Friday, November 17, 2017

Some people will do about anything to avoid the toll booth.

November 17, 1961 – Inside a General Dynamics plant in San Diego where gloriously shiny Atlas rockets were made.

Oooh, this will be interesting

Word is that after Thanksgiving, Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court will retire.  Must be true as The Donald just recently identified five people he'd pick from for the next nominee to fill such a vacancy.

A solid, solid constitutionalist needs to go in.  Then, when Ruth kicks, we can add one more and really have a court that will protect our constitutional rights.  

I've always felt that if The Donald does only one thing as president, and that is to prevent the "living constitution" people from getting control, then his presidency can be considered a success.

It was always shocking to me that the nation was just one Supreme Court justice away from an avalanche of decisions that would severely curtail our rights as citizens, and turn us into subjects of the government rather than free men and women.


Catch the Wave

Thanks, BJ!

North American F-100 Super Sabre, or “Hun”, as it was sometimes called, getting airborne at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

PBY-5A Catalina, at rest.

All around useful tool

Does this mean she's now married to a veg?

This picture caused all the womenfolk in the family to swoon and fan themselves.

The Wing Commander with his ROTC detachment.

I, on the other hand, think of the kid like this.

Time flies.

What's in the box, human?

Friday Open Road

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"I meant to do that!"

Larval Sumo

Sgt. White and wife, Junction City, Kansas, 1904 - respectable folk


In Beast Mode

Shower bombs - a cool Christmas gift.

Bitcoin wallet

I keep my cryptocurrency on Coinbase's wallet, but this works with Coinbase to easily move crypto on and off.

This owl looks so strange because it's an albino. Or would that be owlbino?

The 70's! Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Groovy!

Classic, in every way.

Then of course there's this

Why renewable energy like solar and wind is bad for the electrical grid

To get why this is a big problem, you have to know that the electric grid we depend on to provide reliable power whenever we demand it has a very small margin of error.  The amount of energy to keep the grid up an running absolutely must be kept within a very tightly designated level.  A little above, or below, and crash, the grid goes down and your lights go off.

Thus, the problem:

Intermittent renewable generating technologies (i.e. wind and solar) are causing havoc with electric grid operations because these technologies cannot be controlled by the operators of the electricity grid due to the fact that their generation depends on the wind blowing and the sun shining. Thus, the independent system operator in charge of running the grid must be ready to either drive down the generation of traditional technologies (i.e. natural gas and coal) when intermittent renewable generating capacity starts producing power or ramp up generation from more reliable technologies when intermittent renewable generating capacity shuts down. This means that the independent system operator needs an arsenal of flexible generating technologies to come to the rescue in order for electric consumers to receive electricity at the touch of a switch as they have been accustomed to.

So basically, in order to reliably keep the grid up, operators must have two independent systems of power generation: one to make the environmentalists and politicians happy, consisting of renewables like wind and solar, and a second more traditional capacity with power generated by coal, oil or natural gas, to make up the difference when renewables don't generate.  Double expensive to operate and maintain, and very tricky to operate so the power you want at home or work is there when you want it.

I imagine there is a way to manage all this and that it will be worked out over time.   California should be able to make solar power work, if any state can.  We'll see.

Successful second Dream Chaser test drop

Sierra Nevada and NASA, which has contracted with the company for cargo delivery to the International Space Station, are now reviewing data from the drop test, during which a Chinook helicopter released the spacecraft from an altitude of 12,324 feet. The landing recalled similar returns of the space shuttle, which, like the Dream Chaser, reentered Earth's atmosphere largely as a glider and rolled to a stop on a runway.
During the last two years, Sierra Nevada has worked to reconfigure the inside of Dream Chaser to accommodate cargo only—the crew and cargo versions have 85-percent commonality—and has conducted a couple of “captive carry” tests. However, it hadn’t taken the step toward a critical free-flight test. Now it has. With this milestone behind it, the company now appears to be on track toward a possible 2019 launch of Dream Chaser into space.

Worked a bit better than this first time.  Notice what they call an "anomaly" is the left landing gear failing to fully deploy.  I was disappointed they didn't show the messy landing. Minor damage, repaired, and now the successful second test.

I ran CNN through that makeup removal app.

That new makeup removal app is amazing

French gold and silver treasure found in an old Abbey.

A hoard of hidden medieval treasure, a fortune in gold and silver coins, was unexpectedly discovered during an excavation at the site of the famed medieval Abbey of Cluny in Saône-et-Loire, eastern France.

Treasure in situ

The medieval loot included 2,200 deniers (or pieces of silver) mostly issued by Cluny Abbey itself as well as 21 gold dinar coins, originally from the Middle East which were stored in a canvas bag. 
The bounty also included a gold signet ring marked with the word “Avete” — a “word of greeting in a religious context” — as well as a folded 24-gram gold leaf and 21 Moroccan and Andalusian gold coins.

A nice pile of silver treasure indeed.

It is the first 12th century Cluniac treasure discovered in its original context during an archaeological excavation. It’s also the largest number of silver deniers discovered in one place and the only single hoard ever found to include Arabic coins, silver deniers and a signet ring. The intaglio stone is ancient Roman and engraved with the profile of a deity.  Ancient engravings were prestige items and often re-used as signet rings by the medieval elite.

Also of note is the survival of fragments of the original bag the hoard was stashed in. Fragments of it are still attached to some of the coins. There is also a surviving piece of tanned animal hide which was tied around the bundle of 21 gold dinars minted between 1121 and 1131 in Spain and Morocco during the reign of Almoravid sultan Ali Ben Youssef (1106-1143).

         A relic of Rome, reused by the folk of the Middle Ages.

In the 16th century the Abbey of Cluny was sacked by Hugenots and never really recovered. At the time of the French Revolution, the monastic order was dissolved and under Napoleon the abbey itself was demolished and used as a quarry. Today only one of its eight grand towers still stands, which is why archaeologists continue to excavate it, 90 years after the first archaeological explorations of the site began.

A reconstruction of the Abbey at Cluny

US top ace, Eddie Rickenbacker, with 26 victories, date unknown.

Ragnar's Dog

Gonna have to figure a way to paint a version of this on the boring black plastic stock of my 10/22.