When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Sunday - November 08, 2015

gonna need a bigger sky

Fwooosh. Fwoosh. Fwwoooshh. They got me again.

Remember that scene in Jaws where the Sheriff is ladling out the chum, grousing away, and the shark rises right up behind him, and in shock he backs into the cabin and tells Quint, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”? Seems like something similar happened to me this afternoon.

I was out on the deck enjoying the late crisp afternoon air, nursing a smallish glass of Jamison Black Barrel to soothe my tired arms after digging for several hours in the garden, when I heard that old familiar sound. Fwoosh. Fwoosh. The sound of hot air balloons. So I’m looking up, trying to see through the trees here in our little piece of “friggin’ jungle”, and finally I spot one. It’s a big yellow job, with some kind of Navajo-ish cubist graphic on the side. A thunderbird or similar. It’s at a decent altitude, up there in the bright and gleaming in the late afternoon sun, while I’m in the shadows beneath the trees. “Gosh” I’m thinking, “the sound of those burners really carries a long distance!”. And it does. And then I hear FWWOOOSH FWWWOOOOOSSSSSHH really loud, snap my head around, and there’s a giant multi-colored balloon right the heck in front of me. Not 30 feet away, it had sunk down almost to the roadway behind us here, just the other side of our little cliffy culvert of trees. We’re gonna need a bigger sky!!

“Ach, crivens!” I said (yes, I really did. One of the perils of being alone so much) and ran in to grab the camera. And then ran back to close the door so the kitten couldn’t escape. Then ran downstairs because the camera wasn’t where I’ve been leaving it. Right. Grab the snapper and run back out, and the gas bag has gained a small bounce of altitude and 50 yards of travel, and is landing in the front lawn of the house across the street.


That’s the view from my porch. It took me a few tries to get the balloon in the picture; not that it was so big, but that it was actually so hard to see. The sunlight lit the colorful panels so well that they were almost transparent, nearly invisible behind the high contrast clump of branches in the dimness. It was that perfect instant in the day when the sun is just high enough to light the sky but nothing lower than the very tree tops. So the chase van shows up, and I’m watching them bounce the basket around as people climb out, and they have to make several big fiery blasts on the heaters to keep the slowly deflating bag from sagging into the tree branches, and of course the camera is too slow to capture those awesome moments ... and then I hear the familiar sound from above again.

Fwoosh Fwooossssh! And we’ve got a third balloon coming down, this one aiming for the landing spot a couple streets away, behind the condo where we used to live (and where balloons have set down several times over the years)


And as that fellow floats down to earth, another observer comes by. Just over the treetops, flying hardly faster than a horse’s gallop, this obviously old-school, fabric covered, bigger than a typical Cessna, high-winger, who circled the situation a few times and then putt-putted away through the sky.


I have no idea what kind of airplane this is. Definitely neat looking, and like the second balloon, brilliant in the upper sunshine when seen from the gloaming on the ground. Who’s good with their planes? What is it?

Never a dull moment here in Clinton. Except I’m now out of Jamison. Waily waily waily!!

PS - all these pictures enlarge a bit when you click them.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/08/2015 at 05:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeFun-Stuffplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Wednesday - September 23, 2015

Air Shark

Named after the mako shark, Brazil’s Anequim school project airplane sets 5 world records


The Lycoming AEIO-360 engine, a 360 cu in flat 4 that weighs 300lbs and makes 200hp and runs at 2700rpm or less. With all the aftermarket goodies installed, it might make 220hp. Or not. The basic engine has been in production for more than 50 years now.


As you can see, the Anequim is not a big airplane. The actual fish is bigger.

Huh? wth? This wasn’t supposed to post yet.  I did a Quick Save and went to bed, Oh well.  I had been looking to see if there were any updates on the Bugatti 100P airplane, if it had maybe taken it’s second flight. And I ran across this. Pretty sure this is the same technical college down in Belo Horizonte that studied the Bugatti design with all sorts of CAD and computer analysis programs and decided it wouldn’t be stable at low or moderate speeds. So they went out and designed their own plane, and then developed the technology to build it.

image   image

While the wings and tail fins are quite different between the two aircraft, their bodies are quite similar ... double ended needles, with the pilot so recumbent he’s nearly lying down flat. Neither aircraft is very big, and both are mighty darned streamlined. That makes it all the more interesting to me, because Bugatti designed his craft as art, and the Boys From Brazil designed theirs a minimalist low drag shape, using the best computing tools available. Funny how similar they look ... and how natural ... like high speed fish. Air sharks.

Right. So with pretty much a standard out of the box engine, they built their lightweight wonder plane and took to the skies. And not only did it fly, it zoomed.

Here’s a link to a video of the little white shark setting the record for the 3km speed. (0:43) 521kph. 323mph. From a non-turbo 4 cylinder engine.

Maiden flight video right here. The white wonder just wants to fly!

The Anequim Project, a group of students and professors from Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), has built and flown the world’s fastest four-cylinder airplane.  Anequim comes from the Brazilian name for the shortfin Mako, the fastest shark in the seas, a fitting namesake for the airplane that gobbled up title to five world records during recent flights in August:  multiple speed records over various distances as well as a new fastest time-to-climb record.

1. Speed over 3 km with restricted altitude

Previous record: Nemesis DR-90 - 466.83km/h (Jon Sharp)
New record claim: 521.08km/h

2. Speed over 15 km

Previous record: Nemesis DR-90 - 455.8 km/h (Jon Sharp)
New record claim: 511.19 km/h

3. Speed over 100 km closed course

Previous record: W.Air Race - 389.6 km/h (Richard Young)
New record claim: 490.14 km/h

4. Speed over 500 km closed course

Previous record: VariEze - 387.4 km/h (Klaus Savier)
New record claim: 493.74 km/h

5. Time to climb up to 3,000 meters

Previous record: Pushy Galore – 3 minutes and 8 seconds (Bruce Bohannon)
New record claim: 2 minutes and 26 seconds


other links:


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/23/2015 at 01:40 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - September 12, 2015

Another load of hot air



If you live here at our condo park long enough, you’ll know what that sound means. It means there’s another hot air balloon right over your head either scrambling for altitude or getting ready to land. It’s a pretty regular business, taking people for rides over our pretty countryside.

Around 8:15 Saturday morning a big black balloon came down out of the mist and nearly set down on the grass behind us. But with the basket of passengers barely more than 50 feet off the ground the pilot changed his mind, and blasted the burners to pop back up in the sky for another minute or so. That gave us time to grab the cameras and go, to see them make their landing in the old Wachovia Bank parking lot up on Bank Street. From where we stood it looked like they came mighty close to the power lines, but that was probably a matter of perspective.

Once down everyone got out, the balloon cooled off, and they pulled the dump valve to drop the bag. Packed it up and away they went. Another aerial adventure here at UGV.

Keep your cameras at hand here folks, you never know what will happen next.

Actually, we were outside having our coffee, enjoying the garden, and hardly bothered to look up when we heard the first 4 or 5 blasts on the balloon’s gas heaters. We’re so jaded. Balloons come over all the time when the weather is decent. But when our half-wild cats suddenly looked up, shrank back in horror, and ran away in a panic, we knew it was time to get the cameras out. And wouldn’t you know, the batteries were mostly dead in the ones we like to use the best. So we didn’t get the classic “giant black orb blots out the sky” picture as the thing practically set down on our patio. The pilot bounced it up a hundred feet and we immediately gave chase. How can you not? As we ran for the car they floated up to the top of the hill, and put down in the old bank parking lot. Which is right across the street from my little morning job’s guard shack. But I don’t work there on Saturday. What evs. So touchdown with a couple of little bounces, everyone got out OK, then they got to work deflating and packing up. And in less than half an hour they were gone. 

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/12/2015 at 07:57 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - August 22, 2015

It flies!!

click over to Vilmar’s ... short video of the first flight of the Bugatti 100P, the most futuristic Buck Rogers airplane from 1937 that never was ... and now is.

The first iteration flew with only half as much horsepower as the original specification called for.

Built by hand from laminated wood


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/22/2015 at 09:02 PM   
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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 12:12 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 11:27 AM   
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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 05:03 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 12:12 PM   
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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 09:39 AM   
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 08:23 AM   
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 06:27 PM   
Filed Under: • Iranplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

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 02:08 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 12:33 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 03:27 AM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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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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