Thursday, February 11, 2016

Taking things too literally. Literally.

Just because this was posted on Facebook, doesn't mean it's true. But it is good for a chuckle and for illustrating how important clear and concise language is. 

Check 'er out: 

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots ("P") and solutions recorded ("S") by maintenance engineers:
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.
P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A DIY Writer’s Retreat

Writers lock themselves in hotel rooms or escape to an isolated area for a reason – to write. It’s so much easier to write when no one else is around. To write for hours and hours. And hours. That’s why I love the occasional dog/house-sitting gig that comes my way.
I’m about 20 miles from home in a three-bedroom home with four very nice dogs, a large yard, and excellent wi-fi. My workspace is the dining room table. 
My work station and officemate. 
The pups are very good company while my husband keeps the home fires burning. Sometimes we switch locales if I’ve an important meeting or something. And sometimes we work it together.
Mostly, the dog/house-sitting gig is a writer’s retreat for me.
Or as Alexandra Franzen recently wrote: “a work-cation.” She says her friend Melissa coined the word.
My computer/laptop, paper, and pens are the only things I need for my writer’s retreat. I’ll use the timer on my phone once in a while. But that’s about it.
The main thing is to keep it simple so I can get as much work done as possible. There's only one rule – out of bed by 8 to walk and feed the dogs so I can be writing by 9.
Then, things tend to take care of themselves. 
A writer’s retreat = being by one’s self to write. This can be done in the bathroom for 20 minutes while kids (hopefully) nap. Or 10 minutes. Or 2. 
A work-cation perk: picking tangerines. 
A writer's retreat doesn’t have to be a dog/house-sitting gig, a formalized-you-pay-lots-of-money weekend at a university, or a trip to the local coffee house. Anywhere with just you and your writing tools will do. For as long as time allows.