Sunday, September 23, 2012

And now for something completely different

Airplane Problems

After every flight, pilots fill out a form, called a gripe sheet which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some maintenance complaints submitted by pilots and the solutions recorded by maintenance engineers. By
 the way, the airline these came from is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.

Pilot: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement. Engineers: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

Pilot: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough. Engineers: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

Pilot: Something loose in cockpit. Engineers: Something tightened in cockpit.

Pilot: Dead bugs on windshield. Engineers: Live bugs on back-order.

Pilot: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent. Engineers: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

Pilot: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. Engineers: Evidence removed.

Pilot: DME volume unbelievably loud. Engineers: DME volume set to more believable level.

Pilot: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick. Engineers: That's what friction locks are for.

Pilot: IFF inoperative in OFF mode. Engineers: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

Pilot: Suspected crack in windshield. Engineers: Suspect you're right.

Pilot: Number 3 engine missing. Engineers: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

Pilot: Aircraft handles funny. Engineers: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

Pilot: Target radar hums. Engineers: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

Pilot: Mouse in cockpit. Engineers: Cat installed.

Pilot: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer. Engineers: Took hammer away from midget

What is love, really?

I often think of a scene from Yours, Mine and Ours with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. They have blended their families and have 18 kids.  The night that Lucille Ball’s character goes into labor, one of her daughters, Colleen, is being pressured to have sex with her boyfriend, Larry.  She is fighting him off when one of her stepbrothers, Mike, punches Larry.  He deserved it.  Frank steps in to break it up and asks what the problem is.  Here is the dialog:

Frank Beardsley:  Will someone tell me what’s going on here?

Larry: Nothing, that’s the whole problem with your daughter,.

Mike and Larry start fighting again when they hear a crash, that turns out to be Larry’s motorcycle being run over by the car one of the other sons is pulling out of the garage.

Colleen North:  Please I can’t talk to mother right now and I’ve got to talk to somebody.

Frank Beardsley:  Well, talk fast.

Colleen North: Well, Larry says he'll never speak to me again unless I grow up. He says that I'm being ridiculous and I don't love him, but I do love him. Am I being ridiculous?

Frank Beardsley: You're not being ridiculous.

Colleen North: Well, do all the other girls, like Larry says? And am I just being old-fashioned?

Frank Beardsley: The same idiots were passing the same rumors when I was your age, but if all the girls did, how come I always ended up with the ones who didn't?

Colleen North: But it's all different now!

Frank Beardsley: I don't know, they wrote Fanny Hill in 1742 and they haven't found anything new since.

They come into the bedroom where Lucille Ball’s character, Helen is lying on the bed.  Frank helps her up and starts taking her down the stairs.
Colleen North: I know this is a terrible time to talk about it, but Larry says...

Frank Beardsley: I've got a message for Larry. You tell him this is what it's all about. This is the real happening. [He points to his wife, Helen] If you want to know what love really is, take a look around you.

Helen North: What are you two talking about?

Frank Beardsley: Take a good look at your mother.

Helen North: Not now!

Frank Beardsley: Yes, now.
[to Colleen]

Frank Beardsley: It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. Life isn't a love in, it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and... ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else: it isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.
[Leaving the house, they say good-bye to the little kids]

Frank Beardsley: I suppose having 19 kids is carrying it a bit too far, but if we had it to do over who would we skip... you?

Helen North: [getting into the car] Thank you, Frank. I never quite knew how to explain it to her.

Frank Beardsley: If we don't get you to the hospital fast, the rest of it's going to be explained right here!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Allowing men to be men

So, as I have finally started looking for my man, I have started looking at the men around me.  Yesterday was very much about allowing men to be men.  It started out with me arriving at work after a very good morning of bird watching.  Lots of babies still learning about how to be adults.  One of the cowboys saw me and walked in with me, as we approached the door, he took the lead and opened the door for me, stepping out the way so I could go in first.  Funny how easy and practiced that move was for him.  Lots of guys have been bullied into not doing that, some even do the walk through first and hold the door open behind them thing, clearly not this guy.  It would never have crossed his mind to do anything than what he did  Then we proceeded on with the day.   

A man who was very belligerent came in.  He had been fired from his job because of the angry way he dealt with his fellow employees.  Bad scene.  I was helping someone else when I asked him if he was waiting for me, he stormed out cussing, dropping the F bomb.  Bad scene.  I asked one of the guys what the deal was he told me the guy was waiting for me and had been sleeping in his car for two days.  Angry guy came back in and stormed out again because I didn't respond to him as he thought I should.  One of the guys went after him and talked him down, then lead him back to my office mouthing the words sorry as he proceeded the angry guy into my office.  He then stepped back and let me handle the situation, but kept his full 6 foot 5 inch frame firmly planted in the doorway with his arms crossed.  Very intimidating  He reminded the angry guy a couple of times that everybody is frustrated at this time of year. After angry guy left, he told me if I had any trouble with angry guy I should let him know, that I didn't have to deal with that.  Big boss, another big guy, told me the same thing.

Funny, in the course of about 3 hours, I interacted with three men who were just protective enough to be a safety net without stealing my authority in any way, and one "man" who probably would never have opened a door for me and clearly didn't feel the need to protect me from his anger and didn't even feel the need to apologize for cursing or the tantrum he threw.  It may be a good thing he is here, maybe he can learn a few things about controlling his temper and really acting like a man from the real men who close ranks about me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I work with cowboys, several actually and since cowboys seem to be good fodder for romantic stories, I thought I'd write a blog about the cowboys in my life.  I work with farmers too.  They are a whole different breed, maybe I'll write a blog about farmers too...but first, here are my observations about cowboys.

They wear hats.  All the time.  They hardly ever take them off.  I have only seen them off only when they are in prayer or respectfully remembering. The hats came off on 9/11 for a full minute.This can be a bit of an irritation in a meeting, but they are who they are and the hats are a part of that. Most of them wear felt hats when they are working and you can see where the rain fell on them. You can tell where their fingers go to pull the hat off.  They bill has just the tiniest bit of a crinkly brim in the felt.  One of them does wear a straw hat, but I think he might also be a farmer...more on that in another post.

They don't wear sunglasses.  I have never seen a cowboy with sunglasses on...ever.  They just do that cute squinty thing under those felt cowboy hats.

They wear starched shirts.  The local dry cleaner has the heaviest starch possible named after a cowboy who was thrown by a horse and killed.  It is accurate; his shirts had tons of starch, no matter how dirty or rumpled the rest of him was, his shirt was always wrinkle free.

They wear very large belt buckles.  Most of them are wearing buckles they won at rodeos.  They are practically dinner plate sized and they don't have guts that hang over them either.  Nope, you can see the WHOLE buckle.

Boots..yep.  They have their work boot and their fancy boots.  They keep them in their offices and trade them out as required.  They also wear spurs, but mostly not inside because the spurs can tear up the floors.  They're considerate that way. Their cowboy hats might block your view, but they know better than to wear their spurs inside and tear up the floors.

They are amazingly well educated.  All the cowboys with whom I work have Master's degrees. (This sentence, though stilted, is grammatically correct in honor of those degrees.)

They aren't afraid to show their emotions, just a bit.  They lose it, but regain their composure really quickly.  It is endearing without making them seem unmanly in the least.  Usually when they tear up, they are talking about how honored they feel about something.  They take things like honor seriously and honoring someone's memory by how they behave.

They are polite to a fault.  Swear words are simply not said in mixed company, even though you know when it is just the guys, they are well acquainted with the more salty language.  They are careful about how they talk about others.  They might be complaining about somebody, but they chose their words carefully to not demean the person about whom they are speaking.  Two have pregnant wives.  They talk about them being big and not being able to sleep, but comments about the hormones of pregnant women have not been mentioned.  They talk only about how great their doing and how they just couldn't be a mom, because of how hard it is.  They are supportive and affirming because they know how important their words can be. While they recognize the power of words, there is very little that is out of bounds.  You realize that as soon as you have your first discussion about sires and dams and artificial insemination.

They are good up on the desk, leaning back in the chair conversationalists.  Quiet and reserved?  Not so much, but they do know when to be quiet and listen.

They are all really gentle people.  They take time to talk to the little kids that come in the door and marvel at whatever stories the kids tell them.  They speak not about breaking horses, but encouraging them to enjoy work and then they extend that analogy to raising children.  They are thoughtful too.  They have a natural grace when they stand up to offer you their seat, or bring you a new plastic fork without you even having to ask because yours broke (yes, they notice the needs of those around them and try to meet those needs) or throw you a grin and a wink that is a shared groan at the difficulties of the day.  They make fun of themselves, but when they tease you, it never get vicious or hurtful.

They are team players and will try to make sure everybody gets what they want, even if it costs them a bit.  They look for ways to help, even it if means trailering a horse to drive out and help you round up the cattle that got out of the pen and they don't mention that they could have been doing something else with their time.  They figure if they can help, they should. They apologize for inconveniencing you even if they are not at fault.

Yep, I'm beginning to see how it is that there are cowboys in romance novels. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

I told you so!

So, today I am vowing never to say those words again...ever.  I am not going to even say them non-verbally.  I said when I started this blog that I would find teachers to help me be more of a swan...well, I learned a really good lesson today about those words...

So, here's the deal.  I had taken a pretty firm stand on an issue at work.  I still think I am right, but circumstances have led me to reconsider a suggestion that someone had made almost a year ago.  I discussed how my thoughts had changed on the subject and why with that person.  He agreed with me (all the while not bringing up that he had suggested it originally) and tried to make suggestions about how I might minimize the bad effects of doing what he had suggested a year ago.  He never ONCE said "I told you so." He didn't do it verbally or non-verbally.  He just smiled and nodded and agreed to help and it wasn't that condescending, patronizing nod and smile. There is another guy in my life who, while not saying the words, will nod and smile condescendingly.  He is the master of saying "I told you so", without ACTUALLY saying the words.

I liked that it was safe to change my mind and tell him so without having it thrown back in my face....I want other people to feel just as safe with me when they change their minds and come around to my way of thinking. 

It all comes down to a certain humility I think.  What other reason could there be for telling someone "I told you so," except for prideful reasons?  That kind of pride has no place in my life and I appreciate the lesson in humility.

Friday, September 7, 2012


I believe pretty strongly in intuition.  I have found for the most part it has guided me well and never so well as with sizing up people.  My first impression about people has usually turned out to be right.  I will warn someone about someone else and then a year or so later they will come back to me and say, "You know what you said about so and were right." 

There are times when my intuition is working so subtly that I don't even realize that I am responding to it.  I got a reminder of that last night.  I am looking for my guy and I have joined a few on-line dating sites.  They have led to some good dates and some nice men, but not the "one".  There was one guy that was pursuing me pretty hard.  I have been away vacationing and haven't made my schedule free enough to meet him.  Yes, we could have met earlier and my subtle intuition was controlling me without my even knowing it. Something just didn't feel right.  I see it in hindsight.  So, I was kind of putting him off but finally said yes to a coffee meet.  I gave him a whole weekend...two whole days when I was free to meet him.  I asked where he wanted to meet; he demurred.  I asked when he wanted to meet and what day...10 DAYS after that weekend passed he wrote me asking when we could meet.  I had made plans for the next two weekends and told him I would be free when I got back.  He wrote me a scathing e-mail telling me that clearly I was not interested in finding someone...blah, blah, blah...well you get the picture.  I wrote him back saying I was trying, but he was the one that didn't get back to me about meeting for coffee.

So, last night I was at a singles mixer.  I met a lot of nice people...guess who was there...yup...Mr. It's All Your Fault You're Single.  People...I dodged a bullet.  He came up to the table I was at (I don't know if he recognized me or not, but my first name is pretty distinctive and not a lot of people have it).  I conveniently had a another guy next to me who I had a great conversation with after I said a cheery hi to Mr. It's All Your Fault You're Single. He is a player with a capital P.  He was flirting with all the women there who would let him.  Bumping into them "accidentally", those sort of things.  Obnoxious is the word that comes most immediately to mind.  I am not one of those women who is attracted to obnoxious.

I am realized, yet again, that I am quiet and pretty refined.  I want a man who will treat me with respect and not get all sloppy on me.  Watching the way he treated the women he interacted with gave me a really good view of who he is as a person...NO THANK YOU!  I wish him well.  Everyone should have someone.  I am just not that someone for him.  So, intuition paid off yet again.  Thank goodness!