Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Mines of Moria in My Mind

I'm not one to subscribe to stereotypes, but I think there are some cultural "truths" out there that ring true for the most part. British folks tend to be polite. Japanese people tend to be very proper. German people are very blunt. Along these same lines, I've observed that the German people are the exacting, attention-to-detail people that you'd want guarding your gates, working on your cars, or packing your furniture. I still feel that way about everything except the furniture part. Arlene gave me a rundown of how the move went. All-in-all she was pretty disappointed with the service the German packers/movers provided. Most articles weren't wrapped properly. Any observations or suggested improvements she offered were shrugged off. I've decided that this will be the last time I'm not physically present during a packing/moving. My wife is much less confrontational than I am and, frankly, I wouldn't have put up with that crap. Anyhoo...

Started airdrop requalification today. Much less exciting than it sounds. My training at this point consists of staring at a computer screen trying to delve deep for knowledge that once was on the surface. Much like the dwarves dug too deep for Mithril in Moria, I'm a little worried what might come up. Perhaps some long-repressed memory of an English lesson taught by Dr. Maddox, or some sine/cosine theorem from Mr. Kilgo. Anyone remember how he always had chalk all over his sportcoat?

See what I mean?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daddy Like Carrot Juice

I thought for sure by now that the jet lag would be over with. I've been waking up (not the kind of waking up where you just get up to go to the bathroom, but the full-up, wide awake waking up) at 0400 every morning this week. This morning it came in handy when I actually had to get up that early for a flight. I rode along watching two guys get a checkride. This checkride included a low level flight through Oregon and a mid-air refueling. I was able to get in the seat for a quick hookup and actually showed the youngsters a thing or two.
Work has been pretty busy this week with trying to catch up on things that laid fallow while I was on leave.
I've decided that one of the things I plan to grow in my vegetable garden (whenever I actually move into a house) is carrots. One of the fringe benefits of living on the Left Coast is the ready access to organic foods/granola/free range/dolphin friendly-type foods. I'm sure there's probably some Hemp products around here if you look hard enough, especially the smokable kind. I bought a bottle of carrot juice at the grocery store the other day and have managed to quickly polish it off. Very tasty. Each bottle takes a pound of carrots, though. I'll probably have to dedicate a signficant portion of the garden to this little project.

Feel free to insert "growing Hemp" jokes now...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Passing the Video Game Torch

Just got back from a great visit with the family in Germany. I haven't seen my wife or children since December 9th of last year, so it was, needless to say, a joyful homecoming. Lufthansa just started up a direct flight from Seattle to Frankfurt. A nine hour straight shot is much better than having to drop into Washington, Chicago, or Atlanta first.
Family is doing great. My wife is gearing herself up mentally for the move. Packers arrive tomorrow. Most of my week was spent getting the house in order for the move: Pictures off the walls, dirt removed from outdoor stuff, getting the car ready to ship. Very busy week.
I learned something else. My kids are now officially better than me at Playstation 3. I mean, I really tried hard to beat them on Call of Duty 4! I'm talking about the kind of trying you do when you're trying to beat your friend, not the "Daddy-really-tried-but-not-really" that one normally does when you play a game with your kids. I eventually beat my 8-year-old in one game. I wore down my 12-year-old--I think he was just mentally fatigued when I beat him. It was 10 o'clock at night when I scored my victory. I finally beat my 14-year-old in one game, but he later told me he wasn't really trying. A subsequent game saw him unleash his total fury on me...wasn't even close.
No, I think that I need to face the fact that, on any given day, my kids can all beat me at video games now. Does that mean that I'm now officially an old geezer?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Going to See the Family Tomorrow

Little bummed that the Tarheels bowed out to Kansas. The final game was an "instant classic."

Had a great time last friday with Jay. He invited me along to a Sonics game. While the game was forgettable, I had a great time with my old friend. We stopped off for some coffee afterwards and I have to say: Seattle is tops for java.

Saturday was fairly uneventful. I went to see "Leatherheads," starring George Clooney. It was a good movie and worth $8.

Sunday brought me back to Jay's house again, where Jay, Caryn, Harper, and I took in church and a scrumptious feast at Famous Daves. I had heard of Harper's rib eating prowess. Trust me, in person it is something to behold. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching the first Superman movie and helping Harper to Jedi flips in the living room. My back was mysteriously sore the next day. Think I'm getting old.

I hit the road tomorrow for 10 days of well-deserved leave, flying non-stop from Seattle to Frankfurt, Germany to see my family. I know my kids are excited, but not nearly as excited as I am to see them. I'm stretching my thumbs out now for the soon-to-be Playstation marathons. I also need to brush up on the My Little Pony interactive skills. My designated pony is Golden Delicious or Scooda Loop. I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sunday Flight and Final Four

I did indeed fly on Sunday, though the flight was much shorter than planned. We sat for 2 hours with the engines running until we finally made the decision to tail swap to another jet. We had just enough time left for each of us to get a takeoff and landing. Checkride complete.
Finally got to the gym today. It was so nice I went outside for a run, though it also was much shorter than planned. I'm going to blame old age, though that is hard to back up. I see 60-year-old folks running marathons. Too much ice cream and not enough exercise is a more likely explanation.
Glad to see North Carolina in the Final Four again. I picked that entire bracket exactly as it went down. The other ones were a little off, but I have proof that I did pick the Final Four correctly. I felt guilty at first picking all the #1 seeds until I found out that this is the first time all four #1 seeds have made it to the Final Four. I knew that would happen. Yeah, right.