The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Higher Ground cast

Taken at a press conference, 17 January 2000:

Cast photo 17 January 2000

Right to left: Abbie Charette (Fox Family Channel), Anne Marie Loder ("Sophie"), Hayden Christensen ("Scott"), Meghan Ory ("Juliette"), Kandyse McClure ("Katherine"), Michael Braverman (Executive Producer), A.J. Cook ("Shelby"), Kyle Downes ("Ezra"), Jewel Staite ("Daisy"), Jorgito Vargas, Jr. ("Auggie"), Lance Robbins (Fox Family Channel).

Photo ©2000 Michael Braverman. Used by permission.

Submitted by reader M.B.

New Jersey weather sucks

I passed my solo cross-country check ride on 18 July 1999. In theory, I could have flown my two required solo cross-country flights the next weekend, and finished up the other required flights and my FAA check ride the following two weekends.

I finished the private pilot certificate requirements on 17 October 1999 but I couldn't take my check ride for weeks because of the friggin' weather. (In fact, my first attempt got scrubbed for weather.)

My flight school had certain minimum standards for weather. It required winds less than 22 km/h for solo flights, and in addition, for local solo flights:

  • ceilings must be 3,000 ft (950 m) or higher, and
  • visibility must be 5 mi (8 km) or better.

For cross-country solo flights:

  • ceilings must be 5,000 ft (1500 m) or higher,
  • visibility must be 7 mi (11 km) or better, and
  • the flight must leave the ground by 09:00, even if the weather will obviously improve later.

And for any flight with an instructor:

  • ceilings must be 2,000 ft (650 m) or higher, and
  • visibility must be 3 mi (5 km) or better.

So this shows why I have cancelled so many flights this summer. A  green  box means the weather met the requirement. A  yellow  box means the weather met the requirement for local, but not cross-country, flight. A  red  box means the weather officially sucked.

Mo Tu We Th Fr   Sat Sun
July 1999
19 20 21 22 23   24 25
26 27 28 29 30   31  
August 1999 1
2 3 4 5 6   7 8
9 10 11 12 13   14 15
16 17 18 19 20   21 22
23 24 25 26 27   28 29
30 31 September 1999
  1 2 3   4 5
6 7 8 9 10   11 12
13 14 15 16 17   18 19
20 21 22 23 24   25 26
27 28 29 30  
October 1999 1   2 3
4 5 6 7 8   9 10
11 12 13 14 15   16 17
18 19 20 21 22   23 24
25 26 27 28 29   30 31
November 1999
1 2 3 4 5   6 7
8 9 10 11 12   13 14
15 16 17 18 19   20 21
22 23 24 25 26   27 28
29 30 December 1999
  1 2 3   4 5
6 7 8 9 10   11 12

This table shows exactly how the weather sucked at 09:00—the solo cross-country dispatch time—on the days when I could otherwise have flown since my cross-country check ride. (The weather shown is the weather for Essex County Airport).

Date Ceiling Visibility Winds Did I fly?
Sat. July 24 unlimited 4 mi (haze) 4 kts Cancelled
Sun. July 25 unlimited 6 mi (haze) 4 kts Local solo
Sat. July 31 1500 ft 1.5 mi (mist) calm Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 1 unlimited 6 mi (haze) 3 kts Local solo
Sat. Aug. 7 unlimited 10 mi 7 kts Cross-country solo
Sun. Aug. 8 unlimited 3 mi (haze) 7 kts Cancelled
Sat. Aug. 14 2200 ft 1 mi (rain) calm Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 15 1300 ft 5 mi (mist) 5 kts Local dual
Sat. Aug. 21 1400 ft 3 mi (rain) 5 kts Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 22 2300 ft 10 mi 3 kts Cancelled
Sat. Aug. 28 unlimited 2 mi (haze) 3 kts Cancelled
Sun. Aug. 29 unlimited 3 mi (haze) 5 kts Cancelled
Sat. Sep. 4 unlimited 6 mi (haze) 7 kts Local dual
Sun. Sep. 5 1,800 ft 7 mi 8 kts Cancelled
Sat. Sep. 11 unlimited 10 mi calm Local dual
Sun. Sep. 12 unlimited 20 mi calm Local solo
Sat. Sep. 18 unlimited 10 mi 5 kts Nope; out of town
Sun. Sep. 19 unlimited 10 mi calm Nope; out of town
Sat. Sep. 25 10,000 ft 2 1/2 mi calm Local solo (11 am)
Sun. Sep. 26 unlimited 10 mi 2 kts Nope; out of town
Sat. Oct. 2 unlimited 7 mi 3 kts Nope; see note (*)
Sun. Oct. 3 unlimited 10 mi calm Local solo (3 pm)
Sat. Oct. 9 5000 ft 8 mi 6 kts Nope
Sun. Oct. 10 6500 ft 1/2 mi calm Nope
Sat. Oct. 16 2200 ft 6 mi calm Nope
Sun. Oct. 17 0 (fog) 1/4 mi calm Final phase check (11:00)
Sat. Oct. 23 unlimited 7 mi 5 kts Nope
Sun. Oct. 24 unlimited unlimited 4 kts Local dual
Sat. Oct. 30 400 ft 1 1/2 mi calm Cancelled
Sun. Oct. 31 700 ft 3 mi 4 kts Cancelled
Sat. Nov. 6 unlimited 10 mi 12-17 kts Cancelled (13:00)
Sun. Nov. 7 unlimited 10 mi 13-20 kts Cancelled
Sat. Nov. 13 3600 ft 10 mi 5 kts Local solo
Sun. Nov. 14 700 ft 3 mi calm Nope
Sat. Nov. 20 8000 ft 7 mi calm Local dual **
Sun. Nov. 21 9500 ft 1.75 mi calm Nope
Sat. Nov. 27 unlimited 10 mi 6 kts Examiner on vacation***
Sun. Nov. 28 unlimited 10 mi 4 kts Examiner on vacation
Sat. Dec. 4 unlimited 10 mi 6 kts Examiner on vacation
Sun. Dec. 5 unlimited 2.25 mi calm Cancelled

* An accident at 7:51 local time at the departure end of Rwy 22 forced the airport to close for most of October 2. The NTSB preliminary report strongly suggests pilot error caused the crash which injured five people, three seriously.

** That's the 9 am weather. By 3 pm, the scheduled start of my FAA practical test, the weather sucked. I postponed the flight portion of the practical test, and instead went up with an instructor to practice difficult crosswind landings.

*** Notice, will you, that until the 27th the weather completely sucked. The examiner went on vacation the morning of the 27th, and returned December 7th. Notice the weather in New York while he vacationed in Florida. Figures.

List: Concert choir vocabulary

Aleatoric Music
Music composed by the random selection of pitches and rhythms. Frequently found in the choir anthem.
Antiphonal
Leaving your answering machine on all the time.
Augmentation
Special surgery for altos involving the implantation of falsettos.
Basso Continuo
When the director can’t get them to stop.
Cantus Firmus
A singer in good physical condition. As opposed to the "Cantus phlabbious" (See Sackbutt)
Castrato
The highest male voice (some alteration required).
Chorale Partitas
Small choir get–togethers that are frequently interrupted by the police.
Concerto Grosso
An accordion concert.
Contralto
An alto who has been convicted.
Dominant
In a choral relationship, usually the alto.
Etude
What comes right before the Beatitudes.
Glissando
What directly precedes the highest note of a descant.
Grand Pause
When the conductor loses his place.
Heterophony
The only kind of music allowed at the Southern Baptist Convention.
Leitmotif
Like a regular motif, but less filling.
Perfect Pitch
Throwing a banjo in the dumpster without hitting the sides.
Phantasie
An alto in a leather choir robe.
Polonaise
A condiment frequently put on a parrot sandwich.
Polychoral Motet
Six parrots singing "Exultate Justi."
Recapitulation
What usually happens after you eat a parrot sandwich.
Riff
What happens when someone takes your choir robe.
Rondo
A popular sixties song, as in "Help, help me, Rondo."
Sackbutt
A choral singer over 50.
Score
Tenors 3, Basses 2.
Sectional Harassment Lawsuit
What happens when the director suggests that the sopranos "Sing from their diaphragm"
Smorzando
The "All–You–Can–Eat" buffet at Luciano’s.
Theme
We hate this anthem.
Theme and Variations
We hate this anthem, the composer and all of the composer’s relatives.
Tonic
What is generally enjoyed over ice after choir rehearsal.

Submitted by reader J.J.

List: Things not to say to a naked man

  1. I've smoked fatter joints than that.
  2. Ahh, it's cute.
  3. Who circumcised you?
  4. Why don't we just cuddle?
  5. You know they have surgery to fix that.
  6. It's more fun to look at.
  7. Make it dance.
  8. You know, there's a tower in Italy like that.
  9. Can I paint a smiley face on that?
  10. It looks like a night crawler.
  11. Wow, and your feet are so big.
  12. My last boyfriend was four inches bigger.
  13. It's OK, we'll work around it.
  14. Is this a mild or a spicy Slim Jim?
  15. Eww, there's an inch worm on your thigh.
  16. Will it squeak if I squeeze it?
  17. Oh no, a flash headache.
  18. (giggle and point)
  19. Can I be honest with you?
  20. My 8-year-old brother has one like that.
  21. Let me go get my tweezers.
  22. How sweet, you brought incense.
  23. This explains your car.
  24. You must be a growing boy.
  25. Maybe if we water it, it'll grow.
  26. Thanks, I needed a toothpick.
  27. Are you one of those pygmies?
  28. Have you ever thought of working in a sideshow?
  29. Every heard of clearasil?
  30. All right, a treasure hunt!
  31. I didn't know they came that small.
  32. Why is God punishing you?
  33. At least this won't take long.
  34. I never saw one like that before.
  35. What do you call this?
  36. But it still works, right?
  37. Damn, I hate baby-sitting.
  38. It looks so unused.
  39. Do you take steroids?
  40. I hear excessive masturbation shrinks it.
  41. Maybe it looks better in natural light.
  42. Why don't we skip right to the cigarettes?
  43. Oh, I didn't know you were in an accident.
  44. Did you date Lorena Bobbitt?
  45. Aww, it's hiding.
  46. Are you cold?
  47. If you get me real drunk first.
  48. Is that an optical illusion?
  49. What is that?
  50. I'll go get the ketchup for your French fry.
  51. Were you neutered?
  52. It's a good thing you have so many other talents.
  53. Does it come with an air pump?
  54. So this is why you're supposed to judge people on personality.
  55. Where are the puppet strings?
  56. Your big gun is more like a BB gun.
  57. Look, it fits my Barbie clothes.
  58. Never mind, why bother.
  59. Is that a second belly button?
  60. Where's the rest of it?

Submitted by reader L.M.

Joke: Another Elderly Driver

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Trooper sees a car puttering along at 22 m.p.h. He thinks to himself, "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.

Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies—two in the front seat and three in the back, wide eyed and white as ghosts. The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"

"Ma’am," the officer replies, "you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."

"Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly: twenty–two miles an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly.

The State Trooper, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that 22 was the route number, not the speed limit.

A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.

"But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask...Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single peep this whole time," the officer asks.

"Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute, officer. We just got off Route 119."

Submitted by reader S.P.

Joke: Redneck Lotto

Two rednecks went to a gas station that was holding a contest: a chance to win free sex when you filled your tank. They pumped their gas and went to pay the attendant. "I'm thinking of a number between one and ten," he said. "If you guess right, you win free sex."

"Okay," agreed one of the rednecks, "I guess seven."

"Sorry, I was thinking of eight," replied the attendant.

The next week they tried again. When they went to pay, the attendant told them to pick a number. "Two!" said the second redneck.

"Sorry, it's three," said the attendant. "Come back and try again."

As they walked out to their car, one redneck said to the other, "I think this contest is rigged."

"No way," said his buddy. "My wife won twice last week."

Submitted by reader S.P.

Joke: Out golfing

An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman went for a round of golf and their wives went along as caddies. While walking around the course the English man's wife caught her foot in a rabbit hole, tripped up, and landed in a heap on the ground. Her skirt was over her head revealing that she wasn't wearing any knickers! The English man stormed over and angrily demanded a reason for her state of undress. "Well darling," she explained, "you give me so little allowance that I have to make the odd sacrifice. Usually no one notices." The Englishman thrusts his hand into his pocket and said, "Here's ten pounds. Go to Mark and Spencer's and get some knickers."

Two holes further along the Irish man's wife caught her foot on a mole hill, tripped up and landed in a heap on the ground. Again her skirt was up over her head revealing that she wasn't wearing and knickers either! The Irish man was livid and he angrily demanded a reason for her lack of undergarments. "Well darling," she explained, "you give me so little allowance I cannot afford to buy undergarments." With that the Irish man thrust his hand into his pocket and said, "Here's five pounds. Go to Woolworth's and get some knickers."

Three holes further on, the Scottish man's wife caught her foot on an exposed root, tripped up and landed with her skirt over her head revealing that even she wore no knickers! Her explanation to her irate was the same as the others: Simply a lack of allowance. The Scottish man thrust his hand into his pocket and said, "Here's a comb. The least you can do is tidy yourself up a bit."

Joke: the Octopus

A guy walks into a bar with an octopus.

He sits the octopus down on a stool and tells everyone in the bar that this is a very talented octopus. He can play any musical instrument in the world. He hears everyone in the crowd laughing at him, so he says that he will wager $50 to anyone who has an instrument that the octopus can't play.

A man walks up and gives the octopus a guitar. The octopus starts playing better than Yngwie Malmsteen, just rippin' it up. So the man pays his $50.

Another guy walks up with a trumpet. The octopus plays the trumpet better than Chuck Mangione. So the man pays his $50.

Then a Scotsman walks up with bagpipes. He sits them down and the octopus fumbles with it for a minute and sits it down with a confused look.

"Ha!" the Scot says. "Ye canna play it?"

The octopus looks up at him and says, "Play it? I'm going to fuck it as soon as I figure out how to get its pyjamas off."

Submitted by reader B.P.

Joke: Creation

Seems God was just about done creating the universe, but He had two extra things left in his bag of creations, so He decided to split them between Adam and Eve. He told the couple that one of the things He had to give away was the ability to stand up while urinating.

"It's a very handy thing," God told the couple, "I was wondering if either one of you wanted the ability."

Adam jumped up and blurted, "Oh, give that to me! I'd love to oh please, oh please, oh please, let me have that ability. It'd be so great! When I'm working in the garden or naming the animals. I could just stand there and let it fly. It'd be so cool, I could write my name in the sand. Oh please God, let it be me who You give that gift to, let me stand and pee, oh please..."

On and on he went like an excited little boy who had to pee. Eve just smiled and told God that if Adam really wanted that so badly, that he should have it. It seemed to be the sort of thing that would make him happy and she really wouldn't mind if Adam were the one given this ability. And so Adam was given the ability to control the direction of his misdirection while in a vertical position. And so, he was happy and did celebrate by wetting down the bark on the tree nearest him, laughing with delight all the while. And it was good.

"Fine," God said, looking back into His bag of leftover gifts, "What's left here? Oh yes, Multiple orgasms..."

Submitted by reader M.B.

Joke: the Dress of Love

An old woman went to visit her daughter and found her naked, waiting for her husband.

The mother asks the daughter, "What are you doing naked?" The daughter responds, "This is the dress of love."

When the mother returns home, she strips naked and waits for her husband. When her husband arrives, he asks her, "What are you doing naked?"

She responds, "This is the dress of love."

"Well," he says to her, "go iron it."

Submitted by reader S.P.