Archive for January, 2014

Captain Rick: Obama’s 2014 ‘State of the Union struck a new low among my unbroken record of watching every one since 1960. Obama’s meaningless hype, wishful thinking and the constant bobbing of his head from side to side to view the teleprompters…looking like he was watching a tennis match…almost hypnotized me. It was a nice try on his part…but it just put me to sleep. 

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Credits: Thanks Ken of California for contributing the above graphic

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Obamacare

U.S. Debt Crisis

Fed Financial Policy

Economy

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101

President Obama

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Captain Rick: 2013 started off with a bang, with gun control at the top of every liberal’s wish list. One scandal after another dominated the headlines over the course of the year, including the NSA Snowden Leak. The Obamacare rollout was the straw that broke the camel’s back — even the President’s supporters turned their backs on him, causing his ratings to drop to new lows.

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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle … + … Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

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R.J. Matson, Roll Call … + … Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle … + … Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com

Thanks Ken of California for contributing these cartoons.

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Humor

Obamacare

Captain Rick: What started as a New Year resolution in 1999 to combat High Blood Pressure with a daily walk…adding a daily bicycle ride in 2005…became the equivalent of a round-the-word trek…25,000 miles…now 57% complete with 14,282 miles (22,985 km) walked and bicycled. It is a seemingly endless, but enjoyable trek. I am bound and determined to reach the goal line some time in 2022 at age 75.

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Photos: Captain Rick and his bike

I have worn out a couple dozen pairs of shoes and almost two bicycles and several sets of tires.

Captain Rick’s ‘Round-the-World’ Walking/Bicycling Trek to combat HBP

In 1999, at age 52, I was diagnosed with HBP (High Blood Pressure), placing me at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. My doctor urged me to develop a healthier diet (less fat, cholesterol, salt, sugar) and a daily exercise routine.

On New Years Eve in 1999, I made a resolution to begin eating healthy and walk a mile or more every day for exercise. It is a resolution that I have faithfully fulfilled over the many years since.

The death of my father from a heart attack a couple of years later fortified my resolution. I sharpened my diet and increased my exercise routine.

In 2005 I bought a bicycle and added a daily ride to my to my daily walking routine.

On New Years Eve, preceding 2006, I expanded my resolution to walk/bicycle the equivalent of once around the world … 25,000 miles. With only a few thousand miles logged, I knew this was a very tall resolution … but, it was a goal that I was bound and determined to achieve.

I logged my miles every day since the beginning of my trek in 2000. In 2009 I began publishing my progress. I did so to recognize my difficult achievement, but more importantly to remind me that I had a long way to go and to help give me strength to carry on … and to give courage to the many people who have HBP and ‘walk in my shoes’.

Captain Rick’s ‘Round-the-World’ Walking/Bicycling Trek Progress Report:

Goal status as of January 1, 2014

Competed Distance: 14,282 miles (22,985 km), 57.4% of Earth’s 24,901 mile circumference

Remaining Distance: 10,620 miles (17,091 km), 42.6% of Earth’s 24,901 mile circumference

Estimated year of completion at current rate of 3.29 miles per day: 2022

Annual Progress History:

2013:

Walking: 494 miles (Trek total: 7,124 miles)

Bicycling: 712 miles (Trek total 7,158 miles)

Walking + Bicycling: 1,204 miles (Trek total: 14,282 miles, 57.4% completed)

Average: 3.29 miles per day (Estimated year of completion: 2022)

Captain Rick’s World Trek Progress Reports and Stats for prior years

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Walking

Captain Rick: Astronauts onboard the International Space Station restored the cool via space walks in December 2013.

As an engineer and lifelong follower of NASA, the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS) programs, I am compelled to report on this remarkable event. I was fortunate to personally witness a Space Shuttle launch from Cape Kennedy in the early 1980s. The shaking of the ground and thundering across the sky was the most awesome experience of power that I have ever witnessed.

I created an ‘Atridim Widescreen’ photo crop of a recent space walk (compliments of a NASA high definition original) for full screen viewing enjoyment on your HDTV or widescreen computer monitor.

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High Definition Viewing Instructions : Click the above photo, then the 3 dots at lower right (view all sizes) to view it in high definition via Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream.

Details of the recent Space Walk:

Expedition 38 Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins wrapped up a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station at 12:29 p.m. EST Saturday, December 21, 2013, completing the first in a series of excursions aimed at replacing a degraded ammonia pump module associated with one of the station’s two external cooling loops that keeps both internal and external equipment cool.

On Sunday, Dec. 22, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins tweeted of Saturday’s spacewalk, saying, "Wow… can’t believe that is me yesterday. Wish I could find the words to describe the experience, truly amazing."

A second spacewalk to install a replacement pump module occurred on Dec. 24, 2013. NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer, participates in the second of two spacewalks, spread over a four-day period, which were designed to allow the crew to change out a faulty water pump on the exterior of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. He was joined on both spacewalks by NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, whose image shows up in Hopkins’ helmet visor.

Get connected to what is happening onboard the ISS. Watch the ISS pass over your house.

I subscribe to NASA’s ISS ‘Spot the Station’ email alerts and enjoy watching the ISS frequently pass over my Arizona Oasis during the early dawn or late dusk sky, when it is the brightest and fastest moving ‘star’ across the sky. It travels at 17,000 mph at an altitude of 265 miles. If you have not seen the ISS soar overhead…you have missed a wonderful spectacle.

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Space