Wednesday, August 31, 2005

One Team, One Team Only Please Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

She is one of God's women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth.

Should you know anyone fitting that, send 'em my way.
If you know where that quote comes from...bravo to you too!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

USS Monitor Had Rensselaer Ties

At the time it was built during the Civil War, the well-known USS Monitor was a new breed of ship that would signal a turning point in modern-day naval warfare. The novel 120-ton, revolving turret that set the ship apart from the rest was recently retrieved from its 140-year-old resting spot in the Atlantic Ocean 20 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.“Monitor Expedition 2002” is the final phase of a multi-year effort to recover the wreck of this famous Civil War ironclad. The operation is being conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Naval Sea Systems Command, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two, and The Mariners’ Museum.The Monitor’s history, in part, is owed to iron manufacturer and steel pioneer John F. Winslow, who was Rensselaer’s fifth president. Winslow, one of the nation’s most dynamic industrialists during the Civil War, was one of the first to see merit in the design of ironclad war vessels. Ships at that time were typically built from wood.Winslow built his reputation in the iron industry by going into business as an iron manufacturer in New Jersey before becoming a partner at Corning, Winslow & Co. (more popularly known as the Albany Iron Works).

The company joined forces with the Rensselaer Iron Works, headed by iron industrialist and Institute Trustee John Griswold, to become the prime contractors for the iron plates of the Monitor.Corning, Winslow & Co. built the deck plates, the hull skirt, and the angle iron for the frame. The Rensselaer Iron Works made the rivets and the bar iron for the pilothouse.In September 1861, Winslow and Griswold convinced President Abraham Lincoln of the potential of the Monitor, designed by Swedish-American engineer, inventor and RPI alumnus John Ericsson, who up until then had met resistance for his revolutionary design.The Monitor was launched from Brooklyn in January 1862. Less than two months later, it faced off with its Confederate rival, the CSS Virginia (a modified version of a steam frigate originally called the USS Merrimack). The battle ended in a draw.The Monitor sank during a storm on New Year’s Eve in 1862. Although short-lived, it became a symbol of modern-day warfare mainly because of its revolving turret that carried two 11-inch cannons. Unlike the Virginia, which had to be steered into position for its guns to take accurate aim, the Monitor’s guns could be aimed simply by adjusting the turret.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Shame on Israel

The government of Israel is currently forcibly removing their citizens from the Gaza Strip in the name of peace with the Palistinians. Some of these towns date back to the 1946. Military soldiers are forcing their way into homes and carrying the residents out if necessary to get residents and non-residents who have flooded the area in protest. Once residents are evacuated by force, the homes will be razed. 70% of Isrealis support this pullout, but they have not lived in this area for years and feel it part of a roadmap for peace. Some roadmap, I suspect Mr. Sharon and company took a wrong turn somewhere around Tel Aviv.

For any government to forcibly remove it citizenry from their homes is wrong, there's no other need to state it. This is a miscarriage of justice and basic human rights and liberty. I don't make a case like this too often, but I urge you to write your Senators and Congressmen and urge them for the United States government to take action on this, up to and including withdrawing all aid from the Israeli government.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Just up Highway Six and a few left and rights through Waco there is a item that the media deems news worthy, I find it an interesting paradigm in American politics. Cindy Sheehan, a woman who lost her son while he was serving in Iraq has been camped out near President Bush's ranch in Crawford. She wishes to speak to the President about her grief and the reasons for the war and to ask him to bring our men and women home, immediately. She plans on camping near the ranch until the President speaks with her or ends his "vacation". Though I don't think the President ever truly gets a vacation the way you and I think of it.

First of all, my heart goes out to Ms. Sheehan and every family member who has lost a loved on in service to our country in war and in peacetime. I can not imagine the level of her grief, however I do not see how she can hold President Bush responsible when her son volunteered to join the armed forces. He certainly was an adult able to make the choice on his own and knew the potential risks involved. I can understand her need to place blame, psychologically it allows the human mind to come to terms with their grief...I learned this in 10th grade.

Multiple websites have sprung up, including a blog entitled Crawford Update. As I read this blog and the others that have sprung up I can reach only conclusion, the far left has grasped at a paper tiger and this woman has become their poster child, a victim of Bush and his policies. The hate that spews from these sites lacks all reason and logic, poor arguments grace their pages, and it would appear that those with opposite views are either not allowed to counter or they just don't care. Probably a little from column "A" and a little from coloumn "B". It is quite amazing.

In the mid 1800s, the President would commonly meet visitors at the White House and address their grievances, yet those days are long past. In any administration, the President can not meet with every Tom, Dick, Harry, and nut job who wants to speak to him. President Bush spoke with Ms. Sheehan and other parent's over a year ago and in the time since apparently Ms. Sheehan has changed her mind on the character of the President. In any event, this woman has either lost her mind to her grief or has become a puppet for the antiwar movement. In either event, it is a sad state of events.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Red Sox Test Out Rookies, Sweep Rangers

American League East 8/10/05
Team W L GB
Red Sox 66 47 ---
yankees 60 52 5.5
Blue Jays 58 55 8
Orioles 55 58 11
Devil Rays 43 71 23.5
You Might Be A Red Sox Fan if.....
10. the first word you learned to spell was Yastrzemski tell your friends that you won't give a marriage proposal unless it comes during the seventh inning stretch in Fenway Park.
8. you sold your soul for the 2004 season and don't regret it one bit
7. instead of "Mommy" or "Daddy" your kid's first word is "Manny."
6. your first born son will have Boston as a first or middle name
5. retirement years will be spent in Ft Myers in the spring and on the Cape in the summer
4. when depressed, you watch the "Buckner game"
3. your criteria in choosing a college is driving distance to Fenway Park. (it was...too close i would have flunked out)
2. any potential wedding in the fall will be after the World Series, just in case they make it
1. You make comparisons between the outfield arms of Gabe Kapler and Randy Kutcher and interject the first hand conversations you had with the Kutch when he was in the minors teaching you and other kids to catch a fly ball and note how he was a better a teacher than practicioner.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Buy Your Own, Also Called Watch Me Piss Off A Lot of Women

Ok, so I know this is going to make me really popular, but I have to say it and get it out there for discussion. So we see folks getting engaged all the freakin time, some Joe Schmoe ponies up and buys his wife to be a diamond engagement ring out of some sense of tradition. Of course, if we get to the bottom of it and look into the history of it all, it's really all a BIG FAT LIE! Ergo:

During the Middle Ages, the Gimmal or "bond" ring was invented, but it's doubtful that this was an engagement ring design. However, sapphires, emeralds and rubies would have been the norm for those who could afford them. Because diamond is the hardest and strongest mineral on earth it was seen to resist fire and steel and thus symbolize the unbending union of a man and woman in wedlock. So it became more commonplace for the European super wealthy and royalty to give a diamond engagement ring at this time.

Less wealthy citizens would have given a Fede (faith) ring in the form of two clasped hands more akin to the more modern claddagh (clasped hands) engagement rings, a design handed down from Irish ancestors long since forgotten.

In South Africa 1870, the vast, newly discovered Kimberley diamond region began to flood the market with not so rare a gem after all! The supply increased whilst the prices fell.
Within 10 years the now famous De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. was formed by the Englishman Cecil John Rhodes to control the sale of diamonds throughout the world. Even today they control 65% of the world's diamond trade.

From 1880 De Beers were able to control the supply (and price) of diamonds but how were they going to control demand during a period when sales began dropping dramatically (up to 50%) in the 20s and 30s onwards through the great depression?

Just as platinum started to become popular in diamond engagement rings, diamonds were becoming less valued. Platinum was banned for all but war use during WWII and so the platinum diamond engagement rings as we know them today almost died out.

The answer to the problem was a new marketing campaign commissioned by De Beers that began in 1947. Perhaps you've heard the slogan "A Diamond is forever"? This was to mark the beginning of a change in the history of the engagement ring.

Subsequent campaigns would convince families to hold on to their diamonds as family heirlooms... and it worked! Used diamonds were not being released back into the industry which in turn created the demand that De Beers were seeking.

Jewelers were unofficially educated by De Beers to instruct men that two to three months personal wages were an ideal price to pay for the diamond engagement ring that their prospective fiancée's would gladly accept.

In 1953 the world's two most glamorous women of the time Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were the stars of the hit film musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The plot involves Monroe and Russell chasing potential husbands on a cruise to France. The movie also features a very famous song sung by the blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend.
This film would have undoubtedly influenced public opinion at the time and will have advanced the popularity of diamonds for years afterwards through Hollywood glamour.

The film is now 50 years old but it's still a firm favorite of all who love Hollywood and the legend of Monroe. (Of course there are others: High Society, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Diamonds Are Forever among them)

This is where the tradition of the diamond engagement ring really started, all from an advertising campaign that literally "rocked" the world! So you see buying a diamond engagement ring isn't really a popular ancient tradition.

It's more a combination of "dreaming of being a princess", a clever marketing campaign and compelling Hollywood glamour that ultimately promotes diamonds as the only jewels with which to furnish your loved one as a sign of engagement.

As you can see the whole diamond engagement ring is just a load of bull dung. So, don't ever expect me to buy one in the event I ever do get engaged. As far as I am concerned, if a girl wants one bad enough for whatever dumb symbolism it represents in the female mind, she can buy it herself because I certainly will not.

Now that I have offended multitudes of women and given guys something to think about, I bid you all adieu!