Monday, October 5, 2015

Editing the Periodic Table

So,  There I was....*

This afternoon, I'm reading blogs and other sources on the web looking for something to write about. Is a person who's Mom is Black and Father White, White, but if a person's Mom is White and Father's Black, he's Black? Apparently so, but why?  Agenda, of course.   That philosophical discussion is way beyond my ken.   So, I'm not going there. 

Politicians, Doesn't matter if they're on the left or the right, they're all the same
 I'm doing this research on my son's laptop, because we're in San Antonio for an extended period.  More to follow on that.  Anyhoo (which is Rhode Islander for "Stop digressing and get writing, Juvat!),  I come across this link saying the the Atomic Table had to be amended because a new Atomic Element has been discovered.  

The interesting thing about it is it's Atomic Number.  Now, cognescenti of all things Physics, know that the Atomic Number of an element is a count of the number of Protons (and because there are the same number also the number of electrons).  As new elements were discovered, they kept having higher and higher Atomic Numbers with the highest number seen to date being 118 for Ununoctium.

The new Element has an atomic number of 0 which has excited scientists as they had believed the "science was settled".  However, the new Element has no protons or electrons, rather it only has one type of subatomic particle and they revolve around each other in a completely random fashion.   Dr Iben Geisteskrank  of the Frankfurt Institute has stated that the particles run around like a "chicken with it's head cut off".  

Unfortunately due to it's random orbit, the particles can and do run into themselves which causes an atomic reaction causing more of these particles to be created.  The number increases in an exponential rate.  Yet even with the increase in subatomic particles in random orbit, the Atomic Weight is still 0. Since even at the height of the meltdown, the Element's Atomic Weight is zero, theoretically the meltdown could continue infinitely. It can take quite a while, but usually, they quit colliding and the process stops.

Scientists did, however, notice that while the reaction was going on and more and more particles were being created, there was a noticeable reaction in any humans in the area. The humans seem to run around in no predictable pattern doing completely illogical things. 

This reaction led to the naming of the element and it's subatomic particles.  The element is named Stupideum and the particles are called Morons.  

As usual, the element has quickly been weaponized and I know for an absolute fact, a 100MT Stupedium bomb was detonated over my town this past weekend.

In a recent Conde Nast poll that listed the 5 best Octoberfest celebrations in the US, our town's celebration was rated #1.  That was the initial collision of Stupedium particles.  Subsequent to that rating, the Visitor's bureau estimated that between 20 and 30K people would be visiting.  

They underestimated.  Travel along Main Street was impossible.  Compound the crowding was the Town's Open Carry law. That term to most readers of this blog means one thing (which is still technically illegal in Texas), however, here it means it's perfectly okay to carry and consume an open beer or glass of wine on the sidewalks of the town. Normally mature adults consuming a recreational beverage isn't a problem,  but the presence of large amounts of Stupedium changes the equation.

Thusly, a collision of Stupedium particles continued unabated.

Main Street is a combination of two major US Highways. Oil Field Trucks traverse it many times a day carrying huge pumps.  Trucks carrying the wind turbine blades that are half a block long traverse it regularly. Yet, People were jaywalking as if it was a peaceful country lane.  Knowing better than to try to navigate along the path of the Stupedium Atoms, it still took 3-4 light cycles to cross the street at 90 degree angles.  Morons were everywhere, bumping into other Morons and causing the Stupedium explosion to expand further.

Into this madhouse comes my Daughter in Law.  Driving along on a side street a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero of the Stupedium explosion, she's T-Boned by a guy who decides he needs to make a left turn this instant.  The left turn would have taken him toward Ground Zero and he swears he never saw her.  Turns out he works for the area adult beverage distributor.   Hmmm.

Anyhow, the car is totaled.  (We presume, the appraiser hasn't finalized, but the front axle is broken, the engine compartment is breached and the windshield is shattered.  AirBag deployed.  Car is 7 years old, so...totaled).

The good news is the Daughter in Law is okay.  Ambulanced to the ER as a precaution, she's sore and bruised.  Wrist is very sore, but X-rays don't show a fracture.  So, dodged a bullet on that front.

We're now down in San Antonio to pick up a rental car and clothes for her for the week.  Little Juvat works in San Antonio, but is going on a trip this week.  The Daughter in Law works here in town so She and the GrandDog are staying with us.

The only rental car company that was open on their side of town happened to be on Lackland.  I've been on some military bases since retiring 17 years ago, but I'm pretty sure the number of occasions can be counted on one hand and certainly on two.  After reading the warning from Old NFO about ID card update requirements (which I haven't updated), I had some concerns about what would happen if it got confiscated, as it was Sunday and the Personnel office most certainly would not be open.  What would happen if it got confiscated and I got in an accident on my way home?  (The card serves as my health insurance card.)

My Son handed both his and my ID to the Staff Sergeant at the gate.  He scans them and hands them back.  Then says "Have a great day, Colonel" and snaps a salute.  Been a long time since I've been rendered that honor, and I think there might have been a puff of dust hit me in the eye about then.  Returned it, and said "Thanks".

So, in the remarkably improbable circumstance where you're reading this, Sergeant, Thanks.  You made this old Fart's day.

Come to find out that, yes, the Rental Car Company was open. However, they don't have any cars right now as it's Parent's Weekend for Basic Trainees, so can you come back in a couple of hours?

We drive over to the Static Display area and are looking at the airplanes.  We didn't have my Son's whiz bang camera, but I asked him to take my picture taken next to a very special one.  
Two confirmed in Round One.

As I was standing there, an Airman Basic is showing his family around.  The family is asking questions about the airplane and the Airman is trying, but he doesn't have much background.  How fast is Mach 2.5?  What does this do?  etc.  I step in and show them around answering questions.  As we separate to go about our business, the Airman stops and thanks me.  I'm pretty sure he had to have had an age waiver, he looked so young.  
Murph,  It's right there, just in case you were wondering.

So,  beware of Stupedium explosions, they're always unexpected and can be dangerous, but sometimes the result is a decent day.



  1. When I started reading this I had no idea where you were going with it. Then all the pieces came together and my rather loud guffaw startled the feline inhabitants of Chez Sarge.

    Kinda scary what happened to your daughter-in-law, thank God she's okay. Sucks though that she has to replace her vehicle, we all know how much "fun" that is.

    (By the way, don't encourage Murphy, you know he's going to seek out an F-15 to play with now...)

    1. Glad you got a chuckle. It really was a madhouse. The Wife's store is only a block away from Marktplatz where they hold Oktoberfest. We had to stop by there to pick up some of the Daughter in Laws stuff that we'd rescued. Ended up parking a couple of blocks back and walking there. Even that was painful.

      I enjoyed looking at the airplane and really enjoyed the Airman and his family. It was a little sad though, (and the reason I wasn't worried about Murph), it's not an airplane any more. The intakes are plugged, the canopy is painted and they've glued anti-bird spikes on the top of the tail. Even the boarding ladder button is sealed. They must have read Murph's blog. ;-)

    2. I got tools for just such a thing.

    3. I figured you did. "Be prepared" seems like it could be your motto.

  2. Glad your daughter in law is OK. Seen too many of the other kind of accident.

    1. Thanks, It was worrisome when we first approached. Two firetrucks, 3 police cars and an ambulance. It was a good thing she had called and we knew she was basically ok. Did have to remind my son that it wouldn't help anybody if we had an accident on the way, though.

  3. I rather thought you were going to include some reference to that elusive element Unobtainium, which Hizzoner was oft times in search of.

    1. Well, I think that might be a variant of my oft used witticism "Nothing is impossible to those who don't have to do it themselves."

  4. Glad your daughter in law is OK. Scary.

    Physics levity:

    One atom to the other atom: "I think I've lost an electron". Second atom: "Are you sure?". First atom: I'm positive".

    1. Thanks, I needed a little levity on a Monday morn.

  5. Great stuff, Juvat, that was fun to unwrap!

    Interesting how closely the behavior of humans mirrors that of non-human natural phenomena. Even more interesting how many humorons insist that they stand outside nature. Special snowflakes one and all.

    Very cool about the Staff Sergeant and the Airman and family. Evidence that there are still a few areas of human endeavor where sapience is in the drivers seat.

    Best of luck with the new wheels and here's to Daughter In Law's speedy recovery. Hoping also that the stupidium wave moves out of your AO, and that there's no lingering quantum entanglement. But there probably will be. Sigh.

    1. Thanks, PA. The Stupidium seems to be waning, albeit slowly. We have a Food and Wine festival in 3 weeks when I'm sure it will return.

  6. Stupidium may not be that new. Attended a couple of Octoberfest some 50 years ago in Munichen and the Stupidium was stupendous, amplified, of course, by intoxicated G.I.'s. Would have been many Article 15s if anyone was sober enough to type.

    Bet that Airman and his family will always remember your graciousness.

    1. Or felt well enough to type after the fact. Ran into a couple of EMT's Saturday morning at the coffee shop. Asked them how busy they were Friday evening. They said it wasn't too bad, only a couple of calls to respond to at the festival. I'll have to check Tuesday's paper for the police report. The local PD is usually pretty tolerant until someone gets belligerent or behind the wheel.
      Thanks, Dang he was young!

  7. Glad the DIL is okay, and all you've done is reminded Murph to bring a screwdriver... sigh... And I stay away from those festivals for JUST that reason!!!

    1. I'm pretty sure he already has one in his kit, so probably not my fault. Had several of this year's new teachers ask me if I was going. "Turn down the chance to party with 20,000 of my closest drunk friends?" was my response. "It's that bad?" "Worse".

  8. Thanks for a good start to my day. Glad everyone is well.
    I can't understand why communities promote and allow so much booze into the streets and not expect problems. We are facing "biketoberfest" here in the Daytona Beach area. Tens of thousands of bikers, hundreds of thousands of pints. What could go wrong?

    1. Thanks.

      Well the obvious reason is money. The wife's store had it's best day ever on Saturday, which is a good thing. The aggravation detracts from that but is not measurable. The city government's primary budget input is from the Hotel tax, so the more the merrier as far as they're concerned.

  9. LOLOL. Where does that one hit you if you're in the way when it deploys? And is there another one up top to open the canopy?

    1. At the risk of encouraging you,
      #1 About mid chest to slightly lower. The first step is actually fairly high off the ground when deployed, to the point that I'd have to hop a bit to get started going up.
      #2 Yes.


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