May 31, 2004

Quantico National Cemetery

About 35 miles south of Arlington National Cemetery is another National Cemetery, at Quantico, Virginia. Quantico is the headquarters of the US Marine Corps, and is located on the other side of the interstate from the cemetery itself. There actually is a town called Quantico that is completely within the base perimeter, you have to go through the front gate of the base in order to get there. It's a nice enough little town, mostly small apartment buildings and businesses like laundromats for military personnel and featuring an honest-to-Landry Dallas Cowboys bar, smack dab in the middle of Redskins country.

At the main gate of Quantico base is a slightly smaller replica of the monument depicting the second raising of the US flag at Iwo Jima, just like the one in Washington, DC.

But if you go west on the interstate exit, heading away from the base, you'll come to a turnoff for the National Cemetery. Neither as celebrated nor as large as Arlington, Quantico is nevertheless a beautiful and peaceful place. Naturally, being in the heart of Marine country, many of the monuments and markers are dedicated to the Corps. Unlike Arlington, most of the grave markers are horizontal, facing up to the sky, leaving long stretches of perfectly-maintained grass divided by gently curving roads. There are also many wooded areas, and some decent walking trails through the woods, complete with benches and 'reflection stops' that have been built and maintained by Eagle Scout candidates over the years.

It's far from a sterile place because that area of Virginia still maintains huge tracts of undeveloped land. Sit quietly for a while and you'll see multitudes of birds and squirrels, rabbits, deer and the occasional red fox. In fact, one of the problems the staff has is hunters coming onto the grounds at night and poaching deer.

Four times a year, Quantico National Cemetery dresses up. The Avenue of Flags is an impressive thing to see. Hundreds of donated veteran's flags are raised along the roads on Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Flag Day.

I went to Quantico National Cemetary early yesterday morning and spent a quiet hour walking around, taking pictures and talking to a few other folks who were there. I added my own silent thanks to those who've served this country that I love.

(pictures are in the extended entry, click the links to open in their own window for the bandwidth-impaired) more...

Posted by: Ted at 11:29 PM | category: History
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May 30, 2004

Box Hockey - 3

The previous post about our project to build an old fashioned box hockey table can be found here.

As usual, the main part is in the extended entry, and y'all are invited to ask questions and leave comments. more...

Posted by: Ted at 07:36 PM | category: Build It
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Common Sense is winning

More and more, we're seeing articles like this one from the Oregonian magazine. Quick summary: launching hobby rockets doesn't make me a terrorist!

Posted by: Ted at 07:56 AM | category: Rocketry
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May 29, 2004

Launching with the big boys

The gang over at the Maryland & Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA) like to fly big projects, and their latest is a doozy!

Check out the pictures and video of the Liberty Project.

And just how big is that rocket? Well, according to John Hamill, who supplied the chutes, the O.D. green drogues you see in the recovery photos are 32' in diameter, which is what Army paratroopers use. The main orange and white chute is 100' in diameter, and weighs over 100lbs itself! It's used by the military to recover target drones.

The actual airframe is around 600lbs and stands about 25' tall. It was the largest hobby rocket ever flown east of the Mississippi. Way to go guys!!!

Posted by: Ted at 09:46 AM | category: Rocketry
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May 28, 2004

A geek's dream come true

The cicada event is beginning to wind down, and the ground at work is littered with their little dead carcasses. As I was crunching my way towards my truck this afternoon, it occurred to me that since cicada life is geared entirely towards sex, then it follows that the ones who die first were probably the most successful in getting laid early in the cycle. So I was stomping on little cicada versions of those jerks in high school who never had a problem scoring with the ladies.

I hated those guys, and I really, really enjoyed that walk.

Posted by: Ted at 12:41 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Appreciating the little things

I just finished two apricots, the first of the season. My favorite.

I have a bowl full of pears ripening at home too. My second favorite.

I'll be leaving work at lunchtime today, because I've taken a half day off before every 3-day weekend for the last 15 years.

It's a 3-day weekend.

Wife and Mookie have to work tomorrow, so I'll get the whole day to myself.

Life is good.

Posted by: Ted at 07:33 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Hey "Sweet Pete"

I assume that's your nickname. See, your personalized license plate was a little hard to decipher. I bet a lot of "sweet pea's" want those words on the plates, so you wind up going through all kinds of gyrations to spell your name.

Here's a tip: SWET PT will be translated as "sweat pit" by others. You couldn't have meant that, could you?

Posted by: Ted at 05:15 AM | category: Square Pegs
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May 27, 2004

Box Hockey - 2

I talked about Box Hockey back in March, but things got hectic and that became low priority. Now is a good time, so let's get started.

If you've never followed the Rocket Jones Build It series, I do some project online over a series of posts and hopefully by following my directions you can complete the same project. Our first project was a model rocket.

As usual, the meat of the post is in the extended entry, and y'all are invited to ask questions and leave comments. more...

Posted by: Ted at 12:01 PM | category: Build It
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Just to annoy Robyn

I'll be having lunch today at a local Mexican eatery, and it ain't Taco Bell. MmmmMmmm Yum!

Update: Sweetie, it's just as good, if not better, than El Charro!

Posted by: Ted at 09:26 AM | category: Family matters
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Fashion Lizard

navbar_r1_c1.gif

This is the logo for the President's Commision on Moon, Mars and Beyond. I scored a pin at last weekend's rocket launch and will probably use it as a tie tack.

Posted by: Ted at 08:48 AM | category: Space Program
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Wanna see my Pump Rocket?

It's bigger than it looks. In fact, I actually had it in my hand, all ready to give to the checkout lady, but my conscience kicked in and I put it away. Even so, it's very impressive and lots of fun to play with.

What?

Posted by: Ted at 06:46 AM | category: Links
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No surprise there

Driving home from work yesterday, I merged onto the interstate behind a station wagon with out-of-state plates. Inside were two adults and at least seven or eight kids.

On the back was a bumper sticker: "I [heart] the Old Latin Mass".

Posted by: Ted at 05:11 AM | category: Square Pegs
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May 26, 2004

The slogan kinda bothers me though

On the way home from Michigan, we passed a billboard with this website, which made me think of The Llama Butchers.

Great URL - "Lamalot" - which makes me think of Richard Burton as king, with singing and dancing Llamas all over the place. Very memorable image, which is what you want.

But, "Try Llamas - For Pleasure or Profit"?!?!? Ewwwwww.

Posted by: Ted at 02:49 PM | category: Links
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Pink bondage pants

That's what Mookie asked for over the weekend.

First I explained how life insurance worked, and that if I had a heart attack she wouldn't get a dime. She understood.

Then she explained what 'bondage pants' were. I understood.

Then I said "no".

She's annoyed with me, which is only fair since my chest still hurts from that thump-erk! she caused.

Posted by: Ted at 02:40 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Final Report – Team America Rocketry Challenge 2004

I’ve rattled on about this for a year now, and last Saturday, May 22, 2004 was the big day. The purpose of TARC is to promote an interest in aerospace sciences and technology fields among students, and in it’s first two years it has been a rousing success.

In the extended entry is a rundown on the whole event, and let me summarize by saying that this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. more...

Posted by: Ted at 11:27 AM | category: Rocketry
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Final Report – Team America Rocketry Challenge 2004

I’ve rattled on about this for a year now, and last Saturday, May 22, 2004 was the big day. The purpose of TARC is to promote an interest in aerospace sciences and technology fields among students, and in it’s first two years it has been a rousing success.

In the extended entry is a rundown on the whole event, and let me summarize by saying that this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. more...

Posted by: Ted at 11:27 AM | category: Rocketry
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May 25, 2004

She ain't "riffic" for nothing!

Mookie is the latest (first?) viewer/blogger to be posted on FuseBlog*, and has been invited to submit more posts. They've also added MookieRiffic and Fear Your Future to their blogroll.

In the traditional Munuvian manner: Yay!

*Fuse is a channel that does music videos, kinda like what MTV started out to be. I like 'em too, they rock.

Posted by: Ted at 02:58 PM | category: Links
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Previews of coming attractions

Busy busy busy catching up with things, but I do have a few things on the pad.

1. Team America Rocket Challenge. Was saturday, and was abso-freakin-lutely incredible!!! Tales to tell, but not today. In the meantime, the website has been updated with pictures and news (click past the sign in stuff - twice, you don't need it). More photos and stories will be posted in the near future.

2. Box Hockey. I talked about it once, then it was put on the back burner. Last week someone emailed me after googling "box hockey" and asked me to get going on it. So I will.

3. More interesting spacey kinda information. You know, the usual.

4. Even more weird and offbeat movie reviews. The movies are weird and offbeat, not the reviews. The reviews are colorful, insightful and informative. Trust me, I play a professional critic on the internet.

5. And enough miscellania to keep you shovelling away.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

Posted by: Ted at 01:47 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Quickies

You have a dirty mind. Uh huh, I can see the smirk. It matches mine.

I haven't had the chance to look around yet, so these may be so yesterday's news.

From the Universal Church of Cosmic Uncertainty comes notice that the story about the lady who rode her motorcycle through the Cherbobyl area is a hoax. I know several bloggers linked to this one, but annika is the only one I recall at the moment.

Also filed under 'oops' is the story about the religious couple who couldn't figure out why she wasn't getting pregnant. Kevin of Wizbang exposes it as another hoax. Since everyone reads Wizbang (or should), you already knew this.

Posted by: Ted at 07:34 AM | category: Links
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Heard during the drive

It's rained 19 out of 23 days this month in Ohio (make that 20 out of 24 now). We saw lots of farm fields half under water. According to one radio report, Lake Michigan's water level has risen 2" this month. That's a lot of water!!!

Posted by: Ted at 07:30 AM | category: Square Pegs
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