Thursday, March 08, 2007


Can somebody please explain coffee to me?

I like the smell, but it seriously tastes like yak diarrhea, and you pay four dollars a cup for the privilege. Then, you get addicted to it, so you can't start your day without your yak poop.

When I was working as a temp, one of my jobs was making the coffee, and it was this huge enormous delicate process governed over and worried about only slightly less than your average Eucharistic consecration. Like life isn't complicated enough without trying to precisely tear apart filters with barely-slitted eyes at six in the morning.

How does this start? I imagine it's like smoking, where you hang out in the break room and for business purposes need to join everybody else in saying "I NEED COFFEE. WHERE'S THE COFFEE? THIS COFFEE SUCKS. LET'S FIND SOME DECENT COFFEE."

cream and sugar at:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Will The Baby Nephew continues to separate himself from his big brother.

"It's Baby Will!" Jim The Small Child Nephew says whenever someone totes his sibling into view. "Baby Will so cute!"

Those with brothers, or siblings, or who simply know other people tell me to enjoy it while it lasts. But Will seems intent up on preserving his space within the realm of King James. He's now banging around in some kind of walky-device, and blending this with his other main hobby, headrushing: While Jim settles in for his daily check on whether or not Cars will end the same way, Will has taken to backing up to the television set and craning his head upside down, all while carefully avoiding blocking the view of Big Brother.

He is his own man, Baby Will is.

McQueen! at:

Will's Cuteness UPDATE: Those of you raving about his eyes should also fully appreciate the Prince's dimples:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Clearly Cosby Wasn't Notified

Concerning Pudding Pops:

I seem to remember smooth vanilla--sometimes vanilla-and-chocolate-- goodness.

I seem to remember an intoxicating layer of ice that required pre-biting before achieving said goodness.

I seem to remember a dessert that did not smell like just-shorn lumber.

I didn't even know The Pop had left until I had a tonsillectomy in 1997, and I was left to make do with such tripe as sherbet, Tropical Twists, and Twin Pops. I threw up an entire grape Popsicle Original on the way home from the hospital, I was so upset.

So when I saw that the Pudding Pop had returned, this time under the Popsicle umbrella of icy power, I spent almost four whole entire dollars on a box of twelve, quite sure that the cardboard box was merely a container, and not meant as a pre-flavoring agent. And... and... the Pudding Pops, they're, like, really small now, and square, and mushy, and they made me cry.

Maybe they always sucked and I was simply naive about the whole thing. Then again, I also used to subsist almost entirely on fake Pez, post-Halloween, and thought nothing of it.

I don't see how I'm going to get over this.

there is no longer room at:

Monday, March 05, 2007

If You're In Town

Please come to my next reading, on Wednesday, March 7, at 7 PM. It's in Daytona Beach, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Willie Miller Instructional Center, Rm 104.

I'm not entirely sure who Willie Miller is, but his building has all these gargantuan auditoriums in it, and you have to come. They've got this ginormous room all reserved, and there's going to be nobody there. It's Bike Week in Daytona. Everybody is either roaring around or curled up in little balls indoor in fear of those roaring around. It's going to be me and like five hundred unamused folding chairs, I just know it.

You have to come.

hogs at:

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Rollin' Back

I send you greetings from the fair lady Atlantis, on her way from Pad A to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Atlantis has a headache.
The external tank received damage from a hail storm. When the insulation of your gas tank is foam, this can kind of happen.

I saw the last part of the rollback. Made it by fifteen minutes. It takes about seven hours to get a shuttle from Pad A to the VAB, on a six million ton vehicle that has a top speed of one mile an hour, and I was almost late for it.

This was because I... couldn't find the VAB. It's the third-largest building in the world, and I lost it. Since my work with NASA is now at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Space and Missile Museum, it's been a while since I've driven around the VAB Industrial Complex, and I couldn't figure out how to get to it. So I kept whizzing back and forth on the NASA Causeway all, "There it is!... There it is!... There it is!..." and then turning around. Again.

But I made it just before Atlantis disappeared into her boudoir for the evening:

And so we have an English major from Ohio face to face with the disgruntled Atlantis.

We can see here from the Super DigiCam TeleLens That Results In Way Too Many Accidental Pictures of Nostril Hairs that Atlantis is kind of a beater:

And that's OK. Those are working tiles. Unlike The Rack, they are not for display purposes only.

Here is one set of the reaction control pods:

They are placed on either side of the noses of the orbiters, and they are used to make little corrections and left and right turns in space. I would like some of these on my Corolla.

This is one of the payload bay doors of the orbiter. The U.S. flag looks bass-ackwards because we are looking at it from Atlantis' starboard side, and due to aviation tradition, the blue field needs to be pointing to the nose of the spacecraft. This is why I'm not in charge of the stencilling.

The situation called for me to follow purely scientific, official NASA protocol and take a picture of myself.

And here we are, inside in time for tea. When the Saturn V rockets for Apollo were rolled out, they were twice this height. That's a lot of wicker.

The solid rocket boosters have the same foam that covers the external tank at the very bottom. I like to think of these strips as "booster cozies."

All of these images are Atlantis in her "before" pictures; her fat pants. The entire load (orbiter, SRB's, external tank, mobile launch platform, crawler transporter) is about twelve million pounds-- and that's with the external tank empty.

So you're going to rough up the dirt a little. These are the tread tracks left by the crawler transporter on its way back from the pad.

I parked the Pending Bridemobile right on the Crawlerway to take this picture. For some reason, this didn't seem to go down too well with Security.

At least they let me get a picture before the cuffs went on.

yay digital at:

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