Thursday, March 27, 2008


I don't know how many people follow this blog, but you if you do, you might have noticed that I sometimes do not post for a couple of weeks. Sometimes, I can't think of anmything to say, and sometimes I get distracted.

One of my biggest distractions is an engineering oriented website called CR4. It is associated with another site called Globalspec, a site that allows engineers or designers to search for parts.
CR4 has forums and blogs. The first blog I went to was the Challenge Questions blog. Each week, the blog owner posts a puzzling situation, and members try to guess the answer or offer their own explanation or solution. Sometimes someone proposes a solution that is better than the official answer.
When I'm on CR4 and I'm not in the Challenge Questions, I'm in the General Discussion forum. I'm easy to find there because I'm the only one from Kiefer OK.
The addy is

I used to be on the Stormtrack forum quite a bit, but there has been too much drama there and not enough fun. The only sections I look at there anymore are the Forecast and Post Storm Discussions.

Sometimes I spend time on You Tube looking at videos of a lost art form - the novelty song. Artist that specialize(d) in novelty songs are Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Allan Sherman, and Ray Stevens. Wierd Al Yankovich is only artist today that comes close to producing new novelty pieces, but his works are mostly parodies of pop hits. Novelty songs are more original, but they might use more familiar tunes.
I believe this country is losing something valuable by not having new novelty songs. This might be a sign that we are losing our sense of humor.
If you need a laugh, go to You Tube and watch a few novelty song videos. I recommend you start with Spike Jones renditions of "Cocktails for Two," "Clink, Clink!" and "Der Fuhrer's Face." Then look up Allan Sherman's "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!" That one is a classic! Then finish up with Ray Stevens' "The Streak," "It's Me Again, Margaret" and "The Mississippi Squrriel Revival."

Politics, politics, politics!

This presidential election campaign is starting to wear thin, and we're still in the primary stages! Other countries don't have election cycles that run this long. Now, America is not like other countries, but if political activities and processes are to be relevant to the general population, I think it would be okay to take a lesson from some of these other countries.

The big issue in the background is that the Democrats decided not to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida, and these states will not likely allow re-votes. The Democrat convention is going to be up for grabs, despite what has happened in the primaries and caucauses. So, the Senators from Illinois and NewYork will continue to snipe at each other and maipulate things as best they can to defeat each other.

Here's how I would like to see the presidential primaries go:
States that rank in the lowest 25 in population vote first, up until April 15. Then the bigger states go, and have to finish by June 15. Then the surviving candidates take off from campaigning until a week after July 4th. The national conventions have to be done by the end of August. Campaigning begins in earnest after Labor Day.

I wonder, is there a reason that Election Day comes so soon after Halloween?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Something New

I just added an RSS feed from the Storm Prediction Center to the sidebar of this blog. It's called the Storm Panel and it is linked to information about watches, warnings, mesoscale discussions, convective outlooks, etc.

I am experimenting with this because eventually I want to start another blog exclusively about severe weather, and that blog will have feeds from the SPC and many of the NWS offices in Tornado Alley.

I'm still new to this webposting stuff, except for forums, discussion boards, and email reflectors.

What I would really like to have is a page that displays current national radar, regional radars for the Alley, each of the Day 1 - 3 and the Day4 - 8 Convective Outlooks, and the Mesoscale Analysis Pages.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Weather makes me poetic

Actually, many things bring out the poet in me. I wrote quite a number of poems back in high school. I haven't done much lately, but the winter storm that left 3 - 4 inches of sleet crusted on my yard in January of 2007 inspired this piece:

Is not neat!
Makes it hard for me to stay on my feet;
Dealing with it leaves me beat;
My hate for it is complete!

These pellets of ice
Are not nice!
Second to freezing rain,
Which is such a pain,
They are nature's most devious device!

Packed down hard on the street,
Also solid and hard
On my yard,
Covers my grass;
Makes it easy to fall on my... posterior.

Oh, snow!
I wish you would just go!
As to where,
I really don't care.
As long as you are not on the ground
I'll be glad you're no longer around!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Universal Health Care = Rationed Health Care

Universal health care is not the panacea it is promoted to be.

For a health care system to be universal, it must be managed by the government because the government is the only universal factor in society. The problem with that is the only way the government to manage health care is to ration it. So, a bureaucrat in a government office somewhere becomes the one to decide who gets health care, what kind of care they get, and how much.

Sound familiar? Isn't that what people have criticized HMO's for doing? With government rationed health care, that's what we can expect, and to a degree worse than what anyone has experienced with HMO's. Why? Because HMO's are businesses, and businesses will change their policies when they lose customers to their competitors. The government doesn't have competitors. People relying on government rationed health care are not customers and do not have the option of seeking health care anywhere else. Without compitettion, the government has no incentive to chage its policies, unless a riot occurs right outside the bureaucrat's door.

Someone recently wrote in to the Tulsa World and stated that Jordanians have a longer life expectancy than Americans, implying that this indicates a deficiency in the US health care system. Chances are, Jordanians eat a healthier diet than the typical American diet. The lettter writer didn't say anything about the type of health care system in Jordan. I don't hear much about people going to Jordan just to get superior health care. But I have heard of people coming from Canada to the US for life-saving surgery.

Health care begins with each individual. We all make choices, good or bad, about diet, exercise, hygiene and safety, that have a greater impact on our health than the decisions of any doctor, nurse, dentist, physical therapist, or government bureaucrat. Do you want the government taking those choices away from you or anyone else? For the government to make those choices for you is tyranny.

Beware of statistics cited by bureaucrats and politicians that seem to favor the government takeover of health care. If they can convince people of the for need government rationed health care, then they have created a need for government. If you "need" the government to take care of your health, you "need" the bureaucrats and politicians. They call that job security.

Before someone begins to think that I am a rich Republican who has gobs of insurance or can afford whatever health care I want, I have not had insurance for a long time. I did not have insurance 6 years ago when I had surgery. I am still paying the bills. If you think that is a pity, that the government should help me by paying my bills for me, my question is: Why? Why should the government do that for me? The government didn't cause my problem, and the government is not responsible for taking care of me. I am.