Monday, February 27, 2017

Stilton's Back!

"Hope n' Change" was one of my favorite blogs during the 8 years of the Obamanation. His humor helped keep me (and countless others) going on with our lives during what will most likely be considered by future historians as some of the darkets days in American history.

Well, with the election of President Trump (I still like writing that!), the Hope n' Change blog had pretty much run its course.

But Stilton promised us he'd be back, and he just launched his new blog.

Without further ado, I highly suggest you mosey on over to "Stilton's Place" and enjoy his new pursuit.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Meanwhile, Out Near San Clemente Island.....

Just going through some old pix of my Sea Launch days and found this one.

We were out by the Naval Bombing Range on San Clemente for sea trial after coming back in 2011. We were required to go out there to fire up all our various radio and telemetry systems as some of the Russian stuff used frequencies not licensed for that use in the US.

Well, there we were, and along pop up these guys:

Obviously some type of training mission......

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Almost The Weekend.....

And we have some more rain coming.

The weather station finally started acting normal again after drying out for a few days.

The night time temps have been in the low 40's the last couple of nights, and in the high 50's/low 60's during the day.

I'll take the big tarp off the Supra Friday and drive her around a bit, then put the tarp back over her.

Working on a few radio projects, and doing another RF survey for the Iowa, this time in a format that's easier for "lay people" to understand.

That's all for now. Just don't have much to write.....

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Big Light In Sky Scares Local Residents.....

Well, maybe not, but it sure is good to see the Sun after so many days of overcast skies and rain.

We have a 60% chance of rain tonight and tomorrow, but they're predicted to be light showers, nothing like the last deluge we had.

And something went wonky in my weather station. The anemometer had stopped working during the last rain, and now the yearly rainfall total is showing something like 185", more than ten times what we've actually received.

We had some major electrical disturbances during the rain, large green fireballs and BUZZZZ-ZAP! coming from a powerline one street over, and several power drop-outs lasting four to five minutes. This has never been a problem before, as the weather station, living room scanner, and my Drake TR-270 Ham Radio VHF/UHF transceiver all operate from a 1500VA APC UPS, and it's a brute of a UPS. It's one of the larger "Smart-UPS Pure Sinewave" units that weighs about 5 times as much as the "Back-Ups" ones commonly available at places like Best Buy.

The scanner and Drake are operating normally, so I'm guessing I either have some water intrusion into connecting cable, or something has gone South in either the remote head, or the control console hanging on the wall inside. I'll pull the "C" cell back up batteries out later, and unplug the wall wart to see if it resets. Otherwise I'll have to get the ladder out and get up there to see if the cable connections got wet and/or corroded. It's been up there since October of 2009, and I bought it new in 2005, so it might just be ready for replacement.

This model is no longer available, but it looks like they have a newer version of the cabled units. I really don't want to go wireless, as that means changing out a battery in the remote head every once in a while, something I'd rather not do!

Friday, February 17, 2017

It's Raining Cats and Dogs!

Or so says my weather station.

Rain was supposed to start last night at 1900, then the rolled it back to 2200, but it didn't start until about 0600 this morning.

As of right now (1522 PST) we've picked up about .65", and it's cominf down in sheets.

I'd give you a wind speed report, but it looks like my anemometer has decided to take the day off, and I'm not going outside to even check it, let alone attempt a repair!

This screen shot show the current NWS weather radar image:

And this one shows the sat image:

So as you can see, whe're in the middle of a storm cell, with more coming.

The barometer is dropping like a rock, currently at 29.30. and it promises to be a pretty wet and windy night.


We've received 1.7" as of 1645, and the rain rate is now 2.40" in/hr.

"Lake Long Beach" is coming back for a return engagement.....

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pretty Much Back to "Normal"....

Or as "normal" as I get!

Went out on my mail run last night, and did the grocery shopping for the first time in, oh....years.

My wife is still fighting off the remnants of this crud, but she soldiered off to work this morning. Since she's the Office Administrator, when she's gone for a few days the place kinda runs on autopilot, but always seems to hit some turbulence requiring her to answer the phone even when she's out sick.

Looking forward to Wednesday, when I give LL the Grand Tour of the Iowa. I'm sure he'll enjoy it, and since I have access to nominally "Off Limits" areas, I'll show him some of the more interesting things.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Feeling Better, Finally....

Getting back to being myself after almost a week since this bug bit me.

Not coughing all night long, but I'm still congested and a bit worn out.

Nothing else to post today....maybe something later.

Monday, February 6, 2017


Been in bed all day.
 Nose is still running like Niagara, every single muscle in me hurts, I have a pounding headache, and it took ten minutes to write threse lines.

Go read the good people in the links....I'm going back to bed..........

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Miscellaneous Stuff

Family medical emergency is somewhat under control.

I'm coughing and sneezing every 5 minutes, all my muscles ache, my nose is running like Niagara, my head feels like a balloon, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I'm sure I picked this bug up one of the two times I went to the ER last week. Most everybody was wearing face masks, and there were signs up advising people to wear them.

My wife just ran out to pick up some NyQuil and Mucinex, and she'll probably be sleeping in the front bedroom tonight so I don't wake her up with my coughing.

My friend Randy who posted, and then mailed me, the pix of a very young drjim in his basement Ham Radio shack also posted the only photo known to exist of my 1969 Dodge Charger R/T.

This was taken in the 1969~70 school year, as we sold the car in the spring after Allstate found out that it was a Charger R/T, and not "just" a Charger, and TRIPLED my insurance rates.

$500/year I could handle with my parents help and my part-time jobs, but FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS PER YEAR was an astounding amount of money back then, more than a "college kid" could afford. With 100 Octane leaded premium fuel costing thirty eight cents a gallon, $5 a week was enough gas to go to/from school, my job, and cruise around a bit when the weather was nice.

For those that don't know....the car is a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T with the SE (Special Edition) package, 440 Magnum V8, TorqueFlite automatic trans, 3.23 SureGrip ("POSI") rear, power steering, 11" manual DRUM brakes, tinted glass, and an AM radio. The SE package included "leather" (worst automotive leather I've ever seen) seating surfaces on the front seats, a simulated wood grain dash and steering wheel, a lighting package (light over ignition key, door panel lamps, and hood-mounted turn signal indicators), clock, and "SE" emblems. The paint code was "T5 Copper Metallic", and it had a tan interior. It did NOT have the R/T "Bumblebee" stripe because we ordered it from the Dodge dealer (Melvin Teasdale Dodge) in Morris, IL that my Mom grew up with, and since it was "her" car, he checked the "delete stripe" box on the order form, and also specified white wall tires instead of the standard Red Line F-70x14 tires they normally came with. With the stripe delete (There were discrete "R/T" emblems on the rear quarters) and white walls, it was a real sleeper! The best it ever ran at the strip was a 15.60@102MPH as it was severely traction limited with those skinny tires on 5" wide rims. I could spin the tires as long as I wanted to, and it would get pretty boring after a block or three. I wanted to get the 15" Magnum 500 styled steel rims with white letter Goodyear PolyGlas F-70x15" tires, but that would have put me WAY over budget, as that option required extra cost power disc brakes, and I wanted the SE package. My friend Randy and I took this car out one night and I held the accelerator down until it topped out at an indicated 130MPH. I don't know what RPM the engine was turning, because the tach would have cost about $100 extra, and I just couldn't afford it. Window sticker on it was exactly $4004, and I think we got it for about $3600~$3700.

"Mindbender II" was the name of a road rally a friend of mine and I laid out, and "JJC" stood for Joliet Junior College, also called "Ju-Co" or "Super High". It was the first public junior college in the USA, and this was the first year the school was located at its new campus, waaaay out on the West side of Joliet, on a high plateau surrounded by cornfields.

There was nothing to break the wind and snow in the winter time, and it could get pretty brutal for the Midwest, with 30~40 MPH winds, and temps of 10*~20* below zero. The closest parking spot to the temporary classrooms (trailers) was over a quarter mile away, and you typically walked at least a half mile, usually  more, from parking to your classroom.

People who didn't dress properly could, and did, get frost bite walking in to the classrooms from the parking lot.

JJC was a nice transition from high school to "college", but if you weren't careful, you'd treat it like an extension of high school ("Super High"), and fall flat on your face if/when you went away to a "real" college or University.

Supras and Stereos.....

 The repairs on the Fisher RS-2010 are proceeding, but a bit slower than I expected. The failed transistor is an obsolete part number, so I ...