Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Check out some of the pictures coming out of Louisiana/Mississippi. Just incredible. There are a couple of pictures of dolphins in a hotel pool but it doesn't say why or how they got there. Storm surge?

I watched the hurricane coverage pretty much all night Sunday and around 5am I heard a reporter in the French Quarter saying it wasn't as bad as they were saying it would be and New Orleans was getting off easy, yet the hurricane was still a few hours from reaching New Orleans. I couldn't believe it. The hurricane is not even there yet and he's acting like it's not going to be that bad. I wonder what he thinks now?

You'll find a lot of interesting Katrina links here - scroll down the page.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Home of the Brave?

Question Marks and Exclamation Points

"The question is whether we have the patience when it takes longer and costs more than expected. Would this generation of Americans have stayed more than the decade long course that spanned the time between the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the US Constitution? Would this generation tolerate the hundreds of thousands lost in World War II and the financial burden that went with it?"

Keep Them in Your Prayers

I feel bad for all those in the path of Katrina, whether New Orleans or not. South Florida didn't fare very well and it was only a category 1 storm - now a category 4. I sure don't want to go through a hurricane again.

Beware the U.N.

Endangered Sovereignty

"The time to halt this diplomatic rake's progress is now - and to do so on the principle that Americans are a self-governing people. If Tony Blair is prepared to surrender Britain's democratic sovereignty to either a European government or a U.N. committee, that is a matter for him and the British people. American democracy needs no external examiners."


I just checked in a minister named Jim Jones. He even looks similar to the other Jim Jones but with lighter hair. If I were him I think I would change my name.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Freedom. Worth the Price?

There is a high price for freedom. That's the way it is , and there is no shortcut. The alternative seems easy by comparison, but in the end you pay a much higher price. Pay a lot now, or lose it all later.

Here's a must read post from an Iraqi living in Baghdad:

A Message to Cindy Sheehan

Ma'am, we asked for your nation's help and we asked you to stand with us in our war and your nation's act was (and still is) an act of ultimate courage and unmatched sense of humanity.
Our request is justified, death was our daily bread and a million Iraqi mothers were expecting death to knock on their doors at any second to claim someone from their families.
Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours.

Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.

We live in pain and grief everyday, every hour, every minute; all the horrors of the powers of darkness have been directed at us and I don't know exactly when am I going to feel safe again, maybe in a year, maybe two or even ten; I frankly don't know but I don't want to lose hope and faith.

Your son sacrificed his life for a very noble cause... No, he sacrificed himself for the most precious value in this existence; that is freedom.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Science and Creation

Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science

At a recent scientific conference at City College of New York, a student in the audience rose to ask the panelists an unexpected question: "Can you be a good scientist and believe in God?"

Reaction from one of the panelists, all Nobel laureates, was quick and sharp. "No!" declared Herbert A. Hauptman, who shared the chemistry prize in 1985 for his work on the structure of crystals.

Belief in the supernatural, especially belief in God, is not only incompatible with good science, Dr. Hauptman declared, "this kind of belief is damaging to the well-being of the human race."

His kind of thinking is damaging to the human race. The fact of the matter is, even if you buy into evolution, there is still a leap of faith required to explain how matter (or atoms or sub-atomic particles or the laws that govern all of this) came into existance in the first place. There was a beginning and the laws that govern the universe preclude self-creation.

Dr. Collins said he believed that some scientists were unwilling to profess faith in public "because the assumption is if you are a scientist you don't have any need of action of the supernatural sort," or because of pride in the idea that science is the ultimate source of intellectual meaning.

But he said he believed that some scientists were simply unwilling to confront the big questions religion tried to answer. "You will never understand what it means to be a human being through naturalistic observation," he said. "You won't understand why you are here and what the meaning is. Science has no power to address these questions - and are they not the most important questions we ask ourselves?"

No Sleep? No Problem?

Wonder drug beats sleep loss

I've often wished it were that easy. What are the side effects? What happens when you stop taking it? I doubt it's as easy as they make it out to be.

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Dead People

Palestinians: Get us out of Gaza

The Palestinians have destroyed themselves, with plenty of help from their fellow Arab nations. I don't believe there is any hope for them at this point. I'm not sure why Israel pulled out, perhaps to prove a point. Unfortunately, that point will most likely be lost on a world turned upside down. The Palestinians will never rest until all of Israel is destroyed. If they actually managed to achieve that, and they won't, they would still not be able to settle down and live peaceably with themselves.

There's a lot of history behind all of this, but if you were able to sift through it all and find the reasons for their condition, ultimately, the fault would lie on their own shoulders.

Not Quite What You Think

Stunned waitress gets Porsche as tip in Sweden

What's the first thing you think of? A new Porsche, right?

"It turned out to be 1979 Porsche 924 worth 4,000 dollars."

Great tip, no doubt. I'd take one. Just not quite what the headline promises.

Open Season On Private Property

Better hope a developer doesn't want yours.

Daytona businesses must sell property

"You don't own anything any more," said Darrell Hunter, whose business, Capt. Darrell's Oyster Bar and Restaurant, has been condemned. "The government owns it and can do whatever they want with it.

Same thing going on in a neighborhood near you. If not, it will.

Never mind that private property rights are one of the foundational principals of this country.

Monday, August 15, 2005


I was going to write a post yesterday about how the rain has been bypassing my neighborhood lately. When I look at the radar there are storms all around my area but there would be a clear circle where I live. I'm not complaining, I just noticed this. Well, Sunday afternoon was the end of that. We got hit hard. Lightning was striking all around and hit in my backyard. All this while I was trying to sleep.

Having Fun Yet

Sunday morning I thought I would change the oxygen sensors on Irma's car. There are two. Unfortunately, I believe Cadillac engineers gave no thought whatsoever to replacing parts on this engine after it was installed. The idea must have been to make a really good engine that lasts well into the second owner but when parts start aging you just throw it away. What do they care at that point?

The front sensor wasn't too bad, just had to remove the upper engine mount and air cleaner and squeeze your hand down to it. Disconnecting the electrical connection was actually harder because of it's location.

The rear sensor is a completely different story. You cannot reach it from the bottom - just forget it - ain't gonna happen. You can see it from the top through a sliver between the engine and fire wall (actually the vent blower assembly). Remove the upper strut brace and the bank of ignition coils. Look again and wonder if this is actually possible. It's close to a straight shot down so getting the socket on it wasn't too bad, you just have to add some long extensions. Loosening the sensor, you soon find the wires getting tangled up and jammed between the engine and tool. It helps to do this in the hot Florida sun so the sweat pours off you and lubricates the engine, but not much.

After much aggravation and cursing, just get some vise grips and pull the wires loose so you can continue loosening the sensor. Don't forget to break the connector so you can't give up and leave the old one in there. Having a 5 year old around asking a bunch of questions kind of adds to the excitement here. Forget about using the socket now - you got it loose and it will not come any further with the socket - it's stuck. Luckily, the sensor had anti-seize compound on the threads and can acually be turned by turning the wires while wiggling the sensor. Slowly but surely. Got it? Yes, it's out. Now take a break, drink plenty of fluids.

Go back out there and take a look. Start worrying because the hardest part is yet to come. Try putting the new sensor in the socket and guiding it down into the hole. No problem, right? Now try to actually get the threads started. Don't crossthread them. The angle is wrong and it's not possible. Consider using a knuckle on the extension but notice the socket is going to break the wires if you try that again. Forget that idea, you have to do it by hand. Try every position possible to get your hand down there. Cursing doesn't help, but do it anyway. It doesn't help to burn the back of your hand on the lawnmower exhaust 2 days before trying this, so don't do it. You will just tear the skin off the back of your hand and even that doesn't give you enough room to get your hand down there.

Take a break before you really break something. I know watching the car burn in your driveway would look pretty good right now but just walk away.

OK, ready to try again? Good. Try and try and try. Try some more. Stop trying. Think. You need smaller hands. Look at your 5 year old son and wonder if he has the dexterity to do it. Look at the 13 year old and realize his hands are as big as yours. Look at 5 year old again. No, that's a very last resort. Think some more.

Keep thinking, your almost there. Who's car is this anyway? Irma's car. Irma can't drive her car if this part doesn't go back in and Irma really hates driving your car. Hmmm. Irma has smaller hands. "Oh, Irma! I need your help here!"

Just explain the situation to your wife. Emphasis the fact that if this sensor isn't in the car she can't drive it. Show her your bloody stumps hands. Get a carpet and put it on top of the engine so she can lay down and work.

Hey, it worked. It took a while and a lot of false starts but it's in.

Have a Banana

This is an interesting article on bananas. Can This Fruit Be Saved?

Just Asking

What's an environmentally friendly shooting range? They want to build one in Saint Cloud.

Ah, here it is:

Kelly also said making the range environmentally sound is a current trend being embraced by law enforcement groups nationwide and the U.S. military. By using non-lead ammunition and special gun components to prevent release of minute amounts of toxic gases that can build up over time and harm range personnel, the St. Cloud facility would be one of first totally "green" ranges in the country, said Kelly.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Woman Files Lawsuit After Being Saved From Drowning

Barbara Connors is suing the town of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, saying she was rescued too late to prevent serious brain damage.

I thought there were Good Samaritan laws to keep people from sueing rescuers? If you're going to be sued after saving someones life, why bother? That's the point of the law, to keep people from thinking twice about saving someone.

The Jokes On Him

Man Picks Wrong Car For Joke Traffic Stop

I don't know if it's nationwide but here in Central Florida the police have undercover vehicles that look just like any other car on the road - pickups, vans, cars you wouldn't think would be a police car - and the flashing lights are completely hidden until they come on. I've never been pulled over by one but I would be concerned it was possibly just some idiot like the guy in the article.

Speaking of idiots, I've seen a rash of people pull over to the left or even stop in the traffic lane when being pulled over. What's that all about?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

James At School

James had a great time at school yesterday. He enjoyed art the most, he did finger painting. He got some paint on his new shirt but I was able to wash it out before Mommy saw it. He had no problem at all adjusting to a new environment. The teacher said he was very well behaved, too.

I didn't get any sleep though. The power steering pump mount broke on my car (while Irma was driving it - for the first time in ages) and I can't get it until later today. So, I had to drive Irma to work ... but ... She went to work late. I had to take her to Walmart, went to the dealer to get the part for my car (they didn't have it), then she wanted to stop at a car dealer and look at a Ford F150. We drove that down the road- it had a few problems I didn't care for.

We went home and found out I had missed a FedEx package I needed to fix a problem on her car. I was not happy about that. I started taking her to work and there was a FedEx truck in front of AutoZone. I turned around but by that time he had left. We spotted him on a side road and after a few turns were able to catch him at his next stop. I asked if he had my package and he sure did. Perfect. By the time I got home it was 1:00pm and I had to pick up James at 2:30pm. I took a nap for 1 hour. I put the part on her car when I got up.

I still have to change the oxygen sensors and the front wheel bearings on her car and change the power steering pump mount on my car. Not doing it today.

What's Going On At Disney World?

"From Mission: Space to Tower of Terror to Typhoon Lagoon, Disney has had a horrible story come out of each this summer. A four-year-old died at Epcot in June. A 16-year-old collapsed at MGM-Studios last month. A 12-year-old died at the Typhoon Lagoon water park last week."

What a year Disney is having, eh? Now ...

Fire Department Serving Disney May Scramble Calls

"The public might not have heard much about the incident if a call for paramedics didn't go out over the scanner. Reporters and others monitor those transmissions. But soon, those scanners could go silent."

Monday, August 08, 2005

In Memory of Joseph T. Neal

Joe was killed on July 26, 2005 in an automobile accident.

This is Joe on our day trip to New Orleans. He will be missed.

School Starts Today!

Today will be the first day of school for James. He's excited and I think he will be just fine. I'll let you know what he says when he gets home.

Shouldn't Have To Say It

If the United States brought all the troops home, dismantled it's military, destroyed all of it's nuclear arsenal and completely minded its own business, not only would it not bring peace to the world or to the United States, but it would make the world a much more dangerous place. Far worse than it is now.

A mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, demanding President Bush bring home the troops, completely misunderstands how the world works and how freedom and liberty are bought and paid for. Here's the link.

Missing Teen?

There has been a missing teen in Florida since July 21 and the first I heard of it was on Fox News Saturday night. She has been found murdered.

I watch the news every night and every morning I am working. I don't always like watching it but I put it on so I know what's going on. Usually, when a child is missing, it's all over the news - at least locally. What about the amber alert? Did I really just miss it or did it not get reported as much as others?

It's amazing that some missing or murdered victims get so much attention that you can hardly stand to hear any more about it and some just seem to get lost and forgotten.