Friday, June 30, 2023

Battleship Iowa Rotates Turret III For The First Time in 30 years.

 Amazing to see it come to life. One of the very few things I miss about living in SoCal was being allowed to crawl all over the ship, and see all the cool Behind The Scenes things.

BZ, shipmates!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

New PC for SLW


 And man, am I out of date on the tech! My last build and Windows installation was during the Windows 7 days. SLW needs her PC to run some current business software, and that means Windows 11, complete with a lot of hardware and software things I had to learn. Like the UEFI BIOS, TPM stuff, and Secure Boot. Windows 11 requires all these things to install and run. Since her new little Shuttle "XPC Cube" is new hardware, and meets the listed hardware requirements for Win11, I figured another ho-hum Windows installation.


The specs for this little Hot Rod are far in excess of what Micro$oft considers the minimum.

CPU requires a 64-bit processor with at least two cores @ 1GHz.

I have eight cores @ 3.5GHz. This processor is certified as compatible with Windows 11  by both Micro$oft and Shuttle.

Memory is 4GB minimum.

I have 64GB.

Storage (drive space) is 64GB minimum

I have 1TB.

And this PC has the required UEFI BIOS, and supports all the required firmware/security items.

And STILL the Windows installer stops with an error message about the PC not meeting minimum requirements.

Shuttle has even certified it for Windows 11, noting that certain things have to be changed from the defaults in the BIOS. The newest version of the BIOS has these changes, so I'm considering flashing it to that version.

And it looks like I'll have to find some Shuttle User Forums and see how other people figured this out and manged to get Windows to stop choking during the installation.

Also been working on Ms. Swan. Since I had to revert it back to OEM configuration to pass the visual exam on the required every-five-years smog test for "Collector Car" plates. This means pulling the Big, Shiny aftermarket Air Intake Tube:

And put the boring-plastic-and-rubber OEM ducting back on, which I can't find any pix of. Oh,'s restrictive, ugly, and has five sections of rubber couplings, plastic parts, and an air-chamber "Resonator" that reduces the inlet noise at wide open throttle.

Looks like a bunch of rain coming in, so I have to scoot off to the dump and empty a full bed of yard trash that's been in the truck for a several days now.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and Blessed Sunday.





Saturday, June 24, 2023

Race Day!

 On a fairly small scale. Since TLG made an unexpected (by me) visit for an overnighter, I was stuck on what to do when it was my turn to goof off with him.

So I got out the two little R/C trucks, charged the batteries, and off we went!

We had a ball running them up, down, and around the cul-de-sac here, and up into the front yard. These little "1/12th Scale" 4WD trucks are pretty quick, and can handle some impressive stunts, but they bog down in tall grass, and just spin all 4 tires. I had planned driving in the ground rods for the antennas today, but that got put on hold, and tomorrow is TNLG's 2nd birthday, so we'll be busy then, too.

Just a spectacular day today. Sunny, blue skies, mid 70's, and light breezes. Just delightful.

Hope you all have a Blessed Sunday!

Friday, June 23, 2023

Post-Op Visit

Had my post-op appointment with "my" Urologist this morning. He was very buoyant about the Pathology/Cytology reports on the samples he sent them.

NO evidence of any type of malignancy; ALL the results were "Benign" or "Negative".

SLW breathed an audible sigh of relief. Or it might have been a sigh of resignation knowing she has to put up with me for the foreseeable future.
So the Nurse removed the catheter, and sent me home with instructions to return late in the afternoon.

Wasn't able to void, and I had 500mL they drained via the catheter that went back in.

The Doctor was very hopeful that I would NOT need another procedure/surgery today, and it'll be interesting to see what he has to say at the next visit.

And my last Orthopedic visit is next week, where I expect to be pronounced Fit For Duty, Pending Other Medical Conditions....

I'll really be glad when this is in the rear view mirror, and I can close out the "Medical Blog" section!
Y'all have a good weekend, Blessed Sunday, and keep your head on a swivel.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Wild Weather South Of Us

 Baseball size hail in Denver, and a confirmed tornado in the Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree area, about 12 miles South of Denver.

We're getting a light drizzle, and I don't expect much more, but who knows.

Tomorrow is my post-op appointment for The Procedure I had performed on Monday. All the lab results have come back as "Benign" or "Negative", so that's good news. I just might be coming down the back straight on this issue, which would be really good news.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Preliminary Cystoscope Exam Results

 Went to Poudre Valley Hospital today, got prepped for surgery, got knocked out and got "Probed".

No, not THAT kind of probe.......thank God.

The initial observations by the Urologist (a real cool young guy) were pretty much nada, and he said he didn't see anything to be concerned about at this time. We still have to wait for the Pathology and Cytology reports on the biopsies and washings he took, but when I heard SLW give a sigh of relief, I was relieved. I was also still pretty wonky from the anesthesia, so the exact wording he used got scrambled, but for all intents, it was a cautious "No Issues Found" procedure.  Still have a Folye in mw, which I expected, and next Monday is a trip to the Urology Clinic for a "Voiding Test" (they pump a bunch saline into the bladder. If you can't void, the Foley goes back in) and hopefully the Foley stays out.

So, I'm on a Light Duty restriction for the next 10 days or so. No heavy lifting, no strenuous exertion, and the usual. Came home with another group of meds to take, all specific to this condition and procedure. One of the meds turns your urine "Neon, Nickelodeon, Day-Glo ORANGE", and I'm waiting for that take effect.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

UH-OH.....Flood Alerts Downstream From Us

 The National Weather Service has issued Flood Warnings for the Cache La Poudre River through Greeley, to where it meets the South Platte River, and all the way out to where the South Platte crosses the state line, and goes into Nebraska. The South Platte joins the North Platte in North Platte, Nebraska, and continues along as the Platte River through Nebraska, and joins the Missouri River South of Omaha, and then on to meet the Mighty Mississippi in St. Louis.  The Cache La Poudre and the South Platte, along with the Arkansas River, form the entire Drainage Basin for all of Eastern Colorado. Snow melt (we're above normal on the leeward side snow pack), and Spring rains (Whoo boy!) from huge areas of land all collect and drain from here using these rivers, propelled by gravity, and continue on down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Quite a big area to drain. With the saturated, and nearly so, soil in this area, it ain't gonna soak in. I think I mentioned something last week about the "empty" drainage ditches and canals SLW noticed when we first moved here. Well...they're pretty full about now, maybe a foot or two from the top of their banks. Miles downstream of us it going to be much worse.  The alert mentioned various places downstream along the course of the South Platte, and in all the places mentioned, they were a few feet short of the official "Flood Stage", but the river was expected to go above that in the next few days.

Per the NWS, this event is in the upper 10% of the maximum of what's been observed before, so it looks like there's a Big One Comin' downstream of us.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

INSANELY Green Here.....

 We had a massive cloudburst here for about 20 minutes earlier today. The indicated rain rate was 1.6"/hr, and it was the "Blowing Sideways" type rain. Really torrential, and probably about as hard as I've seen it rain since we moved here. And at 2120 LT it's raining again. So far today, at 2330, we're about 1/2", and I think it'll keep drizzling till midnight or so. Yesterday was spectacular, sunny with BLUE skies, white puffy clouds, and temps in the high 70's. Just gorgeous. Green things went insane with the sunshine following the rain, and I could almost "Hear The Grass Grow".

Today, between deluges:

This stuff, which I really like.:

Has DOUBLED in size this year so far. It just about doubled last year, but not quite. I gave them a shot of fertilizer in the Spring the last two tears using my Ross Root Feeder. and YOWZER did they take off. I've been doing the same with the cluster of lillys (lillies?) in picture #2 above, and they've TRIPLED over the last three years. Amazing what some fertilizer can do. The soil here is "Colorado Red Dirt", and while rich in minerals, is lacking in organic matter. Since the CSU Dairy Farm used to be located here, you'd expect the soil to a bit....uh...."richer" in organic material, but perhaps that got scooped off and trucked away for sale when this area was graded for residential use. 

Had grandson #2, TNLG (The NEW Little Guy for those who don't know), over last night for his first Sleep Over at Grandma's, and all went swimmingly well. He went down around 2100, and slept until 0300, at which time he made a Request For Bottle, and then settled right back to sleep. He'll be two in a couple of weeks, and it's amazing to watch another little boy go from infant to toddler. And GAWD Is He FAST! At least I'm getting some good mobility enhancing exercise via the stair-climbing he's taken a shine to. Every time we went up or down the stairs I counted them out loud. Soon, he was trying to repeat me! I figured it might be a way to introduce him to sequential numbers, and sequential operations, at the same time. I firmly believe in teaching kids multiple-things-at-once if you can find some way to strongly tie them together. I feel it gives them concrete examples of things that are "connected" in some (obscure) way, and that the ability to make that type of "connection" between seemingly disparate "stuff", is an important skill to learn. When you learn it, you tend to see "deeper" into common, everyday things. The latest reorganization of the "Audio Rack" has some strategically placed items of 1960's~1980's Radio Technology prominently displayed, and easily reachable, by toddler through Middle School.

He had a ball turning the knobs and watching the pointers and scales move!

So between the dozen flights of stairs (yes, I counted...) we went up and down on today, and the change of weather, my hip and knee are squawking tonight.

Time to hit the hay......

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Midweek Interlude....

 Things continue along at a nice pace, and my recovery is going quite well. I'm 90% pain-free, and if it wasn't for this &&^*%$!! catheter and collection device, I'd say I'm back to 95% of pre-incident fitness. Well, at least for certain levels of "fitness". SLW is giving me a pass on some things, and she's quite surprised when I do them. So I'm back to doing what she'd called "Invisible Things" when I was in sick bay. Had my preop visit with the Urologist yesterday for next week's procedure, and he answered all my questions, and we discussed the what and how of various things. Had the cat swapped out again, and I'm amazed (and thankful for!) the care they use when inserting the new one. I barely feel it when this group does it, versus dreading it when the people in the rehab facility did it. Oh, well.....

As for the Musical part of the interlude, I was going to post the Alan Parsons Project song "Time", but with all what's going on these days, I decided this was more appropriate.....

I always liked the bass line in it......

Sunday, June 11, 2023

The Rack Is Back

 Finished with the new cables, and got the gear back in the rack.

 The new Reel-to-Reel on the right is going to need an overhaul, which I expected when I bought it. I knew it was going to need new belts and a relube, but it has some mechanical issues relating to the tape transport. Looks like the "Reel Table" heights are wrong, and the tape scrapes on the reel flanges. NOT good! But I think it was a fair deal, as it's pretty nice cosmetically, the heads show no wear, and I got it for half the price he was asking. It was a typical eBay transaction, where the seller wanted "Grade A" money for a "Grade C" item. It had languished on eBay for about a year, always in my watch list. After watching it for-evah, he made me a "20% Off" deal. He answered a few questions, and I countered with a "50% Off" price, and he took it. I have all the parts, but this guy is "Number 4 on the runway", as I have one item getting finished (it's already sold), the just acquired SX-1080 to go through, and my other TEAC 4300 that I really should go through now that I have better equipment.

And I still have a pair of Hallicrafters radios and power supply for the transmitter to go through, a pair of Drake "4-Line" twins to go through, and a Heathkit SB-401 transmitter to finish, along with my homeowner/housework/yardwork duties.

And working people always say "Retired People Have So Much Time To Do Things".........yeah, right.

Hope you all have a Blessed Sunday, I have to get back to chasing Grandson #1 around. He discovered we have a Nintendo Wii a couple of weeks ago, and he and I are having duels playing Mario Kart.


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Where The Rubber Meets The Road....

 Getting my audio rack put back together after The Great Hip Incident. Since I now have two Reel-To-Reel tape decks, I had to add some extra cables for Deck #2. I also added a cable to the AUX input so I can easily connect to that input when the time comes.

And the SX-1080 arrived the other day. I was upstairs in the bathroom, and SLW was out in the back yard, so I missed the delivery and had to go claim it in person.

It's very clean, in better condition than described, and was a relative bargain as these go.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

2" of Rain and More to Come

 Everything is soggy, green, and growing like crazy. This 2" gives us a total of 5" for this month and last month, and it's only 4 June. I'm hoping we'll have a cool, moist Summer to help the reservoirs fill and the crops grow.

It also makes the ground nice and soft for driving in ground rods, an item on my punch list that should have been completed by now, but The Great Hip Incident kinda threw my schedule for a loop or three.

Work continues on other projects around the house and shop, but I just haven't felt like photographing the progress. Sometimes it can double or triple the time it takes to do the actual project, and I'd rather just get things done!

Friday, June 2, 2023

SCOOOORE! Mint Pioneer SX-1080 For A Fair Price

 Got reeeal lucky on this one.

It's super clean inside, with a very nice cabinet. The bezel around the tuning dial is free from the nicks and gouges these usually pick up.

I'll be the second owner. This was at a repair shop, and the Owner / Tech of the shop passed away suddenly. It's "Some Assembly Required", and in unknown functionality, but the seller has all the parts, and a list of what was done, and what was about to be done, to it. From the pix, it looks to be all there, and if anything is missing it would be some hardware, which I have from other junked Japanese equipment.

The cosmetic condition alone makes it worth the $1200 I paid, and one in this condition, properly serviced, is worth about $2500. But I didn't buy it to make money on it. I bought it for the same reason I bought my Supra....I always wanted one, and the affordable ones always need a little work, just like the Supra. The SX-780 I did this to is for sale, and the SX-980 that replaced it will also be for sale as soon as this one is back in service. The Supra is NOT for sale.

All in all, it looks like a nice receiver. I just have to make it sing again.

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...