Saturday, September 30, 2006

100 Facts in 100 Days #4

Since I have started working in the airline industry, I have lived in six different states (New Hampshire, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Texas.) I might also count Florida, which is where I went to do my aviation training. I am hopeful that my move to the Rather Large Airline that I am at now is my last one for a while.

Moving seems to get ever more stressful/expensive as I get older and accumulate more stuff. I have nostalgia for my first move, which just consisted of all the crap I threw in the back of my pickup over ten years ago when I was moving to New Hampshire.

Friday, September 29, 2006

100 Facts in 100 Days #3

Continuing the foreign locale my junior year of high school, I was an exchange student to England, in a town called Hemel Hempstead. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would at first, but after I got into the groove of things I enjoyed myself pretty well. The last month I was there I spent with a new host family I had a lot more in common with than my first one.

In spite of my working in the airline industry, I only have been back once since my high school years. I hope to go again within the next year or two, though.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

100 Facts in 100 Days #2

I was in the Air Force during the first Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm.) However, I was never stationed in the Middle East during that time, since I was stationed in Okinawa, and the squadron I was in, where I repaired F-15 avionics, was never deployed there. The official word I heard was that they kept our unit in Okinawa just in case Korea decided to pull anything while the US was occupied with Kuwait/Iraq.

I didn't mind at all not being deployed, since moving the test stations we used to work on the F-15 avionics is a huge pain in the ass, and the living conditions in Saudi Arabia (where most people in my line of work were stationed) were not as good as where I was at in Okinawa. All of the pilots were disappointed, though. Of course, my mother was extremely relieved I was nowhere near the fighting.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

100 Facts in 100 Days #1

I am left-handed. This hasn't been too much of a hindrance for me in life because I'm semi-ambidextrous. My Mom said when I was really little I would use either hand to grab something, not favoring my left hand until I was two or three. My Dad thought I might end up being a switch-hitter, but I never liked baseball as it turned out. I can't write well with my right hand, but I can use right-handed scissors with no problems. In the blogosphere, both Magazine Man and Wil Wheaton are also left-handed.

New Blog Series!

In an attempt to get into the habit of regular posting, I've decided to start a new blog series. I realize my current blog series (The Airline Chronicles) is seriously overdue for another installment, and there is some other stuff I want to write about (my move down here, some family history, etc.) that I haven't done yet...but I think this new series will get me in the habit of posting regularly, since I seem to be more consistent about posting short entries rather than long ones. So, with that said...we bring you...100 FACTS IN 100 DAYS!!!

Basic idea is, I will write a random fact about me several times a week (I can't honestly promise I'll post one every single day) and then when I'm done, I'll attempt to index them all and put them into my greatest hits list over on the right. Who knows, this may even give me some more series ideas.

I stole this idea from Jess, the Apropos of Something, which I found while randomly stumbling about the blogosphere. Seems to be a pretty cool blog, though, if you want to check it out. Thanks for the idea, Jess!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Personality Test Time

My Personality
Openness To Experience
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report
Find your soulmate / pysch twin

Friendster, MySpace Codes and MySpace Layouts by Pulseware Survey Software

This one was pretty accurate, in my opinion. And, it didn't take long to complete. Try it yourself and see what you think!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Back, and no longer a pedestrian...

Greetings, everyone. I know I haven't posted for a while. It has been a busy week or two. As a bonus to this somewhat-overdue post, I have decided to include a picture from my new Razr phone that someone took of me at work. I thought about not posting this picture since I don't like to reveal TOO much about where I work, but if you can figure that out from this are very good.

First trip back to visit Mom went all right. Not great, due to the problems my Mom was having at where she was living. She REALLY hated it there. Due to this, and the fact that we were perhaps too honest with the people running the place, she is moving back to her house. However, being by herself all the time at home wasn't really a great option either.

So, my sisters, who are in Albuquerque right now, have found a really good home care agency that we are hiring to make sure Mom is eating well and taking her medicine. They also do some housework and can help with running errands, and will only cost about half of what we were paying for rent and meals where she was at. My sisters are currently in the process of moving her back home. I suppose the house will be all right; it kind of needs painting and new carpet, but overall it's in pretty good shape, so we'll see how things go there for a while. I certainly don't mind helping with yard work and stuff my Mom can't do when I visit, but I can only visit every month or so. Mom is really attached to the house...I think a little bit too much so at times...but I have to admit I'm fond of it also. After all, I did grow up there. It will be nice to still be able to stay there when I visit.

My sisters and I (with the concurrence of Mom's friends and doctors) have also decided it's time for Mom to stop driving. While she has not been in an accident that we know of, there have been several close calls reported by her friends and one ticket for running a red light. For her safety and the safety of others, we decided this was best. And this benefits me because...TA DA...I am buying her car. While it is an older car (1996 Chrysler Concorde) it's in pretty good shape and only has about 54,000 miles on it. Unlike most used cars, I know the WHOLE history on this one...and no worries about rust, since it was in Albuquerque, or any chance of flood damage.

Car loans are very easy to get, and I know I could have bought a new car easily enough. But after my move down here, and all the expenses involved from that, I've decided to spend a couple years at least paying off bills and moving up in the pay scale at my new airline before I take on another loan.

Speaking of bills, if anyone uses T-Mobile out there, I am a recent new customer and have been very underwhelmed by them so far. In the month leading up to Mom's move, I used a lot of minutes and went over on my plan. I switched to a higher minute plan but not until one day after the billing cycle ended. The first time I called they were VERY uncooperative about making any kind of adjustment to my bill. I finally got someone who was able to get me a $100 credit on my bill (at 40 cents per extra minute, those charges add up quickly.) So that was all well and good. However, due to paying all my other bills, I couldn't pay the T-Mobile bill in full last month. So, I made a partial payment and planned to pay the remaining balance along with my new monthly charge this month. Wrong! T-Mobile deactivated my phone. When I called up to explain my situation, I got zero sympathy. So, I did pay off the bill a few days ago, and the phone is working again, but they also are going to be losing me as a customer when my contract ends. Maybe I'll go back to Sprint, my previous carrier that I probably shouldn't have left. Oh well.

Anyhow, enough complaining about money issues. I drove my new used car back from Albuquerque to Texas last Friday and spent the night at a relative's house before finishing the drive Saturday morning. It was a trip filled with nostalgia for me for a couple of's the same route I used to travel as a kid when going to visit my grandmother's house, and I also passed through the town where I went to college for about two years after I finished high school, way back in the eighties.

I never liked Lubbock or Texas Tech very much, but some people love it there. In fact, one person I know from high school who went to Tech still lives in Lubbock working for the university hospital there. I did drive through the very attractive campus, past the dorm where I lived in my final year I attended, and I tried to remember why I hated the place so much that I blew off my classes and almost flunked out.

People I've discussed the matter with have varying opinions on of my good friends said that he thought neither of us liked the university we first attended because our parents pretty much picked them out for us. I don't completely agree with that, but it is true my Dad was happy with my choice in schools, since that's where he graduated from. One person I know at work who is from Lubbock and went to Tech said that it couldn't have been easy going there at 17 and not knowing anybody...and this is an argument that has some truth to it, since I never did find anything much I liked doing in Lubbock.

I had a scholarship offer from Tech, and I didn't want to go to UNM in Albuquerque because I didn't want to live at home with my parents while I was going to college. Of course, several years later, after I did a term in the Air Force and got out, I finished up my undergraduate degree while living at home with my parents (not at UNM, though.) I guess hindsight is 20-20 sometimes.

Anyhow, there are a lot of small towns with funny names out there...before reaching Lubbock I passed through towns with names like Progress (it hasn't), Bovina, Shallowater, and Muleshoe. After leaving Lubbock I had dinner in a little town called Seymour at a place called the Rock Creek Cafe, which has been around since at least 1945 and doesn't look like it's been remodeled much since then...but they do have some tasty chicken fried steak there.

One of my earliest memories is from that restaurant, actually. On one trip from Albuquerque to visit my grandmother in Denton when I was about three, we stopped there to grab a bite. I remember I got a piece of pie, and I was really looking forward to eating it when my Dad grabbed it away from me, intending it as a joke. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. Dad put the pie back quickly. Mom later said that she had felt like killing both of us right there. Ah, family memories.

Most of the rest of my trip was in the dark, but it was thankfully uneventful (no flat tires or speeding tickets.) And now, here I am, car and all. Below is a picture of my car in my reserved covered parking spot at my apartment, which I finally now have something to park in.