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Friday, November 30, 2012

FSU Golden Girls Make ESPN

2014 Chevy Spark - Can You Justify $20,000 More For An Electric Motor

I love the idea of electric cars. I drive a Prius that is an electric car sometimes. I ride around my neighborhood in a golf cart pretending to be in with the in-crowd.

New cars models are coming out of GM - Fiat - Ford so fast - I cannot keep up with them. With the exception of the Corvette or the Impala - I couldn't re-call a familiar vehicle in the lineup. Several times when I rented a car - they gave me a forgettable Cobalt.

The Chevy Volt is a fine hybrid - expensive - and still seems out of reach of the common customer. 

This year GM released the Chevy Spark. Immediately I got all excited and thought it was an all-electric car. It turned out that it had a gasoline engine. Isn't that false advertising to name a car - Spark - and not have an electric motor in it? GM fixed that - in 2014 the Spark will have an electric motor. 

Since the gasoline powered Spark can be had at a discount for $13,000 - I thought - surely it would not cost more than a few thousand dollars to swap engines. After all - I only paid $3000 for my complete golf cart. You can imagine my surprise when the energized Spark was wearing a $33,000 price tag. Yes - the government will give you a $7500 tax credit - but should we be relying on tax breaks as a reason to buy a car? Even with that the price of $26,000 is double the price of the gasoline version.

Let's do the math. 100,000 miles in 10 years at 30 MPG at maybe $4.00 a gallon would add up to a total of $13,000 for gasoline. 

If you add the price of gasoline ($13,000) to the price of a gas powered Spark ($13,000) - you come up with $26,000. That is still $7000 less than the sticker on an electric Spark ($33,000). If you figure in the federal tax credit - you can still buy a gas Spark - buy gasoline for 10 years - and still be way ahead of the game. Don't forget - it costs money to plug the thing in.

What am I missing? Electric cars have thousands less parts. They should take less labor to assemble. They should be way easier to service. No gas tank - no transmission - no motor oil - no exhaust pipe - on and on. 

On just a dollars and sense decision - it makes no sense. Yes - electric cars are quieter - yes they do not pollute as much - if you do not include the pollution to create the electricity. Greenies love to run around thinking they are saving the planet. But one of the reasons the global economy is such a mess is because people often waste more money trying to do the politically correct thing than makes sense or cents.

FSU Soccer Plays Penn State Tonight - Winner Goes To National Championship Game

SAN DIEGO — Their Florida State soccer careers end this weekend. Nothing Tiffany McCarty, Jessica Price and Casey Short does will change that simple fact.
Deciding how it ends – whether it’s with FSU’s first national championship or not – is certainly something the trio of seniors can help decide.
They take the field tonight at Torero Stadium in a national semifinal against Penn State. A victory advances the Seminoles to Sunday’s national-title match.
But, really, the fact that McCarty, Price and Short are even playing this weekend sends a much simpler and much more meaningful message. It’s a message that FSU coach Mark Krikorian is proud to repeat.
“We talk so much about the importance of being excellent on the field and in the classroom and in the community,” Krikorian said. “And we’re looking at three young women who certainly show that. They have been wonderful students. All three of them are leaving here with their masters’ degrees.
From the Tallahassee Democrat

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Halftime Nole Girls 33 Iowa 30

It was a close see-saw game all half. Iowa is very tall and very white.

Two half time hits. First a wedding proposal at mid court. Next fencing - not the barbed wire type. Lulu had to teach tonight so I am on my own. I am sitting in the front row at half court.

Maybe 2000 here. I gave 3 extra tickets outside. Due to a snafu - we have 4 season tickets. I ordered them twice. :-)

At home after game

The Seminoles pulled away to win 86-69. They were led Canary Island native Lenore Rodriguez's 28 point performance. The Seminole are 6-0 this season with some very impressive wins against talented schools.

I Coined a New Word - Pocket Clutter - An iPhone Wallet

Women get to carry a purse. They put all their goodies in there - everything from a comb - to private personal products to a lunch for in the movies. They have a nice little hiding place that is perfectly acceptable to society. Some women will even pay $1000 for a designer purse - as long as it matches their shoes.

For men it is different. In the old days it was wallet - keys - and a long pause. Then came the pocket camera - then the cellphone. As I got older it included a pair of reading glasses. Soon I was buying shorts with those gigantic jungle pockets.

Fans Not Impressed With ACC Championship Game

The ACC football championship game is being played in Charlotte NC this Saturday. Florida State (10-2) will play Georgia Tech (6-6). The winner will wear the crown and play in the Orange Bowl for a very nice paycheck. 

It is startling to see how unpopular this game is. I judge the interest mainly by the prices that tickets are selling for on the Internet and how much the hotels are getting for the game.

Lulu wanted to go to this game for months. She booked a suite of rooms in a hotel right next to the stadium for $119. If Drew and/or Keith wanted to come to the game - there would be room for everyone. We shopped online and tickets at Stubhub were fetching under $10. Face values of the tickets hover at $100 plus.

Due to FSU's poor performance against Florida this weekend - and also several other ACC teams losing to SEC teams - our interest has waned. FSU is way out of the national championship hunt - and by looking at Craigslist Tallahassee - you see tons of people selling off their tickets. I did not look forward to the 8 hours drive north - maybe a loss - and 8 hours back home. Lulu's brother Jack even wanted to come to party with us - but after spending 11 days on the road up north for 2 games - our hearts were not in it. Lulu and I are just getting over head colds - that was also a factor.

Today we got a few emails from Jack - saying that he and Tami were still going. He was very proud of the deals he found. He got a luxury hotel within walking distance on Priceline - picked up two game tickets - and a super duper parking pass - all for under $100!  Imagine that when tickets for the SEC game between Alabama and Georgia are starting at $300+ on the Net. 

If you look at the ACC standings you will see that FSU only beat one really good team - Clemson. The other games were Wake - Maryland - Duke - Boston College.  The only other winning record team they beat was Miami 7-5.  

The ACC is a mess right now. Maryland seems to be the only winner because they are joining the Big 10. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are joining the ACC - and every is betting that Connecticut will replace Maryland. The Huskies just started playing football a few years ago.

FSU is favored but they seemed to have been favored in every game they played. They are 2-9 against the spread - that means the gambling mob expected them to do even better. 

FSU just lost a coach - Mark Stoops is going to be the new head coach at Kentucky. Tallahassee is a buzz with the rumor that Auburn wants Jimbo Fisher for $5 million. The guy wants to go to the SEC - and you can't blame him for taking the money. Quite frankly - not too many fans have much good to say about him. At least FSU will be off the hook for the long term deal they gave him. If he does leave - I hope FSU does a wide open cattle call for a new coach.

FSU Volleyball is playing in the NCAA Playoffs right here at home on Friday and Saturday. They are 27-3 and a joy to watch. We'll be there. Go Nolettes!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Warchant Calls FSU Season Miserable

After Saturday's disappointing 37-26 setback to the Gators, the Seminoles finished the regular season 2-2 against teams with winning records. The other eight games were a combination of two wins over FCS programs and six teams with a combined record of 26-45. That's hardly a season to be excited about.

The ACC is exactly what everyone feared it was and what the computers said it was. The conference capped off one of its worst ever regular seasons by suffering a clean sweep at the hands the SEC in rivalry games on Saturday. Both Wake Forest and Georgia Tech were beaten soundly as expected by Vanderbilt and Georgia, respectively. However, the Seminoles and Tigers were both favored against their in-state rivals but both fell well short.
For the year the ACC finished a pathetic 7-19 against non-conference teams from other BCS conferences. 

It's even worse when you consider how the conference fared versus good competition. After Florida State, Clemson and Georgia Tech all lost on Saturday, the ACC's mark against ranked teams fell to 0-11 on the season. That record could get even worse after the bowl season.

Happy Birthday Model A Ford

Born 85 years ago today

The Ford Model A

On this day, the Ford Motor Company announced the introduction of the Model A, the first new Ford to enter the market since the Model T was first introduced in 1908. The vastly improved Model A had elegant Lincoln-like styling on a smaller scale, and used a capable 200.5-cubic-inch four-cylinder engine that produced 40hp. With prices starting at $460, nearly 5,000,000 Model As, in several body styles and a variety of colors, rolled onto America's highways until production ended in early 1932.

They were available as a sedan - coupe - roadster - pickup truck.

43 Years Ago I Saw The Rolling Stones in Philly

Due to my habit of dumping baggage - I have very few things left from my youth. But I kept this ticket stub along with a rose petal. At the end of each gig - it was a ritual for Mick Jagger to throw a hat full of rose petals on the crowd.

1969 was a very important year for me. I turned 21 - I was able to vote for the first time - I bought my first car in my own name - I met my future Lulu and invited her to Woodstock - and I saw the Rolling Stones live. Years later - Bryan Adams sang about the "Summer of 69." Like a million others - I was sure he was writing that song for me. Two years later - I was married to my bride of 41 years.

I think the Stones were making their 3rd tour of America. Although they closed down the old Carnegie Hall on their first trip over - the trip was a dismal failure. But when they returned to England - they were treated like conquering heroes. In 1965 - Keith Richards woke up in the middle of the night and strummed a few guitars licks into a tape recorder. The next day he listened to the tape and heard lots of snoring and the opening riff of one of the most recognizable rock and roll songs of all time. I Can't Get No Satisfaction.
In 2011 - I visited Mick Jagger's boyhood home in Dartford ENGLAND. It looks like one of my boyhood homes at 113 Lombard St in Tamaqua.

M P Jagger was a cross country runner at Dartford Grammar School. The school now has a giant wing on it called the Jagger Art Centre. Mick built it.

43 years ago to the day yesterday - I drove my first new car - a 1969 VW - to the old Spectrum in Philadelphia. I had won a pair of front row tickets in a radio station contest to see the Stones . My friend Matt Welsh came along. I remember when the crowd was booing an opening act - BB King. Finally when the Stones were introduced - I rushed the stage and ended up standing right up front for the whole concert. Matt stayed back - but talk about faithful friends - he spent the whole concert with his hand held high. He wasn't cheering or anything - he had a microphone taped to his wrist with the wire running down inside his jacket to my antiquated reel to reel tape recorder. For years - we listened to a remarkably good recording of every song.

The Beatles were staged as the good boys - the Stones were the rebellious bad guys. In fact - they were all good buddies back in London and loved each other's music and the muse they played on their fans. In 1965 - Jagger was interviewed and asked how long he would be singing and prancing across the stage. He said - just a couple more years - he could not imagine singing about getting no satisfaction when he was 40.

The reviews say that Jagger was marvelous last night in London and so full of energy as he pranced across the stage singing that he could get no satisfaction.

The Rolling Stones Played London Last Night - 50th Anniversary

From The Washington Post

LONDON — The Rolling Stones made a triumphant return to the London stage on Sunday night in the first of five concerts to mark the 50th anniversary of their debut as an American-oriented blues band.

They showed no signs of wear and tear — except on their aging, heavily lined faces — as frontman Mick Jagger swaggered and strutted through a stellar two-and-a-half hour show. He looked remarkably trim and fit and was in top vocal form.

The Stones passed the half-century mark in style at the sometimes emotional gig that saw former bassist Bill Wyman and guitar master Mick Taylor join their old mates in front of a packed crowd at London’s 02 Arena.

Katherine Harris Day

Today - on November 26, 2000 - Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris signed the documents officially saying George Bush won the presidential election in Florida. Since then we had 9/11 - the Iraq War - and the economy collapse.  This can be easily ranked as one of the worst days ever for the USA.
Katherine Harris

Cruella Deville

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tomorrow Is The First Day of Deer Hunting Season in Pennsylvania - School Is Called Off

Seminole Fans Waiting For Return On Investment

A few hours before kickoff Saturday, a small invitation-only gathering took place on the Florida State practice fields.
Jimbo Fisher wasn’t in attendance, understandably. He had a huge football game to prepare for.
But the group of Florida State officials and heavy-hitting boosters in attendance certainly were there to celebrate his vision. With golden shovels and golden helmets featuring FSU’s trademark spear, they were breaking ground on a $15 million indoor practice facility — a building Fisher has lobbied for since he arrived at Florida State as an offensive coordinator almost six years ago.

Cool Idea - Electric Rental Car System - Pay As You Go


Buzzing Around Paris in Borrowed Electric Cars

MY wife and I, who live in the center of Paris, are invited to dinner in Boulogne-Billancourt, just to the southwest of the city. So I log on to Autolib’ and within a few minutes I’ve reserved a car across the street and a parking spot over in Boulogne, a couple of blocks from our destination.

NCAA Volleyball Playoff - First Two Rounds Here

First two rounds of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament are in Tallahassee. FSU plays Hofstra. click schedule to enlarge.

Take A Video Ride In The Goodyear Blimp Over Tallahassee and FSU

The Goodyear Blimp was in town this weekend for the UF/FSU football game. One lucky fan won a  ride. I have ridden in many different aircraft - the most exotic being a powered parachute. But I have never ridden in a blimp. It is one of the things I would like to do. They fly very slowly - they fly low - they are fuel efficient - and they are a perfect platform for taking pictures. When Lulu and I were on on our honeymoon in Miami in 1971 - they used to offer rides to the general public. I thought I would have plenty of chances later in life. Times flies - and now it is very difficult to get a ride.

FSU Scores In The Last Second To Make It Seem Close - 37 - 26

FSU lost to Florida. Starting quarterback EJ Manuel played his last game at Doak by running for a touchdown as the gun sounded to a 37-26 defeat. All the Noles can hope for now is a win in the ACC Championship game against a 6-6 Georgia Tech team. If we win there - the Orange Bowl  beckons against a lackluster Big East Champion. 

It was about 75 degrees as the game started. At least FSU won the Goodyear Blimp challenge - fans voted online to send the blimp to Tallahassee. A clear sky and nearly full moon saw the temperature drop to 49 degrees.

With the Seminoles having a 10-1 record this season - many people have jumped back on the bandwagon hoping the old Seminoles are back. The Gators ended those dreams tonight. The 37 - 26 score does not indicate how strongly the Noles were beaten.

64 points were score tonight - 61 of those points were scored with the wind at the teams' backs. Only the first 3 points by the Gators were against the wind - the rest of the points were score west to east - and we sat at the west goal line - so we did not get to see much of the close up action. Maybe that was good.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

FSU Girls Shine Friday - 4 Big Wins

While everyone is patiently waiting for the Seminole football team of old to rise from the grave - the FSU girls are quietly putting together a year for the ages.

Girls (when you are 64 years old - any woman under 40 is a girl) posted 4 convincing wins.

In order of importance - the soccer beat Notre Dame here Friday - 1 - 0. They now travel to play Penn State in San Diego next Friday  - the winner goes on to play for the national championship.

Girl's Cross Country finished 4th in the nation.

Yesterday we watched Girls Volleyball beat Miami 3 games to 1 - to win the ACC Championship and post a 27-3 record so far. They advance now into the NCAA Tournament. They beat Miami who was tied with them for the league lead.

Finally - Girls basketball started out the season winning each of their first 4 games by 30 or more points.

We enjoy attending girl's sports as FSU because - they appreciate you coming to see them play - admission is free or super cheap - they are students first and athletes second - and finally they are so darn good. The only girl's sport has an admission fee is basketball - and they offer senior citizen 55 and older a season pass for the cost of $2 a game which is $40 total.

Tickets $60 Each to see FSU/UF

Section 37 Row 64. Good tickets. Dependable seller. $60. In shade. 45 minutes early. Some tickets outside. Settled early. Considered buying another pair and selling these. Looking down along goal line. Lulu got our big bag of food and drinks in.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Florida At Florida State Saturday in Doak Cambpell Stadium

Some students are a throwback to when Florida State was a girls' school. Many of the FSU/FU games became instant classics. I remember an embarrassed mom cell phoning one of these girls telling her to put some clothes on.

Back in the 1990s - Florida State averaged 10 wins a season - and that was when they only played 11 games. Indeed - every year the National Championship passed through the Sunshine State. In the last 25 years - 9 National Cups went to either Florida - Florida State or Miami. People were saying that the Florida/Florida State game was the biggest rivalry in all of sports - shadowing the second best Duke/North Carolina basketball game.

It all started out back when Florida decided that Florida State in Tallahassee would be the girls' school and the University of Florida in Gainesville would be the boys' college. After World War II - both colleges went co-ed - but it took an act of the state legislature to force the Gators to play the Seminoles. Still Florida has the larger alumni donations and gets the lion's share of the state budget. Many alumni of FSU were in the "women's professions" of teaching - nursing - library science - and the arts - that generally do not produce large nest eggs for endowments.

Tomorrow the rivalry continues. The stadium is sold out. The game will be played at 3:30 on ABC. Each school has lost only one football game. In today's longer seasons - FSU already has 10 wins. Both teams are ranked in the Top 10. Each has an outside chance of playing in the National Championship game.

Remarkably - FSU seldom sells out a football game. Even when there is a sellout - many season ticket holders choose to stay home and watch the game on TV. Lulu and I are banking on that tomorrow. Face value of the ticket is $75. I have turned down good seats on the 20 yard line for $150 each. There are quite a few on Craigslist and other web pages. The game starts at 3:30 - the weather is predicted to be nice - we will hop on our scooter at 2:30 - and head to the stadium. We will get in for face value or we will come home and watch the game on HDTV.

FSU has two games left in the season. Next Saturday they play the ACC Championship game against Georgia Tech. The winner goes on to the Orange Bowl and will probably play the big East Champion. If they win them all - FSU could finish with its first 13-win season. That was a really big deal - back when you only played 11 regular season games.

Added - Sunday at 4 PM - FSU lost 37-27. We bought tickets on the goal line for $60 each. The score makes the game look closer than it was.

Florida State Wins ACC Volleyball Crown

The Seminoles are the ACC Volleyball Champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the second straight year. They avenged an earlier loss this year at Miami. Their record so far this season is 27-3 with a 17-2 mark in the league. Over 2000 people in a standing room only crowd enjoyed the match that was closer than the scores indicated. The Noles won the opener - then the hurricanes took the second game. After the break FSI went up one game on a lop-sided victory. In the 4th and final game - Miami led most of the way. The Seminoles were losing 23-20 - but tied it up at 24. for a while neither team could obtain the 2 point margin of victory. But finally as the home crowd roared - the Noles edged ahead 29-27. Both the Seminoles and the Hurricanes will move into the NCAA playoffs for the national championship. I am guessing they will probably meet up somewhere again.

Last year the Seminoles made it to the Final Four - their highest ranking ever. Lulu and I took the scooter in late. There were very few empty seats. Finally - we found a pair - right next to our neighbors - George and Joel Dawson. The came was covered on ESPN3 - free on the Internet. One can see the replay by going to the ESPN3 site. Tonight FSU Soccer hosts the girls from Notre Dame here in an NCAA Final 8 round. The winner goes to the Final 4. FSU has already advance to the Final 2 - before losing to Notre Dame. Tomorrow at 3:30 - FSU plays their arch rival UF Gators in football right here at Doak Campbell Stadium. The game is sold out - We have not bought tickets yet. The police were warning about counterfeit tickets in a newspaper report this morning. Both the Gators and the Seminoles are nationally ranked in the Top 10.

Now Mitt Is Really Unemployed

On the day after the election Mitt said - "The bad news is that I lost - the good news is that I did not have to show my tax returns."

He really said that - I heard him.

FSU Volleyball Today Plays Miami In their Final Home Game - For the ACC Championship - At 1 PM

3 of the senior players are from Eastern Europe. The 4th senior spent some time homeless living in her family's car. They will all graduate on time. Last year they made it to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. Several will play for the FSU Sand Volleyball team in the spring.

FSU has not lost at home all year. Lulu and I will be there. Admission is free.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Night of the White Gloves at the BMW Museum

Auto designers sometimes say that the people who know cars best work in car washes. The man who towels off dozens of models each day learns their shapes in his bones, not with eyes or from images on screen or page. But auto shows and museums as a rule strictly forbid touching the paint or chrome.
BMW has made an exception.
The company's museum in Munich is handing out white gloves to visitors in a special event this Friday night and letting them touch the venerable Mille Miglia 328s, Elvis-era 507s and M supercars. This is the fifth edition of the Night of the White Gloves, and it commemorates the 25th anniversary of the unveiling of the Z1 sports car.
"The Night of the White Gloves, is a unique event in the museum landscape," Ralf Rodepeter, director of the BMW Museum, said in a statement. "It offers our visitors a rare opportunity to get a feel - quite literally - for BMW's brand history, which now goes back more than 95 years."

Global Warming - No Doubt About It

The National Climatic Data Center has just reported that October was the 332nd month in a row of above-average global temperatures. 

That is 27 years.

I believe the globe is warming up - I am not sure what is causing it.

Here is an example of how geology can affect weather and climate - 

In 1815  the eruption of the volcano Tambora  on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa  caused the ''year without a summer'' in 1816  when so much ash was carried into the upper atmosphere that it blocked the sun; it snowed in Boston in June and a famine spread across parts of Europe.

Clairton Wins 39 Straight Games Tying a Pennsylvania State Record

Every morning when I read the New York Times - I enjoy looking for strange stories. This quote led me on a wild goose chase on this Thanksgiving morning.

"It seems the odds are stacked against the town. Football is a way we can persevere, ride the success of the team."
TOM MCCLOSKEY, the principal at Clairton High School, which has won 59 consecutive games, tying a Pennsylvania state record.

Clairton High School is not much different from where I spent my entire 33 year teaching career.

All across America downtowns look like this.

I lived in Pennsylvania 55 years and never heard to Clairton. It is about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh on the Monongahela River - a river flowing north to Pittsburgh lined with towns immersed in the steel industry. 

In 1978 - the movie Deer Hunter was set in Clairton. In the movie Robert De Niro was a soldier that came home from the Vietnam War as damaged goods. He returned to the "City of Prayer" that defied the Supreme Court by having public school students pray every morning. 

Robert De Niro as The Deer Hunter could have been my uncle "Wib"

At one time 25,000 people lived here surviving on the coke industry. Looking at it now might bring to mind another kind of coke. The coke we are talking about here is a fuel. You take soft coal - put it in an oven - bake it - and after a lot smelly harmful fumes - it turns to coke. Coke is to coal what charcoal is to wood. It is one of the three big items needed to make steel - - iron ore - limestone - coke.

The coke ovens along the Monongahela River.

Today most of the steel mills moved overseas and Clairton has dwindled down to 6700 people. 80% of them are white - 20% black. Of those about 20% are Italian - 10% German - 10% Irish - 10% Slovak. If they had to claim a religion - it was probably be 50% Catholic - 50% Protestant. The median household income is $25,000. It could be a carbon copy right out of Schuylkill County.

Substitute the word coal for coke above and you have a place much like where I grew up and lived. I was the local science teacher for 33 years. My kids - my wife - my sisters - and I all went to the same high school. My wife was a teacher there. Now we all live elsewhere. 

My kids were the first to leave - they went to big fancy colleges and there was nothing for them to return to. They now live in Richmond and Washington DC. We moved to Tallahassee 8 years ago when my wife became a Florida State professor. 

We will be away from family for Thanksgiving - a couple of misfits invited by friends to sit at the big table today to give thanks. Almost everybody watches some football on this day. Although I never set foot in Clairton PA - I never met a "Clairtoner" - but on this day they are all part of my family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Noles Playing North Florida

We got two nice seats for free. Lower level. Across from visitors bench. Just held up 2 fingers out front. actually got 3 but gave one away. Go Noles!

The announcer said the crowd could move down after the first 5 minutes. They wanted to look good on TV.

Later note - Noles won by 8.

Willie Nelson Coming Back to Seminole Dr

I was about 20 feet from Willie when I took this picture. Willie Nelson at The Moon on our street - coming again.
In February 2011 - we walked down the street and watched Willie Nelson sing. He sang for a solid 2 hours - a fantastic show.
Willie Nelson has been confirmed to play a concert at The Moon on January 29 - 2013.
General admission and limited reserved tickets will go on sale at noon, Thursday, November 29, 2012 at and The Moon box office, 1105 East Lafayette St., Tallahassee, Fl.
Box office phone: 850-878-6900

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 19th 1863 - Lincoln Gettysburg Speech

A side view of the Lincoln Memorial - it is much narrower on the side.

This week we visited Keith and Liz in Washington DC. They both live downtown and walk to work for two excellent jobs. They are currently shopping for a house.

About 1.5 miles south on 21st Street from their place is Lincoln Memorial. I had a beautiful quiet visit there. It is one of my favorite spots in the town. In 1957 - my Dad took me there - I was 9 years old when I just stared up - open mouthed - at his statue. I had no idea what the two speeches on the walls meant. Now they are genius to me. He was so much ahead of his time.

149 years ago - November 19, 1863 - Lincoln gave his famous address at Gettysburg. Lincoln gave this speech with a head cold - probably worse than the one I have now.

There were 36 states in the union when Lincoln was president. They are labelled around the top. First Delaware - then Pennsylvania.

Other Highlights From Our Trip to Two FSU Games - Virginia - Maryland - Washington

The Blair House - across the street from the White House. This was Harry Truman's white house. Someone tried to kill him right where I am standing.

They are setting up the parade watching stands for Obama.

Cafe Mozart - is a deli - store - restaurant - bar in Washington that is stocked with all German products. Check out the pastries.

Monday, November 19, 2012

32GB Flash Drive Smaller Than A Dime

In the computer world - memory storage is the name of the game. My very first computer was a Timex. It had 4k bytes of main memory. Next came 55k floppy disks - then Apple released the mini-floppy which held 450,000 bytes. My very first hard drive held 20MB or megabytes. Portable zip disk drives held 100 megabytes of data. Now my iMac holds 500GB or gigabytes of memory storage. Even my MacBook Air laptop holds 64GB of memory. 

1 gigabyte equals 1000 kilobytes equals 1,000,000 megabytes equals 1,000,000,000 bytes. So 1 GB equals a billion bytes of information.

I just purchased from a tiny flash drive that holds 32GB or 32 billion pieces of data. Yet the whole thing is smaller than a dime. This equals comes out close to 64 million typewritten pages of data.

They call it flash memory - it has no moving parts. It does not have to have electricity to power it to keep the data in storage. When you plug it into your computer - all of the data is available for you to search. It can also be erased or corrected - every single page of data - individually. Or the whole thing can be erased in seconds.

It is so small that when plugged into the side of my computer - only a small black plastic handle about 1/8 inch wide sticks out as a handle. It is excellent for transferring data form one computer to another - or for creating a backup of pictures or files. What can store an entire computer startup system on this tiny flash drive and use it to start the computer in an emergency. 

With all that ability - this little dime-size item is a super bargain at $23.00. Next year at this time - they will cost $12 - the next year $6 - and pretty soon they will be as disposable as a Chicklet gum. It is an excellent xmas present to your computer nut friend. Who said good things do not come in small packages?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home from 11 Day Trip North

We had a nice safe trip up north. Virginia - Washington DC - Maryland. We saw two FSU football games with our sons - also visited the grandkids. Lulu got some business done in DC. It could not have gone any better. Pictures and stories later.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Halftime in Maryland

FSU 27. Terps 0.

Harry's iPhone

Seminole won the game 41 - 14 - and are now in the ACC Championship game in 2 weeks. First - they play the Gators in Tallahassee next Saturday.

FSU 14 Maryland 0

Ten minutes into game. FSU has two touchdowns. Maryland had their first play.

Sunny day. Nice free tickets. Friend Steve had great tailgate party.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Watching Georgetown Play Liberty

Keith has some pretty cool season tickets for the Hoyas. There is a giant quad screen above the court. I find my self watching the screen more than the court. We are 8 rows directly behind the team.

Automatic Pancake Maker - in the middle of a Busy Trip

We are at a hotel in Towson MD - just had a nice breakfast on the house. This is the first time I have seen an automatic scratch pancake maker. You press a button - and in one minute - a nice - hot - large pancake rolls off the assembly line. I am not sure how it works - but it has a great result.

We are at midstream on our 11 day trip. A review - Thursday we went to the FSU game in Blacksburg. Luckily FSU won which opens the way for a possible Orange Bowl game and a big paycheck.

Then we spent 4 days at Drew's new home near Richmond. We had fun playing with the kids - and exploring his new hometown.

Tuesday we drove to Wilmington DE to visit with my sister Judy. Then we drove to this Best Western Hotel in Towson MD. Lulu got it on priceline - a nice hotel - nice deal - breakfast - wifi.

The next 3 nights will be spent at the Hotel Palomar in Washington. It is close to Keith and Liz at Dupont Circle. Lulu will be busy at meetings - but at night Keith is cooking us dinner. I will explore the nation's capital.

Saturday - Drew - Keith - Lulu - and I will be going to the FSU at Maryland football game. It looks to be a one-sided affair - Maryland is using their 4th string quarterback. Maryland has gone downhill since they fired Ralph Friegen - because he was too fat - and the top booster sells Underall clothing. He did not want people seeing Ralph sporting his clothes - a real stupid move.

FSU is the number 1 defense in the country. Maryland is the last place offense team. Look for a blood bath. I am glad the game is at noon. The tickets will be cheap - and the temp will be near 55.

Sunday - Lulu and I fly back to Tallahassee from DC National - hoping for a bump.

All of that and an automatic pancake maker.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Seminoles Escape at Blacksburg - Nearly Turn Our 11 Day Road Trip into a Disaster

Cousins Keith - Celeste Cox - Brooke Cox - Drew. The Tallahassee Conversion Van in the back. Note the hitch carrier for all the "tailgate" supplies.

Brooke Cox - Jackie Cox - Celeste Cox - and Lulu Cox Everhart at the tailgate party. Note the tent - and grills. The tent had a gas heater.

Our trip started in Tallahassee at 2 AM Thursday. Lulu awoke and changed our plane tickets to take an earlier flight. Our cab never arrived. For a moment I thought I was going to eat the $400 worth of game tickets nuzzled in a secret compartment in my wallet. So one disaster was averted. Tallahassee to Atlanta to Washington to Richmond to Roanoke to Blacksburg. From 6 AM to 6 PM - we were on the Seminole warpath.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

On the Road on the Way to See Noles Play the Hokies Tonight

At 2 am lulu woke up. She was afraid our flight to DC would be cancelled because of weather. She called Delta. They gave us an earlier flight. She called the cab company to make sure they would get us on time at 5:45. 6:00 and no cab and our plane was to leave at 6:30. So we piled our stuff in the Prius and went way too fast. They were calling our names over the loudspeaker.

We slipped on the plane. A short stop at Atlanta and we landed in Washington at 10:00.

Keith was waiting with a car and by noon we were having lunch in Richmond - 7 Everharts.

Now the 4 of us are in the car heading to Blacksburg.

We usually do not buy tickets early but this game was supposed to be special. The Hokies sell our every game. Lulu's brother Jack got us a VIP parking spot so we are set.

Jack and Tami will be there with "the van." Also Brooke and Celeste will be along for the tailgate party and game.

Game time is 7:30 on ESPN.

FSU is favored by 12 but the Noles do terrible up north in the cold. If FSU wins they will be in the playoff for the ACC championship. The winner of that game goes to the Orange Bowl

Harry's iPhone

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

NY Times Stat Guy Picks Every Single State Correctly in Election

Nate Silver - predicted every single state correctly for election

The New York Times election statistician, Nate Silver, perfectly predicted all 50 states last night for President Obama, while every single major pundit was wrong–some comically wrong. Despite being derided by TV talking heads as a liberal hack, Silver definitively proved that geeks with mathematical models were superior to the gut feelings and pseudo-statistics of so-called political experts. The big question is, will the overwhelming success of statistical models make pundit forecasting obsolete, or will producers stubbornly keep them on the air?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Noles Beat St Leo's 65-56

Michael Ojo - this 19 year old freshman is 7 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 290 pounds. He has a wingspan of 7 feet 8 inches. He is from Nigeria.

Michael has very little experience playing basketball.

St Leo's is a small Div 2 school of 1500 kids in Tampa. Last week they beat Miami - and they pulled within 3 of FSU with 4 minutes to go last night. The Noles prevailed 65 - 56.

Lulu and I went for our walk around the lake at Southwood - then had a supper out. We went right to the arena where tickets were festival style because it was a benefit game for Audrey Boyd a former player who was paralyzed. The crowd was small but the action was great - we sat right behind the scorer's table.

FSU is stocked with talent led by All-American Michael Snaer.

Okaro White

One to watch is Okaro White. This senior has improved so much since last year - one might say he made a deal with the devil at the crossroads. At fan night he won both the slam dunk contest and the three point event. Last night he scored 16.

The pundits select FSU to finish 5th in the ACC. Last year they won the league championship - although they lost a ton of talent. The team has 6 scholarship freshman.

FSU just bought the Civic Center from the city. It is a nice place to see a game. We expect to see some improvement to the arena. The arena is 2 miles from our door. We walked to the first game from home - and back.

Monday, November 05, 2012


This van is for sale in Georgia.

Monday Morning - Termite Day

Full perimeter with Premise.

Florida Pest Control services our house once a year.

One of the problems of living in Florida is termites. Up North I seldom heard of someone having their home treated for termites. In Florida - it is almost a requirement unless you feel lucky.

We bought our present house in 2004. We hired Florida Pest Control simply because the previous owner used them. Since this is a wooden siding home - we stayed with FPC because the house was under warranty with them. They did a full treatment then. Since then every year - they come by for an inspection and a partial touch up.

Today - they did a full perimeter treatment with Premise. The service man said that Premise is supposed to last 16 years - so they do a new full treatment every 8 years. So this is our second full treatment. Come to think of it - I could cancel the service because it is good for 16 years  :-)

It turns out that the warranty is only for $1000 coverage.

Sandy Versus Katrina

New Orleans Convention Center

As Sandy barreled toward New Jersey, there were hopeful mutters on the right to the effect that it might become President Obama’s Katrina, with voters blaming him for the damage, and that this might matter on Tuesday. Sorry, guys: polls show overwhelming approval for Mr. Obama’s handling of the storm, and a significant rise in his overall favorability ratings.

Caterham Announced Today - They Are Building An Exciting New Sportscar

You may re-call that last summer I visited the town of Caterham - south of London - the home of the Caterham sports car. They build a super light car with performance that will beat a Chevrolet Corvette on a road course. The car is assembled at the factory in Dartford east of London. They are most commonly powered by a 4 cylinder Ford engine. They can be purchased in all levels of tune - up to 280 HP in the 1100 pound car - that is a ratio of less than 4 pounds per horsepower.

Here is a picture I took at the Caterham Headquarters in Caterham - England

Here is the news release that I received this morning. It appears they are going to design a completely new car - I am hoping you will be able to import it into the USA through normal channels.

5 November 2012

Joint Venture with Renault kick‐starts expansion plans for the niche brand
Caterham DNA of “accessible fun” to be taken to new economic growth markets
Project brings together Caterham F1 Team, Caterham Composites and Caterham Technology & Innovation UK‐built iconic Seven to remain core product for Caterham Cars.