Day by Day cartoon

Friday, September 30, 2005

Skipping school tonight!

The spouse the dog and I are headed out camping! The weather guessers have predicted a glorious autumn weekend and its too good to miss. We are also right in the sweet spot, after Labor Day and before rifle deer hunting season.

So I've had my first coffee and now we are going to start loading up. Won't be home till Sunday. The boy will be here though, so the cats will get fed and the house protected.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Today's topic--SELF IMPROVEMENT!

It is Thursday Three time again! Terry wants to know what self-improvement efforts are important to each of us. So go read his thoughts, read my responses and feel free to leave some comments in the comments box. As always, I'll add some links to this post later on today.

1) What one language would you most like to learn to speak, or at least understand?
        Spanish, I suppose, since my community has a significant hispanic population and I would like to be able to communicate clearly with the people that are part of my neighborhood. I do believe that immigrants need to learn to communicate in the local language, no matter what language they bring with them from home, but I also recognize the necessity of being able to communicate with those that don't speak English. Its just a realistic fact of life and I would like to be able to share in the richness of my neighborhood by understanding more of what is said around me. Since I don't intend to immigrate to any other country where English isn't the native language, I don't see any need to learn French or Russian or Swahili.

2) What one skill would you most like to learn?
        I'd like to be able to play music on a mountain dulcimer. I have no musical skills beyond operating most of the controls on my car stereo. I was once upon a time able to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on my brother Tim's violin. He took lessons in school, I learned from him. After that bit of musical prowess and the usual recorder training in grade school, my skills are restricted to getting the wrapper off of an occasional CD purchase. Pathetic, I know. But I really like the sound of the mountain dulcimer and I would like nothing better than to be able to play old-time gospel tunes on a dulcimer of my own. I like hammer dulcimer music too but I wish I could learn the laptop, stringed dulcimer. Here's a picture of a woman playing a dulcimer. I suppose if I were to learn to play the hammer dulcimer, I could qualify to wear this shirt since I've been to to get hammered in the past.

3) What one character flaw would you most like to rid yourself of?
        Character flaw? Get real!

        I don't tolerate fools well and I don't spend much time worrying about what other people are thinking or saying about me. People tend to think I am aloof or rude when in fact, most of the time I'm just distracted by tasks and deadlines and schoolwork planning. So maybe I can learn to relax and smile at more folks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kenny is Home!

And if you visit his blog, Coffee in the Morning, he will tell you the details. I'm just really pleased to hear that he has survived what might have been a really close call.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rats! Kenny's sick!

That's my buddy from work Kenny, proud owner of Coffee in the Morning, from over there in my blog list, is laid up with some dangerous problems. I won't divulge what I overheard from Kenny's boss this morning until I get a chance to talk to him or maybe he will be well enough to tell everyone from his blog in the near future.

But I'm mad at him because of this 'cause he was supposed to be arranging a prairie dog shoot for a weekend real soon. Now that shoot will be off until springtime, soonest.

Get better Big Guy!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mostly Cajun's After Action Report- Its a Sad One

The good news is Dale, Tanker, from Mostly Cajun survived Hurricane Rita. He is alive and picking up the pieces. The bad news is, his home is gone and his 4 beloved cats and all his earthly possesions, all lost to a fire after he returned to start fixing things.

The guy is homeless and grieving his pets but still able to be kind and thankful. Go read the whole story and wish him well.

Why did I buy a chainsaw?

You mean besides the fact that chainsaws are noisy, smelly and dangerous?

I'll use it once or twice a year. I have a tree in my back yard right now that needs to come down.

I'll add it to the disaster relief tool check list of needed items in the truck.

It only cost $10.

Hey, a guy needs a chainsaw...

"Sorry about that, Chief"

The comic, Don Adams, that played Maxwell Smart has passed away at age 82.

Get Smart was one of the earliest programs I remember watching regularly. I thought it was hilarious and so did my Dad, if I recall correctly.

I've also been known to use that line of apology in my lifetime... Maybe more than once!

Yard Sailing Saleing! My mom would be proud-

I bought a chainsaw- 10 bucks! It's a Stihl, 14" bladed machine and after a couple hours of oily sawdust extraction and some carburetor cleaner blasting, it runs like a champ! It fired right up after 3 pulls of the handle once I got it all put back together and the spark plug cleaned and some fresh fuel in the tank. I do need to purchase a new chain, which I understand is going to triple my total investment, but heck, it's a $10 chain saw!

Also following me home was a high-lift hydraulic jack. This neat find has a 1.5 ton capacity and a stroke of 14 or 15 inches. There is an adjustable height chain and bumper hook attached to the head and with the addition of a few ounces of jack fluid, it works perfectly. Its supposedly old, the retired gent I bought it from told me his dad carried it in his trunk for years, but it seems to be in really great shape. I thought maybe the boy could use it for Tracker extraction instead of the huge mechanical high lift jack he carries whenever he goes off-road.

So, I got two perfectly functioning and interesting tools, and some pleasant conversation with a nice gentleman for 20 bucks. I think we were both pretty satisfied with the deal!

Signed up for next term already-

LG324- Contract Management and Law and LG201- Systems Engineering and Analysis. Monday through Thursday, 4:30 until 7:15 PM, starting 24 October.

According to my count, I have 10 classes, 5 terms remaining to finish my degree, meaning I will be done in October 06.

The BSU is not interested in hearing me discuss further education after my bachelor's degree...!

My scooter's a year old!

I'll just have to owe you a wrap-up of my first year's scooter ownership and I'll try to manage that this week. But the scoot's a year old and I'm still enjoying owning and riding it. It was only 42 degrees this morning, so I didn't ride it today, but its been great while the weather was tolerable.

Just a few more days and weeks of riding to work now that fall is here and winter approaches but I'll keep doing it whenever it can be pleasant.

Scooters making the news in Happy Valley

Sunday's Daily Herald newspaper has an article about the wonderfulness of
scooters for commuting and saving fuel while getting around in Utah Valley State College and surrounding environs. Mostly its talking about the Vespa "boutique" in Orem but its nice to see scooters getting the public recognition in the very mainstream press.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Tanker from Mostly Cajun has bugged out!

If you go look at the weather links at Tanker's blog, you will see that he has changed his mind from riding out Hurricane Rita at home to heading out for undisclosed higher ground. So Tanker, wherever you are, I hope you and the cats are safe.

El Capitan from Baboon Pirates has made it out of downtown Houston and his work site for the security of his abode to await the coming storm. He's preparing to ensure the security of his neighboorhood from some less friendly folks across the fence.

El Capitan's got cats to mind too. How about that? Anyway, these two guys are regulars on my blogroll and Hurrican Rita is about to make their lives difficult. Wish them well.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Its Thursday again!

Which means its time for the Thursday Three questions from our illustrious Axis of Weevil leader, Terry. He dug pretty deep for some questions this week.
1) Name three events that occurred in your life that you look back on occasionally and wonder how things might have turned out if you had done something different.
Three things? Probably the first event that causes me to wonder how things might have turned out differently ocurred in the summer of 1973, between my junior and senior year in high school. My parents moved from Dublin, Indiana to Alliance, Ohio and I went with them. I was offered the opportunity to stay behind in Indiana, to live with a family from church and to graduate with my classmates that I had been in school with since junior high school. I liked Indiana, I had a job, a car and a motorcycle and a couple girlfriends, so leaving it all to move to a new school and town was pretty daunting. I have a sneaking suspicion that had I stayed in the Hoosier state, I would never have left, much like many of my classmates who still live very near the community of Cambridge City where we attended Lincoln High School. I suspect I know the girlfriend that I would have asked to be my bride. Instead, I moved to Ohio, attended a new high school where I knew no one and a new church where I did meet the future, first spouse. From Alliance and a few years of hacking at different jobs, I joined up with the USAF and the rest is history.

Another major life change that could have gone another way? That's gotta be the re-marrying the current BSU after we divorced in 1992. In hind sight, I don't know how it could have gone any other way but for us to get back together after a stupid and destructive breakup that left everybody hurting. At the time, we could have just gone opposite directions, I could have been a weekend and holiday Dad, writing a check for child support each month and following my own interests with the pittance of funds I had remaining. Fortunately for all of us, the BSU and I were able to put away some terrible hurt and anger, begin talking and eventually find our way back to an altar to get remarried. Our anniversary for the first time we got married in 1982 just passed this week, the anniversary we celebrate is coming up next month.

Third thing? If I can't think of a third event that makes me curious as to the alternative outcome, what does that mean? That I've only made good choices throughout my life? Hardly. There's a relationship that I wonder how it might have gone differently but you don't need to know about that.
2) If you could have lived in another time, what would it be? One stipulation--you have to be pretty much what you are right now--no going back in time and being Alexander the Great, no being Einstein or Moses or Casanova. If you’re a teacher, you’ll still be a teacher; a doctor, still a doctor; a car mechanic--well figure that one out on your own. You wouldn’t know the future, either--so no going back and betting on horse races and stuff. You would just be you, only in another time and place.

Well, my first years in the Air Force were as a crew chief on helicopters and I really liked the immediacy of being on the flight line. Fixing aircraft, meeting flying schedule requirements and occasionally be tangentially responsible for rescuing a stranded hunter or crashed fighter pilot was pretty powerful, ego motivating stuff. If I were to go back in time, I might have been satisfied to just go back to doing the same work during the 1940s and 1950s. I think working the flight line at a place like Edwards AFB in southern California while the 100 series fighter jets were being developed would have been pretty exciting stuff.
3) What one aspect of your life, such as your family, job, social life, spiritual life, creative ability, etc., do you find most rewarding?
Geez, Terry has come up with some tough questions today! What's the One Thing about my life I find rewarding? I think I've been a pretty good Dad, especially over the past 8 or 10 years or so and I'm always pleased when one of my kids tells me they appreciate something I taught them, if only through example. I'm pretty certain that I have given my boys a decent example of my idea what being a man and a husband is all about. I think I do fair as a husband too, though it took me a few years to get the hang of it.

Storm Donations Found at Official's Home

What? Corruption and theft by government employees in Louisiana? Impossible! It couldn't possibly be true, could it?
Storm Donations Found at Official's Home
BATON ROUGE, La. - Police found cases of food, clothing and tools intended for hurricane victims at the home of the chief administrative officer for a New Orleans suburb, authorities said Wednesday.

Officers searched Cedric Floyd's home because of complaints that city workers were helping themselves to donations for hurricane victims. Floyd, who runs the day-to-day operations in the suburb of Kenner, was in charge of distributing the goods.

Police plan to seek a charge of committing an illegal act as a public official against Floyd, and more charges against other city workers are possible, police Capt. Steve Caraway said.

The donations filled a large pickup truck four times. "It was an awful lot of stuff," Caraway said.
He was probably just storing it for safekeeping... Don't you suppose?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Training all day today

So no blogging at all, until tonight at the earliest. What a drag.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mobsters and Mormons- a movie review

Here's a little secret- if you want to be able to get a really good seat in the theater, go to see a movie about Mormons, on Sunday afternoon! The BSU and I went yesterday and just 10 minutes before the show started we had the theater to ourselves. Nobody was in the room until we were and when the movie began there still was less than a dozen people watching.

There is a whole series of Mormon based movies that have been released of the past few years, Mobsters and Mormons was the only one we have seen. The most recent one that I wanted to see was Baptists at our Barbeque. I suppose these films are playing nationwide, but, since I'm not everywhere, I can't say for certain. Since these are written by Mormons for Mormons, you can very safely take the entire family without fear that anyone will be offended by language or nudity or violence.

Mobsters and Mormons is the story of one gangster, Carmine "Beans" Pasquale and his family entering the Witness Protection Program and being transported from New Jersey to Provo Utah- Happy Valley. They of course are set up in a white bread suburban neighborhood and immediately set upon by the very friendly Mormon neighbors from all sides.

It’s a funny movie. Some of the hijinks are rather predictable and you know there's going to be a happy ending, which it does. But it also shows the Utah Mormon culture for some of its foibles and idiosyncracies. We laughed, the other 10 people in the theater laughed and then we had dinner at Village Inn. Just the two of us, I don't know where the other folks had dinner.

Sadly, I did not get any popcorn yesterday with my movie, which I consider a requirement. In the first place there were only two people working the concession stand and in the second place, their cash registers and debit card machines were dead so they were making change by hand and recording their sales by hand in a spiral notebook! This of course cauesed a long line to form and there was no notification of the problems until I waited my turn in the line almost to the very front. Since all I had was my debit card, there was no popcorn for me yesterday. Rats!

Finally, I noticed that the header at the top of the Baptists at Our Barbeque website misspelled Baptists!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

There's a distinct lack of cooling vents-

ok, so Peugout built this fancy-shmancy terrarium of a concept car called Moovie. I can't help but think it looks like every James Bond- bad guy's underground super-secret mega-stronghold shuttle pod.

While Peugot is obviously very proud of this device and its designer, it leaves me with a few questions. Like, how big is the trailer going to be to haul around the air conditioner unit that will keep that terrarium cool? And, how are they going to cool that fishbowl with only two tiny vents at each end of that desk/dash panel? Since there are no pedals or other controls, I assume there must be a mind reading chrome helmet that fits over the driver's head and senses his desires, so where's the helmet? Hmm?

I think it might make a fabulous display in the entry to Peugot corporate headquarters- if they fill it with water and tropical fish!

Phantom Scooter updates

All is well with the Phantom. I have been working pretty diligently on my modified motor mount that ill provide increased clearance for the carburetor and relieve the space needed for the cold start solonoid. The mount is done, I've even had it fitted into the scoot. But I had to do a little grinding for clearance- after I had painted it. And I had painted it a couple times, unsatisfactorally, so now it needs sandblasted clean before I paint it and install it.

That should be later today. I have to go to the base Hobby Shop to use their sandblaster and before I can use it, I have to fix it, which is typical. I tried to use it last week but there wasn't enough grit to cover the pickup, no lights and no exhaust fan. So, I'll hack their equipment into shape well enough to do my mount, bringit home for a shot of Krylon and stick it into the scooter this afternoon.

I've received a couple nice emails from folks asking about my continued results with my scoot and advice about buying their own. Its been pleasant trying to offer advice or suggestions and its nice that this humble blog is serving a purpose to a few folks. So, I guess I'll keep it up!

Cooler weather means another jacket!

The BSU gives me grief that I own too many jackets and maybe its true. But I wear all of them for different reasons and a different times and I ususally make them last a number of years before tossing them out or giving them away. Since the fall weather has moved in, (its just 45 degrees this morning, I decided I needed another scooter riding jacket. It took me 2 tries and return postage but I finally got this Fieldsheer Spiga jacket from Brockton Cycle. The jacket I bought is yellow everywhere the picture shows blue or red. This jacket came with a quilted liner that will also fit inside my mesh jacket for those days when it is 50 degrees in the morning and 80 degrees in the afternoon.

And it was on sale- another prerequisite when I buy a jacket!

Its Fall here in Utah

We've already had our first mountain snowfall, baseball season is over in Ogden and the hummingbirds have headed for Mexico. I had one remaining hummer at the feeder a time or two this week but its time to take it down for the winter.

The Ogden Raptors couldn't finish off the Orem Owlz in the 3rd game to win their Southern Division playoffs but they did gain a new spectator- the BSU! That's right, the spouse attended 3 games in 10 days with me! The first game was a regular season Friday night, then we saw game 2 and 3 of the playoffs the following week. One of the games we were joined by friends Pat and Vicki, the other game Son Noah attended with us. It was a great way to end the season. The BSU turned out to really enjoy the games and understood what was going on better than she expected. It was great fun sharing the time with her, and with Son Noah too and it increased the time we can spend together if she comes to a game now and then. I won't be buying season tickets for 2006 since I'll still be in school, but after that, I just might!

A loss in the blogosphere-

Kim du Toit has taken down the Nation of Riflemen blog. There's been a tremendous amount of stuff going on in the du Toit household, if you haven't been following along and Kim has been job hunting for a real, no-kidding return to the workforce. He has changed the site a couple times in the past weeks to meet his requirements and obligations but now its just gone. Dang!

Geek with a 45 has been in touch with Kim and is assured that all is well. maybe there will be an explanation as well soon. So I'm leaving the link on my page for now and give it some time.

I sure like reading Kim's gun reports and essays so I hope he puts it back online. Sombody smarter than me knew how to locate many of Kim's archived pages, you can go here to read them for yourself.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Thursday Three returns!

Well its time for the Thursday Three again, back by popular request and general apathy towards creating our own, original material. If you're a newcomer around here or Possumblog, get on over to Terry's blog and check out the re-introduction of the TT.

So, on with the questions, and my answers!

1. With the recent hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast, it has once again been made obvious that being prepared ahead of time can be the difference between life and death. Do you and your family keep an emergency pack of supplies ready to go at a moment's instant as so many people recommend? What all is in it?

Right now, my family does not have an emergency evacuation package or bug-out kit. After considering the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, I have decided that a kit is required. We do live just 1/2 mile downhill from a earthquake fault line after all… As for what is in it? Since it doesn't exist, nothing's in it. What do I intend to put in it? Hmm. I am envisioning a large plastic bin that can be stuffed into my truck's bed. I expect to fill it with bottled water, canned foods or MREs, a comprehensive first aid kit, and some kind of lighting and cooking tools. Also, one of those crank wind radios. In addition, I think a second bin that can be loaded on a moment's notice with clothes, bedding and the folder of documents we don't want to loose. Protective tools, ie, guns and ammo will be part of the package as well but I haven't figured out that aspect just yet and the camper will probably get its year-round readiness status upgraded.

2. If, heaven forbid, anything as destructive as a hurricane or earthquake or fire or flood were to hit your community, and assuming you stayed around or couldn't get out, what are some of the skills you have that you think could be utilized to start the recovery efforts?
I'm a guy, so, by my definition, I'm handy and can make decisions. This would be unlike mayor Nagin of New Orleans, who seems to be neither. So, I'm pretty good at figuring out how to get things done. I have a truck and can haul and move heavy things. I'm better at begging forgiveness than asking or waiting for permission when I see something that needs doing. I've got passable first aid skills. If I'm dressed, I have a Swiss Army Knife in my pocket.

3. How safe do you feel in your own community when it comes to disaster preparedness?
First of all, Ogden won't go under water and the hurricanes that are trackable and predictable don't come to Utah. Our disaster will be an earthquake, and nobody is going to get a 72 hour warning from one of those. I suspect that my local government has some kind of plan, though I don't know what it is. I'm also pretty certain that most of my community will be prepared to support themselves either as individuals or through the numerous LDS church wards. The city seems well capable of handling typical tasks like storm cleanup in the winter, so overall, I think we have a capable infrastructure. I just don't think you will see mayor Godfrey standing in front of a microphone begging the federal government to come rescue his citizens as it happened in New Orleans after Katrina.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The boy gets lucky! Mom & Dad too!

No, this isn't a boastful post about multiple acts of sweaty carnality. And too bad for that... But it is a post about the notification from the hospital that all of the bill for the boy's week long stay, has been written off. Taken care of. Abolished- the hospital and the doctor's bills. All we ever saw was the hospital portion of the bill, $8500 and a couple bucks. I suppose the doctor's bill could easily have added $1500 more to the total.

But, the boy is 21, uninsured through me, unemployed and in school. So after we filled out some forms and provided some supporting documentation, the hospital wrote off the bill. Every dollar of it!

This was very good news for all concerned.

On a related note, the boy is drawing close to graduating from Job Corp. The Toyota dealer, where he had begun a Work Based Learning stint just before going into the hospital, is still interested in having him return to their service bay. Rumor has it that there is a permanent position as soon as he leaves Job Corp as well. I really hope this pans out for him as it would be the perfect affirmation of the effort that he has put into his training this past 18 months.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mayor Nagin admits he should have done things differently!

UPDATE: I found the transcript! Link added at the quote.

I just watched the 2 hour Dateline special on Hurricane Katrina. At the end of the program, talking to Stone Phillips, mayor Nagin admitted he should have done things differently.
He said, "I should have screamed louder".
He didn't say, "I'm going to get the keys to every bus in the city in my hand and a list of assigned drivers." He also didn't say, "I'm going to stockpile bottled water, MREs and porta-potties at the sites chosen as shelters."

No, he said, "I should have screamed louder." Mayor, that's one hell of a plan! If that is the best you can figure out in hindsight, you are unfit to run the animal shelter. You are still a jackass!

I can see snow!

Out the window behind me, right now. Its been cold since Saturday with a storm that came down out of Idaho dumping rain on the valley this morning. But it also dumped some white stuff up there on the mountain before blowing through and leaving clean blue skies in the wake.

My scooter riding days are certainly running out for this year. I'm too old to be riding when its raining and snowing like I did when I was a kid...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Name Game from Mostly Cajun-

He's been putting up these nearly weekly posts about baby names coming out of his local newspaper. The posts are classics! Go read some of the names and have a great chuckle.

The guy is sharp so be careful. You might have a soft drink/keyboard/monitor interference moment!

I have a new motto to live by-

Its from Red Green.
If a woman doesn't find you handsome, she should at least find you handy.
If you don't know Red, well, you probably have a life and aren't watching Public Television on Saturday evenings like me.

You should know Red and his favorite product, duct tape.

Mayor Nagin- VIOTY candidate! First nomination!

I put this in the comments to a previous post but its too good not to give a post of its own. Its from an email from my Dad today. I don't know why he's shy about leaving comments- he's NOT a shy guy... Anyway, he has a suggestion:
If you are going to be founder and CEO of the mayor Nagin fan club, do I, as your father, get family/cutrate membership?

Not only is he a jackass, but certainly very much in the running as Village Idiot of the Year. Since the democrats use the jackass as their emblem, maybe the VIOTY trophy could be designed, using just the rear portion of said animal.

Open for a nationwide design competition? Maybe you could start something using your blogspot?? Might get some very unusual designs.

I think a VIOTY trophy should be designed and perhaps presented to the good mayor if nobody manages to defeat his cluelessness this year. Design suggestions anyone?

Some photos from Biloxi- before and after Katrina

Great aerial photos over at Murdoc Online. He has matched up post-Katrina aerial photos with Google Earth photos from before the store struck. Well worth checking them out.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Two words I am waiting to hear from New Orleans

Actually, the first one is two words- Superfund Site. Does anyone believe that after being so thoroughly contaminated by
the flood water, that there is a way that New Orleans can avoid becoming a Superfund Site? Think of this contamination on EVERYTHING it has touched, every bit of floating furniture, every stick of lumber that was part of someone's home. Its all covered with the same toxic muck and cannot be cleaned, scoured or just tossed into the local landfill. As the water soaks into the ground, doesn't the ground become contaminated with the same disease, toxic chemicals and filth that would cause the EPA fits if it were an industrial clean-up site? I think it does mean that.

Next word I expect to hear from New Orleans? Gitmo. That's right, I expect to hear that the ACLU will be comparing the temporary jail set up in the Greyhound bus terminal to the detention camp for terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. How can they possibly resist the pictures of lonely, deprived, misunderstood citizens locked up behind chain link fences? I don't think they will be able to pass up the opportunity to claim that these stalwart citizens are being mistreated without air conditioning, television, and immediate access to their lawyers.

Those are my predictions for the coming week. Remember, you read them here first!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My Labor Day weekend?

Well, sure; I had one. Didn't everybody? Why is it Thursday already and I haven't written about my weekend. I don't know, busy I guess. So what did I do with 4 entire days off? Let's see...

Friday, the BSU and I did a little shopping and had a very nice lunch in the Union Grill. It is part of the Union pacific railroad station that now houses several nice museums and a gift shop or two. John Moses Browning's original gunsmith bench is here as well as the rest of his shop in the Browning Gun Museum, which I did not get to revisit! It was our first visit to the restaurant but I'm certain it won't be our last. The food was terrific. I had a chicken and sausage gumbo, the spouse had french onion soup and a salad that she raved about. And tiramisu and coffee for desert! Yum.

Friday night was special because I had convinced the spouse to attend a Raptors baseball game with me! We sat on the first base line because I was late getting tickets for my regular area but otherwise it was a nearly perfect baseball night. We even got 33% more baseball than a regular night because we stayed through the midpoint of the top of the 12th inning! We finally walked out when the Raptors went down 7-4 with only one Orem Owl out. By the time we walked the 2 blocks to the truck, the score had changed to 11-4! The Raptors got waxed- terribly.

On a related note- the Raptors face off against the Owlz again on Friday night for the first of 3 playoff games. In the series last week the Raptors only got 2 wins from 7 games against the Owlz. That doesn't bode well for the playoffs but I'm buying tickets for Saturday night's game anyway!

So, where was I? Saturday was homework in the morning, a repair on the scooter and then a movie date. The repair was to one of the handlebar mirror mounts. Underneath the plastic cover is a normal looking set of handlebars and the mirrors mount to welded on brackets. One of the brackets had failed and my first attempt to re-weld the broken stub only lasted one day. So, I cut the entire original bracket off, bent up a new one, drilled the hole for the threaded insert and got it all welded back together. And it all fit... And its lasted 4 days so far!

The movie? Redeye. A very fine thriller movie. Not creepy or supernatural or other-worldly, just a really fine thriller. Worth the admission costs if you like that kind of film.

Sunday- more homework. Then omelets for a late breakfast and then in the afternoon, a trip to Cabelas! Yes! We have a brand new Cabelas Outfitters store down in Lehi, that's 60 miles from home. It just opened earlier this month. The spouse and the boy went along and we had a pretty wonderful time. And I only spent $60! But what a very cool store it is. Its similar in design and scope to the Bass Pro Stores, with an aquarium and a mountain with stuffed animals on display, a small trout stream and a real outfitter's airplane hanging from the ceiling. It would be very easy to rub the numbers on a credit card completely smooth in that place but having the spouse nearby really kept me from going overboard with the purchases. I did buy 3 boxes of ammo for the new rifle, some candy and son Noah got a pair of new jeans.

And since I bought more ammo- of course on Monday we had to shoot it up! First there was a thorough carport clean-up necessary after the boy's engine change that was completed the previous weekend. Then, we got to go shooting and we had a blast. The new Savage 223 rifle took about 6 shots to get it shooting to point of aim. After that I took to shooting someone's left over clay pigeons on a hillside at 150 yards! Heh! What fun that was! I also, finally got the Stevens Favorite shooting where I pointed it. I even hit the prairie dog targets that I set at 75 yards 3 times out of 6 using my Model 19 from a sandbag!

Afterwards, there was a dandy dinner at home and guns to clean before sitting down to a little television watching with the spouse. And that's how I spent my weekend!

I'm sending this in through an email post with no time to chase links right now. Tonight maybe. More likely tomorrow. Check back!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Another movie personality quiz...

This one wasn't too surprising either...

The Ray Nagin Memorial Motor Pool

There's lots more pictures and a detailed look at New Orleans' Emergency Evacuation Plan over at Junkyard Blog. You really need to go read the whole thing and understand, city and state officials had exercised the Emergency plans, repeatedly, they knew the plans did not work when ran as an exercise and they did nothing to fix the shortcomings.

Apparently, it was President Bush's personal call to Governor Blanco, who then called Mayor Nagin that actually got the mandatory evacuation underway.

I'm sure glad Nagin's not my mayor!

I wish I wrote as eloquently as Bill Whittle-

But I don't, by a long shot. So you have to go read his most recent essay, Tribes. I think like Bill thinks, I just can't say it nearly as well.
My Tribe doesn’t fire on people risking their lives, coming to help us. My Tribe doesn’t curse such people because they arrived on Day Four, when we felt they should have been here before breakfast on Day One. We are grateful, not to say indebted, that they have come at all. My Tribe can’t eat Nike’s and we don’t know how to feed seven by boiling a wide-screen TV. My Tribe doesn’t give a sweet God Damn about what color the looters are, or what color the rescuers are, because we can plainly see before our very eyes that both those Tribes have colors enough to cover everyone in glory or in shame. My Tribe doesn’t see black and white skins. My Tribe only sees black and white hats, and the hat we choose to wear is the most personal decision we can make.
Read the whole thing...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Decorating my computer-

I bought one of these USB Lava Lights! At Target, on sale, about half of the price on this page.

Its very cool!

Another thought or two about Katrina- and preparations

Today I listened to the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, railing at the federal government for not stepping in fast enough to rescue his city. Its on the CNN video page right now but I can't figure out how to link it. I did find a transcript. Since then, I've been thinking about what the mayor did, since his time in office, to prepare for this type of disaster and disaster response.

He did order the city evacuated before the hurricane struck, didn't he? Sure he did. First on Saturday:
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin followed at 5 p.m., issuing a voluntary evacuation.

Nagin said late Saturday that he's having his legal staff look into whether he can order a mandatory evacuation of the city, a step he's been hesitant to do because of potential liability on the part of the city for closing hotels and other businesses.

"Come the first break of light in the morning, you may have the first mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," Nagin told WWL-TV.

But if he was so concerned with getting the people of New Orleans out of town, why are these buses still parked in a flooded yard? Why weren't they loaded with citizens and driven out of town while there was still time? And just 30 boats was all the city could scrounge for rescue efforts? Come on mayor! That's hardly a preparation plan!
In a somewhat surreal morning news conference, Mayor Ray Nagin issued an emergency order giving state and local authorities the right to commandeer private buildings and vehicles -- including boats -- as they see fit. The mayor did not say which buildings might be seized for public use, but said that if the Superdome became too full, additional buildings might be needed for shelter.

Nagin also said the city has 30 boats at its disposal, but could need far more, depending on the water level in the city after the storm.
So Nagin takes the President and FEMA and everyone he can think of to blame for not resucing his people, he wanted every greayhound bus in America on its way to save his people, but all he had was 30 boats and a couple hundres schools buses abandoned and unused.

Great plan Mayor, ya jackass!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thinking about New Orleans

Last night I told the BSU that I wanted to go to the bank and get a loan. I said I needed 6 new dump trucks, 2 front end loaders and an RV. And trailers to transport the loaders. She of course, looked at me like I had just announced a plan to take over the world, when all I really had expressed was my business plan for the next 5 years.

I've been looking at the pictures of New Orleans, on the web and the television. I even found some satellite pictures from before and after Katrina last night. My heart truly goes out to all the people that have lost everything they owned, that are homeless, jobless and sleeping on interstate overpasses. It is a disaster of huge proportions and I do not have any solutions that will resolve the human suffering that is going on our Gulf Coast right now.

I can see that the city of New Orleans will need to be scraped clean to the ground and rebuilt. All those homes that have been underwater to the rafters cannot be repaired. Those thousands of homes will need to be bulldozed and carried away, every scrap. With the threat of water-borne disease that is being discussed, this scrap will need to be treated as hazardous waste- biological waste perhaps.

The state of Louisiana needs a new landfill to contain the debris that needs scraped out of New Orleans. It will be a massive landfill and it needs to prepared right now.

My suggestion? Lake Ponchartrain looks pretty good, just on the other side of that failed levee and Lakeshore Drive. Maybe they won't need the entire lake but they need a significant portion to levee off, drain and use as a landfill.

If I could, I would be there with my dump trucks, loaders and some reliable operators, next week, applying for permits and contracts that will be forthcoming to assist in the cleanup. There is going to be lots of work for people willing to get into the cleanup effort and all that has to be done before the building trades folks can go to work.

I think it will turn into a historic effort. It will be an effort that reflects the resilience and strength and savvy that built this country in the first place. As Americans, we will do the right thing, do ourselves proud and show the world that we will not be beaten even in the face of such disaster.