Thursday, June 03, 2010

Situps and Catfights

Another day dawns. There is more snow falling. At least it looks like snow to me. Unlike the robots, I'm willing to call it snow without considering too closely whether it might be snow grains or ice prisms. Most of the looks-like- snow-but-isn't stuff happens when it's much colder than this. Except the frogs and locusts: they happen when it's much warmer, and they don't look this much like snow.

Whether we fly or not, I have to go out to the airport, as the FBO plans to haul all the airplanes out of the hangar in order to get at something in the back. This is called a hangar dump. Once my airplane is out, I want to put the wing covers on and plug in the engine heaters.

I check in with the client to let them know I haven't given up and gone home and that I and my airplane are still awaiting their every command. I also request a ride out to the airport sometime this morning at their convenience to make sure their computer equipment is properly kept warm. The project manager says sure, let him know when I want to go out.

My plan is to have breakfast and do my morning exercises and then call for a ride. I go down to the hotel exercise room but there's a problem with the exercise bike so I go back to my room and work out like a captive. Sarah Connor is my hero.

I'm well into a set of situps when the room phone rings. Stop, get up, answer phone. It's the other pilot. He's up now and wants to know what's going on today. I tell him the plan and he wants to come too: you take your entertainment where you can in Lloydminster. I tell him it will be about an hour and go back to my situps. I've done maybe five more and the phone rings again. This time it's the client willing to take me out to the airport. That translates to meaning that now is a good time and later might not be. So that means I'm ready to go to the airport now. At least that's what I tell the client, and I call the other pilot back while putting my clothes on, and tell him we're leaving in five.

We all go out to the airport and into the hangar. There's a cat sitting on top of a Caravan on floats. It's not Margo, it's a different cat. Apparently there's an FBO cat and a hangar cat. Hangar cats are the lesser of two evils in a way. When they jump up on your airplane, or slide down your windshield, they can't help extending their claws a little, so you get little scratches in your paint and perspex. But hangar cats tend to be very very serious about catching and killing mice before they can nest in your upholstery, insulation, or electrical wiring. So you trade a few scratches for not getting hantovirus infections or electrical fires. And also you get soft, furry cats to pet. Or catfights to watch. It turns out that Margo is in the hangar and she and Caravan cat are now both on the floor, locked into a maelstrom of fur and snarling. If human combat were this dramatic and fluid, I'd be enjoying Lost a lot more. Someone walks up to the cat cyclone and it subsides.

Dennis isn't quite ready to tow the airplane out yet, so we tent up the engines and plug in all the cords, setting them up so they won't drag when it's towed out. Then we wander around and look at the other other airplanes. There's a Chieftain bearing the colours and logo of a local sports team. The registration looks really familiar. I think I've flown that airplane, or perhaps worked around it. Or maybe they all just look the same after a while.

We go back to the hotel and that night we watch the Habs win, saved from elimination.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

A nice snapshot of life on the road.

Spending time in a hotel waiting on weather is like doing a stretch in prison. Like the gaol, the best way to pass time is working out...