When the Outlaw Don told me he had gone and seen the movie and was about to write a review, we talked about some of the ways we felt the movie could have been marketed better. One was to stress the connection with Edgar Rice Burroughs. It seems a fan made one along those lines. It is longer than a normal trailer but it does get the point across.

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Where Has That Idiot Been

Chained to the work station at the PCP is where he has been.  The slowdown for us has definitely stopped (got a Telecommunications background and live in the Atlanta GA area, drop me a line we are hiring) and I am getting worked to the proverbial bone.

Due to the lack of sufficiently trained bodies to man the Tech Support for the projects that are currently running, I am working basically 16 hour days.

Add in the time it takes to get to and from home plus basic body maintenance and I ain’t got shit for free time!

This is being written from work in the first slack period I have seen, the Teams in the field appear to finally be getting their act together.  This one is complicated and it just is taking some real world time for them to get fully up to speed.  Things that seem simple in a training lab get complicated as hell at 0300 when the clock is ticking on your down time window!

More major joy is once I get this turkey running I have a major trip coming up followed by coming back and getting a support shop set up for another major product!  I might actually have some spare time during the trip.  Other than that don’t expect much from the Dawg except on weekends (Teams cannot be on the sites on the weekends) for at least a couple of months or so!

It could be worse, I could be one of the people looking for a job!



Do Something — Even If It’s Wrong

We haven’t commented on the goings on in Florida but we can’t avoid reading about the situation. It seems to me that whatever happens justice will take a back seat to demagoguery. Jerry Pournelle at Chaos Manor has this to say:

“Now there will be a special prosecutor, which is ominous – that is, a special prosecutor implies there is something to prosecute, and the Iron Law of Bureaucracy can easily creep into the situation. If there is no crime there is nothing to prosecute and the special prosecutor no longer has a mission. We have seen at the Federal level that once there’s a special prosecutor the odds go way up that things will continue until someone pleads guilty to something. I don’t know how such things work in Florida – I don’t think I have read more than one crime procedural novel taking place in Florida – and it may be that special prosecutors are not so special there, but in most places they are easier to set up than to call off.”

Couldn’t agree more.


The Week in Saratov 03/28/12

Another Wendnesday and time for our popular feature, The Week in Saratov.

Valery Radaev took personal control of the situation with the factory “Reflector”

Acting Governor of the Saratov Region Governor Valery Radaev took control of the situation with the collapse of the roof of one of the buildings of the plant, “Reflector” in Saratov. On today’s press-service of the region.

The head of the district Balashov told how to increase turnout at elections

At today’s press conference the head of Balashov, Saratov region of Elena Shcherbakova explained why the elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation in the area UIKah massively voted by students from universities in Saratov.

In Saratov appeared the first “blanket of kindness”

In Saratov, the project continues the all-Russian festival of social projects “Fortunately I give.” For five days the site blago-daru.com it was posted more than 10 virtual blanket of goodness, that is, good works, which have taken place.

Strauss-Kahn formally charged with pimping

Investigators of the French city Lille on Monday presented the former head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn charges of complicity in pimping in the criminal group, according to news reports citing a statement advocates the former head of the IMF.

In Georgia, will open the fountain, spouting chacha

In late summer, will open in Batumi, the original fountain. On the street Gogebashvili built a tower, where once a week for 10-15 minutes instead of water will flow chacha.

Total admits the possibility of a gas explosion on the platform in the North Sea

About 250 workers were evacuated on Monday from the oil rig French company Total in the North Sea, where there is a large natural gas leak, reports BBC Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation.

U.S., Britain and France can bring to market the oil from the reserves

France, Britain and the United States are discussing the possibility of release oil from strategic reserves to halt the rise in prices, said on Wednesday the French newspaper Le Monde, citing sources close to the president.

The commander of the crew of an airliner had gone mad during the flight

In the United States committed a domestic flight the aircraft made an emergency landing, the cause of which is alleged passengers were screaming crew commander of the explosive device. Representatives of the airline JetBlue, is conducting this flight, said that landing in the city of Amarillo, Texas, after three and a half hour flight was due to “medical situation” with the captain of the aircraft.

The prosecutor’s office filed a lawsuit against Tymoshenko in the case were directed at the $ 2.4 million

Prosecuting authorities in the criminal investigation concerning the activities of the corporation “United Energy Systems of Ukraine” has been sued by ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on compensation 19.5 million UAH.

The Soviet satellite “Meteor-1″ fell in Antarctica

Unburned in the dense atmosphere of the first Soviet weather satellite fragments, “Meteor-1″, who was in space, exactly 43 years, fell today on Earth in Antarctica.

Nuclear power plant for spacecraft of the future can create by 2017

Nuclear power plant megawatt-class vessel, designed for deep space missions, should be ready by 2017, said on Wednesday the head of a cluster of nuclear technologies fund “Skolkovo” Denis Kovalevich.

Biologists have figured out a dolphin Mafia

By studying a colony of bottlenose dolphins living in the Australian Shark Bay, biologists have found that their social structure is more like a complicated structure of the mafia than a strict vertical hierarchy of chimpanzees.

And that was the Week in Saratov.


Nostalgia — The Real McCoys

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From the Wiki: “For its first three seasons, The Real McCoys was the lead-in program on the ABC Thursday lineup for The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, which aired from 1957-60. The Pat Boone series was succeeded in 1960 by Fred MacMurray in My Three Sons. For several seasons, The Real McCoys followed The Donna Reed Show.”

“Although the series had ranked in the Top 10 the entire time it was on ABC, it fell into disfavor after being sold to CBS. It was cancelled in the summer of 1963. Factors in the cancellation were the changes in the series (the death of the character Kate), its new Sunday evening time slot opposite NBC’s Bonanza, and CBS’s concentration on another rural show, Buddy Ebsen’s The Beverly Hillbillies, which had become the #1 entry on television.”

Of the two lead characters one had a military past the other a future, Walter Brennan in Sgt. York, and Richard Crenna in Rambo. In real life Brennan served in the Army in WWI, Crenna in WWII.

Kathleen Nolan achieved fame as the first female President of the Screen Actors Guild. Tony Martinez. who played Pipino, starting in the middle 1960s and for another forty years and 2,245 performances appeared as Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha on Broadway.


Rail Gun Test 2

We posted about the Navy’s first test of its new Rail gun. Here is a video of stage 2 where it is closer to full combat dress and all the wiring is neat and clean.

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Blade Review

A little over six months ago I made a post concerning some edged implements. Well, I did acquire the Cold Steel “Magnum Kukri”. Just exactly what a large Falcata-like machete has in common with an oversize bottle of Champagne, is difficult to discern. It’s resemblance to a Kukri is also somewhat strained.

It resembles the Falcata more to this eye.

Photo courtesy of Wikipeidia



John Carter – The Review

With the movie out for two weeks I have read a dozen reviews already. All have been generally favorable except for one by a reviewer who proudly stated he had not even bothered to see the movie before reviewing it. Even so it looks like the movie is going to tank.

The Outlaw Don, our resident critic sent me his personal take and I am happy to post it for all to see with an admonition to go and see the movie while it is still in the theaters, you will likely never have another opportunity.

John Carter – The Review
by The Outlaw Don

The last few days I’ve been behaving strangely, I keep telling people “I’ve seen John Carter.” and waiting for a response. This unscientific survey has confirmed what all the critics are saying; Disney’s promotion of John Carter is invisible to human kind. We can only hope that the Obama for President campaign will contract with Disney to produce all their ads.

I was optimistically hoping I would like the movie, and in fact I did. I think the other two people who were in the theater liked it too, but they left before I did, so I never asked. I saw it in 3-D but I honestly can’t say the 3-D effects add much to the experience.

The film stays close enough to Burroughs original story and the additional storyline didn’t seem a distortion or spoil my memory of the book.

On the surface it’s an action adventure, and maybe the first movie out of Hollywood in ten years where the bad guy wasn’t Dick Cheney. But it also tries to teach a moral lesson in an all too predictable way, we learn that people should adopt a noble cause, and live for a something greater than themselves. Normally I would find this annoying but the director handled it in such a light handed manner that it didn’t bother me.

The movie is also a love story, the oldest one in the book, boy meets girl…they dislike each other until they suddenly realize they’re in love…But she is engage to another and he is still faithful to his dead wife; somehow love triumphs in the end, again in an all too predictable way just like a fairy tale but after all that’s what this is.

I’ve heard some complaints that that some scenes were stolen from Star Wars, but most people are unaware that Star Wars itself is about 95% derived from previous work, including Burroughs.

Having seen all the trailers I knew that I would have to make a conscious effort not to get irritated by all the jumping around in low Martian gravity. The truth is that the people who do CGI and special effects are artists, they know nothing at all about physics (or astronomy, or biology, math or pretty much anything else) but aside from all the jumping about the CGI was pretty good…oh I guarantee if you are looking for it you will find scenes where the 12 foot tall Tharks are only 8 foot tall, but the Tharks were not cartoonish, and the dog was never made into such an important character as to attract critical analysis.

This is where I have to compliment the producers of this film, I think the main reason I enjoyed it was because it was done with such a light touch. They avoided the temptation to pile on unnecessary and distracting CGI, there wasn’t any heavy handed sermonizing and they didn’t dwell on thing that didn’t further the story.

In the end the story is left unfinished just like the book, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a sequel, but on the bright side when the blue-ray comes out on Amazon… it should be cheap.


The Week in Saratov 03/21/12

Another report concerning the goings on and important news in our favorite Russian city, Saratov.

Police car in the center of Saratov knocked down a woman, she was hospitalized

Police car on Tuesday in the center of Saratov knocked a female pedestrian, who with injuries taken to hospital, told RIA Novosti news service of the Chief City Traffic Police Jury Sukhorukov. The accident occurred about 13:25 Moscow time on the street Chernyshevsky in the Cathedral Square.

Volunteers and police found a missing school in Saratov

Guys looking for all the world – some combed attics and basements in the Red October, the other sticking ads in Saratov (read: “Search for missing near Saratov students gather 500 volunteers from Moscow”).

In Saratov shot bus shelters

The Mayor Oleg Grishchenko put on the type of leadership of the city police department, despite the cameras, the police can not cope with bullies, shot stopping pavilions. Speaking about the improvement of Saratov at the workshop at City Hall, Grishchenko said that the recent increase in vandalism in relation to the bus shelters, which spent considerable funds from the city treasury.

Police looking for teens who escaped from the scene of suicide schoolgirl

Eyewitnesses of the incident in the west of Moscow, where he fell from the windows of flats 14-year-old Julian Shekov, argue that the body of the girl came out of the house three teenagers. As soon as the ambulance came, the company hastened to escape from the scene, leaving her friend dropped out of the window the doctors.

The Pirate Bay servers to deploy drones

The official blog of the project torrent The Pirate Bay was reported that some of the servers they are planning to put on unmanned aerial vehicles that will travel over neutral waters.

Obama has promised to remove the “electronic curtain” for Iran

U.S. President Barack Obama’s video message to the Iranian people on the occasion of Nowruz (Persian New Year) has promised to make every effort to remove the “iron curtain” in the field of electronic communications, which separates Iran from the civilized world.

In eastern France, emergency shutdown of the oldest nuclear power plant

Today, March 21, in eastern France as a result of technical failure stopped the second reactor of the oldest nuclear power plant of the country. About what happened According to company representatives, plant operator “Fessenhaym.”

Skinny models banned from filming in the Israeli advertising

Israel passed a law prohibiting excessive advertising to appear in thin people. As the portal abc news, such a measure was adopted to prevent the negative impact of secret international standards of beauty to children and adolescents.

The crew of the ISS in July, can hold their own Olympics

In July and August, the ISS crew will consist of representatives from three countries – July 15, will go into orbit a Russian Yuri Malenchenko, a Japanese Akihido Hoshide and astronaut Sunita Williams of the United States. The program of their stay on the ISS is designed for four months.

Named the starting date of the first private spacecraft to the ISS

Launch of the first private spacecraft that dock with the International Space Station (ISS), scheduled for late March, will be held on April 30. In “Twitter» NASA reported that the launch of Falcon 9 with Dragon spacecraft from the spaceport at Cape Canaveral will happen in time 12.22 East Coast U.S. (21.22 GMT), RIA “Novosti”.

Siberian scientists have discovered a new cure for tick-borne encephalitis

Designed by scientists chimeric antibodies “bind” encephalitis virus, preventing it from multiplying further, indicating immune system to the infected cells. As explained by scientists, chimeric antibodies – a special design created by genetic engineering, in which “sewn” two parts: the rat, which has all the necessary qualities to resist the tick-borne encephalitis, and human.

British scientist discovered the lost fragments of the studies of Darwin

“GOLD” of fossils, some of which were collected by scientists naturalist Charles Darwin, was by chance discovered the modern paleontologist in the old cabinet. Lost almost 165 years ago, they were accidentally discovered in the vaults of the British Geological Survey in the county Nottinghamshire.

And that was the Weei in Saratov.


Tennyson’s Spring

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Dip down upon the northern shore,
O sweet new-year, delaying long’
Thou doest expectant Nature wrong,
Delaying long, delay no more.

What stays thee from the clouded noons,
Thy sweetness from its proper place?
Can trouble live with April days,
Or sadness in the summer moons?

About the flowering squares and thick
By ashen roots the violets blow.

Now rings the woodland loud and long,
The distance takes a lovelier hue.
And drowned in yonder living blue
The lark becomes a sightless song.

Now dance the lights on lawn and lea,
The flocks are whiter down the vale,
And milkier every milky sail,
On winding stream or distant sea;

Where now the seamew pipes or dives
In yonder greening gleam, and fly
The happy birds, that change their sky
To build and brood, that live their lives

From land to land; and in my breast
Spring wakens too: and my regret
Becomes an April violet,
And buds and blossoms like the rest.

O thou, new-year, delaying long,
Delayest the sorrow in my blood,
That longs to burst a frozen bud
And flood a fresher throat with song.


Monday Links

A few or the websites I’ve visited recently:

Exclusive Concept Art : John Carter of Mars
Nuclear ABM’s of the USA
More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers
The Museum of HP Calculators
From Wall Street to Wal-Mart – College Graduates and Jobs
24/192 Music Downloads… and why they make no sense


There is another chapter of Majoram, the latest Cardoman book posted at the FutureVerse. Here is a little excerpt showing how it starts.

Chapter 20 Draft (03-17-12)

1st Sgt Leo Lotti was mildly amused, his mother had always said he’d end up a pirate and here he was. He was also one of two Cardoman military personal allowed the run of the ship, Shema Ben Judah being the other, and as such was in constant demand as a source of entertainment and gossip concerning what went on above while the rest of the recon team kept to their deck in the aft section as they completed the trip to Bringham.

“So what’s she really like Lotti?” was the constant question he was asked every time he returned to the deck held down by the Cardoman Seventh.

The object of interest was Sandy Shultz, a freelance videographer who had made her way to Cardoman to film an expose of the corruption inherent in a state at war. She was based on Union but her reports were being syndicated throughout the Confederation and Indie worlds, even though she was new enough to her trade that no one on board had even heard of her before. Quite a few of the Caliphate planets paid for the special mixture of political propaganda and sensationalism she was specializing in.

“Well first off she’s a lot better looking in person than in video, and not at all standoffish.”

“Do tell,” said Private Haversold, “Like she would even talk to someone like you, whose job is to make beds and clean rooms!”

“Really Haversold, if you had been around a little longer you would know that passengers make their own beds and clean their own compartments. The purpose of a steward is to police the common areas and then to be as helpful to the paying guests as time permits. And when Sandy needs help I always have time. She asks a lot of questions, but will answer them as well with the right approach. That’s how I found out what her next project is.”

“Let me guess, an expose’ of the sexual habits of ship’s stewards?”

“I believe she said she covered that last year. . . No, she is on her way to Bringham to search out the truth concerning extraterrestrial non-human intelligent alien life.”

“Get off it Lotti. If there were any we’d know about it. We’ve only been in space for eight hundred years and visited a half thousand planets. What could she possibly find that’s new?” Corporal Belladonna has heard enough of Lotti’s stories in just the last month that he could never be sure in advance when Lotti was pulling a fast one.

“Well Dano,” Lotti said after Cpl. Belladonna butted in, “you may have missed it but the science is settled. There is no longer any doubt that aliens were responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs back on Earth 60 million years ago.”

“Ok Lotti, I’ll bite, how did it happen?”



Chess Anyone?

Over at the Barking Moonbats Chris just posted one of his weekly or thereabouts chess problems. I got my solution in early. I like it but I don’t think it’s the one he’s looking for. Drew has a couple of other good moves that I think also work.

If you play chess, or want to learn and are looking for a challenge—then go and check it out.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

It’s 15:10hrs, ESt. And I’m weel awn me whey. The whiskey is fowin’ and the auld songs be blowin’; an’ a wee bit o’ cloggin’ might break awt, naw-n-theyn.

If’m y’uns was lookin’ fer a coherent post on this day, think again, English. In fact, screws to you, English.


Do You Feel Safer Now?

Can you tell me which of these Swat trained Pseudo-Soldiers was educated at Colorado Christian University?

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And my opinion about businesses selling this type of equipment to the Police. . . Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t make it the right something to do.