Rebuttal


A friend of mine recently asked me to post a clarification to a comment on one of her Facebook posts. My friend had posted this piece about how climate change skeptics/denialists are so underrepresented in the scientific literature, and someone hit back with many of the standard denialist talking points, including such hits as: There is very much a debate The science is still not settled The government is not financing skeptical science ...when the "piers"(i.e. pier(sic) reviewers) are all alarmist we get--to use a climate science term--a feedback loop there is not one model that has been able to accurately backcast and forecast the climate I'm not a denialist; I'm a skeptic I (now) believe…

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Flagstaff


Let's talk about rarities. It's rare that an individual discovers his passion at five years old; it's also rare that an individual follows that passion through high school, against great odds and bias. It's rare for an individual to love a thing, a sport, and a place so much, and yet wait 36 years for him to finally call that place home. I've done those things, and yesterday was a validation of all of it. Yesterday, Brenda & I volunteered for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. First off, let me say it was all Brenda's idea, and mad props to her because I never would have volunteered otherwise, and may have skipped the event altogether, save to watch the peloton…

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Radio Radiance


Last Thursday, I hit the airwaves, yakking about lighting simulation. For some reason the Boulder Green Building Guild was interested in my take on the use of simulation in optimizing the energy efficiency of building designs in the US, on the latest installment of Footprint Radio. It was a thrill to share the half-hour with Kostas Papamichael from the California Lighting Technology Center, and my buddy Mike Plann from Lightlouver. I hope one or two people listen, and are intrigued enough to explore daylighting design, or at least turn off the lights once in a while. The cool thing is I'm now in the iTunes Music Store. Check it out by listening to the show on the BGBG's website, or…

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Art & Copy


So, I finally saw this movie I've been meaning to see for a while, "Art & Copy". It's a sad, disgusting (read: excellent) documentary about the collection of whores and egomaniacs working in the advertising business, and, by extension, about everything that is wrong with our society. "By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourselves..." --Bill Hicks It was difficult to watch - painful, even; for a variety of reasons. Because my father's best friend (Jim Durfee) is in the film; because my father, my mother-in-law, and college friend all work(ed) in that horrible business. Because I knew from an early age that my father's profession had absolutely no nobility -- getting paid large…

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On Skeleton


Hold it, just hold on a fucking second. The last several Olympics, summer and winter, have carried a certain sporting elitist criticism on various new sports added to the games. Sports like snowboarding and BMX have been derided by various idiots as not being true sports, presumably because the sports' elite athletes utter words like "stoked" -- or the more vehement "totally stoked" -- to explain the inner workings of the sport. Frontside. Backside. Fakie. McTwist. Apparently these are unacceptable bastardizations of the English language, but somehow Slachow is perfectly acceptable conversation if you are listening to Scott Hamilton. Well, this shit all annoyed me but I pawned it off as old school stupidity and narrow mindedness -- until tonight,…

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BIFF, again


Wow. So, once again, Brenda & I spent part of a February weekend checking out various films at the Boulder International Film Festival, and once again, we were not disappointed. This year, we had a nice manageable program: a movie a day, Friday through Sunday. Two were at the Boulder Public Library and one was at the fabulous Boulder Theater. The surprise of the weekend was that the library has a great theater; we hadn't seen any screenings over there to date, and I was expecting folding chairs and a temporary screen. But it turns out that the Boulder Public Library has a really nice theater, on top of everything else it has going for it. And on Friday evening,…

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RIP, Brent Graber


Brent Graber was a guy I casually knew, a co-owner of a fun little dog named Delaney. Brent and his brother were regulars at the ballfield near my house where Hooper & I spend many an evening. Last month, while Hooper was recuperating from his knee injury, Brent got hit by a car and had been in a coma ever since. I found out about Brent's unfortunate predicament a couple weeks after the fact, when Hooper & I returned to the ballfield. Ever since learning of Brent's unfortunate turn of events, I had been keeping tabs on him through a website his family had set up, and silently held out hope for a recovery of any kind. But tonight, at…

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Words Fail Me


Oh my god, he did it! Barack defeated the idiots, the racists, the conservatives. He did it, he fucking did it! Colorado is a blue state, the United States has a new President-elect and a Democratic Senate majority. Now hey, I was 24 when Clinton was elected, ending twelve years of Republican rule. I heard similar rhetoric then, and similar projections of new beginnings, and I got semi-caught up in it. Does anyone remember the health care promises made back then? Thought so. No, I'm still a hard line cynic, and Obama's still a politician. But I am of course going to look to the future with a lot more hope than I have had following the last two Presidential…

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Merle's Door


I finished reading Merle's Door last night; I cried like a baby through the last forty pages. At this point, since bringing Hooper home, I have read about a dozen or more books about dogs: dog training, dog breeds, dog behavior, dog health care, dogs; the last category includes your typical dog memoir or reflection on living pets, and so far Ted Kerasote's book totally nails it. Granted, Merle is a fantastic dog, living in fantastic conditions, but the story is still a real rags to riches story, rife with dog care and training tips--and, what I feel is one of the most important skills required of any dog owner, observational tips. Ethologists will piss all over this book as…

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There's a Reason for the Silence:


I am unable to speak--have been for days--because I saw Bob Costas' Olympic hair. You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.…

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Eddie Izzard in Denver


Brenda & I just got back from Denver, having just taken in the cutting, silly, schizophrenic, smart and above all, funny standup act of Eddie Izzard. Brenda & I saw him in New York back in 2003, and when we heard he was taking his new tour through Denver, we bought our tickets months and months ago. Turns out we had pretty great seats, just six rows back! Being that close to him, it felt like we were in a venue much smaller than the Paramount Theatre, and you could really see his expressions that are such a part of his stage presence. This show was far better than the 2003 effort, I thought. His topics once again covered the…

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Cause and Effect


Ever since Brenda & I moved to Boulder there has been one glaring omission from our daily lives, and that is settling down to read a good local newspaper. Back in Jersey, the Star Ledger was an excellent paper that originated from the local county where we last lived in that state. We got great reporting and writing, on everything from the international to the very local. The sports page was phenomenal. Molly Ivins' column was printed regularly, and we had almost no use for the New York Times and its holier-than-thou masthead font (and pricing). Here in Boulder, we have the Daily Camera. Now, being a Boulder newspaper, the Camera boasts some interesting and fun features that definitely pander…

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An Evening with the Eels


Last night I went to see the Eels at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. It was my first concert in about ten years! The last concert I intentionally went to was to see Bluetip at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey (which was great). Once again, as I did when I went to see Bluetip, I went alone; Brenda hates going to shows, and I kind of do too, these days. For a kid who used to see a minimum of three bands a weekend from junior year of high school though college, my last couple decades seem pretty pathetic by comparison, but I have my reasons. I'm an old fart who doesn't like people and crowds, as well as most…

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Wikigagged


An editorial in today's Daily Camera mentions a recent judge's recent order to "disable" the domain name of wikileaks.org, a site that purportedly offers up Standard Operating Procedures for American troops in Iraq, Gitmo, and other evidence of corporate wrongdoing. Potentially interesting reading, and protected under the First Amendment for chrissakes. Luckily the judge is an idiot, and does not understand the domain naming system too well. Here's the IP address: http://88.80.13.160. As the editorial says, visit the site today. Do it to honor the First Amendment.…

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Our House


Brenda & I went to see a play last night at the Denver Center. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but this is the first straight play I've seen since moving to Boulder; it was worth the wait. Our friends Deirdre and Evan bought us tickets for Christmas, and it was the foundation of a great evening. The play was "Our House", a world premiere commentary on the ever-more blurred line between network news, so-called reality television, and entertainment. Presented in the round in the Space Theatre, it was a great evening that had us laughing and thinking. I miss the thriving theatre scene back east, but then again we could never afford to go to the theatre very often anyway.…

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rumblestrip: new layout, upgraded backend


Once again, rumblestrip.org has a new look. This time it's based on the neoclassical theme by Chris Pearson. Very clean, and with a rotating masthead graphic (currently randomly selected from eleven images, more to come). The bigger news is that I've upgraded to the latest version of Wordpress. The new version supports tagging, which allows me to assign tags, or keywords, to each post. This allows a finer-grained content definition than the traditional "categories" I used to use. One nifty feature of the new layout is the new "tag cloud" feature, which displays all the tags in my blog; the more a tag appears, the larger the tag shows up in the cloud. This simply offers one more way…

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TiVo Upgrade


A while back I posted a tearful tribute, in song, to my dear departed TiVo. I still don't know what happened to it, but it was an old Series 2 with the "40 Hour" capacity. She served her owners proud for almost four years, and I decided it would be cheaper and certainly faster to replace it with a new box rather than try to fix old blue. The "80 hour" Series 2 TiVos are now yesterday's news, and apparently there was a big promotion through TiVo's website recently so there was a glut of those babies available on eBay. After losing several auctions by a buck, I finally scored one for eighty bucks and the seller was nice enough…

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The Night The TiVo Died


I'm so distraught, I put it into song: The Night the TiVo Died (sung to the tune of Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died") In the chill of a winter's night In the land of the yoga hippies When Rob & Brenda's TiVo died And they talk about it still When Rob arrived home from work Brenda displayed a nervous quirk She said "I have some bad news" And then she gestured towards the tube We heard Robbie cry We heard him pray the night the TiVo died Brother what a night it really was Brother what a plight it really was Live TV We heard Robbie cry We heard him pray the night the TiVo died Brother what a…

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Green Signatures in the News (Again)


Well, my silly little piece on "green" email signatures is in the news again, this time in the L.A. Times. When I wrote that, it was cathartic because I was so frustrated by a particular co-worker and his sanctimonious ways, and his mindless insistence that we all preach to our clients this message that I felt went without saying. Who knew it would become the single most popular post on my website and the source for two newspaper articles on green email signatures (and a television interview that as far as I know landed on the cutting room floor)? Of course the fact that I work in sustainable design and live in left-leaning Boulder Colorado made my frowny post…

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The Bronx is Burning


Let me start with a quote, because I heard it in my head repeatedly throughout my (two) viewing(s) of ESPN2's new miniseries "The Bronx is Burning": "Ahhh, 1978, there'll never be another year like that, not in my lifetime." That gem was uttered by a co-worker from an old job, back in New York. The same guy who got me tickets to what ended up being Doc Gooden's no-hitter against Seattle in '96, Joe is the quintessential Yankees fan: lifelong, diehard, one-sided, true. And he's the guy I think of when I watch Billy Martin (expertly played by John Turturro) kick sand on the ump in this great, great show. I was just a kid when the Bronx Bombers…

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Flight of the Conchords


Well, Sundays seem so empty now, with Tony Soprano gone and all. But I was pleasantly surprised when Brenda & I sat down to watch the premiere of Flight of the Conchords. Not really knowing anything about these two kiwis or how they were gonna make their "funny folk" act into a TV show, we went in blind. But fifteen seconds into the intro I was hooked. Exactly four minutes in though, the protagonists broke into song at Dave's party and I was laughing so hard at the lyrics and the presentation that Brenda thought the neighbors were gonna call the cops. And when you're on the street, depending on the street, I'll bet you are definitely in the top…

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Surf's Up (or, Sopranos Finale)


So, after eight absolutely fantastic fucking seasons, The Sopranos run has come to an end. The finale was a mixed bag, and the salt in the wound is that the lame-ish ending is followed by the premiere of a fucking surfer show. The Sopranos has entertained me on so many levels it will take much more than a blog post at this hour to explain it. Suffice to say, the lingo brings back memories of my youth and my quote database is proof of that. The first time Brenda & I watched the show we were in a hotel room with HBO and after 15 seconds of the opening sequence, where Tony drives through the Lincoln Tunnel, past the Hoboken…

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Dopes


What a bunch of idiots these guys are. With the Floyd Landis Show currently unfolding at Pepperdine University, complete with tales of Greg LeMond's weenie and an obsfucatory defense that would make Johnnie Cochran proud, now it appears that Oscar Pereiro -- the man who finished second to Landis in the 2006 Tour de France and the man who stands poised to claim a belated yellow jersey if Landis is proven guilty of cheating -- is also mixed up in the Operation Puerto scandal, the scandal that has already forced Jan Ullrich out of the sport and brought Ivan Basso into the darkest point of his career (and hopefully will rid the sport of Tyler Hamilton once and for all)…

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Quoted


Well, what the hell do you know. One of my little old blog posts has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal! Something tells me that a lot of WSJ readers who may ultimately ferret out my website will not be entertained by the majority of my content, however...…

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The Honorable Sam "Ace" Rothstein


Much as I'm enjoying watching Alberto Gonzales go down in flames, the rabid scenes in the Senate last week were quite tiresome. Seriously; Nancy Pelosi with foam dribbling from her jowls is incredibly unappetizing. All these donation-collecting suit monkeys crawling around Washington are the same: they only show some stones once it becomes clear that the only idiot in town bigger than Gonzales is Bush. I'm sick of hearing them all talk, from both sides of the aisle. And I have a proposal to fix this: If I can find a quote from a mob movie that fits the situation, the quote shall serve as hearing, trial, verdict, end of story. No op-ed pieces, no press conferences, and for damn…

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R.I.P., Molly Ivins


Well, shit. Molly Ivins, my favorite Texan, has died. Losing her third battle with breast cancer, one of our greatest bastions of clear thinking and best practitioners of humorous-while-pissed-off writing is no longer around to comment on the bullshit that politicians do. I still remember reading one of Molly's editorials in the Star-Ledger, back in New Jersey, a few months before the second Iraq War began. I was struck by how clearly she distilled the issues, and how humorously she did so. I followed her syndicated column, and read her excellent book Bushwhacked, a book you should all read. One of her rants from last May even garnered a post on my website, for what that's worth. Read the book,…

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SOTU


Here it is, folks. The State of the Union Address. Sadly, this is a rather accurate depiction of what we've got going on in Washington. Watch: "The REAL State of the Union Address"…

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On Sexual Depravity (and Shrinkage)


A couple of weeks ago I posted an innocent little blurb about riding my bike in the snow to deliver some christmas presents to the post office. I included a picture of my beloved singlespeed "townie" bike that was used for the purpose. The thing is, the bike's frame is whimsically called the "Il Pompino". It's made by a company in the U.K. called On-One, and it's a great, bombproof bike frame, perfect for the task. Perhaps because the company is in the U.K. they don't realize this, but the phrase "Il Pompino" means "blow job" in Italian. Eh, probably they do know. I knew of this alternate meaning when I bought it, and I sometimes refer to…

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Happy Zacarias


Today, a co-worker shared some of his recordings from when he was in a band. They had toured for a couple years, playing mostly in the Atlanta area, and were reasonably competent. A discussion arose regarding band names; I may have possibly brought it up. You see, I have some really solid names for bands, and it pisses me off that I lack the musical talent, connections and material to plug into a band name. And tonight, I hit on the greatest album name ever, so now I'm really feeling down. Lemme start with the band name: There are a few towns in New Jersey all ending with "Amboy", such as South Amboy, and Perth Amboy. When you drive through…

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BIFF


This weekend, the second annual Boulder International Film Festival hit town, and Brenda & I took full advantage, taking in two feature-length films and watching a program of short films yesterday afternoon. Everything we saw was shown at the fabulous Boulder Theatre, a quirky old joint downtown with a great old marquee, uncomfortable seats, and a full service bar. Boulder does everything differently. Friday night we saw "C.R.A.Z.Y.", which was a great coming of age flick about a whole family, really, but centered on one son and his homosexuality. It was a fantastic ensemble cast and was one of those performances that are all too rare these days, an entire cast that worked well together. The…

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SOTU=SNAFU


Yeah, so I missed most of the State of the Union, forgetting about the time zone change (yeah, it STILL happens to me). But from the look of things, it was big business as usual so who gives a shit anyway. What's been fun, in a staggeringly depressing way, is to review the snippets of Karl Rove's -- I mean the President's -- speech, against the cold truth of the facts behind the rhetoric. You can do this not on the major news outlets, because they are all whores who suck. I'm tired of George Snuffalupagus and god knows I don't need to hear "The Democratic Response", which is sure to be one more performance of people who still can't…

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Home Theater Hell


Houston, we no longer have a problem. It was the damned channel button. For the last several months, I have lived in a state of worry and emasculation, unable to get my "home theater system" fully operational. I tried several times, under varying levels of intoxication, to hook up this collection of black boxes and cable spaghetti in just the right way, so that the stuff would actually fucking work as advertised, to no avail. Inevitably, one or more things would not behave. Couple this with an untimely demise of our old DVD player (first it showed movies in black&white, then it started refusing to even play audio cds), and you have me down at the BestBuy looking…

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They Should be Ashamed


Crack dealers usually give out the first taste for free, since they know they'll be back for more. And now Apple has released iTunes 6.0, which includes the ability to buy TV episodes (through the iTunes Music Store), which means my monthly ITMS bill is going to skyrocket. Next thing you know, I'll be fencing hot VCRs to feed my craving for downloadable media. At the moment, it appears that you can only grab a few shows (current stuff like Desperate Housewives, Lost, etc), but you know that's gonna change. If they add the entire Sanford and Son catalogue to the list of downloadable tracks, I'm sunk. Bap-bap-ba na, bap-bap-ba na na na na, nat-nat-na na na, ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-ne-new, ne-ne-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-nerw.…

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Baseball, Bikes, Boxes, Travel and Snot


Time for another long-overdue update. Let's go in reverse order, with regard to the title of this post. I've got a cold. It sucks. (ah-choo!) Been traveling more than usual, both for work and play. I was in Chicago this Wednesday for a meeting, and I guess I'd better get used to the idea of buisness travel again. I knew this was one of the downsides of taking this new job -- the attendant increase in travel and meeting requirements. I guess you take the good with the bad. Before Chicago, I was in Princeton, NJ visiting Brenda who has been there for a couple of weeks running the costume shop for a show at the McCarter Theatre. Brenda has…

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Jesus n' Joysticks


Folks, you just can't make this shit up. It appears that we now have an organization devoted to the support and development of christian video games, games that support family values and spread the christian "message". My question is, where do "Crusades 1-9" and "Spanish Inquisition" fit in their little wholesome product line up? Give me a break. This is just more evidence that people suck, and that the really evil ones tend to pose as our saviors. Want more evidence? Check out the about page of Bretheren Entertainment (who tout the spiffy tagline "entertaining for eternity"), where they state the following: As believers in Christ, we pray that God will be glorified through our work and that each of…

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This American Office


So, we're underway. The Office--a hysterical comedy about the banality of corporate office working life--put on by the BBC for a couple seasons, has been brought across the Atlantic, and American network NBC is trying its hand at putting first class comedy on American air. So far, so good. You may recall my gushing about the original BBC series. It deserved all that and more (and got it, from lots of critics). So when I heard they were going to try and get this series to fly on American television, I began to steel myself against the watered-down writing, and the inevitable bad ratings that it would garner. Just last year, another very funny show on BBC, "Coupling", was absolutely…

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Hack


There's an old saying that goes: "those who can't do, teach". Woody Allen extended and enhanced that into a joke with the corollary: "and those who can't teach, teach gym." But what does one say about someone can't write theatre reviews? Where do they come from? More importantly, why do bad theatre reviewers exist? Gym is one thing -- a monkey can throw a ball at a bunch of adolescents and blow a whistle -- but analyzing a play and reporting on it to a local readership -- who just may have to rely on the ability of said reporter to know whether they might want to see it -- takes a little more skill than that. It does a…

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Address Unknown


"Despair overthrown often turns in mad directions." So says Martin Schulse. Martin, one of two characters in "Address Unknown" -- the latest play in previews at the theatre where Brenda works -- is beginning to slide down the slippery slope into Nazism, in early 1930's Germany. This statement -- along with an amazing monologue that to Martin Schulse is about "liberals" and could easily be heard from the talking head of the week of the neocon plague currently rotting this country -- are among the many gems contained in this wonderful 75 minute theatrical immersion. This is what theatre is supposed to be. I loved Jerry Orbach, but "and you give me Allentown?!?" is not the stuff of real theatre.…

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Hotel Rwanda


Brenda & I drove down to Princeton, NJ today to see the film Hotel Rwanda. We had to drive thirty miles to get to a theater that was showing this movie, as the eighty screens within the ten mile radius of our home were busy with the rest of the shit that is out there. Regular readers of this website will probably not be surprised by the fact that I generally avoid movie theaters, as they tend to be filled with other people. But usually once a year or so Brenda & I are compelled to get out there and see something. This year it was Hotel Rwanda. I love Don Cheadle (and I'm pretty sure it was him that…

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DSC to pilots: screw you!


Well, that’s the end of that. After enjoying two and a half years of Discovery Wings Channel—all aviation/aerospace, all the time—the Discovery Channel has called it quits. Instead of providing more general aviation coverage to balance the seemingly continuous wartime/warplane segments, they are going all bombs, all the time. Starting January 10 2005, the Discovery Wings Channel becomes the Military Channel. Kaboom! By giving the people what they want, general aviation enthusiasts miss out on what was an exciting network with lots of potential. I thought that between the History Channel, and DSC Wings’ unbalanced schedule (and the daily news, for that matter), that we had enough things blowing up on…

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