The Second Amendment is NOT about Hunting…

…it is, quite simply, about preserving liberty.  When hearing discussions regarding the second amendment, I quite often listen to people give their ‘take’ on what the second amendment means.  Many, on both sides of the gun control debate, treat the second amendment as though it were an isolated paragraph that was arbitrarily thrown into the constitution.  Even many of those who support private gun ownership do not seem to fully appreciate what the second amendment is really about.  The second amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the constitution.  For those who don’t know, those 10 amendments that we know collectively as the bill of rights were ratified together in 1791.  All 10 of these amendments have one common theme:  To protect American citizens from an intrusive, tyrannical federal government.  The constitutional framers knew that our American ‘experiment’ in self governing would eventually be threatened by the growing power of the federal government.  All 10 of the amendments contained in the bill of rights are there to prevent the federal government from becoming a totalitarian regime.  If you want to understand the second amendment read the third amendment.  Read them all.  It is preposterous to believe that 9 of the 10 amendments in the bill of rights are about protecting citizens from the overreaching government and the remaining one (the second) is about ‘Hunting’.  Of course it’s NOT about hunting!  The second amendment is the ‘glue’ that holds the entire bill of rights together.  The other 9 amendments contained in the bill of rights have no teeth if it weren’t for the second.  If you look throughout history, one of the first things an aspiring dictator does is disarm the citizens.  He is then able to systematically remove any and all of the rights and freedoms the population has and there is nothing they can do about it.  An armed population is what keeps our country free.

I have heard some say: “The founders wrote the second amendment with single shot, muzzle loading muskets in mind, not semi-automatic, high capacity magazine containing handguns in mind”.  That is again preposterous!  The founders guaranteed the citizens the right to own the the very same firearm technology the government had then and now.

I have heard others say: “You don’t need an AR-15 to hunt”.  To that I say, so what!  Again, the second amendment says nothing about hunting.  The second amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.  Which arms I choose to own and bear is my decision, no one else’s.  The idea that someone else can decide what I need and therefore regulate what I am allowed to have based on their opinion smacks of Marxism.

I have heard some say: “We have to find a balance between gun rights and safety”.  That is nothing more than an thinly veiled first step toward gun control.  Anyone who cares to actually look at statistics on gun crime would see that these measures don’t add safety to society.  In fact, look for the regions in our country with the toughest gun laws and you will find the highest levels of crime involving guns.  Turns out that criminals and would be criminals aren’t deterred by tough gun laws.  Who’d have guessed that criminals would ignore laws?  Weird!  Right??  What does happen in these regions where tough gun laws exist is that law abiding citizens are left defenseless against the criminal element and crime levels are elevated.

Whether you choose to own firearms yourself or not.  The constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms is the key element that keeps our country free.  Your neighbor’s right to own and bear arms keeps your right to freedom of speech from being suspended.  Because our society is armed, you are protected from an intrusive government as well.

If you feel you are safer far, far away from guns, I would challenge you to turn your property into a ‘gun free zone’.  Simply post a yard sign in your front yard stating that your property is a gun free zone and that no firearms are permitted on your property.  This sign will protect you from criminals who may want to burglarize your property or assault you or your family members since they will not be able to enter your property with a gun.  ‘Cuz the sign says no guns…

The Bill of Rights

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Pappas Telecasting’s standoff with DirecTV

As of April 1st two of my local broadcast channels, owned by Pappas Telecasting, ceased to be carried by DirecTV.  Statements on the website of my local station try to convince DirecTV customers to switch providers in an obvious attempt to pressure the satellite provider.  Based on the comments posted to that broadcaster’s site I’d say that the attempt is backfiring.  Speaking only for myself, I am a long time DirecTV customer and have NO intention of switching providers.  I have spent quite a while this evening switching my DVR to an alternate ABC affiliate to record my favorite ABC shows.  When / if this standoff concludes, I have no intention of switching back.  My local Pappas station (KHGI otherwise known as NTV) has lost me as a viewer…

The following is a statement from Dan Hartman, DIRECTV senior vice president of Programming

After repeatedly ignoring our requests to not disrupt our customers’ programming, Pappas Telecasting demanded the removal of its five local broadcast stations in four markets to force us to accept a deal that would more than double Pappas’ annual licensing fees. Pappas also demanded they be paid at least a year’s worth of those fees in advance.

We have no problem compensating Pappas fairly, but we’re a video distributor, not an ATM. Pappas’ demand for fees that are well over twice what they are currently receiving threatens our customers with further increases in their monthly programming bills. That is unacceptable. And Pappas’ condition that it will provide access to local news and other programs of interest only if they receive their money upfront is deplorable. It’s arrogant and a complete affront to the public trust.

Loyal customers must never be placed into the middle of what should be a private business matter, and thankfully in this case, some of our customers are already eligible to receive a replacement station.

While we regret Pappas’ actions, we appreciate DIRECTV customers’ patience as we work toward a resolution so we can continue to provide them with the best video experience at the most reasonable cost.

more information can be found here

Upgraded Web Blog

Just upgraded to WordPress 3.3.1 and it was fairly painless.  I procrastinated the upgrade for several subversions because I knew I would have to upgrade manually due to ‘permissions issues’ with my web space provider.  My hesitation was unfounded, It went very smoothly.

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 3

See also…

Part 3 – Building the New Media Server

The Components…

Reused Components (from original machine I built in ’04 or ’05 as well as parts scavenged from here and there)

  • Ahanix D-Vine ATX / micro-ATX HTPC chassis (no longer made)
  • Samsung HD44780 VFD 16×2 (front panel LCD display)
  • Sony SATA DVD / CD burner (traded out on another machine for the original Sony IDE DVD drive that was in the old media server)
  • Logitech wireless USB keyboard & mouse

New Components

  • ASUS M4A78LTM motherboard (on board ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 VGA/HDMI/DVI ports) (on board VIA VT1708S 8-Channel High Definition Audio)
  • AMD Athlon II X2 3.0GHz microprocessor
  • Kingston 2GB  DDR3 RAM
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s
  • Hauppauge HVR-1600 (model 1199) dual tuner (HDTV tuner) (NTSC analog tuner)
  • Diablotek 380W Micro ATX power supply
Isn’t it fun when Santa (the UPS guy) brings you stuff in August???
New Hardware
Have tools, will build…
Below, the right drive cage containing the DVD drive and the 3.5″ multi-card reader has been installed into the chassis.  To the left front (just out of the picture) is the LCD display card.
Next step is to install the processor, heat sink, processor fan and RAM into the motherboard…
 Now install it into the chassis.
Now time for the left drive cage (containing the 1 TB hard drive) to be installed just behind the LCD card.  Also installed at this point is the HDTV tuner, the system power supply and cable connections to the front panel audio inputs, front panel USB connections and card reader.

I booted it up before securing the top cover and checked to verify and configure the BIOS making sure the system recognized all of the basic components.  Then after connecting the LCD (my device is an older parallel port device (HD44780) rather than a USB interface, which will give me great grief in the days to come – but that’s the subject of the next blog post (part 4 – software configuration)), I installed the cover and slid my new media server onto it’s shelf in the AV rack of the entertainment center.

The photos below are after many days of working in my free time on configuring this machine.  It took considerable effort and a lot of research.  As of this writing, I am still dealing with some nuisance problems, but all in all she is up and running…

(I really should have dusted under the stereo receiver before taking this photograph)

The photo below shows mediafurnace running MythMusic (MythTV 0.24.1) with the Arclight 1.0 theme and a high def. desktop image from Interfacelift in HD (1080i) on my RCA 48″ HDTV.  Listening to some ‘Pink Floyd’ as I write this blog post.

Check back in a few days, as I will try and carefully document the software and driver configuration (assembling the hardware was the easy part)…

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 2

See also…

Part 2 – Home Automation / Weather Station

This machine is NOT the media server that is the main subject of this series of posts titled ‘MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project’, however due to the fact that the previous media server described in part 1 contained other processes that are my hobbies as well, It’s construction and configuration is inextricably tied to the rebuild project.  This box also served as a ‘temporary safe haven’ for the hard drive containing the multi-gigabytes of media files from the downed former media server.  It is my intention to come back at a later date and document this machine (which is doing some pretty cool stuff in it’s own right), but for now I am moving on to documenting the media server itself.

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 1

Part 1 – The need for a rebuild

See also…

A Little History…

During the winter of 2004 I built my first Home Theater PC.  I had intended on using some of the scrap / spare hardware I had laying around but as the project planning progressed I ended up ordering new components for the construction.  I started by ordering an Asus A7N266-VM motherboard, an AMD Athlon 2100-xp processor, 512 MB ram, a WD 360 GB hard drive, and a Sony DVD-RW drive from  I installed this hardware along with an upgraded heat sink / processor fan purchased from a local vendor into an old gutted Dell Exclaim desktop chassis (it sort of fit).  Somewhere along the line I scavenged up a suitable power supply.

It was my initial intention to load Red Hat Linux as an operating system (I already had, at the time, a file server running RHL 6.2).  The current version at the time, I believe, was Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or 4.  After some research I decided to go with Fedora Core 4 and use MythTV on top of the GUI.  This decision was largely due to discovering some how-to docs from Jarod Wilson’s Fedora Myth(TV)ology which made my attempt possible.  After reading Jarod’s site I ordered (can’t remember from where) a Hauppauge PVR-350 TV tuner card for the project.  After several late nights and a few grey hairs I had a working system.  I was then that I found (somewhere on the internet) a specialized HTPC case, an Ahanix D-Vine black micro-ATX chassis with a 16×2 line LCD screen on the front.

Relocating the system’s internal hardware into it’s new case and a few more tweaks and I had my completed PVR / HTPC.  I named this machine ‘Mediafurnace’ on my network, and usually referred to it as ‘the Myth box’.  This system ran nonstop for roughly 6 years.  During that time my original linux file server died so I moved many of those processes to the myth box, the most notable of which was my ‘home automation’ damon Heyu.

Mediafurnace dies…

At exactly 10:07 PM (according to the LCD display), the night before we were expecting 30 guests at our house for my wife’s birthday, mediafurnace froze.  An attempted reboot resulted in the motherboard chirping quickly and then… nothing.  Dead motherboard!!  A physical inspection revealed some melting and that distinctive burned electronics smell.  Damn!  This machine’s done!!


Recipes are now Here…


The software running my recipe blog started acting up a couple of months ago.  My web host (probably not coincidentally) had server problems at about that same time and since then I have been unable to get it to work properly.  So, instead of continuing to try to fix it I have decided to integrate my blog, my website, my photo gallery, and my recipe blog together into one entity here.  So here it is…

What this holiday is all about?

One of my pet peeves (I have many) is when I hear some say “Happy 4th of July” or “What are you guys doing for the 4th of July?”.  We don’t say “Merry 25th of December” or “Happy 3rd Thursday in November”.  We instead say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Thanksgiving”  I think it is important to continually remind ourselves of why Independence Day is such an important holiday!  There is nothing wrong with using the word “Independence” for it is the very essence of what we as Americans are.  For this reason, Today, I am including a few words originally written by a fellow from Virginia and tweaked & debated by he and some other fellows in Philadelphia 235 years ago…

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776

I do have things to say…


I know I haven’t posted anything in some time.  I’ll get on that in the near future…  Maybe??…  In the mean time feel free to check out my recipe blog at (of course as I’m writing this it seems that my food blog is down, Dangit!)

Sailing on Johnson Lake

We went sailing yesterday, I was also Amye’s birthday.  After spending the day on the lake we went out to dinner at a nearby lakeside restaurant.  We all had a great day!  Here are a few videos of the sailing:

Cameron running the sheets on a tacking maneuver.

Sophie (the beagle) likes sailing to.


Just a Little Rant

Do you find it frequently necessary to steer your car ‘left’ in order to avoid colliding with legally parallel parked cars as you barely navigate your vehicle down the street? Do you find it necessary to press down harder on the accelerator in order to complete a turn because the extra drag imposed on your car by having the front wheels turn tends to negate any momentum left in your vehicle? Have you noticed that every car that is heading the same direction down the street as you passes you and the drivers of said cars all crank their head around to try and determine if there is indeed an operator in your car? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions please take out your wallet, remove your driver’s license, and mail it into the DMV along with a note explaining that you are no longer young enough to effectively operate a motor vehicle.

A Week in Downtown San Diego


Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown San Diego at night

My wife and I recently spent a several days in downtown San Diego on a working vacation. Well, it was a working vacation for my wife. She was attending a nursing conference, I was along for the vacation part.

We stayed at The Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego. The hotel has a great atmosphere, is young and hip, much more so than either of us. At least we didn’t seem to be the only middle agers staying at the hotel. I don’t recall seeing any families with children in the hallways or lobby, and I would personally choose a different hotel had our kids been with us. It’s a party hotel.

Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego

The hotel is situated just a block from the San Diego Convention Center, where Amye’s Nursing Conference was held. This made it quite convenient for Amye to walk to her conferences from the hotel. Other than a trip to Ocean Beach and a trip to Santee to visit a friend of Amye’s we could have skipped the car rental. Basically everything we did was walking distance from our Hotel. There is also a public rail system with a station right in front of the Hotel, which I used a couple of times.

Three nights in a row during our stay there, the San Diego Padres hosted the Dodgers and with Petco Stadium just a block from the Hard Rock the area was packed with people. After the games the Gaslamp Quarter seemed to be almost Marti Gras like, with bars restaurants and boutiques spilling out onto the sidewalks with patrons. For a confirmed ‘people watcher’ like myself, this made for a very interesting mixture of people to observe. The lower Gaslamp Quarter is filled with high end boutiques and expensive restaurants so there are many ‘well to do’ shoppers in the area. There seemed to also be quite a few ‘homeless’ looking folks copping a squat on the sidewalks. Street musicians occupied most corners. Then throw in a few thousand baseball fans. Quite an interesting group of people.

Because of the large number of restaurants lining the streets, it was difficult for Amye and I to decide where to eat. Most restaurants are opened up in the front and spill out onto the sidewalks. They have their menus posted right on the sidewalk for passer-by’s to view. Many of them also seemed to employ very sharply dressed and quite beautiful young women in their mid-twenties as ‘hostesses’ to stand in front of the restaurant and entice potential customers into their restaurants. And the tactic works, at least it worked on me.

As for the food, we ate well while staying in downtown San Diego. The best meal we had while there was at The Greystone Steakhouse on 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter. After looking at several menus and talking to several restaurant greeters as we walked down the sidewalk for an hour or so, a very attractive young woman at the Greystone said the magic words to me, “dry aged prime”. We quickly decided this was our restaurant for the evening. Our meal started with a basic dinner salad, then we split a medium-rare new york strip and a side of grilled asparagus. Our wine was a McWilliam’s cabernet sauvignon. Could be the best steak I’ve ever had and that’s saying something coming from a meat cutter who’s been in the business for 23 years.

The undisputed “best burger I have ever eaten” came from Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cantina located less than a block from the Hard Rock Hotel (sorry Fudruckers, you’ve been knocked down to number two on my list). Their margaritas are quite excellent as well and the staff was excellent.

I ate at Hooters of Gaslamp San Diego for lunch 3 days in a row while Amye was in conferences. Their burgers are very good, not as good as Rockin’ Baja, but still very good (maybe 4th of 5th on my all-time list). Let’s be honest, I was there for the atmosphere. For some reason the ice cold Coors Light draft tastes better when served by a stunningly beautiful Hooters Girl. I should have tried their world famous hot wings, but wasn’t in the mood for wings any of the times I was there, I’m a burger connoisseur after all.

One evening we had a very romantic meal at a place called Toscanna Cafe’ and Wine Bar. The food was good. The wine was excellent and the atmosphere was perfect for sharing a quiet romantic late dinner with my lovely Wife. We had been walking around the Gaslamp Quarter for a while looking for a restaurant for dinner. Amye was in the mood for Itallian food, so we checked the menus of a few Italian restaurants when we walked down the sidewalk near Toscana. A delightful young women (who, for the rest of our vacation, I referred to as ‘Hostess with the Mostess’ because of her beauty) was holding menus in front of the restaurant and convinced us that this was the place. We were not disappointed.

We also ate a delicious late dinner at a place called Tequila 100 Bar & Grill. I had Carne’ Asada and a margarita. This place appeared to be a mom and pop style Mexican bar and grill. We ate there kind of late so we were the only customers in the place. The food was very good, the service was fast and friendly, and the prices were very reasonable.

During our visit to San Diego, we attended the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market, just as we had done 11 years ago. The Ocean Beach community seemed the same as I had remembered it. It kind of has a small town feel to it, although It definitely has a different vibe to it then then any small town in Nebraska. Like a time warp back into the ’60s…

USS Midway, San Diego

I also had the privilege of touring the USS Midway while in San Diego. The midway has been docked in San Diego for just a few years and has since served as a floating museum. I have always wanted to see an aircraft carrier up close and appreciated the opportunity to go aboard the legendary ship. I was so impressed with the Midway tour that I insisted Amye join me for a return trip later in the week. While walking along the harbor and especially while visiting the Midway, I could easily see carrier row at the Naval base across the harbor. I was surprised to see that 3 active carriers were in harbor. I would have thought that while the country is at war on two fronts in the Middle East, most of our carrier forces would have been deployed. But apparently not.

I really like San Diego. I could see myself living there, if it weren’t for the expense. Everything is very expensive compared to prices in the Heartland. But, I’ll be back!

Husker – Heisman

I was delighted to see the Huskers were so well represented at the Heisman ceremony this evening. I believe that all of the Husker Heisman winners were there. Too bad that an additional one wasn’t added tonight. Suh should have won, but I knew it was a longshot.

When the cat’s away…

With all of the talk in the last week about Tiger Woods’ personal life, I can’t help but wonder why so many people are shocked or surprised by these revelations. Infidelity statistics vary, but a google search reveals that studies suggest about 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women cheat on their spouses. So why would a good looking, charismatic, billionaire who is as much a rock star as he is an athlete be less likely to cheat? There are different reasons for cheating, but it seems that a common factor is an entitlement attitude, coupled with the expectation of getting away with it. A guy like Tiger Woods, who is used to getting everything he wants is exactly the type of person who could cheat.