Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The End

Cue Jim Morrison...and Kenny Rogers.

A little over two years ago we watched new management at the Theater on E Street walk down the avenue in parade, sans cover, and proceed to dismantle what little was left of the heritage from the first steps. We pointed out the lack of wardrobe and the untoward shams being propagated for the audience. Many followed our allegory and contributed to our unveilings.

This morning, a final act of desperation may or may not evolve. If not today, soon. Even in the 21st century, weather still controls us and not the other way around. Should molten debris settle over our national assets, nothing will have been proved by this rag-tag collection of parts, for this is not the machine that is being contemplated for future employment. Likewise, if the corndog is lowered to the serene waters of the Atlantic, it proves only that electricity flows from the red button to the igniter. For that realization, dear taxpayer, you have sacrificed much.

Likewise, corruption has been revealed and will eat its way forward over the coming months. The fact that we have made it to this point at all is the disappointment. A cast of characters led by an ego-maniacal emperor prospered for a time, naked of engineering excellence, innovation, and charm. They have departed the scene, for the most part, but their fingerprints remain.

Viceroys, waiters, broomhandlers, and pony-tails have been replaced by a tearful lot, ironically lacking passion or belly for the job at hand. Perhaps they will lead us (somehow that's not the right word) to some small rock in the sky, long after the last student has lost interest in the art or the accomplishment.

And so, dear reader, with these realizations, we are fast becoming redundant and parody has lost its charm. We did it our way and now we have picked our time. We'll leave the details and clean-up to the rest of the masturbatory scribes as we contemplate a new way forward. It is time for our Tony Soprano moment.

Don't stop believing!

Silence Dogood and the Brothers and Sisters of the Truth

p.s. the Walrus was Paul

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dynamite Always Blows Down

It seems the government has a different way of dealing with risks when it's racing to save one of its own. For example, remember when the poor Falcon at VAFB had to pick up stakes and move to Kwaj? Heaven forbid, the poor little "commercial" fellow might have sprinkled debris on ascent over the rest of the base.

The distance from pad 39-A to 39-B is 8715 ft. We think you know what our next question would be.

Can't Beat the Spread

The minions met Monday and decided to adjust Atlantis' target launch date to Nov 16 to "optimize" the agency's ability to launch both Ares I-X and Atlantis before the end of the year. The same launch team is supporting both the shuttle and the flight test of the Ares I-X rocket, which is targeted to lift off on Oct. 27.

Hmmmm. The shuttle workforce is still largely intact. Yet we can't process two vehicles ten days apart? How would we ever launch Ares I and Ares V, or even a pair of V's, at the same time?

All The Emperor's Men

Sort of reminds one of how Nixon went down, doesn't it?

Tick Tock.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Snickers Bar

As the water is being drained from the pool, one of the first big fishes (at least in his own mind) has floated to the surface and is ready to walk on land away from E Street. The little bee who shanked so many, has himself found a new well to get his honey from.

Make sure you bring your can of Off if you have to business with thems that rescued him.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Squiggly Lines and Such

We all know "science" takes time. Time to look through the data, take out the noise, correlate various sensors, and report the findings.

But the announcement of the meaning of one of those squiggly lines leaked out yesterday anyway, making the whole process now somewhat suspect. Sodium was seen in the spectra (ah hah, there is a spectra!) and reported dully to the press afterwards. Yet somehow, a "longer look at the data" was required to see, or not see, that other squiggly line everyone was hoping to see. While the minions had every one's attention, some flash science results that were available could have been shared. "Good" or "bad." We paid for the moon bombing and we deserve to see what those computers churned out in the first minutes after the data was available. And data was available. And the computers did churn.

And maybe the public would have learned something about the scientific method.

This is not the first occasion that the minions have built something up, only to send the children home crying. Remember Mars Polar Lander, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Buzz Aldrin sending us home from Pasadena tearing up like LoriAndI?

But please, Mr. & Ms. Congress, can we have some more? Another $3B and we'll do something wonderful. We promise.

The 475nm Panel skipped over the part explaining why we need humans in space and now their options have fallen on deaf ears. A simple statement of need, from which a policy can be derived, would have been nice vision (pun intended) to start from. The academics on the panel were certainly more qualified to do that than the ESAS'ed review of rockets and safety and costs they screwed up on. Followed by a period of reasoned trade studies and architectural formulation...while holding the ego-maniacal clothless wonder at bay...would have given us a reaffirmation, or fork in the road, to progress on with some confidence of satisfying those grounded needs we started with.

Instead, we are back wandering in the desert, without water, so to speak.