Saturday, April 29, 2006

Notsocranky's First Set of Wheels

Last week I scanned all the pictures I have of me and my 3 sisters. I put them together to some music and made a Mother's Day video for my mom. My sister Karla also brought me some of her photos, some of which I had never seen. I had fun putting this project together and I think my mother will be happy when she watches it in 2 weeks!

Here is a picture of me and my tricycle.

Isn't it beautiful?

Not long after this picture was taken, my father backed over it with his cadillac. Just one of those lessons I learned early on: just because something I like was ruined, doesn't mean it will be replaced!

I quickly learned how to ride an old hand-me-down, 2-wheel bike. I fondly remember my father teaching me to ride it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Our creative daughter

Our daughter's latest creative outlet is her website. She is only 11, so I don't want to link to it. Her writing is expressive and emotional. Here is an excerpt from the "thoughts" page:

What is my mind??
My mind is an enigma (Stupid? don't know that big word?
click here). It is a twisting, turning place. My mind is a home to memories, good and bad. I live in those memories. Some are locked, and not to be shared, others, much more open. I am my mind. The mind is me. Without my mind I am nothing. My mind is confusing. My mind is a brain. My mind is all in my head. My mind contains feelings, controls thoughts and rules the body. My mind is everything that makes me well, me. My mind is a mystery. My mind is a government of myself, without it, who would help me live? Don't mess with my mind.

Did I mention she is 11 years old? I was not writing like this at her age.

Here is a funny list she pasted under "joke of the day".

I really do love this country, but...

1. Only in America... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

2. Only in America... are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

3. Only in America... do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

4. Only in America... do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

5. Only in America... do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

6. Only in America... do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

7. Only in America... do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.

8. Only in America... do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

9. Only in America... do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.

10. Only in America... do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille.

We are using the website as a learning tool for internet safety. Here is an example of what she has learned. She was asking for stories, comments or otherwise from her friends to publish and this was the fine print at the bottom:

Hand them to me on paper in school. Please tell me if you want your name on the internet, and please note that I will take out any personal info that may be harmful to have on the internet. Make sure that all articles posted are clean and of good content. If I find anything inappropriate, I will take it off immediately/ not post it. Each story must be written by the author you state on the paper, or if it was written by someone else, note who that is on the paper. Do not use your real name on the paper, instead use a nickname, screen name, etc.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Not One of the "Boys"

I'm off to a Parade!

Do you like the white gloves?

Sorry it's been so long since I've written on this topic. Been rather busy lately....

I often get asked if I experienced any sexual harassment at the Air Force Academy, especially in light of the recent scandal there. I had one incident, where I caught a peeping Tom.

That first year my day started pretty early. I needed to shower and clean my room before the upperclassmen got up so I could get out in the hall to "call minutes". (Some guys used that as their wake-up call.) Anyway, this one morning I was walking down the hall to the ladies bathroom, on the right side, towel properly draped over my left arm, shampoo and soapdish in my bathrobe pockets. As I approached the doorway, I noticed the door was propped open (it was an inward swinging door). My roommate had gotten to the bathroom first and I could hear the water running. I was still a little groggy and after entering (still wondering why the door was open), I saw a guy laying face down on the floor. My first thought was "why is someone doing push-ups in our bathroom?" Then I realized he was inching forward to watch my roommate shower. We had typical military showers for that time, (no curtains) so he had quite a show until I interrupted. I'd like to say I clocked him with my shampoo bottle but I didn't. Wearing only underwear under my bathrobe, I didn't want to give him any more of a "show" anyway. But mostly I was caught very off-guard! Anyway, I must have let out a yelp or something because he jumped up and ran out the other (propped open) door of the bathroom. Breaking the rules (speaking), I told my roommate what had happened. We reported it to the squadron commander and were told it would be investigated and punishment would follow. Later, I found out that the peeper was a General's son, and therefore didn't get punished.

That's when I realized the Air Force has a good 'ole boy system.

Interestingly, I flew my last trip with a captain who graduated in the class of '79. They have proudly labeled themselves LCWB, which stands for Last Class With Balls. (The class of '80 was the first class to have women.) He is a nice guy, and we had some interesting discussions on the topic of women at the Academy. I mentioned that I didn't remember it being very bad when I was there, except for the peeping Tom. He had read an article that claimed the sexual harassment was initiated by his class, and we both felt that was ludicrous. While I never was too "keen" on his class's nickname (the had a banner in the parking lot of football games to attract classmates to their tailgate party), I don't think it led to any harassment. It was more of a historical thing. The last class of morons... Anyway, we both concluded that one of the biggest problems with the Academy is that the goal is to train future AF Generals and some guys get a little "power-happy" right from the start. Academy graduates have a bad reputation *of being jerks to put it mildly, when they get into the "real" Air Force. It was a compliment to me when someone would say, "Wow, you're one of them?! You don't ACT like an Academy grad!" Music to my ears.

With sexual harassment finally being addressed, the next troubling issue I've heard about is the religious bias. But that's not something I want to get into right now. It makes me crazy!

*There was one other group of officers with a bad reputation. The prior-enlisted officers were often known to be particular asshats to the still-enlisted troops, like they were better than them or something.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Spring Break?

I leave tomorrow on a 6-day trip to Frankfurt. Things are getting a little crazy at work -- management is trying very hard to cut our wages again. I never thought it would get this bad and I think the pilot group has finally decided to raise the bullshit flag. The results of the strike ballot:

96.4% of eligible pilots voted
94.7% of those pilots voted in favor of a strike

I get home on April 16th and the strike may be called anytime after April 17th. I will be off that week because it's the kids' Spring Break.


We probably won't be flying anywhere then...

Here's a good example of our incredibly lame management team. (Copied from a Union email I received):

In what can only be assumed to be another attempt to rebuild sagging employee morale, on April 5, Delta executives announced another forward-thinking campaign. Dubbed "Delta After Dark," management will kick off its first "Clean Day" volunteer effort on April 19. In essence, Delta employees are being asked to volunteer to come in on their own time and without pay and clean aircraft remaining overnight. While we applaud the Delta spirit of those who choose to volunteer, it is ironic that a senior management that has spent millions on $1000/hour consultants to lower employee costs now attempts to reach out by asking employees to work for free.

What next?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I can't believe this dickhead is in public office! No wait a minute....yes I can but...but the deputy press secretary for the department of homeland security soliciting children?

I can't wait to hear the spin on this -- he was doing research, he knew it was an undercover agent, blah blah blah!

A plea to dirty old men: "Please buy viagra and DO someone your own age!" For Christ's sake!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bob is 3!

Bob turned 3 today -- he's such a big boy now! He asked Dad if he would be picking up a cake at the store for him (another spark plug run?) Actually, I baked him a cake while he took his afternoon nap.

It was a beautiful day today and we played outside before lunch.
Here's the birthday boy:

Bob and I also put away the snow shovels, sleds, and other winter apparatus and swept out the garage. I guess I put the "whammy" on us because there is now a winter storm warning for tomorrow night, with a possibility of 6 or more inches of snow!