rootbeer1: (Default)
And here I am on Dreamwidth ... Now to figure out how to migrate all my old LJ posts ...
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
Like many others, I will soon be vacating Live Journal ... not that I post much here, but the new Russian guidelines regarding gay content are intolerable.


Nov. 29th, 2016 09:07 am
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
Bizarre dream last night: I was living out a sitcom about an ensemble of a dozen wacky characters who worked and socialized together, and when we all went out for nude disco bowling, and everyone, men and women alike, wanted to be my teammate, I realized that I had the role of "the stud" on this show -- that, or I was a better bowler than everyone else.
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
Back from Hawaii, and trying to get back in the swing of things, yet ... went to the gym today, to work out with my friend Mike. I was on the squat press, going for a heavier weight than usual, when I felt that familiar light-headed feeling, so I quickly sat down and leaned back ... and passed out.

Luckily, Mike is a doctor (as it seems like every other guy at the gym is), so he knew what to do. I came to after about fifteen seconds and he watched over me as I rested, sat up, drank some water, etc. The gym staff wanted to call ambulance but I told them not to, as this has happened to me before ... not in five years, though. That darn vaso-vagal reaction.
rootbeer1: (Drinky)
Jack flies up to SF later today, and we're heading to Hawaii for a long-overdue vacation on Wednesday. It'll be my 50th state!
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
Just got back to SF, and working later today, although I don't know yet whether I'll be at gates. If so, I plan to put up a gate sign that says simply:

"Yes, dear friends, it is I"

Two visits

Apr. 20th, 2016 05:55 pm
rootbeer1: (Happyclouds)
[ profile] heypyro, in town for Coachella, stopped by today, and we caught up and then went out for lunch. Yesterday, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant who lives near us stopped by and we chatted for close to two hours, about Alaska's work rules and culture, and how she would like to see Virgin's comparative looseness and sense of fun find a home at Alaska. I think my recent fame (google "Virgin America gate signs" if you don't know what's happened) may go a small way toward making Alaska higher-ups aware that people appreciate Virgin's sense of fun. So, a win.


Apr. 9th, 2016 08:25 pm
rootbeer1: (virgin)
Well, not much new information about the Alaska-Virgin merger, but at least the options have become a little more clear:

Retirement option: Alaska just goes ahead and retires me, with the usual airline retirement benefit of free flights (albeit standby) for life. Leaves me free to find something else. This option may not be available, but it's what I was working toward with Virgin. Had another 3 1/2 years to go -- it's based on your age plus length of service, which has to equal 70. Should (hopefully) transfer over to Alaska, where the retirement scheme seems to be 10 years of work plus age 55. Even if they don't just retire me right off, I'd retire from Alaska even before I'd retire from Virgin!
Severance option: This option has already been announced. Severance package of 3 weeks salary for each year at Virgin, plus 3 years of standby travel. I'd get 21 weeks of salary.
Alaska option: Stay with Virgin and transition to Alaska Airlines. When available, transfer down to Palm Springs, where if my seniority stands, I'd be in the middle of the pack. Retire when available and get free flights for life.
Unbearable option: If work becomes unbearable (like if people quit and those remaining are way overworked), then just quit as well.

I'll keep you abreast as I find out more info ...
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
Well, as expected, Virgin America was sold to Alaska Airlines on Monday. What this means to me is that I'll be leaving before too long, since Alaska doesn't allow the flexible schedule that has enabled me to work in San Francisco every other week, and then spend a week off at home in Palm Springs with Jack and Moochie.

But I'm not quitting just yet. I'll wait and see if there's a buyout, and/or a retirement option. And if it turns out that Alaska really is a great place to work, I'll see about possibly transferring to the Palm Springs station.
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
[ profile] heypyro pointed out in a comment on my last post: "Steve might be merging into a pool of agents senior to him. ... The plus side would be an expanded network to be able to travel on, and an Alaska/Virgin merger may create an interesting route map. I guess the big concern is that the corporate culture that is "Virgin" doesn't change too much."

That's exactly my concern ... I'm senior enough at Virgin that I can work every other week (a 40-hour week, or two part-time 20-hour weeks) and then have the next week off to relax at home in Palm Springs with Jack. If I'm suddenly a very junior employee again, I may not have the clout to get a shift that allows that sort of schedule ... and the purchasing airline may not allow that sort of flexibility, either. And if they don't allow that flexibility, the corporate culture has already changed, for the worse.

What I see as a likely scenario: JetBlue or Alaska buys us. They now have too many employees. They offer senior employees (ones whose ages and length of service add up to 55 or 60) a buyout: flight benefits for life (the usual airline retirement perk), plus a cash settlement payout.

Advantages: Larger pool of routes to travel on, as Pyro said. No more need to commute every other week. A cash buyout.

Disadvantages: No job. And I'll miss all my friends at work. I work with some of the best people I have ever met. (Virgin really has done a great job of hiring.)
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
Not sure how it will affect me, because it's totally out of my influence, but looks like Alaska Airlines and JetBlue are both trying to buy Virgin America. By this time next month (or in several months) I may be employed by a different airline.


Mar. 19th, 2016 10:27 am
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
Switched my default userpic, to the way I look now ... more Santa-like and polar bear than before. Still fumbling around trying to remember how to code posts and such ... it's all changed so much since the last time I was posting here regularly.
rootbeer1: (Long and white)
We're flopped on the bed, watching TV, and our cat Moochie is meowing to attract attention, jumping over the bed and then hiding under the covers. Then he scratches the rug and turns over and stretches, so we can rub his belly. I think that's unusual for a cat -- usually when you go to pet their belly when they're on their backs, they grab you with their front paws and kick you with their rear legs. And he sometimes does that too. But mostly he's the most affectionate, purring cat either Jack or I have ever had.

Photos: (in 3-D)

I'm back

Mar. 15th, 2016 08:40 am
rootbeer1: (on boat)
I miss the old days of Live Journal. Rather than just complain, though, I'm going to do something about it and start posting here more.

To catch up: I'm still working at Virgin America in SFO, but living with Jack in Palm Springs. I commute up every other week to work there, and stay with my friend Chris (usually) when I'm up there. Also, we now have a cat.

There, now you know everything.
rootbeer1: (on boat)
We're in shock ... one of my oldest friends, Keating DuGarm, passed away of a heart attack over the weekend. He visited us in 2011 and always called me the old man, because I was ten days older than him. We spent a lot of time together in the '80s and '90s, shopping for CDs and attending concerts, eating Thai food and nachos, seeing arty films, reading comics, collaborating on writing, going to ballgames, drinking beer ... we even vacationed together, attending the Quebec City wedding of our friend Bert, and a driving trip through Pennsylvania Dutch country in search of microbrews and offbeat Amish buffets. He'd visited Jack Garceau and me in San Francisco a few times, and I'd visited him in Minnesota in 2008, when I was on a cross-country driving trip with Raymond Kampf.

He wrote to me three weeks ago with a short review of the Bob Mould concert at the Minnesota State Fair. A huge music fan, Keating and I (and other friends like Christopher Cavett, Jim Chadwick, Jim Bierbaum, Patrick Lusk, Meloney Crawford, Pete Wilson, Scott Wasserman, etc.) would often talk about music and exchange mix tapes to turn each other on to new sounds. Some of my happiest memories of the '80s and early '90s were of us visiting each other (me in Connecticut, him in Delaware), record and CD shopping, then eagerly playing what we'd found for each other. Then going out for beers and the hottest Thai food we could find.

Keating, you were one of my best friends, and I'll always miss you. I'll raise a beer for you tonight, buddy.
rootbeer1: (on boat)
Twenty years ago today, I drove the three-hour trek from Stamford, Conn., to Albany, N.Y., meet a fellow I'd been chatting with online and on the phone. We were both a bit scared about what to expect -- we didn't even know what each other looked like! -- but we appeared to get along great, with similar viewpoints and senses of humor. At the very least, we'd become friends.

And as it turned out, that was the momentous leap of faith that led to the rest of our lives together.

Happy 20th anniversary, Jack Garceau. I love you.

rootbeer1: (on boat)
Still battling  summer cold, or sinus infection, or whatever it is, and now Jack has it too. This morning we found some Comtrex in the medicine cabinet that expired in 2007, but darn it, after taking it, we both feel a lot better.
rootbeer1: (on boat)
Very few examples of popular culture exist that don't have their fans somewhere, no matter how derivative and inane the concept is. (After all, popular implies that someone -- or plenty of someones -- liked whatever it is.)

That being said, I would rather have this summer cold continue for another month rather than subject myself to the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Other pop culture areas in which I fail to see the attraction:
1. Transformers
2. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
3. Thundercats

Pokémon, however, is okay by me.
rootbeer1: (on boat)
So I was asleep last night (of course), and dreaming that I was getting a motorcycle, which I could ride to work and ride down the Pacific Coast Highway and all that. It seemed a perfectly reasonable and desirable idea, although I remember Greg H. in my dream criticizing me for wanting some a fancy, larger BMW before starting out on a smaller street bike. I even remember in my dream thinking that once I woke up, I was going to have to start investigating how one goes about getting a motorcycle and learning to drive it.

Then I dreamed I was starting to wake up, and the whole idea seemed ridiculous, and I remember thinking in my dream that some people would dream about getting a motorcycle and hold on to the dream once they woke up, but I was already discounting it even while I was still dreaming. Which seemed very odd to me ...
rootbeer1: (kitten)
Back in Palm Springs, after almost a month away, in which I worked and also took vacation with Jack up to Portland and Seattle. Now that I’m back, I have pent up need to be productive, so I got up at 6 a.m. this morning (since Jack was getting up then as well, for an early doctor’s appointment), and did this: unpacked, dusted, vacuumed, mopped, stripped the bed and washed the sheets, did the rest of the laundry, cleaned out the microwave, washed down the stovetop and the kitchen countertops, refilled the napkin dispensers, stocked the beverage refrigerator … and it’s not even 9 a.m. yet! Still to go for the rest of the day: wash windows, shave my head and trim my beard, pay any bills that came in while I was away, clean out the fridge of old food, and if I have any energy left, clean the bathrooms, since we’re having houseguests next week. Most likely I’ll nap this afternoon, or float in the pool a bit. Only supposed to be 99 today, so it’s cooled off a bit.
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