"Spin" in aviation training: a "stall" or loss of lift, a subsequent nose-down spin, the specific actions required for recovery, and the feeling, after recovery, that you could tackle absolutely anything!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bring Back Our Girls/disconnect

It is 2014 and I have access to impressive technology. I marvel at Linkedin.com shots of the earth taken from the Cassini and Messenger space crafts. I can bring up data on microwave evidence from the Big Bang. I can log on to a website and know when the ISS is going to pass over my house so I can go and watch. It passes over traveling 27,600 km/h. There are people in it. They are doing science.  I would give anything to be up there with them but I am here, stuck on the ground. And somehow, while here on the ground, I am supposed to make sense of people's behavior,
specifically, Boko Haram, a cadre of the biggest assholes on the earth.  Ah, yes. Let's all stay in the stone age, shall we? Let's prey on little girls. That will make us men, right? 

The problem is not only Boko Haram, but the lunatic pair running Nigeria: Goodluck Jonathan and his lovely wife Patience. I need a minute. I am beyond angry but I am helpless. I feel like a honey badger stuck in a barrel yet somehow I am supposed to go on with my day.  Someone throw me a bone. How does our species have the brains to see the furthest reaches of space and embody the absolute worst of humanity at the very same time?

 Why is poverty still a thing. Why is corruption still a thing? Oppression? 

What can I do? Tell me what I can do, damn it. Let me out of this barrel.

Sunday, 4 May 2014


I am on the sidewalk unlocking my bike from it's iron post. It's windy out, gusting enough to be noticed. I see an older lady, maybe 80, walking towards me pushing a walker in front of her. She is moving with care and intent, gripping her handlebars in the same way you might hold a tray of cookies and milk. There is a younger lady walking behind her. I assume they are mother and daughter. The older lady has a serious look on her weathered face. She was, I imagine, quite beautiful in her day. She seems somewhat bewildered now.  I stand up from my tinkering and make eye contact with her.

 "It's such a windy day," I say. "You should rig up a sail on that thing and you could sail right down the street."

Her face lights up and she laughs, nodding her head as she continues past. The daughter laughs too.

 "Yes, it would be a good day for sailing."

 Wouldn't that be so nice.