Showing posts from March, 2007

Reaching Eligibility

25 years ago today, March 28th, 1982, I was sitting in an auditorium in Oklahoma City with 500 other wide-eyed people just like myself as we stepped off into careers as air traffic controllers. While we sat there in our seats that first day the suits up front doing the talking weren't very encouraging as they emphasized a failure rate of nearly 50%...and that was just at the academy. You could expect to see another 50% washout at your assigned facility. A good part of the morning was spent filling out forms and getting indoctrinated. I looked at the paper of the guy sitting next to me for his name and he'd penned in 'Railhead'. Hmmm, that can't be right. I came to find out later that Railhead was the name of an apartment complex where a lot of the students were staying. He didn't make the program. I found myself a place to stay at Cinnamon Square apartments on South May ave. It was a flea-infested place like most down there but it served me well. The academy w

Goodbye Emily

My cousin Emily passed away this week. I'd only ever seen her a few times throughout our lives but I'd come to know her recently through a family forum I maintain. She always had something interesting to add to the conversation. She was in her late 50s and suffered from the effects of radiation treatment she received in 1967 for Hodgkin's Disease. The treatment apparently worked but her heart and lungs were damaged in the process. You wouldn't know through her writings that she was experiencing as much difficulty as she was. Her dog died last year and she'd just brought a new puppy into her home. I was happy for her. So it was with much sadness that I learned she was brought into ICU two weeks ago struggling for her life. She lost her battle last Monday evening around 8:30. I'm especially sad for her parents who are into their late 80s. The photo to the left is one of the few recent photos I have of her. Emily is the one in the middle. The man to the right was h

Aging Parents, Driven to Succeed and FAA Mismanagement

Tammy spent the weekend up north with her parents. Her father, Morey, experienced a few dizzy spells earlier in the week and fell a couple times. The last fall required an ambulance ride to the hospital in Ely. He's now in a nursing home in the city of Virginia, about 45 minutes from their home in Babbitt. We've known this day would come sooner or later and to be honest, I'd say it's later. We haven't felt comfortable with him driving for years with the exception of short trips to get groceries. He gets confused easily and has noticeably lost a few steps in the last couple of years. I'm not sure how long it'll be before he returns home or if he ever will. Tammy is an RN working with the elderly and I can't think of anybody better to have working on my behalf if I were her father. Their relationship has been a bit strained for several years but none of that matters now. My mother also had some health issues during the week...possibly a mild stroke. I ph

Flickr and writing chapters

I finally took the plunge and went pro on my Flickr account. It's a good service and it's about time I ponied up some money for it...$25 a year seems fair to me. I uploaded a bunch of photos from my days in the Navy to my account. I used the photos to begin a group for alumni from the ship I was on...the USS Fresno, LST1182. Others will be able to post their photos as well to the group. I'm not sure why I bother though as there seems to be little to no interest in that sort of thing among the guys I'm in touch with. I suppose I do it because I keep thinking/hoping that somebody with an interest will stumble onto them someday and they'll appreciate that they're there. That's good enough for me. I know there were a few camera buffs on the boat with me but to be honest, most of the guys were more interested in getting to port, getting drunk and getting laid than to think about photography. I'm not sure what was up with me. Not that I didn't hang with