MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2004

Have you heard the latest scheme afoot to deploy broadband to people living on the outskirts of town? Zeppelins. Yeah, dirigibles. Blimps. The idea is to position a bunch of blimps above rural areas with broadband transceivers hanging off them. There are actually two harebrained plans already in the works. SkyLinc, from York, England, wants to position tethered blimps 5,000 feet in the air over rural areas (with mile-long ropes?). That should be interesting in a storm.

-- Chas. Hansen

FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2004

Skypilots be hard men, stronge men & goodly men; they woulde be exalted, & they do set muche by theyr kyndred and prophecyes; and many of them be lovynge and kyndharted, faythful, and vertuous. And there be many of them the whych be lyght hearterted, & loveth a verse; but this matter latly is reformed but, rhyming in manye places is too much used for they go to extremes in all matters. You may never find anyone worse than a bad skypilot but you will certainly never find anyone better than a good one.

-- The Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge

Wherein it is resolved there will be a Skypilotclub Hoo Haw to be held on or around the Fourth of July 04 in conjuction with the annual Skypilotclub celebration of Independence, details to be hammered out in subsequent meetings. In attendance were:

Anon, Barbara, Dave

Erica, Ginger, Capn Skyp

John, Izzy, Lisa

M.G., Larry, Marilyn

Phil, Max, Mike



The day increases in pleasant manner and the night lessens from the festival of fair-flanked Thomas in the East to the festival of dumb Faolan. At the festival of mighty Benedict on the 20th Kalends March, that is the festival you compute, it is no lie, which is of equal length both day and night.

--the calender of Oengus, Irish, nineth century.

MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2004


Everyone's familiar with Julis Caesar's question to Brutus but until a ditch digger for the Rome Sanitation Department dug up a paper containing the minutes from the Forum on that fateful day when Julius asked, "Et tu, Brute?"we finally knew the answer: "Te audire no possum: Musa sapientum fixa est in aure." Which means, "I can't hear you: I have a banana in my ear." Knifes right in.

Politics by Keats

How can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics,
Yet here's a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there's a politician
That has both read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war's alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms.

SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 2004

If email to the capn is being returned, send it again. My server has been having problems and is booting up a new system.

-- capn skyp

Aack, trip to the dental surgeon, not to be wished on anyone, let alone the suffering people packed into the waiting room on a day of clogged appointments and frantic nurses and one surgeon dutifuly wielding his scalpel and professional aplomb, taking care to take care with each and every victim, er, I mean, patient, imploring them to be patient, and that's what every doctor needs, a patient patient or patient to the second power, that is to say, a patient squared.

My problem was a bit of tissue come popping from my gum down between two frontal teeth and it must be removed for it has been bugging me no end, not physically, but every time I gaped in the mirror seeking handsomeness and receiving blights all over the place I was determined to get the culprit removed. Thus, surgery was required.

Thus surgery was performed, not a serious thing, only took a minute or two, a slice of the knife and, pffff, it was gone, to be deposited in a bottle to hie off to the lab for a biopsy check, just to be sure. And then pack the wound with gauze and send the patient away, but no, not that way, not through the waiting room, not where the others worrying and fearful would see me whimpering and hunched and bleeding and holding onto my upper lip, no, out the back door and into the parking lot without a hie dee ho of farewell and good cheer because it was already five thirty in the PM and there were others waiting.

Happy to say, after a few days of wallowing in pain pill bliss, all is well and today it's outside into the sunny shine to tend to the burgeoning jungle experiencing rampant spring growth.

-- Capn Skyp


Ooh, these icky bugs, they appear every spring at our house and completely cover the outside western wall that has the warm sun on it. Our method of disposal is to suck the suckers up in the shop vac and empty them in a plastic bag and tie the bag up and dump the bag in the garbage can; next stop the dump.

I went on line to learn more about the critturs and found some interesting things. Here's one from the University of Wisconsin

Boxelder Bugs by Rebecca Hoffman and Phil Pellitteri

Boxelder bugs, a true bug from the insect family Rhopalidae, are commonly found both outside and inside homes during the fall through early spring. Boxelder bugs are about three quarter inches long, and black in color with 3 red lines on the thorax and red lines on the wing margins. During the summer, they feed on leaves, flowers, and seedpods of boxelders and silver maples, where they do minor damage to the trees. Although completely harmless to humans, these bugs can be nuisances and occasionally their waste can stain.

Life cycle: Adult boxelder bugs lay eggs on treesin the spring. Nymphs emerge in 11 to 14 days and begin feeding on trees. Nymphs resemble adults, but are smaller and have more red on their bodies. Nymphs develop into adults during the summer, and lay eggs of a second generation of boxelder bugs that is active in August and September. Populations of boxelder bugs are highest after dry spells because wet weather promotes a fungal disease that is an important for population control. Boxelder bugs become a nuisance when second generation bugs congregate on the outsides of homes on sunny days in September and October. Boxelder bugs then move indoors to find a protected place to overwinter. They remain in attics and wall voids until the spring when the bugs move back outdoors. Although boxelder bugs do not breed indoors, some may be active on sunny days in the winter.

Control: Because boxelder bugs are not harmful, methods of control are a personal preference. Removing all boxelder trees in an area will prevent breeding. Caulking windows and doors, and repairing window and door screens will prevent bugs from entering a home. You can also vacuum the bugs up with a hose attachment (to avoid staining fabric), but if vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum contents immediately or bugs can crawl out. If you decide you would like to spray for control, one
home remedy is to use a 3-4% mix of water and soap (by volume) that can be sprayed directly on the insects. Remember however that soaps only kill on contact. You can also have a professional apply insecticides to the sides of your home. Some insecticides are ineffective at cool temperatures, but insecticidal soap or sprays containing permethrin, cyfluthrin or esfenvalerate are effective.

Here's a couple good websites for more info:


I'm packing my rucksack and donning my camo and mojo. The skin of the master otter gives protection against fire, shipwreck and will prevent steel and bullet from harming the man who carries even a small scrap of the precious material, for he has preservative qualities, as he cannot be harmed by mortal hands.

I've re-upped and have orders to board skypilotship Yankee Kilo Ought Four and journey backwards in time to 1962, destination South Vietnam. There, with trusty recorder and digie camera, I'm to observe the haps and report back with my findings. As I recall, we went in like boy scouts and came out like Hells Angels.


When you live a life of intense activity for six months and of comparative or actual somnolence for the other six, during the latter period you cannot be continually pleading sleepiness when there are people about or things to be done. The excuse gets monotonous.

-- The Wind in the Willows

This image taken by the microscopic imager on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows a geological region of the rock outcrop at Meridiani Planum on Mars, an egg, dubbed 'El Capitan.' Scientists believe that the distinctive texture of this rock is evidence that part of Mars was once completely submerged in water.