Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Breakup of the United States in 2010?

Some folks may have heard about this Russian professor Igor Panarin who is predicting the eventual breakup of the United States of America due to economic pressures, etc. I won't restate what is covered in the Wall Street Journal article (here is the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html . The image is re-posted without WSJ permission, but is fully credited to them.

It makes for a very interesting reading. The way his map looks, it looks like most of Dixie will indeed rise again in a new Texas Confederacy??? Being born and raised in Texas, I have always thought that if ever a time comes around for Texas to be its own country again, it will take place in the 21st century. The ways and means of how this takes place is always due to the citizens of Texas being put into position of protecting what it truely means to be an American. Of maintaing the concept of responsibity, or protecting the very concepts of free market enterprise and liberty. This sudden turn towards socialism and a command driven economy scares me. And the next decade will be a tough one.
I am also wondering if we will truely be able to stick together long enough to get back to the moon and eventually to Mars.

UPDATE (March 04, 2009):  Hes at it again, Igor Panarin.  China and Russia will pick up the reins of power once the good ole USA has bitten the dust, etc, etc, etc.  Heres the latest news link for your review ( http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D96N3GCG0&show_article=1 ).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

United Planets Cruiser C-57D Found!

A "lost" artifact from Hollywood's past for the past 38 years has finally resurfaced and it went straight to the aunction block.

On December 11, 2008, this iconic flying saucer from the 1956 MGM classic film"Forbidden Planet" will be aunctioned off in Calabasas Hills and is expected to get anywhere from between $80,000 to $120,000 for its North Carolina owner who had the prop stored in his garage and didn't realize its true market value.

The flying saucer is 82 inches in diameter and constructed of wood, steel, and fiberglass. The central landing base extends from the bottom of the craft by internal movement mechanisms with electric motor drive, as does the ladder and two conveyor-loading ramps that serve as the stablizer legs. It was the chief prop used to create the movie 'Forbidden Planet." The saucer was the United Planets Cruiser C-57D. The movie starred Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, and Jack Kelly. The film made a major sci-fi impression on the mid-century pop culture and was a major inspiration for Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek), and it was paid homage by filmmaker George Lucas, who borrowed a line of its dialogue for his "Star Wars" movie.

The saucer ended up being a MGM prop for many "The Twilight Zone" episodes including the famous "To Serve Man" episode. Then in 1970, it was sold off at a studio auction, but there was no record of who bought it.

I also posted this on my other blog (http://aerospacedreams.blogspot.com/ ).

from the LA Times December 8, 2008. Article by Geoff Boucher entitled: "The lost saucer of 'Forbidden Planet' reappears". Here is the weblink( http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/12/the-lost-saucer.html ).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Major Matt Mason - What Space Adventure Should Have Been Like

I make no bones about how old I am getting. I'm 49 years old. As I close in on the half century mark, one tends to think back to one's youth.

Here lately, I've been thinking about that old Buck Rogers In the 25th Century tv show with Gil Gerard and even odder - of another toy line that Mattel put out back in the good old 1960s at the height of the Space Race: Major Matt Mason!

I've added a link to a webblog on Major Matt Mason to my links list so check it out. If one is into Stargate SG-1 trivia, Colonel Carter as a young girl played with Major Matt Mason instead of Barbie.
Check out the image I found on the web. Its the cover to a toy catalog that Mattel put out for the Major Matt Mason line. You see the good Major in his white spacesuit on his space sled flying past you in the foreground. In the background you can see the space crawler and the amazing two to three foot tall space station playset. That was the most amazing toy of the entire line was that space station. You can find YouTube videos of the old tv commercials that Mattel put out. The figure had a internal wire armature that was easly broken after years (or sometimes, just months of hard play).
Taking a quick looks see thru the different MMM website tonight, Mattel is taking back its creation from some people who got ahold of the creative license to Major Matt Mason when Mattel wasn't paying attention to such details. A part of me hopes that Mattel will re-launch the Major Matt Mason figure line using better technology (no more internal wires to break, hint, hint). With our slow pace return back to the moon with the Constellation/Aries Project - and the (Not) Space Race with a emerging China and India; the need for a new Major Matt Mason to inspire a new generation of American children to become scientists is sorely needed.
Which in a way brings us full circle back to Buck Rogers. No cash for the space program - no Buck Rogers (to borrow that line from the movie "The Right Stuff." ) But I am hearing that it might be reivived as a movie project for release in 2010 or 2011. On a personal note, I hope that this new Buck Rogers is treated the same way that the new Battlestar Galactica was done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sideshow Collectible's Indiana Jones-a review

Back on October 5, 2008, I posted to my blog my impressions of the Hasbro Indiana Jones action figure line (the 12 inch tall variety). I now have a Sideshow Collectibles Indiana Jones action figure and for almost ninety bucks when you figure in the sales tax – it is impressive. My local Hastings happened to have two of them in stock this past weekend when I first found out that they would be available in local stores after all. You thought I was going to make some snide remark about buying such a expensive piece of plastic.

Sorry, not this time. I have been waiting ALL Freakin' Year to be able to get this damn thing! Just look at some of the previous posts to this blog in the past month or two to know the hardship that I am going through right now in my life. This early birthday/Christmas present has accomplished mission goal number one – to improve my morale and make me feel better than I have in the past, well specifically in the last 6 weeks have been very trying. But in general, for all of 2008.

OK, with that in mind, lets take a closer look at this action figure. This is what is included in the fold out box set that is common to Sideshow Collectibles product line.

Two interchangeable heads, one sans fedora. Two sets of both gloved and un-gloved hands. Spare Fedora with a inner liner. Shirt, pants, shoes, and Faux leather jacket. A revolver and a high power pistol. Belt with pistol holster, coiled and uncoiled bull whips. Satchel, a certain golden idol, and a bag of sand to replace it with on the alter.

A Gathering of Tomb Raiders.

What can one say about Tomb Raider(s).

Angelina Jolie is sexy hot! And when the first Tomb Raider movie came out, there were the usual toys that went along with the release. There were two different Angelina Jolie/Lara Croft action figures (in name only. In fact, they were semi-movable statues that they managed to stick into clothing). Not being happy with what they dumped out on the market, I cannibalized my Angelina Jolie action figure and bought a BBI Cy-Girls Perfect Body figure to customize. I popped the head off and it fits the BBI figure, but real loose. The Pony tail had to be cut off and using a ROBART hinge, managed to get the pony tail to work with the head on the new body. Its not the best, but since this was my first customizing effort, I was pleased with the result. Then off into the glass case to look at.

Fast forward and now there is a line of Stargate SG-1 action figures that are coming out. (You can read those postings in the archives). I dug up my Daniel Jackson figure from out of storage along with my Angelina Jolie/Lara Croft.

And now I have the Sideshow Collectibles Indiana Jones action figure. Hummmmmmmmm. A photo of three famous Tomb Raiders is called for now.

A Meeting of Indys - Photo

Hasbro version on the left, Sideshow Collectible on the right. And a certain book as a backdrop.

OK, Hasbro Indy with the fedora glued to the head and the Sideshow Collectibles Indiana Jones with the fedora molded to the head as well. At least with the Sideshow version, you get an extra head minus the fedora. You get the other fedora which, get this now; has a silk lining on the inside of it! Plus you get extra hands with or without gloves.

The Hasbro version has a work lever action so that Indy and use his whip. Clothing pre-stained to give that 'In the middle of an adventure look.” Figure on the right is for collectors, figure on the left is first and foremost, to be played with by kids. Thus, it is much cheaper than the one of the right.

2008 Was A Rotten Year For a lot of US. New Digs for 2009.

I turned 49 years old on December 10, 2008. Took the day off from work to relax as best as I could considering that I am now living in a neighbor's single-wide trailer and not in the double-wide that has been my home for the past 12 years. Any shelter in a storm I guess. But still, what you thought was your own is no more and you are now more at the mercies of others than what one really is comfortable with (at least thats the way I feel about it).

In an earlier post, I talked about how they took it (my home) two days before Thanksgiving. In the time since, I sold off all my radio-control model airplanes and equipment to come up with enough scratch (as my Dad used to call money when trying to buy something important), to purchase a old Recreational Vehicle (i.e. an RV). What I got was a 1973 Apollo Neptune RV that is about 28 feet in length. No leaks in the roof, it is in need of major cleaning. And once some repairs have been completed – this thing is going to be my new home for the next year or two (Geez, I can only hope that it isn't any longer than that!).

And if I can get this thing inspection worthy and ready to tackle the open highways again, I might be able to journey to another city and maybe go to a different university and earn a second degree. But for the remainder of 2008 – that is more or less a pipe dream. I am glad that in my situation, the house and land were two separate mortgages. And I was able to still hold onto the land.

By the way, removing a house from someone's property is a messy job. How do I know? Because I have to clean the mess up now and get things setup to reposition my Apollo Neptune into position where once stood my double-wide house. New hookups to the septic tank. New water line and electric have to be rigged up. And just the trash of broken bricks, insulation, cardboard, side skirt panelling, etc.

Why bother to post such information on a blog? I can give a flippant answer to that question but on the other hand, if somebody happens to come across this article, who knows – maybe it will be helpful to them somehow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dragonlance Action Figures Coming!

The world of Dragonlance was created by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis back in the early 1980s for (then) TSR's popular role-playing game known as Dungeons & Dragons. Sword and sorcery epic storyline that was both a series of novels as well as game modules was a huge succession. Rumors of a live action movie in the works, feature-length animated movie. There have also been video games based in that fantastic world. The only thing missing is now about to be corrected – A line of action figures and toys. The proposed figure line would be basically 1/18th scale (similar to the G.I. Joe line from Hasbro). Each figure would be on a display card.

(Ref. Comes from article by Scott Rubin posted at http://www.figures.com/databases/action.cgi?setup_file=fignews2.setup&category=actionfigures&topic=110&show_article=38&nl=1 )

Friday, November 28, 2008


I've been fighting this all year, but the end came two days before Thanksgiving 2008 - Foreclosure!

Foreclosure of my mobile home that I have been living in for the past 12 years now. Now adrift of a place to call "my" home, I must now pay more in rent than what I had to pay in order to hold onto my home to begin with. Irony of ironies.

What does this mean for my blogs? Just that updates will be spotty until I can established a new permanent home and thus Internet connection. By the way, if one is observant, one can spot my local Star Trek Club's shuttle craft project tucked in behind my house.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here is the NEW starship USS Enterprise

First image of the new starship USS Enterprise was released recently to Entertainment Weekly in November by J.J. Abrams. This new design is kinda ungainly looking.

It looks like a cross between the Enterprise from the first movie and a ship from Star Trek – The Next Generation. And for the life of me, those warp nacelles remind me of the headlight clusters from some 1950s Ford or Chevy automobile! And the engineering hull, while beefier than the original, it just doesn't quite look right. The shuttlecraft bay is still inbetween the two warp nacelle/pylons, but from the angle shown, the rear half of the ship appears to be cut “short” from the original TOS Enterprise. The deflector dish is too far forward, while the main hull pylon (between the saucer hull and the engineering hull) is thicker. Lots of improvements there that were taken from the first movie as well such as the proton torpedo launchers and the side airlocks.

Now all that might appear as criticisms. But to look at it from a modern day engineering angle – this does appear to be a better design than the original. The main problem was weight distribution in the original design. This one seems to have taken care of that by moving the saucer backwards a bit and moving the bulkiest part of the warp nacelles forward in order to have a better stabilized center of gravity.

Ref. ( http://trekmovie.com/2008/11/11/first-full-image-of-new-star-trek-enterprise/ ) and ( http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2008/11/star-trek-first.html )

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

America's Vote has Been Heard - Barack Obama the Winner

Well, history has taken place on November 4, 2008. America's Vote has Been Heard - Barack H. Obama is declared to be the Winner. He is now the President-elect for this great nation. Like other Americans, I joined a watch party held at a friend's house and there was 20 or 30 people at one time or another to come in and out of the front door.

I sat with my liberal friends to watch MSNBC while others were sitting in the other room to watch the results on Fox News. We counted down the electorial map until MSNBC went wild with Barack H. Obama reaching the magic 270 electorial votes. We watched McCain's concession speech. Thats when several of us went outside to smoke victory cigars (or in my case, my defeated candidate cigar). I missed Barack H. Obama's victory speech - secured in the knowledge that I will be seeing it replayed over and over again for the next week.

We are now living in a Chinese curse (May you live in interesting times). Like my host, I am now glad that THIS TWO YEAR LONG ELECTION IS FINALLY OVER WITH!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stargate SG-1 Colonel Jack O'Neill 12-inch Action Figure

Well, purely by chance, I was at a local Hastings store when I spotted the Colonel Jack O'Neill 12-inch tall action figure. (Please see my review of Dr. Daniel Jackson from the same Stargate SG-1 line). I left the store the first time without buying the figure, went home and when it came supper time, decided to go back out and after dinner, go back by that same Hastings and bought that figure. It was selling for $39.99.

The face sculpts are good. This one of Richard Dean Anderson looks like it was made using photos from season 4 or 5 there abouts. The clothing is the same as per the Daniel Jackson figure.

The accessories with Colonel O'Neill are different. One is that Colonel Jack O'Neill DOES have a P-90 included in the boxed set! And a standard canteen without any belt to hook it onto (I might add). A "Zat" gun (aka Zat'Nik'Tel). The same type of walkie-talkie radio that is in the Daniel Jackson set. But the best news of all is that with the O'Neill figure; you get a GDO, or "Garage Door Opener" worn by off world personal that can send a coded signal back thru a open Stargate to Stargate Command to open up the iris to allow for the teams to return to earth.

I also want to put in a word for a great magazine. STARGATE, The Official Magazine. The current issue (#25, Nov/Dec 2008) has a special section dealing with the passing of a great actor, Don S. Davis who died this year. He will be sorely missed. He played roles on such shows as the X-Files as Scully's father (Captain William Scully). Major Garland Biggs in Twin Peaks. Don S. Davis had a 20 year acting career. But his best remembered role will be that of two-star General George Hammond. Commander of Stargate Command.

As a personal choice - I would love it if they did a General George Hammond action figure in his U.S. Air Force class B uniform (that is the short sleeve, open collar light blue shirt and blue trousers). I'll settle for the class A uniform (which is the long sleeve light blue shirt with dark blue tie and button jacket and round service hat), but I think it would be nice for that to happen.

Obama's Civilian National Security Force!?

There was a article posted by Herschel Smith on November1, 2008 over on the Captains Journal blog ( http://www.captainsjournal.com/2008/11/01/civilian-national-security-force/ ) about a new proposal put out by Senator Barack Obama that has me FLOORED!

Obama wants to give to the Department of State its OWN military force?! Called the Civilian National Security Force (CNSF). Quoting Obama, “Just as powerful, just as strong, and just as well funded.” To a non-Obama kool-aid drinker like myself, the State Department will have its own air force, navy, army, coast guard, marines? IS there something else that is wrong with the Department of Defense that we don't know about? (i.e USAF air-tanker snafu procurement process to to name one example).

Who the hell does Senator Obama think he is? COBRA Commander?! (and for you non-action figure collectors out there in the studio audience, COBRA Commander is the fictional leader of the terrorist organization that Hasbro came up with for their small size (3.75 inch size G.I. Joe action figure line back in the 1980s) and that which is going through a new relaunch currently. There is even a G.I. Joe movie in the works now based on this toy line).

Is the good senator going to re-activate closed bases all across the country for this new military force? The current defense budget is a half trillion dollars. So the USA will spend an ADDITIONAL half trillion to build up a new military force in the middle of a recession?

Maybe he does want to start a Second US Civil War and to be fair, the opposition side that he wants to fund needs to be brought up to par with the US Defense Forces before the bell rings on round one. Its puzzling to me why he and McCain can agree on keeping the shuttle flying until Project Orion is declare operational – but stuff like this CNSF comes out that makes me question what Senator is likely to be like if he does indeed wins the election. Sometimes, it is downright scary.

Ref. Captains Journal ( http://www.captainsjournal.com/2008/11/01/civilian-national-security-force/ )

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Second US Civil War About to Start?

Famed 66-year old author Ericia Jong told a Italian newspaper, the Corriere della Sera, stating that if Barack Obama does not wins, there is be blood in the streets. It will be the start of the Second Civil War. And her friends Naomi Wolf and Jane Fonda were also worried about that.

If Ruby Ridge and Waco didn't get the Second Civil War started, I don't think a McCain victory will be able to start one as well. I can see riots taking place - people venting their anger over the results. But taking it to the next step beyond into full scale warfare - I just do not see it.

McCains' Hanging in the Race Still, Plus the Hillary Supporter Letter

Pollster Zobgy stated on Nov 1, 2008 that Presidential candidate John McCain is back within the margin of error for his tracking poll. The three-day average is steady, but John McCain outpolled Obama 48% to 47% in the Friday, one day, polling. He is cutting into Obama's lead among independents. McCain is also now leading among blue collar voters, investers and among me. And among the NACSAR voters, McCain is stomping on Obama.

I told my young coworkers not to count their chickens before they hatch. And I need to make sure that I follow my own advice as far as this bit of good news for the McCain campaign.

And now, something else from Red State Conservative News. First of all, I had never heard of this blog before until I heard Rush Limbaugh speak about it on Halloween, (Oct 31, 2008).
It appears that a former campaign worker for the Hillary Clinton campaign posted some comments which is listed below. Going by the handle of "Anonymous_14". She posted her comments at Oct 30, 2008, 04:52pm CDT to an article dealing with Sara Palin. Here it is:

After a long and careful consideration of all the implications and possible consequences of my actions today, I have decided to go through with this in the hope that our country can indeed be guided into the right direction. First, a little personal background… I am a female grad student in my 20’s, and a registered Democrat. During the primaries, I was a campaign worker for the Clinton candidacy. I believed in her and still do, staying all the way to the bitter end. And believe me, it was bitter. The snippets you’ve heard from various media outlets only grazed the surface. There was no love between the Clinton and Obama campaigns, and these feelings extended all the way to the top. Hillary was no dope though, and knew that any endorsement of Obama must appear to be a full-fledged one. She did this out of political survival. As a part of his overall effort to extend an olive branch to the Clinton camp and her supporters, Obama took on a few Hillary staff members into his campaign. I was one such worker. Though I was still bitterly loyal to Hillary, I still held out hope that he would choose her as VP. In fact, there was a consensus among us transplants that in the end, he HAD to choose her. It was the only logical choice. I also was committed to the Democratic cause and without much of a second thought, transferred my allegiance to Senator Obama. I’m going to let you in on a few secrets here, and this is not because I enjoy the gossip or the attention directed my way. I’m doing this because I doubt much of you know the true weaknesses of Obama. Another reason for my doing this is that I am lost faith in this campaign, and feel that this choice has been forced on many people in this country. Put simply, you are being manipulated. That was and is our job – to manipulate you (the electorate) and the media (we already had them months ago). Our goal is to create chaos with the other side, not hope. I’ve come to the realization (as the campaign already has) that if this comes to the issues, Barack Obama doesn’t have a chance. His only chance is to foster disorganization, chaos, despair, and a sense of inevitability among the Republicans. It has worked up until now. Joe the Plumber has put the focus on the issues again, and this scares us more than anything. Being in a position to know these things, I will rate what the Obama campaign already knows are their weak links from the most important on down. 1 – Hillary voters. Internal polling suggests that at best, we are taking 70-75% of these voters. Other estimates are as low as 60% in some areas – particularly Ohio and western PA. My biggest problem with this campaign’s strategy was the decision NOT to offer Hillary the VP slot. She was ready and able to take this on, and would have campaigned enthusiastically for it. This selection would have also brought virtually all of her supporters into the fold, and the Obama campaign knew it. Though I have no way of knowing this for certain, and I do admit that I am relying on internal gossip, Senator Obama actually went against the advice of his top advisors. They wanted him to choose her, but the only significant opposition to this within the campaign came from Barack and Michelle Obama. In short, he let personal feelings take precedence over what was the most logical thing to do. Biden, by the way, has been a disaster inside the campaign. Everyone cringes whenever he gives an interview, and he creates so many headaches as the campaign has to stay on their toes in order to disseminate information and spin whatever it was he was trying to say. 2 – Sarah Palin. Don’t believe what the media is telling you about how horrible a choice she was. Again, our internal polling suggest that though she has had a minimal impact on pulling disaffected Hillary Democrats to McCain, she has done wonders in mobilizing the base for McCain. Another thing – we were completely taken by surprise with her pick. In my capacity in the research department, I looked into the backgrounds of Leiberman, Romney, Pawlenty and Ridge, and prepared briefs. I don’t mind bragging that we had pretty good stuff on all of them. With Leiberman, the plan was to paint him as an erratic old-timer who didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing (pretty much a clone of McCain). In Romney, we had him pegged as an evil capitalist who cut jobs. Pawlenty was going to get the “Quayle treatment”, or more precisely: a pretty face, with no valid experience. Tom Ridge was going to be used to provide a direct link from McCain to Bush. As you can see, we were quite enamored of all of them. Then the unexpected happened – Sarah Palin. We had no clue as to how to handle her, and bungled it from the start. Though through our misinformation networks, we have successfully taken some of the shine off. But let there be no doubt. She remains a major obstacle. She has singlehanded solidified “soft” Republican support, mobilized the McCain ground game, and has even had some appeal to independents and Hillary voters. This is what our internal polling confirms. 3 – Obama’s radical connections. Standards operating procedure has been to cry “racism” whenever one of these has been brought up. We even have a detailed strategy ready to go should McCain ever bring Rev. Wright up. Though by themselves they are of minimal worth, taken together, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Father Pfelger, and now, Rashid Khalili, are exactly what the campaign does not need. The more focus on them, the more this election becomes a referendum on Obama. The campaign strategy from the very beginning was to make this election a referendum on Bush. Strategists have been banging their head on how successfully McCain has distanced himself from Bush. This has worked, and right now the tide is in his favor. People are taking a new look at Barack Obama, and our experience when this happens tells us this is not good news at all. When they take a look at him, one or more of these names are bound to be brought up. McCain has wisely not harped on this in recent weeks and let voters decide for themselves. This was a trap we set for him, and he never fully took the bait. Senator Obama openly dared him to bring up Ayers. This was not due to machismo on the part of Obama, but actually due to campaign strategy. Though McCain’s reference to Ayers fell flat in the last debate, people in the Obama campaign were actually disappointed that he didn’t follow through on it more and getting into it. Our focus groups found this out: When McCain brings these connections up, voters are turned off to him. They’d rather take this into consideration themselves, and when this happens, our numbers begin to tank. 4 – The Bradley Effect. Don’t believe these polls for a second. I just went over our numbers and found that we have next to no chance in the following states: Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire and Nevada. Ohio leans heavily to McCain, but is too close to call it for him. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa are the true “toss up states”. The only two of these the campaign feels “confident” in are Iowa and New Mexico. The reason for such polling discrepancy is the Bradley Effect, and this is a subject of much discussion in the campaign. In general, we tend to take a -10 point percentage in allowing for this, and are not comfortable until the polls give us a spread well over this mark. This is why we are still campaigning in Virginia and Pennsylvania! This is why Ohio is such a desperate hope for us! What truly bothers this campaign is the fact that some pollsters get up to an 80% “refuse to respond” result. You can’t possibly include these into the polls. The truth is, people are afraid to let people know who they are voting for. The vast majority of these respondents are McCain supporters. Obama is the “hip” choice, and we all know it. As part of my research duties, I scour right wing blogs and websites to get somewhat of a “feel” as to what is being talked about on the other side. Much of it is nonsense, but there are some exceptions which give the campaign jitters. A spirited campaign has been made to infiltrate many pro-Hillary sites and discredit them. A more disorganized, but genuine effort has also been made to sow doubts among the unapologetically right wing sites such as redstate.com. Don’t you guys get it? This has been the Obama campaign’s sole strategy from the very beginning! The only way he wins is over a dispirited, disorganized, and demobilized opposition. This is how it has been for all of his campaigns. What surprises me is that everyone has fallen for it. You may point to the polls as proof of the inevitability of all of this. If so, you have fallen for the oldest trick in the book. How did we skew these polls, you might ask? It all starts with the media “buzz” which has been generated over the campaign. Many stories are generated on the powerful Obama ground game, and how many new voters were registered. None of this happens by coincidence. It is all part of the poll-skewing process. This makes pollsters change their mixes to reflect these new voters and tilt the mix more towards Democratic voters. What is not mentioned or reported on is not the “under-reported cell phone users or young voters” we hear so much about. What is underreported is you. I changed my somewhat positive opinion of this campaign during the unfair and sexist campaign against Sarah Palin. I will never agree with her on the issues and will probably never vote for her, but I am embarrassed of what has happened. I can’t ignore our own hand in all of this. What I do know is that I will not be voting for Obama this time around. Treat that as you will.

That is it. That posting cause quite a stir over the radio. I am glad that I took November 4th off so that I can attend a watch party with some friends. I cannot wait to see the election coverage as the evening progresses. But reactions at work the next day will be telling as well.

Ref. -From Red State Conservative News blog and from the Drudge Report

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why Do Dems hate Governor Sarah Palin so Much?

From a email that was sent to me by a friend.

I Didn't Know That...

Question: What is America's first line of missile interceptor defense that protects the entire United States ?
Answer: 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard.

Question: What is the ONLY National Guard unit on permanent active duty?
Answer: 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard.

Question: Who is the Commander in Chief of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion of Alaska National Guard?
Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska.

Question: What U.S. governor is routinely briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counter terrorism?
Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska

Question: What U.S. governor has a higher classified security rating than either candidate of the Democrat Party?
Answer: Governor Sarah Palin, Alaska.

According to the Washington Post, she first met with McCain in February, but nobody ever found out. This is a woman used to keeping secrets. She can be entrusted with our national security, because she already is.

Now you DO know!

The above was sent to me my a friend in a email recently. When it was told to a Democratic friend of mine, his dismissive of it was amazing. Then he and other coworkers went on making jokes about Moose nuggets, etc.. I guess they were referring to Saturday Night Live's Tina Feye's skits of Governor Palin that are now so popular with the SNL crowd. In all honesty, I have yet to see a single one of those skits.

In fact, this election cycle has been my least informed one since I left high school in 1978. Why? Because I am in the process of being foreclosed and such things like satellite TV where I could listen to news channels like Fox News in the background while I worked on my models or worked on the computer – did not happen this go around. Quiting such luxuries like Direct TV did not in the end help me save enough money to save my house from foreclosure. But it does make me angry that I was not able to hold my own against my young co-workers who cannot wait to see Barack H. Obama become the next president of the United States of America. Such things like his birth certificate and the lawsuit to check it out having been dismissed by the court is insulting. Americans might very well be going against the Constitution of the United States of America by electing this man. ( I.E. He might be foreign born after all and thus not qualified to be the President of the United States). However, since the birth certificate in question has now been presented, its a moot point. OR is it? I mean, when one fills out the form to run for office, be it president or some lesser office, shouldn't the birth certificate be presented at that time? Why drag it out?

Other stuff like befriending the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. The mess that ACORN has created in the US economy with its democratic party enablers in congress. I'm just being random in what I pick out about B.H.O. That points to him being nothing but a empty suit according to Republican pundits. Or he is the next coming of Christ according to his supporters. There MUST BE a in between there somewhere!

My young friends at work say that Republicans are arrogant to the extreme.

I say no. I mean, they are the ones who are already planning Mr. Obama coloration.

Come on, each side will cite the poll that offers the most points in favor of their candidate of their choice – that's human nature and is to be expected. Mr. Obama will win the election only with the constant help of the mainstream news media that no longer pretends to be fair and balance (to barrow that phrase from Fox News). To hear Rush Limbaugh talk the next day after the fourth debate, that the Fox News anchors and talking heads stating that Obama won that last debate did not match what Rush heard that night. Has Fox News gone over to the “dark side” as well? I say that with tongue in cheek. Like I stated above – no more satellite TV so I can listen to the news.

So how am I getting what news I am getting now? Simply from reading the Comcast.net; Drudge Report; and to a lesser extent, Coast to Coast am news websites. I gave up on my local newspaper long ago, again since I could no longer afford the subscription rates to it. One needs to be careful with search engines. Misspell a word such as Governor's Palin's name as Paylin and you can get something quite different.

On the radio, there was a report that some artist had set up a cardboard cutout figure of Governor Palin and people can come in and get their picture taken of them shooting her. Shooting her? Is that really covered under the first amendment or a hate crime? How about in Los Angles where someone has hung an effigy of the good governor by a noose as part of a Hollywood Halloween display. Lets switch it around - we now have a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama or a store dummy dressed up as Barack Obama hanging by the noose. Is that too allowed? Maybe if the N-word was added somewhere – then it could become a hate crime. In today's charged climate, these acts of freedom of speech should be dialed down two or three notches. Now, if you are interested in reading about that Hollywood Halloween display, here is the link to that story (www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-palineffigy28-2008oct28,0,541630.story). Am I even going to be accused of promoting a hate crime if someone lifts just part of my essay here and not provide the entire content. More than likely given what is going on in our country now.

UPDATE - October 30, 2008: Well, it seems that some has made effigys of Barack Obama afterall. Read the article by Jeffrey McMurray here ( www.breitbait.com/article.php?=id=D944CKD01&show_article:1). They are treating his effigys as hate crimes. But the effigys of the Republican candiates are not given the same consideration; at least in LA.

UPDATE #2 October 30, 2008: Looks like the spotlight finally forced that LA family to take down the effigy.

What If McCain Pulls Off a Upset Victory?

Seeing that Presidential candidate Barack Obama is already planning his victory lap and seeing some of his supporters up close and personal at work, I thought I would post this to my blog before the election. Just some thoughts of mine as to the possible reasons that John McCain might still be able to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat.

The Mainstream News Media (and the polling companies that they use) for this election cycle gave up all pretense that they were impartial, providing the American public with balance news reporting. Therefore, I would count this as the American public voting more against the News Media (and thus their agent in the form of Barack Obama) for a McCain upset victory. The irony with this is that it was the Washington/Georgetown elites, the RHINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and members of the news media set up the template to sway Republican voters to go with McCain. And true to their true shelfs, once he was firmly established as the Republican nominee, the news media, the pundit class began tearing him down since by this time, the elites had decided on Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton to be their choice in this horse race.

The Politico had a interesting article entitled (Why McCain is getting hosed in the press.” Written by Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris. Check it out here ( http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081028/pl_politico/14982 ). And this isn't the only news out there. What about that WFTV news anchor Barbara West who got in trouble with the DNC by daring to ask vice presidential candidate Joe Biden some really tough questions for once, instead of the usual softball ones. Daring to ask him how Obama's spreading the wealth scheme isn't the same as Karl Marx's spreading the wealth scheme - otherwise known as communism. Check out that news article on the Orlando Sentinel webpage ( www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-barbara-west-joe-biden-102808,0,5063691,print.story ).

My second theory that I will offer is that usually, when the rest of the planet wants a particular candidate to win the US elections (Barack Obama this time around), Americans will usually vote for the other guy. Basically giving the rest of the planet the “One Finger Salute.” And usually, its the democrat that the planet wants running the USA than a republican. Those pesky republicans actually believe in their silly constitution and in keeping their word and stuff like that.

My third theory for a McCain upset victory is that he is the underdog. Americans historically love the underdog. Going by a chart that was posted on the Drudge Report, Obama barely goes above 52 percent and for the past several weeks, is below the 50 percent dividing line. McCain has manage to move into the margin of error in almost every poll that is out there. Quoting John McCain from his speech in Hershey, PA on October 28, 2008; “Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. And we never quit.” ( www.comcast.net/articles/news-politics/20081028/McCain.Final.Stretch/ ).

My fourth and final theory is Barack Obama tripped himself when responding to Joe (the Plumber) Wurzelbacher's question about Obama's tax plan. “Spreading the Wealth Around.” while it sounds nice is really nothing more than class warfare in my opinion. While the DNC is doing damage control over this answer, other parts of that political party began checking into Joe's background and presented the following information: Wurzelbacher is unlicensed plumber right now and he has some unpaid back taxes. And with them spreading this information around to damage the “messenger,” so to speak; is it any wonder that now Joe Wurzelbacher has come out to endorsed John McCain.

Early voting is up all over the country I understand from a news spot off the radio. I have already voted. The last quoted figure that I heard for Lubbock country is that 40,000 people have already voted. So, my vote is in there somewhere.

Well, this is what I have come up with less than a week to go now until the November 4th elections. I cast this blog article out into the internet ether like a message in a bottle. Time will truly tell what the outcome will be. Its the waiting that we all hate to go through.

UPDATE - October 30, 2008: Found the following article "Accuracy of Polls a Question In Itself' " by Michael Abramowitz for the Washington Post that I thought should be linked to my article here ( www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/28/AR2008102803675_pf.html ).

UPDATE - November 3, 2008: Latest results from Lubbock, Texas early voting were announched today. The final number of early voters was 69,910. Just 90 short of a even 70,000. Lubbock County Officals orignally thought that only about 50,000 wouldbe voting early.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stargate 12-inch Action Figures: Dr. Daniel Jackson

Earlier in 2008, Previews magazine, which is operated by Diamond; began showing off and accepting pre-orders for a new line of Stargate SG-1 action figures. The ad that I saw focus on Michael Shanks' Dr. Daniel Jackson.

And since we both share the same last name – I had to get this figure. And this will be my review of this figure. First off, its distributed by Diamond Select Toys ( http://www.diamondselecttoys.com/ ). I got a little discount on the figure since I had pre-ordered it so the final price came out to less than $35.00 bucks. Regular retail price for this figure is $39.99. (photo is from their website).

Doctor Daniel Jackson is a typical 12-inch tall action figure. This one being sculpted by Bill Mancuso. The figure itself has 26 points of articulation. The face sculpt is of an “older” Daniel Jackson from later in the series.

He is wearing typical green fatigues with the Stargate patches on both shoulders. His glasses appear to be glued onto the head above the ears. There might be some pegs that go into holes there and the glasses just plugs right into them. The boots have actual boot strings laced on them.

Now as for the goodies that come with the figure. Replicator spider! And the Ancients' “splatter gun” or whatever it is actually called. The one that shuts down the replicator's processors and the hive chips just fall where they may when zapped by this gun. Daniel also has the Zat pistol and a regular .45 cal 1911 A1 style automatic pistol, but no holster to put it in. Both pistols have no working parts to them such as a removable magazine or the zat pistol expanding up from its 'stored' position. And finally, a standard issue radio.

On the back of the box are two other figures. Colonel's Jack O'Neil and Cameron Mitchell.

First off – I'm happy to have a Shanks family namesake in 1/6th scale. My disappointments with this figure are as follows. No boonie hat or O.D. green due rag which Daniel wears from time to time out in the field. The next item is no P-90 submachine gun. Thankfully, Century 21 Toys had a package of military weapons carded that was on sale at various Wal-Marts. So I picked up a several and they are in my spare parts box whenever I need to use them.

I am looking forward to seeing the other two figures when I can afford to get them and I hope that Diamond will add additional Stargate SG-1 action figures to the 12” line.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Star Trek Movie Buzz

This week, Paramount Pictures released some production stills from the new J.J. Abrams production of "Star Trek." Set for release in 2009.

MTV, as one of several website, received from Paramount Pictures, some new production stills from the new J.J. Abrams' “Star Trek” movie to be released in 2009. In an article published by Rick Marshall and Shawn Adler. MTV was given permission to show the new bridge design of the starship Enterprise. Before getting to that, I like to add the following. Can anyone say “Battlestar Galactica”?

Now, Do not get me wrong on this – I like the new “Battlestar Galactica.” And it look like that J.J. Abrams is doing the same thing to Star Trek as what had happened to BG. A totally new look and revision to the franchise. Co-producer Damon Lindelof (known for “Lost”) added some additional information in the interview.

The Bridge:
In the photograph on the MTV site, it shows actor Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk sitting in the Captain's chair. Hes all in black which Mr. Lindelof tells MTV is a important story hook in the movie. Behind him we see the new Doctor McCoy (Karl Urban) deep in thought. Now he is wearing the classic blue shirt/black pants combo which is the Starfleet uniform. Zachary Quinto as Spock. Kirk and Sulu are both ragged since “they” have just come out of a fight before this scene.

As for the bridge itself; its very bright looking – think Apple Store. Quoting from the article: Abrams was insistent that every piece of equipment on the bridge serve a legitimate purpose – that they all have “functionality.” According to Lindelof, the maps we see in the background near the top of the communications desk were based on the generally accepted layout of the Star Trek Universe. Lindelof also confirmed that the film would be two hours long running time.
Now other pictures that were released show the film's bad guy as a Romulan with facial tattoos.
The movie will open with another starship U.S.S. Kelvin (NCC-0514 ) getting hammered by the bad guys. The Kelvin looks alot like the old destroyer class that was included in the original Starfleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph (the leatest version of which you can get for yourself here (http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Fleet-Technical-Manual/dp/0345340744). It jsut has the warp nacelle on top of the saucer section instead of below it. Then again, from the above picture, there just might be a second nacelle below the hull as well ( the upper/lower twin engine designs that crop up from time to time in (Star) Treknology circles.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hasbro's Indiana Jones 12" Action Figures

Considering what I have been posting in my own blog for the past few weeks, it was long past due that I create a article relating to one of my hobbies - collecting action figures.

I am a BIG Indiana Jones fan. I make no bones about that. I'm not sorry for that bad pun either...

I also collect the classic size G.I. Joe type action figures (i.e. the 12 inch or to state it another way, the 1/6th scale action figures). When the latest Indiana Jones flick came out this year ( Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ), Hasbro, Sideshow Collectibles, and Medicom Toy released their figures. I still want to pick up the Sideshow figure, but at on average, $80.00 per figure, is a bit hard to justified buying one. Medicom Toys are really proud of their versions of Indy and his father Henry Jones Sr at a whopping $149.00 each! However, Hasbro released their own Indiana Jones figures in the small 4 inch size (approx 1/18th scale) and the classic 1/6th scale.

They release Two Indiana Jones figures. The first one was of Indiana Jones with his leather jacket, removable fedora, and a working jaw that makes the figure look like a fat Harrison Ford. The other Indy figure, for some UNKNOWN reason, has the fedora either GLUED or MOLDED onto the much better Harrison Ford likeness. Other figures included Indy's son "Mutt" Williams, a German Officer, and the black robed swordsman from "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Its understandable that Hasbro will only release that with which they think that they can make some money with, but could they NOT HAVE come out with Shalla? How about Marion? What about Indy's World War Two buddy Mac? That is a problem for us collectors and customizers, they come out with only the basics and for the figures that we really want - nothing. What about the bad guys? Belloq, Donovan, Mac, and some others. Sideshow is coming out with Belloq in 2009 at least.

Anyway, Cool Toy Review interviewed a Hasbro Representative and part of that interview was posted on TheRaider.net. Basically, Hasbro has indicated that it will NOT continue this (12" figure) line past the holidays(2008). One of the cool things about these figures is the scale Ark one could order after collecting 4 figures.

Also reported on TheRaider.net is news of a new Indiana Jones novel that will be coming out in May 2009. Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead. It will be a post World War Two adventure with fame triple agent George "Mac" McHale. They will be going up against Nazis, Japanese, and black magic welding Voodoo priests on the island of Haiti.

(Ref. Cool Toy Review via TheRaider.net)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Some Wounds Can Never Heal. Yes She Was A Traitor.

I received the following email from a fellow radio control model airplane club member. A verteran of the Vietnam war. The title of the email is included in the body of the text. But I think a better title should be: Some Wounds Can Never Heal.

If it was up to me and many of those I knew from the military, she would be tried as a traitor instead! Johnnie Roper Veteran and Texan BOTH by choice!

Subject: FW: Yes She Was A Traitor

I have never sent out a mass mail before and can’t ever say that again. I can’t believe she (Jane) could ever be considered one of the top 100 women of the country. It’s one thing to protest a war [that is a privilege granted to us in this country], what she did is far beyond our Constitutional Rights. Please read pass this on!

Long after she's dead people will wonder how she did what she did and was never put on trial. Some thought being married to Tom Haydn was punishment enough. Many thought there was no such thing as enough, nor was there anything like justice around.


In Memory of LT. C. Thomsen Wieland who spent 100 days at the Hanoi Hilton She really was a Traitor


This is for all the kids born in the 70's who do not remember, and didn't have to bear the burden that our fathers, mothers and older brothers and sisters had to bear. Jane Fonda is being honored as one of the '100 Women of the Century.'


Unfortunately, many have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Ms. Fonda betrayed not only the idea of our country,but specific men who served and sacrificed during Vietnam. The first part of this is from an F-4E pilot. The pilot's name is Jerry Driscoll, a River Rat. In 1968, the former Commandant of the USAF Survival School was a POW in Ho Lo Prison the ' Hanoi Hilton.' Dragged from a stinking cesspit of a cell,cleaned, fed, and dressed in clean PJ's, he was ordered to describe for a visiting American' Peace Activist' the 'lenient and humane treatment' he'd received.

He spat at Ms. Fonda, was clubbed and was dragged away. During the subsequent beating, he fell forward on to the camp Commandant 's feet which sent that officer berserk

In 1978, the Air Force Colonel still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying career) from the Commandant's frenzied application of a wooden baton. From 1963-65, Col. Larry Carrigan was in the 47FW/DO (F-4E's). He spent 6 years in the 'Hanoi Hilton',,, the first three of which his family only knew he was 'missing in action'.His wife lived on faith that he was still alive. His group, too, got the cleaned-up, fed and get word to the world that they were alive and still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his Social Security Number on it, in the palm of his hand..

When paraded before Ms. Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man's hand and asking little encouragings nippets like: 'Aren't you sorry you bombed babies?' and 'Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?' Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper. She took them all without missing a beat. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge and handed him all the little pieces of paper.

Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Colonel Carrigan was almost number four but he survived, which is the only reason we know of her actions that day. I was a civilian economic development advisor in Vietnam , and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam in1968, and held prisoner for over 5 years.

I spent 27 months in solitary confinement; one year in a cage in Cambodia ; and one year in a 'black box' in Hanoi .. My North Vietnamese captors deliberately poisoned and murdered a female missionary, a nurse in a leprosarium in Ban me Thuot, South Vietnam , whom I buried in the jungle near the Cambodian border. At one time, I weighed only about 90 lbs. (My normal weight is 170 lbs.)

We were Jane Fonda's 'war criminals.'

When Jane Fonda was in Hanoi , I was asked by the camp communist political officer if I would be willing to meet with her. I said yes, for I wanted to tell her about the real treatment we POWs received... and how different it was from the treatment purported by the North Vietnamese, and
parroted by her as' humane and lenient.' Because of this, I spent three days on a rocky floor on my knees, with my arms outstretched with a large steel weights placed on my hands,and beaten with a bamboo cane.

I had the opportunity to meet with Jane Fonda soon after I was released. I asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV. She never did answer me. These first-hand experiences do not exemplify someone who should be honored as part of '100 Years of Great Women.' Lest we forget...' 100 Years of Great Women' should never include a traitor whose hands are covered with the blood of so many patriots. There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Hanoi Jane's participation in blatant treason, is one of them. Please take the time to forward to as many people as you possibly can. It will eventually end up on her computer and she needs to know that we will never forget. RONALD D. SAMPSON, CMSgt, USAF 716 Maintenance Squadron, Chief of Maintenance DSN: 875-6431 COMM: 883-6343

P.S. (October 5, 2008): Received a email from a Chad Barnes who directed me to the Snopes.com article dealing with Jane Fonda. Here is the link to that article ( http://www.snopes.com/military/fonda.asp ). The bits of paper that was mentioned above in the chain letter email that my friend sent me according to the Snopes article did not actually happened. Use the link to find out for yourself. But I think the title of this article remains the same.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hotlining? Sneaky Bill Steals Artist Copyrighted Materials

Maybe I ought to start a third blog dealing with politcs and foreign affairs a conspiracy theories and what some politicans do behind the backs of their fellow citizens. I received a email from a friend in our local sketchclub (see links for it). I'm going to post it below and the reader can make up their own minds about it. In the interest of full disclosure, I went ahead and email my Congressional representitive about this. That link is included in the body of the text.

Email Start: While congress was supposedly busy with the banking bailout jazz this weekend, they found the time to rob all artists of our copyright law protection by hot-lining the ORPHAN WORKS act and passing it in congress. This is a bill funded by Google, Microsoft and several other search media corporations who intend to profit off this while making artists pay not only for EACH copyrighted work (that now is automatically done for FREE once its created, signed and dated) but we have to register for the privilege to use their search engines. This is just the beginning. Please read this email and help us do something about this.

-Will Terrell
Lubbock SketchClub

FROM ILLUSTRATORS ' PARTNERSHIP OF AMERICA: Orphan Works: The Devil's Own Day Never Too Busy to Pass Special Interest Legislation 9.28.08As lawmakers struggled Friday to clean up the mess on Wall Street, sponsors of the Orphan Works Act passed more special interest legislation. Their bill would force copyright holders to subsidize giant copyright databases run by giant internet firms. Like the companies now needing billion dollar bailouts, these copyright registries - which would theoretically contain the entire copyright wealth of the US - would presumably be "too big to fail." Yet it's our wealth, not theirs, the scheme would risk.

Small business owners didn't ask for this legislation. We don't want it and we don't need it. Our opposition numbers have been growing daily. So Friday, the bill's sponsors reached for the hotline.

What is Hotlining? Critics of hotlining say "that lawmakers are essentially signing off on legislation neither they nor their staff have ever read.""In order for a bill to be hotlined, the Senate Majority Leader and Minority Leader must agree to pass it by unanimous consent, without a roll-call vote. The two leaders then inform Members of this agreement using special hotlines installed in each office and give Members a specified amount of time to object - in some cases as little as 15 minutes. If no objection is registered, the bill is passed."- Roll Call, Sept 17, 2007.

In other words, a Senate bill can pass by "unanimous consent" even if some Senators don't know about it. The Devil's Own Day Senators Leahy and Hatch hotlined the Orphan Works Act twice last summer. Each time came at the end of a day, at the end of a week, near the end of a legislative session. Each time lawmakers were distracted by other issues and other plans. Each time artists rallied quickly and each time a Senator put a hold on the bill. Friday the Senators found a new opportunity.

With lawmakers struggling to package a 700 billion dollar bailout to avert a world wide economic meltdown, with the rest of the country focused on Presidential debates, with Washington in chaos and Congressional phone lines jammed, they hotlined an amended bill. On short notice, even the legislative aides we could reach by phone said they didn't have time to read it. And so, while we were rushing to get out a second email blast to artists, the bill passed by "unanimous consent" - in other words, by default. What better way to pass a bill that was drafted in secret than to pass it while nobody's looking?

Since Friday, artists have been conducting bitter post mortems on their blogs. That's understandable, but it's not time yet.

"When Sherman arrived at Grant's headquarters later that evening, he found the general - broken sword and all - chewing on a soggy cigar in the rain, which had begun soaking the battlefield.

'Well, Grant,' Sherman said to his friend, 'we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?

''Yes,' replied Grant, 'lick 'em tomorrow, though.'"

The Senate passed their bill Friday, but the House hasn't.

There's still time to write, phone and fax your congressional representatives. Tell them not to let the House Judiciary Committee fold their bill and adopt the Senate's.Tell Congress to protect the private property of small businesses. Lick 'em tomorrow.

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' PartnershipQuote from "The Devil's Own Day," by Christopher Allen, January 2000 America's Civil War Magazine

Tell the House Judiciary Committee not to adopt the Senate version. We've supplied a special letter for this purpose: http://capwiz. com/illustratorspartnership/issues/alert/?alertid=11980321

Our Website!www.elSketchoClubo.com

Well - Thats the entire email so make your own choice.

UPDATE (October 2, 2008):
Thank you to everyone that contacted their congress persons about the Orphan Works act, I know several of you emailed me saying you had in spite of my broken link in the last email (my apologies). This is the 4th time they've tried to slip this bill into law without debate. This however, is the first time that it actually passed in the Senate. Fortunately, enough people protested that it died when the bill arrived in the House. Thanks again everyone. Its dead for now... but not necessarily indefinitely. Keep an eye out.-Will Terrell Lubbock SketchClub.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2300AD/2320AD/Full Thrust/Battletech and Other Games

There are just some things that grab hold of my attention and will not let go. Now I might go through some phases where such items do not hold on as tight as they did before, but I will eventually go back to them.

Such is the case with some role playing games and other wargames. Not so much as the mechanics of how the game is played, but the universe that was created as the backdrop to the events that one is playing with in the game.

Now I am in my late forties and do not get to play any of these games any more even though I really wish too. No, for me now, just buying a game module to read it just to keep up with what is happening in the gameverse is about all I can do. Such is the case with games like Battletech and Traveller. In others, such as the 2300AD created by GDW as a folow on to their Twilight 2000 role playing game. Or the recent attempt to relauch the 2300AD game with 2320AD. It is the story ideas and the universe that each is set against that now catches my attention.

When it comes to 2300/2320AD, I also have to lump in the kinda sorta wargame known as Full Thrust. In summary for all three of them, about 300+ years after the Third World War, mankind is back on its feet and has discovered the means of travelling to other solar systems. Once out there, they do meet other civilizations, and with one known as the Kafers, almost lost a war with them. Even twenty years later (i.e. 2320AD) there are still rogue Kafers that have to be delt with.

The Battletech universe is just as interesting. Set in the 31st century (or more recently under Wizkids ownership, they have moved the timeline up to the 32nd century). When that game first came out, the influx into America from Japan of all the different robot war machine (Battlemechs) models and manga. Back then, the company was FASA and they had a great cash cow (So I thought at the time) with Battletech.

I got into that game with the metal miniatures. In fact, that is how I got into most of my wargaming hobby is with collecting the metal figures first, then with other friends, actually playing the game. I still have several fishing tackle boxes full of the original metal and plastic miniatures. I use to keep a spreadsheet of just what type and how many of that type of miniature I had in my collection. There where that many that I had to have some means of keeping track of them. Painting the battlemechs (as they were called in different nations, mercenary, etc., paint schemes) became one of my hobbies.

The reader can do their own google search for those games for more information. This article is just a set piece for my blog to let anyone who reads it know a little bit more about me. Thankyou.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Big Switcharoo..

The Following information was sent to me via email by a old friend of mine and I thought to go ahead a publish it here just for the heck of it. We will see if it plays out as described below.

Date: Friday, September 19, 2008, 2:27 PM

This is an interesting read - I looked on snopes.com and it has it but is not able to verify it. We can not prove anything yet, but it this comes true, then you will know it was planned all along.

Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 8:37 AM Subject: Have you heard anything about this?

On or about October 5th, Biden will excuse himself from the ticket, citing health problems, and he will be replaced by Hillary. This is timed to occur after the VP debate on 10/2. There have been talks all weekend about how to proceed with this info. generally, the feeling is that we should all go ahead and get it out there to as many blog sites and personal email lists as is possible. I have already seen a few short blurbs about this the "health problem" cited in those articles was aneurysm. probably many of you have heard the same rumblings. however, at this point, with this inside info from the DNC, it looks like this Obama strategy will be a go.

Therefore, it seems that the best strategy is to get out in front of this Obama maneuver, spell it out in detail, and thereby expose it for the grand manipulation that it is. So, let's start mixing this one up and cut the obamites off at the pass - send this info out to as many people as you can - post about it on websites and blogs - etc.

Friday, September 19, 2008

9th Annual T-38 Jet Rally (August 13-16, 2008)

(This was originally posted to my other blog on August 17, 2008)

One of my hobbies is playing with radio control model airplanes and the club that I belong to help put on, what in the past was a big money maker for our organization, the T-38 Jet Rally. This year, the 9th year of the event and with gasoline prices being what they have been; it was a very low key affair. Members of our hobby that have the need for speed and can afford it – fly model airplanes that are equipped with either a duct-fan or an actual, miniature turbine.
This article will be broken up into two parts.

The first part deals with the hobby of flying model airplanes, with a focus on turbines, but will include regular duct-fan and electric duct-fan power aircraft. Recently, in the August 2008 issue of Model Aviation which is put out by the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics), there were several articles about model jets. One article by Pete Oochroma detailes how someone can get into the Turbine part of the hobby (“Turbine Modeling Made Easy,” page 51). In another article (“Instant Jetification” by Curtis Mattikow on page 41) deals with electric duct-fans. Finally, for larger electric jet models, there was an another article written by Curtis Mattikow entitled “Large EDF Comes of Age” on page 65.

The easiest way into the jet part of this hobby is the electric ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) or now, the two new boys of the store shelves RR (Receiver Ready) and PNP (Plug and Play). Most of the models in this class are foam models. Such models would have all the radio servos, wiring, speed controller, and the motors and duct-fans already installed. To power these models, Li-Poly batteries are used. In this mode, just the basic components are used to make it fly. It is up to the modeler if he or she wants better performance, then they can upgrade the speed controllers, motors, etc. Curtis Mattikow included a list of RR models. Those include a F-15 from E-Do, a F-18 RTF(Ready to Fly) from StarMax. Kyosho has both scale and sport model electric jets such as the F-16 and the A-6 Intruder. A sport scale model jet is something that looks cools, but was never made into a full scale aircraft. Hobbico offers a electric duct-fan called the Diablo. It offers upgrades that take you from novice to a ace with the same airframe. GWS offers a electric duct-fan kit of the F-15 Eagle.

Now we make the jump up to larger jets. The ones that use glow motors inside a duct fan or actual turbines. The leader of the pack is Bob Violett Models (BVM). He offers both sport scale and scale jet models. For the past few years, his scale models have finished quite high in the standings at a event known as Top Gun. Sport scale models that he offers are the Bobcat, Kingcat, and the Ultra Bandits. BVM's scale offerings include such aircraft as the F-4, F-86, the F-16. BVM is also working on conversion kits for their big models that can be switched over to electric power. Now, there are other jet companies out there such as Composite-ARF, Aviation Designs, Jet Hangar Hobbies, and more. Companies that build and sell the turbines are several in number. Jet-Cat Turbines, WREN Turbines, Jet Central Turbines, and others. But, here in the United States, in order to operate a turbine power model airplane, the modeler must go through a process of training in order to secure for themselves what is known as the AMA (Turbine) Waiver. This helps supplement your home owner's insurance in case something goes wrong. This is basically a notarized form that is sent to AMA headquarters in Muncie, Indiana. As a bit of trivia for you – there are about 900 turbine waiver holders in the United States right now. To learn more about this and other issues dealing with model aviation in general, go to their website (http://www.modelaircraft.org/).

Part Two will cover the 9th Annual T-38 Jet Rally in particular. Lets begin with a little history behind our local jet rally.

Our club (WINGS Miniature Aircraft Society) was able to use the main runway of the former U.S. Air Force base west of Lubbock, Texas, that was known as Reese Air Force Base. Now it is known as the Reese Technology Center. From the late 1990s up until the early 2006, our club was able to operate out of there since Reese Technology Center no longer operated full scale aircraft. Now, when Reese Air Force base was operational, it was a training base operating T-37s and T-38 jets. Reese had three north-south runways. The shorter, eastern most runway was closest to the flight line. The other two runways were longer and further west. These latter two runways were used by the T-38s and thus, that is where the name for our jet rally came from.
In 2006, rumors of the runways being purchased by Wal-Mart or some other group for storing shipping containers came true and the happy times of flying out there on Reese's runway came to an end. Our club eventually located a runway near the small town of Abernathy, Texas, that welcomed us. Different rules had to be observed since the Abernathy airport is still a active airport. With that in mind, WINGS Miniature Aircraft Society began site improvements with the pouring of concrete pads with little taxiways going out to the main active runway. As time and as additional money comes in, additional site improvements will be made.

Now, as for this year's Jet Rally, the weather played havoc with us during the overnight hours, but gave us some great flying weather in the afternoons. Friday, there were crosswinds for the flyers to deal with. The rest of the time, the wind was usually out of the south. For the onlookers and support people, we would usually stick under the tents or the pop-up shelters to beat the afternoon heat. Saturday evening, the Contest Director Mike Danchak handed out the wooden plaques to those who flew and or help out with putting the event on. Eahc plaque had a metal plate with the T-38 Jet Rally logo on the bottom and on top, behind a clear plastic cover, was a photograph of the person with one of the jet planes that was present.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Flash Force 255 Bunker (The Blog)

This is a general introduction blog to the hobby of collecting action figures, chiefly the 1/6th scale variety known generically as G.I. Joe (produced by Hasbro Inc.).

Do a web search for action figures, G.I. Joes, etc; you will find a whole bunch of sites. One of the groups that I am a proud part of is known as Flash Force ( http://www.flashforce.org/home.html ). A fictitious semi-government task force that is assigned the dirty jobs in the 1/6th scale world. Security, Covert Special Operations, Air, Land, Sea, and Space capable task groups make up what is now referred to as the “International Special Operations Command.” The name change came in part, after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Plus, the group didn't want anyone thinking that this was an actual government group if they were doing a web search and our little collectors club came up in the search engines. Flash Force was created by Teddy M. Terstegge. And under Yahoo Groups, you will find our membership posting messages there. This is a quote pulled from the recruiting page of the main website:
Flash Force is a unique hobby group dedicated to special operations and scale action figure enthusiasts worldwide. Flash Force represents the boldest and brightest in recreational communities, effectively integrating sophisticated and technologically networked interaction with "real-world" activities and events.The unit has established a truly global presence by enlisting hundreds of members in more than twelve (12) nations around the world.

Please go this this page to read more about becoming a member of Flash Force ( http://www.flashforce.org/recruiting.html ). Spend some time there reading over such things like Command Overview. Organization and History. Emblems and Insignia, etc. There is a gallery there full of stuff that Teddy and other members of Flash Force has done over the years. I got hooked into the group by following Teddy's web posting of his 1/6th scale model of the Blackhawk helicopter that he built, and was given the name”Midnight Magic”. ( http://www.flashforce.org/hawkproject/hawkproject.html ) I ended up becoming the Two Hundredth and Fifty-Fifth member of the group (hence Flash Force 255).

But this particular blog will also cover my other hobbies and interests as well. Mostly with radio control model airplanes. And sometimes with role-playing and or war games and the miniatures that go with them. I am also into art, computers, writing (hence the blogs).

My Other Blog

This is just more of a note about my original blog than anything else. It covers news of interest dealing with all things Aerospace with a bit of the paranormal and ufo stories thrown in for good measure as well. Here is the link ( http://aerospacedreams.blogspot.com/ ).