Hurricane Preparedness

TofuThere are currently three hurricanes active in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. All are posing risks to Caribbean islands and to Mainland US destinations. The most significant storm is Irma, currently wreaking havoc on Puerto Rico and likely to devastate its way through the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and thence up the east coast of Florida. At 941 millibars central pressure and winds of 160 mph, it is possibly the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic. We will be praying for those in the path of the storm to be well and safe.

All seriousness aside, I have included a (clickable) whimsical photo (I forget where I stole it) of the vegan section in the deli department of some store in Houston where folks there stocked up on everything but the tofu crap. Who could blame them?

Oh, and stand by for the calls by “climateers” to blame this on man made greenhouse gasses instead of the natural forces on the planet as intended by its creator.

Moon Shadow

Moon Shadow

I found this image on Spaceweather.com of the moon’s shadow falling on where the Better Half and I watched the total solar eclipse. The text indicated that this was taken from a balloon at 130,000 feet above the Earth.

We still can’t get over how spectacular the eclipse was to see it at near the centerline. Totality lasted almost two and a half minutes and the eerie darkness falling on Casper, WY where we watched was equally astonishing.

The next total eclipse seen in the US won’t be until 2024 and, if we’re in good health, we may try to find totality again. If the Good Lord keeps us feeling this good into our octogenarian years, then it just might happen.

Landmark in Iowa

Brownells

As the big RV lumbered down I-80 westbound passing Grinnell, Iowa, The Better Half took this clickable image of the main headquarters of The World’s Largest Supplier of gun parts and accessories. We have been customers of this place in the past and probably will be in the future.

The building in the image above is largely truncated. It actually extends about five times the width seen in the photo. It would be difficult to capture the whole building with a standard lens since it is so close to the highway.

Just a note about the “fly-over” country we have seen on our trip regarding firearms: there are plenty of gun stores and places to buy ammo and shooting supplies. There is a lot of hunting in these areas and, no doubt, low crime rates because of the availability of defensive weaponry.

LTV A7 Corsair II

LTV A7 Corsair II

A couple of days ago, we were camped in Montrose, Colorado. On our way out of town, we passed the Airport where this Ling Temco Vought (LTV) A7 Corsair II was mounted on a pedestal. I read that the last of these subsonic Navy attack aircraft has been decommissioned.

The sight of this (clickable) image (courtesy The Better Half) brought memories back to me. In the early sixties, I was stationed at the US Naval Missile Center, Point Mugu, CA. We had the big brother of the A7 on our aircraft line. Our F8U Corsair I aircraft were used to control drone aircraft flown downrange to be used as targets for air to air missile practice.

Later in my aerospace career, I was assigned to a project where our customer was LTV in Dallas, TX. The job was to evaluate and demonstrate Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensors potentially to be installed in the Corsair II. We spent a couple of weeks with prototype equipment at NAS Dallas.

It is always nice to see these old aircraft preserved for posterity. I do not know if any of these are still flown by civilians in refurbished aircraft. It would be nice to see one flying.

Gifted

gifted.jpgWe haven’t done one of these “flix” category reviews for a long time. We both watched the “Gifted” DVD and enjoyed it very much.

While this flick has all the ingredients intended for a family audience, it also targets those of us who have experienced higher levels of mathematics associated with our jobs or avocations. The latter subject matter doesn’t bog down the family aspect of the story as it keeps moving. There is also some brief comedy in the characters banter and actions.

The presentation of a gifted seven-year old girl’s complete grasp of differential equations and the Calculus was well done. I wonder if it is actually possible for an individual of that age to “get” differential or transcendental equations? Regardless, it was an entertaining movie to watch.

The IMDB Storyline follows:

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (McKenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

The Proliferation of CCW Reduces Crime

nssf.png

The National Shooting Sports Foundation published an article which shows the positive effect on crime rates when and where law-abiding people carry sidearms. The NSSF liberally quoted from a paper written by John Lott on the subject of permit holders.

Here are a couple of key paragraphs from the NSSF article:

Today, there are more than 16.3 million concealed carry permit holders nationwide. A record 1.83 million permits have been issued in the last year alone. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center reports that 6.5 percent of adults have a concealed carry permit. But because 14 states do not require a permit, having recognized a constitutional right to carry in all or part of their states that figure under-counts the number of Americans choosing to carry a firearm for self-defense.

. . .

The data show that individuals who hold concealed carry permits are more law-abiding than the general population. In fact, Lott cites data from Texas and Florida that show permit holders commit crimes at even lower percentages than police officers. This makes sense because citizens must go through an often demanding process to qualify for a permit to carry concealed. Criminals who misuse guns are not going to put themselves through that process.

In the second paragraph above, it is interesting to note that, as a group, CCW holders are MORE law-abiding than law enforcement as a group. One of my daily stops is to read posts at The War on Guns where David regularly takes the “only ones” to task for their misdeeds.

Just a note about issuing ‘permits’ to carry guns - when the Founders wrote the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the language is quite clear that they were not allowing citizens to be armed, but rather that the God-given and natural right to defense was to be hands-off guns on the part of government. It is sad to see so many who view 2A as a permit to carry when it is actually a statement relative to the security of a free country by virtue of its citizens to be armed. Requiring a permit to carry (or to disallow it altogether) is an infringement.

Enjoying the Spa in the Summertime

Being Prepared

During the Summer Months, The Better Half and I keep the spa at temperatures in the mid-eighties to ninety degrees F. That is plenty cool enough to contrast with our normal daytime temperatures of 100 degrees plus. Once in the spa, the water cools us right down.

Prior to getting in, we go through our Spa Checklist:

  • Towels for drying when getting out - check
  • Drinking water - check
  • Water temperature/level OK - check
  • Spa jets activated - check
  • Personal defense accounted for - check

We aren’t terribly remote from civilization, but our lot size is the better part of an acre isolated on three sides by hilly, natural desert. If some danger were to present itself in the two-legged form, it would likely have to enter via the driveway which encircles the house. If something like that sort of threat were to occur while we’re in the spa, we want to ensure our personal protection by providing for that ourselves, thus the loaded Glock 30 (Fat Man) next to the spa.

The day I took this photo, the temperature on the patio was 105° in the shade and the water temperature was 87° in the spa. TBH and I had an enjoyable fifteen or twenty minute dip in the spa. Clickable image.

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