New Shoes in the Rain

Friday, September 11, 2009

Observations and an anniversary

Before I launch into comments on other subjects, permit me to share my view of the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. This date holds particular significance for me because it was my daughter's second wedding anniversary (Can you even imagine having 9/11 as your anniversary or birthday? Talk about mixed emotions....). Anyway, I remember very well where I was when word of the terrorist attacks first leaked out....I was in front of our television watching "The Today Show" and the announcers spoke of a small plane having "accidentally" crashed into the World Trade Center. Then they cut to a live shot and we saw the second plane strike the second tower.....and then the Pentagon.....and then we heard about United 93 having crashed in Pennsylvania. My most vivid general memory was sitting in front of the television, hour after hour, astounded that this could have happened. As it happened, I was not working at that point in time, having been laid off by my former employer about a month earlier. Still can't believe that it really happened.

That said, I also cannot believe the "9-12 initiative" that's being touted by some conservative pundits. The purported reason is to return our national attitude to one of how we all felt right after the attacks of 9/11/01. Remember, at that time patriotism ran very high, we all united behind our government and particularly our president. Somehow I don't think that the purpose of this "initiative" is to unite behind our current president....

I was just on the road for a couple of days and saw a great many things in airports and on airplanes that, as usual, amazed or at least surprised me. There was the fellow I saw on my return flight home yesterday with a startling amount of intricate tattoos on his arm (his left arm had what I believe is called a tattoo "sleeve," covering his entire left arm), neck and face. All I could think was how painful that must have been, and how dedicated to the concept of body art one would have to be to undergo so much time and effort.

Because I travel so frequently in my work I continue to be intrigued by some of what I see from flight attendants. I've noticed that longer flights are most often staffed by more mature and experienced personnel, and I'd speculate that this is because they like working with fewer turnarounds (boarding and deplaning is the most demanding aspect of being a flight attendant, I'd bet) and seniority allows them to get the routes they prefer. But what I find interesting is their attire. Most every airline has uniforms for female attendants that can be dresses, tops and skirts or tops and slacks, but there are not specific shoes to be worn with these outfits. Despite it all, many of these folks wear some of the highest heels that I regularly see.....yet change into lower heels or even flats once they begin their work serving passengers. Why even wear the heels?

The male flight attendants never change their shoes. Neither do the pilots. Hmm.....

I attended a baseball game with my son-in-law in Denver while visiting the area. The Colorado Rockies were hosting my Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field, one of my favorite baseball venues. Great sightlines, with not a bad seat in the house. All of the staff we encountered were polite and friendly, which is certainly nice to see. The Reds lost that game, and lost all four they played against the Rockies on this trip. In fact, they only beat the Rockies once this year. I believe the Rockies appear to be the proverbial "team of destiny," as they seem to often find ways to win. Good for them and good luck to them in the postseason, as the Reds certainly aren't going anywhere....

Another sports item worth noting is that former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie has entered an alcohol rehabilitation program. This comes about two weeks after he was arrested for and charged with driving under the influence. There were many rumors about Gillispie and alcohol use while he coached at Kentucky and before. It takes a good amount of courage to admit a problem and seek help, so I applaud him if he is genuinely interested in addressing a problem.

Tomorrow stands to be a good day, as a couple of friends and I are traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to play golf at the Valhalla Golf Club. If you're not a golfer or golf fan, this won't mean much, but if you are familar with professional golf you understand the significance. I'm so looking forward to it, and the weather promises to be perfect. Wish me luck!


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