Saturday, December 31, 2005

Yeah, what he said!

Humorist Dave Barry has his review of 2005 up. He gets some good jabs in on the left and the right. I thought that this was one of the best though;
In a strongly worded rebuttal, angry congressional Democrats state that, because of a scheduling mixup, they missed the President's speech, but whatever he said, they totally disagree with it, and if they once voted in favor of it, they did so only because the President lied to them.

Yep. That's about right.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

ODBA


I am now a member of the Old Dominion Blog Alliance. The blogroll is on the left hand column. So please visit the finest offerings in the Commonwealth's Blogosphere.

ANWR

ImNotEmeril has used his AutoCAD skills to put the ANWR drilling proposal into perspective. He uses a football field to represent ANWR. The drilling area is smaller than a tic-tac mint. Go here to see the whole presentation.

Here's a teaser;

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Geography Test

Think you know your US Geography? Take a test here.
My score was 90% 11 Miles average error.

"Enough Said"

From the Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial Page;

Republican Delegate Jack Reid of Henrico, on illegal immigration: "People who come here illegally and are not willing to go through the process [of becoming citizens] are not welcome, and I don't want them here."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Early Christmas Present

Christmas came early for me this year. Here's what I got!

Four Words

I have four words for you; "How 'bout them Redskins!"

I was at the game with my dad and it was great! I've never felt the stands shake like they did. The mood in the crowd was electric from the opening kickoff to the end. This is what the fans have been waiting for since Joe Gibbs left.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Duck Hunt

I went duck hunting with a buddy of mine in Chincoteague, VA yesterday. We met up with guide Andy Linton. He took us and two other parties to blinds across from the Assateague Island wildlife refuge. Our blind was in the marsh on the edge of a small cove. As soon as we got into the blind, three black ducks flew overhead. I was standing up on a bench and I just knew that they had seen me. I hopped down disappointed that I had blown that opportunity when I saw them swing wide and land right in our decoys. We were stunned that they hadn't flared we just stared at them for a second. We returned to our senses and scrambled for our guns. They must have heard us because they were well up by the time we shouldered the guns and fired three futile shots. We would replay that over and over in our minds all day.

After about 2 hours, the other parties in their blinds had gotten off some shots but nothing was coming to our blind. Andy radioed us and asked if we wanted to move. We told hime yes and he came and took us out to a open water blind. It was a 4X8 blind with safe shooting all around. We weren't going to get any puddle ducks in this spot but the buffleheads were out in force. They would buzz by in ones and twos. After about 90 minutes, we ended up with 7 between the two of us. The daily limit is 5 per man so we asked Andy to move us back to the other blind so we could try to limit out on puddle ducks.

It was only 2:00 and sunset was around 5:00, so we not in a rush. We just decided to sit low in the blind and wait for Andy to radio us if he saw ducks in our area. The temperature had gotten up to 40 and there was a slight breeze and no clouds in the sky. Not the best conditions for duck hunting but just fine for catching up with a friend. We didn't get any more ducks that day but we're already planning on doing it again next year.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Good Idea

Kevin McCullough at Crosswalk has started a campaign to send Christmas (not "Happy Holidays") Cards to the ACLU. You can get more info here.

The address to send the cards is;
ACLU
"Wishing You Merry Christmas"
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Virginia Welcomes You

VDOT has an online poll to help choose the new design for Virginia welcome signs. You can vote here.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

It's Duck Season!

Today was the first day of duck season in Virginia. So I got up at 5:00, got into my long underwear and waders and headed out to a area of flooded timber to try my luck. Since I was going to be hunting on pulic land, I was worried that someone would already be set up in the spot that I had been looking at. Fortunately, nobody was there when I arrived at 5:45.

It was below freezing when I started out to find the perfect spot. I broke through a thin skin of ice on the water as I tramped through. This would be the first time I had used waders and I was surprised when I would sink to my knee in the mud and leaves. I stayed dry and warm and that's the whole point of waders.

I found what looked like a good spot. A small point of land about 3 feet above the water with plenty of brush for me to hide in. I got out my decoys and started to set up my spread.

After setting up a few, I heard a loud snort and cough behind me. It scared me to death. I looked around and didn't see a thing since it was still dark. I hopped back up on top of the point where my shotgun was. Not that I could see anything to shoot at but I felt better about being closer to it.

Then I started to hear more snorts and coughs coming from several sources. There was a lot swishing coming from the water. I got out my flashlight and shined it over the water and saw 6 sets of eyes shining back at me. They were otters and they were curious about what I was doing. I relaxed considerably as I watched them swim about.

I watched them for about five minutes and it started to lighten up. Then I heard a buzzing of wings coming up from behind me. I froze as they came nearer. Suddenly, about 8 wood ducks flew right over me and turned to head down the water. It was neat to see them. I was amazed at how loud they were flying through the air. I looked at my watch, it was 6:05. Fifteen more minutes to shooting time. I set out the last of my dekes and settled into the brush.

Then another flight of woodies crossed in front of me from left to right and put in the water near the road. I couldn't see them because of the brush and I didn't want to stand up and scare them off. Hopefully, they'll get curious and swim up to me.

It was now 6:20. I heard several shots off in the distance as other duck hunters tried to get the ducks in their decoys. Minutes passed as I waited for the woodies to come my way. The otters were still playing around. The woodies made a loud splash and protest as an otter got too close. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a duck moving through my spread. I slowly turned to look and realized that it was one of my dekes and it was moving on it's own! Suddenly, a head popped up in front of it. An otter had gotten tangled up in the deke's line. He quickly got himself free and moved on.

I hadn't heard the woodies in awhile. I decided to try and sneak up on them and hopefully get a shot off when they got up off the water. I walked in a crouch over to where they had been and saw nothing. They were gone. I have no idea how they got out of there without me hearing. Then a black duck hen buzzed my dekes and headed on down the pond. I was too far away to get off a shot.

That was incentive enough to get back in my spot and see if anything else came. There had been more shooting in the distance and I hoped that the ducks would get stirred up enough and come my way. Sure enough, a group of what looked like pintails flew just out of range and land about 75 yards from me. They had landed just past another point. As I looked at it, I decided that I could walk all the way to that point and they wouldn't be able to see me.

I made my way to them. When I got to the point, I realized that the water didn't go back as far on the other side and I spooked the ducks. I put my gun up and quickly squeezed off three shots which I knew were futile. They were too far away.

In my excitement, I left my extra shells back on the bank. So, I headed back. As I tramped back to my spot, my boot pressed up against a stick stuck in the mud. I looked down and it had punctured my brand new waders. Watertight integrity had been compromised. My day was done.

I got back to my spot and started to pack up. Then I turned my attention to my dekes. I had to wade to get them. This was not going to be fun. I took a step into the water and felt nothing. Maybe my waders have some sort of self sealing feature. I continued to pick up my dekes and then I felt it. A slow, cold feeling taking over my right foot. There was a leak. It didn't feel like it was flooding, just a trickle. I had all the deks in the bag but two. One appeared to have drifted away from where I placed it. I picked it up and saw that the line had been chewed through, presumably by an otter. I then headed for the deke who had taken an otter ride. As I waded out to it, the water got higher and higher until I could go no further without flooding out. I tried to reach it with a stick with no luck. I shrugged, nothing I could do about it, I'd have to leave it.

I loaded my stuff in the truck and headed home. On the way, I passed a field with about 30 Canada geese feeding 20 feet from the road. I pulled over to look at them. They put a few more feet between us but there must have been too much good stuff to eat since they stayed put. As I scanned the gaggle, I saw a red collar on one of the geese. My mind raced, goose is in season, isn't it? I fumbled for my book of regs to check. Then I stopped. They were on private land and I couldn't tell whose it was. So I headed on down the road to home and dry socks.

Friday, November 18, 2005

European Security Level Update

The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent bombings and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorised from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.

It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "shout loudly and excitedly" to "elaborate military posturing". Two more levels remain, "ineffective combat operations" and "change sides".

The Germans also increased their alert state from "disdainful arrogance" to "dress in uniform and sing marching songs". They also have two higher levels: "invade a neighbour" and "lose".

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual and the only threat they worry about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.


Hat tip to The Corner.
John at Castle Arrghh! has it too.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Veteran's Day Message

I normally skip over these messages but I'm glad that I read this one.

QQQQ
SUBJ: VETERANS DAY MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
UNCLASSIFIED//
ALMAR 054/05
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
SUBJ/VETERANS DAY MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. ORIGINALLY COMMEMORATED AS ARMISTICE DAY TO MARK
THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES KNOWN AS "THE GREAT WAR," VETERANS DAY
IS A CELEBRATION OF THE SERVICE AND SELFLESSNESS OF OUR NATION'S
VETERANS. THE TITLE OF VETERAN IS A TERM OF GREAT RESPECT DUE TO THE
PATRIOTISM, WILLINGNESS TO SERVE, AND DEDICATION TO A LARGER CAUSE
DISPLAYED BY THOSE WHO HAVE WORN THE CLOTH OF THE NATION THROUGHOUT
OUR HISTORY. WHETHER SERVING FOR A FEW YEARS OR FOR MANY, THESE MEN
AND WOMEN HAVE GARNERED THE ENDURING SUPPORT OF A GRATEFUL NATION.
OUR WARS HAVE TAKEN SOME OF OUR FINEST COUNTRYMEN IN THE HEYDAY OF
THEIR LIVES, AND IT IS RIGHT THAT WE REFLECT ON THEIR SACRIFICES
THIS DAY.
2. WE COME TO THIS VETERANS DAY A MARINE CORPS AT WAR. ALONG WITH
OUR SISTER SERVICES, WE CONTINUE TO NOBLY MEET THE LATEST CHALLENGE
TO THE FREEDOMS WE AS AMERICANS HOLD DEAR. JUST AS OUR FOREFATHERS
DID, MARINES TODAY ARE SETTING ASIDE THEIR INTERESTS, COMFORTS, AND
WELL-BEING TO SAFEGUARD THE SAME FOR OUR FELLOW AMERICANS AND
OTHERS. STANDING VIGILANTLY AROUND THE GLOBE TO THWART THOSE WHO
WOULD VISIT FURTHER VIOLENCE ON OUR HOMELAND, WE HAVE ALSO SHOWN
UNRIVALED BENEVOLENCE AND COMPASSION TO OTHERS WHO LONG FOR LIBERTY.
OUR HERITAGE IS ONE OF HELPING TO BRING FREEDOM TO MILLIONS AROUND
THE WORLD, AND WE CONTINUE THIS TRADITION TODAY AS WE PROSECUTE THE
GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR.
3. AS WE PAUSE TO COMMEMORATE THIS VETERANS DAY, KEEP IN MIND THE
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE SERVED IN OUR ARMED FORCES. KNOW THAT
YOUR SERVICE IS A SOURCE OF GREAT PRIDE TO OUR NATION, AND I ASK YOU
CONTINUE YOUR VALIANT EFFORTS TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER. SEMPER
FIDELIS, M. W. HAGEE, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE
MARINE CORPS.//
BT
NNNN

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bush and Kilgore Part II

From the Richmond T-D;
"Pesident Bush is expected to visit Virginia Monday to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore, sources said this morning."

What was that talk about Kilgore running away from the President?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Kilgore and Bush

Many seem to feel that Jerry Kilgore made a mistake by not being with President Bush yesterday in Norfolk. I disagree. This event was a policy speech and a foreign policy one to boot. Also, the vast majority of the audience was active-duty military most of whom are not Virginia voters. Why would Kilgore want to spend half of a valuable day this close to the election in front of a crowd discussing issues that don't affect the governor's office and who couldn't vote for him anyway?

It's been suggested that he passed up the opportunity to have access to all of the Hampton Roads media outlets. Well, the coverage that I saw on the news that night and in the Daily Press today gave more coverage to the protestors than to the President or his remarks.

If this speech had been about funding for port security in Hampton Roads then Kilgore should have attended but it wasn't. Kilgore made the right call.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wireless Phone Discounts

This was in my recent Reserve Officers Association (ROA) newsletter.

Cell Phone Discounts for Military/Federal Employees
A member recently sent us this note (edited for length and style):

Did you know that military and federal employees can receive discounts on their cell phone service, according to the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996? Well, it's true.

Federal employees and military personnel are entitled to a discount on their cell phone service according to the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. You have to call and ask for the discount by calling the following cell phone companies and referring to the Act, and they will implement on the spot:

1. CINGULAR - 19% Discount - (800) 319-6393
2. T MOBILE - 22% Discount - (866) 646-4688
You will need to request a migration form by e-mail.
3. SPRINT - 15% Discount - (888) 788-4727
This will transfer your account into a corporate account.
4. NEXTEL - 18% Discount - (800) 639-6111
5. VERIZON - 17% - (866) 456-7892


You will be asked to fill out a form and to fax it back. Just think, the more you save on your cell phone bill, the more gas you can buy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

No more catch and release

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.

"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions."

I hate to be skeptical but I'll believe it when I see it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Gubernatorial Debate

I must admit that I was glued to my seat watching the Redskins put up a good fight against the Broncos last night. So, I only watched the last 15 minutes of the debate between Kilgore and Kaine. The lasting impression that I'll have is of Kaine's creepy left eyebrow. It freaked out my wife too. I've got to find a picture of it.

For some analysis of substance, though they mention the eyebrow too, start at Bacon's Rebellion.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Latest Photo


Here's the latest photo of my daughter. It's hard to believe that she is just a few days shy of 5 months old.

Friday, September 30, 2005

NRA Endorses a Democrat

Creigh Deeds, the Democrat candidate for attorney general, has been endorsed by the NRA. After my initial surprise, I realized that it's not that surprising. Deeds is from the moutains of Virginia and McDonnell is from Virginia Beach. Want to guess which area has more hunters?

Larry Sabato has another take on the endorsement;
They want to endorse some Democrats because you never can tell when the minority party is going to take over Congress or the state legislature or the governorship," Sabato said. "They want to have a voice like any other interest group.


I'm always amused how the ads for attorney general always feature cops and talk about locking bad guys up. The office doesn't prosecute anyone. The AG is basically the Commonwealth's lawyer. He's nowhere near as harmless as the Lieutenant Governor though. That's why the AG traditionally resigns from office to run for Governor and the LT Governor does not.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sheehan

Ed Koch takes Cindy Sheehan to the woodshed.

Here's a good quote,

Many Americans, myself included, now see her as a person who has come to enjoy the celebratory status accorded to her by the radicals on the extreme left who see America as the outlaw of the world. These radicals are not content to be constructive critics. They are bent on destroying this country.


Here's another,

Those who rail against the United States have simply failed to sell their message to the public at large. They keep losing elections, local as well as national. Rather than broadening their appeal, they have narrowed it.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Another Internet Test

You are a

Social Conservative
(35% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(63% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Republican




Link: The Politics Test

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Subscriptions for Soldiers

Subcriptions for Soldiers is a neat program. Here's how they describe it;
For only $10 you can send a gift subscription to active servicemen and women serving around the world right now. We have gathered thousands of requests for magazine subscriptions from our sevicemen and women and now we need your help!...For each Gift Subscription you send, Subscriptions for Soldiers will donate $2 to the Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS).


I know that this program works because I received a subscription from someone. Thank you whoever did that, I really appreciate it.

Don't Get Stuck on Stupid

Once again, General Honore is a breath of fresh air. He was at a press conference trying to get the press to relay important evacuation information to the public. The press wanted to bring up the failures of the evacuation effort last time. He kept telling them not to get "stuck on stupid." Radio Blogger has the transcript and the mp3.

Here's the gist of the press conference:

Honore: Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don't understand, maybe you'll confuse it to the people

Male reporter: General, a little bit more about why that's happening this time, though, and did not have that last time...

Honore: You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wow

I just read the last situation report for the Hurricane and came across the following number; 24,068.
That's the number of lives saved by the Coast Guard in the response to Katrina.

Kilgore and NASCAR



Hermie Sadler will be driving the Kilgore for Governor car at the Nextel Cup race in Martinsville this year.
The AP picked up the story and here's a cool quote;

[Hermie Sadler] also said it's unlikely younger brother [Elliott] Sadler, who drives the No. 38 Ford, will wind up running with a competing Kaine for Governor paint scheme.

"Not if he wants to stay a Sadler," Hermie said.


My wife and I are Elliott Sadler fans. I always root that Hermie makes a good showing. I really hope that he's able to do well. I would hate for that car to get crumpled halfway through the race.


Hat tip to the Commonwealth Conservative.

Friday, September 09, 2005

VADM Allen

VADM Thad Allen, the Coast Guard Chief of Staff, has been tapped to lead the relief efforts on the ground. I've never met him but I have heard a lot of good things. Here's his official bio.


Vice Admiral Thad W. Allen assumed duties as Chief of Staff, U.S. Coast Guard and Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC in May 2002. Vice Admiral Allen oversees general management functions of the Coast Guard. He is also currently the Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Requirements Council.

Prior to this assignment he served as Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Fifth Coast Guard District; and U.S. maritime Defense Zone, Atlantic where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard activities in an area of responsibility spanning five Coast Guard Districts, over 14 million square miles, involving 26,000 military and civilian employees, and 27,900 auxiliarists. He served concurrently as Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District, and Commander U.S. Maritime Defense Zone Atlantic. VADM Allen led Atlantic forces in the Coast Guard’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

In his previous flag assignments he commanded the Seventh Coast Guard District and directed all Coast Guard operations in South Carolina, Georgia, most of Florida and throughout the Caribbean; and was the Coast Guard's Director of Resources, where he was responsible for formulating the Coast Guard's budget, developing long range plans, and managing the Coast Guard's performance plan.

A specialist in operations both in the coastal and offshore environments, Vice Admiral Allen has served in three Coast Guard cutters ANDROSCOGGIN and GALLATIN, and command of the medium endurance cutter CITRUS. His coastal operations command assignments include Captain of the Port / Group Long Island Sound, CT; Group Atlantic City, NJ, and LORAN Station Lampang, Thailand. Vice Admiral Allen's other assignments included a tour as search and rescue controller in the Greater Antilles Section, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Intelligence Watch Officer at DEA/INS El Paso Intelligence Center, El Paso, TX; Chief Budget Officer, Maintenance and Logistics Command, Atlantic, Governors Island, NY; Deputy Project Manager, Fleet Modernization and Rehabilitation (FRAM) Project, and Assistant Division Chief, Programs Division, Office of the Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Headquarters.

Vice Admiral Allen is a native of Tucson, AZ. He graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in 1971. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the George Washington University and received the 2000 Distinguished Alumni Award. He also holds a Master of Science degree from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2003 Vice Admiral Allen was elected a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow.

Vice Admiral Allen is married to the former Pamela A. Hess of Champaign, IL. She is the Assistant Dean for Student Services at the George Mason University School of Management. They have three grown children, Amanda, Meghan and Lucas and two grandchildren, Zachary and Andrew. Vice Admiral Allen is the son of Clyde and Wilma Allen. Clyde Allen is a retired Coast Guard Chief Damage Controlman and World War II veteran.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Fraudulent Websites for Hurricane Katrina Victims

From a recent email sent out.

BULLETIN: Relief and charity efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina began immediately after the hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast area. Shortly thereafter, web sites began to appear which were designed to defraud unsuspecting users. Some of the activities include soliciting donations for seemingly charitable purposes, attempting to collect personal information through phishing scams and also spreading malware to unsuspecting users. Over the past few days, domain names that redirect users to malicious web sites have appeared online, in addition to email scams requesting donations for those impacted by the hurricane. While some of these sites and messages may be legitimate, many are not. At the time of this bulletin, please be aware that the following domains are reported to be suspicious:

katrinahelp.com
katrinacleanup.com
katrinarelief.com.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and additional domains may continue to appear.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

We recommend that staff be advised to:
*Validate the relief fund or charity through a known reliable entity.
Please refer to the FEMA link below for a list of reputable disaster relief resources for Hurricane Katrina.
*When a message containing a request for donations for these victims appears, do not respond unless you are certain it is a valid message.
*Avoid visiting untrusted web sites.
*Avoid opening email messages and attachments that claim to contain video, photos, or other information relating to relief solicitation for Hurricane Katrina.
*Follow standard best practices for email and web browsing security.

REFERENCES:

SANS: http://isc.sans.org/diary.php?date=2005-08-31

Washington Post::http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/08/katrina_phishin.html

Better Business Bureau: http://www.give.org/news/disaster_pr.asp

Federal Emergency Management Agency:
http://www.fema.gov/press/2005/resources_katrina.shtm

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Russ Potts Review

The writers at Red State have noticed Russ Potts. They've realized that Potts went from being a conservative Republican to liberal Democrat overnight. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Virginia Fuels Tax Refund

I stumbled onto this at the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.

"Starting July 1, 2000, gasoline and diesel motor fuel purchased and used in a recreational or pleasure boat or ship is eligible for a complete refund of the Virginia motor fuel tax that was paid. The Virginia tax is 17.5 cents per gallon and 16 cents per gallon for diesel."

Why hasn't the commonwealth been advertising this? Hmm.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

This is getting ridiculous!

This morning I read in the paper that the two main pipelines to Virginia start in New Orleans and are shut down. So I decided that this would be a good time to fill up the pickup truck. I drive an V-8 F-150 with a 37 gallon tank. Lately I've had to take a BC Powder before I take it to the gas pump. I ran down the road to the gas station and filled up for $2.55 per gallon. I ran some errands and when I came back by that same gas station 6 hours later, gas was $2.99 per gallon!

We have to stop this. Alternative fuel sources are still a ways off and we need to encourage their growth. Hydrogen sounds great but I bet the machines that extract the hydrogen run off of diesel. The Canadians have several offshore oil platforms in the Grand Banks of the North Atlantic. Do we have any such operations on our East Coast? Negative! It's illegal! That's crap.

Also, why do we have so many refinery eggs in the Gulf of Mexico basket? No refineries built in 25 years is why. Everybody wants a refinery but not in their backyard. It's a vicious circle.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fantasy Football

I've created a fantasy football league on Yahoo. Here's the link to join. This is not an ultra-serious league, it's just for fun so first-timers are welcome.

The league ID # is 558426 and the password is virginia.


Linked to Outside the Beltway.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Inside 9/11

I watched Inside 9/11 last night on the National Geographic channel last night and it was very good. I was scared that it was going to become documentary on why we deserved to be attacked. I should have known that National Geographic wouldn't do that. It was a sobering look at the events that led up to the attack. The second half is on tonight at 9:00 Eastern time. They'll be showing the first half at 7:00. I hope that I'll be able to watch it tonight.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Just Asking

How come when a left-leaning independent candidate complains about being left out of televised debates he's portrayed in the press as being whiney but when a right-leaning independent candidate is left out, the press cries out in righteous indignation?

Is it because the first candidate, like Ralph Nader, would drain votes from Democrats and the second candidate, like Russ Potts, would drain votes from Republicans?

Hmm.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Father Jones

Father Jones was in London when the first round of bombings happened. Here's his sermon about that day.

I suggest you read the lectionary for July 17 since he refers to them.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Fuel Prices Online

AAA has a pretty cool site that tracks fuel prices nationwide. It takes the price per gallon from credit card transactions. Check it out here.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Welcome Megan

Well, she's finally here. Megan was born on May 5, 2005! I'll put up pictures as soon as I can.

UPDATE: I have lost the host I was using to store my pictures. As soon as I can locate another host, I'll put up pictures of Megan.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Liberalism and Relativism

In his homily Monday morning, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — a powerful Vatican official from Germany often mentioned as a leading candidate to become the next pope — spoke in unusually blunt terms against "a dictatorship of relativism" — the ideology that there are no absolute truths.

"Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism," Ratzinger said. "Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching,' looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards.

"We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires."

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Addition to the Blogroll

The movers are here boxing up all of our stuff. They have left the computer up so I can surf and not go insane with boredom. I did have to navigate through a maze of boxes to get to my desk, oh well. There's an addition to the blog roll. Adventures in Nature is written by Gary Winegar who retired from the Richmond Times Dispatch as their outdoors writer. It must still be in his blood to write though. Check out the blog.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My Apologies

I apologize that the blogging has been non-existant the past few weeks. Things are hectic in the Brown Hound Household. We are preparing for our return to Virginia. The house is sold and we have our temporary lodging arranged. We've had one unsucessful house hunting trip but we're hoping that it'll be easier once we're down there full time.

One humorous note on the home sale. The buyer for our house came yesterday with the home inspector. On the first floor, he made a whole list of little things that needed to be corrected. He continued to add to the list on the second floor. Then, they preceded to the attic, which is not finished, and as they were walking around up there, the buyer mistepped and put his foot through the ceiling in our bedroom. The list of defects magically disappeared.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

XM Radio

Well, after months of dithering about it, I finally broke down and ordered an XM Radio. I did find a great deal that I would like to share.

In my Redskins season ticket invoice, there was a flyer from XM Radion for 20% off of the hardware. I went to the website and ordered a Delphi Roady 2 XM Satellite Radio with the home bundle for $69. I found it on
Amazon.com
for $139. They had other models available too. The catch is you have to buy three months of subscription for $29.97. Well, I was going to buy that anyway.

So, here's the way to do it. The link is http://xmradio.com/partners and the login code is SKINSXM05 The offer expires 3/31/05. I hope you find it useful.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Coasties being unfair?

Here's a good one. There is a ferry that runs between Catalina Island and Long Beach, California. As part of the post-911 security efforts, the Coast Guard occasionally puts officers on board to make sure no one tries to hi jack the ship. Well, some people aren't happy about it. Here's the best part;

Another woman, a CalState Fullerton student, said she was on her way to school when she was detained.

"I got on the boat ... and some Coast Guard (officers) asked me for my driver's license," she recalled.

The student -- afraid to show her face on camera -- said she was detained for nearly a month and then deported because she was here illegally.

Oh my goodness! She was an illegal alien and got caught. What on earth were those Coasties thinking?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Coast Guard News Roundup

Coast Guard cutter patrols Lake Huron
Crew part of Homeland Security effort
Michigan - (02/11/05)--When you think of Michigan's Great Lakes you think of summers filled with boating or hours spent on warm, sandy beaches.

Report: Trio found in Olaf's wake
(CNN) -- New Zealand and U.S. planes scouring the South Pacific near Samoa have found three people floating in the sea after "super cyclone" Olaf battered the area, rescue services say.

Coast Guard rescues three from Santa Barbara Island
SAN DIEGO - Coast Guard crews from San Diego Saturday helped rescue three people after the 29-foot sailboat they were on ran aground on Santa Barbara Island, officials said.

Coast Guard Rescues 3 Men Near Laguna Vista, Texa
s
HOUSTON - Three men were plucked from the Gulf of Mexico near Laguna Vista Texas, Tuesday at 7:50 p.m., by a Coast Guard rescue crew from Station South Padre Island (SPI), Texas.

Coast Guard rescues fishermen off N.C. coast
Three fishermen were rescued Saturday morning after their 72-foot boat began taking on water about 18 miles south of Oregon Inlet, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard rescues downed pilot from marsh near Savannah
(SAVANNAH) - A pilot from North Carolina is recovering from minor injuries after he ditched his small plane in a marsh in Georgia Sunday.

Coast Guard Rescues Boaters
Two men and a teenager are saved from the Laguna Madre by an alert resident and the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard rescues stranded kayaker near Yaquina Head
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew from the Newport air facility spotted an overturned kayak while on a routine patrol at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon.

A LIFE-AND-DEATH STRUGGLE: Coast Guard team rescues 2 fishermen stranded on ice
Cell phone call from Lake St. Clair tells a desperate story

An evening of ice fishing turned into a life-and-death struggle with the elements Tuesday on Mitchell's Bay in Lake St. Clair, as stranded anglers waited for a Coast Guard helicopter piloted by LTJG Paul LaRoche and LCDR Joe Carroll to hoist them to safety.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Dems and Social Security

Opinion Journal has a great article on why the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to keep Social Security the way it is. It's written by former Delaware governor Pete DuPont. Here's a taste;
When you increase an individual's wealth, he becomes less dependent on government, and his attitude towards government changes. Socialists can't allow that, for it erodes their fundamental principle that social justice can only be achieved when important segments of the economy are under government control.

You can also see this in the way that each side refers to tax cuts. Those on the left say that the government can't afford to give that money away. The right see it as not taking somebody's hard earned money from them in the first place. In other words, the Democrats think that they have more right to your paycheck than you do.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Carry Me Back to Old Virginia!


Hallelujah! The Coast Guard, in it's infinite wisdom, has agreed to end our exile in Maryland and send us back to Virginia! My bride and I are just so happy about this. Our daughter will be born in Virginia. She's not due to arrive until the middle of May and I report the beginning of April. So much to do! Sell the house, find a house, move and so on!


Pete, what is the name of that Realtor you were telling me about?

Mr. Behan, when can I join the Old Dominion Blog Alliance?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

NHL Reform

A Large Regular thinks back to the XFL and wishes that McMahon of the WWF had taken on the NHL instead. Chris has some interesting ideas. I like this one the best;

Players would get 25% of the revenue off sales of their jerseys. This gives the players incentive to become fan favorites whether they be high scorers, goons or lunch bucket players who win the fans' love with their hard work.


I'm not too sure about this one though;

- Eliminate the rule prohibiting two line passes. Imagine if the NFL tried to outlaw passes over 20-yards? That's basically what the two-line pass rule in hockey does.


I think that would compel weak defenses to just smack the puck out of the zone like when they are penalty killing. Or is icing a different penalty than a two line pass?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Redskins Tickets

I am a Redskins season ticket holder. Yes, it's been tough the past few years but that's not what this post is about. I get my invoice for the tickets today and it says that the only methods accepted are cash, check, money order or MasterCard. Now I don't have the cash sitting around for two seats and a parking pass and I only have a Visa Card. Originally, they were only going to accept the Redskins MasterCard for payment but according to the Washington Post, they dropped that restriction.

I decided to call the ticket office to make sure. I asked the supervisor why I could use a Visa or American Express in the stadium to buy a $7 beer but I couldn't use it to buy the ticket in the first place. He aswered that it "was a decision they made." I told him that I didn't have a MasterCard and I didn't want to pay cash. He told me that they were considering allowing people to "stretch out the payments over a 30 or 60 day period." 30 or 60 days? That's not much help.

I could just threaten to not buy the tickets this year but they don't care. The waiting list for tickets is at least long enough to fill the stadium twice. What's a fan to do?


I linked this to the Beltway Traffic Jam in hopes of letting my plight be known! Help me Beltway Denziens!

Friday, February 04, 2005

I said that?

Being able to search archives is such a neat thing:

Last night, Senate minority leader Harry Reid likened the president’s proposal to allow Americans to divert a portion of payroll taxes into personal security investment accounts to "gambling." But in 1999, the Nevada Democrat proposed something very similar on our own "FOX News Sunday" saying, "Most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector."


I always wondered how politicians can get away with such things. I guess they just shrug and say, "I changed my mind."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

SOTU Address summed up

I watched the State of the Union address last night. It was good. But none of the words had as much effect as this scene.



Janet Norwood, right, of Pfugerville, Texas whose son was killed in Iraq last year, hugs Safia Taleb al-Suhail, leader of the Iraqi Women's Political Council, during the State of the Union address.


Note what is in Mrs. Norwood's hand. Those are her son's dogtags.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Update your bookmarks

Tim Blair has a new address. Update accordingly.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Go Hokies!

I was flipping through the channels last night when I came across the NC State- Virginia Tech men's basketball game. There were 21 seconds left in the game and Tech was trailing 71-70. One point deficit against a major ACC opponent! The announcers go on to recount how Tech has overcome an 11 point deficit to get to this point. The clock starts and Tech has the ball. They bring it down the court and get it to Collins who is in the paint. He puts up a fade-away jumper to take the lead 71-72 with 12 seconds to go. Of course the Wolfpack call a timeout for strategy purposes. They bring the ball down and get it to Hodge who takes a shot only to have it blocked by Gordon. Washington recovers the ball only to be fouled by NC State. That's it, the Hokies won! Man I wish that I had seen the whole thing.

When Virginia Tech announced that they were leaving the Big East in favor of the ACC, I knew that the football team wouldn't have any difficulty adjusting. I did have visions of the basketball team upon seeing the news asking in a state of shock, "we're gonna have to play who?!" They mave have said that and been in a state of shock but they seemed to have gotten over it. When the game ended, my wife said, "looks like they're going to need a bigger basketball stadium now." It sure does.


Be sure to click on the title of this post for proper Hokie background music.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Dog Haiku

I lift my leg and
Wiz on each bush. Hello, Spot -
Sniff this and weep.

How do I love thee?
The ways are numberless as
My hairs on the rug.

Today I sniffed
Many dog butts-I celebrate
By kissing your face

I lie belly-up
In the sunshine, happier than
You ever will be.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

CG Clips

There's a very talented Coast Guard cook out there. I'm not talking about his culinary skills but I'm sure that they are superb as well since he is the Admiral's cook at the Academy. No, the talent I'm talking about is visual. This cook owns a video camera and pulls it out whenever he can. He's taken those clips and put them together in some great Coast Guard action sequences. He's now put them on a website. The address is; www.cgclips.com This is better than any of the stuff the recruiters have put out. Check it out!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Randy Moss Kerfuffle

A Large Regular sounds off on Randy Moss' fake mooning at Green Bay last week.
When I wrestle with my son and he gets away - sometimes he wiggles his butt at me as a way of saying "nana nana boo boo - you can't get me". Sure it's childish but there's no malicious intent. Just the same with Moss. Sure it was childish but there was no malicious intent.

Exactly. It was silly and childish. Just like the Green Bay fans tradition of mooning the visiting team's bus as they leave the stadium. How many times has Randy Moss and his teamates been mooned by them over the years? Give me a break.

On Sportscenter today the commentator was saying how Moss' actions took away from his team's victory. Well that's because the league and the sports press just wont let go! Give me a break.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Meet Sam

This is Sam. He'll be one year old in April. This picture was taken while my wife and I were engrossed in a college bowl game. Sam tried and tried to get our attention. Finally, he gave up in desperation and got our attention.



Linked to the Carnival of Cats in a shameless attempt to generate traffic.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Special UN Coordinator of Coordination of Coordinating Entities

“...[T]o avoid running into the UN, we must go out to where the quake and tsunami actually hit...”

The Diplomad continues his relentless assault on the United Nations:

Sitting VERY late for two consecutive nights in interminable meetings with UN reps, hearing them go on about "taking the lead coordination role," pledges, and the impending arrival of this or that UN big shot or assessment/coordination team, for the millionth time I realized that if not for Australia and America almost nobody in the tsunami-affected areas would have survived more than a few days. If we had waited for the UNocrats to get their act coordinated, the already massive death toll would have become astronomical. But, fortunately, thanks to "retrograde racist war-mongers " such as John Howard and George W. Bush, as we sat in air conditioned meeting rooms with these UNocrats, young Australians and Americans were at that moment "coordinating" without the UN and saving the lives of tens-of-thousands of people.


Don't just read this post. There are several more. My favorite is the suggestion of the first UN representative in the region that the US and Australian military personnel wear UN uniforms.

These entries are outstanding. The Diplomad deserves a place in your favorites folder.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Election Reform

I've been listening to the democrats in Congress moan and whine about the unfair elections in Ohio. They are challenging the electoral votes from that state. It's not going to go anywhere of course.

I do agree with them that some reforms need to be made. I wonder if we would agree beyond that.

Gerrymandering is going to be with us for a few more years I'm afraid. I had heard of Iowa's system but that is the first time I've seen a map of their districts. It looks great. This is a true bipartisan deal though. It won't change anytime soon because both parties like to draw the districts to protect their incumbants. Their favorite trick is to put two members of the opposite party in the same district.

My suggestions for election reform start with the voter rolls. First, I would require showing some form of ID at the polls when you go to vote. Virginia instituted this a few years ago and it had been a sucess. There is a safety valve that if you don't have an ID card, you can cast a provisional ballot. When I go to Blockbuster to rent a movie, I have to prove I am who I am. It doesn't seem to unreasonable to ask the same when I vote.

The next thing would be to keep the rolls current. Streamline the system to purge names off the list if they haven't voted in a certain number of years. Provide a safety by sending a postcard allowing the person to renew their registration. If the card isn't returned, off they go. Aren't you supposed to update your address with the voter registrar anyway?

Voting is a responsibility. As a responsibility, it requires a little effort on our part.