Friday, March 11, 2005

On days like these....

...I bang my head on the glareshield and pray for it to end quickly, and be gentle with me please! I was on AM airport reserve today, but extra sleep was not in the cards. My phone rang right at 5:30 as I strolled into the crew room - immediate check-in for a jet substitution down to Burbank and back. Yeah, that's a long flight even in a MegaWhacker.

Without going into all the details, the plane arrived late and had several maintenance issues that needed resolved - including a massively clogged, really nasty lavatory - which was fine because the marine layer had SoCal entirely socked in. Burbank was below minimums but forecast to improve, as was LAX and Ontario. If we couldn't get in, we'd have to go to Palm Springs. The flight attendants - both rather senior, the types that don't want to work if they can possibly help it - were hoping against hope that the flight would cancel. Well, we didn't cancel but left the gate well over an hour late, by which time it was apparent the weather was not improving as forecast. It did improve just before we got there, so we were able to land. Then we got to battle our way back to Portland against 50 kt headwinds.

Otherwise it was another gorgeous day. The forecasters keep predicting rain but the storm systems out the north Pacific keep breaking up and/or sliding by to our north. It's looking like there's going to be a serious drought this year. The air attack guys (fire bombers) are going to have their hands full this summer - this place is going to be a tinderbox! I already saw three pretty good sized fires in southern Oregon today.

Here's a picture I took of our apartment complex tonight at dusk, thanks to the new Fuji FinePix A340 camera Dawn got me for my birthday. Yeah, it's like a month away, but she decided to give it to me early. She spoils me!