the school. I want to be proud of my school, and I want be able to remember these years fondly as a time of rebirth and new development. Of course, I have my grandiose schemes, but those will be outlined in subsequent numbers.
Collections calls are still coming in, but with less frequency. With some perseverance, they’ll go away entirely soon. I have at least another Betty-load of stuff to bring down to Cochran for a more permanent existence. I need to get a few things out of the house in Smyrna–desk, light bulbs, maybe the refrigerator. I also have things to get from Nadia–books, mainly. I also have a number of her belongings–her SNES, games, and computer parts, mainly–that need to go back to her.
On a higher note, I do have plans. I have my grandiose schemes. Some of them are starting to come to fruition, and some of them are close to being activated. My friends have been the main focus in my life for several months now, and it’s time to, in the words of Mister Mister, “take these broken wings and learn to fly again.” You may or may not know who you are, but I appreciate your help from the bottom of my heart. I feel like I’m very close to “square one” socially–reconnecting with the people who were important to me in the past, and making them a part of my present and future. I’ve all-but closed my MySpace account; I check in every now-and-again for the few people who I don’t have on Facebook. I feel like MySpace represents a certain time in my life whose chapter has closed–like the middle instalment of a trilogy that we would sooner relegate to the dustbin in favour of the other two. My friends on Facebook represent the best times of my life: early childhood, high school, full-time at KSU, and flight school. Most of my MySpace friends cross over anyway, and I can really only think of four people off-hand that haven’t made the connection, so it’s manageable to call or email them periodically.
Overall, I’m still excited. It’s still an uphill struggle, but I know I’ve got the power available. Now, I just need to make the climb.
It’s a brand new day, and the sun is high….
Another fun quip heard over 124.55:
TOWER: “‘Copter One-Hotel-Gulf, cleared for the option. Use caution. Traffic is a golf cart chasing a stray dog northbound on runway two. Advise in sight.”
ATARI: “One-Hotel-Gulf has the traffic in sight. No factor.”