Absolute Normality

A school field trip wrapped up around six PM on a Saturday. Since the return trip would be at least two hours, and for teenagers, going without food for eight hours (and not being asleep) is a near eternity, the bus stopped between two fast-food places, with a third across the very busy street. Strict orders issued forth that NO ONE was to try to cross the busy street to get to the other burger place. Apparently we had to return with the same quantity and quality of students, and flattened freshmen are a challenge to pack. Do you put them in with the baggage, or strap them to the roof? As careful as the driver was with her bus, I suspect neither option would have been welcome, especially since there is no baggage area on a Yellow Dog. Continue reading


Dain Bramaged

Got back very late from an alllll day school chaperon thing. Graded papers all day Friday.

Sorry, no coherent post possible. I’ll try to have something for tomorrow.

Movie Music – Live!

Well, it can be almost as physically jarring as some rock concerts. I sat in the balcony and the percussion hurt during Howard Shore’s “Fellowship of the Ring.” One of the percussionists covered his ear, the one closest to the bass drum, and I don’t blame him. Even with shields up, a la the brass, the drums still rocked the house. But then so did the music.

Continue reading

Three-Quarter Time

The Amarillo Symphony had a pops concert this past weekend, and featured movie music, some very familiar, some not so. (No Mancini or they would have hit all the biggies, but there was a limit to concert length.) One thing I noticed, or I should say really paid attention to, for the first time was just how much movie music is in 3/4 time. I knew “The Black Pearl Theme” from Pirates of the Caribbean was, because watching the Flat State U marching band rehearsing it for the first time on the marching field reduced me to tears of laughter. Marching to a waltz is a bit challenging, especially for the first time, with a new piece of music. It was also hilarious to watch, from a safe distance. Continue reading

Fruit Basket Upset! A Flying-ish Story

All events and individuals are fiction and none of this ever happened to anyone I might possibly know, living, dead, or in between.

It started out about as normal a day as you can have in an air ambulance company. Of Mercy Flight’s four King Air fixed wing aircraft, one was en route to Kansas City with an infant, one was in Omaha waiting for the pilot to pick the med crew up from the VA, and two remained parked in their hangars. The helicopter hunkered on its pad at headquarters, plugged in and ready to go. Dispatch issued the (disgustingly cheerful) morning test call, then settled back to chaos as usual. In addition to Mercy Flight, they also dispatched for one major hospital and the county EMS. Greg and Diane made notes as the Mercy Flight pilots on call checked in, then got coffee refills and continued work.

Pretty soon, Mercy Flight Two reported airborne, departing Omaha en route to its base at Grand Island. At nine thirty, amidst the ground ambulance traffic, a call came in to launch Mercy Flight Four, the helicopter, to pick up a patient in York and bring them to Capitol General. In other words, things flowed routinely, and Greg took the lull as a chance to unload the coffee and stretch his legs. Diane sent out two ground ambulances, took M.F. One’s report of leaving KC, and updated the status board of who was where. She also looked at the thermometer outside the window – ninety degrees already! Yuck.

The first hint of a disruption to the flow came when Four landed at Capitol General. Continue reading

Too Much Community Service?

This popped up in my news feed Saturday AM: Brown Students Complain Homework is Interfering With Their Activism.

Now, whatever you think about the cause for which they are working, the idea of university students complaining because their coursework is getting in the way of protesting and other activities should cause a few eye blinks and a little concern. Why do you go to college, if not to go to class and learn something? Why is protesting anything more important than education? As I mulled those questions over, I started to wonder if perhaps, universities’ emphasis on “leadership” and “community service” isn’t part of the problem. Continue reading

Rodent of Revival

Because some ear-worms deserve to be shared, and it is Sunday:


Way back when, during the summer my parents shipped me (and Sib) down to the Gulf Coast to stay with our maternal Grandparents for up to a month. Spending the summer in Houston and the winter in the Midwest probably explains a lot about how Sib and I turned out, but I digress. Continue reading

Random Life

I was hunting through the drawers in the bathroom I share with Athena T. Cat. You see, I recently got a new hairbrush because Olde Faithful had started shedding bristles after a decade or so. I ended up with two, because the handle on my back-up brush broke. Some days are like that.

Anyway, much hunting produces no fancy brush. So I went and found Mom.

Me: “Ah, Mom, question.”

Mom: [Looking up from sewing machine] “Yes?”

Me: “Have you seen my hairbrush? Black, roundish, palm-sized?” Continue reading

Smoke in the Air

It appeared on the northern horizon, a glimpse of brown, grey-brown, and dirty white that smeared across the pale blue northern sky from northwest to just east of north, quick glimpsed between the trees as I drove on an errand Saturday.  Everyone knew it had the potential to be one of those days, and alas, it lived down to our expectations and fears. Half an hour later, smoke covered the entire northern horizon, hiding the precise location of origin. Anything north of town’s not great because it is such rough, broken terrain, with little pockets and lots of subdivisions and little clusters of fancy houses built for scenery and not for ease of access during wild-land fires.

Like this. This was near Borger last year. From: http://kfda.images.worldnow.com/images/9720943_G.jpg

Like this. This was near Borger last year. From: http://kfda.images.worldnow.com/images/9720943_G.jpg

Continue reading

This is a Drill


If this had been a real post, there would be content. Instead there is an apology for life getting in the way of blogging.

Sorry folks, between the head-cold from heck (now entering week two) and trying to get a bunch of school stuff done, I’m behind on the blog.