Monday, March 24, 2008

Rachel's Trip, Awareness and Giving In

Rachel is in Seattle with the youth group from Prince of Peace. She has the best time on the mission trips she takes with them. She charged the batteries for her camera and is ready to put her photography skills to the test. She took a couple photography classes last year and is developing a good eye for the right shot. They'll be spending their time at Pike Place Fish Market. She wasn't sure what they'll be doing but they'll no doubt make it fun.

Steve Saeedi posted this to the comments section a few posts ago. Watch the video...

 We viewed a similar video a few years ago as part of an awareness class at work. I remember counting the passes and figuring I would have the right answer. After watching the video the instructor asked us what we saw. Somebody said that they thought they saw a gorilla. That's funny I thought...what have you been smoking? The video was played once again for us and sure enough, there was an even more obvious gorilla than the one in the above video mugging for the camera before walking out of the scene. Of all the classes and computer based instruction I've done in my 26 years with the FAA, that one minute video taught me more than all the other stuff combined. I'm not as aware as I'd like to think I am and I'm as able as the next guy to miss something so obvious.

The video has been making the rounds of many of the bike forums and blogs of bikers. It's a good lesson for anyone who uses the road. Anybody can be a threat to us roadies out there -- not just elderly ladies with blue hair and old men with hats.

 I was in the zone yesterday on my ride until a monster snow-woman took me out of it. I actually circled back to take this photo. The size is what caught my attention but the ugliness is what got me to turn around. I do admit that a part of me figured it would make nice window dressing for my blog. Okay, I was wrong. My new cyclocomputer has a feature that was sorely lacking in my others. It will give me my average speed to the nearest 100th of a mph. It's motivating when you're out on the road and you're better able to see progress being made toward increasing your average speed. Changes to data are slow to take place when they're only recorded to the 10th of a mile after you've been out for a few hours while changes to the 100th of a mph are more noticeable. It's a biker thing.

I finally succumbed to the steady barrage of emails from and signed up for 3 months for $15 to see who's out there. I just got a reply from a friend from back in the day. Kurt Close was an Air Traffic Controller in the Air Force for 22 years before retiring a few years ago. This is the first contact we've had since probably Jr hs. I also heard from Laurie Marble (Gregoire) who is married with two children, living in AZ and owns a home accessory store. I don't recall that Laurie and I ever talked in HS but we knew each other -- or knew of each other. Anyway, it's still fun to connect to say hello. For a class as large as ours (about 750) I'm surprised there aren't more people signed up. There are a few people from high school I've stayed in touch with over the years. It will be interesting to see if I make connections with any others.



DOG said...

Yea, but what do you think of the FAA?

Kevin said...

[sarcasm]As a controller there is no more important focus than our customers. I stand arm in arm with management to see to it that the Flight Plan goals of the ATO are carried out in a professional manner. I take pride in the leadership of our supervisors and managers. Let us not forget that these people were the best and brightest (just ask their spouses if you don't believe me)to ever strap on a headset.

Before any trainee of mine ever certifies they too will show the same blind faith I have for those we proudly carry out orders for.[/sarcasm]