That Feeling When – February 17th

That feeling when they’re trying to figure out at the hangar who needs to get training on using the AED (automated external defibrillator) in case anyone has a heart attack because we apparently need to have a minimum number of people trained and when your name comes up everyone immediately pretty much agrees that you’re the last person that should be trained simply because you’re the one most likely to NEED the AED used when YOU have a heart attack, not to be the one using the AED on someone else.

Mixed feelings about that. It’s great that I don’t have to take the training since my plate is full to overflowing and I really can’t spare the time. The logic used to reach that decision is a bit…disturbing. Not saying it’s wrong (although I feel fine – strong like bull! smart like tractor! smooth like brick! ook! ook!! ook!!!) because I can see their point.


Aren’t I something of a “spring chicken” in that group?

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Filed under CAF, Health

A Few More Thoughts On Jaywalking

Having had the adrenaline rush of almost killing some moron who thinks they can win a battle of momentum with a car, I’ve had a couple more thoughts.

  1. Adrenaline – ask for it by name!
  2. If you come to LA from another area where jaywalking is considered “normal,” either forget about that while you’re here or fill out your organ donor card. I know in New York City everyone was jaywalking everywhere, and Boston is worse. I don’t even want to think about what I saw throughout Shanghai! But here in LA the car is king and the drivers are morons. It seems that a certain central concept of jaywalking is the assumption that people have the ultimate right of way and of course the drivers will stop for you, even while they’re cussing you out. That’s an assumption that will put you in the ICU in Los Angeles.
  3. I wonder how jaywalking will increase as more and more cars on the road are equipped with automatic, semi-autonomous braking systems? The drivers may not stop for a jaywalker in LA, but the cars might.
  4. What percentage of cars on the road will have to have automatic braking systems before you’ll step off the curb in the middle of the street, oblivious to traffic, confident that something will stop the cars, either the car itself or a driver? 90%? 99%? 99.9999999%

That last point is the one I wonder about the most. The Law of Unintended Consequences!

If we make cars safer by putting in automated braking system, are we also breeding pedestrians to not look at traffic or care if it’s “safe” to cross the street?

Or is such a population of oblivious pedestrians self-limiting in size as Darwinian rules creep in?

Jeff Goldblum’s character in “Jurassic Park” said, “Life will always find a way” — so will death.

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Los Angeles

No Context For You – February 15th (Video)


And Haydn’s Piano Concerton In D Major, apparently.

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Filed under Music, Video

If You Need To Give Your Heart Away For Valentine’s Day

What do you call someone dressed in black who’s jaywalking after dark across seven lanes of busy traffic in Los Angeles?

An organ donor.

If you need to give your heart away for Valentine’s Day, there are better ways to do it.

I don’t even remember seeing her until I was already standing on the brakes. There was a guy in the lane to my right, just a half car-length ahead of me, that might have seen her and started braking hard – maybe I picked up on that and reacted reflexively before I knew it.

One way or the other, both I and the guy on my right stopped, as did the person coming up from behind who swerved off to the left rather than rear ending me and killing Hissy. We all survived this time. Not by much, but I guess “close” only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermonuclear weapons.

Los Angeles is becoming the pedestrian death capital of the country. If you’re a pedestrian, try to at least make an effort to avoid being the next victim organ donor. Even if you don’t give a rat’s ass about your own health and safety, think of how much damage you’ll do to Hissy’s front bumper and hood as you’re pulped.

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Los Angeles

A Study In Blue & Gold

Playing with the new iPhone camera with our PT-19 trainer as a subject.

She’s a tail-dragger, something I haven’t flown yet (although I have flown in her).

The open cockpit is a hoot to ride in. The tube & fabric body is quite a change for those accustomed to aluminum and titanium.

The cockpit is simple and you can see just how basic the tubular structure of the body is.

The prop is wooden, but it gets the job done.

The brightly colored tail is rakish – the color combo is spectacular. (It also makes you easy to spot after an “off-field” landing, a good thing if you’re a training aircraft!)

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Filed under CAF, Flying, Photography


Nabisco Premium Saltines with Unsalted Tops, to be precise.

Where did they go?

Was there an explosion at the Nabisco factory where only the Unsalted Tops production line got melted to slag?

Is there a huge underground market for Unsalted Top Saltines? Are they some sort of delicacy for newly liberated pot smokers in California?

Was there a toxic batch of “unsalt” which made them all get recalled?

I don’t know the answer, but it’s been three weeks and four different markets and I can’t find the Nabisco Premium Saltines with Unsalted Tops to save my life. Nada. Zip.

They all have the regular Saltines, mind you. Lots of them! In two of the stores I actually found the spot on the shelves where the Unsalted Tops were supposed to be, but that shelf space was filled to overflowing with the Regular Saltines.

I tried to call Nabisco to raise the alert, sound the alarm, raise a ruckus. Nothing. No comment. (This might be related to the fact that I was calling at about 22:00 on a Sunday evening and they’re only open 9 to 6, Monday through Friday, but I’m trying to go on a conspiratorial rant here!)

The one Ralph’s superstore did have the Kroger brand unsalted tops crackers – bleh!! I’ve tried them before. They’re one of the key reasons that “house brand” gets such a bad reputation.

[LATE EDIT] – After writing most of this last night, tonight on my way home I found them in a local, non-chain, mom-and-pop style grocery store. Our long, national nightmare is over!

Or maybe… Maybe that’s just what they want us to think…



Filed under Los Angeles, Paul

That Was A Weekend?

Geez Louise, I worked harder for more hours on both Saturday and Sunday than I did during the week, and my weeks are freakin’ exhausting at this point. And now it’s 23:58 on Sunday night and Monday’s here in two minutes.

I’m open to the possibility that I’m doing this wrong.

Meanwhile, the deadlines are coming at me like fence posts by the roadside as I’m tearing along at 1,000 mph.

I did sit and watch the lizards for five minutes while I put up the new flag. Does that count?

Gotta go, bye!


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