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Helicopters, I am surrounded by helicopters...

I had hoped that this thread would be about this…
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Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
I'm quite the opposite, I dreamed of the days I could emulate Henry Fonda as Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond.
I much preferred the loveable grumpy old man to the hard and bitter grumpy old man as portrayed by Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino.
Aim for "Gabby Hayes" ...

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oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
I don't know how you put up with it. Not having to shave is one thing, but not being able to would drive me nuts. I mean not actually shaving whiskers.
Iron will, though it sometimes seems a little rusty. I am still working full time, and doing school work with kids (distance learning- I can’t afford a cold at this point). Sometimes the only thing keeping me going is sheer bullheadedness. Luckily, just one more infusion, a month to recover, surgery, then four more infusions. When this is done, this will be tattooed on my left inner forearm- “Illegitimi non carborundum”
 
I get it. I kind of raised myself in the 80s and 90s.

My mom worked and I was staying home alone around age 8, 3rd grade. I often had to make my own meals and wasn't really allowed to use the oven. Which is why today in my mid-40s I still like to eat the simple foods I made for myself then: cereal for dinner isn't weird to me; a 2130 (pronounced twenty-one-thirty), TWO pieces of bread, ONE slice of American cheese, THIRTY seconds in the microwave; Cheese on a Plate (a plate with a handful of shredded cheddar microwaved until melted, then eaten; or when I DID use the oven I simply baked a big sheet of frozen fries. I still eat stuff this on the regular today and my wife thinks I'm weird.

At age 10 my friends and I were riding our BMX bikes 10-15 miles one way, throughout the whole urban portion of our city and surrounding suburbs. Our parents didn't know, but we did this on the regular and often without a dime in our pockets. Luckily in Michigan we could collect bottles and cans for a $0.10 deposit each and score some "free" money for the day; a couple bucks in the 80s was pretty good money. If you didn't have money, back then you could reliably enter any McDonald's and just order a water for free. If they were feeling generous they would "accidentally" hit the Orange Drink (not the Hi-C stuff they later got) button to hook you up (Orange Drink and water came from the same spout on the fountain machines, a fact I would learn when I later worked at McDonald's in the mid-90s.)

P.S. Mid90s (link to trailer is R rated) is a GREAT film that really captures skateboarding culture and a general feel of what I experienced back then, though I was a little older than the protaganist at the time.

My stepdaughter (who lived with her dad best friend) will be 21 this year and still doesn't have a driver's license because driving is scary or something. When she was 15 or 16 I couldn't even imagine her walking to the corner store 1 mile away, down a low speed road with no sidewalks but a decent shoulder. We really pushed her to get out of her comfort zone but were no match for her dad who was a best bud and would never make her do anything challenging. She was a good student and very kind, but hamstrung by his bias towards us and his own lack of ambition to be greater.

Speaking of helicopters...as an air traffic controller we often get calls at work by concerned (more often fussy) citizens. We have several National Guard and State Police helicopters than operate in the area. Under VFR rules, helicopters most often fly at only a few hundred feet above ground level which is pretty low when seen visually. People see them and call us to exclaim and/or complain. They're often incredulous when told that it's normal and there's nothing we can do. They're even more skeptical when in real time we can see a radar target in their area, operating in uncontrolled airspace with the standard 1200 VFR beacon code; they can't believe we aren't speaking to or controlling that aircraft and they lose their minds sometimes!

A few weeks ago we had some Navy F18s for a military funeral. There was a local Ensign who died on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor and who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for helping others escape while losing his own life. With DNA evidence they were finally able to identify his remains, send him home and honor him with the full service. The formation flight of 4 Super Hornets departed for their low altitude flyover and they were super loud. Not long after, some citizen called to inquire why military jets were shaking their house. I explained it was for a memorial service, etc. They were still perturbed and I was forced to tell them this is just how things are and that it was the Sound of Freedom™.

They didn't have much to say after that.
 
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The doorbell rang the other day and it was a neighborhood boy who lives seven houses away. He is on the high school football team and every year they sell coupons to local restaurants as a way to raise money for the team. I stepped outside onto the front step, greeted him and he shows me what he has and how much, etc.

Then I notice a minivan that is idling on the curb just next door. It is his mother - his helicopter mother - keeping an eye on her boy. Her high school boy who is a young man at this point. Just making sure nothing happens to him, she was.

Granted, it was a long time ago but when I was a kid all I ever heard was, "Be home before dark!" And this was when I was in grade school, not high school.

When I look back on it one of the most valuable parts of my childhood was being turned loose and left alone. Here is why: I learned to be self-reliant. If something happened (skinned knee, fell out of a tree, got turned around / lost, bully was hassling you, etc) it was up to you to figure it out. Limp home, ask for directions, get beat up by the bully (again), etc. Today these moms are right there on standby, ready to swoop in and save the day. And her boy will never be self-reliant. He is doomed to be reliant.

It is a grave disservice to the child and it is being done out of parental love. There are seasons of life growing up but the time comes when parents need to let go. When they do it will make for a more confident child who will be more comfortable heading out on their own. And that child will have a brighter future.


My sons are in their 30s now and both played high school sports. Both my wife and I were involved in fund raising and many times it involved us driving our kids and others to neighborhoods to sell various things. It was a requirement from the athletic department that an adult be present as cash was handled and they wanted a parent to manage it. It may have been the case in this incident.

With that said I have seen parents that screamed at the coaches and officials. My wife and I sat by ourselves at games to avoid dealing with that garbage. On one occasion the police were called as a parent got into a fistfight with an umpire. I wonder sometimes how those kids turned out, the parents were always upset and out of control at games.

When I managed people I was amazed by the amount of men that had their wives call in sick for them. I had a incident where a friend of my son was looking for a job and I had a customer that was looking for help. I put in a word for my son's friend and he was hired with this condition: No show was an immediate dismissal. The owner of the company had previous incidents and it was like a cancer. Long story short, after a few weeks my son's friend didn't show up or call and he was immediately fired. He had his pastor come with him to my friend's shop and my friend still fired him. Welcome to the real world.

Both my son's worked through school and I never got involved in their jobs or called in sick for them. The only time I had any contact with either son's work is when one was in the hospital for pneumonia. They both have good jobs and appreciate us being strict about work and school. The one thing they do comment on is the lack of ability of recent college grads to communicate. They feel that the majority of kids use text and Facebook to communicate and they struggle with face to face interactions. It will be interesting how things progress as many are working from home and it doesn't look like businesses are going back anytime soon.
 
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