Monday, April 14, 2014

Bundy Ranch Video

Supposedly Facebook is has banned this video.

Several commenters have said they post it, and it just "disappears".

And for those that don't understand why Mr. Bundy refused to pay his "Grazing Fees", here's another rancher's explanation of it all.

All the big city folk that cry and fret about a supposedly endangered desert tortoise, while eating their Big Mac, don't have clue where the beef comes from.

And then there's this story about a planned Fed raid on the Bundy's home.

As much as I'm happy the Feds pulled out (or were pushed out), I certainly don't think this is The End Of The Story.

Bullies have a way of returning, you know......

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'll Be Busy On The Battleship Iowa Saturday

We have a bunch of Scouts coming to the Battleship Iowa on Saturday to take the test for their Radio Merit Badge, so I'll be there all day running the radio, and coaching the Scouts.

Some of them are very good on the radio, and some are almost terminally "mic shy". Still, they man up, and talk on the radio, and we do our best to encourage them. Usually the more talkative types will go first, and if we're lucky (we usually are), and have a Ham on the other end who knows what we're doing, the other Ham will coach them along, too.

Last year we were very fortunate to stumble across a Ham in Vancouver, B.C. who was a Scoutmaster, and the kids had a great time. Signals were strong and steady, and he hung in with us for almost 4 hours!

This class we only have 10 Scouts, so we won't need the Propagation Deities smiling quite so broadly.

And our friends on the Hornet will be listening for us, to try and help, as they're doing the same thing.

Might be the first "Scout-to-Scout" AND "Warship-to-Warship" contacts ever made for the Radio Merit Badge program, so all us Old Greybeards have our fingers crossed!

We're also working out the details of a "Four Sisters" award that will be issued to Hams who contact the Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

As it is now, every time one of the ships gets on the Amateur Radio frequencies, they get swamped with people calling. This award will just make it that much more popular!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Oh, Boy.....Wife Got In Another Accident

She's OK, and the car isn't too badly damaged.

She was coming home from visiting her brother (great guy!) who's in the hospital, and was coming in to our little neighborhood when she got "gently" T-Boned in the passenger side.

She was making a left turn, with the sun to her back, and another car, with the sun in his eyes, didn't see her until he was about 20 feet away. He locked 'em up, put down about 15 feet of skid marks, and slid into her. Got the front passenger door pretty good, but it was all above the rocker panel, so hopefully no serious structural damage.

They both said they didn't see each other, and having turned left at that corner many times, I can understand it.

We dropped the car off at the body shop this morning, picked up her rental car, and she went in to work, while I'm staying home.

There were several witnesses who saw the whole thing, and they all agreed it was unfortunate, but probably unavoidable due to the traffic and angle of the sun in everybody's eyes.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What's Your Favorite "Car" Movie?

I had a new found (to me) car chase scene I posted a few days ago, and it got me thinking....always an activity fraught with peril.

What's your favorite "car" movie?

I'm NOT a big fan of car movies loaded up with CGI, and impossible stunts, like the "The Fast and The Furious" series, and some of the stuff done in the remake of "Gone In 60 Seconds", so I won't include those.

And movies with great chase scenes, like "Bullitt", and "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior", are great movies, but aren't what I'd call "Car Movies", where the cars are a big part of the entire story.

This narrows the selections down considerably, and the few that I know about, and like, would be as follows:

"Grand Prix" starring James Garner and others

"Le Mans" starring Steve McQueen

"Rush" starring Chris Hemsworth

"Truth in 24" starring "People You've Never Heard Of"

Now there are many other movies out there that the cars play a fairly big part in, but by my narrow-minded definition, aren't quite in the same category as the 4 movies above.

Some of those are:

"Heart Like a Wheel" starring Bonnie Bedelia

"Cars" by Pixar

The original "Gone In 60 Seconds"

"The Big Wheel" starring Mickey Rooney

"To Please A Lady" starring Clark Gable

And many, many more.

So which are your favorites and stinkers?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Update

GROAN....just got back from the Dentist, and found out I'm going to lose a tooth.

Bottom right molar, the very last one, (#31, I think) has a cracked root. I had a crown put on this one back in 2009 after the filling fell out, and I didn't do anything about it for too long.

What could have been a $250 filling replacement turned into a $2200 root canal and crown. This was while I was laid-off, and didn't have any decent dental coverage. The dentist my wife's coverage provided wanted to just pull the tooth, but I knew it could be repaired, so I paid for it out of pocket as my Dentist wasn't in her plan's network.

Oh, well....I got another five years out of that tooth.....

Funny thing is it doesn't hurt, which is good because it hasn't started to decay yet. They X-Rayed it back in November, and nothing showed up, but because there was some weird feeling in it, my Dentist said they'd watch it closely.

The launch has been delayed until the middle of May due to damage to the rocket and some equipment on the launch platform that happened last Saturday when they went to erect the rocket.

A very large panel with electrical and gas connectors, similar to the umbilical on a U.S. launch vehicle, didn't line up properly, and when they raised the vehicle, the connector panel on the rocket and the mating connectors on the launch platform were damaged.

In order to assess the damage, the complete launch vehicle had to be transferred back to the command ship, and the payload assembly/third stage demated. Now we're hearing all the damaged parts will have to be sent back to the rocket manufacturing company in the Ukraine to be rebuilt and recertified for flight. of the export managers quit yesterday, and when I went to to take the original letter from my Doctor to the outsourced HR person who only comes in once a week for 4 hours a day, I was told "They no longer work here". HR anymore?

WITHOUT any announcement?

SO.....I took the letter to the gal who handles all the legal stuff and maintains the paper files for all employees, and find out that she's out until next week. The payroll lady has the next office over, and when I asked her about the HR person, she hemmed and hawed for a few seconds, and said "If you have any issues, talk to your direct (manager) first". Then I help up the letter, she turned red, and said I could leave it with her, and she'd give it to the legal gal next Wednesday.

I think I'll keep it and give it to the legal lady next Wednesday myself.

If we're open that long..........

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

GREAT Car Chase Scene

From a movie I've never heard of, "Short Time" starring Dabney Coleman.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Honey Dew" weekend......

Well. since I was supposed to go in to work Saturday at 1800 for about 6 hours, and was called saying to stand down due to problems with the rocket, my sweet little wife decided sleeping in was too good for me!

She works for the local school district at a magnet high-school, and since they're off this week for spring break, she had scheduled a contractor to come in and refinish our kitchen cabinets.

Yes, I'm quite capable of doing this type of work, but she wants it finished in a week, and it would take me a month......OR MORE!

SO....we unloaded all the drawers, and I cleaned off the small table in the breakfast nook that I use for rebuilding stuff that's too big to handle here in Radio Central.

I then pulled the range hood out of the cabinetry it was stuffed into, as it's pretty old, crummy, beat up, and having electrical issues. Plus it was an almond color that doesn't match our stainless appliances, so we'll get a new one after the cabinets are refinished.

The contractor is coming Tuesday to pull the drawers and doors and start on the fixed cabinets. They'll have one crew back at their shop redo the things they take, while the "local" crew here will do all sorts of things to make the cabinets look nice.

No idea what's wrong with the launch vehicle other than it's more than minor, and all the activities I do are on hold until the issue(s) get resolved.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Whew....just had a good one roll through here!

Pretty good vertical shaking, followed by some rolling motion, and what felt like an aftershock a minute or so later.

Can't get to the USGS site, so I don't know how big it was.....

5.3 out by San Bernardino

Lowered to 5.1, and centered near La Habra.

Read more here at the Press Telegram.....

*Slightly* Sad Today.....

Well, the launch vehicle transfer went smooth today, and since I had a ton of stuff to do, I stayed on the ship. About 1300 they started to move it back to the east side of the pier, and it struck me......

This was probably the last time I'll be on that ship when she moves under her own power.

Since she's tied down to the pier until she leaves Thursday morning, and I'm not going with her, I felt a twinge of sadness.

I've been out on 16 launches, and at a "nominal" 20 days per launch, that's 320 days at sea I spent on her.

Add up the two times we went on sea trials (10 days each), and the four missions that ran to 30 days due to weather, launch aborts, and other delays, and I've spent well over a year at sea on her.

Oh, well, life goes on.........