Thursday, November 27, 2003

The Air Marshal Outlives Jesus

I've known the Air Marshal since the 7th grade. He's always been a man with a plan-- great at math and science & just about everything else, following an inevitable life-arc (well, it seems that way in retrospect) to his PhD in engineering. He's Den Beste, but with a better sense of humor. Now that he's outlived Our Lord and Savior, it's time to throw out some random names, places, and events that will be meaningless to 99.9999999% of the wider blogosphere, but which will doubtless strike a chord in the AM's vast über-consciousness:

Andy Poore
Barry Sperling
Mr. Gray
Mrs. Price
Ms. Spettel and The Constantly Reappearing Stripe
Geza Gyuk
Mr. Weaver
Ian Poulin and the back-slapping (am I spelling his name right, or is it "Poulain"?)
[UPDATE, June 12, 2005: Ian wrote in to say it's "Poulin."]
Myrtle Beach and projectiles down stairwells & off balconies
Madame Moriarty
Mrs. Hale... then Ordway-Hale... then Ordway...
Mr. Tippins
Jacob Bronowski: "Left hand. Right hand." (my book is currently ranked higher than his on Amazon!)
Mrs. Harder (cough)
Mr. Kendall
his daughter Mandy (yum)
Kristi (yum... calves)
Gary Young
George Dirner (he gave me Eric Hoffer's The True Believer to, er, send me a message)
Mr. Privette
Mrs. Waller
Mrs. Landgrabe & AP French
Mrs. Jones & prudery
Ms. Oxley
Dotty Feldman
Mr. Chieffe
Mr. Hyer
Bobby Brown (the one WE know)
Ron Green
KNEE (glad it wasn't me)
movies and more movies
a long, long time at VA Tech
Ed Cunningham
Ben, Jim, Dave Price

The AM calls it like he sees it. He's never been shy about disagreeing, and he won't hesitate to tell you you're full of shit. He's the reality principle at work when it looks like I'm being too abstract or too lofty; he's the quick analyzer who can parse a problem (and see trends) more readily than I can, and he's one of the most mentally disciplined people I know.

The above seems to describe him in terms of limits and restrictions, so here's a more positive spin: he won't admit it, but he's got cartooning talent dating back at least to 7th grade. He plays guitar (Dr. doCarmo was just reminiscing that you were his first jamming partner). He's philosophically astute, probably because he hasn't made a career of philosophy. He's much more taken by Lord of the Rings than by the Matrix series. Like a lot of us, he's a disciple of JK Rowling. He's got a wonderful wife and a great daughter, and part of their wonderfulness (if that's a word) comes from his being a great husband and father.

Good thing he's also a great friend.

The only thing I'll reproach him is that he failed to remind me that Wednesday was his birthday. I had to remember that all by myself.


Happy Belated Birthday, man. Congrats on leapfrogging the Son of the Living God.

Oh, yeah-- his wife loves him because he's got an 8-inch-long prehensile tongue.