June 28, 2005

Oh, this is funny!

In a completely Geneva Convention Compliant sort of way.

The "GITMO Terro-Gator".

They'll be begging to bring back the J-Lo.

Posted by: Ted at 05:37 AM | category: Links
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June 27, 2005

Boo Freakin' Hoo

NHL player Jeremy Roenick:

"I know we are going to give up probably more than any union has ever given up in the history of (professional) sports and, to me, I think that's enough to bring the fans back - to know what their players are going to give up as much as they have in the last year," Roenick said. "If people are going to chastise professional athletes who are making a lot of money they need to look at the deal we are probably going to end up signing in the next three weeks."

I'm supposed to feel sorry because millionaires stage the worlds dumbest "biggest dick" contest?

"We're going to try to make it better for everybody, period, end of subject. And if you don't realize that, then don't come," said Roenick, who spoke at a charity golf event he played in over the weekend.

"We don't want you at the rink, we don't want you in the stadium, we don't want you to watch hockey."

"I say personally, to everybody who called us 'spoiled,' you guys are just jealous ... we have tried so, so hard to get this game back on the ice," Roenick said.

You win Jeremy. You are indeed the biggest dick.

Posted by: Ted at 08:22 PM | category: Links
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The Entitlement Generation

Who didn't see this coming?

"We're seeing an epidemic of people who are having a hard time making the transition to work — kids who had too much success early in life and who've become accustomed to instant gratification," says Dr. Mel Levine, a pediatrics professor at the University of North Carolina Medical School and author of a book on the topic called "Ready or Not, Here Life Comes."

While Levine also notes that today's twentysomethings are long on idealism and altruism, "many of the individuals we see are heavily committed to something we call 'fun.'"

He partly faults coddling parents and colleges for doing little to prepare students for the realities of adulthood and setting the course for what many disillusioned twentysomethings are increasingly calling their "quarter-life crisis."

In other words, for the first time in their lives, someone isn't handing them the world on a silver platter. They're actually being expected to earn something.

Now, deserved or not, this latest generation is being pegged, too — as one with shockingly high expectations for salary, job flexibility and duties but little willingness to take on grunt work or remain loyal to a company.

Of course, you know that the nitwits who validated the mindset that produced this coming generation have something to say about it.

"It's true they're not eager to bury themselves in a cubicle and take orders from bosses for the next 40 years, and why should they?" asks Jeffrey Arnett, a University of Maryland psychologist who's written a book on "emerging adulthood," the period between age 18 and 25. "They have a healthy skepticism of the commitment their employers have to them and the commitment they owe to their employers."

Notice how they automatically assume that working for a living makes you a drone or a cog in the machine. And as an employer, how committed do you think I'm going to be to better pay and benefits if I know that this generation of workers has the mindset that every position is a temp job?

My daughter Rachael is "interviewing" for a job this morning (she'll start in August when she gets back from Governor's School). She's got the job already, but the boss asked her to come in for a half day "to make sure she likes it". Rachael already told her, "I don't care if I like it or not, I want the job and I'll work hard". She knows that if she does a good job during the summer, odds are that she can get weekend hours once school starts again. She also knows that she has to earn that schedule, because nobody's going to give it to her just because she wants them.

Posted by: Ted at 11:31 AM | category: Links
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Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinaaahhhhhh!!!

This time of year our grocer is running almost weekly sales on fresh berries. Whip up a loaf of this bread and enjoy a tasty breakfast or snack, or turn it into a quick summer dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Blueberry Lemon Bread

ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp lemon rind
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed and drained

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
In another large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs and beat well.
Add the flour mixture and milk, beating at low speed until the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the lemon rind and blueberries.
Pour into a lightly greased 9"x5" load pan (see note below) and bake 60-70 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

This recipe comes from a cookbook called "Mr. Food Makes Dessert".

As an experiment, I used one of those flexible bundt pans made out of silicone that I just got. The bread turned out wonderfully moist and it looks pretty too. I prefer things less sweet, so I decreased the sugar to between 1 cup and 1 1/4 cup. I also found that using a microplane to zest one large lemon was just about right for the rind called for in the recipe. Easy and quick.

Yummy stuff!

Posted by: Ted at 04:56 AM | category: Recipes
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I'm an individual, just like everyone else

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Thanks Stephen.

Posted by: Ted at 04:39 AM | category: Links
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June 26, 2005

Baseball and Bloggers

We enjoyed our second Baseball Blogmeet last night. Besides myself, my daughter Robyn and her boyfriend Jeremy joined us, as did daughter and blogger Mookie, Victor, Nic, Rob & Big Hair, and Buckethead and family.

We saw a pretty good game and had lots of good conversation. Victor gave Rob a copy of the album put out by Lancelot Link & the Evolution Revolution. Because, I believe that there was some controversy over Rob's continuing series on the 100 Top Guitar Players of All Time list (/understatement), some felt that LL&ER's axeman belonged on that list.

Buckethead and I got to thinking about baseball music, what song you'd want played as you came to the plate. Being the smartass that I am, I was better at picking music for the other team. Among my suggestions were "She's Having My Baby", the theme music from The Three Stooges, and then Buckethead knocked it outta da park with "Feelings". Do you think it'd be unsportsmanlike to play "Big Girls Don't Cry"?

They announced several groups who were there at the game, so we also thought we'd need some sort of group name for next time. After reading that random reputation shotgunning of Munuvians we recently experienced (and enjoyed mocking), I suggested "The Vast Both Wing Conspiracy".

So let's see... baseball music... blog group name... it sounds like a couple of contests and/or polls in the future, eh?

I'll announce next month's game date. And I encourage y'all in the DC Metro area to join us, it's a great time. Victor is going to check into a Frederick Keys game up at the north end of town to give us southerners a chance to enjoy Saturday traffic.

This area has lots of bloggers, so these gettogethers can and should become a regular and growing event. Invite a local blogger to the next one. Steve and Robert, pack up the families and come on out for an evening of baseball and good times.

And the fireworks after the game were pretty doggone good!

Posted by: Ted at 07:29 PM | category: Links
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Titan IV Project

I've been following the progress of a team of hobby rocketeers who've developed a scale version of the Titan IV heavy lift booster. Like the real thing, this rocket would sport a pair of side booster rockets that would be jettisoned midway through the ascent.

This is a big rocket that they're sending up. For example, here's some of the data from their preliminary simulations as they calculate the best timing to deploy the chutes on the dropaway boosters.

Each booster is 9" dia, 8' tall weighing about 20 lbs at burnout. Boosters are connected fore and aft and will be released by blowing charges at both connection points. Vehicle will be traveling 404 mph at 2600' at time of release (6 seconds into the flight) CG on the booster will be slightly forward of center (maybe 12")

I suspect the large surface area and low weight will cause the booster to slow rapidly, compared to the main rocket weighing about 90 lbs, carrying much more inertia.

This weekend was the scheduled maiden flight from the field down at Whitakers, North Carolina. I don't have a link to the liftoff pictures yet, but here's one of the Titan IV on the pad as they prep before flight.

Word is, the launch was spectacular.

Posted by: Ted at 02:10 PM | category: Rocketry
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Riding the lightning rod

Reportedly, after this photo, the pilot said:

"I'm a cowboy in the sky. Ms. Nature couldn't knock us outta the saddle."

YeeeeeHaw!

Thanks to Corporate Mommy for pointing this out.

Posted by: Ted at 09:09 AM | category: Links
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June 25, 2005

Berry season

Fresh blueberry pancakes, it's what's for breakfast!

Mmmmmmm.

Posted by: Ted at 10:35 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Stuff to look at

There've been a lot of blog birthdays lately, folks being online for a year or two. CGHill, over at Dustbury, celebrated his fifth year blogging the other day (and the site has been continuously updated longer than that)! You ladies especially should head over and thank him for making you feel young, unless you're at that odd female stage where you want to be thought older than your actual age, in which case you should send him naughty pictures of yourself. Lets make it simple: all the ladies should send him naughty pictures.

Hey, it's worth a shot, and maybe he'll share with me.

When my diabetic Mom had her leg amputated, she spent most of a year in a hospice (leg and other related issues). Being at the other end of the country, I only managed to visit her once in person, but for the short time I was there I was impressed with the helpfulness and professionalism of the staff. Of course, Mom wanted to go home and her opinion was colored by that fact, but even she admitted that her stay could've been a lot less pleasant. Azygos of Spanky's Place has an interesting post about hospice care, the cost and the economics of Medicare. Very interesting.

From Owlish, we get links to the end of the world, and my oh my, a zombie simulator! *doing happy dance*

I used to read the Gray Monk regularly, but somehow he dropped off of my radar. I highly recommend a visit, you might enjoy his mix of history and culture from across the pond.

Posted by: Ted at 10:32 AM | category: Links
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Wikipedia Wars and New Tools to Use

Wikipedia is a cool concept where anyone can enter information about a subject, and thus a "people's reference" comes to life. Unfortunately (as the L.A. Times recently discovered), it also allows any nitwit with a cause to enter, delete, edit and overwrite information about any subject. This means that Joe Bigot can write an entry on the KKK and make it sound like a social club with a few naughty fringe elements who got carried away with the whole lynching thing. Likewise, Daisy Treehugger can pound out a screen on Halliburton and the price of Ozone and to the unaware, it carries the same credibility as actual fact.

I like Wikipedia a lot. I don't trust it at all, but I like it.

This morning I stumbled across this idea and ensuing project to create a tool to track the editing history of a Wikipedia entry:

I'd love to see a tool for animating Wikipedia history for a given entry or block of text (see Udell's screencast for an example). Bonus points for highlighting what changed in each version, and extra special bonus points for a way to scrub backwards and forwards through time.

Check out the link and be amazed as they've made some quick progress towards the goal. I'll have to dig a little deeper, but this sounds like just the thing to help decide if a Wikipedia subject has been hijacked for a cause or not.

Thanks to Dawn for the original link which led to the link where I saw another link to where I found this. Oh, and you get to see a video where Tom Cruise kills Oprah.

Posted by: Ted at 09:23 AM | category: Links
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Good Joke

Courtesy of Eros Blog (link not safe for work, this joke is).

A prosperous old dairy farmer from someplace cold finally sold out to the local agribusiness giant and retired to Florida. Being a farmer, he liked owning lots of land, so he had to buy a big place with a large pond down near the swamp. He fixed up the pond a bit, dumped a few truckloads of sand to make a little beach, and kept a small swimming area cleared of weeds and scum. Nearby he had some picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and a stone barbeque. Shading it all was a mixed grove of fruit trees.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond to check his fruit trees, so he grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of pretty young women skinny-dipping in his pond.

As soon as they noticed him standing there watching, they all shrieked and went deeper into the pond. One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave, you dirty old man!"

The old man thought for a moment, and then said "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or to make you get out of the pond naked." Holding the bucket up, he said "I'm just here to feed the alligators."

What's that they say? Age and treachery beats youth and enthusiasm every time.

Posted by: Ted at 08:03 AM | category: Links
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June 24, 2005

We now return to our regularly scheduled puppies and rainbows

I think I've exceeded my quarterly quota for swearing.

Posted by: Ted at 12:13 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Food Glorious Food

Dana has done a wonderful job with this week's Carnival of the Recipes. Head on over to Note-It Posts and check it out.

And don't forget to enter a good suggestion for the Rocket Jones Name That Cookie Contest.

Posted by: Ted at 11:48 AM | category: Recipes
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I needed this laugh

I've been doing a slow burn over the sheer stupidity demonstrated by recent events. Durbin (no honoriffic for that asswipe) ignoring the worldwide impact his slur upon our American troops has inflicted, just to score a cheap political shot against the administration, followed by the flag burning amendment, to the manufactured outrage by Democrats over Rove quoting from a Dem fundraising organization, to our (you didn't read that "our" with enough sarcasm, go back and try again) Supreme Court deciding that owning property doesn't really mean you own it if someone else with more money wants it.* I've fucking had it.

Right up until I read this article about a Russian woman suing NASA over an upcoming scientific space mission.

When NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft hurls a barrel-size probe at a comet millions of miles from Earth on July 4, Marina Bai of Moscow will take it very personally.

The 45-year-old mother of two is so upset about the space agency's scientific assault on the celestial body that she has taken the unusual step of suing NASA in Moscow courts. Her lawsuit seeks to block the launch of the probe and to recover $311 million in "moral" damages.

Bai, a self-published author and spiritualist, said that she couldn't sleep after watching a television report about the Deep Impact mission, which is led by a team of astronomers at the University of Maryland, when it was launched Jan. 12.

"Somewhere deep inside me a voice told me the whole mission had to be stopped," she said in an interview yesterday. "I fear that it could have an impact on all humanity."

In court papers, Bai asserts that Deep Impact will "infringe upon my system of spiritual and life values, in particular on the values of every element of creation, upon the unacceptability of barbarically interfering with the natural life of the universe, and the violation of the natural balance of the universe."

Dolores Beasley, a spokeswoman for NASA, said it would be "inappropriate" to comment.

"Inappropriate" is NASA legal-speak for ROFLMAO.

And what the fuck are "moral" damages?

But Bai fears the bombardment could disrupt mystical forces. More practically, she added, it might create an open season on celestial objects by the world's spacefaring nations.

"If the Americans can study comets with the help of bombs, why not the Chinese?" she asked. "Americans want to be ahead of everybody. And maybe that's good, but not in this case. It's a barbaric method, to study the universe with bombs."

I'm not entirely certain, but I don't think the probe is an actual bomb. I thought it was just an impactor that would achieve its effect by kinetic energy.

"It's a barbaric method, to study the universe with bombs"

We'll never live up to those paragons of finesse and restraint, the Russians.

I don't care how long the line is Ms. Bai, stand in it and get another roll of tin foil. Your hat is obviously not thick enough.

*And for those proclaiming that this is a victory for WalMart, as if they're the main evil in the world, shut the fuck up and open your eyes. This isn't WalMart's doing, and nobody is going to steal your home to build another one. This is about developers putting up resorts and business parks and convention centers.

Posted by: Ted at 06:09 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Hella Pointless

We had a wickedcool thunderstorm blow through the other night.

My most comfortable pair of work shoes squeak.

Those two items are totally unrelated, but that's not really the reason for this post, now is it?

Posted by: Ted at 05:51 AM | category: Square Pegs
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New MuNu

The Munuvian blogroll has grown yet again. Give a hearty "Yay!" and "Welcome" to the new cool kids on the block.

Owlish Mutterings
Mr. Babylon
Confederate Yankee
Country Pundit
Knockin' on the Golden Door
Mark Nicodemo
Dagney's Rant
The Gray Monk

Also, I'd forgotten to include one of the last batch of Munuvians. My apologies to Miasmatic Review, and welcome to the blogroll.

Posted by: Ted at 04:17 AM | category: Links
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June 23, 2005

I thought we'd already perfected that technology

I watched that documentary called Real Genius and saw where we could incinerate a person from orbit. Now they claim we're just developing it? No way man.

Seriously though, check out this priceless bit where the mouth breathers manage to go from solar sail powered spacecraft to...

"a military weapon, capable of destroying cities and incinerating armies in the battlefield from space."

...in several tortured leaps of logic (I half expect Spock himself to come back through time to apply the Vulcan Bitch Slap on me for even using the term "logic" here).

Best $4 million dollars we ever spent, eh? Which is, what, a fraction of what we pay for each cruise missile? Hell, for the cost of the free school lunch program, we could blanket the heavens with enough little magic mirrors (my suggested euphemism for "orbital based death ray platforms") to keep America's rich and powerful rich and powerful forever!

Halliburton!!!!

Thanks to Rand Simberg (who may have to disappear after leaking this smoking gun (yes, I torture lots of things, including metaphores, it's the conservative in me)).

Posted by: Ted at 11:45 AM | category: Square Pegs
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My Opinion - Second in a Series

The kids are in awe of me now that I've decided to take a public stand about things...

Prunes are hella good.

...even when they don't agree with me. Not only do they not think that prunes are yummy, they claim that I am not allowed to say "hella" anything.

Posted by: Ted at 05:06 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Zipai

From the "Naughty Places" category: EroticZipai.

"Zipai" is a Chinese term to mean pictures of a person taken by one's self. Sort of another way to say self-portrait except it's only in the form of photographes. The web is full of such pictures because many young girls love to showcase themselves in such manner. Zipai's don't have to be erotic but most of the ones you see on this site is. This site also features some voyeurism and amateur pictures.

Not safe for work.

Posted by: Ted at 04:43 AM | category: Links
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