Friday, May 30, 2008

Boarding the Chase Boat

Deploying the Buoy

Another view from the bridge of the Frank Drew.

On the Bridge

Deploying on the USCGC Frank Drew.

Rescue at Sea

United States Coast Guard in Action.

On the Aircraft

Luxury accomodations.

Boarding the C130

Heading down to Yorktown to run missions with the Coast Guard.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Last Day on the Beach

Enjoying the last day in the sun... Outer Banks, NC. The annual tradition for 10 years now.

Monday, May 19, 2008

And This Man Wants to be President...

I'm sure most of you have seen the following Obama quote this morning:

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72
degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to
say OK... "
This is coming from a man who is running for President of the United States. Is this the much-ballyhooed "change" we keep hearing about? If so, I don't want any part of it. Since when has it become a moral crime to make life better for Americans as President? This guy is truly scaring me. And not in the, "Bill Clinton is a despicable man" way the former democratic President scared me. This is true horror. The awfulness of it rests with the fact that so many people are taken in by his message. Self-loathing, it would seem, qualifies you as a better American.

I'm not saying his statement is incorrect. Sure, I would expect others to be upset wth the fact that we use so much. But it's not like the US doesn't share back more of it's wealth with the rest of the world than all other nations combined. And heck, if they don't like it, tough luck. We're not asking them to be "OK" with it. It's not as if the rest of the world will suddenly lift itself out of poverty overnight if we start setting our thermostats at 60 degrees in the winter and 80 in the summer. Zimbabwe won't miraculously turn into a democratic state once the US stops using so much oil. If anything, there will be less American wealth in foreign markets, and things would get worse for those who already have a crappy run at life.

But none of this matters. It's the self-loathing that really gets things done. What is your oppression footprint? Can I buy credits to offset the level of third world-labor that went into making my leather Mezlans? Seriously? What does Obama expect to happen? What do the people who listen to him expect to happen? Do they even understand what he's saying, or are they swept away by his radiant grin?

I'm sorry, but I just can't believe people buy into this crap. It's frightening.

Cellphone Radiation or Bad Parenting?

I have to wonder about studies like this. Is it the use of the phones themselves that cause these children to develop emotional problems? Or is there a correlation between the disintegrating family and these same problems that are being overlooked? The study says:

They found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to
have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with
the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also
later used the phones they were, overall, 80 per cent more likely to suffer from
difficulties with behaviour. They were 25 per cent more at risk from emotional
problems, 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their
peers, 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive, and 49 per cent more prone to
problems with conduct.

To me, this says more about the mother. Perhaps the radiation from mobile phones (note: the study even says "potential exposure" - they don't even know) is not causing the problems. Instead, could it maybe be the lack of proper attention given to the child due to the fact its mother is always on the freaking phone? I have seen some mothers who are constantly chatting (gossiping) on the phone, almost to the point of neglect of their children. Just last week I saw a kid fall from his high chair at TGIF because the mother was yakking away on the phone. Surely children raised in such a home will suffer the same problems cited in this report?

It seems that we are eager to point the finger at everything except ourselves. Not surprising given today's world without accountability... but nonetheless, very sad.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Air Show at Andrews AFB

I love this country. I love our military. I love airplanes. These three things together make air shows one of my favorite places to visit on Earth. I love the sights, maneuvers and antics of the daredevil planes... but most of all, I love the sound. I love the roar - up close - of aircraft engines. I love hearing the sound of 60,000 lbs of thrust rattling my bones. It makes me emotional, this sound. I can't explain it. It's part pride in what we've accomplished as a nation (both technologically and militarily), and part patriotism from being so close to the mighty power that defends us.

I have compiled a few of the high-definition videos I shot for you to enjoy. Of course, in YouTube they are no longer HD... you'll have to come over to enjoy them in full glory!

Air Force Heritage Flight (4 generations of top Air Force fighters: P51, F4, F15E & F22)

F-22 Raptor Awesomeness

B2 Stealth Bomber

Saturday, May 17, 2008

At the Airshow

something about the sound of loud jets in the service of our nation makes me emotional. This is an F22 getting ready to park.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

On Uncle Sam's Errand

Leaving the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. As you can see, Plum Island is very beautiful. The island is owned by the government and houses the nation's foremost lab in animal disease detection and outbreak prevention. Think of it as the CDC for animals.