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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holding on for dear life

The incredible turnaround from 2007 goes on as the Fins defeated San Francisco this afternoon 14-9. A late 49er drive to go ahead was ended when LB Joey sacked QB Shane Hill with 1:02 left to play.

Some notes on the game

*- Miami's defense did not give up a touchdown for the third consecutive week. I am still not sold on how good the unit is. Only because I don't forget how Phoenix, Houston, and New England all set a match to it.

*- San Francisco had almost twice Miami's time of possession. 38:13 to 21:47.

*- West coast NFL teams are 1-16 when playing in the eastern time zone this season. Miami won four of those games.

Miami continues to win but it hasn't been pretty. They will win the AFC East if they defeat Kansas City and the New York Jets. If Miami loses even one of those two games, they are likely to be out of the playoffs.

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You're going the wrong way

Flying can be adventurous sometimes.

Two Hong Kong Airlines pilots have been sacked after trying to take off from a taxiway rather than the main runway at the city's airport, according to a report.

The pair, an Indonesian captain and Argentinian co-pilot, were only stopped by an alert air traffic controller who saw them speeding on the taxiway and warned them to stop, wrote the Sunday Morning Post.

Their Boeing 737 was carrying 122 passengers and seven crew, the report said.

The flight, bound for Cheongju in South Korea from Hong Kong International Airport, took off after the aborted attempt on September 13.

Taxiways at the airport run the full length of the runways but are narrower, have green lighting and no lights down the centre, the paper said.

The two were dismissed after an investigation by the southern Chinese city's Civil Aviation Department, which recommended improvements to lighting and marking at the airport, one of Asia's busiest.

The pilot told management he was not making a takeoff and was merely travelling at speed, the report said.
Just based on the name of the airline, I'm guessing the pilots were based out of Hong Kong. Then their actions are inexcusable. They would know what is and isn't a runway at Hong Kong airport.

I've been to both of Hong Kong's airports. Until 1998 Kai Tak was the airport that served the former dependent territory of the United Kingdom. Kai Tak was famous for having its only runway jutting into Victoria harbour. This made for exciting or risky takeoffs and landings depending on whether your viewpoint was that of the passenger's or the pilot.

Because of the one runway and its location, landings at Kai Tak took a lot of skill. Otherwise you could end up like this flight. In Hong Kong harbor. A less than year old 747 was totaled when its pilots tried landing in almost typhoon like conditions.

Here's a fun view of the airport. If I remember correctly, pilots flew in over the city on approach. It had to be quite a ride.

The new airport is less scenic and less scary but incredibly but one of the most passenger friendly I've had the privilege of flying through. For our 10th wedding anniversary in 1999, the wife and I visited Hong Kong.

That trip was noteworthy for its the only time I ever had a baggage mixup in my years of flying. When getting our luggage, I picked up the wrong suitcase. It was the exact same type, color, and had a Northwest Airlines priority baggage tag on it. It wasn't till we got to the hotel that Leonita and I discovered the mistake I made.

More memorable than the baggage mixup for the wife and I, was the room upgrade we got at the hotel we stayed at. A suite overlooking the harbor. When show to the room, the hotel attendant said to Leonita. "Is the room satisfactory?" LOL, I never saw my wife's eyes go so big in my life as when we were showed that room.

Fortunately our bag was still at the airport, and we were able to make an exchange the next day. I'd put up a photo or two from the 1998 trip but I can't find the album. Leonita is at a concert, so I can't ask her at present.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dousing the Flames

The cats won their fifth straight road game when Center Stephen Weiss got a shot past Calgary Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in a shootout. The final score, Florida 3, Calgary 2. Going back to November 30th, Florida has beaten the NY Rangers, Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, and now Calgary on the road. This marks a franchise record.

With the win, Florida goes to 14-12-3 for the season and are tied for 8th in the Eastern conference playoff standings. Which is incredible in light of how banged up the team is.

Florida's road trip isn't over yet. Next up is Vancouver on Sunday, then they come back east to play Carolina. Florida is overdue for a long string of home games. When they return to Florida, the Panthers will have played 19 of their first 31 games this season on the road. Could this be the year Florida breaks through to the playoffs for the first time since 2000?

Assorted notes-

*- This marked the third straight game Weiss scored the game winner for Florida.

*- Kamil Kreps got his first goal of the year. A short handed affair set up by a poor Calgary pass.

*- Tomas Vokoun in his first start since Nov. 26th, stopped 35 of Calgary's 37 shots. Now who does DeBoer start against Vancouver- Vokoun or Craig Anderson?

*- Florida got off more shots against Calgary(29) than they did versus Edmonton(16). Still Florida was outshot 37 to 29.

*- Why don't Vancover play their Sunday games at 5 p.m. local time like many other NHL teams? I'm going to have to stay up till 12:30 on Monday morning if I want to watch the Panthers.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tour card

Michelle Wie finished 7th at LPGA Qualifying school. From AP-

Michelle Wie has earned a spot on the LPGA Tour.

The 19-year-old from Hawaii overcame a miserable start Sunday with a safe finish for a 2-over 74 that had her comfortably among the top 20 at the LPGA qualifying tournament.

Wie has been playing mostly on sponsor exemptions for the last seven years, when she became a sensation for her youth and power, and her unsuccessful quest to compete against the men.

Wie tied for seventh and now takes her place as part of the 2009 rookie class, along with Q-school medalist Stacy Lewis, who birdied the last two holes for a 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.
I'm going out on a limb and predict Michelle both wins an LPGA Tour event and makes the 2009 Solheim Cup team.

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