Monday, 10 April 2017

09:19 – It was 48.2F (9C) when I took Colin out around 0700 this morning, bright and sunny. When I checked just now, it was already up to 60.5F (16C).

Herschel from Shaw Brothers showed up about 0745 to fix the toilet in the master bath. He was wearing a USMC cap. I didn’t realize he’d been a Marine. As it turns out, he was in from 1980 to 1986 as a Marine sniper. When I asked him where he’d served, he replied, “A lot of places we weren’t supposed to be.”

Barbara will be happy to hear that I’m finished ordering bulk LTS foods for now. Before I add much more, we need to get what’s already sitting around in piles organized, inventoried, and shelved. When Barbara read my page yesterday she said she didn’t think we needed more shelving and that just organizing the existing shelving would suffice. I’ll defer to her on that one. If there’s one thing librarians are expert at, it’s organizing and shelving stuff.

I signed up for the ham radio General Class licensing course being held locally. I also ordered the ARRL textbook for the course, although I probably don’t really need it. IIRC, the exam is 35 multiple-guess questions selected from a universe of something like 500. The ARRL book lists all of the questions with the correct answers. My memory is nowhere near what it used to be, but memorizing 500 questions/answers should still be well within my capabilities. And IIRC, you need to score only 70% to pass.

Barbara said she had no interest in getting her ham license, but I’m going to see if I can convince her to attend at least the first class with me, mainly just to meet everyone. The Technician Class exam is even easier than the General Class exam, and I’d like to see her get her Technician license. I don’t intend to run anything other than 2-meter rigs anyway, and a Technician Class licence would give her full privileges on 2M. We have a local 2M repeater whose footprint covers all the way east to Greensboro and all the way south to Charlotte, so if Barbara does get her Technician class license I’d probably install a 2M mobile rig in her car.

 

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67 thoughts on “Monday, 10 April 2017”

  1. Neither test is particularly hard. If you have any familiarity with basic electronics 10 questions will be easy. There are a few regulatory, and a couple radio specific questions.

    The easiest way is to just keep doing the free online tests, making note of the correct answers each time, until you can pass reliably. Then do the same with the General test.

    The advantage is you won’t be spending time on any parts you already know or can guess from context.

    Review Ohms law math.

    Then you should be good.

    n

  2. If you’re not into used gear, get a name brand (kenwood, yaesu, icom) dual-bander and a name brand mag mount dual band antenna.

    The cheaper alternative is one of the chinese mobiles, or a good handheld and the antenna adapter and battery eliminator in the car. The yaesu FT-60 with battery elim, and smc adapter, and antenna = <$200.

    No reason to limit yourself to a single band radio, and there are things you might want to listen to on the other band.

    n

  3. Overcast and 88F with 50%RH here today.

    Turns out I’m not done with the washer install. The Speed Queen pumps out so much water so fast, I need to get a drain cleaner and open up my drain again. Slow drains aren’t a problem when you’re only putting a couple of cups of water down them…

    n

  4. Yeah, I figure it’d be pretty trivial for me even without any prep. I’d guess the probability I could pass the Tech exam right now is 0.99+ and the General probably 0.95+.

    I suspect they won’t be asking a lot of the types of questions I had when I first took the Novice, Tech, and General exams back around 1967. For example, I wonder how many current hams would even have any clue about grid/plate voltages/currents. But radio fundamentals haven’t changed in 50 years, and I suspect regulations haven’t changed all that much, either.

    There are some new bands, though. Back when I was working, probably literally 99.99% of all ham stuff was on 2, 6, 10, 20, 40, and 80 meters. Some guys worked 160 meters, but I don’t remember knowing any of them. And a few guys worked UHF, but they were exceedingly rare. The problem was that there wasn’t any commercial UHF gear to speak of, so you had to build your own. And no one who hasn’t tried to lay out and solder discrete components with 1/8″ leads has any idea of just how hard that is to get working.

  5. I won’t buy any name-brand transceivers simply because they’re limited to transmitting on the ham bands. I’ll buy multiple SDR mobile/handheld transceivers like those made by BaoFeng/Pofung because for prepping purposes I want to be able to transmit across the VHF/UHF spectrum. And, for obvious reasons, for the same money I’d rather have ten of the Chinese SDR units than one name-brand unit.

  6. Given the average age of hams there are a lot of people who know how to run a tube rig…

    There are several fan groups that get together IRL or on air to use their old “boat anchors” and some rigs are quite valuable/desirable. It’s a whole subset of ham radio.

    There has been a huge explosion in ham licensees coming from prepping/CERT/disaster response, and those people don’t have any tube, and rarely any HF experience. If they stay in ham radio as a hobby that will change over time.

    n

    Take an online test and SEE how well you do! No need to guess.

  7. Just did. 100% on the General. I’ll still go to the class to meet people.

  8. Actually, I’m surprised that tubes are still made. It’s been 70 years since transistors were invented. I remember transistor radios from back in the 50’s before I started elementary school. Decades ago, I actually ended up throwing out a lot of radio and civil-defense gear because they used tubes and batteries that were no longer available. (When’s the last time you saw a B battery?)

  9. Dr. Bob, you should add a chapter to the Prepping Book on the exact setup you end up with for radio gear. Add some alternate gear, but pics of everything you did from start to testing would be great.

    Any work done on the book lately?

  10. @rbt, I just redid the general and only got 70%. I got a ton of detailed questions about digital modes.

    Curious if you did…

    n

    BTW, this is one of the issues I have with the tests– they have weird old biases and esoterica built in. Case in point, this question:

    G6B02 : What is meant by the term MMIC?
    Answer : Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit

    Who cares and what does it have to do with General class operation?

    A lot of the questions are trivia and “weed out” questions.

  11. Not much work on the book. I’ve been too busy doing other stuff.

    On the fiction book, I have drafted out a detailed timeline for the first two or three weeks following the event. I had been just writing chapters kind of at random, but I need a framework.

    One thing I do know: my fiction book is going to be very different from other PA novels out there. It’ll be hopeful or even optimistic. It’ll be about a community pulling together in the face of catastrophe. What it won’t be is a shoot-’em-up mens adventure novel with a bunch of wannabe Rambo’s or a chairborne warrior walking 8,000 miles to get home or Rawlesian Golden Hordes or other stuff that ain’t gonna happen.

  12. Lots of people like tube amps and for high power use, you still need tubes.

    Lots of people like the sound of tubes, vinyl records, guitar amps, etc. They like the mushy “warm” blurred sound.

    n

  13. I got only a few questions on digital stuff. Not that it makes much difference. As I said, I’ll just read and memorize the entire set of test questions, which’ll guarantee me a pass.

  14. I guess that’s one way to do it, but don’t forget the Tech questions too. You need to pass it first before you can take the General.

    n

  15. That’s not going to be a problem. I looked at the Tech Q&A. I could get 70% on that one while standing on my head.

  16. More crap in the test questions-

    several about solar power and batteries. Nothing to do with radio.

    Oh, there are people that will argue that since SOME people might operate from batteries or solar, particularly in an emergency, but it’s irrelevant. There aren’t a similar number of questions about AC power generation, or good nutrition for the operator, or any of a number of things that apply to operators but aren’t about RADIO.

    n

  17. Anyone with the least sense and exposure to electronics should be able to pass Tech without much study, unless they get a bunch of regulatory questions, or they can’t do the math for equivalent capacitance/resistance or ohms law. 10yo kids pass the Tech with study.

    AND YET, several adults failed the Tech in my exam session, at least the first time.

    n

  18. AAAANnnnnnddd United steps on their dicks again.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-10/doctor-dragged-united-plane-after-computer-solves-overbooking-problem

    Over booked, which is sleazy enough, but then someone fucks up their employee scheduling and needs to move 4 crew deadhead. So OF COURSE the best solution is to involuntarily bump a revenue passenger, and call in the costumed thugs to enforce it, who then knock the guy unconscious and drag him bodily off the plane. I’m sure they’ll claim “non-compliance” as enough justification. They’re just ‘following policy.’ Eventually the new Nuremberg defense is gonna stop working.

    The video left me shaking with rage. I’ve got over half a million miles on United (mostly from Continental) and #fuckunited

    That’s the current FUSA. Corporate drones fuk up, and the customer has to pay, with the local law to en-force their will. Think anyone will lose a job over this?

    nick

  19. Just passed the General exam myself, an upgrade from an unused Tech license. I agree, do the practice exams, many times. I reached a point of passing a dozen or more in a row and was feeling pretty good about it when I hit one I didn’t pass; it depends on the random selection of questions and hit my weak points hard. On the real test I saw questions I didn’t remember from the complete pool I went through in the book, and some of them were reworded or had the answer positions switched around. I think I also saw somewhere that the pool of questions will be revised sometime in the next year or so.

  20. “The video left me shaking with rage.”

    I can see where one might be pretty angry watching that. I know I am, but I try hard not to get to the shaking point and also to the point, which has happened to me, but not lately, where I can’t even talk I’m so mad and that makes me even madder.

    Wife almost always flies on United and uses her accrued miles all the time for stuff, like flying MIL and daughter all over the continent and herself to Hawaii, and in November, I am hearing, to New Zealand. All the fems love to travel; I sure as hell don’t. I’m kinda like RBT; I rarely leave the house and ‘hood, let alone the AO.

    What total fucking assholes. And someone like me, who’d ordinarily put up a fight, would be afraid of other passengers, including kids, getting hurt. The costumed thugs are not. If I was still a costumed thug and had to do shit like that, I’d kill myself. Or at least quit that gig and get a real job.

    That all said, the doc may have been in a position to bail immediately and grab another flight somehow or at least call ahead and have another doc cover for him for the next morning. Rather than go through all that. Now he probably has an arrest record and jail time, which helps nobody.

    While I heard the other passengers making comments and crying out, none of them stepped up to interfere; one wonders how that might have turned out. A dozen passengers get in the way and nonviolently resist that guy being dragged off. What then? A major airline hostage situation with SWAT called out?

  21. My thought too, no one stood up and just filled the aisle. I don’t know what I would have done in the moment. I’d have been with my wife and kids as that is the only travel I do now.

    Maybe everyone who watches that video will be thinking of the next time. There will be a next time, because the fuckers never learn.

    n

    Part of what makes me so angry is the default to state violence. Where’s the oathkeeper? What authority was CPD acting under to enforce United’s whim?

  22. United should never have boarded the flight until the overbooks were resolved. I’ve been on many flights where nobody boarded until overbooks were resolved. Stupid fukstiks. I can’t believe the doc was bashed. I hope he sues and breaks their bank. Bad policy.

    In other news, I had a few TSA speed bumps on my trip. Going from Cleveland to Milwaukee, going through the preCheck metal detector, it beeped. First time in a long time wearing my usual belt and travel choos. “Go back, fukstik, take off that belt”. Comply and get beeped again. “It must be those fucking Olukai shoes, you dumb, fukstik WHITEY!” They swabbed my choos for C4 and let me go. Leaving Milwaukee was a joke. Going through preCheck, the other line had to close so the obese Black women could stack trays. WTF, over? That meant back and forth for the one preCheck. If you were in that line, you got a colored plastic card to signify preCheck. My backpack got flagged because I left my laptop in it per preCheck allowance. “No way WHITEY! fukstik!” Some obese Black chick “drags” it over to the inspection table. a 70 something granny WHITEY! TSA woman is there. Couldn’t lift my 20# BP onto the table. I offer to … “Back off fuckstik! No touching!” She had to call over a male to lift a 20# BP. Couldn’t figure out where the laptop was. You know how BP’s “taper” down to smaller enclosures. She couldn’t figure out the BP would be in the big pouch by the shoulder straps. Where do they get these dumbshits.

  23. ” dumbshits.” who else would do the job? Anyone with heart and brain would be driven mad.

    n

  24. Looks like four people shot in San Bernardino school district. We were just there last week. Remember a year or so ago when the Mooslim fukstik terrorist killed a bunch from the district. MrsAtoz on the phone with peeps she knows. SB will be the murder capitol of the FUSA by the end of the year.

  25. MrsAtoz was told San Bernardino was a murder suicide at this point at a school.

  26. MrAtoz did not say so and may not have felt this, but when I’ve encountered the TSA security theater in my couple of plane trips over the past two years, I was doubly annoyed because of my vet and ex-cop status, having to kow-tow to fucking cretins.

    WRT San Berdoo; I’m old enough to remember when it was a Hells Angels AO; maybe our Kalifornia correspondents can enlarge on that. I was only there very briefly during an AF leave, visiting former comrades-in-arms, who then lived on the edge of the Mojave, right out their back door.

  27. Actually, I’m surprised that tubes are still made. It’s been 70 years since transistors were invented.

    I know from research on a thesis idea that the air traffic control radar depends on pricey tubes which are no longer made — one of the reasons that the government wants to shift the system to ADS-B “Out” transmissions and keep the active radar in reserve for the most critical situations.

  28. Regarding the airline incident. My understanding from the law is that once you are seated the airline cannot force you to give up your seat without substantial compensation. I bet the passenger would have been given a free 1st class domestic ticket. That is what I would have demanded.

  29. Are those radars *still* using tubes? I’m sure I read 20+ years ago that there was a project underway to design a solid state replacement.

    I guess that didn’t get off the ground. (I’ll be here all week, folks.)

  30. AND YET, several adults failed the Tech in my exam session, at least the first time.

    Interviewing foreign grad students for TA positions last year, I asked anyone with an “Electronics”-related undergrad degree a simple question regarding Ohm’s law and parallel resistors. Only 1 in 4 of the students asked managed to tell me the correct answer.

  31. Are those radars *still* using tubes? I’m sure I read 20+ years ago that there was a project underway to design a solid state replacement. I guess that didn’t get off the ground.

    I wasn’t aware of any other alternative considered beyond ADS-B “Out”. The power level required for active radar would be too high for transistors.

    My thesis idea was rejected. The last time I looked into the subject in depth was five years ago.

  32. “…a simple question regarding Ohm’s law and parallel resistors.”

    That’s first year university physics!

  33. I thought I read about the proposed replacement system in the early to mid Nineties in Scientific American.

    They were, of course, trying to build an all singing all dancing all bells and whistles replacement system rather than just clone the valve based system and add bits later.

  34. “…a simple question regarding Ohm’s law and parallel resistors.”

    That’s first year university physics!

    All of them could cite that Physics lecture, chapter and verse, but none of them could give me a number when I pointed to one particular part of the circuit.

    I can’t use the “pre” tag here, but picture 5 V applied across a resistor circuit R in series with a pair of resistors R in parallel to ground. I asked them to tell me the voltage where the one resistor’s terminal met the terminals of the two in parallel.

    Update: Circuit T-2 in this lab exercise. I asked them to find Vb.

    http://cs.txstate.edu/~gregn/archive/Lab1.pdf

  35. They were, of course, trying to build an all singing all dancing all bells and whistles replacement system rather than just clone the valve based system and add bits later.

    Sounds like a Harris boondoggle. Time frame would be right.

    Working in electronics/IT in Florida in the last decade, you always had a co-worker who had been through Harris Melbourne on some over-promised fiasco in the late 80s/early 90s.

  36. “Regarding the airline incident. My understanding from the law is that once you are seated the airline cannot force you to give up your seat without substantial compensation. I bet the passenger would have been given a free 1st class domestic ticket. That is what I would have demanded.”

    One one overbooked flight, many years ago, we were offered compensation, while still seated in terminal, upon acceptance of a bus ride from SNA to LAX for another flight. Which, as mentioned above, is what it should be.

  37. ““…a simple question regarding Ohm’s law and parallel resistors.”

    That’s first year university physics!”

    Huh? I took the class in Electric Shop in high school.

  38. “Huh? I took the class in Electric Shop in high school.”

    Huh? They had electricity way back then?

  39. I just did the first few questions of the technician’s test. I once (40 years ago) intended to get a technician’s license, but never quite finished.

    Anyway, I also got some strange questions. Mostly confusing wording, where it looks like a non-technical person tried to write down technical answers, and just confused themselves. Being as my original education was EE, I know what a “fuse” is, but the answers offered were weird. By my reading, two of them were correct.

    Anyhow, clearly not difficult. A couple of practice tests to understand the mentality behind the questions, and any technical person ought to be fine.

    Do they still require morse code? I’d have to refresh myself on that, if they do…

    – – – – –

    I saw the United mess. I figured, ok, they overbooked. Stupid practice, but they do. Then I read the bit about this being United Employees who needed onto the plane.

    That’s not overbooking, that’s a failure of planning. Sympathy zero. Put ’em on another plane. Call in extra crew on the other end. Offer passengers so much money to get off the plane that they can’t resits. Charter a plane. But drag a paying passenger off, against his will? That is just unbelievably, braindead stupid.

    – – – – –

    Interviewing foreign grad students for TA positions last year

    The problem with foreign schools is that you rarely know what quality they are. There are good ones, and bad ones, and no way for anyone outside the country to know which is which. I just had an international student, who had a pile of official looking Java course certificates, fail my first semester programming course. He told me that I covered “months” of material in my first lecture.

  40. It just keeps getting better:

    “The man was able to get back on the plane after initially being taken off – his face was bloody and he seemed disoriented, Bridges said, and he ran to the back of the plane. Passengers asked to get off the plane as a medical crew came on to deal with the passenger, she said, and passengers were then told to go back to the gate so that officials could “tidy up” the plane before taking off.”

    “The Chicago Department of Aviation said Monday afternoon that it had placed the security officer who pulled the man out of his seat on leave pending a “thorough review” of the situation.”

    Comments from the guitars video:

    “I just saw an article suggesting that the resulting poor publicity from these videos caused a $180,000,000 drop in share prices. They probably should have just bought the dude a new guitar. “; “They have a new hobby now. Punching paying passengers uncouncious. Grade A dirtbags.”; “if this cost them that much I hope what they did to that man bankrupts them”

  41. There is debate online about United’s legality in booting the doc. For: basically he was “denied service” and when refused to leave he was trespassing. Against: The Contract of Carriage has no rule on refusing to leave if overbooked. Someone linked to United’s CoC and there does not appear to be a rule specifically on booting you for overbooking and you refuse.

    Another win for the lawyers and police.

  42. Yeah, off the top of my head you can be “denied boarding” but he was already boarded. Also, they were not overbooked. That had been taken care of at the gate before boarding. They discovered a need for 4 crew to deadhead to STL and booted revenue passengers for the deadheads.

    Pretty sure THAT’S not in the CoC.

    n

    ADDED – The United Continental merger will go down as one of the worst mergers in corporate history, as bad as Compaq/HP and almost as bad as AOL/Timewarner. And Jeff Cismack (SP?) jumped ship rather than be prosecuted for bribery in that misadventure with the head of the Port Authority. Fucker destroyed Continental and got a big payday.

  43. When I was a young pup, fresh from basic training, traveling back home, I had made it to San Francisco from San Antonio and was scheduled to board a flight to Medford OR. I was flying military standby (1969), in uniform, and had been given my seat assignment. I had also boarded the plane and was sitting in my seat. Shortly a gate agent came on the plane to my seat and asked me to leave. He told me they had a full fare passenger and as standby I had to get off the plane.

    This resulted in about $50 bucks from the airline, a ride to the bus station, and having to purchase a bus ticket from San Francisco to Medford. A long overnight trip that was not at all pleasant.

    After that I spent some time learning the rules. My research at that time indicated that once you have boarded the plane, you are on the plane. The airline could not make you leave the plane to accommodate others. You could voluntarily give up your seat but you were entitled to significant compensation.

    Getting flights out of Medford was generally difficult, usually only a couple a day. So to get even I would call and make half a dozen reservations for 1st class. Then get to the airport real early, first on the standby list, and when coach was full there would be a seat in 1st class. Worked on half a dozen flights out of Medford. Suck it up United.

    Another time I was trying to get back to San Antonio after spending a week at a computer school in Okemos MI. Made it to Dallas to find the plane was overbooked. I was already on the plane. The crew asked for volunteers to give up some seats. No one budged. The offer went from $100, to $200, then one way ticket on any domestic (American Airlines) flight, then a round trip ticket, and finally a round trip 1st class ticket. That moved people. I could not up fast enough to make the cut. I had to be in Bryan TX the next morning but for the ticket I would rent a car and drive from Dallas.

    Another time about 3 years ago I was leaving from Ames Iowa (Organization Annual Convention) to get back to Knoxville after the convention. A flight that was before mine going to Atlanta (where I was to change planes) developed an oil leak and had to return to the gate. Passengers were going to need to be rebooked. I went up to the gate agent and told her that I would give up my seat on my flight in exchange for a 1st class seat on the following flight. I would get into Atlanta an hour late but would be able to make a later connection. No big deal. The gate agent said she would agree if I kept quiet about the deal. Sure enough, 1st class ticket on a later flight.

    The San Francisco incident was 48 years ago, the Dallas incident about 34 years ago, the Iowa incident about four years ago.

    Perhaps things have changed in the last couple of years as the TSA and airport police started considering themselves kings and travelers mere serfs. Maybe you can be forced to give up your seat even after being boarded. Maybe that ticket is just a general “yeh, we’ll get you there but in our own sweet time”.

    This is going to be a publicity nightmare for United. If United had staff that needed to get to another airport for flight duty and this flight was full they should have put them on another airline if needed. This passenger is going to be getting 1st class tickets, first to board, choice of food, passenger lounge, etc. on a few dozen United flights for the next few years.

    Meanwhile, I will make a concerted effort to never fly United Airlines every again. If another flight is more money I will choose that flight over United. I hope a lot of people feel the same way.

  44. We’ve been able to fly almost exclusively on Southwest with a couple of Alaska Air and Jetblue thrown in. I can’t remember the last time I went United. Overseas, maybe? The Southwest Companion Pass has saved us over a $100k since the decade+ we’ve had one.

  45. Almost all my air travel was for work. No time to mess around and people counting on me to be where I was supposed to be. Bosses rule for years was ‘book the first flight of the day, then if there are issues you are more likely to finally make it out.”

    There were a few times when I was either coming home or the schedule allowed that I volunteered (early and quietly) to the gate agent. Several times this resulted in a bump to first so they could take the standby in coach. They’d much rather spiff a FF and nice guy than some random latecomer.

    There are routes and times when people could make a good and regular profit booking a seat and volunteering. Given the downturn in passenger miles, I don’t think that’s such a sure bet anymore.

    Heads better roll and publicly for this. I’m not normally one for corporate grovelling but this is egregious. And CPD better get censured too. NO WAY did they have authority to remove that guy and knock him silly.

    I’m stuck with United. I’ve got too much money and time invested in being a FF with them. It’s part of what makes me so mad that they destroyed Continental.

    BTW spent this am on the phone with them confirming seats on the flights I’m taking this week. The only way we were gonna make the funeral was rewards travel, or 12 hours of driving each way. The CSR on the phone hadn’t seen the video or heard about the incident when I talked with him. Nice guy, and helpful. Must be a former Continental employee.

    n

  46. I saw the United mess. I figured, ok, they overbooked. Stupid practice, but they do. Then I read the bit about this being United Employees who needed onto the plane.

    That’s not overbooking, that’s a failure of planning. Sympathy zero. Put ’em on another plane. Call in extra crew on the other end. Offer passengers so much money to get off the plane that they can’t resits. Charter a plane. But drag a paying passenger off, against his will? That is just unbelievably, braindead stupid.

    Something else was going on with the United employees. The airline could have *driven* the employees to Louisville, KY from O’Hare on a Sunday in less time than that fiasco consumed. Less than five hours using the toll roads.

    We were on an America West flight once that the pilot held at the gate in Phoenix for an hour in 100 degree heat for “mechanical reasons”.

    Sitting near the galley, we learned that Mr. Airline Pilot’s real concern was that his mistress would miss her shift as a flight attendant, get fired, and spill the beans about the affair to Mrs. Airline Pilot.

  47. Meanwhile, I will make a concerted effort to never fly United Airlines every again.

    I’ll drive or not go. Fuck the airlines. Fuck the TSA.

    And no sympathy whatsoever for people who complain about the outrages, large and small, but continue to fly.

  48. The details are emerging in San Bernardino. Black man kills ex-wife. Two kids behind her to collateral. One kid dies at hospital. Man blows his brains out. Coward. All the libturds are chiming in already: “Fuck the NRA”, “Ban all guns” etc. More dumbshits.
    The Black killer has a history of domestic violence, drugs, and other crimes. If the Black Killer would have been WHITEY! all the MSM headlines would scream WHITE MAN kills ex-wife and kid.

  49. I haven’t flown since a trip out to Maker Faire SF in 2008. I said never again then, and I have no intention of changing my mind. If I need to travel, I’ll drive or won’t go.

  50. My last flight was 2010, for a totally unnecessary business trip. TSA was no more stupid and asinine than required, but their scanners destroyed the display of a $5000 laptop. “Are you sure it worked before?” Yes, dumbass, I was using the computer fifteen minutes before you destroyed it. “I’ve never heard of that happening. It couldn’t have been us.” My client, whose computer it was, didn’t bother to push for reimbursement from the TSA or the airport, and just let the insurance cover it.

    Regardless, to hell with it. I will not fly commercial until the TSA has been dismantled. Evidince suggests this is equivalent to never flying again.

  51. Just for fun I took one of the online Technician tests. I hadn’t studied electronics since my high school electronics class in 1969. We built simple valve (tube) circuits and in the second semester we learned transistor circuits. I was surprised I still remembed ohms law, power calculations, and resistor codes. Half the questions were simply common sense, and the ones about FCC regulations I guessed at. I passed !! Not by much, but yet, with 45 years since I built a circuit or fiddled with my CB antenna, I still passed. I expect with a few evenings refresher study I could pass the real thing.

  52. Someone linked to United’s CoC and there does not appear to be a rule specifically on booting you for overbooking and you refuse.

    Federal law requires you to obey any lawful orders from flight crew. If they ask you to get off the plane, you have to.

  53. There’s the hitch. What was lawful in this case. Get off because I say so? As I said, a win for the lawyers and cops.

  54. If I need to travel, I’ll drive or won’t go

    Unfortunately flying is necessary when I make my trips to Europe. Next trip starts June 1 and driving just proved to be too impractical. TSA has not been too bad on those trips. The most annoying is immigration and the 20 questions. On one trip back from Germany I was asked why I was returning. To which I replied “I live here”. The agent then told me “Don’t get smart with me”. I then asked “Exactly how would you like me to answer that question?”. The agent just huffed and waved me through.

  55. The agent just huffed and waved me through.

    ‘Murka’s finest. Wear a hijab next time, you’ll get expedited service.

  56. And then there’s folks, and we’ve had this rodeo here before, like Mr. and Mrs. Atoz and Mrs. OFD who simply must fly to their gigs around the country for their jobs. I can certainly give the airlines and air travel a pass whether or not the TSA continues to exist, and gladly, too. Other than our trip to NJ a couple of summers ago, I hadn’t flown on commercial aircraft since 1995. Twenty years.

    And the ongoing Syrian capers:

    http://buchanan.org/blog/trump-enlisting-war-party-126799

    Patrick, right again.

    This shit could very easily escalate into a major multi-party war over there, while we have the psycho maniac on the other side of the world flinging warheads around, most of which have, luckily, either immediately failed, or gone into the Pacific. So far.

    World War IV (III was the Cold War and Indochina Wars), on at least two major fronts, when we can’t even handle a brushfire guerrilla conflict anymore. Shock and awe is great and all that, but eventually there are smoking ruins and people to deal with, one way or another.

    This empire will fall a lot faster if we have another world war going on while the domestic and world economies crash, too. So instead of five to ten years out, we can have total SHTF by next year. And it all depends on what a handful of psychopath rulers choose to do next.

    Just watched the first 90 minutes of the PBS three-parter series on “The Great War.” A number of quotes and other things stood out for me, and I’ll have more on it later, but for one item I’d forgotten about: our great buddies the Brits cut the transatlantic cable from here to Europe in the first few days, leaving only the one cable from London to here, so peeps here only got that side of the story. And later we had the media chickenhawks screeching about “400,000 German spies” in the country. One minute nobody wants us in it and most of the country is against it, and next, we’re rolling freight and ammo and troops Over There.

    Not much has changed in the past century; and I was surprised by the quality of the video footage from then. I was also thinking that any infants/babies seen in the pics and vids could still be alive today; we just lost a resident of this county at age 101. Female, of course. Men don’t live as long for some odd reason/s.

  57. Dunno what Trump’s up to. My best guess is that the whole military intervention game is new to him, so he’s relying on existing advisors. All of whom have spent the last two decades, under Bush and Obama, playing in other people’s back yards. Of course, it was an old tradition before then, but the number and scale of new engagements under the previous two presidents was pretty astounding.

    Syria, or for that matter, the whole Middle East? Just leave. No one will miss US interventions there. Let the local countries clean up their own back yard. I mean, it can hardly be worse than the current situation.

    North Korea? A problem for China and South Korea. Why get all excited when the little fat boy starts waving sticks around?

    Any chance that Trump will eventually shut this stuff down?

  58. If he was a politician, there’d be no chance. Since he campaigned on reducing foreign entanglements, a politician could be counted on doing the opposite. He’s a bit of a wild card, but he’s only one man and surrounded by the deep state (how handy to finally have a name for it.)

    He may be playing a deeper game, he’s pretty smart and subtle under the persona. No one gives you $100s of millions ‘cuz you’re dumb and ineffective.

    The root problem may be that Wormtongue keeps whispering in his ear that he NEEDS to be engaged ‘over there’ for a variety of [perfectly good sounding] reasons.

    If we have local assets, pulling out abruptly without taking care of them, will get a bunch of people who [against all evidence] trusted us killed. I’m a bit tired of seeing our local help killed when we leave…

    Keep prepping, it doesn’t seem likely to improve anytime soon…

    n

  59. North Korea? A problem for China and South Korea. Why get all excited when the little fat boy starts waving sticks around?

    Because the little fat boy has nukes and is crazy enough to use them. Also, the little fat boy has nukes and is crazy enough to sell them to ISIS. Who is crazy enough to put them in a shipping container and send them to a US port.

  60. I’m waiting to see if Robert Gore is right or not. Could find out this week. Dunno offhand what the Scott Adams line is, though.

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