Y'herd thisun? 

“If someone asks me the question “Why are you interested in space?” the only answer I can give is “Why aren’t you?””
-Jeff Greason, President of XCOR

from Jeff Greason SpaceNews Profile

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"It is essential to maintain a positive vision of the future, from which to draw our goals, the motivation to pursue them, and the compulsion to meet the complex human challenges we will face along the way"

-Kathy Sullivan, Astronaut.  From her preface to The High Frontier by Gerard K. O'Neill


Honest.  Go see it.  For Fun at least.  It is NOT what you have heard.

[read more if you are about to shluff this off]

Lower launch cost means lower payload build cost. The Domino effect

It has been stated repeatedly over the years that adjusted cost of launch per pound has not changed since 1961.  But that is now no longer true.

“One of the big drivers was cost,” Spiwak said. “We’re able to get the launch cost significantly reduced, get more payload mass to orbit, and reduce the overall cycle time of (building each satellite).”

Quote from Mark Spiwak, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. on last night's SpaceX launch.

He's hyping the thrusters but the SpaceX launch cost is a major part of the equation. THAT is what it is all about.  Lower cost to orbit means payloads don't have to cost so much to build for every inconceivable fringe issue that may not ever come up. You can add some risk because putting up another bird costs less.


Space and the regular Joe mind KFI Los Angeles

There're a lot of sticks in Los Angeles but eventually every English speaking listener over 30 spends some quarter hours with Bill Handel on KFI. 

Driving home this morning Handel teased a fluff on the SpaceX fin test and I got in the door just in time to switch on the recorder... nice piece.  Elon's team has the von Braun public face momentum well rolling.

Have an mp3 listen by clicking right here.

Went Home for the holidays

... and took our traditional December picture.

daboy's getting so big

Klink has my chess set

I like Chess.

I like Hogan's Heroes.

Whoda thunk the coolest Chess set I'd ever seen would have been owned by Wilhelm Klink?


It's a very large Barleycorn variation, with a "Washington" Calvert style rook.  Can't find anything exactly like it anywhere.  But boy is this one quest worthy.

There be Glowing Dragons. NASA and Radiation

1) A Scientist's job is to observe what is and explain why it is that way  Asking a Scientist to tell you why Humans CAN live on Mars is asking for a fast "impossible" until there ARE humans living on Mars or elsewhere.  Scientists, by definition of their trade, observe no Humans there now and can only explain why that is, backing up their answer with any facts or theories that fit the current observable situation.  If you want to know how a Human CAN live on Mars or elsewhere off earth, you have to ask an Engineer how it can be done.  Once it is done, paid for by rich forward thinking 'crazy people' and completed by Engineers given a clear spec and fitting resources, the Scientists will step in and explain why it is, and always has been, possible.  This is the fundamental difference between Science and Engineering.  

2) Space is hazardous but it is not malevolent.

read this rant

Redirected Downloads

We have files for download on a NAS.  We don't want to expose them directly to everyone hitting the site and the idea of just mapping the drives makes people go nutty so, got a fast idea?  We know that by this time it's got to be so simple that we're missing the obvious but we're going in circles and a vendor wants too much money for a bridge product.

Huh.  Does the file server run IIS or Apache/Mono?

It's a Windows server so IIS is ok but we don't want to expose it to the internet.

You don't have to, if it's on your company network just expose it internally so the web servers can hit it.  That possible?

The answer is going to slay you... open up notepad and copy this in:

Regex Ajax Jquery UserControl

This universe is fun.  Last week I was having a conversation with a budd about a validation regex and just a few days later I had the need to dig it out for myself ... lucky I put it on the sitelett (thanks Universe!).

In my case I needed to make a double listbox picker for Keywords.  Over the years I've just used Telerik controls but this is a lean webapp and I didn't want the extra baggage so I rolled my own.  ASCX with serverside needs plus Jquery/JS Ajax hitting an ASMX web service for adding new keywords on the fly without page reloads.

Demo here.  Code and some notes ...[more]

E3 2014 Gamespot All Hail Monolith

I'n not a big fan of pages just listing links but....

Gamespot did their biggies of E3 2014 and I'm full of pride for the great folks at Monolith!  Shadow of Mordor *is* awesome!

And for Heinlein fen, take a gander at No Man's Sky.  Please God, make it release the way they envision it.

Simple person name regex

"Do you have a good regex to test a person name part entry?"

Yep.  ^[A-Za-z]+((-[A-Za-z]+)|('[A-Za-z]+)|(\040[A-Za-z]+))*$

Pretty Helicopter over Ventura Boulevard

I don't know about other places these days but in LA it's getting so that it's now unusual to look up and NOT see at least one helicopter circling around.  

I live off Ventura Boulevard so I think we get a tad more circlers so I'm immune to choppers more than most... but this one kept so close right over the house for so long that I had to look up and it was an odd puppy. 

side view helicopter

Hack the Profile Provider

So you don't want to reinvent the wheel on an ASP.Net profile system but you need to support some perfectly understandable business rules for the profile data that the precooked Profile Provider doesn't handle well?

You just create a custom Profile Provider to hold your props in a custom table instead of that silly serial format, right? 

Yeah... but what if one of those rules requires a lookup validation and message to the user?  Your custom implemented Save() has to return void,  a status code won't work and a custom exception from SetPropertyValues will choke your web site.

Well, there's a hack for that.

ASP.Net Membership mdf setup without ASPNETDB.mdf

Microsoft's ASP.Net Membership system isn't world-class bulletproof and has quite a few limitations so you'd not want to use it as-is for projects where money is involved, but for a lot of projects it fits the bill fine.

The only problem is that most of us get it into a project by banging on it and swearing a lot... then we forget about the pain till the next time.

This last time when my brain started saying 'next time I won't have to use this thing'... I figured I'd be smarter and write it down.  Also, because I am getting sick and tired of simple yes/no questions being answered by showing a YouTube video, I decided that I won't even show a single darned image in these steps.


Support SSI With Amazon Smile

Just called up Amazon and was greeted with a popup asking if I wanted to donate to a charity (at no cost to me).  Huh.  I clicked the About link ( ) and saw that all we have to do is pick a charity then whenever we call up Amazon with a portion of our regular purchase prices go to what we want.

They offer a scroll picker with the usual suspects but also allow you to search.  I did so and found that SSI is listed! 

Neat.  I'm in!


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Since 1997 a place for my stuff, and it if helps you too then all the better