Top 10 Distractions for NWA Pilots

10.  Birding – Hey, it’s a flock of Canadian Geese.

9.  Making prank phone calls to Air Traffic Controllers in Canada.

8.  Listening to the classic Byrd’s song, Eight Miles High over and over and over.

7.  Playing Solitaire – it’s addictive and hypnotizing.

6.  Installing Windows 7 on their laptops…without much success.

5.  Arguing about the best in-flight movie of all time.

4.  Making adjustments to fantasy football team.

3.  Updating Facebook status:  Look mom, no hands!

2.  Tweeting with other pilots in the area.


The Honda Fit, not so Fit

Toy or car?

Toy or car?

My daughter is looking to buy a new car and so am I.  We’re thinking to buy two Honda Fits, different colours of course.  Maybe we’d get a good deal, like free floor mats or something.  But I’m having second thoughts.   Don’t get me wrong.  I like the car.  I was inside one and impressed with its interior roominess.  Cavernous actually.  But on the outside, the thing looks like a toy.  Fit for a kid, not an adult.  Like one of the cars I used to pedal around the house when I was 4.   Or a John Deer riding lawnmower with a hardtop.  No, that would describe the SMART car.

The Fit sounds trim and lean and fuel-efficient, but it’s not really.  About 33 average mpg.  That’s just not that good – or I should say not nearly good enough.  The Civic CCC from the 70’s got 54 mpg.  It did.  And the Fit looks  about the same size as the first gen. Civic, but I would be willing to bet weighs 800 – 1,000 pounds more; the unfit Honda Fit.

Honda’s Save the Earth Ad Misleads


Honda has a new “Save the Earth” commercial which opens with a vintage Honda Civic CCC from the 70’s.   A guy gets out of the car with a Save the Earth t-shirt.  As he walks along the sidewalk, the shirt goes through a time lapse, same slogan, slightly different style.  It ends with a shot of the 2010 Civic and a voice over announcing:  “It’s the same, only different… The ever fuel efficient Honda Civic”.

But it’s not the same.  A 1977 Honda Civic CVCC got 54 mpg on the highway/41 mpg city.  The 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid only gets 45 mpg highway; the gasoline powered Civic, a modest 34 mpg highway, 26 city.

Where’s the truth in advertising here?  The slogan should be “Not the same, but different…the less fuel efficient Honda”.  And can buying a new car save the earth?  If so, I’d like to know how.


Different - Not the Same

Buffalo Carp and Chips


The stock of cod in European waters has depleted to the point that the European Union has called for a 25% cut in allowable catches.  So overfished are the prized cod, known as the fish of choice for fish-in-chips, that the species may not be able to reproduce sufficiently to sustainable levels.   The cod may be doomed.

We need some replacement candidates for the fish and chip dish.  The Brits are known to give the name of the fish when ordering; for example, cod and chips as opposed to fish and chips, so I will adopt this practice when considering suitable substitutes.

Jellyfish and chips.  I like this idea and there are plenty of jellyfish in the ocean.  Too many actually so all the more reason to eat them – fried of course with seaweed chips.

Does the fish in the dish have to be from the ocean?  I think not.  So why not catfish and chips.  I imagine someone could come up with hushpuppie chips. And for our feline friends, catnip and chips.

Crappie and chips.  There are plenty of crappie in the waters of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.  This could be a boon to the southern economy.  Catch a mess of crappie and sell it at the local fish market.  Fry up your own and establish a restaurant, a fresh alternative to Long John Silver’s.  Create your own frozen brand, you know like Gorton’s and sell it to Tyson foods.  Develop a home brew to compliment the crappie and chips – I’m thinking a crisp pilsner.

Buffalo carp and chips.  Buffalo wings are good, why not Buffalo carp?  As non-game fish they are in plentiful supply.  Might be an aquired taste for some, but a delicacy for others.  I think you’d need to pressure cook the thing and then deep, deep fry it.

Columbus Day Should Be One Of Mourning

Just finished reading a freshly pressed post by Scott over on theSkittzo about why we even bother to celebrate Columbus Day.  This is certainly a valid question and one I have pondered for years.  First off, the only thing that Columbus discovered was that people had already discovered the “new world”.  New to him, and new to others who had arrived before him, including the first inhabitants indigenous to the area.  As Columbus, Colon in some circles, sailed from island to island, he and his crew enslaved the locals and left a trail of plunder, pillage and murder, all in quest for gold and other treasures.  What a sorry chapter of world history.

And so we honor Columbus with a national holiday.  Our multi-billion dollar textbook industry  presents him as a hero, and whitewashes American history.  Only a few schools have the courage to present the truth or at least another version of history- A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn.

We get the day off.  Some of us go leaf peeping on that day. But I think the holiday should be a national day of mourning.  When I’m out today traveling around southern New England – down to Connecticut – I will do so with a black armband.  I will not forget.

Samsung Instinct clever, not smart

In  a previous post, I reviewed my trusty but quirky Samsung Instinct smart phone, the one I now consider clever and cheeky, but not smart – capable, yes, but an underachiever.  The thing pocket dials and has a volume that goes up to a feint 8 not 10 reminding me of the amp in This Is Spinal Tap that had an 11 setting – quirky.

And now I’ve found a couple of other annoyances.  The song shuffle.  Ok, select shuffle and you get a random sequence.  Select shuffle the next time, same sequence.  No shuffle.  Not even a half-hearted split deck shuffle.  And there’s this notepad function.  Have a thought, jot it down.  But better not have more than 9 thoughts because that’s the limit to the number of notes you can store on the phone.  9, why not 10…actually, you should be able to record an infinite number of notes on a smart phone.  Maybe the 9 limit is a tribute to the Beatles  White Album tune, Revolution 9, (not to be confused with their hit Revolution 1) Hey, and why not offer Revolution number 9 number 9, number 9 as a ringtone? That would be smart, clever and creepy.

Acorn Crush

Acorn Crush

Acorns cover the sidewalks I walk.  And I like them.  I like to crush them with my heel.  It feels good, sounds good too, like breaking glass.  I wish the fallen fruit from those majestic Oak no harm, but I can’t resist.  A little like popping  bubble wrap.  The squirrels don’t mind a bit.  Not one bit.

Fleetwood Mac and Genesis Album Cover Art


It’s been such a grey day in these New England parts.  Such a grey day…, but beautiful.   Got me thinking about one of my favorite albums of the 70’s, Fleetwood Mac’s Bare Trees. The last cut on the lp is entitled “Thoughts on a Grey Day” a poem written and recited by an elderly woman with a British accent.  The poem alone is reason enough to buy the album and the music is a perfect transition from the 60’s to the 70’s – it really captures the essence of the times both in mood and spirit.

And here in New England, the trees are not yet bare, but the grey sky today foreshadows the annual event.

And as I recalled the poem and the album, what struck me is how similar the album cover is to another one of my favorite lp’s of the the 70’s, Wind & Wuthering, a vastly underrated Genesis classic.