• Keep On The Sunny Side

    Keep On The Sunny Side

    By Mike McCarthy (9 July 2009)

    Mike McCarthy is the author of an upcoming FS utility, AirBoss™, that you can read about at his http://airbossproject.com forum web site. There you will additionally find articles on a variety of FS and aviation matters. Mike also writes on more general subjects for his http://www.mikeswritestuff.com forum web site. Interested readers are invited to join these web sites to contribute writing and posts of their own. Mike is also the moderator of the Aircraft Customization Forum here on FlightSim.Com.

    Keep on the sunny side,
    Always on the sunny side.
    Keep on the sunny side of life.

    June Carter Cash, "Keep On The Sunny Side"

    In late March, before major surgery, I had a pre-op meeting with the surgeon. We got along very well indeed. When he asked what I do for a living I jokingly said that I'm either retired, self-employed or unemployed, not clear which.

    I explained that I'm developing an add-on utility for Microsoft Flight Simulator, a highly technical program that has been more challenging to build than any device driver I have ever written. I said that I have no idea whether the project will ever bring in any money, though this is not why I'm doing it. (I'm building AirBoss mainly because I want the use of it.)

    I said I was well aware of the situational and surgical risks but was mentally prepared for any outcome, my only real concern being about the recovery process, which I knew would be long. I also asked that I be given any bad news immediately after the operation, face to face, with no sugar coating. The surgeon agreed, complimenting me on my positive mental attitude and saying that in his professional opinion I was tough as nails, 65 going on 50 as he put it.

    The surgeon then mentioned that he has two aviation-minded young sons who always ask to be allowed to peer into airliner cockpits after their flights have landed. I replied that he really needed to make sure he didn't lose me on the operating table because I planned after the surgery to present him with a gift for his sons -- a mint copy of FS2004 along with a compatible joystick.

    (Let's not have the usual FSX-vs-FS2004 fight. I chose the older version because I wanted to make sure the boys would have a good FS experience regardless of what kind of computer they own. The fact is that I run both sims. For maximum enjoyment you should too. But I digress...)

    "You don't have to do that," said the surgeon. "Of course not" I replied, "but FS can be a life changing experience. It will help your sons understand whether they would like to fly for a living."

    The surgeon was true to his word. He visited me in the recovery room as soon as I was conscious, telling me that after a long and complex operation he had found an early stage one malignancy. After saying he was fairly sure that he got it all, and finding me still to be in good spirits after the news, he said with a smile "If I had to have a cancer, yours is the one I would want." In my drugged-up state I made a joke that I can no longer recall, causing him to laugh out loud. But knowing me it will have been something like "Let me maker sure I understand this. You wanted the cancer so you took it."

    And so it was throughout my two-week hospital stay -- an unending stream of jokes and humor that kept the nursing staff laughing, this so they would have no choice but to take good care of me, their favorite patient. (You can laugh about this stuff, or you can cry. I prefer to laugh and I did this throughout my stay even though this made my incisions hurt a lot.)

    By three weeks after the operation I was well enough to ride with my wife to the surgeon's office for a post-op visit. While there I presented him with the promised FS software and hardware. He wanted to reimburse me but I refused to allow it, explaining that it would not then be the gift I wanted his sons to receive.

    That was in late April. As I write this it's late June. Yesterday I received a thank-you note from the surgeon. It said...

    Dear Mike,

    I want to take this moment to say thank you for the wonderful gift. My boys and I LOVE playing and learning from the flight simulator. What a blast. I can truly understand your passion. You are so kind.

    Jeff Ritter


    When she was a teenager June Carter, daughter of Maybelle Carter of the legendary Carter Family Singers, saw the not-yet-legendary (and not-yet-nicknamed) John Cash perform at a minor country music concert. Without even having met him she decided on the spot that some day she would marry him, taking him away from his then wife if need be.

    And she did.

    Mike McCarthy
    [email protected]

    Discuss this in the Outer Marker message forum

  • Recent Forum Activity


    Early Morning Charter Alice Springs to Ayers Rock

    Thread Starter: Rupert

    Grand weather for winter! So off to Ayers Rock early in the day. Remember to click on the shots!

    Last Post By: DAVIDSTRAKA Today, 04:45 PM Go to last post

    Who is planning a new rig build for the new sim?

    Thread Starter: FrankR409

    I’m wondering who’s planning a new rig, and how do you think you will be configuring it? Making plans myself but wondering AMD, like AMD Ryzen 9 -...

    Last Post By: BushPilot Today, 04:42 PM Go to last post


    Thread Starter: GhostTown

    I can't believe that some people are saying they are going to get the standard or deluxe versions...and not the premium deluxe? If you can afford...

    Last Post By: FrankR409 Today, 04:35 PM Go to last post

    Daytona Beach, Fl to JFK. Blue Angels 1

    Thread Starter: DAVIDSTRAKA

    Had to rework the panel a bit and learn it's navigation system :o

    Last Post By: DAVIDSTRAKA Today, 03:22 PM Go to last post