Archive for October, 2007

Cooking for the Masses

It’s coming up on the holiday season, where families gather for elaborate celebrations of American gluttony, to gorge themselves in the grandest traditions of excess, glorious excess. If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve often despaired the shortage of recipes designed to feed an entire herd, er, family, at the holidays (even if the “holiday” is only the Super Bowl…)

Well, you can rest easy, because the U.S. Army’s Quartermaster Corps thoughtfully provides hundreds and hundreds (108MB! Zip file) of approved recipes designed to feed, well, a lot. Whether you need to make a mere thirteen apple pies, one-hundred cranberry muffins, or even 100 turkey pot pies, the Army can help.

If those seem like a lot of food, hey, you can always freeze the leftovers…

Published in: Geekiness, General | on October 31st, 2007 | No Comments »

Even Experts Forget Things

One of the trees – actually, several of the trees – lining the street here were damaged or destroyed in windstorms a few months back, and the city is now apparently getting ready to replace them. Why they’re choosing to plant trees this late in the year, I don’t know… but that’s what they’re doing.

Today, a surveyor came by to mark the utilities near the stump of a neighbor’s fallen tree, which is among those being replaced. I’ve seen a few guys do this kind of marking before, and this fellow was, let me tell you, good. Within seconds of pulling up in front, he’d jogged up to the house, attached what I assume is a signal generator to the gas meter, jogged back to the street, and begun spray-painting the grass. Detector in one hand, sprayer in the other, he whipped back and forth, spraying here and there; a few seconds later, he switched colors, and marked a few other lines; ten seconds later, he had a third color of paint in the sprayer, and additional markings on the grass and curb. Spraying completed, he grabbed a handful of colored flags, and literally threw them like throwing knives into the ground. The area now decorated to his liking, and the whole thing having taken maybe sixty seconds total, he hopped back into the truck, and zoomed away down the street.

Wow, I said to myself from the kitchen, where I’d watched the whole thing, that guy is good. Too bad he left the signal generator behind, still attached to the gas meter…

Published in: General | on October 30th, 2007 | No Comments »

Reactor Notes

The subject of Syria’s supposed nuclear reactor, and the possible destruction thereof, continues to generate discussion. In the last couple days, a number of interesting new developments have taken place, some of which deserve a closer look.
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Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on October 29th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

The Media Makes You A Pansy

The American Military has, if you’re charitable, a love-hate relationship with the media; or, if you’re uncharitable, an on-again, off-again hatred of the media. Either way, members of the military are rarely slow to loudly criticize even the smallest perceived slight – and to occasionally blame many, if not all, of the world’s ills on them.
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Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on October 26th, 2007 | No Comments »

Photography, Army Style

Four months ago, I posted about the old U.S. Army instructional videos someone posted to YouTube, demonstrating the basics of photography with a Speed Graphic circa WWII. I recently managed to stumble across a copy of the “Basic Photography” manual from the same time period (18.1MB PDF), which makes for some interesting reading. If nothing else, it shows that photography was once both an art and a science. Think the manual that comes with a modern digital camera is large, complicated, and confusing? It doesn’t cover any chemistry or physics, for a start…

Published in: General, History | on October 26th, 2007 | No Comments »