Wednesday, July 30, 2008


There was a 5.4 earthquake down in Chino Hills yesterday. If you watch the main stream media, you might think that California has broken up and fallen into the Pacific Ocean. The rest of the country should be so lucky. Sorry we are all still here.

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

AAA Jumps Ship

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


According to Blogger this is my 700th entry into this blog. Considering that when I started this I could only think of about 20 things to say I guess that since I managed to ramble on for 680 entries more than that must mean that I have a lot more crap floating around in my brain that I thought was necessary to share with you than I thought I would.

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


All my kids were making and taking this quiz. So I got badgered into making one also.

The link to it is here -

Coach's Lame Quiz

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Rain

We are having some summer rain this afternoon. Actually we are having what back home they would call a gully washer. Around here they call them flash floods. The rain comes down so hard and fast that they ground cannot soak it all in.

summer rain

More summer rain

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

New Link

I added a new link to the External Ridgecrest Links on the right side.

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

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day

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

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Inconsistant Golf

Last night I finally played in my third round of golf for the current intramural golf season. I missed most of the first half of the season due to volleyball practices.

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.