Saturday, November 30, 2013

Yeah, ISON's Pretty Much Gone

Too bad.  I was hoping for a light show this week.  But as Bad Astronomer put it, "predicting comets is like predicting cats."  Anyway, here's a time lapse composite, from over at Space Weather:
Yeah, just like an auction.  Going, going, gone.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Low Power FM Stations: Five Coast Applications

As pointed out by American Bandscan, the FCC has released the new list of LPFM station applications.  Many of these won't make it through the full process and get on the air, but as of this week there are five applications in the Coastal counties.  West to east, they are:

  1. Diamondhead, Hancock Co. Amateur Radio Assoc.
  2. Long Beach, USM Gulf Coast Campus
  3. Gulfport, Islamic Center of Gulfport
  4. Biloxi, South East Region of Christian Education
  5. Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs Friends of WUSM
Two of the four should be pretty easy to receive here in The Bay, and maybe two more will be possible with an good tailwind.  Ought to spice listening up a little around here.

Still Stuffed from Turkey?

Not into the whole Black Friday lunacy?  Then here, have a lethal dose of neutrinos.
Courtesy of

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Some Like It Hot

Others, not so much.  From the BBC:
A California judge has temporarily curbed production of the popular sriracha Asian-style hot sauce after residents of a Los Angeles suburb complained of the factory's odour.
Could put a crimp in things.  Personally, I go through about a bottle of the stuff a year.  With a half-full* bottle left, I'm sure things will get sorted before the fox really begins to gnaw.

*half-full: always the optimist.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When it rains, it pours.

I try not to blog more than one feature item a day, but things just stacked up and so here are five.  Happy Thanksgiving!

I Will Bike This Road Someday

"The Forbidden Road of the French Alps," over at Messy Nessy.  Click through, many more spectacular pictures there.


Lesser cars can have racing stripes:

However on Mustangs these are properly known as invasion stripes:

Are we clear on this point now?  Good.

MoAM?: Defcon 5...4...3...2...1

Man or Astro-Man? has a new album out, Defcon 5...4...3...2...1.  Been out since late May.  Mine's on the way, but... how the hell did I miss this until now?


Seen here.  Possibly the most unearthly things I've seen since the last time I watched Kagemusha.

Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime

You work out the acronym for yourself.  Here's the paper describing the basic physics.  No foolin'.  The construction however... presents certain engineering difficulties at this time. (Which, if this thing can ever work at all, makes it no technical problem whatsoever.)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Movie Review: Captain Phillips

Very good movie, waited too long to see it, it's about to go out of theaters so catch it now or wait until sometime in '14 to get it on disk.  In case you've been out of the loop, it's a straight-up telling of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama off the Somali coast, and insofar as I could tell, it does tell the story straight up.  Acting and production were both top-notch, and it is a compelling story.  It is intense and there is some bloodshed, so leave the kids out on this one.  Put it all together and it rates 3.5 out of 4 stars.

Guess This Means CX'ing the Seawall, and next weekend too.  Deer season's in, and "modern guns with dogs" phase started yesterday.  Here's the MDWFP page on the matter.  Primitive weapons phase starts on Dec. 2, wood's will be good to bike then for a couple of weeks.

Orange Jersey: don't leave the trailhead without it.  And opening weekend, don't leave the trailhead at all.

Vote for R.A.H.!

The Missouri House of Representatives is selecting a "famous Missourian" to induct into their Hall.

Robert Anson Heinlein is currently running in second place.

Please go vote for him:


(This post has been reblogged in its entirety from The Smallest Minority.)

Time to go ride my bike.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Fourth Ward Cleaver's Up

And it may be the last one.  Maybe.  Read about it here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Placeholder Post for a Quiet Time

A little bit of wet weather, the final push to get a paper written, no bands or unusual music to speak of lately, no upgrades on the car, and no serious biking... but I'm still here.  Even this evenings's Last Radio Playing show was a re-run.  Maybe something interesting by the weekend.  Time to call it a season on some of the pepper plants and re-plant those niches in the garden, that'll take maybe an hour on Saturday.  Collards and kale are growing like, well, weeds and the Swiss chard is looking a little perkier these days.  Any harvesting is at least another month away though.  Movies... Captain Phillips will still be around for another week, Catching Fire opens this weekend.  Reviews will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

So Very, Very Wrong

On so many levels:
Yes, that's right, in 1976 Ford contemplated making a Mustang station wagon.  With wood panel sides at that.  Makes the Mustang II look not so bad, doesn't it?  Here's a photo article of Mustangs That Never Were over at Fox News.
Now look, there's nothing wrong with the concept of a shooting brake, a sort of gentleman's sports coupe for hauling around sporting gear while hauling ass in style.  But there's nothing stylish about turning the Mustang into a reject from the AMC Gremlin labs.  Fortunately, saner heads at Ford intervened and – though it took a while – the Mustang was saved from being perverted into a cheesy grocery-getter and was eventually turned back into what it should be.

Back to the main point, with the roomy trunk and fold-down back seats, the current version of Mustang damn near is a shooting brake.  Man can it hold a bunch of mullet nets, mountain bikes, lumber, or any number of shooty things.  But one thing that it isn't and never could be is some damn station wagon.  What was Ford thinking?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

View Over the Bars into Tuxachanie Creek

Nice ride in the woods today.  Nothing remarkable, except for its perfection.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Movie Review: Ender's Game

Pro: Stuck to the main story.  Good acting & special effects.

Con: Weak ending/epilogue, but it was the same as the book.  Overall, the movie somehow never quite connected.

What to say after that?  A rather large sub-plot in the book (in which Card essentially predicts the blogosphere having a heavy influence on politics) was neatly excised from the story.  It wasn't needed here, would've weighted things down, and isn't really adaptable to a movie.  Even though it's a spectacular sci-fi coup for Card, dropping it from the script was a good call.

After that, so much of the story is Ender's personal inner struggle.  It's hard to get something like that on film.  Guess the director did his best.  It sorta worked, but not quite.

BUT.  Here is the noteworthy thing about this film: It stuck to the story.  Whatever else its flaws, it stuck to the story.  They didn't bring in some hack writer, toss out the book, keep the tile and a couple of characters' names, and con everybody into a big opening weekend (example, and yes my prediction for that movie panned out).  For once, Hollywood stuck to the story, and the results – despite the novel's problems – were pretty good.

Three out of four stars.  If it interests you at all, go see it!

Mustang Rattle Solved

Since I got it (May '12, has it really been that long?), there's been a little bit of rattle in the front wheel wells.  Not enough to.... well, I did take it in, and it wasn't enough for the half-deaf mechanic to hear.  But with colder weather, the plastic fender liners were sounding out what seemed a death rattle, and on both sides to boot.

Cool weather's a big plus for these jobs here, because the bugs are mostly asleep.  It's a consideration when the ground you're rolling around on is fire ant ground zero.

It was no big deal as it turns out.  The liners needed to be pinned between the rocker panel end and the metal fender tab, but both sides had been assembled with the liner flapping in the breeze behind the fender tab.  Once I tore into it, it was pretty obvious how it was all supposed to fit together.  A little bit of prying with a plastic bike tire lever to pop things over followed by a fun 80 mph test ride, and we're back to solid and silent like Henry Ford intended it to be.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blues Tuesday

Tuesday again, and again they're playing the blues this evening over at WQRZ (103.5 FM) and on Last Radio Playing at WWCR (5.070* shortwave, 6 pm CST).  Get your serotonin fix today, it's got to last until Friday.

*Frequency valid for a limited time only!  Remember, scheduled shortwave frequencies have to slide around as the days shorten and lengthen with the seasons.  So check the broadcast schedule (again, link; search on 'last radio') early and often.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Good Run Back

Got away early this morning after a weekend at the Seafood Festival.  Light traffic on the 340 miles back, so I made it in 5:20 flat.  That works out to 64 mph average, and at 29.9 mpg.  I'll take it.

Here, have some random pictures I took:
One of the parade floats.  Really, it floats.

Fire orks barge being prepped.  The show was impressive!

Some weird-ass car parked in front of the Gibson.  It had a spark plug and gas injector on the tailpipe, that was pretty cool.