Category Archives: Previous Ramblings

CTA Operator Asleep when Blue Line Train Crashed at O’Hare Airport

She is a newly trained Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operator, with just 60 days under her belt when she was at the helm of the Blue Line train that jumped the tracks, crashed through an end barrier, climbed stairs, and finally came to rest at the top of an escalator at O’Hare Airport earlier this week. Yet, being newly trained and inexperienced is not the reason she crashed.

According to a story posted by The Chicago Tribune, “the operator has openly told investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that she was asleep at the wheel.”

But, wait there is more…

In addition, the operator has reported to the authorities that this is not the first time she fell asleep on the job. She cited an earlier incident where she was “asleep at the wheel” as she headed toward the Belmont Station on February 1, and overshot the station at that time.

Now, granted it was 0242 in the morning at the time of the O’Hare crash, and at this time of night many people are snuggled warmly in their beds, sound asleep. Moreover, it is the very time of the crash occurring which may have what prevented serious or fatal injuries at the station.

The NTSB is saying that the train’s emergency brakes should have stopped the train before it jumped the tracks, climbed stairs, and landed at the top of an escalator “if the operator’s hand leaves the switch” but if the operator’s hand is still touching the switch…

I understand how hard night shifts are as I have been a Psychiatric RN working in a hospital based crisis stabilization program for years. There is no way I would sleep at the nurse’s station. First, it would endanger my life. Second, it would endanger my peers and patients.

Falling asleep on the job happens everywhere and I get that.

However, if you fall asleep on the job more than once, seriously, you need to reconsider what your job is and consider a different job on a different shift. No job is worth your life or the life of others. Additionally, I can say if I was responsible for hurting or killing people on the job I doubt I would ever sleep soundly again.

Boston Fire Department Confirms 2 Firefighters Dead, 18 injured at Beacon Street Blaze

Boston lost two of its finest today when a 4-story brownstone on Beacon Street went up in flames. The fire started in the basement and due to high winds quickly spread to the rest of the floors. All residents living in the building, who were home when the fire started, were evacuated safely. The fire quickly reached nine alarms, trapping two firefighters in the basement.

Firefighter Michael Kennedy age 33 was on the department for almost 7 years. He was a United States Marine. Lt. Edward Walsh, age 43, leaves behind a wife and three children. All three children, 2 sons and a daughter, are under the age of 10. In 2012, Walsh was promoted to Lieutenant. He has been with the Boston Fire Department for ten years. The men were first on the scene and shortly after entering the home, called a mayday. Listening to the recording is heart wrenching.  

In all 150 fire fighters and approximately 20 fire trucks responded to the multi-alarm fire, which began around 245 pm eastern time.

The injured were firefighters, and police officers, 18 people in all were transported to local hospitals for minor injuries.

I pray for the families of Kennedy and Walsh and their coworkers as they say good bye to two of Boston’s finest.

God bless.


Malaysian Flight MH370 Confirmed Lost at Sea

The Malaysian Prime Minister has sadly confirmed to the public that the Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 has been confirmed lost in the Indian Ocean near Perth, Australia. Items located on satellite radar is now believed to be consistent with life vests that are bright orange. Relatives of the passengers on flight MH370 have been given the news that all lives are lost at sea. My prayers are with the families as they begin to accept the news that everyone expected, but hoped would not be true.

The American Navy is flying a device to the area believed to be where Malaysian flight MH370 ended in the ocean that is highly sensitive and may be able to locate the black box from the aircraft by detecting the ping given off when a plane crashes. Hopefully, the black box if located may bring answers that have been so frustratingly far and few between. Perhaps it will provide the answers as to why the plane seemed to fluctuate between 35,000 feet and 12,000 feet during its flight.

How does a Boeing 777 disappear with out a trace?

It is going on two weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 vanished into thin air. Is it magic? Was David Copperfield onboard the flight? Perhaps, Stephen King was sitting in one of the rows? 

Three days into the disappearance during a press conference I remember specifically hearing the following words..

 “We are intensifying the search for the missing airliner.”

Seriously?! Who would have imagined going into day three we would be intensifying the search. Day three, and, there is still no clues about what happened to a Boeing 777 carrying 239 people, including the 12 person flight crew. The Boeing jet was headed to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, only 40 minutes into its flight when it appeared to have disappeared off the grid.

Now, almost two weeks later we know that  239 people and a BIG airplane remains a mystery. I cannot imagine how the family members are dealing with the emotional toll day after day of not knowing where there loved one is and if he or she is dead or alive.

I am praying…for the crew and passengers, and their families, for the answers about what happened to the plane and the people.

Is anyone else surprised that the plane’s transponder could be shut of from inside the cockpit? Why would it ever be required to be shut off anyway?

Gee Wally I was feeling so safe and secure with all the changes implemented since 9-11, but now…

The Aurora Colorado Shooter is a Coward

As I read and learn more about the mass shooting in Aurora Colorado, I cannot help thinking “what a coward” the shooter was. I will not mention that cowards name here for he deserves no recognition for his actions that have destroyed countless lives and families. While discussing the tragedy with my husband I referred to the shooter as a coward. My husband asked, “Why does everyone call him a coward?”

I responded to his question…he is a coward because he attacked people in a crowded, very dark, noisy movie theatre. Throwing up a smoke screen to further confuse and disorient his victims and shooting those who tried to escape. At the time, I had not yet officially had time to read any news sources about the shooting, instead hearing most of the information second hand from fellow employees as they arrived for work early Friday morning.

Then last light as I scanned the news regarding the incident I noticed many referred to the shooter as a coward and I realized he truly was a coward. The shooter presented in a sneak attack in the middle of the night, shooting children in the arms of their parent in a place synonymous with family fun. He was wearing full SWAT like gear to protect himself from the police he knew would arrive quickly in the mayhem, booby trapping his apartment with trip wires connected to massive amounts of explosive, chemical and incendiary devices which could harm and destroy many more lives after he is arrested…simply put he was a coward.

He scurried into the theatre under the cover of darkness and in full gear, armed to the hilt with 4 guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition, up to no good, causing disease and death in his path for years to come. He was definitely a coward. I am pretty sure that not even God can help him now and then I began to wonder what would happen if the world prayed for this coward in the passing days. Pray that he sees the darkness he carries with him and forcing him into the light of complete and utter realization of the evil inside his mind, body, and spirit. So, I will pray…

I will pray that he sees each victim’s eyes watching him every time tries to sleep. I pray he remains sleepless and tormented by those watching him from beyond heavens gates. I pray that when he finally falls into an exhausted sleep he dreams vividly in full color and in bright light the families he tried to destroy with his cowardly actions and sees that they only grow stronger as the days past. I pray he sees clearly all that he has done in the days ahead and that he is never able to forget the torment he has placed upon his own family. Yes, I think I will pray for the coward, but only after, I have prayed for those innocent men, women and children in Aurora Colorado first.

I pray angels fly above them, angels fly below them and angels fly all around the families affected in Aurora Colorado bathing the victims healing from physical, emotional and spiritual wounds in warm white bright healing light. I pray angels protect the families and loved ones present in the theatre in the long hard days ahead and that everyone who reads of this tragedy never take for granted how fragile life is and how much they love those around them. I pray…

The Dangers of Ivory Wave and Starry Nights Synthetic Bath Salts

The Dangers of Ivory Wave and Starry Nights Synthetic Bath Salts

Synthetic bath salts like Ivory Wave, Starry Nights, White Rush and Vanilla Sky are being ingested to obtain a very dangerous legal high similar to cocaine.

White Rush, Starry Nights, Ivory Wave and Vanilla Sky are the names of synthetic bath salts that are being sold in specialty stores including smoke shops and on the internet. The bath salts are marketed in packets of 250 milligrams which is less than the size of a sugar packet from a local restaurant. The cost varies depending on where the bath salts are purchased, but usually sell for around 40 dollars. Although most of the bath salts come printed with a specific warning stating that it is not for human consumption young adults, especially teenagers, are ingesting, snorting, smoking, and injecting bath salts to obtain what is being called a legal high.

Read more at Suite101: The Dangers of Ivory Wave and Starry Nights Synthetic Bath Salts |

Distracted Driving – Video

Warning: The video is graphic…yet everyone should watch it and consider how one person can affect so many lives with one impulsive and carelessly thought out action.

In essence everyone is in a hurry to do what – get nowhere fast. In the end if you do not arrive alive or you have to live with the fact that your distracted and hurried driving hurt or killed someone else what will it matter if you were early or late. One mistake, one bad choice, one rushed action can lead to a devastating consequence.

Hang up the cell phone, put down MP3 player, turn down your radio, stop eating, drinking, dressing, undressing, reading, computing and WATCH what you are doing when you are behind the wheel of a car. It is called distracted driving. One mistake…one second of taking your eyes off the road…one time and it is over. Maybe you live, but who wants to live with the knowledge that he or she is responsible for hurting or killing someone. The life you save maybe your own, or the life of someone you love.

On the way to work last week I was hit from behind. Not especially hard…and I am ok, but the 2 people in the white car behind me that hit me decided to drive off and leave the scene of an accident. Why? I do not know. We were travelling at less than 15 MPH crossing an overpass @ 1040 pm as people were working construction on the over pass and it was down to one lane.

Do you wonder if the person you hit was hurt? What if I had my children in the car with me? My husband has been the victim of several car accidents (none of them his fault) but do to the careless hurried actions of others he has had 4 neck surgeries and lives with chronic daily pain. Had you hit him that night or had he been in my tan/gold ford Windstar van, he might be paralyzed. Another accident, even a minor one might not kill him, but it might change our lives significantly.

No one seems to want to accept accountability for the consequences of their actions. Everyone wants to find someone else to blame. In the end the only person who will be there for you is you and you have to live with your choices. We all make bad choices every day, but hopefully the choices we make do not hurt or kill someone, because when the sunsets you still have to close your eyes and try to forget who you hurt, endangered or killed. Sweet Dreams!

Alisa Maier Safe – Paul Sterling Smith Dead

Alisa Maier Safe – Paul Sterling Smith Dead
Erika Lyn Smith, BellaOnline’s Missing and Exploited Children Editor
Alisa Maier’s safe return is a testament to the effectiveness an Amber Alert can play in helping a community find an abducted child. Alisa Maier is home safe after being kidnapped by convicted child predator Paul Sterling Smith. Learn how the Amber Alert worked to save this child.

Paul Sterling Smith – Convicted Sex Offender

A woman has come forward detailing her history of living with Alisa Maier’s abductor when Paul Sterling Smith was in his twenties. The boy Smith was convicted of sodomizing was her 10 year old son. Paul Sterling Smith was convicted and served 11 years in prison.

Those eleven years are a drop in the bucket considering the lifetime of memories he gave one family. Memories that may now fade a little since Paul Sterling Smith made a choice to end his life when confronted by law enforcement in the kidnapping of 4 year old Alisa Maier from Louisiana Missouri.

I have to continue to wonder if Paul Sterling Smith may have been involved in Angie Marie Housman’s kidnapping and murder (Saint Ann Missouri) or perhaps Charles Arlin Henderson (Moscow Mills Missouri) or Tracy Pickett (Joplin Missouri) or Scott Kleeschulte (Saint Charles)? Perhaps there will be answers as the investigation continues into the life and death of convicted sex offender Paul Sterling Smith.

I pray for those who were hurt by Paul Sterling Smith, for Paul himself, for Paul’s family, for Alisa Maier, and for the family of Alisa Maier. The world feels a little safer tonight for children in Missouri. Perhaps as the day fades into night those hurt by Paul Smith will find some peace.

Paul Sterling Smith (Possible Kidnapper of Alisa Maier) DEAD

As police closed in on Paul Sterling Smith a convicted child sex offender believed to be the kidnapper of 4 year old Alisa Maier as she played in her front yard in Louisiana Missouri on Monday he attempted suicide from self-inflicted gunshot wound.

It was initially reported that he had died at the scene on Highway D at HawkPoint in Lincoln County. Authorities later clarified Paul Sterling Smith was in critical condition at a local hospital. Today it was announced that Paul Smith died from a self inflicted gunshot around 1034 last night. They are certain that Paul Sterling Smith is the man who took Alisa Maier, as evidenced in video footage of Paul Smith in a Wal-mart store showing the man buying clothes for the abducted child.

In addition, Alisa Maier was wearing those same clothes when she was found wandering a car wash in Fenton Missouri. Her hair had been cut short. And when Alisa Maier saw a picture of Paul Smith on the news her family reports she stated “that man cut my hair.”

Paul Sterling Smith was out of jail only 2 weeks. He has previously served time in prison for sodomizing a 10 year old male back in 1995. How many children has Paul Smith destroyed ove the years. Two years before Paul Smith went to prison in 1995 Angie Marie Housman was kidnapped and murdered. Was Paul Sterling Smith in the Saint Loius area at that time? Could he have been involved in the abduction and murder of Angie Maire Housman?

I pray for the day Angie Marie Housman’s killer is identified. Please GOD let us find Angie’s killer!

Alisa Maier Found Alive!!!

Late last night Alisa was found wandering a car wash. Initially reports stated a little boy was wandering the car wash but it turns out Alisa has had her hair cut maybe to disguise her looks. Also at this time there is a report of a possible shooting that may involve the perpetrator in Lincoln County. Authorities state another murder that happened in Troy over the weekend may also be connected to Alisa Maier’s abduction.

Amber Alert – Alisha Maier

A 4 year old girl has been abducted from Louisiana Missouri. Please contact authorities if you know the where about of this little girl.
Alisa Maier has brown hair, brown eyes, weighs 40 pounds and is three feet tall. She was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jean shorts. Her abductor may be a white male in his teens or early 20’s with dark curly hair.

The vehicle is believed to be a black four door car that may have front hood damage.

Anyone with information about Alisa is encouraged to call police. The direct line for investigators is 573-754-4021. You can also call 314-612-3000 or e-mail if you have any information in this case.

Stripper Mobile

Saint Louis is again making news! This time not for having the highest crime or chlamydia rate, but for the newest Saint Louis attraction – the stripper mobile.

Yes, a moving van with plexiglass sides sporting a shiny pole and scantily clad women. Seriously?! How does this NOT violate seatbelt or distracted driving laws? People leaving a Cardinal’s game at Busch Stadium have a new attraction to look for as they travel home after a ball game.

Hank, Hank he is NOT our man!

Is it possible anyone is this uneducated? Seriously?! Who voted for this guy? I am more frightened each passing day at how our society is spiralling out of control and raising a society of fragile and uneducated people. If you ever wondered why Japan and other countries laugh at the United States of America, this will answer that question. Please enjoy an educational moment by Congressman Hank Johnson.

Margaret Gipsy Moth

A sad day for photojournalists across the world tonight, yet I am sure Margaret Gipsy Moth is sliding (on her combat boots) straight into heaven saying “Wow! What a ride!”

May Margaret Moth R.I.P. as she has certainly earned her wings, as a photojournalist for CNN, Margaret Moth stood fearless in almost any situation. She barely survived being hit by a sniper’s rifle in Sarajavo during the war in 1992 but returned to Sarajavo as soon as physical able. She gives the words “no fear” new meaning.

JK Wedding Entrance Dance

JK Wedding Entrance Dance Video on You Tube.

Jill and Kevin’s Big Day!

This is the BEST wedding video!

Thank you Jill and Kevin for sharing your day!

Your video is an incredibly uplifting celebration of love that always brings a smile to my face.

I play this video when I need a pick me up!

What a wonderful tribute to LOVE and love should be a celebration.

We are truly blessed if we ever find our ONE true love (that one person who is our kindred spirit).

The love we feel should be celebrated everyday!

I truly hope that if Jill or Kevin ever doubt their love that they watch their video and remember the love that brought them to this day!


Bianca Noel Piper – Missing

Bianca Noel Piper has been missing for 5 years now. At the time of her disappearance she was just 13 year old. Today Bianca would be 18. Sadly I learned through a Post Dispatch article that Bianca’s father passed away last year from a heart attack. In happier news, her older sister had a baby girl. As the Post Dispatch pointed out Bianca is now an aunt.

Bianca’s mother Shannon Tanner has left the house where she lived with Bianca and moved to Saint Charles Missouri. If you are familiar with the story regarding Bianca’s disappearance you know her family lived in Foley, Missouri in the country. The night Bianca Piper disappeared she argued with her mom regarding washing the dishes.

Many people question Bianca’s mom’s decision to follow the advice of a therapist who recommended that Bianca walk off her anger. The night of Bianca’s disappearance, Shannon Tanner drove her daughter up the road from their home and dropped her off by the bridge to walk back home. She had a flashlight because it was dusk. Bianca never made it home.

Hindsight in parenting is always 20/20. As a mother I myself have made decisions that I later questioned if it was the right decision. At the time with the information we have we do the best we can do, knowing most of the time it works out in the end. Sometimes the ending is unexpected, unexplainable, and tragic. Yet it is so easy to question the parenting decisions of other people.

In reality only God, Bianca and her mom know what transpired that evening in Foley Missouri. It is not our job to question, that is what law enforcement is for. Our job is to pray for Bianca’s safe return, and to pray that the person or people who do know what happened to Bianca that night come forward and allow Bianca to come home one way or another.

Real Baby Starves as Korean Couple Nurtures Online Super Baby

A South Korean couple supposedly grieving over the loss of their jobs nurtured a super baby in an online game while their own premature baby slowly starved to death. The couple allegedly only fed their infant one time a day but was spending an obscene amount of time raising a virtual super baby. The virtual online baby displays super-powers as it is nurtured and grows in the fantasy 3D game from Prius Online.