Friday, August 29, 2008

What are they thinking....

Not all of our posts will be about the day to day chronicles of the Risk family. Some posts will actually share our thoughts on issues. This is one such post.

I watched a video on CNN earlier and decided I had to soundoff on the obsurdity of the Air Canada's Jazz Airlines division to remove life preserver vests from all flights. The reasoning - to save fuel. Now, I understand the need to cut fuel costs and that the reduction of weight will use less fuel, but we are talking about less than 25 kg, or one small child. The arguement is that passengers can use the seat cushion floatation devices and that none of the airlines planes fly more than 50 km from land. These are absolutely insane reasons. Life preserver vests were put on planes because the seat cushion floatation device was not adequate for long term use. (I imagine they are probably rather hard to hold onto and after an extended period in the water, one would become even more exhausted and eventually have to let go.) Secondly, 50 km is quite a distance and when you are talking about the cold north Atlantic around Nova Scotia (where Jazz Airlines appear to be based), it is not likely that one will swim to shore.

Maybe Jazz Airlines isn't worried about it because they have crash proof planes. Or maybe the airline feels that if a plane crashes over water, no one will survive anyway.

Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about flying. Let's hope the trend doesn't catch on here in the United States.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28, 2008

Well, I had my second class this evening - the History of Russia. Seems like it will be an interesting class. It was hard to follow the progression of the various tribes and kingdoms prior to 1000 BCE and it is interesting to see how each conqueroring tribe - Huns, Vikings, etc. grew more savage the the one before. Once we get to Peter the Great and the Romanov clan, this will get really interesting and move a bit better.

Tomorrow is my follow up with Dr. Burns who did my gall bladder surgery. Haven't had any problems since and I expect I will get a clean bill of health. Now, if I could just get the pain center to call me back about the pre-authorization for the prescription they wrote three weeks ago. The insurance doesn't want to cover until I have tried at least four other NSAIDs. I've tried at least five prescription NSAIDs and haven't been able to stomach any of them. Insurance - biggest bunch of crackpots and the largest LEGAL scam on earth - no offense John.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August 27, 2008

Well, it's that time again. Classes started last evening at Fairmont State for my final semester as an undergraduate. I think I am really going to enjoy my Tuesday night class. It's U.S. Naval and Maritime History. As many of you know, I plan to study maritime history in graduate school. That's part of what makes me excited about this class. It is the first time that Fairmont State has offered the class and I was really surprised when I saw it on the schedule.

As far as graduate school, I have 2 of the six applications complete - University of Delaware and University of Maryland. I still have to submit letters of recommendation and transcripts, but otherwise those are complete. I have started the applications for Johns Hopkins University and University of Pittsburgh. I hope to have those done this weekend. I will hopefully start the last two applications next week - Ohio State (sorry all you Penn State fans - better OSU than Michigan?) and William & Mary. Wish me luck. The best thing would be for me to get accepted at all the schools and have my choice, but I don't know how likely that is to happen. I'm just hoping I get accepted to one of them. Competition in history is pretty tough. Only about 7-8% of applicants get accepted to any one school. That's why I had to apply to six - to increase my odds of finding something.

Well, it's off to do my homework. A 20 page annotated bibliography on U.S. maritime history. Believe it or not, I am actually excited about doing it because I will then be able to use that bibliography in grad school and it is a subject I really enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


What a great way to share what is going on with our family. It is going to be a very busy fall for the Risk family. Jim is back in class this week after a VERY short break after summer classes. He'll be in class Tuesday and Thursday nights so Lori and Little Man will be hanging out. Next week, Lori has a conference in Williamsburg, VA. Jim and James will be coming along to enjoy the trip and Jim will take advantage of the opportunity to visit William and Mary College as a potential graduate school. We'll be headed to Hilton Head in October with Grandma and Grandpa for a much needed week's vacation. Jim is also planning to visit Johns Hopkins, Pitt and Ohio State University to meet with their History departments. In between, we hope to meet up with friends and family, get things done around the house, study, play and keep our sanity! Then we look forward to Jim's graduation from Fairmont State University in December. That will definitely be a time to celebrate with family and friends. We hope to see/talk to everyone soon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Welcome to Our Family Blog!

Hello everyone!

We just discovered, thanks to our good friend Jennifer, this great blog site. It's compeltely customizable and it's FREE! We hope to maintin this blog in the same manner that we maintain Baby James' Online Scrapbook. Did I mention that it's FREE?! Once we get the feel for the blogsite, we will be adding lots of content and hopefully everyone will be able to keep updated on what's going on with the Risk family. Oh, and by the way -- it's FREE!