Sunday, May 30, 2010

101 Critical Days of Summer!

Here it is already, Memorial Day Weekend. As we venture out either by car, bus, motorcycle, plane, bikes, or even walking, be careful.

When I was in the Air Force, they would send out info on how the 101 Days of Summer (Memorial Day thru Labor Day) there was an increase of accidents. Just like at some high schools do during Prom, my base would always put a static display by the main exit of an automobile accident where someone lost their life.

It was to show how critical it is to pay attention to what you are doing, especially to those around you. Even though you may not be the driver, be sure you have a designated driver if you plan on drinking.

Be sure to watch out for motorcycles, and obey the posted speed limits. These limits are there for our own safety, whether we think they're outdated or a nuisance.

Most of all, have fun, but be safe!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

96.8% of the 90% of AA Flight Attendants who voted, voted YES for Strike!

It was announced today that out of 18,000 flight attendants, of the 90% who voted, 96.8% voted to authorize the APFA union to call a strike if the carrier doesn't ink a labor contract with better pay and benefits, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants .

It is definitely a view of Solidarity across the board that the Flight Attendants are not happy with the current situation at the airline, especially when they have been saving the company $Millions since their 2003 concessions.

Busy with School and Flying, it's hard to keep updating my blog

It's hard to believe that once again, how lax in my posting abilities have been for my blog. I do apologize for that. I know it's hard to believe to some, even though I talk a lot in person, I was never good at maintaining daily diaries or even doing any type of journal. so, SORRY everyone!

Anyway, what's been going on with Sluggo? Well, I'll try to recap the best of my ability and see how well that goes.

I just completed my 2nd year, 4th semester with the University of Phoenix. So far, I've completed a total of 18 classes! The experience has truly been unbelievable. I've had many great semesters, a couple of interesting semesters, and then there was my math!

For those that actually know me, either via facebook, drum corps, or flying, you know how much I was dreading my math courses. I am proud to say that I passed both semesters of math, and hopefully do NOT have to think about math again! It's hard enough counting to 21....but I was able to manage!

Besides school, I've been focusing on my flying these last few months. I haven't been able to hold my usual trans-con flying due to AA reducing flight attendant staffing over on the International side. This meant that many of the junior International FAs were sent back to Domestic.  Majority of them were senior to me, so I wasn't able to hold the lines I generally fly.

I was able to pick up a few extra trips here and there, but mostly just flew my schedule. It does become a little interesting when you commute from Minneapolis (MSP) to NYC. With the merger of Northwest and Delta, Delta has started to reduce many of their flights between MSP and NYC. So, I have to start flying on us and connect through Chicago (ORD).

At the beginning of this month, I was able to go back to my hometown of Winchester, VA. I try to go at least every six months or so to visit family and friends. One of the great aspects of going home in May is the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Winchester has celebrated the blooming of the Apple Trees for over 83yrs, and this year was no exception.

The festival has expanded from being only a weekend event to a full week. There is Wine tasting, sports luncheon, stag luncheon, apple pie baking contest, Music Festival, Firefighters Parade, Grand Feature Parade, 10K race, carnival, circus, arts and crafts, Coronation of the Queen, and of course, plenty of different food vendors from around the country.

The festival has had many notable celebrities over the years, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Joan Rivers, President Ford, and this year Val Kilmar. I was a little disappointed in seeing how much weight Val had put on, but it was fun to have him visit our little community for The Bloom.

Each year it has become more and more difficult for the festival to get a celebrity to commit to the weekend activities. Most actors and actresses have very full schedules, so many will only commit at the last minute, or as their time permits.

Friday morning, my mom and I went to the raising of the tent for the Cole Brother Circus. It had been many years since I had watched the tent being raised, but it was very interesting to see the changes. I remember how the hard workers use to pound the stakes into the ground, now they use a 4-wheel bobcat with a jack-hammer on the end of it. When it was time for the tent to be raised, Elephants were used, but now it's all hydraulics.

The fun part about being there so early, we were able to see the different animals. Of course the main attraction that we liked were the elephants, but there were tigers as well. It was fun to be so close to the animals. The Elephants were chained to the truck they came on, and of course, the tigers were in cages.

Before we knew it, the tent was being raised and work had started putting up the 3-Rings in the middle as well as the Bleachers.

As my mom mentioned, there wasn't much talking between the employee's of the circus. Once in a while, someone would whistle to get the attention of someone else, but everyone worked hard laying out the tent, and getting the large arena ready for their first performance later in the evening.

One of the events that I enjoy the most are the Parades. Friday night is the Fireman's Parade and Saturday is the Grand Feature Parade. Both parades follow the same route, which is roughly 2  miles long. If the weather is a little cooler, the parade route is pleasant for the bands to march, but if it's hot and humid, which it was (85-90 degrees) then it can be torture for the long 2 1/2 hour marching route by foot. Of course, the Music Judges stand is at the end of the route to judge the bands endurance of the long route.

Having marched this parade for many years, I can understand how difficult it can be for some of the bands that never performed in this parade, especially during extreme hot weather! The bands are judged on Marching, Auxiliary (guard/flags), Musicality, and the Drum Major.

When I was in school, the Festival was a large event for the bands. There use to be a Jazz Band Competition, Concert Band Competition, both Parades, and after the Grand Feature Parade, there was the Field Show Competition. However, by mid-90s, many music programs were starting to be cut, so the Field Show Competition was no longer.

Now, there is just Jazz, Concert, and the Parades. Many bands go to the larger venues which are part of Fiesta-Val where bands travel to New York City, Myrtle Beach, or even Orlando.  This way, as soon as the bands are done with part of their competition, they can allow the kids to do different activities at a large amusement park.

Anyway, it was a great visit to be home to visit family and friends.