Lani's household consists of Steve, the long-suffering coding genius and computer security guru; Jim, Lani's tall, red-headed and handsome son, currently finishing his second year of college; Hunter, Jasmine, Himari, Chenault, the miraculous Onyx and the even more miraculous Resk, undisputed feline rulers of the house; and Jesse, the man-hating green-cheeked conure.
Ann's household consists of Don, who is not just a computer genius but a pilot, a builder, and a damn good father; their son Steve, the marathon-running, college-bound, funniest teenager I know; and wonder dog Tater.
Other family members are Laurie, Lani's beautiful daughter who teaches at elementary levels; her handsome son Alex, aka Alexander the Great; Mary and Bo, a/k/a Mom and Dad, and Bud and Ann, Steve's patient and wonderful parents.
I have to start this out by saying that your Father's Day post made me all misty-eyed, Annie. It was all so very true, and so very heartfelt, and I know that it really touched Dad because he even mentioned it to me. Well done, sister dear!
I'm sorry ya'll didn't get to see the turtles, but it sounds as though your Florida trip was a good one anyway. You didn't say, though, did Don buy a kit for the non-compliant-with-Federal-safety-regulations plane? It looks so tiny, but apparently it's got more than just a pilot's seat -- does it actually have 4 seats in it? I want a ride when he's done building it! And love love love that picture of the live oak with all the Spanish moss, too; I've stolen it and it'll go in the desktop rotation for me too. Looks like home, doesn't it?
As for the title of my post -- a couple of posts ago I showed you what a reserve schedule looks like. Well, yesterday I got the results of my July bidding, and SURPRISE!! I got a line! I know this means nothing to you but trust me, it's a big big deal for an airline crew member. Instead of living with my cellphone by my side, never knowing when or where I'm going, for at least the month of July I have an actual schedule. Being a lineholder is like hitting the jackpot, particularly since I'm so junior and Norfolk is such a senior base for us. I don't know how I got this lucky, and odds are very against me getting this lucky again anytime soon (it normally takes upwards of a year to get a line here), but I'm not asking any questions -- I'm just celebrating.
SO! Here's what my July schedule looks like. This is a fabulous schedule for me; yes, it's late nights (boo!) but the days are easy, My longest scheduled day is only just over 11 hours, and yes that IS easy, trust me, and I have several flat-out lazy days -- plus I have NO days with more than 4 legs (yay!). Steve should even like this line since I have 15 days off (no weekends, but since he works from home most days anyway that isn't as big a deal as it might be otherwise). I'm a happy camper. I'd also like to point out that on Friday July 20th I'm going to arrive in Milwaukee at roughly 9pm, and I'll be there until Saturday at roughly 3pm ... you wouldn't happen to be planning to be in town then, would you? And feel like popping up to Milwaukee to say hi to your sister? Because, you know, I'd try to work you into my busy schedule if so.
And since I haven't posted a picture in a little bit, here are some flowers for you; a quick shot of the front yard, and some of my favorite flowers. These are just a few of the daylilies Steve's parents sent us; aren't they gorgeous? I have probably 15 varieties, all of which are either in bloom or in bud right now. I do love my daylilies.
Dad - when I think about all the things I inherited or learned from you, it's a long list. I thought I'd put together a few of them in honor of Father's Day.
My taste for cheap liquor. Now, my version of this is slightly different than yours, because I still haven't poured the cheap stuff in the good bottle, but still . . . I just can't stand to buy expensive wine. $10 a bottle makes me gasp like a goldfish, and I'll happily drink "Two Buck Chuck" from Trader Joes.
My cholesterol reading. I mean, honestly, couldn't you have passed along an inch or two more height? More athletic ability? Anything other than that!
I learned that a new pet will whisper their name in your ear after they've been around for a while, so no need to hurry up and name them. Sport Cat and Devil Dog are the classics, so no wonder I have Kitty Bad Girl.
A no-whining policy, and contempt for those who don't know enough to keep their mouth shut about the little stuff. And sometimes the big stuff.
Appreciation for a wise-ass comment. 'Nough said.
A love for animals, and the ethical treatment of them. The surest way to earn Dad's disapproval was to mistreat an animal.
The phrase "barely edible, Mary, barely edible". Only to be uttered after a to-die-for homecooked meal that leaves you stunned and immobile.
Not to take myself so seriously. Delivered in a lot of ways, including the famous quote "But, baby, someone's got to come in last!"
That thing for sports cars. They have to be old, and British, but they make me drool. I'll buy one of these again someday.
Integrity. If I ever have trouble deciding the right thing to do, I ask myself what you would do and that is always the right thing.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!
And now to catch up on other things - we returned home late last night, and I have a few more pictures to share. We did sit on the beach and try to see a turtle, but not only was there no turtle, Don drank most of the wine. Here's a shot of the turtle tracks and a nest that we saw the next morning.
And here are the pelicans on a bombing run. I love the way they line up and skim the dunes moving down the beach.
As we drove back to Orlando, we took the back roads and I saw a state park with a hiking trail, so we pulled over. Back in the woods there was no breeze, but the sun managed to get through so it was stifling. We didn't make it too far before we got back in the air conditioned car, but I did get this picture. I spent a lot of time riding my horse through trails and looking at just this view, so when I think of Florida this is what I see in my mind. I have it as the background on my PC. Isn't it pretty?
Wonderful sailing Wednesday night with a crew from work. Perfect weather, good company, and Wednesday night fireworks. Here are Molly and Mark in front of the lighthouse at the beginning of the evening.
Then, on Thursday after work, Don and I flew to Orlando and then drove to Sebastian, FL to the Velocity factory for a test flight. In one of the pictures, you can see the "Experimental" sign on the door behind Don. There are two wings, one little one up front called a canard, and the regular one. The engine is in the back. Looks pretty cool, doesn't it?
Here is the coast of Florida mid-flight. It was really pretty, and with Don and the pilot putting the plane through its paces I had lots of opportunities to look down at the water and the coastline. I told Don afterwards that his current airplane is like a nice trail horse - reliable, not flashy, does the job - and the Velocity is a thoroughbred revved up for the track. It's fast!
We will stay on the beach tonight - here's the view out the window of our hotel room. It is turtle season, and they are laying eggs at night. We are planning on getting a bottle of wine and sitting on the beach to see if we can spot one. There are tracks and nests everywhere, so I'm very hopeful that we'll see one. If I can get pictures without using a flash, I will, but if not I'll at least get a picture of the tracks and nest tomorrow morning.
Then we're off to Orlando tomorrow to visit Don's Aunt Betty, and his friend Richard Peacock. Here's my favorite Richard story. Don was moving from New Hampshire to Florida to go to work for Richard, and Richard came by with one of his vans to help Don move. Don looked at his stuff, and looked at the van, and said "It won't fit." Richard proceeded to bet him lunch that it would fit. And, of course, it did.
So lunchtime rolls around and they stop at a small town diner, where Richard proceeds to order every single thing on the menu. Everything. This was in the early 80's, and as Don remembers it lunch cost him over $100. After that, he was more careful making deals with Richard.
I'll close by showing you what has to be posted on the dash of any experimental aircraft.
of a flight attendant ... or actually you asked what a typical month looked like, but I'll give you both ;) I'm on reserve right now (and for the foreseeable future) so my schedule for the month of June initially looked like what you see on the left. Reserve means that I'm on call from midnight at the start of the reserve period until midnight on the last day of the reserve period, for any trip the company needs to send me on. There hasn't been a lot of reserve flying so far this year but it's heating up; I anticipate that by July I'll be flying more days than not.
But for now, since I don't like to sit and wait and never get to fly, I saw a trip I liked in the open pot (trips available for anyone who wants them to pick up) and grabbed it -- so the first part of my month changed, as seen on the right. Let's take a look at this month's schedule and this fairly typical trip, shall we? All that quick glance shows is that it's a 4-day trip with overnights in Nashville, Nashville, Rochester, and ending back home in Norfolk. A closer look at the trip shows you the details, and here's where the day in the life thing comes in. Ever wonder why your flight attendant looks tired or acts frustrated and short-tempered? Here's why; the details of that 4-day trip. Please note that this was an easy trip, only 4 legs on each of the first 2 days, followed by a super-easy 2-leg day, and then 5 legs on the final day -- but the last one is a deadhead (where you ride as a passenger instead of working the flight). Day one and I'm going to get a relatively late start; a report time of 7:00 am for a 7:45 flight (report times can be and often are as early as 4:45 am). Note over to the right, at the end of the day, the summary of Time Paid and Time On Duty -- 5:32 and 10:26, respectively, for that day. A ten-and-a-half hour day? Well, yes, and that's fairly normal. The following day has a report time of 5:50 am, with Time Paid and Time On Duty of 6:22 and 10:36. But wait ... that's just the schedule. The reality? Yeah. The time paid didn't change, but take a look at what happened to the Time On Duty. We had delays due to mechanical problems. And the next day? More mechanical problems. 11:59 and 12:48 Time On Duty, respectively. That's a 12 hour day and a 13 hour day, back to back, NOT including travel time to and from the airport and the hotel, and that means a tired crew, ya'll. All I can say is thank heavens Friday was a short day, because we needed it. And Saturday, rejuvenated and refreshed, we finished up our trip and came home.
I've rested today and so far haven't gotten a callout; but they're only required to give me 2 hours of notice, and can give me up to a 5-day trip, and lots -- LOTS -- of trips are far worse than this one. I've done trips with up to 7 legs in a day, and 13+ hours scheduled duty times. And yet I like this job. Sometimes I wonder about myself, I really do ;)
Oh yeah, on this trip? When we finally got in Beth came down to see me in Nashville (she only lives an hour away) and totally made my day; I had fun company for dinner and there was much gossip and even more laughing, and she brought me yarn and needles and even two knitting magazines (I'd forgotten my knitting if you can believe that) so I wouldn't go batshit crazy if I had another 4+ hour sit in an airport, and it was worth being short on sleep the next day of the trip to have had that sanity break. Thanks, chickie!
Memorial Day, Sailing and Gardening (posted by Ann)
Memorial Day was fabulous. I know I've posted since then, but I didn't tell you anything about it so I have to get caught up! We couldn't fly on Saturday because of weather, but we did get out early Sunday morning. It was hard IFR conditions for the first leg of the flight, which isn't my favorite, but we got through fine. We had a great time once we got there swimming in the pool, playing with Alex, and visiting with Laurie, Mom and Dad. It was great but too short. I'd love to get back down there this summer, so we'll see whether we can make that work or not. We took pictures while we were there, but I can't find them. I think I may have erased them from the camera by accident!
On the home front, Don built trellis for my pea vines. I'm afraid I planted a bit too late this year, and we've had hot weather early, so the peas aren't doing as well as they might. We'll see, though, they were blockbusters last year and totally weighted down the minimal trellis I put up. With the Don Johnston Engineered-To-Withstand-Large-Animals-and-Other-Calamities trellis, I don't think the peas have a chance. (Ignore all the weeds, please. I'm working on it.)
I also have romaine, and other lettuces. (again with the weeds . . ) We are having salads out of the garden, but this year I have an infestation of earwigs. I don't know why they like my lettuce so much, or why they give me the creeps but they do on both counts. The lettuce is worth the fight, though.
I was having bad luck with sailing until this past week. I had two sailing trips that cancelled because of bad weather, but then I took a group out this past Tuesday and we had a good time. Nice winds, 3 foot seas so there was something going on, and good company. The only downsides were that I forgot my camera, and that it was really cold. Not just chilly, cold. The low that night was in the 40s, and it felt like it was 50 on the water. I had on a sweatshirt and jeans, so I was okay, but one of my guests wore shorts and a T-shirt. Someone loaned him a sweatshirt, but his toes were turning blue! We came back in right at sunset, because you could feel the temperature dropping and even I have my limits.
Then, on Friday, I unexpectedly got the boat and Steve came downtown on the train to crew for me. I wasn't sure it was going to work because we had bad storms Thursday night, and it was still calling for a lot of wind. Well, you can't trust the forecast. I think this picture says it all.
Yes, that's really us playing Spite and Malice on the water. There was No Wind. None. We still managed to have a good time, but we sure weren't going anywhere! We did see the tall ship Windy, which lives at Navy Pier. She was out there bobbing around with us. In this picture she was motoring, which is the only reason her flags were standing out from the masts.
The Blues Fest is in Chicago this weekend, and if you look in the center you can see that the Blue Cross Blue Shield building is spelling out "The Blues". That shot is from my mooring. The tall building in the center of the picture is Aon Center, where I work. I can see the boat from my office (if I contort myself around the furniture and plaster myself to the window, that is).
Last night Steve went to a Relay For Life at his school. It started at 6pm, and lasted until 6am. When Don picked him up this morning he said he had slept for about an hour, so he went right to bed. I just went in and tried to wake him up and he informed me that he ran 20 miles last night and needed his sleep, thank you very much. 20 miles. Now, he's in good shape, but 20 miles is a long way and I think the longest he's done up until now is around 8. Maybe 10, but definitely no where close to 20. Wow. I feel a marathon coming on . . .
I am cooking up a storm today, with Jerked Pork Chops and Pineapple/Mango Chutney on the menu this week. Yum. No travel again this week for either of us, and again I'm afraid to say anything for fear that I'll jinx it. I think July might make up for this hiatus, so I'm enjoying it while I can.
Speaking of travel - I've been wondering how much you are working, and what your schedule is like. What's a typical month look like?
Thursday night, I returned home from four fun-filled hours at O'Hare waiting for a flight that never materialized (don't ask). I noticed a newsletter from Angel Flight, which is a great organization that Don has joined. I opened it up and was thumbing through it, and was really surprised at what I saw. Go check it out.
He's also been working on something else that's pretty cool. When you have a small plane, people go for what they call a "$100 Hamburger". That means you fly somewhere just to have lunch, so by the time you get back you've spent $100 on a burger. These days, gas prices being what they are, maybe they should call it the $250 burger, but you get the idea. There used to be a free site with restaurants listed, so you could figure out where to go that was close to a general aviation field, but they changed the site to require a fee. So - Don set up his own called Flying-Food. He was in the Cessna Pilot's Association newsletter last year for that. He keeps asking me to help him make it prettier, and I have to admit that I really haven't done anything about it. Maybe I should since he's getting to be famous.
We're just so impressed at our house I thought I would share.