Category Archives: Google+

three months in

It’s been quite a while since my last post. I know, I know, I swore up and down that I would spend more time on the blog and keep it up to date on everything going on now that I am in a Part 147 AMT program. For those who may not know, a Part 147 AMT program is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificated school teaching people what they need to know to get there Airframe & Powerplant mechanics certificate or A&P. The AMT stands for Aviation Maintenance Technician or Technology depending on usage. I was hoping I could keep the site updated on a frequent basis but I have been much busier than expected.

I love my A&P classes, I just had no idea that the work load would wipe me out to the extent it has. Between the constant cramming, fixing flaws in previous assumptions, and trying to keep up with “day-job” stuff, I am just too tired to do as much as I would like to.

Speaking of the day job, talk about taking a back seat. I have been lucky to get a measelly ten hours or so in each month and that has had a rather negative effect on the old pocketbook. I did manage to get some headway on a long-standing project today, not nearly as much as I would like but something.

Progress on the weight loss project has been in a bit of a stall as well. I haven’t been putting weight back on, but I haven’t been loosing it. I’m not all that worried about this one though, I have plenty of time and I am ahead of schedule in this endeavor.

There has been a bit of a shift with regard to the airplane build project. My mission goals and priorities have shifted making the VP-I/II an insufficient aircraft for my needs. I suppose this is more than a “bit of a shift” but it has come down to two options; build an airplane that won’t really meet my needs, or stop it now before I spend more money on the project. Fortunately I haven’t put much into anything that can’t be used elsewhere. Most of my current investment has been in tools, books, raw materials, and hardware.

The materials I have can be used for a couple of “practice projects” I have in mind to keep the hands busy, as if I didn’t have enough to do. Getting back on track with the build was adding to the stress pile in my mind so off-loading it has helped quite a bit. I have some options as far as getting involved in a couple repair/restoration projects and there is even the possibility of acquiring a restoration project of my own, though for the moment, I think it best not to pile anything else on my plate and focus on the tasks at hand, school and health.

That’s it for this installment, blue skies and tailwinds,

P.S. I am no longer using Facebook, my user account is still there for a while, but I have deleted all content and connections so if you want to connect or keep in touch, find me on Google+ and Twitter.

Counting down to AMT School

Time has been flying by at an alarming rate and not in a good way. I have lots of day job stuff to get done and a short time to do it all. Motivation is sorely lacking on the mundane tasks that just need to get done. I really need to get boots on the ground to get it all done.

I haven’t had a lot to post about airplane project wise, but I have been working on my welding and composite skills for day job projects. With everything going on, the workshop has become a bit of a mess and needs another good cleaning. I only have 20 more days to get it all done because AMT school starts in three weeks.

Aside from wrestling with the lack of motivation I have been working through some technology issues for the home network. We changed ISP’s from Comcast to AT&T just shy of two weeks ago. HUGE mistake. I don’t really like ether one but in the battle of the lesser evils, Comcast wins this round.

We DSL for many years. Our line was one of the first ones in our area nearly 15 years ago, back then it was awesome. Over time service became cludgy and outages more and more frequent. We tried to go with a higher level of service but they couldn’t get good service out to us because of our distance from the switching station. Enter Comcast about 5 years ago. The service is much faster but Comcast filters some traffic for load balancing every now and then and they prioritize traffic flows in ways that don’t benefit me (selfish I know).

Since it had been some time since we switched to broadband and technology has improved over the years, Pac Bell, our original DSL provider became SBC, then AT&T, we thought the equipment in the field might have improved a bit. No such luck. Our connection was almost as slow as dial-up! Okay, that might be an exaggeration but it did take 15 minutes to load a 5 minute video and Netflix was constantly stopping and restarting, a problem we did not have with Comcast.

Saturday night I called Comcast to see what it would take to get back on line with them. I still had all of the equipment so after a 15 minute phone call we were back on line with them and our internal network was completely switched over. I was very pleased with the results of the call. With everything switched over and running back up to speed I called, well tried to call, AT&T to cancel service.

After navigating there Byzantine help system I managed to find an article on how to cancel service. The 800 number has two notes; call during business hours (Monday through Friday 8-5 Central) and In order to route your call quickly please say “cancel service” when prompted. NOT.

The first call (yes, first call) took me through there again Byzantine phone-cyborg who routed me to the wrong department who then routed me through another phone-cyborg loop which eventually put me on hold for several minutes before hanging up on me. The second call routed me better, I think the system is trained to recognize certain phrases including expletives. Once with the right department I was put on hold for 53 minutes before an agent answered the phone.

By this time I was at the point I really wanted to bite someones head off. Seeing as it isn’t the agents fault, and with the system that busy, it’s likely that most of there other callers were pissed off and they didn’t need my help in getting into a bad mood, I played it cool. The agent was very pleasant and took care of the task at hand quickly. At least the last five minutes of the ordeal was not bad. Unless AT&T runs fiber right up to my modem for free, they wont see my business again any time soon.

On the good news side of things and having a bit to do with aviation, I redid the header graphics for the site, go ahead scroll back to the top of the page if you need to but it’s just a little house cleaning. I did make some changes to the social network links. I removed the Foursquare link, mainly because I don’t think I will be using it that much longer. I added a new graphic and link to Google+. If your scratching your head saying “What’s Google+?” take a look here.

I am hoping to do more with G+ in the future. There are some great tools for group sharing and communications. If you are interested in G+ but need an invitation please let me know and I will be happy to invite you. So far I find it very promising and I am looking forward to seeing what they have in store before it is released into the wild.

Until next time, blue skies and tailwinds,