Archive for December, 2012

They’re gone…up, up and away at 8:46 a.m. Atlanta time!

December 30, 2012

CIMG4873 Chris, and his family getting aboard their plane at McCollum Field in Cobb county. There’s our son,Chris… his wife, Alexia…their 8-year-old son, Carston…and their 2-year-old daughter, Katie. They’re returning home to Albuquerque, New Mexico.CIMG4875Their V-tail Bonanza is more than 60-years old, but well maintained. My son is not only a pilot, but also an aircraft mechanic. With 3 scheduled fuel stops along the way, God willing, they’ll be landing safely in Albuquerque about 11 p.m Atlanta time.

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How the hackers steal your information

December 29, 2012

My wife and I are the victims of credit card fraud. We went through the time-consuming process of fixing the situation to reduce the chances of it happening again. Then I asked the Credit Card security expert how the hackers do it. He told me they don’t target a specific person…rather they pick you at random. They hack into a vendor’s system…a vendor where you and others have made purchases. The thieves gather whatever info they need to buy stuff on your credit card. It’s easy for them…until they get caught. The cyber detectives often trace the hackers through their e-mail addresses. Talk with your credit card security experts to see what preventive measures they recommend.

Tracking them in their private plane

December 28, 2012

One of sons, Chris, is an Avionics Engineer who works for a private jet manufacturer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Chris also is a graduate of an Aircraft Power Plant school, and is a pilot. Though he’s involved in the manufacturer of jets, he owns a 60-year-old propeller plane, the Bonanaza V-Tail. It cruises at about 180 miles an hour depending on conditions. Chris and our family are spending the holidays with us, but today they’re flying the V-Tail round-trip to Havelock, North Carolina. They wanted to spend a few hours with one of our Marine grandsons, Dustin, and his family. Dustin is Chris and his wife’s son. It was a revelation for me to discover a site called “Flightaware.com” which allows you to track even the small planes. My retired engineer wife was familiar and showed me how the tracking works. It follows the plane throughout its flight..when it lands for refueling and takes off again. I’ve used similar services for the big commercial airlines, but this was my first time to be amazed that there’s a service which also keeps track of the small aircraft like Chris’. To quote a cliche’, “what won’t they think of next?”.

Our wedding anniversary

December 27, 2012

CIMG1569Gisela and I ending another happy year together. We first said our vows December 26th, 1976! We are at a restaurant near Smyrna, Georgia. We learned they called the restaurant “Cinco” because the first chef’s favorite number was 5.
CIMG1568 This figure is in the restaurant. Perhaps it’s a reminder of the Mayan culture intending to imply that the food they serve was on the Mayan menu centuries ago. The cuisine was excellent but not as wonderful as my life has been with Gisela…no way to surpass these 36 years! Hallelujah!

Training with my grandson

December 26, 2012

CIMG4866My son, Scott, is traning his nephew (my grandson) in the characteristics that usually produce more efficient and faster running. Scott is trying to get 8-year-old Carston to move his arms in a straight line keeping his head up and looking straight ahead. Carston is making progress and one day could be as fast as Scott when he was only 8. What a pair! What a way to spend an hour on Christmas day, 2012!

What if we locked the doors?

December 23, 2012

Did you notice that Congress and the President are going home for the holidays without agreeing on a compromise for the country’s fiscal problems. What if we locked them all up together…not allow them to go home for the holidays…until they agree on a compromise?

Our Marine Graduate!

December 21, 2012

001_photo1This is one of our grandsons, Aerik Walter, just before tomorrow’s (Friday, 12-21-12) graduation from Marine Boot Camp. The Marine barracks look about the same as the Air Force barracks more than 50 years ago. My basic was at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. Aerik’s training was at Parris Island, South Carolina. Note the locker at the foot of the bed. Maintaining a neat foot-locker was part of the drill…always be ready for inspection. Aerik has an older Marine brother, Dustin, who soon will be headed to Afghanistan for the second time. Dustinfirstmarinephoto Dustin’s assignment is the military version of an Air Traffic Controller. Early indications are that Aerik will be in an Intelligence Unit. We’re so proud of them both!!

A journalistic jungle

December 20, 2012

If you’re working on an exclusive story, it’s usually only you, your crew and the main characters in the tale. But if you’re in the middle of a scene where you’re one among many, it can become very hairy. You may be dedicated to accuracy, fairness, and compassion, but the media competition and deadlines put pressure on a reporter to betray his principles. It’s often a journalistic jungle out there. Nevertheless, there are still reporters who recognize that the story is what counts..it’s not about them. May there be more with the courage to stay the course.

Media try to be relevant

December 18, 2012

When the horrific Newtown tragedy occurred, almost every media outlet in the United States asked themselves, how can we localize this story? What you’ve been seeing on your local stations since Friday is the result of their decisions. Failure to localize would mean their viewers would likely go to the national networks for their coverage….and perhaps never return. It can be very expensive to localize a national or international story….particularly if you send a crew to the scene of the story. But in the long-term big picture, it’s worth it if a local media expects to remain relevant.

Friends pull me to the top!

December 17, 2012

CIMG4854We’re struggling upward toward the top of Georgia’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald. We usually begin the 3.1 mile race at the very bottom. However, today because of the blowing rain, we ran the first 1.25 miles down before turning around and coming back up the hill. After being ahead of several people at the turnaround, I proved again that uphills are my biggest weakness. It tookCIMG4850my friends, Kenny Duncan, andCIMG4860Sandie Alford to pull me to the finish. Would that one day, I’ll pass their kindness forward.