Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Giving Up Sleep for Lent

I'm working nights at the moment. So I go to bed in the morning darkness, sleep in with the phone off and a sort of anti-alarm clock telling me "don't get up until" some time in the afternoon that varies with the nighttime natural phenomenon we're currently tracking. That probably sounds like we're following the migration of vampires, but vampires are not migratory, at least not in Canada. And I don't fly an all-black Skymaster with a red interior.

I try to make the next day's to-do list before going to sleep and I succeeded yesterday. Today's list starts with "sleep". While I'm perfectly fine with an official shift to my duty day start, apparently my to-do day always starts in the morning. I tick off item number one and check my e-mail. Non-committal comments from the client team. I'm not sure they realize that my life revolves around them at the moment, that I have people I'd see and places I'd go if they would be a little more definite about when they need a pilot and when they don't. But my job is to be available for their flights, so I can't tell them to poop or get off the pot.

I check the GFA and the TAFs for the area we'll be working in. The forecast looks, well as non-committal as my clients. It might work out. It probably won't. The next forecast will tell. I look at the actual reported weather, the METARs. Pretty close to the corresponding TAFs so far, maybe a little worse. And one METAR includes a code in the remark section. LENT. Huh? Yeah, it is Lent, almost, but that's an ecclesiastic phenomenon, not a meteorological one. Oh I know what it must be. I check it in one of my favourite Nav Canada publications, the MANAB. It's my favourite because its name is consistent with its contents: aviation abbreviations that make sense in context but are sleekly obscure if you don't know. It's fun to work them out. FROIN. PVLNC. NECLY. GSVLK. They're like airway fixes. I was right. LENT designates lenticular clouds, a sign of mountain wave activity.

I don't think that will affect our proposed flight, but you never know. I've finished my breakfast. Blogging wasn't on my list. I could use a nap, though.

1 comment:

zb said...

(a) Your to-do lists are cute because you don't fail to include stuff relevant for personal health, safety and happiness. Then again, there's no clear line between a job life and a private life, so I guess a pilot caring about her health, safety and happiness will also do a better job.
(b) I think it's a good sign for your personal health, safety and happiness that your lists start in the morning and not at 0:00 UTC.