birra's Journal

birra's Journal


Honor: 13    [ Give / Take ]


4 entries this month

To every action... a reaction...

18:17 Feb 14 2009
Times Read: 865

The events that transpired last night involving Continental commuter flight 3047 have bothered me all day.

As someone who travels and flies as much as I do any airline mishap sends shivers down my spine. Someone asked me recently, “Every time you get on an airplane, do you realize it could be the last time?”

My response… “Of course. It is a reality I came to grips with years ago.”

The reality of this incident is though… this happened at home. A flight bound for Buffalo International… a small plane tossed a bit by winter weather. And although I rarely if ever fly Continental, I fly that route. A Dehavland Dash 8 commuter from the east coast… this one was from Newark. I would more likely be on a US Airways Dash 8 from LaGuardia or Logan…

It hits me hard. Fifty people dead. A tragedy in a neighboring community – a community my company has serviced directly for more than five years.

This isn’t an attempt to dramatize, but this causes more than a shiver. I am heartbroken over this. The loss, the sadness, those directly affected. The randomness – a person dies in their own home with no warning, no chance to escape. The flight, obviously suddenly stricken by something… weather, wind, ice, failure… plummets from the sky 5000 feet up in a matter of seconds.

There could be no hero to save the day for anyone involved… there was no time. No time at all… nothing could be done. In a blink…

Anyone who lives near an airport… this could happen.

This was along the north eastern approach to the airport. My home and my office are directly under the southwestern approach about the same nautical distance from where this plane crashed in relation to the airport. Less frequently used as an approach, but very frequently used for take-offs.

I write this sitting on a flight currently making its way through turbulence. And I think…

…have I really come to grips with this?

This much larger plane; an Airbus A321 bobbles through the air on its flight path unable to avoid the weather it is going through… have I really come to grips with this?

I believe I have… this is the life I’ve chosen, for better or worse. Risk exists everywhere in life and I’m more likely to be taken out by a drunk driver on some random back-country highway…

How could anyone not come to grips with this and live their life? If I haven’t come to grips with this, I might as well lock myself in a concrete bunker underground somewhere.

But on days like this… traveling… far from home… my thoughts return home.

To my children.

They need to know…

…I’ve come to grips with this, but it better never happen to me. Not until they’re old enough to know...



18:24 Feb 14 2009

I know love...This broke my heart too. I can't put it into words, I can barely imagine the loss, the feeling of about to lose everything. It has brought me to tears.

None of us had better lose you...

18:59 Feb 14 2009

*Hugs*....there simply are no words.

03:41 Feb 15 2009

We're all a moment away. If we're very lucky, we've lived well and are loved. You are loved and loved and loved.

05:12 Feb 15 2009

As someone who made a living for the better part of 9 years, serving people who flew weekly if not daily, and some of them became best friends for me, I can empathize. Everytime something like this happens, I immediately email anyone I know who might have been there, to check on them. What bothers me, aside from the obvious, is that it comes so hard on the heels of the crash in New York, which mercifully was not as deadly, thanks to the heroic actions of the pilots. But as much attention as was paid to him, will the guy who couldn't do the same get as much attention?

14:07 Feb 15 2009

I simply don't have the words to respond to this- but know that others share your grief and thoughts.

14:16 Feb 19 2009

what a horrible thing for someone to say!! how insensitive. all people face the danger of deaths in our lives, why point out the obvious?

*baring my fangs* show me a jerk that can't keep their mouths shut at the appropriate time and i'll show you my next snack.

thinkin about you daily, praying to all the gods for your continued safety.


Local coverage...

17:36 Feb 13 2009
Times Read: 887


This saddens me to fighting tears... my community... flying into my home airport...

By my check everyone I love and hold dear is fine... but... I'm still very upset by this.



17:40 Feb 13 2009

Such a tragedy

18:57 Feb 13 2009

that was just terrible , glad your family is ok.

20:51 Feb 13 2009

I pray angel wings on your plane. You stay safe, my friend.

01:46 Feb 14 2009

It was the first thing I woke up to this morning and my thoughts immediately went to you. My thoughts are with you and your community. I wish you safe journies as always my friend. *hugs*


It's not just a job... it's a sentence.

17:18 Feb 12 2009
Times Read: 921

So, here is a good one.

Just when I thought Kentucky couldn’t get worse…

..on the advice of the vendor reps I am working with, they recommended staying at the Seelbach hotel – a 100 year old, legendary hotel in down town Louisville. A lot of history, now owned by Hilton and refurbished... a really neat place.

I have to say the hotel itself is amazing. A lot of old character and charm… comfortable just like any other Hilton. Good restaurants and bars inside.

But the oddest thing happened tonight.

The reps suggested I valet my car. The difference between self-parking and valet is only $4 and valet is so much easier. All good by me. I returned to the hotel around 7PM tonight and told valet I would be back in about an hour to grab the car to go out to dinner. They said, no problem, they’ll just leave it up front for me and ready for my return.


So around 8PM I went downstairs and there was my car right where I parked it. Fantastic. I approach the valet stand and ask the obviously nervous and scrambling attendant for the key to my car.

“Oh, you have the silver Nissan?” he asks.

“Yeah, I think it’s number 302 or something… the valet this morning wouldn’t give me my claim receipt so…”

He cuts me off… nervous and panicky.

“We have a problem, well, not our fault, really, but, it’s a serious problem…” he said rapidly.

“Ohhh k.. what’s the problem?”

“Well *ahem* this has never happened before… we’re really sorry... but… apparently someone broke into our valet box as stole the key for your car.”

Me *dumbfounded*.

“Uhhhhh.. ok? So… ?”

“Well, they took keys to about six cars... all we had in there. Yours is one of them.. and the other two next to yours. The van has been clicking like someone has been hitting the buttons so the police are hiding across the street watching all the cars. Your car won’t go anywhere without them seeing so that isn’t a problem… but... do you need your car?”

At this point… what would you say?

I have nothing of value in the car… and it’s a rental… so… whatever. This is more of an inconvenience than anything. But… wow.

The guy couldn’t be more apologetic or accommodating. He paid for a taxi to take me to dinner… and back. But… seriously. How does a reputable, high-end hotel in the middle of a busy downtown market district allow this to happen?


This was a first for me.

I returned to the hotel after dinner and was met by the hotel manager and a locksmith. They explained where they were – since it was a rental they couldn’t just go to Nissan and get a new fob keyed, they had to go through Avis. They asked me for my contract, which of course was locked in the car. No worries – I called Avis First and went around the phone call transfer circuit to get to someone who could handle this. He suggested there might be a spare fob in the spare tire well, or call the airport maintenance tomorrow and the might have one. Odds are, neither are the case since the car has tags from another area.

The hotel head honcho - he too was apologetic and after the locksmith broke into the car to see if we could locate the spare fob in the trunk he dove right into the back seat to dig into the trunk and find that fob. Pretty spry for his age.

No luck. The car still sits in front of the hotel.

They have all been very attentive to the situation... but…

Does it ever get more strange than Kentucky?

Part two…

Had to put some time into working this out with Avis this morning. Of course at 8AM none of the hotel management was in yet and the lackey running the valet desk was up to his ass in pissed off people demanding their cars. I had more luck dealing with the locksmith who had returned with keys for another person’s car and was checking on replacing the fob for mine.

Avis agreed to just replace the car and were bringing a new one on a flat-bed, which they would then haul out the Nissan on.

Unfortunate – I really like the Nissan. Now I’ll probably get a 1972 Pinto…

But that will wait until I return to the hotel. There is still work to be done. The locksmith was kind enough to give me a ride to the hospital – which is only about 8 blocks from the hotel. Still, on a cold morning that is more than appreciated.

I’ll deal with the rest tonight…



17:56 Feb 12 2009

Yikes, that bites...hope your luck goes better. Maybe Avis will upgrade you to luxury class :D

18:07 Feb 12 2009

Such is Kentucky...

19:01 Feb 12 2009

hehehe the car companies spend millions on security research just so a hotel can hang the keys in a box someplace :S

19:03 Feb 12 2009

*throws you to the ground and adds another layer of bubble wrap just to be safe.*

I'm not sure I can allow you to visit Kentucky anymore, young man...it's a bad crowd you're running with :(

19:06 Feb 12 2009

will the hotel provide you with transport till they fix their little booboo?

00:42 Feb 13 2009

*Rat bites at the bubble wrap to hear the POP*

Simple things keep simple minds busy.


14:47 Feb 13 2009

ick what a pain in the ass.

18:28 Feb 14 2009

Typical... Really typical. I can't believe they would be that irresponsible to:

a.) not be watching the friggin' key box.

b.) not have the keys inside and behind constantly locked doors and if they do, please refer to letter A.

c.) be that absolutely stupid.

I bet someone lost their job over that one...


Here we go again...

02:39 Feb 10 2009
Times Read: 935

...another week in Louisville, KY...

...but now I'm seeing this differently. Staying at an old hotel downtown... discovering more of the eclectic and artsy places...

The city is becoming more interesting...



01:24 Feb 12 2009

Stand still! *sprays you with bleach, zips you into a Haz Mat suit, throws you to the floor and rolls you up in bubble wrap* OK...maybe the Kentuckians can have you now. *bites her nails, still worrying about the sneaky little Kentucky plague germs* You know, some plagues are carried by...RATS! :(

I wonder if there's a States of the Union Back test for allergies. ( I am too smart to type the word, "prick!") You lie on a table and we poke your back with pins from all the states. When the Kentucky pin moves toward you, they cue the scary horror soundtrack.

00:41 Feb 13 2009

HEY NOW!! The deal is he is in the north part of the state. Hell- even I don't like that part.

*Pokes the southern Joli with the Ky. pin*



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