Non-Dairy Dreamy Delight

Non-Dairy Dreamy Delight
by Carl Josehart

Lactose free!
the invitation read
and I wondered where in the hell Lactose was
and whether the Lactosians
were fighting for their freedom
from and oppressive government
that infringed on their personal liberties

Free Lactose!
I took up the chant
wanting to be
politically correct
I made up banners
and flyers
led protest marches
and even started to collect money
to help resettle refugees from Lactose

Lactose free!
a dream come true
a land flowing with
soy-milk and honey
“Better-Than Cream Cheese”
in every market
and Norman Rockwell Thanksgivings
minus the butter in the mashed potatoes
in every home
Power to the People – Free Lactose!

The call for freedom is catching on – now Gluten is seeking freedom as well!

To Protect and Serve

To Protect and Serve

So just a few minutes ago a frail woman in her seventies approached the airport security checkpoint with her dog – well perhaps dog is too strong a word – it was more like a 5 pound animated bundle of tail wagging fur with floppy ears. The woman proceeded to do all things she was supposed to do – remove her shoes, place her belongings on the conveyor belt and pad her barefooted self over to the screening station.

All the while her tail-wagging little bundle of joy obediently stayed by her side patiently waiting its turn to go through the metal detector. When it was his owner’s turn in line, she whispered a command to the dog and it proudly marched through the metal detector to wait for her on the other side.

Standing on the other side of the screening line was one of our brave TSA agents. As tinker bell the dog pranced through the metal detector, the TSA agent looked down, let out a shriek and started screaming for assistance.

Tinker bell; sensing the TSA agent was in danger, and wanting to be of assistance, decided to walk over to her and offer some comfort and emotional support. As tinker bell cautiously approached the distraught TSA agent in a submissive posture – head down, lowering its towering 5″ frame closer to the floor so as not to appear imposing, tail between its legs – tinker bell’s proximity further escalated the screams and cries of the TSA agent who was now hugging herself in fear and whimpering for someone to come and save her.

Fortunately, at this point, a brave colleague strode up to tinker bell, bent low to the ground to pick her up, and courageously cuddled the cute little monster in his arms all the while having to withstand the onslaught of doggy kisses and vigorous tail wagging.

While waiting for the scene to return to normal I used my smartphone to visit the TSA website where the TSA described its history and vision in the following words:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The attacks resulted in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, designed to prevent similar attacks in the future. Driven by a desire to help our nation, tens of thousands of people joined TSA and committed themselves to strengthening our transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce.


Provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counterterrorism organization.

To be fair, prior attacks have involved weapons such as guns and knives and the occasional shoe bomb. As of the time of publication of this article the author has not been able to reach any TSA officials for comment. Sources close to the TSA did agree to speak off the record saying, “It’s a scary job – I am just glad the officer wasn’t hurt.” At this time, I don’t have any verifiable proof that this agent was ever formerly trained in defending against canine attack but thanks to teamwork and perseverance the crisis was averted – TSA to the rescue once again!

For further adventures in flying see Reboot, Reset, Restart

Reboot, Reset, Restart

“Did you try turning it off and turning it back on?”
“Okay then…try that now and we’ll wait”

You might think this conversation happened with your typical help desk call at work when your computer freezes. This time it was between the pilot of the commercial airplane I am on and the maintenance mechanic trying to help problem solve a warning light. I do not necessarily find it comforting that the same advice the pimply faced IT guy at my office gives me is essentially identical to the advice being given to the pilot of a major airlines responsible for the safety of over 300 crew and passengers.

“You’ll have to come back to the gate so we can swap that part out…”

“We have the part but we have to check if the software is compatible. If not, we will have to download some new software.”

So apparently this multi-billion dollar airline is not sure if the software installed in the spare parts they stock is compatible with the planes in their fleet of aircraft. Once again, not feeling reassured. I appreciate the commitment to safety, the decision to not not take off with an unexplained warning light that might be a sign of trouble. I guess I appreciate the honesty and transparency of the communication but… but I suppose I was hoping for a more impressive display of technical brilliance than – we might have to go online and download a patch if the software isn’t up-to-date.

It would be like your surgeon saying something like, ” I usually don’t operate on that body part but I downloaded the instructions from the internet and I am good to go.”

I really wanted to see a team made up of a top gun pilot, MIT mechanical engineer and NASA flight control specialist striding confidently toward the plane with an array of impressive equipment and tools. Instead, looking out the window, I saw someone who looked like he was reporting for a shift at Jiffy Lube for the first time amble towards the plane with his baggy coveralls, shaggy haircut and and crooked smirk.

I suppose it is a marvel of modern technology that it doesn’t take an MIT PhD to swap out a part on a jumbo jet but I am a firm believer in the power of theater – managing what the customer sees “on stage” to create the illusion of awe inspiring skill and talent.

There is a reason that financial investment firms and law firms invest in fancy offices with fine art and mahogany furniture. When you are being asked to turn over control of your money or potential freedom to someone; you want to be inspired – in awe. I don’t want the guy I call to keep me out of jail – or falling from 30,000 feet in the air – to look like the last book he read was long on pictures and short on words.

In the end, we got lucky – the part fit, the software matched and Vinnie Barbarino gave our pilot the thumbs up to take off. Now if I could just get my seat back to its upright and locked position, my tray table stowed and power down my communication devices we will be up, up and away.

Other adventures in flying Bright Colors ,To Protect and Serve

Welcome Greenland

Welcome Greenland

Since I have started my blog I have had fun watching the map of the world light up as people from different countries visit my site and perhaps stay a few moments and read something I have written. I admit that I derive a certain pleasure of seeing the points on the map light up from places I have visited and, even more so, from places I have yet had the opportunity to travel.

In my imaginings, by staring at the same words from across distant horizons perhaps we become connected in some way, build bridges across cultures, countries and borders.

Over the months, the countries of the world have become more and more filled with points of light as people from those remarkable places stop by for a visit – up until now, however, no one from Greenland.

Perhaps they are too busy admiring the beauty of the Ilulissat Ice-fjord, standing in awe on the deck of a ship whale watching, enjoying the warmth of Uunartoq Hot Springs, or feeling inspired by the grandeur and spectacle of the Northern Lights – all worthy pursuits of that I am sure. But when it is time to put your feet up and share the stories of your people I will be here waiting with a cup of hot cocoa.

So in the spirit of world peace – and healing my fragile ego – I want to officially invite the citizens of Greenland into my site for a visit. Residents of Nuuk, Sisimiut, Ilulissat, Qaqortoq, Aasiaat, Maniitsoq, Tasiilaq, Paamiut, Narsaq, Nanortalik, Uummannaq. Upernavik, Qasigiannguit and everywhere in-between please come by and say hello – I’ll leave the porch light on.