Day 1817 – Ass time in Airplanes
Hours of Daylight – 11:07
So we lost our chance to buy the kayak house in Boise. What this experience taught me was never again enter into a “limited dual” representation with a realtor. The deal was bungled from the get-go with the result being yet another flight out to Boise to try and secure a home. Fortunately we found a last minute-type deal on Northwest so we’re not getting totally hosed on the airfare. I’ve conferred with the mortgage broker and she has given what assurances she can that once we go to contract on a place she’ll be able to put it all together in two weeks or less.
What might be even better is we’ve found a couple of rental complexes that offer unfurnished month-to-month leases and are “pet friendly.” I plan to set up house viewing Friday afternoon then rental complex viewing Saturday morning. If we aren’t happy with the house selection we’ll sign up for a rental and be done with it.
What’s keeping me going right now is thinking about calling MotoPrimo and telling them when i want my motorcycle to be released. We’re looking at late March for the load out date and i remain hopefull the snow will be gone sometime before then thus allowing me to actually ride the bike from the shop to home.
Speaking of movers and moving i dropped my upstairs neighbor at MSP this morning. He’s on his way to San Diego to find a place to live for his new job as an assistant producer at Midway games. At least i think it’s Midway…. and i think that is his title. Don’t ever let anybody try and tell you moving is anything less than HELL. Moving could also be described by the euphamism “growth opportunity.”
The son of the building manager where i live works for an airline logistics support company. He travels all over the place doing all manner of arcane jobs in support of the airline industry. His jobsites are almost always in airports thus he spends a great deal of time flying. He was the one i first heard describe air travel as “asstime.” He pointed out there are basically two types of people on airplanes, the pilots and everybody else. They get “stick time” and everybody else gets “ass time.”
“What’s the equipment outbound?”
“Yeah! The corvette of the sky. Pilots love them, they have the best power to weight ratio of anything in the air. How about coming back?”
I’ve never been a fan of Airbus. The idea of flying on a device made by a consortium worries me. I’m a child of Long Island and remember the days when Grumman made science fiction come to life in the form of the lunar excursion module. Later they made the F-14 Tomcat. I was fortunate enough to tour the Calverton facility and see late model tomcats in production. The pride the workers had in their product oozed from every corner of the giant hangers.
Grumman was an aircraft manufacturer in the tradition of the original auto manufacturers. They made everything themselves. They didn’t outsource. They machined their own titanium pieces onsite, they did their own etching, their own wireing. If the final product had a problem there was one company to talk to—the one that made it.
Sadly the one-source business model is now mostly gone. The new model is all about the consortium. Company A makes the widgets, company B fabricates the doo-dads, company C assembles the whole thing into something we hope will fly. When there’s a problem who takes the blame? Oh, well, our widget performed as specified, so we’re not to blame. Oh yeah? Well our doo-dad performed flawlessly, so look elsewhere. Don’t look at us, we assembled everything according to what we were told.
Even when there are no problems it is difficult if not impossible for the vast majority of the workers in a consortium to look at the finished product with the same kind of pride as those Grumman workers had when they first saw a new plane fly. What’s an Airbus Industries worker supposed to think when they see an A320 fly over? “I joined several components of that bird together.”