I bet you probably haven’t seen an airplane like this before!

As many of you know I am a flight dispatcher. One of the requirements of our job is to do an annual familiarization flight on our aircrafts to get a better understanding of how our job works together with the pilots in order to ensure you have a safe flight.

Last year, I had the opportunity to fly from Edmonton to Yellowknife, Norman Wells, Inuvik, and return. This run is busy for both passenger and cargo travel. As a result, we flew combi aircrafts which carry both cargo and passengers on the upper deck. This particular 737-200 aircraft was in a 3 pallet 34 passenger configuration on this specific flight, but can be changed into any combination from all passengers to 6 pallets and 6 seats.

As a result of the cargo being on the upper deck, the company uses the rear L2 door for boarding. Flying up to the arctic also creates the challenge of needing stairs as there are no bridges for passengers to board. The solution to this is flying with stairs built into the aircraft, known as air stairs.

This is a video of how the rear air stairs open and close on a 737-200 aircraft.

Alberta Aviation Museum

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This past summer, Mike and I had the chance to tour the Alberta Aviation Museum located beside the Edmonton City Centre (municipal) Airport or YXD.  I found it while I was aimlessly driving around one day while he was at work.  As I passed the airport, I looked over and saw a retired Pacific Western 737 sitting behind the fence and knew that this was a place that we had to visit.

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Admission ranges from $6.00 for children up to $10.00 for adults, with discounts for seniors.  The facility features over 40 aircraft ranging in age from old wooden hulled prop planes up to military and comercial jets.

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It seems like the common trend in aerosexuals is that they are fascinated by military planes.  However, the Alberta Aviation Museum have a very neat collection featuring various sections and displays.  As you enter the museum, you will find yourself face to face with some of the original aircrafts to fly in and out of YXD.

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The displays then move into an entire wall dedicated to the various commercial and passenger airlines in Canada’s history.  With various cabin artifacts from playing cards and napkins to old flight attendant uniforms, this collection is one of the best I have seen so far.

There is also a large collection of various war medals and historical facts from both sides of the Second World War.  They also have restored several military aircraft in both indoor and outdoor displays.

The museum will take between 60-90 minutes to view and depending on the weather, you can also get up close and personal with several large aircrafts located outside the museum.  Groups can arrange guided tours by the volunteers that run the museum.

Tis the Season…

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I did it! I finally did it! The Christmas tree is setup. It only took 4 days to finish, but it is up and I think it looks pretty realistic.

Mike and I invested our first pre-lit Christmas tree together this year. Selecting our tree online was almost like going to the tree farm to pick out which tree would decorate our home for years to come. It has been laying in the box in the living room for the past month teasing me that I wasn’t yet allowed to set it up.

However, Mike finally opened the box on Thursday and let me start the long task of assembling the 7 1/2′ lifelike tree. I hate spreading the branches out to make it look realistic, which is why the process took 4 days to complete. I couldn’t imagine still having to put 750 lights onto it. If you have yet to experienced the joy of untangling your lights this year, I would suggest throwing them away and investing in a pre-lit tree. Costco has them from $200-300 online.

The thing I love most out our tree is that the bulbs are both white and multicoloured. There are preprogrammed functions for solid white, solid multicoloured, flashing white, or fading white to multicoloured. I like the fading option the best.

I can’t wait to show you the fully decorated tree. That is something I couldn’t do without Mike. Especially since it is going to be his first Christmas in Canada in years!

Mike returns from Vegas this evening, and I am off to work here shortly. I love the overnight shift, but it sure would have been nice to see him. However, he did hint at the fact that he might be delivering Wendy’s on his way home.

Have you setup your tree already? If you haven’t, when are you planning on doing it? What is your favourite part of setting up the tree?

Have we already forgotten?

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While enjoying my relaxing morning, the sounds of Christmas advertising invaded my home. Don’t get me wrong, I am the biggest fan of Christmas and I am dying to put up the decorations.

However, the beginning of November is not a time for retailers, in this case Leon’s , to be striving to beat their competitors and advertising their Christmas bargains. This is a time for us all to honour the gift of freedom we have been given by our troops.

We have so many reasons to thank the men and women before us that served our country and sacrificed to make Canada what it is today. The act of remembrance isn’t something that we should do only on November 11th, but every time you see our flag waving.

So my thoughts to the marketing team at Leon’s, I strongly recommend that you show some respect and ho-ho-hold your self-serving commercials while the rest of us pay tribute to the sacrifices made by our military.

Defying the Limits of Time

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You’ve probably already realized today was the end of daylight savings time. I remember as a kid being excited to change all the clocks in the house, but in 2013 every clock in my house has changed itself with the exception of the oven and microwave (stupid outdated technology).

The adjustment of our adherence to the sun’s schedule seems to be a major annoyance. Facebook and Twitter are full of comments from friends who also are unimpressed with the idea of changing the clock.

I decided to figure out who we have to blame for this annoying practise. It turns out that there is actually some logic to changing the clock. The idea of day light savings was introduced to use fewer candles. The practise was not adopted until World War I as a measure to save fuel during the war. One study showed that daylight savings would save the equivalent of 10,000 barrels of oil every day in the USA.

However, why do we switch the clocks back to standard time for the winter. It turns out parents are to blame for that. They insisted that clocks be adjusted back so that their children would not have to walk to school in the darkness.

So my thoughts, saving energy is a really good reason to move the clocks forwards, but I’m still not totally sold on the idea of protecting kids as a reason to bring the clocks back. I would be in favour of leaving the clocks on daylight savings time so I can have daylight when I come home from work. It might make these long cold Canadian winters more bearable.

What do you think? Do we keep daylight savings, or do we keep one standard time, and which time zone do we keep?

If you wanna read more about the origins of daylight savings, check out timeanddate.com.

Why is the men’s door always open?

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Maybe I am over reacting, but I feel like there is a trend that needs to be brought to an end. On my random journeys and travels I have noticed that businesses are commonly leaving the door to the men’s washroom wide open.

If we started doing the same with the women’s washroom, I’m certain that someone would have already created an army to tackle this issue.  

My understanding is that women’s washrooms have a second door to provide each stall with additional privacy for users of these tolets.  However, he men’s bathroom often doesn’t even have partitions between urinals to protect us guys from any potential prying eyes.

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Is there an assumption that men are are only people that would peer into the other genders toilets? Is there a fear that if they close the doors the men’s bathroom will result in inappropriate behaviour behind these closed doors? Can someone please provide some clarification for me about why I am not being allowed to have equal privacy as women when using the washroom?