Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Little Admiral

Amanda and Griffin

I have often called Griffin, "the Little Admiral" because I'd like to see him become a naval officer as part of his career track to greatness. He also may choose a career in the US Intelligence Community once his hitch in the navy is over. My daughter, Amanda, took a big step with Griffin today by taking him onboard a small day cruiser in San Diego harbor. Griffin loves the smell of the sea, the seals, the SEALs, the sea birds and the environment.

Monday, September 27, 2010

How to Argue!!

a brief primer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Chuckle

Just something to tickle your funny bone -- h/t WoFat

Monday, September 20, 2010

Metalic Wasp

Sculpture allows the viewer's imagination to be piqued and transformed from what is to what might be.

The actual value of the art is not measured in dollars and cents, but in the impact it has on the person who views it. If it doesn't cause you to think or it doesn't transform a small part of you from where you are to a distant shore where the rules are different and the impossible is somehow possible, then it has absolutely no value.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Holy Batmobile

Yes, it's as campy as it can possibly be, but when I was a kid, BATMAN was no joke. It was primetime programming and every kid in North America was glued to the television to see how Batman or Robin would escape from whichever arch criminal had them suspended from a vat of boiling oil.

Last night, I saw the original Batmobile (below).

Friday, September 17, 2010

No fear of heights?

Jobs and Incompetent Democrats

I live in Southern California in what is commonly referred to as the Greater Los Angeles Area. Based on just about everything I've read, we've had it worse than most of the rest of the United States during the recent recession/depression. Between outright unemployment and underemployment (people now working part time for minimum wage) about 25% of all workers are in that category here, where I live. The official unemployment rate is about 12.5% but that excludes independent contractors, business owners and others who may be unemployed but who were not entitled to benefits as well as those who didn't find a job and whose benefits expired.

Today the Los Angeles Times disclosed that it received US$111,000,000.00 from the US$800 billion federal stimulus program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), that was designed to put people back to work.

The Times quotes, "I'm disappointed that we've only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million," says Wendy Greuel, the city's controller, while releasing an audit report.

According to the report, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works generated only 45.46 jobs (the fraction of a job created or retained correlates to the number of actual hours works) after receiving $70.65 million, while the target was 238 jobs.

Similarly, the city’s department of transportation, armed with a $40.8 million fund, created only 9 jobs in place of an expected 26 jobs.

Is it any wonder that the nation is in decline?

Is it any wonder that the public is outraged?

The City of Los Angeles is run by the Democratic Party. I am not crying fraud, but I don't know how you could do much worse. If I had $111 million in cash, I guarantee that I could create 56 jobs -- just let me pocket the difference and the city would have one more job than it created by itself.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Latest Toys and Goodies

Check out the latest at ASHIMA DEVICES. Pictured above is our new Force Field. You can read all about it on the linked site for Ashima Devices (above).

As Chief Products Officer for Ashima Devices, I'm part of a great team doing some innovative work that makes a difference in real life situations. I'm also on the technical advisory staff at Ashima Arts.

Yes, I do have another day job as is outlined on the Ashima bio, but I'm energized at Ashima by the people I work with and the consumers who are lining up to buy what we're building!!

So if you're interested in one of the ways I spend my days, this is clearly part of it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How can you love them more?

My grandson is not happy that Mommy is going to give him 
brother/sister...not at the moment. Things will change as they 
grow up together, fight and share experiences.

I, on the other hand, am looking forward to getting
 another one of these little bundles of joy. As a grandpa, 
you share all the fun without all the responsibility.

My grandson, Griffin, is coming over on Monday
to visit me -- with his mommy. There will be things
to do, walks to take, birds to point out, flowers to explain, etc.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Children of Anarchy

My son-in-law and daughter dress up to watch their favorite television show, "SONS OF ANARCHY". They put the baby to bed before the show came on...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Morning Rant

Current US Statistics:

40 million on food stamps
50 million medicaid
75 million have credit scores below 600
8 months to find a job (average)
60% living paycheck to paycheck
80% of college grads have moved back in with their parents

The obama administration declared that this would be the "Summer of Recovery!"  The stock market dropped, orders for durable goods dropped, taxes increased and unemployment rose while under-employment is near 25% in many major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles. Nationally the under-employment numbers are brighter - only 20% (LINK).

As near as anyone can tell, the trillion dollar stimulus did nothing substantive. The bulk of the funds were distributed to wealthy cronies of the Democratic Party, who became wealthier. Now, the Democrats have decided that they didn't spend enough money on "stimulus" and want to borrow another trillion or two trillion do dump into their foolish "programs". A trillion dollars is a LOT of money to waste.

And Nero fiddles and goes on extended vacation after extended vacation while Rome burns.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another Empty Chair

"The Shadow" also known as the Shadow Warrior, Mad Mike and occasionally less flattering names, was a good friend of mine. He's pictured here, next to his Toyota FJ Cruiser (The Raptor) at the Top of the World near Moab, UT. I was there when the photo was taken by a guy we call Dragon. (I'm Scary Larry)

We buried Mad Mike yesterday at his home in Yellville, Arkansas. A few of his old buddies were there, and there were people from the town and his and his wife's families who were also there to say good-bye. As a pall bearer, carrying his clay to its final resting place was an honor, but it was something I never thought I'd do.

Sometimes I do dangerous things. Last April I asked Mad Mike to aid my family in spreading my ashes in the event of my demise. There are a few places my family hasn't ever visited and they are some of my very favorite places on the planet. Mad Mike knew those spots. We were shooting in Arkansas in May of this year and running around like a couple of old war dogs.

In June, doctors diagnosed him with cancer and he died last Sunday. It took him quickly, but not without considerable pain.

I could tick off the name of friends of mine who have died young. Mike was four years younger than I am, meaning "young". The list is not inconsequential. A lot of my friends lived hard. And sometimes I fancy myself sitting at a large dinner table, surrounded by their ghosts. We're all eating and swapping lies. (consider Valhalla and Odin's corpse hall) But mine is the only seat still filled with a breathing human. The vision is not disconcerting. But Mike died in the hospital without a weapon in his hand and part of me is bothered by that. It's not a religious thing - it's a warrior thing. Arkansas is a long way from the ocean so we couldn't put him on a Viking ship, set the sail and light it on fire as it rode the waves into the deep.

However his wife tells the story of Mike, when he was admitted into hospice where he was well cared for until he died. His wife asked him what they'd do if he wasn't cared for properly (because they didn't know what to expect). True to form, Mad Mike made a pistol shape with his hand and said, "Bang -- they'll disappear."

RIP old friend : Fair Winds and Following Seas!
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