Here is a little update on the latest around our part of the country
Mike I was recalled back to US Airways starting Sep 17th. Last night, I finished training, and am now back as a regular co-pilot flying the Airbus 320 (similar size to Boeing 737). I will be on reserve for the next few months, which means that I wont know my schedule (except for 11 days off each month). The rest of the time, I have a minimum 9-hour call-out to get to LaGuardia Airport (my base). Trips can be anywhere from 1-4 days at a time.
This airplane can fly transcontinental, so new destinations for me will happen on the West Coast. It is a very different aircraft, with just a joystick on the side, instead of the usual yoke most people are used to. Also, it is a glass-cockpit (computer screens) instead of the usual dials and gages. Theres lots of automation, which is both good and bad. Whats it doing now is a normal comment on these types of airplanes.
I had bid NY as a base, because I thought I could hold a line (which means Id know what my actual flying schedule would be all month), but US Air closed our Pittsburgh base, and Ive been bumped down the list, as those pilots move to their new bases. On the next system bid (no idea when that will happen) Ill move back to Boston, so at least I dont have to commute.
Unfortunately, the pay is not great. US Airways went through 2 bankruptcies, and the union contracts were hit very hard. Im at about 50% pay of what I was making before I was furloughed in Jan 2002. Im looking into other things to get a second job to pay the bills. I think limo driving is a possibility, as I can do something like that whenever Im in town, without a real schedule. Im also looking at substitute teaching again, among other things. Whenever the union negotiates a new contract post-bankruptcy, then the pay should come up dramatically (at least we hope so).
Over the past several months, Ive replaced almost all windows in my house. The old ones were installed improperly, leaked in the rain, and had mold growing on some of them. I also had someone come over and replace all the valleys on my roof, as those too were installed improperly, and leaked. Ive also painted Evans room for a new look, which he seems very proud of showing off.
Stacey She has been working at her job about 24-30 hours a week. It certainly is keeping her busy. When she isnt doing that, shes keeping up with the kids, school, home upkeep, etc. Staceys father Bill and his wife Debbie continue to be a great help. We intend on going to their home on the 24th for their annual Christmas party. Stacey is looking forward to my steady job/paycheck, after the turbulent times in the mortgage business. Overall, she is doing fine, just stressed as usual.
Addison She is doing great in school. For those who dont remember, she is enrolled in a private school, The Pennfield School. She really loves being there, and everyone gets along great with her. They have been helping out a lot with her feeding issues, and Addison now regularly eats snack and lunch with her peers. She refuses to eat at home, which is a power struggle for her. Thats OK for now; at least there is some progress. Addison is a big time coloring and drawing kid. Just cant get enough of it. She also enjoys singing Christmas songs, and of course picking on her little brother. She still throws up, but not as often. She is just a wonderful child.
Evan He is doing well in his daycare school. The teachers love his outgoing personality, and always comment on the funny things he says. Evan is really into sports, and just loves climbing on the couch with me, and asking me to turn on a football game. He had a great time on the sled in the snow, and enjoyed it even more when he went crooked and fell off. He enjoyed the snowball fights that ensued as well. Evan still enjoys the hot tub, and wants to go in it whenever Im home. When it was snowing/freezing raining out last week, Evan, Addison and I put on some hats, and went in. They had a blast. Im glad I bought it, as it really is my special time with both of them alone.
Taylor Is doing well as a junior in high school. Last quarter he was all As and Bs in his classes. He also works as a host at Ruby Tuesdays Restaurant. He is in the marching band, and did a great job acting in a school play last month. He has his driving permit, and is driving me around town as much as Ill let him. Ive borrowed my brothers car, and let Taylor try out a stick shiftthat was funny. Not as easy as it looks, it turns out for him. Taylor is still dating a girl who lives over near my brother, so there is always friction when he wants to see her, as we have to drive about 35 minutes each way. Cant he find someone closer? Taylor leaves today for Alabama to spend time with his mother. He has told her he would like to come home just after Christmas, instead of after New Years. Apparently, he wants to do more things around Rhode Island during his break. Well see what happens.
My Parents My mother has been living her since Sept 15th, to help with the kids while I was away in training. My father splits his time evenly between here and home in California. I think they have enjoyed seeing the kids so much over the holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving and now Christmas/New Years). They are excited for me flying again. They will both leave soon into January. We will all miss them a lot. They really have been a great help, once again.
Overall - life has been its usual up and down for us over 2007. We look forward to a better 2008, and hope good fortune somehow finds our home, and sheds some much needed relief to all of us. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Below are some pictures of the kids from school
Mike, Stacey, Taylor, Addison, and Evan Vogl