Packed and Ready to Go to SOBCon07

Airbus A330I packed my laptop bag last night and got my digital camera, business cards, and did online check-in. I got in to work early to get some hours in before heading to the airport. My wife is picking me up so we can keep my car at home.

We’ll stop at Subway on the way to TIA and I’ll scoot right through security with my carry on and start blogging and playing World of Warcraft on my 4 1/2 year old laptop. The graphics and memory suck and it’s died with a full motherboard replacement twice while under warranty. No warranty now, so I’m going to run it until it dies.

I’ve got my latest Clive Cussler paperback, Black Wind, for my reading pleasure on the plane (when I’m not sleeping). I had a hard decision between Ted Bell and Cussler, but I went with the lighter one. Sorry, Ted. Speaking of Ted, that’s what I’m flying, so watch the news to make sure I get there okay. I convinced (not really) my wife that if anything happens to the pilot in any situation, including her biggest post-9/11 fear, when we regain control, I can land the plane.

Now we’re getting off-topic, but this is my blog, so you’ll keep reading. / sly grin. I’ve been flying flight simulators for years. I was landing F-16s, F-14s, 747s, Cessnas, and all kinds of WWII planes 8 years before I could get behind the wheel. I learned the mechanics and glide slope and instrument panels, and studied flight for endless hours as a boy in rural Ohio. When I was 15, my neighbor let me take the stick on his experimental plane and fly it around for about 30 minutes.

When we moved to Tampa, one of our good friends at church was an engineer at a flight simulator company, and he invited my dad and me in to fly one of the big cargo planes. At 16, I landed that puppy every time; and then I got a job at that same company (where I am now) and landed it again when I got another shot at it, so I don’t see an Airbus A300 being a problem.

I’ll send you all a happy “hello” again from Chicago.