Archive for April, 2006


Behold the Power of The Nikon D-50!

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

   D50 Demo

Originally uploaded by JimNtexas.

This is my first attempt at an Adobe Elements photo-merge.

The merge is pretty primitive, but note that I was able to get 3 frames of a departing airliner from one point of view.

The airliner is going about 160mph.

This photo shows the Nikon D-50’s very high frame rate capability.

It was taken with the idiot wheel in the landscape position.

Have I mentioned how much I’m enjoying my D-50?



UND Aviation Podcasts

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Hat tip to commenter Emily for pointing out the excellent series of aviation video podcasts from The University of North Dakota.

So far these podcasts cover the manuvers required for the commerical pilot certificate check ride. I wish I’d had them when I was working on my commerical ticket.

They also illustrate the power of X-Plane.




Rush Limbaugh Exonerated

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

The political smear and harassment campaign by a left wing government lawyer against Rush Limbaugh sputtered to a halt yesterday. Moonbat talking points to the contrary, charges against Rush Limbaugh have been dropped, he’s a free man. Even the ACLU defended Rush from this unfounded witch hunt.

In other talk radio news, Limbaugh donated $250,000 to charity this week and raised over $14 million from his listeners.

Meanwhile, having run out of charities to loot, Al Franken‘s Hate Radio network continues its inexorable slide in to oblivion.

Rush Limbaugh, Limbaugh, Al Franken, Franken, Air American


Bush Created a Strong Economy – Will he Now Wreck it??

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

The U.S. economy is very strong right now, thanks largely to the Bush tax cuts, especially the reductions on taxation of capital gains and dividends. President Bush gets all the credit, since the Democrats fought him tooth and nail on taxes.

Having created a strong economy by standing up to Democrats, one would think the President would feel empowered to stand up the economic illiterates of the left. But that’s not what is happening. Instead Mr. Bush and the spineless Congressional Republicans seems to be caving to the moonbats. I was astonished to see Bush call for an investigation of “price fixing” in the gasoline market. The Republicans in congress want to send me a hundred bucks!!! WTF!!!!!!! To send me that hundred bucks they first have to take $150 from my wallet and then they “give me” my own money back!! How about you reduce my taxes by $100!!!!!!

The Democrats have been doing these investigations every time gas prices rise since the 70s. And they never, ever, find any evidence of price fixing. It’s just not possible. All of Washington is griped by this notion that if we criminalize the production of gasoline, then we’ll have more of it. I understand that irrational moonbats feel that way. Like most things, the moonbats never ‘think’, all they do is ‘feel’. But Republicans are supposed to be the adult party. Why are Republicans kowtowing to the party of spoiled children?? The Republican White House and Congress is on the brink of snatching economic defeat from the jaws of victory.

To be fair to the Republicans, their nitwit plan to send these hundred dollar checks at least includes opening ANWR to oil production. That’s something that really would help.

It was good to see that Shell is going to expand its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. That’s long overdue. Simple justice says that gasoline from this facility should be restricted to the Red States. Since the Blue States want to criminalize the oil bidness, then they don’t need our gasoline.

The reason gas prices are rising is because the supply is tight. The reason the supply is tight is because we don’t refine enough gasoline. And of course when the government does as it did this week and monkey with the standards for gas it just causes more shortages. The result is higher prices.

Mr. Bush, stand up to the Democrats. Get the Republican Congress people in there and kick some ass!! Get their worthless hides back on the reservation!!!! Show some leadership!!!!!! You’ve gone all wobbly on us.

oil,Bush, economy


Military Staff Officer Wisdom

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Take it from someone who has been on a ‘Higher Headquarters Staff’. There is a lot of truth here.


Scott Crossfield

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Scott Crossfield

Originally uploaded by JimNtexas.

Scott Crossfield recently died in a plane crash. What a fine gentleman he was. I have heard him speak several times at Oshkosh. He was into his 80s, but when he talked about test flying the X-15 the decades just dropped away and he was again a proud young test pilot. Mr Crossfield was an active test pilot right up to the end.

I’m reminded of a passage from Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

They came in the evening, then, and found Jonathan gliding peaceful and alone through his beloved sky. The two gulls that appeared at his wings were pure as starlight, and the glow from them was gentle and friendly in the high night air. But most lovely of all was the skill with which they flew, their wingtips moving a precise and constant inch from his own.

Without a word, Jonathan put them to his test, a test that no gull had ever passed. He twisted his wings, slowed to a single mile per hour above stall. The two radiant birds slowed with him, smoothly, locked in position. They knew about slow flying.

He folded his wings, rolled, and dropped in a dive to a hundred and ninety miles per hour. They dropped with him, streaking down in flawless formation.

At last he turned that speed straight up into a long vertical slow-roll. The rolled with him, smiling.

He recovered to level flight and was quiet for a time before he spoke. “Very well,” he said, “who are you?”

“We’re from your Flock, Jonathan. We are your brothers.” The words were strong and calm. “We’ve come to take you higher, to take you home.”

“Home I have none. Flock I have none. I am Outcast And we fly now at the peak of the Great Mountain Wind Beyond a few hundred feet, I can lift this old body no higher.”

“But you can, Jonathan. For you have learned. One school is finished, and the time has come for another to begin.”

As it had shined across him all his life, so understanding lighted that moment for Jonathan Seagull. They were right. He could fly higher, and it was time to go home.

He gave one last long look across the sky, across that magnificent silver land where he had learned so much.

“I’m ready,” he said at last.

And Jonathan Livingston Seagull rose with the two starbright gulls to disappear into a perfect dark sky.


Just When You Thought The Airlines Couldn’t Get More Hellish

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

I hate airline travel. I hate being crammed into tiny seats, fighting for overhead space, getting yelled at by the employees and harrassed by TSA.

But just when you figure they couldn’t get worse, some damn airline comes with ‘standing room only’ “seats”.


Hattip: Drudge



Beating Traffic

Monday, April 24th, 2006

I found this article on Slashdot: OmniNerd – Articles: Beating Traffic .

This article describes a quantitative study a fellow made on his Houston commute times. The author concluded :

The best bet appears to be moving my schedule out a half-hour to 8:30AM and 6:00PM, bringing significant savings (about 7.5 minutes of commute time per day) without getting too far from normal business hours. Spread out over 50 work weeks, that results in a total savings of over 30 hours a year – the equivalent of about a 38% boost to my existing 80 hours of vacation.

His conclusion mirrors closely my own experience in commuting here in Austin. While I didn’t perform such a heroic analysis as did the author, I came to an almost identical conclusion.

I have found that a nominal work day of 9am to 630pm seems to be close to the optimum for minimizing commute times here in Austin.

The study was done in Houston, I live and work in Austin. One big difference is that Austin is still dominated by government and university employers.

For that reason if there is a federal holiday my commute is much shorter. When the University of Texas is not in session then my commute is noticeably shorter. If there is a Federal holiday when UT is not in session then the roads are almost deserted. I hope all those goverment employees appreciate that their day off is paid for by the people who are working in the private sector.


Code Monkey Like You A Lot

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

This Code Monkey dedicates this song by Jonathan Coulton to the love of his life.

Someday, somehow, It came true. I have everything.


Military Re-enlistments at Record Highs

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

The media is giving a lot of attention to a handful of political generals who are hoping for jobs from Hillary.

There is a story they are ignoring.

Army recruitment and re-enlistment is at record high levels.

Army, enlistment, military