Friday, February 29, 2008

KC-X Contract Announced Today: Protest Too?

AF Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley hopes there won't be a protest by the losing bidder.

His appeal asking "...(the losing tanker bidder) to think about the country and think about the people that are flying the airplanes" carries moral authority ONLY if the Air Force really didn't pull a bonehead move -- like changing the rules of the competion AFTER the bids were submitted.

I hope the AF played this one straight.

Update @1603 Central
Well, CNBC reports Northrop Grumman/EADS won the contract. Smart money should be on a protest and 'ugliness' since Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is already demonstrating a typical modern 'Democratic' grasp of the concept of 'competition'.

Updated 20 March 08: The AF played it straight. See next post. Boeing's claims of 'changes' refer to changes before the Final Proposals were submitted.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Eco Moms" - Riiight

H/T Instapundit

Eco Moms? Who hoo! I think I'm going to be revisiting these concerned and caring people in the future. Of course I wouldn't have to if they weren't budding 'activists'. I'm thinking of setting up a counter organization. Hmmm, it will need a catchy name. I'll work on it.

Up front let me state I'm definitely NOT anti-conservation or anti-'ecology' Who IS? (Outside of Red China of course). Hell, for a decade I lived in a solar home in Northern Utah that was also partially earth-sheltered, and probably saved more energy than any ten of these people will in their lifetimes-and all without giving up any trappings of modern civilization. From the article, I'm guessing some might be spending more on 'therapy' than most of us will ever lay out for energy.

I'm more of a "better living through progress" kind of guy, and I get the feeling that these Eco Moms, like so many of the "dripping concerned", yearn for a simpler time. One that really never was.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Republican Primaries: WTFO?

What can I say? McCain didn't pull a majority anywhere until it was just him or Huckabee. He 'Pluralitied' the oppostion to oblivion.

My past posts prove why I'm an engineer and not a political adviser. But here's some thoughts and questions I'm having about the sad state of things to date.

Mike Huckabee
Huckabee will still fade like a high and tight-- he's just delusional enough, with enough like minded fans to hang in there after it's pointless for him to do so. Whether he's angling for the future or some hidden plum now is anybody's guess. I stopped trying to figure out self-serving populists from Arkansas in 1992. But his candidacy raises some interesting questions:

Who would have thought it would be the brain-dead branch of the Southern Baptists that would prove so key to the downfall of the 'Conservatives' in the race? Who would have foreseen that Southern Baptists, of all people, would be the key demographic enabling a left-leaning, blue-nose Rockerfeller-Republican troublemaker like McCain clinch the nomination? Thank you, you "idiot-evangelicals".

Update: 18 Feb 2209 hrs : USA Today's Daniel Gilgoff (H/T Captain's Quarters ) blames evangelicals in general, but I still think it was mostly the sheeple wing of the SBC.

John McCain
I've known two former male POWs from two different wars and have met several others along the way. All of them are/were simply outstanding people: amazingly unflappable, well grounded, rational, extremely professional, and self-effacing gentlemen--every one. John McCain strikes me as none of the above. In fact John McCain reminds me of a former co-worker in LA who had been shot during the LA riots. I cut him a lot of slack for his behavior because I thought he was affected by being shot, when another co-worker informed me :"No - he was an a**hole before he got shot". I'm thinking McCain was probably an a**hole before he got shot down.

Here's hoping he figures out he can't win using a 'I'm a better liberal' strategy before the general election, and that Conservatives make him earn their vote.

The Democrats
More than Huckabee, more than the brain-dead Southern Baptists, I blame the Democrats for John McCain being the Republican nominee and the sad state of Republicans in Congress. If the Democrats weren't so pathetically awful, the Republicans would have to be better than they are. Its like watching a mismatched sports game and the better team doesn't win because they didn't think they had to bring their 'A' game.

The good news is the Democrats really are SO pathetic that there's a good chance they'll screw themselves. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Note: Nowhere did I assert ALL Southern Baptists were idiots. Just the ones who played into McCain's hands.

From My "I Love Me Wall"

I'm indulging my self a bit and surrendering to my more base instincts in this post. I won't explain it here, and will take this down in a few days after its purpose has been served.

Update 20 Feb 08: Illustration of a minor point now removed. Viewers may see it again if I ever get my study remodeled and ready for public viewing again. (Its long story - involving about 15 ft of built- in bookcases and a gun safe among other things. Next time I'll hire a professional )

Friday, February 01, 2008

Rocket Sled Land Speed Record (Update: Not Quite)

Update 6Feb08: Looks like preliminary data was in error. Although the Navy got the test results it wanted, the old record (held by the same track) stands. dang. Original post beyond this point:

Looks like somebody had a long day yesterday, finishing up with a big bang just before ‘quiet hours’. From the press release:
“On 31 Jan. 2008, at 9:20 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, the Holloman High Speed Test Track conducted a Navy Test with a Sandia-designed payload. Initial indications are the test was successful and the payload reached a velocity of 6,589 miles per hour. This test is 136 miles per hour faster that the existing land speed record of 6,453 miles per hour – setting a new world record.”
The sled covered “3.61 miles in about 6 seconds” and while no one is yet saying what the payload was, it sounds like there is an interesting application in mind:
“The detonation of the payload at the north end of the track and speed of the sled created multiple sonic booms felt throughout the Tularosa Basin.”
The previous record (also held by the Holloman track) stood for 20 years before falling in 2003. Seems we may be “accelerating” things these days in more ways than one.

Update 01/02 @ 09:41 & corrected @19:49
A photo of the payload is now posted here. Believe it or not, the payload has only a superficial resemblance to these, so I wouldn't jump to any conclusions from the similarity. When you go really fast in an atmosphere, there is only a limited number of shapes that make any sense.