Tuesday, August 23, 2005

We're Not Frozen

Apparently, the instant text message sent from the crashing plane was a hoax.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

We're Frozen

In the passenger plane crash in Greece a few days ago, one passenger managed to send this text message: "The pilots have turned blue. Farewell cousin - we're frozen."

Chills down my spine. Hairs raised on my neck. I close my eyes, and shake my head, trying to get rid of the feeling of dread and sadness, reminding myself that I'm alive.

I think about that text message. I think about the sender of that message. I think about who received it. Did that person know?

As I write this, another plane has crashed in Venezuela. And both of these follow the missed runway incident at Pearson Airport in Toronto.

With a recent job change requiring more business travel, I'm on airplanes a lot more these days. All these recent incidents give me pause.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Tax Free Weekend

Massachusetts just had a "tax free weekend." Shoppers throughout the state could make purchases on most items and not pay the 5% state sales tax.

I bought a cordless mouse, and I like it. Where has this little device been all my life? A few months ago, at a big meeting I was at, a consultant pulled out his laptop and then pulled out a little mouse without wires. He attached a transmitter device to his laptop's USB port, and all of a sudden he had a nifty little mouse. And just a few weeks ago, someone was telling me how his daughter would take the wireless mouse from his home desktop computer and hide it among her toys. I was thinking about these stories during the Saturday of "tax free weekend", and realized I knew what I wanted to buy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Safe Landing

The shuttle did land safely in California yesterday. I listened to the arrival on NPR, and was struck by how quickly it reached the ground once it entered Earth's atmosphere. I was anticipating a thirty minute descent, and it was more like ten minutes.

The radio commentator said that while the shuttle acts like a glider near the landing, it actually falls like a very heavy brick. With wings.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Hoping for a Safe Return II

The shuttle didn't land today. NASA postponed the landing due to "unstable" weather. Shouldn't they worry about re-entry first, and then worry about the weather at the landing site? I thought the shuttle could land on any runway?

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Hoping for a Safe Return

I'm hoping for a safe return of the space shuttle tomorrow morning. In various news reports, I learned that it could arrive in Florida as early as 5AM. So when I get up, I am expecting news of a safe and normal landing.