April 15th, 2003


More bedtime fun.

Laurel was up a bit later than usual after taking a longer-than-usual afternoon nap, so she was awake when Himself came in (bad news: bottom bracket on his bike's squeaking; good news: his off-season workout was better than expected).

She's been in the habit of labeling things (e.g., saying "jump" when she jumps) and while we were in the living room discussing bike and stuff, she stood directly below the ceiling fan, put her arms straight up, tipped her head back and started chanting "UP-side down!"

Me: I have *no* idea what she's doing. Maybe she wants to bend over backward?
Laurel: UP-side down!
Him: Maybe she's having a religious experience.
[We laugh, she continues doing her thing.]
Him: If I thought she wouldn't stop when she heard the camera, I'd take a picture.
Me: Why? So we can have something to go with the picture from the all-night Heroes hotseat where the guys told me you were sleeping like the Buddha and I took a picture of kenwestervelt prostrated before you?
Him: What?!

I guess I forgot to show him that picture... *snerk*

On an unrelated note, the remaining boxes in the bedroom have been sorted into "Airman's Attic," "Goodwill," "Other People Who'd Like It" and a small box of "Store for Future Use" (tools, a buttload of model paint, and the F-15E model kit). Once the bedroom looks half-decent, I'll take photos.

Plane safety humor (originally written in 2001).

In fall 2001, I read approximately 1800 NTSB incident reports for a project on weather conditions and aviation in an assigned six-month period (Jul-Dec 1983).

During this time, I wrote an e-mail to tinder about how I was cranky that the NTSB failed to list a cow hit by a plane attempting to take off was not listed in their injuries. But the real beef of the e-mail was a list of important things I learned about aviation from this so, without further ado...

  1. Do not walk near a prop if it's running. It will hurt you. Badly.

  2. Make sure there are no animals or vehicles on the runway before taking off or landing. Buzzing the runway multiple times will not scare horses.

  3. If possible icing conditions are forecast, do not fly without a carburetor heater. Also, do not look behind your seat for a flashlight to see if your wings are icing after dark, especially if you cannot see after you drop your glasses.

  4. If you're flying around with illegal drugs, do not fly out over the ocean to evade Customs officials if you cannot swim.

  5. French and American helicopter rotors run in opposite directions. This makes a difference in how to correct your level if you're piloting.

  6. Check the integrity of cables holding your wings on if you're taking off in an ultralight craft and wear a helmet in case you crash.

  7. If the pilot has a stroke during landing, use the brakes to stop. Dirt mounds, snow berms and sandbars make you nose over.

  8. Ask the tower if the lights you're sighting mark the centerline or the edge of the runway before you land and start ripping them out. If the runway lights are off, key your microphone a couple times.

  9. If your engine only runs for 20 seconds before stopping, do not try to run it longer by priming continuously. Aircraft fuel is flammable. Also, automotive fuel was not made for airplanes.

  10. If you're a paraplegic, you probably shouldn't be flying an ultralight, much less attempting to do aerobatics in one.

...and, most importantly, don't fly after downing two Sominex and a six-pack of beer.