Monday, September 18, 2006
Girl Astronauts Kick Ass
Especially when they're filthy rich and paid cash for the trip.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Leaving On a Jet Plane.... in 4 Days
In preparation for our extended journey overseas, I'm brushing up on my Jive skills.
Always remember..... lay them down, and smack-em yack-em.
Cold got to be.
Maybe we'll even get to sit up in first class.
Have a good one this weekend
This took place at Mavericks, just south of San Francisco, where I grew up.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Judge-To-Saddam: 'You Were Not a Dictator'
Iraq to Saddam: You were just a Dick!
You must respect my authoritay!!!!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Navy Pranks at the Air Force Academy
I'm not the biggest fan of the Air Force Academy (aka The Zoo), so I get a kick out of seeing stuff like this. Looks like some Navy Squids painted the Academy's 'Phantom on a Stick' to look like a classic Blue Angel.
The Navy kids have earned my respect. Just watch your back Squids. Some of the Air Force Cadets might do something they consider really scary and bad to get back at you. Like maybe hiding your shoes, or changing your Crest toothpaste with AquaFresh or something. That's about as original as they get out there in Colorado Springs.
Thanks to Cowboy Blog's Saloon for the pic. If you haven't been to his site, go check it out.
Secretary of the Air Force Wants to use Weapons on U.S. Civilians
And I say Cool! Testing non-lethal weaponry intended for crowd control in the US would be pretty fun actually. I'd volunteer for the sonic wave emitters that make you sick to your stomach and leave you with the munchies. Nope, I wouldn't raise my hand for anything involving leather chaps and olive oil, but I'm up for everything else.
After all, what non-lethal weapons could be worse than 'The Cubicle?'
6 Days Until I Leave To Australia
It's finally hitting me. I'm less than a week away from walking through downtown Sydney. I'll be down in Australia for just under 3 weeks. My now 7 year old daughter Kalyssa, whom I adopted, is my little Aussie, so we take her back once a year so she will always know where she comes from. Well, that and it's a great excuse to fly down there. The only thing I hate about Australia is leaving it. I never want to leave.
This time around I'll be videotaping and photographing everything, so if there's anything you'd like to see please let me know. Also, if you have any questions about the place, feel free to send them my way.
I'll do my best to post the pictures as I go as long as I can find some wireless hotspots along the coast between Sydney and Brisbane.
The view from the hotel we usually stay in, located in 'The Rocks' section of Sydney.
Brisbane will be the second city we stay in. It's north of Sydney, along the East Coast.
Actually it's only 17 hours from Ohio, but who's counting. Quantas Airlines makes the flight go by quickly by providing free drinks and your own TV/Movie/Video Game system.
And yes, we'll be going to the Australia Zoo. Sad to know that Steve Irwin is gone, but his zoo is still the best one we've ever been to.
And of course, I'll be hitting the beaches every step of the way.
Monday, September 11, 2006
The Children of 9/11
Michelle Malkin has the best roundup of tributes, memorials, and great commentary to commemorate 9/11.
I Want One Of These..... A Remote Control C-17
Major Jill Metzger Found
I posted last week about Air Force Major Jill Metzger, and how she went missing in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan. There's good news. She was found alive!
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - A U.S. Air Force major who went missing for three days arrived at a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Sunday, and a senior Kyrgyz police official said that her departure "strongly complicates" the probe into her disappearance.
Maj. Jill Metzger vanished Tuesday in Bishkek, the capital of this former Soviet republic, while shopping for souvenirs at a department store before a scheduled departure from the country on Friday.
A massive search involving Kyrgyz and U.S. investigators came up empty until late Friday, when police said Metzger knocked on the door of a house in Kant, about 22 miles from the capital, and said she had been abducted.
The statement, which did not mention Metzger's condition, said it was unclear how long she would stay, but the debriefing process usually lasts three to six days.
Capt. Anna Carpenter, spokeswoman at the U.S. air base at Bishkek's civilian airport, said Saturday that Metzger was in "stable condition." Kyrgyz authorities have said only that she was exhausted.
All of us here at Wright-Patt are thrilled that she's alive and well, and hopefully bound for home soon.
Now it's time to go get the folks who abducted her and bring them to justice... Kygyz-style justice.
September 11th - CNN and FOX News Live Feed
One thing about September 11th 2001 I will always regret is not being able to actually watch 90% of what took place that morning. I was stationed in Alaska, 4 hours behind the East Coast, so I missed nearly all of what took place that morning. By the time I got a call from a friend down in California, I was up, changed, and racing to the control tower on base to figure out what was going on and what I needed to do. After all, the base was locked down and my boss couldn't get onto base. It was one of those defining moments for me as a junior officer.
This past weekend I found out that CNN and FOX News would be replaying their news coverage from that morning in its entirety. I realized that this was a great opportunity to finally see what most of the country had witnessed that day.
I started with CNN.com's footage. Ironically the morning started out with a story about how important it was to evacuate when a Hurricane was approaching. From then on, the attacks took place and the story unfolded.
I then put FOXNews.com's feed up, and both live feed's played simultaneously. After watching both for 2+ hours... from start to finish, my opinion about my missing the footage that morning changed. I wish I wouldn't have seen it live.
There was so much uncertainty and chaos in what was being broadcast (small planes, cargo planes, explosions came from within, etc), and the broadcasters were so clueless as to what they were witnessing, my stomach just turned while I sat there. Seriously, I was sick to my stomach from the moment the first report came in.
The footage is still ongoing as of now, and will be throughout the day, but I think I've had my fill. It was hard watching everything unfold. I can't imagine how much harder it was watching it that day.
As with most of Americans, my life changed that day. My daughter, who was cuddled up on my lap this morning snoozing, wouldn't be here had it not been for that day. My attitude towards the importance of life and living was completely different from that moment on.
Personally, I will never watch the live feed again. I will never forget it, but I don't think I need to look back that closely again. I'll always watch documentaries and shows on 9/11, but not the live feed.
I'd rather keep looking forward.
Destin's Crab Island and Mr. & Mrs. Allicadem
Something I failed to mention (mainly because I'm pathetic) while I was down in Alabama attending SOS, I was invited by blogger Allicadem and her husband, the very cool Mr. Allicadem, to kick back down in Destin Florida.
Yes, that's Destin... The Beach!
I can't begin to describe how much fun it was heading out on a boat from Eglin AFB to Crab Island, a little spot next to Destin where a group of fellow Air Force boaters were anchored. I couldn't have asked for a better time that day thanks to Allicadem.
Little did I know that both Mr. and Mrs. Allicadem are exceptional cooks and wine aficionados. Before we left for the beach that day they prepared an excellent home made lunch that put every southwest dish I've ever had to shame. They should seriously consider opening up their own restaurant.
The following Sunday I had just enough time to jump on an inner tube and float down Black Water river, something I didn't think was possible in Florida. After a few hours of fun I had to head back north to Montgomery to prepare for yet another crazy week of tests and BS.
I owe a lot of my success at SOS to these wonderful people who took me in, fed me, threw me out on a beach to soak up some much needed sun, and really just allowed me to recharge. More importantly they were very inspiring as a couple. It's always refreshing and reassuring to see a marriage that strong.
I can't thank them enough for everything, but I certainly hope to see them both again. My door is always open if you two ever head up north.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Most Popular Myths - Debunked
Accidently found a website (isn't how it always happens) from LiveScience.Com that debunks some of the most popular myths out there.
Some of the myths include:
Hair and fingernails continue growing after death
It takes seven years to digest gum
Water drains backwards in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth's rotation
The last one is a source of contention in my house. No matter how much I try convince the wife and kids that flushing the toilet in one hemisphere is no different then flushing it in another, they just don't believe me. I'm about to videotape our toilet flushing and water draining down the sink so that when we go to Australia in two weeks I can prove to them once and for all that they are all on crack.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
IN-N-OUT Burger, Part 2
Last week Dave at Garfield Ridge was on vacation out in Cali, and he snapped a photo of a famous In-n-Out burger. I used to live off those things every day when I lived out there. Of course my metabolism was much better back than. I typically ate a "4x4", 4 patties and 4 slices of cheese.
Anyway, Dave's photo reminded me of a dream I had once. Yes, I had a dream, that one day I would sit down hand in hand with my brothers and sisters at an In-n-Out joint, and we could all enjoy a 100 x 100. That's right, a burger with 100 patties and 100 slices of cheese.
Well, I found someone who did just that. Someone lived the dream for me, and I have lived vicariously through them thanks to the photos they provided as proof.
Kneel before me, thy humble servant soon-to-be in cardiac arrest.
Donate to Jerry's Kids or Buy a 100x100. Tough choice.
Here's the website with the story and the rest of the pictures. Enjoy, and be advised that I will do this some day. Oh yes, I.Will.Succeed.
U.S. Air Force Major Missing In Kyrgyzstan
(CNN) -- A U.S. Air Force officer is missing after a trip to a shopping mall in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, a U.S. military statement said Wednesday.
Maj. Jill Metzger, with the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, was last seen shopping at the Zum Shopping Center with others from the Manas Air Base when she disappeared Tuesday, the statement said.
Three things I need to say about this really sad situation. First, I've been to this mall in Kyrgyzstan. Although it has always been one of the 'safer' places to be in downtown Bishkek, it's still Central Asia and nobody in that group should have been walking alone. The fact that her group that she traveled with returned to base without her 'hoping' she would return at a later time is pathetic, and no matter what the outcome, I hope they're all punished to the full extent of the law. What ever happened to 'Never Leave An Airmen Behind?'
Second, Keep Major Metzger in your prayers. This could go either way. The blogger Parrot Check made an excellent point that the local crime syndicate in Bishkek won't like the fact that they just lost their gravy train from the base. Thousands of dollars were being spent by base personnel downtown, and now that the base is in lock down that cash flow is dried up. The Mob will be doing everything they can to find and return the Major unharmed in the hopes that base personnel will be allowed back out to shop. If the Major was indeed kidnapped, it's almost certainly for money... unless of course one of the extremist cells from down south have done this for political reasons. If this is the case, I hope the Mob can find her faster than we can. Either way, keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Third, Kyrgyzstan is a critical partner in the War on Terror. We need them just as much as they need us, so finding the Major is equally important to the Kyrgyz as it is to us.
Update: As I'm writing this I heard a local radio story about the Major. I didn't know she was a two time US Air Force Marathon winner, and she was bound for Wright-Patterson AFB in just a few days to compete in the Marathon this weekend. The reporter says that the Kyrgyz police are confident that this is not a kidnapping. They didn't elaborate on how they know this, but that's their take on the situation.
Keep your fingers crossed.
Update: The New York Times has an update on the search, but no progress has been made.
Further Success in Iraq
Spread the word...
Iraq Takes Control of Military From U.S.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Iraq formally took over command of its armed forces from the U.S.-led coalition Thursday, a milestone American officials have hailed as crucial to the country's difficult road to independence and eventual withdrawal of foreign troops.
"This is such a huge, significant event that's about to occur," U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said Wednesday of the handover. "If you go back and you map out significant events that have occurred in this government's formation in taking control of the country, tomorrow is gigantic."
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Oops, The BBC Admits That The US Economy Is Doing Great
It's official - The Mainstream Media can Kiss My Ass
I discovered something interesting while reading a BBC story on how the economies of the world reacted to the attacks on 9/11. I don't think the BBC realized what they were saying when they let the cat out of the bag that the United States economy is doing extremely well. After all, the media isn't allowed to talk about such positive things.
The BBC went so far as to provide some great charts that show just how well the economy is doing. According to the following chart, the % change in US GDP has been astronomical when compared to previous years. The amazing thing is that all of this growth has taken place after 9/11, the War in Iraq, and Katrina.
The best part is that the GDP in 2005 was actually higher than 4.3% according to revised figures on CNN.Com, who called it the perfect GDP.
The 2006 GDP has already been estimated at 5.3%, which blows the BBC's chart out of the water.
So what about the deficit? Just as the previous chart on the 2005 GDP, the estimated 2005 deficit (below) is incorrect. It is now estimated at 300 billion. Don't get me wrong, a deficit is a deficit, but when you take into account everything we've faced over the last 5 years, the fact that we have a shrinking deficit is amazing... and unmentioned on the nightly news.
So what's the big picture?
Our GDP continues to sky rocket, inflation is low, our deficit is continuing to improve, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world (4.7%), and government revenue (tax dollar intake) is at an all time high even though we've had decreases in the tax rate. All of this while we're fighting a war, rebuilding New Orleans, and paying more per barrel of gas.
Our economy is on f'n fire.
Yes, it's a shock to me. All I ever hear is how bad things are. Honestly, if this is bad, I hope it stays bad for a very long time.
How The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Has Hurt The World
In the September 4th edition of the Albuquerque Journal there's a brief article discussing the need to upgrade and modernize our nation's nuclear inventory.
In her outgoing remarks, Sandia National Laboratory Vice President Mim John stated that "Not only should we be concerned about (weapon) aging, but we are the only country left that's a declared nuclear power that's not modernizing and transforming its arsenal to meet the security challenges of the 21st century."
This article sheds light on something every democratic nation on earth should be concerned with. Currently the nuclear arsenal of the United States is the gold standard for deterrence and stability around the world. Just as the US dollar is backed by gold, the national security of our country is backed by our ability to retaliate against major attacks using nuclear weapons.
Because of the SALT II treaty signed with Russia in 1993, the current US arsenal is limited to 3,000 - 3,500 strategic nuclear weapons. As long as Russia adheres to similar numbers, such an arsenal should be sufficient enough to deter a large scale attack anywhere around the world. The problem with the arsenal is not quantity, but quality.
Along with Russia, the US signed a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty in 1996 to show the world that we were backing away from our Cold War posture of relying on nuclear weapons. By disassociating ourselves with nuclear weapons and testing we were reinforcing the idea that, as the lone superpower in the world, we really didn't like having these weapons and that we would some day be getting rid of them.
Little did the US leadership know that by promising not to test our nuclear weapons we were losing our ability to make sure they actually worked. Nuclear weapons are dependent on electronic components and systems that require constant testing and repair. A majority of the current warheads and their electronic components are based on late 1970s- early 1980s technology. To base the security of the free world on 30 year old circuitry that we could no longer validate through testing is suicide, yet our nation chose to do this on September 10th, 1996. For 10 years now we've been depending on computer simulations to validate our rapidly aging nuclear arsenal.
Fast-forward to 2006. Although we are in a protracted guerilla war with terrorists around the world, the US is now facing a resurgence of fascist dictators who are pouring vast amounts of resources into producing weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear weapons. Iran, who has been quietly rebuilding their entire conventional military apparatus with Russian weapons systems, is currently enriching uranium to produce nuclear weapons. The only nation willing to deter Iran from using those weapons through the promise of assured destruction is the US, yet we are basing that deterrence on unreliable weaponry.
The scientists that are responsible for maintaining and verifying our nuclear weapons have developed a plan to modernize the arsenal. The first phase, called the Life Extension Program, involves a "large and expensive effort to retrofit existing Cold War weapons with newly redesigned components to extend their life." The second stage is an "effort to design a new nuclear explosive - the Reliable Replacement Warhead." The only thing keeping the scientists from initiating either phase to assure our nation's security is money.
Congress has yet to procure funds for this program out of fear that such actions would be perceived as unfriendly to the rest of the world. They are afraid that such a program might even provoke Iran and other rogue nations to speed up their own weapons programs. In other words, Congress feels that it's better to rely on an unreliable arsenal to deter nuclear proliferation that is already taking place. What will they say in a few years when Iran has a more modern arsenal than we do?
As with most dire security situations that exist in our country, this problem is not going to be solved until we are forced to respond because of an enemy attack. By then the program will be much more expensive and take three times as long to complete. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope that the aging weapons we might have to deploy to defend ourselves or our allies actually work. After all, nothing says 'we're finished' better than a nuclear weapon that doesn't go off.
The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1996 has hurt the free world's ability deter and defend against the rising fascist states and their budding nuclear programs. Congress has the ability to at least modernize our arsenal, but as with most security issues they've failed to act.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Islamo-Fascism Is Not a Myth
September 11th 2001 was smack on our nose compared to what we're going to have to deal with in the next 5 years because of the resurgence of Fascism around the world.
Remember, 20 million people died during WWI. 40 million died during WWII.
How many will die by the time we wake up and see the writing on the wall for what it really is? There are bad people in this world who want to convert and/or kill us because of who we are, and not because of who is in office at any given time. They don't care if our leadership is left or right, they only care about world domination and the downfall of the West.
For everyone's sake, wake the f' up USA and Europe.
Call me what you will...
...but if I woke up from surgery and saw this person jabbing me with a needle, I'm out of there faster than Carl Lewis on steriods.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Could you ever guess that the guy running for his life, dressed all in white, is a French Bullfighter? I'm not joking about this one. I never knew their idea of bullfighting, or pretty much anything, involved running away.
Looks like a future recruit for their military.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Happy Birthday to Me
31 and counting....
After flying all day yesterday and eating airport food, this seems appropriate.
Don't forget, 1 September is also the anniversary to the kick-off of World War II.