Dead Trees, Ice, and Other Reasons I’ve Been so Quiet

Oh, hey – hi, it’s me. Yeah, sorry, been kind of quiet around here. I know I don’t get to say “I’ve been busy”, but I’ve been distracted. For those of you who’ve been clicking through to every day wondering when the hell I’m going to post again, two things:

  1. thank you for your loyalty and patience, and
  2. you do know there are easier ways to follow, right?

More on (2) at the bottom of this post, but here’s the approximate news from the Pabloverse.

aopa coverNow appearing on dead trees across the world.  I’ve been in print a couple of times this past month. First, a story I wrote about last summer’s Spitfire checkout just got published as a feature in AOPA Pilot Magazine. Now, I know this name means nothing to non-pilots, but AOPA is what actual pilots read, and it has a bigger circulation than Flying, Plane and Pilot and all the other US flying magazines put together. So it’s a big thing. They gave the story a great treatment, too, with a callout on the cover and a full-page Andy-Warhol-style graphic lead in.

feature spread picIf I want to really spin things, I can also claim that I am now an internationally published photojournalist. A friend of mine writes for the Business Financial Times in Ghana, and I got a photo credit for a Liberia pic of mine he used in one of his columns last month.

Closer to home, yesterday I got passing mention in (ahem, let me posture here a bit) a Page One story in the Wall Street Journal (online version of the story here). It’s about silly stuff – the South Pole Race Around the World, but hey, it makes me feel special.

EKGSpeaking of Antarctica. Still grinding my way through the PQ (that’s “physical qualification”) process for the USAP offer, but haven’t really felt the need to write about it. If you want to get a sense of what’s involved, have a look at this post from the first time I went through it. The main difference is that now that I’ve achieved the ripe old age of 50, there are additional things they require, like cardiac stress tests and alien tentacle probes.

Doesn’t look like there’s a hurry on the PQ, though – the primaries on Scott’s team have all come through and are ready to deploy for late January, so unless anything really unexpected happens, I’ll be just waiting in reserve until my own primary deployment in August. But you know, it would be stupid not to be ready.

I have been writing, really! Remember that fiction writing course I took last semester? Well, I’ve kept writing, but it’s all been, well, fiction. Not really good material for the blog. Most of it is complete tripe, but I’ve managed a couple of stories that I think are actually pretty good, and am trying to get them into shape to submit somewhere.

In general, I’d love to share them, but the rule seems to be that if you publish something on the web, it’s published, period. And no journal/magazine/fishwrapper will be interested in re-publishing it. So I’m torn. My vanity divides the stories into two piles: 1) hey, this might be publishable, so I don’t want to put it on the web, and 2) this is awful, and I’m too embarrassed to share it with anyone. I’m sure I’ll figure something out once I get the better of my pretension – in the mean time, please bear with me.

Oh yeah – about that easier way to follow the blog. There are actually two easy ways to follow. First, from the website, you can go over to that white text box over on the right column, a bit below my picture (over there —-> ). Type your email address in and hit the “Follow” button. WordPress will send you a message to confirm you’re the person whose email was entered, with a link/buttons saying “Do you really want to subscribe?”   If you hit “Yes” (or “confirm” or whatever), you’ll be subscribed, and will get each new blog post in email the moment it’s published.

Another way is to use an feed reader. If you read comics and blogs on the web and don’t know what an feed reader is, I recommend going over to and having a look. When I go there in the morning, it just shows me which blogs/comics have new content since I last checked and lets me read them right from there. Two thumbs up.

Anyhow. That’s pretty much it for now. There’ll be some interesting travels next month – two trips to Florida(?!?) and probably one to Chicago. More airplane stuff. Some of it very very enviable, I hope, so I’m not going to jinx it by talking about it ahead of time. Because that always works, right?

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