Friday, November 16, 2007

Technical Details

More Stuff For You To Think About...

Take a look at this story about Mexico's policy on giving non-residents drivers licenses:

MEXICO CITY - The question of whether to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants ignited a national debate in the United States. But in Mexico, the largest source of U.S. immigrants, there's no question: Here, you must be a legal resident to get a driver's license. All of Mexico's 31 states, along with Mexico City, require foreigners to present a valid visa if they want a driver's license, according to a survey of states by The Arizona Republic. "

When it comes to foreigners, we're a little more strict here," said Alejandro Ruíz, director of education at the Mexican Automobile Association.


Proponents said the plan would have made the roads safer by ensuring that drivers are trained and insured, but the ensuing public outcry forced Gov. Eliot Spitzer to abandon the effort Wednesday.


Yet, licensing offices in all of Mexico's 31 states, along with the Federal District, where Mexico City is located, said they require applicants to prove their citizenship, preferably by showing a federal voter-registration card issued by the Federal Elections Institute.

Of those, 28 states and the Federal District said they would issue licenses to foreigners only if they present valid FM-2 or FM-3 residency visas.

The central Mexican states of Morelos, Puebla and Guerrero are more lenient. Foreigners there can get a driver's license with a valid tourist visa, or FMT.

How about them apples?

The Mexican Government wants proof of who you are and that you've gone through the proper channels to get there, yet the same officials and the flood of refugees illegal immigrants "undocumented workers" coming north across our southern border expect us to hand them A LICENSE TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE just because. will make "the roads safer by ensuring that drivers are trained and insured."


There is no driver training these days here in Georgia, and they don't even make you take a road test unless you are 15 or 16 years old and getting your first license.

Getting a driver's license involves standing in line for two hours, going into a building, paying your fee, then picking up a rule book written in English or Spanish on one side of the room and wandering into a booth with a computer on the other side of the room to take a simple test.

When you walk out of the building, you have not only a license to drive an automobile, but you also have THE KEY TO OUR ENTIRE SOCIETY in your hot little hands.

You can't get a bank account without a government issued picture ID.

You can't get on a commercial airliner without a government issued picture ID.

You can't rent a jet ski at the beach or a chain saw at the local equipment rental store without a Picture ID...


What IS NOT guaranteed by handing Miguel or Pedro a NY drivers license is that they will actually BUY auto insurance or that they actually know how to drive safely.

Heck, in my opinion three quarters of the legal population that have legitimate drivers licenses aren't safe drivers 99% of the time.

My point is that handing out ID's guarantees NOTHING, except that it will be easier for the people that have already broken the law by coming here and working to exist in our society.

There won't be less crashes with illegal and uninsured Mexicans, there will actually be more.

Just watch and see for yourself...


Eyes Glazed Over

Lethargy Setting In...

I hate to admit it, but I'm just too damn comfortable these days.

Imagine that?

I think that I would actually lapse into a self induced coma or stupor if it wasn't for the inane idiots and morons that I encounter in the process of trying to spend money doing the things I love to do.

First, I finally managed to get my butt up out of the bed and off of the sofa after lunch to open the box that FedEX delivered around 11 AM containing our new 22" HP Flat Screen monitor. (The new computer is still on the production line I guess.)

Next, I hooked it up to my notebook computer on the coffee table and found that everything worked seamlessly.

Then I lumbered back to Pat's office and lugged her giant thousand pound 19" CRT monitor and docking station out of the way into the guest bedroom, then hooked our new marvel up to her little Dell laptop.

After a half hour fooling around with the driver CD she was cooking with a computer sort of fashion. So far so good.

While rummaging through the festering pile of mail adjacent to my computer I realized that my property tax bills were due down at city hall in Brunswick on the 15th (that would be today--at the time), so I jumped online and reluctantly agreed to pay a 2.5% "convenience fee" in order to avoid making the 15 mile round trip over to the mainland.

Of course Capital One still has my primary credit card screwed up, even after giving them a couple of thousand dollars late last week to pay off the balance that had inched upward over the past month of tool and material purchases, so I had to resort to using a Debit Card for the online payment...something that's just asking for disaster in my opinion.

I'm ready to climb over the phone lines and strangle the next customer "non-service" idiot that tries to act like I shouldn't be angry when my purchases are declined and I have to spend a half hour talking to some dang foreigner about my intimate personal financial data when the problem apparently lies with THEIR COMPUTER SOFTWARE, not my shortcomings.

I ended up a basically useless day by defrosting some of my patented chicken and black bean chili that I cooked up and froze last month, serving it with a little pone of my Killer Cornbread for Two, then vegetated on the sofa watching the CNN Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate out in Las Vegas.

I actually managed to stay awake through the entire two plus hours of mindless pandering and droning on about raising the cap on social security, pulling the troops out of Iraq, and not attacking Iran.

I think that they actually managed to not talk about Global Warming, but they did a good deal of stammering and yammering about "energy independence" and "universal healthcare" and, to me, after the first ten minutes, it looked like a pre-planned Hillary/Obama/Edwards kiss and make up lovefest.

I sincerely hope a good deal of the population is paying attention to details beyond the kind of crap delivered in these debates for both the Democrats and the Republicans over the next few months.

If not, we're all in big trouble for the next four if not eight years here in the good old US of A.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Recollections Of The Son Of A Military Pilot--Part II

Smoking Luggage

After having spent yet another late evening doing material takeoffs and lists of things to do in my construction efforts, this morning I happened upon this story about "a smoking backpack" found at the Phoenix airport.

PHOENIX - A backpack caught fire Tuesday in the cargo area at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, leading to an evacuation, but authorities said the flames were likely caused by heat from a conveyor belt. The bag contained no explosives or other banned items, just leaking toiletries.

Phoenix police Lt. Rick Gehlbach said the backpack likely began to smoke after it got jammed between two larger pieces of luggage on a conveyor belt.

The impact probably caused toiletries containing alcohol to leak, and a combination of heat from the conveyor belt and its track rubbing against the backpack caused it to catch fire, Gehlbach said.

The fire was extinguished quickly, Gehlbach said.

About 10 a.m., a baggage handler loading bags on the US Airways plane noticed that the backpack was hot and set it aside. The fire department was called when the bag began to smoke, and they in turn called in a hazardous materials team as a precaution.

"When the bomb squad arrived, everything was melted in the bag," said Victor Rangel, a spokesman for the Phoenix Fire Department.

Rangel said the backpack contained hairspray and other toiletries.

Yadda yadda yadda...Whoop te doo... give me a break here and find something to really worry about.

I've actually had to jump up on the conveyor belt myself at Atlanta's Hartsfield "Interjacksonville" Airport more than once to save my suitcase from the ravages of the giant conveyors and the crap other idiots shipping baby strollers and coolers full of rotting fish home from the Philippines offer as "checked luggage."

Any way...

The story reminded me of an event that happened back about 40 years ago when my father was still flying airplanes and helicopters on a weekly basis.

As a test pilot and engineer, my dad was rated at least to ride in the co-pilot seat in virtually every airframe the US Army had in their inventory back then, and perhaps one of the most dangerous airplanes they had going was the Grumman OV-1 "Mohawk".

Here's a picture of the fastest, coolest looking fixed wing aircraft the Army ever had:

It's creation was a study in government stupidity and politics, but once the Air Force and Navy pulled out of the program it ended up being the only airplane the Army ever operated which included ejection seats for each of the cockpit crew.

Here's a look from the Pilot's seat:

Talk about bells and whistles...

In it's thirty year career with active duty and reserve forces, the plane also earned the nickname of "The Widowmaker."

It was unstable as hell, and was prone to going into an unrecoverable flat spin that killed several friends and acquaintances of my father, not to mention ending the life of one of my best friend's father from my grade school days in Vietnam in the late 1960's.

My father's flying career was essentially ended from a spinal injury he received in the ejection seat qualification training that the Army put the pilots through in order to qualify to fly it.

Now back to the smoking luggage story...

Dad was doing some test work with a Mohawk airframe out at his home airfield at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and he and another pilot were required to shuttle the craft out to Texas for some additional work.

As I recall, the trip was long enough to be an overnight run with a return flight in another airplane, so dad loaded a small hardside briefcase with clean socks, underwear, and minimal toiletries (stick deodorant, toothpaste, etc.).

Not being a commercial airliner, the "luggage" was loaded into an empty equipment bay in the fuselage, and the mechanics were instructed to turn off the turbine engine operated heating system since the ferry flight would be a low altitude and the bays were empty.

That's where the problem came into the story.

Instead of turning the heat OFF, they apparently turned it WIDE OPEN.

I never will forget, as a little kid, seeing the warped body of that Samsonite hardside briefcase, the crispy socks (you could stick your finger through them), and the exploded tube of toothpaste and melted stick deodorant that came home after that little overnight sortie.

I'm quite proud to report that my Dad never bent or broke an airplane, even though things like this happened every now and then and he spent a couple of thousand hours in the air in his almost 20 year flying career.

YOU should be so capable or lucky next time you climb on a Delta airliner..

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm On A Spending Spree

Somebody Stop Me...

Hurray, after months of delay and procrastination, I'm gearing up to get the residential construction project back on track over in Brunswick.

I've spent the past few months distracted with the new house and Pat's pending change in employment status, plus some design and renovation scope changes had me paralysed with indecision, but I've broken out of my funk and today placed the order for the nine new custom built windows.

I hate having to spend the money to buy custom windows on a lower end residential project like this, but the option would be to burn up another saw cutting concrete block openings to size to fit the stuff they sell at Lowes and Home Depot and I just don't have the energy to hang onto the saw for that long.

I can't imagine why in the world they don't make windows that fit standard increments of 8" and 16" that cinder blocks produce when building a wall, but they apparently don't--at least that I can find locally or on the Internet.

Next on the punch list is a new 200 Amp electrical service entrance and breaker panel and about a million dollars a thousand dollars worth of copper wiring
and accessories to power the new heat pump, outlets, and lighting fixtures. Back in 1959 when this place was first constructed they got away with putting one duplex outlet per room, but today you have to have them every twelve feet along the walls so I've got some creative wiring to do in the process.

Then there's the new 4" sanitary sewer connection (yuck)and 1" plastic water supply line that has to be dug into the tree root filled dirt in the front yard. I get tired thinking about that process.

Time to head back over to Brunswick to pay for my windows and get some other material moving now. All in all the process will be more fun than buying a computer I hope.

Would Somebody Please Kill Me

Hello...Doctor Kevorkian?

Dammit, it's that time in my life again.

Time to buy a new computer...this one for Pat.

One would think that, for a long time computer nerd, buying a new machine with lots of bells and whistles and a 22" flat screen monitor would be something akin to a psychic or sexual experience.

You'd be wrong however, because of the idiots you encounter in retail computer establishments and the processes you're forced to endure if you make your purchase online.

After several days of research online, we staggered over to Office Depot, Staples, and Circuit City on Sunday afternoon armed with model numbers of hardware that, according to the respective websites, was supposed to be in stock.


Just like when I bought my HP widescreen notebook a year ago, the store employees had no idea what they had in inventory, and the computers displayed were a subset/superset of the things advertised in the newspaper and online. Nothing would allow you to compare apples with apples, or apples with HP's (excuse the pun.)

I walked out of the store after twenty minutes of tripping over a gaggle of customers worrying about video game capability and wild eyed pimple faced kids who weren't born when I first laid my hands on an IBM PC.

Meanwhile, back online, after massive additional research, and with credit card in hand, I discovered that Capitol One's new computer system upgrade had scrambled my personal information and, in spite of having paid the card balance off in the past week, their fraud department was blocking my charge because I didn't have a history of charging four digit amounts in one lump sum.


After three tries and an hour on hold on the telephone with the credit card company, I just got the order processed. What a total pain in the butt.

Since I'm having the machine custom built, now I have to wait until the week after Thanksgiving to lay my hands on the new wireless keyboard.

I think that I'll go smoke a nice cigar now in celebration.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Who ARE These Idiots That Believe There Is?

Look at this story.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama said Sunday he will push for higher Social Security taxes if elected, viewing it as the best option for improving the retirement program's

Obama and several other Democratic presidential candidates previously have signaled support for lifting the cap on the amount of income that is taxed to provide monthly Social Security checks.

But during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Obama said taxing more of a person's income was the option he would push for if elected president. He objected to benefit cuts or a higher retirement age.

"I think the best way to approach this is to adjust the cap on the payroll tax so that people like myself are paying a little bit more and people who are in need are protected," the Illinois senator said.

"That is the option that I will be pushing forward." Currently, only the first $97,500 of a person's annual income is taxed. That cap is scheduled to rise to $102,000 next year. Obama's proposal could include a gap or "doughnut hole" to shield middle-income earners from higher payroll taxes, he said.

Dammit, anyone that has any sense knows that the Imperial Federal Government of the United By God States Of America stole the proceeds of the so-called Social Security "Trust Fund" under Nixon back in the 1970's when they started commingling the revenue stream with the general budget.

If you managed to find a key and wandered up to Washington DC to open up the lamestream media glorified "lock box", instead of cash or gold bullion, all you will find inside are a bunch of IOU's written by the same lieing stealing bastards that we've all managed to (re)elect to office over the past 40 years.

And now Obama and 97% of congress--both Republican and Democrat--want to steal yet more money from higher wage earners to hand to all the withering masses of citizens that will be retiring over the next twenty years (myself included.)

Here's how the ASSociated Press reporter puts it:

Social Security is projected to start spending more than it collects beginning in 2017, with its trust fund depleted in 2041.

How can people that have spent four years of their life attending college, and a big chunk of their parent's money in the process, still sit in front of a computer keyboard and write the words "trust fund" and the other BS that is still written about Social Security with a straight face.

In the real world, based on things like reality and little details like FACTS, this shouldn't even be a news story. If there is a news story here, it's that the little shiny black presidential candidate is a class warfare pandering moron just like the balance of the other stupid, lieing Caucasian white pandering morons with testicles or ovaries dangling between their legs during this political campaign season.

They're all either STUPID, or they're LIARS, or possibly BOTH, and they must think that the public is all STUPID also, in my considered Redneck opinion.

Are you that STUPID?

I'm not...