Missing step for testing Rails 3

January 18, 2010 at 3:35 am (rails, ruby)

Yesterday I tried to run tests for Rails 3 pre to verify inexistence of regression on my Ubuntu. Running “rake default” results several complaints abount inexistence of gems like i18n and, later, mocha. Installing those gems doesn’t make the problems dissapear.

After searching, I found out that I had to run “gem bundle” that install the gems “locally” in the source tree. Hope this helps.


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Who’s your daddy ?

August 14, 2009 at 2:43 am (Uncategorized) (, )

This is one of the things that make me grateful for choosing Islam.

Whos ya daddy??

The following are all replies that Detroit women have written on Child
Support Agency Forms in the section for listing ‘father’s details;’ or
putting it another way…. Who’s yo Daddy? These are genuine excerpts from
the forms! The city processes thousands of applications per month; but,
these few are selected for their comical nature.

1. Regarding the identity of the father of my twins, Makeeshia was fathered
by Maclearndon McKinley I am unsure as to the identity of the father of
Marlinda, but I believe that she was conceived on the same night.

2. I am unsure, as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being
sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you
with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

3. I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was
conceived at a party at 3600 East Grand Boulevard where I had s*x with a
man I met that night. I do remember that the s*x was so good that I
fainted. If you do manage to track down the father, can you please send me
his phone number?

4. I don’t know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW
that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps
you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he’s had it
replaced. That would be the daddy.

5. I have never had s*x with a man. I am still a Virginian. I think that my
son’s conception was ejaculate stuff on a tawl and that he is an axident.

6. I cannot tell you the name of Alleshia dad as he informs me that to do
so would blow his cover and that would have cat aclysmic implications for
his wife. I am torn between doing right by you and right by him. Please

7. I do not know who the father of my child was as they all look the same
to me.

8. Tyrone Lairston is the father of child A. If you do catch up with him,
can you ask him what he did with my AC/DC CDs? Child B who was also borned
at the same time…. well, I don’t have clue.

9. From the dates it seems that my daughter was conceived at Disney World;
it really was in the Magic Kingdom .

10. So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for
sure is Delia Smith did a program about eggs earlier in the evening. If I
had stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at 8956
Miller Ave. , mine might have remained unfertilized.

11. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my baby, after all,
like when you eat a can of beans you can’t be sure which one made you

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Credit Card Scam

August 14, 2009 at 2:25 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Credit Card Scam

Snopes.Com says this is true. To verify see this site:

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they
want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it… This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA &
Master Card Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to
protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from
and I was called on Thursday from ‘Master Card’.

The scam works like this:
Caller: ‘This is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud
Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged
for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be
on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an
Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in ?’
When you say ‘No’, the caller continues with, ‘Then we will be issuing a
credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the
charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that
flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to
(gives you your address), is that correct?’ You say ‘yes’.

The caller continues – ‘I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you
have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back
of your card (1-800 -VISA) and ask for Security.’ You will need to refer
to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. ‘Do
you need me to read it again?’ Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam
The caller then says, ‘I need to verify you are in possession of your
He’ll ask you to ‘turn your card over and look for some numbers’. There are
7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the
security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are
the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have
the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you
tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, ‘That is correct, I just needed
to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still
have your card. Do you have any other questions?’ After you say No, the
caller then thanks you and states, ‘Don’t hesitate to call back if you do,
and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell
you the Card number.. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called
back within 20 minutes to ask a question.. Are we glad we did! The REAL
Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new
purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. Long story – short – we made
a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a
new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back
of the card Don’t give it to them. Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or
Master card directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA
told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already
know the information since they issued20the card! If you give the scammers
your 3
Digit PIN Number, you think you’re receiving a credit. However, by the time
you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make,
and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a
fraud report. What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a
call from a ‘Jason Richardson of Master Card’ with a word-for-word repeat
of the
VISA scam. This time I didn’t let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police
report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of
these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that
this scam is happening. Please pass this on to all your family, friends
and neighbors. By informing each other, we protect each other. Neighbors

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The Old Phone

August 14, 2009 at 2:22 am (Uncategorized) (, )

I got this from elsewhere.


When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our
neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The
shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the
telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an
amazing person. Her name was “Information Please” and there was nothing
she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone’s number and the
correct time.

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my
mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the
basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but
there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at
the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the
parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver
in the parlor and held it to my ear. “Information, please” I said into the
mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice
spoke into my ear.


“I hurt my finger…” I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily
enough now that I had an audience.

“Isn’t your mother home?” came the question.

“Nobody’s home but me,” I blubbered.

“Are you bleeding?” the voice asked.

“No,” I replied. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.” “Can you
open the icebox?” she asked…

I said I could.

“Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,” said the

After that, I called “Information Please” for everything. I asked her for
help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped
me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park
just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information
Please,” and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things
grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, “Why
is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families,
only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?”

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ” Wayne always
remember that there are other worlds to sing in.”

Somehow I felt better.

Another day I was on the telephone, “Information Please.” “Information,”
said in the now familiar voice. “How do I spell fix?” I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest . When I was
nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston . I missed my friend
very much. “Information Please” belonged in that old wooden box back home
and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the
table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those
childhood conversations never really left me.

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense
of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and
kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle
I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on
the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what
I was doing, I dialed my hometown Operator and said, “Information Please.”

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. “Information.”

I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, “Could you please tell me
how to spell fix?”

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, “I guess your
finger must have healed by now.”

I laughed, “So it’s really you,” I said. “I wonder if you have any idea how
much you meant to me during that time?”

I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your call meant to me. I never
had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.”

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I
could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.

“Please do”, she said. “Just ask for Sally.”

Three months later I was back in Seattle . A different voice answered
“Information.” I asked for Sally.

“Are you a friend?” she said.

“Yes, a very old friend,” I answered.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” she said. “Sally had been working
part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks

Before I could hang up she said, “Wait a minute, did you say your name was
Wayne ?” “Yes.” I answered.

“Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.
Let me read it to you.” The note said, “Tell him there are other worlds to
sing in. He’ll know what I mean.”

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.

Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.

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What are we missing ?

July 10, 2009 at 1:54 am (beauty, Life, Love, peace)

Taken from elsewhere.

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man
with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.
During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most
of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed
there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few
seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat
and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his
watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid
stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the
child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was
repeated by several other children.
Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a
short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal
pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one
applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest
musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever
written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua
Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station
was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about
perception, taste and people’s priorities . The questions raised: in a
common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we
do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in
the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the
most beautiful instruments ever made … How many other things are we

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enlightened perspective

June 19, 2009 at 1:55 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Found this elsewhere. I share this with you all, dear reader.

Please Read all the way to the bottom: If you will take the time to read
these. I promise you’ll come away with an enlightened perspective.. The
subjects covered affect us all on a daily basis:

They’re written by Andy Rooney, a man who has the gift of saying so much
with so few words. Enjoy…….

I’ve learned…. That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned….. That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned….. That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.

I’ve learned…… That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned…. That being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned…. That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned…. That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.

I’ve learned…. That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve learned…. That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve learned…. That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve learned…. That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned…. That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

I’ve learned…. That money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve learned…. That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I’ve learned… That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned…… That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve learned….. That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you..

I’ve learned…. That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I’ve learned…. That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve learned… That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I’ve learned…. That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them..

I’ve learned… That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

I’ve learned….. That opportunities are never lost, someone will take the ones you miss..

I’ve learned…. That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned…. That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

I’ve learned…. That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve learned…. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve learned…. That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’ re hooked for life.

I’ve learned…. That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned….. That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

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nosyntax.vim for latest Msysgit

May 1, 2009 at 4:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Vim at latest msysgit have a problem. It has no nosyntax.vim required by syntax.vim. Its bugreport is marked WontFix

You can get it yourself at here

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Cucumber and Watir screencast

April 7, 2009 at 3:47 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I found a basic tutorial for using watir with cucumber. the vimeo page have nice hint from Aslak, cucumber’s creator.

Cucumber and Watir 101 from Dave Hoover on Vimeo.

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Dakwah adalah cinta

March 2, 2009 at 10:07 am (Islam, Love, pks) (, )

Dakwah adalah cinta
(disalin dari sini)
Memang seperti itu dakwah. Dakwah adalah cinta. Dan cinta akan
meminta semuanya dari dirimu. Sampai pikiranmu. Sampai perhatianmu.
Berjalan, duduk, dan tidurmu.

Bahkan di tengah lelapmu, isi mimpimu pun tentang dakwah. Tentang
umat yg kau cintai.

Lagi-lagi memang seperti itu. Dakwah. Menyedot saripati energimu.
Sampai tulang belulangmu. Sampai daging terakhir yg menempel di
tubuh rentamu. Tubuh yg luluh lantak diseret-seret. .. Tubuh yang
hancur lebur dipaksa berlari.

Seperti itu pula kejadiannya pada rambut Rasulullah. Beliau memang
akan tua juga. Tapi kepalanya beruban karena beban berat dari ayat
yg diturunkan Allah.

Sebagaimana tubuh mulia Umar bin Abdul Aziz. Dia memimpin hanya
sebentar. Tapi kaum muslimin sudah dibuat bingung. Tidak ada lagi
orang miskin yg bisa diberi sedekah. Tubuh mulia itu terkoyak-koyak.
Sulit membayangkan sekeras apa sang Khalifah bekerja. Tubuh yang
segar bugar itu sampai rontok. Hanya dalam 2 tahun ia sakit parah
kemudian meninggal. Toh memang itu yang diharapkannya; mati sebagai
jiwa yang tenang.

Dan di etalase akhirat kelak, mungkin tubuh Umar bin Khathab juga
terlihat tercabik-cabik. Kepalanya sampai botak. Umar yang perkasa
pun akhirnya membawa tongkat ke mana-mana. Kurang heroik? Akhirnya
diperjelas dengan salah satu luka paling legendaris sepanjang
sejarah; luka ditikamnya seorang Khalifah yang sholih, yang sedang
bermesra-mesraan dengan Tuhannya saat sholat.

Dakwah bukannya tidak melelahkan. Bukannya tidak membosankan. Dakwah
bukannya tidak menyakitkan. Bahkan juga para pejuang risalah
bukannya sepi dari godaan kefuturan.

Tidak… Justru kelelahan. Justru rasa sakit itu selalu bersama
mereka sepanjang hidupnya. Setiap hari. Satu kisah heroik, akan
segera mereka sambung lagi dengan amalan yang jauh lebih “tragis”.

Justru karena rasa sakit itu selalu mereka rasakan, selalu
menemani… justru karena rasa sakit itu selalu mengintai ke mana
pun mereka pergi… akhirnya menjadi adaptasi. Kalau iman dan godaan
rasa lelah selalu bertempur, pada akhirnya salah satunya harus
mengalah. Dan rasa lelah itu sendiri yang akhirnya lelah untuk
mencekik iman. Lalu terus berkobar dalam dada.

Begitu pula rasa sakit. Hingga luka tak kau rasa lagi sebagai luka.
Hingga “hasrat untuk mengeluh” tidak lagi terlalu menggoda
dibandingkan jihad yang begitu cantik.

Begitupun Umar. Saat Rasulullah wafat, ia histeris. Saat Abu Bakar
wafat, ia tidak lagi mengamuk. Bukannya tidak cinta pada abu Bakar.
Tapi saking seringnya “ditinggalkan” , hal itu sudah menjadi
kewajaran. Dan menjadi semacam tonik bagi iman..

Karena itu kamu tahu. Pejuang yg heboh ria memamer-mamerkan amalnya
adalah anak kemarin sore. Yg takjub pada rasa sakit dan
pengorbanannya juga begitu. Karena mereka jarang disakiti di jalan
Allah. Karena tidak setiap saat mereka memproduksi karya-karya
besar. Maka sekalinya hal itu mereka kerjakan, sekalinya hal itu
mereka rasakan, mereka merasa menjadi orang besar. Dan mereka justru
jadi lelucon dan target doa para mujahid sejati, “ya Allah, berilah
dia petunjuk… sungguh Engkau Maha Pengasih lagi maha Penyayang… “

Maka satu lagi seorang pejuang tubuhnya luluh lantak. Jasadnya
dikoyak beban dakwah. Tapi iman di hatinya memancarkan cinta…
Mengajak kita untuk terus berlari…

“Teruslah bergerak, hingga kelelahan itu lelah mengikutimu.
Teruslah berlari, hingga kebosanan itu bosan mengejarmu.
Teruslah berjalan, hingga keletihan itu letih bersamamu.
Teruslah bertahan, hingga kefuturan itu futur menyertaimu.
Tetaplah berjaga, hingga kelesuan itu lesu menemanimu.”

(alm. Ust Rahmat Abdullah)

Kalau iman dan syetan terus bertempur. Pada akhirnya salah satunya
harus mengalah.

In memoriam Ust. Rahmat Abdullah

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Flight 1549

February 27, 2009 at 2:20 am (Life, Love) (, )

Found this story elsewhere. I am touched and decide to share it here.

Passenger on Flight 1549

This is a first-hand account from a passenger on Flight 1549. It is an internal memo to the members of his firm. It is very well written, is descriptive, and gives this man’s honest reactions to the events around
It’s from a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, an executive recruiting firm, who was on Flight 1549.

Gerry McNamara (New York/Charlotte) was on US Airways Flight 1549 earlier this year. Here is his account of the event:

Thursday was a difficult day for all of us at the firm and I left the Park Avenue office early afternoon to catch a cab bound for LaGuardia Airport. I was scheduled for a 5pm departure, but able to secure a seat on the earlier flight scheduled to leave at 3pm. As many of us who fly frequently often do,
I recall wondering if I’d just placed myself on a flight I shouldn’t be on!

Just prior to boarding I finished up a conference call with my associate, Jenn Sparks ( New York ), and our placement, the CIO of United Airlines. When I told him that I was about to board a US Airways flight, we all had a little fun with it.

I remember walking on the plane and seeing a fellow with grey hair in the cockpit and thinking “that’s a good thing… I like to see grey hair in the cockpit!”

I was seated in 8F, on the starboard side window and next to a young business man. The New York to Charlotte flight is one I’ve taken what seems like hundreds of times over the years. We take off north over the Bronx and as we climb, turn west over the Hudson River to New Jersey and tack south. I love to fly, always have, and this flight plan gives a great view of several NY landmarks including Yankee Stadium and the George Washington Bridge.

I had started to point out items of interest to the gentleman next to me when we heard a terrible crash – a sound no one ever wants to hear while flying – and then the engines wound down to a screeching halt. 10 seconds later, there was a strong smell of jet fuel. I knew we would be landing and thought the pilot would take us down no doubt to Newark Airport.

As we began to turn south I noticed the pilot lining up on the river – still – I thought – en route for Newark .

Next thing we heard was “Brace for impact!” – a phrase I had heard many years before as an active duty Marine Officer but never before on a commercial air flight. Everyone looked at each other in shock. It all
happened so fast we were astonished!

We began to descend rapidly and it started to sink in. This is the last light. I’m going to die today. This is it. I recited my favorite bible verse, the Lord’s Prayer, and asked God to take care of my wife, children,
family and friends.

When I raised my head I noticed people texting their friends and family…. getting off a last message. My blackberry was turned off and in my trouser pocket… no time to get at it. Our descent continued and I prayed for courage to control my fear and help if able.

I quickly realized that one of two things was going to happen, neither of them good. We could hit by the nose, flip and break up, leaving few if any survivors, bodies, cold water, fuel. Or we could hit one of the wings and roll and flip with the same result. I tightened my seat belt as tight as I could possibly get it so I would remain intact.

As we came in for the landing, I looked out the windows and remember seeing the buildings in New Jersey , the cliffs in Weehawken , and then the piers. The water was dark green and sure to be freezing cold. The stewardesses were yelling in unison: “Brace! Brace! Brace!”

It was a violent hit – the water flew up over my window – but we bobbed up and were all amazed that we remained intact.

There was some panic – people jumping over seats and running towards the doors, but we soon got everyone straightened out and calmed down.

There were a lot of people that took leadership roles in little ways. Those sitting at the doors over the wing did a fantastic job… they were opened in a New York second! Everyone worked together – teamed up and in groups to figure out how to help each other.

I exited on the starboard side of the plane, 3 or 4 rows behind my seat through a door over the wing and was, I believe, the 10th or 12th person out. I took my seat cushion as a flotation device and once outside saw I was the only one who did…. none of us remembered to take the yellow inflatable life vests from under the seat.

We were standing in 6-8 inches of water and it was freezing. There were two women on the wing, one of whom slipped off into the water. Another passenger and I pulled her back on and had her kneel down to keep from falling off again. By that point we were totally soaked and absolutely frozen from the icy wind.

The ferries were the first to arrive, and although they’re not made for rescue, they did an incredible job. I know this river, having swum in it as a boy. The Hudson is an estuary – part salt and part fresh water – and moves with the tide. I could tell the tide was moving out because we were tacking slowly south towards Ellis Island , The Statue of Liberty, and The Battery.

The first ferry boat pulled its bow up to the tip of the wing, and the first mate lowered the Jacobs ladder down to us. We got a couple people up the ladder to safety, but the current was strong pushing the stern of the boat into the inflatable slide and we were afraid it would puncture it… there must have been 25 passengers in it by now. Only two or three were able to board the first ferry before it moved away.

Another ferry came up, and we were able to get the woman that had fallen into the water on the ladder, but she just couldn’t move her legs and fell off. Back onto the ladder she went; however, the ferry had to back away because of the swift current. A helicopter arrived on station (nearly blowing us all off the wing) and followed the ferry with the woman on the ladder. We lost view of the situation but I believe the helicopter lowered its basket to rescue her.

As more ferries arrived, we were able to get people up on the boats a few at a time. The fellow in front of me fell off the ladder and into the water. When we got him back on the ladder he could not move his legs to climb. I couldn’t help him from my position so I climbed up the ladder to the ferry deck where the first mate and I hoisted the Jacobs ladder with him on it… when he got close enough we grabbed his trouser belt and hauled him on deck. We were all safely off the wing.

We could not stop shaking. Uncontrollable shaking. The only thing I had with me was my blackberry, which had gotten wet and was not working. (It started working again a few hours later).

The ferry took us to the Weehawken Terminal in NJ where I borrowed a phone and called my wife to let her know I was okay. The second call I made was to Jenn. I knew she would be worried about me and could communicate to the rest of the firm that I was fine. At the terminal, first responders assessed everyone’s condition and sent people to the hospital as needed. As we pulled out of Weehawken my history kicked in and I recall it was the site of the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. Thankfully I left town in better condition than Mr. Hamilton who died of a mortal wound the next day!

I stayed with my sister on Long Island that evening, then flew home the next day.

I am struck by what was truly a miracle. Had this happened a few hours later, it would have been pitch dark and much harder to land. Ferries would no longer have been running after rush hour and it would not have been the same uplifting story. Surely there would have been fatalities, hypothermia, an absolute disaster!

I witnessed the best of humanity that day. I and everyone on that plane survived and have been given a second chance. It struck me that in our work we continuously seek excellence to solve our client’s leadership problems. We talk to clients all the time about the importance of experience and the ability to execute. Experience showed up big time on Flight 1549 as our pilot was a dedicated, trained, experienced
professional who executed flawlessly when he had to.
I have received scores of emails from across the firm and I am so grateful for the outpouring of interest and concern. We all fly a great deal or work with someone who does and so I wanted to share this story – the story of a miracle. I am thankful to be here to tell the tale.

There is a great deal to be learned including: Why has this happened to me? Why have I survived and what am I supposed to do with this gift? For me, the answers to these questions and more will come over time, but already I find myself being more patient and forgiving, less critical and judgmental.

For now I have 4 lessons I would like to share:

  1. Cherish your families as never before and go to great lengths to keep your promises.
  2. Be thankful and grateful for everything you have and don’t worry about the things you don’t have.
  3. Keep in shape. You never know when you’ll be called upon to save your own life, or help someone else save theirs.
  4. When you fly, wear practical clothing. You never know when you’ll end up in an emergency or on an icy wing in flip flops and pajamas and of absolutely no use to yourself or anyone else.

And I’d like to add: Fly with gray-haired pilots!

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