Safety Culture

I have an odd job, compared to a lot of people. I work at a computer, but not the sort of computer most of you work at. I don’t attend meetings, or have conference calls.

Yesterday I was in my very first webinar.

Now, the reason for this is that I volunteered for something. I volunteered to be a part of the Local Safety Council at my facility. And, so, I was trained in on how to use the national-level software for logging safety events.

The webinar was not very exciting.

But I sat and listened and paid attention, because I believe in safety culture.

I believe it’s important to not merely react when things go wrong, to not merely support the status quo and keep the system going as it has always gone. I believe in thinking ahead, in studying what has happened, in examining near-mistakes and trying to make things better.

I want a safe airspace for the flying public. And so I volunteered.

Safety culture. It’s a thing we can make, if we care to do so.


Lovely weekend!

1. My mother visited, and as usual we all had a lovely time.

2. K finished the spring circus shows.

3. I got a flat tire. However, I got said flat tire while pulling into the parking lot at work, and a mechanic in town replaced it immediately. So all was well.

4. The weather was lovely.

5. A pair of cardinals have nested right outside the dining room window where I have my little home office. There is an egg. It’s really neat.

6. Work was busy and challenging without being tiresome.

7. I finished knitting a sock! And started the second of the pair.

8. We celebrated the birthdays of both N and J! Happy birthday to the both of them!

It was, as I said, a lovely weekend.


Homeschool scavenger hunts

We’ve decided to add a component to our kids’ homeschool classes.

Monthly scavenger hunts.

See, a person needs a lot of skills to move out into the world on their own. Skills like, what do bus stops look like in different cities? Or, what are the rules for bicycling? People need to know things like, where do I rent a moving truck? They need to know how to find the movie theater, they need to know how much a coffee date costs, the need to know how late the trains run.

There are a lot of things a person has to learn in order to move out into the world on their own.

So we’ve started scavenger hunts.

Once a month, more or less, as schedule permits, we will send the kids out into the world with a set of goals to accomplish. Take a bunch of photos of things, do a few activities, and return home to tell us about it.

Yesterday’s was the first, and was fairly easy. Walk over to the University Student Center, find the Transit Station, find the store, buy a treat, take pictures of a number of things.

Now, when we tell them “you catch that bus at the student center,” they will already know where that is and what to do.

Small steps.

Achievable accomplishment.

Finding a way to competence.

That’s what homeschooling is all about.


Linkspam is full of somber thoughts

Drought Frames Economic Divide of Californians

“Many people say they are trying to use less: They are capping their sprinkler systems, installing expensive new drip-watering systems or replacing their thirsty lawns with starkly beautiful desert landscapes. But they can also afford to buy their way out of the drought, assuming that fines will be the primary punishment for those who do not conserve, and that the water will keep flowing for those who can pay.”

America’s 1.5 Million Missing Black Men Is Nothing Short Of Genocide

“To put it another way, for every 100 black women, there are 83 black men. This is not the case in white America, where for every 100 women, there are 99 men, almost complete parity.

What that means, effectively, is that black men have disappeared. This reality lends credence to the idea that black men are an endangered species — not just symbolically or rhetorically, but based on the hard numbers.”

There’s a Reason Gay Marriage Is Winning, While Abortion Rights Are Losing

“Same-sex marriage is something men want. Lesbian couples account for the majority of same-sex marriages, but even the vernacular “gay marriage” types it as a male concern. That makes it of interest to everyone, because everything male is of general interest. Though many of the groundbreaking activists and lawyers who have fought for same-sex marriage are lesbians, gay men have a great deal of social and economic power, and they have used it, brilliantly, to mainstream the cause.

Reproductive rights are inescapably about women. Pervasive misogyny means not only that those rights are stigmatized—along with the women who exercise them—but that men don’t see them as all that important, while women have limited social power to promote them. And that power is easily endangered by too close an identification with all but the most anodyne version of feminism. There are no female CEOs pouring millions into reproductive rights or threatening to relocate their businesses when a state guts access to abortion. And with few exceptions, A-list celebs steer clear.”

The corrosive cult of compliance in our schools

“No matter what these children were doing, anytime the solution involves placing a child in shackles, the people in charge have grotesquely failed.

These cases of arrest and restraint are just the ugliest and most visible ways that children who are different get excluded. The same justification — that everyone must comply with the rules — informs other kinds of actions by schools.”

Homeless Millennials Are Transforming Hobo Culture

“Conventional wisdom says the Internet and mobile technology keep us in our own little bubbles, isolated and insular. And while perhaps that’s true for those with homes, Quain says it’s the opposite for hobos. For the itinerant homeless, traveling in groups makes sense for a bevy of reasons: safety, company and economies of scale, especially when it comes to digital devices. “Lots of us travel in groups and share the expense of one phone,” Quain says.”

One of the Original X-Men is Gay And it Matters More than You Think

“Of course, the catch is that if we’re going to have a serious conversation about this story, we’re going to need to delve into two of the most complex and controversial fields: sexual orientation and identity; and X-Men continuity.

Fasten your seatbelts.”


Against Entropy

Yesterday I got home from work, and J and I set about Cleaning A Few Things.

1. Established new (free!) shelf with pantry items and cookbooks and tea.
2. Wiped off all those containers so they were not dusty.
3. Sorted all baking items and threw out rancid/musty ingredients.
4. Cleaned all remaining containers of baking items.
5. Hung hooks for lunch boxes/bag.
6. Sorted all waterbottles and thermoses into new (free!) small cabinet.
7. Cleaned off four shelves in the kitchen.
8. Scrubbed UNDER the shelf, oh my goodness.
9. Did three loads of dishes by hand and two loads in the dishwasher.
10. Carried miscellaneous stuff to the basement to be put away.

It’s just …

… there’s always more to do, of course.

Re-painting the bathroom and hallway made us notice how FILTHY the switchplates were. So J replaced those over the weekend. And the nice new shelf with the cookbooks on it made us notice the other shelves in the kitchen that were … questionable.

There’s always more. But … but the goal is not to be DONE. The goal is to not give up. The goal is to continue to put in the work. Cleaning a house is never, ever, over. There is ALWAYS more to do. Parenting is apparently never over, it just keeps changing. Creating feminist spaces in fandom is never over — each victory opens the way to the next challenge. We don’t stop saying Black Lives Matter just because the officers in the Freddie Gray case are going to be charged with murder and wrongful death.

When I wonder, as I do sometimes, why I continue putting effort into tasks that never end, for which there is no real victory condition, I think of the X-Men and wonder no longer. “Protecting a world that hates and fears us” was the X-Men mantra all through my teens and early twenties. You keep putting in the time, you keep showing up, you stay in the fight even though there is no win available to you. You stay because it’s the right thing to do. Because it needs doing. Because you are the person there with the ability and the will and what the hell else were you going to do with your next fifteen minutes, anyway?

My job is a bit like that. Never-ending. In air traffic control, there are always more planes. It’s like an eternal game of Tetris — you don’t ever WIN, you just keep not-losing. And the planes keep coming.

The planes keep coming. The misogynists keep lashing out. The institutions of racism grind onward. And my house keeps getting dirty.

… But that’s no damn kinda reason to give up.

I want a cleaner house. I want a just state that protects all citizens. I want SF/F and comics conventions that do not defend harassers.

The fact that there is always more to do doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.

Who the hell else is going to clean my house?


#BlackLivesMatter #MayDay

Today is a national day of action, of awareness, of resistance, of protest.



Linkspam thinks the world is a nifty place and humans do good things

Ancient City Discovered Underwater Solves Enigma That Puzzled Egyptologists For Years

“Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) is a city lost between legend and reality. Before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC, the city knew glorious times as the obligatory port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world. It had also a religious importance because of the temple of Amun, which played an important role in rites associated with dynasty continuity. The city was founded probably around the 8th century BC, underwent diverse natural catastrophes, and finally sunk entirely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD.

Prior to its discovery in 2000 by the IEASM, no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found.”

Geek Girls Rule! #313 – Bitch Planet: Go read it right fucking now.

“Bitch Planet is not so far away as some might think, guys. The things that scare me about this comic are the same things that scared me about the Handmaid’s Tale. I can already see the roots of that bullshit in the society we inhabit. And it scares the fuck out of me.

Which is why I’m not gonna be quiet anymore.”

Jiinsy’s RedBubble

For all your Disney Jaeger Pilot art needs. Go look, it’s adorable.

Here Are Some Paintings Of A Woman Riding Aristotle Like A Pony

Mallory Ortberg is a national treasure.

“You’re undoubtedly considered by your friends and wishers-of-well to be a reasonably smart person. Most likely you consider yourself fairly well-read. Even an educated person.

And yet it is possible – even probable – that you were not aware, before this moment, that one of the most popular legends and artistic motifs of the Northern Renaissance was the tale of a woman named Phyllis who once rode the Greek philosopher Aristotle like a pony.

But she did. She rode him. Like a pony.”

Rode him like a pony. I love Mallory Ortberg’s work.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,445 other followers