Thursday, May 30, 2019

MY SECOND NIGHT IN HOSPITAL

Whatever it is hurts a great deal. The place that hurts has been scanned with everything but MRI. So far there  has been no improvement. Naturally my parents came to town on Monday and this has knocked many plans on the head. They leave for home on Friday. It would be nice to hear that it isn’t really a clot on my lung but they haven’t been very forthcoming.

Monday, May 27, 2019

IN MEMORIAM

Throughout the history of this country and the Continental Army and Navy before that, men have fought and died for this country. In the beginning they came from all over Europe and later they came from all over the world and always they came from the heartland and the edges of this country.

Here in the midwest and in New England, every town has a monument to the Civil War dead and many have monuments to their Revolutionary War dead. Almost all towns have amended those monuments to inscribe the names of the townsmen who died in World War I and World War II and Korea. Quite a few have added the names of those who died serving in Vietnam.

The South have and had similar monuments honoring the memory of those who fell in battle but the crazies down there are pulling them down as fast as they can. If anyone wants to know what incites violence and induces rage you don't have to look much further than what the social justice crybullies are doing in the South as they do everything in their power to dishonor the honored dead.

Not all of them went willingly and many of them vanished without a trace either in a rain of shells and explosions or into the waiting sea. All of them gave that last full measure of devotion and what they died for mattered. It mattered to you and me because this would not be the country it is if young men and old had not fought again and again for it against all enemies.

My family has been fighting in those battles and wars since the Battle of Lexington. My ancestor who fought in that battle was wounded in the morning and killed in the afternoon. He was the first and the last of us to die fighting for this country.  I spent almost 30 years in the Navy, my father spent over 26 years in the Army and his father spent 30 years in the Army. I think we had family in every war going back to the Battle of Lexington except, perhaps, the Barbary Wars and the Spanish American War.

Today we remember those who didn't come home to see their loved ones in peace and prosperity.











Today is the day to remember their sacrifice and pray that the time for such sacrifice has passed into history.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

BITTER HARVEST

The reaping begins as President Trump opens the investigation into the coup plotters who attempted to overthrow the legally elected President. What they did to General Flynn and all the rest that they destroyed under their fell sight will now be done to them. The plotters will all emerge from this scouring penniless as they spend everything they have, mortgage their houses, sacrifice their children and pay the lawyers anything and everything they have in order to escape long jail terms for attempting to overthrow the government.

I honestly hope that nobody is willing to offer plea bargains to lesser offenses. Every single one of these scumbags deserves their 2 or 3 years in Court fighting the charges they so richly merit. These people need to emerge from their crime impoverished and homeless. All of them.
Trump demands that the agencies 'shall promptly provide such assistance and information as the Attorney General may request in connection with that review' 
The order also allows Barr to declassify any information he sees fit during review

The memo included the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Energy 
It also included the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the CIA 
I find at this point that I'm sufficiently pissed off at the Deep State that I'm OK if the Attorney General goes after any and all failures to comply as "obstruction of justice" and pursues every lie of omission as a "process crime" and indicts them for everything they've done since they entered government service, or the communist party. Whichever came first.

Friday, May 24, 2019

A LINGUISTIC WONDERMENT

My better half has a newish phone that lets the GPS map directions on her phone be spoken aloud. The user gets to determine what kind of voice they want their phone to talk to them with when telling them how to get from point A to point B. She chose Nigel with his pommy accent and inability to pronounce a handful of words like College or Boulevard. We trust that voice quite a bit, usually.

Last night my sister and parents got in from Virginia at a little after 2200 and after unloading the rental car, my sister drove it to the local international airport a zillion miles away on the other side of metroparkcentralis in order to get it back before it turned into a pumpkin at midnight. The rental car return corral is in the middle of nowhere but you have to go around 6 sides of the square in order to get to the other side of the interstate that separates the airport from civilization. I followed in my car with my ancient non-talking iphone 4.

In the dark that's a challenge for people that don't do it that often and never at night so my sister engaged her talking GPS map with a loud female voice that shouted directions at us when she dropped off the rental and joined me in my car and her phone directed us as to when to turn and U-turn and go right, etc. A dismal contrast with Nigel. The new voice physically grated on my nerves.

So tonight I was wondering, is there out there a utility or app that allows the user to select other voices to shout at the operator? Is there the shrieking, outside-voice screaming rough English that is barely understandable and torture to the ears as the volume and pitch increase spoken by many in this country? How about an angry Scotsman screaming directions in something not at all like English? One could have some fun pulling those together and stealthily installing them on friends devices.

A simulator my brother had that we played around with long ago was, F-18. I used to hear, "terrain, terrain" a lot just before I crashed into the ground. I can hear the voice now screaming, "pull up ye daft bastard! Your crashing into the ground you stupid shite!"

Now that I have a nephew working in that realm for Google, I'll have to ask him if they've looked into 'diversifying' the voices and language skills employed by the apps they offer. I'm sure that they have because we all know that Google is all about Diversity.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

STILL A SMALL DANGEROUS WORLD

I saw a picture of this car and trailer last week on the blog of Wirecutter or possibly Timewaster and on Sunday driving home from Columbus, we passed it. He was coming out of the south as were we. It's not the sort of thing one expects to see in Ohio.

He had a passenger in the front seat
It was an interesting trip. We were getting gas in Westerville and I noticed that the automatic cutoff that is supposed to stop the gasoline pump when the tank is full had failed on the SUV in the next lane over. The driver was nowhere in sight so I went over and pulled the handle out and shut it off.

If you've never seen that kind of disaster, the gas doesn't trickle out and down the side of the car. No. It bursts out, about a foot in the air at whatever the pump is rated at (15 gallons/minute?) and the car was in a gasoline puddle about an inch deep. I got it on my hands and it over topped my sandals so they're covered with gas and my hand and arm are too so naturally this is one of those stations that doesn't have any kind of cleanser on the pump islands and none of the windshield washing stations had any water in them. That sucked. Off to the hotel to get cleaned up.

The driver came out of the snack shop with snacks and looked at the mess and I told him what I saw and did and he said, "well that's gonna cost me". I saw him move the car out of the puddle and then start wiping it down with paper towels as we left.

It wasn't until we got back to the hotel that it occurred to me that if this had happened anywhere in California it would have been treated as a first class hazmat disaster. I don't think anybody bothered to notify the authorities. After all, in California I'm sure the State would have fined the gas station owners $100,000 and made them pay all the expenses for "the cleanup" of the situation. I doubt the great state of Ohio is any different.

I just thought it was strange. I didn't think the automatic cut-offs on those pumps could fail. I'm never leaving my car gassing up while I head into the shop thinking the pump will shut down by itself, but then, I never do. I used to refuel a ship every 3 days by hand and we took no chances or risks. That at least is still a habit I've retained.

Me? I haven't called the Forces of Order for over 20 years and I don't intend to ever call them again.

AN APPROPRIATE QUOTE FOR THE DAY


"While we recognize that the subject did not actually steal any horses, he is obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it."

Anon 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

ON TROLLS

There is a widespread, nearly universal disdain for trolls in every social media I know of and yet I was given to wonder the other day as I drove back home from near Columbus if there might be something the troll hammers don't ever seem to think about. I actually enjoy visiting a few websites where they put down the trolls in a careful humanitarian way and then banish them to Mars. The social media at twitter and facebook and perhaps the rest of the blogosphere I don't go visit, seem to view their job in hammering trolls every day, as duty. On reflection, most of the trolls, perhaps 95% are real asses who need to be shown the curb but there's the other 5%. Ever wonder about them?

When the CNO and his dream team decided to commit every resource the USN had in its surface combatant construction budget to build an utterly worthless class of ships and then screwed that up so badly they could not down-select and pick ONE as the most viable and worthwhile hull and decided they were just going to build two completely different ships and then declared them both to be the same Littoral Combat Ship, they got some criticism. To be honest, the real surface warfare officer, ship-driving, war-fighting types took one look at these two abortions and declared war on them.

They were pretty critical and they didn't hold back much in their disdain for such useless "warships" and the idiotic notion that one weak and pathetic ship could be made into 4 different ships by swapping out a module in some nearby port in under a day and return to combat as a Surface Warfare Ship, a Mine Sweeper/Hunter, an Anti-Submarine hunter killer and last and least, as a sort of super enormous MK V SEAL delivery vessel supporting irregular warfare missions. 12 years later and not one of those 'modules' exist. The missiles the ships were designed to carry were canceled and that concept scrapped many years ago. Sort of like the wonderguns of the Zumwalt Class destroyers where the Navy finally accepted the fact that the cost of each artillery shell exceeded the cost of a Tomahawk land attack missile.

The critics were all correct and respectful but what they failed to realize, all of them, was that the CNO, NAVSEA, OPNAV N85 and just about everybody else in the top echelons considered them trolls and after reaching that conclusion they simply ignored everything the critics said. After all, they were trolls.

Monday, May 20, 2019

A CALL FROM JEFF

I was relaxing at home in Emeryville for the first time in over a year after I'd been out of the country and then the phone rang. It was the current earthly embodiment of Satan calling me about a bill the USAF had sent him and it somehow was my fault. It was hard to deny that I had in fact engaged the USAF to fly home some serious heavy equipment. That sucker had 4 wheels, 2 dolly sets, 7 radios, radar and a sonar system to beat the band and I asked the USAF scheduler if I could send it home to America gratis since their planes were just flying home empty anyway. The scheduler allowed as how this could be done.

Jeff called me to tell me that the USAF had just sent him a bill for $54,000 and did I want to send him a check to pay for it or just slip him the cash. I told him he was crazy and he explained that my free ride for stuff ended up costing serious coin. I gave him the best answer I knew, turn around and bill those bastards $60,000 for damage done in shipment and call it a wash.

He was not impressed.

Neither was I. I mean what were they going to do? Strafe us? Bomb us? Sue in Federal Court? I was assured by the cognizant Air Force officials in Bahrain that the lift would be treated as all our airlifts in and out of Bahrain for that stuff had always been treated and would be counted as a training mission and I had it in writing.

Oh that was long ago. After working Joint and at SPAWAR I learned all the pretty little tricks those weasels come up with to curry the money out of somebody else's hide. On the other hand, it was good practice for gaining control over blood pressure through pure thought-control at an early age.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

A RARA AVIS ENROUTE TO NORMANDY

I read this news item from the Hartford Courant tonight and found it amazing that so many of these old planes were still airworthy and planning to fly from the USA to Normandy to drop parachutists over the old drop zones on D-Day. It looks like they have a lot of support for the effort.

C-47s dropping parachutists long ago

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

ANOTHER GRACE NOTE

A Full Presidential Pardon

I just read this by Conrad Black and found yet another good reason to like the President. Personally, I also find it somewhat amazing that I referred to Conrad Black just 2 or 3 days ago in this blog. I rarely do that. Perhaps I have some in with the President.......

Naaaaah, only kidding..... We're just golfing buddies.


DOGMA

It is a movie for those truly light of heart. I saw it years ago and got sucked in tonight when I found it on the tube of you. I enjoy J and Silent Bob but the final movie of the series was a fascinating view into Hollywood and as odd as it sounds, I find it amusing. It's from the same line as Chasing Amy and Mall Rats and those were nowhere near as amusing. I think the writers and crew had enormous fun with making the movie.
Dogma is a 1999 American fantasy comedy film, written and directed by Kevin Smith, who also stars with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, Alanis Morissette, and Jason Mewes.

ON EUROPE IN DEPTH

For the little one. An education worth listening to while living there on the hell mouth.

The 20th century guarantees for Europe were pretty much destroyed over the last 10 years by Europe, again.

Monday, May 13, 2019

IT'S HARD NOT TO WATCH

The brutal insolence of the BBC as they deal with Nigel Farage. It really is amazing how obtuse, clueless, and focused the presenters are on making sure that he and his party are portrayed in the absolute worst light. I will say it again, it is nice to have President Trump because he shares some of the verbal skills that Farage and most of the British pols do and it's a treasure compared to that idiot who couldn't spit out two words without weeks of coaching.

UPDATE: BBC got rid of the videos in hours so I'm updating them.

Farage 1

Farage 2

I think May 23rd and 24th will be quite interesting.


For those who wonder about the continued interest this blogger has shown in British politics, I would simply ask you to blame it on my dad. Oh, and me. In school I read Thucydides and the Political History of England in 12 volumes; one volume of which was written by an author I grew to like; Charles Oman. The rest were memorable but one didn't see their like again until Julian Corbett and Conrad Black although I would toss in Churchill if pressed. I was once a student of history and it was always the history of England and the UK that came second only to my own country's history. It was never my focus, just an abiding interest. For Focus, you might read this book. It's not for everybody.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

STAGGERING COST OF SOCIALISM

It's not quite true. Mostly they steal your money and kill you and you wake up dead and broke. Kind of like getting divorced. I found this article on Cuba to be interesting because I thought all these years that they were good socialists and well landed and raising all the food they needed from within. I forgot that they were subsidized for generations by the USSR who paid for Cuban sugar cane and after its collapse from socialism, supported by Venezuela who suddenly collapsed after it was eaten alive by socialism.

When some of my family returned from a year in Norway we talked, like we do, and they told me how incredibly expensive everything is there. Not just the food but everything. It was actually more cost effective to get on the ferry in Oslo, sail to Denmark, buy a replacement coffee pot, and sail back to Norway. And Norway has the North Sea oil. What is it about oil that makes countries crazy?

At any rate, I learned one of the reasons why Norway is the way it is is because of World War II. When the cheese factory and depot in Norway burned down I thought it was amusing even as the price of cheese went sky high there. I didn't know it was because of the Norwegian experience after being scalped in World War II by food imports who then committed the nation to raising or growing all of its own food and so no, they were not going to import any cheese even if there was no cheese.

It made me recall to mind the time I took a train from Washington DC to Rhode Island during which I read Kant's Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime. You don't want to be caught dead with that book anywhere near a college, university or cultural center. OTOH, none of them have ever read it so why not? Wow, if only they knew!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

HAPPY

I do like this one. On the gripping hand, I've been watching Buffy the VS and that is a nice looking girl.


Friday, May 10, 2019

BE BRIEF

It was the code I was initiated into when I joined the Navy. One of the many things I used to have was a book about American submarine operations in WWII and as I recall from it, the order from CINCPAC to his submarines was to "Get astride the Bunda Strait immediately" in order to complete the destruction of the retreating Japanese Navy. It was about a paragraph long of less than this length.

If done now it would be a 200 page FRAGO.

It was done in the days when every message like that had to be hand encrypted and decrypted and sometimes those could pile up for days because the one or two people on the ships doing the decryption had to sleep. I was taught to keep the damned things brief, terse, as few words as possible, no negligent embellishment, nothing extraneous. The watchword was BRIEF. Pity we lost sight of that today.

I kind of miss the Exile of Portales. He was always first to say,
I know what you did there.
Just an annual random tribute to him and Lex and Villainous Company.

MY COMRADE BUFFY

Because, guy

Thursday, May 9, 2019

OUR ENGLAND

The ship did very very well. It's hard to believe it only served for 2 years. This was back in the days of offline encryption. The amount of decryption that ship's crew had to be doing is staggering.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

1177 REDONE!

For those in love with ancient history, this is great. This time you can see the actual slides he is using. He is an impressive lecturer of history.

OF ALL THINGS

We went to the place of physical therapy yesterday, as we do on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and split up, as we do in our separate assaults on the locker rooms where I found myself engaged in conversation, because that's what I do, I talk, to everyone, and there I was finding myself being educated by a much older man, a scholar, on Proverbs 31. Chapter and verse. I found it fascinating as he dressed and ran through all the meanings out just that one chapter. All of my life I've read about scholars of the Talmud and Bible. I ran into one in a locker room as I was changing my clothes. I think we spent 15 minutes on it before he left and I went to the pool.

Yes yes, to be lite I will say that I didn't even try to write "I changed into a bathing suit". That would be ridiculous. I am not a bathing suit.

When you think about it, how did a pair of shorts ever gain the title of 'suit'?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A MOST GENTLE WELCOME TO TUESDAY

Read the quotes as you like. The books, all of them, are wonderful.

Monday, May 6, 2019

ON SOCIALISM

It is still staggering to me that food rationing didn't end in England until 1954. That's just how worthless the leadership of their country and Europe were. I think one of them said it best.
This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time. 
Aneurin Bevan
I blogged about this once already but I'm always willing to do it again.

google is doing it again and just changing history

The link will take one to google where they are playing a very open game of hiding history by removing it.

One of those things I didn't learn about until recently. Europe at the end of the last war was looking at starvation and death. Not some of it. All of it.

IT IS TO LAUGH

I was reading prattle and laughed out loud in an empty room.

There are still people out there so ill informed that they think the Military gets the very best of technology. They are not at all familiar with the Defense Acquisition Manual, the DoD 5000 and it's related bits of idiocy layered on the process year after year by Congress and bureaucrats.

ARPA and DARPA and even the Navy's version were an attempt to get around the dead weight but they didn't last more than a few months. As an analogy it was like the dead hand of Rickover stopping all research into nuclear power for decade after decade because he was the go-to man who had a role in building the Nautilus. It is what you get with bureaucracies. Left to itself the Army would still be buying Spads. Let's see...., the Air Force is still flying B-52s.

Went to pick up breakfast this morning and found a girl, a young lady, wearing an SAIC shirt. I have not seen SAIC anywhere since I left Cali 10 years ago so I had to ask her if she worked there and she replied, yep.

SAIC, science applications international was a fascinating place to work for under its founder who had a unique philosophy for managing an enormous and utterly diverse workforce. He put people in charge and each of them was probably brilliant but the significant thing was that he put them in charge. They used to deal with each other like feuding lords in the middle ages. Going outside your swim lane, the one controlled by your feudal overlord, was death. It reached the point, shortly before the Greek Olympic debacle that the company found itself bidding against some of its own divisions for work. It was kind of amusing to watch on the inside.

The engineers and scientists were the very best. The management teams? Not so much. As far as I know, up to the death of the founder, management was sourced primarily from within. After he left the board elected to bring in Wall Street types to be in charge and it didn't take them very long to take an employee owned company and sell it on Wall Street, rake in huge amounts of money for themselves and then walk away after breaking it up.

Friday, May 3, 2019

MORNING TIDINGS

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


MORNING TIDINGS

Picked up the little love of my life on Sunday and brought her home where we've had a great time playing with cousins on the beach and eating and playing with cousins in Del Mar until the wee hours (2045 if that must be defined); she's only 7, as of today. Smart and cute.

In the morning I head off to the doctor who will describe in some detail for me what it means to have: in the left posterior aspect of the posterior fossa a space-occupying extra-axial lesion of CSF density measuring 3.1 x 1.4 cm causing mild mass effect on the left cerebellar hemisphere. Now that's a mouthful. But then, what are CT scans for?

It used to be something I held in my hands. Very very frustrated hands.

MINAS ITHIL

I was just checking out the gates. I don't promise I won't be back.

A PEER OF THE LILY

I have lived all my life as a peer of the Lily. I still am.

WHAT GOES UNSAID

The USN was going to kill a carrier early and got told to stop it by Congress.


Here's the thing that wasn't reported by what passes for news.

It's no longer the hideous price of the ship driving the bean counters at the Pentagon. It is the ridiculous price of the aircraft that make the ships unaffordable. Can you imagine the cost of filling one of those things with F-35s? I can't

LAST MORNING IN APRIL

There is something about it. You find yourself writing things that will never see the light of day. People had a word for that. Yes! They called them editors. You don't actually get so many of them when you blog. Progress!