Your Weekly Lex, For Strength

The captain’s log

This morning, as I might have mentioned, was much taken up with the attempt to fashion a perfect spreadsheet to capture several thousand flight hours, landings and and instrument approaches. Dreary work up front made filling in the blanks a little less tedious on the back end. But I started at around 0645 this morning and by 1500 – having worked through lunch without realizing it – I was only up to April, 1985.
This is going to take a little while.
Log books contain a great deal of data, and when it comes to manipulating data there is nothing to improve upon automated systems. I have signed to “Certify a Correct Record” whatever it was Yeoman Apprentice Wishes E. Were-Ellswear calculated more often than I should have done. It appears that “error carried forward” did not entirely vanish upon graduation from college.
But there’s something about a physical logbook, sitting on your desk. You will have so many times looked at it over the course of a career. Scrutinizing its pages as though they contained some hidden mystery – legends of experience, competence, potential. You will have watched it grow with a quiet but increasing pride. Watch it spill over from first one book, to two. Eventually four for me, three of them wrapped in a naugahide binder, my last one loose. Plus the civilian log book, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of that one.
Twenty-odd years. Over four thousand hours. Black ink for day flights, red ink for night. Green for combat. […]

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