atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4130: It's LiveJOURNAL. That's why I talk about my life here.

Particularly when there's no politics worth commenting about, this is what I resort to. But since the Fungus is a personal blog that's to be expected. Such posts are well within the Fungus editorial policy (set entirely by me). Policies subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited. Stand behind the yellow line. Light fuse and get away. Batteries not included. Etcetera.

Friday I did not do very much, as planned, except cook a Valentine's day dinner that consisted primarily of the last two sirloin steaks from the big beef buy.

After seeing Mrs. Fungus off to work, I did the post here and then returned to bed, and proceeded to sleep. Normally when I nap I only sleep for an hour and a half or two hours or so, but I did at least three hours of sawing logs before prying myself out of bed.

Did a few things in WoW, watched a little more ToHeart, took care of some minor chores (laundry and cleaning the computer room) and a task that has needed doing since mid-January (putting away the Christmas tree)...and then connected El-Hazard to the blab slab.

Mrs. Fungus got home from work while I was testing things out. Katawa Shoujo works well if one uses a wireless mouse, and I found that I hadn't installed the K-Like codec pack after I did the final install of Vista Basic on the thing in 2011, so I installed it and tried it out. It worked tolerably well but for some motion artifacts; I have no idea if the jerky pans are due to the encoding, or just the fact that El-Hazard has a one-lung video chipset. Probably the latter, but it will do.

When Saturday came, it brought with it my one workday for the week. A talk with my boss revealed that the big meeting last Sunday has already borne fruit--the labor budget is improving very rapidly--and I may be scheduled for another day this week, which will help. Dinner was leftovers, and Mrs. Fungus and I ended up watching a South Park marathon.

* * *

We're still going to get our February thaw, according to the weather forecast, but first there's a winter weather advisory for Monday--four to six inches of snow. *sigh*

I am just about done with winter this year. I've found myself looking forward to spring. Spring seems to come too soon, sometimes, but not this year; this has been a very satisfactory winter.

...and of course we're getting at least six more weeks' worth of cold weather--snow in April is always possible--and it won't be consistently warm outside before May at the earliest. So I am going to be getting more winter whether I like it or not, and lots of it will be the crappy mucky kind of winter and not the pretty snowy kind. I'll be thoroughly sick of it before all's said and done.

* * *

I have been seeing Estes rockets all over the place lately. I saw them at Pep Boys (?) and Fry's, and at the latter store I saw the Mega Mosquito.

...priced at a mere $30.


You're kidding me, right? $30 for a carboard tube, die-cut balsa stock, some cardboard rings, a plastic nose cone, and a few other bits and pieces? $30 and it doesn't include glue or paint? A single-stage rocket with simple construction?

I notice at the Estes site they're asking $11 for it, but the MSRP is nearly $33.

Oh, but hey! It includes an original Mosquito kit, so it's really two rocket kits in one! The original Mosquito kit cost about $2 for most of recorded history. "Dead simple"--the kit consists of five parts: a body tube, a strip of balsa stock, a balsa nose cone, and a piece of straw for the launch rod guide tube. Also, a single sheet of instructions, printed on both sides. The most challenging part of building the kit was cutting the fins from the strip of balsa and getting them perpendicular to the body tube. Otherwise, you glued in the nose cone and attached the guide tube, and you had a complete rocket. You could be finished with construction in about two hours including letting the damned glue dry and it only took you "an afternoon" to build one if you painted it. If you painted it, you were wasting time and money, because it is virtually impossible to recover a Mosquito. The rocket is so light that the basic A3-4T engine puts one in the stratosphere, and it's so small that it's lost to sight almost as soon as it leaves the launch pad.

The original Mosquito was a "skill level 1" (SL1) rocket. The only reason the Mega Mosquito is "skill level 2" (SL2) is that Estes has since begun to produce a lot of "ready-to-fly" rockets, which occupy SL1 and have inflated rockets with dead easy construction into SL2 status. "Almost ready to fly" means you have to attach a parachute, perhaps, and apply some stickers, but SL2 means gluing and sanding and painting. (ZOMG you have to use spray paint! Get your bunny suits on and alert the EPA. *rolleyes*)

I would have been tempted to buy the Mega Mosquito kit if it hadn't been egregiously overpriced. $11 is right about what it ought to cost; maybe $15 at the outside (with or without the original Mosquito kit).

Thirty freaking dollars?

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