Nervous flyer?

It is well documented within my own brain that I am a nervous flyer. I don’t know if it is because I think too much of “What would I do if…” situations or if it is straight fear. Not so much fear of the end, but fear of how I get there. All that being said, I just landed in Denver and still have another flight back to Seattle in a couple hours, so my nervousness will arise again in a little while.

I flew a lot as a kid. My parents had a little 4 seater Cessna that we would take family vacations in. I never had any issues flying then, even though those little planes are more often than not the ones to crash. I remember the excitement of my Dad yelling “CLEAR” out the little tiny window before starting the single prop engine ( I can still hear his exact voice in my head today), and the thrill of shooting down the runway and taking off into the air… woohoo! I think back on that little plane and realize, now, that my lack of fear probably came from the fact that I could see everything that was going on. I could hear my dad talking to the tower, I could see all of the instruments and gauges, I could see, and touch and hear it all. I felt that I had control over the situation.

Thinking back on those days while sitting at 10,000 feet, I don’t have that same feeling of control. I don’t know the people sitting in that cockpit, I don’t know their lives, what they have been doing. Are they really tired? Are they on cold medicine, did they decide this morning to just “end it all”… any number of things that can cause me to be worried. Things that I have no control over.

On my flight here I was lucky enough to sit next to an airline pilot on his way home to Denver. He was calm and relaxed and quite pleasant to talk to. It got me thinking about how I, as a nervous flyer, manage to not have a “freak out” every time I fly and thought I would share some of those tips with you.

  1. Stop thinking – I try to just shut off the part of my brain that worries and be productive with my thoughts
  2. Remember that turbulence is just “bumps in the road” – I had a pilot friend tell me to think of turbulence as the peaks and valleys of an unpaved backwoods road.  The plane bounces up and down just like a car would.
  3. Watch the crew – If that plane is going crazy and the attendants are still laughing and serving drinks you are probably ok.
  4. Sometimes you have to just let go – it’s ok to not be in control and let people do what they do.  The pilot next to me had been flying for 14 years commercially and 10 years prior. pretty sure he knows what he is doing.
  5. Sit straight – I know it seems simple, but during take-off and landing I square myself up in my seat.  I sit upright (no hunching) and face directly forward.  For some reason this makes me feel more “put together” and ready for anything.

These are just a couple of tips, but they really do help me get over my anxiety of flying.

As I finish writing this, I am about to board my plane to Seattle.  I am mentally preparing myself to follow my own tips and think about what book I am going to read on the short ride home.

In this video I show how to pack for a 3 day technical conference in a small backpack. I have had a few people comment that I don’t pack another pair of Jeans. While wearing a single pair of Jeans for a 3 day event may be fine for some it isn’t for everyone – so I recommend replacing the sweats with another pair of jeans for this particular backpack – if you have a little more room, the packing cube I use, will allow for a pair of jeans on the other side, with everything that is currently packed.

I like this poem – don’t know the author

Toward the heights of the tower of ivory he climbed,
rising on his waxen wings;
aiming for the heavens,
he swore to make great his name.

a plan both great in aim and folly,
for divinity is not an accomplished feat.

his young body tired, he anxiously gasped for air
as the staples of his wings weakened.

earthen bricks,
the foundation of his civilization,
of his tower, of reason,
began to corrupt and crumble.

alas, progress refused to come with his struggles.
one last futile pump of the crude wings,
and he tore them from his back.

amidst the agony and fear, for an instant,
he lay completely still. peace.
and then he fell…

Movember Continues: Decoupling Large Applications with the Service Gateway

This week we are joined by James Baker, from the Windows Azure Developer & Platform Evangelism team, who has been working on an extremely interesting and compelling project for Windows Azure Application Developers. The Service Gateway is a project build within DPE to help Cloud developers take back agility and maintainability of their large application deployments by adding the ability to decompose applications into many components instead of creating one monolithic application.

Securing ASP.NET Web API’s

This week is a long awaited show for many ASP.NET Web API Developer out there,Daniel Roth joins us for the feature show on how to secure your ASP.NET Web API. There is a lot of amazing information and this is a “must watch” episode. We also re-introduced the Web Site Window, in which we had Petr Podhorsky form the Web Sites team introduce us to remote debugging with Visual Studio 2013 and Windows Azure Web Sites.

Don’t ask me too many questions about this one because I was learning on the episode as well. 🙂

Mavericks upgrade and ZSH

If you, like me, use zsh as your shell, you may have run in to some trouble with the mavericks update. So before you freak out like I did (or perhaps you already have done so) you can follow these few simple steps to get yourself back up and running.

First thing I did was to make a folder on my desktop called “zshstuff”.  Then I copied over the contents of my .zshrc file and my custom theme file.

Next I went in to Terminal preferences and changed the Command (complete path) to /bin/bash

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 2.00.48 PM

After that I closed down terminal and reopened in Bash.  I then cd’d into my root directory and removed .oh-my-zsh.  Once it was gone it just curled in a new install of zsh

curl -L | sh

After it had been installed I opened up my now reset .zshrc file and copied back in the contents I had saved previously.  I also opened up the theme folder and put my custom theme back in there.

I closed the terminal window and changed the command back to /bin/zsh and then restarted terminal.  everything back up and running normally.  Hope this helps anyone else who has had this issue!