Archive for October, 2008

Jonah is WRONG.

31 October 2008 at 4:46 pm
by Berck

God. I’m amazed at how dense Republicans can be when a Democrat wants to cut taxes.

Instead of going by a Random Biden quote (which by the way isn’t inaccurate, $150,000 is less than $250,000) why don’t you look at the actual plan?

Under the McCain plan, Jonah and I would not get a tax cut. Under the Obama plan we’ll get somewhere more along the lines of a $1,000 tax cut.

Try it for yourself.

So, for one, Jonah would be better off the Obama Plan.

Why is this chart from the Washington Post too hard to understand?

Facts, Jonah. Post some FACTS.

Tax Cut?

31 October 2008 at 2:19 pm
by Jonah

Not really sure how Obama is going to give a tax cut to 95% of Americans when 44% of Americans who file already pay 0 income tax. There is a theory that he’ll start giving money to those who don’t pay taxes.

Also that tax cut that was going to Americans who make less than $250,000 a year? Apparently, it’s down to $150,000 a year.

Makes you wonder about that last Democratic middle-class tax cut we were promised by Bill Clinton.

I’m not trying to change any minds. I just want to be on the record here.

Me, I’m looking forward to Tuesday night when I don’t have to listen to you liberals whine anymore.

The Internet in a Nutshell.

29 October 2008 at 10:48 pm
by Berck

Get better informed. Look up Obama’s ideas on abortion and babies that survived their abortion. That is what speaks volumes about his morality. Check him out as the Gov of Illinois.

The first comment on Tim O’Reilly’s excellent defense of Obama.

Chasing The Years of My Life

29 October 2008 at 10:11 pm
by Berck

I flew today.

It’s a sad state of affairs when it’s blog-worthy that I, an airline pilot, flew an airplane today.

I was sitting in the crew room watching The Baxter on my spiffy new aluminum MacBook that I can’t really afford when my right breast started vibrating. I paused the movie, removed my headset and examined my telephone. Someone with from 336 area code was trying to call me. My first instinct, since I didn’t know who it was, was simply to ignore it. But I decided the likelihood of a wrong number from an area code that’s not mine was small, so I decided to answer it.

The ensuing conversation was exceedingly confusing.

Me: Hello?
Him: Hi Berck. Is Jessica Potter with you?
Me: What? Who’s Jessica Potter?
Him: A Flight Attendant.
Me: Uhm. No?
[It was about now that I placed the deep South accent on the phone as belonging to my Chief Pilot.]
Him: Are you on the plane?
Me: No. What plane? Should I be on a plane?
Him: I don’t know. I’ll call you back.

I seriously had that conversation with my boss today. It’s a wonder that airlines get airplanes anywhere, much less as safely as they do. He called back, and told me that I was, in fact, supposed to be flying to Dulles. I checked my schedule on the computer, and sure enough I was scheduled to depart for Dulles in half an hour.

It turns out that the Captain was notified of the trip several hours prior to the above phone call. The other flight attendants and I were not. I’m still not sure exactly why the Chief Pilot was calling me, or what about. And I have no idea why (s)Crew Tracking didn’t notify me of the trip.

Usually I have some warning before I fly. I was a bit worried about making my brain shift from passive movie-watching mode to flying an airliner. I needn’t have–as soon as I started walking around the plane the motions became automatic.

Pilots are creatures of habit, and good pilots have good habits. I got the ATIS, clearance, calculated performance data, and then the weight and balance for the airplane–all more or less without thinking about it. It’s amazing how far I’ve come since being on IOE just a few short months ago.

The Captain flew us to Dulles uneventfully. He had me switch on the autopilot for him on as soon as legally permissible–at 600 feet above ground on takeoff. I planned to do a fair amount of hand flying on my leg, so I wondered if it was going to bother him.

It didn’t. I flew us back from Dulles and probably did the best job at hand flying a jet I’ve ever done. We were incredibly light, only about 61,000lbs because we only had 11 passengers. When light, my airplane resembles a jet fighter, which makes hand flying all the more challenging. I leveled off at 10,000, 13,000, 15,000 all by hand. I was actually impressed with how well I managed, but I went ahead and let the autopilot do the final level-off at 17,000 feet because my brain was starting to get overloaded. Straight and level is probably the hardest task when hand-flying a fast, powerful swept-wing jet.

We cruised right by Atlantic City on the way back, as usual. If you’ve never seen Atlantic City at night from the air, take my word that it’s quite a sight. I could easily make out Trump’s blue building. The lights appear to be the result of some sort of local nuclear fusion. Cities can be bright at night, but Atlantic City appears to be so bright that I assume they turn the lights off in the day so the sun doesn’t get jealous.

I’ve got ready reserve tomorrow, and then Friday night I’m repositioning a plane to Charlotte, presumably so the final inspections can be done on the plane before we give them to their new operator.

There’s no news on the displacement. I’m still supposed to be in training in PHX on Monday for a plane that, with any luck, I won’t be flying.

I’m in a good mood.

23 October 2008 at 6:52 pm
by Jonah

I just had a Guinness. I finished the shopping. Sam’s gave me $7.49 in cash for the tuna that was foul. The pledge drive just ended. I think I’ve finally caught up on my sleep debt from last weekend (getting up at 4:30 at the latest, 3 am at the earliest) by sleeping 12 hours a night. My cold is over. I’m sipping on an IBC. I’ve got a frozen pizza in the oven. The weather is nice and cool if not bitterly cold. My honey’s coming home tomorrow night.

What could be better?