Monday, April 28, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

Driving south out of Boston after arriving at Logan International Airport on Interstate 93, the traffic began to slow. Rounding a corner, smoke was rising from near the highway. There was a fire! The camera was in the passenger seat, so I quickly turned it on and captured this image of a fully involved Ford Taurus station wagon. And you were there!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Megastar 2.1

This week, I had the pleasure of taking the family to see Blue Man Group perform their "How To Be A Megastar 2.1 Tour" show at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. We've been fans of Blue Man Group for some time, and having missed their show in Milwaukee last year, jumped at the chance to see them in Madison this time around. We even decided to splurge the extra money to get floor seats, and we weren't disappointed.

We were familiar with their work from seeing their prior concert shows on television, and we own their CD "The Complex". We were lucky enough to score floor seats in row 7 even though I ordered the tickets the day after they went on sale.

The show was a rework of "The Complex" tour, with an instructional video providing a loose structure to the show. A monotone, unseen announcer directs the Blue Men on their way as well as engaging the audience. The Blue Men themselves use intense eye contact to draw the audience into the show. During one sketch, one Blue Man chucks marshmallows out into the crowd. He turned toward our section and I actually stood up and pointed to my mouth! He tossed a marshmallow at me and I tried to catch it in my mouth only to have it glance off my cheek!

Most of the music in the show was from their CD "The Complex" with some additional music (notably a cover of The Who's "Baba O'Riley") and it was expertly played by a backup band consisting of 3 percussionists, 2 guitarists, a bassist, keyboardist and vocalist. The show lasted just over 90 minutes and there were no noticeable breaks. It was nonstop from beginning to end. There were only about 6,000 in attendance, which was a little bit of a downer, and the vibe was different than your big time arena act. But this was a different experience than just a pure rock show. This was performance art, comedy, music, and a bit of theater. We had a blast. It was well worth the money. I do hope that BMG will put together another album of original work ("The Complex" was released in 2003) and create another concert show.

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What Bugs Me

Is that smart people are being treated as abnormal. Why bother getting educated (to the tune of thousands of $$) and specializing in a field of study only to have some ideologue dismiss your whole academic career by a mere wave of the hand?

… it seems “rather elitist” that people with academic degrees in health think they know better than parents what type of sex education is appropriate. “I don’t think it’s something we should abandon,” he said of abstinence-only funding.

Those the words of Rep. John Duncan (R-TN). Folks, if you live in Tennessee and he's your congresscritter, you owe it to yourself and your family to vote this clown out of office. He is doing you a great disservice. More at the Bablog.

Bad Astronomy Blog » Being reality-based is elite?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Next Time Somebody Offers You a Ride In a Small Plane

Readers of "This Blog Title For Sale" are probably aware that I am a certificated private pilot. From time to time people will ask me just how safe is flying small planes, and naturally the answer is, quite safe. Now I can say that it's safer than ever to fly in a small plane, with fatalities reaching a 40-year low in 2007. Why is that? We in the pilot community know that aviation is one of the most intensely scrutinized industries anywhere. When an accident happens, chances are you'll read about it or see it on television. We, as a community, go to great lengths to make this activity as safe as possible.
NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker commented that pilots cannot afford to become complacent. “We must continue to take the lessons learned from our investigations and use them to create even safer skies for all aircraft operators and their passengers,” he said.
We strive to do exactly that. No operator of a public conveyance is required to complete as much training and assessment as are pilots. When traveling on commercial airliners, the folks in front will have passed at least 5 and likely several more flight examinations to get where they are. Compare that with your bus driver, truck driver or, for that matter, every other driver on the road. And you have our word that we are trying to make 2008 even safer. Read more by clicking on the link below.

AOPA Online: NTSB notes big drop in GA fatalities

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I have been following for some time now the build up to the release of a purported "documentary" about how a recently contrived alternative "theory" of the rise of life on earth should somehow be given equal treatment in schools. The problem with "Intelligent Design" is that it suggests that many constructs of biology are so complicated that they could only have been placed by a "creator". Additionally, these ID proponents want this taught in science classes as an alternative to the Theory of Evolution as originally described by Charles Darwin. It's a problem because since ID claims a supernatural origin to life on earth, it can't be proven by scientific means. It is therefore not science.

But that hasn't stopped certain ID proponents from doing all they can, including misleading, lying and deceiving to put their little theory in front of as many gullible people as they can. They made their little movie under false pretenses, then carefully controlled (or tried to, with hilarious complications) who was able to view the pre-release version of the movie. Now, the producers are releasing the movie theatrically, but only in areas in which they know they will find favorable audiences.

Now I'm not going to tell you to not see the movie, since I haven't seen it myself (nor do I plan to). You will also notice that I avoided giving you the title of the movie. But I have included a link below to a website with more information about the movie, and exactly what the producers did to bring this abortion to the screen. Warning: If you liked Ben Stein for his eyedrop commercials, you're going to be very disappointed.

Expelled Exposed

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Kickin' Cajun

Broussard's Cajun Cuisine, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Best cajun north of Louisiana. Shrimp etouffee and fried alligator. Outstanding!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I guess I forgot that I do three quarters of my flying on Northwest, with Delta and Midwest picking up the rest. So, with the long awaited merger announced, I need to prepare for the inevitable.

On the other hand, I suppose I can get used to seeing more of this lady VERY quickly.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

The New Delta Airlines

This just in to my email inbox:

As a valued Northwest Airlines customer and WorldPerks(R)
member, I wanted you to be among the first to hear that we have
announced a merger with Delta Air Lines. Subject to regulatory
review, our two airlines are joining forces to create America's
premier global airline which, upon closing of the merger, will
be called Delta Air Lines.

By combining Northwest and Delta, we are building a stronger,
more resilient airline that will be a leader in providing
customer service and value. Our combined airline will offer
unprecedented access to the world, enabling you to fly to more
destinations, have more flight choices and more ways than ever
to earn and redeem your WorldPerks miles.

You can be assured that your WorldPerks miles and Elite program
status will be unaffected by this merger. In addition, you can
continue to earn miles through use of partners like WorldPerks
Visa(R). And once the new Delta Air Lines emerges you can look
forward to being a part of the world's largest frequent flyer
program with expanded benefits.

The combined Delta Air Lines will serve more U.S. communities
and connect to more worldwide destinations than any global
airline. Our hubs - both Delta's and Northwest's - will be
retained and enhanced. We will be the only U.S. airline to offer
direct service from the United States to all of the world's
major business centers in Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa
and around North America.

Both airlines bring tremendous strengths to this new
partnership. Our complementary service networks form an
end-to-end system that is truly greater than the sum of its
parts. This is a merger by addition, not subtraction, which
means all of our hubs - both Northwest's and Delta's - will be
retained. In addition, building on both airlines' proud,
decades-long history of serving small communities, we plan to
enhance global connections to small towns and cities across the

All of these positive benefits of our combination mean that we

1. Offer a true global network where our customers will be able
to fly to more destinations, have more schedule options and more
opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles in what
will become the world's best and most comprehensive frequent
flyer program.

2. Continue to serve our current roster of destinations and to
maintain our hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis,
Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Salt Lake City, Amsterdam and

3. Improve our customers' travel experience, through new
products and services including enhanced self-service tools,
better bag-tracking technology, more onboard services, including
more meal options, new seats and refurbished cabins.

While we work to secure approval of our merger, which may take
up to 6 to 8 months, it will be business-as-usual at both
airlines. We will continue to operate as independent airlines
and the people of Northwest will remain focused on providing you
with the very best in safe, reliable and convenient air travel.
At the same time, both airlines will be planning for a seamless
integration of our two airlines, one that delivers to you the
enhanced benefits that will earn - and retain - your preference.

As we work through this process, we will keep you informed at
every step along the way. Thank you for your business and we
look forward to serving you on your next Northwest flight.


Bob Soukup
Managing Director, WorldPerks

So there you have it. Stay tuned.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

There's Hope Yet For Reality Television

If, that is, one of the myriad television networks out there greenlights this pilot. But wouldn't it be nice that, in a world of ghost shows and UFO hunters, we finally get REAL investigation? I sure hope so.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Self Portrait

You may need to move farther away from the screen to make out my image.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Security Line

I reckon I should consider myself lucky that these line ropes aren't brimming with humanity this day. But it does get one to wondering, why should it ever get this bad? (That's a rhetorical question, folks.)

John Wayne-Santa Ana Airport, California.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Minnesota.