Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chicken Little Reports! #1

Hello everyone.

Chicken Little here, reporting from the front lines of the war against global warming deniers.

We all know that people who don't believe in global warming, and also are foolish enough to NOT believe that man is causing this dire harm to our Dear Mother Earth are no better than Holocaust deniers. That was proven last year in an editorial by a fellow believer (Ellen Goodman) in man-made global warming in the Boston Globe.

I'm here today to warn you of some dangerous news reports out there that you may or may not have seen. Hopefully those in power in the world's news outlets can help keep a lid on this easily misunderstood data, and we can keep moving forward with the man-made global warming cause and the tax revenues this movement is surely about to reap.

The web site Daily Tech, along with other news sources, is reporting that in the last year average temperatures from around the world have dropped so much that the 0.7C temperature increase that we all KNOW is because of mankind's misuse of Mother Earth's precious resources, has been nullified.

Whatever you do, DO NOT believe these reports!

We global warming believers simply have too much effort put into the contrary view, and will not be persuaded that the earth is no longer warming due to the effects of man's evil ways.

These global temperatures that seem to have been taken accurately were taken by scientists that are not part of the Great Scientific Consensus that Nobel Laureate Albert Gore has told us to believe.

Again, THE SKY IS STILL FALLING! There is no reason to believe anyone but our fearless leader and Nobel Laureate Albert Gore with regards to man's dastardly ruination of our Dear Mother Earth via global warming.

Be warned, these rogue scientists (NOT part of the Great Global Warming Consensus of Scientists) spoken of in An Inconvenient Truth, will indeed try to convince you with confusing facts that this has been the coldest winter in North America since 1966, that the northern ice pack has returned to it's full normal winter size, that the polar bear population hasn't been affected, and that the South Pole area has grown in the size of it's ice sheet.

Whatever you do, do not fall for these Holocaust Denier-type lies.

I, Chicken Little, remind you to be steadfast in your reporting of non-recyclers in your neighborhood.

I, Chicken Little, remind you to indoctrinate your precious children in the truth that is global warming.

I, Chicken Little, remind you to hurry up and trade in your big, safe car for a tiny, death-trap hybrid. It's unsafe and hideously expensive, but it's the right thing to do!

I, Chicken Little, remind you to change out those evil incandescent light bulbs with environmentally friendly compact flourescent ones. (Ignore the lies of the Holocaust Denier's claims that there is dangerous mercury in each and every environmentally friendly compact flourescent light bulb. This is simply not true and a great example of the fearmongering among the hateful, right-wing nuts that are the prime movers in the effort to destroy Mother Earth.)

I, Chicken Little, remind you to vote for Barak Obama for President, since he has already proposed a Senate measure to charge the American people with an $885Million carbon tax (per year!). This proves his rightness to suceed the evil, Earth-hating, George Bush (43) as US President, and his determination to force evil corporations and all rich Americans (couples making $75,000 per year or more) pay their fair share of taxes. Finally.

I, Chicken Little, will return from time to time, as needed to comfort and to inform you against the evil conservatives who desire to destroy Mother Earth with their SUVs, their coal-fired power plants, and their throw-away diapers.

You can count on me.

Your pal,
Chicken Little
(That's Chickie-L to all my homies out there; Nahm Sayin'? Peace out.)

P.S. Remember that we were the first fear-mongers, and we're still the best.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Will Bore You Into A Coma

There's so much great news to cover, that I don't know where to start. (sarcasm there people)


Friday night after work, I took my camera over to the home of a friend from church and took about 90 pictures of various iterations of his family members. His mother was in town from New York for a visit, and so all his children and grandchildren descended on he and his wife's home for the gnashing of teeth (supper) and for me to take photos of them.

I learned photography on a completely manual Kodak Pony IV camera that my parents had and had not used in so long that they had put the camera back into it's original box and had completely forgotten how to use it. I had to figure it out by myself because they couldn't help. Then I used my own Canon 35mm camera, and AE-1 for many years.

Then in the summer of 2006, I finally bought my Nikon D70s and joined the digital SLR world.

This camera still amazes me. The only thing wrong with any of the photos that I took the other night, were closed eyes, crying kids, or silly faces of people who weren't ready. The camera takes such good photos I'm still amazed at it's capabilities after a year and a half.

My friend and his family have a whole bunch of good photos to choose from.

About the Academy Awards show last night.

I didn't watch even one second of it. Apparently some folks won some statuettes for their acting, directing, etc., skills over the past year.

About politics.

I'm interested in politics, and I understand if folks aren't. In fact, I often wonder why the heck I am interested in politics.

But it's interesting to watch Hillary and Barack duke it out in public over stupid things like him trying on traditional Kenyan clothes when he visited Kenya a couple of years ago.

And these are the two who are trying to convince us all that each of them doesn't wallow in "politics as usual" and that when one or the other of them is elected President, that they are going to bring "true change" to Washington.

My only problem with this promise from each of them is that they are each conducting thoroughly normal political campaigns against one another and John McCain. They are snipping and snapping at one another over stupid things, and they are both laying out campaign promises just like all the liberals before them since Woodrow Wilson during World War I, 90 years ago.

Neither of them has anything new to say at all. So their promises to be different, act different, and govern differently are already absurd looking to anyone with their eyes open. They are both playing according to the liberal or "progressive" playbook that was written by Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In other words, we're gonna tax the crap out of you and give the money away in programs that are as old as the progressive movement itself. Nothing new there.

And as for change, Bush can't run for President again so in reality we're gonna get change no matter who wins the Presidency.

About the weather.

Ours has been quite beautiful. Sunny and highs in the 70s, with breezes and occasionally some rain.

Last night at 10:30pm, our cat wanted outside so I let her out the front door. We have a screened front porch, so I had to step out there to let her out the screen door too.

I was barefooted and in shorts and a t-shirt, and it was the perfect temperature. I could have sat out there for hours and been neither cold nor hot. I went back in and to bed instead.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has come out saying that there is more snow and ice cover on the earth this winter than any winter since 1966.

They also said that the melted ice at both the south and north poles is back to normal, so you can all rest easy about the non-existent polar bear problem. They have lots of ice to scurry around on. In fact, the south pole area has more ice than it has in many years, that the ice sheet has gotten a good bit larger.

This is really bad news for global warming alarmists. Especially those who have set in motion future work for themselves in the combating of global warming. If you have your future wrapped around global warming and yet the earth has gotten cooler over the past ten years; then you might want to rethink your plans, or maybe you could just stop calling global warming global warming and rename it to something like, oh, I don't know, say, Global Climate Change, then that way, no matter if it gets colder or hotter on the earth, you'll always be right in trying to scare people into paying taxes to you to stop Global Climate Change.

What's that? Al Gore and his partners in crime already are using the term Global Climate Change instead of Global Warming?

Huh. Never mind.

About the US Navy.

How about that shot that knocked out the dead spy satellite from it's decaying orbit, to safely disperse the fuel on board the satellite and to also destroy any fancy technology so that Russia or Iran or China couldn't get the satellite after it fell and reverse engineer some nifty technology?

I am not kidding at all when I say I was so proud when I saw the Navy videos of the destruction of this satellite with such precision the other day.

I'd be willing to bet that Michelle Obama, our potential future First Lady wasn't proud though. Word has is that she's pretty hard to impress.

See, Russia, China, and Iran are on record as not wanting America to design and build a missile defense shield against potential nuclear missiles from, oh, I don't know, say, Russia, China, or Iran coming into and destrying American cities.

But this launch and successful destroying of the satellite using EXISTING TECHNOLOGY not only shows we could do a decent job of protecting ourselves right now, they KNOW that if we were to even try to construct a missile defense shield for the US, that we would be successful.

This is a sure sign to me that WE SHOULD build a missile defense shield.

And we should sell a smaller version of that defense shield to Israel as soon as it's possible.

About steroids in professional sports.

I would say something about this, if I could somehow dredge up even a single ounce of feelings about steroids at all. But I can't, so I won't.

Oh well, lunch is over. Back to work.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Picture Post, Sunday, February 24, 2008

No interesting stories or explanations needed for most of these.

Just wandering around with my camera.

I hate having my picture taken, but I smiled nicely for the camera anyway.

Have a great Sunday folks!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Second Post as a Liberal

For those of you shocked at my abrupt about-face in yesterday's post...

No, I haven't gone insane like most of the rest of America.

I just thought I would write a post from the viewpoint of a political liberal.

I thought it would be hard to do, but it's frightfully easy, actually.

I didn't have to think at all, I just meditated for a few minutes and let my touchy-feely side write that post; thus giving myself a brief view through the window of liberalism.

It's not about the thoughts and logic, it's ALL ABOUT FEELINGS.

Seriously, even our "news professionals" on TV are getting all mushy when Barack Obama speaks, and they speak in wondering tones about Obama's magnificence, I thought I'd better follow that old, wise dictum: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

See, Barack Obama has folks passing out and peeing on themselves at his speeches like a Beatles concert in 1965, and the man says nothing. Nothing at all.

He just stands there looking Presidential and every five seconds or so, says one of the following: "Change!" "Hope!" "For the children!" "Believe!" until 20 minutes are up and then he moves to the next town that is clamoring for him to come speak to them.

In regards to this phenomenon of people crying and fainting at Obama speeches, just three days ago, Number Two Daughter looked at me and asked: "Is there something I'm missing here? I don't get it?"

I almost started crying, not because of Obama's greatness, which is truly great, but I almost started crying because when she asked me this, I realized that I WASN'T the only person in America who thinks Obama is an empty suit. (Remember, this was several days ago, when I was still an evil conservative.)

But as I watch news coverage of the the Presidential campaigns, and they invariable show a few seconds of Obama, long enough to hear a couple of heart-felt "Change!" and "Hope!" and I realize that, according to the news, his election is all but sealed.

We can save America many millions of wasted dollars in what would have been the rest of the campaigns up until November by going ahead and declaring Obama the new President.

Hmmm. Today is Saturday, so, lets just go ahead and inaugurate the guy this afternoon and be done with it.

But blogging will be much, much easier from here on out, since I've become a liberal. I don't have to think or use logic at all any more; I just have to let my feelings flow onto the page (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).

The only hard part is that, as an electrical engineer working in the design of digital circuits, I WILL have to still think and use logic while at work.

This dichotomy might cause a great deal of problems in my life.

Back when I was an evil conservative AND an engineer, I got used to thinking (which is hard work) and using logic all day long.

Now that I'm "with it" as a liberal, and see just how easy it is to spout liberal mantras without worrying about messy, problematic things like actually thinking hard and using logic, it's going to be difficult to shift into logical thinking for the nine hours or so I'm at work every day.

That will probably be hard to do, but maybe I can figure out a way to write the VHDL code for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) by feeling.

Nah. I don't think my bosses would like that at all. Most of them are evil conservatives who demand that I use logical thinking while at work.

Sorry folks, gotta go.

Now that I'm a liberal, I'm gonna go find somebody that I can call a Fascist!

This is going to be so much fun. And easy too! No real thinking involved.

Just kidding folks. I don't get the Obama thing, and had to poke him with a sharp stick.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why The Subprime Mortgage Mess Is Good For America, or... first post as a political liberal.

Many thousands of homes are being foreclosed on right now in America.

I am SO excited about this!

Now we have lots of quality housing for the tens of thousands of homeless people in America.

Up until now, the homeless were in danger almost all of the time, because the only places they had to sleep were under bridges, and we all know how unsafe America's bridges are, any one or even all bridges could collapse at any time thus squashing to death the poor homeless folks living under there. The only other place for homeless people to sleep in were abandoned buildings, and we all know that those places are filled with dope fiends cooking up meth and also filled with those societal deviants who prey on the homeless like the dastardly villians they are.

What's a homeless guy (or gal) to do?

Enter the U.S. Guv'ment.

A few years ago, despite being right smack dab in the middle of a Republican's Presidential term, they (the guv'ment) use their formidable influence and practically force all the mortgage lenders in America to sign up people with bad credit ratings. It turns out that these evil mortgage companies were being racists, and bigots, and weren't loaning money for homes to high risk potential home buyers! Can you imagine just how black the hearts of the evil moneylenders are?

Well, when the Guv'ment, astonishing as it was to see under the leadership of an evil Republican President, made the racist, bigoted mortgage companies start handing out loans willy-nilly in a manner more befitting the memory of the Greatest Socialist President Franklin Roosevelt, then a great social injustice was finally made right again.

Now, even though these risky Americans that the mortgage lenders reluctantly loaned money to have indeed proved to be unworthy of such loans by not making payments and forcing the forclosures of these many thousands of homes, there is still a great benefit to the lowest, most downtrodden in this once great country.

What is this boon, you might ask?

It is this. Many thousands of these foreclosed on homes make great places for the homeless to break into and live in in great style.

Check out these benefits:
*Almost no rats to have to fight with over your meager dumpster dinner.
*A quick homeless person can get into these empty homes way before your average meth-amphetimine lab owner has time to get in there and set up shop.
*And even if a meth boss kicks you out of your new home to set up his shop, there are still many more nice homes to choose from!

The end result is a great uptick in the style of living of your average homeless person victim.

Although it pains me to say this, I must thank Republican President Bush for improving the lives of the homeless all across America.

Heck, many of these homes still have electricity and running water, so the average homeless person is in tall cotton right now.

So don't let those louts on TV make you think that this whole subprime mortgage mess is a mess, it's actually a great thing for America's forgotten ones, the homeless.

Afterword: I'm just trying my hand at some satire here folks. It's not something I'm very good at, but love to read good satire.

With all the political shenanigans going on in this Presidential election year, I figgered I would try it.

I'm not intentionally trying to insult people who are politically liberal. I have friends who are liberal and I love them and a couple of guys I work with, we have a great time blaming everything from stopped up toilets at work on liberals or conservatives, depending on our own viewpoints.

I'm a conservative. If you're a liberal, and you mostly vote Democrat because that's the folks you tend to agree with most, then good on ya, mate.

Just trying to have some fun here.

No need to get your panties in a bunch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Moon Last Night

The eclipse and the red moon of last night.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shuttle Atlantis is Back!

Our dogs just went bonkers as Atlantis glided over Palm Bay on it's way to Kennedy Space Center, the sonic booms rocking the house, sounding and feeling as if a bulldozer had nudged it.

And the radio announced it touching down at the Space Center as I've been typing this.

They're home safe.

After two days of writing about politics, I feel all dirty and yucky.

So, I thought I would give y'all a break with some photos.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Sad, Sad Day For Hollywood Liberals, and the People Who Love Them

Fidel Castro has stepped down as leader of Cuba.

I'm sure Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, George Clooney and other Hollywood liberals are bummin' today.

But they need to realize that Fidel is 81 years old and in bad health.

Liberals shouldn't worry that the People's Paradise that is today's Cuba is in good hands.

Fidel's younger brother, Raul, is taking over as Cuba's new Maximum Leader.

Raul has waited, lo these 40 years, for his turn at the helm.

Hollywood liberals should take comfort in the fact that Raul is younger, much more energetic, and chomping at the bit to enact his own ideas to cement Cuba's place as an earthly paradise for the proletariat.

See, Raul is a comparative spring chicken to Fidel, and at only 76 years of age, Hollywood liberals and the people who love them can expect great new things from Raul's fertile young mind.

Don't y'all worry yore purdy little heads none, now.

Raul will viciously crack down on any pesky talk of Cuba becoming a democracy.

Plus, Hollywood liberals still have Hugo Chavez to love. He'll probably be around a good while too, so they still have a fascist go-to guy in Hugo down there in South America.

I also bet that when England's Prince Charles heard about Fidel stepping aside and letting Raul rule from now on, Prince Charles ran immediately to his Mama's (the Queen) bedroom, begging her to do the same.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Stupid Seat Belt Laws and Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program

Warning: Rant ahead. Enter at your own risk.

We have the Iranians, who have said they're gonna wipe Israel off the map, and yet, even as I type this, the Iranians are working lickety-split to built nuclear bombs.

When America makes threatening statements about Iran's threats and their nuclear program, then the entire "civilized" world shouts America down.

So now we're all just sitting around, waiting and doing NOTHING to stop Iran as their nuclear program, supplied by Russia, kicks into high gear.

It makes me sick to think about how spineless America and the so-called civilized world is.

Then this weekend on the news, I kept hearing about film of Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley, in a vehicle without seat belts.

Consumer Reports (What?!) publicly chastises her for not wearing her seat belt.

And then I keep hearing about Miley and Billy Ray's seat belt scandal on TV, and when I look at the news on the internet, I kept reading about Miley and Billy Ray's seat belt scandal.

Seriously? This is big news?

First off, I think seat belt laws are some of THE stupidest laws anywhere on this planet.

It's one of those things that local and national politicians can pontificate about how these laws are necessary and how they save lives.

Fact is, seat belt laws are just another tax on stupid people.

Seat belt laws overall are only good for cash-strapped police forces. It's an easy $cha-ching$ for the local police funds. That's the ONLY reason for seat belt laws.

If people are too stupid to, or willfully ignore seat belt laws, then that's their own stupid fault.

But what makes my skin crawl is just how judgmental the people of this country have become over things like wearing a seat belt, to the point where when a famous fifteen year old girl gets caught on film not wearning one, it becomes national news.

I have worn seat belts since WAY before it became law to wear one. I personally dug the seat belts out of the cracks of our car's seats when I got my drivers license, and started using them. My friends as a teen all laughed at me and made fun of me, but I never cared. Seat belts make sense to me, so I've always worn them. Don't need fear of a stupid fine to get me to wear one, I WANT to survive an accident if I have one. Doesn't take calculus to figure that one out.

But on the other hand, we see Iran's dramatic increase in the speed of their nuclear "energy" program and millions around the world stand and shout, leave them alone, they have the right. My biggest problem with that is that Iran itself is practically floating on crude oil, enough to last many generations, yet it's vital to them to have a "peaceful" nuclear program. Yeah. Right.

I went to Louisiana public schools, and even I am not THAT dumb.

So here we are, in this increasingly stupid country, America, where voices are raised in loud, arrogant chastisement of a fifteen year old singer not wearing a seat belt.

And we intentionally whistle through the cemetery while Iran steadily builds it's unneeded nuclear "energy" program because so much of the world is too gutless to call them on it, even after verbally threatening the destruction of Israel.

I tell y'all, we're going to end up with a world so screwed up that there will be no way out.

Freak out about unworn seat belts when that is so unimportant an issue that I sincerely wonder about the sanity of Americans, all the while we willfully ignore the playground bully building nuclear weapons.

Not Important: Miley Cyrus seen in public not wearing a seat belt.

Important: Iran's nuclear weapons program being willfully ignored.

God? Help us all. Please? The patients have taken control of the asylum.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Picture Post, Sunday February 17, 2008

Beautiful light. Sometimes what makes a photograph is the subject. But I mostly take photos of scenery and "things" as opposed to people, and the subject matter can still be compelling, but you have to have great light. To me this photo is better because of that magic mix of lovely daylight and also some artificial lights that were turned on as the daylight waned.

Slanted afternoon sunlight makes even something as mundane as rusty metal of a train trestle become interesting subject matter.

This boardwalk is a great place to see manatees, so much so that it's part of Manatee Park in Melbourne, Florida. But I didn't see any manatees on this day.

A telephoto look at an office building in Melbourne, Florida.

Looking west along Crane Creek, and also the same boardwalk as two photos up, but the opposite direction from that earlier photo.

Have a great Sunday folks!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Ballentimes Day, and Boring Political Stuff

An increasingly common problem with me lately is that I don't have anything of note to say.

So I'll start today's ramble by saying Happy Valentines Day to everyone. My daughters said it as "Ballentimes" Day when they were little. That's how I still think of it.

I would rant about how it's just a made up holiday and that it doesn't really mean anything, but no matter what, I usually end up with some tasty chocolate that I didn't have before hand, so that alone makes it sorta worthwhile.

I love me some chocolate.

Viva Valentines Day!

I think there is a really strong possibility that the race for the Democratic Presidential candidate is going to get ugly.

Uglier than it already is, I mean.

Right now, Barack Obama has a slim lead in Democratic delegates to the Democratic Presidential Convention coming up this summer.

Still up in the air are the delegates for the states that have yet to have either a Democratic caucus or primary to determine whether Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama get their state's delegates to the Democratic convention.

The way I see things playing out, if there is no heavy favorite going into the Democratic Convention, then I would have to lean toward Hilary Clinton walking out of there with the nomination.

Why? Especially when Mr. Obama seems to be on a hot streak right now?

Being President is what Hilary Clinton has worked toward as a personal goal for 35 years now.

It's why she has put up with Bill's shenanigans all these years; to become President of the United States herself.

To the Clintons, IT IS HILARY'S TURN.

Plain and simple. Mrs. Clinton, Bill, and those working for her campaign firmly believe that it's her turn and I personally believe that she will pull out every stop, and call in each and every favor owed to the Clintons in her quest to fulfill this life goal of hers to become President.

Plus, this is realistically her only shot at it.

Mrs. Clinton is 60 years old. She will not ever have another chance this good of becoming the US President.

She will try every option, good or bad. Four years from now, she'll be fighting against an incumbent President, and will be 64. Her party will pass her up for someone else.

Frankly I'm surprised at McCain's support at this point if for no other reason than he's older than the typical Presidential candidate.

Right or wrong, a 64 year old woman (or 68 in 2016) stands almost no chance of winning either party's Presidential nomination.

Mr. Obama is young. He has lots of years ahead where, if he fails to be elected President in 2008, he can still run for the office.

Again, this is Hilary Clinton's ONLY shot at becoming President. It's what she has worked her whole adult life for, first to see Bill become President, and as soon as his two terms were over, they both started actively working to set her up to win the Presidency.

I firmly believe that she will never, ever step aside if Mr. Obama is ahead coming into the Democratic Convention.

I believe she will use every thing at her disposal to sway the "superdelegates" to tip the nomination for the Democratic Presidential Nominee, even if it totally rips apart the Democratic Party.

I would be absolutely shocked, if she gracefully stepped aside to let Obama win, when her life's goal and all the work and years she has put into becoming President herself is on the line.

If I've learned anything, it's that the Clinton's (both of them) think of the Clintons first, and the Democratic Party and America a distant second and third.

The mainstream media is kicking Hilary Clinton while she is down right now, but remember, she and Bill have many, many old Democratic cronies, that they will use in every way possible to try to stop Mr. Obama becoming the Democratic Party choice.

They have a "Clinton machine" that Mr. Obama does not have, and I personally still think that she can win the Democratic side of this year's Presidential race.

In a way, I kind of pity Mr. Obama and those who have fallen under his spell if Mrs. Clinton manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

There will be crying and gnashing of teeth if she wins by using old, white, Democratic power brokers.

But I truly believe she will do so if that's what it takes.

Hilary Clinton believes she's entitled to the Presidency. She won't let an upstart like Mr. Obama win if theres anything at all, or any person at all, that she can use to secure herself as the Democratic Presidential Nominee.

I think that the Democratic race for President in 2008 is going to be more juicy this year than any soap opera ever conceived.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This Article is Just Plain Funny

NFL Meteorologists Warn Steaming Black-Guy Heads Occurring Later Every Year
"The phenomenon of weather-related African-American supracranial vaporous emission, or 'Steaming Black-Guy Heads,' as it is colloquially known, occurs when cold dry winter air comes into contact with hot, humid, shaven heads of football players, causing their personal water vapor to condense and rise on a column of heated air," the statement read in part. "It is then observed by network cameramen, who overwhelmingly choose to film African-American players due to the dramatic contrasts that result—especially when the player in question is backlit—and beamed to millions of households during time-outs, replay reviews, and other stoppages of play. The viewers then realize that winter has come to America."

There are great quotes in the article, supposedly by Vinnie Testaverde and Brett Favre.

I haven't been laughing much lately, but this one cracked me up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

At Obama's Campaign Offices in Houston

Che Guevara was a communist, bank-robbing, murderous thug from Argentina who also happened to be Castro's favorite executioner in the great revolution in Cuba in the late 1950s.

Che lived by the gun and died by the gun. Shot down like the dog he was.

This picture was taken in the offices of the Obama campaign in Houston, Texas.

That flag behind it's owner is a Cuban flag with Che's head embossed on it.

Lets you know where the sympathies of the Texas Obama supporters lie.

To me, this is unbelievably scary.

Oh, and if you think that's one person in one office, here's another.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Keith White - Single Handed Yachting

On Saturday afternoon, for the first time in a while, I took my camera and went and wandered around with it, taking photos.

Since I live on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, I usually gravitate toward water somewhere.

I ended up on Crane Creek in Melbourne, Florida, where the creek runs into the Indian River Lagoon.

As I wandered around, I saw a big, gorgeous sailboat coming in, the pilot (or whatever you call a guy driving a boat) parking his yacht. It was interesting to watch him move the boat back and fort to get it into his spot.

I took a few pictures, a couple of which are in this post.

The sign on one side of his yacht said Single Handed Sailing - Atlantic Challenge.

Thinking this was a race of some sort, I looked it up on the internet when I got home and came across Keith White's web site.

It turns out that Mr. White lost use of his left arm in a car accident in the early 1990s and is now sailing to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in the U.K., as well as raising money to help restore Cutty Sark, the famous clipper ship.

Anyway, just took a few pics as he was trying to park.

I learned all of this about Mr. White after the fact. I wish I had know about it before hand.

I would have stayed nearby to see if I could talk to him for a few minutes. It is impressive that he has sailed across the Atlantic alone, and disabled.

I noticed on his web site, his last update was that he was headed toward Melbourne and had radioed ahead to let them know he was on his way to port here.

I've always wanted to go sailing, but never have. I've never been in a boat out on the ocean in deep water.

I've been in hot water plenty of times though. I've been married 23 years, you can't help but get in hot water now and then.

I'm sure being in hot water isn't nearly as fun as sailing on deep waters.

If you're one of my three daily viewers of my John's Daily Digital Images blog, you don't have to bother going over there today, I'm putting this same post over there because I have a couple of UK photography pals that might be interested in this.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Picture Post, Sunday February 10, 2008

Thanks to modern pharmacology's ability to lessen my rickety back's pain, as well as reduce the pain in my gimpy left leg, on Saturday afternoon, I actually felt up to getting out and wandering around with my camera.

Along Crane Creek in Melbourne, Florida.


Have a great Sunday folks!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Dear Ronald McDonald

From now on, when I stop in and buy a double cheeseburger from the dollar menu, could you please spread the pickle slices out on the sandwich?

It's a bummer to bite into it and get all the pickles in one bite because they were stacked on top of one another, and then not have any dill goodness on the rest of the burger.

I hate trying to peel the burger apart to do this myself because all the cheese sticks to the bread and tears up the burger.

It would be better if you could just do that when you're making the burger in the store.

So, if you could distribute the pickles out more, that would be great.


P.S. I think many others would agree with me on this.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Godzirra Attacks Woman! (film at 11)

We have a cat that is pretty brutal on the local lizard population.

I've often said that lizards must be pretty dumb, or word would have gotten out among them to avoid our house/yard at all costs.

I can't remember the last time I saw a live lizard with a complete tail; if they survive an encounter with Sassy, at the very least they lost their tail.

The other day there was one was in our master bathroom.

I'm in the kitchen making some yummy tuna salad and Lovely Wife, being the intrepid type, comes walking in there from our room with both hands clasped together having caught the poor tail-less lizard in our own catch-and-release program.

She goes out the front door to release him to the wilds of Florida, and just as the front door closes behind her, I hear a strange noise, and then Lovely Wife yells,

"Ow!...Stupid lizard! I was trying to help you!"

She comes stomping back into the house (Lovely Wife, not the lizard), and I asked her what happened, thinking she'd fallen or something.

"That dumb lizard BIT ME!"

She held her hand up to me and in the palm of her hand were two little, tiny parallel lines of skin much redder than the surrounding skin, barely separated from one another, and I could just picture the lizard getting a little bit of skin there and chomping hard.

She wanted me to take a picture and to blog it, but the red marks disappeared too soon. Plus I don't have a macro lens anyway, so it would have been hard to photograph the little bite mark.

Of course, you all know what it's like to have a blog, someone in your family has a sniffle and of course they think it's GREAT bog material.

Lovely Wife had said, "You need to blog that," at which point Number Two Daughter pipes up and says "Godzilla attacks woman!" as a title suggestion.

And I'm thinkin' to myself, "Hey man, I'm the one with the blog. I'm the one with the pressure to create masterpieces of prose almost on a daily basis, and y'all are always telling me, 'Blog this,' or 'Blog that' all the time."

Seriously, do they think I would waste my obviously massive amount of writing talent on a story as lame as a lizard bite?

This had happened this past weekend, and then yesterday, she has the nerve to ask me, "Did you blog about my lizard bite yet?"

I was amazed that she actually still thought that silly story was worth a whole blog post. And not only that, but she obviously expected me to write about it.

Not to mention that this also tells me know that she hasn't read my blog since the weekend. I'm hurt; I have my pride, you know? She hasn't read my blog in three or four days and she hasn't died of mental malnutrition?


Number Two Daughter probably expects me to use her silly "Godzilla Attacks Woman" title too.

Jeesh. Us famous bloggers sure do have lots of hangers-on to deal with.

How do we keep doing it, even under all this pressure by amateurs and other, lesser human beings who don't have their own blogs?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chronic Pain Turns Brain to Squishy Mush

Chronic pain seen altering how brain works

By Julie Steenhuysen Tue Feb 5, 5:50 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Brain scans of people in chronic pain show a state of constant activity in areas that should be at rest, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday, a finding that could help explain why pain patients have higher rates of depression, anxiety and other disorders.

"These findings suggest that the brain of a chronic pain patient is not simply a healthy brain processing pain information but rather it is altered by the persistent pain in a manner reminiscent of other neurological conditions associated with cognitive impairments," they wrote.


I coulda told 'em that.

In easier to understand English too.

Monday, February 04, 2008

An Update in the Form of an Aimless Ramble

I'm good at rambling. It's how my mind works.

I haven't posted here in a a few days, and I honestly haven't cared, though I do love blogging.

Same old broken record; back pain.

This weekend was quite horrific, and that's no exaggeration. It's not a play for sympathy, or an excuse, it just is the truth.

Yesterday, Sunday, was as bad a single day I've had with my back in a while, and that's saying something.

Despite my post a couple of weeks ago about football, I ended up watching the Superbowl with Lovely Wife.

I couldn't sleep, I couldn't sit still, I moved from place to place, got up and walked around, and even my pain medicine barely helped.

I finally got to sleep last night, and lo and behold, though I was hurting this morning, it was more of my normal pain than the misery of the past few days.

I'll take my breaks where I can get them.

So, with nothing better to do, I watched the New York Giants pull off an amazing performance against the incredible New England Patriots.

When I've seen the Patriots play this year, they looked like an impressive, juggernaut of a machine. They've had some close calls, but they always won.

The Giants defense took it to them, and when I saw Tom Brady screaming in anger at his receivers, I knew he was rattled. Something you rarely see with Tom Brady.

Anyway, though I'm not really a fan of either team, I kinda wanted to see Eli Manning win a Superbowl the year after his brother did. Now, no matter what the future holds for them, the Manning brothers have a Superbowl ring each, and that pleases me.

Though I honestly think that Tom Brady will end up having smashed so many all-time quarterback records it won't be funny. If he were to quit today, he'd still be a sure-fire inductee in the hall of fame. Not bad for someone who is only 30 or so.

Plus, I like seeing all the talking head sports guys on TV turn out to have been so wrong about the game. That's fun for me.

And today, I'm so happy to not be hurting so bad as this past weekend that I don't know what to say.

It's like the weekend was a massive migraine and today is only a garden variety sinus headache. It still hurts, but less.

I have to admit, that I was teetering on the edge of complete despair yesterday evening. Today is a whole new outlook.

I sure hope that the bad days are behind me for a while.

I so enjoy getting a few photos ready and posting them here on Sundays, but that wasn't even a consideration this past weekend, and with today's clearer mind, I hate to have missed my Sunday Picture Post, but I can't change that.

Take care folks, I'll post when I can.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Five Years Ago Today

I got up and had two tasks to take care of. I was going to the barber to get a haircut and I had to go buy two new tires for one of our cars.

I was in the barber shop, in my guy's chair and getting a cut when the barber next to him received a phone call.

When he hung up the phone, he turned to Dave, the guy cutting my hair and said, "That was my wife. She said the Space Shuttle is over due and they think something has gone wrong."

The owner of the shop heard part of this and had Paul repeat what he had said.

The owner went to the back of the shop and came out with a TV set, and another barber cleared off some counter space, and they turned it on and tried to tune in a station.

They were able to get reception of one of the Orlando stations that had been covering Columbia's return anyway.

It was about this time that the first reports and footage from California and Texas started coming in, both news and home videos of what looked to be a cluster of meteors entering the atmosphere.

When I saw that, I knew there wasn't any hope left.

It was one of those times where things seemed to get really quiet and where time itself seemed to drag slowly.

I still have snapshots in my mind of how everyone was standing and sitting in the barber shop that day as we all watched what we understood to be one of those tragedies that we would always remember, both the event and where we were and what we were doing at the time.

After my haircut was finished, I went over to a tire shop, and while having two tires put on our car, I sat in their "waiting room" and watched with the other tire buyers of that day, the further news reports as they came on their TV.

The space program is such a big and proud part of where we live.

Kennedy Space Center is about 40 miles north of our home here in Palm Bay, and when the shuttle enters the atmosphere it sometimes glides right up the Atlantic Coast of Florida, essentially right over our heads.

When the shuttle approaches Kennedy from the south like that, it drags it's sonic boom right over our home, and it literally rattles the windows and shakes the house. Everybody jumps, startled even when we were expecting it, and the dogs run around barking, thinking someone's at the door or whatever.

Apparently, Columbia was coming in from the west that day, and from the time it gets through the atmosphere to when the wheels touch down at Kennedy, only 15 minutes will pass.

It literally comes through the atmosphere over California and will touch down in Florida 15 minutes later. Amazing.

So there's just this tiny window where if the shuttle is a couple of minutes late, they know something terrible has happened.

It's not an exciting story, but that's my story about where I was when Shuttle Columbia broke apart on reentry five years ago today.

It's one I'd rather not have experienced.

When I was a kid in the late 1960s, early 1970s, I ate up all the information I could get about astronauts and the space program. And living so close to Kennedy Space Center, we can walk outside at work or even from our front yard and see the Shuttle go up. We can also see Titan and Delta rockets lift off from Canaveral Air Force Station as well.

At work, there's always a bunch of us that go outside, or if we're in a building with access to the roof, we'll go up there to watch liftoffs.

It's always a proud moment to see these things.

This photo was taken by a company photographer where I work. The building below the arc of the shuttle launch is the building that I presently work in. (This photo was taken in the mid 1990s before we moved here though.)