Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Am Here for You

My ear is yours
            scream if you want to
My shoulder is yours
            cry if you want to
My hand is yours
            hold on if you want to
My mouth is yours
            be encouraged if you want to
My heart is yours
            be comforted if you want to

Be your pain
I am here for you

Be your sorrow
I am here for you

My ear
            are yours

J.P. Wiegand
©Emittravel 2005

Words of encouragement to a hurting friend. I wanted her to know that she isn't alone; nor does she have to suffer alone.

It's humbling when someone opens up to you and shares their pain with you. As the saying goes, "sorrow shared is halved - joy shared is doubled". Makes being a friend all the more significant. -j.p.
©Emittravel 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Over and Out!

Have you ever heard the expression: "Knowledge is power"? That is so true - in most cases, but not always. Sometimes knowledge can take the fun out of things!

I've never been much of a war movie fan. Never could find the entertainment value in them. Oh, there are the stories of great bravery and all, but for the most part, "realism" in a war movie can be a deterrent. Don't get me wrong; I don't hate all things "war" (M*A*S*H, Hogan's Heroes, McHale's Navy), I just could never get into them too much.

I'm not anti-military (even though the three television shows mentioned above tended to snub their noses at it). I served in the US Navy from 1984 - 1988. I was a (frocked) 2nd Class Petty Officer - Radioman when I finished. Frocked means I wore the stripes (and chevron), had all of the benefits and responsibilities, but without the pay. My DD-214 paperwork shows me departing as an E-4 (3rd Class Petty Officer), though my uniform showed 2nd Class Petty Officer (E-5). I really enjoyed my time in the service. I spent most of my time on the USS Elrod (FFG-55) doing what I loved. I kept my time to one term of enlistment for reasons other than the work.

One thing that the knowledge I had gained gave me, was a distaste for Hollywood's portrayal of the military. And it comes down to one phrase: "Over and out." Every time I hear that I want to beat someone OVER the head until they're OUT!

In communications, there are two possible ways to end a transmission:

"Over" - I am done transmitting. Please respond.
"Out" - I am done transmitting. DO NOT respond.

Every time I hear "Over and out" I hear "I am done transmitting. Please respond AND shut up!"

Hey Hollywood! It's one OR the other. NOT BOTH!

Sorry. Being that "knowledge is power", I just ruined movies for you.

So if you care to comment, please do. Over."

© Emittravel 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Unpredictable Predictability

My wife and I purchased a scooter a few years ago. I'm not talking the kind the kids ride around on (my leg gets REALLY tired trying to keep it moving - how DO they do that?!?), and I'm not talking about those nifty ones you can find at your local Wal-Mart (they really need to attach bells to those darn things!). I'm talking about a 2009 Kymco Grand Vista scooter.

A wonderful ride. The thing got between 65 and 70 miles per gallon, and I've had it just over 70 mph on the freeway - without my wife on it (she wouldn't go near a freeway) - until I saw that I was going just over 70 mph and QUICKLY slowed down!

Last year we sold it and purchased a 2009 Honda Shadow.

Another wonderful ride. Not sure of the top speed, but I've had it just over 70 mph on the freeway - WITH my wife on it (had to take the turnpike home one time).

I'm fortunate to have two great rides: the motorcycle and a 2004 Jeep Wrangler. Both vehicles are great for sunny days - only one is good in foul weather. I'll let you figure out which.

Which brings me to the topic of this particular blog entry: the unpredictable predictability of the weather. One day last fall, I had taken the Shadow to work because the weather had been predicted as only a 10% chance of rain that day. Understand, that means historically, with similar weather conditions, it only rained 10% of the time. 90% of the time that weather didn't happen. Sometime close to the end of the work day I called my wife to let her know that that 10% had turned into 100%!! I rode home in pouring rain; including through quite a few areas of standing water. When I got home I took my boots off and poured water out of them.

Is it me, or has the weather become more unpredictable over time? Technology has definitely improved, but there seems to be a disconnect between the available data and the way it gets interpreted. Some would say it's "Global Warming" (or the new, cop-out label: "Climate Change"), but that's difficult to believe. For the record, when they say "Global Warming" or "Climate Change", what they mean to say is "Man-made Global Warming" or "Man-made Climate Change". As I made the argument in "Man-made Global Warming? Mother Nature Disagrees!", if it was natural weather cycles or "natural" occurrences, it wouldn't be a hot topic (pun intended). Back in the 1970s we were told of an inevitable ice age around the corner due to "Global Cooling". Clearly, they have NO idea what they are talking about. Aren't both U.S. coastlines supposed to be underwater by now?

I can understand "Climate Change" being so difficult to predict. There's an awful lot of data there to work through. But can't they at least get today's weather close? And don't start telling me how different the two "sciences" are - they both use a lot of the same data (including tidal shifts, water flows, air currents, etc.).

And on the flip side, if today's weather is so difficult to predict, how in the heck are they supposed to understand anything so long-term as "Climate Change" - or the 10-day forecast for that matter!

C'mon! I just want to know if I can ride the Shadow, or if I need to take the Jeep - WITH the top up ...

© Emittravel 2013