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?

27 November 2015

Weighty Matters

It’s no secret that we all put on weight as we age. Most of us Americans don’t exactly have a really active lifestyle, especially me. Not only that, the older we get, the harder it is to lose weight. While I’ve never been what you would call fat, I’m not a skinny guy either. I’ve managed to grow a quite impressive beer-belly over the years courtesy of drinking a copious amount of, you know, beer. And no sit-ups, or exercise of any sort, thank you very much.

By the time I hit fifty my weight was getting up there. I wore size 34” waist jeans, but they were getting tight. By my mid-50’s I was up to a 36” waist, and I weighed 200 pounds.

Three years ago I started “eating right” and exercising. And by that I mean I cut out sodas and watched how many calories I took in. I have a pretty good exercise (stationary) bike right in my bedroom, and I began working with kettlebells. Right away the weight started dropping off. I got down to 180 in no time flat.

But then I went back up to my summer job in Washington State. Up there we eat waaaaayyy too much. And it’s hard to exercise when you live in an RV it’s 110 degrees outside. Quickly I was back up to 200.

When I came home I found that I now had three roommates (long story). Two of them were temporary, but nonetheless… We all like to eat, and since we all like to cook, we ate waaaaayyy too much in Pensacola. I did not lose any weight over the fall/winter of 2014/2015.

And so it was that I went back up to Washington this past season weighing 200. That ballooned to 215 by the time I came home. I could barely button my 36” jeans, and was more comfortable wearing a 38”. I felt…and looked…awful. I posted a picture of myself on Facebook and thought, “Who is that fat man!” My resting pulse and blood pressure are crazy high. Unacceptably high if I want to stick around on this planet for a few more years, which I do.

Although the flying part of my job in Washington is not strenuous, there is a lot of other physical work to do. And I found that I had no energy or stamina. I couldn’t even keep up with the owner of the company, and he’s 75!

With no roommates in Pensacola anymore, I can eat healthy again and get back on my exercise regimen. My Wii Fit says I “should” be at 148 pounds, but I think that’s not realistic. I’d like to see, and I think I can get down to 175, and I’d be very happy there. (Getting rid of the beer gut is going to be tough.) The question will be: Can I maintain whatever weight I get down to? Our lifestyle in Washington is pretty unhealthy.

The funny thing is how quickly the initial weight drops off. I’ve only been back in Florida for a week, and I’m down to 208. A loss of seven pounds! I’m back in my 36” jeans, and even they are starting to be loose. Hopefully I’ll be back in my 34’s soon. Can I dream about getting into 32’s again? Can I fantasize about 30’s?

Now, I know the weight will not keep dropping off at that rate, but it’s a good start. I try to limit my daily calorie intake to 1,000, with a maximum of 1,500. It’s not all that hard to do, especially when you’re cooking for yourself. When I get hunger pangs I drink a bottle of water.

I’m not going to promise to post regular updates, for that is not my intent. I guess my intent is a little good-for-the-soul confession…a little self-inflicted fat-shaming. We Americans are fat, no doubt about it. We don’t get enough exercise and we eat poorly. Oddly, we seem proud of that, like it’s our birthright. Personally, I vow to not drink any more sodas and not eat any more fast food. If we all did just that…

26 November 2015


Wow, so much to write about! I’ve been remiss in keeping the blog updated and for that I apologize.

It was a bummer of a summer. As I’ve mentioned, it hardly rained and nobody flew.

After the season was over and the pilots went back to their real world, I stuck around to help the owner of the company demobilize the equipment and get ready for next season. Well, that and we had to make three trips to North Dakota to pick up a bunch of helicopters and parts that we bought. Three pickup trucks with three big trailers; 1,200 miles one-way; six days on the road. We wanted to get it all done before the weather turned nasty, and we barely made it. The higher elevations in some of the passes we had to go over were getting snow by the end of our third trip.

There was also lots of work to do around the bases and airports from which we operate. We actually moved a hangar…that’s right, took it apart and moved it from one airport to another. That was fun. (And I say “we” but my participation involved just standing around with my hands in my pockets, “supervising” as usual.)

I told the boss I would stay until the end of October, and stuck around even after that. But it just got too damn cold and I am just not a cold-weather kind of guy. Plus, by the middle of November we were really running out of things to do. And so I left.

I was going to fly home, but I had some sort of flu bug that had me feeling poorly. So I decided to drive, and borrowed one of the company cars. I wanted to take my time and not be in any huge rush this time. It worked out great, because I got to visit pilot-friends at every stop on the way home, which was not even remotely a straight line. If I’d gone more or less direct it would’ve been 2,700 miles; it ended up being 3,500.

At one stop in Texas I got to fly a very rare Hiller helicopter! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I am blessed to have the very best friends.

So I’m back in Pensacola. And, I might add, walking around in short-sleeves. But my time here is short. I promised the boss I would be back up on Washington by the end of April. The time will go quickly, as it always does. Six months here, six months there.

I got home Sunday night. Two days later the boss sent me a picture of the first snowfall. So I left not a moment too soon! In life, timing is everything. And in this case my timing was pretty good.