Just in time for the Fourth of July Weekend.
A lesser man might have done something foolish like gone to the doctor, spent the $20.00 co-pay, and come home with a prescription to take care of the offending bug.
Not me, I'm a strong believer in evolution.
*crickets begin chirping*
Okay, I'm a strong believer in being stubborn.
Regardless, the tide has turned and I'm back in the blogging saddle again.
There seems to be a lot of stuff that has happened over the six days I was down for the count.
Let's start with a little Air Traffic Control news, shall we?
The National Transportation Safety Board was in Gulfport, MS earlier this week investigating a NEAR MIDAIR COLLISION that occurred on June 19. The incident involved a 50 seat regional jet (carrying 50 passengers and 3 crew) and a small four seat Cessna 172 carrying a student pilot and a Certified Flight Instructor.
This event should have one and all very concerned.
One, the recent news about controllers working shifts alone and falling asleep. The Secretary of Transportation eventually ordered an extra controller added to the overnight shifts to prevent this from happening.
Then there's the Hudson midair collision of 2009 where a distracted controller, with no supervision in the tower, allowed two aircraft to collide by not paying attention to the primary task at hand.
So how do those two incidents play into the near midair collision at Gulfport?
For some insane reason, the controller in the air traffic control tower in Gulfport was working all positions of operation and supervision by himself. The incident occurred around 1:00 pm Central Daylight Time.
I wonder how well Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood took THAT news? One controller, three tower positions of operation, one supervisory position of operation, two airplanes on two different runways.
No checks and balances available to possibly stop what's about to happen.
Cessna calls ready and is cleared for takeoff on Runway 18.
Six seconds later, Continental Express calls ready on Runway 14.
It would seem the controller forgot all about the Cessna departing southbound because the Continental Express jet is cleared for takeoff.
The result? The Continental Express jet mercifully passes 300 feet in front of the Cessna at the same altitude.
300 feet sound like much?
The planes missed each other by roughly two seconds.
That is a minuscule margin of error.
Two aircraft separated by two seconds is sheer luck.
I can't wait to read the final NTSB report on this.
There is no excuse for the controller working alone.
There is no excuse for there not being a supervisor in the tower.
Mark my words, folks. These incidents are pointing towards a larger problem. It is only a matter of time before there will be a full blown midair collision.
I'll not mark it with an "I told you so.".
I'll just post flowers and the names of the deceased.
In other news, I did have time to catch up on all my blog reading. God bless my little iPhone.
I noted a disturbing trend in one in particular. The grammar was deplorable. The topic of the blog is okay. It is a food blog. While I try to give a lot of leeway to other bloggers, some things are unforgivable. As such, they need to be mentioned.
So, before I do that, let's look at a couple food blogs that are done well.
Most of the food blogs I read tend to concentrate on defined topics. These are usually by types of food, price range, or geographic location. eat local Memphis says it all in the title. Local dining. No punches pulled, no gimmicks.
This blog is strong in a lot of areas. The pictures are well sized and nicely framed. They bring the strength of the food to you. The colors are vibrant. Look at this slice of lemon cake from Muddy's Bake Shop featured a couple weeks ago. I could grab a fork right now and tear into it. That's without even reading a word of the blog. That's the point about pictures. They should draw the reader in.
Compare that to the pictures in this food blog. They're okay, but postage stamp sized pictures really don't convey the message. They are so small, they are almost easy to ignore or overlook. I'm pretty sure that's not the intention of the author. Picture size can be selected at uploading. I'd strongly suggest a larger size. I'd also suggest adjusting the contrast/color of the pictures prior to posting. A cell phone camera can only do so much(unless you are using a late model smart phone). By enhancing the pictures to closely resemble what the blogger saw, the audience will quickly appreciate what's been written.
Take for example, this blog about the Majestic Grille by Paul Ryburn. Right up front you get the title and a quality photograph of the topic. The lighting is right, the color is right. It's not washed out, pale, or grainy. It's the right size for the reader to see the nuances of the dish and its presentation. It is a professional looking blog product that people take seriously.
Now this leads me to another topic. Grammar. Without good grammar it becomes nearly impossible to take a blog seriously. Both Thomas' and Paul's blogs have excellent grammar. You won't find "run-on sentences". You won't find insanely aggravating "comma splices". My college English professor, Dr. Norman Thurston, liked to point out that if your sentence had multiple commas (without making a list) it was likely you had what was called a "paragraph". His manner of urging us to humor him was to give a failing grade to any paper with two or more grammatical errors. One grammatical error netted the author a starting grade of "C".
Apparently those standards are just too much to bear at some universities these days.
I won't even get started on Dr. Thurston's disdain for "made up" words. Placing the wrong suffix on a word was a sure fire way to see that "word" emblazoned on the chalkboard. The offending student was then given a chance to explain the word and defend it against an unabridged dictionary.
Christine and I were talking about "made up" words the other night. She pointed out that I sometimes use them in this blog. Much to her surprise I agreed with her. However, there is a difference when I use them here. First, I put the term into the context of the blog. Second, when I do so, I am doing it to bring some humor into the topic. There is a big difference between making something up for humor and genuinely bad English skills.
Wow, where did the afternoon go?
That's enough ranting for one day.
I'm just happy to be back.
Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.
I Know DKDC
4 weeks ago