November 30, 2005

Just 'cuz

An x-ray of a seahorse.


Posted by Ted at 05:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Alternate Reality

Kidnappings have started up again in Iraq. I sincerely hope that the current hostages being held are all freed safe and sound, to return home to their loved ones.

In a statement, Christian Peacemaker Teams said it strongly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq and blamed the kidnapping on coalition forces.

"We are angry because what has happened to our teammates is the result of the actions of the U.S. and U.K. government due to the illegal attack on Iraq and the continuing occupation and oppression of its people," the group said.

Now as for the organization itself, fuck 'em. Anyone that damned delusional shouldn't be sending members into a war zone, and since they're "peaceful", who gives a rats ass if they're angry.

Words can trump guns, but only if both sides want to talk.

Which kind of brings up my next point. These folks claim that they're not "evangelical Christians". Ok, fair enough. But what they claim isn't the point, it's what the bad guys believe that counts. At least that's what we're told by these anti-war groups. Because, you know, they hate us because we don't understand them well enough.

I understand the terrorists enough to know that they don't want Christians in the war zone. They don't want anyone in Iraq who isn't on their side, and being anti-war or anti-US doesn't mean you're on their side, it doesn't even make you their friend. It just makes you a potential target.

Posted by Ted at 04:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

PDA Software Review - Grand Prix Edition

My latest PocketPC software review is up over at This time, it's a race car game that's pretty cool.

Posted by Ted at 04:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: PDA Reviews

November 29, 2005

Bad Habit

The other night my beloved Sharks lost to the Detroit Red Wings, which is like, nine losses in a row? Congrats to Machelle and David.


If you don't know what the Jamboree is all about, click this link.

Posted by Ted at 05:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

Like little goosestepping ants under a magnifying glass

There's this village in Austria that sits between a tall hill and an even taller mountain. The village of Rattenberg was built there in the 1300's as a defense against marauders.

Problem is, the mountain completely blocks the sunlight from November to February. The population has been dwindling in recent decades, at least partly because of the long months without direct sunlight.

The solution: 30 heliostats, essentially rotating mirrors, mounted on a hillside to grab sunshine off reflectors from the neighboring village of Kramsach.

An Austrian company is hoping to use this project as a showpiece to point to. They're going to eat the planning costs (more than a half a million $US), and the EU is going to foot half the bill (2.4 million $US).

In the Tyrol region of the Alps alone, about 60 communities suffer the same fate in winter as Rattenberg. Peskoller says about six other towns in Austria and neighboring Switzerland have expressed interest.

The technology requires pinpoint beaming, and even the most modern mirrors have slight distortions and are vulnerable to strong winds.

Peskoller says those problems can be compensated for. But it would take a mirror the size of a football field to light up all of Rattenberg, "and we cannot cover the mountain with mirrors to bathe the whole town in light," he said.

So Lichtlabor plans to create about a dozen "hot spots" - areas not much bigger than a front yard scattered through the town, where townspeople can gather and soak up rays. The mirrors would also reflect at various times of day onto building facades to show daylight slowly turning to dusk.

Interesting idea. More here (minimal registration required).

Posted by Ted at 04:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: SciTech

November 27, 2005

Ringtone idea

Rachael got a new cell phone and everyone agrees that the default ring is really obnoxious. I was amazed to find out that they charge $2.50 for each new ringtone you download for the phone. What a racket.

Now imagine if every time you got a phone call, your phone started reading the Miranda rights.

You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law...

Oh yeah, I'd pay for that. Anyone know how to create your own ringtones?

Of course, Google is your friend.

Posted by Ted at 06:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 26, 2005

Oh Bother

Translation: "#!~*$*&#@!%~*#@#!!!!!!!"

I'd written over 5,000 words for my NaNoWriMo story since Wednesday night, yet thanks to my own stupidity and an odd quirk in Windows XP's "Save to disk/Open With" feature, none of it was actually ever permanently saved, even though I hit the save button rather frequently.

I'm rather annoyed right now.

Posted by Ted at 08:18 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Rocketing Around the Blogosphere

The return of an old feature.

What if every sentence were ended with an "excuse me" instead of a period? Scientists have discovered that some fish fart as a means of communication. Thanks to Silflay Hraka (I think) for pointing this one out. Great one-liner over at their place too!

It's the electronic age version of learning about sex from your friends, I suppose. Welcome to Wiki After Dark (adults only), where you can hear the latest rumors and wild speculation about what sex really is. That might be a complete mischaracterization, because I haven't actually read through it. But I assume that like Wikipedia, there will be plenty of good information mixed in with the occasional outright lie or fallacy. Maybe like if you had thousands of opinionated childhood friends, and some were clueless, most were amatuers, and a few were actual gynecologists. Anyways, I now know that if I need to "get rid of crabs", I don't start with a big pot of boiling water and 1/4 cup of Old Bay seasoning. Thanks to Wegg for the pointer.

I love playing Slingshot Santa. From the Llama Butchers.

Michele did some photo live-blogging from the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade balloon prep site. Very cool pictures (scroll down to see 'em all).

Bou is blogging MRE's, military vernacular for "Meals, Ready to Eat". I had a few of the early versions, and dined on quite a few of their predecessor, the venerable C-Rats (rations). There's something about chowing down a can of sliced peaches with a date on it older than you are. So head on over and see what she and her two young boys think of "army food".

I'm not a big college football fan, but the history and trivia lover in me has really been enjoying Prochein Amy's weekly Texas Football posts. She talks about each Texas opponent and includes background information and plenty of stories and links about their traditions. Very cool.

Paul, of the defunct Sanity's Edge, had moved in with Shank, resident genius over at Id's Cage. Now, they've both joined forces with Jim and are now posting at Snooze Button Dreams.

Also, since I'm bringing back old crap, have a Rocket Jones recycled post from August of 2003.

Posted by Ted at 07:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Hockey Whoopass Jamboree (bumped and updated)

Frinklin's Vancouver Canucks beat my beloved San Jose Sharks the other night (again), so according to the rules of the Jamboree, his logo is hereby displayed.


What the heck am I talking about? Check it out here.

Posted by Ted at 05:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

November 25, 2005

I learned to waltz this morning

Rachael has a final in her ballroom dance class coming up, so I agreed to help her practice.

Totally unrelated: Gir's Calgary Flames beat my slumping (but still beloved) San Jose Sharks via shootout the other night, so by the rules of the Hockey Whoopass Jamboree, here is her team's logo.


Congrats, Gir, and may you have a peaceful and wonderful holiday season.

Posted by Ted at 11:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

November 23, 2005

Shifting Gears

In Heinlein's Starship Troopers, the main character mentions that while on a long march, the troops "rest" by changing the pace from march to double-time and so on.

Reality is that stuff that keeps getting in the way when you're busy being a social butterfly online.

In high school, I had a gym teacher who used to say the same thing.

I'm going to try it for awhile here on Rocket Jones, even though personal experience already tells me that they were both full of crap.

Truth is, I've been trying to keep up with too many plates on too many sticks lately, and I'm tired.

As daughter Mookie noted, I've posted nearly every day for two and a half years.



Examining my priorities, I find that there are some adjustments to be made. I've got family to take care of, and school to attend to, and rockets to build, and more going on that never gets mentioned here. I've let some important things slip that never should have, and projects that I'm going to try and salvage before it's too late.

I'm not going away, but the focus here at Rocket Jones will be shifting for a time. I'll be trying that "changing pace" thing that I mentioned above, even though I'm pretty sure that my gym coach was lying to me.

Keep checking back, because I plan to keep posting, but there will be more emphasis on things like the Star Cards series and cult flick and B-movie reviews and a couple of new features that I've been working on.

I will be posting my NaNoWriMo work when it's done. I've got, what, seven days to go? I'm a little better than halfway to the goal of 50,000 words. I'm planning to put a big dent into the remainder this holiday weekend.

Interestingly enough, I was in the middle of writing this post when I discovered that I'd gotten a trackback from Michelle Malkin for the Carnival of the Recipes. So that's one from Instapundit (way back when) and now this. If that isn't encouragement to keep plugging away, I don't know what is.

At some point, I will decide that my batteries are sufficiently recharged and I'll return to my regular Rocket Jonesian blogging, but for now I need a break.

My gym coach also tried to tell me that running was fun. Lying bastard.

Posted by Ted at 07:09 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 20, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes - 66th Edition

It’s a small world. Thanks to modern travel and communications, it’s getting smaller all the time. It’s a small, small world. It should surprise no one, then, that these Carnivals are wonderfully international. We see recipes that have grams and dashes, millies and rashers, and it just seemed to me that there was only one way to truly celebrate the international flavor of the Carnival of the Recipes, because it's a small world after all.


I can hear the collective sigh of relief, because at least some of you were thinking it was gonna be... that other one (yeah, I know it was rather too obvious. Work with me here).

So amigo, instead of getting that obnoxiously addictive song stuck in your head (too late?), what you need to do is to grab that fish out of it’s bowl (and here you thought it was just a goldfish), hold it up to your ear, and read on.

But mon ami (I can hear you asking), what if I have no fish handy? I’ve heard - but have no idea if it’s true or not and amazingly enough Snopes doesn’t say - that if you don’t have a babelfish handy, you can use a frozen fishstick instead. The obvious limitations are that it’ll only work for Scandanavian languages and you’ll look rather silly with a fishstick sticking out of your head. Or not. Who am I to judge?

Yep, I put the babble in Babelfish. And so, without further adieu (oooo, he’s a multilingual defiler of language!), I present this 66th edition of the Carnival of the Recipes, complete with snippets translated into various languages and then translated back.

Thanksgiving Goodies

It's not surprising that there were several Thanksgiving related submissions this time around.

First up is an interesting recipe for brining turkey from Sun Comprehending Glass. Let's see what the babelfish says:

My low and slow peoples are basters; they form throughout the year marvelously from Peru after the year. Low slow and lots of the result in 10 hours to terminate to a bird. With however salt, leave the cook, who the time is not shortened, because none is requested, heat aways even the furnace to run.

Now how can you argue with that?

Blog o'RAM offers up a bit of zingbird, via Salsafied Turkey and Jalepeno Cornbread.

From Ziggarat of Doom, check out Awesome Turkey which is another variation on the theme, this time using a rub with olive oil and braised in a roasting bag.

Checking in with the fish:

It is a income of ordeal and a new idea, thus they are real the final publication of this for with. The band of friction is little different, marks the lack of sage for example. Moreover, I have fallen in the bags for the turkey. The oil of olive makes precisely as the order a work that the butter for crisping ascendant the skin, and I like the aromatic substance more. Big pinchments and small pinchments they are a entire grass, usually for big make, you go there and [unintelligeble] the money in the fresh grasses.

Of course, you could follow the link above and see the original directions, but I'm a road less travelled kinda guy.

The Clog Almanac shares this side dish: Asparagus and Wild Rice Pilaf. It's on my to-try list.

Here's a repost from last year about a variety of Thanksgiving recipes, wine recommendations and more. Good stuff from The Glittering Eye.

Next up, we get a trio from Booklore: Thanksgiving Appetizers, Ambrosia Salad , and Perfect Cranberry Sauce.

Growing up in California, we just called Ambrosia fruit salad, and we were living large if Mom tossed mini-marshmallows into the mix.

Here's a quick and Easy Orange Survival Glaze for ham or turkey, from The Pragmatic Chef.

Non-Holiday Goodies and Yummies

(although there's nothing that says these wouldn't be wonderful then too)

From One Happy Dog Speaks, we get a twofer, Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls, from the same basic recipe. As an added bonus, there's a nifty hot-doggy variation in the comments. Yay Hats!

Whoa, that was totally random.

Cornbread. If you love it, there's no need to say more. If you don't, then you'll never understand. Two varieties, courtesy of the Pajama Pundits.

From Leslie's Ombibus, we're treated to Oxtail Soup. Mmmmmm, soup.

Two, two! Chicken and Sausage Gumbos! One easy-peasy, one a little more involved, thanks to Everything and Nothing.

This is the definition of comfort food.
Salisbury Steak
, and One for the Road shows us how to do it the easy way.

Babelfish chimes in with:

Simmer related to meanly excessive heat 35-45 minutes until the sausse was not thickend and the tortini were cooked through.

For the more gentle cooks, follow the original directions. You gangsta peeps can use the meanly excessive way.

Risoto with Arugula, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Cheeses. Doesn't that sound great, in a completely "I'm so sick of turkey" kinda way? Thank Cooking Capers for this one.

My Favorite Mushrooms. Apparently there's a problem with Oasis of Sanity this week, because I kept getting 404 errors while trying to access this. I mention it here to tempt you and tease you and make you come back next week like Pavlov's dogs, hoping for a working link.

ArmyWifeToddlerMom presents Another Pretty Salad. She notes that this versatile salad looks great on the holiday table, so I could have included it up top with the Thanksgiving dishes. But to me, this says "summertime dinner" too, so I put it here instead.

Chicken Paprikas is comfort food with a nice little twist, and like most soups and stews, it gets better if you make it a day or two in advance. Seriously Good shares this one, and it looks seriously good.

Elisson checks in with Beef Stew with a Difference, aka Beef Rendang. This is for those who like a little curry heat with their moo. Because I'm a thoughtful guy, I won't even mention the groaner he tosses in at the end of his post (oops, guess I just did).

From Special Fried Rice, we're treated to a recipe for one, namely Low-fat Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo.

Even the fish likes it:

The part of my process to learn of new good eating habits implies to try to calculate outside in a way to eat the foods that taste without the problems has associates to they. A fat version is weak here. Taste sauce Alfredo! This perfect age, densely and that he is rich.

From down south, no, farther south... waaaay south. Not that far south. Leave the penguins alone, they'll eat your babelfish. I talking about Kiwi south, specifically KeeWee's Corner, where we get a nice recipe for Tacos in Pasta Shells. Sounds good to me, I'm a Mexican food fanatic.

S.O.S. is its very own food group, although some would dispute using the word "food" in that sentence. Fill'er Up, Hon? shows you how to do it right, and when it's done right, it's wonderful.

From my good friend Tuning Spork, we get Baked Apple Sauce. He originally called it Twice-Baked Apples, so don't let the post title fool you. With his link, he adds the following advice:

Just remind people to go easy on the spices as they prepare the sauce -- tasting it for good balance. It's easy to go overboard!

This one... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Chicken Torte Milanese with Tomato Basil Sauce. Thank you ApparatChick.

From TechnoGypsy, we get Lamb Shanks, because you can't roast the shanks or they'll burn (I didn't know that).

Now if you need something vegetarianish, I highly recommend this Three Sisters Stew. From Shoes, Ships, and Sealing Wax, who always has interesting recipes to share, and the background stories to go with them.

Babelfish snippet:

The research revealed far more the auxiliary advantages of this "companion, it planted." the bacteria colonies in the roots of the bean take prisoner the nitrogen of air, something from which it in the soil are inserted, in order to feed the high needs of the nitrogen of corn.

Doesn't that sound so very German? All that research and scientifical talk and taking prisoners and stuff. Check out the original, just trust me on this one.

Courtesy of SilverBlue, we get this delicious sounding Spinach Stuffed Chicken. The best part is, by this time next week you'll all be saying, "hey, it's not turkey! Yay!"

Tuna and Caper Pasta, from FrazzledDad. It's all in the quality of the ingredients.

Blogeline's Journal offers up this heavenly-sounding Guinness Beef or Venison Stew. I'll be trying a pot of this in the near future.

Over at The Common Room, there's a sweet post full of ideas on being frugal in the kitchen and incorporates several recipes as well. Among them is Stir Fried Sweet Potatoes. Check this one out.

From Third World County, this simple classic: Black Beans and Rice.

Russian translation:

Wash and sort beans. I usually make this with the large tank and the grid. Beans in the grid, the water in the tank. Beans of water pipe surplus. You can develop mechanics.

They invented beans, you know.

Yummy prawny limey recipe (can be done with chicken). Gotta love a recipe with a name like that! Might as well break out the tequila since you already have all those limes sitting around being lazy. Thanks to Aussie Wife for this one.


Not just Rum Cake, but Yummy Rum Cake (as if there's any other kind!). Thanks to In the Headlights for this one.

Slap Your Mama Chocolate Cake
is presented by a feisty guest-poster over at Not Exactly Rocket Science (Yay Rockets!). Sinful is a descriptive word that comes to mind.

From Vermont's own A Weight Lifted, have a slice of Maple Pumpkin Pie.

Via Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea, we get this chocolate yummy: Cocoa Apple Cake. She promises pictures next week, so in the meantime, let's let babelfish paint a picture with words:

Criminy, I missed the chocolate Friday almost. Still. I was, you thus do not employ work and trying to finish with of Thanksgiving, have to me much time to think have.

Ok, so it's a crayon picture. Hang it on the fridge.

Bananas. Bars. Bananas behind bars. There's an odd kind of synergy here, that makes me want to write absolute crap like that take Hollywood by storm. In the meantime, while I wait for them to beat down my door, I'll pass the time by making Best Banana Bars Ever. Thanks to Notes in the Key of Life, because these are going to become a staple in our house. Gotta keep those bananas off the street, you know, before they go bad.

Once again from SilverBlue, he offers up Three Emergency Deserts. I'm not sure about the emergency part, these look good enough to make just because.

Blueberry-Pear Clafouti is a baked pudding, courtesy of Blonde Sagacity. This looks so good, it's also on my "try soon" list.

More excellent goodness from The Glittering Eye, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

The above were in no particular order other than being in broad categories. Any implied preferences or rankings are solely in your own imagination and they have drugs now that can help people like you. Or me, for that matter.

One last pass through the babelfish:

All preferences or the implicit places are only in their its fancy and have drugs now that he can help you the people. Or me for this material.

Deep. In more than one way too. Anyway, I hope you go visit all of these people and make their food and share the results with the rest of us. Thanks for stopping by (and y'all are welcome back any time), and thanks to everyone who sends in recipes, who hosts, who keeps things organized, and especially my agent and my family and my...

Sorry. Storming Hollywood and all that.

Next week, the Carnival will be hosted by the Lost Budgie Blog, who will almost certainly not continue this babelfish silliness. Which reminds me, go put your fish back into its bowl, or the freezer, and for pete's sake don't get them mixed up.

Yay Hats!

Posted by Ted at 11:01 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack
Category: Links Recipes

November 16, 2005


There's a small resort island in the Philippines called Boracay. They've been voted the "Best Beach in the World". If you ever go, there's a bar there called the Hobbit House. All the waiters and waitresses are midgets. Stop by, have a drink and since you're there, ask for the owner. When you meet him, tell him "Ted says hey".

His name is Paul. He's my best friend.

Posted by Ted at 07:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Links

This doesn't surprise me

From an email sent to me by a coworker:

For those of you who are not aware, North Dakota, southwestern Montana, and parts of Colorado got hit with their first blizzard of the season a couple of weeks ago. This text is from the county emergency manager out in the western part of North Dakota state after the storm.


Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from a Historic event --- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 24" inches of snow and winds to 50 MPH that broke trees in half, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed all roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.
- George Bush did not come…
- FEMA staged nothing…
- No one howled for the government…
- No one even uttered an expletive on TV…
- Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards…
- No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House…
- No news anchors moved in…
- We just melted snow for water, sent out caravans to pluck people out of
snow engulfed cars, fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or
Aladdin lamps and put on an extra layer of clothes…

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early... we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

Everybody is fine.

Snopes has more background. It's based on some truth, and after having lived through five North Dakota winters (and many many whiteout blizzards), this strikes me as pretty much the NoDak attitude I remember.

Posted by Ted at 05:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

This seems like an excellent idea

Busy busy, so once again I lift entire:

There is a project underway that will reduce the amount of dependence placed on the government when a natural disaster strikes one of the coastal states (Atlantic, Gulf or Pacific). The projects name is Operation Enduring Service and was created by Beauchamp Tower Corporation.

Posted on phin's blog and cross-posted at Confederate Yankee are calls to press Senators to insert a rider that will allow this to happen. Due to time constraints the legislation required to make this happen is dangerously close to falling by the wayside-in fact it has to pass before Congress ends this Session (less than 14 days).

The project calls for the transfer of decommisioned and obsolete military ships to an established award-winning nonprofit organization that will convert them into powerful and 100% volunteer-funded floating rescue and recovery vessels to assist those in need in the wake of natural and manmade disasters.

Via Operation Enduring Service:

So, you want to see what these old girls will be able to do? Here's a list of only a few things we can provide during a Coastal State disaster (such as flooding or a hurricane)

----Service a disaster area of up to 10,000 square miles (up to 100 miles inland) with minimal (if any) outside support

----Provide complete berthing facilities for up to 400 emergency responders "on scene" at a disaster site

----Fully integrated communications system serving all local, state, and federal agencies, as well as cell phone coverage and military band frequencies--allowing for seamless communications between all disaster scene personnel, no matter what radio frequency or cell phone is being used.

----Daily provide 110 tons of bagged and palletized ice to the disaster region

----Daily generate, bottle, and palletize up to 50,000 gallons of fresh water

----Provide refueling station and loading platform for helicopters operating in the disaster area

----Carry over 7,000 tons of food and supplies for a disaster area

----Store (and provide delivery of) 700,000 gallons of diesel, gasoline, and aviation fuel for use in the disaster area on emergency vehicles and critical needs generators (hospitals, emergency operation centers, etc)

.......and that's just one ship.

They're talking about fielding two ships, not one... a regular "Salvation Navy." We have a chance to make a great deal of difference in future disasters (these ships may be ready for the '06 hurricane season) but we must act now. Think of the number of lives saved and the peace of mind that can be brought, while saving the government and tax payers money.

Any help you can give in the form of summoning your readerships to help press the key senators listed (and their own) would be greatly appreciated.

There it is. I call and/or write my congresscritters fairly often on various matters. This time, it won't be to gripe about something, it'll be to suggest that this needs to be done. You should too, it can make a difference.

Posted by Ted at 05:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Links

November 15, 2005

I forgot to mention...

We passed a gas station today selling regular for $1.99 a gallon.

Posted by Ted at 07:33 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Little bit of a family emergency thing going on (updated)

First: Robyn and Rachael, if you call, call Mom's cell phone between 12:45 and 1:15 and I'll give you details. Any other time, you'll just get voice mail.

Gist: My wife Liz was taken to the hospital for severe abdominal pain yesterday morning (luckily, she works next door in a medical practice). When things weren't moving quickly enough, then shuffled her to the ER and called me.

Lots of tests and scans and rays later, they've ruled out some things and have plenty of supporting data for their primary diagnosis, but no solid confirmation. It was looking likely that she'd be having surgery last night, but as test after test came back that option was eliminated. They sent us home last night around 1am and I made a followup appointment with her doctor for this morning.

If this turns out to be what Liz and I both thought it was from the beginning, then she's going to be very tender and in pain for a few days. Bottom line is, she had a rough yesterday, but it looks like everything is going to be ok.

Good thoughts and prayers never hurt. Thanks.

I read somewhere once that you should never end a letter on a downer, so I'll mention now that I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.

Update: Liz has had eight abdominal surgeries over the last twenty years, which tends to build up a lot of scar tissue. The doctor is assuming (and this is what we first suspected) that Liz ripped loose a big chunk of the adhesions. That means that it's time for another laboroscopy (might not be spelled right), which is where they go in through her belly button with a fiber optic camera and a laser and just cut away all the spidery webby scarring that's built up inside. She sees a surgeon Monday to set it up. In the meantime, as long as she doesn't overdo she'll feel a bit better every day.

Thanks for the good thoughts and kind words, everyone.

Posted by Ted at 07:47 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 14, 2005

Another player in this year's Hockey Whoopass Jamboree

Catt played last year, when we used the minor leagues for the Jamboree. This year, she's been busy having a baby and stuff, but like the true hockey fan that she is, she's got her gloves back on and is ready to high-stick and spear her way to victory.

Then again, maybe not, since her team is the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The players:

Machelle and David: Detroit Red Wings
Frinklin: Vancouver Canucks
Brian J: St. Louis Blues
Tom: Philadelphia Flyers
Derek: Colorado Avalanche
Gir: Calgary Flames
Grand Moff Trojan: Colorado Avalanche
Tilesey: Toronto Maple Leafs
Cal Tech Girl: Carolina Hurricanes
Victor: Washington Capitals
Michele: New York Rangers
Brandon: Los Angeles Kings
Catt: Pittsburgh Penguins
Yours Truly: San Jose Sharks

Complete rules - and there's not many - can be found here.

Posted by Ted at 05:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

Hockey Team Logos

Much like Frinklin does with his sports uniform ratings, Dave at JustWide is doing a Team Logo playoffs.

just wide logo contest

Posted by Ted at 04:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

November 12, 2005

I don't ask for much

It snuck up on me, but I'm the host of the next Carnival of the Recipes. So please send in your recipes to recipe -dot- carnival -at- gmail -dot- com so I have something to work with.

Posted by Ted at 06:36 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

I only show you the flattering ones

I mean, I didn't post the one that said I was Coconut Cream Yogurt or anything. This one I found at annika's.

(moved to the extended entry)

All-Around Smart

You are all-around smart. Essentially, that means that you are a good combination of your own knowledge and experience, along with having learned through instruction - and you are equally as good with theoretical things as you are with real-world, applied things. You have a well-rounded brain.

0% applied intelligence
20% natural intelligence

Take this quiz at

Yay Hats! (Trust me, that's all-around smart)

Posted by Ted at 01:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Didja know?

Munuviana (our group of Mu.Nu blogs for those who didn't know) is the largest Movable Type installation in the world.

We just moved over to a pair of new servers to help handle the workload. Pixy rocks.

Posted by Ted at 01:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 11, 2005

Old folk wit and wisdom

I don't know about the "day late" part, but lately I seem to be "a dollar short" quite often.

Does that make me a half-wit?

Posted by Ted at 04:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Pat Robertson

Ever notice that these televangelists all seem to live forever? I'm betting that God doesn't really want 'em around either.

What a jackass.

Posted by Ted at 02:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Picking at it like a scab

I visited my friend Dave's blog yesterday, and something I read there really bugged me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. He's Canadian and we disagree on many things. I say that for context, because I'm quite far to the right of Dave, or he's far to the left of me depending on how you look at it. Anyways, this morning while doing drywall (have I mentioned how much I hate doing drywall?), I was turning it over in my mind and I understood what it was about Dave's post that annoyed me so.

He wrote:

Sure the Liberals were corrupt, EVERY government is corrupt as long there are men and women sitting in positions of power. Corruption breeds in backslapping handshaking environments where people get paid 6 digit figures for working 20ish days a year. Deal with it.

Dave, you should never just "Deal with it" when it comes to your government. That kind of milquetoast, bend-me-over-and-please-sir-can-I-have-another attitude is exactly what those ruling bastards are counting on. You, my friend, are a fucking SHEEP, and if I saw you I'd kick you in the balls to remind you that they're there.

If your government screws you over (and by all accounts, they've been screwing you long and hard), then you vote them out. Don't like the opposition? Fine, hold your nose and vote the current party out anyway. Because you never ever reward corruption and theivery by allowing them to remain in power. And if the next government turns out to be as bad, then you vote those assholes out too, and you keep doing your goddamn job as a citizen until someone running for office understands that the people aren't going to put up with "business as usual" and cleans up their collective act.

Being screwed by your friends feels no different than being screwed by the other guys. If you don't recognize that, then you've already given up. You have the ultimate authority in your form of government, yet you're too lazy to use it.

A wise man once said that people get the government they deserve, and Canada is living proof of the accuracy of that. It doesn't have to be that way.

Posted by Ted at 10:04 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Category: Links

November 10, 2005

Just in case anyone was wondering...

I really, really, really hate doing drywall.

Posted by Ted at 03:19 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 09, 2005

Progress Report

As of this morning, I am still unable to squirt blood out of my eyes.

Updates as they become available.

Posted by Ted at 12:05 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Aye Laddie, I have the legs for a kilt

After a tiebreaker question too!

You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need.



William Wallace


Captain Jack Sparrow


James Bond, Agent 007


Batman, the Dark Knight


Neo, the "One"


Indiana Jones


The Terminator


Lara Croft


El Zorro


The Amazing Spider-Man


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Seen over at the Llamabutchers.

Posted by Ted at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

The Wingbeat Project

I saw this over at QandO (busy bee this morning, so I pretty much just lifted Jon's writeup):

The [Wingbeat Project] blog is "designed to help solve society's biggest problems by jumpstarting the generation of good ideas." How it works:
Each month, the Wingbeat Project will announce a new topic or social problem. Visitors will be invited to submit ideas for addressing the social problem, along with a contribution that helps us keep going in our grassroots efforts. At the end of each month, we will choose a winner from the best ideas, and the winner will receive a cash award.

And your good ideas will be publicized. It's a good way to spread your ideas for social change, with, as Wingbeat says, "a bias toward ideas that involve little or no government intervention".

The best way to minimize the demand for more government is to make it irrelevant. Check out Wingbeat and contribute an idea.

Pointing out a problem is a small step towards making it right. If you don't offer solutions, then you're only griping.

Posted by Ted at 06:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

I keep getting them confused

In the Virginia Governors race, did the child-molesting heroin addict win? Or was it the devil-worshipping serial killer?

When there's that much mud being slung, I get disgusted with both parties. I voted for Potts, the independent from FunWinchester.

Posted by Ted at 05:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

A Yeti-sized Asswhoopin'

That's what the Colorado Avalanche put on my beloved San Jose Sharks last night, winning 5-2. So, in accordance with the rules of the Hockey Whoopass Jamboree, the logo of Derek's Avalanche will be posted here for at least 24 hours.


Trivia: The Colorado Avalanche have a Yeti footprint on one shoulder of their sweaters.

Posted by Ted at 04:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

November 08, 2005

You knew someone would want him


Click for a size worthy of Terrell Owens.

Posted by Ted at 04:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

And yet oddly appropriate for election day

I was heading home from work and just pulling into the local school to vote, when this radio commercial came on:

Young Lady: Dad, do you love me?

Dad: You know I do.

YL: Would you do anything for me?

Dad: You know I would.

YL: Would you run into a burning building for me?

Dad: Of course. *chuckles* Do you want to borrow the car?

YL: No Dad, I want you to get a colonoscopy.

I almost hit the car next to me as I parked, I was laughing so hard. Yepper, Dad, nothing says "I love you" like taking one up the ol' exhaust pipe.

Do it for the children.

Posted by Ted at 04:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

That's pronounced "Der-eeque", I'm sure

Hockey Whoopass Jamboree trash talk?


A thousand words, mon ami! A thousand words.

Posted by Ted at 03:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Links

November 07, 2005


Jennifer did it.
Lots of other good folks already did it (and more too that I'm too lazy to link to right now).
So I did too.


Posted by Ted at 06:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Putting my inadaquacies out there for all to mock

Over on the right sidebar, a snazzy little meter found courtesy of Dawn. It shows the National Novel Writing Month goal of fifty thousand words, and how many I've actually accomplished so far.

I don't know if I'll reach the magic number or not. My goal is to finish the story.

Posted by Ted at 03:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Chicken Soup for the Rocket Geek's Soul

Ok, I did some math and have details about this weekend's high-excitement rocket launch.

The motor was a Contrail Systems L1222 "sparky" (none of us know if it really was, by the way, we were kinda too busy to notice). The motor itself is about 3" in diameter, it's 54" long, of which the bottom 12" is the combustion chamber where all the flamey zoomy stuff happens. The oxidizer tank holds 3200cc's of nitrous oxide, which comes out to .85 of a gallon. Doug estimated that about half of that had been vented when the ignition happened.

The burn time for that motor is listed at 3.1 seconds, but I would guess that it ran out of nitrous (oxidizer), and hence the oxygen need to burn, long before that, so the thrust would've fallen way off from the specs.

But at ignition, well, there was plenty of oxidizer for that, and that sucker lit up with a peak thrust of 2892 newtons/second, which works out to 650 pounds of thrust right off the pad.

I've heard it said more than once at a rocket launch: even our failures are entertaining to watch.

Posted by Ted at 12:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Rocketry

November 06, 2005

Snark of indeterminate accuracy

The Left won't begin to take domestic terrorism seriously until Starbucks' start blowing up.

Posted by Ted at 01:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 05, 2005

Launch Report - Up Close and Personal Edition

Today was an absolutely beautiful day for flying rockets: 70's, sunny, very little wind. Lucky for us, it was also day two of the three-day BattlePark 2005 launch held in Culpeper, Virginia.

I only flew two rockets myself, but there's a story to be told, and we all know how much I love that. So first, the details, then the good stuff.

My first flight was my Centuri Groove Tube upscale. 2.6" diameter tube-fin design, launched on an H165-Redline motor. Typical great boost from this rocket, and she arced over at apogee and just after going nose down the chute ejected. Recovered about 150 yards from the pads, undamaged.

Second flight, Barenaked Lady on an F24 with a seven second delay. This rocket is ultra-light, and the F24 seriously overpowers the rocket, which is fun as hell and why I do it. Waaaaaaaaay up there in a hurry and recovered about 100 yards away undamaged.

So that was all I flew. I had a few other rockets, but I had a great time anyway, picking a friend's brain for altimeter bay ideas (his always work, and I've never been completely satisfied with my designs), and shooting the breeze with fliers I haven't seen in awhile (frequent commenter Russ was there).

"I've done everything I know how to do, so if this doesn't work then we'll learn something." -- Doug Pratt

Later in the afternoon, Doug Pratt readied the rocket he's going to eventually fly for his Level 3 certification. Twelve foot tall, six inch diameter, all fiberglass, he was going to use a hybrid L-something motor.

They had the rocket on the pad (very big motor, so it was loaded on the "away" cell, much farther than normal), and I headed out to ask if there was anything I could do to help. Doug said something about giving them good luck with the flight.

Ha! That'll teach him.

Filling the nitrous tank for the motor seemed to take an unusually long time, and after the countdown there was no ignition. Ivan (another friend) started to vent the nitrous back out of the motor, and while that was going on Doug, Ivan and I walked back to the pad to see what was wrong. There was smoke coming from the pad, and we saw that the igniter wires were smoking. This put us all on guard, and we started visually checking the setup.

Doug switched off the power to the pad, making it safe. Moving over to the base of the rocket, he lifted the ignition wires and the motor instantly ignited! I was farthest away of the three of us, maybe 10-12 feet. Ivan dived away, Doug wound up with all the hair on one arm singed off, and I twisted and turned my back to the roar of this big honkin' motor going on right next to us.

Summary so far: big motor, too close, accidental ignition.

We were busy making sure that Ivan was ok (he hit the ground and rolled) when people started yelling "heads up!" at us. I confess that I had two thoughts before looking up:

1. Uh oh, the chute didn't open and it's coming in ballistic.

2. This was a weird motor ignition, so the sucker coming down on top of us is probably on fire.

When I did look up, I was relieved to see it descending normally under chute. Even better, it was going to miss us. Then came the second bit of excitement.


Ivan started yelling, and we ran about thirty feet downrange to start stomping out a brush fire caused by... well, we're not sure what caused the fire. The motor ignition, certainly, but why or how... no idea. Anyway, the three of us were stomping and stepping, holding the fire at bay more or less, until folks with water buckets made their way out to where we were and saved the day.

Ok, failure analysis. While the rocket was being loaded, the igniter wire insulation were chafed or otherwise broken. This caused the ignition wires to short out when they touched bare wire to the metal launch pad. That was problem number 1.

Next, when the ignition button was pressed to light the motor, the short prevented the current from reaching the business end of the igniter, but the relay in the circuit welded itself open. What that means is that although Doug shut off power to the pad, the relay had enough juice in it to fire the igniter, which happened as soon as Doug moved the wires, which unshorted them.

Whoosh! A helluva lot closer than I ever want to be ever again.

Nobody was hurt (beyond that singed arm hair), which was the main thing. The relay box is being disected this evening to figure out why it stuck open and how to prevent it from ever happening again.

Just to give you an idea of the power of the motor: even with only half a tank of nitrous to work with, the motor lofted the forty-plus pound rocket over four hundred feet into the air.

Hanging out with Doug always makes for an interesting day. Afterwards, we hit Country BBQ for some excellent ribs and fixin's and then I headed home; happy, tired, and with another cool story to add to my collection.

Posted by Ted at 09:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Category: Rocketry

November 04, 2005

I can forgive the whole nuclear weapon thing, but this is a bit much to ask


You inhumane bastard.

Posted by Ted at 09:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

NaNoWriMo update, as if you care

This isn't going to become a constant and consuming blogging subject. Be relieved or disappointed as you wish.

I'm leaning towards waiting until the story is complete before posting the whole thing all at once. That lets me sneak back and edit the plot without y'all knowing about it ("Luke, I'm your uncle").

Here's my writer's profile for those interested in seeing how many words I've reached, and there's an excerpt there too.

If, IF, I decide to do this again next year, I'll be writing erotica. I figure "in... out... in... out..." oughtta be good for five or six thousand words right off the bat.

Posted by Ted at 04:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links


I just deleted a spam email from "Glamour Shots" for holiday family portraits. Isn't that the company that specializes in sexy pinup style photography?

I feel like I need to go scrub my monitor now.

Posted by Ted at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 03, 2005

I was sleeping too much anyway

I'm doing that National Novel Writing Month insanity.

I haven't decided if I'm going to post chapters as I finish them or not.

Rachael is insisting that my story include zombies. I've been known to write erotica (hey, Penthouse counts dammit!). An interesting fusion idea occurs, but the guys over at the Ministry are already debating related details, so I think (probably) not.

Other folks who are crazy too:


More ink than sense, as my Dad would say.

Posted by Ted at 04:38 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Cool Christmas Present

Pratt Hobbies has a new T-Shirt for that cool kid in your life.


Posted by Ted at 04:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Rocketry

Play nicely while I'm occupied elsewhere

I'm really swamped right now between work and school and home life, so posting may be light for a few days. In the meantime, here's a picture for you:


Leave a caption in the comments and who knows, maybe I'll award a prize or something to the best.

Posted by Ted at 04:17 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

November 02, 2005


Ken and Squip's one-year anniversary podcast is up! Listen to one of the first, and still one of the best podcasts going. Hear me. Hear Cindy talk about me talking about her breasts. And that's not even the best part of the show!

Now, where the heck did we store those champagne glasses?

Posted by Ted at 08:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Bye Skitch

Conductor Skitch Henderson died at age 87.

"When it's right, applause sounds like vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce."

Sounds right to me.

Posted by Ted at 05:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Links

November 01, 2005

A Spooktacular Edition of the Carnival of Music

By the guys at the Ministry of Minor Perfidy. Check it out, there are tons of interesting links to follow this time around.

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


Thanks Margi, via the Llama Butchers.


Make your own here.

Posted by Ted at 04:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Links


Looking at the counters, I see that Rocket Jones went over 300,000 page visits last night. Thanks to everyone, even you bots.

Posted by Ted at 04:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs
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