Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I'm not really a huge sports fan. I played highschool football and basketball but I don't really like going to watch games. I do love watching the NCAA Basketball tourney in March and I might catch a game or two of the NBA finals. I watch the superbowl with the sole intent of catching a Cindi Crawford Pepsi commercial. With all of that said, I am sitting here watching game one of the world series. I voted early(Obama) and I don't have work or homework to do, nor do we have cable, so here I sit watching the Phillies and the Rays go at it in a game that is almost as slow to watch as golf. I have two major observations I'd like to make about baseball. The first thing that really bugs me about Baseball is that it is the only sport that you can be actively playing while eating. You have never seen Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning eating Sunflower seeds while playing. My next complaint has everything to do with this picture.
This is Don Zimmer, he's with the Tampa Bay Rays now(I think) but used to be with the Yankees. You can use this picture as a representation of what I am about to ask. Why do Baseball coaches or managers as they're called, wear uniforms like the players? I don't want to see Jerry Sloan in shorts and a tank top at a Jazz game, nor do I hope to see Bronco Mendenhall in helmet and pads at a BYU football game. In no other sport that I can think of do the coaches wear a uniform. It just looks stupid. Can you imagine Michael Phelps swimming coach walking around in a speedo, or the womens gymnastics coaches in their little whatever that uniform is.
And just as a parting thought, one good reason to not wear a uniform if you are not a player is that no one else will mistake you for a big fat old player and throw your face in the dirt.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I am sitting reserve at work this month, which means I am on call. I have not been flying very much and the upside to that is that I am home alot. The down side is that reserve pay stinks. So I have been sitting around contemplating the things I hate about my job. There are some really good things about it also, mostly the scenery.

I started out with the goal of becoming a bush pilot in Alaska. I achieved the goal only to give it up after four months. The flying in Alaska was great, the town I lived in was not.
Typical Alaska load.

Typical Alaska "Overload"

Inside the "Sled" Cessna 207
It is nicknamed the sled because it essentially replaced the dogsled in Alaska. At least in rural Alaska you cannot go anywhere except by plane.

Video shot during Mustache May 2006 in the village Russian Mission, flying over the Yukon river. No Alaskans were harmed during the making of this video.
I loved this Job. I had no uniform, no facial hair restrictions, no other pilots sitting next to me. I basically got to fly around rural Alaska low and slow taking in the sights. Unfortunately, Bethel, Alaska is no place to raise a family and the commute was killing me. So, in the fall of 2006 I went to work for Salmon Air, flying boxes on a UPS contract out of SLC. If nothing else the Salmon job provided me with some beautiful photo ops.

Salt Lake in the morning.

More SLC.

Piper Chieftain.

Inside the Chieftain

Ice is bad JuJu for aeroplanes!

Typical uniform.

Welcome aboard, now sit down and shut up.

Heavenly View.
(man that was cheesy)

Then in the fall of 2007 Salmon Air went belly up after a string of bad luck and accidents (none involving me)

This is what happens to a propeller when the pilot forgets to put the landing gear down!    (again, not me!)

Last day at Salmon Air, bye bye long hair

So, In January of 2008 I started at Skywest Airlines. We are the largest regional carrier in the U.S. and we fly all over the continental U.S. and Canada and Mexico. I however am based in SLC as a First Officer in the Brasilia Turbo prop(jet engine that turns a propeller) and as such I fly to such exotic places as Rock springs, Wyoming and Elko, Nevada. The job has some serious downsides ie: Uniform, short hair, no beards, annoying pilot sitting next to me, whiny passengers, long days away from home, more
 regulation and less freedom. There are positives as well, mostly scenery. And for the first time in my adult life we have insurance.

Los Angeles

Landing on the south complex at LAX

San Francisco

Part of the overhead Panel in the Brasilia
lots of switches and buttons

Backside of British Airways 747

Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest

This is middle of NOwhere Alaska right be fore I came home for the last time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Let's start with a disclaimer: If your last name is Murdock, Stop reading now! This post is about dogs and we all know you are heartless dog haters! We have had Ani for about 5 months now and she has grown like some kind of mutant. We're just guessing but she's got to be over 50lbs and getting bigger.

When we brought her home she was so small.

Not only has she grown in size but also in our fondness for her.(I hesitate to say love because I know the Murdocks are still reading) The thing that amazes me is how attached I have become to an animal. I know she is just a dog and I am far from being one of "those people" who let their dog lick their face and live in the house and sleep on their bed. Thats not me, but every morning and every night either Tiff or I take her for a walk and it is a joy to watch her work the fields. She averages 2 pheasants each day and she works hard to find them. It really is nice to walk around the alfalfa fields watching a dog and seeing the sun rise or set. I don't have to think about work or money or the state of the economy when I am out there.
Before she gained an interest in pheasants.

Frisbee lessons up the canyon.

Back side of Maple Mountain.

Some friends recently had their dog die and it got me thinking. It sucks that animals have such short lives. So thats one thing that got me on this subject. The other is a book I read about Haines, Alaska and in said book the authors Lab has to be put down. She talks about the time spent with the dog and how it became a huge part of her life. Even when her husband was at work and the kids at school, she still had "Good dog Carl". So today I took Ani to be spayed(sp?), just doing our part for Bob Barker. When we brought her home tonight she is wasted from the drugs they put her out with. Normally she is an overly hyper dog, but tonight I had to pick her up to put her in her kennel and it got me thinking about the day she is going to be gone. Noah lost a salamander tonight named Lightning. He only had it for 15 minutes and he cried at its loss for far longer. So I dread the day that Ani has to go. I know my children will be crushed as will Tiff. If you Murdocks are still reading and I know you are, make fun of me all you want but your father bawled like a child when he called to tell us Old Paint was down.
Max's Best Friend

My point here is this. Each day is a gift, everything that makes these days more enjoyable is a good thing. Walking a dog each morning is both blessing and curse, but it is worth the joy my children get from her. Call me a sappy dog lover if you want, but until you have one you won't know what you're missing. Also know this, dogs are like children. Yours are horrible but I love mine!