Thursday, June 30, 2005

Support the Troops

The President in his address to the nation on Tuesday night asked the American People to show support for our troops.
The Department of Defense has set up a website to make it easy for you. So just head over to this website

Once you get there just click on the button that says "Here's How You Can Help".

Then pick as many ways to say thank you as you can.

You will be glad you did!

News from Back Home

According to the Wyoming Tribune/Eagle Newspaper in December 2002 then governor-elect Dave Freudenthal threatened to behead the state Treasurer, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Trent Blankenship, and the State Auditor.

Blankenship told Riverton Ranger editor Steve Peck that Freudenthal told the group, "Don't ever cross me or your head will be in your lap before you even know I've drawn my knife."

Hey Governor, you're in Wyoming, not Saudi Arabia. You can't threaten to behead someone around there without getting their dander up.

Governor, next time you feel like threatening the people you work with you might think twice about threatening to pull a knife on those folks. Do you have any idea how embarrasing it would be to have your family read in the Tribune/Eagle the next day - "Governor killed when he pulls a knife during a gun fight"?

Pay close attention to your surroundings Governor. Next time you might try threatening to lasso them and drag them down Capitol Ave like a wandering calf.

Now, I wonder if the Jim Storey mentioned in the article is the same Jim Storey that was the assistant Principal at Central High School when I went there? If I had known he was a former Marine I might have been more careful about my behavior....

Also. I used to work for the Wyoming Tribune/Eagle. I was a shaker/counter in the press room for the Eagle, which meant I worked the 11 PM to 3 AM shift. Before that I delivered the Tribune for about 2 years. Today they only have one paper, the Tribune/Eagle.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nancy Pelosi Spews Again

I missed the Presidents speech last night. I was out on the golf course terrorizing innocent golf balls by hitting them into the water and then callously watching them drown. I don't need a ball with more distance and better spin, I need a golf ball that knows how to backstroke.

So I missed the Presidents speech, but thanks to Al Gore I can read the transcript on the internet. So I did. Then just because I'm a sick puppy who likes to go to bed feeling sad, tired and disgusted, I also read some of the Democratic rebuttal. I was right, it was sad, tired and disgusting.

True to form, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (from California) immediately used the President's speech as an opportunity to once again display to the whole nation her ignorance and her total lack of personal integrity:
"The president's frequent references to the terrorist attacks of September 11 show the weakness of his arguments," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said. "He is willing to exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq."

Congresswoman! Please, It's time to stop talking and take a deep breath your brain needs the oxygen. is reminding us that Joint Resolution 114 that was approved by Congress and the Senate in Oct 2002 contained:
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

Granted Congresswoman Pelosi did vote against this resolution. But 81 of her fellow Democratic Congressmen joined with 215 Republican Congressmen to pass this resolution 296 - 113.

The next day this same resolution passed the Senate with a vote of 77 to 23. With certain notable Democrats voting in favor of the resolution: Daschle (D-SD), Feinstein (D-CA), Kerry (D-MA), Biden (D-DE).

In case the opinion of 81 fellow Democratic Congressmen and 28 Democratic Senators is not enough for Congresswoman Pelosi then a fellow Bear Flag League Blogger is collecting more evidence that in spite of the Congresswoman's delusions - Iraq and 9-11 are both intimately connected.

One final thought Congresswoman, We are not at war with Afghanistan and Iraq. We are at war with murderous zealots who use terror as a weapon. We are fighting a Global War against Terrorism. It just so happens that so far our military is fighting that war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eastern Sierra Sunset

Last week I mentioned how much I enjoy the evening here in the desert. It topped out today at over 100 degrees. But the sun just went down a while back and it's about 89 and getting cooler.

This time I brought the camera out to the back yard to see if could get a picture of the sunset. Well I missed the actual sunset itself, but the orange sky around the mountains to the east sure is pretty.

Eastern Sierra Sunset

A nice sunset, a quiet evening sitting on the patio with my dear wife, enjoying a dish of ice-cream. You tell me I don't have to get up and go to work in the morning and it's a perfect evening.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Golf on Tuesday 6/28

Once more we ventured forth to brave the summer heat for the sake of whacking a little white ball around. Well at least we were supposed to be whacking little while balls around. I was more intent on drowning them.

It was a beautiful evening. A little hot at tee time. About 96 degrees. With the humidity level of 13% it felt like it was about 102. Not much wind to start but it picked up to about 15 mph by the time we finished.

We got waxed tonight. Well my teammates all got waxed. I beat myself. It started out ugly and just got worse from there.

Scot our A player had a good round. He shot a net 36 for nine holes. Unfortunatley his opponent had better night and Scot lost down 5 with 4 to play.

I stretched my match to 7 holes but that was mostly due to my opponent screwing up a couple holes. I played awful.

Or CD player played a bit better but lost all 3 points also.

Oh well there's always next week.

What John Kerry Wants...

The President is going to address the nation tonight. This morning The New York Times published a prebuttal from Senator John Kerry to this speach that President Bush hasn't even given yet. That's why it's a prebuttal not a rebuttal.

A long time ago in a city far, far away, I was in High School. Several times I had to stand up in front of the class and argue different topics. One person would stand up and present their side to an arguement. Then the other side would be allowed to stand up deliver a rebuttal or a counter-argument. Sometimes we were allowed a back and forth arguement/rebuttal period at the end.

I always thought that the point of this exercise was to convince the rest of the class to accept my argument as the truth and then disavow my opponents arguments. I was surprised when the teachers didn't grade us on how many students we swayed to our side of the argument. Instead they graded us on our research, documentation, presentation and our general understanding of the subject matter.

However in politics is seems that you don't have to wait for your opponents to say anything before you counter their arguments. Senator Kerry must have spent a lot of time calling the Psysic Friends Network because he is able to refute the President's statements before he even makes them.

By the way Senator, you're not being graded on how many people your arguments sway. You are being graded on the quality of your research, documentation and presentation.

But ultimately it doesn't matter. You fail on both accounts. Your arguments are just a list of the same old tired Democratic talking points and the only people who are going to believe your rantings are the and the democratic underground crowd and your fellow Democratic Senators. Those are the same people that believe that George Bush is Hitler, the United States Military has murdered millions of innocent civilians, Karl Rove has a secret remote control unit that allows him to change the ballot counts in Ohio and that making someone sit on the floor in a room with no air conditioning is torture.

So lets take a look at some of the things Senator Kerry has to say.

"The Bush administration is courting disaster with its current course - a course with no realistic strategy for reducing the risks to our soldiers and increasing the odds for success."

So Senator does the President truly have no realistic strategy or does he have one that he either hasn't bothered to share with you, or that you are just unwilling to understand or accept? We know what your strategy would be Senator - cut and run.

"Our mission in Iraq is harder because the administration ignored the advice of others"

So our mission is harder because the President chose to ignore your advice and went into Iraq in the first place, right?

"A little humility would go a long way - coupled with a strategy to succeed."

This statement is so laughable I can barely keep typing. Senator do you remember going snowboarding last winter and you had a collison with a Secret Service agent who was there to protect your life? When the media asked you about the accident you replied "I don't fall down, that SOB knocked me over." Be honest Senator, when your speach writer first wrote the word 'humility' you had to go look it up, didn't you?

We won't even talk about your ability to strategize. We all saw the Presidental Campaign you ran. If you and my 12 year old daughter ever get into a strategy game against each other, you're playing for money. That way I will only have to save enough for the other two to go to college.

"So what should the president say tonight? The first thing he should do is tell the truth to the American people."

This statement is followed up by nine paragraphs of lies and inconsistancies that Senator Kerry would like to hear come out of the Presidents mouth tonight.

Senator Kerry wants to hear the President say that
United States will insist that the Iraqis establish a truly inclusive political process and meet the deadlines for finishing the Constitution and holding elections in December."

Senator do you remember how long it took 13 states to draft and approve our Constitution? On June 1776 a committee headed by John Dickinson was formed to construct a plan of confederation. They submitted its proposals to Congress on July 12, 1776. It then took Congress 16 months to create and adopt the Articles of Confederation (November 15, 1777). The final ratification of that Constitution by all 13 states didn't happen until 1781.

That's a total of 5 years Senator, and you want to see results before December?

Senator Kerry also wants the President to announce that the
"United States will not have a permanent military presence in Iraq"

World War II, Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945. It is now June 28, 2005. Fifty years later and we still have troops in both those countries. Both counties are now allies of ours. They both have democratic governments and our military does not interfer with their political process. You are being naive to believe that we will not have a military presence in Iraq for decades to come Senator. The complete withdrawl of our military is what your detractors call a 'cut and run' policy. Something that our President is smart enough to know will spell disaster for our efforts in a Global War on Terror.

Eventually we get to what I believe is the key statement in Senator Kerry's prebuttal:
"The administration must immediately draw up a detailed plan with clear milestones and deadlines for the transfer of military and police responsibilities to Iraqis after the December elections. The plan should be shared with Congress."

I think Senator Kerry's biggest concern is that Congress doesn't know what the Presidents plan is. Which is probably a good thing. We all saw what happened in Vietnam when Congress started running that war.

Basically, Senator Kerry has issued a wish list of lies that he would like to hear the President tell the American people. Well at least most of it is lies. Senator Kerry makes one good truthful statement at the very end -
"Our troops deserve better: they deserve leadership equal to their sacrifice."

You're right Senator our troops deserve better. But it's hard to convince them that we as a nation are supporting and backing them to our fullest when you and your fellow Democrats take every opportunity to belittle, slander and castigate them.

The American people agree with you Senator, our troops do deserve leadership equal to their sacrifice. That's why we re-elected President Bush last fall.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Burning Old Glory

I've been trying to find the words to describe how I feel about the U.S. House of Representatives passing a constitutional amendment to criminalize flag burning.

I guess the most direct way to say it is tht I'm against both -flag burning and the amendment against it. There are few things in this world that will get my blood instantaneously boiling. Anyone not treating my dear wife with anything other than love and respect, anyone but me picking on my children, and seeing a bunch of pigheaded yokels burning an American flag. I guess I'm a traditionalist. I think the flag should be respected. Granted there are a lot of people out there that have no respect for the United States. But I'm not one of them. There are a lot of nitwits out there that truly hate the United States and every thing we believe in. They choose to demonstrate this hatred by burning our flag.

So if I hate seeing the flag burned so much then why would I object to a law protecting it? When you get right down to it what are these people burning. They are not burning the United States. They are burning a piece of red white and blue cloth. These protestors could stand on the White House lawn and burn flags until the ashes blocked the president's view out the second story window and it will not change any of the liberties and freedoms the citizens of the United States enjoy.

So go ahead and burn my flag it's just cloth and dye. The ideals it stands for will never burn.

Mark Steyn a columnist for the Chicago Sun Times made some very good points.

"...if someone wishes to burn a flag, he should be free to do so. In the same way, if Democrat senators want to make speeches comparing the U.S. military to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge, they should be free to do so. It's always useful to know what people really believe."

He also had this to say:

"A flag has to be worth torching. When a flag gets burned, that's not a sign of its weakness but of its strength. If you can't stand the heat of your burning flag, get out of the superpower business. It's the left that believes the state can regulate everyone into thought-compliance. The right should understand that the battle of ideas is won out in the open."

So lets nip this flag burning amendment in the bud before it goes to far. We're big enough boys that a little burning cloth doesn't scare us. Besides the enemy is much easier to keep track of if he has ashes on his fingers.

Rates of Speed

Copied from "The Motor Vehicle Law of the State of Minnesota" dated 1921:

"If the rate of speed of a motor-vehicle operated on any public highway through the closely built up business portions of any incorporated city, town or village exceeds ten miles an hour for a distance of one tenth of a mile, or if the rate of speed of any motor-vehicle operated on any public highway through the residence portion of any city, town, or village exceeds fifteen miles an hour for a distance of one tenth of a mile, or if the rate of speed of any motor-vehicle operated on any public highway outside of the closely built up business or residence portions of any incorporated city, town or village exceeds twenty five miles an hour for a distance of one-quarter of a mile, such rate of speed shall be prima facie evidence that the person operating such motor-vehicle is running at a rate of speed that is greater than is reasonable and proper. If the rate of speed of a motor-vehicle operated on any public highway in going around a corner or curve in a highway, where the operator's view of the road is obstructed exceeds six miles an hour, such rate of speed shall be prima facie evidence that the person operating such motor-vehicle is running at a rate of speed that is greater than is reasonable and proper."

Remember this the next time you are stuck on Hwys 395 or 14 behind some slowpoke who has no place to go and all day to get there.

"The Motor Vehicle Law of the State of Minnesota" dated 1921 also reminds us:

"...that when approaching an animal drawn vehicle head on if the driver of the wagon or buckboard waves his arm in the air it is the responsibility of the motor-vehicle driver to pull off to the side of the highway and turn off his engine until the wagon passes. This is to keep the animals from spooking. If you are approaching the animal drawn vehicle from the rear you are expected to wait to pass until you can do so without spooking the animals."

This guideline still has some bearing today. When approaching an Oldsmobile, Chrysler, or Cadillac that is at least 20 years old and is being driven by a hat and a pair of knuckles on the steering wheel. You should pull off to the side of the road and turn off your engine so as not to spook the driver. If you are approaching this vehicle from the rear you should find a different route to your destination because the driver is probably still following the guidelines for speed as established by the 1921 "Motor Vehicle Law of the State of Minnesota".

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bear Flag League

I just joined the Bear Flag League.

"The Bear Flag League is a consortium of Conservative bloggers who are current or former residents of the State of California. We enjoy the camaraderie of our fellow Left Coast bloggers and the spirit and struggle of being in the minority as Conservatives living awash in a sea of Liberals."

While I don't intend my Ridgecrest Blog to become a political blog, the politics just keeps creeping into it. So if you want to take a look at what some of the other Conservative California Bloggers have to say about things check out the list of blogs on the right of this page, right under the Bear Flag logo.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ridgecrest Evening

Well it's about 10 PM now. The sun set around 8:15 this evening. It was warm today but not really hot, peaked out around 100. With the sun setting the temps have dropped and right now it's a nice comfortable 78 degrees. There is more than just a little wind blowing but the corner of the patio is sheltered so I'm getting just enough breeze to cool things off.

The air smells clean right now. I'm not sure why. Often the air around here has a hot dusty smell to it.

I'm sitting out here trying out my new wireless network. I installed the network a couple weeks ago but this is the first time I've carried the laptop outside to see how it works out here. I figured I'd get a good connection , after all I can see the wireless router through the open window behind me.

I need to send an e-mail to my sister's to let them know about my Mom and Dad's breakdown. They blew a head gasket in the car in Hardin MT. Dad described Hardin as a small town of aroud 25 thousand in the middle of nowhere. Gee that sounds like Ridgecrest.

Well it's a beautiful evening. It's finally quiet around here. The littlest kids are in bed, the oldest is upstairs watching Cosby show re-runs. The sky is dark because the Moon hasn't come up yet. There is still just the slightest hint of sunlight backlighting the edges of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west.

I should probably try taking a picture to post, but the camera is inside and I'm just too darned lazy to get up and walk in there and get it. I'll try sending brain waves to my dear wife to bring me the camera.

Nope, no luck she must have her receiver off. Either that or our brainwaves messages only work when one of us wants the other one to bring home ice cream from the store.

Sorry no pictures of the beautiful desert evening for you tonight.

Wild Thing

My grandfather was a a die-hard-vote-the-straight-party-line-Democrat. When I was twelve he took me with him when he went to vote. We walked into the little booth, he pulled the lever to close the curtain then pointed out the Democratic Party lever. He said "Just pull that little lever and you're done." So he flipped the switch the pulled the lever to open the curtain. As we left I asked him who we voted for and he told me "the Democrats." He said you just do that everytime and things will work out just fine.

I've often wondered what Grandpa would think of me being a registered Republican. I used to worry that he would be very disapponted in me. But then the GOP released this video:

Wild Thing

I had convinced myself of this several years ago, but this video really drove it home.

Today's Democrats are not my Grandfather's Democrats.

Boy isn't that the truth. My grandfather would never tolerated the behavior today's leading Democrats are exhibiting on a daily basis. Grandpa was a good old-fashioned down to earth common sense kind of guy. Qualitys that todays Democrats exhibit a surprising lack of.

Raving Moonbat Alert

Once again an elected offical has stepped up to a microphone in Washington DC and proved that the people of California don't have a clue about what we are doing when we step into a voting booth on election day.

Yesterday House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had the unmitigated gaul, the overinflated sense of self importantance to ask a reporter "I assume that the war in Afghanistan is over, or is the contention that you have that it continues?".

Then a bit later she said "This isn't about the duration of the war. The war in Afghanistan is over."

I don't know how Nancy Pelosi can call herself a Congresswoman, an elected representative of the people of California, and not understand that we, the United States of America, are fighting a global war against terrorism. She obviously doesn't undersand that Afghanistan and Iraq are part of that war.

Ms. Pelosi it's time that you grow a spine, develop a proper sense of morals, and do the right thing for just once in your life. Sit Down! Shut Up! Resign your seat in Congress! and for God's sake, please stop letting them show your face on TV, you're scaring my children.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Cosmos 1 - Solar Sail Missing

The Planetary Society's launch of a solar sail spaceship via a Russian Volna rocket has gone missing.

The Russian space agency (RKA) has made a tentative conclusion that the Volna rocket carrying Cosmos 1 failed during the firing of the first stage.

Either that or one of the ultra-secret space based weapons that George Bush had stashed on board misfired and destroyed the whole thing.

Opps, I probably wasn't suppossed to mention those......

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

For My Next Trick.....

This afternoon Slimeball Senator Dick Durbin was once again speaking before the senate. He had this to say:

Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line. To them, I extend my heartfelt apologies. There's usually a quote from Abraham Lincoln that you can turn to in moments like this. Maybe this is the right one. Lincoln said, if the end brings me out right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten thousand angels swearing I was right wouldn't make any difference. In the end, I don't want anything in my public career to detract from my love for this country, my respect for those who serve it, and this great Senate. I offer my apologies to those who were offended by my words. I promise you that I will continue to speak out on the issues that I think are important to the people of Illinois, and to the nation. Mr. President, I yield the floor.

In an earlier post I implied that Senator Durbin was a wolf in sheep's clothing - an unAmerican Sleezeball who has been disguising himself as a United States Senator. I made this accusation based on his comparison of Americans to the Nazis, the Soviet Gulags or Pol Pot. Well the above statement by Senator Durbin was intended to pacify the horde of Americans who objected to his slandering of us citizens and our men and women of the military.

If you read the above statement closely you will see that the Senator does not apologize for comparing United States citzens to despotic regimes. He does not retract his comparison. He only apologizes for offending us with his words. He does not retract or regret those words. In fact he promises to continue to speak out on issues that he thinks are important.

So quicker than the eye can follow Senator Durbin has worked a magical miracle. He has changed himself from a wolf into a weasel.

Golf on Tuesday 6/21

Well tonight was our first night trying to defend or first place position. We golfed OK but failed to defend our spot. As a team we went 4-2. However one of the teams that was 0.5 points behind us in the standings went 5-1. So we're back in second place 0.5 points back. But that's not a problem. Let the other team take the heat of being in first place. We'll sit here in second and concentrate of taking that spot away from them is about 5 weeks. We hope....

Did you ever seen a pro golfer on TV duff a bunker shot so it stays in the bunker. Then they get pissed off and slap the sand with their wedges costing them a two stroke penalty for grounding their club in the bunker. I always wondered what goes through that idiot's mind to make them do such a dumb thing. Well now I can tell you. At the moment you hit the sand you aren't thinking, you're just pissed off because you blew a pretty easy shot. Then microseconds after doing this dumb thing you are thinking "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!...."

Then to make matters worse you have to hit again out of the bunker, finish the hole and then fess up to your opponents and partner about what an idiot you are.

To all the golf pros out there who I have called 'stupid' before when you did this, I'm sorry.

By the way did any of you see that beautiful full moon this evening? When it came up around 8:30 it was bright orange.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Do you remember the old Chuck Jones cartoons of the Sam, the sheepdog, guarding the sheep and Ralph, the wolf, who tries to disguise himself as a sheep and sneak into the herd to steal sheep? Ralph usually manages to sneak into the herd but then his disguise will slip, or fall off and he will be revealed as the wolf. Then Sam tosses him out of the herd.

This last week we have seen a true life version of that old cartoon playing out in Washington DC.

The role of Ralph the wolf is being played by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. We didn't get to see the beginning of the story where Dick Durbin pulled to wool over the eyes of the voters in Illinois and convinced them that he was the kind of man that belonged in the U.S. Senate. At this point it would be easy to lambast the people of Illinois for voting for this wolf. But I can't do that. Because I live in California and we keep electing Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein to the Senate.

But back to our cartoon. Usually in the cartoons Ralph the Wolf's sheep costume will slip and reveal the wolf beneath. After 9 years in the Senate, hiding under his sheep's clothing Senator Dick Durbin didn't let his disguise slip. He stood up in front of the whole herd and threw off his sheepskin and yelled to world "I'm a commie pinko that hates America, loves terrorists, and will do or say whatever it takes to assist them in their cause." err, he said

"If I read this to you, and didn't tell you that it was an FBI agent, describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have happened by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime, Pol Pot or others, that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that's not the case. This was the action of Americans in treatment of their own prisoners."

Twice in one paragraph this slimeball Senator directly compares the behavior of Americans to the Nazis, the Soviet Gulags and Pol Pot.

There is a ton of opinions flying wildly around the blogoshpere right now. Mostly from conservatives who are fuming that 'Ralph the wolf' Durbin would compare the behavior of our military to such repressive and evil regimes. But I feel a little differently. Look closely at the above quote. Senator Durbin is not comparing our military to the Nazis or the soviet gulags, he is comparing Americans to the Nazis and the Soviet gulags.

Senator Durbin thinks that I, my dear wife and my three adorable children, my neighbors, coworkers, and every other man, woman and child in this country is an evil, corrupt, despicable excuse for a human beings.

I not too surprised at hearing a democratic senator accusing our military of being repressive and evil. That is the democratic party line. They have felt that way since the 60's and the Vietnam conflict. The democrats are the anti-military party.

What makes me feel angry, sick, disgusted and ashamed is hearing an elected Senator compare my family and my fellow Americans to the Nazi regime who exterminated about 9 million innocents, and the Soviet gulags who eliminated about 2.7 million, and Pol Pot who killed about 1.7 million people.

I am not alone in feeling this way. There are a lot of Sam the Sheepdogs out there who are coming for you Senator Durbin.

Here's a short list so you can start to watch out for them:

Michelle Malkin
The American Spectator
Hugh Hewitt

This is just the leading edge of the sheepdog tidal wave that is hopefully heading your way.

Senator, your disguise as a loyal American is gone. Later when you are sitting outside the flock wondering how all this happened to a nice guy like you, don't forget - your disguise didn't get caught on a branch, nor did an unravelng thread expose your true nature. You grabbed your disguise and threw it to the floor then you stomped on it and shouted to the world I hate Americans!. So don't be too surprised to find out that most of America feels the same way about you.

One final thought. There are a lot of bloggers out there condemining Senator Durbin for his anti-American speach. The White House and the GOP have also condemned him for this. But where are the rest of the Democrats? Senators Boxer and Feinstein are you listening? Are you going to sit by while this colleague of yours slanders you and your constituants or will you display a little backbone and join the sheepdogs in decrying his treasonous act. Or do you agree with him?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

COMO Golf Day 2

Today was the second round of the COMO golf tournement. I was swinging my clubs much better than yesterday. Not great yet, but much more improved. I had weakened the my right hand grip recently and didn't even know it. My "A" player from yesterday pinted it out to me near the end of yesterday's round. So I got my hand more on top of the club today and I was hitting a bit straighter and getting the ball into the air a bit better.

I had three new teammates today. We started ot on the 12th hole and started kind of slow. We made parr on the first three holes. Then the birdies started. We made birdies on the 6 holes.

For the day we were 10 under par. Combining that with the 2.1 strokes handicap we were getting we ended up with a 59.9 for the day which was good enough to finish in second place. We were 0.1 points out of first.

So I was on the third place team yesterday, the second place team today and I won the closest to the hole contest on the 8th when I dropped an 8 iron shot into 5 feet 5 inches from the pin.

I had a good weekend and am looking forward to next year already.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

COMO Golf Tournement - day 1

I played in the first day of the COMO golf tournement today. The COMO is one of two tournements that I intended to play this year. I got pretty fed up with all the BS surrounding tournements the last few years. The men running the tournements would seldom play the format they advertised. If they did play the format adveritised the would play lots of little games with the hanidcap system that would bias the tournement in favor of the low handicap golfers. Their favorite game was to have the tournement played to only 90% of a players index. As a 26 handicap golfer with a 24.6 index that would give me 22.14 strokes of handicap for the tournement. So I would be giving up 3.86 strokes while a golfer with a 1.7 index and a 2 handicap would be playing to a 1.53 hanidicap for the tournement, a loss of only .47 strokes.

Well I got tired of the unannounced changes in the conditions of play and the handicap games so I swore last year that I wouldn't play in any of the tournements this year except for the COMO and maybe the club championship.

The COMO is a 2 day four man scramble tournement. They blind draw four man teams each day. So I get to play with six different people during the weekend. They usually pay out 7 places each day and closest to the hole prizes on all par threes.

The top 10 teams on the first day get to play in a horse race at the end of the day.

Well my team finished in third today. But not thanks to much that I did. I was really swinging poorly. My putting was pretty good. But everything else sucked.

We were eliminated from the horse race on the second hole. Our C player hit our approach shot on two to just short of the right hand green side bunker. The flag was located just 8 paces over the bunker. So I had to chip over the bunker and stop the ball near the flag without much green to work with.

I told my team that if I try to keep the ball close to the pin there is probably a 90% chance that I will drop the ball into the bunker. So I gave them the choice. Do they want the ball in the bunker or long past the pin. They took long past the pin. I hit the ball well and it landed right near the pin, but then released forward and rolled to the back side of the green.

I was feeling pretty bad that my bad shot had knocked us out of the horserace. But then it occured to me that our C player put me into the position to have to make that shot. Then our A player left the next shot, his putt, 5 feet short of the hole, and our B player missed the putt. Then the B player lost the chip off that we needed to win to continue.

So I guess over all our elimination from the horse race was a team effort.

More golf tomorrow with 3 new team mates. I just hope I can contribute more than a couple long putts and some good reads on the shorter ones.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Attitudes on Teachers

OK, I just made two post about teachers and the California Teacher's Association. I want to clarify something about my beliefs on teachers. They are for the most part wonderful people who have an often thankless and underpaid job.

Most teachers do what they do because they love it. I truly appreciate and respect hem for that. Anything I may say from this point on is directed not at teachers but at the administrations they work for. I'm 100% in favor os supporting, defending, and helping teachers.

However I have some real problems with the structure and organization that most of them work for. I personally think that the worst part of the public school system in this country is the teacher's union. I believe that the last thing the Teachers Union is interested in is educating our children. The only thing they care about is protecting their jobs, swelling their sphere of influence and making sure that they stay in control of the education monopoly that they currently hold.

That is why I support private schools and some sort of voucher system. I think a properly implemented voucher system would benefit the children to be educated and the teachers doing the educating.

You can't fix what is wrong with today public educational system by focusing on the teachers, the students, or grades. They are in most cases not the problem. The problem is with the administrators and the bureaucracy that is soaking up a major portion of the money that should be going to the teachers.

The private school that my children attend has an expense level that is about half of what the State of California pays per year per pupil for kids in the public schools. Yet every grade in the school tests, on average, a full grade point above the national standard. That is what good teachers who are unencumbered with an overbearing administration are capable of accomplishing

So when the teacher's unions start screaming that they need more money to fix what is wrong with the schools what they are really saying is there will be problems but if you give us more money we'll think of something or someone else to blame them on next year.

I you really want to fix the educational system in this country you need to do four things:

  • disband the National Teacher's Unions
  • Institute a voucher system to allow all parents to pick and chose where their kids go to school.
  • Take an organization chart of each state's school system, with the class room teachers at the bottom level and the principals at the next level up. Then go up one level in the organization and from there up, fire every other person.
  • Institute a salary system that mandates that no administrator may earn more than 85% of the salary of the highest paid classroom teacher who works for them.

The teachers are the key to our education system it's time we made them the focus of our time, efforts, and education dollars. Not the administrators who just keep messing it all up.

Just my opinions.....

Teachers Ripping Off Teachers

The California Teachers Association has decided to increase thier annual dues by $60 per year per teacher

to protect minimum funding to our public schools and to ensure the concerns of teachers, students and parents are heard if the governor calls a wasteful special election.

In other words they need more money for more ad champaigns to tell the people of the state of California that a 2.9 billion dollar increase in school spending next year is a budget cut.

Gee if the CTA would go after thier own administrators like Supervisor Baker who I just mentioned in my last post they could stop soaking money from their members that they claim are so underpaid. Supervisor Baker's salary increase and bonus alone would pay the dues increase for over 5000 teachers.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Superintendent Ralph Baker of the Victor Elementary School District in Victorville CA has a new contract worth 1.2 million dollars. He is scheduled to get $250,000 a year for four years and a $200,000 signing bonus.

In the Victorville Daily Press he attempts to defend this new contract:

telling teachers at a special meeting on Tuesday that his salary will not hurt the district.

"I didn't take a penny from anybody,"

Baker opened up the meeting at a district building on Nisqualli and Mariposa roads by pointing out that his teachers were the highest paid, his district has the most distinguished and Blue Ribbon schools, and that he deserved his four-year contract. He added that his $1.2 million wouldn't have a negative impact on the district, the teachers or the classrooms.

Superintendent Baker is right on one account he hasn't taken a penny from anyone. However he has is getting ready to take 120,000,000 of them from the taxpayers of his county and state.

Before this new contract Superintendent Baker was earning $140,000 per year, his new contract gives him signing bonus that is 142% of his old annual salary. Then he gets a one time annual salary increase of 78% that is good for the next four years.

Then his crook has the balls to stand up in front of the teachers who work for him and tell them that he deserves this salary.

We are being blasted daily by television ads paid for by the California Teacher's Union telling us about how Governor Schwarzenegger is trying to destroy our schools by cutting thier budgets, while people in thier own ranks and running thier own schools are pulling crap like this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Golf on Tuesday 6/14

Wow, tonight was hot! Not the golf, the temperature. At tee time it was 101 and the wind was blowing about 35 mph.

We started the night tied for third just a point and a half out of first place. I was golfing ugly tonight, but scrambling my ass off.

I only hit two drives all night over 150 yards and one of them was on the 217 yard par three eleventh hole. After 5 holes I found myself one down with 4 to play. We had finished 10 and I had 11 - 14 ahead of me. In most people's opinion 11, 12 and 14 are three of the tougher holes on the golf course. 13 is supposed to be pretty easy. Over those four holes I shot 2 over par scratch. Using my USGA handicap and in a stroke play event I would have been 4 under par net for those four holes.

I had a couple good chips and a couple good putts. Everything else was ugly, but worked. I won my match 1 up. I sure had a couple lucky breaks go my way. My approach shot on 12 needed to go over a tree and over the water. I forgot about the tail wind and misclubbed. I should have hit an 8, I hit a 7. But I also hit the top of the tree and it slowed the ball down enough that I ended up on the back fringe of the green in two. A long lag putt and short tap-in and I had my second par in two holes.

The team went 5-1 on the night and will be in first place next week by half a point.

This is the first time we have been in first place since the last week of the season in 1999. Our first year in the league, when we were clueless newbies who didn't have a clue about how tough this match play league is, so naturally we won that year.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

This Week in History - 12 June

In 1811 an Ensign in Her Majesty's Royal Navy, Mr. Cedric Mortenay, approached the Admiralty with an ingenious plan. He proposed to build a ship that could hide from an enemy by submerging beneath the sea for short periods of time. The vessel would be built from oak like most of the existing British vessels. However there would be a few major differences. The hatches would all seal water tight. A large area of the hold would be taken over with a series of holding tanks into which water could be pumped to allow the ship to submerge. When the vessel wanted to resurface the water would be pumped out of the holding tanks which would increase the buoyancy of the vessel allowing it to rise. The pumps would be hand operated by the crew. The submerged time would be limited to one hour, the estimated amount of time that the air on board would support the crew.

The Admiralty was very impressed with the idea and authorized young Mortenay to immediately begin working on his vessel. The work authorization carried with it a promotion to lieutenant.

One year to the day that construction had begun the H.M.S. Poseidon slipped free from it's moorings and drifted into the center of London Harbor. With most of the British Admiralty in attendance as well as members of the royal family, the men of the H.M.S. Poseidon received the order to submerge.

The plans called for the ship to simply submerge from sight, wait one hour and resurface. Maneuvering under the water was not expected nor planned for.

As the hull slipped beneath the surface the viewing audience was breathless with anticipation. But the excitement was soon replaced with shouts of anger and outrage. The vessel had worked perfectly, the hull had slipped quietly beneath the surface and disappeared from sight. However the masts with all sails rigged and flags flying was still completely visible to all except the blind.

As the vessel resurfaced an hour later the a red-faced admiral was waiting on the deck when the hatches open and the young lieutenant emerged. Ripping the officers epaulets from the young mans shoulders the admiral began a long tirade about the waste of time manpower and funds. Lt. Mortenay managed to calm the admiral and convinced him that this was a minor setback. They could increase the size of the holding tanks and therefore take on more water and allow the entire vessel, masts and all to submerge.

After much debate they decided that it would be a shame to waste the funds already expended and authorized the Lieutenant a six month extension to refit the vessel with larger tanks.

Five months later the H.M.S. Poseidon once again sailed into the center of London Harbor. Received the order to submerge. And promptly disappeared from sight, hull, masts, sails, and flags.

Unfortunately the increased depth to which the hull was subjected, created too much pressure around the cannon ports and the integrity of the hull was violated and she began to take on water. As Lt. Mortenay ordered all hands to the pumps the outgoing currents of the harbor caught the sails and the began moving the vessel into the open waters of the English Channel.

The H.M.S. Poseidon, Lt. Mortenay and his crew of 40 sailors were never recovered. However his family received a posthumous award of Her Majesties Award of Honor because their son had indeed designed, built, and sailed the sneakiest ship in the fleet.

A Saturday Night Visit with Dr. Christensen

Saturday was certainly exciting. It didn't start out that way. It wasn't planned that way. But as the day rolled on it just gathered steam.

We started out kind of slow. Chaos was having a party that afternoon. She had invited 6 or 7 friends over for a "Schools Out For Summer" party. Things got going around 1 PM with a backyard full of middle school girls splashing, giggling, sliding, giggling, laughing, giggling, running, giggling, eating and giggling. Did I mention that they seem to giggle a lot? Well this went on most of the afternoon, ending with pizza and giggling for dinner.

The girls all seemed to have fun. At least that's what they told their parents while we were listening. So if they didn't at least they were kind enough to hide it from us.

So my dear wife and I have cleaned up around the house and are just sitting down to relax for the evening. It's about 7 PM and the kids are outside riding their bikes. Suddenly Chaos comes running into the house with her hand over her mouth and a shocked/pained/worried/scared expression on her face. Yes - each quadrant of her face was showing a different expression.

My dear wife and I give each other that "Oh what now look" and turn to see what is wrong. With her hand in front of her mouth Chaos blurts out "I broke my tooth on Destruction's handlebars."

Well I'm opening my mouth to ask "Why were you trying to eat Destruction's handlebars?", when she drops her hand and we see that one of her upper front teeth is half gone. The tooth just ended, in a nice neat straight line right across the face of the tooth. Only problem is it's now only half as long as the one next to it.

My dear wife and both leap to our feet, She rushes forward to comfort her baby, I manage to swallow my smart-ass question and instead ask, do you have the missing piece.

Chaos opens her other hand to show us a pretty good chunk of tooth lying there.

So while my dear wife comforts our oldest child I pace back and forth for a few seconds assessing alternatives. It's 7:15 PM on a Saturday. None of the dental offices in town are going to be open. The emergency room at the hospital is not an option; they don't have a dentist on staff. So quickly several other options run through my brain: Band-Aid - probably won't stick, Tourniquet - around what? besides she isn't bleeding, liquor - well at least none for the kid, spackle - maybe, oh, better scratch that also, five- minute epoxy - nope, I ran out of that, duct tape - might look funny, superglue - probably not going to get away with that while my dear wife is watching. So, finally running out of reasonable ideas, I get desperate and try something silly.

I grab the phone book and the phone and call a member of our church who is also a Dentist. I apologized for bothering him at home, but I was stumped for ideas. I explained the emergency and asked what I should do? Secretly I was hoping he would ask if I had any superglue around, but figured with my luck he would recommend five-minute epoxy instead.

Well this man, bless his plaque scratching, tooth mending heart, recommends that we meet him at his office in 35 minutes.

So Chaos had about 20 minutes of loving and comfort from Mom then we headed over to Dentist's office. He gets Chaos settled into the chair and does some dentist stuff. Finally he decided that he could just bond the broken piece back into place. So he did. Yep, I was right, it was five-minute epoxy and not superglue. It was pretty fascinating to watch. Since he didn't have a dental assistant I got to sit in her chair and watch. Seeing what goes on in your mouth looks a lot different from straight on, than it does looking at the reflection of what the dentist is doing in his glasses.

Well Chaos wasn't as interested in the whole process as I was. She was pretty scared. But once she realized that the Novocain injection wasn't going to hurt any worse than it did, and once she got numb she was OK. Well at least until I asked her if she wanted her tooth replaced with a silver or gold one.

So we got her fixed up and back into her mommy's loving arms. Dr. Christensen went far and above what I hoped for when I called him. I went looking for some suggestions and got a solution to my problem. Thank you, Dr. Dale.

So if you are ever in Ridgecrest and decide to bite a bicycle handlebar at 7:00 PM on a Saturday I know a guy who can fix you up. Oh, he's also a pretty good dentist during regular work hours also, and he'd much rather see you then.

Now all we have to do is figure out how Chaos and Destruction managed to get his handlebar slamming into her mouth while they were each riding their own bikes.

I figure it must have really been an accident and not one of them doing something that they weren't supposed to do, because Noise hasn't tried to tattle on either one of them yet.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Microsoft Update Update

Here's an update on my previous post about trying to Update my Microsoft Windows 2000 Operating System.

I'm not feeling quite so homocidial now. I had four hours of sleep and this morning to do some research and ask around to see if anyone else has had this problem.

Well I got it solved. When I installed all the updates and restarted the machine, it booted up in the previously never used administrator account. So that's why none of my settings or bookmarks and most of the applications weren't showing up.

I changed the default bootup account back to my normal account and everything showed back up just fine.

Gee I didn't even know that I had an administrator account on that machine. I should have known it, but last night when it was late, I was tired and everything was going to hell in a handbasket I just didn't think about it.

Now this doesn't mean the Microsoft is off the hook. Those upgrades still did some thing screwy to my system. I don't like it when changes are made that I'm not aware of. I like my system configured the way I set it up. So anytime my operating system starts thinking that it knows how I like things better than I know how I like things I get vewy vewy angry. But at least I've calmed down enough that if a Microsoft programmer ran my doorbell right now I probably wouldn't shoot him right away. I'd eventually still shoot him, but at least now I'd be willing to let him talk for a few seconds first.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Screwed Again by Microsoft

Well in a fit of insanity, stupidity, or just plain forgetfullness I went ahead tonight and ran autoupdate for my Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system. It's been over a year since I've done this and I was way behind on "Required Security Updates".

Well I have all my updates install now. My system is secure. It is also practically useless. By installing these updates Microsoft apparently reinstall my registry. I lost all configurations in every non-Microsoft program on my PC.

It looks like all my data is still here. But I have to now go through every program on my computer and reconfigure it to work the way I want it to.

To start with everything that was sitting on my desktop is gone. The files are still in the desktop folder, they just don't show up on the desktop anymore. So I had to move them all to another directory then back onto the desktop.

When I open my Firefox browser it opened up like a brand new program. My bookmarks, settings, everything was gone. I had to go find my bookmarks file and reattach it to the program.

I opened up Thunderbird and it also was blank. It started out asking me if I wanted to set up an e-mail account. It looks like all my mail accounts are still on the hard drive I just need to figure out how to get thunderbird to recognize them again.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I will need to essentially rebuild my system from the ground up.

So I only have two questions - If I installed these security updates to prevent my system from getting hacked, and Microsoft essentially hacked my system, wiping out everything I use. What's the difference between them and a hacker. Either way, I'm looking at probably 40 to 50 hours of work to recover from my decision to make my computer safer.

Second Question? If I was using Internet Explorer and Outlook would this have happened? Probably not.

This is just one more reason why I think Microsoft is the most criminally dishonest company in business today. They are starting to make the oil companies look honest.

The Peanut Picker Speaks

Former President Jimmy Carter has called for the United States to shutdown the Guantanamo Bay prison.

"The U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation ... because of reports concerning abuses of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo,"

Apparently ex-president Carter is more concerned about being embarrassed over alleged reports and rumors than he is over any actual threat to the lives and well being of American Citizens.

What does former President Carter expect us to do with the detainees at Guantanamo? He doesn't say, but if we shut down Guantanamo then we really only have two choices - let them go, or move them to facilites on the US mainland. Neither are choices I would back or recommend.

So how about an opinion from one of those U.S. Citizens whose reputation he is so concerned about:

"I am concerned that the U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation ... because of reports concerning ex-president Carter siding with our enemies in the Global War on Terror."

or maybe this one:

"I am concerned that the U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation ... because of we are constantly being reminded that we were once stupid and naive enough to elect this deluded peanut picker to be our president."

or finally:

"What part of Global War on Terror do you not understand? These are our enemies you are championing. These are people that will do or say anything for a chance to undermine the resolve and strength of the United States of America. To see a man who was once known as the leader of the free world working to destroy the country he once led is sickening."

But then those are just one common everyday American's opinions, and what do I know, I'm not as smart as a peanut farmer.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

On This Week in History - 5 June

After extensive research and examination it has become apparent that absolutely nothing of importance happened during this week in all of history.

I have found some references to an incident in 1943 involving a one week temporary truce between a US Aircraft Carrier, a German U-Boat, and a Japanese Destroyer near an Island in the South Pacific that was occupied by nothing but female headhunters.

But there doesn't seem to be much of a story there.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Getting wet in the backyard

This afternoon we had an end of the school year party for the twins and several of their classmates. We had two girls and 3 boys come over. It was a nice manageable size group.

We set up the water slide, an inflatable pool, a slip-n-slide and the zip line trolley in the back yard.

The kids had fun. They were sliding and splashing in the pool when I pulled out the squirt guns. It was a fun water fight. Except that I was outnumbered 7 to 1. Good thing I had the best squirt gun.

The kids played for several hours then I grilled some burgers, hotdogs and sausages. The kids all seemed to have fun. My two feel asleep rught after they all left. I'm tired and sore enough that I guess I had fun too.

Now we just have to do it all again on saturday with the oldest kid's friends. I may not start a water fight with that crew. I don't think I can pick them up and toss them into the pool as easily as I could the 8 year olds.