Saturday, January 8, 2011


I have taken a lot of pictures of sunsets in my life and as a result have become a bit of a connoisseur. They come in lots of different colors. 
There are the standard red ones.
The orange ones are fairly common.
There are the gold ones.
Not many people have seen the blue ones.
Rarer still are the black ones.
Sometimes a bird would sneak in and ruin the picture.
Sometimes an airplane would.
Sometimes someone will step in and make the picture.
Sometimes not.
I have been blessed to see them in all kinds of places. When I lived in Zanzibar I used to time how long it took the sun to dip into the Indian Ocean. It usually took the same amount of time as drinking two and a half beer. 
When I lived in the jungles of Guyana, the sunsets usually came right after the second rainfall of the afternoon. Parrots usually flocked and the mosquitoes came out. The sunset was a gentile reminder to put on pants and a long sleeve shirt. 
In Haiti, the sunset signaled the end of flying. For a couple of moments it allowed us to pause and reflect on those who had to endure the coming darkness. I didn’t like sunsets in Haiti.
Sunsets in Eastern Passage are nice. I don’t reflect or pause to consider greater truths. I enjoy them like I would a cup of tea. They do remind me however that I should lock my car door.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gollum worked at FDC

I have turned into Gollum.
I used to be a fairly happy fellow. Content at home and at my job, I skipped and whistled my way through the day. People would often stop and say “Hey look at that really happy fellow. Wow, imagine if we were as happy as him.”
Birds sang for no reason when I walked by. They sang for the pure enjoyment of singing. They felt no pressure. They didn’t worry if they were off key or if I had heard the song before, because they knew I was carefree and without judgement. Sometimes they would just whistle or hum. A couple of times I heard them work on new material- experimenting with new rifts and tempos. 
I can’t remember now the last time I heard a bird sing.
I discovered something so powerful that Tolkien himself would not be able to comprehend. It has changed me- slowly but now completely. I was naive in the beginning, believing that this super human power would not affect who I was or how I saw people.
I now have the ability to force aviators to sit in aircraft for hours at a time and not fly. Usually these hours are after many of their friends have gone home. At the drop of a hat, I can pick a name, and force a person to sit in a dark room for three hours. Their only enjoyment would be a box lunch made by a company who's sole qualification was that it submitted the lowest bid. 
I can make people stand under a hovering helicopter for two hours holding a metal cable- two hours under a 20,000 lbs helicopter in -15 Celsius. ‘Their crime,’ you ask? I bumped into them in the hall.
Today, I actually said “Well tower can piss off.”
Never in the history of the English language have those words ever been grumbled together before. 
‘What was their crime’ you ask? They wanted to go home because of a snow storm, and I wanted to wait and see if the weather would improve enough to test an engine on a 50 year old helicopter.
I’d like to think that I had friends before this new found power. I walk into rooms now filled with my colleagues, and no-one makes eye contact. I am invisible, distorted, and insane just like poor ol Gollum.