The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Joke: the Bicycle

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike.

"She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, 'Take what you want.'"

The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; The clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

Submitted by reader M.G.

Joke: Talmudic logic

After months of negotiation, a Jewish scholar from Odessa was granted permission to visit Moscow. He boarded the train and found an empty seat.

At the next stop a young man got on and sat next to him. The scholar looked at the young man and thought: This fellow doesn't look like a peasant, and if he isn't a peasant he probably comes from this district. If he comes from this district, he must be Jewish because this is, after all, the Jewish district.

On the other hand, if he is a Jew where could he be going? I'm the only one in our district who has permission to travel to Moscow.

Wait - just outside Moscow there is a little village called Samvet, and you don't need special permission to go there.

But why would he be going to Samvet? He's probably going to visit one of the Jewish families there, but how many Jewish families are there in Samvet? Only two—the Bernsteins and the Steinbergs. The Bernsteins are a terrible family, so he must be visiting the Steinbergs.

But why is he going? The Steinbergs have only girls, so maybe he's their son- in-law. But if he is, then which daughter did he marry?

Sarah married that nice lawyer from Budapest and Esther married a businessman from Zhadomir, so it must be Sarah's husband. Which means that his name is Alexander Cohen, if I'm not mistaken. But if he comes from Budapest, with all the anti-Semitism they have there, he must have changed his name. What's the Hungarian equivalent of Cohen? Kovacs.

But if he changed his name he must have some special status. What could it be? A doctorate from the university.

At this point the scholar turns to the young man and said "How do you do, Dr. Kovacs?"

"Very well, thank you, sir" answered the startled passenger.

"But how is it that you know my name?"

"Oh," replied the scholar, "it was obvious."

Submitted by reader E.S.

Joke: the Pope

A shy gentleman was preparing to board a plane when he heard that the Pope was on the same flight. "This is exciting," thought the gentleman. "I've always been a big fan of the Pope. Perhaps I'll be able to see him in person." Imagine his surprise when the Pope sat down in the seat next to him. Still, the gentleman was too shy to speak to the Pontiff.

Shortly after takeoff, the Pope began a crossword puzzle. "This is fantastic," thought the gentleman. "I'm really good at crosswords. Perhaps, if the Pope gets stuck, he'll ask me for assistance."

Almost immediately, the Pope turned to the gentleman and said, "Excuse me, but do you know a four letter word referring to a woman that ends in 'unt'?"

Only one word leapt to mind. "My goodness," thought the gentleman, "I can't tell the Pope that. There must be another word." The gentleman thought for quite a while, then it hit him. Turning to the pope, the gentleman said, "I think the word you're looking for is 'aunt'."

"Of course," said the Pope. "Do you have an eraser?"

Joke: Two bees

Two bees ran into each other. One asked the other how things were going.

"Really bad," said the second bee, "the weather has been really wet and damp and there aren’t any flowers or pollen, so I can’t make any honey."

"No problem," said the first bee, "Just fly down five blocks and turn left and keep going until you see all the cars. There’s a Bar Mitzvah going on and there are all kinds of fresh flowers and fresh fruit."

"Thanks for the tip," said the second bee and flew away.

A few hours later the two bees ran into each other again and the first bee asked, "How’d it go?"

"Fine," said the second bee. "It was everything you said it would be."

"Uh, what’s that thing on your head?" asked the first bee.

"That’s my yarmulke," said the second bee. "I didn’t want them to think I was a wasp."

Submitted by reader S.P.

Joke: Mistresses

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, "I like both."

"Both?"

"Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

Submitted by reader M.G.

Loder and Lando

Taken at a press conference, 17 January 2000:

Cast photo 17 January 2000

Left to right: Anne Marie Loder ("Sophie"), Joe Lando ("Peter").

Photo Copyright ©2000 Michael Braverman. Used by permission.

Submitted by reader M.B.

Fox Press Release, 31 January 2000

Fox Family Channel Takes on Teen Suicide in Special Episode of "Higher Ground"

Network to Air Special PSA and Help Hotline for Teens

Los Angeles, Jan. 31—Fox Family Channel will air a powerful new episode of the new one-hour drama series "Higher Ground," centered around the growing problem of teen suicide this Friday, February 4 at 9-10 PM ET/PT. The network will end the episode with a specially produced PSA featuring a toll free suicide prevention hotline.

In this thought-provoking hour entitled "Hope Falls," a new student commits suicide, which shakes Hannah's (Deborah Odell) faith in her ability to effectively counsel her teen charges, eventually motivating her to resign. The student's death evokes an unexpected reaction of anger throughout the school, compelling school founder Frank (Jim Byrnes) to take the students on a difficult trek to beautiful Hope Falls, the sight where his own son overdosed 22 years ago. This episode was written by John Mandel, with input from a professionally trained counseling team, who ensured that this difficult subject was treated in a way that will help any troubled teens or families facing this issue.

After this special episode, Fox Family Channel will present a Public Service Announcement with Joe Lando urging teens who need someone to talk to or those who know of someone in trouble to call 1-800-SUICIDE. This phone number will connect callers to the NATIONAL HOPE LINE NETWORK, where 20 local crisis centers nationwide are ready to take the calls.

"This is the type of television that most programmers are too skittish to deal with. What I found to be the greatest strength of the film is that it takes a no-nonsense approach in addressing the impact of suicide on peers," explains Dr. Jay Nagdimon, who is the director of the Suicide Prevention Center of the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center. "It was very honest and realistic that the other youngsters felt angry at Isaac. This reaction is common and the show allowed an opportunity for that anger to be dealt with."

"The situation depicted in 'Hope Falls' is very realistic," explains Dr. Elaine Leader, the Executive Director of Teen Line, a teen-to-teen telephone helpline affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "It is not uncommon for teens to experience moodiness, depression or the feeling of chaos in their lives. These problems are treatable, when recognized early. However, a serious depression may lead to suicide, so adults need to be aware of the warning signs. Also, since young people readily identify with each other, when a young person commits suicide it can trigger other teens. It's important, therefore, that feelings be dealt with and processed as soon as possible to avoid further tragedies."

Two of television's most successful producers, Emmy-Award winning Michael Braverman ("Chicago Hope" and "Life Goes On") and Doug Schwartz (the international smash "Baywatch"), together with Canadian producer Harold Tichenor ("Night Man") and a star of one of the decade's most enduring series, Joe Lando (Sully of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), bring their considerable creative forces to "Higher Ground," a simmering mix of compelling drama, intense relationships and spectacular action as at-risk teens try to put their lives back together.

Set at a wilderness school in the Pacific Northwest, the series tracks the progress of at-risk teens as their teachers and counselors guide their quest to put their lives back on the right course. All the while, they still cope with crushes, parents, heartbreaks and each other. Showcasing picturesque surroundings and intense, involving storylines, "Higher Ground" boasts an array of fresh new faces, including Hayden Christensen (The Virgin Suicides), A.J. Cook, Meghan Ory (The Darklings), Kyle Downes ("Are You Afraid of the Dark?"), Kandyse McClure (The Spiral Staircase) and Jorge Vargas (Excess Baggage). Higher Ground also stars Jim Byrnes ("Wiseguy," "The Highlander") and Anne Marie Loder ("Due South").

Fox Family Channel, which premiered on August 15, 1998 as a revitalized version of The Family Channel, is a division of International Family Entertainment, Inc. The family-targeted basic cable network available in 75.3 million homes nationwide delivers a dynamic mix of original and acquired series, specials and movies for the entire family.

CONTACT: Isabella Ironside of Fox Family Channel, 310-235-5532

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.

Higher Ground

This is an archival page.

Higher Ground ended its run in May, 2000; we maintain these pages for their historical interest.

Higher Ground

Keep checking this page for information and goodies from Fox Family Channel's original drama series "Higher Ground."

News

Hayden Skywalker

George Lucas has signed Hayden Christensen to a two-film deal to play Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars episodes 2 and 3. According to sources close to the production, Christensen came to Lucas' attention because of the Higher Ground pilot episode.

Congratulations Hayden!

Fox Tweeldedee

Fox Family Channel pulled Episode 5 less than a day after issuing this press release. Not a good sign.

Photos

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.