Hi everyone! My name is Rusty Coonfield and here is my BLOG. That's short for "weblog" to you. Kind of like an online journal which may or may not include subjects like: how to use a Macintosh computer, cool and useful websites, new technologies, photos of outdoor pursuits and my family and friends. Please add you comments and have fun! -Rusty

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Blogo Review + Ziplining in Cabo, Skimboarding in Miami

A test post from Blogo. Drug one photo directly from iPhoto and the other from Flickr on Safari - NICE!
but... Blogo is annoyingly laggy on my PB 1.33/768/OS10.5 and it has some big hitches in its interface. It took me forever to figure out how to switch back to regular blogging from micro blog mode! It is the best blogging tool I have seen in a while but why can't someone do better! I mean, Web 2.0 is here and you'd think someone would create something really nice. Blogo is ok but I will not be paying the $25 to keep it until it comes out of its currently beta-ish concatenation.

Jennstar & I ziplining in Cabo

Not me, but I wish

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fort Smith Airshow

The bi-annual Fort Smith Airshow was this last weekend and
was tons of fun. Jennifer and I got there late but I got to see what I wanted to.

Matt Younkin performed in the Beech 18. An act that his late father Bobby Younkin pioneered. Matt performed it with all the grace that his dad did.

Kyle Franklin also following in his Dad, Jimmy's footsteps stole Matt's Super cub and performed the Drunken Cub routine. Outrageously funny with incredible low level stunts that make your heart stop.

Rounding out the afternoon were the world famous Thunderbirds with as thrilling and inspiring a routine as ever. Whoever picks their music and mixes it to the act is really good! I am particularly proud of this photo. make sure and click the photos to see them enlarged. This one makes a great wallpaper.

It was a wonderful day with perfect temperatures and just the right amount of clouds for a great airshow backdrop. Hope to see you at the next one!
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Friday, May 09, 2008

The New Social

A kind of primer to online social networking...

The scenario.
Have you ever been walking down the street or sitting in public place and noticed all the fascinating people around you? You watch them go about their business but know there is so much more hiding behind that silent simple picture of a human being and you resist the urge to walk up to them and ask them to give you a quick synopsis of their life hoping to find those hidden treasures of the human condition or maybe to simply see if their story fits what you see. Alas, usually you don't because their just isn't time enough not to mention most people would think you were a little wacko. But wouldn't it be great if there was a way to know who else was silently casting glances in your direction wondering exactly the same things about you?

The process.
I still see references to the anti-social geek holed up in an apartment somewhere foregoing all real human interaction for the anonymity of a chat room and maybe "ordering" a mate from an online dating service. But as technology has advanced the way we social is evolving. The chat room is no longer the anonymous destination for most people going to the computer desiring human interaction. Folks are gladly posting personal information about themselves to the internet to open themselves up to like-minded individuals and even to those who are so different as to be curious. "Profile" pages such as Myspace and Facebook or someone's personal blog serve as a "residence" that is open 24/7 for others to visit and explore all at the explorers leisure without disturbing the owner. A friend request is sent and now the owner gets to review the information of someone who expressed an interest in them - how flattering! The two humans figure out that they both have many common interests or maybe they just find that their common interest is finding out about each other. In any case human contact is made and even traditional social behavior may ensue.
The advantages are clear. New friends with similar interests can be found so fast that you won't have time to hang out with them all! But the technologies allow you to interact with them via the net as well. A larger group of friends can be interacted with on a regular basis and old friends that have moved are now much closer and able to find you very easily. And possibly one of the most important lynch pins in all of this is that initial interactions can be made "safely" behind the relative anonymity of your computer which I think is the point that most often stops people from meeting at all.

One step further.
Knowing where another person is at provides many reasons to interact and fairly new technologies are making finding people near you in the real world easier. Twitterwhere allows you to find people that are using Twitter near you or even in a place you've always wanted to visit. My local tweets and I often exchange information during bad weather. I travel a lot too and if I am wondering something about where I am traveling I could find out from a real person. Unlike picking someone randomly out of the phone book in an unfamiliar place using new technologies I can see who might have the best answer to my question before bothering a bunch of people not to mention the fact that if they are participating in a technology like twitter I know I have consent to contact them in the first place.
With applications like Twinkle on the iPhone or BrightKite you can even find people immediately around you maybe at the same restaurant, movie theater, sporting event ,etc! Short silent exchanges can be made via text on your mobile device without interrupting the real-world event you are both attending and if a meeting is agreed then maybe you could go out to sushi after the movie and get to know a new friend beyond their profile.
The new social is here to stay and will only evolve into greater things. This prolific new use of the internet and its quick absorption into daily life is even being referred to as "web 2.0" meaning the second evolution of the internet. It is promising that our society is embracing this new "open" way of interaction. It may sound cliche but it makes the world smaller. The new social helps make us all friends and friends help and nurture each other. I think we can make a lot of changes in the world for the better just by having the conversation.

Welcome to the new social.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tornado Damage Aerial View

A friend of mine took this video of the most recent tornado damage here in Arkansas from his airplane.


The only thing scarier than Islamic extremists....

In my opinion there is no place in any religion for belligerence or extremism. Why can't we all just get along?


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Delta Blues Fly in. Cleveland, Mississippi

The Delta Blues Fly-In had its start last year at the hands of organizer Eric Tatum. Last year's fly-in was held at Dorr field - a privately owned grass strip near Marigold, MS. Considering the soggy weather last year the fly-in was moved to the public airfield at Cleveland, MS home of Delta State University's flight department and Air Repair - a shop that specializes in Stearman restoration and maintenance.

And indeed the weather was bad. Winds gusting up to 40mph were present the day most of the North Little Rock "cluster flock" flew over and the next day brought severe thunderstorms and even tornadoes. Jennifer and I drove the 3 hours instead of trying to fly over and it's a good thing because hangers were in short supply.

Live blues at Crawdads in Merigold and then partying at Po' Monkey's Juke-Joint was on the agenda for Thursday night and then we figured we better go hold down the casinos through the bad weather on friday and friday night. The lads did well and we had a staggering seafood buffet.

Saturday's weather was incomparable. We quickly saddled up several airplanes including a T6 and 6 Stearmans along with a 172, Scout and a couple of Citabrias to head to Greenville for lunch. We were all itching to take advantage of the absolutely gorgeous weather and the mass flight along the Mississippi River to a nostalgic aviation spot.

The rest of the afternoon was a lazy affair complete with a flour bombing competition and spot landing competition for the Stearmans and several rides given in various airplanes. Hanging out right off the taxiway up close to the action, the lack of necessity for gates, rules and security along with an abundance of camaraderie and great aircraft made for one of the best fly-ins I have been to in a long time. Cant wait for next year!


Monday, May 05, 2008

Summary of tornado damage from the weekend

Several tornadoes hit Arkansas this last weekend. We were out of town. One or two came pretty close to Country Air but we didn't have any damage. Just more reason that we will be building a FEMA approved shelter into our house.


On a side note. I love being able to rip videos off the news' website to use as a see fit even when they try to keep you from doing it. Silly big media - don't they know that if it's easier for bloggers to repost newscasts that go out over the air anyway it will gain more views?


Monday, April 28, 2008

Search For Priest Turned Helium Balloon Pilot Suspended

Brazil's air force Thursday suspended efforts of finding a Roman Catholic priest, 42-year-old Reverend Adelir Antonion de Carli, presumed missing off the coast of Santa Catarina, where pieces of the hundreds of helium party balloons that carried him aloft (Sunday April 20) were found. After an initial climb to 20,000 feet, Denise Gallas, treasurer of Carli's parish told The Associated Press, Carli settled in at roughly 8,200 feet for his planned trip from Parangua to Dourados -- a city 465 miles away. At the time of his last communication with the port authority Carli was already 30 miles off the coast and stated he would soon crash in the Atlantic. Eight hours later, according to The Associated Press, he was reported missing. The priest had launched wearing a helmet, a thermal suit and a parachute. He was armed with his skydiving experience, a GPS, a satellite phone and a "buoyant chair," the AP reported.

Gallas said Tuesday, "We are absolutely confident he will be found alive and well, floating somewhere in the ocean," adding "he knew what he was doing and was fully prepared for any kind of mishap." It was Carli's intent to break a record for 19 hours aloft in such a contraption and to raise money for a spiritual rest stop for Brazilian truckers. Carli's former paraglider instructor told the Telegraph.co.uk that he had instructed Carli but later asked him to "abandon the course" because in his estimation Carli had personality traits that were "not ideal for a paraglider."