Saturday, April 23, 2016

Empathy for things sad and pitiful.

I live less than 2 miles from the gate of an Air Force Base, which is good in that Arizona got a shellacking by the housing bubble. . . 

or if you listen to Donald Trump, the area was "schlonged" and if there is something Donald Trump knows about it is real estate "scholonging."

The military base, as military bases tend to do. . . 

offered some economic protection and expansion of roadways, parks, housing, goods and services . . . 

mostly family oriented goods and services with a handful of  goods and services that are not so family oriented.

There are hardly any Tom-Cruise-Top-Gun-Motorcycle-Crazed-Organ-Donor-Young-Men on the streets . . . 

Possibly because Top Gun was released in 1986 and guys who actually watched Goose and the Ice Man would be Tom-Cruise-Top-Gun-Motorcycle-Crazed-Organ-Donor-Mid-Life-Crisis-Men . . .

I don't even mind that the Air Force Base is now the keeper of several new generation stealth multirole fighters. 

Specifically, the stealth fighters that have been described as: 

The most expensive, and possible the most error ridden, project in the history of the United States military. 

Spies downloaded several terabytes of data related to the design and electronics systems, potentially compromising the aircraft and aiding the development of defense systems against it. 
- The Wall Street Journal 

Current aircraft software is inadequate for even basic pilot training.
Several pilot-vehicle interface issues, including lack of feedback on touchscreen controls.
The radar performs poorly, or not at all.
Engine replacement takes an average of 52 hours, instead of the two hours specified.
Maintenance tools do not work.
Ejection seat may fail, causing pilot fatality.
- Defense spending analyst Winslow Wheeler

A Russian 1950s Mig-21 could kill one in a dog fight
- Pierre Sprey

[It] can't turn, can't climb, can't run. 
- John Stallion


Per the Air Force Environmental Impact Statement, the stealth multirole fighter in question is four times louder than the other stealth multirole fighters, reaching over 100 decibels. 

The high-noise area is categorized as at least 65 decibels . . . at 65 decibels, people tend to become annoyed. 
- AZ Central

In my non-scientific, largely irrelevant, substandard   auditory evaluation experience, they are distinctly louder than the other aircraft but with a low pitched rumble like an enormous tiger chuffing.

I wonder if I can make that a selling point when I put my house on the market . . . 

Chuffing? Tiger? No? 

The stucco, tri-level split I moved from was close enough to the railroad that the walls and floors vibrated the when trains passed so a little rumbling is no big deal . . . 

But I digress.

The residential area I live in offers several houses for rent. The turnover is fairly high but there have been no problems. 

The "Home Owners Association of Comrades" co-opted management principles from Stalin and the family friendly (meaning boring) development tends to weed out potential renters who are hellbent on partying. 

Because I have perfected my hermit-like proclivities and because I live in a quite cut de sac, I have very little idea of who my neighbors are. 

In the time I've lived here, I've met three neighbors. 

Once I walked out of my house to see a well groomed Pomeranian waiting politely at my front door while her elder owner caught up from the non-approved "Home Owners Association of Comrades" off-leash walk. 

Once a very polite guy asked if he could access my back yard to cut branches from his tree that were reaching over my "Home Owners Association of Comrades" approved wall into my backyard.

Once an adorable preschooler, dressed in shorts, super hero T shirt and a miniature fedora (I kid you not), helping his dad in the front yard, casually strolled over to say hello. 

Yesterday, in the front yard of one of the recently rented residences, a single, illuminated, blue Christmas Tree ornament was hanging from one of the saplings in the front yard.

Per The Google, a blue light can mean support for the police, an advertisement of a house of "ill repute" or a K-Mart special but I'm going with the meaning of the Christmas Tree in the Carlie Brown Christmas Special.

I never thought it was such a bad little tree. Maybe it just needs a little love. - Linus 

I have empathy for things sad and pitiful as well an affinity for subtle symbols of an in-joke . . .

which makes a lone Christmas Tree ornament the BEST yard decoration ever! 

I'm waiting for the "Home Owners Association of Comrades" to demand immediate ornament removal. 

In the handbook of covenants, conditions and restrictions, there are at least 15 pages dealing with holiday decorations and front yard presentation . . . 

the irony being the forced removal of a symbolic  acceptance of the unwanted . . . 

and Lord knows I need as much acceptance of the unwanted as can get.

Linus: What would you say you want most out of life, Charlie Brown? To be happy?

Charlie Brown: 
Oh, no. I don't expect that. I really don't. I just don't want to be unhappy! 

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