July 25 2012

1. Work this past week has been a lot of work.

I’m not complaining in the sense that I think it’s unwarranted to do this much work. ATC in my sectors is seasonal; we all know this. Summer is when we earn our paycheck and we save lives every day. Winter is when we sit back and complain about facility in-fighting. This work is legitimate and justified.

That doesn’t make it less hard.

After a shift my brains are tired from calculating speeds and climb and descent rates and closure and making constant shifts in priority — which of the nine things I need to do in the next seventy seconds do I need to do first? Clear the WJA? Tell the supe the VFR is overdue? Call TMU about the EWR guy? Answer YWG? Read the briefing on the military op? Give the RRT weather to Papa Lima? Answer the flight service line? Ship DAL to 22? Ship SKW to 11?

And when that’s all done, it’s two minutes later and there’s another six things.

Winter is not like this. Winter is slower, there’s time to chat. Not in summer.

I’m tired.

2. Within minutes of the announcement a few days ago of astronaut Sally Ride’s death I saw two things on Twitter: people happy that her obituary named her female partner, and people mad that everyone assumed she was therefore a lesbian and not possibly bisexual.

3. The caterpillars are eating a full tank of leaves three or four times a day. And J is busy for two days. I am going to spend a lot of time in the backyard with the loppers, cutting branches for the caterpillars.

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