Showing posts from January, 2016

Shredded Memories, Down Time and Mandolin Orange

One year ago to the hour as I write this I was being ambulanced to Fairview Southdale with a good amount of uncertainty in my future. There would be other challenges to unfold in the months ahead but this was a big one that could've meant a profound change in my ability to do those activities I enjoy most: riding and walking. I try to not let too much time go by before offering a prayer of thanks to God for all of the healing that's happened in my life over the past year. Oftentimes those prayers are said from the saddle of my bike in the solitude of the trail where maybe there's an eagle or two gliding over the river just beside me with a freezing wind in my face that causes my nose to run even more. It's a time when more than ever I'm feeling alive and healthy and grateful for that. I got a text from Reid last week. He was shredding some documents he no longer needed and among his discards were some reports I'd written about training sessions we'd had t

Retirements And A Remedy

Barry Vig had his retirement party yesterday afternoon at Celts Pub in Farmington. It was a nice turnout of both people from the workplace and his friends outside of work. I arrived just as Keith and Tracee were getting there. I apologize for the fuzzy photo. I was using the panoramic feature on my phone in marginal light conditions. You can maybe make out Barry toward the back right of the photo wearing a gray sweater and sipping a drink. I totally forgot about getting a photo with him. It was interesting talking with some friends I used to work with and to hear how they're managing with the continued exodus of controllers opting to retire. Staffing levels are down considerably from a few years ago and at levels not seen since the days of recovering from the PATCO strike of August 1981. They expect staffing levels to bottom-out sometime in the next 18 months. There's a ton of training to do and Minneapolis Center currently has the highest washout rate of any similar facility

Moving On (Finally) And The Log Bridge Of Certain Death

It's been at least 2 weeks since I've dreamt about my former work in the trenches as an air traffic controller. Dreams about working traffic or making the rounds to say goodbye to people on my last day were common themes. I've also noticed that since the new year began, I've let go of any thoughts about missing my old life and the ridiculous schedule I used to keep. I would say that my mourning period is over and I'm free to mentally move on. Perhaps it was getting beyond my planned retirement date of January 2nd, 2016 that I had been working toward when I had to abruptly retire which has allowed me this new peace of mind. Whatever. It's nice. Pro tip: don't ever question scripture when conversing with a fundamentalist Christian. Never. Biblical inerrancy is the belief that everything in the bible, all scripture, is as it should be. If you do happen to color outside the lines be prepared to be told that "you have hardened your heart against the Lord s

Silver Linings

2015 was a year full of ups and downs for us. Mostly downs it seems but maybe not. Still, I'm glad to see it gone. It began for me with the worst cluster headache phase I'd ever been through. A phase that had begun the previous September and would stay with me for 5 months. I had never experienced anything like that in the 40 years I've been routinely visited by these beasts. I didn't mention what I was going through here although I did blog extensively about what was happening. I may publish my writings someday but I can't say for sure. They're much more personal than I usually get. My clotting issues began very soon into the new year and I had no idea what I was in for. I had the wind taken out of my sails for a time but I was continually looking for a silver lining; for something I could take from the experience that would serve to make me stronger. If you were to ask me while I was going through all of that, I'd have been hard-pressed to point to a si