Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hippies beating eachother up makes everything better.

Holy crap. What a terrible day. The funniest bad part of it was the fact that our Internet/e-mail/network at work was down. Everybody was freaking out trying to find things to do. Every time I came up with something I realized I needed a computer. On a similar note...

Have you noticed how useless people are becoming? Everybody has a story about things their parents can do that they can't. Build a house. Make jam. Make bread from scratch. We're basically a useless bunch of tits (not that tits are useless) compared to our parents. Sure, we make up for it by accomplishing such meaningful tasks as:

- Using a cellphone
- Typing e-mails
- Playing video games

We don't even know how the things work that we use and feel all high-tech about and as soon as they stop working, we're fucked. So, getting to the point, if we're this useless, how useless are our kids going to be? Everybody talks about how competitive University is these days and all that. I call bullshit. I think the next generation of kids is going to be a useless bunch of mouth-breathing retards incapable of defrosting a frozen dinner entree. Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong.

So, back to the bad day. Apart from the computers I:

- Almost exploded at work under fears that next weeks vacation was going to be taken away from me (it wasn't...but I still have a bad feeling about it)
- Spent $400 having my windshield wipers repaired. What the hell?
- Nearly T-boned a car that tried to turn in front of me.
- Almost got T-boned on my bike by a woman that ran a stop sign.

I don't know. There's other things. But, this story about peace-loving hippies beating eachother up with shovels made my day. Somehow. I'm sick like that.

And, in celebration of the upcoming Pemberton Festival, I have one final point. I've come up with the ultimate simile/metaphor/comparison for music festivals. Music festivals are the live music equivalent of a trip to Las Vegas. Or a cruise. Think about it. Live music is about so many things. Atmosphere. Proximity. Timing. Location. Vibe. Etc. These festivals basically discard most of what makes live music great (in my mind) and jam a whole bunch of bands and a whole bunch of people into one easy-to-experience watered-down weekend. Just like Las Vegas. Las Vegas has become the place where people that are too lazy to experience the real thing go to experience New York, Italy and Paris which a bunch of other fat, lazy tourists. Or to go get really wasted and fuck strangers. You see what I'm saying?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'll never be an astronaut

So, I heard from the Canadian Space Agency the other day. I was happy to find out that I had made it to the next round of selection to become an Astronaut. I think they had something like 5500 initial applications and weeded out about 1000 in the first go. The next step is online once again and seems a bit more in depth.

I logged in and the first thing it asked for was my GPA from University. Shit. Now, just to defend myself, I did take Engineering in University, which (at the time) required a degree of competition to get in. And then, I took Mechanical, which also took a bit of competition. So, it's not like the rest of my class were brain-dead buffoons and I could drink my days away and expect to get "A's". I drank my days away and got "B's" and "C's". No matter what I did, I couldn't get my average above 69.3%. I calculated it four different ways (weighted average of all grades, average of all grades, weighted average of yearly averages, average of yearly averages) and the proper way to do it (weighted average of all grades) came out the highest. I just don't think 69.3% is going to cut it.

From there, it asked for a two page essay on why I want to be an astronaut. I can write this in my sleep. I'm thinking of writing "...because it's the coolest fuckin' thing ever." and leaving it at that.

From there it went to a page asking about professional experience. It wanted to know about experience in labs (well...I do put equipment into labs?), experience in production environments (I could have talked for a week about this), experience managing projects (fuckin' hell...why don't they just make me an astronaut now?) and then....oh....no...experience in the medical profession (I've been to the hospital a few times?), experience flying airplanes (I actually wrote out a paragraph equating the skills of ski racing and downhill mountain bike racing to flying an airplane, but I think I will take it out) and, lastly, experience in working with international science communities (I don't even know what this means, so I think I have to say no).

Okay. So far, so good.

The next page will allow me to present other skills that I think will be relevant to being an astronaut. A love of ice cream? A uniform fetish? I don't know what to put here. But I'll think of something.

So, on to the next page.

Oh. God. "Present your experience and expertise in the following:" and the list includes:
robotics (okay...I can BS something for this), astronomy (ummm...I know the big dipper), space exploration (what, is this open to past astronauts?), geology (hey! A degree in geology is good for something!), remote sensing (???), microgravity sciences (spellcheck doesn't even recognize this), meteorology, spacecraft design (what the fuck? Am I going to build the thing before flying in it?), orbital mechanics (once again...I'm a mechanical engineer...what does this mean?), thermodynamics (score!), materials science (score!) in a microgravity environment (wha? Is it different? Shit), applications of advanced industrial materials (okay...), payloads (okay. design it AND load the thing?), satellite communications (okay...there's just too many of these things to comment on), rocketry and propulsion, effects of high altitude, physiology or life sciences, biology (I hope grade 11 counts), space physics, planetary and earth sciences, aeronomy (seriously...what the fuck is that?), geodesy (once again...?), oceonography, aerodynamics (score!), navigation (okay...I can see the relevance of this) and avionics. They want a paragraph for each of these. So, basically, they want Jesus of science to come work for them. What the hell? This is embarrassing. Why wasn't there a disclaimer? If you are not Jesus of science, do not bother applying as you will just embarrass yourself.

And it doesn't stop there. Good lord no, it gets worse. The next page is certifications. Let's see:
First aid and CPR, lifeguarding, scuba diving, military scuba diving (I guess this is different? Maybe at the military courses they say "Now, here's what you really do"), commercial scuba diving, technical scuba diving (seriously, 4 different sections for scuba diving), amateur radio operator (okay...let's get some nerds on board!), parachuting, zero-g experience, high-g tolerance experience, pilot license, recreational pilot license, commercial pilot license (I get it...flying an airplane helps. So does scuba diving apparently), military pilot - transport aircraft (oh, not done with the airplanes yet), military pilot -fighter aircraft (fuck off with the airplanes!), test pilot (FUCK! Again?) and, finally, flight test engineer. Once again, a paragraph for all of these. I have none of these. Not a single one. I'm fucked.

And, finally, the last page, add your resume...well...I guess I can do that. They'll post it in the bathroom and laugh at me while they take their giant astronaut dumps.

Part of me just wants to fill this out and write what I really think. Part of me is hoping/thinking/praying that if I fill it out correctly they'll say "Fuck...this guy is a real loser...but he has heart! Let's send him up!"