About Me

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I live in the Florida Keys. I've been in the military and worked inside the Beltway. I've had 22 technical books and two novels published. I fly, boat, dive, shoot, and swim pretty damn well.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sebring Light Sport Expo

My wife and I drove up to Sebring, FL for the Light Sport Expo. Unfortunately, they have had some crummy weather. The field was IFR and the grounds were cold and damp.

("Cold" being a relative term. It was 68 degrees and the humidity was 68%. That's cold for us Florida Keys types, but even the folks from Georgia said it was warmer than home!)

The Chinese Kite from Cessna was there. Who cares?

Interesting was a new Light Sport entry, the SRS, from Cirrus. They announced they were "taking deposits". The prototype on display is a low-wing nice-looking metal airplane with a 912 Rotax. See this link for their Website brochure on the SRS.

There were LOTS of airplanes on floats and Flying Boats. Remember that a Light Sport Aircraft designed for water operations can have a Maximum Takeoff Weight of 1430 Lbs as contrasted to the 1320 Lbs for land-based birds. So, there is some space in the weight budget for floats.

AMD (my boys from Georgia, USA) were there with a "taller" 601 and the hi-Wing AMD Patriot. The Patriot will be rolling out of the hangar in Georgia for delivery soon and the guys were "shopping for floats" at the show.

After looking around, I am still very happy with my decision to go with the AMD-made Zodiac 601. The folks who built her are here in the USA, they do NOT speak Ukranian, Czech, or even French, and I will not have to speak any of those languages to get parts or support.

Yes, the Continental AIRPLANE engine in my Zodiac weighs 100 pounds more than a Rotax. But, when my local A&P takes the covers off the Zodiac's Continental he croons and comments with joy. He knows every bolt and spring. When somebody with a Rotax pulls up to his hangar he calls the one guy who went to a 1 week Rotax school.

And, she flies so sweet. See this link for the AMD Website.

It was too dark and gloomy for me to take pictures, but there AvWeb was there and here is a link to their article and photo gallery.

There are Still Lots of Ways to Make Money!

My friend Kent and I, being old and bored, were discussing ways to make money. His perception of the next "bubble" (it is kind of staring us in the face) is alternative energy in buildings. There is still a huge amount that can be done to reduce energy consumption in buildings and there are a multitude of alternative ways to produce energy for heating and to provide lighting, etc.

(As an important aside, I am intimately familiar with the Gartner Hype Cycle. If you are on my list for this message and somehow don't know every step on the curve, you can review it here. Needless to say, we are climbing up the peak ... that's where you want to be)

Of course, there are companies out there with alternatives and solutions to alternative energy. Big companies with big solutions. Lotsa hardware.

But, as we saw with computers and networks, one place for startups to make money is in the spaces between major products. The idea behind the value-add proposition, be it hardware, software, or a firmware-laden box, is to hitch-hike on an existing product and make it "better."

Prime examples were the original multipurpose cards for the PC (QuadRAM and others), PC Communications Software (CrossTalk, etc), and all of the add-ons made by D-Link, etc. And, oh yes, there is Cisco... the archetype of "linking A to B" The upside is big profits and immediate retirement. The downside risks are: 1. Either company A or B puts the feature into their own stuff... thereby making you superfluous (Microsoft did this to everybody) 2. Company C will come out with a better product A LOT of people made a LOT of money in the "boom" by doing this.

The recent influx of money into SLIDE, see this story, certainly proves the point. Their apps for FACEBOOK are frilly stuff. Not that much code really. But, we all sit here saying, "Why didn't I think of doing that?"

Nice opportunities are still out there. You just have to "slide" into the spaces inbetween.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Anti-War Vandal gets his Due

In Chicago, an anti-war activist damaged the car of a Marine Corps enlisted man. The State of Illinois was not happy. The judge was even less happy. it's a great story. Justice was served with no bones broken. Read it all at the Black Five Website.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The NEED for a "Crisis"

Oh my.... the latest "Crisis" is financial.
Remember that just before 9/11 it was SHARK ATTACKS? Doesn't anyone remember Y2K? There is ALWAYS the need for a crisis.
  • The Damn Bird Flu let them down (so far)
  • It isn't hurricane season (yet)
  • The Damn Islamic Radicals have folded (it seems)
  • Space aliens have been too smart

So, "financial" is the best thing we've got. At least until the Chinese, Venezualians, Venuzians, or Iranians do something cool.

"Every crisis offers you extra desired power."
Author: William Moulton Marston