Dec 312010

Two panoramas showing a rather hazy winter sky, taken while freezing my nards off:

And here’s what the neighborhood looks like at 3AM when the power goes out:

 Posted by at 10:58 pm
Dec 312010

If you are a current subscriber to APR you should have an email letting you know it’s available and how to download. If you’re not a current subscriber, I need to update the webpage to reflect V3N1. Should be available for purchase in a day or so.

 Posted by at 9:54 pm
Dec 312010

Scruffy disappeared for a while, but put in an appearance just before Christmas. His fur had fluffed up some to deal with the colder temps. The sheer raging inferno that is his *hate* for other creatures probably goes far to keep him warm. Haven’t seen Scruffy Jr. in a good long while, though.

 Posted by at 1:05 am
Dec 302010

At last. Begins on page 57 of issue V3N1, ends on page 108. I’m hoping to have V3N1 finished up and out the hatch this weekend.

Update: some possibel covers. Both look kinda cheesy, but at least there’s some color.

 Posted by at 2:00 pm
Dec 302010

Most of the time when I hear or read the phrase “War on Christmas” I know I’m in for some high-quality paranoid hyperbole. Some business that says “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” is not out to destroy the alleged Judeo-Christian basis of America (note: it’s actually more based on heathen German, Greek and Roman ideas, but never mind that for now), and nor is an effort to keep religion out of government an attempt to wipe out Baby Jeebus.

Still, that’s not to say that the idea of a “War on Christmas” is wholly without basis. Take, for instance…

Restaurant apologises after police called over “festive” Christmas menu

The offer was criticised as a Christmas celebration by religious groups like the Adhaalath Party and the Islamic Foundation of the Maldives (IFM), which have both praised local police for yesterday stopping the promotion at the café. … ‘’The place was decorated for Christmas with items related to the celebration, police arrested one person from the cafe to clarify more information about the case. They were also released last night,’’ said Shiyam. …  However, the leader of Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Hussein Rasheed, said that celebrating Christmas was unlawful and that it was a responsibility of the police to stop those events.

‘’In a society there will be different types of persons,’’ said Sheikh Hussein. ‘’It really does not matter whether it is allowed in Islam for non-Muslims to celebrate their religious days, because it is prohibited in the constitution of the Maldives.’’

I think I’ll scratch the Maldives off my Saturnalia list.

 Posted by at 12:36 pm
Dec 292010

An early diagram for the Boeing 707-derived AWACS.  The USAF originally specced an aircraft capable of greater loiter than the 707/KC-135 was capable of, so Boeing designed a version with 8 more efficient engines. When the USAF backed off on the loiter requirement, the existing engine arrangement was workable, and Boeing went with that.

 Posted by at 11:40 pm
Dec 292010

A fairly entertaining blizzard blew in early today and decided to hang around. Power was on and off all day. But the best came after sundown… early in the day the snow had covered the sat dish and wiped out reception; I didn’t pay it much mind, as I was trying to get somethings done. After nightfall I went out with a stick to knock the snow off… which had turned into a big slab of ice. So while I was whacking away at the ice with a 2X2, the sky suddenly lit it bright blue for a millisecond, and the lights in the house flickered. Then the sky lit up *really* bright with a blue-green flash, and the power stayed off for hours. I’m guessing that a transformer blew itself to bits somewhere nearby, or some similar physical unpleasantness with the local power supply. It’s always interesting when, well into the dark of night, the sky flashes bright blue.

 Posted by at 11:19 pm