Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Bitchin Factor at work. (Also, your tax dollars.)

Yes, we can launch a shuttle into space in the middle of the night to build robots on the space station but we can't fix the hole in my street!

No sooner did I finish plinking out yesterday's notes did I drive off to work and notice some effort had begun on The Neighborhood Problem. By "effort" I mean that someone came along and spray painted a bunch of lines and letters on the asphalt. This happened once before, but this time the lines and arrows are bigger and the words more descriptive. Is something being planned? Some kind of removal or excavation or... or... well, it could just as easily have been a creative graffiti artist, some frustrated mom with time on her hands after the kids are off to school.

The shuttle launched at 2:30AM last night. Mrs. Ditchman asked if they sleep on the way up there, which I thought was funny, but it's a fair question. It takes about two days for the shuttle to get to the space station, even though it's only a few miles up, and once they're there the sun rises and sets on the station like every 20 minutes. So if my DST lag is getting to me, I'll just think about the poor astronauts.

In addition to the 200 million dollar Canadian robot they're going to build at the International Space Station, they're also going to install a closet. I guess they need somewhere to put the tools. The Japanese Space Agency designed the closet. If that sounds funny, just imagine your closet in zero gravity, so, yes, we're going to have to put the Space Agency in charge for that one. (I imagine a real poofta in his pink NASA jumpsuit, prancing around the space lab in zero G, holding up color swatches and draperies.)

It's a good thing I got most of the complaining in this past week because the inspector signed off on the big job. Yes! I am very grateful to be able to put it behind me. Over budget and overdue by a few grand and a few months. Chalk it all up to experience, that one. On to the next set of headaches. (Note to self: increase contingency dollar amounts.)

I would have posted it to the Alumablog, but I downloaded a suitcase of some wonderful new fonts into my 'puter and somehow my Helvetica got replaced with the Cyrillic alphabet in the process. It wouldn't have ordinarily been a problem except that Helvetica is the font that EVERY APPLICATION USES. All my emails and address books are now in Russian. I can't work on the website. All other projects are on hold. Damn Macs! Curses to these infernal things! They're worthless! Save yourself the brain-in-a-vice pain of Mac OS and buy a PC!

(Just kidding.)

So here's the big beautiful aluminum bastard in case you were wondering what all the fuss was about: