Monday, May 21, 2007

Protect us from ourselves

God, I wish I could keep writing about docks, but there’s so much craven corruption, so much in which to find outrage, so little time...

The story of Dragon Skin took hold late last week and its implications make me sick. NBC News reported there’s a body armor that’s (possibly) superior to the standard issue Interceptor armor the Army supplies its infantry. (The Army inexplicably cancelled tests). Dragon Skin is so much better that three-star Generals and CIA/FBI special ops wear it. Over the last couple of years parents began buying it at $650 or more as a Christmas present for their children shipping off to Iraq. Suddenly the Army banned its use. Seems their body-armor testing Colonel retired and got a lucrative job with the supplier who makes Interceptor, and that company has a $360 million contract.

Over the weekend, the artillery range in Maryland where the Army began—and then halted—testing on Dragon Skin blew up. Not clear yet whether the testing records that led to the Army’s decision were lost. This sounds like something out of 24. I wish I could change the channel.

I used to think 1/20/09—the day Bu$hco ends—would bring relief from the madness, but the more I learn, the more hopeless I become about how deep the corruption goes. That these bastards would risk one soldier’s life to protect a military contract is unconscionable. Imagine buying your child the best protection (as a Christmas present, no less), and him or her not being able to use it.


Monday, May 07, 2007

The best thing I’ve ever built

We started planning our dock back in February, when being down on the lake was hardly very appealing. But we knew summer would come and what’s the use of having a house on water if you don’t have a dock.

This is where internet research pays off. “Floating dock kits” on Google eventually led me to the Follansbee Dock Company of Follansbee, West Virginia. I told them how big I wanted the dock to be, and they told me what parts to order. They also gave me a list of lumber to acquire locally.

About a week after I placed the order for the floats and other hardware, the UPS lady arrived, very peeved because her whole truck was filled to the brim. A couple of days later, the lumber company left a pallet of yellow pine 2 x 6s nearly obstructing our driveway.

Over the next few weeks I carried the boards down to the lake one by one, and began to plan my assault. A circular saw, several drills, socket wrenches, levels, floats, ropes, chains and other tools helped me beat it into shape. My son came and spent a Saturday afternoon measuring and drilling and assembling.

Finally the day came to push it into the lake and anchor it down to the shore. Now all that’s left is to sit on it and enjoy summer mornings and afternoons and evenings. I haven’t tested yet, but I’m sure hoping the wireless works down there. Then I can spend part of my summer workdays on my new dock, listening to the water lapping up against the shore. Sometimes life is very, very good.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy Mission Accomplished Day

Some time has passed since chimp-in-chief pranced around on the deck of an aircraft carrier, barely able to keep his hands off his tingling codpiece, his vaunted leadership on display for all to cheer. He declared that hostilities were over in Iraq. Four years ago, that is.

In honor of his foresight and good judgment, Mikal in Philly is pleased to offer this tidbit (thanks to Dick Polman’s American Debate blog) from Chimpy’s beloved mom, the always-delightful Babs Bush. She who raised him appeared on ABC, March 19, 2003:

“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it’s gonna happen? It’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

After all, a beautiful mind is a terrible thing to waste.