Thursday, November 23, 2006

I have no idea why this pic appears black in the thumbnail. Click on it to make it bigger, and to make it appear.

This is a pic from last Saturday night, when Lisa took me to a lingerie fashion show. Hey, the proceeds all went to charity and I would have been rude to decline it. Anyway, here I am, zombie-style. About to feast on Lisa's brains. I can't remember what I was doing when that pic was taken, which is strange as I was sober that night.

Anyhoo, yesterday I flew to Quebec, and then to northern Quebec, then finally to Most Northern Quebec evar. We hung out there for the day, then flew down to northern Quebec, then Quebec, then home. All in all a long day.

I really had no idea that there were places in Canada where people didn't speak English at all. I wonder what their world must be like, and how different their experience of life is from my own. The ladies at the terminal where I spent the day were nice, and we managed to communicate through basic gestures - for the hard stuff I loaded up bablelfish on my crackberry and used it to translate stuff like "Is it okay if I use a credit card to pay for my landing fee".

The only word I really know how to say in French is pamplemousse. It's a pretty big word so I save it for special occasions when I just know the French person I'm talking to will be impressed by it.

I guess the biggest eye-opener for me was speaking to some people who made no effort to speak English, and who just spoke to me in French and assumed I'd be the person to try to jump across the language gap. Like, say, the servers at the resturants I went to. I certainly wasn't upset or resentful, as I realize that us English speakers are almost imperialist in our world-view; everyone should learn how to speak our language instead of vice-versa. Maybe imperialist isn't the right word, perhaps we are more Borg-like. And I happened to meet a whole whack of people who weren't interested in joining the English collective.

Anyway, yesterday was a full day, flying-wise. Our first trip was an hour flight, then our second one was only about 20 minutes, and our final trip was another half-hour. That really isn't a long time when we are doing back-to-back legs, and it doesn't give much time to get prepared for the next leg.

We have a lot to do for each leg, like getting our air traffic control clearance, calculating our take-off speeds and thrust settings, entering our route into our GPS, getting the latest weather reports, finding out what runway they are using, figuring out what our approach speed will be, figuring out what our go-around thrust setting will be and whatnot. We also have to make sure the pax are fed and watered, and that the plane is reasonably clean after every leg so they don't have to wallow in filth, whether self-generated or not. Oh, and of course there's the actual flying part too.

All in all, I was a tired puppy when we landed back home, nearly 15 hours after we started our day. But on the up-side, I'm current for night takeoffs and landings for another 6 months :)

Today was all about the office, trying to catch up with the endless backlog of paperwork this operation requires.

There were a couple of interesting parts though:

We did some interviews today for a pilot position with my company. That was fun, and it was interesting to see different people's approaches to the process, and their answers to the questions we posed. We have a lot of qualified people, and what's even better is they are interesting to talk to, so I have high hopes for whomever we end up with.

Oh, and remember a post I made about 10 days ago regarding another company scooping my flight bag and not returning it? Well, I was contacted by some relevant parties and I got that all worked out today to my satisfaction, so that was pretty good too. I was genuinely impressed by the Captain of that flight - he contacted me and was open and honest, and genuinely wanted to work things out, which we have done.

Tomorrow I'm doing more paperwork, then heading up to the airport to wait for the phone/internet guy, so he installs our phones and interweb at the correct office.

Oh, and as far as my bet with Lisa - I have lost 8 pounds so I'm happy. But she hits the gym every day now, so I can't exactly rest on my laurels.


amulbunny said...

Does ATC in Quebec speak to you in English? I know it's the same country, but....
Glad you're home safe and sound, and the pic is cute!

Anonymous said...

Not many ways to work,"pamplemouse" into conversation after breakfast.Just curious, is the contest based on pounds lost or inches lost? And what are you doing to lose the pounds? Your benefits package likely has a gym membership and other delicious body work perks; massage,nutritional counselling etc. Why not use that secret weapon, the benefits package?