Sunday, December 8, 2013

The company SOP says to rehearse these things... So,

Just a draft. A little something I've been thinking about... a lot. Gentlemen, In certain venues there is an explicit term for this sort of meeting. Given the current climate, I will forego that term and refer to this as a, "Get Right or Go Home" meeting. When I first came into this situation, my intention was to make this place function with the crew I inherited. I stated as much. I was laughed at. Actually, laughed out loud. Then I was told, "Wait 'til you work with them!" Turns out I was wrong. And they were right. I have a crew that I can not rely on. A crew that I can't trust. A crew that wont even go the first mile. Much less the extra mile. I could call you out one at a time and point out your weaknesses. Training says I shouldn't do that. Might embarrass people. But I wont do it because I don't have time and I don't believe that any of you have the integrity to be ashamed about your poor performance. This is a service contract. We serve at the will and whim of the customer and the airplanes. Not, our individual wills. Not at the whims of wives, dogs, girlfriends or social lives. This is not an eight hour a day five day a week job. This site has been so slack, for so long that it is so far behind it's unreal. You guys come to me asking about Comp Time?! How can anyone have comp time or any time off when this place is so messed up? OH! Wait, eight of you had most or all of the weekend off. Just like you walked off and left an airplane "down" for four days because of a perceived holiday weekend. That's right, I'm sorry, you are more important than the job. What was I thinking? We are here for work. Work is the priority. This is not to be a European Vacation. I screwed up last week when I announced the upcoming work. I failed to recognize and acknowledge the crew I was dealing with. I apologize. What I should have done was make the weekend Mandatory. I relied on you to do the right thing. You failed to do so. Again. I should have known that if you had an "Out" you would take it. You did. Two of you couldn't care less. Well, AT LEAST two of you. But two of you are leaving for school and vacation. You think the mountain of work in front of us wont impact you. You couldn't be farther off of the mark. It will impact you. Profoundly. I was sent here to square this site away and I will. With or without you. Everyone in this room needs to know that they will be put on an improvement plan. For two of you, that will be in addition to existing plans. Everything will be documented. Everything will be reported. I will achieve my mandate. I will fix this site. I have four guys right this minute. With the four of them and NONE of you... four guys, I could actually not worry, not come in here every single day, not worry that if I'm not here things wont get done... I've got one transfer resume as well. I've got the customer telling me he has people in the wings. Step up. You wasted three days of our ten. I got more done Saturday morning that the ENTIRE night shift did Friday night. I'm done. I'm fed up. I'm initiating paperwork to reconstruct this entire crew. It's up to you to give me sufficient, sustainable reason not to replace you. Get to fucking work.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Re-re-learning to navigate Blogspot

I'll sort it out. But, I wanted to address a comment from a long time blog friend, Bob Barbanes. Check my links (can you still do that?!) for his FH1100 Pilot Blog. Bob, Is it still worth the traveling around the world? Am I tired of it? Yes. No. Months ago, even weeks or days ago, I'd have said, "YES!" Today, not so much. I do love the travel. NOT the getting there! TSA, as you acknowledge, sucks. I maintain that it is useless. The BEING there, that's a different thing. As another BOB says, "Those are the memories that make me a wealthy soul."

It's the Fucking Spending Stupid

(Editorial Interjection Here: I'm speaking to the ENTIRE government here.) You people aren't stupid. You know it's the spending. You know it's the over reaching and the meddling. You know, though you'll never admit it, that YOUR little fiefdom is part of the problem. Now, before your start giving me crap for being a Republicrat or a Demubplican. I'm neither. I'm a fiscal conservative, a security hawk, a social "I don't care", and I believe in the Constitution. * We're broke. Someone explain to me how it makes sense to borrow money every month to keep the lights on? Can you? Will you? Please? You can't. Oh, I might get a comment about how we "Have" to. So, I admit, you CAN'T convince me it's necessary. It's NOT. The cleaver approach, that O'bummer and company (congress) put it place because it was so hideous they figured nobody would stand by and let it happen isn't the right approach. And, they waited until they could make a lot of hay out of it before they addressed it. Again. So, here are my first thoughts on it. (OK, not "First" but you know what I mean.)... "Hello World, USA here, We're broke, strapped, tapped out. Done. We can't keep our own lights on so, good luck keeping yours on. Sorry but you're cut off. It's sucks to be you but, right now, sucks to be us too." "Hello Monkey Methamphetamine Use Researchers", USA here, You've got to be fucking kidding!!! You're done. BTW, please text the "Help Prevent Chinese Prostitutes From Drinking On The Job Team" to let them know we're broke. We're running low on cell phone minutes. THX! ;-) ." "Hello Federal Elected Demagogues, You're going without pay until you fix this mess you and your predecessors have created. While we're at it, no more exempting yourselves from that which you subject us to. No more voting you're own pay raises. IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE YOU'RE DOING A GOOD JOB (You know you're not!), put it to a federal vote. Yeah, that's what I thought. ** We're paying more and more attention." I could and probably will, go on and on. * I'm a fiscal conservative, a security hawk, a social "I don't care", and I believe in the Constitution. Constitution- Period. There may be further necessary amendments, I can't think of any. Well, yes I can, but, not the further alteration or reduction of the current rights delineated therein. Some returns to the original document! I think there we a part in there that said congress shall make no law pertaining to you that doesn't pertain to them equally. Security Hawk- If I can prove you F'd with us, I'll bomb you into the larval stage. Do it again and I'll nuke you. No occupation, no 'conversion to Democracy etc'. Social "I Don't Care"- Gay Rights/ Marriage, C'mon, be miserable or at least take your chances with divorce and alimony and child support. If it works for ya, fine, share the benefits. I did worry about kids raised in gay homes but people are people and there are a lot of fucked up straight households. Abortion, please don't as me. I'm really torn up there. It's hard for me to stomp a hard n fast position there. Pot, puh-lease. I don't know or remember why they outlawed it originally, Why is it illegal now? To fund the law enforcement/ legal (lawyers)/ prison industry. Fiscal Conservative- I don't have the income, I don't take on the obligation. If my income is reduced, I shed obligations. I consider any new obligation carefully. If I can't pay cash for it, I generally don't take it on. If it doesn't benefit the household as a whole, I don't take it on OR spend the cash on it. I avoid long term obligations whenever possible. ** We are all paying more attention than before. Not always getting information from good sources but more aware. I do wonder what O'bummer supporters think about things like his $7,000,000 long weekend....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Under the 'Phones...

Winston Salem, NC. 21 Feb '13 It's been a while since I've done a domestic 'rotation' but here I am. It's been a great trip so far, no reason to believe the last week will be bad. Great bunch of guys to work with. I came up here because I didn't want to do any more winter in Afghanistan. Or got to Missouri or Topeka or work in piston planes or helicopters. I was led to believe these guys were 'buried' in King Airs and needed King Air mechanics. Well, they were, sorta. I'm pretty sure the recruiter for the un-named contract company looked at my resume and saw a lot of King Air time and a willingness to travel. (NOT letting the recruiter off of the hook, I did get a week or so of King Air work in. Including an Ass Whipping on a L/H throttle cable change. Unless you've been face down in a King Air pedestal, it wouldn't do either of us any good to explain. It Did Suck. Bent stuff. Fight to get it apart then bleed n cuss getting it back together.) When I got here, I found a Dornier 328 in need of some sweat. What's a Dornier 328? Good question. I couldn't have picked it out of a line up three weeks ago. My first thought was, "Hm, not Beech, Not PT6's, Not Me." Turns out. It's pretty nice to work on. And, given the crew I'm working with... Kinda reminds me of the DC-9 at Dee Howard all those years ago. My Lead would would hand me a job card and ask me, "Ever done this task before?" "Nope." "Well, come find me if ya run into problems." "OooKay..." Off I would go. That all worked pretty well. Usually. I did crawl out of a wheel well one day, pretty proud of myself for having changed a valve I'd never even heard of before... Until... I realized I had changed the correct valve one The Wrong Airplane. Well, I figured that qualified as a "Problem" so I went to find Dave. "You did what? F it! Now, ya know how to do it. Go get another valve an change the right one." Dave was cool that way. That was 12 or 15 years ago. I check serial numbers a lot more closely since then! So, I'm headed home next weekend. There should be a lot of gear at Mother's house by the time I get there. I ordered a lot of gear for Mission Valley Studios. ... Sorry, did I mention I've got the headphones on? I put my (117) Recently Played songs on shuffle. Holly Williams, "Highway" just came on. I gotta lay back and listen. MTF (More To Follow)

OK, Where's my checklist?

How the hell do I turn this thing on!? I'm trying to re-fire the Nada. So much has gone on. So little has been written. C'mon baby, here's a little ether and a spark. Let's make some noise.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back In Texas

"Sitting in the lobby of a big hotel..."

That's a Joe Ely song or close to it.

And, The Faust Hotel isn't exactly big at all.

But, The Faust in New Braunfels, TX has "Home" in between trips for nigh on two years now.

"The Architect", "Marge" and "Echo November" are about 15 minutes down I35 from here and the "Folks" are about 45 minutes around the loop.

Having family close by is nice. We cook out or hang out or go catch some live music at Gruene Hall or some other venue.

Still I hang out by myself more than anything else.

It occurs to me frequently that I've spent most of my adult life by myself. That might seem to indicate that I'm comfortable in my own skin. I'm not so sure about that but it is certain that's the way my life runs.

Round Three in Afghanistan is in the books so I'm home for a while. So far it's David 2 Afghanistan 1.

Round One in Bagram didn't go so well and I think it's been documented here.

Two and Three were in Kandahar and went somewhat better.

Round Two has been the best so far. I got to travel a little. Got to fly in the King Air. Got to FLY the King Air. I've got more "Hours" in the left seat in the skies of Afghanistan than any where else. Also of note, to me at least, is the fact that I'm the only member of my family to fly a King Air (Including real live licensed pilots.) and the only one to fly anything in a Hot Zone.

Big deal.

So, Round Four is scheduled for October. Will I go back? Yes Bob. I most likely will.

Why? Money is the obvious part. Doing something that MIGHT be making a difference is a part of it.

NOT WORKING IN A REPAIR STATION is a HUGE part of it. Potentially bigger than the dollar factor. OK, MAYBE bigger.

Life in a repair station sucks the life out of me.

"Out In The Boonies" is where it's at. OK, most of my field trips have not been in the Boonie Boonies but they have been out there. Half way around the world about 10 times now. Camp Humphries Korea to Mombassa Kenya to Lincoln Nebraska to Howard AFB Panama.

All of them for some job or another.

All of them without micro managers, time clocks, shop rates or time clocks.

All of them, you do what needs to be done whether that means one hour or 36 straight.

I've had about enough Afghanistan but I guess I'll go back for Round Four.

Thanks for the kick in the ass Bob.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nada, REALLY Nada...

I'm sitting on the tailgate of my work truck. The connection goes from "Very Low" inside my room to "Excellent" out here in the parking lot.

It's almost 8 pm and the temp must be down to 90. So it's not too bad out. Kinda hard to type in the dark though.

So, yes here we are halfway through the third trip to Afghanistan. Yee Haw.

Do I like it? Enjoy it? Hell no. It sucks bilge water. But the money is OK. Yes just "OK" far from great.

Whose brilliant idea was it to go to war with no fucking alcohol?!?! Can someone explain that one?

The government could have saved a lot of money. Folks might have been willing to come over here for less. (Not me. I'm practically a Peace Corp volunteer.)

Hell, they could have made a lot of money. Bunch of knuckle dragging contractors lopping around with more money that a lot of them know what to do with. Re-coop some of that investment Sam!

Misbehavior? No doubt. But this place is crawling with MP's that are auditioning to be small town cops somewhere. Keep them busy doing something other than running radar traps on the perimeter road!

Top legal speed on this dump is 40 KPH. Do the ciphering... 24 MPH!!! Most of the base is 20 KPH! I do understand a lot of the low speed streets. Some of the roads are bad and pedestrians are every where.

Pedestrians are STOOPIT!

This is a seriously multinational place. Some folks seem to be worse than others. Americans are about as bad as anyone else that steps out into the streets without looking.

I won't point any fingers at out neighbors to the north but geeeeeze! And get around that coffee shop? You better have a foot on the brake. (I do have to give them a break there. Tim Hortons coffee and donuts.... mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!)

Gonna miss them when they go, well, I'll miss Tim Hortons and the cute Canadian girls with impossibly white teeth.

The Canadians also have a radio station simulcast here out of Ottawa, I think it is. Nicki Sixx does a late night show that I hear sometime during the day. Not too bad. They have the usual lead in spots when they play new songs. "New Music Alert" is one. To which I usually reply (yes, to the radio), "This is gonna suck."

Most times it does. I do like the new Theory of a Deadman. Cracks me up. And of course I just went blank on the name of it.

That station did introduce me to "The Headstones". What a cool band. I searched high and low and could only occasionally find signs that they did in fact exist. Record stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi. iTunes. Nada.

However soon after I got back in April I was sitting in my room and checked iTunes one more time.

There they were! A bonanza. What to choose? Where to start?

I opted for "Greatest Fits". I don't think there is a bad cut on the disc. Three Angels, Smile and Wave, Unsound, Tweeter and the Monkey Man, Cubically Contained.

Thanks eh!

So, as I started out, really nada. I think about this thing all the time. Never seem inspired or motivated. It's always something "I'll do it later." "What's my password again?" "I wonder if Blogger is still in Russian?" So tonight after a 'fabulous' day I decided, "Screw it. I'm writting something even if it's long winded and boring."

So, I did.