I just got the bid packet for next month, which is always exciting.  A quick tutorial on bidding:  Say there are 10 pilots assigned to a crew base.  The schedulers dream up 10 schedules, and then put them in the packet.  The number one pilot finds the schedule he likes the most, and enters it as his one and only selection, confident that the “ask and you shall receive” rule will work!  The number two finds his favorite schedule, plus one alternate, just in case he and the number one had similar tastes.  The number 1o pilot bids all 10, knowing he will get whichever wasn’t chosen by the nine above him.  I’m about midway on the DFW reserve list (I haven’t yet seen the actual list, but I would guess I’m a little south of the midpoint). However, there is a quirk.  There are actually more pilots then there are lines in the packet, to use our old example, there may actually be 11 pilots and only 10 lines.  This means that the reserve lines are dual awarded.  Back to the example, if all 10 lines were reserve, the number two will also get his first pick, even if it was the same first pick as the number one…the reserve line will be awarded twice.

This is the first month I’ve actually had to spend a lot of time looking over my choices. This is because I actually have enough seniority that what I ask for might actually happen, and because I have vacation.  Vacation time is like an eraser; whatever you are awarded on the monthly bid is then overruled by your vacation time.  So, I want to pick lines that have large numbers of work days within the vacation period, since they will be erased.  It would be very silly to have five days of vacation erasing three days off.   My shopping list for the ideal line this month was like this: days off (or consecutive days off) immediately before the vacation, large number of work days in the vacation period, day or days off immediately after the vacation, and then the quality of the remainder of the month.  My first pick has two days before and two days after the vacation off, five of the six vacation days are work days, and also has Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as the recurring sequence of days off  for the remainder of the month…

The legacies bit is ’cause I need to get my portrait taken for the first time since I was 15, I was going to do it today, but then realized that the preferred attire was at the dry cleaners!!

The lessons bit is partially ’cause I’m trying to accomplish school today, and because I’ve been trying to learn the significant but difficult lesson of being content to be alone with the King of the Universe!  More on that later.

Anyway, back to work I go…


p.s. Oh, yes, I also have a christmas party that I need to buy some cheese for.  Amazon beaver cheese, anyone?  No?  How ’bout some Dorset Blue Vinny!