Past Weekend's Haps

The Chargers couldn’t lose because they had a bye week, JR and Veronica had their wedding shower, Adelle convinced me to head out to Disneyland before our pass privileges were set to expire, I got a chance to hang out with Dr. Nourani in Downtown San Diego, and I did a little work in finishing up my migration to my new MacBook Pro.

Disneyland was definitely a great highlight as the lines were short allowing us to ride what we wanted (California Adventures’ Soaring is still the best), the apple pie caramel apple was a delight and the biggest plus was seeing one of my college roommates as a Jedi Knight Instructing young Padawans on stage at a Disneyland show!  Mr. Stephan Oyoung, without a doubt has the best job.  Working 4 days a week teaching kids how to rid the world of the dark side with light saber techniques, what more could you ask in a post graduate occupation?!  Two thumbs up and kudos to you Jedi Oyoung.

On the day of voting, I got to witness a new dawn in Downtown with yet another college buddy, Dr. Nourani and was readily entertained with his residency stories.  I mention a new dawn only because it was about the time when Barack was making his acceptance speech and McCain ending his bid. Bobby's stories make me wonder where I would have been at if I did do a post-bac program in lieu of flight school.   We ate at Marsala (an Indian restaurant of course) which was tremendous but a bit overpriced then made our way to Altitude Sky Bar where we got to see the Madonna Concert without the Madonna.  Good times all around, but once again I find myself commuting back to work.  It’s been a while since I’ve been at the crashpad.  I can’t wait to get the band back together.  

Hunnington Beach

I got to really just hang out with some buddies this past weekend which was quite relaxing and enjoyable.  I went out with my buddy to a shooting range and I have to say that I was relieved that my aim is still pretty good.  I still have a lot to learn, but its definitely getting to be a little bit easier as my confidence level goes up.  The shooting range in Oceanside called Iron Sights is a great place to rent and try out a variety of handguns and rifles.  That's my number one choice in San Diego for now until I have to re-qualify next month.  I also ended up at a Moroccan restaurant called Marrahkesh in Newport Beach where I had rabbit for the first time.  It definitely tasted like chicken but I can't say that I was too impressed.  The lamb was awesome but I enjoyed the baklava and tea the most.  The tea was a minty green with a lot of sugar.  The rest of the experience was enjoyable as I got to hangout and meet some people for the first time.  I met one of my friend's roommate from UCSD and his wife of almost a year and she participated in the belly dancing.  Bobby also got up and danced a bit.  It was all fun.

We headed out to a bar in Newport Beach called "The District" which was basically a really small bar that was on par with PB Bar and Grill but a little bit more upscale.  We had a couple of drinks, met more peeps and called it a night night around last call at 1:45AM.  I crashed at his pad and woke up to a beautiful day.  I really can't see myself leaving Southern California for anything else and I didn't want to leave.  We walked the pier and ate a Duke's where I had an amazing seared rare ahi steak tuna.  The food was spectacular. 

Now I'm headed up to Flint, Michigan where I'm going from 70F to 11F.  i can't wait! 

Moving, Mexico, 4-day (part 1)

Well, I decided to go on an excursion this past weekend all beginning with a notion that I wanted to surprised my lovely sweetheart in the city of Cuernavaca in the state of Merelos just one and half hours south of Meixco City.  The whole notion was originated by spontaneity like most of my "less than 24-hour excursions." (refer back to London) 

Of course, I had to do this all in the middle of a full four day trip followed by two days off then back to work for another four day trip.  In between this all is where I was to take a flight to Daytona Beach, move out, drive back to Atlanta, take an early flight to Mexico City, somehow get to Cuernavaca, drive back up to Mexico City at 3:45 in the morning, make a flight back to Atlanta which connects in Orlando, take the shuttle back to my car, get dressed then head back out for work. 

It all began like this...

"Hey dood, I'm going back to Daytona to vacate the master suite so that I could rent the entire house to students." -me

"I could help you out..." -Kurt

"Sure..." me

Well that's when we made the plans to fly down, rent a one way SUV pack all my stuff in and drive back to Atlanta.  Kurt and I could moved an array of affections that I've collected since I first moved there in 2005, loaded up the 2008 Ford Explorer from Avis Rental Car then headed out.  We stopped by our old flight school, CAPT, and caught up with some instructors and students and also found one of our favorite ground / flight instructors, Cary Green,  at his own facility called Avia Aero Services.  It was great reminiscing about all the times that we had and learning about a few of our other colleagues and just getting reacquainted.  I do miss the kind of educational, promoting, environment that we had at CAPT. 

We drove back making minimal amount of stops which included eating at Woody's BBQ, getting Starbucks' Java Chip Fraps with Red Velvet Cake and fueling up.  We made it back to Atlanta around 12:00AM, upacked and drove back to the airport to drop off our rental.  I got home around 3:00AM due to van time confusion which forced us to wait 30 minutes but needless to say, I was tired when I got home...wake up time for Mexico, 6:00AM.  Thanks for coming along Kurt and helping out.

Winging it...

Day to do things these days have been more of an adventure the more I think of it. Random places and bars...different restaurants and foods...almost killing myself on a 10K (my first one by the way) and just flying to pay the bills! The 10K took place in Northport, NY an was called the 2007 Cow Harbor race. I ran it with Matty P and his friend Sean. I didn't train and I'm definitely paying for the pain that I'm feeling all over my body, but I like to think that I did just alright. I mean, I finished and I really had no gauge on how good I wanted to do or what a good time was. I really didn't do anything to prepare myself..hence, winging it!

I'm heading to San Diego again this weekend, but I'm not sure whether or not I'm actually going to go anywhere else in terms of a vacation. Should be fun to just go somewhere random. Maybe Salt Lake City or something. We'll see...I'm not sure if you have me on facebook or myspace, but I do have a profile there with some new pictures. It's almost as if I have to keep up three different virtual lives these days and make sure that I tend to them! Anyways, today was just a waste of a day really. I finally got a working installation of Windows Vista with some other programs ready to go for some actual work usage.

What I mean or am talking about it the project that I'm trying to get going, but there are just too many things in my head. I want to keep on running (after I fully recuperate), buy new shoes, head up a project, fly and study more about it so that I'm ready for an interview just in case I need to apply somewhere else (long story) and then fly back to Daytona to take care of some things, geez...just so many things to do that it stinks that I can't really work on too many things when I'm on an overnight. It's not like I put work away during the 4 days that I'm on when I'm at the hotel. I wish that I could run errands or something, but you just can't do anything. I guess that I could continue running and planning, but sometimes you just do want to do anything after a day of flying. Tomorrow I have 5 legs...that's going to be a doozy!

airTran Business!

I'm currently riding on AirTran Business Class this afternoon on my way back to Atlanta. It ended up working out where Delta Flight 1460 was full, an S2 wouldn't work and the jumpseat was occupied by a fellow pilot whom I could have kicked off, but I wouldn't want that to happen to me. So, once again, on this roundtrip, I have done my part in the continuing effort to help out people. It's a good deal. I of course ended up riding on AirTran. I'm almost willing to continue doing it this way because the business seat is that much better. I'm loving it. There isn't a movie or TV's, but the friendliness of the Flight Crew, XM and variety of whatever really is just a good change.

I enjoyed hanging out with the parents and the cousins once again. It tried to upgrade my mother's computer but the RAM that her computer uses isn't available anymore even at Fry's! It sucks! Now, I have to order it from newegg and somehow then pick it up etc. It's just a little bit of trouble, but should work out. I also ended up fixing up my cousins computer and ordered up the internet for them. I have to fixed it up for them next Tuesday and take my mom and sister to LAX to fly to the Philippines. I wish that I could have gone, but oh well. My job is just too demanding.

I'm getting really close to my 2nd year mark where I'll actually be able to afford a somewhat minor upgrade in lifestyle. It's getting a little harder here and there especially now that I have a day line. I notice that I am actually spending a lot more on food these days as I've neglected to pack a lunch. It's become a little cumbersome, but I might do something about it this time around. The peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an awesome snack to have and I might end up bringing some slimfasts with me as well and just throw them in the ice drawer. Tomorrow is setup to be a really long day blocked to a long 7 hours and 52 minutes! That means that I'm basically maxed out according to the FARs. The overnight in Greensboro though isn't bad as I remembered that there is a rib dinner special available. I'm definitely going to try to hook that up!

Quote...

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence." -Robert Frost

I just felt like I wanted to start this entry off his way...here's the entry that should have been placed here yesterday afternoon or something.

August 8th, 2007
Today was definitely a good day to wake up to. Besides the small note of being pretty burned from hanging out at the beach all day yesterday with the cousins, it was good. I felt like I had yet another good time in San Diego relaxing after a gruesome 4 day trip. I was also still in San Diego just feeling good to be home in a city that I love and where I am surrounded by so many friends and family.

I'm actually starting to feel like I need a place of my own. It would be nice to be able to come "home" to something each time I'm done with a flight and just relax. I dislike imposing on my girlfriend and her roommates and I definitely don't necessarily feel like the Farm House (a.k.a. Loxford Lounge Crashpad) is like my own place at all. The house in Palm Coast, Florida was the last place where I felt like home. I plan on going back ASAP to take care of the grass and various home owner things that I need to look over, but I guess I really wouldn't mind "living" there. The last time I was there in December, I really felt like I could find peace there. Besides the heat and humidity, I was getting use to it. Next to the house that I grew up in, it was the 2nd longest place that I lived at. We'll see how things go in the next few weeks. See how the commute is and stuff after my next visit there. I don't have a car there tough so renting would just be more of a hassle and yet another expense to my already so little regional pilot wage. I'm also thinking of driving back down there on a Sunday only to drive back on Wednesday so at least I could "move" more stuff out of there. To where, I haven't a clue. I don't even remember what I have left there. Maybe I'll see how much it costs to rent a car and move it from Daytona to Atlanta. I have no idea on how to ship things back home or of course to where the heck home would be. I just have a lot of books and clutter really. I also thought that leaving some clothes there would be beneficial if I needed them in some distant future. One thing is for sure that I need to get my motorcycle gear back to ATL or SAN so that I could get back into it. I don't have a bike or anything, but I just want to be prepared.

I'm gearing up for another 4 day trip. Make sure to click on my calendar above. If you'll take notice, I'm going to have some early duty-ins again such as 5:30AM, 6:30AM...I can't hardly wait again. I like getting in early to the hotel so that I could rest but I definitely don't want a repeat of my 3 hours afternoon nap. That messed me up so bad to where I wasn't able to get back to bed till around 3:00AM with a duty in of 5:30AM. Oh well...here goes to my overnight in Greensboro, Alexandria, and Montreal for the upcoming week. Of course, I rinse and repeat the following week. =)

security nightmare w/ awesome dinner!

Today started out a little hectic trying to get on my flight back to ATL today with the fact that the line for security in Terminal 2 was being held up for 1.5 hours due to a security breach. This in turn caused the captain to time out and us to end up flying to Salt Lake for a new crew then on to ATL. Oh joy… now instead of getting into town around 5:00 PM local, I’ll be there around 11:00 PM. Should make out to be a quick nap at Loxford Lounge then onto my awesome four day trip. I spend the last three days just hanging out in San Diego and got to see the Padres vs. the Mets. Adelle and I took the trolley to downtown which was really easy and cheap and we ate some garlic fries and hot dogs. This is the definitely of a good night at the ballpark.

My line in August that I was awarded consists of 350 hours away from base so that should provide for another $500 of per diem. Now as long as I don’t’ spend it on food while away, I’ll be good. I also might be able to pick up some open time in August for some time and a half to help out with things. The biggest deal will be swapping out my car in Atlanta for the one in Wildomar. I’ll be driving the 1985 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbo Diesel and it doesn’t have any air conditioning. That’s going to be fun in Atlanta. If anyone has any ways to create a new cooling system in a car, please tell me. It might be a little rough, but we’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck!

I had dinner with an old friend tonight and it was fun just hanging out. I'm glad that she's doing well and I do hope that we get to talk a little more often. We ate at a place called Joe's right near the airport and I have to say that they made me a really awesome hamburger. Now I'm fat again.

Still haven't found my headset (QC2s) or my video iPod. I'm very disappointed with Delta Lost and Found! =(

updating + time

I've been just really up to no good lately. I've gotten lazy and after I get to the hotel at the various places that I go, I'm just tired. I'll try to better again in July and keep it more up to-date. I'm not sure if you have been following along but I'm activated the "twitter" feature and usually you can find the latest short ramblings to the right of the main title of the blog. It's meant to be short and sometimes I'm just that lazy to type anything out so I just use my phone. It's actually really nice.

I've also update my pilotcrossings profile with my full July schedule. (it's easy to look at my schedule as long as you sign up for it. It's free for everyone and its actually really cool. I'm blocked to fly approximately 96.06 hours!!! It's going to be a crazy month but I guess that I should get with the program and accumulate more hours rather than sitting on my ass. I get to fly to Freeport, Bahamas next month but its not an overnight. It should prove though to be a lot of fun. I can't wait. I'm doing the same trip for 3 weeks in July and I'm also planning to go to Anchorage to visit one of my buddies from CAPT. Should be fun and I hope that the loads work out!

My friend Bobby is finishing up his Doctor of Osteopathy degree and studying for his boards on July 22nd. I was able to catch up with him and he even showed me a thing or two. It's awesome how I'm at the age where my friends are now professionals. I still have a way to go till I get upgraded, but maybe once I'm there, I'll feel like I'm somewhat on par.

I haven't gone shopping in a while but there were some awesome sales at Ruehl, Abercrombie and Hollister so I had to buy a few shirts. I've been watching movies like crazy lately with Adelle. We were able to catch up with some of the latest and greatest such as Spiderman 3 on IMAX, Shrek 3, Pirates of the Carribean part 3, Oceans 13 (wow that's a lot of sequels eh?), and Knocked Up. The most fun was probably the last one but they were all somewhat entertaining. The most disappointing of the batch was probably Shrek the Third. They should stop probably with this one.

The iPhone is coming out and I'm not as excited for it as much as I am for the new Sprint Mogul phone. It can do just about everything but just has a smaller screen and runs Windows Mobile 6. There are a lot of limitation with the iPhone but I'm sure that when Apple can release different models on other carriers, I'll start to garner a little more interest on it. I'm probably going to call Sprint though and see what kind of deal I can get by staying with them. If not, then hey, I'll go grab the iPhone!

Padres are doing alright and we were first for a while, but once again, the hard division that we are in is just getting the best of us. I hope that it ends well though which I'm sure it will!

I'm checking out the Otterbox right now and am tempted to grab it for my iPod video. I'm into swimming more so right now as it is less intense than running on my joints. I just feel like doing it with some tunes in my ear. We'll see how the headphone set works with it too! I'll do a review or something of the set once I get them. Alright, that's enough right now. I'll post more later. CYA!

I was home this past weekday to celebrate my mom and girlfriend's birthday. I didn't get to do anything with my mom, but Adelle and I went to Sea World and just hung out. It was good times!

1st Trip out of I.O.E

Well, today marked the end of the first trip out of training. I flew a total of 4 legs on this two day trip, 3 yesterday and 1 back to Atlanta today. Definitely a good trip being that each leg was just about 2 hours long. Within those two hours, I got a chance to continue learning more about the plane and various techniques that the Captain has learned throughout his career in the CRJ 200. I consider myself very luck to get a Captain on my first trip that was really cool.

The overnight in Islip, NY was pretty cool, but once again, I didn't get a chance to venture out only because we arrived late, and I just wanted all the sleep I could get. The Radisson has some great contract with SleepNumber and I had a chance to sleep on one. It was great, but I have to admit that it still felt like my current air mattress from Wal-Mart. It wasn't that bad really, but it's just an air mattress that can inflate and deflate with you on top of it. One of the guys in the house just got a "tempurpedic" from Wal-Mart and it definitely feels quite comfortable. His bed was $280 and mine was only $59 or something like that. Huge difference, but like my roommate said, "It's a lot cheaper than back surgery." I might turn in this air mattress maybe 1) if i can find the receipt 2) if i really want to spend that kind of money. I don't even have a frame to put it on top of either. I'll see what's up sooner or later.

I got to go home to San Diego again and spend sometime with friends and family. I'm starting to actually commute if you will and hopefully I'll get the chance to go back home sooner than later. I'm looking at a flight for Wednesday right after I get off of my flight from Providence, RI but I've never traveled in uniform and I'm a little hesitant. I still have to check out my schedule too for the upcoming reserve line that I have for April to even make sure that this trip would be worth while. I'm going to use this trip as a last one for a while until I get the reserve thing figured out and to spend more time here in ATL finding a part time job. I need to definitely do something else to cover my ass.

The Luggage Works Pilot Bag that I ordered a while back finally came in. It was a pretty penny and it has already scratched me a little bit with its metal frame, but I'm definitely impressed with its build. I'm just glad that I don't have to carry my flight case in one hand and drag my suitcase in the other.

To answer all those questions about pay, etc and stuff, here's a print shot of an awesome website called AirlinePilotCentral on ASA's Pay Rates. It might look like a lot, but remember that here at ASA, we are contractually held to only 97.5 hours a month while the government allows 121 Carrier Pilots to 100 hours a month. The hourly rate is the pay we get when the plane is moving, so once again, we don't get paid while we are on the ground. We do get a per diem if we are on shift for that time which is $1.50 an hour. But hope that this little spreadsheet enlightens you all. Here's also a government description of our occupation: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos107.htm It's probably the best description out there except for a few details left out.
Got to get some rest for another 1 legger tomorrow and 3 the next day!

The Chargers new uniforms kick ass and they are opening up against the Chicago Bears! That's going to be just pure awesomeness!

Checkride = Success!!!

I couldn't have done it without the many prayers from my family and girlfriend, my partner Eric Christiansen and the studying that I did with Kurt. Thanks guys for your extra patience. It's almost like a speech that I'm giving, but seriously, this is big for me. It's not like when I passed the MD-90 check only because I'm actually going to be hopping up onto this aircraft and fly people around.

It was the first time that an Aircrew Program Designee (APD) gave me an Atomic Fireball during a check. He said, "If you could take a checkride with a fireball in your mouth, then you have to be pretty good." So, we took the challenge and popped them into our mouths. I haven't had one for a while and the burn surprised me but it did take my mind off of the pressure a little bit. Thanks for that!

I oral exam went better than I thought with only a small slip and the ride itself went great. I could have done better, but I like to think that it was good. It was like the A+ that I had to follow, but I'll give myself an A. I start my first flight on Thursday, March 8th, 2007 early morning. But till then, I have to sit on a couple of observation flights. Should be exciting!

Check out my new ride!

London in 28 Hours = No LAX

This stinks...during a spontaneous trip to London, my sim partner and I who were very excited to get the new LAX base found out that ASA was closing down its LAX operations this June. Looks like I'll be stuck here in Atlanta. It's not really that bad of a thing, but I was really looking forward to handing out with some old friends and just getting back to a normal West Coast Lifestyle. This is the airline industry though eh?

Here are some pix from the 28 hours that Eric and I spent in London. International Business to and from London! Now that's the way to travel. 6 course meals and everything. It was the royal treatment. It makes you feel guilty for what you get. Because the original plan was for San Diego, that's what I packed for. I wasn't ready at all for the colder weather in London, so first thing was the find a store with a sale and buy a sweater. I ended up with a gray cardigan from Espirit. I guess if I was to do some shopping in London it was the right choice since the US doesn't have too much brand influence from these guys. Ironically, my sweater says New York on the left upper arm. Eric and I had some curry fries which just proved to be the best food for a quick snack.

Next trip is to Amsterdam or Copenhagen. Hopefully I'll run into some friends from a past life. It was an awesome choice but way too expensive. The dollar just under-performs the pound making it all too hard to "vacation" in London. But, you have to give it up to them for keeping it up there.

I miss you babe! I really really do. I wish that I could have come see you this past break.

to enjoy good food...

Once again I was able to enjoy the awesomeness of what is Sam Woo BBQ at Ranch 99 in Clairemont Mesa. Spicy Salted Pork Chop, Garlic Baby Bok Choy, House Special Chow Mein, and Walnut Shrimp...that is the meal that just works every single time. Especially when you eat it with some good friends. It definitely sucked that is was raining here in San Diego this trip around, but it really wasn't that bad at all.

Adelle and I watched a movie today called "Because I Said So." It was good entertainment. We then went to Barnes and Nobles for some good studying time. I read what was required to get ready or my next 3-4 Sim Sessions which brings me to the end of training. I can't say that I'm totally ready as I have a lot more to study before my oral exam. I hate how I have to read things over and over again. It takes a while for me to remember things and to actually store them in my mind which stinks, but I'll get it sooner or later. I'm definitely going to use tomorrow's plane ride to study. I just hope that I'm able to get on one of the morning flights back to Atlanta.

I'm not sure if you guys noticed or anything that but I've added a link to my friend Eric Christiansen's Blog as well as another feature that contains some news articles that I've elected to "share." I've been using Google Reader for quite a while now and I'm loving it. It seems to lessen the time that I spend reading different websites individually and just condenses everything into one continuous read. It's nice and I've never been into RSS Feeds until Google finally updated their version. I was using Mozilla's Thunderbird for a bit, but this is nice. Now, I just need a page with all my bookmarks so that I can retrieve them wherever I am.

In other news, the Chargers seem to be stacking up on coaches with the hiring of Norv Turner, who in turn named long-time NFL assistant Ted Cottrell the team’s defensive coordinator. We also picked up Ron Rivera from the Chicago Bears to be our Linebacker coach. It's going to be interesting to see what kind of new plays this new all star staff will come up with. I'm still a little disappointed on the decision that the Chargers made, but we have to look forward from here. Who are we going to pick up in the 1st round?

for a perfect sim & pho!

I'm going to do it. I swear I will. There will come a day and hopefully it'll be Sim #3 where I am not going to be making silly mistakes and making call outs with confidence. Really, I promise you. I'm going to try to take it easy tomorrow and just review a couple of small things. I've made about a page of notes on what I could have done better today and another page yesterday full of things that I could work on. Of course, I have to work on quite a bit, but I'm going to tackle each problem one by one and before you know it, I will be awesome! I mean, there's really no choice. I need to be awesome.

Sim #1 and #2 were both a little tough. I was basically just getting the feeling for the sim and it took a little longer that I would have liked. I have a good feeling though that I have it done. I just have to go in with the right attitude and keep it up. Wish me luck and pray for me please!

I found Pho in Atlanta almost two weeks ago and finally found the chance to head out to Pho Dai Loi #2 up on Buford Highway NE #G. It was great. I was like Pho Hoa Cali great. I walked in with Eric and it was just like any other Pho place in San Diego. The smell of familiarity made me feel right at home. You usually are seated right away, check, handed menus and water right away, check, and receive your food about 2.5 minutes right after you order...check! I was hoping to taste something that slightly tasted like Pho and I know that you can't really go wrong with it, but trust me, I've tasted Pho that didn't taste good but this was good! It was tasty and spicy and just right. I ordered the normal, noodles with rare steak, an appetizer of spring rolls and Vietnamese Coffee to cap it off. I thoroughly enjoyed it along with the company. I always enjoy going out to places and bringing along friends who have never tried a specific kind of food. Makes it all better and complete when its done and the other is satisfied. I'm just glad that it was what I hoped it to be. I'm going to have some rice and pork chop next time I go there. I can't hardly wait. Maybe tomorrow night for dinner or like on Friday. I don't know. I'm just glad that I have the option.

I also found an Indian restaurant called Rose of India somewhere around Peachtree. This website says it all: click here

Well, I'm about to just head off to sleep. Oh yeah, I fell asleep like at 1930 (7PM) last night. Sorry about not having an update. I didn't even get to work out either. Oh well, I'm going to take tonight as another break from exercising. It's probably a good idea to give my body a rest anyways.