Thursday, May 31, 2012

In denial, looking forward to anger

The first time I went to London, three friends and I recreated the Beatles album cover of Abbey Road. Then we went to the entrance of Apple records and had a look at the whitewall. It probably gets repainted once a year or something like that but quickly gets filled with fans' penned messages. My favorite was, "Yoko Ono?" She got blamed for the band break-up much like Valerie Bertinelli or Stevie Nix. Truth of the matter is that they were simply done being the Beatles. Each went onto semi-successful solo careers. Even Ringo and he must still think at least once a day how lucky he was that Pete Best kicked it early.

I didn't write anything on the wall, nor did I dump a bottle of wine out for Jim Morrison when I went to Pere La Che. I did once do a rubbing of James Marshall Hendrix headstone that hung framed for a while but has been lost to history. While all that music brings forth memories from various times in my life, none of them were favorites.

I never had a favorite until I heard Ween. I bought all the albums, went to shows, made vacations based on when they might be playing where. I love the sound, the silliness, and their refusal to hit the mainstream. Sure, Spongebob uses one of their tunes but they put vulgarities in songs just to keep them off the radio. That being said, you've heard their music on NPR. Pizza Hut approached them about creating a song for cheese-stuffed crust. The lyrics? "Where'd the cheese go? Ummm, I don't know" on a loop. Pizza Hut asked them to do it again and they refused.

Anywho, Ween broke up and here I am considering wearing all black until they get back together so I can skip the reunion tour out of spite.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Defeating the purpose

I pulled up behind a Harley yesterday and two questions came to mind. Why in the wide world of sports does Hawaii bother to issue handicapped plates for motorcycles? What kind of asshole would apply for a handicapped plate for his bike? I mean, if you can ride a motorcycle you have a lot more going for you than the average handi-capable, don't you think? Plus it's pretty easy to find a place to park a bike anyway. My dad has one leg (actually one and a half) and he doesn't have handicapped plates.

I had the most boring dream ever involving helicopters last night. I've had some pretty good ones, doing flips ala Redbull heli, zipping through the Mall of America in a cute little mini-chopper, but not last night. Last night it was a white board, some colored markers, and a lectern. I taught the aerodynamics of the autorotation. Autos are pretty exciting, especially if you get to do them all the way to the ground. Why didn't my subconscious entertain me with an engine failure that I needed an auto to recover from? At least I could've been standing in front of the class without pants.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Don't say anything to Mom

One of our helicopters experienced an engine issue while on final approach to an off-airport landing. Engine failures are something we constantly train for and recovering from them becomes second nature. Helicopters make it to the ground surprisingly well if they're high enough and going fast enough when the hamster on the wheel keels over. The problem with final approach is that you are low and slow.

Racecars, helicopters, and teens on redbull/vodkas are designed to crash a certain way. As long as the skids are squared to the landing zone and relatively level at touchdown, the helicopter will soak up most of the energy so the humans don't have to. It was textbook. The skids split, the metal on the fuselage crumbled, and the seats collapsed. The student required three band-aids. The instructor got a shiner when the cyclic hit him in the eye and a sore back cuz his seat wasn't allowed to fully collapse due to the rock underneath it. All in all they were quite lucky.

I've had high-risk occupations most of my life (it's a fun game to add up all the amputees I knew when they had all their parts and pieces) and it's interesting to watch attitudes change when people realize it ain't all adrenaline and dancing girls. This group handles it differently than my last cadre of professionals. Lots of government officials, no stolen pitchers or bonfires.