Archive for ◊ July, 2007 ◊

What Do the NFL and Talk Radio Have in Common?
Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 | Author:

I’m certainly not a great fan of NFL quarterback Michael Vick anymore than I was a fan of talk radio star Don Imus.  In fact, Imus is well-known as an anti-semite, and Vick (like his younger brother) is basically a ghetto thug.  However, both of these men have been treated — unreasonably, I should add — as some major societal pariahs.

What is it about their transgressions that have led the NFL and talk radio to hold these gentlemen to such holy standards? 

I would suggest that the answer is best illustrated by analogy: they did something wrong at the wrong time.  It is no different than the situation where a young child has violated their parent’s expectations when friends are visiting the household.  To avoid embarrassment from their visible lack of control, one of the parents decides that it’s time to show that they are in charge.  In attempting to set an example and prove to the visitors that they “run a tight ship”, the parent often applies punishment that exceeds the crime.

Both the NFL and talk radio have been under increased public scrutiny about the poor behavior of their stars.  The respective “parents” are embarrassed and have decided to let everyone know that they are aghast and that they are in control.

Category: Politics, Sports  | Leave a Comment
Windows Vista Receiving Less Consideration
Tuesday, July 31st, 2007 | Author:

As Gomer Pyle used to say “Surprise, Surprise!”  According to a recent article in Computerworld, “Fewer businesses are now considering the move to Windows Vista than seven months ago…”

Category: Business, Engineering  | One Comment
Visit to Muir Woods and Napa Valley
Monday, July 30th, 2007 | Author:

Chris and I are on a business trip to Northern California again and we arranged to visit Muir Woods and some of the wineries in the Napa Valley.  We started our day with a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge about 15 miles north of San Francisco to Muir Woods.  This is the home for some of the giant 1000-year-old redwood and sequoia trees.

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We then drove to the Napa Valley, which is the home for more than fifty different wineries ranging from Robert Mondavi to the Victor Sattui Vineyards.  We got a chance to take a behind the scenes tour, and I was able to sample some of the Cabernet grapes right off the vines…

Category: Business  | One Comment
Gardening Experiment with Cucumbers
Sunday, July 29th, 2007 | Author:

This year we planted cucumbers from hanging baskets as well as the traditional ground cover.  The photograph on the top left shows the cucumber plant with vegetables growing in the traditional horizontal orientation.  The photo on the top right shows the cucumber plant with the vegetables growing in the vertical orientation, hanging from a basket at the top of a trellis.

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The bottom left photo shows the sizable vegetable growing horizontal.  Meanwhile, the photo in the lower right shows the cucumber from the hanging basket as smaller and curling up to grow horizontal.

While not a stringently scientific test, the evidence seems to show that cucumbers have DNA that wants the vegetables to grow in the horizontal position.

Category: Engineering  | 2 Comments
Mars Attacks
Saturday, July 28th, 2007 | Author:

I received this email about Mars (see below) from someone close to me… while its appeared to be spectacular, I questioned its authenticity.  Thus, I did a little research using sites such as NASA and UrbanLegends…  As you could probably guess, this assertion about Mars is not really true.  First of all, this situation where the orbit of Mars tracked very close to Earth occurred in August 2003.  Second of all, this close orbit occurs about every 10 years.

This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter’s gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification, Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10pm and reach its azimuth at about 3am. By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30am.

That’s pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.

We always remember the sage wisdom of our parents: “If the deals seems to good to be true, it probably is”… the Internet corollary: “If the information seems too spectacular, do a little research on it before passing it around as gospel.”

Category: Engineering  | Leave a Comment
Home Security System
Friday, July 27th, 2007 | Author:

This is the best advice I’ve heard for a redneck-style home security system (Hat tip to Sam Greenwood):

1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men’s used size 16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with  copies of Guns & Ammo Magazine and some back-issues of NRA magazine.

3. Put several giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines (Include a Deer thigh-bone if available).

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:  Hey! Duke, Big Jim, Slammer, Slim, and I went for more hollow-point ammo. Back in an Hour. Don’t mess with the pit bulls — they attacked the mailman this Morning and they messed him up real bad. I don’t think Killer took part in It. Thank God! It was hard to tell, though, from all the blood. Took Bobbi-Jo hours to clean up the sidewalk. Anyways, I locked all four of them Dogs up in the house. Better wait outside.  They’re kinda spooked.  We be right back,  Bubba.

Category: Humor  | Leave a Comment
Fatah Threatens Israel with Terrorism
Thursday, July 26th, 2007 | Author:

Duh… Who would have thought?  According to a recent story about the “moderate” Palestinians in the WorldNetDaily:

Militants from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ party have organized a terrorist cell in the northern West Bank over the past few days to commit attacks against Israel using the name Abu Ammar Brigades… The move comes after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week offered amnesty to 178 Fatah fighters, including many who comprise the senior leadership of Fatah’s declared military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The Fatah militants signed a document pledging to refrain from terrorism.

Goodness gracious golly gee.   Just like Olmert and those gullible left wings Jews, I thought for sure that these Moslem Mongrels were honorable folks… We must have done something to “provoke this”… 🙁

By the way, has anyone identified that vanishing species known as “moderate Moslems”?

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment
Amazing Motorcycle Tricks
Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 | Author:

When I raced motocross as a youngster, I used to be impressed when my buddy could ride a 1-handed wheelie for a few hundred yards…  I couldn’t even imagine the tricks that these guys execute now in Freestyle Motocross (FMX).  You may not be a fan of the X Games, but you’ve got to take 60 seconds to check-out this double-flip on a motorcycle.

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Category: Sports  | Leave a Comment
Congressman Hobson Tennis Event
Tuesday, July 24th, 2007 | Author:

Yesterday, we participated in the 3rd Annual Congressman Hobson Golf & Tennis event.   We had nine employees from Renaissance along with a couple of staffers from the Congressman’s office participating in a round-robin doubles tennis tournament at the Springfield Country Club.  Everyone had a great time, and we all enjoyed the late lunch at the country club.

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Category: Business, Sports  | Leave a Comment

I generally don’t spend too much effort reading the left wing blogs such as DailyKos or the Huffington Post.  However, I was referred to an interesting piece written by Penelope Trunk at the Huffington Post.   Her comments are very telling of the viewpoint of misguided principles.  She notes about her experiences of someone selectively editing an interview with her:

He had footage of me telling all the most important stories of my life. He cut up the footage, reordered it, and created a tool that allowed viewers to recombine stories as they unfolded.  He basically made me sound like a lunatic. Like I was probably a liar and maybe delusional, depending on how someone ordered the video…

Journalists who think they are telling “the truth” don’t understand the truth. We each have our own truth. When you leave out details, you might leave out what is unimportant to you but very important to someone else…

It’s true that selective editing can lead to different interpretations.  However, you should question whether it really changes the truth.

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment