Here’s a few photos of our Christmas cookies from this year. A decidedly video game theme this year. Featuring Scorpion and Sub-Zero, multiple Mario Brothers characters, Luigi, Tanookie, Kuribo’s shoe. Lots of animals, pac-man, ghosts and more.
What’s going on at ScaredyCatFilms? I converted the blog to a WordPress site. For those that don’t know WordPress is a popular blogging software for making websites. When I first created ScaredyCatFilms.com, I wrote most of the web code myself to get things to work and look the way I wanted them to. Well, in the last 8 years things have really come a long way. A lot of the things I needed to do on my own, like styles, galleries, and more are now so common that it didn’t really make sense to keep doing all the work myself. This is why the site has been “down” for so long. I was waiting for a nice snowy winter weekend to start the conversion.
Not all the pages are completely updated, and you may find a broken link, or two, or more. I have left the old site in existence as I transfer content to the new site. Some pages may link to the old site, some to the new. Over all, I think this will make it much easier to modify the content on the site. I will no longer have to go home and write my own HTML, all I need is an internet connection and I can update the site through any web browser. So stay tuned!
This weekend I finally had time enough and good enough weather to break out my HobbyZone Super Cub LP model airplane. I bought this guy last fall along with a flight simulator to use to learn to fly over the winter. This was the first weekend I wasn’t too busy and had good enough weather to try it out. I can tell you this is one durable little plane thank god!
After assembling, binding, reading the instructions (though not all of them apparently) and watching the instructional video a few times I took the plane out for a flight. First flight I let the thing go and it lurched hard to the right. I tried to correct by pulling up and trying to get it straightened out, but instead I lost lift and nosed it into the ground. I lost a few pieces off the tip of the wing at this point too.
I gave it another shot and got it into the air a bit longer, but was still suffering from severe control issues. Ultimately I crash landed again. At this point I realized that the tail was not in a neutral position which was causing the severe pull to the right. In retrospect, the chipped left wing was now also pulling it left, so things were in quite a crazy state at this point. I tried to straighten the tail using the fine tuning on the transmitter. Then gave it a third ill fated flight where I didn’t throttle up enough for some reason and nosed it into the ground.
Flight four was a success as I got it airborne and flew it for 7 minutes. I even executed a loop. Kind of lost a little control a few times, but it was at this point I realized that the plane had a pull to the left. The same left wing that had a chip out of it. I’m going to find out from the hobby shop this week if the chip was enough to cause the pull to the left, or if I still had a tail alignment issue, or if I had the wing on off center. After flying for a while I tried to land and managed a controlled crash landing.
With not much damage I made flight five. Did a loop and some circles before the throttle seemed to sputter a bit. I knew I was probably close to being out of batteries so I decided to try and land the plane. It was headed my direction and I briefly thought I could just catch the plane out of the air. I thought better and dodged out of the way in time to perform my second “crash” landing.
All in all the plane still appears functional, and I did have a successful 7 minute flight, so I’d call it a success.
On Wednesday February 9th I went to the Syracuse Orangemen basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas. It was a really great game and I had a really fun time. There was always something going on, something to cheer about, or chant about, or harass the Hoyas. Left Rochester around 4:40pm and I got stuck in Syracuse traffic a 6:05pm. After going around 200 feet in 20 minutes I broke out of line and meandered through the city streets until I found parking. Caught a bus to the arena and just missed the start of the game. Traffic was insane. The game was great, except the Orange got in foul trouble in the second half, missed some critical shots, and lost. Got out of the stadium quick, hopped a bus back to the parking lot, and made it home by 11:20pm. All in all a good trip, but pretty short game, I spent a lot more time in the car than watching basketball, so I doubt I would do it again.
This has been on and off in the papers for months, Congress is forcing expenditures into the Pentagon defense budget that are both unwanted and in a way, dangerous to the troops. I’m talking about the addition of funding for a second F-35 fighter jet engine and adding funding for additional C-17 transport planes. What does Congress want? They want to fund a second engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter, and to purchase additional C-17 cargo planes. What does the Pentagon say? Well the additional engine is superfluous and not wanted. The air force says they have more than enough airlift capability with the C-17 cargo planes they already have. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees with the Pentagon, if the military doesn’t want these line items, then keep them out of the budget.
BUT, with the distribution of contracts and assembly lines, the end of the C-17 production line could come at the cost of jobs in 44 different states. Congressmen for those states, wanting to appease their constituents (ie not be seen as voting AGAINST jobs) have chosen to go against the military recommendations and are looking to force the C-17 into the budget. A plane the air force has said they don’t want.
Congress has also added funding for a second F-35 engine, to promote competition and of course, prevent the loss of jobs at lobby happy General Electric Rolls-Royce. However the pentagon has said they don’t want a second engine, and it will be wasteful spending. So congress voted to put funding in for the second engine against the wishes of the military.
What does this mean? Congress is increasing the budget and adding in weapons that are not wanted. Ask the military what they would rather spend the money on. Planes they don’t want, superfluous engines, or maybe body armor and additional funding to protect our troops? But Congress is only looking out for their own jobs, not the best interest of the military and our troops. Its a shame.
Secretary Gates has said he will recommend that President Obama veto any budget that includes these unwanted line items, and I hope he does.
Well I’m not trying to get all political on everyone, but I can’t understand why the Republicans in Congress are all opposed to the Public Option Health Care plan, which I believe to be a fantastic way to guarantee everyone in the US a low price health care choice. Here’s how the Yugo, the digital TV converter box, and your US government can save health care.
The Government run Public Option, defined to be non-profit, and as a low cost alternative form of health care coverage for any American, is kind of like the Yugo automobile. Its cheap, and nobody really wants one, but if you have to, just have to own your own car to get somewhere, the Yugo was the low price el-cheapo car that you could buy to get you from point A to B. None of the major automobiles were threatened by the Yugo. It cost like $4,000. So all the big manufacturers, Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc… they kept producing cars, and Americans kept buying them. You could buy a $15,000 car, a $30,000 car what ever you wanted. But, if you had little money and still wanted a car, you could buy the low priced Yugo. What the Yugo also did was keep the big auto makers honest. If there was no $4,000 car available to the masses, what was there to stop all the car manufacturers from getting together and making a common low price for their automobiles of say $25,000. Everyone would be screwed and have to buy our cars for whatever the consortium of auto makers wanted to set their bottom line at.
The Government Run Public Option is the Yugo of health Care. It is cheap, and provides a basic health care option for everyone in the USA. Without it, there would be no way to stop all the medical groups from getting together and jacking up the price on everyone. This seems to be what the Republicans in congress are all upset over. All their special interest lobbyists whispering in their ears about all the money they will be losing if the Government steps in and makes everyone offer a fair price.
Now for example, let’s say there is no public option. When you go for a doctor’s visit, it may take you 3-4 weeks for an appointment, and your co-pay could be anywhere from $25-$55 dollars. When mandatory health care goes into effect, all the insurance providers may get together and decide, “hey, you know what, health insurance is mandatory, so let’s all make co-pays $45 minimum.”. So now you are all paying anywhere from $45 and up for health care.
But, with the public option, you can get low cost health insurance with a mandatory government rate base of say $10 for a co-pay. Sure, the doctor may not be so good, and it may take you 12 weeks for an appointment, but the low cost option is there. Will all the other insurers keep to their $45 minimum? Heck no. Why would anyone pay 4 times the cost for health care? The result is a bell curve of co-pay rates with the government option at $10, some at $20, and yes, even some at $45 because hey, if you are a millionaire, who cares if you pay $45 for health care right? It keeps everyone honest people!
But, you know what, this is a free country, capitalism will keep everyone from getting together and charging that $45 rate. Someone will always yield and come in at $40 or $35. Are you sure? Here’s another example. Does everyone remember when TV switched from analog to digital and we all needed to buy those converter boxes so our TVs would work? Remember how the government gave out tons of those $20 coupons so we could all afford the converter boxes? Well what happened? EVERY manufacturer upped the price of their converter boxes by $20, that’s what happened. You could find some for $29.99, but that was really rare. Most cost $39.99. So yeah, you got $20 off, but still ended up paying $20 for those boxes, and instead Uncle Sam got stuck paying a ton of money to the converter box manufacturers who pocketed all that money.
What they should have done was paid a company to make $20 boxes, and then let anyone else make converter boxes and charge whatever they wanted. Sure some companies would come out with fancy boxes with more bells and whistles, but most companies would try and reach that lower price point of $20. But instead we all got stuck paying $40 per box, yeah $20 was government money, but that just increased the deficit and raised your taxes, so YOU paid Radio Shack and Sony for those crappy converter boxes and $20 government coupons.
So when you are paying a ton of money, and the small business man who is required to provide the expensive health care plans to his employees goes out of business, you can thank Joe Lieberman and his greedy buddies for those high rates, and for killing the public option.
Yeah, Joe Lieberman, the guy who’s own state doesn’t even like him. – Lieberman’s Approval Ratings Tank In Connecticut
Joe Lieberman”More than 80 percent (81 percent) of Democrats now say they disapprove of the job Lieberman is doing with only 14 percent approving. Among Republicans, 48 percent disapprove of the senator with just 39 approving. And among independents, 61 percent disapprove of Lieberman’s antics with just 32 percent approving.”
“It all adds up to a 25% approval rating with 67% of his constituents giving him bad marks,” the study concludes. “Barack Obama’s approval rating with Connecticut Republicans is higher than Lieberman’s with the state’s Democrats.”
You should read that last line again.
“Among voters who support the health care bill 87% disapprove of how Lieberman handled it with only 10% supporting it. But by voting for the final product after getting it watered down he also managed to earn the unhappiness of constituents opposed to the bill, 52% of whom say they disapprove of what Lieberman did to 33% in support. Overall just 19% of voters in the state say they like what Lieberman did on the issue with 68% opposed.”
So good for you Joe. You killed the public option, and nobody in your own state even wanted you to do it. Who did you sell out to for that vote Joe? You greedy old man.