On the way to Boise

My Not So Secret Love Affair…

I’ve written of this before but tonight I decided to revisit the romance I’ve experienced and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget. My first time was when I was 14. I barely remember what was going on but all I knew was life would never be the same again. It only lasted a half hour but that was all I needed. I had been working my ass off for the next few months just so I could do it again. I did it four times before my parents found out and I was ‘discouraged’ to say the least. It wouldn’t be until many many years that I would be able to do it again. And let me tell you, there’s not much in this world better than this…

“Big Bend 2, Runway One Eight, Clear for Take-Off”

I had been in plenty of military aircraft (and jumped out of them) enough times that nervousness had no factor in it. It was pure love. Aside from the cocky instructor on my right, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place that has given me as much joy. Then the first big drop came from the crazy thermal action alongside the lake right after take-off. My heart said, “Yes Dave, this is it!”

For the next few weeks it was hardcore studying, chair-flying and immersion into everything aviation. My first solo was in quick order. Unfortunately it took about a zillion landings before the instructor finally jumped out of the plane and let me at it. I never had a problem getting the plane on the ground safely, it was really a process of perfecting it more so to cover the ass of the instructor that signs off. Along comes the first solo. I took to the sky with a love in my heart that no engine stutter or wind gust could shake.

Many hundreds of landings later, check-ride after check-ride and amazing flights along the way I was at the end. I had just passed my instrument check ride and was a few weeks from taking the commercial ride. There was only one check ride I failed… damn plane that I hadn’t flown before gave me a secondary stall about ten minutes in. Gillespie looked over at me and said “Are you serious?” I was dead on the altitudes, radio calls, everything…. That was the one and only time to date that I had experienced a secondary stall. Unfortunately, FAA says some things can’t be overlooked.

After a crazy-stressful instrument ride where I was a thousand feet above my final fix and a half mile out yet still managed to nail the ILS, lady luck was on my side. The chief pilot, who gave me that check ride looked at me after we landed and said “There were two times during that flight that I almost failed you, then you did something amazing and redeemed yourself.” He didn’t actually say if I passed until we got inside and everyone was waiting for the answer. He reached over, grabbed the paper and with a smirk on his face signed off ‘Passed.’

So on to the commercial ride. The last flight at the school. After this, I had one more annoying math test and I was set free. I don’t think I could have been more happy with my last flight. My spot landings were about as perfect as anything. I was even challenged (ungraded at this point) to land dead-stick with no instruments. Not even an airspeed indicator. The check pilot adjusted himself to turn towards me as he blocked off the instrument panel and killed the power. He says “I don’t think you realize how good you are. Now land this plane on those numbers.”

I turned towards the numbers, listening to the whistle of the wind to keep my speed. I came in a little high so I slipped in. 65 knots in a full deflection slip to lose altitude. He was about to rip the ‘oh shit’ handles off if there was any but I had never felt in more control. There was a fence about 40 feet before the threshold that he didn’t think I was going to clear. I aimed at the fence, got my speed up and at the last minute used the last notch of flaps to lift up and over. I straightened out from the slip, full back on the yoke and got the most amazing ‘wert’ from the wheels. Dead on the numbers. Nose wheel dead centerline.

“Take Us Home.”

The final landing at Grant County was actually a bit sloppier. He was used to a different style of soft field landing so he gave me the ‘What The Eff?” look when I came in with more power than his students ever used.

We got back to the ramp, hands sweating, heart racing. He was the kind of guy that always had a list of ‘things’ that I could have done better but he didn’t bring too much attention to it. When he turned to me in the plane he paused. I thought “Oh Shit.” He held out his hand and said “Congratulations, you’re a commercial pilot.” I almost felt like I was going to cry. Not really because I was relieved of the stress of it all, but because I knew this was it. When would I see my love again?

I have neglected it for far too long. Only taking a few flights here and there. I keep my license right in the flap of my wallet and see it every time I open it up to check my phone or grab my debit card.

It’s time for me to find a way back to my love. My happy place. Let’s Fly Away.

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return”

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Do… Stuff…

It’s funny how the ‘Simpsons’ used to be a ‘bad-for-kids’ TV show. “Eat My Shorts” has been replaced by Stewie prank calling Moe at his tavern saying his daughter is being raped. I’ve got thick skin of course but there’s something a little unsettling about the trend of things…

Aside from the crazy stuff that the media brings to our attention, there is something else that I think about a lot. The aliens on the Simpsons… Kang and Kodos.

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Sometimes we should take their viewpoint to appreciate what we’ve immersed ourselves in.

As I was finishing up some work tonight, I looked around the apartment and said to myself…. “I’m having a Mac Attack!” So I’m addicted to Apple. So what? I have the work MacBook, personal MacBook, iPad, iPhone, AppleTV, Apple Airport, 2 iPods….

It wasn’t but 15 years ago that text messaging was barely even popular. 15 years ago my computer monitor alone cost more than my iPad! Now my 22 inch flat screen for my desktop computer just isn’t doing it for me.

I set my laptop on the counter and had a weird little conversation with myself. If an alien from another planet were sitting next to me and asked what the heck that silvery looking thing was, what would I say?

“Well Kang and Kodos, it’s a device that has the ability to affect the lives of every single person on this earth.”

Seems like a stretch right? It’s not.

So many of us have these amazing tools that typically get used for nothing more than building a pseudo-life to show off to our friends and entertain ourselves when our personal relationships give us no satisfaction.

Of course these devices are nothing without a connection to the world… wide web. But really, that is exactly what the web is. It’s a bunch of computers linked together. Maybe not .7 inches thick, but computers nonetheless.

So if I were to explain to an alien how to use this ‘thing’ to change the world, how would I say it?

“Well, you can join social media and share something ‘viral'”
“You can start a business and sell these very same things”
“You can research and invest and make a lot of money and do cool things… in this world”

But those are gimmes. No shit Sherlocks. Thank You Captain Obvious…

In a world which has been overrun by anti-socialism via handheld devices and social media, it’s a bit hard to swallow to realize that the very technology that is keeping everyone personally disconnected, could very well be the one thing that saves us all.

There has got to be a better way to put these things to good use.

Revenge of the Nerds… You’ve won. We got it. Your awesome inventions work. We bow down to you. Now quit nerdifying things and let’s get busy. Let’s share real knowledge. Let’s collaborate without ulterior motives. Let’s understand each other.

For the handful of people that may read this, and maybe even share it… I challenge you to stop for a second. Take a good hard look at your phone, or your computer and think about how much we are neglecting the power that we hold… Or are we meant to even have this power?

One of my last trips on Turtle...

Perpetual Disappointment…

I’ve discovered a problem with trying to do to many things in my life. In the last ten years I’ve done more than some people do in a lifetime. I’m not boasting about it here… because really, it’s quite depressing.

In the second year of flight school, I would actually get bored doing solo flights. Well, until I got lazy with a stall here and there and almost shit myself when I felt a spin about to happen. But really… who gets bored flying?

It seems that much of what I do with my life has the same feeling. A lot of times it’s with women. Just like the planes I flew in school, there’s a point at which you realize that there was a bunch of dudes (and women too) who got their rocks off with her before you did. And probably did cooler things too! There’s nothing special about it… Just flying around in circles like everyone else has done before. Yawn…

My boredom stunted my progress as is does with a lot of things lately. Maybe I’m just being whiny or entitled but come on people! Throw me a bone! It could be that I need more friends… Or more money… However the cheese is cut, I need to find a way to be satisfied with life again.

Because of what I’ve recklessly done with myself over the years, I raised the bar for what I expect out of people. It’s not that people in my life aren’t/can’t be amazing, it’s that I need to realize that most people actually think ahead about how their actions will effect them later in life.

I mean… Who hasn’t been deployed to combat, built a restaurant, attained a commercial pilot license, lived on a sailboat, traveled to other countries, lived all over the US, acquired (almost) a massage therapist certification, developed websites, jumped out of planes, climbed trees for a living, drove semi-trucks cross country, slung coffee, smoked a cigar with Miss. Washington… And who has run out of fingers and toes to count how many … ehh, never-mind that one.

I’m off to shower, get dressed in my lame clothes and go to the shitty coffee shop down the street in hopes of running into my soul-mate. Then again, maybe my soul mate is on craigslist.

Well shit…

I’m realizing it’s really time for something new to happen in my life. Hopefully I’m in some sort of control of what happens.

For the last many months I’ve been trying to wrap my head around some craziness that has occurred in my life. I’ve also realized that there really truly, is nothing stopping me from doing anything worthwhile except for… myself. No, really…

The Dog House Saloon in Fayetteville, NC was where it all came together. Well, most of it. Some of it came from the once in a lifetime love affair I had with a Colonel’s wife. Anyways. I’d drag the Harley out of the garage most nights and ride straight down to have a few cold ones. Coors Light was my vice at the time. Maybe it was the fact that I had a for-real Harley that I got treated like family there, but one of the best things about that place was when I walked in, I didn’t even have to ask for a drink. Daniel, Sarah, Chris, Tara Lee, Clint…. and Ame… Oh, Ame… You were the butter to my bread when I was able to drag you out for company… Or karaoke… Or just kickin’ it listening to cover bands all night.

I remember sitting there one day with Daniel and I said… “I’m going to open a place when I get out.” I was never so sure of anything in my life until that point. Well, mo-fuckers…. I did it. It was a humbling experience really. I got support from people I never expected and I also got hands held out from people I never expected. I lost my soul in that place. It was the moment I’ve written about before in this blog… I sold my .45 to quell those thoughts from coming to fruition. Though I wasn’t a high volume place, I was always running out of food, short staffed and I found myself starting at zero every damn month. What could have catapulted me to the next level was spent on keeping people off my back. It’s surprising who has your back when such things are on the line.

I’m determined to open another place. Or multiples of places. As much as it’s about the money, it’s really about the passion you find within yourself to do something. I can’t quite preach the ideals that I think will carry me through to the next big thing in life, but I can do my best to wrangle up the demons that seem to keep me from progressing.

Somewhere, deep down the fire is still alive… and I’ll be able to tell a bad-ass story someday.

Jesus was a bastard child…

It’s been a while. Oh how I’ve missed this whole writing bit. I found a peculiar motivation tonight to start writing some more. Not sure it will be an everyday affair as I made it before, but ya know… Fuck it.

I’ve hated having to be someone for someone else. I remember having to sit through some bullshit lecture from a camp counselor when me and my friend Kevin didn’t bring our bibles to camp. When they forced us to take possession of their renditions, we got in trouble if we didn’t put them on top of every other item in our drawers. As a kid, I never understood it. I never felt it in my heart. I’ve never been ‘saved’ even when I told people I felt the ‘blood of Jesus running through my veins.’ It was all a shit show story to get people off my back.

The night I was on the floor in the Papa Murphy’s getting my face beat in by some fat fucker trying to rob the place was my first taste of what life was really all about. The only person responsible for saving ourselves is in fact, ourselves.

Come ye bible thumpers and born-again disciples of the almighty. Rip me apart for speaking such foul sentiment of your beloved savior.

My question of the age is this… Why on earth would anyone want to live a life where they are expecting the spirit of a zombie Jew to carry them through? Why not do it yourself? CAN you actually do it yourself?

How’s that for returning to the blog-o-sphere with a bang?

Whether you like it or not, we are all here for a purpose we won’t understand while ‘in the flesh.’ What I will tell you though is that we must learn to be compassionate to one another and understand that regardless of why we are here, this life is not meant to be lived without trying to make some sort of impact on the world. Do it how you please, but quite simply; don’t be an asshole.

It’s not about the money. It’s not about the fame, or notoriety. It’s not really about who you’re fuckin’ or the drama you create because you’re not the one doing the fuckin’… You jealous bastard, you. Take a look at who you really are. Take a look at what’s been put on your plate right in front of you. Quit looking at the heftier portions that are given to those sitting across from you.

Let the friend self-pruning process begin…

Day 365…

Won’t bore anybody with one of those long ‘wrap-up’ blogs. I did it… although I missed a handful of days throughout the year, I wrote for an entire year straight. I feel pretty darn good about the whole thing really. I’ve ended up right about where I thought I would in life and the fun is just about to get started.

I am more than appreciative of all the people who have read my blog. I know it’s not the ‘coolest’ thing to read but I tried to be as candid and open about my feelings on things as I could. I wish I could have been more to everybody but I say one last time, this blog was really about me, not you… It was to fall in love with the reader. I did. Everyday, the highlight of looking at my phone was to see WordPress notifications of comments or ‘likes’. Truly.

For the assholes that liked to read it then judge me for it, I hope you get what’s coming to you.

So here here to the year of ’13. May we all find a better way to live and love thine neighbor… and that we all get laid a little more than last year…

Pictures…

I’ve been an advocate for anti-facebook lifestyles. There’s a part of me that hates the idea of sitting around doing nothing except vicariously living through a social media medium such as Facebook. I’ve tried to get rid of it a few times but to no avail, it finds it’s way back to me. It gets old. Sure, I ‘like’ things and share things… it’s usually when I get really bored. Lately it’s been a bit more often. I’m not very mentally stimulated at work and all I really want to do is sleep.

Aside from my opinions of what the ‘information age’ and the advent of text messaging has done to people, I think of another cool aspect of it.

I see a lot of people posting pictures of their babies and kids and all that family crap that I (un?)fortunately don’t have to deal with at this point in my life. How cool would it be though, to be one of these kids all grown up and be able to see an entire timeline of your life. I can only go back to when Facebook started to see my timeline but in twenty some years, people will be able to have an entirely new way of revisiting childhood memories.

As I was thinking about this, I tried to think back as far as I could into my past. I remember little things here and there. Like the… ehh, nevermind what I remember. Seems to me that although social media is a joke for the most part, it could actually have some long term effects on relationships and families in a good way. Those that have been born into it can use it to chronologically document their existence without it feeling like an intrusion as it does to people like me.

For those of us not born into Facebook, imagine if you were able to see your childhood as a Facebook timeline. Some long distant aunt that you never quite knew would be nothing more than a ‘mutual friend’ away from reconnecting with or remembering the memories. Videos of your first steps could be replayed. All those embarrassing photos and stories would have a new meaning since they not only live in the memories but in a real life database of your life.

This last year of blogging has been interesting, if anything only for me. I can click back to a post in February or January… or even the first post and I can piece together who I am now compared to who I thought I would be from a year ago. If only I could go back 25 or 30 years to read in black and white what was on my mind…

More and more…

The more and more I get out and do things I don’t really want to do… The more I realize that this world we live in is in need of some real change. Our own individual worlds. We have become conditioned to think that we have to live life to the standards of media and culture and the Kardashians… The earth we live on is slowly becoming consumed by the waste we produce for an experience less than everything it should be. Greed, envy, jealousy, hatred, guilt, power, dominance… Too many emotions to really list have overshadowed something that we are supposed to be doing here. More intelligent life forms elsewhere in the galaxy probably aren’t too motivated to make a trip here for the same reason that no one really wants to hang out at a Denny’s for their birthday. Sometimes you have to though…

Hindsight…

We’ve all had those moments where we think back and wish we would have done something a little bit different right? The things I really wish I could have done differently have to do with friendships and relationships. Career stuff is, meh… I’m content with my choices in that arena, but when it comes to people in my past I wish  I would have been able to grasp onto things that I was ignorant to.

I think these things because I’m single… and unaware that I’m looking for something to fill a void in my life. Then I realize that something better must be coming along that will make me realize why everything in the past didn’t work the way I wanted it to.

Isn’t that some sort of Facebook or Pinterest motivational thing?

Aha!

I’m usually a bit cryptic when it comes to things I write about here. Not that too many people care (expect for people wanting to know what’s going on in my life). This one is no different.

I had an AHA! moment today. A few times. I’ve been struggling to figure out what to do with myself and I go to random places in my mind to figure it out. After getting rid of the restaurant I’ve been real scattered as to what I want to do with myself. Truck driving, flight school, tree climbing, coffee making… Nothing that has made me truly happy. There’s something bigger and better to be taken. I’m not meant to be working for someone else. It’s nice and all to not have to worry about ‘locking the door’ at night, but sometimes it’s a decent trade off for a chance at something a little bit better.

I’m about to wrap up this year in blogging and I’m a little disappointed in myself that I couldn’t end it on a really exciting note. I guess the true believers will see what happens someday…