Saturday, August 13, 2011

Memories, Thoughts, and Emotions.

First off I would like to say that I am not a writer. I have a roommate who is an amazing writer that I try to get to do it for me on a lot of things but not this. I wanted to share a couple of my memories of a great friend in hopes that the ones who knew him will smile, those who didn't well I hope you smile too and wish everyone had a chance to meet him.

Last week I lost a dear friend, mentor, and storyteller. Joe Anduze was something else, there are about a million and a half words that can be used to describe him. Depending on whether or not you liked him those words could be good or bad. Everyone who knew Joe has some story to tell about something he did. I have a few but not as many as others since I only knew Joe for around 4 years.

When I first met him, he was an interviewer for the company. I was 20 years old, new to flying and trying to get my first "real job." Like many wonder pilots before me I was crazy nervous and this was the only thing that mattered most to me at the time. I had luckily made it through the first part of the interview process and was sweating bullets getting ready for the sim eval. That morning I had spilled some coffee on my nice white shirt. I didn't have time to iron and change shirts, but thankfully my jacket covered the spill. I went into flight safety to meet up with the other interviewees and get ready for the eval. Around 08:00, this angry looking guy came in and said alright let's get this over with, I thought to myself "great this ought to be fun." Joe took us to a room and started the brief. "I'm only going to say this once so listen up, pay attention, and take notes." He explained to us what would happen next, what to look for, what not to worry about, and we all piled in the sim. When it became my turn to fly Joe looked at me white knuckling the yoke and sweating. "Damn son, you need to relax. Take off your jacket and relax, this is the easy part of the interview." I calmed down some and then away we went. Right off the bat I was having a hell of a time managing the airplane. My scan was off, I was over correcting, getting frustrated, and sighing Joe just laughed. "Eric! Settle down its ok. Your doing fine, you are already hired. I just need to see you do a few things and we can all get out of here." I finally relaxed and was able to get back and finish the next few maneuvers Joe asked. As I was doing the last part of the eval (the ILS), Joe could see that I was finally relaxed and wanted to have some fun with me. BANG! I jumped in my seat and looked back at Joe so quick that it could have snapped my neck. He started yelling, "Boy do you want this job?! Do you think you can handle it?! Do you think you can handle hearing bags of ice being slammed against the wall as the flight attendant gets ready for the next flight while your flying an ILS down to minimums?!" I of course scared at this point I nervously replied "Yes sir I can!" He just laughed and said good, welcome to the company. I sat there just lost as to what just happened and was thinking, "did that really just happen?"

During training I met my roommate and a few others and we all moved out to "the farm." This place was not only our residence but became a way of life that I and the others will never forget. We had a grass strip, hanger with airplanes, a pool, lake, huge house, and make shift shooting ranges on top of 50 acres. Joe liked to come out and hang out with use anytime we had parties. He would always tell stories from his jobs as an Air Traffic Controller, Chief Pilot, pilot for an airline operated by a Certain Intelligence Agency, Maintenance Test Pilot and so many others which would have the entire party huddled around the bar to listen. I learned so much from this man with a beer in my hand, sitting on a stool "thinking can this shit he's feeding us be true"? I of course knew the answer was yes and was amazed at all the things this man had done.

Yesterday was the funeral. I couldn't help smile and tear up at not only the turn out of at least 100 people, the Joe stories, and all the great things people had to say about him. Joe's wife likes to say that Jeremy and I are his poster child/protege/(I'd even add problem child) pilots. I like to think that not only being raised up believing in hard work in life will get you every where, I also believe if it wasn't for Joe I would not be here and I definitely would not have done as well as I have here. After hearing so many stories of what other people have done wrong or right, I put that in to my work and strive to make sure that Joe was happy with his decision to hire me and make it a pay back to him for giving me a chance.

Joe I am going to miss you and your stories. I know your in a better place now and I thank you for everything. I really like what the priest said, "We come into this world crying while others are laughing. It's only fair to leave this world laughing while others are crying." I totally believe this and dammit I know he'd laugh and call me a pansy for crying as I remember all the great times we had but oh well.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quarterly Update

Howdy folks! It sure has been a while since I have posted last. I have been busy with work and haven't had much to say. So let's see here, what has changed since the last post? I have been promoted to a entry level management position in my company. The girl I have been seeing has finally decided that she wants to be with me. Said girlfriend wants to do a diet program.

I have to say I am all around pretty happy with how things are going now. The GF and I have started a weight watchers program. We decided that our weights need adjusting me more so then her. I have a problem with motivation, so I am glad she wants to help out. Her plan is whomever loses the most weight by September will have to buy the other a gun.....did I mention I love this girl?

So that is the latest update, maybe I can keep you more updated now things are changing and I have some more time.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sleep or lack there of

Don't you hate it when you lie in bed and no matter what you do you just can't fall asleep? I do, for the third night in a row.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lessons in life

Lesson number one....Never trust a redhead.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year once again

Happy New Year everyone. Another year has come and gone and time to see how this one will go. As always it is that time for a New Years Resolution. I have decided I will partake in this tradition, but I plan on keeping up with it unlike the majority of people who just give up on it and say "well there is always next year". My New Years Resolution is for weight loss and healthier eating. During the course of 2010 I lost around 15 lbs but put it back on. Now I can't take it anymore and it is time to lose the weight once and for all. I have a gym membership I plan on using and I am currently researching diets/methods/etc for the weight loss. My problem has always been that I love food. The taste, smell, and look of it all has driven me to eat all sorts of unhealthy things over the years and well it shows. I'm ready to be able to wear clothes from any store and actually look good in them and hey I need to get healthier too. This will be a long process to get to where I want. Oh and I have a huge problem procrastinating which was the major cause this didn't work out so well over 2010. Hopefully I can find a workout buddy or a trainer to help me battle my chronic procrastinating. So what is your NYR? Here is to hoping I can finally beat this and for your NYR to workout as well.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Ya'll!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Tale of The Epic Battle On The Raging River of Death and The Waterproof (sorta) iPhone.

So there I was....on the hooch in my roommates brand new kayak. We decided it was finally my turn to go down the hooch and reluctantly I went. Up to this point I have never soloed a kayak much less a canoe. So now you see where my reluctance comes from not to mention my sense of balance isn't the greatest either. I finally got in and decided "ok well it's now or never" as I paddled my way down the river not knowing what was ahead. The trip was nice and somewhat soothing. The scenery was nice and it was quiet, something I haven't heard in quite sometime. Once I started getting close to the end I realized that maybe this was not one of my better thought out plans. The rapids started getting white, the kayak harder to control, the sweat pouring. Then I realized the sweat was all the water that I was splashing around. Still the rapids where crazy, and I was bouncing off of rocks. Finally I made it through and thought "well that was not so bad". I was right that wasn't bad at all compared to what I was about to get into. I was on the last mile and a half getting ready to find my landing spot. Ahead I notice two routes, the left all white water and the right calm and smooth. Naturally I picked to go down on the right side which again not one of my more thought out plans. The speed picked up and I found a spot to land. The only problem was the tree jutting out from the bank was getting closer and closer, faster and faster. I tried to paddle to land just before the tree but my attempt was foiled. I hit the tree using my arm to prevent the tree causing the boat any damage which once was again not one of my better thought processes (I'm starting to see a pattern here). As I hit the tree, the kayak tipped over some and the water rushed in sinking the kayak and I started slid-ding down river. Between gasps of air and trying to catch the boat, paddle, my hat, and iPhone all from floating away, I realized this was a bad idea and why I don't get around water more often. I was able to get a grip on the rocks and step up throwing the items onto the bank. I look around and realize there are around 20 people spread out on the lawn of the leasing lodge and not a single one was looking at me or seemed any part interested in what was going on. My roommate saw me emerge from the water and came to see what was going on. I was soaking wet and still trying to realize what just happened. My phone was dead and arm scratched up, and the boat was salvaged. After collecting my thoughts and my things, it was then I decided this water stuff isn't really for me. We carried the boat back and I then started trying to figure out how to fix the phone. We started off by the phone in the bowl of rice trick leaving it to sit overnight. It helped soak up most of the water, but the damage was done. The master mechanic/engineer that is my roommate, took apart my phone and figured out my battery shorted out. We ordered a new battery in hopes that would fix the problem. After a day and a half of agony of no phone, the battery came in and he put it back together and to our surprise it worked! So the moral of the story is, a. dont carry your phone kayaking and b. don't kayak alone on your first trip. This has been another Tale from The Lone star Tavern, y'all drive safe now.