November 19th, 2008

#1357: Chicory

I've continued to add pages, averaging about 1 per day, and I've gotten to the logical end of the scene I was working on--and IMHO it's funny and works fine--so now I need to figure out how to make the jump to a new sequence. There's nothing else I can really do with the current scene; extending it any farther will make it tedious.

I even gave thought to ending the chapter right there, but decided not to; I know where the story has to go next, anyway.

* * *

We have had a very little bit of snow here, just enough to dust the ground and prove that it's cold enough for snow to stick. If we get walloped, it'll mean the plows coming out and the salt trucks and all the other wintery highway goodness that comes with them.

Fortunately the forecast is looking rather dry. From here it looks like it's going to be a rather dry winter, which is more-or-less okay with me. (Of course, I might have said the same thing last year, and we got pounded with snow. The only thing that kept us from being buried was that the snow melted off between storms.)

Indiana, of course--downwind of Lake Michigan--has been pounded with lake-effect snow. Driving home this morning I saw the clouds in the distance and realized I was seeing lake-effect snow clouds, and I wondered how many thousands (millions?) of gallons of water those clouds represented.

* * *

We still don't have a sink, though there is now a faucet. The sink didn't include the strainers, so there's nothing for the drain pipe to connect to. End result, the guy's supposed to come back tomorrow and finish the sink. *sigh*

* * *

Monday night was sufficiently strenuous that I slept all day. So now it's 2 AM and I still want to sleep more. *sigh*

#1358: More men wanted for classrooms.

Fewer men teaching these days for some reason. Maybe part of it is that men don't want to be accused of being pedophiles--and any man who decides he's going to be a teacher has to take seriously the fact that he might well be accused of inappropriate behavior at some point in his career. Particularly in today's climate.

* * *

Lawsuit-happy man banned from suing. This guy has filed over 400 lawsuits--not incidentally getting himself a chunk of the settlements--under the "Americans With Disabilities" act (ADA). But a judge dropped the banhammer on him, issuing an order to the effect that the guy could no longer file lawsuits under the ADA. This order has been upheld on appeal, and the Supreme Court won't hear the case, so he's going to have to go find himself another occupation.

* * *

For crying out loud. Can we stop with the stupid and incorrect Star Trek references?

The "deflector shields" that are used on the Enterprise aren't magnetic fields. They are some kind of force fields; exactly what they are and how they work are--naturally--not explained since they're approximately "magical", according to Clarke's law.

This method will require a huge power source. The article is sparse on technical details but you cannot generate a huge magnetic "bubble"--one big enough to contain a spacecraft--without big electromagnets and an equally large power supply.

The article admits this technique will only work for charged particles; it won't stop gamma radiation or X-rays, so you still need a big heavy shield--and if you already have the big heavy shield, you don't need the magnetic "bubble".

The shield, by the way, can be made of anything you want; you just need to adjust the thickness to account for its density. An inch of lead, a couple feet of lunar rock, a fathom of water--whatever. In fact, the latter case is the most obvious solution: the people aboard the ship are going to need water, and it also works well as thermal mass.

I don't know what I'm getting irate about, though. We're not even going back to the freaking Moon before 2020.

* * *

It's a cold and cloudy November morning, and I'm glad I have little-to-nothing I wish to do outside. I might go get my hair cut today.

With the exception of my west window, the window installation is finished. Finally. (The drywall under my window has come apart, succumbing to very little mechanical stress in the form of cat feet--years of the old windows leaking during particularly hard rains ruined the stuff. Until that drywall is replaced, the trim can't be put in. Argh etc.)

Other than a haircut, today's agenda includes a brief trip to the supermarket for a few sundries. And that's it. The closer it gets to the holidays the more I just want to stay home. I don't really know why, though.

* * *

I filled the Jeep yesterday with gas that cost $2.08 per gallon. I can't even remember the last time I paid that little for a gallon of gasoline. That price has remained fairly steady for at least a week, so we may be at the limit of how far it's going to fall. $2.08 is doable.

I also can't remember the high point for gasoline prices this past year. I know it was more than $3.60 per gallon, but can't recall the actual peak price nor when it happened.

But I also know that this price isn't going to last. We've got a President-elect who has expressed his desire to make energy expensive (though he has not put it that way) and gas prices will soon be right back up there in the stratosphere.

It'll be interesting to see what the press has to say when Obama's policies jack up energy costs. I can't wait to hear what the moonbats say, either; they said that it was Bush's fault gas cost so much (Bush was helping his friends in the oil industry, you see)--so what will they say when gas prices skyrocket under Obama? Does Obama have friends in the oil industry? Or will the moonbats say that the oil guys are "punishing" us?

I think that latter excuse will be it. The oil companies will be punishing us for not electing a Republican. Heh.