May 13, 2006

I'm alive

...just been very, very busy.

Posted by: Ted at 01:03 PM | category: Square Pegs
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May 08, 2006

I knew college would turn her into a commie

Mookie got some PC time from London the other day, so she IM'd Dad. She's having a great time, and told a great story about one day her and a friend had while sightseeing. It seems that they were out and about on May 1st and somehow wound up marching in the socialist's May Day parade. Afterwards, they were within about 20' of the main stage where all the speaker's were talking to the crowd. She said they got tons of flyers and leaflets and a big sign too.

Dad, every conceivable nitwit with a cause was out there. What a freakin' zoo.

That's my girl.

Posted by: Ted at 07:20 PM | category: Square Pegs
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May 07, 2006

Not Quite What I Remember

NASA creates some wicked cool animated mission videos, and the best I've seen was a version where someone added a background soundtrack of Lenny Kravitz' Fly Away.

This version is pretty good though, set to Nine Inch Nails Sunspots. Check out NIN to Mars.

Here's another, which leaves the original NASA audio intact. It's longer too, not edited down to fit a particular song.

Posted by: Ted at 07:52 AM | category: SciTech
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I remember

I remember seeing the pubic service announcement as a lad.

I don't remember it being a big problem.

Maybe a regional thing: Willie Mays warning kids not to play with blasting caps.

Thanks to The McCovey Chronicles for the memories.

Posted by: Ted at 07:28 AM | category: Links
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May 05, 2006

First thoughts on playoff hockey

Tonight was my first chance this year to sit down and watch some playoff hockey games.

Buffalo vs. Ottawa. Ooooh baby, this was some seriously fun hockey. There were three goals scored in the first couple of minutes of the game, and three more in the last minute and a half. Buffalo tied the game at 6 with 10 seconds left, and then won the game just 18 seconds into overtime after a Sens defenseman fanned on a clearing attempt.

Despite the fact that both teams feature powerful offenses, the truth of this game is that both goalies are rookies, and both goalies looked like it. The scoring is fun, but the netminding sucked.

Give the Sabres credit though for hanging in there long enough to steal the game. They had 7 goals on less than 20 shots. The Senators dominated, and if Buffalo doesn't get it together then Ottawa will walk away with the series.

About the commercials... OLN "believes in hockey". It's about f*cking time.

Verizon and their "what should I get Mom for Mother's Day?" commercial: yet another example of advertising that is memorable as designed, but in all the wrong ways. If I have to watch that commercial through the rest of the playoffs, I will never, ever use Verizon.

The second game is on right now: Colorado at Anaheim. At the end of the first period the game is scoreless. The prime thought I have is that the OLN broadcasting team should be working for Verizon. They're that bad. Unfunny jokes. Inane and pointless chatter. I'm about ready to rediscover mime hockey.

Colorado has been blocking shots like crazy. If I hadn't heard the insane numbers they put up in the first round against Dallas, it would still be notable.

Former Washington Capital Steve Konowalchuk is back for the Avs after missing 62 games with a broken wrist. He's one of the class guys in the league and it's good to see him back.

Every time you use a Verizon phone, an angel bursts into flame.

Posted by: Ted at 10:14 PM | category: Balls and Ice
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Commitment, Committed... whatever

My Level 2 rocketry certification process took a huge step forward last night when I ordered the motor casing and reload kit.

Contrail J246 hybrid. 38mm motor case, 36" long. 673 newton/seconds total thrust delivered over 2.8 seconds of burn time.

When all is ready to go (early summer), y'all are invited to the launch.

Posted by: Ted at 05:26 AM | category: Rocketry
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May 04, 2006

Frozen Treats

The first round of NHL's playoffs are over. The top four seeds in the Eastern Conference all advanced, while none of the top four in the West survived.

Now things get interesting. Both Ottawa and Buffalo are starting rookie goalies. The Senators are a goal-scoring machine, but Buffalo has managed to do it all year long. Speed, speed, speed. This series is going to be fun.

Carolina took a nap early in the series against Montreal, and it almost cost them. The Devils are a solid team, and they have Broduer in net, which is a huge positive. Add the fact that they've won fifteen straight games. Personally, this series is probably the least interesting one to me, but it features two evenly matched teams who promise plenty of excellent hockey.

In the West you have the San Jose Sharks, who're on a scorching hot streak (second only to those Joisy boys), up against the Oilers, still on a high from knocking off the top-seeded Wings. Edmonton's Chris Pronger has quietly put together another excellent season, and after years of playoff futility in St. Louis he's hoping to carry his new team all the way this year. Then again, they're about to run into the buzz saw of the Sharks offense. They have so many weapons that shutting down one, like the Predators did with Thornton, only means that someone like team captain Marleau will ably pick up the slack. In goal, it's Roloson for the Oilers, a late acquisition from Minnesota at the trade deadline, vs. Toskala, yet another in the recent series of excellent Finnish goaltenders. Backing up Toskala is Nabokov, who would be starting for more than half the teams in the NHL (hell, maybe more than half the teams that made the playoffs).

Last, but not least: Colorado against Anaheim. I know next to nothing about these two teams this year, beyond that the Avs have former Canadien Jose Theodore in net, and that he played beyond expectations against the Stars. I always liked him, but then like I said, I haven't seen him play much this season. Colorado stumbled badly towards the end of the season, but if they've truly turned it around they should handle the Ducks easily.

Ha, like I know what I'm talking about!

Posted by: Ted at 05:21 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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May 02, 2006

His name is Fred, and he's a quiet guy

The extended Phipps clan grew by one last weekend with the addition of a new pet.

Meet Fred. He's a Holland Lop.

Fred, the Holland Lop Bunny

Liz kinda surprised us all a few weeks ago when she announced that she's always wanted a rabbit. This was news to everyone, because none of the rest of us can ever remember her mentioning it before. I know that she was born on Easter, whatever that may have to do with it.

But I'm nothing if not agreeable, so I told her to do some research and if she really wanted a bunny, then I didn't have a problem with it. Google is your friend, and we also discovered that there is a "Rabbits for Dummies".

I've learned a bit about the little critters, such as mostly they ain't so little. Fred is a bantam by bunny standards, coming in at around 4 pounds. Also, being a lop, his body structure is very different from the short-eared breeds more common out west where I grew up. When Fred hunkers down, he's shaped like a Volkswagen, whereas the wild jackrabbits I hunted in my youth were more upright and lean, built for speed.

Not to say that Fred is a slowpoke. He's already demonstrated an amazing ability to reverse direction on a dime, leaving our dog Trix wondering what the hell just happened during the chase.

The dogs are fine with Fred. Sam, the oldster, could really care less. Trix has mastered the skill of jumping over the baby gate at will, assuming that the barrier is to keep Fred *in*, not him out. Mostly, they're still getting used to each other, with Trix trying to figure out why the new weird dog doesn't act like one.

About the name. Fred's first known name was Severn, as in "Severn River", which is where he was found as a stray (and how do you know a rabbit is a stray?). When he was taken in by the Bunny Rescue people, he was renamed Fast Freddie for his pinball-like speed. According to the pet psychic, he likes the name Fast Freddie. I hate it, but it's better than anything else we've come up with, so by default his name in our house is becoming plain ol' Fred.

Pet psychic? Oh yeah, the Bunny Rescue people have a pet psychic come in to see the rabbits every once in a while. Fred remembers two Springs, so they figure he's two years old. When the lady told us about the pet psychic, she said "this is going to sound goofy...". You know what? She sounded about as goofy talking about the rabbits as I do talking about rockets. Nothing wrong with being passionate about something.

Fred was neutered and microchipped, so he can be tracked and reunited with us in the event of a natural disaster.

He likes dried papaya, spinich and raisins, besides his normal diet of Purina Rabbit Chow and hay. Rabbits are big hay eaters, which I didn't know. He's also litter box trained.

I think he's happy with his new home. At least he hasn't been bitching, but like I said, he's a quiet guy.

Posted by: Ted at 07:06 PM | category: Square Pegs
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