Archive for September, 2005


Yet another flame war

Friday, September 30th, 2005

“Conservative” Triumph – Page 2 – Hangar

I’m a bad, bad person. I’m engaged in another political flame war over at Flight Info.

I really ought to leave my leftie friends alone, but I just can’t help it. They post these silly things that just beg for refutation. I ought to just let them live in ignorance.

But by golly, how can I face my children and know that lefties are posting silly things in forums and I sat by and didn’t help them see the error of their ways??


Cessna 2006 Cardinal?

Friday, September 30th, 2005

I saw a posting on usenet that mentioned the rumor that Cessna is going to come out with a new “Cirrus Killer” single engine airplane. One poster suggested that high wing airplanes were always ugly. In response, I posted the following rant (edited a bit for coherency):

I am a partner in a Piper Archer and a Cardinal. I prefer the Cardinal, and my passengers like it even better.

Aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder, but with a new paint job many of my passengers think my airplane is newer and faster than a Cirrius parked on the same ramp. I know because I ask them to guess.

The Cirrus is a great plane, but its not a really pretty one. I parked next to a new Columbia the other day, and that airplane is really pretty (at the cost of passenger comfort). I have to admit that I might not have won that beauty contest.

The key to making a high wing pretty is to move the wing as far aft as possible. Not only does this look better it greatly improves visiblity and gives a better cg range. If you’ve only flown Cessna’s 152/172/182 family, then you haven’t flown a properly designed high wing airplane.

Now sweep the tail, install a stabilator, saw off the struts, make the tiedown rings retract, and use mostly flush rivets and your high wing airplane is now a stunner, with far more ramp appeal than a clorox bottle with wings. In other words, make a 2006 version of the Cardinal.

I’d suggest Cessna take the already clean and fast Cardinal, make it even slicker. Aircraft design has come a long way since 1968, there are an easy 15 knots left in the basic airframe. They should sell the fixed gear version with a 200hp motor and the retract with a 230hp turbocharged motor. Throw in glass and FADAC. Lower the glareshield, as Mooney did recently, giving even better visiblity.

Cessna would be swamped with orders for a plane like that.

Ciirrus wouldn’t be killed, but it would be hurt really really bad.


Today was better than yesterday

Friday, September 30th, 2005

It was COOL in Austin today! Of course, Austin is always cool from the style standpoint, but its been blast furnace hot all month, with temperatures routinely above 105F (40C), and at touching 110F (43C) a couple of times. Today it was 30 degrees cooler, with a high stratus overcast that sure was easy on burned out eyeballs. The cooler weather cheered me up.

At work I wrote some Javascript for the first time professionaly. I was pleased I was able to write something useful (a “VCR” control for images on a help system) in a new language in one day. Javascript is kind of a toy language compared the manly C++ that I usually write. But Javascript is well suited to certain classes of problems, and it was fun to have something new to learn.

This weekend is shaping up to be a busy one for flying. I’ve already planned a flight to Port Aransas for lunch with my spouse and maybe a friend or two on Sunday. Today I volunteered to fly another Angel Flight / Lakeview Aviation relief flight from 5R3, Largo Vista airport to T12, Kirbyville, Texas. I will be delivering medical supplies. Watch this space for the after action report and pictures.


What Liberal Media?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

For several years I was a regular participant at a web forum that had a pretty vibrate political discussion area. As part of a discussion of the existance of left wing bias in the media I offered to post daily and even hourly examples of media bias.

Well, I was never that energetic, but examples abound for sure. One the best is provided by Zombie Times via LBF .

I’ve watched a number of left wing protests over the last few years. They are always covered by the media, but you’ll never see pictures of protesters dressed as terror bombers, pro-communist signs, anti-semantic signs, or defaced American flags. But they’re always there.


Fair enough

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Lynndie England has been sentanced to three years in jail. That seems about right to me. When faced with a fiasco, the military has a tendancy punish in inverse proporation to rank. I’m glad to see that the Army didn’t completely throw the book at the private.

You know, you hear a lot about “torture at Abu Ghraib”. By the standards of most other countries there was no torture. Certainly by the standards of North Viet Nam or Iraq’s prior goverment England’s prisoners had a day in the park.


Flame war alert!

Monday, September 26th, 2005

I’m in a little bit of a flame war at Flight Info concerning Cindy Sheehan.


Sunrise panel

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Sunrise panel

Originally uploaded by JimNtexas.

I did my annual dawn patrol flight in our Cessna Cardinal the other day. I’m not a morning person, but it was worth the suffering to see this view.

Cessna, aviation, airplane



Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Via Blonde Justice I took one of these political attitude tests. I came out a Libertarian, social permissive 61%, economic conservative 71%.

It’s fairly accurate. I have strong Libertarian leanings. I discovered Ayn Rand way back in 1968. I am not a hard core libertarian however. I do see a role for goverment. In particular I think it’s OK for goverment to act to provide some balance in our system between individuals and large economic entities. So consumer protection laws, laws that balance the rights of employees and employers, reasonsable health and safety laws are ok with me.

Nanny statism does not please me.

The site of grown men and women sitting around crying that Federal Jebus let them down turns my stomach.

Tinpot thought police disgust me, whether they are enforcing a speech code on campus or staying awake at night worrying about what consenting adults might be up in the privacy of their homes.

Getting a note in my phone bill that the phone company settled a class action suit for a $5 coupon and $5 million to lawyers makes me want to scream.

Hearing Hillary bleat about “the children” makes me throw things at the TV. To be fair, lately Bush is showing strong signs of becoming a more attractive version of Hillary in all areas of policy except defending America and taxation.


The Day After Rita

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

Austin was untouched by Rita. In fact we enjoyed a very pleasent day today. It was cool by our standards, with a high only 95F instead of Friday’s 101F.

We did host a huge number of evacuees from the coast. It was strange to drive down an American highway and see signs directing refuges to shelters.

One thing kind of got my goat. As I was driving around today running some errands I listened to our local talk station, KLBJ. What I heard made me almost ashamed to be a Texan.

What happened here was this. Many of the people who came here from Houston elected to start their return about 10am this morning. This even though the Governer and local authorities were warning them that it was too soon.

So they all bolt for Highway 290 and Interstate 10. Just as they were told, they hit gridlock and ran low on gas.

I don’t blame them for going home as soon as possible. I probably would have also. What I would not have done is call the radio station and blamed the Governer for not having a “plan”. They were stuck in traffic, running low on gas, and getting tired and frustratred. You didn’t need to be Krestin to see that coming a mile away.

The callers were acting like all Perry had to do was take a wooden staff, wave it at interstate 10, and part the traffic for them.

For heaven’s sake, take responsiblity for your own decisions!! It isn’t the job of Federal Jebus to save you from yourself. The callers should have either waited a couple of days to go home, or just gutted it up and delt with the hardships of being one of a million people trying to jam through the door at the same time.
politics, evacuation


Pow web

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

For several years I’ve used Pow Web for web hosting. They haven’t always impressed me, but they’ve recently gotten serious and put in a number of real improvements in their hosting plan.

In particular, they now have one-click installation of a number of web applications. This Word Press blog was set up with one click.

The last time I looked at blogging software I had to spend a whole afternoon getting Moveable Type to the same point that the instant WP install did in a few seconds.

Good job, Pow Web.
WordPress, hosting