Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's Raining

...again in Florida. I know this because I've tried to watch NASA launch a Saturn 5 rocket with a Navy MUOS Communication Satellite twice in two days.

Yesterday's launch was scrubbed by high winds those high altitude winds brought a heavy cloud layer with scattered showers that forced NASA to postpone launch until Wednesday February 22nd.

Today's weather shortened NASCAR practice 50 miles north of Cape Canaveral at Daytona International Speedway for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout. The Bud Shootout is the first race of a week of stock car racing culminating in the Daytona 500 next Sunday February 26, 2012

Down at the Cape, John Glenn was in attendance for the two launch attempts, just days ahead of the 50th Anniversary of his historic Friendship 7 Orbital Flight.

This all pains me more than a's all happening against the background of deep NASA budget cuts, and the race to turn the Space Shuttle Fleet into flightless museum pieces before they have flown half the flights they were designed for.

The draconian budget cuts will derail our very successful ongoing Mars Mission, where NASA has been launching every two years maintaining a continuous presence in orbit around the Red Planet and on the Martian surface.

With the Shuttle Fleet effectively scuttled, thousands of high paying high tech jobs are lost, and the money they generated will now be sent to Russia who's shaky Soyuz program now charges double to send astronauts and supplies to our multi-billion dollar International Space Station.

The Saturn 5 is the next generation of heavy lift launchers that will carry our astronauts into orbit once the next generation crew capsule, Orion is ready sometime in 2020. Unmanned test flights are scheduled to begin in 2014.

Now I'm no CPA, but the ledger seems to be tipped in Russia's favor...more outsourcing Washington? No kidding...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Comfort Food

I finally touched bases with SturgeUrge tonight. We (I should say he) barbequed dinner tonight.

Recently SturgeUrge was the lucky recipient of an antique Komodo Kamado BBQ. This Japanese BBQ was the model for the more widely known "Big Green Egg" BBQ. Urge thinks this one is 50-60 years old.

It does a great job making juicy treats of everyday meat and poultry. (SturgeUrge hasn't cooked any seafood in it yet)

Urge cooked excellent pork loin chops, and some chicken breasts that I had in stock. They needed to be cooked because they've been hanging in the reefer since last Friday! I used half of the tray Monday in stir-fry, and the family has been chowing on leftovers all week!

While SturgeUrge handled the flesh cooking, I made the vegetable course. I made Garlic-ey Baby Bok Choi with Shitake  Mushrooms.

On my way across the Big Valley Monday, I stopped in Vacaville at my favorite Asian market, Country Square Market. It's the last of (I think) three stores. Last summer the store two towns away from the Ancestral Digs closed their doors when their landlord doubled the rent with 30 days notice...I stocked up at close-out prices, but their produce and seafood offerings are sorely missed. None of the remaining Asian markets in the Inland Valley have baby bok choi as "baby" as Country Square...try three timed taller! These little babies are just an inch and a half tall...two inches tops! I end up cutting barely half of a tray in half before cooking!

Dinner was a hit! The Kamodo pork chops were perfect, and my bok choi was awesome too!

The main course was planning our next dungeness crab trip. The tide calendar says not this week SturgeUrge is spending his week at Tahoe. We're hoping to get a day of ice fishing in, but there better be a cold snap first.

I reconnoitered Boca Reservoir before I came off the hill, and the ice is too rotten and thin to fish through. The forecast isn't promising either.

I will be grabbing some more baby bok choi on my way back up the fishing my have to wait...Ocean Salmon is still two months away...

Another crab trip is definitely in order!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Situation NORMAL...all f*#%ed up...

Imagine my surprise when I found this on the San Francisco Chronicle's website today: "Study: Sierra Snowfall Consistent Over 130 Years"

I've had the privilege to be witness to a few of the truly Big Years...1969, '82-'83, 2010-2011. I was on the hill for the slow starting Miracle March season, but in over 30 years, I've never seen one like this year.

As I suspected, nothing special is happening this season climate-wise...oh, sure climate change continues it has for the past 4.5 Billion years...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Careful What You Wish For

I'm still resetting the ol' BodyClock...forgive my tardiness...

I set the alarm for 0600 so I could hear Armstrong&Getty LIVE...and watch some Blue Canyon LIVE Remotes on Local News Outlets.

Before I drifted off to sleep around 1AM, I scanned the webcams and watched the band of snowfall march up the hill.

Now at 0800, the band of precip is hightailing it East.

Overnight, chain controls were from Drum to the Nevada State Line, they too have marched up the hill and at 0800 are at Kingvale to the Nevada State Line.

The resorts are tweeting 4-6 inches of dry powder.

On the small screen, the Blue Canyon scene was blustery in the wake of the snow was falling and the wind was blowing pretty good, while here in the Inland Valley it's sunny and's over for now. Chances are another 4-6 inches will blow in over the President's Day Weekend.

Europe meanwhile continues to endure bitter cold and mounting snow while casualties mount. Consider the source, the news is real...the conclusions...well, you be the judge.

There are many sources pointing to Global Cooling in the coming decades, including NASA citing the coming Sun Spot Cycle Prediction.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NHRA to the Rescue

Careful what you wish for! Only yesterday in this space, I lamented the lack of "M" on MTV...

Today I awoke from my afternoon nap, and my twitter timeline was alive with RIP Whitney Houston sad...

@mtvnews says: "Join us for an hour-long music video tribute to Whitney Houston, tonight at 11:30pm on . "

Sadly there will be some "M" on MTV tonight after all...

I logged off Twitter and surfed around the channels for some distraction, and found motorsports! NHRA Qualifying from Pomona, ancestral home of drag racing!

There's a new Force in town. John Force's youngest daughter Courtney, 23 is running a funnycar for Dad's team. Big sister Ashley Force-Hood retired from competition on January 28, 2012. She's president of John Force Entertainment, a subsidiary of John Force Racing.

It feels kinda like baseball's Spring Training...a new beginning...hope springs eternal...

One week until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, two weeks until NASCAR's Daytona 500, five weeks 'til F1's Australian Grand Prix.

Jeez, it figures...persistent afternoon rain showers force the cancellation of the final round of qualifying at Pomona.