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(no subject) [Mar. 1st, 2011|06:14 pm]
Dear Discover Card,

Thank you for your kind notice that you "miss me and want me back." Maybe you should have considered that before you abruptly canceled my card for inactivity a few months ago.

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(no subject) [Feb. 18th, 2011|09:47 pm]
Just saw the final sequence of caprica (didn't realize it had aired-- I thought the episodes sitting on the tivo were reruns).

I'm suddenly a lot more dissapointed it got canceled, since it looked like the story was finally starting to come together (Babylon 5 also had this problem). Also, the characters appeared to actually be able to do things that didn't screw themselves over. (Which is not to say that some of the storyline in the finale specifically wasn't rushed or forced-- quite a bit was).

Oh well, at least they didn't leave huge untied story lines (but clearly the coda sequence-- recorded before cancellation, apparently, would have opened a bunch of stuff in the next season).
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(no subject) [Oct. 20th, 2009|09:54 pm]
So, Dollhouse is where all the BSG actors go now, is it? :)

Excited to see Summer Glau joining the cast soon, though.
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And you thought Arthur C Clark's 2010 was science FICTION... [Jul. 24th, 2009|06:40 pm]
It is only 2009, but check out the hubble photo:

Compare with the movie footage (after the growth has gone on for a while):

Then read:
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(no subject) [May. 3rd, 2009|01:52 pm]

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(no subject) [Apr. 5th, 2009|06:43 pm]

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(no subject) [Feb. 18th, 2009|05:15 pm]
I got to go fly a Zeppelin today over Moffett field. It was a pretty cool experience.

We had about 3 hours of ground school in the morning talking a bit about the physics of airships and the unique bits of the Zeppelin NT that Airship Ventures has in particular (the "unique" bits come from the fact that it has 3 vectored thrust engines, and is entirely fly-by-wire, which makes it much simpler than your typical blimp to fly).

Then, the 5 of us headed out to the ship and each got about 40m of flight time, including 2 takeoffs and landings. The first thing that you notice is that the fly-by-wire gives basically no control resistance/feedback like you might be used to in an airplane -- its much more like an old-style joystick on a computer before force feedback. The second thing you notice is that the airship takes any control input as... at best a rough suggestion of what it might think about doing sometime in the next 30-60 seconds. It is _very_ slow to respond to anything you tell it to do, and the wind and other forces have a surprisingly dominant influence over the flight.

Several pilots mentioned that they felt the need to stop down on the non-existent rudder pedals (since it was fly-by-wire the rudders all moved by computer control based on the stick input). And all of the students had a lot of trouble with the controllability -- including one 30,000+ hour ex-airline pilot who now flys airshows.

We also got to do some "aerobatic" maneuvers, such as a quick stop (a 180 turn from full speed to basically hovering at a standstill), hovering, and an engine-controlled rolling motion with the engines in the tilted-up position. We also had a bunch of fun because we were all so bad at overcontrolling that we were pitching the airship much more than they typically do during tours -- up to 15-17 degrees instead of the normal max of 5. Apparently one of the guests was in the toilet during a particularly steep climb/banked turn... which led to some amusement afterwards. (The person who was in the toilet later did a similar thing to the second pilot who was talking to the rest of us when we weren't flying-- so it was quite easy to do)

I've posted a link to the photos off my Facebook profile, so you can find it there.
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Red November [Feb. 3rd, 2009|06:47 pm]
So, I ordered Red November from Amazon. Aparently, they made a mistake in shipping, and sent me the display package instead of the indivudal box. So, now I have 6 copies.

Also, I am now scheduled to go to Space Academy (er, Space Camp, for adults) in October. The registration process was a bit strange, because they still had my information from when I went there 15 _years_ ago. So, I got questions like "Are you still living at [zip code from high school]?" and "I guess we don't need you're parents' names on this record any more..."
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(no subject) [Jan. 10th, 2009|06:26 pm]
Man, that Stargate Atlantis Finale was... terrible.

Though I thought the thing they did for Don Davis was really nice.
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Rock Band Drums [Nov. 23rd, 2008|10:48 am]
After a long time, I finally got fed up with the fact that the yellow pad on my rock band drums would only register about 50% of the hits. So, I looked up the warranty (60 days) which wouldn't help even if I had gotten if fixed immediately after it broke.

I found this site: http://www.oxmonline.com/article/features/presses/how-fix-your-rock-band-drums, however, which allowed me to be brave enough to open up the pads and investigate if I'd have to solder.

As it turned out, the failure was that the wire from the pad sensor to the rest of the controller had become disconnected (or, at least loose). Since it was just a regular jumper, I just plugged it back in (which required more force than I expected), and suddenly it works again.

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