Relearned some High School Physics I didn’t learn

Maybe I was out that week in Physics class in 1986. I do remember we spent way too many weeks on vectors, fulcrums and the stuff about lenses was boring. We never got nuclear or atomic stuff but near graduation, I vaguely recall electrical things like resistance. Oh yeah and how slow electrons really are, as in 16+ minutes to cover one meter of an electrified piece of metal. I just never got the gist of Watts, Joules and so on.

Why does this matter anyway? In my curiosity over how much closer we are to harnessing fusion (too late to stop the Climate Change disasters, it’s here) along with my on again/off again 2300 AD campaign, I’ve been hybridizing all my favorite RPGs to perfect interstellar travel. The key has been figuring out units of energy to coincide with what I call the Super Symmetry drive or as my setting calls it, the Alcubierre Drive, maybe AD drive for short. Those are both real-world references! The AD is a nod to the KK drive from one of my favorite Sci-Fi novel settings by Alan Dean Foster, the Humanx Commonwealth.

What a I learned in my research was a bummer. A Watt equals a Joule, fine. However, a Joule is only enough energy to move approximately 100 grams one meter. Why not a kilo or one gram? A hundred grams seems silly and arbitrary. The other thing that was a relief was getting clarification on how power plants or sources are rated, finally! When the stats say an installation produces n MegaWatts (usually), this is its maximum per hour. I wasn’t sure if this was per second, minute, hour, etc. Hell, it could’ve been for the lifetime of the power source. A government site clarified my confusion. Now I can extrapolate this for all the power plants listed in 2300 AD‘s supplemental starship construction rules while I rein in the rather absurd Energy Points from Traveller‘s High Guard. Ready, 1 EP = 250 MW. I’d say it’s a bit much when this is applied to today’s Space X or Artemis rockets given those rules say they’re Tech Level 6 or higher.

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1993: Dazed n’ Confused debuts

I think this movie was supposed to make Richard Linklater a big deal but it tanked. For me it doesn’t help that its legacy was launching the overrated, insufferable self-proclaimed favorite son of Austin…Matthew McConaughey. Contrary to the myth, he was always a no-talent, struggling actor before Dazed came to Austin. Oh yeah, it also gave Ben Affleck a small, humorous role. I have to admit, he became a decent director for the two things I’ve watched he worked on.

The upside? It was an early job for the likable Anthony Rapp from Star Trek: Discovery. I guess you could say the same of Milla Jovovich despite her never speaking. Then comes Indie Queen Parker Posey (her Dr. Smith for Lost in Space clobbers Gary Oldman) and the other Texan, Renée “bee-stung lips” Zellweger has a non-speaking part too.

The mixed…playing Austin/Travis County bingo and lamenting what we’ve lost over the last 30 years as we’re becoming the new overpriced, New Austin to accommodate all the Californicators and New York Hipsters. Contrary to the Texas Republicans, the exodus isn’t their tribe, it’s worse, the selfish Centrist class.

Anyway, I was never interested in seeing Dazed initially for several key reasons which I think contributed to its failure.

  1. It looked like yet another stoner comedy, especially how the poster’s byline plugged the plot. Cheech & Chong mined this genre to death by 1983.
  2. I was really sick and tired of Seventies nostalgia. The plague of the Nineties as Fashion, Hollywood and other dipshits love to recycle the trash of the previous 20-25 years!
  3. If is to be believed (and often you can’t), they claim 1/6th of the budget was spent on getting the music rights. Pretty pricey for crap you hear on the radio every day for free.

A few months later, I moved to Austin and not many people spoke about it. You could see it every night at the Dobie Theater as the midnight feature for a year. Doc informed me our private dorm/employer was approached to house the cast during the Summer of 1992. The clueless GM refused since he was a small-town, ex-football coach asshole who believed whatever Rush Limbaugh said. Little did he know, the majority of them would be sleeping all day as the story takes place mostly at night.

After living in Austin for a few weeks and retaining the bad night owl life style I developed in college, I chose to see Dazed at Dobie. I hated it. I walked away thinking, what was the point? There’s no coherent story! It’s just a bunch of dumb, small-town teenagers getting high, drunk and thinking about how they’re going to rule the school next Fall. I don’t need to watch that! I lived it in North Dakota. I’m lucky Dazed didn’t give me some form of mild PTSD! So I went back the following evening, thinking I overlooked a key element or to confirm I just “don’t get it.” Good thing I did. Upon the second watching, I came away with a better hypothesis I continue to stick with as I’ve never asked Linklater for the answer. It’s really a day-in-the-life of the last day of school in a small town in Texas circa 1976. A little time slice covering about 24 hours. There’s no resolution to the ongoing conflicts facing Pink and the gang, those will play out over the Summer and Fall. Dazed is also a love letter to the late-stage Boomers and vanguard Gen Xers who were teens, tweeners and little kids (I’m in the last group, I would’ve been eight). It certainly caters to a few of my friends.

Obviously, Dazed joined the legion of Sleeper Hits that gained greater success and a core audience through cable and video rentals. It’s a shame how this Second Chance channel is gone due to the streaming services being a mystery with their numbers. We only know if something is a hit on Netflix if they say so, mainly plugging their productions, especially the chess thing with the actress who looks like someone smacked her forehead really hard.

So if you’ve never seen Dazed n’ Confused, give it a try. Linklater did well when he wanted to recapture the memories of the mid-Seventies. Years before the rather predictable and not funny That Seventies Show. It’s a great companion to the awesome Netflix show, F is for Family.

A rather different explanation for my Header Art!

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Darned front filling popped out

Normally this doesn’t happen when I eat ribs but as soon as my tongue discovered a new hole on my teeth, I was, crap! Not bad, the filling held for four years. My front teeth would be in better shape if it weren’t for COVID-19. Luckily I got an appointment this morning to get it fixed. I only had to deal with the horrible meth-addict look for two days.

The dentist, she did a fantastic job! It’s like it never happened. The downside, over the years decay got in there which explains the filling finally giving up. She said she bought me a couple more years so there’s a painful root canal in my future. Dang. Still, I look better while I have to save up for the four crowns or whatever.

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New for me in iOS 17, cat stickers!

iOS 17 was released this week and for once (or maybe, first in a while), I got to enjoy a new feature, stickers! You create them pretty quickly in Photos. Then you add them to your ready-to-go stickers in Messages. I do hope WhatsApp has an update add this.

It’s pretty impressive in its accuracy at removing all the background stuff or maybe the programmers wrote code to focus on cats since they do rule the Internet.

If it’s a Live Photo, the Sticker is made into a GIF but it didn’t translate very well to be uploaded into my site. It’s OK. You can’t resize GIFs because you’ll negate the cool motions Metztli does as she realizing I’m taking her picture. No luck catching Isis yet it’s inevitable!

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Correcting George Will’s standard bullshit…

The answer according to the clairvoyant seer of the East…Karnac!

Dust, spare change and George F. Will.

Ripping open the envelope, and now the question.

Name three things you’ll find under a rug.

The Beltway Bullshitter who loves Baseball (his touchpoint with the common man despite being the One Percent’s mouthpiece), came down from his Ivory Tower after lamenting with Brooks over an $80 airport meal to lecture us about the UAW’s obsolete strike and its success. Nice to know the One Percent is getting their money’s worth from a newspaper only read by other Beltway Assholes, not the audience they think he can affect. As a “journalist,” I recall he might be a member a union called the Newsguild too.

In light of the UAW successfully holding Grampa’ Brunch’s feet to the fire after his 50 years of shitting on them, amongst other Americans, a standing POTUS is finally showing some overdue support. I can’t recall this happening my lifetime, especially after St. Reagan fucked us all by firing PATCO; news flash, the US still hasn’t recovered from the loss of all those experienced air-traffic controllers if you’ve kept track of the latest near misses.

Anyway, I found it necessary to correct this alleged NeverTrumper’s latest drivel probably riddled with baseball analogies or metaphors or whatever it is to make you think he knows his gardener’s first name.

You can thank me by just running this every time ol’ Georgie opens his face Mr. Bezos, in exchange for money. You’re welcome in advance since I’m confident you also make him do astroturf pieces defending why you should have obscene wealth and underserved power.


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Houston Shock Jock Moby died 9/12/23

Moby wasn’t as famous as the other equally boring, homophobic and tedious shock jocks who pollute FM radio nowadays…as FM radio dies. I know his schtick pre-dates Howard Stern, the king of loving his own voice, but was definitely after the rarely funny Steve Dahl.

When we moved to Houston in 1982, Moby was the region’s Andrew Tate, meaning many tweener and teen boys loved his morning show on 97 Rock. He annoyed me immediately by his bitching about Yankees moving to the area through his thick Southern accent. This didn’t help with my year of sadness of being away from my more familiar Springfield, IL surroundings. What little I was subjected to of his “comedy” was mostly off-color jokes you can’t tell in polite company anymore and mean digs at Monty Montrose, his surrogate to mock Houston’s gay community (Montrose remains the traditional neighborhood like the Castro district of San Francisco). In his defense, everybody mocked gay people, including the traditional Left and so did I. Thankfully, many of us got it together as we realized we were being cruel and we were hurting others. Lastly, I think being KLOL-101 fan, anything with 97 Rock just made me go, meh.

I still would see updates about Houston radio after we moved away to Indiacrapolis in 1984, the home of another boring duo called Bob & Tom. In 1984 or 1985, 97 Rock gave up and changed formats. Moby was signed to a non-compete for Houston so he took his act to Dallas but when the day the contract expired, KLOL sadly signed him. No idea how long he lasted that go round. I’m going to take a guess and say, not long. My friend Jeremy was living there until some point in the Nineties and said I didn’t recall Moby. I’d like to give the people of Houston credit for coming to their senses and demanding a more intelligent voice in the morning short of NPR.

It is sad how Moby died of stomach cancer only in early sixties and finishing his career being a Country DJ. However, I think the era for his type of crap alongside Stern, Dahl and Bob & Tom is long over, finally. Most people control their morning commute with better music and they have apps on their phones to monitor the traffic and weather. They never needed to hear some mean-spirited joke only appropriate for the grade-school playground.

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Another lame reason the Republicans would be against Solar

Even the Dutch have their prudish morons. The townhome in the middle has the same number of solar panels as its neighbors (eight) but due to the skylight, the panels were set up as a “U” instead of an “L.” When the three sets are put together, it makes the Dutch word for “dick,” with the connotation of somebody being a jerk or asshole. It’s not easily seen unless you’re in a helicopter. The local council, I’m guessing that’s their version of a pesky HOA, is deciding what to do. Solar panels are OK. The debate is if you can make swear words.

I’d still deal with this problem than what we have in the US. Big Oil and the Republicans are doing everything they can to discourage dependency, especially the past laws saying the power company has to buy back your excess! This one ex-friend should be a lobbyist since he was humorless and thought his spurious reasoning was funny…even the sun will run out. Of course it will but I think your magic underpants will keep you warm ex-friend.

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Talk like a Pirate Day ’23!

I wish I had a real pirate hate but I settled for my trip-corner because they wore those too. Maybe I’ll do better next year.

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Behind the Bastards covers one of my nemeses

I was laughing so hard because I’ve dealt with numerous motherfuckers who think they’re entitled to the front. For I have met many of this Bastard’s descendants and a few got well-deserved elbows in the face. As my friend (and ex-wife) Somara once said to a couple of them at Devo, “If you want to be closer! Show up earlier!” Then she gave them a great big shove forcing them back. I think one fell down too. Those three bitches at Elle King were definitely great granddaughters.

What I love is the photo of that asshole we’ve all met, next to the dildos with their phones out to record the whole concert; he’s tall, rude and just a little too into it. The bracelet is noticeable, I wouldn’t be surprised if this stock photo was taken at one of Austin’s annual gatherings of rude assholes (mostly from California and NYC), SXSW or ACL Fest. But the majority are clearly under 30 so it’s more likely something they find more attractive. It’s definitely from the past due to the lack of cell phones, beards and male haircuts from the Roaring Twenties and Depression.

Lastly, I believe we need a contract or an enforced code of conduct on concert attendance. I know they’ll never remove the booze, a huge factor in spreading assholism, due to profit. What we need is a pact with the enforcement means to maintain civility, making people put their fucking phones away to be in the moment (and not ruin the short people’s view), no children unless it’s They Might be Giants, Weird Al or the Aquabats and we all get to beat down the idiot yelling “Free Bird!”

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1983: Dungeons & Dragons debuts on CBS Saturday Mornings

What a dumb (and somewhat brave) move by CBS TV and TSR to go forward with this Saturday-Morning cartoon. Brave? Dumb? It was in the middle of the moronic Satanic Panic so anything associated with D&D, especially a show aired when 90% of the audience are children fueled the idiocy.

However, I was now 15 when it debuted and it was late enough in the schedule I could get up in time to see all the cool things I loved about the game come to life. The idiocy wasn’t limited to the KKKristians afraid of Satan worship through a game fueled by imagination. Dungeons & Dragons had to conform to the core demographic (kids under 12 I think) so all the annoying tropes plaguing cartoons in the Eighties were on full display.

  1. No actual violence: e.g. I think Cobra was defeated through bankruptcy given all the expensive vehicles they lost.
  2. An annoying animal sidekick yet not as funny nor amusing as Scooby Doo.
  3. It was supposed to help sell toys. On the latter, Gygax’s asshole ego torpedoed this with Mattel (He-Man) and the LJN versions were far from…well, good.
  4. Lazy personality types: the loudmouth coward, the smart naive one, etc.
  5. Characters who don’t exist in the source material: Venger? Dungeonmaster or as I remember him, Discount Yoda.

I still watched it and we all talked about it the next Monday at school, for me, just Clear Creek; I had lost interest by the time we moved to Indiacrapolis. It didn’t all suck. Seeing Lloth and Tiamat animated as threats were cool. Besides, there wasn’t much else to go on. The Fantasy movie fad in Hollywood was petering out since Conan, Krull, Dragonslayer, Excalibur and The Beastmaster didn’t make obscene profits. All the cheap T&A dreck…Deathstalker, The Sword & the Sorcerer and Sorceress didn’t help. Special effects were expensive and had a long, long way to go before the kick-ass The Lord of the Rings trilogy delivered. I’m glad Peter Jackson kept up with the practical instead of being completely dependent on digital.

Today I don’t mind the cartoon. The show’s bible was put together by the great comic book writer Mark Evanier and the primary characters live on via inside jokes. My personal fave is from Gumball with Roger (the dad) running a game with the family and he’s made up to resemble Dungeonmaster.

Given the game’s newfound popularity and the property of one of the three largest toy makers on Earth (Hasbro), I figure the last movie’s modest success at the box office may result in a new cartoon. Disney+ manages new Star Wars stuff with computer graphics, why not D&D?

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…and Texas once again proves it’s still 1860 here

Despite overwhelming evidence that AG Ken Paxton is a guilty piece of crap who abused his office to protect a political donor, the Texas Senate, dominated by MAGA Republicans, acquitted this shit bird on every count. Equally evil Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, no, not the cool guy from ESPN, this old far who resembles the Red Skull with a cheap toupée, lectured the Texas House. He’s going to audit all their expenses in prosecuting Paxton and demand the state constitution be changed to prevent this from happening again.

Seems, Texas has the same damned problem as the Feds. Impeachment got hijacked into being a political process as the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” changed from how it was understood in the late 18th and early 19th Century. Not being a fan of the stupid Originalist interpretation via the Founders but I’m pretty confident Madison would say it applies to Tricky Dick, Girth Vader, to some extent Slick Willie and absolutely with Paxton.

The other flaw is allowing the Senate be the jury. Oh they’re Paxton’s peers as he used to be a member and his wife keeps the seat warm, no conflict of interests though. When it comes to being corrupt turds, they’re definitely peers. Hence, we need a real jury of people free of the political fealty. We know the Republicans would be against this. Average people would convict Girth Vader and Tricky Dick and probably acquit Slick as they ask, he lied to cover up gettin’ some on the side, at least he wasn’t doin’ it with an enemy agent who is now buried in a golf course for tax purposes!

It’s even more embarrassing to live in Texas and be an American now. Compared to how our counterparts in the EU go after their slime, we are joke with nuclear weapons and a big army and navy. As Dave Anthony said, we just legalized their corruption. Oh, right on cue, the impotent Democrats sent fundraising e-mails within an hour of the verdicts.

Let’s hope the FBI doesn’t fuck this up as their investigation widens. The Texas Senate and governors can’t protect Paxton then.

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1963: The first cat in space!

Last week, I forgot to write about the first feline who went to space after a dog and I figure a couple chimps or monkeys.

The kitty’s name was Félicette, one of many strays rounded up from Paris and drafted into France’s space program. She went on to be the only cat ever sent beyond what is classified as the borderline between our atmosphere and space (100 km/62 miles); Félicette went 154km, setting the record for cats too!

She landed safely back on Earth but sadly, Félicette was euthanized after two months for an autopsy to see if going to space did anything to her anatomy. Obviously it didn’t! If she could’ve reproduced, they should’ve let her, then Félicette would have descendants to carry on her legacy. She finally got her overdue recognition in 2019! The International Space University at Strasbourg dedicated a statue to Félicette (shown above); I was hoping the globe she sits on would be much larger.

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September ’23 is half over, so let’s have a joke!

As the current Hulu run of Futurama is nearing the end of its first season, I need to watch it all over again (the season, not the whole show) and make sure they’ve kept this up. This reminds me about how my Mooching Crayfish jersey should be appearing any day now!

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Jennifer is on vacation, I’m interviewing!

This morning, Jennifer headed out for a somewhat annual family vacation to South Padre Island. You could say it’s her Las Vegas. Tagging along are the usual crew: her mom, her two adult children, the daughter’s boyfriend and her friend John. Why didn’t I go? I lack vacation time currently (thanks IRS) plus this is a family matter. Wait, the boyfriend and John aren’t related. They’ve been in Jennifer’s circle much longer than me and it’s OK. We hope to go somewhere, just the two of us, in March. I’ll have extra time to tackle other matters anyway.

As for the interview, boy did I have to cram! I only knew it was scheduled yesterday. No sweat. I did some decent homework to prepare. What is it? Oh, my employer has a course or training thing for those interested in management. And before you go…

  • I thought you were through with that after some bad experiences a decade ago!
  • You’ve already done pseudo management twice before in your 24 years there!

With the first point, there has been some philosophical changes in the leadership as well as different people. They reviewed my work thus far and asked me to apply. I responded with thank you but no thank you while explaining why I wasn’t interested, namely on how it turned sour. Besides, I like what I do more now and I’m more useful this way. After some convincing that the rationale for the rejections I experienced were no longer valid nor would be considered, I said. OK, I’ll do it.

Since I went into the interview knowing there would be no guarantees on certain things, namely being promoted, and even answered in the written application, I’m good with the possibility I will never be a manager; I did the best I could and regardless of the outcome, I had a fun time talking, laughing and making the two interviewers laugh. It is funny. When you have nothing to lose, those are the greatest interviews.

I do have another for a different department which is equally prestigious. It’s delayed since they’re continuing to take applicants until the end of the week. This is going to require way more studying and preparing.

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Google Fiber’s first hiccup and it wasn’t their fault

I made the shift last month and have never looked back after 20-plus years of enduring AT&T. It was perfect until Monday night when it went down while I was watching TV. I let it be because it was getting close to bed time and Tuesday was going to be nuts with all the car stuff. I did double check everything I could control on Tuesday morning but nothing changed so I contacted Google. The earliest appointment with a Tech was the following morning. I took it and scheduled a half-day from work.

Wednesday (today) is trash day and while I was moving the container to the curb, I finally found the problem. Some asshole opened the Google Fiber box and disconnected the two transceivers. I felt super, super stupid. I failed to understand the red light on the port in the kitchen (optical) to be the box. My service rebounded immediately after plugging the two transceivers back in. The Tech was kind enough to test both pieces of hardware to ensure no damage and then he locked down the fiber box.

Who? How? What? I have no idea nor clue. It could’ve been the nearby teenagers being teenagers since their moral compasses continue to be a work in progress. I dread it’s the next door neighbor I reported to the city for watering outside the restricted times given we’re at Stage Two for the drought; it did rain today though.

If this is the worst my Google Fiber experience gets, I stand by it to the ends of the Earth. Meanwhile, AT&T is bugging me about their hardware they’re too stupid to pick up from their store.

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