Friday, February 29, 2008

Skiing For The First Time

Today was Paige’s first time on the slopes. Now I know NC skiing is not too exciting for all you western folk but to a 2 ½ year old is was huge. For a kid this type of skiing is perfect to learn on. We had a great time! Plus the lifts are only about 45 minutes from my office. I guess next year I’ll have to get a pass. Paige gets to ski for free until she turns 4. Pretty good deal! I hope you enjoy the photos.



















video

video

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Skiing Jackson

Barrett these video are for you. I hope you head up to Jackson and stay with some of my buddies. They will show you the goods. Your only 4 hours away....take advantage of the opportunity. I really miss that place!


I used to ski with "Sick" Rick Armstrong.



Global Cooling?

Wow...here we go. Everyone has been running around saying global warming is going crazy. We are all going to die in the next 50 to 100 years if we don’t do something. Al Gore, I remind you is a politician, wins the Nobel Peace prize on his research about human made global warming.

I have always and well always believe our earth goes through cycles. I don’t care how much pollution we claim to put into the air the earth, sun, and space is sooooooo much more powerful than humans. It’s actually an insult to Mother Nature, God, or other higher power beliefs you may have to claim humans can alter weather and temperature on a global level. It will do what it wants, when it wants. Now… to keep the hate mail from coming I do believe in responsible recycling and limiting your impact in your area when you can. But you should be doing these things because you believe in it and it makes you feel good. Not because some politician tells you to. I personally think the man made global warming could end up being one of the biggest political hoaxes in the history of America.

Here’s an article with lots of links for your reading.

http://www.dailytech.com/Temperature+Monitors+Report+Worldwide+Global+Cooling/article10866.htm

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Socialized Healthcare Scares Me

I have been trying to understand this debate since it started. I still cannot agree with this idea. There has to be a better ways to control the price of medicine through the market. I do agree because of the influx of illegal people living in the US our hospitals are being flood with uninsured people. People are using ER rooms as most use a general practitioner. There has to be other was then forcing people into a government run program. I think a government run program should be a last ditch effort in this country. Government controls to much the way it is. Also...this message to me conveys the American people are weak, failures in society, and need someone to take care of them. I don't think so and I think some of our American counterparts need a harsh reality check and a kick start to get them back on track. Throwing people into yet another governemtn program is not going to help people get ahead.

Here's an artical from the WSJ this morning:

WASHINGTON -- Among the sharpest policy disputes between Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is whether all Americans should be required to get health insurance, as Sen. Clinton proposes. She has said repeatedly that her plan is the only one that would cover everyone.

Now, after months on the defense, Sen. Obama is hitting back by emphasizing the downside of her policy: mandating insurance means penalties for those who fail to get it. His policy requires parents to insure their children, with penalties for those who don't, but his mandate is much less sweeping than the one proposed by Mrs. Clinton, which affects all Americans.

The Illinois senator has hit the point hard in fliers mailed to voters' homes and in a televised debate Thursday night. "In order for you to force people to get health insurance, you've got to have a very harsh, stiff penalty. And Sen. Clinton has said that we will go after their wages," Mr. Obama said during the debate broadcast on CNN.

If Mrs. Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, the New York senator is sure to hear similar points from the Republicans this fall.

It is a powerful argument that shows how dangerous it can be to give details about health reform. Making major change to the American health-care system involves trade-offs. In hopes of achieving universal coverage, both Mrs. Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards, who dropped out of the presidential race, issued plans that would require punishing people who fail to get insurance.

This dispute aside, the Democrats' health plans are remarkably similar. Both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama would let people keep the insurance they have. They both would offer new options, including a Medicare-like government-run plan, with subsidies based on income. Both would require large employers to provide coverage or help pay for it, and would require insurance companies to take all comers.

But the question of the mandate remains a great dividing point that the Clinton campaign has been trying to exploit since last year.

Her policy is based on a sense of shared responsibility, with employers, individuals and government all given new burdens. Further, absent a requirement to buy insurance, some, such as young, healthy people who don't think insurance is worth the cost, will fail to buy it and remain uninsured.

And healthy people, who are relatively inexpensive to cover, are needed in the insurance pool to balance out sick people, who are expensive to cover. If healthy people aren't in the pool, everyone with insurance pays a "hidden tax" to cover the uninsured when they can't pay their health-care bills, Mrs. Clinton said Thursday.

Her health-policy adviser, Chris Jennings, argues that hers is the responsible plan. "Hillary Clinton made the policy choice, not the political choice," he said.

Indeed, she holds the upper hand with many health-care-policy experts, who agree that a mandate is the only way to assure that everyone has health coverage, short of a government-run, single-payer system. They say that without a requirement, as many as 15 million Americans will remain uninsured.

Mr. Obama responds that people will buy insurance if it is affordable. Both candidates have a series of ideas for reducing health-care costs. Mr. Obama's plan takes a big step aimed at bringing down the price tag by shifting some costs of some of the most-expensive patients to the federal government.

"My belief is the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it, but because they can't afford it," he said. Once the cost comes down, he said, there will be few people left without insurance. If people are gaming the system and purposefully not buying coverage, he said, he will consider a requirement down the line.

The Clinton camp thinks his plan smacks of hypocrisy: if Mr. Obama is willing to punish parents who fail cover their kids, why not everyone else? And since he is promising to make insurance affordable, then why would a mandate be such a burden on Americans? They also note that Mr. Obama and his advisers have said they would be open to a mandate if one is needed.

Mr. Obama is pressing his case in fliers mailed to voter homes in Ohio and other states. "Hillary's health care plan forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it," the flier says. "Is that the best we can do for families struggling with high health care costs?"

The flier features a photo of a couple at their kitchen table -- an image that reminded some of the insurance industry's "Harry and Louise" ads that helped sink the plan Mrs. Clinton helped develop during her husband's presidency.

Jacob Hacker, a political scientist at Yale University who advised both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama on their health plans, has said a mandate is important but its importance is being overstated. If the government works to automatically enroll people into a health-care system, he said, many will sign up even without a mandate.

Still, he said, Mrs. Clinton deserves credit for staking a position that is so politically risky. "A lot of things that the health-policy experts agree need to be done are ideas that, by themselves, are overwhelmingly not that popular and carry political risks."

Write to Laura Meckler at laura.meckler@wsj.com

Friday, February 22, 2008

What A Job

I love this type of stuff! My good friend has it rough. Flying fast jets for a living. You da man Dodd!!!!



AUDI

I love audi's marketing. The S5 looks like one bad &*^ machine.

http://microsites.audiusa.com/s5/index.html?csref=audiusa_s5&csref=online_media#

Socialized Healthcare

Here we go again. Here are a few clips from the Texas debate about socialized healthcare. You need to decide your future in healthcare. Good luck in your decision.



Rain, Cold, and A Child With Lots Of Energy

Sometimes we have to head to the local mall to let Paige burn off some energy when the weathers bad. I never thought I would ever appreciate a mall, but now I do.
video

Thursday, February 21, 2008

US Missile Hits Spy Satellite

It happen last night.

By YOCHI J. DREAZEN
WASHINGTON -- "A Navy missile soaring 130 miles above the Pacific Ocean smashed a dying U.S. spy satellite late Wednesday night and appears to have destroyed a tank carrying 1,000 pounds of potentially lethal rocket fuel, bringing a dramatic end to a weeks-long controversy over the military's unusual decision to shoot down one of its own satellites."

"Wednesday's strike began at around 10:26 p.m. EST, when the USS Lake Erie, which had been tracking the falling satellite, launched a modified SM-3 missile at the bus-sized object as it entered the earth's atmosphere. The missile struck the satellite about three minutes later as the spacecraft traveled in polar orbit at more than 17,000 mph."

I will have to admit. This makes me feel a little safer.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid452319854/bctid1417307155

Monday, February 18, 2008

One Lazy Sunday

This last Sunday was a day to hang out. We did nothing all day but watch some of the Dayton 500, build a fire, and take a few naps. It's been so long since I can remember where we did nothing all day. It was fantastic! Here are a few photos.

Claire wide awake

Mommy and Claire

Trying to get everyone in a group photo. Attempt #1

Attempt #2

Attempt #3

Attempt #4

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Good Ride with The Boys

I got out this morning for a good three plus hour ride with the "Boys". I needed this! We had a great time.


Heading out to the trails (Jason, DW, Chris, Tim, Will, Michael, and Marcus). Great group to ride with.

video

Heading back to my house after a good ride.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shooting Down A Broken Spy Satellite


Check this out. The Pentagon just released they are going to shoot down a broken spy satellite before it hits the earth in early March. Can you imagine what kind of shock wave this might send through out the world? If we can successfully accomplish this it will show Iran, N. Korea, Russia, and other countries with either nuclear programs, or countries trying to establish nuclear power that we have the ability to knock out a (nuclear or biological) missile launch from another country. Personally I think this is a huge statement our country is making. The best part is the Pentagon is able to flex the US military muscle tactfully, non harming, or in a threatening way.

Check out the article in the WSJ.
http://wsj.com/?mod=djemalertNEWS

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Climbing Gym

Today we decided to take Paige to the climbing gym. Paige has showed some interest in climbing. She has a very natural look when she is climbing. Being a climber myself (not for the last 8 years) I can see some possible early talent. So what the hell...we headed to the gym. She did great for her first time. She was not afraid of the height, and seamed to have a good awareness for only be 2 1/2. The guy running the gym is excited for her to come back, and so am I. Hope I'm not creating a monster. Maybe I need to pull out the old gear and get back into it for my daughter.



Sorry about the "red eye"

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Great Quote

Today in the WSJ -

"We have to remember that every dollar being spent on the stimulus package is being borrowed from our children. And our children's children," said Sen. Judd Gregg (R., N.H.).

Let The Hate E-mail Roll In

For all of you who have asked me my opinion on Exxon and gas prices.

Here are my two cents….

OPIC will not release more oil. Our environmentalist will block any attempt to build more refineries to refine our own gas. Everyone hates Nuclear energy. We cannot drill anywhere in the US or off our coast. We cannot use the coal our country sits on. We would rather promote the use of our food (corn) for fuel in our cars. Have you seen the price of milk, eggs, or anything that uses corn? Any other alternative fuel (wind, battery, solar) is going to take several years to get online and be a real factor. So what’s the solution for our gas prices?

Easy….if you’re like a lot people you complain about how much money the oil companies makes and it’s not fair. Exxon just reported a record high profit which is going to cause a lot of people to get all wound up. So is the answer to high gas prices to take profits away from a company who employees 87,300 people and sells on a global market?

I’ve got something else I would like you all to focuses on for a minute. How about our government? What about their profits on gas only? How about some tax breaks on a gallon of gas from our own government? The average US taxes on a gallon of gas is 42 cents http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/statistics/gas_taxes_by_state_2002.html. We use approximately 400 million gallons of gas a day http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question417.htm. No matter what the price of oil is our government still makes the same amount of money on a gallon of gas. They have talked about increase the federal tax on a gallon of gas by .40 over the next 5 years.

So my rudimentary math shows we used approximately 146 billion gallons of gas in 2007. That means our very own government brought in a whopping $61.3 billion dollars in tax revenue. Let me remind you this is the revenue from taxes on gas only. Look around your office, car, house, and pay stub and try to imagine how much money you have paid the government. Everything you have bought, a portion of its price was paid to the government. Who is really making the money here? I’m going to say this once again. I’M NOT FOR BIG OIL, but I don’t agree with our government telling companies or people who should make money and who should not. Once you start this thinking and open up this type of government none of us (small or large businesses) will be safe. This type of government think will trickle down to all businesses.

We need to make steps towards getting us away from foreign oil dependency. This is only going to happen through several small steps. We might have to use some of our available resources for a small period of time while the free market develops other alternative fuels. You cannot just shut something this large off and expect to not have our economy collapse. That type of think is about as bad as Hillary saying she is going to freeze adjustable rate mortgages for 5 years. CANNOT HAPPEN!!!!! We are involved in a global economy.

There’s my opinion.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Few More Photos















Mom Is In Town From The Mother Land

A few photos over the last week.

Claire getting a bath

Paige being herself

Paige by some flowers at the NC Arboretum

Paige watching the butterflies come to life

Mom and Paige watching the butterflies

Paige found a friend



Another beautiful day to hang out on the deck.

Claire checking things out

Paige and I waiting for the car to be cleaned

Paige loves rollers

Bonsai trees





Claire and Grandma hanging out

Eating at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants

Paige giving Pappas and Beers a thumbs up

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hillary Being Pushed To Answer Questions

From ABC News - Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., this morning left open the possibility that, if elected, her government would garnish the wages of people who didn't comply with her health care plan. "We will have an enforcement mechanism, whether it's that or it's some other mechanism through the tax system or automatic enrollments," Clinton said in an appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos". Clinton went on to say, though, that such mechanisms would not include penalties. "They don't have to pay fines … We want them to have insurance. We want it to be affordable. And what I have said is that there are a number of ways of doing that. Now, there's not just one way of getting to that."

Please watch the link below. It's the interview between Hillary and George Stephanopoulos. George did a great job at pushing Hillary to answer the questions about universal health care. I encourage you to watch the entire video if you have time. My opinion, if you want the government to rule your entire life she's the one to vote for. If you have any goals to become more successful in life, she's not your candidate. Please be aware of what you’re voting for this year.

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4235140