Saturday, July 31, 2010

Congratulations Are In Order!

Today I watched my sweetheart and wife of nearly 31 years cross the stage at the University of Georgia and be awarded her Masters of Education in Mathematics Education.

Today's graduation culminates 2 1/2 years of hard, dedicated work, tackled while holding a full time teaching position, marrying off a daughter and shepherding another through a UGA undergraduate program. Oh yeah, she also had to put up with me the entire time. The best part is - she held a 3.8 GPA so she graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Congratulations honey. I'm damned proud of you!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Of The Month - July

Measuring America by Andro Linklater

It is fitting, I think, that I start this series with a book that is focused on the idea of land measurement and how the practice shaped America.

Andro Linklater's work is a minor classic and a book that I feel should be read by every serious student of American history. Measuring America isn't really about the dry science of land measurement (although there is lots of discussion of that in this book), it is really about the revolutionary concept that the land belongs to The People and that the government simply holds that land in trust to ensure proper use and fair distribution.

The right to property, the ownership of property (land), and the protection and encouragement of those ownership rights is one of the concepts that made America unique. Nowhere else in the world could a poor man show up, purchase a piece of property for little or no money and have the legal system of the nation defend that individual's right to his land with the same vigor it defends the property rights of the rich man working the land right next door.

Linklater shows us that America's concept of land ownership and property rights truly gave substance to the creed that "all men are created equal".

What is Northing & Easting?

What is Northing & Easting?

The title of this blog reflects my love of all things related to the study of the shape of the earth. This is traditionally known as the science of Geodesy, but I am not a geodesist. I am, however, someone who has spent the last 30 years involved in geodesy-like studies as part of my job as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers an later as a geospatial information services and survey services manager.

The term 'northing & easting' is a common way surveyors identify coordinates (x, y) that precisely locate things on the Earth's surface; "The light pole is located at north 123456, east 654321."

But this blog won't be a dry recitation of earth science concepts and calculations. Sure, I'll touch on this topic from time to time. Instead this blog will record my thoughts, opinions, rants and infrequent brilliant insights into such critical topics as politics, world affairs, fishing, books, music, friends and family and anything else that catches my fancy or gets me worked up.

So, stay tuned and I hope you enjoy what I have to offer!