Lloyd Woods' Newsletter

Our Claim to Fame is Our Name's the Same!

Issue No. 14, May 1997

Headers

Decided to use different style headers depending on the nature of the article. Hopefully I can alert you in time so you can be spared the uncouth material that shows up here from time to time as well as my boring attempts at humor. (Sorry, but these won't show up on the Internet version.) So here's a guide to headers:

TV Interview on satellites

On Saturday 1st March, Lloyd Wood, a PhD student at the University of Surrey in the UK, was interviewed in London by an Australian television crew for the Beyond 2000 series.

Lloyd talked about the upcoming handheld satellite phones and future satellite radio computer data services that will be provided globally by multi-satellite constellation schemes such as Motorola's Iridium project, Teledesic, and even the University of Surrey's very own LEqO multi-microsatellite scheme, recently proposed by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL).

The interview took place against a special-effects blue backdrop, to allow computer graphics and web pages to be inserted afterwards to illustrate the talk.

The programme will be assembled in Sydney and will be shown worldwide, to an audience of over 50 million people, on the Discovery Channel on cable and satellite television later this year.

Neighbor's Cat

I had finished my second fountain and pond. One day, I noticed the neighbor's cat sitting by the edge intently staring at the water. Occasionally she would take a swipe at it.

Her behavior was revealed a few days later when I was discussing this with another neighbor. "Oh, so that's who ate all the captain's fish" she said. Guess I won't stock the pond as planned.

Bad enough that cat walks all over the hood of my newly polished car with her muddy feet. You might say "Twas the Connely's cat that copped the captain's carp."

Mystic Pizza

When we lived in Connecticut we used to go to Groton to get Angies' pizza with Portuguese linguista on it. Can't be beat. They moved to Mystic and I think their shop was the setting for the movie of the above title. Around here in Maryland all you can get is sausage and pepperoni. No comparison. The heart-breaker last year was that my son went up there on one of his travels. Where does he eat in this land of out of this world pizza? KFC.

Yo Yo Man

Cousin of mine sent in the following from Funny Times (Dec 96):
This man was in an accident and was therefore required to fill out an insurance claim form. The insurance company contacted him and asked for additional information. This was his response:

I am writing in response to your request for additional info for Block 3 of the accident reporting form. I put 'poor planning' as the cause of my accident.

You said in your letter that I should explain more fully and I trust the following details are sufficient. I am an amateur radio operator and on the day of the accident, I was working alone on the top section of my new 80 foot tower. When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of many trips up and down the tower, brought up some 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the now un-needed tools and materials down by hand, I decided to lower the items down in a small barrel by using a pulley, which was fortunately attached to the gin pole at the top of the tower.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the top of the tower and loaded the tools and materials into the barrel. Then I went back down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the barrel. You will note in Block number 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh only 155 pounds. Due to my surprise of being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.

Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortu- nately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of my pain.

At approximately the same time, however, the tools hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of tools , the barrel now weighed approximately 20 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in Block number 11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations on my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me down enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of tools and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.

I'm sorry to report however, that as I lay there on the tools, in pain, unable to stand, and watc- hing the empty barrel 80 feet above, I again lost my presence of mind. I let go of the rope and...

A Mausoleum

When our town was about two decades old the powers that be realized that even in this planned, idyllic community people die. They decided to start up a cemetery and began making visitations to sign people up. Being a cheapskate, I opted for cremation and an urn or drawer or someplace to store our remains. What's kept me alive all these intervening years is that they still haven't started a promised mausoleum. Told me it was under construction last time they called to solicit more business but all I found on visiting the site was a big pile of dirt and the founder's newly installed bench with his name on it. He's the only one who rates an above-ground marker. Everybody else gets the lawn mower run over them.

Airplane Update

My plane-building neighbor (see December 95 issue) emailed the following regarding his first flight (finally):

Well, it finally happened. Today while intending to do a taxi test with my new propeller, everything felt good ... so I took off! Unfortunately, there were no cameras around. I flew one time around the pattern at about 115 MPH. Although it was a little unstable in pitch, everything felt very good. That's the good news.

Here's the bad news. The landing wasn't as good as the rest of the flight. Although it's too early to tell, I think there was a problem with the landing gear. In any case, after touching down the plane would not come out of a turn to the left and the tail would not come down. You guessed it ... as a result it went over on the nose and off the runway. You guessed it again ... the propeller is history. Unfortunately both main gear will also need to be rebuilt along with the cowling and spinner. There may be other things but I have to wait until I tear it down to find out.

Responsibility

A man in the first row fell asleep during services. The minister leaned down to a parishioner sitting beside him and said "Wake him."

"You put him to sleep. You wake him," the parishioner replied.

-- Bob Levey's Washington


A newsletter to all Lloyd Woods, by Lloyd William Wood, or LWW.
HTML web version and additional comments by Lloyd Wood (L.Wood@surrey.ac.uk), or LW.