Blog Post


Happening Now

I’m taking a break, don’t judge me.


Fast Food

Most places that I’ve seen are starting at $16/hr, but some places are offering $18/hr. and it begs the question of raising wages across the board if people are paying $18/hr to turn hamburgers and fry potatoes. Fast-food workers claim to deserve the bump. If that’s what the market pays… Workers in California are still being paid $16/hr not to work, so there you go. Will your wages double? Will the price of homes double? They’re well on the way to doing that.

I mentioned on blog comments that I recently doubled my rate. It remains to be seen whether anyone will want to pay it. One client is nibbling. Expenses are such that if I don’t, there will be such a slim margin that it’s not worth the hassle.

What rate will illegal aliens be clamoring to be paid. We’re letting in millions of unskilled workers now to satisfy the democrats.

Inflation creates a death spiral that is very difficult to recover from. I sold my house in California for $750K two and a half years ago. Right now on Zillow it’s up to $1.2M. And they are, selling.  Land prices at the White Wolf Mine area have quadrupled in two and a half years. Land near me, similar to mine, view, etc. is going for 4x what I paid and there is currently a bidding war. They may get even more. I’m not thrilled. It portends big drama, huge problems if Jo/Ho/Oligarchs keep rolling.


A Taunt


My youngest daughter, having heard of the flash flood at the WWM, sent me this photo, taunting me, suggesting that I return. We always had a boat. She suggests sailing to Catalina Island and anchoring at the Isthmus for a BBQ afloat and SCUBA at Eagle Reef.

Maybe I’ll rent a boat or something. She knows where to hit me while I’m doing flood clean-up. Kids always know a parent’s weak spot.

29 nautical miles from Alamitos Bay (Between Long Beach and Seal Beach)

Two Harbors, Catalina Isl.


Russian/Soviet Surveillance Aircraft

The Russians never had many dedicated ELINT aircraft. They simply bolted gear on existing airframes, often crudely.  It’s true of many nations, the A-10 Oxcart, SR-71, U-2, and other US platforms were designed and dedicated, but at great expense. Usually, collection systems are added to an existing airframe because it is good enough.

(above) A variant of the Ilyushin Il-18 (NATO Coot) was the Il-20M Coot-A (aka Il-18D-36 Bizon), an ELINT and radar recon aircraft.

The Tupolev Design Bureau was tasked to develop drones that were used for that purpose, and they took up the challenge, but they never were ready for prime time.

Tupolev Tu-123 Yastreb (above) and Tupolev Tu-141 (below) were both supersonic ELINT drones. When they crashed, the US had the opportunity to take a look inside.

The lack of Soviet forward operating bases, except for Cuba, meant that they most often used the very long-range Bear for that purpose [Tupolev Tu-95KM (Bear-C), Tu-95MR (Bear-E), and Tu-95RT (Bear-D)]. There were other platforms that were used, as were satellites. Having a chart, I sometimes watch the various bits of active and inactive Russian ELINT satellites pass overhead in the night sky.

21 thoughts on “Thoughts

    1. The Russians have rugged equipment. Elegant in its own way because it’s built for operation under horrible weather and unimproved runways (high air intakes to reduce FOD). But yeah.

  1. Snowplow the crud, hose it out, then take the tempting invite…Cat Island looks very nice indeed. You could slip into Cali at night, undetected, be out on the water with family by sun up. Total win.

  2. Current policies: incompetence or malice? The rapidity of descent on multiple fronts surprises me.

    1. It can only be attributed to malice. Nobody, not even Jo/Ho are that incompetent, and the corporate interests who oversee them are NOT incompetent.

  3. Take a break, you deserve it. We’ll be waiting, and you know how to conatct any of us should the need arrive.

    Nice header picture. I immediately thought “Catalina”. We did an “Islands On The Air” event there one weekend, and it was fabulous. And Avalon is a nice weekend getaway, but I wonder what it costs these days….

    I have some stories about putting a WHOLE BOTTLE of bubble bath in a jetted tub one night in Avalon. Came real close to looking like the scene in Mr. Roberts when Ensign Pulver set off his firecracker in the laundry.

    A 1911 with a can! I Just LOVES Me Some Of That!

    Our little place in Long Beach that we sold for $515k now has a “Zestimate” of $750k. This place that we paid $375k for now has a Zestimate of $600k. We put a bunch of money into it (all new windows, roof, gutter guards, fence, tree removal, landscaping, etc), but places in this area still sell quickly (sometimes before being published) and usually go for either full-boat asking-price, or above. A really nice place on 30+ acres can still be found for well under a million, but the **really** nice places on that much land are going for $900k~$3mil plus. And there are some astounding properties out here, both in the mountains, and on the high plains.

    OK, now I get the header pic. When I was “crewing” on a 35′ sailboat, one of the “events” we did was a “race” from the Redondo Pier to Avalon, and back. The liberal use of quotes in the preceding text is a testament to our “skill” as proper “sailors”. Sure had a ball doing it, though….

    The Russians bolting on stuff crudely? Say it ain’t so! From the things I’ve seen, I’d say you’re being quite kind about the quality of their workmanship. The Russians are very good Engineers and Scientists, but a lot of their hardware seems to be “Do the best you can, with what we allow you to use”.

    And having a good Spectrum Analyzer, antennas, radios, and computer control, I sometimes listen to them…..

    1. I used to leave in the evening after work, take the boat, usually with buddies, and go to Catalina, anchor at Two Harbors (the cans were often taken – many are owned). Wake up in the morning, do two dives and then come home and be in the dock before 1 pm, when the wind picked up in the Catalina Channel. Often home by noon. There was a place there in Naples where I usually went for a sub sandwich, then home. I knew how spoiled I was then, appreciate the spoiledness even more today.

      My girls learned to fish there. I’d take them sometimes. Bait a hook, wear a black light (chemlight). so that I could see the fishing line and I’d take it down and look for a fish. Halibut – I could tell which were legal just by sight, or maybe a calico bass or sculpin on the edge of the kelp so that it wouldn’t get hung up. Offer the fish the squid. The girls would haul up the fish. We did that until we had a nice mess for the freezer. They have been disappointed in later life when they went fishing (without Dad to find the right fish for them) and didn’t catch fish-after-fish.

    2. I would guess a STI 2011 with an Osprey muffler.
      Judging by the ejection port, 10mm?

  4. Saw an opinion somewhere that the purpose of next chinkvirus lock down will be to have more people who can’t work begging for .gov to print more “free money”. Then on the way here I saw this headline–

    “Reports: Biden begging Federal Reserve’s Powell to curb inflation”.

    Maybe. Who do you believe these days? In any case, it struck that me that communists are all the same. Gorbachev, the Chinese, whom ever. They think that in a (relatively) free market capitalist economy, if they wish that 2 + 2 = 5, then all they need do is issue an edict and it shall be so. That supply and demand are irrelevant this week because they say so.

    1. When I read something attributed to “Biden” or the Ho, I simply dismiss it. Nothing happens because they want it. Their minders and keepers have them on a tight leash.

  5. I enjoyed these thoughts and I like the boats. Nice. Just make sure hippies don’t THIEVE anything.

    1. It’s extra nice because Emilie and her husband Eric will bring my youngest grandson, Mikey along. He’s too young to learn knots and to keep the sails from luffing, or to tack, but you set the example for them and they remember enough to want to learn more as they’re ready.

  6. Mid 1990’s at Payne Field, Everett WA airshow, the Russians had one of their huge cargo planes on display. The many Boeing employees walking the length were impressed and mainly complimentary. Hasn’t the main knock on Russian aircraft been the engines? High maintenance, worn out at 500 hours, and somewhat underpowered?

    1. It was, but they’ve gotten much better at it. Their engines also used a lot of fuel for the power they made, meaning they never really had a bomber to strike the US with until recent history. They just didn’t have the metallurgy to back up their (mostly) copycat designs.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top