Cirrus Design being sued

You may or may not have heard of an airplane crash in NYC October last year that killed Yankee's pitcher Cory Lidle and the flight instructor he was with. The NTSB has ruled the accident as pilot error, having found nothing wrong with the aircraft, a SR-20 (they flew into an apartment building).

The lawyer for the families (apparently it's the same lawyer for both families) has announced that the families are suing Cirrus. "It's not surprising, the Safety Board always blames the pilot in an accident," said the lawyer, Todd Macaluso.

Hmm.. Let's see here. The plane was making a U-turn in which the NTSB has determined was poorly planned. To correct their poor planning they could have banked harder or risen briefly into restricted airspace (seems like that's a better option than hitting a building).

Sounds like pilot error to me, doesn't it?

Oil and Al Qaeda

Ok, so I'm sitting in McDonalds having a quick bite to eat before I headed back out caching. There's a TV there that's on CNN, so naturally I watch. They had an interesting story on that seemed to make sense at first glance, but I'm interested in your comments on it. I'll paraphrase the story:

1. Our economy is tied to oil. Yes, if oil prices rise people will cut back their use (less vacations, etc). The cost of goods will climb though if gas prices were to double (it will cost more to farm the food, transport it, etc).

2. Al Qaeda knows this. Part of their plan is to bring down the US economy. I hadn't heard this before although it's not shocking and I don't exactly follow Al Qaeda's mission plan that well.

3. How better to attack our economy? Attack oil. Hard for us to defend - most of it is not even within our borders! Supposedly the Saudi's have arrested over 170 Al Qaeda operatives. They also found about $5.3 million and a cache of weapons hidden in the desert.

The problem is, as I see it, is that the attacks are inevitable. They seem rather determined, have a different take on things (how many of us would strap explosives to our bodies and blow ourselves up because our boss or our pastor asked us to?), and I can't believe that world intelligence agencies are finding out about all of the plots before they happen so they can be stopped (actually we know that isn't true - besides 9/11, Al Qaeda also attacked a Saudi oil field (unsuccessfully) in 2006). And while the Saudi's are a large contributor to US oil, they are far from the only ones.

Caching along the Superior Hiking Trail

I ended up working during the day today and snuck out of work a couple of hours early to try and hit some caches around town that I haven't been able to do after work on normal nights. I started out with a couple of the Sven series by Esko along the Superior Hiking Trail. I had done a couple of the Sven ones on the west part of this trail (I approached it from behind the zoo), but the trail was too icy when I was there and I ran out of time to get the ones on the east side. Today, light rain and all, was an excellent day to be out caching (what day isn't?). I scared up a few deer, and rabbit, and even a porcupine that was sitting right in the middle of the trail (he was in a tree when I came back through about 10 minutes later).

I then drove out to Fond du Lac to get a new one at the Evergreen Memorial (oddly enough almost exactly where Tango90's cache "Overlooking Lost Lake" had been before). I tried to load the cache page for another cache I thought was in the area that wasn't in my GPS but Verizon has almost no service in that area so I ended up blowing that cache (something about a hairy wolf) off. Then it was back to the SHT to get a canpaddle cache. Then on to the Inga cache. This one gets the "curse you EskoClimber" from me. I had to write down the puzzle and will try and solve it this week.

I then headed up the shore to the real fun. I absolutely LOVE hiking along the rivers along the north shore. Today's hike was about a 3 mile round trip hike (about 2 miles of which was on the SHT) along Knife River. It is so peaceful and relaxing, even while hiking... Just the you and the sounds of the river. The cache (Dark Forest) was a MnGCA COTM nominee last January.

Then on to Two Harbors to nab two caches that I haven't gotten yet (one I DNFed years ago and one I wasn't able to get while in the area last fall), then home. All in all it was about 7 hours of caching, which isn't bad for a work day. What's funny is that, without planning, I did 5 of my 9 caches along the SHT. I'm starting to really enjoy the trail each time I walk on it, and I rarely walk on the same piece twice.

Wood ticks

Beautiful day in Duluth yesterday and again today! High 60s/Low 70s, slight breeze, clear sky. And it's only April! And to think that last month we had one of our top-10 snow storms of all time!

Took the family out to place a cache yesterday. We ended up hiking about 2 1/2 miles round trip, which takes quite a while with a 2-year old that likes to stop and jump in mud puddles and off from any stone higher than 2" in the trail.

Today will definitely be a 'work around the yard' day. It's way too nice to be huddled up inside.

And oh, by the way, we picked up 4 good sized wood ticks yesterday...


Got an email today from a cacher who went to find "Your 100th Anniversary". What they found was the ammo box with the lock smashed off. Opening it up was more interesting. It appeared that the vandals sprayed the inside of the can with WD40 (which was there to lubricate the lock) and then lit the whole works on fire. After that they took the time to rehide the ammo can as it was.

I'll be stopping this week hopefully to check on it....

Twin Cities caching

I had a MnGCA board meeting in Hinckley on Friday evening and decided to head down to the Twin Cities to do some caching on Saturday as I had plans to go to a Twins game with Bill, Kim, and some friends and family of theirs.

Scott ended up tagging along for the caching. We hit a night cache on Friday night (the 13th), The Evil Dead, which was a blast. The cache didn't take too long at all but had a couple of nice twists in it. I've never been to a night cache that I didn't like and this one was no exception.

We had reservations at a motel in Lakeville for that night and got up and out of the motel by around 8 to do some caching before I had to head to the game. I believe we found about 25 caches for the day. I was very surprised by the quality of the caches in the area. A number of them were 1/4 mile hikes (or more), and large number of 'small' or 'regular' containers. After caching in Oklahoma City recently I was glad to see that the cachers in this area of the Twin Cities are still putting out some pretty decent containers.

Scott dropped me back off at my truck at 3:30 and I headed up to Minneapolis to meet up with the group for the game (and grabbed one more cache in the area before I had to meet them). The game was great - good times and a win for the Twins (12 to 5)!

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