Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

19 February 2008

Nuts and Bolts

Back a million years ago when I was in radio, the owner of our station decreed that we never let the audience know what was going on "behind he scenes." We were to never describe the technical aspects of what we did. When there was a glitch of some sort, and there often were, we were not to explain it - just move on with the show. It was all supposed to be theatre-of-the-mind, and the less the listener knew about How It Worked the better.

In the helicopter, I similarly do not like to explain the nuts-and-bolts of what I'm doing, even to those, like my boss, who have some familiarity with flying. I see the looks on the faces of my passengers as they watch me go about my business. I prefer for them to think that flying is magic or something...that making the helicopter fly from here to there "just happens" by me moving these sticks around in some mysterious ways. It's dumb, I know.

As for blogging, the posts obviously don't just appear on the screen. They take some work. I know some bloggers who write very quickly, who post every day. That's not me. I labor over each post - believe it or not - until it conveys just the right thought and has the right "sound" when I read it in my head. I usually compose in Word. Then, when all of the spelling/grammar mistakes have been handled, I'll paste it onto the blogger program, format the text into this stupid Trebuchet font, insert any pictures, then send it on its way.

But yesterday morning something strange happened. I was composing that piece on going to the drag show, but I was editing it directly in Blogger, not MSWord. I knew I was going to have to go flying (and be gone for the whole week), and wanted to speed the process up a bit. The Boss called, and moved our departure time up. This meant I'd have to leave for the airport right then, and I wasn't even packed. So I closed the laptop, figuring Blogger would just save the rough draft of the post for later. Wrong - it published it! Way prematurely, I might add.

Last evening I got to the hotel here in Birmingham and settled in. Job Number One: Check email, of course. Imagine my shock to see an echoed response to the unintentionally posted Emerald City deal! Dang it, that wasn't supposed to happen. So I went in, deleted the post, finished it offline and the posted it again.

There. I've violated my own rule about not letting people behind the scenes. But it kind of ticked me off, and I felt the need to explain.


Greybeard said...

"I prefer for them to think that flying is magic or something...that making the helicopter fly from here to there "just happens" by me moving these sticks around in some mysterious ways."

You mean there's more to it than that? Getting from point A to point B is done in some other way than by the pilot "moving the sticks" in a certain way? I'm boggled!

I keed... I keed!

A friend of Alan's sent me a link to your blog this morning, and I haven't really had a chance to read much of your work. I'll be remedying that pretty quickly to see if I can learn how a helicopter actually DOES get from point A to point B...
You know how it is... we learn something new every day in this business!

Hal Johnson said...

Well, I read both versions of this post, and I must say that the title of the finished version is more attention-grabbing.

It's a funny thing with me, or maybe it's sad, I dunno: I will always catch some mistake on a post after I post it. I might check it three times on Word first, but doggone it, I'll see something wrong almost as soon as I "publish" it. Yell out "gee" and call me a mule: is it because of all of that tequila in my twenties?

Bob Barbanes said...

g.b., thank you for visiting. As a fellow helicopter pilot, I'm sure you'll find my blog as tedious as my one other reader Hal does- at least when I do write about flying (which ain't often).

You're right of course, flying *does* happen by moving the little sticks. But you also know that there's oh-so-much more to it that the passengers don't need (and in most cases don't want) to know.

And Hal, nevermind what or how much you drank in the past, maybe it's because of all the tequila you're drinkin *now*!

David said...

Or, maybe not enough tequila!

Glad to hear about others fretting over posts rather than simply typing and publishing.

I enjoy hearing about the nuts and bolts. Whether they are part of staying 'on the air' or in it.

OK Bob, heading back into your revised tour of Emerald City.

Ghost said...

...but I like Trebuchet......