Me and Abilicious

Me and Abilicious

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weather and Cheques

And then I was halfway through. Can't believe October was three months ago and can't believe how much I didn't know then. My present self would impress my past self. And it's becoming more and more fun. If I get to fly tomorrow then there's a good chance I might fly two area solo rides Sunday (flying on the weekends to catch up on lost time). Which means I'll be able to do whatever I want within a 5 mile radius, 6,000 foot area. Probably just straight and level for a long while before I get up the gumption to do something crazy, like a 30 deg turn. But seriously it should be fun.

We're not as far along as was planned. There have been a lot of weather days that prevented any flight from taking off. It doesn't have to be storming or raining for the weather conditions to ground us. Sometimes the cloud deck is simply too low. Lots of low clouds in the winter. If there were no weather days from the first day I flew a T-6 until now I would probably be 3/4 of the way done with the syllabus. Now, though, I'm marginally halfway through. It's not only our flight that's behind either. Yesterday, both T-6 training squadrons were told to expect weekend flights every week until further notice. That means 6 day work weeks from here on out until we are able to catch up. A lot of students are being dropped back a class in order for the rest to be able to finish T-6s on time.

Our class is finally almost to the end of Contact rides, which means we can begin instrument and formation rides. This will help us catch back up since those type of sorties don't need the perfect weather contact rides do. The downside to the new sorties is all the new information we become responsible for, and that has become painfully evident in our weekly Emergency Procedure Quizzes. A couple of weeks ago we were at the point that we no longer needed to study for EPQs because all of the quizzable information had become so familiar. With new information comes new questions. And the new information consists of hundreds and hundreds of pages. EPQ questions can be anything from asking what a number is to filling in the blank from a seemingly random one-liner from one of the documents. 85% is failing. We've been failing. Oh well.

On a happier note, I moved into a house with a couple of other guys. In the dorms I forgot how awesome it was to not be able to see the TV from any where in the room (a point I enjoyed at first). Now I'm enjoying stretching my arms out and not touching two walls or being in the bedroom and the kitchen at the same time. It's a four bedroom house with two large bedrooms and two small (large closets) bedrooms. We decided the other two guys could have the big rooms and I got the two small rooms. So now I have a library/study. I've always wanted a study, though I pictured it with more mahogany and leather bound books. Still chill.

On a sad note, I got some cash out of an ATM machine (a game I always win) but drove off without taking my debit card back out. No worries, I cancelled it. But before I realized I no longer had a debit card I used the cash to buy an end table at an antique store (which is why I got the cash). Afterwards I needed to get groceries (mostly bread) and it was then I realized I had no card. I panicked for a few quiet moments in my truck wondering all the ways this might destroy my happiness. After I returned to reality I decided to go back to the bank to see if I could get my card out/back. They were closed (because it was after 5pm). Accepting the worse (that my card would be shredded before I could get it back), I tried to figure out some other way to buy groceries. Also it was pouring outside and I walked through a lake at some point.

Checks. I could write a check. But I couldn't remember the last time I took a checkbook into a store and used it to buy anything. Do stores still take checks? Then I remembered the many times I had been standing in line at the grocery, being in a hurry, frustrated with myself that I had chosen the only line with the check-writing-senior-citizen. Scribble scribble, big number, sign, riiiiip "ching." That's how it should go. Instead you feel like you're watching live art exhibition. I always find myself trying to mentally help them write faster, leaning forward as if the change in pressure will help guide their hands more swiftly across the "sign here" line. I felt like I shouldn't be seen using such an archaic form of legal tender that's usually accompanied with butter pecan ice cream and a Lincoln Town car.

With this fresh in my mind, and my checkbook in hand I proceeded to the base commissary, dreading the judging eyes of the customers in line behind me. Also, I didn't know who to make the check out too. I rushed through the store only grabbing a few things, feeling like if I bought fewer items the embarrassment would be less severe. Not so. As the cashier began ringing up the food I reluctantly drew out my checkbook bracing myself for the eye rolls. The line was already growing. Before all the items were ringed up I thought I might speed up the process by filling out what I could. My name. Check. Date. Close enough. Pause...the "for" line at the bottom. I put "groceries." Seemed appropriate.

The cashier finished so I waited for her to tell me the final price...nothing. I waited a little longer...still nothing, not even a glance. So I looked at the computer and wrote that price down. Nothing was said so apparently that was the wise choice. Then the great dread. Was it, "who do I make the check out to?" or "To whom do I make the check out?" Or maybe she would notice I had no clue and give me a hint. I looked around. Maybe there was a helpful sign like, "all checks should be made out to:_______". I looked around everywhere I could without seeming like I was looking around. No such sign. No such help. The line began to lean in. I felt the pressure. The sweat dripped down my palms, soaking the check and smudging the ink. I can't remember if I asked "to whom" or "who" but I asked something. She cocked her head around, tightened her lips and raised an eyebrow. "Seriously?" She didn't actually say that but she looked that. She pointed to the left of where my checkbook was and said, "There's a stamp." I guess it was then she guessed I didn't know how the world worked. She picked up the stamp labeled "FOR CHECKS" and stamped my check and told me to write some other stuff on it I clearly would never had guessed to write. Checkbook in my pocket, groceries in one hand, sweat in the other, I returned home with a greater respect for our senior citizens and a resolve to starve rather than buy anything else until my replacement debit card comes in the mail. Also I forgot the bread.