A Day...

The Voice of God boomed down from Heaven, and He said, “GO TO MASS”, and so I did, but that is not why I’m writing today.

I’m amazed by the Michael Jackson drama. I am not amazed that he died; he wasn’t in the best health. I am dumbfounded by the ferocious display of greed, which, as it so happens, can be rivaled only by the act of throwing an open packet of Hebrew National wieners into a pit filled with ravenous lawyers.

Do not try that at home. We raised ravenous lawyers before the laws were passed in our state. It was very profitable, but now you can be sent to jail for simultaneously possessing a lawyer pit and hot dogs. We were forced to euthanize our ravenous lawyers although we were able to “rehome” many of the young paralegals.

I digress.

I did so on purpose.

You are still reading, aren’t you? Of course you are.

You can stop at any time. I really haven’t anything important to say. Were you expecting something profound? Try Michael Rowe over at the Huffington. He’s branched out from the Advocate (although his Cuba article should be published soon) and has (finally) gone mainstream (hallelujah!) I’ve been neglecting him and all of my friends. I miss them but I’ve felt too out of sorts to really interact with people.

I’ve gone green. No, not really. I am as eco-friendly as Dolly Parton’s hairdresser. My contribution to conservation is a pledge to use up those last swigs of bottled water by donating them to the office cactus. Note that there are numerous bottles filled with prehistoric backwash next to a rather dusty plant. It’s a cactus, damn it. Cactus can go for a decade without water, can’t they? Am I teasing it by placing the water so close to it? Does it care? Will it call Cactus Services on me, whereby I shall have all my houseplants removed and a Guardian ad Litem assigned to them until such time as I comply with court mandated botany classes?

That would be the story of my life.


Snapshots From Above

I have survived the mission (of course!) and am penciled in for one or two more tomorrow. While I can not share photographs from the mission, I can share a few personal snapshots that I took between grids. Enjoy.
This is a fuzzy snapshot captured shortly after takeoff. It does have glare from the back window, but I wasn't about to open the little bird's hatch for personal purposes.
Here are the locks as we head north. This is the Ohio River. Ohio sits on the left, West Virgina sits on the right.
This is also the Ohio River, with Ohio on the left. These bridges lead into my hometown of Steubenville. The top bridge is closed to vehicle traffic. The bottom bridge is the Market Street Bridge. For those who know the area, this bridge is a harrowing experience to drive - it is "slicky" if you travel too fast. The bank on the right hand side of this picture belongs to Weirton, WV.
Holiday people and a weirdly (and artificially or chemically coloured) lake.
This is Piper, held by our Fearless Leader, next to her namesake airplane.

July Greetings

The thunder rolls about like a stray bowling ball, a precursor to a chilly downpour; I’ve paused in my writing to contemplate my possibly precarious (and weather controlled) fate during tomorrow’s mission.

A quick check of Weather Underground reveals little data. Rain, overcast. The phone rings. As adept as a classical mind reader, our fearless leader calls (which means that I don’t have to look up his phone number) and we do a quick chitchat about any unforeseeable delays. We’re a go, 8:30 AM with a planned takeoff at 9. That isn’t the reason for his call, but it’s a good reason for me to include him in my (very unrealistic) concerns.

I’ve always had unrealistic concerns in regard to flying. Prior to a Pittsburgh-to-Denver commuter flight I am absolutely convinced that the Airbus A-320’s nose will shear off, thereby causing me to hurdle towards the earth at breakneck speeds that have only previously been obtained by Paris Hilton shopping a crotchless panty sale. Every dulcet variation of the engines is a sure indication that they are going to snap free of the wings (or the winds will snap free of the plane, or the tail will snap free of the plane and strike the wings, thus causing the wings to snap free of the plane, or should that be vice-versa?) Winter flights will have gremlins building tiny snowmen on the flaps. All of these fears occur before I arrive at the airport and, thankfully, dissipate by the time that I reach the gate.

I actually do love to fly. I find it relaxing (when I’m not distracted by certain death and aeronautical mayhem.) I love to visit new airports and exploring the architecture. I always purchase postcards.

We do not have a gate at HQ. There isn’t any terminal. Our airplane doesn’t have a bathroom. There are two seats (pilot and copilot/observer) and a small bench seat in the back that, for all practical purposes, reminds me of one quarter of a gymnastic balance beam, where I shall park my rump and try to maintain my steadiness as the plane is buffeted in the wind. Stability is essential, as I will be doing photography as part of the mission.

I just know that part of the airplane will break off. I shall switch my camera to a rapid capturing setting and chronicle my terminal fall frame by frame.

Anyhoo, if I do die, I hereby will my rubber duck collection to my mother.

I have been really lax in my blog activities. Here are some updates:

My Birthday:
It was on the 1st and it was lovely. Better Half and I drove to Robinson Township for a nice Mexican meal, and then bought a new flat-screen television (the red was going on our old one.) The first thing that we watched on it was Lilo and Stitch. I spoke with my Aunt Paul, and my cousin dropped off a card and gift certificate (I've been trying to get a hold of her so we can do coffee.)

The Basement:
The Basement War is nearly over. It’s come down to a siege, with Better Half and I pitted against the last vestiges of junk. We have a coat of paint on one-fourth of the floor. We’ve done an initial coat in the dog’s kennel room (the old bathroom.) I have nearly gone through all of the old sheets, blankets and towels that were stored down there. We rearranged some furniture upstairs (swapping things out) and have placed one of the old china cabinets downstairs, where it will hold surplus dishes and whatnots. These are the before and after shots for that portion of the basement.

The Christmas boxes are out of my dining room. My living room is now clean again. I will work on the dining room after we come home tomorrow (if I’m not splattered on some obscure cloud, having been kicked out of the craft by a very annoyed pilot.)

The Dog:
The dog saga began two weeks back, when Better Half discovered a puppy. Better Half is adept at that sort of thing. The puppy, named Piper (or “Piper Meridian Flight Plan Filed On Time”, in order to poke fun at show dog names) is a bright and cheerful pup that suffers from an open fontanel (or molera), which is a congenital condition often seen in toy dog breeds. The opinions on this range from “it’s okay” to “guard the dog’s skull with your life, as a hard knock might kill it.” It should be noted that I will not allow the dog to play rough with the German Shepherd or the Pomeranian, as both dogs gnaw on skulls – puppy skulls are not jawbreakers. (CCA-Molera Statement )

Piper is a Chihuahua and Shih Tzu mix. We don’t know if she’ll have long fur, but her guard hairs give me reason to believe she will have some nice fluff to her.

The Garden:
The Garden is coming along nicely. I’ve had a few plants die back, and a few that died from the heat. The fountain is still functioning nicely and our porch garden had filled out. Yes, that is parsley.

The beds are going wild and I need to trim back the lamb’s ear. The grass is in desperate need of mowing.

No tomatoes yet.

Friends and Family:
I haven’t checked my email yet. I do not know what many of my friends are up to. I should check Facebook.

My mother is starting a new book. This afternoon, she read part of it to me.

(to be continued)