Saturday, February 23, 2019

Freckles, they are good

Explain this

When life takes its toll

B-29 after a hard landing

My Parker 22R does a great job. This adjustable one looks even better.

Shave of the Day


A Winter's shave.

Vintage Johan Engström frame back straight razor.  Stirling Coniferous soap, and a badger brush to whip it into a good foamy cream.  Black Tea and Vanilla aftershave from Noble Otter.

Two passes, some touchup, and we are good to go for Saturday.

Early Riser

Cabin Porn

This one's for Brig

Breakfast Porn


Friday, February 22, 2019

Let there be light

Old Classic

US Air Force F-35s wrecked their enemies in mock air combat — even the new pilots were racking up kills against simulated near-peer threats

Maybe they're finally working out the bugs.

The US Air Force put the F-35 up against "the most advanced weapons systems out there" during the recent Red Flag air combat exercise, and the fight-generation stealth fighters apparently dominated — so much so that even the rookie pilots were crushing it. 

Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing's 4th Fighter Squadron took to the skies in upgraded F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters, integrating into a "Blue Force" consisting of fifth and fourth-generation fighters for a "counter air" mission against a "Red Force" made up of "equally capable" fighters. 
During the intense fight, aggressor aircraft blinded many of the "blue" fourth-generation aircraft using electronic attack capabilities, such as those advanced adversaries might employ in battle. 

"Even in this extremely challenging environment, the F-35 didn't have many difficulties doing its job," Col. Joshua Wood, 388th Operations Group commander, explained in a US Air Force statement summarizing the exercise results.
The F-35A participated in Red Flag, the service's top air combat exercise, for the first time two years ago. At that time, the powerful stealth aircraft was only at its initial operating capability, yet it still destroyed the opposition with a 20:1 kill ratio. 
This year, pilots were flying F-35s with upgrades offering improved combat capabilities and maneuverability, making the aircraft more lethal in air combat. The Block 3F software upgrades brought the aircraft up to full warfighting capability. 
The F-35A is "exceeding our expectations when it comes to not only being able to survive, but to prosecute targets," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said Tuesday, according to Air Force Times.

What I saw

So this morning I'm sitting at work.  I'm on the second floor of a building that sits on a low bluff overlooking a stretch of the Sacramento River in Redding.

I happened to look up, and lo and behold, just then I see, at eye level, a big old bald eagle fly by, shadowed closely by an annoyed crow.

They are big, regal birds, I must say, and I sure didn't expect to see that.

Looked pretty close to this

Someone in Redding took this video near the Highway 44 bridge.  Apparently there are a pair.

The Trump administration announced this week that it was canceling nearly $1 billion in grant money for California’s now-defunct high-speed rail project — and President Donald Trump is coming for the other $2.5 billion.

Therefore, the Trump administration argues, the state has to repay federal taxpayers.
Gavin is probably even now making panicked and teary phone calls to Aunt Nancy, pleading with her to do something.
Newsom said the state would still build a portion of the high-speed rail project in the Central Valley in an effort to hold onto the federal funds that President Barack Obama’s administration had allocated to the project: “I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump, Newsom told legislators in the State Capitol in Sacramento.
Notice the mindset here.  He doesn't want the money to go to Donald Trump.  Hey Gavin, it's not Donald's money, it's the people's money - those taxpayers who you regressives continually try to abuse.  They were lied to about the train to nowhere, and now they are going to want that coin back.
Trump is somewhat indifferent to high-speed rail: he favors infrastructure spending, but wants to see the projects built.
Yeah, like how about some water storage, or highway repair and improvement?
And as a world-famous developer, Trump knows the rules of the game: deliver the project, or pay up.
Legally California may have no choice.
Justice can't come soon enough for the spendthrifts in Sacramento.

Friday Open Road

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Be ready to move

Freckles, they are good

Fine engraving indeed

Not everything can be made the same.

German Wire-haired Pointer

Skier sets of avalanche and rides it down.

So it's goodbye then.

The Ice Age cometh

Rare snow falls in Malibu, only miles from the beach.

Las Vegas sees first measurable snow in over a decade.

Seventy Seven? Man, time flies.

Red pills administered.

Bring it on! Musk vs. Bezos: The Battle of the Space Billionaires Heats Up

The company stands out in another way—it’s the only one to recover and reuse its rockets. Landings of its Falcon 9 first stages have gone from being novelties, often with explosive failures, to a routine aspect of most missions. Last May, SpaceX introduced its latest version of the Falcon 9, called the Block 5, the first stage of which is designed to be flown 10 or more times.
Although the Falcon 9 will be SpaceX’s workhorse for years to come, the company added a new vehicle to its stable three months before introducing the Block 5. Last February, the company launched the first Falcon Heavy, which includes three Falcon 9 first stages lined up in a row. The Falcon Heavy is capable of placing more than 60 metric tons into low Earth orbit, far more than any existing launch vehicle can accomplish.
Blue Origin, by contrast, has yet to launch anything at all into orbit. But the company has similarly big ambitions. It’s working on a rocket it calls New Glenn (named after John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth), which is scheduled to launch for the first time in 2021. The two-stage rocket will be able to place 45 metric tons into low Earth orbit, with its first stage designed to land on a ship at sea and be reused up to 25 times.
“We’re in build mode right now,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, during a space policy workshop in Washington, D.C., this past October. The company has completed a new 70,000-square-meter (750,000-square-foot) factory for constructing the rocket just outside the gates of the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, and it’s currently building a testing and refurbishment facility nearby, which is expected to be completed in early 2019. Blue Origin is also modifying a dormant launchpad at nearby Cape Canaveral for its operations and has signed up several commercial customers for New Glenn.

Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket [top] will be capable of lifting 45 metric tons into low Earth orbit, while SpaceX’s Starship [bottom], if refueled in space, will be capable of ferrying 100 metric tons to the surface of Mars.

As they say, read it all.