Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What's this? Top noch customer service? In 2006?

Well my plane is finally fixed and flying again. I flew it for the first time this week since August (!!!!) and everything is working fine. Thanks to the patience of Ames, I was able to fly it two days this week before Christmas sets in, and while the weather was good.

My GPS has had a couple issues. First, the very first time I removed the power cord from the unit, the tip stayed in and the wires came out. Luckily, it came with two cords (one for the car) and I've been using the second. However, it's starting to come apart as well.

Secondly, and more concerning, the battery pack has stopped charging. This means that as soon as power is disconnected, the unit goes dead. One of the real benefits of this unit (in my opinion) is that in the event of an electrical failure, you still have navigation thanks to the battery. In fact, it even has a simulated instrument panel so you still have some instrumentation if you have an electrical and/or vacuum failure.

Anyway, all that is for naught if the battery doens't work. This morning I called Garmin, and after puching "5" for aviation equipment, someone answered the phone in one ring. I told them that I bought the unit about a year ago (I got it last December), and described the battery and cable issues. Lo and behold, they guy took my address and is shipping me a new battery and cable, no questions asked. He asked what version of the software I had on the unit, but since I left the unit in the plane, I don't even know.

So how about that. In an age where you can't even return Christmas presents to Target and get your money back, Garmin is shipping me replacement parts for a year-old unit without so much as a proof of purchase, and I was on and off the phone in 5 minutes. Amazing! Go Garmin!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stuck at the airport

Apparently it takes a three-and-a-half-hour flight delay to give me time and motivation to post to my blog. At least I got an update posted before an entire month had past. I'm on my way to California for a 2 day work trip, which has now quickly become a one-and-a-half day work trip. The good news is that I got bumped up to first class. The bad news is that Indy doesn't have a NWA Club room, and so I don't get the comfy chairs and free internet while I'm waiting here. Oh well...

Amy again has posted plenty of family updates, including some really cute pictures, so in the very unlikely event that you are reading this without first reading her blog, you might want to check that out.

My exercise regime has gone to heck the last couple weeks, with a combination of travel and holidays getting in the way. This is my last trip to California this year, but of course there's Christmas travel now as well. Hopefully I can at least get a little bit of exercise during the coming weeks.

Nevertheless, soccer continues. We're now 2-5 this session. Due to a scheduling foobar, I was the only one on our team that showed up two weeks ago at the right time. The team I assembled at the last minute won that game, but it counts as a forfeit for us anyway. I suppose that makes me 3-4 as the goalkeeper even though we've lost one more than that.

And, we should have won our game this week. It was probably as good a team effort as we've put together this year. We played the best team in the league, in my opinion, even though it's the team we beat the first week and nearly beat again. Ah well... no one got hurt and it was a fun game to play, so that's good. We finally seem to have people showing up every week to play (the aforementioned schedule issue notwithstanding) which helps quite a bit. We still need some extra girls to play, but Stacey from the Indiana Venture Center tells me that she's going to sign up next session which will be a big help, assuming everyone else comes back as well.

Speaking of the IVC, I gave them official notice that I wouldn't be able to help them out much anymore given my increasing commitments with my other business projects. I haven't been able to go in nearly as much as they've asked me to anyway the last couple months, so this isn't really a change so much as it is me tell them "I've enjoyed helping out, but I'm too busy now - good luck to you." Haha. I'm sure I'll still go in once in a while when they have a company they'd like me to help out, but it's going to be really limited from now on.

Well, I guess I'll go stare out the window some more. They said the plane is down for maintenance, but it's just sitting here at the gate which leads me to believe that it's broken *and* no one is fixing it. That's not a good sign.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Updates you didn't need to get here...

Much of the week was spent getting ready for a massive furniture delivery which happened on Friday. To see the before and after pics, just take a look at Amy's website. You'll also get to see some pics of her fencing... so just watch yourself or she's liable to poke someone with that thing.

Finally, I had a very early soccer game tonight, which allowed the family to come and watch me play. The girls surprised me by making signs and cheering from the stands. Kaitlyn held up a sign that said "That's my daddy, the Goalie!" and Hailey kept cheering "Nice save, Daddy!" Haha. I can tell you that's the first time I've seen anyone cheering with signs at one of our games!

Unfortunately, I was the only one on our team that showed up on time, and only two more people got there at all. So, I recruited some additional players from the previous game and we mixed the teams up a bit to have a scrimmage. While it won't count as such in the record books, our side won and I played pretty well despite a substantial lacking of defensive effort. I suppose if you're subbing in for a team just for the heck of it, you're more interested in scoring for yourself than playing defense. I did make a save on the one 3 v 1 breakaway they had, which is a miracle unto itself. I think I let out an audible "Oh, what in the heck" as that play developed. There are only 5 players besides the goalkeepers on each side - how you let 3-out-of-5 of them get behind your "defense" -- at midfield -- is beyond me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Officially changing my car vote

For a number of years, the car I had my eye on was a Lotus Esprit V8 Turbo. However, they stopped making them and so the styling has become dated and I lost interest. I substituted a Jaguar XKR for a while, but was always put off a bit by the lack of a manual transmission (in the USA).

So, I'm officially changing camps. I now prefer the Aston Martin DB9. Call me Bond. James Bond.

I'll have a Coke...err a soda... err a pop. Whatever.

And so for my first poll, and post one that's been done a zillion times before, but that's okay. Having been raised a "pop" guy, college roommates with a "so-dee" guy, married a "coke" girl, and spending 5 years in a "soda" community, there's no telling what will fly out of my mouth when trying to order a soft drink. I'm still going to vote for "pop" however.

Of course, stupid Blogger won't let me post javascript within an actual posting, so if I did this right, the poll should show up on the right-side of the blog page here.

View Poll

Hailing from parts unknown... it's Jonathan Hill!

On my last trip to California, who should I have the chance to meet up with by my good friend, Jonathan Hill from Ireland. I haven't seen him in 6 years, and I was so glad to get the chance to meet up with him again. We had quite a large group, so we didn't get to chat as much as would have been ideal, but I ended up meeting some great guys that he brought along and a good time was had by all.

Jonathan's company, Infacta, has a number of products including Group Mail which is how we ended up working together for a time in the 1998-2000 area. He told me about a new product he's experimenting with, PollDaddy, which is a blog widget/thingy/whatever to run survey's and polls. As such, I'm going to start using it and hopefully drive some traffic his way.

Of course, that traffic won't come from me, but maybe some of the people that do read my blog and have more popular blogs of their own, like Amy or Hawkins, will use it and thus an avalanche of PollDaddy traffic will ensue. :)

(editors note: I'm sure Jonathan is thrilled that I've posted a wedding photo of him on my blog, but despite his interest in photography, there are suspiciously few photos on his site of himself, so he gets what he deserves!)

A million updates

I've got a million things to post about and update, but my laziness continues. To add to the confusion, Blogger asked me to update to the beta today, which I did, and I'm still waiting for the email that says I can post in the new system. I figured out how to still login to the old system, so for now I'm just going to do that.

Anyway, prepare ye self for a flurry of updates...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Limited recent progress in project "Get in Shape"

I'm now well into my attempt to get into some sort of reasonable physical shape. We just finished the 3rd week of my second soccer season, which means I'm not about 13 weeks into my attempt.

Unfortunately, I don't feel like a lot of progress has been made recently. While I'm still much better off than I was after my first game, at the game last night I was tired early, didn't run the field much because of it, and was pretty well exhausted by the end of the game. I am fighting off a bit of a cold, but it's very minor and I can't believe it would make that much of a difference.

Most disheartening is that this game at the end of a reasonable week of sticking with the treadmill routine. I hit the treadmill 3 times in addition to my game, and have been keeping up pretty well with my push-ups. Usually if I get at least 3 treadmill jogs in, then I do much better on Sunday, but that seems to have petered out some.

Tied to this is the fact that, despite all of this exercise, I've been putting on a decent amount of weight since I started. My theory is that I'm adding muscle mass but not getting rid of any fat, but getting rid of fat was most of the reason for starting this anyway.

So, all that adds up to a need to alter the diet. Ack. All last week I cut back the calories and ate better, but all I had to show for it was fatigue while playing soccer. Nice.

Adding even more chaos into my attempt to diet is a show that Amy and I watched on Discovery Health called "On a Diet" (I think). Basically, this show explains that the real problem isn't weight, but it's weight that you carry around your belly button, which of course is right where most of my extra weight is. It goes on to explain the dangers of some processed foods including High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated Oils.

Some of this we already knew, but in short here's the scoop: high fructose corn syrup is a whole lot cheaper than real sugar, and so all these packaged foods use it. But, it's also has a much higher calorie count for the same amount of sweetness. So the result is that you get the same taste as sugar with twice the calories. Thanks a lot for that.

The hydrogenated oils are a worse than that. Basically they were an attempt to create a healthier oil that didn't work out, and the resulting product raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol, and worst of all, actually tricks the body into thinking it's hungry after you eat it because of some indigestible parts of it.

So this makes for a fine combination, doesn't it: eat the oil, screw up your cholesterol, get hungrier, and stuff down extra calories for the same amount of food. No wonder the old midsection is swelling up.

The most annoying part of the whole thing for me is the presence of high fructose corn syrup in just about everything. First of all, its annoying because sugar tastes a lot better than this HFCS stuff anyway, and it's better for you. This was obvious in our visit to Texas, where we stumbled upon Dublin Dr. Pepper, a Dr. Pepper bottling plant that refused to make the switch to HFCS whenever that was mandated by the company. As a result, they are the only plant in the world that makes Dr. Pepper with real sugar. And SURPRISE, it's tastes better -- noticeably better. Not that drinking Dr. Pepper with real sugar is your key to losing weight, but you see my point.

Secondly, HFCS is in everything, and if you don't believe me, start reading your food labels. In going through the cabinets, the biggest disappointment was Rice Krispies. Yes, Rice Krispies. Why in the world would you put HFCS in something that you can't taste any sugar in anyway? For God's sake, the first thing I do with a bowl of Rice Krispies is put a spoon of regular sugar on it anyway, so the HFCS is totally worthless.

And another thing - the peanut butter we had contained both hydrogenated oil and HFCS. What? I don't like peanut better but the last time I checked, peanuts were full of their own oil, and the process of making peanut butter consisted of shelling peanuts and beating them to a pulp. Who the heck thinks you should add oil to a product from which you get oil? Hey I've got an idea, lets dip this butter in corn oil before we package it up...

Anyway, I'm hardly the one to launch a crusade of eating healthy, and I'm all about making food taste good. But, when you are adding crap into food which (1) makes it taste worse and (2) is worse for you then let me be the first to say "that's stupid."

At least I'm guaranteed to lose some weight now, because when we got rid of all the food with this extra crap in it, we were left with nothing to eat. Yee ha.

Monday, October 30, 2006

All the latest news (that's fit to print)

So I'm what you would call a horrible blogger. It's been a month since I made a post, and that's just sad. I guess since people suggested that I not rant on so much about political topics that I just have nothing to say. Haha.

In airplane news, my plane is down for it's annual inspection, which means they rip it apart and give it a look over. It's an FAA requirement. Needless to say, since this is my first inspection as the actual owner of the plane, they were able to find a whole slew of things that should be fixed. The engine and such were all in good shape, which is pretty much most of what is required by the FAA, but there's a whole bunch of stuff that really needed to be fixed and was probably just not done since the last owner had no intention of flying the plane anymore.

That, and add another year of wear and tear to it - not that I flew it that much but I think I racked up a little bit north of 50 hours in the plane this last year, and I haven't been up in it in 2 months. I actually ended up doing this inspection a month early since I had a landing gear issue I needed fixed anyway.

So, one of the issues they discovered (or I should say, confirmed) is that the wing skin had broken away from the underlying support strut where you step on the wing to get in the plane. Basically this meant you could push on the skin right by the door and it would pop in and out. I had it looked at during the year and was told it wasnt' really a safety issue, but should be fixed, so I waited until now to do it.

The reason I waited is because of one of the pictures you see here. Yes, that it my right wing, clearly seperated from the rest of the plane. It's a big project. I don't know how much of it is tied up in actual sheet metal work, and how much of it is getting the wing on and off, but I suspect it's more of the latter. 24 hours of labor time in just this wing project. Ouch.

As you can see from some of these other pictures (sorry about the cell-phone camera quality), the whole plane is pretty much ripped apart. The interior shows the very sport military green primer that they use to help keep all the interior metal from rusting. Right now it looks more like some WW2 bomber than my little Piper Archer. haha. (oh but what the WW2 bomber pilots would have given for a Garmin 396 portable GPS system!)

I'm hoping to take Kaitlyn over to the maintenance hangar before they put this back together so she can get a look at all the parts, and she'll certainly be amused by the missing wing. She helped me wash the plane the other day and we spent some time inside learning about all the controls and instruments, so I think she'll like it. Hailey loves planes but I'm not sure if she'd be into all this quite yet, and it might be a bit dangerous to let the 2-year-old wander the maintenance hangar. (there's a gummy bear in your air intake? sorry about that!).

To ramble on a bit more - we ended our last soccer season by forefeiting all of our playoff games due to lack of players. In the last game, I was the only one (!!!) to show up on time. I did play all the games though, as we scraped together teams from players there for other games.

We just started a new session 2 weeks ago. We won the first game and lost last night in a game that we probably should have won. We let two goals in in the last 5 min and lost 5-4, although I'm not going to take too much of the blame on either of the goals. Really, I played one of my top games since starting again, and even saved a penalty kick. Somehow, the other team always had two girls standing on my side of the field at all times, which led to a whole bunch of 2 of them vs. just me situations (our defense hasn't really come around yet). I think they only scored on one of those though, and I made a serious number of saves.

This team also seemed a little too aggressive for this kind of league too. Not really aggressive in a skilled-soccer kind of way - more aggressive in an out-of-control disturbing kind of way. Maybe they feel like they have a lot of pride riding on the adult co-ed recreational indoor soccer games - haha. But hey, I had fun and our team really did play pretty well until the end.

I've got more stories but I'm tired of typing. Halloween is tomorrow so that's sure to liven things up even more.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Random Catchup

It's been a while since I've posted and I know how the 3 people that actually read my blog get when I don't keep up with it...

So let's see - in my soccer league we've started the post-season. We finished in 5th place (out of 9) and would have been in 4th had he not had to forfeit the last game because our team didn't show up on time. When they did get there - about 10 min late, we played and won 6-4.

Then last week was our first post-season game, which we didn't win, unfortunately. We were short a girl, so we had to play the game 5 on 6, and then our best player sprained (hopefully didn't break) his ankle and was out for part of the first and all the second half. Then our second best player (that was there) twisted his ankle midway through the 2nd half and would later pass out and be puking from dehydration (it's Ramadan and he had nothing to eat or drink all day, yikes!).

So, while it was 2-1 in our favor at half time, things deteriorated quickly as the second half wore on. They had more than enough people and subs, and our team got tired quickly being short a person and without any subs even for the guys. I'm guessing the score was about 6-2 or 7-2 but I lost track and was too exhausted to even keep track. Playing goal was like being in a video game - I'd make a save and then they'd be right back shooting again, save, shoot, save, shoot. Man, that was tiring. I sprained my own ankle near then end of the game, and landed funny on my wrist as well, both of which are still a little sore, but really nothing to complain about compared to what happened to the other guys.

We play again this Sunday. With two guys possible out to begin with, I really hope some people show up. How annoying. In the fall I'm thinking of switching to a league with a bunch of Delta Sigs from college, if the game schedule permits.

In other news... last weekend Ames and I headed out for a date-night and went downtown. We were having a drink at RAM Brewery when the Jacksonville Jaguars bus rolled into town with the team. From what I could gather, it looks like all the out of town fans gathered at RAM as well because there were a bunch of Jags fans waiting for them to arrive and cheering (a lot meaning a half dozen or so).

After that, we walked over to St. Elmo's Steakhouse for dinner. They didn't have reservations available, but suggested we just try to walk in, which we did. They gave us a wait time of 20-30 minutes.

While we were waiting, who should walk in but Byron Leftwich, starting quarterback for the Jags, along with two guys I didn't recognize. He asked for a table, and upon hearing he'd have to wait, said something about "man, this is crap" and left. His two buddies we laughing at him as well.

It was pretty clear that the girls working the check-in area had no idea who he was. Not 30 seconds after he left, our table was ready. So, I guess we can say that we got Byron Leftwich's table. LOL.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

And in less important soccer news...

In my adult leage, we tied our game tonight 4-4. That gives us a record of 2-3-1 with one week to go before the tournament. I played ok, but we'd probably have won if I wasn't up until 3 in the morning the night before with Dana's party.

Go Purple Rockets!

It's the start of a new season of soccer for Kaitlyn and Coach Daddy. We've now moved into the U6 league, and have a whole new group of kids.

Our first game was a little rough. I work a lot on trying to teach the kids basic positioning and passing, since I figure that will help them to understand and enjoy the game of soccer instead of just participating in a game of chase the kid with the ball.

The result of that coaching, both last year and this year, is that the kids look very confused for the first few games.

After the first game, which was pretty rough, Amy heard me voice my usual complaints about our particular soccer club's rules: we have only 4 practices and then it's all games and no more practices, we get all new kids every year, and now the coaches can't go on the field (which makes my complaint about no practices that much more). The only practice we get now is the 15 minutes before the game, if everyone gets there on time.

I was very happy to see that we really improved in our second game, which was this past Saturday. I could see the kids starting to "get it" in terms of where to stand and why that actually helps, plus they were learning that passing can be better than just dribbling and that they should look for that.

And in some very exciting news, Kaitlyn scored a goal! This is her second goal ever and the first of the season. Kaitlyn is the best so far at understanding that she needs to get away from the big clump of kids and move into the open, and call for the ball (since this is her second year under Coach Daddy's system, it's not surprising that she's ahead in some of the more mental aspects of what I'm trying to teach).

The video clip is here. Aunt Dana was fortunate enough to have her camera rolling, because our camera crapped out for good during the game.

Having the chance to look at it now, there are really several things to make a coach happy in this play. At the start of the clip, you'll see that one of our forwards, Faith, is in process of stealing the ball and taking it to the inside. In the same frame, you can see our two backs, Austin (#2) and Cole (#4) actually standing back and letting Faith do her thing. No, they are not quite as far back as I'd like, but compare that to the other team which is in the classic "clump". (and don't worry about the kid who appears hurt at the start here, you'll note that he's very excited to run into the goal and retrieve the ball after Kaitlyn scores! :)

Kaitlyn is not in frame here, as she's just run away from the group to the center and is there by herself. As Faith dribbles with the ball, she sees Kaitlyn, who is in process of calling for it (you'll see her raise her hand), moving toward the goal while looking back at the ball (this in and of itself is quite an accomplishment).

Faith then passes the ball up to Kaitlyn on purpose. If you pause it, you'll see that Faith sets her feet and strikes the ball with the (mostly) proper form I've been showing for passing, using the inside of her foot, but it's easier to see in the original footage vs. this compressed youtube garbage. It's a nice pass, just past Kaitlyn as it should be, and thanks to the good positioning Kaitlyn dribbles it uncontested into the goal. Whoohoo!

We have another game on Tuesday, so we'll see if we can keep this up, I'm certainly very happy to see that the kids have improved so much just over one game.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Well what do you know, we won our soccer game! It helps significantly that we had our entire team show up, and that we picked up one additional female player, so for once, we had subs (for the men) and 3 females that are really all on our team.

This set us up for a 5-4 victory which included a score for us in the 37th minute (it's a 40 minute game), and a series of two saves by me late in the 38th minute. It felt good to get a finally get a win when starting at goalkeeper, especially after it felt like we were so close last week.

I even got some kudos from Raul, who, as far as I can tell from my internet searching, played keeper in college at MIT. I didn't have any saves off of my eyeballs this week, although I did take a bit of a kick to the ribs near the end of the game while (successfully) diving for the ball as someone was taking a shot. One of our defenders was not pleased that the ref didn't call a penalty on the guy that kicked me, but as far as I can tell it was a pretty clean play. I got to it only a split second before he would have kicked it, and everyone was getting pretty aggressive near the end of the game anyway, so I don't blame the ref for not making a call.

The image here is from the movie "Victory" which Dan Bartnicki and I enjoyed quite a bit when we were kids. I mean, there is no better adversary than Nazis, and being able to earn your freedom from a prisoner-of-war camp by defeating them in a soccer match is really at the top of the chart for 8-year-old boy soccer players, especially when the movie stars both Sylvester Stallone AND Pele! LOL.

Monday, August 21, 2006

They call me One-Eyed Pete... Arrrrr!

Last night was our 4th soccer game of the season, which we managed to lose again. However, for the first time since we won in week 1, we were actually in the game, people played like they wanted to win, and I seriously thought we were going to pull it off. We lost 5-4. We were down 3-1 at halftime, which means we outscored them 3-2 in the second half, which was good for us. As usual, we had to pick up a couple players from the other teams because we never have enough girls to play.

I played in goal again, and had my best game of the year. I lost track of how many saves I made but it was a lot. I may have lost track while making a save with my head, and then a minute later with an open left eye. Ouch. At least I know I was keeping my eye on the ball, because I saw it all the way through impact!

I don't have a black eye (at least no more black than my eyes usually look), but Amy tells me that it is a bit swollen today. She was also aware enough this morning to bring me some Advil while I was still in bed, which is what allowed me to muster the strength to actually get up. haha.

I told her after the game that if she wanted to see me play some good goalkeeper, this would have been the game to come to. On the other hand, if it would disturb her to see me constantly throw myself into situations where it looks like I'm going to take some real damage, then this was *not* the game to see. Today I feel like I've been bludgeoned with baseball bats, which is, more or less, exactly what happened.

And so many people don't like playing goal. What's the matter with you?

Friday, August 18, 2006

This is John Madden reporting live from Avon, Indiana

Tonight was the opening night for high school football here in Indiana, and my good friend Bob Potosky of HSSP Radio ( asked me to join him again this year to do color commentary for some of his broadcasts.

Of course, I did my best to make a fool of myself, and had a good time doing so. Rule #1 in broadcasting is to make sure you are in the studio/press box before the broadcast begins. In this case, I was stuck in traffic, then stuck by a train, and then ran threw the ticket gate (luckily no one stopped me to ask for a ticket) and arrived panicked and winded in the press box a couple minutes after Bob had started the broadcast. Needless to say, I was tripping over myself throughout the start of the evening.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Bob, who diligently does multiple broadcasts a week as play-by-play man, chief engineer, magazine salesman, and equipment porter, statistician, and goodness knows what else. How he does it, while somehow pulling stats, names, and figures out of the thin air is beyond me. I've had the privilege of listening to Bob do play-by-play since we were kids and he annouced our Nintendo Tecmo Bowl games. He was certainly born for this profession.

I, on the other hand, am an unpaid, volunteer stand-in who does it because I've enjoyed football my whole life and began my enjoyment of doing radio when I started doing shows for the campus station, WMHD, in college. The inexperience shows.

It's probably obvious, but doing live sports coverage is significantly more difficult than doing on-air D.J. work for a music show. There is very little downtime, and since Bob himself is a one man show, there's no one feeding me what to say.

Combine that with the position of color commentator on the radio, and you've got a recipe for foolishness - haha. Next time you watch a TV football broadcast, look at what the color guy does -- a lot of the time, he's commenting on the replay which is being shown to the viewers at home... "look at this block here..." "what you'll see now is..." they might even draw some x's and o's on the screen.

On the radio, of course, there is no instant replay. Nor is there a jumbo-tron or TV crew showing me an instant replay. Nor can I even see a half of what is taking place on any one play, given that I'm largely unfamiliar with the team (since it's usually a different team each week), and the rosters and stats we're given from the school can often change or just be wrong to begin with (as was the case tonight).

And of course, if no one is talking, the listeners get nothing. No cheerleaders to show. No crowd shots. No victory or defeat on the faces of the players. Nope. The listener has nothing except Bob and me.

So after each play, Bob starts typing stats into his excel spreadsheet, or is sending and receiving scoring updates via instant messenger, or is answering his phone for yet more updates and stats. In this midst of all that he might point at his screen and hopefully I figure out that there's an interesting stat line to read, or he might toss me a paper with a sponsor's ad on it and silently signal for me to start reading it (no pre-reading allowed, and the scripts are usually hand-written).

That means my job is to try and fill the space, without the use of any visual references provided by wonders of modern video. Just me, hoping to find something insightful to say about the last play, or how the game is developing, or how it's not raining yet, or how Madden 2007 comes out on Tuesday.

Then try to do that in the 4th quarter of a game that's 35-0 and hasn't had a score since the first play of the second half. You quickly run out of insights or things to say. Haha. In my attempt to stay upbeat on the team that was losing, I think I used the term "bright spot" abot 700 times. That's not exactly the next nation-wide catch phrase of choice, is it?

But anyway, it's fun and I enjoy it. And as with anything else, some days are better than others, and even a single game has it's ups and downs. And most of the time my real insights come at a time when I can't talk because Bob is in the middle of a play-by-play call. At home, of course, you can talk anytime while you're watching the game, but on-air, once Bob starts his play call, I've got to shut my trap. Tonight, for example, Avon lined up with 3 receivers to the near side on 4th and 8. As soon as I saw it, I knew the QB was going to roll left before throwing it because he'd been rolling left all night and that was the best way for him to buy some extra time. Of course, no sooner to I realize that then Bob starts with "The QB goes under center..."

And so the snap, the guy rolls left, and eventually they are stopped short of the first down. But stating it ahead of time would have been a useful call to the listeners at home, but I was too late with it. But so it goes. I'll be better with more practice, but even then, when you listen to the pro guys calling an NFL game on the radio, the color commentator often sounds like a dufus, and now I know why. LOL.

I don't think the game is online yet, but it will be soon and you can listen to a replay at to hear my foolishness. Our game was Hamilton Southeastern at Avon. If you do, you'll probably want to jump ahead to at least the 2nd quarter where, I think, I sounded less like a guy that walked in off the street (which is true, of course), than I did at first. Hats off to Bob who manages so sounds professional despite a guy like me flapping my jaws with gibberish every few minutes.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

For all my California pilot friends

Just in case you ever come and fly in the Midwest, I thought you might want some clarification on what the AWOS was telling you. This picture represents "Sky Condition: Clear" on every AWOS in the area, plus the FSS folks.

I took this picture at about 3500 feet while maneuvering around clouds to maintain VFR on my way back into Greenwood. The opening you see under the clouds is a bit misleading, as this was essentially the hole that I was diving through as fast as I could get the Archer to drop. It doesn't really do justice to show you the cloud cover there really was.

I started my dash for this hole from 8500 feet. Fortunately I didn't have any passengers since I'm not sure they would have enjoyed the dive. The cloud tops (not really in this picture) were higher than that (I'd guess maybe 9500-10,000 feet) and I wasn't going to clear them at my current climb rate (a density altitude of 3000 feet on the ground didn't help).

Before this hole came into view, it looked like I was going to have to turn around to descend and then come back at under 3000 feet to stay clear of the clouds.

I'd have gotten better pictures, but maintaining VFR cloud clearance was more important than digging for the cell phone, so I didn't snap the photo until it was obvious I was coming through the bottom. Clear skies indeed.

Maybe by "Clear below One-Two Thousand" they mean "Some altitudes below 12,000 are clear, just not between 3000 and 10,000 feet where all the local aviation traffic is." Ha ha.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jeff Gordon Killed my Soccer Game

Ok, well I guess some dude named Jimmy Johnson won the Brickyard 400, but either way, I got a call that my soccer game, already delayed until 9:50pm tonight, was canceled due to insurmountable traffic around the soccer facility because the race traffic was being routed past there. Ah well, I was looking forward to it, other than the fact that is was so late.

Anyway, I've been diligently continuing my aerobic work with the treadmill and heart monitor throughout the week and threw in an extra session tonight because soccer was canceled. It's got me doing 4 sessions a week, and I've been using Saturday (day before the game) and Monday or Tuesday as my rest days. The soccer game is a bit more of sprinting intervals (less so when playing goalie, but still pretty much bursts of activity), vs the steady walking/jogging of the treadmill.

Anyway, according to this thing I burned about 2300 calories in my exercise this week. Of course, I've probably eaten about that much extra per day anyway since I'm now hungry all the time, but hey. Yesterday was the first day I actually had to do some jogging to get my heart rate in range (sad, I know), so it was jog/walk/jog/walk, etc. Today was just walking again, but that my have something to do with the two beers I had at dinner.

According to the monitor, 50% of those calories came from fat, so that's 1/3rd a pound of fat based on my google research. I'm sure that would be a pleasant sight.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Still Alive!

Well at last an update. We’ve pretty much been on the road or in and out of town since the last update. We first headed up to the Michigan “fish house” for an extended 4th of July weekend, then off to California for a working vacation, then some time in Evansville, and finally we’ve landed back home.

Big news with the girls: Kaitlyn starts Kindergarten in less than 2 weeks, and she’s very excited, and I think a little nervous. We spent all day yesterday getting supplies, picking out a new backpack, and getting uniforms. Aunt Dana was nice enough to watch Hailey so Amy and I could have a “special day” getting ready for school. It was a full, tiring day, but everyone had fun.

On the Hailey front, the big news is that we’ve moved on to the “Big Girl” bed. No more cribs for us! I had a bit of a rough evening getting her to use it the first day, but on the second day and so far, it’s been smooth sailing! Wow!

In news about me, I signed up for an indoor soccer league and started playing 2 Sundays ago. While this may be obvious, jumping straight into a league full of guys 5-10 years younger than me after spending the last 15 years sitting on my duff has proved to be somewhat difficult.
What some call a “soccer game” and what I call “3 minutes of running followed by 47 minutes of trying not to throw up” led me to actually try to get in some sort of aerobic shape.

On Monday, I attempted to jog on the treadmill for all of 15 minutes which led me to a half day of feeling like crap. After doing a bit of research, I determined that the problem was over-exerting my sorry, out-of-shape self, and that by monitoring my heart rate I’d be in much better shape. That was worth a try I thought. I wound up buying a Polar Heart Monitor and doing some work on the treadmill over the next 4 days and was able to work up a decent sweat and get some decent exercise.

According to the heart monitor, I still can’t do much more than walk fast as even starting to jog slow sends the old ticker beating like a bass drum in a Metallica song. So, better to build up the cardio than suffer a heart attack.

I played again on Sunday and this time as it turns out I played goalie. This also means that I played the whole game. I was pretty winded and tired but I was able to do it and there was no risk of puking on the field this time. At least the goalie gets some rest (although not like in outdoor soccer), and I had a week of somewhat organized cardio training under my belt.
Playing keeper didn’t come without some consequences, however. Both of my knees were a bloodied mess, I pulled my right quad, and I jammed 3 fingers. Fortunately, other than being pretty sore yesterday and today, I think I’ll pull through. :) I took yesterday as a break day, and today get back on the treadmill.

Of course, I’ve been as hungry as a ravenous wolf, so weight loss seems to be out of the question at least over the short term. I’ll worry about that after I’m convinced I can jog at a slow pace without keeling over. I’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh no! We suck again!

Well, the USA national soccer team made a mockery of U.S. Soccer once again. Landon Donovan, my most despised player, proved to be entirely worthless, the team is unmotovated, boring, and has no fire. Despite what ever great things head coach Arena has done for U.S. soccer, he himself has no presence and no personality, and that is completely reflected in the way the team behaves. What a joke.

Below is an MP3 for your amusement from the Waterboy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I'm afraid this battle station will be quite operational when your friends arrive.

Collier sent me this and titled it "Operation Can O' Whoop Ass."

The USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Kitty Hawk and USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups steam in formation during a joint photo exercise (PHOTOEX) in preparation for Valiant Shield 2006 on Sunday, June 18, 2006, in the Pacific Ocean. The PHOTOEX featured 14 ships as well as 17 aircraft from Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corp including a B2 bomber. The Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group is currently participating in Valiant Shield 2006, the largest joint exercise in recent history. Held in the Guam operating area beginning June 19-23, the exercise involves 28 Naval vessels including three carrier strike groups, more than 300 aircraft and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Jarod Hodge)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Yet another page from the Somalia file

I find it hard to believe... but here's yet more fantastic news coming out of Somalia.

Group linked to al Qaeda tightening grip on Somalia

An Islamist group with ties to al Qaeda is quickly solidifying its grip on parts of Somalia and moving toward setting up a Taliban-style Islamist regime in the country, according to U.S. officials familiar with events in the region.

Not so much fun with Google Earth

Ames tells me that I need to post happier, friendlier things on my blog. I fully agree. But then I sit down at the computer and read this:

"N. Korea set to Test-Launch Missile Capable of Hitting the United States"

Well that's nice. So I load up Google Earth and do a quick measurement... from N. Korea to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska (which I assume is what they are talking about) is about 2500 miles. Needless to say, the continental US is much further away than that.

However, for those of you that haven't been following, N. Korea is in a complete economic shambles, and has a giant energy crisis ongoing. They could really use some energy. No energy, but long range missiles. Hm....

See, there's this other country... a South American country named Venezuela, which is also convinced that the USA is getting ready to invade it at any minute. They've said they plan to continue to use their oil profits to arm themselves against a US attack.

Oh - did I say... Oil Profits? Oil - as in the primary source of energy used by the modern world? Yes. I did say that. So lets see - there's a country with long range missiles, nuclear weapons, and no oil... and a country that wants weapons to deter the US and has oil... hmm...

So with a little more Google Earth research, I drew some lines from Venezuela to the US, and found that, more or less, you can draw a trapezoid from Texas, to Chicago, to Maine, to Miami. Anything within that area could be hit with a N. Korean nuke that was sold to and stationed in Venezuela.

And no sooner do I do that bit of research, but this headline hits the Drudge Report:

"North Korean threat prompts US to Activate Missile Defense System"

Maybe I should just move to New Zealand.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

And from the Somolia file...

Here's yet more good news from the results of spreading Islamic fascism:

Two die as hardline Islamists ban World Cup
Hardline Islamic courts shut cinema halls and barred residents from watching the World Cup, prompting scores of civilians to protest the ban in which two people were killed, court officials and residents have said.

Iran bans The Economist...

...because, on a map, they labeled the familiar waterway near Iran "The Gulf" instead of the more common, and what Iran seems to prefer "The Persian Gulf".

If that's not a good reason to ban a magazine, I don't know what is. Down with freedom of speech!

Full Article:

Monday, June 05, 2006

Geeking out with Google Earth

I put together a list of the airports I've flown to, and saved them in Google Earth. Now there is a quality use of my time. :)

The nav menu on the right points to it now too. I've not used idisk before, so if it asks you for some kind of password or something, please let me know. You will need Google Earth installed to view it.

There are two things I can't stand...

... racial intolerence, and the Dutch! LOL @ this:

Dutch Evangelicals calls for pray-in against the Devil

Remember Black Hawk Down?

Does anyone remember Black Hawk Down, the story of American troops having a bit of trouble in a "peacekeeping" mission in Somalia? I'm sure some of you do, as it was a great book and a movie that came out in 2001. After getting a handful of troops killed in a raid-gone-wrong, we largely withdrew from the country under intense public pressure.

In any case, back during the actual events in the late 90s, there was much talk about why we were there, what purpose did it serve, how did this help America, etc.

If you were a doubter, then here is your answer, and further proof that the American public, or at least the American media establishment, does not have the stomach to actually fight for the protection of America or our way of life:

Mogadishu - Somali Islamists on Monday declared victory over a United States-backed warlord alliance in Mogadishu after four months of bloody fighting, and prepared to take over the lawless capital.

Having captured nearly all of Mogadishu and a key warlord supply line on its northern outskirts at the weekend, the Islamists were set to formalize their seizure in a surrender and handover meeting with remnants of the alliance.

And so I present to you, the next Afghanistan. Ugh.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Word of the Day

nomenclature |ˈnōmənˌklā ch ər| (noun)

  • the devising or choosing of names for things, esp. in a science or other discipline.
  • the body or system of such names in a particular field : the nomenclature of chemical compounds.
  • formal the term or terms applied to someone or something : “customers” was preferred to the original nomenclature “passengers.”
Geeks rule!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Find Italy. Go east, then south.

I found a National Geographic study released last month which reveals some fun stats about people's lack of even basic world understanding. In their survey of 18-24 year olds (which would be the crowd to have most recently studied this stuff, you would think), they found the following:

  • 33% could not identify Louisiana on a US map
  • 88% could not find Afghanistan
  • 63% could not find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map of the middle east
  • 75% could not find Iran or Israel on a map of the middle east
  • 44% couldn't find the Middle East at all
  • 50% could not find New York on a US map
  • 56% couldn't find Ohio
  • 44% estimated China's population to be double that of the US
  • 54% couldn't identify what continent Sudan was in (10% said Europe!)
  • 75% could not find Indonesia
  • 75% didn't know Indonesia was a Muslim country (PS - it's the largest Muslim country in the world, oh geographically challenged citizens)
  • 48% think that China exports more, when measured by dollar value, than the US
  • 34% could not identify which escape route, in a hypothetical scenario, directed them to the northwest when using a map and a compass rose! (page 18 of the report if you want to see how easy this one should be)
  • 66% did not know you would travel south to get from Japan (in the northern hemisphere, P.S.) to Australia (in the southern hemisphere)
  • 51% could not find Japan
  • 30% thought the population of the US was over 1 billion people
  • 74% thought English was the most common native language in the world
  • 30% said the most heavily fortified border in the world was between the US and Mexico
  • 50% thought India was a muslim contry
On the "positive" side,
  • 70% could find China (of course, so can Kaitlyn, and she's FIVE)
  • 59% know that the Amazon rainforest is in South America (well done class!)
  • 51% could find India (again, nice work)
  • only 6% thought India was the world's largest consumer of oil (but just who are you people?)
So, the next time Hawkins lets us know where he is, he'd better put up a map on his blog, as well as instructions on how to use it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The World's Smallest Political Quiz

This takes about 30 seconds to take. Let me know how you score. Here's what I got:

Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%.
I'll be happy to educate you if your economic score is not > 70% :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Soccer Superstar, Kaitlyn Ready!

Our Spring soccer season just ended, and the kids did great. Mason scored his first goal tonight, which meant that every kid on the team scored this season! That made me happy.

What made me even more happy is how advanced the kids were playing. The last two games have really been quite amazing, and the kids have really started to learn the concepts of playing a position and teamwork. I wish we had another couple games to keep building on this foundation, but that will have to wait until the Fall, and we'll have a whole different batch of kids to work with.

The biggest news of all is that in Saturday's game, Kaitlyn scored her first goal ever! Logan got an assist with a nice pass to her in the middle, and she booted it right in. She was so excited! (as was everyone!)

Tonight's game, however, was Kaitlyn's best game ever. While she didn't score, she got 3 assists, all of which were done on purpose! She would have scored herself on the first one, had Emilie not booted it in before it rolled across the line, but that's okay. I teach the kids to chase the ball even if it looks like it's going to make it, and that's just what she did.

In fact, that was one of the top plays of the season. Liam passes it in (we don't do throw-ins) to Kaitlyn, who actually taps the ball upfield while turning, then Kaitlyn centers to Emilie who scores. Boo-yah!

In the second one she makes a steal, then centers for the score. And, in the third one, we essentially have a give-and-go where Kaitlyn does a great job of controlling the ball on a breakaway before centering back to Mason who gets his second goal (both on Kaitlyn-assists!). Now that she's got a little confidence, she's even showing some speed in the breakaway!

I know she would have liked to score, but she played a great game, as did the whole team. It's nice to have your best game of the year be your last game. Tomorrow night... pizza party!

Click the links below for video clips (hopefully!)

Thanks to the new Apple MacBook Pro, the importing and editing of video was pretty easy. However, even with Apple making it easy, I've got to tell you that messing around with video simply takes time. I'm sure I'll get faster at it, but it's a far cry from the ease with which you can just dump pictures to your harddrive and post them for the world to see. But I digress... enjoy the soccer clips!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sound familiar?

You don't need to be a history buff for this to sound familiar... at least I hope you don't.

Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments."

The law, which must still be approved by Iran's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.

Full story:

Monday, May 15, 2006

Comic relief in the form of real events...

Hawkins recently sent me over to the Media Research Center, which collects all sorts of quotes to capture the liberal bias of the press. Some are funny, some are not. This one comes from the "it's funny because you are the stupidest human I've ever heard speak" file:

Anchor Elizabeth Vargas: "In Washington, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 470,000 new jobs last month. The Bush administration was quick to claim this was good news, but is it really? We turn now to ABC’s Betsy Stark for some perspective."

Reporter Betsy Stark: "Elizabeth, this may sound like good news, but investors are terribly nervous. More jobs mean fewer people in the unemployment line, and that means unemployment offices will lay off workers. More people with money in their pockets could drive up inflation, and oil prices could soar. And more new homebuyers could mean a further expansion of this huge housing bubble, indicating a possible crash ahead. That could leave a lot of families out on the street, Elizabeth."
— ABC’s World News Tonight
Jobs are bad for the economy. ROTFL.


The EU is going to make a proposal to Iran that will include "generous" incentives to stop it's nuclear program. These, of course, would be incentives (let's call them "appeasements"), in the form of an agreement, to rectify a situation that arose because of the last time that IRAN IGNORED ITS INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.

What a bunch of dolts. This really is shaping up to be the rise of the Third Reich all over again. Maybe after they get it signed, the EU spokespeople can wear a Neville Chamberlin mask and throw a little "Peace for our time" into the press conference.

Maybe in a year or so, after we've withdrawn troops from Iraq, Iran will gear up it's army and, under threat of invasion and with internal Shite cooperation, Iraq will opt to "join" Iran. The new Iran will invade Kuwait because Kuwait "is a rogue state and is really part of Iran (Iraq) anyway". Saudi Arabia falls like a deck of cards, Jordan surrenders, Syria joins voluntarily and Israel goes down in a nuclear cloud. Pakistan revolts and joins as an independent Axis power (let's call it "Italy"), and Egypt is forced to join because of the rest of the region. Libya surrenders as well. Turkey remains neutral, for now, which essentially lulls parts of the EU into a false feeling of being safe. Meanwhile, Venezuela joins as an independent power (lets call it "Japan") and teams up with Bolivia and the new socialist government in Mexico. Columbia and Argentina join easily, leaving Brazil and parts of Central America as the key battlegrounds. China remains neutral, as do the Russians. At this point, there's really nothing stopping N. Korea from invading S. Korea, leaving Japan as a major battleground which we might be unable to help. The U.K., U.S., and Australia are really the only ones ready enough to do anything, perhaps with Germany and France joining this group (let's call them "the Allies") after the shit has already hit the fan. Oh, and P.S, the Allies have no oil...

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
-George Santayana

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Only 14 states require Economics in high school

Are you kidding me? This explains a lot.

Evil Capitalists

So Hawkins sent me this link which includes some propaganda about a new book that came out about Hillary Clinton. While I'm not about to say I know anything of the source, one element that caught my eye was this alleged Hillary quote:

“The unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation.”
Ugh. Sometimes you just have to shake your head in amazement.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

More Communist Fun

At this point, nothing surprises me. Italy has selected a new president from the lead paragraph of this article:

"Italy picked a former communist, Giorgio Napolitano, to be its new president on Wednesday"
What more can I say.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Minutemen tracked by U.S. Government, Reported to Mexico (link)

This report says that the U.S. Border Patrol reports the location of the Minutemen to the Mexican government. If you don't know, the Minutemen are a group of volunteers that sit on the border looking for illegal crossings, and then report the location of the crossing to the Border Patrol.

So on one hand, this is about the most counter intuitive behavior you could think of, since it is, in fact, the Border Patrol that these guys are trying to help.

But more importantly, and regardless of what you think about illegal immigration, everyone should be distrubed that the location of law abiding American citizens who are breaking no law and who are contained within U.S. borders should be tracked by a U.S. Government agency and then reported to a foreign government.

Let me say that again: the U.S. Government is tracking U.S. citizens for the sole purpose of reporting their whereabouts to a foreign power.

This is the kind of thing that would make D.K. Michaels pround. What the heck is up with that? Besides the fact that it's just plain stupid, it seems like it must be illegal, and is certainly a bit creepy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mr. Happy Burger

Scott, Eno, and I took my plane up to Logansport today for a business meeting. When flying into small airports, they often have courtesy cars available for pilots to use free of charge for a few hours. In my experience, these cars are, well, what you would expect to get for free -- or in this case, for a $10 donation. Either way, it certainly beats going through all the trouble to rent a car from a car rental company. I've never had to do anything except grab the keys and go. Since they have your plane, I'm guessing they aren't too worried about you not returning the car. LOL.

In Logansport, we stumbled onto this place called "Mr. Happy Burger" -- needless to say, it called us in. Pictured here are Scott and I standing in front of the restaurant and right behind our slick ride. Nothing like showing up to a business meeting in this fine vehicle!

It was about a 35 minute flight to Logansport from Greenwood, and it was smooth and uneventful, although it was overcast and hazy on the way back. There isn't a whole lot to look at on the ground when flying in northern Indiana, but getting the chance to fly is always fun. And besides, who would pass up on the chance to cruise Logansport in a late model station wagon while chomping down on a Mr. Happy Burger. "Good Times!" as Dana would say.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Agreeing with Lou Dobbs?

Good ol' Hawkins pointed me in the direction of this Lou Dobb's article which proves (at least to me) that Dobbs has decided to take his editorial direction from the ramblings of yours truly. For serious.

Ok, well, maybe not. *BUT* it is worth pointing out that someone else has finally wised up to calling out the obvious dirty communist ties to this illegal amnesty movement. Granted, he's citing a Washington Post article about the same, but he does hail it as the only major newspaper to have half a wits clue as to the linkage here.

And go figure. Lou Dobb's isn't exactly Sean Hannity, politically speaking, so it's not like this can be dismissed as some right-wing conspiracy. Alright - well I'm sure it will, but it stands to reason that it shouldn't.

A quote from the article:

Just how significant is the impact of leftists within the illegal immigration movement? It is no accident that they chose May 1 as their day of demonstration and boycott. It is the worldwide day of commemorative demonstrations by various socialist, communist, and even anarchic organizations.
Beyond the communist tie (which is enough irritation in my book as it is), the article calls out some additional facts which I would think people would find interesting, if more of them actually dug into these sorts of issues. (props again to Hawkins who called out this quote on his own site):

"The meat packers are confirming what we know," says University of Maryland economics professor Peter Morici, "and that is that this large group of illegal aliens in the United States is lowering the wage rate of semiskilled workers, people who are high school dropouts or high school graduates with minimal training."

In fact, a meat-packing job paid $19 an hour in 1980, but today that same job pays closer to $9 an hour, according to the Labor Department. That's entirely consistent with what we've been reporting -- that illegal aliens depress wages for U.S. workers by as much as $200 billion a year in addition to placing a tremendous burden on hospitals, schools and other social services.

So what does all that other stuff cost? I found this report on the impact of illegal immigration which states the following:
  • Illegal alien households are estimated to use $2,700 a year more in services than they pay in taxes, creating a total fiscal burden of nearly $10.4 billion on the federal budget in 2002. Among them:
      • Medicaid $2.5 B
      • Uninsured treatments $2.2 B
      • Food assistance programs $1.9 B
      • Federal aid to schools $1.4 B
That doesn't include the states cost of schools, which is where most of the school funding comes from. Does anyone else think that it's insane that we should be doling out almost $5 billion in heal services, $2.5 B of which comes from an actual entitlement program? Who oversees these things, and why should someone that just shows up be allowed to participate in our entitlement programs? I have enough reservations about these kinds of things, and that's when I assumed that only actual American citizens could participate in American entitlement programs.

And that's not all:
  • If illegal aliens were legalized and began to pay taxes and use services like legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual fiscal deficit at the federal level would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total federal deficit of $29 billion.
So great. Grant amnesty and end up paying more. Muy Buen.

It really makes you wonder if we even need a "guest worker" program of if that's not just a pile of hogwash. Who wants a program, legal or not, that drives down wages and creates an additional deficit burden on the economy? At this point looks to me that that would be a horrible, horrible idea. I'd much rather see some kind of expanding immigration policy for knowledge and skilled workers -- the kind that contribute positively to the economy while helping the US maintain technological competitiveness.

Really - if you think about it - it's no wonder that the communists are tied in closely to the illegals. These are people that disregard the rule of law, feel that they are somehow entitled to the jobs they hold, and receive more in entitlements and wealth redistribution than they contribute to it. That reads like a Karl Marx dream right there.
"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!"
- Karl Marx, 1874
Ok - so what *I NEED* is for all these people to get a clue and figure out that it's a free, capitalist society that created the economy, economic opportunity, and (unfortunately) entitlement infrastructure that these illegals are so anxious to demand the rights to. "From each" of you, I expect you to use your "abilities" to tell these people to wise up.

Commies marching in the streets of America in 2006. Who would have thought.

How do you say "total bust" in Spanish?

El mucho busto? Anyway, what a flop my day without an immigrant has been. I took some additional photos of the places I went but they are all basically just ordinary pictures. Not a thing was different anywhere I went, and I saw no protestors, marchers, or even hooligans.

What the heck? If the idea was to say "if there were no illigal immigrants, your life would be uneffected" then they succeeded there. I did peek into the back of Arby's and didn't see any non-english speaking latinos, and the gas station didn't have any of the latino construction force fueling up in the morning, but I had to strain to even notice that.

So what the heck - my shot at internet fame by documenting my day was el mucho busto. The only evidence I can find that something must have gone on was this snippet from the Indy Star:

And as the workday ended, more than 200 gathered for a rally at St. Mary Catholic Church just east of Downtown.
Mmmmm-kay. So besides the fact that I need to denounce my own faith for catering to the catholic hoards illegally entering the county, nothing of note happened. A few weeks ago there were 20,000 demonstrators downtown. What happened to them? I have a feeling that "a day without an immigrant" turned out to be "an immigrant vacation day". Fantástico! LOL

A fast food lunch without immigrants is a lot like...

A fast food lunch with illegal immigrants, I guess. I hit Arby's at 12:30 today and was in and out in 2 minutes. I've also seen not a single demonstrator, despite the fact that I've driven all over town from greenwood to downtown to carmel. Indy did have a big march last time, so it's not that indy is just out of the loop.

So far, the impact has been zero.

A Day Without Immigants

Happy Commie Day everyone. I still think its bad PR for this protest to happen on May Day, but no one consulted with me first.

I've got a ton of running around to do today, so I thought this might be a good blog-umentary opportunity to see how this no-illegals day effects my life.

I started the day with a trip to the gas station, shown here. No difference from any other trip to this Speedway, and no problem retrieving a Honeybun and Coke despite the lack of dayworkers to help me do that.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Illegal Immigrants, Communists, History, and a Long Rant

So apparently on May 1st, 2-3 million illegal immigrants are taking the the streets to "demand" amnesty. Demand? Are these people going out of there way to try and make me mad? Like I said before, they really need to get organized enough to get their PR function under control, because I'm guessing such "demands" are going to go over about as well as waving Mexican flags at the rally.

And they said you couldn't round up 12 million people? Looks to me like we can cut the number to 9 million by Tuesday! :)

In related news, I caught this quote in the AP story about the upcoming protests:

"Organizers have timed the action for May Day, a date when workers around the world traditionally have marched for improved conditions."

No surprise, but this is a mostly true statement shrouded by information they don't give you. May Day was a day associated with labor marches in the late 1800s. In more modern history, May Day is associated with shows of stregth by hard line Communist and Socialist governments. Given the earlier article I shared on the association between these "immigration" protests and communism, I guess this shouldn't be a surprise.

From the wikipedia:

"In the 20th century, May Day received the official endorsement of the Soviet Union; celebrations in communist countries during the Cold War era often consisted of large military parades and shows of common people in support of the government."

And in case you still don't believe me, you can look at this Immigrant Rights Action Packet, brought to you by the Communist Party USA. Nice.

In fact, the photo shown here was the very first result when I searched for "May Day Parade" on Google.

You know... I can't help but think about this sudden huge push for communism all around us, while at the same time a push for religious fascism in the middle-east... And now for a history lesson:

*Way* back in the day - the days of the Roman Empire that is, there was also a time when the folks back at home lost interest in the empire of Rome, wanted to let outsiders do all their work (including, incidentally, the work of the army), and worry about problems back "at home". That focus led Rome to be the first state to impose a property tax that fed the earliest of welfare systems. Meanwhile, the Roman defenses failed, Rome was overrun by Germanic nations and Mongol raiders, whose goal was to steal the riches of Rome for themselves. In the end, Rome fell, the raiders squandered their new wealth away, and it took the western world 1000 years to recover. That recovery was basically a backwards cycle from what these communist types are suggesting we do now.

First it was anarchy, then feudalism emerged, which is really nothing more that socialism among many very small city-states, then mercantilism and the start of capitalism, monarchy, constitutional monarchy, and eventually capitalism. Not that it was all smooth getting through that, mind you, but that's the general flow if you look at the 1000 year period from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance.

Not by coincidence, Rome was a largely capitalistic state, and even during the time of the Caesars, was run by-and-large as a states republic. The individual provinces largely governed themselves, but were in fact part of the Empire. It wasn't wholly unlike the way states function in the United States, although it would have been more similar in earlier US times than now where the federal government holds most of the power.

Anyway, now, right here in the U.S., I see people who believe we "need" all this foreign labor because we won't do the work ourselves... taxes are higher than they've ever been, and the solution to cash shortages is seemingly always higher taxes... and there's this massive push by those that want our wealth to hand it over -- to "demand" that we accommodate them -- supported by those whose underlying, flawed, philosophy thinks that by taking wealth and passing it around that we'll all move forward.

But history tells us that they'll squander those resources, and civilization will slide backward for centuries before it recovers. Alright, end of history lesson. I guess I should add "history" to the list of classes that I feel everyone should be required to go through each year until they understand it. The other two are: civics and economics. If everyone understood how the government worked, understood basic economics, and had some historical perspective, I believe this country would be a much better place.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

And you know you've lost your mind when...

Iran is named vice-chair of the U.N. commission on global disarmament. Since logic tells me this can't be the case, the only explanation is that I'm living in a fictitious world. Perhaps I had a car accident years ago and now I'm starting to regain consciousness...

Other "fun" U.N. facts:

  • 54% of UN members are *not* democracies
  • The United States pays for 22% of all U.N. expense - our contribution is about $900 million a year.
  • The UN's "anti-racism" commission was started in Libya and is really nothing more than an anti-Semitic racist organization, sponsored by the U.N. From the website of EAFORD: "...EAFORD has focused on the ideological systems of apartheid and Zionism, as well as the conditions of the indigenous people within colonial settler societies."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Arni on Illegal Immigration

I stumbled onto this letter by my former governor, Arnold, on the whole illegal immigration thing, and thought it was pretty good. A quote:

We can embrace the immigrant without endorsing illegal immigration. Granting citizenship to people who are here illegally is not just amnesty … it's anarchy. We are a country of immigrants, yes. But we are also a nation of laws. People who want to be citizens will want to do it the right way.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Viven de largo los Estados Unidos

Ah yes. So the old 'hood makes the news because of a rumblin' tumblin' fistfight between groups on all sides of the illegal immigration issue at a local protest. Good to see some positive press rolling out of "da region."

Most amusingly, among the participants of the protest (apparently on the pro-illegal immigration side) were some folks from the Progressive Labor Party, a group that openly supports a communist revolution.

So, I'm not saying that the proposed legislation is perfect -- however -- if you weren't' sure what side of the issue you stood on, allow me to point out that the "protesting" side, those that oppose harsher penalties for illegals, are BEING SUPPORTED BY OPENLY COMMUNIST FREAKS!


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Fish Fry in Evansville

On Friday afternoon, Amy said "too bad we weren't in Evansville, we could go to a fish fry with everyone" - and I said "well, we still could!" - it was a really nice day and it gave me an excuse to fly the plane.

So, what the heck, Ames got the stuff ready while I headed over to the airport and got the plane fueled up and ready to go. It turns out that the flight to Evansville is just about the break even point vs. driving when you consider the time it takes to drive to the airport, load up the plane, do the run-up, and take off. The flight time is just over an hour, but it's a half hour to drive to the airport, a half hour of loading time and preflight, and then another 30-45 minutes after we land to get reloaded up and drive to Gene & Linda's house. Amy left the house at 3pm, and we made it to their house at about 5:40pm. If we drive and have no stops, it takes just under 3 hours to get there, so you can see this doesn't really save us much. And for me (because I leave early to preflight the plane and get it out of the hangar), it's actually a net-negative on time.

BUT - it's a lot more fun to fly anyway, and it's less than 90 minutes of sitting in the plane vs. 3 hours of sitting in the car, so that's a positive. And - we're actually losing quite a bit of time because of our lack of proximity to Greenwood airport (25-30 minutes) and then because we have to fiddle with the car seats. Kaitlyn's booster takes no time but Hailey's car seat probably adds another 10 minutes to the ordeal. And then of course the drive after we land of 15 minutes.

Amy took some pictures on the way back, so hopefully I can post those up shortly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sin City Survived

Ames and I have returned successfully from Vegas. We did well enough that (1) we didn't hit the ATM machine at all and (2) we were satisfied even though we technically lost money. However, if you're headed to vegas, I'd recommend betting on red-32 on the roulette wheel. It didn't come up a single time while we were playing, and the odds of not getting 32 once in, say, 300 spins, is reasonably low.

Granted, unless you believe in funny math, the odds are still 1 in 38 for the next spin, but hey, I'm just sharing the information I have.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing Penn & Teller at the Rio. Ames was very excited that she got to talk to Teller after the show (and he really can talk!) You can check out her blog for more info on that. I did get to pose for this photo with Penn, who, at 6'-6" was still a good 5-6 inches shorted than the super-tall woman we saw at the show with us. Now that's tall.

We also saw the Blue Man Group at the Venetian. This was also a good show, but we both liked Penn & Teller better. Blue Man would have been better had they played more music and dropped some (or most) of the "(fake) audience involvement" gimmickry. If I were to pretend to be a critic, I would call those aspects "cute", however they seem really out of place when compared to the drum-beats-gone-wild musical aspects of the show, which were very cool.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Las Vegas Celebrity Sighting

So toady Ames was quick enough to spot James Brown (JB) of FOX Sports broadcasting fame. Considering that I see him every week during football season, but it was my wife that had to point him out to me, I'm not sure what that says about me.

I'll go out on a limb and say I'm not always the most observant fellow when it comes to seeing things around me. Ha ha.

Turns out tommorrow is the Vargas vs. Mosley title fight, so I'm sure that's why he's here - unless of course it was just because he heard we'd be here and was hoping to spot us.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The weather was nice again today so I had the chance to make a quick flight after I finished up a few meetings. About 4:30 I got off the ground and headed from Greenwood to Richmond Municipal Airport, just on the Indiana side of the Ohio border, and more or less due East of Indianapolis.

I headed out from Greenwood to the Shelbyville VOR (not very far), and then took straight vector to Richmond, which has it's own VOR as well. It gave me a chance to practice a little VOR navigation on the way there, and some simple pilotage on the return trip (in layman's terms, that means navigating by looking at a map and the ground to figure out where you are).

It's a short 120 nm round-trip, and I made it twice during my training -- so to say I had to rely strictly on these navigation techniques is a bit of a stretch, since I was familiar with the route already. The point was to use something besides my fancy-pants GPS and prove that I won't be a basketcase should it ever crap out on me.

For some reason, I've never seen anyone else flying around this airport, despite 2 intersecting 5500' x 100' runways (and a third that's no longer in use). The runways seem a bit dilapidated, which is a shame given that it seems like it could be a pretty nice little airport.

Random Music

While I was in the car this morning, I started the iPod in a random spot in the "My Top Rated" playlist. I haven't really gone through the trouble of rating even a small percentage of the songs on there - that's something I pretty much do to pass the time while trapped on a long airline flight. But, there are enough in that list to make for a reasonably sized list.

Anyway, I thought the assortment that came up on my short drive was interesting. This may seem like a wholly random assortment, but for those of you know me you probably won't be surprised. It was a bit slanted to the heavy metal, but that's probably a product of what I've actually rated more than anything. Here's the list:

  • My Way, Frank Sinatra
  • Mr. Brownstone, Guns-n-Roses
  • Don't Tread on Me, Metallica
  • Dragula, Rob Zombie
  • Learning to Fly, Tom Petty
  • Heart Shaped Box, Nirvana
  • Down with the King, Run D.M.C.
  • We're Not Gonna Take It, Twisted Sister (LOL)
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday, U2

Monday, February 20, 2006

I blew away my blog and all I got was this lousy plane...

Ok, so not to be outdone by my wife, who is not to be outdone by Susan, who is not to be outdone by her husband who is not be be outdone by me, I've restarted my blog. In summary then, I'm in competition with myself, I appear to be losing, and I'm squarely in last place.

Either way, here is is, in all of it's glory. To get started, let me tell you about my Sunday mini-adventure.

Sunday was a clear, sunny day here in Indiana, except that it was all of 20 degrees. I decided to take the plane up for a flight, except, I couldn't get it started because, yes, it was freaking cold outside. It would barely even turn over. As I sat out there, another one of the pilots came up and after chatting about my (relatively) new plane, he said he had an old engine preheater that I was welcome to have because he didn't use it anymore. It was of the "homemade" variety, and he hoped "that the mice hadn't chewed up the inside of the heater".

What the heck, it's worth a shot, I thought.

This apparatus, which you see here, consists of a small ceramic space heater which sits inside of a bit of ductwork connect to a hand-cut flange of sorts that fits nicely inside the cowling opening of a late model Piper Warrior, and convenientlyfor me, also in a late model Piper Archer.

To give it some hight to reach, you see it sitting on a pastic bin which I happened to have. For it's previous owner, it sat on a nice piece of cinder block, but I didn't have such amenities laying about the hanger.

I looked for mouse dropping and dusted it off. Other than being in a bit of banged up shape, it looked okay. I hooked it up and gave it a shot - however - the cold wind was keeping the heating element from reaching the temperature required to get the fan to kick on. I took my coat off and draped it over the enclosure. to let it get warm.

Luckily, I had a light jacket in the car to throw over my sweatshirt. But - after waiting about 5 minutes, I realized that the cold wind was blowing right inside the opening on the other side of the cowling. So, I removed my second jacket, and stuffed it inside the hole.

Standing in 10 degrees with just my sweatshirt, I waited 20 minutes, ensuring that neither my jackets, the space heater, or the plane would burst into flame, moved everything to the side, and started the plane right up. The engine ran pretty awkwardly for a few seconds but then settled out just like it should. It could be that one of the cylinders wasn't firing properly yet, and was a bit worrisome, but it subsided quickly and everything sounded and ran fine after that. Next time, I'll let it warm up for a good half hour first.

I got almost 2 hours of flying in. I ran into a bit of light snow on my way to Robinson, Illinois, which caused me to divert over to Brazil/Clay County instead. Light snow isn't really an issue, but there was already an icing AIRMET for that area and the visibility was sure to deteriorate, so why chance it. Then I did a touch-and-go in Greencastle (of not particularly high quality) and flew back to Greenwood where I had a real nice landing.

I've got just under 70 hours now of total flight time, which isn't much by anyone's standards, but I'm proud of it anyway. It will be nice when the weather finally breaks and I can get more regular flying in. This is about the time last year that I started taking lessons very regularly, so I'm optimistic that more regular VFR weather is just around the corner.