February 28, 2005

Actual Rocketry Content

I saw this over at Rich's place before and meant to mention it. Tom is building a model rocket and documenting the process with words and pictures. This is a good chance to see some alternate construction techniques than what we used when we built the Fat Boy (scroll down at the link for the entire series).

And speaking of fat boys, Rich also posted a picture showing yours truly at our last rocket launch. I'm the big guy on the right, the tall guy in the middle is Frank, editor of our newsletter (that I mentioned here), and the guy on the left is Rob Edmonds, the creative force behind Edmonds Aerospace (that I talked about here). So yeah, Rich calls it "VIPs", and there are two of 'em in the photo, and me.

While you're over there, check out the other photos that Rich takes at our monthly rocket launches. Pretty cool.

Posted by Ted at 08:44 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Rocketry

All quiet on the MuNu front

Not sure what happened, but I've been unable to get logged on (or anywhere near logging on) all morning.

I did find a new trackback spam. But you won't. *evil grin*


Posted by Ted at 10:43 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Square Pegs

February 27, 2005

Box Hockey - Part 4 (final)

Here's the final part of our series to build your own box hockey game. If you have any questions, feel free to leave 'em in the comments and I'll answer them as soon as I can.

Previous Box Hockey posts are linked to from here.

(in the extended entry)

Finishing touches

Ok, in the first three parts we built the main part of the box hockey table, and all that's left is a few little finishing details and some rules to play.

Using the leftover scrap hardboard, cut out two paddles and six triangles. Sand the edges lightly to smooth them out.

box hockey plans4.JPG

The paddles are what you use to hit the checker puck with. The triangles are a later addition because sometimes the puck slid directly into a goal, often hitting the back wall and then popping back out. When the puck is moving fast enough, it's hard to tell if a goal was scored or not, so the triangles deflect the moving puck and prevent arguments. Use white glue or hot glue to fasten them into place against the back wall behind each goal slot.

box hockey plans5.JPG

Use a yardstick or tape measure to figure out the center line of the board, and mark it with a sharpie or other permanent marker.

That's it! If you want, you can flip the board over and mark or paint a checkerboard onto the bottom, we usually add a simple backgammon board too.

Box Hockey rules

These are all suggestions based on what works for us. House rules are common, and on the playground it's not unusual for the winner to call special rules for the next game. The terms puck and checker are used interchangably.

The two side goals (bigger) are worth 1 point each, the middle, smaller goal is 3 points. The puck doesn't have to completely go through the slot for it to be a goal. We score the point if it breaks the plane of the back of the slot (slide the paddle along the back of the slot board, and if the checker moves, then scoooooore!

Game ends when one player scores 11 or 15 or 21 (decide at the start). Skunks are 7-0 or 11-1 scores.

Decide who goes first by flipping the checker (heads or tails) or by putting the puck on the center line and both players trying to hit it on the count of 3. Or just let the younger player have it first.

You can only hit the puck if it's on your side of the center line.

You can't touch the puck with anything but your paddle.

Have fun. No getting mad.

That's it!

I'd really love to hear if you make a box hockey for yourself, drop me a line if you do.

Posted by Ted at 01:59 PM | Comments (4)
Category: Build It

Hockey History, up close and personal

Nic has been posting hockey memorabilia - cards and autographs and such - and telling the stories that go along with them. These aren't mundane "I stood around for an hour until he came out of the locker room" stories either. These are cool stories.

There's more than I linked to. Go here, scroll down and read 'em all.

Posted by Ted at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Links

Someone's in the Kitchen With Dinaaahhh!!!

I lifted this recipe from the Blog d'Elisson a while back, and tried it yesterday.


I'm going to reprint the original here (since I sometimes use this category as my virtual cookbook), and then add my notes at the end about what I did differently. I don't know if this was entered in a previous Carnival, but it doesn't matter. All credit to Elisson for this wonderfulness.

Braised Brisket

5-7 lb beef brisket, trimmed of some of its fat
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, even better)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
3½ cups chicken stock or broth
1 28 oz can diced or chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano in a small bowl and sprinkle generously over the meat, rubbing it in well.

In a large, heavy pan with a close-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat, about 10 minutes on each side. [I used our big turkey roasting pan - RJ] Remove the meat and place on a platter to hold. Pour the excess grease out of the pan and add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and bay leaves, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan. Put the meat back in the pan and smother with the chopped garlic and sliced onions. (If you're using fresh oregano, which I recommend, it doesn’t hurt to throw another small handful in at this point.) Cover the pan and put it in the oven to braise for 1 hour.

After an hour, remove the cover from the pan and continue to braise another hour.

Push the onions and garlic into the braising liquid and cover the pan. Braise for 1 or 2 more hours - however long it takes to make the meat nice and tender. After one hour, check the meat for doneness by sticking it with a fork - when it’s done, take it out.

You can serve the meat right away, but for best flavor, let cool, refrigerate, and let it sit 1-2 days. This also makes it easy to scrape off any excess grease. Reheat thoroughly in a 350° oven. Remove the meat from the braising liquid, slice against the grain, and arrange on a platter. The braising liquid should, at this point, have cooked down to a nice sauce-like consistency. If it’s too thin, put the pan on the stove on medium-high heat and reduce the liquid to the desired thickness. Remove the bay leaves and spoon the sauce liberally over the meat.

Notes: When I went into the pantry, I discovered that my big can of diced tomatoes was a big can of pureed tomatoes instead. I did have a smaller can of diced on hand, so to compensate I added two small cans of V8 vegetable juice to the liquid. Also, the family aren't onion fanatics like me, so I only used one onion, sliced fairly thin. Finally, since they hate bay leaf (geez, I live with some picky damn eaters), I went for a sweet and spice undertone by adding about 3/4" of peeled and sliced fresh ginger root to the sauce, and balancing the acid of the tomatoes by adding 4 diced prunes.

Oh man, was that good eating. At that link above, Elisson provides a nice idea for leftover brisket too. Not that there was much of it left.

On the side we made roasted parsley potatoes and some corn. I think next time I'll pull out the bread machine and have a fresh loaf of warm sourdough ready instead of the spuds, and maybe a crunch salad.

Oh yeah, I'll be making this again soon.

Posted by Ted at 01:12 AM | Comments (7)
Category: Recipes

February 26, 2005

Cool Rocket Picture

Our rocketry club, NOVAAR (Northern Virginia Association of Rocketry) has the latest newsletter up, and there's a wicked picture of our flying field on the front page. Here's the caption:

At January's launch, Ben Title's camera equipped R/C airplane snapped this shot of the Great Meadow flying field as a rocket took flight from one of the High Power pads.

It's a .pdf file (5MB), click 'newsletter', then select 'current issue'.

Posted by Ted at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Rocketry

A new series

I found something interesting while hunting for vintage erotica online.

Someone was kind enough to scan and post a whole heap of Players Cigarette cards. I've since discovered (Google is your friend) that Players has apparently always included some sort of trading card with every pack of cigarettes. The topics have run the range from "wildflowers of Britain" to classic cars to "wonders of the deep" and many many many more. You can see samples of many of these sets on eBay. They're popular collectables and big movers.

This particular set of 85 cards is of Actresses, and were released during the late 1930's (from clues like "her latest film was...").

I'll post one of these every once in a while, with a couple of simple links to IMDB.com or a bio if I can find one. You might be surpirsed at some of the familiar names you'll see. The category is "Star Cards" (over on the right column), and you can click there at any time to see all that I've posted. Hope you enjoy.

To kick it off, here's the first one of the series that I have:

Gwili Andre

Click on the card for larger size.

Gwili Andre: her IMDB page and a brief bio (tragic). In the picture, notice in the lower left corner the word "Radio". That was the studio she was signed to - RKO - back in the days when each studio kept it's stable of stars under exclusive contract.

Posted by Ted at 09:59 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Star Cards

Out of context Quote of the Day

Via McCovey Chronicles:

"... you've got to have some serious talent to have 53,000 people saying you suck."

Go Barry Bonds. Heh.

Posted by Ted at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

I just flew in from the coast and boy are my arms tired

It must be oldies week here at Rocket Jones, only I didn't get the memo. I've suddenly gotten a flurry of comments and email about that series of posts where we built a Box Hockey game. I've also discovered that somehow, somewhere, the last part of the series has gone missing. I can't find it in the archives, so I'll recreate it and post it here in the next day or so.

Build your own box hockey game part 1

Build your own box hockey game part 2

Build your own box hockey game part 3

Final part coming soon!

Also, this is a variation of box hockey that a lot of folks remember playing as kids. It's not what my plans are for, but it looks fun too.

Posted by Ted at 08:07 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

February 25, 2005

Silver lining

Your kid doesn't have school because of yesterday's snowstorm? Wake the ankle-biter little angel up and have him (or her in my case) clean the snow off your car while you get ready for your day.

You'll feel better about having to go to work. I did.

Posted by Ted at 06:02 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Square Pegs

Welcome to the 28th Carnival of the Recipes

Thanks to everyone who's stopped by, and special thanks to all who contributed recipes for this Carnival. I went from zero to overwhelmed in seconds. If you've never visited Rocket Jones before, feel free to look around and I hope you come back to visit on a regular basis. Now, strap yourselves in and hang on...

(in the extended entry)

"Space Food Hideous - But It Costs A Lot." -- 1960's newspaper headline

Space: the final frontier. Space food: a scientifically designed hybrid of hospital food and the wonders of modern chemistry.

Each and every one of the following recipes is guaranteed never to have been eaten in orbit by some poor astro/cosmo/taiko-naut, who probably just wished he could have a Space Food Stick instead.

(All links open in super-scientifical and technologically-advanced new windows.)


Since this first recipe contains Vegemite, it might very well have been bad enough to be included in the menu on some space mission. I hearby rescind my original guarantee, and present Simon's Grilled Cheese and Vegemite Sandwich without further comment.

Nothing says "Good morning" with such international flair than a toasted bagel with cream cheese and really fresh, homemade, Jewish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Gravlox.

So says Michael, who then proceeds to give excellent directions (including pictures) on how to make Gravlox. If bagels and fixin's are your thing, this sounds like... uh, like you'd like this. But wait, he's not done yet, because he also offers up this next recipe.

44 Proof Pop, which is actually a fortified wine that's ready to go in eight days. Once again there are complete directions and pictures to show you how step by step. Thanks for submitting two very unique recipes this week!

And since the bar is open, Dawn offers up one of my favorite flavors in an alcohol/slurpee fusion kinda way:

Apricot Slush

2 cups Apricot Brandy
2 cups boiling H2O
4 teabags
6 cups H2O
12 ounces frozen O.J.
6 ounces frozen lemonade
1 3/4 cups sugar
Ginger ale

Steep teabags in the two cups of boiling water for two minutes. Drain and discard bags. Combine with brandy, the six cups of water, O.J., lemonade and sugar. Cover and freeze overnight. Serve in cups with equal parts ginger ale. Some people choose to put the ginger ale into the punchbowl, but I prefer to keep it on the side so that the mixture stays slushy longer.

Variation: Amaretto Slush

Substitute 2 cups Amaretto for Apricot Brandy
Reduce amount of frozen O.J. to 6 ounces
Add 6 ounces of frozen limeade

Keep the amaretto, or better yet, let *me* keep the apricot brandy.

Drink in one hand, you need a nibble in the other, right? That's what they tell me anyway, because I'm not much of a drinker (translation: cheap date). Jeff suggests these Cracker Crack Crackers, which sound really strange but oddly compelling. I'm gonna have to give these a try.

Mini-Pizzas. Temptation in the round. Punctilious waves these around under our collective noses with a hearty "neener-neener, go make your own!" Then he helpfully tells us how.


From the Druid Labs, BHD accidently blurted out the secret recipe for Spinach Balls with Mustard Sauce. That was a pleasant surprise, because we were just asking directions to the little astronaut's room.

Dr. Alice saves the appetizer category with her recipe for aioli (garlic mayonnaise) and lots and lots of suggestions on how to use it. The word "platter" keeps coming up, which sounds to me like party dish perfect.

Two recipes make a category. I was afraid that everyone would shun the poor lonely spinach balls, and was googling for pictures of Kermit in a space suit (don't ask, just thank Dr. Alice).

soups and salad

mmmmMinestrone. From Victor's recipe, but it was posted by Nic, along with variations on the theme.

And speaking of Victor (who will apparently eat pretty much anything), he posted a review, not an actual recipe, of something called Green Protein. There's even a picture of the bottle, so you can avoid it when you see it in the store.

I'm with Nic on this one, I think they just forgot to print "Soylent" on the label.

Now Dave is an impressive guy. He's got this blog, AZ Perspective and Junk, and he sent in his recipe email chock full of html goodies and links all laid out and ready to be cut and pasted into the Carnival.

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Sorry, just channelling my inner Hal there for a moment.

Anyways, he's serving up Canton Beef and Vegetable Soup, and it sounds like a winner. The link is a little funky but the recipe is there, just scroll down a little on the page. Third time's the charm?

This next one should probably go under main dishes, but I hold soup in high esteem, so Tanker's Dried Shrimp, Sausage and Fish Gumbo goes right here. He even offers up serving suggestions:

To serve, put a scoop of rice in each bowl, and ladle the gumbo over it, making sure that you share shrimp, sausage and fish with each diner lest they call you bad names.

That's hospitality, Cajun style.

Chicken Soup. Simple perfection, brought to you by Jordana. Very Zen.

When Allan Thinks, he thinks of Wagon Wheel Beef Soup. Another soup hearty enough for a chilly winter's day.

All hail Punctilious for this one (sorry, his moniker makes me think of ancient Romans). Have some clever wordplay and a nice little recipe for Vietnamese noodle soup: Not Even Faux Pho Soup.

As an aside, Punctilious also posted an intriguing "cooks question" bit here. G'wan, you know you wanna.

Vinegar-Slithered Cabbage, courtesy of Julie. Stir fry... I wonder what a zero-g wok would look like?

South Beachin' it? Tired of it? If so, check out BJ's variation called "It's Not Exactly South Beach, Caesar". There are also some nice tips on herbs and dressings and how to use them.

Bitterman offers up a twosome this week, this one called Bitterman's Sweet & Sour Vinaigrette, and one down in the Main Dish section. This one calls for commanding from on high like Charlton Heston and purportedly will get you laid.

There is just so much I don't know about cooking.

main dishes

Now this one sounds out of this world (oh stop it, you knew I would use that line at least once!). Techno Gypsy offers up his Venison and Sour Cherries.

Like I always say: "Google is your friend", so for those wondering what a Larding Needle is, follow the link for a picture and instructions on how it's used. Very reasonably priced and it's the secret to cooking very lean meats, according to TG.

Courtesy of Hold the Mayo, Stephen shows what down home comfort food is all about with his Macklin's Magic Meatloaf. Add a side of mashed potatoes (leave a few lumps so folks know they're real) and some steamed carrots and I'm there!

Mary Beth doubles up on the down home goodness, with a recipe for Dutch Meatloaf (a Delft Blue Plate Special?).

Any Heinlein fans out there? Which of his characters in which of his books made a reference to meatloaf and its value as a way to judge cooking skills?

And our final entrant in the meatloaf category comes from Songstress, with her Mmmmmmmmeatloaf! You know I like the "mmmmm" part. Great minds and all that.

Mmmmmmeanwhile, over at Daily Pundit, David writes:

A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for marinara sauce, and promised a recipe that used it.

Good things come to those who wait, and his Beef & Ricotta Cannelloni is going to the top of my "to try" list, because my wife loves Italian food, and a happy wife makes for a happy life.

Drew, of Cooking for Conservatives fame, lends a little class to this week's Carnival with his Chicken with Orange. This is something to impress someone special with, just don't let on how simple it actually is.

File this one under Deja Vu. Laughing Wolf sends in his similarly named Orange Chicken. It's not the same thing, and the process is a bit more involved than Drew's version, but it sounds just as heavenly.

Kathleen dredged up a painful memory for me when she linked her recipe to South Park's Eric Cartman. You see, a friend of mine once drew me as a South Park character, and it wasn't pretty. Moving beyond my pain, I demand that you all make Kathleen's Chicken Mushroom PAH! You. Must. Respect. My. Authoritah!

And in yet another flash of Deja Vu (is that redundant?), Michele gives us Chicken Pie. I love the way winter is bringing out all the home-style foods. I also love the space pictures at Michele's place.

Your pal Bitterman chimes in again with Chocolate Enchiladas (scroll down at the link). You just gotta love a simple Mole sauce.

Feeling a little herbivorius? (herbivorous?) BHD chimes in a second time with this wonderful Vegetarian Stew (insert your own joke about how hard it is to tenderize a vegetarian).

This next one comes with a disclaimer from GEBIV:

...this is not a proper recipe. This is sort of what a bachelor would consider a recipe. At least one not afraid of experimenting a little bit…

What follows is French Onion Chicken, and it sounds better than 99% of the crap I ate as a bachelor. Good job, guy.

From Deb of Accidental Verbosity, this very intentional variation of a classic: The Jedi's Spicy Baked Mac and Cheese.

Shawn Lea serves up an easy-to-do bit of oinky goodness called, simply enough, My Crockpot Pork Roast.

More chicken, more ethnicity - sorta - this time by the vaugely named B, who gives us Vaugely Mediterranean Chicken. I don't know if I could make this one, because kalamata olives have an extremely short lifespan in my presence.

How about a Siciliana Pasta Sauce? Amanda shares this with us, and assures us that the anchovies are optional.

At Fishtown Chatter, David notes:

There are more chickens than people in the world.

And after talking about chickens on a blog from Fishtown, it's only natural that David submits a recipe called:

Spicy Bar-B-Que Pork Chops

6 Pork Chops-about 1/2 inches thick

1 16 oz.bottle of cheap generic Bar-B-Que Sauce
1 16 oz. bottle of ketchup-any brand
1 16 bottle of generic grape jelly
1 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
Mix above ingredients in food processer until blended and pour into a container large enough to dip a chop into. Place the sauce container near grill.

Cook pork chops on grill until done-for the last 30 seconds turn up flame to high and get chops sizzling. Take a sizzling chop and dip into sauce and put on platter. Do the same with the remaining chops. When finished, pour the remainder of the sauce over the chops. Enjoy.

Oh yeah, count on it.

Dr. Alice provided a second recipe, this time for Stewed Chicken with Lentils. Sounds yummy.

Another David and another chicken dish, and I feel we're approaching some sort of karmic symmetry here. I have the honor to present his Green Chicken Casserole.

It's not as bad as you'd think from the title.

He's right about that, and I'm disappointed because I have this mental list of people I would feed green chicken. Oh well.

Peeps, this is getting scary. David. Chicken. This time it's Jerk Chicken and you get a little story along with it. Also, he gives great advice about treating hot peppers with respect.

Let's see, we've got game and Italian and Dutch and Mexican and much much more, so in the name of international diversity I'll toss in my Chinese recipe for Chicken Mo Fo. Yes, the name is a joke, but it's good eats.

And no, I'm not changing my name to Dave.


Techno Gypsy gets a second mention here for his Simple Pilaf. It's below his Venison and Sour Cherries recipe, so just scroll down a little to find it. Well worth it.

Oddybobo chips in with Israeli Couscous. Big yum, plus it's fun to say. C'mon: couscous, couscous, couscous... What can I say, I'm easily entertained.

It's BHD time again, she of the Druid Labs. This time it's a not-your-everyday pot luck dish: Peas and orzo with olives, tarragon, and pecans.


Here's a classic, Lemon Meringue Pie, from VW of One Happy Dog Speaks (love that name by the way). Personally, I'm not a big lemon flavor fan, but this would last all of about three minutes in our house, because the rest of the family is.

If'n y'all wanted to say "thank you" in a tangible way, I could think of worse ways than to gift someone special with one of these Chocolate Kahlua Trifle's (hint hint).

This week, Gullyborg provides something a little different, a Strawberry Balsamic Dessert Topping that sounds wonderful. Plus, there's a little bonus recipe at the end for the leftovers.

Bev sent along the following with her recipe link:

The cookies that launched seven volumes of page-long sentences. I'm sorry to say that, though they are this delicious, the esteem expressed by my last baking went largely unrequited.

Now that's sad enough to bring a tear to this ol' space cadet's eye. Which is really a pain when your face shield is down, although it's not as bad as an itchy nose.

So please, visit Bev and make her Madeleines, and write her and tell her how wonderful they are (because they are). Oh, and Bev? I'd suggest leaving a copy of "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies for Dummies" on your boss's desk.

Monkeys like bananas, and monkeys went into space, and... and... I mean, the parallels here are just breathtaking! I'm talking about Triticale's Banana Cake. Another baked goody from the guy named after uppity grass.

So there ya go, an amazing collection of non-NASA approved food. You folks have done yourselves proud. I hope you've enjoyed this, because I had a great time putting it together and exchanging emails.

Oops, almost forgot about next week's Carnival. Send your recipes to the same address, because it'll be hosted here at Rocket Jones again. I have several ideas for possible themes. Be afraid. :D

Posted by Ted at 05:33 AM | Comments (16)
Category: Links Recipes

February 24, 2005

Well, maybe if you're stupid

I just saw a commercial on TV for a cordless soldering iron that supposedly cools in seconds. They showed this guy attaching a wire to a doorbell on his porch, then slipping the iron into his shirt pocket, while the voiceover says:

Now that's smart!

No, it's not.

Posted by Ted at 09:46 PM | Comments (3)
Category: Square Pegs

Juvenile humorous observation

Last night in the Borders bookstore, I noticed that the erotica section is in the same aisle as the self-help books.

Posted by Ted at 11:41 AM | Comments (6)
Category: Square Pegs

Oooooo, Scary Snow

Like Robert the Llama Butcher, I'm less than impressed with "storms" around here, especially after having spent five winters in North Dakota (that's how you tell time up there, not by years but by winters).

That doesn't mean I hop into my truck and hit the roads when it gets weathery out, because there are enough nitwits out there already, thank you. But it does mean that I'm at work, because things need doing, and just because it's gonna be a mess later doesn't mean it's a mess now.

Just in case though, there's a blanket and pillow stashed in the truck, and I brought a good book to read if I'm stuck here for awhile. I learned a thing or two over five winters in North Dakota.

Posted by Ted at 05:53 AM | Comments (3)
Category: Square Pegs

February 23, 2005

recipe *dot* carnival *at* gmail *dot* com

That's the address to email your favorite recipes for this week's Carnival of the Recipes, and it's staying at the top of the page today, so scroll down for new posts.

Helen, something vegetarian please?

Paul, after reading about your molten-lava nuggets, I know you've got something to share.

Oorgo? Shank? You must have something involving blow torches and charred flesh of some sort.

Dortch, I know you've got to have a kick-ass brownie recipe.

I expect something cloyingly sweet from my pal Bitterman, because it's the yin to his yang, if you know what I mean.

Dawn, stick it with a freaking toothpick and send it over. I'm counting on you.

C'mon dammit. It's late, I've got to get up early in the morning, and y'all are just waiting until the last moment. All of you. I know you are.

Posted by Ted at 11:17 PM | Comments (4)
Category: Links

It's Robot Week!

Over at annika's.

Posted by Ted at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

Longest running comment thread on Rocket Jones

Back in April I put up a little quickie post about stripper music and the comments keep trickling in. Never one to leave off beating a dead horse, here's what we've got so far:

Feel Like Making Love - Bad Company
South City Midnight Lady - Doobie Brothers
Dreadlock Holiday - 10cc
Sharp Dressed Man -ZZTop
Come Together -The Beatles
Feel Like a Woman -Shania Twain
Welcome to Jungle - Guns N' Roses
Cut the Cake - Average White Band
Love to Love You Baby -Donna Summer
Crazy On You - Heart
Closer - Nine Inch Nails (this one was mentioned several times)
Indus - Dead Can Dance
Frankenstein - Edgar Winter Group
Rocket Queen - Guns N' Roses
Oh Bondage, Up Yours! - X-Ray Spex
The Roars Of The Masses Could Be Farts - the Minutemen.

These next few are jokes. I hope. I don't know if my universe is big enough to contain a place where these might be used:
Polka Your Brains Out - Weird Al
The William Tell Overture
Amazing Grace (with real pipes)
Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby Ferrin

Back to seriousness:
Sex Shooter - Apollonia 6
Nasty Girl - Vanity 6
Peach - the Neptunes
Smoking in the Boys Room - Motley Crue (I didn't know they did a cover of this, I remember the original by Brownsville Station)
Hot for Teacher - Van Halen
Cream - Prince
I Touch Myself - the Divinyls
What Kind of Love Are You On - Aerosmith
Cherry Pie - Warrant
Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
Lick- from the movie XXX soundtrack
Sex On Wheels (remix) - Thrill Kill Cult
Erotic City - Prince
Toxic - Britney Spears
I'm Gonna Crawl - Led Zepplin (except for the intro)
Porcelain - Moby
Y'all Wanna A Single - Korn
"i like dancing to mairlyn manson songs the best"
Possum Kingdom - The Toadies
Engel - Rammstein
Stripped - Rammstein
Fire - Ohio Players (this suggestion gets a hearty "Hell Yeah" from me!)
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Emotions in Motion - Billy Squier
Dr Feelgood - Motley Crue
Slow Ride - Foghat
The Battle of Evermore - Led Zeppelin
Britney Spears - Breathe On Me
Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
Come Together - Aerosmith (cover)
Darling Nikki - Prince
Lap Dance - Nerd

I've stripped out most of the commentary (no pun intended), which alone is worth a quick read. We've heard from guys and ladies, both spectators and dancers, and this is nice mix of music, suitable for all occasions. Assuming of course, that having a pole dancing lovely as the entertainment is suitable for the occasion. As far as I'm concerned, they always are.

So I'll ask again, what music have you seen that really worked? What music would you like to see used?

Even better, script a five song "set" and post it in the comments.

Posted by Ted at 12:19 PM | Comments (13)
Category: Square Pegs

That one item explains the rest

How's that phrase go? What happens in ... stays in....

(in the extended entry - safe for work)

slut bill.jpg

Posted by Ted at 04:26 AM | Comments (3)
Category: Square Pegs

February 22, 2005

Steve Reeves

If you've ever watched the Hercules movies on late night television, then you're familiar with Steve Reeves. It's obvious from his on-screen physique that he was a bodybuilder, but his pre-Hollywood career was phenominally successful and in fact he had to slim down and lose muscle mass to broaden his appeal to movie audiences.


Born in Montana in 1925, Reeves was strikingly handsome, personally charismatic and also blessed with the ability to quickly attain the bodybuilder's physique. To this day, his symmetry and overall looks are legendary.

Reeves began bodybuilding at 15 years of age and was always the first to admit he had a good foundation and was an "easy gainer". Within a couple of years, he was training under professional supervision in California and winning local competitions.

In 1944 he was drafted into the Army and he served for 19 months in the Asian theater, seeing action in the Philippines and being part of the initial U.S. occupation forces in Japan. During this time, he used improvised weight equipment and did rope climbing and calestetics when circumstances prevented regular workouts.

"I don't think there is one chance in 50 trillion that the particular mix of hereditary genes that formed the product we see in Steve Reeves will ever occur in combination again." -- Russ Warner, Muscle Magazine photographer

A little more than a year after his discharge from the military (and resumption of serious training), Reeves won the 1947 Mr. America contest. He was 21 years old. He went on to be a force in the bodybuilding world for several years, winning both the Mr. World and Mr. Universe titles.

And then Hollywood came calling.

At first, he was only used as impressive looking walk-on scenery in films and on television (he played a detective in Ed Wood's Jail Bait), and it wasn't until he was invited to Italy in 1959 to star as Hercules that his on-screen popularity soared. He went on to make a series of sequels and similar movies of the genre. In fact, he became so popular (quite possibly the first "action" star), that he was reportedly offered the role of James Bond in Dr. No and as the Man With No Name in A Fistful Of Dollars.

After injuring his shoulder in a chariot accident (he did his own stunts), Reeves was unable to continue serious training. He retired and bought a horse ranch. He remained a vocal critic of the use of steroids in bodybuilding, feeling that they went against the health benefits and inherent physical challenges of the sport.

The movie Gladiator was sometimes called the first "Steve Reeves type" movie to be done in decades. Some thought that Reeves should have been at least given a cameo in the film as a tribute to his groundbreaking efforts.

In May of 2000, Steve Reeves passed away on the same day that the movie Gladiator premiered. He was 74 years old, and had been diagnosed with lymphoma just six weeks previously.

Rocket Jones bondage moment Trivia: In the book Lash! The Hundred Greatest Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies, ranking 7th is Reeves' flogging in Duel of the Titans and ranking 24th is his flogging in White Warrior.

White Warrior is available in the dollar bin at WalMart. It's not great, but it's not bad, and it's got Steve Reeves in it.

Posted by Ted at 06:19 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Cult Flicks


Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Earl Scruggs (and friends), from the self-titled album.

Toe tapping perfection.

Posted by Ted at 06:09 AM | Comments (4)
Category: Square Pegs

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinaaaahhhh!!!!

This recipe has a bit of a history. It started out as something called "spicy chicken" and using that as a starting point it evolved into this. The result is kind of a cross between General Tso's and Sweet & Sour, and it's tasty.

Then it needed a name, for although there may be a thousand dishes out there that are very similar, this one is mine. Being a blogger, what else to do but put it up for a vote? In a poll on the sidebar, Rocket Jones visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorite. The choices were:

  • General Ted's Chicken

  • Chicken Mo Fo

  • Pineapple Firecluck

  • Cho Kyo Chicken (as suggested by Tuning Spork)

And the winner was:

Chicken Mo Fo

2 tsp vegetable oil
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Tbsp green onion, chopped
3/4 cup pineapple juice
3 Tbsp chili sauce
2 Tbsp white vinegar
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp water
1 and 1/2 tsp cornstarch

1 cup vegetable oil
2 boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup cornstarch

1 cup diced pineapple
1 small can sliced water chestnuts

Start with the sauce. Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. Saute the garlic and onion in the oil for a few moments (don't let them burn), then quickly add the pineapple juice. Stir it up, then add the chili sauce, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Stir until well combined.

Disolve the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 2 Tablespoons of water and add it to the sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thick and syrupy. When done, add the pineapple chunks and water chestnuts.

Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a wok or a medium saucepan over medium heat.

While the oil heats, chop the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken pieces with cornstarch until well-dusted.

Sauté the coated chicken in the hot oil, stirring occasionally, until light brown. Remove the chicken to a rack or paper towels to drain for a moment. Pour chicken into a medium bowl, add the sauce and toss well to coat chicken. Serve immediately with rice on the side.

Serves 2.

Posted by Ted at 06:04 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Recipes

The benefits are great, but the boss really sucks

(in the extended entry - kinda safe for work)


Posted by Ted at 04:30 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

February 21, 2005

It seemed like a natural

I googled "Rocket Girl", and the results were better than expected, a nice mix of retro and new (in the extended entry). So what comes up when you google a variation of your site name?







Posted by Ted at 05:52 PM | Comments (2)
Category: Square Pegs

Suicide: Hunter S. Thompson

He coined the phrase "Gonzo Journalism", showed no mercy to himself or others in his chronicles, and like everything else he's done with life, he's ended it on his own terms.

Posted by Ted at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

February 20, 2005

Paris Hilton


Like a troll, if you'd leave her the hell alone, she'd go away.

Posted by Ted at 06:29 PM | Comments (4)
Category: Square Pegs

You people are spoiled

What, I have to post something every day? Oh, fer crying out loud....

Posted by Ted at 05:56 PM | Comments (4)
Category: Square Pegs

Blantant and Wanton Solicitation

The Carnival of the Recipes is coming to Rocket Jones next week. Please post your favorite recipes and let me know so I can link to it. Or, go ahead and email your recipe or link to:

recipe *dot* carnival *at* gmail *dot* com

That address is good for every Carnival, by the way. So c'mon and gimme your recipes, or I may be forced to come up with another creation like Mock Octopus Chowder.

Posted by Ted at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

February 19, 2005

Men don't make passes at (anime) girls who wear glasses

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The sexiest thing in the world is a lady wearing glasses.

Unfortunately, American cartoons never really understood that (except for Velma on Scoobie Doo). Lucky for us then, that Japanese anime stepped in and filled a need by populating their weird toon universes with plenty of bespectecled lasses. And just to prove that some people have way too much time on their hands, this site has an indexed list of female anime characters who wear glasses.

Thanks to Chizumatic for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 07:18 AM | Comments (4)
Category: Links

February 18, 2005

Something I noticed

When I got home from work today (left at lunch to get a jump on the 3 day weekend), there was some animated show on the TV. Two mice are looking for the meaning of Christmas.

I hit the mute button, but it's still playing behind me. I have no idea what the program is, nor why it's playing in February. Very odd.

Posted by Ted at 02:47 PM | Comments (3)
Category: Square Pegs

*Updated:* More blaming the big guys, and this time it's personal

Q&O has posted their take on Drug Companies and the way they're treated in today's world. I agree with their views 100%, and I'll tell you why.

This week... the Food and Drug Administration holds very public hearings on potential health risks of popular prescription pain medications called Cox-2 inhibitors.

They've recently taken two of the newer meds off the market, Vioxx and another I can't remember at the moment. This leaves one Cox-2 inhibitor available, Celebrex.

My wife takes Celebrex, and has for six and a half years. It's one of the drugs she takes daily to manage her severe Fibromyalgia. We've discussed this with her doctor, and there is no good substitute for Celebrex that's available today.

So what would happen to Liz if she were forced to discontinue her use of Celebrex? Within a week she would begin to feel muscular weakness and increased fine-motor impairment. Within two weeks she probably wouldn't be able to walk without a cane. Within a month she'd no longer be able to drive, which means she could no longer work. At that point she would probably also have to return to her wheelchair.

Thirty days to be reduced to near total dependence on others.

Like anything else, there are risks involved in life. The trick is evaluating the risks vs benefits. It's not always so clear cut as in my wife's case, but given the choice between seeing my wife lead a near-normal life or protecting the small number of people who might drop dead from taking the drug, well, I'll be selfish and still sleep just fine at night.

Protect us from dangerous drugs, yes. Play nanny and never allow anything that might possibly hurt a single person, no.

I'm writing my Senators and Congressmen about this.

Update: Nic left some great information in the comments (thanks!). Also, today I read an interview where the head of Merck (who pulled Vioxx earlier this year) (I had incorrectly identified the company as Phizer, who make Celebrex and Bextra - RJ) says that you have to weigh risks and benefits (where have we heard that before?) and that Vioxx may be brought back to the market with stronger and more comprehensive warnings.

Best of all:

Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration concluded Friday the popular painkiller Celebrex poses an increased risk for heart problems but should remain on the market because the benefits outweighs the dangers.

It's not a done deal, but we're breathing easier.

Posted by Ted at 12:03 PM | Comments (5)
Category: Links

Our Hockey is still going on

The Hockey Whoopass Jamboree, that is.

Too bad my Cleveland Barons got thumped by the Rochester Americans.


So in accordance with the rules, GEBIV's logo appears here. They play again tonight, so look for either a repeat of this tomorrow (boo), or a pointer to his place to admire the place of prominence the shark will enjoy on his page (yay).

Posted by Ted at 06:10 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Links

Carnival of the Recipes

Numero twenty-seven-o is being hosted this week at Inside Allan's Mind (the "at" almost seems redundant, doesn't it?). Good stuff going on over there.

Rocket Jones will be bringing you the Carnival in the very near future.

Posted by Ted at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links Recipes

Life on Mars

Major thanks to Brent, who gave me the heads up to this (and has more on it too).

A pair of NASA scientists told a group of space officials at a private meeting here Sunday that they have found strong evidence that life may exist today on Mars, hidden away in caves and sustained by pockets of water.

The scientists, Carol Stoker and Larry Lemke of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, told the group that they have submitted their findings to the journal Nature for publication in May, and their paper currently is being peer reviewed.

What Stoker and Lemke have found, according to several attendees of the private meeting, is not direct proof of life on Mars, but methane signatures and other signs of possible biological activity remarkably similar to those recently discovered in caves here on Earth.

Ok, so when they say evidence, it's not direct but inferred. I'm ok with that, because it's orders of magnitude more likely than ever discovering martian lichen or higher life forms.

Go read the article, because like Mars, there's a lot more to this story than what first meets the eye.

Posted by Ted at 04:04 AM | Comments (0)
Category: SciTech

February 17, 2005

Only click the link if you have the mental fortitude to deal with strong emotions

The title is one of those "disclaimers" they'd use for schlock horror gore-fests in the 60's and 70's, trying to convince patrons that the movie wasn't the usual cheesy crap (it always was).

I'm using it here because of Kofi Girls, a page full of the UN's ScamMeister Meister Scammer Kofi Annan, all photoshopped out into "average hot babe".

I'll admit it. I screamed and I cried, but I couldn't tear my eyes away. And I laughed. I laughed so hard I think something tore loose inside my skull because now if I shake my head just so I can feel everything sloshing around inside there and I see a pretty little light show out of the corner of one eye.

Also, at the bottom of the page is the best bit:

UN Flag Burning Kits
Coming Soon!

Show your lack of support for the Kyoto Protocol by releasing a small amount of blue flag pollutant into the air. United Nations flag burring kits come with matches flammable accelerant and of course a powder blue United Nations flag.

Thanks to Spoons for pointing this one out (well, it was an ad on his site, which proves ads work I guess).

As an added bonus, now when people ask me if I'm all right because of my odd head shaking, I just smile and say "pretty lights".

Posted by Ted at 09:26 AM | Comments (3)
Category: Links

Iraq Facts

From Random Nuclear Strikes (who trace the linkage much deeper):

Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?

Did you know that the Iraqi government employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?

Did you know that Iraq¹s higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2004 for the re-established Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5-100ft patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a navel infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq¹s Air Force consists of three operation squadrons, 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 bell jet rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consist of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a recent televised debate recently?

If you answered yes to any of the above, what news organization did you hear it from?

Posted by Ted at 08:38 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

February 16, 2005

WalMart is the United States of the Retail Universe

What I mean by that is, if you've got an axe to grind, a stand to take, or a problem to solve, then automatically blame the US WalMart and dream up some way to make them pay your way.

The great state of Montana, where men are men and sheep are nervous, is the latest in a long list of whiney little bitches when it comes to WalMart.

As an incentive for these "big box stores'' to pay a living wage to their workers, Sen. Ken Toole's Senate Bill 272 would impose a gross proceeds tax on these companies. They would be exempt from the tax if they paid their employees an entry level wage of at least $22,000 a year, counting both pay and benefits and if less than half of their workers were part-time.

Follow that link and read the whole sordid scam.

My standard question to WalMart haters is this: at what point does a company become so successful that they've become evil?

WalMart has been kicking the retail world's ass for a while now, like K-Mart before them, and Sears before them, and Macy's before them, and on and on. Some day, some chain will come up with a better way for the times and WalMart will become another former top-dog.

And for every gripe there is about them, the answer is the same: they're doing exactly what they need to do to compete. You don't become dominant (or even successful) by not being "right". The number of people who shop there, the amount of sales they generate and the mind-boggling number of people they employ all mean one thing. THEY ARE DOING IT RIGHT. Don't like 'em? No problem, go shop somewhere else. That's the beauty of the free market. Of course, you'll pay more, but sometimes taking a stand involves more than announcing your principles. And while you're in that Mom & Pop store, ask 'em how many folks they employ, how much they pay, and what kind of benefits they offer their hired help.

WalMart (and MicroSoft for that matter), aren't evil, just very successful.

I hope that Montana passes their stupid tax, and I hope WalMart says screw it and shuts down every last store in the state. Then, just like in Canada, you'll hear the whiney little bitches bleating about how unfair it is. And they'll be missing the point that I saw someone make recently (sorry, can't remember where), if WalMart is bad, then if they leave it's a good thing. Right?

Thanks to DynamoBuzz for the pointer, although I oughta smack him for making my blood pressure rise like that. ;)

Posted by Ted at 08:41 PM | Comments (8)
Category: Links

A Sad Day

Here endeth the Nog Watch.

For those of you who may have an emotional investment, take solace by the fact that our Nog was truly the Methuselah of nogdom.

There has been a small, private closed-container ceremony.

Posted by Ted at 12:43 PM | Comments (7)
Category: Square Pegs

New Blog Showcase

When a blogger first starts out, one of the hardest things to do is getting noticed (except for me of course. I sprang from Blogger's loins fully formed and wrapped in a tamale husk, at least that's my story this week and I'm sticking to it).

Sorry for the sidetrack... As I was saying, it's difficult to get that jump start on traffic (spelling is hard too, especially words like vacuum, which I always misspell vacume for some stupid reason).

Oops, there I go again (although Monty Python did this same basic gag much better in the opening credits of Holy Grail, don't you think?).

Ahem. Find someone less tiresome to read at the New Blog Showcase. Your sanity will thank you.

Posted by Ted at 06:04 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Links

It might explain the "lurking in shadows" quirk too

My wife noticed I had a stray hair on my head sticking straight out like an antenna, so I was forced to admit that when I was younger I'd been bitten by a radioactive spider. Unfortunately, it wasn't all that radioactive, so instead of being able to shoot webs from my hands, I just get really sweaty palms.

She said it was too bad I didn't get that "eat your mate" habit too.

Posted by Ted at 05:58 AM | Comments (3)
Category: Square Pegs

Player's Union blinks, fans miss it for yawning

Today they will finally take this miserable corpse of a hockey season off of life support.

Posted by Ted at 05:31 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

February 15, 2005

Gates revisited

I mentioned the new artwork in New York's Central Park, and also noted that Cindy had promised pictures. See for yourself here (pre) and here (complete).

Munu's Michele has more pictures and her take on Gates as well.

Posted by Ted at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

But will it make my go cart fly like Super Mario's?

From Dustbury, a pointer to the latest in great gadgets, IMHO.

JSC Speed has introduced something called the TurboXS DTEC, which takes one ordinary Nintendo Game Boy Advance (not included) and turns it into an actual automotive-diagnostic device. The various modules allow you to read turbo boost, exhaust temperature, intake air temperature, and RPMs; future modules will include detonation sensors and skidpad readings in g.

If you're a gearhead, then you're probably drooling. For the rest of us, we can simply admire the elegant crossover of technologies.

Posted by Ted at 11:29 AM | Comments (1)
Category: SciTech

Crystal Claire Glass

That's the name one of my old Air Force buddies claimed he was going to hang on a daughter.

So besides being a fairly good chunk of Google bait, it makes a dandy lead to this wicked cool online toy: The Baby Name Wizard. Go play with it and be impressed.

Thanks to Rodger (the 300th most popular boys name in the 1940's) via Spoons (which is inexplicably missing from the database) for pointing this one out. The drawing link is worth seeing too.

Posted by Ted at 05:36 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Links

The joys of parenthood

That title is *not* being sarcastic. For all the trials and tribulations and unexpected crises that come about with little ones, it all fades to insignificance with one smile. And when a child smiles, they smile with everything they've got.

Robert has been kiddie-blogging recently (gee, I wonder why?).

Rich has too.

All links worth reading, because kids are natural-born Monty Python skit generating machines.

Posted by Ted at 05:13 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

Flip Wilson used to say "Don't fight the feeling"

Somehow along the line, one of the occasionally recurring themes on Rocket Jones has become bondage related posts. I'll admit that I haven't tried very hard to change that (translation: I've run with it).

So in keeping with that hereby-declared fine tradition, I proudly present The Comic Book Bondage Cover of the Day.

Posted by Ted at 04:34 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Links

February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day!

From Rocket Jones - this will stay up top all day, scroll down for fresh nonsense.


Spank you, spank you very much (sorry, couldn't resist).

Have a wonderful day, because we all deserve it!

Posted by Ted at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

She loves me thiiiiiiiiiiis much!

My wife has to work late tonight, which really sucks. But being the shallow type of guy I am, she made sure to ease the sting with gifts. Lots of Valentine gifts.

A couple of weeks ago a box from Amazon showed up at the house and inside was a 12-DVD set called "50 Horror Classics". That was my Valentine's Day gift, and I looked upon it, and it was good.*

Then, last night she presented me with a card, some candy and a copy of The Beast! I talked about the movie here (it's not a horror movie, it's a war movie), and after almost a year of looking in the bargain bins at WalMart for this title, she found it for me**.

I'm a lucky guy, and believe me, I know it.

* I already had about half of these movies in my library, but this collection will allow me to sell off or trade in several DVD's, and with whatever money that brings I plan to pick up this for starters.

** Highly recommended, and for less than $6.00, you can't go wrong.

Posted by Ted at 11:54 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Square Pegs

Must-See Video

Scenes of Election Day in Iraq, set to the Fanfare for the Common Man.

Thanks to Silflay Hraka for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

I think I'm going Japanese

This site let's you enter your name and it will translate it to Japanese katakana characters of various type styles. For instance, here's the caligraphy form of "Ted".


And the explanation as given by the site:

It is pronounced "TEDDO". (Consonants are pronounced more or less the same way as in English. "E" sounds like e in met. "O" sounds like o in old.)

That last line should read "O" as in elder statesman.

Posted by Ted at 04:22 AM | Comments (3)
Category: Links

February 13, 2005

Launch Report - 2/12/05

Saturday was our monthly NOVAAR club launch at Great Meadow Equestrian Center in The Plains, Virginia. The weather was mostly sunny with some high clouds and the temperature climbed to around 50. The winds were calm in the morning but built all day until towards the end they were a steady 10-15 mph with much stronger gusts at times.

(the rest is in the extended entry)

Because of the wind, I only took small rockets to fly and only put four of mine up.

1. Barenaked Lady - D12-5 - This scratchbuilt seemed like a natural for Luuka's flight. The liftoff was arrow-straight and the 18" x-form chute opened perfectly. I judged the wind just about right and only had to walk 30 yards to pick her up.

For those not familiar with Luuka, she's a stuffed bear bought by Helen of Everyday Stranger. Luuka has been sent all over the world to different folks so she could experience different things.

After taking a few pictures of Luuka and the rocket, I wanted to make a few more flights while the wind was still relatively calm. Plus, I was scheduled to take an hour shift doing Range Safety (I get to do the countdowns and press the button - whoohoo!) from noon until one, so I needed to hustle.

2. YJ-218 - C6-7 (x2) - For me, it's just not a launch without a Yellow Jacket flight, and this Estes upscale has over twenty flights on her. Both motors lit perfectly and she made a great, high flight. The chute opened right on time and once again I had a very short walk to recover.

3. Groove Tube - C6-5 - This is a clone of the old Centuri kit from the 70's. It uses tube fins, and flies like a dream. My original made 24 flights before being lost in a cotton field in Whitakers, North Carolina. This version is continuing the tradition, making perfect flights time after time. Because of the wind, I used a streamer instead of a chute for recovery for this flight. Another short walk.

4. Sparrow Upscale - C6-5 - When my kids and I got into rocketry, this was the very first Estes kit I built, and I still have the original. For sentimental reasons, I built this larger version and recreated the decals myself. I've never seen another upscale like it. This was my longest walk of the day, even on a streamer. She came down pretty fast, but luckily the field is soft grass so she landed undamaged.

I pulled my shift running the launch range and had a great time doing it. There were several great flights made, including a few by Mark, who never met a rocket he couldn't modify to take more motors. There were some families there with small kids, and we always make sure to announce their name and treat them exactly the same as every other rocket flight (except we let them push the button).

There were also quite a few TARC teams there, trying new design ideas or perfecting their techniques. The challenge for them this year is to launch and recover safely two raw eggs, and the rocket must touch the ground as close as possible to sixty seconds after first movement off the pad. There's also a small time penalty if they only use one stage, so the complexity level is high. After three years of these competitions, the experience gained by the different schools (and being passed along to subsequent teams) means that these kids are routinely designing and building reliable rockets that even experienced hobby rocketeers weren't even attempting just five years ago.

For some reason though, there was some weird juju going on with the names. One TARC team named their rocket the Scrambler, and when the top stage didn't ignite and it lawn-darted in, it lived up to it's name.

Another team's rocket was named the Crash & Burn. And it did so in spectacular fashion. After that flight I announced that I wouldn't launch any rockets unless they had names like "Uneventful Perfection" or some such.

I stuck around after my shift to help out and socialize, the wind was more than I wanted to deal with. I helped Jan fly a beautiful high-power kit modified to take a cluster of three G60 motors - awesome flight - and watched a cool little flying saucer on an H50 claw it's way up to about 300 feet, trailing thick black smoke the whole way. Mitch flew the biggest motor of the day, a J350 for a perfect flight including an altimeter deployment of the chute at 500 feet. He followed that up with a nifty flight of his rocket-powered monocopter.

At the end of the day I helped take down the equipment and get it put away in the club trailer, said my goodbyes and headed home. All in all, a very good day.

Posted by Ted at 01:53 PM | Comments (4)
Category: Rocketry

A Valentine Series - 7

We're almost done with our romantic look at classic Hollywood moments, ala Rocket Jones.

Now, certain actors possess an undefinable presence. That unmistakable command of any situation, whether it's dealing with love, life or the bad guys. Even something as simple as giving a little fatherly mentoring was done with style and assurance.

The Duke definitely had presence.

(in the extended entry)



Posted by Ted at 09:27 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

Twelve feet deep

The ship is a catamaran that weighs one thousand tons, is almost as long as a football field, and can carry two helicopters. It's also able to operate in water as shallow as twelve feet.

That's the new Sea Fighter, which is a small-scale concept ship being tested right now. Techniques and technologies learned from Sea Fighter will be applied to the Navy's next-generation Littoral Combat Ship. The US Coast Guard is participating in the test program as well, because Sea Fighter might just become their new standard coastal patrol craft.

Murdoc Online has pictures and links.

Posted by Ted at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Military

Victor and I have this weird mental simpatico thing going on this week

I posted the lyrics to Never My Love. Victor rags on The Association, who did a version of Never My Love. I post a picture of Luuka the Bear who went to the rocket launch with me. Victor has a bear portray me in his epic birthday tribute to Joe Don Baker.

It's funny as hell, and I really suggest that you... aw crap, let Victor finish the sentence.

(oh yeah, this is under the Cult Flicks category because it's Joe Don Baker's birthday and Victor has done a remarkable series of posts on the man and his career.)

Posted by Ted at 07:45 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Cult Flicks

February 12, 2005

Bear Spotting

Luuka attended today's rocket launch. There's a picture in the extended entry, and I'll post a launch report and more pictures tomorrow.


Posted by Ted at 09:26 PM | Comments (6)
Category: Rocketry

Rocket Launch today

I'll probably post something more this evening or tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a picture from the last BattlePark launch (in the extended entry).

This was taken October 31, 2004 in Culpeper, Virginia. The launch report from that day is here. The rocket is a scratchbuilt named Watch the Birdie, and was stretched (the white part of the airframe) to accomodate a new RATTworks hybrid motor. Around the pad are various ground support equipment needed for hybrids and two nitrous tanks. You can see the fill hose and igniter wires leading up into the bottom of the rocket.


To give you an idea of the scale, I'm not quite six foot tall.

Posted by Ted at 07:59 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Rocketry

A Valentine Series - 6

The teen years are all about fun, right?

Depends on which end of the paddle you're on.

(in the extended entry)

There is just so much going on in this picture. Two of the guys look way too excited about what's about to happen, while the lad on the left seems more interested in Mr. Spanker than the girls.

Ms. Spankee doesn't seem too awful upset about her situation, although I'm sure she put up enough resistance to maintain her reputation. The other girls range from quiet observer (what if it were me?), to outright glee (the bitch is finally gonna get hers!).

This is the life. Only in Hollywood.


As an added bonus, this one is just the right size for an 800x600 wallpaper. If you're into that sort of thing, I mean.

Posted by Ted at 07:27 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

February 11, 2005

If you don't know for sure, pick "C"

Oldest daughter is taking French as part of her studies in International Business. I told her that when she's taking a test and doesn't know the answer, just write "I surrender".

Posted by Ted at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

For My Special Valentine

Just don't tell my wife. Kidding.

Forever and Ever, Amen

You may think that I'm talking foolish.
You've heard that I'm wild and I'm free.
You may wonder how I can promise you now,
This love that I feel for you always will be.
You're not this time that I'm killing.
I'm no longer one of those guys.
As sure as I live this love that I give.
Is gonna be yours until the day that I die.

Oh, baby, I'm gonna love you forever,
Forever and ever amen.
As long as old men sit and talk about the weather,
As long as old women sit and talk about old men.
If you wonder how long I'll be faithful,
I'll be happy to tell you again:
I'm gonna love you forever and ever,
Forever and ever, Amen.

They say that time takes it's toll on a body;
Makes the young girls brown hair turn grey.
But honey, I don't care, I ain't in love with your hair,
And if it all fell out, well, I'd love you anyway.
They say time can play tricks on the memory;
Make people forget things they knew.
But it's easy to see it's happening to me:
I've already forgotten every woman but you.

Oh, darlin', I'm gonna love you forever,
Forever and ever amen.
As long as old men sit and talk about the weather,
As long as old women sit and talk about old men.
If you wonder how long I'll be faithful,
Well, just listen to how this song ends.
I'm gonna love you forever and ever,
Forever and ever, Amen.

I'm gonna love you forever and ever,
Forever and ever, forever and ever,
Forever and ever, Amen.

Performed by Randy Travis

Posted by Ted at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Waxing Lyrical

Being afraid of heights has nothing to do with it, the job would still suck

It's 30 degrees outside, the wind is howling, and these four poor shmoes are lashed up to the side of the building across the street, washing windows.

Posted by Ted at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

Out-of-context Quote of the Day

Courtesy of Munuviana's very own Everyday Stranger.

"Oh God, I'm going to come, 10-4!"

Gotcha covered there, good buddy.

Posted by Ted at 06:08 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

A Valentine Series - 5

There's nothing like a tender glance to let her know that this is going to be as much fun for you as it will be for her.

(in the extended entry)


It's especially important if she has the ability to turn you into a toad.

Posted by Ted at 05:27 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

Yet another reason why the US military kicks ass

California Yankee (again!) posts links to an article about our unmanned Predator aircraft that fly in support of our troops, specifically, some video clips taken by on-board cameras:

Some of the footage was a clip of Marines under sniper assault during an August battle in Najaf. A Predator responds to a call for air support and fires Hellfire missiles at the building housing the sniper. The building crumbles in an explosion.

Unmanned isn't uncontrolled. Predators are in the skies of Iraq 24/7, remote controlled by their pilots from Nellis Air Force Base, 7000 miles away in Nevada.

Posted by Ted at 04:32 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs


Everyone knows that most of an iceberg lies underwater. I have no idea if this photo is on the up and up (the lighting looks 'wrong' to me), but it's cool anyways. Here's the background that was attached to the photo.

This awesome picture came from a Rig Manager for Global Marine Drilling in St. Johns, Newfoundland. They actually have to divert the paths of these ice monsters away from the rig by towing them with ships!

On this particular day, the water was calm, and the sun was almost directly overhead. This allowed a diver to get into the water and click this photo. Amazingly clear water, isn't it?

They estimated the weight at 300,000,000 tons.

(in the extended entry)


Posted by Ted at 04:07 AM | Comments (2)
Category: SciTech

February 10, 2005

Serving at the convenience of Uncle Sam

A common misconception among those who've never served in the military is that when you sign a contract to enlist, that the time to be served is stated in that contract. It's not. What you sign up for is the minimum time you promise to serve, and that the length of service ends only when the military says you can go.

This isn't a secret and it isn't hidden in the fine print. It's made plain and clear right up front before you sign on the line. I have no sympathy for those bozo's who sued the Government because their term of service was extended.

Eight soldiers either serving in Iraq or en route to Iraq, asked a judge to order the Army to release them from service immediately.

Instead, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth for the District of Columbia said the enlistment contract does notify those who sign up that the government could extend their terms of service.

Got that exactly right. Yes, it can be a hardship, but if it happens, there's no way you can claim that you weren't warned about the possibility.

Thanks to California Yankee for the pointer. He's got a link to the whole article.

Posted by Ted at 07:46 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Military

An anti-Valentine story

I come from the land of Lorena Bobbitt, but compared to this lady, Lorena was a dream date!

A British woman was sentenced to two and a half years in jail Thursday for ripping off her ex-lover's testicle with her bare hands during a drunken brawl after he refused her sex.

Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage in May last year after Geoffrey Jones, 37, who had ended their long-term relationship, rejected her advances.

She grabbed him by the genitals, tearing off his left testicle, then hid it in her mouth before a friend of Jones handed it back to him saying "that's yours."

Monti, of Birkenhead, near Liverpool, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at an earlier hearing.

There's just too much there to comment on, I wouldn't know where to begin.

hid it in her mouth?

"that's yours?"

Posted by Ted at 12:09 PM | Comments (6)
Category: Square Pegs

For My Special Valentine

Beautiful mood music.

Never My Love
The 5th Dimension

You ask me if
There'll come a time when I grow tired of you.
Never my love,
Never my love.

You wonder if
This heart of mine will lose it's desire for you.
Never my love,
Never my love.

What makes you think love will end,
When you know that my whole life depends
On you.

You say you fear
I'll change my mind and I won't require you.
Never my love,
No, never, never my love.

Now how can you think love will end,
When I've asked you to spend your whole life
With me.

Never my love.

I'll leave you never my love.
Oh, believe me, baby.
I want you forever and ever my love.
I want to be...

Oh yeah.

Posted by Ted at 05:45 AM | Comments (3)
Category: Waxing Lyrical

Salty and Sour

Lay's has a new flavor of potato chip out - Dill Pickle. They taste exactly like those chips at a picnic that get soggy from the pickle juice running around on your plate. Yum!!! Only problem is, I hope like hell we got a defective bag, because they're so salty you can only eat about 3 chips at a time.

Posted by Ted at 05:20 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Square Pegs

A Valentine Series - 4

The most innocent beginnings can blossom into a romantic moment.

(in the extended entry)

Do you think that if the Fuller Brush Company had adopted this as an official policy, they would still be selling their wares door to door?


Even Red Skelton, one of the most gentle souls to ever bless our planet, knew that the quickest way to a girl's heart was... well, you know.

Posted by Ted at 04:37 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

February 09, 2005

busy busy busy


Posted by Ted at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

A Valentine Series - 3

Continuing the series. Can you feel the romance in the air?

(in the extended entry)

One of Hollywood's most dashing leading men of his day, you could always count on Errol Flynn to throw himself into his role. Why, he almost looks like he's going to enjoy this.


Posted by Ted at 05:57 AM | Comments (5)
Category: Square Pegs

February 08, 2005

It's an extravaganza and meme-y goodness, all in one place!

Over at Sanity's Edge, Paul is hosting The Cavalcade of Blogs.

What is the Cavalcade?

It’s an opinion poll based on your reading habits and it requires your participation. I’d like you to answer a few questions and I’ll tally up the results and post some links.

In other words, he's got nothing.

Except that's not quite true, because right after that he starts a new meme. Something new and exciting and never-before-done anywhere except maybe on masochistic webrings. That's right, Paul cracks his head open for your entertainment. Now the meme bit is kinda my idea, about making it one of those since-you-did-it-I'll-do-it-too things that make their rounds on the blogs. I mean, what's funnier than personal injury, eh?

Coming soon to Rocket Jones, a story about a rickety wooden stool, a soldering iron, and a set of clackers I put together one drunken weekend out of two old bowling balls and some bungee cord. So, who's next?

Posted by Ted at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Links

NASA is a girl's best friend

According to astronomers, under certain conditions some planets may form with a thick layer of diamond under the crust.

No diamond planet exists in our solar system, but some planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way might have enough carbon to produce a diamond layer, Princeton University astronomer Marc Kuchner said in a telephone news conference.

Since they'll be worth mere pennies on the dollar in the near future, I'd suggest that you contact Rocket Jones and ask about our diamond-buyback program. Get your best deal now, before they're all worthless.

Posted by Ted at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)
Category: SciTech

Art can be puzzling

And in this case, that's a literal description (hmmmm, where have I heard that phrase before...). The sculpture consists of 21 interlocking pieces made of brass, copper, aluminum, steel, stainless steel, cast iron, magnesium, titanium, tungsten, aluminum bronze and bearing bronze. Hidden inside is a one inch cube of solid silver or gold.

When fully assembled, this sculpture forms a beautiful three inch cube with softly rounded edges. It weighs 7-9 pounds depending on the metal composition.

Price is ~2k dollars, more if you want the gold ingot inside. I could never afford it, but I still think it's beautiful.

Posted by Ted at 06:08 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

What the heck was *that* all about?

I came home from work yesterday, putzed around the house a little, picked Mookie up from her after-school activity, ate some leftovers for dinner and went to bed. Slept straight through until this morning.

I must've needed to catch up. That is sooooo not me.

Posted by Ted at 06:05 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

A Valentine Series - 2

The second in a series of classic Hollywood pictures, with a Rocket Jones twist.

I'm such a romantic.

(in the extended entry)

Sorry dear, but when I said "be ready at eight, I meant it". Will she learn her lesson? Perhaps, but then again, maybe she did it on purpose. There's nothing like a nicely warmed fanny to take the chill from a winter's evening out on the town.


Posted by Ted at 04:43 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Square Pegs

February 07, 2005

Super Bowl

It wasn't exciting, it wasn't thrilling, it wasn't a blowout, it was just a game. How dull. Even the commercials were uninspired.

I've got to give Owens his due, when it's time to play, he brings it.

Someone explain to me again why McNabb is a great quarterback?

Posted by Ted at 05:56 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

A Valentine Series - 1

Saint Valentine's Day. Cupid, cards, and heart shaped bits of chalk with sweet words on 'em. In honor of the holiday and the ones we have feelings for, Rocket Jones is proud to present a series of classic Hollywood moments.

Spankings, not just for birthdays anymore.

(in the extended entry, and safe for work)

Gene Autry was a man's man, and he knew how to break a spirited little filly. This classic Hollywood picture brings a whole new meaning to "Back in the Saddle Again", which would be the next photo in the series if I wasn't trying to keep an "R" rating.


Posted by Ted at 04:21 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Square Pegs

February 06, 2005

Matters for thought

It's not all rainbows and puppies here at Rocket Jones, and even though I don't often delve into deep subjects (this is my happy place dammit!), that doesn't mean that I'm not out there reading and listening and contemplating. No, really.

A couple of recent posts have given me grist for the ol' mental mill.

Debeye describes herself as "A Fierce American in Toronto, Ontario". I'll go further and say she shares some valuable insights about our northern neighbors from the American point of view. She's not all about putting down the Canadians, but she calls it like she sees it.

Her post titled "Events Catch Up To Pretensions" is one of the best explanations I've ever read for the Canadian attitudes about themselves and towards the US. Even then, that itself is just a small part of what she touches on.

There are so many passages I'd like to quote for you, but I'll settle for the following about the Iraqi elections, and urge you to go read it all for yourself.

As for some others up here ... If they're examining their souls and wondering how they could have so misjudged the situation in Iraq then I'd advise them not to waste too much time on guilt or shame but pledge only to open their minds to the possibilility that if a stopped clock can be right twice a day, then Americans too might occasionally be right.

On a deeper philosophical note, Daniel Moore offers up his thoughts on transhumanism, which has been discussed recently on both Instapundit and Transterrestrial Musings (Daniel has the links).

He quotes Leon Kass, but here's the opening teaser:

Nothing humanly fine, let alone great, will come out of a society that is willing to sacrifice all other goods to keep the present generation alive and intact.

That single provocative statement leads down some interesting paths of reasoning. Daniel touches on a couple, and I'm enjoying some quiet time chewing through the implications myself.

Next up on Rocket Jones: Perky Puppy meets Princess of the Rainbow Kingdom!

Starring Bela Lugosi. Heh.

Posted by Ted at 10:34 AM | Comments (3)
Category: Links

Terrell Owens and the Super Bowl

The Eagles must have had T.O. sign a waiver for the game, absolving them of responsibility and possibly spelling out penalties on T.O. if he reinjures his leg. The other possibility is that the Eagles or Owens took out an insurance policy for this one game. Terrell Owens is too valuable in the long run to risk a longer term injury, even for the Super Bowl. Him playing without being cleared by the doctors is just stupid, and even though he claims to be ready, his judgement over the years has been less than sterling.

Owens claims that God told him to play. What if God is a Patriots fan?

Posted by Ted at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

Who? Dr. Who, that's who!

An image archive site for all things Dr. Who. Lots there besides pictures too.

Posted by Ted at 12:29 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Links

February 05, 2005

Someone's in the Kitchen With Dinaaaahhh!!!

This one is about as simple and plain-jane as can be. Down-home country cooking at its best.

Ham and Beans

Right off, I need to mention that in our family, this has always been called "Ham and Beans", no matter what kind of meat is used. You can use cubed ham, or better yet a ham bone with some meat left on it. Sometimes I use a nice chunk of salt pork or fatback, and even thick-sliced bacon will do nicely.

Now, for the beans, you can use whatever kind you like best. For me, I prefer navy beans, though great northern beans are almost as good and in a pinch I'll use pinto beans. It's all good.

Pour the dry beans into a big bowl and cover them with lots of fresh water. You can put 'em in a strainer and run cold water over them if you want before you soak them. So, big bowl, plenty of water covering beans. Leave it alone overnight.

Next morning, drain the beans and then take a few minutes to pick through them and make sure there's no little pebbles or pieces of bean stems mixed in. It doens't happen often, but nothing sucks worse than chomping down on a rock. Flash back to your college days and pretend you're cleaning your stash.

Toss the beans into a big pot and cover with cold water again. Don't put the heat on yet, because you want all the various flavors to blend in, and that works best when everything heats together.

Chop a half onion into small pieces and throw it into the pot. Like onion? Use more or less to suit. If you want, a stalk or two of celery and/or a carrot can be chopped and tossed in with the beans. Add the meat. If it's a ham bone the meat will shred off as it cooks, anything else you can cut into bite-size pieces.

Once it's all in there, turn on the heat.

I like to add a bay leaf and a fresh sprig of thyme (be sure to fish 'em out before eating). I also add a generous amount of fresh-ground black pepper, it's hard to use too much pepper for this. Might as well throw in a pinch of salt and a couple shakes of red pepper for heat if you want. A small splash of liquid smoke has been known to make it into the pot once in a while.

Bring it to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for hours, stirring occasionally. The longer the better. After four to six hours the beans are done enough to eat, but I like to let it go at least eight. You can remove the cover for a while or use a little cornstarch disolved in water to thicken it up if you want.

Believe me, this is one of those simple pleasures I talk about.

A good side for this is cornbread. Before baking, I like to mix a chopped green chilie (or a small can of) into the batter for a little zip.

I automatically put aside a big bowlfull for the freezer. It keeps well and makes for a nice treat on a rainy day or the perfect lunch if you're attending the opera that evening.

Posted by Ted at 09:03 PM | Comments (5)
Category: Recipes

There's no escaping the long arm of the music industry

Gertrude Walton has been named as the sole defendant in a lawsuit filed by the music industry in their latest shot in the battle against music piracy. The lawsuit claims that Walton, under the screen name smittenedkitten, made available over 700 rock, pop and rap songs for sharing.

Couple of problems with that. According to her daughter, her mother objected to having a computer in the house.

"My mother was computer illiterate. She hated a computer," Chianumba said. "My mother wouldn't know how to turn on a computer."

Another problem is that Gertrude Walton died a month ago, at age 83.

"I believe that if music companies are going to set examples they need to do it to appropriate people and not dead people," Chianumba said. "I am pretty sure she is not going to leave Greenwood Memorial Park (where she is buried) to attend the hearing."

An RIAA spokeman said that obviously, the lawsuit would be dismissed.

That *pop* sound you hear is someone pulling their head out of their ass.

Posted by Ted at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

Two strolls through the park

First up, Cindy promises pictures of a new exhibit in New York's Central Park, called Gates. Brought to life by the artist who wrapped the German Reichstag in fabric and planted thousands of umbrellas in California and Japan, this new work has taken many years to arrange.

...7,500 gates that will frame the pathways of Central Park for sixteen days. Each of the gates is sixteen feet high, secured to a heavy metal base and trailing a swath of bright saffron-colored fabric, all of which, together in the wind, will create a shimmering river of color.

A lot of folks deride these types of works, but for the most part I think they're imaginative and exhilarating. He finances them himself too, no public funding is used.

Next, Fred at The Eternal Golden Braid gives the heads up to a new dinosaur exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History, also in New York. This sounds wicked cool.

A major highlight of the exhibition will be an enormous, 700-square-foot walk-through diorama of China's Jehol Forest—the most detailed re-creation of a prehistoric environment ever attempted. Visitors will get a chance to stroll back in time through the forest as it existed 130 million years ago during the Mesozoic era and come face to face with the creatures that lived there. Considered one of the most important fossil areas in the world, the Jehol Forest, which existed in northeast China's Liaoning Province, has yielded an abundance of new discoveries, revealing a rich diversity of specimens that have been exceptionally well-preserved.

For the Jehol Forest diorama, the Museum is creating multiple scientifically accurate, fleshed-out, life-size models of more than 35 different species of dinosaurs, reptiles, early birds, insects, and plants, including several species never before reconstructed, ranging from a pigeon-sized feathered Confuciusornis to a formidable six-foot-tall feathered Beipiaosaurus. The Museum is also developing several interactive computer simulations and animations, as well as a number of videos offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of fieldwork as well as a series of discussions among leading scientists currently investigating the mysteries of dinosaur biology.

After it's run in NYC, the exhibit will be appearing at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (July 2006); the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco (October 2006); The Field Museum, Chicago (May 2007); and the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh (December 2007).

Posted by Ted at 07:44 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Links

February 04, 2005

Not as controversial as the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time

Then again, maybe it is.

The Top 50 Wide Receivers in Pro Football History. Computed all scientifical and stuff too. Let the indignation and outrage commence!

Thanks to Off Wing Opinion for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

Ossie Davis dies at age 87

Always dignified regardless of the role, Hollywood lost a major star today. Go read the article, it has an excellent summary of his life and body of work.

Davis, who wrote, acted, directed and produced for the theater and Hollywood, was a central figure among black performers of the last five decades. He and [wife and actress Ruby] Dee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998 with the publication of a dual autobiography, "In This Life Together."

He was also more than an entertainer. Ossie Davis was a civil rights activist from the earliest days, and he delivered the eulogy at the funeral of his friend Malcolm X.

Posted by Ted at 02:27 PM | Comments (2)
Category: Cult Flicks

Going to Mars on one gallon

One gallon of paint, that is. For an intriguing new take on an old idea, check this out.

Thanks to Transterrestrial Musings for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Space Program

Rocket Jones is a very naughty place

Jay Currie has a blog devoted to Library Internet Filters, and he performed a simple experiment.

How Ugly is Sonic Wall
This ugly: I went to InstaPundit, and, starting at the bottom, clicked on his links and wrote down which ones were blocked by SonicWALL. Here, then, is the list, along with a few more I was able to find by clicking around from other blogs.

Two things jumped right out at me. First, that I'm linked to by Instapundit. Second, that Rocket Jones is in that list with many other well-known blogs.

Farther down, Jay explains why:

I am sure this changes from day to day, depending on what you have posted about. The problem is, dumb software like this does not distinguish between discussion of something and advocacy of it. So, if you merely talk about cults, guns, nudity, racism, gambling, pornography, weapons, or drugs, your blog will be censored.

Damn, what's left?

It's an interesting site, and well worth a look. He describes his motivation thusly:

Frankly, I think the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Children's Internet Protection Act case was wrong. It is virtually always wrong to censor information, especially in a library. But that is how the law in the United States stands at the moment and if a library accepts federal funding it must install internet filtering technology on all of its internet enabled computers.

He also provides links to more information about Internet Filters.

Gotta run, I'm working on a new series of posts about a fun-loving but misunderstood cult of nude gamblers who decide that guns are the only way to deal with a group of racist drug lords. Oh yeah, it's gonna have pornographic illustrations too, if I can draw the stick figures sexy enough.

Posted by Ted at 11:41 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Links

February 03, 2005

Just what the doctor ordered, unless you're afraid of doctors

There was a time when people were eccentric. Nowadays there's a term for every little quirk in one's personality, and if it can be described medically, then someone somewhere is going to figure out how to use that to sue someone else for money.

Direct from California -- the state that in 1986 created a task-force to promote self esteem -- comes Winokur's "Encyclopedia Neurotica," an irreverent guide to the world of neuroses, phobias and a slew of other conditions just waiting to be chronicled in the next best-selling "addiction memoir."

I don't need a book to tell me what my major malfunction is. I'm a grouch. Just ask my family.

By the way, the link on the book title goes to the Amazon page, but if you do a search there of "neurotica", the results are some rather disturbing offerings. Good thing there's a word for those folks, just so we can keep an eye on them.

Posted by Ted at 05:27 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Links

February 02, 2005

The Secret Method of Billy Joe Jim Bob's Beer Brewing Method

Alrighty, here's the deal. There's nothing that warms an ol' rebel's heart more than an afternoon in front of the TV watching NASCAR (God Bless Dale Earnhardt) and pouring down a few cold ones with your buddies.

'Cept, you know, them beers get a might expensive buyin' 'em all in one batch, and it's downright embarrassing when your girlfriend's rugrats bitch about how all their friends get milk on their cereal and not tap water. But a man has got to keep his priorities straight. 'Sides, you like the little ankle-biters ok, but it ain't like they's yours, right?

So a while back, while engaged in some comfortable spectatin' with my neighbors Lee and Bobby, I got to ponderin' the situation. Spurred on by the fact that Lee can suck down the suds quicker than a dee-hydrated camel at the waterhole, I think I've come up with a solution that's so simple it's a wonder someone hasn't already made a million dollars from it.

I tried, believe me I tried. After figuring out all the angles, I wanted to get some legal advice 'cuz I was thinking that I could sell the process on TV like one of those late-nite hucksters (fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, I'll learn. Fool me four times, well, eventually).

Not knowing a real lawyer, I talked to my girlfriend's cousin's brother-in-law. He ain't exactly a lawyer, but he's got all kinds of legal knowlege on account of going to the police acadamy almost all the way through twice before getting blind drunk one weekend and getting busted for throwing a brick through the window at the local Stop'n'Shop 'cuz he was dying for pork rinds at 4am. It's a good thing the silent alarm went off, 'cuz when the cops showed up he was sitting on the floor inside, stuffing his face, and there's this puddle of blood spreading around him from almost turning hisself into a gelding trying to get through that busted window.

Anyways, he says that in his opinion, my process ain't sellable on TV. That's good for you, because instead of having to pay one of my standing-by operators $29.95, you gets it right here for free. I'll jes' have to settle for the happiness of knowin' that I helped others (and if that makes you feel bad, there's a tip jar over on the right).

So what the hell am I talking about? My process (don't "process" sound more scientific than "plan"?) is garunteed, uh, gaurentee-... my process will make sure that you have plenty of quality beer on hand all the time. Enough to keep Bobby and Lee in kick-ass suds through a weekend of NASCAR (God Bless Dale Earnhardt), and on top of all that, you'll get free beer to boot!

First up, don't tell anyone what you're doing. Wait, that ain't exactly right. What I mean is don't tell anyone what you're *really* doing. What you do want to tell your friends is that you got one of those home brewed beer setups as a gift, so you're going to try it out.

Here's where a little seed money is needed. Don't worry, it'll pay for itself in spades. Buy a couple of cases of good beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon is good enough. You also need a fifth of cheap bourbon, Ten High is cheap enough. Next, go onto eBay and get you a beer brewing kit. You don't care if the fixin's are there, what you're looking for is the biggest brewing container you can find. Around your friends, always refer to it as the "brewing vessel", it'll impress and confuse them. Also mention that you're tapping it before the next race, and they're welcome to help you sample your arts. Tell them this around Wednesday or so, on bowling night.

On Saturday, call 'em all up and let them know that you sampled the beer and wound up going to the doctor. The beer is fine, but you're allergic to the special hops that came with the kit, so you can't drink it.

Here's where you're gonna have to sell it a little bit. Your friends are gonna figure that since you can't drink it, it's just more for them, right? And if they don't drink it, you'd just throw it out, right? (that's alcohol abuse right there) What you need to make clear is that they have to bring a case of regular ol' beer with them for you to drink while they partake of your homebrew. Don't forget to mention that according to the test that came in the kit, this is some high-octane alcohol content beer too. If they express reluctance at bringing beer for you, pretend that you're sick and that you're probably going to cancel plans to watch NASCAR (God Bless Dale Earnhardt) this weekend with them. Also let them know that you let the mailman sample a glass and he offered to pay you for a gallon jug of it before he staggered off to finish his route.

The point is, lay it on thick, but don't get too elaborate. You want them to feel like a case of good beer (like Pabst) is a small price to pay for your homebrew.

Oh yeah, let 'em know that you've decided to call your beer "Saint Dale's Backstretch Brew". That alone oughta set the hook.

So everyone has agreed to bring beer for you, and now it's time for you to whip up a batch of "Saint Dale's". Take two cases of good beer (like Pabst) and pour it into the vessel. Then add about 4 drops of red food coloring, and 3 of blue. This'll darken it up some so your buds won't recognize the PBR by the color. Next add half of that bourbon to the mix and stir the whole thing up right. It'll help if you keep the vessel in a really dark room. Makes it harder to see that it's not really hooked up to anything, plus you can tell your friends that light is bad for brewing beer. Trust me, they'll nod knowingly at that.

So while watching NASCAR (God Bless Dale Earnhardt) with good friends, you can enjoy your usual fine beer while your friends get buzzed on your homebrew. They'll be happy to bring more Pabst for you each weekend as barter for your beer, payment for making more, and you can use the leftovers from the weekend to whip up another batch of "Saint Dale's Backstretch Brew". Cut back on the bourbon after the first week or two, 'cuz by then they'll be convinced that it's good stuff and you don't need to boost it as much.


Sleazy? I don't see how. I prefer to think of it as winning all around. You're getting what you want, and your friends are getting what they want. Now excuse me while I work on my secret recipe for a new product: "Dick Trickle's Hard Lemonade". Maybe, just maybe, this one will be good enough to be on TV.

Or maybe one of these on a commemorative plate. Would you buy one? Let me know, 'cuz I probably should tell Eric at Classical Values that I done stoled his picture.

Posted by Ted at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Recipes

Hang on a second while I get into my robes

I've had an eternal fascination for all things Stonehenge (talked about it here and here - links and more), and now Alan has come up with what might be the perfect explanation for Silbury Hill on the Salisbury Plain.

It was obvious to a Surveying Engineer that to lay out Stonehenge accurately required at least 3 observation points on the horizon. Now Salisbury Plain, where Stonehenge is located, has some good sites, high ground near the horizon, except in one direction: that of Avebury.

So you need a hill, just high enough to be visible on the horizon from Stonehenge, in the close vicinity of Avebury. Finding just such a man-made hill, made as a Ziggurat from easily workeable earth, and exactly the right height, would seem to be more than just a coincidence.

Go. Read. It's cool and isn't even the main point of his post, that being archeology and ancient astronomy and history and other things I love so much. Despite what my kids say, I have no first-hand experience of those days, and 'elder statesman' only takes you so far back.

Posted by Ted at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

Munuvians on the move

In other words, "getting things done".

annika is holding another haiku contest, this time inviting one and all to come and wax lyrical about the music group KISS. There are some strong entries there, go on and give it a go.

On the other side of the world, Simon announces that the New Blog Showcase is turning itself into a Carnival. I've already applied for the job of sideshow geek (and sent in a video of me biting the head off of a live chicken). Seriously though, this is an excellent way to discover some great new blogs that are just starting out.

Posted by Ted at 07:21 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Links

February 01, 2005

Crap, I need to think up a title too?

From Susie, who passed the torch to me, knowing full well that torches and I do not get along.

Ten random CD's from my collection*:

Bonnie Raitt - Nick of Time
Chicago - Night & Day
Diamond Rio - IV
Head East - Flat as a Pancake
Little Richard - Greatest Hits on Vee-Jay
Mariah Carey - Music Box
Sammy Kershaw - Politics, Religion & Her
Various Artists - Time/Life Rock Collection - 1976
Various Artists - Salsa Sensacion
ZZ Top - Deguello

I have an eclectic taste in music, plus I DJ'd for Family Dance Nights at our local American Legion for quite a while, so my collection is broad and shallow.

* No, I'm not at home, I have them listed in a spreadsheet on my iPAQ. Why? Because I'm a dork. Duuuuh.

On to part 2...

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer? Almost none on my home PC. I rip them to CD and then delete them. My iPAQ has not quite a half a gig on a storage card, but I haven't winnowed out the crap yet, so that quantity will be going down as well.

2. The last CD you bought is: Genuine Houserockin' Music, vol. 2.

3. What is the song you last listened to before this message: Little Feat - Let It Roll. On the way to work this morning.

4: Five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

Blood, Sweat & Tears - You Make Me So Very Happy. "Our" song.
Blood, Sweat & Tears - And When I Die. To be played at my funeral.
Jim Croce - Time In A Bottle. That "drinking song" played at our wedding.
Chicago - Call On Me. My favorite Chicago song ever.
Molly Hatchet - Dreams I'll Never See (cover). The ultimate air-guitar song.

5. Who are you gonna pass this stick to (five persons and why)?

Dawn - it ain't a booty call, but if you do three quick shots of tequilla and squint real hard, you can use your imagination and make it one.
Catt - because I owe her an email and haven't forgotten and in the meantime this'll give her something to do.
Rich - hiding behind that boy-next-door face is the soul of a thrashpunk, I bet.
Rob & Big Hair - I mean, how could I not ask the keeper of the L&R Favorite 100 Guitar Players of All Time list? It's sacred. It's blasphemous. It's both!
Mookie - just 'cuz, peeps.

Posted by Ted at 12:02 PM | Comments (8)
Category: About Ted

Rocketing Around the Blogosphere

Buy stock in Rolaids, because I have a feeling there's gonna be some bile rising on Oscar night!

Citizens United thanks Hollywood for inadvertently helping to reelect President Bush with billboard advertisements.

The advertisements feature the faces of liberal Hollywood icons Ben Affleck, Chevy Chase, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, and Barbara Streisand. There are two versions of the billboards "4 more years" and "W. Still President."

According to Human Events, Citizens United has purchased the use of three billboards near the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards.

Go see California Yankee for pictures of the actual billboards. LMAO.

Chris Hall is, among other things, an avid motorcyclist. Were I a biker as well (sorry, I expended my mid-life crises on crack and hookers - that's a joke for anyone at work who's reading this), I'd want to join Chris on some of his rides. Check out this article he's posted for his motorcycle club.

Kin is playing host to this week's Carnival of the Recipes. If you haven't seen this one, it's worth a perusal if'n you're gastronomically inclined. In related news, Rocket Jones will be hosting the Carnival in the near future.

We've all been there. You have a question that's just burning a hole in your mind, but dammit, there's never a negro around to ask when you need one. Glen sees a need, and fills it with his charm and good humor. That last bit is funny if you know Glen. Anyway, head on over and ask your question. G'wan, you know you wanna.

Courtesy of Matt, we get a link to a great flash animation poking fun at mustache-muffin Martha Stewart. After watching it (and catching my breath when it was over), I've decided that I might just have to watch her TV show when she gets out, just to see how prison affected her technique.

AnalogKid continues his series on self-reliance and preparations before an emergency hits. This isn't survivalist hokum, this is common sense planning that's applicable to extreme weather conditions or any other situation where the only thing you can count on is yourself. Highly recommended.

Two final quickies. No links, you can see it in the news or google it up yourself, it's all over the place.

First, the terrorists in Iraq used a young man with Down's Syndrome as a suicide bomber during the elections. The terrorists are members of Saddam's regime who've gone underground with the goal of reestablishing the old government. Anyone who thinks that America and her allies were wrong to have gone in and removed Saddam has a fucked up sense of values. Those assholes aren't insurgents or freedom fighters or resistance forces, they're terrorists who will strap explosives to a mentally handicapped child and send him off to certain death, probably assuring same by giving him a ride to the right spot, pointing out where he should go, and then remotely triggering the explosives from a safe distance away.

Second story: Girl and guy in big city get held up. Mugger has a gun. Lady gets smart-mouthed with the mugger. Mugger shoots smart-ass lady. Lady dies. Who's fault is it?


The lady was stupid, but that doesn't make it her fault. The gun seller, gun manufacturer and ammunition maker aren't at fault, and in fact are required to jump through massive numbers of regulatory hoops already. The mugger had a gun, but NYC has massive restrictions on guns already in place and it didn't help her. The mugger had the illegal gun. The mugger was robbing the couple. The mugger aimed his gun at the lady and pulled the trigger. More anti-gun laws doesn't make you safer, because the bad guys don't follow the law anyways! And if you think that anti-gun laws make it harder to get your hands on a handgun, you're only half right. It makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain a handgun (I won't even get into the 2A issues here). If you think it makes it harder for a criminal to get a gun, then you are naive and not thinking it through, because I promise you that a vanishingly small percentage of criminals purchase their gun through normal, legal channels.

Aiiieeeee!!!! My head is going to explode from the stupidity of some people.

Coming soon: Ted's remake of the SciFi classic Scanners.

Posted by Ted at 05:39 AM | Comments (2)
Category: Links
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