Three Flights Down to One Long Extended Flight

Something things go right sometimes they don't.  Yesterday wasn't something out of the ordinary but I guess some of you never experience the frequency of weather or maintenance that we encounter working at an airline.  Looking at the weather prior to our departure from Dallas-Ft. Worth, we knew that we could expect some thunderstorms during our approach into Charleston, West Virginia. Blocked to just a little over two hours, and looking at the terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF), we took off with confidence that we could "beat" the storm.  Whether or not to jet east and then up and around the front or penetrate earlier in the flight and fly behind it, we chose the former.  Usually you chose the latter, but once we were in the air, the weather didn't look that bad.

Almost an hour after our scheduled arrival, we made a safe approach and landing safely getting all our passengers to the terminal.  It wasn't without bumps and initially the weather at CRW wasn't calling for landing conditions, but after 45 minutes, the initial thunderstorm cleared and calm winds presided.

Acey 2502 DFW-CRW

Arriving at the gate, the plan was to leave as soon as we could board up, refuel and clean the aircraft but things changed. The plane gave us a flashing light notifying us of a maintenance item which after two hours of coordinating with dispatch, maintenance control and crew scheduling, ultimately led to the cancellation of the flight. Repositioning the aircraft to another portion of the airport, coordinating a shuttle and hotel stay our day came to an end with nine hours of sleep.  We also had the opportunity of riding the hotel shuttle back to with some passengers who were taking the cancellation well.

So back to present time, scheduling had us report at 5:15am this morning and to no surprise without a phone call or notification from anyone back at company, we came down for the scheduled shuttle back to the airport only to find out that the aircraft wasn't ready. I'm now back in the hotel room killing another two hours before our next scheduled van ride. At least I can now grab some coffee.

update: I just got a call a couple of minutes ago notifying us again for a change to 6:45am which as I spoke to her was actually six minutes in the past.

21 8.2013

 adellelijah_3yranni

I know that the title and post are redundant but it marks the day that I said the special two words, "I do" to my lovely wife.  We've actually been dating for over ten years (wow time flies) but only married for three of those.  Things have only gotten better and it couldn't be more perfect especially with the added bunting.  Happy anniversary sweetie!

 

Looking Back at Norah Renée

Exactly one year ago to the date and time, we welcomed my daughter into this world.  Everyday since then, my wife and I have been living a truly blessed life with such a vibrant, loving, huggable, and curious little munchkin.  As cliché as it sounds,  I really can't believe how fast time has gone by.  Happy Birthday to you Ms. Norah Renée.  Momma and I can't wait to celebrate and share more life experiences with you! Here's a photo of Norah at six months pushing herself up and staring back at me.  Not staged, not planned, my wife captured this wonderful moment.  The photo below is also unedited.

NorahandPapa

I've also just entered the photo into the I Shot It Child Competition 2013 No 3 for kicks and giggles. So far, with my entry, I'm at number 470. Ends in five days and there are so many great photos!!!  Wish us luck.

If you really want to know more about the composition and the photo, check out Jeffrey's Exif Viewer.  Here are the basic details: Olympus OM-D E-M5 ISO 800 1/40 f1.4 25mm

iPhone 4S for One More Day

20120922-081022.jpg

One of my best friends happens to be getting married today, September 22nd. That's iPhone 5 Day + 1. Fortunately for me, I was successful in completing a preorder via apple.com thus receiving both his and her iPhone 5(s) on the morning of the 21st. Incase you're wondering, I ordered a white 64gb for myself and a 32gb black for my wife both of us sticking to our "unlimited data" with AT&T.

For some reason, UPS had my order on two separate trucks. Mine came in first and hers eight minutes later. I chose to setup my wife's first because she deserves the best and I'm a little particular in the way I setup a new iPhone; I don't restore.

Where am i going with this? Ultimately I held off upgrading knowing that i5+1 would be a long day. I would awake at 0700, unplug and not charge until maybe 2200 if not later. That's at least 14 hours of usage. To help me with this day of festivities, I would need my trusted Mophie Juice pack.

Because the iPhone 5 uses a different connector, my $100 battery pack remains incompatible. Because of this reason alone, I chose to stick with my iPhone 4S for one more day.

p.s. The groom upgraded immediately after delivery and during the rehearsal dinner, he ran out of juice. He also neglected to bring the new plug to his hotel so this morning, the day of his wedding, he's stuck at 0%.

p.s.s. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple's new connector. It's so thin it even had a handle. I can't wait to see how Mophie makes their next battery pack.

*update* I mentioned that the groom has no charge on his iPhone 5. Now we have found out that it's not taking a charge at all. He's going to be phone less for today and his honeymoon. What's up Apple? Defect in the cable or phone? No time to figure it out. The wedding is in 45 mins.

Online iPhone 5 Pre-Order Fiasco

For some reason, Apple thought that handing out online reservation tickets would be a great idea. It was a complete and utter disaster that prevented me from ordering any of my phones and now I might be stuck waiting in line if I want the new iPhone 5 on day 1, September 21. Yes, it could have been AT&T's fault due to carrier processing on subsidize costs and eligibility, but that's doesn't matter.  I hated every minute of it.  None of the "reservations" say that they phone will deliver by the 21st but instead say 2 week shipping.  I logged into Verizon Wireless website where 2 hours after this whole ordeal took 3 minutes to go through and complete. I'm just waiting for my confirmation that I'm moving from one crappy company to the other "pompous, more expensive because we know we can be" carrier.  Hopefully the grass is greener on the other side.

Here are some images that you'll enjoy that pretty much depicts what I went through.

 

How and why...

"How did you become a pilot? Did you become an airline pilot via the military?" These are two of the most asked questions that I get when among friends or at the airport in uniform. Since @TimChoi89 asked them a while back via a comment on "4 on, two off, 4 on – part 2 / my printed schedule after the fact" and my response wasn't posted (error maybe or private, bugs, lost on the internet...) I decided that I'd answer them with a brand new post.  It's Friday, the 13th and raining so why not.

The second question is easy; no, I did not have a military background.  I did originally look at the Navy after graduating UCSD but flight slots were too few and in demand making my chances slim to none.  I also wear some thick eye glasses so that was another obstacle in and of itself.  I can't say that I looked into the other military branches as I grew up in San Diego.  My father and uncles too were all in the U.S. Navy so yes, I was blinded and partial in my decision.  It's Top Gun U.S.A.!  That leads me to the first question which is a lot more complicated.

I started flying as a hobby after I graduated college in '03.  It was also a time in my life where I was started to feel compelled to "do something else."  I started taking lessons and thought that I was going to make it a side project, maybe instruct or fly people around for fun.  I started receiving AOPA Flight Training Magazine and in it had ads scattered throughout boasting various flight schools and programs that could lead one to a commercial airline job.  I thought to myself, "Why not?"  I read about a few schools at the same time  deciding if I really wanted to do a post-bac and go to med school.  I ended up choosing an advanced ab-initio program which gave me a jet type rating along with whoever else I needed to get hired.  The program was launched and closely associated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and called CAPT (Commercial Airline Pilot Training).  Unfortunately, while the program and its vision remained idealistic, fuel costs and enrollment coupled with a downward spiraling economy led the university to sell it off to the private corporation, FTSI, which has since then closed its doors.  (Phases outFTSI New Release)   I was in the middle of the program when they accounted its transition but they promised to make good on their word and see us to the end.

I graduated in May of 2006 after 16 months of training and was offered a job with Focus Airlines.  They operated as an ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) 747 cargo carrier and their contract with CAPT was extensive; totaling a five year commitment, the first year one would serve as a "cadet" placed in the office helping with various tasks from scheduling, hotel reservations, tech publications, IT, etc. basically an intern type year learning the ins and out.  The second year would entail upgrading to the second officer / flight engineer position on a classic 747 followed by three years as a first officer.  Unfortunately, this program ended when the first couple of CAPT cadets were not allowed to upgrade to first officers alongside the face that Focus Airlines never had a program in place.  Coincidentally, Atlantic Southeast Airlines (now officially called ExpressJet) was in the beginning stages of a hiring spree and our amazing director helped us get an interview. I scored my first flying job and the rest is history.  Knowing and keeping ties along with timing is key in this industry and it panned out.

It's funny how people end up visiting my site.  Mr. Tim ended up here,"...by searching "the verge vs. gdgt" then I stumbled upon your twitpic and saw that you're a pilot + tech enthusiast..."  Thanks for stopping by Tim and keep the questions coming.

Exposure & the Point

All I wanted for my "2012 iPad Story" was exposure.  It wasn't about self fulfillment, or advertising or anything of a self-centered nature.  I guess, all I wanted was for something good to come out of what happened to my wife and I.  (Is that self-centered) It still really hasn't hit me; that I'll be iPad-less for 2012 & ~$1700 more in debt with nothing to show.  I've had various responses ranging from a "ha-ha" to condolences.  Kind of a weird day all in all.  I mean, did I want sympathy?  Maybe just a touch, but more or less, it has made me really bitter and has gotten me to feel more negative about Miami and the world as a whole. I thought that I would get a lot of responses from blasting people on twitter, and I did get some good retweets, but nothing of fruition has come up.  Am I looking for a hand from the Apple God to replace what I purchased?!  Of course!  That might be a little self-centered, but it is just a drop in the bucket from their marketing department right?  Reading all the news about the new iPad and people's' experiences really just gets me more down and the commercials on television just really hit home that I don't have one.  I can't stand to watch one anymore nor am I excited to see it.  I haven't stepped foot in an Apple store since.

Things I have learned though: insurance companies depend on only other insurance companies pointing the finger to each other on who covers what.  Visa Signature doesn't cover theft from vehicle who then told me to call my car insurance.  Geico doesn't cover personal items who then told me to call my home owners, renters insurance and they are still "working" on it.

I guess people don't click on links on twitter either.  I got more hits from Facebook than anything else.  With URL shortening, I guess my link just looked like spam.  Thanks for the hits, the messages and comments.

Happy 2012!

Last year, around this same time, I posted some line items of what I wanted to accomplish in 2011.  The biggest accomplishment was running the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and finishing.  I also finished the Miami Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon this past December! (but I still have yet to blog about that one)  I hit a PR for the 10K and actually a "life" goal of running one in under an hour at the 2011 Great Cow Harbor Race!.  Once again, I didn't properly train for either runs, so that also led to me just signing up for the sprint distance in the San Diego Tri-Rock.  Unfortunately, cycling was almost absent in 2011 and blogging was getting tiresome.  I'm still having a hard time differentiating elijahnicolas.com and adellelijah.com and it's slowly getting there...I think.  I did begin eating "healthier and less" but at the start of the holidays, I tanked.  I'm now officially the heaviest I've ever been.  Yes, I still fit into all my clothes but I'm not the lean 165 lbs. I will be. So, bottom line, I'm going to lose 25 lbs by year-end.  Shoot, I want a summer beach body darnit!  I'm also running the 2012 San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Ful Marathon again with a simple goal of 4:30 and WILL train for that bad boy.  Here's to 2012!!!

 

 

 

My Career Goal

Now this...I wanna fly! Ever since this aircraft was first announced back in January 2003, I knew that it would be my "end-all," my one point in life where I knew that I was flying the best of the best! In all her glory, check out the new livery on Boeing's first 787 (ZA101 / JA801A) set to fly passengers in the All Nippon Airways Network as early as late October. Now where I can buy a ticket for the back, or better yet, request the jumpseat?

As reported previously, the blue lines at the rear of the fuselage are designed to highlight how the three core elements of the airline’s service brand – innovation, uniqueness and the inspiration of modern Japan – operate across the ANA network. Only two Dreamliners will be painted in the special livery, the rest will be in standard ANA livery.

931A690B-6699-4149-B741-7EC463D769EF.jpg
04B4ED4D-5624-4F71-BC54-0F7897737F35.jpg

(via Seattle PI via AirlineReporter)

Finding Motivation...

Sometimes it takes a quick lapse in reality to begin questioning the present and renew the future. When eating dinner last night at Rubio's and enjoying the $1.49 fish tacos, I ended up casually ordering a Corona with my meal.  It was the first time that I've done this at Rubio's but I find myself drinking just a tad more than usual.  I bet I can attribute my spike in weight to this new found casual drinking attitude  as well the fact that I've raised my normal dinner consumption to two beers or so per plate when just over a year ago, one beer would have been just fine!  What the heck is going on?

So, when I got home last night, a light bulb came on and I made a promise to myself and Adelle that starting the day after my 30th, I'll be giving it up...until after my next Sprint Triathlon. Trying to get healthier has been a bit difficult but so far, I've held off on sodas for almost the entire year with some exceptions of an occasional Seagram's Ginger Ale to quench the urge of bubbly.  When I finally move in September, I'm already certain, that it'll be a battle no more.  I'll be working outside in the yard tending the garden and doing it up farmer's style!

I've linked the picture of "No Beer," to a great article that listed these bullet points.  Read 'em and then check out the other referenced article aftewards.

Alcohol is a metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall and reach the brain and liver in minutes. The liver then focuses primarily on the alcohol, leaving the carbohydrates and dietary fats to be changed into body fat. Changed into body fat?! After all those extreme jacks? No, thank you.

Alcohol is a diuretic. When your body loses water and becomes dehydrated, it loses important minerals that are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Right now, that glass of wine is not really as relaxing as you think.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and offers NO nutritional value. Alcohol only adds empty calories to your diet. I don’t know about you, but when I’m busting my booty at camp, I want my calories to mean something. No vapid calories.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions. After consuming alcohol, people are more likely to do things they would not normally do sober. Now stop dancing on that table and get your dirty mind out of the gutter, this is a fitness blog. Alcohol stimulates appetite and reduces willpower. Many people tend to overeat when they are drinking. At least that’s all we’re talking about today.

If you're in town tomorrow night and down for a good old fashioned BBQ and free beer, give me a call or hit my up on facebook or twitter @eejay!  Nothing like free beer to celebrate the next decade of fitness, life and family!

via btbfitness via sparkpeople.

One more week....

EEEkkkkkk.....that's all I can say to my upcoming San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I was suppose to lose 15 lbs for my "ultimate racing weight" train harder and longer, but not one of those goals really were attained. I know I'm going to get my butt kicked, but if I can keep well nourished and hydrated, I'm sure to finish under 4:59:59 right? One of my best men and his wife, Mrs. Runblondie26 are flying in from Atlanta to run the half marathon. Matt is going to cheer us on and drink beer while Lindsay is going to rock the crap out of it. She recently got sponsored by Snickers Marathon Bar and will be meeting her teammates for the first time here in San Diego. She said that she'll back track and find me along the course and pace me to the finish and that alone is motivation. How awesome is that?! I can't wait for them to come to town! It's been a while since we all hung out together.

Here's a shot from my wedding back in August. Matt is second from the right along with his wife in front of him and standing behind me. Good times are a coming!