Happy Twentieth Anniversary, Honey

I love you.  I always will.


Thanks for marrying me, and taking me away from all that.

Happy 45, Brother Aerospace Genius

Yeah, the 70’s were like this. Vests, awesome belts, and a smile into the great unknown.

I need another white belt...

He’s the smart one (math is hard), I’m the pretty one. (Give me that, otherwise I have nothing…)

Really, Happy Birthday!

You miss it when it goes

I like living on the edge of built-up civilization, but it means our little development has one electric line coming in.

Today it wanted some time off, fortunately only 4 hours. Didn’t get that cold inside, but having an all electric house has some drawbacks in that circumstance.

My wife figured out the electric-less coffee, thankfully.

How to remember where you’ve parked

Well, how I remember.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel in and out of DFW several times recently.  I fly American most of the time, because I like to see just how small a seat I can get into, and guessing which terminal I’ll return to is unpredictable, which is what every traveler wants at the end of a journey.  Win win.

I’ve taken to snapping a photo of the nearest parking lot ID post.  To their credit, no “Itchy vs Scratchy” lots at DFW, and terminal D is well marked indeed:

007 You’re about to say ‘how can you forget where you parked’, and congratulations on your superior memory.  Me?  I have a picture to remind me.

How do I pick wines?

By the label.  Funny > interesting > anything else.

I’m not an oenophile.  Hardly.  I’m becoming a beer-o-phile, but that is a work in progress, and so far as I know there’s no specific data on beer drinking being cardioprotective (as opposed to the 2 drinks a day isn’t bad for you dictum).  Therefore, wine with some dinners (and never on a work day, I’m not a pilot…)

I bought this the other day, strictly based on the label:

004 It’s got everything I could want: interesting label, aviation link, and history!  Oh, and it’s a wine of some sort.

So, not a sophisticate.  Again.

Do not text while driving

Seems very simple: concentrate on what you’re doing, and you lessen (but not eliminate) the risk of car crash.  How much higher is the risk of accidents from texting?  Twenty Three times, that’s how much (VTTI, .pdf).

That’s just not worth the risk.

Unfortunately, apparently it’s hard to resist…


A chip off the old block

I am so proud.

My daughter just called from college, where she just smoked out the frosh chem lab.

Seems the instructions for how much granular drano to add, then how much water (yes, after the drano) were not described clearly.  Or, just clearly enough to make a lot of caustic fog.  No injuries, no harm/no foul.

Given my history, she called on the way home to tell of her escapade.  She said it reminded her of me, which is amusing.

I miss her, and wish she’d gotten someone elses’ lab skills….

I have a hobby.

Writing about shooting is probably not going to broaden my audience (as this isn’t a shooting blog, I’m not an expert by any means so there’s no reason to consider what I write) and runs the risk of driving away a few readers.

OTOH, it’s my blog, and this is what interests me.  Also, there’s no HIPAA for shooting, so I can talk about it.

I’ve recently become interested in long-range shooting, have taken a long class, gotten myself a very nice setup, and done a little practice.  I do it for a lot of reasons: I like the precision and self-control required, there’s plenty of technology (more than I thought), feedback is immediate on the target, and I finally found a sport I can do lying down.

(I’m not a hunter.  Mostly because it doesn’t interest me, and I’m not hungry.  Should I miss a few meals, I’ll have no trouble becoming a hunter, and this training would come in handy.)

Speaking of training, I am fortunate to live fairly close to a high-end training center that specializes in just that.  I took one of their courses, bought a very much better rifle after the class, and did some training afterward, though not enough (dang job).  One of the best ways to see if you’re learning something is to compete, so off to a long range shootout yesterday.

The competition was quite well organized, well (and safely) run.  The competition was to shoot sporting clays, which were 120mm (4.7”), 90mm (3.5”) and 60mm (2.4”) orange targets.  From 400 yards.  Clays are fun to shoot as they usually break very nicely, visible through the rifle scope, so hit/miss is easily discernible.  Big=10 pts, medium=20, little=30, so relay max =150 points, with 5 relays in the competition.  Oh, and you get 8 minutes to fire a maximum of 10 shots per relay.

There was a sighting-in period, then the competition.  I had to move my firing position after sight-in, as my rifle has a muzzle brake (it reduces my felt recoil substantially: my rifle goes boom but doesn’t kick) but it blows air backwards.  This was showering the shooter next to me with dirt.  So moved, built a little barrier with a soft rifle case, and he’s good.

First frame I had the first-competition jitters: all these guys are better than me, and I haven’t actually practiced at this distance; there were a bunch of shooters who brought massive shooting benches from home, with clamps to hold their amazingly detailed rifles and their 40 power scopes in place, I’m shooting prone.

Before my first shot, my goal: be in the middle.  At the end of my 10 rounds, new goal: don’t be last.  Terrible shooting, just awful, and it’s all me.

Second frame: better, but left the two little ones; cleaned the third frame, and left one little one on 4&5.  I might make the middle!  As with most things, being comfortable makes all the difference.

There were 6 perfect scores, all bench shooters, and they had a one-shot shootoff; 48 shooters, I scored 550, for 16th place.  Upper third!  That’s encouraging, but the gunner in me now has to do better.  I enjoyed it, and exceeded my expectations quite a bit (especially with quite the inauspicious start).

Next: handloading!  Time to get the variation out of the ammo…

Many thanks to the Tarleton State High Power Rifle Team for pulling and resetting targets.  They did a quick and terrific job, helping the competition go as smoothly as I can imagine.

On vacation

On Vacation


From my 2003 vacation…

I think my daughter just cursed me…

I believe in Karma, mostly the bad kind: Say the forbidden words in an ED I’m in (Slow, Quiet) and you’ll have nothing but my wrath when the tidal wave of humanity breaks.

I’ve said this over and over, so you’d think she’d know better. My youngest (off to College this fall) said tonight “You haven’t been sick in a long time”. We have two big family events coming up this month, one of which is a big, expensive vacation. The foolishness!

Wood was knocked repeatedly, but I fear the Karmic gods have been tweaked. If I spend my vacation in the sick bay you’ll know who did it…

Happy Birthday to me

46 today. Don’t feel a day over 45.

In the Old Gonzales Jail

Happy 19th Anniversary

…to my wife, who no doubt deserves better.


Thanks, honey!

Another tech bleg

My son is home from law school, which is terrific. He brought his laptop, which apparently has a good, or a series of good, malware programs.

The combo has it so his IE won’t go to windows update, other addresses get hijacked in the browser, and it seems to prevent Spybot Search and Destroy from launching. Likewise Adaware.

I tried running Spybot from a copy on USB, no luck. The antivirus cannot find it, let alone fix it.


Packaging: bad for your health

Hmm, I’ve not seen this at work in the ED (though I have injured myself at home with similar problems, so I won’t say it doesn’t happen. 


Ho ho woes: Wrap rage results in lacerations and bad tempers

Emergency department doctors report that thousands get medical attention annually for wounds related to packaging.

By Victoria Stagg Elliott, AMNews staff. Dec. 22, 2008.

amednews.comImages of colorfully wrapped presents under a Christmas tree are not supposed to trigger feelings of frustration and risks of possible injury. But trends in the packaging of many popular gifts have been diagnosed as the cause of this scenario — what sometimes is called "wrap rage."

The real culprit, of course, is the "clamshell" or "oyster" packaging that encases many toys, electronics and other products. These hard plastic containers have emerged as a favorite of manufacturers and retailers because they protect items during shipping and prevent theft from store shelves, while still allowing shoppers to see what they are buying. The problem for consumers, though, is that these coverings are intensely difficult to remove — often requiring tools, muscle and swearing. Sometimes the experience results in a trip to the hospital.

Get a package opener (I have one, and it works terribly well).