Thursday, January 12, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Military Spouse

These posters are displayed in the entrance of my Air Force Squadron. Even though my wife, Rachel, has not yet had to endure a deployment, she still deserves credit for her sacrifice every time I have to leave for another week or two for duty. Thank you, sweetheart.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Voter and Candidate Trends

The GOP Primary elections are underway now with the Iowa caucuses last week, New Hampshire voting this week and South Carolina and Florida finishing up the month of January. It is an understatement to say that it interests me. The truth is it consumes too much of my time. In fact, I have earned the "Ultimate Badge" on Google News.

That's right. Not a bronze, silver, gold or even platinum. An ULTIMATE! And, of course, along the way I have developed my preferences in candidates. But I don't want to campaign (too much) for anyone here. I just want to point out some things that I have learned from the rise and fall of the candidates in the polls.

You hear about a new poll everyday on the radio, the TV, internet, etc. I am naturally skeptical of each poll, e.g. Who was polled? How many? How was the question worded? But recently I ran across this chart below. I like it because it averages many, many polls (eliminating error) and gives us a real picture of what is going on in this election.

Real Clear Politics
So here is my analysis. Based on this graph I think you can divide the candidates into 3 categories:
  1. The High Roller This category belongs to Mitt Romney alone. Not only is he a high roller in money, but in support. He has sailed rather steadily above his opponents ranging from 20-30%. What does this tell us? He is the candidate that the most people can agree on. But at the same time the people are search frantically for somebody—ANYbody— else. Enter group 2.
  2. Humpers Now this one requires a closer look at the graph but is interesting in what it reveals. The candidates in this group are Michelle Bachmann (dropped out), Rick Perry, Herman Cain (dropped out), Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. All of them have stayed at about 10% or lower since June with the exception of 1, short-lived rise. Back in August it was Bachmann (small black hump on the left). Then Perry (large blue hump) who seemed to have dethroned Romney before he even said a word (unfortunately, for him, he kept talking). When he fell, right away Cain (red hump) got his rise and fall as a result of the additional media attention. But before he could even completely come down, another rose to replace him, i.e. Gingrich (large green hump). It does not take a genius to know what is going to happen. His fifteen minutes of fame are already ending (see the green line sloping down to the right) and another is filling his shoes, i.e. Rick Santorum (the brown line sloping up).
  3. Tortoises Only two can claim this group and that is Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. They seem to have not fluctuated at all until recently. I'm sure there are a host of reasons for this. These happen to be the two that I support the most. If I had it my way, I'd go with a Huntsman/Paul ticket, in that order.
But eventually a candidate will emerge. Based on the trends, I think it comes down to 3 at this point.
  1. The Constant High Rollin' Romney
  2. The Fortuitous-ly Peaking Santorum
  3. The Tortoise, Ron Paul (I'm assuming a miracle won't happen for Huntsman.)
Additionally, I think it is pretty safe to say that we the voters fall in one of these three categories as well. 
  1. Do we go with the familiar, safe bet?
  2. Are we swayed with the flavor of the month?
  3. Or do we stick to our guns, our "weird old guns" (skip to 9:45 on this video)?
These are just my ill-thought out opinions. Any thoughts of your own?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Horsie Ride

This was at the Whittier's house on Thanksgiving. They were kind enough to invite us over for an amazing dinner out in the country.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Plane ride with Hebes

Heber was very excited to fly on the plane. He was a little impatient at the slow start demanding that we go "up". When the plane finally took off his response was, "the plane's being funny".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Virginia I've been waiting for

It snowed yesterday evening and last night, leaving us with this white blanket of snow. Undaunted, I bundled up and went outside at 7 am to do a morning run. I got to the end of the street and turned around to finish up on the exercise bike inside. Now I know what it means to be bone-chilling cold.

Sunday, January 1, 2012