Thursday, January 25, 2007

It is bright and cold today. It reminds me of how much I like being in by the heater when the temp is about 8 above. The good news is that on March 10 I will be in Texas. Winter will probable end that day for me. I might get a snowstorm after that but not much more.
I am beginning to read the Count of Monte Cristo for the classics book club in Frankenmuth. I found the book online and have a copy in Word now. That will make it possible to make notes and insert links. It should be fun.

Norwich, Connecticut like Salem, Mass.

Any teacher or computer technician should read this article about the possible forty year sentence a substitute teacher is in danger of.  A computer in her classroom went crazy.  Porn started popping up everywhere.  She couldn't get the program to stop and she did think that all she had to do was pull the plug..With forty years of her live at stake, she could smash the monitor.  In better places, this could be laughed at.  In Norwich, Connecticut, she is facing forty years.  Read the article.  It shows what stupidity can follow from not knowing how a computer works or doesn't work these days.  The school and the legal system get the dunce caps.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My First Video Entry

Hello Everybody,

I took another first step this morning.  I got out my Sony Cybershot, put it on a tripod and too the first video that I have uploaded to the Net.  It was so easy.  I was amazed. 

I have been on youTube for months now but had never even looked into uploading a video.  Today was the day.  Turns out that this is just like uploading a regular picture.  You click the upload button in youTube.  It takes you to a screen where you click a browse button.  Then you find your video file on your computer, card reader, whatever, Select it.  Watch while the file uploads.  In a few minutes, you are online.  Very simple.  Videos on Bay City history will be sure to follow.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Weekend

What a busy weekend it was.  Friday night started out with the monthly trip to the Midland Moose.  That is the one night of the month that I am sure to be out to 2:30 AM.  I always think it won't be that late but...

Clayton and Gloria went with us.  We all had a great time.  I sang 'When I'm Sixty-four' by the Beetles.  Sue wanted one of her favorites  'Honey'.  She also likes 'Have I told you lately that I love you'.  Finally, I did 'Blowin in the the Wind'  by the Kingston Trio. 

The roads were good and the company was too.

Katy and Bill came out on Saturday.  We went to the Birch Run Mall to get Bill some new shoes.  The sales were on.  All of us did well.  I convinced Sue that I needed new socks.  She got a suit jacket. 

Carl Lee had a party on saturday night,  I talked to Rick Curtis about Kim Fisher and that era.  It's been long enough that I have forgotten some things.

On Sunday, Merle Colosky Hansen came over to Sue's Mother's house. It was so nice to see her after all this time.  I was surprised to see a similiarity between Katy and Merle's build and the way they carried themselves.  Merle has been through alot with the death of her Mother from pancreatic cancer.  

Finally, it was the traditional sunday night trip to 'Trackside' for burgers. 

It was a great weekend.



Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Beginning of Human Life

"ESC research is morally and ethically problematic. Egg and sperm unite to form at least one unique human being. To disassemble this early human, even if it does not yet possess arms and legs or the ability to think, is to harm the most vulnerable among us: This is a moral wrong."

It amazes me how easy it is to jump to the conclusion that human life begins with the union of sperm and egg.  Most writers would say "a unique, human life begins with the union of sperm and egg".  You know better don't you?  That's why you say "AT LEAST ONE human life.  You must know that identical twins begin their seperate lives after several days when the group of cells the fertilized egg has become by that time splits.  Have you thought about what this fact does to the idea of a unique human soul beginning its life on earth at the moment of fertilization of the egg with the sperm?  Do two souls enter at that time?  Does the one soul that enters split with the twinning act?  Or does unique, human life begin at some other point of development?

You probably have heard of some other problems with the idea of the spirit entering the body at fertilization.  The idea that the fertilized egg is a unique, little human person with a soul and all the rights of any human being on earth leads to some difficulties.  People who hold that belief should be absolutely opposed to the process of Invetro Fertilization.  Many, many fertilized eggs are produced for every baby born.  Many fertilized eggs are destroyed every year.  How can people, who believe that fertilized eggs are human beings in every sense allow the Invetro Fertilization process to take place?

You probably also know that more than half of all fertilized eggs die early in the development process.  That leads to the interesting idea that more than half of the souls we would meet in heaven would be from those babies that never developed.

People, who believe that the fertilized egg is a unique human soul, should be very afraid of birth contol pills.  a quick check of the internet will show that there is a possible danger of killing the fertilized egg by introducing birth contol substances into the mother's body.  Why do people who are so opposed to destruction of the human embryo for embryonic stem cell research say nothing about the evil affects of birth control pills.

The Jewish faith, held by many in the United States, believes that a unique human life begins with the first breath.  They base that on the idea in the Bible that God took up dust from the Earth to create a body.  When God blew into that body, life began. 

The Muslim faith, also held by many in the United States, believes that human life begins at a later point in pregnancy. 

Jumping to the conclusion that unique human life begins with fertilization leads to many problems.  Surely, american society's agreement with that position should not be assumed.  Inconsistancies on the part of those who do believe in the creation of a unique human being at the point of fertilization should be explained and supported by appropriate action.

My suspicion is that supporters what to have it both ways.  They want birth control but want to be able to ban research on embryos.  They want invetro fertilization but don't want to admit that many fertilized eggs with ultimately be destroyed because of the procedure.   They don't want to talk about all the people who don't agree with their thoughts on the beginning of human life.  Finally, they don't want to study modern biology to find out how gradual and involved our developement is.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Iraq and the Middle East

We are in trouble in Iraq.  We got in trouble by some very bad management decisions. A relatively small group of very smart men made these decisions.  The lesson to learn is that it is possible for a small group of people to take over the policy of the U.S. government if they know what positions to hold and how to get them.  Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Douglas Feith, Stephen Hadley, Elliott Abrams, David Wurmser, Andrew Natsios, Dan Bartlett, and George Tenet held positions both inside and out of the government that enabled them to play major roles in taking America to war. 

How did they do it?  Why did the checks and balances not work? Could it be done again? Is it still being done?

It looks like they did it by gaining control of the office of the Presidency with the election of George W. Bush.  Understanding Bush's election would be key to understanding their power. 

Why did checks and balances not work? Congress simply laid down before the executive and let the executive office have its way.  Congressmen say that they were told Iraq had WMD and that we must invade.  Most of the world was saying that view could not be proved.  Congress demanded no proof.  Congress got an answer wrong that most readers of Internet publications and newspapers got right.  Congress was to check an Executive branch mistake.  It failed.  Congressmen are very bright people.  There are 435 Representatives in the House (called Congressmen or Congresswomen) and 100 Senators in the Senate.  They have staffs of a few dozen people and deal with requests from hundreds of thousands of constituents.  They are under the guiding had of their party bureaucracy.  The party head is the President. How many ways could the Executive Branch make life difficult for a congressman? Wouldn't it just be better to be quiet.  Congress is often quiet. 

Could a small group gain control of the Presidency?  I don't see why not.  Nothing has been changed since the election.  Can anyone tell me how such a small group of people with such long associations gained the power they have had?  Did anyone understand what they might be doing?  People, who read Project for New American Century publications and see PNAC events, could tell you what this group wouldbeabout. 

Finally, I believethis use of power is still being done and will continue to be practiced.  It has a certain genius.  Citizens and the opposing party must gain the sophistication to spot cabals this one.

Watch the movie at the first link below. Seymour Hersh, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, explains what is going on in Iraq.  His presentation starts about thirty minutes into the film.

Monday, January 15, 2007

My Son's Automotive Laptop Project

My children often amaze me.  They are so full of surprises.  Fred was giving me one of these moments when I took the picture at the top of this article.  I believe his idea was to be able to play CD's in his laptop computer while running down the road in his Ford Taurus.  If you know this background, you can understand several things that appear in this picture. 

For example, in the bottom of the picter is a little blue box.  That box is an electrical converter.  It takes twelve volt electricity and converts it to the 110 that is used by the power cord on the laptop.

The next item is the way the laptop just sits on a shelf in the front of the dash of the Taurus.  There is a shelf there... Fred made all the parts for this shelf.  He designed them himself and cut and bent them.  This was the point where I knew that Frederick could design and make a machine on his own if he wanted to.  This was far from the level of skill I had seen when he was working on the wiring under the dash of his car when he was sixteen.  You know the difference.  This design had order.  It had an elegance about it.  The wiring job went everywhere.  Very, very different. 

Fred was ready to mount intrumentation in any car and I learned more about some of his talents.  It was a good night.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Seymour Hersh: "We've Been Taken Over by a Cult"

Pulitzer prize winning writer, Seymour Hersh, talks about the cult that is controlling the Iraq War.  He talks about eight or nine men who have managed to gain control of the government. 

I believe the possibility of this being done has demonstrated a serious weakness in our system.  I also believe that this weakness has led us to a point where great errors are being made and not corrected.  Please click the link below.  Listen to Seymour Hersh.  See what you think.

Neo-Cons Still in Control?

This video scares the c out of me.  The Bush government might just get us into a war with Iran.  There are similiarities.  Watch the video.  What's your opinion.

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Richard Perle wouldn't invade Iraq???

Perle goes as far as to say that, if he had his time over, he would not advocate an invasion of Iraq: "I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.' … I don't say that because I no longer believe that Saddam had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction, or that he was not in contact with terrorists. I believe those two premises were both correct. Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."

That is an amazing quote for a person who has to rank in the top ten in bearing responsibility for the war.  Thousands were against it in the first place.  Most of the world did not believe that Iraq had WMD.  Other alternatives including taking enough time to find out if government policy was right were available.  Now Perle says maybe we could have...  The moral is that the United States has been very badly managed in this war.  The lesson is that a small group of people seem to have the ability to take over the policy of this government and bolt the nation into an ill considered war that is wasting our resourses and the lives of our young people.  Great job Mr. Perle
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Scan Eagle joins the ranks



A robotic airplane called ScanEagle has done more than 1,000 hours of intelligence and reconnaissance work for the Marines in Iraq, its developers said.

It travels above insurgent positions and sends real-time video images to Marines on the ground. The unmanned device can relay facial expressions on enemy soldiers, and can transmit in such detail that it shows steam rising from their coffee.

This detailed resolution could do some interesting civilian work.  I could imagine these planes being assigned to track endangered animals for example.  Communication lines in remote areas could be checked.  Small packages could be delivered by air drop with minimal cost.  The bottom line is that UAV's will come home from the war someday to do jobs we haven't thought of yet.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

UAV's and UGV's

Lockheed Martin has succeeded in making a controller that can handle UAV's or UGV's in combination.  That allows one soldier to be much more productive.  It also allows him/her to have their own private army.  Exercises have been run using this idea but I haven't heard the results of the effort.  It would be terribly interesting to see. 

Planes that can stay on station for days and small ground vehicles that can swarm together, augment each other's function and have no regard for their own existance will be a very interesting addition to war.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Fixing Everything

I have fixed more stuff in the last two days.  My big item was the front, passenger wheel bearing on the Lesabre.  Of course, everything changes now.  That is a product of having too long a memory.  The last time I changed a wheel bearing, we were wearing our sideburns long and cars went fourteen miles to the gallon. 

Now, with front wheel drive, things are different.  I think the job might almost be easier to do.  You don't have to pack grease in the bearings anymore, and who can forget to fun of dropping the small parts of the bearings in the dirt.  Now, you have one big assembly. 

The old job cost about ten bucks. The new one is four hundred and sixty.  Hummm.

Have a great day

Friday, January 5, 2007

Carl Sagan's Death was Ten Years Ago

Sagan died Dec. 20, 1996, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle following a two-year battle with a bone marrow disease.

Carl Sagan was the great science educator of the last third of the twentieth century.  He explained scientific knowledge with clarity and with a lack of apology to those supporting non-scientific positions. 

We all miss him,

Picture from wingles's AOL Pictures Public Gallery

Picture from wingles's AOL Pictures Public Gallery. 

This picture is tagged 'Michigan'.  It was in AOL's public Galleries.  It speaks to me of the times in the early fall when I am out in the woods trying to see a deer and not caring too much if I do. 

Sue's Painting

I am really proud of the picture Sue painted.  You can take a look at it above.  She had seen a similiar picture in Chicago when we were there with Katy.  This is her trial.  I am always amazed by all the things she can do. 

Christmas Gifts

Today, I'm putting my Christmas gifts together.  Daughter Katy gave me a stool which you can see in the picture.  It was very easy to assemble.  I usually like doing this assembly work.  It gives me a reason to have the tools I/ve got and to gain some competence with them. 

Of course, I always follow an organized plan.. Well, most of the time I do.  First, I unpack everything, placing all the parts in separate locations ON A TABLE/BENCH.  I hate to work on the floor.  I check for all the parts.  Then, I go over directions.  Finally, I begin.  Like most things these days, the planning takes two times as long as the assembly.

Anyway, I've tried the chair and love it. 

<a href="" rel="tag">Stool</a>

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Taking down the decorations

Christmas is officially over. I have all the decorations down. I did this over a period of several days. Having them gone has me thinking of the changes I might make next year. Decorations need to be changed from time to time. LED Christmas lights are supposed to last hundred of hours. I might try some of those. I also like the new sculptured decorations. I'll see what the new year brings.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

New Year's Eve

Two thousand-seven has arrived.  I spent New Year's Eve at sister Linda's house.  We watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.  The special effects were great but the movie is lacking.  I still can't say what the story was about.  This movie is way down my list. 

Sue can't take movies like this one at all.  She sees fantasy movies as silly generally.  This one isn't even good at that.  I have to add that sister has a big screen TV.  It is hard not to like that.  I watched the Lions football game earlier in the day.  Even I can understand what is going on when the cameraman points it out on a screen that is four feet tall and some expert is explaining exactly what is going on.  I really enjoyed it.

Happy New Year to All,

I figure that about as much will happen in this year as used to happen in ten so it should be an exciting time until New Year comes again.