How To Hang On: Slow Smoked Beef Ribs

Well done.. I’ve been stuck on pork but need to try beef ribs again.

Patrons of the Pit

A thin-blue smoke, patron to the scent of hickory , curled serenely from the pit damper and dissolved into a pastel-gray, Minnesota sky. It is beautiful here IMG_02261 today, as I stroll in the back yard, somewhat labored through the deep snows. Like walking on the white sand beaches of Waikiki, but without the hassle of sunburn, and crowds of oil-slathered humans, or sand taking up roost in your nether places. Indeed, here at the pond-side pit, the snow drifts have conspired tall, wrought from a winter ever-lasting, yet business anyhow, and steadfastly, carries on. Like the stately Cardinal, beautiful in his red and black plumage, making the acquaintanceship of the bird feeder, pecking through the safflower seeds there, as it dangles and swings above the pit. Or the tracks of the local rabbit, hopping through the deep snow. I do not know what he finds to eat in a land…

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Pilots confront Norwegian on rights avoidance | Air Traffic Management | Air Traffic Management – ATM and CMS Industry online, the latest air traffic control industry, CAA, ANSP, SESAR and NEXTGEN news, events, supplier directory and magazine

Pilots confront Norwegian on rights avoidance | Air Traffic Management | Air Traffic Management – ATM and CMS Industry online, the latest air traffic control industry, CAA, ANSP, SESAR and NEXTGEN news, events, supplier directory and magazine.

Its sad that our government doesn’t seem to value US Airlines, their safety, and employees.  Airlines built like this to work around European and US regulations will undermine safety in order to increase profits for the owners, and sub par pay for foreign aircrews.  They need to deny “Norwegian Airlines” request to fly to the US.

This comes while the threat of foreign cabotage increases with Airlines such as Singapore and Emerates flying from US to European destinations, and the US taxpayer funding US Customs preclearance facilities in UAE where the only benefiting airlines are foreign airlines…

We don’t seem to have a National Airline Policy, and I’m often confused by one hand of the government not looking at the big picture. If this continues I don’t see good thing ahead in the long term future for US Airlines.

Do you want to fly Korean Air from Atlanta to Chicago? I don’t. Emerates form NYC to LA? I’m sure they want to.

Another reason to leave Afghanistan

Another reason to leave Afghanistan

From the AP news wire….

We learn 2 things.

1. We know why they were so adamant to get control of the prison at Bagram… to release their friends.

2. They have no concerns for the safety of our troops. They are releasing prisoners who are a threat to foreign troops and have dragged out the negotiations for our continued presence in AFG.

The US stated we would be completely out of AFG in 2014 without a status of forces agreement by the end of 2013.  I hope we hold ourselves to this threat.  I haven’t heard any update from the White House.

Now non-lethal aide is cut to Syrian Rebels


This was always the risk with arming the Syrian rebels. AQ linked rebels could easily take, steal, or acquire any weapons we supply them with. Either way, it’s not looking good for the “moderate” rebels, like elsewhere in the Middle East the well armed often rule in the in governed spaces. Syria is no exception.

Karzai Risks Losing NATO Troops Too

Iran Makes a Deal



Ok just saw the deal quickly on CNN and I hope to write more when I have time.

Initial Cons of the deal:
Iran still calls for the destruction of Israel
They are allowed to keep enriching for nuclear power

Weapons grade enrichment frozen
We don’t need military intervention yet
Possibly future reduced weapons grade material as this is a first step.

To the critics remember this is a first step Rouhani can take back and prove toIran that their concessions were worth it. This makes more possible later. Without it Iran cod return to a more hard line stance.

I am trying to be optimistic on this deal as the alternative is bleak. I know the Republicans are in a tizzy, but you are not going to get a complete dismantling on the first round of negotiations. Even Putin sees this as an important first step.

To Israel and Saudi Arabia, you are just going to have to wait this out. The US has been placed in the lead here and here’s the first deal. If you don’t like it you are welcome to step up and offer your countries blood and tears. We certainly don’t need anymore at the moment.

This is the first step and we can take a few days to look at the specifics.

Surprise – ANSF Not Ready

Surprise ANSF Not Ready

Despite our optimistic reports on the Afghan National Army and the transition, they are not ready to assume control.  Expect casualties to continue to climb as we transition more areas for our timeline based pullout of AFG.

For the last 5 years I believe our reports on the ANSF have been hugely optimistic  in order to meet our “timeline” to pullout of AFG.  I don’t believe it was ever meant to be “mission ready” for transition.  The Army there is weak, undereducated, and open to corruption.  Unfortunately I don’t think they will last long as a complete force, and their effectiveness will decrease 100 fold after the loss on US Intelligence and leadership.  Many reports of “Afghan led” operations have been misleading the past few years, and the truth will show soon.

2 good books I’ve read recently on the topic include The Forever War by Dexter Filkins and Little America by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. The former mainly deals with our time in Iraq, but touches on Afghanistan. The latter deals with Afghanistan, even adding some history of American missions there 50 years ago and some insight on why some areas were chosen for our US Marine missions there recently.

I highly recommend both books. I was even able to download them online from my local library for free.

Time to Move On? The Case Against Daylight Saving Time

Time to Move On? The Case Against Daylight Saving Time.

Sorry, but its hard enough getting sleep with my job, to then come home and have my dogs and kids waking up at 4:30.  Its time for DST to go.

How Obama became a bystander President


How Obama became a bystander President

Fortunately for me, I read this in the Calgary Globe and Mail editorial page.  It’s a good summary of President Obamas’ presidency from the Great White North.  From a brilliant campaign, promises to unite, then separation, and missed promises.

Iraq Makes a Plea

Iraq Makes a Plea

Today an Op-Ed in the NY Time by the Prime Minister of Iraq.  This leads his upcoming visit to the White House next week.  Promising more help on AQ and Syria, the Prime Minister is looking for accelerated delivery of F-16s, increased intelligence sharing, and more weapons such at helicopters and night vision equipment.

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