Tuesday, 20 June 2017

07:52 – It was 59.0F (15C) when I took Colin out around 0620 this morning, damp and overcast. Barbara had to leave at 0630. She’s volunteering all day at the charity golf tournament that benefits the Wellness Center.

Well, it’s official, or will be when it shows up in the FCC database, probably later today. I’m again a licensed amateur radio operator, after a gap of 40 years. And, for the first time in my 64 years, I failed a test.

Since the FCC had completely forgotten about me, I had to start by taking the Technician Class exam. I blew through that in about eight minutes, at which point the examiners handed me the General Class exam. I blew through that one pretty quickly as well.

After she graded the General Class exam, one of the examiners said I’d passed it as well, congratulated me on doing so, and asked since I’d aced both Technician and General if I wanted to try taking the Amateur Extra Class exam. At first, I demurred. The other two guys who were taking their GC exams had already finished, it was already 2030, and I said I didn’t want to hold them up. She and her husband, the second examiner, assured me that they weren’t in any hurry, as did Sam, the third examiner and the guy who’d taught the class. So they talked me into it. I hadn’t even glanced at the Amateur Extra material or test questions, so I knew going in that there was a very small chance I’d pass. But what the hell, why not try it? So I did. And failed it. Oh well.

As I’ve mentioned, the only one I cared about was the Tech exam. I don’t intend to use anything other than 2 meters and 440, so that’s all I needed. The only reason to get Amateur Extra was if I wanted to qualify as a Volunteer Examiner who could administer tests for all three classes. And I may still do that at some point, but I’m happy for now with what I have.


I started seeing this message a week or two ago on the conservative sites Hotair and Townhall. The message is identical on both sites.

You are seeing this page because ads cannot be shown

Ads allow us to pay the content creators of this site.
Why is this happening?

One of your browser extensions is blocking ads or scripts
How to fix this:

Which ad block extension do you have installed?

Adblock Plus

Click the red octagon with “ABP” on the upper-right hand corner of the screen.
Select Disable on to allow ads.
Refresh the page.

AdBlock

Click the red octagon with the hand on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
Select Don’t run on pages on this domain to allow ads.
In the “Don’t run AdBlock on“ dialog box, select Exclude. The AdBlock icon changes to a “thumbs up” image.
Refresh the page.

I’ve unbookmarked both sites because they don’t follow my acceptable site policy, which simply stated is:

o It is unacceptable for any site to run any type of ads whatsoever under any circumstances whatsoever.

o It is unacceptable for any site to interfere in any way with the functions of any ad-blocker, popup blocker, or script blocker.

o It is unacceptable for any site to use a paywall to limit access to some or all of its content.

o It is unacceptable for any site to require any form of registration, including even an email address, and whether that registration is free or paid, to access the content on that site.

o The only acceptable form of monetization is for a site to implement a micro-payments system that allows users of that site to pay a clearly-defined and readily-visible amount for each article or page that user views. Breaking articles into multiple pages to increase the cost to users of viewing an article is unacceptable.

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89 Responses to Tuesday, 20 June 2017

  1. dkreck says:

    I have never been on a site that offered micro-payments. Subscriptions, yes. I for one am unwilling to subscribe. I will tolerate ads unless they are too obnoxious. Popups and unders are some of the worst.
    Don’t get me started on click-bait.

  2. DadCooks says:

    Congratulations @RBT on passing the first 2 license exams. The flub on that third one is just to keep you humble, if that is possible 😉

    For folks that are tired of sites that block ad-blockers you might give Brave a try (https://brave.com/). Not perfect, but a interesting concept.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’ve never seen a site with micropayments enabled, either. That’s probably because the first generation of micropayment systems never got off the ground. One that I’m looking at now is https://satoshipay.io/

    At some point, I may bring it up on this site and start charging visitors per page view just to see how it works. Not to worry, though. If I do that, I’ll set the per page price at something like $0.001, so you’d get a thousand pages for a buck.

    I’m not sure if it supports time-period subscriptions, but if it does I might offer a one-day subscription for a penny or a week for a nickel or something like that.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “The flub on that third one is just to keep you humble, if that is possible ”

    Not possible. I remember as a senior in high school taking the hardest test ever. Each high school was supposed to choose their three best math students. My calculus teacher, Miss Callahan, administered it to me, Rick Woodring, and Steve Grube.

    When the results came back, she gave mine to me first. I’d scored 62.5 out of a possible 160, which I admit gave me a bad moment. Then she handed out Rick’s and Steve’s results, which were even lower than mine.

    She said she didn’t want me to get a swelled head, because although I’d gotten the highest score in the state of Pennsylvania, I’d gotten only the third-highest score in the US as a whole. I told her that there must be some mistake, because there was no way that even one other student could have outscored me, let alone two.

  5. DadCooks says:

    Some of what may be plaguing @nick and others:
    https://www.howtogeek.com/311743/how-and-why-microsoft-blocks-windows-7-updates-on-new-pcs/

    If this hasn’t gotten you yet it looks like it will.

    FWIW, I am finding Windows 10 is getting better and have even managed to install it on machines that would not accept the initial update. This link (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4014184/windows-10-creators-update-here) will, in most cases, get you a “free” Windows 10 update and since it is the latest and greatest version it accepts a lot of old hardware. Worked on a 10-year old eMachines laptop for me. YMMV

  6. Miles_Teg says:

    And, for the first time in my 64 years, I failed a test.

    “Getting old is hell.” ™

    Hey, didn’t you fail an essay in college?

  7. OFD says:

    Congrats on the license exams, Bob.

    I gotta push my exam date out another couple of weeks, as I am deluged now with tax problems, VA-related paperwork and “homework,” and the usual pile of stuff to get done here at the house, which takes me three times as long as it used to.

    Plus it looks like I’ll have to make several trips this summer down to MA and CT for family issues and possibly one up to northern New Brunswick; GG has now, shockingly, changed her mind again, and decided NOT to sell the cottage up there. What this means for our summer plans, lol, remains to be seen. I suspect that wife will have to take her up there for several weeks, leaving me pretty much alone most of the summer. Again.

  8. dkreck says:

    @OFD – I suspect that wife will have to take her up there for several weeks, leaving me pretty much alone most of the summer. Again.

    That’s a problem?
    Now that the wife and I are empty nesters (daughter moved to her new home one week ago) I look forward to some alone time. No offense meant to the wife but some time with no one but the dogs will be fine too.

  9. OFD says:

    “That’s a problem?”

    Lotsa laffs, not all the time, no, but it gets old sometimes; my wife is gone an average of two weeks per month, every month, and has been for nearly eight years now. And yes, we’re empty nesters, more or less. So essentially, we’re only together six months a year.

    She’s been carrying most of the financial load for the four years since IBM dumped a few hundred of us loser IT drones, but lately I’ve been kicking in the SS and VA bennies and also being the total point man for all HER taxes and filings. I’m working on bringing in more dough but it’s a tough slog at my age and I also suspect that as fast as we bring it in, the faster it gets spent and/or used for taxes, sorta like being on a treadmill and getting nowhere every month.

    Windy and mostly cloudy so fah today, with temps in the 60s and sounds of thunder in the distance. I’m on the taxes, VA stuff, kitchen cleanup detail, and office cleanup and reorganization.

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Ha! I just showed up in the FCC database.

    I’m KN4ECF, expiring 6/20/27.

    Now everyone knows who I am and where I am.

  11. MrAtoz says:

    Great job on the ham license, Dr. Bob. I need to get cracking on the Tech.

  12. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Of course, everyone already knew that. OPSEC? I’ve heard of it.

  13. brad says:

    There is currently one site that I pay money to (soylentnews.org). It’s a SlashDot successor, run by volunteers, and they collect money to pay their hosting expenses. In principle, I would not object to funding other sites, but I don’t know any that I care about enough. Which is precisely the problem that the MSM has: If their offerings are not valued by the population at large, then why do they exist?

    Most of them have drank too much prog Kool Aid. A few others apparently serve as the propaganda arms of various political parties and organizations. I can’t name a single MSM entity that I would consider neutral and unbiased.

    If you’re bored, it’s amusing to read descriptions of the same event on, say, Breitbart and Vox. Each has good writers, both articles will sound entirely reasonable, but you would never know that they are describing the same real-world happening. You’d think they were on different planets.

  14. ech says:

    I have never been on a site that offered micro-payments.

    I don’t know of any. The problem with micro-payment systems is how to keep transaction costs low and keep it secure. Nobody seems to have figured it out.

    I have a few sites that I subscribe to via Patreon, with a buck a month going to them.

  15. OFD says:

    “You’d think they were on different planets.”

    They are. Or working out of different dimensions or universes. Didn’t physicists describe this already?

    Those of us who worked LE at one time or another know this firsthand: ask several witnesses to an incident to describe it or the peeps involved and almost always get several different answers. Kick that up by orders of magnitude nowadays in the MSM. And available worldwide, maybe dimension- and universe-wide, almost instantly.

    WRT OPSEC; we do what we can, to at least make it a tad difficult or inconvenient for various potentially hostile entities, but in reality we should focus on local AO meatspace anyway. Is your house or apartment reasonably secure? Your vehicle/s? Electronic devices and net presence/usage? Do you operate in at least Condition Yellow during your waking moments and travels? Keep track of your six? Leave off potentially provocative or hostility-inducing vehicle decals and stickers and plates, and ditto for any flags or signs around your crib? Try to fit in wardrobe- and behavior-wise with the majority of peeps in your AO? Etc.

  16. nick flandrey says:

    Well I for one am glad to hear you didn’t just ace the Extra test! It’s supposed to be hard! And a lot of it is esoteric radio stuff (as you would expect).

    Congrats on the other 2! Seriously though, you might want to reconsider your “no HF” idea, at least where it comes to winmail and other packet over HF modes. It’s not next in line on my list, but it’s pretty high on my ‘radio TODO’ list. You’re already known IRL so have no opsec reasons NOT to be an email contact point on winmail for any of us who are still cloaked. Getting any comms back after SHTF among those who were cloaked before SHTF is a problem I’ve been considering for a while. Re-establishing a wider network of previously known entities is a Good Thing ™.

    nick

  17. nick flandrey says:

    Spent the morning driving to TX A & M to get an auction pickup. Nice day for a drive. You’d never know we’re supposed to get hammered by a TS later this week….

    Although, in my driveway it’s currently 100F with 49%RH and a ‘feels like’ of 112F, and sunny. That’s hot.

    n

  18. CowboySlim says:

    “Not to worry, though. If I do that, I’ll set the per page price at something like $0.001, so you’d get a thousand pages for a buck.”

    I can financially survive nano-payments.

  19. RickH says:

    I have no problem with ads on pages, except those that pop up and block the page content (I just don’t go back to those sites), ads that pop up after to mouse out of the display area (I ignore them), or that complain about ad-blocking (those sites don’t get visited again). Subscription-based news sites are also ignored.

    Ads that are part of the page, and unobtrusive (don’t get in my face when viewing the page) are OK by me.

    Forced micropayments on any site (even this one) will get dropped from my visit list.

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Seriously though, you might want to reconsider your “no HF” idea, at least where it comes to winmail and other packet over HF modes.”

    It’s not that I hate HF or anything. I’m simply not interested and see no real reason to spend time, money, and effort on it. I have lots of other higher-priority items to devote resources to.

    “You’re already known IRL so have no opsec reasons NOT to be an email contact point on winmail for any of us who are still cloaked. Getting any comms back after SHTF among those who were cloaked before SHTF is a problem I’ve been considering for a while. Re-establishing a wider network of previously known entities is a Good Thing ™.”

    Why would I do that? If TSHTF, we’ll all have more important things to do than talking to each other.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Forced micropayments on any site (even this one) will get dropped from my visit list.”

    Seriously? You’ll look at ads, but wouldn’t pay a tenth of cent directly to view an ad-free page? We are different, to say the least.

    Fortunately, as I’ve said many times, I write this stuff for myself. I don’t care if anyone reads it. If I ever do implement such a system, I’ll keep track of my visitors/visits, just to see what happens.

    Since midnight, I’ve had about 600 visitors and 2,000 page reads. By midnight, those numbers will probably roughly double. If I had a transparent, no-hassle micropayments system active here and was charging a tenth of cent per page read, I wonder how far those numbers would drop. Not that I’d really care, but it would be interesting.

  22. nick flandrey says:

    “Why would I do that? If TSHTF, we’ll all have more important things to do than talking to each other.”

    Because SHTF is not the same as TEOTWAWKI? Because SHTF can be regional, can be of limited duration, and good comms with accurate information can save lives? Because ‘no man’s an island?’

    I know I’d appreciate getting a handle on the true extent of a disaster, or getting some medical advice if needed. Hell, humans need contact with other humans to stay sane.

    People have woken to the idea that meatspace is important, because it’s contact with real actual people, building networks, multiplying the potential of the individual.

    I have to get the kids to a Dr appt, but From Experience ™ getting accurate and timely information out of a disaster area (Katrina in this case) is HARD. Making decisions without good information is Bad ™.

    n

    gotta go

  23. OFD says:

    A literary allusion here? Someone called?

    “No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.”

    From the Reverend John Donne, Elizabethan/Jacobean divine, and probably a Roman Catholic recusant. He had a lotta great stuff; known as one of the “metaphysicals,” where language is lotsa fun to play with.

    And then we have these guys:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My9I8q-iJCI

    Oh, crap; RIP Clint Eastwood. Shit. You rocked, buddy. Hope you felt lucky today.

  24. DadCooks says:

    Clint is alive and well:
    http://www.snopes.com/clint-eastwood-death-hoax/

    There goes that Fake News again.

  25. OFD says:

    Damn. Now I’m pissed off. At whoever kicked that out there.

    Very glad Dirty Harry and Josie Wales is still with us.

  26. OFD says:

    And from the Ted Kennedy Laughing From His Grave Department:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/19/noncitizen-illegal-vote-number-higher-than-estimat/

    And we got eight years of the musloid fairy commie pothead.

    Do this:

    https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/mtf-sends/

  27. Ed says:

    “Too hot. WAY too hot.”

    110F Sunday, 112F yesterday, 112F today… But it’s a dry heat, sarge.

  28. OFD says:

    Yeah, I remember the “dry heat” during my time in the great Lone Star State. Fry an egg on the sidewalk and watch sweat simply evaporate immediately, while guzzling gallons of wotta and salt tablets every day.

    In SEA we had those same temps but it was extremely wet heat. Felt like being in a steam bath 7×24.

  29. lynn says:

    I just learned a new trick. When your a/c condensate line does not clear with bleach, disconnect it at the base (mine drains into the center bathroom sink trap). Then hook your wet/dry vacuum up to it and suck out the clog.

    My cost to learn that trick was $85. Not bad.

  30. nick flandrey says:

    I was in Phoenix a decade or more ago, when we had 122F. Worked the whole day in an unairconditioned warehouse shop. Knew it was hot but not THAT hot.

    The hot tub (at 108F) used to feel cool when you got in…..

    n

  31. nick flandrey says:

    Speaking of FLASHLIGHTS, costco has a 2 pack duracel triple c flashlights for $10 on sale. Come with batteries and claim 700 lumens.

    n

    added they are zoom and freakin bright. When shined on a white paper on my desk it was too bright to look at.

    Anodized Al with rubber overmold on cap and base. Heavy, and did I mention bright??

  32. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Getting any comms back after SHTF among those who were cloaked before SHTF is a problem I’ve been considering for a while. ”

    Hmmm. I see you’re not in the FCC ham database. Does that mean you’re using a false name here, a false name on your ham license, or that you don’t have a ham license?

  33. nick flandrey says:

    “the “dry heat” during my time in the great Lone Star State”

    Not down here in the Bayou City! Curently 98F and50%rh in my driveway.

    Trying to get stuff under cover and out of the path of the rain.

    also trying to avoid heat stroke, so some typing interspersed with the cleanup.

    n

  34. Ray Thompson says:

    costco has a 2 pack duracel triple c flashlights

    Are those the ones that have the square light pattern when zoomed out? If they are I consider those lights ones that you just stash around the house, in the garage, in the mower shed, in the pool shed, in the car. Light when you need it but not the light I would take with me on any adventure.

    LED FLASHLIGHTS have come a long way in the last three or four years. I still admire and respect Surefire quality in both the flashlight itself and the quality of the light. Are they worth the money? I suppose it is not much different than prices on pistols, some pay $200, some pay $800. If it makes you happy, go for it.

  35. dkreck says:

    Current temp 16:15 PDT – 109F 21% RH
    Must go check plants. Somethings requiring twice a day watering. Feels good to work the hose, get a little spray then go jump in the pool.
    Believe it or not, going to Alice Cooper concert tonight(gift to wife). Think we’ll take a Lyft and avoid the parking and walking in the heat.

  36. MrAtoz says:

    … But it’s a dry heat, sarge.

    It feels like we were nuked from orbit, just to be sure, in Vegas.

  37. dkreck says:

    BTW – Clint Eastwood dead – classic click bait. Some of that shit really well written to make you click and look but I’ve reached the point that I won’t do it. Ever! Burned too often.

  38. CowboySlim says:

    “Believe it or not, going to Alice Cooper concert tonight(gift to wife). Think we’ll take a Lyft and avoid the parking and walking in the heat.”

    Reminds me, I’ve got to get back here:
    http://www.buckowens.com/
    Been way too long!

  39. Nightraker says:

    For the lurkers among us:
    “Radio Monitoring A How To Guide”
    in pdf form at:
    http://www.naswa.net/journal/areybook

  40. dkreck says:

    You know I try to go with the Bakersfield sound and I do like some country (not most modern over orchestrated shit) but reality is I’ve always favored rock.

  41. OFD says:

    “… going to Alice Cooper concert tonight(gift to wife)…”

    Should be a blast, lol. Orianthi the amazing Aussie guitarist used to be in his band but was replaced a couple of years ago by this chick:

    http://nitastrauss.com/

    Who is also pretty amazing. Have fun, you quiche-eating aviator.

    Thanks much for that radio monitoring guide link, Mr. Nightraker. Awesome.

    Wife just called and is wrapping up the Colorado gig with a visit to Boulder tonight, Mountain Time, and then she’s off to Alba-kurkee, Nueva Aztlan tomorrow night for her employer’s conference there, which as of today still has no agenda for it. Typical. Then she flies directly to Boise, Idaho for next week’s gig.

    I’ve been doing taxes, VA paperwork and researching a friggin’ MA in Clinical Mental Health with certification for substance abuse counseling. Hey, who better than an ex-drunk, ex-junkie disabled war vet with PTSD? I doubt, seriously, that there are very many living peeps around who’ve done what I did to myself over forty years. It is by the grace of God and my own stubborn limey attitude that enabled me to keep on chooglin’.

    Well, we shall see; got more papers to fill out and then another meeting with the VA next month on this whole thing. I seem to be getting pointed in some kind of direction here…

    The wind gusts have finally died down; I gotta do some downtime; watching “Shooter” on Netflix, on the third or fourth episode. Very loosely based on the life and exploits of Bob the Nailer. Bear in mind that even the top snipers with good spotters and drones and satellites overhead still only get credited for maybe half of their hits. Hathcock got 90+ credited but probably knocked out hundreds in ‘Nam. The AF Security Police had me trained as a counter-sniper in Kalifornia but that was child’s play compared to how Marine and Army snipers got trained, and fortunately I never had to deploy as such out there, although we had several scares, thanks to the SLA, the Zebra Killer, the Death Angels, etc.

    Hathcock’s longest shot was a confirmed 2,500 yards with .50BMG. That is just mind-boggling. 1967!!! With no drones or satellites. That’s 25 football fields. Roughly a mile and a half.

  42. Greg Norton says:

    BTW – Clint Eastwood dead – classic click bait. Some of that shit really well written to make you click and look but I’ve reached the point that I won’t do it. Ever! Burned too often.

    Clint will outlive us all. I read he was looking for an acting gig somewhere.

    When Michael Cimino died last year, I swore the interview footage CNN ran was part of their (guessing) constantly-updated Eastwood obit package. The master outlived the protege.

  43. Greg Norton says:

    Reminds me, I’ve got to get back here:
    http://www.buckowens.com/
    Been way too long!

    You know that Buck passed a few years ago, right? Believe it or not, his death was front page news in Seattle.

    Buck owned an AM radio station in Tukwila, WA and developed that Fender twang to make country music sound better in the limited bandwidth.

  44. lynn says:

    You know that Buck passed a few years ago, right? Believe it or not, his death was front page news in Seattle.

    I miss Hee Hah.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hee_Haw

  45. lynn says:

    Looks like Georgia is going to have another Republican in the people’s House.
    https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/georgia-congressional-runoff-ossoff-handel

    The Democrat did not even have the decency to live in the district that he is running for. What a horse’s rear end !

  46. ech says:

    Bill Dana did die, though.

  47. dkreck says:

    Bill Dana – Hungarian Jew playing a Mexican astronaut. Funny guy would never succeed today.

  48. MrAtoz says:

    Looks like Georgia is going to have another Republican in the people’s House.

    I’ve been checking this now and then. First the Dumbocrats were saying “look at the polls, doesn’t matter if he doesn’t live in the district, he’ll cream her.” That after dropping a shitload of cash. Then, “Uh the polls are close but he’ll still win.” Then, “Uh, why don’t your Redumblicans vote for him. Handel’s a backstabbing, ObolaCare loving RINO.”

    Now it looks like he will lose. lol!

  49. nick flandrey says:

    @ray, yes they have the square zoom, but are updated from the last round. Now they have rubber over the zoom and the butt cap….

    I wasn’t thrilled with the original, only buying the one set of 3. But at $5 each they kick the snot out of any $3 LED light!

    They are much brighter than the original version. And yes, they are stash lights, not gonna replace my EDC.

    n

  50. MrAtoz says:

    Stephen Hawking has really gone off his rocker. He says “Humans must find a new home in space in the next 200 to 500 years if we are to survive.” OK. Maybe. But then adds “I am not denying the importance of fighting climate change and global warming, unlike Donald Trump, who may just have taken the most serious, and wrong, decision on climate change this world has seen”

    Yeah, ’cause President tRump won’t sign a piece of paper and give billions to turd world countries, WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!! Nothing else counts but the tRump. It’s not like we are stopping our “greening”. What are other countries contributing, Prof?

  51. MrAtoz says:

    lol! Headlines say “Las Vegas is a ghost town due to heat!” Try going *inside* a casino. It’s standing room only. I was going to hit a supper buffet, but forget it! Packed!

  52. nick flandrey says:

    @RBT, yes, this is not my actual name. But you knew that, per our email exchange some months ago. I’m actually a bigger asshole IRL, though not in the persona I use for real life things online. I’ve got a lot of time and rep in this persona and don’t want to mess it up. (basically me with less profanity anyway, and a limited subset of my hobbies and activities.)

    I was a prolific commentor and poster at a very large famous site for people with a particular interest, and decided I needed a bit more distance between my posting and my Real Life. The alias I use for real life stuff online is easily traceable to my front door- and kids.

    And I’ve been using this name as a nom de plume since high school, when some friends got together and did a satire newsletter we left in the bathrooms at school…..

    I’m not particularly well hidden, having accidentally posted under my other alias a couple of places, and signing “Nick,” and since I’ve purchased from you directly, I’m in your files anyway. 4chan could probably out me in an hour, but I hope that never happens. SteveF has my return addy and OFD has said previously he’s figured it out… He could look up my call if he wanted to confirm the license, or I can send you email…

    I was actually hoping for a meet up at the Pageant of Steam, but my wife booked the tickets last week, and I’m not staying late for the Pageant. I’ll miss it by 5 days. which sucks. Nothing in the world like the smell of hot oily steam doing work.

    anyway, bed time for the little one….

    n

  53. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] In SEA we had those same temps but it was extremely wet heat. Felt like being in a steam bath 7×24. [snip]
    Maybe it’s the Miccosukee in me, but that’s the way I like it. Cool and rainy all day today, supposed to do this all day tomorrow, too. Of course, our Houston correspondents are going to get some rain via Cindy, but it looks like it’s going towards Beaumont or Lake Charles.

    [snip] Then hook your wet/dry vacuum up to it and suck out the clog. [snip]
    That’s part of my yearly A/C prep before I turn it on, usually in mid-late May. I assumed everyone knew that.

    [snip] Clint will outlive us all. [snip]
    But what kind of planet will our grandkids leave for Keith Richards? 🙂

  54. nick flandrey says:

    I periodically use a piece of coax cable, rg6, to clean out that drain. It’s the right amount of flexible, and yet stiff..

    n

  55. MrAtoz says:

    Under the Google logo today:

    “This World Refugee Day, explore the stories of refugees on YouTube”

    World Refugee Day? Who makes this shit up?

  56. nick flandrey says:

    Well, according to UConn’s Alumni magazine, the future of farming is……

    interracial couples.

    http://magazine.uconn.edu/

    cover photo, remake of American Gothic.

    And the article makes clear that the author doesn’t know where food comes from and doesn’t expect her readers to either.

    n

  57. OFD says:

    “… OFD has said previously he’s figured it out… He could look up my call if he wanted to confirm the license, or I can send you email…”

    Just to clarify; I found out by accident on another site and wasn’t actively sleuthing you out or anything. And I’ve since forgotten the info anyway, being of advanced senility and decrepitude.

    “But what kind of planet will our grandkids leave for Keith Richards?”

    No chit. Thanks for the chuckle. Wife met him years ago in Moh-ree-all and says he’s a nice, down-to-earth guy. Yet another right-wing rocker like Alice Cooper.

    “…the author doesn’t know where food comes from and doesn’t expect her readers to either.”

    Yet another example of how friggin disconnected these people are. I swear, they live in a different fucking dimension. I’ll undoubtedly run into this again first-hand if I end up messing with academia for more graduate work.

  58. nick flandrey says:

    Man, I know you are looking for the next career, but will you make it 3 years in that fever swamp? Especially in that field? You’re the damaged, one step from a rampage, boogieman they scare the new kids with…. The goal is noble, but the process is insane. You’re doing good where you are. WTF can a bunch of angry fat lesbians teach you?

    n

  59. SteveF says:

    World Refugee Day

    In civilized countries this is known as start of open season for overloaded boats, shuffling hordes, and loitering hordes.

    I’m actually a bigger asshole IRL

    I disapprove! Who deserves your maximum assholery if not us?

    Looks like Georgia is going to have another Republican in the people’s House.

    Only because the Russians hacked the voting machines.

  60. OFD says:

    “WTF can a bunch of angry fat lesbians teach you?”

    If I get into the place I’m thinking of, it’s a state college in a really red-neck small old mill town to our southeast a bit, and they’re pretty down-to-earth, but I’ll recon the whole deal thoroughly before I make any kinda committment, of course.

    “You’re the damaged, one step from a rampage, boogieman they scare the new kids with…. “

    I can clean up my act pretty good and look like an academic type in a jiffy. The place I’m thinking of also has a pretty big outreach to veterans, but I’ll check that out, too.

    ” You’re doing good where you are.”

    Yeah, I may end up just bagging the whole deal if I don’t grok it very well; doing a bit of due diligence with the spouse here, as she thinks I’d be good at it and it would of course bring in more bucks for a while. I’d be working on my other chit anyway in the meantime, and if we have major SHTF, there will be a lot of damaged and panic-riding derps running around that might respond to a good calming down, instead of, for example, getting shot outta hand. But we’ll see; we know this much: IT is dead for me as a job now and I’m too old to do the cop/soldier thing. The VA dude told me it’s almost impossible for them to sign off on the self-employment thing; they’re married to getting vets jobs. I’ll know more in a few weeks, I guess.

    WRT World Rapefugee Day: what Mr. SteveF said. Tis the season.

    “…the Russians hacked the voting machines.”

    Yeah, tRump and Vlad cooked it up between them.

    The drums along the Potomac are pounding now for more war, esp. right now in Syria. Can you even imagine what a hellish clusterfuck that’s gonna be? It ain’t just us, the Russians and ISIS; it’s Turkey, Iran, the Saudi pigs, and about half a dozen various musloid factions and clans going at it hammer and tongs. This will not end well.

    And Illinois is about to become a de facto failed state:

    http://thedailycoin.org/2017/06/16/welcome-third-world-part-23-illinois-death-watch/

  61. Jim M says:

    The biggest impediment to readers accepting micro-payment charges is the hassle of setting up an account of some sort, including researching whether or not it involves any unacceptable risks. The payment part would probably be welcome to many readers, up to the point that the payments approached the perceived value of reading the site.

  62. lynn says:

    It ain’t just us, the Russians and ISIS; it’s Turkey, Iran, the Saudi pigs, and about half a dozen various musloid factions and clans going at it hammer and tongs. This will not end well.

    You know, I love Trump for the high points:
    1. He put a real constitutional conservative on SCOTUS – DO NOT DISCOUNT THIS !
    2. He is backing us out of the Paris Global Warming agreement – which is not a fraking treaty !
    3. He ain’t Hillary – ’nuff said

    That all said, why doesn’t he pull our troops out of Syria – and at least half of the other 60 countries that we have troops in ? I am not understanding this whatsoever.

    And yes, Syria looks like another Iraq to me. Not a Vietnam, thank goodness. But, you are correct, it will not end well.

    And if the Russians get really pissed off at us, they may sink a carrier to teach us a lesson. Aren’t carriers are very susceptible to ballistic missiles ?

  63. OFD says:

    “Aren’t carriers are very susceptible to ballistic missiles ?”

    I’d defer to Mr. DadCooks on this topic and/or any other swabbies and deck apes lurking around here. I was given to understand, however, that they’ve become floating targets as in a carnival shooting gallery. I’d hope they have adequate standoff defenses enabled, though.

    “I am not understanding this whatsoever.”

    In a nutshell: permanent unsuccessful wars for permanent profits and keeping the Murkan derp populace in check and entertained by bread, circuses and purple squirrels.

    Why is that pesky, damaged, and potentially rampaging right-wing Catholic gun nut still up at this ungodly hour? Winblows updates failing again but then reverting endlessly with several more reboots (Windows 8). And unable now to get any other apps from the Winblows Store.

    To top all this off, the Mint Software Manager won’t download certain apps anymore, either, like Shotwell, and other graphics-oriented programs; it wants to delete some fmpeg file, I forget what it was now, but then just won’t do it. I didn’t have this issue with the just-prior iteration of Mint.

    So OFD has had a bellyful of electronics and pooters over the past week and is about to return to some yard work later today, if possible, maybe a bank run and a dump run for errands, and then back to exciting taxes and VA papers.

    Pax vobiscum, fratres; semper paratus; tempus fugit!”

  64. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    @nick

    Just giving you a hard time. Like OFD, I’m so old I can’t remember who you are.

  65. JimL says:

    I gladly visit sites with ads, so long as the ads are not annoying.

    I gladly pay for things that offer a method of payment that does not annoy me.

    I would gladly make micropayments to this site (as well as a couple of others) so long as the means of payment does not annoy me.

    Barriers to sites annoy me. I simply go away then. Barriers include paywalls and pop-overs that complain about my ad blockers.

    I recently donated a chunk of change to a site offering a service for “free” for the community. About a month later he put it behind a paywall, and I haven’t been back. The paywall was too much, though I understand why he thought he had to.

    Not that this is in any way any of my business. If Dr. Bob decides to offer a means of payment, I’ll gladly contribute. It is worth it to me. But not behind a paywall.

    My $0.02 (or 20 visits.)

  66. Ray Thompson says:

    But at $5 each they kick the snot out of any $3 LED light!

    Indeed they are. The batteries cost almost as much as the light.

    they are stash lights

    Going close to Costco this morning. May drop in and pick up a couple packages for some more stash lights.

  67. Harold says:

    RE: Stephen Hawking
    If he tells me about the conditions at a black hole event horizion, or any astrophysical data, I will grant him expert status. If he talks about cooking or polotics or dancing I will give him no more credit than anyone else. You have to understand the University environment he lives in is (almost) completely Liberal Progressive.

  68. DadCooks says:

    WRT carriers:
    The original design of a carrier group was such that there were multiple layers of all around protection; on, below, and above the carrier. This made what was designed to be an impenetrable “ball” around the carrier. Unfortunately Obuttwad has seen to it that that protection cannot exist today; too few aircraft, ships, and boats (submarines) and no depth of armaments (limited reloads and limited types). Actually the slow slide into oblivion for our armed services began when Regan left office and has been on an exponential downslide ever since. (BTW, it was recently acknowledged that we can/are no longer produce weapons grade Plutonium, or any Plutonium for that matter.)

    WRT Stephen Hawking:
    I am of the opinion that Hawking has been less than a vegetable for years now. Someone with an agenda is running him, that is no longer him that you are hearing. If you take a close look at his “caretakers” you will find some very disturbing people literally pulling his strings.

  69. Miles_Teg says:

    Lynn wrote:

    “The Democrat did not even have the decency to live in the district that he is running for.”

    That’s fairly routine in Oz…

  70. DadCooks says:

    Just wait, you will soon see the liberals running an illegal for state and/or federal office. In fact I seem to recall reading that some city/cities in The Peoples Republic of Californication have illegals on their city councils. What difference does it make, dead liberals have been voting for decades.

    Just one of many references:
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-commissions-huntington-park-20150802-story.html

  71. Miles_Teg says:

    JimL wrote:

    “Not that this is in any way any of my business. If Dr. Bob decides to offer a means of payment, I’ll gladly contribute. It is worth it to me. But not behind a paywall.”

    He used to. Offered Subscriber and Patron Subscriber 15 years ago. That stopped when he moved to WP.

  72. Ed says:

    As DadCooks say, carrier screens are too thin – double or triple the number would be needed to feel comfortable.

    CSG defense ability:

    Against subs and mines – probably mediocre. It’s hard and expensive, and reports say they haven’t been practicing enough.

    Against aircraft, almost impenetrable.

    Against cruise missles, very good, up to where the limited number of counter missles is expended. Several hundred, so it’s the most of the PLN or some notional EU navy.

    Against BM – unknown. The Aegis system is specifically designed to kill BMs, and has, in testing. In practice and against a great many, who knows.

    And nuclear weapons aren’t magic – post WW2 tests showed amazing survival ability against huge and nearby weapons. BM warheads are probably limited in size, and the USN designers put a lot of effort into making their ships tough.

  73. Miles_Teg says:

    Harold wrote:

    “RE: Stephen Hawking”
    ………………………………….

    I feel the same way about Lawrence Krauss. I don’t pay much attention to his physics *or* politics, mainly because he prattles on about Trump, AGW and the doomsday clock. Liberal crap.

  74. Miles_Teg says:

    DadCooks wrote:

    “(BTW, it was recently acknowledged that we can/are no longer produce weapons grade Plutonium, or any Plutonium for that matter.)”

    Hasn’t the US got a huge stash of WGP from decomissioned weapons?

  75. Miles_Teg says:

    Ed wrote:

    “And nuclear weapons aren’t magic…”

    In the Sixties it was theorised that many of them wouldn’t go off. They had corrosion problems that would have turned them into duds.

    And although they’d tested individual components they’d never tested the whole shebang, that is fire a Minuteman from an operational silo in North Dakota, over the North Pole, to some deserving target. So they tried Operation Frigate Bird.

  76. DadCooks says:

    @Miles_Teg asked:
    “Hasn’t the US got a huge stash of WGP from decomissioned weapons?”

    No, and to give you details where it went would not be in my best interest. This is saying too much.

  77. OFD says:

    Thanks, Ed and DadCooks for the info/intel on the carrier defenses; pretty much what I thought. Outrageous.

    I am for drastically cutting DOD but one of the main defenses I want to strengthen are for our sea lanes and coasts, thus submarines, and the Navy in general. If you wish to run a vast island empire, you need a mighty navy; and if your object is simply to protect a continent that minds its own business and needs to protect itself, you gotta have that same powerful navy. Along with air and space defenses. And cyber defense so long as the world runs on electricity and the net is still up. Plus all the ground troops brought home to secure the land borders.

    Where I’d cut DOD is the bureaucracy, the massive waste and corruption, and the hordes of flag-rank officers.

  78. DadCooks says:

    One indication we had that we were going to do something special was there would be several desk-jockey “flag” officers who would come along for the ride and the fruit salad (medals). Most had never commanded a rowboat.

    With the recent decrease in the Fleet, a lot of good people have lost their jobs (enlisted and officers). It seems that only the politically correct are being asked to stay on. tRump has yet to really rectify this situation. And I believe it is beyond correction as the good officers and enlisted I know who were “retired” are tired of the game and will not return. The real re-enlistment rate is at all time lows, but the “published” numbers are manipulated to hide the facts, so what is new.

    Now I need to go find something positive, beyond being positive that the future is not bright.

    Being prepared is a journey, not a destination.

  79. lynn says:

    Against BM – unknown. The Aegis system is specifically designed to kill BMs, and has, in testing. In practice and against a great many, who knows.

    I thought that the purpose of the Aegis system was to kill Chinese silkworm missiles coming at you over the horizon at eight feet above the water at 600 knots ? Can the Aegis system even point straight up for ballistic missiles ?

  80. Clayton W. says:

    Our newest Ballistic Missile Submarine was Commissioned 20 years ago. The Ohio (now an SSGN) is 36 years old. That’s an awful long time to be poking holes in the ocean. The surface fleet isn’t in much better shape and that doesn’t include the deferred refits and availabilities.

    Much of the equipment our soldiers and sailors have to work with is quite old and worn out. 🙁

  81. lynn says:

    Hasn’t the US got a huge stash of WGP from decomissioned weapons?

    The half life of tritium is 12 years. And we cannot make more tritium at the moment. The Pantex plant north of Amarillo, Texas needs ten billion dollars for a restart and then five ??? billion dollars a year to keep it running to reprocess old hydrogen bombs.
    http://www.pantex.com/

    Maybe we can buy some tritium from India ? Oh wait, we sanctioned India for making tritium back in the 1990s. I wonder if they remember that ?

  82. OFD says:

    More imperial prep fails, by orders of magnitude as Time wears on, inexorably.

    Dare I say it again? We need to get out of the business of empire; those days are behind us and won’t come again. Just as with the Romans, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and British.

    Protect and defend this country, period. That most emphatically does NOT mean engaging in endless clusterfuck adventures around the world, but we covered the reasons why this is happening the other day. Permanent war for permanent profits, and keep the serfs occupied; while taxing them to death and taking their children for the wars. Take your pick: Roman consul, English prince, Congolese tribal chief, or a guy in a Dress for Success suit with a red tie. A pox on them all.

  83. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, there’s no such thing as “weapons-grade” plutonium. Plutonium can be purified chemically until it’s as pure as you want it. “Weapons-grade” is used only in reference to Uranium, because the vast majority of natural uranium (99.3%) is the U-238 isotope, which isn’t fissionable. Only the 0.7% U-235 is fissionable, and it can’t be separated chemically. That’s why we had to build the ultra-centrifuge arrays and gaseous diffusion plants, both of which take advantage of the fact that a U-238 atom masses very, very slightly more than a U-235 atom.

  84. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That, incidentally, is why they used two different types of A-bomb for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The one they dropped on Hiroshima was a gun bomb, which uses almost-critical spherical mass of U-235, with a small chunk of the sphere sitting at the other end of a literal gun barrel. The bomb was detonated by firing the gun, propelling the small chunk toward the partial sphere. When the small piece impacted the partial sphere, the whole thing went critical and the nuclear detonation occurred.

    But they only had enough U-235 available to make that one bomb, so they had to use plutonium for Fat Man to drop on Nagasaki. And that was the reason Little Boy was slender (gun form factor) and Fat Man was rounded. Plutonium can’t be used in a gun bomb, so they had to implode a subcritical sphere to critical density. That in turn required detonating many compressive charges of high explosive essentially simultaneously. Most of the work to get that done was in getting the high explosive detonations close enough to simultaneous, which required timers and detonators several orders of magnitude more precise than the electronics of the time were capable of.

  85. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    And that was also the reason for Trinity. They were almost sure the gun bomb would work, and they had only enough U-235 for that one bomb, so they couldn’t test it. They weren’t at all sure the implosion bomb with Pu-239 would work at all and plutonium was pretty easy to come by, so they tested a plutonium bomb at Trinity.

  86. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Maybe we can buy some tritium from India ?”

    Maybe, but lithium deuteride is easy to come by. Hell, I could make up it right here in the sink, literally.

  87. OFD says:

    What I remember reading that has stuck with me for many years is that when they were testing this stuff at White Sands originally, they weren’t really sure if it would set the atmosphere on fire or not and gave it a 50-50 chance and then went ahead anyway.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LmxIptS3cw

  88. lynn says:

    “Maybe we can buy some tritium from India ?”

    Maybe, but lithium deuteride is easy to come by. Hell, I could make up it right here in the sink, literally.

    That was a joke. Kinda. I got caught up in that mess and they almost taught me a lesson.

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