Archive for October, 2010


Halloween Costumes

October 28, 2010

Has anyone seen the commercial with the mom dressing the kid for Halloween as Iron Man?

I CAN COMPLETELY SYMPATHIZE WITH THE KID!!! When my brother and I were growing up, our Mom would never let us buy costumes from the store, we always had to make them. Now, Mom, before you get upset, let me finish. My brother and I loved making our own costumes – it was fun and creative. However, we were significantly handicapped by the fact that we didn’t have any materials aside from some cardboard boxes, scissors, and tape. This seriously limited our creative abilities as imagination can only take you so far – at some point you need the right tools. Case in point: One year (second grade to be specific – I remember this very well) I wanted to go as a robot. No problem! Mom busted out the cardboard, tape, and aluminum foil and before you knew it I had a cool shiny robot costume. The only problem? The box was too big. I know this because when I tried to walk into the classroom the day of the big Halloween party I got stuck halfway through the door. Seriously. Stuck in the door. The teacher actually had to cut me out of my costume. Thank god the fire alarm didn’t go off. I can see the headline now: “Entire Second Grade Class Burned Alive: Authorities Blame Cardboard Robot.” So, I can sympathize with the Iron Man kid.

Actually, now that I think about it, the costume thing was a lot like when Mom wouldn’t let us buy the pumpkin carving kits from the Giant because they would ‘hinder our creativity.’ Instead, we had to design and carve our own pumpkins, which was great except the only tools we had were a soup spoon and a giant, 10” long carving knife. It was quite possibly the single most dangerous tool you could have given to a little kid to carve a pumpkin. All you could do was shove it into the pumpkin and move it in a straight line – it was just too big to manipulate. As a result, we were pretty much limited to triangles, squares, or any other polygon. If we had attempted to carve a curve we would likely have lost all our fingers.   

I hereby promise that my kids, while always required to build their own costumes and design their own pumpkins, will at least be given the proper tools to do so.  It’s like I always say, “There’s no activity that can’t be made better by the addition of power tools.”


Things never change…

October 26, 2010

From the Rutherford B. Hayes biography I’m reading right now:

“Eighteen seventy-three was a bad year for the country, the state, and the party.  When in September the banking house of Jay Cooke collapsed, the nation entered into the most severe depression – panic, as it was called – in its history.  Millions lost their jobs, businesses went into bankruptcy, and the effect on politics was the usual one:  the party in power was held responsible.”


Old man products

October 9, 2010


My favorite part of playing golf in old golf clubs?  The toiletries.  It’s like they bought a thousand cases in 1940 and have been going through them ever since.  My favorites are the hair tonic and talc.



October 5, 2010

This video was working its way around the office because people thought it was real, rather than a clip from a video game.

Here are some of the quotes from the email chain:

“Don’t do this at home!! I vote for stronger flight decks.”

“W O W !!!!”

“You guys need to look at this. I wonder if the pilot turned in his wings”

and the one that started it all:

“You will watch this more than once.


A supremely well-trained US Navy pilot, ice running in his veins instead of blood, fully regains control of his $70 million, F-35, joint strike force fighter, after a problematic vertical take-off attempt. Watch

as the rear vertical thruster fires to cause the problem.


There’s nothing about this the pilot enjoys. If he could have ejected at 100′ upside down and lived, he would have. Looks like the afterburner kicks in while still vectored for vertical takeoff. Lockheed would call this a “software malfunction” and do a little more “regressive testing”.

Good demonstration of power-to-weight ratio of this aircraft! And talk about stability control … If he didn’t come out of the loop wings-level, probably would have been bad news; maybe taking some of the carrier with him!

Add to this flying through your own exhaust – can lead to equipment malfunctions, too! … As in “flame out”.

The F-35 is single engine with vertical take off/landing capability but at zero airspeed it has the aerodynamics of a Steinway piano. This is the most unbelievable (bloody lucky) piece of flying you/he will ever see/do in your/his life.”

And yes, these are people making decisions as to what equipment the military should buy.  They all have military experience and in many cases engineering backgrounds.  They understand military systems and how they work.  Or at least I thought so until yesterday.



October 4, 2010


The only problem is now Chris won’t kiss me.


Working definition of life

October 1, 2010

Life is a series of events you look back on and wonder what the hell you were thinking.