Jun 272017
 

The signs pummeled us just as we crossed into my sister’s home state last week. She had warned me about aggressive speed limit enforcement in Virginia, and indeed, we were all of two miles across the state line when we passed our first pair of cruisers in the median—one aimed northbound, the other southbound.

After I determined in two different speed traps that a plain-Jane minivan with the cruise set at 75 (in a 70) wasn’t going to attract attention, I relaxed.

But I did take an opportunity to entertain my family with a story about that sign, SPEED LIMITS ENFORCED BY AIRCRAFT. (You know how we all have those things we should have learned/realized sooner growing up than we did?)

We had those signs on I-20 through Alabama when I was growing up, and I’d see them in the little strip of the Florida panhandle we had to drive through to see my mom’s parents. And until I was about 10, I just assumed there was a cop in a Cessna up there, and when he nailed your sorry ass, he was landing that airplane on the highway to give you a ticket.

Silly, right? Imagine the logistics of such; the risk to life and property; the costs. What a dumb thing to think!

So, when I finally realized how stupid that was, I thought “ahhhh. They land a helicopter to give you a ticket.”

See how smart I got after I realized my mistake? Sigh.

That lasted a couple of years, until I actually put it together that law enforcement pilots, when they were there at all, were relaying (sometimes) radar readings, but (mostly) timing measurements, to ground officers (you know, in cars), who would then stop the motorists.

I question how many of these manned flights occur these days, simply because of questionable ROI. But Lea pointed out during the discussion that this could be a highly effective use for a law enforcement UAV.

Be careful out there. And remember, even smart kids think dumb things sometimes.

(Thanks to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office for the photographs of actual law enforcement aircraft.)

 Posted by at 10:08 am
Jun 132017
 

I review a book once in a while on BoWilliams.com, but I can’t recall ever posting a “pre-review” before I’m done with it, as I’m doing right now with Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak by Leila Miller.

My parents divorced in February 1982. I was not quite 11 years old. My younger sister had just turned 8. It was easily the most significant event of my childhood, and I have many memories of the way things were before vs. the way they were after. Furthermore, I have strong opinions on it—some longstanding, others more recently formed.

It’s rather difficult to write or talk about it without sounding self-pitying, and to a significant degree I sympathize with those who would say so. We play the cards we’re dealt.

But this book is also an important counter to a lot of “progressive” thought that says things like concern about children should be an input into the decision, though perhaps not a primary one. Or, my favorite: “kids are resilient.” Yes, kids bounce back because for the most part, human beings bounce back—but that doesn’t mean they’re the same.

The book is not fun to read (how could it be?). I am nevertheless enjoying it because I’m finding kindred spirits saying things I completely understand—and in a few cases, vocalizing thoughts I’ve always had but never expressed.

More to come in a full review soon.

 Posted by at 11:27 am
Jun 072017
 

The boys and I were recently discussing one of the terror acts committed against civilians in the name of Islam—in this case, a shooting attack. “Of course it’s always important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, but I’m not particularly worried about that kind of thing happening here.” “Why not, Dad?” “Because as […]

 Posted by at 12:18 pm
May 292017
 

Dad, the boys, and I had a wonderful time attending the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend. I shall blog about it. However, I’m a little too tuckered to do it tonight. Instead, I will briefly write about the only real negative of the weekend here, in order to a) isolate it from […]

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
May 172017
 

Personal liberty? Yeah, I’m a fan. I think everyone should be free to do with his/her time and money as s/he sees fit, so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others. (But that doesn’t mean that if your personal choices beg for ridicule, that I won’t occasionally oblige you.) Behold this […]

 Posted by at 11:52 am

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