Saturday, June 22, 2013


In truth, real pilots do not age gracefully.  So, in truth, if you want to grow older with grace and dignity, you may want to view these guidelines as a cautionary tale... and do the exact opposite.  But if you are a real Air Line Pilot, here's how to approach old age.

Step One.....  Ignore the empirical evidence that our metabolism slows with age.  Eat as much as you ever did; if not more.  Refuse to buy clothes in a larger size.  Instead, buy the same size waistband, and let your ever increasing gut hang over the top.  Chicks dig that.

Step Two.....  Even though every movie and child's toy comes with a recommendation as to what is age appropriate; that does not apply to you.  If you find yourself over 50 and single, find a girlfriend that is half your age or less.  People will look at you and think, "What a virile and attractive man".  No one will think your new playmate is a gold-digger, or  has unresolved daddy issues.  A woman's love of shiny things doesn't have to mean jewelry... it could totally apply to the sheen on your bald spot.

Step Three...  Darwin is an idiot.  Do NOT evolve!  Stay just as you are!  Rock those acid-washed jeans and that Member's Only Jacket.  Keep that HUGE Nokia cell phone... everyone knows "Snakes" is a much better game than "Angry Birds".

Step Four....  When your cell phone provider contacts you to inform you that your phone is sooooo old, it will be obsolete in a few weeks and no longer usable, finally upgrade to a new smart phone.  Spend the next two weeks unable to figure out how to answer your phone.  Spend the next 5 months harassing your First Officers into teaching you how to use your new phone.

Step Five....  Plan for your retirement.  For most folks, this means sitting down with a financial planner and addressing your IRA and 401K.  For REAL Pilots, planning for retirement means escalating your complaints about the current Administration, and threatening to move your family to Costa Rica, the D.R., Sweden, Norway, or Cuba (once Castro is dead).

Step Six.....  Do NOT go grey!  Let's face it.  You are not Sean Connery.  There is a reason the Silver Fox is on the Endangered Species List.  Slather on that Grecian Formula for Men until your hair is the color of brown shoe polish.  Deep down inside, women have been conditioned to be attracted to men with single tone, brown hair... just like a Ken doll.  If it was good enough for Barbie, its good enough for the rest of us.

Step Seven...  Finally, remember the words of that immortal song from the early days of rock and roll... "Shake, Rattle, and Roll".  You are at you sexiest when, as you walk through the airport, your belly shakes, the Lipitor, Viagra, and Cialis in your pocket rattle, and your crew bag continues to roll.  Rock on, you aging Pilots!  Like a fine wine, you get better with age.

*** I'd like to send a special greeting and thank you to my readers in Latvia.  How on Earth you found my blog, I'll never know!  But I truly appreciate your continued support!  Your country is now third in readership... behind the US and United Arab Emirates.  Cheers! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013


In Mr. Ruggerio's 6th grade class, we had to write an essay about what we wanted to be when we grew up, and why.  These were read at an assembly in front of our parents and all the faculty.  I distinctly recall sitting through (what seemed like hours) of "I want to be a Veterinarian because I love dogs" and "I want to be a Baseball Player because it would be cool".  When it was my turn, I read my essay, entitled "I Want to be a Benevolent Despot... because my way is better".  Charming, right?  I guess some dreams die hard, because I still maintain a list of rules that will be enforced when APW rules the world.  Some may seem harsh, but trust me, we'd all be better off.

1.     Twinkies, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Big Gulp Slushies, Taco Bell drive thru food (after 10:00pm) and gas station nachos may only be consumed by Stoners.  If you are not sporting a Baja hoodie, tie-dyed shirt, or Birkenstock sandals, just walk away.

2.     All Pilots, upon marriage, shall submit to wearing a device similar to a dog's shock collar.  Said Pilots will agree to receive a corrective shock after the fifteenth time they mention their Air Line, their aircraft, how awesome their last landing was, or what a pain the Captain (or F/O) was on their last trip, within a 24 hour period.

3.     All participants of any "reality" show involving children's pageants, Bachelors, Bachelorettes, Housewives, top models, ballroom dancing,  or Bridezillas will be flogged publicly.

4.     All satellite and cable providers would be required to provide a Zombie Channel... all zombies, all the time.  How cool is that?

5.     Realtors would be banned from displaying business cards, advertisements, or for sale signs displaying their Glamor Shots photo.  (Okay, that's not really a big deal-- but it annoys me).  I know these bitches, and they don't really look like that.

6.     Perry the Platypus for President.  Enough said.

7.     All Military Channel programming will become pay-per-view.  Given that all Pilots are cheap, this will force them to decide if watching "The Battle of the Bulge"  for the 57th time is really worth $5.99.  I'm betting they say no, and let someone else have the remote.

8.     Any family seen in public with their heads buried in a tablet or smart phone instead of talking to each other will have their devices confiscated and be immediately shipped off to the nearest Chucky Cheese for some family interaction.

9.     Under no circumstances, will In-Laws be permitted to live in your home.  If you want a multi-generational experience, move to China.  This is America, and we have a Constitutional right to hate our In-Laws (okay, it's not Constitutional, but it should be).

10.    Anyone who tells a child that Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist, will be executed... and their family will be charged for the bullet.

11.    The Department of Agriculture will recognize wine as a serving of fruit and acknowledge cheese as a major food group.

Its only 11 items, but I assure you, if we could implement these mandates, the world would be a better place ;D

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Occasionally, PilotHusband pries himself off of the sofa, turns off the Military Channel, and takes the family on vacation.  And, yes.... we do it "PilotStyle".  I have learned that while a Pilot can take a vacation, he can't take a vacation from being a pilot.  The same quirks, habits, and desires, follow them where ever they go.  Sooo, here's how to take a vacation like a real Pilot.

Step One.... Choose the location.  Most people might go to Disneyland, a cruise, or an all-inclusive beach resort.  Not if you're a real Pilot.  When you are a real Pilot, you take your family to the most sacred of locations; the most hallowed ground; the epicenter of the Universe.  You take your family to your Air Lines' corporate headquarters.  So we packed up to take a vacation in the homeland of Mother D: Atlanta, Georgia.

Step Two....  Decide how to get there.  It is a highly accepted fact that Real Pilots do not drive ANYWHERE.  In addition, Real Pilots like free stuff.  So, no matter how close you live to "Mecca", you are gonna' have to get on an airplane and non-rev.  I can jump in my truck, and be in ATL in four hours from my driveway... but that's just silly!  Instead we drove 45 minutes to CLT, spent 20 minutes on the employee parking lot bus, one hour through security, 30 minutes of boarding, 45 minutes of ground delay, 45 minutes in flight, 20 minutes taxiing and waiting for a gate, 15 minutes to deplane, 20 minutes exiting the airport, and 30 minutes waiting for the hotel van.  Yeah, that was so much better than driving.  (I'll let you do the math).

Step Three..  Book the hotel room.  Do NOT book a hotel room in a swanky uptown neighborhood.  Do NOT get a room at a hotel close to family-friendly attractions.  Do NOT get a hotel room with a beach, mountain, or skyline view.  Instead, be sure to get a room in an airport hotel, closest to the active runways.  Be sure to ask for a room on the airport side.  Spend HOURS of "family time" sitting on the balcony, watching "your" airplane take-off and land.  Who cares if the roar of jet engines makes any conversation (or sleep) impossible?  I'm just happy he didn't sleep out there.

Step Four...  Begrudgingly agree to some sort of family friendly activity so that your AngryPilotWife doesn't change the door locks the next time you go back to work.  However, this is only required if your wife already purchased tickets for the activity (with your credit card) beforehand.  Knowing we would need a break from our descent into aviation overdose, APW purchased tickets to the Georgia Aquarium and booked a special interactive, behind the scenes, Dolphin Experience for the family. 

Step Five...  Make some time for what makes you happy.  For PilotHusband, this meant making the family go on a forced march for about 3/4 of a mile to the Delta Museum.  Given our 6 yr old son was still worn out from the Aquarium trip, this meant APW got to walk a mile and a half, round trip, with a 45 pound child on my back.  But we got to see lots of stuff with "Widgets" on it.  Cool.

Step Six...  Steal the toilet paper.  As you prepare to leave the room each day, be sure to take every roll and hide it in your suitcase.  Housekeeping will replace it in your absence.  When your wife decides to use the bathroom before heading out for the day, and comes back out to say "There's no toilet paper... I guess I can hold it", say nothing.  Wait until you get home and she finds six rolls of toilet paper in your suitcase.  Oh how you will both laugh!  (not really)

Step Seven..  After a lengthy non-rev trip home, be sure to stop on the way back to the house to run some random personal errand.  Pick up your dry cleaning, get your oil changed, or in our case, stop by the Sprint store to spend and hour picking up your new smart phone (that you still can't use).  Its the perfect end to the perfect PilotHusband family trip.

**  All snarky, meanness, aside... APW highly recommends a trip to the Georgia Aquarium.  The exhibits are awesome!  We did the Dolphin Experience (which runs about $50 per person) and it was AMAZING!  The three of us got to spend time, poolside, with a trainer and a dolphin and pet her (the dolphin, not the trainer... 'cause otherwise that would be weird).  Interestingly, even the Dolphin knew that Pilots are a pain in the ass.  We each got to give the dolphin commands to do a trick.  APW touched her nose, and she made a vocalization.  Our son touched her nose, and she made a vocalization.  PilotHusband touched her nose, and she spit water all over PilotHusband!  I guess they are truly intelligent creatures after all.
***  As much as I hate to admit it, the view of the runway from the 10th floor of the Renaissance Airport Hotel was pretty cool.  Our son loved the indoor and outdoor pools, the hot tub, and the glass elevators... and the staff was extremely pleasant.