March 15, 2009

Our Family.

For the past several months I have been writing about other folks on the blog. Earl and I have built our own family and I thought it was time to share a little bit about it.

Greg and Dave are two very important men in our life. As our bond grows I realise that I would be a considerably different man today if they weren’t around. I believe that I contribute to their personal growth just as they contribute to mine. Our home is open to them whenever they need a port in the storm and we love them both. We have much in common with them and we visit often, both electronically and in person.

The youngest member of our family is Jamie. An aspiring photographer and artist, Jamie will most likely attend MVCC in the fall for their photography/design/art program. In doing so, he will live with us as he is originally from Buffalo. Jamie is a great guy and reminds me in ways of a certain young man I once knew who just needed a little guidance to achieve the dreams he had already formulated in his mind. Jamie joined us in Florida last February. It was then that I confirmed what I already thought: I like him a lot and mi casa su casa. I seem to have inherited a trait from my father for nicknaming things, as I call Jamie “Cubster”.

Being relatively private in our home life, I believe that Earl and I have made some very well thought out decisions in regards to our future. I’m writing this entry on an airplane and I’m finding myself a little choked up, because I feel like my heart sings with the additions to our life. I feel the most grounded I have been in a long time.

When I Hear Music.

One thing that I have noticed over the past couple of weeks is that I am undergoing a definite change in my taste in music. Whereas I have always been a fan of 80s stuff and anything new that is danceable (house and trance music), especially being DJ SuperCub and all, these days I am being drawn to tracks from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. For example, as I plonk this blog entry on my iPhone keyboard, I have listened to:

“Help Me” by Joni Mitchell
“Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells
“Feelins” by The Grass Roots

I am loving the honest musicianship in these tracks. There is very little in the way of electronic augmentation. Well, the technology on the track is used for effect, not complete replacement of a need of musicianship. The electronic stuff doesn’t attempt to cover up a deficiency, it enhances a natural talent.

This is all a complete 180 from cranking up a deep trance track and engaging in an E-like experience. I’m
curious as to the cause of my change in attitude with music but I must admit I’m enjoying the trip of what I’ve been
listening to.

Now I’m listening to “One Of These Nights” by The Eagles. It always used to remind me of being a kid in the back seat of my Dad’s muscle car. Now it reminds me of a certain warm Nebraska night when Earl and I were in search of a hotel. I just remmbered the town in Nebraska: Scottsbluff. That has been bothering me for weeks.

Perhaps I’m ramping up for the nicer weather.

More Friendly Skies.

So I’m sitting on the aforementioned Delta flight to “Northern Kentucky”. Today’s flight attendant is Niki. She is very friendly and easy to understand on the intercom.

She said one thing during the safety announcement that I really appreciated: “While I am here primarily for your safety, if you need you assistance I’d be happy to help you.” I’m sure many flight attendants say this (though it’s the first time I’ve heard it in a long while), it seems that few passengers remember this. This makes me a little angry.

Flight attendants are well trained individuals that are there for the safety of the passenger and in case of an emergency. Whilst many think they are there to be a servant, this is hardly the case. Barking at a flight attendant is not only rude, but it is evidence of a misconception of what they are there for. The whole pop and peanuts thing is a courtesy on their behalf.

I have mentioned before that I enjoy flying. I’m a bit of an aviator geek. I know what type of plane I’m on, usually how old it is and who owns it (usually a leasing company). I know when a pilot turns ‘base’ and ‘final’ on an approach and I can almost always identify the moment that our wheels should leave the runway. I know where all exits are, even if they are behind me.

I still pay attention to every safety announcement and follow along with the information card in the seat pocket in front of me. It’s the responsible thing to do. I wish more people would put the paper down or shut up during the announcements. They’re not doing a stand up routine up there, they are sharing important information.

And one other thing. Every passenger on the plane has paid something in some way to get a seat. No matter the method of payment, your credit card isn’t better than anyone else’s. Sitting in seat 9A does not entitle you to any special treatment over the person in seat 9B.

So as an aviation geek that enjoys flying, loves a flight attendant and wants the experience to be a beautiful thing for all involved, I ask everyone to make an effort to be a friendly, responsible passenger.

Thank you and enjoy your flight.

Please Stop.

I know I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier when it comes to economics and the government. I admit that I reside in my own near-lunatic fringe with how I usually feel about this sort of thing, but I can’t help but be infuriated about this sort of thing:

New York Times: A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout

This is absolutely unbelievable. As an American, dare I say “proud American”?, I am outraged at this! The article says (emphasis mine):

“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury,” he wrote Mr. Geithner on Saturday.

Are we really to believe that they really have the ‘best and brightest’ when A.I.G. is one of the major contributors to the financial mess currently in progress?

Greedy, greedy, greedy.

It is crap like this that makes me spew words that makes me sound unAmerican.

This crap must stop. Now.

Will Rogers World Airport.

043.365, originally uploaded by iMachias.

So I am sitting at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, awaiting my flight home. I have a short layover in Cincinnati, which is suspiciously in Kentucky. That airport in Cincinnati can’t be as busy as they planned it would be because they have that whole Terminal C being closed thing going on. I understand that’s a relatively new phenomenon according to, but it is a little disconcerting to board a crappy bus and then shoot across taxiways and runways between arriving and departing flights.

I’m just saying.

My trip to OKC has been both productive and quite enjoyable. I could get all insightful in this blog post about a renewed spirit and such but then it would seem like I say that a lot and my spirit would be about worn out from all the renewing that it’s been getting lately. Let’s just say that I feel really good and energised and that I’m ready for my next challenge. Let’s see if I feel that way three or four days from now when I’m in the midst of an on-call week.

Last night I went out for one more drink and browse around the gayborhood near the Habana in Oklahoma City. I hung out with Olivier et all for a bit before calling it a night around 1:00 a.m. and heading back to the hotel. I know I had more fun last night than I normally would because I didn’t drink any alcohol. This not drinking thing is working quite well for me.

I was ready to breeze through security this morning like a well seasoned traveler, but I inadvertently left my boarding pass in the snappy plastic bin they have to run through the xray machine and that hosed up the process a little bit. It’s a good thing that the folks at OKC are so jovial. The attendant still referred to me as “sweetheart”. That’s one thing I love about this area; you can be as dumb as a box of rocks and still be a sweetheart.

I should remember that.

Now, if she had said “bless your heart” I knew I would have been in trouble because that implies pity, but she didn’t say that so I didn’t get worked up.

They just announced that the flight is oversold and they are offering “Delta Dollars” to give up your seat. Hmmm, tempting…