As most of you probably know by know, the college sports world was rocked once again by the announcing of the deaths of Oklahoma State University women’s basketball head coach, Kurt Budke, and assistant coach, Miranda Serna, from a plane crash that occurred around 4 pm Thursday afternoon.
And as it’s been posted by the news media and sports history buffs, this is the second time in ten years that Oklahoma State has lost part of its basketball program in a plane crash. In January of 2001, ten people affiliated with players and coaches of the OK State men’s basketball team died after their plane crashed in Colorado following a basketball game.
Budke and Serna were en-route to Little Rock, Arkansas, on a recruiting trip when their single-engine plane went down and crashed in mountainous, heavily-wooded terrain. It’s also been reported that the pilot of the aircraft was eighty-two years old.
Personally, I have no idea who Budke and Serna were. I don’t follow men’s or women’s basketball programs, college or professional. However, from what I’ve seen so far, it sounds like both people were well-liked and respected in their field, and this is a tough loss and serious blow to not only Oklahoma State faculty and students, but fans of the sport in general.
For the crash, I haven’t seen any details yet about the make or model of the aircraft, or any other conditions of the flight. It was reported that the aircraft was built back in 1964. For anybody who’s flown general aviation, you know as well as I do that this is a moot point. Most Cessna trainers were built in the early 1970s, and many aircraft from the 1960s are still very much flyable as long as the aircraft’s owner(s) keep up with the required maintenance.
It was also reported that the pilot himself was eighty-two years old. The pilot’s age may have very well been a factor. Hunters in the area reported that they heard the aircraft’s engine sputter before it took a nosedive and crashed into the hilly terrain. So far I haven’t heard any reports of pieces of the airplane falling away from the aircraft. Was the engine sputtering and presumed engine failure caused by a mechanical issue, or was it related to pilot error? Read more…
Ah, the joys of airline travel.
From the hassles of security checkpoints in the airports to incompetent workers to the excessive fees for checked luggage, traveling by air these days can be a royal pain in the ass.
I’ve loved aviation since my early youth. Boarding an aircraft and experiencing the thrills from takeoff to landing still entertain me, despite all of the changes that have effected the industry over the past ten years. Back in high school I earned my private pilot’s license and completed most of my instrument training. Alas, the high costs of training and some minor medical issues have kept me out of the cockpit, but that love of aviation is still there.
So when it comes to choosing an airline and taking a commercial flight, whether it’s for business or pleasure, what characteristics do you look for in an airline? Is price the main consideration? Is luxury and personal attention more important? Is a major carrier with more flights better than a regional airline that may operate from a smaller airport closer to your home or destination?
More importantly, when seeing TV commercials for airlines, do they really inspire you to consider them for your next flight?
Let’s take a look at some of 2011′s best and worst airline TV commercials and see how well they sell themselves to us, the general public.
British Airways — To Fly. To Serve.
Right off the bat this is my favorite airline commercial. Read more…
Here we are in mid November.
The past couple of days we’ve been experiencing rather pleasant temperatures in the lower 70s with lows only dipping into the 50s. In essence, this is Indian Summer for us here in the metro Atlanta area.
Today a strong cold front is sweeping through the southeast, forcing that warm, moist air into the upper atmosphere and creating unstable atmospheric conditions. This could mean only one thing . . .
And right now, this very minute, my area is in a TORNADO WARNING!
It’s actually a Doppler-indicated tornado, and right now none of the spotters have sighted a funnel on the ground. IF, and that’s a big if, there is a tornado embedded in the thick clouds and rain, chances are likely it would only be an EF-0 tornado. In other words, a very weak tornado barely capable of flipping over a car, let alone knocking down a tree or big branches on a tree.
Most of northern Georgia along with eastern and southern Alabama is currently under a tornado watch until 7 pm EST. I would imagine that this watch box will be scaled back and remove most of Alabama in the next hour or two. Read more…
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This past week has been nothing but sickening when following the most disturbing of news out of the Penn State football program.
Yes, Gerald (aka Jerry) Sandusky is complete scum and deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his natural life. One could only hope that he learns new definitions of pain and suffering at the hands of his fellow inmates in the general population of a federal prison.
Yes, former head football coach Joe Paterno deserved to be fired immediately and not allowed to resign at the end of the current year. It’s time somebody finally put his massive ego and arrogance in its place.
Penn State fans rioting and flipping over an ABC news van after firing of Joe Paterno
And yes, all of those fans rioting at Penn State, and the football players nearly crying because JoePa wasn’t on the bus or coaching their team are complete fools. To side with Joe Paterno, one of many people who could have stopped Sandusky from raping teenage boys YEARS ago, is to side with child rapists and all power to the almighty athletes.
Today I finished reading one of Michael Crichton’s earlier works, The Great Train Robbery.
The Great Train Robbery takes readers back to the 1855 during the Victoria-era in London, England. As you’ll experience in the novel, from child labor to the treatment of women, times were quite a bit different during that age of steam power and the Second Industrial Revolution.
The Great Train Robbery revolves around a simple concept: a professional burglar wants to pull off a big heist (known as a “pull”).
The motive: Greed.
The target: A shipment of gold being transported on the South Eastern Railway.
Set in 1855, The Great Train Robbery is a fictionalized though mostly true telling of the infamous Great Gold Robbery of 1855. The novel takes place in London, and the majority of the story deals with the planning of the heist, specifically, gaining copies of keys for the safes’ locks. Key characters have to be recruited, though at least one of them ultimately finds himself as being expendable and disposed of in a brutal method. Read more…
By now you’ve probably seen the KFC TV commercials that advertise the NEW! KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl product.
The original KFC Famous Bowl (layers of mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, a few pieces of popcorn chicken and then a little bit of shredded cheese on top) premiered over five years ago. This new Cheesy Bacon Bowl is the original Famous Bowl with the addition of tiny pieces of bacon. ‘Nuff said.
KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl TV commercial
Right off the bat, these modern KFC commercials are annoying and really in your face. From the loud and over simplistic (and ANNOYING!) voice of the narrator telling us things we already know, to the emphasis on bacon, this commercial feels like it was designed for morons.
Now don’t get me wrong here. There’s nothing wrong with bacon. I love it just as much as the next person. It’s just that the way that the commercial pushes this feature of the Cheesy Bacon Bowl (which the bacon part is a very small percentage of the bowl itself), it feels like the company is dumbing itself down to try to attract those high school and college guys who feel the need to be macho for the lamest of reasons.
It’s like, “Oh yeah. I’m a guy. I love bacon. Therefore I must eat this KFC product, hang out at a bar and drink a bunch of light beer, and then grab a Baconator from the Wendy’s drive-thru on the way home. It makes me feel macho.”
Okay, that might have been exaggerated. Stopping at Wendy’s also requires getting a Frosty. And some spicy chicken nuggets. And maybe a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger.
Today I had the opportunity to try the KFC Cheesy Bacon Bowl. We had some online coupons to try the bowl for $3.99 and also receive a free drink. Read more…
“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!”
Yes, folks, that time of the year is right around the corner. Well, it’s still a month and a half away, but if you visit a few shopping malls starting tomorrow (at least here in the metro Atlanta area), you may just happen to see Santa Claus himself greeting parents and children alike.
Wait a second! Just hold your horses, pal.
Santa Claus? Christmas? Now?!? I mean, today is only November third. We’re not even talking about Thanksgiving yet, and Santa is already going to be in the malls and being visited by snot-nosed, germ spreading, sugar-fed kids with attention spans shorter than their ADHD, cell phone addicted parents.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against Christmas, Santa, or any of that stuff. I went to visit Santa when I was young, and I’m sure that my mom still has blackmail pictures to prove it. It’s just that Christmas is being pushed on us WAY . . . TOO . . . EARLY!!!
Halloween is behind us and now we’re a few days into November, my second favorite month of the year.
While many leaves change colors and look spectacular in October, it’s the cold fronts of November that clear the leaves from the trees and usually bring the first snowfalls of the year in the northern parts of the country. This year, however, areas from Pennsylvania through New York and into Maine experienced a freak, massive winter snowstorm a few days before Halloween.
Here in Atlanta, the tree leaves are in their peak for the color change, and a moderate breeze is ripping them out of the trees. We’re forecast for a little bit of much-needed rain later today. The next couple of days we’re going to have highs in the low 60s and lows in the mid to upper 40s —- nearly perfect fall weather.
A few of my favorite parts of November include big football rivalry games, much cooler weather with a hint of winter, and of course, Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, to many people these days, Thanksgiving is more about getting ready for Christmas shopping than it is about spending time with family and friends.
Speaking of college football, the best thing about the rivalry games is that it’s still a chance for a bad team to finish on a high note. My alma mater isn’t doing great this year and it’s doubtful that we’ll make it into a bowl game, but beating that other team will still finish our season on a high note and give us bragging rights for another year. And when both rivals are having a good year, the rival game itself will be full of energy and passion by the players, bands, and of course, those thousands of screaming fans.
For me, the month of November is also about my fascination with those first winter storms up north and the havoc they can wreck on the seafarers of the Great Lakes. Calm and mild weather in the morning, and then freezing rain, snow, hurricane-force winds and twenty-five-foot (and larger) monster waves later that afternoon and evening. Throw in the fact that the Great Lakes are surrounded by land and unable to disperse the energy of the storms like an ocean, and all of a sudden even a moderate strength storm can cause large waves to attack ships from multiple directions and further amplify the danger of even larger rogue waves. Read more…