Archives For Aviation

Forgetfulness

July 5, 2015 — Leave a comment

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Turn it on

May 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

I’ve been getting these little video nuggets of golf wisdom and the Square to Square method from Doug Tewell: 8 Golf Myths.

He sends them to my email.

Today I received Myth 5: Turning the Club Head

“Do you turn it off?” the subject line reads.

And in the body of the email:

“If you’ve been turning the club off in your follow-through, then this video is for you.”

http://gt.ontraport.net/c/s/sR0/vXMz2/s/x/zeei/684fQU/609wVBPCwa

Surely Mr. Tewell wasn’t intending to inspire deep reflection about my life and my head based on this phrase or the position of my club head. But he did.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

In golf, as in life, sometimes you don’t even realize that it’s off. That you’ve turned it off.

Yes, consider how it turned off in the first place. But don’t dwell on it.

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Focus and turn it back on.

All of it. Maximum power. Full-bore.

Not later.

Not soon.

Now.

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Blue Skies

February 8, 2015 — Leave a comment

It’s been one of those lazy wintry Saturdays for me–hoping no one calls, rationalizing staying in and delaying anything that involves going outside because of the gray skies and crummy weather.

I actually love the winter in New York, the fresh crisp air and pretty snowfall. But sometimes I just don’t want to leave the warmth of my space and bother with putting on endless layers just to step outside if I don’t really have to.

But during on the fence moments like these, I usually end up feeling glad that I said Yes and Go instead of No, Stay.

It’s also during these times that my mind inadvertently starts playing games with me.

Today was no different.

If the Sky stays gray, Stay. If it turns blue, you’ll go outside.

Deal?

Deal, I say.

Promise me?

I promise, I say.

Around 10am, I looked out my window. The Sun seemed to be having a mini battle against the gray Sky.

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I had just eaten a satisfying no-hassle breakfast of ramen and kimchee and was perfectly content.

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So what comes next shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Don’t win. Don’t win. I begged the Sun. Don’t turn blue, Sky. Don’t do it. Don’t succumb…

Well.

Just short of noon, the Sun was proudly blazing against the most perfect hue of blue. And a bird, all alone, soared, making broad loops, simply having a ball.

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I honored the deal, kept the promise I made to myself, and well… the day only got better.

Willie Nelson, take it away: Blue Skies.

Cloaked

January 25, 2015 — 2 Comments

The way my apartment is designed, there’s an entire wall of windows that faces east and overlooks Bushwick. I keep those windows curtainless since the light and view is what I love most about the space.

This open design also means that to a certain degree my apartment is visible to the buildings and high rises across the way. They’re far enough away though that the threat of Peeping Toms doesn’t register and change what I do and the way I navigate around the space.

This morning, as with every morning, the sunrise and chirping starlings were my wake-up call. The starlings like to sit on my sill and socialize.

They were particularly chatty this morning and so when I woke up, I wanted to see how many of them there were. I slowly and carefully walked toward the window, keeping my body hunched low to get a closer look. But as soon as I got within two feet of them, they flew off.

But it got me thinking about invisibility and whether the birds would know and sense I was there even if I were invisible to their particularly keen eyes.

They’re back again now that I’m sitting on the couch a safe distance away, sipping my coffee, mapping out my day and the coming week, ignoring them.

The thought of being invisible seeps back into my thoughts and I wonder, What would I do if I were invisible today? Completely invisible to all external senses. No living creature can see, hear, smell, taste, or feel me. And it only lasts for 24 hours. These are the parameters and conditions my mind set.
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I suppose I’d do multiple checks to confirm that I hadn’t gone bat crazy and was actually invisible. First thing would be to knock on my neighbor’s door, say Hi and confirm with their response.

My clothes, would they be invisible, too? Let’s agree they would be. Though it would really be something else to wander the city naked without feeling the temperature. Especially now during the cold winter.

Would I call someone? No. I’d keep it a secret.

Now what?

Hollywood. What would Hollywood do?

Rob a bank? A jewelry store? No. Too complicated. Sneak in to a Citibank, steal passwords into the system, get into my account and add zeros. Maybe. But someone would be fired because of it and I think the guilt would get to me. Or the bank would figure out that there was a computer error anyhow.

I’d probably not be hungry since I’d be too wound up at first. But I’d probably walk into a restaurant and steal bites from entrees just as they were being served. Because I could. I’m sure I’d do little things like that at first since I’d likely still not believe I was invisible.

Now what?

I’ve only got a day.

Goodness I’m bad at this.

I’m not particularly interested in knowing my loved ones’ or acquaintances’ secrets. They’re secrets. Personal.

But I would go to see them and interact with them as evidence. I’d bring my phone and charger and snap pictures of them going about their business, not a clue I was present.

I might visit unrestricted places. Take more pictures. Jot down what people say and what they’re doing so I could publish an article or write a book about what happened when I was invisible for a day.

I might go to the airport and sneak on a personal jet. But everywhere I want to go would waste my precious minutes. And how would I get back?

I could fly to the White House and see what Obama does. Washington, DC isn’t too far from NYC. But he’s abroad right now I think. I could still take pictures of things the public doesn’t have access to. More for the book.

The question was posed by YAHOO recently and most responses fell into the categories of heroism, theft, revenge and retribution against personal and political injustice, pranks. Here are some examples:

Weasel McSweasel:
Take upskirt shots of all the sexy ladies I find.

Ara:
I would probably sneak in the headmaster’s office and see the question papers of every subject (we have to cram for our papers). Then I’ll break in a bank heist and well steal..ahem ‘borrow’ some million dollars and then go on planning my trips to my most favorite places of the freaking world! Oh goodie what fun will it be!:)

Audrey:
Wear a bed sheet and go into public to scare people, when they think it’s a prank and try to pull the sheet off, they’ll sh*t their pants xD

Analyst:
Spook the NSA. HA HA let’s see them get a taste of their own medicine!

Anonymous:
Just once I would like to go shopping and be barefoot. That’s what I would do. Let my hair, make up and dressing up to shop I would wear my old worn out jeans and just have fun.

Hannah:
Well…I already am invisible.. no one notices me… nothing would change *sigh*

Marigold:
If I ever became invisible for a day, I would be kinda like a guardian angel; saving people who end up in accidents like: car accidents, fires, floods, kidnappings, robberies, suicide attempts… etc. I would just go about doing good for that day and protecting people… and animals. That would be one day of miracles and less people and animals getting hurt.

GeoGhoul:
I would clean out every Swarovski store I could get to in a day……and add countless pieces to my collection!!! Mwauh-Hahahahahahahahaha

Millymollymandy
I would rob a bank! No joke. I’d use my power of invisibility to it’s very best potential, and to me, that would be to rob a bank and take as much money as I could carry. Then I’d get a gun and shoot David Cameron 🙂

Answer49
Go to walgreens target and walmart and just get tons of stuff. then run naked for the rest of the day 😛

The answers went similarly and endlessly on like that.

Needless to say but I will anyhow, my fellow humankind was no help. Good for a quick chuckle, sure. But overall uninspiring. And with the exception of Millymollymandy who unabashedly and stupidly announced she would shoot a world leader, the answers were expected and benign. Granted the forum is yahoo. But still.

I was hoping for more and instead got bored. So I searched more about invisibility.

Did you know that for 24.99 a month you can hire this company to act as your invisible boyfriend or girlfriend? They send text messages and call you. Here’s the article. Hire Invisible Boyfriend.

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Well that kept me amused for all of five minutes.

So I searched some more.

CHA ching! Jackpot. I discovered that there’s an actual 3-D cloaking device in existence, The Rochester Cloak, and along the way learned some cool facts about invisibility and how it works. Watch the video:
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I’ve spent an enjoyable morning on invisibility. Now it’s time to show myself to the world.

But before I sign off…how would you use this or any cloaking device? What would YOU do if you were invisible for a day?

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It’s been a while since I’ve had a dream or remembered one.

Last night I dreamt that I was on a flight to somewhere. It seemed like I was traveling alone, which has been the case in my recent travels.

Then suddenly, not that I felt it but knew it was happening, the plane went into a steep descent.

I looked around me and no one else seemed to notice. How could they not know? I remember thinking.

Then a flight attendant flew out of a door, which I assume led to the cockpit, a stocky black-haired, Mexican flight attendant in a grayish-blue uniform that I noted was too tight for his form, and he yelled out: Is there a doctor on board?!

There was silence.

No one seemed to notice him. No head movements looking from side to side. Nothing.

The plane continued to descend.

I got up slowly, reluctantly, walked tenuously to another flight attendant, a Farrah Fawcett look-alike, and as she screamed at me to get back in my seat, I calmly whispered to her, I’m not a doctor.

For a second she stared at me.

–Fine if you’re a nurse, she said, the tension around her eyes relaxing.
–No, no, I responded. I’m a pilot.

Her eyes looked into mine. I stared back defiantly.

I was gripping the seatback trying to keep balance. I still couldn’t feel the plane sharply descending but knew it was and knew that I was supposed to be holding onto something.

There wasn’t Hollywood chaos with screaming babies and hanging oxygen masks. No luggage flying from the overhead bins. Everyone sat perfectly still. Stoic. Unmoving.

But there was a dinging. A gravelly tinny Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.

And then I woke up. 615 alarm.

I missed my moment of being a hero. Yeah, it was a dream. But it would’ve been great. I would’ve been GREAT.

I say this now, though, frankly, I’m not so sure I would’ve been–great, that is.

I’ve not flown in forever and jets are a wholenother beast. A far cry from a single engine Cessna. But then again, cut the engine and the jet becomes a monstrous clunky sailplane.

And who knows what the Other Me or Other Farrah was about to do after the stare-down. And why on earth did no one else react. And why was the priority a doctor when clearly the plane was out of control.

The Other Me obviously assumed the pilot and co-pilot couldn’t be revived in time and took them out of the equation.

Fly the plane.

Fly the plane is Rule No 1. Don’t be distracted, whether it’s an emergency or not. Whether an engine light goes on or a bird strikes the canopy or you’ve lost communication.

Fly the plane.

In piloting, as with any act you perform: Be mindful of the essentials. And if and when the time comes for you to act, even if you’re unsure, don’t wait for someone else to do it.

Do it yourself.

The Pursuit

January 15, 2015 — Leave a comment

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Every morning before I leave my apartment and head to work, I mentally flip a coin. Marcy Ave JMZ or Bedford Ave L train. Even though more often than not taking the L results in a wretched experience of too many people, skipped stops…essentially discomfort and delays, I do it; I give myself both options.

Those times when the L train isn’t packed and runs smoothly. When the JMZ, an elevated station, has me waiting in the cold for an inordinate amount of time. It’s these incidents, these exceptions and examples of unreliability, which result in my overall distrust of the system.

Am I going to do anything about it? Uh. No.

We all learn to pick our battles. And changing the New York metro system isn’t one I can even begin to imagine engaging in. Nor do I have any desire to do so.

I’m perfectly comfortable knowing that there are others whose capabilities far exceed mine in an endless amount of pursuits and ways. In fact, I seek out and surround myself with those kinds of people. Not that I leech. I contribute to my surroundings. But I’ve learned that if I consistently challenge myself and in doing so discover my strengths and weaknesses, I have a better sense of where my time and efforts will bring effect.

I’m sure the news of recent and ongoing horrific events happening around our world, which no doubt all of us are considering and responding to in our own way, has something to do with this thinking. Even little things like seeing my friends change their Facebook profile image to read Je Suis Charlie or receiving petitions calling for Obama’s public apology for his physical absence from the protest…

I have no epiphanies to share with you.

But I will repeat and end with the prescient words of someone I had the privilege of working with several years ago. It’s a call to action and a reminder to ourselves as we go about our day to day lives, doing what we do–whatever that is.

“What most of us must be involved in–whether we teach or write, make films, write films, direct films, play music, act, whatever we do–has to not only make people feel good and inspired and at one with other people around them, but also has to educate a new generation to do this very modest thing: change the world.”

― Howard Zinn, Artists in Times of War and Other Essays