Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Into a holding pattern

The diagnosis came in today

A has an agressive thyroid cancer. It will require an complicated surgery to remove and will then be followed up with radiation. From what we were told, he can't return to a part 121 airline until 1 year after completing treatment. And he's 5 weeks from being at the company 1 year, which would afford us some better protection and benefits.

My head is spinning

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Things I wish I had figured out earlier

I don't have time to worry about a lot of things; I have too much else on my plate. So I'm releasing my worries about these small things and becoming zen about them. I'm letting them go b/c there is nothing I can do about them.

When A has to leave to catch a commute flight to work, he is incapable of leaving our place on time. It doesn't matter if the flight is at 6am or 6pm, he won't get out of our house on time. It's just him, there is nothing I can do about it. He's yet to miss a flight though and thankfully it doesn't carry over to his show times.

A needs 2 full sets of travel clothing- one to take and one for the wash. Several times we've been stuck late the night before a trip doing laundry for something (socks, undershirts, his favorite off duty T-shirt...) he needs to take on his trip the next morning. Since his time at home doesn't always coincide with my laundry schedule, it's easier to just always have one clean set waiting for him. Sometimes he's going to have to be happy with wearing his second most favorite off duty T shirt.

Pilots are gossips. I don't know why I thought that the pilot profession would be immune to it, but it isn't. Every time A gets into the cockpit, there's a discussion about "what have you heard/read/picked up through osmosis?" I know there is occasionally some down time in the cockpit and it's an easy subject to talk about, but it seems like some people spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about the future. As a pilot, you aren't likely to influence management decisions so why obsess over it?

A has a flight attendant groupie. She picks up trips specifically b/c he's on them. Or at least that's what she told him. She's young (under 21), somewhat lacking in social skills (due to a strict fundamentalist, home-schooled exist prior to getting on with the airline), and 10 minutes into their first trip announced to both A and the CA that she "didn't sleep with married men" (after asking whether they were married at minute 9...). A telling her that married or not, he wasn't interested in her seems to have set her world off kilter b/c she spent the rest of the trip trying to find out why. I think it made him appreciate a secure woman such as myself even more.

And now my worries are free like butterflies to propagate the world over.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

She'll probably write about you in her blog tomorrow

It's my favorite time of year- when the newspaper prints all of the random overheard love quotes collected by readers. Enjoy!

part 1- here

part 2- here

part 3- here

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Real life is boring

I try to keep this blog about the aviation related parts of my life, but lately there hasn't been much to write about. I guess that's good. There's little things here and there, but nothing lately that's been worthy of its own post. A comes, A goes, life goes on.

While A was here recently, I got to listen in on the pilot conference call with the CEO of the company. It was really interesting to listen to and hear some truth behind the rumors. Basically, pilots can call in from where-ever and listen in on a giant conference call. After an update by the CEO, people are free to ask questions of him and he will answer them to the best of his ability. Of course, the CEO painted a rosy picture of the future of the airline while rumors run rampant about base closures, investors pulling out and a million other things. But I think it was great that the pilots got a chance to candidly ask the CEO questions.

We also hosted A's friend on Superbowl Sunday while he was here on a layover. It was interesting to talk to someone from a different base and hear his take on all the news and rumors.

We hear there's going to be a 20% reduction in lines in the next few months, which may or may not put A back on reserve (we're hoping not). Already there have been reductions in the lines from our local airport as they concentrate the flying in another part of the US. He's had to turn to other airlines to commute out to his base, whereas he used to be able to do it solely on his own. But whatever works.

I watched both the American and British versions of Airline. It was interesting to see the difference in the two. I had first thought that the British staff were mean compared to the Americans. But then, at the same time, there were some instances where they went out of their way to do things I don't think the Americans ever would have done. So I guess it could go either way.

I saw that UAL was going to start charging for people who checked more than one bag. I'm not sure that I agree with the way that they are implementing the rule, but there is no doubt that it will generate some revenue. The comments were the most interesting part of the article.

Maybe A will have a good flying story when he gets home in a few days...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Friends and foes

Wrote this out last week, but didn't have time to finish and post until now-

The other night we finally met up with another local pilot A knows and went out. It was so nice to be with another pilot wife to commiserate with in person. Although I have several internet friends, there's nothing like being able to knock back a couple beers (or pear ciders as it were), drowning your sorrows with live friends. A has met several local company pilots while commuting and recently even flew with an entire crew that all lived here. I think half the battle is just actually calling someone after you met them and inviting them out. It's like dating- scary to make the initial move, but fun when it all works out well.

A is on a trip right now with his most favoritist FA ever- a middle aged, swishy, latino man. Every night I get calls about what fun he and FA are having hanging out in the local bars, going out to the steakhouse, riding in the hotel van, waiting at the airport... It's not that I don't want A to have fun and enjoy himself on his time off, but I hate to have to hear about it when I'm standing in the frozen foods aisle at the local Publix trying to clean up all the bags of frozen veggies that Kidzilla accidently pulled out onto the floor while trying to help shop or while sitting in traffic on the bridge because everyone insists on slamming on their brakes the moment a single raindrop hits their windshield. I think I'm jealous. A's friends probably think he's attached to me with a cell phone umbilical cord b/c he calls me so much- b/c he's afraid I'm mad at him for having fun.

I finally had to whip out the "well, he's an airline pilot so he needs special treatment" card yesterday. We're still working on getting a diagnosis on the cancer issue and an office scheduled him for testing without consulting us. I got a call that he needed to pre-register for a procedure scheduled for 2 days later. Of course, he's off on a trip and can't make it. So I had to call back, be put on hold several times and explaing the problem to several different people. I gave them his schedule with limited weekday in town availabilty (actually got a good feb schedule with some weekend time off...) and they acted like they had to move heaven and earth to get him rescheduled. They tell me, we can schedule him for a saturday, how's that? Well, um no, just because it's a weekend, it doesn't mean he'll be home.

On one of A's very first flights, his Captain told him- never surpise your wife by coming home unexpectedly; you never know what you might come home to. Sad advice, but good advice as well. A nearly came home and suprised me, but then thought better of it when he realized I'd probably be asleep and have the inside only lock on our front door done. If I woke up to the sound of someone trying to open the door at 10:30pm when I wasn't expecting it, I would have flipped out. so he called at the last minute to let me know he was coming. It dulled the suprise, but was probably better in the long run. It's not always cheating spouses you have to watch out for, sometimes it's also a visit from the police for attemped breaking and entering.