Thursday, December 24, 2009
She's Here!!!--December 21, 2009
Woke up at 7:45. Clouds were forecast to be at 3000 feet scattered from 9 o'clock on. Seeing as how I had a friend coming in, this was going to work out perfect. Headed to the airport for a short scouting flight.
The problem? I could work!!! The clouds had disappeared. We had nothing but clear skies...at least at our altitude. Enough to fly six whole hours!!! GRR!!!
I flew the first couple of hours...just same ol', same ol'. I contacted Approach and had no problems for the first hour and a half. I told the controller I would then be working in the departure end of Runway 28R. He said ok, advise on station. So I flew up there and told him what I would be doing. On the short 15 miles to get there, he finally "listened" to me and asked if I was going to be in the departure area.
"151, are you going to be working in the DEPARTURE end of the runway"?
"151, ummm....ok." What? "151, not receiving Mode C. Recycle transponder."
I recycled. Hmm, funny why that would stop working NOW.
"151, yeah, still not receiving Mode C. Listen, we can't let you into our airspace without Mode C. Unless that starts working, we can't let you continue your lines."
You have got to be kidding me. Seriously? He's going to play that game? I turned off the transponder, then back on. Buddy, why is it you've been making radio calls to me for the last two hours but the MINUTE after my request, somehow my transponder stopped working. I was anything but impressed with his handling of the situation. What a schmuck.
He passed me off to another controller who I advised what I would be doing...just like I have been doing the previous several days, guys. C'mon. He let me work it with no problems. I made sure to tell him to thank the supervisor after I was done. Sheesh!
I landed around noon up at North Palm Beach County for fuel. Actually, I also used that to figure out where the ol' girl was!!! Turns out she had left from St. Louis, missed her connecting flight in Atlanta, but was still on her way. She was supposed to arrive at noon-something. I gave Sandy a call and asked if she could help out!!! She said she would love to....agh, perfect!!!
I talked to the guy and girl behind the counter, and they asked what I was doing. I showed 'em our maps online, and they were infatuated with that the rest of the time I was there. I keep seeing this...everywhere I go, people are not familiar with our product. It certainly beats out Google no questions asked...yet not many people seem to have ANY idea that it exists. Shoot, I didn't even know until I started! A good advertising gig would do wonders for the maps...I keep thinking of calling and letting Microsoft know that...
I flew the rest of the window, then landed back at Fort Lauderdale. I took the guys back to the airport, then rushed over to meet Chelsea and Sandy! They had gone to eat at the beach. Lucky girls!!! A quick 25 minutes later, and I found 'em! ha! I couldn't believe it! She actually came! It's really kind of crazy. I thanked Sandy, gave her a hug, and then she was off. Then Chelsea and I headed back for the hotel. She read me a letter from her dad that he had given her that morning. Translation: Andy, I hate you. You are not a Christian.
Well, we checked her in to her room, then chilled the rest of the night! Went to Arby's for a quick supper. It's good to see her. It would stink to go an entire season without that. We caught up on life...her new boyfriend, job, family stuff, etc. We hit up the hot tub with the guys that night. It was just a good day all-around.
I got a call that I need to head to Daytona Beach tomorrow for my 100-hour inspection. Crap. I had really hoped for a nice, warm weather day. The ones where the sun is still shining brightly but where the clouds are still in the way. That way Chelsea and I could head to the beach...have a good time together. But it wasn't too happen. The downside is that I was still about 10 hours away from my 100-hour. In other words, I wouldn't be needing it for a few more days. Maybe not until Thursday? Until after she left.
Welcome to my life, though. Welcome to the aerial mapping life. I had two days. Just TWO DAYS where I needed things to be smooth. For the past 30, they have been relatively normal. Mostly. But because these are the two days I needed, this had to happen.
I'll make the most of it.
Chelsea, we're goin' to Daytona Beach tomorrow.
Went to bed at 1:30 A.M.
(Oh, and the picture up above is actually from yesterday. It's the mall just a few days before Christmas. I just don't miss that. Here I am, looking at the ocean, watching people, away from the commercialism I have come to hate. Nothing but me, the sky, and my thoughts. And they pay me to do this. Hmm.)