Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pool From My Past


I am presenting at a conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was startled to see this unusual indoor-outdoor pool when I checked into the hotel last night. I wasn't startled because of the unusual design where you can swim under the wall of the hotel, but rather because I recognized it from the misty distant past of my childhood.

When this Sheraton was new some 30 years ago, my mom, dad, sister and me visited here regularly so my father could attend PSEA board meetings. As a 10 year old, I haunted the halls, hung out in the whirlpool and generally made a nuisance of myself.

This week it's just a quick trip out, so last night I caught a half of football over some chicken fingers and went back to the room to prepare for today's presentation.  The food and bar were nothng to write home about.  The room, while nicely appointed has terribly thin carpet and the neighboring plumbing can be heard plainly.  It's a hotel that was built cheaply in the late 70s and the updates have not kept it quite up to what I think of as a Sheraton.

Thanks to Tom Carnwarth and everyone at the PA Datatel User's Group for having me and making me feel so welcome!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Truths From The Cockpit

You probably already know that I have issues with giving up control.  I'm not proud of it, but that's just the way it is.  I like traveling, but because of my control issues, I have a hard time handling the flying part some times.  The fact that 2 faceless people I have never met and will only meet for 2 seconds while dragging my carry-on past when I get wherever I am going have my lives in my hands gives me a moment of pause when I am settling into my aisle seat.

Stories like the one where the 2 clowns piloting a Northwest Airlines flight overflew their destination by and hour and had to be told by a flight crew member that they were way off course don't make me rest any easier when I am being bumped and jostled by the beverage cart and assorted baby-carrying parents wandering the aisles.  Today I ran across a story carried online by Reader's Digest that covers the '50 Secrets Your Pilot Won't Tell You.' 

The bottom line is that it isn't pretty behind the cockpit door.  The folks whose hands hold our lives are by their estimation, overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated.  They are afraid they don't have enough fuel to get you home safely and they really ARE up there reading the newspaper.  The general tone is that they really don't think much of the flying public and I am not real sure they care that much about the trust we place in them every day when we get aboard their aircraft.

I know these kinds of expose articles tend to select out the most salacious comments.  It's probably also true that the most jaded and disaffected pilots are the ones most likely to respond.  Still, it's pretty shocking stuff from a profession that, despite taking some hits over the years, still places much of its membership above the $100k mark in salary each year.

If you want another look into the lives of folks who fly for a living, there is a companion story from the perspective of the cabin crew.  Basically they don't like us very much.  No surprise given the fact that we are all tired and grumpy and trying to find our belts and cellphones after running to the gate after waiting two hours for security ineffectively screen us.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

Clancy Gets Crafty

Ok this one is for the crafty mommy bloggers out there. 

Coworker Jo-Anne Clancy got crafty over the weekend and the result is a small coven of marshmallow witches for the office. Made from marshmallows, coconut shavings, a chocolate cookie, a Hershey's Kiss, a mini Reese's cup and some icing to hold it all together, these tasty treats are geeting us through a tough Monday morning!


Sorry the photo isn't any better, but it's tough to shoot on your dekstop with a cell phone camera! 


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Celebrating An Autumn Weekend

Vetri's 2010 Autumnal Display
Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

As the temperature struggles into the mid-60s today and the Phils wrap up the regular season, I'm enjoying a day in my study, organizing photos, playing a few games and watching two televisions at the same time.

It has been a beautiful weekend here in the Delaware Valley. John's Fall Ball team played yesterday under the proverbial "sky so blue it hurts your eyes just to look at it." While the result was a loss, there were a lot of positives to go around, from John's RBI single though the hole to LJ's perfect inning, to Colin making solid contact at the plate.

Later in the afternoon, we headed into Philadelphia for the Mid Town Village Fall Festival. This even should ne re-named "People of Every Variety Getting Drunk While Wandering Around The Gayborhood." We enjoyed ourselves, taking in faux Sumo wrestling, sampling the offerings from Zavino, Bindi and El Vez and jamming to the music from Rich and his friends from "Swift Technique."

After grabbing a bite with Ed and the gang at Valanni, we headed home to an early night on the couch taking in "The Blind Side." I saw the sappy adaptation of Michael Oher's transformation from homelessness to the NFL a few months back on a plane, and chose it again last night over old standby "All The Right Moves," which just seemed like too dark a way to end a good day.

It was a good weekend to be out and about , since it looks like the weather for the week is cool and rainy, with little chance to get out and enjoy the early fall colors.

Well I am off to watch the return of the Kevin Kolb era as Michael Vick has gone down and the second half is about to start. Should be interesting ...