Friday, January 23, 2009

Bottom Line?

I'm just not a salesman. Yes, I have the personality to do sales but I'm just not a salesman. I hate pushy salesmen. Every time I've let a pushy salesmen talk me into something I've had regrets. I just cannot be that person.

So I'm back to looking in an industry that is taking a beating due to the economy and morons in Washington D.C. who think airplanes are of "the debil" and that private aircraft will be used to bomb Nordstroms. Like a backpack full of dynamite couldn't do the same thing, carried in on the back of a pimply-faced teenager who bought into the Islamic rhetoric about the evil American system of capitalism. Morons in Washington D.C. who criticize CEO's for flying corporate jets around and yet spend taxpayers money willy-nilly on jaunts that many times take place on corporate or chartered jets. Like I said...morons. I thought about running for congress but I didn't want to get the lobotomy and I can't, in good conscience, do the things they do to the American people on a daily basis.

I just want to open the Yahoo home page and see a bit of good news for once. I guess this is how my grandparents felt in the 30's. What goes around, comes around and it seems that 3 generations later, we still haven't seen the writing on the wall that says "Doing something over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of idiocy".

The knot at the end of my rope is getting frayed...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I always have said I like to have options. But there are times when too many options makes making a decision difficult. Especially when it concerns the rest of your life.

I have some decisions to make regarding 3 options. And gathering information to make the correct decision is becoming a problem because I'm at the point where getting more information means a commitment of some sort to one of the three options.

Option 1:

I've been a pilot for 23 years. I've always wanted to be a pilot. I enjoy flying. But my incident one year ago has essentially ruined it for me. So has working for others who twist and bend the rules to help them and put me at risk. To proceed with this career I have the option of acquiring a type rating in a Cessna Citation (read: jet). Part of that option is acquiring funding through the Workforce Investment Act. WIA funds in Northern California are distributed through Northern California Employment Network, a consortium of 11 counties in NorCal. They made their restrictions a little tighter than the States which eliminates some providers including the one I might want to use. That provider is willing to be added to NCEN but it will take "a while". And we all know how long "a while" is with the State of California. Even more so now that it may be broke by February 1st.!

Option 2:

I've also always wanted to be a history teacher. Jr. or Sr. High, World History teacher. I think I'd be good at this but I dropped out of college to pursue a life in the circus...I mean...flying circus! I have some credits but not a lot. Going back to school is an option using the aforementioned WIA funds, grants and student loans. It would take me about 2.5 years to get my credential and a teaching job which are, at this time, scarce and pay less than aviation. Good news is, the gov't likes teachers and grants and such are widely available. But to do this I would still have to find a job to pay for incidentals, car payment, utilities, etc.

Option 3:

I "interviewed" today for a position selling supplemental insurance through Family Heritage Life. Seems like a good gig. Pays decent. I'll get out of it what I put into it. Unfortunately some red flags popped up...nothing that is a deal-breaker just some things I need to think about. First would be an independent contractor position. 1099sville. Second, it's sales. I've never really liked sales of been good at sales but I've had many people over the years tell me I'd be good at it based on my personality. After sitting through the presentation I could see myself doing this job as the product is something I would be interested in and for me, that's half the battle.

So I have 3 options. Two mix well...#2 and #3. #3 provides the job to pay the incidentals while I exercise option #2. The kicker is I have to choose Option #2 as my career path from here on out. To be honest with myself, I'm a little burned out of aviation right now. Don't know if it's the PTSD talking, the gear-up talking or 23 years not progressing talking. I still truly love to fly but I do not look with joy at hardball IFR, or Point A to Point B 5 days a week. Or being rousted out of bed at o'dark-thirty to fly to someplace. I don't enjoy the long, 3-4 hour trips. I rather enjoyed the out and backs at the USFS or even the RDD-SIY-RDD run I did a few years back (even though at the time I was nearly suicidal!)

I guess I'm just not willing to cut off aviation completely. To forgo the career path I am/was on. I see it as, well, a failure of some sorts to not continue. But I do get excited when I think about becoming a teacher but fear I'm too old, too late coming to the party. I'm also concerned that I am being selfish to my kids. By spending the money to become a teacher I feel I'm taking money away from their higher education. I so want to be able to get them through their Bachelor's degree so as to give them a better shot at life than their parents had.

I don't know...I want a sign. A big one in neon lights. One that will assuage all the guilt. One that will comfort me in that the decision I make is the right one. One that will keep my wife sane and worry-free. One that won't keep me up at nights wondering if I did the right thing...

Anybody got a sign like that?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random Musings

(This is what happens when you have waaay too much time on your hands, an overactive imagination, a large vocabulary and a medium white chocolate mocha from Dutch Bros.)

I've been thinking about blogging, Facebook and Twitter recently (Okay...I was laying awake last night, trying to go to sleep and my mind wouldn't shut up!), and how all three have changed the way we interact with each other. Not just the non face-to-face kind of interaction but what we talk about. It seems that when we blog, Facebook (is that even a word?) or Twitter (I don't...) we tend to put out there, for all to see, the incredible minutiae of ones life. Now some lives are more interesting than others and I can see and enjoy Facebook's ability to let me catch up with people I haven't seen in 20-25 years but do I really need to know that you suck at Wii bowling? That you are going to the store for some more milk? That you've just finish reading "Twilight" and the movie was much better? (You're a moron if you think a movie is better than a book because there is only one movie that was at least as good as the book and that was the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy so there!) Or that you're now going to bed because you've been up all day? Of course you've been up all day! Unless you're a vampire or work the grave yard shift, you've been up all day because that is what the "day" is for...for you to be "up" in and moving about in.

But I digress.

I think with the advent of blogging, Facebooking, and Twittering we've lost the desire to focus on something other than ourselves. We call people who do that "heroes" and not the freaks on the NBC show either. Talking heads on the TV news put those people up in their "human interest" slot, you know, the last 30 seconds of the newscast which, if you did watch the news on TV anymore, you've already switched over to the guide so you can see what's on next. And it's there we find people actually getting out and making face-to-face with other people.

I'm guilty of this too. Posting here on my blog and making wise-ass comments over on Facebook is a great time waster, a fun distraction and a whole lot of narcissism! Are we really keeping "in touch" with others or are we engaged in a weird kind of "look at me" by posting that "Eric is done watching the Dallas Cowboys get slaughtered 44-3 and he's going to his room to cry" with the sole purpose to not really inform anyone of anything other than to entice them to post a comment so that a discussion will follow?

Curious question brings up does this? (Channeling a little Yoda there...) Will it ever go back to the way it is or will we be like that small group of people at Starbucks all texting frantically on their cell phones to the very same people who are sitting around the very same table as they are?

I think that those who either have resisted the onslaught of the minute-by-minute informing of others of exactly what others are doing, or have thrown away their devices or have weaned themselves off of this bandwagon are going to be fewer and fewer yet. And it doesn't stop with personal communication. It is now coming to education. There is a commercial for one online college that has a professor (Uncle Phil from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") stating that he has failed his student by keeping them in a brick-and-mortar school when they could be learning just as easily sitting in a park, sipping a latte at Starbucks or doing their Ethics 101 final from the privacy of their bedroom, dressed in their jammies with their hair up in a bun. Since the internet has given brick-and-mortar business a run for their money does that mean all other avenues of commerce, education and communication have to go that way? Or, as my Dad used to say, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you?" (Your Dad said that too? He know my Dad?)

I'm just saying, I think this blogging, Facebook, Twitter thing is taking us somewhere we may not want to be and when we get there and look back we'll realize we can't go back no matter how hard we try.

Then what?


Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year

(okay...I'm a day late!)

Let's see what I bring into 2009.

(BTW...I don't put much stock into the magical qualities of the turning of the page of a calendar signifying the change from one year...or another.)

I bring a near total reliance on God.

I bring a renewed interest in what the Bible says.

I bring a renewed interest in discussing issues in the Marketplace of Ideas.

I bring a new sense of others around me and what I need to do for them.

I bring a new level of prayer in my life.

I bring a new appreciation for change.

I bring a better understanding of how messed up we can make ourselves and how, at 43, it's very hard to change.

I'm finding that change takes time. Something an ADHD'er has problems with.

I bring a better feel for the phrase, "Shit happens".

I understand that God allows "shit" to "happen" for His reason.

I also understand (and am learning to accept) that God doesn't have to tell me His reasons for the "shit" that "happens".

I remember I have something to say.

I've learned a better way to say it.

I don't sleep so well anymore and I miss it.

I don't like dreaming anymore and I'm sad.

I've accepted that I'm not going to weigh 185 ever again and that 200 is just fine...okay it's not...195 would be better but I really like ice cream!

I realize nobody really reads this blog so it's mainly therapy for me.

I realize I have a long way to go before I'll ever get back into the cockpit again. Unfortunately I run out of funds sometime between May and July. Sooo...

I realize I was a schmuck to forgo a college education...even an AA would be better than marking "some college" on job apps.

I am seeing my teenaged kids in a new light.

I realize that in a few years, that will go by very fast, my kids will be adults and out of the house.

I realize that when that happens, my wife will need me more than ever.

I bring a lot of the same baggage into 2009 that I brought into 2008, that I brought into 2007, that I brought into 2006, that I brought infiniteum...

So here's to 2009. May she be a damn sight better than 2008. And may the Lord stay his hand on us.