Friday, September 05, 2008



The conga-line of hurricanes and tropical storms is bringing moisture to a whole lot of the continent this week. That's fine by me - the plane could use a wash.

We flew mostly east today, ahead of the worst of the rain. It's a great day outside, and I'm enjoying the last few days of warmth before the leaves turn color and I feel the first icy wind blow down my back. The flight was uneventful and the US Customs guy was pleasant, so all in all the morning was a complete success.

We head back home later on, and will be flying through a whole pile of the aforementioned rain. It's nothing serious - no thunderstorms are predicted or observed - but it's still a spooky feeling when we fly into a dark cloud and start to hear the rain hitting the windshield at a few hundred knots. Depending on the airplane, a wet windshield can be really hard to see out of due to the water streaking all about. In my car I use Rain-X to clear the windshield, but I am worried it would eat the plexiglass in the plane, so I mostly use furniture polish (lemon-scented Pledge, actually) in an effort to keep the windshield slick and the water beading nicely.


Not much else is new here - Lisa and I have been married for over a month now, and I think it's going to take, so that's nice. We also are moving into a house at the end of the month, with a real back yard and a fence and everything, so that's cool. We haven't bought a house, it's just a rental, but it will let us know if we are up to the challenge of mowing lawns and shovelling snow, things we haven't had to do at our previous apartments.

Gas prices are starting to lower, which is a welcome change and also bodes a little better for my job security ;)

Oh, I do have something to mention actually. My parent company has said they will pay for me to obtain a non-aviation qualification, in case I stick a salad fork into my eye one day and lose my medical, or in case the price of fuel goes up to $20/gallon and I lose my airplane.

That in itself is an amazing offer, and this only reaffirms that I am really lucky to be working for them. Kitsch is going to work on his MBA, but I'm sort of stuck for ideas.

What should I study? What do I want to be if I can't be a flyin' guy? My parent company is involved with alternative energy sources, so I'm thinking maybe something to do with wind turbines or hydro dams, or maybe engineering, or maybe accounting or something. What do you do at your current job that gives you satisfaction? Anything I should avoid? I'm still in the very early planning stages and am open to any suggestions.

12 comments:

Blake said...

My "backup plan" is IT Related.. specifically unix system administration...

There is always going to be the internet, and computers aren't going away.

yyz-ramp-rat said...

Haven't really thought about a backup plan yet. Still working towards dispatch.

Backup could be something IT related as I enjoy web authoring and graphics work.

Aluwings said...

McGill University in Montreal apparently has an excellent MBA program related to aviation management.

Anonymous said...

Accounting is not a bad job as there will always be money and either someone is making some of it or losing some of it and with Sarbanes-Oxley (aka "the CPA guaranteed right to work program"), there will always be work. In the accounting world, similar to aviation, its a young mans job in the beginning as the Big 4 firms want people 22 years old, right out of college and that can work 20 hours a day, and a lot of companies want people with Big 4 experience.

However, if you can handle/understand taxes, and want to go into accounting, get into corporate tax. I hired someone with 3 years experience, no big 4 experience for $85K, she eventually left for a company paying her $95K.

Sarah said...

I like your instincts on rain repellent. Do *not* use Rain-X on plastic. For that matter, I've heard bad things about using it on glass. Once you do, you are committed to continuing to use it - or else the streaks are worse than with nothing at all.

Funny you mention Lemon Pledge. My airplane club uses that on windscreens, which I'd never heard of before. But I have to admit that it works great getting bug guts off and yes it does leave a pleasant lemony scent. Don't know about the buildup though.. not really visible so far.

The religion in sailplane canopy cleaning is "pure water" with a drop of dish soap in the spray bottle, or else real plexi cleaner. Big canopies cost way too much to experiment.

PS congratulation on the happy coupling. Er... you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

You are a writer, Dude, get that tuned up at some wonderful writing school (Iowa writers workshop /degree) Univ of Victoria(I'm biased) and expand this skill you already demonstrate. There's gold between the lines.

arf said...

I'm with anonymous here. If you don't have a clear sense of what it is that might motivate you a) to study hard, and b) to then work in the field, then it is probably not worth pursuing. One thing that you know you do well, and apparently enjoy, is writing. Making good money as a writer is tricky, but not impossible, and your aviation experience gives you a particular niche that could be well exploited. There are tons of good MFA programs out there, but also lots of other writing programs that would do the job for you (including low residency programs suited to career folk).

Congrats on the marriage, by the way. You guys look plenty happy in those photos! Enjoy :)

Anonymous said...

List all the aspects of the current job you love. Then imagine other work situations in which you could get some of what you love. I say 5 of the top 10 is a good place to start.You have job hunting skills, obviously and you know about the work you did just before you got this job, of self examination and skills evaluation.Second careers are par for the course. Plus at your age(tender tho it is) you can begin again.HOWEVER I am with anonymous, WRITE! Write! In industry there is lots of writing to be done and paid for.Your maternal great-granpa, made his living writing for the trade journals.Ink is in your blood.xo,k

Dagny said...

OHhhhhh...I think engineering would be awesome. Still thinking about going back to it myself actually.

You lucky duck you.

:)

zb said...

When writing a list like anon of 7:29 suggested, you might likely find things like

writing
technology
(-> explaining technology in writing)
travel and going places
working with others
convincing others of your ideas

This might lead to the question whether you might want to consider a job as a technical sales or application engineer position. It can be tough at times, because pressure is always involved in sales positions, but it also involves problem solving and quick troubleshooting when things don't work. For one of the best examples of technical and fun writing, check out Jim Williams' stuff here or here. He is deeply involved in sophisticated electronics -- but there is of course other stuff to be written about, too. Electronics, of course, allow you to have a desk that looks by far less boring than desks in most jobs. Nevertheless, when considering such a field of work, a technical education helps much better than a business degree.

Andy Tait said...

If you chose to get involved with wind turbines you could eventually find work in Saskatoon. They're proposing a wind turbine project in Diefenbaker park to power 600 homes.

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