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Showing posts from May, 2009

A Full Day on the Bike and Some Quite Cool Technology

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The weather this weekend was too nice to be toiling in the yard so I had no choice but to simply get out and enjoy it. I spent a bit of time on Thursday plotting out a course for an all-day ride on Friday. The course I mapped out was around 150 miles and would take me to the small town of Dassel, about 75 miles to the northwest. My mind was up to it but I wasn't sure if my knees would be willing participants so the course I mapped out allowed for a convenient bailout point should I find it necessary. I set my alarm for 6:00 Friday morning wanting to make sure that I didn't sleep in too late having been up until after midnight the night before. I finally managed to roll out of bed at 6:30 and went about getting my body fueled. Three eggs, toast, cinnamon roll and juice would be enough to get me through the first few hours. I prepared my water bottles, topped off my tires and made sure I had enough money in my seat bag for food and drink along the way. I finally got on the road

Mind Drift

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I spent most of Thursday working in the yard and came to the conclusion that it's past time to replace the edging around a couple of our trees. It no longer looks attractive since the trees and their surface roots have distorted it. My plan is to make a much broader, irregular shape edging to replace the old ones and fill them in with plants and shrubs like the other islands around our yard. I thought about doing it yesterday but I came to my senses and went riding instead. I was overdue for a long ride. I waited for the temp to warm enough so I didn't need to wear anything other than my summer gear. I got away at 11:15 into a sunny day with a breeze from the southeast and the temp in the mid-60s. I don't understand why but with my reduced mileage my knees have been much more sore than usual. I've experienced this before. When I dial my summer mileage up to the usual 300-500 miles a week my knees seem fine. I'm averaging less than 200 miles a week now and the s

Make 'em Laugh!

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I remember several years ago sitting in the audience for one of Rachel's dance recitals and watching the Dads' Dance. They always brought the house down with their routine and I'd be less than honest if I said there wasn't a bit of me that wanted to be out there with them. But I need a big shove when it comes to things like that as I'm not going to run off and get involved on my own. A few years ago I picked up Rachel outside her dance studio (Brenda's School of Dance) and she had a piece of paper in her hand for me as well as a big smile on her face. The sheet of paper was a request for any interested fathers who wanted to participate in that year's Dads' Dance. Rachel wanted to know if I would do it. Yikes...me...out there in front of everybody? Rachel's request was the shove I needed. I said I would; there was no way I could tell her no. It's been three years since my debut with the other fathers and three years since the dads have put tog

ZMP Sector 30, 1715Z

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It's just past noon when I get Rex and Suzanne out of Sector 30. Suzanne has been training there most of the day and they need to take some time to debrief before going home. I was hoping the rides had improved from earlier in the day but they haven't and choppy rides add considerably to the workload of a sector. The only decent air I have is at Flight Level two-eight-zero (FL280, or 28,000 feet) and below. Pilots will go there if they have to but they'd prefer to fly higher where the air is thinner and requires less fuel. Aircraft in level flight are much easier to manage than those climbing and descending to try and find smooth air. There's simply much less to consider in terms of traffic. The vocabulary necessary to do the job of air traffic control is probably less than forty words and half those are used to describe rides to pilots checking in on your frequency. To know of bad rides in your sector and not convey that to the pilot so they can get their passengers

Out With the Old in with the Yews

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I'm getting ready to head into work after my weekend and I'm actually looking forward to it so I can slow things down some. Not really. The past few days have been a bit busier than I like with a ton of yard work that couldn't be ignored any longer in addition to whatever else I had planned for the weekend. Maybe this speaks to the dream I wrote about in my previous entry. I've been unhappy with the look of an island of Junipers in our front yard for some time. I planted them when I had our home built in 1992 and they looked fine until a few years ago when they became overgrown. There isn't much you can do in the way of trimming them so they keep their natural look and that's what I'd like. They suffered a lot of winter-kill this past winter making my need to replace them a higher priority and this was the weekend to finally do it. I got busy Thursday morning with a hand saw working to trim the limbs off down to the base. It was going okay but I could se

The Meaning and the Miscellaneous

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I woke up yesterday morning from an unnerving dream; the sort of dream that causes you to be thankful that it wasn't real life. I've had the dream several times throughout my adult life and I'm guessing there must be something that triggers it. I think I know what it is. In the dream, I'm either in college or high school with the end of the grading period just around the corner with me totally failing a couple classes. I haven't even attended either class since the first day. Lengthy papers are due and I've opened no books to research them. There's always a time warp in the dream in that I go from being at the beginning of the semester early in the dream while assuring myself that I'll have enough time to do the necessary work to finding myself woefully behind at the end of the dream and the semester and failing. It's a helpless, overwhelming feeling. I awake with great relief. Maybe the dream was spawned while watching Rachel this past week work

Change is Coming and No Hurry Home

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We're experiencing more culture change at work. FAA management has seen the error of their ways (not that they didn't see it all along) and has begun briefing us on a new day dawning where we all work together for a greater good. Fine. I've always thought that's the way it should be; but why now? Could this possibly have anything to do with the Obama Administration and its dim view of what's been happening within the FAA these past few years with respect to management and their heavy-handed, hypocritical ways? After my Wednesday briefing on our intended new direction in the workplace, I was plugged into the sector chatting with another controller and I sarcastically stated that I was curious if we'd be seeing this culture shift had McCain been elected. After my remark, the supervisor interjected himself into the conversation and assured me that this new culture change has nothing to do with the Obama administration and that plans for a change have been in the