To boldly go where no busted-up fuel tank has gone before…

SpaceX launch postponed until next year until they figure out why there’s a problem with the tank.

Which is a pity: I was looking forward to seeing a private company throwing stuff into orbit with a rocket that costs about the same as three Tomahawks — and is re-usable.

Father and Son enjoy Christmas Season

and celebrate their constitutionally-protected right to beat the ever-loving crap out of robbers with a cheese knife and a snow shovel.

Commenting on the condition of the former gun-toting home invader, father says “Oh yeah, I messed him up.”

State of the Russ Report, Dec. 2005

(for interested family, etc.)
Generally speaking, 2005 whipped our butts financially (took us from almost debt-free to oh-dear-Lord), but we are otherwise doing great.

  1. We’re well, and haven’t quite gotten a bun into the oven yet. Working on it.
  2. Christmas is coming up, obviously, and we’re stoked about getting to DC for a few days.
  3. Still holding more debt than we’d like, especially after watching our budget get sideswiped by the roof-repair/foundation-repair/cars-got-vandalized madness this summer. It’s still at manageable levels and should go off the board entirely by May or so providing we don’t let ourselves get casual about it.
  4. About two-thirds of the way finished with the classroom portion of my teachers’ certification, which hopefully will result in me jumping ship from Bank of America by summertime.
  5. We need to get a half-dozen windows for the house, and then, (crosses fingers), the big must-be-done house repairs/upgrades will be finished.
  6. Yard/landscaping is almost finished, with the addition of a Red Maple and Pecan, and having transplanted three Crepe Myrtles from various “bad places” to right along the front sidewalk. All told, if “the Creepies” survive our brain-surgery-with-chainsaw, the front yard should have quite a bit of shade all through the morning and the early portion of the afternoon. The soaker hoses will also help the back yard quite a bit. Once the bad part of winter is past (which may mean late January here), all we’ll have remaining to put in are:
    • 6 blueberry bushes (for under the back eaves where the AC unit drips)
    • 10 blackberry bushes (for NE side of inside fence corner)
    • 6 new grapevines for back fence (to duke it out with trumpetvines)
    • Bunny’s roses
  7. I theoretically am supposed to pass my Silver Glove exam this year (sobs). Barre work has helped loosen up my hips for it, but let’s just say that I’m having a sordid affair with Despair…
  8. We continue to create our own little cult by having folks move into houses on the street as they come open, thus creating something very much like actually knowing your neighbors… because we do, unlike the usual “Um, hi…” and even more common “Who the hell are you?”
  9. Unmitigated Geekery Projects in pipeline:
    • Hand armor for the salle (Should protect from injury without diluting pain from getting hit. Spendy, I may have to hit people up for it like we did the boxing gloves, depending on how much leather and artificial felt it takes.)
    • Resew quilted leg armor.
    • Assist Csaba with article publication
    • Make Csaba a suit of lamellar
    • Construct leather-scale armor
    • Conduct destructive testing as described earlier
    • Begin working on semi-definitive medmilhist timeline (including all of Europe, unlike this piece of shit, which claims to represent all of Europe, “Europe” apparently being defined as the 1988 EU member states…)
    • Haft up remaining unhafted weapons
    • General leatherwork (vest, mocs, bags, etcetera)

That’s about it for now… The Bunny has her own version, of course, and things will get really interesting once the Lemur and Cupcake show up, but that may still be a while.

EU takes hard look at Hamas’ poll numbers, grows a pair.

Amazingly enough, now that Hamas is whipping up on Fatah in the Palestinian elections, the EU has stated that aid to Palestine will be cut if the former wins next month’s elections.

Rather amazing.

Ray Nagin told businesses “come back to the Big Easy…”

… and “let the good times roll…”

This was, I think, Thursday, when I saw him on CNN during my lunch hour.

What he should have said was, “although the city is a flooded wasteland with a hundred thousand ruined houses, where even the surviving part of town still hasn’t vaguely achieved normalcy, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come back, even though you won’t have any customers, because I really liked being mayor of an actual city, and I’d like to be re-elected with your tax money.”

Pathetic.

It’s official: Colombian rebels are a bunch of pussies.

Sorry for the language. But when FARC plus the NLA get together five hundred guys, and they still can’t take over a village during the course of a six-hour battle… at which the Army shows up and chases their sorry butts into the jungle…

Well, you have to feel sorry for the five officers killed, and for the villagers who were apparently abducted. But it’s not like this is China, where “village” is semantically equal to “medium-sized city with a hundred thousand inhabitants.”… One would have expected these guys to be much more competent than they were, since they’re supposedly, you know, rebels, rather than a bunch of pathetic thugs who are attacking soft spots because anybody competent will rack them and stack them like they come in six-packs.

It’s beginning to sound a lot like… communism…

From the “sometimes a banana is just a banana” department… apparently somebody in Szombathely thought a Christmas display star looked just a wee bit too much like the Soviet model… prompting the cops to have to come out and do a “hrm… corners rounded or pointy, number of rays, shade of red, presence or lack of hammers and sickles in shop….”

So, Bush gave a speech…

And he basically said: “we’re winning” and “I’m on it.”

But seriously, this speech, theoretically one taking responsibility for the war, and attempting to inject hope, etcetera, etcetera, is a cactus-spined poison pill aimed right down the Democrats’ throat.

If anybody needed a demonstration that the Bush/Rove mind-control lasers are working well, how’s this play by play action?

B/R- Bush will remain strangely silent about Democratic war criticism
Dems- Democrats will paste him with the “quagmire” approach and the false-intel charge
B/R- Bush then comes out and says “The intel was a goof, but don’t despair, we’re still kicking butt.”

Results: The anti-war Dems now look like school-yard pansies an image they spent their own money to achieve.

Ouch. Just ouch. This is the kind of rug-pulling rope-a-dope that Clinton used to play while he danced circles around ol’ Hapless Hastert.

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