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relantel's blog

2016 Post Mortem

Looking like Michigan is Trump's (12000 votes) and New Hampshire Clinton's (2600 votes), to finish 306-232. Or much higher than I expected. Hell, I expected 2012 map to hold, or about flipped on the EV count. Even going into Tuesday evening, I thought P-E HRC was a fait accompli and figured it was a good thing Pens hockey was on to distract. Then we watched two hours off the DVR before turning on FNC about 1145pm, to quite the surprise of the results. Small vote margins: Looks like Ayotte lost in NH Sen by about 700 votes.

Smorgasboard, October 2013 edition

This is a drive by announcement. I am back. Not that I was ever really gone, just captivated by an extended baseball season in Pittsburgh for the first time since Krog and I were freshmen at Penn State. Ok, so that's not the whole reason for by perceived invisibility, but it sounded good at the time.

I will make this a smorgasboard of posts, touching on several brief topics that had I attempted separate posts for them all would never see the light of day:


What Must Have Happened for Freeh to Be Right

From FramingPaterno.com, John Ziegler gives us this 10 minute video billed as:

Here is an exclusive MUST SEE VIDEO on the "cover up"!!! This is exactly what would have had to have happened if the Freeh Report is correct. Spread the truth and the laughs!

It is quite hillarious in illustrating the absurdity of a "cover up".

When a non Tax is a Tax

When is a non-tax a tax?

Opinion link presented without much comment as I've only browsed the syllabus and read the early part of the dissent, which would have struck down the entire law.




Rel Purchases Modern Era Video Game Console!

For the longest time, I was a bystander to gaming trends. Outside of an occasional PC version (say NHL06 may be the last game I had purchased), that is. Well, I may still be a bystander, but we broke down and purchased a console for Christmas - an XBOX 360. I didn't push getting it - if you can believe it - Mrs. Rel did. It is the first system I've had since the Magnavox Odyssey2 in the early 1980s. That's right, pre Coleco Vision. 

Apollo 18 Trailer

Apollo 18 poster

Saw a trailer over the weekend for the film Apollo 18. It intrigued me enough to seek out the full trailer online. It is set for release on September 2, 2011. The tantalizing tagline: "There's a reason why we never went back to the moon."

Short premise: Archive footage has been discovered of a secret Apollo mission that was thought to have been cancelled and never flown. Why was it covered up, hidden away from the world?

For those that don't recall, the Apollo Program was effectively cancelled after the successful Apollo 17 mission, such that the Apollo 18 equipment had been reassigned and used for the Apollo 17 launch. NASA had a limited number of Saturn V rockets - 15 - and the Skylab project took away some that were intended for moon missions. Rather than order more, or update the rocket technology, the missions were cancelled piecemeal as other needs were deemed a higher priority.

In any event, Apollo 18 looks like it could be an interesting example of speculative historical fiction.

Republican Surrender on Debt Limit Increase

Republican Bravely Run Away

The title says it all. The GOP surrendered (bravely ran away) in the process, and got a much less desirable bill than the Cut, Cap and Balance bill that had originally passed the House. In exchange for pushing the next vote until after the 2012 election, the bill that passed increases spending baseline at 8% a year, or over $8 Trillion in new debt over 10 years. "But, but, but... we cut $2.4 Trillion!" some say. Paring down the increase in spending by that much is not a true cut, just a decrease in the amount of growth.

Don't get me wrong --  the Democrats didn't win this battle. President Obama didn't win this battle either. There are two losers in this battle, three if you count the American people - President Obama and the Congressional GOP. Both exhibited a lack of leadership, albeit for different reasons.

Space Shuttle Program Ends with a Thud

Early this morning, NASA saw fit to end the 30 year Space Shuttle program by landing Atlantis before sunrise at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was as if they cared not have the American people watch the landing live, since they landed while most everyone was still asleep.

So much more could have been made of this event. Instead, it was as if they went quietly into the night. Quiet so magnified by the lack of a ready replacement vehicle. Short sighted, yes, but when they cancelled the Shuttle program, the necessary 2-3 year lead time needed for parts, supplies and training meant shutting down the supply line well in advance of the final flight of Atlantis. Subsequent to this, the Obama administration saw fit to cancel the Constellation program, which was set to replace the Shuttle. By the time this latter cancellation was made, it was too late to restart the shuttle supply chain - even if reinstated, the Shuttle program would have faced a flight gap.

Summer TV update

Earlier I wandered into a summer TV preview in a post chronicling where we have been and what we had been watching. Made some earlier observations in a comment on some of the shows referenced, and now that more have been watched, fuller comment and review appear to be in order as its own root post. 

There may be spoilers below the fold. Series include Leverage, Franklin & Bash, Rescue Me, Falling Skies, In Plain Sight, Burn Notice and Combat Hospital. I'd label these as observations rather than a full out review - if I took the time to do the latter these would all be off the air before I would finish it.

Catching Up: Law & Order & Lincoln

Rel as usual is behind in TV, entertainment, and BP. So much stuff cycles through our DVR, rarely do we see things when they air. Usually we are weeks behind, and sometimes we don't get to a season finale until the next season has begun.

So, what has Rel been watching lately?

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