Friday, January 16, 2009

A Thousand Little Things Gone Right

Guess what I was doing yesterday afternoon? Yep, productivity ground to an absolute halt as we watched to see what happened with the Airbus that landed in the Hudson River. Wow, I am still amazed. Actually, I think the really amazing part is that some of those passengers took other planes home last night and today.

So very much could have gone wrong. The river could have been warmer. Captain Chesley Sullenburger could have overshot his target by just a little bit. A panicked passenger could have blocked others' exits. The ferries may have come minutes later. So many things that could have gone so wrong went right, right, right instead. How amazing. Governor Paterson called it a "miracle." I want to be careful about that word. Some people didn't feel at all blessed yesterday. But it's hard for me to call it anything else. The Gods and the people--air, sea, and land--just came together to save these 155 lives and keep others from getting hurt.

L'Ailee doesn't think it's a miracle or Gods cooperating or anything, of course. It's just that when people prepare for the worst, the worst tends not to be as bad as everyone thought. So thank people anyway, from airplane designers to safety engineers to flight attendants. L'Ailee and I have decided that we (more often it's just *she*) can't take Tylenol Simply Sleep to get through a flight anymore, and we'd better pay rapt attention to the flight attendants' presentations. We'd love to be able to request Captain Sullenberger for our next flight, but I'm pretty sure we'd be in the back of a very long line!

Because everyone survived (wow, still), my work husband and I could laugh. Jeff Foxworthy had a routine on a recent CD where he talked about "the guy who shoots chickens out of a cannon at airplanes." How weird that we kept hearing about this job on the news! B. brought the CD with that routine to work and played that part for people who were interested. I bet the chicken-shooters' jobs are secure at the moment. L'Ailee laughed at me because I yelled, "I told you geese are evil!" I really do not get along with birds for some reason. I have been attacked by geese, wild turkeys, and my late grandmother's parakeet. I'm allergic to eggs, down, and everything that ever had feathers. When it comes to birds, I only like penguins and ducks.

Speaking of which, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Anaheim Ducks tonight! Slowly but surely, they're getting it together again. I'm glad, especially since the Washington Capitals walloped them earlier this week. I'll bet the guys finished a Costco-sized bottle of Advil between them.

I'm still a NASCAR fan, of course. Three weeks until the season starts! I was going to boycott the Budweiser Shootout this year because the rules were stupidly revised. It was to consist of the top 6 drivers per manufacturer. (Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Toyota. Yes, they're all still in it.) This meant Tony Stewart, who has won three Shootouts and been a Cup champion twice, wouldn't be allowed to participate, while people who blatantly suck (I'm looking at Dodge and Toyota here) would. Now the rules have been amended to let Stewart in. This is probably the result of a deal with Chevrolet, which badly needs and wants the goodwill that will come from Stewart's return to them. Ask me if I care.

Oh, and at the National Zoo, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, a/k/a Daddy Panda and Mama Panda, felt especially frisky this week and surprised everyone by attempting to mate. Pandas basically only mate once a year; this usually happens in spring. Consequently, they don't get lots of practice. But they did seem to have fun trying, especially Tian! The lovely and talented RoxandaBear braved the bitter cold in Washington DC yesterday to visit the pandas, and caught them in the act. I wasn't the only one who was entertained by the results.

Hopefully Tian doesn't remind any of you of someone you used to date!

Links, links:

Suzette Kelo is one of my heroes. (She is the one named in the "Kelo v. New London" case.) Her town, New London, Connecticut, used the power of eminent domain to seize her and others' houses...because they wanted to attract businesses that they considered more valuable. She lost, but the case has inspired legal reforms. Now there's a book about it called Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage.

Nancy Pelosi impresses younger voters with her pop culture knowledge.

Circuit City is liquidating its stores starting tomorrow! I feel awful for the employees, but they are the victims of years of boneheaded moves by the executives. (Like many people, really.) But guilt won't stop me from scooping up merchandise like a thing that scoops up merchandise...within reason, of course.

Obama's half-brother also leads an interesting life.

Finally, I laughed far too hard at this oped from the Onion: This Short Story About a School Shooting Is Actually Pretty Good


marie said...

It is so amazing about that plane -- I was watching too.

Carie said...

I watched the plane...just blown away by everything that are right, so many things could have gone wrong, yet everything went right...I was amazed and so thankful...

Lol the panda picture is ummm very very funny lol

BostonPobble said...

And you somehow get the feeling that Sullenburger was the last person lifted off that plane, don't you? He just seems like that kind of guy. Admittedly, I have a soft spot for pilots (can't imagine why) but he is impressive.

I love pandas. Good for them for defying how they were "supposed" to behave and just enjoying themselves. lol

Dr. Deb said...

That landing was so smooth and miraculous. I love how some of the first responders said, "Welcome to New York City" as they rescued the survivors.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Happy Inauguration day!!!

Queers United said...

I would be so scared to take another flight the same day, but that is the best way to make sure you don't bring on a new fear in life.

Ange said...

Very relieved about the plane.

Had no idea Obama has a half-brother.
Sweet that he's a vegetarian who started a BBQ chain.

I don't know where you find them, but it's always entertaining.

Not sure what to think about the pandas starting things so early. Maybe we should start going by them instead of the groundhog? If so, I'm planning my garden a month early.

Connie in FL said...

The ShootOut sucks because NASCAR (aka the France family) will screw the fans every time just to make a buck.

But, I love it anyway.

Connie in FL said...

Happy Daytona 500 Day!!!
Tony had a great race yesterday.
Enjoy the race!!!