Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Blog Light

Sharon (my wife) and I will be in Breckenridge, Colorado the next few days. Our goal is to climb (or rather hike) a 14-er. There are twenty nine 14,000 ft mountains or higher in Colorado. Many people out there have as a life goal to climb all 29 of them. They are rated from 1 to 3 with 1 being the easiest with no technical climbing skills needed. We thought we'd start with a one (my momma didn't raise no fool) , either Quandry Peak, Long's Peak, or Grey's Peak, or weather permitting, all 3 of them. The forecast is for snow showers and temps in the 30's out there, so who knows, we may not get to hike at all due to the unusual winter conditions this early in the year.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How Democrats Can Win Again

Rich Karlgard is one of my favorite columists in Forbes Magazine. Lately his blog has been hitting on all cylinders. This is another example below.

Lately, my posts have been highlighted by other people's thoughts. Sorry about that. I've been in a slump lately.

So, until I get "it" back, please enjoy my brethren who are better at it than I.

"'Democrats cannot connect with the middle class until they understand that they are richer, more optimistic and more firmly in control of their lives than they think. Democrats need to know that the typical middle-class family is likely to be married with children; many of the pressures they face come from trying to get ahead, not simply staying in place.

'With that in mind, we suggest a very simple message aimed at the middle class and a related set of policies. Our positive message is that Democrats will build a new era of middle-class opportunity--a message that is optimistic, forward-looking, implicitly critical of the old regime and aimed squarely at the group of voters who once formed the bedrock of the Democratic Party. This kind of message also reinforces the successful progressive tradition of optimists like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Bill Clinton.'"

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BMW to Roll Out First Hydrogen-Burning Car Next Year

FOXNews.com - BMW to Roll Out First Hydrogen-Burning Car Next Year -

Now this is very cool. Notice that the cars will be so expensive that they will only be leased to select buyers. Also, they will have an auto-converter to a gasoline engine, much like the standard electric-hyrbid, until the hydrogen infrastructure is built. Which begs the question--which infrastructure will be built first--Ethanol (E 285) or Hydrogen or both?

"A spokesman said the car would be leased to selected customers rather than sold because of its high price. Leasing rates would be similar to those for a top-end BMW 760LI with a full-service package.

The BMW 7 Series Hydrogen 7 Saloon is powered by a 260 hp twelve-cylinder engine and accelerates from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.5 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 230 km/h.

BMW has said it intends to build a few hundred such cars at first. They will be able to switch between burning standard petrol and hydrogen so that drivers will not be left stranded while the infrastructure to deliver hydrogen is built up."

Is Steve Jobs Ill?

Digital Rules By Rich Karlgaard

"Reprinted" in it's entirety from Digital Rules

"The question must be asked.

Apple's cofounder, chairman and CEO was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2004. The survival stats for pancreatic cancer are grim. But Jobs suffered from a rarer and less fatal form of the disease, called islet cell pancreatic cancer. Here is the prognosis:

'Islet cell cancers overall have a more favorable prognosis than cancers of the exocrine pancreas, and the median survival from diagnosis is three and a half years. This is mainly due to their slow-growing nature. Insulinomas have a five-year survival rate of 80%, and gastrinomas have 65%. When malignant, islet cell cancers do not generally respond well to chemotherapy, and the treatment is mainly palliative. Most patients with metastasis do not survive five years. Islet cell cancer tends to spread to the surrounding lymph nodes, stomach, small intestine and liver.'

Not great. But better than the standard form of pancreatic cancer, which has a 98% mortality rate over five years.

Is it appropriate to raise the question of Steve Jobs' health?

Reasonable people could go back and forth on that. Any ill person deserves some measure of privacy. Jobs, though, heads a publicly traded company. Some $60 billion of investor capital rides on its fortunes. Some 15,000 employees and their families depend on Apple's prospects.

Last month, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs looked gaunt and gave an an atypical (for him) low-energy speech. Here is the review. Note Jobs' photo at the 2005 Apple WWDC versus that of the 2006 Apple WWDC meeting. The weight loss is alarming.

More evidence that the Apple CEO might be ailing comes from last week's news that Google CEO Eric Schmidt had joined Apple's board. Why? Veteran tech pundit John Dvorak thinks Schmidt might try to engineer an Apple-Sun merger and install Sun co-founder and Google's first investor Andy Bechtolsheim as CEO of the combined company.

Or Schmidt himself might take over Apple.

Why even contemplate the replacement of Steve Jobs if not for external (e.g. illness) reasons? Jobs, after all, is as linked to his company and its fortunes as any CEO can be. Steve Jobs is Apple Computer. He birthed it, raised it and in spectacular fashion brought it back to glory.

Apple without Steve Jobs is unthinkable ... unless. ... And we really, really hope the answer to our headline question is NO.

El Nino forms in Pacific Ocean

CNN.com - El Nino forms in Pacific Ocean 6 From Reuter's

El Nino, an extreme warming of equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean that wreaks havoc with world weather conditions, has formed and will last into 2007, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday.

El Nino has already helped make the Atlantic hurricane season milder than expected, said a NOAA forecaster.

"The weak El Nino is helping to explain why the hurricane season is less than we expected. El Ninos tend to suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic," said Gerry Bell, a hurricane forecaster for NOAA.

The NOAA's Climate Prediction Center said the El Nino probably will spur warmer-than-average temperatures this winter over western and central Canada and the western and northern United States.

It said El Nino also will cause wetter-than-average conditions in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, and spark dry conditions in the Ohio valley, the Pacific Northwest and most U.S. islands in the tropical Pacific.

An El Nino also usually leads to milder winter weather in the U.S. Northeast, the top heating oil market in the world.

Bell said scientists will have a better idea in the fall how long this El Nino will last. "There's no way to say at this time how strong it is going to be. It's too early," he said.

The last severe El Nino struck in 1997-1998. The weather phenomenon caused searing drought in Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines while causing rampant flooding in Ecuador and Chile, the world's top producer of copper.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rooney Suggests Fault for Terrorism Lies with American Behavior | NewsBusters.org

Rooney Suggests Fault for Terrorism Lies with American Behavior | From Newsbusters.org

Here is Rooney's Quote from 60 minutes last night:

“We went into Iraq March 20th, 2003. They won't be closing the banks on March 20th every year to celebrate that. The Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in 1979 might have wiped out our civilization. Most of our disasters have had some natural origin -- floods, too much water. [Over photo of floods] How often have you seen this picture? Hurricanes and tornadoes, too much wind, too much rain. Droughts may be worse, but not so dramatic as hurricanes because they don't happen on just one day.

“The disaster on September 11th wasn't like any of those. It was manmade. Death by design. Some people who hated Americans set out to kill a lot of us and they succeeded. Americans are puzzled over why so many people in the world hate us. We seem so nice to ourselves. They do hate us though. We know that and we're trying to protect ourselves with more weapons. We have to do it I guess, but might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn't make so many people in the world want to kill us.”

This is where I part ranks with the anti-Iraq and anti-war liberals, who tend to think that we are the problem, not the enemy as being the problem. The United States of America makes mistakes, no doubt about it. We have in the past and we will in the future. Currently, I'm not all fired up about what is going on in Iraq, and do believe and have posted that we need a change in direction or a change in leadership at the Defense Dept. We need to either DOUBLE the number of troops over there, or we need to systematially begin to withdrawal next year, and allow the Iraqi's to govern themselves and to police themselves.

But, back to Rooney. America is hated across the world because we are a successful nation, a successful democracy, and we act on behalf of the United Nations for the most part. Every country wishes they had the resources that we have. We give more philanthropic aid than any other country in the world to every region of the world, and we are extremely generous in all facets of the word.
Is this something for which we should be attacked?

Yes, we make diplomatic mistakes, and we could do more in the world to help, particulary as it related to Rwanda in the 1990's and other areas of Africa during the genocidal wars.

I reject everything that Rooney implies in his remarks however. We are who we are. Love us or Hate us. But do not come in here and bomb our people and bomb our buildings and create fear and frustation just because we are America.

Furthermore, in the name of Allah, we need to endorse religious and racial profiling and scrutinize each and every person coming to America even futher than we do now.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

‘Crocodile Hunter’ gets private funeral

‘Crocodile Hunter’ gets private funeral : From MSNBC.com

A sad farewell to a man who entertained me and my kids for many years on many different occasions, usually during those unplanned evenings when flipping channels at home---when the channel flipping would stop on Animal Plannet, and then, we would all become mesmerized by him.

Steve Irwin had an uncanny ability to connect with the viewer and to explain his interest albeit his love, his passion --for reptiles of the most sinister nature.

I've always wanted to be an expert at something or to actually love my job so much that it showed the way it always showed on Steve Irwin's face when he talked about a croc or a snake. This guy knew what it meant to be alive---and how to live life to the fullest----he was a unique individual with many special talents, such as holding venemous snakes, and sticking his head in an alligator's mouth for fun. He took Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom to a new level. The host of that show was not nearly as animated as Steve Irwin, and his name currently escapes me. Irwin eclipsed Mutual of Omaha in many ways---particularly with his infectious smile, consuming personality, high energy levels, and his Aussie accent. His lovely American wife added to the intrigue. We will all miss him, American's and Australian's alike.

" A private funeral service was held for Australian TV naturalist Steve Irwin on Saturday and he will be buried at his family’s zoo in the northern state of Queensland, local media reported.

Irwin’s father, Bob Irwin, had declined a government offer for a state funeral for his son."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Problem(s) With Junior

From The Nashville Scene - The Problem(s) With Junior (as in Harold Ford, JR)

It's surprising that this article comes out of the leftist, liberalist, always a good read tho', Nashville Scene.

Plus Liz Garrigan can get "out there" literally in left field, and she is not in the league of a Bruce Dobie, or even a Matt Pulle, in terms of her writing skills.

However, to her credit, in the article linked above, Liz points out correctly that Harold Ford Jr. has never held a real job, has never filled out an application for a job for that matter, and has just a huge void of real life experiences. How can so many "normal" people be fired up about this guy? I think it should be a pre-requisite for U S. Senate candidates to have held a job, hell, even a lawyer's job.

Which is why I'm for Bob Corker. Not only has he held a job, but he has run his own business, and he has done those things that teaches someone in his leadership position a great deal about "real life" and working with "real people" and the situations that come up that are unscripted in life. Such experiences are critical when trying to work on the problems of this country in the U.S. Senate.

That's the problem right there. JR's life has been scripted. I could never vote for the guy, no matter how articulate, no matter how "good looking", no matter what his pedigree.

Now, if he were to go out there and spend 10 years in the private world making a living, he might be a hell of a candidate one day.

Newsman to Tony Snow: 'Don't Point Your Finger At Me!'

Newsman to Tony Snow: 'Don't Point Your Finger At Me!'

A rather interesting exchange yesterday between Tony Snow and NBC chief White House correspondent David Gregory. I have never liked David Gregory--he seems to continue the media bias and generally has a negative approach to his reporting. If you are keeping count, this is the second broo ha ha between a White House spokesperson and David Gregory.
This is from Editor and Publisher below:

A not especially eventful press briefing at the White House today turned rancorous with NBC's David Gregory telling Press Secretary Tony Snow, "Don't point your finger at me," and Snow accusing the newsman of being "rude" and delivering Democratic talking points.

Earlier, speaking to reporters, Snow, continuing the administration's media focus on the war on terror, accused "some in the Democratic Party" of saying "we shouldn't fight the war" and "we shouldn't apprehend al-Qaeda" or even "question al-Qaeda."

Snow got into a tussle with Gregory after the NBC journalist told him, in a lengthy remark, that the public may wonder why the president's statement and report today on the war on terror did not admit more failings on the administration's part. Snow observed that he had nicely summarized "the Democratic point of view," and Gregory took exception to this.

This exchange followed.

Q Actually, Tony, I don't think that's fair, if you look at the facts. If you look at the facts.

MR. SNOW: Well, I do, because -- no, because, for instance --

Q No, no, no. No, I don't think you should be able to just wipe that, kind of dismiss the question --

MR. SNOW: Well, let me --

Q It's not a Democratic argument, Tony.

MR. SNOW: Let me answer the question, David.

Q But hold on, let's not let you get away with saying that's a Democratic argument.

MR. SNOW: Okay, let me -- let's not let you get away with being rude. Let me just answer the question, and you can come back at me.

Q Excuse me. Don't point your finger at me. I'm not being rude.

MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.

Q Don't try to dismiss me as making a Democratic argument, Tony, when I'm speaking fact.

MR. SNOW: Well, okay -- well, no --

Q You can do that to the Democrats; don't do it to me.

MR. SNOW: No, I'm doing it to you because the second part was factually tendentious, okay? Now, when you were talking about the fact that it failed to adapt, that's just flat wrong. And you will be -- there has been -- there have been repeated attempts to try to adapt to military realities, to diplomatic realities, to development of new weapons and tools on the part of al Qaeda, including the very creative use of the Internet. So the idea that somehow we're staying the course is just wrong. It is absolutely wrong.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Crowd Was Electric

Commentary by John Pennington from Knox News From the GOVOLS extra

"*The crowd at Neyland Stadium was electric. And it clearly got to Cal's quarterbacks and their offensive teammates.

*I spoke to former Vol Mike Stowell after the game and I said to him, 'you know what game this reminded me of?' He immediately answered, 'Florida 1990.' Yep, that was it. Just as the Vols swamped the Gators 45-3 on that night, nothing went right for Cal on Saturday night. The UT D had an answer for every offensive weapon. They had a big play every time a first down was needed. This was 'one of those nights' for Cal and the Vols. If UT hadn't lifted Ainge and decided to take their foot off the gas, I believe the score could have reached 45-3 levels. Unbelievable season opening performance... and atmosphere."

(john pennington)..my comments below

And so it was. I attended the game in an 11 hour whirl wind round trip from Nashville with 2 of my brothers. The game gave us enough energy and enthusiasm to drive back. Hell we could have driven to the West Coast.

You've read the news. You know the Vols Won. But the crowd and the energy levels is something that is difficult for the sportswriters to write about. The atmosphere was totally unbelievable and completely positively berserk. No one expected this kind of victory. The 3rd quarter was simply mind numbingly ecstaticly incredbily fun. We were up 35-0. We were hugging our seatmates, we were high fiving strangers, we were jumping up and down, the feeling was so good. This was college football at it's finest moment. Pure unadulterated emotionally charged sensations for a team and a program that had almost been written off.
I will always remember this game for the raw emotions that came exploding from the fans in the stadium who were so totally happy.