schmenzer speaks!

Michael Crichton’s State of Fear

Got this book recently and blew through it in a couple of days.

It is a good thriller with a controversial look at Global Warming and Eco Terrorism. It is a work of fiction but Michael spent three years researching, and provides foot notes for, a vast body of research on the topics the characters in the story deal with. No matter what your position on these issues I hope you check out the book, keep an open mind while reading it, and then begin asking some real questions about how “scientific” information is presented. Both sides of the argument distort the true data to suit their view and if you are any kind of conspiracy theorist, the State of Fear is surly no joke.

There are a bunch of online reviews if you are interested in a plot outline, just do a Google search!

“State Of Fear” (Michael Crichton)

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Brian Ibbott’s Coverville is Great!

If you are new to Podcasting you should definitely check out this show.

The show is all about bands doing cover songs. Some of the best in the biz do them and it is cool to hear some of the more obscure covers out there. Brian has ASCAP and BMI licenses so he is not restrained to “podsafe” music so you will hear songs from well known bands as well as some you’ve probably never heard of.

I’ve been listening to a few back shows and Episode #101 The Best of the Worst Cover Songs has been killing me! I forgot how great William Shatner’s version of lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was! Even better was the “Swedish Elvis” doing In the Ghetto.

Subscribe to Coverville with your Podcatching client like iPodder, iPodderX or iTunes 4.9 via this link:

Kansas F3F Event set for August 20th

More racing action at Wilson Lake, KS.

Pilots meeting will be at the main south hill at 10 am. We will try for 10 rounds again. The last event went real well and we had good participation. Hope to see you there.

There will be fun flying on Friday and probably more racing on Sunday if we get at least 6 pilots staying on Sunday. One thing we will likely do will help beginning racers time their turns better so if you want some help tightening your line Sunday will be your day.

On Reading Angels and Demons

Wendy thought I might like Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons. Not a bad book. It made me want to visit Rome and see all the art and architecture there. It reads fast and the action seems to keep coming although the thing did slow down and become a bit tedious towards the end.

You can find a ton of reviews about the plot of the book like these:

Wendy and I both got a bit put off towards the end. A few times I was thinking, is this part just here incase they need to make a blockbuster movie out of this story? Still, it didn’t take long to read and I’ve heard The Da Vinci Code is better so I have something to look forward to from Dan Brown.

“Angels & Demons : Special Illustrated Collector’s Edition” (Dan Brown)

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Blue Angels at the Milwaukee Lakefront

The Navy demonstration team, the Blue Angels, did a couple of shows at the Milwaukee lakefront last weekend. F-18’s are cool!

We went to watch the show in Milwaukee’s harbor on Wendy’s dad’s boat, a 34-foot Crusiers. There was a 12-15mph wind so there was some chop on the water even in the harbor. Not the ideal camera platform but there were a few good shots.

I posted more info and pix at:


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It’s My Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me! I’ll be going to the local parade where my daughter is marching with mom and the Girl Scout Troop. Probably hit Summerfest if the rain quits for a while and then try to catch some fireworks tonight.

Got a cool new toaster from the family that does bagels well. It has wide slots and in bagel mode only warms one side, very cool. It is a

“Hamilton Beach Classic Chrome Extra-Wide-Slot Toaster”

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Local Custard Stands Vie for Reunion Kudos

Bill and Linda have been the most active in finding, and sampling, the wares from several local custard stands. The pair has visited Gillie’s, Kopp’s (several times due to its proximity to the reunion activities) and Leon’s. They also plan to hit a Culver’s in search of the best in the area. At this point Bill says they will need to stop at each again at least once more to confirm their initial impressions. We await the results!

My observations:

  • I am going to give Kopp’s the nod mostly because it is 6 blocks from my house.
  • I liked Leon’s for its 50’s feel.
  • Gillie’s has been a Milwaukee staple for years but the nearest location is 10 miles away so I don’t get there often.
  • Culver’s has become too big and homogenized although I do still enjoy a malt there from time to time.
  • LoDuc’s in Delafield has custard puffs which make it tops when I can get out there!

On with the testing!

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More Smith Family Reunion Goings On

Saturday was a pretty food oriented day for the reunion attendees beginning with a great brunch at Papa and Susan’s house. Assorted champagne based drinks loosened up the guests and we had lots of excellent food choices to eat. Many bellys left a little more than full!

After brunch the kids went swimming at the hotel where some of the out-or-town guests were staying.

While the kids were swimming I had planned to do some work at the new warehouse space but forgot my key. I also noticed the wind was subtly blowing out of the east and it had been quite a while since I got to do any flying so I loaded up a couple of light planes and went to the Gun Club in Cudahy. The wind was light but the lift was OK and I got in several flights. Michael and Mirko also showed up for some needed flying. Report at

We had our big reunion dinner at Botana’s Restaurant, a great Mexican restaurant, in the Walker’s Point district of Milwaukee. Margaritas were flowing, the food was really good.

Jenny and Wendy had arranged for all the dinner attendees to get Botana’s t-shirts and also provided Fabric Markers so we could all sign each others shirts. This was a bunch of fun and reading what other’s had written provided a lot of laughter and banter.

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Family Reunion 2005 Hits Milwaukee

The bi-annual Smith Family reunion is now underway in Milwaukee. We have about 25 attendees this time with family members from California, Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin. We’ve had a couple of dinners at host homes, a boat trip on the Milwaukee River, biking at the lakefront, a traditional Fish Fry at the Lakefront Brewery and more on tap for the next three days. Hope it all keeps going as well as the first couple of days.

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