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?

29 October 2017

Settling Down

And so another cross-country road trip is done. I don't like to fly on the airlines so I drive up to Brewster, Washington every year. There is no direct, diagonal route from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Northwest; you “stair-step” your way up or down. It's always 3,000 miles.

This year, I left Brewster on Monday. Heading west, in the exact opposite intended direction, I went over to the coast, to Olympia, Washington to see my good friend Brandon who flies for a company there. (My friend Mikey also flies for the same outfit, but he was away on a job and so I didn't get to see him.) After hanging out and having a great time with Brandon (as always), I left Olympia on Tuesday morning and made it back to Florida on Friday night. Google Maps says it was 3,182 miles.

Brandon, who is from New Jersey and often works on the west coast likes to do these marathon cross-countries in which he doesn't stop. He goes like crazy. When he gets tired, he sleeps in his pickup truck in a rest area. I can't do that. I'm a wuss. I need a bed to sleep in for at least a couple of hours and the ability to take a shower. I hate being road-grungy. I can usually find a hotel near the Interstate for around $60.00 per night, which is reasonable, I think. I pick the cheap ones that offer free breakfast so I can grab something to eat before I head out.

Unlike some of my previous trips, this one was uneventful. The venerable 1998 Buick crew-car that I drive back and forth performed flawlessly for 210,000 miles. However, I don't think she's got another trip in her. The transmission was starting to act up – nothing serious, just the very occasional slipping when accellerating from a dead stop, and also some stuttering when downshifting on the highway. Signs of impending doom. To be honest, the car is not worth fixing. So I'll sell her and buy some other piece of crap with somebody else's unknown problems. That'll make me feel better on a 3,000 mile trip!

As fun as my “summer job” up in Washington is, it's always good to be home. And yeah, for better or for worse, Pensacola, Florida is my home. My boss would like me to move up to Washington permanently, but I don't think that's going to happen.

In fact, my days in Washington may be over. There are big changes happening at the company I work for, and if everything goes as planned they won't have a need for ol' Bob next summer. The boss promised me a position anyway. But seriously, why would you pay someone to do something when you can handle that task in-house? Especially as much as they pay me. It doesn't make sense.

If I'm being honest, I'm looking forward to having next summer off from flying. Yeah, I still have to work – it's not like I'll be on vacation. But for the time being at least, I'm going to settle down and stay in one place for a while. 


Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,
Hope it all works out for ya.
Been following you since way before you went to Washington to dry cherries. I remember how you were so excited to fly those old Sikorskys. Damn, I love your blog, just wish you posted more often.
Life changes, time moves on and we adapt to that change.I've followed you as you did that.
I'm an old fart like you (yeah, I hate to admit it as well)same generation and values. That's why I like your blog.You are kind of living the dream I had to fly for a living, but never got to live out. You know, you get your pilots license and think you are going to kick ass, and then life kicks in with kids and obligations and you take the path of least resistance.
Your blog gave me that outlet, that dream I could live vicariously through your experiences.
Maybe this will give you more time to write. Who knows. Just keep writing, and more often if possible. There are people out there wishing you success and the very best.
Keep this blog active and alive with your experiences, even when it isn't about flying.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Well, thank you very much for your kind comment! I am truly humbled. Mostly, I look at myself as a fuckup. I've never had any real plan or goals for my life, other than to just fly. That's all that ever mattered. I figured that as long as I could do that I'd be "happy." And yeah, my life has been incredibly fun, but "fun" comes in all shapes and colors. And life is about more than just having fun.

Or it should be ;)