Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So What's Martian for "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow"?

The geek in me has to come out from time to time. Here's a peek...

Today it was reported that a laser sensor has detected snow in the atmosphere of Mars.

Who cares, in the big picture, about the stock market? Sometimes it goes up, sometimes it goes down. Long ago I got this advice, "only invest the money you can afford to lose". I live by that. So who cares which way it goes.

The housing market. If you bought a house to live in it, who cares how much it's worth? Make your payments and snuggle warm and tight in your bed. If my house value goes to zero, so what?

But, Snow on Mars??? That's something that excites me. It makes absolutely no difference in the here and now. It's way more important than that. It tells us something about the universe and how it really works. It tells us that water is everywhere. Water, the solvent of life, is everywhere. If water is everywhere, will not life be also?

I sleep well knowing that when we humans finally shuffle away, as all species do, the universe will keep on living, long, long, long from now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back - So Much Has Happened

I've been off on a series of business travel and just finally got myself back in the groove. So much has happened that cries out to be blogged...

Let's see, let's start with yesterday's big sports news. It was close, it was fun, and there were lead changes to the end. No not some stupid football game, the NASCAR race. Actually a fairly uninteresting race, with a fantastic last few hundred yards. If you weren't watching, I won't try to explain it. Suffice to say that the guy in second tried to pass by using the physics of potential energy => kinetic energy (by driving down the banking in a turn), without considering what would happen as he came up the other side (hint: Mr Car meet Mr Wall, Mr Wall meet Mr Car).

Next there's the whole fiscal melt down. I've commented in a few places that I'm not thrilled with the bailout (that has failed currently in the House), but still think that it is better than doing nothing. I read lots of things about why it happened. One thing I'd like to mention, that seems to have missed everyone's sight, is that all our big businesses are run by Business Majors. They care only about "this quarter's profits". They really don't know the business. They really don't care about the long term health of a company. They care about their bonuses and that means this quarter's profit. It doesn't take a mental giant to realize that no upward trend lasts forever, but if I'm betting for this quarter's profit, then bet on the up-tick to continue for 3 more months.

I guess the last thing for this one is that the regular season for baseball has ended (the White Sox not withstanding). Now we get the playoffs. Nothing better.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The NFL - Either It Is Fixed or It Needs to Be

Today's Chargers v. Broncos game was won by the officials. The Chargers were flat out cheated.

First, on their second play from scrimage the Chargers Chris Chambers catches a pass (dual possesion with a defender) is down by contact and then the defender takes it. They rule an interception. The Chargers challenge the play, and, low and behold, the replay equipment does not work. So, even thought the images are clear, they can't reverse the call, and the Broncos get a cheap 19 yard TD drive.

Finally, after a long wild game the Chargers have over come this and have a lead 38 to 31.

Broncos have moved down to the 3, and their quarterback drops back and when throwing, the ball pops out of his hand (while the arm is going backwards) and the ball goes BACKWARDS. A Charger jumps on the fumble/lateral. After reviewing, the same official, decides that yeah it was a fumble, and yeah the Charger got it, and yeah it was BACKWARDS so it couldn't have been an incomplete pass, even if the arm was moving forward, but I decided to blow the whistle, so Broncos get to keep the ball. To the Broncos credit, they put the ball in the end zone and go for and get a two point conversion to win 39 to 38 (with several obvious holds not called).

Either the officials are completely incompetant, or they have been bought and sold.

Pick one.

So again, either the NFL is fixed, or it needs to be.

In either case I'm off the NFL. I stopped watching the NBA a few years ago because I felt they were fixed (and it turns out I may well have been right), now I'm doing it for football.

Thank goodness for baseball.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

ABC - Did They Learn Their Techniques From the Simpsons?

First, there have been lots of well written take downs of Charlie Gibson for the way he (or someone at ABC) did a hack job edit on the Gov Palin interview (like here. I'll leave that to everyone else.

I want to explain it. I think these folks at ABC learned how to edit an interview by watching the Simpsons.

Seriously, does anyone else remember the episode where Homer gets accused of sexual harrasment? (See here). There is a great scene where an interviewer edits his inteview with Homer to completely distort the message (the clock hands jumping all over are a great sight gag).

If they learned their journalism skills from this, it would explain so much...

Watch to the End...

Vote McCain - If You Didn't Know You Should Before - You Do Now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/11 + 7 Years

Today is 9/11. Time has healed many wounds, but not all. Never all.

Normally the days go by, and we don't think about what happened 7 years ago. Today we remind ourselves.

I try to remember often. I still have the calendar from September of 2001 on my office wall to ensure I remember.

On 9/11 I take the time to remember...

I remember the words coming from the radio as I woke up here in California with both towers burning.

I remember rushing out to the TV and those images.

I remember my thoughts as I heard the first reports of "confirmed reports of smoke coming from the Pentagon".

I remember saying, "We are at war starting today".

I remember being sent home from work in mid-day as the base was closed.

I remember seeing the towers come down.

I remember the worry as I looked at my high school sons.

I remember the strength of Guiliani. And New York. And those who ran INTO the Pentagon. And Flight 93.

I remember the first Saturday Night Live Opening after with Guiliani and FDNY and NYPD standing there, declaring that New York was back in business.

I remember the bagpipes. Many, many, too many, bagpipes.

I remember singing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.

I remember the unity.

I remember.

May we never forget.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

McCain - Not a Great Speech, But It Should Do

McCain's acceptance speech today, wasn't great. It was slow at the start, and I thought it kinda wandered. Then at the end he spoke from the heart.
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here; I loved it for its decency, for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people.

I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore, I was my country's. (Extended cheers and applause.)

I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. (Cheers, applause.) My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God. (Cheers, applause.)

(Audience chanting "USA, USA, USA, USA.")

My friends, if you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist -- (cheers, applause) -- enlist in our armed forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an -- an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed.

That's the John McCain I will be proud to vote for.

Vote McCain - You Know You Should.

For the whole transcript click here.

Palin, Inspired or Insipid?

That really seems to be the question that's been tossed around since John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.

I thought about it and decided that what I want is consistency. Not perfection, no one's perfect, just consistency. Live as per your beliefs. Do as you say.

Sarah Palin's daughter is pregnant. That's horrible, no 17 year old has ever had that happen to them before (sarcasm warning!). Seriously, is there a less signifcant fact that you could tell me?

On the other hand, the Palin's are pro-life. Sarah Palin had a child, knowing it was oing to be a Downs baby. Would not abort it. Does as she says. Her daughter is going to have her baby, and the father is taking responsibility and marrying her. Good luck to them both. Pro-life and doing as they believe. That's what I want.

I have no beef with any of this. In fact, I think it is just as things should be.

Let's look at what Sarah Palin said yesterday. Here's some of her best:
No one expects us to agree on everything.

But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and ... a servant's heart.

I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau ... when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol' boys network.

Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve.


In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change


Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee.

He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man. Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain.


For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.

For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

'Nuff Said. McCain - Palin.

Vote McCain - You Know You Should.