Impressive Impressions

Scattershooting while wondering where I can find some 7-Up Gold

Though doomed by terrible marketing and timing, that stuff was good!

Sometimes, in one form or another, we parents have to answer our kids when they ask, “How important is education?”

This photo (courtesy Fast Food News) either can make it very easy or very difficult to reinforce the importance of writing skills. Fortunately, my kids do very well in school. I can show that photo to them as a reinforcing reminder to keep it up, lest they get stuck working at some backwater Burger King, flipping patties on a daily basis, except on those days when “we out of meet”.

I’m fairly hard to impress most of the time, but the most recent cold wave has done so. When a state known for its butt-ugly wintertime cold sets a new all-time record (in this case, -50 degrees F), that’s newsworthy. And I don’t reckon Gilbert enjoyed this fine morning in Rockford. It got even worse just to his NW and W in WI and IA. Wonder if Doomsayer Gore and his CO2-by-the-ton-spewing traveling tour is scheduled to put on a show at any of those locales anytime soon…

Something else this past week impressed me most of all — the landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, with no fatalities, after it lost both engines to goose ingestion. I’m going to jump fully and wholeheartedly on Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger’s bandwagon. The more I talk to (and read by) folks who are familiar with aviation, the more amazing his feat becomes. This man is a true American hero of the highest civilian order, and deserves official recognition as such with a Congressional Medal of Honor. Capt. Sullenberger’s impeccable credentials (e.g., professional profile and resume) reveal a consummate and top-notch pro, someone optimally prepared to deal with just such a situation, and fortunate enough to be the man in charge, in exactly the right place and time, to save potentially hundreds of lives. By all accounts, he possesses the wherewithal — specifically a rock-steady temperament and keen intellect — to deal with the fame and fortune that he now cannot avoid. [I imagine that phone number and e-mail address are going to change soon, though, due to the avalanche of well wishes sure to overload each.] Given all I’ve seen of his professional and personal background, I’m confident he’ll handle the spotlight in a dignified and humble manner, even as his amazing act of knowledge and composure under great duress earns him a most lucrative future.

Hopefully the attack-media vultures won’t dig up any dirt on Capt. Sullenberger, because this nation could use some purely and truly good news. Wouldn’t it be great (for once) if, when a story seems too good to be true…it’s still true?

And while we’re at it, let’s dole out some awards to the boat operators who sped straight to the downed plane to rescue passengers, particularly those in the water, where death from hypothermia was a clear and imminent risk.


One Response to “Impressive Impressions”

  1. tornado on January 22nd, 2009 5:29 am

    Gilbert himself says:

    You bet it wasn’t fun…

    Last Thursday night with our -23 low. Rochelle got down to -36 on their AWOS, which the state climatologist Jim Angel refused to certify…and rightfully so. For years that thing has been out of calibration, and even though they did it the day before, I still don’t trust it. That set off a firestorm with everyone’s favorite Joe Bastardi slamming Jim indirectly and the NWS directly, even though it wasn’t their fault. And then Anthony Watts, usually spot-on, missed the mark with his current blog post.

    Jim Angel jumped in at the end. Fun stuff.


    Roger’s reply:

    …and yet…

    Look how many of the stations that are used to determine thermal records (and are used in climate models) are located…at freaking airports and in urban areas!

    The best solution in the IL case isn’t to categorically refuse to certify the record as the IL climatologist did, either. Instead, take the instrument and test its new calibration under thermally controlled conditions. If it accurately reads -36 F, at that temp, in a lab, then certify the record. If not, don’t; or at least, adjust the record for the amount that the new calibration is off. [That has been done with barometric readings in hurricanes for a long time, including Andrew in South Florida.] But at least test the damn thing before saying a final yes or no.

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