Sunday, March 04, 2012
Finally, an update!
Well, it’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? Am I even talking to anyone anymore? My statistics page says 182 days without an update, which means half of a year. :( Terribly sorry. I’ve obviously been busy because when I’m busy, I don’t update. But I can’t really explain most of my time away. My Bidding website certainly takes a lot of credit for my virtual disappearance. It brings in actual money for me each month, so that is where my priority is for now. I’m also creating a new website, CFI-Wiki that will hopefully mature over time and pick up the slack when the bidding website becomes obsolete (new bidding system in the works at the company). Also thinking about a similar program that checks our paysheets. Though the other sites have been using the excuse of “making money” to keep me away from DarkMercury, I like reading through my history and large gaps like this one disappoint me a lot.
So happy new year, and what’s happening with me since Quakecon? Well Alison and I celebrated our first anniversary in October with a trip to Washington DC. We went to DC a few times when we started dating to see the pandas at the zoo. Traveled in our usual style this time though. Flew into DCA and took the subway to the Grand Hyatt downtown. The hotel sits right on top of the Metro Center subway station, making travel across the city pretty easy. Well our hotel experience was not the best, but we were getting by at the employee rate, so I will not complain too much. Worth the price, I guess. We spent a lot of time at the Smithsonian museums, and some at the monuments. I guess there is a Martin Luther King Jr memorial that we missed. They were also digging up the Reflection Pool, which was a bummer. But the Smithsonian is always amazing and I could spend the entirety of any DC trip there. Someday we will get to Puerto Vallarta, I swear! Also, I don’t know why my camera turns into absolute garbage as soon as the sun starts to set.
Christmas was pretty quiet. We spent it in Texas by ourselves. I think we both ended up with the flu. I missed a lot of work because of it and got invited to the chief pilot’s office, but what can you do. I’m almost a year in now on the Embraer 145 aircraft. I noticed I haven’t really made any real post about it. Maybe I will soon, but the ERJ is a good but boring plane. It runs more consistently, which is nice. I get home on time more often. But there aren’t many good stories. It hasn’t tried to kill me a single time, which is good but helps contribute to my lack of posts.
American has declared bankruptcy, which is stopping the upgrades to captain. I was pretty close, actually. Besides getting to be the big boss of the airplane and getting to fly it the way I want to, it comes with quite a pay raise that I want. A few months of captain time looks better on the resume than years and years of FO time. When people ask me what’s going to happen with the bankruptcy, I don’t have much to tell them. They are negotiating with the mainline unions right now. What comes of that will affect whether Eagle grows or shrinks. I’ve spent too much time at Eagle to give up my seniority by leaving, so I’m just going to stay put and see what happens. I don’t think the airline will shrink to the point where I get furloughed or anything. Eagle could end up growing to take over some mainline flying, or we could start competing with other regionals for American flying and shrink. Until the mainline negotiations finish, I just don’t know yet. I’m guessing that, like other legacy carriers, the unions will be stripped of their pay and pensions. This makes the whole pilot gig less appealing in the long run and will hurt the industry. I tell people I’m not afraid of losing my job, I’m afraid of losing my career.
In the beginning of this year, both Alison and I have gotten new cars. It was awesome having her car paid off, but it was starting to get up there in years, and I didn’t want to have her break down when I was away on a trip, so we looked into a new car for her. She wanted a Hyundai Santa Fe, so we found a good used one and traded in the VW Rabbit, plus some cash and got a low payment. I still need to get a picture of her with it.
On Friday, we went down to the VW dealership to look at a new Jetta for me. I’ve been going through cars pretty quickly in the last few years, but I really hope this is the one that sticks for a while. I have good feelings about it. I had a 2010 Jetta Limited Edition, and just traded it for a similar 2010 Jetta Wolfsburg Edition (WE). Over time, the 2.5 engine and the transmission on the old Jetta was starting to bother me. When I accelerated, the engine sounded kind of raspy, and it seemed to run at high RPM. Was it trying to force me to drive slower for more MPG? The actual car itself was very nice. While Alison was looking for her car, we saw a Salsa Red Jetta Wolfsburg in the VW lot. My cars have always been black or silver, but I was very impressed with the color(s). That particular one was an automatic, but I started to casually look at other Wolfsburgs.
A 6-Speed in the right price range finally turned up, looking very cool in the same red color, tinted windows, the rear spoiler lip, and tan interior. The WE has the better, turbocharged engine and it is quite an improvement over the old one. The features of the new car are pretty much the same as my last Jetta. It has the same dashboard and radio, although bluetooth audio finally works! So it’s really an upgrade of style and engine. I wrote in the last Jetta post that part of growing up was realizing your priorities and not necessarily needed the fastest car on the road. So I must be growing younger again, haha. That’s still true though. Alison’s Rabbit had a 2.5 engine with the 5 speed, and I loved that setup, even though it was 20HP less than the Jetta. Had the gearing been set up the same, I would have been happy. But I was just not enjoying the Jetta’s engine the same way as the Rabbit and I couldn’t see myself owning it until it died. Well I really like the new car, just hope that the previous owners were nice to it and it will last a long time.
On the computer front, my awesome 8800GT video card finally died after almost 4 years. I bought an overclocked 560Ti to replace it, and Left 4 Dead 2 looks awesome at 2560x1600 res. Both cards are made by evga and hopefully this one will last just as long. I’d like to further replace the cpu/ram/motherboard before Quakecon time, but I’ll save that for a summer project.
I sold my iPad1 to get some cash for the iPad3, which is coming out soon. I think I’ll dedicate a separate post for that. I also spent $25 and bought two G3 iMacs. The graphite one is pretty decent and I’m going to keep that one. The indigo one is slower, and scratched up so I’m trying to pawn that off on craigslist and make $20 back. I remember middle school when the iMac first came out, and I didn’t like it. I was very anti-Mac back then. However, it did what it set out to do and changed the industry. It was able to win me over eventually, so it is an impressive machine. For $25 (potentially $5), it’s a cool piece of history. It even runs OSX 10.4 Tiger pretty well. You can browse the internet, do email, run some pretty recent software, etc. Not bad for a 15 year old computer.
Hopefully it won’t take me 6 months to do the next one.