Sunday, April 19, 2015

240th Anniversary of The Battles of Lexington and Concord

A.K.A. "The Shot Heard 'Round The World".

And today is also the anniversaries of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the raid at Waco, and the #2 turret explosion on the USS Iowa.

Thanks to The Survival Blog for jogging my memory on theses events.

Not much else to post today, just waiting for the Long Beach Grand Prix to start......

Friday, April 17, 2015

C-17 Tooling Up For Auction

Well, we all knew this day would come. Just sad to  see it come so soon.

Full article here.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Busy Day on the Iowa

We had a special tour of 45 people who went through the USC Naval ROTC program today.

Some were retired, some were active duty, and all had a good time.

Only about half of them wanted to see the Engineering spaces and the Radio areas, so we broke them into three groups of seven, and rotated the groups through the Comm Center on the main Deck, the Transmitter Room down on Broadway, and the Aft Main/Secondary Plot, which is where the Ford Mark-8 and Mark-1 Fire Control Rangerkeepers (computers), and the Stable Elements are located.

Last week we had a group from a local radio club do the same special tour, and if interest keeps up, it *might* get added to the list of "Special Tours" that are offered.

No "official" word on it yet, but we're hoping.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we're giving the same tour to a VIP, a Radioman who served on the USS Missouri during WWII, and since there's only going to be him, myself, and another tour guide, I'm taking my camera!

It was just too busy today and last Saturday for me to be taking any pictures, but tomorrow will be different.

The Aft Main/Secondary Plot is pretty unique, as they took special care of it during storage in the reserve fleet. The paint inside the spaces looks fresh, the floors are super clean, and it's amazingly well preserved.

I'm going to go charge my camera batteries now and get things set out on the dining table so it'll be "In My Face" tomorrow morning. I really want to get some pictures!

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Most Dangerous Man In The World

Bill smacks another one over the wall....

Friday Again?

Gee...just realized I haven't posted anything in a week.

Been pretty busy here, with both Iowa stuff and "Homeowner" stuff.

After spending both Saturday and Sunday on the Iowa giving tours and talking with WWII vets, I figured I'd have Monday to unwind.


The main drain line from our garage, where the laundry is located, out to the street broke, and had to be repaired. The house was built in the early 1940's, and they used fired clay soil pipe, rather than cast iron. The pipes just slip-fit together, and during 70 years of earthquakes and ground movement, they start to leak a bit. Trees, having water seeking roots, look at this as a new found oasis, and come running.

Sure enough, tree roots invaded the drain line, and grew so much they cracked the pipe. Every time we did laundry, water would bubble up through the ground when the washer emptied.

A few years before I met my wife, she had the same problem with the drain from the house to the street, and had most of the pipe repaired, and they added a clean-out tee where the pipe comes out of the house.

Fortunately for us, the guy who lives across the street is a plumber, and he offered to fix the mess if I helped him.

SO.......Monday morning I'm out there swinging a pick and shovel to uncover the pipes. Once we had them dug out, it was easy to see where the root entered, breaking the clay pipe, and exited, breaking the pipe again.

All of the houses in this tract started out as two bedroom, one bath, 950 square foot "starter homes", and they were all built identically, so our plumber friend knew exactly where all the pipes ran, saving us the time of digging in the blind to find them.

The piece of root we pulled out was about 6 feet long, and two inches in diameter, so it had been growing in there for quite some time.

After cutting out the sections of broken pipe with a neat tool that looked a lot like the exhaust pipe cutter I have, he replaced the sections with ABS plastic pipe and rubber couplings.

We then refilled the holes, and now the drain works as it should.

He only asked for $300 to do the work, but we paid him $400 because to us, it was worth the extra money, and he's a genuinely Good Guy.

I shudder to think of what it would have cost us if we just "called a plumber" to fix it!

This coming Saturday and Sunday will be two more days on the Iowa. Saturday we have a group of Naval ROTC people coming, but newly minted and retired, and a few of them want to see the radio and transmitter rooms, and then the same on Sunday, but with some WWII vets who were Radiomen on other ships, including the USS Missouri.

Should be another great day on the Iowa!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Two Days Upcoming on the Iowa.....

I'll be there all day tomorrow to escort the Northrup-Grumman (formerly TRW) Amateur Radio Club around, and then for special visitor we're having Sunday.

He's a retired Radioman from the Missouri, and is taking part in the Iowa's Oral History program where we're attempting to get as many WWII vets on tape as possible.

He made a request to see the Radio and Transmitter Rooms, and we're more than happy to acommodate him.

And I'll bet I pick up more than few tips on the transmitters and couplers!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Carpet Project Finished

WELL.....we finally finished getting the living room rearranged and back together after tearing it apart for the carpet guys.

I was amazed how fast they got the furniture out of the house, the old carpeting and padding removed, the new carpeting installed, and the furniture back in.

And in the process of reassembling the home theater stuff, and my wife's computer desk, I took all the equipment outside and blew the dust out of it. Then I cleaned all the gear with some "Endust for Electronics", and proceeded to put everything back together, labeling all of the cables.

A bigger ordeal than I thought it would be, but the new carpet looks great, walks even better, and the whole house looks brighter now that we got rid of the old blue carpet.

I add some pix here later.....

Friday, March 27, 2015

Video of the Last Decommissioning of the USS Iowa

Found this through a crew newsletter I get.

It's converted from a VHS tape, so the quality isn't what we're used to today, but it's a fascinating video.


New Carpet Today


Been busy as a one-armed paper hanger the last few days getting the living room and dining room stripped out so the carpet installers can do their thing today.

They'll remove all the furniture for us, but all the "other" stuff had to be out so they don't break anything "fragile".

First off was taking the Home Theater Center apart and moving all the gear, then the wife's curio cabinet had to be emptied and unscrewed from the wall, the DVD racks had to be emptied and unscrewed from the wall, all the book cases had to be emptied and unscrewed from the walls, and her office/computer work area had to be taken offline, and all the gear removed. This is also my #2 radio operating position, so the 2 Meter/70 centimeter radio and scanner had to be disconnected and moved, along with the UPS units, the weather PC, and the FiOS router. I put the FiOS router in the "Network Closet" here in the radio room, and patched to coax from the Verizon ONT into it, and plugged in just the network cable for this room.

I'm still not sure how the carpet installers are going to handle where the coax/network cables come up through the floor, but the rep who was here the other day said they do it all the time, and it shouldn't be a problem. The "good" thing is that one of the places is behind the wife's "work" desk, and the other is behind the cabinet where the Home Theater stuff is mounted.

1032 local time, and they haven't called to confirm yet.......

They arrived about 1045. It's now 1445, and they're just putting the furniture back in place.

Then I can start reassembling things......

Looks nice, and my wife is very pleased.