Kids, CONvergence, and fatality aviation accidents; things in a list

1. Re-entry from the kids having summer camps last week, back to having normal routines, this is going about as well as you’d expect. J tells me that both children appear to have forgotten all math-related skills in a week. I’m not looking forward to my school-teaching days this week.

I hold my breath, leaving M at summer camps. He loves them, but situations where he has to negotiate interactions with his peers are awfully tricky. Unpredictable. Liable to end in punching. Yet the past week seemed to go okay.

2. We’re cleaning the basement. Slowly, painfully, clearing things out of the playroom that don’t get used or that the kids have outgrown. We pawned off an ancient and decrepit hide-a-bed couch. Getting it out of the basement resulted in only superficial injuries, yay.

3. There was a fatality crash this weekend. Not my immediate area of control. It’s fascinating, watching the consensus narrative be constructed. The pilot had been in a crash eight years ago, in which he was flying and his wife and two daughters were killed, leaving him and his son alive. This crash the pilot killed himself and his second wife, leaving the same son, now sixteen years old, critically injured. The narrative we are constructing here at work is that the pilot was at fault both times, killing his family twice. I do not know if that is true; the local news where he died is saying that the previous crash was attributed to pilot error, but I haven’t seen the NTSB report. I asked our Quality Assurance guys, and they haven’t seen the NTSB report from last time, either. We don’t know. Eyewitness reports from the field at this current crash seem to indicate the pilot was doing things in a non-standard and hazardous way.

It is easy to blame the dead guy. It’s easy to say he’s killed his family twice. That narrative fosters the belief that the accident was preventable, and that if WE were the pilot, WE would not have done whatever he did, and WE would have kept our families alive. It’s so easy to be afraid of the unknown and uncontrollable, and so easy to say that it must have been his fault. I know I’m not immune to this sort of thinking. I want to believe that the hazards of the world can be mastered by me, if I am vigilant and responsible and work hard and do the right thing.

Fatality accident statistics beg to differ.

Only half of aviation fatality accidents are attributable to pilot error.

4. I started watching the British tv series Misfits on Hulu. Teenage criminal offenders accidentally get superpowers. It’s a … It’s a weird little show. Dark, gritty, not funny or light-hearted. I really am enjoying it.

5. Work is still busy.

6. CONvergence! I’m going to be at CONvergence this coming weekend, Thursday through Sunday! Thursday and Saturday I will be there with my kids, doing family things. This happens to include running the party circuit Saturday night, collecting snacks and free junk from semi-drunk cabana parties. My kids love doing that way more than I do. Friday and Sunday I will be at the con doing Sigrid-things, like being on panels. Hope to see a number of you there!

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