Impact Winter

Anyone remember last year when I wrote that my decreased summer output was because I was writing a book? That was true. I don’t have any similar excuse for the desert that Missile Test has become this summer, but I do have good news. The book I wrote, Impact Winter, has failed to find any representation from an agent in the publishing business. How is that good news? Well, the publishing world’s loss is your gain. I grew tired of waiting for good news, so I banged out a 4th draft and posted the book on Amazon.

What is Impact Winter?

An impact winter is what happens to the climate of the earth following a major comet or asteroid impact. The impact occurs with such energy that massive amounts of ejecta are created. Fine particulate matter, i.e., dust, is flung high up into the atmosphere and it can take many years for it to fall back to earth. The dust enshrouds the planet, impeding light from the sun and lowering global temperatures. In the worst cases, all light from the sun is blocked, and photosynthesis halts, disrupting global food chains. Continue reading “Impact Winter”

Well, That Was a Fast Decade

Ten years ago today, Missile Test began as a short little blurb on my personal site lamenting the fact that every day New Yorkers like myself were playing a ‘grim lottery,’ whereby we placed our personal safety in the hands of fate. It hadn’t yet been three years since the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were raging, and every person in this city knew it was impossible to guarantee the safety of its citizens. Everywhere a person looked, there were opportunities for mischief. Continue reading “Well, That Was a Fast Decade”

Where the Hell Have I Been?

It’s been almost two months since my last post, and in that time, shitty movies have gone unwatched, and political scandals have gone without rant here on Missile Test. So what have I been up to? I’m writing a book. This means I’ve had to sacrifice basically all of the time I used to dedicate to Missile Test and also to Daily Exhaust. I still have a full time job, and I’ve found that after about 1,000 words of book and 8 hours of work, I’m gassed. The good news is, my routine is pretty well set, and I’m chugging along toward my goal, the only distractions being my own failings. I’ll get some more posts up here soon. But, my Loyal Seven readers, don’t expect a busy summer.

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong is a personal hero of mine. Not because he was the first American to set foot on the moon, but because he was the first person to do so. He was the first person to set foot on any natural celestial body outside of the earth. That accomplishment is not a national accomplishment. It is an historic accomplishment. He didn’t do it alone. Thousands of people, thousands of hard workers and great minds made the Apollo missions possible. While it was an American effort (with German assist), in direct competition with the Soviet Union, the payoff could be celebrated by all — something Armstrong understood and stated in his immortal words upon hopping off the lander. Continue reading “Neil Armstrong”


The NCAA came down hard on the Penn State football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky conviction and the Freeh Report. The punishments include loss of scholarships, a four-year postseason ban, five years of probation, the vacating of 14 seasons worth of wins, and a $60 million fine. It was harsh, but could have gone further. The university avoided the dreaded death penalty, the dismantling of the program itself, for one or multiple seasons. There will be football in Happy Valley this year. It just won’t be very competitive. Continue reading “Reprieve”

New York Times? We Need to Talk.

I come from a family of journalists. My mother is an editor, has been at the Akron Beacon Journal in one capacity or another for 40 years, and has taught journalism at Kent State University. Before he died, my father also worked at the Beacon, also taught journalism at Kent, and spent the last 20 years of his life editing on the foreign/national desk at the Philadelphia Inquirer. My great-grandmother was a longtime reporter for both the Beacon and The Independent in Massillon, Ohio. Needless to say, I respect and appreciate the newspaper business. This respect leads me to support the business even in its decline. Continue reading “New York Times? We Need to Talk.”

In the City: Parking Adventures

A parking space is a commodity in this city. So much so that monthly rates for spaces in garages in Manhattan can cost a person more than renting an apartment in most of the country. For example, after some quick poking around in the tubes, I found rates on the Upper East Side that ranged from $430 a month to $1200. That’s $1200 a month...for a parking space. In my neighborhood, as in all of the neighborhoods of the outer boroughs I checked, the rates are far cheaper. Another couple minutes of looking and I found a garage for rent a couple blocks from my apartment for $200 a month. Take that, Manhattan. Continue reading “In the City: Parking Adventures”

In the City: Manhattan’s Bitch and Haven’t Head, Will Travel

If a person wants to know the value the city’s masters place on Manhattan and it’s rich residents below the have/have not border of 110th Street, all one has to do is compare the condition of Manhattan subway stations there, to ones in upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and the stations of the Staten Island Railway. Continue reading “In the City: Manhattan’s Bitch and Haven’t Head, Will Travel”

Life’s Little Mysteries

The L train wasn’t running today between Lorimer and Myrtle-Wyckoff. This means shuttle buses, always a nightmare of overcrowding, jarring rides, and lengthy trips between even the shortest of stops. It means frustration and bristling tempers, curses at the MTA, and general misery all around. This happens a lot on the L. From Lorimer to Myrtle-Wyckoff, or Broadway Junction to Canarsie, the line finds itself shut down for maintenance, and the lack of express tracks means nothing moves. No way, no how, and it’s on up to the streets for the straphangers. Continue reading “Life’s Little Mysteries”