Monday, December 22, 2008

Wm. "Gus" Moorhead 1929 - 2008

There are icons associated with any city or town I suppose, Versailles is not an exception. A few that I consider would be Roy Hunter, Forest Waters, Herman Jahnigen, Flo Pegee, Jim Tyson, Al Smith Sr., Sharlot Bovard, Ma' Curry, and surely many others. Mr. Moorhead as the school kids called him, never "Gus", will be added to this list. He had many short phrases he uttered often but the one that was most memorable in my mind was; "If the shoe fits wear it." Well Mr. Moorhead you are an icon of Versailles and the shoe fits. Versailles will miss you.

See and hear a tribute to Tyson Auditorium

Yep, Winter is here

It was 2 degrees this morning in Versailles.
Yesterday with the wind, the chill factor was well below zero. I often wonder why people live in such an uncomfortable location like this, I suppose it is where you were born and raised. I can't think of any other reason why you would want to touchier yourself with the hot summers and cold and snowy Winters. I lived near Monterey, Ca. for 2 years where the weather was just about perfect, but I could not wait to get home. I vacationed in the Caribbean each Winter while working with an average Winter temperature of 82. I just can't put my finger on the exact reason I live here, I just think it is home. Click click click of Dorothy's heals, "there's no place like home"

Click to see the Versailles Web Cam

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wright brothers Flight & Douglas DC-3 1st flight December 17th

Flight tests at Kitty Hawk
Upon returning to Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Wrights completed assembly of the Flyer while practicing on the 1902 Glider from the previous season. On December 14, 1903, they felt ready for their first attempt at powered flight. They tossed a coin to decide who would get the first chance at piloting, and Wilbur won the toss. However, he pulled up too sharply, stalled, and brought the Flyer back down with minor damage.

The repairs for the abortive first flight took three days, so that the Flyer was ready again on December 17. Since Wilbur had already had the first chance, Orville took his turn at the controls. His first flight lasted 12 seconds for a total distance of 120 feet (36.5 m) -- shorter than the wingspan of a Boeing 747.

Taking turns, the Wrights made four brief, low-altitude flights on that day. The flight paths that day were all essentially straight; turns were not attempted. Every flight of the aircraft on December 14 and 17 -- under very difficult conditions on the 17th -- ended in a bumpy and unintended "landing". The last, by Wilbur, after a flight of 59 seconds that covered 852 feet (260 m), broke the front elevator supports, which the Wrights hoped to repair for a possible four-mile (6 km) flight to Kitty Hawk village. Soon after, a heavy gust picked up the Flyer and tumbled it end over end, damaging it beyond any hope of quick repair. Read more

The Douglas DC-3 Dec. 17th 1935

The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Because of its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II, it is generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made. Read more
from: Wikipedia

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A call from Bagdad, Iraq

A few days ago I returned home to see my telephone answering machine blinking thus telling that someone had left a message. This not being uncommon as I get several messages when I'm away from home. I pressed the play button and what a surprise, The caller was from Bagdad, Iraq. It was a coworker of a few years ago when we both worked for the Indiana State Police. His name is Robert Garcia and his Army unit was activated and assigned to active duty in Iraq. He told me in the recorded message that he enjoyed seeing my photos of his home town and would try to send an email but it is difficult. He wished me the best of holiday greetings and said good bye.

I was grinning ear to ear after listening to that message. I had made at least one person serving our country a small bit happier. I had considered dropping (deleting) all my pages from the internet in the next year as it is very costly to maintain. But now the cost is worthwhile, That phone call made it worth the the cost many times over.
Click to hear the recorded message

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Trans Siberian orchestra

Holiday Light Show from the Trans Siberian orchestra
Every year I get a request to post the link (URL) for this YouTube video. So here it is again.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Air Raid, Pearl Harbor - This is no drill."

Aircraft and midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy began a surprise attack on the U.S. under the command of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Despite long-standing assertions that this attack could have been predicted and prevented by the United States Military, the U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor appeared to be utterly unprepared, and the attack effectively drew the United States into World War II. At 6:09 a.m. on December 7, the six Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 183 planes composed mainly of dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters.[4] The Japanese hit American ships and military installations at 7:55 a.m. The first wave attacked military airfields of Ford Island. At 8:30 a.m. a second wave of 180 Japanese planes, mostly torpedo bombers, attacked the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. The battleship ArizonaTemplate:WP Ships USS instances was hit with an armor piercing bomb which penetrated the forward ammunition compartment, blowing the ship apart and sinking it within seconds. Overall, nine ships of the U.S. fleet were sunk and twenty-one ships were severely damaged. Three of the twenty-one would be irreparable. The overall death toll reached 2,350, including 68 civilians, and 1,178 injured. Of the military personnel lost at Pearl Harbor, 1,177 were from the Arizona.The first shots fired were from the USS Ward on a midget submarine that had surfaced outside of Pearl Harbor, the USS Ward did successfully sink the midget sub at approximately 6:55, about an hour before the assault on Pearl Harbor.
Read more from

Link to USS Arizona Memorial images

Audio file of speech (mp3 7.5 meg)

Speech to the U.S. Congress on December 8th, 1941 (as delivered)

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The People of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the People when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our People - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 a state of War has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Dec. 5th 1945 Flight 19 lost in Bermuda Triangle

Five Avengers are airborne at 1400 on a bright sunny day. The mission is a routine two-hour patrol from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. due east for 150 miles [241 km], north for 40 miles [64 km] and then return to base. All five pilots are highly experienced aviators and all of the aircraft have been carefully checked prior to takeoff. The weather over the route is reported to be excellent, a typical sunny Florida day. The flight proceeds.

At 1545 Fort Lauderdale tower receives a call from the flight but, instead of requesting landing instructions, the flight leader sounds confused and worried. "Cannot see land," he blurts. "We seem to be off course." "What is your position?" the tower asks.There are a few moments of silence. The tower personnel squint into the sunlight of the clear Florida afternoon. No sign of the flight.
"We cannot be sure where we are," the flight leader announces. "Repeat: Cannot see land."

Contact is lost with the flight for about 10 minutes and then it is resumed. But it is not the voice of the flight leader. Instead, voices of the crews are heard, sounding confused and disoriented, "more like a bunch of boy scouts lost in the woods than experienced airmen flying in clear weather." "We can't find west. Everything is wrong. We can't be sure of any direction. Everything looks strange, even the ocean." Another delay and then the tower operator learns to his surprise that the leader has handed over his command to another pilot for no apparent reason.

Twenty minutes later, the new leader calls the tower, his voice trembling and bordering on hysteria. "We can't tell where we are ... everything is ... can't make out anything. We think we may be about 225 miles [362 km] northeast of base ..." For a few moments the pilot rambles incoherently before uttering the last words ever heard from Flight 19: "It looks like we are entering white water ... We're completely lost."

Within minutes a Mariner flying boat, carrying rescue equipment, is on its way to Flight 19's last estimated position. Ten minutes after takeoff, the PBM checks in with the tower ... and is never heard from again. Coast Guard and Navy ships and aircraft comb the area for the six aircraft. They find a calm sea, clear skies, middling winds of up to 40 miles per hour [64 km/h] and nothing else. For five days almost 250,000 square miles [647,000 km²] of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf are searched. Yet, not a flare is seen, not an oil slick, life raft or telltale piece of wreckage is ever found.

Finally, after an extensive Navy Board of Inquiry investigation is completed, the riddle remains intact. The Board's report is summed up in one terse statement: "We are not able to even make a good guess as to what happened."
Read the full story From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Here is another account of Flight 19

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Three Steps to Help Reduce Your Risk of Identity theft

1. Practice safe shopping online.
Follow these three basic rules whenever you're online: never give out your personal information to unsolicited emails, only shop on sites you know you can trust, and make sure the site you're entering your information into is secure. You can tell a site is secure if there is a closed lock in the browser window, or the web address starts with "https:".

2. Remove unnecessary items from your wallet.
When you go out to purchase the items on your holiday shopping list, don't take everything with you. Lost and stolen wallets, checkbooks, and cards account for about 33% of all identity fraud. Only take the card or checkbook you'll need.

3. Check your statements as soon as you receive them.
Keep all of your receipts and as soon as you receive your monthly statement, reconcile it against them. If you find even the smallest discrepancy, notify your bank or credit card company immediately.


Monday, December 01, 2008

too old to be a geek

I am getting too old to be a geek. Oh...I like getting a new computer or camera and playing with it and learning about it. I liked playing with my netrwork when I had to learn to use it to support it. I would like a new cell phone but can't decide which one to get. I am somewhere between a geek and a techno-phobe. I don't want a cell phone to use all the time. I like my landline...there is something comforting to me about being tethered to the wall and knowing I can hear the person I'm talking to all the time. But I carry one in the car for emergencies. I keep the TV on all the time just for background noise. I love to read but I'm resisting getting a Kindle. Because I love the feel of a magazine in my hands. Since my job requires that I be a geek or as I like to put it a "gu" not a full blown "guru" when it comes to computer software and hardware, I have to keep up with not give up on technology. And try not to kill the users I support when they ask questions that they should already know the answers to!

Thoughts taken from Emily Watson's Blog