Owensboro by prop

May 07 2013

I tweeted that before heading to the airport yesterday. Upon arrival at Mid-Continent, I learned my flight from ICT to ORD had been delayed, shaving my layover from a nice 30 minutes from arrival to boarding down to -10 minutes. That’s right. My flight landed in Chicago 10 minutes after my connector to St. Louis began boarding.

After the successful fat man’s sprint to the connector, I figured I was home free. A nice layover in St. Louis at the Schlafly restaurant let me fill up on their fatty fish and drink their beer. I can drink a lot of hoppy beer at an airport.

As I approached the gate to board my final flight to Owensboro, I realized something was wrong. I’d not heard of Cape Air. There’s a reason.

Cessna 402

Cessna 402

A local carrier that somehow found a niche serving the related areas of New England, Florida, the Caribbean and St. Louis, Cape Air flies Cessna 402s. It’s the first time I’ve been asked for my body weight when flying commercially. I got to subtract a pound or two for the sprint in Chicago.

The ride from St. Louis to Owensboro wasn’t bad, except for the constant roar. Landing at Owensboro, I learned from another passenger that the guy with the orange glow-in-the-dark pom-pom sticks on the tarmac guiding us in was also the guy who ran security and baggage check. Sure enough, after he got us our bags, he took his hat off and came out from behind the counter so I could ask him to call a taxi.

The taxi took 30 minutes to get to the airport, at which time I learned they didn’t accept credit cards. No problem, I thought. There’s an ATM in the airport.

It was out of service. The nice sole-proprietor of the airport told me there was an ATM at the hotel. I convinced the driver that I’d pay him after I got cash at the hotel, intending full well to tip handsomely for trusting me.

The lady at the hotel told me the ATM was in the bar next to the DJ booth. I turned around from the hotel desk to see the bar, entering to find a very smoky room and a 50-year old waitress dressed in a get-up that looked like something from a casino. Running to the ATM, I saw immediately that it was out of service as well.

The nice lady behind the hotel desk ended up giving me a dollar to add to my seven to make the eight demanded by the driver. So much for his tip.

I finally found a way to get cash – by buying something at the IGA with my debit card and asking for cash back…and buy something I did. Dinner. And forks.
Hungry Man

I will say that the place I presented this morning was pretty grand. RiverPark Center in Owensboro is home to not only a large music and theater venue but also to the International Bluegrass Music Museum. The view from its north side this morning around sunrise was pretty swell.

As I finish my second microwave dinner of champions, I’m thankful for in-room microwaves. I might trade it, though, for MSNBC on their cable line-up.

2013-05-07 07.03.05

Though unofficial, this is my last auctioneer education trip while a member of the NAA Speakers Bureau. It’s been a fun run, allowing me to go to Minnesota, Texas, Oregon, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, Alabama, New Hampshire and Oregon again. Other fun locations I’ve gotten to present auctioneer content outside of the Speakers Bureau include Florida, Missouri and, now, Kentucky. I’ll miss it.

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Joss Whedon endorses Mitt Romney

Oct 29 2012

Joss Whedon is a fantastic director and created the lovable Firefly TV series, among others. It seems he’s come out in support of Willard. It’s definitely worth the 2 minutes.

Thanks to both Fro and Naomi for sharing this on the book of faces.

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Farming

Aug 27 2012

It’s been nearly three months since my father left me with the farm. It was precisely one year ago today when he saw my newborn son in the hospital. While we were watching Nolan get passed from family member to family member in the birthing suite, he told me, “You have achieved immortality.” I thought about that a lot today as I sat today for 14 hours on the tractor, stirring up as much dust as the 1/2″ we received last week would allow.

I’m learning a lot, but I don’t know that I’ll ever feel that I’m learning enough. I’m particularly disappointed with the amount of quality agricultural audio content. KFRM is chalk full of commercials and religious and family content, Audible doesn’t have much in the way of quality nonfiction related to ag in any way, and the few podcasts I’ve found are valuable but they are too few. If you have any suggestions for high level and high quality content, let me know in the comments.

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Brian Traffas

Jun 05 2012

Brian Traffas, 59, died June 4, 2012, at Medicine Lodge Memorial Hospital, Medicine Lodge, Kan. He was born Feb. 24, 1953, in Medicine Lodge, the son of Vincent and Mary (Gulli) Traffas.

A lifetime resident of Sharon, Kan., he was a farmer.

He was a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, Sharon, Kan.

On May 22, 1976, he married Marilyn R. Marcotte in Victoria, Kan. She survives.

Other survivors include his mother, Mary Traffas, Sharon, Kan.; a son Aaron (Diane) Traffas, Wichita, Kan.; two daughters Megan (Andrew) Piester, Goddard, Kan.; Erica Traffas, Wichita, Kan.; two brothers, Dr. Vincent Traffas, Kensington, Kan.; Shawn Traffas, Buhler, Kan.; two sisters Elaine Graham, Kansas City, Kan.; Joan Berman, Fayetteville, Ark.; and two grandchildren, Nolan Traffas and Kylee Piester.

He was preceded in death by his father Vincent.

Visitation will be 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wed. June 6, 2012, at Larrison Funeral Home, 120 E. Lincoln Ave., Medicine Lodge, KS 67104.

Vigil service will be 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Sharon, Kan.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 7, 2012, at St. Boniface.

Burial will be in St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery, Sharon, Kan.

Memorials may be made to the Brian Traffas Scholarship Fund in care of the funeral home.

Condolences may be left at www.larrisonmortuary.com.

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Magazine is broken iPad

Oct 17 2011

Big thanks to Eric Williams for pointing me to this video. I don’t completely accept the premise, but its interesting to think that my son may never have a print subscription of any kind.

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Is nitrogen in tires a scam?

Oct 01 2011

A computer rendering of the nitrogen molecule,...

Image via Wikipedia

I was in Manhattan, Kan., waiting on my truck to be serviced about two years ago when the salesman at the service station brought me a brochure. It touted the benefits of filling my tires with nitrogen. I had never heard of such a practice, so I read the entire brochure with amazement.

It seems that there are companies that market nitrogen for use in automobile tires. The language on a brochure or a website from one of these companies reads just like that from any popular pseudoscience or scam. Phrases like “amazing benefits” and “high purity” could just as easily come from a vitamin supplement company. In the first couple of above-the-fold paragraphs on the website from one such popular company, it’s explained how the high cost of this technology – generating and delivering nitrogen – has kept it out of the hands and tires of the common folk until now. Lucky us. Seems  it was the college kids with the nitrogen tanks for their kegorators who’ve had the secret this whole time.

Like any good skeptic, I’m not going to base an entire case against a product on poorly selected marketing tactics. Let’s think about what the product is trying to solve, decide if it makes sense and, if so, then decide if it’s economically viable.

The benefits for using nitrogen in tires comprise increases in fuel economy, tire life and safety.

Fuel economy
The hypothesis is that because nitrogen gas molecules are larger than those of oxygen, the natural seepage is reduced. Because lower-than-proper tire pressure has a negative impact on fuel economy, nitrogen must be better.

Tire life
The hypothesis is that the double bonds in the rubber of tires are susceptible to oxidation and that, over time, the anti-oxidants used by tire manufacturers to prevent this oxidation are degraded to the point that the oxygen in the tires begins to attack the rubber. Also, the moisture in air can cause corrosion on the rims. Because nitrogen doesn’t oxidize the rubber or corrode the wheels, nitrogen must be better.

Safety 
The hypothesis is that because the expansion rate of nitrogen is less than that of air. Because varying pressures in tires can lead to problems in the consistency of handling, steering and braking, nitrogen must be better.

Let’s look at the difference between oxygen and nitrogen. I’m not a chemist, but from what I can find the difference in molecular size between the gasses of oxygen and nitrogen is about 3%. Furthermore, the air we breath – the same air that is compressed to fill most of our tires – contains nearly 80% nitrogen anyway.

Here’s some math from the Car Talk website.

Under-inflated tires lowers gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every one pound of drop in pressure of all four tires. So, if you’re down by 10 pounds… you’re losing 4 percent in fuel economy… For every drop of 10° Fahrenheit in air temperature, your tires will lose one pound of pressure.

I believe that nitrogen-filled tire pressure does change with temperature, perhaps just not as much as tires filled with air. If nitrogen pressure didn’t change at all with temperature, then by this math, properly inflating your tires with nitrogen during the summer can prevent this 4% loss in fuel economy if the temperature drops 100 degrees. Or you can simply check your tires every few months and adjust the pressure accordingly.

Off-road tire

Image via Wikipedia

What about leakage? Does the 20% of the air in the tires that is 3% smaller than the rest really leak out so much faster that there is a change in pressure over the course of the few months between checks? I believe it may be slightly measurable – if using a highly accurate gauge - but I don’t believe it would be noticeable or significant to either the handling or the fuel economy.

We don’t drive our cars in a pure nitrogen environment, so the outside of our tires and our wheels are constantly exposed to oxygen, moisture and other more nefarious substances. I’ve never heard of anyone who had to replace a tire or rim due to holes rusting through from the inside of the wheels. Again, I suppose that it’s something that could be measured in the lab over the course of a very long time, but the wear on the tires will cause the need for a new tire long before the anti-oxidants (if this claim is even believable) go away. Likewise, the failure of other components on the car will cause the need for a new car long before the wheels corrode to the point that they need replaced.

The biggest logical fallacy noticeable in nearly all advertising for nitrogen in tires is an argument from authority. Because NASCAR and the US military use nitrogen in their tires, we average consumers should do the same. The high performance requirements – taking a turn at 150 mph or landing a bomber on a runway – require consistent, reliable air pressure. Both the military and NASCAR have large budgets, and at these extremes the slight benefit – only a percent or two based on the math above – of the nitrogen is worth the price which they don’t really care about anyway.

In summary, tires filled with air contain roughly 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen and small amounts of water vapor and other trace gasses. Filling tires with dry nitrogen replaces that 21% oxygen with a molecule that is 3% larger and reduces moisture inside the tire. Does this practice increase fuel efficiency, tire and rim longevity, and safety? My guess is that it may be slightly measurable but certainly not noticeable – and most definitely not worth the additional cost for anyone who properly monitors tire pressure.

What did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

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Dad life

Sep 07 2011

I’m not sure that I fit the stereotype portrayed here just yet, but I’m noticing some disturbing trends. Thanks to Luke VanSkike for pointing me at this video.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-08-21

Aug 21 2011

  • New post | Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-08-14 | #
  • I just accused my wife of giving my unborn child fruit poisoning. #
  • Dear iTunes Genius: When I start Genius on Tow Cow Garage, playing the Beatles is nothing but a #fail #
  • I liked a @YouTube video http://t.co/imkhg4r Incredible Shade Illusion! #
  • @MediaGuyCarl Nope. It auto-tweeted the title of the video….I had no control over the punctuation. #
  • @MediaGuyCarl I've already used one of my two this year…I'm saving the other for the birth of my son in a couple weeks. #
  • lol // RT @EricaHops: Wearing my new favorite t-shirt today. http://t.co/IPgHVrA #
  • likes Sally, I've Been Shot by Two Cow Garage on Ping http://t.co/JRynMZq #iTunes #
  • First full day of coding in as long as I can remember – and it felt great. #
  • Massive fail by @tgw_tweets – can't pay for a purchase without giving credit card over the phone? Is this 1995? How insecure! #
  • #lastfm Artists: Ryan Adams (11), Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane, Iyaz Akthar, Jason Howell (11) & The Hold Steady (10) http://t.co/YMZYhR5 #
  • Anybody need a sand pump? // Georgia Iron Works 816D 10 x 10 sand pump | no-reserve auction on August 25, 2011 | http://t.co/X16zP60 #
  • I'm going to throw a tablet if I see another story that says iPad killed TouchPad. webOS was superior to iOS in many ways. HP didn't market. #
  • @TGW_Mike A Ping putter. You should really fix your relationship with Ping so that you can take payments securely. #
  • @TGW_Mike I finally got it ordered using your chat system. I felt sheepish when I learned later that you were in Wichita. #
  • @TGW_Mike I'll definitely come to the store next time I need something. #
  • Hey iTunes, please never, ever add Bad Company to another Genius mix. Thanks. #
  • Quite right. // RT @MediaGuyCarl: @traffas It isn't usually the best technology that wins, but the first technology that's good enough. #
  • Plays that song that's so-illusive. #
  • Factoid: webOS Runs Twice as Fast on iPads Than on TouchPads – @Gizmodo via @natedrives // http://t.co/FptJETp #
  • WordPress Now Powers 22 Percent Of New Active Websites In The U.S. http://t.co/o2AW7Mm #
  • Really HP? You're spinning off all your hardware but you elect to keep printers? THAT'S what you kept? #
  • Happy birthday, Gene Roddenberry. #
  • I just spent a lot of money at TGW because my belly putter sucked. Should I stick with it? @TGW_Corey @TGW_Mike #
  • Each time I build something custom in WordPress it takes half the time I expected. Either I'm good or WordPress is. Probably the later. #
  • @dN0t God I hope that's autospam. #
  • @dN0t Lol. http://t.co/fQQK1dI #
  • @dN0t Well she made over $10k a month working from home! No wonder they kept it a secret. #
  • In a map with no AWP, the Famas is the surprise long range pain stick. #css #
  • @dN0t I relapse every now and then. #
  • Someone should create a website that lists places that serve Pepsi products so they're easier to boycott. #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-08-14

Aug 14 2011

  • What stain of a designer at Netflix thought that horizontal scrolling would be a good interface? #fail #
  • Hey, @boxee, is there any way to put episodes of a series in order in the Netflix app? #
  • New post | Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-08-07 | #
  • Fun With Math of the Day http://bit.ly/rinPcA #
  • I just unlocked the "Century Club" badge on @foursquare! http://4sq.com/oPG3OK #
  • OH: "Accounting should be boring. It's when accounting becomes exciting where you know you have a problem." #
  • @MikeOMearaShow I just got hiccups from laughing so hard at a bonus show. #
  • @dN0t "No one wins at violent shows." #
  • @dN0t Hold Steady lyric. I wouldn't know. You'll have to take me to one when we come visit next year sometime. #
  • @rachelyohe You seem to be tolerant with your own capitalization, though. #
  • "Blackjack's headshot" 21 OF HEARTS http://bit.ly/rkFUJr #
  • STOP! IT MAKES MY BRAIN CRY. http://bit.ly/nLgDmf #
  • @rachelyohe Not nearly as bad as the "U/are" combo fail. #
  • Using a pound sign to represent the word "number" is like a lazy texting teen who uses the number 2 to represent the word "to". #
  • I liked a @YouTube video http://youtu.be/sBH_fN-wb6c?a Auctioneers Designation Academy in Vegas #
  • That's an even more vulgar use of the pound sign since it's lazy AND redundant. // RT @jdschultz: @traffas or sn# or vin#… Ugh! #
  • My Top 1 #lastfm Artists: Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane, Iyaz Akthar, Jason Howell (4) http://bit.ly/9P1d2t #
  • Born after 1976? You’ve never experienced normal global temperatures http://t.co/62os0dG (via @summify from @EricaHops) #
  • Trailer house flipped in the wind less than a half-mile from my house. Many trees down and it seems Sprint gave up. Hoping for power soon. #
  • There are FOUR lights! #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-08-07

Aug 07 2011

  • @djpizzle I am a sucker for scifi, and it had Indiana Jones and 13. #
  • New post | Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-07-31 | http://traff.as/s8 #
  • Whoa – Firefox #fail Can't have two separate Google accounts open in Firefox simultaneously. <3 Opera! #
  • @mediatemple Did you recently raise the GPU allowance for the standard grid plan? #
  • @mediatemple Thanks! #
  • @dN0t Great band. You should check them out. Very raw songwriting. Wish I could make that show, but doubt I can leave the week after Nolan #
  • I'm watching Star Trek III: The Search for Spock @intonow http://into.tv/i/2HH3 #
  • I knew it was too good to be true. RT @mjrobbins: Hoax: "Internet Explorer users have lower IQ" story was complete bollocks http://lay.si/ds #
  • @dN0t They were smoking something. I was thoroughly unimpressed. It felt like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. #
  • @dN0t To be fair, I fell asleep for about 20 minutes in the middle of it. Perhaps that was the good part. #
  • @chadsmith I answer calls to my Voice number with Gmail in a browser. How is OpenVBX better? #
  • @chadsmith That's impressive. I'll have to check it out. We've been looking for a business solution like this. #
  • 1929 Ford Model A four door sedan | no-reserve auction on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | http://t.co/YVGog3j #
  • It amazes me how Opera with plugins and extensions runs circles around Firefox 5 with no plugins or extensions. #
  • Well the 70 mph wind just inverted and broke my brand new grill. #ksweather #thanksKansas #
  • Why is Merrill Teller wearing a blue wrist band? #kwch #ksweather #
  • @dN0t Thanks for putting it in mine. #birdplane #
  • OH: "Are there zebras in Kansas? There's no way a horse looks like that." #
  • I liked a @YouTube video http://youtu.be/Vx6hmUv06tg?a The Axis of Awesome: Birdplane #
  • @dN0t Try some diesel-flavored bird seed. #
  • My Top 3 #lastfm Artists: Harry Chapin (27), The Hold Steady (14) & Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane, Iyaz Akthar, Jason Howell (7) http://bit.ly/9P #
  • @lucasmaddy Setlists are for n00bs. #
  • Here is @lucasmaddy making a setlist…from his wall. http://yfrog.com/kexx1duj #
  • Heading to @longhornssaloon. Bringing the rock. #
  • Counting the utterances of the phrase "indoor voice" at Dennys after the show. #
  • Parenting Tips http://bit.ly/qisvLp #
  • If Social Networks Were People http://bit.ly/ncdjzD #
  • I liked a @YouTube video http://youtu.be/LBwXl-fGjN8?a Gollum at a wedding #

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