June 15, 2006

New Feature!

This is the premier episode of the Rocket Jones Podcast for the Hearing Impaired.

(hum your favorite song as the lead-in)

Yes, I know this is kind of a niche market that I'm aiming towards, but I figure that by being first, I can at least be known as a pioneer.

I'm still working on the format, so bear with me. I'm looking to find some way to stand out from all the other podcasts out there.

(hum a snappy tune for the following)

By the way, your ad can be read heard here! Contact Rocket Jones for rates.

How 'bout that war, eh?

This podcasting stuff is harder than it looks. I think I need to do more prep ahead of time, it takes practice to sound off-the-cuff.

(hum closing music, whatever floats your boat)

Catch you next time on the Rocket Jones Podcast for the Hearing Impaired!

Posted by: Ted at 07:39 PM | category: Square Pegs
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June 14, 2006

Maybe that's how Ghandi ate them

Peanut butter and jelly on a sesame-seed roll.

Odd combination of flavors.

Posted by: Ted at 12:14 PM | category: Square Pegs
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No white people were insulted in the making of this post

I have a new favorite cracker. Triscuit has a "rosemary and olive oil" flavor out that is amazingly yummy, and WalMart has one of their house-brands with the same taste in a regular type cracker.

To die for.

Posted by: Ted at 05:44 AM | category: Square Pegs
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I guess this makes it official

I already knew it, but it's still nice to have confirmation.

Thanks to Lemur Girl, who's due congrats for completing her college degree! Yay!!!

She's got the low-down on the link above too.

Posted by: Ted at 05:33 AM | category: Links
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June 13, 2006

Rocketing Around the Blogosphere

Y'gads, another long forgotten regular feature exhumed from its shallow grave...

Zoe Brain tells about an open secret, namely that the two Mars Rovers are each carrying a piece of the World Trade Center aboard.

The company who built the drills on the robots' hydraulic arms are based just a few blocks from Ground Zero.

Staff at Honeybee Robotics fled clouds of dust and smoke when the Twin Towers collapsed.

And they decided to pay a "quiet tribute" to the 3000 victims of September 11 by putting debris from the attacks into their design.

Engineers at Honeybee turned two pieces of aluminium from the site into shields to protect the wiring on the drills. Each curved piece is the size of a credit card, and marked with the American flag.

Follow that link for more details and links.

More technology news from Random Nuclear Strikes, where we find out that a recent breakthrough might make hydrogen as cheap to produce as gasoline! Yay! Maybe, but there's a bit more to the technology than just making cheap fuel. Read and become informed.

In related (somewhat) energy technology news, Buckethead of The Ministry of Minor Perfidy links up to a new idea that's making waves, mainly by adapting an old idea to new technology. This looks promising.

Did you know that Mercedes makes a *Luxury* car?!?!?!?! Head on over to the Parkway Rest Stop and check out his sighting of a Maybach Motors creation.

Ah, employee handbooks. Source of endless amusement and/or teeth-gnashing, depending on your mood. Check out some detailed analysis of one such over at Nothing to see here, move along.

Finally, I've got good news and I've got bad news from the world of toons. Bad news first...

DeDoc posted about the passing of Alex Toth. Who, you may ask? Mr. Toth was the artist who did the original Johnny Quest, among other works. Doc has the links.

And in Toon good news...

Hearst's King Features Syndicate and Warner Home Video have finally come to terms, and 231 classic Popeye cartoons originally distributed to theaters by Paramount will be available on DVD.

The package also includes some made-for-TV cartoons, but what you care about here are the originals, produced from 1933 to 1942 by the Fleischer Studios and from then until 1957 (using some of the same animators) by Paramount's own Famous Studios.

Via Dustbury, who had a close encounter of the deer kind on the opening leg of his vacation.

I'll end it here on that happy note. You are happy, right? Original Popeye on DVD? I'm smiling.

Posted by: Ted at 02:06 PM | category: Links
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June 12, 2006


Rachael did. We received official notice today that I can stop by the high school and pick up her diploma.

Congrats also to my nephew Michael, who also graduated this year.

Posted by: Ted at 03:22 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Return of the Son of the Great Random Google Google Google Junket

Way back in the early days of Rocket Jones, I was a blog-linkin' fool. There were many and varied ways I used to spread the love, as it were. One original idea was the Great Random Google Junket - aptly and beautifully named by Susie - where folks would leave various words in the comment section and I would combine them into Google searches and post the results.

As I mentioned, Dogette's comment gave me the impetus to revive the idea, much like lightning striking the mad-scientisty doodads erected atop Dr. Frankenstein's tower.

This may become a semi-regular feature again. In any event, and in order to invade Dogette's privacy, I dedicate this first one to her, and ask you all to put on your best Jan Brady voice and welcome the Rocket Jones Great Random Google Google Google Junket!

Interestingly, when I googled "poop" and "shrub" (two frequent topics at TND), amongst the expected horticultural sites were a surprising number of hits from anti-presidential mouth breathers. Easily distinguished from intelligent life by a complete refusal to offer anything resembling intelligent debate, they don't bother to degenerate to name-calling. They just start there and it quickly goes downhill. They are also strikingly alike in that they offer no alternatives or suggested ideas beyond "it shouldn't be like that".

Moving on, sort of, if we add the terms "privacy" and "orange" to "poop" and "shrub", we get a link to, ta-daaaaaahhhhh:

Harley's Poop Patrol. According to their website, they're number 1 in the business of number 2, and they service all of Orange county. I wonder if they've ever done a cameo on that television show. Their rates seem reasonable and they offer customer testimonials! How cool is that. Way to go Harley!

See what kind of shit (*ahem*) we get into during a Random Google Google Google Junket?

Triticale jumped right in and offered up "snorkel". Since I'm shining the giant bright spotlight of attention at Dogette, I combined "snorkel" with "dog" and came up with Snorkel Dog boxer shorts.

"I heart pesticides". So goeth the wisdom that is Dogette, now available thanks to this site.

And finally, in one of those odd good/bad situations, we find that Howard Johnson Enterprises (home of the bright orange roof) also produce "all season triamine weed and feed". I'd probably skip the salad bar next time you're at HoJo's, eh? Actually, I have no idea if it's the same Howard Johnson. I'm too lazy to dig deeper.

But not too lazy to find this (.pdf format) data sheet on Triamine2, which is described as "A three-way post-emergent selective broadleaf herbicide" with lots of other scary words listed after that.

Ok folks, so that's how the Great Random Google Google Google Junket works. Leave a word in the comments, and try not to get too out there with your vocabulary, since medical terms tend to bring up boring medical sites, etc. Get creative but keep it on the common end of the spectrum.

Do it for Jan.

Posted by: Ted at 05:04 AM | category: Google Junket
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June 08, 2006


Oh so predictable:

Of course I'm glad we got Zarqawi, but...

There is no "but".

Or maybe there is.

...but at least no more students will be dragged off busses and executed on his orders.

...but at least no more innocent women and children will be blown into bloody rags while shopping at the market on his orders.

...but at least no more Iraqi policemen will be murdered on his orders.

...but at least no more aid workers, journalists, or diplomats will be beheaded on video on his orders.

...but maybe people will quit trying to find the dark cloud in this silver lining. Killing this animal is a good thing.

No buts about it.

Posted by: Ted at 08:59 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Over at Random Nuclear Strikes, AnalogKid defines several common units of measurement, and helpfully provides their metric counterparts.

A sample:

Yesterday, I used the term “Shitload”

1-Load = The amount of work you can reasonably get done in 8 hours

1-Buttload = 1 Load plus your lunch break

I read these last night with wife Liz and daughter Robyn over my shoulder, and we were all laughing out loud. Don't miss those metric equivalents!

Posted by: Ted at 05:29 AM | category: Links
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Dang, no more live blogging I guess

Zarq-man is dead.

Maybe he can start a trend, you know, dead blogging.

Posted by: Ted at 05:06 AM | category: Links
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June 07, 2006

The resurrection of original content

Thanks to a comment by Dogette and the reinforcement by Buckethead, I'm seriously considering the revival of a regular feature of the early days of Rocket Jones. Renamed slightly, of course.

The Rocket Jones Great Random Google, Google, Google Junket.

What say you?

Posted by: Ted at 08:19 PM | category: Google Junket
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That's when you take something and squeeze it until it ain't fun anymore. That's as good a description as any for a majority of the memes floatin' around out there.

But it has been awhile since I've played the meme game, so all I can say is, Susie can tap me anytime.

Here we go.

5 things in my fridge:
* yogurt
* reduced-cholesterol eggs
* regular eggs (for baking)
* reduced-cholesterol margarine
* butter (for baking)

5 things in my closet:
* large box full of unbuilt rocket kits
* assorted prom dresses from the girls
* "junk shelf" containing, among other things, spare AA batteries for my cordless mouse and keyboard
* Rachael's video camera (our old one)
* clothes of all kinds (I don't have a dresser)

5 things in my briefcase:
* foldable bluetooth keyboard for my PDA
* chapstick
* computer textbook that I'm working my way through
* mini-mag light
* Leatherman

5 things in my car:
* sunglasses
* bag o' bungee cords
* tarp
* umbrella
* ice scraper/window squeegee

5 people I want to torture with this meme:
* Link back here or leave a comment if you run with it

Posted by: Ted at 06:45 PM | category: Links
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June 06, 2006

Estate Tax (Update and Bump)

I heard one of the most blatant outright lies today on a radio ad about the proposed repeal of the estate tax.

You think it's fair that the mega-rich get a mega-tax break? That money is coming out of somebody's pockets, and it's not the heirs and heiresses.

Excuse me? The "mega-rich" (or anybody else, for that matter), already pay property taxes on what they own, so taxing them again when they die is nothing more than kicking the dead. Call it what it is, a tax on cessation of respiration.

Furthermore, *not* taxing the deceased isn't taking money out of anybody's pocket, it's *not* your freaking money to begin with. It's theirs! They stop breathing and immediately these assholes lay claim to the bucks, because, you know, they're just evil rich and all.

I don't trust the government. I don't trust a socialist. I don't trust a Democrat. I don't trust a religious zealot.

All of you, stay the hell out of my life. Stay the hell out of my death too.

Update: Duncan left a reasonable comment about this, directing me towards this WaPo article in an effort to clarify their position. In return, I'd ask that you consider this rebuttal to the same article. While you're there at QandO, check out the comments too, as there is lively and (mostly) rational debate of the issue.

Posted by: Ted at 04:36 PM | category: Square Pegs
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About this "6/6/6" date thing

I kept hearing about this and was wondering what the heck the fuss was about. I thought they'd moved election day up from November or something. The rhetoric was strikingly similar.

Posted by: Ted at 06:13 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Stick a fork in 'em, they're done

Blow a three goal lead? Yep.

Lose your goalie to a season-ending knee injury? Check.

Backup goalie badly flubs a play that allows the winning goal to score? Uh huh.

Edmonton, buh-bye.

Posted by: Ted at 05:03 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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June 05, 2006

Quick, before the server falls over again!

Mapgirl is hosting this week's Carnival of Personal Finance. Go, visit and usk djc nm87##2i----------

Posted by: Ted at 11:33 AM | category: Links
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Not quite that far

I mean, I wouldn't have his babies or anything, but Pixy Misa, benevolent host and master of Mu.Nu, has done it again. Our MovableType search functions was sloooooooooooooow because of the sheer number of blogs and posts hosted. So Pixy decided to rewrite the seach function to go zooooooooooom instead.

They do indeed, indeed they do. Give it a try, you'll be amazed.

Posted by: Ted at 09:51 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Must Have

Released this week, the John Wayne/John Ford Film Collection.

Posted by: Ted at 05:37 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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Lord Stanley's Cup

Hockey finals start tonight. The Carolina Hurricanes take on the Edmonton Oilers.

The grid up top will be updated sometime today.

Posted by: Ted at 05:14 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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June 03, 2006

Launch Report - 6/3/06

Today was supposed to be a nice day, darn it! It was ok, nothing more than that, but the worst thing was that it was windy all day long. We launch rockets in the rain, we'll launch in the snow and cold, but wind stops us every time. The safety rules say that 20mph is the cutoff point. That's reasonable, because 20mph is a heckuva blow.

Today there were gusts to 17mph (that I heard of), and there were few lulls.

I had several things going on today at the rocket launch. First up, I'd volunteered to help with a CanSat competition. Eight college teams from around the country were making flights with identical high-power rockets, and at apogee their experimental payloads were ejected under parachute. These payloads were GPS units that sent telemetry back to the ground, where it was picked up by a YAGI antenna (I think that's what it's called) and fed into a laptop for recording and analysis.

Eight successful flights, but big... no, huge... HUGE, drift because of the wind. One team recovered their cansat almost three miles downwind.

I helped to prep a couple of the rockets, and later did a shift at the high-power pads doing launch control duties.

I finished that up just in time to grab a quick bite (PBJ, food of the gods) before a coworker of mine arrived with her nieces and nephews. Sammy and William each prepped a rocket with me, while Miranda decided she'd rather not. She claimed not to like loud, noisy things, which is understandable with two brothers, eh?

So we three got rockets ready to fly, pictures were taken, and we went to the launch area. Once the rockets were on the pads, one by one they were launched, after the Launch Control Officer read the important information over the PA system, including the fact that this was Sammy's first launch with NOVAAR and William's first rocket ever.

The flights went well, and afterwards the kids and I went out to the field to recover them (darn wind!). I gave Sammy and William their rockets to keep, which might seem like a nice thing to do, but it's really very selfish of me. See, by giving away two rockets, I'll have to build two more in order to keep my display rack full.

Hopefully they'll be back at another launch soon.

Other than that, not much happened all day. I broke one rocket (my Odin's Spear) when the wind blew it off the table and I didn't see it. Stepped backwards right onto it. I also had a stabilizer snap off of an Edmonds rocket glider, but that's already on the workbench, glue drying from the repair.

Mandatory stats stuff for my records:

1. BolAeroZ - B6-4 - this Shrox plan features an asymetrical fin planform and today there was just too much wind for it. It was only marginally stable, but was high enough not to be dangerous. I suggested that if Sammy and his dad cut the forwardmost fins off, then the rocket would fly much better.

2. Air Guitar - B6-4 - William liked this rocket for the paint job (so did the the LCO), which was patterned after Eddie Van Halen's guitar, hence the name. A very nice flight, recovered safely on a streamer.

3. Groove Tube - B6-4 - This flight was mine, and it was it's usual beautiful boost. Tube fins tend to not be as affected by the wind, at least on the way up. She drifted quite a bit farther than the other two rockets because she went much higher.

And that was it for me for the day. One actual flight made. Darn wind. I still had big fun, because rockets and kids go together like PBJ.

Posted by: Ted at 07:59 PM | category: Rocketry
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