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Everything posted by Nightingale

  1. Nah. It was a slight downhill, which probably helped some, and it's one of the more powerful Vespas. When people think Vespa, they tend to think 50cc engine. Mine's a 200, which is small for a motorcycle, but pretty big for a relatively light scooter.
  2. THAT ONE. I have a Lumix. It rocks. Love the Leica lens. (actually, I have two Lumixes... Lumii? whatever.) A point and shoot pocket camera, and a great one with a zoom lens.) I'd really suggest you take a good look at a few others in the Lumix line, though. DMC-ZS7 DMC-TZ6 DMC-TZ7 DMC-TZ8 I've noticed that when I travel, what I tend to appreciate most is a great zoom lens, and the ones listed above have an amazing 12x OPTICAL zoom lens and gyrostabilization. Often, you have to stand so far back from fascinating things that you can't get great shots without good zoom.
  3. I've gotten a couple of warnings. The last one was the funniest: I'd ridden up to a nice straight stretch of road with no stoplights. Decided to see if the manual was telling the truth about maximum speed, after riding the street and making sure there were no obstacles. So, off I go. And there are those red and blue lights a few moments later. *SHIT* I pull over. Me, raising visor on my helmet: "Um, hello, Officer." Officer, raising visor on his helmet: "Did I just clock you at 74 on a VESPA!?" Me: "Probably." Officer, looking confused: "I'm sorry, but what the hell..." Me: "Just got it out of the break in. Wanted to see how fast she could go. I'm guessing the answer to that would be 74." Officer: "Now that you know, are you done speeding?" Me: "Yup." Officer, laughing and shaking his head at me: "Get out of here and slow down." Me: "Yessir. Thank you!" Officer, muttering as he walks away: "74. on a damn Vespa."
  4. I think they stopped allowing "any soldier" packages after 9/11. When I sent my friend cookies, he later told me he'd asked for more because he'd shared the boxes I'd sent with the enlisted guys, and he only took one (cookie, not box). He said for every soldier that gets something there are ten or twenty that don't. I think this year is the first one where I don't have anyone to address cookies to. My friends are all home safe and can get cookies from the girls ringing the doorbell.
  5. OH! Zion NP. Bryce NP Capital Reef NP Moab Brian Head Cedar Breaks NM The Cowboy Smokehouse Cafe in Panguitch Best Friends Animal Sanctuary My parents' condo Meadows full of columbine in springtime I could keep going...
  6. Montana- Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, PRAIRIE!, and dinosaurs to dig up! Wyoming - Grand Teton NP, Jackson, Snake River, Yellowstone NP Colorado- Rocky Mountains, Durango, D&S Railroad Florida - Key West! Everglades NP. Louisiana - New Orleans! Swamp! South Dakota - Black Hills! Wind Cave NP! So, um... most everywhere but here? Why am I sitting here in downtown LA again?
  7. The first year I sent cookies, I got a note back from my friend who was in the Army: "Thanks. Send more cookies."
  8. I don't wear a pin to support our troops, but I do send Girl Scout cookies to the soldiers in Iraq every year. Does that count?
  9. Just one more reason that Utah is one of my favorite states!
  10. Well, yeah, but I didn't think people would go for that right away, and we have to start somewhere, right?
  11. How about trimming fat elsewhere and funding social security?
  12. Yeah, that's why my folks went with a condo rather than a cabin up there. If something goes totally wrong, the property manager can deal with it for us, since he's on the property and we're a day away (and as a nice bonus, he's the sheriff, too!), so the building is never empty. And we don't have to deal with shoveling snow or bringing in firewood either. Driveway's plowed, and there's plenty of wood in the garage. We just have to bring it inside. As much as the seclusion of a cabin would be nice and I'd like it if I lived there, the convenience of the condo is totally worth it for weekends and holidays!
  13. My parents have a condo in the mountains in Utah. They're not allowed to turn all the electricity off, because while the pipes are insulated and run through the center of the building, they will still freeze. Their association mandates that during the winter, thermostats are left at 55 degrees F. My dad's got the breaker box very clearly labeled, and when we leave, we turn off everything except the stuff tagged red, which is the heater and whatever else Dad's decided is "Stuff Not To Be Disconnected", like the smoke alarms.
  14. Personally, I'd be a vegetarian if I had to kill my own food. I'm too much of a softie for the critters and am happy to live in my delusion that meat comes from a grocery store. Philosophically, I don't have a problem with being higher on the food chain. I just couldn't handle it looking at me. I certainly don't judge hunters who can. Provided they eat what they shoot, or make sure it is eaten, or the hunting is done for wildlife conservation reasons. I don't condone sport killing. If it gets killed, it deserves to be eaten. That said, I don't like the idea of children hunting alone or using firearms unsupervised at all, without an adult, simply because children aren't equipped with the decision making capacity of adults. I have absolutely no objection to teaching kids to shoot. However, I think that allowing them to do so without an adult present may not be the most responsible choice, particularly as there will be nobody capable of rendering aid or carrying a child to safety should an accident occur. However, that's my opinion, and I'm not going to tell anyone else how to raise their kids, as I'm sure you've evaluated the situation and made the best choice for your situation, and things are different in different areas of the country.
  15. What about taking a day trip together on a steam train? Are there any nearby? Great idea, but the only one close enough that he might actually go is Disneyland, and we've done that one before. Wish I could get him to go to the train museum in Perris, but probably won't happen. =(
  16. Summa Theologica is a surprisingly easy read (at least, the English translation), in the form of questions and answers, most less than a page long, starting out with "Is there a God?" and going from there to the nature of God, the Trinity, the nature of good and evil, the nature of Christ, etc..., putting Biblical concepts alongside tangible observations. You would probably find parts 1 and 3 most interesting. I think a lot of protestants avoid things like the Summa, because it does rely on things outside the Bible, like logic and observation to provide strength to its points (and, as it is pre-reformation, it was obviously written by a Catholic), and uses these things alongside the Bible. However, they forget that to a non-Christian, the Bible alone is as meaningless as the Vedas or the Koran is to a Christian, so spouting off Bible verses to an atheist with absolutely nothing else is probably going to be very ineffective. In speaking with them, the arguments found in the Summa may be very useful. There is a vast difference between belief as an act of faith and believing as an act of blind faith.
  17. I could use some gift suggestions on what to get for my dad. He is hopeless when it comes to technology so most gadgets are right out (he had issues with a universal remote control that was programmed FOR him), doesn't like crowds or eating out, is way too picky about clothes for me to even consider that, and doesn't really have time for my usual standby of DVDs as life's gotten pretty chaotic over the last few months. And a gift card will get thrown in a drawer. He loves: steam trains, his motorcycle and his mustang (though not much time to take them out). A couple years ago, I gave him a stained glass painting I did of the Durango Silverton steam train, and he loved that (hung it up the same day), but I don't know I'm up to being that creative again... I'm finding myself at a bit of a loss.
  18. He was a FORMER ACLU attorney, according to... him. I can't find a record of anything he did with the ACLU (admittedly, it was a ten minute google search, so something more exhaustive may produce something), so I'm guessing it was something he did for a short while. Looks like everything he's written that has been published on the internet has been from a very Republican point of view, and generally very anti-ACLU. Rule #8: Never take anything for granted.
  19. Also not on topic, but I would disagree. (sorry. can't resist an argument. ) I'm not so sure "common sense" would be the right word, but maybe "logic"? Consider the following: "Ars qutedam necessaria est, quae sit directiva ipsius actus rationis, per quam scilicet homo in ipso actu rationis ordinate faciliter et sine errore procedat. Et haec ars est logica, id est rationalis scientia." or in other words: "Logic is the science and art which directs the act of the reason, by which a man in the exercise of his reason is enabled to proceed without error, confusion, or unnecessary difficulty." -Thomas Aquinas (Expositio libri Posteriorum Analyticorum, liber I) Have you read Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica? I found it fascinating. (and an annoying reminder that my Latin has gotten really rusty, so I found the English translation on line here:
  20. I think Obama probably loves the US just as much as the posters here love their countries. His vision of where the US ought to be headed is different than many of ours, that's all. Do I love my country? Yes.
  21. You will get much more respect from everyone if you focus on the policies rather than the person.
  22. BTW, here's more information regarding the so-called "crotch salute". It had nothing to do with a failure to salute the flag. The "incriminating photo" that was passed around the internet was taken immediately after the president had entered on the stage to "Hail to the Chief". The people in the picture standing next to him were not saluting the flag (which is BEHIND them), they were saluting the president as he entered. The president saluting or placing his hand over his heart would have been inappropriate, as he would have been saluting himself. The civilian on stage is Arlington's superintendent John Metzler Jr., who has made it his own tradition to salute the president with his hand over his heart. I've attached a before and after photo of the moment, where you can see Obama entering, and then standing during the rest of the song. The second picture is Obama at the Tomb of the Unknowns during a ceremony later in the year. The third photo is the one everyone's making a fuss about. And here's a link to a Life Magazine article showing Obama with his hand over his heart on the same day the FIRST photo was taken. (source of attached photos and explanation) source of explanation
  23. My roommate got it on eBay. YMMV. I have heard positive things about Windows 7. I don't usually trust a microsoft product until it's been out a while, so I am still skeptical. The roommate loves it, and she's a lot more of a windows person than I am. I went Mac about six years ago.
  24. If you're having those kinds of shut down and start up issues, grab whatever data you haven't backed up off that drive now. Something is very wrong. What I would do: Format Reinstall OS Reinstall programs Add files from most recent back-up. Virus Scan and Spyware check. Let system run a few days. If no further issues, add your all prior backed up files. That way, if one of the files you grab today is infected, hopefully you'll know it before you dump all your other backups on it.