August 31, 2006

Happenings around the ol' homestead

Health and well-being:
Thanks to everyone for the good thoughts and prayers. Things are slowly getting better. My boss was kind enough to give me the entire week off from work to take care of Liz while she recovers.

This next bit gets filed under "Me. Me. Meeee!": Two years ago I had a physical and everything was fine. A couple of weeks ago I went in for another and once again things were good. My cholesterol levels went down, which made me happy since they're near the upper limit of acceptable, but for the first time ever my doctor told me to lose weight. Up to this point, I've been getting by on good genes. My health is still excellent, but I'm middle-aged and have to start taking care of myself.

I've also been prescribed medication for my thyroid. Even as a kid in the Air Force my thyroid level was at the lower boundry of normal. Now my turtle-like metabolism has slowed to that of a rock, so I get to take this stuff for six weeks and get tested again to see if it's helping.

New Kitchen:
One nice thing about the company that we're working with on our kitchen remodel is that everything was done at our house. They would come to us rather than us having to travel to their 'showroom' whenever something needed to be taken care of. Yesterday we signed the contract after approving the finalized plans. Cabinets have been ordered, appliances paid for, and painfully large numbers have been written on checks. Demolition starts in about three weeks.

Free time?
Assuming Ernesto doesn't completely puss out and delivers some storm-like weather around here, I hope to be doing a batch of movie watching. If so, look for some movie reviews in the near future.

Blog stuff:
Derek asked if I'd ever listened to his Son of Cheese Half-Hour Power Hour, and I have to admit that I haven't. To be honest, I don't listen to any of the podcasts from my regular reads such as Wizbang!, QandO or Silent Running. The last podcast I heard was the Ken & Squip Show, and that was quite a while back. So there's your answer Derek. I'm pond scum.

I'm tired of that banner above. Look for something new as soon as I get around to it.

Posted by Ted at 08:16 PM | Comments (331) | TrackBack
Category: Family matters

August 29, 2006

Going around once more

See that "2996" over on the left? That's a link to a tribute to everyone who died on 9/11, and leads to a page where each individual was assigned to a volunteer blogger who will post a memorial to that person on the fifth anniversary of that sad day.

Every. Single. One.

The goal has been reached (thanks to everyone who's signed up), and they've started around again so if you haven't volunteered yet, you still can.

Posted by Ted at 06:49 PM | Comments (466) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Bitte. Danke.

Long-time readers know that my wife has some health issues. Life threw us a wicked curve last weekend. It's not life threatening, but we both need to be concentrating on her at the moment. If the cautious, initial diagnosis is correct, then things will be back to normal rather quickly. Otherwise, to paraphrase the Grateful Dead, "what a long, strange trip it'll be".

Good thoughts or prayers would be appreciated.

Posted by Ted at 08:35 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack
Category: Family matters

August 28, 2006

Commodore Mookie's Catch of the Day

Classes start today, so I've been fairly busy the past two days hanging out with my friends and catching up with them. And in honor of classes, and thus work study starting, I'm brining you something that can entertain you for hours (or at least a minute): Pipe Cleaner Dancing!

Posted by Mookie at 06:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 26, 2006

Wanted: Founding Fathers

This is so cool.

Colony: Alchibah.

From the FAQ:

In the middle of the 21st century, a ship of dissidents seeking freedom from the oppressive world government of Earth land on a planet circling the star Alchibah. There, these colonists begin a new life, a new world, a place where the limited government is subordinate to the citizens. First they had to create that government and the documents that would constrain it. Actually, first they had to escape Earth! As in any sci-fi story, there are plenty of other problems as well...

I highly recommend reading through the FAQ before exploring the rest of the site, because this isn't simply a story to read. For the right kinds of people, with imagination and passion, you can become characters in the story and affect events. Beneath the veneer of SciFi fiction, this is actually a nicely conceived simulation of building a government from scratch. You can argue your points and sway opinions of other colonists as you all work together (or work against each other) to create a future.

Jeff Soyer, proprietor of Alphecca, is the mind behind this stunning concept. I'll be following their progress, and enjoying every step of the journey.

Posted by Ted at 12:48 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 25, 2006

Thanks for the memories

Jerry Rice signed a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49'ers so that he could officially retire with the team.

Twenty years, most every receiving record in the books, and the man did it with style and class.

A lot of athletes should learn that lesson.

Posted by Ted at 05:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 24, 2006


The salsa garden is going great guns. Cherry tomatoes enough for my tomato loving daughters, plus enough regular tomatoes to give away half and still have plenty. The green peppers have been disappointing, but even those have been good if not overly abundant. Jalepenos? Muy bueno!!!

Last weekend (two weekends ago?) I spent a little quality time in the kitchen and made a gallon and a half of salsa. A good sized container full for my neighbor, who's been helping me with a couple of household projects, and another for daughter Robyn that she took with her back to school. That left more than we could use, although we tried, including a breakfast of heavenly veggie salsa omelets.

Tonight I picked a large tomato and a couple of nice jalepenos and made guacamole. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Posted by Ted at 08:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

August 22, 2006

I shoulda mentioned

Links to the Silent Universe and Second Shift podcasts are now on my sidebar.

Posted by Ted at 05:13 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 20, 2006

Commodore Mookie's Catch of the Day

I always find that the hardest thing about making a web page is finding/making/picking a back ground that will satisfy several criteria. The criteria include (A) that it not suck, (B) that is is fairly unobtrusive and not eye watering ugly, and (C) that to take into account the variety of monitor display settings it should either tile well or have a solid back ground color [note, these are just my personal rules of thumbs). This nifty little website allows you to make tile-able back grounds quickly and easily... and I like to play with it even if I don't need a new background.

I also have an appreciation for well done drawings and paintings that have a bit of humor in them of some sort. I don't usually go for the more traditional "Art" stuff. This website has some interesting pictures that defiantly make me giggle and is worth checking out. Hm... I wonder if my roommate would like them... we need to decorate our dorm room...

Posted by Mookie at 11:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Launch Report - 8/19

I had a very nice day launching rockets, in a screwed up, cruddy sort of way.

The weather was beautiful for our regular monthly club launch out at Great Meadow. The wind was occasionally gusty, but it was almost 180 degrees from the normal direction, meaning that it was blowing down the long direction of the field.

Today I was accompanied by my future son-in-law (it's official as of this week), since we men-folk were kicked out of the house whilst the ladies did wedding-dress things.

We slept in and got to the field a bit after 10am - nice crowd already - and almost immediately I was asked to pull a shift as launch control (countdown and button pusher guy). That's always fun and I love helping out, but doing a two-hour shift of this when we were only going to be there about 3 or 4 hours kinda bit rocks.

Next month the Internats (World Rocket Championships) are being held at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Russia, which is their version of Cape Canaveral. Getting in some last minute practice were several members of the team, launching helicopter, streamer and parachute duration models, and making lots of RC rocket glider flights.

After my shift as LCO (not the full two hours - thanks Bart!), I went and prepped my original Level 1 certification rocket, an upscale of the Centuri Groove Tube. Because of the wind, I really stepped down on the size of the chute. After safety check we headed out to the high-power pads.

1. Groove Tube Upscale - H128W-M - Great boost, slightly weathercocking into the wind. Chute just after apogee and then a long walk to recover.

The guys who launched just before me wound up going in the same direction, as both our rockets were over the treeline at the edge of the field. Henry wound up jumping a barb-wire fence and recovered the Groove Tube, and the other guy found his rocket hanging over some high-voltage wires. Bad news, that. Hopefully the power company was able to send someone out right away and get it down. They try to get to them quickly so they don't cause line damage.

At some point in the flight, my Groove Tube kicked the motor casing. Normally, when the ejection charge fires the pressure ejects the chute, but occasionally the motor will be spit out the back instead because it wasn't secure enough. In this case, the chute came out just fine, but it looks like the motor was kicked backwards enough to bend and twist the brass retention clip, and at some point
during descent the motor dropped free without our seeing it.

The rocket is fine, but I'm mildly annoyed because I have one last motor reload kit that will only fit that casing, and I'm not going to buy a new casing for one more flight. Either I'll borrow one or give the reload to someone to use.

After Henry and I spent a while searching for the lost motor casing (hoping for a lucky break because finding it falls within the realm of 'needle in a haystack'), it was time to go. So I made a grand total of one flight all day.

On the plus side, I got to visit with several good friends and helped a couple of kids make their first-ever rocket flights. I also did a blog-meet of sorts with Dick Stafford of Rocket Dungeon fame (check out his launch report here, he was way more successful than I). He always has something wacky and interesting to fly and I had a great time shooting the breeze with him.

So, bottom line on the day: rocket launch = good. Even when things don't go so great.

Posted by Ted at 08:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Rocketry

August 19, 2006

Commodore Mookie's Catch of the Day

I've always had permission to Post on Rocket Jones, but Dad just gave me the official word "Go"; so of course the spelling and grammar quality of this site just went down the crapper, but that’s no matter.

Almost every day I send Dad links to random sites I find online via a firefox extension called StumbleUpon, yet dad rarely has time/remembers to link to them, so now I'll do it. The best description of StumbleUpon came from this site where they say "[StumbleUpon] is a software implementation of Attention Deficit Disorder" and how true it is. I do actually waste hours upon hours each day (when I have internet) stumbling around to amuse myself.

So the first weird link of the day will be an optical illusion that’s really quite freaky, but entertaining. And then there is a website that shows you how to harvest stools. Finally, here's a place with some T-shirts called Cute Dead Things... I really want the Skull one, it so cute! and dead!

Posted by Mookie at 06:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 17, 2006

When you outlaw midgets with guns, only... wait, that doesn't work.

Check out this little beauty:
click the picture for Dirty Harry size

Even better, it's fully functional.

This firearm is a scaled-down model of the much acclaimed and mystical Colt Python with all the same features as are found on the real size gun.

They advertise it as "the smallest revolver and ammunition in the world."

Thanks to Rodger for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 08:35 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack
Category: Links

A Bone Through My Nose

Not as in "decorative", as in "I was eating a piece of chicken when I read something so funny I snorted food."

Oh, how I wish I were drinking a glass of milk at the time.

No matter. Put down the fork and glass and go read this.

You've been warned.

Posted by Ted at 07:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 16, 2006

"42" has become such a cliche

It is also *not* the answer to any of the "25 Most Important Questions in the History of the Universe".

Thanks to Wizbang! for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 05:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Speaking of odds

The baseball world is agog at the Los Angeles Dodgers, who've now won seventeen of their last eighteen games. What people seem to have forgotten is their equally remarkable streak just before that, when they lost thirteen out of fourteen.

That makes them 18-14 in the last thirty-two games. Big whoop.

Posted by Ted at 05:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

I'd take those odds

You know that 1982 Ford Econoline van with the twelve ladders strapped to the top? Yeah, with seven guys riding inside. Doing the speed limit, while everyone else on the road passes them left and right. Yeah, that one!

Deport them.

Posted by Ted at 05:00 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

August 15, 2006

Second Shift: A Review

A really bad day was saved a couple of weeks ago when an email appeared in my box asking if I would be interested in reviewing another serial podcast. Absolutely made my day, I tell ya.

Simple minds, simple pleasures. My mom used to tell me that all the time. Sloooowly. So I'd get all the words.

Disclosure time: Beyond Tolkein (which not reading violates some kind of natural law I think) and a few other scattered offerings, I've never been a fan of the fantasy genre. I much prefer History or Science Fiction.

Which means that Second Shift has been a pleasant surprise, because even though it's Fantasy/Adventure, I am really enjoying it.

The story goes like this: Three college students find themselves in another place. Planet? Universe? Who knows.

These are *not* the three students

At first it seems that their arrival was accidental, but in later episodes there are hints that at least one of them may have been intentionally targeted.

The new place is a world where magic is pervasive. They meet the local who (might have) summoned them, and also very quickly have a run in with the bad guys. Before long, swords and sorcery and quests and adventures are experienced by the trio of friends as they search for a way back home.

I understand that the description generically describes a significant percentage of all fantasy fiction ever written, but that's all I'm going to say so as not to give away any spoilers. Ok, one spoiler: there are "Undying" wandering about. You know how I am about zombies, so major bonus points there.

These are probably not the "Undying"

While listening to the first episode I was reminded of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday", in that the dialogue comes at you in machine-gun bursts. You'll have to pay attention to these exchanges or you'll miss something.

A couple of observations about the dialogue.

First, you will hear the very occasional naughty word and the mildest of innuendo. This is a barely PG-rated story so far.

These are not the "undying" either. Not yet, anyway.

Secondly, there is quite a bit of speaking in the "local" language, and it's beautifully done. The accents (I love the accents) and pronunciations are consistant and sound real, and there's no stumbling or hesitation when the actors speak in unfamiliar syllables. The language itself is lyrical and pleasing to listen to, and sounds natural enough for me to wonder just how much of this language is already real (in the sense that there is a dictionary and humans fluent in the language of the fictional Klingon race).

A "couple" means two. Ignore my inability to count and consider this a bonus.

Thirdly, the actors voices are distinctive and you'll be able to tell who is who before you know it. Which kind of ties into the characters themselves. These characters are three dimensional, not cardboard heroes (mystery reference for you gamer geeks). They have depth and background history and realistic emotions. Their speech and exchanges with other characters sound real. Since this is an audio play, dialogue is paramount, and it is exceptional.

Like real life, the good guys aren't always good, and sometimes they're not even particularly likable. At different times, each of the three students need a whack upside with a clue-by-four to remind them that whether you like it or not, reality isn't what you feel or wish for, it is what is right in front of you. So just shut up and hide in the bushes.

Not everything revolves around the three students either. The locals have their own history and stories, and sometimes things happen just between them. Again, this adds depth and you don't feel like every character exists just to support the three travellers. In fact, I can easily imagine a storyline involving Fezmir and crew that has absolutely nothing to do with those pesky kids (no points for that one, it's too easy).

So far, the bad guys aren't as fully fleshed out, but their story keeps coming to you in bits and pieces. There's great promise there, so I remain hopeful.

On to technical matters. The sound quality is good, and there is no subscription cost. The music is only ok. Sometimes the theme music really grates on my nerves, and other times I'm like, "that's not too bad". I haven't caught myself humming it yet, although I think it's right on the edge of becoming an earworm.

Each episode gets better as far as sound effects, both in number and quality. Low point: jogging through leaves. It sounds pretty much like running for your life through leaves. Most everything else though has been good, and there are a few really outstanding sound effects that have been used.

The production schedule calls for new episodes to be released every two weeks, and they're sticking to it despite some unexpected turnover among the production crew.

Extras. Their website is pretty cool, and just chock full of those little internetty doo-dads and gimcracks that I hate so much. Despite that, you can ignore the cuteness and you'll find that it's very easy to get around. It does look and act differently in IE vs Firefox, just so you know.

There are forums to explore, and a nifty journal where you get a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes work. I thought the posts on creating the sound effects were particularly interesting.

They've got a small shop to buy podcast related stuff, so far limited to "Work, Stupid Magic" stickers and buttons. Very cool, and even better after you listen and are in on the joke. They've promised more in the near future.

As an extra little bonus, these folks posted an episode of Captain Laserbeard and his Gamma Raiders! It's... odd. And funny. I mean, who doesn't love space pirates, arggh? A snippet of this show airs as background noise in one scene of the first episode.

On my last review I had a guest with me, our zombie friend Bub. The idea proved to be popular (typical comment: "More Undead, Less Ted!"), so I decided to ask another beloved movie character to rate Second Shift.


Looks like a big "thumbs up" from here!

If you like fantasy, you'll enjoy Second Shift. If you like character driven stories, you'll enjoy Second Shift. If you like Cary Grant, you'll enjoy Second Shift. You were paying attention, right? If you are intrigued by podcasts or the golden age of radio, you'll enjoy Second Shift.

Don't be Abby Something-or-other, go give Second Shift a try.

Posted by Ted at 04:57 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Cult Flicks

August 14, 2006

I wanna go to Space Camp!

Space Camp isn't just for kids, you know.

Phil Reeder flew all the way across the pond to attend the Advanced Adult Space Academy Programme (heh, he spells funny).

His articles for the first six days are posted at Sven Knudsen's amazing website.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

Phil apologizes for not having nearly enough pictures to cover the massive number of activities and events that are scheduled for the week.

Posted by Ted at 05:20 PM | Comments (1216) | TrackBack
Category: Space Program

Retro Redux

I briefly mentioned it a couple of days ago, and I'm pleased to announce that I have 8-bit nostalgia up and running.

M.U.L.E., Blue Max, Encounter, various Infocom text adventures and early Electronic Arts offerings, bringing back memories of my earliest days of home computing.

I haven't gotten the configuration exactly right, because the emulator won't read the virtual cassette drive yet, and there are a couple of early war games I hope to resurrect that were only available on tape. More tinkering to do.

If you don't see the attraction, then you have no soul. It's that simple.

Oh, and for those asking, I've been playing with two emulators: Atari800 and Atari800Win Plus. Win Plus has been easier to work with, but doesn't offer the flexibility that Atari800 does. I may very well end up using both for different situations.

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


With the recent phenomenom of hit Broadway musicals set to pop and rock artists like Abba and Billy Joel, I'm imagining something slightly more surreal...

...something like Jeffrey Dahmer's life story, set to Loggins & Messina.

Opening scene, music comes up as "mom" and "dad" arrive home from hospital carrying their new baby:

People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one,
And we've just begun...

Later there can be a scene reminiscent of Risky Business, where a grown Jeffrey dances his way around the kitchen in his underwear, bopping to "Your Momma Don't Dance" as he restocks his fridge and freezer (if you know what I mean).

Closing scene. An ordinary house in a quiet neighborhood, lit by flashing police lights. A crowd of people stand around out front, wondering why that nice young man was arrested. And the closing music gradually rises over the people's murmering voices:

Oh, help me if you can, I've got to get,
Back to the house at Pooh Corner by one,
You'd be surprised, there's so much to be done,
Count all the bees in the hive,
Chase all the clouds from the sky...

If you use this idea, I expect "Concept by:" credit.

Posted by Ted at 05:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

August 12, 2006


Dustbury notes an odd little item:

...the C64 Orchestra is a real live band that, for the moment anyway, plays music from Commodore 64 games.

If you feel so inclined, follow that link for details and more links.

It especially caught my eye because I've been toying with a couple of Atari 800 emulators, with the aim of being able to play some of my favorite 8-bit games of old on today's Windows PC. I've even found a couple of emulators designed to run under WinCE for my PDA.

Feel free to google 'em up. There are plenty of open source emulators out there (Intellivision anyone?), and I see no need to open your wallet.

Posted by Ted at 09:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 11, 2006

To be (stupid), or not to be (stupid)

The original article is titled "101 ways to massacre Shakespeare".

The Edinburgh Fringe richly deserves its reputation for artistic anarchy and every year The Bard is the target of bizarre adaptations at the world's largest arts festival.

The festival director's all-time favorite? A Midsummer's Night Disco. The bard done on roller skates. Boy howdy.

As The Fringe celebrates its 60th birthday, the prize for zaniest 2006 production goes to Hamlet set in a bouncy castle.

To see the Prince of Denmark in laddered tights bounding around declaiming "To Be or Not To Be" is a truly surreal experience.

Surreal is one word to describe it, but not the first that comes to mind.

One never knows where inspiration will come:

Seward had his eureka moment when attending a children's birthday party in Argentina. "I saw the children playing on a bouncy castle and that is when the idea came to me.

One never knows when the meds wear off.

Other interpretations seen over the years include:

"Macbeth -- That Old Black Magic" boasts a Frank Sinatra soundtrack and you can see "The Tempest" with acrobats, puppets and circus tricks.

In "Corleone: The Godfather," the American High School Theater Festival troupe asks "What if Shakespeare had written the Godfather?"

Alas, poor yorick, I must go make sick. I'd still love to go.

Posted by Ted at 11:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Bottom Line

The good guys defeated the terrorists yesterday.

A lot of people who would've died are going to live.

Posted by Ted at 05:18 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

August 10, 2006

"Truly orgasmic", right up until the part about the teeth

I love this stuff:

Paleontologists have created detailed three-dimensional images of evolution's first multicellular creatures in their embryonic stages, some so detailed that they reveal more about the development of long-extinct creatures than scientists know about their modern counterparts

Using x-rays and computers, they're looking back through time to the beginning of complex life on Earth.

Some of the embryos exhibit hitherto unknown mechanisms of embryonic development that have since gone extinct. Others have combinations of traits that put them near the lowest branches of the animal kingdom's evolutionary tree.

"The results are truly orgasmic," said Philip C. Donoghue, a paleontologist at Bristol University in England who led the team that created the images.

Ok, he's a paleontologist, so I guess that this would float his boat.

Using the new technique, he and his colleagues have been able to create cutaways, cross-sections and, by stringing together images of embryos at different stages of development, virtual time-lapse sequences of the animals' metamorphosis.

Cartoons for the uber-brainiac.

The images show that one fossil embryo known by the scientific name Markuelia must be most closely related to a modern group of marine invertebrates known as the penis worms, based on the number of teeth it has and the way they are arranged.

Whoa. What was that again?!?!?!

...a modern group of marine invertebrates known as the penis worms, based on the number of teeth...

I've heard of snapping... uh, never mind.

Another image shows that a segmented creature known as Pseudooides had a very unusual means of assembling itself. Modern segmented animals either develop all of their segments early and then simply get bigger, or they grow by adding segments to their hind ends.

But Pseudooides added its segments in the middle, "which is really totally bizarre," Donoghue said.

And that's saying something, considering he can talk about penis worms with teeth like it's no big thang.

Posted by Ted at 04:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: SciTech

Happy Birthday

The Smithsonian is 160 years old today.

Posted by Ted at 05:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 09, 2006


A disturbing, albeit very funny video, courtesy of Curmudgeonly and Skeptical.

I may have to send these to several blog buddies as Christmas presents (anonymously of course).

Thanks to Minister Buckethead for the link to "those".

Posted by Ted at 05:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Links


I stumbled across this while looking for something else (not safe for work).

Mookie sent this link since it reminded her of the infamous Barbies in Bondage post.

From Dick's Rocket Dungeon, a link to a week's worth of pictures from the National Association of Rocketry's Annual Meet (NARAM).

Wow. Zombies, bondage, and rockets all in one post. If Rocket Jones had a nutrition pyramid this would be like a balanced meal.

Posted by Ted at 05:29 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 08, 2006

Synergy again

The Dixie Chicks cancelled 14 shows on their US tour due to poor ticket sales.

The Dixie Chicks don't like President Bush.

Cindy Sheehan just bought property near the President's ranch.

She could hold an anti-Bush concert there featuring the Dixie Chicks! It's what, 5 acres? That's probably big enough to hold all the fans, including parking.

Posted by Ted at 06:12 AM | Comments (1029) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Physician, Heal Thyself

Whatever the editorial equivalent of that is, it really needs doing.

I've been following with some interest the Reuters photography story (lots of links here). If you're unfamiliar with it, read the box.

The Reuters news agency has fired freelance photographer Adnan Hajj for photoshopping photographs. The first conclusive example had dark smoke added to a scene overlooking Beirut. At this point Reuters suspended Hajj. When a second photograph was discovered of an aircraft with additional "missiles" and bombs copy-and-pasted in, they fired him and pulled from their database almost 1,000 pictures that he'd provided them over the course of ten years. Since then, additional photographs have been discovered where he would submit the same scene, shot from different perspectives, as evidence of overnight airstrike damage dated weeks apart. Some of these photos feature the exact same people in them.

The reason I felt it necessary to summarize the story is because it's not being reported. When I mentioned it to co-workers, they hadn't heard a word about it. A search of the local news radio website makes no mention of it, although I did find a story titled News Agencies Stand By Lebanon Photos.

From the story:

"It's hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor.

Which is exactly the criticism that many people have with the news coverage in the middle east. The reporters sit safely inside their "Green Zone" hotels and have paid local stringers bring them the news. They're not covering the stories, they merely collate what is delivered to them before passing it along as fact.

Yet when the public makes this argument, it's disregarded by the media because they're "professionals". There have been a lot of arrogant bastards over the years working to turn journalism into a cult, and if you're not in the cult then you cannot criticize. The sad thing is, they've largely succeeded.

Senior editor Carroll then goes on with this:

Photographers are experienced in recognizing when someone is trying to stage something for their benefit, she said.

So, in other words, they see it often enough to know it when it happens. And maybe, like in Hajj's case, they're ok with staging the scene because it fits their agenda. Good thing the news agencies have layers of professional editorial staffing to keep this from happening... but, aren't all the editors "sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene"? I thought that made it difficult or impossible to "decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy".

Then we get this "professional" opinion:

"Do you really think these people would risk their lives under Israeli shelling to set up a digging ceremony for dead Lebanese kids?" asked Patrick Baz, Mideast photo director for AFP.

Hmmmm... I just did a quick check, and not one source ever indicated that there was shelling going on during the rescue operation. So where did this statement this come from?

More and more, I believe that the weather forecast is the most accurate part of any news program.

Posted by Ted at 06:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Round room. Pee in the corner. You've heard it before.

Ever notice how when a new housing development is going up, if it's Something Estates then it's ritzy and pricey, and if it's Whatever Heights then it's always "affordable" housing. If I had the money, I'd do a development called Estates Heights just to see what would happen.

Posted by Ted at 05:55 AM | Comments (398) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Silent Thunder

The company that is acting as general contractor for our kitchen remodeling project is also doing this memorial.

Posted by Ted at 05:27 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links Military

August 07, 2006

Mark Tuesday, September 19th on your calendaaars

That be Talk Like A Pirate Day, me hearties.

And for those blogging that day, there be this.

Posted by Ted at 07:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Found those 3D glasses yet?

Quite some time ago (we're talking years here), someone posted a whole bunch of 3D photos to the vintage newsgroup that I subscribed to. I created a subfolder for them, downloaded 'em all, and promptly forgot them.

A few months ago, I purchased one of my beloved crappy movie collections and discovered that you could watch each film in either regular 2D or 3D versions. Cool! I mentioned to my wife that I needed some red and blue acetate to make a pair of glasses, and then forgot about it.

Last week (isn't this exciting?) my wife was travelling and found a pair of 3D glasses. Did I want them? You bet.

Alas, the movies are filmed in some "new" 3D technology and require special electronic glasses that are rather expensive for the amount of use I'd get out of them. The company is putting out some new collections for their 3D, but I have better things to spend my money on.

Then I remembered those old 3D photos I'd saved... somewhere. I found them, and now I get to share some of them with you.

Here are the first few. Each photo will appear in a popup window. Make original size for best effect. The naughty ones are labeled as such, so don't go blaming me if you open them up at work (although why you'd be looking at 3D pictures at work is beyond me, you look like a dork in those glasses).

Enjoy, and remember, most of these are vintage.

Miscella Misclean Miscillanious Various.

Insert your own family reunion joke

Sports photos.

Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals, too much work to positively identify

So real you can almost smell the armpits

Bikini alert!


Well, half a bikini

At the beach

Like ViewMaster for Adults! (Rated R - not safe for work)

This one is my favorite

Grandma was a kinky wench! Apparently yours was too.

Warming oneself at the stove

Hot date tonight

Spectacular view, and the mountains are nice too

There are plenty left, so if you're interested in me posting more of these, let me know in the comments or by email.

Posted by Ted at 04:18 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

August 06, 2006

Potential Disappointment

I know some of you have been eagerly looking forward to the movie Snakes On A Plane, but my lawyer tells me that we'll probably be granted our injunction to prevent the release because the studio stole my original idea for Snakes on a Blog without due compensation.

I will admit though, that including Samuel L. Jackson is an improvement over my original idea of inviting Michael Jackson, Jackson Browne, Reggie Jackson and Jackson Pollock to be my co-bloggers.

On advice of my lawyer, I admit nothing.

Posted by Ted at 07:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Sounds dirty, but it ain't

I've been spending some time at that site. One of the things that's been taking up major chunks of life lately is that we're having our kitchen, dining room and adjacent bathroom remodelled. Final plans are due next week and then I'll have a few weeks to get "our" portion of tasks done before construction begins. Yes, construction. There will be walls removed and things rearranged. We've been planning this for years in our mind, and now we've finally taken the plunge.

I told everyone we've sat down with the same thing: We're not doing this to sell the place, because if we were then I'd go cheap. The budget's not unlimited, but we're not going bottom-of-the-line either, because this is for *us*.

We've already picked flooring and carpet. Cabinets and countertops have been selected. All new appliances have been chosen and are being held until needed, and we sat down last night and picked the exact colors for paint (we've collected literally hundreds of paint cards and chips).

This is going to be a huge mess. The end result is going to be beautiful.

Posted by Ted at 07:27 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 05, 2006

You can find anything on the internet

As if that's news to anyone with more imagination than an amoeba.

For instance, The Steely Dan Dictionary.

The creative genii behind Steely Dan (Walter Becker and Donald Fagen) have long been fond of peppering their lyrics with arcane literary and cultural references, the meaning of which can be murky at best (given the duo's legendary reticence). After searching in vain for an explanatory lexicon, I decided to create my own.

I found that via a link from Tuning, which is infrequently updated but always interesting.

And the link for that came from Owlish, who is no longer posting. I miss him. who (holy crap!) just started posting again. Yay!

I would've known that if trackbacks were working, but Mu.Nu has shut them off for good until we migrate to Minx. Lousy spammers. Which makes me wonder how everyone is doing in TTLB's ecosystem. I haven't looked at it in months, but one of the measurements is trackbacks, so I wonder what kind of hit Munuvians are taking.

Posted by Ted at 09:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Short Rocket Video

I have one of these motors, and 3 reload kits to fit.

*grinning like an idiot*

Note: The audio part of that clip, using the limited microphone of the video camera, doesn't come close to capturing the deep, bone-rattling roar of that beast when it ignites.

Posted by Ted at 07:56 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Category: Links Rocketry

August 04, 2006

Forget, Hell

I'm a linking fool. I share all kinds of odd stuff found in the dusty corners of the internet. Once in a while though, I do offer up something more substantial, such as this:

2996 is a project organized by D.C. Roe, to have 2996 bloggers (!) all posting a tribute to a 9/11 victim (names are assigned) on September 11, 2006–the five-year anniversary. Right now there are 1187 blogs signed up, and there’s just over a month to go.

If you can, please sign up and help.

Posted by Ted at 08:18 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Category: Countdown to 9/11 Links

Bumper Sticker

Today while sitting in oh-sooooo-slow Friday traffic, I saw a bumper sticker on a pickup truck:

More Weapons = More Fun

If you follow that link, you'll find gems like this:
Our next shoot in Minong Wisconsin will be Aug 19th, at the Minong Range.
Machine guns, semi-autos, assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, mortars, and cannons.
Tannerite is allowed... Tracer and Incind. ammunition will depend on the weather.

Gotta love folks who play this hard.

Posted by Ted at 08:07 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Bunny blogging, of a sort


Posted by Ted at 11:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

August 03, 2006

Bless their twisted little souls

I've written about Sims torture before, but I didn't know that there was a LiveJournal community devoted to it (I'd link to it, but LiveJournal is screwy about handling community links).

Google is your friend accomplice.

Posted by Ted at 11:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Heads Up

If you've got an old pair of those goofy 3D glasses somewhere, you might want to find 'em.

Just sayin'.

Posted by Ted at 05:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

I have no idea

beats me, and no, that's not an invitation

Well, *that* was amusing. I attempted to translate the title using babelfish and found out that "La Calandria" is Italian for "The Calandria". Imagine that...

Posted by Ted at 05:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

August 02, 2006

Obviously, they were asking for it

Isn't that what they used to say about rape victims?

From Alphecca, I see that muggings and related robberies in the UK are up at least 8 percent this year (and one study says the increase is as much as 22%).

Rotten criminals, eh?

The newspaper headlines say "Rise in crime blamed on iPods".

Remember, there are no bad people. Just people who do bad things. Can't be blaming crime on the folks who commit crime, it must be those darn victims, just begging to be robbed. I can see it now: crowds of people, waving their arms and shouting "Me! Me!!! Rob me!", jumping up and down as they try to be noticed. And those poor put-upon muggers... having to wrestle with that temptation every day. It's inhumane, I tell you.

And it's all our fault. When a society invents iPods, it deserves whatever comes to it. Or so some people want you to think.

Posted by Ted at 05:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Fair Warning

Rocket Jones will be making the switch to the new Minx comment system in the next day or two, so if comments get wonky you'll know why. Drop me an email to let me know if you're having any problems.

Posted by Ted at 05:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

August 01, 2006

Baseball Race

Wicked cool online toy for baseball fans.

Thanks to Off Wing Opinion for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 09:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links
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