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Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:57 pm
by arebelspy
theanimal wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:41 pm
Finally, here's an analysis of 2018 income vs expenses via the ratio created by Fish (I think he's the one who did it..)

Writing- .125
Tour Guide- .25
PFD - .1
Forestry- 1.0
Mining 1.0

Total- 2.475

I'm OK with that. 2019 should be similar but I think I'll be able to get it over 3.0 which is much more ideal.
Interesting way to break things down. Anyone have a source thread?

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:01 pm
by jacob
I don't, but IIRC, it's min(incomesource/totalspending,1). It's meant to measure diversification. If a given income source fully covers one's spending, it maxes out at 1. The higher the score, the more resilient one is towards income source loss.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:10 pm
by Fish
@arebelspy - Jacob came up with the idea in the “ERE indicator” thread: viewtopic.php?p=128954#p128954

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:46 pm
by theanimal
I started flying soon after my last update and have been flying on average about 4-5 times a week since that point. I've made some great progress during that time period. Currently, I'm sitting at ~37 hrs of logged time and deemed ready for a check ride by my instructors. They want me to pad some more time instead of taking the test at the minimum of 40 hr. Apparently, proctors are skeptical of those at the minimums and give those people a harder time. Kind of annoying but the time is the same, albeit slightly more expensive than if I was flying elsewhere.

It's been a really fun process, I really enjoy going out and flying. The first 20 hours or so were work on maneuvers and pattern work before I did my first solo. Then 20 through the low 30s were cross country flights to other airports. Night flights followed that, including one night around the pattern and another on a cross country flight (intense!!!). Now it's just checkride prep and padding the stats a bit. The learning process has been like that of any other, where I'm flailing at the beginning somewhat overwhelmed by skills and knowledge required and my lack thereof. Around hour 20, I started to feel smug and became somewhat complacent as I became more comfortable in the aircraft (top of Mt. Stupid!). Thankfully, the night flights, more solo work and watching a ton of case studies on accidents have humbled me and taken me down from the not so glorious heights of Mt. Stupid.

Flying a cross country flight

I've come to the realization over the past few months that I excel in learning and applying things quickly with the appropriate structure in place. In just the past year, this has happened in 2 different fields in which I was employed and the people at the flight school call me their star student. I need to figure out the best way to take advantage of this and use it to its full potential.

In related news, a close friend of mine told me that sometime I can come off as arrogant or cocky. I've been making attempts at becoming more humble, but I don't think those attempts have been too successful...

One issue that has plagued me in recent years is an inability to deviate from a self projected image of myself. I build up some idealized version of myself and feel if I fail to conform to that, I fail life. The biggest example of that is a reluctance to move from the remote cabin to town. It happens in smaller instances too though. I just withdrew from the winter ski race I've done the past couple years and a part of me feels like a failure or that others will think I am. I know the reality is nobody cares. It's not the worst thing in the world, as I've shown I can make the decisions eventually. But eventually can lead to prolonged time in a situation that is unpleasant or that which is not best for me at a given time period.

I haven't gotten into Jiu jitsu and did not end up taking the EMT class. I likely could/could have added the jiu jitsu into my schedule but it seems full enough at the moment with work, flying and socializing. I'm thinking that is something to add to the docket for next winter.

No luck with any women...I asked the girl out I mentioned above but apparently she wasn't completely single at the time and still getting over a recent long term relationship break up. She's single now though and we've been hanging out regularly. There seems to be some interest, but she's a hard one to read. Anyways, ball is in her court now. Otherwise still no prospects. I've been a lot more vocal about looking for someone recently and a few friends of mine have taken on the task of scouring their circles for any available women. Maybe eventually an attractive single girl will find her way into the heart of Alaska...

Anyways, all is well with me and hopefully the same holds true for all of you reading!

Reindeer at my friend's farm

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:17 pm
by suomalainen
I'd heard getting a pilot's license is super expensive, especially if you want to fly commercial because you have to get like 500 hours in. Do you pay for your hours yourself or have you found a way to have someone pay you for them?

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:21 pm
by theanimal
I pay for them myself. The private license will come out to be somewhere between $8.5-9k. I could have done it in the same time frame or less for about $7.5k but that would have entailed going to Ohio for a month. Otherwise you could maybe do it for 5 or 6 somewhere at a flying club if you are patient and find an instructor that is frequently available. The ideal way would be to have someone pay for it but that's extremely rare early on. There are a few scholarships available dedicated specifically to each rating. The best option I've heard of though is from my dad's friend. He knows a guy who owns a remote lodge in Ontario and in exchange for work they teach you how to fly. He passed my information along and recommended me to him but the guy said it wouldn't work without a Canadian passport.

Like anything else it can be as expensive as you want to make it. There are ways to drastically reduce the cost. The FAA allows both pilots in an aircraft to log time when one is practicing instrument training and the other serves as the safety pilot. This is the easiest way to split costs. You just have to find an aircraft for cheap (as low as $50/hr w/fuel in FL) and someone to do it. I have a friend who is looking to build hours and we joined a flying club together in state. My costs will be about $35/hr wet. I'll need roughly 200 to get to 250. Meaning another $7k. Somewhere in there I plan on getting my instrument rating which will be about $5k. Then commercial is another 2. So to get to commercial a reasonable estimate based off my plan is $22k. Most people try to get paid to build hours after that with flight instruction being the most common option. Flight schools are just as desperate for flight instructors as all the other airlines are for pilots so deals are usually made for training in exchange for hire. The pay varies but at the flight school I'm currently at, instructors start at $37.5/hr.

It is possible to get hired on with a regional airline with low hours (250-400) but it's very competitive and not very likely unless you're a woman. That being said, once you hit 500 the options start widening and continue to do so through 1,000 hrs. Most regional airlines are offering crazy signing bonuses in order to attract pilots. Anywhere from a few thousand to $70k (Air Wisconsin). Starting pay isn't bad either. The lowest I know of for regional airlines up here starts at $50/hr and seems to range up to about $70/hr.

If you're strategic about it as I think I am being it's not outrageously expensive. If you're not...I know people with over $100k in debt and no commercial rating.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:34 am
by Seppia
Great update as usual, I like how poliedric you're becoming, slowly but surely adding very diverse and useful skills to your aresenal.

If you have more wilderness pics please post without restraint, they're fantastic

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:34 am
by 2Birds1Stone
I'm going to second Seppia on the pics.

Also, wish I could send some ladies up your way.......maybe we need to open an Alaskan vegan yoga retreat that does caribou yoga instead of goat. You can personally shuttle these ladies with your newly acquired pilots license!

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:57 am
by Jason
With the antlers on that middle reindeer, you have to think there is at least one animal not finding it difficult to get laid in Alaska.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:02 pm
by theanimal
Thanks everyone. The goat yoga thing is ridiculous, I had to look that up. Joking aside, that reminds me that a few years ago Ego suggested creating some type of Homesteading skill building workshop. I've thought about that and think it could be a very profitable venture. Have people come and camp at a remote site, learn about homestead life, chop wood, learn how to can and some other tasks that I have yet to determine. Something like 2-3 days and you could likely charge a fortune.

The White Mountains National Recreation area is just north of Fairbanks which is a BLM managed area with groomed trails in the winter. There are something like a dozen public use cabins along the trail that you can reserve and use. There is a race that goes around a big loop of the trails called the White Mountains 100. A friend and I decided to do a lazy version of this route biking the 100 miles over 3 days 2 nights staying in a couple of the cabins along the way.

First day was very low clouds but cleared up the next couple days

Heading downhill off the highest point. An awesome 2.5 mile descent. 40+ miles from the nearest road at this point..and on bikes! So cool.

This trip was one of the most satisfying and one in which neither of us found ourselves wanting to end once we found ourselves a few miles from the parking lot. Pure bliss through plenty of physical and mental suffering. There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction I get from travelling through these areas with minimal equipment and tools. Our desires became simple once more. Life was moving along the trail each day, and starting a fire/making water/taking care of gear at night. The lack of abundance increased appreciation for everything. No easy access to water and feelings of dehydration made every drop so appreciated, despite the plethora of floaties found within each bottle. Cold temperatures led to an appreciation of heat from the woodstove. And long miles, occasionally pushing the bike brought the greatest amounts of joy in downhill sections where we flew through the landscape.

One of the cabins along the trail. We stopped here for an extended break. Each cabin has a table with benches, a propane cookstove with cookware, multiple massive bunkbeds (occasionally a loft) and a woodstove with wood.

Like most other times, I returned with no desire for the digital world and a feeling of lacking community. Normal life is so empty compared to these intensive trips with others. The trip further reemphasized my desire for a stronger community, less time alone, less time on screens and more time outside. It's been a few days and I've largely fell back into my normal habits. The first 2 are far more challenging than the last 2. And the last 2 become far easier the stronger the first 2 are. The quest continues...

Snacking and enjoying the sunshine

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:31 pm
by jennypenny
Your thoughts are straight out of Tribe (which you've read IIRC). I don't have any advice. Apparently we're all too comfortable now to be happy and have to create situations to replicate the feelings we used to get from dealing with adversity. I sometimes wonder if my own family is happier/closer than most because my son's illness functioned as a common enemy that helped us bond. It's a weird thing. Ego used to say we all need to find challenges to make us stronger, but maybe it wasn't just about strength -- maybe he was getting something else out of it that he didn't realize. I don't talk to him anymore or I'd ask him.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:17 pm
by classical_Liberal
Awesome update as always!!

I've come to the belief that we, in modern society, artificially create adversity for the wrong reason(s). We create adversity mostly because we want the outcome of going through that adversity, rather than the experience of adversity itself. We want better cardiovascular health, so we work out in a sterile, boring gym environment. We want FI, so we attempt ERE. We want "personal growth", so we endure whatever to try and get there.

The problem is outcome-based actions. I think we have been mislead to believe success occurs with single-minded orientation towards an end goal, whereas perhaps the real success comes in simply undertaking something for its own purpose. Those who succeed most often only do so because they thoroughly enjoyed the process. When you enjoy the process, want the adversity itself, the end goal is simply a side-effect.

Also, I absolutely agree that going through adversity with others is bonding. Modern societies try to mimic this with end goal oriented activities as well.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:56 pm
by theanimal
jennypenny wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:31 pm
Yes, I'm still in the same spot as I was when you originally made the thread for the book. Here I am sitting inside very comfortable, with plenty of food and water available yet I am far less content than just a few days ago struggling with sore muscles, lack of water and cold temperatures. It really is an odd conundrum and one in which I know what the prescription is, but I don't know how to fulfill it.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:17 pm
We create adversity mostly because we want the outcome of going through that adversity, rather than the experience of adversity itself. We want better cardiovascular health, so we work out in a sterile, boring gym environment. We want FI, so we attempt ERE. We want "personal growth", so we endure whatever to try and get there.

The problem is outcome-based actions.
I'm in full agreement. It's the way of enlightenment right? Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water. The process is what we actually seem to enjoy and why so many seem to struggle with a sense of meaning and purpose when not actually engaging in "productive" activities.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:08 pm
by theanimal
Well, I'm officially a pilot! Passed the practical portion of the checkride and the oral exam. I had to retake some of it since I failed a manuever on the first attempt. I was so stressed midway through it that I was nowhere near a functional mindset. However, went out for a couple sessions with my instructor, returned with a whole lot less stress and nailed the second attempt.

The flight school is so impressed with me as a student that they've offered me a job as a ground instructor starting ASAP. The only pre-requisite is some self study and a written test talking about human behavior and psychology. The starting pay is $25/hr and will be bumped up to $30 if they like what I'm doing. It also would likely entail an employee rate on airplane rentals which would drop costs about 25%. The decision to pursue this route seems to already be paying dividends.

The weather has been very warm here (15 degrees above normal for over 2 weeks now) lately with clear skies. The warmth is really nice and I've been trying to spend as much time as possible outside. The trails are deteriorating quickly but for the time being are still good enough for very fast travel by ski, foot and bike. Late last week, I went a few hours outside of town and skied out to some remote hot springs with a friend and her cousin about 8 miles off the road. So enjoyable.

Life is GOOD.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:30 pm
by Kriegsspiel
That's cool as fuck about pilot school.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:44 pm
by m741
Damn, I'm always impressed hearing what you're up to. Sounds awesome - NOLS, Alaska, flight school. Keep up the good work!

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:13 am
by wolf
Congrats on being a pilot now! I am impressed about the things you achieve and the lifestyle you have. Wow! You are a role model for people who strive towards an adventureous life. I have some ideas on my ULAL (ultimate life's adventure list) which require action, decisions, determination and courage to achieve. When I plan for the first (next) topic of that list I remember you. I mean one must just do those kind if things in life! Thanks animal for the great inspiration.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:29 am
by Seppia
I had missed the bike trail update.
Fantastic stuff!

This journal is reason #1 why I visit this board
No offense to Jacob and all the other fastastic people in here, but the mix of wilderness, toughness and DYI spirit that transpire from your entries easily rivals a great adventure book - only it’s real life.

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:55 pm
by George the original one
Nothing like living the life!

Re: the animal's journal

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:35 am
by FBeyer
theanimal wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:08 pm
Well, I'm officially a pilot!
I'm officially stoked on your behalf!

It's not going to be long before you have to write a book or two about How Not to Be A Weak Ass Whiner and get some speaking gigs and royalty income rolling too.

By now it's probably one of the last things on your bucket list :lol: