By lex, on May 27th, 2007
The fact that an EMT technician was available at the Del Mar Show Park this weekend.
The even more improbable fact that his services remained uncalled for. And that people tell your correspondent that, no, really – he looks fine in gray hair. Really.
And a new entry in the “Name that Occasional Reader Contest” – I believe we’re up to three now.
The year is 1980.
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One of my minor regrets in life was my nature of being a bit “practical” and cautious during my youth. Particularly when it came time to pick cars. I can remember for my first car – with an open mind – looking at a 1962 Alfa Romeo Spyder.
The engine made a sound – bellissimo – some have compared it the most beautiful this side of a classic Ferrari V12 – and all I could think about was “where am I going to get it serviced? “
By lex, on June 19th, 2006
Something ASM826 wrote in comments the other day, and inspired by the latest bit of insipidity set loose upon an amazed and often embarrassed world set me to thinking:
I have been thinking about this interview since I read about it a few days ago. Patriotism is not a uniquely American trait. Others have held it. It makes the most sense when there is a clash between societies and someone believes that theirs is the superior.
For example: Winston Churchill was questioned by cabinet about negotiating a settlement with Nazi Germany, and his reply was, “ if this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.”
Not much question where he stood, eh? No matter what problems his country had, compared with the alternative he thought Britain was better. Not much question where U.S. patriots stand, either. This country is better. The things we share and believe are better. Even our problems are better.
Flying the flag, loving my country, and feeling contempt for people who can, see the obvious value of the things that I love about the United States isn, pandering. It‚Äôs my personal response, welling up out of who I am.
By lex, Tue – June 21, 2005
One does not, ordinarily, grow wealthy in the service of one’s country. I exclude, for this discussion, supply corps officers. No – the best that one can hope for is a sort of shabby gentility, much like that which adheres to a respected university professor, for example. And while one may never challenge the Astors at shuffleboard, neither will one go looking for the next meal. It’s a comfortable life, if not a routinely luxurious one. And too, they are not trivial, the rewards of service – just non-remunerative: There is the satisfaction of an important job, done as best as one can, often under difficult circumstances – these are the psychic rewards of service, and I wouldn’t trade them for all the tea in China.
Not everyone in my immediate family feels that way though…
By lex, on Sat – April 23, 2005
I have a love/hate relationship with traveling. Airport security is a bother, and the planes are always beastly crowded these days, what with the majors trying to eke out every last passenger mile. Don’t like living out of suitcases, either. And of course, I end up missing my peeps.
But on the other hand, it does broaden your horizons. You see new things and new places. You see new people.
By lex, on April 11th, 2005
So – last week you got some fighter stuff.
This week: Attack
Fighter pilots get Silver Stars for shooting down MiGs. Attack pilots get Bronze Stars for winning the war.
Hornet pilots? We’re fighter/attack.
It doubles your odds.
Just saw a wonderful movie today and the screenwriter(s) introduced a term not used in 60 years.
Yes, before they became made of tubes, then transistors then silicon, “computers” were a job title reserved for people, usually women, adept in math who did many mundane (but necessary) mathematical computations.
Just saw a movie that dealt with a very special computer, Katherine Johnson and 2 of her friends who were instrumental in getting manned spaceflight a reality for NASA. And they were African-American.
Johnson was a math protege at the age of 6 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Wonder how they computed the orbital reentry point at 17,000 mph to place the capsule within 20 square miles of ocean? How they were able to develop heat shields to withstand thousands of degrees in reentry?
Johnson was at the center of it.
It’s a wonderful story of perseverance of 3 women (overcoming the barriers of being female and black) and being a major influence in early NASA.
Hidden Figures. Worth seeing.