A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Here's a new invention that will sell a billion units

Somebody needs to invent and patent a safe, self-igniting cigarette.

Starting on February 15, 2005, no lighters or matches of any sort will be allowed past any airport security checkpoints.

Maybe we're going to see a comeback of the waitresses with the big lighters and the trays of cigs and gum?

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Something for the time conscious

World Time Server Online.

They have a cool download that you can run on your computer to synch with the atomic clock when you start the computer.

Now that's service.

I randomly found this site while surfing around this morning. I filled out the form, submitted it , and 9 hours later the junk car I've been trying to get rid of is gone.

Call me selfish, but...

I really don't care about the plight of the people affected by the recent tidal wave in Asia.

I don't understand how people who have other things locally to worry about can act like they care about a bunch of drowning victims that would never have affected their lives in the first place.

I need all my available emotional savings to deal with personal issues that happen here as they crop up. I can't waste my limited emotional capital on worrying about whether the actuaries will be 100k deaths off in their predictions for 2004.

I'm sure that there are people who have unlimited empathy and are able to genuinely care about what happens outside of their own spheres of influence. But if there is one thing I learned from my kids it's that I can't fix everything and thinking I can only leads to self-pity.

Here's a question.

How does Texas, a state that doesn't even have a state income tax, manage to decorate its new highway construction projects? The 635 loop construction project bridge abutments are faced with colored concrete and cast stars. It actually looks very nice and will be impressive when it is complete.

Here in lovely Connecticut, a state that not only has a 5% income tax, but ludicrous property taxes on vehicles and other possessions not to mention a guaranteed $50 million per month stipend from the two largest casino's on earth can't even keep the roads in condition that I don't bend a rim every three days.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Lennie Briscoe R.I.P.

Jerry Orbach passed away today in New York, from prostate cancer.

Thanks for the entertainment.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Slippery Slope > Lawmakers

First it's medical marijuana. Soon to be prescribed for everything from mal-nourishment to cataracts.

Now it's Ecstasy being prescribed for terminally ill patients to help them cope with their fear and dark thoughts.

That's what cancer patients need. "Dance the malignancy away!"

Story here.

I guess the dems got what they wanted right?

The Ohio recount is finally over and as I posted earlier in this space, the vote-fabricating communists have managed to come up with a total of 285 additional votes for Kedwards. That puts the official margin of victory at 118,457 votes rather than the heretofore mis-underestimated total margin of 118,775 votes.

Wsheeooooooo. Close one.

So, anybody but me doubt this will make Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins et al shut up finally? They couldn't come up with 500 votes in Florida, and barely added 300 in Ohio so I guess it's all part of a masterful Rovian plot to keep the government in the control of the party that pro-death. (But only in situations when the accused has been proven guilty.).

OK. I realize that Sports Illustrated is not a serious magazine,

But this article is a bit silly.

60,000 or so people dead and these idiots waste a multitude of column inches on the plight of one of their swimsuit models.

Story here.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

What was that about the Saudis holding oil prices down for the election?

Well, Crude is down again to around $44 per barrel and it is still carrying about a $10-$12 per barrel uncertainty premium. Going strictly by supply and demand and getting rid of the speculators would give us $28-$32 per barrel oil. We've actually got regular gas prices down below $1.80 around here. So I'll take it, but I still see the #2 dyed diesel going up just as I get ready to fill the tank. Figures.

First the OPEC whackos influence the election by keeping prices high and now the local cartels are screwing us yet again when it gets cold and no one has any other options. I hope they choke.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Damned media

So, this week, General motors announced a recall of about 900,000 mini-vans that resulted from over 90 documented cases of owners receiving broken arms (!) from the mechanisms that activate the automatic opening side doors. Have you heard anything on the news about that one? I doubt it. Much better to go after Daimler Chrysler for a problem with fewer vehicles that hasn't caused a single documented injury.

Merry Christmas.

And to all, a good night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Anybody want some free cash for murdering babies?

Click here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Got my Laptop GPS running again.

Well, I wished I'd updated the drivers for the GPS prior to flying to DFW. I was looking forward to tracking our flights from the air. Anyway, that didn't work, but It was still neat looking at the east coast, Long Island and the map and figuring out exactly where we were over the Atlantic. But, I've updated the software, the GPS is connecting fine now and I'll be using the unit tomorrow on my trip to Lebanon, NH. I've got to check out a piece of equipment I purchased for work. Long drive, but maybe I'll get lunch out of it.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Unexpected Surprise.

Hewlett Packard really surprised me today. My wife was having some driver/compatibility problems with a moderately old printer where she works and emailed them about the issues. I would have expected some boilerplate message about how they appreciated her interest and could sell her a new printer. But the response was sincere, several pages long and dealt with explanations of how to correct all of the problems she had described. Including some driver updates with websites where the required driver could be found and changes to other (Non HP) programs so the formatting would work with the printer.

Can't beat that in today's electronic-press 1 for english-outsourced world.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Another Progressive Step

You'd think that our current crop of university students would be overjoyed at the demise of yet another oppressive single-sex school. (Remember the reaction of the press and the left (yeah, I know that's redundant) when VMI was forced by the courts to accept women.)

Now turn your attention to Wells College in Auburn, New York. The school has decided of it own free will to integrate next year and the students are riotously upset. The only reason the courts are involved is to declare that they will NOT block the College's plans to admit the opposite sex.

Why the differing reaction to integration that is not even being forced on this occaision? Did I forget to mention that Wells College is an all female school that will be admitting men for the first time next year?

You go boy.

Story here.

Why all the fuss?

Some lady dies in what was obviously a botched abortion and the kindly woman performing the abortion decides to save the baby. Now the would-be abortionist is under fire. For what I ask, For what? Story here.

Man of the Year

So, Time magazine has yet again entitled W as Man of the Year. It's appropriate, but I think Time's explanation that they select the man who has had the most effect on the news "for good or bad" during the last year is telling. Also, the fact that that head hacking thug AlZarqawi was in the running is also telling.

Anyway, I heard some twit opining on CNN this morning that Gavin Newsome, (You remember him, right?) should have been chosen. If you don't remember him, Mr. Newsome is the mayor of San Francisco who made headlines by illegally marrying hundreds of gays last spring.

Thinking about that dichotomy, I propose this: A Triumvirate Man of the Year. W along with Mr. Newsome and the Massachussettes supreme court. The president and the two beings that guaranteed his victory this fall.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Yet another example of people who should not be allowed to breed.

I heard this story on the New York news radio station this morning. A teen who had recently received her driver's license and was driving recklessly with 5 of her friends in a vehicle only designed to carry five (total) passengers missed a sharp curve at a high rate of speed and careened into the woods. Result: Two of the passengers critically injured and the rest treated and released. Here is the article.

What is missing from the article was the statement from the driver's mother. This dunderhead was quoted by the radio news crew as saying she thought her daughter was too young to have been given a license by the state and that New York should obviously raise it's legal driving age to prevent such near-tragedies in the future.

Here's my take on it: Lady, if your kid is too friggin' irresponsible to be able to consider that driving is the equivalent of a license to attempt to murder anyone and everyone else on the road at the same time you are if you are so inclined, why, for Christ's sake, did you allow her to get the driver's license in the first damned place? Do you want to be her friend so badly that you are willing to sacrifice her life and others' lives at the altar of Dr. Spock?

My eldest was granted a license in Texas prior to our moving up here. She was NOT, by my judgement, capable of operating a motor vehicle in an appropriate manner at that time and she did NOT drive by herself for another six months until I was satisfied that she was not going to do something as stupid as this idiotic kid did.

The irony of this is that this moronic parent, who shows so much contempt for the safety of all other people anywhere near the roads of Long Island, and is now blaming the state for the results of her own stupidity, probably think she loves her child. While I, on the other hand, hate children but just don't want to see them end up dead if I can reasonably prevent it by taking a little responsibility for their actions before they are able to grasp the importance of that responsibility for themselves.


I am now one of the first five people in our entire Cablevision system to have digital cable delivered to my house without the aide of one of those stinking set-top boxes. My new TV is digital cable ready and allows the cable company to install a special card that allows the TV to receive decoded digital signals with no box. I finally know what electrical/computer science engineers are good for! ;-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

And another thing...

I had the distinct displeasure of flying in a couple Airbus models on this trip. An A-319 and an A-320. Notwithstanding the fact that the vertical stabilizers on the 320's have a habit of parting from the plane at somewhat inopportune moments, the planes just SOUND stupid. The damned French can't even build a friggin' jetliner without making it sound like it's apologizing for not surrendering to an attacking girl scout troop fast enough.

The servo motors that lower and raise the flaps and slats make the most annoying sound ever imagined. You'd think there was a giant squeegee bum outside the plane smearing the windows and begging for change. And the cutesy little servo controlled monitor screens that fold out of the overhead compartment so I can bump my head when I get up. Those are nice too. How much weight did the electronics and mechanical systems required to operate those 30 monitors add to the already overly complex workings of that fragile craft?

Why on earth would an American company purchase ANYTHING from France, let alone something like a passenger jet that requires a bit more knowledge and design skill than, " Oh, I should remove my shoes BEFORE stomping the grapes."

Airport security.

Well, my wife and I found out that if you buy cross-country airline tickets eighteen hours in advance and pay cash you are rewarded with the full body cavity, latex glove, strip-search, baggage dumping treatment upon entering the airport secure zone. At first this made me happy because I thought they are actually profiling people based upon what we learned on 9/11.

My cynical expectations were unfortunately confirmed on our return trip when, while sitting in a DFW airport bar, I watched a Marine in full uniform being given the same treatment. Osama Bin Laden could have probably walked through security carrying a suitcase that was marked "BOMB" and wearing a shirt that read, "The Allied Forces Bombed me up from the stone age and all I got was this lousy T-chirt." and he wouldn't have been given a second glance because that would have gotten the screeners in trouble for racial profiling.

I feel so much safer now...

I thought the roads in New England sucked...

Man. I had to drive I-30 between Mesquite and Forth Worth twice daily while we were down there. There must have been at least one fatal accident every day we were there. The construction zones are so poorly planned and executed you'd think the engineering had been accidently shopped out to a roller-coaster design firm. I was actually longing to be in Rhode Island!

Did you know?

You can still smoke in the bars at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. At least there is one place the PC police haven't gotten to yet.

Bumper stickers.

While I was in Texas I noticed something a bit odd. Tons of Kedwards bumper stickers. It was somewhat unexpected but after I thought about it, not as surprising as I first thought. Up here in solid blue Connecticut, there were numerous Bush stickers. The Bush stickers largely outnumbered the Kerry models up here.

Taking both of these observations into account, I think what we have is the same mentality on differing sides on the issues. The minority, regardless of which side it is, wants to make sure that others understand that they didn't vote with the majority. Anyone else notice similar phenomena in other places like California or Oklahoma?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Scott Peterson was finally sentenced. And to death at that. The punishment is fitting but I think we need to modify our judicial system to eliminate the appeals process in capital cases. You're convicted, sentenced, taken into the judge's chamber and shot, a trap door in the floor opens and you drop into a pool of Aqua Regia. How'd that be as a deterrent?

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Well, it's been a hell of a week. For all of our prayers and good thoughts, Kent died from his injuries on Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at about 3am. Mona and I flew to DFW to be with Amanda and her family. It was an interesting trip, I'll say that. More on that later. The funeral home did what they could, but after the damage and everything else, it wasn't quite right. Conveniently, it was not possible to take a bad picture of Kent or Amanda, so there were many excellent photos to evoke appropriate memories. I was honored to be asked to be a pall bearer and one of the people to read a eulogy at the service. I do miss those people. The service was as perfect as a funeral could be. Our thoughts and prayers are with Amanda as she has a few trials ahead. Right now I'm just whipped from the trip. Below are my remarks from the funeral.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Aaron Rose. I currently live in Torrington, Connecticut. I met Kent in early 1997 when I transferred to Paris, Texas within Kimberly-Clark. In the time I knew Kent he taught me many things. How to be a better engineer. How to be a better project manager. How to be a better water skier. How to be a more outgoing person. How to be a better auto-detailer. How attention to detail can make all of the difference. In short, there are few aspects of my life that Kent did not help improve in some way. For all of this I will be eternally grateful to Kent and the people he was responsible for bringing into my life.

Even with his horribly untimely passing, he is reaching out to help me yet again. I had only spoken to Kent once in the last few years since I moved to Connecticut. We were both very analytical people who understood most of this world’s mechanisms. We E-mailed each other now and again but there was always a backdrop of invincibility. A fervent belief that because we understood so much, we could control everything and that there would be plenty of time for small talk later.

I realize now that nothing is more precious than the time we have with the ones we care most about. I will try to never again get up for work without kissing my wife because I know I will see her when I get home. I will try to never again take my parents and sisters for granted because I know I will see them next month. And I will try to never again say, “I’ve got plenty of time.” when it comes to keeping up with old friends.

Kent, once again, like every other time I’ve spoken about, I was blind and you forced me to open my eyes to a better way. For that, I am forever in your debt.

I love ya buddy. And I miss ya.