Out to launch

June 29, 2008

Sometime Thursday morning, WordPress changed something with their SSL certificate. I use an old browser on an old computer and could no longer log into my account. Until I figure it out, I shall be taking a vacation from posting.

A few notes about this picture. The rocket took off from pad #2. To give you a frame of reference to the size of things, the sign by the pad was made from a clipboard. The sign reading “100” might have been a thermometer since it was about 95 degrees at the time, but it is actually the distance to pad #2 from the spectator area in feet.

I did not accidentally get my foot in front of the lens. I was told I looked pretty funny lying on the ground holding my camera in front of me with my foot propped up as this big rocket took to the skies. The camera has 10x zoom and I used it all; it did not have enough depth of field for my foot to be in focus as well at the shutter speed I was shooting.

Sister has a friend whose brother is in the military. He would send home pictures from exotic locations around the world. Not with him in it, but just his foot as if he was reclining and laid back, relaxing and taking a casual picture. Sister started doing the same thing and sending her friend “feet pics.” I just sent Sister this, my very first “feet pic”.

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Things which peeve me Thursday – Sampling

June 26, 2008

Sampling decribes the act of incorporating musical elements from an existing song into a new one. Though I have never liked the technique, it has not bugged me until now.

I thought they were starting to play Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon on the radio the other day from the opening riffs. But once the singing began, it was something else altogether. A bit of research revealed it to be a new Kid Rock song.

Kid Rock earns my respect for supporting our troops, a refreshing exception in the modern entertainment industry, but sampling Werewolves of London so that the song starts in the exact same way is just plain wrong.

John McCain does not know economics

June 25, 2008

On the campaign trail earlier in the year, John McCain admitted he did not know much about economics. Well, he just proved it by proposing a $300 million prize from the government for developing the next generation of improved battery.

Senator, the economy does not work that way. Whoever invents that new battery already stands to make an insane amount of money, not just for automobiles, but also for cell phones, cameras, notebook computers, MP3 players, cordless power tools and many other electronic and electrical devices. Think of the enormous market to replace gasoline-powered lawn mowers and weed eaters with clean and long-running electric ones. An inexpensive means to store power overnight might finally make home solar power take off. And if the technology is good enough, are electric airliners out of the question? There is already a huge financial reward for creating a greatly improved portable power source.

If you really wanted to help, how about proposing that anyone manufacturing the new battery does not have to pay federal income taxes for ten years to hasten getting it to the mass market (making it affordable for most of us)?

Your proposal also spoke volumes about your “big government” philosophy instead of having the government get out of the way of innovation.

Almost Anything Goes

June 24, 2008

In the mid 70s, long before the likes of Surviver, I was hooked on an unusual television game show called Almost Anything Goes. Small towns across America assembled teams to compete in wacky physical contests. Challenges included obstacle courses or the tossing and catching of messy or fragile food items. The show did not last very long; it was cancelled in its second season. But I watched it whenever I could.

With Knockout tonight, ABC brings back the concept. I hope it is as amusing as the original.

Memories of Mom Monday – Chasing brother

June 23, 2008

Dad has always been a gadget freak. Even when I was young, we had all kinds of cameras. Mom enjoyed using the 8 mm movie camera once in awhile. Since film for that camera was fairly expensive as was getting the film developed, we were usually careful with the camera and did not just shoot anything anytime.

One day, Mom filmed my brother and I playing on the swing set in the back yard. Then she had us get into the wading pool on the patio and splash around. For some reason, Brother did not want to do that, threw a fit and hid somewhere in the back yard. So she filmed me alone in the pool for a little bit. When she noticed the film was about to run out, she decided to find Brother and try to get him to reconsider. He continued with his tantrum and ran away as she approached. Her playful side taking over, she turned on the camera and chased him with it. That was some of the best footage from our childhood as Brother would run, then trip and fall, look at the camera, get back up and run some more, while crying the whole time.

Sick on Sunday – Crappy homecoming

June 22, 2008

Tonya Riley arrived home from work and knew something was horribly wrong before going inside. The comments to the story are entertaining as well.

How hot do you feel?

June 21, 2008

We have all heard the sayings “But it’s a dry heat” and “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity.” Both are true to an extent.

In an arid desert, sweat evaporates as quickly as it emerges, allowing the body’s cooling mechanism to work very well. But a temperature of 120 degrees is just plain hot, no matter how dry it may be.

For most of us, humidity is a major factor of discomfort in hot weather. The higher the humidity, the hotter it feels for a given temperature because sweat cannot carry away the heat so easily. This map shows the current heat index or felt temperature at various locations in the country. The effect is not only physiological; humid air contains more heat and is harder to cool, making electriciy bills higher in humid regions.

Summer has just officially begun, but the Metroplex has already endured over a month of temperatures 90 degrees or higher with over three weeks at 95 degrees or higher and usually accompanied by elevated humidity. We probably have about three more months of this…

Top 5 on Friday

June 20, 2008

Top 5 songs about summer

An easy one this week…because it’s too hot to think too hard.

  1. In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry
  2. Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer – Nat King Cole
  3. See You in September – The Happenings
  4. Cruel Summer – Bananarama
  5. Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful

Things which peeve me Thursday – Communism

June 19, 2008

The classical definition of communism is the political philosophy in which the government owns the means of production.

In a press conference response to President Bush’s call for off-shore drilling,Maurice Hinchey, Communist representative from New York, said, “Should the people of the United States own refineries? Maybe so. Frankly, I think that’s a good idea. Then we could control the amount of refined product much more capably that gets out on the market…”

To oil executives at a House hearing, Maxine Waters, Communist representative from California, said, “This liberal will be all about socializing, uh, uh…would be about…basically taking over and the government running all of your companies.” I believe she meant to say nationalize the oil companies, but was unable to think of the word.

More guns, less crime

June 18, 2008

A man walked into a bank and handed the teller a note demanding money, claiming he was wearing a bomb. The teller triggered the silent alarm while gathering the cash. Another teller observed the situation and alerted Nabil Fawzi, a long-time customer and concealed weapon licensee. Fawzi sprung to action, pointing his pistol at the robber and saying, “You are not robbing this bank!” The robber answered, “But I have a bomb.” To which Fawzi said he did not care and repeated “You are not robbing this bank!” Fawzi held the robber at gunpoint until the police arrived. No bomb was found.