Posted by: fullandbye | October 24, 2008

politics and propellers

A friend threw a blade from his propeller last weekend. Yesterday evening I got into my dive kit and pulled his prop for him. After I jumped (stepped really) into the water, my octo started free flowing. We had to turn the gas off and then pressure up slowly again to get it to stop. Of course, I was positively buoyant when this happened, but it was amazing how a minute or so of the reg free flowing could burn through about 60% of a tank whose contents were somewhere along the line of 80-90 cubic feet of air at 1atm compressed to 3400 psi. Once we got everything else sorted out the rest of the procedure went perfectly. Nothing was dropped, the prop puller that had been built just that day worked perfectly, and he has a new prop I might install on Sunday.

Otherwise. This election has gotten really weird. I am too nervous to really get my hopes up, but here is a pretty fair assessment the way I look at it. electoral-vote.com and fiverthirtyeight.com are running similarly blowout scenarios. Pollster is somewhat more conservative, with many more states simply too close for them to call either way. the “Bradley effect” is on everyones minds, but just today politico.com ran a story on how popular Obama is with whites.

Meanwhile, early voting is underway in some swing states, and it sounds like the early vote is favoring Obama quite heavily. Additionally, the story about Sarah Palin’s wardrobe has gotten traction for the last 24 hours of the news cycle and could possibly carry through the weekend. Republicans are defecting from the McCain cause and are doing so publicly. I am not sure how much this news will carry into next week. The Ted Stevens jury is out for the weekend. If he is found guilty the press could make a deal over his earmarking and Palins involvement in his pet projects. The weird story about the McCain volunteer getting assaulted has completely backfired as it is revealed that she made up the entire story. Sarah Palin is meeting with investigators regarding Troopergate. Lastly, CNN ran a nice little bit on Palin’s views of what the VP does. Not only is her understanding of the job wrong, but it is wrong in a way that is pretty offensive to swing voters.

It looks like Joe the Plumber is old news. Not sure what the news will focus on next week. The Stevens verdict could provide a pretty rich 24 hours. Troopergate investigation could be good fodder. I think the 150k price tag for Palin’s makeover has pretty much run its course, thank goodness. The story was entertaining, but ultimately pretty fluffy. From the sound of it, McCain’s campaign is in shambles. The whole republican party is infighting and finger pointing, and Obama’s camp is moving over from an ideological operation to a logistical one as they get out the vote and make this thing real.

I am still very cautious with my optimism. But from the way the news is cycling, seeing what stories are getting traction and what is sticking, i would suggest that at this point it would take a dead girl or a live boy to stop this steamroller.

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Responses

  1. Did the tank frost up at all? I’ve always wanted to lock down one of our N2 tanks into a body of water and knock the top off and let it vent as vast as it can, in the hopes of making a compressed gas cylinder popsicle. (Why is spell check trying to capitalize that word?).
    I’ve basically given up on restraining my optimism and jubilation. Party has been planned, champagne is right next to the fridge. I suppose I haven’t gotten a saber or machete yet (in hope of being able to copy Davis and his French champagning adventures.)

  2. I do not know if the tank frosted up. The tank was immersed in water that about 60F so any frost would immediately melt.
    The air free flowing was incredibly cold though. Enough that the bubbles bursting at the surface condensed into fog immediately before dissipating.
    One of the things they teach you in diving class is how to breath from a free flowing reg. The air comes out in sufficient volume that you can actually “sip” air while you either surface immediately or signal for help and start buddy breathing. This skill is pretty important and is simulated by pressing the purge button on your reg and sipping air from the stream that pours forth. When I did this in dive class, it turned out to be an incredibly unpleasant experience because the air was so cold that it was literally painful to breathe it.
    I need to stock up on booze. I think a magnum of brut or a handle of vodka is on the menu.


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