Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sell your car and start walking or we're all going to die!

What a load of crap. Here is the latest sky is falling hysteria from the eco nuts.
Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island
For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seas. Environment Editor Geoffrey Lean reports.

Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities.

Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

Hmm, a whole island submerged because the Ocean is rapidly rising. Hmm.

Was the island in question 6 centimeters high? Could it be the island is sinking? That would get my vote. I am sure George W. Bush is to blame for this in any case, along with America, and Republicans, and Haliburton, and red meat, and the NRA, and GM and Big Tobacco, and the pharmaceutical industry, and Evangelical Christians and probably to a smart part, Mark Foley.
Yep, those SUVs are going to kill us all.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

No credit? Bad credit? It's no problem, we write our own loans!

And we need to get a better deal next time. A 60 year term at 2 percent interest?
Britain has paid the last instalment of its World War II-era debt to the US and Canada, with a $100 million payment to its allies.

Britain was left with a debt of $4.3 billion to the US and $1.2 billion to Canada more than 60 years ago, when London took out loans to finance reconstruction.

Annual payments on the loans, taken out at 2 per cent interest, have since totalled twice the original debt in dollar terms.

I am actually shocked that a foreign nation paid off it's debt to us. The Britts are good folks, even if they talk funny.

Its not the arrow, its the Indian.

I once told my son that skill has much more to do with the end product than tools. I asked him who would win if I played a round of golf with Tiger Woods and we switched bags at the first tee. Using the best clubs money can buy, I would improve my score by, I don't know, maybe one stroke. Tiger using my $400 clubs might cost him three or four. Tiger still whoops my butt all over the course. Tiger has skill, I am a hacker.

The same principal applies to music. When my son wanted a guitar, I wanted to start with an inexpensive model and he stuck with it, we would look an upgrading it. I started browsing music stores and eventually would up looking at Ebay. I found a Stratocaster copy made by Bridgecraft. It was $59 plus shipping of $19. What the heck, if he never plays the thing, it will make a nice wall hanger. He started playing and then it sat for while.

One day my wife's uncle Tom stopped by the house on his way back home to Arizona. Tom is one of those colorful characters who never quite fit into the world. He is a brilliant musician, but has some interesting ideas about life. He is basically an old Hippie, and I really like him. When he found out that my son had a guitar he asked to hear him play. After a few minutes, he asked if he could show him a few things, my son agreed and Tom started to play. My son looked on in amazement as Tom took that $59 guitar and make it sound great. Tom showed him a few power chords and my son was hooked. It took someone to show him that ability is what defines greatness, not the price of the tools you use.

My son has gone on to buy a another guitar, an Epiphone Les Paul Jr. He likes it, but he still plays his old guitar and has since cover almost every inch of it with stickers. It looks kind of cool, it gives it some character. He plays an hour or two most days and is becoming a pretty competent player. He is getting to point now where he can play a guitar and tell me why he likes it, the way the neck feels, the different sound that the different pickups make. We were playing a few makes and models at one store and I handed him a G&L strat, he didn't know about G&Ls or what they cost, but he loved it. That particular one cost $1,300 and so far out of his price range it might as well been 13 million, but he now can tell how well it is made and knows how a really good guitar feels.

He is looking at spending his Christmas money on a new guitar. We have been to all the local music stores and have been to Guitar Center over in Sacramento a few times. He is finding out that name brands don't mean very much, unless you are buying a high end guitar. Epiphone has several Asian manufactures who make most of their guitars, so why pay $100 more for the name if you can buy the same model under another name? I told him to play every thing in his price range regardless of name and find the one that feels right to you.

He now gives me a bad time because I bought an acoustic guitar just after he received his. I am not anywhere near his ability and he says its because I don't practice enough, he's right.

If I could only get him to study his school work an hour or two every day.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

How about a big bowl of Raisin Bran and two bags of Cheetos?

Sure thing Saddam, what ever you want big guy, heck eat the whole box and both bags, its not like you need to watch your weight any longer. You want the puffy or crunchy Cheetos?

Happy hanging, say hello to Hitler when you get to Hell, and turn down the sheets for Castro, he'll be along soon.

Adios scumbag.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Saggy pants, styleless hair styles and skater shoes.

I know I am old, I am quietly coming to grips with that fact, but I like to hold tight to the fantasy that lives only inside my head that I am still just a tiny bit cool. I guess the give a way to the fact that I am uncool is I still use the word cool.

I remember discovering cool, I believe it was around 7th grade. I started to realize that girls were not icky. Not only that, but if you didn't go around playfully tackling them to the ground, they would actually talk to you, and even hold your hand if you found the right one. From that time on, I made sure I wore clean 501's and a clean t-shirt to school. I didn't wear anything 'funky' or anything that I am too embarrassed to have a picture of, well maybe that terry cloth Hobie shirt with the Hawaiian print.

Other then a few years in tech sales, when I wore business casual most of the time, basically I have not changed my look too much over the years. I don't wear 501's any longer, they don't fit me as well as they used to and the fact that Levi-Straus has been taken over by liberals. I wear Wrangler jeans mostly. I wear t-shirts, mostly Carhartt or Dickies brand because they are thicker than most others I have tried, unless I have a day when I am in meetings when I wear a polo or button up shirt.

So that's me, Mr. Style.

My son, on the other hand is very conscious of his 'look'. Thankfully he is in a school that requires students to follow a dress code. But in his off time, he wants to wear the cool t-shirts with the cool skater brands. Hurley, Adio, DC and so on. The pants he wears are baggy and he likes wear them without a belt. I see the kids with their pants around their thighs and he doesn't wear them hanging off his butt, but he is always pulling them up. Why don't wear your belt I ask, he says it's uncomfortable. I make him put it on anyway. I know, that is so cruel, I'm sure I am stifling his independence or his finding his own place within his world or some other feel good nonsense.

As for the hair style, long and shaggy seems to be 'in' these days. I don't mind the hair over your collar, heck I had that in high school, the thing that gets me is that the style is not to touch it with any kind of hair styling tool. No combs, no brushes, jut wash it, shake your head back and forth and presto, it's done. I call it the sheep dog look, but hey what do I know, I am old.

I now have to resort to trickery to get my son's overgrown briar patch trimmed back. This past time, I used a trip to the music store. We had a day off together and I asked he wanted to go to town to check out a few guitars at the music stores in Woodland and Davis. He jumped at the chance and once I had him in the car I sprang the trap. Well, while we're in town, lets get your hair cut. Noooo.

Heh, heh. Sometimes you have resort to trickery to meet your goals, especially when your old and un cool.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All right, back to work!

Enough of this sitting around crap, back to the salt mine,lets go forth and toil!

I am just giving myself a little pep talk.

I am a bit under the weather, so I am off to bed to get some rest.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I gained 3 pounds, and that was just last night.

I am stuffed, still.

Last night we attended the 4:30 Christmas service at Bayside, what a show. Many folks don't like the high end production value given to such a celebration, but for those folks, there are many church services that are very formal, stick with the message and little else. To each his own. I have felt the Lord's presence in the smallest of churches and when I am by myself especially. I don't see anything wrong in making a Christmas Eve service enjoyable to the masses, especially the teenagers and young adults, they are the people who will grow God's church when I am pushing up daisies. If they want to see a great music show and slick power point presentations to stay interested and in touch, that's what we need to do as a congregation.

Lincoln Brewster and his band were fantastic, they played a little Trans Siberian Orchestra set with dual lead guitars and both Lincoln and the other lead guitarists can bend the string on a Stratocaster. Along with the upbeat music, they had a soloist sing Oh Holy Night, and other Christmas favorites. Great, just great.

The message came from Pastor Ray, it was funny at times, especially when he played the 'grace' scene from The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on the big screens, as well as poignant and touching. Bayside had 17,000 people attend Christmas services over four days, that is reaching out to your community.

As we shuffled out to make room for the next service, we were early as we made our way to Black Angus. We had 6:30 reservations but we arrived at quarter to six, however they did get us seated and we had a huge dinner. I know, I know, I don't need a huge dinner, I could probably go without dinner for a year, but that is another story. I am so freakin' stuffed, 18 hours later, that I probably won't each dinner at the in-laws. Or maybe I will, honey baked ham rules!

Christmas was great, the kids received more gifts from our friends than we bought them. It looks as though Santa's sleigh, crashed through our roof and half of his bag spilled all over our living room. We could make a bonfire that could be seen from space if we lit the wrapping paper and boxes in the pasture. My favorite present was the Cabelas long sleeve shirts. I am not sure who makes them, but I have a good quality shirt from them that has lasted 15 years or more. I gave my wife a pair of flannel lined jeans, she loves them.

So this Christmas is in the books and it was good one, any year the family is healthy and together is a good one.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Fracturenator?

Have your self a Merry, scratchy, stiff and uncomfortable Christmas Arnold. As much fun as I have with our Governor, breaking your leg skiing on Christmas Eve not the way I would want to spend my holidays. Ah the smell of baking ham, the fresh pine scent of the Christmas tree and the tangy smell of Fiberglas casting material.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke his leg while skiing with his family Saturday morning in Sun Valley, Idaho, a spokesman said.

Schwarzenegger, 59, was taken to a hospital for X-rays and was discharged with a fracture to his right femur, said Adam Mendelsohn, the governor's Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.

He will have surgery to repair the bone when he returns to Los Angeles, Mendelsohn said. The governor remained at his Sun Valley home Saturday night and still planned to spend Christmas there.
Tahoe isn't good enough? That's what you get for going to ski in Idaho.
Squaw valley is on line one Governor, they say Ho Ho Ho.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Traditions and good friends

I am looking forward to some time off. I am not going to get out of bed until 9:00 tomorrow. I will be awake at 5:30, but I am not getting up. My wife can send in the dog, both kids and the USC marching band to dislodge me from my pillow top California Kingsize bed, but her effort will be in vain. I am sleeping in.

My wife as not a morning person, she sleeps 9 hours a day and would sleep 10 if she could. I am finding that I don't need as much sleep as I once did, six or seven hours is adequate. It is rare that my wife is up before I am, and heaven forbid that I sleep if she is stirring.

Of all the great things that we are doing this Christmas season, I am really looking foreword to a few of them. Sunday's Christmas Eve service at Bayside In Granite Bay with the whole family will be great, going down to see my Grandmother will be special too. The other event I am really looking foreword to is spending Tuesday shooting with my friend.

When I was single, one my favorite things to do was to spend an entire day just shooting and talking about life with my friends. We would pack a lunch, and load up the truck, driving around until we found the right spot. We would spend hours and hundreds of rounds of ammunition just keeping the squirrel population in check. We talked about life, women, politics and our futures. Those were good times and great friends. Some of them have moved away and others I haven't kept up with as much as I should, but I still have a small circle of close friends that I enjoy spending time with.

Of all the blessings I have in my life, good friends to share my triumphs and tribulations with are so important to me. If you have read this blog for any amount of time you could figure out that I am outgoing and an easy person to get along with, and you would be right for the most part. Although I have many people I consider friends, I have a very few that I talk to about the real important matters in my life. To have that person who will listen to you and then tell you the truth, not just what you want hear, is priceless.

I am truly fortunate to have a loving family and very good friends in my life. I am aware that is not the case in many homes in my community and throughout our nation. If I could wish a Christmas wish for everyone, it would be to know those two things.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Company Christmas Parties, don't be 'that' person

If you don't know who 'that' person is, you may already hold that title and are unaware. 'That' person is the man or woman who has three too many trips to the punch bowl and creates a bit of infamous company history for years to come. Every company has a story like this one.
Do you remember when 'insert name here' got plowed at the Christmas party and told 'insert good looking co-worker of the opposite sex's name here' that he/she should go to a motel and celebrate after the party and he/she slapped him/her silly? Or the party when 'that person' got smashed and told his supervisor that he was flaming jackass?
I have worked for a few companies that threw big Christmas parties and to tell the truth, I would rather have an extra day off and skip the cheese tray, catered dinner and open bar.

Remember, this advice is equally valuable at New Year's parties. Have a good time, stay off the sauce and offer someone a ride home. You will feel twice as good on New Year's Day, once because you are not hung over, and secondly because you may have saved someone life.

I try not to drive anywhere on New Years Eve, but this year I am going to see Todd Bolton play in Woodland. I am driving my Dodge 4x4 diesel truck to the concert, if I have to drive on New Year's Eve, I feel safer with 6,000 pounds of steel between me and 'that person' on my way home.

If you don't check back for a while, have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jews or Muslims? Who is being targeted?

Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask the Muslim PR spin machine, they are being constantly attacked and need government help and protection.
Muslims' sense of belonging could be eroded by European nations not tackling discrimination, a watchdog has warned.

A report by a European Union-backed anti-racism body says the number of Islamophobic incidents in the 25 member states is probably under-reported.

The report calls on governments to speed up Muslim integration - but says Muslims must also do more to counter stereotypes and fears of extremism.

At least 13 million Muslims are thought to live in European states.

In the report, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) says it has documented a wide range of anti-Muslim or Islamophobic abuse across the EU's 25 member states.
Cry me a river.
If you go to any street corner in a Muslim area of London you can hear the most viscous anti Semitic speech shouted through bullhorns. Oh, and the Death to Britain chants are a very good way to gain that sense of belonging you so desperately want. Maybe if you stop advocating the murder of your hosts, you may be welcomed to stay.

If you look at the facts, they are hard to argue with.
Jewish people are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than Muslims, according to figures compiled by the police.

One in 400 Jews compared to one in 1,700 Muslims are likely to be victims of "faith hate" attacks every year. The figure is based on data collected over three months in police areas accounting for half the Muslim and Jewish populations of England and Wales. The crimes range from assault and verbal abuse to criminal damage at places of worship.
I would think you are much better off strolling down the streets of London wearing a Hijab than you would be wearing a Yamika. But hey, don't let facts get in the way of a good story.

New Year's Eve plans in Yolo County?

What is there to do in Yolo County this new year's eve? I will bet there are more than a few parties put on by various groups, there is a party at the Woodland Opera House ,but for my money, I will be ringing in the new year with my buddy Todd Bolton and his band at the Eagle's Hall in Woodland. Todd is flying in from Nashville to play for the home town crowd.

I have been friends with Todd for more than fifteen years and I remember him playing the Madison Town Hall at what we affectionately refer to as 'Oakie Stomps'. The hall in the town of Madison, population 520, is about as large as your local dentist office, imagine it packed wall to wall with inebriated brush oakies and you get a sense of where Todd started. Dang, I had some fantastic times at those dances.

Todd has a few CD's under his belt now and performs regularly around Nashville. He plays great country music with a southern rock flair and he is a dynamic performer, he runs through the crowd and sings with his fans, it really is a great time.

I would imagine it will sell out, the Eagles Hall is not that large, but it will be rockin on New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cat 6 augmented, 10 Gigs Baby!

We live in a fast world. We want speed, in our cars, in the drive through, when your in line at the bank on a payday Friday, we just want it faster. Data communications is on the bleeding edge of this pursuit of speed. Having been in the industry for over 10 years, I have seen the data world transition from the Coax world, thin net, thick net, IBM type 1 and 2 and then back to twisted pair, Category 3, the short lived Cat4, then on to Cat 5, Cat5 enhanced and then Cat 6. Not to mention the transition to fiber optic media. If you wait a year, someone will come out with some type of media that will increase your network speed. And don't get me started on wireless.

I have been working on a small project, 100 or so voice/data jacks in a remodeled building. As a test sight, we are installing the new Category 6 Augmented cable for both applications. The cable is much thicker that a standard 5e cable and only available on reels as of now. It is a pain to install because of the size and it's tendency to kink with the plenum jacket. The specs for the cable solution claim that it will transmit 10 Gigabits of data over the 4 pair UTP cable. We will be testing it after the holidays and I am anxious to see the results. Is anyone going to be transmitting 10 Gigabits over copper in this building? No, not for the foreseeable future. A 10 Gig NIC would run just under 1,000 dollars and I don't want to think of what a Cisco 10 Gig 48 port switch would cost. I can see this application in a server room or as a short distance backbone, but does this really need to be installed at the horizontal level? Everyone talks about future proofing their cable plant, Cat6A should do it. I just think by the time end users are actually needing a 10 Gig solution someone will have figured out how to run through the fibers in the carpet or though the electrical plugs!

Hey, what do I know, I just a cowboy who installs the stuff?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tickets for church.

If you ever want to know if your church is making a difference in your community, look around during Christmas. Last year my family and I were trying to figure out where to go for Christmas Eve services. My wife was working a half day in Sacramento and we thought we might attend our old church, Bayside in Granite Bay. I have been to one service since they finished the church building, we went to Bayside when they met at a high school gym. I looked online and found out their early evening services were 'sold out', that is to say that they had passed out all the free tickets to those services. I searched around to find another service and we attended the Bayside of Roseville that evening. It was a great service.

I always chuckle when I think of selling out a church service. In a day when most churches are struggling to keep their parishioners, let alone growing their church, when you are selling out services, you must be doing something right. Bayside Woodland is growing at a rapid pace right now and it is doing wonderful things in our area. My wife traded a Sunday off this weekend and we were all able to attend the 10:45 service today. It felt great to have the whole family in church together, my wife's parents were also there.

I hope one day Bayside Woodland will have to hand out tickets to manage the crowds for Christmas services, but as for this year, there will be an open seat for anyone who wants to come and hear the message of grace, hope and forgiveness that is the celebration of Christmas.

My wife will be working a half day again this Christmas Eve. She and her parents have never been to a service in the main Granite Bay Bayside, so I went online and I have 6 tickets to the 4:00pm Christmas Eve service. Tickets for church, go figure.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ah, to be young and unencumbered by reality.

Why is socialism appealing to college students? I believe it appeals to them because when it is removed from the realities of the world it makes sense. Everyone does their share, everyone get just enough to get by and everyone should be happy with that.
When she graduates from Ringling School of Art and Design next year, aspiring photojournalist Cassandra Avalon will bail on her apartment, located in low-income Newtown.Navigating through opposite ends of Sarasota's economic margins has, at her ripe old age of 20, given her a wide-angle glimpse of futility.

"I'm educated, but I don't think I could ever get there, into the rich society," says Avalon, who moonlights as a beverage assistant at the Longboat Key Club. "Not that I'd want to, really. "I remember, when I walked through the airport at (Washington, D.C.'s) Dulles, I counted 22 American flags. Everybody seems to have all this patriotism, but when you ask them to make a sacrifice for somebody else, no one volunteers to give up a Lexus so I won't have crackheads outside my door."

Avalon, an American citizen who grew up in Denmark, supports positions championed by many liberals: universal health care, affordable housing, an end to the war, etc. But what sets her apart is her political affiliation: the Socialist Party of Florida.
Yea, if we just took everything from the rich and gave it to the poor, that would solve it all. Sure Avalon, sure. I give up my Lexus and magicaly someone's crack addiction goes away.

It is only when you put socialism into practice you see it's fatal flaw. The human being. The human being wants more. More what? What do ya got?

I once heard something that made sense to me. My friends and I were talking about money and what we would do if we had a million dollars. We thought about what we could buy and where we would live and what kind of cars we would have. We all agreed that if we could work hard enough to make a million dollars, that would be enough. This was back in the 80's when a million dollars was actually a lot of money. My Father over heard us talking and said the man who would be satisfied with one million will never have the drive to make it. The man who has one million and wants five million, that's the guy to put your money on.

That is a fact. Not just an American fact, it is true the world over. If you have grass hut, you want a bigger or more water proof grass hut. If you have three flocks of goats you would like ten. If you have a one bedroom apartment and a 1996 Volkswagen, you want a two bedroom house with a new car in the garage. That is the flaw in socialism. The people who would be satisfied with a million dollars are everywhere, the people who have a million and want five are harder to come by. Those are the people who start businesses and corporation from their garage and turn them into billion dollar companies, they are the ones who hire employees, make payroll, buy products and services from other people and build factories. Oh, and by the way, those who would be satisfied with a million dollars, would not be satisfied for long. After they had the trappings and material possessions that a million dollars would bring, they would want more.

Why? Because it's human nature.

I have seen both sides of wealth, I have seen the upside and I have been dead broke. I have found a balance that I am comfortable with. I have a good job, a nice house, great family and above all, I have Jesus Christ. That maybe the other great flaw of socialism, any government based on human being doing what they are supposed to do all the time is doomed to failure. America stands out from the world. We were founded on the principals of freedom and built around the belief in a greater power than man. Socialists and liberals want to tear that down and replace God with 'the greater good'. Lots of luck with that.

Eventually everyone thinks they deserve 'the goods' without having to work for them. It's called a welfare state, and they will collapse under their own weight given time, take a look at Europe.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The best Christmas presents.

I have always tried to make some of my Christmas presents by hand. I have done a bit of blacksmithing and I can weld, grind and burnish almost any type of metal so those types of gifts are not hard for me to make. I also dabble in leather craft. I am not a very good at carving and shading, but I do some border tooling and stamping as well as hand stitching.

I like working with my hands, but to tell you the truth I like writing letters just as much. A heart felt hand written letter means more to me than any other gift I receive.

This year I am writing a special letter to my step Father.

My Father past away in 1991 and after a 8 0r 9 years and a move that took her up to north Idaho, she met Paul.

He is as different a man from my Father as you could find. My Father was a rough, hard working, hard drinking man who made and lost more than few fortunes in his life. There was never a dull moment around our ranch, that's for sure. I loved my father dearly, but he was a troubled man doing the best he could.

Paul is a very quiet, kind, God loving man, and he loves my Mother with all his heart. I only get to see them once a year or so and I wish I could spend more time with them both.

I like Paul as a person and I love him for how he loves my Mother. I want him to know how important he is to me, how I don't have to worry about Mom as much because I know she is in good hands.

Have you been the recipient of such a letter? Have you ever written one?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Looking for civil war?

Found one. Not in Iraq, but within the Palestinian territories.

It looks like Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was trying to sneak back into Gaza with 35 million in hidden cash to prop up his failing government. Hamas and Fatah are killing each other, as well as deliberately murdering high value children, with regularity trying to gain power.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh crossed into the Gaza Strip late Thursday night after being barred entry for hours by Israel because he was apparently carrying some $35 million in cash in his luggage. His delayed entry sparked a series of clashes on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing from Egypt that left one of Haniyeh's bodyguards dead and 18 other people wounded, including the Palestinian prime minister's own son.

The casualties occurred when Hamas gunmen attacked the terminal and exchanged gunfire with Palestinian Authority security personnel linked to Fatah and with Egyptian security personnel. The Hamas gunmen used explosive charges to blow a hole through the concrete barrier separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt.

Win the Green Card Lottery!

Did you know such a lottery existed? I found it cruising through some overseas classified adds. You learn something new everyday.
What is the Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery Program?
Each year, 50,000 immigrant visas are made available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. None of these visas are available for people who come from countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the past five years.

The State Department holds the lottery every year, and randomly selects approximately 110,000 applicants from all qualified entries. The State Department selects the approximately 110,000 applications since many will not complete the visa process. However once 50,000 are issued or the fiscal year ends, the lottery is closed.

I guess we need more people from Mongolia?
I guess.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cindy Sheehan; irrelevant, impotent, and just a little bit sad.

Cindy Sheehan was convicted, again, this time for trespassing. She was trying to deliver an anti-war petition to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. I know you Code Pink folks get stirred up when ever Cindy speaks, but please, can we just put her out to pasture with the rest of the 60's peacenicks and talk about how we are going to achieve victory in Iraq?

I don't care if you think Bush lied, I don't care if you think Cheney and Halliburton made up the Iraq war to get rich, I don't care if you think the World Trade Center was taken down by controlled explosives and the people who were on the planes are living in double secret federal protection somewhere in Area 51, I really don't care. Can you just focus on the fact that at this very minute there is a conference going on in Iran where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his buddies are figuring out how the world miscounted 5.9 million dead Jews during the holocaust? They may be working on a way to finish what Hitler started. We have very dangerous enemies in the world.

I know, I know, we made them mad by invading Iraq or helping Israel or putting a military base in Saudi Arabia or publishing cartoons of Muhamed, or distributing Kevin Federline's CD, or whatever sends these killers into the streets to murder and decapitate as many infidels or Sunnis or Shiias as possible. Can we just focus on the situation at hand? We are at war.

Bringing our soldiers home will not make you safer, quite the opposite in fact. Call it what you will, a phased surrender, a drawdown surrender or just a plain old white flag-helicopter from the rooftops at Saigon surrender, if we abandon our position in the region, between Iran and Syria, we will have to go back. This time with a few dozen B-52s to destroy Baghdad, Fallujah, Tehran, Damascus and a few other terrorist training sites. The problem will be, the reason we came back. More than likely that will be be a mushroom cloud over the city of New York or Seattle, or even Tel Aviv. As bad as the situation looks in Iraq, it is kind of like holding a wolf by the ears, you don't like it very much, but dare not let go.

Cindy and her new communist friends hate America, good for them. Put a few more bumper stickers on your Prius, but for crying out loud, leave us alone. We don't want to hear from you, we don't care how many times you get arrested to stick it to the man, we don't care if you think Hugo Chavez is a great guy and will weep once Castro is dead. Go home, or at least hang out at some 'fair trade' coffee house and bend the ears of the flip flop, Che Guevara t-shirt wearing barista . As for me, I have heard quite enough.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Do you have $90,000 in cash in your freezer?

If you do, and you are under federal bribery investigation, you too could win a seat as a democratic congressman. I thought the people of Louisiana were soft in the head for not evacuating in the face of a category 5 hurricane, but to re-elect William Jefferson takes the cake. I wonder how much of that cash in his freezer was in three dollar bills?
City Councilman Oliver Thomas said Jefferson's victory would make the recovery more difficult.

"People are watching this election all around the country and I can only imagine what they are thinking," Thomas said. "It will be very difficult to go back to them and ask them to trust us with the money we need here."
Ya think?

"my highest priority, immediately, is to stop the war in Iraq.''

This boys and girls is why you cannot elect democrats to positions of power. Nancy Pelosi hasn't been sworn in as Speaker of the House yet and she is laying down her plan for Iraq; Surrender.

What about victory Nancy? What about the highest priority being an immediate victory in Iraq? Nope, we quit. To quote Eric Cartman, screw you guys, I'm going home. That should make Iran, Syria and what's left of al Qaida shake and tremble in fear.
Pelosi and Mayor Gavin Newsom, who also spoke, had ripostes for Republicans who warned during the campaign that electing a Democratic majority would foist "San Francisco values'' on the nation.

"While we are diverse, we speak with one voice when it comes to fairness and giving people hope in the city of St. Francis,'' Pelosi said.

Newsom lauded "a city of dreamers, a city of doers ... a city where we unite around our common humanity. ...Those are the values of San Francisco.''
To all you people who stayed home this past election and allowed the Democrats to gain control of Congress; you suck.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Yolo Cowboy's bolt action rifle and revolver emporium

I need another rifle like Cindy Sheehan needs a bad haircut. With this in mind, I still want another blot action rifle. A .223 Remington for varmint shooting would fit in nice to my collection. With all the calibers I own, I do have a gap between my 22 rimfires and my .243 Winchester. Although my favorite varmint slayer is my M1 Garand.

Some folks think I am soft in the head to be hurling such a large amount of lead at a ground squirrel, I say poppycock. I have spent a day shooting 405 grain cast bullets at all types of small critters from my Winchester 45-70 takedown. With such recoil and rather marginal ballistic performance, a true varmint gun would be more efficient and cost much less per round sent down range.

I would like to have another VZ24 Mauser converted for this rifle but the bolt face is to large for the .223. I may look into a light weight rifle rather than go after the heavy barreled versions that varmint shooters prefer. My varmint shooting is more mobile than stationary, so a Remington model Seven should be a good fit. I have many Remington rifles and they all shoot well, two shoot exceptionally well.

I am actually not looking for any revolvers at the moment. I always have an eye out for a good buy on Smith and Wesson Classic Hunters in 44 Remington Magnum. I think the 8 3/8" Classic I have is the one handgun I love to shoot the most. I would like to have a 6" to carry. I am always looking for Colt Government or Combat commander 45's. I don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on firearm acquisitions at the time, but one can always dream.

Check out the new Header

This was taken last year with a dusting of snow on the Blue Ridge.

Friday, December 08, 2006

James Kim, a tale of tragedy and I'm sorry, stupidity.

Sometimes the mistakes you make have a cost that go along with them, a traffic ticket, a broken bone, a broken heart, a criminal record and unfortunately, sometimes they cost you your life.

It is easy to think as you listen to your Sirius radio and drive in the enclosed warmth of your car that the real world just outside the tempered glass is something that would never hurt you. The same feeling of safety you get as you hurtle down the highway at 70 miles hour inside your metal, plastic and glass box can be instantly shattered by reality. The laws of physics don't stop once you close the door and start the engine. I don't care how many airbags your car may have, if you hit a concrete freeway abutment at 80 miles an hour, you will die.

There are other laws that are just as uncompromising, the laws of nature fall into that category. Driving into a national forrest in the dead of winter on a forest service road that you are unfamiliar with, because you don't want to backtrack and take the State Highway you missed the turn off to is about as stupid an idea as I can think of.

Do I feel sorry for James and his family? Absolutely. It sounds like he was great guy and a terrific father. I am sure he thought to himself about a thousand times, how could you be so dumb. There is nothing more expensive than regret.

I have driven into the forest in my jeep with snow covering the ground a few times. It is a great time, if you are prepared.
Rule number one, don't go alone. If you get separated, or if you drive for a little while and don't see another vehicle, it's time to turn back.

I took our kids up to the snow one day and drove up Drum - Forbay road near Colfax. I was in my 4 wheel drive truck and we stopped to make a snow man and sled, when we started home we decided to go up a little further to see if we could find one more good sledding hill. I saw the faint outline of tire tracks in the snow covered road and followed them for a mile or so. There I found, and I am not making a racial statement here, an Asian family in their Toyota mini-van stuck on the side of road trying to turn around. They were from the Bay Area and wanted to see the snow. If I had not come along and dug him out with my shovel and truck he would have had a nice cold walk three miles back to the Freeway. I though to myself, what the Hell was he thinking?

When I go Jeeping, I have a winch, locking differentials and 35" tires. I can out of almost anything I get into. I also wear the clothing I would wear if I were camping overnight there. I have on my waterproof boots, a bag with a winter parka, rain pants, and a few power bars in my emergency kit along with enough fire starting gear to light a fire in a snow storm.

Some of the chuckle heads I have been with were wearing tennis shoes and a t-shirt. I asked them what happens if you get separated and break down out here? Aw, that will never happen, they say. One night alone in a freezing metal box will change your mind.

Sadly for the Kim's, a dumb mistake turned into a tragedy that cost James his life.

Your car is not a magic carpet, it can break down, run out of gas or get stuck. It is a complex machine with many moving parts, but it does not have a brain. The human behind the wheel has been equipped with one, use it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Oh boy, are you folks in trouble now.

I am now, as I speak, er type, using my new SBC Yahoo DSL high speed internet connection.

You can only imagine the excitement of answering the freaking telephone while using the internet. No more waiting 45 minutes for some stupid joke video email from my wife's uncle to download. Now it takes one minute for it to download before I delete it.

I can now search for interesting stories and news even faster.

Ooh, ooh, give us an example you say.
How about this?

This is the all new, Iranian made Samand, they will also be made by the peasants, I mean citizens living in freedom and prosperity in Venezuela.
"Samand has the most modern systems of safety and comfort, including seat belts for all passengers, central lock, powered window winders, air conditioner, radio cassette player, left and right wing mirrors adjustable from the interior, etc.

The national car, designed by Iranian and foreign consultants, with a 1761 cm3 engine, is a completely modern automobile with high safety standards, front axle, numerous accessories, and a newly-designed body."
Did you hear that, it come with a front axle! Dang them Persians can build em'.

I wonder, if you buy enough CITCO gas from Hugo, do you get a free Samand?

Oh well, it's late and after my one hour self-installation experience, I need some sleep.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Get ready for the Europization of America

Hat tip to ABP

I am all for paid sick leave, I have it at my workplace. That is one of the reasons I work there, the benefits are great. Hover like most things in life, there is a trade off. I could make twice the wages I receive now working for a start up tech company or VAR but I've been down that road before. Great money, 60+ hours a week, out of town four nights a week, 5:50 am flights, sleeping through most of weekend, enough stress to make bomb squad technician break down and cry and very little time with my family. No thank you, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.

If you don't receive paid sick leave at your job, find one that does if it's that important to you. You may have a longer commute, you may have to take a cut in pay, you might have to work in another field. My point is, if an employer is mandated by the government to give you paid sick leave he is going to cut his cost somewhere else. It's called capitalism.
Now that Democrats have won control of Congress, Mr. Kennedy, the incoming chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is more optimistic.

"It has a wildfire of support across the country," he said. "When you talk to workers, this is, besides an increase in the minimum wage, the most important issue for these families. This is a families issue. This is a values issue."
Hey Ted, ask these same people if they would like the keys to your multi-million dollar estate in Massachusetts for a month, I bet they say, heck yea, how bout the keys to your Mercedes while your at it?

Why don't you give these hard working folks your keys Ted? It's a values issue after all, right? Ted?

The reason Ted doesn't offer a free time share and hold an open bar with these hard working people is it would cost Ted money, his money.

I don't want to sound like a blow hard, round em' up and ship em' back in box cars to Mexico alarmist, but I swear you could go along way to solving many of our labor problems by securing the border. The huge, and I mean huge amount of skilled and semi-skilled worked that are here illegally are driving down wages benefits by good old supply and demand. Lots of workers willing to do your job at lower wages equates to you loose bargaining power with your employer.

Raising the minimum wage is going to happen, with the illegal immigration problem we have today, the free market doesn't work correctly. I can live with that, but when you start mandating guaranteed sick leave you are mandating a cut in worker productivity. That is not good for American companies in general. Once the democrats get paid sick leave through, how long until HillaryCare is back on the table. Oh, joy, socialized medicine. Maybe we can wait for two years for an MRI or eight months to see a doctor. That will be fun.

Do you ever wonder why the large hospitals right over the boarder from Canada are so busy? It's the Canadians paying cash for medical care they cannot get from their Utopian goverment run heath care system.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A very interesting debate

For conservatives left with a bitter taste in their mouths from November's elections, they don't seem to be buying CRP Chairman Duf Sundheim's silver lining.

I just walked in from a local republican meeting and we are looking at the same issues in our county. The California Republican Convention in February is going to be fun this year, there may be quite a few folks boiling tar and plucking chickens behind the Hyatt Regency. The hooray for Arnold, screw the platform people may have to run for cover.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

City Slickers and working cattle

Having your cattle an hour away posses some interesting problems. First off, you friends may be busy and the idea of driving an hour to work cattle is not very appealing. I did not make any calls to ask for help so I guess I have no one to blame except yours truly. After church I stopped by the local Tractor Supply store in woodland to get a few items I needed to vaccinate and de-worm my cows. With these items in hand I drove to the ranch to see if I could round up a few warm bodies to help.

I found my wife and her friend and we roped in Dave whose daughter rides at the ranch to get the cattle down the field and into the corrals. So my crew is my darling wife, her friend and a guy with a prosthetic leg. Oh, and two dogs, my wife's Jack Russell, the little ball of hate, and a urbanism border collie. Well, sometimes you trust in the All Mighty and hope, although as I like to say, hope is not a plan.

We drive the cows down the fence line and into the corrals without much trouble except for the dogs running in front of cows and turning them away from the direction we are driving them. After some 'sailor talk' and a few rocks thrown for good measure, the cattle are the corrals. I set up the vaccine and dewormer and get the eartags ready as my wife brings a four or five cows at a time into the sorting pen and down the crowding alley. Dave says he up to anything so gets to work the back gate of the chute and I show him how to work the 'hot shot' if the cows refuse to get into the chute. I am running the headgate and squeeze and so we begin the process.

Usually my wife does the vaccinations while I run the chute, but being that we are short handed, I am running around like a three legged cat trying bury his poop on a frozen pond. I have not seen many three legged cats, but the image I have is probably close to the scramble I am doing each time a cow goes into the chute.

Catch her head, pull the squeeze rope tight, run over and get the vaccine gun, give her a shot, run back, get the worm medicine, squeeze out the right amount, pour it on her back, run back to pick up the ear tagger, remove the old faded ear tag with a dull pocket knife and put in a new one, run back, get back to the chute in time to let the cow out before she gets really mad and wants to kill me once she is free.

Multiply that times twenty five and you will get an idea of how the three stooges would have looked if they made a movie about working cows. After two hours we were done. I thanked everyone, especially Dave for hanging in there through the flying cow manure and frantic pace on one good leg. I drove home smelling like, well lets just say, like the back end of a cow.

I wouldn't have it any other way.