Friday, 23 June 2017

09:10 – It was 67.9F (20C) when I took Colin out around 0645 this morning, damp and overcast. Barbara is off to the gym and supermarket this morning. This afternoon we do science kit stuff.

I forgot to mention that our purple-top white globe turnips failed miserably. We knew they were best planted in autumn, but decided to try planting a row of them this spring. They apparently flourished, but last weekend when Barbara and Al were working in the garden they decided to dig one up. It looked fine, but when they cut it open it was full of worms. So were all the others.

So we’ll plant another row of them in September and see how they do. One of the local gardeners Barbara knows recommended applying borax to keep the worms away from them. We’ll try that.

Email from Brittany about my post yesterday. She and her husband started studying for their Technician Class ham licenses a month or so ago. They’re taking it slow and easy since the next exam session anywhere close to them isn’t until August. One of their neighbors is a serious ham, and got them started by giving them a tour of his shack and demonstrating how everything worked.

They were intimidated by the room full of gear, and figured that it’d cost them thousands to get into ham radio. When he told them that they could get on the air with a radio each for less than $100 total, they thought he was kidding. He showed them one of his throwaway BaoFeng UV-5R transceivers that was set up to hit the local repeater, and told them that it was a $25 radio.

After reading my post yesterday, Brittany and her husband decided to order a UV-82 for each of them, each radio with a spare battery, whip antenna, and speaker/mic. They also got a name-brand programming cable, and downloaded/installed CHIRP. They plan to have the radios ready to go on-the-air the moment they get their licenses.

 

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88 Responses to Friday, 23 June 2017

  1. nick flandrey says:

    Worth remembering that you don’t need a license to listen.

    Once they have the radios, they can listen to their local repeaters and get a sense for how they operate.

    For example:

    I have several repeaters here with good coverage of my side of the city.

    One is the biggest, and covers a huge area. There is almost always activity on it, but even then sometimes it’s quiet for a couple hours. It is normally linked to several conference repeaters thru the day, that host various regional and trans-regional ‘nets’. In the evening it is linked to the WinSystem (winsystem.org) which is hundreds of repeaters across (mostly western states) the whole world. Always someone to talk to…

    Our second biggest is usually quiet, but gets active with the same group of users during drive times. Several heavy users drive around town for a living, and can be heard chatting throughout the day.

    The third repeater that I hear in most parts of town has a much more “private club” feel to the conversations. Not every repeater is ‘open’. While they don’t block users, the repeater exists for the use of the members who support it financially, and they discourage others from using it.

    It is worth having the radios and doing some listening, so you feel more comfortable and know the local etiquette when you do get licensed.

    This is also a good use for a cheap analog scanner. I’ve got one going in the garage all the time, with several local repeaters on it.

    I’d also put the local NOAA weather broadcasts on your HT, as it is very convenient to hear the official forecast and roundup of current conditions.

    nick

  2. nick flandrey says:

    this from my FEMA daily brief:

    While Cindy was a no show for us in Houston, it was still a deadly storm and a local SHTF for a bunch of people.

    Situation
    Tropical Depression Cindy is centered over the Lower Mississippi Valley and is expected
    to continue moving northeast over the next couple days
    Impacts
    • No significant widespread damage or impacts reported
    • 1 confirmed fatality in AL; 3 injuries in AL, 5 in MS
    • Shelters: LA -1 shelter open with no occupants; MS – 2 shelters open with 58
    occupants; AL – 1 shelter open with 7 occupants (ARC Midnight Shelter Count)
    • Minimal power outages
    State/Local Response
    • AL EOCs at Partial Activation; Governor declared states of emergency
    • LA EOC at Monitoring; Governor declared state of emergency
    • KY EOC at Monitoring; TX EOC returned to Normal Operations
    FEMA Response
    • FEMA Headquarters
    o NWC at Steady State; NRCC and Enhanced Watch rostered
    o Food and water prepositioned at Camp Beauregard ISB; MERS providing support
    • Region IV
    o RWC at Steady State; Enhanced Watch rostered
    o Preliminary Damage Assessment Teams rostered
    • Region VI
    o RRCC at Level III (day shift only)
    o IMAT-2 deployed to LA EOC
    o LNOs demobilized from TX and LA EOCs

    nick

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Good point. Brittany is very law-abiding, particularly for a woman. I think she’s afraid the Radio Police will show up at her door. I told her when the HT’s arrive to charge them, get them programmed, and listen to their local repeater and any local net events. It also won’t hurt to cycle the batteries a few times.

  4. nick flandrey says:

    WRT ham gear and cost…

    I started with my BaoFang UV5R variant bought new. Bought the ear piece, mic, extended battery, and replacement antenna. also bought a mag mount dual band antenna and adapter for the truck.

    Discovered I like ham radio.

    Bought some more gear.

    I got a good base station All bands/All modes from the 80s at a yard sale. The guy had some radio stuff out, and I asked jokingly ‘where’s the big radio?’ Got it for half ebay price.

    Got a new FT-60 for my birthday. It is an upgrade from the 5R and is my primary HT now.

    Found a mobile dual band radio at a yard sale for $5, labeled as a CB.

    Got a bunch of antennas and small stuff (meters, power wires, adapters, etc) at an estate sale.

    Got another mobile (broken) at a sale.

    Found a mobile at a pawn shop, labeled CB for $40.

    Bought a trunk full of gear at an estate sale, multiple (like 6) mobiles, a better version of my base station, and a couple of older bases to sell on ebay, along with test gear, cables, and several antennas. $1000- sounds like a lot but ONE of the old base stations brought $1200 on ebay. One mobile sold for $400 the day of the sale, and the other base brought $600 IIRC.

    I’ve got a bunch of scanners from sales, auctions, and yard sales. I’ve got 2 purchased new as gifts to me.

    The point of all this is that there is a ton of gear out there, if you are looking for it, and recognize it when you see it. You can equip your “shack” very well at a significant savings if you are willing to wait.

    When you get your ticket, sign up for the ARRL and read the QST magazine every month. There are always good articles. Also read the ads. You will have a better chance of recognising the gear (and a bargain) when you see it. One of the big retailers will send you a catalog shortly after you join ARRL. This is a good thing! Read thru it and see what gear is available, what sort of test stuff is out there, what antennas cost, etc.

    Buying used, or new chinese, you can get on up to 4 bands for just a couple of hundred bucks in radios, and by building some antennas. On the other hand, antennas are relatively cheap if you don’t trust your DIY skills yet.

    Most of the serious expense in ham radio comes from operating HF, chasing DX and contesting. You really don’t have to do those things at all, although I think you should be able to operate on HF for digital data, and in NVIS for regional coverage.

    Get started cheap, keep your eyes and ears open for radios, be ready to buy a deal if you see one, and keep learning!

    nick

  5. nick flandrey says:

    One other thing, and it may be different for different people…

    LISTENING – the process of getting information thru your ears – takes practice! Most of us online are visual, taking in information in textual forms. Most of us don’t get a lot of our INFORMATION aurally. In fact, we have developed serious skill sets in ignoring background noise. We practice that daily when we have a radio or TV on ‘in the background.’

    Especially when you start listening to public service transmissions, or come across a ham contest with a lot of rapid info exchange, it may be difficult to parse out the INFORMATION from the stream of words. As the density builds, there is an even stronger tendency to ‘tune out’ the sounds. (which is why I recommend only monitoring a couple agencies when scanning- it’s very difficult to keep up with more than that.)

    As a test, tune to a NOAA weather forecast. listen to the local condition report, and then the forecast, then the (repeated) condition report. Now, ask yourself “what was the forecast?” You probably thought you were listening and getting information from the broadcast. DID YOU? Can you repeat the forecast even a minute or two later? Did the sounds you heard get translated to info in your brain, and stick?

    I’ll bet the first few times you find you listened but it ‘went in one ear and out the other.’ [without hitting anything in between- as my mom used to say.]

    Anyway, with a couple of decades of using radios for communication, this is what I’ve observed. Like anything, it’s a skill that needs practice to be effective.

    And that’s why we say get your ticket, and use your gear.

    nick

    Added- as another test, you can listen to Air Traffic Control. Almost everyone lives near enough to a controlled airport to get a nice stream of data presented aurally. Listen to the instructions, take a breath, and then see if you can write down what you just heard. Plane call sign, new altitude, new heading, outbound (or ground control) frequency.

    Again, I think you’ll find that it takes practice to turn the sounds into information, and not just words.

  6. DadCooks says:

    @nick, great contributions today. You helped refresh ol’ Dad’s brain and give him some things to work on.

  7. OFD says:

    From the First Rule of Fight Club Department:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-22/stockman-warns-great-big-coup-way

    Late summer. Could make Watergate look like a stroll on the beach. And everything in real time almost instantly throughout, unlike the crappy televisions of that era.

    One hopes that it will continue as a dick-measuring and pissing contest between various State actors only in Mordor and won’t redound upon us out here in Normals country. Only way out I see for tRump is to go on a major unrelenting offensive down there but he doesn’t seem capable anymore and all the winds gone from his sails.

  8. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] One of the local gardeners Barbara knows recommended applying borax to keep the worms away from them. We’ll try that. [snip]
    Shouldn’t you have two, widely spaced, turnip plots? One treated with borax, one without.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    We don’t have enough land to make that workable. We’re only on 1.5 acres.

  10. lynn says:

    So long Cindy, we hardly knew you here on the clean side of the tropical storm. But, you did bring us some nice cool breezes in the 80s (F) and three inches of rain which the ground readily soaked up. And the corn crops next door look green again.

  11. DadCooks says:

    WRT coup on the way:
    It’s already here, has been for years. This country is no longer a Constitutional Republic. All our Founding Documents are being completely ignored and their is no one with the cojones (balls) that can figure out how to get us back to “original intent”.

    People say there is no enforcement mechanism in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Yes there is, it is We The People. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are now totally misinterpreted. “Freedom of Speech” now only applies to those who wish to destroy the few remaining vestiges of freedom. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were not written to allow a coup by those who wished to destroy our Constitutional Republic. We were supposed to use our rights to silence and destroy these destroyers, instead we have allowed them to be used against us.

    Freedom of speech was not meant to allow our destruction, it was supposed to prevent it.

    Our rights our inalienable, but we must demand, NO ACT so that they are not abridged.

    Threats to kill people who believe in Freedom are not granted or allowed by the First Amendment. Just the opposite, Believers In Freedom have not only the right but also requirement to identify, call out, and destroy those who wish to destroy our Constitutional Republic.

  12. nick flandrey says:

    @lynn, I MIGHT have gotten a half inch of rain.

    Even had sunny (partly cloudy) skies for most of it.

    Houston microclimates, go figure.

    n

  13. Ray Thompson says:

    LISTENING – the process of getting information thru your ears

    Thinking about getting the radios and stuff that RBT recommended. No desire to get my license as I just want to listen and not transmit. If SHTF I would transmit and not give a rat’s ass about the FCC. If I was on my boat and was in an emergency I would transmit without giving a rat’s ass about the FCC. If I was in any emergency situation I would transmit without worrying about the FCC minions and repercussions.

    Think it is worth getting the radios for my intended purposes? Only about $120 with the accessories. Hell, I have spent more for a FLASHLIGHT.

  14. nick flandrey says:

    You could get an analog scanner that covers the ham bands for ~$20 – 40….

    And if you don’t intend to transmit, you can skip the mic, antenna, extended battery, etc.

    n

  15. Ray Thompson says:

    And if you don’t intend to transmit

    I don’t. But if SHTF or an emergency I would have no hesitation in keying the mike. A life is worth more than a scolding by the FCC.

  16. CowboySlim says:

    “Yes there is, it is We The People. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are now totally misinterpreted.”

    Absolutely, and all those illegal alien crimmigrant rights activists interpret it as: “We The People of The United States and all the countries to the South……”

    OTOH, notice how when speaking of how the crimmigrants are denied rights, that they never quote the exact section, or amendment by number, such as when the NRA quotes the 2nd Amendment.

  17. lynn says:

    _Zero Hour: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Fiction Series (The Blackout Series) (Volume 2)_ by Bobby Akart
    https://www.amazon.com/Zero-Hour-Post-Apocalyptic-Survival-Blackout/dp/1537303236/

    Book number two of a six book apocalyptic series about a Solar CME (coronal mass ejection) event. I read the POD (print on demand) trade paperback with very nice paper and fonts (Big River’s POD presses are most excellent, even better than lulu.com). I am now reading the third book in the series. I will be ordering the other three books in the series soon.

    The first book in the series is about the 36 hours of warning that the Earth’s astronomers are giving in order to prepare for the massive CME event. The second book starts at the CME event and talks about the two weeks after the event. Basically, most people only have a week of food stored in their house and little water. During the second week, things get desperate as roving gangs start breaking into homes for food and water.

    This book is different from most post apocalyptic EMP books as a CME event is very different from an EMP event. The author includes 50+ appendix pages on EMP, CME, and RF events in the book. He also includes a 500 item prepping list of materials to stockpile. BTW, Lloyds of London has written a damage estimate to the USA for a Carrington level solar storm to be around two trillion dollars. Since this is an apocalyptic book, the author makes the strength of the solar storm to be way in excess of the Carrington 1859 storm. On other words, a Superflare.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

    The book is somewhat dated even though it was published in 2016. First, the USA President is Hillary Clinton. Second, the Chinese space station is manned and stable whereas the Chinese space station is now abandoned and getting ready to fall to Earth later this year.

    In fact, the author makes the effects of the CME event much worse over time. The solar storm overwhelms the shielding on the ISS (International Space Station) and the Chinese space station, Tiangong-1. The two space stations collide soon after the solar storm and the wreckage falls to Earth a couple of days after the CME event off the coast of California. The resulting tsunami wave, 300 ft tall, kills 20 million people in California since there were no warnings due to the solar storm killing off the electrical grids worldwide.

    The author maintains at least two websites:
    http://www.bobbyakart.com/
    and
    http://freedompreppers.com/

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (179 reviews)

  18. CowboySlim says:

    Regarding license and the FCC, remember the heyday of the CB, Rubber Ducky?

    99.99% of communications did not have such authority. IIRC, there was only one action against a CB’er in Cleveland who refused to become licensed and made thousands of transmissions.

    And then later on, the FCC quit issuing them and they were no longer required.

    10-4, Good Buddy, Slim on the side and standing bye,

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hmm, touched a piece of Skylab. No tsunamis that I recall. Might make a splash but the ocean is really big.

    N

  20. Greg Norton says:

    One hopes that it will continue as a dick-measuring and pissing contest between various State actors only in Mordor and won’t redound upon us out here in Normals country. Only way out I see for tRump is to go on a major unrelenting offensive down there but he doesn’t seem capable anymore and all the winds gone from his sails.

    I don’t think Trump is going anywhere. The Dems don’t want to see a President Pence, and their bench is empty for 2018 and 2020.

    If the Dems accept reality about putting Cankles, Fauxcohantas, and Stretch Pelosi out to pasture, Gavin Newsom *might* beat Trump, but Pence would be a much harder opponent.

  21. Ray Thompson says:

    remember the heyday of the CB, Rubber Ducky?

    Sure do. Had one myself. Paid to get licensed. Then a few months later the FCC just gave up on licensing. Too many people running the radios to do anything about it. Some running excessive power (my dad was one of those).

  22. nick flandrey says:

    Every month the ARRL magazine lists some FCC enforcement actions. MOST of them are against CB shops, or guys. About every 3rd one is a previously licensed ham who is in a fight with someone and causing malicious interference. Rarely, someone gets busted for broadcasting.

    CB is just AM on HF bands, but is power, distance, and antenna height limited.

    There’s a whole subset of ‘liberty’ or III or preppers who are into ‘freebanding’ or using the little bits of spectrum above the CB freqs. They seem to think it’s obscure or someway secret, or better than other modes on other bands. Which mainly shows a real misunderstanding of radio, and reveals a certain type of mind and worldview.

    n

  23. lynn says:

    Hmm, touched a piece of Skylab. No tsunamis that I recall. Might make a splash but the ocean is really big.

    The ISS is 20 ? 50 ? 100 ??? times bigger than Skylab. Sheer guess there. Plus the entangled wreckage of the Tiangong-1 which is probably the size of Skylab at the most. Maybe our resident rocket scientist might know.

    I have no idea how the author calculated a 300 ft tsunami. Or if he even calculated it, just pulling that out of his butt.

  24. Dave says:

    Buying used, or new chinese, you can get on up to 4 bands for just a couple of hundred bucks in radios, and by building some antennas. On the other hand, antennas are relatively cheap if you don’t trust your DIY skills yet.

    How much usage is there though in the 222 MHz to 225 MHz band? How many people use the six meter band for FM? I could be wrong, but I don’t see much point to more than dual band stuff in the VHF/UHF range. If you find a good deal on something used that has the 1.25 meter and 6 meter bands, then go ahead and get it. But I’m not sure if I’d spend extra money to get something new with either of those two bands.

  25. Dave Hardy says:

    Looks like I’ll have to stretch out the time scheduled to do the study and exams for the amateur license/s; thanks to a shit-pile of tax and VA paperwork, plus new family medical situations here and down in MA, well, not new exactly, but worsening. I had good intentions and wanted to take the exam/s 6/30 here in town, but the real world came and bit me in the ass again.

    And since the wife will be gone most of the summer, looks like, I’ll be the point man on everything here throughout, bad back and sciatica notwithstanding. Got that? Not. With. Standing. No chit; sitting down a lot for breaks.

    I may still go with her down to NH and CT for a couple of her gigs, but will be using the time she’s working to run around like a nut to all the family sites in MA and trying to cover as many bases as I can. Our mom is declining and from firsthand experience with other family members, we know she can go downhill wicked fast at any time now. MIL is also having some large med issues up here which Point Man here has to help out with while wife is gone.

    I’m having days now where I wonder HTF I could have done a lot of this stuff when I was working 40-60 hours a week plus weekend and holiday and off-hours coverage plus on-call pagers. For shit pay working for assholes. As it stands now, I’m pulling long days on this stuff and missing sleep, which was fine thirty years ago but not so much now.

    Yes, I’d like some cheese with my whine…

  26. CowboySlim says:

    “Hmm, touched a piece of Skylab. No tsunamis that I recall. Might make a splash but the ocean is really big.”

    Hmmm…. Worked both, Skylab about 45 years ago and ISS about 25 years ago. Never got to concerned about physical size. However, Skylab was never designed for its mission. It was liquid propellant rocket stage adapted for the mission. Consequently, it was much oversized compared to a unique and specific host. I was doing thermodynamics and heat transfer on the Skylab, the heat rejection system (kind of like on the back of your refrigerator – except it rejected by thermal radiation as opposed to the convection on your fridge. Oh well more to follow for lynn,

  27. CowboySlim says:

    @lynn; I did review your website. The coincidences are substantial. Two of them are steam cycle analyses and VB program development.

    Steam Cycle Analyses
    The Solar One plant in Daggett, CA generated electrical energy using a conventional steam cycle system as do fossil fuel consumption plants. The program that I used was originally designed to be used for performance simulations of orbiting spacecraft systems. These included the heat rejection systems of spacecraft like the Orbital Workshop. With this program we could perform transient analyses of the space radiator system that rejected heat by radiation to space as it orbited the earth. We incorporated conventional steam table data sets and then I was able to perform similar transient analyses on the steam cycle performance as the solar energy absorbed varied during the day and with the seasons.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Solar_Project

    VB Program Development
    Another task was to analyze the Delta II Expendable Rocket second stage liquid engine performance. The engine performance was a function of the flow rates of the fuel and the oxidizer from the propellant tanks to the engine thrust chamber. I designed and coded the simulation using the Microsoft Office Visual Basic Application included in the MS Excel program. I would note that these analyses were used for the GPS Block II Satellite launches, among others.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_II

    Well, enough nostalgia for now.

  28. Harold says:

    with a lot of rapid info exchange, it may be difficult to parse out the INFORMATION from the stream of words

    This is exactly why I never went for my SOLO flight to get my pilots license. I have always had poor hearing due to explosions and shooting without hearing protection when young. While going for my pilots license I could pass the written tests and handle the aircraft, but was never sure just what the traffic controllers were telling me. I would request landing instructions and get a reply that I heard as “Roger Cessna 159er, please use runway garble garble garble left, cross winds are garble garble”. So I never took my final solo.
    I will have to try out my radios and see if I have that same issue with Amateur Radio.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    The ISS is 20 ? 50 ? 100 ??? times bigger than Skylab. Sheer guess there. Plus the entangled wreckage of the Tiangong-1 which is probably the size of Skylab at the most. Maybe our resident rocket scientist might know.

    How many modules comprise the ISS? None of them were larger than the Space Shuttle cargo bay, and Skylab was the modified third stage (?) of a Saturn V, possibly about the same size as one of the modules. 20 would be a stretch, and ISS would come down in more pieces once the truss system disintegrated.

  30. Harold says:

    RE: ISS creating a Tsunami
    Seriously folks? If ISS deorbited, it would quickly come apart so it’s mass would not be concentrated in one place but spread over many miles. And it’s built of very light weight aluminum so the heavier parts that didn’t burn up on reentry would flutter down over sq miles. Even if you dropped it all in one piece into the ocean it wouldn’t raise much of a ripple. Tsunamis require HUGE energy release like subocean landslides, Tectonics, or a really big rock hitting at orbital velocity.

  31. Dave Hardy says:

    ” I have always had poor hearing due to explosions and shooting without hearing protection when young.”

    Welcome to the club. I forget, and apologize if I did, but are you a veteran? If so, they’ll give you a pretty decent hearing aid config and test it with you; it’ll also hook up with an app to yer iPhone if you got one. Not sure if there’s a Droid app. If you could hear A-OK, would you still be able and wanna do the pilot’s license?

  32. nick flandrey says:

    ” Tsunamis require HUGE energy release like subocean landslides, Tectonics, or a really big rock hitting at orbital velocity.”

    That’s what I was sayin!

    Ocean = really big

    Anything man puts in space = pretty small on the cosmic scale

    You could drop an oil tanker or a supermax in the middle of Lake Michigan and I doubt you’d see any noticeable waves at the shore let alone the ocean.

    n

    Or that was my SWAG anyway.

  33. MrAtoz says:

    When I was flying the Aero-Scout mission, it was always fun listening to four radios at the same time. I alway wore foam earplugs under my flight helmet. Then jacked the radios up to penetrate. Just enough to be understandable and not over modulated. My hearing must be OK since I never flew into the impact range flying solo.

  34. lynn says:

    @lynn, I MIGHT have gotten a half inch of rain.

    Even had sunny (partly cloudy) skies for most of it.

    Houston microclimates, go figure.

    We live and work 25 miles apart. Maybe 30 miles depending on the crow and the roads. You are almost 15 miles further north than I am so your weather is not as affected by the Gulf. For instance, you are always hotter than here. Plus, I am next to (1/4 mile away) a major river that moderates our weather also.

    We got the three inches of rain on Monday before Cindy came in. But I figure it was a result of Cindy in the Gulf.

  35. Harold says:

    Dave: are you a veteran?

    Looks like I am one of the few non-vets posting on this site.
    I grew up in rural OK and at age seven I read in a book about pioneers making black powder. I asked my mother about it. She took me to our druggist who not only gave me the correct proportions for sulpher, salt-peter, charcoal, but sold her pint sized jars of each for me to “play with”. My play resulted, over the years, in building a wide range of explosive devices, blowing up the bathroom when I experimented with “glazing*” black powder, and selling explosives in Middle School. My grandfather introduced me to the wonders of nitrates when I helped him blow stumps with fertilizer & disel. In the 60’s when a radical put a pipe bomb on our local bank (we had moved to Mill Valley CA by then) in protest of something, my parents suspected I had done it. I was appaled. The explosive had only chipped the brick around the outside night deposit hatch. I told them that if I HAD of done it, I would have blown out the front of the building not some little piddly scratch. When I graduated HS in 1970 and became draft eligible my draft numbers were over 320 for the remainder of the draft so I wasn’t compeled to go. Growing up in rural OK we also did a LOT of shooting and ear protection was for sissies. Regret that now … that and a lot of other stupid shit.
    But would I resume my pilot training if given the chance? No, too much else to do these days. I’d love to fly ultralights, maybe I’ll get one when I retire, but just knowing I can fly a single engine (fixed gear) aircraft is enough for now.

    *Glazing gunpowder – definition – “a small amount of graphite is added in glazing barrels to impart a hard glazed finish. This aids moisture resistance and also slightly retards ignition, to avoid damage to gun.”
    However as a kid I didn’t know that definition. The only “glazing” I knew was for pottery (and I didn’t really understand that) So after making a large batch of black powder in my bathroom, I put some in a small tin cup over a propane torch to “glaze” it. The resulting flash from the cup ignited the large pestle full with a satisfying roar breaking the sink and the mirror and singeing my eyebrows. I was one lucky kid.

  36. lynn says:

    You could drop an oil tanker or a supermax in the middle of Lake Michigan and I doubt you’d see any noticeable waves at the shore let alone the ocean.

    Like I said, the author has no backup calculations for his bold statement of a 300 ft tsunami off the California coast. But, Kinetic Energy = 1/2 * mass * velocity squared. A combination of the two space stations would be coming down at 20,000 ??? mph. But, I suspect that the two stations would be strewing parts everywhere all the way down.

  37. lynn says:

    “How many modules comprise the ISS?”

    15 modules. “Assembly of the International Space Station”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_of_the_International_Space_Station

  38. Dave Hardy says:

    ” I was one lucky kid.”

    But a really fun kid! I also blew chit up from time to time, as did others here. Then we had an acquaintance in high skool who built his own mortar and shelled the skool building with it one fine morning. This did not sit well with the authorities and he was taken away never to be seen again. We assumed he either got transferred out of that system somehow or more likely, put in the special School for Boys they had back then, kind of an old-timey “reform school.”

    Interesting you were in Mill Valley, CA; I was stationed on top of Mt. Tam in ’73 and as AF security police one of our gigs was to bring a bank deposit to the bank downtown; I had a crush on one of the tellers. Can’t remember her name but she was a real cutie, wavy dark brown hair. They seemed to like us OK, unlike the usual hippie and radical asswipe scum. It was a 13-mile drive up or down the mountain road, but I hiked the various trails from the radar site to downtown Mill Valley countless times, and right back up again. I was in a little better shape then, at 6’5″. 215. and a 32″ waist. Tempus fugit as the tiresome Latin fanboys always say.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    “How many modules comprise the ISS?”

    15 modules.

    15 x Skylab mass plus toss in a Skylab for the Chinese station — not a tsunami maker. And I’m probably estimating high since the Shuttle cargo bay was not very large based on what I saw touring the training vehicle in Seattle.

    Lots of lawsuit potential, however. A big mess. EBay Gold!

  40. DadCooks says:

    WRT blowing things up as a kid:
    You used to be able to order the necessary chemicals and cases, which I did. I used to make M-80s (and a “bit” bigger) that I used to blow up badger dens in my Maternal Grandfather’s pastures, crop fields, and timber. For sport I’d only set off a charge at one entrance and sit a watch the other hole and pick off the badger(s) with my .22 as they hauled ass out their “escape” route. Grandpa gave me $10 for each badger, a lot of money for a kid in the late 50s early 60s.

  41. Dave Hardy says:

    Hahaha…we have a former tunnel rat in our group who used to do similar chit; light off charges at one hole and then pop the fuckers when they tried to di-di-mao out some other one. Only he used an M-16 or his .45.

    Another trick was to dump a drum of JP4 in a hole and toss in a grenade. Saved a lotta time and effort.

    I’m thinking along the lines of the same tricks working pretty well down in Mordor…oh no…whoops…BadThink again….

  42. SteveF says:

    Tsunamis require HUGE energy release like subocean landslides, Tectonics, or a really big rock hitting at orbital velocity.

    I heard that Michelle Obama was on vacation in Hawaii on March 9, 2011, and she did a canonball off a dock into the ocean. Two days later, the wave hit Japan.

  43. Greg Norton says:

    I’m thinking along the lines of the same tricks working pretty well down in Mordor…oh no…whoops…BadThink again….

    Maybe that’s why flamethrowers are illegal in Maryland. The most direct route to DC from the Heartland and Mountain States involves I-68 across the long, skinny part of MD.

    Always thinking ahead when it comes to saving their own skins. I’m actually surprised they didn’t have Disney build another “museum” straddling I-68 like the prototype building on I-80 in Nebraska.

  44. Dave Hardy says:

    From the One County at a Time Department:

    https://christianmerc.blogspot.it/2017/06/betrayal.html

    I’m doing my piddly best here in Franklin County, Vermont, and hope to do a LOT more in the years remaining to me. This is fertile territory. Plenty of collectivist types flitting about but accountability begins at this level. I’m makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, amigos.

    Planning Commission, Selectboard, gun club, parish, ham radio club, neighbors, local and county police and firefighters and EMS people, Legion and VFW posts, talking with peeps in stores, etc., etc.

    The local rag paper is halfway decent for strictly local chit, but above that level, forget it; they get their state nooz from the usual libtard sources and national and international verbatim from the WAPO. They ought not to be the only rag in the county; there’s a weekly but it’s not much better, except for blow-by-blows of the usual litany of DUI and assault arrests and a lotta ads.

    Just had another torrential downpour plus thunder close by. Wife was all concerned about me watering all the plants out in the yard; what a joke. We’re waterlogged; it’s a tropical jungle out there. I swear I can hear monkeys and macaws screeching….

  45. nick flandrey says:

    ” I suspect that the two stations would be strewing parts everywhere all the way down.”

    Pretty sure that whatever doesn’t burn up on reentry is gonna de-orbit and slow WAY down as it breaks up. The chunk of skylab wasn’t even particularly charred, and was all recognizable.

    Terminal velocity in air at sea level is what? 120mph?

    https://www.space.com/21092-skylab-space-station-debris-photos.html

    not really burned, not coming in at 20k mph, that’s for sure.

    n

  46. Dave Hardy says:

    “I heard that Michelle Obama was on vacation in Hawaii on March 9, 2011…”

    Sure that wasn’t Cankles off a dock in San Diego?

    Plus, we’d need a minor database to chronicle the vay-cay times of the Obolas during their eight years destroying the country. We do know, however, that it came to $100 million for all the travel and logistics.

  47. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    My biggest as a teenager was 10 pounds of RDX. Jesus.

  48. Dave Hardy says:

    From the Policy Wonks Discuss “Healthcare” Solutions Department:

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=232164

  49. Ray Thompson says:

    When I graduated HS in 1970 and became draft eligible my draft numbers were over 320 for the remainder of the draft

    My birthdate was number 6 on the draft lottery in 1969. Rather than be shanghaied by the army I chose the USAF. Still had some fairly severe training and adventures because the AFSC I enlisted under. Was able to eventually test out and go into IT where I spent the rest of my time. I was the first person in Oregon to ace all four phases of the enlistment test to determine where you got assigned. Didn’t do a damn bit of good because the USAF still put me where they wanted. Now in fairness to the USAF I was told when I finally departed for basic what I was signing up for. What was more important to me was getting away from my abusive (physical, mental, and sexual) abuse by my aunt and uncle. I think I would have chosen the USAF regardless of my draft number.

  50. MrAtoz says:

    Real Men join the Air Force. That’s why I had to settle for the Army. 😉

  51. Dave Hardy says:

    The running joke at my vets group is “Are we sure the Air Force is a branch of the Armed Forces?”

    Flyboys.

    Airedales.

    Zoomies.

    Army and Marine guys still bitch about how we had good chow on the bases, etc., etc. Yeah, stateside; not so much in SEA, and I ate off-base anyway. Better chow and cheaper. I did that chit before Anthony Bourdain was washing pots and pans in Penis-Town, Cape Cod.

  52. Ray Thompson says:

    Army and Marine guys still bitch about how we had good chow on the bases

    The first four years I was in the chow was mediocre. Not great, but edible. Breakfast was the best meal of the day.

    Then I got stationed at Ent AFB in Colorado Springs. Basically two city blocks in middle of a residential and light business area. A couple of barracks, some office buildings, pool, and mess hall. The cook in the mess hall was outstanding. During the week lunch was from 11:00 to 13:00. During that time there was a constant line as people from the Chidlaw building and a couple of of other places would come to eat.

    On weekends, especially Sunday evening, the mess would would serve about six to ten people. The cook would custom fix your meal. He was damn good. Steak was excellent, top of the line, and cooked to perfection. Made his own spaghetti sauce and it outstanding. Best place I ever ate in the USAF.

    Then I got transferred to Randolph AFB. Food was again so-so. Then they out sourced the entire food service. The quality jumped through the roof. The mess was now an excellent place to eat all meals.

    Thanksgiving was a spread that could not be equaled anywhere. You needed reservations and tickets to get in to eat. Families of service members were allowed to eat for a small fee. Excellent food, just outstanding.

    Are we sure the Air Force is a branch of the Armed Forces?

    That’s because most of the chaps from the other services were dumb as rocks and could not spell USAF let alone the long version.

  53. CowboySlim says:

    I volunteered for a USN reserve program after graduating high school in mid year. It had 6 mo’s active training then typical reserve after that so I could enter college in Sept.
    Then USN Dr. rejected me for heart murmur. Several years into college got draft notice. 80 year old USArmy Dr. could not hear heart murmur, had to file for student deferment.

  54. Dave Hardy says:

    The chow at the radar site on top of Mt. Tam was great; and the cooks took care of us security bozos very well, as they were security bozo augmentees if SHTF. Only so-so in SEA because they hired locals to do the grunt work and had pissed-off NCOs supervising who couldn’t speak the languages. So I ate on the local economy and made out like a champ. (also spoke the lingo).

    The cooks at the radar site would also let us grab whatever in the wee hours so long as we cleaned up after ourselves. Medics also took care of us; overseas they faked our pee tests for us. Yes, some of us did dope in addition to the booze over there. Finestkind pot, I kid you not. We mainly just drank beer but the hardcore lifer maggot NCOs were into the hard stuff all the time. Took turns at the NCO clubs for the jukeboxes; certain times were for Motown and other times were for old school shit-kicker C&W. Stand By Your Man. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.

  55. pcb_duffer says:

    The draft was long gone by the time I reached 18, but in theory I was supposed to register anyway. I didn’t do so; it seemed the me that if they were going to have a draft they should have one but the way they were doing things were half assed. In any case, I could never have passed a physical, so I would have been 4-Fed. And herewith, the very best service rivalry joke that I know:

    A psychologist is interviewing four service men, one each from the USMC, USA, USN, and USAF. He poses the same question to each of them, and studies their answers. The question is “Imagine you are deployed into the field. You awake one morning to discover a large angry scorpion in your tent. What is your reaction?”
    The Marine answers “I’d take out my bayonet, trap and cut off the pincer, and eat the thing. If we’re in the field, protein is important.”
    The solder says “I’d just take out my knife and kill the thing. No need to eat it as long as we’ve got MREs.”
    The sailor says “I’d grab my boot and crush the big scary insect.”
    The airman replies “I’d call the front desk and ask why there’s a tent in my room!”

  56. Greg Norton says:

    Plus, I am next to (1/4 mile away) a major river that moderates our weather also.

    When we lived in Vantucky (Vancouver, WA), at least once every winter we would get Chicago-style “lake effect” snow storms on a smaller scale, caused by the wind blowing south-to-north over the Columbia. The official precipitation total at the airport, just across the river to the south, would be much lower.

  57. Dave Hardy says:

    “The airman replies “I’d call the front desk and ask why there’s a tent in my room!””

    Roger that. Stateside and Europe. Not so much for enlisted scum in SEA during the wars. Ask me how I know.

  58. MrAtoz says:

    In 1947, the Army took a dump. The Air Force was born.

  59. MrAtoz says:

    We fly into Orlando on Sunday for our week’s “vacation” at Disney/Universal.

    Yay:

    TSA agent caught stealing cash from luggage at Orlando International Airport, cops say

    I wonder what else they are stealing. Oh, yeah, EVERYTHING!

    Off to NYC one week after we get back for a gig.

    MrsAtoz says we will be gone *most* of August on gigs. Maybe Vermont!

  60. Dave Hardy says:

    “In 1947, the Army took a dump. The Air Force was born.”

    That is why the original Army Air Corps was called the Brown-Shoe Air Force; they kept shitting themselves and it had to be turned over to professionals.

    “MrsAtoz says we will be gone *most* of August on gigs. Maybe Vermont!”

    Fo real, homie? I’ll give ya the grand tour. You won’t wanna go back.

  61. Miles_Teg says:

    Dave, when you ate off base did they still charge you for the on base meals you didn’t eat? Do Navy boys get their food for free when at sea?

  62. Greg Norton says:

    We fly into Orlando on Sunday for our week’s “vacation” at Disney/Universal.

    Tampa is worse for sticky-fingered security personnel. The TSA has a luggage theft -er- inspection building at TIA where they can go through the suitcases out of sight of other airport authorities. Orlando is too space constrained and busy right now to provide the Feds with that kind of opportunity.

    OTOH, the TSA checkpoints move much faster in Tampa than Orlando. Arrive early at MCO for your departure, especially this time of year.

    Coolest place we eat at regularly in Orlando. Any of Bob’s regulars would be very happy at The Beefy King … even if Jimmy Fallon eats there. 🙂

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/restaurants/foodie/os-et-beefy-king-orlando-anniversary-49-story.html

  63. Ray Thompson says:

    I wonder what else they are stealing. Oh, yeah, EVERYTHING!

    Every trip we have made overseas with the exception of the first, which was prior to 9/11, we have had something stolen. Not major items but gifts for the families overseas. It is extremely embarrassing to gift gifts to three family members but the fourth you have to explain their gift was stolen. We pack as much as we can into a carry on bag but still have some items that must be in checked luggage. You can tell the suitcase has been rummaged. On this last trip they stole some razors that I needed to shave. Arrived and could not find my razors and had to purchase locally.

    Arrive early at MCO for your departure

    We arrived at MCO an hour late. Huge lines in immigration barely moving. We told one of the people directors we had a 5:40 flight and it was currently 5:10. They took us to a much shorter line. Then we had to wait for luggage, ours being close to the last. Another person took us to a customs agent with no lines. But he had to get bitchy because I had the wrong airline on the customs form. My boarding pass said Delta, Delta sold me the ticket, it was a Delta flight number. But not good enough. We should have put Virgin Atlantic which matched nothing on my boarding pass. Thought he was going to start going through all my dirty underwear.

    Next we were hustled to a back part of the terminal to go through security. No lines, in fact, no passengers. We were it. Still got the scanning and wife got wanded. Then up an elevator to the gate 10 minutes late. But the plane was 20 minutes late. Wife and I were the last two people to get on the plane and there was some asshole in my seat. Guess he thought we were not going to make it.

    Got to Atlanta but baggage did not make the flight. Checked with the Delta APP and found the bags were on another flight that would arrive in 45 minutes. Got something to eat and waited for the bags. When we got to our place for the night discovered a couple items I had purchased in Norway were no longer in the luggage. Have no idea who stole those items.

    I have filed claims for the items in the past. But the response from the airport and TSA has always been they want a copy of the receipt and proof that one of their people stole the item. Of course such proof being impossible to obtain. I now just consider it a cost of traveling.

    What struck me about MCO in the immigration area, besides being extremely crowded, was the temporary A/C hoses running on the ceiling from portable A/C units. Apparently the place is holding too many people for the regular A/C to handle. There were also people at the baggage unit tossing bags to keep it from getting jammed. This was because luggage was arriving long before people were making it through immigration. My guess is that people were waiting in excess of 90 minutes from the look of the lines, the slow immigration agents taking frequent breaks, and the incredible stupid people who failed to fill out their customs declarations.

    It also possible that Orlando is receiving a lot more international flights and is just configured to properly handle the number of flights. My plane was a 747 with about 350 people all arriving at the same time. From the number of people there were obviously some more international flights.

    My advice is to not fly into MCO from an international destination if you can avoid the location. I also consider EWR to be be a place to avoid as it is worse than MCO. BWI is a good alternative as is DFW although DFW is a longer flight.

  64. Dave Hardy says:

    That is just hellish, and I can’t think of very many reasons to go through it all. Wife up here has to, but not overseas, and she has the system pretty well figured out by now. Princess has had some nasty incidents in her international travels, the most recent being in Ireland where FUSA agents put her through the wringer over nothing at the airport in Dublin. She ended up just walking away from them and telling them to suck it. Literally.

  65. MrAtoz says:

    Ah, the joys of flying the FUSA these days. Our Disney trip was supposed to be just MrsAtoz and I. She has a gig there. Then she started inviting the grandkids, kids, friends, etc. It has turned into a 16 person goat rope of MrsAtoz paying for most of it. I’m sure I’ll get blamed for anything that goes wrong: flight delays, rental car(s) not ready, hotel reservation lacking. This isn’t really a “vacation” for me with that many people. Did I mention I have to activate all the park tickets since I have a milspec ID? At least the oldest daughter is an expert at Disney on getting Fast Pass, bracelets, etc. I just have to show my ID and she does the rest.

  66. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “My advice is to not fly into MCO from an international destination if you can avoid the location. I also consider EWR to be be a place to avoid as it is worse than MCO. BWI is a good alternative as is DFW although DFW is a longer flight.”

    My advice is to not fly.

    FIFY

  67. nick flandrey says:

    @mr Atoz, make sure to register for a Magic Gathering. With that many people, you should get some good spiffs.

    And you will need to check the reservations in the computer about every week as they will change and get lost, people inthe group will get each others reservations, etc.

    Good thing Daughter is experienced. That many people IS a goat rope.

    n

    (got married there, 70 guests, have some experience there……)

  68. Ray Thompson says:

    expert at Disney on getting Fast Pass, bracelets

    On our Disney trip in December of 2016 I did all the stuff online. Ordered the package we wanted and the resort, set up the meal plan and made the meal reservations, set up the rides to use the Fast Pass. About two weeks before we left the wrist bands arrived in the mail each with our name in the band. Just before our scheduled arrival time Disney sent me a text with our room number at the resort. Went straight to the room using the wrist bands as the room access key. Operation went very smoothly.

    My advice is to not fly

    No other viable option when traveling to Europe. Unless you want to spend three times as much and spend 10 days on a barf machine traveling to and from Europe.

    Any trip beyond two days in CONUS I will fly. The cost to drive with fuel, meals and hotels will quickly exceed the cost of the plane tickets. Two days of driving and I avoid the airlines.

  69. Ray Thompson says:

    @MR OFD: Be sure and ask for discounts using your VA health card. Lot of places are 10%, some are 25%, Papa Johns is a whopping 50% discount. Get in the habit of asking, always.

  70. H. Combs says:

    I worked overseas for almost a decade and loved air travel there. After 9/11 I started to hear horror stories from my US colleagues about how air travel had become a nightmare. We flew Ryan air while living in the UK, VERY cheap but comfortable. London to Venice for about $60. When they transferred me to Hong Kong they put us on Virgin Air business class. We had food cooked to order, aromatherapy, massage, and individual pods that were more comfortable than being at home. We took Emirates Airlines to Borneo for a vacation and that was pure luxury. New Zealand air is better than any US carrier. Then I made the mistake of coming back to the US. Have only flown a couple of times. Once the TSA goon told my wife she would have to remove her inuslin pump for inspection. Wife refused, things got tense, finally a supervisor with half a brain let her through. That was our last flight.

  71. Miles_Teg says:

    Last time my sister flew to North America she entered in Canada somewhere, visited friends in BC and crossed into Montana for a few days. No US airports. That’s the way I think I’d do it next time I visit the US.

  72. Ray Thompson says:

    finally a supervisor with half a brain

    You were lucky you got one of the more intelligent TSA goons. Most don’t have half a brain.

  73. Dave Hardy says:

    Let’s see, two days of driving at average speed of 50 MPH, say, at eight to ten hours per day in North Murka. 800-1,000 miles. Naw. I don’t need to go anywhere that far away, whether driving or flying or taking the train. YMMV, obviously. Wife HAS to fly, most of the time, unless it’s a gig here in New England or north-country Vampire State. We hope she only has to do it another 3-4 years, max.

    Will I be all bummed out if I never see Europe or South America or Afrika or Oz? Very doubtful. Just not worth it to me. Ditto places like Disney World, Six Flags, etc. I’d consider a train trip out to the Murkan and Canadian Rockies, maybe. And back again the same way. Other than that, fuggetaboutit.

    My condolences, MrAtoz, on your pending goat rope; I probably would have been an old meanie bastid and said NO or not have gone myself, but again, YMMV, lol.

  74. DadCooks says:

    @Miles_Teg asked:
    “Do Navy boys get their food for free when at sea?”

    Officers have to pay for their meals and their uniforms. There are cases, on shore, where the enlisted have to pay for the meals but the reasons vary and could have changed since I was in. Us Submarine Electrician Mates got an extra uniform allowance (including underwear) because acid from the ship’s battery ate holes in our uniforms.

    The chow on submarines is considered the best in the Navy. Only the best cooks are on submarines. They can do wonders with Navy Spec food stuffs.

    When we were doing sea trials on the Los Angeles (SSN 688) before it was accepted by the Navy (Commissioned) the shipyard (Newport News Ship Building and Dry Dock Company: “We shall build good ships here. At a profit — if we can. At a loss — if we must. But always good ships.” bought all the food. We ate like kings. Things like REAL Prime Rib, Lobster, REAL Jumbo Shrimp, and the best fruits and vegetables. Our Chief Cook really showed off his skills. The shipyard did its best to impress the Navy Brass who were in charge of contracts and riding along for the sea trials.

  75. Ray Thompson says:

    Next trip out west is to Ely Nevada in September. Will be flying into Las Vegas and making the drive to Ely. There is a place where you can actually operate a steam locomotive. 30 mile round trip operating the train (expert along for the trip). After that will be heading to Victorville CA to visit family then back to Vegas for the home journey.

    Our local Knoxville airports sucks on pricing. Round trip for two is $900. Flying from Atlanta is only $360.00. Atlanta is only a 4 hour drive. On our last trip to Europe Knoxville was $2300.00 a person, Atlanta was $1500.00 a person. For a price difference of $1600.00 for the both of us I could hire a limo to drive me to Atlanta and pick me up.

  76. Dave Hardy says:

    “…will be heading to Victorville CA…”

    Small world again. Your humble northern correspondent has been to Victorville. Stopped by there from Mill Valley, CA (on leave) to visit a buddy I’d been stationed with in Maine before I got sent to ‘Nam for my sins. His house was right on the outskirts of town on the edge of the Mojave. Kind of eerie at first light.

    WRT flying; It’s as nearly painless as can be managed, I guess, at our airport up here (Burlington International Airport). TSA bullshit is minimal and the costs flying out via United aren’t too bad; plus wifey has the whole operation running for her like a well-oiled machine most of the time. And if the airline screws up, she’s on them with complaints like white on rice and always gets more thousands of free miles. And she’s a member of the United Club, which makes the terminal layovers bearable. Worth the $ every year. Yes, of course they charge your ass.

    Also the Burlap airport is the home of our fighter interceptor squadron of F-16s (soon to be F-35s, the Green Mountain Boys). You may have seen a famous pic of two of them flying over Manhattan while it was still smoking from 9-11.

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jjDOcRAe4YA/maxresdefault.jpg

    And let’s not forget our good ol’ air refueling buddies from the Maine Air National Guard:

    https://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/09/news/bangor/maineiacs-scrambled-to-attack-sites-on-911/

  77. Ray Thompson says:

    Your humble northern correspondent has been to Victorville

    I wouldn’t brag.

    I spent some time in Wrightwood going to school while in 6th grade. In 7th grade I was transferred to Victor Valley High School when my mother moved to Victorville. Shortly after I was abandoned and given to my aunt and uncle and lived in Oregon.

    Still have a brother and some nieces and nephews that call the place home. Mother lived there until she croaked. The only redeeming quality of Victorville is that it is step up from living in Barstow. Both are in CA and that puts them on the bottom of my list for places to live. Slim is a better man than I am I guess.

  78. Dave Hardy says:

    Also visited Barstow and San Bernadino, but this was a very long time ago. And one excursion brought us over the San Gabriel Mountains and down to the LA basin, while observing the gigantic brown smog cloud over it. Wonder what that is like now.

    Meanwhile our son and DIL and three grandchildren live in the East Bay out east of SF and Berkeley and Oakland in Brentwood, fah to the north. I dunno how they stand it, but reports are that they LOVE it. And don’t miss Vermont. To each his or her own, I guess. You couldn’t pay me enough to live in that state, or for that matter, anywhere south of Vermont or west of the Adirondacks. But I’m a stubborn old cuss with zero desire to travel much or a whole lot of interest in anyplace else, quite frankly.

  79. MrAtoz says:

    The next time you visit San Bernardino, remember to wear your Kevlar, head-to-toe.

  80. Dave Hardy says:

    San Berdoo is not currently on my list of travel plans.

    Said list involves, at most, moving from this chair to one downstairs, eventually.

    Later, for more excitement, out to let the dawg pee and poop.

  81. SteveF says:

    My advice is to not fly.

    Words of wisdom.

    It has turned into a 16 person goat rope of MrsAtoz paying for most of it. I’m sure I’ll get blamed for anything that goes wrong: flight delays, rental car(s) not ready, hotel reservation lacking.

    Sounds like something my wife would organize. And, yes, somehow every problem became my fault, even when my wife swore up and down that she’d arranged everything and all I had to do was drive the van with half a dozen people and meet at the designated spot.

    A week ago my daughter asked why I don’t go on vacation with her and my wife. Paraphrased, I told her it’s because I won’t put up with her mother’s bullshit. As MrAtoz says, that’s not a vacation.

  82. Dave Hardy says:

    Has anyone here ever actually been to a real-life goat rope? Mr. Slim? Mr. Ray?

    As an older couple up here, Mrs. OFD has learned by now that I simply will not cooperate with any goat rope capers and leaves me out as a matter of course.

    Gotta train ’em, youngsters!

  83. Ray Thompson says:

    To each his or her own, I guess

    Yep. My older brother loves the desert and would not live anywhere else. He likes to 4-wheel as does Mr. Slim. The number of places and adventures you can participate with in the desert is remarkable.

    Has anyone here ever actually been to a real-life goat rope

    Not to brag, but yes I have, sort of. It was more like a goat roundup gathering some goats from in the wild and moving them into a fenced in area. But there were no real ropes involved unless you count the ones the horse back riders smacked against their legs. In regards to Mr Atoz’s trials I suspect the goats were more manageable than 16 other humans of various ages. The goats don’t talk back.

  84. Dave Hardy says:

    The goats also don’t cost you any money.

    Or need gender-free bathrooms.

  85. SteveF says:

    Has anyone here ever actually been to a real-life goat rope?

    I’ve been to an oat grope.

    Alcohol was involved.

  86. Dave Hardy says:

    And isn’t it always?

    I can remember all too well the calls I went out on that involved alcohol.

    And I can count on one hand those calls where pot was indicated.

    Not that I advocate the use of either, having been there and all too often done that.

  87. Jim M says:

    I believe that the worms in your turnips are coming from flies. You might get better results by covering the turnips with window screening.

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