Pumpkin Spice? Really?

I had hoped to be able to work tomorrow on installing the Helicoils on my oil filter adapter mount and then reinstalling the filter head with new bolts and gaskets.

But my gaskets are apparently wandering around in FedEx Limbo, even though the bolts came in. And they were both ordered at the same time from the same company. And with all the rain I would have to crawl through a mudhole to even get under the rig to start with. So maybe this weekend.

 

After 48,299 COVID-19 Cases at 37 US Universities – Only 2 Hospitalizations and ZERO Deaths — More Likely to Be Killed By a Dog

As of 9/22/20 there have now been 48,299 coronavirus cases reported at 37 universities in the United States.

Of those cases there have been ONLY 2 hospitalizations.

And there have been ZERO DEATHS!

They couldn’t even sneak in a cancer victim into their counts because no one died!

If you are college age you are more likely to be killed by lightning or a dog than COVID-19.

Just 1% of US Counties Have Had Nearly Half of All COVID-19 Deaths.

For instance, as of Sept. 15, the 30 counties with the most COVID-19 deaths accounted for 26% of all the cases in the U.S. and 40% of all deaths, much greater than those counties’ share of the population (18.4%). That is, just 1% of the counties in the U.S., representing just over 18% of the population, are responsible for almost half of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.

For example, as of Sept. 15, 60.6% of all counties are reporting 10 or fewer deaths. These counties represent 13.1% of the population, and account for only 2.7% of total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

It’s About Time!

NYC’s MTA board to formally ban pooping in subways and buses

 

At Least They’re Only Selling It In Canada . . . For Now.

Pumpkin Spice Mac N Cheese

Kraft Pumpkin Spice Mac N Cheese

Not Just No, But Hell No!


Thought For The Day:

Just because it’s a conspiracy theory doesn’t mean it’s false.


On Our Way To The Falls


September 23, 2009

Muffins and Cappuccino…

The Landing Campground is right along the old Erie Canal, and is very popular with seasonal campers. The many old trees make it a very scenic place to park.

The Landing

We left The Landing about 11 am for the 160 mile trip to the Niagara Falls area.

About 2 pm we stopped at a Tim Hortons for muffins and cappuccino.  We arrived at Sleepy Hollow Lake Campground about 3pm and got settled in.

After a nap Jan fixed a great meal of the leftovers Joannie sent home with us yesterday.

Tomorrow we’re going to start touring the Niagara Falls area. We’ll be here until Saturday so we’ve got plenty of time.


Thought For The Day:

“There is nothing more terrifying than stupidity in action.” – Chuck Taylor

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More From The National Museum of the United States Air Force.


September 23, 2012

Planes, Planes, and More Planes . . .

Picking up where we left off yesterday,  this next aircraft is the Convair B-36.

The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston engine aircraft ever made and had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built. It was also the only combat aircraft propelled by both piston and jet engines.

B-36 Bomber

  

The B-36 was slow and could not refuel in midair, but could stay aloft as long as 40 hours. It was so big it even had 6 bunks and a crew dining area.

Moreover, its phenomenal cruising altitude for a piston-driven aircraft, 50,000 ft. put it out of range of all piston fighters, early jet interceptors, and ground fire.

The photo below shows the relative size of the WWII B-29 and the B-36.

B36 B29

It was operational from 1949 to 1959 when it was finally replaced by the B-52, which debuted in 1955.

This is the A-7D Corsair II ground attack plane. I used to work on these when I was a DOD contractor.

A7D Corsair II

  

And this is the A-37D Dragonfly. Built by Cessna (yes, Cessna) it was originally the T-37 light trainer, but was outfitted as a combat aircraft during the Vietnam War. Another aircraft I worked on.

A37 Dragonfly

  

This is the Canberra B-57B light bomber. I worked on these at Otis AFB on Cape Cod during the early 70’s, although I was working on the RB-57 reconnaissance versions and the EB-57 electronic countermeasures version.

B-57B

  

The Canberra was actually a British design built under license by the US. Designed at the end of WWII it was originally slated to have piston- driven prop engines which accounts for the mid-wing nacelles. But it was switched over to jets before it went operational.

It’s also the only plane I ever worked on that had Buick (yes, Buick!) jet engines. Until I saw these, I never even knew Buick made jet engines.

B-57B engine

  

This is the B-58A Hustler, the first US jet bomber to cruise at supersonic speeds, in this case, over 1300 mph.

B-58Ba

  

The B-2 Stealth Bomber.

B-2 Stealth Bomber

 

This is the fabled U-2 spy plane,

U-2 b

U-2 Spy Plane

 

which was replaced by the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane.

The SR-71 still holds the records for both altitude (over 85,000 ft.) and speed (almost 2200 mph) for an air-breathing engine (i.e. not a rocket). It is however, rumored that the Blackbird was easily capable of exceeding these public records when needed.

I got to work on one these one time when I was at Otis AFB. I could tell you about it, but then I’d have to kill you.

SR71b

  

The museum also had a great collection of missiles and rockets, from the Jupiter to the Minuteman, and more.

Museum Missiles

 

If you like planes, this is a museum for you. Check it out.

Dayton Air Museum Overview

Mister spent the morning laying out in front of the rig catching some rays. This is one lazy cat.

Mister Catching Some Rays

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Gate Guarding in North Zulch, TX


September 23, 2014

Spiders and Snakes . . .

Well, I think Fall may officially be here. Yesterday was 89 and 69, while today was sunny and 82, and tonight it’s supposed to be 56°. Looks like it ‘s heater time here on the gate.

Then it seems to be mid-to-high-80’s and mid-60’s as far as the eye can see. Or at least for the 10 days they’re willing to take a shot at forecasting.

And maybe the cooler weather will take out the last of the few mosquitos we’ve had. They really haven’t been bad, considering the scummy pond right behind the rig. That’s probably due to the dragonflies, frogs, spiders and snakes that live back there.

As I figured they did not skid the rig over to the next hole today. In fact, as of right now (1am Wed) they’re still drilling, So if they plan to skid tomorrow as they now say, they’d better finish up soon because there’s a lot of prep work to do before they skid.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.

They apparently had a traffic jam up front today, with rigs lined up all along the 1/4 mile out to the highway. They were bringing a lot stuff into the first rig, and there was no room for everyone. The other gate guards starting sending some of them down here to park and wait until they got called, but there’s no room down here, except on the pads. And the pads didn’t want them either. So they would head back up front. There are four rigs along this road. We have two, and there are two more up front. It can get crowded when everyone’s busy.

Piper ended up back in the hospital for a while yesterday. She started having a LOT of pain in her wrist, so Linda took her to the Emergency Room. The doctor looked at it and told her there was nothing wrong, it looked OK and was going to send her home.

But our Miss Piper stood her ground, and said something’s wrong, and insisted on an X-Ray. At first they said No, but Piper put her foot down and they finally gave in. Then a little bit later, the radiologist came out and said it looks like you’ve got an infection in there. Guess they didn’t get it all cleaned out after the accident.

Anyway, Piper ended up in the hospital getting IV antibiotics for a while.

They should learn you don’t outstubborn Miss Piper. She’s a White. (The family, not the color)

Piper is working toward being a Nurse Practitioner, by going the EMT, EMT2, Paramedic, Nurse, Nurse Practitioner route, working as she goes. Sounds like she knows her stuff.

Landon playing T-Ball this year, and yesterday was his first game.

Landon at T-Ball

Looks like he’s got the look and style down. I especially like the sunglasses.

Jan and I had originally hoped to get the day off tomorrow, but it looks like it’s not going to happen. The two downsides to gate guarding in this area is no place to receive mail and packages, and most importantly, there are no relief guards here either.

Down in the Whitsett area where we were for the previous two years, there were a number of people who did nothing but relief guarding and they were always booked up.

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Thought for the Day:

.45 ACP.

So you don’t have to shoot twice.

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September 23, 2015

I LIKE It!

I can only figure that Amazon must be blog readers, since after I complained that my order which was placed last Saturday night, and came in on Tuesday, the one I placed this Saturday night, actually an hour or so earlier, was scheduled to come in on Wednesday, today.

But then last night, Tuesday, I got a text message saying it had been delivered, a day early. Hmm! I wonder if a drone was involved.

And tonight when I came out at 11pm to relieve Jan, Billy, our landowner’s son had made his part of the delivery process (He’s nice enough to let us use his home address for our Amazon stuff). So the first thing I did was to tear into the box because I wanted to play with my toy. Well, I should say ‘toys’ because I also got another Mighty Mule Driveway Alarm system, but I’ve already played with that toy.

No, this one was my new KJL Cree LED 900 lumens Flashlight .

Flashlight 900 lumens

At 900 lumens, it’s 3 times as powerful as the CREE UltraFire we use now. And I was looking forward to being able to really light up some of these very dirty, almost unreadable tags that come thru here, especially on the big trucks. So I quickly got it out of the box and inserted the 3 AAA batteries I had waiting for it.

And all I can say is WOW!  On tight focus, this thing will light up trees over 100 yards away. It wasn’t that long ago that to get this kind of power you’d need one of those big handheld spotlights that plugs into your cigarette lighter, and guys down south use for ‘jacklighting’ deer.

So, I LIKE it. Now I just need an incoming truck to try it out on.

Speaking of lights, we have a clock mounted on the canopy frame right in front of us, but it’s hard to read at night without using a flashlight. So I got one of those 12v LED auto accent lights and hung it over the clock. And it works great

Clock Light

I’ve got it plugged into a 12v power supply that’s on the table behind me, so no batteries to worry about.

The road dust problem has been getting worse and worse since we’d had no rain to speak of in the last week or so, so our Company Man sent the water truck by for us.

Water Truck

This will knock it down for a few days at least.


Thought for the Day:

Turn in Your Arms

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September 23, 2016

Well, That’s Better . . .

Today was pretty nice, with temps in the low 90’s, partly cloudy, and a nice breeze.

Even better, it was combined with a fairly slow day with only 39 vehicles coming through. The low traffic count was probably helped by the fact that all the sales critters know that Pete, the Company Man, is back from his two weeks off.

Unlike Billy the CM who was here for the last two weeks, Pete only allows sales calls on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. But Billy just lets them all come in, anytime.

This makes our job easier too, since we don’t have to screen them out. And they will lie to you.

So, all in all, a very nice day.

Coming home from groceries yesterday I stopped to take a photo of what could possibly/hopefully be our new home in the next month or so.

Our New Home

It’s just a mile and a quarter back down the road toward B/CS from here and looks like it’s got plenty of room for a pad on the left side there. You want to be on that side if possible so you’re on the driver’s side as they enter, though we have been on the right side a few times.

But we really don’t know what’s going to happen yet. Historically this oil company apparently doesn’t use gate guards, and like last year’s gate near Carthage, we’re actually here because the landowner wanted us. So we don’t know if we’ll be asked to move with the rig or not.

The last time we followed a rig, was our first year down in the Whitsett area about 60 miles south of San Antonio. We followed a Marathon/H&P rig for almost 4 months until we left in August.

And of course we have no idea what’s going to happen here after the rig moves out. Completion, workover, coil tubing, fracking right away, we don’t know yet. As far as we’re concerned, all we want to do is be on a gate until first part of December. So we’ll have to see how it goes.

As usual.

My new TP-LINK N900 2.4GHz or 5GHz Dual Band PCI Express Adapter showed up in the mail today, but too late for me to install it before I went on the gate at 1pm.

TP-Link Wi-Fi Card

So it had to wait until I got up about 10pm.

As you want to do anytime you remove a card and replace it with another one, before I started, I right-clicked on Computer on the desktop, selected Properties at the bottom, and then Device Manager at the top.

Then I clicked on the Network Adapters entry and found the Wireless LAN Card listing. Then I right-clicked on it and selected Uninstall Drivers, but told it to leave the old drivers on the computer, just in case.

I do this because there’s always a possibly that the new card is dead, or just bad. If I haven’t deleted the old drivers then I can just pop the old card back in the computer and I’m back in business.

But if I’ve deleted the drivers, then I’ll have to either dig up the 3 year old Driver CD (Yeah, right!) or download the old driver from the Net. But of course I’ll have to use another computer to do this, because I  now don’t have a  working Wi-Fi card.

So plan ahead.

Now I could shut down the computer and replace the card. In this case, after removing the old Wi-Fi card, I installed the new one in a different slot to allow more clearance for the little antennas, since the new card has three instead of  one.

Putting everything back together, I powered it up and inserted the supplied little Drivers mini CD in the drive. And a couple of minutes later I had the display window that showed me the Wi-Fi sources that it could see.

The first thing I noticed was that I could now see a lot more signals. And looking closer the DC Wireless_2 signal that I wanted to connect to, now had 4 bars instead of just 2.

Well, that’s better.

So as happens a lot of time in this kind of stuff, it was a combination of two problems – I just needed a better antenna and a new Wi-Fi board.

One thing I’ve noticed about this Wi-Fi access point is that like a lot of ‘company’ sites, it has Content Blocking. These services keep a blacklist of unacceptable sites that you are blocked from visiting.

So . . . no porn for you on company time.

But the algorithms they use to select the sites for blacklisting lead to some funny problems. Like not being able to access a breast cancer site because it has . . . you know. . . breasts on it. Or not being able to visit the Smithsonian Museum site because the home page is promoting a new exhibit of those evil guns.

But closer to home, the other night I was on a political forum site and was directed by  a link to an article about the BREXIT posted on the BBC.com site in England, and I got this:

BBC Blocking

So what’s the problem with the British Broadcasting Corporation, too many rig workers streaming reruns of Downton Abbey? Or what?

And the other strange thing is that they have disabled, but not ‘officially’ blocked Facebook.com. When you go to Facebook.com, you get this:

Facebook Blocking

So what, now they’re against funny cat videos too?

For some reason, they’ve just blocked Facebook’s DNS address, which is that string of numbers you sometimes see online like this:

192.168.112.0

Every website, every server, and every computer, even yours, has a separate, unique address on the Internet. It’s how every thing knows where to go, like a phone number.

In this case, for Facebook the DNS address is 173.252.89.132, or at least one of them is. Most big sites have multiple DNS addresses for redundancy.

So why they’re doing it this way, I don’t know. Maybe to keep the complaints down, so they can say, we’re not ‘blocking’ it so it must be your problem.

Tomorrow I’ll spend some time fooling with the Yagi antenna, seeing if I can find that elusive 5 bar signal sweet spot.

And on a final note, tomorrow is also Blue Moon BBQ Saturday.

It oughta be an official holiday.


Thought for the Day:

First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down. — George Burns




September 23, 2017

They’re Right !

Well, I did leave the rig today after all. I took a bag of garbage about 50 yards down the road to drop it in.

I did try to flag down the park lady who mowing the grass, but she was too far away. I’m still trying to pay for our stay here, but no luck so far.

I did finally did flag her down a little later and told her I had a check already made out for what I thought was the right amount, 11 days x $14.50 = $159.50, but she said she’d check it out and let me know. If she’s not in any hurry, neither am I.

I came across a website recently that’s a big help for me, though it might not be something you need. It’s called www.uptimerobot.com.

It let’s you monitor up to 50 websites, checking every 5 minutes to see if the sites are up. If one goes down, you get an email telling you. Then you get another one when it comes back up, which also tells you how long the site was down. Handy for yelling at your ISP about website downtime.

Even better it’s free. And if you need to monitor more than 50 sites, or want your sites checked every minute instead of every five, it’s only $5 per month.

Check it out!

Several readers commented on yesterday’s blog about how much Jan’s 2nd grade photo looks like Landon, and these are people who have only seen Landon in photos on the blog. And they’re right.

Previously a number of readers have commented on how much Landon and I look alike at that age. And now this.

Blog reader (and friend) Tricia said this.

“I always thought that Landon looked like you, but I after seeing that picture of Jan, I see some resemblance there too.  It’s funny how he can look like both of you, since you don’t look anything like each other!

Genetics is an amazing thing.

For example scientists recently announced that according to genetic DNA studies, all blue-eyed people (including me) are due to a genetic mutation in a single common ancestor, dating back to about 6000 years ago.



Thought for the Day:

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. – Aldous Huxley





September 23, 2018

Got’er Done . . .

The weather decided to cooperate this afternoon, so about 1pm I went outside to finish up my battery install.

Since I would be shutting off all the12v power to the coach, I wanted to have everything prepped for the change-out as quickly as possible. This is because the 12v not only runs the lights, etc., but it also powers the AC thermostats. So shutting off the 12v shuts off the AC’s too.

Luckily it wasn’t really hot this afternoon, so after shutting off the house battery disconnect right by the door,

Rig Battery Disconnects

I disconnected the battery cables and pulled the old batteries out. Which turned off to be easier said than done. These 6v batteries weigh almost 70# each and it was hard to get them dragged sideways so I could then lift them out. And then I did it again for the second one.

So now I was ready to install the new ones, right? Nope.

These new batteries are wider than the old ones, and so the spacers molded into the plastic tray bottom to hold them secure were in the wrong place and needed to be removed.

Battery Tray Separator 1

So using my Multipurpose Oscillating Tool, I sliced off both spacers off flush with the bottom of the tray and I was good to go.

Battery Tray Separator 2

So now I had to brute-force the first new one into place, a little easier at about 56#. Once in place I hooked up the cables, including the ones to add the second battery, and turned the rig 12v back on and got the AC’s running again, much to Jan’s appreciation, even though it was only about 15 minutes.

Rig New Battery 1

Now all I had to do was struggle the last battery into place and hook up the cables paralleling it with the first one.

Rig New Battery 2

And after tightening down all the connections and spraying everything with Strike-Hold, I was finally done.

Since the original hold-down frame for the old batteries no longer fits, I’ll have to come up with something else to lock them down.

So one chore checked off the list, and a whole bunch still to go.



Thought for the Day:

There’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big.

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September 23, 2019

Still Raining . . .

Since we’re going to the seeing Downton Abbey tomorrow afternoon, I had planned on using Thursday afternoon to crawl under the rig and connect everything back up so I can crank up and raised the levelers.

Then I’ll have to see if I can get back underneath and take it all apart again, hoping that I can reach the adapter with my hand and tried to turn the shaft or push in the pin to release it.

I hadn’t done it before because of all the rain we had last week. Although it’s dry under the rig of course, but I would have to lay down in the muddy grass to get under there. So I was hoping that it would have dried out by then, But no such luck, as it poured down again today, maybe harder than it did last week, at least around here.

So that’s all on hold for now.

On the way home today I stopped by Costco to gas up and found the price at $2.07, 10 cents higher than it was last week, I guess due to the attack on the Saudi Arabian oil processing plant. But from what I hear they’re pretty much back on line so it should be going back down soon. Especially with the end of summer.

Jan and I have been going over things we want to do when we’re in NYC this December. We already did a lot of the ‘touristy’ things when we were there with Brandi and Piper in 2009.

Brandi and Piper in NYC

Things like the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, SOHO, Harlem, Chinatown, Times Square, etc.

One of the things we’re looking at is a nighttime Hudson river dinner cruise like this.

Bateaux NYC Dinner Cruise

Bateaux NYC Dinner Cruise Inside

We’re also looking at another bus tour to complement the one we did in 2009, but we’re still checking those out.

In addition, we also want to see a Broadway play, but again haven’t narrowed it down yet, We did see Phantom of the Opera the last time and really enjoyed it.


Thought For The Day:

•  If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.

•  A whale swims all day, only eats fish, and drinks water, but is still fat.

•  A rabbit runs, and hops, and only lives 15 years, while a tortoise doesn’t run, and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years.

And they tell us to exercise? I don’t think so.

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