Always stay polite, that’s half the ticket! And if I may seize this opportunity to brag about my son: He’s not even two years old, but he’s already very polite and (almost) always says please and thank you. Of course he has already realized that his parents sometimes have a hard time resisting when he’s asking for something, and he usually goes for the cute and polite tone of voice instead of being loud and annoying.
The only thing he hasn’t figured out yet is what is in our power to give and what isn’t. For instance, he’s always asking us to see a hot air balloon in the sky. It’s something we saw one day, and he was so fascinated that barely a day goes by without him pointing at the sky exclaiming “Haifon! Bitte!”. Which stands for “Heissluftballon, bitte!”. He’s also asking us for more tunnels on the roads or to make the pigeons coo.
And he also loves all kinds of machinery. Which is funny, because although I am technically interested, I am by no stretch of the imagination a motor freak. But the little guy just loves tractors, cars, excavators etc. and especially has to comment on every motorbike he sees. He also points at almost every plane he sees and says “Uncle Mike!”. Well, we’ll see what the future might bring, but I sure think we have a future pilot of some sort at our hands …
Here’s another classic strip for you, from our very early days. In fact, this is one of the strips of the very first batch, which we drew before we even thought about publishing our work. Back in those days, having your own website wasn’t even on our radar, and we only thought that, maybe, some day, we might approach some magazines with this. Although you need more than five strips for that, of course, and this was strip number five. The originals were black and white only, and I colored it a few years later.
Flashback! We are throwing in another classic strip for all of you who may not have been following us since 2002. I can’t believe it has been close to 15 years already! Maybe it is time for another “Silver Chicken”.
Even though we might find ourselves laughing at Chuck here, the ones among us who fly will know that big airports can be confusing and to some very intimidating. I am the first one to admit I have made the occasional mistake which lead me “down the wrong path” so to speak much to the dismay of the ground controller. But since the conception of this strip, “runway incursions” have become an increasingly bigger deal with the FAA with fines increasing as well. The current penalty for suddenly finding yourself on the wrong runway is a 60 day license suspension according to the AOPA websites we have found.
Most ATC controllers I know rather have you verify your clearance when you are not sure instead of going nose-to-nose with another aircraft. So essentially, Chuck is doing the right thing here (imagine that!).
Well, it’s not that easy of a question to answer, is it? Oftentimes we just think we want something, and then, as soon as we get it, it turns out we don’t really want it after all. So, sometimes it’s good to take a little time to think about what you really, really want in life. It could well turn out that what you really, really, really want is zigazig ah.
I bet what you didn’t really want is that song in your head for the rest of the day! Haha! Gotcha!
Since Roost-Air is rapidly approaching their 15 year anniversary, we thought we would show you a classic strip “from back in the day” every now and then with a little background information mixed in. Some of those are from pre-website days and are otherwise only available in our first book.
I was flying off-shore at the time and transitioning to an oil-rig off the coast of California which had me transition through Santa Barbara’s airspace. The easiest route was to transition along the shoreline but the tower preferred us to be low so he can route approaching fixed wing traffic on top of us. Well, there is a little hill on the shore between Santa Barbara and Goleta where the airport is, so radio reception and radar coverage wasn’t the best. Yet the tower always made us fly low and squawk a code, but then turn around and complain he wasn’t picking us up. We tried flying further offshore and as high as we could without busting the given ceiling but it never worked quite right. So since they always gave us a really low number to squawk (maybe that is what was assigned to them, not sure how that works), the joke was born inside the aircraft about trying to get a higher number. Of course in the real world we didn’t transmit this part (even though we probably should have just for the fun of it, but I was flying for the government and we all know how much fun can be had while doing that).
This is also one of the first strips ever to use the “Chuck, is that you?” line. It was around this time we decided to just make this a permanent thing. The original idea was to always have Chuck park his pick-up in front of the hangar and Julio complaining about it with the standard line “Move the truck, Chuck!” which is based on a true story. But we could never really fit that in the strips as much and once the radio issue idea came to be we felt it was a much better fit and quite frankly, way funnier. One of my personal biggest wins was the first time I sat around a air tanker base with a bunch of pilots I had never met before a few years later. Somebody messed up on the frequency and a pilot in the ready room yelled out “Chuck, is that you?” which got everybody laughing. I knew then we were on the right track with this punchline and that is why you still see it. The next goal is to achieve notoriety similar to “I’ll be back”, HAHA!
Sorry for the slight delay in today’s update! Yesterday was a public holiday here, so it kinda felt like Monday for me today, and I almost forgot to upload the regular Tuesday strip. Well, better late than never!
It’s important to be precise! Well, sometimes at least, often it’s not. The trick is to know the difference. It’s always funny to watch people who have no sense of proportion and appropriate precision. E.g. when you want to calculate your return on investment on something, and some of your input variables are a wild guess or at least a rough assumption, there is always somebody who then ends up with a dollar figure calculated to the tenth place behind the comma and thinks it’s accurate.
Oh, and talking about writing down sums of money. One of my pet peeves is this: When you write down an even amount here, you put a comma and a dash at the end. E.g. when Americans would write $21.00 we would write $21,- . By the way, I don’t know if this is a European or German thing. Other Europeans, do you also do that?
Anyway, there are some people (some close to me, I won’t name names) who don’t know that that’s supposed to be a comma and think it just means “something to do with money”. So when they write down $21.45 they write $21,45,-! Aaah!! Why? How can you have two commas in one number? Sometimes you even see it on menus of restaurants. For some reason the concept is really hard to explain though to people who do this …
Tomorrow I will pack my bags and head over to Friedrichshafen, Germany, to visit the AERO expo on Thursday an Friday. I’m really looking forward to it! Thanks to everybody who already got in touch with me! We won’t have a booth there, so I’ll be roaming the halls and there’s no fixed place to meet me. But I now have a (rather disorganized) list of people I want to meet, and I am sure somehow we’ll all manage to meet up at some point.
And if you see a short blondish guy with a Chicken Wings t-shirt, chat him up, it will probably be me! Or you can also send me a text on short text to my cell phone (my number is on our contact page here) and I’ll see if we can work something out. See you there!
Sun and sunlight. I vaguely remember seeing something like that in the past. Well, to be honest, yesterday it was sunny here. But before that we had a winter that lasted about 5 months, and certainly felt like 7 months. It’s high time for spring! I think I can imagine now what winter in Finland or Alaska must feel like, and I can’t say I envy the folks up there. I’m more of a spring and summer guy, after all (although I do love skiing!).
So I guess sequestration finally hit Roost Air as well. Or did it? Having flown in and out of Santa Monica myself I know that they just “love” pilots like Chuck over there … 😉
But on a more serious note, we really think that the proposed tower closures will have a profound impact on aviation safety. A lot of “small towers” on that list aren’t all that small and a few of them are feeder airports underneath or around very busy airspace. So please call/write/fax your representatives in the pilot organizations, your senators, whoever you can find to fight this. It will hurt us all if this goes through. This isn’t just about the job loss on the controller side, this is about safety and human lives. There was a reason why those towers were put in in the first place.
In case you haven’t seen the list yet and how many towers are actually on there, here is one of the links: http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/03/19/36446/smaller-air-traffic-control-towers-anticipate-clos/