Sunday, 7 February 2016

09:56 – We made a run down to Winston-Salem yesterday to pack up yet more stuff. My office is pretty much finished other than the closet, most of which is going to Goodwill. My lab is maybe 75% packed up. Colin was acting strangely from the time we left until we got back home to Sparta. Barbara has more on that.

We did haul back another three large trash bags of 2-liter Coke bottles, which we’ll get rinsed and sanitized over the next couple of days. We already have enough dry ones to pack the 100 pounds of flour still sitting in the kitchen, so I think I’ll just refill these with water to keep on hand out in the garage. One can never have too much water on hand.

Barbara is making chicken tetrazzini for dinner, with all the ingredients from long-term storage.


92 thoughts on “Sunday, 7 February 2016”

  1. I put up some more links in comments last week.

    Everyone is getting in on the action including the State Dept. cops.

    I’d like someone to explain to me how license plate tracking will prevent an attack. Or cell phone tracking. Or facial recognition. NO ONE KNEW who the attackers were in the last 4 or 5 attacks until AFTER the attack.

    The biggies are there for the big stuff, NRC and CDC have nuclear and bio scanners set up. They’re scanning truck trailers. Their cordon is 32 miles out, so that’s a truly mind boggling number of vehicles, which ALL have legitimate reasons to transit the area. Just getting the bands to the stage takes 100 trucks. Forget vendors. With 60 different badges and credentials, esp. from obscure agencies, you open yourself to impersonation. I can think of a dozen ways to make that work for me, if I was an attacker.

    The only public announcements about successes so far have been Customs seizures of counterfeit goods. Not really convinced that is a good use of federal agencies at the street level. If they nab it coming across a border, ok, but to walk around street vendors?

    Al in all, a huge expense to benefit a few private companies.

    nick

  2. This morning’s local rag had a big picture of a large military helicopter flying around Levi stadium. Yes it is an event owned by the NFL, a small group of very rich guys. Since when have they ever been adverse to using other peoples’ money?

  3. I probably mentioned that the new Outback has a black box that constantly measures and records my speed, acceleration and deceleration momentum, braking and turning G-forces, and some other stuff related to the car’s mechanical performance. I had to sign a notice at purchase and again at delivery, acknowledging that such information was not only being logged, but regularly sent back to Subaru via their ‘On-Star’-like clone and would be shared with law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and any courts involved, should I be involved in an accident. Except for the fact that people are not disappearing, I would guess that surveillance on American citizens now exceeds that of Nazi Germany.

  4. On the other hand, maybe this is a success:

    Three dead after car slams into taxi and bursts into flames during a police chase in San Francisco hours before the Super Bowl

    Cops were following a white sedan in the city on Saturday night
    The vehicle then started running red lights as the officers tailed them
    Police called off the chase but seconds later the car crashed
    The vehicle slammed into a taxi and then burst into flames

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3435963/Three-dead-car-slams-taxi-bursts-flame-police-chase-San-Francisco.html

    Cars do not typically burst into flames moments after crashing.

    nick

  5. Couple of unrelated assessments here. After some months of the new Galaxy S6 Edge, I cannot recommend the “Edge” technology. There appears to be no way to turn the edge component off, and any touch of the screen along the edge activates the edge components. Bottom line is that makes it impossible to use the phone with one hand. When holding the phone with one hand and trying to push screen buttons with a thumb or finger of the same hand, one’s skin wraps around the edge and activates it, rendering anything you might be trying to activate with one hand impossible. There are many times I used the old S3 with one hand, but no can do with the S6 Edge. Don’t get that technology if you are a one-handed phone user like me.

    Separate entry for item 2 as it is longer.

  6. Apparently the Taiwanese version of the FCC has no problem with public service agencies using the BaoFang UV5.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3435755/Toddler-pulled-rubble-24-hours-6-4-magnitude-earthquake-Taiwan-death-toll-rises-24-158-people-remain-missing.html

    See the rescue worker pictured about 3/4 of the way down, 2 radios on a sling, smaller is a dead ringer for the UV5R sitting here on my desk.

    In the US, that use gets you a letter from the FCC.

    nick

  7. “I can think of a dozen ways to make that work for me, if I was an attacker.”

    Child’s play. This is more security theater, as with the airports and airlines. They’ll nail street vendors and expired vehicle registrations and busted taillights. Any genuine attacker will already be inside. OFD used to see earlier manifestations of this ‘low-hanging fruit theory of law enforcement’ back in MA, when cops would routinely pull over guys doing five miles over the speed limit and other guys doing 90+ and weaving all over the highway would skate.

    “Except for the fact that people are not disappearing…”

    How do we know this? OK, peeps aren’t vanishing in large numbers yet, but how would we know? We have a captive MSM and dozens of Goebbels-like characters only they’re a lot prettier than him, which doesn’t take much. Meanwhile we have SCIENTISTS and technicians working like the devil to extend and expand surveillance here.

    “Cars do not typically burst into flames moments after crashing.”

    The UK Mail has better pics but the San Francisco Examiner is reporting that the cops saw the car doing “doughnuts” south of Market when they started chasing it. If that was terrorists, I doubt they’d be attracting attention like that, assuming the Examiner story is legit and/or the cops’ story. OFD has seen cars burst into flame from impacts a few times, usually if the gas tank was ruptured with very little gas in it; the vapors would ignite like a bomb. Or maybe they had something inside the car that would cause that.

  8. Car surveillance has been going on for a long time. Cops have often used on board data to investigate. Subaru is being up front. However they should never be allowed to share without a warrant. Signing away rights beforehand is total BS. If you’re ever in s serious accident I’d be inclined to have a lawyer suppress that with out court orders.

  9. Well, as my attorney dad used to say (RIP): courts these days are as unpredictable as the weather. And worse is the fact that judges are mostly attorneys who could not make it in private practice and needed a government job to survive. He told me that when I was just out of college, and sure enough, I have been close enough to the legal profession to see for myself that it is true.

  10. Item 2 report.

    Updates to the video editing program, Cinelerra (Community Version) and Linux Mint during the past few months, seem to have made Cinelerra functional in my Mint installation. Cinelerra worked when I was running Ubuntu and Mint 15, but not after I switched to Mint 17. Most of what I do for the lawyers could be done in Avidemux, so there has been little motivation to mess around more with Cinelerra—until now. A project brought to me by my son has required overlays, audio work, and special transitions, so that provided the impetus to revisit Cinelerra, and—aside from inexplicable crashes (it just quits and disappears)—it is mostly working.

    The paradigm for Cinelerra is just plain weird—and difficult. Clearly, it was not designed by people who work in video for a living. Video editing is a frame-based proposition, extending back to the analog videotape days, and kinescope film before that. Modern computer editing systems have been built around frame-timing since the first introduction of the CMX editing system on a DEC processor, which was created for Rowan and Martin’s fast-paced short-segment “Laugh-In” show that required incredible man-hours using a razor blade on 2-inch videotape. Manual editing of videotape required painting a special fluid onto the oxide so one could use a microscope and see the sync pulses that indicated where one frame ended and the next began, and the razor slice had to be made exactly at that point. Ampex invented an electronic method of editing videotape, which consisted of putting a pulse on the tape at the desired edit point in a preview run, and the machine then kicked into record on the next frame change following the pulse during the record pass. Following CMX (and a few copycats), along came Avid with its hard drive-based ‘non-linear’ computer editing system about 20 years after computer editing began on analog videotape. Within the last few years, videotape has virtually disappeared. Just try and buy some these days for your old DV camera. Not that I am missing it.

    Cinelerra allows display of either minutes:seconds:xxxx fractional seconds or frames instead of fractional seconds; but then it unfortunately uses fractional seconds for all dialog entries and not frames. Fractional seconds are pretty useless, because more professionally-oriented systems allow ‘nudging’ various parameters in frames, and will automatically do math and transfers of frame length edit markers and intervals, whereas Cinelerra requires the editor to do math conversions to fractional seconds for just about everything one wants to do. The people who designed it should have had some experience in film and videotape editing before trying to design an editing system, because they sure have not created a method that makes editing easy.

    Nonetheless, it is free and capable enough, even though unconventionally and therefore needlessly weird to operate.

    My latest project was shot with the trusty old Kodak Zi8 HD camera. Kodak had geniuses working for it, but apparently management and sales were total incompetents. At one time, Kodak had the very best photocopiers on the market, made superior digital cameras, including small video cams like the Zi8—but all of them are gone, driven to oblivion by management’s clinging to film while selling off or discontinuing the genius products its far-sighted employees handed them.

    The Zi8 is a cell phone size device that records 16:9 HD video of broadcast quality in a Quicktime format (and most importantly for me, has an external audio input), which Cinelerra can index and use natively, without any lossy conversion. I did a lot of editing to remove certain of the speaker’s remarks that identified some companies that were okay for the meeting attendees to know, but not the wider audience that the video will be available to. I put overlay titles in, including lower-third name identifiers, and a flash transition to signify some deletions (which has become a pretty ugly standard in broadcast TV these days). Because audience members asked questions, I stripped the audio and did a lot of processing work in Audacity to adjust levels, compress the speech for more intelligibility, and silence some occasions when the speaker hit the lapel mic. I then married that processed track back to the edited video, just like we would have done with Final Cut for video and Pro Tools for audio. Worked perfectly.

    Rendering time is significantly reduced from my early days of playing with Cinelerra, when it took all night to render an hour’s worth of material. For this project, it rendered an hour in about 42 minutes, although if there were more effects, it would have taken longer. I guess I am a dinosaur, because my favorite directors considered even dissolves to be a special effect, and seldom used them. As I used to tell untrained people who tried to tell me how to do my job: “I’m still working on cuts. When I get that down, I’ll move on to other possibilities.” Our eyes shift gaze instantly from one picture to another, so there is nothing in human nature to justify anything but cuts. Anything else is an unnatural distraction to the content and storyline, IMO—a gimmick. The biggest blockbuster movies do not use anything but cuts.

    Cinelerra cannot render true MP4 output (H.264 video and AAC audio) which is what I need and what the commercial products will easily render. It is going to take some research to figure out how to get to MP4 with what Cinelerra *can* deliver, as there are going to be more of these videos, and MP4 is what the client wants. Meanwhile, FFMPEG will do any needed conversion of Cinelerra’s “Quicktime for Linux” format.

    The rendered output looks really good and is free of any and all ‘bumps’. Everything rendered as cleanly as I am used to, when working in professional commercial video plants. The nVidia graphics card in Tamora, the Asus Zenbook, is crap and can’t keep up with Cinelerra’s demands during editing, dropping frames and stuttering in the Compositor window, but the output ends up as perfection. So be it.

    Meanwhile, over the holidays, I replaced my 9 year-old Asus dual core laptop that died at Thanksgiving with a Dell Inspiron touch screen laptop that was on sale at Costco but loaded to max with RAM, a terabyte spinning drive, and had an ATI/AMD Radeon videocard. Serious video editing is just not done on nVidia, and the ATI/AMD video has been very hard to find on an Intel motherboard since AMD bought ATI, so I grabbed that computer, which was the last one with no restock planned. More on that as I get that computer up and running as a CentOS Linux machine, and not the Win10 it came with.

    Bottom line is that Cinelerra is providing just enough abilities to keep me from having to spend money on Final Cut. Unless we get a lot more work coming in (my judgment is that we’re in a no-growth recession, so that is unlikely), Cinelerra will do what I need to get done. Not easily or quickly, but the quality of its final output is as good as the pro programs; just plan on spending more time than with the costly pro software that is far more intuitive and easier to use.

  11. ” Kodak had geniuses working for it, but apparently management and sales were total incompetents.”

    Same story at DEC; engineers ran the company, and then, inexplicably, they brought in MBA types in suits and womyn-on-business, always busy with the social end of things. Meanwhile the late Ken Olsen opined that there would never be any computers inside peoples’ homes. Eventually sold off to Compaq and bought by HP, where its flagship o.s. currently resides, one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel, depending on some future PHB decision. IMHO, the best enterprise o.s. so far, and still big in northwestern Euro countries and a few places in New England. I’d worked at DEC in the late 80s as things were starting to wind down and collapse, and later another four years working with a lot of DEC refugees at EDS in the late 90s and early 00s.

    “(my judgment is that we’re in a no-growth recession, so that is unlikely)”

    Haha. I just watched a ‘future of IT job market’ webinar and they told me that the economy is doing swell, the IT job market looks like gangbusters (esp. for SENIOR level drones), and the future is bright for young peeps who are willing to roll on in and work hard and learn new chit and be “molded” by the organization. And although more companies CLAIM they’re gonna move to training peeps in-house, we’re still encouraged to learn new chit on our own time and our own dime. They made a point of talking about permanent employees, contractors, and “flex” people as being all on the same level and just a routine way of looking at the business. Also, H1B is not a problem; those guys are just taking jobs that there are not enough Murkans for; they’re not actually REPLACING Murkans. (OFD was done differently, along with hundreds of fellow drones at IBM three years ago). The big problem in North Murka is…ah, forget it; they had one contradiction after another in their report. The aging work force is not a problem ’cause plenty of youngsters, but wait, not enough have the training, but wait, companies will do that now, oops, no, you gotta do it at home on your time.

    In short, it’s a total crap shoot and you’re gonna end up being lucky to hold any kind of decent job for anywhere from five or six months to a year or two. And you can be the hardest-working SOB on-site, but if some PHB misses a putt on the golf course or another MBA whiz kid thinks H1B is the solution to the place tanking, you’re gone like a cool breeze and don’t let the screen door hitcha on your way out. (security will watch you pack up and do the perp walk to that door, natch).

  12. Continuing the rant:

    If you’re about thirty years old, have a BS in math or computer science, know at least a couple of programming languages, and are willing to be PC for the womyn and metrosexuals and put in 80-hour weeks, you’re good to go.

  13. “Ford Pinto anyone?”

    VW Kharmen Ghia I was driving one sunny morning, on my way to the MA State Police Academy; had just filled the gas tank. Smelled smoke and in my rear-view mirror saw flames spewing out of the rear engine compartment. Had just enough time to pull over, grab my duffel bag, and bail out as the whole car became engulfed. FD got there a few minutes later and told me I was lucky the tank was full or it woulda blown sky-high. Total loss right down to the frame. Got a ride the rest of the way to Framingham from another LEO but was late and caught chit from the “DI.” Extra push-ups while the rest of the class counted them off in unison. “Put some dirt on it, cupcake, and GTFO there!”

  14. The only public announcements about successes so far have been Customs seizures of counterfeit goods. Not really convinced that is a good use of federal agencies at the street level. If they nab it coming across a border, ok, but to walk around street vendors?

    One of my brothers got busted in college selling unauthorized t-shirts outside a heavy metal concert. The cops confiscated his remaining shirts and held him until the show started. Didn’t take the money from the shirts he had sold.

    Knockoff goods (esp. from China) are a big business in the US. There is an area in Houston of strip centers and those hybrid warehouse/storefront buildings that sell goods from China, India, etc. Every few months, one gets shut down for selling knockoffs that are too close to the real thing. They seem to open up again pretty quickly.

  15. I should have said, most MODERN cars don’t immediately burst into flame. Those VW deathtraps were deathtraps. Was there ever a Bug that didn’t smell like gasoline inside? Oh, and the heater thing? Exhaust gas in the passenger compartment? Only a ‘final solution’ kind of engineer would approve that.

    If a modern car DOES catch on fire, it’s likely to burn like crazy. Lots of cars with exotic and flammable alloys in the engine compartment now.

    Still, they don’t IMMEDIATELY burst into flame….

    nick

    And the Pinto only burst into flame when hit in the rear mounted gas tank, from the rear.

    Annnddd, CBS ended up paying GM millions for there ‘enhanced’ story about some pickups bursting into flame when T boned…..

  16. I probably mentioned that the new Outback has a black box that constantly measures and records my speed, acceleration and deceleration momentum, braking and turning G-forces, and some other stuff related to the car’s mechanical performance. I had to sign a notice at purchase and again at delivery, acknowledging that such information was not only being logged, but regularly sent back to Subaru via their ‘On-Star’-like clone and would be shared with law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and any courts involved, should I be involved in an accident.

    So what happens if you refuse to sign it? Or is this just a notice rather than a permission?

    I am considering buying a Subaru Forrester for the wife.

  17. “Only a ‘final solution’ kind of engineer would approve that.”

    Good one! The Peoples’ Wagon and der Autobahn! Plus, der Blitzkrieg! Which our military and political leaders still use for their strategy and tactics, even though the rest of the world moved on to Third Gen Warfare and past that to the current Fourth Gen state of affairs. Nothing like fighting the last war before the last war. It’s either incredible stupidity and blindness to history or it’s malice aforethought somehow. Or a combination of those.

    “I considering buying a Subaru Forrester for the wife.”

    The unofficial State Car of Vermont. Driven up here by libturds, hippies, and the occasional wombat, muskrat or dingbat. Get her a pre-computer big-ass truck, V8, 4WD, max AC, and install an ass-kicking stereo system and gun rack. It’s TEXAS, hombre, go BIG!

  18. “I considering buying a Subaru Forrester for the wife.”

    The unofficial State Car of Vermont. Driven up here by libturds, hippies, and the occasional wombat, muskrat or dingbat. Get her a pre-computer big-ass truck, V8, 4WD, max AC, and install an ass-kicking stereo system and gun rack. It’s TEXAS, hombre, go BIG!

    She currently drives a hot rod Honda Civic coupe with a rear spoiler and mag wheels that I bought her 11 years ago. And that I just spent $5K on fixing. Do you really see her moving from rice rocket to redneck ride? Getting her into an automatic small SUV has been a battle so far.

    Actually, the national car of Texas is the Suburban. There are more pickups but everyone wants a Suburban (or an Expedition). That factory camper top is the tops!

  19. The first Ebola person treated in the USA was our preacher this morning in Church. I was very impressed by the man’s convictions. He says that he decided to be medical missionary in his teens and carried through on that. I bought a copy of his book afterwords and got him to sign it. I asked if they let him keep his passport and and said yes. In fact, he and his family went back to Liberia last year to visit the other doctors. I figure that he is now a national treasure for an Ebola outbreak in the USA.
    http://www.amazon.com/Called-Life-Loving-Neighbor-Epidemic/dp/1601428235/

  20. VW Kharmen Ghia I was driving one sunny morning, on my way to the MA State Police Academy; had just filled the gas tank.

    Had a VW super beetle, ’74 rendition, that developed a leaky fuel line. Used 5 gallons of gas on a 30 mile trip so I knew something was wrong. Replaced the fuel line and traded the vehicle a couple of months later. Person that bought the vehicle from the dealer where I traded the vehicle returned two weeks after buying the vehicle because it had caught fire and burned itself to the ground.

    There was also the really smart idea from American engineers in early pickups, until sometime in the 70’s I think, where the fuel tank was in the cab behind the seat. Not a very smart placement. That 1970 Chevy my uncle drove had the fuel tank in the cab and you could hear fuel sloshing. Occasional smell of gas in the cab.

    Oh, and the heater thing? Exhaust gas in the passenger compartment?

    Not quite. The air was diverted over the exhaust manifold for heat. The danger was if the exhaust manifold ever developed a leak. It would require a leak in the the solid metal portion, not where there were any joints. Most VW engines would require a rebuild before that ever occurred.

    Of course there was that heater option for cold climates where an extra interior heater would run on the gasoline from the fuel tank.

    Lots of stupid design decisions in cars before about 1980 where shortcuts were made, intentionally, that were dangerous. There are still stupid design decisions but generally not dangerous, just extremely difficult to replace maintenance items. Some Dodge vans require removal of many parts to replace a headlight, some of the parts requiring special tools.

  21. “…just extremely difficult to replace maintenance items. Some Dodge vans require removal of many parts to replace a headlight, some of the parts requiring special tools.”

    Wanna replace the headlight bulb on a Saab convertible? No problemo, if you can fit yer hand between that and the friggin’ battery that the squarehead engineers put there and have enough room to wiggle it out and wiggle a new one in. Not with my hands, that’s for sure. And the radio antenna on the back of it; breathe on it or look at it wrong and it snaps off; now try replacing it; an operation on the order of the plans for D-Day, which involves dismantling the trunk, pretty much. The CD changers in the trunks, as on this and the Range Rover we used to have, where the CDs would skip over any bumps you drive over and again, breathe on it wrong and it simply stops functioning and locks up the CDs inside it forever.

    And daughter’s Toyota Matrix; are there any wheel covers for it that will stay on???

    Firearms accessory design: so far this weekend I’ve liked the Elzetta flashlight and mount combos better than the ones by Viking Tactics, which were a PITA to attach. And how ’bout those rigid rear sling clips and the tiny little ball with a tiny little hole in it at the front of the barrel?

    Radio design: battery compartment covers that fall off or slip off at the slightest movement.

    And last, but not least; various juice containers where OFD has to throw his whole 250 pounds into twisting the damn cap off while wondering how an 85-year-old or little kid would manage it.

  22. Annnddd, CBS ended up paying GM millions for there ‘enhanced’ story about some pickups bursting into flame when T boned…..

    That was NBC and Dateline, a story introduced by my former Indianapolis TV colleague, Jane Pauley.

    So what happens if you refuse to sign it? Or is this just a notice rather than a permission?

    It’s a notice, not my permission. My signing attested only that I read it—like all the ‘terms of service’ you have to say you read on Internet transactions or computer software before you can install it, which I don’t bother to read because the transaction will not go forward unless you do; I don’t understand half the legalese, and the length of that crap is a waste of my time.

    And I didn’t read the Subaru notice. As to refusing to sign, I actually posed that question. The answer was that they would not sell me the car. At the time I bought, cars were selling like hotcakes, and in 2 weeks, that dealer unloaded all 7 Outbacks on the truck that delivered them the day I bought it (3 were deliveries of previously ordered SUV’s).

    I am considering buying a Subaru Forrester for the wife.

    I love my Outback. Except—as with every new car I have ever bought, there is a laundry list of things that do not work right—such as the driver’s seat belt retractor not retracting unless I help it along by pushing and feeding it into the retractor channel. One of the dash air vents does not shut off when it is supposed to be directing air to the floor. Side speakers come and go on the stereo system, which is really maddening to me, because I use that to evaluate stuff for the radio station while I am driving. Auto-dimming rear view mirror inside the car does not auto-dim for headlights from behind; it takes a strong LED flashlight shining right on the sensor before anything happens with that mirror. Rear tailgate unlocks but does not open when I use the handle on the tailgate; works if I get the key out and push the button on the remote—but with a keyless car, why should I have to get the key out? Remote start does not work. Tire inflation warning light will not go off regardless of how much fiddling I do with the tire pressures. Doors do not automatically lock when I start driving. Car goes in for them to look at all that next week.

    All-wheel-drive in snow and ice is awesome, but you don’t ever get snow and ice down there, do you? Some clown pulled out in front of me at an intersection where I had the green and was doing about 35; full-on ABS stopped me just an inch from T-boning her. The tires never squealed. Unless your roads are better than ours, I would go with the Outback for the 18” tires. Even those are not big enough for the potholes around here. Driving the Roadmaster with its 15” tires got to be like driving a midget clown car. It was worse than the 13” tires on the Ford Escort my wife had. At least with the Outback, I have a chance of not falling to China now.

    Only thing to dislike is that there is no way to anchor stuff you put in the back. Groceries and such slide around like kids on a water slide. I suppose there is something out there to stop that, but this is my first SUV, so I am not initiated.

    The unofficial State Car of Vermont. Driven up here by libturds, hippies, and the occasional wombat, muskrat or dingbat.

    The official liberal’s car in the educational paradise of my alma mater. I fit right in now when I go visit my son these days. And he always asks to drive the Outback while I’m down there. But Subaru is selling a ton of those cars now. It is no longer only the greenie’s car of choice. Made right up the road from me in Lafayette. There are tons of them on the road around me. Two people on my street have Subaru’s (one is a Forrester, the other a Legacy), and believe me the people that own them sure ain’t liberals. So I’ve got only Hoosiers to blame for all those things that are wrong with mine. Sales guy told me it has higher road clearance than a Jeep (and I parked next to one the other day, and sure enough the Outback was higher), which is convenient considering the $1,500 damage done to the Roadmaster when a truck in front of me kicked a recap and there were cars on both sides of me forcing me to run over it; but still I do not have to climb up to get into the car—it’s a slide over and in. Did I say I love that car?

    Dodge Ram trucks are the Hoosier rural vehicle of choice. Local dealer has 100 of them (no kidding) on his lot. Most are diesel. I was wondering why so many truck owners would choose diesel when it is signficantly more costly than gasoline. A farmer friend clued me in: farmers’ big machinery runs on diesel and they don’t pay road tax on the diesel that gets delivered to the tanks behind the barn. Guess where those farmers get the diesel they put in their Ram trucks? Naturally, due to the farm lobby, it is actually cheaper than gasoline.

    Lots of stupid design decisions in cars before about 1980 where shortcuts were made, intentionally, that were dangerous.

    Early ’70’s Olds Toronado’s (one of the first front-wheel drive cars) required dropping the engine to replace 2 of the spark plugs, which were originally scheduled for replacement at 20,000 miles. They changed that to 60,000 miles pretty quickly. We had a Toronado in the family. Those plugs had to be changed well in advance of 60k miles if you did not want it missing out on 2 or 3 of the 8 cyclinders.

  23. “Only thing to dislike is that there is no way to anchor stuff you put in the back. Groceries and such slide around like kids on a water slide. I suppose there is something out there to stop that, but this is my first SUV, so I am not initiated.”

    Here ya go; all kinds of neat stuff for yer vehicle; I’ve got the floor mats and rear cargo liner mat in the RAV4 and the Princess Matrix. They also have these blocky things you can put back there to control bags of groceries and suchlike; planning to get them, too.

    http://www.weathertech.com/

  24. All-wheel-drive in snow and ice is awesome, but you don’t ever get snow and ice down there, do you?

    Nope, 2WD would be be just fine unless we get that sudden cooling trend and glaciation that they talked about back in the 1970s. I was going to get her a Toyota RAV4 but she is not comfortable in the driver seat. She also likes the Nissan Rouge but I am leery of Nissan. In fact, she was comfy in all of the small SUVs except the RAV4 (the one I picked of course). And there is a Toyota dealer about four miles away from my house.

    I actually swapped engines in our 1973? 4? Subaru back in 1982. My FIL gave me his spare engine and it ran better than mine (had only 100K miles on it while mine had 200K miles on it). Was a four hour operation. Would probably take me four weeks on a modern car now.

    That old Subaru was a real junker. Had a 4 speed on the floor with no overdrive. I was ripping down I-20 one day at 5,000 rpm (85 mph) and the muffler blew off. It was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself think. That was back in the 55 saves lives days so I slowed down to 55 which was somewhat tolerable. Got 35 mpg on that tank instead of my normal 30 mpg.

  25. @OFD, would you walk / drive over to the North Pole and shut the dadgum door? We are dropping down into the 30s (F) at nighttime again.

  26. The wife and I enjoyed the Super Bowl. She was yelling at the TV for the entire last quarter. Lots of late hits in that game. Cam Newton will probably win it next year.

  27. @Lynn.. Perhaps find an unmolested WRX or Forester turbo for your wife, if she has the need for speed.. lol.
    Also finished “Snow & Ash”. Certainly a good read, interesting to get two perspectives on the story. YA is not normally my cup of tea, but this wasn’t too bad…

    @Chuck.. Interesting info re the film editing.. Reminded me of when I was a kid, my father had an old Pathescope projector and the film was very brittle. Lots of cutting and joining back then..
    For the Outback cargo problem, look for a cheap elastic cargo net. I have one in the Jeep and holds things down quite well.

    Been busy the last few weeks, wife had a shoulder operation, so she is one handed atm and can’t drive for a while. She should get the all clear for limited exercise from the doc in a few days. Amazing how we take all our limbs for granted until one is immobilised and how difficult simple chores become as a result.

    Basically hot today.. currently 42.3C (108F) @3pm and another hot one tomorrow..

  28. A farmer friend clued me in: farmers’ big machinery runs on diesel and they don’t pay road tax on the diesel that gets delivered to the tanks behind the barn.

    That fuel does not contain the amount normally added for road tax. The rational is that the vehicle is never driven on the roads and thus not subject to road tax. Using such fuel in a vehicle that is used on the road is illegal and if caught the fines are substantial. But how are the LEOs supposed to know?

    In my days on the farm we gasoline, a lot of it, about 300 gallons a month. We also used the gas in our cars because it was only $0.11 a gallon whereas pump gas was going for $0.25 a gallon. (The 60’s). Again, not supposed to but how was the law supposed to find out? For every fuel delivery my uncle had to sign a form stating the the fuel would not be used for vehicles driven on the road.

    In some southern states, north or south Carolina comes to mind, they used to tint the farm gas green. Supposedly if you got stopped for a violation they LEO would remove the air filter and look in the carb for traces of green. If they found it you were busted. That is not possible with an injected engine so I don’t know what they do to check or if they just don’t bother. Farmers using their equipment fuel in a regular vehicle is probably such a small percentage of overall highway use it is not worth the time and trouble to enforce.

    here is a laundry list of things that do not work right

    That is terrible quality control. I have never had that many problems with any new vehicle I have purchased. My last three purchases have had zero issues, two of those from Toyota, one from Ford.

  29. As far as I know they still dye the diesel. And diesel should cost less than gas, it’s not refined as much. IIRC that all changed when some euro cars began selling in the US with diesel engines. Suddenly, there was a demand for higher diesel taxes to raise the cost and punish those who dared to by foreign. Diesel passenger cars never really took off here after that. ‘Course today’s diesels are very complicated with tons of unneeded crap hanging off of them and tons of additives, all in the name of green….

    But then gas engines are similar now too.

    IIRC, aviation gas is dyed in mexico, and one way to catch smugglers was to look at their fuel and see if they’d been in MX despite what their flight plan might have said…

    nick

  30. WRT diesels:

    Even with the higher cost, the operational cost _can_ be lower than the equivalent gasoline motor. Here’s how: My F350 gets about 300 horse and 300 lb-ft of torque. That’s not a lot, and I get 10-12 mpg, which is average for that motor/truck combo. About 9 pulling my trailer.

    The Diesel option costs $5000 more, and gets 450-600 hp (depending on year) and mountains of torque. Easy to drive, and they get 16-20 mpg in real life. 15 pulling a trailer. A 30%-50% improvement in fuel economy, especially if you use it a LOT, makes the economy work in your favor. Add in the frustration level difference, and the diesel makes a LOT of sense.

    I didn’t spring for the diesel because I don’t drive enough miles to make it really compelling (just break-even). Though now I regret it. The frustration difference really is compelling.

  31. Also finished “Snow & Ash”. Certainly a good read, interesting to get two perspectives on the story. YA is not normally my cup of tea, but this wasn’t too bad…

    Did you do the ebook thing or the dead tree thing? I always wonder about getting dead trees down under.

    I am reading “Rain and Ruin” in a dead tree version now. Starts off very ominously with somebody in AIRIA East querying AIRIA West over a hidden communication line. And a note about evacuating to AIRIA West.
    http://www.amazon.com/Rain-Ruin-Endless-Winter-Novel/dp/0988003058/

  32. As far as I know they still dye the diesel. And diesel should cost less than gas, it’s not refined as much. IIRC that all changed when some euro cars began selling in the US with diesel engines. Suddenly, there was a demand for higher diesel taxes to raise the cost and punish those who dared to by foreign. Diesel passenger cars never really took off here after that. ‘Course today’s diesels are very complicated with tons of unneeded crap hanging off of them and tons of additives, all in the name of green….

    Actually, diesel is more refined than gasoline now although that is changing soon. All diesel fuel now goes through a hydrotreator in vapor form to knock off the sulfur molecules and replace them with hydrogen molecules. And, the diesel tax is five cents/gal higher than gasoline.

    But, the real reason why diesel costs more than gasoline is that we (the USA) sell several million gallons of diesel to Europe each day. Europe has a severe shortage of refined fuel, specially diesel, due to their lack of upgrading their refineries. The socialist greens in Europe will not allow their refineries to be upgraded or enlarged. That may be changing now as the greens are getting thrown out of office.

  33. You SHOULD know that if you still subscribe to the Party’s mythology that it est omnis divisa in partes tres, Repub, Dem, and Indie, you SHOULD fear BOTH the IRS and the Feebies, whether or not you are a “member” of one of those mythological parts.

    And with a reading outside of the standard Murkan history textbooks and stuff written by the Lincoln acolytes, you SHOULD realize that he was our by far worst President and a genocidal war criminal, precursor to demonic entities like Lenin, Stalin and Hitler. He and his thug war criminal generals also set in motion the beta version of modern industrialized warfare, culminating in the two world wars of the last century, the first presided over by Professor Wilson and the second by Pharaoh Roosevelt II, right there, our arguably three worst Presidents.

  34. Even with the higher cost, the operational cost _can_ be lower than the equivalent gasoline motor. Here’s how: My F350 gets about 300 horse and 300 lb-ft of torque. That’s not a lot, and I get 10-12 mpg, which is average for that motor/truck combo. About 9 pulling my trailer.

    Ford is supposedly coming out with a V6 turbo diesel in the F-150 in April:
    http://www.autoblog.com/2016/01/28/ford-f150-diesel-spied-video/

    “Previous intel on the future diesel F-150 suggests it could make use of a diesel V6 from Jaguar Land Rover. In the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Td6 models, that 3.0-liter engine makes 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. EPA fuel economy in those SUVs stands at 22 mpg city and 29 highway; sticking it in a heavier pickup with worse aero would likely drop those numbers a bit, depending on gearing.”

  35. I read Beyonce did some #BLM routine at the game. That’s why they call it the Super Stoopid Pandering Bowl. Geez.

  36. I’m a little leery of smaller motors. IMHO, there’s not substitute for cubic inches. Except cubic inches with a blower.

  37. “I read Beyonce did some #BLM routine at the game.”

    Hater.

    Yo, dat ’cause Black Lies Matter. More stories out now about phony rayciss attacks on black people, yet the SJW crowd immediately jumps on every single one and has mass demos anyway, with Field Marshal Rodham tweeting about how horrible it is. You can’t make this shit up–oh wait—you CAN!

    What I found funny was they were touting the halftime music acts as old-timey, new and fewchah, and the old guys were ColdPlay. Wow. I was expecting like maybe the Beach Boyz or Jethro Tull; silly ol’ OFD…

  38. On “missing” prisoners. A relative who was unfortunate enough to be caught by the fds reading what he wasn’t supposed to, told me about “diesel therapy”. When the feds wanted to keep a prisoner from his council or incognito for any reason, they sent him on Diesel Therapy. This meant they put the prisoner on a bus for transfer, he would be sent round Robbin to different Federal facilities but never overnight so he wasn’t clocked in. This long road trip could last days even weeks till the Feds had the issue sorted and would allow the prisoner to be “found” again.

  39. _The Survivalist (Last Stand)_ by Dr. Arthur T Bradley
    http://www.amazon.com/Survivalist-Last-Stand-Arthur-Bradley/dp/1517076048/

    Book number 7 of a post-apocalyptic 7 book series. There will probably be more books in the series as the author talks about book #8 at the end. This book is actually a wrap-up of the first seven books. Book #8 will head in a different direction with the same characters according to the author.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (120 reviews)

  40. “This long road trip could last days even weeks till the Feds had the issue sorted and would allow the prisoner to be “found” again.”

    One very small step from this to simply disappearing somebody along the way, never to be found, with records wiped from electronic databases and paperwork. “He got loose somehow, we’re still investigating, and he just wandered away. We have an APB out right now and are confident he will be apprehended in short order.”

  41. est omnis divisa in partes tres

    Better watch the Caesar quotes. He came to a bad end. No, wait. Was he married at the time? Being stabbed 26 times might have been less painful. Never mind.

    IMHO, there’s not substitute for cubic inches.

    Are we talking about engines or breasts?

    Except cubic inches with a blower.

    That doesn’t clear matters up any.

    “diesel therapy”

    That was done 25 or 30 years ago, I know. Probably was done fifty years before that.

  42. “…Better watch the Caesar quotes. He came to a bad end. No, wait. Was he married at the time? Being stabbed 26 times might have been less painful.”

    He was screwing around on his legit wife; also an egotistical genocidal butcher and good riddance. Although to be fair, marriage in those times at Rome was not the solid institution it is today (whoops, I just killed myself laughing at that!). They practiced what we would call “common-law” marriage and simply got together and lived together and had children or not.

    He got hacked up pretty good at the end, as did Cicero not much later. Hard times at the top; too bad we can’t have drama like that here at our top gummint levels.

  43. From my Europe years, there were probably more diesel autos (nobody knows the word “car” in Europe—except in its railroad meaning) driving the roads than gasoline models. Ostensibly because diesel is less refined (but Lynn just busted that myth). Diesel is definitely cheaper there by a goodly amount, but that is by greenie design.

    IIRC, back when I was still in Berlin and we were communicating here about gas prices, we were paying around $8 equivalent while the US was at around $3.00 (all conversions made, including Imperial to US gallons). Fuel prices there were about 3 to 4 times the US price. A LOT less price fluctuation over there, though. I really do not understand the price gyrations here. No other commodity suffers the price swings vehicle fuel here does. Sounds like price fixing to me.

    As for the list of things not working on the Outback, that list is pretty normal for the new cars I have had. I am not optimistic that all of them will be resolved. But I am going to scream like hell over the problems with the radio. I want set-it and forget-it heat/cooling, a good cruise control, a quiet cabin, and a good stereo system. I have all that, except in the radio. I do a lot of highway driving, but only get about 26mpg. Strangely, that’s down from around 30mpg when the car was brand new, which is something I’m going to take up with them when the car goes in for service. I’m not a pedal to the metal driver, and I have the 4-banger Boxer engine.

    There are a ton of car configurations that only the dealer has access to. I am pretty pissed about that. Things like how the doors unlock and lock; timing of when the lights go on at dark and when the inside dash lights switch to night level (it’s way too early, and I can’t read anything on the dashboard for about a half-hour when it switches so early), the various beeps and sounds the car makes when you press certain buttons or remote car lock activities. Seems like a nice gimmick to charge you to adjust things one ought to be able to set for one’s self.

    I would have gone for the Toyota Highlander myself, but golly, the interior looked so damned cheap, I could not stand it. Things like the buttons for cruise control functions, radio knobs, and heat/cool selectors looked and felt like something for a toy car, not a real one. And I had to duck to get into the Toyota, as the roofline was too low. When I easily slid into the Outback, I told the salesman, “This fits me perfectly.” And it did. He knew he had me there, and in a half-hour I had bought the car. All the knobs and buttons are made for grown-ups.

    Blame Michael Jackson for the half-time Super Bowl shows. After him, the Super Bowl had to be an athletic event with a rock concert thrown in. And it is. Before that, half-time was just Disney-produced puff.

    Cam is such a cry-baby, I doubt he has the stuff to be a popular QB. His antics during the post-game interview have earned him the disgust of every media writer/analyst on the planet. And they are only going to be making a big deal of it next season. His sideline sulking will be heavily relied on for TV fodder. What a contrast to Manning, who always acted like a man, and a gentleman—even if he did not have much to do with winning this particular game. He definitely shaped the Broncos though, as he did the Colts. Too bad his successor, Andrew Luck, does not have that skill with the Colts. Irsay made a mistake turning Manning lose, IMO.

    My prediction is Manning will now retire to coaching. It is accepted here in Colt-land that he used HGH to insure his neck recovery, not to enhance his game performance. I have no problem with that. And he obviously was not as keen on the medical help he got here in the US as he was with what he got in Europe. I had encounters with doctors here who were on his consulting team, and they insisted his playing days were over. Obviously the Europeans saw it differently.

  44. Agreed on Manning and Newton; nice summary.

    Now my next move is to persuade Mr. Kraft down at the Patriots to spend whatever amount of money it takes to get Von Miller on the team.

  45. No other commodity suffers the price swings vehicle fuel here does. Sounds like price fixing to me.

    In part, blame the EPA. The patchwork of different mandated gas formulations, which changes depending on the time of year, means that refineries have to be taken offline to reconfigure. If the timing is off or a refinery has a problem, a gas shortage will result. If it gets bad enough, the EPA can let the “wrong” formulation be sold in an area until the suppliers come back online – this was done after Katrina and Ike along the Gulf coast. In addition, some of the formulations are more expensive to produce, so you can have bumps in price when that happens. Also, gas prices track pretty closely with the price of crude, with a bit of delay added. In Europe, I’d expect that the gas taxes rise and fall with the price of crude in order to keep the price fluctuations to a minimum.

    As for Manning, I admire the way he played the game and comports himself off the field. One tidbit on his Southern gentleman ways. At each of the Texans’ home games a boy and girl are made honorary team captains and go out with the team mascot for the coin toss. Afterwords, they get a photo taken at midfield with the mascot. Usually, the Texans players shake the hands of the kids and the opposing team players ignore them. Peyton Manning always shook the hands of the kids, even though it was in the opposing team’s stadium. Class.

  46. No other commodity suffers the price swings vehicle fuel here does. Sounds like price fixing to me.

    I paid $1.39/gal for Shell regular (now with more Nitrogen!) at lunch time today.

  47. “… and the opposing team players ignore them.”

    Jerks. How can adult humans and pro athletes who have the world by the butt act like that?

    “Peyton Manning always shook the hands of the kids, even though it was in the opposing team’s stadium. Class.”

    Agreed. He’s not well-liked here in New England, for obvious reasons, but I always figured him for class and his amazing and outstanding record speaks for itself. Tom Brady also makes a special effort with kids and fans, as does Gronk, but ol’ Tom has a temper on him, too. Watch him sometime when he’s pissed at his teammates; they take a wide berth.

    And former Patriot and now Texan the great Vince Wilfork still maintains his home down in Franklin, MA; big huge friendly guy, too; one of my nieces used to chat with him when he came into the supermarket where she was a cashier.

  48. I paid $1.39/gal for Shell regular

    Best price I’ve seen around Albany, NY is $1.87. I love New York, especially the taxes. And the fees. And the bureaucrats, always looking for something to justify their positions.

    -sigh- At some point enough kin will have grown up or died that my obligations will attenuate and I’ll be able to leave.

  49. ” I love New York…”

    C’mon, sing it like ya mean it! Wife grew up in Glens Falls; we like the areas up by the Canadian border across the lake from us, and that’s about it.

    “…my obligations will attenuate and I’ll be able to leave.”

    THAT’S the spirit! Just hang on long enuff. I suspect at least two of my siblings feel the same way but the spouses don’t EVER wanna leave wunnerful eastern MA. Unless to go to Floriduh, of course. Where it’s WARM. And no snow or ice. And still PLENTY of SHOPPING.

  50. C’mon, sing it like ya mean it!

    I love New York, and you’ll never hear me say otherwise.

    The fact that you’re about 160 miles away by a straight line and even if the wind was blowing the right way and I shouted real loud I’d have a right hard time being heard even half a mile has nothing to do with it, you betcha.

  51. We got us our own taxes, fees, and bureaucrats here, too; it’s a virus of sorts, in all countries and all periods of history. A pox on them all, if a pox can sicken and destroy a virus, that is…

  52. “Pox” can mean syphilis, which is bacterial. Some bacteria eat some viruses, and I think that some kind(s) of prokaryote secrete an antiviral substance (though a web search didn’t find me anything; eukaryotic cells, yes, but not prokaryotic). I guess that’s close enough to what you’re looking for. And if this means we have to inject a lot of politicians, bureaucrats, and other parasites with syphilis in order to get rid of them, sign me up. And if it also means that we have to get ooze from syphilis sores, sign Nick up — he’s taken all those first aid courses, so he’s our go-to guy for going up to a bunch of diseased hookers.

  53. “… he’s taken all those first aid courses, so he’s our go-to guy for going up to a bunch of diseased hookers.”

    I’ve taken some first aid courses, too, so I can be his assistant. Cool. It’ll be worth it in the long run, just so long as we also get to inject all the SOBs with it.

    “$1.91 best I’ve seen but only one. Several $1.99 and I paid $2.08 at my usual.”

    R U talking about gasoline or hookers here?

  54. $1.479 here in Tiny Town. Usually I only need petrol once a week, so I normally hit Costco just before returning from my weekly Friday in Naptown. Costco is normally about 10 cents cheaper than the lowest of the nearby competition. Prices in Tiny Town on everything are higher than surrounding cities—Mickey D’s egregiously so. Came back at 2:30am from a distant job a couple weeks ago (should have stayed overnight), and it took so long to get somebody to answer the drive-up that there must have been something funny going on between the 20’ish girl and guy working there. Inside is closed at midnight, but the drive-up is open 24/7. Perfect for a little fooling around.

  55. Or they were just napping; when I worked all those godawful night shifts years ago, it was tough sometimes to stay awake throughout. In either cops or IT, we usually took turns copping z’s, assuming all was quiet.

  56. Judging by their actions, and their histories on their knees and back, aren’t most politicians suffering from late stage syphilis anyway?

    Got a funny story about that. Well, funny if you got the right kind of mind. One summer I was working in a shop, doing heavy welding on structural aluminum for a touring show. Big structural profiles, think I-beams, 12″ C channels, etc. Our jig was at about waist height, so doing the welds involved a lot of squatting under the work. Aluminum mig welding involves a lot of ‘cherries’ or red hot BBs being sprayed out from the weld. And it’s summer in Cali, so I’m wearing shorts. After a hard day, I get home, drop trou for a sit down, glance southward, and am horrified to find my thighs and groin covered with white blisters. My first thought, How the hell did I get syphilis when I’ve not been with woman, man, nor beast in a REALLY long time???????!!! After the initial shock, and because rationally I can’t possibly have the pox, I realize that all day long I’ve had hot metal raining down on my thighs and up the legs of my shorts, and I didn’t even notice. (When you’re sweaty, the sweat flashes to steam, and the hot metal just bounces off your skin.) You feel the ‘tick’ of the hit, but no burning.

    Something like that will give a young man pause…..I can tell you.

    nick

  57. I would not recomend IT as a career to anyone. In the early Eighties it was wonderful, we got our job done and management didn’t interfere too much. Th pyramid was steep, lots of low level grunts and hardly any management types. Now it’s so top heavy with managers organisations look like a Las Vegas stripper with 60″ pneumatic boobs.

    I was so glad to escape in 2013, although I would have enjoyed staying if I could just have done more coding. I was down to about five lines of code a month then, the rest of my time was spent on administrative crap and filling out endless forms.

    There were no geniuses at DEC, they were all at CDC, in particular Seymour Cray (may peace and blessings be upon him). Then IBM and Eunuchs took over their market and that was that.

  58. “And last, but not least; various juice containers where OFD has to throw his whole 250 pounds into twisting the damn cap off while wondering how an 85-year-old or little kid would manage it.”

    I’ve sometimes wondered what brand of superglue they use to secure the tops on soft drink bottles. A year ago I often needed a wrench to get the top off, now it’s not so hard. Either they ran out of superglue or my hands have recovered some of their strength.

    “Getting old is hell.” ™

  59. Chuck wrote:

    “A LOT less price fluctuation over there, though. I really do not understand the price gyrations here. No other commodity suffers the price swings vehicle fuel here does. Sounds like price fixing to me.”

    You ought to try buying petrol (not gas, that come out of a cow’s backside) in Oz. The price of unleaded varies by 20c/litre depending what time of the cycle you are at. The cycle can vary in length from one to two weeks, and nobody except, perhaps, the oil companies understand the rationale. Despite the Aussie Peso falling to around 70c US our petrol prices have fallen dramatically. A few weeks ago I was getting petrol for under $1 per litre, the price shot up to $1.20 after a few days and is currently at $1.05.

    I try to time my purchases to coincide with the low point, but it doesn’t always work out.

  60. Lynn wrote:

    “I paid $1.39/gal for Shell regular (now with more Nitrogen!) at lunch time today.”

    Man, I’m sure the price was around $3.80 per mangy, limp-wristed, under-nourished US gallon back in 2001 when I was in the northern Va area. That’s quite a drop.

  61. SteveF wrote:

    “-sigh- At some point enough kin will have grown up or died that my obligations will attenuate and I’ll be able to leave.”

    Just make a run for it. You can assume a new identity and let your deranged old lady sort stuff out for herself.

  62. Sea story time fellas, WRT “the drip”:

    We made a Med Run in 1976 to show the capabilities of the 688 Class Submarines. On our transit over, our Corpsman (a battle tested Vietnam Vet who had been attached to a Marine Recon Unit) held several educational lectures on the “Ladies of the Mediterranean” and the diseases they carry. He handed out boxes of condoms and sanitary wipes. He also described what would happen to anyone who came back with crabs or the drip. Crabs got the victim a seawater hose-down and scrub with stiff bristle brushes. The drip victim got his daily dose of penicillin (fresh out of the cooler) bent over a torpedo as the event was announced over the 1-MC (ship-wide loudspeaker). Woe be the person who tried to hide their crabs or drip. They would eventually be found out and they would get “special” treatment. In all cases the “infected” were also restricted to the boat for the rest of the deployment.

    Of course with today’s wussification of the military this sort of thing could never happen.

  63. Today they would be hailed as heroes and given medals and promotions, as a wunnerful example of Diversity.

    In another recent post one of our Australian correspondents allowed as he could not nowadays recommend a career in IT, and I agree; ditto a military career. They were just starting a lot of this crap when I was stacking time for Uncle in the early 70s. It’s gone completely haywire now.

  64. “…and given medals…”

    I can see that medal now: the golden drip with crab clusters 😉

  65. He also described what would happen to anyone who came back with crabs or the drip.

    My dad was in the USN as a pharmacist’s mate in WWII. He said short arm inspection was the worst.

  66. He said short arm inspection was the worst.

    In boot camp we were lined up for our first “medical”. Everybody standing there buck-ass naked as a couple of Corpsman went down the lines for a head to toe check, bend over, grab your ankles and spread “them” (butt cheeks to be clear), arms over your head as the short arm inspection was done. The fellow next to me had a left nut that was the size of a grapefruit. The Corpsman called over the Doc who then called in all the Doctors (male and female) on the base to have a look. Much poking and prodding ensued with a fair amount of embarrassed chuckles. I forget what they called his condition, but the Navy removed his left nut for him. He got one whole day in the hospital and “light duty” for one day. He also got a nickname, very original, One Nut.

  67. We were all lined up either in our underwear or buck nekkid in a large open room at Boston Army Base in early September of 1971, receiving shots and being inspected for whatever, while civvies walked by, male and female, in the adjacent open corridors. Just so much meat being sent off by Uncle to SEA.

  68. WRT Boot Camp – in my context above, anyway, it has nothing to do with Apple or Microsoft. Oh wait, maybe it does, bend over and grab ’em: BOHICA 😉

  69. @MrAtoz – Boot camp is something those naive & mooring corps fellers do. It’s where they learn to call NCOs “Sir” (if you can believe that.) Rough equivalent to Army’s Basic Training.

    Army does it better, tho.

  70. “Heck, back in the ancients’ day, they fought nekkid on the battlefield.”

    SOME ancients, like some of the Celts and Gauls against the Romans.

    Boot camp is where the military branches break people down and out of their previous existences and lives and form them up as uniformed masses of obedient soldier-serfs so they can be used by the ruling classes to fight and die in corrupt and worthless wars around the world, wherein our former enemies eventually become our friends and allies and vice-versa.

  71. WRT Boot Camp
    @MrAtoz – Boot camp is something those naive & mooring corps fellers do
    Boot camp is where the military branches break

    lol! Never heard of it. I guess us Aviators were privileged.

  72. @MrAtoz – Boot camp is something those naive & mooring corps fellers do. It’s where they learn to call NCOs “Sir” (if you can believe that.) Rough equivalent to Army’s Basic Training.

    Army does it better, tho.

    According to my former USMC son, Marine Corps boot camp is awesome. He lost 45 lbs in 13 weeks during boot camp,

  73. “He lost 45 lbs in 13 weeks during boot camp…”

    Not me; I gained twenty pounds of muscle to 185 and then another twenty pounds of it in Security Police training school after that. Lost it again in SEA, gained it back in Kalifornia; lost it again in Thailand-Laos-Cambodia and finally gained it back after a year at home on return to The World. Have since gained another forty or fifty in the decades since, not all of it muscle but not blubber, either.

    “I guess us Aviators were privileged.”

    Yeah, check yer privilege, buddy….

  74. Ima gon guess that there warn’t much DIVERSITY at all in MrAtoz’s training classes or thereafter. Just a wild guess. I could be wrong, though.

    I had some pretty good DIVERSITY during my time with Uncle; Boston suburb and MA small town white boy with southern cracker types, inner-city blacks, and of course Hispanics, many of the latter being career NCOs, too. No womyn.

  75. Well, one of my instructors in flight school was a German exchange officer. He wasn’t Black, but does that count?

  76. Former Luftwaffe? Trainer aircraft mostly Junkers and Stukas? Gallon-size beer steins? Very efficient?

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