Current Event Friday #52

Make sure you fly a reputable and known airline.

Wow! Several travelers are stranded, and their flights are cancelled. It’s not because of weather or mechanical failures, it’s because the airline went under. The abrupt closure of the airline and the travel complications are today’s #CurrentEventFriday.

The budget airline company Wow Air out of Iceland announced yesterday they were shuttering operations leaving travelers scrambling to find new flights. Many smaller airlines like Wow Air have advertised that they offer less expensive fares than major airlines like Delta & American Airlines. Budget-savvy travelers hopped at the chance to travel on the cheap.

Airlines going under is nothing new but leaving the travelers in their airports and not honoring their flights before ceasing operations leaves and even more sour taste in everyone’s mouth. A handful of the hard-luck travelers took to social media blasting the now defunct airline and their lack of sensitivity towards their needs.

I understand the desire to find an affordable fare when flying but realize this could be a concern. Flying established airlines guarantees quality and safety when traveling. The advice I have found when looking for air travel deals is using travel aggregations sites like Orbitz and Travelocity to spot deals. Using incognito mode or private mode on your internet browser also helps to prevent cookies from being stored. Airline companies track how often you visit their site and using the private browsing prevent this. Disguising the number of visits allows the fare to remain fixed.

Luckily, several airlines will offer rescue fares and allow travelers to make their flights to their destinations. These competitors will often deeply discount their fares and nearly match the fares of the airline now out of business.

I have had luck traveling with Allegiant Air that offers affordable travel by air to sunnier destinations. As they seek to corner more of the market, they offer flights for less than $100/person and add more departing cities. Hopefully these expansion efforts will not lead to bankruptcy but better quality from the company.

Would you ever fly on a cheap airline or do you fly the major airlines?

Poetry Wednesday #46

Today is “Cosmos” for the latest Poetry Wednesday entry.

“Cosmos”

Star light, star bright, last one I’ll see tonight

I have wished, wished hard with all of my might

Spangled is the canopy of heaven

Some might say, you get what you’ve been given

 

Fiery and shooting stars sometimes fall

I’ll say it best and say nothing at all.

Come sail away with me on my star ship

Like Columbus new things we’ll find this trip

 

Don’t know everything bout astronomy

Don’t know everything bout astrology

But I know I hoped that you’d love me too

Get closer, cause I’m too far from you

Looking out the rocket’s open window

Open my window, see the stars aglow

 

© Ryan Stroud 2019

Scar Tissue

I’m going under the knife again and so I decided to write some thoughts about it.

♫Scar tissue that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know-it-all♪
Yes, these lyrics describe me very well. Scars cover most of my upper torso and below the skin there is much more scar tissue. As you are reading this, I am in the operating room at the local children’s hospital undergoing even more surgery. So, that means even more scar tissue. I have calculated that this will be my 12th surgery and the 6th of this kind since age 3. Most every friend who seeks to get to know me will inevitably ask how many surgeries I’ve had and this leads to me doing the calculation.
 
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One more and I’ll be like Chris Farley’s Superfan character. “That’s a baker’s dozen, Bob.” Thankfully, mine are preventative surgeries and not heart episodes like the Superfan character.
 
I make jokes and some might think that is odd, but it’s a coping mechanism. I admit that I always have a moment of trepidation immediately before I’m wheeled into the OR. To be sure, my parents and family have been more fearful and concerned than I have as they have all the time during surgery to worry and overthink. During the surgeries, I get more sleep than I do most nights and of course my overthinking is silenced for once during the day.
This surgery is at least the more minor surgery that I have undergone. One surgery replaces the pacemaker itself and is classified as an outpatient procedure. The operating time is roughly the same as a tonsillectomy. Recovery time is a little longer than a tonsillectomy but it doesn’t strain the chest structure. I always hope if surgery is necessary it’s the pacemaker replacement and not the wiring that runs between the heart and the pacemaker. If it’s the wires being replaced, that usually means open heart surgery and requires longer hospitalization. So, you can see why I choose the pacemaker replacement alone.
 
As always, I am always grateful for the surgical team that carry out the operation. I have been lucky that the same surgeon has done all but two of the surgeries. That helps put me at ease since he knows what to expect when he takes scalpel in hand and I’m on the operating table. It also helps me in establishing trust with the surgical team because I have built a rapport with the lead of the surgical team. I am well aware that eventually the surgeon will be retiring and I’ll have to establish a relationship with a new surgeon. I have confidence in who that may be, and I’ll cross that bridge when it comes time.
 
I’ll close with asking that if you’re the praying type, say a prayer that pain is minimal and the recovery is expedient.

History Monday #47

Who could’ve predicted it, it being a tornado.

“It’s a twister! It’s a twister! ”

“It really was no miracle what happened was just this: The wind began to switch, the house to pitch, and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch”

These quotes uttered by characters in The Wizard of Oz are a reminder of weather patterns this time of year and the topic of today’s #HistoryMonday

On this day in 1948, Major Ernest J. Fawbush and Captain Robert C. Miller—meteorologists at Tinker Air Force Base, outside Oklahoma City observed weather charts for the day eerily similar to charts from less than a week earlier. Fawbush and Miller had been tasked to study a March 20 tornado and used their results to create a tornado prediction system.

Forecasts issued by the Weather Bureau indicated nearly the same conditions for the evening of March 25 as those from March 20 but the Weather Bureau avoided issuing tornado warnings, for fear of public panic and complacency if forecasts turned out to be false alarms.

In preparation for the weather that day, the base meteorologists warned of “heavy thunderstorms” so base personnel could plan for tornado precautions developed after the March 20th tornado.

As the day wore on, weather radar images showed a severe squall line in the West, and nearby stations reported cumulonimbus clouds and thunderstorms. As the conditions worsened and looked to produce tornadic activity, base meteorologists issued the first official tornado forecast. Equipment which could be was moved to bomb-proof shelters, and base personnel were moved to safer areas.

The storms seemingly harmless as they got closer to the base became stronger when a supercell formed just west of the base, and at around 6 pm a tornado touched down on the base. This tornado caused $6 million in damage, or $63M today. Thanks to precautions enacted because of the tornado forecast, no injuries were reported, and the damage was limited.

fast forward

Due to lives and costs saved, Fawbush & Miller continued their tornado forecasts, which verified at quite a high rate over the next three years. During the tornado season of 1949, they issued 18 forecasts for tornadoes within a 100-square-mile area, and all 18 proved successful.

The synoptic pattern which occurred on March 25 later became known as the “Miller type-B” pattern and is recognized as one of the most potent severe weather setups.

We see the effects of Fawbush and Miller today as the National Weather Service locations around the country use all technology possible to declare warnings and watches for thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Local television meteorologists take in the information from radar imagery and the National Weather Service reports to broadcast these warnings and watches to the viewing public. Some fear the warnings and watches desensitize the public, but most meteorologists prefer to encourage viewers to be adequately informed.

In addition to local news reports during thunderstorms in the coming months, many states conduct readiness drills statewide by testing emergency alert notification systems and tornado sirens. Last week was Severe Weather Awareness Week in Indiana and a Statewide Tornado Drill was conducted on the 19th. Included for most weather-inclined folk locally also saw Kentucky’s Severe Weather Awareness Week the first week of this month and included their Tornado Drill on March 6. You can find the date of your state’s Severe Weather Awareness Week and Storm Drill day at https://www.weather.gov/safety/events_calendar.

What tornadoes or severe storms have happened in your neck of the woods?

 

Current Event Friday #51

A toast to beer company lawsuits

It’s the weekend and maybe this evening for many it’s Miller time. I’ll never be Tom T. Hall or Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and say, “I like beer.” but I do on occasion have a beer. I mention all this because the two largest beer corporations are fighting each other in the courtroom and is our #CurrentEventFriday topic.
 
Normally, the MillerCoors Company and Anheuser-Busch would be duking it out in competition in the bar room or liquor store rather than the courtroom, but a Super Bowl ad changed all that. In the Super Bowl ad, Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light brand challenged MillerCoors products and their use of corn syrup in production. Piling on to this ad, Bud Light soon after erected billboards along a busy highway running from where Coors brews in Golden, Colorado leading into Denver.
 
The suit alleges that Anheuser-Busch is misleading and false advertising because there is no corn syrup in the final product. The brewers use corn syrup as a fermentation aid in their Miller Lite and Coors Light products. MillerCoors adds that many Anheuser-Busch products use corn syrup as a fermentation aid as well.
 
All this to say, these campaigns by both companies have proven a lose-lose situation. Anheuser-Busch lost support by many blue-collar drinkers in the Midwest who depend on corn syrup production that provides their funding for growing corn. MillerCoors did lose some drinkers that didn’t want corn syrup in their beer. Many soda companies have rolled out ad campaigns that tout they are using real sugar in place of the industrialized corn syrup.
 
The winners of this ad war and now lawsuit seem to be local breweries. As the 90’s saw the rise of microbreweries independent of the top 3 breweries, local breweries are experiencing a boon. Most of those microbreweries of two decades ago are now part of MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch. So true local breweries have filled in for them.
 
I haven’t had any local brewed beers but I see recommendations by friends on social media and it piques my interest, but that’s all the further it goes. For what it’s worth, as most beer drinkers have their favorite of the top 3 my family is no different—I prefer Bud Light, my father prefers Miller Lite, and my brother prefers Coors Light. In essence, our family is divided. Although, as mentioned I might have one beer once a month, and my family drinks as often or less than me.
 
Do you care whether corn syrup is in your beer?

Poetry Wednesday #45

Today is the first day of Spring, and so “Equinox” is today’s Poetry Wednesday

“Equinox”

Brace yourselves, winter is leaving; ere today the equinox

Crocuses and lilies will awaken

In my garden they will not be alone—shooting up all around the clematis and phlox

 

The sun now at its meridian height is at the middle latitude

Gee, what a happy note I shall sing the Sol returns from down deep on the sphere

An egg today stands on its end, a natural aptitude

 

Equal hours of day and equal hours of night

Half the globe—the upper welcomes more sunshine each day

Now added for a season more light added to the prodigal light

 

E’en while it was still dark, we hoped and waited for the sun’s resurrection

Would that we could see it again, we believe

Towards the tropics our eyes looked that direction

 

Glinted with dew, and scented so sweet, honeysuckle signals the springtime

Its nectar sweet as your lips, Honey;  You, the lips, the nectar hearken to warm sunshine

 

© Ryan Stroud 2019

A Time to Laugh

There’s something funny about today.

Let’s laugh since it’s the best medicine. I’m guessing that since everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is dealing with seasonal allergies, any extra medicine can’t hurt. Also, today is Let’s Laugh Day. Most of all, as I’ve mentioned before I should seek more positivity. So in the spirit of laughter, here are some jokes that make me chuckle.

What’s brown and sticky?

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A stick

 

 

 

Two guys walk into a bar. One man orders H2O. The second man says, “I will have H2O too.”

 

Image result for two guys in a bar

The first guy takes a drink and is fine. The second guy takes a drink and dies

 

The secret service isn’t allowed to yell “Get down!” anymore when the president is about to be attacked.

Related image

Now they have to yell “Donald, duck!”

 

How can you tell if an elephant has been in your fridge?

sand dust wildlife elephant
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The footprints in the butter.

 

How did the hipster burn his tongue?

man wearing black and red checkered long sleeve shirt wearing black wayfarer sunglasses sitting on white wooden chair
Photo by iiii iiii on Pexels.com

He drank his coffee before it was cool.

 

Hope these gave you a chuckle too. If they didn’t then congratulations, if we played the ‘Smile Game’ you would likely be the winner. For reference here are the rules for the game. It’s relatively easy to play, and was a favorite for warmups during elementary drama club productions:

https://www.kidsplayandcreate.com/made-you-smile-game/

 

tenor