Friday, May 18, 2007

I Am Above Such Petty Games.

This entry really isn't about flying, though I will talk about it. No one reads this crap anyway, right? So I can vent all I want.

My new motto is, "I am above such petty games." Let's face it: Most of humanity is not above such petty games. You all know what I'm talking about. We live in a culture where we glorify the failure of others (exhibit A: almost all of pop culture, such as American Idol and most sitcoms), we have so little going on in our own lives that we get overly involved in the drama of other, sometimes fictitious people (pretty much every reality show, and the current stupidity at my office), we obsess about totally insignificant things and completely ignore problems that are real and huge, like global warming, oil and gas depletion, overcrowding, famine, and poor decisions regarding foreign policy (and this isn't a political statement; everyone across the spectrum pretty much agrees at this point that there has been some poor decision making). Currently there are many aspects of my life in which people feel they have some say over how I conduct my affairs, and in some cases have decided to express their opinion via petty games.

So, as of this moment, I am above such petty games. One way to be above things (and I mean literally, here, I have not lost my humility as a pilot -- believe me, instrument training keeps you humble!) is to have a propeller and wings, preferably attached to a hunk of metal (or plastic) with comfy seats. Today I flew N21705, a Cessna 172SP brand new to the fleet -- in fact I believe I was the very first renter! Actually that is kind of scary. I ended up doing an extra long preflight. It needed fuel, so I had to call for fuel. It had one of those really annoying covers, so I had to deal with that. It had the wrong type of fuel collection jar (the one in the plane would've fit a Piper aircraft just fine) so I had to change that out. My 10 minute preflight routine took 25 minutes, which isn't a big deal if you're flying 2 hours away but kind of is if you're on a lunch break.

She flew nicely to Livermore (except for one really scary cough from the engine just over the Sunol hills), I had lunch and came home through a little bumpiness. Very well behaved on landing, and very stable in the air, plus a nice GPS. Probably a keeper!

I've been continuing my IFR training. On Wednesday I decided with help from my Mom that the objective was not to focus more on the attitude indicator, or not chase needles, or leave the plane alone in level flight, but to just have fun. I'm paying for the training, I'm working as hard as I can at it, so instead of obsessing about it, I should just enjoy the process and let it happen. We flew to Salinas and Watsonville; one cool thing about Salinas is that I executed a "circle to land" procedure pretty much flawlessly. Next lesson is Monday; before then I'll be taking some strangers to Petaluma with me on Sunday. That should be interesting...

Anyway. I'm kind of in a grumpy mood (as if you couldn't tell). Only stuck at work for a couple of hours more, and then I can go home and be not only above, but far away from such petty games.


rjb said...

I am in agreement with your comments regarding 'petty games'. I am in the wine business and constantly amazed at the childishness and big egos surrounding what is essentially fermented grape juice. I plan on getting my instrument cert. soon after getting my private pilot cert. and enjoy reading the process you are going through. Turbulence is some weird stuff. Sometimes I deal with it really well and sometimes a little jolt of wind can strike the fear of God in me. It is like a litmus test for whatever state of mind I'm in that day. Feeling confident and relaxed before I go flying vs. unconfident and tense is amplified while in the air. Still working on x-countries. -rb

MKT said...


Thanks for the support! Yes, I think you're right -- the pettiness is a possible product of ego, which is kind of ubiquitous in any business that matters. I'm sorry that you're having to deal with it too!

I know what you mean about your state of mind being amplified in the air. When I'm feeling a lack of confident, I'll have a little pause before I'll key the mic to talk to ATC. And yeah, sometimes a jolt out of the blue can knock the sense out of you! And other times you just ride it. It is very interesting.

Good luck with the XC's!!