Saturday, September 29, 2012

0bama Tells Defense Contractors NOT to Issue Layoff Notices Over Sequestration

Seeing as most of the employees who work for defense contractors hate 0bama's guts, getting the contractors to NOT issue the legally required notices is just more smoke and mirrors from this most transparent administration in history.

Seeing as the notices would be mailed to the employees before the November elections, I guess Chairman MaoBama figures he can pull the wool/blow the smoke, and con the people into not knowing what's going on.

Article below is from The Hill:

The Obama administration issued new guidance intended for defense contractors Friday afternoon, reiterating the administration’s position that the companies should not be issuing layoff notices over sequestration.
The Labor Department issued guidance in July saying it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to issue notices of potential layoffs tied to sequestration cuts. But a few contractors, most notably Lockheed Martin, said they still were considering whether to issue the notices — which would be sent out just days before the November election.
But the Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.
The guidance said that if plant closings or mass layoffs occur under sequestration, then “employee compensation costs for [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] WARN act liability as determined by a court” would be paid for covered by the contracting federal agency.

Senate Republicans, who accused the White House of trying to hide job losses after the first guidance, said Friday that the new OMB statement “puts politics ahead of American workers.” “The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said in a statement. “The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices.”
The fight over WARN Act notices began in June when Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens said his company might send the notices to all 123,000 of its employees.
Some companies were hesitant to follow Lockheed, but several others told McCain in letters earlier this month they might send the notices, too, despite the Labor Department guidance.
But the new guidance would appear to address one of the chief concerns from the companies — that they could be liable to compensate employees who were laid off if the companies don’t issue the notices.
The GOP senators complained, however, that this tactic would push the cost of the layoffs onto taxpayers.
A Lockheed Martin spokeswoman told The Hill that the company is still reviewing the documents.

And there's another related article here.


X-Files Humor

My son just sent me this.
We're still of the opinion the "The X-Files" was one of the better TV programs ever made.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Another Reason To Dump AARP, As If You Need One More

I had been a member up until they supported Obamacare, against the wishes of almost all of their membership.

I immediately tore up my card, and sent it back to them cancelling my membership, and joined AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens.

I figured AARP must have had some "internal" reason to so strongly support this POS legislation, and now I know why.
They license out their name to independent companies selling "Medigap" insurance, and collect a 4.95% "royalty". This "royalty" brings them in a huge chunk of money, and like most things these days, It's All About The Benjamins.

Please go read the article here on the Political Outcast site. It's very interesting.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feel Flows

No reason for posting this, other than the fact between this and "Surf's Up", they're my two favorite Beach Boys songs from their later works.

I guess I "grew up" at the right time as far as listening to the Beach Boys, and almost all of their songs have some sort of "meaning" to me, from the surfing/hot rod days, to their more introspective, exploratory music.

We were a different country then, full of *real* hope and promise, on our way to the Moon, and soon everybody would have a flying car, and a newfangled thing called a "Microwave Oven" that would cook your food in just seconds.

We all knew what was "Right", and what was "Wrong", and we had yet to lose our innocence in that quagmire of a far away place with a funny name. Viet Nam, I think it was called......

Every young man's dream was to cruise around in his Hot Rod, be the King of the Street, and pick up the coolest chicks.

Of course, we weren't really sure what we'd do with them once we picked them up, but then I guess the thrill of the chase is what motivated us.

Solid-lifter cams thumping away, the bark of the tires against the street when you slammed into second gear, and the smell of a slightly rich Holley carb sucking real 100 Octane fuel @ 35 cents a gallon, and exhaling it out through Hooker Headers, 2-1/2" pipes, and Chrysler Street Hemi mufflers, the hot setup for street-legal exhaust.

Catalytic converter?? Oh, yeah, my older brother works at the Texaco refinery, and I think he says that's what they use to "crack" the molecules and remake them into High-Octane Gasoline.

Almost makes me want to whisper "Rosebud"........


Unfolding enveloping missiles of soul
Recall senses sadly
Mirage like soft blue like lanterns below
To light the way gladly
Whether whistling heaven's clouds disappear
Where the wind withers memory
Whether whiteness whisks soft shadows away
Feel flows (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (Black hot glistening shadowy flows)

Unbending never ending tablets of time
Record all the yearning
Unfearing all appearing message divine
Eases the burning
Whether willing witness waits at my mind
Whether hope dampens memory
Whether wondrous will stands tall at my side
Feel flows (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (Black hot glistening shadowy flows)

Encasing all embracing wreath of repose
Engulfs all the senses
Imposing, unclosing thoughts that compose
Retire the fences
Whether wholly heartened life fades away
Whether harps heal the memory
Whether wholly heartened life fades away
Whether wondrous will stands tall at my side
Whether whiteness whisks soft shadows away
Feel goes (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel flows (Black hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (White hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feelings to grow (White hot glistening shadowy flows)

White hot glistening shadowy flows
White hot glistening shadowy flows
White hot glistening shadowy flows


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pledge Allegiance To WHO?

Just read this article over at Political Outcast.

I'm much more inclined to do this:

Thanks to Mike over at Sipsey Street for posting the cartoon.

At least people won't riot in the streets and burn buildings in the USA for posting "Politically Offensive" catoons.

Or will they......


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Training New Shooters

I received an email yesterday from another NRA Instructor friend of mine asking if I could help him this morning at an NRA "First Steps" pistol course.

Of course I said yes!

Normally he limits the size of his classes to 10 people, *maybe* 12,but hes been so swamped with applicants, and he knows numerous other instructors, that he decided to increase his class size as long as he can get some of us "other" instructors to help.

We had 18 people today, and after he ran the classroom section, out we went to the range.

The other instructor and I had (somewhat) prepped the 5 lanes he reserved, having stacks of targets ready, plenty of empty magazines and ammo, and a table set up to use in between rounds.

We started the students off with just plain old 8-1/2x11 sheets of paper to see where they were getting hits, and correcting them as necessary.

We had the usual issues with new shooters; poor grip, poor stance, poor sight picture, which all resulted in them not being able to consistently hit the piece of paper. Most of them were too "aggressive" in their stance, with their feet too far apart both side-to-side, and front-to-rear, or leaning back, rather than forward, so we worked on that first. Then we made sure they understood proper grip, and reminded them of what a proper sight picture was.

Everybody got two magazines (20 rounds) on blank paper, and when we were satisfied they understood what they were doing, we moved on to "real" targets.

We let them fire another 20 rounds at the targets, had a question/answer break, and went back to another round of targets to see how they were doing.

For the Grand Finale, they got one target, and one magazine, and shot for "score".

It was amazing to see them improve from the blank paper to the targets, and improve again after the break.

We were using Ruger "Mark II" pistols, a nice little 22LR semiautomatic that's fairly easy to shoot, especially after you add a few dabs of white paint to the all-black sights!

All of the students did very well, and their range safety discipline was excellent, and was better than I've seen in some of the advanced classes I've taken.

After the range session, we went back in the classroom, and handed out their NRA cards, patches, and certificates, and had another Q & A session.

They ALL wanted to know when the next, slightly more advanced, classes would be held, how could they join the NRA, and asked a bunch of questions about going to the range, buying their own guns, and how to store and transport them safely.

The student ranged from 19 years old, to 70 years old, and all in between. The youngest and oldest were a grandmother and her grandson, and the "Best Shot" in the class was a 50 year old woman whose husband is an LAPD officer.

All in all it was a very fine day, even though the class ran over 45 minutes.

It's great to see young and old people show up for these classes, and doubly great that they all have a positive attitude about becoming good, SAFE shooters and gun owners!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Endeavour Came Home Today

It's flying over the Roase Bowl/Pasadena area right now, and then down to orange County where it will do a flyby of the Boeing plant in Huntington beach.

Then up the coast, over the Queen Mary in Long Beach, ad then to LAX.

It should get really close to us, and I'll try and grab some pix......

One crappy picture. You can barely see it between the light pole and the stern of the MARAD ship. I was walking out to see if I could spot it, and before I was out of the building, I *heard* it, and knew I was too late.

Oh, well......

And, of course, the local L.A. "news" crews are going nuts about "History Being Made".


History was made when it FLEW, not when it's being put out to pasture.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rare Photo of Marx and Obama Together

Sorry about the quality, but it's a rather old photo.....

And on a further note........


Sunday, September 16, 2012

First X-15 Powered Flight 53 Years Ago Today


I've always been in love with the X-15, the most successful Research Aircraft of all time. As a little boy of 10 years old, I built *every* model of it I could find. I built just the X-15, and the kit that was the NB-52 Carrier Aircraft, with a little 4" removable X-15 that you could pop off the pylon and "fly" away while your other buddies played "Chase-1" and "Chase-2" with models of the F-100 Super Sabre and F-104 Starfighter, leaving your 4th buddy to lumber around "flying" the now lonely NB-52 back to your "base".

September 17th will mark the fifty-third anniversary of the X-15's first powered flight.

There were a total of 3 aircraft built, known by their tail numbers of 66670, 66671, and 66672.

At first the aircraft were powered by a pair of XLR11 rocket engines, which were the same engines used in the Bell X-1 due to the much more powerful XLR99 engine being behind schedule.

It was the first aircraft to routinely exceed  100,000 feet, and towards the end of the program, it routinely flew at 200,000~250,000 feet.

The record altitude for the X-15 was 354,200 feet, a record that stood for FORTY ONE years, until Brian Binnie in SpaceShipOne exceeded in 2004 by achieving and altitude of 367,441 feet.

In terms of speed, the X-15 was the first aircraft to exceed Mach 4, Mach 5, and Mach 6, with its fastest flight being Mach 6.72, or 4520 MPH.

The Mach 6.72 flight was flown by the X-15A-2, a modified version of the #2 aircraft, shown above, wearing it's ablative coating.

This is 6630 feet-per-second, nearly THREE times as "Fast as a speeding bullet". The aircraft was damaged by local heating, suffering several burnt-through areas on its lower (ventral) stabilizer. Although North American rebuilt the aircraft, it never flew again, and the program was terminated after 199 flights.

A typical flight would have the X-15 carried aloft by the NB-52 to 45,000 feet and Mach .85, and then released. The pilot would light the engine, and then fly a very precise profile for either a high-speed, or high-altitude flight. High-altitude flights typically released the X-15 in the vicinity of Wendover, Utah, while high-speed flights would release the X-15 in Northern Nevada. The ground track was 300~400 nautical miles, depending on flight profile, and the aircraft landed, dead-stick, approximately 8 to 12 minutes after release.

That's right, only eight to twelve minutes for the entire flight, from release to landing!

And the landing was unpowered, "Dead Stick", with a descent rate of 12,000 feet-per-minute, and a glide angle of 12*~20*, at 200~300 knots, depending on where the aircraft was in the landing pattern.

Ten men flew the X-15, and one gave his life exploring the unknown realm of high-speed, high-altitude flight in this aircraft.

They were:
Mike Adams, USAF
Neil Armstrong, NASA
Scott Crossfield, North American Aviation
Bill Dana, NASA
Joe Engle, USAF
Pete Knight, USAF
Jack McKay, NASA
Forrest Petersen, USN
Bob Rushworth, USAF
Milt Thompson, NASA
Joe Walker, NASA
Bob White, USAF

These were very brave men, pushing forward the frontiers of flight. I'm honored to have known, and worked with, Pete Knight.

While the "Mercury Seven" were getting all the 'good press', benefits, and public adoration, the men who flew the X-15 were basically unknown, although several  of them would go on to other programs, and one into the history books.

The X-15 was really America's first operational spaceship, and collected much needed data about hypersonic  and high-altitude flight. Much of this information helped solve problems with the Space Shuttle, and validated or corrected, theoretical data from earlier wind tunnel research.

I find it amazing that this aircraft was flying 50 years ago, and data collected during the program are still useful.

And I find it even more amazing that we no longer have any programs of this sort operating.

The follow-on/concurrent program to the X-15 was to be the X-20 Dyna-Soar, but interagency politics )USAF vs NASA) and Robert Macnamara killed that one.

If the X-20 program had come to fruition, we would have had a fully functional, reusable, spaceplane flying ten to fifteen years before the Space Shuttle.

But that's a story for another day.....


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The War on Guns: Calling All "Gun Bloggers"

Something worth supporting, I think.

I didn't "kick in" a lot of money, but I think they'll easily make their goal.

The War on Guns: Calling All "Gun Bloggers"


A Little Humor Today....

From various sources.......

Straight From The Horse's Mouth
A Biker is sitting in a bar in Sturgis, South Dakota, when Barack Obama comes on TV.
The man looks at the TV and says, "Obama is a horse's ass." Out of nowhere, a local jumps up and punches him in the face, knocking the first guy off his bar stool, then stomps out.
The Biker gets back up, rubbing his cheek and orders another beer. Shortly after that incident, Michelle Obama appears on the TV. He looks at the TV and says, "She is a horse's ass too!" Out of nowhere,
another local punches him in the other side of his face, knocking him off his bar stool once again.
He gets back up and looks at the bartender, "I take it this is Obama country?"
"Nope." replies the bartender. "Horse country."

Recently, while working in the flower beds in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog.

During the friendly conversation, I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up.
She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?"
She replied... "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people."
Her parents beamed with pride!
"Wow...what a worthy goal!" I said. "But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that! "I told her.
"What do you mean?" she replied.

So I told her, "You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and  trim my hedge, and I'll pay you $50. Then you can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out and give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house."
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"

I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."
Her parents aren't speaking to me anymore


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Car Maintenance aned Radio Daze

Did some minor maintenance on our four vehicles today.

Checked all tires for correct air pressure.
Checked all engines for coolant, windshield washer, and oil levels.
Replaced everybody's wiper blades and air filter.
Cleaned the windows in all four cars.

Since my right leg is feeling much better, I've been more active.
The shoulder still hurts, and it takes two Naproxens to knock the pain down. I'm going to tell them Monday afternoon at PT that I don't think my "Subscapularius" muscle is healing.

AND....I'm messing around with some radio stuff. Mostly I'm writing up a beginners guide to short wave and SHTF portable radios for wirecutter, and I'm still working on the "Expedient HF Antennas" article that I promised the guys over at Western Rifle Shooters Association about a year or so ago.

After I get the first article done on listening for Kenny, I'll start one on (legal) transmitting. He brought up some good points in our emails about most people don't know very much about practical radio use in regards to what kind of little radio to stuff into their BOB, SHTF bag, or whatever you call yours, and how to use them.

And he's 100% correct. You can get some excellent, small, power stingy, portable radios these days that cover AM, FM, and SW that you could use to at least get an idea of what's going on if/when things collapse, BUT unless you have a little basic training about how to use them, you probably won't get much "value" out of them.

Out here in the People's Democratic Republic of Kaliforniastan, we call them "Earthquake Radios", and we keep them with our "Earthquake Supplies". 25 or so years ago I was making up a list of stuff, and one of my buddies saw it, and asked if he could add something to it.
Right at the top, he added three items:

12ga pump
ten boxes of shells for each

Interesting foresight from a good friend who's no longer with us.....


Thursday, September 6, 2012

OpenSUSE 12.2 Released

I've been running Linux since about 1995, and various version of SuSE for just about as long. I've tried all of the major distributions, and a lot of obscure ones, and always kept coming back to Suse, now named OpenSUSE.
12.2 was released yesterday, and I downloaded it last night. Since I had a ton of files on the hard-disk in this machine, the easiest way (for me) to upgrade to the new release (I was running 11.4) was to just install another drive, do a clean installation on the new drive, and keep the drive that was running 11.4 as a secondary drive until I can get all my files transferred.
So far it's running just fine, but it'll take me a few days of tweaking it to get it to look like I want it to, and probably another week to get all the packages that I'm used to having installed.
The nice thing about Linux is that it's virtually immune to virus attacks, spyware, malware, and most of the other Bad Stuff floating around on the Web.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"The Union Creek Journal" Now Available for Kindle and as a PDF

I don't know how many of you have stopped by The Union Creek Journal blog.
You can now download all 337 pages of it as a pdf for a paltry $6.99!
It's a really good read, and I think you'd enjoy it.
I don't own a Kindle, so I went with the pdf download.
One of these days when I have an extra half-ream of paper, and a new toner cart, I'll duplex print it out for myself.

Work Injury

Well, I have a sprained left shoulder, and a nerve in my right leg that gets compressed when I stand too long.
At least I'm lucky that this nerve just makes my leg get numb, and doesn't make me fall down screaming in pain.
I start Physical Therapy tomorrow morning, 3 times a week for 6 weeks, and they gave me a bottle of Naproxen.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Well, we were *supposed* to go see John Williams tonight at the Hollywood Bowl, but my leg has been acting up all day. Even though we get there early so we can park right across the street, we still have to walk quite a distance to where our seats are.
At least we found one of her friends who was delighted to get the tickets, so they didn't go to waste. She says she'll tell us how good the seats were, and how the show was.
As far as my work-related injury, I had my quarterly check-up on Wednesday, and my Doctor informed me that they are NOT allowed to examine or treat a work-related injury. So, after I got back (excellent check-up, btw), I spent TWO HOURS on the phone finding a place that I could deal with out of the dozens that are listed on the State Insurance Fund website.
I have an appointment with them on Tuesday at 3pm, and woe betide my employer if they give me any grief about leaving "early" to get to the appointment!


Been Busy....Follow-Up Post Coming Soon To A Browser Near <i>YOU</i>!

 Been a week since last post. Been busy herding grandkids, playing with the dog, yard work, house items, and working on all manner of stuff....