I start a new job on the 4th. I'm back in the data again. A corporate environment, with a corporate cubicle in a corporate office building and corporate coffee and corporate coworkers.

It is nearly identical to the last job. I don't "deserve" to have this job either. Still no degree, still no certification. But at least I deserve it more than the last job, and I interview well, and I know what I'm talking about enough. Theoretically I know how to do what I do, since I have all of that experience under my belt. Take the data, torture the data, maim it into a shape I like, and into the schema it goes. I've done it thousands of times.

But I'm not sure that this new company hasn't made a mistake by hiring me. My self confidence is shot. Even during the interview, my internal monologue was about if I was doing a good job of bamboozling them. It's all a big bluff in my head, and I worry now that they are going to find out that I suck. And the best I can do is drag it out long enough that I can get some money before they can my lame ass.

That last data job destroyed me. It made me work until I wasn't able to think clearly anymore. It made me wake up every hour on the hour every Monday night for three years. It was torture. They burned me every possible way they could think to do, and then got rid of me when I didn't function anymore. That sucked, and that was really unfair, and I am still a bit of a mess because of it. I'm going to need a lot more time in order to rebuild that sense of self confidence.

But I guess the best way to do that is to climb back on the data horse. Go back to being a cowboy and do cowboy shit, and hopefully it'll come back. Fake it until I make it.

Fingers crossed.

There were a lot of old folks coming back and I thought maybe some of you would like to stick around so I made a little pile of good nodes that maybe came out after you left and which you might like to read, and I put them in a little pile. We have been working for ten or twelve years since you left, after all.

March 3, 2009
Hello Individual;
Standing on a mountaintop in northern Siberia under the rapidly descending bulk of asteroid McAlmont, with a calculating expression and a baseball bat*
Pisonian conspiracy
Make Tea Not War**
How can a thinking, rational adult be religious?
Just A Minute
The mystery of Traven Torsvan Croves


Maybe instead some of you are new folks and you might like to read them for that reason instead, that is also okay.

*I beg Sam to forgive me for the slightly overmade suggestion, but this is freestanding and most of his stories are not. Also it is still v. good.

**This one was very difficult for me to pick; I wanted to have as many noders as nodes represented. However, restricting myself to one in this case was very hard, because if you were to open the writeup list of Haqiqat and read all through it, a miraculous thing would occur: you would not find a single one that is less than excellent. Or, you would finally find the long-sought proof that you are in fact made of tough, weather-resistant stone.
In the end, I went with one that doesn't hit too hard. This is what is called cowardice.

This was posted as a daylog because it is ephemeral, but public because it isn't just me garbling on about my day.

They love you a bit
I love you more
I hope that my love for you
Will never become a bore

I love you in the morning
And in the afternoon
God knows I hate to leave you
Pray I get to see you soon

You're gorgeous, kind, and wicked smart
I love these things about you
But they're not what set you apart

Sunsets and surprises
They are wonderful too
But no matter how good they are
They don't come close to you

Your laughter makes me happy
Your sobs make me sad
When you share your heart with me
Then I'm truly glad

I love you when you're sleeping
I love when you're awake
Losing you is just a chance
I could never take

I feel you in your sickness
I feel you when you mend
Just know no matter what
My love will never end

Went flying today.

When I got to the airport at 9:45am, the winds were maybe 8 knots. When I finished getting a weather briefing and flight planning, they were maybe 10 kt. When I finished preflighting the airplane and fueling, they were maybe 12 kt. When I taxied out onto the end of the runway after making my departure call, I sat there for perhaps two minutes because I could see a flock of birds crossing the far end of the runway a few hundred feet up - right where I would be if I was taking off.

When I checked the wind prior to my takeoff roll, the windsock was directly across the runway and the cone was straight, albeit not directly horizontal. This indicates (on 7B2's windsock) that the windspeed is somewhere between 10 and 15 kts.

Rotated at 70 MPH, started the climbout. The airplane immediately started sliding to the left, drifting downwind. Corrected a bit, but let it go until it was time to make the turn crosswind. Decided right then I was going to do a couple of landings, because before I headed out 100 miles or so for lunch and 100 miles back, I'd like to know what the landing conditions were like. So I turned downwind, and made the radio call (despite there being nobody in the area). That should have clued me. On downwind, I noticed that the wind was not only fairly strong and directly crosswind, it had become highly variable, as well. The airplane was bouncing around quite a bit - not the sudden random jolts of turbulence, but swinging the nose left and right and either sinking or zooming as the wind's vector swiveled from tailwind to headwind.

The first landing I was deliberately trying to use a side slip to correct (ailerons into the wind, opposite rudder to hold centerline) but I didn't get it dialed in right, and I found I was having trouble correcting quickly for wind gusts from the slip so halfway along final approach I converted it to a crab angle. I know that sounds a bit backwards - the slip is faster to correct, usually, I'd guess - but my unfamiliarity with the crosswind sideslip meant I was wobbling around quite a bit, with the upwind wheel and wing low. The crab, while requiring full coordinated aileron/rudder movements to make corrections, let me keep the airplane level, and I was more familiar with it.

Right as I crossed the threshold, there was a particular nasty gust - maybe 18 kts, direct crosswind, up from 13 or so - and I ended up drifting left. I didn't have enough airspeed or altitude to correct back to centerline using a crab, so instead I put a sideslip back in to prevent the airplane from drifting even further left (off the runway) and tried to touch down on the upwind wheel. I was mostly successful, but I did bounce it once and end up squealing tires from touching down at an angle to centerline. No danger, but you know, embarrassing.

So I taxied back and did it again.

This time, I flew around for a bit and called Flightwatch. I asked them for updates on the winds between 7B2 and my proposed destination. They said the winds were around 24-28 kts at my flight altitude, fairly steady, but that the surface winds were predicted to increase steadily throughout the day and that there was a 'moderate turbulence' warning in effect for my whole flight area.

I thanked them, and flew back to the airport, got in the pattern. This time, I stuck with the side slip, and did much better, but the winds were nastier - the gusts were higher and the direction was changing very quickly. I managed to pull off a quite credible landing however - no bouncing, only a minor squeak from the tires - and taxied back in to the ramp. I just felt like the trip wasn't going to be much fun, and had the potential for putting me back around my home airport three hours later with winds that were worse enough to be a real safety issue for me at my skill level.

When I was copying down the Hobbes time on the airplane's clipboard, I noticed that the fuel smartcard - which lives clipped to a lanyard inside the enclosed clipboard - was missing. It wasn't in my pocket.

I sighed, and walked across the ramp to the fueling point. There, still stuck in the fuel pump where I'd left it half an hour earlier, was the card.

Clearly my head wasn't in the right place.

So I put the card back in the clipboard and went back into the office to turn the airplane back in.

The three pilots lounging around there said "We had a pool going."

"On what?"

"Whether you'd be smart enough to come back in when the wind picked up."

"Who won?"

"Nah, we all thought you were pretty smart."

It's always nice to know you made the right call.

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