Apr 22


I think there’s a problem. Men and women are equals. Equal pay for equal work. We men should confide in them; admit to their strength and our weakness. Women in general show their emotions; we see it in ourselves as a frailty. Women think in ways we men can’t imagine.

Several things happened this week past that made me think of this.

As a kid, Tammie Jo Shults always wanted to fly. Fighter planes. A General visiting her high school told her that women will never make professional pilots.

She joined the Air Force to be a fighter pilot, and was turned down. She switched to the Navy. They accepted her. Tammi Jo, 56, flew an F-18 in the Desert Storm conflict.

Last Tuesday she was the pilot of the Southwest Airlines 737  flying from New York to Dallas, when one of its two jet engines blew up. It forced her to drop to cruising speed – the safest way to keep it flying.

She landed safely at Philadelphia International. News reports claimed she had ‘nerves of steel’.

Then came Saturday when the Canadian Ninety Nines held a Girls Take Flight event at Oshawa’s Durham airfield outside Toronto. The 99s were founded in 1929 by 99 female aviators.

This event introduces girls and young women to aviation and the aerospace industry.

They have on display such aircraft as the Bell 206 Jetranger, a Pitt S2 aerobatics, an Air Georgian Beechcraft, and an RCAF glider and tow plane among others. Smaller planes, a Cessna included, would take them up to get that small plane feeling.

Author’s comment: Women’s lives are really taking off these days, giving them a sense of expectation and lives being fulfilled. Maybe it’s always been that way, but you can’t help feeling they are working hard at it.

Look what happened to Tammi Jo Shults. From a dream as a kid, to a fighter pilot to piloting of Boeing 737. Along with her female co-pilot.

Posted on April 22nd, 2018 by Clarke
Apr 15


It’s this time of year, spring cleaning, you’ll say that Clarke Wallace gets on his high horse about getting rid of stuff. Anything you haven’t worn for a year, out it goes. Anything you haven’t used, out it goes.

After all that advice, do you think for one moment C.W. has thrown out anything? No. Want proof? Ask Rosanne. The rotator for the barbeque is still in the original box. And when did we buy it? She’ll tell you five, ten years ago.

I could start something useful, suggesting we make throwing things out a group effort. I’ll start the ball rolling by getting rid of all those copies of National Graphic TRAVELER magazine piled under the small, overloaded TV tables near my desk.

We have recycling pickup every Wednesday. This week I could put, say, 10 copies at a time in the blue box. At that rate, they’d all be gone by June.

I said this was a group effort, and I didn’t mean you dropping by to help. I meant you, picking something that must go and doing it.

Getting started, that’s the hard part. I look around my office to see what I no longer need. Like how the small used portable television might work well in the office, only to discover several years ago the electrical cord is too short to reach outlet.

I have three old laptops on a small cabinet taking up space beside me. Below them is a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica which, yes, I know, is old and probably third-hand.

Behind my desk chair is an antique hutch piled high with books, an ancient Underwood Standard typewriter and old photos jammed between the keys.  I can’t for the life of throw it out.

The hutch is jammed with stuff that would be junk to anyone else. Like the portable reel to reel recorder I used when I spent a year in France and taped interviews for mostly CBC radio back home.

Author’s comment: This only covers my office, which I could liberate from what I never use by August. I’d attack our shed next. Then the laundry room. By the end of the year, I’d be patting myself on the back. You could too if we made it a collective effort to get off our butts.

Posted on April 15th, 2018 by Clarke