Friday, August 18, 2017

Termite "Inspection" Team Here This Morning

And it sounds more like they're the "Termite DEMOLITION Team".

Granted, I've never watched this being done, so I'm probably gonna get get called "STOOPID" by somebody, but these guys are checking for termite infestation by using a "probe" on a painter's pole, and banginging it against all the exposed wood they can see and reach.,

thump, thump, thump, thump,thump,thump for the last 35 minutes.

And once in a while you hear thump,thump,thump,thump, CRUNCH, thump, thump, thump.....

The "crunch" is not good because it means their "probe" just busted through what was left of a piece of wood that the termites have been feasting on.

So far they've found a couple of spots they're calling "dry rot", a couple of boards on the fascia for the garage, and the 4x4 holding the window A/C unit up.

Orkin was here two years ago and gave the place a clean bill of health, but then they didn't run around banging on stuff, either.

Hopefully this stuff won't be too expensive to repair.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Escrow Closes September 20th.....

Our realtor just called, and the official closing for the house is 20 September 2017.

This totally screws me for going to Supras In Vegas this year, as the event is the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of September. I'd planned on leaving on the 20th, but now I have the wife, her car, and the dog to worry about getting moved. Her BFF was going to split the driving of her car with her, and I was going to head to Fort Collins right after the event, drop the Supra off, fly home, rest for a day, and then head back to Fort Collins in the Jeep with the dog.

Turns out I'd counted the days wrong, and thought it closed a week later, which would have made Supras In Vegas a bit difficult, but "doable".

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Home Inspection Details and Repairs

The "minor leak" under the bathtub drain turned out to be a bit  more than the inspector found. Our plumber friend from across the street went under the house today, and found that the drain wasn't just leaking from the threaded connections, but had a hole corroded through it! He'd brought all the bits and pieces to replace the entire assembly, so it wasn't any big deal, but he said if the inspector had noticed the dirt in the crawlspace was wet, or even damp, they would have called for a "professional" cleanup crew to remove the dirt, and "sanitize" the area in addition to the repair of the corroded away parts.

And in Kommiefornia, "Remediation" means HAZMAT teams coming in, and a HUGE bill when they're done. They've shut down entire freeways for hours to clean up a couple of gallons of spilled fuel after an accident.

That's insane! It's drain water from a bathtub, for cryin' out loud, and unless we were washing off radiation contamination, or giving baths to Ebola victims, it's just used, soapy water from taking a bath or shower.

He also replaced the entire vent assembly for the water heater, using double walled tubing made for the task, and added a discharge line to the safety blow-off valve at the top of the water heater, so now the water heater issues are not only repaired, but fully "up to code".

I replaced the outlet in the bathroom with a GFCI unit, and also the one near the kitchen sink. The one near the kitchen sink was just a regular duplex outlet and two switches, one for the disposal and one for some recessed lighting, BUT, in order to make it look nice, I not only had to replace the outlet, but also the switches, as NOBODY makes a wall plate that has the rectangular cutout for a GFCI and the two oval cutouts for the switches. So add the cost of a new switch ($20) and new wall plate ($8 for a new wood one) to the $18 for the GFCI outlet.

And I still have to recaulk the tub to the tile on the wall. I dug out all the old caulk last year and laid in some good stuff, but ran out before I had a really nice "above grade" bead. Well, the caulk shrank a bit, and left a couple of gaps that the inspector squawked about because water could get back there and "Promote MOLD and BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION!!!"


Geez, after reading Old_NFO's post this morning, I really do wonder how so many of us managed to survive those unenlightened and barbaric days of old, before the nanny state insisted on so many "safety" regulations.....

As far as upgrading all the power to the garage, all I can say is "'Aint Gonna Happen"!

The inspector noted that none of the outlets were grounded, and well, DUH! There's only a hot and neutral running to the garage, so what do you expect? And considering when the house and garage were built, it wasn't required, and we're grandfathered in from requiring it to be brought up to code.

Again, I really have to wonder how many people were injured from two-wire, non-grounded (three pin) outlets over the years....

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weather In Fort Collins

As I've told my wife numerous times, she's going to get a whole different perspective on what REAL weather is once we're in Colorado.

This past Thursday, a violent but brief hailstorm pounded parts of the city. Out where the kids live, North West of the city, there was 2" hail, driven by high winds, causing quite a bit of damage.

The house the kids live in got clobbered. Three sides of the house look like this:

And the roof took a beating, too. I'm surprised they didn't have some broken windows.

The nice 1/8 acre garden they had looks like the not-so-jolly Green Giant came in and stomped on it.

AFAIK, my wife has never been through a real Midwestern-style thunderstorm, with high winds, driving rain, and large hail. Fort Collins is a bit protected, being in the Cache La Poudre valley, but it's still in open enough country to get really clobbered. The last time we were there in the summer, I notice really big anvil-heads to the East, and mentioned to my wife that somebody was really going to catch it. Sure enough, as we got in the car the EAS warnings came on the radio about severe storms in Weld County, with tornado warnings. Seeing the anvil-heads reminded me of growing up in Illinois, where we had weather like that several times per summer.

It's one thing to see the damage a storm like this can do, and another thing to be right in the middle of one, and not really being able to do much about it.

I hope whatever we buy has a basement!

Friday, August 11, 2017

House Inspection Complete

One minor issue. The bathtub drain has a slight leak, easily fixed, but not by me. I'm just too old anymore to crawl that far under the house and do anything other than string some cables!

We haven't received our copy of the report, which I had expected sometime today. The new "owners" came by with the inspector, and brought their realtor with them. They were all pumped up up getting their first house, and the guy's wife complimented us on how nice the house looked, and how happy they were that we accepted their offer. They'd been out bid three times on other houses they'd wanted to buy, so they appear to be completely serious about wanting to get this one.

After the report comes in, I'm sure they'll go back to our agent looking for some "compensation" for any issues that were found. Our agent has told us that he'll stand pretty firm on what's already been negotiated. They want the house ASAP, and we have no problem sitting here until spring, so it should be interesting to watch the rest of these proceedings finish....

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Miscellaneous Moving Mumblings....

Been "working" in the garage to attempt to get things ready to go. It always seems that whatever I'm doing, the wife thinks I should be doing something else.


And of course, her constant litany of "Throw It Away" drones on and on and on and on....

So, do I "throw away" $2,000 worth of stuff to save $500 on moving it?

And by the time I go to replace the $2k of stuff I dumped to shut her up, the cost will have risen to $3k.


And in the process of "decluttering" the house, she just dumped shit everywhere in the garage, with no rhyme or reason as to why things got stacked where they did.

Which means that to even get at my stuff, I've got to tear the whole freaking garage apart........AGAIN.

And she wonders why I have such a hard time getting started on these things......

Monday, August 7, 2017

New "Owners" Coming By Tonight

Technically, their BANK is the new owner, but we'll be nice and play along with them.

Our agent called and said they'd asked if they could come by to show their kids "Our New House", so he checked with us, and we don't have any objections.

The guy wanted to see the garage, which is packed floor-to-ceiling with boxes, and I think the gal wanted to have a closer look at the kitchen and the bedrooms.

We're investigating movers right now, and I can see the fights between the wife and myself brewing  in the distance.

She's going to scream bloody murder about all the "junk" I have in the garage, and how she's not going to pay to move it, and I'm going to insist it goes.

I've already dumped several thousand dollars worth of perfectly usable stuff, and I'm down to "If I dump it I'll have to replace it" items like antennas, antenna rotators, sections of heavy gauge mast, and a bunch of other stuff that simply isn't available any longer.

Since escrow won't be closing until the end of September, I've made the decision to leave from Las Vegas after the "Supras in Vegas" event and head for Colorado. It'll be a long drive, but I can always overnight somewhere if I have to.

Hey, I did L.A. to Fort Collins in one shot carrying two wimmens and all their stuff, so "just me" in the Supra from Vegas to FTC should be a piece of cake!

But I'm not looking forward to the Great Garage Pack And Move, at all....

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Documents Signed, Should Be "In Escrow" Early This Week

And now the waiting begins.....

And the packing.

I'll start going through the garage this week to see what I'm going to keep, what I'm going to sell, and what my wife will insist I throw away.

The big thing to sort will be all the car parts I have for the Supra. I have gaskets, hoses, belts, water pumps, tune-up parts, brake and clutch master cylinders, clutch slave cylinders, and a ton of other stuff. That stuff can get packed away for shipment, except for the belts and hoses. If I drive the car I'll take those with me. If I ship the car I'll stow them inside.

Radio gear, both in the house and the garage, will get packed for shipment, except for my little Elecraft K2, power supply, SignaLink, and portable antenna. I'll want to take those with me so I can get on-the-air at our temporary dwelling. And I'll take a VHF/UHF handie-talkie or two. The Jeep has a Kenwood TM-D710 in it, and that should be fine for checking into local nets and making some new Ham Radio friends. The radio also has a GPS receiver connected to it, so I'll be "trackable" using any of the APRS applications out there.

And I'll take my camera, a couple of laptops, and a suitcase full of clothes, including my N3B parka!

With the 45 day escrow ( ! ) the buyers insisted on, it looks like we'll be here through September. Our realtor told us the buyers should have all their funding in place after 21 days, so we might be able to push them a bit faster than 45 days, but that remains to be seen.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Counteroffer Accepted. Papers Get Signed Tomorrow, Sunday

At this point I think I can say the house is "sold".

Still have the inspections to do, which should happen in the next 10 days or so. I don't expect the inspections to find anything, except for the termite inspection. They ALWAYS find some termite "damage" that has to be repaired.

They wanted, and got, a 45 day escrow. Not sure why they couldn't do it any faster, but I'll talk to our agent when he comes by Sunday.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Negotiations In Progress! **Updated**


I just  found out from my wife that we did get an offer from the nice young couple that came by Tuesday at 1800 to look at the house.

They've offered us the asking price, but our agent told them we have multiple offers (true, but one "offer" was a joke), and their agent told ours that they'd be willing to go "into the $520k range", which means that they just hit our target price.

My wife was visiting one of her friends the last few days, and our agent sent her some paper work which she electronically signed, and returned to him, and now he and the other agent are going to hammer out a few fine points to get to the final price and what contingencies are and aren't covered.

These buyers seemed to be extremely serious, they have $50k cash for a down payment, both grew up in this area, and have been out bid on the last three houses they made offers on.

I don't know what they're going to come back with as a counter to our counter (see your 20 and raise you 50), but if it's at or above $515k, we'll accept it, and then the clock starts running out for us to get moved.

They were asking for a 45 day escrow, and our agent said he'd try and get them to agree to a 30 day escrow, but that was about the only thing he didn't like about their initial offer.

So, (fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed) the house might very well be "under contract" next week.


 We just heard from our realtor that the other realtor is going over our counter offer, and we should know something Saturday.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Solid Offer Received On The House......

They've offered what it's listed at, have a credit score well north of 700, have 20% down, and our agent says they're seriously looking to buy, and have been "priced out" (I think he meant "out bid") of the last three houses they've made offers on.

He says they really like the house, and really want to buy it.

He told us he knows they can go higher, so we're in the negotiating stages right now.

We should know tonight if they'll come up enough to satisfy my wife.

The fat lady just might be warming up in the wings.......

Friday, July 28, 2017

Saturday Already?

Gee...time sure flies when you don't know what you're doing....or something like that.

Still Friday, but I'm posting this at 2200, so it probably won't get read by many until Saturday.

Had a busy week. We had five more couples and their realtors come by to check out the house during the week, and we're having another open house Saturday and Sunday.

No offers other than the one couple that backed out.

 I'm starting to think the listing price is too low, and people are saying "What's wrong with the house?" to themselves. One down the street and around the corner finally sold after 60-some days on the market. It was overpriced at $600k, and finally sold for $550k. It was a bit smaller than our house, but had more "modern" upgrades, like the infamous "Granite Countertops!!!", and some other things. We'll just have to see what happens, but at this point, after going through all the hype the first three realtors we interviewed told us, I wouldn't be completely shocked if we didn't get out of here until next Spring. It usually starts snowing in late September in the Fort Collins area, and my wife really, really, really wants to get moved before the snow flies. Once we're settled in to the place we'll be staying at, we can wait it out until Spring to buy, unless a Really Good Deal comes up. Moving is a big enough PITA, let alone doing it during snow season.

Spent three full days on the Iowa this week, which I'm sure is what made the week seem so short. I went down Tuesday for the Great Ethernet Cable Pulling Project, but I was the only one in the work party that showed up! Turns out we'll be going with WiFi instead of being hard-wired in. I haven't heard what type of WiFi router we're going to be using. Hopefully it will be one with some Ethernet ports on it so the two big PC's we have won't need another card installed in them. The laptops we're using for running the logging programs all have built-in WiFi, so no issues there.

Thursday we had a special event to commemorate the signing of the Korean cease-fire, but band conditions were absolutely horrible. The Solar Flux Index was 68 (that's baaaad!), and the bands were noisy. We made a total of 35 contacts on the three stations we had on-the-air from 0900 to 1600 PDST. We can generally get that many per hour, per station, when the band conditions are "good".

And today I was down there to give a personal tour to my late brother-in-law's youngest son, and his two boys, ages 8 and 10. None of them really understood what they were seeing, in terms of history, but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

Monday, July 24, 2017

First Buyer Backed Out.....

Well....we had an offer at the listing price for the house. Our agent said they looked like good, solid people, and their loan pre-approval was for "up to" $550k. The sad thing was that both sets of parents had co-signed on the loan forms, showing that it's tough for a young couple to buy a decent home in SoCal.

Since the listing price is about $15k less than what my wife is willing to accept, and our agent knows this, and agrees with her that the house is really "worth" the amount she wants (which is what the appraisal came in at), he sent them a letter asking them to come back with "Their best, highest price" they were willing to go as our counter offer.

He just called a while ago telling us that while they loved the house, the price they offered was all they could afford, so their original offer was all they were willing to spend.

He said he thanked them, and wished them luck with the purchase of their first home.

This house is only the second one I've had anything to do with buying/selling, so I'm pretty much in uncharted territory here. The last house I bought was in 1987, and we all know how much things have changed since then, especially in the Krazy Kalifornia real estate market!

He's bringing some more agents and clients by Tuesday (tomorrow) to look at the house, so we'll see how that goes.

I have a Doctor's appointment at 0900, and then down to the Iowa for a "Cable Pulling Party". We're putting in five new Ethernet drops for the Comm Center (FACCON 1), and our CTO who runs the network and all the servers on board will be putting us on our own subnet. We'll actually be on our own VPN, which will give us full Internet connectivity, while keeping us isolated from the ship's various internal networks.

All the networking equipment and servers on board are new, first-class stuff he was able to get donated through his contacts, and the network has ample redundancy and back-up servers (also redundant) for our use, so we should have a very dependable, rock-solid network set up once he configures everything. I was the network admin for our little corner of the ship's network, but I'm turning that over to the guy I asked to be Station Manager, and I've been getting him trained up on that. Besides being really good at radio stuff, my "replacement" is also another computer geek, and we've both been using Linux since the early days.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Open Houses and OFFERS!

Having "Day 2" of this round of open house.

We had about 15 people come by yesterday, and the agent said they all looked like solid prospects.

He also brought by our first offer. It was for the listing price, and my wife is insisting we get $15k more than the listing price. $15k above the listed price is what the appraisal is, and would pay for our moving costs.

Hopefully we'll get some more interested, people today.

I don't how youngsters do it these days. Buying a little house like ours at over $500k just seems nuts to me. The only house I've ever owned (so far...this one is really my wife's) was purchased back in 1987 and we paid $156k for it. I was making about $40k a year then, and along with what my then wife was making, we could easily afford it. That house is worth about $450k now. While the price of the house has TRIPLED, I doubt that the wages of the kind of person who would be interested in it have kept pace.

As the last line of "The Bridge On The River Kwai" says........."MADNESS!"

Friday, July 21, 2017

Open House Again Saturday and Sunday.

Hopefully we'll get some more interested people.

Our Realtor is a really cool guy. He's a staunch conservative, NRA Life Member, and so are the rest of his family members. I was supposed to take the dog out the other day when he had the "mini" open house, but just as I was leaving, a potential buyer walked up, so I took the dog out back. After that person left I started talking to him about firearms and things and another couple showed up, so I dragged the dog out again.

We never did make it to the dog park as we had so much fun yakking away between people coming by to look at the house!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Busy, Busy Week.....

I was happy to go to "work" on the Iowa today!

We had two realtors bring their clients by on Tuesday, and our realtor brought two people by today.

Thursday he's having a mid-week open house from noon to 1500, so the dog and I will head out to the dog park for a few.

He said mid-week showings allow people who work weekends (typically medical, firefighters, and LEOs) to have some time to look at a house and walk around for more than a few minutes. The people that came yesterday were wearing scrubs, and one was an ER nurse, and the other a physical therapist.

He had expected to get at least one offer this week, but the week is drawing to a close, and he hasn't heard anything yet.

I would expect him to want to have an open house again this weekend, but he hasn't said anything about that so far.

I'll talk to him tomorrow about the upcoming weekend and see what he wants to do....

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Second Open House Today. Be Back Around 1500 PDST! **UPDATED**

We had 40 people yesterday. 10 were neighbors who were "just curious", 10 were "lookie-loos" who just like looking at open houses, and 20 were people definitely looking to buy.

Our agent is off today, and is taking his wife out for the day to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

His Mom will be doing the open house today. She's been selling real estate here in SoCal for 35+ years, so she's seen several bubbles, where the prices went nuts like they are now. It should be interesting to hear what she has to say....


We "only" had 15 people come through today, BUT...the first couple that came through while I was still there had their realtor with them, always a good sign. If their realtor is taking them around to open houses, it's almost a sure bet they're seriously looking to buy. I had just finished showing "Mom" the house and explaining some of the finer points she didn't know, like we have a whole house water filtration/softener system, and every room is wired with an RG-6QS cable and a cat 6E Ethernet cable, when they came in. The husband wanted to see the garage, and I asked the realtor if it was OK, she said sure. He liked the solid work benches, and the fact I was leaving the four 48" LED overhead light  fixtures I'd put in last summer when I was doing all the work on the Supra.

Our realtor's Mom (a VERY cool lady, BTW..) said that she had two couples come by who had been here yesterday, and they came back with their realtor, and were asking fairly detailed questions about the house and neighborhood, another good sign that we have some pretty solid buyers checking the place out.

After I got back today (little Pebbles has had TWO days in the dog park! YIPIEE!) I spent some time talking with her and she said if we didn't at least get a couple of offers this week she'd be surprised, which pretty much echoed what her son told us yesterday before he left.

SO....I'd hazard a guess to say the house will sell, and fairly soon. We're priced very fairly compared to some of the other houses in the immediate area that have slightly bigger lots, but the people are asking $65~$75k more than we are, and those house have been on the market for 4 weeks or longer.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Open House Today.....Be Back Later

The agent dropped by and is out running around putting up his signs.

The open house is from 1100~1500, so we have to be out of here. We're taking the dog to the dog park, but before we do that  we have some "Hazardous Waste" to drop off in San Pedro.

Got some used motor oil that has water in it, so the auto parts stores won't take it, along with some old paint, RoundUp, bug spray, oven cleaner, and junk like that.

The wife would have taken it in to the Long Beach place, but they're only open one weekend per month!

Se y'all after about 1530 PDST!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Another Step Closer....***UPDATED***

Well, our little place is now listed.

The listing price is what the agent told us, slightly under the appraisal, and he expects "solid" buyers will bid it up a bit to meet the appraisal.

LL stopped by today to pick up the big Pelican case I bought years ago when I had vision of operating Maritime Mobile from the Sea Launch ship I was on. It turned out that getting a Reciprocal Operating Permit from the ship's flag country was extremely difficult, and those plans never happened. I was happy to see the case going to somebody who'll use it!

And the dog treated him like she's known him for years.

Today I got the wireless doorbell working again (dirty battery contacts), changed out the old, worn-looking toilet seat, replaced the switch for the ceiling fan in the Radio Room, dragged all the "eWaste" down to the collection place, and did the vacuuming. There's only one street-view photo of the house, as the photographer had to back out Wednesday, and won't be here until Friday afternoon.

Saturday is the first open house, from 1100 to 1500, so we'll take the dog to the big dog park, and let her run until she drops!

The photographer and agent just left. They were here for a couple of hours taking lots of pix.  The pix will be processed (he shoots in RAW format) and posted with the listing later this afternoon.

The agent also want a second open house on Sunday, also from 1100 to 1500.

Looks like the dog will get a lot of park time this weekend!

Monday, July 10, 2017

"Deep Cleaners" Here Today / Other Progress **Updated**

Finally got the radio room suitably "emptied" in preparation for the cleaners to take a whack at it.

They've been working in the kitchen for several hours, and are almost done in there. Next is the "master" bedroom, then the bathroom, then the front bedroom, bathroom and finally Radio Central.

Oh, and the living/dining area.

They're very thorough and "bubbly/perky" young ladies.

The gardener came again today with his big truck, and hauled away a ton of trash. The city also came by and picked up all the stuff we had by the curb. Long Beach gives you three "Large Item" pick ups per year, and we still have two we can use.

I think the cleaners will have to come back tomorrow, as it's already 1210, and considering how thorough they are, I just don't think they'll be done by 1700. The quote was for "Monday and possibly Tuesday", and I'm guessing they'll need at least part of Tuesday to finish. I also have to drop, disassemble, and pack the tripod/mast my discone is on, and the mast on the side of the house holding the weather station and another small VHF/UHF vertical antenna.

The photographer is coming by on Wednesday, and the house gets listed Thursday.

The realtor told us the market in this part of town is "crazy hot", and he had the sales figures to back it up. He thinks we should get some good, solid offers the first week, and it should definitely be under contract well before the end of July.

That means we'll be outta here by the end of August, possibly the middle of August.

I have quite a few items in the garage that the movers will not ship, so I'll either rent a trailer to pull behind the Jeep, or a big "Box Van" like I rented when I moved here to Kaliforniastan some 35 years ago.......

-More to come-

Holy smokes, the house positively sparkles! 

They even managed to make Radio Central here look good.

My hats are off to the young ladies who showed up on time, didn't take any breaks, and worked seven hours straight to clean the house.

We not only paid them the agreed upon price (which my wife haggled down before they came), but we also tipped each of them $20 each.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

House Sale Progress

And progress it is!

We got the "Yard Beautification Program" finished today, and I must say, with all the fresh exterior paint the house looks pretty nice.

Only room left to do is the Radio Room, and that's about 1/2 cleaned out. Should be finished by Sunday night.

The "Deep Cleaning" specialist is coming Monday morning, and will be finished by Tuesday.

The photographer will be here Tuesday afternoon / Wednesday morning, proper light and weather permitting, and the house goes on the market Thursday.

Our realtor is confident the house will sell in 14 days, with escrow taking 20~25 days.

Looks like we'll be outta here by the middle of August, end of August at the latest.

Back to boxing stuff up.....

Friday, July 7, 2017

Go Read This....

I'm up to my you-know-what in alligators toady tearing down the radio room so we can get it painted. It's the last thing to really do in the house, and the wifely unit has been.....well, let's just say "NOT Nice" about it.

SO....Please go read this over at Angel's place. You'll love it.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Shock and Awe" In Long Beach

Good Gravy......

It's one continuous rumble out there, punctuated by the much louder pops, bangs, and BOOMS of stuff being set off in our little subdivision.

It's 2130 now, and this has been going on for about two hours.

I can see where a Vet with PTSD could get rattled by it.

So much for all the "NO Safe and Sane Fireworks in Long Beach! ALL Fireworks Are ILLEGAL!" signs that popped up (no pun intended) in the last week.

It sounds like the WWII movies where the Navy is shelling a beach somewhere.....

Happy Independence Day!

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Sunday, July 2, 2017

RIP Bob Despain

We've lost one of cherished shipmates on the Iowa.

My fellow crew member Bob Despain passed away the other night.

Bob was on the crew of the USS Hoel, DD-533, as part of Taffy 3 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the Battle Off Samar. The Hoel was the first ship sunk by the IJN, and absorbed an amazing amount of punishment before she sank.

The Daily Breeze had an article in 2013 about the reunion of the USS Johnston-Hoel Association, which was held on the Battleship Iowa that year.

I was honored to have known Bob, and had him autograph my copy of "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" which details the Battle Off Samar and the fate of Taffy 3.

Godspeed, Bob

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Truth vs CNN

Mr. Whittle blasts another one clean outta the park!

Battleship Iowa Needs New Mooring Lines

Geez....I hate to bug people about stuff like this, but the mooring lines on the Iowa are rapidly approaching the end of their life. We were able to pick up some good, used ones last year in Bremerton when we go on our annual "Scavenger Hunt", but we still need a few more.

For those that don't know, the mooring lines are the BIG "ropes" that all ships use to "tie up" at the pier. Due to sunlight, salt air, and constant cycling of the tension on them, they eventually wear out and need to be replaced.

And they're not cheap!

I've kicked in $100, but even if all you can donate is $5, it will make a difference.

The Battleship Iowa is 100% self supporting through paid admissions, donations, special events, and oyher sources of income like renting the ship to film and TV crews.

We receive NO funding from Federal, State, County, or City sources, except in rare circumstances. The good people of the State of Iowa gave us $3 million to help get the ship ready to come down here, but those gifts are few and far between.

Here's the link to the GoFundMe page.

Thanks for anything you can afford!

Small Plane Down On The 405 Freeway At MacArthur Blvd

Looks like he lost it taking off from John Wayne (SNA) airport. Report says it's a Cessna 310, a light twin.

No word on casualties.....

Two survivors were reported. Southbound lanes of the 405 are still closed but Northbound lanes are open again.

Several incoming flights were diverted to Ontario and Long Beach airports. Departures are reportedly unaffected.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Serious Toy Collection For Sale! Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, Coca-Cola, ETC, ETC, ETC

Before I start doing the eBay thing on this collection, I thought I'd toss it up here and get any insight my friends might have....

My wife's first husband (RIP!) started buying all this stuff as what he called his "Retirement Fund".

You name it, he bought it. He generally avoided anything labeled "Collectible!!", because as Rick says on "Pawn Stars", if it's marked as "collectible", it aint!

He had over 4000 comic books, all new and neatly bagged, and we "gave" those to the kids. They were able to get rid of them, and make in excess of several thousand bucks in the process. Most of the comics were in the "$1 class", but some of them went for a couple of hundred bucks each, and one of them (I don't remember which one it was) netted them $2200.

We just finished dragging about 80% of the toys out of the garage so we can look at it and get an idea of what we have.

Here's a few pix of what we have:

All of it is new, in unopened packages, BUT, because of the way it was stored, they packages range from "pristine", to dirty, and some of the plastic packaging "bubbles" have popped loose from the cardboard backing.

If anybody has any ideas about the best way to dispose of all this, or any friends in the toy business, please contact me. Some of it she may want to keep, but the bulk of it is available for immediate sale.

As they say in the retail biz, "Everything Must Go!"......

For anybody who might be interested, here's the Photobucket page with just a small amount of what we have

Monday, June 26, 2017

Real Estate Pricing In 90807

Well, we just had a meeting with our second realtor today.

He's advising we price this place at $550,000, or even $575,000!

I'm stunned.

He told us houses in our immediate area are selling within two weeks, sometimes less. The typical contract with a realtor is for 30 days, and he told us they haven't had a single contract expire this year without selling the house.

I think you'd have to be straight-jacket loonie-bin crazy to pay over half a million freaking dollars for this house, but both he, and the nice young lady we talked to this morning, told us the same thing.

The market in this area is "on fire", and they've seen houses with a certain appeal go into bidding wars, and sell for $25,000 more than the listing price.

This is absolutely nuts........

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Home Depot Being Sued Over "Two by Fours" That Don't Measure 2" by 4"

Just heard this on the radio....

Some dolt has brought a class action lawsuit against Home Depot for selling 2x4's that "only" measure out to be 1-1/2" by 3-1/2".

And people wonder what good shop classes do when *everybody* should get a "College" education.....

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happy Father's Day

To all the Dads out there.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Dear Brother In Law Passed This Afternoon

His Doctors took him off the ventilator earlier today and he passed within the hour.

My poor little wife is devastated.

Light blogging to follow.....

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Brother-In-Law Update's not good at all.

My wife stopped in to see him on her way home from work, and she was able to talk to the two neurologists that are monitoring his condition.

They were very frank with her, and said they doubted if he'd ever regain consciousness. When she asked them what would happen if they took him off the ventilator, they told her that he'd stop breathing on his own after "a short time".

They didn't quantify how long a "short time" would be, but she got the distinct impression it would be less than 24 hours.

I'm greatly saddened by this..............

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Home "Repair" Progress

The handyman guy is doing a bang up job, wife keeps finding more things, and adding more to his list, and wondering why he isn't finished yet.....


He's fixed up the big gap between the brick front porch and the house that was caused by the porch settling due to the drought here, sanded/filled/primed and then repainted ALL the trim/fascia, repaired all the cracks in the stucco, and repainted about 3/4 of the house.

I've got our bedroom all cleaned out, with most of the furniture stashed around the house so he can scratch out and fill all the cracks in the walls and then paint it. She settled on "A nice, clean, bright Navajo White", BUT I don't think she realizes how badly the color blinds are going to clash with white after the window sills and walls are white.

The bathroom, front bedroom, living/dining area and kitchen have all been repainted in the last year, sooooo......that means the Radio Room will be in her sights very shortly, meaning I'm going to have to pull EVERYTHING out of here so it can get patched up and painted.

And after that's done I can see her really squawking about putting anything back in here, no matter how nice and clean the equipment is, or how well it's displayed.


No word at all about her brother, other than it's "Day-By-Day, and Hour-By-Hour" per the duty nurse, and his case nurse.

I just went through the "What do you want us to do if you're severely incapacitated" paperwork with my primary care provider, and I think I said to give me a week on life support, and if the prognosis looks "really, really bad" to go ahead and pull the plug. I know they can keep the body alive almost indefinitely, but if there's no brain activity, and no hope of any in the foreseeable future, then is it worth it? I guess that's something that can only be decided on an individual basis, but I hope I never put my wife in that position......

Friday, June 9, 2017

Life Sure Has A Way Of Intruding When You're Busy Making Other Plans.....

Or however that old saying goes.

My wife's dear brother, and her only remaining sibling, suffered a serious accident yesterday.

His wife called me last night night to inform me, and specifically requested that I withhold the seriousness of it from her, as it was my wife's birthday and retirement party day. She told me what had happened, and that they obviously couldn't make it to my wife's birthday dinner tonight.

Dave walked my wife down the aisle the day we were married, and welcomed me into the family. The four of us always said grace when we had dinner. We were both "Boeing Guys" at the time. and while I could talk about what I worked on, he couldn't. He served proudly in the Army, enlisting at age 18 to get away from an uncomfortable relationship with his father. He was in the Army for quite a few years doing "Something in Security" that he didn't talk about. He started working for McDonnell-Douglas shortly after an Honorable Discharge from the Army, and stayed with the company after it;s acquisition by Boeing.

This poor man has suffered mightily the last few years. First, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, which caused him to take an early retirement. He had quite a collection of woodworking tools, and was looking forward to that in his retirement. Those plans had to be canceled as it simply wouldn't be safe for him to operate large power tools.

He accepted it, and continued with his life.

He had the "experimental" surgery done where they implanted an electrical stimulation device in his brain, and for a year or so it was working well. As with all "experimental" surgeries, the results are not guaranteed, and he had to start taking his medications again.

He accepted it, and continued with his life.

Last year he required a procedure to place three stents in his cardiac arteries, like I had done several years ago. With all the medications you're required to take when you have this condition, it knocked him down some from his previous level of activity, just like it did to me.

He accepted it and continued with his life.

Yesterday as he was getting out of the car after returning from dinner with his wife, he started to fall, as he's had trouble walking the last year. His wife said he tried to speed up to catch his balance, but tripped and took a header onto his concrete driveway. He was taken to Long Beach memorial Hospital last night, and at this time is still in the ICU. He has a "brain bleed", causing pressure on his brain, and the bleeding is quite significant due in no small part to the blood thinners he was taking.

They had him pretty sedated to calm him, but he's no longer responsive, and he's on a ventilator.

The CAT scans taken show extensive bleeding and pressure on his brain.

Today his Doctors had The Talk with his wife concerning what his wishes were if he was ever in the situation of possibly never regaining consciousness.

We haven't heard what she and his two sons had decided, if anything. We talked to the staff at the ICU unit an hour or so ago when we went to visit him, and they said it's one day at a time right now, literally hour-by-hour, and far too early to make any diagnoses, prognoses, or decisions on future care.

My poor wife is devastated by this, and I just have one of those Bad Feelings you sometimes get........

House Prepping.....

The handyman guy is doing a bang-up job for us. He's matched the paint perfectly and spotted in all the faded/peeled areas.

He's sanded all the trim and repainted it, finished off my garage side-door installation from several years ago (just needed some exterior caulking and trim painting), replaced some wood that had deteriorated, and helped me pull all the antennas on the South side of the house.

I have one coax and the control cable for the autocoupler to remove today, and then I'll drop the weather station/VHF/UHF antenna on the North side of the house. That leaves only my VHF "eggbeater" antenna that I've been using for receiving weather satellite pictures from the APT weather satellites. That one is mounted on a non-penetrating roof mount sitting on the ground, so all I have to go is get some help tipping it over, and then I can take it all apart.

He might be done this weekend if I get my rear-in-gear today, but since he's self-employed, he'll hang around doing stuff until the wife decides the work she wanted is finished.

New drier got here yesterday and I hooked it up, tested it, and did a load of laundry. It seems to dry much better, but that might have to do with how I shortened up the flex hose from the hot-air exhaust and got rid of a couple of bends in it....with less restriction it should dry better!

We received "preapprovals" from two lenders in Colrado, so we're good-to-go as far as the minimal financing we'll do for the new house.

We told them we were going to put down about $275k cash on a $400k house, and they both bent over backwards to give us good rates on either a 30 year or 15 year mortgage.

Cash is still king, and although we won't be "all cash" buyers, we're financing a small enough amount, and have good enough credit and "cash reserves" that they're both very anxious to get our business!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"End of an Era" here for me.....

Well, I pulled down my 33' vertical, auto-coupler, and Line Isolator today so we could demolish the little patio/porch on the back of the house, thus ending 8 years of fixed HF operation.

I can still get on HF, but it would be using a much less efficient antenna, so I probably won't operate much HF until we get settled in Colorado.

And I pulled down my semi permanent VHF/UHF antenna that was on a 5' tripod and three 5' sections of mast and got that all ready to pack up. I still have the Discone scanner antenna to drop, my 'eggbeater' weather satellite antenna, and the mast holding the instruments for my weather station. When that's all done our house will look "normal" again, and not like remote monitoring outpost!

The patio/porch had become termite infested a couple of years ago, and as soon as I saw the little critters I went and bought a couple of gallons of termite-specific insecticide, and absolutely soaked all the wood in that structure, and then doused all the wood on that side of the house. The termites were eradicated, and never came back, but the damage was done. The 4x4 timbers for the vertical supports were hollowed out in spots, and the 2x12 stringers also had some spots that were pretty well bored out.

We found out just how bad it was today when we started taking it apart. One of the stringers split into about three pieces when we pulled the cross-braces off, and one of the 4x4 support columns came apart shortly after that! Our "Handyman" guy does a lot of framing work and carpentry, and he gave the eaves and surrounding area a good look over to see if there was any other termite damage, and said that whatever I sprayed got 'em before they had a chance to spread to the house itself, so we ducked a big one on that.

Wednesday he'll be doing some finish work on the side door to the garage that I installed a couple of years ago. The "door" that was there was pieced together out of two or three interior doors, and had deteriorated due to the weather exposure it gets. You quite literally could have knocked it off the hinges with one good kick or shoulder block! So, I bought a prehung, METAL exterior door, and spent a couple of days getting it framed into the existing opening. I know, a "pro" could have done it in 4 hours or less, but it was the first exterior door I'd ever installed. I caulked the inside seams with expanding, fire retardant foam, but never did the finish caulk and painting, which he'll do Wednesday. He'll also rehang the door on the little "shed" extension off the back of the garage, and hinge the one vinyl fence panel we have as a gate to the space between the back of the garage and the block wall. And he'll began the process of sanding/touching up all the trim on the house, fixing a few spots where the stucco popped off, replacing and repairing any other woodwork that needs it, and spotting in faded/thin spots in the paint on the house. When my wife's oldest son "painted" the house right before we met, he did what Dan The Handyman called a "Spray, Pray, and Scoot", also called a "Blow and Go", i.e., a real quick and dirty "paint job" on the house. I've been noticing thin spots in the paint for several years now, but oh, well.....just another thing I tell my wife that gets ignored.

Wednesday afternoon I get my root canal done since it's already scheduled and really needs to be done, and then I'm going to do a bit of dental "shopping" to try and knock the $15k~$18k price they quoted me down to something manageable.

Thursday the new drier gets here and the old one gets dragged away. This afternoon I shut the gas off to the old one, disconnected it, and with the help of Dan The Handyman, we wrestled it out of the side door on the garage, and then I cleaned out the area behind the washer and drier and made sure everything was ready for the new one to start it's tour of duty.

I'm not sure what's going on Friday. I'll probably let Dan do his thing while I clean up the aftermath of the previous three days.

The wife has a little over a week left in her career with the school district, and then I'm sure she'll try and put the spurs to me to get things done at warp-speed. I'm not sure if I can operate at that speed for a sustained period, so I'll try and keep things going at a decent rate, but there's no way I'm going to run at "Ludicrous Speed" to get this stuff done!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Battleship Iowa NI6BB to be On Air to Commemorate D-Day

NI6BB will be operating from 0900 to 1700 PDST in commemoration of D-Day.

Look for us in frequencies ending in "61" on 40 Meters through 10 Meters.

I won't be able to be there this year because we *finally* have a handyman guy showing up to do to needed repairs to get the house ready for sale.

And I can't be there this Wednesday either, as I have (oh, joy...) a root canal scheduled.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

75th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway

Admiral Yamamoto, who may or may not have made the quotation from which this blog's name came from, told his superiors before Pearl Harbor that if the Pearl Harbor strike was successful, he "Could run wild in the Pacific for six months. After that, I do not know".

Six months after Pearl Harbor was the Battle of Midway, considered by many Naval historians to be the "Turning Point" in the Pacific Theater of WWII.

Wikipedia has a very good article on the battle here, and many fine books have been written about it.

Saturday Humor

Just taking a break from garage cleaning....


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thursday Already??

And the clock is counting down towards The Great Colorado Move.....

We've been "pre-qualified" for far more than we want to borrow on the purchase of a house, the wife has checked out the insurance and tax situations, we're still trying to get a handyman service scheduled for the work on the house here, and the clothes drier went kerblooie the day before we left on our latest trip.

The replacement dryer is the same size as the old one, which is 2" smaller than the side door in/out of the garage, so at least I won't have to pull half the garage out to do the R&R.

I'd almost rather get this one fixed, except that after I found out it was "broken", I asked her how, exactly, it was "broken". The last time it just wouldn't heat up, and a $75 service call to replace a $25 temp sensor fixed it in about 15 minutes.

Well...not so lucky this time. She said "Oh, made a burning smell, then went 'POP!', and quit working".

Groan......I'm going to pull the inspection cover off and take a peek inside, but I don't think it'll be $100 to fix it this time!

eBay sales are going well, with half the items I have listed having bids, and the other half destined for either my curio shelf or the junk man.

The next round getting listed Sunday will be some (more) partially restored radios, some radio "basket cases" that were work-in-progress until some of the parts disappeared, and some "Vintage Computing" items, like video cards, sound cards, a couple of Super Socket 7 motherboards with CPU's and memory installed, and whatever else I can quickly drag out of the garage, photograph, and get listed.

And I haven't even gotten to the boxed up / bagged up stuff under the workbench yet.....

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Battleship Iowa Memorial Day Activities

It always bugged me, even as a kid, when people talked about "celebrating" Memorial Day.

You have to be a pretty strange person to "celebrate" the deaths of large numbers of our military!

No, people....we Commemorate Memorial Day. It's a solemn day, or should be, a remembrance of those who gave it all for our country. Flags should be flown at half-mast, and when you hoist a cold one this weekend, make sure you hoist one for all those who never came home.

There's music and food trucks, and free admission for Veterans this weekend down on the Iowa. I'd normally be there for the whole weekend, but with The Great Colorado Move looming, I'm sorting, cleaning, and photographing stuff to list on eBay. After this round the Radio Room will be pretty empty of "surplus" items, and I'll start in on the sellable things I have in the garage.

I'll be on the Iowa all day Monday, as we'll be on-the-air in commemoration of Memorial Day. I think there's a few guys down there today, so look for NI6BB in frequencies ending in "61", like 14.261, one of our favorite frequencies to sit on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Colorado Trip "AAR"

Only been back an hour or two, and still getting normalized, but I thought I'd dash this off for all my friends who are pulling for us in our escape from The People's Demokratik Republik of Kaliforniastan.

First off, little Noah and The Kids are doing well. He's still on supplemental Oxygen, and has a monitor connected to him, but the monitor stays consistently at 95% or above. They "test" him a couple of times a day, per instructions from the NICU, by turning off the O2, and seeing how fast and how far the monitor drops, and then turning the O2 back on. The monitor goes to the NICU weekly, where they download the data from it for analysis.

I forget what the exact parameters are, but they say he's getting better, and will most likely be off the O2 for good in another month or so, but that's entirely up to the Doctors at the NICU.

The "bachelor" apartment in the "shop" building on the property where The Kids are living should be finished in the next month, and that's where we'll be staying when we first move to Fort Collins after we sell this place, and pack up what's left.

It'll be good for the kids. as Grandma #2 will be on-site to take care of Noah while his Mom and Dad are at work.

And of course, Diamond, Coco, and Obie went completely nuts when we got there, and took a couple of days to get used to having us around again. No idea how they'll get along with Pebbles when we get there, though. I think she and Diamond will become fast friends, but Coco gets on this "Alpha Dog" kick every so often, so we'll have to watch that closely. Obie is a complete unknown.

Our in-laws (Noah's other grandparents) are doing great, and it was fun catching up on local news with them while we were there.

The house search is progressing, and my wife has come to grips with the reality of the market in Fort Collins and the surrounding areas. Things I've been telling her for the last two years that were completely ignored coming from me were magically accepted as carved-in-stone facts after the Nice Young Guy real estate agent we spent some time with on Sunday told her the exact same things, and then complimented me for "having a good handle on the local market while living in another state".

She also significantly increased the price cap on properties to search for after FINALLY coming to the grim (for her) realization that we would NEVER be able to buy something that meets her criteria by using only the profit from the sale of this house.

No.....Freaking.....Way would we be able to buy a place with $270k.

Just aint gonna happen.

So now we're looking at the $400k and under market, and there are some stunning places available in the price range.

Older, established neighborhoods with big trees, 12,000+ sq ft lots, and a pride of ownership in the houses and neighborhoods that just shows.

As we were driving through some of the neighborhoods looking for addresses, or just gawking at the houses, people would wave to us! Not shake their fist in a "Get out of here!" attitude, but a big "Howdy neighbor!" kind of wave.

I think we're going to enjoy living up here......

Monday, May 22, 2017

Headed Back To The Land of Fruits and Nuts

Headed back Tuesday morning after a nice restful, productive, and joyous time here in the Fort Collins area.

Restful because the traffic is about 90% less by volume than back in SoCal, productive because my wife has finally realized all the things I've been telling her about the real estate market out here is true, and joyous as we got to spend some time with little Noah, the kids, and Diamond, Coco, and Obie, the three dogs the kids took when they moved here.

We're expecting to walk away with around $275k from the sale of the house in SoCal, and my wife has finally realized we're NOT going to be able to buy a house with just that amount. Well....there are houses out there at that price point, some with very large lots, but the houses are best described as "livable, but need a bit of updating". So, she's raised the house finding price cap to $400k, and that means it's a whole new ball game.

I've been trying to pound that into her head the last two years, but she was completely deaf to my "research findings".

Sunday we met with a different realtor, a very nice young guy who appears to know his stuff, and she listened to him. The little light bulb in her head finally started to glow a bit, and by dinnertime she'd accepted the fact that we're going to have to get a mortgage of about $140k to really make this happen.


So I was up until well after 0100 last night / this morning going over the results of my modified search parameters on the real estate sites I use so we'd have some addresses to go check out today.

The Nice Young Guy had her convinced that we'd find paradise in either Wellington or Loveland (I know better, but she flat-out ignored my advice), so today we checked some properties I thought were good matches for us at $400k and under, and then blew the rest of the day bu first going up to Wellington, and then South down to Loveland. She declared Wellington to be "desolate" (huh?) Loveland to be "too far" (no shit, Sherlock), but was absolutely bowled over by the places I found.

Then she started babbling on about "Well how come YOU can find these houses and the agent can't?" at which point I told her she had the agent searching for stuff at $350k and under, AND searching in Wellington and Loveland, etc, etc, etc, but she still didn't get it.

Double Sigh........

Several of the places I found were out off Mulberry where it crosses Interstate 25, and they were knock-outs. Big lots, very well maintained, big trees, and just a very nice, livable looking neighborhood.

And I found a couple of places in the Laporte area at the new price cap, but we didn't have time to see them after wasting THREE HOURS going down to Loveland even though I knew she wouldn't be happy AT ALL going that far away. There's some nice houses down there, but that area is exploding with new growth and houses, and the roads are NOT capable of supporting the volume of traffic that's going to come.

So, it'll be back to dumping more of my stuff on eBay, giving some to the Iowa, some to friends, and some to the recylce / eWaste people.

She has three weeks until retirement, and then I think she'll really start chomping at the bit to get out of SoCal.

I'd post some of the pix I took, but I can't get them off my phone and on to this blasted laptop. It sees the phone, and that's it, even when I switch the phone from "USB Charging" to "File Transfer Mode".


Friday, May 19, 2017

I Finally Get To Meet Little Noah!

And my wife said I was holding him"Like you were afraid you'd break him"!

Yeah, well.....if I broke him he's one of the few things I couldn't fix on the spot, so yeah, I was pretty careful with him!

He's still on supplemental Oxygen (the tubes by his little head), and wired up to the monitor (wire by his little foot), which you can see behind on the shelf.

Sunday and Monday we'll be driving around with realtors to look at properties. My wife has two weeks left at work before she retires, and then we'll kick it up to warp speed to get the house ready for sale.

Now she's thinking we'll be out of Kommiefornia in September. If I would have suggested that time frame even a few months ago she would have slapped me silly.

Oh, well......

eBay sales over the past couple of weeks went very well, and the Radio Room is about half cleaned out now. As soon as we get back I have several more "basket case" radios I'll drag out of the garage and photograph so I can list them. They're all in good condition, in various stages of restoration, and I'll list them as such. Most of the "hard to do" repairs are (properly) finished on them, and for a couple it's simply a matter of reassembling the box of parts that will sell with each, so several people will get some bargains.

We're also planning on having a yard sale, but I think she's expecting *me* to provide the bulk of the items!

She was looking at my 8' tall Glen Martin tower with the azimuth/elevation rotors on it the other day and said something like "You're not planning on taking that thing when we move, are you?", to which I replied "Only if YOU'LL replace it when we get there!".

After she found out the tower, rotors, thrust bearing, mast, and assorted stainless hardware I used to build it would cost, oh, say $2000 to replace, she backed right off. She remembers me building it, how happy I was to get the rotors working with laptop control, and how much I used it for Field Day and other operations. She had no idea what it all cost, and still doesn't realize that some of things I have, and she sees me use, are sometimes irreplaceable, and a bit pricey if I did have to replace them. This has been an ongoing issue between us in "deciding" what's going with us, and what *I* have to dump to keep her happy.

Oh, well.......I'm sure our little house in Long Beach will sell pretty quickly once we put it on the market.

At this point the concept of "Logistics" is finally dawning on her.....

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Arrived In Fort Collins

Got into Denver about 1530 local time, and was met with 40* temps and rain.

Took almost an hour to get our rental car. The agent told us there had been some bad hailstorms in the last week, and a lot of the rental car fleets had half their stock in the shop being repaired. The daughter-in-law confirmed this, saying a few older malls sustained so much damage that they'd most likely be torn torn rather than repaired.

About 30 miles North of DIA, the rain turned to sleet, and then to snow. I've driven in this stuff before, so it didn't bather me too much, but the wife was white-knuckled until we got to the hotel.

Called the kids, and then ordered some pizza to take with us for dinner.

The dogs went completely bonkers when they saw us, as expected, and I got to meet little Noah tonight.

We left their place about 2130, and the snow had tapered off quite a bit.

The Denver Tee Vee stations are in "ZOMG!!! SNOWMAGEDDON!!!" mode, predicting up to 7" overnight.

It's 2245 here, and I'm trashed from the flight and the drive.

More tomorrow........

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Light Posting Ahead

As if I could get any "lighter" than I already am.....

We're head out to Colorado Thursday morning to see the grandbaby, hang out with the family, and do some serious house hunting.

Here's the little guy all dressed up for his first Mother's Day:

I've got about 12 items from my eBay sales to get packed and shipped today, and then have some chores around the house to do before we get out of here.

And I have to get my rolling duffle out of the garage and pack it up.

I'll be on the Iowa all day Wednesday doing some meetings and a recap of our Armed Forces Day Cross-Band test where we had the Iowa on-the-air as NEPM for the first time since 1990.

I went pretty well, with a few operator error snafus, and a few technical problems, but we had a great turn out, plenty of operators, and some great food from one of our new members whose wife owns a sandwich shop, and makes killer potato salad.

Had some "family issues" yesterday that shot the whole day (Rev. Paul knows what I'm talking about), but that seems to have settled down for now.

Pix from the Iowa NEPM ops might be posted later today, God willin' and the crick don't rise!

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Dentist Said...HOW MUCH?!!!?

Oh, boy......

I got back from the Dentist a while ago and I'm still reeling from "Sticker Shock".

I knew I need some dental work as I've been getting food trapped between my rear most molars on the bottom on both sides, and a month or so ago I had a chip break out of one on the lower right side. Plus, I need a really good cleaning as I haven't been to the Dentist since I retired 3 years ago and lost my Dental coverage at the Dentist I've been going to since 1995.

My wife's dental plan didn't cover her, and while I'd been to my wife's Dentist during my lay-off between Boeing and Energia, I just kinda-sorta "never went" back since I started retirement.

WELLLLL.....I need a bit more than I anticipated.

A LOT more, in fact.

About $18k more......

To start, I need a crown on one tooth, but at least that tooth in good enough shape that it doesn't need a root canal.

And I have three fillings that are "leaking" and need to be replaced. The X-Rays show those three teeth are in good condition except that the fillings are shot.

The real kicker is I need THREE teeth extracted, and implants placed there or the teeth above them will soon get all weirded out, and I'll lose them.

And because of a night-time problem of grinding my teeth when I sleep, my lower front teeth are worn to the point that if I don't get all of them crowned, they'll be going bye-bye in a few years....

Looks like my "Colorado Garage Fund" just took a major hit.......

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Little Noah Finally Goes Home!


The natal ICU was happy with his progress, and he hasn't had any "incidents" in a long enough time to be released, so the kids brought him home Tuesday.

Here's the happy Mom with the doggie nannies in attendance:

And here's a short video of the little guy snuggled in his car seat on the way home.

We're headed out there next week to spend a week with the kids and Noah, and do some house hunting.

My wife has TWENTY DAYS of work remaining before she retires.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

President Trump Finally Says "You're FIRED!" to Comey

I was hoping he'd do it in his first 100 days, but hey...better a bit late than never!

Trump Fires Comey

Stand by for a deluge of liberal tears, and the inevitable leftist meltdown.....

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Rainy Day Sunday, Moving Preps, and Other Stuff

Getting some "Spring Rains" here in SoCal. Got about .15" last night/early today, and it just cut loose again.

That's a bit unusual here for this time of year, but not unheard of.

Total as of right now is about .38", and it's slowed from a pretty good downpour (for out here) to a nice steady drizzle.

I'm sloooowly getting the Radio Room cleaned out, and I've gotten rid of about 1/3 of the stuff that was stacked up in here. A lot of it is going on eBay, some on QRZ and eHam, some has been given away, and some of it is outside on the back porch on it's way to either the eWaste place, or the recycling place for anything aluminum or copper. It kind of pains me to scrap some of it as it's older, but perfectly functional, stuff that I know somebody could make use of, but that nobody wants.

Some of it's heavy, and not too many people will bid on a good, usable $10 item if the shipping is $25!

I haven't sold much on eBay in the last year or so, and when I took my latest bunch of stuff to get shipped I got hit with "sticker shock" when I had to pay the tab to ship it. Stuff that used to cost $10~$15 to ship cost $20~$25 this time, and I wound up losing money on a couple of items. The items I put on eBay last Sunday had shipping prices that I thought were a bit high, but people have bids on them, so I guess I'm not out of line.

I don't use the eBay Shipping Calculator as I've found it to be grossly low on the actual cost of shipping, even when I "padded" the dimensions and weight, and ADDED 10% to that! I lost my 10% discount at the place I use as my friend sold the business to a nice young couple so he could go full time into the coffee roasting/selling side business he had going, so that accounts for a small cost increase, but geez.....I'm paying DOUBLE what I did just a year or so ago.

As far as The Great Colorado Move goes, we talked with a couple of handyman guys to get some things done here that I can't or won't do ( I do NOT paint! Long story there....), and one guy never called back, and one guy has a big project remodeling the bathroom at The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo that's paying him big bucks, and he can't squeeze us in within the time frame my wife wants.

We need some wall repair/painting inside, a driveway gate replaced, and a bunch of other stuff done. This week I'm pulling some antennas down and packing them up, and then the patio area is getting taken down due to dry rot and termite damage. The top of the patio area is where I have my 33' HF vertical, so I have to get that off the "roof" of the patio, pull down my elevated radials, and remove the remote antenna coupler, coax, and a bunch of stuff so my son and I can disassemble the structure.

My wife thinks she can just take my SawzAll and chop the thing down, but I know better, although there's been a few times in the last couple of weeks when I've been tempted to get the SawzAll out, and tell her to have at it........

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Battleship Iowa Armed Forces Day Military/Amateur Cross-Band Operation

The Battleship Iowa will be operating with her original US Navy callsign of NEPM on 11 May 2017 from 0900PDST to 1700PDST, 1600UTC to 2359UTC.

The ARRL announcement is located here, and the official MARS announcement is located here.

Frequencies used to transmit from the ship, and the frequencies we will be listening on, are shown below.

The transmit frequencies have been assigned by Army MARS for exclusive use by NEPM, so you shouldn't have any trouble hearing use as nobody else will be transmitting on these frequencies.

We'll be using our "regular" Commercial Amateur Radio gear and the Disc/Cage antenna on the bow of the Iowa, and the Trussed Monopole located on the top of the AFFF station near the helodeck on the stern of the ship.

The "Grey Radio Gang" WILL be operating the ship's "legacy" on the 75/80 Meter and/or the 40 Meter frequencies.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Grandson Update....

The little guy is rapidly approaching SIX pounds now, and is drinking around 90% of his bottle.

Bigger and bigger, stronger and stronger as they days go by. Medical advances for premies are astounding. It wasn't that long ago his chances of survival at 10 weeks early would have been pretty slim.

We'll be seeing him in about a month, and I get to hold him.

Wonder if he'll grab at my beard......

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day!

The USAF wishes all our terrorist friends a very Happy Earth Day!

Your gifts should be arriving shortly.....

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"The X-Files" Is Coming Back Again....

According to this article over at CNET, Fox has signed up for another 10 episodes.

And that reminds me....I still haven't watched the six episodes I recorded the last time it "came back"....

Something to do this weekend while the wife is visiting her friend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Busy Day

Spent the day on the Iowa doing radio stuff, and in meetings.

Museum Ship's Weekend is coming up, so I have a few things to tinker together for the Grey Radio Gang, namely another little adapter box so they can interface a "Red Phone" with a laptop to route some audio to the Combat Engagement Center.

But before that, we have the Armed Forces Crossband Test coming up. This is a test whereby we'll be allowed to transmit on approved DoD frequencies, and listen on the Amateur Radio frequencies.

Sometime back, one of our members was able to contact the guys that do USN ship callsign assignments. He also contacted the USCG Heron, which was using the callsign NEPM at the time.

The importance of the USN callsign NEPM is that it's the callsign originally issued to the USS Iowa when she was commissioned.

The Captain of the Heron was more than willing to release the callsign, and in exchange we helped him get NHRN, an exchange that made both sides happy.

We now have authorization to use NEPM, "In Perpetuity", from the DoD, and we'll take the Iowa on-the-air, using the 1980's ship's legacy radio gear, on May 11th this year.

This will be the first time the Iowa has been on-the-air with NEPM in 27 years.