Do You Actually Fly the Plane?

And a copilot becomes a captain not by virtue of skill or experience, but rather when his or her seniority standing allows it. And not every copilot wants to become a captain right away. Airline seniority bidding is a complicated thing, and a pilot can often have a more comfortable quality of life — salary, aircraft assignment, schedule and choice of destinations — as a senior copilot than as a junior captain. Thus, at a given airline, there are plenty of copilots who are older and more experienced than many captains.

One of the best paragraphs that sums up who the "co-pilot" of an airliner really is or can be. I had no choice whatsoever in my progression. It took me seven years to the day to where I was able to hold a Captain seat at my previous airline and now that I've moved on, I'm back to being a First Officer / Co-Pilot / Co-Captain / Right Seat by virtue of my hire date. It will take pilots above me leaving or retiring and / or the airline expanding with more aircraft and routes before I can hold the title of Captain again. Even at that point, it'll also depends on where I am in my life in terms of having to be away more since I'll be on reserve. More on that later.

Back to the topic, I've known Captains downgrade to First Officer due to a lifestyle change where they wanted more time at home. Some are able to afford to take the 35% pay cut but in all circumstances, their skills did NOT degrade just by switching seats or epaulets. The media needs to get this right and do a better story overall on a pilot's life. I'm starting to get rather annoying. Just my Tuesday rant.

Make sure to read the entire post via Patrick Smith's AskThePilot

Brenthaven Collins Tech Pack 60% off!

For a cool $19.95 (down from $49.95) go grab a stylistic pack / satchel / murse or man bag to hold all your goods whilst traveling to the local coffee shop for a flat white. Brenthaven just slashed the price of their Collins Tech Pack by 60% and that makes it a wonderful steal!

The construction is beautiful and is sure to hold your Moleskine, pens and protect your iPad using their "High Density Foam Protection System"! Oh yeah, did I forget about Brenthaven's lifetime guarantee too! If this sale doesn't suit you, there are a few iPad cases and iPhone cases as well marked down by over 75%!

The "Without" [You] App

Being without my family or my wife stinks. Plain and simple. I love the job, but it's really bad when you have a crew of slam clickers (those who go to the hotel and don't do dinner or sightsee) and you find yourself at the hotel playing Clash of Clans for hours.

Here comes a beautiful app appropriately named "Without" by Mr. Jeremy that brought the amount of buttons pushed from 17 down to two! Awesome idea, amazing app. Check it out and share it with your loved one.

Dads Who Really Do Nothing

Big City Mom recently wrote on being a mother who does nothing.

There is no greater task than the nothing you did yesterday, the nothing you are doing today, and the nothing you will do tomorrow. Caring for a baby is all about the immediate experience, yet the first two years are all about investment. It’s give, give, give, and give some more. These are hard-fought, rough-and-tumble years that can cut us down to our core and take us soaring high above the clouds, all in the space of 5 minutes. And yes, as you do the hardest work of your life, it will seem like you’re not getting anything done at all. Crazy, huh?

Our daughter was born 18 months ago and I've loved every minute of being a father. I was fortunate to take one week off prior to her birth and followed it with another 4 months. Both my wife and I were home for those crucial months and I wish everyone this opportunity. Furthermore, I wish that our society put these initial months of nurturing as a number one priority - but that's another topic. Leaving for the first time was difficult but each time after that has been equally just as hard, if not harder.

I'm blessed that my occupation enables me to dedicate 100% of my time off with our daughter. I couldn't have asked for it any other way. There are times where I would rather enjoy a stress free shower without the worry of her crying, a little gaming here and there, but singing along with her during the intro to Sofia the First, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood or even Dr. McStuffins, brings me joys that I can't even speak of. Watching her feet wiggle with happiness when I feed her or teaching her baby sign language trumps mashing buttons, reading technology news and yes, even flying.

My day usually entails changing her nighttime diaper, changing her into "outdoor" clothes, playing with her, feeding her, changing her diaper, playing some more, followed by a delicious 1.5 hour (or more!) nap, then doing the same that afternoon until my wife comes home.

I'm able to get a few things done around the house, but it's even more amazing how much my wife is able to accomplish. She cooks, cleans, does laundry and washes the dishes. She even plans big parties including writing and mailing her mother's invitations for her upcoming 60th birthday party. All this with our daughter still nursing and sometimes throwing small temper tantrums. Not to mention, the previous month where our daughter was sick almost the entire time proved to the hardest yet, but we got through it together. Compared to me, I'm beat from hanging out and literally doing nothing. I like to call it playing hard.

At the end of the day, I sometimes find myself still in pajamas! After we lay her to bed, my wife and I cuddle on the couch and reflect on the past months. Sometimes we think that we haven't done anything barely remembering the first couple of months, but we come to the realization how amazing life truly is. There's no need or want to do anything else but hold her, hang out with her and play. Sometimes I have to resist the urge to wake her up and play more!

Yes, my wife and I joyfully co-sleep with our daughter on the floor of her room. I really don't understand the need to ever sleep in separate beds, or rooms for that matter, especially during these first two years. Maybe it's me being away for days at a time that I rather be with my entire family. I have friends, some with and others without kids, that look at us like we must be in a living hell, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Our setup makes it rather lonely when I leave and stay in the bed of a hotel in a distant city. I love my family so much and the happiness from being together is truly wonderful.

Sometimes we're able to get things together and venture outside the house. When we do, the beach is usually our go to. There are a few times that I look back and really have to think about what I've done, but then my daughter gives the biggest smile and I know exactly, right there, that what I'm doing is all I need to do. Did I mention, I love my family!

delmarwithfam

Ultimately, the days go by too fast. She's growing up too quickly but I always cherish every day and every minute I get with her.

Never too Late but Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Go CHARGERS!

This is coming to you a tad late, but with Captain upgrade training, traveling back and forth to and from Atlanta then Washington Dulles, back to Atlanta then Dallas, it's been quite hectic. Norah enjoyed her first plane ride to Atlanta and we as parents enjoyed the happiness that comes with traveling with a young mobile child. I know, we know it's shocking that with me being a pilot that we waited so long to take her on a flight but our schedules only lined up recently to which of course they are now out of whack again. This, plus all the exciting happenings at home with our daughter growing up too fast and my wife starting a new job, the tail end of 2013 slid right into 2014 and it's off to a running start!

There are a couple of changes that I'm lining up for elijahnicolas.com to say the least and first and foremost is the styling. (maybe hosting or platform as a whole) I'll have more on that much later but enjoy this family photo and Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Christmas 2014

Oh yeah I forgot to mention. I'm also starting it off this week with a guest post scheduled for tomorrow morning so check back then! It's going to be a great one! GO CHARGERS!!!

Charger Girl Norah

Wordpress Throws in Built-In Support for Markdown

With the Ghost platform recently launched and proving to be a viable medium for easy publishing and a clean writing style, it comes as no surprise that Wordpress finally supports writing in Markdown. For those that are unfamiliar with the style, here's the definitely from creator John Gruber.

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).

I've been learning how to write in Markdown and have installed awesome plugins for support in my Wordpress site such as Markdown on Save Improved and WP-Footnotes. Of course with this launching, I suppose I can turn these off now but I still have yet to find where to "activate" the setting.

You can find a quick reference guide here.

markdown in wordpress text editor

Footnotes Finally!

I've finally found a viable, easy Wordpress plugin for footnotes and activated it here on elijahnicolas.com ((first post with embedded footnotes)). I decided to go with Simon Elvery version instead of Austin Sweeney's only because I could customize it within a "Settings" tab. I like Austin's idea about how his Civil Footnotes makes decisions for you and that you could edit the output easily in the plugin, but I just proved to be a little lazy. They seem to operate in similar fashion and I couldn't be happier. ((for some reason, my social plugin and the new wp-footnote plugin are conflicting in the spacing area beneath the body of my main text in preview mode but not when the post is published. Weird.))

Fundraising for the Philippines

It's truly amazing to see all the fundraising opportunities that are popping up all over the internet for the Philippines for relief from Typhoon Haiyan. From free voice calls and text messages via AT&T, Verizon or Sprint, free shipping from LBC or you can also donate directly to the Red Cross Typhoon Appeal. My two favorite are from the folks at Ironman and San Diego Bolt Complex. Click on any of the images or the links to proceed and support this cause, country and people ((I was born and raised in San Diego but both my parents are originally from the Philippines. This is a cause and time that holds dear to my heart. I would appreciate any donations you can make)) I also have friends that I can get you in touch with that are accepting donations and shipping every week as well.

From the Ironman Foundation:

To support victims of Typhoon Haiyan, IRONMAN and The IRONMAN Foundation want to provide one meal a day for 1,000 families for a month. We need your help to achieve that goal. We’ve teamed up with a Philippine non-profit organization dedicated to fighting poverty, Gawad Kalinga (which means "give care").

Your $30 contribution for one shirt will feed a family of five every day for a month.

From San Diego Bolt Complex

We, the BX, will donate ALL proceeds to this organization, http://www.savethechildren.org. Millions of vulnerable children are at risk in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. More than 300 miles wide, the typhoon left a deadly path of destruction in its wake. In response, Save the Children is working around the clock to help children and families with emergency assistance during this difficult time. Thank you.

redcrossphilippines

ironmanphilippines

boltcomplexphilippines

A friend of mine composed a bitly bundle that is showcasing all the Philippine Charity Tee Shirts. I'm sure with all the various tee out there, you can easily pick one!