Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Star Trek is cool

Chuck Norris Friday

The truth will set you free. Unless Chuck Norris has you, in which case, forget it buddy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Weekend

This weekend, I was in Fairfield and Napa coaching water polo.

So here is the deal. I like to coach. I coach water polo because it is the sport I know. Before I coached water polo, I worked at a school where they didn't have a pool so I had to learn another sport. I taught myself baseball and cross country just so I could coach there. Some people serve as a big brother and some people a mentor. I like to coach because when you coach, you don't see the kids once a week... you see them 2-3 hours a day at practice and all weekend when you travel.

I care about my regular students but I have 165 of them. Honestly, I really never learn all the names until at least Thanksgiving or even Christmas. (Don't tell them) This year, I have 15 water polo players and I know each of them well.

Over the years, I have seen sports change kids. In the beginning, kids are willing to do what Rick (the guy I have coached with for 8 years... also a Christian) and I ask them to because they want to play. We stress grades, respectful behaviour and personal responsibility. Eventually as the young athletes grow into team leaders, they too require these personality traits from the underclassmen.

A lot of the kids we coach come from good homes where the parents are good examples. Many do not. We have seen a good number of kids totally change their lives, all because they were willing to accept our team values.

My players know that I have faith in God and in Jesus. Because I teach at a public school, I am not allowed to discuss much with them. I am not allowed to pray with them, even if I am not the one leading the prayer. This year, I have been blessed with 4 Christian families. Because these parents are around all the time, at home games and on the road; they also have a positive influence on our athletes. Because they are not public school teachers, they do not have the limitation that I do.

This weekend, I witnessed something that I have not seen in my time of coaching. My team all circled together before a game to have a time of prayer. This prayer was lead by our upperclassmen who at one time were on the verge of dropping out of high school to follow a life of gangs or drugs or whatever.

We also got to go out for some nice Mongolian BBQ. Thanks to Mr. Bryant for saying Grace before we ate. Again, I am not allowed to do that out loud.

Chuck Norris Friday {Belated}

Sorry this is late. I was out of town for water polo this weekend and I forgot to schedule one for Friday.
According to Einstein's theory of relativity, Chuck Norris can actually roundhouse kick you yesterday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

100 Skills Every Man Should Know

My buddy Patmo had a similar list a while back but I found this in October 2008 edition of Popular Mechanics and thought it was worth a look. Along with the list, I found this nifty 15 question quiz. (I got 14/15. I missed the question about trimming a branch).

Here is the list:


1. Handle a blowout

2. Drive in snow

3. Check trouble codes

4. Replace fan belt

5. Wax a car

6. Conquer an off-road obstacle

7. Use a stick welder

8. Hitch up a trailer

9. Jump start a car

Handling Emergencies

10. Perform the Heimlich

11. Reverse hypothermia

12. Perform hands-only CPR

13. Escape a sinking car


14. Carve a turkey

15. Use a sewing machine

16. Put out a fire

17. Home brew beer

18. Remove bloodstains from fabric

19. Move heavy stuff

20. Grow food

21. Read an electric meter

22. Shovel the right way

23. Solder wire

24. Tape drywall

25. Split firewood

26. Replace a faucet washer

27. Mix concrete

28. Paint a straight line

29. Use a French knife

30. Prune bushes and small trees

31. Iron a shirt

32. Fix a toilet tank flapper

33. Change a single-pole switch

34. Fell a tree

35. Replace a broken windowpane

36. Set up a ladder, safely

37. Fix a faucet cartridge

38. Sweat copper tubing

39. Change a diaper

40. Grill with charcoal

41. Sew a button on a shirt

42. Fold a flag

Medical Myths

43. Treat frostbite

44. Treat a burn

45. Help a seizure victim

46. Treat a snakebite

47. Remove a tick

Military Know-How

48. Shine shoes

49. Make a drum-tight bed

50. Drop and give the perfect pushup


51. Run rapids in a canoe

52. Hang food in the wild

53. Skipper a boat

54. Shoot straight

55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike

56. Escape a rip current

Primitive Skills

57. Build a fire in the wilderness

58. Build a shelter

59. Find potable water

Surviving Extremes

60. Floods

61. Tornados

62. Cold

63. Heat

64. Lightning

Teach Your Kids

65. Cast a line

66. Lend a hand

67. Change a tire

68. Throw a spiral

69. Fly a stunt kite

70. Drive a stick shift

71. Parallel park

72. Tie a bowline

73. Tie a necktie

74. Whittle

75. Ride a bike


76. Install a graphics card

77. Take the perfect portrait

78. Calibrate HDTV settings

79. Shoot a home movie

80. Ditch your hard drive

Master Key Workshop Tools

81. Drill driver

82. Grease gun

83. Coolant hydrometer

84. Socket wrench

85. Test light

86. Brick trowel

87. Framing hammer

88. Wood chisel

89. Spade bit

90. Circular saw

91. Sledge hammer

92. Hacksaw

93. Torque wrench

94. Air wrench

95. Infrared thermometer

96. Sand blaster

97. Crosscut saw

98. Hand plane

99. Multimeter

100. Feeler gauges

Saturday, September 13, 2008

For the Democrat that has everthing

This election year, I have been on the lookout for cool and funny stuff related to the campaign circus. If this one does not qualify, I don't know what will. ***Added later. The wife did not believe that this product existed so HERE you go... it's for real.***

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chuck Norris Friday

When Chuck Norris was denied an Egg McMuffin at McDonald's because it was 10:35, he roundhouse kicked the store so hard it became a Wendy's.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not swallowed by a black hole yet!

Being an Astronomy teacher, I have been getting a lot of people asking about "this new thing in Europe that might end the world." I thought I would take a stab at addressing this concern.

What everyone is asking about is the LHC.
Taken from LHC 2008
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 m underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionise our understanding, from the minuscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.

What the heck is that all about you may ask? If you wanted to study a grandfather clock but did not have the tools to take it apart, the next best thing would be to smash it to bits, then examine all the pieces. This is what a particle accelerator does. It smashes stuff.

We have been using particle accelerators for decades, what makes this different? It's all about horsepower. A particle accelerator is essentially a super smashing machine. They get two protons going around a race track in opposite directions at very high speeds and then smash them together. This smashing, breaks them into parts. The problem up until now has been that we were not smashing them fast enough or did not have enough power to smash bigger, heavier particles. Now we do. They plan to smash ions of lead. (heavy stuff)

What is all talk about danger? Since the LHC will be smashing particles and simulating energy levels = to the big bang, there is concern that a black hole may be created and thus the earth and surrounding space gobbled up. At first, some Physicists put the chances of that happening at 1/300,000,000,000. Now they have revised that number to "insignificant."

What do we hope to learn? With the ability to smash stuff better, we hope to identify a new particle that would explain why the standard model is not complete. The problem we have with physics is that big stuff and really small stuff do not follow the same rules. (As an example, electromagnetism is very strong but gravity is not. According to the standard model, they should be the same. On a small scale, gravity works fine. Gravity keeps our moon from flying away. On really big scales, it does not do what it should. For some unknown reason, distant galaxies are actually accelerating away from us. Kind of like a reverse gravity.) The scientists at CERN hope to discover a particle that would explain certain shortcomings of the standard model. Some physicists have been calling this particle "The God Particle." Other call it the "Higgs-Boson particle."

All this talk of death and destruction is once again... the media. Every night reporters need to fill 30 minutes... even if nothing else happened that day. (Same as my post on Bigfoot last month) Most people will tune in if they think the world might end but not if they might learn something new.Check out that sweet camera jib.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday Pictures in the Park

This morning the youngest and I took part of our morning to hang out. She is a lot like her dad in that she has an appreciation for nature and she likes taking pictures. We headed out to the local park to see what we could find.

We usually look for water birds but today a squirrel was willing to entertain us.

This bug was flying around. It looked like a really huge wasp when it was airborne but looked like a cross between a spider and a June Bug when it was on the ground. I am going to try to find out what it is.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Super fast Internet for less $$$

This speed test was ran at the rush hour time of 7:00pm - Pacific. Earlier, I got 27777 from I will run one later on tonight when the lines go quiet.

18 months ago we signed up for the Comcast triple play. (Internet, phone, cable TV) We had been with Comcast Internet for years but dropped our old phone and went VOIP. Well, as it turns out, 18 months is exactly the amount of time it takes to forget that you signed up for an introductory offer. This month, our $99/month offer went up to $150. OUCH!

I called tonight with the intention to fake quitting so that they would extend my offer. I did not even have to fake it. When I mentioned that our bill had gone up $50/month, the representative just said, "oh, we are running a September promotion." The promotion includes the DVR, which I was paying $15/month for and 3X faster Internet. (I was already fast at 6Mb/ps) Here is the funny part, the promotion was $5 less than I was paying before.

If you already have Comcast, give them a call. It might be worth it.

BTW, my Internet really is fast now.

Chuck Norris Friday

The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed misserably.

Yep, it's real

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Political Stuff

I found this on the Nerd Families blog. If you are a Battlestar Galactica fan, you should click here to read the article.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Latest project

Just finished another project. Here it is.