Archive for December, 2015

For 53 Years I’ve put up with it now, I must stop Christmas from coming, but how?

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

By Mary Ellen Eagan

Several years ago, I invited my husband, David, to opine on the deeper meaning of Rudolph. This was during a time when he’d been spending a LOT of time with our then 7-year old, watching nearly nightly. The post was well received, and I’ve been asking him since to write another. And since he is the Grinch in our family, it seems only fitting that he should respond with this.

 

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Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) as 53 when he wrote “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and he had a car with the personalized license plate: GRINCH. It’s not a stretch to think Ted Geisel saw a bit of himself in the Grinch. So if you occasionally get annoyed at Christmas, you’re in good company. If you don’t occasionally get annoyed at the shallowness, materialism, and consumerism of Christmas, you probably live on a mountain even farther from the rest of us than Mt. Crumpit is from Whoville.

Being an occasional Grinch does not mean you are an evil person; you aren’t even a bad person. Up there on your mountain of superior aloofness, staring down, hating all the Whos, you’re more of Nietzsche’s Ubermensch Zarathustra than Dicken’s greedy Scrooge. The Grinch, after all, has no interest in wrecking the Whos’ Christmas for personal gain; he takes all their goodies just to teach them a lesson. He’s the definition of a killjoy, with his heart two sizes too small. He’s a brother to Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and self-righteous atheist prigs who don’t want to let anyone have any fun or joy that they either can’t or won’t let themselves enjoy. Sam and Richard want to teach us a lesson, too, with no personal gain that I can see (unless, of course, you buy their books).

But sometimes the teacher is the one who gets schooled. The Grinch isn’t completely lost in his own superiority; when he finally does stop to listen to the Whos, he can actually still hear them. It takes him a while – ‘til his puzzler was sore – to work out Who is right and who is wrong (not bad, not evil, just wrong), but he’s not so lost that he can’t change his path. And he’s not so foolish that he doesn’t recognize that he needs to change, even though 53 years of hating Christmas may have left him set in some of his ways. Don’t expect to see the Grinch hanging around Cindy Lou Who’s house like the reformed Scrooge haunting the Cratchit’s. But I think you’ll see him and Max out on the sled a bit more.

The Grinch was right all along about our Christmas. Our Christmas is shallow, consumerist, and materialist. But he was wrong about the Whos’. Their Christmas is none of that; their Christmas means a little bit more. On this, my 53rd Christmas, I wish you the blessings of family, friends, and the Christmas of the Whos.

 

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Figure 1: Why, Santy Claus? Why are you taking our Christmas tree? (Greta at 2)

 

 

ACC 30+ Year Membership

Monday, December 7th, 2015

by Mary Ellen Eagan

 

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This year, ACC undertook an initiative to recognize the many companies that have been long-term supporters of the organization. HMMH is pleased to be one of 15 firms in our industry who have been with ACC for more than 30 years. I believe ACC is unique among the professional organizations in our industry in that it not only provides outstanding technical programs, but is the only association that focuses exclusively on the business interests of firms with airport-related technical expertise. ACC provides strategic insight into the market and legislative affairs, extraordinary opportunities for networking, and a go-to resource for any challenge facing our industry. I am honored to have been elected incoming Secretary/Treasurer for 2016, and look forward to working even more closely with the ACC staff and members.

Pre-Publication Release of ACRP Report 151 – Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

acrp151_report-cover_280HMMH is pleased to announce the pre-publication release of ACRP Report 151 – Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports by the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The report, authored by Stephen Barrett, Director of Climate and Energy, and Philip DeVita, Director of Air Quality, focuses on identifying and communicating the inherent benefits of renewable energy as part of the business case analysis. To reinforce its practical application, the Guidebook presents direct experience in renewable energy business case development to show both how those attributes are valued differently by different organizations with different missions, and how this broader renewable energy business experience translates to the airport business. The guidebook reviews the criteria used to evaluate a renewable energy project and presents a system for weighting evaluation factors, including long-term self-sustainability and environmental/social considerations, based on the airport’s particular objectives. It walks through a model business case and evaluates the key factors fundamental in the renewable energy business case. The Guidebook also provides examples of similar renewable energy business cases from both an airport’s perspective as well as other organizations, including an airline, a university, and a hospital, and the lessons learned for airports.

This report was the first ever released by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) in a “pre-publication” format as part of its interest in accelerating the presentation of its research products to the industry, and demonstrates the high-level of confidence in the draft product. The pre-publication version was released in November 2015 and a final edited Guidebook is expected in the second quarter of 2016.