Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Reply TO Feinstein

No, not from me. I'm not quick-witted enough to come up with something so sharp..

SO....I "borrowed" it from Tam.

Hope she doesn't mind......

I don't normally engage in the silliness of referring to politicians as "Kommisar" or "Reichsfuhrer" or any of that. It's simplistic and I can do better than that, but sometimes someone makes it gets really, really hard to not go there...

"The mothers, the women, the men of America have to make a decision as to whether their personal pleasure is more important than the general welfare," - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (NSDAP-CA)
You listen to me, you meddling harpy, you jumped-up refugee from a zoning board: You don't get to pick and choose which of my constitutional rights are "personal pleasures" and further, while your job does entail a certain amount of promoting the general welfare, you don't get to compel whatever definition du jour of the "general welfare" you please.

My personal welfare, and the welfare of millions of my fellow Americans, is generally promoted by the possession of effective weapons of self-defense: trying to take them away would be very harmful to the general welfare and practically the opposite of ensuring domestic tranquility. Stop.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Radio Weirdness

Well....I'm sitting here scratching my head......

My radio club runs a "Net" on Thursday nights, where we all gather around a local 2 Meter repeater, do the roll call, club officer check-ins, and swap information about upcoming events.

It's kind of like gathering around a radio-based cracker barrel, and a good way to keep in touch with friends and other club members between meetings.

Last Thursday night I tried repeatedly to respond to my call, but nothing happened.

Being a well prepared Ham, I grabbed one of my HT's (walkie-talkie to the non-hams here), and proceeded to check-in to the net.

Tonight I figured I should look into what the problems could be.

I swept the antenna with my analyzer from 144 to 148MHz, and all was well.

I connected the output of the radio to my power meter and a dummy load, and read 25 Watts output. I could also hear my audio just fine on an auxiliary receiver..

The CTCSS tone was properly set, and the "encode" function was enabled.

So, after a net for different group ended tonight, I keyed-up and called the repeater owner.

The radio sounds fine, and was "full quieting" into the repeater.

So at this point, I don't have a clue about what caused the problem last week.

Things have been running pretty smooth here lately on both the radio and computer ends of things, so maybe Murphy decided it was time to pay a house call.....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mini Blog Meet

I *finally* got to meet some of my fellow bloggers in person, and have lunch with them.

What a GREAT day it was.

Old_NFO had contacted me a week or so ago, and was curious if I was going to be in town this week.

Since I was, we proceeded to 'synchronize watches.......NOW!', and agreed to meet down the road at a P.F. Chang's that was located somewhat centrally to all parties involved.

He had arranged for LL and Opus #6 to meet us there, and so we say down to a nice lunch of Kung Pao chicken, Mongolian beef, and some shrimp dish.

I kind of quarantined myself off to the edge of the table as I'm still recovering from the damn cold/flu/whatever that I thought I'd gotten over when I was out on the last launch campaign.

Before, during, and after lunch we discussed many things, and it was great to finally meet some of the people I've met 'electronically' since I entered the blog-o-verse.

And speaking of the last launch, the company is saying they still want to remain in business, and is proceeding full-speed ahead with the Failure Review Boards.

They pretty much know what happened, but as to the path they'll take to ensure it doesn't happen again, I'm not sure.

The previous launch vehicle we lost (NSS-8) was determined to have a "piece of welding slag" (the dreaded "FOD Monster") in one of the liquid oxygen supply lines of the first stage, and when the slag broke loose, it jammed between the impeller and housing of the main turbopump, causing the pump to fail in a most spectacular manner, with the resulting loss of the vehicle and payload, and significant damage to the launch platform.

The results of that FRB were to require more rigorous inspection of the welds, and a better cleaning procedure to ensure no loose bits were floating around in the plumbing. This time around they have several different scenarios to figure out as to why the hydraulic pump spun down to zero RPM. Could be many things, and we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Couldn't think of anything else to call this.

I'm going to see a lawyer tomorrow concerning the settlement I've been offered over the injury I had last August.

No guns, but the will be a lawyer involved, and hopefully some money.

In the meantime, enjoy Warren. He left us far too soon.






Well, I went home with a waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the Russians, too

I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

 I'm an innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between the rock and the hard place
And I'm down on my luck
 Yes I'm down on my luck
Well I'm down on my luck

Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Reply From Feinstein

Some time ago I paid for one of those "Fax Blast" solicitations from one of the gun rights groups I get email from.

I don't recall which one, but for a reasonable fee, they send faxes to all the members of both Houses, and your state representatives.

I always figured they get ignored, except by the person who has to keep the fax machine supplied with paper, but this time I received a form-letter reply from Senator Feinstein.

Here's the reply, copied and pasted from her email, and you'll find it typical of hoplophobes in that she attacks the inanimate object, rather than the underlying causes of the person using it to commit crimes.

No mention of trying to help the sick, unbalanced, deranged or terminally angry person who commits the crime, but rather another cry to get rid of the Evil Black Rifles....again.

Dear  Mr. xxxxxx :
 
Thank you for contacting me to share your opposition to assault weapons legislation.  I respect your opinion on this important issue and welcome the opportunity to provide my point of view. 
 
Mass shootings are a serious problem in our country, and I have watched this problem get worse and worse over the 40 years I have been in public life.  From the 1966 shooting rampage at the University of Texas that killed 14 people and wounded 32 others, to the Newtown massacre that killed 20 children and 6 school teachers and faculty, I have seen more and more of these killings.  I have had families tell me that they no longer feel safe in a mall, in a movie theater, in their business, and in other public places, because these deadly weapons are so readily available.  These assault weapons too often fall into the hands of grievance killers, juveniles, gangs, and the deranged. 
 
I recognize that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to bear arms, but I do not believe that right is unlimited or that it precludes taking action to prevent mass shootings.  Indeed, in the same Supreme Court decision that recognized the individual right to bear arms , District of Columbia v. Heller , the Court also held that this right, like other constitutional rights, is not unlimited.  That is why assault weapons bans have consistently been upheld in the courts, both  before and after the  Heller decision.   I believe regulation of these weapons is appropriate. 

 
Once again, thank you for your letter.  Although we may disagree, I appreciate hearing from you and will be mindful of your thoughts as the debate on this issue continues.  If you have any additional comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.


Sincerely yours,


  Dianne Feinstein
         United States Senator
 
At least it only wasted electrons, and not a sheet of paper in my fax machine.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Storage Food SALE!

Courtesy of Mr. Rawles' Survival Blog.

Safecastle and Ready Made Resources are both having 10%~25% off sales, with FREE shipping!

I just ordered some Mountain House stuff to add to our "Earthquake Kit".

If you can't stock up on Bullets, get some Beans while you can at lower prices.

Both of the vendors linked above also carry other items besides bulk food, so do a little looking around over there. I'd be curious how their prices match up to other sources.

I tried some of the Mountain House stuff I bought earlier this year, and it's quite good. Just follow the directions when you rehydrate and heat it, and you'll be surprised.

Even my wife enjoyed it, and she's a little picky about her food.

Sure beats eating MRE's every day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where's Waldo?

I'm sure you know who I'm talking about....

In between working on the new driveway gate, I've been listening to my scanner seeing if I could hear anything about the whereabouts of Mr. Dorner.

The only obvious thing, besides the huge amount of air assets and boots on the ground, is that they don't have a freakin' clue where he is.

Somebody "thought" they "maybe heard a shot" come from the cabin that burned down, suggesting a suicide rather than burning to death, but until what's left of the cabin cools down, and they can get in there, it's just speculation.

And I find it somewhat amazing that this guy has reached Folk Hero status in just a couple of days.

But then that's usually the case with this newfangled "Social Media"......somebody pops up out of nowhere, gets a huge following, and then just fades away.

It'll be real interesting to see how this all plays out, and if, indeed, Mr. Dorner self-terminated rather than burn to death or surrender.......


****UPDATE****

Well, this is real interesting. It seems the SBSO deliberately set fire to the cabin, and then delayed allowing the USFS in there for about an hour.

There was radio traffic indicating they lobbed 7 "burner" (aka "smoke") grenades into the cabin.

Quotes from a  radio BB I get:

 What's interesting - the SBSO lieutenant called for "Burners" - then later said "We have 7 Burners deployed and fire to the front" -

 Interestingly, LAPD SWAT turned up close to the scene unannounced and unrequested and were advised by SBSO to redeploy and stage in Big Bear. An LAPD SWAT officer was overheard stating "Why can't we go to the BBQ!"

The Daily Breeze (and I'm sure other papers) have some audio of the radio traffic online.

So much for "Due Process", eh?
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Home Improvements

WELL...I finally got started on replacing the gate across our driveway.

It looks like a "kit" of some kind, with the pipework supplied by Sears, and possibly the wood, too.

It's got 6 posts properly leveled and anchored in concrete, with two frames that swing, and some tongue-and-groove pickets attached to the frames.

The problem is the wood is all rotted out and falling apart.

When I cleaned out the rock garden along one side of the driveway, I patched and re-screwed most of the wood back on to the cross pieces, but when the cross pieces are rotten, well....there's just not much for the deck screws I used to grab onto!

So, after making several pages of notes and drawings, I figured out what sizes of boards I'd need to make the backing, and we picked out some nice cedar fence panels to use for the new fronts.

I went and got all of the "backing" wood today, along with a couple of boxes of galvanized carriage bolts, flat and split washers, and nuts. The original hardware was cheap-o zinc-plated 1/4-20, and I upgraded to 5/16-18, so it should be a little stronger.

I'm also going to change how it's built. The cross pieces were bolted to the pipe frames with the 1/4-20 hardware, and then the front picket sections were nailed to the wood cross pieces. I'm going to run the new, bigger bolts through both the picket sections AND the cross pieces, so ALL of the wood is securely bolted to the frames.

And in those areas between the pipe frames, I'm going to bolt the picket panels to the cross pieces rather than rely on the small nails they used.

The whole thing should be much stronger, and being made of cedar, WELL soaked with Behr Premium waterproofing and sealing compound, should last a good bit longer than the original gate.

The way the gate is now, I have a feeling if you got our dogs mad enough, they could bust through it, NOT something we'd want to happen!

Tuesday will be spent measuring and cutting the backing cross pieces and treating them, and Wednesday I'll do the same for the cedar fence panels I'll mount to the frames.

If everything is dry enough on Thursday, I'll mount to two fixed panels, and then do the swinging parts on Friday.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Back Home to Rain

Got off the ship today about 1400, picked up my luggage, and was headed out the gate at 1430.

As far as the cause of the launch failure, NASA_Spaceflight.com has an excellent discussion at this thread.

The actual discussion of the launch problem starts here.

This site has NO affiliation with NASA, and is a privately run website that caters to all aspects of spaceflight.

And I don't mind the rain, as SoCal is a couple of inches below "normal" for this time of year, and we can really use it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We Need More Boot Control!

After all....only crazy people and bitter clingers need assault boots!!