Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Class Act

I went over 30 years with the FAA last Wednesday. I sometimes feel like I'm living in a time warp because I imagined that 30 years would feel so much longer than this. Waren Zevon's suggestion to "enjoy every sandwich" rings truer all the time.

I left work Thursday morning happy to begin my weekend but slightly stressed that I was over-scheduled going into it. I need downtime (especially now) but there was precious little of that built into the next couple days. I would manage. Driving home just south of Cub Foods on Cedar Ave an ugly sound suddenly filled the cab of my truck...whap!whap!whap!whap!whap!whap! It sounded like a flat but my truck wasn't handling like it had one.

I quickly worked my way to the shoulder to get out and have a look. It was too dark to see much but the right rear tire where the noise had been coming from appeared fine. I limped into Cub's parking lot to have a better look under the lights. Sure enough, I'd picked up some large metal thing that had punctured the tire and was still embedded in it but I couldn't hear any air escaping. I was in no mood to fix a flat after having worked the all-night shift so I gently drove the 3 miles home with hopes that my tire would hold up. It did but within minutes of getting it parked safely in my garage, the tire went flat. It could wait.

I would later find that the metal hook end of a bungee cord had punctured my tire. The sound I was hearing was that of the cord which had broken free from the metal end before becoming wrapped around the axle which caused the noise. It sounded a lot worse than it was.

We made it back to Foci Friday morning after nearly a month away since being sidelined with illnesses. It was nice to be there again getting back in the groove and catching up with some of the regulars. I've got a request from Keith and Tracee for some kitchen glasses as they work to put the finishing touches on their kitchen remodel. I need to talk with them about colors but while I wait to do that I'll practice with some various color mixes. Since our time in the studio has been so spotty lately, tumblers are about all I feel up to for now until I find my stride again.

We spent Saturday afternoon helping Rachel move out of the place she's been since late last summer and into her new residence just down the street from where she's been living. Missy also joined her in the move and they added Phillip to complete their home. They all plan to stay there during the summer working full-time jobs. Tammy and I could both sense that there's a much better 'vibe' (for lack of a better word) with this arrangement than what she's been used to. Her accumulation of stuff has begun in earnest as it's taking more and more truckloads to get the job done each time we move her. Such is life.

I stayed until the heavy lifting was completed; Philip was a big help. Tammy and I drove separately because I had a friend's retirement party to attend when I got home. Tammy stuck around several hours more and helped Rachel get her room organized. It looks nice.

Mark Zwolenski retired Friday after 26.5 years as a controller with the FAA. He will be one of those that will be missed and likely long remembered. He had a party at the Northfield Country Club last night to celebrate. I can't imagine a nicer retirement party. It was good to see several faces I hadn't seen in a while since their own retirements. I went to pay for a glass of Cabernet at the bar and found out that Mark and his wife were hosting the entire party. Wow...what a class act. But then that would describe Mark.

Photos from the night

Edit: Fellow controller Dan Abbene wrote a song for Mark that would fit well here.

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