Malaysia’s Big SNAFU

mh370-candlelight-vigilWhat in the world is the matter with Malaysia?  We all know Malaysia flight MH370 seemingly vanished into thin air.  The only thing more shocking than a huge commercial jetliner disappearing how Malaysian officials have responded. In my opinion, they have been nothing less than mind-numbingly stupid.

Rather than immediately respond to the plane blinking off radar they opted to wait and see if it showed up at the gate. Really, Malaysia?  On what planet did this become a good idea?  All that accomplished was reducing the survival rate for anyone who may not have died in the initial crash, diminish the time in which wreckage could be found and making whatever happened significantly harder to decipher.

After spending precious days refusing help from other countries, Malaysia finally reached the conclusion the entire rest of the world already knew.  They can’t handle the situation on their own.  Yet, after getting help they still refused to share radar and satellite information.  They believed doing so would be a threat to their national security. Seriously?  What country on the face of the earth is sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for the right information to attack Malaysia?  And why in the name of all that is logical, would Malaysia ever think they have technology or information the superpowers involved in the search haven’t already seen?

Malaysia is incapable of accepting any explanation for this disaster that even remotely points to them.  What they can’t comprehend, though, is that their vehement outrage only makes them seem guiltier.  They said their security was so great no terrorist could get onboard.  Then when allegations surfaced that the co-pilot had previously breeched cockpit security Malaysia declared they had no time to examine that because they were “in the middle of a crisis”.  Yet, at the same time they were floating the idea of the pilot committing suicide and taking all on board with him.

Then came the kicker.  Malaysia announced that “flight MH370 ended in the Southern Indian Ocean”.  They had no physical evidence of that.  They reached the conclusion using state-of-the-art satellite footage and some intriguing math calculations. Families of those on board the plane rebuked the notion and were outraged at receiving a death confirmation via text message.

After weeks of having no leads, suddenly following the backlash of the death announcement, over 120 items of debris turn up in the exact location they said the plane crashed.  Suddenly, what had been invisible before is now all neatly floating on the ocean for all the world to see.  They used satellite pictures to bolster their crash scenario.

But today, the search in that area has been abandon because different satellite pictures showed three floating items of possible debris.  Malaysian officials defended their conclusion of “all lives lost” by sighting this new ground-breaking technology.  Yet, that technology didn’t withstand the test of other possible debris fields.  That makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever.

There are only a couple of conclusions we can arrive at based upon the behavior of Malaysian officials. They are just that inept.  They are more interested in how they appear to the world than they are in actually finding the plane.  Or they have something to hide and are lying their butts off to keep it hid.

Regardless, of the reasons behind this, one thing is certain.  China has just about had enough.  The majority of passengers were Chines and rightly so, they are demanding answers and accountability for their people.  Despite the signs that the situation is rapidly unraveling and hurling a point of no return, Malaysia seems unaware of their complete SNAFU.  The loss of MH370 is catastrophic.  But the handling of it, is even more so.   The question on my mind is, what has to happen to make Malaysia realize the depths of their SNAFU and bring closure to people in the worst kind of hell?

Malaysia Flight MH370 – What We Aren’t Being Told

I am not a conspiracy type person.  I believe there are times when we can’t answer questions but we lean toward the most obvious evidence for our conclusions.  That being said, there is something seriously wrong with what we’re being told about the missing Malaysia flight.

Problem 1 begins with the passengers who boarded with the stolen passports.  The passports were stolen in Thailand a year apart.  It would take a significant amount of evidence to conclude there is no connection there.  What are the chances that two men would steal passports a year apart, buy airline tickets “almost simultaneously”, board a plan that goes missing and them not have a hand in it?

Today a CNN report quoted Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble as saying, “The more information we get, the more we’re inclined to conclude that it was not a terrorist incident,” Not a single shred of that plane has been found and he wants to rule out terrorism?  That’s just irresponsible.

The biggest evidence pointing away from terrorism is the identity of the two men traveling on the stolen passports.  According to officials, the men had no connections to any terrorist groups and one was traveling to see his mother.  It’s not unheard of for people to have no direct ties to terrorist groups and still blow something up.  Furthermore, the friend that drove the two men to the airport said the men spent the night at his house and heard one refer to a Mr. Ali in a hushed phone conversation.  A man by the name of Ali purchased the tickets for the men.  So, where is Mr. Ali?  If all is well with him, why has he not contacted authorities?

If the passports were stole in Thailand, we can conclude the men were there.  What passport did they use to enter and depart that country?  Investigators want us to believe that these two internationally traveling men, with no ill intent, entered Malaysia on valid Iranian passports but then used stolen ones to go visit mommy.  Ridiculous.

Then there are the five people who were in the Malaysian airport, checked baggage for that flight, but never boarded it.  Why?  Where are they?  Why has no one interviewed them?  I’d think the media would be all over them if there was a miraculous story of five people who missed a doomed flight.

Reports now say the plane flew hundreds of miles off course.  Really?  Well, could you please explain why you’ve been searching the projected flight path all this time?  There is no way this can be new information to investigators.  The same radar that indicates that now also indicated it from the onset so at the very least they should have had two search areas from the beginning.

flight radarThis is a screen grab from Flight Radar 24 showing the last time MH370 was on radar.  Look at all of those planes.  Did any of those pilots see anything?  Has anyone asked them?  Due to the number of planes in the air, pilots often witness other planes in trouble.  During 9/11, other pilots provided details about the hijacked airplanes.  When Alaskan Airlines Flight 261 crashed, two different pilots contacted air traffic controllers stating the plane was out of control and going down.  So, if MH370 was flying hundreds of miles off course how did no other pilot spot him?

In 2011, a woman claims she was in line to board a plane piloted by the same pilot of the missing Malaysia flight.  She states they didn’t know each other but the pilot randomly asked her and her friend if they would like to be in the cockpit with him.  According to her, they rode in the cockpit from take-off to landing and she has the pictures to prove it.  CNN quoted a Malaysia Airlines spokesperson about the incident.  “We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident, as you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.”

They don’t want to take the time to investigate the past behaviors of the pilot of a missing airplane while simultaneously floating the idea of pilot suicide.  If they haven’t looked into the pilot, why would they think he committed suicide?  Furthermore, if it was suicide why did he turn around and fly hundreds of miles off course.  Wouldn’t it make more sense for a suicidal pilot to dive the plane straight into the ocean?

At this point, I see more reason to suspect the investigators of cover-up rather than the pilot of suicide.  Unfortunately, we may never know the truth but one thing is certain.  Anyone covering up the facts in this crash and depriving family members of the truth about their loved ones will definitely have this tragedy turned back on them.  You simply cannot intentionally inflict pain upon others and have it not negatively impact your life at some point.  And that’s a fact we all should keep in mind.

You Might Be A UK Freshman……..Amended Version

Remember this post of me mocking Kentucky’s freshman during regular season play?  Well, since their post-season playing has been unbelievable so I now I have to revise this.  Sooooo – You  might be a Kentucky freshman if:

1.  You save your best playing for tournament.

2.  You take & hit jaw-dropping 3 pointers when they are needed most.

3.  You get behind by 10 in order to win by 2.

4.  You make the entire country stop and pay attention.

And finally, you are a UK Freshman is you are able to shut Joan Graves up and make her eat her words.  Well, done gentlemen. My apologies.

Remember Jeff Foxworthy’s famous “You might be a redneck” line of jokes?  I’ve decided that line of jokes could be applied to this year’s University of Kentucky’s basketball team. My version goes like this: “You might be a UK freshman if…

1. You find yourself unable to move under the goal mesmerized by the pretty ball swirling around the rim.

2. You are unable to stop yourself from running straight down the floor for a layup that you have hit only once in 7,000 tries.

3. You find practicing free throw shots a waste of time.

4. You run down the floor and fall over your teammates.

5. You try to explain to Coach Cal that you didn’t mean to turn the ball over you just forgot who was on your team.

6. When the coach yells, “Offense” you respond, “bless you”.

7. The referee dislikes you so much he attempts a “do over” for an OT jump ball because you got the ball.

8. You believe your epic fails of ball hogging & hot-dogging are going to get you in the NBA.

9. ESPN announcers feel the need to announce during every single game the birth order of you and your twin.

10.  You have to hold your coach back from attacking the ref because he is so worked up over your lousy playing.

11. Instead of listening to the experience of the two seniors on the team you destroy their final year.

And finally, you are definitely a UK freshman if your shooting average is the same as Kentucky’s legal DUI limit.

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Go Cats!!!!

 

No Smoking In The Park

noahark_themeparkMan, people are ticked off because Kentucky is building a Noah’s Ark Theme Park. Not people in Kentucky, mind you. People outside Kentucky who have suddenly become experts on the needs of Kentucky, despite the fact they’ve never even visited Kentucky.  And from some of the comments I’ve read, I have serious doubts about whether some could even find us on a map.

The atheists say they have to speak up because we need to be shown truth and science. So, does that mean they are going to go to Disneyland and Disney World with their “truth” campaign? After all, oversized critters who can speak is certainly not truth. How about Sesame Street? Any English teacher will tell you that Elmo talking in third person is anything but right. And don’t even get me started on all the “untruths” that come out of Hollywood.

The “truth” that eludes the atheists, aside from Jesus, is that an amusement park is for….well, amusement. It’s not like we are going to force them to come. In fact, I think I can speak for all Kentuckians when I say they are not even invited to the park. If the atheists want to blow smoke up their own rear-end, fine. Just don’t do it in our park. The last thing we need is stupid coming two by two.

If My Dying Dog Could Read; This Is The Letter I Would Write

190269_1003890557482_6555696_n  I’m agonizing over our final hours together.  Each tick of the clock splinters my heart.  Through the halls of my anguished mind bounces the question, how do I say goodbye.  How do I let go?  How do I show you the love you’ve shown me?  And how do I convince my aching soul that you are only a dog?  An animal.  Something meant to be loved for certain, but should it hurt this much?  Am I out of balance to feel my world skewed at the mere thought of you not being in it?

You came to me in my darkest hour.  I needed you so much.  I thought I was getting a service dog for DJ but what I got was a therapy dog for me.  I felt utterly alone when Mom died so Steve took me to the animal shelter to look for dogs who could be trained as a service dog.   16563_1080684437281_829948_n

I spotted you immediately as we drove up to the shelter.  “Boy, he’s pretty.”  Were the first words I said about you.  With your red coat gleaming in the rare winter sunshine you barked as you approached me but we both knew you didn’t mean it.

Since you appeared to have the run of the place, I assumed you must belong to one of the workers there.  While I talked with an employee, you kept appearing at my side and leaning against me.  I was looking for a service dog to help DJ learn to walk so at first I thought I imagined you were leaning against me.  By the fourth time, I at last got a clue.   6249_1038834391056_5170869_n

Three days later Steve and I returned to the shelter with DJ in tow.  I needed to see how you responded to him.  DJ walked in with his little walker and you were called over.  It took less than a second for you to size one another up before DJ let go of his walker, grabbed the fur of your neck and the two of you walked off.  All these years later and that scene has never lost its impact.

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The following day we picked you up at the vet’s office.  You busted through the door and despite having, only seen me twice, and the fact that we were seated behind the door, you came out of, you came right to me.  If anyone had any doubts before that moment removed them.  You belonged to us and us to you. That’s when the memories began.

The first time we left, you alone you freaked out and literally tried to chew your way out a window, leaving broken teeth in your wake.  You thought it was your mission in life to rid the world of cats.  You have such a huge personality behind your big soulful eyes that I never knew existed in an animal.  You were well behaved, easily trained, but also sneaky.  I didn’t have to say a word when I caught you on the couch.  You always climbed down slowly, head, and tail as low as they could be indicating you felt like the lowest of life forms.  You were funny, oh so funny.  But more than all those things, you possessed an uncanny ability to tune into the emotions and stability of your surroundings.  2012-11-23 23.42.50

I will never forget when two stray dogs came loping down the street, tongues hanging out of the sides of their mouths completely happy.  All they wanted to do was play.  You were fine until Colton got upset because he’d had a previous bad encounter with stray dogs.  You sensed that fear and put yourself between Colton and the dogs, letting lose a ferocious growl that scared even us.  Like cartoon characters those dogs came to a screeching halt, running away never to be seen again.  12941_1093670321920_6217877_n

While training you as a service dog I had to connect you to DJ.  Neither of you were pleased with the idea.  But as was your custom, regardless of how mad DJ got you stood your ground.  You did exactly what was asked of you and then some.  You took your service dog job very serious.   998508_4588442289035_378570338_n

In those painful lonely days after mom died, I would hug your neck and cry all over you.  You never flinched.  You simply sat there soaking up my pain through the tears that fell upon your neck.  And now here I am again.  This time there will be no crying on you because the pain is the loss of you.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I know when we walk in that vet’s office tomorrow you will be scared and I hate that.  I despise that your final moments will be spent in a place that frightens you.  I know you’re going to look at me with confused, hurtful eyes and wonder why I am doing this to you.  The answer is simple.  You have given so much to our family keeping nothing for yourself, how can I do any less by you?

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In a little while, I will go to bed and the dreadful day will be upon us.  I will take that long final walk with you and endure your questioning eyes.  As the lethal drugs flow through your system stopping your heart, they will do the same to a part of me.  A portion of me will die with you and I don’t regret it because I have had the privilege of not just having a good dog but having a heaven-sent dog.  There will never be another like you and I am a better person for having you in my life.  Well, done my good and faithful servant; well done.

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This Is What Mending A Broken Heart Looks Like

Originally posted on P3 - Parenting To The 3rd Power:

For nearly 15 years, we have taken our family vacation at Cherokee Lake. Each year I take DJ to the dock and we watch whatever happens to be taking place on the water at that moment. I point to the bridge and show him the cars; we watch the boats,’ I bounce around all silly as waves rock the dock, and anything else I find to show him. DJ cannot speak but I know he understands so I use every available moment to try to teach him something new. I treasure every second we spend on that dock together. I know DJ enjoys the moments also because his eyes have a way of saying what his mouth cannot.

This year while I was jabbering away to him, pointing at this and that I suddenly felt his little arm go around my neck. I was so surprised I looked behind…

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Blessing of the Bike

Originally posted on P3 - Parenting To The 3rd Power:

There are so many common childhood events that parents of special needs kids often miss. What is an ordinary rite of passage for average kids can be an extraordinary feat for the special child. As parents, we try not to dwell on those things but sometimes they creep up on us unexpectedly and we long for what another takes for granted. This was the case for me with DJ and bike riding.

I wanted to put DJ’s love of car riding to work so I got one of those cute little kid carts to pull behind a bike. DJ loved it so much that when he would realize we were close to home he would have a complete meltdown because he knew the ride was ending. He would scream, crying and buck back in his seat so hard he would actually pull the bike backward. I swear sometimes his…

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What Happens When Rockin’ Boots, Fried Fish, Tall Girls & the KY Countryside Collide

This story starts the way many great stories start – with a great pair of awesome boots! I will go ahead and confess to my serious boot fetish. I’ve thought about seeking help but when I thought about it, I decided ‘d rather have boots than mental stability. Hey, I’ve made my peace with it you guys should too.

To make up for all the days I wear my granny panties, don’t shower and wear sweats, I dress to the hilt for my husband on his birthday. I’m telling you girls, it’s the cheapest gift ever. Take one day a year, dress a little slutty and put the money you save for his gift toward a great pair of boots. Men go nuts for it. This year I had to tone down the slutty because we were going out in public. Be as slutty as you want to be at home but know when to clean it up, ladies.

Anyway…..men have a thing about long-legged women, my husband especially. Therefore I wear heels to elongate my legs for him. I’m 5’8″ so I really don’t need the heels but whatever. It’s his day right? Steve is a bit shorter than me when I’m barefoot so you’d think he’d have a Tom Cruise complex about his height, but he doesn’t. He loves for me to wear heels even though that means his head is level with my chest. Oh, okay I see now why he likes it. Well…..moving on.

At my height these fav boots of mine put me over six feet tall. The skinny, partially stone-washed jeans I wore, gave the illusion of my body being comprised of legs alone. So, yes, the boots get me a lot of attention. The problem is that if I were in the Friends sitcom the men looking at me would go from Joey’s “How you doin’?” to Chandler’s “Aah!” in seconds. A tall confident woman in high heels is sexy. A tall confident woman just trying to remain upright – not so much. The distance between a hot leggy-chic and funny girl on stilts is surprisingly short.

When I wear my boots I make Steve walk really slow so it takes longer for people to realize I have no idea how to walk in heels. Otherwise, I’d just be stomping along scaring little kids. But evidently my altitude on heals makes my thinking a little fuzzy. So, when Steve said we were going to a fish fry I’m visualizing a metal building with smooth flooring in the city. I thought it was an odd birthday request but hey, I’m saving money for my next pair of boots so I don’t care.

Turns out the fish fry isn’t in the city. It’s not even in a building. It’s in the country. Do you know what’s in the country of Kentucky? Well, thankfully it was upscale country so I didn’t have to step around any smelly dark rings cows leave, if you know what I mean. You’d think Steve would tell me I’m over dressed but I’m beginning to think he prefers mocking his wife over having a sexy wife.

Did I mention the fun added by walking in heels on moist ground? That means I’m either towering over everyone or sinking below them. So, here I am walking around on my toes just trying to stay upright. Then I hear it. Laughter. I know they’re laughing at me because I’d be laughing at me. “What kind of idiot wears spike heeled boots to a fish fry?” Is what I’d be thinking. But then I realize I’d also be thinking, “What a great pair of boots”, so I no longer care.

I’m so clearly overdressed for the event I should be shamed but I’m not. Instead I’m pointing out to people how ridiculous it is for me to be wearing heels. I started asking people to walk by me a little slower because their wind sheer might knock me over. Nothing like laughing at yourself to get everyone else going.

In between grasping fence posts to remain upright, I began having more fun than if I was running around bare-foot. Which, by the way, was suggested more than once. What’s the moral of this story? I convinced my husband he has a hot wife, had fun making others laugh and bought myself another year of guilt-free comfy clothes.  Turns out slutty girl isn’t near as sexy or fun as goofy girl. Who knew?

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Here’s Your Sign – Of What I’m Not Sure

My family and I escape the craziness of our lives each year by vacationing at Cherokee Lake. We have relatives who owns a cabin there and they graciously allow us to invade it. This year our trip coincided with a family reunion.

We had barely greeted everyone when I saw Duke sniff DJ’s ear. Duke is DJ’s service dog who alerts us to infections.  Since DJ thinks he’s in a contest to have the most ear infections on the planet, Duke gets a lot of practice honing his skill. He has never been wrong.  Therefore, the family reunion was over and the new mission was to find a pharmacy.

Steve has this freakish ability to find his way around any town. Very, few times has he ever been lost. Me on the other hand, I could get lost going to the post office.   But when Steve is wrong, he is REALLY wrong and he doesn’t take it well.  When he is physically lost he also loses his sense of humor. The kids and I are absolutely NOT funny.  (We dispute this. In fact, we think it’s one of our funniest moments.) And while we’re being un-funny we lose our free speech right. We’re not allowed to say things like: let’s ask directions, I’m a little  hungry, I need to pee or haven’t we seen that Taco Bell three times now?

Take all of that and throw in DJ being sick and we’ve got the makings for a whole lot of crazy. While we were searching for the pharmacy that Steve was absolutely convinced was near, I saw an elderly man shirtless and wearing sweat pants. It was 100 degrees and he was sitting on the curb at a very busy intersection. Steve was too busy ranting about the  poor signage in the entire state of Tennessee to see the man. But luckily, “Turn around I think that man needs help” is not one of the banned phrases in the lost mobile.

We reached the man I got out to assess the situation. He stumbled around and spoke incoherently about the past and present blending them together as if they coexisted. I determined he wasn’t drunk and either had a heat related emergency or on going medical condition. Either way, he was unable to tell us where he lived so we couldn’t just leave him on the street.

When I told Steve to call 911 he looked at me blankly for a moment then said; “Well, I’d love to but I have no freakin’ idea where we are.” I suggested maybe 911 could help him find himself.  Nope. I still wasn’t funny. He curtly informed his phone had crashed so his only recourse was to look around for identifiable markers that a 911 operator might recognize.

Because the man can’t get out of bed each morning without a four page plan of how he will carry it out, he requested a moment to gather his thoughts. Really? You need a plan to dial 911? I hope I’m not depending on him if I ever get  run over by a bus or something. That’s what I was thinking. But we’ve been married long enough for me to know any remarks I had would just slow the process down.

When he felt reasonably sure he could guide emergency crews to our location he made the call. But for all of his preparing it turns out he still wasn’t prepared.  After relaying the circumstances, the 911 operator said; “Whose side are you on?” Confused, he asked her to repeat the question.   He paused as his brain searched for what information this woman was trying to get out of him. She prompted him again. “Whose side are you on?” In a halting questionable way he said,   “The….victim’s?”  She laughed because she didn’t know the “no one is funny when Steve is lost rule”.  “Whose side of the state line are you on?”

After emergency crews arrive I hop back in the car to find my husband turning this way and that, craning his neck looking around and muttering to himself. Heavy with righteous indignation he concludes; “There’s no state line sign. What state is she talking about?”  Boy, he really was lost. Unlike the boys I was smart enough to keep my comments to myself. They, however, did a whole comedy routine on the 911 incident declaring Steve would wind up on one of those “World’s Dumbest” programs.

Colton really should have thought it through.  After making all those jokes that did not amuse Steve, he recklessly asked to stop for a drink. When Steve denied the request Colton huffs up and says; “Dad. I’m a kid with aspergers in need of a drink.” From that moment on every time we passed a store Colton would press his face against the window, clawing at it like he was trying to escape and dramatically moan “water.” Did take much of that to make me need a drink.

Still searching for the elusive pharmacy when an explosion of stink fills the air. For reasons I’m still unclear of the dog pooped in the car. He’d never done it before or since but he certainly created pandemonium erupted. Colton was laughing, Dalton was bemoaning the smell, DJ was clapping (I don’t know why) and Steve was shouting. Steve whips the car into a church parking lot. When I looked up the sign in front of me read: “This is a sign from God”. Even Steve had to laugh.

Several hours later we made it back to the cabin after what should have only been a 45 minute trip.  Colton rolled out of the car still in an uproar, swearing he was dehydrated and planning to sue for child abuse. In the middle of Colton’s tirade Steve noticed a small cooler Colton had been using as a head rest. It was filled with water bottles.  Colton looked at me and said, “Well, now we know what the crap sign is about. Dad is gonna beat it out of me.”

GRC Principal David Bolen Releases Football Coach Steve Collins

Joan Graves:

Reblog from Stand Up Clark County

Originally posted on Stand Up Clark County:

George Rogers Clark High School Principal David Bolen, has removed football coach Steve Collins of his duties.  Collins has been the subject of extensive controversy since taking the position as coach two years ago.  Bolen and other officials afforded Collins significant leniency in the face of multiple allegations.  That leniency stems from the fact that Collins was inserted as coach during a significantly controversial time.  However, since that time Collins has fallen short of what many expected him to do.

Within months of his arrival allegations surfaced of Collins and/or his staff bullying players, cursing them and at one point calling one a F#$%ing retard.  That led to a firestorm of emotion from parents of players and the special needs community.  Collins was never criminally charged or reprimanded by the school system, in response to those allegations. Months later Collins attempted to repair his image by lobbying for improvements to…

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The Magic Of Service Dogs

The Magic Of Service Dogs

This past November DJ’s service dog, Duke, had to be put to sleep.  It’s been extremely painful and hopefully one day we will have another dog.  Because of our loss this story touched me greatly.  I hope you enjoy it.