Friday, July 7, 2017

Steaming jungle outside. Found some more old pictures.

There's a cold air mass hovering just north of us this morning. When it moves through this afternoon, we're in for big storms again. Be that as it may, I'm ready for it to  get here. The humidity has stayed in the high eighties for three days now, and the water is dripping out of the trees like rain. It condenses out on the leaves and then comes down in big drops. Everything is soaked. There's mildew or something growing on the concrete of the parking pads, covering them with a green sheen.

Throw in temperatures pushing 90 degrees and this can be a challenging environment. We had huge thunderstorms roll through yesterday afternoon, then it cleared up and just steamed us like a rice cooker.

I had to go up to the next county to see my doctor, and it was an interesting trip. The rain came down in torrents. At the same time, the Sheriff's Department had a speed trap going on the county line. People were still speeding despite the low visibility and the danger of hydroplaning, so I didn't feel sorry for the line of cars pulled over waiting for their tickets.  Our county Sheriff recently announced a big crackdown on speeding, and I'm all for it. Some of these idiots drive so fast they can't make the curves in the road, so you come around the side of one of those curves, where the view is blocked by the mountains, and here comes a BMW sliding into your lane. I'm getting too old for excitement like that.

When my mother in law died, one of the things my wife got was a big old shoe box full of pictures. Most of them were of her family, but there were a lot of our wedding pictures I had never even seen. That got me motivated to go out and plunder around in the climate controlled part of the barn, looking for a tin box of old photos I had never scanned. This was one of them.  I know from the note on the back of the picture that it was taken in 1975, at my father's home.  That's my youngest brother next to me. I was a newly minted Second Lieutenant back then.

This picture was taken at Naval Air Station Whiting, in Milton, Florida in 1976.  I can tell from the helmet that I was flying the T-28 in VT-6 when this was taken.  When you transitioned to helicopters in HT-8, you turned in a lot of your fixed wing gear for rotary wing specific equipment. The helicopter helmet was bigger and heavier than the fixed wing version.

The T-28 was used all over the world, sometimes as a trainer, but more often as a fighterbomber. It was solid, easy to fly, sturdy, and most important for a lot of  third world countries, easy to maintain.  When the T-28 was phased out of U.S. Service at the end of the 1970's, most of the airframes were expended in crash training for Naval Air Station fire crews. It was a real waste.  If you go to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, there's a T-28 from VT-6 hanging from the roof. I flew that aircraft on numerous occasions and she shows up in my log book as a result. It's good at least that Trojan was saved for posterity. 

I flew a lot of different aircraft from 1973 through 1995.  Started out in the Cessna 150 at Seven Bars Aviation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in November, 1973. The Navy paid for my civilian flight training under the reserve flight indoctrination program. I made my last flight as a pilot in command in the summer of 1995 , flying a Civil Air Patrol T-141 here.  Somewhere on the right hand side of the blog there's a list of the different types I flew, both civilian and military.  I got to fly a TA-4 Skyhawk, but not as a PIC, I flew in the front seat while an old friend was PIC in the back seat. That's the only jet I ever flew.

I wanted to fly fighters, but I didn't make the cut.  Once you finished primary, at NAS Saufley, in the T-34B Mentor, you were sent to the fixed wing pipeline  or the rotary wing pipeline. There may have been fellows who wanted to go fly something besides fighters, but I never met a Marine who did. I knew some Navy guys who wanted to fly patrol planes, or transports, but I never knew a Marine who wanted anything but the fighters. So only the very cream of the crop got fixed wing. It wasn't just flying skills, it was about aggressiveness and attitude. I was a careful flier, and I didn't socialize a whole lot off duty.  If you've seen Top Gun, that's the kind of individuals who got fighters back in the 1970's and 1980's.  Personality wise, I suppose I really was more the helicopter type, but it was a big disappointment. Worked out OK in the end though.

Well, the little T-34B's are long gone.  So, for that matter, is NAS Saufley  where VT-5 and VT-2 operated the type as a primary trainer.  Naval Air Station Saufley was closed down as an active air station with squadrons aboard in the late 1970's as I recall. It's been a long time ago.  Strange how much just one old picture will bring back to mind.   

I got an American Survival Guide in the mail yesterday.  All wrinkled up from the humidity but at least the rain didn't get in the mailbox this time. It's always nice if the carrier remembers to close the little hatch on the box during a thunderstorm.

EMP is the big deal in the survival magazines this summer. Probably because the North Koreans are going balls to the wall on their nuclear weapons.  I remember Barack Hussein sniffing at a press conference a year or so before we got rid of him, saying that the NOK's couldn't have a delivery package that could reach the U.S. in less than 9 years.  Surprise, surprise. Didn't work out that way. They've had the ability to put nukes in orbit for a long time, so EMP is less a science fiction subject and more a real concern these days.

The eternal squealing and shouting about what does or does not work as a Farady cage is addressed in this magazine. That's been going on at least as far back as the mid eighties and probably longer. The article in this issue specifically says that a galvanized metal trash can with the lid set firmly will protect your electronics. I hope the guy is right because that and old microwaves are what I'm using.

There's an article on equipment for your dog, and my mind was boggled. They seem to be making as much "deuce gear" out there for Fido as  they are for people! My brother, the middle one, has been outfitting his Springer spaniels with expensive field gear like snow boots and UV protective goggles for years, but it seems like it's going mainstream now.  Also an article on how dogs fit into a survivalist (or prepper) overall plan. 

Lots of good reviews of equipment I'd love to have but can't afford.  Still, I see this stuff for $100.00, then go to Sportsman's Guide or Major Surplus and Survival, and buy the military surplus equivalent for a lot less. Not as snazzy or prestigious , but fully functional and that's all I care about.

Today I have to go to town.  Post office, bank, library , grocery store, pharmacy, Walmart, and to the park for a walk. I've been putting it off but I need to get up and go, so I'll finish up here.


California. The New Caliphate

Thought for the Day:


  1. Replies
    1. Branco is my favorite political cartoonist. I never miss one of his when he posts them on his web page.

  2. You got to fly a lot of neat machines on Uncle Sam's dime. I wish someone had pointed me in that direction when I was young. I paid out of pocket for my PPL and my instrument rating back in the mid 80s. Even started working on my commercial ticket, until I ran out of money and my CFI got an job with the airlines. Today I can't justify the expense of a rental or the price of a monthly tie down if I owned one.

    1. Uncle Sugar paid for my private license. Then, after I was flying in the military, I dragged out the commercial rating program with the VA so that I could fly out of Jacksonville, N.C. by renting civilian aircraft at the FBO there on the VA bill. I used to rent a Piper Archer or Arrow, and a few friends and I would fly down to Leesburg, Florida from Lejeuene. My family had a cabin on a river down there and we spent some good leaves away from the base. Couldn't have driven down there but flying made it a short trip and it was "free" as far as I was concerned.

      I don't have a medical certificate anymore because of loss of depth perception. But even if I did, the price of a one hour rental would be prohibitive for me as well. When I was doing my last flying here in North Georgia, I got to fly the Civil Air Patrol T-141 (an up engined Cessna 172 the Air Force owned), I could fly it for free on SAR or Training missions, and for $15.00 an hour just for fun. It was a sweet deal until the Air Force cut back and they took the plane away. About that time was when I failed the physical so that was all she wrote anyway.

  3. Thanks for the info Harry. I will look into obtaining that magazine. That video about islam in our schools is frightening to say the least.

    1. Randy, I used to subscribe to a lot of different survival magazines, but a lot of them have gone out of publication. American Survival Guide was big in the eighties, but went out of circulation for a long time and was revived a few years ago. It's a good magazine.

      Yeah, I'd jerk my kids out of a school that did that , in a heartbeat if my kids were still school aged. We home schooled ours, because our schools were grossly overcrowded back then. My wife and I were both teaching in public schools when we decided to do that. It caused some hard feelings with the administrators at the kid's schools, but that was water off a ducks back.

  4. Thanks for sharing your memories Harry. I love looking at all the pictures. I can sympathize with you over the humidity. We have lower 90's with high humidity. It just saps all the energy out of you. I get my outside work done early in the morning. After that, I seclude myself inside with the a/c going. Jana

    1. Jana, sometimes I get to thinking about something, and the post turns out to be a lot different than the one I started out to write. That happened today.

      I fort up inside now too, working in the early morning and staying inside as much as I can during the day. Even the cats who go in and out, and we have several, don't want to go outside anymore.

  5. I lucked out weather wise on my camping trip. Had some rain the first night in Maine, but the worst of the storms went somewhere else. Maine had 5 tornadoes that night, a record.

    The rest of the week was sunny, high 70s to mid 80s, and cooler at night. Now that I'm back home the storms are rolling through again -just in time to save me from watering the garden.

    What do you think of the Super Tucanos, a prop trainer/fighter for low intensity conflicts. Seems like your kind of plane.

    1. I've heard of it, but never seen one in the flesh. I like simple, low maintenance aircraft. I've never understood how those guys fly those patrol planes like Orions, with a cockpit full of gauges. Of course, I guess they have a flight engineer to help them out. Everything I ever flew, it was just the two guys in the cockpit, or often, just the pilot, too keep everything on an even keel.

      I didn't even know Maine had tornadoes. I guess you really do learn something new every day. We get them down here, we are at the tail end of "tornado alley." Scary things, glad all your got was rain

    2. Growing up I was always told we didn't get tornadoes in New England. This is a fairly new thing. I guess we used to occasionally get a weak one, but now there are more of them and they do serious damage.

    3. I have noticed some odd things here over the last thirty years or so about our weather. When I came here in 1986, summers were like they are now, hot, humid, with rain every afternoon. Then it slowly changed to just hot and humid, but hardly any rain. There were bad droughts in 1989, and again in the late 1990's. Then it changed back to normal, then back to not much rain, and now it's back to how it was. I used to keep a written journal from the time I got here on, so I can be pretty sure of events.

      The winters are the same. First it was bitter, bitter cold and lots of snow. Then, slowly over the years, less snow and not so cold. Then it swung back to being cold and snowy. Now we routinely get weather on the mountain here at or below zero for four or five days at a time, and we get more snow. I suppose these are just normal swings of the climate, but I don't know what causes them. I'm pretty sure it's not the exhaust from my truck or something man made though.

  6. Several years ago the Navy picked a few people from the public schools to ride along with the blue angels. I was one of them. As much as I wanted to ride in the F18, it didn't happen. Instead, I rode in the C-130 "Fat Albert" with Marine pilots. That was as much fun as I ever had. We did a combat takeoff and landing and I remember at the top of our climb we pulled like 2 g's while dropping back to earth. Incredible.

    I appreciate all those aviators, and how gracious they all were. I imagine you would have liked to continue flying if you could have. I would have liked private lessons but never could afford it.

    As far as EMP protection, wouldn't your typical 50 cal ammo cans work just as well as a trash can? --Troy

    1. I would have liked to fly in the F-18 too. The F-14 and the F4 were the airplanes of my time. I can remember going out to Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque and watching the New Mexico Air National Guard flying F100 Super Sabres.

      I did two parachute jumps from the Hercules at Fort Benning, but I remember the C-130 best from another experience. My wife and I took some leave when we were stationed in Naples Italy, and were traveling around the Med, mostly on MAC flights. My wife was about three months pregnant, but we were due to rotate back to the states and it was a last chance kind of thing. We flew into Crete, did some touristing, then we had a chance to catch a C-130 to Athens, Greece. I was nervous about her getting on it. It was cargo configured, with just those red strap seats along the sides of the aircraft. I needn't have worried though. The Air Force flight crew made her a little bed out of red strap seats and covered her up with their flight jackets. They were some good men, those Air Force fliers. I have never forgotten that act of kindness.

      Yes, I'd have liked to continued flying out of the airfield here, but even if my eyes hadn't started deteriorating, I couldn't have afforded to rent a plane at the prices per hour they run. I had a good long experience with flying,but everything ends at some point.

      Troy, the article in the magazine says that ammo cans would work with "some slight modification" , but it doesn't say just what. I have always heard that ammo cans would work, but I went with old unserviceable microwaves and the metal trash cans because that seemed the least controversial. I don't know if it works because I never knew how to test it. The article talks about how you can use GRMS radios or a wifi system to test your Faraday devices, but it seems like a lot of trouble, because theoretically they should work fine.

    2. It seems to me like the ammo cans should work. I mean, they seal up nicely with the rubber gasket. With your average metal garbage can, the lids don't seal tight. Anyway, the ammo cans currently hold my comms gear, for convenience and portability more than anything else. I'm curious what the authors meant by "slight modification". --Troy

    3. I wish the guy had said what he meant too. I will go back and read the article again. When I read it, I was aggravated by the assertion with no amplification. The magazines are expensive, they run about ten bucks a pop, that's the same as a box of 9mm ball. If I lay out that kind of money on a magazine I want good editing, and an editor should have caught that. But I will check it again in case I just skipped part of it. I do get distracted sometimes , with all the animals it's hard to just sit down and read straight through something. Then there's the bane of my existence, the last two motion sensors on the Jeep trail. The damned chickens go down there sometimes and set them off, and I have to get up, walk down to the edge of the meadow, and peer down the trail because I never know if it's the chickens or a bear, or some whacked out druggie like the one who showed up here once.

  7. Thank You So Much Harry for all the plane pictures and history. I should this post to our oldest who is a major military plane enthusiasts and he loved it. Thought it was really cool we have a blogger friend that actually flew. I (jugm) have been to the museum in P-Cola. It was about 20 + years ago though. Very cool place.

    Been hot and crazy humid here too...can't wait for fall

    1. Glock Mom, I have some old aviation magazines from the 1960's and 1970's. Do you think he would like to have them? I'd be glad to send them on, they have been out in the barn in boxes since 1986.

      There are several people who are still flying . Michael in Maine is a pilot, and the fellow who has a blog named after his dog and lives in New Orleans is a big time pilot still. I can't remember the name of the blog but it'll come to me.

      There's a fellow called Old NFO I see on blogs commenting sometimes, and I don't know anything about him, but he was a Naval Flight Officer back in the day, so he probably has some good stories to tell.

      I want to go back to Pensacola some day, just to walk around and see it again. Don't know if I ever will, but it isn't that far.

      Remember how I moaned and groaned about how cold it was this past winter, and now I am missing it and kvetching about the heat!

    2. That's it! I like the guy, and I used to read his blog a lot. But during the election we kind of drifted away, as he was very disparaging about President Trump. He's a good guy and entitled to his opinion, and it's really kind of lame of me to do an Achilles and sulk in my tent.I ought to go back to reading him.

    3. Old NFO is a genuinely "good guy". I've met him a few times, and gave him a personal tour of the Iowa when he was traveling through SoCal one time. He was the first "blog friend" I ever met in person, and he also explained to me in simple language how to zero a new scope, and what to watch out for. I can now do it in 3~4 rounds, compared to using up a half box of rounds!

    4. He seems like a nice guy. I don't think I've ever talked to him directly, but I see his comments from time to time because we seem to visit the same blogs sometimes.

    5. Hey Harry.... Yea we Follow Old NFO..he is a really great guy.

      I think we will pass on the old magazines, but Thank you anyways. Hope you guys have a great Sunday and stay cool.

    6. Ok, Glock Mom. I know young people don't have a lot of room in their apartments. But if he ever wants some aviation books or magazines, you know how to get in touch. I am using since I had problems with the Harry Flashman email account.

      I think, a long time ago, I went to Old NFO's page and he was a preacher or some kind of clergyman,and that scared me off. I should go by there again though, he seems pretty level headed and pragmatic in his comments I've seen on other blogs.

    7. Oh, hell. it's I can't stop capitalizing that name to save my life.

  8. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for your service, Harry.

    While there are some metals that will shield better, a STEEL box with a tight-fitting lid is fine. If you get extra paranoid, you can use some adhesive-backed aluminum tape, like for roof repair, to seal the lid on.

    I keep a portable HF radio in a big steel ammo can, and a power supply with a solar charge controller in another one.

    Sorry I haven't been by lately. We're up to our necks in getting the house ready to be listed so we can sell it and finish off The Great Colorado Move.

    It gets listed next week. Houses in this zip code sell in 14~18 days, and escrows have been closing in 20~25 days.

    We should be OUT of The People's Demokratik Republik of Kaliforniastan by the end of August.

    I'll miss my son, my friends, the weather, In-N-Out burgers, and of course I'll miss volunteering on the Battleship Iowa.

    And that's about it....

    1. Dr. Jim, I just got to thinking about those old pictures, and got long winded.It's ok though, because this blog started out as a record for my family. I want to leave enough behind about me that I won't just be some vague figure in the family history down the line. We have copies of my great, great grandfathers pension papers from the State of Georgia after the Civil War, and we have some books on his regiment, so we can follow his company through the war. Then we have the family oral history about him. I figure the blog will be out there somewhere forever and that will help my descendants see how things were and what I was like.

      What about the trash can thing? I have all my eggs "in two baskets" , as I use both old microwaves and trash cans to store electronics.I think my trashcans are galvanized steel.

      I know that you have been up to your ass in alligators, between moving preps, your trip, your house, and the weather. Not to worry. We all get overwhelmed sometimes. I have been by your place periodically so I know you are busy.

      I know you'll miss those things, but you will be so much happier and relaxed out in the countryside of Colorado. There was this fellow from out there who used to blog, named Max, and he posted pictures of the most wonderful scenery. He kind of just drifted away from blogging, though.

  9. The trash cans are steel, so you should be "good to go". The reason I recommend the aluminum tape is that if there are any gaps between the "mating parts", and it's a very strong EMP, then the induced currents in the metal box can cause a high voltage which will try and jump the gaps. The metal tape just shorts the pieces together. The enclosures I worked with designed for that use always had "shorting straps" to tie all the parts together.

    My thing about the EMP issue is that if we get hit with an EMP it might very likely be a side effect to a detonation designed to flatten a city.

    I've corresponded with Max in Colorado more than a few times. He hasn't posted anything in about 4 months, but I'm sure he's still around.

    And we're definitely looking forward to getting out of this Liberal Paradise! My wife has a very good friend who moved to Greely, Colorado about 6 months ago, and we hooked up with her last time we were there.

    I checked out the ranges there, and we'll be getting a family membership once we're settled in.

    1. I'll get some aluminum tape for the cans. It can't hurt and I know you are up on all this, while I am not really that knowledgeable in the area of EMP. It's hard to figure out an iron clad procedure, because even the well known survivalist authors differ among themselves on the issue. It's like "what's the best gun?" People will argue over that until doomsday.

      There's bound to be a big Carrington Event somewhere along the line. We're overdue. Then there is the question of the NOK's, the Iranians, the Pakistanis, and all the terrorist dogs and ponies floating around out there. Who knows what one of those, or some combination thereof, might do. It's all science fiction until it happens, and then it's history.

      Max is a good guy. He just disappeared one day. I always enjoyed his posts. He reminded me of myself when I was young, all positive attitude and Gung Ho about life. I hope he and his wife are ok. The internet is full of blogs that just stopped abruptly. When I look for desert blogs, I find a lot of them but they all went dark years ago without explanation.

      Our county is building a gun range here for county residents. There is a big meeting at the community center on Thursday evening, which I am planning to go to. That's unusual for me. We do have a public range here, but it's run by a group from another county. I was a member, on and off, for years but finally it was so full of Floridians who wanted to control every little thing and have lots of meetings and make lots of speeches that I just quit. The final straw was a big meeting everyone had to attend. There were probably 300 people crammed into a hall in their town. The windbag that was President made a big speech and was on a rant about people being careless. He asked everyone who had never had an accidental discharge with a weapon to raise their hand and I was the only one who did. I'll bet not one tenth of the guys in there had ever had an errant shot, but they were so intimdated they just let him roll on. I figured, to hell with it, I can just shoot at the house. They were having so many "cowboy" shoots and "IPSC" shoots, and god knows what else, that I coudln't get a range station on weekends anyway, and I was working then.

      I hope this new range will be better. The county has been spending lots of money on improvements here, like our first alert system, so who knows?

      You just have to keep plugging at it and you'll be in the high country before you know it.

    2. Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes it almost seems overwhelming.

      The gardener is here today putting in a lot of plants and flowers, and spreading bark/mulch in the flower beds. My wife doesn't garden, and I can't see the point here in SoCal unless you grow cactus! If you're not careful here your water bill can hit $200 pretty easily.

      A few posts up you mentioned "modifying" ammo cans for use as EMP shields. I'd guess one of the things they do is take the seal out of the lid and replace it with something like steel wool/brass wool/a "Chore Boy" pad or something similar. You really want conductive material across any gaps between the steel pieces. The seal would cause an air gap, and the magnetic lines of force might get in to the container. If you put sensitive electronics in a strong enough changing magnetic field, you can induce large currents into the metal pieces, which can cause voltages to develop. It's the voltage that causes integrated circuits and transistors to fail.

    3. I'm glad I don't have a water bill. My power bill usually doesn't even come close to that much!

      You are sprucing the place up for the market, eh? That's a good idea. A little thoughtful effort like that can enhance both the value and the marketability of a home.

      That sounds logical to me. I don't use ammo cans for Farady cages because I have other uses for them, and trash cans are cheap. Also we've blown up microwaves over the years because of the terrible electricity we get over our lousy grid. I just cut the cords off them.

      If I did use cans, I'd be putting your thoughts to the test! They make sense to me, and there must be some modifications, of some kind, required or the writer wouldn't have said that. Those modification you suggest make good sense to me.

    4. We had a "handyman" guy come through here a couple of weeks ago who fixed the cracks in the walls and then painted two rooms, did a lot of painting and crack fixing outside, and a bunch of other stuff for us. I'm in the throes of tearing apart and packing up the radio room so we can get that (last!) room painted.

      We've thrown away so much stuff I can't believe it, and I've sold a dozen or more items on eBay.

      A lot of things, especially if they're metal, we just put out on the curb and let the scavengers take. Any kind of little cabinet/book case, or furniture disappears in a few hours. There's two guys that cruise the neighborhoods around here in flat bed trucks, and if an item has any value at all, POOF! It's gone!

      I have a huge pile of "eWaste" I have to take to an "authorized disposal site", and I'll do that on Monday. And our gardener guy is going to haul away all the old paint, weed spray, motor oil, etc and take care of it for us for the princely sum of $350. Yeah, I could do it myself, but it would take several trips, and consume a whole day. He'll do it all with his big truck, and we trust him enough to do it properly. He WON'T just take it to the dump; he'll take it to the proper place to dispose of it.

      I suppose it will be worth it to get out of Kommiefornia, but man....what a PITA it is!

      I will NEVER move again! Just scatter my ashes in the mountains after I'm gone.....

    5. Moving really is hard. I had to do it every three years of so during my military service. I don't want to go through it again. What I would really like to do is hand this place over to my kids and make one last move , either to the Southwest or the beach, with just what I could pack in an SUV. But right now, that's not going to happen because they don't want to come live here. I guess I will just have to wait and see how things develop in the future. I'm content here, and if winds up with me staying here permanently, so be it.

      You've gotten a lot done, and as far as I can see you have done all the right things. It takes a lot of foresight and a lot of motivation and determination to actually make a move like that. I'm sure it's going to pay off in peace of mind and quality of life for you and your wife.

  10. Hi Harry :) The photos of you and your brother are great. Very handsome men :) And I love those pictures of the mountains, you live in a wonderful area. I've never been to the Blue Ridge mountains, only seen them on tv, they remind me of the Appalachians, where I used to live a little East of here. I'm all for outfitting the pets! Though I make my own stuff for them, I can't afford all the doodads they sell out there!
    PS: I am following your blog through my blog roll because I can't stand Google+, so I can't officially follow. Just wanted to let you know I'm creeping around ha ha! :)

  11. Rain, thanks for the nice thoughts. I found those old pictures and they brought back a lot of memories.

    The Blue Ridge Mountains are actually part of the Southern Appalachians. I live about two hours from Springer mountain. The Appalachian trail runs along the mountain just behind the one I live on.

    They even had tactical vests for dogs in that magazine. Little boots for dogs, UV goggles for dogs. It reminded me of the sign that says "Everybody who lives here has a gun, except the dog and she don't need one."

    I am not sure what Google Plus is. I don't pay much attention to the following thing though, I haven't added a new "follower" in a couple of years, so something must have changed with how you follow a person. If they have one of those little picture blocks on their blog I usually click "follow" on it, out of habit.

    I really only pay attention to the comments. I enjoy "talking" to people. Come by often, I appreciate your visiting.