Archive for April, 2010

Volcanoes and Sleeping Dogs

April 18, 2010

In my previous post I said “Don’t forget about the volcano eruption in Iceland, either.”  And what happened?  We let the sleeping dog lie and look at the state of the planet now!  Like the continuing earthquakes, maybe we’ll have continuing volcanic eruptions.  There are a number of other volcanoes around the planet just waiting to blow again.  How about Popocatepetl in Mexico, or Mount St. Helens in the U.S.?  The link below shows active volcanoes around the world.

No doubt the travel interruption from the giant ash clouds will continue long enough to put several other airlines out of business.  Instead of seeing this as a doom and gloom situation, look at it as an opportunity to merge and/or diversify.  This is an opportunity to create multifaceted transportation companies, not like to like conglomerates.  For example, merge train/bus/car rental and hotel companies with an airline company – don’t merge 2 or 3 airlines into one company.  Existing travel websites already take into account the traveler’s requirements, and offer options to choose between rail/bus/air/rental car and hotel.  Why not make it easier for the customer and combine those choices under one company umbrella?  Start looking into it now while choices exist before the world economy makes it a necessity and not an option.

© bbsoto 2010


Mining Disasters Related to Earthquakes?

April 7, 2010

As a former resident of Los Angeles and a survivor of the 1994 Northridge quake, my “earthquake antennae” are always on.  Ongoing discussions with friends about these quakes brought something else to my attention – the China and W. Virginia mining disasters.  Could the spate of recent major earthquakes and the mining disasters be related? After all, mining is conducted underground. Granted, mining is a dangerous business and there will always be safety issues – how could there not be?  But, I am suggesting that additional causes for the disasters should be investigated.

On a whim, I looked at the USGS earthquake website, and guess what?  There WAS a 3.4 earthquake in W. Virginia on April 4th, less than 100 miles from where the April 5th mining disaster occurred. Is it a coincidence?  I’m thinking it’s not.

I also looked for information on earthquakes in China in the days preceding the mine flood in Shanxi province on March 28th.   There were two quakes listed on March 24th in the Xizang-Qinghai region.  One was a 5.5 and the other was a 5.7 magnitude.  I could not tell the distance between the locations, and there may well be no connection.

As we all know, there are too many large quakes happening around the world.  The earth is shifting more than it has in recent memory, and I don’t see how these recent underground disasters could not be related to all this seismic activity.  Don’t forget about the volcano eruption in Iceland, either.  C’mon, folks.  Mother Earth is not a happy camper. Something big is brewing underground.  I’m not suggesting Armageddon, but rather that the planet is in the process of redesigning itself much like it did millions of years ago.

As Sherlock Holmes would say “the game is afoot” and now more than ever we need to pay attention to all the details.  The clues are right in front of us. Global warming, flooding and drought are all just a part of whatever else it is that is going on with our home – Planet Earth.

© bbsoto 2010

The Boys of Summer

April 2, 2010

With Opening Day right around the corner, I am thinking of baseball seasons past.  Baseball was so loved by my father’s mother that when she died my grandfather remarked “I hope she’s playing baseball in heaven”.   My grandmother, or “Mom-mom” as I called her, instilled her love of baseball in me.  I spent many summers with Mom-mom listening to the Philadelphia Phillies games on the radio, while drinking Hires root beer and munching on TastyKakes.  Sometimes we’d even watch the games on television!  I can still hear By Saam calling the play-by-play.  He had one of those voices, like Vin Scully or Harry Caray which in my mind will be forever associated with the game.

I don’t remember how old I was, but eventually my father took me to my first real Phillies game at Connie Mack Stadium.  Players I recall seeing on the field include:  Jim Bunning, Johnny Callison, Ritchie Allen aka Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas, Chris Short, Clay Dalrymple, Art Mahaffey and Tony Taylor. 

Another memory was seeing Jim Bunning on the Ed Sullivan Show the same day he pitched his no-hitter against the Mets in 1964.  To me, seeing him on the show was more exciting than seeing The Beatles. 

When my family moved out of Philadelphia, my love of the Phillies stayed with me.  One of the places we lived in was Lawrence, Kansas.  My father took me and my future husband to at least one Royals game at the old Kansas City Municipal Stadium.  After the new Royals Stadium opened in 1973, my husband and I attended many games there, seeing George Brett and others play.  My only negative memory of the stadium was seeing the Royals walk Hank Aaron when he came up to the plate.  This was after he made the record books, and was the only time I got to see the man on the field.  I was very unhappy with the Royals and, as I recall, so were many other fans in the stands.

I don’t remember the year or the opposing team, but my first visit to Veterans’ Stadium in the late 1970’s was a dismal experience.  Notorious Philly Mayor Frank Rizzo threw out the first ball in the pouring rain.  The new stadium’s fancy plastic seats were curved to be comfortable, but they held water, too.  The pouring rain fell off my umbrella and onto the seat, where the curve at the back held it in to make a nice, cold puddle for my backside.  After several innings, it was time to go home.  If I remember correctly, the Phillies lost that game, too.  Subsequent visits to The Vet were much more pleasant.

Sad to say, but the 1980 World Series between the Phillies and Royals is a blur in my mind.  I had just moved out west and, unfortunately, missed almost all of the televised games.

One of my favorite baseball stadiums was the old Yankee Stadium.  There was so much history in the place how could you not like it?  Seeing Meatloaf sing the National Anthem before a Red Sox/Yankees game in 1993 is at the top of my list for best non-baseball ballpark experiences. When he was introduced, many in the crowd snickered.  However, Meatloaf sang a cappella and by the time he was finished, the crowd was on its feet and he was given a well deserved standing ovation.

The Phillies are now in another new stadium.  I have yet to visit it, since I am again living out west, but I will get there. Will the Phillies make it to the top this year?  I will not comment, but as usual will hope for the best and remind myself that it’s not over until the last out at the bottom of the ninth inning.

So I say “Go, Phils! Get out there and do it for all your diehard fans, do it for me and do it for Mom-mom!”

 © bbsoto 2010