Thursday, April 30, 2009

Offshore Ensenada

This past week I attended the 2009 WISE meeting in Ensenada, Mexico on the northwest shore of Baja California. It was a good meeting with a lot of good old friends. We even had a rough boat ride out to sea on Tuesday afternoon. The waves were of 1.5 m or more, many onboard battled seasickness, thanks to Dramamin I was just fine. Here are some of the scenes I saw:

Overall no one got sick from the swine flu, we did not see or heard any local sick people either. But WHO decided to raise the alert level to 4 or 5 and Mexico government talked about closing the border, the meeting was duly or unduly canceled on the afternoon of the third day. What a pity. On the other hand I returned home healthy and well, no more worry and uncertainty, that's nothing to be complaining about!

Friday, April 24, 2009


I have a favorate quote given by a Dr. L. F. Phelan that I always post it on the bulliten board in my office. I can't find out who this Dr. Phelan is. But he certainly produced this great quote. Every time I read it, I got some positive feeling derived from it. Here's the quote:

Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind.
People grow old only by deserting their ideals
and by outgrowing the consciousness of youth.

Years wrinkle the skin,
but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
You are as old as your doubts,
your fears and your despair.

The way to keep young
is to keep your faith young,
your self-confidence young,
and your hope young.

Thank you Dr. Phelan, for this great insight in life whereever you are!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Emma, the bowling centenarian

I am not a bowler, neither was my Mom. But Emma Hendrickson, who is my Mom's age, is a bowler just celebrated her 100th birthday and competed in the National Women's Bowling Championship in Reno, Nevada. Be sure to check this site of KOLOTV for a video to see Emma hits a strike. What a sight! From what I see on TV, her legs are certainly much stronger than mine.

Mom has been gone for 9 years now. Emma, born even a month before my Mom, is still around and just signed up for the bowling championship next year. Awesome!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Thank God for our jolly good earth!
Deo Gratias!

In the beginning,
when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland,
and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
Then God said, "Let there be light,"
and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light "day,"
and the darkness he called "night."
Thus evening came, and morning followed--the first day.

Then God said,
"Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
to separate one body of water from the other."
And so it happened:
God made the dome, and it separated the water
above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome "the sky."
Evening came, and morning followed--the second day.

Then God said,
"Let the water under the sky be gathered
into a single basin,
so that the dry land may appear."
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land "the earth,"
and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it."
And so it happened:
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed--the third day.

(Genesis 1:1-13.)

Wave power

I came across this website that gives the following very clear and concise introduction of the state of the arts of harnessing wave power from the U.K.'s point of view, the concepts it advanced can certainly be applicable world wide:
On the edge of the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, the waters of the UK have some of the best wave climates in the world., In particular the west of Scotland, south west Wales and the south west of England are consistently exposed to very powerful waves. If the energy in these waves can be harnessed in a cost-effective and reliable manner, wave power could soon be helping to meet our growing energy needs.

Whereas the basic concept of taking energy from a fluid flow via a turbine rotor is well established for applications in hydro (rivers and streams) and wind power, development of wave energy conversion technologies is at a relatively early stage. No single technology has emerged as the best so far. However, there are two distinctive groups being developed: nearshore devices and offshore devices. While nearshore devices are easier to access and maintain, the greatest wave resource is offshore in deeper waters.

In the short term, nearshore devices are likely to lead the way as their relative ease of access is essential while technology is developing. However, in the long term it is likely that offshore devices will dominate if the more energetic deep water resource is to be accessed. There is, therefore, a lot of interest in developing concepts for offshore sites, and as a reflection of this, the number of different offshore concepts vastly outweighs those for nearshore.

Along with an optimistic note here:
The future of marine renewables is bright and exciting. Several demonstration projects are being planned in the coming years, and if these are successful, they will pave the way for wave and tidal power to play a big part in cutting CO2 emissions and meeting the UK's future energy needs.
What I am wondering is how long does it take for the religious environmentalists to start objecting their installations because they might disturb the life of sea turtles or something like that. May be that's why "renewable energy" so far is only a talking-point-ish cliche in U.S., no more no less. All power to wave power, but never mind about put it into practice!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Thy Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world."

"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

"Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

"Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Thy mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Thy holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen."

(Video and audios here.)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Freaque wave at the Volvo Ocean Race

For someone who only drives American brand cars, I only know Volvo is the brand of some foreign cars. Please pardon the deliberate ignorance here. Volvo Ocean Race does not necessarily surprise me for their existence. I don't usually pay much attention to this sort of things anyway. But a partial news tidbit reported in today's attracted my attention:
As the wind started to pick up, Ericsson 3’s skipper, Magnus Olsson was washed into the steering pedestal by a rogue wave, which left him momentarily stunned and with injured ribs. He managed to climb into his bunk without help saying afterwards, 'I was not prepared for that wave at all. It feels stupid to be hit like this by the first wave that reaches the deck.'
So a freaque wave made its appearance in the Volvo Ocean Race by managed to pushed its way to the steering pedestal, that's certainly not something to be expected. have some sympathy on skipper Olsson and his injury. But he shouldn't feel stupid at any rate. It could happen to any one. In a race or just lesaurely sailing. Just be happy that was all. Worst things couldhave happen too. Well, race in the ocean can always be thrilling as well as breathtaking. Here are two pictures from Sail-world:

Imagine yourself that you were in one of the boats out there!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happened at Kona Pebble Beach, Hawaii

Here is a sad story that caused by waves that has not quite been blamed on freaque waves yet, but probably it was a case of freaque wave like many other places we have seen it happened over and over again. This one happened at Pebble Beach of South Kona of the Big Island, Hawaii to a Michigan lady as reported by Ann Arbor News:

There were two things that made Saline resident Donna Moran very nervous: flying and water. Still, she was excited about her first trip to Hawaii, which involved quite a bit of both.

Last Tuesday, Moran's boyfriend dropped her off at Pebble Beach on the Big Island's South Kona region and told her he'd be back after he picked up something at the house they were sharing with friends.

By the time he returned, she had drowned.

Moran, 60, a 33-year assembly line worker at GM Powertrain, was apparently standing in a few inches of water along the shore when a massive wave suddenly overtook her. When she cried for help, a man on the beach tried to get to her in a small dinghy, but was unable to reach her because of the force of the waves.

Another witness called for help, but it was too late by the time rescue workers arrived to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Moran was pronounced dead at Kona Community Hospital.

This is a very sad tragedy. We all have fond memories of our first visit to Hawaii and the Big Island. Usually travel from Kona to Hilo. Story like this one should not ever happen. When someone goes to Hawaii, how can anyone could offer the advice as "not go near the water"? But the fact is: of all the peaceful and beautiful beaches, there are always be a freaque wave lurking out there ready to attack some time, some where. One just can't be too careful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bless the dolphins!

This is a must see of see it to believe it kind. The world's chicken leaders all over, an organization call themselves the U.N., none of them could do any thing about the 2009 pirate attacks. In the above picture that large ship was in the process of being attacked again by another pirate scoundrels in the Gulf of Aden. Suddenly, out of the ocean blue came theses wonderful dolphins effectively blocked the scoundrels from carrying out their attack. God bless them wonderful dolphins! They have better sense of right or wrong then any of today's so-called leaders, shame on all of them useless chicken leaders of the world.

Perilous on Loch Ness

I think we all have seen the picture that presumably showing the creature designated as Loch Ness Monster from the distance over a vast calm lake surface. So I always carry the impression that Loch Ness is a generally peace and tranquil place. Well, they have storms and freaque waves too. Liverpool Echo carried this happy ending story this morning by Alan Weston with a relatively long title: "Liverpool man relives moment he thought he would die on Loch Ness":

A LIVERPOOL man today relived the terrifying moment he thought he would die on Loch Ness.

Alistair McQuillan came within five minutes of death when his canoe was capsized by a freak wave on the infamous Scottish lake.

The 23-year-old, of Hightown, was on the third day of a fund-raising canoeing expedition – along with brother Nick, 20, and two friends – when the drama unfolded.

Although they set sail in perfect weather, conditions took an abrupt turn for the worse by the time they reached the middle of the loch.

Here's how he told his story in the article:
“When we set off, it was beautiful, sunny weather and Loch Ness was like a millpond with no waves. But then, when we were about halfway across, the weather suddenly turned absolutely horrendous.

“The waves were really high and it was like facing sea conditions in an open canoe.

“Then this one wave came up and hit us from behind, tipping the base of the canoe over the front of the canoe, and we were both thrown into the water.

“The waves were so high we couldn’t right the canoe and by this time it was full of water.

“We were both shouting and screaming ‘Help!’. Mark started to swim for shore, but my legs had become entangled and I was stranded in the middle of the loch.

“I thought I was a dead man as not many cars go past and there was no-one to raise the alarm.”

Indeed he was close as
“I was in the water for 25 minutes with only a buoyancy aid to keep me afloat – the survival rate is 30 minutes, which means I was only minutes away from death."
They were really in luck, by sheer chance, the pair were spotted in the water by a passing motorist who happened to be a canoeing instructor who called for help from Loch Ness RNLI and was able to guide the lifeboat crew to the right location.

“I don’t know who the passing motorist was but we were so lucky, not only that he spotted us struggling in the water but that he was a canoeist himself. I would love to speak to him just to say ‘Thank you.’

“I’m lucky to be here. It’s just a miracle.”

“What surprised me was how the weather can change in a matter of 15 minutes from gorgeous to absolutely horrendous.”
The last statement should be a good moral lesson for the story and for everyone of us to bear in mind. The quick change in weather can happen everywhere else also. I guess it could be a surprise to us that the Loch Ness can be as stormy as other large bodies of water.

Monday, April 13, 2009

From the depths of my heart

Here is the English translation of the URBI ET ORBI Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for Easter 2009 that starts:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and throughout the world,

From the depths of my heart, I wish all of you a blessed Easter. To quote Saint Augustine, “Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra – the resurrection of the Lord is our hope” (Sermon 261:1). With these words, the great Bishop explained to the faithful that Jesus rose again so that we, though destined to die, should not despair, worrying that with death life is completely finished; Christ is risen to give us hope (cf. ibid.).

Indeed, one of the questions that most preoccupies men and women is this: what is there after death? To this mystery today’s solemnity allows us to respond that death does not have the last word, because Life will be victorious at the end. This certainty of ours is based not on simple human reasoning, but on a historical fact of faith: Jesus Christ, crucified and buried, is risen with his glorified body. Jesus is risen so that we too, believing in him, may have eternal life. This proclamation is at the heart of the Gospel message. As Saint Paul vigorously declares: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” He goes on to say: “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:14,19). Ever since the dawn of Easter a new Spring of hope has filled the world; from that day forward our resurrection has begun, because Easter does not simply signal a moment in history, but the beginning of a new condition: Jesus is risen not because his memory remains alive in the hearts of his disciples, but because he himself lives in us, and in him we can already savour the joy of eternal life.

How wonderful that he made his message so easy to follow. Not all priests are good preachers. Pope Benedict XVI is clearly a great one. Now here's the final part of his Easter message:
Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra! The resurrection of Christ is our hope! This the Church proclaims today with joy. She announces the hope that is now firm and invincible because God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead. She communicates the hope that she carries in her heart and wishes to share with all people in every place, especially where Christians suffer persecution because of their faith and their commitment to justice and peace. She invokes the hope that can call forth the courage to do good, even when it costs, especially when it costs. Today the Church sings “the day that the Lord has made”, and she summons people to joy. Today the Church calls in prayer upon Mary, Star of Hope, asking her to guide humanity towards the safe haven of salvation which is the heart of Christ, the paschal Victim, the Lamb who has “redeemed the world”, the Innocent one who has “reconciled us sinners with the Father”. To him, our victorious King, to him who is crucified and risen, we sing out with joy our Alleluia!
And here's also the last part of his homily during Easter Mass:
The Easter proclamation spreads throughout the world with the joyful song of the Alleluia. Let us sing it with our lips, and let us sing it above all with our hearts and our lives, with a manner of life that is “unleavened”, that is to say, simple, humble, and fruitful in good works. “Surrexit Christus spes mea: precedet suos in Galileam” – Christ my hope is risen, and he goes before you into Galilee. The Risen One goes before us and he accompanies us along the paths of the world. He is our hope, He is the true peace of the world. Amen!

Wrong place at the wrong time

This story happened last week, in the northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia, entitled "Wrong place at the wrong time" by Marsha Neville of Daily Examiner, is actually a good ending story under the circumstances, only some damages were sustained:
IT was a case of 'wrong spot, wrong time' for the prawn trawler Fleet Wing when unpredictable seas nearly reduced the boat to a sunken wreck.

Skipper Mathew Duncombe had no choice but to take a freak set of waves head on when he attempted to cross the Iluka Yamba bar on Saturday resulting in $100,000 worth of damage to the 25-year-old boat.

“The first wave hit and smashed two windows in the front wheel house and folded the others up to the roof.

“I turned straight around and copped two more up my rear; I thought we were going to roll.”

Mr Duncombe and his deckhand Glen Johnson walked away from the accident unscathed despite the wheel house becoming inundated with water and smashed glass.

“It all happened really fast, there was no time for conversation between us about what to do.” Mr Duncombe said.

The fisherman attributed the rogue wave on surges of fresh water coming down the river from the catchment area.

“It takes a day or so after heavy rain for water to come down.

“When the fresh and salt water converge, you can get some freakish waves,” he said

Mr Duncombe had checked conditions that morning before setting out on the fishing trip that was to take him to Tweed.

“I drove out and had a look earlier that morning and conditions looked all right.

“We hadn't been out for three weeks due to bad weather and boat maintenance, other boats had gone out that day and had managed to make it out OK.”

The young skipper has been driving boats since he was 17 and said this is the closest he's come to rolling.

“It's all a part of fishing and there's not much you can do,” a relaxed Duncombe said

Fleet Wing's owner was also philosophical about the incident.

“It's one of those freaky things to happen, the boys just reached the point of no return.”

The 53-foot trawler will now undergo major 'surgery' to repair its damaged wheelhouse at the harbour breakdown wharf in Iluka and will probably be out of action for about six weeks.

It was being tended to yesterday by a cabinet maker, a shipwright and an electrician, with damage to the engine still unknown.

For Mr Duncombe, all is not lost on the fishing front.

He's had the kind offer from trawler owners at Iluka to take out their boats until Fleet Wing finds its feet again.

“We free fell about 20 feet after that first wave hit the boat, I don't know how we didn't roll”

This is another freaque wave case happened in the river mouth. This might even be an interesting research or thesis topic -- freaque wave happenings in the ocean river mouth. The only drawback is that this kind of real world knowledge seeking inquiry will never be as sexy as say: global warming for funding supports. What a pity!

Mouth of Brisbane River occurrence

There are already several reports reporting on this case. This one,, is probably the most concise one:

Police say six people have been taken to hospital after their boat was hit with a freak wave near the mouth of the Brisbane River.

Four people were knocked overboard from the 6.4-metre boat during the incident.

Emergency services say three children aged between 10 and 12 are among the injured

The children and one adult were taken to the Mater Hospital, while another two adults were taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The report covered the where, what, who, and why. But no details about the freaque wave they encountered. It did happened. An unexpected, larger wave capsized the 21 ft (6.4 m) small boat -- most vulnerable to any kind of larger than usual wave actions. Luckily all six people on board, include three 10-12 year old children, are successfully rescued. This is certainly the most important to know. The instant also shows again that freaque waves, large or small, can happen any place and any time. Include the southeast coast of Queensland, Australia. It becomes a worldwide news only when someones encountered it. We don't know how many of them are happening out there at this very moment. No one encounters it, no damages done, so no one concerns, but it just does not mean no freaque wave happenings.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

St. Teresa of Los Andes

Catholic saints are holy people who is also human and lived extraordinary lives. By "extraordinary" it does not mean anything earth shaking or difficult, but all within our ability to listen to God's call. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Today, on the Easter of 2009, the Church fittingly honors St. Teresa of Los Andes (1900-1920). Here's her story according to SAINT OF THE DAY:
One needn’t live a long life to leave a deep imprint. Teresa of Los Andes is proof of that.

As a young girl growing up in Santiago, Chile, in the early 1900s, she read an autobiography of a French-born saint—Therese, popularly known as the Little Flower. The experience deepened her desire to serve God and clarified the path she would follow. At age 19 she became a Carmelite nun, taking the name of Teresa.

The convent offered the simple lifestyle Teresa desired and the joy of living in a community of women completely devoted to God. She focused her days on prayer and sacrifice. “I am God’s, ” she wrote in her diary. “He created me and is my beginning and my end. ”

Toward the end of her short life, Teresa began an apostolate of letter-writing, sharing her thoughts on the spiritual life with many people. At age 20 she contracted typhus and quickly took her final vows. She died a short time later, during Holy Week.

Teresa remains popular with the estimated 100,000 pilgrims who visit her shrine in Los Andes each year. She is Chile’s first saint.
St. Teresa of Los Andes, pray for us!

He is Risen!

"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." (Luke 24:5-6)

Life reigns. Death dies, dealt a fatal blow at the hands of the Warrior of love. Nothing can separate us from that Love incarnated in the Crucified, Risen Son of the True and Living God. Alleluia!
(From Catholic Online.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Holy Saturday

Matthew 27:63-66
The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, 'After three days I will be raised up.' Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, 'He has been raised from the dead.' This last imposture would be worse than the first."
Pilate said to them, "The guard is yours; go secure it as best you can." So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.
And guard they did. Those l'il people who know not what they do. As the saying goes, the rest is history.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Seven last words of Jesus

Remembrance on Good Friday 2009

This News from Hong Kong yesterday with headline "Baoding Catholics remember detained clergy during Holy Week":
HONG KONG (UCAN) -- Catholics of Baoding diocese in the northern Hebei province have spent Holy Week praying for their bishop, vicar general and seven other priests who have been detained for years.

The whereabouts of Bishop James Su Zhimin (Zhemin), 74, and Vicar General Father Joseph Lu Genjun, 46, are unknown. They were detained in 1997 and 2006 respectively. Both have refused to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. The other Baoding priests were detained at different times and are being held without trial at Qingyuan county detention center, sources said.

Church sources have described Baoding as “a stronghold of the underground Catholics” and that the authorities want to reduce the influence of their priests.

Baoding Catholics have always prayed for the safety and return of their detained bishop and priests, and such prayers were more fervently offered during Holy Week, which started on Palm Sunday, April 5. A layperson named James said families are taking turns praying for this intention from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April 6 through Good Friday, April 10.

In Commie China, people don't have the basic liberty of practicing your religious faith, they don't have the liberty of not to collaborate with the regime either. The regime, which is currently a world bully, is totally inhuman as

sources said local Catholics could not get government approval to release Father Lu temporarily to see his father before he passed away on Dec. 25, 2008, or attend the funeral.

Father Lu, who has been praised as “a man of virtue and strength,” had been detained several times since 1998. Sources say the authorities may be worried he could be made a bishop.

Bishop Su has also not been seen since his arrest except once in November 2003, when he was hospitalized in Baoding city.

The other seven detained priests are: Father Pang Guangzhao, who was detained in 2003 on his way to visit Father Lu; diocesan administrator Father Huo Junlong and Father Ma Wuyong, both detained in 2004 while attending a retreat; and Fathers Jiang Yanli, Wang Quanjun, Wang Xiongwei and Liu Honggeng. The dates and circumstances surrounding the last three priests’ detentions are not clear.

On this Good Friday of 2009, let's remember the suffering Catholics in Commie China for their faith in Christ and let us pray that God's kingdom come to Commie China and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.


I don't consider those who belonging to the so-called "Catholic Patriotic Association" real Catholics as many of them helping the regime persecute the ones who refuse to join. Just as I no longer consider Indiana's Notre Dame University a real catholic school any more. Catholics come in all varied kinds. They don't need necessarily attending catholic church on Sunday on my book, but they should never ever collaborate with the devil and tolerate baby-killers.


The map below shows the location of Hopei Province and Baoding is in the center of the Province. My ancestral place, where I have never been there, is a few miles southwest of Baoding, some half way between Baoding and the Province border.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Current events

This from AP this morning:
Obama declines to answer question on piracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has declined to answer a question about the hostage situation off the coast of Somalia.

The president was asked about the incident as he met with U.S. homeowners about refinancing mortgages. At the close of a Roosevelt Room event, the president was asked by a reporter if he were concerned about the piracy incident.

Obama responded: "Guys, we're talking about housing right now."

Reporters were then ushered out of the room as they usually are after such events.

Obama has yet to comment publicly on the incident.

Close to the last year of Jimmy Carter's presidency, 52 American diplomats were taken hostage. Jimmy couldn't do anything useful about it. The rest is history.

Now we are within 100 days of a new presidency, there is already one American cargo ship captain held hostage. The community organizer guy 66 million Americans voted had the audacity not wanting to talk about it?

Americans, if this is the change you've expected, where is the hope? Count it down, there are 1307 days until the next election.

Meanwhile, in the Amusing department:
See Barry

See Barry bow
BOW to that Saudi dude!

A-ha! OBOWma!

Oh no, that was not a bow, according to the White House, just a dipping forward or a plethora of different versions of lie/explanations. Well, see the video below and decide for yourself, pay special attention to the time instants 0.54-0.57 :

Now that you have seen the Obama bow, let's find out what does it mean. Since we don't usually bow, may be it's better to ask what would Japanese people think when they see it? According to wiki.answers:

The etiquette surrounding bowing, including the length and depth of bow, and the appropriate response, is exceedingly complex. For example, if the other person maintains his or her bow for longer than expected (generally about two or three seconds), it is polite to bow again, upon which one may receive another bow in return. This often leads to a long exchange of progressively lighter bows.

Generally speaking, an inferior bows longer, more deeply and more frequently than a superior. A superior addressing an inferior will generally only nod the head slightly, while some superiors may not bow at all and an inferior will bend forward slightly from the waist.

So here's what a Japanese would think: the President of the United Sates of America casts himself as an inferior bow to that l'il Saudi dude as superior who hardly even nod his head. If this does not get you outraged, I don't think there's anything in this world would outrage you and you should have absolutely no right to criticize George W. Bush from now on no matter what. GWB had never embarrassing or insulting his country and people like that!


Here's another illuminating Youtube called "A Tale of Two Bows" that shows you more clearly what this guy currently occupying the U.S. Presidency's incredible real face:

Wake up America!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A lucky rock fisherman

Here's the story of a lucky rock fisherman at Elizabeth Beach of Australia reported in Great Lakes Advocate:
A ROCK fisherman owes his life to a bucket and volunteer lifesavers after an hour spent clinging to the plastic container in rough seas off Elizabeth Beach yesterday morning ended in his rescue.

The Newcastle man, 43, was swept into the sea by a rogue wave around 7am.

His two companions raised the alarm and Surf Life Saving NSW was contacted 40 minutes later.

The organisation’s Donna Wishart said the first rescuer on the scene was Pacific Palms jet ski operator Lennon Fisher, who gained his qualifications a fortnight ago.

The Westpac rescue helicopter was also tasked from Newcastle.

Within 15 minutes Mr Fisher found the stricken man floating 150 metres offshore, hanging onto a bucket with a lid.

The hypothermic and slightly disoriented patient was taken to the southern end of Seven Mile Beach, and carried by ambulance to Manning Hospital.

Apart from suffering cuts and bruises and swallowing water, Ms Wishart said the Caves Beach man is “recovering well” in hospital.

Lower North Coast lifesaving director Julie Wilcox said the patient was pleased to see his rescuer.

“We were extremely lucky our jet ski operator was on the scene so quickly,” she said. “The man was very grateful. He thanked us and said “I would have been dead for sure without you guys”. He was especially lucky because he was wearing very heavy boots and overalls and would have been in real trouble without the bucket.”

Mrs Wilcox said the near-miss highlighted a need for rock fishers to wear lifejackets.

“Fishing from rock platforms is intrinsically dangerous because the sea conditions can be unpredictable.”

The three fishermen had trekked around the rocks from The Ruins campground in Booti Booti National Park at 5am, before the man was swept into the sea two hours later.

Lifesavers also managed to salvage the man’s lucky bucket, which has been reunited with its owner in hospital.

A 30-year-old man drowned at Sawtell on March 28, swept from a rock from which he was fishing.

I guess all beach goers should wear lifejacket, it is especially necessary for rock fishermen. Any wave comes up will capable of sweeping some one to sea, freaque waves or otherwise. One cannot really define which one is or is not a freaque wave. I am probably too old to understand why would people wish to do rock fishing, to me the danger just too great to justify the excitement of doing it.

Italy earthquake

The following news items is from Google LatLong Blog yesterday:
Early Monday morning, the Italian region of Abruzzo was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter of the quake was in L'Aquila, a town about 100km northeast of Rome. According to the latest news reports, authorities fear that more than 200 people may have lost their lives.
along with this picture:
and this comment we share:
Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the population that has been affected by this tragedy.
Amid the tragic event, this Yahoo News reported that a scientist, Gioacchino Giuliani, who works at the National Institute of Physics, had warned last month that "a devastating earthquake in the central Abruzzo region was imminent." But Italian officials shrugged off his warnings. Geophysicists in general have been skeptical about earthquake early warning system. This one is no exception:

Although scientists say it's easy to say where big quakes are likely to happen, pinning down the timing can't be done, at least not yet.

"It's a very humbling field to be in ... We cannot predict earthquakes," said Ross Stein, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California.

"To predict an earthquake, whatever it is that we're using would have to be a reliable indicator ... And no one has gotten close to that."

While Giuliani, who based his forecast on emission of radon gas, made the forecast,

Giuliani's forecast was far from perfect. He believed the quake would have struck the town of Sulmona, which is more than 50 km (30 miles) south of L'Aquila. He also got the date wrong, predicting the quake would strike several days earlier.

The head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency, Guido Bertolaso, told reporters that if they had listened to Giuliani, they probably would have evacuated the residents of Sulmona to L'Aquila just in time for the earthquake.

So for many years now we have been told that it is not possible to pinpoint predict earthquakes anywhere yet is still the case. Radon gas is one of many approaches scientists explored, it gotten close, but we are not quite there yet!

Another coastal rock fishing tragedy

Here's a picture of the Battery Point Lighthouse of Crescent City, California. A tragedy happened Monday afternoon as reported by Sean Garmire of the Times-Standard:

Two Crescent City men drowned Monday afternoon when a large wave swept them from the rocks as they were fishing near the Battery Point Lighthouse.

Those men, 36-year-old Troy Kuykendall and Hoyt Walker, 46, were fishing for perch when a rogue wave suddenly hit the jagged rocky point on which the men were standing, pulling Kuykendall into the water, said Del Norte County Sheriff's Cmdr. Tim Athey.

While Walker attempted to reach his friend, another wave slammed against the point and swept him into the water, as well.

Athey said Troy Kuykendall's brother, 33-year-old Ben Kuykendall of Fresno, who was fishing nearby, jumped into the water in an effort to save the two other men, but a third wave pushed him back out of the water and onto the rocks.

Del Norte County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and attempted to reach the men, but the rocky area was too dangerous, and police were forced to call the U.S. Coast Guard, Athey said.

Coast Guard Lt j.g. Todd Vorenkamp piloted the helicopter that reached the scene as Sheriff's deputies below continued their rescue attempts.

They managed to recover the bodies but both lives lost tragically. May they rest in peace.

Coastal rocks are beautiful and challenging, nevertheless, stay away from them!

Encounters on approaching the Cape Horn

I always like to hear first hand account of an encounter with freaque waves. That's not very easy to come by. Here's one that was first published a few months ago by Ashley Ford of the Province just reprinted in Granted that it's bordering as an article for a cruise ship advertisement, but the encounter part sounds quite real:

It's the deadliest tip of the world and, as we approach Cape Horn, it bares its fangs.

Howling, savage 40-knot winds, gusting to 50 knots out of the west- northwest kick the sea into a boiling pot of 13-metre waves that pound themselves against our ship.

And while equal to the task, Celebrity Cruise Lines' Infinity and all her 593 feet and 90,000 tonnes shudders, dips and spirals as the mighty southern sea sends out a not-so-gentle message of just who is in command down here.

The ship's master, Captain Dimitrios Kefetzis, calmly breaks in to give the latest navigational report and ends with his usual cheerful "this is the captain . . . out!"

Two hours later, he is on the blower again saying conditions have forced a course change to get into the Magellan Straits. An hour later at dinner we all get a personal message. A rogue wave smashes into us, sending food like missiles through the air -- food all over the place and some passengers literally under the table.

The crew act immediately and it is a case of cuts and bruises, rather than broken bones, smashed glasses and spilled wine -- sob.

Welcome to the most exciting and challenging cruising in the world.

One cannot feel but humbled by the likes of Ferdinand Magellan and Sir Francis Drake who exhibited amazing seamanship as their tiny ships clawed their way through this oft-inhospitable but enchantingly beautiful region.

The author also alluded to something many of us may have felt at one time or another:
Having grown up in the southern seas, "going around the Horn" had long been a personal desire. But advancing age ruled out the thirst to jump on a sailing vessel to do it the real way.
Later on she had this to tell:

Early next morning, we find ourselves deep into the stark but stunning fiord country as our trusty captain gently steers his behemoth amazingly close to the edge of the mighty Skua Glacier. The weather gods are with us and the bleak, early-morning sunshine is just strong enough to highlight the incredible blue ice of the glacier.

As we gently glide out to sea, reality hits and we see why four seasons can be experienced in a minute down here. A savage blast comes from nowhere and the Pacific churns up.

I duck inside only to narrowly avoid being beaned by a flying bottle of gin that was soon accompanied by many other flying bottles as I pass by the liquor store.

The pounding keeps up for hours until the captain changes course and takes us into the Straits of Magellan.

I guess "A savage blast comes from nowhere" can be interpreted as another freaque wave encounter also.

As one who's really "advancing" in age and always in need of Dramamin I think I am contented onland reading about these stories rather than venture the actuality of going around the Horn . Because freaque waves are out there can pop up any time any place, rain or shine, with or without any eye witnesses to account for it.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Palm Sunday Prayer

Almighty, ever-living God, you have given the human race Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility. He fulfilled your will by becoming man and giving his life on the cross. Help us to bear witness to you by following his example of suffering, and make us worthy to share in his resurrection. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


From Medjugorie Forum