August 11, 2003


Greetings, strangers. Well met.

Well, the escape plans are well underway. I think that something VERY interesting might start somewhere in October. Yes, something verrrryyy intterrrresting!! Something to confound that fiendish Cardinal Richelieu. Damn his eyes!

Suffice it to say that if all goes according to my master plan, we shall perhaps meet under better circumstances.

The Socal Pimpernel can say no more right now! Wait until the Shadow of the Rose falls upon the Full Moon. Remember! Shadow of the Rose!

I shall return by darkness at weeks end with a new essay for your amusement... I swear by the Blood Royal! I consider it my RESPONSIBILITY.

Posted by Proteus at August 11, 2003 08:32 PM

Yaaaaayyyy. :)

Posted by: Matt Eric on August 11, 2003 09:38 PM


Shadow of the Rose (alias: William Spencer):
A notoriously efficient and elusive highwayman; the body of William Spencer lies beneath the crossroads at which he was executed on the gallows on 'Jan'y 5th 1729, aged 31', on the desolate London road to Winchester. His spectre however, continued to terrorize the unworthy for a further 21 years.

Posted by: John on August 12, 2003 12:48 AM

Hurrah! The world can begin spinning again! Release the doves!

Posted by: stract on August 12, 2003 06:47 AM

You sure you're an editor, and not in the EVIL marketing department?

Sapper Mike

Posted by: Sapper Mike on August 12, 2003 07:16 AM

Finally, we get enough prior notice that laying in rations(*) and setting up the chemical toilet next to the computer desk in preparation for a long-term stay won't be a rush job.



(*) Yes, dammit, Doritos are rations. :P

Posted by: apotheosis on August 12, 2003 08:03 AM

T-minus 3 days and counting.

Posted by: Peter on August 12, 2003 08:06 AM

Thank you Universe for miracles !

Posted by: Nierka on August 12, 2003 08:15 AM

Lookin' forward to it, Bill.

Posted by: Peter on August 12, 2003 08:19 AM

Great! Can't wait. About to sink into withdrawl...

Posted by: Blackfive on August 12, 2003 08:23 AM

*grabs fresh bowl of popcorn and curls up in chair in front of computer*

I can't wait!

Posted by: Linda on August 12, 2003 08:39 AM

I check this site every day looking for something new,so when I do see a new message,it's like Christmas morning.
Looking forward to anouther masterpiece.

Posted by: Bryan on August 12, 2003 08:58 AM

I'll be peeking back in just a couple of days, making certain to set aside some quality reading time.

Posted by: Duke Nukem on August 12, 2003 09:36 AM

I was all set with a downloaded picture of Bill to start distributing on milk cartons.


Posted by: David March on August 12, 2003 09:55 AM

Yes, Richelieu is eeevil!

He's French, you know.

Posted by: Dave on August 12, 2003 10:31 AM

Yeah, and we all know how bad the Frenchies smell.

Anyway, here's hoping that the arrival of the next essay won't drive us to making 200+ comments on THIS teaser.


Posted by: VRWCman on August 12, 2003 02:49 PM


Good. Now we can go back to looking at pictures of runaway trains.

Imperial Falconer

(New paint job, file off the serial number and nobody knows where it comes from. Right?)

Posted by: MonkeyPants on August 12, 2003 05:45 PM

WHAT?!? From your post I get the hint that you may be leaving show bidness???!!!
C'mon the Avid is your life.... you love 18 hour days. You really, really enjoy reality tv. Your eyes are getting heavy, must.... keep.... editing.... think of all the glamor you'll be missing!

Posted by: EB on August 12, 2003 07:33 PM

I just took a job and moved to the People's Republic of the Sandwich Isles (F.A.Q.: What do you mean, "General Excise Tax?" On EVERYTHING ? ! ? !) so I desperately need my regular fix of Whittle inspiration.

Hurry. Losing consciousness . . . .

Posted by: Patrick on August 12, 2003 08:33 PM

you're banner up there cracked me up :)

Posted by: aldahlia on August 12, 2003 08:44 PM

Just these 5 little paragraphs of preview are so fantastic. The masterpiece to come? Wow! Thank you for so much already!

Posted by: Steven Malcolm Anderson on August 12, 2003 09:22 PM


These little teasers make life so interesting...unngggh! I can hardly wait!

Posted by: serenity on August 13, 2003 03:13 AM

While we are breathlessly awaiting the latest jewels to spill forth from Bill's polishing-tumbler brain, you might enjoy reading Steven den Beste's recent posts, also recommended and praised by Mr. Whittle:

You can always reach the site just by clicking on Bill Whittle's link on his own mainpage, too:
USS Clueless...

David March

Posted by: David March on August 13, 2003 10:35 AM

Kewlness. Can't wait. ;]

And I agree with apotheosis: Doritos are rations, dammit. ;)

Posted by: Ironbear on August 14, 2003 04:55 AM





Printer paper?


Spare ink cartridges?


OK, I'm ready. Bring it on!

Posted by: Kevin Baker on August 14, 2003 01:12 PM

Eíen TROLLS, emboldened, whet their blades and breath hold in abate,
In thrall of contest pending Ďgainst the fabled Whittle;
The foemanís daring plan is laid, but soon heíll see that itíll
be for naught with SoCal Pimpernel to undertake debate.

For keenest edge of sword or axe to Bill will not be daunting.
Alas! Poor Fools! Itís not a blade but sharper wit thatís wanting.

David March
animator & fiddler

Posted by: David March on August 14, 2003 02:05 PM

Are we there yet

Posted by: Stephen Green on August 14, 2003 08:48 PM

While i wasn't looking, Burt Rutan's company Scaled Composites has been developin a sub-orbital rocket to enter in the X-prize competition for first private craft to achieve human sub-orbital space flight.

Here's the website URL:


David March

Posted by: David March on August 14, 2003 10:51 PM


Yep, and if you check out the test section you'll see they've just done the unpowered drop test from 50k feet and all went well.

Ad astra,

Posted by: Ed Yeager on August 15, 2003 04:18 AM

Ad Astra! NSS member here....

Posted by: stract on August 15, 2003 05:32 AM

Yes, a trip to Staples for another ream of paper is definitely in order.

Bill, when are you going to quit that hobby of yours and devote yourself to your true calling: writing for us!

Posted by: annika! on August 15, 2003 09:28 AM

The White Knight and Spaceship One are very cool (I spent a week in Oshkosh, where they actually weren't the coolest things on the ramp).

But for total cool you have to check out the PDE Long EZ.

I have been honored to be briefed in on the new project. I can say that if it works (and I think it will) it will peak the cool-o-meter at 11. The forces of darkness, beware!!!

Posted by: Richard R on August 15, 2003 10:02 AM

When Bill says week's end, does he mean the work week, or the calendar week?

For the time draweth nigh...

Posted by: Solly Ezekiel on August 15, 2003 02:23 PM

I think Bill lives in Hawaii

Posted by: Bruce on August 15, 2003 08:40 PM

At this rate, it must be Wake Island.

Posted by: Dell Adams on August 16, 2003 01:04 AM

Well, I guess Bill's week doesn't end on Friday.

Posted by: Mike on August 16, 2003 01:55 AM

Fair enough.

Posted by: Dell Adams on August 16, 2003 02:47 AM

Is "Cardinal Richelieu" a reference to Hillaire Belloc's book?

Posted by: Santini on August 16, 2003 07:19 AM

Oh, dear, no essay. I'm happy to wait until you're ready, though. I'm getting all of this treasure for free, after all.

But I'll be happy to pay when you put all of this between two layers of cardboard with a shiny cover.

Then I can take it out to the backyard or on trips, and all the myriad places a book can accompany me. (*sigh.*)

Until then, waiting patiently.

Posted by: Bonnie Ramthun on August 16, 2003 08:59 AM

So, when you say "I shall return by darkness at weeks end" were you suggesting a new writing, or did you have something to do with the blackout?

Or was the blackout how you were going to teach us about responsibility?

Posted by: Swerdloff on August 16, 2003 02:22 PM

Welps, there are worse ways to fritter away a Saturday. When I'm not clicking "refresh" to see if the Brand! New! Essay! is posted, I'm relaxing in air-conditioned splendour, watching (and recording!) a 12-hour Bugs and Daffy marathon on Cartoon Network. It's reinforced my belief that the most underrated comedy duo in history is that of Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese. What they did was pure genius. (Since we're on the subject, Freeling was merely adequate and McKimson was a hack.)

Bill had better hurry up on that posting, there's only 30 minutes left in the marathon.


Posted by: VRWCman on August 16, 2003 03:36 PM

It's nice to see SOMEBODY appreciates animation around here, fer Pete's SAKE!!!!!!

David March
animator & fiddler

Posted by: David March on August 16, 2003 10:33 PM

*looks up from Dexter's Lab*


Posted by: LabRat on August 16, 2003 10:39 PM

Good Grief! What if Bill has fallen victim to the stinking hackers?

Any of you other readers been attacked by the "Blaster Worm?"

What a silly question. If the worm is in their system, they wouldn't be online to read the question anyway....

never mind.

"And when at last Billís essay then is read
All those who might have linked but lay a-bed
will think themselves accursed with all the others....
We few, we happy few, bandwidth of brothers..."

(sorry, I couldn't think of a rhyme for "siblings.")

David March

Posted by: David March on August 17, 2003 11:19 AM

Well, "nibblings" and "quibblings"

But they lack grandeur...


Posted by: David March on August 17, 2003 11:22 AM

well I received an e-mail from him about an hour ago and he's alive and well, and alluded to the fact that he still has to write essay, so here's hoping his fingers are flying FAST across the keyboard. Darkness falls in about 2 hrs here, but oh he's on the left coast right now, so he's got at least 4 hrs. The pain, the pain!

Posted by: stract on August 17, 2003 03:45 PM

An update...

I just spoke with Bill on the phone this afternoon. He was in the midst of writing "RESPONSIBILITY" (swearing it would be finished late tonight, LA time), needed a reference from an earlier comment thread (which I'd quoted for him months ago... yes, a fellow commenter is going to be quoted in the essay), and had asked me to find it for him.

So, first thing tomorrow (Monday) there should be some good readin'.

And P.S., Bill's "very interesting" events coming up in October ARE incredibly cool. Great news for him AND us. And that's all I can say. He swore me to secrecy at the risk of great pain.

So I'll have to tell you later.


Posted by: GreatHairySilverback on August 17, 2003 05:06 PM

For those enthusiasts who love all things space and flight related, there is a new book out.

"Rocket Man: Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age"

It just hit shelves last week, and from where I am in the book, seems very cool indeed. Amazon has a pretty good review of it if you want to know more.


Posted by: Jason Kallini on August 17, 2003 06:31 PM

Dangabbit, you're going to beat me to it! :)

Posted by: am on August 17, 2003 06:39 PM

(sorry, I couldn't think of a rhyme for "siblings.")


Posted by: Cybrludite on August 17, 2003 07:36 PM

Wellnowwwww, GHS has given us some tasty fodder for speculation about Bill's "October Surprise".

Is it going to be The Book?

Did someone offer Bill a ride in an X-Prize project?

Did he find someone to make him the ULTIMATE Captain Kirk outfit for Halloween?

It's going to be almost as much fun waiting for the Big Announcement as it is waiting for a new essay.


Posted by: VRWCman on August 17, 2003 08:06 PM

Spent the weekend away from phones and television and was expecting to see a great essay and over 150 comments when I returned. Found no new essay and the last 20 comments about where Bill lives and when his work week ends absolutely comical.

I wait with a sense of delight.....

Posted by: Black Oak on August 17, 2003 08:12 PM

you mean you only read the last 20 comments? You're selling yourself short here! 50 comments is NOTHING compared to a Bill essay! ;)

Posted by: stract on August 17, 2003 08:23 PM

I think it's ALL YOU GUYS CALLING HIM UP ON THE PHONE AND ENGAGING HIM IN IDLE CHIT-CHAT that are responsible for the continuing delay!! !!!!!!!

just kidding.

I'm sure he needs a break once in a while.

David March

Posted by: David March on August 17, 2003 11:14 PM

42 minutes and counting in California till the end of Sunday...Is this the end of the week? I hope soooooooo.............

Posted by: Chris Silvey on August 17, 2003 11:15 PM

I for one will let him off the hook. Now that we know RESPONSIBILITY is in the pipeline (per GHS' of 5:06 p.m. above), I think true fans will let Bill take his time over it. All in favor, breathe.

Looks like we've got a consensus.

Posted by: Dell Adams on August 18, 2003 12:09 AM

If all his highly impatient fans were to stomp their feet...

It would probably cause some faultline or other to suddenly break free, and wouldn't we all feel hideously guilty THEN!?

David March

Posted by: David March on August 18, 2003 12:25 AM

Yeah, it'd be nobody's fault but ours.

Posted by: Dell Adams on August 18, 2003 01:24 AM


Posted by: David March on August 18, 2003 08:32 AM

Another mind-strengthening piece. Thank you.

Has anyone seen this voting site? Is it legal to represent the California Board of Elections?

It must be a hoax.

Posted by: Wriprodir on August 20, 2003 05:44 PM

Well reasoned and, of course, right on the money. It may have been John Adams who said: "Freedom without responsibility is license," and conversely responsiblity without freedom is slavery.

I loved the quote from Abraham Lincoln. I hadn't seen that one before.

Posted by: erp on August 20, 2003 06:01 PM
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