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Radical Yellow Duck

Joined July 2009.

286 stories, 5 challenges, 353 comments, and 19 friends

Ok, I’m back. One heart attack, a triple CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, pronounced cabbage) and two sessions of beating my computer into submission. I am back.

I’m old. Real old. I’m so old I remember when dialing a phone number actually involved using a dial.

I’ve worked as a projectionist, an armored car driver, a help desk tech, a museum tech and laserist, an historical interperter at Old Sturbridge Village, a university assistant at a planetarium and observatory. I’ve been a salesman, a techie, A union VP and a storyteller. I remember the Gemini missions, but was born after sputnik. I have a love of History, Technology, Space, my religion (Christianity) and my country. I believe there is more that binds us together than can tear us apart.

I’ve loved many, married one, was involuntarily divorced.

Oh and I suppose I should tell you. I don’t understand your music and when it comes to sports, I don’t care if the Red Sox beat the 49’ers for the Stanley cup or not. Not judging, it’s just me.

Stories

  1. An appeal to heaven

    Excerpt, Pastor Norton’s Prayer Diary In the name of the Father, the blessed and most merciful, in whom we place our trust and faith. Guide us into your favor and lead us to your promised land. Hear oh Lord my prayers and read my words, written, as w...

  2. Voice Mail

    Transcript of Voicecom recorded for Captain intercepted 0455 Hrs 12-31-33 LE From : Unidentified @ unidentified location Charlie, It’s me, Patrick. I know you aren’t there but after you listen to this, destroy the recording. We spent enough time i...

  3. Minutes lasting Hours

    Your Eyes Only Excerpts of Minutes of the 7th meeting of the Governing Council 1630 Hrs 12-15-33 LE Ships day 8175 Attending: Bishop MJ.Young presiding Capt. Hobson, Mr.Wallace, Ms. Jung, Mr. Tanaka, Pastors DuPont and Kenya Absent: Mr. Goldberg, Ms.Gi...

  4. Hobsons choice

    Captains Log Day 8170 For the past 20 days the plan has been in place. It was hoped that enough of the colony would see the need for self sacrifice, and voluntarily enter the euthanasia program and be recycled. To have any of us survive, 6 in 10 must g...

  5. Dear Diary

    1440 hrs 10-31-33 LE Che was 19 when he wrote the motor cycle diaries. There was a 15 y/o kid that fought in the American Revolution that kept a diary. Anne Frank was 13 and she kept a diary. So my keeping a diary of what happens to us, well maybe some...

  6. Waste not, want not

    Captains log Day 007 Well it’s done. We used the last of the fuel for the ion drives. We’ve been accelerating at 1 g for a week now and have travelled more than 1200 au’s. We are almost at 2% of the speed of light. The fastest thing man has ever ...

  7. Stimulus, Taxes and Rap

    MJ Young, I saw ya rappin’ Complain’ ‘bout taxes All da money you send When da gov’ment axes Den you vote fo’ da man Dat promise you hope It’s all an illusion ‘Cause here’s da straight dope Ya don’t remember da sixties When kids got d...

  8. What are the odds? (Meteor Challenge)

    “Come on, come on, what odds are you giving” the little man said to his bookie. “Odds for what?” the bookie replied. Business drastically fell off once every one knew that the world would end on the Sunday. No one bet for or against brazil in t...

  9. Oh Smeg (Meteor Challenge)

    Three, two, one. We’ve arrived, said Holly, his face glum on the screen. Yeah, but arrived where asked Listor. The box labeled Holly Hop Drive let out noises like an ancient whoopee cushion releasing the last remnants of Babylonian air. That noise ju...

  10. When a Time Lord has had enough (meteor challenge)

    The Doctor looked up into the night sky. The approaching meteor was visibly brighter than Venus. He turned to his two companions and said, “Well I guess that’s about it then. All right, everyone into the TARDIS and off we go.” “Aren’t we goin...

  11. Married with Arguments

    The argument had gone on for hours. Neither of them now remembered exactly what had triggered it. Did her mother really tell her on their wedding day that she could still call it off? Years ago he had playfully goosed his sister-in-law under the missle...

  12. A Love That Lasts A Lifetime

    We had a love that would last a lifetime. I met Keith while he was a grad student and I was a junior. He was smart, funny, and had brown eyes that made me melt. We talked about marriage and kids. I wanted three and he kept on saying. “yeah, one o...

  13. How long does love last?

    Einstein was right. You can’t go faster than light. But with a dark energy converter you can reach a significant fraction of it. You don’t have the math for it, just understand that we can finally travel to the stars. The price though is everyone y...

  14. Moneypenny

    Double seven oh doffed his hat and tossed it towards the coat tree in the corner of the office. It banked to the right and knocked a picture on the wall slightly askew. “Ah, Moneypenny, you look lovely today. Tell me when are you going to break down ...

  15. The Assignment

    M sat behind the desk, clearly looking distracted and said, “Shut the door”. Double seven oh closed the door behind him and stepped forward. The rich wood paneling of this room reminded him not so much of an office as a humidor. He waited for a mom...

  16. Don't Get Shafted

    As he left M’s office he found Moneypenny puttering around. She was straightening a picture on the wall, and the light from the window gave her a backlight that made her look almost angelic. Her hair was like a translucent glow that framed her face. ...

  17. Government Labs

    He descended the stairs and passed through the double door. The smell of cordite and gasoline wafted by. He approached the grey haired man in the lab coat. “Ahh, double seven oh, About time you got here. What kept you?” “There was some trouble wi...

  18. Reporting for duty

    He had been on more than his share of starships. In the Imperial Navy you served on one vessel for most of your career. You did your six weeks basic and then a year at “A” school. You were then a fully qualified rookie that didn’t know squat. Whe...

  19. Inscription in a pool

    “It was the last thing you would expect to find in a swimming pool”, she said. “It’s not a swimming pool, it’s a michvah. A ritual bath”, said the professor. It was one of the banes of being an archeologist. He was playing tour guide to som...

  20. I am Joes...

    Readers Digest used to have a series of articles describing various portions of the human anatomy. Remember when I am Joes eye came out. Eye went on and on about how important it was. And when I am Jane’s breast came out it was eagerly read by every ...

  21. A point of law in the torah

    There is a traditional story, concerning a debate among 100 rabbis on a particular point of law in the Torah. The debate was 99 rabbis against one. The debate had lasted for days with no stopping. Finally the one rabbi cried out, “Lord, if I am right...

  22. Martian Oops Four

    As Mars Polar Lander started the landing sequence it hit the atmosphere at 6.8 km/s and had 4 minutes and 33 seconds to land. The heat shield slowed the craft. At an altitude of about 7.3 km and a speed of 500 m/s, the parachute deployed. The heat shie...

  23. Martian Oops Three

    Computers have really improved since the 1970’s. And one way you can tell that is by the amount of memory available for programs. It seems to be a fact of life that computer programs will expand to fill up all available memory and then some. And a re...

  24. Martian Oops Two

    It costs a boatload of money to send stuff to Mars. Not just the launch and the fuel but the development and production is expensive too. That is why NASA contracted with the European Space Agency to develop the propulsion section of the Mars Climate O...

  25. Martian Oops One

    It was late one night at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena California. Two graduate students were sitting at the control panel for the Viking Two Lander. Their job? To sit there and monitor the lander until the day crew came back. One of them...

  26. Don't trust a Grouch

    Many cast a loving look on him. I, still but wary, watch. My arrow, notch on its bowstring. Draw back, align, hold… It starts. Music…Sounds growing… Wait for it… Now!!! My arrow sings its song on its flight towards this foul birds throat. Thwac...

  27. My Big break in publishing

    So the ‘Aries Daily’ has only been publishing for five years. But that still makes us the oldest newspaper on Mars. We cover a lot of ground, politics, sex, sports, you name it. And as first assistant editor for features it is my job to round out t...

  28. Josh

    What just happened? What do you remember? I was in bed. I woke up with this really bad heart burn, and I was having a hard time breathing. The room got dark, then there was this light, and then I was here. There was silence for a time. “Are you still...

  29. The phone call

    The phone in the living room rang. “Mr. Rondel?” the voice asked. “Yes”. “This is the Royal Navy calling. Can you talk?” He looked into the kitchen. The Argentines sat around the table. Three weeks before they had been dropped off at the si...

  30. Wilsons String

    He held the string. It looked for all the world like a piece of black monofilament fishing line. “This is how you are going to get to mars?” “Prestressed steel strands will break at about 1860 MPascals. For carbon nanotube the theoretical limit i...