New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Log Books

A logbook was originally a book for recording readings from the log, and is used to determine the distance a ship traveled within a certain amount of time. The readings of the log have been recorded in equal times to give the distance traveled with respect to a given start position.~Wikipedia
I have kept log books on boats for the tradition and to provide a record if so needed. I have kept log books while driving a truck, sometimes three at a time, because the government required it (gov only wants one). These log books are from my flying career and they have been the most important.
This stack appears to be just notebooks but the information contained makes them logbooks. Those on top begin at my first flight and those on bottom contain seven years of  Pipeline Patrol.
First flight lesson May 5, 1963. I can remember it but just barely.
I do remember this. One does not take that first flight alone and not remember. My hat is off to Mr. Baughman as I followed in his footsteps and know the gut-wrenching feeling of letting a student make his first solo flight.
This was the day I was licensed to carry passengers. I had attained the level of Private Pilot. Although I found no obstacles in acquiring this government approval some have and anyone that has gotten this far knows why. The man who tested me, Mr Gabardi, did not seem like a happy man but I had grown to like this quite sad man.  He has gone on to that great flying field in the sky.
Not satisfied with "private pilot" I labeled the next page "Commercial". I was going for it. Sweet memories.

Some of these logs are going to the trash in a systematic cleaning out of unnecessary things in my life.  Those notebooks are the first to go. They are so poorly kept with many pages and even volumes not dated.  Some of the entries are unreadable and all are more about looking at oil pipeline than about flying.

Those at the top of the pile are staying for a while however as there are many memories in those pages. Someone else can throw them out when I have flown the big one.

Log books have many reasons for being. In the case of Marine log books it provides a record of where you have been and where you intend to go. If the log survives a shipwreck it provides clues but on a practical side it aids in covering that route again. For me they now aid in jogging my memories for story telling.

Flying log books provide evidence that you have acquired the necessary experience to do a flying job or to press on to the next level of licensing. Very important to a young pilot on the way up. I'm afraid I became rather lax after about 14000 hours. Now they are only good for memories as I no longer need to provide that nebulous proof for anything.  I don't need proof that if it can fly I can fly it, that is, if I can figure out how to get it started.

Trucking logs are a feeble attempt by the government to control truck driving which has never worked. I threw them out nearly as fast as I filled them out.

This is a small but necessary step in taking out the trash. Many small steps have been taken in the last few months and more will be taken in months to come.


I rode my bike day before yesterday to run a little errand (beer run) for SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) and it was hot. I did not think it was bad at all but one of my tires thought it was as it blew out on the way home. I made it to within a couple of hundred yards of the driveway when it blew. It sounded like I had been shot and that's when I found out how hot it was. Riding was cool walking was hotter than hell. Even with thick soled sandals it was like walking on hot coals.

Yesterday I went for a nose job and was once again reminded of what a candy ass I am. I am thankful for drugs. It was hot enough that I did not buy the frozen yogurt I wanted on the way home. It would have just instantly melted.

The bicycle is still in my shed with a flat. It's only 85 degrees F with 80% relative humidity at nine AM this morning but the thought of sweat running into this crater on my nose discourages me from trying to fix it. I need a new tire anyway and besides I have four other bikes ready to go.

I think today will be a day of contemplating my navel and praising the Lord of the Mighty AC. Ooooom


Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

AMEN on the AC.

Gunnar Berg said...

Mother was a thrower, not a saver. My Old Man's flying logs were gone long before I asked. Even stranger, she threw away her father's album of horse photos. They were mostly sepia-tones of his fast horses and stud pictures. She grew up poor; maybe she resented the horses. I really wanted that album.

Ben in Texas said...

Man, you are losing your mind, tossing out all the History! Maybe you should first go through those log books and write up stories about flights you remember. I really think a book on your life, written in YOU style would be a good read.

Just saying...

Emmy said...

It must be fascinating looking through those old log books. So many memories are contained within those pages!

Degringolade said...

I have been keeping a log, but calling it a blog for the past eight year. I made passes at a diary earlier in my life. It is a good thing to sit down and write to an older self. Keep it up.

I would be leery about chucking the logbooks for now. There is a chance you might regret it later. If nothing else, when folks clean up after you when you shuffle off, it will give them something to look at as well

John Romeo Alpha said...

I do retain too much stuff and you've given me reason to consider that. But one time several years ago a bank tried to get snippy with me about a credit card that had been cancelled many years prior, and long after any legal or even reasonable records retention period I was still able to produce dated proof that I had cancelled that old card which shut the snippy bank right up and I'm afraid that satisfying experience has wrecked me in terms of any reasonable retention policies go.

Old Jules said...

Tough choice. I went through something similar during the Y2K thing. I stood beside a burn barrel pulling paper out of boxes, savoring it, tossing it in. The lady from a cabin down the road drove up with her kids and caught me doing it, asked why, asked if they could have it instead of me burning it. Hauled a lot of it away.

Today she's the administrator of my blog. Digs through boxes of that stuff, scans or emails it to me, gives me ideas to think and write about. Her in Kansas, me in Texas, her digging up bones throwing them to me.

I'm not certain what I think about all that.

Oldfool said...

No logbook of value has been harmed. The notebooks that are going have nothing but times, routes and come coded notes that now I can't even read. Anything of value has long since been gleaned from these pages.
In any event when I discard anything of this sort it goes into a bag and is stored on a shelf in the shed to be discovered again in the future, all moldy and smelly.
The early logbooks are a different story. When I lay my hand on them they are alive. They are in a dry tight place waiting for someone in the future to find them and say "what the hell is this trash" or for me to dig them out for verification of some tall tale I'm telling.
I'm pretty good at not destroying things that might be of some value in the future. Runs in the family as I still have my baby book.

Steve A said...

I will keep my single Pilot Log Book. Thanks for the post.