Sunday, December 30, 2018

Hey, it's 40 years old....

So I get the call about 5 pm last night.

"The range won't shut off".

See, there is a neat relay/contactor setup that, when one (or all) of three light switches (left/middle/right)  is turned on, also turns on the air handler and enables the air compressor that turns the target holders. As it had always worked, no one had ever worried.

Until Saturday evening.....when it stopped working correctly. Turn off the lights and the big fan keeps running. Not what is spozed to happen.

As I am the closest member to the range, I get the call.

My first thought was to simply turn off the breaker and wait for another day.... But the breaker that controls the lights and fan also powers the sewage ejection pump and the heater for that small room where the pump is located. (And last time we had issues with the sewer pump, at least one idiot ignored the signs and used the terlet....with messy results)

So I opened the control box, hoping to see something obvious.
No joy.

And, of course, while it appears that (at one time) there was a diagram of some kind for guidance on the door, it fell off or was removed long ago, leaving only the glue behind to mock those who might need it.....

So I had to close contactors one at a time, and follow the wiring (which was really nicely done, it looked like the interior of an Otis Elevator cabinet) and figure out how the thing worked.

And, while it took an hour and a half, I traced the logic and figured which contactor was stuck.
Pried the welded contact apart, and (for now) everything works).
Kinda proud of that diagnosis. Haven't worked relay logic for over 25 years. But I can still do it. So it is (sorta) fixed....For now.

Simply worn out and pitted contacts. But all the others are worn as well.

Someone is gonna have to replace the contactors ....all 5 of 'em.
And, since there are only 3 of us that have the ability (much less knowledge) it's gonna fall on us. And since one is pretty much crippled, and the other is nearly 80 years old, it's gonna be me. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Remember: all those illegals

Illegal Aliens (undocumented immigrants ...yeah, and the corner drug dealer is just an undocumented pharmacist)

And we are told they just want to come and be in this country.....and live like us and be good productive citizens.
And maybe that is the goal of some of them.

BUT some are criminals. Bad people. Cop killers

Most of the rest just want Free Shit and a less littered (unlike their home) place to live.

Finished installing the dishwasher

Had to cobble up an adapter for the water line yesterday, as some brainiac engineer decided that all new dishwashers should use GARDEN HOSE as the water supply inlet, rather than 3/8 or half inch pipe thread, or compression.

Nothing, it seems, uses precision machining anymore. Rough castings, machined to a minimum, then a rubber(neoprene?) gasket to make the seal.

So on the 26th, I cobbled the water supply line together, and today, I did it right...

Led worklights might not be the pinnacle of invention, but they sure as hell are a good one, and should rank right up there on the list of GoodThings.

Headlights and lightsticks....rechargeable. Really nice.

especially this:

Astro pneumatic 450 lumen LED workight.

You don't yet know that you need one, but you do.

You'll thank me later. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

I discovered something today:

Aerospace engineers should NOT design door latches.

Jesus H Christ on a Pogo stick....there are 2 lbs of unneeded screws in that door.
Plus the latch is extraordinarily complicated and WAY too heavy for the job it does.

Yes, I am doing my own plane maintenance.

And Cessna wants over $400 for a set of lock cylinders. I gotta talk to a locksmith and see if he can fix 'em.

At least the door locks properly now though. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Media can't seem to be rational when it comes to TheDonald:

SO they thought he wasn't gonna go greet troops in any war zone for Christmas.

But he did anyway.

And for that, he is a terrible person.
Or something.

Bad, Bad Donnie.
There must be something sinister about his actions. Because Trump.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas everyone!

If you are standing a post or on duty today, then I thank you.

If you aren't, then think about those who are.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Flew to Indianapolis today

Eagle Creek, (EYE) actually.

'Twas a nice flight. Smooth at 7500 feet going down. 17 knot tailwind. 149 over the ground. Skies were clear to space and only a light layer of haze at EYE....which DID make finding the airport somewhat difficult.(First time there, so wasn't sure where, exactly, to look for it) But we found it and overflew at 2500 and then entered the downwind for 21 for a slightly crosswind landing. Not my best, but pretty good.

Had a snack at the restaurant (Rick's Cafe Boatyard) and flew back. The food was excellent.

Flew back at 4500, then asked for 6500. Couldn't find an altitude that had stable winds, so I couldn't get a set crab angle nor power setting and trim for altitude. I WORKED flying back. Could have set the autopilot, but needed the practice. Sadly, my altitude and heading were not as steady as they should have been. The wind was constantly changing, so we wandered a bit.

Plus a 20kt+/- headwind. So only 100 knots over the ground. Back at the home airport, did a landing on 27 that was pretty nice, even with the light gusts from the north. Rolled out and taxiied back to the hangar. Filled one side, but left the left tank about 1/3 full so I can run it empty and find out what the gauges read when the tank is actually at and/or nearly holding only air.

2.2 and 2, as Aaron says.

So the past few weeks, I have noticed that my Android (Google) phone has some interesting quirks:

I get advertisements based on subjects about which I have texted....and only texted (not spoken) about.

Now, we all know that Google reads your Gmail....I no longer use Gmail for that very reason.

But Texts? And then there is the fact that I believe (and have evidence pointing towards) that they are reading emails from other mail services for which I have apps on my phone.

Scary. I mean, seriously. reading texts as well as email? And getting ads associated with that keyword in less than 15 minutes?

So I bought an IPhone. Lots of changes. Lots different. But I knew that going in. The learning curve will be steep for the next couple of days.

Having said that, it works pretty much the same. But the apps available are not the same, nor are they as well implemented. Things like calculators and levels and weather apps and such are much better implemented on Android (Google) apps than on Apple devices.

Having said that, I will adjust. Apple may well be as bad, but they are at least more discreet about their spying on their customers.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

It be Donnies Fault:

Except that, as far as I can see, no one has presented a budget bill for his signature.....

So, at this point, Trump hasn't done anything to "Shut the Government Down". He;s merely said he would, and the House and Senate haven't gotten their shit together and sent him a bill he could sign or veto.

How can it be his fault when the other parties can't get their shit together to create a budget?

So, exactly whose fault is it?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

9 years

Surprisingly, the Bosch dishwasher lasted 9 years.

Then it failed.  Which was, in part, a Good Thing. Of course, having laid out nearly 3 Large for a transponder just yesterday, the timing could have been better....

The float switch for water level had become intermittent, and then more and more so. From a "didn't wash because no water" once in 10 times, then to 1 in 5, then one in three, then nearly every time. It didn't take much, just a little wiggle of the float to make it work. Once it started the cycle, it worked until it cooled down again. No Bueno.

When I pulled the inspection panel off the bottom to see what I might find, I found water. Seems the drain hose had developed a crack. Lucky for me I pulled the panel when I did. No real damage.

The switch assembly for the dishwasher is still available. 171.83 plus shipping.

A new basic dishwasher is 3 times that. Tough call.

I ordered the new one. It'll be here Wed the 26th.  Faster, stronger, better than the other one. And even more blinky lights to tell me shit I don't care about...and more cycles! (I only ever use the "Pot Scrubber" cycle, but hey, now I go from 4 cycles to something like 23 cycles: half load/full load/delicates/permanent press/Pots&Pans//normal cycle/glasses/silverware only/extra dirty/heated rinse/heated dry/heated wash and dry/beer glasses/shot glasses/wash and rinse/wash rinse wax// spin dry....whatever...I'm only ever gonna use the one cycle).

Can't see putting 1/3 the price of a new one into a 9 year old unit. My luck, the pump motor will fail about 10 days later. Or something else on the unit that is also 9 years old.

Handwashing dishes for a few days. I used to wash dishes in an Italian restaurant/Pizza Parlor when I was in high school. I was pretty good at it and pretty fast too...Lets see if I remember how to do it.


I just ordered my Stratus transponder for the plane. Schedules are already out to mid February for installation.

There are thousands of planes that have not had the installation done. I expect the techs are gonna do a lot of overtime later this year, and that some plane owners are simply gonna have to either not fly, or do VFR-only in uncontrolled airspace at the end of this year.

$2700 deposit for the unit. about half that for installation. I paid for the unit upon scheduling.


Why are the DNC and RNC so terribly against a Border Wall?

What have they against decent border security?  Against keeping invaders out of our country?
Slowing the flow of drugs across the southern border?

I mean, the Republicans had the chance in the first two years (along with healthcare, but that is a topic for another post) and they chose not to even try....And the Democrat party leadership is admantly against any wall or any "border Security" measure that will actually work.

It's not the money. We waste more than that on other countries yearly in "economic aid" and "foreign aid" and all sorts of other "aid" and "grants" and such. We can easily fund the wall.

Is it because the Wall will stop people (or greatly reduce the flow) without providing enough opportunities for graft?

At least this time the press is admitting that most parts of the "government" are already funded and that it is only about 24% that will shut down because there is no current funding.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

I have no use for Bump Stocks

And I think they are on a level of tannerite exploding targets. Fun for big adult children who have more money than brains, but really a useless accessory. Not that I object to people wasting their money on them, if they want a fast way to turn money into smoke and noise without hitting their target.....

Having said that, I think this ban is stupid.  It will not materially affect any killing statistics, it won't change the crime statistics, it is panering to a bunch of folks that will simply see it as a small victory in their War on Scary Firearms, and it will alienate a lot of folks that might have supported Trump in other more important things.

And then there is the point that MZW makes in his blog post.  (go on, read it....I'll wait).

Kinda scary, innit there, Bubba? 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Lotta green:

I can't verify this, but it is likely true (Or maybe "Fake but accurate"?)

Read it HERE

That, right there, would pay for the Wall

US pledges $10 BILLION for economic development in Central and Southern Mexico

Fuck that.

Instead of spending OUR (US Citizens) money on other countries, lets spend it on our borders to keep people from entering.....And then taking even more money from our economy in Welfare and Health Care and other handouts. And competing with OUR workers for jobs as well. 

Where does the Constitution give Congress and our Government the power to take OUR tax money and give it to other people in other countries?
It's bad enough that they take from the productive people and give to non productive citizens...but this really sucks. Since they can't find the money for the Wall, then they don't have enough money for this.

Or are the Kickbacks large enough for them to piss folks like me off? 

Damnit, Donald

Don't back down. Keep the demand for the Border Wall Funding.

We elected you to fix this. It should have been done by now. Don't back down. Stand firm. The folks who will hate you for it already hate you. The folks that elected you on your promise to do a wall are waiting. Backing down will only make US hate you.

We.Want.the.Wall.You.Promised.  Deliver it. Stand firm. Demand border wall funding or veto any budget.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I could get behind this:

And I'd like to see it enforced better than the current ADA laws for parking for handicapped folks parking spaces are, at least in my area.


I have no idea who originated this, so I can't give credit. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Easy to make not happen:

I am told that the dude who crashed the Cherokee had no gas in the fuel system.

This Rumor, and not confirmed.

But it seems to be a common issue: Running Out of Gas While Flying ....

If true, then a stupid mistake with very fatal consequences. And easily preventable. Checklists are there for a reason, even for preflight. And fuel consumption is easily calculated.  I was taught to do calculations on a worst-case scenario, then add 10%, (plus reserve).

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Just like Dick's

Social Justice Warriorism will lead to Bankruptcy.

Seems that the Scouts (formerly "Boy Scouts of America", now "Scouts BSA", soon to be "Insert name here) are filing for Bankruptcy.

Are you surprised? I'm not.

Ever more inclusive, they became something that stood for, and was.....nothing.

The final death Knell was the inclusion of Girls in the Boy Scouts.

And all this SJW bullshit has damaged, if not killed, a 100+year old organization. Declining membership, uninterested members, and a failure to be what boys wanted and needed.

Sad. Very sad. The leaders that have made these changes should be ashamed of what they have turned their organization into, and of the damage they have done.  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Plane crash today near me

At the airport.

10 minutes later, my phone blew up.

"you OK?"

"Was it you?"

"Was that your plane that crashed?"

I appreciate their concern, but it was a Piper, and I fly a Cessna.

Sadly, the dude in the crashed Comanche died.

Eyewitnesses (One of my instructors from my flight school was on final and one of the A&P guys who take care of my airplane was driving up as it happened) said he had just taken offon rwy 9  and he turned to the left sharply a couple hundred feet up before diving into the ground. I'm guessing departure stall....but I really don't know for sure.

Winds were variable (but more or less easterly-ish) at about 8 knots, so that's likely not the cause.

A Comanche is a lot of airplane for a pilot who had just gotten his license 3 months or so earlier.

My prayers for his family. 

Hey, it's a start

A cop actually turned another cop in for punching an unarmed man.

There are, apparently honest cops...cops willing to turn another officer in for misdeeds.

"The report does not match the video of the incident" Shocking, I know.

Of course, what with the whole "Blue Wall" thing, I have to figure that (current) Officer Frederick Dominguez has plans to work and, especially,  live somewhere else....probably another state. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Gee, whoda thought that might happen?

So lessee here.

You are the CEO of a company that sells outdoor gear. Clothing, fishing, hiking, hunting and other such accessories.......

You decide to SJW yourself into feeling better about selling firearms.

So you do stupid things....actions that make no difference, but look good to your (also SJW) friends at cocktail parties.....

And in doing so, you insult the folks that are the core of your business...

Perhaps you did not realize that the Venn diagrams of hunters, fishermen, target shooters, hikers and other outdoorsmen are mostly overlapping? That these folks are the major buyers of the products you sell?

That you actions are a repudiation of their lifestyle? That you have insulted the majority of your customer base with your shortsighted SJW action?

And you are surprised when they take their (considerable) buying power elsewhere?

Corporate Gun Control Fail: Dick’s May Have to Close 35 Stores Across 18 States

The fact that the stockholders haven't tossed Edward Stack out on his ear is surprising.

Hope that Social Justice Warrior posturing was worth it....

This is like the CEO of Ford claiming all Ford truck owners are inbred rednecks....and then being surprised that they buy Chevy and Dodge pickups instead....

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Yesterdays weather

(at least, the forecast weather for yesterday) is here today.

And I'm keeping my promise to an acquaintance, and taking him and, most especially, his 10 year old son up for a flight to lunch at another airport.

skies clear, visibility in excess of 10SM, winds easterly(ish) at 2-6 knots along the route of flight.

A great day(if a bit cold) to fly.

I have to wonder

If Amazon realizes the types of folks they have delivering their packages these days.....I mean the non-UPS and non-USPS folks.

'Cause so far, In the past 2 weeks, I've had a really derelict-looking white guy who needed a bath, a shave and a week without drinking MD-20-20 driving a clapped out and rusted out Mazda pickup, a Heroin-thin looking wild eyed ("The CRAZY is STRONG with this one, Luke") chick driving a minivan with no two body panels the same color, and a very fat black woman in a do-rag who was obviously not comfortable in a predominantly white neighborhood (I scared her when I opened the door, but did offer her a can of soda in apology, which she declined before scurrying off), and an old man in shabby clothing and a Gandolf beard who was barely able to get up the driveway (I have no idea what he was driving, it was dark...I only saw him because the motion lights came on as he approached).

These folks are delivering Amazon packages, but they sure don't have that professional, clean cut look of the UPS folks....

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Well, that Blows

So yesterday, I called Pilatus Fight Services to get an outlook briefing, as I was gonna try to take Midwest Chick to see her sister in mid-Michigan...And their prediction matched the other aviation well as Weather Bug and the local TV prognosticators...

Forecast was for broken clouds in the 2000-4000 until 6 AM, then clear or nearly clear for the rest of the day.

So I planned a flight for Saturday morning about 8 AM.

Yeah, not so much. In the following 12 hours, the forecast for the area changed DRASTICALLY to overcast at 2000-3000.

The clear weather was off to the west about 60 miles. At best, MVFR conditions all day for me and points north and east....all day. The clear weather didn't move as predicted. Folks in Mid-Illinois are experiencing the weather predicted for me. So I cancelled the (short) cross country flight. 

If we can't predict the weather 12 hours out on a micro scale, how can we believe that anyone can predict what conditions will be on a macro scale a year from now? 5 years from now? 10-20-50-100 years from now?

Yes, I know, climate is not weather...except it is.....just on a smaller scale. Clouds are clouds. Fronts are fronts, Clouds and Fronts make weather, which makes climate. If your models are so poor that they can't do a decent job 12 hours out, why should I trust anything you claim for periods a hundred or a thousand or more times distant? 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

I must be gettin' old....

Used to be, 8 hours working outside in freezing weather didn't bother me...
I can dress for the temperature hat boots etc. My core stays warm.,.,.

But my hands.....

Oh my god... They don't work as well, and they get painfully cold way too fast. Must be too many incidents of frostbite...

Either way,  I can't work outside all day any more. I gotta go in and warm up more and more often...

I'm thinking that's why folks move south as they get older....

Monday, December 3, 2018

Toldya so.

Seems that in some professional circles, the word is to "avoid women at all costs"

All those MeTOO accusations showed that too many women are sensitive fragile flowers that should not be let out without a keeper.....and that all too many others are evil, nasty, vengeful bitches.

The above women have, however, because their own sisters chose to support them rather than smack them down, damaged all the "normal" hard working women who simply wanted to work hard and earn advancement.....and the Movement is going to harm professional women for a generation or more. Bet on it. For men in power or positions or authority, interacting with women can be fraught with danger.

Pence looks smarter all the time, doesn't he? 

Pretty much ALL the Glowball Warmenating "science" as well....

Seems that nearly 4 in 10 "Research" papers (paid for mostly with Government grants) are.....bullshit. These include "Peer Reviewed" studies....

And note that the remaining 62 % include those that "show an effect in the same direction as the original studies.”...not that can be fully replicated, but just kinda can be sorta almost maybe...if you squint hard....might sorta kinda show sorta similar results....

It’s become a profitable industry, where scheming researchers get taxpayer-funded grants to find specific conclusions, then those manipulated and fake conclusions are reported back to the public as if they are real, and then policies and recommendations are made that further cost people money.

This used to be the claim when industry paid for research..especially when they wanted research to show that their products were safe....But now it is pretty much ALL "research"....ESPECIALLY anything to do with Global Warming Climate Change...(isn't it interesting how, once the "warming" failed to show up the researchers and climatologists and the media switched to "Climate Change" and the believers just ate it up?)

And there is no downside to publishing a "research" paper full of bullshit's not like you have to pay the money back or worry about being charged with fraud or anything...

I remember reading Scientific American 45 years ago as a kid....My Dad gave me articles to read and explained them if I had questions....and researchers back then published articles which were clear on the methods used and made their research fairly easy for anyone to duplicate....So their peers could easily check their methods....Those days in that publication are long gone, however....

Remember this when you read or are told by the Media that eating food kept in plastic containers increases your chance of getting some exotic cancer that only occurs in white rats that are exposed to extremely high levels of Cell phone radiation while growing up or something....It has a 1 in three chance that the whole research is bullshit. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

NRA exists for the NRA

Yes, they are a Gun Rights advocacy group...and the largest one, if not the most effective one.

And yes, they are a bureaucracy that exists more for itself than for the members. I've run into that part before.

And, it would seem, it is an organization that now exists to enrich the higher level members of that organization. (WSJ article, and currently paywalled, but probably worth reading....). Millions of dollars...monies given by members either through donations or dues, are spent on firms that have ties to, or are owned by, directors, presidents, managers or other parts of the organization. Profits given to the members of the organizations addition to salaries.  Is it unethical? Maybe. Is it illegal? Probably not. Is it right? I dunno.

A snippet: New filings from the National Rifle Association reveal that the gun-rights group directed millions of dollars over several years to people with close ties to the group, including former top officials.
A separate review of the NRA’s vendor relationships found other business arrangements that similarly benefit insiders.

It looks bad though. Especially when it isn't disclosed. Were those contracts put up for competitive bids? We don't know.

But cronyism looks pretty bad. Much like nepotism in city politics. I don't like smells. Especially when they call me weekly and email me even more often, asking for money.

I'm no fan of the NRA. Having said that, they are useful. And they have done some good. But the optics on this are not pretty.

Thanks to Dad for the heads up.