Sarah Palin is the only woman who can make Tony Romo WIN a playoff.

calendar   Monday - August 17, 2015

Almost Ready

Bugatti 100P almost ready to fly
Space Age 500mph racing airplane designed in 1937, hidden from the Nazis, almost forgotten about, never flown or finished
Only Bugatti airplane ever built
Meticulous Full Size Reproduction Built By Hand


Kitten Shark too frightened to be test pilot

Loads of links at every search engine. Backstory, construction story, videos, plans, even Ettore Bugatti’s original patents. Sweet.
Personally, I think it’s merely the most bad-ass looking airplane ever dreamed up. For that reason alone it has to fly.

h/t to Vilmar for posting on this last week. No first flight date yet released. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/17/2015 at 04:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuffplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 05, 2015

Dig A Bigger Ditch, Make Money In Your Spare Time

Suez II To Open Tomorrow


Two years ahead of schedule, Egypt’s $8 Billion project could double traffic, cut transit time, increase allowable ship size ... and make Egypt a fortune?

CAIRO — When construction of the Suez Canal began more than 150 years ago, it took a decade to complete the vital passageway that connects the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea. The expanded waterway that opens Thursday was completed in only one year, just a third of the time originally planned.

Swift completion of the $8 billion project is being touted by the government as a sign of its competence under President Abdel el-Sissi, the former military commander who ousted and jailed Egypt’s first democratically elected president two years ago.

“This is Egypt’s gift to the world. We promised and we delivered,” said Admiral Mohab Mameesh, the retired commander-in-chief of the Egyptian navy and chairman of the state-owned Suez Canal Authority, which owns and operates the waterway.

The expansion, much of it funded by the sale of investment certificates to private citizens, involved widening and deepening the original waterway and adding a parallel canal nearly 22 miles long. El-Sissi had demanded that the three-year timetable for the project be sped up.

“I think it’s extremely impressive that they have done this very big project in a very short time. That’s astonishing,” said Peter Hinchliffe, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, who visited the new canal last week.

The widening will increase traffic from 50 ships a day to 97 and reduce the time to travel through the canal from around 18 hours to 11 hours, according to Mahmoud Rezk, director of planning and research at the Suez Canal Authority. Annual profits from the canal will more than double from $5.3 billion to $13.2 billion by 2023, Rezk predicted.

In addition to expanding the canal, the government has ambitious plans to develop a massive industrial and transportation hub nearby that would create jobs and boost an economy ravaged by years of political unrest.

Nice. “Gift to the world”, indeed. But ... is it a gift the world needs now? Or even later?


“From a shipping industry point of view, this initiative to expand the Suez canal was a bit of a surprise,” said Ralph Leszczynski, Singapore-based head of research at Genoese shipbroker Banchero Costa & Co. “There was no pressing need or requests for this as far as I’m aware.”

Suez has yet to fully recover since the global financial crisis caused shipping to plummet in 2009. Though total tonnage has increased, the number of vessels using the canal remains 20 percent below its 2008 level and just 2 percent higher than a decade ago, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Rather than a bottleneck, analysts say those statistics reflect slower global trade growth, which the International Monetary Fund expects to average 3.4 percent in the period 2007-2016, compared with 7 percent over the previous decade.

The Baltic Dry Index, which measures rates for shipping iron ore, coal and grain and is viewed as a bellwether for the global economy, slumped to a record low 509 points in February. It remains about 90 percent below its all-time high of 11,793 reached in 2008.
The government hasn’t made public viability studies to show how it will gain a return on its 64 billion Egyptian pound ($8.2 billion) investment. The expansion will meet future demand, with traffic expected to double to 97 vessels a day by 2023, said Mohab Mameesh, head of the Suez Canal Authority.

“By creating a second lane of the canal we are able to reduce waiting times, which reduces fuel expenditures and costs, with no increase in our toll fees,” he said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Global trade volume would need to rise by around 9 percent a year for Suez to reach its traffic goal, Capital Economics said in a report on Monday, describing the target as “unlikely to say the least.”

Dredging the original canal another 2 meters deep may also allow many “CapeMax” sized ships - those that previously were too deep to transit the canal, and thus had to go the long way around Africa via the Cape of Good Hope [Cape Alguhas actually]- to use the Suez. Currently, the “bounding box” limits the “SuezMax", class of vessels to a maximum draft of 20.1 meters for ships 50m or less in beam, or 12 meters for ships up to 74m in beam. The Suez Canal has no locks; it’s open water from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. This means that there is no length limit for SuezMax ships. An extra meter or two of draft would allow most of the largest ships in the world to use the route.

All we need to do is get the global economy running again.

Security has been stepped up along the canal ahead of tomorrow’s ceremony, which is expected to be attended by el-Sissi and foreign dignitaries.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Mohammed Samir said extra troops have been deployed to ‘deal with threats and potential aggression.’

Some analysts say security remains a concern for foreign investors, whose capital is needed for the next stage of the project - the expansion of the canal zone to include a logistics hub and manufacturing centres.

The canal extension has stirred intense national fervor. Cairo’s Tahrir Square is decked with lights, TV networks are running countdown clocks, and some visitors arriving at Cairo’s airport have been given commemorative passport stamps calling the canal ‘Egypt’s gift to the world.’

One organizer of the opening, interviewed on popular private broadcaster Mahwar, said no one should doubt the project’s grandeur.

‘For those who are skeptical or denying, tell me who they are so that we can drown them in the new canal’s 27-metre depth,’ Sami Abdel-Azizi said.

The TV presenter replied: ‘No, we will do that for you.’


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/05/2015 at 03:27 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - May 26, 2015

TSA “Lost” Badges: This Really Make Me Wonder

Thousands Of TSA Badges Missing For Months

TSA Tries To Block Investigation

Senator John Thune fired off a blistering letter to TSA officials demanding answers regarding missing, lost or stolen SIDA (Secured Identification Display Area) badges that can be used by employees to gain access to secure areas at airports.

“Clearly there are an awful lot of things falling through the cracks and there’s just no room for an error when it comes to this issue. We need answers. They’re not providing them.”

Thune, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said previous answers from the agency had actually raised more questions than answers.

The concern follows reports that more than 270 badges went missing at the San Diego International Airport in the last two years and more than 1,400 badges missing from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Many of the missing badges were not reported for weeks or months in hopes they would be turned it - meaning they were not quickly deactivated.

The information comes following an investigation by a local NBC affiliate in Dallas, TX. They also found reports of missing crew and pilot uniforms.
When Atlanta reported the information to the TSA they said they never should have given out the information in the first place, but we ask--doesn’t the public have a right to know?

Washington lawmakers are demanding an accounting of how many airport security badges have been lost or stolen around the country as an NBC News investigation reveals the problem may be bigger than originally thought.
Workers are supposed to report a missing badge within 24 hours, and the San Diego airport authority said it plans to do more to ensure that rule is followed.

Right. Two airports. One. Two. 1. 2. Two airports. 1670 missing badges. From only TWO airports. I have to wonder, how many TSA employees are there at Hartsfield-Jackson? 1400 perhaps??

How many dozen more, or hundreds more, airports are there in the nation where TSA holds sway? Let’s do a universal badge check right now, and see if the actual number missing isn’t in the tens of thousands.

And are ALL the TSA folks drawn from the same pool of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity workers like the ones I see being the vast overwhelming majority at the NY and NJ airports? The same kind who might also be given to believing in Black Liberation Theology, chickens coming home to roost, jailhouse conversion to some X flavor of jizzlam, and a general God Damn America permanent sense of victimhood? Because I don’t forget how the criminal background checks for the hire-ees were ignored, not done, or went astray during the big TSA ramp up. Nor do I not remember the hundreds if not thousands of cases where TSA employees have been caught stealing passenger’s belongings, abusing the we-see-you-naked scanners, groping grandma, and otherwise flexing their general dickhead powers. Rather makes one wonder if the foxes have been hired to guard the henhouses. And now this? These people are issued firearms too, aren’t they? How many thousand of them are missing as well?

I have no desire to paint the five dozen qualified, honest, and hard working TSA employees with the old tarbrush, but it’s been NDO* for more than 6 years now, and as the mafia says, a fish rots from the head down. Unless you buy rotten fish to begin with, in which case it stinks from one end to the other, and has ever since Chimpy McBusHitlerburton’s Patriot Act got co-opted and co-rrupted by being forced to be a politically co-rrect jobs program.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/26/2015 at 09:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Big Brotherplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobilesRacism and race relations •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 14, 2015

Wonder How Much Singapore “Owes” Them?

Iran Navy Fires At Singapore Vessel, UAE Intervenes

Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces fired warning shots at a Singapore-flagged commercial ship in the Gulf on Thursday, before vessels from the United Arab Emirates came to the ship’s aid, US officials said.

The incident reflects rising tensions in the Gulf, fueled in part by the conflict in Yemen that pits Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen against pro-government forces supported by a Saudi-led coalition.

The Iranian patrol craft fired across the bow of the Alpine Eternity in international waters and the commercial ship then headed towards the UAE, two defense officials told AFP.

The Alpine Eternity issued a radio call for help to the UAE and the Iranian boats fired a second wave of warning shots, the officials said.

UAE authorities heard the radio call and deployed coast guard boats in response. The Iranian boats then departed the area, the officials said.

A US naval ship was about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away at the time but received no request for assistance, officials said. There were no American citizens aboard the commercial ship.

Notice that the article says “boats” - more than one, and “second wave of warning shots” - meaning a multi-ship salvo had been fired previously.

So this is quite a bit more dire a situation than last week’s single shot across the bridge of the Maersk Tigris. This was an ambush. A swarming. An act of war, of course, but who’s counting at this point?

Expect Obama to continue playing The Three Wise Monkeys.

The Alpine Eternity is an oil-chemical tanker that had last stopped at a port in Bahrain, according to the shipping website. The ship is listed as part of the fleet of Transpetrol, a commercial shipping firm that transports oil and gas, with offices in Belgium, Bermuda, Norway and Switzerland.

So now they’re going after the oil tankers.  The very lifeblood of the Gulf.

And we will do nothing. At all.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/14/2015 at 04:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Iranplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 07, 2015

Iran: Good Sense, A Pay Off, Or JFWY?

Maersk Tigris Released By Iran

Iran has released a Marshall-Islands flagged container ship and its crew which were seized last week in one of the world’s major oil shipping lanes, the official IRNA news agency reported on Thursday.

The agency reported an informed source as saying the Iranian Ports and Shipping Organization would issue a statement in a few hours on the details of the release of the Maersk Tigris.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told CNN on Thursday that the cargo ship had been released but declined to provide further details.

A representative for Maersk in Copenhagen, Denmark, was unable to immediately confirm whether the ship had been released.

JFWY: Just fucking with you.

They held it just long enough to prove their point, which was on a stick they poked Obama in the eye with.

If nothing else, they sure made the US look weak. They hijacked a ship in an open act of piracy right out from under the US Navy’s nose, and held it for long enough to show that not only nothing would happen, but that this act barely got any attention in the US media. This was a flagrant act of war, and the Great Satan didn’t even make a speech. Worse, about the only statement they did make was the one released by the military lawyers, saying how they weren’t responsible here or required to do anything about it.  Ships registered to an ally, a former commonwealth to whom we have an absolute treaty stated responsibility to defend. So here it is world: when push comes to shove, the US will drop you in a heartbeat. Under the bus. And all they did was provide a little coverage for their own ships, not anyone else’s. Strong horse, weak horse? USA under Obama: dead horse.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/07/2015 at 01:39 PM   
Filed Under: • News-Briefsplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 30, 2015

Twisted Justice Reason For Iranian Piracy

Get a load of this latest al-bullshizz ...

Secret Court Ruling Motivated Iran To Seize Maersk Tigris

Iran: Debt must be cleared before Maersk vessel is released
Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization has informed that Maersk Tigris was detained after a court issued a verdict against Maersk in a case concerning debt to Iranian company Pars Talaie.

So some kind of outstanding debt justifies using the Iranian Navy as pirates, seizing a cargo ship through force of arms? Are we dealing with 4 year olds here?

Iran has claimed that it seized the ship because of a business conflict with the Maersk shipping company. Maersk Line, however, urged the Iranians to release the crew and ship as soon as possible, since they are affiliated with Rickmers Ship Management.

“The crew is not employed by Maersk Line, nor is the vessel owned by Maersk Line. Maersk Tigris and its crew are thus not in any way party to the case, which presumably is the reason behind the seizure of Maersk Tigris,” the shipping company said in a statement.

Maersk Line also said the crew is “safe and in good spirits.”

The conflict over cargo that likely prompted Iran to intercept the ship dates back to 2005, the Maersk Line statement says. Maersk Line transported 10 containers to Dubai for an Iranian company, but when they were not collected after 90 days, they were disposed of, in accordance with laws in the United Arab Emirates.

“The Iranian company subsequently accused Maersk Line of default before the Tehran Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office and claimed recovery of $4 million as the value of the cargo. We challenged the suit successfully and in 2007 the case was dismissed,” the statement said.

So the shipping company is at fault because the buyer didn’t come and pick up his merchandise (and presumably didn’t pay for it either)? That’s pretty inane. Kind of a “shotgun” lawsuit; fling shit everywhere and see where it sticks? Of course the shipper was innocent. Get a grip.

The Iranian company then pressed civil charges against Maersk Line.

In February, after four years of court proceedings, Maersk Line was ordered to pay the Iranian company $163,000, which the shipping company said it is “willing to pay.”

Don’t ask me how civil charges even apply here, but it looks like Maersk was willing to refund the customer the cost of transport, and perhaps some of the cost of the containers themselves. February 18th is the date we are we talking about; which would put the seizure date this week within a normal 90 day window for payment. So what gives?

On an appeal seeking higher compensation, however, Maersk Line was ordered to pay $3.6 million, the statement said – though they only heard of this new ruling on Thursday.

“Only today, 30 April, have we learnt that the appeal court has ruled Maersk Line to pay $ 3.6 million,” the statement said. “As we do not have the details of the ruling, we are not able to comment hereon, nor at this point speculate on our options.”

What is this crap, some sort of Double Secret Probation? They had their criminal case. It was dismissed. They had their civil case. It came up peanuts. So they go and have an appeal, and have that case without Maersk even being party to it? Kangaroo much? And what a surprise, the Iranians rule that the Iranians are entitled to damn near the whole $4 million they originally tried for. This stinks to high heaven.

And then they get their Navy to go and steal the ship? No, this isn’t justice. It’s piracy, excused by the thinnest of nonsensical “legal” jurisprudence. After all, it was their own nation’s courts that threw the other case out, and arrived at the $163,000 settlement after ages of examination.

In a statement on Thursday, Maersk Line explains that the carrier in 2005 delivered ten containers in Dubai for an Iranian customer. The containers were never picked up, and after 90 days the containers were destroyed by the authorities, as stipulated by local legislation in Dubai. The Iranian company subsequently filed a USD 4 million lawsuit against Maersk Line, a claim corresponding to the value of the cargo.

The case was rejected by Iran’s state prosecutor’s office in 2007, and the matter was also rejected by numerous other Iranian courts, after which the Iranian company filed a case against Maersk Line.

On February 18 this year, a court of appeals in Tehran ruled that Maersk Line should pay USD 163,000 to the company - and Maersk Line has not until today, April 30 - according to the carrier - been notified that the court of appeals has sentenced Maersk Line to pay USD 3.6 million to the Iranian customer.

So what now? The Iranians are no doubt (safely!) wagering that the United States will not take military action in response. It may also (reasonably!) believe that, even beyond declining to respond militarily, the Obama administration may decline to respond in any meaningful way, in order to preserve its hope of a nuclear deal and better relations with Tehran. Of course, the administration has hoped that such a deal would facilitate the rise of an Iran that, no longer under threat from the United States, would evolve into a responsible member of the community of nations. The Iranian Navy provided a good illustration this morning of the reasonableness of such hopes.

If the Iranians do not swiftly release the ship, and the White House does nothing beyond lodge symbolic complaints, the failure to respond meaningfully will constitute more than a violation of its agreements with a protectorate and an ally. The failure will certify to the world that the United States is willing to cede control of the Strait of Hormuz to a piratical and lawless regime. Along with internationally recognized European land borders, it will be clear that the freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf is something that the United States no longer guarantees.

Iran naturally denies this petulant motivation, but their actions could not be blunter if they were done by Hillary Clinton or Obama himself. In. Your. Face.  And America gets tar-babied once again, skillfully boxed into a corner by pResident Odimwit’s rainbow unicorn fantasy negotiations. And then pissed on with impunity by the terrorist enablers of the “faith” he so fervently supports. America, weakened and embarrassed again. To show willing for an illegal treaty he had no business negotiating, that should never get one vote of approval by the Legislature, and that won’t be adhered to by the other party for even a second.

Horry Clap. Obama is the worst negotiator in human history. Every single thing he puts his hand to, turns to shit. Every. Single. Thing.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/30/2015 at 12:23 PM   
Filed Under: • InternationalIranObama, The Oneplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 28, 2015

Petulant Iran Engineers High Seas Incident

Iran Fires At, Boards, Seizes Container Ship


Iranian Navy vessels fired shots at and boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged commercial container ship in the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday, a senior defense official told Fox News.

The Maersk Tigris ship—originally heading to Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, is now being escorted by the Iranian Navy into waters near Bandar Abbas, home of Iran’s largest Navy base.

The USS Farragut, a guided missile destroyer, is making “best speed” en route to the area and has dispatched a helicopter to get a closer look, the official said.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the cargo ship’s master had initially refused an Iranian order to move further into Iranian waters, but after the warning shots were fired the Maersk Tigris complied.

The cargo ship, which had more than 30 people aboard, was directed to waters near Larak Island, he said.

The Iranian vessels, numbering five or six, were with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, Warren said.

The Iranian naval base is located at 27.141009, 56.078583 on any digital world map. Larak Island is the larger of the two islands that blocks Bandar Abbas from the Strait of Hormuz off the tip of the UAE.

Several Iranian patrol craft intercepted the Tigris at 5:05 a.m. eastern time as it traveled “on an internationally recognized maritime route,” according to a statement from the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The IRGCN contacted the vessel and directed the Maersk Tigris’ master to divert further into Iranian Waters. The master initially declined and one of the IRGCN patrol craft fired shots across the Maersk Tigris’ bow. The master then complied and diverted under escort by the IRGCN vessels,” according to the statement.

In response to a distress call, the U.S. Navy ordered the USS Farragut, an Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer, “to proceed at best speed to the nearest location of the Maersk Tigris,” while reconnaissance aircraft kept track of the diverted vessel, according to the statement.

The U.S. military has been in contact with officials from the Maersk shipping company, who say that the Iranians boarded the Tigris.

The confrontation occurred as the U.S. Senate prepared to take up legislation aimed at giving lawmakers more of a say on President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

While the Marshall Islands are a sovereign state, “the United States has full authority and responsibility for security and defense of the Marshall Islands,” according to the State Department.

The semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reported that Iran had taken control of a U.S. ship and its 34 crew for “trespassing” in its territorial waters, Reuters said.

A convoy of Iranian cargo ships was heading toward Yemen last week, and was joined by two Iranian warships on Friday. The U.S. Navy deployed the USS Theodore Roosevelt supercarrier, among other vessels, to also sail to the area. Pentagon officials would not say the action was designed to pose a direct affront to Iran, believed to be smuggling weapons or other supplies to the Houthis currently waging war against the government of Yemen. But the Iranian ships turned back toward their home ports on Friday, and as of Tuesday morning had rounded the northeast corner of Oman.

Tuesday’s standoff also comes amid shaky negotiations between the Obama administration and the Iranian government over its nuclear program. Obama did not discuss the incident during a press conference Tuesday afternoon with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


So, whatcha gonna do now, Ochoomster?

UPDATE: He ain’t gonna do fuckin’ nuttin’.
Despite the fact the the USA has a treaty specified duty to defend the Marshall Islands, gutless shysters at the Pentagon have determined that the US has no duty to defend, or rescue, Marshall Islands people or property. Even though those same treaties specifically deny the Marshalls this kind of behavior. Betcha there’s lots of head scratching in the South Pacific today! All these years, happily being an ally, never really needing Uncle Sam but glad he was around ... and now ... bazinga!

news link.
blog link.

Yup, you got it right: he just threw an entire country under the bus.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/28/2015 at 10:27 PM   
Filed Under: • Iranplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Saturday - April 18, 2015

Mr Fixit, Again

A great big WTF shout out to all things automotive ...

When I made the coil swap Friday afternoon from cylinder #2 to cylinder #4, the car ran great. Perfectly. Smooth as a jeweled watch.  For a 10 minute test drive, and later for about a 20 minute drive up to the bowling alley for Friday Fun League. Hooray!!!

And then all Hell broke lose on the drive home. The car didn’t want to start, ran super rough, had no power, wouldn’t rev, lit up the warning lights, etc. It was not a happy ride. And of course, of course!!, we had to get stuck in a bit of late night traffic jam, sitting still and trying to inch uphill, as the county dingdongs did some pothole patching on the piece of road they just spent nearly 3 years building. And we’re moving a foot, stop. Two feet, stop. Wait for several minutes. With an engine that’s popping and stuttering all over the place. Good times for all!

Enough of this. We finally got home - the car never actually stalled, amazingly - and decided to call the dealership. Which we did this morning. Oh, bring it right in, but maybe we can’t look at it until Monday. Fine. Whatever. So I wrote up a detailed note about everything that had happened and how I’d tried to fix them.

And figured I’d play another quick game of Fool The Car’s Computer for the ride down to Nissan, so I swapped the coil from the #4 cylinder to the #3 cylinder. That’s less than a minute’s work, and it’s only a 20 minute drive to the dealership. And the car ran smoother than silk. Zoom zoom.

Whatever the problem is, it’s upstream of the physical engine and the ignition electronics mounted thereon. Which means, let the dealership figure it out. What else can I do?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/18/2015 at 06:08 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Friday - April 17, 2015

mr. fixit

Wife comes in last night, “My car is acting up. It’s been running roughly when I try to accelerate, and the yellow light was flickering. Now the light is on all the time. What do we do?”

I love that “we” bit.

So I go out there this morning, with my OBDC-II trouble code reader. These things are indispensable in this day and age of computer controlled cars. And it gives me back a good old P0302 code, which means a misfire in Cylinder #2. Ah ha, I’ve been down this road before. It means a bad spark plug, or a bad spark plug wire. Or, worse case, a bad ignition coil. But coils last forever, right? And I know I put in those expensive Bosch Iridium multi-fire plugs just last year. So I’m guessing it’s the spark plug wire.

So I look under the hood, and nothing. Her Nissan 2.5 engine is totally covered over with some big plastic shield. Get out the 10mm socket wrench. Zip zip zip. Huh? Her engine doesn’t have spark plug wires. Nissan built the coils right into the plug boots, and they bolt to the top of the engine. So this could be cool. Zip out that 10mm bolt. Pull the spark plug. It looks brand new. Hey, for the $8 it cost, it darn well better. Put it back in. Now, what to do? Um, um, um, right! So I swap the #2 coil with the #4 coil, and bolt everything back together. Clear the engine codes; let’s go for a drive.

Crivens, her car is on fumes. Stop in at the gas station and put some premium in the tank. Now chug around the neighborhood for a couple laps, making the engine pull hard from low speed in high gears. And then zooming up the hills once it gets moving. No yellow Check Engine lights. Ha. I’m starting to feel pretty smug. Ha, sometimes all you have to do is take stuff apart, clean it up, and put it back together. Another zero dollar repair. Right on. And the Check Engine light flickers. Crap. So back to the parking spot, read the OBDC. P0304, which means the problem jumped from cylinder #2 to cylinder #4. Which means the coil/boot thingy is bad. A new one is $85 at the NAPA store in town, and it’s a matter of seconds to swap the new part for the old. And clear the OBDC once again.

It’s a nice day, so while I played under the hood she went for a little exercise walk. I’m closing the hood as she gets back. “Did you find the problem?” Yep, fixed it too. So we go for a test drive, and it works just fine.

New cars are made so much better than what we drove around in back in the day. But nothing lasts forever. So these days it’s the sensors that need replacing, and sometimes the ignition parts. I put new spark plugs in her car at 110,000 miles, but the factory plugs I removed looked just as good as new. They hardly even needed gapping.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/17/2015 at 04:33 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 26, 2015

Oh Scheise

This does NOT bode well

One Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash

PARIS — As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed amid a relatively clear sky, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.

A senior French military official involved in the investigation described a “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer.”

He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

While the audio seemed to give some insight into the circumstances leading to the Germanwings crash on Tuesday morning, it also left many questions unanswered.

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation was continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

[ Rémi Jouty, director of France’s Bureau of Investigation and Analysis ] “I don’t like it,” said the French official, who cautioned that his initial analysis was based on the very limited information currently available. “To me, it seems very weird: this very long descent at normal speed without any communications, though the weather was absolutely clear.”

“So far, we don’t have any evidence that points clearly to a technical explanation,” the official said. “So we have to consider the possibility of deliberate human responsibility.”

Mr. Jouty said it was far too early in the investigation to speculate about possible causes.

Release both pilot’s names right now, Mr. Jouty. The world can figure out one possible cause in about a quarter second based on that.


The co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps deliberately worked to destroy the plane while passengers shrieked in terror and the pilot pounded on the cockpit door, a French prosecutor said at a news conference Thursday in Marseille.

This was voluntary, this was deliberate,” Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said. “He refused to open the cabin door in order to let the pilot back in. I repeat. He refused to let the pilot back in. He is the one who pressed the button that allowed the plane to begin descending and lose altitude.”

The information was obtained from the cockpit voice recorder of doomed Flight 9525, which suddenly began an eight-minute descent before smashing into the mountains Tuesday. The data recorder has not yet been found.

Robin said the co-pilot, identified as German national Andreas Lubitz, 28, was not on a terror watch list. Robin said Lubitz said nothing during the descent, but could be heard breathing until the crash.

“The co-pilot is the only one in the cockpit,’ Robin said. “While he is alone he somehow manipulated the buttons on the flight monitoring system. He was alone at the helm of this Airbus 320.”

Robin stressed that the actions were deliberate. He said passengers could be heard screaming in fear.

“We start hearing banging, someone actually trying to break the door down,” Robin said. “That’s why the alarms were let off—because these were protocols that were put in place in case of any terror attack.”

French prosecutor Brice Robin gave further chilling details of the final ten minutes in the cockpit before the Airbus A320 plunged into the French Alps killing 150 people.

Revealing data extracted from the black box voice recorder, he said the co-pilot - 28-year-old German Andreas Lubitz - locked his captain out after the senior officer left the cockpit.

At that point, Lubitz used the flight managing system to put the plane into a descent, something that can only be done manually - and deliberately.

He said: ‘The intention was to destroy the plane. Death was instant. The plane hit the mountain at 700kmh (430mph).

‘I don’t think that the passengers realised what was happening until the last moments because on the recording you only hear the screams in the final seconds’. 

You sick bastard.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/26/2015 at 07:27 AM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 24, 2015

A320 Crash Theory Time

one of the larger pieces of wreckage found, a section of fuselage with a couple windows in it.

link to flight path and altitude.


Ok, so this plane has computer systems up the kazoo, and the computer flies the plane from beginning to end most of the time, the pilots just being there for backup.

This flight crashed about a third of the way into a 2, perhaps 2.5 hour flight. Early reports of a Mayday call from the pilots - since “downgraded” to a “communication” or less [now being denied entirely] - happened about 40 minutes before the crash. This may or may not have happened at about the same time the airplane reached it’s cruising altitude of a surprisingly high 38,000 feet. The communication came within a few minutes of take off, in other words. Jets don’t take long to reach altitude.

After that there was no further communication with the aircraft. At least that is my understanding at this point.

8 minutes before the crash the plane began a perfectly controlled descent from 38,000 feet to 6,800 feet. It never deviated from it’s course. And then it flew right into a mountain. And shattered into a billion pieces.

IF France finds the flight recorders, and IF they aren’t mangled beyond use, and IF they make the actual contents public record, then I won’t be at all surprised to find they didn’t record a word of cockpit conversation from within a minute after that distress call, nor a peep from the passenger cabin. I bet there won’t be any records of any AirPhone usage, or any outgoing messages from any of the cell phones on board.

I think the plane was hacked. Brought down. A poison gas canister attached to the air system and triggered by the “seat belts” signal when the plane reached altitude. And exactly 30 minutes later, the engines were shut down. Either by programming or by remote control. And the computer flies the plane perfectly, like a glider in an 8 minute descent, right into an Alp.

I think looking at the passenger list could be very informative. This looks like a hit. A major hit, at the level of nation-states or the largest criminal cartels. Or a worldwide group of fanatics.  So, who was on this flight?

Don’t expect an honest answer. There are no honest governments.

Don’t expect a terrorist group to claim credit for this, IF they have the actual ability. Because if they do, then they’d be smarter to keep quiet and just take down planes at random, or when necessary.  And don’t ever think that any government or “official” investigation is going to tell you if that happened. The airlines would be out of business overnight.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/24/2015 at 04:10 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Ground Too Tall

German Wings A320 Crash Southern French Alps

AFP: No Survivors

DEVELOPING: A passenger plane with at least 142 people on board has crashed in the French Alps, according to reports.

Reuters, citing French police, reported that an Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings had crashed while flying to Dusseldorf, Germany from Barcelona, Spain. Germanwings is the budget airline run by Lufthansa.

The provincial newspaper La Provence reported that the plane was carrying 142 passengers, along with two pilots and four flight attendants.

(CNN)An Airbus A320 plane operated by Germanwings crashed Tuesday in southeastern France near Digne les Bains, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

Plane was flying at 6800 feet altitude. MayDay call came about 35 minutes before crash, content unknown. France reports wreckage spotted. No survivors are expected in this mountainous terrain.

Flight was between Dusseldorf and Barcelona. German Wings is a “Jet Blue” no frills carrier, a subsidiary of Lufthansa. A320 is a mid-size two engine jet.


Flight path followed darker blue dashed line. Red X shows approximate crash site.

The Airbus A320 making the flight for Lufthansa’s lowcost arm, Germanwings, crashed near the small mountain village of Barcelonette in the southern Alps. It had made a distress call at 10.47am then disappeared off the radar at around 11.20am, Le Figaro reported.

The wreckage has already been found. Reports are coming in that the pilot never deviated from course, although problems were evident early on in the flight. The A320 is heavily automated; computers fly the plane most of the time. Other reports are saying that the plane descended 31,000 feet in the 10 minutes before the crash.

Updates as they come in.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/24/2015 at 10:11 AM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Saturday - March 14, 2015

BBC - Get over Yourselves

A Fracas!

Corrosive loud mouth idiot Jeremey Clarkson suspended (yet again??) from Top Gear, the only show on BBC that actually makes them money.

Yes, but being a corrosive loud mouthed idiot is why we love him, and why the show is such a success. Take a Chill Pill, flush PC down the loo, and get out of his way.

Top Gear presenter Clarkson suspended over ‘fracas’

The BBC said it has suspended Jeremy Clarkson, the controversial host of popular motoring programme “Top Gear”, after he was involved in a “fracas” with a producer.

The outspoken 54-year-old presenter helped the show become the world’s most popular factual television programme, with 350 million viewers a week in 170 countries.

But he was on his final warning after a string of controversies including accusations he used racist language.

“Following a fracas with a BBC producer, Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended pending an investigation,” the BBC said in a statement. “No one else has been suspended.”

Magazine Radio Times said Clarkson was being accused of aiming a punch at a male producer in an incident that occurred last week but was reported to the BBC on Monday.

The broadcaster had earlier said “the BBC will be making no further comment at this time.”

No sooner had the suspension been announced than fans of Clarkson set up a petition to the BBC to re-instate him.

The online appeal, reading “We the undersigned petition the BBC to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson. Freedom to fracas”, quickly gained 30,000 signatures.

Clarkson has yet to comment on the incident, but in February he indicated he might have been unhappy with the show by tweeting:

“Wanted: new presenter for Top Gear. Applicant should be old, badly dressed and pedantic but capable of getting to work on time.”


“Top Gear” is one of the BBC’s biggest brands and is a major earner for the broadcaster, though it has been dogged by a series of scandals.

The show’s executive producer Andy Wilman described 2014 as “an annus horribilis” after accusations of racism and an incident in which the show’s crew were driven out of Argentina.

Protests broke out there over the number plate of a Porsche, “H982 FKL”, which was interpreted by some as a reference to the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982.

Clarkson was among those forced to abandon their vehicles after an angry crowd pelted the crew with stones, but the BBC denied the registration plate was intended as a deliberate provocation.

Most damaging for Clarkson have been accusations of racism while reciting an old nursery rhyme in leaked footage, something the presenter denied.

The show was censored by British broadcasting watchdog after a Clarkson comment as an Asian man crossed a bridge that was deemed racially offensive language by Ofcom.

“Top Gear” previously got into hot water over its depictions of Albanians, Romanians and Germans, and the BBC apologised to Mexico after the show described Mexicans as “lazy” and “feckless”.

Top Gear is one of the best things on TV, period. And Clarkson’s online essays are just as scathing and raucous. And simply superb.

I’m just relieved this was merely a fracas. Had it been a frumpus, the MOD would have been called out, and the entire cast and crew sent off to the Rainbow Ribbons Re-education Retreat.

Let’s face it, when you’ve got your own Lego kit and have shown up on Family Guy you’ve arrived and should thus be above the mundane BS that rules the rest of us little people.

What a bunch of berks.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/14/2015 at 01:33 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobilesPolitically Correct B.S.TelevisionUK •  
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calendar   Monday - March 09, 2015

Another Blast From Out Of The Blue

A very long and busy weekend for me. And not without considerable consternation. Well, at least now that it’s an hour later than it was the other day, it seems that Spring may actually be almost ready to put in an appearance. Yay. Some things are thawing out. Others, not so much.
Sorry, don’t mean to be mysterious. But I don’t write about every thing that goes on in my life. Just the funner parts, sometimes.

I got all caught up doing research this weekend over a little news item I saw about this bit of military hardware called an SDB II. That’s the acronym for another piece of precision minimalist ordnance called a Small Diameter Bomb. It’s a stand-off weapons system that packs two artillery shells worth of boom behind a reactive armor defeating double bazooka like tandem shaped charge warhead, in a drain pipe barely 7” across and under 6’ long, and then adds a set of pop out wings that allow it to home in on targets from 40 miles away. A glide bomb. No heat signature, and a radar cross section about the same as a metal eagle. IOW, just about none. The -II version gets a vastly improved 3 way guidance system that turns this thing into a semi-intelligent Fire And Forget (aka “set it and forget it") munition. It’s a Hunter Seeker, straight out of Dune, only the larger, anti-tank version. Point it, tell it “there be targets that way”, let it go. And it works. And self destructs if your intel happens to be wrong. Amazing stuff.

Oh, and did I mention that reason the -II got the new guidance package was to enable the bomb to hit a moving target? Oh yes indeed. It can hit a pickup truck going 70mph. You want us to hit the driver or the passenger? Your choice. It’s that good.

Naturally, being me, I looked at it and saw the immediate shortcoming. You’ve got to fly the thing to within 40 miles of the target. Which could put your planes in SAM range. Risky business. Then I realized that the higher you can launch it, the further it can glide. And no matter how efficient the wing is, it isn’t going to fly along un-powered from over the horizon, where your planes could be out of enemy radar range. After all, from only 1066 feet up, you can see 40 miles. Radar can do that too, or better.

So I thought about it, and I looked at the pictures, and I noticed how the general shape and size of this one is remarkably similar to the Hellfire missile and it’s improved and strengthened cousin, the Brimstone missile, and that gave me a tiny epiphany.

Years ago the SDB I passed the “can we drop these things while flying at Mach 1.5?” test. So we know it’s tough enough. The Brimstone missile is the new, improved, jet worthy version of the Hellfire missile, which was designed to be launched from a helicopter or other slow flyer. Hellfire, Brimstone, and  STD  SDB are all about the same length, weight, and diameter. Almost exactly. The rocket motor from the Brimstone missile can shoot that missile for 20km. 12.4 miles. Why not hook one on the SDB as a booster? Sure, that could give you some kind of medium range supersonic mini cruise missile, but I’m sticking with the no heat signature, long range stand-off concept, and reducing risk to the launch platform. Strap this rig to a jet. A plane old fighter plane, not the magical and problematic F35 thing. Fly the plane up to 50,000 feet or so, go nearly vertical at Mach 1+, and push the GO button. You’re already up in the really thin air to begin with, so there is a whole lot less air friction. Which means the rocket motor should perform even better. Whoosh, and it shoots the SDB at least another 20km further up into the sky. That puts it 25 miles up, nearly in space. Which should give you a glide range of ... holy cow, a lot ... maybe 200 miles. Your launch planes still aren’t below the radar horizon, but they’re so far away that no SAM battery is going to bother with them. And the enemy radar guy has more to worry about than watching some crazy American jet jockeys punching holes in the sky way way way over thataway. And half an hour or so later, out of nowhere, all the enemy’s hard assets start exploding. A blast from out of the blue.

Damn, I should work for Raytheon.


Small Diameter Bomb II Completes Live Fire Test Destroying T-72 Tank

An Air Force F-15 Eagle recently destroyed a moving –model T-72 tank during a live-fire test of the Small Diameter Bomb II at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., service leaders said.

“Just this month we had a successful live fire mission. It was an F-15E that targeted a moving T-72 tank surrogate. We’re still analyzing the data to get the details of it but the visual indicated it was a direct hit,” Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, military deputy for Air Force acquisition, told in an interview.

The test earlier this month was the final live fire mission required for the developmental weapons program to move toward what’s called a “Milestone C” full rate production decision, she added.

Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall is expected to approve full-rate production of the weapon by May of this year — a move which would clear the path for large-scale manufacturing and delivery of the Small Diameter Bomb II, or SDB II, later this year.

Ultimately, the Air Force plans to acquire 12,000 SDB II weapons — which will enter service by 2017, service officials said.

“This was the graduation exercise. This is what the warfighter is going to drop on the bad guys. It is the end to end test. The warhead performed as expected and we ended up putting steel on target which is what the goal is,” Jeff White, senior manager, business development, Raytheon, told


The SDB II has had a couple of teething problems, like any other newly developed system. It can’t fit in the undersized magazine of the US Marine’s tiny version of the new F35, but it fits just fine in the standard one the Air Force uses. Carrying the SDB II on wing racks defeats the stealth aspects of the new wonder fighter, which is what lead me to the booster engine range enhancement idea. My idea is a cheap fix using off the shelf parts, and lets all the other regular planes join in the fun. Their fix will be to redesign the STOL F-35’s weapons bay, which could take years and is guaranteed to cost hundreds of millions.

First cousins, with added thrust: the Hellfire and the Brimstone missiles. All three are about the same size, weight, and diameter. The SDB II carries a lot more blast, but less fragmentation. Which could be provided by a bolt on iron collar, at the cost of added weight and lesser range. Such a collar already exists for the Hellfire, to enhance its use against softer targets. All the more reason to use a little booster engine!

image   image

One of many many links to more information

The Air Force is currently enjoying a daydream in which truckloads of these glider bomblets are packed into a B2 stealth bomber. 216 of them to be precise. And then one invisible plane flies off and silently destroys an entire army’s worth of tanks, trucks, cannons, radars, etc. A whole war fought from one plane.
The tripping thing is, it might not be a wet dream at all. It could work.

And that’s what happened to all my blogging time this weekend!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/09/2015 at 12:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Militaryplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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