Saturday, March 26, 2005

Take a Whiff

I like that Spring comes and the snow melts and all, but the one thing I can't stand is the smell of Spring. I mean, all I can smell is the overpowering scent of defrosted dog shit! Think of all the doggie land mines that have accumulated in snow banks, yards, along sidewalks, everywhere! These piles have rested in a frozen state for all of winter, unable to wash away or decompose. They just sit there in a dormant state waiting for warmth to come and release their essence out into the world!

Ooof! I just hate the smell of defrosted dog shit!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Message on a Volvo

I'm humored by the sight of anti-Bush bumper stickers that carry over from the election (like seeing a Dean '04 sticker - the Baby On-Board emblem of the decade....). Anticipating the pithy word wizardry we're likely to see in '08, I offer these predictions:

John McCain
McCain is Insane
McCain is a Pain
Lame McCain

Condoleeza Rice
The Only Condi Meant for Me is Ketchup or Mustard
Condolences to Condoleeza
Condoleeza - Not an American Name
Convict Condi
Condi or Condit? - Makes no difference

Bill Frist
Frisk Frist
Fruck Frist

Newt Gingrich
Newt Sucked the First Time Around
Don't Lick Newt - A Bad Trip for the Country
The Only Way to Deal With Gingrich is to Amputate

Arnold Schwarzenegger
It Took an Amendment to Get Him This Far
Pumping Moron
Beware of Austrians in High Places

Mitt Romney
Omit Mitt
Mitt for Brains
Piece of Mitt


Twisted thought of the day: Decades from now, AARP will push for governmental medical coverage to pay for expenses related to the removal and treatment of tattoos and piercings that their membership had done long ago in their youth.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Flight of the Fin Nixed
I haven't heard much in the news about this incident - an Airbus 310 happened to lose its rudder in mid-flight. It happened on Air Transat flight 961 flying from Cuba to Quebec City. Barely into the flight, and without warning, the plane lost significant altitude before the pilot was able to regain control by using the wing flaps for maneuvering (having discovered in the process that he had no rudder controls).

Something is up with Airbus - there have been a number of flights now where rudders have sheared off their planes (the most tragic incident being the American Airlines crash in Queens, NY that happened soon after 9/11). The article linked above mentions the possibility that the growing use of composite materials in airline construction may be to blame - specifically the processing of such materials and the stresses of flight which may undermine their architecture and integrity.

The passenger jet building industry, where Boeing and Airbus primarily compete, has been elevated to a proxy war between the US and Europe. The surge of Airbus to #1 in orders and deliveries has infused Europeans with nationalistic pride - Airbus being the exemplar of European technological ingenuity and prowess. Indeed, the recent unveiling of the titanic 840 passenger carrying whopper Airbus A380 has only served to raise the stakes in the battle for airline construction dominance. Boeing has countered Airbus' move by developing the 7E7 Dreamliner - a 200-250 seat mid-size jet that aims to fly long-haul flights faster than competing airframes. The differing strategies between the two companies are interesting, with Airbus aiming to allow airlines to maximize seat volume on popular routes versus Boeing's intention to provide airlines with planes that can cover distances faster (luring customers who want shorter flight times and therefore be the marketing edge over competing rivals who fly slower in the same route).

The falling off of rudder fins could severely dent Airbus' business if it is proven that their rudder design is marred by significant design/materials flaws. It remains to be seen how this issue will be investigated, given the current nature of political and trade relationships between the US and Europe. Any handicapping of Airbus business will not only effect the airline industry, but also to a larger extent the evolving crafting of a nationalistic pan-European identity where the success of Airbus plays a significant role.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The media seems to be exhibiting a disturbing degree of excitement when reporting the salacious details of the Michael Jackson trial. Of course they offer the disclaimer that "viewers are warned that the shocking details we are about to report...."

Easy Listening is not easy to listen to.