February 28, 2011

Urine..or you're out!

From my good friend, Lieutenant Bill, the usual crystal clear logic that seems to defy politicians and lefty, feel-good, do-gooders, who believe others should benefit from the sweat off your brow:
I have a job.

I work, they pay me.

I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.

In order to get that paycheck, in my case, I am required to pass a random urine test. I have no problem with this fact.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.

So, here is my question: Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their butt - doing drugs while I work. Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

I guess we could call the program "URINE OR YOU'RE OUT"!

Something has to change in this country - AND SOON!

By the way, just a thought, but all politicians should have to pass a urine test too!

I kinda prefer Bill's reality to the bravo sierra that goes on in Sacramento and DC, don't you?


February 23, 2011

Hampster Dance..

Consider the lowly, outdated North American F-86 Sabre Jet. Small, personable, a far cry from the Thud or the F4 Phantom. (A jet dedicated to the proposition that, with a powerful enough engine or two strapped to its ass, anything will fly.)

No sir, the F-86 saw us through the Korean war and guarded our skies during the fifties. It was graceful and sleek and probably fighterdom's equivalent to the MGB GT, Triumph's Sprite, or the Mazda Myata.

Yet it held it's own against the Migs in the skies of Korea.

There are a number of You Tube videos out there that show the Sabre back in the day and those wonderful, venerable restored beauties that are still flying. It is said that these can be owned and made airworthy for just above five figures. I stumbled on the video below that flew in the face (sorry) of the mother-hen, safety-concious USAF of today. Here some very, very clever people in the 526th "Moonshine" FIS. Some real hot rocks guys with a flair for the intervelometer techniques, truly humorous stuff and some eye-popping gags.

..imagine an Air Force unit today pulling the stunts these guys did -- with brand new jets to boot!


February 21, 2011

Liberal Dave..

The nickname sounds like a pejorative; it is most certainly not. It refers to a very good friend with whom I work. He's liberal; I am conservative; that's it.

Dave and I do not have violent arguments about politics. We have known each other since August 2006 (which is to say that's how long I have been working at my current gig) and he never rubbed my nose in any perceived problems with George W. Bush. He was always cordial, civil, and possessed a marvelous sense of humor.

Still does.

Similarly, I knew Dave desperately wanted Obama to beat Hillary and was delighted when that -- ahem -- person was inaugurated. I also know that he is very disappointed in the current POTUS's performance. (Or lack of same.) Still in all, I am courteous, polite, and have only occasional fun at Dave's expense.

We both enjoy each other's company and professional relationship far too much to let politics interfere.

So, imagine my surprise when I get the e-mail below from Dave; a sentiment about one thing he believes is wrong with our government. Speaking with him, I get the impression he truly wants this amendment to come to be.

I joked about him showing up at the Santa Ana Civic Center on 15 April for the 2nd anniversary of the Tea Party get-togethers and he responded, "I just might."

So here's why Dave's so mad and here's what he wants us to do. It's made the rounds before, but coming from Dave to me it has special meaning:

No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.

This is an idea that we should address.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform... in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."

..you all are among my 20. Let's get this thing done for Dave.


February 18, 2011

..again, this is for Fredd..

Fredd, The O-Dux fan and fellow conservative, opined that one of my pathetic recent posts was missing an expression of my sentiments, to wit "Obama Sucks".

As you can see that my life has devolved into a mini-vacation into my "other" hobby, Amateur Radio, and in constructing a small QRP radio, I discovered my beloved Tek 2445 was turning fuzzy on me. So that turned into a side trek into repairing the 2445 and re-learning the innards of Textronix oscilloscopes. I finally found the culprit with the help of my good friend, Dick, WB6JDH and, after I fixed the little beast, he drooled with envy over the bright, clean, pencil-lead thin trace as well as the on-screen cursors and frequency/voltage level displays.

I am sure most of you are now snoozing but for me, this sort of thing is positively intoxicating. So, grab the NoDoz and hang with me for a minute.

Anyway, the crafty WB6JDH convinced me that I desperately wanted the 7704A mainframe (and four plug-ins) he had and he would gladly swap me for my newly restored 2445.

I laughed and figured I'd take it home to humor him. It'd probably crowd everything else out on the bench so I'd just return it to him on the next trip and either sell the 2445 to him or take it home again. Long story short, with a little ingenuity, I crafted a pedestal for it and put my variable power supply below that so there was actually had more room than before. Here it is, in flagrante delicto:

..and I am now in a learning loop that promises to occupy my time until we get more serious about politics in mid-year. I promise you I'll take this off-line to a new blog I am starting for my ham radio adventures.

Until then, I believed that full disclosure was in order.

And, it seems I surfaced just in time to see that the pantload has stepped in it and got ripped a new one by Speaker Boehner.

“The President of the United States has a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead this nation. President Obama has acknowledged the challenges we face, but – thus far – he has done nothing to offer solutions. Now, worse, his political organization is colluding with special-interest allies across the country to demagogue reform-minded governors who are making the tough choices that the President is avoiding.

“This is not the way to begin an ‘adult conversation’ about solutions to the big challenges facing our country. Rather than inciting protests against those who speak honestly about the challenges we face, the President and his advisers should lead.

“When the American people watched the people of Greece take to the streets to protest cuts to unsustainable government programs, they worried it might foreshadow events in our nation’s distant future – but today, we see the same sort of protests on the streets of Madison, fueled by President Obama’s own political machine.

“Rather than trying to ‘win the future,’ the President’s political allies are trying, desperately, to cling to a failed past by fighting reforms our nation needs to liberate our economy from the shackles of debt and create a better future for our children and grandchildren. The President should make it clear to his friends that the people of Wisconsin, and states across America, can handle their own affairs without Washington special-interest money and meddling."

..pretty stiff language; I just hope Boehner and the rest of the guys we sent back to D.C. in November start putting various members privates in vices and begin turning the crank.


February 17, 2011

For Fredd..

"Obama Sucks!"

Note to the folks: sorry for the hiatus; I am trying to understand how to get my $100 Tektronix 7704A to work correctly.  Visualize the 2001 scene shere the apes first encounter the monolith.

Here's what we're dealing with:

..and Tek gratuitously put this vid on You Tube:

..pass the Sominex.

February 13, 2011


After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target:

Dear Mrs. War Planner,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Harris, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras:

1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5.. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called.

9. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

10. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the ' Mission Impossible' theme.

11. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

12. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

13. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but not least:

14. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the clerks passed out.

 ..my days and weekends are mostly free now.


February 6, 2011

"Ya'all be good, you heah..?"

Beaufort T. Justice woulda been proud of these good ol' boys.


February 4, 2011

Breaking the surly bonds..

..strap in, depart the earth, pull the apple, and enjoy real freedom.


February 3, 2011

For want of a nail..

Sorry to have been gone so long. 

This is mine. I got it cheap. It broke. I fixed it. I learned how to fix these type of things. That's what I have been doing..

..now I gotta go back to the shop. See you soon.

UPDATE: Honest to goodness, folks, I have been engaged in this effort as a semi-vacation from the political blog world. I would say for sanity reasons but that would be a slight prevarication. The little radio I was building wasn't checking out at the various build points and I had to debug it. Not to convey the impression that I know squat about electronics or troubleshooting radios -- I am a relative neophyte in that department -- but I give it a shot from time to time.

So, anyway, while checking out the VFO on this rig, I suddenly noticed that my trusty, rusty Tek 2445's display was quivering weirdly and the horizontal sweep was somewhat jerky. Here's the checkout config on a good day:

So, I put the radio away and popped the covers on the scope. After some head-scratching, RTFMing, swearing, and hallelujahs, I extract a couple of electrolytic caps, replace them and power the beast back up. Well,  I won't have to worry about the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" bromide any more because the 2445 was definitely broke after I fixed it.  

More head-scratching, manual-reading, etc. led me to a bad resistor in the +42V supply. Replacing it yielded the picture up at the top of this post and I'm back in biz, right?

..well, in the process of re-installing the scope back into the bench, I pulled my old surplus AN/URM-25D signal generator, noticed that the power cord was bad, did an R&R, and..


But it's fun and it take one's mind off of Obama and the rest of the clowns in D.C. busy ruining our lives. But I'll be back once I fix all of my test equipment.