Archive for February, 2007

Review of The Polysyllabic Spree

Monday, February 26th, 2007

My review of The Polysyllabic Spree is up on Bell, Book, and Candle.

Team of Rivals

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

My review of Team of Rivals is up on BBC.

Next to sumo…

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

The righteous have already seen Warren Ellis‘s latest comment on the presidential race, but for those snoozing or living in Japan, he’s talking about McCain.

More Memory & Outage

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Ylum (the machine that is and several other names) was up and down a bunch this evening.  I added a Gigabyte of RAM, which should be a straightforward operation.  It’s not so straightforward when you slightly dislodge the motherboard power connection.  If you’re curious, on ylum’s motherboard the first service you lose when you do that are the cooling fans.  It took a while to figure out why the machine was suddenly intermittent, but the firmware seems to have saved all the hardware, and now all is well.  In fact, better than well as ylum’s got twice the memory it had this morning.
You learn something new every day.


Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

It’s not often I disagree with Warren Ellis, but this is awesome.

In other news, I know two out of three.

I don’t know why this is so funny to me…

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Remember a few years ago when GWB and company mailed out all those up to $300.00 checks as a little bribe to support their tax policies? Well, I got a check and never cashed it. I meant to cash it and make a charitable contribution or burn it as avgas or something, but I never quite remembered to. The first check expired and they sent me another, with the interest on my $300.00 dutifully added in. We went round on it a couple times, and I’ve still never cashed it. I think they’ll still mail me a cashable one (the last one has also expired) if I call a number or something.
But, despite the fact that I’ve never taken a dollar of the bribe, they send me a 1099 for the interest every year. This strikes me as hysterically funny.

Real Headlines

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Boston extorts $2M from Turner.

Of Illumination and Ducks

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

I’ve been thinking too much about the Mallard Fillmore “comic strip” lately, and I think I finally understand what I dislike most about it. It isn’t the politics, though I rarely agree with them; it isn’t the art, though I don’t much like it; it isn’t the half-assed citations without dates or pages, though they drive me crazy. Confused by the chaff of annoyance thrown up by those characteristics, it’s taken me a while to figure out what causes me the most discomfort about the thing.

It’s not a comic.

It’s an illuminated blog post. Every day Bruce Tinsley writes a blog post about current events or fruit cake or mushroom soup or whatever else is on his mind (all fine blog fodder, by the way), illuminates it with a cartoon duck motif and mails it to King Features Syndicate. Two weeks later (that’s a guess) his blog post appears in its illuminated glory in newspapers across this great land of ours. Try reading a week of them aloud to someone. See how often you need to describe the illustration or name a character speaking to get the point across. My guess – never. This isn’t a politics or content issue. Try the same on the editorial cartoon pages or with Doonesbury.
Now, it only amuses me that this is about the least efficient way to blog, ever. But I am perturbed that he’s taking up space on the comic page that an actual comic strip artist could use. If Tinsley wants to have the words published, just transcribe them and let someone who can use the art space do so.

Blue skies

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

I went off to French Valley for lunch today, after a long day working yesterday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day; I heard several airports reporting greater than 50 miles visibility. The trip to French Valley is about an hour of things to see over LA itself and then into the drier parts between LA and San Diego.

I don’t know what it was today, but on the way out no one, but no one heard my callsign correctly. After the first couple controllers had trouble, I was working on saying it slowly and distinctly, but still had to correct it. It’s kind of funny, because no one asked me to say it again, but no one got it right either.

The trip out was gorgeous, but there was lots of traffic. I think I saw planes at every airport I passed, including Compton, which is often a ghost airport. I got to watch a couple transport jets go through the pattern at John Wayne, but had two traffic alerts called for me nearer French Valley. I was seeing a fair number of planes, but obviously not all of them. Always nice to get help from controllers.
French Valley was about as busy as usual on a weekend, which means there was plenty going on. The restaurant seemed a little overstaffed, which is to be expected at 1:00 on Super Bowl Sunday, I suppose. Always a good airport to hang out and watch the traffic, though it was hot and dry today (most airports were in the high 20’s (Celsius) and had dewpoints below zero).

The trip back was much less eventful, though I did see a pilot land on the grass next to the runway at Corona. I would guess this was an instructor exposing a student to a real grass strip landing, but there’s no way to tell. The pilot certainly didn’t seem to be in distress.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. I did see a Super Bowl party (I assume a Super Bowl party, definitely a party) in a hangar at SMO.

Back up in the air

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

After getting back from our trip to NC, I hadn’t been up in the air since. Primarily this was due to time crunches and weather, but I also had a few days where I was stuffed up enough that I didn’t want to be climbing and descending. I even missed a perfectly flyable opportunity to fly down to San Diego for the big race last week, due to a bum forecast. In fact, I didn’t log a single hour in January. Thankfully, after heading off to SMO today after work, I logged time on both 31 Jan 2006 and 1 Feb 2007.

I just sat in the pattern for probably half an hour, which is always good fun at Santa Monica. I even got a short approach in, and got a compliment from the tower on it.

Good to be back up.