Saturday, April 23, 2011

Battlestar Galactica, vintage 1978

Just watched that on NetFlix.  I never was a fan of the show, but now that I've watched it, it's not too bad.  The reason for my interest is that analogies were being made with the show.  I suppose the analogies were similar in motivation to what was intended by referring to missile defense as Star Wars.

It would seem that the hostility to technological solutions to problems could be so great that it cannot be overcome.  It is like nuclear power.  The fear of it is irrational, but it is powerful enough to stop development of it in its tracks.

This will be my last post today.  Thanks for coming by.  See ya'll tomorrow.


I forgot to do an evening wrap. A short update here. Today's topic was case studies. I looked at case studies in general, and in particular- Taegan Goddard, Bunker Mulligan, Presidential elections since the sixties, and a brief snippet about Battlestar Galactica.


The first election that I can remember much of was in 1964.  Presidential election that is.  It was Barry Goldwater v Lyndon Johnson.  Johnson became President after the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas Texas in 1963.  Goldwater was a Senator from Arizona.  At this time, I was completely ignorant of politics, so I had little idea of what it was all about.

All I remember about it was that I didn't like Johnson.  Funny recollection about Johnson.  He was called "uncle cornpone" from what I understand.  For some reason, I felt that that he had something to do with the assassination.  I had faint memories of Kennedy.  What I remembered was that he made people laugh at his news conferences.  Goldwater lost to Johnson in a huge landside.

By 1968, the Vietnam War had taken its toll on Johnson, who dropped out.  I remember watching his speech on TV.  It seemed like that war was never going to end, and I might get drafted to go fight in it.  But hardly any relatives of mine actually went there, and I don't think anybody got hurt.  Of course, a lot of others did.  I didn't like Humphrey any better than I liked Johnson.  Dad didn't like Republicans, it seemed.  But he didn't like Kennedy either.  As best as I can tell, he didn't like politicians much.  I can see his point now.  Nixon won that one in a squeaker.

In 1972, I was getting close to voting age, but not there yet.  I didn't dislike McGovern, but I didn't respect him.  There has always been this respect issue with Democrats.  They seem frivolous.  McGovern nominated a guy for his veep who had mental problems.  He had to drop him.  That destroyed his candidacy, little doubt. The Democrats never forgave the Republicans for that.  They've been running against Republican veeps ever since.  Dole was too mean, Bush was a wimp, and Quayle was a dummy.  Cheney had no heart and was the living impersonation of Darth Vader.  And Palin hunted moose.  Anyway, Nixon pasted McGovern, but things didn't improve in the Democrat Party, even though they had plenty of reforms.

I could vote in 1976, but didn't.  I favored Ford even though he couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time.  Carter smiled too much.  He raised peanuts.  But what worried me most is that he wanted to pull out of Korea.  Ford told us he wasn't a Lincoln.  As if we didn't know already.  Even though he was a screw up, the peanut farmer had all he could manage in pulling out a close victory.

But peanut head didn't fare so well against the Gipper.  I did vote in 1980, but not for Reagan.  The reason: cutting taxes without cutting spending was guaranteed to cause huge deficits, and I was right.  But I thought there would be hyper inflation from all the deficits.  As things turned out, deficits do not cause inflation.  Monetary policy does.  Milton Friedman explained that in his book "Free to Choose".  I had not read it by 1980, though.  It wouldn't have made any difference.  Reagan seemed almost a frivolous as the Democrats.  Maybe that is why he won.

I skipped voting in 1984.  Reagan v Mondale didn't seem like a fair fight.  Besides, I wasn't paying much attention.

By 1988, I was.  I voted for the wimp, because Dukakis had such a funny name.  How can anybody with a name like that become President?  Besides, he said he wouldn't whack any guy who raped his wife because it just wouldn't be the fair thing to do.  Bentsen won that election by creaming Quayle in the debate.  But Bush stole it anyway.

Clinton showed up in 1992.  This must a been a watershed in American history.  That's because before this election, no draft dodger would ever have a prayer of winning.  But win he did.  The country hasn't been the same since.

Clinton was always known as a skirt chaser, but the big scandal hadn't happened yet by 1996.  As the veep said, "the force" was with them.  The force meaning the economy, of course.  Peace works too.  People will forgive a lot if they've got a good job and nobody has to go fight in a war.

People were not quite so forgiving by 2000.  Gore was having trouble keeping himself in control during the debates with his antics like sighing and stalking Bush.  It was even worse after the election itself, when it took him several court decisions before he finally decided to give it up.  Talk about a Sore Loserman.

Now we are up to 2004, and I start my first blog.  I can't believe Kerry.  He wasn't a draft dodger, but he was nearly as bad, accusing US troops of acting like Ghenghis Khan.  It was closer than what it should have been.  As the Clinton election showed, the American people just didn't take this stuff seriously anymore.

In 2008, we got our first black President.  Hooray!  /sarc  I know that people would call that racist, but how can it not be racist if they are so busy noticing what Obama's race was?  The worse thing about that election is that people took pride in something that was quite questionable.  One of Obama's buddies, Ayers, was photographed standing on a flag.  Obama's pastor said "God damn America" and the people must have liked it because they voted the guy in.  We were going to get change because we really needed it.  But that leaves the question: change from what into what?  This election left a really bad taste in my mouth.  It has been two years and counting, and I can still taste it.  There is talk about this country's decline.  If you believe that, just look who's been winning elections.

Mike Reed, aka Bunker Mulligan

Those of you who have read my blog may recall that I had a blog back in 2004, which was also called Boots and Oil.  One of my regular commenters, of which there were only two, was Mike Reed, who had a blog called Bunker Mulligan.   ( by the way, link above is to a page in which Bunker made a comment, scroll down, his old blog is long gone, the new Bunker website is not the same one)

Reed was a golfer, evidently. I recall his front page was of a green with a sand trap nearby. For those who aren't golfers, bunker and mulligan, are golfing terms. I played a little golf at one time, or, should I say, I tried to play golf at one time.

Also, I recall that he may have been a pilot. You see, I didn't know the man. I only knew him through the internet.

I've written this before, but it bears repeating.  I need to get out more.  It is one of my faults.  What I did wrong there was not to get to know the guy.  Also, not to thank him for coming to my blog and commenting.

People liked him, and they kept his post up for all these years.  If you look around now, it is hard to find some folks, like Bunker, who were around back then.  He treated me great.  I am sorry he is not around now.

Here's another post that mentions him, you have to scroll to post of June 15, 2005 to find it.  For a faster method, use the find text function on your browser.  Also June 5, the date of his death.  There is a list of bloggers who noted his passing.  I post him in this screen shot.

Taegan Goddard

This is in keeping with my daily plan of writing some case studies. This is a comparison, if you dare, or should I say, should I dare, of myself and the subject mentioned above.  How dare you make the comparison, you might ask?  Ok, then make that a comparison and contrast.  What we have here is someone like myself, who labors in obscurity, and this Goddard fellow, who is considered something of a political guru.

The name was familiar to me long before it was a famous name.  Whoa!  Yes, I think it was the same guy I was exchanging messages with on a Prodigy bulletin board back in 1990.  Back then, I had written a computer program that I was trying to sell, and I came across this fellow named Taegan, who was asking people about their programs.  I mentioned mine and he suggested that I get it published.  He gave me a name of a software publisher, to which I sent my program for review for possible publishing.  I believe that it was the same guy here, because the name of his program was called "Liberty!", which pretty much looks like a good fit for which Goddard likes to write about.

Goddard's program was written before the World Wide Web came into being, and it had a feature to it that I admired, but I didn't have in my own program.  This feature was hyper text.  The web uses this technique, and it is used right here in this very post, as I shall demonstrate with this.  You may have heard of hypertext protocol?  If not, look at a web address for "http".  That's what it means, hyper text protocol.  That is the means by which you can download information from the world wide web.

I guess Goddard was on the leading edge and I was off the leading edge, but not by much.

Would hyper text had made a difference in my program's fortunes?  Probably not.  It wasn't published, and probably wouldn't have been even if I did have it.  That brings me to the second point of comparison and contrast.  His program was very simple.  As the publisher said "too simple".  When I examined his program, I thought it was too simple minded.  All his program did was to link case studies of famous landmark decisions in Supreme Court cases throughout the years with the appropriate parts of the US Constitution.  This is simplicity all right.  But it was also powerful in ways that I didn't quite get at the time.  Mostly because of the design principle which I have cited here as the KISS principle.

But this isn't just about software, it is also about politics.  At least this blog is about politics.  And so is Goddard's blog. But I digress a little.  Let's finish the comparison and contrast.  The last point of comparison must be in connections.  I don't have connections.  I suspect that Goddard did and does now. I still don't.  After all, it was Goddard who gave me the information I needed to contact the publisher who might have published my program.  He also knew about hyper text, which as I mentioned, I didn't know.  But I did know about the KISS principle.  One of my program's failures was the violation of the KISS principle.  Perhaps working with a mentor could have helped me overcome the tendency to over design my programs.

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.  That is the one of the points in my superhero videos.  Does that mean I am better than Goddard?  No, I don't claim that.  But people may give others a little more credit than they deserve.  They may be fortunate to have caught a break at an appropriate time in their development.  I don't want to seem envious here.  That's not my style, please do not misunderstand.  Rather, I wish to understand the reason for things and that is what I am writing about here.

Daily Plan, A discussion of case studies.

Being something of a fanatic for definitions, I want to start with a definition as it were, of the term "case study".  I do this because I want to be on the same wavelength with my audience.  They will know what I am talking about when I use the words I use.  Hopefully, I won't stray from this principle.  It's "staying on message".  How can you stay on message if you confuse people with words that aren't well defined?

This can be seen as an amateur case study, if I would do it myself.  Now, what is my history of this?  I can tell a few stories here, if you are interested.  They would be short, of course.  Or, I could refer you to a book, if you wanted more detailed study of the subject in question.  One such case study would be the conspiracy theories of the assassination of President Kennedy.  Now, I've studied that subject before.  I could offer up a short story about my study of this subject, or I could refer you to a more professional approach by someone whose work I respect.  I think for the respect of time, which I am a bit short of, would indicate that I refer you to someone for that study.

With respect to the term "respect", which I have just used, does not mean endorsement of everything this person has written. Rather, it means that after studying upon the subject myself, I am inclined to believe that this individual is on the right track and his work is sincere and probably very exhaustive.  I am thinking of Vincent Bugliosi for this case.  I have disagreed with some of what he writes, and I have a review on Amazon which was extremely critical of one of his books, but I don't doubt his sincerity and professionalism.

But my idea is not to study that particular case, but to use it as an example of what I am referring to when I discuss the term "case study", and what I would regard as an example of a professionally done job.  Since I am interested in space colonization, you can look at some of what I will write here as amateur case studies.  Hopefully, I can point you to the best people who can give you better, more professionally done job than what I can do, in case you are interested.  On a wider note, I can point to sources of information, which is what I have been doing all along.  In this spirit, I hope this blog can be a resource for those who want to understand something, and ultimately, to do something about it.

Incidentally, that is part of what was discussed with respect to the Space Program in my most recent post about the Space Show.  How do you get people interested and keep them interested over time?  That is a problem with the Space Program.   I may do some "case studies" as it were to show what may have gone wrong.  Perhaps those who may be interested can find some way to do something about that.

The Morning Summary, April 23, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Sat. morning 4581; v. Fri am 4566; 15 down 8 from Fri

Blogger: Fri. 64, up 25 from Thurs (39); overnight is 23 so far, compared with 25 this time yesterday.

Pleased with the higher numbers yesterday, but concerned about the dropoff again in visitors and pageviews overnight.

I needed to follow up on a minor success and I didn't. Live and learn.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, one click on Amazon, but that might have been me, I'm not sure.

YouTube page: 845 v 840 channel views previously, 488 v. 482 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 5, upload views improve by 6.

Well, at least for each channel view, I got an upload view, plus one additional upload view.

The ratio between channel views and upload views can be calculated by using upload views as the numerator and channel views as denominator. This ratio should yield a metric which tells you how interesting your channel is to potential viewers. If your channel plays the featured video automatically, you will get at least 1 upload view for every channel view. But I don't have it set up that way.

In order to calculate the metric by my own standard, I have 488/845, which is less than 1 upload view for every channel view. This means that, on average, about half of the people who view the channel will click on one of my videos. That may not seem to be too good, especially when compared to some other channels which have much better ratios. You could have ratios much greater than 1, for example. Mine is depressingly low, about one half. My stuff on YouTube must really suck.

But the suckiness is not quite as sucky as it once was. I think "how-to" videos may be the ticket for me, because my YouTube stuff may be too "dry". Too factual, too practical. I've been told that, you know. By more than one person, by the way. The same may hold true for this blog, come to think of it. I must get past this suckiness one way or another, and make this a "cool" site.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Evening Wrap, 4/22/11

Today was Earth Day as well as Good Friday. The focus today was on airships. The last post dealt with an August broadcast of the Space Show and the book "Crossing the Threshold", by Paul Wieland.

It was a no snark day for environmentalism, and I think I managed that. I learned a bit about Aeroscraft, who makes airships that may someday become the new way of traveling. But not everyone agrees.

With the high price of oil on everyone's minds, perhaps this can receive some new attention.

There was also a short political discussion of news from Memeorandum.

The day began with the feedback from a shoutout, which was much welcomed. Once again, thanks to Wolf and Sarah. Plus, thank all of you for coming by. See ya'll tomorrow.

Space Show on 8/20/10, Paul Wieland, Crossing the Threshold

I missed the Space Show today, but I am listening to the August 20 broadcast as I write.  It came to my attention that if you go to the One Giant Leap Forward Foundation and buy the book through them, Amazon will make a contribution.

I would suggest reading the one customer review on Amazon.  It looks like a pretty good job of describing the book.

Paul Wieland was on, here is the master guest list where a synopsis of his show can be found.

Here are some notes I took. This is a skeleton outline of the show by time line. When downloading, you can access the time indicated by clicking on the bar which moves toward the right as the show play ( on Windows Media Player). If you use a different player, you may be able to use a similar method.

7:12 intro of guest amazon way of contributing
8:45 about book
11:20 got message from white house clinton administration staffer a request for write up; genesis of book
14:00 how does space address concerns of society; vision missing he says
16:00 manned and unmanned dichotomy- focus should be on the next ten years
19:45 proposal: international space decade
20:46 1st question 1) barriers a) proposals
28:19 dr space asks about international participation
30:00 every launch log in history johnathan's space report- doctor wants to know
33:15 dr space life sciences observations
36:00 political discussions: says he hasn't talked with polticians
37:38 crossing the threshold on Amazon; reminder of how to support the space show by buying book
40:00 paul wieland author and guest
41:50 replace chemical rockets; need to "graduate" from chemical rockets
44:00 discussion of air ship to orbit powered by electric propulsion.
46:30 space elevator
47:00 nuclear propulsion
48:30 from england-how many rocket launches? ans: about 5000
50:45 solar sails- depends on mission as to propulsion
54:30 10 yr program probability of being implemented? 50-50
57:00 break
59:00 asked if his first book? Yes, for public.  Written other stuff.
1:02:00 compatibility in international components
1:06:00 commercial space should be encouraged
1:07:30 job layoffs- value of work force? Importance of leadership from President
1:11:00 interest awareness motivation- need to drive it
1:12:00 Dr. Space has addressed this he says
1:13:35 The way Congress works; space is hard sell
1:16:00 end of Dr. Space's spiel- paul wieland response
1:19:00 how to of keeping it viable over time
1:20:00 where on web for book
1:22:00 connecting the dots with the public
1:25:00 no politician has every advocated space to solve problems
1:26:00 response- the more who write about space, better
1:29:00 comparison and contrast to olympics
1:30:00 discussion of the problems involved
1:37:00 deregulate space? Not realistic. Need realism.
1:40:00 how to move forward

Reading about 900 foot airships

There was a military contract to build a fleet of these, believe it or not.  They could travel 138 miles per hour, deliver 500 tons of cargo and passengers, fly at 10,000 feet, cost about as much as Boeing 737 passenger jet, but be half as expensive to operate.

What happened?  Did they ever build these things?  Or are they a secret?  Here's something from Popular Mechanics.  By the way, these aren't brand new write ups.  Both links were from 2006.   Further checking reveals that the "Walrus" airship program was cancelled in 2010.  There are some fans of the concept.

Just think. I figured that I was on to something unique here. But as this video shows, this is not an unknown idea by an stretch of the imagination.

Here's a second part to this video that has a little more info:


It kinda looks like they must have hit a snag in their development. But with the price of oil reaching 100 a barrel and here to stay, that will put pressure on the aircraft companies to look for new solutions. This could be one. More info on their website, but not much more.

Here's another website that mentions it.  I think this will be the last link to discussion of it.  Some people think this is a hoax.  Keep in mind that the Hindenberg flew in the 1930's.  It crashed, but so have other aircraft.  You have to remember that lifting gas can indeed lift heavy objects and it has been done before.

Another point:  People want to build trains.  These won't compete with planes, but they can compete with trains, especially for long distances where trains are impractical.

News tidbits via Memeorandum

Obama's chances of reelection.  Like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest if inflation does what I think it might.

Opinions are aholes, everybody has one.  Here's one about Atlas Shrugged.  Everbody is a critic.

I haven't read Ryan's budget.  Gingrich isn't whole heartedly endorsing it, according to this.

Obama predicts Pelosi will be speaker again.  Why?

Patterico says what I've been saying, Republicans hold the cards, but will fold on the debt ceiling.

Ensign will resign as Senator of Nevada.  Harry Reid just won reelection.  Don't know what this says about Nevada, but it can't be good.

Huckabee and Trump are front runners in the GOP nomination, according to Gallup.  Huckabee polls the best against Obama in the polls I've seen.

Daily Plan, 4/22/11; a brief discussion about airships

Based upon what JP of JP Aerospace said, he once made an airship the size of a 747. I would assume that he meant the length of one. By using this page in order to get the dimensions of a 747 , and by using the formula obtained here for the calculation of the volume of a cylinder (of the length of a 747 times 2, because his airships are in the shape of a "V".), and this site, we obtain a calculation of 9300 pounds gross lift capacity.  That would have to include all hardware, including the weight of the ship itself.  But JP said that his ship only weighed 600 pounds!  From this, we can deduce that there is sufficient margin to make an airship that can carry some weight.

Other hardware will be needed though, and this will deduct from the carrying capacity of the ship.  For example, you need propulsion.  Plus a power source.  It is interesting that the hydrogen in the ship can be its own fuel and a fuel cell can make power from the vehicles' own lifting gas.  Another possibility for power would come from the enormous surface area of the airship, which would give ample area for solar panels.  These ideas presume an electrical propulsion, but there may be other ways.  If I am not mistaken, JP must be working on those now.  If he plans to get to space with his airships, he will need a propulsion system which will be fairly robust in thrust and isp.

I ran the number originally and forgot to use the radius of the cylinder by using the diameter instead.  This gave an very unrealistic answer of  37,000 pounds gross lifting capacity.  Thus, if you were to double the diameter, lifting capacity quadruples.  This isn't the case when doubling the length.  That just doubles the numbers because the formula is square of the radius.

This short discussion is about all I have for now.  It is a continuation of what I began to post about yesterday.  I'll keep looking for stuff to post on the subject here.  It dovetails nicely with my own experience as a truck driver.  I am thinking of the feasibility of using airships as a way to move cargo and people.

The Morning Summary, April 22, 2011, Earth Day (and Good Friday)

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Fri. morning 4566; v. Thurs am 4543; 23 up 12 from Thurs

Blogger: Thurs. 39, down 24 from Wed (63); overnight is 25 so far, compared with 16 this time yesterday. Pleased to report that I got some comments on my Sarah LaCroix video post from Wolf Bracker and Sarah herself.  Thanks a bunch!  Everybody be sure to go to their sites and look around.  It looks like there's a couple links to go to in order to get to their sites and see their stuff.

I think this gave my blog a little shot in the arm when needed.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon.

YouTube page: 840 v 837 channel views previously, 482 v. 482 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 3, upload views improve by 0.  Actually, no upload views, even though I got more channel views is not necessarily bad.  It means people are at least coming to the channel.  I won't set it to automatically do a view of the featured video.  I want views that people actually want to see.

I've been brainstorming some ideas lately.  Nothing is jelling yet, but I am hopeful.  I have some news ideas that I will post on shortly on my daily plan.  Check in to see that.  Later, and thanks again Wolf and Sarah!

By the way, today is Earth Day.  While I am not a big environmentalist, I can't see why we can't come to a common ground with each other on some fundamental issues.  This will be a no snark zone on environmentalism today in observance of the importance of this day for some people.  The no snark zone is something that we may want to practice a little more in our relations with each other.  This blog attempts to be constructive about problems that we all face.  Hence the opening banner of "Houston, We Have a Solution" .
But humor is encouraged.  Let's not take ourselves too seriously.

In this blog, I have advocated solutions, of which I think all could agree, would be helpful in reducing carbon emissions.  These would be posted under the Energy label on the right sidebar.  Click on that label to get those posts and peruse them for my thoughts on these ideas.

Since I'm trying to do a "jailbreak" with this blog here, let's have a little fun with that with this video.  It is a new video streamer I haven't tried before, cross my fingers. Here's the closer to the "Blues Brothers".

The Blues Brothers - Jailhouse Rock from kenta64 on Vimeo.


As I did last week, the time creeped up on me and I forgot something. Today is Good Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The evening wrap, Thurs 4/21

Time to call it a day. This was a day for evaluation. Where I am with this and where I am going. No, not going to quit, but looking for a new direction that can be better. It may be hard to find, but I keep plugging away, so maybe I'll find it. One thing I hope is this: that it won't take a basic dishonesty to make it in this business. There is so much of that out there. If I can't make it the right way, then I won't make it at all. With that, I bid ya'll adieu. Until tomorrow. Hope you like this tune, by the way.

About "how-to's"

Is it not just a better idea to do something and learn it the hard way? As it turns out, selling one's own expertise may turn out to be a lucrative proposition. I know this to be true, because as I mentioned in this post-  How to do what have you , -I have spent big bucks on materials that were supposed to help me learn how to do something.  But somehow, the results did not live up to my hopes.

It is probably unavoidable that you will make lots of mistakes as you are learning something new.  In addition, it is a great help to have a teacher, as opposed to trying to do it all on your own.  That's what I did.  I do things on my own almost always, and that can be a really tough way to learn something.  In my opinion, an experienced instructor can tell you what you are doing wrong (and how to do better ) a lot faster than you can figure it out for yourself.

Take this blog for example.  Here I am, seven months into this, and I have no results worth mentioning.  I just happened to come across a site that was offering a "how-to" make money off a blog.  It was almost a sale right there, and then I thought "wait a minute!".  Haven't I been down this road a million times already?  What good has this ever done?  Yet, it might do a lot of good.  The only way is to order the book and try out the ideas in it.  I know about some of them already, though.

Here's the problem.  The author claims to that he can make lots of money off of blogs, but how do you know that he is honest about that?  Clearly, somebody must be making money off of blogs.  Not everybody is out there banging away at a keyboard just for the fun of it.  Or are they?  I know of a few people out there trying to make it on the internet.  Maybe they are doing well, who knows?  I'm not so sure that they are.  Maybe this is a money making business for some.  For most, it is a money equivalent of a black hole.  It disappears never to be seen again.

Update: shortly afterward

I googled "how to"  and here's one of the links, a "how to wiki".  Never used it.  There's plenty of stuff to look at, so I guess I'll be busy for awhile.  Here's another "e how".  I am reminded of the scene in Austin Powers movie where he finds out that Vanessa is a fembot.  He says, "Machine gun jumblees, how did I miss those, baby".

Who do you believe?

It may be hard when somebody who has covered space for decades squares off with another fella who was actually in the business and built the machines.  The plausibility of what Barbree says may be enough to convince a few folk.  As for me, I'm not convinced the government can do much at the moment, with its fiscal problems.  For better of worse, we have to hope that the so called new kids on the block can pass muster.

For your entertainment, sarahlacroixmusic, a friend on YouTube

If only I was younger, I would practice like I did in the old days. If I could do that again, I could attempt to make some music videos of my own. I picked up my guitar and try to learn to play "96 Tears" which I featured here in an earlier post. Alas, there's no time, and my fingers are not what they used to be. Let's not pretend, I am too old for this stuff. But here is someone who is young. Let's give her a chance to show her stuff.


She's got a website where you can get a free download of her music.

Zounds! I found this code to paste this player up. Let's try it. But it must not play automatically.

Birtherism and Trump, revisited

This is rather strange.  I got the news from Instapundit that this book is number one on Amazon.  I remember the author, Jerome Corsi, from the presidential election of 2004.  He may be the one in which the term swift boating came into popular use.

I see that the book will not be released until next month.  Why do people waste their time on this?  Does Corsi have any evidence that Obama's mother is not an American?  If so, I'd like to see it.  I wonder how he can prove this, if it is so.  He would have to have evidence that his mother wasn't a resident in the USA, nor did she live in the USA during the time he was born and grew up.  Although this was true after she remarried, it wasn't true at the time he was born.  She didn't remarry until a few years after Obama was born.

It should be evident that this is nonsense, but evidently people want to believe this, so here we go.

 Another thought came to me:  Winston Churchill's own mother was an American.  Does that mean that Winston Churchill could have been President of the United States?  I think the answer is no, because of residency.  If Churchill had been born and had grown up in the USA, it would have been different.

American Ingenuity- That's the ticket

Recall when the President said this?  Well!  By golly and by gosh, there may be a way to deal with all of this with an invention.  Shall I mention it here?  I already have! 

You don't get it? An airship with its ability to go airborne with little energy applied- combined with solar power that can propel the ship forward to your desired destination. That's it in a nutshell. Now all you need to do is to build it.

The trouble is, you need to manufacture the thing and I don't a factory handy.  Shucks!  There's always a catch!


The need is to pay for these soaring energy costs, which, incidentally are due to the government's fiscal and monetary policies. Up, Up and Away! is what gold is doing.  And so is oil.  Inflation is on its way.  But if you had been paying attention here, you would have known that already.


For my own amusement and instruction, I looked up this page here to instruct myself on what size of airship I would need to lift a certain weight.  The example given on the webpage seems much bigger than what you would need for personal transportation.  I see that it is for simplification purposes. 

On closer examination, it appears that this method of transportation will have certain complications.  One is size.  The vehicle needs to be large.  You would need control mechanisms for adjusting for temperature and atmospheric pressure.  You need ways to accomodate the vehicle when it lands and to store it when you are not using it.  And so on.

The idea is so attractive though, but there's much more to it than first thought. 

Daily Plan, 4/21/11: A discussion about "Personal Problems"

Those of you who read my stuff may recall that I mentioned the name of Robert Ringer.   His book, linked to the left, introduced me to Ayn Rand and that, in turn, introduced me to her philosophy of Objectivism.  But, this isn't so much about that.  It is about the idea, introduced in Ringer's book, that the liberals have been very good at winning through intimidation over the years.  One way to win through intimidation is to make someone feel guilty about what should be that person's own self responsibility.

Those of you who are interested in the discussion I put forth about guilt can put "guilt" in the google search box at the top of this home page, and it will bring up some posts that you can link to.  The previous post had a brief discussion along the lines of asking someone to make their problem your problem.  Everybody knows this, but why do the liberals have so much success with this?  I realize that it is the Christian thing to do to help others and be good to others.  But when these people are using that goodness as a weapon against you, it isn't such a bad idea to point out that fact, and to take a stand.  That's because the hard bitten left wants to use that goodness that way, and really aren't interested in helping anybody, but instead, are using that as a pathway to personal power, which is the main point.

Now, when I bring up my own problems here, I am not asking for charity.  No sir.  This is intended a business that will earn its own keep, or it will fail and go out of business.  That is my intention.  It is not my intention to mislead you, as others will do, in order to get your money.  If I am to get any money, I will definitely earn it.  By the same token, if I don't get paid, I won't be rendering upon a "moocher" any more of my superior services.  For that is what it means to be a liberal in America today.  If you subscribe to their worldview, and if you are able to get enough people to join you, then you will be successful in turning this country into a country full of moochers.  And where will we be then?

There will be those who will offended by this.  Others may be amused by this.  Still others may be indifferent about this.  You could read the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper, one of Aesop's Fables.  But that story looks to be perverted into confusion.  I wonder if the confusion presented there in Wikipedia is an accident. When truth gets too close, the liar prevaricates even harder.  Perhaps if his lies are no longer believed, he may sense his danger and run away.

The simple truth is that everything has its price.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.  But too many people believe that you can get something for nothing.  That is how you get trillion dollar deficits and bankruptcies and a myriad of maladies too numerous to mention.  It is a moral problem, not easy to solve.  But easy to preach about.

I am going to list this under PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper, a snark at intellectuals).  It will also be listed under sidebar, so as to explain where the term came from.  This isn't the first post of this kind, but I need to explain the blog to people so that it can be navigated easily.  Otherwise, it looks like what I don't want it to look like- an extreme example of navel gazing.


Just made this video. Anybody have a reaction?

The Morning Summary, April 21, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Thurs morning 4543; v. Wed am 4532; 11 down 12 from Wed

Blogger: Thurs. 63, down 3 from Wed (66); overnight is 16 so far, compared with 24 this time yesterday. Pleased to report that I have an all time monthly record in pageviews with 9 full days plus today remaining in the month.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon.

YouTube page: 837 v 836 channel views previously, 482 v. 481 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 1, upload views improve by 1.

Obviously, I've had a dropoff in traffic. If I were to come up with an explanation, the thing I mentioned at the close was the serious tone of the day. Perhaps nobody likes that?

It reminds me of something from a long time ago. There was somebody at work who liked to say "sounds like a personal problem". Which I took to mean, don't bug me with your problems, I've got my own. Well, I can assure you. I deal with my own problems myself, if such be the case. This was not said to me, by the way, but about someone else. I was merely listening into the conversation.

I report these statistics honestly.  I mention problems in the spirit of openness.  It is not whining, I don't think. If somebody doesn't want to help, I can take care of it myself. Always have, always will.  For those of you who are helpful, thank you very much.


That's the spirit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Summing up the day

This could become another feature of this blog.  I can put in a closing summation of what happened today, and sign off.  I'll try it here as an experiment.

With regards to my daily plan:  I set up an Amazon astore and reconfigured my blog to "make it so".  It will enable this blog to raise money provided that anybody actually buys anything off of it.  From there, I discussed the sale of my truck and that ended the monetization of the blog discussion.

After that, I discussed politics, markets and then airships.

There was also a short post about ancestry.

The tone today was about more serious than yesterday.  I think that reflects the mood today.

The optimism may be fading a bit.  This is a tough job, making a living out of this.  People, you are one tough crowd.  Maybe things will seem better tomorrow.  With that, I bid you all a good evening.

Newsletter - Edition 262 - 17 April 2011 By Christopher Laird

I'm late with this, as it usually comes out on Sunday.  Better late than never.  It is subscription based, so if you want to read it, you must subscribe.  There's some changes afoot at his website.  You may want to check it out.

Markets and events in the Middle East, gold and silver bubble
Lot of similarities to the 1970s and also not
US stocks
Other commodities and metals etc.
Food crisis continues
Stability premium
USD crash first or gold correction first?

What do you make of this?

Checking out the Direction of Country poll.  It is only at 22% who believe country is heading in the right direction.  But the political class disagrees.  Something isn't computing here.  These numbers don't make sense.

Why does Obama poll this highly  when so many people don't trust the government?  Something is out of whack here.

How do you get the country back on the right track when you refuse to consider making a change in leadership?  Not that many in the political class get beat during each election.  The last election seemed like a big turnover, but it really wasn't that big.  A large majority of Congresscritters returned for another term.

It must be the way things are reported.  Everything gets hyped.


It is an interesting idea to move people and cargo using an airship, as opposed to using an airplane. Especially considering the cost of fuel, with oil at over 100 dollars per barrel.

One webpage debunked the myths about airships. But someone may ask, "if they are so good, why aren't they being used?". I guess that is what they call a good question. One thing about them is that they aren't mass produced like autos. The prices on these things are much higher than you might think.

JP Aerospace may be working on an airplane that is lighter than air, if you can believe that. I can recall seeing a reference to it in their literature. The rigid structures are full of air, which makes the plane feel sturdy, but it is very light. This isn't a new idea. I once saw a picture of a plane taking off which was basically a balloon in the shape of an airplane.

If you can make it aerodynamic and combine it with a lightweight and powerful engine, it just may be an interesting bird.

Search for airship design

Update: I looked up some of these on YouTube. Amazing what they could do over 60 years ago.

Work continues, of course. Here is some recent work on the concept.

I found this on an inflatable planes search, but this isn't an inflatable plane. It is made of foam. It isn't something you can carry passengers or crew in, but it looks like a lot of fun.

A video taken less than a year. It costs 12 thousand bucks. I guess that hobby is a bit out of my range.

Here's an editorial about ultra light aircraft and the obstacles that are in place which restrict their freedom. Sound familiar?

When pigs fly

A bit on the light hearted side.  Here's a page that translates the English expression into many different equivalents in other languages.  ( There are plenty of pageviews originating from outside the USA, hence this discussion.)

It is usually preceded by a question or discussion about the probability of an event occurring, and the answer, given by this expression means, "never".

Does Google ever pay for its AdSense ads?  I could answer "When pigs fly!"  Perhaps that would be unfair.  Supposedly I earned a couple hundred bucks here, but when it came time to pay, they told me, in essense, "When pigs fly!"  Now, if you turn to current events, you can ask, when will this government balance the budget?  And the answer is...

When will the space program actually do anything in space that means anything?  The answer is ...

They will study "global warming" to death, but if there was a realistic proposal to do anything about it, their reply is, in essense...

I guess you get the point by now.  I don't believe there is any intention to do what they say they want to do.  It is all just for show to make you think that they will do what they say they will do.  What they really want is your money.

Stocks off to a good start today

Gold is up too, as well as oil.  I checked some of the comments on Yahoo Financial Page.  It doesn't appear to be anything causing it except good earnings reports.   That sounds encouraging except for one little thing: the earnings are by these corporations on Wall Street, not by people on Main Street.  Unemployment is still very high, and the budget deficit is sky high.  The Fed is still monetizing debt and we are still involved in overseas military adventures.  Financial numbers are just numbers.  The words don't fit the music.  The words are like the raw numbers, the music is the downbeat feeling I got from the comments.  As for me, I am suspicious of the Fed and the government in Washington.  These numbers can be manipulated.

History of Walker family

My grandma's maiden name was Walker.  Therefore, that is part of my ancestry.  I've been told by those who know that one of my ancestors is mentioned on this page.  This goes back a long, long way in the history of the USA.  (even before there was a USA)

My thoughts for the most part

There's a post up on American Thinker which dovetails with the line of thinking reflected in these posts:

Great Speech , If Frogs had wings

I would add a cautionary tone though, with this post about Donald Trump.   I would add that Trump seems inclined to fight, but fighting isn't always the answer.  In fact, it should be the last resort.  Have things gotten this bad?  I don't think so, at least not yet.  But we are on the wrong track, in which I am in agreement with the polls.

I see hopeful signs here and there.  I pointed out that the Speaker had something useful to say recently.  We can use this time of deficits as a buyer of time, but not as a permanent condition.  Trillion dollar deficits have to go, and go soon.  A definite plan for dealing with this must, must be put into place.

But just getting caught up in a numbers game isn't good enough.  There has to be a real economic growth plan, which is why I am advocating space colonization.  It could be the beginnings of a new industry which can  create jobs and generate revenues for the government.  If the government goes bankrupt, we are in a world of hurt.  I think we can do this if we are bold enough to think outside of the box, and brave enough to set a new course for the stars.  Too dreamy?  Obviously, I disagree.  We need to do this and we can do this.


Paul Spudis has a new post up.  I have a link to his site on my sidebar.  Actually, these folks who want to embrace the end of manned space flight are talking about government sponsored man space flight.  Fine, if that is what you want.  People, acting on their own, can do it themselves.  We don't necessarily need the government.  After all, what has the government been doing for the past 40 years since the end of Apollo? The point should be, why depend on the government to do anything at all, including manned spaceflight?

Why sell my truck?

I went into that a little yesterday, but I think I will add a few thoughts here. I did the same thing in 2004 when I had a blog. I sold my truck, bought the little electric scooter, and use mass transit. These solutions were not good enough, and so I went back to what I was doing before, which was to drive a truck for a living.

Some of the solutions now seem better. Perhaps I didn't know about it before, but there is this service called Zipcar that I found out about just recently.  By the way, I found that link to my own blog and marked it in bold letters so that you know what it is before you click.  Anyway, the Zipcar concept allows you to have use of a car for a limited time- for a few hours a day up to a day.  The trouble is that Houston doesn't have Zipcars in a convenient spot for me.  It would take a lot of time to get to one and to get back.  But there may be a solution for that, which would be better than using mass transit.

If I can sell the truck, I can use the money for other things.  It would save a lot of cash burn, which is becoming more and more pressing as time goes on.  I need to get the truck decision made within two months. If you have any interest whatever in this truck, or know anyone who might, you may want to keep this in mind.

The Daily Plan, 4/20/11

While I was looking at my Amazon stats this morning, I noticed a couple things. One is this gizmo called an "astore". I set one up with the books I read and put it up on the Products page. You can see that first when you go there. The second thing was that I already set up something like this before, but I pulled it down. I may bring it back, if I can. That's on the agenda.

Another thing is that I have 6 pages that can be utilized for marketing. Since nobody is bidding on these pages, I may use them myself. If I use them all, I will still keep them available for anyone who would like to market something through this site. I may set up multiple Amazon "astores", one page each dedicated to a line of products. One idea that I had was to create a new store based upon the movies I've seen on NetFlix and elsewhere, if they can be purchased through Amazon.

I realize the monetization of the blog may not be interesting to people who come here, but I need to generate some cash flow out of this blog, or it will have to give way to something that will. It just something that is part of this blog now and doesn't appear to have hurt pageviews any. If anything, pageviews seem to be increasing. It is hard to say why this is so. I would guess that it may be helpful in establishing a permanent presence. If it looks like you will go away, people who may otherwise be inclined to visit the blog may decide- Why bother?- and go elsewhere.

The Morning Summary, April 20, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 5:00 am
Sitemeter; Tues morning 4512; v. Wed am 4532; 23 down 2 from Mon
Blogger: Tues. 66, down 2 from Mon (68); overnight is 24 so far, compared with 21 this time yesterday

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon. I have added a couple items in the Products page, one for space books that I've written about here, plus some music that will play as soon as the page loads, it will also have a link there to take you to another page, presumably.

YouTube page: 836 v 832 channel views previously, 481 v. 481 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 4, upload views improve by 0. My channel got more looks, uploads got nothing?! What gives there?

About the Facebook page: The newest post about the Space Show, getting more impressions(up to 21). The others get a little too. The post with the most interest shown has been about the fusion powered propulsion with Focus Fusion. There are still 7 likes for the People for Space Colonization page.

Yesterday was a busy day, a little drop off, but I've added more stuff that may generate sales, and is capable of being expanded to include new items.  Now, I have a truck on sale, a bookstore, and some ad space here. Still waiting for some items in the hopper to play out.  At this rate, I'm going to have Alice's Restaurant, where you can get anything you want (except Alice).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New York City Gets A Shuttle?

If this isn't a political payoff, there ain't no such thing.  What the heck does The Big Apple have to do with the Shuttle?  It only proves that the Shuttle was, and is a boondoggle in every sense of the word.  The more I study the topic of space, the worse the smell gets with stuff like this.  It's very existence in New York City is the evidence of everything that is wrong with the space program and, as far as that goes, with this government as a whole.

That's it for today.  Time for me to retire.  See ya'll tomorrow.

Great Speech


There was a video with someone in the crowd who was heckling Palin, and I left a video response to it, with the post here.

New Post ( on Products Page)

On Products page on sidebar.  See Ric Fox post.


The music will load automatically.  The post is near the bottom of the page.

Speaker said something right

Maybe there is some hope here. It was reported that he said something big has to be attached to the raising of the debt ceiling. Something big, like what? A deficit reduction plan? Frankly, whatever it is, it had better have some teeth to it. That's because the thing that is lacking is credibility. This must, must be credible. No phony promises, please.

Video of first Apollo launch, 1967, Walter Cronkite gets excited

Got these videos indirectly from Instapundit, which had a post about a carnival of space, and a blog called robot guy.

I remember these. You could sense the power of the thing even if you weren't there.

The Shuttle Columbia, the first flight of a shuttle. I remember this.

And the landing:


And don't forget, the first American in space, Alan Shepard.

If frogs had wings

They wouldn't bump their little tails.  I got that notion after reading this on Kitco just now.  If the people in this country understood the situation just as it is written in that essay, we would have a much better chance of getting out of this mess.  But everybody likes to watch the bullcorn media and get their daily dose of crap.


I guess I asked for it when I sent that email to the Space Show.  Here's the email I sent:
If a wish could be granted, and it was politically possible , could the Sea Dragon concept work toward the goal to lowering launch costs?

It looks like I was "dreamy" about the big dumb rocket.  Sorry, but I don't agree.  If the object is to lower costs of launch, this is the best deal going.  It can't be a manned rocket, but you don't need that.  That's the problem that the launch industry has.  Everybody wants things that they can't have.  A big dumb rocket will send cargo.  A suitable rocket will send crew.  Yet another rocket can send medium size stuff.  But they try to put it all into a one size fit all package.  It won't work that way.  Just as I wrote before, The Shuttle was that kind of system, a one size fits all.  They put too much on the plate for that launch platform.  Consequently, they violated the KISS principle, and vastly overspent on it.  It was unavoidable given what they were trying to do, and how they were trying to do it.

Who's to blame?  Everybody.    But eventually, it comes down to the President.  If he wanted it, he would get it.  But there's that word again, "if".
This is what I mean by "crap"- Krugman and the New York Times.  But, there's plenty of "crap" coming from the other direction also.  You can't fund wars and lower taxes at the same time.  Yet that is what the "conservatives" want to do.  Between those two sides in this excrement storm, we don't stand a chance of seeing anything resembling reality.

Gold hits 1500 and pulls back a little.  That's reality.  Budget deals in Washington are a foolish little sideshow.  Read this.

2003 Toyota Tundra for sale

The marketing page is up.  I will use this page to market my truck.  I tested the page and the links and so forth, if something doesn't work right, I hope someone will let me know.  By the way, it has a clear title.

Daily Plan, 4/19/11

Ideas that I want to look at.   Take some pics of my own truck.  I want to establish market value of the truck. Perhaps this blog can help me do that.  I don't know if I will sell it.  It will be a demonstration of how the slideshow on the front page can help make sales.  There are two slideshows.  I will keep the one titled "Homes" as it is.  The one with the dog with be used as the demo.

I noticed that the videos that I made which show how to create a Picassa Web Album, are not being viewed. This is a bad sign.  It means no interest is being shown.  I will have to do something about that.

Ok, let me review what I did.  I created 9 videos, but they are unlisted, so you can't see them on YouTube directly, but only from here.  I created a link on the sidebar, which purpose is to give you the links you need to access those videos.  This may be too complicated, I'm not sure.  If needed, I will continue to point this out because of more than one reason.  Number 1 reason, I want this webpage to be a resource.  That means that the sidebar is going to be a navigational reference to assist the reader in finding resources on this blog.

I made them unlisted on YouTube, because I want to gauge the interest here.  Secondly, I don't want to clutter my YouTube page with too much stuff.  This is in keeping with the KISS principle.  The KISS principle can be located in the search function at the top of the home page.  Also, the label list on the sidebar has a section called "Daily Plan", on which you can click, and a list of posts with that label will be posted.  It will be there.  Also, the term is defined with the Amazon link, which is in italics.  As you may recall, I put Amazon links in italics, so that you will know that they are an advertisement.  Yet another resource is on my  YouTube channel, which has an Xtranormal video tutorial about labels.  You can get to my YouTube channel by accessing the how to videos mentioned above.

If no improvement occurs here, I will keep posting until there is.

Personal errands today.  Just finished washing the truck.  I will take pics of it and post to album soon.

The Morning Summary, April 19, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 5:00 am
Sitemeter; Mon morning 4489; v. Tues am 4512; 23 up 7 from Sun
Blogger: Mon. 68, up 19 from Sun (49); overnight is 21 so far, compared with 23 this time yesterday
Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon.  I have a few things in the hopper, so to speak.  If these come through, I will start getting some ads.

YouTube page: 832 v 826 channel views previously, 481 v. 478 upload views previously.  Channel views improve by 6, upload views improve by 3.   My channel got more looks than my uploads.

I can add the Facebook page, but the numbers are not consistent. The newest post about the Space Show, got some pageviews.  The others get a little too.  The post with the most interest shown has been about the fusion powered propulsion with Focus Fusion.  There are still 7 likes for the People for Space Colonization page.

Yesterday was unusual in that I posted 11 times on this page.  The average is 3.  The sheer number of posts may have driven the traffic somewhat.

I may have to do a few things to boost this page better.  It is still not performing.  Sure, the numbers are better, but what good is it really, if there's no money coming in?  Is it all about money, then?  That's what runs the world, my friends.  If it can't even support a worthy cause, which is the purpose for which it was created, it cannot survive.  It's that simple.

Thanks for those who have helped this blog get this far.  I will continue to work hard to get it to the next level.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody

This is worth a look if you haven't seen it before. It is a cover the Queen hit Bohemian Rhapsody.

Oops! Almost forgot. I found this link through this next one below. It is of Paul Revere and The Raiders, a sixties group. They had a number of big hits back then, but what I don't recall is that they were on the TV show "Batman". The are a campaign band for the Penguin, who is running for mayor of Gotham City.

The Animals- We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

This old boy had a haunting vocalizing sound, it seems to me.

Not great?

Anti Gravity?

Can I buy some of this?  I could use it in case I fall down on my fanny.  The anti gravity can keep me from hitting the ground too hard.  One problem though.  If any of that stuff gets loose, it will annihilate anything it touches, including yourself.  Not a pleasant thought.

By the way, all kidding aside, this is an interesting article.

Wolfbracker's shout outs (psst. I'm in it )


As a reminder, I am pushing that too.  You know, if I were to refer you, I can get some dough for this blog.  The problem with that plan is, somebody will get the bright idea to go around me and get the credit for the referral themselves.  Yeah, I know.

I checked out the TV offerings by watching somebody's TV while he was out working.  It was OK with him, and I needed the info to report here.  He has the basic package.

Actually, there is some interesting stuff there, but the usual entertainment stuff is lacking.  That will cost more, of course.

I think my setup is more economical in the long run, but they made me pay for the equipment up front.  That means if I quit the service, the equipment is still mine.  Not like I can do anything with it, though.   One way or another, they are going to hit you up for some bucks.

Apparently, Uverse is a better deal for long time cable and satellite subscribers, from what I've heard. They only care about getting new subscribers, so if you've been with your service for awhile, you are probably paying too much.  That seems to be a familiar pattern.

So, there you are.  There may be an advantage for you to switch.  If you wanna, let me refer you.  Pretty please.

Rationale for easy money policy

Is given here.  I am not persuaded.

Birtherism and Trump

I've spent some time just now reading up on this; here's the Wikipedia entry on Barak Obama and his mother. This isn't the first time that I've mentioned this on this blog, by the way.  To me, if his mother is an American, and I see no evidence anywhere that says she isn't, that should end the discussion.

Donald Trump is riding this, that what makes this important.  Frankly, Trump's credentials as conservative can be questioned, so this looks suspicious.

Anyway, the story of Obama seems to show that he didn't even leave the US until his mother married Lolo Soetoro in 1965, according to the Wikepedia entry.  By that time, young Barak was out of his diapers having spent all that time in the USA, in Hawaii.  Hawaii became a state in 1959, before Obama was born.  Evidently, Obama's mother didn't meet Soetoro until Barak was over a year old.  That's because Soetoro wasn't even in Hawaii yet, until 1962.

That pretty much ends it for me.  I don't get it, but some think the definition of "natural born" is more extensive than what is covered here.  To me, the framers of the Constitution could not have foreseen the possibility of doing genetic testing.  Besides, conditions were far different back then.  A black child, regardless of who his parents were, could have no chance of becoming President of the United States.  Therefore, if his mother is American, which is definitely the case, that ends the matter.  He is American.  Therefore, he can be President. The rest is a waste of time and effort.

The real problem here is Trump.  If there are too many who are foolish enough to consider him seriously for President all because of this, they may as well kiss their "principles" goodbye.  If we can be overthrown by those who should be guarding the real principles involved, we are in for a world of hurt.  Trump should can it, and those who follow him for this reason are, frankly, gravely mistaken.  The damage done by this, if it continues, will be far greater than anything the Obama may or may not do.

I am not supporter of Obama.  I have the creds to point to.  See my book reviews on Amazon.  I argued against his election.  I argue even more again this.  Defeat Obama on something real.  This business has no reality behind it.


That last one about Easter was a big one.  I thought for sure that I checked that out first.  It just goes to show you that not that many people are coming here.  Nobody is reading it, or if they are, nobody is saying anything.  That's how a big mistake can get by unremarked.

I guess anybody who did see it most likely thought I would correct it eventually, but it took several days to do it.  It really is embarrassing, but on the other hand, nobody is seeing this anyway.  Or are they?

I think I checked this on the web before I posted, but maybe I just got some bad information.  I don't go to church often, or, otherwise, I could have checked it out with someone there who would have known.

I take mistakes seriously.  I like to keep things accurate.  It bothers me to have one this glaringly bad.

Update: ( a few moments later)

Rather than to set up an entirely new post, I will use this opportunity to discuss the email question I sent to the Space Show yesterday.  It is somewhat related to this idea behind this post.  The question is, was this what you would call a "dumb question"?  I want to explore that and keep coming back here throughout the day in order to attempt to answer that question to my satisfaction.  Stay tuned.

Update: 9:16 am

Just read this interesting post on Wikipedia about Aerojet.  This was where Robert Truax worked when he was working on the Sea Dragon project.

Aerojet is still in business.  As a matter of fact, here is how the Wikipedia entry ends

In November 2010, Aerojet was selected by NASA for consideration for potential contract awards for heavy lift launch vehicle system concepts, and propulsion technologies

I don't know what this means, in terms of actual proposals.  I can try to find out, but I don't know what I might find.  I will keep looking and report back here.  Keep tuned.

Update:  9:36 am

Aerojet is owned by GenCorp, which was formerly known as General Tire.  I used to be in the tire business myself.  Interesting to see how the old names are up to these days.  The Wikipedia says 3000 employees and revenues for 2009 just short of 800 million dollars.  They are big, but there are those who are bigger.

Here's a link to their corporate news page.

Since Sea Dragon was an old concept from many years ago, it may seem unrealistic for them to be interested in dusting off the old idea and taking another shot at getting a contract based upon this proposal.  However, it really does seem the address the launch cost issue in a dramatic way.

It may not get costs down to that which may have been claimed for it, but the idea that it could lower costs is credible to me because of the possibility of economy of scale.  It would take the mastery of a lot of "if" questions, such as "if" you can find a market for this much lift, "if" such as system can actually fly, "if" you can get insurance for the launch ( brought up on the Space Show), "if" Congress can be persuaded to go this direction.  The biggest "if" question is "if" Congress has the capacity to do this, which would be radically new.

Stay tuned, I'm not done with this yet.


GenCorp is a sponsor of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, described here in this news release in 2010.  It doesn't have anything to do with Sea Dragon, so far as I know.  Frankly, I doubt if Sea Dragon is being considered at all.  Could any interest ever be generated in dusting off the old idea?  Or is it forever relegated to the dustbin of history?

If I brought it up, and if it is dismissed so easily, then I did make a mistake.  But am I the one who making the biggest mistake?  If you have something that can work, why not try to make it work?  It is old technology, but the need is real, and the need is now.  It is a simple idea, so it fits the KISS principle.  It has economies of scale, in terms of its size, but also its replication, and thus frequency of launch.  This is more potential than fact, but if you just got stuff up there in great quantities, uses could be found for it.  Such as propellant and life support for deep space missions.

I think that does it for this post. 

Daily Plan, 4/18/11

Ideas that I want to look at. A prospect for selling a house. Prospects for selling cars. Possibly selling my own truck.

This may sound extreme, but these are potential solutions for real problems, so they may actually be necessary.

I want to use this site for these ideas.

I have a few ideas that are in the hopper, but nothing doing yet.  I'll go back to posting shortly.

The Morning Summary, April 18, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 5:00 am
Sitemeter; Sun morning 4473; v. Mon am 4489; 16 up 2 from Sat
Blogger: Sun 49, up 15 from Sat (34); overnight is 23 so far, compared with 13 this time yesterday
Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon, same as Sunday, which was not Easter, in which I stand corrected.  I need to proofread and double check things more closely.

Sorry.  There were errors in yesterday's report.  Looks like it may be confusing to the reader.  Sorry, I'll keep improving things till I get it right.

YouTube page: 826 v 823 channel views previously, 478 v. 466 upload views previously.  Channel views improve by 3, upload views improve by 12.   Looks like some of my other videos have been getting a look.

I can add the Facebook page, but the numbers are not consistent.  I'll do this: I'll report what it says on the top three posts.  I copy 25 impressions for the top, followed by 36 by number 2, and 36 again for number 3. There are still 7 likes for the People for Space Colonization page.

No more reporting on these stats.  This took over 20 minutes.  Frankly, just to round up that info takes valuable time.

The deadline has passed without making a single sale or even getting an inquiry.  Sobering to say the least.  It is rather grim to continue in the face of this apparent indifference, but let me recount a few things.  I got my email question answered on The Space Show.  It wasn't exactly a sparkling beginning, but it was a beginning. You have to start somewhere.  I've been doing some stuff which I don't usually do, which isn't much, but it is something.  Like talking to people.  One conversation I had was with my brother in law, who is housebound because of his health is not what it once was.  He is going to the doctor on Tuesday.  Things like this tend to remind you that your concerns are not the center of the universe.  Everybody has their own battle to fight. Also, the numbers are getting better in some ways.  Not across the board, but it is slowly improving.

The thing to keep in mind though, is that the starting line hasn't been passed yet on the money side of this.  It is still at the 1 dollar level on Amazon, and I can't collect it.

Okay, this is enough.  KISS principle, remember?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Space Show, Apr 17, 2011

Starts in 30 minutes.  I'll liveblog it, as long as I can get the thing to work.  It doesn't want to work on this netbook, so I'll have to use the desktop.

While we are waiting, I want to write about MagicJack.   I just bought one for myself from BestBuy.  But you know, I could have gotten one from Amazon.  I've bought plenty of stuff from Amazon.  It works for me.  As for MagicJack, it installs on your USB port, and the rest is very simple.  It will load onto your computer and finishes the installation automatically.  You will need to answer a few questions before you are completely ready.   It cost only 39.99 at BestBuy, but at Amazon, it may be cheaper.  The cost includes the first year of phone service, and it costs 19.99 each year thereafter.

It works just like a regular phone, just plug your phone right in and start using it (after installing it, of course).  I've used Skype, but this isn't Skype.  It can load automatically when you start your computer, so when you have your computer on, there's little need to use any software.

You will need broadband of course.  It works off the internet connection.  I've already used it to make several calls. The quality is good, and the price is right.  If you have a need for this item, go have a look.

It's almost 2 pm, which should be about time to start.  I am not getting any sound out of it.  It is starting now, and I have audio.  It seems to have low quality sound.

Chat line open.  No shows tomorrow and Tuesday.

Two guest today.  Dr Alan Stern.  Introduction.  Wayne Hale is second guest.

Starts with Alan: Human spaceflight, comm crew, ccdev,  and others.
Wayne:  Says a very exciting time.

Start with question Dr. Space:  Why Human Spaceflight- says
Stern: Hard to make case in tight fiscal times.  Excited about commercialized, to make money.  Opportunity to improve lives.  Move human spaceflight out of government and into government.  But role for government, through history, and place to go there in space.
Dr. Space: What are steps needed?
Stern: Very close already.  Within next few years, many vehicles will fly.  But capital intensive industry.  Need seed money from government.
Dr. Space:  Too much risk on private?
Stern: Business risk is true in any start up.  Lots of companies will fall by wayside, others will make it.
Todd in San Diego:  Will Congress stifle this industry?
Stern:  Amused that opposition is Republicans.  Role reversal in Washington.  Over regulation: need safe system, like FAA for aircraft.  A transition time, but hopefully Congress will support.
??? : human rating question
Stern: Standards debate on human rating.  Have a way to go before regs are ready.  Good systems out there.
Integrated system needed.  Safety systems needed.  Possible that a good vehicle could become human rated.

Dr. Space: why escape or abort systems needed?
Stern: Soyuz and Shenzou have them.  Shuttle does not.  Lost Challenger crew.  Would have liked 2nd Shuttle system that would have had it.
Hale: Soyuz had to be used to save a crew.
Dr. S: commented that this is a given;  Is funding secure for human spaceflight?
Hale: No idea what Congress will do.  Have to wait and see.  High probabilty it will be supported.  Huge pressure on all sort of things.
Dr. S: Why so much attention to small budget item.
Hale: Common misperception that NASA spends a lot of money.
Harold in Chicago: Heavy lift question.  Is it important now and future?
Stern: Not necessity at this time.  Better with medium lift.  Refueling depots.
Dr.  Will Nasa required to build heavy lift.
Stern: risk that no vehicle will be built at all.
Hale: agrees.  Try to build in next gen vehicle, then gets squashed.  Need to get price down.
A fleet for small rockets better.
But depots have their problems too.  Only be able to launch at restrictive times.  85% of what you need to get up there is propellant.  But not a panacea.  Is an option.
Dr.  Mentions his shows about depots.
Paul in Phoenix:  Congress micromanages everything.  How do you stop this?
Ans Congress will do this regardless.  Needs to be meeting of minds.  Poltics hard to control.
Stern:  Lack of trust between branches.  Let technical people handle things.  Politicians are too local oriented.
Announcement:  not paying attention

Evan: roles changing in future and how
Ans: question goes to design of spaceship, but if it is automated, don't need it as much
Hale:  open a lot of avenues, when multiple lines, firms will develop like big airlines
Dr: Mergers?
Ans: Don't know.
John Hunt: 2 stage rocket in 50 ton class.
Ans: re-usability only good with high flight rate.
Waste needs to be cut.

Comment: questions are too complex to keep up with.



Helen in LVegas: Last ditch efforts for Shuttle?
Ans: Extremely expensive proposition. Tank force, srb dispersed. Need to get them back. Cost is expensive to get back up again.

Dr: community being hurt by uncertainty, any opinions on that?
Ans: large workforce dispersed. Deep and wide in skills. 10, 000 people to operate shuttle. Now working for commercial. Leaner, fewer jobs available. Could be a lot of new jobs available in new environment. Optimistic.
Hale: The Navy produce new engines for missiles every year. Navy costs have gone up. Unanticipated consequences. Will hard to find jobs that people are used to. If new commercial space takes off, it will help. Thousands of jobs in other sectors may be available though.
Dr. ISS got life extension. Useful to be more supportive.
Hale: ISS as destination attractive place to test technologies.
Stern: Open ISS to researchers. Suborbital is like minor leagues. ISS could help with this.
Becky in Tuscon: Don't forget other countries wrt to ISS.
ans: good point. Not hard to negotiate, who gets how much.
Dr: will Chinese ever be part of this?
Ans: troubled relations.
Dr: followup John Atlanta on 50 ton rocket: ack prob, engines proposition highly technical stuff
Ans: can't make it reusable from the start.

discussion of shuttle problems and why it cost so much

Congressional micromanagement discussion: mixed bag. Not everyone qualified.

Politics plays a role in this. Not engineering decisions, but implications.

Depots discussion: can't put Moonbase with current launch costs.

Private sector and public sector roles.

I emailed the Sea Dragon question. It was called "dreamy". Neither guest was familiar with the concept. Dr. Space doubted there was a market for such a heavy lift capability.

No shortage of ideas.  I skipped over a part of this show because it seemed to get lost in details.  I guess I am not too patient with that.

More on Sea Dragon here.  The Sea Horse rocket tests.  Excalibur design in the nineties.

Comment:  If you want to lower launch costs, this is it.  Otherwise, you will have to wait until some new technology gets invented.  The idea of fuel depots has its own set of issues.  This concept is akin to a 18 wheeler that gets a lot of stuff up there at once.  Everybody wants a Cadillac to do a 18 wheeler job.  This is no Caddy, but an 18 wheeler that will get the goods up there.

Mon 7:15 am

Just checked Thespaceshow's blog for any mention of my question.  Not there, so I am going to download the mp3 file and look for it.  I found it at approximately 1 hour, 13 minutes, and a few seconds into the show. It is near the end.  The time may not be perfect, so if it isn't exactly there, you can be sure that it is there.  You may have to hunt for it.  It is at the end of the show because the discussion ended about the question and he said that there were 5 minutes left.