Archive | January, 2008

>Cue Theme Music! Also, Presidential Candidate Shortage

31 Jan

>’Cos yesterdaze thrillin’ episode of Whatever It Is We Do Here resulted in partial success! At least, it had as of the time I skedaddked last evening. Handsome Dave[1] and I had all three RF finals in the stardrive array running, albeit the one with which we have most recently been frobbing [2] was sitting at about 50% when we left. Today’s effort should allow us to get it back to full power. We hope.

Last evening, I was reading the novel Hope, from Aaron Zellman and L. Neil Smith, which features a libbytarian Hero of the sort we never see (Barry Goldwater notwithstanding) and it occurred to me to wonder why not. The answer’s simple: freedom types tend to be self-actualized and internally validated. We don’t respond well to Great Leaders and rarely become them ourselves. Political candidates, on the other hand, crave external validation. It’s part of what drives them.

…That explains why Fred dropped out and why he never seemed all that interested in the race: he would have liked the job but he didn’t need it and all the attention and stroking that comes with running for it in the way that his competitors in both parties do. And it explains why the LP struggles election cycle after cycle to come up with a Presidential candidate and gives birth instead to mice and/or engaging fringe types.

Of course, it also explains why it is I have driven several bosses into boiling rages when they have asked me what time I plan to end my day and I have innocently replied, “When I’m done.” It was a surprise to me yesterday to look at my big ol’ starship-engineer wristwatch and realize it was the 30th already!

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1. Don’t be jealous, o admiring (hah!) minions (hahah!). I’m not his type; he likes ’em blonde, smallish and highly decorative in addition to not being stupid.

2. Or frobnosticating. It’s old technoid slang and highly self-deprecating in this context, bein’ the lowest form of technological manipulation, beneath “tweak” and “twiddle”

>Re-AMORCing* The Irradiator

30 Jan

>Once again, I’ve not posted for a few days and, yes, it’s the stardrive array.

The good news: it’s not the RF final we fixed last week. That one was back on and at full power along about 0300 Saturday ayem (a time when mere mortals must sleep! Or should, anyway). When a different one of the three took unplanned leave Friday evening, we unshipped the 32 Volt/180 Ampere (!) power supply assembly (a heavy lapful of loose parts and wire harness) from the one that had failed and stuffed it into the previously-failed one, which needed, as nearly as could be determined, only that, and cello [1], it came up and ran like a champ!

The bad news is, that meant we now had a stardrive with two known problems and probably another; and that’s what I’ve head my head stuck in since Monday.[2]

We’re not going to make Rigel 4 in time for the Pork Festival. Which may be a good thing. (Check two posts back).

In Other News: back in the Homeport slightly realer world, straight-line winds and a possible tornado knocks down tree limbs and forced rainwater in around an attic window at my house, wetting down some recently-installed insulation. Just as well I was reminded to weatherstrip that window before installing wallboard. Further damage report awaits the dawn.

I cannot await the dawn and thus must bid thee adieu. Or as the French say(?), “happy snails!”

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* “AMORC” ‘cos we gotta get the lights and power back on, see?

1. Or is that “viola?” Some kinda string instrument.

2. Also shoulders, both arms, upper body, etc.

>I’m So Proud

28 Jan

>…To have been chosen as the model for Virgin Galactic’s new logo! Just wish someone would have told me about it.

(Seriously, I look more like the painting than the actual model. Even more seriously, how are they maintaining the helmet’s pressure integrity around a ponytail? This could be important to the cuter spacechix like Tam and me. I’m afraid it may be a clip-on).

The news-ish version is here and here. Kewl stuff!

>"You look marvelous"

27 Jan

>Possibly even better with a side of fries.
81%

Umm… Oh, yes, I deliberately gamed the quiz. My real score is the same as Breda’s, 59%. So, really, only the lean ones who are carrying maybe a little garlic or some rosemary should worry.

Gosh, I’m simply vile today. Had another “stardrive” failure last evening; ate, depressurized, went back in about eleven. Worked most of the night and managed to make one good one out of two bad ones, so now we have one majorly malfed device that’ll have to be troubleshot from Square Zero. And I’m behind on sleep and housekeeping. Yay.

>Mixed Reactions To The Cthulhu Candidacy

27 Jan

>The pundits have spoken!
Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

>My Candidate Endorsement

27 Jan

>I’d been dithering, torn between Fred Thompson and he-who-shall-not-be-named (luaP noR; a good-enough guy or as close as we’ll see but naming him draws his zombies, alas).

Mr. Thompson neatly solved that one for me (umm, gee, thanks?), but I’m still a bit iffy on the other fellow; a vote for him would at least put a mild thrill of fear into the Stupid wing of the Party Of Treason [1]. I was even, for awhile, giving thought to registering Evil wing/Party Of Treason this time and voting for Kucinnich, who while being quite evil indeed and of the worst, I-know-what’s-best-for-you-ignernt-masses sort, at least seems to be having a little darned fun with it, but he chickened out, too.[2]

Okayfine. Kevin has the perfect candidate:

The happiest day of my life is gonna be when that vast and indescribably hideous, sticky-green, tentacle-faced form stumbles and shudders down Pennsylvania Avenue leaving a trail of powerfully acidic slime and a smell that will shrivel men’s minds and souls, squelches up to the platform and eats the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the outgoing Chief Executive and everyone else within reach of those long, rubbery arms and flabby claws. [3]

DC’s already a city of unnatural angles found in no Earthly geometry and architectural abominations constructed to no human purpose or scale. The dead and dreaming dread god will feel at home there as if he was settling down upon his ceremonial bier in sunken R’lyeh. After a month or two and a million deaths or so, shoggoths will seem as familiar on the streets as city buses. And by then Cthulhu will have eaten most of the Islamic terrorists and washed ’em down with crude oil steaming-fresh from the well. It’ll be a whole new age — at least for those among the survivors who are quick to adapt.

It’ll be a new lease on life, too, for most of the Congresscritters and the Veep, in the most literal manner — and the publically-visible parts of them will still look mostly human. Well, at least as much as they do now.

Cthulhu fhtagn! Cthulhu fhtagn! Cthulhu fhtagn!

Might as well.
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1. You call ’em whatever you want but in my world, we have the Stupid and Evil wings of the Party Of Treason, which works to undermine the Constitution and Bill of Rights while increasing the power of central government and which has controlled this country at least since the Whigs were put down, and then the “other parties:” Klingons (good but ignored) and the Fire-Loathers (evil and not ignored enough). I usually vote Klingon in the real elections and have been known to vote Stupid/Party of Treason in the beauty pageants in a vain attempt to aim their tiny little pointy heads at the light of reason.

2. Readers do understand that this is the “vote for the weakest candidate of party you least like in the primary” trick, right?

3. Basic concept taken from Lewis Black, though his suggestion was to elect Ronald Reagan’s corpse to the office. Compared to what’s on the table, not an unappealing idea.

>Speaking Of Work

26 Jan

>”Hideous reptilian abnormalities.” That’s all I’ve got to say. It’s all I can say — I asked an attorney.

(A nod to Turk Turon for the reminder).