Monthly Archives: September 2010

Does HBC owner Goldman deserve its bad rep?

Goldman Sachs, part owner of Hawker Beechcraft, is trying to improve its tarnished image as the “vampire squid” for greedily sucking the dollars out of anything it touches.  Wonder if they’ve asked any HBC workers for a testimonial?

A little wisdom from across the pond

I’ve never heard of this guy before, he’s some high level bureaucrat in Europe, but he really put into words a sentiment missing from the debate here in the U.S.:

“Fairness must be the compass guiding us out of the crisis,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “People can understand and accept difficult choices, if they perceive that all share in the burden of pain. Governments should not have to choose between the demands of financial markets and the needs of their citizens. Financial and social stability must come together. Otherwise, not only the global economy but also social cohesion will be at risk.”

Fewer than half leave to eat lunch

A new survey from Right Management shows that less than half of American workers leave their desks to eat lunch — a sign of the pressure to produce:

Do you take a break for lunch at work?

Yes, almost always


Yes, but usually stay at my desk


Only from time to time


Seldom, if ever


“Has the true lunch break become the exception rather than the rule?” asked John Copeland, Vice President Client Services of Right Management. “We know employees are currently under a great deal of pressure, but skipping lunch or being reluctant to take a break during the work day is not a good way to deal with it. On the contrary, taking time away from one’s desk for lunch may go a long way toward relieving stress and boosting energy.”

Thunderbirds flight postponed ’til tomorrow

A lone washer is all that kept me from flying with the Thunderbirds this afternoon.

After three rounds of briefings, Thunderbirds advance pilot Capt. Kristin Hubbard and I walked to the flight line to board the F-16 that would be my seat for the next hour.

But a washer was found someplace inside the cockpit. And that means there’s probably a loose bolt.  When you’re flying upside down, doing rolls and other maneuvers, having something loose isn’t such a good idea. We’re scheduled to fly in the morning.

In the meantime, we watched the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds aerial presentation team practice the performance they’ll give during McConnell Air Force Base’s open house and air show this weekend. Children from the Make-a-Wish Foundation were there Friday to watch. Wichita Eagle photographer Jaime Green and I watched and wore headsets so we could hear the pilots in the air talking to one another.

Earlier in the day, however, Sgt. Amber Alumpe, fitted me with a G-suit and oxygen mask.

Flight surgeon Thom Bowden took my blood pressure and listened to my heart and my breathing. He briefed me on how to withstand 9 G forces and explained that when pulling 9 G’s, my body will weigh nine times its weight. He instructed me how to tense muscles and how to breathe to withstand those kind of forces.

Then I met 30-year-old pilot Kristin Hubbard, currently the only female pilot on the Thunderbirds team. Hubbard has been flying F-16s for six years.

If you’re at the show this weekend, it will be Hubbard’s voice you hear narrating the performances. Her call sign is “Mother” for Mother Hubbard. Friday afternoon, she explained how we’ll do the same maneuvers the pilots will be performing in the air show — only in the show, they’ll be doing them at times only 18 inches off one another’s wingtips.

In the show, Thunderbirds pilots will demonstrate what the F-16 can do — the barrel rolls, vertical rolls, corkscrew, clover loops, flying upside down and other maneuvers. It’s the same kind of maneuvers pilots would do to escape and evade an attack overseas if they were in combat.

The Thunderbirds arrived Wednesday with a 60-member team who travel around the country each year giving more than 75 shows a year.

The team’s purpose is to represent the 700,000 men and women serving in the U.S. Air Force, including the 40,000 who are deployed. It’s purpose is also to represent the entire United States, said Master Sgt. Pam Anderson.

“We’re speaking for those who don’t have the opportunity to speak for themselves,” Anderson said.

Every Monday, for example, a tanker takes off from McConnell Air Force Base carrying personnell deployed overseas.

If you plan to go, the Thunderbirds will perform Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. and be available for autographs afterwards.

Krugman on “The Angry Rich”

Love Paul Krugman or hate him, he always makes one think.

Offered without further comment, Krugman’s piece on the current American political scene.

Your comments?

Why does Wichita hate unions?

Whenever a story goes up having anything to do with unions, the anti-union comments pour in. I want to know more about why so many people hate them. Tell me why and let me know how to reach you to further the discussion.  Email me at or call 268-6577.