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Archive for the 'Essays' Category

Real Friends

A little over thirteen years ago, when Gee was in the hospital, one of my best friends came down to visit her. The previous Friday, he had walked into his boss’s office and told her that he was flying down to Virginia because he needed to be there for two people he loved–that his best [...]

The Weather Goddess

A little over ten-and-a-half years ago, Gee came home for the last time. It was Thursday, June 7th, 2001. She had been released from the hospital, where she had been since May 28th, Memorial Day, for home hospice care. As I carried her into the house, what she said to me was bittersweet. She said, [...]

Virtual Friends

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a lot of support and love from friends that I met via online sailing forums and through blogging. While many of these friendships started out on the Internet, I have been lucky to meet quite a few of them in real life as well. They range across a [...]

Social Networking Sites and Identity Theft

As I am a member of some social networking sites and have a fairly high on-line presence, I thought I’d write a bit about security and social network sites. A lot of social networking sites, like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and such have a fair amount of personal information about anyone who is a member. This [...]

Re-deploying Government

( Essays andPolitics )

Who thinks that Congress should be totally revamped? When this country was formed, having Congress meet in Washington, DC made sense. The travel times for the congressmen, especially those in remote western states, and the lack of anything resembling high-speed communication made it necessary.  However, those same restrictions are no longer an issue today.  Almost [...]

Cored Laminates in GRP Boats

As a caveat, I am not a laminate engineer, but a just an amateur boat builder.  As such, the information contained within this post is written to be a basic primer. Modern GRP boats often use a cored laminate construction for several reasons.  A cored laminate can be much stiffer, stronger and lighter than a [...]

The Next Generation Automobile

( Essays andNews andTech )

The average passenger car requires about 25 horsepower for 90% of its operation.  The only time more horsepower is really needed is when the vehicle is accelerating. Unfortunately, current automotive technology has to design the engine for the 10% requirement of relatively high-horsepower, rather than the 90%—leaving the engine running fairly inefficiently 90% of the [...]

Should We Bail Out Detroit

George W. Bush’s plan to tap the TARP fund to bail out the big Three is short-sighted and irresponsible. It doesn’t matter where the money goes, it is throwing good money after bad. Letting the auto industry sink or swim on its own is the only way to get the UAW and the management of the big three automakers to accept a changed reality of the auto industry. Honda, Toyota, et al, all have factories in the USA now. Building cars that are fuel efficient is something that should have been done decades ago….

Death of A Dream

( Essays andEvents andSailing andThoughts )

Heather Neill announced her plans to circumnavigate the globe in s/v Flight of Years, a Pacific Seacraft Flicka last year. This was a rather unusual announcement, given that Heather was not a sailor, and had relatively little experience sailing at the time of her announcement. You can read about her and her preparations at her [...]

Capsizing A Multihull

( Essays andSailing )

On a sailing forum, the question of capsize or pitchpoling a multihull came up recently. That’s a good question, how common is capsizing a cruising multihull? The poster was talking about two trimarans that had pitchpoled. I’d like to look at that now. The risk of capsize on a cruising multihull is miniscule, provided the [...]

An American Problem

( Essays andThoughts )

One of my on-line friends, Alex, recently posted this message in response to the killings at Virginia Tech. I have been watching the news here in the US… What drives young people to go to a school and shoot people like that??? And its not the first time either… God help America….this is so crazy….. [...]

37 Days and Meta’s Story

One of my favorite blogs to read is 37 Days, by Patti Digh. A recent post of her talks about the movie “March of the Penguins”, and talks about a young woman named Meta. The story really hit home for me, since Meta was about the same age as my identical twin and, like him, [...]

Blame

Over on Dear Elena, there is a post titled “Blame”. It is about whether Daniel or Kim is responsible for their daughter’s death. Elena died from a bacterial infection about six months ago. I can understand this behavior. I went through much the same thing after my twin brother, David, was killed. I also went [...]

Sailing Around Cape Ann

( Essays andMy Life andSailing )

Since this is a sailing blog, at least to some degree… I should probably write about sailing at some point. As part of my plan for long-distance passage making, I was taking a Macro Cruising Course over at the Boston Sailing Center. I’ve also posted some photos, per Tillerman’s request. I hope you enjoy the [...]

What is Terrorism?

Define: Terrorism This is the definition according to Wikipedia. Terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change.[1][2] Terrorist attacks are designed to influence the broader society to which those killed, injured, or taken hostage belong. The dramatic focus of [...]

Fear of Death

There’s a post on a blog I read called Fear of Death. The post is about the fear of death, and of dying that was caused by her friend’s diagnosis with a particularly nasty form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The author writes: “And it was only then, maybe ten minutes before they arrived, that I finally [...]

Leadership

( Essays andPolitics )

What makes a good leader? I was watching a movie the other night… a tacky apopcalyptic movie titled, “10.5”, about an earthquake that devastates the west coast of the United States. The President of the United States in the movie is playing a game of basketball with an old friend when he is told about [...]

Identity

( Essays andMy Life andThoughts )

Over at Dear Elena, there is an article on identification, and it set me to thinking about who I am. As my life has progressed, who I am has changed. During my life, I’ve had two identities which have really defined who I am. The first is when I was a child, I was always [...]

More Sailing Quotes

“The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

Republicans Misbehaving

Here are a collection of short posts that all seem to have a common thread—Republicans misbehaving. Whether it is lying, intimidation, spying, breaking the law, or stealing, it all seems to point to a definite lack of moral values by the party of the Moral Majority. How sad. Even worse is that the American people continue to allow such behavior to continue endlessly.

A Sane Response to Terrorism

Wandering the internet, I came across an article with an excellent and sane response to terrorists and terrorism. America could learn alot from this. My thanks to Emergent Chaos for the link.

Fascism—American Style

I recently read an article that pointed me to Dr. Lawrence Britt’s essay on the Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism. Now let’s take a look at each of Britt’s fourteen points, and how America, in 2006, under the Bush Presidency regime is faring.

Real Security

There’s a very good post over at Not Bad For A Cubicle on Airport Security. He is one of the few that I have seen writing on the subject who realizes that most of the highly visible security measures that have been implemented in the United States are also among the least effective. He also [...]

RFID Passport Security

Technology, being used for technology’s sake, rarely is effective, unless it is done with a thorough understanding of the underlying issues and requirements. That is not the case here. RFID technology is not a technological panacea that will make national security or identifying the bad guys easier, unless it is properly used. In fact, it is more likely to make national security, especially for our citizens abroad, far lower, and make them more easily identifiable by the bad guys.

Third World Economy

( Essays andNews andPolitics andRants andSecurity andThoughts )

Well, glad to say that GWB did not disappoint (see my previous post). The government of the United States is officially in default. They’ve exceeded the debt ceiling of $8.18 trillion dollars, and are now at $8.19 trillion dollars, as noted in the Homeland Stupidity blog. Of course, what would you expect from a man [...]

Gore and Clinton: Two Different Takes on Democracy

( Essays andEvents andPolitics andRants andThoughts )

The Irregular Times blog, one of my regulars, has an excellent analysis on the differences between Al Gore and Hillary Clinton’s take on democracy and the actions of the Bush Administration. You can read the whole article here. I’ve quoted the conclusion below. It is one that I strongly agree with. Whereas Al Gore’s speech [...]

The Rule of Law, Al Gore and George W. Bush

( Essays andEvents andNews andPolitics andThoughts )

Apparently, the Democrats have realized that George W. Bush has broken the law. Al Gore denounces GWB in his speech on Martin Luther King Day. In his speech, he and Congressman Barr, a conservative Republican, both denounce the actions of George W. Bush. Barr has also stated that we are close to becoming a totalitarian society here. I have quoted Gore’s speech below.

Taking Security for Granted

( Essays andMac andSecurity andTech )

I often get asked if I run anti-virus software on my Mac, and if I do, why do I bother. The reasoning of the people asking me is usually something like: “There are no viruses for Mac OS X, so why waste the time/money running an anti-virus package on a Mac.”

And the heavens wept…

The weather the past few days has been pretty strange. It has been unseasonably cool for Virginia in August, and much rainier than is usually the case. We’ve got green grass here in Virginia. Normally, by this time of year, the grass is dead and brown without some serious lawn watering. Earlier in the week, [...]

Invasion of the iPod People

( Essays andMy Life andTech andThoughts )

Boston has appeared to be invaded by iPod People