Showing posts from October, 2009

Learning from NWA188

The Northwest flight (NWA188) that missed its mark and overshot MSP airport last week continues to be in the news. I still can't get over how both pilots could disassociate themselves from the task at hand to the degree they did, especially considering that in a job such as piloting an aircraft, multitasking is a necessary ability. The pilots have lost their licenses and have been suspended and now the focus has turned to the FAA and why we were so slow in notifying the military of the situation. There's a bit of disinformation in the news today with respect to who failed to notify the military as our protocols require. You'll likely hear that controllers failed to do this when in fact controllers did everything they should have. When it became apparent that the flight was no longer responding to radio calls, controllers notified management. In situations such as this, a controller will ask the supervisor in the area to contact the flight's operations desk and give

David Crowder Concert, NWA188 and Photo Review

I got up from laying down after the all-night shift Thursday morning and figured I'd better get a ride in while I could because the forecast wasn't looking so good. The temp was just above 40 with a northeast wind steady at 15 mph under overcast skies. 40 degrees is very reasonable cycling weather but the key is to be somewhat chilled when you start out. Being warm and toasty at the beginning leads to being sweaty, cold and clammy before the ride is over. While putting air in my tires before leaving I could tell that I needed a lighter top layer. I'm glad I made the switch. I loved the ride  ( Strava link ) and would like to have gone further but David Crowder was playing at our church and I didn't want to be late getting in line for some good seats as it was general admission. I considered a quick detour by Hosanna on the way home to get a pic of their tour bus but I figured I should really act my age. The concert was worth every penny and better than any of the o

The Need for Greed

We've kept two kennels set up in our home to use for Charlie when we're away for extended periods but no more. I brought them out to the garage last night to store them as Charlie has graduated to full house privileges.  Something finally clicked with the potty training for him a few weeks ago and he gets it. Believe it or not, it actually took me a few months to fully warm up to this little guy.  I'm sure it was because I felt I was slighting Toby and Allie by doing so but he's really won me over; how could he not?  He's a sweetheart but he's also a scrapper.  When Toby gets tough with him as he still does occasionally, Charlie gives it right back.  But for the other 23 hours and 59 minutes out of the day, they're fine. His big thing lately is to carry his food bowl around and play with it. He's often at my side with a ball or stuffed animal in his mouth tempting me to try and get it from him...typical puppy stuff.  He also likes to bite the palm of

Seeing More Clearly and a Picture Perfect Day

I've been struggling to see things as I should at work for longer than I care to admit and no, I'm not inferring that I'm now agreeing with FAA management. I'm talking about my vision. When I was 43 my vision began to suffer the effects of Presbyopia to the point that I could no longer read a newspaper without holding it at a ridiculous length; something longer than my arms would allow for. I got my first pair of progressive lenses/glasses soon after. Previous generations called them bifocals. Mine were actually trifocals with no lines to distinguish the varying strengths. Over the years I've had my prescription strengthened a number of times and I could tell I was due again, or in this case, overdue. Being an instructor at work requires me to position myself several feet from the radar scope (behind my trainee) where, depending on the size of the data-tags (their size varies with a controller's preference), it can require extra effort on my part to see them

Earning Some Down Time

I've been accused of neglecting my blog and I suppose there's some truth in that. It hasn't been for a lack of things to write about or lack of interest but rather, a lack of time.  I get a bit of an anxious feeling when I haven't written in several days. Maybe it's a form of withdrawal. Sometimes a blog piece flows out of me and pretty much writes itself. Other times it's not so easy; especially those times when I'm conflicted about an issue. Such was the case last year in my posts leading up to the election. I searched my soul a lot during that time as I was contemplating the presidential election and my decision to vote for Obama. Speaking of that decision; do I have any regrets about it? No. I've learned not to put my faith in politicians just as I learned long ago never to bet on the Vikings in a must-win situation. Am I disappointed with Obama and the decisions he's making? Yes, a little. But, unlike so many on the right, I'm willing to

Homecoming and Another Project Completed

I was finally able to get our website moved over to the new host service at GoDaddy.  I think I'll take a pass on resellers for webspace in the future.  The only casualty in the move was my other blog detailing our basement remodeling project from five years ago.  I forgot that I'd used my website to host the data and it was lost when the switchover occurred.  Fortunately, I was able to resurrect it with archived data on Blogger.  It lives on . It was ranking highly on searches for basement makeovers so I'd like to leave it out there. Last weekend was Homecoming for Rachel's high school, Lakeville North.  It's a time for her to use her artistic talents as she decorates her Homecoming pants.  I've no doubt she has at least 30 hours of work into these and it shows with all the detail.  I'll never forget years ago after she finished her pants and put them on to model them for me.  I got to looking at them and down the back of her legs she'd written '