Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goodbye Northwest

Yesterday, January 30, 2010, was the last day that aviation enthusiasts like the Hat Trick would hear call sign "Northwest" in communications with air traffic control (ATC). Today, January 31, all former Northwest flights switch over to "Delta", the company's new masters. While not unexpected it still is sad to see an icon of the American commercial airline industry go the way of Pan Am, Eastern, National, Braniff and Western to name a few.

Goodbye Northwest...I sure will miss that red tail...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Endless Job Search...

One again the endless job search keeps the Hat Trick from blogging about anything relevant...I thought I was getting close with the last trip to Columbus (and forgot to submit a trip report, as usual) as I was a finalist with one other person. Found out Thursday afternoon...after several communications attempts...that I did not get the job. Via e-mail no less. What is the matter with people and why has it become so acceptable to use e-mail when someone really needs to pick up the phone and make the call. I know it's uncomfortable telling someone they didn't get a job but it's the classier thing to do...this has happened so much during this year + search that the Hat Trick is wondering if every one in the human resources world is crazy...or are my expectations simply out of whack? Who knows but this whole process has definitely raised the cynic in me and I dislike that intently...

I'll stop ranting now...

I'll continue to keep my readers updated on the process...maybe we'll have some good news to report at some point. Trying to stay positive...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week of January 17 - Travel for The Hat Trick

This week starts off with some travel for the Hat Trick. I'll be traveling to Columbus, Ohio this evening for a short hop to the Port Columbus International Airport (CMH). The return trip will be tomorrow, January 18, with another short hop back to Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA). US Airways Express will be the air carrier for this journey as they offer the only nonstop service between the two airports. The outbound trip to CMH will be on the very comfortable (relative to travel experience of this age!) Embraer 175 aircraft which features two by two seating (each seat is either an aisle or a window) and 33" pitch which is pretty good compared to the industry standard of 31" pitch. An added bonus is that this is the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend so most of official Washington, DC is closed for business on Monday so the flight looks fairly open as most people will return home tomorrow. The return trip will be on a less comfortable Embraer 145 regional jet but the Hat Trick doesn't mind this regional jet as much since it features a one by two seating arrangement; this means that all the seats on the left side of the aircraft is both an aisle and a window seat which gives you some level of comfort. The hotel for this trip will be the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Square.

The purpose of this trip is a third round interview with a company in Columbus for a lobbying position. Needless to say I'm hopeful that "this will be the one" as it has been a very long year in the job search area and the Hat Trick is ready to get back to work. The Hat Trick finds it a little bit ironic that I had more time to blog when I was working as opposed to not working!
Will try to write a trip report once this trip is over and provide my thoughts on the travel experience. I took the same trip in December...same flights, same aircraft, different hotel for my second round interview so it will be good to have a comparison.

Wish me luck!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Miracle on the Hudson - One Year Later

It's hard to believe that one year ago today US Airways #1549 made its heroic landing on the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese shortly after takeoff from New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA). The impact resulted in the loss of both engines and the aircraft was landed in the Hudson River by Captain Chesley Sullenberger with no loss of life and relatively few injuries. Truly an amazing piece of airmanship and a positive story given the economic woes over the past year.

The Hat Trick read a good account of the water landing and the background of the Airbus A-320 aircraft involved in the accident: Fly By Wire: The Geese, The Glide, The Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche. It's a pretty easy read and I highly recommend some good background on how the water landing was even made possible.

Given these turbulent times it's great to know there are some heroes still left out there.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

The Hat Trick would like to wish all of my readers a Happy New Year as we put 2009 behind us and look to begin 2010. For the Hat Trick family putting 2009 behind will be a good thing given some of the challenges we have faced as a family throughout this year. However, even though this has been a difficult year professionally, the Hat Trick is determined to stay positive and focus on the good things that happened in 2009.

In taking stock of 2009 I came up with this list that truly defines what is important for the Hat Trick:

My Family:

Most important to the Hat Trick is the arrival of the newest member of the Red Wings fan club, our daughter. She truly is a joy and has already completely wrapped me around her finger! I'm very thankful to have her as part of the family. My relationship with my son has gone from being good to being great. We have become very close since I have been home more and that has been wonderful. Playing trains with him can truly take away all of your worries and anxiety. The fact that is now very interested in hockey is a wonderful bonus! I had the opportunity to fly with him down to Florida for a visit with his grandparents and it was a special moment to fly with him and share the experience of travel. He was so excited to get on the plane and take off as you can see here. He has the same obsession with trains as his Dad does with aviation and it is really fun to share that with him A major rail line goes behind our neighborhood in Northern Virginia and on a daily basis he gets to see freight trains, Virginia Railway Express commuter trains and Amtrak passenger trains. He gets so excited when he hears the toot of their horns. I'm so lucky to have had this time with him.

My wife and I are also doing very well and this year has really strengthened our relationship in many ways. We have worked very well together throughout this stressful time and even have managed to have some fun along the way. I hear from other people in similar situations about how much their relationships with their spouses have deteriorated. I've also heard of wives who have blamed their husbands for their job loss and have acted in extremely unsupportive ways. I'm so lucky to not have to deal with that at all.

The 2009 Inauguration:

I realize this might surprise some of my readers but it is true. Regardless of political differences we have a system of government in this country that allows for a smooth transition of government between Presidents. While the Hat Trick voted for his opponent (unenthusiastically) President Obama won the election fair and square (no need to discuss the ACORN issues here...he would have won anyway) and has the privilege of leading our country for four years and possibly eight. I may not agree with him always but I wish him well. The Hat Trick also hopes that by virtue of his election we will be able to heal some of the wounds in this country surrounding race. I'm hopeful at least.

The Detroit Red Wings:

I'm happy the Wings made it to another Stanley Cup Final and took the Penguins to Game Seven to finally beat us. Even though they didn't win (and I blogged quite a bit on the poor officiating at the time) they showed why they are such a strong organization and while they are going through some salary cap growing pains this year they are still finding ways to win and stay competitive. They might not win the Stanley Cup every year but they have made it to the playoffs every single year since 1987 which is a tremendous accomplishment. Go Wings!


Even with the lack of employment and the perks of employment travel I have managed to fly a little bit...mostly to a job interview our of the Washington, DC area but have also managed two trips to Florida due to the generosity of my in-laws. Our aircraft to Sarasota on our second trip is pictured at right...first time my son dragged his "Bob the Builder" wheeled suitcase down the jetway! The industry has gone through some major pains this year but hopefully see some relief as the economy improves. And who can forget the "landing" of US Airways 1549 into the Hudson River last January?


Not sure if there is a need for a conclusion but having one satisfies my need for an organized post. Even with being unemployed I have it pretty good and am thankful for what I have. So many other people in this situation are in far worse shape compared with my family. While I'm ready to get back to work I know I need to be patient. Hopefully 2010 will reward this patience

Happy New Year!