Now that I've done my obligatory take on the news story of the week, I will think about the new year.
Cockpit Conversation was initially supposed to be a blog focused on me learning things that would help me get a job as an airline pilot. I was going to explain things to hypothetical readers, thereby cementing them in my own mind, and forcing myself to research what I didn't know. It's a bit like practicing instruction by teaching things to your dog. (If you want really rapt attention, emphasize your important points by waving a bit of bacon around). I did that for a while, with you, not the dog. And it turned out I had real readers, not hypothetical ones, and I didn't even have to wave bacon. Then I got a really interesting job and the blog turned into an episodic record of that and subsequent jobs that were supposed to lead to the airline career. Two of the jobs were actually at scheduled carriers, so I was an airline pilot, but the most recent airline made me redundant before I ever got in the airplane. Lately this has turned into a blog about me not getting a job as in airline pilot, which really doesn't fit the theory of blogging in order to focus my mind on what I want, does it?
I like blogging. I especially like having my e-mail box full of interesting, clever and friendly comments from all of you. I'm pretty much addicted to it. I like flying airplanes. I like planning and preparing for flights. I like having contingency plans and solving problems. I like briefing passengers. I don't mind delays as long as I have the feeling that I've done what I could to predict, prevent, and work through them. I even get satisfaction out of doing the paperwork that shows what I intend to do, what I have accomplished, and what went wrong each day. And I like flying through the air, the master of the machine. I'm addicted to that, too.
I took down my mammal lists (my record of how recently I had reminded prospective employers of my availability to fly for them), because they were discouraging. They'd pretty much all said no at one point or another, and I felt like I was beating a dead horse. It was better in the short term to stick my head in the sand and be happy where I was, than to be rejected over and over again. But an ostrich isn't a mammal. Here's a clip of a non-burrowing mammal really fighting the odds, so he doesn't become a dead horse.
He's going to be my inspiration this year. If he can half-drown a lioness that has her teeth in his throat, I can get all the way through the airline interview process and into a jet cockpit. Right?
Another zebra video taken at the San Diego zoo illustrates another remarkable length to which the zebra may go, but I'll leave you to find that one on your own. Warning: it may leave human men feeling inadequate.
True to my New Year's resolution, I did not read the YouTube comments.