Wayne’s Word

July 13, 2007

I Found UFOs in the GalaxyZoo Galaxy Survery!

Filed under: General — Wayne @ 8:00 am
UFOsSounds like a tabloid headline, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true! The objects I found are unidentified (they are not galaxies, nebulas or other deep-sky objects) and I assume they are flying because they are not on the ground. I didn’t say anything about aliens.
Dashed Green LineIt all started with a photo (ref. 588007005232496884) from the Galaxy Zoo project. On July 13, Oxford University announced the Galaxy Zoo Project & website to classify galaxies with the help of ordinary people around the world. I was looking at a few galaxies to classify them and got a photo with a dashed green line in it. “This is not a galaxy,” I said to myself. (You can’t put anything by me.) I adjusted the URL parameters of the image to zoom out and enlarge the image to get the whole line. The image on the right is a section of the line. It is hard to see in the small image, click it for a larger imgage to see the line better. What can this be? Could be an asteroid or a comet, except they don’t blink and aren’t green. Could be an airplane, but where are the other lights. Also, based on the number of dashes, this looks like it only lasted a few seconds. I am sure these exposures are much longer than that.
Dashed Green LineThen I became curious about a blue smudge I saw to the right and ‘adjusted’ over to it. Then I saw the ‘superman’ lights. (Doesn’t the top red one look like the symbol on Superman’s chest?) At least now I think I know what this is: an airplane with flashing blue, green and red lights. I assume the shape of the objects is from reflections in the optics. However, I don’t understand why the lines are not longer. The exposure seems too short. Since the project suggest emailed about any unusual objects, I emailed the reference to the project. Perhaps I’ll have the answer soon.
You can click on the images above for a larger image (1000×700). Below are the links to the same images on the sky survey server. Its take a while for the images from the sky server links to load because they must be generated form the database each time.


September 13, 2005

My Taco Sauce Wisdom

Filed under: General — Wayne @ 8:00 pm

Taco Bell Sauce
I have signed a deal to have my humorous writing published and several hundred million copies will be printed in 2006. Okay, the publisher is Taco Bell, my writing is 6 words, the payment is $260 in tacos and the copies are sauce packets, but hey, it is true.

As you know if you’ve eaten at Taco Bell in the last few years, the sauce packets now have cute sayings on them such as “Bike tires scare me” and “Where are you taking me?” Taco Bell calls these “Sauce Wisdoms,” but they are obviously using some definition of the word wisdom that I am unfamiliar with. In 2004 Taco Bell added new sayings by having a contest with 12 winners. I missed that one, but this year I saw on their website that they were having another contest to pick 15 new sayings. A year’s supply of Taco Bell food would go to each winner. Visions of clever sayings and free burritos danced in my head.

I submitted pithy sayings via the Taco Bell website every few days as I thought of them–a total of 16 sayings. I received an e-mail message yesterday from Taco Bell with the fateful subject, “You’re a Sauce Wisdom Winner!” Yes! Fame and Fortune! Or at least, Fame and Free Food!

I quickly printed, signed and faxed the release attached to the message. The winners have not been announced anywhere yet, I suspect because they are waiting to get all the releases. And after that if will take several months to print the sauce packets with the new and improved “Sauce Wisdoms.” But, soon you will be able to read my “Words of Wisdom” on millions of Taco Bell sauce packets and I’ll be eating $260 worth of free Taco Bell food.

Oddly enough, they did not pick one of my really good ones. My first submission, and one of my best I thought, was “Help! I’m being held prisoner in a taco sauce factory!” And yes, I stole it from the old joke about the fortune cookie that said, “Help! I’m being held prisoner in a fortune cookie factory.” Instead they picked the not-quite-as-clever “This space for rent. Inquire within.” However, the fame, such as it is as, is just as good and the food is just as free.

You’ll notice I’m not listing all my submissions. I’ll hold on to the other 14 sayings and use them again next year if they have a contest. Hey, free food is free food and after a year of free burritos, I don’t want to have to go through withdrawal.

The only drawback so far is hearing my kids come up with sauce wisdoms constantly. The most prolific is my 1st grader who seems to come up with one a minute, usually some thing along the lines “Put me on your taco” or “Pick me or I will tell your mother.” 6 years old and he is already jealous of my fame!

My Other Writing Projects

This is not my first attempt at writing. I was a writer for the UAH exponent for a year during my senior year there. I have written humorous songs, mostly for my kids, and two puppet plays for church that used humor to teach. (Try writing a “Star Trek” script for an all-girl puppet team.) I have written science fiction short stories, some humorous. So far my only success has been at collecting rejection slips.

Some of my best attempts at writing clever witticisms can be found at Slapfish.com, a site that features parodies of motivational posters. (“We can’t spell failure without U.”)

This is not my first time to win a contest either, but it is the second best prize, right behind the iPod I won in the Huntsville Times’ Bob Bucks contest a few years ago.

As far as fame from contests, it will probably pass my Honorable Mentions in a 1995 Washington Post Style Invitational contest (free reg required), Bad Analogies (no reg required). You have probably had it forwarded to you or have seen it on a web site misattributed as “Worst Analogies by High School Students.” I have also seen individual analogies used as email or web-post signatures. My two winning analogies were “The politician was gone but unnoticed like the period after the Dr on a Dr Pepper can” and “After sending my entries to the Style Invitational, I feel relieved and apprehensive like a little boy who has just wet the bed.” Yeah. Those were mine. Well, the first was mine, the second was ripped off from–I mean inspired by–a comment about communication in the Faulkner & Brecheen Marriage Enrichment Seminar I heard many years ago. At least those analogies occasionally had my name still attached. In fact, a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer called me about it in December 1996. He was disappointed about the high school student part not being true, but did a story on it anyway.

However, I take fame and fortune as it comes and I’ll take this fortune with my mouth wide-open.

Sauce Wisdoms

In case you are interested, this year’s contest winners are:

  • Ahhh… we meet again.
  • At night the sporks pick on me.
  • Can I drive?
  • I collect straws.
  • I’m just doing this between films.
  • I’m taking the day off. See next packet.
  • Ketchup? Puh-leese.
  • Make a wish.
  • Not it!
  • Ooh! Ooh! I call glove compartment.
  • Thanks for rescuing me, mild was getting on my nerves.
  • Will you marry me?
  • This space for rent. Inquire within.
  • Help! I can’t tell where I am. It’s dark and I can hear laughing.
  • Will you scratch my back?

Last year’s contest winners were:

  • Bike tires scare me. ? B. Sonderegger (Irvine, Calif.)
  • Hello. ? S. Campbell (Mesa, Ariz.) and A. Franklin (Lakeland, Fla.)
  • I M A HOT T R U 2? ? M. Carson (East Wenatchee, Wash.)
  • I’m in good hands now. ? B. Sonderegger (Irvine, Calif.)
  • It’s okay, you can say it. I love you too. ? D. Kortenhoeven (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
  • Mmmm…sauce. ? T. Stuckey (Smyrna, Ga.) and C. Underhill (White House, Tenn.)
  • My sauce is an honor student at Taco Middle School. ? C. Kemmerer (Cocoa Beach, Fla.)
  • Not to be used as a flotation device. ? T. Coleman (Indianapolis, Ind.)
  • Pick me! Pick me! ? S. Campbell (Mesa, Ariz.), C. Gierhart (Toledo, Ohio), D. Gray (Louisville, Ky.), J. Scoyni (Bakersfield, Calif.) and A. Teraberry (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
  • When I grow up I want to be a waterbed. ? J. Rydman (Alameda, Calif.)
  • Where are you taking me? ? K. Moody (Arlington, Tenn.)
  • You had me at taco. ? L. Hunt (West Monroe, La.)

And just to be complete, the original “Sauce Wisdoms” were:

  • The Official Sauce of Taco Bell
  • The Road to Mediocrity is littered with Empty Ketchup packets
  • Use your Stomach Nacho Mind
  • So many Chalupas So Little Time
  • Polly want a Taco?
  • Save a Bun Eat a Taco
  • Live Life One Sauce Packet at a time
  • How Many of these do you already Have in your Glove Compartment
  • Warning You’re about to Make a Taco Very Happy
  • Be Gentle
  • My Other Taco is a Chalupa
  • Find Inner Peace in Every Piece of Our Marinated Chicken
  • Why Order a Taco when you can Ask Politely
  • Hello
  • Does a Grilled Stuft Burrito qualify you for the car pool lane?
  • Heads…
  • …Tails
  • If you throw this, would it be a flying saucer?
  • Open quickly… I’m burning up in here.
  • Nice palm. I read a great deal of pleasure in your future.
  • Do you add sauce left to right or right to left?
  • Willing to relocate.
  • Of all those sauce packets why me, why now?
  • Careful I don’t do well under pressure
  • Mi salsa es tu salsa.
  • Single Mild Sauce Seeking Friendship Maybe More
  • Single Hot Sauce Seeking Friendship Maybe More
  • Single Fire Sauce Seeking Friendship Maybe More
  • Mild Sauce the New Ketchup
  • Hot Sauce the New Ketchup
  • Fire Sauce the New Ketchup

11/7 Here is an article from a California newspaper about a lady who entered 3 of the winning sauce wisdoms.

April 16, 2005

Pictures of my Kids on the Sewanee University Webcam

Filed under: General — Wayne @ 6:00 pm

Here are pictures of the kids from the Sewanee University, (The University of the South at Sewanee) webcam taken on March 18, 2005. My dad took the kids to visit the “Cowen Branch” of the Goode family and stopped by Sewannee University on the way back. Click on a image to see a larger version.

You can view the live webcam at 352×240, updated 2-3/sec or 704×480, not updated.

Sewanee Webcam 1 Sewanee Webcam 2 Sewanee Webcam 3
Sewanee Webcam 4 Sewanee Webcam 5 Sewanee Webcam 6

March 1, 2005

The Last Person on Earth Without a Blog

Filed under: General — Wayne @ 6:00 pm

With all of the hoopla on the web about blogs, sometimes it seems as if I’m the last person in the world without a blog. Time to change that. My blog will open soon.

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