November 24, 2003

Can I get an 'Amen' from my brothers?

"We like to hunt and golf on our days off,
scratch and spit and cuss.
And no matter what line we hand you when we come draggin' in,
We ain't wrong, we ain't sorry,
and it's probably gonna happen again."

-- Tracy Byrd, The Truth About Men

Posted by: Ted at 10:40 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Underwater Robots

A new generation of underwater robotic vehicles are nearly ready for introduction. The earliest versions were essentially remote control torpedoes, and the last generation were little more than undersea blimps, riding the ocean currents much like their atmospheric brethren travel the skies. The newest models actually ‘soar’ underwater using batteries and pumps to change buoyancy, which in turn provides the lift to move forward. This means that there isn’t a motor in the conventional sense, they operate in a similar fashion to airborne gliders.

"There are no new principles being invoked here. The sea is a very, very harsh environment but it is a fluid. Air and water, except for their densities, are very similar creatures," said Thomas Swean, team leader for ocean engineering and marine systems at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va.

Projected missions include naval patrol, industrial inspection of pipelines, tunnels and cables, environmental monitoring (scroll down or search for 'red tides') and scientific measurement and sampling. With potential cruise times measured in weeks and months and ranges out to hundreds of miles, this promising new technology could greatly extend our understanding of the oceans.

Posted by: Ted at 07:36 AM | category: SciTech
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November 23, 2003

Don't worry, he won't bite

Say hello to Goddard the Rocket Dog up there at the top.

At least, Goddard is what I'm leaning towards right now. Do you have a suggested name for our intrepid canine? If you do, leave it in the comments.

Posted by: Ted at 02:14 PM | category: Munuvian Daily Tattler
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Who gets the wishbone?

There's nothing better than the whole family getting together for Thanksgiving. more...

Posted by: Ted at 10:39 AM | category: Square Pegs
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The Duke

A while back I bought a two-DVD set of old old John Wayne westerns. I try to watch one every saturday while the girls are at work, and I've noticed a few things.

More happens in a one-hour western than happens in today's two-hour action movies. Yeah, the special effects are gazillions times better now, but for sheer plot movement and storyline, you can't beat 'em, and this includes the long stretches of horse chases and riding back and forth between town and the ranch (or wherever the secondary locations are). I'm also realizing that there is truly nothing new in Hollywood. Today I watched the Duke, in grainy black & white, run up the side of a wall and dive back onto the bad guys he was fighting. In how many kung-fu movies have we seen that done?

He always got the bad guys and got the girl too. He was honorable when wrongly accused. When someone needed help, he was there for them. He never started trouble, but he always finished it.

John Wayne was America. What a cowboy.

Posted by: Ted at 12:53 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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Trendy words

Chipotle.

I've come to hate that word. It's a roasted jalepeno pepper, fer pete's sake. But yuppiedom has taken that word and made it the 'in' thing, like they did to 'fajita'. Remember when every-freakin-thing was fajita-this and fajita-that?

Paradigm. Habenero. Meme.

People make me pro-nuclear.

Posted by: Ted at 12:15 AM | category: Square Pegs
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More housekeeping

More entries into the 'meant to blogroll these but forgot' category.

Quibbles and Bits is quirky and scattershot. Not for everyone, but definitely worth a look.

Enjoy one of the most beautiful blog layouts I've ever seen. Now if only the font size was just a tad larger. Welcome to Candy Universe.

Fellow Munuvian Daniel is one of the minds behind Bsurot Tovot. Check it out.

Primal Purge. She knows Kerpal, who kicked my dog. Oh, just go see her and click the link.

Margi Lowry is taking a short break for personal reasons. Worth waiting for.

The troll blog from On the Fritz has been on the roll for awhile. I've now added his main blog. His site is one of those that won't let you 'back button' out.

Conrad is the author of Gweilo Diaries. He's another expat in Hong Kong, ala our Simon.

Idiot Villager, where "solutions are not the answer". 'Nuff said.

More well-written randomness, courtesy of Travelling Shoes.

Allah. Yahweh. In the house.

Posted by: Ted at 12:09 AM | category: Links
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November 22, 2003

It's that time of year

As I was cooking dinner, a mouse ran out of the pantry and under the dishwasher. They move in every winter. *sigh* Gotta set some traps out.

Posted by: Ted at 07:42 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Program Comparisons

Here's a pre-release review of the new DVD about the Clinton presidency. I figured that since the gift giving season is upon us, someone might find it useful. more...

Posted by: Ted at 07:34 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Good News

An elderly Jewish man is sitting on a park bench reading Louis Farrakhan's newspaper. His best friend walks by, sees the paper, and stops - in shock.

"What are you doing reading that paper?" he says. "You should be reading the 'Jewish Journal'!"

The elderly man replies, "The Jewish Journal has stories about anti-Semitism, problems in Israel - all kinds troubles of the Jewish people. I like to read about good news."

His friend gasps, "WHAT good news could possibly be in that paper???"

"Well, Farrakhan's paper says the Jews have all the money, the Jews control the banks, the Jews control the press, the Jews control Hollywood -- see? It's all good news!"

Posted by: Ted at 07:14 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Oooooo, pretty pictures!

Check out the magnificent archive page of Astronomy Pictures of the Day. You'll see some beautiful, amazing and historically significant photos, along with plenty of links to other pix and further information.

Folks, these archives stretch back to June of 1995!

Jen, you may recall one of my comments about the Valles Marineris canyon on Mars, and how it dwarfs our Grand Canyon. They have a great photo of it here, and mucho links to explore.

Enjoy.

Posted by: Ted at 07:10 AM | category: SciTech
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November 21, 2003

Silent Service Stuff

We got the family newsletter from my son's boat today, the USS Philadelphia, and it confirmed what we suspected: their sea duty has been extended for a good bit. TJ called from Greece a few weeks ago and cancelled Christmas plans, and now it looks like the earliest they'll return to port is February 2004.

This is pure speculation, but I wonder if they're not having to cover for the USS Hartford, which is returning to Norfolk, Virginia for repairs.

Posted by: Ted at 08:47 PM | category: Military
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They speak Latin when you aren't watching

Evil little fuckers. Have you ever seen that Geico commercial where the squirrel runs out into the middle of the road, causing a car wreck? Of course you have.* And then they celebrate, getting all jiggy widit.

Need more proof of their sinister nature? Ask and ye shall receive!

I'm just glad they live in my neighbor's attic. In fact, I'm tickled pink about that, because he's a jerk.

*To my international friends, just smile and nod. It works for teenagers.

Posted by: Ted at 01:27 PM | category: Links
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Seriously

Here's another post where I talk about life and stuff. It's written as much for me as anything, but you're welcome to read it. Leave comments if so moved to do so, or not - whatever works for you - including not reading it at all. more...

Posted by: Ted at 10:04 AM | category: Seriously
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Housekeeping

Most of these were previously mentioned, but never added to my blogroll for one very good reason: Mookie distracted me with her teenage attitude and crap.* I hope to remedy all of it this weekend.

Carol’s Chaotic Collection of Curiosities – Tino Martinez news, some good recipe links, and a roundup of spam news for which I was included for this. Why didn’t I see this coming?

Reflections in d minor – I don’t visit as often as I should, because I’m never disappointed by Lynn’s gentle good humor. She also makes me want to learn more about classical music.

This blogger named Taco lives in Norway and heÂ’s into politics and history. He has some interesting things to say.

Delusional Duck is a very news-oriented open blog. Everyone is invited to post, or as they put it “No rules, just write.” Somewhat local to me.

Left & Right. Salt & Pepper. Lea & Perrin. Rum & Coke. Some things are just naturally right (and left). HeÂ’s another local blogger too.

These guys kind of fell off of my radar. IÂ’m an idiot. Vote for me! (seemed like a natural followup)

Sheri canÂ’t come to the door right now. Anyone know whatÂ’s going on?

Glenn of Hi, IÂ’m Black! has a t&a blog called, appropriately enough, Not Work Safe. He doesnÂ’t update often, but I see someone from there visits me every day. So I return the favor. I know, itÂ’s a terrible imposition, having to visit a site with pretty and near-naked ladies. That tells you what a nice guy I am.

Fleshbot is fairly new and rather adult oriented. It’s not really a blog, but more like an e-zine. But hey, gotta love a site that points out a link to ‘Women of Wal-Mart’.

I stumbled across this blog while googling for images. Nice site and nice guy.

I'm sure there's more. I'll get to it when I get a chance.

*That was for her creepy post about the death row inmate that was executed on my wedding aniversary. She's a punk.

Posted by: Ted at 07:10 AM | category: Links
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Because it's friday

It's been a terrible week at work. I can handle being busy, but it's the stupidity that drives me up a wall. Blog-wise my job and workplace are what they call a 'target rich environment' but I don't talk about it because most of the frustration derives from training and forethought, or rather, the extreme lack of both. I mean, Custer's soldiers probably weren't incompetent, although you couldn't tell from the end result.

So I'm very happy because it's finally friday! And to celebrate:

Good reasons why you should go to work naked.

13. No one ever steals your chair.

12. Toner ink is really hard to get off of your blouse.

11. Much quicker to get that picture of your ass, boobs or balls on the photocopier without being seen.
Bonus: No one will do it right after you and you will have an exclusive.

10. Gives "bad hair day" a whole new meaning.

9. Diverts attention from the fact that you also came to work drunk.

8. People stop stealing your pens after they realize that you have no pockets, yet manage to keep your pen with you all day long.

7. So that -with a little help from Muzak- you can add "Exotic Dancer" to your exaggerated resume.

6. You want to see if it's like the dream.

5. To stop those creepy guys in in the computer room from looking down your blouse.

4. "I'd love to chip in, but I left my wallet in my pants."

3. Inventive way to finally meet that special person in Human Resources.

2. Can take advantage of computer monitor radiation to work on your tan.
Special Bonus: No Tan Lines

And, by far the number one compelling reason to go to work butt naked...

1. Your boss is always yelling, "I wanna see your ass in here by 8:00!"

Posted by: Ted at 06:12 AM | category: Square Pegs
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November 20, 2003

Must've been a little rusty

Brings a whole new meaning to 'stain stick'... more...

Posted by: Ted at 03:03 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Air Force Blue (part 3)

Part 1 here and part 2 here.

Camp Bullis was an interesting environment all right. It was more Army than Air Force, with luxurious 12-man tents and eating C-rations and hot meals served in your mess kit instead of on plates. Not to mention the community latrine, where you and twenty of your closest friends could all perform your morning sit down together, sans stalls or walls or any semblance of privacy. It was like Boy Scout camp, except we got yelled at a lot and got to play with lots of neat things that went boom and ka-pow!

We were there to learn Air Base Ground Defense, which was cool because the Air Force believes that the best defense is a good offense. Most people don't realize that the Air Force Security Police (SP's) were collectively one of the most effective and efficient units in Vietnam. They didn't get that by sitting inside the perimeter fence and waiting for the bad guys, the SP's went out and found the bad guys first. We were being taught the agressive techniques that were learned by hard experience in southeast asia. We learned to set up ambushes of various types, long-range patrol, map reading and basic artillery spotting. The ways of camouflage, cover and concealment, and search techniques for areas, buildings, and persons. We learned how to shoot well with a variety of weapons in a variety of positions and situations - both right and left handed. Combined with plenty of classroom time on theory and tactics, it was pretty intense.

Among the most vivid memories I have of Camp Bullis is the morning ritual of attaching the blank suppressors. This was before the neat little laser-tag type simulators, where if you get 'hit' you beep (the link goes to a nifty page describing the system and other simulation aids). Back in the late 70's we used a little red metal box that screwed over your M16 flash suppressor, and 'judges' pointed out who was dead or alive during firefights.

The agressors (instructors) never seemed to die, and those bastards had ground burst simulators (on the link, scroll down to see figure 5-5, right above the M-80's which seem puny in comparison). The M115A2 was thrown around to simulate grenades and mortar fire. The instructors would pull a cord to light the fuse and throw it, and before it exploded the simulator gave this piercing whistle. And these weren't harmless either, they packed a punch when they went off. Nothing was scarier than setting up in the perfect camouflaged position, face painted in black and greens, and during the confusion of the ambush an instructor didn't see you there and tossed one of them directly at you (they supposedly weren't trying to kill you). Your ears would be ringing for a while, and I swear the concussion would lift you off the ground a little bit - probably not, but it seemed like it.

Since it was just training, we were constantly reminded to pay attention to where we dropped. In combat, you stop and drop instantly. In training, you took a quick split-second to make sure you weren't falling onto a pile of rocks containing a snake, scorpion, or centipede. Getting bit or stung by any of these little beasties was cause for disciplinary action, on top of hurting like hell for some time.

And then of course, there were the C-rations, affectionately known as C-rats. Despite the horror stories, and I have a few of my own, they really weren't that bad. It was a little disconcerting though, opening and eating a can of apricots that had been packed the year before you were born. I've had MRE's too, and for my money, C-rats were way better. Well, except for the scrambled eggs or the 'ham and muthers' (lima beans), and the only way to deal with them was to give them to the truly disturbed individual in your unit who actually liked them. There was always one.

How many vets carried the legendary P38 (aka 'John Wayne') can opener on your keychain? I did for years, wrapped in a piece of masking tape, and still wore many a hole in pants pockets.

Chris Hall not-so-fondly remembered chukka boots in my comments. These low-cut abominations were probably the worst footwear ever designed, and very few people wore them, let alone liked them. These were the first thing everyone ditched first chance you got.

Also remembering basic, do you remember the dreaded 'herpes folliculitis' lecture and shaving waivers? We had one poor guy in basic who had the worst acne I've ever seen in my life, and every time he shaved his shirt would just become a blood-soaked mess. They finally got him a shaving waiver. Poor guy desperately wanted to be in the military too. I don't recall what happened to him, but every morning we were convinced he was going to bleed to death right there in front of the mirror.

Posted by: Ted at 06:50 AM | category: Boring Stories
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Quotes

"I read somewhere that 77 percent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I'm more intrigued by the 23 percent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves."
-- Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)

"Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is."
-- Barbara Bush (Former US First Lady)

"Things you'll never hear a woman say: 'My, what an attractive scrotum!'"
-- Patricia Arquette

"Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships."
-- Sharon Stone

"Honesty is the key to a relationship. If you can fake that, you're in."
-- Courtney Cox (Monica on "Friends")

"Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps."
-- Tiger Woods

(On the difference between men and women
"On the one hand, we'll never experience childbirth. On the other hand, we can open all our own jars."
--Bruce Willis

"And God said: 'Let there be Satan, so people, don't blame everything on me. And let there be lawyers, so people, don't blame everything on Satan."
-- George Burns

"The Web brings people together because no matter what kind of a twisted sexual mutant you happen to be, you've got millions of pals out there. Type in 'Find people that have sex with goats that are on fire' and the computer will ask, 'Specify type of goat.'"
-- Jason Alexander (George Castanza on Seinfeld)

"Luge strategy? Lie flat and try not to die."
-- Carmen Boyle (Olympic Luge Gold Medal winner - 1996)

"There are only two reasons to sit in the back row of an airplane: Either you have diarrhea, or you're anxious to meet people who do."
-- Henry Kissinger (former US Secretary of State)

"My girlfriend always laughs during sex - no matter what she's reading."
-- Steve Jobs (Founder: Apple Computers)

"My cousin just died. He was only 19. He got stung by a bee - the natural enemy of a tightrope walker."
-- Dan Rather (News anchorman)

"I saw a large woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, 'Thyroid problem?"
-- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Posted by: Ted at 06:45 AM | category: Square Pegs
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November 19, 2003

Admit it

You wanted to say it...

Michael Jackson is negotiating with authorities on how to turn himself in.

Betcha he wants to go to Juvenile Hall.

Posted by: Ted at 07:16 PM | category: Square Pegs
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