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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Amber's on top of the world (or at least Fengyuan)

The best thing about my wife returning to full-time employment is that it removed the financial necessity of my having to work on Saturdays. Not only do I now have a proper weekend, I can use the time now to do things with my daughter. Like this afternoon, for example. Amber and I went to Chung-cheng Park to do some hiking, followed by some playground time and fish feeding. Before setting out on the trails, we had a fine lunch of rice balls おにぎり, guava and rice crackers 煎餅...

...while the park's namesake, the brilliant warlord/vanquisher of Communists/Generalissimo/stern father-figure himself, Chiang Kai-shek 蔣中正, maintained his alert vigilance over the basketball courts:

It was something of a haul for Amber to walk up to the top of the hill behind old Peanut, but she never gave up. The highlight for her going up had to be saving a caterpillar from getting bitten to death by a swarm of ants. Here's Amber celebrating the successful ascent ("I did it!"), and the view overlooking Fengyuan 豐原 down below:

After a short walk along the top of the ridge, we came to another trail leading down. For the descent, I strapped Amber into the child carrier and carried her back down to the General. A good thing too, for it started to rain halfway down, and we came close to getting soaked by the time we reached our car. Unfortunately, the change in the weather meant Amber couldn't spend time on the playground or feed the fish in the park's ponds, but she still seemed happy with the hike. Hopefully next time we can do it all!

And now for something completely different, the Japan Times ジャパンタイムズ had a Kyōdō News 共同通信社 follow-up article to a story earlier in the week on the final report being issued on the China Airlines Naha Airport fire チャイナエアライン120便炎上事故 two years ago. According to "Naha jet fire laid to faulty maintenance", the blame has been placed equally on Boeing and China Airlines 中華航空:

"...the Japan Transport Safety Board 運輸安全委員会 concluded the explosion was caused by a maintenance error that caused a bolt to fall off the aircraft's main wing and pierce a fuel tank, causing fuel to gush through the hole and catch fire. Pointing the finger at the insufficient steps taken to prevent such an occurrence by manufacturer Boeing Co. and by the airline, which was responsible for maintenance, the board asked the Federal Aviation Administration and Taiwan's aviation authority to make sure the two firms act to prevent a recurrence...The bolt installed in a support pylon of a slat on the leading edge of the right wing fell off due to vibration because it was fixed only by a nut and not backed up by a washer, according to the report. The bolt then pierced the fuel tank when the slat was tucked into the wing and forced it into the tank with considerable force, it said. The board believes China Airlines mechanics failed to attach a washer when they replaced the nut on July 6, 2007, about six weeks before the accident, at the instruction of Boeing, which has since modified the design of the nut, enlarging it to make it more effective in preventing the bolt from detaching."

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