This evening, I stopped at the Santa Barbara Harbor on my way through town. Traffic was hefty so I decided to get some air. Their Viva La Fiesta celebration starts tomorrow so it was harder than I thought it would be to find a parking place. Needless to say, I found a spot and walked out onto the breakwater. The waves were rough and the wind was blowing, but I made it to the end and took the following picture:
The photo has some exposure issues, frame over frame, but you can really see the smoke plume from the Zaca fire, burning out of control north of Santa Barbara. It sucks, they almost had it under control and then it jumped their southern fire line and never looked back. The new containment date is September 7th… eek. I am glad I live up north.
In May of 1846, the Democrat lead congress declared war on Mexico, which resulted in the US acquisition of Texas, New Mexico and California. Like today’s Democrats, in 1846, the Whigs stated that President James K. Polk “now favored ‘war, pestilence, and famine.’” The Whigs accused the President of provoking war with Mexico by sending troops across the border. Due to Polk’s poor handling of the war, the Whigs gained 38 seats and control of Congress following the 1846/1847 elections. Interestingly enough, it was Abraham Lincoln who stood up in Congress and demanded to know more about the circumstances that lead the US to declare war on Mexico. While Lincoln was unsuccessful in gathering the truth behind what caused the war, the Whigs did manage a resolution declaring the war “unnecessary and unconstitutionally begun by the President.” (Source: The Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James McPherson, Pgs 49-50)
Does this not mimic our current political situation in this country? Have we learned nothing in 161 years since the Mexican-American war? The only difference now, is that we are fighting an unjust war over oil, back then it was land. I would hate to say it, but I think the American politicians are out to destroy other countries for whatever reason they can, just so Americans can waste gas in their Hummers, live in gigantic climate controlled palaces, and create 3 times more waste per capita than any other country in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is just wrong when every new generation of politicians take charge and send us to war because they have ego problems. Perhaps Mexico is starting to take back what they lost by sending us their poor farmers. I’ll stop there, thank you for reading.
Today, I took the following photos at my local airport. The Falcon jet looks so graceful as it leaves the runway and takes flight.
The Falcon 2000 model above is the latest offering in Dassault’s line of business jets. A departure from their traditional transcontinental trijet design, the twin engine design modernizes a french classic giving it better operating and maintenance costs. Ever since its first flight in 1993, it has proven to be a great contender in the mid-size business jet market. For more information about the Falcon, please visit airliners.net.
There is a really cool card model character over at 3eyedbear.com. The site is full of interesting little characters for your gluing enjoyment, including emotikits and the classic helicopters. But, What would 3eyedbear.com be without a three eyed bear? Nothing, so they not only have a three eyed bear, but a Louis Vuitton bear that a user customized with their blank bear template. Download yours today.
Below is my bear, a standard three eyed bear. Since I used regular paper, he does not look at that great. I might make another one using card model paper. Overall, the bear is easy to assemble with no complex cuts or folds and they even number the tabs so you know where to start.
There is an interesting article about passion over at Yahoo! Finance. It talks about Chris Gardner, who was the focus of the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Mr. Gardner went from being homeless to a multi-millionare stockbroker. He attributes his success to his passion for being a world-class stockbroker. His advice to those seeking a new career is to simply be bold enough to find the one thing that you are passionate about.
The author supports Gardner’s position with discussion of Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz’s passion. His passion was surprisingly not coffee, but creating a place that treats people with dignity and respect. Coffee, in the end, was how Schultz made his passion come alive.
While the article touches on many different aspects of passion, the following quote I found best summarizes passion:
“Passion is the foundation of effective communication. Dig deep to discover your core purpose, your true passion. Once you connect to it, use it as fuel to build a rapport with your audience…”
I truly believe that passion is the foundation of effective communication. From your resume, to the job interview, to your presentations at work, passion can make a huge difference in how the audience comes away with your message. Brian Fagan, one of my old college professors is another wonderful example.
So, go find your passion if you haven’t already. Once you find it, your life will change. Goals will be easier to meet, your motivation will be more intense and your boss will be impressed.
A great new general aviation aircraft has been released for FSX. The Cessna 177RG Cardinal by Brett Henderson is great to fly and is light on the frame rates. It includes a superb virtual cockpit and sound set. I’ve spent about six hours flying it around SoCal and can say that I look forward to many more hours behind the yoke. The only drawback is that the model does not include a pilot in the cockpit. When in spot plane view, it tends to look like a secret government unmanned weapon than a plane I am flying. Overall, this is a great aircraft that everyone should spend at least a few hours in. You can grab it over at simviation.com.
A little history of the Cessna 177: In production between 1968 and 1978, it was originally designed to replace the 172 series 4-seat aircraft. Since it was priced higher than the 172 and had less power, it should have been no surprise that sales did not meet expectations. While the 177B and RG models helped it compete in the market place, it never became as popular as the 172. Altogether, 4,295 were produced. (data source: airliners.net)
Yesterday, I took the day off from work and took a day trip to Fort Tejon, CA. Fort Tejon is a 19th century military outpost that was active for years between 1854 to 1864. The fort fulfilled many local needs such a social and political center, military protection from Indians, and economic center.
The fort today lies just over the Tejon Pass from L.A. along I-5. As part of the California State Park system, this historic park is a mix of reconstructed buildings and ruins nestled among old oak tress, with about half the fort represented. The other half lies underneath and across the I-5 freeway. The Fort Tejon Historical Association provides various historic events throughout the year including Civil War reenactments and living history demonstrations. See the FTHA website for more details.
Coming soon… I will review more the park’s history and post some of my own photographs as well.
While debt can be a real burden on the borrower, the flipside is the satisfaction, motivation, and sense of freedom you get when you pay it off.
My top priority goal was to payoff my car loan early, freeing up more cash for other debts and savings. Well, this past week, I mailed in the payoff for my car loan. Five years and four months after signing on the dotted line, my car is paid for. I must say that the car feels different; it almost goes down the road that much smoother.
Now I can take the money that was going to the car loan and make a large dent in my credit card and student loan debt. Paying off the car loan shines a bright light at the end of the tunnel that is now a lot closer.
While tools such as David Allen’s theory of Getting Things Done and software like ThinkingRock are wonderful for mapping our to-do lists and daily lives, there is still something missing. Making lists are great, but what happens when you can’t cross anything off that list? You are stuck with a growing list that becomes more daunting while your self-esteem dives and stress level sky rockets. I have been there and it isn’t fun.
However, there is help. There is a great article over at ZenHabits that helps you solve these issues. One of their readers sent a comment to the author discussing the situation above. They have a large to-do list, but for one reason or another, just can’t make progress on it.
The article offers suggestions for dealing with situations such as overload, distractions, being scared of tasks and projects, to the classic I-just-don’t-feel-like-working problem. One of the more basic solutions is to start small. Commit to 5 minutes or merely just starting the project. By starting the project, you get over the largest hurdle and by committing to only 5 minutes, you take the word daunting out of the task.
One of the more interesting solutions to I-just-don’t-feel-like-working is to take a shower. I must admit that I have done this and there is something very refreshing about working on a project after a shower. Another solution the article discusses is taking a walk. For me a brisk walk just before starting a project helps me focus and get the thought train moving.
I encourage everyone who struggles one way or another with starting project/tasks to read this article. At the very least it is an interesting, complimentary read to Getting Things Done. This will help you achieve your goals, become more motivated and live a happier life.