Thursday, March 28, 2013

Still First

Still First by Get The Flick
Still First, a photo by Get The Flick on Flickr.

I'm still here. I still have things I want to say. But as you've heard before, from others, it's amazing how busy you can be in retirement.

I hope I never get too busy to make time to watch the sunrise. Ever again.

If I can find the time -- controllers -- I'll review the rules of when the Tower closes. How Class D reverts to Class E Surface Area -- if you're lucky. I understand many of you might need to review these rules soon.

And therein lies the difference between us. You have to make time to review them. I don't. Good luck finding that extra time while absorbing the furloughs.

Don Brown
March 28, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sunrise 3-21-13

Sunrise 3-21-13 by Get The Flick
Sunrise 3-21-13, a photo by Get The Flick on Flickr.

Yes, I'm retired and I get up before dawn every morning. This is why.

Don Brown
March 21, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Krugman Makes Me Cringe

You may think Krugman is being a little harsh. I think he's being a little right. I know firsthand he is making people uncomfortable because he's making me uncomfortable. You see, I failed.

Ten Years Later

"And there’s a very big anniversary coming up next week — the start of the Iraq war. So why does there seem to be so little coverage?"

I remember a toast with an English friend that Prime Minister Tony Blair has stuck with us when many had not. The English probably won't like being reminded of that choice any better than us. And yet, it is important that we remember when we were wrong and guard against it happening again.

The Iraq War was a war of choice. It was a colossal error on our part. The incompetent conduct of the war only compounded the original error. It's human nature to want to forget this sorry episode of our history. We do so at our -- and the world's -- peril.

Don Brown
March 16, 2013

Tour de Pike 2013

Tour de Pike 2013 by Get The Flick
Tour de Pike 2013, a photo by Get The Flick on Flickr.

This is my first image from the Tour de Pike today. I'm glad no one was paying me. Sometimes, it's good to be an amateur.

I'll put more on Flickr when I have a chance. Click on the picture and the intertubes will magically whisk you to my Flickr page.

Don Brown
March 16, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PANSTARRS, Moon, Airplane

Dim, but beautiful. No, I can't get away from airplanes, no matter what I'm doing.

Don Brown
March 12, 2013

Friday, March 08, 2013

Frontline's "Cliffhanger"

Here's an excellent edition of Frontline about how we got into the current political stalemate. I listened to it as a podcast and haven't been able to watch it yet (although I fully intend to.) It struck me that the events that start the show were only three years ago, yet they seem so foggy already.

History is deceiving in that it brings order and understanding to events that were confusing and chaotic as they were happening. It's like when the supervisor pulls the tape (will that phrase survive in the digital era?) and everybody sits around thinking, "It doesn't sound that busy to me". You'll see what I mean. Watch it.

Watch Cliffhanger on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Don Brown
March 8, 2013

Stand Up Straight

Stand Up Straight by Get The Flick
Stand Up Straight, a photo by Get The Flick on Flickr.

Imagine: A controller being obsessive/compulsive and demanding order out of chaos...

Don Brown
March 8, 2013

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Sequester DCA

The thought occurred to me that -- when the sequester kicks in and the FAA starts furloughing air traffic controllers -- air traffic controllers should sequester DCA.

Sequester: (Verb) Isolate or hide away

If I were king, I wouldn't let another lobbyist-CEO-toting business jet in, nor would I let an airplane carrying a Congressman out. Not until they rescinded the sequester.

Yes, I know this is a fantasy. And I know that me talking about it will make the powers-that-be in NATCA all squirmy. I can only say these things because I'm retired. And, for the record, I haven't said one word to NATCA (or anybody at NATCA) about this. Nor have they talked to me (for years.) It isn't some coded message for anybody. It's just me being me -- retired me.

But, lets concentrate on the squirmy part. There was a time when controllers ran slowdowns just to get better pay and working conditions. And one of the major targets in those slowdowns was DCA. How did we get from there to here? How did we get from a country where working people stood up for themselves to a nation where they cower in fear lest someone take away their health insurance?

That's a much bigger problem than this sequester. Take this to the bank: No one gives up power willingly. And right now, these are the people that have the power.

If you let the people with that wealth/power leave it all to their children, you'll have the modern-day equivalent of Princes, Dukes and Kings. That is a reality far more important than air traffic control.

The government has your attention because "they" are messing with your paycheck. Right now, you should be figuring out who "they" is. It's the people keeping the Republican Party in power in the House of Representatives. In short, it's rich people spending enough money to buy the propaganda they need to win. And lately, even that hasn't been enough. Although, there are those in your midst that still think it in their best interest to vote Republican.

Logic doesn't always win. People aren't always rational -- even those smart enough to be controllers. Good doesn't always triumph over evil. At least not right away.

I hope you'll use the opportunities in front of you to further the cause. Collectively, there is no smarter group in the U.S. Government than controllers. There are groups with more expertise in various fields but trust me, they aren't smarter. Think about what is best for your profession, your country and humanity in general. Do well. Do good. Do something. Get involved.

Make this a better place than you found it. A better place for your kids and your neighbor's kids. Sure it's hard. Everything in life worth doing is.

Don Brown
March 7, 2013