Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Angels in Heaven - Chris Rodrigues & the Spoon Lady

Angels in Heaven - Chris Rodrigues & the Spoon Lady
Abby the Spoon Lady

The Spoon Lady is wonderful.


A customer places gold wrapped in a crumpled bolivar banknote on to a scale for payment at a pharmacy in Tumeremo, Venezuela. Photographer: William Urdaneta/Bloomberg

The official Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, is nearly worthless. Maduro, the pig, has just replaced the old Bolivar with a new one. The new one is worth one million of the old one. That should give you some idea of the rate of inflation down there. Most places are using foreign currency for everyday purchases, however things are little different in one area in southeast Venezuela. That area is home to a host of gold mines, so people are paying for things with flakes of gold, flakes of gold that they carry wrapped in Bolivars, which is about all the paper currency is good for.

Price of one gram of gold today is $57.58, almost $60, so a half gram is worth about $30, a quarter gram is worth about $15 and an eighth of a gram is worth about $7. Gold has a density of of 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter, so a small flat square of the metal measuring one centimeter on a side and half a millimeter thick would be weigh one gram. For comparison, a gold coin the size of a dime would weigh six and half grams, which is a little more than twice as much as a real dime weighs.

Via Zerohedge

Halloween Special

Broken Peach - Tainted Love (Halloween Special)
Broken Peach

Just a little lunacy for the holiday. I like this version.

Soft Cell - Tainted Love (Official Music Video)
Soft Cell

This one is from 1981 and is the one I remember.

Gloria Jones - Tainted Love (VN Project edited video)
Vitalijs Neudahins

This is the original from 1964. I don't remember hearing it before.

Friday, October 29, 2021


Turkish Air Force F-16

I like the English identification on one side and the Turkish on the other. In case you are wondering, the figure on the left wing is a falcon's head.


Electron Microscope For Sale

Jack found a deal on Craigslist. The seller gives us the low down:
Take over a project I've never had time for:
Cambridge S4-10 Scanning Electron Microscope. Complete with manuals, spare parts, X-ray energy spectrometer and detector (stored at room temperature) for identifying elemental composition of samples.

May be just the thing for your socially distant summer project if you have a spare corner in your garage. Allegedly operational when put into storage. I vastly overestimated the amount of spare time I would have in the last couple of decades, and have never got it running. Now I need to down-size and clear this stuff out!

What's behind all those panels? Mechanical switches, simple circuits, and lots of vacuum tubes! A chance to put your basic electronics skills to the test. Think of it as two old B&W TVs hooked-up back to back - except one has extremely high voltage. The catch is that each of those components need to be connected to one another on the back-panel with boxes and boxes of specific heavy cables (included) that have specific resistances. It's like hooking-up the stereo components from Hell. And there may be a mouse or two to evict. I can throw in a roughing vacuum pump that will need work. The high-vacuum pumps are supposed to be in good order. Without looking it up, I think it requires about 10 amps 240VAC.

This system consists of three large, heavy cabinets. It will take several stout people and a trailer with ramp to transport them. They are on wheels so you can push them around the room. (Except the electron gun unit, which comes with bearer poles for four people to carry.)You will not get this up or down any stairs without extreme difficulty.

Mmmm, high voltage, sounds like fun, but no, I'm not buying it. I don't need another project.

Other electron microscope posts here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Russians in Space

Yulia Peresild


I just opened a bottle of champagne (cheap Costco champagne). It has a plastic cork, but it still has the traditional twisted wire retainer holding it in. I open the bottle and throw the retainer in the recycling, so now I'm wondering will it really get recycled, or is this more stuff for the landfill? We've got mixed recycling here, where you can dump paper, metal and certain kinds of plastic. Glass and motor oil are collected separately as is yard debris. As an aside, garbage is collected weekly here in Washington County, but every other week in Portland. Recycling is just the opposite. Here they alternate between yard debris one week and recycling the next. In Portland they collect both every week.

So, I throw the wire retainer in the mixed recycling. I wheel the container out to the curb Monday evening. Tuesday morning a big garbage truck comes by and picks it up with it's robot arm and dumps it in the back along with all the other stuff he's collected. When the driver has finished his route, he drives to the transfer station and dumps his load. Okay, this is the part I'm not clear about. Somebody is driving trucks to the landfill and and the main recycling center. Are they just driving the garbage trucks? Or are they repackaging the material for hauling on semi-trailers? I dunno, maybe if the landfill is less than 100 miles away, just driving straight there might be cheaper.

The material that gets dumped in the recycling bin eventually makes its way to the giant recycling center, which I think is in northwest Portland in the industrial district. I imagine some rudimentary sorting is done there, blown air can separate the lighter stuff like paper and plastic from the metal, magnetics can pick out the iron and steel. You might be able to use water to separate the paper from the plastic. I dunno, but I wonder about all the metal that's left after everything else gets shunted aside. You should be left with copper, brass, and some stainless. Then again, the amount non-magnetic heavy metal might not amount to a hill of beans. It's what's left over after all the easy pickin's have been picked up. It might be that a man with a broom sweeps up at the end of the day and dumps it in the trash.

Tesla & Hertz

Blaine's Morning Porridge comments on Tesla and Hertz stock prices. Apparently Tesla is now worth a zillion dollars, and Hertz is making big gains by riding on their coattails.

Tesla will only continue to be a worth a zillion dollars as long there are fools to buy the stock. At some point a large holder will cash out and price will collapse and the stock price will go through the floor. The only question is when. It might be this week, it might not happen for 20 years.

I suspect the trading volume is miniscule. If there are only a few shares for sale, it doesn't take a very many crazy people to drive the price into the stratosphere.

I suspect a lot of this is due to torrent of money flowing out of Washington D.C.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021


VFD installed on Mill

Jack is proceeding apace setting up his new milling machine. VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) is used to control the speed of the motor.

Bangkok Breaking

Bangkok Breaking | Official Trailer | Netflix
Netflix Asia

Thoroughly entertaining. We have two competing charitable organizations doing emergency rescue work in the city and naturally one outfit is the good guys while the other is venal and corrupt. You can easily tell which is which because the bad guys where black outfits. Lots of action, people need rescuing from all kinds of horrific accidents. Our hero arrives from the country to help his brother and finds himself dumped in the middle of a real shit-storm. Great fun and photography is great.

We've only seen a couple of cops, so it's not really a cop show, but I tagged it as a detective show because we have a cute girl reporter investigating the whole rescue foundation business.

Netflix, 6 one hour episodes, in Thai with English subtitles.

If it's fun, it's not a waste of time.

When your engine makes the weirdest noise and...

This guy is mildly entertaining. He's building tiny little two stroke engines and seeing how much power he can get out them. He likes to add superchargers and put them on motorbikes.

Monday, October 25, 2021


I don't like Dr. Fauci. He looks smug. I don't think Richard Fernandez likes him either, but he's got some pretty good reasons. Plus he writes an entertaining story:

The Mad Scientist in History

I'm not posting a picture of Fauci or a link because I don't want to give him any more publicity, than absolutely necessary. If you know who he is, you don't need a link, and if you don't, count yourself lucky. Got to give him credit for getting to the top of the dogpile, but that doesn't make him right or better than anyone else. Anyone who has climbed that high is very likely to be a very unpleasant person in real life. Maybe I'm just piling on, but I can't think of anyone who is more deserving.

I wonder who would replace him if he got canned? Would the president appoint the next highest person in NIH dogpile or pick someone from the other side of the universe?

Update next morning - fixed a bunch of typos and revised the last sentence. Boy, this post was a mess.

Dog Collar

Sometime ago I met a couple with a small yappy dog. The dog had been fitted with some kind of fancy collar that give the dog a jolt whenever he barked. I don't know what kind of jolt it was, I presume it was a low voltage electrical shock, but for all I know it housed a brass knuckle (singular because there wouldn't have been room for more) that punched him in the throat each time he barked. Doesn't matter. Whatever it was, the dog felt it. You could tell because each time he barked, the bark turned into a shriek. Now dogs that bark continuously are annoying, and the higher the pitch and the shorter the time between barks, the more annoying it is. But a shriek is disturbing. I'm thinking "what is wrong with these people?" I may have said something, but I didn't say much. I was only there for couple of minutes. It's been a while, and I still wonder about it. Did the shriek not bother them? I don't think I could tolerate it for than a few minutes. Perhaps they were hoping that if they could put up this for, I dunno, a day, the dog's inner dog would learn and leave off the yapping. Or maybe somebody told them to try this collar and they did and nobody has told them to take it off so they don't. Or maybe they hate the dog for yapping so much that they decide to punish him with these jolts, so basically we have a war going on between the people and the dog. Both are determined to win, but they are driven by different forces. The force driving the dog is more instinctual, while the one driving the people is at a higher level. Or maybe they just hated other people so whenever they had visitors they put the collar on knowing it would drive any visitor away within a few minutes.

My Name

My Name | Official Trailer | Netflix [ENG SUB]
The Swoon

Action packed Korean gangster show. We've got a cute little tough girl beating up gangs of thugs. It's great, unbelievable, but great. I guess we like to see the underdog winning. It's fast paced, the sets are great, the gang leader is suitably inscrutable, and the villain is villainous. And then there's the mystery of who killed her dad. Clues point to the police, but that gang leader, being all inscrutable and all, he might have something to do with it, even though he is our girl's protector and mentor. I mean, we can't have a straight forward story, we need a complicated plot twist in here. It's not like it's not already very complicated because our girl, loyal to the gang leader, has joined the police and is now in the narcotics division chasing the gang leader. Reminds me of The Departed. We watched the first four episodes last night.

Netflix, Korean, English subtitles, 8 episodes, 45 minutes each.

Sunday, October 24, 2021


Knit Hat

I just realized that this blog is my knitting project. Some people knit with yarn, whereas here I knit with web links. I am not sure if anyone even notices. Some people might use some of the links I post, and there might be someone out there who appreciates the complexity of the web I have created. Actually, complex is not the right word, chaotic would probably be a better choice. It would be nice to have a graph to see if there was any kind of pattern to it. I suspect there would be if it was all filled in, but my technique has changed a bit, dare I say 'evolved'? I don't think links were as pervasive in my older posts. I suspect any graph drawn would look something like a picture of the Milky Way, a picture made of a mosaic of photographs, except large swaths of photographs would be black because the photographer went on vacation. 

Fractal Tree

Then again it might just look like the root of a plant, it just continually reaches out and forks.

P.S. Titling this post 'Web' brought to mind the phrase 'web of lies', and I thought that surely someone had made a movie about the web of lies engulfing our country, but all I found was some lame computer hacker movie and a TV series about interpersonal disasters.

P.P.S. Sorry about the background on the Fractal Tree. Usually that comes from some kind of vector image and disappears when you post it. I think this one had a conventional picture image suffix like .png or .jpg and that's why the checkerboard didn't disappear. Maybe it will disappear when this gets posted, but I doubt it.

Amish Tow Truck

Brabant mares pull truck out.
Legacy Horse Logging Brabant Horses

Inspired by Knuckledraggin My Life Away


A street in Douma, east of DamascusSyria, 2015

Syria is a mess. Haven't heard anything coherent for a while. Oh, there's a bits a pieces, but seldom do I see an overall picture of the situation, well, at least one short enough for my limited attention span. I'm not going to spend hours digging into it mostly because I am not that curious. However, I am a little curious and today I found this succinct summary of the situation on Gatestone Institute.

Excerpt from Syria: Geopolitical Tragedy by Amir Taheri:

The tragedy that has claimed almost half a million lives and made nearly half of the population refugees or displaced persons wasn't caused by a defective constitution and won't be concluded with a constitution dreamed by Pedersen and his associates.

The truth is that Syria has ceased to have effective existence as a nation-state. At the same time, however, it cannot be regarded as a classical "ungoverned territory" because different chunks of it are under some measure of governance by foreign powers and their local surrogates and allies.

That makes Syria a complex geopolitical problem that cannot be solved with pie-in-the-sky legalistic gambits.

Today, Syrian territory is under some measure of control by five different players.

One segment is run by Russia, partly through private security companies, with the remnants of President Bashar al-Assad's regime as its local façade. Another segment is controlled by Turkey and its local Muslim Brotherhood allies. The United States and some NATO allies control a third segment with support from local ethnic Kurds. The Islamic Republic of Iran and its Afghan, Pakistani, Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese "foreign legions" control a fourth chunk. The last chunk is held by the remnants of the ISIS and former foes turned allies among anti-Assad groups.

. . .

Amir Taheri was the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. 

The Islamic Revolution in Iran happened in 1978, which probably explains why Amir stopped being the editor-in-chief.

Half a million lives is a considerable loss. That's almost 3% of the population.

I wonder if cutting the country up into five smaller fiefdoms might help. The old English guy's video on multiculturalism kind of explains why Assad was such a hard ass - it was the only way he could hold the country together. Not quite sure what happened. Was it ISIS or some other outside power that upset the apple cart, or did he suddenly become soft? Not that it matters now. Right now it is a battlefield for a proxy war between the USA and Russia, not that we'll ever admit it.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

L-70 anti-aircraft guns

L-70 anti-aircraft gun

Talks between India and China have broken down and two are preparing for a high altitude fight. India has upgraded their L-70 anti-aircraft gun to be able to shoot down drones. The L-70 is basically the same Bofors 40mm gun that has been in use since the 1930s. What got my attention is that it can shoot 300 rounds per minute. Actually it is extremely unlikely that it could keep that up that rate for more than a few seconds. Shells come in clips of five which are loaded by hand. You would need a well trained crew to keep that thing fed if it was firing continuously. And if you did manage to fire for more than a few seconds, overheating the barrel would become a problem. A better measure would be five rounds per second. If you can't hit a drone with five rounds, more is not going to help. I looked for a video, but I did not find a good one. Here's a good pic.

P.S. Google read my mind and served up this video on YouTube. It's pretty good.

Naval Legends: Bofors | World of Warships
World of Warships Official Channel

First Berlin Air Raid

The First Berlin Raid - A Forgotten Allied Mission
Mark Felton Productions
Video begins with an ad. Story begins at 1:10

Shortly after WW2 began for France, after the Germans had started their invasion and the Dunkirk disaster was unfolding, but before France capitulated, France sent an antiquated bomber to attack Berlin. 

Battle of Dunkirk  26 May –  4 June 1940
Berlin Air Raid              7 June 1940
Battle of France   10 May – 25 June 1940

It didn't accomplish much on the war fighting scale, it was a moral booster, much like Doolittle's raid on Tokyo was for America. 

Farman F223.4 'Jules Verne' over Berlin - Roy Grinell

This was the best picture I could find of this airplane, all the others are black and white and pretty blase.
It was a very large aircraft, especially for its time. Wingspan was 117 feet, bigger than both the Lancaster and the B-17. These two photos show its size.

Farman 223 and crew - AMMAC du Fumclois

Bomber Farman F.221

Berlin Air Raid Route

The route they followed was just nuts. The total distance was over 2,000 miles and would have taken them 12 hours to complete.

On Multiculturalism

The Perils and Pitfalls of Multiculturalism
History Debunked

The guy in the video didn't sit well with me. I suppose it's his manner of speaking, too soft spoken, too squishy sounding, not forthright and positive like the technical people I usually post. But his message is worth listening to.

Via The Unwanted Blog, who had some cogent things to say:
Next time someone trots out “diversity is our strength” with regards to multiculturalism, keep in mind the history of truly multicultural societies such as India, Lebanon and Yugoslavia. The way to maintain peace and stability in a multicultural society is with totalitarianism, so it is safe – and wise – to assume that anyone who is promoting multiculturalism is also promoting their ability to bash you over the back of the head whenever they feel like it.
Anyone who argues against immigrants assimilating into the cultures they’ve willingly immigrated into is arguing for genocide.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Navion Over Mount Rushmore

North American Navion over Mt. Rushmore

Kind of a cool shot with Mt. Rushmore in the background. The Navion was built by a succession of companies starting with North American in 1946 and ending with Navion Aircraft Company in 1962. 2600 were built. Some went to the military, but most went to private customers. Presumably most are still flying.

New Wood Roof for PDX

PDX Terminal's new wood roof under construction - Jonathan House

The crown jewel of the Portland International Airport's massive $2 billion expansion is the upcoming mass timber roof for the main terminal. - Business Tribune
It will be big and impressive and may even become a landmark, though I don't know if it the outside will be noticeable.


Zephyr S taking off - Airbus

Airbus has developed an unmanned drone for surveillance and communications. As you can see from the picture the thing is big, the wingspan is 92 feet. Thanks to modern materials it only weighs 150 pounds, and 50 of those are the battery pact. Yes, it's electric powered. 

Okay, that's all very cute, but what rates a mention here on this super exclusive blog is it's capabilities. It just completed two flights of 18 days each flying over Arizona at an altitude of 76,000 feet. That's U-2 territory.

The Perlan glider also reached an altitude of 76,000 feet, but they had to go to Argentina where they could catch a lift from the winds over the Andes mountains.

This drone looks to fill the same role as the balloons in Project Loon.

Let's Go Racing


Ira Sidorkova

Ira is an up and coming race car driver from Russia. She has been competing in the W Series, an all-female single-seater racing championship. She's in the news because she needed a Visa to compete in a race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and the State Department denied her application. You don't suppose that's because the Bidens are in bed with Ukraine, do you?

Anyway, cute girl, racing cars with Alfa Romeo engines. Very cool.

Ira Sidorkova Racing

Ira is real, and she drives real race cars on real race courses. However, this picture might not be real, it might be from a computer video game, which seems to be a big deal these days. The only pictures I found of the real car did not have her name emblazoned on the side like this one does.

Martian Sky

Martian Sky

Once you get outside of the Earth's atmosphere, the view of space becomes mucho bettero, as the Hubble has demonstrated. I'll be curious to see what kind of strange new worlds we will discover once the James Webb Telescope gets going.

I Love L.A.

Starcrawler - I Love LA

In Pass Tents, Peachy Keenan explains the exploding number of homeless people on our city streets. Her (I think it's a her, but I could be wrong, that's just the feeling I got from the reading the article) explanation is the first one I've heard that makes any kind of sense. This excerpt gets to the root cause of the problem.

The New Meth

There is a simple explanation for the dramatic increase in homeless zombies in our cities: It’s the meth, stupid. You won’t hear this from anyone who gets paid to “solve homelessness.”

But this is not your grandfather’s meth. It still all comes from Mexico, our “friend” to the south. But this new meth is not the form made from ephedrine, the “party” meth, which got regulated into oblivion and could never be made in large enough quantities to wreak too much havoc anyway. Since then, the Mexican cartels figured out how to make meth with other chemicals. It’s called “P2P meth,” for the phenyl-2-propanone precursor, and it’s the kind you see in Breaking Bad. This stuff is put together with a poisonous brew of easy to source industrial chemicals — no pilfered cough syrup needed.

The problem is that P2P meth has the unfortunate side effect of causing schizophrenia. Oops!

Reporter Sam Quinones has written for years on the meth situation, and he explained what P2P meth does in a recent podcast: “it turns people schizophrenic, paranoid, [with] horrible hallucinations–cheetahs coming out of the walls, the government inside my brain, people unable to speak…incapable of basically living in a regulated society.”

The new meth doesn’t keep you dancing at the party. This meth turns you inward—into a cozy little tent. Quinones debunks the homeless-as-housing-crisis myth. “The tents and meth almost go together like hand in glove. You want to be in a tent because the tent is where you can just be alone. You don’t have to be around everybody else. These encampments are a direct result of that. People view these tents as benevolent things, as keeping people from the cold weather…but they are simply enabling spaces for folks with horrible psychiatric problems created by this staggeringly, potent and prevalent methamphetamine that’s coming out of the Mexican trafficking world.”

Add in a few grains of Chinese-supplied fentanyl, which enters Mexico in huge quantities via ship at the Pacific ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo, and you get Mexican-made P2P schizo meth that’s also insanely addictive. You go from your house in the suburbs to a tent on the street—after just a few hits.

This is not a housing crisis.

She also talks about all the sleazy politics involved and offers a possible solution. Her solution sounds like pie in the sky until you remember the zillions of dollars that have already been dumped on this problem.

If you want to go a little deeper, I would say our foreign policy in regards to Mexico and China is the cause of most of our problems. Nixon's opening of China may have helped the Chinese climb out of the hole they were in, but our lack of tariffs has destroyed our industrial base and put zillions of American's out of work. What do you do when you have nothing to do? You look around for a way to kill time, and nothing kills time better than drugs, which is why America has such a huge appetite for drugs. I don't know why Mexico is so fucked up, but I suspect our foreign policy had something to do with it. Or maybe we were too concerned with the really bad crazies in Asia and just couldn't be bothered with our own backyard since it didn't seem to be an imminent threat.

Note on the video: Peachy references Randy Newman's song, which is completely different than Starcrawler's. Starcrawlers version is just a tad sarcastic, which I think suits this discussion better. Plus I really like the tune. And the intro. Teenagers are just great.

Via Bayou Renaissance Man

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Is there a lesson here?

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a long speech at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi. RT has the story. These bits jumped out at me:

‘Monstrous’ newspeak about gender in the West

“Those who risk saying that men and women still exist, and that this is a biological fact, are virtually ostracized” in the West, Putin said, calling the situation “a total phantasmagoria.” . . . 

He added that the situation reminded him of the ‘newspeak’ invented by “Soviet culture-warriors” in the 1920s, in hopes of redefining people’s values and creating a new sense of consciousness.

Cancel culture and reverse racism

Another Western practice that reminded Putin of the early Soviet days was the push for “social justice” through affirmative action and cancel culture.

“The fight against racism is a necessary and noble cause, but in the modern ‘cancel culture’ it turns into reverse discrimination, reverse racism,” Putin said. “We see with bemusement the process unfolding in countries that have grown accustomed to viewing themselves as flagships of progress.”

"It is with puzzlement that in the West today we see practices that Russia has left in the distant past."

What ‘conservatism’ means in Russia

Asked if such views made him a conservative, Putin quoted the Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev – exiled from the USSR and died in France in 1948 – who said that “Conservatism is not something that prevents you from going up and forward, but something that prevents you from going back and down into chaos."

Wikipedia has an article about Nikolai Berdyaev.


USS Macon

Tom Lovell ( 1909 – 1997, American)- The crash of the airship USS Macon (ZRS-5)

The Macon crashed into the sea off Point Sur, California in 1935. I'm not sure why this picture captured my interest. Perhaps because pictures the wreck of the Hindenburg are the only ones I have seen.

A depiction of the crash by artist Noel Sickles was the first piece of art sent over the wire by the Associated Press.
Artist Noel Sickles’ illustration of the crash

The 1930s must of been heady times.

Tom Lovell and Noel Sickles were both accomplished artists. Muddy Colors has a nice collection of Tom's work, and there is a page on Flickr of Noel's work.

Via daily timewaster

I Like It Like That

I Like It Like That
Pete Rodriguez

I'm at the new house puttering away and I hear this tune coming out of the work soundbox and I say "I know that tune", and here we are.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Milling Machine Move

Dennis, Osmany, Jack and the milling machine on the drop bed trailer

Jack has a small, bench top milling machine. He's had it for a long time, long enough for him to become familiar with its shortcomings, shortcomings that make doing any kind of precision work a bit of an ordeal. So he looked around and found a much larger, floor based machine for sale a few miles away. Now all he has to do is move it across town and into his garage. This is going to be a bit of a trick because the machine weighs pert near 4,000 pounds.

Jack prepared for this event by reserving a drop bed trailer, borrowing a pallet Jack from our fellow gearhead Marc, assembling a selection of heavy duty do-dads and gee-gaws that looked like they might prove useful, and getting a number of friends to sign on to help.

Come the day of, I'm feeling poorly, seems something I ate is disagreeing with me, so I don't go, not that I would be much help, stove up like I am. But around noon, I get a call from Jack telling me that while he is all set, none of the other folks showed up either. I might be useless, but I have Osmany and I dragoon him into helping. Good thing too, I don't know if we would have been able to get the job done without him.

We drive to the pick up spot and at first we don't see Jack's truck because he has driven up the narrow ass driveway to the back of the house. It's 100 feet from the street to the back fence, and Jack is right up against that fence. The milling machine is sitting in an oversize two car garage. A path has been cleared across the floor. The floor and the driveway are concrete and in excellent condition. All we have to do is get the mill up on the pallet jack and we can roll it out and onto the trailer.

The first problem is to get the mill away from the wall. We don't make much progress until we learn that the concrete footer protrudes a good six inches above the floor.  With some wood blocks (cribbing) and a six foot steel pry bar, we (Osmany) are able to move it a foot or so away from the wall.

Now we commence jacking it up. We do this one corner at a time, 3/4" at a time. Lift the corner with the pry bar, slide in a wood block. Lifting up one corner also lifts the other corner on the same side, but we have our boards underneath the front and rear edge of the machine to give us enough space to slide the pallet jack in between them. Coming in from the front would not give us as much overlap over the tines. We don't want this thing tipping over or sliding off the pallet jack. Coming in from the side will give us the most overlap. Just tipping the base of this thing 3/4" is scary enough as it is. We repeat this like four times for each corner and now the machine is sitting 3" in the air, high enough to slide the pallet jack in.

We roll it out of the garage and now we are looking at a maybe 2" high rounded curb that we need to cross. Somebody thought a piece of 3/4" plywood would give us enough of a step to be able to get over the curb, but after jacking this thing up and rolling it out the door, we have a much better appreciation of how much mass we are dealing with. We don't even attempt to scale the plywood.

If Jack had backed the truck in, the curb would not be an issue. Jack tried several times to back in without success and he eventually gave up and drove in forwards. Now I get the big idea to unhook the trailer and wheel it out of the way so we can back the truck out. Backing the truck in without a trailer should be a cinch, and we should be able to reconnect the trailer easily enough and then we'd be golden. Hah.

Block the trailer wheels, disconnect the safety chains and wires and start spinning the handle on the trailer tongue jack. This goes on for while and eventually I come to the end, but the foot still hasn't reached the ground. I say it's done, but Jack is sure it will go farther, after all he remembers the guy at the rental yard pulling a pin out of a hole in the jack and that hole has not appeared yet, so there must be more to go. So we put Osmany on the crank. He gives it a turn and the jack breaks and the handle now spins freely.  Wonderful. We spend half an hour dismounting the jack and attempting to repair it, unsuccessfully.

We borrow a hydraulic jack and continue trying to disconnect the trailer. Everything is loose, but the hitch won't come loose from the ball. Jacking up the trailer simple lifts the back end of the truck. There must be some tension in the hitch, but we are unable to relieve it. It was baffling. I suppose we are getting tired.

Okay, nothing for it but to back the truck and trailer back down the driveway and for reason I get appointed. The driveway itself is fine, maybe ten feet wide, but we have the house right up against one side with several utility protrusions. On the other side is a one foot tall concrete curb and I get to back Jack's new truck and the new rental trailer down this gauntlet. No fun at all, but with a dozen or so back and forths, I get it done. Now we need to back the trailer up the driveway. Fortunately we realize that we only need to go as far as the front of the house as the driveway is nearly flat to the point. I go back and forth a couple of dozen times, but I've exhausted my trailer backing skill supply. We turn it over to Osmany. He has almost as much trouble as I did, but he eventually gets it lined up. 

I used to deal with trailers on a regular basis 50 years ago and my younger self would have had no trouble with this. But my experience soured me on trailers and I had successfully avoided them until today. I just hope it doesn't happen again.

Now that we have the trailer in position we easily roll the mill down the driveway and on board the trailer. Tie it down and away we go. Osmany and I are following Jack and Dennis back to Jack's house and I realize I am missing my gloves. No big loss, they are pretty old and raggedy. We get to Jack's and there are my gloves sitting on the fender of the trailer. Surprised to see them we surmise that I put them there and they sat there for the whole trip back to Jack's. No, that's not the case, I left them in Jack's truck and he set them on the fender when he got home.

Jack crosses his driveway and then backs up maybe six feet till the end of the trailer crosses the edge of the driveway. From there it's simple matter to roll the mill into his garage. Having a concrete driveway helps. Now we just have to repeat the jacking process in reverse until the mill is on the floor, then we can celebrate with a glass of Old Crow.

Zuckerberg vs Trump

Donald Trump (left) & Marc Zuckerberg (right)

The New York Post has a column about Rigged, a new book by Mollie Hemingway, that lays out how Mark Zuckerberg's money funded a well organized effort to defeat Donald Trump in the last presidential election. Joe Biden getting elected was just a side effect. If the Republicans want to win the next presidential election, they are going to have to up their game. It would be nice if they could find someone who wasn't quite so abrasive as Donald, but I'm not holding my breath.

Via Knuckledraggin My Life Away

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Quote of the Day

1967 plumes of industrial waste flow in the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie

Tam does it again:

Wrecking civility is just a byproduct...

...of big companies generating revenue, much like the toxic effluvium from a very productive factory running into the river, back in the Good Old Days!

Remember, social media tends to reinforce bubbles in the interest of promoting engagement and increased screen time (and therefore exposure to advertising.)
Turning people into hateful shitheads raging in echo chambers is just a side effect.

Smoke (coming from your ears) means progress!


Monday, October 18, 2021

Ferguson TO-20 Farm Tractor

Ferguson tractor, old commercial

The ad is for the Ferguson TE-20 tractor. It was made in England from 1946-1948. They made the very similar TO-20 in the USA in 1948-1951. We had one that looked just like it on our farm in Ohio back in the late 1960-s. Using the three point hitch to jack up the tractor looks like a neat trick. Now that I've seen it done, I vaguely remember that there was some kind of widget made of steel tubing there on the farm, but we never figured out what it was for.

Antonov AN-225 Mriya

Antonov AN-225 Mriya
Linz, Austria
The AN-225 gets around.


77 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Classical Porn

Vienna strips on OnlyFans

I don't think this needs much comment, it's pretty self explanatory.
The Vienna Tourist Board has just opened an account on OnlyFans, saying that the platform, mainly known for adult content, remained the only place where nude artworks from the city’s museums could get “the freedom they deserve.”
The Austrian capital is “home to some of the world’s most famous artworks, many containing nudity. The most prominent social networks have policies in place that ban or censor such works,” the tourist board explained. - RT

Young vs Old - Economic Warfare


Found a great column about our current economic situation on ZeroHedge:

Hedge Fund CIO: The Old And The Young Are Set For A "Terrifying, Agonizing" Battle by Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management.

Here is an excerpt:


There are two good things about being young and broke. The best part of course, is that you are not old. But you also have little to lose. And that is liberating for a person with decades to recover from taking risk in ventures that might fail.

Having a large group of such youth is an invaluable asset for the older citizens supported by their innovations and output. But powerful forces, if improperly managed, create havoc. So all successful societies strike a healthy balance between the competing desires of old and young. Nations that favor the former to the detriment of the latter suffer upheaval. This is roughly where we are now - nor are such dynamics limited to the US. And they are amplified by a world with a rising proportion of unproductive elderly.

Our youth, in a system they increasingly recognize as profoundly unfair and biased against their interests, are doing as they should: advocating for vast spending programs to build a green infrastructure and social system that reflects their priorities, unconcerned by the resulting inflation that will erode the wealth of their elders.

With powerful new blockchain technologies, many are building businesses to bankrupt their parent’s incumbent industries whose lobbyists calcify what our youth see as an unjust status quo. They are fleeing high tax states with bankrupt entitlement systems, for cities like Austin which they then remake in their image. As elderly gold owners writhe in portfolio pain, confused why the price of yellow metal is falling with inflation rising, our young people look to the digital future, buying bitcoin, ether. Solana. NFTs.

And as investors, our job is to recognize such trends, capitalizing on the opportunities they create, mitigating the risks such periods of upheaval produce. And in this new world, transitioning from old to young, unsettling inversions emerge. The strategies we previously turned to for safety have become risky. While unfamiliar investments that at first appear risky, provide safety.

Most of what I find on ZeroHedge appears to be technical market analysis which I just skip over. Those kind of articles are loaded with jargon, unexplained acronyms, complicated charts with illegible legends. They might be useful for some people, but they are just so much gibberish to me. But sometimes good stories like this one get posted there as well.


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Where no Star Trek actor has gone before

Captain Kirk in his natural element


FOBS vs ICBM RADAR Detection

The Unwanted Blog has a post up about Chinese FOBS (Fractional Orbital Bombardment Systems) that might keep you up at night, that is, if end-of-world, apocalyptic destruction is something you worry about. I tend to leave those kind of worries to the professionals in the defense department. It is a little worrisome when we have a clown show that is purported to be in charge, but I suspect that the fools we see and hear are only a thin layer of icing on a very substantial cake. I think they will be scraped off and tossed in the garbage sometime in the next few years. I like to think that the cake is substantial and will not be affected by the idiocy in the icing. Yes, I may be delusional.

Anyway, somehow I never considered that ICBMs (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles) flew so much higher than a LEO (Low Earth Orbit), so this picture was illuminating.

Noise, Vibration and Harshness

EV Swapping Your Car Will Make It Louder. Here's How To Fix It.

To start, Matt talks about the noise level in electric cars versus standard cars, stuff that I had never considered but is now obvious now that Matt has told me about it. The bulk of the video is him installing sound deadening material in his ancient Jaguar that he is converting to electric power.

Donald versus Hitler

Spike Jones - Der Fuehrer's Face

No, not Trump, we're talking about the Duck. This was a runaway hit in 1942. I surmise it was in 1942 because the movie (a Donald Duck cartoon) was released in 1943, and the name of the movie was changed because the tune was such a hit. Wikipedia article here.


RAF Vulcan Bomber & ground crew, back in the day

Because I recently put up a post about the Vulcan.

via daily timewaster

Lucy Probe Launched

Lucy mission trajectory from multiple angles
NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

The $1 billion Lucy probe was launched yesterday. It is on a 12 year mission to visit a bunch of asteroids. It might learn something, but for me the most interesting part is the trajectory and the navigation. In the above video, looking at the right hand side of the screen, the green dot orbiting close to the sun is the Earth, while the brown dot sitting at the bottom of the screen is Jupiter, so we are watching the probe's travels from the frame of Jupiter. 

I counted 11 and a half orbits of Earth. Jupiter's orbital period is 12 years, so this whole frame should have rotated once, which would have added one more orbit to Earth's count.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Idiots in Charge

High stakes gamble (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Richard Fernandez has a fine column over at PJ Media about the woes besetting the Democrats. I would quote the whole thing, but it's late and I'm tired. Instead I'll just include this short quote he uses. It's from Robert A. Heinlein (famous science fiction author. I hope you have heard of him.):

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”



Argentine Tango danced by Anthony Dexter and Patricia Medina in Valentino (1951)
The Ultimate Movies Broadcast Show

I found the introduction a bit curious:

"In honor of your birthday Mr. Towers, allow me to present my conception of a prologue to the four horsemen of the apocalypse."

Just what does that mean anyway? 

Reminds me of Apache dancing.

Via daily timewaster

Martin Mars

Hawaii Mars

Martin JRM Mars flying boats were developed during WW2 as cargo planes for the Navy. The JR in JRM is just a Navy code for Utility-Transport Aircraft, so JRM just means JR - Mars. Only seven were made. The six production aircraft were all named after Pacific Ocean island chains. The Navy retired them in 1956. Coulson still has two of them at their base on Vancouver Island, 80 miles due west of the city of Vancouver.

The Martin Mars is a very large airplane. Just how big is it? Here's a comparison with a couple others from the same era:

Comparison of Martin Mars, Convair Peacemaker & Spruce Goose
(that little triangle in the lower left corner is part of the Hindenburg)