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Showing posts from 2007

Christmas 2007 Road Trip, Transitions and Bernice Norgard

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We headed up north to Babbitt for the weekend to be together with some of Tammy's family. We got an early start leaving home at 6:15am Thursday. Rachel and I drove together following Tammy. We stopped along the way in Virginia to pick up her father, Morey, at the retirement home where he's been living for the past 8 months. It was an icy drive and the further north we got the more cars we saw in the ditch. I enjoy my road trips with Rachel as it gives us time to really catch up with each other. You would think that we'd run out of things to talk about but we don't. We kick around all sorts of things from silly thoughts to the more complex social issues of our world. And there's always plenty to laugh at. We were just south of Hinkley when I spotted a billboard up in the distance with what looked to be a bird on top of it. I knew it was fake but I said "hey, look at the size of the bird on that sign" Her response was something like, "wow, is that rea

Unwrapping the Truth (and Gifts) and Our Annual Office Party

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In one of our Christmas cards, we received there was a small pamphlet titled, Unwrapping the Truth about Christmas. The pamphlet details some interesting facts about the bible and the life of Christ. One item which stood out for me was this... Jesus: The Focus and Fulfillment of Prophecy There are at least 456 Old Testament prophetic references that pertain to a future person that all were fulfilled in the life of Jesus. The most common objection is that the fulfillment of these prophecies was by chance. Science and mathematics professor Peter Stoner estimated a reasonable probability that one man might have fulfilled just 8 of these 456 prophecies at one chance in 10 to the 17th power. 1 chance in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Take that amount of silver dollars and cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Mark one and stir the whole mass thoroughly. Blindfold a man and have him pick up only one silver dollar and have it be the right one. what chance would he have of getting the

mr Mark

I was talking with Ron S and mr Mark at the front desk yesterday. The three of us were joking about playing hockey a dozen years earlier. I reminded Ron how I'd kicked his ass in a race on the ice back in the day but he said I had it all wrong. We were both a couple of hacks but In closing our conversation I replied that there was a labor/management war going on around here and that I couldn't be seen talking with them. A totally tongue-in-cheek remark. I didn't think anything else of it. I was sitting in the area a couple hours later waiting to go home when mr M came up to me, leaned in and said softly, "I have never disrespected you as a controller." I didn't know what to think as I wasn't sure where he was coming from. A couple minutes later he came up to me once again and repeated what he'd just said. I asked him what he was referring to. He said that I was disrespectful when I was talking with Ron and him. He said that if I had a problem

Dan Fogelberg and Phone Env

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I was saddened to hear of the death of Dan Fogelberg on Sunday. It's been many years since I've purchased any of his music but one CD of his is in my top ten: Netherlands. I have one memory in particular of being in Hong Kong while in port during my Navy days and having his song, Netherlands, run through my head. It's odd how some memories remain with us all these years later. Our family plan with Sprint expired this week and we took the opportunity to move over to Verizon. No particular reason other than Rachel said that most of her friends were using it and that they like it. The 3 of us also upgraded our phones to the LG Env. It's larger than I'm used to but I like it. The 2mp camera will actually get some use, unlike other phone cameras I've had. We weren't sure which text plan to have for Rachel so I looked at our history with Sprint to get an idea what she would need. This past month she had over 1400 text messages...and that's without a boyfr

House-Hop and the Holidazzle

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We had our neighborhood house-hop last weekend with about 12 couples joining in. It's always a fun time and usually a late night. The hit of the party was without question, Guitar Hero, at Tom and Mary Wignall's home. Neither Tammy nor I had ever played it before but that didn't stop Tammy from trying the classic over the head and behind the back position with the guitar once she got it strapped on. We both really sucked but had a great time trying. Little does Tammy know that I went out and purchased a Play Station 2 the other night with intentions of buying Rock Band when it arrives in stores on Wednesday. A family Christmas gift. I can see Tammy and I entertaining ourselves for hours while Rachel looks on and wonders what's becoming of us. I think the three of us could put together a tight little band with just a bit of work. I'll be on the skins. Rachel came home from school on Thursday and wondered if we could head into Minneapolis that night for the Holida

Google Maps, Street View

Have you looked on Google Maps Street View, to see if you were out and about when the Google van taking street-view photos came by? It looks as though I was just finishing mowing our yard. Either that or I'm just getting started.

Bringing it Indoors, 28 Years Ago Today and The Golden Compass

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Fall riding weather is nothing more than a distant memory since we got dumped on with nearly ten inches of snow in the last week. The roads out of our neighborhood are still quite snow-packed but the main roads are fine. The last few winters I've shunned my indoor trainer for whatever clear roads I could find, sometimes riding in temps as cold as zero. Winter riding in Minnesota is doable but there are two big obstacles: frozen toes and the lack of daylight. Up until a little over a week ago, I was searching for some warmer shoes for winter riding with plans of once again riding outdoors through the winter months. That approach changed when I came across a thread on the Serotta forum and some input from a respected poster who couldn't say enough good things about TruTrainer rollers. I very much respect what this poster (who goes by the name of 11.4) has to say. I'd been kicking around the idea of bringing my training back indoors and 11.4's recommendation of these ro

Happy Birthday, Tammy, and Taking Shots

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It is truly better to give than to receive. Tammy turned 50 today. I was ahead of the game with her birthday this year having ordered her a Dell laptop a couple weeks ago and getting all the accessories during the past week.  Rachel and I gave it to her today and she was so happy that she cried. I honestly wasn't expecting that reaction but her tears brought tears to my eyes as well. She is so thankful and I'm very happy for her. The laptop she's been using is our 7-year-old Sony Viao and while it still works fine and has plenty of hard drive space it was beginning to hang up much more often as the processor wasn't keeping up with some of her programs. Reformatting wasn't the answer. I just spent the last couple hours getting it set up for her. It's a nice little machine. I hooked up some Creative speakers to it and they have a very nice sound. She's upstairs getting familiar with it as I blog. Whereas I had a difficult time accepting 50, Tammy is per

Face Lift

Please excuse me while I give my blog a facelift over the next couple days.

John Carr...a Tip of My Hat

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I began working on a post for today but then I was reading a blog I check in on daily and came across something written by my union's former president, John Carr. It's not often you see someone put themselves out there as John does with this post but when they do it's impossible not to take notice. I've never met John but I've admired his ability to convey his passion through his pen for some time. Whatever it was I had to say today can wait. Very Important, PLEASE Read And Forward I cannot get the thought of her out of my mind. I cannot sleep when I think of her. Which is why I am up now, typing this. What? What must have happened to cause two parents to beat their adorable, blond haired, blue eyed TWO YEAR OLD daughter with leather belts, hold her head under water, fling her across the room in a rage that fractured her skull in three places, place her in plastic bags and a Sterlite box, leave it in the garage for two months, then toss it into Galveston Ba

Amazing Grace, the Power of Prayer and Where's George?

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Good movie alert:  Amazing Grace. I haven't been much for watching movies lately. The Prednisone left me feeling all sorts of fidgety and unable to sit still for very long. I'm better now; more about that later. About the film...Amazing Grace is a very good movie about an antislavery pioneer from the 18th century named William Wilberforce. Wilberforce spent over 20 years trying to change the hearts and minds of the ruling class in Britain who believed it was their right to trade and own slaves. The movie gets its name from the 18th-century hymn, Amazing Grace, which was written by John Newton, the captain of a ship used for transporting slaves from Africa to Europe. Newton nearly lost his life in a storm at sea and prayed to God that if he survived the storm he would change the direction of his life. He would later become a confidant of Wilberforce. While watching the movie I couldn't help but see similarities between the people of a more ignorant time who supported sla

The Break-up, the Project and the Miles

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I've got a couple of the sweetest pups you could imagine in my lap as I type. I think dogs should be one of the 7 wonders of the world for the unconditional love they have for us. I was talking with Rachel last week about her noticeable lack of texting and I said I didn't mean to pry but I was wondering if everything was okay between her and Grant? I mentioned that it seemed things had cooled a bit since Homecoming . She said their relationship was a bit rocky and she wasn't sure what to make of it. She planned to see a movie with him last Friday night and get a better feel for which way the wind was blowing. I was curious to see how the night would go. She phoned when the show was over and I drove to go pick her up. I waited in the truck out front and when she got in the tears began to flow. I felt so bad for her. She said the entire night was awkward. She tried to make small talk but he had nothing to say. She wanted to tell him that maybe they should break it off bu

Missed Opportunity, Time Off, Celebrating 79 and Where's the Respect?

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There's an old farmhouse I pass on the way to work on the southeast corner of Cedar Ave and Hwy 50. It's tucked back in off the road but it occasionally catches my eye. It's tattered and has loads character and could make for some interesting photos. It probably hasn't seen an occupant in over 30 years. Rachel mentioned a few weeks ago that she'd like to get some b&w film and shoot some pictures of it. Great idea. We talked about it again yesterday and I told her we should try and get out there this week. Tammy said she was worried that maybe it would be bulldozed if we waited too long. Not to worry, it's been there this long, it'll be there for a while longer. I couldn't shake the feeling that Tammy was right and that we should make some definite plans to get out there more sooner than later. I tossed my Panasonic Lumix in my truck today and set out to see what I could get of the old house. Rachel and I would come back later in the week. I had a

Remembering 1965 and Mike Lynch

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I was flipping through stations on the radio while driving to work a couple weeks ago. I paused on WCCO and listened as they filled some time chatting while leading up to the weather. Mike Lynch, the weather guy, was talking about his old neighborhood where he grew up in Richfield and about one of his neighbors there -- a beautiful girl several years older with the last name of Falen. The neighborhood he was talking about was my neighborhood, too, for one year in 1965. We lived next-door to Falens', and Mike lived on the other side of them and yes, the neighbor girl he was referring to was very pretty and I suppose in high school at the time. We rented a home there as my dad's job had our family moving back and forth between Minneapolis and Detroit several times in the span of as many years. We never seemed to stay anywhere very long and when we'd move back it would always be to a different neighborhood and school district. It was never fun being the new kid in class but

Tammy's Project, Various Stuff and FAA Frivolity

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Tammy spent a good part of the last month reupholstering our sofa, love seat, and ottoman. I didn't realize how badly they needed to be redone but the sun had definitely taken its toll on them. She'd mentioned a while back that she'd like to do it and I know she's done that sort of thing before but to be honest, I wasn't sure she could pull it off. Was I wrong! We've got a microfiber material on our sofa in the basement and we're really impressed with its resilience. Tammy was able to find the same fabric in a different shade for this job. She did the ottoman first to practice her skills and make sure she wasn't getting in over her head. She had it done in a day. She began work on the love seat next and was careful to note how the fabric was spread across it. She took photos in case she got lost during the reupholstering phase. She never had to refer to them. She's a natural at this sort of thing. I joked with her that when we retire and open o

A Phone Call from DC

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I cut my ride short today as my legs were feeling tired. I was in the shower when I heard the phone ring. I figured it was Tammy on her way home from work but she'd have to wait as I was all soaped up. A few seconds later Tammy is in the bathroom telling me that John Kline  (our Congressman and neighbor) is on the phone. The soap will have to wait. I'd written John a few nights ago to express my frustration with FAA management and apparently he'd read my email. I routinely see him when I'm out walking Toby and Allie as he lives just down the street. I suppose I could have approached him and introduced myself then gone into the laundry list of complaints I have but that's not me. I outlined a brief description of my concerns then gave him a link to a recent post in my blog hoping he'd follow the link to learn more. He did. He said he supported Natca's (Air Traffic Controllers' union) attempts to require the FAA to enter into binding arbitration but tha

Politics and More Thoughts/Rants About the FAA

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Politically speaking, for better or worse as long as I can remember I've had a conservative tilt. I can recall voting for Nixon in my 6th-grade classroom's pretend election. I don't have any idea what it was about the man which had me pulling for him. Maybe I considered him an underdog as he was running against Hubert Humphrey from my home state and most everyone was rooting for the local guy. Humphrey lost the popular vote by only a few hundred thousand but the Electoral College results gave a clear victory to Nixon. Nixon would eventually leave the office in disgrace while my eyes were opened to the world of politics and corruption. Politics is seldom win-win. There's always a price to be paid as you trade away one thing for another. Should I vote for the guy who will place conservative judges to the Supreme Court or do I vote for who I know will be the better choice for my job? In the last election, it came down to that. I got my conservative judges appointed with

Pondering Infinity and Failed FAA Management

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Random thought time. When I was a kid I used to lay awake in bed at night and try to get my head around the idea of infinity. I used to imagine an ever-extending universe where there was absolutely no end to it. Or I'd ponder the idea of forever, where there is never an end to time. How can it be that time will go on forever? The thoughts these ideas evoke can easily overwhelm my limited capacity. One of the ways to visualize infinity is to imagine a center point within a circle with lines extending out every degree for 360 degrees to the edge of the circle. Fill the space in between each line with more lines extending from the center until you can't draw anymore. Now, extend the lines beyond the edge of the circle and you'll see that more space develops between the lines as they get further from the center. Continue imagining this process over and over again and you get the idea. Infinity blows my mind. Random thoughts end here. When I began working for the FAA in