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.....

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.....

Meet Luna!

 Great name for our new pup, eh? She's camera shy, and "Red Eye Removal" doesn't work for dogs! She's two years old, p...