Thursday, September 3, 2015


Some things that have been gathering electronic dust in my inbox...

Source: Instapundit.
Story: Global eavesdroppers: In World War II, dozens of radio operators in Scituate dialed into enemy conversations worldwide - News - - Providence, RI
In case you ever wondered how a US Army unit that never left the Continental United States could win a Presidential Unit Citation for the battle of the Atlantic, this related story gives a clue, although only part of one. (I thought I'd posted this one before, but I guess not...)

Source: Dunno.
Story: Why Science Fiction Pioneer Hugo Gernsback Matters 131 Years Later | Inverse
Could be more fact-heavy, and the author is pretty clearly in the CHORF camp of the Sad Puppies controversy (if you don't understand, congratulations!), but, while I'm not sure Hugo Gernsback invented Science Fiction As We Know It, he sure laid the groundwork.

Bit of a change-up in this article from The Atlantic: How JSOC Became a Manhunting Machine, From Panama to Iraq - The Atlantic

Speaking of which, Insty pulls a few related pieces fom the archives: Instapundit » Blog Archive » AS WE FIGHT THE WAR ON TERROR DOMESTICALLY AGAIN, A FEW RELEVANT PIECES FROM OVER A DECADE AGO…

Sometimes coming back is pretty much the point:  A ‘monumental’ rescue: Coast Guardsman swims a mile in choppy seas to save four fishermen, one at a time - The Washington Post

A further change of pace: How to reclaim your privacy in Windows 10, piece by piece | PCWorld (Beware auto-play!)

What Bugs Me About The NRA

It's not that it occasionally pursues a tactic (or strategy) that I disagree with, although sometimes I have to wonder what they see over there on the Least Coast.

No, it's that they keep sending me stuff urging me to join.

Not to renew -- although that would be irritating, as a Life Member for decades -- and not to upgrade my membership, but to join.

One would think that they would cross-check the various databases and notice that these variations on the same name all list the same address, so let's not bother sending this mailing. Maybe send the version of the "Great Gun Giveaway Contest" asking Patron Members to upgrade to... whatever is higher than that.

But, no. They have to waste money sending me a mailing urging me to sign up for the first time.

Not exactly like asking the Pope if he's been baptized, but...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Overheard In The Salt Mines


"I'd like to report a suspicious object."

"Please describe the nature and location of the object." {Thinking: "Rattrap or fire extinguisher?"}

"It's round and a pale yellow in color, and it's emitting a blinding light and some heat. It's located about 40 degrees above the horizon due east of the Salt Mines."



"Sir, that's the sun."

"The sun? Is that what it looks like? I'd heard of it... Look, my  minions on the Public Level are complaining, can you get hold of Safety or Logistics or someone and get them some dark glass... Hello? Hello?

"Sorry guys, guess you'd better just squint."

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Not helping...

Anent my last post but one...

Amateur Repeaters Fall Victim to Washington Wildfires

Two Central Washington repeaters, owned and operated by the Lake Chelan Amateur Radio Club, have been destroyed by one of the wildfires raging in that state. The co-located machines, one on 2 meters and one on 6 meters, were sited on Slide Ridge near Manson, Washington, in Chelan County. On August 27, the First Creek Fire completely leveled the building housing the repeaters. Scorched antennas and support structures are still standing but are likely beyond repair. The club’s Roger Odorizzi, W7CH, said the repeaters had been offline for several days.
“We knew the fire had wiped out the power going to our site, but we hoped for the best, that our mountaintop building was possibly spared,” he said. “Now we have confirmation this was not the outcome.” Odorizzi said the area remains closed, and the club likely will not have access to it “for a long time.”
The club’s Ken Rau, K7YR, said the loss, in addition to the building, included the two repeaters, duplexers and antennas. The repeaters provided coverage in North Central Washington. Rau told ARRL that it’s unlikely that the building housing the repeaters would be replaced. It once housed radio and TV broadcast translators, most no longer in use. Topography is also a factor. “This is a mountain site — 4900 feet above mean sea level — with power lines that were installed on a very steep slope.”
Remember that old riddle, what runs faster uphill than down...?

Anyway. Not gonna be cheap. Also likely to have a major impact on plans  to have today's drill exercise the ability to have Western Washington EOCs communicate via Eastern Washington sites...

(If they hurry, the Lake Chelan Amateur radio club may be able to get in on Yaesu's deal on their new digital repeater, but they'll need someplace to put it/them...)

Laugh of the day

Urging civility, Obama appeals to Jews on Iran deal

Urging civil...


Urging ci...


Obama urges ci...

Oh, stop!  You're killin' me!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Speaking of the weather...

ARES/RACES Volunteers Face Fire Threat While Supporting Emergency Communication
UPDATED 2015-08-27 1620 UTC] The North-Central Washington town of Republic touts “air you can’t see” on its website. That’s not the case today. Wildfires in the US Northwest have not only hampered the air quality and visibility, but led to a Level 2 evacuation order in the Ferry County community of about 1000 residents. That could rise to Level 3. Amateur Radio volunteers in Ferry County have been on the front lines of the wildfire emergency there. In Republic, a combination of Ferry County Search and Rescue (SAR), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and ARES/RACES volunteers have been supporting communication for a shelter housing some 4 dozen evacuees — with more to come, according to Ferry County ARES Emergency Coordinator and RACES Radio Officer Sam Jenkins, WA7EC.

Every fifth Saturday -- that is, every time a month has a fifth Saturday, which is about quarterly -- there is an emergency communications drill. ARES and RACES groups across Washington State will staff Emergency Operations Centers, Fire Stations, etc, and and the like, and follow some scenario or exercise design.

Tomorrow's drill (in which I will not be participating, thanks to some overtime) looks to be complicated by the fact that many of the Emergency Operations Centers and Fire Stations and Et Cetera are going to be busy dealing with forest fires.

With any luck, it will rain enough to end these fires.

In the meantime, 73, OM...

Umm... Yay?

Actually, yes, as long as it doesn't go too far...

Wind Advisory
Statement as of 2:29 PM PDT on August 28, 2015

... Wind Advisory in effect from 11 am to 5 PM PDT Saturday...

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Wind Advisory... which is in effect from 11 am to 5 PM PDT Saturday.

* Timing... midday through Saturday afternoon.

* Winds... south wind 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.

* Impacts... downed limbs and local power outages.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult... especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

Special Statement
Statement as of 6:02 AM PDT on August 28, 2015

... A strong Pacific storm could bring strong winds and locally heavy rain to western Washington on Saturday...

A much stronger system will impact the region on Saturday. This system has the potential to bring winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts of 45 to 50 mph to parts of the coast... northwest interior... and I-5 corridor. Winds this strong usually occur in fall and winter. Thus... this wind event could create more problems due to the deciduous trees still having their leaves. This will make the branches more prone to snapping in strong winds. In addition to the possibility of downed tree limbs... the gusty winds could cause local power outages.

Rain will be locally heavy at times on Saturday. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches are forecast for the coast and in the mountains... with a half to one inch elsewhere... during the 24 hour period ending at 5 am PDT Sunday. This amount of rain will likely end or help reduce the size of any ongoing wildfires.

In addition to the wind and rain... temperatures will be below normal on Saturday. Highs are forecast to be mainly in the mid to upper 60s across The Lowlands.

Those planning outdoor activities in the mountains in particular this weekend should pay close attention to the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service.


More Thoughts On Murderous Nutjobs

Seen at Powerline Blog:
Dylann Roof and Vester Flanagan: Compare and Contrast | Power Line

Executive summary:
  • Cracker nutjob tries to ignite a race war by murdering the members of the congregation of an African-American church, and the country loses its mind, bans the Confederate Battle Flag.
  • Gay black nutjob tries to ignite a race war by murdering two former co-workers, and It's The Guns.