The Double M Blog
My little corner of the blogoshphere...
(formerly "The Double M News")

Recent Changes to the website

Google News      The Onion      Computer Security      Formula One      Yoga      Small Business      Human Sciences      NY Times

Thursday, November 10, 2005

News Morphs to Blog Format

From this day forward, the venerable Double M News (this page)
has gone to blog format
and will be available at this link:

So... don't come back here for Mikie News,
go to
Got it?

Tuesday, September 19, 2005

September Sunsets

'nuff said...

Return to Top

(click to enlarge)

Friday, July 22, 2005

I Gots Da Hole In My Hammock Blues...

Gaze above, if you will, at a lovely sight indeed.
This is the place where I have spent many pleasurable hours.
In fact, just last night I slept here,
to the sounds of the surf,
while watching the cosmos dance thru the sky.

Return to Top

This hammock, so inviting, so supportive, so loyal and true,
is wounded,
and may soon give up.

I feel it would want to be replaced,
rather than let me down rudely,
of course without any intention to do so,
but nevertheless...

Hole In My Hammock

This has come as an unexpected event
of profound philosophical importance.

I feel as if I may be achieving the pinnacle of Tao.
Surely a worn-out hammock is a sign of much Inaction.

Or, is "much" inaction an impossibility?
Can there more more or less Inaction?
Isn't Inaction somewhat like Empty-ness,
and a thing can not be more or less Empty?

Maybe you see where I'm going with this.
Exactly no-place.
Exactly where you want to go when undergoing Hammock Therapy.

Much meditation has occurred in this hammock,
and many of the world's problems have been contemplated here.
Some have even been solved, right here.

So for the sake of the planet,
I must get another hammock soon!

Return to Top

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Star Pine

Good friend Bonnie sent me this photo of one of our favorite trees. It's a star pine that I gave her and her husband Vince, who were close neighbors when I moved out of the neighborhood, a long time ago, and I had no room for my puny potted pine stuck in a 5 gallon bucket. I knew that where I was going would not be good for it, so I gave it up for adoption to the one person I knew would give it a good home.

Bonnie set it free to soak up the good earth in her fabulous garden, and look what a miracle has happened, slowly over the past ten or fifteen years.

What was barely two feet tall now reaches hungrily 30+ feet into the sky. All thanks to Bonnie's nurturing nature.

We had a lot of rain this spring, and our pine seems to have taken a major spurt in height, inspiring Bonnie to snap this photo. The date is in the European format of DD/MM/YYYY.

Return to Top

(click to visit his website)

Tuesday, July 13, 2005

Barry Tempest Comes To America

Barry Tempest is one of my favorite biplane flying people.
He will be coming all the way from England to Oshkosh for the first time ever
in his 67 years and 13,000 flying hours in 350 types
and 2,300 air show performances!

I met him just after crossing the English Channel in '97
in my Waco (250YM), and landing at Lydd on the south coast of England.
(see story/photos at this link)
He was on his way to an airshow in Belgium
with a VERY attractive wing-walker, in his Stearman.

But he's not just any ordinary airshow/biplane dude...
Actually, his responsibilities included the regulation
and oversight of all civil Air Displays in the UK!!!
Check out his webpage

Barry gave me the high honor of inviting me to fly at the annual airshow
at Duxford (England) airfield, when I toured Europe in my biplane, September 1997.
Click here
to see the authorization he signed,
one of my most prized possessions!

Return to Top

Thursday, July 7, 2005

What Is The Weight Of A Snowflake?

This evening, I had the good fortune to see the film "The Girl In The Cafe", and it was excellent for two reasons: Initially, because the improbable love story in the film reminded me so much of my last affair, a bittersweet tragedy beyond telling. Secondly, and more importantly, for the extraordinary message of global importance, which, if you will share with me a moment of sober reflection, and read on, deals with the fact that 100 million people die each year of extreme poverty, a tragedy of epic proportions which we can actually eliminate with the stroke of a pen. Actually, the stroke of 8 pens, held in the hands of the 8 men now meeting in Scotland.

I am reminded of a story which I happened across a couple of years ago, and was struck with its simplicity, logic, and great power. Here it is:

"Tell me the weight of a snowflake," an eagle asked a wild dove.

"Nothing more than nothing," was the answer.

"In that case, I must tell you a marvelous story," the eagle said.

"I was standing on a branch of a fir tree, close to its trunk, when it began to snow - not heavily, not a raging blizzard - no, just like a dream, without any wind and without any violence. I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3,741,123. When the very next snowflake dropped on the branch - nothing more than nothing, as you say - the branch broke off."

Having said that, the eagle flew away.

The dove, since Noah's time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for awhile and finally said to himself, "Perhaps there is only one person's voice lacking for peace to come to the world."

Author Unknown

It may truly be that only one more voice is needed to solve these seemingly impossible challenges of peace, poverty, disease... But we will know this, and achieve these great goals, only if that one final voice is heard. But the final voice is nothing in itself, without the voice of all of the others. I couldn't go to sleep tonight without adding my voice to all those others.

Return to Top

Thursday, May 5, 2005

D I A R Y   of   a   P O O L   S H O O T E R

Click title above for new blog.

Return to Top

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Master of Masters

My pool shooting record has improved.
I am looking forward to continuous improvement!
Click on the title to see all the beautiful details.

Return to Top

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

My Want List!

New Froogle service by Google has real potential.

Return to Top

Monday, May 2, 2005


It's not all serious business here at Mikie's Fun House.
In fact, some say I have a highly developed sense of humor.
Better late than never, I'm finally getting around to sharing it,
in the belief that the more fun we have
the longer we will live.

This new page, therefore,
is my gift to the longevity of all who visit here.

Return to Top

Monday, April 25, 2005

Google AdWords

What will make Google bigger than Microsoft?

Check out Google AdWords for more on this.

I invented this concept more than 25 years ago as PAL.
Some things mature slower than the speed of thought!

Return to Top

Sunday, April 24, 2005


This website is now geo-located using latitude/longitude
in the meta tags in my home page, this blog, and the webcam page.
This technology allows proximity and path-to information processsing
for all websites who identify themselves with this data.

Check out A2B for more on this.

I am using a lat/long for the center of Del Mar,
(rather than my true lat/long)
as a way of obscuring my home address
whilst retaining the benefits of geo-location.

Return to Top

(click to enlarge)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Still There, After All These Years

Piqued with curiosity after writing my Pope story,
this morning I visited the orphanage
(now just an ordinary elementary school)
where I donated the Xavier Cugat painting "Parade To The Circus"
almost 22 years ago
and sure enough, it was still there,
inspiring little boys and girls,
either to be artists,
or to run away and join the circus...

Return to Top

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Blog is Born

After all these years of being The Double M News
this name of this page is now MM Blog,
and it is spoken as if one was saying
that familiar soundbite "mmmmm good"
try it: "MM Blog"...
it's almost fun to say!
Blog sure is a funny word.
I learned all sorts of neat things when I clicked on "blog" in the Wikipedia.
For example, I learned that The Double M News is, and has been, a blog.
But, it was a blog before blogs were known to the world!

So here I am swimming into a mainstream I envisioned long ago.
Many times in my life I have been years ahead of my time.
I like that part. Seeing around the corner...

Return to Top

Monday, April 11, 2005

"Fast Mikie" Rides Again

Yesterday afternoon, on the occasion celebrating the birth of a good friend,
we guests were treated to an opportunity to crank up the adrenaline
and other competitive juices (testosterone comes to mind).
I was somewhat reluctant about this at first
because the last time I kart-raced against Birthday Boy he beat me.
Since then he has been doing well with his Vintage NASCAR racing,
so he should be in much better form than I could hope to be.
I wasn't looking forward to my second second-place to him.

The photo above might indicate that I got my revenge,
but there were two races, he won his race, and I won my race.
So we must meet mano-a-mano at some future date
to decide who is the the faster driver.
It may not count for much,
but my fastest lap was faster than his fastest lap.
It was a bunch of fun!
On this morning after, my back and arms are sore from the workout,
and the banging around on hard seats.
And now I think of it:
I should have taken the helmet from my biplane adventures!
Check out kart racing scene at: the K1Speed website.

Return to Top

Friday, April 8, 2005

Pope Story #1

On the day of his burial,
I remember a few things about events leading up to, and during
my meeting with Pope John Paul II.
This is Part One, with more to follow, as time and circumstance allows...
Click the title, or photo to read the story.

Return to Top

Monday, April 4, 2005

"Fast Mikie" Does Words and Photos

Inside Pool Magazine hired yours truly to do the story of the
Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) tournament at Viejas Casino
in nearby Alpine, CA which ran over the last 5 days.
Pool addicts can check my stuff in the June-ish issue of the magazine
or at the Inside Pool website at one of these links:
Click here for the Wednesday story and photo.
Click here for the Friday story.
Click here for the Sunday story and photo.

Return to Top

(click to enlarge)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sell Starbucks Short?

I've been a long-time Starbucks coffee fan. I had their whole beans shipped to me way before there was a local store. I like the richer taste. For me, a cup of coffee is something to be fully appreciated. A great cup of coffee is something to be shared with friends. Here at Mikie's Fun House, no expense is too great in search of the ultimate cup of coffee.

Recently, a friend sent me some coffee roasted by a small company in California, in a little town a couple of hours drive north of San Francisco. It was a real eye-opening experience...

The photo above shows Starbucks decaf blend above with Kona dark roast from The Coffee Critic, Ukiah, CA. ("Source C") Notice how dry are the beans from Starbucks, and the glistening moistness of the Source C beans. Also, notice the section of coffee in the upper left of the plate. These are bean fragments or deformed beans parts which were separated from the whole beans in the main pile below. With the Source C beans, there was almost zero debris, except for a single tiny fragment, shown adjacent to the pile of Starbucks debris.

It has been explained to me that the reason the Starbucks beans are so dry is because the actual roasting of these beans was done longer ago than the moist beans from Source C, which roasts their beans in smaller quantities much more frequently, so that the average time between roasting and brewing is much shorter. This delivers a fresher, tastier cup of coffee.

All of this seems to be validated in some other phenomena which I have observed over the last year. My coffee bean grinder, which grinds small quantities of one or two cups of coffee's worth of beans, would quite soon after cleaning build up a residue in the bottom and sides of the inside of the grinding area. This has always been the case over the many years that I have been a faithful Starbucks coffee bean customer. It was never something I complained about because I recognized it as a byproduct of the grinding of fresh beans. However, over the past year, I have noticed that less and less of the residue has been accumulating, until now, there is no residue whatsoever after grinding Starbucks beans. It seems that the beans have been getting so dry that no residue can stick. After grinding just a few cups worth of the Source C beans, the residue quickly built up in the grinder.

It seems to make sense that Starbucks can not grow as fast and as large as they have been doing without running out of truly superior coffee. They have massive pressures to keep the profit machine going to keep the stock price high so that the executive team can cash in on their stock options. So, if in order to meet the profit projection, they have to buy some substandard beans, that's a byproduct of the Capitalist System. And if they have to save money by roasting in huge quantities, even though the beans dry out, then again, that's just the way it has to be.

I used to think Starbucks did a great job. I bought their stock because they had great coffee and a great marketing System. But things have changed. Now they just have a great marketing System.

I have tried five different blends of the Source C coffee, and all of them were very flavorful, and each bag looked the same in that there was virtually no debris (fragments, chips, etc), and the beans were very moist.

Definitely superior to Starbucks.

Time to sell Starbucks stock?

Return to Top

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Singing Pig Award

"Never try to teach a pig to sing.
It's a waste of time and annoys the pig."


Last night was my first match in the Masters' pool tournament.
I was feeling pretty smug going in
just thinking that I would be playing only the best in San Diego.
With no handicapping. Mano a mano. A true test of my ability. An opportunity!

The pool gods were with me last night,
and I won every game.
Needless to say, I slept well,
and awoke with a smile.
And now, in my morning email,
words of praise from my Instructor (and pool legend) Tony Sorto:

"I teach and wonder if I'll ever see anyone learn how to play the game,
but I never thought I would see someone reach the level of excellence
that you displayed last night.
We can now say without hesitation that
you can play great pool Fast Mikie."
Tony Sorto
(Original email on file at Mikie's Fun House)

There is no trophy more valued than those words.
But in the grand scheme of things, this moment is fleeting.
It is simply a milestone along the Way.
While I now "can play great pool", it still must be done.
One ball at a time.

Many times in the last year of instruction
Tony and I would laugh at the ridiculous situation of trying to teach me to shoot pool.
I would liken it to trying to teach a pig to sing,
and Tony thought that was just hilarious,
probably because, from his perspective, there was so little evidence that
his pig was learning anything at all.
But eventually, almost glacially slowly, the faintest evidence of understanding would appear.
And with it, Hope.
Hope for the teacher, and Hope for the Pig.
And with more Time, and Practice, and Attention,
yes, even a pig can be taught to sing.
But it may be more to the credit of the teacher than the pig,
especially in this case.

I have Googled "Singing Pig Award", and it seems there is none at this time.
But I think Tony should be recognized as the Singing Pig Teacher of the Year.

Return to Top

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Celebrating Spring

It is late afternoon, the third day of the New Moon,
a week before the first day of spring.
The low clouds that have persisted for weeks
have broken clear over the coast.
The phone rings with an offer to hike the trails at Torrey Pines State Park with M.
Nothing could be more perfect.
Once on the soft sandy trails the natural urge to run was overpowering.
The fresh growth went flying by, and the recent storm erosion required rapid footwork.
The sun was warm, with a chill in the air.
We ran in spurts all the way to just above Flat Rock, and then on to the north,
taking several forbidden trail segments.
It has been years since I have ventured here,
although it is just a mile south of where I live.

Back at The Fun House,
a pint (ok, two) of Murphy's Stout with blue corn chips.
and I am invincible in a game of 8 ball.

Mark exits -
I breathe in the sweet serenity of solitude.
surf sounds,
light a candle,
my favorite meal,
an Irish coffee with Baileys and Bushmills,
(St. Patrick's Day in a week!)
Another Perfect Day.

Spring is early.
Hope is born again...

Return to Top

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Carol's Cookbook

Secrets of my excellent health for the past 19 years
are detailed in this new book by Carol.
Click here to watch it develop!

Return to Top

Friday, February 25, 2005

Most Prized Possession

Revealed at last!
Click Here
then it's the 3rd photo down the page.

Return to Top

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Muddy Waters

The blue Pacific gets a strip of brown with all
the mud from recent rains.
This is a photo taken with my oceanfront webcam.

Return to Top

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Taking On The World
Ellen MacArthur

I just finished reading, and highly recommend, the book: Taking On The World,
by Ellen MacArthur who just broke the world record
for sailing Alone, nonstop, around the world.
She's only twenty something, and 5'3", and
singlehandedly raced a 81' trimaran around the globe
in 71 days. A record.

Great book. Awesome stories of her climbing the mast
in fierce storms to change a mizzen-whatever and
the mast is getting whipped all the way over...

Return to Top

(click to enlarge)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hey! Look What I Got!

Yesterday I was awarded this addition to my trophy cabinet.
It's a small one, but I like it anyway.
The 9-ball is in the photo for scale.
(Standard billiard balls are 2.25" in diameter.)
However, what the trophy lacks in size,
it more than makes up for with durability,
as it is made entirely of plastic,
and that means that it will not rust away
here at the ocean...

The inscription reads:

Division Champion
Fall 2004 9 Ball
Michael McCafferty

I finished the 12 week session with a record of 83% wins in my matches.
So far this session, my record is a lot lower,
but I'm still learning...

Return to Top

Click for Current Del Mar CA weather statistics

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

MM Goes Underground

Weather Underground, that is.
My private weather station is now very public.
If you click on the image above,
it will take you to the Weather Underground site
where it accumulates more statistics than anyone would ever want to know about
the weather in Del Mar, all from my oceanfront weather station.

Until now, my weather station was only available from my webpage (click here to see it)
and I set it up to collect and graph only the last 24 hours of data.

As a member of the Weather Underground,
my weather station sends fresh data every 5 minutes to their database,
and stores it for a long, long time, so the weather freaks among us
can slice it and dice it and analyze it to their heart's content.
Click the image above to see what I mean!

Return to Top

The American Spirit Honor Medal, presented by the Citizens Committee for the Army, Navy and Air Force,
to Michael McCafferty on 30 April, 1965, at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

War Stories

Click on the photo, or the title for
The True Story of how I won a medal of honor
without really trying,
and other True Stories while serving my country.

Return to Top

Tuesday, January 30, 2005

A Proposal For The Improvement Of Democracy

When will we start using the tools we have
to improve the quality of Democracy?
When will we stop living with a 200 year old design?

Return to Top

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Green Flash Captured At Fun House!

Proof at last that the Green Flash does exist.
This photo taken with hand held Nikon Coolpix 4200.
Sorry about the quality, but click on the image to supersize it.

Return to Top

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Waco Airplanes Sign Is Home At Last!

I just made some improvements to my office... Here's a photo of the computer system wall of my office. The neon Waco Airplanes sign (8' x 1.5') was hanging in Mikie's Fun House #2 (the airplane hangar in the desert), and has been waiting for a couple of years in storage to be the center of attention here at Mikie's Fun House #4. The prop is from my European Biplane Tour. After returning from that 3 month adventure it had absorbed a bit too much moisture and got itself out of balance and needed to be replaced. That was just fine with me, because I always wanted to have one of these awesome props for my wall. The triple monitors for my computer systems are the best computer investment I have ever made. Behind the monitors are three framed items: The center frame is a quote by Arthur C. Clarke: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Magic". The flanking frames are engineering drawings of the Waco YMF-5 (the one I flew). Just inside the office, to the left of the entry, is the hidden prize, a large Grandfather clock. To the right, out of the photo, is a window to the ocean view.

Return to Top

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Another Perfect Day

The above photo is a grab shot from my Webcam, taken today around noon. Yesterday was the first day of sunshine in what seems like weeks. And it was spectacular. Today we return to the overcast. More rain coming. Even the overcast is beautiful.

Return to Top

Sunday, January 10, 2005

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

well, i splurged.
got myself a wireless keyboard and mouse.
the wires finally bugged me to the breaking point.
not that they were that bad, really,
just continual nagging when i want to reposition the
keyboard or mouse, and get that tug of the wire
hanging up on something,
so i can't put it in my lap, or position it just so...
i should have done it a long time ago.
i'm now typing with the keyboard in my lap,
something i couldn't do before.
and this new keyboard has a great feel.
it's a Microsoft Wireless Desktop Elite Keyboard.
and it's loaded with features.
like a smooth scrolling wheel, right/left and up/down,
right on the keyboard itself, and on the mouse.
and it's a soft rubber wheel with a great feel to it.
and while we are talking feel-good stuff,
it has a nice wrist rest, made of feel-good foam,
a real step up from my previous hard rest.
what i didn't figure on is the connection being USB,
and that doesn't go into my Belkin switch,
so i'm still using my old keyboard for the server.
someday i'll get that figured out,
but this works for 98% of my time on the computer.
and it's got lots of programmable stuff,
easy to do.
and media keys (mute/volume/pause/play, etc)
and it all works with iTunes (iPod stuff).
i'm stoked.
i give it Mikie's highest rating: 5 thumbs up!!
these things use batteries.
i don't know how long they will last

Return to Top

The Double M News - 2006 to current - Blog "My Other Life"
The Double M News - Archive 2005
The Double M News - Archive 2004
The Double M News - Archive 2003
The Double M News - Archive 2002
The Double M News - Archive 2001

Return to Top

Michael McCafferty Home Page