Monday, July 11, 2005

Insomniac Blogger Theatre

I just woke up at 2am and was completely confused about where I was. I was in my bed, but was still clothed and had my glasses on. I didn't remember going to bed. In fact, I couldn't remember any of last night. And I was pretty sure I didn't drink until I passed out. Then I realized that I must've fallen asleep around 7pm. Crap.

Sunday was day number three of a three day trip. All three days involved 6am show times. Today is my additional day of reserve, which was scheduled to be AM home reserve (4:30am-6:30pm). So what does the company do, now that I've been getting up early all last week? They rescheduled me for PM home reserve (10:30am-midnight). I resolved to stay awake as long as possible so I could sleep in. I then promptly layed down in bed to rest for a few minutes, and slept for 7 hours. I'm so screwed if I get a trip that ends around midnight. My plan for now is to stay awake until about 6am and then try to get a few additional hours of sleep. Which is why I'm blogging at 3am.


Ah, the dangers of music piracy. I downloaded a mp3 that was labled as the "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" LP by the Chemical Brothers, and completely fell in love with it. It's one hour, thirteen minutes of very good techno. But when checking out the listing of that album, I listened to the samples, and realized that I've been listening to something completely different. So now I have no idea whose music I like so much. It seems like every other mp3 on morpheus is mislabled. The upside is that if the original artist happens upon this post, they won't know that they should be sueing me.


I just finished reading "The Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mt. Rainier" by Bruce Barcott. I enjoyed it immensly; it's an informative and enjoyable read. Barcott is an unlikely, reluctant mountaineer (gangly, anti-macho, bookish) who nonetheless is smitten with Mount Rainier and spends an inordinate amount of time on and around "his" mountain. What results is a beautiful portrait of (and paean to) the mountain. Barcott dives into biology, geography, theology, entomology and etymology, plate tectonics and volcanology, history, alpine literature, and climber culture, yet the book is never erudite. Wry, self-depreciating humor prevails throughout, and Barcott manages to expound on his own feelings towards the mountain without sounding self-indulgent. Some of the cultural references, such as Barcott's spot-on description of the "REI Army," might be lost on a non-Northwesterner, but it should be an enjoyable read even for one who has never laid eyes on Mt. Rainier.


Now this is a funny story, although I don't think AFP meant it to be. I mean, the death of the photographer on Greenpeace's ship was tragic, but every bit of the remembrance ceremony is a little...crunchy, shall we say.


A good friend of mine is in class at Skywest right now. They are growing like mad, hiring something like 400 more pilots before the end of this year. This is Brad's third airline: He flew the Be-1900 at Great Lakes, then for my airline. He couldn't stand how GL treats their pilots, and couldn't bear the slow movement here. Hopefully he finds a happy medium at Skywest.

I've had a few captains ask me why I don't go to Skywest, since I'm so disillusioned with the lack of growth here. There are a few reasons. First, this industry changes quickly. My airline probably won't always have a six year upgrade. Skywest's upgrades will certainly not stay at two years. The only certainty is that today's upgrades are 6 year FOs here and 2 year FOs at Skywest. This industry has seen many a pilot get burned when they gave up a seniority number to go chase faster growth. Secondly, I couldn't afford to go to Skywest. You aren't paid in training and make $19/hr the first year. After that, pay increases dramatically - particularly when you upgrade - but I'd lose my house long before I upgraded. Third, I don't want to move and don't want to commute right now. Of course, if my airline opens a LAX base for my airplane (it's been rumored), I'll be commuting anyways.

Of course, it comes to mind that the above three reasons are why there are so many lifer captains in my airplane. This last trip, I flew with Yokko. She's a younger Japanese woman who is married to an American corporate pilot. I think she could get hired at any major in a heartbeat (well, the ones that are hiring, that is.) She's not willing to give up this gig to risk it, though. Oh well - I enjoy flying with her, as she's an exemplary captain and a good person as well.


This faux-Chemical Brothers album thing is really bugging me. Maybe somebody can help me figure out who it is that I'm actually listening to. Around 40 minutes there is a track whose sole lyric is "no more mind games - don't waste my time." The last track features a sample of a tv program narrator - BBC, maybe - asking: "Is this the face of Christ, perserved by a miracle?" Does this ring a bell for anyone? Lemme know.


Dawn went with me on my Sacramento layover on Saturday. We spent about three hours by the pool, just reading and soaking up those wonderful California rays. Yesterday morning she flew Southwest from SMF to Burbank. She'll be spending the week in Glendale, visiting her friend Taline. So in the meantime I'm once again living the bachelor life up here in P-city. Tennis and hiking partners may apply here. Readers with regular entourages of hot women are encouraged to come over for hottubbing. And I'm ever willing to get together at McMennamin's to share a pitcher of Ruby Ale.

Update 7.13.05: I found it! The DJ is Tiesto, and the album is Forbidden Paradise 7: Deep Forest. Noteable tracks include The Face (Heaven Remix) and The Wave. I'm off to download some more Tiesto tracks....