Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm such a little boy........

Finished my weekend off with a nice relaxing ride on my chopper. Never got the chance to get out on my SS'er-just flat ran out of time.

The chopper is great when you are going downhill or are on level ground........uphill kinda sucks. Since we live at the top of a hill, I ride it down the hill and spend an hour or two riding the flat sections of the local neighborhoods.

I get lots of stares and obviously, kids love the thing. On the way home, I even made it back up the hill to my house. I totally had to as there were a whole group of kids playing at the top of the hill I live on and there ain't no way I was gonna get off and push my 45 pound bicycle in front of them.

After all, what self respecting 46 year old guy would be seen pushing his chopper up a hill?

Our son and I went to Wal-Mart to pick up all the supplies we need to go fishing this year. While we where there..............I saw the Air Soft display and like the little boy I am on the inside.......

We (or more correctly, me) bought a gun to use for target practice.

I checked around on some of the Air Soft web pages and most of the guns I saw look like real guns. I don't know if that's the smartest thing ever, the one we bought is bright neon blue with an orange tip-it will be hard to mistake for a real gun when we are in the backyard shooting little plastic pellets at the target board.

I had a real BB gun when I was a kid and I alway had fun shooting at tins cans and the like, I told our son if he points it at or shoots at any living thing- the gun goes in the trash-one strike and your out.

Anyways, we are uptight and outtasight with fishing stuff, if it's nice this upcoming weekend-look out fish we are comin' to get you...........

Something tells me this is going to be a wild year for weather extremes in the US. Tornados usually don't start quite this early in the year do they?

I like what Rice is saying. It makes sense to me. Will anything become of it? I doubt it, I'm fairly sure that the Iraqi's are going to keep blowing each other up for the time being.

Religion and politics don't mix. Just don't ask George Bush. Gotta thank my buddy Doug for sending me this link. I had previously seen it, but he sent it to me between me writing this entry and posting it.......... he knows how much I admire President Bush:-)

My opinion might be simplistic, but make'em all citizens. At least then they will be paying taxes. Will business have to pay more for their services? You betcha, that's the cost of living in a free society and the rest of us have to be willing to pay it.

I swear, if I ever win the lottery..........I'll need a seperate building on my compound just for bikes. This would be one of them. that bike is tight. Thanks for the link, Stacey. I have a thing for bikes with fenders.

Today's science break and way cool wallpaper.

If you run Google Earth.......check out Las Vegas.

I look at stuff on eBay all the time, check this article out and use common sense when you're browsing.

It's time for George to clean house and start over. Kick everyone on the staff out on their asses. He should keep Condi and do everything she tells him to do. She's way smarter then he is.

The links within this page may not be working for long. If they still work......you'll laugh and then you'll cry. There are some links in the comments section that are even better, check those out as well.

This is disturbing news since hurricane season is soon here. From the NY times......

FEMA Calls, but Top Job Is Tough Sell

WASHINGTON, April 1 — The calls went out across the nation, as Bush administration officials asked the country's most seasoned disaster response experts to consider the job of a lifetime: FEMA director. But again and again, the response over the past several months was the same: "No thanks."

Unconvinced that the administration is serious about fixing the Federal Emergency Management Agency or that there is enough time actually to get it done before President Bush's second term ends, seven of these candidates for director or another top FEMA job said in interviews that they had pulled themselves out of the running.

"You don't take the fire chief job after someone has burned down the city unless you are going to be able to do it in the right fashion," said Ellis M. Stanley, general manager of emergency planning in Los Angeles, who said he was one of those called.

Now, with the next hurricane season only two months away, the Bush administration has finally come up with a convenient but somewhat embarrassing solution. Mr. Bush, several former and current FEMA officials said, intends to nominate R. David Paulison, a former fire official who has been filling in for the past seven months, to take on the job permanently.

"To a lot of people that would be an insult," said Craig Fugate, the top emergency management official in Florida, who said he also had been interviewed but then withdrew his name. "They have been publicly out looking at how many different names and everyone turned it down and they come back and ask you?"

The list of emergency managers who have spurned requests to be considered for FEMA director or another top post represents a who's who in the small, close-knit field.

Besides Mr. Stanley and Mr. Fugate, they include Richard Andrews, the former homeland security adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California; Ellen M. Gordon, former homeland security advisor in Iowa; Dale W. Shipley of Ohio and Eric Tolbert of North Carolina, two former top FEMA officials who also served as the top emergency managers in their home states; and Bruce P. Baughman, the president of the National Emergency Management Association, as well as the top disaster planning official in Alabama.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has acknowledged the difficulty of finding a permanent replacement for Michael D. Brown, who resigned in September after widespread criticism of his management of the response to Hurricane Katrina, as well as filling other senior posts at the agency and hundreds of lower-level jobs. Today, of the 30 most senior jobs, 11 are filled by officials appointed on an acting basis, including the administrators in charge of such critical functions as operations, disaster recovery and disaster response.

"You've got to be able to attract people," Mr. Chertoff told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last month. "And I will not deny that certainly I think when there is a lot of negative publicity, it doesn't make a lot of people want to migrate."

The search has now gone on so long that Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky and chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the Homeland Department's budget, threatened on Wednesday to hold up action on the budget bill until the top administrative posts at FEMA were filled.

The director's job, Mr. Rogers said, may be a post "people like to throw mud at," but seven months after Hurricane Katrina is too long to wait. "Let the word go forth from this place that we want a permanent director of FEMA and we want these regional directors and division directors to stop acting and be permanent,"he said. "Because I want somebody responsible that we can turn to."

Mr. Paulison, 59, does not have the same depth of experience in running a large statewide emergency management organization that most of the other candidates have. But he is certainly not new to the field.

Most of his career was spent at the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Department, where he was chief from 1992 until 2001 and responded to emergencies including Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the crash of a ValuJet plane in the Everglades in 1996. Mr. Bush named him the United States fire administrator in 2001, and two years later he also became FEMA's director of preparedness.

Since taking over at FEMA, Mr. Paulison, who has a low-key, easy-going style, has shuttled between the Gulf Coast and Washington, helping the agency on what is now its No. 1 goal: preparing for the next hurricane season, which starts on June 1.

But he clearly has left it up to Mr. Chertoff to make any major policy announcements on how the agency is being "retooled" to address the widespread failures at FEMA that the Bush administration acknowledges occurred during Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Paulison has indicated that he is prepared, if asked, to remain in the job on a permanent basis.

"I serve at the pleasure of the president and do what he asks me to do," he told the House subcommittee on Wednesday, when asked if he would be staying in the job.

Several emergency managers, including those who were considered for the job, said that despite the way the search had proceeded they were confident that Mr. Paulison was up to the task, even if he had not yet had an opportunity to offer a vision for the agency.

"He has done what you kind of expect an acting director to do, which is basically to mind the store," Mr. Andrews said. "But he brings a lot of the qualifications you need for this job, and in the six months he has been acting as director he certainly learned the immediate and considerable challenges FEMA is facing."

Officials at Homeland Security would not discuss the likelihood that Mr. Paulison would be nominated for the permanent job and said that no one had officially been offered it, including the various other candidates who might have been contacted. But they did say they were pleased with the work Mr. Paulison had done.

"Chief Paulison has consistently demonstrated strong leadership, coolness under pressure," said Russ Knocke, a department spokesman.

This is not the first time FEMA has had to go through a humiliating disaster recovery process of its own. In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, the staff at FEMA was demoralized by the widespread criticism of the agency's response, said James Lee Witt, who was named by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to take over FEMA.

But the situation then was very different, Mr. Witt said in an interview.

He assumed the top job at the start of a new administration, with a president who later decided to upgrade FEMA's role by making Mr. Witt a member of his cabinet. In 2003, FEMA was merged into the Department of Homeland Security, losing its cabinet status and independence, a move that several of the candidates said left the director with less power to make critical, on-the-spot decisions during a disaster.

"FEMA can be turned around," said Mr. Tolbert, the former director of the agency's Response Division and of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. "But I don't think it can be turned around within Homeland Security."

Mr. Baughman, a former senior FEMA official who worked on more than 100 disasters over three decades and who is now director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, said the Bush administration was still too focused on combating terrorism, as opposed to investing in preparing for disasters of all kinds. And Congress still has not shown a willingness to invest sufficient funds into emergency planning, he said.

"To me it just doesn't make any doggone sense," he said, explaining, in part, why he did not take the job.

Mr. Brown said in an interview that he was not surprised to hear so many veteran emergency managers had declined to consider the job.

"Everything I have been saying about FEMA marginalization is true," he said.

Mr. Chertoff has made it clear that he does not plan on putting another person in the job who has little emergency management experience. Joe M. Allbaugh, Mr. Bush's first FEMA director, had been his national campaign manager in 2000, and Mr. Brown had been a commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association in Colorado.

And even before a permanent new director is nominated, and confirmed by the Senate, the agency is moving quickly to try to fill some of the approximately 550 vacant positions among its full time staff of about 2,500 employees. As part of the goal of filling 95 percent of the jobs by the start of hurricane season on Monday about 60 new staff members will start at headquarters, in contracting, public assistance and other areas, a FEMA spokeswoman said.

Mr. Baughman, among others, said that he wished Mr. Paulison well if he was selected for the permanent post. "He is a top-notch guy, a class act," Mr. Baughman said. "But a lot of it will be determined by the kind of team he can put together there. You can't do it by yourself."

As much as some people hate Wal-Mart....... I think FEMA should be made a division of the company. Is there anyone else on earth that is better at getting trailer loads of goods and products anywhere in America? The management part? You have got to be be kidding me, Wal Mart is one of the best run companies in America. Like them or not-they run a tight ship.......you can thank me later for the idea.

Here's a guy I'd like to see run in 2008. If the choice came down to him or Condi....I'd have a tough time making my mind up. Hillary? .......Please. If she wins the nomination.....ugh.

Religious commentary. I'm not saying one way or the other one this article, I'm just putting it out there to make you think. The comments are as interesting as the piece.

I drink about 3 or 4 beers a year but here's a drinking joke........


British Constitution
Passive-aggressive disorder
Loquacious Transubstantiate

Thanks, but I don't want to have sex
Nope, no more booze for me
Sorry, but you're not really my type
Good evening officer, isn't it lovely out tonight
Oh, I just couldn't. No one wants to hear me sing

Don't blame me, I didn't write it, I just stole it.

This is your brian on drugs.

Maybe this guy oughta lay off the bicep curls for awhile.

Dane Cook on the Price is Right. You have to register with YouTube (takes 15 seconds) but trust me, it's worth it.

I wonder if I could order a thong with their logo on it......not that I'd wear it or anything.

This is fairly accurate. Unless you use a proxy when you browse the internet, you aren't anonymous.

This happens to me...........I'm usually at work when it happens.

I think the record companies are greedy bastards. Movie studios are just as bad. What a dumb idea.

Am I going to trust these folks? Mmmmmm, no.

Speaking of trust.......don't fall for these kind of e-mails.

Speaking of e-mails.........

I have too many e-mail addresses.

I check my Gmail address and my main address everyday but I sometimes forget my yahoo address which is linked to this blog. Once and awhile I will neglect it for 3 or 4 days so if you e-mail me there and I don't reply right away.....I'm not ignoring you, I'm just stupid.

If you want to get my attention-just leave a comment on the blog.........now that I have the "comments section" configured properly.

Till later.

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