El Cajon Carjacking?

2015-12-10 Following the drama  
Little Black Soaring  El Cajon Carjacking?  Otay Motoring  Under the Bridge  Blossom Soaring

Does drama follow everyone like this? Thankfully, in this case, the drama wasn't on James who's story is below in the pictures. We did have some, but it was far less dramatic.

Generator Woe

Our drama was expensive but with no threat of bullet holes. We got to the airport, Ubered to where the motorhome was stored, and soon realized this wasn't where it was stored. Bummer. Thankfully, it was within walking distance. That wasn't the expensive part. After settling in we went to start the generator which fired up, shut down, and puked out an error code of "short circuit." Uh oh. Several resets and attempts later we recognized the smell of toast and threw ourselves on the mercy of South Coast RV Repair in Chula Vista. We were happy they could take us in on short notice.

The generator came out and the definition of "about an hour" began stretching. We waited one entire day there and a half of another hoping to get it repaired and reinstalled. As I write this there is still no generator on board and we're on our way there. It's why we're leaving the Enterprise in San Diego instead of Tucson.

Phil Russman & Jeff Hamann

I can't begin thanking these guys enough for being such gracious hosts.

Among many other things Jeff came to the rescue when generator woes defecated on our plans and Phil put together a motor gathering and several soaring excursions including Tim's first real soaring flight. Jeff got us on a couple of really cool motor flights. We also got to stay at Jeff's place. Wow. Pictures below.

Jamy Ian Swiss & Solving Humanity's Problems

Another passion of mine is to see humanity embrace an evidence-based approach to its problems. We must be critical thinkers, people who realize that knowledge is provisional, that it comes in degrees of certainty and must be based on sound, empirical evidence. What passes for "evidence" varies from worthless to robust. And we will get the wrong answers if we can't tell the difference.

If a claim is made it's veracity must be based on the strength of quality and supporting evidence. Much "evidence" is really very weak. Stories, for example, are terribly weak evidence. We're all biased and those who are seriously looking for knowledge realize that and work hard to control it. Stories and observations are a great START to knowledge but are frequently wrong. It's interesting how many initial scientific studies, when more and better evidence is dug up, turn out to be wrong.

People who embrace this view are "Skeptics" meaning they're skeptical of claims without sound evidence. It's not saying the claims are wrong, it's saying they need to be supported. If you say that paramotors run way cooler using Zonzer Oil then a skeptic would say "cool, how did you test it because that's a big claim." Strong claims require strong evidence. We should seek quality tests with controls to be sure it's the oil making the difference and not some other factor.

This is how we know things with high degrees of certainty. Both Tim and I am are like that. We realize that knowledge is important, that starting with a sound foundation of understanding is how we make progress in whatever endeavor we take on as humans. Whether it be paramotoring or politics.

Jamy is an extremely talented magician who has dedicated much of his energy to exposing charlatans who take advantage of people who are NOT skeptical, and who believe things without sound evidence. Mostly, though, he is fun to be around, but he is an inspiration to our hopes to see the world become a better place for more people. We're easily fooled. Really easily fooled and magician's are well poised to see the deceptions that science types can easily miss. We really appreciate his and other's efforts at making the world a slightly more rational place to live.

Enough on knowledge. On to pictures!

The view from Jeff's place.


Tim Kaiser & Jeff Hamann with Gillespie airport and that incredible view behind.


Just driving down the driveway was pretty.

Near Carjacking | News Story

James is, among other things, a gardener who helps Jeff Hamann maintain his extraordinary collection of Cactus and a other plants. He was there when I sauntered out of the Enterprise to enjoy morning's light and he began showing me around. Super nice guy and very knowledgeable about the many green things.

Afterwards James went to run an errand. While Tim & I were inside eating breakfast, James called Jeff's wife to explain that he would be late. While driving through an intersection the car behind him got hit by another car that was being pursued by several police cars. The crook jumped out of the wrecked car and tried to get in James' car but it was locked and he took off on foot. Soon after the police captured the guy and started questioning James to document the whole affair.

James getting his picture taken for the second time today.


Jeff has become a great photographer from his paramotor and showed me one of his innovations to help make it easier. This attachment, fashioned out of aluminum, makes it easier to hold the camera and take pictures with a free hand.


After dinner, Jamy, Tim and I went to Hamilton's bar in San Diego. The ceiling was chocked full of tap handles to a gazillion different beers. If I drank this would be a great place to visit.

Jamy Ian Swiss is, besides just being fun to hang with, a talented magician and leader in the "skeptics" movement. These are people who realize that reliable knowledge comes from sound evidence and charlatans run amok using misinformation and other methods to ill gains.

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2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!