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Thread: What Could POSSIBLY Go Wrong?

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    What Could POSSIBLY Go Wrong?

    Prologue -


    'Twas the late summer of 1981 I remember, maybe late August or early September. It’s easy to remember the time frame for this Chronicle. You see, it was (essentially) my very first time at the controls of any aircraft in over five months.

    The extended gap in my flying career had come about as the result of another (not yet written) Alaskan Chronicle that occurred the previous March. THAT truly hair-raising adventure will be included someday in (the also yet to be published ) Vol.III “The Tragedies”. I’m thinking it will be titled either “There are NO Superheros” or “The Death of a Legend”. But. That is for some future date. For now all you need to know about that is this. It changed me for the better for the long term ; but for the short term......well.....for the short term let’s just call it like it was. I lost my nerve. I couldn’t fly. In fact, I thought I was done flying for life.

    Now, on to the FUNNY stuff.

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter One - Washed Up at 27

    Well, I’ve given up flying. GREAT! NOW what do I do? That LAST thing I want to do is go back to Texas for crissake! I mean I love Alaska. All my friends are here now after making Kotzebue my home for the last eight years.

    Besides which I am flat BROKE , and to go back there would be some admission (in MY mind at least) that I am a failure. Not to mention the very THOUGHT of having to ask Mom and Pop CloudDancer for sanctuary and support at the age of twenty-seven was to me completely unacceptable. Therefore I was determined to do whatever was necessary to support myself until I figured out which way I needed to go in life.

    Now Koztebue, being like ALL rural Alaskan towns.....has NO secrets. It is often truly said that “If you can’t remember what you did last night ; when you awake, walk to the OTHER end of town. Two out of the first three people you ask will be HAPPY to tell you. IN detail!”

    As you’ve gathered from other Chronicles, your CloudDancer was anything OTHER than some “low profile” shrinking violet. And while certainly NOT some obnoxious loudmouth braggart, ol’ CD didn’t have any PROblem with being generally “well-known” and (mostly) “well regarded”, with of course the exception of SOME of my former...um....female “close acquaintances”.

    Therefore, pretty much everyone in town, hell in all of northwest Alaska, knew of my “downfall” as well as the event from which it had resulted. Word had spread that I had quit flying. Now I was just like everybody else. So THIS should be interesting to watch. :P

    Fortunately, other than the few....okay maybe a dozen or so girls that were no longer talking to me, I had managed to be pretty honorable and straight-forward in the rest of my life’s dealing with people in the Arctic. So overall, I still had a pretty good reputation as an individual and luckily (for me) my friendships abounded. I now tapped them for what I could.

    Swallowing a pride based on my former life as a vital part of the region’s air transport system, I went seeking work. Real work. You know. The kind ....REGULAR people do every day. Like...with a real daily schedule. Doing the same stuff...day in and day out. Regular.

    A former flying compadre’ was kind enough to take me in, with his wife’s permission of course. As I suspected, and he confirmed for me later....it was no easy “sell” on his part. For SOME reason beyond MY comprehension, the wives of almost ALL my married friends considered me to be some sort of ....I dunno’.....bad INfluence on their spouses. And while I FREELY admit to being party to some...uh ....shall we say......wifely UNapproved er....acTIvities ; it seemed that I was quite OFTEN deemed by said WIVES to be the INstigator of these episodes when if fact it was their own loving husbands who initially proposed whatever it was that I was subsequently to be BLAMED for.

    So what if one of my closest friends HAD disappeared to Hawaii for a week. The fact that he failed to notify his wife who had (let the record show) LOCKED him out of his house in a howling Arctic blizzard at 3 A.M. after repeated calls to the Pondu bar failed to motivate his homing instincts; is MORE than offset (in OUR minds at least) by the fact that, had I not rescued him after the 5 A.M. bar closing and provided safe haven in MY apartment...he might well have FROZE to death!

    I only went aLONG with him to the Islands after HE came up with the idea (about 7 A.M.) Whilst we stood at the window of my apartment and watched the snow blow sideways for an hour and a half. (Really pie-eyed drunks are EASILY entertained...) Okay granted. NOT calling and saying goodbye to his three young children WAS a rather significant oversight , but here again.....I have no children.....therefore the fact that he didn’t call should be at least easily forgivable from my SHORT list of minor transgressions in this week long incident.

    In FACT....it was only a week long deal for ME as I had to return to work whilst HE remained in the Islands for ANOTHER eight weeks literally doing an early version of HIS job tele-commuting long distance from various bars around Waikiki!

    I returned to Kotzebue to face NOT just the wrath of his WIFE , but her parents and many siblings as well! To his adorable children I was no LONGER the beloved dear ol’ Uncle .... but the BAD MAN who TOOK DADDY AWAY! Sheesh! It took me YEARS to get past THAT one, but nine weeks after he left....my BUDDY returns home to a “McArthur Retakes the Phillipines” WELCOME!! ComPLETE with 8MM home video footage! He was smart enough to stay gone ‘til they remembered why they LIKED him!

  3. #3
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Faithful Flying Followers of our Fearless FlightMaster -

    I have written some more of this tale but am unable to post at this time due to the fact that my high-speed cable is apparently temporarily "zero-speed" cable and will be OTS for the next few hours. Can't even trasfer it to my roomie's portable on which I am typing this.

    With any luck....by the time I return from and and in a few hours the cable will be back up and I can post some more. I haven't QUITE got to the airplane stuff yet.

    Hmmmm. A recent first-time Chronicle reader declined to even finish his first choice to read, reporting back to me through the avid fan who had given him the website address that while somewhat interesting I was far to "verbose".

    I often feel the need to include the non-flying stuff not just as background info but to set the stage. the mood and the lighting. So that later you can see the character's facial expressions. their emotions more clearly.

    For those of you who agree with my recent critic, I beg your indulgence. Some day i'll take a professionally instructed writing course. i promise.

    Best Wishes All -

    Cloud(Never use two words where SEVEN will suffice)Dancer

  4. #4
    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    Please don't change a thing... Your style is what makes these tales both entertaining and a very unique view of the Arctic from an air service pilot's perspective. The words are yours, not an editor's opinion of what 'most' readers would like to see. As for me, I look forward to each episode.

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    THANKS - Skagway Pilot

    I've heard that from the readers before too, even though I know there are some for whom my "style" may be difficult.

    But...I have just arrived Fairbanks. I am OFFICIOUSLY on vacation and they will be about a one week "writing interlude" as I recharge my creativity capacitance unit!

    This will involve no MINOR amout of

    Writing shall HOPEFULLY resume on the 23rd as I have the cable people coming over at the crack of dawn that day to get my "home port" back on line. "Cause I LEAVE on my next 4-day torture test on the 24th.

    CloudDancer

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    chapter one - cont'd

    Okay. Accommodations (at a good buddy bargain rate) in the spare bedroom came along with a rather clear and unambiguous set of rules provided by you-know-WHO. Much to my dismay rule number one was NO ! Inasmuch as I didn’t have any money however , that wasn’t an immediate obstacle. But I must now set about finding employment.

    I short order....only a day or two, I had secured a job literally across the street at one of our town’s few dry goods outlet. The store sold everything from trinkets and charm bracelets to a complete line of home furnishings and clothing for all shapes and sizes of both sexes. (Back when there WERE only two sexes. ) Like my new landlord(s) the families who jointly owned this operation were friends. Their children had ridden with me across vast distances as passengers when traveling to school basketball tournaments and such. Also two of the owners were instrument rated private pilots themselves.
    They were most understanding of my mental “state of affairs” and had the good grace to refrain from any embarrassing questions whilst still making it clear that if I ever “needed to talk” they were there. Incredibly kind and fun to work with, they set about teaching me all that there was to learn about the retail and dry goods business. Shipping, receiving and storage. Pricing and markup percentages. Inventories and display techniques. Fascinating stuff actually but not long in becoming routine and boring.

    And then came the first two full-time paychecks. Holy Mother Theresa Batman!! I put in 40 hours for that! WOW! I guess I forgot that $8.50 per hour instead of FORTY-FIVE dollars per hour would have a large impact on the numbers to the left of the decimal.

    I quickly determined that I would be lucky if I could save up for one trip a year to Anchorage since I also no longer had access to reduced-rate “interline” travel discounts. I figured that my entire monthly “take home” from this job would be eaten up by the rent and food bills leaving little to spare for any “lifestyle”. And I couldn’t ask my new bosses for more as I knew they had paid me the highest prevailing wage they could just to start me.

    Nothing to do but find another job to go along with this one, I guess. And fortunately for me, I heard that a job with which I had a close past relationship had opened up. The night shift bartender at the Ponderosa had JUST been fired. Oh boy!! :P

    After a brief meeting with the owner I was hired on a probationary basis. I would work nights after my “day job” ended. For the next few months (as it turned out) I worked Monday thru Friday 8 A.M. thru 5 P.M. at the dry goods store. Across the street for a three hour nap before dinner and reporting for my 9:30 P.M. to 5:30 A.M. bartending shift. Saturdays and Sundays were devoted to catching up on during the day. The bar shift however went on ceaselessly.

    I quickly “learned the trade” and established a reputation with both the bar owner and the clientele as a reliable and well-skilled efficient barkeep , much as I had the same reputation in my former field.

    The owner was very pleased that I chose to skim the customers of THEIR extra cash through “games of chance” to supplement my hourly pay rather than skimming his till as so many former employees were oft likely to do. In pre-computer days there were countless ways to rip off a bar owner. And the customers always appreciated my offer to “Flip ya’ double or nothing for your order”.

    Starting with a 20 dollar bill every night, I’d flip for a single drink at a time. Sometimes losing my stash but four or five out of every seven nights I’d pocket a wad!! As my “bankroll” got bigger I would flip for progressively larger and larger “tabs” many nights walking out with an extra two or three hundred in cash. The trick was, as I had learned from reading about a study conducted by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematics department, (funded no doubt by our TAX $$) people have an aversion to calling “tails” on a coin toss.

    The M.I.T. researchers had 1,000 people call 1,000 coin tosses each over a period of one week. That’s 1 MILLION coin tosses. Slightly over EIGHTY-FIVE PER CENT (84%) of the time....they called heads. And you and I know it can only be heads on an average of 50% of the time. The M.I.T. researchers were at a loss to explain this phenomenon until they played a little “word association” game. Their conclusion? People most frequently called “heads” dues to a deep-seated mental aversion to the negative connotations associated with “tail” such as ASS, which then apparently provoked thoughts of........um...alternate entry sex!
    Who’da THUNK it!! Over 85% of the world is PREVERTS! Ha! Whatever! Armed with this tidbit of knowledge and an ever-present ready to toss quarter...I made thousands! Tax free!

    Also in a state where drinking is regarded as an Olympic Sport, I discovered that having a bartender for a boyfriend/playmate ranks not too far behind having a bush pilot for a boyfriend. Hence, many of my “trap line” still felt that a short term or other um....relationship with me had it’s ...uh....BENEFITS! Further, as the only sober male in the entire room, I was able to watch as my competitors invested their monies and time for hours before admitting defeat and moving on. This would leave me many times with one or more of the girls competing for my attentions at closing time had I not already zeroed in on a “target”.

    Okay. I know (now) that such talk and behavior is reprehensible. And I herewith offer my apologies to all who might be offended. (The fact that I am now old, fat, getting grey and have little to no hope of “closing the deal” these days in no way mitigates the sincerity of or blanket-amnesty forgiveness expected as a result of this apology.) But hey...I digress.

    The bar owner was also a private pilot and very interested in flying. A bit of a “peacock” in his own right he had nailed me from the get-go about my “career change” wanting to know what had happened. What caused it. And basically intimating in couched terms that I was somewhat of a PUSS if I can’t get back on a bronco that’s bucked me off.

    However, I let his comments slide. Other than that little “rub”, we were becoming pretty good friends and he was giving me more and more responsibility and latitude to run the bar as our mutual trust grew.

    There were other comments however. Ones in particular that wasn’t so EASY to ignore.

  7. #7
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Chapter Two - He USED to be a PILOT

    Well after a couple of months, I was into a pretty good routine. Oh, I was tired alot. But Friday and Saturday nights became y....um.... “sleepover” nights :P mostly with the added benefits of me getting out from under the “no drinking” rule and out of my friend’s hair for a couple of days a week so they could have some resemblance of privacy again in their lives even if only for 48 hours at most.

    And my income was back up to three-quarters of my flying days, mostly thanks to the fine folks at the M.I.T. math department. And of course, between the two jobs I was learning truly a wealth of knowledge that would serve me well throughout the remainder of my years.

    Along with “breakup” came the annual influx of new faces to boost Kotzebue’s population of 2700 or so souls. The migration of skilled construction workers to supplement the local workforce for the intense and short building season; the buyers, and of course the yearly flow of “outside” tourists commences every year starting May 15th.

    Unlike winter, no one was surprised to see someone they didn’t know in any commercial establishment for four months or so. New faces, as well as some summer “regulars” would appear in both the dry goods store and the bar. Shop for souvenirs and have a drink.

    Some of the summer regulars, construction workers and fish buyers with whom before I was likely to be drinking when not flying, were now being SERVED by me. It was easier to well ......... I guess the word is lie, isn’t it. I’d just tell them that I “needed a break” from flying for a little while. Although I probably knew then that they would eventually hear the story. But most just let a sleeping dog lie, as I obviously had not wanted to talk about it.

    In addition of course the bar was always crowded with people from the entire Kobuk valley; each and every one of whom had been not just my passengers, but my real friends and lovers for over eight years now.

    You never knew who would sit next to who so of course it came to pass that someone brand new in town came to be seated next to a couple of villagers in the bar. Not knowing my name of course he turned to one of my former passengers to ask my name. Like I had just learned in recent months, knowing the bartender’s name, and calling it out rather than “Hey BARkeep” or WHISTLING (you whistle at a DOG bub!) or (never do this) banging your glass or an ashtray on the counter, is a much preferred way to get attention and good service. I had my back turned and did not hear the stranger ask the question. I was bending down to retrieve the 300th can of Oly beer from the cooler that night when I heard a voice behind me state in a loud and slurred voice.... “Oh! CloudDancer! You don’t know CLOUDDancer??!! He USED to be a PILOT!!”

    WOW! I USED to be a pilot. Damn. THAT left a sour taste in my mouth as I said it quietly back to myself.

    The second time I heard it a couple of weeks later was almost like the first. Still didn’t taste any better. But it was the third time that did it.

  8. #8
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Everbody -

    Thought I would get more done on this today, but after over a week away (GEE I sure miss FAI already ...) I have much to catch up on the homefront before an absolutely INDECENT 0330 lcl get-up for a 0545 lcl "show time". WHY do people FLY so EARLY anyway??

    So...scribin' will recommence on the 28th and we'll be into the flyin' portion of this Chronicle directly.

    As a sidebar - One devoted Chronicle reader has PM'd me to ask how I overcame this "turning point" (for lack of a better word) and was able to resume flying.

    The answer shall be forthcoming as a part of this story. But, suffice it to say that it was some measure of a combination. The event(s) both leading me into this "dark period" as well as out of it, were...call it what you will, Divine Intervention/Karma/Fate colliding headlong and full speed with my inner confidences AND insecurities. As I indicated earlier in the prologue, this time frame was a defining point in my life both professionally and personally.

    Anyway, Hope you folks can hang in and enjoy. After all. This is a Comedy Chronicle. Should be some laughter served up shortly.

    CloudDancer

  9. #9
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    Hi CD,
    Keep it coming buddy. The morning temperature is starting to fall so I guess this saga can continue for months getting ready for the snow to fly.
    Your Avid Reader
    FMD

  10. #10
    Jr.CubBuilder's Avatar
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    Waiting patiently

  11. #11
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Don't Fret none ya'll. Yer' favorite author is in the house.

    Unfortunately my AIRline thinks I need to spend a few hours HOME STUDYING today (actually I've had all month to do it but am now bumping against the end of the month deadline.....)

    What's left of my brain will be back in a few hours.

    CloudDancer

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    Hey CD. I just wanted to express my gratitude towards your writing. My goal in life is to be one of those "crazy" bush pilots in Alaska, and reading your stories always gets my blood pumping. Keep up the good work
    TaylorN.

  13. #13
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Taylorn -

    CloudDancer Here. Reporting from the Honolulu Tavern.

    Thanks for the nice note bub. Alaska flying IS the BEST.

    Will return to the mainland (and the REAL world) shortly.

    My best to all.

    CD

  14. #14
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Has ANYbody seen HVYJET!!

    I'd go look for him , but I'm too busy appearing live and in concert ....

    doin' Ol' Blue Eyes like only CloudDancer can...

    Remember....the MORE you the BETTER I SOUND!!

    Cloud(Fly Me to the Moon)Dancer

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    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hi Everbody -

    Back from vacation (sigh). Editing....editing....editing on Volume One.

    Start a four-day torture test in the morning , although Thank HEAVENS I'm headed for ANC for a 24 hour layover, and breakfast at Gwennie's on Thurday.

    16th and 17th devoted to finishing and submitting final book for publisher's first look.

    Must go to Momma CloudDancer's house in DFW on the 18th for about three days for family business.

    Therefore, continuation of "What Could POSSIBLY Go Wrong...." is in a holding pattern until 09/22 at the earliest. I know you guys understand....I still just hate to leave you hangin' THIS long.

    CloudDancer

  16. #16
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Everybody -

    BES (Bent) has PM'd me all the way from Denmark to ask if I ever intend to finish this story. I hope others of you are interested in seeing continued as well.

    It really is a GOOD story that I am sure you will enjoy reading and I most CERTAINLY WILL finish it here for you my favorite readers at SuperCub.org. And futures stories will continue to appear here first!

    Your patience and understanding...ALL the times I've had these writing "interludes" (When will I EVER see Hawaii again??) has always been gracious and MOST appreciated by me.

    I am SO wrapped up in the production and preparations for shipping marketing and distribution of the first Volume ( I won't belabor you with all it involves to ensure it is done properly and legally); it is for now and the next few weeks taking up ALL my "free" time between my normal weekly 4-day "hostage-crisis" airline trips.

    I can forsee that any additional NEW writing, including the continuation of this story may quite well be "on hold" until New Year's Day.

    Writing for you guys....and on rare occaisiona getting to hear or actually even SEE the laughter :P it brings is one of the greatest "gifts" I have ever received. It's (your laughter, praise AND raspberries ) is addicting and I MISS it. I will write for you again and finish this story as soon as I can.

    THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU for you indulgence and understanding.

    Your Humble Scribe

    CloudDancer

  17. #17

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    New Years Day?

    You're either

    or on a 4 day.

    How about setting a realistic expectation?

  18. #18

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    Hi ya Cloudy;
    Winter has set in again up here in the Frozen North So I gotta do some The floats are off, but I can't afford av gas so I guess I will just have to do some Ain't life just like a box of chocolate's!
    Tim

  19. #19
    Clyde and Susan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDancer
    chapter one - cont'd


    Starting with a 20 dollar bill every night, I’d flip for a single drink at a time. Sometimes losing my stash but four or five out of every seven nights I’d pocket a wad!! As my “bankroll” got bigger I would flip for progressively larger and larger “tabs” many nights walking out with an extra two or three hundred in cash. The trick was, as I had learned from reading about a study conducted by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematics department, (funded no doubt by our TAX $$) people have an aversion to calling “tails” on a coin toss.

    The M.I.T. researchers had 1,000 people call 1,000 coin tosses each over a period of one week. That’s 1 MILLION coin tosses. Slightly over EIGHTY-FIVE PER CENT (84%) of the time....they called heads. And you and I know it can only be heads on an average of 50% of the time. Whatever! Armed with this tidbit of knowledge and an ever-present ready to toss quarter...I made thousands! Tax free!

    O.K. CloudDancer, it is 0200 hours and I have not slept a wink. All I've been able to do is try to figure out how you got any advantage from the statistic quoted above. I don't doubt for one moment that 85% of folks will call heads. The thing is, that does not matter. Each individual time a coin is tossed there is only a 50/50 chance it will land to match the call. A coin is a mindless piece of metal. Unless there is some kind of mechanical bias (weighted on one side or the edges beveled or using a bent coin) there is a 50/50 chance of the caller wining or loosing the toss each individual time. The coin has no memory of how it landed in the past. So, how did you play the game? Did you use the old trick, "heads I win, tails you loose", which sometimes works on drunks, small children, and the mentally disabled? Using a legitimate coin and allowing your intended victim to make the call, even if he calls heads 100% of the time there is no way that you would have a statistical advantage. You would just have to be lucky to come out ahead. ...Clyde Davis

    P.S. I enjoy reading the Chronicles and intend to buy a copy, perhaps I'll toss a coin with you for one using my quarter. ...cgd

  20. #20
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Jedi Nein -

    Oh Ye of little FAITH....

    I said 01/01/08 for a continuation date because i honestly do believe that it mey well be that long before I am able to resume "new" writing. I'm truly sorry if that upsets you an' I kinda' feel bad about the long interlude.

    But I am discovering there is only so much time in one day (off).

    Clyde 'n Susan - I do not DIS agree with your premise sir. I did NOT however do the "heads I win tails you lose" deal nor did I use a "fixed" coin.

    It worked exactly as I wrote though.

    CD

  21. #21
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya mit greb -

    Yeah. Been watching the weather and Don has been keeping me updated on the snowfall.

    Too warm in ANC on Sunday for snow. Sure wanted to divert to FAI but the WX wouldn't co-operate. 'Course now that we're CAT IIIA and B, I guess (theorhetically, at least) I'll NEVER get to divert to FAI. Bummer.

    Gonna' try and make it up for a couple of days at least before XMas. If not....then at LEAST a whole week in January.

    Swing by the Boatel and have one for me will ya'?

    CloudDancer

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDancer
    I said 01/01/08 for a continuation date because i honestly do believe that it mey well be that long before I am able to resume "new" writing. I'm truly sorry if that upsets you an' I kinda' feel bad about the long interlude.
    I'm teasing you. I would fully expect you to spend New Year's Day either recovering from New Year's Eve or stuck on a four day, thus making a continuation date of 01/02/08 far more realistic.

    Not like I am one to complain. I have three writing projects that are sorta on indefinite hold, ETA somewhere in this lifetime. We really should do something about there only being 24 hours in a day. . .

  23. #23
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Jedi Nein -

    Most humble apologies. I wasn't sure, but am glad to find out you were. I am mystified though as to what could POSSIBLY give you the idea that I would wind UP in such a condition on New Year's Day.

    Sad really. The one night a year I can get lot'sa hugs 'n kissin' (even get in a little tongue wrasslin' too ) and I will be trying to sleep THROUGH the revelry in some hotel somewhere. Given my level (lack of) seniority I can count on seeing New Year's morning (not to mention Thanksgiving , Easter 4th of July ....etc) 'til I retire (or quit if I can get Travolta or Ford to fall for the "Chronicles) from various 2-and-a-half to 3star hotel room windows.

    My best hope for New Year's Eve is that an attractive slightly ti...make that SOMEWHAT tipsy flight attendant of the female gender decides to give her paunchy, getting grey fast, but kindly ol' Captain a surprise on the way back to her room.

    CloudDancer

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDancer

    My best hope for New Year's Eve is that an attractive slightly ti...make that SOMEWHAT tipsy flight attendant of the female gender decides to give her paunchy, getting grey fast, but kindly ol' Captain a surprise on the way back to her room.

    CloudDancer
    And that would be...?
    a) papers serving you in a paternity law suit
    b) notice that she has filed a sexual harassment grievancece with the
    company
    OR
    c) that she caught an STD from "somebody"

    John Scott

  25. #25
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Cold Man.....that's REALLY cold....

    Cloud(wellthatdependsonwhatthedefinitionof"is"is)D ancer

  26. #26

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    Yeah, Cloudy, I hate to talk about those old ladies like that!

    John Scott

  27. #27
    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    Cloudy..
    Please refresh my memory. How do we place orders for your book?

  28. #28
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya Skagwaypilot -

    Sometime before Thanksgiving, when the publisher gives me a shipping date I will know what DAY I will have the books in MY hot little hands here at "the warehouse" (formerly my ROOM).

    A few days before the books are scheduled to arrive I will post a SPECIAL POST with ordering details and information on shipping. That way....you can mail your check and I will get it about the same time the books arrive.

    As of today...at this exact moment.....I am UNSURE of whether electronic payment options will be available yet in order to comply with my promise to you guys of giving you 25% of on your first book. So I'll need to check you off against the memberlist somehow....I dunno'. Crap! I haven't even THOUGHT about how to deal with THAT little detail been so busy thinking about shipping supplies and process....

    My computer guru is coming in a few days to get my website set up but I am thinking it's gonna' be more along the line of you mail a check to THIS address....I mail a book/books to THAT address via USPS.

    Momma CloudDancer is coming over for a L-O-O-O-NG visit starting around then so as to assist yers truly in the operation.

    Now that we are almost to the.....CLIMAX??? :P of an unintended journey that began almost three years ago.....an accomplishment whose outcome is a result of YOUR warmth, encouragement and cyber (someday to be real I look forward to) friendships.... after having vowed in the first week to Grumpy Gaston that " I was not NOW nor ever WILL be selling anything here".....I do NOT want to mess up our great relationship by somehow screwing THIS part up. I just hope I learn fast and make few mistakes.

    CloudDancer

  29. #29

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    Shake an' howdy, Cloudy:

    As you know, I've enjoyed the HECK out of your posts, despite the occasional friendly elbow in the ribs at the 'virtual bar'.

    THANK YEW for hanging in there on the difficult bidness end of this. I DO plan to order copies for BOTH of my friends soonly , but happy to defer to others with more urgent needs.

    That said, if these were to be offered on SC.org Shameless Commerce area, I might could order through there (even though Uncle Steve has his own brain damage on this stuff right now....), especially if it would slip a couple $USD to the good cause on TOP of your "huge" profit.

    And as you've prob'bly figgered out, I kinda LIKE yer inappropriate use of capitolisation, WHEY too many emoticons and stuff. Makes me feel like I'm sittin' on the next barstool, having an interesting conversation.

    Thanks, eh? cubscout

  30. #30
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Right there everybody.

    THAT is what it REALLY is all about to me.

    Thank Ya' CubScout. Very much.

    Whether your throw raspberries or constructive critiques or compliments ; if you feel your time was well spent and we shared even one laugh... :P

    It HAS been and will continue to be worth it to me.

    CloudDancer

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDancer
    Sad really. The one night a year I can get lot'sa hugs 'n kissin' (even get in a little tongue wrasslin' too ) and I will be trying to sleep THROUGH the revelry in some hotel somewhere.
    No need to apologize, just wishful thinking on my part that you'd get 'stead of on the holidays.

    Ahhh, Airport Appreciation Duty, little things you were never told about in flight school . . .

    Fly SAFE!
    Jedi Nein

  32. #32
    RMREBOB's Avatar
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    Cloudy, how about making a deal with S.J. to make the books available through the SC.ORG store? I'll forgo my 25% discount and let it go the SC.ORG. Takes the shipping monkey off your back and makes it easier for us to pay via Paypal.

  33. #33
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya RMEBOB -

    I am exploring all payment options including PAYPAL, which will MOST LIKELY be available on the www.clouddancer.org website.

    Steve WILL be offering personalized autographed copies of "CloudDancer's Alaskan Chronicles"(TM) as part of SC.org's annual Calander membership/donor drive. Watch for the info from Grand Poobah himself. In addition, we are lookinig at how to add the book to the offerings available through the SC.org store as well.

    Also - AFTER THE FIRST OF THE NEW YEAR, January 1st 2008, the book should be available through both the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.

    CloudDancer

  34. #34
    RMREBOB's Avatar
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    Hey Cloudy, check this out. It may influence your decision regarding how to price the book

    "Brian Shul's Sled Driver, his memoir of flying the SR-71, features
    exclusive photos taken by the author. The signed, limited edition
    book, available for $427, can be purchased by calling 888.777.8383
    or visiting Welcome To The World Of The Sled Driver."

  35. #35
    RMREBOB's Avatar
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    Must have pushed the button twice!!

  36. #36
    skagwaypilot's Avatar
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    The signed, limited edition
    At $427.00 per copy, I can understand why this is a limited edition.
    I'm sure that Cloudy has flown a sled also (a.k.a. C-207). Maybe they can combine marketing operations.

  37. #37
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    I'm gonna' let you guys off ALOT cheaper than $427 bucks a copy.

    Just back in from ANC this morning. Had an SC.org member from Sterling on my J/S on the way back to America. Had a GREAT layover even though I didn't see much of the sun.

    Working feverishly to get everything ready before Turkey Day to start filling your orders.

    More later and best to everybody.

    CD

  38. #38
    CloudDancer's Avatar
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    Hiya' EverBODY -

    'Tis I...your vocabularily impaired, vice-relapsed, and still breasticularly bewitched crafter of comic-crammed flying capers communicating from a computer in Columbus (Ohio).

    Well....the holidays are over. And with the exception of "dropped thru the cracks" errors now being audited by the WorldWide Grand Poohbah of SuperCubbers, the book sales have dropped to a pretty slow pace. However, THANKS to YOU GUYS....the Chronicle "addiction" continues to spead like a slow but steady growing vine.

    So, other than HEAVY editing on the forthcoming Volume II, (scheduled to debut at the Alaska Airman's Show in May)....I'm pretty much out of excuses to further delay the remainder of this story.

    So I am pleased to announce that, barring any catachism....catalimti.....
    any EARTH-SHATTERING STUFFS happening in the next couple of days....
    it is my intention to finish this fine story.....this being the last one that will complete Volume II. IF you guys are still INterested??

    Or I COULD make you just wait and read it in Vol. II

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU......ALL! For ALL your patience....SUPPORT......and kind communiques since we STARTED.

    CloudDancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

  39. #39
    dreamer's Avatar
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    Wheeee!
    Can't wait to hear the rest of the story and stories. LOVED the book!

  40. #40
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    Chapter Three - A Day about...NOTHING


    By the end of August my “self-grounding” had lasted over five months. Probably the longest I’d ever been bound to Mother Earth since I was 15 years old. I was getting cranky and generally unpleasant to be around a lot of the time.

    Trips to the airport during the day for the dry goods store were actually becoming painful. The occasional smell of burnt Jet-A as the Weinie bird taxied in or out was accompanied by the deep, bellowing growl of a Pratt & Whitney radial dragging ol’ Bart Mason’s red and white single engine deHavilland Otter into the 24 hour sunlit skies. Or I’d wind up stopping in mid-hoist on some packing crate, to try and catch a glimpse of a landing 185 or 206 that I had flown in my “previous” life. Of course, this resulted in the guy on the other end cussing at me and telling me to pay attention to what I was supPOSED to be doing!

    The nights at the bar weren’t much better given that all the local “drivers”, some of whom I’d TRAINED initially, now regarded me primarily as their booze or beer “gofer”. “Yo, CLOUDDancer!....Gettin’ purdy DRY down on this end, ya’ KNOW!” And while almost all of them were decent if not outright VERY kind to me....every now and then.....would come the thin little RAZOR cut comment. “HEY. You remember that little strip into Utica Creek...” or “Point Hope wuz a foggy BITCH today.....” And then they’d let me listen in as they told the pilot on the barstool next to them about the day’s adventure. And as someone would holler from across the bar for another Oly and I was turning away would come the razor cut. “We-e-ell at least ya’ don’t have to worry about bustin’ YER’ sorry ol’ ass everyday, eh, Cloudy?”

    It wasn’t hardly ever spoken with meanness or contempt. Just as a sort of closing comment. I mean, after all. Other than wrasslin’ the often overly drunk patrons and minor cuts on my hand or finger from fishing the occasional broken glass out of the ice bin, I guess it’s fair to say I wasn’t too often exposed to any element of danger. Nor were my formerly quick wits and lightning reflexes put to much use. In general, I was becoming pretty DISsatisfied with the direction my life was going. And I was thinking more and more. Wondering if and when I would ever get back on the horse that bucked me off. I was having a hard time visualizing myself doing this for much longer. And then came the day.

    The Sunday morning trade was slow in the bar. It was about 11 A.M. when a group of four tourists came through the open front door doubling the size of the “crowd”. After a brief pause just inside the door to gawk at a couple who, by all rights, really SHOULD’ve been “getting a ROOM already” , they strode over quickly to the far end of the bar. I guessed that their seat selection was based mostly on my ongoing debate with on VERY drunk and slightly LOUD
    Vincent Tooliak at the other (and closer) end of the bar.

    I’d flown Vincent down and back from his home in Noatak many, many times over the years. Drunk and sober both. And although sober was easier, at least he’d always been one of the GOOD drunk passengers when going home. Always mellow and co-operative. Totally UNlike today. Vincent was belligerent and wanted to fight today. Hell, for the last THREE days.

    Seems he’d come home early from a hunting trip upriver due to mechanical problems with his outboard. Finding the love of his life giving HER love to Vincent’s 1st cousin had sent him in a rage back OUT the door after demolishing the interior of his cabin . Noticing a 207 roaring across the top of town Vincent headed to the village’s airstrip. And upon arriving in Kotzebue he proceeded straight to the town’s one bank from which he withdrew a substantial amount of cash.

    For the last seventy-two hours or so Vincent had bounced back and forth between the town’s two bars, the beer and wine joint on Front Street and the hotel. Now, even the town’s half-a-dozen cab drivers had had enough. Having agreed finally to “go take a NAP” (somewhere OTHER than on the end of my BAR please....) I was now unable to get ANY one of the town’s three working cab drivers to come and pick Vincent up. Lord it was going to be a LONG day.


    Back with more later............

    Cloud(backinthesaddle)Dancer
    A SUPERIOR pilot, uses his or her SUPERIOR judgement, to stay out of situations which may require the use of their SUPERIOR skills.

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