Monthly Archives: November 2012

Friday Foolishness – Brand New Day Edition

Today’s Music: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones – Next

Woohoo!!! Friday!!! GIVE ME FOOLISHNESS,OR GIVE ME…I don’t know…a beer would be nice…One of the nice things about blogging is sitting back with an ice cold beer, and enjoying what other people have written. This week, here’s some of what I saw.
Truth About Mornings talked about perspective. A Frank Angle finished his recap of his anniversary cruise.
And MomShieb had a bad day, of the kind we all probably have…

And thanks to Edward Hotspur for a Blog Of The Year award! I hope you all check him out, because his site truly deserved that award!

Thanks to them and all the rest of you for a great week of reading!

But last week, the big news was Thanksgiving! Which means the really big news this week was leftovers! And what to do with them is what we asked in last weeks poll. Here’s what you said.
(As always, my comments are reheated in italics.)

Eat them for Breakfast! DUH! The Queen of Gingerland
(Well, at least you’re off the Halloween candy…)
Feed the starving pygmies…Wait, those are children. Oops. Red.
(I wholeheartedly approve of feeding children to pygmies.)
Take them to work for lunch (for the next six weeks) Kanervaf
(Even the guy who steals lunches from the fridge will get sick of them by then!)
Stuff them in my father in laws A$$.
(I can’t wait to hear what you’re basting him with!)
Freeze and hand out next year for Halloween – Becca 25tofly
(Turkey epitaph: frozen to frozen…)
Leftovers & turn the turkey carcass into stock for soup. Quirky
(Well sure, if you want to be practical about it.)
Pass them off as next year’s Halloween Candy- Linda Vernon
(A cruel, cruel trick…)
Start an Occupy Leftovers movement. (Frank)
(Pretty sure that will cause some kind of movement…)
(Who has leftovers?? – asplenia)
(No one I know of.(burp….))
bury them in a time capsule until next Thanksgiving SnB
(As long as it isn’t opened until armageddon.)
Leftovers?This year I had the brains-uh, good fortune-to be invited somewhere WG
(I bet they just wanted someone there to give the leftovers to…)
have them for breakfast. And lunch and dinner and breakfast and lunch and…WG
(Hey! You said you didn’t have leftovers!)
What leftovers?? Michelle
(You know, the ones in the freezer. And the fridge. And the cupboard. And the…)
Make a sculpture out of them. –Lily in Canada
(I thought you only made sculptures out of ice in Canada. Or beavers.)
Send them to Lady Gaga to make an outfit – Carrie Cannibalistic Nerd
Stuff them back up the turkey’s butt & use them for Xmas – Benzeknees
(But then how will you fit the chicken and the duck up there?)
Send 47% of my leftovers to Mitt Romney – calahan
(I think he’d rather have a pied stuffed with about another 70 electoral college votes…)
EAT THEM!! (Stacy)
(YE- wait, are we still talking about leftovers?)
Turkey and asperagus pie. Yum. Elyse 54.5
(Won’t that make the gravy smell funny?)
Order pizza instead. ~flame
(Cranberry is the new anchovy!)
plant them so next year I can just pick turkeys and pies right off the trees
(Hey, happiness doesn’t grow on trees!)

Congratulations to Carrie Cannibalistic Nerd and lets give thanks to her for the newest trend in fashion! And from the offered choices, the most popular was Leftovers? You had leftovers?. So congratulations to all of you, and get out of my fridge.
office drone
As you’re reading this (if it’s Friday or Saturday), I’m working on relocating our office from downtown to midtown. As I’m writing this, I’m drunk from an “end of an era” party as our company is subsumed by it’s new owners.
Which begs the question: Will El Guapo still have a job when the dust settles?
In all sincerity, this is not even on the list of things I worry about. Because I have great readers like you who can help me figure out what to do next.
So I ask you, what should my next career be?
Point me in the right direction, but point me by 2359 EST on 6 Dec, 2012. Because that’s when this one ends.
(And if you write an answer, leave an ID, and I’ll link back to you next week.)

Well, that brings us to the end of this weeks foolishness.
And until next time, I leave you with this.
Eric Idle responding to comments.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Science Fiction, Without the Fiction: Warp Drive

Today’s Music: Delta Spirit – People C’mon

“Engage, warp factor 9.”
“Jump to lightspeed.”
“Prepare the hyperdrive.”

If you read or watch science fiction, all of those phrases are familiar to you. In fact, variations on that theme are so well known, that we are complicit in ignoring the fact that it can’t be done.
We let ourselves be fooled by mystical explanations of “anti-matter” and “holes in the space-time continuum”.

Until now.

Harold White
Follow me! I know the way!

White’s work is based on the math and ideas of Miguel Alcubierre, who came up with the equations for warp drive. But he thought it would take an energy source the size of Jupiter to do it.
While working on the equations one day, White realized that if the shape of the field generator was changed, it could be done with an energy mass of about 1600 pounds.
That’s less than the weight of the bookbag I used to carry!

Here’s the oversimplified version of how it works:
The engine (referred to as an Alcubierre Drive) would warp the space around it. The space behind would be expanded, pushing the craft forward. The space in front would be contracted.

That’s it.
Now here’s the kicker: The speed of light is an absolute. Nothing can go faster than it.
But because of loopholes in Einsteins theory of relativity, the light barrier isn’t broken relative to the changed shape of space.

The practical upshot is that a trip to Alpha Centauri (4.3 light years away (that’s 4.3 years of constant travel at the speed of light!) could be done in…wait for it…two weeks.

I’ve waited on line at the DMV for longer than that.

So practically, what does that mean? Well, nothing really. It’s all still theoretical.
White is in a lab right now, trying to generate micro disturbances in space to see if they are measurable.
The math holds up, but it remains to be seen if (and how well) it can be applied in real life.

It’s so obvious…maybe…

I hope it can. I bet there’s great skiing on Pluto
But I only have a few days off…

The first article I saw, from io9, The article from Time.
And an abstract of White’s paper, with a link to the pdf of the whole thing.

Friday Foolishness – Day Old Edition

Today’s Music: Tain Watts – The Return of the Jitney Man
Note on Today’s Music: Jeff “Tain” Watts is one of the best drummers I’ve ever been privileged to see. I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s post almost didn’t get written. Fortunately the ghosts of all the turkey I ate came to help. And they weren’t bothered by mashed potatoes on the keyboard. Why did the turkeys decide to help? Because they saw some of the same great stuff on the blogosphere I did!
Speedo wrote a fantastic post about womanning up.. Linda Vernon’s husband gave of himself to preserve thanksgiving tradition, and Curly Carly did unspeakable things in writing her Star Wars synopsis.

And I got awards! Edward Hotspur bestowed the One Lovely Blog award on me, and Roly honored me with the Blog of the Year award. It comes with gold stars!!!
To them , thank you, and more importantly, to them and and everyone else thanks for the great posts this week!

Last week, there was (as there is every week) a poll! Looking for ways to fight the boredom. Looking for something to do. Looking for the next adventure!
I should have known that reading your suggestions would be an adventure in itself. Here’s what you said. (As always, my comments are strapping in in italics.)
Make a boat out of duct tape and go sailing. ~flame
(Sounds like a sticky situation! BWAHAHAH- …I’ll show myself out…)
Skinny dipping with Pyranhas
(Sounds like that would be a pyrrhic victory)
Watch the pot boil as you eat soup continuously (cause it’s cold)-Jillian
(Hmm…eating my own cooking. Sounds dangerous…)
Trying to extract Trumps foot from mouth … Kanerva
(Would that be easier than removing his head from another orifice?)
Run from yourself as fast as you can, with scissors, while naked. (Lorre)
(YES! Something new to do while naked!)
Your adventures in parenthood – Hotspur
(Well, I did raise Sea Monkeys once…)
Taking a trip to Colorado to ski with this Wild Rider!
(Roxy skis too?!?)
Eat lots, get sponsor, sleep until Dec, go ice swim’g w new fat layer, nude Red
(Glad to see I’m not the only one that writes comment on these polls nude!)
Covering your car in Christmas lights and driving to Ecuador for a cupcake..zann
Repel down the Empire State Bldg. Benzeknees
(As soon as my gorilla suit gets back from the cleaners. (The Lipsky bar-mitzvah was messy…))
Climb to the very top of the jungle gym. LindaV
(I can’t. The six year old up there is terrifying!)
Financial cliff diving — Elyse at 54.5
(I wouldn’t be good enough to compete wth the governmental pros.)
It doesn’t matter, I’ll close my eyes through the description. Elyse at 54.5
(You can follow along by the screaming…)
With Bill and Ted since they have EXCELLENT adventures. Michelle
Competitive Black Fridaying – Emily at The Waiting
(Isn’t “competitive” redundant there?)
a trip to Northern Labrador to duke it out with polar bears
(Sounds easier than fighting a Coney Island polar bear for a parking spot!)
Pee Wee’s (that first choice sounds familiar). B_T
(But it should be a huge adventure. Not just big…)
See how many lizard licks it takes to the center of a Tootsie Pop- Becca 25tofly
(I don’t know about the Tootsie Pop, but the owl says it’s one…two…*crunch*. Three. Three to the center of the lizard.)
Finding a clean pair of undies. x,Becca (Lady or Not)
(I adventure commando. Less stuff to clean poop off of…)
Ride a roller coaster in a handstand position. (Frank)
(But then won’t I get vomit in my nose?)
Sledding on a trashcan lid while guzzling copious quantities of beer. KJ
(You’ve just described my morning commute.)
hunting alligator on the bayou, of course!! (Stacy)
(Better than hunting them in my living room!)

Congratulations to Zannyro for this weeks winning answer! And from the offered choices, the most popular was riding down the Himalayas on the worlds largest slinky. Backwards. Because you people know how to party!

Today, many who hosted thanksgiving will wake up to the elephant in the fridge: Leftovers.
(Though if you actually do have an elephant in the fridge, I hope you gave him a sweater!)
Which begs the question, what are you going to do with them?
That’s this weeks poll. Answer as often you like, but answer by 2359 EST on 29 November, because that’s when this one end. And if you leave your name in an “other” answer, I’ll link back to you next week.

Since the holiday season is without a doubt upon us, here’s a video from Australian Wil Anderson explaining the holidays in the rest of the year.

And from Weenie Girl, this isn’t funny, but it’s a pretty cool idea…

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you during the week!

The Unbearable Lightness of Giving. (or Karma? Meh.)

Today’s Music: Shawn Colvin – All Fall Down

So this weekend, my girl and I spent a day volunteering for Sandy recovery.
We showed up at a church at 520 Clinton Ave in Brooklyn to lend a hand.

It only looks like a warm cozy environment.

We get there and spend 15 minutes waiting to sign in. We write our names on a piece of tape and stick it to our jackets. (The registration is so that we can be on the mailing list. Glad we weren’t wasting time…)
We go into the pen where we are to wait for the volunteer orientation, and we have a chance to look over the place.
Towers of clothes, water, supplies, tools. Boxes of gear needed to clean up affected areas and give necessities to those that need them.
The entire operation was staffed by volunteers, and looked like a drunk walking – the rear foot constantly throwing the body off balance, the front foot catching it just in time, and repeat.

This is the inside of the church.

In fact, what I was most surprised by is how organized they were, and how people actually seemed to be in charge. Past volunteer experiences seemed to be more along the lines of “show up, and if you see something that needs to be done, do it”.
That seems to work well enough, since people that show up do want to help, and anyone that survives the turmoil for an hour or two becomes defacto leader until they move on and someone else takes over.
But it was nice to see an overall plan being implemented.

So after 5 minutes of sitting waiting for orientation, I learned two things:
– While I try to be open minded and not judge people on appearances, it’s very hard with hipsters.
– Especially when said hipster gets me to do something I’m not particularly keen on, and then offers encouragement wrapped around the word “jam” for the next 10 minutes.

Sitting in a chair with about 6 other people, groovy hipster comes over and shouts “Does anyone have cooking experience? We need help in the kitchen”.
Picture a simultaneously scowling and sneering El Guapo raising his hand.
While I cooked for a living for many years, it is not high on my list of fun things to do in a production environment. My girl and I had been hoping to lend a hand at the Rockaway Beach area. We surf there, and really like the neighborhood, so this would be a good “give back” kind of thing.
But this was also volunteering. And if they needed cooks…
So I said sure, gave a quick run down of my experience, and we follow the guy. Who must have seen my expression. Because i was subject to a litany of encouraging phrases along the lines of “It’ll be cool. You can make the cooking your Jam.” “Once you start, you know, you’ll be in your Jam.” “After your Jam is going, it’ll be great”.

Gee, and to think I’m not such a fan of people. Meh.

So my girl and I and one other go down to the kitchen. Sal is doing a bang up job as the chef, cranking out hundreds of meals from a small kitchen, with a 6 burner stove and 2 shelf oven to work with.
This isn’t gruel or slop. This is good food made almost entirely with donated ingredients.
But he’s weeded (ridiculously busy). And that small kitchen is hot.
Sal (after a moment of our recruiter trying to get his attention): EVERYONE WHO ISN’T COOKING SOMETHING RIGHT NOW, GET. OUT.”

Understood. He isn’t being a jerk. He’s trying to get a job done. Having been on both sides of that when cooking, I know where he’s coming from, and fade back into the small auditorium outside the kitchen, now a massive prep kitchen.
And start peeling a literal ton of vegetables.

The highlights:
– Try and donate potatoes larger than a fat thumb. Seriously. Almost more trouble than it’s worth to peel them.
– Try to donate carrots that aren’t flaccid. Also easier to peel.
– Donate peelers. Really. Having thirty isn’t helpful when twenty five of them are junk.
– Don’t slice your finger while opening pumpkins.

It was more embarrassing than painful…

– Listen to the conversations around you. At one point, Phil (a restaurateur from Connecticut) asked Heather (a Sandy regular from Vermont) about composting.
Heather launched into a detailed five minute explanataion of why they weren’t composting, how terrible it was that organic trash had been mixed with non-organic, the difficulties of finding compost pickup in Brooklyn, and how wonderful composting is.
Phil listened, and when Heather wound down, said “Oh, I don’t really care.” and went back to what he was doing.

Took me about a minute to stop laughing.

In the end, it really was a productive day. While it wasn’t my first choice of how to spend it, it was a useful necessary task. The people that will be getting the food will be very happy they did.
But next time, I think I’ll try to get in the group that’s clearing debris by the beach.

Oh, and the only sad part? After all that, I still didn’t win the lottery Saturday night.


(But in all seriousness, the organizers and volunteers all seemed to be working, and it was for a good cause for people that still do need the help.)

Friday Foolishness – Idling Edition

Today’s Music: KISS – New York Groove
Note on Today’s Music: Yep. I’m back.

Where does the time go? the holiday season is upon us, winter is coming, and the calendar is about to tick the completed box on another year. What is a net junkie to do?
Why, read blogs of course! Here’s some of what I saw this week:
Madame Weebles is offering to reveal herself for a good cause. Live Clay found the next place I want to live, and SandyLikeABeach worked her magic (in her 200th post!) in picture form.
Finally, blame this link on the sciencey influence of Alex and Frank: a Wired article about the future of space exploration with Humans and Robots.

And thank you all for an exceptional week of reads. I wish I could link them all.

Hurricane Isabel (More dramatic than Sandy, but same kind of thing.)

But if I did, you’d all be busy reading those, and never make it to the big question: What about last weeks poll?!?
We asked Why does Mother Nature hate the Northeast? And wow, did your answers storm in! Here’s what you said. (As always, my comments lie in ruins in italics.)
it doesn’t have a tail.. lizzie
(But it certainly was monkeying around.)
she is farting in your general direction..the winds will change.. lizziec
(Someone needs to talk to her about changing her diet!)
she’s pissed that I moved to the Midwest.
(We’ll have to ask her to take it up with you. In the mid-west. Hmph.)
porkroll! (words&otherthings)
(Next time, Can we turn her on to whatever food Minnesota is known for ?)
she upgraded to iOS6 and the map says she’s in Texas! (Kanerva)
Because Jim Cantore needs a reason to visit NYC.
(Doesn’t he know he can order those LL Bean jackets online?)
she adores seeing Christie in his “Christie” stenciled jacket. sandylikeabeach
(She could have just taken Mario Cantore’s)
To make you ask that question. x,Becca
(I’d rather have to ask why delicious donuts hate NYC. Mmmm…)
Because the NE is a good booger, and all good boogers need to be picked. (Frank)
(Well, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but…)
She is opposed to the Nanny State infringing on her credentials. Red
(Could she be a little less “Mommy Dearest” about it?)
She desperately wants Trump to cut his hair by blowing it around Benzeknees
(She can’t make it look scarier than Trump already has…)
of Snooki. Or big hair. One of the two. Signed, former Jersey girl
(Next time, she could just drive up in an IROC-Z and smack her…)
She is trying to fix Mr. Trump’s hair! Your Royal GingerSnaapness
(Or destroy everything around it to make the hair look good by comparison.)
She’s mad that the Soprano’s canceled. Michelle
She’s hoping to finally see the Statue of Liberty in a pair of highwaters.- LindaV
(Wet steel toga contest!)
Northwest is the BEST. (Lily in Canada)
(Got it. 30 feet of snow, first prize. Hurricane, second prize..)
17% of US population live in 2% of land area. People disperse! Quirky
(That’s positively spacious compared to Tokyo)
Dear People, Megalopolis’ suck. Love, Mother Nature. – Quirky again
(Can’t she just suck her teeth and shake her head at us disappointedly, like a normal mom?)
Is it megalopolis’, megalopoli, megalopolises…? – Quirky (I’m done)
(Actually, it’s pronounced Guapolopolis.)
I think she wanted to lay off the south for once – Becca 25tofly
(She could have at least blown some good bbq up here…)
Could it be the quality of your beer?
(But Brooklyn Brewery makes a delicious tasty palatable chocolate beer!)
Mother Nature hates all of us. (Stacy)
(But then why would she give us the natural wonder of Twinkies?)
Donald Trump lives there. I was hoping he’d get blown away. (sandylikeabeach)
(I’m blown away every time he says something. And not in a good way either.)
She knows that Northeasterners can take it (sadly) Elyse 54.5
(Actually, the Northeast took it (angrily).)

Not El Guapo.

Congratulations to Kanerva for this weeks winning answer! (She’s been racking up wins. Is this thing rigged?) And from the offered choices, the most popular was Canada is too polite to get angry at. So congratulations to everyone who picked our way-too-kind friends from the north!

This week, we are deep into fall. It’s almost time for the spring countdown clock to go up. Right now, I’m idling, waiting for winter to start in earnest so i have something to do. Because the halloween mazes are down. Apple picking season ended. There’s nothing to do.
So I put it to you, people of the sphere, What’s an adrenaline junkie to do? Yep, that’s this weeks question. And I’m pretty sure you’re up to the challenge.
If you leave a write in answer, leave a way to recognize you so I can link back to you next week. But answer the challenge by 2359 EST, 22 Nov, because that’s when this one ends.

In closing, I’ve been relatively absent from the sphere of late. I’m still not 100% sure what was bothering me, but I seem to have gotten over it. There should be some new stuff coming along soon.
So on this Friday of Foolishness, let me send you on your way to a hopefully fantastic weekend with one of the goofiest videos I’ve seen in a while.
A Pakistani coworker sent me this video. The song is Punjabi, and is supposed to be an affirming kind of thing.
Hope you enjoy what these guys do to it.

Have a great weekend everyone!