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WEEK 13 2005

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Saturday 2 April 2005

Saturday - I saw some scenes from the upcoming STAR WARS movie - pretty cool stuff. I'm looking forward to it, although I am queasy about shows with themes of treason and betrayal.

But it immediately occurred to me that the special effects of exploding spaceships would fit perfectly with movies made about David Weber's Honor Harrington series..

I spent most of the nice warm day mowing, edging, and trimming in the yard.

Friday 1 April 2005

Friday - went to the LPAC with some friends and saw 'Vaudeville'. It was fun - a lot of physical humor and banter, much of which very similar to what you might have experienced at the turn of the last turn of the century before last century in the late 1890's to early 1900's. A live music accompaniment, volunteers from the audience - "beautiful strong men you" for the russian "rope-tight" walker for instance and a pretty girl for the italian restaurant skit.. Then there was the Shakespearean actor who somehow morphed into Barney Fife; not to mention Abbott & Costello's "Who's on First?" ( correct answer: I don't know - THIRD BASE!). I enjoyed it and the eleven year old beside me was totally enthralled.

My favorite? The vaudevillians discussing Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" while juggling. YMMV.

"Who's on First?" has it's own web site! With audio....

Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.

Thursday 31 March  2005

Thursday - about a ten hour day, so not a lot of energy here.

I did watch 'Tru Calling' this evening - Thursday is generally a total loss, teevee-wise, but it was sort of interesting. The premise of the show is that 'Tru' (played by Eliza Dushku) works in a morgue, and that occasionally the dead speak to her and send her back in time to change history and prevent their deaths. I saw a couple of episodes early on, and they were OK - generally she has limited information on her case - a name, a cause or place of death - and has to figure out from scratch, in a few hours, how to save someone. Apparently a twist has been added - a fellow time-traveler who  believes that history shouldn't be changed, and keeps trying to undo her good deeds. Dueling time

Wednesday 30 March 2005

Wednesday - keeping busy.

Into the west.

Tuesday 29 March 2005

Tuesday - went to the doc, got some antibiotics. He said I was still contagious, and to avoid going out. I had planned on going to a memorial service tomorrow, I guess that's out.

Amateur blogs don't have editors. So we don't have scenes like this one at Achenblog:

I probably shouldn't reveal how the sausage is made, but these Rough Draft columns, unlike the blog, go through a great deal of editing. For this one, as I recall, Sydney took my original draft and marked out all the lines that were terrible, and then deleted the ones that were kind of so-so, and then cut the ones that were just a wee bit lame, and when she was done, the entire column had been deleted except for two words: "David Duchovny." But we agreed that was still a pretty good start.

Monday 28 March 2005

Monday - over the weekend I read an interesting book - Listening to Whales. The author, Alexandra Morton, spent decades of chasing and recording the activities and members of Orca's in the pacific northwest. Her childhood hero was Jane Goodall, and she spent some time with Lilly in California before heading off to Canada. Fascinating stuff. Orca's are much more intelligent and varied than I realized.

I ordered a Zalman PVM cooler module for my ABIT motherboard - it (the ABIT mobo) came with a fan cooler that is insanely loud. Louder than all the other case fans and cpu fans in all the other machines put together. Unfortunately it looks as if the attachment on the ABIT board is non-standard, so I may have to exercise some ingenuity in setting it up. It'll be worth it. The machine is so noisy that I use it as little as possible, which, given what it cost me originally, is stupid

I watched 'Alien Apocalypse' on Sci-Fi the other night. Bad, bad, bad, bad. Not even funny bad - just badly written, produced, filmed poorly, and with the acting sort of bad. They had shown 'Army of Darkness', also starring Bruce Campbell, just before this. Now AOD was bad, but in a good sort of way. Fun to watch sort of bad. Not bad first year film student stuff. Ackkk.

I did notice a small thing - there is a scene where Campbell is mixing up a bowl of gunpowder (in AOD) and some curious soul leans over to look, holding a candle, and is waved away for obvious reasons. It is a dead ringer for the scene in LOTR where Saruman pushes back a curious Grima Wormtongue, who is leaning over a barrel of gunpowder with a candle. Maybe a little homage?

Sunday 27 March 2005

Sunday - still under the weather, light posting.

The weather is, in actual fact, bad. Windy, cold. The tomato seedlings are not doing well.

Here is a link on an engine 'problem' with the Boeing Delta 4 rocket. It's interesting to note that the 'rocket science'  problem was actually rather simple - a cavitation issue, bubbles fooling a sensor. The science part of rockets is well understood these days, but the engineering parts remain difficult, because even small things can wreck a flight. Boeing has the technical depth to quickly research the problem, and the financial resources to weather such a loss, but a small start-up would not.

This is one of the big problems with spaceflight - the enormous costs to enter, and then to stay in the game. If you get bubbles in your car gas line you can pull over to the side of the road. If you get bubbles in your aircraft fuel line you can (probably) land somewhere. On a rocket ascent - you just burn up.

Picture of the Week
Pond, near Stillwater, OK.

Photo Notes: On a trip to Oklahoma, some years ago, the shore of a pond at twilight.

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