April 06, 2008
I'm playing with ideas to change the look here at Rocket Jones again, kind of as a way to see if that re-energizes me. I haven't had a lot to talk about lately, and most everything I thought worth posting was a link to someone else's funny post.
I'm here, and I expect things will be slightly less dead what with the hockey playoffs, the return of rocket weather, and some truly twisted movies that I've watched lately.
So check back once in a while, and I might surprise you by rearranging a few electrons in the meantime.
March 01, 2008
I finished up my last bit of official work for the reports team yesterday, and am already waist deep in analysis tasks. It's exciting because there's so much to learn, and I always loved that kind of environment. It's also going to be more stressful because at any time I'll typically have multiple projects that I'm working on, so juggling without fumbling is something I'm going to have to get better at, pronto. Hell, as the new guy I already have three, two of which may be short time frame (unsure at the moment), plus a couple of other things to get done "when I have spare time". Plus the numerous tasks I kept when I moved to the new team ("do a good job, and you keep the job forever").
So life is good. Busy, but good.
March 27, 2007
Thanks to YouTube, here is the original Jones. Basketball Jones!
December 16, 2006
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Both have their place. For egg nog, there must be brandy and nutmeg. And an expiration date clearly and prominently marked.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? As a child, we'd open gift-wrapped family presents on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas morning we'd find Santa's gifts stashed under and around the tree. Santa didn't bother wrapping. With our kids we did the same thing, except Santa delivered wrapped presents.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colors on the tree, and the picket fence is lined with white lights. A single electric "candle" is in each window.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nah, I'm a druid and I refuse to desecrate the sacred plant for a Christian holiday.
5. When do you put your decorations up? On the day after Thanksgiving I go into the attic and pull down all the holiday decorations. During the following week, my wife and the kids decorate while I'm at work and each night I haul boxes back up into the attic.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Liz makes a killer sausage stuffing, and we're collectively addicted to cranberry sauce, but the olde German in me insists that it's the mashed potatoes.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: One year Santa really outdid himself. On Christmas morning our gifts were laid out on a brand new ping-pong table. My brother got an HO-scale train set (which I fell in love with and sparked my lifelong fascination with model railroading). Even better, I scored a .22 bolt action rifle. Another is sitting down with Uncle Art and watching, back to back to back, multiple versions of A Christmas Carol. A television station where we lived did that every year, starting with the oldest available (1930's). Good times.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember but I was pretty young, maybe kindergarten or first grade. I do remember conspiring with my folks to keep my kid brother in the dark far longer than I was.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? All of 'em.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Regardless of the tree (we've had real and artificial over the years), and the lights (colored or all-white), most every ornament is special somehow. Some came from Liz's family tree, others we bought for the kid's special birthdays. We have several wooden ones we bought in a Christkindlmarkt in Perminsens, Germany, and we've made several ourselves. The only real sticky point about tree decorating is that Liz is a tinsel person and I prefer the icecikles (how the heck do you spell that?).
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it. I grew up in a climate without real weather. I relish each change of season.
12. Can you ice skate? Not anymore.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My wife got me one of those electric lightning balls several years before they became common. That was very cool and appealed to my inner mad scientist. As a kid, my Uncle Art gifted us with books. I still have a Rand-McNally World Atlas and a Moon-Flight Atlas from the mid-60's.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family. Reflecting on the good things of the past year. Refreshing my soul by being cheerful to people, whether they appreciate it or not.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pecan pie (Liz makes the best I've ever had).
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? When it's time to open gifts, I sit on the floor and hand out presents one at a time to the family. Everyone gets to ooh and ahh over each other's gifts as we open them.
17. What tops your tree? An old, ratty, beat-up angel that might have come from Liz's Christmas tree when she was a kid. I love it.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving, without a doubt.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Al Jerreau's version of The Christmas Song. White Christmas. The soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Anything I can sing along with.
20. Candy canes: Take it or leave it.
21. Favorite Christmas movie? The 1951 version of A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim. Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol. It's A Wonderful Life.
22. What do you leave for Santa? Dad, er, Santa prefers a Dewars on the rocks.
January 27, 2006
Four Jobs That I've Had:
1. Games Barker at an amusement park
2. Security Police guarding nuclear weapons
4. Tupperware Lady
Four Movies I can watch over and over again:
1. Father Goose
2. King Ralph
3. The Incredibles
4. Guarding Tess, Airheads, The Mummy (original or remake), Twister...
Four T.V. Shows I love to watch: (I'm not a TV fan)
3. History Channel
Four Website's I read Daily (I'll keep it to blogs):
2. Two Nervous Dogs
4. Dawn's Place (and much of the rest of the blogroll)
Four Places I've Been on Vacation:
1. Brussels, Belgium
2. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
3. Winnepeg, Canada
4. Good Thunder, Minnesota
Four Favorite Foods:
3. Mexican anything
Four places Id rather be:
1. Anyplace but the DC metro area
No tags, if you wanna run with it, go for it
October 04, 2005
Context: Insects are specialists (drone, workers, queens, etc), where humans are generalists.
The original Heinlein:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Items I've done are in bold, notes and explanations follow.
* Change a diaper - cloth for the first child, disposable for the third, a mix for the middle kid.
* Plan an invasion - in real life a security exercise designed to steal nuclear weapons, on a gameboard for entire continents and galaxies.
* Butcher a hog - deer, pheasant and fish.
* Conn a ship - my Uncle's sailboat, which he sometimes sailed to Hawaii.
* Design a building - the largest that ever made it past the paper stage was a shed.
* Write a sonnet - I've written some pretty bad poetry, but no sonnets of any quality
* Balance accounts - enough to get by.
* Build a wall - wood, brick, and maybe stone next summer.
* Set a bone - a friend's broken finger, although I never want to have to do it again.
* Comfort the dying - I've been fortunate in my life.
* Take orders - thirteen years in the Air Force.
* Give orders - ditto.
* Act alone
* Solve equations - it's not math... it's not math...
* Analyze a new problem - welcome to computer programming
* Pitch manure - and hay and ground oats (?), family with dairy farms
* Program a computer - my job.
* Cook a tasty meal - check.
* Fight efficiently - fight? yeah. won? yeah. lost? oh yeah.
* Die gallantly - more than once in a simulated fashion while doing security exercises for the Strategic Air Command.
Hey, that's more than I expected!
July 28, 2005
(results in the extended entry) more...
July 11, 2005
February 01, 2005
Ten random CD's from my collection*:
Bonnie Raitt - Nick of Time
Chicago - Night & Day
Diamond Rio - IV
Head East - Flat as a Pancake
Little Richard - Greatest Hits on Vee-Jay
Mariah Carey - Music Box
Sammy Kershaw - Politics, Religion & Her
Various Artists - Time/Life Rock Collection - 1976
Various Artists - Salsa Sensacion
ZZ Top - Deguello
I have an eclectic taste in music, plus I DJ'd for Family Dance Nights at our local American Legion for quite a while, so my collection is broad and shallow.
* No, I'm not at home, I have them listed in a spreadsheet on my iPAQ. Why? Because I'm a dork. Duuuuh.
On to part 2...
1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer? Almost none on my home PC. I rip them to CD and then delete them. My iPAQ has not quite a half a gig on a storage card, but I haven't winnowed out the crap yet, so that quantity will be going down as well.
2. The last CD you bought is: Genuine Houserockin' Music, vol. 2.
3. What is the song you last listened to before this message: Little Feat - Let It Roll. On the way to work this morning.
4: Five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:
Blood, Sweat & Tears - You Make Me So Very Happy. "Our" song.
Blood, Sweat & Tears - And When I Die. To be played at my funeral.
Jim Croce - Time In A Bottle. That "drinking song" played at our wedding.
Chicago - Call On Me. My favorite Chicago song ever.
Molly Hatchet - Dreams I'll Never See (cover). The ultimate air-guitar song.
5. Who are you gonna pass this stick to (five persons and why)?
Dawn - it ain't a booty call, but if you do three quick shots of tequilla and squint real hard, you can use your imagination and make it one.
Catt - because I owe her an email and haven't forgotten and in the meantime this'll give her something to do.
Rich - hiding behind that boy-next-door face is the soul of a thrashpunk, I bet.
Rob & Big Hair - I mean, how could I not ask the keeper of the L&R Favorite 100 Guitar Players of All Time list? It's sacred. It's blasphemous. It's both!
Mookie - just 'cuz, peeps.
November 17, 2004
YOU ARE CATNIP
What herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Ignore that last bit about being left alone. My inner-child constantly screams for attention.
Thanks to LeeAnn for the extra bit o' spice in my day.
November 03, 2004
As my Dad says, "It's all over but the shoutin'." Personally, I've never followed a Presidential election with this much intensity, and my stress level has been higher than a kite over it. I need a little calm and relaxation. I've thought of several methods, many are aerobic and at least a couple are illegal in some states.
President Bush won reelection with more than fifty percent of the popular vote. The importance of that can't be emphasized enough. He didn't win big, but he won big enough.
I have serious problems with President Bush, especially his domestic policy. My choice came down to two things: 1. Senator Kerry and his anti-war activities, and 2. President Bush's handling of the War on Terror.
I cannot and will never forgive Senator Kerry for his words and deeds following his return from Vietnam. I don't know if my attitude would change if he apologized, but he never has. I expect a fair amount of weaseling from politicians, but some matters of honor are beyond that.
Still, the Democrats ran a masterful campaign and damn near pulled it off. They had lots of help, to be sure, but even after presenting a ticket of epic unelectability (is that even a word?), America almost voted these guys into office. I don't think Senator Kerry is contemptous of average Joe American, because I think we don't even register on his radar. We are beneath his notice until he needs something. And what might be even scarier was the idea of being one pushy Secret Service agent away from President Edwards. In the computer programming universe, there's nothing more worrisome than a customer with a little knowlege. That's the definition of Edwards: just enough experience to be dangerous.
I think Dubya has done a pretty good job with WOT and foreign policy in general. I'd like to see his domestic advisors in the unemployment line.
For the record, I don't expect a mass exodus to Canada, but I remain hopeful.
I'd also like to thank George Soros for his massive spending on this campaign. As a free market capitalist, I've got to approve of that many millions of dollars being injected into our economy.
I believe that the Swift Boat Veterans once again served their country with honor. I'm proud to be known as a veteran, and hope that some day if called upon I can rise to the challenge with their conviction, dignity and courage.
I had a personal epiphany last year. I realized that I don't have the answers to many of the hard questions, and that for the most part, neither does anyone else. My personal wisdom might be knowing that I'm not wise enough to know what to do sometimes. I muddle along and try to do my best, which is about what I hope for from people in general.
I don't believe that President Bush is actually hated by almost half the country. Democrats in general are not the enemy, and both parties have to muzzle the fringe elements. We may never know how many people changed their vote because of the bad behavior (as minor as tearing down signs, as major as attempting to mislead the public using obviously forged documents).
527's should be history. Campaign reform is badly needed. Let's try it again, with a little common sense and forethought this time.
I'm shocked at the sweeping rejection of gay marriage as a concept. I grew up in the Bay Area of California, and had a lesbian couple as our next door neighbor for years. It's no biggie to me. Obviously, it still is to more people than I'd realized. I support compromise of some sort, call it 'civil unions' or whatever, but we need to catch up to reality. Passing a law doesn't make it go away.
Of all the issues on the table, abortion is the one I'm most conflicted about. I don't think I believe that life begins at conception. I am pro-choice. I am anti-abortion, and wish they were never ever performed. I hate that some people consider abortion a form of birth control.
Last night, Rachael and I split a huge steak, BBQ'd Texas-style over an open fire. To balance it out, we also had grilled asparagus, for the nuance don't'cha know.
One last thing. Michael Moore, here's your sign:
October 07, 2004
I suggest printing it out and sliding it under your refrigerator to scare away vermin.
Actually, there's a very nice shot of the Air Munuviana prior to her maiden flight.
September 20, 2004
September 08, 2004
1565 - 1st permanent settlement in US forms (St Augustine, Florida)
1755 - Battle at Lake George: English army beats France
1760 - French army gives Montreal to Gen Jeffrey Amherst
1892 - 1st appearance of "Pledge of Allegiance" (Youth's Companion)
1920 - US Air Mail service begins (NYC to SF)
1921 - 1st Miss America crowned (Margaret Gorman of Washington DC)
1930 - 1st appearance of comic strip "Blondie"
1930 - Richard Drew creates Scotch tape
1944 - 1st V-2 rockets land in London & Antwerp
1945 - Hideki Tojo, Japanese PM during most of WW II, attempts suicide rather than face war crimes tribunal. Attempt fails, later he is hanged
1952 - Ernest Hemmingway's "Old Man & Sea" published
1959 - Ted of Rocket Jones enters the world. Mom slaps doctor.
1963 - Braves Warren Spahn ties Christy Mathewson with 13 20-win seasons
1965 - KC A's Bert Campaneris plays all 9 positions in a game
1966 - "Star Trek" premieres on NBC-TV
1966 - "That Girl" starring Marlo Thomas premieres on ABC-TV
1974 - Pres Gerald Ford pardons former Pres R Nixon of all federal crimes
Famous birthdays on September 8 ...
1157 - Richard I, [Richard the Lion Hearted], King of England (1189-99)
1897 - Jimmie Rodgers, Mendoza Mississippi, country singer/singing brakeman
1915 - Frank Cady, actor (Mr Drucker-Green Acres)
1922 - Lyndon LaRouche, American presidental candidate (1980)
1922 - Sid Caesar, Yonkers NY, comedian (Your Show of Shows)
1925 - Peter Sellers, England, actor (not now, Kato, Bobo, Pink Panther)
1932 - Patsy Cline, Winchester Va, country singer (Crazy)
1945 - Jose Feliciano, musician
1945 - Rogie Vachon, Quebec, NHL goalie (Canadiens, Kings, Vezina-196
1945 - Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Calif, rocker (Grateful Dead, Grass Roots)
1946 - Dean Daughtry, rock keyboardist (Atlanta Rhythm Section)
1956 - Maurice Cheeks, NBA guard (NY Knicks, Phila '76ers)
1971 - Cristy Thom, LA Ca, playmate (Feb, 1991)
1978 - Marco Sturm, Dingolfing GER, NHL forward (Sharks, Team Germany 199
1981 - Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Bethlehem PA, actor (Randy-Home Improvement)
Famous deaths on September 8 ...
0394 - Arbogast, French general, commits suicide
0701 - Sergius I, Syrian/Italian Pope (687-701), dies
0780 - Leo IV de Chazaar, Byzantine Emperor (775-80), dies
1100 - Clement III, [Wibert van Ravenna], 1st anti-pope (1084-1100), dies
1895 - Adam Opel, German manufacturer (motorcars), dies at 58
1914 - William E Darwin, British son of Charles Darwin, dies at 74
1933 - Faisal I ibn Hussein ibn Ali, 1st king of Iraq/Syria, dies at 50
1935 - Carl Austin Weiss, murderer of Sen Huey Long, shot down
1935 - Huey P Long, (Sen-La) assassinated at Baton Rouge Capitol building
1949 - Richard Strauss, German composer (Also sprach Zarathustra), dies at 85
1951 - Jurgen Stroop, Nazi commander of Warsaw Ghetto, executed
1962 - Hermann Standiger, German chemist (Nobel 1953), dies at 84
1974 - Robert Cox, last surviving member of Keystone Kops, dies at 79
1977 - Zero [Samuel J] Mostel, US actor (Fiddler on the Roof), dies at 62
1980 - Bruce Dooland, cricketer (prolific leggie for Notts), dies
1981 - Hediki Joekawa, Japans physicist (Nobel 1949) at 74
1981 - Roy Wilkins, longtime executive director of NAACP, dies at 80
1983 - Antonin Magne, French bicylist (won Tour de France 1931, 34), dies
For some odd reason, an unusually high number of poets and composers died on this date.
June 10, 2004
June 09, 2004
June 05, 2004
fishing for comments curious about this. Does my writing make you grit your teeth?
June 02, 2004
A - Joan Armitrading, Atlanta Rhythm Section
B - Beach Boys, Bachmann-Turner Overdrive
C - Chicago, Alice Cooper
D - Doobie Brothers, Diamond Rio
E - Earth, Wind & Fire, Electric Light Orchestra
F - Foghat, Myron Floren
G - Grateful Dead, Guess Who
H - Heart, Head East
I - Incubus
J - Jethro Tull
K - Kansas
L - Little Feat, Lovin' Spoonful
M - Glenn Miller, Michael Stanley Band, Molly Hatchet
N - Night Ranger
O - Orleans (yeah, I like 'em. deal with it)
P - Pablo Cruise, Pink Floyd
Q - Queen
R - Rainmakers, Lou Rawls
S - Styx, Sly & the Family Stone, Spinners
T - Temptations, Third Eye Blind, Tubes
U - Black Uhuru
V - Van Halen
W - War, Bob Marley & the Wailers
X - Xavier Cugat
Y - Weird Al Yankovich
Z - Frank Zappa, ZZ Top
May 12, 2004
3. Star Trek paperback novels (original series)
4. WWII Battle of Midway
6. Car Wars game
7. The Fantasy Trip role-playing game
8. H.P. Lovecraft
9. Hitchcock movies
10. James Garner
Things I know quite a bit about but not enough to go on that list:
4. 60's & 70's tennis
5. Cary Grant movies
6. Movie musicals
7. Woodworking, cabinetry and carpentry
8. Oakland/LA/Oakland Raiders
9. San Francisco Giants
Robert also asks that you run with this and post your own list, however long or short, on your own place if you have one. Feel free to leave it in my comments if you'd rather.
May 04, 2004
(in the extended entry) more...
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