Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A man had wanted to ride in an airplane all of his life. Unfortunately, he had never had the opportunity. Fortunately, on his sixty-fifth birthday, a pilot offered him a plane ride. Unfortunately, while the pilot was doing an acrobatic maneuver, the man fell out of the plane. Fortunately, he was wearing a parachute. Unfortunately, he did not know how to open the chute. Fortunately, the pilot of the plane was able to fly close to him and tell him how to open it. Unfortunately, the chute would not open. Fortunately, there was a haystack below him. Unfortunately, there was a pitchfork in the haystack with the sharp end pointed up. Fortunately, he missed the pitchfork. Unfortunately, he missed the haystack. Fortunately, this is a fictional account!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Two Captains

Captain Sullenberger
Captain Phillips

In this era of constant grim news about the economy, crime and war, it’s nice to have some good news. I, along with most Americans, have rejoiced and felt a great sense of American PRIDE at the unfolding of two stories involving two American captain heroes.
On Jan. 16, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 took off from La Guardia Airport in New York City. In just moments, that aircraft was in serious danger after striking a flock of birds which unbelievably knocked out both engines. Apparently, Captain Chesley Sullenberger was one of a few captains who would have been able to successfully save the passengers on his plane. With no more than a handful of minutes to work with, Captain Sullenberger surveyed his options, saw the small landing strip at Teterboro, New Jersey, realized he could not make it there and radioed with amazing calm these words, “We’ll be in the Hudson.”
After clearing the George Washington Bridge by about nine hundred feet, he ditched the A320 Airbus in the Hudson River, with nose elevated as if he had done it many times. As you know, he lost no one and became an instant hero. Are you proud to be an American? Me, too.
On April 8, 2009 the Maersk Alabama was plying the waters of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. A few wannabe pirates saw their opportunity to make a few million dollars by taking over a defenseless American-flagged ship. Well, it appeared to be defenseless to these four Mensa candidates. After storming the ship like pirates of old, they met up with Captain Richard Phillips, who quickly surrendered after instructing his crew to lock themselves in a room, no doubt trading his life for their freedom. I don’t know all of the details of the attack, but there was apparently some hand-to-hand combat and one of the pirates took an ice pick through the hand. Believe it or not, that saved his life. Somehow, the crew overpowered the pirates, sending them on their way in a lifeboat, but with Captain Phillips as a hostage.
On Easter Sunday, after the pirate with an injured hand had agreed to come on board the US Navy ship, the USS Bainbridge, the drama was about to come to a violent ending. The lifeboat was being towed by the ship to get it out of rough waters. I understand that they were being towed by a 200-foot towline. I’m just speculating here, but sometime during the towing operation, the line was shortened to about 90 feet. Do you start to get the picture?
At some point in the previous five days of this crisis, a select group of Navy Seals had jumped out of a plane from approximately 25,000 feet in the air. They dropped in a free fall for a few minutes, then deployed their parachutes in a classic HALO operation. That is an acronym for “High Altitude Low Observability”. They were then picked up by small boats and transferred to the Bainbridge where they set up shop on the fantail.
When two pirates decided to get some fresh air, and one pirate may have been momentarily distracted from holding an AK-47 to the back of Captain Phillips, the Seals did what they are trained to do. Three bullets, three dead pirates and one happy nation.
America needs some happy news. I think those were two happy events. Be happy and proud today for America. There’s plenty of time later for worrying and hearing all the negative news. That’s my two cents for today, April 13, 2009.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Grandma Lavy - she's about as different from Grandpa as can be. But, can you imagine them not together? What word describes her? Hmmm...might be the same word we used for Grandpa. Consistent. Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind, but she's just the same most of the time.

I talked about Dad coming home at 5:30 every night, and he did. But, Mother had supper ready every night at 5:30. If you came to visit and it was bedtime, you might as well get ready to go home or she would get ready for bed and you would be leaving anyhow. Wasn't quite like that, but she did pretty much everything on her schedule day after day. So, she has been "consistent" in her own way for a long time.

She never thought much of mustaches and beards. She is pretty constant in reminding me that mine could go away at any time and she would be happy. She always enjoys company, and wants us back soon! Even wants me to come back with my mustache!

Stop by and see her when you get the chance. She won't let you out of her room unless you sign her guestbook, even if you were there the day before.

Thanks, Mother, for being a Godly, consistent woman for those many years.