The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Joke: Ice fishing

A blonde wanted to go ice fishing. She'd seen many books on the subject, and finally, after getting all the necessary "tools" together, she made for the nearest frozen water. After positioning her comfy footstool, she started to make a circular cut in the ice.

Suddenly—from the sky—a voice boomed, "THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!"

Startled, the Blonde moved further down the ice, poured a Thermos cup of cappuccino, and began to cut yet another hole. Again, from the heavens, the voice bellowed, "THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!"

The Blonde, now quite worried, moved way down to the opposite end of the ice, set up her stool, and tried again to cut her hole. The voice came once more: "THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!"

She stopped, looked skyward, and said, "Is that you, Lord?"

The voice replied, "No, I'm the ice rink manager!"

Submitted by reader M.B.

Joke: Christian Pets

This fundamentalist Christian couple felt it important to own an equally fundamentally Christian pet. So, they went shopping.

At a kennel specializing in this particular breed, they found a dog they liked quite a lot. When they asked the dog to fetch the Bible, he did it in a flash. When they instructed him to look up Psalm 23, he complied equally fast, using his paws with dexterity. They were impressed, purchased the animal, and went home (piously, of course).

That night they had friends over. They were so proud of their new fundamentalist dog and his major skills, they called the dog and showed off a little.

The friends were impressed, and asked whether the dog was able to do any of the usual dog tricks, as well. This stopped the couple cold, as they hadn't thought about "normal" tricks.

Well, they said, "let's try this out."

Once more they called the dog, and they clearly pronounced the command, "Heel!"

Quick as a wink, the dog jumped up, put his paw on the man's forehead, closed his eyes in concentration, and bowed his head.

Submitted by reader C.K.

Joke: Mortality

At a small gathering, talk grows serious when a minister asks three men this question: "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning upon you, what would you like to hear them say about you?"

The first guy says, "I would like to hear someone say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."

The last guy replies, "I would like to hear someone say, 'LOOK!!! HE'S MOVING!!!'"

Submitted by reader J.H.

Joke: the Elder Driver

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on 280. Please be careful!"

"Hell," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"

Submitted by reader M.K.

New Jersey weather sucks

I passed my solo cross-country check ride on 18 July 1999. In theory, I could have flown my two required solo cross-country flights the next weekend, and finished up the other required flights and my FAA check ride the following two weekends.

I finished the private pilot certificate requirements on 17 October 1999 but I couldn't take my check ride for weeks because of the friggin' weather. (In fact, my first attempt got scrubbed for weather.)

My flight school had certain minimum standards for weather. It required winds less than 22 km/h for solo flights, and in addition, for local solo flights:

  • ceilings must be 3,000 ft (950 m) or higher, and
  • visibility must be 5 mi (8 km) or better.

For cross-country solo flights:

  • ceilings must be 5,000 ft (1500 m) or higher,
  • visibility must be 7 mi (11 km) or better, and
  • the flight must leave the ground by 09:00, even if the weather will obviously improve later.

And for any flight with an instructor:

  • ceilings must be 2,000 ft (650 m) or higher, and
  • visibility must be 3 mi (5 km) or better.

So this shows why I have cancelled so many flights this summer. A  green  box means the weather met the requirement. A  yellow  box means the weather met the requirement for local, but not cross-country, flight. A  red  box means the weather officially sucked.

Mo Tu We Th Fr   Sat Sun
July 1999
19 20 21 22 23   24 25
26 27 28 29 30   31  
August 1999 1
2 3 4 5 6   7 8
9 10 11 12 13   14 15
16 17 18 19 20   21 22
23 24 25 26 27   28 29
30 31 September 1999
  1 2 3   4 5
6 7 8 9 10   11 12
13 14 15 16 17   18 19
20 21 22 23 24   25 26
27 28 29 30  
October 1999 1   2 3
4 5 6 7 8   9 10
11 12 13 14 15   16 17
18 19 20 21 22   23 24
25 26 27 28 29   30 31
November 1999
1 2 3 4 5   6 7
8 9 10 11 12   13 14
15 16 17 18 19   20 21
22 23 24 25 26   27 28
29 30 December 1999
  1 2 3   4 5
6 7 8 9 10   11 12

This table shows exactly how the weather sucked at 09:00--the solo cross-country dispatch time--on the days when I could otherwise have flown since my cross-country check ride. (The weather shown is the weather for Essex County Airport).

Date Ceiling Visibility Winds Did I fly?
Sat. July 24 unlimited 4 mi (haze) 4 kts Cancelled
Sun. July 25 unlimited 6 mi (haze) 4 kts Local solo
Sat. July 31 1500 ft 1.5 mi (mist) calm Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 1 unlimited 6 mi (haze) 3 kts Local solo
Sat. Aug. 7 unlimited 10 mi 7 kts Cross-country solo
Sun. Aug. 8 unlimited 3 mi (haze) 7 kts Cancelled
Sat. Aug. 14 2200 ft 1 mi (rain) calm Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 15 1300 ft 5 mi (mist) 5 kts Local dual
Sat. Aug. 21 1400 ft 3 mi (rain) 5 kts Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 22 2300 ft 10 mi 3 kts Cancelled
Sat. Aug. 28 unlimited 2 mi (haze) 3 kts Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 29 unlimited 3 mi (haze) 5 kts Cancelled
Sat. Sep. 4 unlimited 6 mi (haze) 7 kts Local dual
Sun. Sep. 5 1,800 ft 7 mi 8 kts Cancelled
Sat. Sep. 11 unlimited 10 mi calm Local dual
Sun. Sep. 12 unlimited 20 mi calm Local solo
Sat. Sep. 18 unlimited 10 mi 5 kts Nope; out of town
Sun. Sep. 19 unlimited 10 mi calm Nope; out of town
Sat. Sep. 25 10,000 ft 2 1/2 mi calm Local solo (11 am)
Sun. Sep. 26 unlimited 10 mi 2 kts Nope; out of town
Sat. Oct. 2 unlimited 7 mi 3 kts Nope; see note (*)
Sun. Oct. 3 unlimited 10 mi calm Local solo (3 pm)
Sat. Oct. 9 5000 ft 8 mi 6 kts Nope
Sun. Oct. 10 6500 ft 1/2 mi calm Nope
Sat. Oct. 16 2200 ft 6 mi calm Nope
Sun. Oct. 17 0 (fog) 1/4 mi calm Final phase check (11:00)
Sat. Oct. 23 unlimited 7 mi 5 kts Nope
Sun. Oct. 24 unlimited unlimited 4 kts Local dual
Sat. Oct. 30 400 ft 1 1/2 mi calm Cancelled
Sun. Oct. 31 700 ft 3 mi 4 kts Cancelled
Sat. Nov. 6 unlimited 10 mi 12-17 kts Cancelled (13:00)
Sun. Nov. 7 unlimited 10 mi 13-20 kts Cancelled
Sat. Nov. 13 3600 ft 10 mi 5 kts Local solo
Sun. Nov. 14 700 ft 3 mi calm Nope
Sat. Nov. 20 8000 ft 7 mi calm Local dual **
Sun. Nov. 21 9500 ft 1.75 mi calm Nope
Sat. Nov. 27 unlimited 10 mi 6 kts Examiner on vacation***
Sun. Nov. 28 unlimited 10 mi 4 kts Examiner on vacation
Sat. Dec. 4 unlimited 10 mi 6 kts Examiner on vacation
Sun. Dec. 5 unlimited 2.25 mi calm Cancelled

* An accident at 7:51 local time at the departure end of Rwy 22 forced the airport to close for most of October 2. The NTSB preliminary report strongly suggests pilot error caused the crash which injured five people, three seriously.

** That's the 9 am weather. By 3 pm, the scheduled start of my FAA practical test, the weather sucked. I postponed the flight portion of the practical test, and instead went up with an instructor to practice difficult crosswind landings.

*** Notice, will you, that until the 27th the weather completely sucked. The examiner went on vacation the morning of the 27th, and returned December 7th. Notice the weather in New York while he vacationed in Florida. Figures.

Aviation definitions

Suggest a definition.

These definitions come directly from Federal Aviation Regulations parts 1 and 91, unless noted.

aircraft - large
means aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds maximum certificated takeoff weight.
aircraft - small
means aircraft of 12,500 pounds or less, maximum certificated takeoff weight.
airspeed - calibrated
Indicated airspeed of an aircraft, corrected for position and instrument error. Calibrated airspeed is equal to true airspeed in standard atmosphere at sea level.
airspeed - indicated
means the speed of an aircraft as shown on its pitot static airspeed indicator calibrated to reflect standard atmosphere adiabatic compressible flow at sea level uncorrected for airspeed system errors.
airspeed - true
means the airspeed of an aircraft relative to undisturbed air.
category - aircraft
As used with respect to the certification of aircraft, means a grouping of aircraft based upon intended use or operating limitations. Examples include: transport; normal; utility; acrobatic; limited; restricted; and provisional.
category - pilot certification
As used with respect to the certification, ratings, privileges, and limitations of pilots, means a broad classification of aircraft. Examples include: airplane; rotorcraft; glider; and lighter-than-air.
ceiling
the height above the earth's surface of the lowest layer of clouds or obscuring phenomena that is reported as "broken," "overcast" or "obscuration" and not classified as "thin" or "partial".
CFI
means Certificated Flight Instructor.
class - aircraft
As used with respect to the certification of aircraft, means a broad grouping of aircraft having similar characteristics of propulsion, flight or landing. Examples include: airplane; rotorcraft; glider; balloon; landplane and seaplane.
class - pilot certification
As used with respect to the certification, ratings, privileges, and limitations of airmen, means a classification of aircraft within a category having similar operating characteristics. Examples include: single engine; multiengine; land; water; gyroplane, helicopter; airship; and free balloon.
controlled airspace
means an airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided to IFR flights and to VFR flights in accordance with the airspace classification. Note: Controlled airspace is a generic term that covers Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E airspace.
crewmember
means a person assigned to perform duty in an aircraft during flight time.
day
means the period of time between the beginning of morning civil twilight and the end of evening civil twilight. (Implied by FAR 1.)
FAR
Federal Aviation Regulations, Title 14 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.
flight level
means a level of constant atmospheric pressure related to a reference datum of 29.92 inches of mercury (1013.25 hPa). Each is stated in three digits that represent hundreds of feet. For example, flight level 250 represents a barometric altimeter indication of 25,000 feet; flight level 255, an indication of 25,500 feet.
flight plan
means specified information, relating to the intended flight of an aircraft, that is filed orally or in writing with air traffic control.
flight time
means pilot time that commences when an aircraft moves under its own power for the purpose of flight and ends when the aircraft comes to rest after landing.
flight time - cross-country
means flight time on any flight in which the point of departure is a straight-line distance of 92 km (50 Nmi) from the point of arrival. FAR 61.1(b)(3)(ii)(B)

The FARs are unclear about whether this means the point of first arrival or all legs of a round-robin flight, but it appears—and we log it so—that after the first 50 Nmi leg, all subsequent legs of the same flight count as cross-country time. We would appreciate your comments on this point.
flight time - dual
means flight time during which a (CFI) is present. A pilot with the proper certificates and ratings for the aircraft flown may still log pilot in command time while flying dual.
flight time - instrument
A person may log instrument time only for that flight time when the person operates the aircraft solely by reference to instruments under actual or simulated instrument flight conditions. FAR 61.51(g)
flight time - pilot in command
A recreational, private, or commercial pilot may log pilot-in-command time only for that flight time during which that person (i) is the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated; (ii) is the sole occupant of the aircraft; or (iii) except for a recreational pilot, is acting as pilot in command of an aircraft on which more than one pilot is required under the type certification of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is conducted.

A student pilot may log pilot-in-command time when the student pilot (i) is the sole occupant of the aircraft... (ii) has a current solo flight endorsement as required under FAR 61.87; and (iii) is undergoing training for a pilot certificate or rating. FAR 61.51(e)
flight time - solo
A pilot may log as solo flight time only that flight time when the pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft. FAR 61.51(d) A supervised solo is a solo flight in which a CFI observes the student from the ground while the student conducts traffic pattern operations.
IFR
Instrument Flight Rules, FAR 91.167 et seq. An IFR flight is a flight for which the pilot files an IFR flight plan and conforms to the appropriate Instrument Flight Rules. It doesn't mean that the pilot can't see the ground, or that the flight even requires instruments. However, any time the pilot does not have a visual reference to the ground, IFR applies. Cf. VFR, MVFR.
IFR conditions
means weather conditions below the minimum for flight under visual flight rules. (Also called "IMC," for "Instrument Meterological Conditions.")
METAR
A meteorological aviation report, formatted according to the Federal Meteorological Handbook.
MSL
Altitude above mean sea level.
MVFR
Marginal Visual Flight Rules. When visibility and ceilings are close to, but not below, VFR minimums, pilots can still fly for certain purposes. Usually pilots can only conduct traffic pattern operations under MVFR.
night
means the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the American Air Almanac, converted to local time.

When referring to logged flight time, night means the time beginning one hour after sunset and ending one hour before sunrise.
pilotage
means navigation by visual reference to landmarks.
pilot in command
means the person who (1) has final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the flight; (2) has been designated as pilot in command before or during the flight; and (3) holds the appropriate category, class, and type rating, if appropriate, for the conduct of the flight.
special VFR conditions
(SVFR) mean meteorological conditions that are less than those required for basic VFR flight in controlled airspace and in which some aircraft are permitted flight under visual flight rules.
standard atmosphere
The combination of temperature and pressure used as a universal reference, equal to 1013.25 hPa (29.92 in/Hg) at sea level with a temperature of 15°C (59°F). (dab)
speed - best angle of climb
(noted as VX) means the speed at which the airplane will climb at the steepest angle. (dab)
speed - best rate of climb
(noted as VY) means the speed at which the airplane will climb at fastest rate. (dab)
speed - flap extended
(noted as VFE) means the highest speed permissible with wing flaps in a prescribed extended position. Corresponds to the upper limit of the white arc on an airspeed indicator.
speed - ground
The speed of an aircraft relative to the ground.
speed - landing gear extended
(noted as VLE) means the maximum speed at which an aircraft can be safely flown with the landing gear extended.
speed - landing gear operating
(noted as VLO) means the maximum speed at which the landing gear can be safely extended or retracted.
speed - never exceed
(noted as VNE) means the maximum speed at which an aircraft can be safely operated. Corresponds to the upper limit of the yellow arc, and the red line, on an airspeed indicator. (dab)
speed - normal operating
(noted as VNO) means the maximum structural cruising speed of an aircraft. Corresponds to the upper limit of the green arc on an airspeed indicator. (dab)
speed - stall
(noted as VS0) means the speed at which the airplane stall with flaps down; i.e., the slowest indicated airspeed the airplane can fly and still remain airborne. Corresponds to the lower limit of the white arc on an airspeed indicator. (dab)
speed - stall - clean
(noted as VS1) means the speed at which the airplane stall with flaps (and landing gear) up. (dab)
traffic pattern
means the traffic flow that is prescribed for aircraft landing at, taxiing on, or taking off from, an airport.
twilight - astronomical
means that period of time when the center of the sun's disc is higher than 18° below the horizon. Nautical twilight roughly corresponds to the period beginning 90 minutes before sunrise and ending 90 minutes after sunset. During this period, the atmosphere does not scatter any sunlight, making ground-based visual astronomy possible. (dab)
twilight - civil
means that period of time when the center of the sun's disc is higher than 6° below the horizon. Civil twilight roughly corresponds to the period beginning one half-hour before sunrise and ending one half-hour after sunset. (dab)
twilight - nautical
means that period of time when the center of the sun's disc is higher than 12° below the horizon. Nautical twilight roughly corresponds to one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. (dab)
VFR
Visual Flight Rules. In most classes of airspace, VFR operation requires a specific minimum visibility and ceiling, and requires the pilot to maintain specific distances from clouds. Cf. IFR, MVFR.
visibility - flight
means the average forward horizontal distance, from the cockpit of an aircraft in flight, at which prominent unlighted objects may be seen and identified by day and prominent lighted objects may be seen and identified by night.
visibility - ground
means prevailing horizontal visibility near the earth's surface as reported by the United States National Weather Service or an accredited observer.

Submitted by reader D.B.

List: Things Southerners Never Say

Note: A true Southerner has responded to this piece.

Things you would never hear a Southerner say ever, no matter how much he’s had to drink, no matter how far from the South he’s wandered and no matter how much the skunks are threatening...

  • I'll take Shakespeare for $1,000, Alex
  • Duct tape won't fix that
  • Lisa Marie was lucky to catch Michael
  • Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken
  • We don't keep firearms in this house
  • Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?
  • You can't feed that to the dog
  • I thought Graceland was tacky
  • No kids in the back of the pick-up, it's not safe
  • Wrasslin's fake
  • Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
  • We're vegetarians
  • Do you think my hair is too big?
  • I'll have grapefruit instead of biscuits and gravy
  • Honey, do these bonsai trees need watering?
  • Who's Richard Petty?
  • Give me the small bag of pork rinds
  • Deer heads detract from the decor
  • Spitting is such a nasty habit
  • I just couldn't find a thing at Wal-Mart today
  • Trim the fat off the steak
  • Cappuccino tastes better than espresso
  • The tires on that truck are too big
  • I'll have the arugula and radacchio salad
  • I've got it all on a floppy disk
  • Unsweetened tea tastes better
  • Would you like your fish poached or broiled?
  • My fiance, Paula Jo, is registered at Tiffany's
  • I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl
  • Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams
  • Checkmate
  • She's too old to be wearing a bikini
  • Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?
  • Hey, here's an episode of Hee Haw that we haven't seen
  • I don't have a favorite college team
  • Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side
  • I believe you cooked those green beans too long
  • Those shorts ought to be a little longer

And the #1 thing you would NEVER hear a Southerner say is...

  • Elvis who?

Submitted by reader M.G.

Joke: at the Wailing Wall

A journalist assigned to the Jerusalem bureau takes an apartment overlooking the Wailing Wall. Every day when she looks out, she sees an old Jewish man praying vigorously. So the journalist goes down and introduces herself to the old man.

She asks: "You come every day to the wall. How long have you done that and what are you praying for?"

The old man replies, "I have come here to pray every day for 25 years. In the morning I pray for world peace and then for the brotherhood of man. I go home have a cup of tea and I come back and pray for the eradication of illness and disease from the earth."

The journalist is amazed. "How does it make you feel to come here every day for 25 years and pray for these things?" she asks.

The old man looks at her sadly. "Like I'm talking to a wall."

Submitted by reader C.K.

Joke: the Macarena

Two men, sentenced to die in the electric chair on the same day were led down to the room in which they would meet their maker. The priest had given the last rites, the formal speech had been given by the warden, and a final prayer had been said among the participants.

The Warden, turning to the first man, solemnly asked, "Son, do you have a last request?" To which the man replied, "Yes sir, I do. I love dance music. Could you please play The Macarena for me one last time?"

"Certainly," replied the warden.

He turned to the other man and asked, "Well, what about you, son? What is your final request?"

"Please," begged the condemned man, "kill me first."

Submitted by reader S.P.

Joke: Computer Genders

A businessman, who was previously a sailor, knew that ships are always addressed as "she" and "her." He often wondered what gender computers should be addressed. To resolve this he set up two groups of computer experts, one of women and one of men.

He asked each group to determine whether computers should be referred to in the feminine or the masculine gender. Each gave four reasons for their recommendations.

The group of women said computers should be referred to in the masculine gender because:

  1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
  2. They have a lot of data, but are still clueless.
  3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem.
  4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer you could have had a better model.

The group of men concluded that computers should be referred to in the feminine gender because:

  1. No one but the Creator understands their internal logic.
  2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
  3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.
  4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

Submitted by reader K.T.