Sunday, January 18, 2009

Professor Ben Rides Again

Sorry for the way-too-long between posts. The beginning of my resurrected teaching life - this time in continuing education - is coming up fast, and I'd forgotten how much time it takes to create lectures from scratch. I'm enjoying the process - it's impossible to teach without learning a bunch of things yourself - but it has kept me from writing here. Maybe if I start posting here entries about heating, cooling and plumbing system basics...

Item 1: The Captain Has Turned Off the Fasten Seatbelt Sign

The big story here, and probably in a lot of other places, has been the emergency landing of that plane on the Hudson River back on 1/15. Even my friends across the pond have probably heard about it: three or so minutes after taking off from LaGuardia for what was supposed to be a fairly short flight to North Carolina, a US Airways jet apparently had its engines nailed by a couple of geese in the area of the Bronx Zoo, thereby destroying the engines and bringing down the plane. With no real chance to make it to any other area airport without endangering populated areas below, the pilot brought it down into the Hudson River. Everyone - 150 passengers from infant to elderly, plus crew - were successfully rescued despite frigid temperatures of both the air and the water. The only significant injuries were to the geese. If you know what goes on in NYC on a typical day you can imagine how much it takes to get a bunch of seasoned New Yorkers standing at the windows with their jaws dropped. (When it comes to current events, we're hard to impress.) But at my workplace, which overlooks the river, that's exactly what happened. I guess a plane floating down the Hudson will do that. Praise whoever you're of a mind to - a lot of bullets were dodged that day.

Item 2: And Now, the End is Near...

Just about eight years ago, George W. Bush took an oath to uphold the constitution and serve the United States of America to the best of his ability. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened.

In final tribute to the man 22% of Americans (no doubt most of them being comedians) think did a good job, Letterman did a final montage of his "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches" the other night. In the hope I can get the technology to work right, I present it to you herewith. (Watching this, I had to keep reminding myself I wasn't watching Will Ferrell.) Enjoy.

Item 3: How About You Don't Get Back to us on That?

Memo to Sarah Palin: Leaders don't whine. Either figure out the real reason things didn't go your way and fix them, or stop thinking about 2012. Here's a hint to get you started: it wasn't Katie Couric's fault.

Item 4: Free and Worth Every Penny

Now that the AOL Welcome page has devolved into the National Enquirer, from where am I supposed to get news?

Item 5: Success Is Counted Sweetest...

I've had a number of inquiries about the man-vs.-waffle maker competition. The day after the crashing defeat described in the previous post, I knew I had to take this beast on again or there would be no rest. Armed with a better batter recipe (thank you, Alton Brown) and with the bitter humiliation of the previous day's experience still stinging my soul, I went the distance and emerged reasonably victorious, even having extras for freezing. (Since this is supposed to be a victory lap, we're not going to discuss what happened the following day, except to say I learned not to try to heat a frozen waffle in the microwave.)


Anonymous said...

The only thing I'll disagree with is many leaders we've chosen most certainly do whine. AND WHINE. The thing that happens though(for many) is that if they like someone, they don't recognize it as whining, but think of it as legit voiced concerns. THEN when someone they don't like bleats and moans, oh hell yeah, that is whining. Just my take.

Waffle humiliation? Do tell.

miss alaineus said...

ha ha re the bush video...

keep on keepin on.


Saltydawg said...

I watched the you tube vid with mouth aghast, did he really preside over America all that time? Nahh, it must have been a bad dream.
Gaz ;-)

Amy said...

I'm looking at the video like 'has he been drinking?!' sheesh. less beer and more gingko, W!!!

(mmm - rubbery waffles. not so much, huh?)

Lisa said...

Good to see you again, I guess it's good you've been keeping yourself so busy. If that is making you happy than I am too ;)

The story about the airplane is the reason I don't fly. I am just glad it ended so well for everyone.

Take care & take a break every now and then.

oldhousegal said...

When you think about the last disaster you watched from those windows, this one has got to feel 1000% better. It's also refreshing to see competence in the face of crisis. And it never hurts to remind the rest of the country that, when it really matters, the place where you can count on people to pull together and act like heroes is none other than our own Big Apple.

DB said...

Well, good for you. So what is it now Ben 1 - Waffle Iron 1? Tie score? Have re-match while the iron is hot (sorry).

I got a lot of laughs from the video. Nothing surprised me, but it was fun to watch the master orator at work.

Lived in NYC half my life. A plane floating down the river might have caused some stir at that.

Heli gunner Tom said...

I have come to learn that people who pursue 'higher education' in the extreme all seem to be Democrats, ultra Liberals and atheists. Please satisfy my curiosity and tell me if you are one of the above. Personally, I loved college, learned so much... but now days things have changed for he worse, IMHO. "For the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God." ~1 Cor. 3:19.


Washer Mom Val said...

Poor geese. Result of when man enters space shared by "others." Glad no one was injured. Love the clip. Funny about AOL....let me know if you find a reliable source! Then there is always the radio...NPR? Glad you are back. I could use some lectures on "plumbing" - hmmmm - that could be taken wrong.

Lori said...

"Just about eight years ago, George W. Bush took an oath to uphold the constitution and serve the United States of America to the best of his ability. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened." ROFL!

Cathy said...

Yep we shur do gotta keep those recrutaments outta their hands...o help us King Barak. Hey did you see him flub the oath? He snubbed Hitlery Clinton too. This guy is pissing me off big-time, the creepy elitist - "Hussein" is a very common name, what's he so ashamed of? Gee lemme guess. Well the whole day was Murphy's Law d'jour. On a somber note - yeah I watched the plane go down, alot of my UK buddies heard it too, thankfully no deaths. Nice seeing you again Professor.

Angie said...

I'm just an English woman, not high up on politics, but even I can see that Gee Dubya has at least a speech impediment and a nervous tic to his left eye (or is that a kind of "brace yourself" wink to Mrs. Gee Dubya?). Apart from looking frozen at yesterday's inauguration the poor old chap looked totally fed up. Joking apart, though, I reckon he could make a living doing stand-up.

Great to have you back among us Ben. Do you do actual plumbing or just teaching it? You could make a fortune over here, where plumbers need 3 months notice of you getting a burst pipe. They are (or seem to be) as rare as hens' teeth!

love, Angie, xx

Indigo said...

Ok, working backward frozen waffles in the microwave, leaves one with mush (yeah, I've had that disappointment).

Palin - I hope she gets a grip and realizes she's not exactly presidential material. Unless of course you want to put her, right up there with Bush.

We needed that miracle coming into the New Year. To see the captain keep a level head, as well as maintain his training. Was definitely one for the books.

Last but not least, writing lesson plans from scratch keep you on your toes doesn't it. Sort of a back to the beginning demographic.

And while I'm at I'll say how right you are about the no hats during the inauguration. I pondered how they were suppose to sit there, calmly not shivering under those conditions. (Hugs)indigo