Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Day for Linking

Just wanted to share some recent posts from other folks with y'all.

I love Debby's writing, whether she's relating her battle with breast cancer, or hurting her hip while dancing at a wedding.
Life's Funny Like That

My friend and former coworker Bob has a sense of "voice" in his writing that I envy. He's a kind and compassionate guy, but he doesn't really care if you think so. He lives in Florida, but he still has a good bit of the vinegary New Yorker in him. I liked this post because it reveals a bit about the life of a helicopter pilot who lives by the seasons, and how we sometimes don't realize how we've changed until well after the fact.
Helicopter Pilot

Inspiration needn't come from a grand source. It can come from the heart and the guts of a six year-old girl struggling to master the monkey bars. Read Andrew Heffernan's account of his daughter's triumph.
Male Pattern Fitness

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I was away in Louisiana for longer than usual last time. Annual recurrent training, with long, intense days in the classroom and the simulator.

It always has an affect on Dylan when I'm away for longer than usual, and this time was no different. Rhonda went to bed early, and Dylan asked me to sit next to him while we watched "Iron Man."

I thought about how long it had been since we snuggled up together to watch a movie. He's a big kid now; he'll be ten this summer. It was a tighter fit in the easy chair than last time, but we wedged in there together. We made it half way through the movie before he feel asleep against my shoulder.

Geez, I remember being in my twenties and thirties and feeling envious of women friends because they could cry. "It must feel so good," I would think, knowing how difficult it was for me to find that kind of emotional release.

Wow, things sure changed after I became a dad. I think I cried more in the first three years of Dylan's life than I had in my entire adulthood. Mostly, I weeped out of joy, but as most parents know, that joy is infused with a beautiful sadness, a sadness that comes from knowing that our times with little ones will be too short, and that one day they will fly away.

Few parents really want the kids to stay forever. We know that taking wing is evidence of a successful upbringing. We don't want them lounging on the sofa, thirty and jobless, mad because all of the potato chips are gone. And yet, some of us still dread that day when our kids leave us to make lives for themselves.

I thought about that as I looked at my son's hairy little sleeping head resting on my shoulder. But really, his head isn't so little anymore, and that's one more reminder that one day he'll fly away.

Good God, I hope I'll be ready.

Gotta go. Damn sinuses.

Friday, March 05, 2010

One Nation, with No Damned Sense of Humor

Thom G. and Bob Barbanes wrote about the JFK controller who let his nine year-old twins clear a few aircraft for takeoff.

Thom wrote, "Jebus but we've lost out way in this country. We're an angry nation. We've got everyone yelling at anyone." He continues, "There's a lot of people in this country that have lost their sense of humor. They're angry, ugly and unfunny."

I pretty much echo his sentiments. Okay, perhaps the dad suffered from a lapse in judgment. Sure. I don't know all the details of the incident, but I surmise that he let his kids play air traffic controllers during non-peak times. He told them what to say, and he was right there to correct them or take over. It wasn't as if the kids were on approach control, guiding multiple aircraft into the airport with minimum separation. The kids were clearing aircraft located on the ground for takeoff. C'mon.

We've become a country that celebrates punishing people. If the press makes a big deal out of someone's mistake, a big chunk of the public goes along with the implied we need to get that bastard sentiment.

I think the authorities should slap that air traffic controller's wrist, tell him not to do it again, and put him back to work. I think we should all hold on to a sense of humor, lest we begin to lose hold on our own sense of humanity.

I hope the controller goes back to work, and I hope his kids can quit worrying that they could have cost daddy his job.

I'm doubtful that will happen. I think too many people will want his head, because dammit, that's how we do things around here. "Forgive and forget" ain't so much in fashion nowadays.

And that's freakin' sad.