Saturday, November 30, 2013

Placeholder for 30 Nov

Spent the day traveling. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Fairweather Day

I was in Yakutat, Alaska on board my sailboat and tied up for a few days because the weekend was supposed to be a pretty good party.

The last decent weekend of the year there was called Fairweather Day and it was one of those 'the whole town goes out and gets plastered' sort of things.

Still, as Lord, Master, captain of my own ship and master of my destiny I had responsibilities. I wanted to take a good look at the weather. This was long before the days of weather faxes. I decided to go to the airport and check the weather there. Small airports used to let fishermen sneak into the pilots room if they behaved themselves.

The airport was some distance away and I did what I always do when that happens. I stuck out my thumb.

The second vehicle stopped. The first one was a business vehicle. The one that stopped was a pickup and I looked to see the driver was an Alaska native, an Indian.

I hopped in and he slipped the clutch and I told him I was headed to the airport to check the weather and he nodded. I knew at that point he was a man of few words and very likely had a very dry sense of humor.

A couple of minutes later as we neared the airport I saw a DC-3 landing.

"What's going on?" I asked the driver. "That's a DC-3 landing."

The Indian looked at me curiously.

"There's either going to be an uprising or a party," I continued. "DC-3s only carry guns, drugs, or fish. That means either revolution, party or if the fish are outgoing, a party."

His face cracked slightly into a snicker then went deadpan again and I knew I had gotten to him in a good way.

We arrived at the airport, I thanked him and hopped out. I headed inside and found the pilot room and looked at the weather information available there. It looked like a week's worth of good weather.

I started out and passed through the small airport bar and the native that had given me a ride spotted me.

'Hey, White Man," he said. "Come on over and have a beer with us."

He didn't have to ask twice. I was there in a flash.

He turned to his friends, a couple of other natives, "This is the guy. He said all DC-3s carry are guns, drugs or fish."

The others laughed.

As we had a beer together the three of them expained that Fairweather Day was a big thing in Yakutat and that years earlier the Lion's Club used to get a special OK to shoot a moose out of season and that people used to come for miles around to the festivities. The event used to be called "The Lion's annual moose barbecue".

Word travels fast in small towns and I'm sure the guys from the airport said something to other people. For the next two days everyone we met asked us to make sure we stuck around for the festivities.

My shipmate and I stayed and had a damned good time. Small town celebrations are generally a blast and that one was true to form.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I am up a bit earlier than the younger people here which is normal.

I'm visiting relatives this year and that is a good thing. It is seldom that I do and I ought to more often. My nephew and his wife are happy as there is a baby on the way.

I suppose I ought to start a pot of coffee but these guys are not coffee drinkers so I'll just see what happens next and or maybe I'll sneak out and see if I can find an open Dunkin' Donuts.

I'm in MA now and there seems to be one on every corner. 

There's a turkey in the fridge, and in a bit my nephew will start the process of making dinner.

Black Friday will start shortly after dinner as it seems to grow bigger every year and I suppose my niece will hit a store or two because she has two kids and Christmas is coming.

I want no part of that zoo as I went out in it a few years back and snagged a camera for a good price. For me it wasn't worth it as I discovered that a couple days later I could have gotten the same camera on line for the same price delivered to my doorstep.

When I am done here I am going to throw a wire over the house and set up the PRC-320 and go on the air.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am still alive

Had a high speed run last night. Am beat to hell

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One of the things I like about my blog is that I can write about anything I damned well please.

I have the luxury of not having someone looking over my shoulder and telling me that I should change this or that. I simply find a corner somewhere and write about what is on my mind.

Nobody is paying me so I can't have anything taken away from me if I disagree with my boss because here I don't have one.

I have no advertisers and as a result there is nobody to pull their advertising if they don't like what I have to say.

All in all it's a pretty good feeling.

I do know that there are a few people that have read what I have to say that don't like it and that's just too damned bad.

As i write this I recall when my sailboat pulled into Sitka, having come from the south. I had been in Sitka a couple of days when I wandered into the harbormaster's office for some reason or another. When I entered there was a sailing snob from the Seattle area demanding that the harbor cop shut down a salmon processor anchored about a half mile away.

The processor was running a generator, of course and it was pretty late but it appeared everyone on board was working processing salmon. This jerk wanted the whole operation shut down because he was annoyed over the low noise in the background coming from the generators.

The harbor cop had to be tactful. I didn't.

"Hey, A$$hole," I interupted. "You want to put 75 people out of work over a muffled generator a half-mile away? Why don't you go pi$$ up a rope."

"They don't allow that as Shilshole," he replied, indignantly.

"So go back to Shilshole," I shot back. "Get on board your boat and head south to your beloved Shilshole Marina and let the rest of us get some work done."

"Well..." he mumbled.

'Well, what?" I fired back. "I got a few boat projects too take care of. This is a working dock and I found a couple of sheets of plywood. If you don't go back to your boat and leave this poor harbor cop alone I'm going to fire up my Skilsaw and you can listen to that all night. I got work to do!"

The man turned to the harbor cop and snapped, "You're not going to permit that!"

"Sir, this is a working dock and if this man has a pressing need to get something done there are no rules against it," said the cop. "I'd listen to the man and be nice to him if you want to get any sleep."

The troublemaker turned purple and stormed out. 

The cop turned to me, "I have to log this," he said.

"I understand," I replied.

He spoke as he wrote and what he put in the log was very vanilla. He wrote that the captains of two boats had a verbal disagreement and left it at that.

The next morning my shipmate and I set sail for Yakutat and arrived there in time for their annual Fairweather Day festival but that's another story.

The details are growing a little dimmer over time. Some day I am going to break out my logbooks and do some writing about my sailing days.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

My care-o-meter is not lifting off the peg today

 because I read a story about parents being angry at a guy that shot their son.

Seems the young shooting victim was holding a gun on a storekeeper when a Good Samaritan came in and shot him.

For those of you that can't figure out what I am saying, the bottom line is this: some little thug rightfully got shot in the commission of an armed robbery.

It should be noted that the robber had a prior armed robbery charge and was out on bond at the time.

Some concealed carry permit holder walked in on the robbery and shot the robber. A Good Samaritan because he was not legally required to intercede on this crime. He just saw the crime in progress and decided to stop it.

Right now the parents of the little thug are up in arms and have made a statement that the Good Samaritan should have minded his own business and let their son continue the robbery uninterrupted.

I do not understand this because if I were the parent of this little thug I likely would be so ashamed of myself for being such a failure as a parent that I would have disowned the kid right after his FIRST armed robbery arrest.

Over the past few years I have seen more and more parents defending their kids after they have been caught doing unspeakable things. The standard line seems to be "My baby didn't do anything" when in fact their little failure of a child has murdered someone.

In this instance the Good Samaritan made a mistake. He deserves to be taken down to the police station and be given some serious coaching in gun handling and marksmanship.

While in this instance it was a legal shoot, the Good Samaritan needs to learn a little more about shot placement.

After all, the thug robbing the store lived.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

I went past a school the other day and the 15 mph speed limit was in effect.

It was an elementary school and I had no problem with that. I suppose that when you are dealing with little kids you ought to be driving slow because at that age they are pretty unpredictable.

The law is, in my opinion, a pretty good one that at least makes sense. Little kids are little kids.

However, the same law is in effect near high and middle schools. That's a waste of a sign if you ask me.

The way I see it is that if a kid hits 8th grade and has not learned to look both ways before he crosses the street than he's just plain stupid and we're better off without him.

He's going to go through life as a Darwin candidate which I don't have a problem with just so long as he lives up to the rules of the Darwin Awards committee. The problem is that the kid is likely to break the Darwin Committee rules and kill or injure someone else.

Any kid too stupid to look both ways before he crosses the street is going to go through life miserably and in constant pain. He will constantly be injured and suffering. Lord knows that's no way to live. Maybe it's better that he removes himself from the gene pool before he can inflict his stupidity on others.

Simply lift the speed limit on schools that cater to grades 8 and above and let the problem solve itself.

The solution really isn't limited to school kids, either.

I have been an advocate of self solving problems for years.

As far as adults go, they simply ought to remove the safety stickers off of things like lawn mowers, chain saws and the like and let the problem solve itself.

Anyone that picks up a running lawn mower to trim his hedge gets what he deserves, anyway.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

I watched a pretty good silent movie the other night.

It was "The Thief of Bagdad", starring Douglas Fairbanks and made in 1924.

It was made a year before the first talking film, 'The Jazz Singer' with Al Jolson was made.

It was pretty good when you consider the 1924 technology and Fairbanks was as graceful as a ballet dancer. Back then they didn't have stunt men and the actor had to pretty much do it all.

While there are a few Jackie Chan types that do their own stunts these days, a lot of lead actors and actresses have stunt doubles.

In watching an old silent film you have to realize that the actors had to sort of overact to keep the audience knowing what is going on. They didn't have audio to work with. They were simple moving pictures and the actors had to let the audience know what was going on with body language.

A lot of people bore easy these days because when they go to see a movie they expect all sorts of special effects. I guess they simply don't know how to slow down a bit and look at something for what it is. They ask for too much out of entertainment.

One time a couple of us were sitting around drinking beer and an old science fiction movie came up on the tube. We left the volume off and started taking the parts of the various actors and ad libbed lines. It was hilarious. 

Still, the Fairbanks movie was pretty entertaining because it was amazing watching the actors move with such grace while climbing around up cliffs with such grace.

People don't look at things for what they are. They're too caught up in modern technology. This movie was made back in 1924 and they didn't have much to work with back then. When you put it in that context you have to admit that it is nothing short of amazing.

I'm glad I watched it and although I have seen the remakes years ago I think this is yet another case where the original hasn't been beaten yet.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Yesterday's post about the big house on the hill got me a little feedback.

Someone busted their ass, scrimped and saved and built themself a beautiful home and nicely furnished it. It looks like a pretty nice place to live for them but is also the antithesis of what I would do if I won the lottery.

I suppose he's tickled pink with his place and if that was what I wanted, I'd be, too. I am truly happy for the guy. He set a goal, worked toward it and achieved it. I respect him for it even though his home isn't the type of thing I would aspire to.

I don't need six bathrooms in my home. One works. More than that are just extras that require cleaning. It's not like I plan on entertaining in the bathrooms.

Truth is, I have simple tastes and consider myself damned lucky to have a 1.5 story cape in the neighborhood I live in. I go for weeks and sometimes even months without going upstairs. I only go upstairs to dust and sweep the dead flies off the window sills.

I can't beat the neighbors.

I suppose if I did win the lottery I would have some yardwork done but that's about it.

Maybe, just maybe I would buy a sailboat. It would be a Westsail 32. A simple boat set up for simple cruising. It would be a slow, seakindly easy to run vessel.

I'm a simple man.

Since I became a ham I have had a couple people offer me deals here and there on towers and linear amplifiers and have refused them. Two of the tower offers were free.

People were astonished when I refused their offers but the offers were for things I didn't want.

My home station is a simple basic Icom 100 watt rig and that is all I aspire to. It is simple and does what I want it to.

My pickup is the same way. It's a 4 cylinder with a 5 speed manual and the only reason it has air in it is because I was stuck buying it that way.

Some time back I had a dream that I had done something that saved New York City and that I was there to save the day because my truck got stolen while I was in a rest area taking a leak. 

I don't remember what it was I did in my dream, just that the Mayor wanted to give me the key to the city and buy me a new pickup to make up for my loss.

I remember the Mayor telling me about how big the truck was going to be and recall saying, "But I don't WANT a big truck." and was ignored.

Of course, it was a big giant Dodge Ram with a Hemi and every bell and whistle they make and I was shocked. My hands went to my head and I broke out in tears.

It was an $85,000 behemoth I was afraid to drive and the instant I took posession of it I found someone to drive it straight to the nearest Toyota dealer and I traded it in.

I went in with a monster Dodge Ram and came out with a Tacoma with a 4 cylinder, a 5 speed manual and no air conditioning. The sales people at the dealership thought I was nuts and I felt a huge surge of relief as I drove off in a simple machine.

I woke up as I had busted out of the city and got on the open road in my new Tacoma. I woke up with a feeling of relief.

I had a similar dream involving President Bush. He offered me a ride with him in Air Force One. I asked if I could trade it for a cat shot and an arrested landing off the deck of a carrier.

President Bush laughed and thought that was the neatest thing he had ever heard. He was a flyboy and understood.

It is often hard for people to understand that there are guys like me out there that just like simplicity. I simply don't want to be a big shot and run a Fortune 500 company and get hauled around in limos and Lear jets all the time.

I'm happy driving myself around in a pickup when I drive and I'd just as soon fly business class. I've had a couple of First Class upgrades and wasn't impressed although I suppose the extra foot room was nice.


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The big house on the hill

I see a lot of people that move into a humongous house somewhere and some of them can't afford to furnish it and wind up living there with sofas from Craigslist curb alerts, matteresses on the floor and boxes for furnishings. 

It makes no sense to me.

I bought a small Cape Cod twenty years ago and had it paid off well ahead of schedule. It works for me because I like the neighborhood and there is more than enough room in it for two people. 

I have everything I need there and it makes no sense for me to have a place with no comforts. It's just foolish. 

I hear a lot of people try to justify it with the lame excuse of having a large family, generally consisting of a mere two or maybe three kids. This may be a family but is sure isn't a big one. 

What does make sense to me is that I have seen a few immigrant families move in and furnish the place and live there. These people have brought what used to be American family values with them. They have three generations of people living there as they are pretty likely  to have their aging parents living there with them. Everyone contributes and it works nicely.

I would imagine that after the inevitable collapse we're going to see a lot more of that going around.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The other day I wrote and said why retirement at an early age is out of the question.

Let's look at John, a guy I discussed this with a while back. John is an avid golfer and works now 40+ hours a week and most likely has some serious coin put aside for retirement.

He was talking about golfing six times weekly. Right now he golfs two or three times a week. He says it runs him about $30 a round, or $60-90/week. It is his only outlet as he does not have any other interests and doesn't drink, smoke or have any real vices.

He's married and his kids are long out of the house.

I said to him that retirement meant less golf than he plays now and he looked at me like I was nuts. Then I asked him if he could afford $180/week in greens fees. He looked thoughtful for a second and opined he could likely afford it.

Then I asked him what he was going to do when the price of a round of golf went up as everything seems to be doing these days. Say it goes up to $50/round. That's $300/week.

"Yeah," he said. "I see what you mean. I guess it means I'd need a retirement job doing something."

"Which means a pretty good sized hourly pay cut," I replied. "Maybe your employer would let you cut back on your hours, but then you'd lose your insurance and Medicare doesn't really cover it all."

"I suppose they'd let me cut my hours back," said John. "But the truth of that is that I suppose I'd wind up working full time anyway because they already offer me overtime and I pick up a lot of it."

"You really are in the age old bind of time and money," I said. "You never seem to have both. Either you have the time to golf every day or you have the money to, but never both."

"I've saved for this," said John.

"Inflation is a devious thing," I replied. "It makes $30 rounds of golf turn into $60 rounds of golf and then it turns them into $100 rounds of golf."

"Hmm." I see your point. "That means a whole lot less golf."

"And a lot more hanging around the house getting on your wife's nerves," I added. "Ever wonder why older retirees sit around a lot? It's probably because they can't afford $30 rounds of golf that used to cost five bucks."

"Interesting point," he replied. then he shuddered. "I wonder how many people in their late 80s we hear about eating dog food were playing golf in their mid to late 60s."

"That, too." I answered. "Probably most of them. Back 20 years ago a $1000-1500 a month pension and untaxed social security was pretty good money. Now it ain't squat. Inflation and taxation has eaten it down to peanuts."

"Putting it that way, Pic, retirement seems pretty scary."

"Damned right," I replied. "Most likely it's why my mother-in-law worked at her trade as an RN until she was well into her mid 80s. She knew how to count."

My hobbies are shooting, putting around in the Miata in good weather and ham radio. When I retire the Miata will go upon the auction block which I can live with. Shooting will likely have to cut back because prices are already going through the roof and even reloading components are getting harder to come by and prices are skyrocketing.

Try finding $15 and $20 bricks of .22LR these days.

Ham radio is pretty cheap, though after you get your shack set up. It costs electricity and even that I can get for free from the sun. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby...unless something breaks.

Still, hilltopping and running portable means gas and vehicle wear which is getting more costly. 

In short, unless you have won the lottery it means that either you still have to work part time or you have to cut back because the extras you have now are likely to dry up over time as inflation grows.

The way I see it, I suppose I ought to simply keep working because my job is OK and pays the bills with something left over for the time I can't work.

I guess I'll just have to stick with it a while longer.

Why not? I'm in good company. John has decided to stick around a while longer.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Did it ever occur to anyone that the most grateful people police officers ever get to meet are serial killer-rapists?

It makes sense when you think about it.

When Joe Citizen gets stopped for a traffic infraction he generally wonders why the police are sitting there hiding in the bushes near a stop sign trying to nab a traffic violator instead of being out somewhere else trying to catch burglars and thieves. Sometimes he says something along these lines to the officer.

Maybe it makes the cop wonder WHY he isn't out trying to nab burglars and thieves instead of hanging out waiting to try and nab traffic violators. Maybe he doesn't, but you can rest assured that traffic violators gripe about why the officer isn't out trying to nab burglar and thieves.

When the officer does manage to nail a burglar or thief he generally cuffs and stuffs him and has to listen to the urglar or thief gripe all the way to the station. The perpetrator wants to know why the cop isn't trying to chase down muggers.

After all, the poor old burglar is only stealing property. He isn't really physically harming anyone. So he gripes all the way to the station house that the officer should be out chasing muggers.

Maybe the cop does bust a mugger and when he takes the mugger down town he's likely to get an ear beating from him. After all, the mugger didn't kill anyone. So how come the officer isn't chasing murderers?

So, OK. The cop does arrest a murderer and by now his already cauliflowered ear takes yet anoother beating. So the guy hacked up his wife for whoring around on him. The complainer points out that the cop might have done the same thing under the circumstances. I suppose a few cops might. I know some would at least consider it.

Things get worse when the killer is a guy that iced the sick bastard that molested his seven year-old daughter. Most likely there are a lot of cops that would do more than consider taking that same sicko out. Still, they have to listen to the gripes all the way downtown.

After all, how come they are not out looking for the sicko that's been raping and murdering all those women out there?

Of course, it all comes home to roost when they do catch the rape/murderer. That's when cops are treated to genuine gratitude. As the murderer/rapist sits in the back of the cruiser headed to the clink he thanks the officer for stopping him before he can kill again.

And that is why the only grateful people police officers meet are serial murder/rapists.

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Monday, November 18, 2013


I am now either at or damned near the age I can start collecting social security which means nothing because there is no way in hell I can retire and keep on playing hard.

If I quit now I might as well just eat a shotgun because all I will be doing is sitting around in a rocking chair waiting for the Grim Reaper to show up and that would be as depressing as all hell.

I think that I am going to just plain keep working until I can't anymore, either that or until I just plain drop dead.

I see all of these ads for retirement villages and get somewhat nauseous because I can not picture myself living in one and playing dopey card games with a bunch of old people. 

Worse yet is hearing the either lies about how wonderful their grandchildren are doing or having to listen to them regurgitate the lies they have been told about their grandchildren by their kids. It's as bad as the crap you have to listen to on a cruise ship.

Speaking of cruise ships, I do not fare very well on those, either. Some jerk really frosted my a$$ a while back when he said I ought to go to Arthur Murray Dance studios, brush up on ballroom dancing and take a retirement job dancing with matronly rich ladies on a cruise ship.

Fat chance. 

He came close to finding out that although I may be near the end of my career I can still swing a valve wrench.

Actually the best cruise I ever took was on the Alaska Marine Highway, the state ferry. I had a pretty good time there after the first breakfast I ate there.

There was this woman in the breakfast line that held the entire line up describing how she wanted her eggs. I piped up that this wasn't Royal Caribbean Cruise lines and that she was in nothing but a GI chow line and she had best move it or lose it.

The server called back to the cook who roared, "F*** her. She'll eat 'em the way I fry 'em!" Everyone heard it and howled gleefully.

She looked at her plate with outrage when it was handed to her and I told her to take 'em, eat 'em or don't eat 'em and move her fat butt. For this I was rewarded by the server with a huge helping of corned beef hash and a big grin.

She did, but complained to the purser who came looking for me to hear my side of the story. I told him to check with the server who witnessed the whole scene. He left and returned a couple of minutes later, shook his head and walked off smiling.

This gives me an idea. Maybe I could get a retirement job with the Alaska Marine Highway keeping the chow line moving. Get a nice set of khakis, a campaign cover and a cattle prod. Sounds OK to me.

Anyway, I don't see retirement in the near future. I don't think there is anything in it for me but an early demise.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

One of the things that we take for granted and have for the past 10 years or so is cell phone communication.

I notice at work that when we go out of a cell phone coverage that people tend to get a little upset be cause they have grown to depend on it.

It wasn't all that long ago when every dock we went to had a phone booth and when we tied up there would be a couple of guys headed straight to it to call home and check up on things. Actually these guys were the minority. Most guys didn't call home at the docks, at least too often.

Enter the cell phone. At first they were huge, bulky expensive things that were mounted in cars. This was followed by a portable unit that was about the size of an old army field phone. They were also as expensive as hell to run.

It didn't take long for the rates to drop and the size of the units to shrink to the point where anyone could afford one and keep it in their shirt pocket.

Nowadays we have instant communication at our fingertips.

It's actually a pretty good deal when you think about it, but I suppose there are a few drawbacks. People have grown dependent on them. It seems like they are always calling someone that they never used to call and that whatever it is they are yakking about is just so incredibly important.

It always makes me wonder what they did in the age before cellular communication, or at least what the younger guys did.

Back when I first got into the business we actually had two seperate lives, an at sea life and an ashore life. Work was work and time off was when relationships and business were attended to.

Not anymore. These days all sorts of business that was taken care of ashore seems to be taken care of out here on the fly.
I regularly see guys changing car insurance policies and scheduling medical appointments all the time out here. I suppose that is actually a pretty good thing. 

They call their wives and find out what their kids are up to and things. I suppose that makes it easier to be a good father when you can get in touch with the kids often. You can always say "Wait until I get home!" 

Beats having the wife say, "Wait until you father gets home."

I suppose the advantages of having cellular communication beat the drawbacks but I see that it is also one thing we seem to have grown pretty dependent on. Dependency on things is not really a good thing.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Back in business. A while back.

I was in the Hallmark store looking for something for Mrs. Pic who had a present coming for doing something special.

One of the women working there came in and asked the two other women behind the counter a question.

"What does 'Front towards enemy' mean?" she asked.That got my attention for a second until I figured it out.

The woman had seen a trailer hitch plug on the back of a pickup. There are a few of those going around these days. They're made of inert Claymore mine training devices and are harmless.

"It means that you were looking at the business end of a Claymore mine," I said.

"What is a Claymore mine?" she asked. "Why would he have it on the back bumper of his truck?"

"A Claymore is and anti-personel explosive device that shoots out a mess of ball bearings," I answered. "Maybe the guy just doesn't like tailgaters."

"That could kill someone!" she said.

"I'm not too worried about it," I replied. "I don't tailgate. Then again maybe he's a terrorist." The bored tone of voice made it quite clear I was being very sarcastic.

I paid for my card and wandered a couple doors down to the Radio Shack. I saw a pickup parked outside the store and lo and behold! It had a resin Claymore as a trailer hitch plug. I was entering Radio shack when I caught a flash out of the corner of my eye. It was a police car.

I looked around and saw a place where I could get a ringside seat. The front seat of my pickup looked pretty good so I ran over to it and hopped in and made myself small and watched the police car pull up.

The Hallmark woman came charging out to meet the police officer and went to the offending truck and pointed. The policeman got out of his car and looked at the trailer hitch plug and surpressed a smirk.

He was a kind officer and didn't get too upset. He simply talked to her and from the look on the woman's face the officer thanked her for being observant and told her what a good citizen she was for reporting what she saw.

He then drove off and the woman went back into the store.

I sat there for a minute asking myself if people really were that stupid and then realized that a lot of them are.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Got lucky. Found some time.

It is now hunting season and there are a number of people that are dressed for it everywhere they go.

In the blue collar world where suits and ties are not required there are a number of guys that go to work dressed in various camoflauge patterns.

When you think of it, it makes no real sense. A guy driving a truck or plumbing a house looks out of place in Mossy Oak.

While I don't think anything anything is actually wrong with it, it's just a little odd.

I like what what my mate did to one such fellow over dinner the other night.

"What do you do for a living?" he asked one of the deckhands.

"I'm a sailor," said the kid with an air of indignation.

"Then why are you dressed like a shrub?" he asked.

The kid good naturedly took his medicine while everyone else laughed.

Now the kid dresses like a bag lady, which is to say that now he looks like a sailor is supposed to look.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

I am going to be busy the next couple of days.


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Up early so I may as well post now while I can.

I have brain lock right now so I guess the solution to that is to do what I am doing now and write something and see where it goes.

I am looking forward to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving and I remember an old spinster I knew in New England, a Miss Cummings. 

When I was still in my late teens she was in her early 90s and I remember her talking with another woman that she would love to see another Thanksgiving but wasn't strong enough to see another Christmas through.

If I recall she said that in September and sure enough, in early December she died.

I consider Thanksgiving to be a warm holiday and I'm grateful I spend it with family. Truth is I hate Christmas.

Christmas reminds me of an angry pileup over a DX station and there are just too damned many expectations.

The last decent Christmas Eve I had was in '69 when I was stuck in an airport in Florida. I swapped tickets with a GI coming home from Vietnam. He wanted to get home for the holiday and truth is I was hoping to miss out.

He got out on the flight minutes before the airport got socked in and a couple of hours later I got out when the fog lifted.

The flight got into Logan early enough for my dad to snag me and haul me off to relatives for the afternoon. I was tired and pleaded that I hadn't slept in about 40 hours. 

My mother, who was pretty insensitive started moaning about how I couldn't miss Christmas at Grandma's. Dad had some common sense, though. He told me to go with everyone, but hit the rack in the back bedroom when we got there.

I did and to tell you the truth it gave Ma more heartburn than it would have if I'd stayed home. She had to explain why I was sleeping to the rest of the family.

Anyway, I am looking forward to a few more Thanksgivings but as usual I am looking towards Christmases knowing that I will have to suffer a few more holiday depressions.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One of the things I have never understood is white guilt.

Most likely because I was raised by a couple of parents that believed in the equality of man and instilled it in me.

I treat everyone with courtesy and respect and expect it in return and hold everyone to the same standard. It is as easy as that.

I also hold everyone accountable to the same standard. Everyone has the same amount of rights and responsibilities and that's the way it is.

There are a couple of people I know that carry heavy white guilt and go through life making up excuses for misbehaving minorities and believe that they are due some sort of special privileges.

Frankly, I think a lot of these people are uncomfortable around minorities for whatever reason and patronize them.

Anyway, I have something for them.

Black Friend Connect, which will enable them to have a minority friend that they can show off.

Here's the link. Just sign right up.

Maybe this will help you cope with your white guilt. 

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Monday, November 11, 2013

More unintended consequences

I read somewhere that in California the state government there is going to stick their nose into the porn industry and make the actors wear condoms and safety glasses.

Sounds like something California would do. OSHA porn star. Hard hat, steel toes, green luminescent safety vest, safety glasses and condom.(I wonder if they make steel toes stripper shoes.)

Sounds like California is going to make everything safe for porn actors and actresses.

Except for one little thing.

The customer base of the porn business doesn't like to look at condoms and safety glasses on the silver screen. Now people won't buy California porn. They'll look to go somewhere else. Either that or the porn industry will leave California.

My guess is that the porn industry of California is going to move to nearby Nevada, a state that has legalized brothels in it to begin with.

California will lose a multi-billion dollar industry and Nevada or wherever the business moves to will be a winner.

California isn't in too good financial shape to begin with because of all of their social programs and other generosity with the taxpayer's money. Legislating the porn industry doesn't sound like a very smart move on their part because the porn business likely puts a hefty chunk of change into the state's coffers.

I suppose there may be a few prudes that will say that the porn industry ought to be outlawed but that is unlikely to happen because there is simply too much money involved in it. If it is outlawed it will go the same route as drugs. It will go underground and as a result become totally unrestricted in the same way narcotics are. This is actually a separate issue.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

You're the one asking

This has little to do about radio but the idea came from a radio board.

As a part of his radio 'Go Kit' there's a .45 in the bottom of it. I guess someone in the group the group he's in said something about it. He said that his services were to be given out on HIS terms.

I don't have a problem with this whatsoever.

He's not a big, intimidating sort of a guy, nor does he carry himself as a tough guy. He's really outwardly a Teddy Bear and a glance might lead someone to believe he's a pushover.

The .45 in his go kit is there just to make sure nobody takes advantage of him when he sets up an emergency message center somewhere.

His point is well taken as in emergency situations people tend to get panicky. When they don't get their way they try to use intimidation and or force.

People tend to forget that there is a Golden Rule out there and that he who has the gold makes the rules.

It's not just the guy running an emergency message center after a tornado. It's just about everybody.

You take your lawn mower to a repair shop and they tell you it will be three or four days for them to get around to it. You generally have three choices. Take it, leave it or bribe the hell out of the repairman. Many won't accept a bribe so it's take it or leave it.

You have to remember that you can't just wander in and tell the guy you want the damned thing repaired yesterday for $2.

A lot of people seem to think that they can demand whatever they want and get it on their terms. The get upset when they can't.

That's life.

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

There is a neighbor of mine that is also a ham.

and on Friday nights he runs a net.

I was looking for DX and heard him so said what the hell and checked in. It was actually a free for all night with no planned subject. Just take turns and see what gives.

I waited and when it was my turn I said, somewhat cheerfully, "At the mall runnin' portable. I got a wire up between 2 light poles while the stripper I picked up last night is in the mall goin' to Frederick's of Hollywood to buy somethin' tacky to wear to work tonight. Hey, Bob, you got any bourbon? I could use a drink after I drop her off."

"Uhh, no, Pic. I'm out of bourbon," he replied.

"OK, I'll pick up a jug and maybe drop by later.Out."

I suppose as usual I split the net into two groups. One that believed every word and the rest of the guys that knew what I was doing and were laughing themselves silly.

I'm going to hear about this in an hour or so because there is a radio club breakfast and I'm headed out to it.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

I reorganized the laundry yesterday

I have a long laundry table across from the washing machine and dryer. Generally when I run a load through I simply toss it on the laundry table ad pick through it as needed. I seldom haul it upstairs and put it away because it's mainly jeans and T-shirts.

If there is anything that requires ironing or is halfway decent I haul it upstairs and take care of it.

Yesterday I bought 4 cheap laundry baskets and organized things.

1 basket now contains undershorts and socks, the other T-shirts, the third is for jeans and number 4 is for shirts.

I think it's going to be a pretty good system as I emptied the dryer this morning and tossed the contents of it piece at a time into the respective baskets.

It beats rooting through the big pile for a sock.

In other news the kitchen and dining room got a field day yesterday and sparkles. It was past due and I deep cleaned the stove and a few other things.

Part of life is taking care of things.

Ever notice that the rich take care of things? They maintain their equipment and it lasts a lot longer. Buying a used vehicle from someone wealthy is generally a better deal than buying one from a poorer person because the vehicle has likely been taken better care of.

I bought the Miata from a lawyer's wife and it had been taken very good care of. On the other hand over the years I have bought used vehicles from other people that didn't take very good care of them and had problems on down the line. 

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mission accomplished!!

I woke up to pee and figured what the hell and turned on the rig and K9W, Wake Island, was booming.  He was 5x9 on my meter which was stronger than predictions. I listened for a little bit and realized I had set the rig up the night before. 

While I was listening I fed the cat quickly. (Priorities. The cat. He who must be fed and obeyed)

He was working a 'split', meaning he was talking on one frequency and listening on another. A cursory check and I was good to go and entered the pile-up.

It took several tries before I was rewarded with hearing my call sign  and I must have sounded like a little kid because he rechecked my call sign and made sure he got it right.

Life seems to work out a lot like ham radio has for me.

Yesterday I chased K9W all day over the airwaves and didn't get squat and today when I least expected it, there it was. Handed to me on a silver platter.

Life is like that and when opportunity comes you have to be ready. 

I sat down at the rig and entered the fray right then and there and was rewarded. I didn't have my morning coffee and I didn't dawdle. I saw opportunity and just jumped on it and got the reward.

That's the way life is sometimes. You have to be ready to go with what you have.

The day started right because I was mentally prepared for it.

My log now has the following entry:

K9W   1106Z  7November2013  7.082/7.160  5x9 Wake Island

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Up early. Cat was confused for aq minute or two but got unconfused when

he realized he could get fed early. This is what cats do.

I'm up early because I am trying to contact Wake Island on 40 meters and that's when propagation is best even though today it will be lousy.

Wake is a DXpedition and therefore I have a limited time, unlike England which will be there for a while.

The Wake DXpedition is dedicated to the 98.

The Japanese force that took Wake Island in late 1941 murdered 98 civilians that were Morrison-Knudsen employees.

Years ago I met a guy that had been on Wake when the Japanese took it. He had been evacuated along with the Marines and sailors that had been taken prisoner. He had spent 4 years in Japanese captivity and when he got out M-K had his job waiting.

He was in interesting old man that was dying when I met him and he showed me a card M-K had given him listing him as a survivor of Wake-Cavite-Guam, three places M-K had people captured from.

The old duck came from a constriction family and as soon as his brother heard he was either dead or in Japanese captivity he went straight into the SeaBees and built airfields in the Pacific.

ANyway I am up, I have checked propagation reports my rig in on frequency and the antenna is tunes up.

It doesn't look too good but propagation says I have a fighting chance if I can beat the big guns.

We'll see what happens

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Voted in a local election today

Which I will not get into except to say that I had to deal with the usual gang of idiots outside the polling place.

My body language, facial expression and general air was one of a very angry person that was not to be trifled with. I was in the same outfit I wore yesterday, unshaven and unshowered. I looked like hell

Chicks up front time.

This cheerful chick that they generally use because they don't think anyone will fight back at her cheerfully commented on my cup of coffee I was carrying. She said she wished she had one.

I grew up in the 60s and remember that game.

I didn't take the bait.

"Why, you guys wanna wear it? One more word out of any of you people and you can wear this nice cup of coffee.," I said and walked past.

They looked a bit shocked but said nothing and I got free passage.

One of my pet peeves is the usual gang of idiots from either side of the aisle that hang out at polling places trying to shill for their candidate or cause.

My mind is made up before I enter and all of these people are obnoxious as all hell.

Several years ago the anti abortion crowd was outside the polls and they were pretty obnoxious. I got hassled a bit and asked the whole push of them why they were at the polls instead of at an abortion clinic promising women that they would adopt and raise the children at their own expense if they didn't get an abortion.

As usual, it was just a group that wanted to solve a problem of personal irresponsibility by making the rest of us pay for someone else's screw-ups.

That sort of sent them into shock and the person walking behind me thanked me for taking the heat off of him. 

One thing, too. Nobody asked me for an ID which irked me. The guy behind me showed his anyway and said that ID should be required. I turned to him and agreed.

Anyway, I went to the polls today and voted and I suppose that is a good thing.

This post is a paid political advertisement made here by the Disinterested Citizens Concern Committee and I'm Piccolo and I approve of this ad.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Should I post this as an ad on Craigslist?

Hot babe wanted for high school reunion.

Former picked on high school dweeb, 62 is looking for a hottie half my age to attend my 45th high school reunion with me and pass herself off as my trophy wife. I want to see the tongues of the guys I went to school with hanging out and see the women shoot daggers with their eyes.  

You know how it is. Like everyone else I left high school eager and ready to face the challenges  of life. Things didn't seem to work out as planned and I am here still plugging away at making my second million because I gave up on my first million years ago.

I'd like to return to the alma mater looking a little better off than I really am. 

If you can strut your stuff down the aisle of a geriatric ward and make catheters pop off then you have what it takes.

Busty flaming redheads with a flair for the dramatic go to the head of the line.

One other thing. Please don't spill anything in the Ferrari. It's a rental and I have to return it.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

As usual I forgot to set the clocks before I hit the rack and woke up an hour off schedule

which is par golf. I am not the Lone Ranger.

Yesterday I sort of screwed myself shopping around. I was doing too many things at once and bought the wrong item which seems to have ended well.

I had too many things going at once and seemed to have lost track of who was who.

Dealing with various equipment exchanges on line is pretty straightforward and easy enough. You do have to be honest, up front and careful as a mistake can cause a lot of bent noses.

I made one once on eBay. I double-clicked and ordered two of an item. I immediately got in touch with the seller and explained what I had done and he fixed it instantly with ho hard feelings. He was pretty good about things.

As I have said before I'm working on a shooting project and need a few parts. I went to an Equipment Exchange looking around and saw three of what I was looking for and had several windows open.

In addition to screen names, I had to deal with real names from the various sellers. I got spun around a bit and ordered the wrong one.

Actually it wasn't the wrong part, just the wrong deal. There was another package deal with a couple of needed parts I wanted to buy so I'm not really out and didn't buy something I cant use.

I just have to locate a few more parts and I suppose it'll cost me a few bucks, but not a whole lot of money.

The seller was pretty good, too. A couple of hours after I sent him his money I was sent a Fedex tracking number.

What I am doing is what a lot of shooters do and I am building a rifle from an action. I bought a basic varmint rifle for the barreled action and have stripped the action out of it and I am going from there.

I'm replacing the stock, adding a magazine floor plate, swapping out the scope and mounts and installing a bipod.

While I suppose I could go out there and buy all new parts I can save money by purchasing what are often referred to as take-offs.

These are new parts that have been stripped of of rifles by guys doing the same thing I am but with different sub-models of the same rifle. 

I can get new parts cheaper than going through the dealer and for simple things you can save a few bucks.

I'll have quite a few take-offs I can sell or swap off when I'm done with this project. I'll have a basic no-name scope, mounts and rings along with a basic varmint stock  that I can sell or trade and shave a little off of my finished costs. 

I'm glad to have equipment exchanges to work with, but I think from now on I am going to have to be a little more careful and make sure the people I am dealing with put their screen names on the emails we swap.

As for the guy I mistakenly bought from, that's OK. My bad.  If the item arrives as described, which I am sure it will I'm cheerfully going to give you good feedback.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Saturday morning.

It's overcast and I don't have a whole lot to say except that I think I am starting another shooting project.

I'm trying to build a long range rifle for 1000 yard matches.

I'm starting with a Remington 700 varmint rifle in .308 and the tinkering and accumulating of parts is beginning.

We'll see how this works out over time.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

After Action Report on Halloween.

About 75-100 kids.

I gave away a bunch of candy to the kids and about 7/8s of a bottle of rum to the parents.

Some of them were cute, most were average. It was a little rainy so the numbers were down, I guess.

Mostly local kids, I saw little to no evidence of FSA types loading the cars up and hitting the 'burbs for better picking. Had this happened I would have been good to the kids and simply fumed at the parents. I'm almost always good to the kids if they are polite.

I gave away a bunch of HBRs (hot buttered rums) and every single parent loved the recipe which I will not give out unless you have something to trade.

No incidents to speak of.

I think somewhere in the archives there is a previous tale of a couple of years ago when one mom tried to chew me out for serving HBRs and a couple of the others ganged up on her and told her to stop ruining things for everyone else.

I almost had a pretty good catfight in the garage that year. I broke it up by shouting across the street, "Catfight in the garage! I got $20 on the little one with the big tits!"

There's one family I love to see come. The boy is getting pretty close to 12 but has been trained to deal with me and my sarcasm. He's a damned good kid.

I told him to swing by next year and I'd teach him how to soap windows, TP trees and told him that when I was his age I could take a Whammo wrist rocket and knock out a street light at 50 yards on the first shot.

He knew the drill. His face lit up. "Gee! Thanks, Mr. Pic!"

"No problem, Kid. I'll pick up a Red Ryder BB gun between now and then and next Halloween will be one for the books!"

The mother shook her head and laughed. "I'd tell you not to give him any ideas but I'm sure you haven't said anything he didn't think of himself."

He was out with his mom and sisters because his sisters are too young to go out alone.

One beautiful pair of children came to the door dressed up like a pair of Mexicans, a senorita and a Pedro type in a serape and sombrero. They were cute and I thought of the University of Colorado rant about such a costume being not PC.

Then I looked at the kids and saw they were likely Hispanic and looked over to see the the mother was the beautiful woman from the other end of the street. She's from south of the border originally. She seems nice enough and when I spoke to her some time back when she was taking a walk.

Some of the parents were in costume, too. The last one of the night was dressed like Flo of the Progressive insurance people.

Morning damage assessment.

I've been out already and not seen evidence of any eggs, toilet paper, paint or anything else. I think I can attribute that to a storm that blew up as soon as trick or treat hours ended. It rained and blew like hell for a while. Likely that helped keep the usual vandals at bay.

All in all a somewhat boring, uneventful Halloween.

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