Flying High Again

The company could only afford hats and shoes. Next year we may get uniforms.
I’ve written before how plane trips used to be fun. As a traveler you were the revered customer. Within reason the airline would try to satisfy your every whim. Of course, back then, the overall standards were different than they are now. Still, it was safe and comfortable way to travel. I’ve also already discussed how discount fares have led to the steady decline of not only service but viable tourists. Back in the good old days people treated air travel like a trip to a church. They were on their best behavior. Children were advised to use their indoor voices and adults made sure to set a good example. Now you read about how travelers, forced to walk away from the in flight double feature, have to duct tape some idiot to his seat so they can travel in peace. And, when you read about his attempting to grope female passengers, claiming that the plane was going to crash and then getting ugly, you can understand their motivation. What’s sad is how common these events have become. There are even websites dedicated to how to deal with unruly passengers.

Of course all of this leads to obvious changes in how we view air travel. For example, airports tend to be named after heroes or favorite politicians. Now one is to be named for a famous drug addict and barely coherent rock singer.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Ozzie Osbourne International Airport.

When airport names come to mind, they are typically associated with former American presidents, heads of state and sometimes notable local figures. That’s to say, they’re a little stiff.

Enter an airport named after the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne.

The head of the record company that discovered Ozzy’s former band Black Sabbath is pushing for the Birmingham Airport to be renamed in his honor, reports Birmingham Mail.

“The message that would carry is instantly international, confident, powerful, unforgettable and says ‘Hey World, we are proud of our own,” Jim Simpson of Big Bear Music told the paper. “Ozzy might not always have been a paragon of virtue, but he is a genuine flesh and blood Brummie.”

According to the Mirror, locals will likely be keen on the idea of naming their airport after the star.

“It’s an interesting idea and I’ve got an open mind,” city Councillor Philip Parkin said to the paper. “We need to be making the most of the talent we have got and did have in this city.”

The UK also made airport headlines back in September when a proposal for a floating airport in the Thames estuary was revealed.

Ah yes, the floating airport in the middle of a heavily congested river that has real ships carrying goods to and fro in it.

I don’t know what they’re smoking over there but I do know who they’ve been sharing with. Antonio Vasquez is the self-proclaimed “Grand Warlock of Mexico.” He is self proclaimed as such since no one ever thought of needing one until he came along. With heavily dilated eyeballs and a pack of tarot cards he predicts the world’s future each year.

And, even though I have asked him to stop, he did it again this year.

Antonio Vazquez is a cherubic 72-year-old with twinkling eyes, a long white beard and a knack for predicting things that don’t actually happen.

For more than three decades, Mexico’s self-proclaimed “Grand Warlock” has been doing tarot card and horoscope readings to reveal what’s in store for the coming year. Among past predictions: Fidel Castro would die in 2008. Germany would win the 2006 World Cup. Barack Obama would lose to Mitt Romney.

Despite Vazquez’s consistently incorrect record of prognostication, dozens of journalists swarmed Mexico City’s press club on Friday for the Grand Warlock’s latest round of predictions in what has become one of this country’s most reliably strange and inexplicably popular New Year’s traditions.

On tap for 2013, according to the Grand Warlock: a new war in the Middle East, chaos in Venezuela and a tough year for Obama.

But it’s not all bad news. Vazquez said 2013 will be a great year for Mexico, a country that has struggled with drug violence and a slow economy.

“Mexico is going to have a relevant place in the world, economically speaking,” he said. “Mexico will place itself as a paradise for investors.”

The thick-browed warlock also said there will be a lot less people killed this year in Mexico. According to some statements by the current Mexican administration, at least 70,000 people were slain between 2006 and 2012 as the government of then President Felipe Calderon battled drug traffickers.

After reading some of his dozens of predictions, Vazquez took questions from reporters and said tarot cards showed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is battling cancer, will make it to his inauguration but that he will be dead by April.

He also said cards showed him the death of Jenni Rivera, the Latin music superstar who was killed Dec. 8 in a plane crash, was not an accident.

“The plane would not have exploded the way it did if it hadn’t been carrying a bomb,” he said.

Investigators have not revealed any evidence the plane exploded in the air.

Regardless of his shortcomings, his readings get wide coverage in the local media. And there have been times when he has been spot-on.

In 2006, he predicted Calderon would win the Mexican presidency. Last January, the warlock accurately predicted that the world would not end in December, saying theories of doomsday in 2012 were “big fat lies.”

Here’s all you need to know about any alleged psychic. Any one of them could be a millionaire in a heartbeat and none of them are. Well, some are. Those with gullible rich clients. But they wouldn’t even have to work at it. Nope, all they need to do is pick up the phone and call James Randi.

He’s a professional illusionist and he offered a million dollars to any psychic who could prove that they were not a fake. That money has been sitting in an interest bearing account which is viewable by the public. The total he would hand over is currently $1.3 million dollars.

Many have tried, but when forced to succumb to scientific rigors, they either fail miserably or withdraw. None have come close to passing.

Electric Six – Psychic Visions from j lowe on Vimeo.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.
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