The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

One last chance before an annoying logbook entry

According to Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 61.56:

(c) ...[N]o person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft unless, since the beginning of the 24th calendar month before the month in which that pilot acts as pilot in command, that person has (1) Accomplished a flight review given in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated by an authorized instructor; and (2) A logbook endorsed from an authorized instructor who gave the review certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed the review.

My last flight review took place in June 2004. This means that if I don't have a flight review by July 1st, I will not act as pilot in command of my next flight—which will be my BFR. So my logbook will show a flight in which I'm not PIC, for the first time since I got my certificate. It's no big deal, but it is a point of personal pride.

Thunderstorms are moving through the area so I won't have my BFR today. The next available time is in a week. That leaves three days. Fooey.

This is part of the fun of flying: rescheduling because of weather.

Safavian guilty

Jack Abramoff's right-hand man, David Safavian, was convicted today of lying and obstructing justice:

Safavian was charged with lying about his relationship with Abramoff and his knowledge of the lobbyist's interest in acquiring properties from [General Services Administration], the property managing agency for the federal government. He was also charged with obstructing investigators looking into a golf trip he took with Abramoff in 2002.

TPM Muckraker has a thorough dossier on this clown.

Since you missed the first batch...

My dad has more tea tins for sale. A second lot. This time, 91 tins, weighing more than 10 kilos (22 pounds), which is amazing since they contain nothing but air at this point. And I can claim photo credit—along with counting credit. Ninety-one tea tins, how can you resist?

Yes, in a short time, ten years of tea tins my father has carted with him up and down the Pacific coast will depart the family forever. Heirlooms lost. It's almost sad.

Not that it's going to drive a lot of bids, but I need to point out that at least one of the tins in this batch, I brought back for him from London. Bought it on Regent Street, I did.

In February 2001.

So, OK, maybe it's time.

Wait until he sees what Anne and I sent him last week...

Class war politics

Krugman (sub.req.) hits it on the nose today:

[I]f the real source of today's bitter partisanship is a Republican move to the right on economic issues, why have the last three elections been dominated by talk of terrorism, with a bit of religion on the side? Because a party whose economic policies favor a narrow elite needs to focus the public's attention elsewhere. And there's no better way to do that than accusing the other party of being unpatriotic and godless.
Thus in 2004, President Bush basically ran as America's defender against gay married terrorists. He waited until after the election to reveal that what he really wanted to do was privatize Social Security.

One size doesn't fit all in airline security

Salon's "Ask the Pilot" last week argued that the U.S. should not look at El Al as the best example (for us) of how to run airline security:

Why can't we, or why don't we, have a system like theirs?
Unfortunately, that's a bit like asking why America's streets can't be as clean as Singapore's. Mostly it's a case of scale. The United States has dozens of mega-terminals, and hundreds more of varying sizes; the nation's top 25 airports each process more than 20 million people a year. Tel Aviv is Israel's sole major airport, handling 9 million passengers annually—about the same as Raleigh-Durham, N.C. The ability to focus on this single, consolidated portal makes the job comparatively simple. There are aspects worth borrowing, for sure, but it's naive to think Israeli protocols can, in whole, be fitted to a nation that is 50 times more populous, and immeasurably more diverse and decentralized.

Ugh. It's summer

It looks like Chicago may miss 32°C (90°F) ever so slightly. It's 31.7°C (89°F) officially right now. It's supposed to cool down on Sunday. I hope so, because I'm melting already.

Update, 4:05p (21:05 UTC): We hit 32°C. But it's not the hottest day of 2006: that was May 28th, when Chicago hit 33.3°C (92°F).

The most painful cut of all

I'm not sure what to make of an MSNBC report about a circumcision trial, except tasteless jokes:

Groups opposed to circumcision are watching the case of an 8-year-old suburban Chicago boy whose divorced parents are fighting in court over whether he should have the procedure.
The child’s mother wants him circumcised to prevent recurring, painful inflammation she says he’s experienced during the past year. But the father says the boy is healthy and circumcision, which removes the foreskin of the penis, is an unnecessary medical procedure that could cause him long-term physical and psychological harm.
The couple’s 2003 divorce decree gave the father the right to offer input on medical decisions.

So, for the moment, this is a parental-rights issue, whose specific subject is what Alfred Hitchcock would characterize as the MacGuffin. But then one gets to this line:

David Llewellyn, an Atlanta attorney who specializes in circumcision cases, is helping the father’s attorneys without a fee.

He—excuse me—specializes in circumcision cases? This is a legal specialty? I must have missed that class at Loyola, no doubt because it's a Jesuit school. Perhaps if I'd gone to Yeshiva, I'd have taken that course. Actually, if I'd gone to yeshiva, I would definitely have taken that course, come to think of it.

Anyway, I suppose to most people circumcision is no laughing matter, but I'm (technically) Jewish, which I think gives me license. You can stop reading now if you get squeamish, because here come my two favorite jokes on the topic:

  1. I decided not to practice Judaism when I was very young. The first mitzvah was fine, but the second one...
  2. Why are we Jews so frugal? Because we're 10% off at birth.

I think now I'll quit while I'm behind.