Thursday, February 03, 2005


It was pretty foggy this morning as I drove in to work. Visibility was down to less than 100 meters. I saw, at one point, a white car with no lights on. An evil part of me hopes he got the accident he was so obviously begging for but that no one got hurt too badly. Even now, when I came back from the dentist, visibility was up to about three or four hundred meters but people didn't have their lights on.

I listened to part of the "presidents's" speech last night. Heard some on his social security section. While it's obvious that something needs to be done and it could very well be that privatization (or at least the option for something personal) may be a workable idea, I couldn't help but ask myself which investment firms would get all of these accounts and federal money? A rhetorical question really since I'm fairly certain that whoever owns the firm(s) chosen will be long time friends of the Bush family. And they'll make a whole pile of new money off this, while benefits are cut to poor and middle class people.

I read something this morning which was asking (or at least point out) all the unasked questions and all the missing information. It was a valid point that if we fight the terrorists in someone else's country it's a better option (from our point of view) than fighting them here. Invading their country to create a situation which will draw them there is morally and ethically questionable but hey, neo-cons apparently have no problem compromising what passes for their "ethics".

His pointing toward us as the largest growing industrialized nation is iffy when you consider that China grew 9.5% compared to our 4.4. But then I suspect he's never been good at math and people who are make him nervous (so none work for him).

Calling Iraq "free and sovereign" is clearly the product of the glasses he's got on. Look at yesterday's death toll if you're skeptical.

But let's move on to something less demoralizing, at least for Sci-Fi fans. Battlestar Galactica.

I've been following it closely and talking to my friends and I'm really enjoying it. One of the little things they do (which demonstrates caring on the part of the writers and crew) I really like is the fighter pilot lingo they use. Calling Captain Adama the CAG and talking about Commander Adama's LSO. Not having "the chops" to "fly vipers". For those who haven't read much naval military fiction here's a little bit of a glossary.

CAG = Commander, Air Group. Name for the officer who is in command of all the squadrons stationed on an aircraft carrier. A senior officer responsible to the ship's captain (or the battle group commander) for all air operations and everything related to the aircraft and their pilots.

LSO = Landing Signal Officer. The officer who watches every landing to ensure that the safety of the ship isn't endangered by an aircraft's landing approach. He can "wave off" an aircraft and the pilot then has to "go around" and try to land again.

"Call the ball" = "The ball" is a term for a number of different (throughout history) landing signal lighting systems which are used so that the pilot will know wheather his aircraft is on the proper approach vector to make a safe landing. The LSO will ask the pilot to "call the ball" which indicates that he sees the correct lights and is on his proper approach vector. The pilot will tell the LSO "I have the ball".

"The Chops" = a term used to indicate that a pilot has the technical and physiological skills to fly a certain type of aircraft.

Here are a few more that I know of that we should watch for. I'll explain them when I hear them. :)

"Bust a check ride"
"Air Boss"
"Alert 5" (they've used the term "Alert Vipers" for this one already)
"CAP" (they've used this one too)

There's a pretty good dictionary at but a lot of them probably won't translate to sci-fi too well.


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