The Culture-Loving Pilot Wife

February 24, 2010

Now Blogging at www.cuteculturechick.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — cuteculturechick @ 5:53 am

Click on over to www.cuteculturechick.com for my REAL blog.

February 5, 2010

Thirty Years of the Girl with Coal-Black Hair

Filed under: birthdays, nostalgia, Turning 30 — cuteculturechick @ 2:15 pm

In honor of my 30th Birthday today, I hope you’ll enjoy a picture from every year of my life.























February 2, 2010

From Youth to Thirty

Filed under: childhood, Murray, nostalgia, oregon, Taylor, Turning 30 — cuteculturechick @ 3:06 pm

I never thought I would get so nostalgic turning 30 this week…on Friday I’ll be just another 30-something. I feel so young at heart…and have so many great memories of my youth. Recently I’ve been going through boxes of pictures. And when I say BOXES, I mean literally thousands and thousands of pictures from the last 30 years. The awkward chubby phases, the dated hairstyles, the embarrassing dates, the classic family portraits. I just posted a my favorites into an album on Facebook, which you can view here.

I’ve been getting things together for a totally RAD Birthday party on Friday…old retro toys, original Nintendo games, cassette tapes of Roxette, Color Me Badd, New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer; Saved By The Bell posters….basically the finest in pop culture from my 3 decades of life. Fondue, Friends, Family, and Fun…I can’t wait. Want to come? Email me for details.

Flying Cheap …The Regional Lifestyle?

Filed under: airlines, aviation, pilot wifestyle — cuteculturechick @ 2:21 am
The CRJ-200 – My husband’s birdie

My pilot wife friend Melissa tipped me off on this upcoming Frontline special: Flying Cheap

Quoting the Frontline website:

From producer Rick Young —

The crash of Continental 3407 outside Buffalo last year, killing all on board, was big news, as any commercial crash is. But like many who were fortunate enough not to be touched personally by the tragedy, what most caught my attention was the news that followed. The co-pilot had been making less than $16,000.

While I knew the airline industry had been struggling through tough times since 9/11, I sure didn’t know that some of the folks that fly me around are working second jobs and overnighting on lounge room La-Z-Boys. And I didn’t know that regional airlines, once thought of as puddle-jumpers, had grown so fast that they now account for more than half the nation’s daily departures. We are on our way to becoming a regional airline nation.

If you missed this big industry shift, that’s understandable. Most flights today still carry the codes and colors of the major airlines. But over the past decade, fewer and fewer of the majors are actually flying those planes. That job is increasingly outsourced to small regional companies with names most of us hardly know. Continental 3407 wasn’t flown by Continental, but by a company called Colgan Air.

The rapid growth of airline outsourcing is part of a fiercely competitive industry that keeps airfares affordable for many. And that’s good for consumers. But the crash of 3407, and the year-long investigation that has followed, raised significant questions about the safety practices of regional operators like Colgan. So it seemed a good time for FRONTLINE to journey into the world of the regionals and see what the insiders had to say.

In this clip from the film, you’ll hear about the lives of regional pilots, crash pads and the pressures that outsourcing brings to bear — “pilot pushing” as its called in the industry. Two former Colgan pilots agreed to speak publicly for the first time, and so we flew to California and sat down for long, amazing interviews. While their stories were in many ways surprising, we knew they weren’t unique. We’ve spoken with many regional pilots, both former and current, and most all shared similar concerns about what’s happening in the airline industry.

The full expose will be showing on February 9th. But even from this 10 minute snippet, you’ll see and hear some pretty harrowing facts…poverty wages for newbie first officers, crazy crowded crashpad conditions, the realities of duty time vs paid flight time, company efficiency quotas, the reasons why so many people commute. I’m a little perturbed that the video infers that all regional pilots are low time and underexperienced…but that’s a pretty common media angle.

It will be interesting to see if the special mentions anything about pilot families, and how the commuting lifestyle affects family life. I don’t deal with the physical fatigue my husband experiences after his fourth 16-hour day in a row, but to say I’m immune from emotional fatigue would be false. I do know the existing duty FAA guidelines are currently under revision, and things can’t stay at the status quo much longer. And this includes bargain-basement airfare.

And now for some light entertainment…

February 1, 2010

Another Moving Fiasco – Lost and Beheaded

Filed under: moving, MovingGate 2009-2010 — cuteculturechick @ 11:49 pm
It’s been just under a week since our moving truck arrived, and much of my time has been spent unpacking boxes and reacquainting myself with my wardrobe and kitchen wares. But as we’ve been unpacking, a few items we love haven’t turned up. Most specifically, my Dad’s old antique 1960′s acoustic guitar, my purple bass guitar, and a subwoofer speaker.

See this picture, right in front on the right….MY GUITAR!!! Where, oh where, is it now???

We found our box of carefully wrapped, double-bubble-wrapped Willow Tree Statues, but most of them were BEHEADED!!! Moving 1 pulled a Marie Antoinette on us!!

We thought our small TV was lost too…but we recovered it in a box of Rosie’s clothes??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I don’t care too much about the broken mirrors and picture frames, the multiple cracked Rubbermaid containers, and a few other items that are missing. I want my guitars back! There’s a chance the moving company found a strange place to stash them, but in our survey of every room in the house….no strummable instruments found.

I called Moving 1 to find out how to file a claim with them. The receptionist bluntly said, “We are not responsible for lost or stolen items from your move.” If that’s the case, why on earth do they spend all the time tagging each packed item on the bill of lading? The receptionist sent me to a 3rd party claims company, who said that our lost and broken items will only be covered at $.60 per pound. Did you hear that???? My guitar valued at $1000 will only be replaced at sixty cents per pound!?! She said, “All movers offer full replacement insurance when you schedule your move.” Well, yes, they did offer additional insurance….but should we be responsible for THEIR EMPLOYEES losing our beloved instruments???

I am sooooo ready for this fiasco to be over.

January 30, 2010

Flight of the Conchords Fansterpiece

Filed under: flight of the conchords, humor, music — cuteculturechick @ 2:44 pm
Flight Fansterpiece
If you are a Flight of the Conchordsfan, you’ll love this Fansterpiece Mashup of “Hiphoppopotomus/ Rhymnocerous.” I wish I’d known about this project, because I totally would have submitted a video to HBO.

January 27, 2010

The Moving Truck Came! Our Stuff is Here!

Filed under: moving, MovingGate 2009-2010, Utah — cuteculturechick @ 2:55 pm
For the first time in 7 months, we have a full house.

Despite all the lies and disappointments, I have to admit that I was really excited when the moving truck pulled up in front of our house at 8:00 am Tuesday. Sure, it was a month later than we’d originally anticipated, but it did come. After 7 months, I’m pretty sure my heart did grow fonder.


When we moved out of our Atlanta condo in June, our stuff went into a very cramped 10X10 storage unit. We had to wait a few months for shipment (because we’ve been so tight on money) Our stuff was picked up 6 weeks ago, and finally made it to Spanish Fork yesterday. For a little perspective, our belongings took up the majority of space from the ramp to the end of the truck. Somewhere around 10 feet, and only about 25% of the truck. What a joke. We ended up having to pay $2900 instead of $1820.
Putting the house back together has been a bit of a pain (actually a lot of a pain in my back). Taylor’s first order of business was setting up the TV and entertainment components. I went for the boxes, bags, and crates of clothes. We only had a few hours to unpack before he had to leave for the airport, but we got a lot accomplished in those hours.
We did have some casualties with a few of our items. The above frame is from a large fancy mirror that broke, and we also lost the framing elements of one of my favorite Japanese prints. My saddest loss? The beheading of several of my Willow Tree statues. We’re going to attempt a claim on our broken items, but I’m not holding my breath.

As much as I have hated living out of boxes and suitcases the past two years, I have to admit that I really love having ALL my belongings in the same state; my linens, my dishes, my movies, my tech items, and my clothes! That hasn’t happened since 2003. Other than a short anxiety attack, the unloading process was pretty standard.

Now to find help Unpacking.

January 25, 2010

Another Moving Fiasco: Part 4

Filed under: Atlanta, money, moving, MovingGate 2009-2010, Utah — cuteculturechick @ 9:46 pm


Today is moving delivery day. Or it was supposed to be.

Earlier this month, we decided to have the movers bring our stuff, despite the contract issues and having no idea how we’d pay the balance. I asked how quickly it could get there…Rob said cross-country transit usually takes 3-5 days (which to me is reasonable.) I told him we’d have the money on payday (Jan 16th), and he said they’d plan on delivering it the week of the 18th.
I talked to Rob last Monday, the 18th. He said our stuff would be there by Thursday, Friday at the latest. He promised to call by Thursday to give our firm delivery time. I called back and talked to a receptionist about acceptable forms of payment. She said certified bank check was fine, but they took credit cards and money orders as well. My dad agreed to lend us the money, found a bank branch open on the MLK holiday, and got the certified check ready for us.
Thursday came and went. Delivery didn’t happen. No call from Rob.
I called Friday morning. Rob said he’d get in touch with the dispatcher and call me back within 30 minutes. He didn’t call me back. After a few more calls near closing time, the receptionist finally let me talk to him. Rob called the truck driver. The truck was in Texas, would be dropping a shipment in Colorado on Sunday, and would deliver our stuff in Utah “first thing Monday morning.”
Sunday night around 9:00 PM, the driver Alex called us. He said that he would be delivering between 11 am and 2 pm, and to have payment in postal money order ready. (HUH?) I told him that the moving company advised us that certified check was acceptable…he said that I’d have to take it up with the moving company.
I called Moving 1 right when they opened this morning. Rob discussed methods of payment, and he said that Moving 1 has NEVER accepted a certified bank check for delivery. I advised that I called last week to verify, and was given incorrect information. Rob said, “If the driver gets to your house, and you try to pay in certified check, he’ll just turn around and drive away.” I looked at our contract, and sure enough…only acceptable payment on delivery was postal money order.
At that point it was 7 am, and we had about 4 hours to figure out payment before the delivery window. My dad (who is wheelchair-bound, btw) was preparing to leave on a business trip. We explained the situation, and we knew the only way we could fix the payment was to have him physically come to the bank to cash the check. Taylor drove up from Spanish Fork, and my dad drove down from Lehi, and they met at a Provo branch to cash the check. Taylor took the cash to the post office, got the money orders, and hurried back home to be there for the movers at 11.
Our 11 am to 2 pm window passed. No movers. We called the Moving company – they had no clue. We called the truck driver – no answer. As we were stewing over what to do next, the truck driver called. He said that his truck broke down “een esalta laka seety.” (in Salt Lake City) If he could get the truck fixed, he’d be there by 6 pm. If not, he’d come “first thing in the morning Tuesday.”
At 6:15, the driver called. He can’t come to “The Espanish Fork” tonight. He will come at 8 am tomorrow. We shall see.
At this point…I’m at a loss for words.
***
As for the dispute with the BBB, the moving company representative did respond to my complaint. It was written by Donna, the claims adjuster, poor grammar and all:
“First we would like to apologize for the inconvenience the customer may have sufferred during her move. However, we do not increase any shipment size or cost unless the customer has more items. Which means that even if we were mistaking in the estimation of shipment size, but the items list were the same, we would not have charged her more. We find it a little rude that the customer is only listing the increase in charges but not listing any of the adjustments that Rob the “rude” manager has authorized.

“Rob has authorized a charge for 750 at the same rate initially quoted to the customer which resulted in a discount of $378.00 discount. The customer shipment size was estimated by other companies the same 560 cu.ft. just like we have because of the list of items the customer provided. She also sent us copies of estimates she received which were for more than 500 cubic feet only. so to say we were the only ones is just wrong.

Furthermore, if the customer wasn’t just looking for bottom line price when comparing quotes she would have been able to pay more attention to details. We are very sorry the customer is not completely happy but trust our above explanation sheds some light over the REAL move details.”

I am composing my rebuttal as we speak…

It is true that when I sent my complaint to the BBB, Moving 1 had made no price concessions other than giving us “free” storage (while we came up with the the extra $$$ they overcharged us). After the complaint was submitted, I finally made some headway with Rob (see THIS post). I’m not sure what Donna was talking about when she mentioned the other estimates I submitted for comparison. (the ones submitted were for a 2 bedroom apartment, and for 760 cubic feet…nothing lower than the 560 CF we got from Moving 1.) The quote I am primarily concerned about is the one they “matched” from Bravo Movers…the 760 CF quote for $1820. The quote that would have saved us much of this hassle, had we dropped Moving 1 when we had the chance.

I am now working with a company called www.moverescue.com. Not sure if anything can be done at this point, but I’m not giving up yet.

January 22, 2010

Reader Favorites

Filed under: bio, blogging, favorites — cuteculturechick @ 10:37 pm

For those new to my blog, you may not know that I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years. I decided to compile a list of posts that give you a good taste of my writing style and personality. Based off of Google Analytics data, search engine traffic, and reader comments, the following posts are my most popular works of blogging art.

Digeridoo for Sleep Apnea

The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love

Blog Stalking: Creepy or Complimentary?

The Ultimate High School Stalker Letter

Missy Higgins, et al.

Healthcare Rant: When Quality Care Goes Wrong

Nine Top-9′s of 2009

Colgan 3407

20 Things I Didn’t Expect This Decade

Cuteculturechic’s Twexicon

Wise Words from Sully

One Year Since The Gaping Jaws of Death

Home is a Special Kind of Feeling

And Now It’s Time For Another Cartoon, Here we Gooooo!

The Dainty Wildflower

CRJ-200: 1, Duck Family: 0

My Infamous Banana Bread Recipe

The Importance of December 5th

If you like what you read, feel free to click on the sidebar and become a follower of http://www.cuteculturechick.com . Believe me, there’s more where that came from.

January 21, 2010

Dental Drama and PT Pain

Filed under: back injury, health, pain, teeth, WHY ME? — cuteculturechick @ 12:51 pm

The past few days have been somewhat miserable for me. Anyone who’s read my blog for a while knows that I’ve had a ridiculous about of dental work and other tooth woes: crowns, root canals, periodontal work, the Cerec fiasco, etc. Last week I went to a new dentist, who informed me that two recent crowns would have to be replaced due to shoddy work, and one would need an implant. He also suggested to crown a molar that had an old gigantic amalam filling. I was bummed that I needed to have so much recent (expensive) work replaced, but I’m kinda used to it.

On Sunday night, after returning from my quick trip to Florida, my upper left gums and molars started throbbing. I was in an immense amount of pain, and I had no idea why (because all of the work scheduled was on my right side). Through the night, I used Orajel, Lortab, and many ice packs to try to take down the pain level. Between 2 am and 8 am, I only dozed off a few times because I hurt so bad. Despite my perpetually sore back, that pain had NOTHING on my jaw.

I called the dentist’s office as soon as they opened, and they got me in a few hours later. After a round of x-rays, he informed me that I had 4 abscessed teeth, with infection permeating both my upper and lower jaw. The two worst teeth were ones that had ceramic crowns, so he drilled them and did two pulpotomies. He handed me a prescription for Amoxicillin and told me to come back on Thursday to complete the root canals. He hoped that the other infected teeth would improve with the antibiotics, and would not require invasive treatment.

Over the past three days, I’ve been miserable. Not only was I dealing with the dental drama, I had a little mishap at physical therapy on my back. I finished an hour of electrostim and traction, and as I sat up, my hip popped about 3 cm out of place. My physical therapist did some manipulation and nearly and hour of electrical ultrasound to get me to the point I could walk. I still feel like a disconnected insect. Or a bowlegged cowboy.

Luckily, Taylor was home for a few days to take care of me. He replenished my ice packs, made sure I took my meds on time, prepared soft foods and offered general support and entertainment till he had to fly back to Memphis yesterday. Just before heading up to SLC to drop him off at the airport, I started getting a fever and body aches. By the time I dropped him off, my fever was up to 103*. My face was so hot, I felt like I could fry an egg on it. Something tells me the Amoxicillin wasn’t strong enough.

I have my appointment for the root canals this morning, right after the office opens. I have a sneaking suspicion that they will postpone the root canals, and send me straight to Urgent Care.
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