Thursday, July 30, 2009

And Now, Something Completely Different

Need a laugh after all the dirtiness of Washington, D.C.?

I've got two great links for you, both at Cute Overload:

Check out Look-a-Like: Kitten Crowe.

And after that, check out this hilarious set of wet cat photos. Perfectly titled Drama In The Tub.

I know.

I'm a wimp.

But I love that site.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Very Basic Problem In Washington D.C.

Want to know just how horribly our representative republic is being represented?

The Obama administration and the Democrats are trying to jam government-run healthcare down our throats.

Obama's campain promise to put all bills online for American's to read and to allow 5 days for everyone to read and understand each bill has already become yet another Obama lie, though it's hardly surpising that this is the case.

The onerous "healthcare reform" that our government is quickly trying ot foist on the American people is still largely an unknown quantity to us, because again, Obama lied when he said we could read the bills online for us to know what's being done in our name.

But one would hope that our representatives in Washington at least, would read the healthcare reform bill from end to end.

Alas, what a fool am I, this is aparently way too much to expect from the current crop of corruptocrats we have as our "leaders."

Check out this quote from long-time Michigan representative John Conyers when he was simply asked if he had read the healthcare reform bill:
“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Conyers.
“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

Isn't that rich?

This quote reveals many problems.

First, why should a bunch of lawyers need lawyers to read and understand ANY bill?

Two days to read a thousand pages, well, that's your job you moron! It shouldn't be a hardship on you to DO YOUR JOB! To just read the darn thing.

As an engineer, I might have to read a thousand pages of the manual for a new programmable integrated circuit chip, because it's part of my job. If I'm going to use this chip in a circuit design, then I pretty much HAVE to read every detail about it, and believe me, it's thousand page manual is much more complex and difficult to read than a government bill.

Yet I and other engineers do it, because we need to to do our job. It's that simple.

Mr. Conyers proves what a lazy, good-for-nothing, worthless waste of skin he is if he won't even try to read one of the most important and potentially damaging pieces of legislation to come down the pike in my lifetime.

I am sometimes in despair about America, how great it once was, and how the current administration and his hacks in Congress and Senate are determined to crush the life out of our economy, and by extension, our way of life.

Our country is being run by a bunch of fools.

I need to go find me a "Don't Blame Me, I Voted McCain/Palin" bumper sticker.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just In Time! (They Were Almost Out of Missiles)

Our illustrious Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced that we (the American taxpayers) are sending $200 Million to the Palestinians.
RAMALLAH, West Bank – The United States has transferred $200 million to the Palestinian government to help ease a growing budget deficit, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.

Of course, the Palestinians voted for, and are now governed by, Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of the nation of Israel and to the death of all Jews.

So, in an amazing feat of mental logic, I see that I'm now helping to fund the Palestinian's (Hamas') future abilites to lob more mortars and shoot off more armed missiles into Israel, our only true friend in the middle east.

Yay, Hillary! You go girl!

That's the way to reverse the evil foreign policy of the great satan George Bush!

Help the Palestinians finish what Hilter started, and kill God's chosen people.

Gotta love that Obama foreign policy, eh?

And now Obama wants us to trust him on the government takeover of the US healthcare system, and is truly mystified at why we don't swallow his plan whole.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Health Care Reform

To me, it's pretty simple.

America is under catastrophic debt; we owe China so much money that I literally get a wave of nausea through my body when I think about it.

George Bush had a "stimulus plan" go into effect just before leaving office.

Obama had yet another "stimulus plan" go into effect just after taking office.

Both were done with borrowed money, primarily from China. Neither helped one little bit, and in fact hurt the economy.

What kind of idiots do we have running the country?

If I'm on the verge of bankruptcy in my personal finances, I CANNOT borrow enough money to spend my way out of debt.

Now Obama is pushing hard for a socialist, government run, single payer (working tax payers!) health care system like Canada, the UK and other European countries.

The internet is full of web pages of horror stories of people who die before they can even see a doctor in other countries.

It's all about putting the power of 2.5 TRILLION dollars a year into the hands of Washington bureaucrats. Once they have that power, they'll never let go of it.

President Obama and the pushers of socailized medicine in the US couldn't care less about the health of individual Americans, they care only in their thirst for more power.

Their lamentation is that there are 50 million uninsured Americans and that this isn't fair.

Yet they admit that the health care plan they are pushing will still leave 30 million uninsured. How is this better?

Every country that has socialized medicine is crippled with the debt of trying to prop up such a system.

In Canada and the UK, one of the fastest growing segments of their economies is private health insurance and private medical clinics where people already being taxed into oblivion pay even more to provide for themselves the benefit of health care on demand.

If you want to know what kind of health care you will have under the (non) "universal" health care plan put forth by Obama, and to be run by Washington bureaucrats, simply go online and start investigating the level of health care enjoyed by veterans at veteran's hospitals in America.

It will be a glimpse of your future health care under Obama's plan.

Raising taxes has been proven time and again to depress the economy, not help it, yet that is the proposed way of paying for all these new programs, health care and others.

Obama is on a course to absolutely drive the US economy into the dirt.

I pray that the boondoggle of government run health care fails to even get off the ground.

I'm getting nauseous, so I'll stop here.

And how is your day going?!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Picture Post, Sunday July 19, 2009

Sunday again folks, and I actually have a few photos this time.

I photographed a wedding Saturday evening, and I posted one photo on my photography blog for today if y'all want to go see it.

Sometimes color can be the subject. This is a new medical complex in Melbourne, Florida with highway US1 on one side, and Crane Creek on the other. This was the first time I had been to Manatee Park on Crane Creek since the building was completed. The lovely light of the late evening sun and the dramatic colors of the building and it's reflection, not to mention the incredible greenery from all the rain we've been getting, and I end up with a photo I like. Don't care much about the subject matter, but sometimes color itself is enough to please the eye.

We had gone to the beach twice last week to watch the Space Shuttle lift off, only to have it "scrubbed" each of those two days. But, while at the beach in the gorgeous late afternoon sunlight, might as well take some beach photos, right? This worn foot path to the beach just looked so inviting to me. Plus you can see a glimpse of the beautiful blue-green Atlantic out there teasing you to come on out.

Photographing primarily to get the amazing sky, the proper exposure for the sky left the sea oats too dark to really see. So, I popped up the on-board flash and ended up really liking this shot. It's obviously a flash photo, but all that green detail is very pleasing, at least to my eye.

When the clouds are placed such that the beams of light come out in such a dramatic fashion, I've learned just to point and shoot. By the time I can get to a more esthetically pleasing place (with no power/telephone lines in the photo) the chance is invariably gone. In the past I've tried to photoshop out lines like this, but it is mind-numbingly tedious, even too much so for a patient person like me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shuttle Endeavour Finally Lifts Off (no photos though)

Lovely Wife and I went to the beach a couple of times to watch the latest attempt to launch the Space Shuttle, but it kept being cancelled.

Just a few minutes ago, at 6:03pm EDT, Endeavour finally was able to lift off successfully.

I'm working late, and went on top of one of the buildings and watched it.

Sadly, I cannot bring in a camera of any type where I work, so I just had to eyeball it. My camera is in my car, but I couldn't get off early enough to go to a better location and try to take photos.

I'm about 30-40 miles south of Kennedy Space Center, and it took the rumble (sound) of the boosters over 4 minutes to reach me as I watched. But that gives you an indication of the noise when I can hear it 30 - 40 miles away.

If Congress will fund it to the end, the US Space Shuttle program that is, there are only 7 shuttle missions left planned.

I would be totally surprised if they get to launch all 7 of them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Picture Post, Sunday, July 12, 2009

Still haven't been out as much as I hoped with my new camera, but I have a smattering of photos here that I liked enough to show y'all today.

Here's the obligatory beach photo for you land-locked folks. Pretty generic beach photo, but I liked two things that I saw that day: how calm the Atlantic was, this is pretty unusual for us, and also how you could see the blueish-green of the water that gave it a Caribbean feel, even though it was a bit overcast.

This one is not a great photo, but as I drove through a neighborhood in Floridana Beach, Florida that Lovely Wife and I would love to live in, I got behind this couple out for a slow ride in their golf cart. More than a few folks down here own one and use it like this, for slow afternoon or morning rides to enjoy the weather. I loved the lab sitting there on the cart with them.

This neighborhood is so quiet, that we roll down our windows when we creep through here and all we can hear are bugs and the light hiss of our car tires. It smells great too, a combination of the ocean and the flowers in folk's yards. The photo looks bad because I took it through my windshield as I drove up behind them. I just held up the camera without looking through it and fired off about 6 shots, and in this one, the cart was centered in the frame. I had to crank up the contrast to counteract the glare of the windshield. The dog looked just like Big Sis's lab Baxter riding there.

For many years, this house in the right part of the photo was a run-down old house just across A1A from the beach. The property was worth way more than the house, but it appears someone finally plunked down the money and bought the place AND refurbished it completely. In fact, they did the same with the home right next to it, out the the picture to the right, and opened the two homes as a bed and breakfast. So whoever stays there is about a 45 second walk from the beach in the first photo above. They did a beautiful job on the homes too. The bed and breakfast is named "Port D'Hiver" however you would pronounce that.

In the distance to the left is actually one big building that had stood empty since the two hurricanes, Frances and Jeanne that nailed us in 2004. This was a popular restaurant/bar, but it looks almost finished and ready to become whatever it will be. Nice colors though.

Friday, July 10, 2009


We've been getting lots and lots of rain for the past couple of months.

We had been in drought conditions up until May, but boy howdy, we've way more than made up for our lack of rain.

It has rained almost every day for two months, at least a little bit, with lots of fast-moving thunderstorms all across Central Florida.

It's hard to believe how much lightning we get here.

Having lived in Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia, I've seen some impressive storms, but the lightning here is completely bizarre.

When the weather is on, and they are giving you the moving radar image across this part of Florida, they put a lightning strike counter up in the corner of the TV screen and it rolls up in number as fast as the price of you filling up your car with high octane gasoline.

On Monday evening, a man on vacation with his family was struck by lightning and killed on the beach shown in the photo of my previous post. The lifeguard had told everyone to clear the beach just in case, but this family didn't and the father was killed.

But, on a happier note, everything that was brown, sickly green, and crunchy three months ago is green, lush, and blooming.

Even the grass in the area is almost unreal in it's green intensity.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Beach Yesterday (Sunday) Evening

It's a sad reality that although I live 20 minutes from the beach (on a heavy traffic day) I can sometimes go months without seeing the ocean.

Life tends to intervene, even to someone like me who LOVES the beach.

Yesterday was the first time in several months that I had been to the beach.

It's usually pretty wavy here, but yesterday the Atlantic was more like the Gulf of Mexico.

Smooth and beautiful.

I sat and just listened for a long while, lulled into peace by the gentle lapping of the water.

I love the salty smell too.

As always, I promised myself that I wouldn't go that long ever again without going out there.

It's too beautiful an experience to take for granted. Who knows where I'll be in a year?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday July 5, 2009

I wouldn't really call this a picture post like in the past, because I only have one photo.

I put a guitar next to my recliner so that I am reminded to pick it up and play some every day.

I long ago realized I'll never be Eddie Van Halen, but I do like to play, and practice is the only way to get better.

At a certain time of each morning the light comes through one of our skylights to "my" area.

The new camera body I bought, a Nikon D90, has a CMOS technology image sensor, and they just flat-out handle low light situations with much better ability than the CCD image sensors in 99 percent of digital cameras, including my older Nikon D70s.

This photo was taken at the equivalent of having used a film rated at ISO 1600. Any film made that has that rating would be very grainy.

To get this kind of smooth image quality in a digital camera set at ISO 1600 is miraculous to me.

I'm definitely going to be loving this camera.

Once I digest the humongous user manual for this thing, I'll get out and take some photos and start posting again like I've been wanting to.

God bless you all, and have a great Sunday.

Friday, July 03, 2009

What IS That Sound?

It sounds like, like, like, a choir of ANGELS!

But no, it's just the doorbell ringing.

Who could it be?

Why it's the United Parcel Service man bringing me a box!

Whatever could it be?

Oh my, it looks exactly like a brand-spankin'-new Nikon D90 camera body!

I guess that sound REALLY WAS a choir of Angels singing.

Angels always sing when John gets a new camera.

Angels are cool like that.