Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

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

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Erwin Böhme - Lucky Man

Albatros C.III flown by Ltn. Erwin Böhme over the Eastern Front in 1916Jerry Boucher

This jigsaw puzzle was not too tough in spite of being 300 pieces. It was easy enough to assemble the edge and the airplane. The fields of cloud and sky were made simpler by having gradations of color that were easy to match.

What about the subject of this painting? Wikipedia knows:

The Albatros C.III was a German two-seat general-purpose biplane of World War I, built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke. The C.III was a refined version of the successful Albatros C.I and was eventually produced in greater numbers than any other C-type Albatros.

The C.III was superseded by the D.I, D.II and D.III.

And the pilot? Well, this guy was like the German Paul Bunyan:

Erwin Böhme (29 July 1879 – 29 November 1917) was a German World War I fighter ace credited with 24 aerial victories. He was born in Holzminden on 28 July 1879. Both studious and athletic, he became a champion swimmer, proficient ice skater, and expert skier, as well as an alpinist. After serving his mandated military service in 1899, and earning a civil engineering degree, he moved to Switzerland for three years of mountaineering.

He became interested in Africa. Walking solo, he crossed the Alps southward to Italy; there he took ship for German East Africa. From 1908 to 1914, Böhme completed a six-year employment contract on a timber plantation in Tanganyika where he oversaw construction of the Usambara Railway to export raw cedar timber to the Hubertus Mill in Germany. In July 1914, contract ended, Böhme sailed to Europe for an alpine holiday. He disembarked into World War I. Despite being 35 years old, he immediately returned to his old infantry unit, then trained as a pilot.

After serving in a bomber unit, he was transferred to Germany's first fighter squadron Jagdstaffel 2. During Böhme's combat career, he was a friend and eventual subordinate to Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. He was also friend, subordinate, and wingman to Germany's leading ace of the time, Oswald Boelcke. Böhme was inadvertently responsible for Boelcke's death on 28 October 1916. Although haunted by guilt, Böhme carried on, becoming a 24 victory ace (and a squadron leader). He also found heart for courtship via correspondence.

Erwin Böhme was killed in action on 29 November 1917, a month after his betrothal, while leading his squadron into combat. He died five days after receiving notice that he had won the German Empire's highest award for valor, the Pour le Merite. In 1930, his edited collected letters were published as Letters From a German Fighter Pilot to a Young Maiden.

Walked across the Alps and built a railroad in Africa before becoming a WW1 Ace. Quit the dude.

Africa Railways - Deutsch Ost Afrika (Usambara Eisenbahn) 0-4-4-0 mallet type steam locomotive (Arnold Jung 414-418 / 1900) and mixed train (vintage postcard)

The Usambara Railway is still in business.

Usambara Railway

Smart, capable and strong, but that didn't save him.

Lucky Man (2012 Stereo Mix)
Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Rough Diamonds | Netflix Official Trailer | English | Series & Documentary

We've got an old, orthodox Jewish family of successful diamond traders living in Amsterdam. One of the sons (Yanki) develops a gambling problem and starts making secret deals to cover his losses. This goes on until he makes a deal with the Albanians who decide they don't want to pay him. This precipitates a family crisis, severe enough to drag back the estranged son, Noah, from London. Noah's boss, Kerra, is hounding him to get back to London to take care of business. And what kind of business is that, you might ask. Distributing illegal drugs of course. Which they are buying from the Albanians and paying them with rough cut diamonds. Meanwhile, the cops have tripped over this business of paying for drugs with diamonds and start snooping around. Mean-meanwhile, the Albanians are never satisfied, they want more diamonds and Kerra wants more drugs so Noah piles one deal on top of another. Plus his ex-girlfriend is there confusing the issue. It's pretty great, but the way these deals are stacking up seems almost insupportable. Will it all come crashing down, or will they manage to hang on long enough for there to be a season two?

P. S. Isn't The Netherlands kind of a crummy name for a country? The nether regions has kind of a negative connotation. I like Holland much better.

The Laundry Room

The Laundry Room

The remodeling project has invaded our laundry room, so today we went to the laundromat.  I think this might be the first time I have been in one in over 40 years. Things have changed a bit. This one was brand new, full of big new, high-tech machines. As you might expect, they don't take quarters, you have to buy a card and then use the card to pay the machines. The washing machines charge by the pound. You load them up, close the door and then the machine weighs your laundry and decides how much to charge you. I think it charged us around five dollars a load. They were big loads, we'd been putting off going so we had a bunch. The dryers were much cheaper.

A phalanx of washing machines, yours to command.

While we were there a van pulled up and started unloading bags of laundry. The whole back of the van was packed. It seemed to be mostly bedding. They were from a homeless shelter. They dropped off the laundry and left it for the attendant to take care of it. $1.75 a pound and they might have had 100 pounds. I'm not sure what to make of this.

Lenco Transmission

Lenco Transmission

Haven't run into these transmissions before. I have seen images of cars with multiple shift levers like we have here, but there was never any explanation of why that might be.

Lenco Transmissions are different. They are manually shifted, but internally they use planetary gear sets like a conventional automatic transmission for an automobile. The other thing is that a complete transmission is composed of several individual two-speed transmission stacked end on end. Pick the ratios you want and bolt your selected units together to make your own custom transmission. 

They seem to have gotten started building transmissions for top fuel dragsters. They were rated for 3500 HP. They are moderately expensive, I'm guessing several times as much as a stock unit. I suppose if you are racing having one of these transmissions would seem like a good idea.

* for some value of famous.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Battersea Power Station Phase 3

Battersea Power Station Phase 3

This jigsaw puzzle got me started. It was pretty tough. The edges and the blue sky were easy, but the rest of it was very tedious.  You might be able to see why. I tried sorting the pieces by their shape but that didn't really help. I finally resorted to just going through the pieces one by one and seeing if I could find a place that it would fit.

The puzzle's title - Nine Elms, London - didn't really help. Google's image search identified it and now we have more pictures of this major London redevelopment project than you can shake a stick at. Here are a few:

Central London Landmarks
Battersea Power Station Project in the foreground

This is a great view, click to embiggenate.

Battersea Power Station Project, view from the Northeast

Rendering of a apartment building similar to the one at top

Eastern aspect of Battersea Power Station Phase 3 proposal

It's an unusual building, which I suppose is the whole point. Once you move in, it's probably just like any other apartment building, except you get to tell people that you live in the Battersea complex and maybe they'll be impressed. I know I would be, much as I would hate to admit it. Criminently, it's just another apartment building. Did you really need to go all Salvador Dali on it? Sorry, I should give credit where it's due: Did you really need to go all Frank Gehry on it? I mean, I guess it's okay for people who have more money than sense. It puts more craftsmen to work than a conventional project would, and if the new owners are paying for it, that's good. I suspect a fair amount is somehow being paid for by taxes. How well that will work out for the taxpayers is anybody's guess.

Davies & Davies

Supertramp - The Logical Song (Official 4K Video)

Supertramp always confused me. When they showed in the late 70's there were a bunch of super groups around, or maybe the media just used the term frequently. So what is this Super tramp? Is this just another super group? I never got an answer.

So today I come across them somewhere, so I looked them up. Turns out they were a proper band with a relatively fixed set of members. Never knew any of the names before but now we know the leader was Rick Davies. Wait a minute, Davies? Wasn't there a Davies in The Kinks? Yes, but it was a different Davies, Ray Davies, not to put too fine a point on it.

Both English and both born in the summer of 1944.

Spider Radio Broadcast

I'm reading A Deepness In The Sky by Vernor Vinge. On page 270 we are visiting a radio broadcast studio on the spider's home planet for the purpose of watching a live discussion, and this paragraph jumps out at me:

They all knew where that was, but they followed obediently along, listening to her unending gush. None of them really knew what Madame Subtrime thought of them. Jirlib claimed that she was no fool, that under all the words lurked a cold counter of cash. "She know's to the tenth-penny how much she can earn for the old cobbers by outraging the public." Maybe, but Viki liked her even so, and even forgave her shrill and foolish talk. Too many people were so stuck in their beliefs that nothing would bend them.

Golly gee, it seems like the spider's have been invaded by the virus of the two party system.


McMenamins Kennedy School

We went to a McMenamins to meet some out-of-town friends today, and then we got to go to another one because someone got their signals crossed. That wouldn't be the girls, would it? Don't look at me, I didn't say anything. It was fine though, we got to visit two different restaurants we hadn't been to before and one (McMenamins on the Columbia) was across the river in Vancouver. I haven't been across the river in a coon's age so that was exciting.

McMenamins on the Columbia

I avoid going to Vancouver because there are only two bridges across the river and the traffic varies from extremely heavy to horrendous. Besides, I have everything I need right here: beer, cookies and an internet connection. I don't need to go anywhere.

Since it was lunchtime, the traffic was only heavy, not horrendous. The only really bad part of today's trip is the intersection where MLK (Martin Luther King) joins I-5.

MLK and I-5 Intersection
Blue line is my route

Truck traffic from North Marine Drive comes in from the top left, turns right onto the cloverleaf that leads to I-5 North. At the top of the loop, the ramp from MLK dumps you right into the middle of this traffic with no merge lane. I managed to slip in between two trucks, though I may have given the following truck a heart attack. I dunno who designed this monstrosity, but they should get the Eldritch Horror of Year Award.


I've been lying low since last Wednesday's incident and my hip joint has apparently recovered. I was worried there for a couple of days that maybe I had done some real damage, but apparently not. As a bonus I tripped over the Peloton in the dark and fell down. That didn't seem to bother my hip at all, so that's good. My foot is now all kinds of technicolor. It's is a real conversation starter whenever I run into someone when I am not wearing my shoes, which is pretty much all the time now since it still hurts like a sum-bitch to put them on.

Monday, August 28, 2023

War Zone Homework

How a Transcarpathian schoolgirl quickly disassembles and assembles a machine gun.

Transcarpathia? Southwestern most region of Ukraine:

Zakarpattia Oblast

It's one thing if a girl wants to be a soldier or play with guns, and it's another if the enemy is attacking your country and your situation is desperate, but if you're getting drug into a shooting war by a bunch of lying jackholes who are only interested in the kickbacks they are getting from the defense industry, that's another case entirely.

Yuri Bezmenov

Jeff Bridges as The Dude from The Big Lebowski

I suspect the line in the above meme wasn't in the movie. It is a very grim thought, but who is this Bezmenov? Wikipedia knows:
Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov (1939 – 1993) was a Soviet journalist for Novosti Press Agency (APN) and a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada. . . . Bezmenov is best remembered for his anti-communist lectures and books published in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

. . . 

In 1984, he gave an interview to G. Edward Griffin, titled 'Soviet Subversion of the Free World Press'. In the interview, Bezmenov explained the methods used by the KGB for the gradual subversion of the political system of the United States:
The main emphasis of the KGB is not in the area of intelligence at all. Only about 15% of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage and such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion or active measures… or psychological warfare.

. . . 

Since his death, Bezmenov's "Soviet subversion model" has been studied and interpreted by faculty and staff at the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) to analyze historical events, including the decade-long Russian campaign that preceded the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.
. . . 
On August 19, 2020, Bezmenov's 1984 interview discussing active measures with a journalist G. Edward Griffin was used in the teaser for the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, in addition to its use in the main introduction on August 26.
Terms I was unfamiliar with:

PGU - First Chief Directorate of the KGB was the organization responsible for foreign operations and intelligence activities.

JSOU - Joint Special Operations University is 
USSCOM's (United States Special Operations Command) school for 
SOF (Special Operations Force).

Putin was in the KGB, so it's not difficult to imagine that he is still using the methods they were using in the old Soviet Union. And since we were fighting the Cold War against the Russkies for nearly 50 years, I can understand how a large number of people, especially in the government and the military have a deep rooted hatred for all things Russian.

Has Putin turned over a new leaf? Mmmm, I dunno about that, but things seem to be better in Russia now than they were. On the other hand things over here seem to be getting worse. It's almost like Joe and Vlad are becoming the same person.

Are my freedoms being restricted? Or is it that I have an aversion to dealing with morons? It's more comfortable sitting at home where I can control the inflow of digital information. I send most of it to the bit bucket, which is constantly overflowing. Every once in a while I carry it out into the backyard and dump it over the edge of the hill into the swamp. The swamp is thriving, so maybe that stew of discarded bits actually has some nutritional value.

Big Think has a good story about Yuri Bezmenov.

bike wreck, small

IAman reports:


Riding home after a delicious Sunday morning mcDonalds breakfast. I spun into macadam landing on my left knee resulting in 2.5 sq inches of road rash.


After a week of reminding myself of the hazards of biking in traffic.

ebiking, I pulled off Pacific highway thinking I was turning into a shortcut,  but no, it was the parking lot for a bottle drop.  Realizing my mistake I executed a 180 only to meet oncoming traffic,  I quickly executed a 270 at too slow of a speed resulting in a stall, not extending my leg fast  enough (age related)  I tumbled, landing primarily on my left outer knee. 

Getting up immediately, I check  for mobility,  thankfully no broken bones, The trauma shock wearing off,  the knee hurts.

A guy in a maxed out expedition Jeep asks if Im ok,  I wave him off witha "thanks, im ok".  He parks and comes over with his wife and a stocked medical kit.  Ointment,  gauze,  wrap  done.  "Thanks"  EJ and Pam were my saviours.

3 lessons:

    1. Act your age,  at 67 dont bicycle fancy maneuvers in unfamiliar areas packed with cars.
    2. Don't assume trauma victims are thinking straight
    3. keep a stocked medical kit, in the car

I straightened the bike, found a safe place to try a ride, then pedaled home.

<end of todays lesson>

Hmm, nice outcome considering bicycles and jeeps are natural enemies.

Jackson School Road

Meanwhile, the fancy road improvement project in my neighborhood has been completed for a while now. As you might expect, there are bike lanes. However, the bike lanes are not along the edge of the roadway, they are adjacent to the sidewalk with a strip of garden between them and the road. They aren't marked as such except where there are ramps onto the roadway. The sidewalks are a good six feet wide, wide enough to accommodate a walker and a bicycle.

I never see any bicycles using the sidewalks. Twice this summer (Twice!) I have seen bicycles riding in the roadway completely ignoring the ramps and the sidewalks. Dadburn commies! Maybe when school starts and kids start riding their bikes the sidewalk bike lanes will get more use.

Sunday, August 27, 2023


North American P-51 Mustang (N5528N)

North American P-51 Mustang

A couple of shots of the restored Thunderbird racing plane. Notes from photographer:

This P-51 C was restored to honor the P-51 Air Racer from 1949 that was Cobalt Blue & sponsored by Mobil Oil Co. with their Pegasus Horse Logo. Plane was named Thunderbird.

Interesting history how the original was owned at one time by Brig General Jimmy Stewart - WW2 B-24 pilot & superb actor.

Previous post with more info.

Château de Crussol

Château de Crussol by Élisabeth Fort-Simeon circa 1850

Flares into Darkness
 has posted a selection of paintings of castles. This one caught my eye, I suppose because of its position at the top of the cliff. Wikipedia tells us the site has been occupied since Roman times. The stone castle in the picture dates from the 12th century. 

The castle is halfway between Lyon and Avignon

Do not confuse Avignon with Agincourt. There were two sieges of Avignon, one in 737 and one in 1226, but it was Agincourt where the English soundly trounced the French. Agincourt is in northern France, not way down south like Avignon.

Red (2010) Official Trailer - Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman Action Movie HD

2010. I've probably seen this one before, but that's okay, it's still great because it's very funny. There are several scenes where the bad guys are laying down a barrage of fire from automatic weapons which is a little entertaining, but very dumb, but hey, it's a comedy, we aren't watching this to pick up hints on how to run an undercover operation, though you can pick up a few from the good guys.

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a retired CIA operative. He lives by himself in a nice middle class home in a nice middle class suburb, but he has no life. The only person he talks to is a woman in the government pension office with whom he has developed some kind of relationship. She tells him about the trashy romance novels she reads (they're awful, but she loves them) by Serena St. John, a totally fictitious author. Frank goes out and buys the same books and presumably reads them. And then the bad guys show up and we are off and running.

Sir Sly - High (Official Video)

From 2017. I really like the sound.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Who is Erin Carter? | Official Trailer | Netflix

We have a young woman who is a wife, mother and elementary school teacher. Pleasant and innocuous as the day is long until the bad guys show up and she's dropping them like flies. We've got at least three deaths in the first two episodes, maybe four, but I've kind of lost count. Great stuff. Now that I think about it, I think it was done in English.

The Lincoln Lawyer | Season 2 Part 1 Official Trailer | Netflix

Clever courtroom drama, high powered lawyer with a bevy of beauties chasing after him. Now that I think about it, we've got the same three lead characters that we had in Perry Mason: the hot shot attorney, his hyper competent secretary (Lorna played be Becki Newton) and his own private snoop (Cisco played by Angus Simpson). Elliot Gould also appears as David 'Legal' Siegel, AKA the voice of experience. Very entertaining.

Valentines Day

Heart of Guns

Very silly, but it made me smile.

How to Win the War on Rust

2019 Frontier Kingcab

The salt the highway departments spread on the roads during the winter in the Midwest causes motor vehicles to die an early death due to rust. What can you do to combat this insidious menace? You can do like Uniberp did and buy a used truck from Georgia. $30K via CarMax.

Beechcraft Premier 1

Beechcraft Premier 1

Kind of an unusual shape to the fuselage. The bulging bottom reminds me of cargo pods that are sometimes slung beneath Cessna Caravans. Wikipedia page here.

Friday, August 25, 2023

4 X 4 Suspension

Jeep JL ICON Suspension

I've been watching Matt's Off Road Recovery on YouTube for a while now and I am reminded of the amount of flex these vehicles need in order to get around when out crawling around on big rocks. The way you get flex is to remove the (anti)roll bars from the suspension. Problem then is that the vehicle leans heavily toward the outside when going around corners at speed. Second problem is the large twisting force applied to the vehicle when it goes over ground and the front axle has tilted one way to maintain contact with the ground, and the rear axle has tilted the other way for the same reasons.

Solution: mount one of those fancy shocks at each cornet and connect them via hydraulic or gas lines to each other. When one shock gets compressed, it sends gas to the other three shocks. The shock on the other end of the same axle uses it to extend the shock. The shock on the other axle, but on the same side of the vehicle also uses it to extend the shock. However, the third shock, the one diagonally opposite from our #1 example shock, uses the pressure to contract the shock, mirroring the action of the #1 shock.

Well, I think it's a great idea, but now I'm thinking I'm going to need to build one and try it out. I figure I'd buy an old jeep for maybe ten grand, and then hire a local 4 by 4 shop to install the pneumatic suspension. That'd probably cost another ten grand. And then you probably ought to double it because these things never go as planned.

What would help if I knew somebody who worked with suspensions for 4 by 4's on a daily basis, What would really help is my leg would stop complaining.

Previous post on the subject.


I feel like I am back to square zero. I started going for walks around the block, ten minutes, last Saturday. Everything seemed to be fine. Wednesday I am just finishing my walk, I'm about 100 yards from my house and my hip starts hurting. When I got back to the house it was hurting like it was before the joint replacement surgery. Two days later and it still hurts like a sum bitch. Fudge. 


Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh - Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Wherever there is strife, we are almost sure to find refugee camps. I hear about them intermittently, but usually from government agencies via commercial media. Today I came across a story on Aljazeera from a refugee from Burma (now called Myanmar by the military junta that seized power several years ago) who is now living in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. It gives you a different, i.e. an inside view of the situation.

by Maung Sawyeddollah, a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh

For six years, I have been stuck in an overcrowded refugee camp in Bangladesh with little hope for the future. Facebook helped create the conditions that got me here.

I suspect Zuckerberg is a bit of an idiot savant. Very good at creating his social media empire and keeping it running, but not fully aware of what kind of monster he has created, and he certainly isn't in control of it. I mean, who can control the monster of public opinion? You can try to influence it here and there, but there are liable to be unintended consequences. They just haven't come back to bit him on the ass yet.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

TDR-1 & WW2 TV

America's Secret WW2 Combat Drone That Bombed The Japanese | The TDR-1
Rex's Hanger

I'm watching this video and it all seems perfectly fine until he gets to the part about the TV. Wait a minute, TV cameras in remotely piloted drones? Yeah, okay, maybe in the 1950's, but in WW2? I think you're pulling my leg. But the video tells a pretty compelling tale. Anyway, the wormhole opened and I fell in.

WWII Military Television Development (Part 1)
InfoAge Science & History Museums

This video is kind of long. He does have a good line at 55 second mark:
'my actual boss gave me a magazine that had an article about television news, during world war two, to guide missiles. I'm saying guide missiles? I thought that was a black hole in time where television came out in 1939, the World's Fair, was introduced and then something it appeared again in the late 40s with, you know, Howdy Doody, you know how to do commercial television.'
There are also several video clips from WW2 shown in line with the video. They are of varying interest. Here they are spreadsheetified:

I could not format the time the way I wanted. If there were no hours involved, I just wanted to start with the minutes, but Google won't allow it. You can dispense with the leading number if it is zero, but you have to keep the leading colon. Stupid computer. Don't you know nuthin' about formatting time?

I like the hot rod they build to launch the GM Bug in the first clip. 100 MPH in 1500 feet. That's pretty good even today. Dual Cadillac engines, each one connected to a 'fluid flywheel'. In 1943.

Anyway, I think the deal was that we had a bunch of eggheads who were able to build these drones during WW2, but they didn't have enough clout to support a public relations department. I also suspect there just wasn't enough electrical engineering talent to go around. The mass of industry was still mechanical. The impetus of war probably enlarged the pool of engineering talent by tenfold before the war was over. More opportunities for more people meant more electrical engineers to work on screwball ideas like drones with TV cameras.

Here's some pics of the camera:

Block CameraNowak Archive

World War Two Airborne TV Camera

Courtesy of Richard Diehl

Airborne Television Camera CRV-59AAE

Sintra National Palace

Sintra National Palace

This place is old. From Wikipedia:
It is the best-preserved medieval royal residence in Portugal, being inhabited more or less continuously from at least the early 15th century to the late 19th century.
Google Maps 3D View

Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine

On account of I heard a snatch of it on another video this morning. One of my favorites.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME - Leave Me Alone (Official Music Video)

I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME has appeared here before. Funny I haven't seen this video before, I mean, it came out two years ago. Actually, that's not too surprising, all kinds of new tunes come out all the time and I seldom here about them until years after their initial release. I wonder if it had any impact on society when it was released. It would have been very timely two years ago. You don't suppose it was surpressed by the big stinkers hiding behind the curtain, do you?

Yeah, time for a little Wizard of Oz:

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.


I got to wondering if database management might be good application for AI (Artifical Intelligence). I mean if you had a big data base that you had been diligently collecting for years, you wouldn't want anything bad to happen to it. Menawhile of course you have to let the untold millions access to the database, either just to read, edit, or even add new entires.

Now we've been dealing with this for a while now, like decades, and if you count paper records, millenia, so I think we've probably got a pretty good handle on how to manage a database. You are going to keep a complete backup and add to it any changes anyone makes. You have to keep an eye on activity, just in case you get attacked. It's never good to get attacked, but it's worse when the system is busy. And you have to keep an eye on security. There are any number of ways of breaking into a computer database system, and not all of them involve using a keyboard.

We have algorithms to take care of all these issues, and you could write a master program to handle it all going so far as to send text messages to alert the boss that something weird is happening. Could artificial intelligence add anything to this mix? I'm not sure it would be a good application and if even if technically it was, I'm not sure we would want bag of bolts in charge of our most precious asset.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Pacific University

I read stories about screwball fights over allegations of sexual misconduct at colleges, but they are usually at schools on the East Coast, and everybody knows that the East Coast is a hive of perverts and villainy. That kind of shit doesn't happen here in my Northwest suburban paradise, except that, yeah, sometimes it does:

Jury tells Pacific University to pay nearly $4M to former student

Pacific University is in Forest Grove, a small town about 8 miles west of here.

Moto Guzzi Airone

Moto Guzzi Airone

250 cc, introduced in 1939, manufactured until 1957. Previous post about Moto Guzzi Airone

The Weapon That Smashed North Korea's Whole Plan

I don't much care for the narrator's ominous tone, but this video, at least, tells a pretty good story about the beginning of the Korean War. I didn't realize just how much territory the North had overrun before they were stopped. A good story? Make it a pretty amazing story: a ship with a big gun can defeat a horde of maniacs who don't have a big gun. Sounds kind of like the story of the British Empire.

ROKS Bak Du San (PC-501) being rearmed in Hawaii, March 1950
Link goes to Wikipedia page about the Battle of Korea Strait

The mast from the Bak Du San is now a memorial at the Korean Naval Academy.

South Korea. Busan is on the SE corner.
The long, thin island just offshore is the Japanese island Tsushima.
It sits in the middle of the Korean Strait, half way to the main Japanese island.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Star Trek (2009) Official Trailer - Chris Pine, Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana M...

Story of how the main characters of the franchise got started together on the U.S.S. Enterprise, so we've got younger actors mimicking the older originals, saying their same standard expressions. It was quite enjoyable.

The special effects were impressive, especially when it involved human scale situations. Clouds of debris from giant exploding star ships don't really give me any sense of what's going on, but then if everything is blown up, I don't suppose it matters much.

The monsters on ice planet Delta Vega are great. While Kirk is running from the first monster, a second, much larger monster erupts from the ice and attacks the first monster and then starts chasing Kirk. Kirk runs into an ice cave pursued by the monster where is saved, by who? The older version of Spock. Of course the older version is sitting in an ice cave on an ice planet just waiting for Kirk to show up. Of course he is. I mean what are the odds? Never mind that, we got a full heaping of action and adventure out of that sequence.

The drill that the evil Romulan deploys to drill a hole to the center of the Earth is pretty spectacular as well. While the ship is hovering above the planet, it lowers a thin device several kilometers long toward the planet. It then emits some kind of high energy beam to do the actual drilling. Well, the Romulans are doing it, so we need to stop it, so our boys jump out of a space ship, likewise hovering above the planet at an altitude of maybe 100 miles. With parachutes. Well, Felix did it from like a two dozen miles, so sure, in a couple hundred years jumping from outer space might be feasible.

Anyway, there's three guys on this team: Kirk, Chekov (because he has combat training), and a red shirt, and you just know the red shirt is going to bite the dust, and sure enough, he comes in too hot, muffs the landing and goes sailing off into oblivion. Naturally, there are bad guys hanging out at the business end of the drill and so we have fisticuffs. What kind of combat training does Chekov have? Fencing. Of course. Chekov pulls out his magic telescoping sword, and wouldn't you know it, the bad guy has a sword as well, we are treated to a swordfight.

Another standout scene was when Kirk and McCoy (Simon Pegg) transport onto the Enterprise. They show up in the water room. Kirk is in open air, but McCoy is inside a tank full of water. He promptly gets dumped into a giant, transparent pipe, so we get to see him getting flushed through the pipe with Kirk chasing him until Kirk locates and activates the emergency exit.

Show and Tell Tuesday

Implant Samples
Planks in the table top are six inches wide

IAman brought some samples of mechanical bits used to repair broken bones in people. I found the variety astounding. Of course, I'm used to dealing with ordinary nuts and bolts, not imaginary stuff from a different galaxy.


I walked around the block today, third day in a row. Takes about ten minutes. My daughter says I haven't done it in a couple of years. I don't recall. I do remember talking to my wife around Christmas that my leg was getting worse and I should probably do something about it, and then for the next six months it got progressively worse to the point that walking out to the truck parked out on the street was an expedition. Anyway, the new hip joint seems to be working.


There has been some talk in the blog-o-sphere about jobs and pay [View From The Porch, for example]. Some people are of the opinion that there are plenty of good-paying jobs out there if these complainers would just apply themselves.

It's now reached the point that a first-class, middle-class lifestyle in America requires pert near $200K a year. It wasn't too long ago that I was thinking that it 'only' required $100K per year.

I heard some fool on the internet saying that UPS drivers are now making $50 an hour. I was doubtful, but now I'm not so sure. From where I sit, they seem to be only ones in the world who are doing anything at all.

Problem with all those good-paying jobs out there is they require a certain amount of mechanical aptitude and they require a certain amount of dedication. I'm guessing that only about ten percent of the population has the necessary mechanical aptitude necessary for mechanical work. In men I suspect it is higher, and lower in women. I may be way off in my estimate, but I will say that at least 25% of the population is mechanically incompetent. The rest of the population is on a gradient, from being able to use a screwdriver as a pry bar to being able to suss out a mysterious misfire in an everyday automobile (now expand that to include ALL everyday automobiles from the dawn of time to today. Anybody who can do that is some kind of wizard.)

Through experience, the trades have pretty much figured out the kind of people who are suited to their particular line of work. Of course, you need the basics, like showing up on time, showing up on a regular basis, and showing up well rested and sober. You have to have a certain amount of mechanical aptitude. After that you have to be willing to learn more about your job, even to the point of actually spending some time studying it. And then there are the plans. Plans, charts, diagrams, concepts, ideas and math. You don't need to be a genius, no industry would exist if required geniuses to operate. There might be a few geniuses in the mix, but the majority of the people are going to be of slightly above-average intelligence. That same mechanical aptitude that got them the job enabled them to score higher on IQ tests.

So if you land one of these jobs and are willing to dedicate yourself, you should make good progress. Problem is, how long is your trade going to be viable? A zillion years ago you could count on a single career lastly your lifetime. Shoot you might be able to pass on what you learned to the next generation and they could find it still useful.

Nowadays I'm not sure any careers are safe anymore. You build a new factory to make a new fangled widget and by the time you have production up and running some yahoo has announced a new technique that will cut the cost of manufacture in half, And they are starting plans for a new factory to build the new widget. How long does it take to build a factory these days? Well, depends on how big it is. A big box style building can probably be erected in six months, though add in six months for permits and another six months for installation of the machinery and tuning of the production line.  In that case you have like a year and a half to sell as many widgets as you can, which is going to be made more difficult by the announcement that the same widget will be available for half the price in a year a half. Some people will elect to wait.

Anyway, that's those with mechanical aptitude. What about that great mass of people without any of those abilities? They work in bars and restaurants and warehouses and driving for Uber. Their ranks are swelling and the number of jobs available are shrinking due to automation. Anytime the size of the labor pool exceeds the jobs available, wages are going to go down. So this mass of people is being squashed by auotmation on one side and inflation on the other, so of course they are going to be pissed off. I'm only surprised it has taken this long to hear from them. Seems like we have heard from everybody else, whether they had any legitimate complaints or not. Of course, those were the ones who were able to leverage our new age of personal broadcast. That talent is working it's was into the working class. Who knows what all this will bring.

Cool Pic

Street Scene, Seoul, South Korea

This image looks like it could be a scene from a dark sci-fi story, but albertoura claims it is a photograph.

"I'm Offended!"

Monday, August 21, 2023


Shalom Harlow in Thom Browne on Grand Staircase

Another jigsaw puzzle. I couldn't quite make out what this was until I put it together. Shalom Harlow is a fashion model and Thom Browne makes fancy clothes and this photo was taken in the Grand Palais exhibition hall in Paris, France. 

Sometimes girls in high fashion clothes will catch my eye but more often, like in this case, I will wonder WTF were they thinking, especially those white splotches. She looks like she has been bombarded by some giant seagulls. No accounting for taste apparently.

A wider view of the same scene

Grand Palais, Paris, France