Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Texas Losem

I looked down with my usual astonishment at the colors, shapes and shadows of the Desert Southwest. Unscrolling from the expanse ahead I began to make out a semi-circular shape, the typical arc of a hogback formed by the erosion of a plunging fold.

I became puzzled when I saw it was bisected by a straight hogback that cut the semi-circular one off and extended far out in a straight line, dying out in a big mountainous conglomerate in the distance. It looked like a colossal cent mark ( ¢ ) of uplifted, tilted sedimentary rocks. Strange.

I studied it closely as it slid by below and to the left, my nose pressed against the side window like a kid looking into a toy store. Then I figured it out. The straight hogback was a fault line. It had emerged and broken up through the older semi-circular hogback. I looked over at the first officer, Eric, wondering if I should describe it.

I didn't. Geology doesn't excite people like it does me and some others I know. Besides, Eric looked pre-occupied with something.

But I did remark to him that whenever I look down at the Desert Southwest it makes want to put a bid in to upgrade to the left seat of an F-250 with a cabin behind it that sleeps two plus a dog.

"What," he asked. "You mean retire? Right now?"

"That's right," I said.

“Then do it!” he said. Retire right now! Just like you said.” He started figuring. “Hmm. Let's see, we have three hours to go in this flight, that means I would get three hours of captain's pay!” His grin widened.

I shook my head in mock disgust. “That's all you guys think about. You would do anything to improve your seniority!”

“Yes, we would!”

I said, “I know. I fear for my life every time I start my truck.”

Eric was in a much better mood than earlier. He had been bellyaching about the money he had spent in Vegas the previous evening. He had met two ladies he knew back home in Virginia and had taken them both out for a bit of gambling and dinner. He lost $300 at the Texas Holdem tables; that was his preferred game. 

One of the chicks put $15 in a slot machine and won $500.\They left and went to an upscale restaurant the ladies suggested to him. He bought the drinks, $17 martinis, but he assumed it was to be “dutch” rules for dinner, since it wasn't an official date.

Expensive wine flowed and the meal came in courses. When the bill came due he plainly saw they did not intend to pay.
They started a chatty conversation between themselves, not displaying any inclination to tap into the gambling winnings, while he eyed the tab. It soon became obvious the “rich” airline pilot was to pay. He ponied up.

While I went back to marveling at the landforms below he examined his credit card receipts, shaking his head. “I wasn't even drunk! How could I let them do this?” I asked to see the receipts. The cocktails were $55. The main tab was over $200.

“But you enjoyed their company,” I suggested, grinning.

"Not That much," he yelled.

I had stayed in the hotel and watched Bama take Ole Miss behind the wood shed while Eric was entertaining the chicks. I got the best deal.

That $600, I thought, would go far buying gas for the fifth-wheel rig—when the time comes, that is. It won't be too soon for Eric.

And I've got a chick and a dog who wants to go along exploring the geological wonders of the lonely American outback. That won't be too soon for me.

Runway 25R at Las Vegas. Lose
an engine on takeoff, plan on turning soon.

Admiring cumlo nimbus from afar

What is this? Give me its scientific
name and its common name.

Aviation trivia question:
The F-100 Super Sabre was manufactured in 4 versions, the A, C, D, and F. What happened to the "B" Model?