July 2011

Lots of exciting but predictable things going on in politics, in Congress the party is over but no one wants to pay the band. The only winner is posthumous, it appears that Bin Laden did bankrupt our country. They don't even know what time it is (time to cut the crap). Let's let Imperial blues darlings Shirley and Lee tell use what time it is, in Rocking with the Clock, the only song I know of where they sang harmony (usually they took turns singing). Shirley and Lee knew it was time to move their careers from Blues to Rock and Roll. Good drum beat, plenty of sax (maybe even some sex!)

We gonna rock and never stop!

Looks like Rupert Murdoch is taking ideas from the Republican playbook when he was hauled into Parliament to explain his company's phone hacking. He pleaded ignorance. Didn't know nuthin! What did you expect from the guy that owns the Fox News channel? That baloney didn't work an Nuremberg, and he shouldn't get a free pass either. At least he almost got a pie in the face.

For the coming months we'll continue to review some of the Republican candidates for President. The important thing here is not that you are amused, but that the Unknown Editor amuses himself. Good thing there's a wide field of qualified candidates, many with special-ed personalities or backgrounds. None of them have ever made that Democratic promise, the buck stops here! Thanks in advance for agreeing with everything I say!

Michelle Bachmann continues the sideshow tradition of the Republican Party while we all await the coming announcement of Mrs. Palin who last we heard was on a short-bus tour. It has recently been revealed that the clinic Bachman's husband runs has been involved in "pray away the gay" conversion therapy. Good luck with that. Not that long ago left-handed people were trained to become right handed, and that didn't work out so well either. No surprise when you consider that her law degree came from the prestigious Oral Robert University: a continuation of the Special Ed class of Republican "W" Bush and Palin.

If ever a pair could use protective rubber helmets and a short bus to ride in, it is these two. If someone could Paintshop this for me I'd appreciate it! First one to send me that image gets fifty bucks!

While we're praying away the gay, let's note that gayness is far more widespread that anyone admits. Even I, Lucas, have heard the legend of the man-fish... sorry, I always wanted to post that Black Lagoon quote, even if it was random. But I have attended (and enjoyed) a few gaytastic parties. How many times have you heard a homophobe say he "loves" a certain sports figure or singer? How gay is it to wear the name of another man on your shirt? Maybe you can't pray away your gayness, but maybe you could pray for better wardrobe.

Please stop wearing this

If you're going to wear another man's name on your back, at least you could try to profit from it. How about wearing a Father Geoghan shirt?

The Food Chain

Let's get back to the subject we were originally targeting... we were about to examine the defense electronics food chain. There might be only five big contracts to decide the fate of employees who specialize in microwave design at top-tier defense contractors for the next decade. These are:

1. Joint air ground missile (JAGM). Lockheed versus Raytheon. The army joint air/ground missile, fired from a helicopter, fighter and UAVs, will replace Hellfire and Maverick, two geriatric designs. Keeps getting delayed. Smart money says that the loser will contest the award and it will drag out another year.


2. Space Fence. Raytheon versus Lockheed, Northrop Grumman. A system to track all of that junk we polluted space with over the past fifty years. It's just a matter of time before the ISS gets hit, personnel have had to take shelter in the Soyez life boat just a month ago. Moving to a smaller capsule decreases the odds of a catastrophe because it presents a smaller target.


3. InTop, the Navy's integrated topside radar. Eighteen companies have IDIQ awards.


Here's an InTop mystery sent in by Chris. The USS Radford had a precursor to Intop installed back in 1997:

The Radford is going to its reward soon, to be sunk in the Del Jersey Land waterway as an artificial reef. Where's that mast? If anyone knows where it ended up we'd like to know. Chris might have left a Craftsman socket wrench inside it and hates not having a complete set.




4. Next Generation Jammer. Replacement for the ALQ-99. BAE, ITT, Northrop Grumma and Raytheon compete:


5. Air Missile Defense Radar (AMDR). S and X-band radar for cruisers and destroyers. Raytheon versus Northrop versus Lockheed:


If you have any big contracts to add to this list, drop us a line. Note that it is a good bet that that one or more of these contracts will get canceled in order to help reduce the deficit.

Big company versus small company, which is in a better position going forward? Let's make a plot of the food chain of the future... on the Y-axis we have log scale of the food chain in dollars/year. Big Companies are in that top box, but the outlook is bleak. Real growth due to defense is just a memory, pretend growth awaits when the mergers begin.

Smaller companies also have plenty to fear, but they can play both all sides of the five contracts and team with everyone, and growth is still very possible when you're at $10M/year rather than $10B, and you offer a truly innovative product. Example: check out the innovative product below, from one of our sponsors:


If you're at a small company, watch out if you are owned by VCs. Blackstone doesn't give a damn about decibels, they only care about churning out some cash.

Another consideration about working at Big Companies... chances are, if you are a smart engineer, you don't want to be involved in management. Heck, you have borderline Asperger's, and who wants any human contact if it can be avoided? Therefore, management is taken over by people of lesser intelligence, like Scientologist Tom Cruise in Rain Man. Do you really want someone that doesn't know what you know making key decisions? Yes, it takes a village, but the bigger the village, the more idiots. Yikes! It's time for Wapner!

Do you really agree with the way leadership treats itself to the best perks, while cutting down on yours? Here's a link to an article on Northrop Grumman's medical plan for the CEO. No Pharaoh did better! and who is really financing this nonsense? Taxpayers... Northrop is a defense contractor, capice? Thanks to Peter!

In closing, the 2010 decade spells plenty of good time if you are working in a small company that is well positioned. Shirley and Lee's Let the Good Time Roll is an appropriate song. This song hit #1 on R&B in 1956, and #20 on the Pop charts, even though it was too suggestive to be played at many radio stations. Trivia: probably less than one person in a thousand gets the name and lyrics of this song correct: It is Let the Good Time Roll, not Let the Good Times Roll. Every one of those lame lyrics web sites has the incorrect correction: "good times" is the white translation of a phrase that could be considered bad grammar. Now that you are "gonna do" that cheddar-bacon-mushroom burger, instead of eating it, this seems a silly distinction, you chair-breaker. In 2011, now that we have all moidered the King's English, let's revert back to the original sentiment, and let the Good Time roll. Oh, and sorry if you are still at a Big Company, you should get your resume together...

Come on Baby this is fixed! This is something that just can't miss!

Leonard Lee died in 1976. Shirley Goodman died in 2005 and is buried in her birth city of New Orleans. There are just two types of people (heard that before?) Some people love Shirley's high-pitched voice, others hate it. Me? Shirley had me in the palm of her hand with "come on baby just close the door...."

For another reference on Let the Good Time Roll, check out Ray Charles' completely different version:

I got fifty cents more than I'm gonna keep


Check out the Unknown Editor's amazing archives when you are looking for a way to screw off for a couple of hours or more!