Everybody loves a bargain. I know I do. Heck, I may be the cheapest guy you’ll ever meet. But there is a cost associated with saving a dollar or two – and the general aviation crowd may not notice how dear that cost can be until it’s too late.
You can consider this post to be a cautionary tale, told in advance of things getting really, truly ugly. I hope you’ll read it carefully, take it seriously, and take it as the motivational tool it is intended to be.
When I was a teenager I had a small flock of chickens. After a year or so I gave them up and turned the birds over to my brother, who expanded the flock considerably. Eventually he grew quite a little business out of the endeavor. By the time he graduated high school he had something like 300 white leghorns out in the barn.
It would seem simple enough to raise chickens. There’s not much to it, really. Throw a little feed in the yard, provide clean water, and collect the eggs on a daily basis. Look at that — one, two, three and you’re a farmer. Then again, there’s the cannibalism to think about. Oh yes, I said cannibalism.
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport may not be a name that trips off the tongue particularly well. But maybe it should be. Because word has leaked out of the high security vault in that corner of the Florida panhandle that going back to school is going to be a whole heck of a lot more interesting for a bunch of high school students this year – thanks to a company named Island Air Express and a guy named Ron Jarmon.
There was a particularly compelling event at AirVenture this year. One I wish I had been there to see. Sadly, I was unable to attend. But that puts me in the same boat with many thousands of aviation enthusiasts. I was interested, but from afar. I was motivated, but constrained by circumstance. In short, I was somewhere else and I missed it.
The event I allude to is the Cubs 2 Oshkosh mass fly-in. [Read more...]
Politics shares at least a little bit with baseball — at least in the sense that to get something done politically, you’ll occasionally need to rely on your backup.
You see this in the theater, as well. Eventually you’ll find that the main player isn’t available for some reason, so an understudy will step into the spotlight to carry the load for a while. The education industry has known this for years. When Ms. Reliable can’t make it one day, her students don’t have to spend the day staring at the wall. Ms. Substitute (or Mr. Substitute) is only a phone call away. Class will be back in session shortly.
Consider this brain-teaser if you will. What do Malcolm Gladwell, Heather Locklear, and you all have in common? Malcolm is, of course, the author of a bestseller “The Tipping Point.” Heather Locklear leapt into the national consciousness as a perky, blonde, ever-smiling actress in the 80s, and you’re already pretty familiar with yourself. So what’s the connection?
Well, in a word, connections. That’s what you all have in common. And, believe it or not, that matters to the future of aviation. Allow me to illustrate.
Years ago when I was writing a weekly column for a local newspaper, a reporter asked me, innocently enough, “Where do you get your ideas from?” He meant well.
As a reporter he wasn’t paid to be creative. His bread and butter came from being accurate. That was his comfort level and he did his job well. I, on the other hand, was expected to come up with something fanciful, inspirational, conversational, or controversial on a regular basis. To be perfectly honest it’s not as hard as it might sound. All you really have to do is open your eyes, open your ears, and pay a little attention to the people around you.
One recent example might be the conversation I had with one of the elder statesmen on our field, a real firecracker of a woman who is as sharp in her 80s as most folks are at half her age. She still flies regularly, and even motivates others to get out there and punch a hole in the sky on a regular basis.