Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Community Recharging

Apologies for the lack of bloggage Friday and Sunday. As previously mentioned, I had an off-site activity I needed to attend on Friday, and Sunday I was enjoying the last day of the Arlington EAA Fly-in.

I've attended the fly-in every year for the past three years, and in four of the six years I've lived in the Seattle area. One of the most useful things I've learned from these things is that for me at least, they're a useful and important part of keeping the fires of my enthusiasm stoked year round.

I've always enjoyed aviation. It's my biggest hobby, followed in no particular order by baseball, anime, and video games. It's not always easy to keep my enthusiasm for flying though. Winters in the Northwest are long and damp, I work in an office, and the money needed to actually start taking flying lessons seems so far away. It's easy sometimes to get discouraged, wonder why I'm dreaming this impossible dream, and start considering what other uses the small savings I've made towards flight school could be used for.

A few hours at an air show brings it all back. Sitting in the grass, the wing of an old Cessna providing shade while I watched pilots perform aerobatic maneuvers that shouldn't be aerodynamically possible. Hearing the deep rumble of a massive AD-1 Skyraider as she taxies in the parade of warbirds, then hearing that engine sound the way it was meant to be heard as she thunders overhead. Even just walking the flightline, seeing aircraft buzzing overhead, and looking at finished and unfinished projects reminds me that Yes! This can be done!

I think this encouragement of being around like-minded people is a built-in thing, inherent to our human nature. Even the "loners" of the world tend to find community and encouragement with other loners, often through MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, or through message boards. It's part of what we are, and I've got to believe, it's one of the big reasons why God knew we needed church, rather than just trying to go it alone.

Someday, I will have an airplane to work on. It will start as a pile of parts sitting in my basement, garage, or my parent's garage. I could build it alone. I'll have an instruction book and blueprints to tell me what to do, it can be done. It's also much more likely that after a couple years of turning lots of small parts into slightly bigger parts, I'll get tired. After another year or two of having half the garage taken over by dusty bits of aluminum, my lovely and gracious wife will suggest that I should think about doing something with said bits of aluminum. And finally, after another year or two of vacillation, I'll admit defeat and the whole mess will end up on E-Bay and in Trade-a-Plane, just like so many other partially completed kits.

That's where the go it alone route leads, and is why when I do get the kit, I'll be working with other people, and plugging in to my local EAA group for additional support. Because I want an airplane, one that's safe, flyable, and fun; not a pile of dusty metal in the garage.

If community is that important a factor for something like a project, how much more vital is it to things that really effect our lives?