Monday, February 16, 2009

Tom Joad - Day 6, still mile 1,023, Blimps, dirigibles, and zeppelins

I awoke this morning to the sound of a torrential downpour of rain in Los Angeles. Inches of rain poured down within hours, a documented phenomenom in the past, although very unusual. For those that don't know it, Los Angeles is a desert. Although man-made irrigation has turned the city of Los Angeles into a greenhouse of exotic plants and trees, the sun-baked soil is still very resilient to absorbing large quantities of water in a short period of time. So, after an hour or so of heavy rain, everything floods. Streets are quickly submerged under several inches of water, mudslides engulf whole hillsides pulling down trees and houses with them. Complete chaos for the 9-to-5ers trying to go about their daily rituals. I'm truly glad I wasn't riding in this mess this morning.

Interestingly enough, I had planned to ride this morning. I had a down day from job hunting because it was a holiday, (President's Day), for some people. I was interested in trekking up to the high desert of Victorville, CA, where I was stationed while in the US Air Force back in the mid 80's. Victorville is situated nearly half way between Los Angeles, and Las Vegas in the middle of the Mojave Desert if you draw a straight line on the map. Nothing but tumble weeds, Joshua trees, and blowing dust for miles around.

I decided to cancel my ride to the high desert today and surf the job listings in Los Angeles for any new ones which popped up over the past weekend. I found an interesting listing in the Los Angeles Craigslist recruiting avionics engineers, so I sent in a response mentioning that I was interested and currently visiting the Los Angeles area. Within minutes I had a response back asking me to fill out an application, and 30 minutes later I was being called from one of their hiring managers.

This company manufactures and sells blimps, or 'Lighter-Than-Air' airships. They market many of the smaller airships you see flying over sporting events, (smaller than the Goodyear blimps). They also have several military contracts for dirigilbles, and several rigid-hull airships in the prototype stages. I was immediately interested, so I called them back and they asked me in for an interview on Tuesday. Things are looking up, (all puns intended), for this job-hunting trip.

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