Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Shores of Lassitude Island

One thing I well know about myself is that in the absence of a compelling goal, I will sound find myself foundering off the shores of Lassitude Island. And it has to be a really compelling goal. For example, "clean out the garage this weekend" as a goal is very likely to end up grounded on the outlying Procrastination Reefs. But it can't be a goal with its realization so far beyond the horizon that a Flat-Earther like me refuses to acknowledge its very existence.

This is nothing I haven't talked about before. It's where the kayak came from, after all. But it's worse this time. It's worse because it affects my flying. Now that I've been living the RV Dream for the last three years, I've accomplished all of my goals. This isn't to say that I'm bored with PapaGolf, mind you. But I have noticed a reduction in my flying libido, to coin a phrase. Smilin' Bob is barely grinning. My theory is that this is a symptom of something missing. Something in the form of, say, a compelling goal. Related to flying this time. Fortunately, aviation is rife with opportunities to try something new. And as varied as they are, they all have one thing in common: they're expensive.

Which, as is usual, brings up the cost/benefit equation. The interesting thing about the two variables in that equation is that one of them is objective and the other is subjective. Cost, for the most part, is easily measured in dollars. Benefit? Not so much. For example, I might see $450 worth of benefit in a B-24 ride (I didn't, but I might have). Other decision makers in the Budget Office probably won't see that high of a value, if they see any at all.

Through time, you learn to perform the cost/benefit calculation from a more neutral viewpoint while building a case for any given aviation-oriented expense. Best to have some answers to "Why do you want to do that?" ready to go, I've found. It's an inevitable question, it seems. Mandatory, in fact. A matter of routine. Which is not a bad thing, truth be told, as I've been known to put the cart in front of the horse at times, only to find out that I can't even get a horse. It's a fair cop.

So, I've been noodling various goals, large and small. Some of the smaller overlap as prerequisites for larger ones. And some of those larger ones would serve as building blocks for goals still out of view over the horizon. "Expound," you say? Well, if you insist. Let's start way out over the horizon, let's say ten years from now. What do I want to be doing? Despite the near blindness of foresight I suffer from while trying to view the attitudes and capabilities of myself a decade hence, I think I would like to be living in a dry, mostly warm environment, near (but not too near) a city large enough to have a Sam's Club and a nice airport, filling my time working as a flight instructor.

That's a long way away, but it also lives at the end of a fairly lengthy (given the time and dollars that I have to work with) trail of interim goals. At an outline level, I think it would progress something like this:

- pass Commercial written test
- get IFR Current
- get checked out in appropriate airplane
- get Commercial Rating
- pass CFI written test
- get CFI Rating
- get CFI/Instrument

Some of those could be combined, of course. I could get IFR current, checked out in a Commercial capable plane and fly the requirements for the Commercial Rating at the same time. I've already done the long cross-country required for the Commercial, so that would save some dollars.

I really ought to take a training course for the Commercial written anyway just to refresh my memory on it all. It's been 20+ years since I took it, after all.

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with the goals you've laid out. What the world needs is another good RVator CFI. The closest one I could find when I bought the RV-4 was Cambridge. Good luck! (I have the books for comm - written and maneuvers - if you want to borrow, not buy.)