Quick Roundup 49

Monday, April 24, 2006


Although I was very busy at the end of last week, I was up early Friday morning to post. So why didn't I? One of the worst thunderstorms I've seen in quite a while was going on basically directly overhead. I figured that rather than sit around at my keyboard waiting to lose power, get zapped, or both, I'd get some extra sleep while it rolled over.

Don't believe me? Being a Southerner, I know thunderstorms. This one sounded positively awful, and it included high winds (and may have spawned a tornado) that ripped the roof off a school within twenty minutes of where I live, in addition to causing power outages at others.

Blogger Down

And I was getting ready to post this morning when I noticed that Blogger wasn't cooperating. This affected comments as well. And, in case you're expecting updates here or at other blogs hosted at blogspot.com, it won't be happening today during the hour beginning at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

[Update: I wrote the above during my second attempt to post this roundup, at lunch. I have only now gotten back to working on this post 13 hours after I started it!]

Trailblazing Pilot Passes Away

Reader Hannes Hacker marked some sad news: the recent death of the great test pilot, Scott Crossfield.

Record-setting test pilot Scott Crossfield, who helped pave the way for space exploration, has died in a north Georgia plane crash.

Crossfield, 84, of Herndon, Va., was alone in his single-engine, 1960s-era Cessna 210A when he crashed in rural Gordon County after leaving Prattville, Ala., bound for Herndon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. There were thunderstorms and hail reported in the area.

Crossfield made history on Nov. 20, 1953, when he became the first pilot to reach twice the speed of sound.
Lots of 'em are Democrats

Paul Hsieh's entry on the "Waiter Rule" is a must-read.
How can a busy CEO determine if one of his employees is genuinely nice or is a jerk merely pretending to be nice in order to suck up to the boss? According to this article, the most reliable test is how he or she treats the waiter....
He goes on to note that the jerks "view others (either above or below them on the ladder) as merely a means to an end, and the key attribute they focus on with respect to other people is the power relationship". This type is merely annoying to observe. They are insufferable as superiors and should be avoided if at all possible. So go read the post if you haven't already. It's advice I could have used years ago.

Kinda reminds me of John F. "Don't you know who I am?" Kerry....

Landmark Bridge in Rhode Island Demolished

Lubber's Line, who was reminded of his Navy days by a recent post of mine on the Antarctic, coincidentally recently reminded me of one of my past lives. His news of the demolition of the Jamestown Bridge prompted me to refresh my Rhode Island geography a bit.

Way back when I was just out of college and making my way through Naval Officer Candidate School, it was located in Newport, Rhode Island, adjacent to Narragansett Bay, and therefore in plain sight of a very high suspension bridge which everyone used as a metaphor for the sixteen weeks we had to endure. I distinctly remember the Chief in charge of our company having us chase off a flock of geese in a field -- by marching straight at them -- before he called us to a halt and had us look at the bridge for a moment. He helpfully reminded us that we were scarcely an eighth of the way across "the bridge" (i.e., in week two of the sixteen) before making us do push-ups among the bird droppings. We'll just say that geese lay more than one kind of "egg", and leave it at that....

OCS is, I am pretty sure, no longer in Newport, having moved, I think to Orlando, Florida and then perhaps to Pensacola. But is "the" bridge still there? I don't remember what the bridge was called, but Lubber's Line says that the Jamestown Bridge, which serves state route 138, crosses the "west passage of Narragansett Bay", which is clearly not the side closest to where OCS was.

Perhaps if Lubber's Line happens by, he can confirm that I am right, that "the bridge" I remember still stands -- or at least congratulate me on being lucid enough to remember what I did, and spry enough to type it all out!

-- CAV


Lubber's Line said...

Gus, your geography is correct, the bridge your OCS Chief was pointing out was the “Newport Bridge”, it was built in 1969, and yes it is still standing. It was officially renamed the “Claiborne Pell” Bridge after the former RI Senator, father of the Pell college grant program and part time moonbat (Supporter of government research into UFOs and psychic viewing). The locales still call it the “Newport Bridge” and it spans the bay’s east passage with great views of the Naval War College and City of Newport.

The “Jamestown” bridge spans the west passage of Narragansett Bay with the island of Conanicut and town of Jamestown in the middle. Up until the demolition we had two Jamestown Bridges, the condemned OLD Jamestown Bridge and the NEW “Jamestown-Verrazano” Bridge a few hundred feet to the north. As with the Claiborne Pell Bridge the locals don’t call it the Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge just the “Jamestown Bridge”.

Rhode Islanders, living in the smallest state, like their driving distances short and apparently bridge names as well.

About you being “lucid” enough to remember “ancient” history, I’ll continue to read your blog and reserve judgment, so far so good though ;-)

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for stopping by and giving me the gouge on those bridges, and on Senator Pell, for that matter!

As I think more and more about it, I think I can hazily recollect having to drive across the old Jamestown Bridge on the way to OCS. That would indeed be nerve-wracking in icy conditions.