Sunday, February 24, 2013

I learned a couple of days ago that my accountant for over 15 years passed away after complications from a fall. This is not someone who was elderly and fragile, so it must have been a bad one. His firm had been updating us (his clients) on his condition and for a bit it seemed like he had stabilized.

There are people in this world who are true originals, and he was one. He lived life the way he wanted to, and through doing that, inspired and helped thousands. He was an avid biker (I believe that he and his son rode their motorcycles through Europe) and a rebel with a good heart, super sharp brain and most certainly a cause. Not only that, he "got" life and wasn't afraid to lay it on the line and say exactly what was on his mind. He helped me out immensely through the years. A former IRS employee who specialized in entertainment professionals and freelancers, he hated corporate and government bullies and used his insider knowledge to put the money back into the pockets of those who earned it and could use it the most. I feel incredibly lucky to have known him, and to witness well...him just being him and thriving because of it.

RIP Mick Schneider. You mattered and made a difference. Your reach is far, and you touched thousands. You lived by example, so now that your work is done here, ride that wide open highway in the sky...helmet off.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ground Control to Captain Dave...

A lot of you have emailed me about the disappearance of Capt. Dave's blog, Flight Level 390. Capt. Dave was one of my first readers, and through that I was lucky enough to discover his blog. I contacted him and while I won't say what the conversation entailed, I will assure you that it was a personal decision and it appears he just needed a break. There were no company directives, he didn't get in trouble for blogging, there are no health issues, and to the conspiracy theorists who think that Capt. Dave wasn't even real or a pilot, I can assure you that he is. And, while I miss reading his wonderful posts, I respect that he's just a man who needed to take some time off from blogging.

I do hope that he decides to blog again, as his blog helped me greatly in my fears about flying. I developed a fear of flying around my late teens, and while I still flew, the fear would be a factor in my travels, like a looming menace that would step out from the shadows the moment that I forgot about it. It seemed to say, "You still have the return flight, where I can still get you."

When I started reading his blog, it put a human in the cockpit who was making educated, practiced and safe decisions, and knew that aircraft inside and out. And, that just like us, he wants to get home alive. Because of his first-hand personal perspective of being the captain who shoulders the job and his extremely well-written, and damn interesting chronicling of the decisions he and his co-pilot make to get all the "souls on board" there safely, the feeling of  being at the mercy of only a huge, impersonal, loud and scary machine pretty much ceased for me. I know of others who his blog helped greatly, so Capt. Dave, once you feel like it, you are most welcome here.

Speaking of those who fly for a living, my sister had a layover last weekend, so we spent some time downtown, as she stays at the Westin Bonaventure. Now that downtown, especially near that area, has some restaurants to go to and a movie theater, we have choices when she has short layovers like this one. We ate at The Yard House, which is in LA.

So far, the new job is going really well. My coworkers are funny and smart, and my boss is awesome as is the VP, who is an approachable, smart as hell, funny and will fight for what is the best for her team. I've even found a nice respite that I take during lunch. I park my car in a place that gives me front row center to the landing planes at the Van Nuys Airport, and sit in the passenger seat of my car to write for a bit. I don't like going out for lunch, as there aren't really any places to eat that aren't fast food chains, tons of calories, gross or where I have to look at the blight of Van Nuys. The only thing that Van Nuys has going for it as far as I'm concerned, is that I drive against traffic to get to and from work, which makes for an easy, fast commute.

But still, I have to look at Van Nuys both ways.