"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, 28 June 2016

No Big Deal

I am shocked, I think. Stunned at least. I know I can overreact at times, so I'm trying to take what I just witnessed and consider that there may be a story that I am not aware of. Perhaps. Perhaps.

June 28th, just after 1pm, I drive my van, loaded with my bike and bunch of my gear, on my way to house sitting for friends. I drive through a lovely part of the world, north east of Toronto. It is full of lush green fields that appear to be draped over hills and ravines like carpets held in place by trees and farm fences. It's beautiful. At least, I think it is. I turn east off of Brock Road, onto the 9th Concession. I look in my rearview mirror and see a small, dark blue car, possibly 50 meters behind me. I notice the driver put her hand out the window and throw some white things out over the roof so they land on the shoulder of the road. I can't believe it. I pull over, roll down my window and make the universal, What the hell was that? motion with my hands. She sees me, slows and stops. I pull up beside her and we speak through her open passenger-side window. 

She is young, a line of two or three lip piercings on her lower left lip. She is dressed in scrubs. She is defensive and portrays as being justified in her actions. 

"Do you even know what it was?" she says.

She leaves. I go back to look.

Latex gloves. She threw latex gloves out of her car window. She threw them as if she was scattering petals of daisies. 

Friday, 10 June 2016


There is a copse of trees on the west side of this house between the deck and the rail fence that delineates the property line. There are several impressive spruce trees, white pines, and a couple significant maples, all in and around three stories high. It's a nice mini-forest and is home to the predictable cadre of southern Ontario fauna. The trees shade the house late in the afternoon and a small fish pond tucked deeper in beyond the deck. Normally, when the wind is light, you might not notice the trees, at least in particular, but yesterday, when the wind was fierce and relentless, the trees were, for me in my own little mind, quite entertaining.

Up front here, we have the spruce trees stage left, and the white pines more central and stage right. The maples, the only deciduous in the bunch, are in the back. The maples are fully leafed out. I can see their tops between the pyramidical shapes of the pines and the spruces. The pines are the least impressive of the bunch. Their needles are more sparsely arrayed, possibly due to these trees being shaded by a manitoba maple from next door. Fucker. But the spruces! These spruces are something. They stand like grand ladies gathering around the martini table while the rest of the world suffers under prohibition. It is as if their arms, shoulders, necks, are dripping with green, lush ermines and heavy lace. The wind made the party go, and the spruces waved and twisted with passion and elegance, and a touch of being totally  blasted. The pines were, well, perhaps the pines were handling catering. They hardly moved at all. Their sparse regalia, inept at catching the wind, left them the dullards of the fĂȘte. The maples in back? The maples were insane. Their leaves were catching all of the wind. They looked to be on acid, or red twizzlers at least. You know those party stories where so-and-so danced on the table with a soup terrine? Maples. Bending and twisting like crazy. 

The party went on for most of the day. The pines served, cleared tables, and sucked their teeth at the behavior of the guests. The spruces swayed and shimmied like kept women of the 1920's on a tear. And the maples never missed a beat, twisting back up when you thought for sure that they were down, or done.  The funny thing is that today, things in the copse are quiet; hangover quiet. Nobody is moving. Nobody is admitting to any questionable behavior, and nobody is looking at the white pines. Fucking white pines, standing there with a, Well of course you have a headache. What did you think was going to happen? You disgust me. All of you.

The maples are quiet and would like it very much if you could ask those birds to pipe down. The white pines have an unmistakable air of prickish righteousness about them. The spruces are as stately as ever. Their rich, lustrous branches hang with the vibrancy of jazz, and an unapologetic joie de vivre... But daaaling, if you wouldn't mind getting me a glass of seltzer, I would be much obliged.