July 30, 2004

Heartfelt Appreciation

Wind Rider officially retires from the Air Force on 1 August after more than 24 years of service.

Visit him at Bloviating Inanities or Silent Running and say thanks.

Posted by: Ted at 07:55 PM | category: Links
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Hey Ump, if you had one more eye you'd be a cyclops!

Everyone loves to harrass the umpires or speechifier or ballplayers or comedian or other public performer.

So what's the best heckle you've ever heard?

Idea shamelessly stolen from the excellent San Fransisco Giants blog, Waiting for Boof.

Posted by: Ted at 08:02 AM | category: Links
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Riddle

What Hot Jets cheerleader lives in a castle (for real) and has a prehensile tail?

Ok, trick question. The answer, of course, is our newest lovely (ta dahhhh!): Lemur Girl!

I'm not positive about the tail, but she only appears in long skirts and didn't deny it when I asked. I'm earnest and forthright, not nosy and pushy thankyouverymuch. She's also added her email address to her page, which is one of the ones I commented about a few days ago.

Our latest addition brings the Hot Jets squadron to an uneven seventeen eighteen. That appeals to the non conformist in me (mental note: take shoes off next time to count). The rest of the crew:

Sarah, of Trying To Grok!
Emma, of Miss Apropos!
Lynn S., of Reflections in d minor!
Heather, of Angelweave!
Kat, of Mostly Fluff!
Nic, of Shoes, Ships, and Sealing Wax!
Susie, of Practical Penumbra!
Mookie, of MookieRiffic!
Helen, of Everyday Stranger!
Gir, of Your Moosey Fate!
Tink, of Flitting Here and There!
Stevie, of Caught In The XFire!
Jennifer, of Jennifer's History and Stuff!
Cindy, of Squipper!
Blogoline, of Blogoline's Journal!
LeeAnn, of The Cheese Stands Alone!
Denita, of Who Tends The Fires!

I wish I could claim the power to unleash the power of an Instalanch, even a mere feeble shadow of one, but I can't without your help. So go to each one of the sites listed above and enjoy the great blogging there. There's more to becoming a Hot Jets cheerleader than just the swimsuit audition. It takes brains, and these ladies have it in spades. So go visit and drop a comment on 'em.

Posted by: Ted at 05:35 AM | category: Links
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Queer Eye for the Queer Guy?

Coming Appearing soon on a television screen near you: LOGO. A network devoted to gays and transgendered people.

Is there really a big enough audience to make this work?

Posted by: Ted at 04:46 AM | category: Links
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July 29, 2004

Too sweet to be bitter

PeopleSoft is the product that put me out of my last job. You could say that I'm amused by this news: PeopleSoft profits down 70% last quarter.

But, we were told it would solve all of our problems! And after using their worthless crappola software products, I would rather have a vinegar and ground glass enema can't imagine why people aren't lined up to be bent over like we were to use their systems.

Of course they know exactly what the problem is. It's someone else's fault!

...weak demand that the business software maker blamed on distractions caused by rival Oracle’s $7.7bn takeover bid.

It couldn't possibly be your shitty software and abysmal customer support, now could it?

Posted by: Ted at 04:55 PM | category: Square Pegs
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There's a joke in there somewhere

Bill's pee pee is all better. Translation: his prostate infection is well on the way to being cured.

Meanwhile, news breaks that Saddam has a prostate infection.

Totally unrelated, but doesn't it make you grit your teeth to hear someone talk about their prostrate gland?

Posted by: Ted at 04:42 PM | category: Links
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Perhaps you've noticed...

...around and about, at various blogs (the ones with class and good looking women), a little picture for Rocket Jones and the Blogger Bowl 2004? I have, and they look goooooood.

Babes with Brains, gotta love the Hot Jets!

Denita's template-meister Eric even put together an animated version. Woot and tres cool (pardon me, my nuance is showing).

Susie's got one.
Nic is one of the cool kids too.
Now Gir really shines with not one, but two Rocket Jones logos and a blip. It's a good thing she likes spontaneous combustion, because she's on fire!
Squipper has the logo up! Squipper, Squipper, Squipper. That's a fun word to say!
And let's not forget:
Helen gave a hearty cheer and shout-out.
Emma, official spokeswoman for "Security Mom's for Rocket Jones".
Now Lynn is a cultured lady, so it should be no surprise that she's a Hot Jet. Cream rises.
Stevie cheers on in her own no-bull style.
Jennifer's gone missing, but before she left she gave a Hot Jet holler.
Now Mookie is a special head case. She's had the summer blahs, complicated by the fact that she's been working, planning for vacation, and doing a ton of summer homework. I don't remember having to do that much over the summer.
The lovely Blogoline lent her voice to the cheering. Yay!
Now LeeAnn is going on vacation, so her cheering is being rationed to make it last.
Heather has been busy with summery fun-ness, but not too busy to cheer.
A little bit sweet, a little bit dark. Kat.
Tink has been having a rough month, family-wise. Send good thoughts her way, she could use the well-wishes and strength.
Sarah tries to grok, which could possibly interfere with cheering, or it might mean that she understands on a deeper level what it truly means to be a Hot Jet.

I've heard from reliable sources that Jim has been recruiting cheerleaders as well. Best of luck, guy, too bad the truly great ones have already become Hot Jets!

Posted by: Ted at 06:04 AM | category: Links
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Do you feel better now?

Two more inbred mouth-breathers left comments on this post about Michael Moore. The DNC must have the extremists all stirred up, and I can just imagine them wrapping extra tin foil around their heads to ward off the deadly rays while they tax their googling skills.

Just to find Rocket Jones and leave comments like that.

Maybe I'm being too subtle for these nitwits, because they're sure taking it seriously.

[cheap shot at the Kennedy family removed]

On the other hand, Paul probably finds those comments refreshing. Ahhhh, balance is restored.

Posted by: Ted at 05:22 AM | category: Square Pegs
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This guy couldn't be more wrong

James van Allen, Regent Distinguished Professor at the University of Iowa, is the noted discoverer of radiation belts encircling Earth. His seminal finding -- labeled the Van Allen radiation belts -- stemmed from the scientist's experiment that flew on Explorer 1, Americas first satellite to successfully orbit the Earth back on January 31, 1958.

He's written an article questioning manned space flight and I'm a little ticked off about it, so I'll be petty and ask him, "what have you done lately?"
"Almost all of the space programs important advances in scientific knowledge have been accomplished by hundreds of robotic spacecraft in orbit about Earth and on missions to the distant planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune," van Allen writes. Similarly, robotic exploration of comets and asteroids "has truly revolutionized our knowledge of the solar system," he adds.

Overstating the case I'd say, but there is some truth in that.
"Let us not obfuscate the issue with false analogies to Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and Lewis and Clark, or with visions of establishing a pleasant tourist resort on the planet Mars," van Allen suggests.

Why not? Columbus and the rest didn't explore for the sake of science. I have a lot of respect for this man, but he's got his blinders on about the benefits of exploring space. Life is more than scientific fact-finding.

He writes from the viewpoint of someone who doesn't see the point of leaving the planet. Has the scientific viewpoint dulled his imagination and spirit?

Posted by: Ted at 04:34 AM | category: Space Program
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July 28, 2004

Inevitable Rocketry-related Stuff

First off, Saturday begins the National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet (NARAM), which is being hosted by my club this year - NOVAAR. I'll be working the sport and high power launch ranges all weekend and through next week, so posting will probably be lighter than normal.

Besides the neat model rocket stuff that goes on all week, some new things have been added to the schedule. On Saturday evening three speakers will talk about different facets of modern rocket science, including one on the CanSat and related educational programs and another by Randy Repcheck, an aerospace engineer with the FAA who will talk about his two journeys aboard SeaLaunch. SeaLaunch is an international partnership that launches satellites from specially designed ships stationed at the equator in the Pacific Ocean.

On Wednesday evening a presentation by Bob Koenn will be given on how to prep one's rocket. In Bob's case, the rocket is NASA's Space Shuttle, because Bob works at the Kennedy Space Center.

On Thursday evening, we'll be treated to the premier of a documentary about the Little Joe program, which was a little-known series of rocket flights made to test the safety systems of the Mercury capsules. Very cool stuff for us rocket geeks.

Lastly, but not leastly, for those who live in the DC metro area, this Saturday, 7/31/04, is Goddard Community Day at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland (right off the beltway). Visitors can tour the Hubble Space Telescope Control Center, a super-clean filtered air room where satellite electronics are created, spacecraft testing facilities, a centriguge, and much more. Click that link for more information.

It's gonna be a whole lotta heaven for me.

Posted by: Ted at 07:45 AM | category: Rocketry
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Don't stand too close, the heat is intense

The Hot Jets just keep getting hotter!

Welcome Helen from Everyday Stranger to the Rocket Jones Hot Jets cheerleader family. Yay!

This is significant because she's living near London, and she says:

And the Monarchs? Puh-leeze. I want real men playing real football!

Got that? Rocket Jones equals "real man playing real football". In a virtual rotisserie-league sorta way, of course (don't bother, I'm irony-impaired).

Hey, listen to the sizzle:
Susie, of Practical Penumbra!
Nic, of Shoes, Ships, and Sealing Wax!
Gir, of Your Moosey Fate!
Emma, of Miss Apropos!
Lynn S., of Reflections in d minor!
Stevie, of Caught In The XFire!
Jennifer, of Jennifer's History and Stuff!
Mookie, of MookieRiffic!
Blogoline, of Blogoline's Journal!
LeeAnn, of The Cheese Stands Alone!
Heather, of Angelweave!
Kat, of Mostly Fluff!
Tink, of Flitting Here and There!
Denita, of Who Tends The Fires!
Cindy, of Squipper!
Sarah, of Trying To Grok!

Recap: Rocket Jones - Real Man. Hot Jets - Best.

Posted by: Ted at 06:41 AM | category: Links
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For every action there's an equal and opposite overreaction

Seems that our beloved Mu.Nu domain has been banned in South Korea because one of our bloggers has a link to the terrorist beheading videos. Actually, it was originally on his old Blogspot site, and in an amazing show of restraint, the government of South Korea has apparently banned all access to Blogspot sites as well.

What is that they say about judging one's character by the enemies one makes?

Simon has more.

Posted by: Ted at 06:25 AM | category: Links
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July 27, 2004

Putridity

It's bad enough when someone remakes a song and screws it up, but to do it to yourself...

Seals & Crofts have redone Summer Breeze, and call it Summer Breeze 2004. It's heavy on the synth and electro bass beat, and sounds like a bad garage dub. They must need the money.

Posted by: Ted at 04:50 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Spock is my God

"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."
-- Lewis Carroll

Posted by: Ted at 01:19 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Imagine, if you will...

...an ordinary day, where you do ordinary things and go to your ordinary job. But today is different - even if you don't know it yet - because when you log on, something extraordinary will happen. You won't just be gaining access to your files, today, you'll be gaining access to The Twilight Zone.

Classic television introductions! Mondo retro-hipness thanks to Fred, who also posts wicked cool Mars pictures of the day.

Posted by: Ted at 05:44 AM | category: Links
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July 26, 2004

Simpler explanation

The problem with the L.A. media isn't that it's dominated by liberals but that it's dominated by idiots. -- Cathy Seipp

Thanks to Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings for that one.

Posted by: Ted at 11:30 AM | category: Links
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Missile Shield begins quietly

I didn't see a lot of hoopla over this, which is probably intentional. Last week, the first interceptor missile of our National Missile Shield was installed at Fort Greely in Alaska.

I believe in defense, and I certainly recognize the inherent difficulties in performing the mission that these interceptors have. All complex systems have growing pains, and the calls for perfection before deployment are silly and miss a key function that is already in effect: deterrence. The shield doesn't have to work all that well in reality (although if anyone can make it happen, it's the US), because as long as the other guy thinks it might, then that's a plus for our side right there. The best deterrence is never used. If it is, then it failed in its primary mission.

The footprint of these sites in the wilderness is amazingly small, and the complaining and dire warnings come from the enviros who were also wrong about the mass extinctions that would be caused by the pipeline. These are the same folks who wouldn't let Californians clear brush out of wooded areas. Mother Nature said thanks for the ready-made tinder and kindling, didn't she? They also complain about potential disaster when an accident occurs at one of these silo's. How often do you hear about missile accidents in the US? I can think of two in the last 40 years, which is a damn good percentage. Neither of those accidents resulted in widespread environmental damage.

Now it seems that Canada's military is thinking that maybe they should get under the umbrella. From an editorial in the Montreal Gazette:

Few Canadians know that the NORAD deputy commander in chief at the Colorado headquarters, by treaty agreement, is a Canadian. This is not tokenism: we do have a presence and a say in the design and administration of the defence of North America. We shall be no better off, and arguably worse off, if we relinquish our role just because continental defence is evolving as time goes by.

And in Europe, the Czechs and Poles are enthusiatically embracing the shield.
As well as radar sites, the Poles say they want to host a missile interceptor site. Such a site in Poland would be the first outside America and the only one in Europe.

In the Czech Republic, too, the proposed radar site, extending to 100 square kilometres, could be declared extra-territorial and a sovereign US base.


Japan already wants in, as does South Korea, England and Australia.

If they're needed for real, then I hope they work well. I fervently hope that we never have to find out how well they work, and to those who say we're escalating tensions by defending ourselves, well, I believe in self-defense, whereas you believe in trusting to the altruism of others. You're living in dreamland, because we already know that the world is full of bad guys who would love nothing more than to sucker-punch the US.

As for the argument that we should be worried more about rental trucks/container ships/boxcars/your-scary-potentiality-here, my answer is yes and no. We should be worried about those things, but that doesn't mean we should ignore the historic threats. There are many countries out there who possess missiles capable of hitting North America. There are more countries who are close to obtaining that ability. We made the mistake of being too focused on the "big" threats and watched 3000 people die. Let's not make the same mistake and focus too much on the unconventional threats, because ignoring the "big" threats is just as big a mistake.

China has been whining about the shield for quite a while now. Good. If they're forced to expend resources on ways to limit it's impact on their military, then those are resources that they can't use somewhere else on weapons of their choice. We've taken that much initiative away from them and they're reacting to us instead of the other way around.

It's a little thing, but yeah, we are a bit safer for that one missile in Alaska.

Posted by: Ted at 06:17 AM | category: Military
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Pray that you drown before she starts singing "The Morning After"

It's a standard Hollywood special effect: the towering wall of water bearing down on the ship. Such 'rogue waves' do exist and have been documented, but until recent studies by satellites in orbit, scientists didn't realize that they're far more common than thought.

"Two large ships sink every week on average, but the cause is never studied to the same detail as an air crash," says Wolfgang Rosenthal of the GKSS Forschungszentrum GmbH research center in Germany. "It simply gets put down to bad weather."

Huh? Two a week? Wow, I never realized. Imagine the hell raised if two airliners a week crashed mid-flight.
A significant handful of these sunken ships -- about 200 over the past two decades -- are supertankers or large container ships, according to a statement explaining Rosenthal's new research.

The cause for most of the mishaps is a mystery, but so-called rogue waves as tall as 10-story buildings are believed to be the major culprit in many cases.


Now I'm wondering about the Bermuda Triangle. How often do these beasties slosh around in that little basin? You'd think that with the relatively high number of spotters and island inhabitants, that something like this would be noticed.
The data were collected by the European Space Agency's twin spacecraft ERS-1 and 2, which employ a technique called synthetic aperture radar to measure wave height.

In the three weeks of satellite data, researchers found 10 waves in various parts of the world that were more than 82 feet (25 meters) high. That added a global perspective to information collected from various oil platforms. (A radar device on the North Sea's Goma oilfield counted 466 rogue waves over 12 years.)


Yet there's never one around when you really need one. When I think of all those years of The Love Boat...

Posted by: Ted at 06:11 AM | category: SciTech
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So it's not what you'd call *great* photography

But still, I really like this picture.

(in the extended entry - no nudity, but use your own judgement concerning your workplace)

Found at Kimochi-ii!!!, which definitely isn't work-safe. more...

Posted by: Ted at 04:39 AM | category: Links
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July 25, 2004

How un-PC of me

I received an email asking why only the ladies were invited to join the Hot Jets cheerleaders, and all I could do was grunt, scratch and ponder.

Ok guys, there's your invitation. Wanna be a cheerleader for the Blogger Bowl 2004 team with the bestest lady cheerleaders? Just email me (address on the right bar) and you're all set. See how easy that is? Just because the ladies went through an excruciatingly detailed personal history questionaire - Susie fogged up my glasses twice - which was followed by an extensive background check (and secret photos too! but I'm not sharing those). Y'all are just guys, you just have to sign up.

I'm not at the same level as Bill, but can I milk a concept or what?

Posted by: Ted at 09:23 AM | category: Square Pegs
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