Friday, December 30, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bizarre Christmas Traditions

We have a somewhat menacing tree ornament, a light-up Darth Vader figurine.  It’s about 5” high, and electrified via a Christmas tree light socket from a nearby string.  A present from friends of the family to my son when he was about 10, we’d never dream of not having it on the tree.  Every time the tree lights are switched on, it gasps “The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet!”  As the Darling Daughter remarked when we put the tree up this year, “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until the Dark Sith Lord speaks.”
Strange, maybe a little, but it can’t hold a candle to these Unusual Christmas Traditions.  A little creepy, some.  Weird, all.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Remember 'Oregon Trail'?

Just about every Apple ][ and IIgs game made can be found at
Personally, I always like Oregon Trail.  Played that with the kids right up until the jellybean iMac started flaking out.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

first trailer for The Hobbit is out

BBC article on it.
Apple download site for the trailer.
This really, really looks good.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mythbusters busts a few other things.

Namely, a house's walls and a minivan, as seen at the San Francisco Chronicle.  Guess something like this was going to happen sooner or later.
Still, I hate to see this happen.  Those guys have done more for science education and plain good old fun (wait, is there a difference?) than any number of dry documentaries.  I hope the owners of the house and the minivan are reasonable people.
OB xkcd (

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh, here we go.

After yesterday's weirdness we all need this, the Ramones doing it right at CBGB in '74.
There, much better now.

Friday, December 2, 2011

200% of your daily dose of surreal.

Kindergarten class singing Ramones.  I'm going to bed now, but did the week have to end like this?

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Black Friday Shopping Spree

Went to the hardware store.  Bought a rake.

Oh Look! It's Black Friday already.

Guess I can say it now: Merry Christmas, y'all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Troll Hunter

What to say?  It's a mocumentary "found film" about three Norwegian students trying to track down a bear poacher.  Instead, they find something infinitely more interesting: a government-sponsored professional hunter who tracks down and eliminates trolls that have gone off Norway's remote troll reservations. Think Blair Witch Project without the profanity but with a good dose of humor.  A little too scary for the under-10 set, but lots of fun for anyone over that age.  Here's Rotten Tomatoes' take on the matter.  The best part perhaps is the twisted logic of the whole thing, the blending of clichéd troll fairytales with numerous "Holy crap!  That's a big damn animal!" moments.
My score: Three good big goofy fun stars.

How art came to computers.

Described in a PLoS blog, here.  I guess somebody had to design the first good computer icons.  Amazing history, I'm glad is preserved.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More than you ever wanted to know about cast iron frying pans.

Well, I mostly agree with the author.  Where we (very slightly) part ways is that he may be worrying about this stuff too much.  Cook tomatoes in my good frying pan?  Sure, did it for supper last night.  Let it soak a few hours afterward, no prob.  Then I scrubbed it with soap.  (Yes!  Soap!  Boo!)  And today I fried up a mess of pancakes today, had zero sticking problems.  I think what's getting that pan past all of this abuse is that butter is my grease of choice, with olive oil sometimes coming into play when it just seems more right for the recipe.  Sometimes (and this is really hard for me) it's just best not to over-think stuff.
But all of his stuff about drying a pan on a hot stove is spot-on.  And his explanation about how the newer pans don't have a machined surface, (a) wow, that makes sense, (b) why hadn't I heard of that before? and (c) will somebody start adding that machining step, please?  Because as smooth and planed-down by a metal spatula as my 15 year old Lodge has gotten with use, I'd love to get my hands on another nice pan.
Bottom line: don't over scrub, use plenty of good grease, and stop thinking of that black coating as something nasty to be removed.  It's a self-regenerative polymer coating that is both organic and non-toxic.  All of which is a hell of a lot more than can be said for any other non-stick pan coating.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seafood Festival

Was fun, despite taking me a week and a half to mention it.  Here's the official site and here's an article at the Apalachicola Times.  Did the Redfish Run 5K, and the Times also has a short article on the race.  I neither confirm nor deny either my or any other relatives' presence in any of the pictures at the links, but you might be surprised if you dig around a little.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Monday Morning

XKCD has a sort of ink-blot test involving map projection preferences and what they say about you.  And 65daysofstatic has their new album Silent Running streaming for free at their website for today only.
Either is fine and nerd-tastic in and of itself, but the combination of the two should be left strictly to the pros.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

So glad 11/11/11 is over.

All the hype was starting to weird me out a little, as seen here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The scars from WWI.

At The Daily Mail.
Hope you had a good Veterans Day too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Steve Jobs Cartoon Roundup

Courtesy of the brother-in-law.  (Thanks!)

In an office coffee pot conversation last week, a cow-orker commented "So what did Jobs ever do?  What's so great about the Macintosh?  He just borrowed – stole! – other peoples' work, repackaged it, and made a bundle off the deal.  I mean, the GUI had already been invented, that was the real work."  I thought for a moment and said "So what did Einstein ever do?  What's so great about special relativity?  He just borrowed – stole! – other peoples' work, repackaged it, and made a reputation off the deal.  I mean, the Lorentz transform had already been developed, that was the real work."
We both smiled and went back to our offices.

Schlitz is back?

So there I was in the local beer-snob store mulling over the various local and regional microbrews, when whatinthehell, there's a six of Schlitz (nb: must be spelled in italics) on the shelf in the midst of things...?  Sporting a fancy price and a promise that they're using the "Classic 1960s Formula"?
Well I always liked the taste, even during their swill era.  (Go figure, no accounting for these things.)  At $2.15 a six of 16's, the price was right for a grad student back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  It's just that the crap they were putting in there would rip your skull right off the next morning if you had more than one.
As it turns out, this resurrected Schlitz pretty good.  Tastes like beer.  Beer-beer, with hops and no subtle overtones and definitely no fruity flavors.  Over the years, not only had Schlitz lost their quality, they'd also lost the original formula, so the whole thing had to be reverse-engineered.  I've got to say, they did a credible job, tastes just like it did back in junior high.  But now I can also say, I felt just fine when I woke this morning.
Testing continues.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Time for Halloween: War of the Worlds

All my life I've heard about this 1938 Halloween broadcast (details at Wikipedia, if you don't know what I'm writing about), but had never actually heard it.  Sitting around this evening, it occurred to me that surely it was on the web somewhere.  And, no surprise, here it is at the Internet Archive.
One hour, 27 megabytes, it's worth the time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday Art

From the Darling Daughter:

Some more detail:

Thanks V.!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Upcoming: Halloween & Cemetery Tour

At the Cedar Rest Cemetery in downtown BSL.  Info here.
Note to self: event goes from sunset to 8.  Not "be there by 8."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And here we go: FTL Neutrino Mystery Solved

Probably.  The paper still needs some peer-review and general sniffing-around, but it seems about right.  The problem seems to have been timing differences between lab-on-the-ground and GPS-in-orbit reference frames.  Here's a synopsis.  The discrepancy and its correction agree to about 3%, plenty of accuracy to confirm that these neutrinos were in fact moving slower than light.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Last week, Jobs. Now Ritchie.

Dennis who?  Dennis Ritchie, who cooked up C and unix in his spare time, just so he could load a home-brew space travel program on a surplussed PDP-7, that's who.  Not as flashy as Jobs, but with a list of achievements even more crucial to today's computing infrastructure.
Yet another one who will be sadly missed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Defies Description

The master of children's rhyme meets the master of horror:

The rest can be found here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh, the places you'll go!

Tuxachanie Creek always looks good in October:

But then, back home after a long day in the woods is always good too:

Once again, American enterprise steps in and tackles a sticky problem.

It seems that a Nebraska hardware chain now has a complete Zombie problem solving section.  And just in time for Halloween too.  Doesn't matter if you're still alive or zombified, they've got solutions for both types of customers.

Here's an article from a local paper: Undead Enliven Hardware Sales.  Yeah, if I lived in the area, I'd probably shop there too.  Businesses with a sense of humor deserve all the support they can get.

ps: Come to think of it, I'm feeling more than a little zombified after today's mountain bike ride.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another one bites the dust: Mr. Coffee Edition

After four years of intensive use, the household Mr. Coffee croaked.  Just leaked water everywhere, all over the counters and kitchen floor.  Would've been a morning discombobulation of some significance too, if it weren't for the backup Chemex unit.  Much cleaner, and slightly better tasting coffee, but it is a little more trouble, it's not a push-button-and-forget operation.  Think I'll run with that one for a while.

Or, as Will Smith put it in Men in Black II:
Old and busted:
The new hotness:

Rest assured, if something unfortunate happens to the Chemex, there is the camping gear stainless steel percolator waiting as a backup.  Backup, always have a backup.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

As usual, XKCD nails it.

Eternal Flame

It's hard to think of anything to say.  I mean, think where we'd be without Jobs: boring beige boxes using a kludgy CLI or a stone-age GUI, clunky flip-phones, and strangely shaped MP3 players that could hold a couple dozen songs.  These were the states of several types of computing devices before Apple waded in, led by Jobs and his vision of insane greatness.  Without Jobs' vision, I expect all of these devices would have advanced, but would not have been particularly fun to use, i.e.: really fast boring beige boxes, cell phones with even more buttons!, and increasingly cryptic MP3 players that could hold hundreds of songs.  Yes, the man does deserve our gratitude, and a place in our memories.
ObLink to the original cartoon at XKCD here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hot off the... interwebz!

The October issue of the Fourth Ward Cleaver is up.  Go dig around, catch up on the neighborhood news.
next morning edit: Huh, omitted the link last night.  Must've been tired.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kind of like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Only more so.

It's Kanaval in Hati.
Think I'll stay near home this year.

Cool Job #873

Rappelling team resumes check of Washington Monument
It doesn't matter what you do for a living, you've got to admit: rappelling down the Washington Monument – and doing it legally and getting paid to do it – is pretty darned cool.

Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 Ig Nobel Winners Announced

Complete listing of winners at the BBC.    An in-depth look at the growing importance of the Ig Nobel prize is over at Fox.  Yes, you read right: the growing importance of the Ig Nobel prize.  It seems that there really is no such thing as bad publicity these days, even in science.  Finally, here's a link to the sponsoring organization's web site, Improbable Research.  Don't bother with it for the next day or so, their server is pretty well slammed.
Anyway, 'till next time, be sure to properly dispose of your beer bottles when visiting Australia.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Faster than Light Neutrinos

Confirmed.  Well, sort of.  At least to 1.4 standard deviations, which isn't all that good, but is something.
Given some theoretical basis.  Tentatively, in a hurry-up paper.  I won't comment too much on this, I'm still reading it.
Anyway, this is real science in action in its very best form: carefully checked results that don't make sense, publication and open flow of information along with a plea "we probably made a mistake, but we can't find it, please see what you can do with it, here's the data."  Lots of digging around for prior published results that could shed light on the subject.  And some quick theoretical work to give an early look at what might be happening.  If this pans out, it's huge.  And if it doesn't, nobody comes away embarrassed by bad behavior.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Crap that Fell to Earth

In the wake of last weekend's UARS reentry, here's an article on Eight surprising hunks of space gear that returned to Earth.  Mostly big chunks of titanium tanks and such, with the occasional nuclear reactor.  Nothing to get too concerned about.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Local Hang-Out Music Roundup

Bunch of good music lately down at the Mockingbird.  Here's a roundup of some that've stood out.

  • Jerico Road Show.  Defies description, here's a youtube link, and here's page for a closely allied band, the Jake Leg Stompers that'll give you some idea of where they're coming from.
  • Blue Mountain, an alt-country outfit that puts on a good show.
  • Bronwynne Brent, from the Mississippi Delta by way of Austin.  Most of the songs from her first album are there for the streaming at the web site.

Naturally, they've all got CD's for sale at the shows, and I've been listening and re-listening to all of the above for weeks.  Lots more bands to come next month, will write up more as they filter through.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

R.E.M. is breaking up.

You've probably seen it in the news already, but if not, here is reasonable coverage of the who, what, where, and why.
OK, now for some not-just-a-link actual content.  My take on it?  Twenty five years too late.  They had a great run in the early to mid-80's, a handful of good songs after that, and one last, final, good album, Collapse into Now (reviewed here).  The time couldn't be better for a recap of R.E.M.'s major works.

  • Chronic Town (EP), 1982.  An early glint of genius.  Has Gardening at Night on it, that song alone makes the entire band worthwhile.
  • Murmur, 1983.  Yes, more like this please!
  • Reckoning, 1984.  A second helping from the same kitchen where Murmur was cooked.  Good stuff.
  • Fables of the Reconstruction, 1985.  Deep Southern-fried but somehow not country-fied.  Damn near miraculous.
  • Lifes Rich Pageant, 1986.  Can they get any better?  As it turns out, no.
  • And handful of outtake and compilation albums, like little core samples from their 1979-1987 run of brilliance.  
After that, their albums were a morass of drawn-out weepy tunes, sporting maybe one or two songs that gave glimmers of hope that R.E.M. would rise again.  But it never quite happened.  Collapse into Now, released just last spring, showed them back in their earlier good form, but the fire was cooler, mellowed by time and age.  And now the fire is out.  Ah well, a year ago I'd have said that the fire went out in '87.  I am glad that they managed to put out one more good disk before it was all over.


Friday, September 23, 2011

xkcd #955

Worth a post, for the few readers who don't regularly visit xkcd:
And if you don't read xkcd, why the hell not?

[added later]  You know, I'll bet that this would all make a lot more sense to the non-physics-plugged-in if there was a link to a related news story telling what the hoopla is all about.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

18 Historic Photos...

...that changed the way we saw the universe, at Dvice.  Take a few minutes and flip through them.  For starters, there's the first photo taken from space, from an experimental post-war V-2 launch in 1946:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Background @wikipedia: Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Here is a pretty good article on the current status on finding these things.  Not easy, but not hopeless.  (go read the article, it's short, I'll wait)  I've never seen one, but know a couple of people with credible sightings.  Interesting stuff, best summed up at the end of the article:
Collins says the maximum number that could still exist is more realistically about a hundred. “There couldn’t be a thousand because someone would have found an active nest,” said Collins, “but a hundred birds could have hidden out.” 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Re-Entry

Had a questions over the weekend from some family "So when is this thing going to come down?"  "Uh, I dunno, ask NASA."  And here's their answer at the UARS mission update page.  Latest answer: Sept 23rd, give or take a day.
And if you don't know what any of this is about, go read up on the UARS article at Wikipedia by clicking here.

Cue the Man or Astro-Man? music:

Junk Satellite

[long instrumental]
frenzy eternal
it could fall tonight
I think it's unplugged
junk satellite

[more instrumental]
frenzy eternal
it could fall tonight
I think it's unplugged
junk satellite

[yet more instrumental]
frenzy eternal
it could fall tonight
I said it's unplugged
junk satellite

[bunch more instrumental]
frenzy eternal
it could fall tonight
I think it's unplugged

as if it could scramble
I feel it flipping the channels
on a black box
but nothing stops
look around
did you break it off or have to switch it off

[more instrumental]
way down
at the heart of the station
they cut communication
with a metal sphere
that some folks fear gone dead

early warning flashing saying it was lost
yeah, something coming down in a broken satellite
it's coming down in a broken satellite
it's coming down in a broken satellite
it'll hit the ground
it'll be alright

it's coming down in a broken satellite
it's coming down in a broken satellite
it's coming down in a broken satellite
it'll hit the ground
it'll be alright

[theremin solo]
[theremin hum & buzz]

How Many Scientists Does it Take to Screw in a Light Bulb?

From a stupid email I received today at work:

Q: How many scientists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. They use them as controls in double blind trials.

Q: How many academics does it take to change a lightbulb ?
A: None. That is what their students are for. (from Philip Clarke in New Scientist)

A: Five: One to write the grant proposal, one to do the mathematical modeling, one to type the research paper, one to submit the paper for publishing, and one to hire a student to do the work.

Q: How many laboratory heads (senior researchers, etc.) does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Five; one to change the lightbulb, the other four to stand around arguing whether he/she is taking the right approach.

Q: How many research technicians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One, but it'll probably take him/her three or four tries to get it right.

Q: How many post-doctoral fellows does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One, but it'll probably take three or four tries to get it right because he/she will probably give it to the technician to do.

Q: How many graduate students does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Only one, but it may take upwards of five years for him to get it done.
A: It all depends on the size of the grant.
A: Two and a professor to take credit.
A: 1/100. A graduate student needs to change 100 lightbulbs a day.
A: I don't know, but make my stipend tax-free, give my adviser a $100,000 grant of the taxpayer's money, and I'm sure he can tell me how to do the work for him so he can take the credit for answering this incredibly vital question.

They're only funny because they sting a little.  And they only sting because they are, at some basic level, uncomfortably close to the truth.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ruth Thompson

All-around great lady, known regionally for the best king cakes ever (don't take my word for it, she won WWL's contest), but know locally for much, much more.  Suddenly dead at 64.
Here is the obit in The Echo, and here is a real article about her and her life.
Ma'am, you will be missed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Well that's incredibly useless.

But also pretty funny.  Uncyclopedia.  The content-free encyclopedia.
Did you know that they have an entire article on Kitten Huffing?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the Birth of Mountain Biking

An old T.V. news story from 1979, seen here.  Six and a half minutes, worth every second.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sam Fuller Fest

I've always been a big fan of Sam Fuller, but just didn't know until this year.  Two movies steered me toward him.  First, Pulp Fiction.  I'd always felt that Quentin Tarrantino was copying (or at least borrowing way heavily) from an older genre.  Then there's my Dad, who put me onto Fuller's The Big Red One.  Dad, a WWII vet in the 1st Division, always liked that movie as one of the least romanticized WWII flicks made in the post-war period.  Watching the extended cut, then watching the additional features on the disk steered me straight into the maw of Fuller's works.
I've been watching my way through them ever since.  To date, The Big Red OneThe Steel HelmetI Shot Jesse JamesPickup on South Street, and just last night The Baron of Arizona.  I'm not going into individual reviews, but place them all in the 3 to 3.5 star range.  The titles above are Wikipedia links if you want to see what they're about.  Caution though, they do have some spoilers.  Next up in the Netflix queue is The Naked Kiss.  Although I haven't done an exhaustive search, pretty much everything he made can be found over at Netfilx.
So if you're a Tarrantino fan who's always been slightly disappointed since the glory days of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and can do with a little less of the oh-so-90's irony, go look up some Fuller movies.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Not much to Lee.  Maybe 3' of extra tide, a few wind gusts, and a LOT of rain.
Still got a bike ride in this morning, even made it back home before the next rain band hit.  Man, it's not exactly new, but I do love online real-time radar.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Surfing with Flare

Yes, flare, not flair.  As seen here.  Might've been even cooler after the BP oil spill...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Katrina's Sixth Anniversary

Lots of to-do around town this weekend, between the beautiful-but-hot weather and the sixth anniversary of Katrina.  The local Chamber of Commerce put on the third annual "New Day in the Bay" street party downtown yesterday, and the first bar & restaurant on the beachfront – aptly named Hurricane Hunters – had a "soft" pre-opening.  Then I was off to a yard party at a neighbor's place.  Very much a "man, I am glad to still be alive" and "yeah, and let's make the most of it!" vibe to all the proceedings.

Quiet Month

Not a lot of posts lately.  Busy at work, and frankly this weather's been a little much.  May post more in September.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Looking Back: Mac & PC Ads

Always liked those things.  Here's a 15 pack of them in one sub-eight minute clip at YouTube.

Friday, August 5, 2011

And people ask...

So, why do you insist on living in a smashed-up small town in Mississippi?
Well, there's this local watering hole where stuff like this just sort of happens:
I mean, you just try and move away from a place like that.  You can try, but it just won't work.  Might as well enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And git offa my lawn!

Text messages with The Kid:
me: [extraneous] If they don't have, will go to biloxh.
tk: Bioxh, you need a keyboard dude.
me: Darned kids & their fancy kbds.  I was yr age, we had la36 decwriters – 300 baud – & we liked it!
tk: My tricorder says you're old.
me: Keep it up kid & you'll be wearin' a red shirt.
tk: Would send a picture response with hyperlink, but you could not see it.
After that I couldn't keep up with the text rate, so I poured another coffee and went back to what I was doing.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hurricane Models & Forecasts


It's the best one I've found.  When something's active, there's a thumbnail model forecast map below the main map.  Click on it, and the tracks from the best models are displayed.  Updates at 10 & 4 am & pm.

Um, enjoy.  Or at least try not too freak out too much.

Friday, July 22, 2011

OK, one more shuttle post

Eight minute mission summary at YouTube.  If there's a YouTube video worth eight minutes of your life, this is the one.

And the last reentry as seen from the ISS:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last Shuttle Down

And things went well.  But the slight sting of the last STS flight happening – with no clear follow-on manned program in sight – on the 42nd anniversary of the first moonwalk should not be lost on anyone.

Here's to what's next!  Whatever that may be.  SpaceX's Dragon capsule has already flown, so maybe we won't have a repeat of that six year Apollo-to-Shuttle gap.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yes, it really is this weird.

5 insane scientific theories about our big stupid crazy universe,  courtesy of DVICE.  And there may still be whole levels of weirdness we haven't yet plumbed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And We'd Just Left the Beach

...after shooting fireworks.
Beach Crash After Pursuit

90 mph?  90 mph!  I wouldn't do 90 mph on Beach Blvd stone cold sober, in daylight, with a cleared course.  Of which items at least two out of three these gentlemen didn't have, and three out of three blanks is a definite possibility.  Stranger and stranger...
Well, go read the article.  If you know a little about local politics and can read even a tad between the lines, the whole thing is even more weird.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I remember...

...seeing these in some older comic books when I was a kid.  Born just five years earlier and I would've had one.  Damn.
And despite the hyperbolic commentary at Picture is Unrelated where this picture turned up, the contents of this science kit were about as dangerous as a smoke detector (a pinch of americium) and a couple of Coleman lantern mantles (a trace of thorium).

The Surprising Roots of Donkey Kong

Thirty years on, the truth is finally revealed here.
Once you know the Dark Secret, scroll through the rest of the slide show.  It's worth a minute for the trivia.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fireworks, from an onboard POV

Seen here.

Micro digital video taped to large bottle rockets, 2:16 minutes long.  Just click the link and watch it.  Possibly the most fun you'll have all day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Other Caffeine News...

Picked up a Chemex coffee maker a month or so ago.  It's very nice.  The resulting coffee is slightly tastier than out of the Mr. Coffee, and doesn't take too much longer.  It's also slightly more of a ritual, so I still use the Mr. C on weekday mornings and the Chemex when I'm not so rushed.
Next from the Caffeine News File, I picked up a case of Monster Rehab last weekend, and wow that stuff is good.  Not very sweet, sort of an iced tea/lemonade cross flavor, and it's only 20 calories a can with no weirdo chemicals – either on the label or in the taste – that I can discern.  Not carbonated either, which is a plus in my book.  Just about right in summertime when you'd have coffee but it's a little too hot.  And it's full of B vitamins, so it's sort of a drinkable bug repellent too.

ps: and now I've got that damn Amy Winehouse song stuck in my head.  *sigh*  Guess I'll go put on that album now.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA

Tried one last night (thanks again, Renzo).  Read about this amazing substance here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yes, more like this, please.

A Fusion Thruster for Space Travel.  I'd quote from the article, but it's quite short and very accessible.  Just go read it.
There, that's your hope-for-humanity fix for the day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

More from the "Coffee: Greatest Addition Ever!" guy

C.G.P. Grey probably drinks too much coffee (and coming from me, that's saying a lot) but he does have an amusing personal blog that includes his semi-infamous politics in the animal kingdom video section.  I'm still digging around on his professional blog, not sure if it'll make the daily blogroll or not.

A New Jeep. ?

Maybe?  Something smaller than the current land yacht?  We'll see.
Wonder if it'll come in at under $80K?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever!

In a four minute video, seen here.
Oh yeah!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Terry Bisson book.

TVA Baby, it's a collection of short stories.  I'd never read much of his stuff beyond They're Made Out of Meat (which is in every nook and cranny of the net, but now you have the 'official' link to the story, go read it).  He always struck me as a faster-witted, funnier version of Phillip K. Dick.  And as it turns out, that was a fair assessment in more ways than one: compare Fire on the Mountain (John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry is successful and alternate history ensues) to Dick's The Man in the High Castle (Allies lose WWII; again, alternate history ensues).  Anyway, a couple of stories into TVA Baby I'm having a great time.

Dream Team: Quentin Tarantino makes a rapid-fire vignette movie from several Bisson short-short stories.  I can just hear the dialog in They're Made Out of Meat being bounced between Jackson and Travolta.  (Jackson speaks first.  I double-dog dare you to read the story now, with those two voices stuck in your head.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

A bad week for stars.

James "Gunsmoke" Arness
Ryan "Jackass" Dunn
Clarence "E Street" Clemons (click the link & watch the video)
All dead, and it's only Monday.
Glad I ain't famous.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The A/C compressor for my car'd better be in this week.

Or else.
It's 10:30 this morning and 91 degrees in the shade already.  And it's only June.

On this Father's Day...

One of the usual suspects passed a copy of this book around down at the Mockingbird a week or so ago.  Now it's on YouTube, read by Samuel L. Jackson: oh hell, I won't give away the punchline, just click the link.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

Some of my family over in Florida occasionally ask "so why do you get the big storms in Mississippi, and why don't we get them quite so much here?"  Well, I'll tell you:
See that hot stripe that starts at the western tip of Cuba and ends, oh, I don't know, about a mile from my front door?  See that nice buffer of relatively cooler water sitting like a protective bubble all around Cape San Blas?  Well, that's pretty much the whole answer.
Season starts Wednesday.  Meh, the insurance is paid and the plans are laid.  Gonna go put on some Buffett and get ready for a bike ride along the beach.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Buncha more FL pics

All from the bike, here're the picks of the pics.  I'll leave'em small, but you can click to get the big versions.
Oyster boats in St. George Sound:
From the top of the SGI bridge:
More oyster boats off the bridge:
The SGI light:
Carabelle, seen from the East End:
Dog Island, across East Pass.  Check out the batch of baitfish roughing up the water on the left!
'till next time, happy (bike) trails.