Archive for October, 2008

Religious Law vs. Civic Law

23 October 2008 at 11:31 am
by Berck

A post from Three Jews, Four Opinions makes some interesting points. Mostly it asks the question that while Jewish law clearly forbids homosexuality, does that mean that Jews should vote to ban homosexual marriage in California law? The overwhelming answer is no.

This gets to the heart of my frustration of Christian intolerance. While Jews have some very crazy religious laws, they don’t seek to codify any of those laws into civic statute. Christians, on the other hand, believe that if something is immoral it should be illegal. I’ve often been inclined to think that it’s the very nature of the religious to attempt to impose religion into government, but on further reflection, I think it’s just Christians. Muslims certainly do this in Islamic nations, but I’ve never seen an American Muslim make any real effort to include their crazy laws into American law.

And that right there is intolerance: a refusal to tolerate the differing beliefs, rights and practices of others. Why, if Jesus preached tolerance, are Christians such an intolerant lot?

The linked post above also basically makes the point that I’ve made all along: Government has no place in marriage.

Another night in New York

22 October 2008 at 3:53 pm
by Berck

I’m becoming increasingly annoyed with my employer. If anyone in the company knows what’s going on, they’re not telling me. Still no word at all about whether I’m going to fly a Dash here in a couple weeks or not.

Kelsey decided to rearrange his schedule so that the Nachzen kids could hang out last night. I cooked chicken, mashed potatoes, onions, artichoke and asparagus. We drank several bottles of wine and then Mario Carted for a few hours. I’m not very good at video games, but it’s always reassuring to know that Sydney will bring up the rear for me. I actually did very well, and after every race the Nintendo said, “You won!” It doesn’t lie. We all spent the night in Wa-Hi, because trains late at night are annoying. Sydney looks funny in Kelsey’s clothes.

I flew what’s likely my last flight in a jet. It took a little work to get back into the swing of things after a month of not flying. My final landing in JFK was a real winner, I think the ground crews are out there now filling the two potholes I left in 22R.

I’m just about to go collect my dry cleaning and go sit ready reserve at the airport tonight from 7pm until at least midnight. Potentially as late as 3am. I’m doing the same thing tomorrow night as well.

Snow Day!

22 October 2008 at 8:13 am
by Jonah

Fortunately, the roads are mostly clear, just really icy in places.

Fun Quizzes

17 October 2008 at 7:04 pm
by Jonah

Reverent Quizzes

Change at Jamaica for the local train to Babylon.

16 October 2008 at 5:58 pm
by Berck

There’s been a rather unfortunate change in the configuration of the crew room–the TV is now in the main room instead of the little back room. The only internet connection is in the same room as the TV. Fortunately, I’ve got headphones. There are few things in the world I find more obnoxious than CNN.

Joanna and I went to Dallas to see The Magnetic Fields on a whimsy of mine, that had something to do with Rachel. We could have seen The Magnetic Fields in New York or Denver, which would have been more convenient, but then we wouldn’t have gotten to see Rachel, Kate and JR and meet Joseph. Seeing The Magnetic Fields in Dallas didn’t really seem to be one of those things I had any choice about, despite the fact that I’m the one who made the choice. I’m jealous that Joanna got to eat at Breadwinner’s and I didn’t.

I’m still scheduled to start a 5-day trip tomorrow. This is good news, and I hope it will re-endear me to the job. It’s been so long since I’ve actually flown, I’m forgetting why I ever thought it would be a good idea. It’s really starting to wear me down. I took the midnight DEN-JFK this morning. It’s a silly way to get to work, but means an extra day at home. It’s hot and icky in New York (okay, a whopping 70 degrees, but compared to 40 in Colorado, it’s hot and icky). I crossed Flatbush in a crosswalk, with “the white man” as Liz would say, and about halfway across the street, traffic turning right decided to honk at me and started gesturing to the flashing red hand (“slappy” for those who speak Liz) as though I no longer had the right of way. I raised my hand in a, “What the hell?” gesture and walked slower. It’s that sort of thing, along with the dog shit I discovered on my shoe later that make me hate New York. The love/hate relationship is a delicate balance highly influenced by the amount of time I spend in the city. Lately, I’ve spent way too much time here, and today is a day that I hate New York.

My last 24 hours looked something like this: At 10pm last night, Jonah drove me to the DEN airport. (I was too tired to drive my car back on Tuesday.) I got to the airport at about 11:15pm, and on the plane at about 11:40pm for an 11:50pm departure. I got a middle seat, but at least it was in the “more leg room” section. I was only able to fit my bag in an overhead bin at the back of plane, even though I was sitting in the front, and even that required serious overhead bin mojo, which obviously I now possess.

The flight wasn’t too bad, though I wasn’t able to sleep very well. I got off the plane in New York around 5am. I rode the AirTrain to the LIRR, where I had to buy a peak ticket. I live off-peak, but my going “home” happened to be at the same time and same direction as the rest of New York going to work. I got off the train and walked a mile. My leather jacket was miserably hot and an unwelcome burden. I should have just left it in Jonah’s car, but I’m guessing I’ll want it when I drive home next week. I carried my leather jacket and heavy bag up to Sydney’s 3rd floor apartment, inflated my air mattress and fell asleep around 7am.

I woke up at 11:59am to my phone ringing. Crew tracking jumped the gun by 1 minute, but unfortunately I can’t read the clock on my phone while it’s ringing, so I didn’t know that when I answered it. I knew exactly what the crew tracker was going to say. I could have avoided the phone conversation by clicking the “I’ve been notified” button on my schedule online to acknowledge the Noon-10pm ready reserve, but if I did that, I’d have shorted myself 1.5 hours of sleep. I’m not required to answer my phone until I go on duty at noon, at which point they’ll tell me to be at the airport for ready reserve, but they have to give me 1.5 hours to get to the airport. Sometimes they forget and call me up to half an hour late, but not today. Also, they decided they still wanted the full 10 hours out of me, and instead of my usual 1200-2200 shift, they assigned me a 1330-2330 shift.

And so now it’s 8pm, and I’m at the airport, too tired to read my book with 3.5 hours of sitting left to go.

All this, so that I can get paid to fly an airplane. I keep waiting for the asymptotic deadline where I find out if I can live at home and fly the Dash.

But I get to fly tomorrow. Things will be better tomorrow.