May 262011
  • I enjoy mild temperatures and am not generally one to be clamoring for the heat of the summer, but I’m wanting it now for the relative meteorological stability it will bring.  Could certainly do without anymore death and destruction for the next forever, but I’m also just weary of staying up watching the weather.
  • There are spots around here where it’s not exactly raining cicadas, but it’s definitely sprinkling them—and the eerie drone of them is relentless.  This is the hugest season for them I can ever remember.
  • Looking like a beautiful day for The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
  • Sustainedly played with a Kindle for the first time last night.  Thinking harder about one now than I’d like to admit, despite past declarations.  Trying to wait out the urge.  I have other plans for my next little bit of mad money.
  • American Idol finale down from last year, which was then an all-time low.  I know lots of you like it, so I’ll just leave it at that.
  • One in five young adults has high blood pressure.  Sheesh.  A much younger colleague was just discussing his with me yesterday.  He’s flirting with it.  It’s insidious because it doesn’t hurt.  Folks, get checked, and if it’s elevated, get it down now.  It’s easier when it’s mild, and it’s easier when you’re younger.  Maybe you can avoid medication entirely, instead of hoping to drop to just one like I am.
  • Want to see a music video made from the scenes in between the sex scenes in porn?  It’s oddly poetic and not tacky itself, though the comments are.
 Posted by at 7:37 am
May 252011

What’s been as consistently fascinating and just neat as NASA’s ability to keep Spirit and Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rovers, going?  When 90-day missions wind up in the neighborhood of seven years, then lots of folks are doing lots of cool things.

I read today that NASA has given up on Spirit, though.  They were going to try one last time today, and then call it done.  It’s been silent for over a year.  “Just a machine,” I know, but I guess it’s the romance of the machine’s purpose that lends it a sadness.  As a child, I remember being sad when I read that the Viking landers would just sit there forever too.

So then I started reading a bit on Curiosity, the Next Big Thing in Martian rovers.  It’s the size of a small car, and packed with science.  I particularly enjoyed the complex sequence of events required to land something of that size (intact) on the Martian surface.  Check out the last phase:

Then that “sky crane” bit flies away and crashes somewhere out of the way.  Pretty cool, yes?  Hopefully we can start following Curiosity‘s adventures next summer.

 Posted by at 6:10 pm
May 232011

No question I’m getting more excited earlier this time around.  I suspect this is directly related to my enthusiasm for the prospect of seeing the White House’s current occupant pasted and sent back to Chicago to seethe with sullen rage.

I think I deliberately pulled back not much earlier than this last time around.  (And how cool is it that my blog’s been around for multiple presidential elections?)  You know, about a month away from the election in 2008, an old high school classmate of mine told me that the campaigns must be like the playoffs for me, and Election Day is the Super Bowl.  What a nice thing to say.

So the political thing tends to be good for traffic, but I know it alienates some of you.  So I shall endeavor to keep it somewhat limited, particularly this far out.  My offer does stand, however:  if any of my liberal friends would like me to explain to them why they are wrong, I’m happy to do so.

I’m all about enlightenment.

 Posted by at 9:19 pm
May 222011

Herman Cain announced yesterday that he is a candidate for President of the United States.

I am not a perfect policy match with him, but then I’m not a perfect policy match with anyone but me, and I don’t want the job.

I do know that I’m ready to have a president who knows where a dollar comes from (indeed, what a dollar is).  I’m ready to have a president whose default position toward his own country is not one of meek contrition.  I’m ready to have a president who believes that the United States is the greatest country the world has ever known.  On all of these counts, Mr. Cain fills me with confidence.

I also believe he will make policy on the premise that our government must provide us opportunity for success, not attempt to provide the success itself.

At this point politically, I believe that an establishment Republican reelects Obama fairly easily, and that Cain is the most electable of the plausible candidates who do not fit the mold of an establishment Republican.

Time will tell how much that impression of mine holds up, but I did just write him a small check.

 Posted by at 8:27 pm