it's laid out and played out like a long-winded bore sucking air to hear it wheeze
a breeze blowing south and picking up speed

it's all planned and sanded, smooth like glass a chroniker leaking time
so sublime flowing out and feeling out the decline

you've told me before that something has to change
i've told you before we're all on a path we can't even see

it's all chance and we ran down random like maddened dolls wound up for a war
and tore through the doors we thought there was more

it's nothing i can do anything about, even if i want to
and even that's just a lie

Time passes like moths,
Flickering and butter soft.
Time passes like a shattering pot,
Shards and cards and falling stars.

Little for you today but flickering steps. All my most clever thoughts and most beautiful images seep out on the drive into work, becoming one with the fog over conifers and pine trees and near hills and the Bay. Violet-flickering stories come murmuring barely through my instinct-driven brain as I weave in and out of traffic, dreamy, my mind half on my commute.

And now it's midnight, and my evening has been spent, quite prosaically, curled around a cup of tea and a good book.

For the reader, I offer the following in lieu of much more commentary on a slow day.

  • Andrew Bird's Masterwarm, being the lovesong of internal parasites to their hosts.
  • James McMurtry's Lobo Town, being the family story from the wrong side of the rural tracks.
  • The Oatmeal's latest brilliance, or why original content is better than attention-seeking.

Here's to Friday and endings and beginnings.

A young child's severed foot was found outside a Queens home over the weekend.

The owner of the home on 139th Avenue in Rosedale spotted the foot in the grass as he took out the trash late Sunday afternoon and called police.

Cops spent several hours canvassing the area with cadaver dogs last night but did not appear to find any more bones.

Investigators believe the foot belongs to a young child, but could not immediately determine the age, race or sex of the victim.

The homeowner who made the grisly discovery, identified by the Daily News as Paul Lawrence, described the bloody lump as a "piece of meat."

"It was a skinless piece of meat with bone. When we looked at it a little closer, we decided it looked like a foot," Lawrence told the paper. "It's unfortunate that it might have been someone's kid."

BrevityQuest12 (145 words)

Hop #3

Worked on landings, again, staying entirely in the traffic pattern. Did better than the last time, for two reasons: one, the wind was almost nil rather than a gusty crosswind, and two, I have more flights in recent memory and can better tell when I'm high/low/fast/slow further out in the approach.

On the other hand, I'm still forgetting things I should remember ("Carb heat. Carb heat. You're in approach.") and I'm still having trouble flying the airplane all the way down to the runway. My approaches were better, which means I was 'cleaner, later', but in most cases I still got sloppy, jerky and panicky right at touchdown, once I'd made the runway numbers. I had said, last daylog, that I thought it was 'ground panic.' I've revised that, a bit. It is, to some degree, ground panic. But that's mostly indirect, and what ground panic is doing is exacerbating what I guess I should call Stall Panic.

On my landings, I haven't even gotten stall warning horn until final flare-out. This indicates that I still have a comfortable airspeed margin before stall; indeed, on one case I did get the warning horn because I'd ballooned high due to a wind gust, and my instructor shoved the yoke forward and the horn went away - showing me that I had room I wasn't using to correct my flight even this late in the landing. I had been frozen into 'imminent touchdown' when the airplane floated.

That's my problem. I'm not flying the airplane all the way to touchdown, I'm getting to some imaginary point and then 'freezing' myself 'so I don't stall' and waiting for the ground to hit me. BZZZZZT. Fly the airplane all the way down, and don't let the nearness of the ground and the slowness of the airplane stop me from flying the airplane positively. To that end, I've asked my instructor if next hop we can go back to the practice area and putz around in slow flight for a while, just so I get used to flying the airplane with the stall horn going, proving to my monkey brain that even with the stall horn going you can maintain altitude if you want just by adding a bit of power. That way, I'll know instinctively that I retain control of the airplane no matter how low and slow it is, and hopefully I'll be less prone to freeze up.

On another note, my instructor yanked my engine while I was on a left downwind for the runway, and first I panicked and tried to set up on a field somewhere out ahead of me and then, when he said "Uh, why not land at the airport?" I panicked again and turned base/final way way way too early, ending up too high to land and not high enough to correct or go around. Sigh. Again, this is the kind of thing where if landings had reached the point where they're something fun I do trying to get as good a landing as possible, rather than something I treat as a critical test of my competency (which I'm failing, still), then I probably would have had no problem.

I tell myself that this is the third time I've flown an airplane in 20 years. It took ten to twelve hours, that first time, before I could land the airplane with any confidence. But I'm older, now, and I'm worried that I'm feeling that loss of the invincibility of youth. I'm no longer immortal. Does that mean I'm not going to be able to fly the airplane in the tight flight regimes necessary without being tentative and second-guessing myself (lethally bad idea)? I hope not. We'll see. I tell myself that this flight, my landings *were* better.

My instructor is a young guy, in his mid-twenties at max, I'd say. I'm wondering if he isn't really able to comprehend just how long it's been since I flew - if he sees my logbook and thinks 'his last flight this wasn't a problem' instead of thinking 'his last flight, I was 5 years old.' Heh.

I'm much heavier, and this is a problem. I don't have full range of free and easy motion inside the airplane. I really, really have to start working out and get on my diet. I have shoes. I have a book. I have a YMCA nearby. I have the time. Apparently I don't have the discipline, yet. But I swear, I'm getting there.

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