Sunbelt Classic (Pueblo, Colorado)

My U14 team played the Sunbelt Classic soccer tournament this last weekend, Feb 25 and 26. It was a beautiful weekend for soccer, sunny and temps in the 50s and 60s, with a little sunburn thrown in for good measure. We won our first game 2-0, but lost our 2nd game 1-0, and our 3rd game 3-0. Paul and his friend Robert, who are both 11 years old, guest played with us and did pretty well against the much larger 14 year-olds (see photo). The regular season starts this weekend with a home game for us. Lucky for us our most distant away game is in Salida.

City of High Technology

When I worked for Hughes Aircraft they considered themselves to be the City of High Technology because they employed something like 30,000 people in El Segundo, CA. Amazing. Anyway, I’ve been working on a board design which is to work with an FPGA board and we powered it up today. The circuits we’ve looked at are working so far, but I misnamed a net on an address line which goes to a psuedo-static RAM (PSRAM). Fortunately, it can be re-configured in the FPGA, however a the PROM-JET header needed a wire-fix. Argh! I expect my designs to be perfect, first time. So, dumb mistakes like this drive me bonkers. It won’t prevent us from using and shipping the boards.

Our World of Soccer (Edited Feb 14th)

Yep, it’s that time of the year again . . . for soccer. Lisa and Joshua are going down to Albuquerque, New Mexico tonight for a pre-season tournament. Meanwhile, it’ll be quite cold tomorrow (25-30F), so we’ll be postponing my U14 team’s (Luke’s team) practice until Sunday. We’ll be playing in a tournament in Pueblo, Colorado on the last weekend of this month. If all works out well, Paul will be playing with us, too. The regular 10-game season begins the first weekend of March.

(Feb 14th)

Luke and Paul lost their game tonight at indoor, 5-2. Luke scored both of the goals! Historically, he’s been a goal keeper and defender. Joshua’s tournament didn’t go very well either. His team went 0-2-1 without scoring a goal. He came home with a swollen ankle after having been slide-tackled early in the 4th game. The scores were 0-0, 1-0, 3-0, 1-0.

The Daily (Edited Feb. 14th)

I started and finished another novel this weekend (Feb 4,5). It was another Creighton book titled Airframe (1994), and was written in the same style as State of Fear (2004). An interesting book about airplane manufacturing/safety/media coverage and international business.

Joshua went around a corner and the left front tire came off the rim. I’ve never seen that before. Then a day later, he said that a little red car drifted over into his lane and he ran into a curb. Lisa and I went over to where the car was parked and I saw that he wiped out the front right wheel and bent the suspension. Oh, joy! I think that this is the time of life when kids get expensive. This is now a $700 repair as we found out that the sub-frame is bent. OUCH!

Lisa, Luke, Paul and I went down to the coin store on Friday, Feb 3. I finally bought another early 1800s cent so I could get a better idea of what it should look like. My father gave me a worn 1822 cent 15 or 20 years ago and now I’ve got an 1825 one too. BTW – pennies from that era were as big as a quarter is today. We also bought a little silver while we were there. It is amazing to see how much silver, gold and platinum have gone up in the last few years. But, I’ve come close to doubling my money on the coins I did buy a few years back.

We all attended a family retreat day on Saturday. Some of it was interesting and good, but the couple there to speak on family communcation were terrible in my opinion.

(Feb 14th)

Okay, I’ve added a scan of an 1825 cent with a modern quarter, and an 1858 Flying Eagle cent. the 1858 is the size of a modern penny. Pretty weird, eh?

Federal Reserve System

One of Andrew Jackson’s concerns in America in the early 1800s was the Bank of the US and the power it held to control the economy. When he had the chance as President to put an end to it, he did so by vetoing the renewal of it’s charter. The result was Nicolas Biddle, of the Bank, sending the US into a depression. I’ve never been too interested in banking, but reading about the incident made me want to know more. Oddly enough, I was listening to the radio on my way in to work and I heard a guy talk about the Federal Reserve System, the modern central bank version of the old Bank of the US. So, I went out and got the book titled The Creature from Jekyll Island (The Fed was created on Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1913) . While the book has some conspiracy elements to it, which could be true for all I know, it was an enlightening description of how money (bills & coins) gets into circulation. I wondered about it before, but never more than that.

Global Climate Change (edited Feb. 10th)

With this blog thread I thought I’d make it a little different, in that I could post continuing information/thoughts, though this is proving difficult because I can only edit my blog if someone doesn’t comment on the previous post. Oh, well.  Anyway, I’ve long been suspicious of the Global Warming fear that has spread thoughout the western world. It just didn’t seem to be logical. By chance, a co-worker asked me if I’d read Michael Creighton’s book, State of Fear. In the form of a novel, it sets out to question the “fact” of global warming. I found it clever the way he wove in the story line with actual data I found on government sites, like NOAA and historical climate data. It makes the old addage, “figures lie and liars figure” ring as true as ever.

Check out this website: for some interesting global climate change  data, or this one: for the hurricane data by decade.

Hunting 2005

Joshua, Paul and I went elk hunting in November of 2005. An interesting trip to be sure.When we got to the place where we set up our camp it was 17 degrees F. By 10PM it was less than 10. People seem to think that because you have a high powered rifle that it’s unfair chase, but we saw elk on opening day and they were 500 yards up hill and there wasnt’ a good shot. We chased them all that day and got close but they were in timber which makes shooting at any range difficult. We could have wounded them several times, but I don’t like take shots like that. We ran into more over the next few days, but still didn’t get the good shot. At one point the whole hillside erupted with elk when the lead cow barked and they all took off running. Unbelievable. Oh, well. Maybe next year.

Andrew Jackson

I received the book Andrew Jackson, His Life and Times, by H.W. Brands for Christmas. What an interesting character, especially to become president.  An orphaned teen, a lawyer, senator, militia general fighting natives and the English Army, Senator, slave-holder, farmer, Justice, and then president.  I thought the book was well written and provided a good portrait of the early 1800s.