Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sports Junkie Notes

Past couple of weeks had some good sports moments-

childhood favorite college football team, Alabama, clobbered Georgia

BYU continues to impress, now up to #8 in the football polls

Jimmie Johnson, Lowe's #48, wins 3rd race in the Sprint "race to the chase", and is now in first place- 7 races to go.

That's about it, but those are some pretty good ones for me, anyway.

Odds n Ends

It has been an interesting month in my new job and with things happening around us- two big things happening locally being One: Wachovia getting essentially wiped out- technically not a failure, but practically, well, lots of folks in Charlotte are going to be looking for jobs. Two: gas shortage- hard to tell how much of it is just not much gas, and how much of it is the hysteria and people overdoing it on making sure they have gas. Another advantage to being so close to work- I shouldn't need any more fuel until this thing gets sorted out.

Anyway, in the sports columnist world, Bill Simmons continues to entertain me. I especially liked the "pickup game rules" for the NBA All-Star game.

And a couple of postings related to the bailout (in case the other billions of bloggers' postings on this haven't slaked your thirst)....

From Time magazine online:

How We Became the United States of France

And another Time online piece:

Let Risk-Taking Financial Institutions Fail

I don't necessarily agree with all the opinions, but I think there are some parts of this whole thing that are a bit odd, for example, the "economists against the bailout" get no play or airtime, rather the opposition is framed as "a populist uprising". Could it be that the American public isn't deluded, and in fact is accurately perceiving this bailout effort as benefitting the financiers to the detriment of the public at large? Is it not also significant that the opposition in the House is "bipartisan"? Sure, one can argue those who are afraid of not getting reelected opposed it and those that are confident of reelection voted for it, but how often do we get "bipartisan" anymore in anything of importance?

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm a bit callous.

So today I saw the following headline on a news website:

"$2 ping-pong ball saves tot during surgery"

And my initial reaction?

"Wow- I had no idea ping pong balls were so expensive!!!"

I'm barely human.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Noise complaints and the military

Someone forwarded me a note recently that reminded me of the uneasy tension that sometimes oddly exists between the military and the population we believe we protect and defend.

I saw something similar in Utah. the National Guard's primary training area, Camp Williams, is near the "point of the mountain" a spot roughly halfway between Salt Lake City and Provo. It is a large expanse of training area, but also is fairly conveniently located given the population bases around it. That being said, for quite a long time, it was relatively isolated from people and other stuff. Which meant no problems for artillery practice, helicopters and other fairly noisy activities that we sometimes engage in. I know I have some fond memories of training with explosives as a combat engineer- when you're just training, blowing things up can be immensely entertaining.
A representative of the "noisemakers"

Well, as the population of the state kept rising, developers starting building closer and closer to Camp Williams, and inevitably I guess, the residents of a development just adjacent to the training area started complaining about the noise, and since then Camp Williams has started setting rules as to when and how much various types of activities can be done, explicitly due to these noise complaints. The obvious sarcastic response- did you not notice the military base next to you when you were looking at purchasing a home just next door? The military vehicles, barbed wire, and artillery not tip you off?

Anyway, here's the e-mail:

Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before they were.

An individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint: 'Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base:

Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet.

Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns ' early bird special? Any response would be appreciated. '

The response:

Regarding a wake-up call from Luke's jets' (Letters, Thursday): On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship fly by of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques. Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.

At 9 a.m.on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the letter writer's recount of the fly by, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

A four-ship fly by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks, 'Whom do we thank for the morning air show? ' The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.


Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr. USAF

As far as the four ship formation, it probably looked something like this:

The missing man formation

An addendum to that post... my sister sent me a link that linked again to a youtube video:


I don't know Kim Komando, but I appreciated the Lizzie Palmer video showing appreciation for the sacrifices folks in the military make. I am truly proud of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of my brothers and sisters in the military who have been serving repeated deployments around the world. Some might criticize this video as overly dramatic, but I'd suggest they haven't "been there" and should tread lightly.

Thanks, Beth.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Not a bad sports weekend

While the Yankees have flamed out, I wanted to take a moment to share my happiness over last weekend's BYU football victory and #48's dominant NASCAR victory in California.

It may fairly be said that BYU was piling on. Here's photographic evidence.