Aliens Land In Yellowstone

Aliens Landing Near Castle Geyser, Yellowstone

Aliens Landing Near Castle Geyser, Yellowstone

So I re-watched “Cowboys and Aliens”. I was so immensely disappointed with this movie, when it first came out. It boasted such luminaries as Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. It even listed Steven Spielberg as a producer. On my re-watching it, I’ve lowered my expectations and was pleased with the result, just another western.

Super 8 Point Pi Blues

“Super 8”, new to DVD this week was our after dinner fare last night. While other families proceeded to gird their loins, step out into the November night and shop ‘till they drop, our family huddled around the flickering screen of our not so big and certainly not flat screened TV. Faced with the choice of facing Black Friday’s sale crazed shoppers, tripped out on tryptophan or space alien monsters, we choose the latter and are happy for our choice.

The title comes from the Kodak Super 8 film that the kids are using to make a monster movie. The protagonist is a boy who has just lost his mother in a factory accident. His grief-stricken father offers to send him away to baseball camp for the summer. Naturally, Rey thought the kid should have gone to baseball camp, but then there would have been no movie to watch, or maybe just a different one. Instead of “The Natural”, how about “The Extraterrestrial”?

With executive producer Steven Spielberg, and directed by Spielberg protégé, J.J. Abrams, a comparison to “E.T.” and/or “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is inevitable. While, “Super 8” is not quite as good as either of these two movies, not quite as good as “E.T.” is not too bad. Elle Fanning, in her debut role, is as good as all the buzz around her claims. Be sure to watch the credits at the end of the movie, there is a great Easter egg there.

Friday morning, Anne, Rey and David played Bananagrams, while I bicycled in the park. I got 15 miles. Anne got the chance to play a word game that she dearly loves. I call this a win-win situation. We took the boys out to lunch at Pi and then we took Dan to the airport. Joanie happened to accompany us on this trip. She also tagged along when first we visited the [World Champion] Cardinal’s gift shop at Busch Stadium and then bought tickets to the Blues game at the Scott Trade Center. I muffed it on the tickets. I could have bought four tickets earlier in the day, but by the time we made it to the box office all they had was standing room only. We made a quick side trip to the Union Station food court, which has really gone downhill, then back to Scott Trade for the game.

The Blues played the Calgary Flames, so we got two national anthems for the price of one. We all stood through the first period, which wasn’t bad. What was bad was our view of the game. We really couldn’t see the goal just below us. Fortunately, all the first period’s action was at the far end. By the end of the period, the Blues were up 1-0. Joanie found a seat after the first period and later in the second period; Dave and I got seats too. Anne joined us next, but said that Rey didn’t want to leave Joanie alone. He is always the gentleman. I came back and told him that I would stay with Joanie. He went off to join Anne and Dave, but came back almost immediately. Someone else had grabbed the free seats. By the third period there were plenty of open seats, but Rey stood his ground. I sat in the row in front of Joanie. The Blues scored another goal and then the game was over. Returning home, we dropped Joanie off first. Dave and Rey left for a party and I wrote this post. It is now time for bed. I’ve gotten better at photographing the low light action of a hockey game, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Better seats would help too.

Crazy Old Coot

A couple of the guys at work were discussing this website, when I sat down at an adjoining PC. Less EMF (Electro-Magnetic Field) sounded work related and at some point it very well could have been, but by the time that I had arrived, it had definitely moved off task. Less EMF is a supplier of radio frequency (RF) related instruments and supplies. Much of its catalog looked mainstream, but of course those were not the sections that were of interest. I’ll give you three examples: a starter ghost hunting kit, a Brain Coat, “RF shielding for your mind” (think mob-cap), and Silverell boxer shorts, “RF shielding for your private parts” (definitely not TSA approved). I can only categorize this under WTF? However, if any of these items strike your fancy, I am looking for Christmas gift ideas.

Anne is working on the team that is preparing for the next round of standardized testing. Leave no child behind equals leave no child untested. To this end, she has been hauling our laptop into work with her. Naturally, said laptop had this website as its home page. When Anne fired up Internet Explorer through the school’s network, she got the following message instead of the home page, “This website has been banned for hate speech or profanity. If you need to access this website, please contact your administrator. I guess that I am not as PG as I thought.

Gizmodo made a splash today, with a story about gigantic white lined structures in the Chinese desert. These structures appear in Google Earth’s satellite pictures. Speculation was rampant as to their significance, from spy satellite targets to QR marks for visiting aliens. The story kind of took on a life of its own as readers started sending in pictures of other strange Chinese geographical features. Could this all be Google disinformation? Payback for Google’s mistreatment by the Chinese government?

The photos with this post show American Coots. At the Riverlands, there was a small flock near the road that I spooked and sent running across the water. You can see the results, in their water rippled footsteps. They ran into a larger flock that seemed unperturbed by all the excitement. According to Bill Coatney, the Coots had blackened the water the previous week. I saw about a hundred.

Hanger 18

Hanger 18 was a schlocky, 1980 Sci-Fi movie. The gist of the movie was that an alien spacecraft, a so-called flying saucer, was found and moved to Dayton, OH. It was stored in Hanger 18. My brother Chris and I watched this movie together, and after I took up my current line of work, he came to accuse me of consorting with aliens. I wish to go on record that I do not consort with aliens, legal, illegal or space. The Perma Bear and I did go to Hanger 18 on Wednesday, or what might pass for it. Officially, it is part of the Air Force Museum. Most of this museum is open to the public, such that anyone can just walk right into it, but there is an annex that you need to sign up for and then take a tour bus back and forth to. Because we were already at the field, we could just drive there during lunch.


The Annex contains two types of aircraft, experimental X-planes and retired Air Force Ones. For me, the X-Planes were the most interesting. I’ve been in this line of work long enough that my career has been contemporary with some of them. Some of these X-Planes are famous or at least near famous. The truly famous ones go to the Smithsonian. Some of them though make you ask, what were they thinking? These head scratchers make me feel good about those less than stellar moments in my own career, because even as hair brain as they appear, someone thought that they were worthy enough to make it into the museum.

I’ve included two photos from this museum visit. The first photo is of a P-75A Eagle, a 1942, World War II prototype. I chose this photo over all the rest for three reasons. First, its picture looked good, which is always a good reason. Second, it featured two counter rotating propellers, a technological novelty. Finally, it was designed and built by the Fisher Body Division of General Motors; did I mention how good it looked? The second photo is a bit of a hat tip to Hanger 18. It looks like a flying saucer, but was designed to be a flying car, a sort of all-terrain vehicle. It was built by Avro, a Canadian company, for the Army