The Watercooler - December 20

Folks, I should probably mention that my approach to this may depart from “conventional formula”–since my understanding is that Watercoolers are a catch-all for for people to spit out whatever’s on our minds without it having to be related to anything else, I’m going to run with that philosophy in the original diary–several snippets that aren’t big enough to really fit anywhere else just yet, but still thoughts worth sharing.

Aviation Politics: I find myself in an awkward position, having to praise those wastes of perfectly good viable organs that make up the Senate, but it still must be done for their passage of the revised “Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2.” Does nothing for the Light Sport class, the route I’m going to have to take if I’m ever to have wings of my own until somebody undoes the FAA’s Golden Headie on their bitter clinging to outdated psychology and psychiatry particularly on the over-diagnosis of ADD and ADHD, but for those who are Class Three eligible their lives are going to get a lot easier if this clears the House, especially those on the Special Issue classification. In a nutshell, if you’ve had a full Aviation Physical within ten years before final passage, it’s the last one you’ll ever need so long as you have your GP fill out a form as part of a basic physical every four years and keep the completed form in your logbook. For those who worry about “medically unsuitable individuals at airliner controls”, that’s a whole different type of license with no changes–Class Three is only General Aviation like Beechcraft, Cessna, Mooney etc., and this particular reform only applies as long as you’re carrying five passengers or less at a total aircraft weight below 6,000 pounds, flying 250 knots airspeed or less at 18,000 feet altitude or less–just enough to clear the Rocky Mountains without a lot of comfort margin, but not high enough to be far into “supplemental oxygen required” territory; catch is, it now means a continuing Aeromedical Ed course every two years (which is reasonable) and you still have to deal with the doc playing Pecker Checker and then a full Alien Abduction-grade rectal exam. Thanks, Senators–while I still wouldn’t waste the effort to piss on the lot of you douchebags if you were on fire, it’s an overdue but appreciated start.

2016 Campaign: Anybody else out there starting to suspect Rubio’s in this thing more as a spoiler than a serious candidate? Frankly, most of his moves the past few weeks seem more designed to clear out dissident-wing threats (both the burn-it-all-down Trump and reformist Cruz sides) to Bush or Kasich than to seriously build himself as a candidate. I’m sure his shills, candibots and Rubes are gonna try to flame me “mercilessly” over this… news flash, I thrived in the hostile environment of Liberal Academia, anything you got to throw at me after that ain’t gonna be much.

Sports: It’s an interesting time in an interesting football season–gotta say I was surprised at the Seahawks’ comeback, but now it looks like they could go all the way. Revenge of the Nerd in a rematch with Belicheat and Brady’s Deflatriots at Super Bowl 50?

Random Amusing Thought: AHC nailed it with their plug for the Christmas Eve airing of The Hunt For Red October, combining the traditional lore of Santa Claus with an apt description of the plot. “Watch for a white-bearded man hailing from the north with a Special Delivery,” indeed… It’s not Christmas With The Duke, but it still gets props for creativity.

The Finer Things: Michael Symon’s 5 in 5. If you think you can’t cook, give this book by the chrome-domed Iron Chef a chance to change your mind–120 recipes, all with three simple goals: five minutes to cook, five fresh ingredients (not counting the spice-rack) and a target budget of five bucks a serving. This one goes on my holiday gift-list for friends who can’t cook or are learning to–should be a nice step up from the “load it and forget it” of Crock-Pot cooking. I got mine at a local Fred Meyer (for y’all outside the Northwet a grocery/department store hybrid, think “Super Wal-Mart before there was a Super Wal-Mart”) for 25% off, but it’s worth the full $20 cover price. As Symon himself says, “Who wouldn’t cook more if they knew they could prepare a great meal in less than the time it takes to listen to ‘Stairway to Heaven’?”

As always, the Watercooler is an Open Thread–consider this my audition for a scheduled spot in the rotation,and let me know what y’all think.