Thursday, December 8, 2011
Of course Kim is my biggest support. Late last year when Deseret News contacted me about writing a travel blog for their paper and the Mormon Times, Kim was right there supporting me. The first article about Thailand's tiger temple was printed in the newspaper on New Year's day and I've had eleven more published since. Kim was there to offer advice, help with descriptions, and edit the final piece. Several of these pieces are still available in the online edition at the following links.
In adition to these, I also wrote one on the international firework competition in Montreal every summer and another one on Peru's ancient Inca civilization.
I love writing, I hope to continue to take advantage of this opportunity. Thank you Deseret News and my family.
Friday, December 2, 2011
I've so enjoyed the travel benefits afforded to me and my family and for those who follow my books and articles in the Deseret News, you know how much I enjoy travel.
Now AA is faced with another challenge, one I'm not sure my seniority will survive. Three days ago, they petitioned for chapter 11 bankruptcy in a New York court. Now starts the painful scaling back as American becomes more lean, shedding unprofitable routes, escaping their massive debt, and scaling back numbers in the rank and file. (which may include me)
I've watched my company make bad business decisions continually. With our last CEO...Mr. Don Carty, we tried to save Canadian Airlines buy investing millions of dollars in hopes of keeping them as a Oneworld partner. After the expenditure, Air Canada purchased them and our money was lost. Mr. Carty also tried more room in coach by having the mechanics remove seats giving the passengers more leg room. Personally, I loved the extra room in my travels but we lost millions of lost revenue which resulted in us puting the seats back in. Mr. Carty also had to be the biggest airline so he purchased TWA after their 3rd entry into bankruptcy. Idiotic - almost criminal. He sold the cool routes and most the airplanes and kept the people. You may ask yourself why and all I can do is shrug. Carty is an idiot. BTW, he is now the CEO of Virgin America....he should be in prison in my humble opinion. He started our decline from profitability eleven years ago with his stupid decisions.
I think the worst thing Mr. Carty did was in 2003. During the economic downturn and post 9/11 reluctance for people to fly, he wrestled the labor unions into signing concessionary contracts which was suppose to keep my loved airline out of bankruptcy. Peronsally, I gave back 17 per cent of my wages, a week of vacation, sick time, and other benefits with the rest of my work group. We never got any of that back. But after all unions had signed on the dotted line, the news broke that Mr. Carty and the rest of the criminally minded executives gave themselves literally millions of dollars in bonuses, having taken the money from us. Nice...literally felt like crap after that one. And now we are in bankruptcy anyway.
I have no idea what the future holds for me. I hope I can keep my job but even I've applied for other airlines. I can't imagine not having the ability to fly around the world. Once you have it, its a hard thing to give up. I want to keep writing my novels as inspiration directs. But, unfortunately, its not up to me anymore. I do pray, not only for me, but for the rest of the work groups in my airline.
Hopefully, we'll be okay.
Friday, November 25, 2011
"Another fantastic easy read... Well written, adventurous & exciting! As always I can't wait for the next one :)"
Thursday, November 10, 2011
|Ancient inverted Medussa Head in the basilica cistern|
|Kim inside Hagia Sofia|
In addition to the people, and waking up every morning to the mosques call to prayer, the Ottoman architecture was amazing. Between the mosques and the palaces, we were both very impressed. Also pretty cool was the Basilica Cistern which is basically an ancient underground water tank. In addition to the Ottoman influence, there is still Roman relics which include the Hippodrome and the aquaduct which were both pretty cool.
|The ancient Hagia Sophia|
We took a cruise on the Bosphorus Strait and even went to a dinner show where a belly dancer mugged me...too bad the flash on the camera didn't work when Kim tried to snap a picture.
|Pretty talented dog. (check out his shades)|
|Kim looking at the Asian side of Istanbul|
|The Blue Mosque|
Thursday, November 3, 2011
We were also able to see the Basillica Cistern which was pretty impressive too. It's like a very elaborate underground water tank with 336 columns holding up the ceiling. This column, and one other, show a Medussa head and was probably pillaged from Christian structures before the cistern was built.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Two days to Turkey. Kim and I decided we would throw caution to the wind and head for Istanbul on tuesday. We debated for several weeks if this was where we should go, or should we try Scotland or Italy instead of our original choise of Turkey. Right now, things look good for traveling standby as long as we can get to Washington DC to catch our international flight.
We have some wonderful plans and I'm sure an article will come out of this trip at least. Who knows, maybe I'll be inspired to continue my Daniel and Kylee stories with a trip to Eurasia. I'll keep you all posted.
I'll definitely keep this blog up to date while we are gone.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
This was something I've wanted to do for a long time. Thanks to Kim for going with me and sharing so many of my same interests. We both truly have "it" in our blood.
My heart felt thanks to the people of this generation. To the men who flew and served on the planes and the women who stayed home to build them, and everyone else who sacrificed to preserve the freedom I enjoy today. These people are almost as rare as this great warbird and all those who love America owe them so much. They were an example for all those who have served since.
Thank you again.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Approximately two weeks ago, we were returning to DFW from a long weekend spent at Kim's cabin in Big Bear California. We disembarked from the plane and walked through to the unsecure side of the airport to get our luggage. I noticed a good friend who works with me standing by the luggage carousel with his three daughters. The oldest one, approximately eleven years old, was jumping up and down when I approached. I disbelieved she was excited to see me but that was exactly what was happening. She had read my first book 'Whispers from the Past' and her dad had seen me and pointed me out to her. Even though my stories have not been marketed, I'm so happy that the people who have purchased them have enjoyed them as much as they have. I hope 'The Inca Prophecy' gets the same reaction.
BTW....not only is 'Whispers available on amazon.com in paperback or for the kindle, as of yesterday it's also available for the Barnes and Noble Nook!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Last Thursday, Kim, Logan, and I flew on the Southern Cross; A World War II era C-47. We took off from Meacham Field 630pm and flew around Fort Worth and then Arlington before returning to the airport.
The Plane yawed and dropped the entire way from the time the big soft tires left the ground to the time the plane landed. We were allowed to walk around the old fuselage and take pictures of both the inside and out. It was absolutely the funnest plane ride I've ever experienced, and the shortest too.
Here are a few of the pictures I took, which are limited because of the one time the plane yawed and the camera was dropped and broken; my wife is very sorry.
I can't wait to fly on my next warbird ride which I'm hoping will be later this year.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Tomorrow morning, hopefully, I'll get my father's day present. We are going to to go fly on a World War II C-47 in Fort Worth. Basically, it's the same air frame as a DC-3 but was utilized heavily during the war. Anyone who watched the HBO special, 'Band of Brothers' would recognize it as the plane Easy Company jumped out of on D day and other jumps that were made.
It's not the bomber I want to fly on the most, but it will be fun and no where near as expensive. I'll take lots of pictures and post them on my blog as well as facebook.
'The Inca Prophecy' is soooo close to being published, I can taste it! The book itself is ready to print but I'm waiting for editing on the first two chapters of 'The Kiwi Conspiracy' to add at the end so people can see what the next story is about.
I can't wait to see it in print. I've had several people ask me when it will be ready. My friend Hector told me his daughter is reading 'Whispers from the Past' a second time and is awaiting anxiously the next installment. I hope it doesn't disappoint.
I've had a total of 8 travel articles published in either the Deseret News or the Mormon Times. I have 3 more submitted but haven't seen them in print yet. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to write about the trips I've had the opportunity to take. I hope I'll be able to continue to contribute.
Kim, Logan, and I went to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum today in Addison Texas. I took Connor to the same museum three weeks ago. In addition to seeing the regular planes, we got to see Ol' 927 again. This is the B-24 I'm hoping to volunteer on that is owned by the Commemorative Air Force. It was suppose to be flying now but after an annual inspection, they found vibration in the number 1 engine and it will probably be a month before they are able to fly it again. I want to work on it sooooo bad. Only two of them flying in the world and such a huge part of history. It was the B-24 that the national poster girl, Rosie the Rivetor, was created. Over 18,000 were built and a great deal of the work was performed by women who were left when their husbands went to war. I'm so proud to be American. I'm so proud my father was in the Navy during World War II. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to work on, or fly on, any Warbird.
Thank you to my wife Kim. She has worked so hard helping me get my stories ready for publishing. Her advice has proven invaluable. She's pretty cute to boot. Not only has she done marvelous things with my writing, but she also loves aviation and supports my love of flying, working on planes, and teaching me about helicopters.
Good bye for now.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. My mom has seen many of them in the past and hopefully many more in the future. I do want to take this opportunity to tell her how much I love her and appreciate everything she has done for me. When so many have turned away from me, my mom has always been a huge support. During times of trial, she was always there to tell me she had been praying for me and doing everything she could to help me make it through to the end. Thank you mom. In less than a month she will be celebrating her 87th birthday. I'm so glad I've had you and dad around this long in my life.
Also, I want to tell my wife Kim how much I love her and Happy Mother's Day to her too. She has picked up the pieces and done her best to assemble something respectable. I owe you so much and hope we'll be celebrating this holiday together 50 years from now. Ewwww...well...I'll be 98 then so maybe not.
And lastly for this week. The Deseret News has published a new article about my trip to Ireland with Heather. There are some cute pics of her too. I hope people who follow my travel articles in the Deseret News or the Mormon Times will enjoy this latest piece. Here is the link.
Monday, May 2, 2011
After the run-up was completed, we were free to go. I remember specifically getting into my firebird and listening to the sports talk radio show I listened to every morning. At this point, nobody knew what was going on except that a plane had hit one of the two twin towers of the World Trade Center. I listened all the way home, a 25 minute drive. During that time, the second tower had been hit and there was no doubt the acts were malicious.
I could not go to sleep. I watched the television intensely as the first of the two towers fell and then the second. I remember feeling sick to my stomache and disbelief. Word came out that two of MY airplanes were used that day; one in the World Trade Center and the one in the Pentagon.
That night at work, after not having very much sleep, we performed A and PS checks on airplanes; airplanes that were parked all over, even lining up on the taxiways. The sky was devoid of traffic and the customary roar of jet engines at the airport was missing. American Airlines operated around 1,000 airplanes at this time because of the recent purchase of TWA. Every one of the planes was grounded and had to be parked somewhere. I've never seen anything like it since and hope I never do again.
The killing of Osama bin Laden seems almost as surreal as that morning. I have no idea what will come of the news either. I worry that the media is too optimistic about it and yet I want to hope that the real threat of 9/11 happening again is over. But like the Hydra, you cut off the head and two grow back in its place.
I love my country. I fight back tears when I go to a Rangers game and the national anthem is performed. I appreciate what I have and what my family enjoys. I pray to God that he will continue to watch over our land and help those in authority defeat those with evil in their hearts.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
It's decided! This will be the first WW2 bomber Kim and I fly on. It's the B-17 belonging to the Arizona wing of the Commemorative Air Force based in Mesa. She is named Sentimental Journey and we cannot wait to fly on her. Check out this link to see the beautiful girl fly. http://vimeo.com/18135369
This particular plane saw action in the Pacific during the war. It's quite expensive to fly on but the price is tax deductable and we need the deductions so why not enjoy it?
Saturday, April 16, 2011
The rides are quite expensive, 395.00 for 1 hour is the best price I've found on Miss Mitchell based in Minnesota. All it would take is two extra days of work and I could pay for Kim and I both to ride the beautiful WWII bomber.
I've also been thinking of doing something else that is related. Just west of us, in Midland Texas, is the original branch of the Commemorative Air Force. They have the only flying B-29, Fifi, and one of two flying B-24's in existence. I've contacted them already and they would like me to volunteer time to help do maintenance on them. What an experience this would be. My problem is time. But maybe I could work a friday a month to help maintain an important part of history.
If Kim and I ride on the B-25, or any of the other three bombers you can still get rides on, I'll definitely update it here. And, I'm sure, I'll drive people I come in contact with nuts talking about it.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Today at work I'm making final changes to Chapter 16 of 'The Inca Prophecy'. There aren't too many chapters left so soon, hopefully, my Peruvian story will be available. Check in again with Daniel and Kylee when they arrive in Cuzco, Peru. Kylee is mistaken for the return of a 17th century Inca peasant girl who, after being sacrificed, brought a century of prosperity to the entire Inca nation.
I'm also making way on my third novel, 'The Kiwi Conspiracy'. I'm currently on chapter 1 of my final read through before giving it to an editor. It's been a long time since I've read the story and I'm actually thinking its better than I thought. Still trying to find an editor so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Now some information on my writing
The Inca Prophecy is coming along! Kim is on chapter 15 on her final read through and once she is done, we'll put it in a PDF format and print our first proof copy. If everything looks well then, it will be available to the public. Out of my first 3 books, this one is my favorite story, my dad's too.
Still writing articles for the Deseret News and the Mormon Times. So far, four articles have been published in the print edition of the Deseret News in the travel section. Those are really graitifying to see. Also, in the online edition of the Mormon Times, I've had four articles published. One of these articles is different from the DN publications. Oh well.
I'm reading The Kiwi Conspiracy myself. It has been so long I need to determine if I need to rewrite before I send it to an editor. Once I feel good about this New Zealand story, I'll get back to a rewrite on The Eye of Magog.
Thanks for reading.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
speaking of 'The Inca Prophecy', it should be out very, very soon. My wife is almost finished going through it the last time, telling me what she likes and doesn't, after I evaluate it, it will be in print.
News articles for The Deseret News and The Mormon Times has been so much fun. I've had five published between the two papers, 3 of which were front page printings of the Deseret News travel section.
Our own personal DFW employee weekly newspaper has picked up my travel articles. Amber and the tiger were splashed on its front page this last week. Thank you to Deseret Connect for allowing the employee paper to print them.
I'm excited about my writing.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Oh so close to finishing 'The Eye of Magog'. I'm probably going to finish it up in the next week or two. Then the next thing for that work is a break and then a re-write. I really, really like the story but there is always room to improve it.
Kim and I are about half way done finishing 'The Inca Prophecy' s last edit. I'm hoping to have it in print in maybe a month and then we'll go over it again and then it will be on the market. I know my dad is really looking forward to it even though he has read it before.
That leaves 'The Kiwi Conspiracy'. I'm going to make a couple of changes to things that are inacurate and then, maybe a rewrite. We'll see after the other two works are done.
I'm loving to write. I appreciate that so many people here at work have enjoyed 'Whispers from the Past'. I'll keep it up as long as I enjoy it.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
I'm sure enjoying writing for Deseret Connect....I've had four articles in the Mormon Times and two have made the cover print edition of the Deseret News. Kim and I have 2 more articles submitted and another one in the next day or two. I hope people enjoy reading about the places I've personally seen. I have so many memories of some of the greatest places on the planet. I hope I can keep making memories with Kim.
The Eye of Magog -4th novel in the Kylee/Daniel series- is coming along great! I've ripped right through 57,000 words on the way who knows how many. I really like the story and how its progressing.
After the Eye is done. I'll evaluate whether I need to re-write book 3 or not. I liked the story before but its been so long since I've seen it I don't remember if I can improve it or not. Either way, I need an editor.
Life is good. Work is still there with AA. Kim and I are hoping to work out days off so we can do some traveling this spring. Had hopes of going to Scotland but between a lack of money and other things we needed to do...we'll see if we make it.
Life is good. Miss my children and want them to know how much I love them. Wish I could express it more often.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
One more day off from work. I've had two weeks of vacation in the last three weeks. This week, was just spent at home with Kim which in a way was better than our week in Orlando.
I'm pretty happy with the success of the Cuzco, Peru article. Out of the four that have been published, Peru is second most popular next to the Budhist Tiger Temple.
I've been working pretty hard on Ireland story. I'm about 54,000 words into it and if the pattern holds, I have about 20,000 more words to go. Of course I don't plan on these things but all three previous books are around 75,000 words.
I'm on the very last "go over" on The Inca Prophecy. Kim will have some spare time the next few weeks and hopefully between the two of us we'll have it ready to print in a month or two. I'm working on chapter 6 right now.
I am planning an article for the newspaper on Paris, France and they already have two more. One on the international firework competition in Montreal and another on the 3 of the most popular Greek Isles. I'm having fun with these and actually trying to branch out to the new DFW employee paper.
I teach Elder's this sunday. Lesson is on love, charity, service. We've been the recipients of great service this last week. Hopefully, with prayer, I'll be able to have a memorable lesson. Our Elders group is very, very easy to teach.
I'll be back with more next week!
|Here we are with retired shuttle astronaut Winston Scott|
Saturday, February 26, 2011
It's been 4 weeks since an article has been published in the Mormon Times but this morning, much to my delight, my Cuzco, Peru article was there waiting for people to read. Peru, including Machu Picchu and all the other Inca sights, was amazing. Amazing enough for it to be the location of my second novel, "The Inca Prophecy". I hope everyone enjoys the article and maybe becomes interested in finding out what happens to Daniel and Kylee Richards on their second international daddy/daughter vacation.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
It's been chilly for most of our vacation in Orlando, but yesterday was absolutely beautiful!!!! Connor, Kim and I have had sooooo much fun in Florida. We have spent 3 days at Universal Studios and Island of Adventure. We also have spent a day at Kennedy Space Center which was amazing. We now know what its like to take off from the launch pad with a space shuttle strapped to our backs. It's been a wonderful trip with two of my most favorite people in the world.
|Kim and Connor with Scooby doo and Shaggy|
|Kim being pulled by Marmaduke|
|Connor with the crew of the Starship Enterprise|
|Kim and Connor at Harry Potter attractions at Islands of Adventure|
|Harry Potter's Castle|
|Saturn V Rocket at Kennedy Space Center|