How very Cool

A new air speed record has been matched.

Yesterday, the USAF launched an experimental aircraft, the X-51A, and it achieved Mach 6 for more than 3 minutes. It used scram-jet technologies, a stepping stone towards space-planes.

Now there is still a long way to go. Mach 6 is fast, but three minuets is not very long and to reach orbital speeds you need something on the order of Mach 16 or 17. Still is is very cool that the USAF is still in the record busting business.


General Chat

Well Cawdor is doing nicely. I think I can safely say that I have less than 100 pages to go to reach the end of the novel. At 5 or more pages per day that less than twenty writing days or four weeks. So If I hang in there I should have the first draft done by the end of June. Maybe the third week of june as i tend to write faster as I get closer to the end of a story.

One thing I have certainly learned  is that I really don’t know what my novels are about until I write them. This book was going to be a simple retelling of MacBeth but with an SF setting and playing around with gender to explore the character dynamics in a new light.

It has become a book about human nature, cynicism, culture, and how much do you owe your culture?


Blu-ray Review: In The Loop

So my sweetie-wife and I came across this film, In The loop, when a trailer for it appeared on the blu-ray of Dog Soldiers. The trailer grabbed us and we just knew we had to see this movie.

In The Loop is the story of a build-up to war in the middle east my the USA and Great Britain, but rather than tell a serious tale dealing with Presidents and Prime Ministers this film is farce and centers on the middle management civil servants and elected officials.

The cast is primarily British and unless you follow Brit Tv most of them would be unknown to you. (The phrase in the image to the left should be delivered shouted and in a heavy Scottish accent for full effect.)

There are people trying desperately to stop the up coming war and others equally committed to seeing it realized. If you are humorless when it comes to your recent events and politics then you might want to give this film a pass. However if you can let go of your personal politics and enjoy the madness of rampant cursing Scotsmen, bewildered MPs, conniving suck-ups, General more Political than Military and back stabbing office politics then give this blu-ray a spin.

I was disappointed that there were more bonus features, though the 28 minutes of non-stop deleted scenes were a treasure.

After the cut — the trailer.

Continue reading Blu-ray Review: In The Loop


Food poisoning

So it seems that last week I was suffering from food poisoning. A friend of mine who had gone with us to JPL’s open house had the same symptoms over the same period of time. In some ways he had it worse because he was vomiting but my symptoms persisted longer. (Perhaps because on the ENbrel medication I am on for arthritis.)

Anyway yesterday was the first day I could eat without stomach cramps. (Though tonight I did have mild cramping after a dinner of fish.)

It has cost me a weeks writing, but I got back onto my horse today and Cawdor is moving forward again.


Been Sick

Sorry I have been away so long my friends but I have been ill.

Now, not all of my absence has been due to the illness. On Sunday , my sweetie-wife, Gun-And Rockets, and myself drove north to Pasadena visiting the Jet Propulsion Lab on their open house. It’s really a geek disneyland with kiosks about their missions, but past and future. It was fun, though my knees hated me by the end of the day.

Anyway I got home way too tired for a Sunday Night Movie.

Monday my throat began to hurt and I did not feel up to making any sort of postings here.

I struggled to work through nasty stomach cramps, but after just two hours I called it quits and returned home and to bed.

I can say I have truly broken in my CPAP machine. When I am sick I sleep. With a fever of 102 I slept a lot, and I used my CPAP machine throughout. Well I missed work the next day and that brigs us up to today.

I made it back to work, struggled through another tough day, then I skipped dinner as my stomach was in no mood for one. Instead I watched Dr Who with my sweetie-wife and finished a round of edits on Cawdor. (More than 60,000 words, 240 pages or past the 2/3rds mark.)


Post Birthday

So yesterday was my Birthday. I celebrated by getting up early and going to see a sleep specialist. He informed me not only do I have sever sleep apnea but I have a jaw that is too small and is contributing to the sleeping problems.

However all was not lost. I did prescribed a CPAP machine and I was told I could pick it up right away. So I left the doctors office and drove to the company suppling the CPAP machine. That went well and from there I made a brief stop over at my work to bring home person items. (My day job is moving to a new location at the end of the month and bringing home your personal items is part of the process.)

I spent the rest of the afternoon with my sweetie-wife getting ready for Birthday celebrations for that evening. People showed up about six thirty and we had a very pleasant evening of chili, cake, conversations, and games.

I went to bed and slept my first night at home with the CPAP machine. It went pretty well, except once during the night I awoke to find I had taken off the mask. I slipped it back on and went back to sleep.

Today I am feeling more refreshed and more energized than I typically do so I think the machine is the right call for me.


Movie Review: Iron Man 2

Sunday morning, my sweetie-wife and I went out and saw the first showing of Iron Man 2. I think this may have been the first time my sweetie-wife has gone with me to see a Superhero flick.

A few weeks ago she started expressing an interest in Iron Man 2 and I pulled out the blu-ray of Iron Man to catch her up on the franchise.

Iron Man 2 is a worth sequel to the first film. It’s based on the premise What Happens If Iron Man existed? Continue reading Movie Review: Iron Man 2


Sunday Night Movie: You Only Live Twice

So last night I returned to my trek through the Bond Franchise. Since I am watching the film in release order the next movie was You Only Live Twice.

This is a Bond movie I have never seen in it’s entirety. Oh, I’ve seen lots of bits here and there, but I had never had the chance to sit down and watch it straight through from the start.

The problem in doing a franchise like Bond is that the producers, writers, and directors have to keep topping themselves. Each film needs to be bigger and with higher stakes than the last or you risk having you audience go ho-hum over what was supposed to be  thrilling experience.

Of course the problem with getting bigger and bigger in your stunts, action, and your dangers is that you run the terrible risk of sailing right over the top and landing in farce-land. (A fine place to be if you intend to go, but a lousy accidental destination.)

As you can likely tell from the picture i selected to illustrate my post, I think You Only Live Twice splashed-down in farce-land with a side trip to Mockalvania. Continue reading Sunday Night Movie: You Only Live Twice


No regrets

So I have been asked if I regretted voting for Barrack Obama over John McCain for president of the United States in 2008.

John  McCain does not stand for the protections of the Constitution for US Citizens.

Nope, I do not regret my choice. I regret that Republican Party failed to give me a viable alternative.


Under The Weather

Well, my sweetie-wofe came down with a cold over the weekend and now it seems that I have it as well.

I came home early from the day-job yesterday and stayed home today. I’m dizzy with clogged sinuses and my throat is quite sore.

All in all it has not been much fun in Stalingrad.