Blogging and Stuff

I looked at the calendar and it took a moment to figure out that yes, it is actually Thursday and the week is escaping. Today will be taken up with writing position papers (sort of pitch material for my consulting business) and catching up. Such is life. I may also rewrite my resume. Writing a resume is an art. For example, I had to change a lightbulb this morning. If I included it on the resume, it would read something like this: Single-handedly managed the successful upgrade and deployment of a new environmental illumination system with no cost overruns and no safety incidents. I was supported in this collaborative effort by a co-worker of Czech extraction who supported and rotated the aluminum elevating device thus facilitating and expediting the aforementioned task and illustrating the value of international teamwork.

Yeah, like that. It’s sort of like a medicine show where I’m offering bottles of water from the fountain of youth, guaranteed to slow the aging process. Give your money to the lady with the tambourine, folks, buy two bottles if you’re feeling a little older than you’re comfortable with. I’ll be in town all day.

 

Scooter Tramps

The issue of motorcycle gangs came up the other day when I was talking with old friends. Now, it’s just a framed curiosity, but there was a time when it was more than that.

In law enforcement circles, there are not many people who worked undercover, earned a cut and managed to stay sane. I did it for two years and when I think about those days, I just shake my head. MikeW is writing memoirs of his time in Vietnam and he’s almost finished with them. Friends suggested that I do the same but I don’t have much motivation to do so.

Every Friday I met with a US District Court Judge who received my report and gave me transactional immunity for the upcoming week, which was the US equivalent of a license to do anything on US soil. I never abused trust, but it’s nice to have something to show if things go sideways and you end up killing somebody – even needlessly.

 

Nuclear Power

Yes, it’s part of my business, but would be interesting to see if Texas might be interested in installing small nuclear reactors to forestall these inevitable blackouts (a racist term, sorry) problems. The Rolls Royce of SMR’s.

 

A-4 Nuclear Mission

I had a discussion with a friend about the Skyhawk’s nuclear delivery mission. The A-4 was a light attack aircraft but if you could get the aircraft carrier close enough to the target, you could load up the A-4 squadron and send it out on what was essentially a one-way trip.

above: A photo of an A-4 Skyhawk carrying a Mark 7 atomic bomb, the largest of a wide range of weaponry the A-4 was capable of carrying. The Mark 7 had a variable yield from 8 to 61 kilotons depending on which core was installed.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Definitely a one way trip. If you ever get to Great Falls MT there is a F80 on a pedestal at the National Guard side of the airport. To my knowledge it was the only plane to launch an actual nuclear armed rocket: the AIR 2A. The rocket carried the W-25 warhead with a yield below 2Kt. The AIR 2A launched the AIR 2A and the weapon functioned as designed. The pilot landed the plane and it never flew again due to structural damage. You can see the wrinkles on the wings and the fuselage. The AF changed the launch profile afterwards. Nothing like a little seat of your pants experimentation.

    I often thought that if possible it would be a good idea to have nuclear reactors at military installations. Something sizeable enough to power the base and also the surrounding area. Solar and wind are a pipe dream as far as clean energy sources. Solar has a hazardous waste stream a mile long and wind is not far behind.

    If the economy keeps going south I my have to dust off my resume. Hope not, I am enjoying retirement but we will see. If President Biden and his ilk keep having their way we will be taking wheelbarrows full of cash to get groceries.

  2. Yes it’s Thursday, my “day of the week” clock in front of me says so! I’m not sure if it’s sad or good that a “day of the week” clock is occasionally needed… but it does help sometimes.

    My vote is to write book, that sounds like one hell of a story!

    • If it was all about me and only me, the story could be told. The problem with these adventures was that I developed informants. Even today they’d be in jeopardy. They’re not all dead. In fact, I don’t think that any of them are. The club would kill them. Even the guilty that I did this or that with would be targeted if documented in a book. There were unscrupulous religious leaders who used the gang https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5967444/ who are still out preaching God’s word and raking in cash and some of it was documented. My story is very damning to those folks.

      My book (right sidebar), Exiles from Eden, contains some fictionalized versions of a lot of that. But it’s not “my story” which can’t be told without telling the stories of others who were involved. This was 92-94, a long time ago now but still not long ago enough.

      • PS – I have no problem burning the dirty ATF agent who tried to join but they kept him pre-prospect (not even a bottom rocker), guarding the bikes. They burglarized the home of a gang member to plant a firearm so that they could discover it in a search warrant and prosecute the gang member who went to prison. He was on parole.

  3. Resume’s – My rule is “30 second executive rule”…one page with a short objective statement and best most recent highlights, and a second page of personal history. However, if I ever need another one I’ll pay you to draft it, I could never embellish my background that much.

    The Boys in the family have a rule imposed from Dad: “Never stop earning, never stop working, and never stop learning.” H/t for you seeing opportunity and “making it happen”, something most politicians haven’t a clue. I could never be handed stuff, makes a person weak and robs the soul. In TC’s interview with Kid Rock he asked where he saw himself in 10 years (61), KR said, “On the front porch with a whiskey and cigar, in my rocking chair…still rockin.” Then added he has all this work to do, “and they can’t cancel me!” (with a few famously eff words tossed in for emphasis).

    Never stop “rockin’.

    • I was toying with a resume upgrade. I didn’t do it. And I don’t embellish anything. It’s all somewhat understated. I haven’t handed out a CV/resume in a long time. I’ve sent out ‘brief bio’ profiles here and there, custom written each time.

  4. I hadn’t heard that Rolls Royce had gotten into the SMR business. Fascinating.

    I’ve long thought that something like the Navy’s reactors, that go into the 100 megawatt range, would be a great way to commercialize nuclear power. A super carrier-sized A4 has a National Stock Number, so (in theory) a company or community could order one by the NSN. A 100 MW reactor could service on the order of 5000 homes, a small city-sized area. Why not a distributed power system instead of centralized? Yeah, the “quantity discount” of a bigger power plant is great, but not having single-point failures is worth something, too.

    There are some practicalities to overcome for the A4 reactor, but there are thousands of guys out there who know how run one, and the main obstacle (I think) is a carrier at sea has a pretty much infinite cooling water supply. How do the SMRs handle that? Melt-proof designs?

    How do I get one for my backyard?

    • Rolls Royce went for liquid sodium cooling in a closed loop. The Russians used that cooling system in their submarine reactors but they were messy designs with messier maintenance. USN reactors use salt water, but as I recall, the latest SSBN reactors are also liquid sodium cooled. They are quieter.

      Big reactors in the distant future will be fusion plants but they’re a long way off.

      Our first SMR from RR will go to Greece as a demonstrator, placed on an island where power and desalination are issues. Two reactors in one facility. Paid for by Saudi Arabia as an investment. The power won’t be cheap, but it will be reliable and in the long term, absent a gas pipeline to Greece will be very cost efficient. EU is funding a portion as well as a demonstrator.

      I worked on trying to get Mexico to agree to put SMRs south of the US border, selling power both to Mexican industry and US consumers with a portion going to power desalination. That had some legs and then Mexican internal problems nixed it. It’s the future, it just isn’t quite here yet.

      PaulM, the progs are putting a windmill farm in about 35 miles from me too. I spoke to people about SMR’s and you get that same look as a cow, looking at traffic on the Interstate. There are federal subsidies (tax money) that go into wind farms, and tax benefits (more tax money) to the projects. None of that for nuclear.

      • It’s looking like RR are gong to be bringing their SMR to market just at the right time. Give it a year or two of power outages in western countries and they’re not going to be able to keep up with demand.

        Just got to get people from getting the deer in headlights look when you mention nuclear.

      • LL- Cannot figure how these people think, symbolism over substance as Rush (RIP) would say. Feelings and “hope it works” have no place in infrastructure. But a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

  5. The first professionally written resume I had was when I was applying for jobs in SoCal. The “Activities and Other Interests” section had entries about Amateur Radio, model airplanes, and old cars. It got me hired at Hughes Aircraft.

    Sometime in the late 80’s, I was in the job market again, and the First Wife had a “Professional” friend who helped me “rewrite” it. Her friend was in retail, and didn’t understand the nuances of Technical Recruiting, where addendum to your resume like I had really helped.

    Had a few Scooter Tramp friends in my past, but I stayed away from the really hardcore groups in my area, like The Outlaws and The Chosen Few. Most of them were pretty bad news….

    Heinemann’s Hot Rod was one of my favorite little airplanes. Remarkable capable, and still in front-line service until the early 1990’s.

  6. Ah yes, Scooters were/are fun birds! 720 degree per second role rates DID get your attention!!! I did my first resume a year after I’d been hired when the CIO realized I didn’t have one on file… LOL And tailoring IS a requirement, which some folks don’t seem to understand.

  7. Not only is it Thursday, but in a week or so, this wonderful year will be half over!

    Interesting reading and remarks, as always, LL.
    You all be safe and God bless.

  8. Conventional wisdom says a resume should be one to two pages…max. It’s to get an interview, not a life story. Employers routinely put resumes at more than two pages straight into the bin, especially if the applicant has a degree from a liberal arts school. My Dad taught me that, and it’s advice that has served me well. He was a nuclear engineer (among other jobs), worked for the NRC as an on-site safety inspector during nuke plant construction, also monitored the installations of nuke reactors on subs at Newport News. I think the Israeli’s had a last-ditch plan called Operation Jericho during the Yom Kipper war, a couple of jets carrying nukes were ready to take off in the event the war was lost and it was a one-way ride to the capitals of Jordan, Egypt, Iran and Syria. Could be just a rumor, though. Another great post, LL. Cheers

  9. Gee. Can we hook up those next-gen reactors to Israeli-style desalination plants and bada-bing bada-boom Cali can become a net export of fresh water to Arizona and Nevada and pump fresh water into their aquifers and other adult common-sense things?

    They’ve been promising portable and small nuke plants since the 1960’s. GE actually built several that would be capable of powering a house or serve as a building’s generator or even neighborhoods, but since nukes are bad, we didn’t get any.

      • Wow, that would coincide directly with the Soviet KGB sponsoring of the Green movement and the Students for a Democratic Society and all the other progressive movements.

        Hmm

        mm…. Curious, no?

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