I am having an affair. She is 47, though she certainly doesn’t look her age, and I will go to the ends of the Earth for her.What’s more my wife understands and turns a blind eye to my other love. For that love is an aircraft — but not any aircraft.The author in front of the NASA DC-9-72.This is the Douglas DC-8, the most rugged jet airliner ever built and the only subsonic design to break the sound barrier. Its nickname says it all — the Battleship Eight. It is the plane that started my passion for aviation in 1968.Read: The history of the magnificent DC-8Fast forward to now and an opportunity of a lifetime — to fly on the NASA DC-8, one of the last flying today. A year in the planning and approval, delayed by aviation tragedies such as MH370, the big day loomed with almost schoolboy first love anticipation. Is all my photographic equipment charged up?What if the weather is lousy … will the mission be scrubbed? How much time do I allow to drive from Long Beach to Palmdale, California, in peak hour?The day dawned without a cloud — just light mist. And I timed the drive — three hours — perfectly.The author in Doug Baker’s seat.NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Centre is at Palmdale regional airport California, about 120km north-east of Los Angeles. It is home to a fleet of five planes, including the DC-8 and a Boeing 747SP which sports a massive telescope. The fleet is dedicated to advancing technology and science through flight. It has a wide range of missions from validating space exploration concepts to airborne remote sensing and science missions. One of the DC-8’s main missions is the IceBridge.Using the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled, it characterizes annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of the Earth’s polar ice to climate change and resulting rise in sea levels.Flying high over Long Beach – home of the DC-8But this is not just the province of a few scientists. When the plane last went on a mission over the South Pole, students used an online text chat portal that allowed them to ask researchers questions over the DC-8’s satellite communication system. During these chats, IceBridge communicated with 867 students in 37 classrooms across the US and Chile. But I am well away from the South Pole on a balmy Californian morning.I am greeted like a long lost friend by NASA pilots — there is a special bond between lovers of the DC-8. These pilots have the right stuff in spades. Our captain for the flight is Richard “Dick” Ewers, a 43-year veteran. From 747s and airships to F-18 fighters he has done it all and more.The more? Test pilot, Vietnam veteran and aircraft carrier pilot.NASA top gun pilots Richard Ewers and Dave FedorsHelping him fly the Battleship Eight is another top gun, David Fedors. A colonel in the US Air Force Reserve, Fedors has also been a military and civilian test pilot and is the lead author of numerous Air Force Test Center technical papers.And the third member of the flight crew is the all-important Flight Engineer Matt Pitsch, who wasn’t born when this DC-8 first came to life.Our DC-8 has done it all.Built-in 1969 as a Douglas DC-8 Super 62, it was delivered to Italian airline Alitalia. In its glory days, it was the world’s longest range plane, whisking well-heeled jetsetters across the globe.NASA bought it in 1985 and fitted new technology General Electric engines that improved fuel burn and range significantly. It has 52,700 total flight hours on the clock — a fraction of its capability. In fact, the DC-8 is the only aircraft that has unlimited structural life. It was designed by old-school aeronautical engineers, who cut their teeth on the plane that taught the world to fly — the indestructible DC-3.The DC-8 — and its more famous and successful competitor the Boeing 707— launched the jet age as we know it in the late 50s.But back to the present and before I can ride in this magnificent machine, which is kept in factory new condition, there is the small matter of a safety instruction. This is not the three-minute one that no one takes notice of on an airliner. I am at NASA and things are done differently.The briefing starts at 10.30am and lasts an hour. It involves a detailed Powerpoint presentation and the fitting of oxygen hoods. After the briefing, we are taken out to the DC-8 for further instruction aboard. By noon we are done and have time for a quick snack before we have to be back aboard. Take-off time is 2.30pm which means boarding an hour before.Cdr Ewers adds icing to my cake by inviting me to ride in the cockpit. Am I dreaming?I get my oxygen/smoke hood which must be carried at all times and take my seat in the cockpit. After a long and painstaking list of pre-flight checks, we are ready to reach for the skies. Although fitted with much of the latest high-tech gadgetry, the DC-8 is essentially a 1950s technology plane and this requires a lot of input from the three-man crew. We are airborne in just 20 seconds — we are light for a four-hour mission.After take-off, a right turn has us climbing over the snow-capped mountains surrounding LA, which is soon below us. The city of freeways seems to spread for hundreds of kilometres. The DC-8 is as steady as a rock and she soars to 38,000ft.Over San Francisco in the NASA DC-8Capt. Fedors loves the DC-8. “The DC-8 was the first aircraft I ever rode in as a wide-eyed kid, launching my interest in aviation, so it is a privilege to be able to fly it in 2015, ” Capt. Fedors says. “She is proven very reliable and adaptable to the science mission. “The robust structure makes it easy to modify and she is the best loved aircraft in NASA Armstrong’s fleet by both maintenance and aircrews.”It was time to launch the weather sensors built by Yankee Environmental Systems. Five were dispatched over 30 minutes and our mission was complete.Our DC-8 gently rolled right towards San Francisco. Far too quickly for me the flower-power city was below and not a cloud to impede the magnificent view. Another right turn and Palmdale bathed in a setting sun was on the nose of our DC-8.Coming into land at Palmdale, California.Our commander did an easy curved visual approach and I was left with the impression he could do it in his sleep. But there was nothing sleepy about the landing drills on this DC-8. Everything by the numbers.The touchdown was smooth as the sun set behind the mountains. Time to say goodbye to my other love and return to my true love.
The heart of growing your revenue is opportunity acquisition. More opportunities equals more sales (provided you win at the same rate and the average deal size is the same). But some sales organizations (and some salespeople) fail to acquire enough opportunities to grow.Failure to Acquire Opportunities from Existing ClientsSome sales organizations (and salespeople) don’t create enough opportunities from their existing client portfolio.These sales organizations do all of the work to acquire a client and then settle for a relatively low wallet share–even though they already have the relationships (or should), already have a contract, and already have some ideas as to how they might create more value for their clients. They stay focused on new client development, winning new clients only to half-win them, too.Never let it be said that I even hinted at the idea that you should slow down your efforts to hunt and to win new clients. But you also can’t easily grow if you don’t develop the clients you’ve already won, and that means working to acquire new opportunities from within those clients.Failure to Acquire Opportunities from New ClientsEven more sales organizations struggle to grow their revenue numbers because they believe that their existing clients can–and will–provide them with all of the opportunities they’ll ever need. But then they stall. Worse still, they lose a major client (or two), and all of sudden they find themselves in a tail spin.There is no way to win new clients and develop new opportunities fast enough to solve the problem of stalled or declining revenue once you start experiencing it. The time to have started hunting is long past by then. Even while you are developing existing clients, you have to keep your foot on the pedal.GrowthGrowing your revenue number is never really easy. But the recipe calls for acquiring new opportunities from within your existing clients while at the same time winning new clients. Focusing on only one at the expense of the other is the cause of stalled–or declining–revenue numbers.QuestionsDo you spend more time farming opportunities within your existing clients or hunting outside?Is your wallet share such that you can confidently say that you have all of the opportunities that you should have from within your client portfolio?How many new clients do you have to win to acquire enough opportunities to hit your revenue targets?Are you neglecting one source of new opportunities? Are you neglecting both? Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now read more
Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Urgent reply from Philippine football chief But five months after James began training with the Lakers, the perfectly scripted finale has been stuck in what entertainment industry executives call “development hell”.After a promising start to their new era, the Lakers have tailed off dramatically since an injured James limped out of a Christmas Day upset of the mighty Golden State Warriors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesREAD: Grizzlies overcome LeBron James’ triple double, dent Lakers’ playoff At that point, the Lakers were still firmly in the Western Conference playoff hunt with a respectable 20-14 record. View comments Since then, however, the Lakers have won nine games and lost 17, a slump which has seen them fall out of the playoff rankings into 11th spot in the West, three places adrift of the eighth postseason slot.Much of that slide can be attributed to James’ prolonged absence due to a groin injury, with the 34-year-old missing all of January before returning for a 123-120 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on February 1.However, the Lakers have continued to struggle even with James back in the line-up.READ: Anthony Davis-less Pelicans stunt Lakers playoff push A chastening sequence of results has included the heaviest defeat of James’ career, a 136-94 pounding by the Indiana Pacers, as well as losses to lower-ranked opponents who have little to play for.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Team USA among No. 1 seeds for FIBA World Cup in China PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss The most recent of those came on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies, who are one place off the bottom of the West with a 24-38 record.James later appeared to question his team-mates’ focus after Monday’s 110-105 reverse in Memphis, suggesting that any player unable to cope with the pressure of chasing a playoff berth should find another club.Locker room turmoil?“At this point if you are still allowing distractions to affect how the way you play, then this is the wrong franchise to be a part of and you should just come and be like, ‘Listen, I don’t think this is for me’,” James told reporters.Those kind of comments are unlikely to endear him to a locker room which has reportedly been in turmoil since the team’s pursuit of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis ended in failure in early February.The Lakers were reported to have offered several prominent members of their roster in exchange for Davis, including Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.READ: LeBron James not ‘chasing’ Lakers rebuildJames meanwhile had earlier spoken favorably of a possible link-up with Davis, saying playing alongside the Pelicans ace would be “amazing”.The perception that the Lakers’ pursuit of Davis was going ahead with James’ blessing was pounced upon by rival fans.Ingram was subjected to taunts of “LeBron’s gonna trade you” during the loss to Indiana on February 5. PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)As movie pitches go, LeBron James’ move to the Los Angeles Lakers had all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster.An ageing NBA superstar joins a storied-but-struggling franchise and leads a dramatic revival which transforms the team into title contenders.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ One unnamed NBA executive believes James bears some of the responsibility for the Lakers’ problems by making no secret of his admiration for Davis.“He killed the Lakers’ chemistry,” the executive told Bleacher Report. “He shouldn’t have been so public about it.”Other pundits, however, believe the Lakers’ problems are linked directly to James’ fitness and his lengthy injury layoff.“The biggest problem with the Los Angeles Lakers is LeBron James,” Stephen A. Smith told ESPN’s First Take show.“Age, attrition or injury. Something is not right. He doesn’t look like himself.”James meanwhile has always cautioned that rebuilding the Lakers would be a long-term project, stating in September that he anticipated “bumps and bruises” as the team attempted to rebuild after missing the playoffs for five straight seasons prior to his arrival.But James must now conjure something remarkable over the final weeks of the regular season if he is to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in his career since 2005.The Lakers face a brutal run-in which includes games against Boston, Denver, Toronto and Milwaukee.A daunting final six-game stretch sees them play New Orleans, Golden State, Oklahoma City, the Clippers, Utah and Portland. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants read more
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say McNeil calls on Burnley to continue momentumby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveDwight McNeil was delighted with Burnley’s win against West Ham United on Sunday.It was only their fourth win of the season.While the Clarets are still in the bottom three, it does give them a better chance of survival.And McNeil was happy to make his second start in the league for the team and score a vital goal.Now he wants the team to push on in their next game against Huddersfield.”We’ve just got to kick on now. We’ve got to take what we did (on Sunday) into Wednesday,” said McNeil to the Lancashire Telegraph.”Everyone was saying before the game get to the back post and you will get goals.”When it went in I couldn’t believe it. It was a great moment for me and my family.”At first I didn’t think it had gone in but when I saw it I was really happy.”It’s been a dream since I was a kid and now it’s come true.”When you’re in the playground as a kid you always dream about scoring goals like that and it was amazing to get one.” read more
TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Yeovil sign Chelsea defender Grant and Bournemouth winger Dobreby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeague Two side Yeovil Town have signed Chelsea defender Josh Grant and Bournemouth winger Alex Dobre on loan for the rest of the season.Grant, 20, has made four appearances for Chelsea’s Under-21 side in the Checkatrade Trophy this term, but has yet to appear for the senior side.”Josh is powerful, athletic and has a good personality,” Yeovil boss Darren Way told the club’s official website.Romania Under-21 player Dobre, 20, was on loan at Bury and Rochdale last term.”I’d like to thank Eddie Howe for allowing an international talent to continue his development with us,” Way said. read more
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Diouf urges Real Madrid target Mbappe to leave PSGby Carlos Volcanoa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Lens and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf has urged Kylian Mbappe to leave PSG.Diouf insists the striker, a target for Real Madrid, will not win the Ballon d’Or as a PSG player.He told Le Parisien: “It’s good that he had three goals on Tuesday, but he played against Brugge… “I expect it in the decisive matches, against the big guys. Then, I will say yes. “He can be at least a five times Ballon d’Or winner, because he is so young and has talent… but he has to go to an institution.” read more
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers walks on the court during a stop in play in a preseason game against the Golden State Warriors at T-Mobile Arena on October 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers defeated the Warriors 123-113. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)During today’s raucous championship celebration in Cleveland, NBA Finals MVP LeBron James has complimented each of his teammates on their roles in the title. Sasha Kaun did not play in the post-season, last getting run during the Cavaliers’ season finale against the Detroit Pistons, but James did not leave the former Kansas player out. During the speech, he recounted a discussion with another former Jayhawk, Mario Chalmers, during which he realized he has always had a KU player on his team when he’s taken home the title.LeBron admitting he needs our fellow Jayhawks to win titles 🙂 #RockChalk #kubball pic.twitter.com/B6r6Z9PAzz— ChiefsJayhawksRoyals (@CJR16255) June 22, 2016Here’s what LeBron said about Sasha Kaun to @mchalmers15 pic.twitter.com/cFT21fVJwk— Joe Davis (@ByJoeDavis) June 22, 2016 Take note, former Kansas greats. Team up with LeBron and you might win a title. This also applies to every other NBA player.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitale read more