Tag Archives: United States

64 views at 10:25 AM! Wowzers

Greetings, readers. No, it is not my highest number in the blog statistics ever, but just say I am happily perplexed. 63 of the 64 recent blog views are for the blog entry Top ten list of modern conveniences. I think Rebecca put her finger on it, this has got to be a class doing research for an assignment. We checked which country these views came from and 63 were from the United States. Taiwan chimed in with one.

I’m often amused when the modern conveniences entry comes up as often as it does, but to have 63 views of it before 10:30 in the morning is incredible. My first thought was it was bots, but Rebecca pointed out that we could see a few of the search terms used and they seemed real. If they are real and there is a big class push to do a project, imagine what the numbers might be by the end of the day. It is going to take a lot to top our number one day ever, at 444 views for R.I.P. to my good friend Terry.

I know sometimes I get preoccupied with blog numbers. Most people just write their blog to get whatever they’re thinking off their chest. My brain doesn’t work that way. If I don’t feel I’m being read, my feeling get hurt … just kidding.

In the many years that we’ve done the blog, I’ve hashed and rehashed many topics, from sports to video game reviews, and a whole slew of weather reports. Some folks might find that boring, but I write what I know about. For instance, I’m not going to pretend to know every policy that President Trump has, so I won’t bad mouth his handling of Mexico or North Korea. When I do choose to write a controversal political piece, or something of the like, trust me I will do lots of research first. It helps to know what you are talking about.

As I sit here dictating this entry my mind wanders back to all those views relating to modern conveniences. This trend has been going on for many years. You would think everyone in the world would have done his or her research on modern conveniences. But no, numbers seem to be spiking. Never in my wildest dreams when I wrote that entry in 2013 did I think that would be one of the most read blog entries; it averages four views a day. One can never tell.

On to a different topic, for those of you who found my entry this past Sunday a bit dry, I was unusually distracted by visitors and phone calls, and it was only the second half of the entry when I was able to switch to my speech recognition program. I wonder how many of you can tell just when I started dictating. According to Rebecca, the ones with the speech recognition have a different flow to them. Hopefully that is a good thing. So if any of you were disappointed in Sunday’s entry, that was what the issue was. I might try dictating Sunday’s entry on Saturday evening when it is quiet. I can get it all ready to go, complete with a spell check, tags, and a category, and make it live right there and then. That is not a promise, that is just a goal. Usually I dictate better when I am alone and it is quiet. Let me know how you think this weekend’s is.

For all the people in the world who need prayers, continued prayers and support go out. To all the people using guns inappropriately and those setting arson fires, I implore you to please stop and think about if one of your loved ones was shot or was in a burning building. Just don’t do it.

Until this weekend, I bid you a great few days, love one another, take care and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Happy Thanksgiving Day 2017

Greetings, Joe’s readers. I hope you are all having a good holiday. In the United States we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day with food, family, football, and, for some of us, a nap. For those of you not celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you are also having a day of good food, family gatherings, and maybe a nap. May all of us feel blessed.

Joe will be back with new entries next week. Until then, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Yesterday’s injury could have been a lot worse

Greetings, readers. After a successful work shift, I met Traci at Panera, as I normally do. While I was there, I realized I needed a jug of milk. There is small market down the block from where we were. Traci and I finished eating and visiting around 5:00. I started on the down slope for what was going to be a quick trip for my grocery. Our area had a strong rain storm in the morning, and the sidewalk was still slick. I walked halfway to my destination when I felt my left foot start to slid on wet leaves, and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground. I kind of twisted on the way down, leading me to believe that I had either sprained my knee or leg, or the worst case scenario, broken my hip. Young college kids came running to my aid and told me to stay down, stay down. I was gladly willing to comply.

After I got over the initial embarrassment of the whole situation, I gently tried moving things, to see what might work and what might not. I was overjoyed when I could lift my left leg without screaming; no broken hip. One of the college kids called an ambulance for me, which I knew had to happen, but I also knew that the rest of my evening was going to be lost.

In the emergency room, I was given warm blankets and made as comfy as possible. Nurses and doctors came in, asked me for my name, rank and serial number and all the mundane things that happen at the ER.

Then it was off to X-ray. I could actually walk from the gurney to the X-ray table. I gave the technician a thumbs up. After all the pictures were taken, I was wheeled back to my ER room where I laid, and laid, and laid. After what seemed like forever, the doctor came in with the good news that nothing was broken and I was going to be discharged.

I began to walk very slowly to the ER entrance where my cab was waiting and I started to shake. I thought to myself, “This is not good, folks.” I asked for a wheelchair, and I was whisked away to the front door. I asked the cab driver to take me to a convenience store so I could finally get the jug of milk that the was the beginning of this whole fiasco. I asked him to wait for me, which he did, then he finally drove me back home.

I turned on the heater so I wouldn’t shiver, if I was still indeed in shock from the pain I was experiencing. After taking two Advil, I was able to get to sleep, then the alarm went off at 5:00 this morning, and I asked God just let me be able to walk on the foot. After hobbling on it a few steps, it seemed to loosen up and I could walk better on it. I consider myself lucky that I really don’t think I broke any bones. I truly believe all I have is a twisted knee and a pulled muscle or tendon in my foot, though I have some swelling on the top of my foot that I wonder about. I can rest my leg today and tomorrow, as I have days off from my fast food job anyway. Work will need me this weekend because of the Penn State home football game this Saturday. I can’t let them down. I will admit, I might have to ask for a chair before my shift is over.

As is becoming a weekly message, I once again send my prayers and good wishes to all those effected by extreme weather this week; the flooding in Asia, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the fires out west in the United States, and Hurricane Irma, which is in the Caribbean today and heading for Florida.

Well, there you have the grim news. As I said last week, I am taking a personal day tomorrow and Rebecca’s blog topic is a great one; I’m sure you will enjoy it. Until I write again next week, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: The eclipse last Monday

As most people in the world know, last Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon passed in front of the sun for a total eclipse. The path went over the United States and a lot of people went to places where they could experience the totality, some traveling for hours or even all day. Other areas not under the direct line got a partial eclipse. A lot of excitement built for the day. For weeks people on TV and the internet talked about it, and gave the same advice to not look at the sun without special glasses, to avoid eye damage and blindness.

I didn’t get special glasses or make a pinhole viewer, so I made sure not to look up at the sun during the partial eclipse that we got here in central Pennsylvania. I did see it get dim outside, and the light turned a strange yellow for a few minutes. Then it was back to normal again. Still kind of cool to join in with other people even that little bit.

I was interested enough to watch the coverage the network stations had on. They had correspondents in several towns on the totality line and would show what they experienced as the eclipse moved from west to east. I switched channels a bit, but mainly watched the NBC and ABC folks. The viewing audience and I watched people react to the sky turning dim, then dark, as they witnessed the moon move in front of the sun, obscure it, and then pop a ball of light from one side as the moon moved on to reveal the sun. I enjoyed watching the process, over and over, from each location. It looked magnificent.

There was a lot said and written about this event bringing people together for something other than anger, and it does seem like our nation put down its usual problems for one day to share in an amazing natural phenomenon. Something awesome and awe inspiring.

As Joe says, until next Wednesday, take care, have a great week, and happy reading.

Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories part 2

Greetings, readers. As promised, here is part 2 of a top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes that I have watched many times and studied. As all of you know, I love to figure out what goes wrong when these gigantic aircraft crash. Sometimes it is as simple as an incorrectly set lever, or in one instance, a pilot who was going to be fired committed suicide and took everyone on board with him. You will find many reasons in the following list. It has been a while seen I have seen a few of these episodes, and I was not able to watch them recently (as I wrote last week) so I used Wikipedia to compile my list. Though I’ve seen them all, I needed help with titles, dates, flight numbers, etc. I hope you appreciate this one as much as so many you did the first list.

#10. “Flying Blind” – Aeroperu Flight 603 [The year 1996 in October. Because of a maintenance blunder, the pitot tubes were left covered. When the aircraft took off, it immediately started to get false readings from the on-board instruments. After half an hour of being lost over water, the plane crashed into the sea with crew believing they were at a higher altitude than they were.]

#9. “Flying on Empty” – Air Transat Flight 2368 [2001, August. The Air Transat flight developed unusually low fuel load readings which the pilot and co-pilot thought was a computer error. As it turned out, a hose in the fuel line system gave out and the fuel leaked away. Luckily the aircraft was at a high enough altitude and the pilots were skilled enough to glide to an airport in their range and have a safe landing.]

#8. “Out of Control” – Japan Airlines Flight 123 [1985, August. After suffering an explosive decompression in the massive 747 tail section, the flight was doomed. The crew fought valiantly for close to 40 minutes before crashing into a mountain range, killing all on board killing all but four people on board. (Editor’s note: August 2017: A reader pointed out my error and sent me a comment so I could make the correction.) A faulty repair was to blame. The man who okayed the repair committed suicide afterward.]

#7. “Mistaken Identity” – Iran Air Flight 655 [1988, July. Due to a horrible misunderstanding during the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, the United States warship, USS Vincennes, thought they were firing a missile at a F16 fighter which was not answering hails. Instead, it was an Air Iran passenger jet incapable of receiving that hailing frequency. All 290 on board were killed.]

#6. “Kid in the Cockpit” – Aeroflot Flight 593 [1994, March. A proud pilot’s 15 year-old son was invited into the cockpit. Mistake #1. He was allowed to sit in the captain’s seat and pretend to steer the aircraft. Mistake #2. When the autopilot disengaged while the child was turning the yoke, the craft banked hard right and stalled. The g-forces prevented the pilot from getting back into his seat. Any child at the yoke of a commercial aircraft is a big mistake.]

#5. “Falling from the Sky” – British Airways Flight 9 [1982, June. Flight 9 took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on route to Perth, Australia. The 747, during a night-time flight, flew through volcanic ash that they could not see which caused all four engines to fail. After several attempts to restart the engines, they finally came back to life, and the jumbo jet landed at a nearby airport.]

#4. “Panic over the Pacific” – China Airlines Flight 006 [1985, February. The number 4 engine developed a temporary malfunction and stopped working. Due to pilot error, the plane went into a terrible tailspin. After many attempts to restart the engine, and what seemed like forever to regain control, the China Airlines flight made a successful emergency landing at San Francisco International. There was structural damage to the aircraft from the descent. It was later determined that any more structural failure would have brought down the jet.]

#3. “Gimli Glider” – Air Canada Flight 143 [1983, July. I followed this story from a TV movie they made about it some years back, and as in many cases the incident was completely avoidable. The brand new Boeing 767 was metric and at Montreal Airport the fuel crew failed to convert gallons into liters and only filled the plane half full of the fuel load required. If it were not for the brilliant flying of Bob Pearson and crew, landing at an abandoned air force base, the plane would have been doomed. He was able to glide it in over a long distance.]

#2. “Fatal Distraction” – Eastern Airlines Flight 401 [1972, December. Eastern Airlines Flight 401 was on its way into Miami International when it developed what appeared to be a mal-functioning landing gear light bulb. The crew fiddled with it but could not get it to light up. While they were distracted by pulling the bulb out, the captain bumped the altitude hold knob and the plane descended in the dark of night. The realized what was happening about 100 feet off the ground, way too late. The plane crashed into the Everglades. 101 people died and 75 people survived. On an eerie note, certain parts of the aircraft that could be salvaged and were in working order were installed in other Eastern Airlines planes of the same type. Crew members reported ghostly figures of the dead crew … if you believe in that sort of thing.]

#1. “Frozen in Flight” – American Eagle Flight 4184 [1994, October. While in a holding pattern waiting to land in rough weather, a commuter plane suddenly banked hard right and spun out of control. Though the pilots fought valiantly, the aircraft did not have enough altitude and it slammed into the ground, killing all 68 on board. The reason was a design flaw that made the de-icing system ineffective on a certain area of the wing. Too much freezing rain built up while flying in the holding pattern and the plane could not stay airborne anymore. The ATR-72’s wing was redesigned and the problem was fixed.]

There is our second top ten list of Air Crash Investigation episodes. I’m reluctant to say enjoy it with so much disaster and grief associated with so many of the stories, but if you are a fan of the show and have not seen these episodes, check them out.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.