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John_Cillis

Simwest's Albuquerque out of Double Eagle

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Flying over just the photo textures with autogen disabled for now and I changed the season to winter so I could enjoy the snowcapped Sandia Peaks....  In 2008 I rode up the wonderful Sandia tramway but boy did I get winded at the 10,000+ foot summit, I had to stay up there a good half hour to acclimatize.  Unknown to me at the time, I flew over Double Eagle just a week later when I surprised my wife and daughter with a non stop flight from Phoenix to Orlando, a vacation my boss let me take at the spur of the moment. 

Two weeks after that I flew again non-stop, passing ABQ yet again to Washington DC, where as WAN admin and software manager for my retail software company, JDA, I was sent to prepare to install a corporate wide software testing and management package named Silk Central and train our Scottsdale and Rockville team members how to use it.  My boss was kind enough to give me two free extra nights so I could visit DC over the weekend preceding my work in Rockville, and later that evening I went into DC yet again taking my colleague from India there to see the Whitehouse and the sights along the national mall there. 

Two weeks after that I found myself at Caesar's in Vegas, which had rewarded my wife two free nights and a free dinner there for her work using Caesar's as a sponsor for a raffle she organized for the Phoenix school district she administered.  So I did a lot of travel, four destinations in four states and the District of Columbia.  I used to work for a company in Maryland between 93-95 as their lead business systems trainer, and while in DC in 2008 I was given dinner twice by their former HR director who has remained a friend for 26 years now.

I stayed at a Best Western near the Marriott shown in two of my screenshots and visited the nearby mall there shown in those screenshots.  My client took me out to dinner near there when I was there in 2000 and became a job reference for a five year gig after I left Best Western in March of 2000 for California Casualty Insurance company.  For the first year with that company I was WAN admin for their Phoenix, Socal and Los Alamos, NM offices and commuted via ABQ Sunport a few times up to Los Alamos, staying both there and in Santa Fe on those trips.  I was in Los Alamos during the 2000 fires to open a temp office in Santa Fe so my company could help the 60 insureds of ours who had lost their homes in the fires.  I was given special permission by the firefighters there to enter Los Alamos with my business ID so I could shut down our server farm there so we would not lose our servers there to smoke damage.  The next day, leaving ABQ I was surrounded by firefighters from Arizona who had volunteered to help contain the fire.  In our Southwest departure area the pax there gave them applause as they got up to board our flight.  I was smug, knowing I had helped those who lost their homes along with my two colleagues from our claims office who went there. 

I did not have to go to Los Alamos or behind the containment area, since I had a newborn daughter, but I was asked if I would volunteer the night before I left by our claims manager.  I said if he could obtain permission from my boss so my backup could manage our Phoenix LAN (I was always on call for our employee issues with their workstations) I would go.  He told me to book the flights, and he took care of the rest for me--great man, his name was Larry Kurth.  My company specialized in insuring teachers, medical staff, firefighters and law enforcement, plus government workers in Los Alamos, because they were great risks to take on, with few at fault claims.

John

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