Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Today was also my oldest daughters first chance to go shooting. It was a day of firsts for her. She is walking without her case/boot thing that she was worn for the last four weeks recovering from a bad ankle sprain. She passed her written test this afternoon and got her drivers permit. She got to go shooting for the first time.
OK, its not completely her first time. She has shot her brother's BB gun and his soft pellet pistol. But this was her first time with something that was gun powder propelled.
We started her out with the Browning Buckmark. She handled it OK. After a few mags of 22LR we moved her up to the 9 mm. She had a little difficulty maintaining a solid enough platform for the weapon and it kept jamming on her. When she was able to maintain a good solid base she did OK. She was able to bang the metal targets out around 60 feet about half the time with both weapons. She wasn't too amuzed when the 9mm ejected one piece of brass and it popped her in the nose. She did fire one mag through my new 45. But didn't really enjoy that. Then I created a monster.
Next I hauled out my old Winchester 250 22LR lever action rifle. She took to that like a duck to water. Her only problem was the first time I let her load it. She didn't lock down the inner tube when she was finished. So the first time she shot it, the tube shot out the front of the weapon and lay there on the ground.
After learning how to lock down the magazine tube, she did great. She started sitting down shortly after we got there because her ankle was hurting her. But once she discovered how much more stable she was that way, she turned into a plinking monster. After beating up all the knock down targets on the pistol range she moved over to the rifle range to shoot at the 100 yard target there. When I checked up on her after a while she was shooting at some metal silhouette targets at 200 yds and hitting them about a third of the time.
I see now that I should have never waited this long to take her shooting. She had a blast. Next time she wants me to take the 30-30 and the .45-70 so she can give those a try. And of course the 250 again. I can see it coming already. I think I may have lost my 250 today. But I suppose that is OK. It was the first gun my parents bought for me when I turned twelve. I suppose it would be fitting to pass it down to my first born. Besides that would give me a good excuse to go get myself a new 22. Hey! I'm liking this idea more and more. I especially like that my daughter decided that her favorite weapon to shoot is the most affordable to shoot gun we own.
Oh, my son loved my new 45. The first time he shot it it really startled him. He was getting pretty comfortable with the 9mm so he wasn't ready for the recoil from the 45. But he adjusted quickly. I think I have created a recoil monster. He just doesn't get a thrill from plinking any more. He needs the big bang and the thump to get himself charged up. But unfortunately for him he is going to have to do a lot of plinking. I love shooting the larger calibers also, but the 22s are a lot cheaper to shoot.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Right up front I want to say that I know this is a drop in the bucket compared to the state wide problem. But according ABC News at KGO-TV in San Francisco our new lawmakers all received new cars this week. Not just new cars, but they also get gas and maintenance allowances.
While the state is wallowing in a $28 billion deficit over the next 18 months, newly-elected lawmakers got new cars. From $32,000 hybrids to $46,000 Cadillacs, their new rides will cost taxpayers an estimated $1.3 million.
Even more irritating that then idea of these overpaid clowns getting free cars and gas and maintenance was reading the comments that were attached to the online article quoted above:
"Add 50 cents tax on gasoline which will ensure that Californians not return to gas guzzlers."
"I start to think that taxes can be used to moderate Americans' irresponsible usage of gasoline."
"if we add 50 cents tax on gasoline, then oil prices will be pushed down further as we will figure out new ways to cut back our consumption."
"If we add 50 cents tax on gasoline and end up reducing gasoline consumption and push oil prices even further down.. There will probably be no more need to drill offshore for oil.. also the gasoline prices will stay the same at around $1.75 even with 50 cents added"
"I support a 50 cent tax on gasoline right now but not after gasoline prices go up past $2."
"stick 50 cents on gasoline now , hurry dont wait"
"I am so certain there is still millions of men and women who are still leaning toward buying gas guzzlers all over again because of low gasoline prices today... It is a dangerous situation that must be addressed preemptively to send a strong message to all Americans that gasoline is a very dangerous economical indicator."
"50c on Gas? I'm in"
10 comments, 8 clueless jerks all jumping up and down waving their hands in the air asking for their taxes to be raised. I especially like the clown who thinks you can add a 50 cent a gallon tax on gasoline and the price will not go up. Can you believe that we let idiots like this loose on the streets? Yet alone we let them drive, drink and vote? My God, and the liberals accuse conservatives of being stupid?
Read those comments, these idiots think that everything can be solved by raising taxes!
You want to solve the deficit problem is CA? There is one sure way to assure that we always have a balanced budget. Pass an amendment to the constitution that say if the budget is not balanced at the start of the fiscal year, then our legislature does not get paid that year. No delays, no discussion, no pay. Balance the damned budget or work for free.
Unfortunately those weasels would balance the budget by acquiescing to all the loons in the states desires to see their taxes raised.
What we really need is some honest intelligent people sitting in our legislature who will stop trying to force tax increases on their constituents via scare tactics. You know the typical stuff they do and say
"We will balance the budget by cutting education, emergency services and public infrastructure."
You know, all the things that any reasonable person knows we all want and need in the state. Why doesn't the legislature ever think about cutting some of the costs of the 800 lb gorilla that is sitting in the room.
In May of this year the LA County supervisor reported that LA county alone spends
“The total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education,” said Antonovich. “With $220 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $432 million in welfare allocations, illegal immigration continues to have a devastating impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers.”
That is just in LA County. How much is spent annually statewide to support people who are here illegally? More importantly why is the funding for their support more important than the education, the emergency services and the public infrastructure that they legal citizens who are paying their taxes want and need?
Yeah Yeah I know what comes next - "Hey you jerk, we need the illegals to do all the jobs Americans won't."
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform the cost of supporting illegals in this country far exceeds and benefit their labor provides to our economy.
So may be our legislature should stop trying to scare their electorate in approving tax increases on ourselves and start making substantial cuts in the state budget in place where it will really make a difference. We need to educate our kids, we need to have emergency services and we need to be regularly maintaining our state infrastructure. What we don't need is all the mamby pamby take care of everyone, provide for everyone, protect everyone mentality that is costing us billions every year. Maybe if the food wasn't free, the education wasn't free and the health care wasn't free all the illegals would leave CA and we could balance our budget again. After all no one gives me that stuff free because I have a job and am expected to pay for my own. So if all these illegals are contributing so much to our economy, why can't they pay for their own stuff also?
I have always owned American made cars, mostly Chrysler products. I started my driving life with a used '51 Oldsmobile. From there I worked my way through a used '67 Plymouth Fury III, a new '82 Dodge Challenger, a used '84 Chevy Impala, a new '87 Dodge Ram 50 pickup (which is waiting for my daughter to start driving), a new '97 Dodge Grand Caravan that my wife drives and I just got a new '07 Dodge Magnum.
I don't know what it is about Dodges that I like. It may be genetic, I have an old picture of my Great Grandfather sitting in his '20s era Dodge truck.
Eventually my family will have to replace the Van and the pickup. But this whole automaker bailout has me so pissed off - first at the incompetent managers in Detroit that would allow their companies to get into this position in the first place, secondly that they would reduce themselves to groveling before congress asking America to bail them out of their stupidity. Third at Congress for their blatant attempts to use this opportunity to Nationalize the Detroit auto industry.
So what can I do about this? Not much except rant and rave here for a while and this: I have bought my last Chrysler, Ford or Chevy vehicle. Detroit can go to hell for all I care. When we need to start replacing our vehicles we will replace them with a Honda or a Toyota.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
John over at John's Egocentric World has the perfect solution to that problem:
1-Bush should resign now.
2-Then Dick Cheney becomes President .
3-Then he appoints Condoleeza Rice as VP.
4-Then Cheney resigns two weeks later
Thus making Condoleeza Rice, a Republican, the first black woman President!
Then both Hillary and Barack could sit back and settle for being second place. Sure we will still be stuck with Obama and all his socialist friends for the next four years but at least all this talk about being "the first" would be over.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
"In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."
That's right. Harry Reid things we all stink. He is very relieved that the new Capital Visitor's Center has air conditioning so that he won't have to smell the common masses when they come to see their government.
Harry Reid is an arrogant condescending elitist asshat. But then as I pointed out in the first sentence - he is a democrat, so I repeat myself...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
My son has heard that story for years. Yet that has not deterred him from wanting to shoot that 45-70 also. Yesterday I gave him his shot, so to speak. We had worked him up from the 22LR to my Winchester Model 94 30-30. He wasn't too impressed with the 30-30. It kicked a lot more than he was comfortable with. But even when I told him that the 45-70 was going to kick a lot harder he was undeterred.
Here is his first two shots with the 45-70.
Don't be ragging on his shooting style. Those were the first two shots he ever tried sitting down. He still needs a lot of work on his leg positions. But me just showing him how to do it doesn't seem to work with him. He will have to try it some more and wear himself out before he will believe me that there is a better way.
In my son's defense, he did shoot the 45-70 five more times that day. He did them all standing up.
Today, his shoulder is sore and you can see the shape of the butt on is shoulder in a very faint bruise.
Also I have to be proud of him. There was a father, grandfather and three boys shooting next to us. The youngest boy (probably about 14 or 15) was fascinated by the 45-70. I offered to let him shoot it. Even with his grandfather and father urging him to try it he kept chickening out. My kid finally quit when the box of cartridges was empty.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
If you have never had fried turkey, shame on you. My dear wife told me about her Cajun relatives frying turkeys when she was a kid. We tried it about 10 years ago and have never gone back.
The time frame between the two sides of this picture is about 45 minutes.
- I am thankful for my dear wife. It makes my brain hurt trying to find the words to explain how important she is in my life. So I have to cop out and use an old cliche, I just can't imagine life without her.
- I am thankful for my three kids - Chaos, Noise and Destruction. I may have to rename them someday. I have been calling them that for years. But they are growing up and they are changing. In some ways the names still fit. But in so many more they have all moved on. Maybe its time that I do also.
- I am thankful for my job. I probably should call it a career, but seeing as I don't enjoy what I am doing these days it feels more like a job than a career. But the work is important, it pays well, and it allows me the luxury of providing a good home for those I love.
- I am thankful for my extended family. I'm not just talking about blood relatives. But also all those close friends who are family by choice.
- I am thankful for all the families who have joined the Ridgecrest Starlings Volleyball club this year. It looks like we have a great group of young athletes this year.
- I am thankful that even though I believe that our country is in for some very dark scary times ahead as we are forced to change from a free capitalist society to an oppressive socialist society that I am sharing this small community with a lot of people who think that we will get through this OK. It may be tough going, but we will at least be going through it together.
- Finally I am thankful for all the men and women serving in our armed forces. I sleep very well at night knowing that while my family and I are safe and comfortable in our homes there are some very dangerous Americans out there in the darkness, doing dangerous work to keep us free. Thank you!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My family has always been unknowns. We're not famous, we're not big shots. We spend our lives laboring in obscurity. I have been doing family genealogy research for many years now and as far back as I can track our heritage we have been farmers, shop keepers, laborers, etc. Our family tree is the epitome of lower/middle class America.
But that is not true anymore. Thanks to my first cousin, once removed, Milton Kirk Cordes, our family has finally achieved national recognition.
Yesterday, President Bush issued 14 pardons and commuted two prison sentences. One of those pardons was to Milton (Everyone in the family always called him just - Kirk).
On the latest pardon list were:
_Milton Kirk Cordes of Rapid City, S.D. Cordes was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits importation into the country of wildlife taken in violation of conservation laws.
Kirk is the son of my Grandfather's older brother John and his wife Hallie. Everyone called John - Slim. When younger I spent a lot of time at Slim and Hallie's place. That is where we did most of our antelope hunting. I don't remember much of Kirk. He was 18 years older than I was so he was seldom around. He was 6 years younger than my Dad (his first cousin) so to me he was just another grown-up.
Apparently a few years ago Kirk and some buddies were running a private hunting club in SD capitalizing on the out of state hunters who had too much money to spend, but not a place to hunt when they got to South Dakota. I don't know all the details, but apparently they weren't exactly running a completely honest operation. They got caught.
Now Kirk has finally brought out family into the national spotlight - he got a Presidential Pardon. Way to go Kirk!
Actually I'm glad for the guy. While I can't say I knew him personally, I really liked his Mom and Dad. How could I not like a lady who always made homemade creamcicles for me every time we came to visit?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Don't hold your breath waiting for it.
CNBC has this list of bailouts that our wonderful elected officials have been doling out: (numbers are in Billions of Dollars)
The first two columns are from the CNBC article. I added the third column which is how much each of us will have to pay if the cost of each bailout is spread out among all 300 million men women and children in this country.
|(TAF) Term Auction Facility||900 B||$3,000|
|Commercial Banks||99.2 B||$331|
|Investment Banks||56.7 B||$189|
|Loans to buy ABCP||76.5 B||$255|
|Bear Stearns||29.5 B||$99|
|Term Securities Lending Facility||225 B||$750|
|Swap Lines||613 B||$210|
|Money Market Investor Funding Facility||540 B||$1800|
|Commercial Paper Funding Facility||257 B||$857|
|(TARP) Treasury Asset Relief Program||700 B||$2,334|
|(FHA) Federal Housing Administration||300 B||$1,000|
|Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac||350 B||$1,167|
That's right! If the cost of these bailouts was passed around fairly among the 300 million people living in the United States they will cost every single one of us $14,282 each. Now if you take into account that a large number of people in this country pay no tax (2005 numbers indicate that 99,880,223 people paid taxes that year, so lets go with that.) Rounding off to 100 million taxpayers puts the tax burden on those of us who do pay taxes at $42,845 each.
I'm not saying that we will have to pay that. It will be a lot more than that. Remember that is just the bill for the bailouts. All the money the rest of the government needs, that you usually pay with your tax dollars will still be needed. This is over and above what you normally pay in taxes.
Again I can hear the objections already - "David you ignorant slut, the government isn't actually handing all that money to the banks. They are just saying they will guarantee loans to that amount." Anyone saying that would be right. But how many of you out there think that most of those "toxic" assets are actually going to get paid. I suspect that good old Uncle Sam is actually going to end up ponying up most of the cash he is offering. If I am right then we are right back to where we started - if you are a productive taxpaying member of our society - you are screwed!
I'll say it one more time STOP THE DAMNED BAILOUTS. I can't afford this, you can't afford this, our entire country can't afford this. Someone needs to take an elementary school math teacher to Washington and start beating Congressmen over the head with her. Maybe then they will learn how to do a little simple math and figure out that there is not enough money in our pockets to fund their stupidity.
Finally, you will notice that the Citibank bail out is not even on that list from CNBC. Add in that 300 Billion and the cost per taxpayer jumps up another $3,000 each.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I believed him, took his advice to heart and tuned out most of the rest of the class. I grabbed a nice nap each day. Payed a little attention occasionally and managed to get a B in the class. Most of the test seemed to be pretty much common sense. The stuff that wasn't so common was probably the stuff I slept through.
Regardless of all that I grew up trying to maintain a pretty basic set of personal economic principals. I don't spend more than I make. I pay my bills, then myself (savings), then if there is anything else, that can be used for play and fun. I try not to buy on credit except for large things like cars and houses. Everything else I don't buy it until I can play for it. Sure I use credit cards. But that is for convenience. I never charge anything I can't write a check to pay for in full at the end of the month, and then I do just that. I have been carrying credit cards for 26 years now and I have paid a monthly interest charge exactly 8 times. Five of them were the first five months I had my first card. When I discovered how much I hated paying that extra money I swore I wouldn't do it again. The other three times were one emergency purchase and twice that I screwed up and didn't get the check mailed in time.
This all brings me to all the bailouts that are being slung around by our elected officials in Washington DC. As a general rule I don't like it. Maybe there is some large overarching economic principals that I don't understand that make some or all of these bailouts necessary. But if we, the American taxpayers have to help these businesses out of the jams they are in I think there should be some simple rules put in place before we give them a single penny.
1. To the CEOs of these companies - If your corporation is in such bad shape financially that you need the rest of us taxpayers to bail you out, then you have obviously failed miserably as a CEO. Every member of upper management (top 3 or 4 tiers of managers including the board of directors) of any company that receives a bailout must be fired. No pension, no golden parachute, no bonuses, no recommendations. If you are this bad at your job perhaps you should try selling french fries at McDonalds. I'm sure there are plenty of good young businessmen out there that could do your job. At their worst they could probably do no worse than you did.
2. All contracts with any union that works for that company are immediately null and void. If those unions wish to continue working for that company they will have to renegotiate all contracts with the new management.
3. The idea that a company is too big to fail should be eliminated from our thinking. Any company that is too big to fail should not be too big to be broken into smaller pieces. Granted my thinking may be rather simplistic here. But would it not be better for our economy to depend on a hundred smaller companies each with a CEO who make a million dollars a year, than one huge company with a CEO who makes 100 million dollars a year. Take a lesson from the internet. Instead of one big router, the internet depends on thousands of interconnected routers. So if one of them fails the rest of them can keep working. Would this not work just as well with banks?
4. Finally before they give out even more dollar of bail out money, Congress needs to figure out that encouraging, forcing, blackmailing, or legislating banks to lend money to people who cannot afford to pay it back is what got us into this trouble in the first place. Continuing to do so will not help but will just hurry along the destruction of our great nation. Banks need to be free to determine who to lend money to on the merits of the borrowers ability to repay that loan without interference from the morons in Congress. To that end, Congress, as a whole, every single member has to stand up and say "I caused this problem and I am going to fix it." They they have to immediately change the rules to stop government meddling in the way our financial institutions do business.
That's it. Plain and simple. Maybe too simple, maybe too plain. And I doubt that any of it will ever happen. The morons in charge who think they are so much smarter than the rest of us will never see it my way. Unfortunately I only have one vote to try to change their minds by changing their jobs. And apparently a large portion of our country doesn't agree with me either because they keep right on voting these morons into office.
I have been swamped lately. I hoped to expand my volleyball club out to two teams this year. I had 8 girls last year. This year I had 29 show up for tryouts. We finally split them into three teams. A 16s team, an older 14s team and a young 13s team. The make up of these teams took about 2 weeks and personally cost me several hours of sleep each night, five lbs that I lost worrying about making the right choices, and most hearbreakingly of all, it cost me "my volleyball team". I started this club last year with the belief that a coach should start with a young team. And then when that young team grew up, and moved up in age groups, that coach should move up with them. However because of way too many concerns to try and write about here, I ended up splitting my team from last year onto all three of the teams. My team was not only split apart but I had to give up coaching two thirds of them. Worse yet, the oldest three that I had to give up were the three girls that I have been coaching for the last three years. Putting them on to a different team with a different coach felt a lot like having to give away some of my own children.
Fortunately the girls don't seem to be bothered by this at all. It doesn't seem to bother most of them that they have been split up and that I will not be their coach anymore. So I keep asking myself, if they don't care, why do I? But I do. And regardless of how often I rationalize it, and regardless of how easily my players have moved on - it still hurt to let them go.
But when all was said and done, I'm pretty sure I did the right thing for greatest number of the 29 girls who showed up for my tryouts. When everything was worked out, I am coaching the 14s team. I still have three of my players from last year on my team. It looks like a have a pretty good group of 13 and 14 year olds on the team with them. We have only had a couple practices together but this group is already far advanced over last years team. So I'm starting to get an optimistic excited feeling about this team and can't wait to start practicing with them.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I scored a 32 out of 33 on this quiz - 96.97% I missed question number 31. I blame that on sleeping through Freshman Economics in College. The prof told us on the first day that Freshman Economics boiled down to "There is no such thing as a free lunch." I believed him and started napping. Hey I still got a B.
The average results on this test are pretty bleak - Their average score for November is 77.3. In a test case of 2508 people the average score was a 49%. Lets hear it for our education system!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I have so much stuff rumbling around in my head right now that I really can't even think about the election. I have a lot of volleyball stuff going on right now.
So I will write more later. In the meantime I think you should all get used to chanting USSA, USSA, USSA. Because we have just elected the first ever openly socialist President to lead our country. Now we just have to wait and see which cliff he leads us over.
Monday, November 03, 2008
That means that you all have the responsibility to get off your butts, out of your houses and make the effort to go vote. But remember this one important thing. You are only allowed to vote once.
A while back a commenter asked my what I thought about our local measure N and the city council election.
I hate to admit it but I still have not made up my mind on measure N. I admit that the roads in this town need a lot of work. Actually I have driven on dirt roads that are smoother than some of the "paved" roads in this town. But then this is not a new phenomenon in Ridgecrest. Taxpayers have been trying to get the roads in this town for the entire 23 years that I have been living here. Even when we do managed to get a road fixed it is usually not one that needs it. So I would think that I would be willing to vote for measure N. But that is the problem.
I have never in my entire life voted for a tax increase. I'm not sure that I could ever pull that lever, fill in that bubble, punch that chad, or press that button. Voting for a tax increase flies in the face of everything I believe in politically.
I understand that we need money to fix our roads. But we have needed money to fix our roads for over 20 years. Unfortunately I am not as informed as I probably ought to be about our city budget and where we spend the money we have available to maintain and grow our city. So I can't speak to details. But I do see a lot of money go to waste in town year after year. The city is constantly trying to help bring businesses in town and we usually end up on the losing end of the financial deals. How much money did the city spend to help Matrix Motors, Front Porch Productions and countless others? Could that money have been used to maintain our streets.
Now that is my main concern here. Everyone talks about fixing our streets. My question is, why does our city not have a regular plan of maintenance for our streets. The infrastructure of a city needs to be maintained. You cannot just slap down some pavement and expect it to last a lifetime. And it is not just streets. The entire infrastucture of our city needs to be maintained - streets, sewers, water, electrical, gas, all of it needs maintenance. Since we have not been maintaining our roads, are we also neglecting the rest of the infrastructure of our city? What is next, another 1/2 percent sales tax to improve our sewers? Where does it stop?
I have heard a lot of people complaining that the city spends way too much money on the parks and recreation department that could be used for our streets. I disagree. The parks and recreation department in town is very important for the future of our community. By that I mean our children. Even more than complaining about our streets one of the longest running loudest complaints I have heard around town is that there is nothing for the kids to do. So many of our community's children seem to turn to drugs and sex as a way to entertain themselves. I can't quote figures so I don't know the facts. But from my anecdotal experience the children of Ridgecrest seem to be taking advantage of the parks and recreation department to find many things to keep themselves busy. And in my opinion that is a good thing. In my opinion, it is more important than the condition of our streets.
So I still do not know how I am going to vote on measure N tomorrow.
As for our city council. As a general rule I prefer to vote for small business owners for the city council. They are usually the citizens who have to most to gain from seeing our city prosper. However this year there seems to be a dearth of business owners running for office. Unfortunately we seem to have a lot of engineers running for office this year. I have a real problem with this. I am an engineer and have worked my whole career with engineers. Unfortunately most of the managers I have had in my career have also been engineers. However engineers do not often make very good managers. I have had some good managers in my career who were engineers but they have been far and away the exception to the rule. So as a general rule I do not vote for engineers for office unless I know quite a bit about their background and their beliefs. After all, I am an engineer and believe me, you would not want me in charge of our fair city.
As for our two incumbent council members I have known Steve Morgan for many years and he is a good man who really wants what is best for this city. But the last few years Steve seems to be developing some tunnel vision on how to solve problems for the city. He focuses in on one way of solving a problem and any other options to that solution he just will not consider. Whether or not this tunnel vision will cost Steve my vote or not I have not decided yet. I know I am running out of time to decide but historically I spend most of the election cycle considering my options and making up my mind based on those options while standing in line at the polling place.
But some decisions for me are made very early in the election cycle. For instance I will never cast a vote for Ron Carter. I attempted to make an appointment with Principal Carter at Las Flores Grade School 12 years ago. The run around I got from his office staff eventually led to their flat refusal to allow me to make an appointment to see Principal Carter. I had no choice but to assume that his office staff was working under his direction to keep parents away from meeting with him. The only other option I could imagine was that he did not know how his office staff were behaving. In that case he would be even less attractive to me as a manager than a guy who orders his staff to isolate him from a parent who would be sending their child to his school the next year. But the incident was very upsetting to my dear wife and I. When we tried to complain about his isolationist attitude to the school district we were told "If the Principal chooses not to meet with you that is his business." then they hung up on me. That event was the driving force behind us putting our children into private schools.
So who am I going to vote for for City Council? I will not vote for Ron Carter nor Randy (Charlie Chaplin) Jenkins. The council tends to be populated by clowns on occasion. I don't want to vote for a guy who campaigns on the clown platform.
Beyond them I have Steve Morgan, one businessman, two planning commissioners and a bunch of engineers to chose from. I'm sure I will make a calm rational choice while standing in line tomorrow morning.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Lonie, who runs this tournament has been very accommodating throughout the years. We first met Lonie several years ago at a tournament at Garces High School. My team was getting crushed by these larger schools. Lonie and our staff got to talking and she invited us to come compete in her tournament. But she allowed us, to play down a grade from most of the other teams. So unlike most tournaments, if I show up with a team full of 6th and 7th grade players with a couple 8th graders on it, she doesn't make us play in the 8th grade division. So for the last few years we have been playing with our "8th" grade team in the 7th grade division.
I was (and still am) uncomfortable with this. It kind of feels like cheating to me. But the last two years my teams have been eliminated from the tournament during the pool play rounds. But that is not all to blame on the quality of our opponents. Each of the last few years my teams have shown up at the tournament and played the worst volleyball I have ever seen them play. So we were sent home early both years.
This year started out kind of the same. Our first game was ugly. We could not pass a volleyball to save our lives. We lost our first game 23-30. We got most of our 23 points from opponent errors because when we could not handle a serve and when we did get a ball into play our offense was nonexistent.
Our second pool play game was against a weaker team than us. While our passing improved, our serving fell apart. But our offense was working better and we won that game 30-24.
For our third and final game in pool play we had to play one of the toughest teams in the tournament. My team finally showed up. For the first time in four years I got to watch a Saint Ann Volleyball team finally play a game of volleyball like they knew what they were doing. Serves were on, passing was only adequate but our offense was spectacular. I had hitters killing balls from all over the court. Our defense was playing fantastic. We had several long rallys - series of plays where the ball was crossing the net 7, 8 or even 9 times during the rally. In every one of them we were passing-setting and attacking while our opponents quickly settled for just hitting free balls back at us with the first or second hit. We won that game 30-22.
Due to a tie breaker system that I didn't try too hard to question we were placed first in our pool. Last year we were in a three way tie for last in our pool where two of the teams would get to play in the brackets one one would be sent home. All three teams were tied with identical match and game records, and had beaten each other in an A beats B, B beats C and C beats A fashion. I was looking at the points scored and realized that we had the edge in the points scored category over the other two teams. We also had the edge in the points allowed category. But the tournament broke the tie by taking the two teams that had allowed the most points to be scored against them. So we went home while the other two teams played.
This year made up for that. Once again we were in a three way tie with each of the teams having beaten one of the others. We were all 2-1. Unfortunately we were in second place in the points scored category. We were in third place in the points allowed category. And I didn't think that they would break the tie the same way they did last year. So I was prepared to be playing in the consolation bracket instead of the championship bracket. But when the results were posted we were listed as first in our pool and the number two team in the championship bracket.
When I asked the director what the tie breaker was she said head-to-head. Freedom beat El Tejon, and you beat Freedom, so you're number one. I didn't bother pointing out that El-Tejon had beaten us. I figured it was just a little pay back for last year. But I did feel sorry for El Tejon. They were tied for the lead in their pool and had to play in the consolation bracket. Which they won.
Our semi final game in the championship bracket was an inability game. That is a game were we demonstrated our inability to play volleyball. Where our third pool play game had been the best game we had ever played in this tournament. This semi-final game was easily the worst we had ever played. Nothing was working. From the opening serve my girls were playing in panic mode. I took a time out at 0-5 to try and calm them down. No luck. I took my second time out at 3-15, again to try and calm them down. Again no luck. They finally calmed down late in the game when they stopped playing completely. We lost that game 9-30 and three of our points were garbage points when the other team got lazy right at the end.
After a break we were back on the court our last game of the day. The bronze medal match against the previous no. 1 team, which had also lost in their semi-final. We matched up pretty good against this team. We let them have a quick four point lead and then started playing good volleyball while we slowly worked to take that lead away from them. We managed to close the game up to 23-24 when the wheels came off our offense. We were still serving well, passing well and setting well. But our third hits were just not working. We suddenly started spiking into the net and under the net. We were hitting everywhere except over the net and in bounds. Six straight spikes in a row that never even got close to the top of the net and the game was over 23-30.
So we went home in 4th place out of 9 teams. Which is a great improvement over the last two years when we went home without any place at all.
Late in the tournament I had a chance to chat with a couple of the other coaches. When the subject of players ages came up, one of them flat out asked me "I hear you have a couple 8th grade players on your team?" I told her I did. When she asked how many I said three, and one 6th grader. Then I pointed to my girls and said you tell me which three are the 8th graders. They only got one right. Their other two picks were both 7th grade players. They both laughed when I told them that and said "Don't worry about it, Lonie did the right thing letting you play in this division."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Liberal Constructionist asked: "What's the part that you don't like ... and why? Just asking."
OK here is what I didn't like and why.....
1. "I am the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning."
Barack Obama is proud that he is the only major candidate who opposes fighting the war on terror.
2."I will end it."
The big O will end the war. Note he does not say he will win the war, he will simply just stop fighting it. We as a nation cannot afford a President or a dog catcher who will not fight to defend this country.
3. He will cut spending on unproven missile defense systems. How many unproven missile defense systems do we have in development?
Answer is ALL of them. Until tested in combat they are all unproven. The only way to prove a missile defense system is for someone to attack us. The big O just said he will not only stop fighting the war on terror but that he will cut spending on continued research we need to continue to expand the defense of this country against missile attacks.
4. "I will not weaponize space." Weaponizing Space? We do not even have a reliable space program that can get us out of low earth orbit and he is promising to not weaponize space. We don't even go into space anymore. However a flat refusal to do something that may become necessary at a later date is short sighted. If our enemies start weaponizing low earth orbit than we had better be ready to counter any obvious threat. If that means weaponizing space, or low earth orbit whatever it takes.
5. "I will slow our development of future combat systems" Bill Clinton and Jimmah Carter already tried that and it took years to recover from the damage they inflicted on our military. Our enemies and the the nations who build and sell weapons to our enemies are not going to slow down weapons development just because we do. If we do not keep up, or better yet push the boundary of weapons development in the world we are setting ourselves up for a world class, bloody butt kicking that could cost us thousands of military lives, or even 10s or 100s of thousands of civilan lives. Now maybe the big O is OK with that. But I'm not. If you are an active member of the military this presidental wanna-be just promised the equivalent of sending you into a gun fight armed with a knife.
6. "Will institute an independant blah blah blah..." All I heard is I will create a new government bureaucracy and task it to reduce spending on our military.
7. "I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons." YEAH! GO FOR IT! I LOVE IT! I think that is a wonderful wet dream there buddy. A world without nuclear weapons will be great. But how does the big O plan on putting the nuclear genii back in his bottle. Unilateral disarmament will only get us killed and if he seriously think the other nations of the world are going to willingly give up their nucs then he is beyond inexperienced, he is too inexperienced to be a dog catcher. OH, wait, I think I already accused him of that.
Someone needs to tell the Big O that Russia isn't the only other nation on the planet with nucs. Also let him know that none of the plans he mentioned will get rid of any of the nucs already out there. Besides we have seen how well global bans on making fissile material has been. Iran is still cranking away making theirs in spite of almost total global condemnation.
There that is what I didn't like and why.
This man is too inexperienced to be in charge, is too naive to be in charge and too stupid for any of us to be depending on to defend this country. Especially since he just spend the last 52 seconds tell us that he will not defend us. But worse than that he will consciously go out of his way to severely limit our current military's ability to continue to do it's job.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
What makes this even worse was when I was in Trona yesterday the gas there was $3.73 when the cheapest place in Ridgecrest was $3.77. I can't remember a time in the last 23 years that I have lived here that gas was cheaper in Trona than here.
Better yet, if I am careful, and I top the tank off on my way back into town on Saturday I may be able to get through next week without buying gas locally so I can gas up again when I go out of town the next week for another volleyball game.
I know its kind of silly but for me the longer I can go without buying gas at these locally inflated prices the better.
But it is all depressing seeing as how they are paying only $2.75 a gallon in Idaho. But then they don't have to deal with our idiotic California Legislature.
Monday, October 06, 2008
If you had purchased £1000 of Northern Rock shares one year ago it would now be worth £4.95, with HBOS, earlier this week your £1000 would have been worth £16.50, £1000 invested in XL Leisure would now be worth less than £5, but if you bought £1000 worth of Tennents Lager one year ago, drank it all, then took the empty cans to an aluminium re-cycling plant, you would get £214. So based on the above statistics the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and re-cycle.
Its a pity I'm not more of a beer drinker. I could put this theory to test....
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The big flaw with this method of picking a candidate is there was no option for picking neither of the candidates.
Here is my results:
You will have to cut me some slack with the two Obama picks. The first one was on immigration where both candidates if left to their own devices would be standing at the border and handing out green cards by the millions. So I didn't agree with either statements in the poll. But had to pick one to move on.
The second "hot topic" question was on global warming where both candidates have been guzzling the global climate crises kool-aid and are practically indistinguishable from each other. Both men have decided to join Pope Algore's Church of Climate Crises. I still don't understand why so many of our politicians chose to agree with the Algore's consensus of scientists instead of listening to the consensus of scientists who disagree with the non-scientific theory that all us carbon based humans are to blame for this mystical problem.
So if you already know who you are voting for and are bored take the quiz. If you haven't decided who to vote for yet, don't let this quiz make up your mind. After all this is a quiz of statements made by two men who are trying to get you to vote for them. So chances are they are both lying. You need to look at both men's records, how they have voted and what they have done in the past and vote based on those things. Remember - you can't believe anything a politician who is running for office tells you - they are all liars.
Monday, September 29, 2008
HAWTHORNE, CA – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announces that Flight 4 of the Falcon 1 launch vehicle has successfully launched and achieved Earth orbit. With this key milestone, Falcon 1 becomes the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.
Oh, a lot of folks are impressed that the Chinese have also put men in orbit and performed a space walk this week. Well I am not impressed. The United States and the USSR both did that over 40 years ago. So I'm not very impressed.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Her team did OK in the tournament. There were 10 teams divided into two pools of 5. In pool A the Burroughs team beat Victor Valley Christian 25-22, they beat San Gabriel 25-16, they lost to the host team Hesperia 23-25 and beat Lucerne Valley 25-14 for a second place finish in their pool.
Since the top two teams in each pool played this afternoon in the Championship Bracket. In the first semifinal Burroughs had to face the number one team from pool B - Quartz Hill. This was not a pleasant match for the Burroughs as they lost in straight games 14-25 and 12-25. Quartz Hill had three really good hitters to did a masterful job of hitting around the Burroughs blockers while completely overwhelming the back row defenders.
In the 3rd place match Burroughs faced Victor Valley. After leading most of the game the Burros got themselves to a 22-19 lead and then several of the senior members of the team decided the game was won and dialed in the rest of the game. They lost 23-25. The frustration over this loss carried over into the next game where it pretty much just took over the entire team. They lost the second game 13-25.
The team went home with a fourth place finish out of 10 teams and they got a pretty good look as several teams that they will have to play against when conference play starts in a couple weeks.
For our family the highlight of the day was my daughter being awarded an All Tournament award. This award means that in the opinion of the tournament organizers she was the best volleyball player from Burroughs High School on the court today.
I agree with them completely. Although I think their sophomore outside hitter probably gave my daughter a good run for the money in the voting. But that is just my opinion.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Who Am I?
I am under 45 years old,
I love the outdoors,
I am a Republican reformer,
I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,
I have many children,
I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president,
I have less than two years experience in the governor's office.
I am Teddy Roosevelt in 1900.
And he ended up on Mount Rushmore
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A hint of honesty?
A politician saying what he really thinks?
Yesterday on Good Morning American while discussing negative campaign ads Barack Obama made this comment:
"If we're going to ask questions about, you know, who has been promulgating negative ads that are completely unrelated to the issues at hand, I think I win that contest pretty handily,"
Now if I was a cynic I would say that he obviously meant to say that John McCain should win the unrelated attack ads contest. But in this case I think we may have actually caught a politician telling the truth.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
First off, I don't intend to spend the day "remembering" 9-11. How the hell will I ever forget it. Fox News spent the day telling us that 9-11 was the day American changed. I disagree. 9-11 was the day that American finally admitted the truth - we had been under attack by islamic extremists for over 25 years leading up to 9-11. The attacks on the world trade centers were just a wake up call for most Americans who were too caught up in their day to day existence to pay attention enough to realize that we were already at war, we just wouldn't admit it.
I don't like to think of 9-11 as the day America changed. Because so much of America hasn't changed. A large portion of the population still doesn't recognize the dangers we face. A large portion still will not recognize that some wars must be fought. A large portion of the population still hates our military and everything they stand for.
So for me today was a day to memorialize the 3000 Americans who lost their lives on 9-11-2001. But in the fight against terror and tyrany, it was just another day. The enemy is still out there. The war goes on. In that regard, today is just like yesterday and just like tomorrow will be.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I discovered something yesterday. Sneezing with a mouth full of freshly chewed carrot is messy. Well, not as messy as it could have been if I hadn't gotten my hand up in front of my mouth in time.
There, never let it be said that I don't occasionally supply more information about my life than any normal decent person should ever know.
and yes, I did wash my hands.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I won't mince words here. I am not a John McCain fan. I admire the hell out of the guy, but his pro illegal immigration attitude and the fact that he has bought into the global climate fraud are enough that I do not want him to be President. However, I am getting used to not voting for a President. Ronald Reagan's second term was the last time I walked into a voting booth and voted FOR a President. Usually I spend several minutes trying to decide who to vote for based on my guess as to who as the best opportunity to beat the guy (or girl) that I am voting against.
I had resigned myself that this election would be no different. I would be casting a vote against Barack Obama. The only thing that would change my mind on that would be John McCain's Vice-President selection. Personally I was hoping for Governor Bobby Jindal from Louisiana. My second choice was Kay Bailey Hutchinson from Texas.
Sarah Palin didn't come out of the blue as far as I was concerned. Her name had been tossed around by the media for several weeks. I had read up on some of her background but didn't really think of her as a serious contender, until last week.
This week is totally different. What I have read about this woman has me totally impressed. The fact that the liberal antique media is trying to generate a fire storm of controversy over her is even better news. Anyone who has the liberals in this country that scared of her, has got to be doing something right.
I especially like that all of the attacks are personal. Politically they don't seem to be able to find a chink in her armor. Its like Margaret Thatcher said:
“When they attack one personally it means they haven’t a single political argument left.”
So this election I am taking a different approach. Something I have never tried before. I am voting for a vice-president.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Actually there was one girl who is a better defensive specialist than the one they cut. But she is also the best setter at the tryouts. So they probably won't be playing her as a defensive specialist.
When the tryouts started I was sure that all six of my players would make the team. They were, to me, the best six volleyball players at the tryouts. So when one of them got cut, suddenly, I got nervous. This nervousness manifested itself in me not sleeping well, or not at all, for the last week.
So last night I finished with my middle school practice at 7 PM. One of my players was waiting outside for her ride home when I left. Her older sister was one of my players trying out for the freshman team. Since her mother was picking up her sister, then coming for her, I told my assistant coach that she could go and I would wait with my player. I figured this was the quickest way for me to find out how the final cuts went.
So my youngest daughter and I tortured my player while waiting for her ride. Waiting for a ride while I wait with them is usually torture for my players, because I force them to talk to me. I'm not talking about what passes for conversation between many middle school girls and adults. They cannot just respond to my questions with monosyllable grunts. They have to talk to me.
After a few minutes which I am sure to my player felt like several hours her ride pulled into the parking lot. I could see her sister in the back seat but could not see her face clearly. I got up and started to walk towards the car and felt like I was walking with cement blocks on my feet. My thoughts were a massive jumble of what-ifs. What do I say if any of them got cut? What do I say or do depending on which one got cut? What if this? What if that? I was almost physically sick. I had been waiting for two weeks for this news and suddenly I didn't think I really wanted to know what happened. I was trying to decide whether to keep walking towards that car or just turn around and run away.
Then suddenly the back door of the car opened, and the brightest ray of sunshine I have ever seen leapt out with a huge smile on her face and both hands raised in the air and yelled "We all made it."
Suddenly, for the first time in 9 days I felt like I could breathe again. Just that easily all my what-ifs just vanished. I tried to talk to her parents for a few minutes but I am afraid that I may have been babbling. I did manage to gather myself together long enough to make it clear to my ex-player (which is not fully true, she is planning on playing on my club team again this winter. But for the next 10 weeks she has a different coach) that I never for the briefest moment doubted her, nor any of her teammates, ability to to make that freshman team. The only doubts I had were about the new coach's abilities to recognize talented players when they saw them.
So the point to this posting is to brag a little bit on my five girls who will be all wearing BHS green during this upcoming volleyball season.
The title, 25% is a little bragging on the five newest Burros freshmen and my volleyball players who have come before these five. Burroughs High School is the only public high school in this town. Each year the student body averages somewhere around 1700 students. Of those 1700 students, graduates from Saint Ann Middle School make up about 1.8% of the student body.
The three volleyball teams at Burroughs High School are made up of 36 girls. Twelve freshmen, twelve Junior Varsity and twelve varsity. Out of those 36 high school volleyball players 9 of them graduated from Saint Ann School. That is where the 25% title comes from. Our students make up 1.8% of the student body, but 25% of the volleyball team. We have five freshmen, 3 JV players and one Varsity player (my oldest daughter) playing volleyball in high school. The best part of this is hopefully we can up that percentage next year. The oldest of the Saint Ann Players is only a Junior. I only have three 8th grade players this year and I'm sure that one of them will make the freshman team next year. The other two are going to need a lot of work. But we have a year to get them ready. We will have to wait and see.
The hardest thing about all this is trying to get to all the high school games. I have my middle school teams who need to be my first priority. But I now have nine other reasons, who are all very precious to me, to be in the stands cheering on the high school volleyball teams.
It is going to be a very busy volleyball season.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
So I decided to give it a try. My results were:
Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 5%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 95%
This is a great relief to me. I was getting worried. I spend a lot of my free time around tween and teen aged volleyball players. I worry that in some ways these young ladies are starting to effect my brain. I find myself wondering about what they are thinking, what they are feeling and stuff like that. That kind of thinking worries me at times. I'm a guy, and I'm not supposed to be worrying about stuff like that.
So this week I started preparing for the new middle school volleyball season to start next week. I was making some notes to myself about a few things to concentrate on this season.
Note No. 1 - It doesn't matter what they are feeling and thinking as long as they are running laps and suicides while they are thinking and feeling it.
Note No. 2 - If she starts crying, she obviously has too much time on her hands and needs to be doing more push-ups.
Note No. 3 - Nothing fixes a sad or depressed mood like spiking till you puke.
But now that I know that at least my browsing habits verify that I'm still a guy maybe it will be OK if I go ahead and worry about what my players are thinking and feeling during this season. Maybe it will be OK for me to concentrate on making sure my players are having fun and playing like a team instead of just running them into the ground.
Or, maybe I should start just leaving myself notes like:
DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY YOU SISSY!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"An amphibious transport dock (also called a landing platform dock or LPD) is a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions."
The USS New York will be commissioned into military service with the US Navy in New York City on September 12th 2009. Exactly 8 years and a day after Al-Qaeda terrorists destroyed the World Trade Centers the very buildings themselves will be joining the fight against them.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Your Vocabulary Score: A+
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Now, all this carrying on over a 5.4 earthquake is just silly. For most California residents a 5.4 earthquake is a lot like a tropical storm is to Florida. With a 5.4 earthquake things get shaken up a bit. But there usually isn't much damage. Like with Tropical storms, for the most part everything just gets wet.
For the uninitiated I have stolen from Erin a guide to understanding earthquake intensities:
A 3.0 is a CalPoly 'cause you have to be in the room with a seismograph to notice it.
A 3.5 is a Dish Rattler
A 4.0 is a Dog Barker because the dog barks like she does when the garbage truck goes by or a mouse farts behind the baseboard. Cats will hide in the closet and demand that Something Be Done; natural political action committees, most cats.
A 4.5 is a Car Alarm for obvious reasons, though you have to be close by for it to trigger. They sell a gadget to hang on your wall that works just like a car alarm; it scares hell out of you for no reason at the oddest times.
A 5.0 is a Hug-a-Tourist. That's when a perfect stranger in the mall grabs you and hangs on for dear life and you know they're from out of town.
A 5.5 is a Ceiling Check, all the natives and people who've been here for twenty years or more will look up then at the nearest door, just to make sure they know where it is.
A 6.0 is a Kneehole, you get down on the floor and scoot under your desk and you pull your idiot friend from Iowa who's still looking at the ceiling under with you.
A 6.5 is a T-Shirt Slogan, you can buy one that says, "I survived the such-and-such earthquake" afterwards.
A 7.0 is a Wake-Up-The-Governor to call the National Guard; they may need to go dig some unlucky people out from under collapsed buildings and freeways.
A 7.5 is what Californians call a Real Earthquake.
An 8.0 is The Big One.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
California State Automobile Association, an affiliate of the national AAA, announced it is closing all three of its call centers in the state at a loss of 900 jobs.
Is the California State Automobile Association going to change its name to the Arizahoma State Automobile Association?
Spokeswoman Cynthia Harris was quite blunt about the reason: "It costs more to do business in California than other states." Her group will now will be answering calls from California motorists from new centers in lower-cost Arizona and Oklahoma.
We have the California Car Culture here. Sometimes it seems like everything in this state is all about the car you drive. If you look at almost any advertisement for the State of California and a predominate feature of them all is - cars. Yet the one orgaization in the state dedicated solely to drivers, the California Automobile Association is leaving the state because of the onerous cost of doing business in Taxifornia.
How about we get our state legislature and our RINO Governator Arnold to outsource themselves to Arizona or Oklahoma? That way they can harass someone else for a while and leave us poor working stiff alone.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Now the depressing part. 700 blog entries since March 11, 2005. That is 700 posts in 1225 days. Which works out to one an entry every 1.75 days.
Which doesn't really make me very prolific. Now my critics will tell you that me not being prolific is a good thing. My response to those folks is if I bore you, piss you off, or insult you, don't click over here any more. If that doesn't satisfy you than I can shorted it to "Bite Me."
If you like what I write here and want me to write more, be patient, I am trying. My life has changed a lot since I started this blog. My kids are older and while they don't seem to need more of my attention, they do need more of my time. Gone are the days when I could sit at the computer and work with a bundled baby laying on my lap or on the desk between my chest and the keyboard. (try typing like that some time. It will do wonderfully horrible things to your wrists and shoulders. But it kept the baby quiet so my dear wife could sleep.)
I am now a volunteer volleyball coach for 8 months a year instead of just 2.5 months a year. This takes up a lot of my free time. I described to a friend a while back that coaching this club team was like having 13 kids. Three of my own, and 10 extra daughters that I only get to see 3 days a week on the volleyball court. But in between the practices and the games there is a lot of other stuff to do. Practice plans, travel plans, newsletters for parents, pictures, paperwork, etc. But as time consuming as this has been, I can't imagine not doing it. My one regret is that I waited so many years to start doing this.
I have a new job that is not as flexible with my hours as my older job was. This doesn't really cut into my blogging, but it is an handy excuse that I have been using for other things way too often lately.
Well it's late and needed to be in bed a couple hours ago. I have to get up and go to that new pain in the neck job early in the morning.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I love these summer rains. But I really dislike the aftermath of them. The humidity level shoots way up and then our swamp coolers don't work anymore. That is where we are right now. There is still a few drops falling, and some thunder and lightening in the distance. But it is getting humid and warming up quickly. It cooled down while the rain was falling to somewhere in the low 80s. But once the rain stops the temperature shoots up rapidly.
************** UPDATE **********************
I think the rain has finally quit. It has stopped, started, stopped and started again. Each time it was raining a little harder than the time before. The last stretch included some pretty good wind. We could hear it pounding against the garage doors as well as pelting the roof.
I'm including a few more pics. The first two are taken over the back fence looking north. There was quite a substantial puddle there. Of course none of the desert dwellers here would ever consider turning around and taking an alternate route.
This last pic is of some neighbor kids playing in the puddles in the desert behind our house. The one that is standing in the knee deep water was wearing midcalf rain boots, which are obviously not going to keep his feet dry now. Not that it mattered, a few moments after I took this pic, he was laying down in the water.
Of course my own family enjoyed the rain. The kids were out in the street laying in the gutters that had overflowed the sidewalks. My dear wife was running around in the front and back yard playing also. Of course I also got soaking wet. But I wasn't playing. I was wondering around the yard checking on possible floods that could potentially cause some water damage. It was a dirty job but someone had to do it and I certainly wasn't enjoying playing in the rain....
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Photographic History of NAF and VX-5
Make sure you have plenty of time when you sit down and start clicking on the links there. Gary has done a fantastic job of collecting a lot of photos.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Two hundred and thirty two years ago a bunch of rabble rousing malcontents got together and decided that they were fed up with being oppressed by their government. So they wrote down some complaints, signed the list and told their King to go jump in the lake.
Who would have thought that their little insurrection would grow into the nation we live in today.
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is in the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.
Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let the Facts be submitted to a candid World.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People; unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.
He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.
He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.
He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond the Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule in these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.
He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic Insurrections among us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Signed by ORDER and
in BEHALF OF THE CONGRESS
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Last night was hot and there was a lot of smoke in the air. In spite of the all the smoke I elected to walk anyway. I just have a hard time riding in a cart when I am supposed to be golfing for the exercise.
Last night I think I invented a new golf game that I am going to call "pars and sevens". For the nine holes we played I shot 5 pars all the other holes I shot 7s. Over all it was a good round for me. Five pars in nine holes is great considering I'm a 23 handicap golfer. Unfortunately because I am a 23 handicap golfer, I shot the four 7s also. I have to thank my opponent for one of those sevens. He gave me a 20 foot putt to save me from having to take an 8.
However I may have pulled off that putt. I played nine holes last night and took only nine putts. Actually I only had to make three putts all night. The other six were gimmes that were surrendered by my opponents. I had that one 20 foot gimme. But most of them were under 12 inches. The three putts I did make were about 4, 6 and 10 feet. I only had one lag putt all night and that was on the first hole, the only hole all night that I had two putts.
I shot a 46. That is a net two under par for me, and that includes to out of bounds shots, one on 14 and one on 18 (two of the holes I shot 7 on). Overall a great night. Except that I only managed to tie my match. But I had a good round against a couple decent guys who were good competitors.
I have missed golfing these last two months and am looking forward to the next two months. But considering how much I am also missing my volleyball team, I would give it all up to be back in the gym with my Starlings on a regular basis.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
In a Word:
1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Your significant other? sweetheart
3. Your hair? gone
4. Your mother? memories
5. Your father? Cheyenne
6. Your favorite time of day? nighttime
7. Your dream last night? volleyball
8. Your favorite drink? rootbeer
9. Your dream goal? complicated
10. The room you’re in? messy
11. Your ex? nonexistant
12. Your fear? failure
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? retired
14. What you are not? thin
15. Your Favourite meal? steak
16. One of your wish list items? gym
17. The last thing you did? drove
18. Where you grew up? mountains
19. What are you wearing? casual
20. Your TV is? off
21. Your pets? imaginary
22. Your computer? laptop
23. Your life? good
24. Your mood? tired
25. Missing someone? Starlings
26. Your car? Dodge
27. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
28. Favourite store? hardware
29. Your summer? hot
30. Your favourite colour? varies
31. When is the last time you laughed? today
32. When is the last time you cried? week
33. Your health? acceptable
34. Your children? sleeping
35. Your future? confusing
36. Your beliefs? solid
37. Young or old? older
38. Your image? unknown
39. Your appearance? round
40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know? sure
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The family and I left for my sister-in-laws place in Pleasanton CA, up near San Francisco. My oldest has been up there for two weeks and is ready to come home. Actually her mother is ready for her to come home. She misses her baby. I do to but don't tell her that it will go to her head.
So we drove up to the Bay area Thursday evening after work. We spent Friday hanging out and doing some shopping. Today we spent more time with the family and eventually loaded up the van and headed for home around 5:30 this evening. We made pretty good time, and arrived home right around 11:30 tonight.
The rest of the family has headed for bed, and as soon as my caffine high wears off, I'm headed there also.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Just enough time for a happy dance, then off to work. More later.....
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
As I got older I found that I didn't appreciate his current humor near as much as I had in the past. I still loved his old stuff. But in his later years he seemed less of a comedian and more of just an angry old liberal who didn't have anything to say that I could relate to. But I don't hold that against him. I got way to many laughs from him through the years.
A lot of bloggers have memorialized George by quoting their favorite jokes of his. I couldn't possibly pick just one. But I do have a question "Do you think he got a two minute warning?"
Sunday, June 22, 2008
We started our adventure at the opening ceremonies at Sweetwater high school. The place was jamb packed with Starlings Volleyball players, their coaches and parents. There was a parade of banners, a lot of dancing, laughing and just overall good fun by all.
The next morning we started pool play at the Alliant Sports Center. This is a large canvas roofed building that is big enough to hold 12 volleyball courts. Unfortunately this facility is not air conditioned. This became important as the weather in San Diego was unseasonably warm this week. By the time the first round of pool play was half over it was well over 90 degrees in the building and very humid.
Our day started off a little strange. We were on the court warming up waiting for our opponents from Watsonville CA to show up. We were there, a San Diego Navajo team that was going to be refereeing our match was there, and a team from Mission Bay San Diego. But there was no sign of our opponents. So the other two teams sat there and watched us warm up for a few minutes. Eventually we started scrimmaging with the Navajo team because we were all bored. After twenty minutes the tournament official declared our match a forfeit and we recorded our first win of the tournament without even seeing our opponents.
Next up we had to referee the match between the Navajo team and the Mission Bay team. Our Watsonville opponents showed up in the middle of this match. They had all been riding in the same van that got lost on the freeways in San Diego.
Next up we played the Mission Bay Starlings team. We cruised to an easy 25-4 win in the first game on the backs of Laura and her 11 consecutive serves followed by Alyssa fired off 7 of her own including three jump serve aces. The next game we got a little complacent and allowed our opponents to hang around way too long before we finally beat them 25-18.
Unfortunately that complacency carried over to our next match against the San Diego Navajo Starlings team. We let them get a 23-14 lead over us before we finally started to play. With Jazmine serving seven straight serves our team managed to close the game to 21 to 23 before they finally scored their last two points to win the game. The second game we started out like we finished the previous game – hot! We stormed out to a fast lead in the game and held a 23-20 lead when everyone just shut down and stopped moving. Our opponents outscored us five to two in the last couple minutes to win 25-27.
This 2-1 performance was enough to get us a second place finish in our pool. This put us in the division with the top 18 teams of the tournament, which was all the number 1 and number 2 finishers on Thursday.
On Friday we were in a pool with teams from Phoenix Az, Oakland CA and Bakersfield CA. We played at the Balboa Park Activities Center which like Alliant University also didn’t have any air conditioning. It did however have a little better ventilation than Alliant did so to start it seemed a little cooler inside to start. But by the end of the match it was just as hot as Alliant.
Our first match was against the Oakland team. Both teams started a little slow but the Oakland team warmed up a bit quicker than we did. They won the first game 22-25. But once we got going they discovered what kind of team we really were. We won the second game 25-15. In the third and deciding game the team slacked off again and needed six serves including three aces from Rebecca in order to win the game 15-13.
Our second game was against the Phoenix team. There were so far the best team we had faced in the tournament. We started out a little slow and eventually lost the first game 19-25. But the girls got going again in the second game and took an early lead. But we once again slowed down in the end and lost that game 22-25.
The Bakersfield team was our last challenge of the afternoon. We eventually won a slow and error filled first game 25-21. Then sleep walked our way through a crushing 14-25 loss. But the team woke up and really came out serving and hitting in the third and final game. We changed sides of the court with an 8-3 lead and cruised to and easy 15-7 victory. After the match our referee, Ernie, who is the National Starlings ambassador, called the team over and congratulated them on a spectacular performance. He was very impressed with how well out team full of young players held their cool and didn’t get flustered after that big loss in the second game.
Once again we found ourselves with a 2-1 record and a second place finish. And just like yesterday it was enough to keep us in the top division with all the other first and second finishers.
On Saturday we were one of the eight teams that entered the Gold Championship double elimination part of the tournament for a chance to play for the U14 tournament championship.
Our first match of the day was against the Tehachapi U14 team. This team had also played in the Southern California Volleyball Tournament season with us. But we had never played each other. They were always ranked one to two divisions below us in the standings. But they had finished the season strong and didn’t look to be a push over team. I was hopeful when they took the court because they also had two girls who looked like they were no older than the three eleven year olds on our team. However, those younger smaller players never got onto the court for their team, where all three of young players play – a lot.
Unfortunately Saturday was not to be our day. I don’t know if it was the heat, the humidity, the three consecutive days of volleyball, or the fact that my normally tight, best friends, team that has gotten along fantastically all season was suddenly fractured into three distinct factions that were not getting along on or off the court. I have several ideas about what happened to my team but I’m not going to air them here. But their off the court disagreements and bickering carried over onto the court in a huge way this day and brought a very unsatisfying end to our season.
Our match was against Tehachapi who was playing well but not nearly as well as our team was capable of when they were getting along. Unfortunately we were not getting along, we were not moving, and my players were acting like they really didn’t care if they won or lost. And so they lost – 16-25 and 19-25.
Following that match we had to ref a match. It was a very uncomfortable time because I had to down ref for the match and I was very aware of my team that was sitting on the floor behind me keeping score with a lot of glaring going on and no one talking to each other.
This loss moved us down to the loser bracket of the championship division. We had to play a match against a team called Scripps Ranch from the San Diego area. They were also having a bad day. At times they seem to be a fairly good team who was struggling with the heat and humidity. We squeaked out a 25-21 win in the first game and that seem to really deflate our opponents. They pretty much just phoned in their last game of the weekend and we cruised to a 25-12 victory and a chance to keep playing.
We got a three minute break after the match and had to play our next match of the day against the same Phoenix team we had played on Friday. This team was really down. They had been undefeated going into the day and had just lost their first match of the season to an undersized Navajo team from Tuba City AZ. When they walked over to our court they were all shuffling their feet and walking with their head down. They looked like a bunch of whipped puppies.
I tried to rally the team to step up and start playing together like they used to. But it just wasn’t to be. We gave up 6 consecutive serve aces to start the game and that got our opponents fired up. And as fast as they got excited we crashed. We lost the first game 17-25 and the second 15-25.
Our run at our first ever Starling National Championship ended in a two way tie for fifth place. It was not the ending of the season I was hoping for. But overall it wasn’t a bad finish. We started this season as a first time team with first time club players and a first time club coach. The players learned to trust each other, work together and cooperate as a team. In the end we forgot some of the lessons we had learned but we competed in a tournament with Starlings team from all over the country and finished in a tie for 5th place out of 36 teams.