No More Saturday Mail

I while back I saw that the USPS is going to stop Saturday delivery. It doesn’t say when it will stop, but I think that’s awesome. Now they just need to work on stopping mail delivery Monday through Friday, too.

Because I personally have no reason to receive paper mail anymore. I barely even look at what comes out of my mailbox before dropping it into a recycle bag. I think it would be awesome if I could opt-out of mail service entirely. If someone needs to send me a document, they can send an email. If they need to send me a package, they can UPS or Fedex it.

Furloughs Might Actually Harm Me

The potential for government furloughs is one of the rare political stories that actually might have a direct impact on my life. I work with DoD employees, so if this furlough goes into effect, some or all of those people I work with will not be there one day a week.

It kind of sucks for them, but everyone I know is making enough money that a temporary loss of 20% of their income should not have much impact, unless they are living wildly beyond their means. In fact, I know more than one person who is actually looking forward to the time off.

For me as a contractor, until the end of April, it’s not anything to worry about. Our contract is already funded, and it won’t be a problem for contractors to cover that one day a week. (I may be exposing a dirty little secret here, but a substantial portion of your government does not work one day a week anyway, because a lot of them have this 5/4/9 schedule where they work 9 hours a day so they can take off every other Friday. So I would not recommend trying to ask your government for anything on a Friday.)

I said I won’t have to worry until the end of April. After that, our contract will require more funding. If we don’t get funding, then I guess I’ll be staying home without getting paid – not just one day a week but every day a week – until the funding comes in.

That would, in fact, suck. (Unless it was just for a couple of days, then it would be awesome.) To be fair, this funding scare comes up almost every year, and it always works itself out somehow. It’s just that this is the first time it’s come up during a sequestration scare.

Anyway I’m rather hoping this will be yet another case where after weeks of “omg the sky is falling we’re doomed” in the news, Congress will work something out at the last minute to keep their buddies in government employed.

Tunguska’s Revenge and Moons

I’m a little late getting this posted.

It was a big day for Near Earth Objects last Friday. First a meteor blew up over Russia, then 2012 DA14 flew by inside the orbit of our geosynchronous satellites. Space, it turns out, isn’t so empty after all.

The funniest thing for me about the Russian meteor was watching the headlines and articles to see who used the words “meteor” and “meteorite” correctly. Some did.

Somebody must have it in for Russia. First Tunguska, now this. *rimshot*

Russian president Medvedev made a statement pointing out that this is why we need to have plans in place for meteors. (Typical politician, taking advantage of a disaster to push new policies into place.) Not to be pessimistic, but we didn’t know about the meteor until after we saw the videos on YouTube. It seems unlikely we’d be able to track something that small, unless we found it by pure luck.

This reminds me of a question I’ve had for a while now. (And I have not yet searched for an answer, so it might be a really dumb question.) When we look at the outer planets in our solar system, we seem to find more and more moons the closer we look (or the better our looking technology gets). According to Wikipedia at the time of this writing, Jupiter has 67, Saturn has “at least” 62, Uranus has 27, Neptune has 13, and even Pluto is up to 5. Well, if we keep finding these small rocks around the outer planets, why don’t we ever find any more rocks around the Earth? I mean, there’s The Moon, obviously, but why aren’t there a bunch of little tiny moonlets floating around up there? If lowly Pluto has five moons we can spot from here, surely we should be able to find more than one rock orbiting right over our heads!

I suppose the moon’s gravity gobbles up anything that the Earth tries to capture. And all these other planets probably formed with all the moons and moonlets around them to start with, whereas the Earth formed without a moon, and then The Moon smashed into us sometime later. (I think that’s the prevailing theory, at least.) Perhaps at that time it blew away any moonlets we had before.

(P.S. I did some cursory searching for an answer and I will summarize the reason by saying, “it’s because of astrophysics and stuff.”)

(P.P.S. I also found this NPR story which says Earth actually does have more than one moon occasionally. And you thought I was crazy to think that!)

Superbowl Something-or-Another

Live blogging the Superbowl, because people on Facebook would probably be annoyed if I did this on there.

6:17 – Sandy Hook Kids: Oh, Superbowl, you’re always bringing up the depressing stuff and trying to make us cry.

6:22 – Dammit can’t find a good place for the rabbit ears.

6:23 – That was the longest Star-Spangled Banner ever. (Also a good one.)

6:27 – They should mount a camera on the coin to make this more interesting.

6:31 – Hey, I didn’t know they let convicts play football. Hyuk hyuk.

6:34 – I’m really hoping Kaepernick embarrasses himself.

6:39 – Strong drive for the purple guys.

6:40 – Nice touchdown! Bal 7, SF 0.

6:41 – Beer for goths!

6:42 – A great message for the kids. Buy our car, date rape people at the prom.

6:44 – Huh, another buy-car-kick-people’s-ass commercial.

6:44 – GoDaddy… uh, okay.

6:46 – That dude’s got superglue on his gloves.

6:51 – Davis catch: Nice catch, ya bastard.

6:51 – Whoa, did he have possession???

6:53 – 2nd and goal: Nice throw, prison boy. (Not.)

6:53 – 3rd and goal: BAM! Prison boy is down! Bal 7, SF 3.

6:54 – Best Buy: Heh. That was funny.

6:55 – Beer for goths at a costume party.

6:56 – Big Bang Theory: Also the #1 comedy not available for streaming.

6:57 – Oz: Woo! Was that a book?

6:57 – Coke: Totally ripped off that meme. Wonder if they paid for it.

6:58 – Oreo: Trying too hard to be funny. Was played out after 2 seconds.

7:02 – Flaco scramble: WOW!

7:04 – Sack: Doh.

7:06 – FF6: Holy crap that looks awesome for some inexplicable reason.

7:12 – Fumble!

7:13 – My eyes! Can’t unsee!

7:18 – Dickson: Way to stick with it!

7:21 – Touchdown Baltimore. Making it look easy at the moment. Bal 14, SF 3.

7:25 – Trek! That bad guy sounds exactly like Jean Luc Picard.

7:27 – Oh, it’s Superbowl 47.

7:27 – Oh man. First, that was awesome that Kaepernick threw that horrible, horrible pass and made himself look like a total noob. Then, the big fight was pretty stupid.

7:34 – Oh god, rookie kicker.

7:35 – OMG! That was awesome! Except that he didn’t make it. Good call, though.

7:36 – Don’t you just want to punch happy people in the face?

7:39 – Ha! Kaepernick is a-scared!

7:41 – Wilhelm scream in the Coke commercial!!!

7:45 – Taco Bell? Really?

7:48 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Bal 21, SF 3.

7:54 – Okay defense. Shut this half down.

7:57 – Bal 21, SF 6 at halftime.

7:58 – Hopefully after this I won’t have to listen to that same 10-second clip of Beyonce anymore.

8:33 – Damn! Talk about a momentum crusher. Bal 28, SF 6 after a 109 yard TD runback from the first kick of the second half.

8:34 – Huh. Lights went out?

8:40 – Damn. This is bad for the Ravens. Giving SF time to regroup.

8:55 – That would be so awesome if they pulled Kaepernick.

9:24 – Well, I guess it was too much to hope that SF wouldn’t score any more. Bal 28, SF 13.

9:26 – Psy nuts: Wow. That meme is so over now.

9:30 – Ugh.

9:32 – Oh dammit. Bal 28, SF 19.

9:35 – PAT. Bal 28, SF 20. I swear to god I will start punching my screen if the Ravens blow this and let the escaped prison convict win.

9:39 – Ravens fumble.. oh god, here we go. They’re going to lose as sure as I’m sitting here.

9:41 – Williams: nice tip saves the TD.

9:43 – Give that kicker an Academy Award. WTF. Bal 28, SF 23.

9:50 – Hey RG3 did you see that? When he hurt his knee HE CAME OUT OF THE GAME.

9:57 – Bal 31, SF 23.

10:03 – Boooooooo. BOOOOOOOOOOO. At least they missed the 2-point. Bal 31, SF 29.

10:21 – Bal 34, SF 29. Kinda losing interest in this game, to be honest. :)

10:34 – Woot! D!

10:45 – Final score Bal 34, SF 31 after an intentional safety. Yay! Now (finally) bed time!