Tropical Storm Arthur Christens New Hurricane Season

May 31, 2008 by

Well, it took what,  the first day of the season to have our first storm.  While Tropical Storm Arthur,was already over land and is expected to weaken, you have to wonder if we're not in for a LONG hurricane season if we're into one day and already having a storm.  Perhaps this is a foreboding for a bad hurricane season as predicted prebviously. 

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Minot Bringing Back Memories of ORI at KI Sawyer

May 31, 2008 by

The problems at Minot AFB in North Dakota seem to be continuing. 

That's really amazing to me given the seriousness we used to endure when the ORI showed up at KI Sawyer AFB when I was kid in Michigan.  When ORI (Operation Readiness Inspection) showed up, it was all business. All business.

Now comes news from CNN that the same bomb wing that accidentally allowed B-52s from Offit to fly to Barksdale failed a recent inspection–one I'm assuming is the modern day version of an ORI.

Obviously, we're not sure of all the dtails, but rest assured, there are no doubt some people in a lot of trouble.

   

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Staggering Numbers from China

May 27, 2008 by

My heart continues to hurt for the parents and kids of China who have had their lives devastated by the recent earthquake and now the potential flooding from the lakes formed by rivers being dammed up from the quake.  I saw on the AP today that about 5 million people have been displaced because of these horrific, Biblical-proportioned  catastrophes and that's not also adding in the millions who were also affected by the recent cyclones. They now say 60,000 have died and at least another 20,000 are still missing.

We just don't realize how sheltered we are from so many of these amazing disasters living here in America.  And to think at this moment how many children have lost their parents and don't know where they are and likely never will.   Think of just as painful a fear of having children lost and not knowing whether they are alive or dead, lost or found. 

There is a world of hurt out there and I wish there was something I could do here to help them there.  What can a father of seven children in America do to help.  I beg you to tell me.  Prayers obviously have been offered.  And with the governments involved, it's hard to be sure that funds would actually get to where they were needed.  And with so much devistation, how do you even begin to determine what is needed and in what order? 

God, please be with the hurting people of China and the West who are suffering tonight.  And knowing what these fokes are enduring leaves me thinking the troubles I bear are nothing in comparison.  Nothing at all.

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Phoenix Lander Landed

May 26, 2008 by

Wow.  It made it.  NASA has a success once again.  And in big measure.   A new lander on Mars. Phoenix.   What a fantastic human achievement.  It's the irony of all Hollywood ironies.  How many times in the movies have we seen a Martian spacecraft landing here on Earth to see who we are, and in this case, we're doing just the opposite.  Will we find life on Mars?  The bazillion dollar question, but we're knocking on the door. 

The pictures so far look breathtaking.  Sure, some are black and white only.  And yes, they're mostly of rocks, but think of the accomplishment.  Think of the potentials for tomorrow.  Think of the possibilities of us seeing one of our children taking the first steps there before the end of our days.  And then there is beyond Mars. 

Sure, one step at a time.  Another giant step.  A soft landing on another planet 422 million miles of travel away.  Does science get more fascinating and exciting than that?  I'm sure it does, but for the moment of the day, when there was the potential to crash a multi-million dollar craft into the red dirt of Mars, our scientists made our dreams come true.  Wake up America.  We can go to Mars some day.  Don't you want to get there a day sooner than tomorrow?  What a fantastic journey that shall be, too. 

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Einstein, the book by Walter Isaacson

May 23, 2008 by

I have been eying the book, Einstein by Walter Isaacson, all week and thought about getting it on the way out to LA Monday, then thought about it on the way back from LA Monday and then got it on the way to STL on Wednesday.  I'm into the first 100 pages and the book is a very good, colorful and interesting read.  I do recommend this book.  In and of itself, it does what Einstein would have liked–provided a colorful insight into the life and times of a historically significant character to see how they lived, their influences, etc. 

Einstein also had a belief in how we should get kids interested in math and science, one we're following at work today–show them, not with tedious formulas and memorization–but with real-life applications.  Yesterday in STL, we had a man asking students about baseball.  He asked them, if I hit a ball with the inside of the bad or the outer part of the bat, which will make it go the furthest?  Obviously, the outside because of the mass of the bat and the velocity it generates from the strength of the batter's swing. 

Einstein thought about things in the way of pictures in his head.  I find comfort in that because I often have to do the same to fully understand an issue or a problem.  My office has 12-feet of wall space covered with white boards that are actively used.  Same principle.

No, I'm no Einstein and never will come close to making the impact he did, but the book is a good read and worth getting.  Also, the iTunes version is abridged, so while you might think you're hearing all of it–it is well-edited and flows like you're reading the book, there are significant portions that have been left out.

Once I finish the book, I'm going to have some of the kids read it at home.  I know one young man in our house who will find keen interest in it.

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Crowne Plaza Hotel, Clayton MO

May 22, 2008 by

Wow.  This is a nice hotel.  I would have to say that the queen bed they stuck me in, though a queen, was certainly one of the most comfortable, firm and soft beds I've ever slept in.   Ever.  The area around the hotel offers a huge assortment of restaurant options, though I got in late and settled for room service.  Pam was prompt, the food was good, the carrot cake was outstanding. 

The strangest thing about the stay?  In my room is a green, heart-shaped hot tub.  In the bath room, there is a full tub with a water pic shower, and then, there is a full shower behind the door.   Never have seen so many water resources in a hotel and certainly didn't expect them all in the heart of America in St. Louis. 

Okay, gotta motor.  The car arrives at 7 a.m. and I've got 50 mins to finish packing and get downstairs.  Would like to get some tea to drink.

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