November 12, 2005

I don't ask for much

It snuck up on me, but I'm the host of the next Carnival of the Recipes. So please send in your recipes to recipe -dot- carnival -at- gmail -dot- com so I have something to work with.

Posted by: Ted at 06:36 PM | category: Square Pegs
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I only show you the flattering ones

I mean, I didn't post the one that said I was Coconut Cream Yogurt or anything. This one I found at annika's.

(moved to the extended entry) more...

Posted by: Ted at 01:45 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Didja know?

Munuviana (our group of Mu.Nu blogs for those who didn't know) is the largest Movable Type installation in the world.

We just moved over to a pair of new servers to help handle the workload. Pixy rocks.

Posted by: Ted at 01:18 PM | category: Square Pegs
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November 11, 2005

Old folk wit and wisdom

I don't know about the "day late" part, but lately I seem to be "a dollar short" quite often.

Does that make me a half-wit?

Posted by: Ted at 04:30 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Pat Robertson

Ever notice that these televangelists all seem to live forever? I'm betting that God doesn't really want 'em around either.

What a jackass.

Posted by: Ted at 02:15 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Picking at it like a scab

I visited my friend Dave's blog yesterday, and something I read there really bugged me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. He's Canadian and we disagree on many things. I say that for context, because I'm quite far to the right of Dave, or he's far to the left of me depending on how you look at it. Anyways, this morning while doing drywall (have I mentioned how much I hate doing drywall?), I was turning it over in my mind and I understood what it was about Dave's post that annoyed me so.

He wrote:

Sure the Liberals were corrupt, EVERY government is corrupt as long there are men and women sitting in positions of power. Corruption breeds in backslapping handshaking environments where people get paid 6 digit figures for working 20ish days a year. Deal with it.

Dave, you should never just "Deal with it" when it comes to your government. That kind of milquetoast, bend-me-over-and-please-sir-can-I-have-another attitude is exactly what those ruling bastards are counting on. You, my friend, are a fucking SHEEP, and if I saw you I'd kick you in the balls to remind you that they're there.

If your government screws you over (and by all accounts, they've been screwing you long and hard), then you vote them out. Don't like the opposition? Fine, hold your nose and vote the current party out anyway. Because you never ever reward corruption and theivery by allowing them to remain in power. And if the next government turns out to be as bad, then you vote those assholes out too, and you keep doing your goddamn job as a citizen until someone running for office understands that the people aren't going to put up with "business as usual" and cleans up their collective act.

Being screwed by your friends feels no different than being screwed by the other guys. If you don't recognize that, then you've already given up. You have the ultimate authority in your form of government, yet you're too lazy to use it.

A wise man once said that people get the government they deserve, and Canada is living proof of the accuracy of that. It doesn't have to be that way.

Posted by: Ted at 10:04 AM | category: Links
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November 10, 2005

Just in case anyone was wondering...

I really, really, really hate doing drywall.

Posted by: Ted at 03:19 PM | category: Square Pegs
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November 09, 2005

Progress Report

As of this morning, I am still unable to squirt blood out of my eyes.

Updates as they become available.

Posted by: Ted at 12:05 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Aye Laddie, I have the legs for a kilt

After a tiebreaker question too!

You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need.



William Wallace


Captain Jack Sparrow


James Bond, Agent 007


Batman, the Dark Knight


Neo, the "One"


Indiana Jones


The Terminator


Lara Croft


El Zorro


The Amazing Spider-Man


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Seen over at the Llamabutchers.

Posted by: Ted at 11:37 AM | category: Square Pegs
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The Wingbeat Project

I saw this over at QandO (busy bee this morning, so I pretty much just lifted Jon's writeup):

The [Wingbeat Project] blog is "designed to help solve society's biggest problems by jumpstarting the generation of good ideas." How it works:

Each month, the Wingbeat Project will announce a new topic or social problem. Visitors will be invited to submit ideas for addressing the social problem, along with a contribution that helps us keep going in our grassroots efforts. At the end of each month, we will choose a winner from the best ideas, and the winner will receive a cash award.

And your good ideas will be publicized. It's a good way to spread your ideas for social change, with, as Wingbeat says, "a bias toward ideas that involve little or no government intervention".

The best way to minimize the demand for more government is to make it irrelevant. Check out Wingbeat and contribute an idea.

Pointing out a problem is a small step towards making it right. If you don't offer solutions, then you're only griping.

Posted by: Ted at 06:10 AM | category: Links
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I keep getting them confused

In the Virginia Governors race, did the child-molesting heroin addict win? Or was it the devil-worshipping serial killer?

When there's that much mud being slung, I get disgusted with both parties. I voted for Potts, the independent from FunWinchester.

Posted by: Ted at 05:26 AM | category: Square Pegs
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A Yeti-sized Asswhoopin'

That's what the Colorado Avalanche put on my beloved San Jose Sharks last night, winning 5-2. So, in accordance with the rules of the Hockey Whoopass Jamboree, the logo of Derek's Avalanche will be posted here for at least 24 hours.


Trivia: The Colorado Avalanche have a Yeti footprint on one shoulder of their sweaters.

Posted by: Ted at 04:57 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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November 08, 2005

You knew someone would want him


Click for a size worthy of Terrell Owens.

Posted by: Ted at 04:16 PM | category: Square Pegs
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And yet oddly appropriate for election day

I was heading home from work and just pulling into the local school to vote, when this radio commercial came on:

Young Lady: Dad, do you love me?

Dad: You know I do.

YL: Would you do anything for me?

Dad: You know I would.

YL: Would you run into a burning building for me?

Dad: Of course. *chuckles* Do you want to borrow the car?

YL: No Dad, I want you to get a colonoscopy.

I almost hit the car next to me as I parked, I was laughing so hard. Yepper, Dad, nothing says "I love you" like taking one up the ol' exhaust pipe.

Do it for the children.

Posted by: Ted at 04:09 PM | category: Square Pegs
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That's pronounced "Der-eeque", I'm sure

Hockey Whoopass Jamboree trash talk?


A thousand words, mon ami! A thousand words.

Posted by: Ted at 03:52 PM | category: Links
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November 07, 2005


Jennifer did it.
Lots of other good folks already did it (and more too that I'm too lazy to link to right now).
So I did too.


Posted by: Ted at 06:39 PM | category: Links
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Putting my inadaquacies out there for all to mock

Over on the right sidebar, a snazzy little meter found courtesy of Dawn. It shows the National Novel Writing Month goal of fifty thousand words, and how many I've actually accomplished so far.

I don't know if I'll reach the magic number or not. My goal is to finish the story.

Posted by: Ted at 03:52 PM | category: Links
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Chicken Soup for the Rocket Geek's Soul

Ok, I did some math and have details about this weekend's high-excitement rocket launch.

The motor was a Contrail Systems L1222 "sparky" (none of us know if it really was, by the way, we were kinda too busy to notice). The motor itself is about 3" in diameter, it's 54" long, of which the bottom 12" is the combustion chamber where all the flamey zoomy stuff happens. The oxidizer tank holds 3200cc's of nitrous oxide, which comes out to .85 of a gallon. Doug estimated that about half of that had been vented when the ignition happened.

The burn time for that motor is listed at 3.1 seconds, but I would guess that it ran out of nitrous (oxidizer), and hence the oxygen need to burn, long before that, so the thrust would've fallen way off from the specs.

But at ignition, well, there was plenty of oxidizer for that, and that sucker lit up with a peak thrust of 2892 newtons/second, which works out to 650 pounds of thrust right off the pad.

I've heard it said more than once at a rocket launch: even our failures are entertaining to watch.

Posted by: Ted at 12:29 PM | category: Rocketry
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November 06, 2005

Snark of indeterminate accuracy

The Left won't begin to take domestic terrorism seriously until Starbucks' start blowing up.

Posted by: Ted at 01:49 PM | category: Square Pegs
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November 05, 2005

Launch Report - Up Close and Personal Edition

Today was an absolutely beautiful day for flying rockets: 70's, sunny, very little wind. Lucky for us, it was also day two of the three-day BattlePark 2005 launch held in Culpeper, Virginia.

I only flew two rockets myself, but there's a story to be told, and we all know how much I love that. So first, the details, then the good stuff.

My first flight was my Centuri Groove Tube upscale. 2.6" diameter tube-fin design, launched on an H165-Redline motor. Typical great boost from this rocket, and she arced over at apogee and just after going nose down the chute ejected. Recovered about 150 yards from the pads, undamaged.

Second flight, Barenaked Lady on an F24 with a seven second delay. This rocket is ultra-light, and the F24 seriously overpowers the rocket, which is fun as hell and why I do it. Waaaaaaaaay up there in a hurry and recovered about 100 yards away undamaged.

So that was all I flew. I had a few other rockets, but I had a great time anyway, picking a friend's brain for altimeter bay ideas (his always work, and I've never been completely satisfied with my designs), and shooting the breeze with fliers I haven't seen in awhile (frequent commenter Russ was there).

"I've done everything I know how to do, so if this doesn't work then we'll learn something." -- Doug Pratt

Later in the afternoon, Doug Pratt readied the rocket he's going to eventually fly for his Level 3 certification. Twelve foot tall, six inch diameter, all fiberglass, he was going to use a hybrid L-something motor.

They had the rocket on the pad (very big motor, so it was loaded on the "away" cell, much farther than normal), and I headed out to ask if there was anything I could do to help. Doug said something about giving them good luck with the flight.

Ha! That'll teach him.

Filling the nitrous tank for the motor seemed to take an unusually long time, and after the countdown there was no ignition. Ivan (another friend) started to vent the nitrous back out of the motor, and while that was going on Doug, Ivan and I walked back to the pad to see what was wrong. There was smoke coming from the pad, and we saw that the igniter wires were smoking. This put us all on guard, and we started visually checking the setup.

Doug switched off the power to the pad, making it safe. Moving over to the base of the rocket, he lifted the ignition wires and the motor instantly ignited! I was farthest away of the three of us, maybe 10-12 feet. Ivan dived away, Doug wound up with all the hair on one arm singed off, and I twisted and turned my back to the roar of this big honkin' motor going on right next to us.

Summary so far: big motor, too close, accidental ignition.

We were busy making sure that Ivan was ok (he hit the ground and rolled) when people started yelling "heads up!" at us. I confess that I had two thoughts before looking up:

1. Uh oh, the chute didn't open and it's coming in ballistic.

2. This was a weird motor ignition, so the sucker coming down on top of us is probably on fire.

When I did look up, I was relieved to see it descending normally under chute. Even better, it was going to miss us. Then came the second bit of excitement.


Ivan started yelling, and we ran about thirty feet downrange to start stomping out a brush fire caused by... well, we're not sure what caused the fire. The motor ignition, certainly, but why or how... no idea. Anyway, the three of us were stomping and stepping, holding the fire at bay more or less, until folks with water buckets made their way out to where we were and saved the day.

Ok, failure analysis. While the rocket was being loaded, the igniter wire insulation were chafed or otherwise broken. This caused the ignition wires to short out when they touched bare wire to the metal launch pad. That was problem number 1.

Next, when the ignition button was pressed to light the motor, the short prevented the current from reaching the business end of the igniter, but the relay in the circuit welded itself open. What that means is that although Doug shut off power to the pad, the relay had enough juice in it to fire the igniter, which happened as soon as Doug moved the wires, which unshorted them.

Whoosh! A helluva lot closer than I ever want to be ever again.

Nobody was hurt (beyond that singed arm hair), which was the main thing. The relay box is being disected this evening to figure out why it stuck open and how to prevent it from ever happening again.

Just to give you an idea of the power of the motor: even with only half a tank of nitrous to work with, the motor lofted the forty-plus pound rocket over four hundred feet into the air.

Hanging out with Doug always makes for an interesting day. Afterwards, we hit Country BBQ for some excellent ribs and fixin's and then I headed home; happy, tired, and with another cool story to add to my collection.

Posted by: Ted at 09:49 PM | category: Rocketry
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