carbon neutral since 1975

Year: 2008 (page 1 of 6)

Yet another Toilet Talker

It has been quite some time, but last week I encountered another toilet talker.  To be specific, he was a toilet whisperer, and no, I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.  I just laughed on the inside.

Why the Furnace Quit

Why the furnace quit working last week:

Lesson 13 – Takeoffs and Landings 4

Lesson 13 was more practice takeoff and landing.  We practiced several on runway 18 and then moved over to 27 to practice cross-wind.  I was able to handle all of the flying without any correction or assistance.   The first few landings, I over-controlled and was pumping the elevators a lot during the flare, but during the last few, I finally got the hang of things and the flares were relatively smooth.  On cross-wind landings, I need to work on two things: 1. Continue to hold aileron against the wind after landing and increase it as the airplane slows down.  2.  Side-slip into the wind.  This is a skill I have just started to use so I will need to get a feel for it.

During December so far every other lesson has been cancelled due to weather, so hopefully we can get a better streak going in the second half of the month.

Hunting Success in Twenty Aught Eight

It was about 7:15 on Saturday morning and a doe and two fawn showed up about 100 yards away at the end of the marsh to the east of Island Two.  They browsed for a few minutes and I thought maybe I should shoot the doe, but since I hadn’t made up my mind before-hand, I decided to pass.  They walked away.  About fifteen minutes later, I saw a small 6-pointer booking it from Island One towards Island Two.  I decided right away to pass him up and it was a good thing because as soon as he got abreast of me, a beautiful 8-pointer appeared, also trying to get somewhere fast.  In my estimation, they were running from something (a hunter), not to something (a doe).  Well, all I saw was that long rear tine and decided he was a shooter.  I couldn’t find him in the scope at first because he was moving through thick brush and I had my scope on high power.  When he was right in the middle of my shooting lane, he paused to scan to his rear so I put the crosshairs on the middle of his left shoulder and squeezed.  He ran about fifteen yards, stumbled in thick underbrush, and expired.

He is my biggest buck to date.  I wouldn’t call him a monster, but he was called by various members of our party “really nice,” “a fat pig,” and “a bruiser.”  Anyway, he is a symmetrical 8-pointer with a 17″-plus spread. His rack is thin for it’s width and height, but here is an interesting dimple in the left main beam, probably damage caused while in velvet.  There was also a hole in the left side of his chest.  It was definitely not caused by a bullet or broadhead because there was no damage inside of his chest and the hole went all the way through his chest wall.  So we guessed it was a battle wound.

By way of protocol, LK and I discussed the matter of mounting and decided that anytime you harvest your largest buck to date, you have a right to have a shoulder mount made without being questioned or harassed by your party.  Moreover, you have a responsibility to have him mounted in some fashion.  Keep that in your clip for future use. I have decided to have a European mount made.  A European mount is when you mount just the skull and antlers.

Here are a few pictures.

Merry Christmas in Twenty Aught Eight

Once again this year, you and I shan’t be greeting anybody with a Happy Holiday(s), Holiday Greetings, or Seasons Greetings.  You know, I don’t really believe most people who have fallen into saying “Happy Holidays” really want to forget about Christmas.  Certainly there are those types.  I think, however, that a lot of people are simply afraid they’re going to offend someone by saying “Merry Christmas.”  The result has been some confusion about the fact that the celebration of Christ’s birth is the reason for our cheer during this last month of the year. Well, most folks are offended far less easily than you think.  Also, the tide may be turning back.  For example, last year Saturday Night Live mocked “Happy Holiday,” illustrating how pervasive and asinine this politically correct equivocation has become.  So we point it out too.

Every day, bless someone you meet with a “Merry Christmas.”  It is fitting and proper.  And when you get the chance, explain why the Son of God being born into our world is a great reason to be happy.

Lesson 12 – Takeoffs and Landings 3

Lesson 12 was the third straight session practicing takeoffs and landings.  Again, we reviewed pattern procedures, talked over a couple of questions, and then went flying.  We took off on runway 22, which was directly into the wind and a runway I hadn’t used before.  We headed straight for Fond du Lac (KFLD) and I got my first experience landing there and landing on an uncontrolled airport.  Using the CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency) was interesting.  There really isn’t much to it.  You just announce your position approaching the field, and then on the downwind leg, base leg, and final leg.  Also funny (funny “huh”) was that KFLD was busier than KOSH at the time.  A Citation and a Skywagon landed after our first and second touch-and-go respectively.  So the CTAF can work pretty well too.

Well, things went reasonably well at KFLD.  We headed back up to KOSH and ran two more touch and goes and one final landing there.  I think I’m beginning to get the hang of landing and can’t wait to get out and do it again.

Lesson 11 – Takeoffs and Landings 2

In lesson 11, we practiced more takeoffs and landings.  This is what you do leading up to your solo, so I’m just a touch nervous about that. I thought I would be overconfident leading up to my solo, but after two sessions of touching and going, I realize I need a lot of practice.  Because the winds were from 330 at 12 knots, we took off from runway 36.  It was my first time using that runway for a takeoff.  We practiced three stop and go patterns and then one simulated power failure on takeoff.  Even though you know it’s just practice and you have plenty of runway left (KOSH 18-36 is 8000 feet long) it sure gets your heart pumping.  Because we were then at the North end of 18-36, we asked the tower for permission to use 31 for further touch-and-gos.  We practiced several of these on 31, which was a little easier to use, being more directly into the wind, but a bit of a different challenge since you couldn’t use the roads as a reference to fly a rectangular pattern.  I think I did a fair job of that.

T mentioned again that my radio work was good.  I guess talking well on the radio doesn’t make you a good pilot — although maybe it indicates a healthy lack of tension — but I mention it because I did have an interesting thing happen during one of the patterns on 31.  I announced my position to the tower at midfield downwind and I heard a crackle or two from the tower but then no answer.  I figured her mic button got stuck, so I waited maybe 20 seconds, and then called again and she gave clearance to land.  No worries.

My landings were just about as wild as during the first session but towards the end of the session, I started to figure out when to begin to slow the descent of the plane and how quickly to slow the rate of descent.  I am going to have to practice not staring at one spot on the runway.  They say that helps your depth perception.

The artificial horizon was fixed and from the last lesson I realized I could fly just as well without it so I didn’t check it as much.

Update on Stephen Douglas

Note that in the post comparing Barack Obama’s position on abortion to Stephen Douglas’ position on slavery, I thought quoting Wikipedia was pretty weak.  So I did some more research and found an actual Douglas speech where he argued against William Seward’s position by attacking his appeal to Divine law.  I placed the quotation in the original post.

Lesson 10 – Takeoffs and Landings 1

In lesson 10, T started off by reviewing a few emergency procedures and then we went flying right away.  Our Cessna had just finished her annual inspection and her artificial horizon wasn’t working.  This is not a required instrument for VFR flight so we went on without it.  I didn’t realize that I would miss that instrument, but I found out that I almost always check it after establishing a turn to see what my bank angle is…interesting.  Well, we practiced several takeoffs and landings on KOSH runway 27.  There was plenty of wind and with it, turbulence, so I never really felt confident and my landings were all over the place, but I did think I was at least getting the hang of the traffic pattern.  After a few landings at Oshkosh, we left the pattern and hopped up to Appleton.  It was my first time landing on KATW and naturally it was exciting to land on an airport whence I have flown commercially.  We hopped back down to Oshkosh and landed, thus ending the lesson.  All in all, it was enjoyable.

As near as I can tell, the trick will be seeing the runway properly and getting my eyes and brain to properly interpret the sight picture of the ground coming up to and at me.

…and History Repeated itself Not

One thing that I and some friends discussed before the recent Presidential election was whether we ought to skip the Presidential box or vote for John McCain considering his wild legislative history.  Well, my conclusion was that his pro-life credentials were strong enough to have earned my vote.  Of course Sarah Palin helped me decide too.

Since the election, I have had more opportunities to ponder my pro-life stance and I realized that I didn’t even know myself how strongly I believe in this cause.  Before and after the election, I have heard a little talk about “single issue voters,” one of which I have never considered myself to be because I more or less believe in the Republican platform across the board.  Well, I got to thinking a little more about it and realized that as strongly as I believe in Conservatism, if the Democrat and Republican parties and candidates swapped their positions on Life (assuming a consistent adherence to that position), I might have to vote for the Democrat candidate even though I disagree with the rest of the Democrat platform.  Be advised that I don’t think that scenario is even possible because the belief in a right to life comes straight from the Conservative worldview, a key part of which is the belief in a “higher moral authority.”

Now, regarding that “higher moral authority,” consider the irony of an African-American being elected to this office while holding the most liberal of pro-abortion positions.  Why is it ironic?  First, let us state that infanticide (before or after birth) is as nefarious as slavery — or more so if based on the numbers of human beings affected in the United States. Next, let us compare two familiar Presidential races, Obama vs. McCain and Douglas (and others) vs. Lincoln.

In 2008:

  • McCain had a strong pro-life record.
  • Obama claimed to oppose abortion personally but had a strong pro-abortion voting record.

In 1860:

  • Lincoln was the nominee of the Republican party, expressly formed to oppose slavery.
  • Douglas’ personal position on slavery is unknown, but as a matter of policy he thought the question should be decided democratically.

Do you see the parallels?  I think the similarity between Obama and Douglas can be illustrated best by Obama and Douglas themselves:

From (You can read the whole speech there):

“…Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

From we have Douglas arguing against Seward’s position on Slavery and rejecting Seward’s and the Republicans’ Divine law argument (You can read the whole speech there):

“His [Seward’s] entire argument rests on the assumption that the negro and the white man were equal by Divine law, and hence that all laws and constitutions and governments in violation of the principle of negro equality are in violation of the law of God. That is the basis upon which his speech rests. He quotes the Declaration of Independence to show that the fathers of the Revolution understood that the negro was placed on an equality with the white man, by quoting the clause, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Sir, the doctrines of that Senator and his party is-and I had to meet it for eight years-that the Declaration of Independence intended to recognize the negro and the white man as equal under the Divine law, and hence that all the provisions of the Constitution of the United States which recognize slavery are in violation of the Divine law.”

That those statements are similar is neither coincidental nor profound.  They are similar simply because they proceed from a similar worldview and a similar concept of human rights.  I hope that this begins to illustrate the fact (I do not say opinion) that the Republican party started as, succeeded as, and hopefully continues to be the human and civil rights party.

I could add that it is doubly ironic that all Republicans are asking for today is to have the abortion question returned to the states, but that is a discussion for another day.  Instead I will conclude by saying that I have also been reminded in various ways that regardless of my agreement or disagreement with positions, policies, and character of my country’s leaders, it is my responsibility to respect and obey those leaders, and my duty to pray for my country and especially her President.  I shall continue to do so.

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