Back up and running... pretty much

Back up and running after the huge Windows 10 crash... well... almost anyhow. 

Another few days of tweaking and I'll be back to posting here.




Windows 10- spawn of SATAN!

Windows 10 is the spawn of SATAN himself

Any... yes ANY previous version of the Windows operating system was better than Windows 10. Yet the mega control freaks at Microsoft forced it down our gullets. To get us all to switch they said that they and their cohort Norton would no longer support Win 7... then they told every hacker in the world that we were wide open- come and get the hold outs.

My Windows 10 has developed a bug that will NOT DIE.

It's a constantly appearing, ever annoying "handy" pop-up window that wants to provide useless "Editing Tips" and I tried everything to kill it. I even went of Facebook and offered a free book to anyone who could kill it... some tried, all failed. Next one of those who was trying to help me connected me with Microsoft Support. That technician and I were online together working on it... no luck after one hour and 57 minutes of working it.

Finally he said that it was just a bug in my Windows 10, and the only way he figured I could fix it was with a fresh download of Windows 10... which I just did 3 days earlier.

May ANTIFA burn down Microsoft HQ.

If you really hate someone, do not wish death upon them, nor a kidney stone... just wish a Windows 10 bug upon them.





         My captain’s upgrade bid opportunity with Northwest Airlink came up in November 1995. That, however, was to be the captain of Jetstream 3100, referred to in our pilot group with little affection as the “Junkstream.” Those aircraft in our fleet were beat to hell and the trips all sucked. No thanks, says me! My chance to bid captain on the Saab 340 that I’d been flying since I started at the company came up the following spring. Yet, my prime bid for vacation came out at the same time. Unwittingly, the idiots at crew scheduling had approved my sweetheart choice of two weeks back-to-back beginning on July 5th! If you were a pilot at a regional airline in those days, that alone could trigger an orgasm. When I showed it to the guys in the crashpad they all laughed, and then immediately began a group scheme to preserve and protect my bid.


First off, I needed to NOT bid for captain. Second I needed to not interact with scheduling for any reason- just lay low and be a good boy. Additionally, no one outside of our CID crashpad could know about this award. Finally, I had to sit tight and watch a whole bunch of pilots that I was senior to go to captain ahead of me. The result was that within four months I was the number 2 first officer in the whole company and number 1 in MSP.


A funny trend then took place. Tim Hughes, who was the senior captain at CID and the leader in this conspiracy, had been bidding with me nearly all year. He was also an IOE (Initial Operating Experience) check airman in the Saab. So, sometimes he had to go and fly with newbee captains. When he did that, the company usually stuck me with some newly minted captain out of the southern system. It was sometimes fun but on one occasion I needed to drop the hammer on one of these egos.


Tim and I flew up to MSP on our first leg of the day then he had to split to do his IOE dance. Our next scheduled leg was to Duluth, also known as “Scrub Dog.” It was early May, and the weather had been unseasonably warm. But my look at the weather that morning showed a quick moving cold front sweeping down out of Canada. There was a lot of moisture in the air, and that spelled nasty for Scrub Dog. I hadn’t met the new guy yet as he was not one of our northern pilots. He was born and minted in MEM and the southern system. Worse yet was the fact that the newly earned fourth stripe had really inflated this person’s ego.


I’d remained in the cockpit finishing my paperwork when captain newly-minted stomped aboard. He flopped into his seat, looked at me, scowled and said,


         “Here’s my rules for first officers…”


Gee… no hand shake… no hello? Gosh.


As he was uttering the old worn out “Flaps up, gear up, shut up,” line I unbuckled, nabbed my flight bag and got out of my seat. I’m not God’s gift to aviation, and I had always been a really good guy to trip with. Sense of humor and clear focus on the job and procedures- but at age 39, I was a good deal more mature than nearly all of the other FOs and some of the captains at the company. Plus, this was my second airline… I wasn’t gonna take that sort of crap from anyone.


         “See ya’…” I said calmly.


         “Where, ya’ goin’?” he said with a note of surprise.


         “I’m fatigued,” I replied, “thirty seconds and I’m tired of your shit already.”


         “Wait, wait…” he chirped, “ya’ don’t have to be like…”


         Now it was time to lay out some facts for this new captain from the tropical southlands.


         “You probably haven’t looked at the weather up in Duluth, and there’s no way I’m flyin’ into that shit this morning with the likes of you.”


         “Hey, hey, “ he waved his printed paperwork, “I just got off my flight in from Memphis and I have it right here. Look… maybe we got off on the wrong foot.”


         “Yeah, and it’s in your mouth. Now you’ve got mine in yer’ ass.” I decided that maybe this guy was worth keeping if I could deflate his head enough to allow for room in the cockpit. “Look at your sonority number and look at mine. I’m nearly a full year ahead of you. That means that I’ve been flying around in this shit up here for a long time. They had you all set up to go into the worst of it today with me, but you gotta pull that “my rules for FOs” bullshit on me. So now I’m gonna leave and they’ll replace me with someone new who is sitting on reserve. Get it?”


         That took the wind out of those sails and we started to communicate. He offered to take the leg up to Scrub Dog and I said I’d take the leg back to Minni. We made it in and out in unsettled weather then on the climb out the shit hit us. I was flying and we started to get thunder ice. I knew which way the stuff was moving and our normal route to the southwest was just not gonna cut it. Then we hit a large area of turbulence just as we contacted MSP approach there was a “woosh” as we ran through a brief area of severe ice that turned to moderate. I called for the boots to “continuous” and he asked about “bridging.” I told him that was myth and give me “continuous” which he did, then the radar went pure red. Of course it wasn’t heavy rain, it was the raydome iced over- which happened on the Saab sometimes. Now it was a matter of just knowing the pattern of the storm’s movement. I called ATC and told them about the icing and asked for a turn to about a 135 heading. He cleared me for that, plus “as needed” and asked to let him know when we were in the clear. It only took about the longest five minutes or so in that new captain’s career before we popped out of the shit. I had to ask him to tell approach and they had some Northwest flights follow our lead. Captain ego was pretty much puckered in his seat.


         We came into Minni from the east and landed just fine. I asked how he liked flying in the northern system?


         “I ain’t never seen notnin’ like that before?” he shook his head.


         “Don’t worry,” I told him politely, “it can get worse.”


         We flew together for three more trips before I hit my go-home day. He instantly mellowed out and was a darned good pilot and well on his way to being a good captain. However, he did tell me that he was bidding back into the southern system right away.


         Oh… “and what about the vacation bid?” you may ask. Well, that’s another story.

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Winning Bets

The following is an excerpt from the book I'm currently writing the working title of which is "NON-STANDARD APPROACH; I was only at Embry-Riddle for three terms- one for Carter and two for Reagan" 
Everything in this post is Copyright 2020 Wes Oleszewski and may not be reproduced without express written permission.

I never bet unless I’m 175% sure I’ll win. As a corporate pilot I had a customer who flew to Vegas about once a month and had us stay there for a day or two. I never lost a dime on gambling- because I never bet. On one trip my boss brought his wife along and she was really bugged by the fact that I wouldn’t gamble. I explained that the odds are highly slanted toward the house and I was getting paid to be there- not the other way around. As we left dinner one evening I walked right past a row of slot machines ignoring them all. Finally she stopped me and gave me a quarter out of her purse.

           “Here!” she said directly, “Just put this in one of those machines and pull the handle.”

Hey, it was my boss’ wife… so I inserted the coin dutifully and pulled the handle. Then I walked away to my room while the wheels were still spinning!

           “You can’t just walk away like that!” she shouted down the hall, “What if it wins?”
           “It won’t.” I replied over my shoulder.

And it didn’t.

I applied that same attitude all through my Embry-Riddle saga. When we entered the school as freshmen, the student bookstore had lots of swag with which to relieve us of even more of our money. Most of it was fairly high quality and we snapped it up. One such item was the weather-proof zip up book satchel. It was made of neoprene with a heavy duty zipper and was said to be totally waterproof. In the Florida climate, that was a good thing for your books- which were certainly not cheap.

My 1977 neoprene book bag.
Not in bad shape after all these years.

I bought one- we all bought them. They had the ERAU logo on them and they were easy to carry.
One day while we were getting off the bus at the RSI and walking back to our room I was goading my roommate Mike that these bags were completely waterproof and I could actually toss mine into the pool and my books would come out dry. That turned into a bet… five bucks, a hand shake and I tossed my book bag, with my books in it, directly into the pool!

It sank like a rock.

Kicking off my shoes and ditching my wallet I dove in after it. It was at the bottom of the deep end and I went down and easily recovered the bag. Surfacing I shook off a bit and with a small crowd watching, I unzipped the bag. Every book was bone dry, and Mike paid off. I didn't bother to tell him that I saw one of the other guys do the same thing earlier in the week, so I had the edge.

Mike should have known better because he had lost a bet for $10 several days earlier when I boasted that if he gave me anything… anything, I could make a contraption out of it that would fly. That evening after dinner he handed me the cash register receipt and a tooth pick and told me to make it fly. Later in Room 182 I sailed the contraption over to his bunk and he tossed me the cash. It was simple matter of taking the receipt and folding it in half crosswise then making to small rips in the fold and threading the tooth pick through them. I extended the wood to give the contraption a slightly forward CG and it flew quite well… just like the ones I used to make when I was in high school.

That’s what we were at ERAU to figure out. Fly something and get paid for it.

Those two little tales lead into this one- which I think really quantifies ERAU.

While waiting for a “Nav. II” class to begin I waved a 3x5 note card at Earl, a pal of mine who was seated behind me, and I boasted that I could take it alone and make an airplane that would fly to the front of the classroom. He bet me a seafood dinner that I couldn’t do it. Considering that I was on a starvation budget, one would think that such was a bet I’d never take. But I love seafood and I had an ace up my sleeve.

I decided to make one just for this
blog post.Yes, it flew...
I still got it, eh.
Since the beginning of the school year I’d been fascinated with the concept of flat plate lift. One afternoon I had spent nearly an hour in the Avion office being informed on the subject by one of the upperclassmen who was an engineering student. In my spare time I sat in my dorm room and built small airplanes with flat wings out of 3x5 cards. I had it down to a science where I could make a good flyer out of just one card. The airplanes had a one-piece wing that ran through a slit in the “V” shaped fuselage that was long enough so you could adjust the wing laterally for CG. The wings had small winglets and the vertical stabilizer was a section of the fuselage that was folded upward so the “V” pointed forward. That caused the relative wind to force the nose up and induce an angle of attack. At the front I folded the fuselage over itself a few times to add nose weight. The horizontal stabilizer was simply a rectangular flat piece that slid into a slot in the aft fuselage. They flew quite well, but when you gulled the wing… they flew great! My only problem now was that in class I didn’t have my trusty Xacto knife. 

I’d have to tare carefully…there was seafood at risk.

Our instructor in that Nav. II class was Mr. Mike Dougherty, which was great. I’d had him for my very first class at ERAU, “Foundations of Aeronautics.” He was a former Air Force KC-135 driver and was as cool as they come with plenty of aviation war stories and sick jokes. Today, that quality would come through for me.

I sat there during the lecture, passively constructing my little flat wing glider. I made my wing slots with a pencil point and then balanced for CG on the pencil as well. When it was done I held it down low and showed it off the Earl. He leaned over the desk and whispered,
           “Okay… now fly it.”

Hey, I said I love seafood.

I cocked back my elbow and gave her a toss.

The damned thing not only flew, but it took off!

Mr. Dougherty had been lecturing toward the other side of the room and I’m not sure what caught his attention; the glider in flight, or the rippling chorus of snickers and “whoa”s. The little plane flew right up and plopped down gently near his feet. He stopped his lecture and picked it up.

           “Who made this?” he asked casually as he examined the little airplane.

A half dozen fingers, led by Earl, pointed to me as I meekly raised my hand. Mr. Dougherty eyed the airplane intensely and then he wound up and gave it the skilled toss of someone who'd been launching paper planes since he was a little kid!

Again the little airplane took flight and stalling slightly a few times nearly made it to the classroom door. Everyone snickered and Mr. Dougherty just shook his head.

           “Come up after class and get yer “A” for the day,” he said pointing at me. Then he turned to the rest of the class and said firmly, “Don’t none of y’all get any ideas either.”

This little event, I’ve always thought, says a lot about what ERAU is all about.

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