Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mark's Been Living the Dream

Mark has been going to Jeppesen Flight Academy in Denver, CO for a 6 week grueling course to become a flight dispatcher. He will be licensed through the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the final exam is the same one that an airline pilot would take. So its a pretty intense course. A lot of people have been asking me what a flight dispatcher even does. I stole the following description from Skywest's career page::

As the former CEO and President of Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher stated "Dispatchers are the heart of the airline." The Aircraft Dispatcher is a licensed airman certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Authorize, regulate and control commercial airline flights according to government and company regulations to expedite and ensure safety of flight. Responsible for economics, passenger service and operational control of day to day flight operations. Analyze and evaluate meteorological information to determine potential hazards to safety of flight and to select the most desirable and economic route of flight. Compute the amount of fuel required for the safe completion of flight according to type of aircraft, distance of flight, maintenance limitations, weather conditions and minimum fuel requirements prescribed by federal aviation regulations. Prepares flight plans containing information such as maximum allowable takeoff and landing weights, weather reports, field conditions, NOTAMS and many other informational components required for the safe completion of flight. Prepares and signs the dispatch release which is the legal document providing authorization for a flight to depart. Delays or cancels flights if unsafe conditions threaten the safety of his/her aircraft or passengers Monitors weather conditions, aircraft position reports, and aeronautical navigation charts to evaluate the progress of flight.
Updates the pilot in command of significant changes to weather or flight plan and recommends flight plan alternates, such as changing course, altitude and, if required, enroute landings in the interest of safety and economy. Originates and disseminates flight information to others in his/her company including stations and reservations. This is the source of information provided to the traveling public. Undergo extensive training to have earned the coveted Aircraft Dispatcher's certificate having taken and passed both an extensive oral examination and the comprehensive Dispatch ADX test, administered by the Federal Aviation Administration. These tests are equivalent to the same Air Transport Pilot (ATP) written and oral examinations that an airline captain must successfully complete. Participates in frequent and detailed recurrent training courses covering aircraft systems, company operations policy, meteorology and Federal Air Regulations as required by the FAA.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

First Impression by Mark

I asked Mark what he wanted to say about our first date and this is what he had to say:
"It was the best first date I've ever been on. I could have just sat there and talked with you all night and would have been totally happy. You were not weird. You were cute, witty, funny. I was proud to be on a date with you. It was a very mutual date and those don't come around very often."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First Date

I have always HATED first dates. They are so awkward. You don't know what to say. You don't know how to act. Well I have to say that my first date with Mark was nothing like that. It was so comfortable and so chill. We had plans to play miniature golf at Laser Mania. When he came to pick me up, we ended up talking for nearly two hours. I honestly couldn't tell you everything we talked about but mostly just getting to know you things. There was never an awkward moment or awkward silence. The conversation just flowed. So after nearly two hours of chatting, we did decide to go play miniature golf.

The venue is pretty sweet in that everything is in fluorescent paint and under black lights. It makes it quite enjoyable. Each hole has a theme--from Spider Man to Elvis to Monopoly to Wizard of Oz and everything in between. If any of you know me like I do, you know I am quite competitive and sometimes this causes a problem because I like to cheat in order to win. haha. Well I did my best but Mark won in the end. He even got a hole in one. The final score was 47 to 44. So brilliant Nicole decided that because I lost, Mark had to take me to dinner, in order to make me feel better. However, Mark would have had to take me to dinner anyway. Had I won, the dinner would be a celebration. So I guess you could say I won either way. ;)

By the time we finished our game, it was nearing 11 PM which meant none of the restaurants were still open. It was either fast food or Denny's. We opted for some brinner (breakfast for dinner) at Denny's. Once again, we carried on a conversation without a dull or awkward silence. It was like I had known Mark for years. Which I kind of did, if you remember my last post. Turns out we went to the same concerts and events, his step mom works with my grandpa, same singles ward, same group of friends, etc. It is truly amazing that we never dated before. haha. His mom is even a nurse practitioner so we have that same interest as well. Small world! When we went to pay, Mark told the cashier that the waitress said to give us 25% off. She actually believed him and was in the process of doing it when I told her she really hadn't said that. I thought it was pretty funny though that he would say that. He was just my kind of guy ;)

By the time Mark took me home, I was thinking I really liked him. He has a very fun personality and we really had a lot of fun together. Before he left he said, "I normally don't do this but..." I was thinking he was going to try and kiss me. I told myself if he does, I will NEVER go out with him again. Kissing on a first date, really?! He finished with "...would you like to go on another date with me sometime?" I just started laughing. I was so relieved! Of course I accepted that offer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It All Began With....

Mark and I met online which is kind of a funny story. I pretty much had given up on dating- I was through with meeting people at church, through with the blind dates, through with the set ups, etc. A girl at work told me to try meeting people online...Facebook, LDS dating site, etc. I shrugged away the thought thinking it was creepy and for desperate people. But then one day, I broke down and signed up for a free account. Turns out Mark had the same thoughts and same feelings and was convinced to do the same. Coincidence? I think not! His profile was interesting...haha. I really loved this photo of him holding a tiger in the Philippines. His long side swept hair just did something for me along with his bulging muscles. ;)

I also loved this photo of him standing atop a cliff, overlooking a city in the Philippines. It showed that he was athletic and active. I love traveling and this showed that he did too. Plus it was so beautiful and such a gorgeous view. 

Mark loved this black and white photo of me. He thought I was just the kind of girl he was looking for and was immediately attracted to me. He did say afterwards that I was not the type of person he thought I portrayed in my profile. Nothing bad...he just said I had more of a fun and outgoing personality in real life. More sarcastic and spontaneous as well. ;)

So that was sometime in December that we met online and started an email and text relationship. Our first date didn't come until February 1st. It was then that we found out we kind of already knew each other. My older brother and him were in the same classes in middle and high school. I was the same age as his younger sister and were in a couple classes together with her as well. Mark and I attended the same singles ward. We have a lot of the same friends and yet never ran into each other before now. First date post to come another day!!