Tag Archives: Malaysia flight 370

R.I.P. to the victims of EgyptAir flight 804

Greetings, readers. Today I am sad to have to blog about another air crash in the world. This past Wednesday night, an Airbus A320 took off from Paris, France headed to Cairo, Egypt with 56 passengers and ten crew members. They never made it. Somewhere over the Mediterranean sea the aircraft either exploded due to a terrorist attack, or suffered a catastrophic failure at cruising altitude. I can only imagine what those souls went through in their last moments of their lives.

I have re-watched a number of episodes of Air Crash Investigation in the last couple of days, especially the episodes dealing with Malaysia Air flight 370 and Air France flight 447. Those two incidents are examples of crashes that take many years to find an explanation.

In the case of Malaysia 370, searchers are still looking for the aircraft. Every once in a great while, a piece of that airplane will wash up on shore on islands by Australia. The plane must be somewhere on the ocean floor near that area. The only problem is that body of water is humongous. Eventually they will find the aircraft, I’m sure. In the case of Air France 447, that plane has been found and the cause of the crash was figured out to be mechanical failure followed by human error. It was a painstaking process which took years. I’m sure that when Malaysia 370 is found, its cause will also be determined.

If there is any silver lining to this latest tragedy, it might be this. Pieces of EgyptAir 804 have been found, according to this New York Times article, and hopefully for the families of the victims, answers will come soon. With answers comes closure. My heart goes out to the families of victims from all of the air crashes I have mentioned in this entry.

Next week should be a regular work week with at least two blog posts. Until then, do take care, hug your loved ones, and happy reading.

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Thank you readers for staying with us. Here is #500.

Greetings, readers. When Rebecca and I began this blog in late 2011, I never dreamed that we would still be going now. Not only are we still going, but numbers and popularity seem to be on the rise. I know quite a few regular readers personally. I love it. Today’s entry is going to be a thank you and a quick recap of some of our most popular blog posts.

It is with my deepest gratitude and my appreciation that I say a heartfelt thank you to all the people who have read this blog over the years. Some of my regular readers leave comments, and I take the time to read and respond to each and every one of them. It helps me to have that feedback and connection when it happens. I am grateful to the readers who have reached out to me.

The most read blog entry, by far, is still Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories, from September 2013. This probably is caused by the continued search for the downed Air Malaysia 370 flight. But I also know from the search terms used that I can see in the stats, that a lot of the views for this entry are from fans of the show. I also am a fan, which why I wrote it in the first place. It still intrigues me that so many look at this entry each and every day. It is always at the top of the stats or near it. Many people have also looked at my follow up about the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crash, though not as many have looked at that as have looked at my post In memory of Air Florida Flight 90. Suffice it to say, that the blog entries about airliners and airline disasters seem to be my most popular.

Another entry that comes up a lot in the stats every month is the one I wrote in 2012, Remembering my father, Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans, and that truly warms my heart. The majority of comments I have received have been from former students of his, and their kind words about my father are special to me. To think that Pop is still enriching people’s lives years after his passing is truly amazing.

The entry that Rebecca and I still get a chuckle about is the Top ten list of modern conveniences, from February 2013. Rebecca and I both think that it’s being used as a teaching aid, perhaps in a college or university. If any of our regular readers know what this entry is actually used for so often, please do tell. We would love to know.

The From Rebecca series is also quite popular I’ve noticed, and they do get many reads, which I’m sure puts a smile on Rebecca’s face. I think it is cool too. The one that keeps coming up so much is From Rebecca: A little bit in a hurry. We don’t know why. It was written in August of 2012 while I was on the road to Maine a few years ago.

We have a direct link to Facebook and Twitter. My friends on both social medias learn about the new blog entry almost immediately after it is published. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that more and more of my friends are coming over from there to read my blog. I am extremely happy about this. I have 250 some odd friends on Facebook, and it is exciting to see the numbers that are generated from there. They seem to especially respond when I write about something extremely personal, which I will admit I don’t do all the time. I’ve known some of them for many years, and I care about them as much as they seem to care about me.

As I’ve said before, I have no immediate plans to end the blog. I am seriously considering self-publishing a second blog book. Most of my 500 entries were written after the first book, Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, was published in 2013. Rebecca and I will work on that quite soon.

It is with my utmost joy and appreciation that I close this entry by once again saying thank you to you my readers who have kept this blog such a joy for me to write. Until Friday, have a great couple of days, take care, and, as always, happy reading.

:-) #400! :-)

Greetings, readers. In three and a half wonderful years, we have reached entry #400. Wow! Let’s set off the fireworks. When I first began blogging, I thought I might do it for a year before running out of ideas. Not so. I am happy and proud.

In the year or two to come, I plan to write blog entries dealing a little bit more with current events and political stories. My hope is I can broaden my horizons and add a few topics to my repertoire. You probably won’t see me go into conspiracy theories, but you never know. I do have a theory about Malaysia 370.

I know I’ve had many top ten lists, posts about the weather, and entries about my day. That’s why I feel it’s time to expand. I’m still going to do the top ten lists, because they are very popular. That pleases me no end. Also, look for several more ‘From Rebecca’ in the next twelve months.

My next performance, in my apartment building, is tentatively scheduled for October or November. I’m quite certain that there will be pictures to be added to the gallery and possibly even short video clips. I still have pictures from my last show that need to be transferred to the computer before they can be added to the picture gallery.

In a couple of weeks, I’m planning to change the blog’s look. There are certain features that Rebecca and I would like the readers to have easier access to on the blog page; such as tabs, archives, and the calendar. We will have to choose a theme that is refreshing and new, but works for both of us. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

As far as my health goes, I’m feeling pretty good for a guy about to turn 50 in a few weeks time. I’m enjoying the summer, I’m trying to get a little more exercise, and of course my kitty cat Keekee keeps me on my toes. She is my new alarm clock, because she wants her breakfast well before I wake up.

Rebecca and I have some more editing to do on Four’s a Crowd. Any more big news about possible release dates for the novel will be shared with you when it’s time.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my readers for perusing the previous 399 entries. Here’s to 400 and beyond. Please leave me a comment with blog topic suggestions, if you wish.

Have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

Recent aviation news, including Malaysia flight 17

Greetings, readers. Yesterday I learned that a second Malaysia airlines flight met with a disastrous end. I wish to send condolences from both Rebecca and I to the families of the victims of both Malaysia airline tragedies. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Yesterday was also the anniversary of the downing of TWA flight 800, on July 17, 1996. I wish to send condolences to the families from this too. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

On a brighter aviation note, Rebecca told me about a women named Amelia Rose Earhart who recently completed her flight around the world; the same trip that the original Amelia Earhart began but didn’t finish when she and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared. Congratulations to both Ms. Earhart and her co-pilot Shane Jordon.

Take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.

Thanks for reading my blog, now and in the future

Greetings, readers. Slowly but surely I am inching closer to my 300th blog entry. Wow! Who’d have thought I’d have that much to say. Today I want to take a moment to thank you, my readers, for your continued support. Two entries that are always on the statistics list are the Air Crash Investigation entry, and the entry about my father, which is currently sitting in second for all time views.

I must admit, when I wrote Remembering my father, Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans, I thought that it was going to be popular, but I never dreamt just how popular. As of today, there are 641 views and lots of positive comments. Thank you all. I am especially touched by the warm comments left by his former students and colleagues who took the time to reach out to me. That means so much. Most of the comments I get are on this entry, but I don’t want to leave out the people who have left comments on other entries. I am honored by all the comments I get from readers and wish to thank them too.

Dad’s blog post was number one for the longest time. When Malaysia Flight 370 vanished, there was a lot of world interest which had people searching on Google for information. I was following this story too. I have a fascination for air safety and when it goes wrong. I did write an entry about the missing plane and the search for it, but I also did an entry on a TV series that is one of my favorites, Air Crash Investigation. That entry, Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories, became popular. Even after the news frenzy has ended and the search has grinded to a halt, I still get views of the entry. As of today, that entry has been viewed 1, 490 times, though most of the views are from the time the search was at its height. Rebecca and I do know from looking at the search tags that lots of you are looking for references to the actual TV series. I wrote a follow-up entry about one of the episodes, titled The Air Crash Investigation episode on The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crash, thinking the same people might be interested in it, but so far not many of you have viewed it directly.

There are a few posts that keep coming up in the statistics, and though pleased, we are not quite certain what is the spark of so much interest. We still have views of Top Ten List of Modern Conveniences; as of today 291. The entry From Rebecca: A little bit in a hurry, about my coming back soon from Maine and my cat Keekee shedding, still shows up and sits at 53 views. We may never know the real reason someone views an entry, but we are grateful for each and every read we get.

I will continue in the months and years to come to write about topic that not only interest me but that I think is hot news in the world.

After I come back from Maine this August, I will have some pictures that I will put in the gallery.

Until next time, again thank you for your reading support, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

This is going to be a short one, folks

Greetings, readers. Unfortunately, this is going to have to be a rather quick post today, because time has gotten away from us. Rebecca and I were checking emails, Facebook and Twitter as we normally do on Fridays and between needing time to back up files and Rebecca’s leaving early for an appointment, we have to type and leave time to edit. So here we go.

First, the weather. I checked my weather source on the computer this morning and found out that on Tuesday the high temperature will only be 47. The low, thankfully, will be 42. I say thankfully because on Tuesday evenings I meet a friend for coffee, and if the temperature would go below freezing that meeting would be called off. No change of plan is needed. Today started out sunny and beautiful, but a minor storm rolled in and clouded up around noon. People keep telling me we need the rain, and I suppose if I want to see my green grass and nice flowers, I will have to accept their judgement.

Sports playoffs are going on right now. I know my Pittsburgh Penguins made playoffs, but I am not sure rather they won their first round series or not. As for the NBA playoffs, Pittsburgh doesn’t have a team and I’m not much into basketball anyway. My favorite sport is baseball, but of course you probably could have guessed that, being that the MLB video game franchise is my favorite game to play on PS3. Yes, I love my baseball.

Continued prayers go out to the families and friends of those lost on Malaysia Airlines flight 370. I read just the other day that the country is officially calling it a salvage operation now, and I was reassured to hear that they are not going to quit looking for the aircraft. Readers, it’s got to be down there somewhere.

Finally, a little bit about my weekend plans. On Saturday is Dungeons and Dragons gaming day, which is always fun. My character, Donaar, is a dragonborn paladin and I have really gotten into playing that character. The game only goes up to 30th level, so when we reach that I will have to retire Donaar. I think I will actually miss him.

On Sunday it will be a day of rest, recouping, and trying to get this apartment in some kind of order. It seems that every time I take one step forward in cleaning this place, something happens and I am pushed four steps back. I promised myself that this task would be done, so good luck to me on that.

Our next blog entry will of course will be on Wednesday, and as of now the topic is unknown. So until then, take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.

The ultimate test of my patience: PlayStation network

Greetings, readers. My second Christmas, i.e. the release date for the video game MLB14 The Show, is a day late. Let me explain. For only the second time ever, I decided to purchase the game from the PlayStation store on-line instead of buying the game on disc at the store. No big deal, right? When I purchased it two days before its release date, I was told I would have to wait until after midnight on April 1st to begin the actual download. I had no problem with that. What I did have a problem with is the PlayStation network going down for maintenance on a day when millions of baseball fans are more than likely trying to download this game. OMG!

Finally, at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, I was able to start what I thought would be a three to four-hour download process. Nearly 24 hours later, the download reads 98% done. I will be livid if this game really isn’t downloading at all. Usually I don’t leave my modem and other equipment on overnight but I had to or the process would have been interrupted. Perhaps someone can tell me: do downloads take longer if more people are trying to do the same thing at the same time? All I know is, the money has been taken out of my bank account and I’m just anxious to get what I paid for.

Today’s blog entry was going to be about how great this game is. Unfortunately that is going to have to be done on Friday. So, let’s get you up to date on other things.

Although I don’t sit down for hours and watch news, I have been trying to keep tabs on Malaysia Airlines flight 370, praying that someday very soon searchers will find something. Obviously that aircraft or bits thereof is somewhere. With all the high-tech satellite and other gadgetry, I am shocked that this plane has not been found yet. Granted, parts of the Indian Ocean are quite deep, but I must have missed my guess because I thought we had technology to pinpoint anything anywhere if we wanted to. Time will tell and I will keep my fingers crossed for closure for their loved ones.

Closer to home, yesterday was our first truly beautiful warm spring day. Almost 60 degrees, light wind, and abundant sunshine. I will happily take many more of those kinds of days. Rain, however, is in our forecast tomorrow. According to my friend Jim, the water table is down, so I guess we do need it after all.

Lastly, Keekee is being such a good girl. She has quickly learned when it is her feeding time, so as not to bother daddy during work hours. Also, the phrases she has learned, such as treats and milk, show that I am the proud papa of one very smart cat. I often wondered what would happen if I tried to bring a second animal into the apartment. On many occasions, Keekee has reminded me in her own way that this is her house and I am just allowed to live here. Somehow I don’t think Keekee would be too happy with another four-pawed animal running around the place. This is her apartment. All hail Queen Keekee.

On Friday, I will report on MLB14 The Show … I hope. And soon it will be time for another top ten list. Until Friday, have a great day, enjoy springtime, take care and happy reading.

UPDATE: Finally after twenty-one and a half hours, I thought MLB14 The Show had successfully downloaded, but when I tried the install process an error message came on the screen saying that the data may be corrupt. I’m currently re-trying the install process in the hopes that I get lucky, but I fear I will have to do one of two things. One, uninstall the game and begin the download process all over again. Or two, call the Sony 800 number, ask for a refund, and when the money is redeposited in my bank account, go to Best Buy and buy a copy of the game on disc. Blog post on Friday on the game is now pending.

SECOND UPDATE: 4/4/14: Sorry to have to inform you that the download of MLB14 The Show from the PlayStation store turned out to be a permanently corrupt file. After talking with a tech person, we agreed the best thing to do was to cancel my order and either try again at a later date or buy a physical copy. So, expect my yearly review on the MLB baseball series ASAP.

My initial thoughts on Malaysia flight 370

Greetings, readers. I am treading lightly on today’s subject. As with many people in the world I’m sure, Malaysia airlines flight 370 is on my mind. Something doesn’t quite seem right. There are enough satellites circling Earth to pinpoint nearly anything, yet it has taken nearly two weeks to find the remains of this Boeing 777; if it indeed crashed.

As I understand it, the plane was taken off-course on purpose and could be anywhere within the large plane’s fuel load capacity. I totally get that. That bird can fly many, many hours. This does put the searching teams at a great disadvantage. Start from the runway and search each of the 360 degrees in the full circle and then fly the flight’s fuel capacity. Am I saying they should have found it after two days? No. But to me it is smelling more and more like a possible, if not probable, cover-up.

I saw on the news that the pilot had a home version of a flight simulator and part of the flight plan of MA 370 was deleted. Was this to see if he could get away with something and not have it detected? There is a red flag for ya. And what about the co-pilot? He was either in on it, knocked unconscious, or killed. It’s looking like it is going to take months, if not years, to unravel this mystery. I was going to do some speculation of my own, but I have decided to wait for more facts.

To conclude, again many thoughts and prayers to the friends and families of those on the flight. I can only imagine the horror you are going through. Good news or bad, may there be some form of closure soonest.

Until next week, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Of grief, family, friends, and work

Greetings, readers. The tough last few days of Godmother’s viewing and funeral are behind me but the grieving process will continue for some time. I am still not over my parents’ deaths, and probably never will be completely. We always hold our loved ones in our hearts and keep them alive that way. Just the other day, though, I had a minor setback. I had some good news, picked up the cell phone, and was going to share it with Godmother. I’m still learning that I can’t do that anymore. With any luck, when it comes my time, I’ll see all my family in heaven.

I am looking at the beautiful yellow flowers that my cousin Wino and his family sent to me. They are magnificent tulips and carnations. So many people came up to me at the viewing and funeral to give me their condolences, as I gave condolences to Godmother’s family. It was nice to see everyone, of course. But I wish the circumstances were different. When we get to our age, however, occasions like this begin to happen more frequently. Again, thank you to all.

On to news of the day. Rebecca and I are off to our usual slow Wednesday start. We had our meeting with my accountant, which ran a bit late, and subsequently got to a slow start to writing today. It seems that Wednesdays are our let’s-get-caught-up, check-email-and-Twitter days. It is a good day to get back in the grove. Tomorrow, we are planning either working on a new short story or on writing exercises. My depression about recent life events is still hampering my creativity.

On a brighter, more encouraging note, I am reading a very good book. Yes, you may need to read that sentence again. I, the non-reader who wrote, am reading a book. For those of you old enough to remember The Waltons TV show, middle child Erin Walton was played by Mary McDonough. Her book, Lessons from the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton, is keeping my interest and attention much more than previous books I’ve tried to read. Perhaps because this is a memoir, which is the genre that I write, it is most appealing. Although I am only on page ten, I have promised myself that I am going to finish this book and then drop her a note on Facebook telling her just how much I loved it.

Now before you all think I am some important person, no I don’t know Mary McDonough personally. But she does have a Facebook page and has actually responded to something I wrote to her. A very friendly person.

Lastly, most sincere and deep prayers go out to the families and friends of the passengers of Malaysia flight 370. I can only imagine what you are going through. I obviously will keep my fingers crossed for a favorable outcome, but I think any kind of closure would be welcome after nearly two weeks.

Until next time, take care, have a great day, and happy reading. P.S. Rebecca, I am glad you are feeling better 🙂