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Dangerous Wildlife

11 Jun

The Feather Boa Constrictor: The most brightly colored of all snakes. Soft, too. Found in the dressing rooms of strip clubs, etc. Smells faintly of expensive perfume and stale cigarette smoke, with sweaty undertones. Deadly to its prey, which it strikes near closing time, when exhaustion and/or alcohol (etc.) leaves them most vulnerable.

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>Busy, Busy

4 Jun

>No gun show for me yesterday; I spent the morning at North Campus of the Skunk Works, installing a loaner (some “loan:” $1k/month!) replacement for Critical Equipment, along with the mandatory calibration, glitches and flourishes such efforts demand, then went to the Main Campus and worked until midnight. But hey, welcome to vacation season. It was only a 12.5-hour day!

In the course of the morning’s work, a conversation with the factory:

Me: “All the hardware is okay but there are still two alarms from the software that I cannot clear.”

Factory Tech: “Sometimes that happens. You just reboot the control computer.”

Me: “Um, won’t that shut the whole thing down? For a pretty long time?”

FT, jauntily: “Only sometimes! No fun when it does, though.”

Me: “Then we’ll live with the alarms.”

I swear, sometimes it seems like they believe we just have this junk in the corporation president’s garage for him to watch the pretty, blinking lights instead of it being one of the major money-earning parts of the business!

>Decisions, Decisions

18 May

>Rush out the door to pick up a sealed motorcycle battery and charge it in a hurry so I can ride the Yamaha to work and not have to contend with parking a block away ‘cos of some client event? Or beg Tam for a lift to/from, or just grit my teeth and do the difficult thing like a grown-up?

(Plan D: ride my bicycle! But that would be teh suxxor if it rains, also calls for tripping through a bad neighborhood, “unarmed.” So to speak. Plus if it’s a tough day, it’d be a super tough ride home, uphillish all the way.)

But geesh, I hate the long walk from the temp lot. It’s not that great an area, which is why Skunk Works Main Campus has a high, bobwired (as we say) security fence and cardreader gates with cryptic warnings. (“AVISO: SHOGGOTH IN USE!” “PORTAL MAY OPEN RANDOMLY. STAND CLEAR” “THAT WAS MY LUNCH, DARN YOU.” Heck, it looked like axle grease to me.)…Which randomness reminds me, if the fast food industry only exists to tempt us with the sugar and fat we crave, how come my chilled mixture of brown sugar and butter has never taken off as a snack food? Heat it up, stir it up, cool and enjoy. Everything you long for and no annoying healthy extras! Oh, well. Maybe it needs lard.

>I Work On A Starship: About Time!

12 May

>There’s a new chapter posted. Oh, noes! What danger lurks?

At about that same time, Lupine’s first passenger squirt-booster drop was finally cleared and moving toward the boarding locks. T, Handsome Dave and Rannie Wu had first-available clearance, none of that “standby” flying for them. I got the story later, mostly from T. I’ve filled in the details as best I could.

Dr. Schmid was Acting Captain; in conference with his and the late Captain James’ off-shift alternates — high-level Navs boffins to a man but command-skilled, an uncommon combination — along with the Chief, E&PP’s Airframe supervisor, the lead squirt-booster pilot (Butch, teleconferenced from Aberstwyth Port HQ) and assortment of Port officials plus the Mayor of Aberstwyth himself (advised by my new friend Raub from Innovative, sitting beside him) had decided to run a full watch of cargo-only squirt—boosters. This despite every last one of them having been gone over by Engineering and Airframe multiple times, all sabotage found and removed and in pristine condition.

I’d’ve done it, too.

Read it all at I Work On A Starship!

>Put That One In Your DSM-IV

14 Apr

>Anarachnophobia: an obsessive, morbid fear of the lack of spiders.

Not to be confused with “Anoraknophobia,” which is the title of some album. And/or the fear of anoraks.

>Lirpa?

1 Apr

>I dunno; it seems awfully cold. But everyone swears today is the oneth of Lirpa. They wouldn’t be foolin’, would they?

>N.B.

1 Apr

>Look, I don’t care who you are or how hard times are or how tough your neighborhood is; there’s just no excuse for having a bathyscape sphere heeled partially over in your front yard, the cables trailing over the shrubbery and raggedly hacked short, the hatch open and a trail of footsteps (or something) leading up onto your porch. It’s just not right.

(I should have taken a photograph. Maybe it’s not a bathysphere; maybe it’s an old Soviet re-entry capsule. But it hadn’t ought to be in the front yard, in front of a doghouse and next to an old truck up on blocks).

Update:They had moved it by Friday evening, and cleared away the cables. I was just able to snap an image as I sped by. Whatever arrived it in is in the house now.