Fingers Crossed

On Monday I was off so I spent the morning putting together the teams for Northwood. After four hours I had six teams and one big headache. I emailed a pdf file to each coach and a note to all the parents and went up to lie down. Now I just hope that the effort will result in fairly equal teams. We have one very young goalie that everyone was worried about. I knew I could beef up a team around him but how much? On Saturday we had scrimmages for final evaluation and he looked shaky against the youngest line and I was dreaming up combinations that would give the team a chance. On Sunday he faced the two older groups and held his own against the older kids and goalies. Now I just hope that if he continues to improve rapidly that I didn't make the team around him too strong. That's why I get the big buck I guess. Keep those fingers crossed everybody.

I couldn't sleep so I watched a Discovery Channel program about a British Airways flight the nearly ended in disaster. On the way from England to Australia the 747 passed over Indonesia and as it crossed the southern coast the pilots saw what looked like an electric snowstorm through the windshield. The wings were glowing and the engines looked to be covered in electric energy. The engines began trailing about 30 feet of flames. They lost one and then all four engines at 37,000 feet and started gliding. They could not restart the engines and began losing altitude, one mile for every 15 traveled. They determined they could not reach Australia so turned back for Jacarta. Air traffic control had trouble receiving their Mayday calls. The cabin began filling with smoke and they could not find any source. As the cabin lost air pressure the oxygen masks dropped into the laps of the passengers. The mask for the co-pilot was broken so the pilot dove the huge plane to keep his partner conscious. The strange effects they had seen stopped. As they neared the Indonesian coast the engines finally responded to their attempts to restart. They lost one again but had enough power to land in Jacarta. As they approached they went through more of the weird lights and electrically charged air and lost one engine. On final approach they found they could not see through the windshield and to top it the ILS was down at the airport. As the co-pilot read out the glide slope the pilot brought the plane in safely. The nose, windshield and leading edges looked as if they were sandblasted. Rolls Royce did a complete forensic teardown of the engines and found the problem. They had flown through volcanic ash from Mount Galunggung. Clouds of ash have no moisture so they don't appear on radar and at night are virtually invisible. The ash is basically a very fine sand that caused the 'St. Elmo's Fire' effect they saw, resulted in the smoke in the cabin and also caked the inside of the engines in a layer of molten soot that clogged them enough to flame out. Turning back actually put them through the cloud a second time. Once it cooled during the glide the material hardened and enough dropped off the engines to allow restart. The passengers had resigned themselves to certain death but instead they gather as the Galunggung Gliding Club on the anniversary of the memorable flight.

In the evening I headed out to the First Nations Rink #2 for a few games. I should have brought a parka and an ice scraper. The midget Kings practiced prior to the games and they gather around the timekeepers box to talk and sweat. The glass was totally frosted over and I had to use a puck to scrape it off so I could see even the lights of the clock. They sure have let the rink get run down.

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