September 2008

Plane Silly 1

So we’re flying the jets back to base after a cross country and things are going fine except the captain is getting all bent out of shape because I’m flying with my knees and taking pictures out the window. What’s the big deal. I’m at least three feet from his precious plane. Not even close. But he “orders” me, so I go to put my camera back in the bag. That’s when it happened. My camera bumps my cup holder and my latte’ spills and burns the heck out of my leg. My knee bumps the controls then my plane bumps the captain’s plane. It was an accident. Anyway, this is the last image of the captain’s plane before he ejected. It’s OK though. I was ready for civilian life. Really. I’m fine.


There’s a big jet on a pedestal outside of the Naval Aviation Museum. The clouds were awesome so I shot it. The shot is fine and there’s no need to embellish it with some corny Top Gun story. ;)
(Originally published on my photoblog back in January 2006.)

Plane Silly 2

Plane Silly 3

“The odds against there being a bomb on a plane are a million to one, and against two bombs a million times a million to one. Next time you fly, cut the odds and take a bomb.”
Benny Hill

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t”
Douglas Adams

“What is that mountain goat doing way up here in the clouds?”
Gary Larson – Farside

iStock_000001727259XSmallWarning: Do not let small children read the following. ;-)

There was a conversation this weekend. A tooth was lost. A joke was made. I pushed a snowball down a hill.

My older daughter lost a tooth on Saturday. She’s known the “truth” about the Tooth Fairy for a while but to her credit she hasn’t spoiled the fantasy for her younger sister. For that reason, I guess my wife and I should feel bad about the joke we played. But we don’t.

Like I said. The older, all knowing child lost a tooth. The younger, all innocent child was excited for her older sister because the Tooth Fairy was going to pay her a visit. Sweet little sister. The older played along. But later, out of earshot of her younger, sweet sister, the older sister somewhat smugly let the wife and I know how how cool she thought it was that she still got money for teeth even though she knew the “truth”. Then she bounced her smug self out of the room. Oh really. My wife thinks maybe it’s time for a “teaching moment.” I think it’s time for a funny.

That night, instead of putting the Tooth Fairy money under smug big sister’s pillow, we put it under sweet little sister’s pillow. For big sister, we fashioned a handwritten note. The note read, “Since you don’t believe in me any more, I’m giving your money to your little sister. Signed, The Tooth Fairy”.

The next morning, little sis comes out of her room with a big smile on her face and a dollar in her hand. “Where did this come from?”

We fought back the smiles. “My. That’s strange. We have no idea where that came from. Go ask your sister. Maybe she knows something about it.”

A few minutes later, big sis stomps up to the front of the house with a scowl on her face and a handwritten note in her hand. “This is so unfair!” She reads the note out loud in an “Are you serious!?” tone of voice and then glares at us. Little sis is a little confused but she smiles, shrugs her shoulders, and puts the money in her purse. My wife and I can’t hold back the laughter any longer. The laughing makes big sis throw up her arms and reemphasize the piercing glare. That makes little sis even more confused. Maybe it’s time for a little talk. So here we go. I sat her on my lap.

“So what do your friends say about the tooth fairy?”

“Some think she’s real. But some don’t.”

“What do you think?”

“Is it you guys?”

“What do you think?”

“I think it’s you and mommy.”

“Yes it is.”

Wow, that was easy. She wasn’t even upset. She just had some follow up questions about our methods like “Where do you put the teeth?” Good one. Then she sat quietly for a minute and we thought she was thinking about the next Tooth Fairy question. But instead she rared back and delivered a wicked curve ball of a question. “What about Santa Clause?” Whoa. The big one. Guess I should have seen the curve coming but it caught me flat footed. I look at my wife and she gives me the okay. Little sis is the same age as older sis was when she found out about the Jolly Old Elf. So why not. I begin again.

“Well, what do you think about Santa?”

“Is it you guys?”

“What do you think?”

“I think it’s you and mommy.”

“Yes it is.”

A look of wonder appeared on her face as she started putting it all together. A little sad. A little happy. A little confused. It’s a lot to take in. But she was okay. Later, after a brief question and answer period about the logistics of the Santa ruse, we went ahead and killed off the Easter Bunny too. That one wasn’t too bad. Not even any questions. Guess she’s not a big fan of peeps.

Just to be safe, we gave a little warning about not spoiling the Tooth Fairy/Santa Clause/Easter Bunny thing for her friends who still believed. We tried to make up to Jamie by telling her how proud we were of her for not spoiling it for her sister for the past few years. I think she still would have preferred cash. And then we all went on with our day. But this subject would raise it’s imaginary head again.

That afternoon, little sis had a friend over to play for a couple of hours. They had fun and apparently had a little talk. Guess what subject came up while they were playing? After her friend left, little sis came up to me in the kitchen and informs me that her friend doesn’t believe in Santa either. “What did you tell her?” I asked slowly with more than a small dose of accusation in my voice. I was already trying to come up with something to tell a couple of angry parents in an upcoming phone call. “No, no.” little sis said. “She knew. Her parents had told her already.” Whew. Crises averted. But the wheels were still turning in that beautiful little mind because then she says, and I quote,

“I do have another question.”

“What is it?”

“Are you God?”

I just choked back a laugh and said, “What do you think?”

Football and Philosophy 1

There was a feature story in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about the philosophy department at Auburn University. Yes, I said the philosophy department at Auburn University. The man responsible for turning the department into one of the best in the country is Kelly Jolley. Described here by Jonathan Mahler.

At 42, he is a bear of a man with a prematurely white beard and blue eyes. He walks with an unsteady gait, the product of a pair of bad knees from his days as a high-school football lineman. You might imagine philosophers as inaccessible and withdrawn, endlessly absorbed in esoteric thoughts. Jolley couldn’t be further from this stereotype. He’s cheerful and engaged, an enthusiast about everything from college football, which he follows rabidly, even by Southern standards…

Fascinating guy and really cool story. It’s a long feature but if your interested it’s worth it.

The Thinker: How did Kelly Jolley turn Auburn University into a hotbed of philosophical talent? by Jonathan Mahler.

Football and Philosophy 2

Oh, how I do love the The Onion. Makes me happy.

Pre-Game Coin Toss: The Onion

Football and Philosophy 3

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