Friday, May 30, 2008

Fighters Make Weight (sort of) For EliteXC CBS

Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (235.5) vs. James Thompson (257)
Robbie Lawler (184.5) vs. Scott Smith (184.5)

Gina Carano (144.5) vs. Kaitlin Young (140.5)
Gina did not make the contracted weight of 140lbs. She will be fined 12% of her purse.

Gina Carano is a fatty.

Katlin looking awesome, and on weight!!

Jon Murphy (260.5) vs. Brett Rogers (263.5)
Phil Baroni (185) vs. Joey Villasenor (184.5)
Carlton Haselrig (263) vs. Carlos Moreno (261)
Jim Bova (160.5) vs. Chris Liguori (161)
Matt Makowski (171) vs. Nick Serra (167)
Wilson Reis (140.5) vs. Justin Robbins (140.5)
James Jones (154.5) vs. Calvin Kattar (155.5)
Zach Makovsky (135) vs. Andre Soares (134)
Mike Groves (154) vs. Joe Sampieri (155)

Previously Uncontacted Tribe Photographed

Holy freaking cow!! There are actually uncontacted tribes in the Amazon. I am fascinated by this. I never expected that in 2008 there would be tribes in the Amazon that have never had contact with the outside world...

Have they just never felt the need to take a long walk? Can they take a long walk? Are they so isolated that they can not get to a town?

I know very little about this part of the world, I know Brazil is very big, but I thought we cut down all of the rain forest in the '80s. No? That didn't happen? What about the whales, we killed all of those off right?

It seems so fantastic. One side of me says just leave them alone and let's study them from afar. Another side of me wants to march right up to them and talk to them. Another side of me wants to drop them a crap ton of IPods...

I like the communal living arrangements.

YEAH!!! Shoot that helicopter down, brother!!! These are my kind of people!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Out Of My Head Vile Song!!!

Heat of the Moment - Asia

We are not in '82 any more!!!

Incidence do not arise from circumstance!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

EliteXC on CBS!

This week is perhaps the biggest week ever in MMA history. First, we have the historic first ever network TV prime time MMA card. It should have been the UFC, but Dana White messed it up.
Then on June 1 we have WEC on Versus, Faber and Pulver top the card. Two huge events.

The EliteXC card is actually the worst of the two, talent wise. Many UFC rejects and has beens fill the card, but it should be entertaining to say the least.
I have to admit that I know next to nothing about most of the fighters, so my picks should be... Well, about as accurate as they always are...

Card and My picks:

Joe Sampieri vs Mike Groves (Lightweight)
Joe has had two fights, both in the troubled IFL... He lost both one by decision and the other by RNC. Joe is a Muay Thai guy, who seems to have very little ground skill.

Make Groves also has had two fights, and, ironically enough, lost both by decision and RNC. Remind you of anybody? I have found nothing on Mike... So his style is unknown to me.

Ummm... Wow. Two guys with records of 0-2 fighting on the biggest card in MMA history. Awesome. I know more about Joe, and he fought in the bigger promotion, so Joe by KO first round.

Zach Makovsky vs Andre Soares (Bantamweight)
Zach is from the East coast and has a record of 3-1, all three of his wins are by decision...

Andre fights out of ATT and has a record of 5-1, all but one of his wins come by submission. He is a Marcus Aurelio BJJ Black Belt.

Andre should not have much trouble with Zach. Andre by RNC first round.

James Jones vs Calvin Kattar (Lightweight)
James has fought in a host of middle level events, BodogFight, Ring of Combat, and once in the Showtime presented, EliteXC promoted, ShoXC. He has amassed a decent record of 8-7, winning, and loosing, by decision or submission. He trains out of Ground Control Academy Baltimore.

Calvin Kattar is 1-0 beating the 5-7 Bob Pupa by KO in 30 seconds. Not much time to really determine a style...

James has much more experience, especially the important experience of being in front of a lot of fans. James by some sort of choke first round.

Justin Robbins vs Wilson Reis (Featherweight)
Justin lost his last fight to Antonio Banuelos in the WEC. It seems odd that Zuffa would drop him after just one fight, but that is what appears to have happened. Justin has a good record of 10-3-1.

Wilson won his last fight at ShoXC by choke over Zach Makovsky. Wilson trains at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United in Philly, and was just promoted to Black Belt after winning the 2004 Mundal Championships.

Interesting fight... We have the accomplished BJJ Black Belt vs the experienced cage fighter. I think that experience will win out here, Justin by KO first round.

Nick Serra vs Matt Makowski (Welterweight)
Nick Serra is Matt Serra's brother, and, not surprisingly, is a BJJ fighter out of Renzo Gracie's school. Nick has been at this a while, having his first fight in 1999. He has been relatively inactive, though, only fighting about once a year to amass a record of 4-2. He has fought in the UFC, making his only appearance at the Chuck Liddell/Vitor Belfort headlined 37.5.

Matt won his last fight at ShoXC by RNC. Matt trains with Wilson Reis, and his BJJ training shows, all but one if his wins in his 5-0 record come by submission.

BJJ guy vs BJJ guy. I wonder if the fight will be settled on the ground? I have never been a big fan of the Serra's BJJ, but they certainly have a better pedigree than most... I say Matt by decision.

Chris Liguori vs Jim Bova (Middleweight? Welterweight? Liguori fights at 185, Bova fights at 160)
Chris knocks people out, or he gets submitted.

Jim seems to be a submission guy. He is training out of Anthracite Combat Club, and has a record of 10-1.

Chris is so much bigger than Jim. Jim normally fights as a lightweight, Chris normally fights at middleweight. That is a ton of weight to give up/cut. I don't know who is doing what yet... I still say that the heavier guy wins. Chris by KO second round.

Carlton Haselrig vs Carlos Moreno (Heavyweight)
Carlton (not the guy from Fresh Prince) is 1-0, and fighting on the card that will have perhaps the biggest audience ever... nice.

Carlos is 7-2, and knocks most people out.

Easy one. Carlos wins by KO first round.

Phil Baroni vs Joey Villasenor (Middleweight)
Phil likes to hit people hard. He gasses out if the fight goes more than 5 minutes.

Joey also likes to hit people hard. He rarely gasses out.

I think that Joey gets caught here. Joey does not do a good job of defence and I think that that costs him. Phil by first round KO.

Brett Rogers vs Jon Murphy (Heavyweight)

Gina Carano vs Kaitlin Young (Chick fight Featherweight?)
Gina is hot. She has some skill, but mostly she is better at cutting weight than the other girls.

Kaitlin is a kickboxer with limited ground skill.

I look at this fight as a striker with some ground skill fighting a striker with no ground skill. Usually the one with the best ground wins. One of the issues here though is Gina has been busy with American Gladiators, and has not done the proper training for this fight. Will she make weight? Will she be in good enough shape if the fight goes in to the later rounds? I think that this ends relatively quickly, because it has to. Either Gina gets knocked out later on because of fatigue, or Gina gets the sub. Gina by armbar first round.

Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith (Middleweight)
Robbie has seen his fortunes rise lately, beating some very tough opposition in his last 4 fights. He first knocked out the heavy handed Joey Villasenor, then he knocked out the submission wizard Eduardo Pamplona, THEN he knocked out Frank Trigg, finally he KOed Murilo "Ninja" Rua to win the belt. He is on a tear!

Scott Smith was cut from the UFC after losing by RNC to Ed Herman. Before his stint in the UFC, Scott did very well in the WEC, beating several quality opponents. Scott is a striker with OK ground skill, but not a lot of submissions, other than the occasional RNC.

I think that at this time, Robbie is on a different level than Scott. Robbie by KO first round.

Kevin Ferguson vs James Thompson (Heavyweight)
Kevin Ferguson or "Kimbo Slice" if you like his Internet name, is a beast of a man training with Bas Rutten. Kevin has good boxing and very solid power, but is untested in the ways of MMA. We don't know about his ground game. We don't know about his cardio. We don't know if he can keep up with a good kickboxer. We know virtually nothing about him.

James Thopson is a relatively accomplished, if not predictable, MMA fighter. He has wins over such luminaries as Don Frye, Giant Silva, Yoshida, and the guy who left Sumo for MMA, Henry Miller...

I would like to say that James will play this smart and trade a few jabs with Kevin, then shoot and test Kevin on the ground, but that will not happen... James is going to do what James does... He is going to charge Kevin, throwing bombs the whole way. Kevin will stun him with a few good jabs, then put "The Colusus" away with big right hands. Kevin by KO early first round.

UFC 84 Ill Will Recap

Shane Carwin def Christian Wellisch KO (Punch) 0:44 rnd 1
My Pick: Wellisch by KO first round
Carwain has a BIG right hand. He nearly took Christian's jaw off.

Dong Hyun Kim def Jason Tan TKO (Elbows) 0:25 rnd 3
My Pick: Kim by submission, armbar first round
Interesting... Kim might just have a G&P game.

Yoshiyuki Yoshida def Jon Koppenhaver Submission (Anaconda Choke) 0:56 rnd 1
My Pick: Yoshida by RNC second round
It wasn't a RNC and it didn't come in the second round, but it was a choke ending none the less. Yoshida looked very good locking on the textbook Anaconda and choking Jon completely out. Not very surprising, but impressive none the less.

Rich Clementi def Terry Etim Decision
My Pick: Clementi by decision

Rameau Sokoudjou def Kazuhiro Nakamura TKO (Leg Injury) 5:00 rnd 1
My Pick: Sokoudjou by KO first round
Sokoudjou landed a big punch at the very end of the first that collapsed Nakamura. The fall injured his right leg somewhere. He was unable to continue.

Rousimar Palhares def Ivan Salaverry Submission (Armbar) 2:36 rnd 1
My Pick: Ivan by KO second round
Honestly, I wanted Ivan to win this fight. I thought that he might be able to stay away from the takedown and do some damage. It was not to be. Rousimar shot in and hit an awesome single leg. He took Ivan's back, and after a short struggle there transitioned in to one of the best, deepest, and fastest armbars from the back I have ever seen. Palhares is a force at Middleweight.

Thiago Silva def Antonio Mendes Submission (Punches) 2:24 rnd 1
My Pick: Silva KO from the mount first round.
Perfection yet again!!
Silva is the real deal, and I can not wait until he fights some real competition there. Maybe a Silva vs Silva soon??

Lyoto Machida def Tito Ortiz Decision
My Pick: Tito by decision.
Tito had absolutely no answer to Machida's style. Despite locking on what looked to be a tight triangle choke right at the end of the fight, Tito did nothing to win. Machida retires Tito, in a fight that put everyone to sleep.

Goran Reljic def Wilson Gouveia TKO (Punches) 3:15 rnd 2
My Pick: Wilson by KO first round
Wilson nearly had it at the beginning of the second, but Goran showed real heart in recovering then landing good punches to get the knockdown, then good finishing instinct to put Wilson out.

Wanderlei Silva def Keith Jardine KO (Punches) 0:36 rnd 1
My Pick: Jardine retires Silva with a decision
Oh man was I wrong. The Silva of old was back in force!! After getting briefly rocked by a looping Jardine right hand, Silva dropped some of his famous hooks on to Jardine to put him completely asleep... Stiff as a board asleep.

B.J. Penn def Sean Sherk TKO (Knee and Punches) 5:00 rnd 3
My Pick: Sherk by decision
BJ beat the holly hell out of Sherk. End of story.

I do horribly in the main card, but quite well in the under card getting me a 5 of 11, with three perfect calls.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fighters Make Weight for UFC 84

Everybody made weight for this UFC. This was one of the strangest weigh ins I have ever seen... First, Nakamura walked on to the scale in a Yukata, a summer Kimono, and... a hat... Not just any hat, but a traditional Samurai traveling hat. A Kasa. Sort of like this:

It made him look very strange.

As my buddy Ivan Salaverry stripped down to his bikini Jockey shorts some cat calls and cheers broke out. Ivan promptly saluted the crowd in his usual way... Blowing kisses. The crowd responded with huge applause.

Next Wilson Gouveia and Goran Reljic were to weigh in. Both made weight, then during the pose off, stare down whatever it is called, Goran Reljic actually headbutted Wilson Gouveia. Headbutted him!! Not a bad headbutt but touched his head to Wilson's and pushed. To Gouveia's credit and professionalism, he only lifted his hands to say "What was that about?" I honestly hope Wilson smashes Goran in to bits.

Speaking of classless, Tito Ortiz came on strange, and famous for his T-Shirts, had revealed his latest one... A black T-Shirt with large white letters that said "Dana is my bitch." Very nice Tito.

As Sean Sherk came to the stage, the crowd went nuts. Booing. They hated him. Other reports has the crowd chanting "Ass Hole." I did not hear that.
BJ was cheered like, I don't know... Jesus? No more popular... Elvis? No more popular... Obama. Yeah. Cheered like he was Obama. Some women might have even fainted.

Official Weights:
B.J. Penn (155) vs. Sean Sherk (155)
Wanderlei Silva (205) vs. Keith Jardine (205)
Tito Ortiz (205) vs. Lyoto Machida (203)
Thiago Silva (205) vs. Antonio Mendes (203)
Wilson Gouveia (205) vs. Goran Reljic (205)
Ivan Salaverry (185) vs. Rousimar Palhares (185)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (204) vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura (206)
Rich Clementi (155) vs. Terry Etim (155)
Jon Koppenhaver (170) vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (170)
Jason Tan (170) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (171)
Christian Wellisch (230) vs. Shane Carwin (252)

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Clubs!

My wonderful Ninja wife has allowed me to purchase some new golf clubs. She even went so far as to come with me to buy them. Wife = Awesome!!

After hitting several brands, it became obvious which clubs best suited my game...

The Adams Golf A30S:

My set has steel shafts, my wonderful wife had me hit both steel and graphite sets to make sure that we had the best set for me.
Apparently, the graphite shafts help out by giving greater distance with slower club head speed but you sacrifice accuracy. These shafts help out people with a slow swing, like seniors.
I was glad that the steel worked best for me, because they cost about $150 less than the graphite.

This is my first attempt at buying a golf game, and I think that won't be my last...

I have a nice golf weekend planed with the new sticks, I hope to be golfing 18 on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, though it looks like my Saturday and Monday games are in trouble. My golf partner, and host, for those days may be ditching the games for some family obligations.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

UFC 84 Ill Will

The UFC puts together a show that features the Light Heavyweight division, capping off with the Lightweight championship. Wait... What?? We watch the big guys fight then two little guys match up? I will never understand the UFC...

Here we go Card and My Picks:

Christian Wellisch Vs. Shane Carwin (Heavyweight)
Wellisch was one of the first guys to build the short lived mythology of Cheick Kongo's MMA career loosing by KO early in the first round. Since then Christian has done well in the UFC winning his last two fights one by decision over Anthony Perosh and the other by heel hook over Scott Junk. Christian fights out of AKA, so he has been in good hands for his training.
Carwin is new to the UFC, but sports an 8-0 record outside the Octagon, his latest a KO win over UFC vet Sherman "The Tank" Pendergarst.
Wellisch is now an old hand at the UFC and most of Carwin's wins at small shows come from guys with nonexistent or 0-5 records. This should be a rude awakening for Carwin. Wellisch by KO first round.

Jason Tan Vs. Dong Hyun Kim (Welterweight)
Jason Tan is a 1-2 fighter who has had one fight in the UFC, back in 07. He lost via KO to Marcus Davis.
Kim is the second Korean fighter to ever walk in to the UFC. Who was the first? Come on... You know this... Think life sized cross. JOE SON was first!! Jesus loves him more than you 'cause he carries a life sized cross in to the ring. Anyway, Kim trains at the outstanding Wajyutsu Keisyukai gym in Japan. He trains with UFC fighter Yushin Okami, and other guys like Carol Uno, and the hated "My skin was dry that is why I greased up to fight Sakuraba" Akiyama.
Kim is 3-1, with only one fight not going the distance... That sucks.
Obviously the UFC is throwing Kim a cupcake. Tan no more deserves to be in the UFC than Butterbean after hitting the Chinese Buffet. The UFC knows that MMA has a HUGE following in Korea, and hope to see favorable PPV numbers there. With a Kim win, that is sure to happen. Kim by submission, armbar first round.

Jon Koppenhaver Vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (Welterweight)
War Machine from TUF is in his first UFC PPV after knocking out Jared Rollins in December. Jon likes to throw bombs... That is his game.
Yoshida is from the Shooto and GCM orgs in Japan. GCM, unlike Shooto uses a cage so, Yoshida should not have the typical issues that former ring fighters typically do when coming in to the UFC. Yoshida is 7-2, but has not really fought anybody we know yet.
Yoshida is a guy known for his KO power, but can work on the ground... you have to if you fight in Japan. Jon is known for heavy hands and big heart. I think this one goes to the more skilled guy. Yoshida by RNC second round.

Rich Clementi Vs. Terry Etim (Lightweight)
Clementi just barely beat Sam Stout in his last fight in the UFC, but showed that he could stand up with the heavy strikers. This is a new Rich Clementi that we are seeing now a days!
Terry Etim lost to Gleison Tibau his last time in the UFC. Etim is known as a ground guy, he has won 10 fights, and 9 of them were by submission. Nice record.
Terry is used to submitting guys with limited skills in England. Clementi is used to submitting guys in the biggest fight promotion in the world. Clementi certainly has the experience edge and the opponent edge. Clementi by decision.

Rameau Sokoudjou Vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura (Light Heavyweight)
Sokoudjou is another PRIDE import with heavy heavy heavy hands. Ryoto Machida managed to expose his weak ground game by easily submitting the South African via an arm triangle choke. Sokoudjou works out with Team Quest.
Nakamura also lost to Ryoto Machida in his first UFC fight out of PRIDE. He then promptly tested positive for Pot. Nakamura is a Judo guy with good takedowns, but a very slow ground game.
This should end very quickly. Sokoudjou by KO first round.

Ivan Salaverry Vs. Rousimar Palhares (Middleweight)
Ivan got slammed and lost his last fight to Terry Martin nearly a year ago. He has been idle since then, but training guys like Mo' Smith to fight in the IFL. Ivan is primarily a ground guy with good stand up, and very smart situational awareness.
Palhares makes his debut in the UFC. Palhares fights out of BTT and has won all but one of his fights by submission. Toquinho has very strong takedowns, but is very tentative in the stand up game. He likes leg locks, and likes breaking the knees of people he gets in to leg locks... This will be his first fight out of Brazil.
This is a tough fight. Both guys are very good on the ground, but I think that Palhares will want to go there more than Ivan will. Hopefully Ivan has been working on his takedown defense, because Toquinho has a very strong shot. The clinch is where Toquinho seems to do his best work, often going for rolling and sliding knee bars and heel hooks. I think that Ivan will be able to pin Toquinho up against the fence and stay just out of clinch range. Ivan by KO second round.

Thiago Silva Vs. Antonio Mendes (Light Heavyweight)
Thiago Silva is doing well in the UFC going 3-0 beating Houston Alexander, Tomas Drwal, and James Irvin all by KO. Silva is a BJJ black belt, but prefers to end things with his heavy hands. Over all Silva is 13-0.
Mendes makes his UFC debut with a record of 14-2. He fights out of *cough* Europe Top Team *cough*.
This should be a cake walk for Silva. Mendes really has a lot stacked against him, first fight in the UFC, and fighting against a guy on a 13 fight win streak. Silva KO from the mount first round.

Tito Ortiz Vs. Lyoto Machida (Light Heavyweight)
We know who Tito is. He drew Rashad Evans his last fight out, and didn't show to fight aginst Dana White. His style is slam pound pound pound.
Machida is on a 4 fight win streak in the UFC, most recently beating Sokoudjou by arm triangle. Machida fights with a very slow calculating style.
This fight is a tough one to call. On the one hand you have the positionaly superior Machida. The guy makes no mistakes. Opposite him is a guy who makes his living by aggressively taking you down and pounding on you.
Machida really has the advantage standing up. Tito's stand up really is not that good, he mainly uses it to setup the big takedown.
I do think that one way or another this fight goes to the ground. From there this fight really depends on who gets on top. If Tito gets on top he will win the round. If Tito is swept or put on his back, Machida wins the round. I don't see Machida or Tito getting a submission from the bottom. I think that Tito has the most experience in getting people on their back, and I don't think that Machida will be able to sweep him. Tito by decision.

Wilson Gouveia Vs. Goran Reljic (Light Heavyweight)
Wilson Gouveia is on a hot streak winning his last four fights in the UFC, against strong opposition. Wilson is from ATT and a BJJ Black Belt so you can be sure that he wants the fight on the ground.
Goran Reljic is a fighter out of London's Rodger Gracie Academy. He is a purple belt there. He is 5-0 with 4 by sub and one by KO.
This should be a relatively easy fight for Wilson. Wilson has good stand up, and he works with the best team in the USA. Wilson by KO first round.

Wanderlei Silva Vs. Keith Jardine (Light Heavyweight)
Silva has hit a rough patch in his career. He has not won a fight since knocking out TK way back in July of 2006. The Silva of the UFC is not the same Silva as PRIDE, and the aggressive homicidal maniac that we saw in Japan has not shown his face for some time. Silva's old style was to come right at you and pound you in to dust. His new style seems to be to pot shot you, back up and do nothing.
Jardine is riding high after winning the biggest fight of his career, beating Chuck Liddel. Lately Jardine's style has been one of the old school Muay Thai fighter. Brutal leg and body kicks with pin point punches. He could not miss with his kicks in the Liddel fight, and all indications are that he would continue to do the same.
Silva is up against a wall here... If he wins, his contract will be renewed and his career goes on. If he looses he is done. Not just in the UFC, but in any big name promotion. He needs this bad. Jardine is already stoked after beating a legend, a win over Silva may just earn him a shot at Rampage. On paper the fight looks to be a stand up battle, but Jardine has decent wrestling and an OK ground game. Silva's ground game is largely untested, but he does have a BJJ black belt. I think that we will get more of the same from Jardine. Jardine retires Silva with a decision.

Lightweight Title Bout
BJ Penn Vs. Sean Sherk
Penn is a crazy flexible freak, submission wizard, with heavy hands, who is damn near unbeatable when he is in shape.
Sean Sherk is a cardo machine with some of the best wrestling in MMA. He has never been submitted in his career.
Wow. Tough fight. On the one hand you have BJ Penn who can submit anybody when he is in shape and focused. On the other hand you have Sean Sherk who is seemingly immune to submissions. The way you beat Sherk is you sprawl and pot shot. The way you beat Penn is to stay away from his submissions, get him in to the later rounds where he gasses out, or just gives up. I don't think that Penn has it in him to sprawl and pot shot Sherk. I think that he will allow Sherk to take him down and then work from his guard, ala his last fight with Matt Hughes and GSP. Penn is always dangerous, but I don't think that he can outlast Sean Sherk. Sherk by decision.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Kind of Want These

They are from Vibram. I think they are funky, but I think that I could golf in them. I like going bare foot everywhere, and these really would allow me to do so...

I would like to try them out, but $80 is a little steep to pay for something so silly.

Vibram FiveFingers

Chad Looses...

Chad put on a good fight and lost a razor thin Split Decision to Brandon Wolff. Super razor thin. Two judges said 48-47 Wolff other judge said 48-47 Reiner.

Tough loss for Chad. The cut that I was worried about opened up in the first round. The good news is that they got the bleeding stopped in a reasonable fashion and Chad was able to fight the entire 5 round duration.

Good work Chad! See you in the gym!

Obama Finaly Says Something Telling

Yesterday the man who will be the Democrat's nominee, and quite possibly the next President of the United States said:
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on
72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going
to say OK."

Excuse me??? Who gives a flying fig what other countries say about how I, an American Citizen, keep my house???? Since when do I have to get permission to turn on my air conditioner?

This statement by Mr. Obama tells us much. First it tells us that Mr. Obama does not believe in private property or the capitalist system. If I have the money to keep my house at 72 degrees and to fill the tank in my SUV, a person who believes that my property is my business would say... nothing. That is what I choose to do with my money. The capitalist would try to find some way to provide me with gas or with energy so that they may profit from my life style choices.

Second, and most importantly, Mr. Obama, very likely the next President of the United States, does not believe in the sovereignty of the United States of America. If he allows other countries to dictate what the citizens of the U.S. do, he essentially, says that the Constitution is not the supreme law of the land. If the Constitution is not the supreme law of the land, then the United States of America is nothing more than a region controlled by some other force.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Archer Landing Practice

I took the Archer out today to practice on my landings. I consider myself a rather good lander of airplanes, and it really bugged me that I have not been landing like I know I can.

Pilots like to practice. Practice is fun. We are not sure why we are practicing, but we know we need the practice. Landing is one of those things that Pilots like to practice. We have special names and clearances for it.

There is the most common, the Touch-and-Go. This is where you land the airplane, keep your speed up, pull your flaps back in, give full throttle and your are off the ground in mere moments. These are good if all you want to do is practice the landing pattern, radio procedures, and the flair. What's the flair? I explained that before. Go here
Next we have Round-the-Patches. These involve landing getting off of the runway taxiing back to the start point and taking off again. You do these if, first, you don't have enough runway to safely do a touch and go, or if you want to practice slowing the airplane down enough to exit the runway. Sounds easier than it is. We do these mainly to prepare us for Pancake Breakfast fly-ins. During your typical Pancake Breakfast fly-in you have a whole bunch of traffic landing at an uncontrolled (no tower) airport. You are very likely not the only one in the pattern, and probably not the only one on final as you come in for landing. Pilots like pamcakes you see... So to avoid an accident and to allow everybody to land quickly, you need to exit the runway as soon as it is safe. So we practice landing, then slowing down correctly to get off the runway in time.
Lastly you have the Full-Stop. This is where you land the airplane, get off the runway, taxi to the ramp, then bring the airplane to a full stop. You then let off the breaks, taxi to the runway and take off. Honestly, we only do these when we know we will be flying at night with passengers and we have not made three landings to a full stop with in the last three months, the federal requirement for landing at night with passengers. Otherwise it just wastes fuel.

I was doing the "Round-the-Patch" style practice. I can land the Archer just fine. I have trouble slowing it down and getting it off the runway. Somewhere I have developed a nasty habit of bringing my nose down too early and not bleeding off enough speed. This makes me unstable on the ground. I also have been cutting my landing patterns very short and not giving myself enough room to loose altitude. That forces me, on final, to come in very steep and too fast exacerbating the former issue.

Landing Pattern

So today I worked on nice big patterns and keeping my nose high. The larger pattern made all the difference in the world. I had plenty of time to loose altitude and was able to keep my speed exactly where I wanted it. Lots of room means no rush and landings are so much better when you are not rushed.
My first landing I did not do a very good job of keeping my nose up and I used up most of the runway in trying to slow down. Then it hit me. I realized that my nose issue is mainly due to the elevator trim being set for a nose down position.
The Elevator Trim is a little flap of metal built in to the elevator to aid in positioning elevator. Think of it kind of like cruise control for nose pitch.

Elevator Trim

Anyway, if your trim is set for a down position your nose will tend to go down. In the flair and in landing you want your trim neutral or up. The trim is controlled by a wheel in the cockpit. On my next landing I anticipated the need of the differing trim position and trimmed up towards the end of my final leg. Success! I landed wonderfully. My next 3 landings were all pretty good. I am not reaching the turn off where I need to, but I don't use up all of the runway, either. Good enough until next time.

My Friend Fights on Friday

In Hawaii.

Chad left MAMA to work out with various people around the country. I wish him well, and hope that he makes it back someday... Chad is one of those guys who trains with huge intensity, and brings up the level of the guys around him. He is that way now, I should say. He was a bit of a spaz when I first met him. He is always fun to train with and to talk to, so I guess I just miss the guy.

I am kind of concerned about him, though. He had a tough fight in England on 4/19 against Dan Hardy. Dan knocked Chad out in the second round. It was a reasonably bad KO, and I hope that Chad has had time to heal. Fighting too quickly after a KO is not good. In order to prepare for this fight Chad would have had to get back in to training, meaning hard sparring, as soon as he got back from the UK.
You can seen in this picture that Chad was cut over his left eye in the Hardy fight.

You can also see the remnants of that cut in this shot taken at the X-1 press conference yesterday.

That cut is in a bad place, and does not seem healed to me. The good news is that the guy Chad is fighting, Brandon Wolf, comes from a gym that is mostly known for its ground game. Hopefully Brandon will fight like team mate Anthony Torres of TUF fame, and want to get this fight to the ground as soon as he can.
Chad is at home on the ground, will absorb less punishment, and can protect his cut.

Good luck Chad!!


I shot the best game ever last night! I could not believe it. It was the first time I really held my game together on a large course.
I played the back 9 of The Knolls. Lots of hills, lots of water.
Putting remains the weakest part of my game, but my goal is just to keep up with everybody and not slow play, so I didn't really mind it.

Lots of fun, golf. It is a game where technique counts for everything, and strength counts for next to nothing. I was, by far, the most fit guy in my foursome. I was the strongest, and the most explosive. At nearly any other sport, especially the combat sports I practice, I would have destroyed all three of my opponents. In the game of golf... the most unauthentic, out of shape guy, with PGA swing technique, spanked me solidly by 10 strokes.

Maybe I need better clubs...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Why Didn't I Think of This???

Another golden opportunity down the drain...

I could have been rich!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Crazy Costs Money

Crazy costs $193 BILLION a year!!!

THURSDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Serious mental illness costs Americans at least $193 billion a year in lost earnings alone, a new report shows.


The study broadly defines mood and anxiety disorders that greatly limit a person's ability to function for at least 30 days a year, including instances of any condition linked to suicidal behaviors or frequent violent acts, as serious mental illness (SMI).

"Lost earning potential, costs associated with treating coexisting conditions, Social Security payments, homelessness and incarceration are just some of the indirect costs associated with mental illnesses that have been difficult to quantify," Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said in a prepared statement. "This study shows us that just one source of these indirect costs is staggeringly high."

Insel's agency funded the study. The results were published in the May issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The researchers analyzed 2002 data collected from a nationally representative study of almost 5,000 Americans, aged 18 to 64, to determine earnings lost in the year prior to the survey. They found that respondents with SMI reported receiving about 40 percent less in earnings than those without serious mental disorders, who earned an average $38,852.

Researchers arrived at the $193.2 billion figure by extrapolating these results to the general population. They figured most of this comes from the lessened amount of income people with SMI were likely to earn, while the rest of the loss comes from the increased odds that their mental state would prevent them from having any earnings at all.

"The results of this study confirm the belief that mental disorders contribute to enormous losses of human productivity," lead researcher Ronald C. Kessler, of Harvard University, said in a prepared statement. "Yet this estimate is probably conservative, because the [survey used] did not assess people in hospitals or prisons, and included very few participants with autism, schizophrenia or other chronic illnesses that are known to greatly affect a person's ability to work. The actual costs are probably higher that what we have estimated."


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Greatest Doughnut Ever Created

Bacon Maple Bars. I do believe that I would kill someone for one of these...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Man Makes Beer Can Casket

SOUTH CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) - Bill Bramanti will love Pabst Blue Ribbon eternally, and he's got the custom-made beer-can casket to prove it. "I actually fit, because I got in here," said Bramanti of South Chicago Heights.

The 67-year-old Glenwood village administrator doesn't plan on needing it anytime soon, though.

He threw a party Saturday for friends and filled his silver coffin — designed in Pabst's colors of red, white and blue — with ice and his favorite brew.

"Why put such a great novelty piece up on a shelf in storage when you could use it only the way Bill Bramanti would use it?" said Bramanti's daughter, Cathy Bramanti, 42.

Bramanti ordered the casket from Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home in Chicago Heights, and Scott Sign Co. of Chicago Heights designed the beer can.

Why do these guys always have very bad beer as the can they want to be buried in? Pabst???? That is the beer you buy when you cant get the plain label beer. You know, the kind that just has BEER written on it in black letters.

I kind of want to take this guy out to Goose Island and get him some good stuff... I wonder what he will do with the Pabst coffin then.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


After getting checked out in the Piper Archer II a couple of weeks ago it was time to hop back in the cockpit and take a little flight. I was scheduled to take a flight to Atlantic a week ago, but now, after I did my flight today, I am glad that we had to cancel. The Archer II is still a new plane to me. The way it flies, glides, cruses and turns are all just a bit different from the Cessnas that I have been flying that it puts me just a bit on edge.
My biggest problem was the cockpit itself... I knew it was going to be a difficult flight when I had trouble finding the gas tank switch.
I set up the rest of my flight instruments, and I thought that I set the GPS to point to Scribner airport, KSCB. More on that later.

My preflight and runup were uneventfully, and I got the reading for winds at KMLE. The were blowing 220 degrees at 11 knots. My runway choices were 30 and 12. As 220 is just 8 degrees off of 30, I was ready to go. I put the nose of the airplane down the runway and gave full throttle. I was instantly rewarded with the throaty growl of the engine and an instant push of speed. I was to 60 knots almost immediately and I rotated and pulled the airplane off of the ground.
One of the reasons I fly this airplane over the Cessnas that I could rent is that it has 180 horse, over the 150 of the typical Cessna 172. With only one person in the cabin, it really pulls.

View Larger Map
Millard Airport

As soon as I got in to the air, it was bumpy. Really bumpy. I turned left to 270 degrees and headed that way to play around with the navigation instruments to see if I could make everything work the way I wanted them to. I started having problems right away. Normally on a GPS screen you have a heading to where you are going, and your actual heading. Match the two up and you are on the right course. This particular airplane marrys up the GPS with the VOR needles so that you need only look at your VOR needle to steer the correct course.
The VOR works pretty simply. Tune in to the correct station on your navigation radio. Fly the course that you planned to go. Rotate your direction card so that the course to your destination is pointing at the top. The needle will show your deviation from that course. If the needle goes right you turn left to center the needle. If the needle drifts left you go left to center the needle. The VOR homes in on the radio signal that the VOR station is broadcasting, so regardless of where you have your direction card pointing the needle always points back to the station.

With the GPS married up to the VOR rather than the nav radio, the same principal was true, needle goes right you are deviating to the left, turn right to center the needle, you get the idea. The good news is that on long trips you would have to plan very carefully and tune in to many different VOR stations as you moved across the earth's surface. Sometimes, your destination would have spotty VOR coverage, and you would need to fly to various VOR stations just to get to your destination. Kind of like when you are driving. One road does not take you to where you want to go, you have to make various turns on various roads to get to your destination. VOR is the same way. With GPS, you can fly direct, and never have to tune in to a different VOR station.

My problem was I could not get my heading to show up on the GPS screen. I must have spent 15 minutes flying west trying to get the stupid GPS to work. All the while I am at relatively low altitude bouncing around in the various thermals at work. Not very fun. I finally found the screen where it displayed my heading and I matched that up with what I assumed was the course heading. It was different from what I had planed out, but with me flying so far to the west with I figured the GPS knew what it was doing.
I started gaining altitude now that that problem was fixed, and found that it was very comfortable at 4500 feet, as I was flying West, I chose that as my cruising altitude.

I turned on the connection with the GPS and the VOR needle so that I could practice flying using that. I thought that the connection was broken... The needle showed that I was way off course to the left. I turned off the connection so as not to be distracted... stupid needles... My numbers match, and the distance to destination was getting smaller so what did it know???

I started noticing that the distance to destination was moving very slowly... My ground speed read 100 knots so I knew that I was moving pretty quickly. Why was I not getting closer to KSCB? My numbers matched... Why was I not getting closer to KSCB? Then I noticed that the numbers started to get bigger... I was flying away from my destination. What the hell??? I then noticed that the number that I took to be the destination to heading was not the heading at all. The needle was correct. I was way off course to the left.

I made a right turn almost 100 degrees, and right there 10 miles away was the Scribner airport. I turned on my connection between the VOR and the GPS and now found that my CDI was centered.
It is never fun when you find out you are a moron.

KSCB does not have Automated Weather Observations (AWOS) so you have to find out the winds the old fashioned way. Get low and check out the wind sock.
You always fly out of the windsock, so you look to where the small end is pointing. You want to be in the same orientation. I had thought that I would use runway 17 because winds at KMLE were 220.

I practiced some go around procedures, then made a quick landing. I had messed around so much with the GPS that I did not have time now to sign the guest book... Maybe next time.

View Larger Map
Scribner Airport. Runway 17/35 is on the right hand side.

Now that I knew how to use the GPS it was a snap to get back to KMLE. I used the GPS and the VOR connection to great effect.

At about 10 miles to Millard I tuned in to the weather. The winds were very strange. They would blow for a while one direction, then die off and blow another direction. As I approached the airport one airplane took off from runway 30, then another airplane landed on runway 12. Kind of a dangerous situation. The good news was that everybody was having fun with it, and keeping their positions well communicated with everybody. As I turned off the weather I decided that runway 12 was my best bet, and somebody else just landed on that runway, so that was good enough for me...

I crossed mid-field at pattern altitude and set up on my downwind leg for landing. I was just turning final when I felt the wind change. I now had a slight tail wind, rather than the typical head wind. Not a bad thing, just different. Since I was on final already, I decided to land. I put down on the runway a bit too fast and had some fun working with cross winds as I kept my nose high to bleed off speed.
I absolutely hat this part of flying. You are almost fast enough to get airborne. Your nose is high so the airplane wants to fly. Your controls are sluggish, because they only work really well when you have enough speed. So you drift. I drifted, as everyone does, to the right as the cross wind was from the left.
I will have to sit down with an instructor to figure out how I can deal with that drift on the ground. I am sure that there is a better technique than I use.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lack of History Education

I like history. It is very interesting to me to learn about how people acted in the past, and how we like to sugar coat, or simply forget about events.

The trial of Charles Guiteau is a prime example of an event that is comic gold, yet is virtually unheard of today.

I believe that it is criminal that our school students are not taught the basics of American History. It is because of this that you get people who spout off that George W. Bush is the worst President of all time... Hardly. It is no secret that I dislike GW Bush. I think that he squandered his presidency, signed away freedom, and failed to prosecute the war correctly. He, however, is not the worst President of all time. Not even close.

That dubious honor goes to James Buchanan.

Buchanan stood idly by and watched the nation fall in to civil war. He did nothing as the "Bleeding Kansas" (though not officially part of the Civil War, these events were the first shooting conflicts between anti-slavery and slavery states) events transpired before his eyes. His lack of action gave the secessionists to think that the Union would do nothing to preserve itself.
Had he responded to the Bleeding Kansas events forcefully and immediately, the Civil War may never have happened. Had he decisively dealt with the secessionists, and let them know that the Union would fight to preserve itself, the South may never have left.

But he did nothing. Bleeding Kansas went unchecked. The secessionists in the South gained power, and left the Union. The horror of slavery consumed the territories of the Kansas-Nebraska act. In armed conflict, 620,000 men lost their lives.

A very very close second worst President is Andrew Johnson.

Johnson took office after the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. He was in the group of Republicans who wanted to punish the South following the Civil War. He imposed harsh laws on the South, seeding discontent. He was so intent on punishment, that he ignored the Civil Rights abuses of the newly emancipated blacks. This allowed the former slave holders to impose inhumanly cruel laws on the black community, preventing them from assimilating in to the American culture. Want somebody to blame for the racial tensions in America? Johnson is one to point the finger at.

This is not taught in American schools. So we have people today who scoff at Bush and call him the worst president ever. The media, who surely know better, like this thought because it helps push their socialist agenda.
What spawned this blog post was a conversation that I had. The guy with whom I was talking often makes boneheaded remarks about his taxes (I don't pay taxes. I get money back!), politics (it doesn't affect me, and its BORING), and history (GW Bush is the worst President ever). When I challenge him on these things, most recently that Bush is the worst ever, I get a blank look back and a stupid smile. The man is comfortable in his ignorance. By no means do I consider that he must adopt my position in order to purge himself of his ignorance. Quite the contrary. He does, however, need to display some knowledge of history before he can make the statement that someone is the "worst ever." He has no desire to educate himself on the subject. It is boring. I can guarantee you, if I ask him who was eliminated from American Idol, he would know. If I ask him what Paris Hilton did last night, he would know
We are a nation of idiots.