Category Archives: In The News

Discovering New Things

I met a guy a few years ago, a cartographer. He seemed somewhat impressed when I knew that he made maps. I remember thinking at the time, is there really a need for cartographers anymore?

It amazes me that things are still being discovered. Antiquities, species, native tribes. You would think that, as much as we have marauded the world, there would be nothing left to discover.

September 7th: “An archaeological dig in Jerusalem has turned up a 3700-year-old wall…” A 26-foot tall, 79-foot long wall of cut stones, with boulders as large as 5 tons.

Again, September 7th: “A team of scientists…found more than 40 previously unidentified species.”  I love the quote from the guy who headed the expedition:  “…it is clearly time we pulled our finger out and decided these habitats are worth us saving.”  Is it just me, or do you think there are a couple of words missing between “finger out” and “and decided.”  (Those words are “our ass,” BTW.)

Last year they found an “uncontacted tribe” in Brazil, and come to find out there are “more than 100 uncontacted tribes” in the world today.

Every time there is a new discovery, I think, that’s it, there’s nothing left to discover. Surely there is not one inch of the earth’s surface that we haven’t covered. Right?

Today’s Highlight Reel

Thank god they’re not Americans – almost 70% of Britons can’t correctly identify the size and placement of the lungs in the human body.

I’m so glad this dangerous criminalis off the street!! Zoinks!  An amusement park employee is arrested for helping someone win a stuffed animal!  I’m so scared! 

I saw a bumper sticker over the weekend: “Annoy a liberal – Work – Succeed – Be Happy.”  Well, I know a lot of liberals. They work. They succeed. They’re immensely happy. And other people doing those things do not annoy them. Just because a person is a liberal does not mean they live off welfare and expect the government to pay for everything.

Worst of Craigslist

I’ve always been a huge fan of Craigslist. When I lived in Denver, I met several social groups, sold furniture, and even had a couple of dates. Here in Charlotte, I met some of my best friends through Craigslist. I’ve met people from San Francisco who had bought furniture, sold furniture, got an apartment, got a job, met their husband, and found their best friend on Craigslist. It was a great resource, especially for people new to a city.

And then it got bigger and more people found out about it. And I never log on anymore, because instead of finding cool social groups, it’s just get-rich-quick ads. Furniture can still sometimes be found for a deal, but you have to worry about the honesty of the person coming to your house to pick it up. And forget the personals section – SCARY.

Last year I was selling a couple of items via Craigslist. I had an email conversation with one man, and he said he would come pick it up, and then proceeded to verify my address. Note I said verify, and not ask for. He said he had googled my name and found my address. Yes, indeed, I freaked. He ended up not being able to buy the furniture, and for about a month I was worried I would be robbed by this guy. After that, I set up a fake email address with a fake name that I used.

I mourn for what was.

Yes, the world (and the internet) can be a scary place. And yes, people can take advantage of you. But if people would just use some common sense, the worst would rarely occur. And if people would stop taking advantage of other people’s trust and honesty, the worst would never occur. (I know, I live in a dream world.)  Craigslist has been the misused over the last few years, used as an aid to help people commit unspeakable crimes.  But it’s not a problem with Craigslist.  It’s a problem with sick people.  Sick people will do sick things, using any means they have available to them.  An online dating website.  A classified ad in a newspaper.  A drive past a person’s house. 

So forget blaming the website, or the people who run it.  Arm yourself with common sense.

Can’t I just take the simulator?

The Pilot is in training this month, getting ready for his “transfer” to Philly.  For a lot of Pilot’s wives and girlfriends, training is really tough, because their pilot’s are gone for a month straight, rather than coming home every few days.  But since training is based here in Charlotte, I don’t really have that problem.  In fact, I’ve seen The Pilot more this week than I have in the previous month, I think! 

This morning I logged onto the Charlotte Observer online, and found they had done a story on the training simulator.  I thought I’d share:  http://www.charlotteobserver.com/123/story/639987.html  Be sure to also check out the slideshow.

In other flying news…

I used to love to fly.  I loved traveling, getting on a plane, watching the world slide by underneath me through the window.  But over the last few years, I’ve really hated flying, and I couldn’t figure out why.  I blamed it on the airports, and the other people flying.  The long security line, the cramped space, the layovers, the overweight guy next to me crowding into my space.  Living out of a suitcase, not having the comforts of home, having my time not be MY time.  My patience level was tested (and failed) each time I’ve flown over the last few years.  And I determined, it’s not flying I don’t like, it’s the hassle of the airports.

But today it occurred to me that perhaps it’s not even that.  Perhaps it’s just that every time I fly, I’m going to the same dull place.  Yes, I’m going home to see my family, but Little Rock is a small city, with nothing to do.  It seems that my entire time there is spent eating, going to the grocery store (my mother can spend 3 hours in a grocery store) or waiting around trying to go somewhere.  “What do you want to do?” my mother asks.  What is there to do?  Nothing!  The Clinton Library – done that.  Hiking, sure.  Shopping – I can’t afford to shop.  Movie?  I can do that at home.  I don’t have many friends there I need to see. 

I feel bad saying that, because Little Rock really is a great place.  I highly recommend going there if you haven’t gone.  It’s just…I’ve seen it all.  I’m bored.  I’m sure if I was going someplace fun, on a fun vacation, someplace I haven’t been before, I would love traveling again.  But until then, I hate it.

Litigation

This pisses me off.

“Some of the 150 passengers whose lives were saved in the “miracle of the Hudson” last month are considering suing US Airways for the emotional distress they suffered.”

You want to sue someone?  Sue the government for protecting the Canadian Geese, allowing their numbers to swell.  Sue the geese themselves.  You people could have DIED.  You didn’t, thanks to a highly experienced flight crew.  What the hell did the airline do to cause the accident? 

I don’t see how the judge wouldn’t throw this straight out of court.  The flight crew got a commendation from Congress, for crying out loud! 

Aaarrgh.

In case you heard the news…

Yes, my company filed for Bankruptcy today.  Yes, I still have a job. 

However…

I played a great practical joke on a couple of friends of mine.  He emailed me with a link to the news article, and the subject line read “Company files for bankruptcy!”

My thought – no kidding!  Then I decided to have some fun with it.

I hit reply, made it look like an automated response, and wrote “This email address is no longer monitored.  Please contact XXX.”

Then I took my phone out and waited for the phone call, laughing the whole time.  It took about 90 seconds before he called.  I immediately apologized (because, after all, it’s quite impossible to carry on a practical joke when you’re laughing) – I don’t think he found it too funny.  He emailed his wife, who was also on the email, to let her know it was a joke, so she wouldn’t freak out. 

I feel kind of bad for making them worry.  But it really was quite funny!  Hopefully it won’t come back to bite me in the butt!!

First birds, now deer…

I think the animal kingdom might be trying to take out US Airways, one plane at a time!  (And, I’ll admit, I laughed at this one.  That’s wrong of me, I know…)

US Airways plane hits deer at Charlotte/Douglas

No injuries were reported when a passenger jet hit a deer Wednesday evening while taxiing at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

An airport official described the incident as a “freak incident.”

It happened shortly after 7:30 p.m., when US Airways Flight 3215 arrived from Nashville and was taxiing on Runway 36C, according to the FAA. The pilot was directing the craft to a gate when it hit the deer.

The plane, an Embraer 175, was carrying 53 passengers and a crew of three.

The only casualty was to the deer, which did not survive.

Haley Gentry, an airport official, said deer live on the airport’s 6,000-plus acres but are rarely seen anywhere near the runways.

“It’s a rare thing,” she said. “We have a wildlife management plan, and it addresses every type of wildlife inside our property. If we determine that wildlife is a problem, we have a system of dealing with it.”

The plane finally arrived at the gate shortly before 8:30 p.m., about an hour later than scheduled. Mechanics checked the craft, but they found no damage. The plane eventually completed its flight to Columbus, Ga., leaving Charlotte two hours later than normal.

The runway was closed briefly while crews checked the plane and cleared the dead deer.

Eccentric News in my (not so) Delightful World

Just some random stuff, really…

Looks like I got my wireless router working again – yay me!  I ended up changing the channel/frequency, which somehow impressed the heck out of my more-tech-minded friend, but really was far easier than the upgrading the firmware bit.  Now I get to work on backing up my computer, wiping it clean, and reloading everything.  I’m a bit intimidated…

In other news, I was reading an article online today about a professor that woke up from a coma, and underneath that article, I read that there was a fire in my condo complex yesterday.  A two-alarm, 54 firefighter fire.  And somehow, even though I was home all day, and my complex isn’t that big, I seem to have completely missed it.   I don’t even remember the sirens – and you would think with 54 firefighters, there would be a lot of sirens!!  No worries – no damage to my building.

The Pilot has been somewhat…non-communicative lately.  I’m fighting the urge to be petty, but I don’t think I’ll succeed.  So, excuse me as I go back to being a hormonal 16 year old.  A lesson will likely not be learned, but maybe I’ll get some aggression out.  Maybe.

The Company laid off some people last week, but I’m still there, and have been assured that there will be no more layoffs.  Of course, I’m taking that with a grain of salt.  (Note to self…update CV…)

I’m gearing up to do more with my two part-time businesses – stay tuned to hear all about them (and buy, buy, buy!).  I joined several MeetUp groups to further my efforts.  I hope to be a busy girl soon.

I am really, really dying for a vacation.  Somewhere warm.  I swear, the minute I pay off all my debt, I am booking a freaking trip.  So that’s my goal with the businesses for the year – pay off my debt so that I can go on vacation.  Of course, NOW is when I need it.  Or maybe I just need a couple of margarita’s…..

A couple of margarita’s, a vacation, my Man.  Two out of three of those things would make me quite happy right now.

US Airways Crash – Bird Report

The Pilot shared this with me last night.  I had to share.

Freaking Out

(Breathing…..Breathing…..Breathing…)

Well, now I know what it feels like. 

My coworker came up and said, “I just heard a plane crashed in the Hudson.”

I immediately went online, to check the plane.  In the meantime, I got two other emails from people, checking.  As soon as I knew it wasn’t his plane, I emailed everyone I could, to let them know. 

But knowing doesn’t mean I didn’t continue to freak out.

I didn’t try calling him, because I knew he was getting bombarded with phone calls.  He would call me when he could, I was sure.  I left work, and when I was almost home he finally called.  Just hearing his voice calmed me more, but I’m still a little shaken.  This is the first time I’ve had to deal with it. 

Bottom line – He’s fine, everyone on the plane is fine, and huge kudos to the pilots for doing such an amazing job in getting the plane in.  It could have been so much worse.

I’m having a beer, and trying to breathe.  Still having a hard time.  Adrenaline is a nasty thing.