Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Naps are good and here is proof, or at least a good argument. We should all just nap.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Juan Pablo Montoya

I was present for JPM's first drive in a NASCAR event. I had purchased tickets months ago and and vagaries of airlines meant that I was actually home for the race so I went deciding not to waste the $55 I had spent for the experience. I had just sat down for the beginning of qualifying when the announcer announced that JPM was attempting to qualifiy for the race. It was an exciting race won by Kevin Harvick in a last lap pass of Carl Edwards but I spent most of the race watching to see how JPM would perform. He qualified well and was fast but it looked like he was having a tough time passing on the short and narrow track at Memphis Motorsports Park. He actually caused two spins (one by J.J. Yeley) trying to force the issue in turn four (where most of the wrecks occurred). He was spun out and ended up 36th with about 100 laps to go. He was slowly picking off cars, usually passing when the car in front of him did by staying close and controlling the inside lane. Then with about 60 to go, he seemed to get it. He passed 10 to 15 cars in the closing laps of the race by beginning his move a little later. He had been trying to get under a car going into three and completing the pass coming out of four. This had not been working. He instead got the inside position coming out of turn four, maintaining it down the frontstretch and then completing the pass going into turn one. I suspect that it was his road course experience from CART and F1 that helped out here. On road courses there are often limited passing zones and passes are often set up far in advance. This is what he did.

It was interesting to watch him change his style to fit the track and the competition and be successful. If he can keep this up he will be a big success in NASCAR.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Russian Nukes

One of the most terrifying moments of my life happened in a classroom more than 10 years ago. I was a graduate student at Ohio University and we had an official from the NSA on campus to speak and he met with a group of graduate students in the Contemporary History Institute, of which I was one. As the conversation progressed the issue of the collapse of the Soviet Union, then still recent history, came up and he said that eventually some Soviet nuclear weapons would find their way onto the Black Market becuase, no one knew where they all were. Not us, not the Soviets, no one.

A short piece on Strategy Page today relieved some of those fears. The point of the article being that Soviet nukes need constant maintanence and without it they cease to function fairly quickly. So even if someone had one, they would be hard pressed to make it work (explode). While the material inside is still very dangerous it is not as dangerous and the alternative.

I will be off line for the next couple of weeks. Be well any and all readers.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Departed

I saw the movie the Departed today. It was nice to turn off my brain and just watch the movie. And it was a movie worth watching. Not a great film but good. I suspect that if I was not a HUGE fan of both Tony Leung and Andy Lau, who starred in the Hong Kong original that is a better film, I would have enjoyed it more. It was some what unfair of Scorcese to put Leonardo Decaprio in the position of trying to match Tony Leung at his best. IMHO Tony Leung is one of the best actors in the world period and Decaprio was OK but it was an unfair standard for him to meet. Matt Damon did a little better but in the original Leung's perfomance is really the center piece of the film but in Scorcese's remake, he handed the central role off to Jack Nicholson who so often is becoming a charicature of himself.

Watching this movie is certainly a good idea. Watching Infernal Affairs is an even better idea.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Nine Reasons to Become an Evil Super Villian

Come to the Dark Side. There are advantages.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A New Strategy in Iraq

In the New York Times today this is an article outlining a new manual that the military is developing for dealing with the insurgency in Iraq. The is not only necessary but way past due. There is only one problem that I see. Namely, that this manual already exists, it has simply been ignored for over 60 years. The Marine Corps in the 20's and 30's conducted a larger number of long term deployment in Latin America training local troops to combat insurgents. They also did a great deal of what we now call "nation building." They took the lessons they learned and incorporated them into the Small Wars Manual. It is available from Amazon in a larger number of printing. It is sad that a 1940 manual has consistently been ignored by the military and its civillian leadership. So now we get to recreate an already existing wheel.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I have been watching with Foley scandal develop with an ever sinking feeling in my stomach. When will these numbnuts ever learn. They simply have no moral courage or sense of right and wrong anymore. All they can consider is potential political fallout, continually forgetting the lesson of Richard Nixon. It is always better to ask for forgiveness than to try and cover something up. If Nixon had, in March of 1973, came out and admitted that his campaign had done wrong with Watergate etc. and that he was taking full responsibility and apologize to the nation it would have been a one week story. Instead, he ended up resigning and many of his closest aides went to jail for aiding in the coverup.

The Speaker of the House should have stood up a year ago and denounced Foley and demanded a full investigation and then thrown him out of the House and he would now be lauded a a leader of strength and someone to be respected. Instead, even if the Republicans hold on to the House, something that is looking less likely every day, the odds of him retaining his position are slim. He will become the House Republicans' sacrificial lamb when that should have been Foley.

Maybe they should take a good look at anyone on the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus just to be sure there are not anymore pedophiles lurking about.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Working with one's hands

An interesting article on the joys of creation versus the efforts of thought. Read this.