Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘way cool’ Category

We were at The Dude and Crazy Cat Lady’s Cat ranch for the Xth annual bonfire and Roman Food Orgy.

20111023-134633.jpg

We ate more than was healthy, and then we ate more than was safe or reasonable.

I am STILL waddling.

Here is how my plate went down…

BBQ pork (shredded), bulkogi beef, corn chips, cheese-distillated (fractionated) product, synthetic onion-flavored sour-cream dip, spaghetti, horseradish, seconds on bulkogi beef, two chocolate-chip cookies, two slices of pumpkin bread, two halloween-style sugar cookies, and a bottle of tonic water.

Lots of kids were there and a number of friends, too. The Dude, ID10T-Killer, Black Lab on Crank, and Tenacious Bulldog.

Prometheus brought fire, too, I guess.

After test driving my iPad briefly (only three hours after I used it 10 minutes following the three hour setup), I heard Cruel Wife go “OOOOOOH” and at that point I knew we were going to go buy her one as well.

I can see how we’ll get our money’s worth already. They keep the kids quiet on car trips – using Angry Birds. I can see how Cut the Rope will be a useful tool as well.

Read Full Post »

Our cat – Jack – has been whizzing all over the house, and I don’t mean “moving fast”.  It all started about the time he snuck outside and stayed there the whole day – shortly thereafter my dad came to visit for four days with his wife.

He’s whizzed four feet off the floor.  I can’t do that, so I have to wonder what kind of internal pressures cats are capable of.

At the vet’s office they looked at his urine test results, stuck a thermometer up his butt (at which point he lost his cool about the whole “let’s go to the vet” thing), palpated everything (hiss, phffffft), looked at his eyes and teeth (phffft, phfffft, growl), and checked his paws (double helpings on everything all around).

The vet concluded what I could have told him – that it was behavioral – and I knew this to 99-and-four-nines percent certainty.   Odds are that the black cat who keeps going through our yard is freaking him out and dad’s visit didn’t help matters.

What was the doc’s advice?  10 mg Amitriptyline once daily.  Great, my cat is on antipsychotics.

Of course we all knew that cats are psychotic furry little animal-world gangsters, anyway.  Or small irritable french women in cheap fur coats.

And at the pharmacy the gal asked if I was from Texas.

No, but I drove through northern Texas once.  No family there, either.

I found out that there is another me, by the same exact name, in Texas.  He has a Jack, too.  A dog though.  I told the gal that the odds weren’t high for that combination and she thought it strange, too.  Good thing the other me’s dog wasn’t a cat or I’d have gotten wiggy.

I got home and threw a pill down his gullet.  He’s been waaaaay sleepy ever since.  Kind of nice because he’s not picking on his sister.

****

Cool science thing for today… using DNA to order quantum dots.

****

Mmmm… Mobius bacon.  The plan was to put this over two eggs sunny-side up with a few IED’s next to it all and call it the “Grand Salaam Breakfast – Two Mobius Strips and Moons over IED’s.  But gosh-darn it, I’m tired and it was frankly starting to look like too much work.  So anyway, there’s some mobius bacon.  Wonder how it’d look on a tote or a t-shirt…

In related news, I gave up trying to do a Klein Pig.  Maybe later.  It was making my brain smoke.

****

That’s funny… the guy has never been known for his sense of humor unless you thought he could walk on water, in which case you had to laugh at his jokes, or else be left behind after the Rapture.

“That’s why all his confirmation — all the answers at his confirmation hearings will be in a form of a question,” Obama said to silence.

“That’s a joke,” he reminded the audience.

Obama’s lead souffle falling as he babbled about nominating Richard Cordray to run the consumer bureau

Thing is, Big O, if you have to tell someone it is a joke you might as well not draw attention to yourself with an even more awkward thing like saying “That’s a joke”.  Because then it’s like wrassling a girl – if you win, you beat a girl – if you lose, you got beaten by a girl.  If you have to say it was a joke then either yet again no one will find it funny – OR – they’ll do this little pity-chuckle which is even worse.   You lost, man – let it go.

****

Hey, good news kid!  You get your cast off today!  And then you get a new one after the re-attachment surgeries to put your fingers back on.  Way to go, dad.

more later

Read Full Post »

Hooray MESSENGER!

Yay!  MESSENGER successfully went into orbit around Mercury tonight.  An awful lot of us breathed a sigh of relief.  There are three options when approaching a planet like they did – (a) You match velocity and make a successful orbit, (b) You shoot on past, or (c) You make a magnificent crater on another planetary body.

The rockit scientists did just fine.  With an 8-9 minute lag in communications (one way), real-time control is impossible, so on autopilot the spacecraft executed a successful burn and decelerated pretty fast (without ABS, I might add) and went into it’s eccentric orbit.  They’re waiting for more telemetry but all signs look good.

From the APL site:

MESSENGER Begins Historic Orbit around Mercury At 9:10 p.m. EDT, engineers in the MESSENGER Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., received the anticipated radiometric signals confirming nominal burn shutdown and successful insertion of the MESSENGER probe into orbit around the planet Mercury.

The spacecraft rotated back to the Earth by 9:45 p.m. EDT, and started transmitting data. Upon review of these data, the engineering and operations teams confirmed that the burn executed nominally with all subsystems reporting a clean burn and no logged errors.

MESSENGER’s main thruster fired for approximately 15 minutes at 8:45 p.m., slowing the spacecraft by 1,929 miles per hour (862 meters per second) and easing it into the planned eccentric orbit about Mercury. The rendezvous took place about 96 million miles (155 million kilometers) from Earth.

I’ll post a pic in a while of me sitting next to an engineering model of the FIPS instrument (it is attached to the EPPS instrument on MESSENGER).  We were all damn near crazy once we finished the fabrication of parts and built the thing up, but we did it in just under a year.

Here is a picture of a handsome little fella who I happen to know very well standing next to an engineering model of FIPS.  It’s packed with all the gooey sciencey goodness that only Sparks can dream up, folks, and looks just like the thing on MESSENGER, too.  Well, except that the whole thing is alodined and the real thing is covered all over with MLI/ceramic-blanket stuff.  The blanket is like asbestos underwear – keeps the precious stuff from getting too toasty (and can keep your drinks from getting too cold, too).   It also keeps seagull droppings off the instrument.  Now, you may be tempted to say “Oh, that isn’t a seagull-protective cover!”  To which I respond: “How come?  Do you see ANY seagull droppings on the instrument?”

Franken-Boy standing next to honest-to-goodness hardware.

For a size reference, the cylindrical thing pointed up and to the left is the size of a coke can and the whole thing is lighter than a popcorn fart.  There’s so much crammed into that front section alone that it would make your head swim.  As one of the project heads (a Spark) was introducing me to another attendee he said “Well, if you’d known what you were in for you might not have come on board.”  And he was right, I might have run away like a scared little girl.  What a great group of folks though.  I think we all hated each other a bit towards the end but we got over it.

Read Full Post »

Christmas Came Early.

OK, this just never has happened before.  Random acts of kindness happen but rarely does someone who knows me look beyond the me channeling House and see what is really behind the facade:  House.

But amazingly in spite of my glaring character flaws Mitchell gave me a Christmas treat that left me speechless.  Literally.

See, it arrived at my workplace. I thought it was optical equipment.  I didn’t look at the box but grabbed a box-cutter and sliced the box open.  I peeled back the wrapping and saw what was inside and said “Huh? This is NOT optics… wah-heyyyy this is nice.”

And then I looked at the sender, back in the box, then the sender, and back to the box.

Sturdy?  You could beat a moose or a harp seal to death with it.

Now I need a leather trenchcoat, leather boots, leather shirt, leather pants… and… no, trenchcoat will do.  Leather boots would be icing on the cake.

Perhaps I’ll do some special blog-art for the near-term until I can figure out why the electrochem-etch power supply I’m using won’t work.  Then I can etch copper and brass as a return gift.

****

I was looking through old files on my computer.

Years ago, Xatrix/Interplay put out a game called Redeck Rampage, then Redneck Rampage Rides Again, then Suckin’ Grits on 66.

If you ever played it and purchased the Cuss-Pack you knew what the height of entertainment really was.

If someone says “take it down” I’ll un-post this, but for now, here’s one of the “newspapers” that they put inside the shrink-wrapped box.

Redneck Rampage Manual

NEEDED: Wrestling/tractor-pull tickets, any kind, any
bout, as soon as possible — promised the missus to take
her ‘somewhere special’ for anniversary. 555-1973.

…and…

Hey Annie,

My neighbor down the road keeps borrowing stuff and not giving it back. Now he’s got my secondbest shotgun and he says he’s going to return it next week but that’s what he said about the canopener and I never saw that again. When I told
him this, he got rude and forced me off of his property. I’m so mad I’m thinkin about “accidentally” driving over his mailbox — maybe his porch, too. Should I?

J. Wilson

Dear J. Wilson

Sure, why not? Just hope that he can’t read this column.

-Annie

Read Full Post »

The Dude/Wilson sent me word of a great discovery.

Makes me happy.  My world is a bit more upright.

Snake Plissken is a Libertarian.   Sweet.

Please don’t ask me who Snake Plissken is if you don’t know.  Just go rent Escape from New York.  Make some popcorn.  Watch the movie.

****

Y’all know I’m a chilihead.  I am not, however, an imbecile.  An imbecile is this guy.

Filming about ten minutes of yourself after you have just eaten a Bhut Jolokia pepper – a large one.  Whole.

They ought to do an audio recording of him in a few hours when the thing passes clear through his alimentary canal.

****

Fond of lemurs, I am.  But Slow Loris critters are right up there, too.  Note – they are NOT lemurs, but you’d think so when looking at their eyes.  Simply put, they are primates just like Lemurs, they’re of the same order but not the same infraorder.

Cute.

****

Just doesn’t get much odder than this.

****

1)  I want to do this – prank a cat owner.

2) I never want to do this.  And by “do” I mean ingest it.

Read Full Post »

Origami lenses.  Concept isn’t new.  But I hadn’t actually seen them.

Those two pictures should be enough to make you run for a cold shower or some amorous liason with the person/species of your choice (I’m not judging here).

Think of a zone plate but nothing like it and light-years beyond in coolness.

I’ve got photon-envy, this is such a cool way of doing it.  Abberation theory might get a bit deep with all the folds and stuff but I’d suffer through it to get my hands on one of these.   Several holographic setups would have been easier because of tight space constraints.

Read Full Post »

This got such a positive, wistful, and “run-for-your-lives-it’s-ThinkGeek” response that I have to make a mini-post about it.

Co-worker ID10T-Killer pointed this out a week or so ago and I finally looked at it in greater detail and agree… I must have one.

In my comment to readers’ comments about yesterday’s posting:

You know you must give in to the dark side, McGoo. It is your dessssssstiny…

http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/bb2e/

A tauntaun-guts sleeping bag!! How awesome is that, huh?

Really.   A dead Tauntaun sleeping bag, with the little zipper thingie that looks like a lightsaber, and the zipper is the ragged cut.

Inside the sleeping bag it looks like… Tauntaun guts.

Go to ThinkGeek, get one, and tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers