April 06, 2008

So what's up?

Remember I talked about the new job at work? Oh yeah, it's been kicking my butt. Lately, life has been work and working around the house, with no time left for much of anything else. I've even taken a hiatus over at Wildside Cinema as a movie reviewer.

I'm playing with ideas to change the look here at Rocket Jones again, kind of as a way to see if that re-energizes me. I haven't had a lot to talk about lately, and most everything I thought worth posting was a link to someone else's funny post.

I'm here, and I expect things will be slightly less dead what with the hockey playoffs, the return of rocket weather, and some truly twisted movies that I've watched lately.

So check back once in a while, and I might surprise you by rearranging a few electrons in the meantime.

Posted by Ted at 08:59 AM | Comments (109) | TrackBack

March 01, 2008

New Gig

At work, things have changed quite a bit. I didn't get promoted, per se, but what I did get was moved from the reports team to the analysis team. Basically, where I used to write programs based on specifications, now I'm one of the people writing those specifications.

I finished up my last bit of official work for the reports team yesterday, and am already waist deep in analysis tasks. It's exciting because there's so much to learn, and I always loved that kind of environment. It's also going to be more stressful because at any time I'll typically have multiple projects that I'm working on, so juggling without fumbling is something I'm going to have to get better at, pronto. Hell, as the new guy I already have three, two of which may be short time frame (unsure at the moment), plus a couple of other things to get done "when I have spare time". Plus the numerous tasks I kept when I moved to the new team ("do a good job, and you keep the job forever").

So life is good. Busy, but good.

Posted by Ted at 04:59 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

March 27, 2007

A Literal Description of my State of Mind

I was surprised last weekend when my wife explained to one of the kids that Rocket Jones meant I was "jones'n" for rockets and my daughter claimed that never knew that. Hmmmm. I've sometimes been referred to as Mr. Jones around here, but I thought that the Cheech and Chong reference was pretty self-evident. Maybe not.

Thanks to YouTube, here is the original Jones. Basketball Jones!

Posted by Ted at 05:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 16, 2006

Tag, I'm It

JohnL has tagged me with a holiday-themed meme.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Both have their place. For egg nog, there must be brandy and nutmeg. And an expiration date clearly and prominently marked.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? As a child, we'd open gift-wrapped family presents on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas morning we'd find Santa's gifts stashed under and around the tree. Santa didn't bother wrapping. With our kids we did the same thing, except Santa delivered wrapped presents.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colors on the tree, and the picket fence is lined with white lights. A single electric "candle" is in each window.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nah, I'm a druid and I refuse to desecrate the sacred plant for a Christian holiday.

5. When do you put your decorations up? On the day after Thanksgiving I go into the attic and pull down all the holiday decorations. During the following week, my wife and the kids decorate while I'm at work and each night I haul boxes back up into the attic.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Liz makes a killer sausage stuffing, and we're collectively addicted to cranberry sauce, but the olde German in me insists that it's the mashed potatoes.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: One year Santa really outdid himself. On Christmas morning our gifts were laid out on a brand new ping-pong table. My brother got an HO-scale train set (which I fell in love with and sparked my lifelong fascination with model railroading). Even better, I scored a .22 bolt action rifle. Another is sitting down with Uncle Art and watching, back to back to back, multiple versions of A Christmas Carol. A television station where we lived did that every year, starting with the oldest available (1930's). Good times.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember but I was pretty young, maybe kindergarten or first grade. I do remember conspiring with my folks to keep my kid brother in the dark far longer than I was.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? All of 'em.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Regardless of the tree (we've had real and artificial over the years), and the lights (colored or all-white), most every ornament is special somehow. Some came from Liz's family tree, others we bought for the kid's special birthdays. We have several wooden ones we bought in a Christkindlmarkt in Perminsens, Germany, and we've made several ourselves. The only real sticky point about tree decorating is that Liz is a tinsel person and I prefer the icecikles (how the heck do you spell that?).

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it. I grew up in a climate without real weather. I relish each change of season.

12. Can you ice skate? Not anymore.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My wife got me one of those electric lightning balls several years before they became common. That was very cool and appealed to my inner mad scientist. As a kid, my Uncle Art gifted us with books. I still have a Rand-McNally World Atlas and a Moon-Flight Atlas from the mid-60's.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family. Reflecting on the good things of the past year. Refreshing my soul by being cheerful to people, whether they appreciate it or not.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pecan pie (Liz makes the best I've ever had).

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? When it's time to open gifts, I sit on the floor and hand out presents one at a time to the family. Everyone gets to ooh and ahh over each other's gifts as we open them.

17. What tops your tree? An old, ratty, beat-up angel that might have come from Liz's Christmas tree when she was a kid. I love it.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving, without a doubt.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Al Jerreau's version of The Christmas Song. White Christmas. The soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Anything I can sing along with.

20. Candy canes: Take it or leave it.

21. Favorite Christmas movie? The 1951 version of A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim. Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol. It's A Wonderful Life.

22. What do you leave for Santa? Dad, er, Santa prefers a Dewars on the rocks.

If you want to give it a go, leave a link in the comments since Mu.Nu trackbacks are disabled. Robbo and Steve the Llamabutchers and Buckethead of the Ministry have already posted theirs.

Posted by Ted at 08:24 AM | Comments (2)

January 27, 2006

Tagged, I'm It

Meme of Fours. It finally found me, via Cat (who is one of three Virginia bloggers that I know using that name (he said, to explain the apparent confusion)).

Four Jobs That I've Had:
1. Games Barker at an amusement park
2. Security Police guarding nuclear weapons
3. Bartender
4. Tupperware Lady

Four Movies I can watch over and over again:
1. Father Goose
2. King Ralph
3. The Incredibles
4. Guarding Tess, Airheads, The Mummy (original or remake), Twister...

Four T.V. Shows I love to watch: (I'm not a TV fan)
1. Hockey
2. Football
3. History Channel

Four Website's I read Daily (I'll keep it to blogs):
1. QandO
2. Two Nervous Dogs
3. Dustbury
4. Dawn's Place (and much of the rest of the blogroll)

Four Places I've Been on Vacation:
1. Brussels, Belgium
2. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
3. Winnepeg, Canada
4. Good Thunder, Minnesota

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Cheese
2. Pork
3. Mexican anything
4. Soup

Four places I’d rather be:
1. Anyplace but the DC metro area

No tags, if you wanna run with it, go for it

Posted by Ted at 11:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 04, 2005

Finally getting around to it

From John at TexasBestGrok (who's blog turned 2 the other day - yay!):

Context: Insects are specialists (drone, workers, queens, etc), where humans are generalists.

The original Heinlein:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Items I've done are in bold, notes and explanations follow.

* Change a diaper - cloth for the first child, disposable for the third, a mix for the middle kid.
* Plan an invasion - in real life a security exercise designed to steal nuclear weapons, on a gameboard for entire continents and galaxies.
* Butcher a hog - deer, pheasant and fish.
* Conn a ship - my Uncle's sailboat, which he sometimes sailed to Hawaii.
* Design a building - the largest that ever made it past the paper stage was a shed.
* Write a sonnet - I've written some pretty bad poetry, but no sonnets of any quality
* Balance accounts - enough to get by.
* Build a wall - wood, brick, and maybe stone next summer.
* Set a bone - a friend's broken finger, although I never want to have to do it again.
* Comfort the dying - I've been fortunate in my life.
* Take orders - thirteen years in the Air Force.
* Give orders - ditto.
* Cooperate
* Act alone
* Solve equations - it's not math... it's not math...
* Analyze a new problem - welcome to computer programming
* Pitch manure - and hay and ground oats (?), family with dairy farms
* Program a computer - my job.
* Cook a tasty meal - check.
* Fight efficiently - fight? yeah. won? yeah. lost? oh yeah.
* Die gallantly - more than once in a simulated fashion while doing security exercises for the Strategic Air Command.

Hey, that's more than I expected!

Posted by Ted at 05:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

I'm flattered, but really?

I found a link to an interesting "type of humor" test over at Boudicca's, and gave it a whirl. I like the results, but I wonder, do you think it's accurate in my case? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

(results in the extended entry)

The formatting is hosed because of Rocket Jones' narrow columns.

the Cutting Edge

(52% dark, 52% spontaneous, 38% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your humor's mostly innocent and off-the-cuff, but somehow there's something slightly menacing about you. Part of your humor is making people a little uncomfortable, even if the things you say aren't in and of themselves confrontational. You probably have a very dry delivery, or are seriously over-the-top. Your type is the most likely to appreciate a good insult and/or broken bone and/or very very fat person dancing.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: David Letterman - John Belushi

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 50% on dark

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on spontaneous

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid

Posted by Ted at 05:55 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Happy Anniversary

24 years ago today, Liz made an honest man of me.

Posted by Ted at 01:44 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

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)

November 17, 2004

Not the herb I was afraid it might be


What herb are you?
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Ignore that last bit about being left alone. My inner-child constantly screams for attention.

Thanks to LeeAnn for the extra bit o' spice in my day.

Posted by Ted at 09:04 AM | Comments (2)

November 03, 2004

State of Ted

Rejected title: You can take the boy out of California...

As my Dad says, "It's all over but the shoutin'." Personally, I've never followed a Presidential election with this much intensity, and my stress level has been higher than a kite over it. I need a little calm and relaxation. I've thought of several methods, many are aerobic and at least a couple are illegal in some states.

President Bush won reelection with more than fifty percent of the popular vote. The importance of that can't be emphasized enough. He didn't win big, but he won big enough.

I have serious problems with President Bush, especially his domestic policy. My choice came down to two things: 1. Senator Kerry and his anti-war activities, and 2. President Bush's handling of the War on Terror.

I cannot and will never forgive Senator Kerry for his words and deeds following his return from Vietnam. I don't know if my attitude would change if he apologized, but he never has. I expect a fair amount of weaseling from politicians, but some matters of honor are beyond that.

Still, the Democrats ran a masterful campaign and damn near pulled it off. They had lots of help, to be sure, but even after presenting a ticket of epic unelectability (is that even a word?), America almost voted these guys into office. I don't think Senator Kerry is contemptous of average Joe American, because I think we don't even register on his radar. We are beneath his notice until he needs something. And what might be even scarier was the idea of being one pushy Secret Service agent away from President Edwards. In the computer programming universe, there's nothing more worrisome than a customer with a little knowlege. That's the definition of Edwards: just enough experience to be dangerous.

I think Dubya has done a pretty good job with WOT and foreign policy in general. I'd like to see his domestic advisors in the unemployment line.

For the record, I don't expect a mass exodus to Canada, but I remain hopeful.

I'd also like to thank George Soros for his massive spending on this campaign. As a free market capitalist, I've got to approve of that many millions of dollars being injected into our economy.

I believe that the Swift Boat Veterans once again served their country with honor. I'm proud to be known as a veteran, and hope that some day if called upon I can rise to the challenge with their conviction, dignity and courage.

I had a personal epiphany last year. I realized that I don't have the answers to many of the hard questions, and that for the most part, neither does anyone else. My personal wisdom might be knowing that I'm not wise enough to know what to do sometimes. I muddle along and try to do my best, which is about what I hope for from people in general.

I don't believe that President Bush is actually hated by almost half the country. Democrats in general are not the enemy, and both parties have to muzzle the fringe elements. We may never know how many people changed their vote because of the bad behavior (as minor as tearing down signs, as major as attempting to mislead the public using obviously forged documents).

527's should be history. Campaign reform is badly needed. Let's try it again, with a little common sense and forethought this time.

I'm shocked at the sweeping rejection of gay marriage as a concept. I grew up in the Bay Area of California, and had a lesbian couple as our next door neighbor for years. It's no biggie to me. Obviously, it still is to more people than I'd realized. I support compromise of some sort, call it 'civil unions' or whatever, but we need to catch up to reality. Passing a law doesn't make it go away.

Of all the issues on the table, abortion is the one I'm most conflicted about. I don't think I believe that life begins at conception. I am pro-choice. I am anti-abortion, and wish they were never ever performed. I hate that some people consider abortion a form of birth control.

Last night, Rachael and I split a huge steak, BBQ'd Texas-style over an open fire. To balance it out, we also had grilled asparagus, for the nuance don't'cha know.

One last thing. Michael Moore, here's your sign:

Posted by Ted at 05:30 AM | Comments (2)

October 07, 2004

Steely-eyed Missile Man

If you peruse the latest issue of the NOVAAR Free Press (here in .pdf format), you can read about some of the neat stuff we've been doing rocketry-wise here in Northern Virginia. As an added bonus, yours truly is pictured in there twice and mentioned thrice!!!

I suggest printing it out and sliding it under your refrigerator to scare away vermin.

Actually, there's a very nice shot of the Air Munuviana prior to her maiden flight.

Posted by Ted at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2004

Something you didn't know about me

I was Vice President of the Junior Anarchist Club in high school.

Posted by Ted at 05:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2004

A day of some note

Some notable things that happened on September 8th.

1565 - 1st permanent settlement in US forms (St Augustine, Florida)
1755 - Battle at Lake George: English army beats France
1760 - French army gives Montreal to Gen Jeffrey Amherst
1892 - 1st appearance of "Pledge of Allegiance" (Youth's Companion)
1920 - US Air Mail service begins (NYC to SF)
1921 - 1st Miss America crowned (Margaret Gorman of Washington DC)
1930 - 1st appearance of comic strip "Blondie"
1930 - Richard Drew creates Scotch tape
1944 - 1st V-2 rockets land in London & Antwerp
1945 - Hideki Tojo, Japanese PM during most of WW II, attempts suicide rather than face war crimes tribunal. Attempt fails, later he is hanged
1952 - Ernest Hemmingway's "Old Man & Sea" published
1959 - Ted of Rocket Jones enters the world. Mom slaps doctor.
1963 - Braves Warren Spahn ties Christy Mathewson with 13 20-win seasons
1965 - KC A's Bert Campaneris plays all 9 positions in a game
1966 - "Star Trek" premieres on NBC-TV
1966 - "That Girl" starring Marlo Thomas premieres on ABC-TV
1974 - Pres Gerald Ford pardons former Pres R Nixon of all federal crimes

Famous birthdays on September 8 ...

1157 - Richard I, [Richard the Lion Hearted], King of England (1189-99)
1897 - Jimmie Rodgers, Mendoza Mississippi, country singer/singing brakeman
1915 - Frank Cady, actor (Mr Drucker-Green Acres)
1922 - Lyndon LaRouche, American presidental candidate (1980)
1922 - Sid Caesar, Yonkers NY, comedian (Your Show of Shows)
1925 - Peter Sellers, England, actor (not now, Kato, Bobo, Pink Panther)
1932 - Patsy Cline, Winchester Va, country singer (Crazy)
1945 - Jose Feliciano, musician
1945 - Rogie Vachon, Quebec, NHL goalie (Canadiens, Kings, Vezina-1968)
1945 - Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Calif, rocker (Grateful Dead, Grass Roots)
1946 - Dean Daughtry, rock keyboardist (Atlanta Rhythm Section)
1956 - Maurice Cheeks, NBA guard (NY Knicks, Phila '76ers)
1971 - Cristy Thom, LA Ca, playmate (Feb, 1991)
1978 - Marco Sturm, Dingolfing GER, NHL forward (Sharks, Team Germany 1998)
1981 - Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Bethlehem PA, actor (Randy-Home Improvement)

Famous deaths on September 8 ...

0394 - Arbogast, French general, commits suicide
0701 - Sergius I, Syrian/Italian Pope (687-701), dies
0780 - Leo IV de Chazaar, Byzantine Emperor (775-80), dies
1100 - Clement III, [Wibert van Ravenna], 1st anti-pope (1084-1100), dies
1895 - Adam Opel, German manufacturer (motorcars), dies at 58
1914 - William E Darwin, British son of Charles Darwin, dies at 74
1933 - Faisal I ibn Hussein ibn Ali, 1st king of Iraq/Syria, dies at 50
1935 - Carl Austin Weiss, murderer of Sen Huey Long, shot down
1935 - Huey P Long, (Sen-La) assassinated at Baton Rouge Capitol building
1949 - Richard Strauss, German composer (Also sprach Zarathustra), dies at 85
1951 - Jurgen Stroop, Nazi commander of Warsaw Ghetto, executed
1962 - Hermann Standiger, German chemist (Nobel 1953), dies at 84
1974 - Robert Cox, last surviving member of Keystone Kops, dies at 79
1977 - Zero [Samuel J] Mostel, US actor (Fiddler on the Roof), dies at 62
1980 - Bruce Dooland, cricketer (prolific leggie for Notts), dies
1981 - Hediki Joekawa, Japans physicist (Nobel 1949) at 74
1981 - Roy Wilkins, longtime executive director of NAACP, dies at 80
1983 - Antonin Magne, French bicylist (won Tour de France 1931, 34), dies

For some odd reason, an unusually high number of poets and composers died on this date.

Check your birthday here. Link thanks to the Meatriarch.

Posted by Ted at 09:44 PM | Comments (8)

June 10, 2004

I'm easy to spot in traffic

I don't just sing along with the radio. I conduct.

Posted by Ted at 06:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 09, 2004

I don't *feel* deprived

I have never seen a single episode of The Soprano's, Sex in the City, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, American Idol, Survivor, or any reality show other than one episode of The Amazing Race midway through it's first season.

Posted by Ted at 11:01 AM | Comments (6)

June 05, 2004

It's not that it bothers me, but I do notice so I assume you do too

My usage of punctuation and the other doodads of writing is rather cavalier. I'm sure I use a dash when a semicolon would do, and vice-versa. You may cringe that I throw commas around like a cop writing tickets to meet his quota. Consistancy? Hah! I will damn well italicize whenever I wish, thank you. And I never met a convoluted sentence structure that I didn't like. It should be obvious to all that I hated, Hated, HATED those fiddly bits in English class. But I think the message gets across, which is what it's all about, eh?

I am fishing for comments curious about this. Does my writing make you grit your teeth?

Posted by Ted at 10:48 AM | Comments (14)

June 02, 2004

Late, but it's not like anyone cares

Favorite bands, alphabetically. First seen at Blather Review.

A - Joan Armitrading, Atlanta Rhythm Section
B - Beach Boys, Bachmann-Turner Overdrive
C - Chicago, Alice Cooper
D - Doobie Brothers, Diamond Rio
E - Earth, Wind & Fire, Electric Light Orchestra
F - Foghat, Myron Floren
G - Grateful Dead, Guess Who
H - Heart, Head East
I - Incubus
J - Jethro Tull
K - Kansas
L - Little Feat, Lovin' Spoonful
M - Glenn Miller, Michael Stanley Band, Molly Hatchet
N - Night Ranger
O - Orleans (yeah, I like 'em. deal with it)
P - Pablo Cruise, Pink Floyd
Q - Queen
R - Rainmakers, Lou Rawls
S - Styx, Sly & the Family Stone, Spinners
T - Temptations, Third Eye Blind, Tubes
U - Black Uhuru
V - Van Halen
W - War, Bob Marley & the Wailers
X - Xavier Cugat
Y - Weird Al Yankovich
Z - Frank Zappa, ZZ Top

Posted by Ted at 05:14 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2004

The secret life of my inner-geek

Over at the Llama Butchers, Robert comes out of the geek-closet and lists ten things that he knows way too much about to be considered healthy. Well, I have a few of those niche interests myself, so here's my list:

1. Stonehenge
2. Druids
3. Star Trek paperback novels (original series)
4. WWII Battle of Midway
6. Car Wars game
7. The Fantasy Trip role-playing game
8. H.P. Lovecraft
9. Hitchcock movies
10. James Garner

Things I know quite a bit about but not enough to go on that list:

1. Cooking
2. Gardening
3. Hockey
4. 60's & 70's tennis
5. Cary Grant movies
6. Movie musicals
7. Woodworking, cabinetry and carpentry
8. Oakland/LA/Oakland Raiders
9. San Francisco Giants

Robert also asks that you run with this and post your own list, however long or short, on your own place if you have one. Feel free to leave it in my comments if you'd rather.

Posted by Ted at 06:15 AM | Comments (5)

May 04, 2004

Ribbons, Military, Mine

Rob posted the medals he was awarded while in the Navy, and Wind Rider put up his collection as well. Here are my modest awards, plus a couple of other bits that I'm proud of.

(in the extended entry)

My ribbons, from top left to bottom right: AF Commendation Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Organizational Excellence Award, AF Good Conduct Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, AF Overseas Long Tour Award, AF Longevity Award, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, AF Training Ribbon.

Check out Wind Rider's post here for an excellent explanation of most of these. I'm not positive that these are entirely up to date.

The first of the Humanitarian Service Medals was recieved for helping out during spring flooding of the Red River in Grand Forks, North Dakota in the late 1970's. Base personnel pitched in and helped sandbag levees. For an idea of how bad the flooding could be, most of downtown Grand Forks wound up underwater about 10 years ago after the spring thaw.

The second Humanitarian Service Medal (designated by the oak leaf) was awarded for assistance provided immediately following the Flugtag Airshow Disaster.

The Marksman Ribbon was for shooting expert with the M16, the oak leaf was for shooting expert with the .38 revolver. I also qualified with the M60 machine gun and the M203 grenade launcher. Loved every second of it.

The following picture is a closeup of my Security Police badge.

Here is my SP badge flanked by my beret crest (USAF SP's wear a dark blue beret) on the left, and an old-style Strategic Air Command (SAC) fatigue uniform patch on the right. The patch is from the days before everything went camouflage ('subdued' in military-speak).

Finally, a picture of the two other major units I was attached to. On the left is another uniform patch, this time the subdued version of the AF Communications Command. Almost all USAF computer types are part of AFCC. The other, smaller badge, is for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), which was my last assignment before getting out. DLA is a joint service command, meaning that all branches of the service have people assigned there.

Posted by Ted at 12:41 AM | Comments (4)

April 13, 2004

I'm on a roll!

Sometimes being a reasonable adult is just too much fun.

First, read all about it at Susie's. I got lumped into the category of right-wing Freeper trolls because I questioned a "poll". The author of the "poll" then claimed that it was "commentary". I guess that's one way of looking at it, especially if you get called on it by reasonable people. Of course, while trying to have a discussion of the points made, some moonbat wigged out at Susie and called her a Nazi.

Next, over at CD's place, I was accused of being a Hitler admirer by a conservative moonbat because I dared to suggest that people might disagree with their position because they actually believed differently. An innocent enough remark in my mind, but apparently enough to send one whackjob into attack mode.

Adios to both of those places (not Susie's, but the other two) because I just don't have the time nor inclination to listen to ranting and raving from either end of the political spectrum. I don't normally make a big deal out of delinking people, and I'm not really here either, because I never linked to the one place, and I'll just stop visiting the other.

I said it once, I'll say it again: right wing moonbats = left wing moonbats. Lesson learned (again).

Posted by Ted at 10:50 AM | Comments (10)

March 10, 2004

Old-fashioned Gentleman

Last night, I once again had the pleasure of Dawn’s company for dinner. She’s bright, witty, vivacious, and neener neener because you missed out.

She said something that stuck in my mind and got me to thinking. Dawn told me that she wasn’t used to guys being gentlemen. You see, I open doors for ladies, including car doors. I held her coat while she put it on. I walk on the outside of the sidewalk. It’s basic manners that I learned from my dad, and now unusual enough to be remarkable.

Shame on you guys.

Update: I removed all the silly footnotes. It flows better without them, and obscured the fact that I actually had a point to make.

Posted by Ted at 09:02 AM | Comments (6)

Y'all are a bad influence on me

I didn't used to take these stupid quizzes...

Scroll in your toga?
Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?
"Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just glad to see me?"
You're smooth, okay, but you also need a girlfriend. Bad.

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
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Saw this all over the place (and sorry if I've not included you).

Posted by Ted at 06:47 AM | Comments (1)

March 01, 2004


I took the 'Peanuts' quiz (found all over).

( results in the extended entry)

You are Sally!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
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Posted by Ted at 11:42 AM | Comments (5)

February 19, 2004

What? Where's the damn couch?

My "Big 30" Psychological Profile, because everyone knows you don't need years of education in order to disect my soul and tell all about me, just 155 questions.

(in the extended entry)

I saw this one over at DeMythology, and Glenn talks about a different one that he took.

Advanced Big 30 Personality Test Results
Sociability ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%
Gregariousness |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Assertiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Activity Level ||||||||||||||| 50%
Excitement-Seeking ||||||||||||||| 42%
Enthusiasm |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Extroversion ||||||||||||||||||||| 61%
Trust ||||||||||||||| 50%
Morality |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Altruism ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%
Cooperation ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Modesty ||||||||||||||| 46%
Sympathy |||||||||||||||||| 58%
Friendliness |||||||||||||||||| 57%
Confidence ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%
Neatness |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Dutifulness |||||||||||||||||||||||| 74%
Achievement |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Self-Discipline |||||||||||| 38%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Orderliness |||||||||||||||||| 57%
Anxiety |||||||||||| 34%
Volatility ||||||||||||||| 46%
Depression ||| 10%
Self-Consciousness ||||||||| 30%
Impulsiveness ||||||||||||||| 42%
Vulnerability ||||||||| 26%
Emotional Stability ||||||||||||||||||||| 69%
Imagination |||||||||||||||||||||||| 78%
Artistic Interests |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Emotionality |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Adventurousness ||||||||||||||||||||| 62%
Intellect ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Liberalism |||||||||||| 38%
Openmindedness ||||||||||||||||||||| 64%
Take Free Advanced Big 30 Personality Test
Posted by Ted at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)

February 13, 2004

Since I won't stop and ask directions, I'd better have a good mind map

Found this over at Coyote's Bark.

Your Brain Usage Profile

Auditory : 53%
Visual : 46%
Left : 52%
Right : 47%

Ted, your hemispheric dominance is equally divided between left and right brain, while you show a moderate preference for auditory versus visual learning, signs of a balanced and flexible person.

Your balance gives you the enviable capacity to be verbal and literate while retaining a certain "flair" and individuality. You are logical and compliant but only to a degree. You are organized without being compulsive, goal-directed without being driven, and a "thinking" individual without being excessively so.

The one problem you might have is that your learning might not be as efficient as you would like. At times you will work from the specific to the general, while at other times you'll work from the general to the specific. Sometimes you will be logical in your approach while at other times random. Since you cannot always control the choice, you may experience frustrations not normally felt by persons with a more defined and directed learning style.

You may also minimally experience conflicts associated with auditory processing. You will be systematic and sequential in your processing of information, you will most often focus on a single dimension of the problem or material, and you will be more reflective, i.e., "taking the data in" as opposed to "devouring" it.

Overall, you should feel content with your life and yourself. You are, perhaps, a little too critical of yourself - and of others - while maintaining an "openness" which is redeeming. Indecisiveness is a problem and your creativity is not in keeping with your potential. Being a pragmatist, you downplay this aspect of yourself and focus on the more immediate, the more obvious and the more functional.

I was nodding right along with this up until the indecisiveness bit at the end. I'm decisive when it counts, but I don't feel the need to make every decision in every situation. Easygoing is not the same as indecisive. As for creative, well, I think I am. Wanna see a booger snowman? Talk about creative!

Posted by Ted at 10:16 PM | Comments (2)

January 29, 2004

More places to see and people to do, International style

Thanks to the Gray Monk, via GDay Mate, another map-generating site, this time of the world showing the countries I've visited.

(in the extended entry)

create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

For the geographically disinclined, that's Canada, US, Mexico, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and England. I'm such a homebody.

Posted by Ted at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2004

Places to see, people to do

Thanks to Daniel, I now have a personalized US map showing all the states I've visited (in red).

Being in the military helps, especially if you drive from one assignment to another.

For those eagle-eyed individuals, I do not have teleportation superpowers, Texas has airports.

And I may have driven through Arkansas on a trip from Minnesota to Mississippi, but I'm not positive, so I didn't mark it.

It's in the extended entry.

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Posted by Ted at 07:50 AM | Comments (6)

January 04, 2004

Ted - South Park style

My friend Kyle is a scathingly brilliant caricaturist (props to the first person to identify the reference there), as evidenced by the cartoon of me in the extended entry.

He drew it a couple of years ago, and it still makes me laugh.

I hope he burns in hell.


Posted by Ted at 08:05 AM | Comments (7)

December 28, 2003


A photograph of one of our dogs, in the extended entry. Just because.


Because protecting the family is so exhausting...

Posted by Ted at 08:05 PM | Comments (1)

December 23, 2003

The Year Santa Started World War III

This is a song I wrote in 1979 or ’80. I was in the Air Force, stationed in Grand Forks, North Dakota with the Strategic Air Command (SAC). It definitely reflects my life and mindset at the time, considering where I was and what I was doing. It’s a little dated now that the Soviet Union is no more, but I think it still works. I wish I could post the music with it (and you should be glad I don’t know how to post audio). Anyway, the various snippets of Christmas carols are mostly sung to their original melodies and rhythms, and the background is a simple glockenspiel line or finger-picked guitar.

The Year Santa Started World War III

Deck the halls with jingle bells, jingle bells, and lots of Christmas cheer,
I remember all the fuss at Christmas time that year.

Our spies had found the Russians out,
Discovered quite a trick,
On Christmas eve a missile dressed as Santa Claus would hit.
Washington would be aglow,
With more than Christmas cheer,
Wouldn’t need no Christmas lights, the next ten thousand years.

Ho Ho Ho, Fa La La La Laaaaaa,
And a silent night,
We’ll intercept that phony Santa and blast it out of sight.

Christmas eve had rolled around,
And everything was set,
Our missiles were all poised to strike at Rudolph the Red Threat.
We tracked it on our radar,
And let our missile fly,
It hit and as we watched in awe it lit up half the sky.

Wise men ‘round the world agree,
That on that holy night,
We intercepted something and we blew it out of sight.

Radar screens began to light up,
All across the land,
It soon was plain to everyone that doomsday was at hand.
Kids still talk about it,
As the yule that never was,
America had shown it’s might and nuked poor Santa Claus.

Dashing through the snow,
Up on the rooftop reindeer pause,
With Uncle Sam as Mr. Scrooge we nuked poor Santa Claus.

A lesson quite apparent,
No need to dig down deep,
Just need one to wage a war, need two to wage a peace.
“Do You See What I See”
is a motto for all men,
God intended Christmas as a time to start again.

Ho Ho Ho, Fa La La La Laaaaaa,
Children’s Christmas dreams,
First Noel reminds that nothing’s as bad as it seems.

Partridges and pear trees,
Holly decks the halls,
Peace on earth to everyone, and God bless one and all.
Peace on earth to everyone, and God bless one and all.

Posted by Ted at 07:10 AM | Comments (1)

December 10, 2003


Jennifer has posted my answers to a whole heap o' nosy damn questions. I ran the questions through the gender-determiner, and discovered that all of them were written by females! Boy howdy, that made me feel good.

Next, a quick stop at the syntax/rhetoric-analyzer, and I found out that all those females were really just two. I still felt ok about it.

A little further digging and parsing, and all I can say is: Thanks Mookie. Thanks also to Bill, because your style gives you away every time you whiny little bitch.

Heh. I still feel good. :p

(For the humor-impaired - or those that think I am - that was a joke. Thanks for all the questions. Seriously.)

Posted by Ted at 08:55 AM | Comments (3)

December 01, 2003

A Cornucopia of Ted

aka 100 Things

...in no particular order...

1. I was a Boy Scout.
2. I was an alterboy too.
3. I was a Security Policeman in the Air Force.
4. I’ve touched a nuclear bomb.
5. I hotwired and stole a car in high school. That was intentional, but wrapping it around a tree wasn’t.
6. I played trombone in school. My yearbook has a picture of me in a shirt that says “Trombone Players Do It In Seven Positions”.
7. I bought my first guitar when I got orders to North Dakota. I figured I’d need something to do during the winter. I taught myself.
8. I played rhythm guitar in an Air Force band.
9. I’m right handed, but can shoot equally well with either hand.
10. I completed enough classes for majors in Computer Science, Psychology, Law Enforcement, and Military Science, but I never graduated from college.
11. A retired Marine once told me that I was the most unmilitary person he’d ever met. I guess almost thirteen years in the Air Force didn’t help much.
12. I’ve been described as cynical and revengeful.
13. My wife never once got up in the middle of the night to feed the baby. That was my time with the kids. I’m not exaggerating – not once.
14. I lost a football bet with my wife and had to do the laundry for 5 years.
15. I fervently believe it’s unAmerican not to cheat at Monopoly. My wife won’t play anymore if I'm in the game.
16. The first time I met my wife, I was too trashed to stand up.
17. I played several sports in high school, but my best sport was tennis.
18. My tennis coach was a nationally ranked checkers player.
19. I had my 18th birthday in basic training.
20. I’m very intelligent, but intellectually lazy.
21. I’ve got a phobia about math. I can do complex algorithms for computers all day long, but call it math and I go brain-dead.
22. The last time I visited my best friend, we repo’d cars for a couple of days just for fun.
23. I’ve sold cartoons to the Marriott Corporation, and been published in Air Force newspapers.
24. I slept on the living room floor for five years.
25. My hobbies are music, reading, art, woodworking, cooking, gardening, and rocketry. I’ll have projects going on in several of these at any time.
26. My last woodworking project was a wall vanity and mirror. There wasn’t a single screw or nail used.
27. When I got out of the Air Force, my commander presented me with a flag that had flown over the Capitol building. His other gift to me was clearing my record so as to be allowed to reenlist if I so desired (I had had a run-in with a by-the-book idiot at my previous assignment, which ruined my desire to finish my military career).
28. I love terrible jokes and childish riddles.
29. I was born in Fresno, California in September, 1959. Even though all I did was sleep, eat, cry and poop my way through the last three months of the decade, my kids take great glee is pointing out that I was alive in the 50’s.
30. I grew up in San Jose, California when it was still rural. Way before it became the ‘silicon valley’.
31. Both my parents retired from Hewlett-Packard.
32. I saved my money and bought my first car in North Dakota. It was a yellow ’74 Dodge Charger.
33. I had to ask what the plug hanging out of the grille was for.
34. My childhood mainly consisted of running the streets and fields around the neighborhood with my friends. For money in the summer, we cut apricots for drying, picked cherries, and sold cold soda to the migrant farm workers.
35. The property next to our neighborhood was a minimum security State Mental Institution. The ‘loonies’ grew their own crops to sell at a roadside stand. We made fun of them, they made fun of us.
36. I don’t kiss-and-tell. Ever.
37. Except for our time spent in Germany, I’ve always owned at least one dog.
38. I was a Tupperware salesman-of-the-month once.
39. I’ve written radio commercial jingles.
40. I’ve worked part-time as a bartender. Debutante balls in Alabama is the definition of ‘old money’.
41. Another regular bartending gig was for the Air War College special functions. At one called ‘A Gathering of Eagles’, I met the highest ranking surviving Japanese ace from WWII, two German aces, and three US Medal of Honor winners. It was a humbling and awe-inspiring evening.
42. I used to DJ.
43. I have one younger brother. Haven’t spoken to him in years, although I don’t hate him anymore.
44. I’m artistic and creative.
45. I’ve had my rights read to me several times. Once on my back with a police dog standing on my chest.
46. I’ve seen the Flying Elvis’. Took the kids with too. Where else but America, eh?
47. On our first date, I took my wife to see the Blues Brothers. She thought I was weird because I watched the movie.
48. After the movie, we bought wine and I played guitar and sang to her under the stars until dawn.
49. Boy, was her brother pissed at me. She was living with him for the summer.
50. After we got engaged, my wife had to go back home to attend her senior year of high school.
51. My wife is from Baltimore, I’m from San Jose, we met in North Dakota. Go figure.
52. The first words I ever spoke to my sister-in-law were ‘Listen bitch-‘. At that point my wife took the phone away from me.
53. The first time I met my father-in-law, he took me to a strip club to see how I would react. I invited a biker to sit with us for a beer. My father-in-law was president of a steelworkers union.
54. My mother-in-law loves me. She thinks I’m weird as hell, but she loves me.
55. I punched a doctor once. I’ve been thrown out of doctor’s offices twice.
56. Once I helped kidnap a bride coming down the steps of a church. We grabbed her, threw her in our car, and spent the afternoon driving from bar to bar and avoiding the groom. We dropped her back off at the church that evening, drunk off her ass. (Yes, one of us knew her)
57. I almost killed someone with my M16 on two occasions. Both justified. Both times, the safety was off, my finger was squeezing the trigger, but something came between me and the target so I didn’t shoot. Another time, I was very close to shooting someone with a grenade launcher.
58. I’ve worked an eight hour shift outdoors in 40 below zero windchill.
59. After five winters in North Dakota as a Security Policeman, I cross-trained into Computer Programming.
60. I ran payroll for the Department of Education from my house. Did their drug testing program too.
61. I’m pretty non-confrontational, to the point where I surprise my wife when I get in someone’s face. I’m not a pushover, I just pick my battles and try to see both sides of a disagreement.
62. I’ve gotten a lot more diplomatic as I’ve gotten older.
63. As a kid, spaghetti-o’s was my favorite food.
64. I built our first living room set; two end tables, a coffee table, and a hide-a-bed sofa.
65. I used to play war games. I’ve only played D&D once or twice, but I did play a similar game (The Fantasy Trip by Steve Jackson.) Played Car Wars too.
66. I once legally purchased a handgun in Minnesota using an Alabama permit when my permanent address was in North Dakota.
67. My favorite pizza is onion and green pepper.
68. Except for shrimp and scallops, I hate most seafood. I can eat food like fish & chips or McDonalds Filet-o-fish sandwiches, but that’s because I like tarter sauce, not the fish.
69. Mexican food is my favorite. I grew up eating it.
70. Soups are way up on that list too.
71. There is a Phipps township in South Dakota named after an ancestor on my Dad’s side. There was also a Commodore Phipps in the British Royal Navy way back too. It’s rumored that he helped kick ass against the Spanish Armada, but I have absolutely no evidence either way.
72. My dad was born in Minnesota, my mom in Iowa. I have relatives all over the country, including Washington, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
73. My Dad says my ethnicity is Heinz-57. I’ve got a bit of English, Scottish, German and a dollop of Indian blood. My wife is German and Scandinavian.
74. I was shot at twice in the Air Force. Both times, the correct response was to take cover and let them run out of ammunition, which I did. Once I did ask if I could call in an air strike. My request was denied. I was kidding, but my commander wasn’t sure.
75. As a policeman, I was pulled over on-duty for ‘disturbing the peace’ by another cop – for playing with the PA system.
76. I’ve always believed that if you surround yourself with interesting people, you’ll never be bored.
77. When I was born, I looked like Alfred Hitchcock.
78. Nothing is sexier than a woman wearing glasses.
79. I prefer brunettes or redheads. My wife is a blonde.
80. My kids could sing In-a-gadda-da-vida before they were old enough for school. I taught them that to freak out babysitters.
81. I used to teach my niece a bad habit every time I saw her. Once it was to blow a raspberry, and another time to wink and say ‘Hey sailor, got a nickel?’
82. I didn’t start smoking until after I got married. I quit four years ago.
83. We always have alcohol in the house, but I almost never drink.
84. I’ve seen a ghost.
85. I write decent erotica.
86. When I die, I want my body disposed of as cheaply as possible. Burial, cremation, soylent green, whatever. Don’t spend money on something I no longer care about. I told my wife that she should throw a great party instead.
87. I’ve had a Top Secret clearance for 25 years. The last time I had it renewed, the reviewer asked if I ever did an illegal substance, and I told him that I didn’t inhale.
88. I once had to get a NATO Cosmic Top Secret clearance. I still have no idea why.
89. My best friend (that I'm not married to) is married to a woman from Kenya, before that he was married to a lady from the Ukraine, and before that a Minnesotan.
90. One of my best friends in the military went home and became a tribal shaman.
91. I’m afraid of heights, but I love roller coasters.
92. Having kids was the single most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.
93. My dream is to leave the computer field and teach junior high (middle) school. Right now, the money is just too good where I'm at.
94. My wife loves to travel, I’m a homebody.
95. I’ll forget things if I don’t put them on a list. I’m compulsive about it.
96. Snakes don’t bother me. Neither do rodents (except for the startle factor), but spiders freak me out. It’s a shame too, because they’re fascinating creatures.
97. I love scary movies and old horror. Modern day slasher flicks do nothing for me, I want to be scared. I also love terrible movies. Stuff like Flesh Gordon or Nice Girls Don’t Explode. Killer Klowns from Outer Space is another great one, so is Amazon Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death. Kathleen Kinmont is a goddess.
98. Cary Grant is my favorite actor.
99. My wife knows me so well that she can point out women that she knows I'll find especially attractive.
100. I’m a terrible procrastinator. In fact, this list has been three-quarters done for months.

Posted by Ted at 08:39 AM | Comments (14)

July 01, 2003

I Ain't What I'm Not

Hi. I'm just a guy in his early 40's, with a wonderful wife of 22+ years and 3 kids. My son (the oldest) is in the US Navy, serving on an attack sub. Daughter one is going to college out of state. Our youngest daughter is still in high school.

I was born and raised in Northern California, before it became the 'Silicon Valley'. My wife is from Baltimore. We met in North Dakota. We waited a year to get married so she could go back and finish high school.

I joined the US Air Force out of high school, and never went back to California. We now live in Virginia, which is where I was when I got out of the Air Force after 13 years. I work as a computer consultant.

My dream is to get away from this area and become a teacher. Maybe when the last kid is done with high school.

I'm registered Republican, but I vote for whoever I damn well want, for my own reasons.

I don't drink often, but when I do I prefer Dewers White Label scotch. Rum is medicinal, not a libation. Tequila is for getting drunk (pass the lime, hold the salt).

Hobbies: Rocketry, reading, gardening and landscaping, cooking, woodworking, and playing the guitar poorly.

Favorite author: No contest: Robert Heinlein. Harold Coyle is good too, as is H.P. Lovecraft, Orson Scott Card, and I could just go on and on....

(anything history too)

Music: I tend towards hard rock, but pretty much anything including Big Band, classical, jazz, R&B, country, etc. I like a lot of what's on today.

Posted by Ted at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)
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