Nov 26, 2007

Fran's morning walk

Every morning Fran has to take an overly animated Santorini outside. I'm sure he has to make a morning pitstop just like everyone else, but as he hears the key turning in the door lock he can hardly contain himself...he starts jumping and growling in anticipation. If we don't tell him to sit and stay (which he does for the most part) he will blast out the door emitting a sort of growling yelp and streak over to the bushes looking for any intruder.

After that exciting dash to see who is in the yard (nothing ever is) he then frustratingly just walks around sniffing, forgetting that he has to make his morning pitstop. Of course, the time he takes to finally find his perfect spot is inversely related to the amount of time either Fran or I have before we leave for school or work.

But this time of year, it is worth it to get up a few minutes early to look at the colors as Santorini picks his perfect spot...especially when you have a nice coffee in hand.


Nov 23, 2007

Hey Goracle, you inconveniently forgot this chart in your ridiculous movie

Although I shudder at the thought of citing Wikipedia...

The Dalton Minimum was a period of low solar activity, lasting from about 1790 to 1820. Like the Maunder Minimum and Sporer Minimum it coincided with a period of lower than average global temperatures. Low solar activity seems to be strongly correlated with global cooling, although the mechanism by which solar activity causes climate change is not well understood.

The Maunder Minimum is the name given to the period roughly from 1645 to 1715, when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time. The Maunder Minimum coincided with the middle — and coldest part — of the so-called Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America, and perhaps much of the rest of the world, were subjected to bitterly cold winters. Whether there is a causal connection between low sunspot activity and cold winters is the subject of ongoing debate (e.g. see Global Warming).

coincidence? no, coincidence is when you make a movie full of scientifically unproven facts that promises gloom and doom but then make money off of instant solutions sold conveniently in the theater lobby.

Nov 20, 2007

Apple Smug Alert

We Knew This Was Going To Happen: iPhone Equipped Passenger Takes On Flight Crew Over Weather


One of our subscribers sent me this story today. We all knew this one was inevitable when the latest iPhone commercial rolled out -- now didnt we?

"Oh joy! I can't wait for the next ground delay or long taxi due to weather somewhere to get a smart ass with a freakin I-phone shoving it in my face saying "It's NOT raining there... SEE !" Too late ... already happened to me. We push back, get advised of a ground stop in MEM due to storms in the area. Go to the penalty box and wait. My Captain does the lecture over the PA... not one minute later, we get dinged from the F/A "Some guy with an IPhone says the weather is good, and wants to know what the real reason is for the delay. Is something wrong with the plane?"

I want to tell this clown what he can do with his IdiotPhone - but the Captain does it even better. He gets on the PA and makes the following announcement :

"If the passenger with the IPhone would be kind enough to use it to check the weather at our alternate, calculate our fuel burn due to being rerouted around the storms, call the dispatcher to arrange our release, and then make a phone call to the nearest Air Traffic Control center to arrange our timely departure amongst the other aircraft carrying passengers with IPhones, then we will be more than happy to depart. Please ring your call button to advise the Flight Attendant and your fellow passengers when you deem it ready and responsible for this multi-million dollar aircraft and its passengers to safely leave."

Needless to say, the pax was pretty embarrassed. The F/A later told us the rest of the plane was outright laughing at this dude. What a clown."

the comments at the website are almost as funny as this post.

Nov 16, 2007

More Fall Colors

The weather has been kinda cloudy the last few days. Hopefully I can take some photos on a sunny day soon before all the leaves commit Hari-Kari!

Nov 15, 2007

First Fall at Bradley House

I've been going in early and coming home after dark, especially with Day Light Savings shift, and didn't notice until this morning how beautiful the neighborhood is becoming. Who needs to go to Shenandoah to see the leaves turn? All we have to do is just step out on the front stairs!

Nov 8, 2007

Yes Virginia, There Isn't Any Media Bias

ABC's Good Morning America, which aired two gushing profiles this summer on the 30th anniversary of John and Elizabeth Edwards, has found no time to air a similar story on the 30th anniversary of George and Laura Bush. The presidential couple celebrated three decades together on Monday, but GMA made no mention of it on Monday or Tuesday. In contrast, on July 31 the ABC program fawned over the well known story of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife celebrating their 30th anniversary at the restaurant Wendy's. As pictures of the couple at the fast food outlet appeared onscreen, Good Morning America anchor Diane Sawyer lauded: "And they are going to renew their vows. Happy anniversary." Less then two weeks later, GMA reported on the story again. Sawyer crowed over the fact ABC would be showing photos of the wedding vows, what she called, "the very first pictures of a very personal backyard ceremony." Reporter David Muir described the pictures, which also appeared in People magazine, as "incredibly personal."

Nov 4, 2007

Night Out in Williamsburg

we went to meet Leno and family (inc brother and sister-in-law) in downtown old Williamsburg. after dinner and a few beers in Chownings tavern, we went on a Ghost walk. we learned some pretty good history about some of the old buildings interspersed with ghost tales.

after the walk we ended up back at Chownings Tavern, the last subject of the ghost walk. we went back in supposedly to see the ghosts we had just heard about, but more likely b/c everyone wanted to try another beer and snacks.

So today's recommendation is Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout.

We liked the tavern alot and might try to incorporate some of the look into our own still-as-yet-to-be-built pub. While we wait for the pub to materialize, we might be able to recreate some of the food:

Chowning’s Tavern Brunswick Stew

(8–10 servings)

1 stewing hen (6 pounds) or 2 broiler/fryers (3 pounds each)
3 medium potatoes, diced
4 cups corn cut from cob or 2 cans (1 pound each) corn
2 large onions
sliced 2 cups okra, cut (optional)
2 cups lima beans
3 teaspoons salt
4 cups fresh or 2 cans (1 pound each) tomatoes
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar

Cut chicken in pieces and simmer in 3 quarts water for a thin stew, or 2 quarts for a thick stew, until meat can easily be removed from bones, about 2 1⁄4 hours. Add raw vegetables to broth and simmer, uncovered, until beans and potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Add chicken, boned and diced if desired, and the seasonings.

Note: If canned vegetables are used, include juices and reduce water to 2 quarts for a thin stew, 1 quart for a thick stew.

Also note: Brunswick stew is one of those delectable things that benefit from long, slow cooking. It is a rule in some Tidewater homes never to eat Brunswick stew the same day it is made, as its flavor improves if it is left to stand overnight and reheated.

Nov 1, 2007


i spent the first part of this week in what the AF calls a Phase II exercise...we are deployed to a bare bones base under the worst conditions in the middle of an all out war. it's the worst of all things and always leads to alot of confusion--since you can't blow things up or kill people there are alot of simulations that always tend to get fouled up.

in any case, i spent alot of time in a rubber gas mask, sweating profusely, hiding under a desk every couple of hours. it's a very claustrophobic and tiring thing to do, especially when my main job is to type on a non-user friendly "portable" computer system. two layers of gloves do not improve your typing at 3 in the morning, but i've become pretty proficient at typing using the end of a pencil.

funny thing is, just one year ago i was on the AF inspection team going base to base grading poor sweating saps in rubber gloves and claustrophobic masks. how's that for karma?