Monday, April 20, 2015


My doctors have told me about liver problems since right before I got hired as an air traffic controller a quarter century ago (I waited too long and didn't make it through the program.) If I'd considered it when Reagan fired the controllers I'd have almost two decades of retirement (and a completely different life) by now.

So my retinas are going bad along with my kidneys and pancreas. But it could be the liver is the key. I'm looking in to it and thanks to CJ (who probably thinks I don't listen simply because it is my nature to tune out any discussion of my health) I am encouraged. So for what it's worth, thanks.

BTW Update: Becoming an ATCS required me to pass a lot of physical and mental test along with an FBI investigation. I would not have because my right eye was just over the line. But I can be a can do person so I reasoned, "physical measurements are all tolerances not Platonic ideals." So I got an optometrist to give me a prescription that allowed me to pass the FAA requirements. The flight surgeon did notice my eye was exactly at the cutoff point but passed me.

BTW Update 2: After a year I found out I was on slow track in my FBI investigation because I was arrested during my work commute for sleeping on a subway (in suit, tie and vest with briefcase.) Slow track meant no job with the FAA. So I went to NY from Phx to stand before a judge who couldn't believe I was trying to get a decade old ticket thrown out, but he did and I got my FBI investigation moved back onto fast track. Since I interviewed 2 days before being disqualified by age (it takes another day to process the interview because I asked) and having about a year overall delay after that, I am pretty confident I am the oldest person to have been accepted.

Then I failed the program by giving an optional clearance saying 8 instead o 7. That's how close I got. All I had to do was not give that clearance... "let 'em wait in orbit around a vortac for the slow traffic passing below." Seven would have put them underneath the traffic and clear to land. I also made one mistake on a map that had to be drawn from memory but that wouldn't have failed me. I would not even have made that mistake if I'd checked my work (I finished the map with plenty of time) and noticed one item that added up to 359 instead of 360. Must have been an experience for me to still remember these details after almost 30 years, eh?

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