Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Open Mike


Ok, Campers, here's our chance to shine.  Sarge has allowed an "Open Mike" post for us to use to discuss, ask questions, tell stories, swap Bread Recipes (LtFuzz/Rob we're looking at you!) whatever.  

The Blog's existing rules are still in effect.  They are in the sidebar, but are summarized with two words:

Be Nice!

We'll see how well it goes.  If you want to post, post. If you want to ask/answer a question, tell a story/comment thereon, post. Heck, if you've got the Larraburu* San Francisco Sour Dough Top Secret recipe, I BEG you to post.
Just keep it on the up and up.


*I don't remember that as the correct spelling, but this is an interesting site,  Extra points to whomever first spells it right


  1. How deep should your family's larder be? Given food prices are climbing far faster than my raises it's looking like food is a better investment than my 401K.

    So how many months (years) of groceries do you think reasonable. And do you include extra for returning family?

    1. If this turns into a conversation about "prepping," we won't do this anymore. Ever.

    2. He was being nice!!! That was the rule. Man, my autism is on fire today...

    3. True, but I can't abide preppers.

    4. It's not prepping when you are preparing for storms and such. 2 weeks is normal extreme storm prep. The Mormons believe in having a year's supply of foodstuffs just in case, but they started out in bad weather and bad hatred times, so there's that. In my experience, and I am NOT a prepper, I've weathered really bad economic times of my own due to squirreling away foodstuffs and only having to buy fresh milk, eggs, veggies.

    5. I have noticed one change in my grocery shopping methodology. I buy the replacement item as soon as I open the one I have on my shelf. Used to buy one when we were close to emptying the first. Now with empty shelves in the grocery store, and no idea when they'll be restocked, this seems to be more prudent. But our larder is quite a bit fuller than it used to be.

    6. Yeah, it getting near swirly storm season, the goal is to buy 2 of each replacement. Which is why I have something like 30 cans of beans in my cupboard, and 20 boxes of her mac-n-cheese ready. And I buy a new 50lb bag of rice when the old one gets down to 25lbs or so. Problem is finding storage for all of that in a small apartment. I've considered doing the 'submarine' thing and building up the floor in the hallway that I only go down so as to store things under said floorway, but I do believe both Mrs. Andrew and the Apartment Peoples would kind of frown upon doing that.

    7. I have 30 days of food, rice in mason jars & canned meat (chili-beefstew-chicken-tuna, 30 cans) and another 30 cans of vegies. Cheap to buy & these are put away until needed. (I owe it 2 cans of chili and several jars of rice).

    8. I'm just a retired Army medic that has seen too much trouble that could have been prevented.

      As a Grandfather, now, I recall the 1980's when fixed income and working poor struggled to eat vs heat vs medicines (for the seniors) and see it coming again. Seems the young cannot be bothered about stuff until they cannot pay the bills. I expect some will like the Great Depression have to return home to keep their children fed and off the streets.

      As much as I enjoy the Napoleonic stuff on this site, I'll see myself out.

    9. Don't be too hasty, this isn't the forum for such things, that's all.

    10. It is good to have a reserve supply of essential things like coffee.

  2. I have been lacking in commenting on posts because I have been reading from my phone or tablet and hate, hate the pseudo keyboard on those things.

    First off to Juvat, I am glad to see that Miss B is doing better. That feeding tube stuff looks complicated. Since I am not an F-4 pilot I cannot comment on the switches there but the switches on test equipment for high tech defense "stuff" can be just as bad. I see your shop is putting out good stuff with that desk and now the "speaker". Where did the "speaker" design come from?

    I wanted to comment on Tuna's post on defense programs from Saturday. I retired from the F-35 program about 5 years ago. It is a good aircraft and like all advanced defense projects a bit of a science experiment. I know there are a lot of critics both outside and inside the Air Force, Navy and Marines. I still remember the Navy/Navy associated group "study" that said that the F-35 was going to have a lifetime cost of $1 Trillion. The number was out to 2050 and included all services for all countries with all logistics down to the cooks and floor scrubbers. In reality, it was a reasonable number. The aircraft itself has had some growing pains, but not much more than any other fighter program from the past and probably fewer. But the critics magnify those beyond belief. The information around the program was that the pilots in general really like the plane but it was a new paradigm with its technical features. The maintainers did have problems with the maintenance IT system, ALIS (Autonomic Logistics Information System) because they were not like the systems they were used to. But, you could go to any F-35 unit and have the same system. As a former Air Force Pilot, I will say that the F-35 will not replace the A-10.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Bill. The Speaker caption has a link to the youtube video. The guy there is fairly entertaining. Give it a look see.
      I'm not a big fan of the A-10, but it does do it's one mission quite well, so I'll give it that. I kinda equate the F-35 with the F-4 albeit much more modern. This old adage applied to the Phantom and I think it probably does for the F-35 also. "You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can't please all the people, all the time."
      Given the expense of the jet, I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

    2. I'd think that to be a really big fan of the A-10 you'd have to be flying it or on the ground being assisted by it, then I'd imagine you'd be a REALLY big fan of the air plane.

    3. Rob,
      Guys I knew who flew it, love it. and your last clause brought forth another truism from the deepest darkest recesses of my mind. "You don't need Close Air Support, until you NEED Close Air Support, THEN you need it BAD!"
      Which kinda puts a kink in the one jet all missions thing. If the grunts on the ground need CAS and all the Lightnings are doing other missions, no matter how important, the grunts are kinda screwed.
      As to me not wanting to fly it, well, the Little Kid in me wanted to go FAST, always!

    4. I am constantly surprised as to the continued hatred by certain sections of our government over the A-10. Curiously, the same people that hated the S-3 Viking. Both are/were extremely adaptable multi-mission capable aircraft that have long loiter times and long range. The Air Force even proved that the A-10 could be a viable ship-killing platform as a missile carrier, though I'd bet they could hang aerial torpedoes under the darned thing.

      The F-35 is a good plane. Just probably not the best Close Air Support in an airspace controlled environment. People will now say "But Ukraine" except that Russia never achieved total control of the air, and their air force has been shown to be fundamentally lacking in modern equipment and tactics. (And the sensibility of mounting the A-10's engines above and to the rear of the main wing with the exhaust from those big beautiful high-bypass engines, from what I remember the same ones used in the War Hoover, being ejected at a slight upward angle makes getting a heat signature fix difficult, especially after a BRRRRRRRTTT experience.)

    5. Beans,
      One of the issues of flying a multi-mission aircraft (and I'm basing this on my F-4 experience AKA the F-35 of the 60's and 70's) is the training. There's only so much flying time available. Which mission do you train on, CAS, Battlefield Air Interdiction (bombing the bad guys before they get into combat), deep interdiction (bombing Hanoi), air to air...the list goes on. You only get to be as good as you train. Which is why the A-10 is excellent at CAS. Virtually 100% of their flying is practicing that mission. I know of another aircraft that did the same thing when it came out. Flying the F-4, I thought I was pretty good (eventually) at air to air. Then I got to the Eagle. Me, a 1000+ hour F-4 driver was getting my butt handed to me by 2Lt's I'd taught at Lead-in. But these were the Reagan years, we were flying 8-10 times a week. I learned a lot about air to air in a very short time. I would still star in some gun camera videos, but that was usually from guys in my squadron. (We had some Dick Bong like pilots, but even then I got better for the experience). We'd fly against Falcon drivers from Misawa or Kunsan. The Falcon could out turn an Eagle, which is nice, but you got to know what maneuver is needed. That was the difference.
      Hopefully, the USAF treats the F-22 more like they did the Eagle than they did the Phantom. My $.02.

    6. Non-military, non-pilot - but I work in an industry (biopharmaceutcals) where different instruments and testing platforms do different things. One does not "hate" on a particular platform just because, unless one uses it in a way it is not intended or cannot get the data that is needed. If a piece of equipment - or plane - fits the bill for that mission, for goodness' sake use it - we have already made the investment.

    7. Thanks for your comments on that post Bill.. I don't think I was any more critical on that then any other program, it's just that JSF is a huge and sexy one, as are the other emperors, so the trickle down to MCM is mostly nil.

  3. I will ask the question I have asked in interviews in the past: If you could go to one place, where would you go and why?

    For years, my answer used to be "Iceland" because I read Njal's Saga in a college course and it fueled and interest and love in Iceland, Vikings, and Norse History in general that has stuck with me (If you are looking for a great book involving adventure, sorcery, history, legal arguments, government, heroes, and thoughtful reflections on life, it is all there). I finally got to go almost 30 years after I read the book - totally worth it, and I would happily go again (and plan to, if things hold together).

    Now? If I had to choose the next "one place" it would be Greece - for the history. Somewhat to The Ravishing Mrs. TB's dismay, I want to go see all the historical things, even the unusual ones. And the food. And seeing what Mediterranean agriculture looks like.

    Does anyone else have one? Why do you want to go?

    1. THBB,
      Having been in the Military, I've been to most of the places I wanted to see that I learned about growing up. I agree with you on Greece, never made it there and you're right a lot of our history starts there. Been to most of the other places on my list in Europe. China's Great Wall is verboten for me now. Rats! I think I'd like to see Rio and sail the Drake Passage. Got a couple of other Bucket list checkoffs coming the end of this month, but I'm going to keep them for future blog postings. You'll just have to wait and see, Bwaa-Ha-Ha!

    2. Nighean Gheal went to the Great Wall when she was in Hong Kong and sent pictures. She certainly enjoyed it.

      Oh, there is a list beyond Greece. Italy is on it and (now that I am hip deep in Anglo-Saxon history) a trip to the British Isles - but I would want 5 trips, as I want to do each part (England, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Wales) separately. And hike Offa's Dyke. And see what remains of Constantinople. And, and, and....for a guy that does not like to travel much, there is suddenly a lot on the list.

      I am looking forward to what else got checked off your list!

    3. ➡Balmoreah Springs on I-10. A bunch of ranchers beat the .gov to the punch and figured out how to make a historic spring a public park and still useful for ranching. The .gov was going to "wetland" it and they didn't get to ruin it. Success story.
      ➡Marfa Lights. I've heard about them, but never seen them. Out in that high lonesome, anything is possible, I'd reckon.
      ➡Adobe Walls. Longest shot on record. Billy Dixon and a borrowed 50-90 Sharps.
      ➡A few places in the south where my people lived before and during the WNA. They were carpet-bagged off the land a grateful nation gave for Revolutionary war service. Wound up in the Texas.
      ➡McDonald Observatory / Davis Mountains During my trips out that way, I never had time to stop and look.
      ➡Korea War Memorial. But I'm only going after the surrounding land is liberated from the Stalinists. I'll be a haint before that happens.

    4. STxAR,
      Been to Balmoreah, Nice stop in the middle of nowhere with a lot of green. Amazing what an adequate amount of water will do in a desert.
      Marfa Lights, been to Marfa several times, nice high-ish end restaurant there. Never seen the lights.
      Adobe Wells- Learned something knew. Thought you'd made a typo and were talking about Adobe Walls, been there. Now I've got something else to explore.
      McDonald Observatory/Davis Mountains. View is fabulous from there, highly recommend. Additionally visiting at night is very cool also.
      Korean War Memorial. Yeah, it is a well deserved Memorial, but you're right about the rest.

    5. THBB,
      Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.
      Mrs. J, my beloved wife, upon reading this post and my comment above. Informed me that on our Mediterranean Cruise about 10 years ago, we, in fact, did visit Greece, Athens and the Parthenon.
      To be honest, I have no recollection of that, which is interesting. Somewhat unsettling, but interesting.

      Honey, Does that mean we'll need to go back?

    6. I'd love to have the cheddar to tour this great nation via RV or, more preferably, customized ex-school bus. Go see the Grand Canyon, visit all the old missions in California and all the other places I saw when I was a kid and too stupid to totally enjoy the experience. See the outside of Holloman AFB where I was born. Spend time in all four seasons in the Smokies.

      Love to visit The Hermitage museum in New York, but all those New Yorkers. Same goes for the Smithsonian, spend a year or so just going in and out of all the cool exhibits, except, as you pointed out, the Stalinists and outright Marxist-Leninists, along with all the national socialists in that hell-hole (why do I call them NatSocialists? Because they believe in complete government control over all private business and private lives. though they are heading towards International Socialism, which is complete government control over all things private and no private ownership of anything past a pair of underwear.)

      Countries? Iceland. Norway. Normandy (I know, but given half a chance I think the current Normans would probably be happy to be separated from 'mainstream' France and the Parisians.) Visit some of the islands of Micronesia. Japan. South Korea (when the various Kims aren't threatening war, which sadly would be never.) Switzerland. The Vatican (especially the Swiss Guard's armory, could spend a week or more in there just looking and fondling all the juicy weapony and armory goodness... I mean, able to wear maximillian plate while carrying a MG-3...) once the leadership (Long long loooong political rant about the current leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.) Poland, always wanted to visit Poland once it was free.

    7. Beans,
      Holloman hasn't changed one bit since I was there in the early 80's. Some new buildings, new/different aircraft, but that's about all. The flying was good, wasn't the end of the Earth, but you could see it from the front gate.

      Just sayin'

    8. And that's exactly what I would do. Get near the main gate, look, say to Mrs. Andrew "That's the place I was born" and then move along.

    9. I'd like to take one of those world cruises... one of the reasons I buy a lottery ticket from time to time :-)

    10. STxAR, by all means the Korean War memorial is worth seeing, no matter who is in power. It is one of the most tastefully done memorials of modern memory I can remember - for that matter, all of the Capitol mall is worth seeing. Other than that, except for the Smithsonian Air and Space museum and a pretty good oyster bar across from the White House, there really is not a lot there for me of interest.

    11. Juvat's response, if it were an Olympic event:

      Television Announcer I: He has delivered the initial response, circling around now for the conclusion...Oh no Chris, looks like he has blown the response!

      Television Announcer II: That is pretty bad Frank. Hard to recover from...wait, wait, it looks like he has completely reversed it with the "Appeal to the wife for another vacation" move!

      Television Announcer I: Look at the scores! 9.3 from the Bulgarian judge, who says he really liked the recovery...

    12. Beans - Nothing wrong with that list. I, too, did not nearly appreciate a lot of what I saw when I was young of the US - between hiking and The Ravishing Mrs. TB's "We are visiting ALL the National Parks", I may get another shot.

      And yes. plate armor and an MP-3 are things to be devoutly wished for.

    13. Rob, I would have to work up to that long of a cruise. I need to start with something small, like to Alaska or up a Norwegian fjord, to see how I would like the idea. I feel like I would be bored, but I could be wrong.

    14. I had a friend go there in winter. He visited after dark, and said the statues on patrol just faded in and out of the snow and dark as if they were moving. I never wished someone had a movie camera more in my life. I'd like to experience that. I had neighbors and teachers and kin that were in that fracas. They were closer to my age than the WW2 guys. But I had a deuce and half full of those as mentors, too.

  4. Let's talk torque. (not toque)
    Pennsylvania demands an annual vehicle inspection and the inspecting location will remove tire(s) to look at the rotors and brakes.
    After finding the wheel nuts a bit loose some years ago, we return home from each inspection, and check the lug nut torques.
    With the sole exception of a couple of weeks ago, the lug nuts are torqued beyond the Subaru value of 89 foot pounds.

    When I was a mechanical systems inspector at Philly Shipyard, I signed numerous test specifications and each value had an acceptable range. (I was a civilian DON employee under the larger umbrella of DOD.)
    But Subaru lists only the one value in the manual and they don't want lube on the threads. That is know as a dry torque.
    (I will skip past how to correctly measure torque, as that subject alone would need a lot of writing.)
    Question #1. Subaru chose to list only one value, and not a range. Why?
    I spent some time thinking about this, and I have a theory.
    My theory is that Subaru selected that value because it is in the middle of the acceptable range.
    I further tweaked my theory and I think that the range is based on the most common torque wrenches used by shops, or by home mechanics.
    I have no tools that are calibrated and bear the required sticker.
    My best torque wrench is a GearWrench 85071 and the manufacturer says it will be +/- 2% accurate in the clockwise direction.
    At the other end, the Harbor Freight 1/2" clicker wrench costs $ 18.00 and the specifications say it will be +/- 4% accurate.
    The GearWrench allows and shows only whole numbers.
    The Harbor Freight allows a bit of interpolation, but not much fine detail.
    If I set both tools at 89 foot pounds, the GearWrench will beep at the setting and the Harbor Freight will click at the setpoint.
    That means that if I use the GearWrench my efforts will result in an actual value between 87.22 and 90.78 foot pounds.
    The Harbor Freight will result in an actual value of 85.44 and 92.56 foot pounds.

    Does it sound like I reasoned my way to the right answer for the listing of only one number? Or am I wrong with confidence?

    The question of how I can measure the impacts per time unit of pneumatic and cordless impact tools and get a reasonably accurate number without spending any money can be left to the next open mike.

    Have a great day!

    1. I've always found that taking the lug wrench that came with the vehicle and tightening the lug nuts as tight as you can with it, works. Nothing else makes sense. If you have a flat in the middle of nowhere, you have to get those nuts off with what you have on hand. Kid next door had a flat a few weeks ago. She couldn't get the nuts loose. It was all I could do to loosen them. She had just had the car inspected. (yes Pennsylvania. Western part of the State) When I got home from work, I looked at her sticker to see which wheels were checked. The flat was one of them. I measured the breaking torque of the other checked wheel and got 145 ft/lbs. I broke every lug nut on the car and re-torqued them to 80 ft/lbs. and had her try to loosen them. She couldn't so I gave her a small cheater bar to use with the lug wrench.

    2. Gentlemen,
      I've learned more about Torque in the last two minutes than I have in the past 68 years. I don't know how it will come in handy, but...I can discuss the subject using numbers and verbs over a beer with the best of them. Thank you.

    3. The four bolts holding your radome on the aircraft were torqued to (iirc) 175 ft-lbs.

    4. Jim.
      In the days of steel rims, and aside from fighting to get them off, making them very tight didn't do much harm.
      But we have aluminum rims on both cars and the torque value has to split the hair of easily doing damage to the rims, and being too loose.
      The cheater is a great idea and because of an unhealthy dose of both OCD and Anal Retention, each of our cars has a long 1/2" Harbor Freight breaker bar stowed within, and each breaker bar is fitted with the correct sized deep well six point socket as a "just in case precaution."
      Any deeper dive into lug nut torque involves chatting about the relatively inexpensive and now fairly common cordless impact wrenches, among them is the Ryobi 1/2" brushless wrench that will pound those nuts to 450 foot pounds in a very few seconds.
      That means permanent deformation of the fastener, and a very high risk of breaking the stud.

      There is so much knowledge among the bloggers and commenters that I think that almost any question can get answered here!

    5. OAF. It neat how our minds work, some things we remember, other things not so much.
      I had to replace a small part on one of our older Subarus, and the torque value was 18 inch pounds or so.
      I very carefully set the 1/4" inch-pound torque wrench to that value, and snuck up on the setting.
      The sensor had tapered threads, and if you ran it up carelessly you would split the aluminum manifold and then face a very costly repair.
      If my memory is correct, some of the high pressure turbine casing fasteners had to be torqued to a value of 2,400 foot pounds.
      I was talking to a General Electric tech rep and he explained that the hole through the center of the large steam turbine flange stud was for a heating rod.
      At the assembly plant, they would heat the stud to a certain value, and then torque the nut on to a high number. When the stud cooled, it would add more torque to the fastener.

    6. Sarge,
      I find it intriguing that that much force would be used. The radome was pointed into the wind (unless you were in a spin, then you were in deep kimche). Not doubting your memory, just that that was the specification set by the design engineers.

    7. Have to wonder if the MOS for those torquing the radar dome was copied from the Army Combat Engineer manual. As I recall a bridge specialist MOS may have required size two hat and size 17 shirt?

    8. Lug nuts... Each of our vehicles has a Harbor Freight breaker bar and a Craftsman 6 point socket to fit the vehicles lug nuts. I get Craftsman at Ace or Lowes these days.
      I put it on the lug nut and set it about horizontal with the ground, then as I quietly chant "righty-tighty, leftee-loosee". I hold on the the gutter on the roof while I balance one foot on the end of the breaker bar and gentley bounce up and down until the nut comes loose.
      Worked everytime...

    9. John, as a former Metrology (Science of Measurement) Engineer for a major aerospace/defense company calibration lab, your reasoning is valid. Subaru would probably prefer the tighter measurement but may have accounted for the other. One reminder, always set your torque wrenches back to 0 when finished; otherwise the mechanism develops a set and your dialed in values are then off.

    10. The Main Gearbox Mounting Bolts on the Sh-3 Sea King were torqued to 900 ft./lbs. The torque wrench had a 4 foot handle extension. I was one of the few people in the squadron who could tighten them without help. You would torque them, wait 3 days and torque them again. Then one final time after 5 more days and then you would slip mark them. I have the half inch breaker bar with the correct socket right next to my jack. A few years ago I bought some four way lug wrenches, marked the correct one with orange dayglow paint for each of my Sister's cars and then I put a section of stainless steel tubing over each one that was 90 degrees to the painted one. I peened the end of the tubing down so that it couldn't come off and dipped the other end of the tube in liquid rubber for grip. They made nice Christmas gifts.

    11. BillB - I never thought about the reset, but valuable to know!

    12. BillB. Thank you. I don't always remember to move the clicker wrenches to zero, and the GearWrench is not only longer and allows me gain the Archimedean benefit, it also runs on a strain gauge instead of a spring.
      I think you would know how to use a dead weight gauge calibrator.

    13. Crusty Old TV Tech here. 900 friggin Foot-Pounds??? My Lord, and I thought those Diesel head bolts were tight!

      Been doing some rolling plumbing repair in the attic (yes, here on the Fourth Coast, they put pipes in the attic), I had one 3/4" galvanized that had been there for some 50 years. Had to uncouple it from its tee. Well, you would have thought the plumber who tightened it 50+ years ago had one of your 900 Foot-Pount wrenches! Took a 2' pipe wrench and a 4' cheater bar, counterheld with another 2' pipe wrench resting on a 2x6, but after some cussing and heating, it finally let go. I was afraid I'd end up with a twisted-off old corroded mess, but strangely, the tee was OK and so was the pipe end.

    14. I won a 15” torque wrench at a Moose Lodge Chioppino Feed one time. I took it out of the box and admired it thoroughly, then I put it back until I gave it away thirty years later. Thought I’d add that to the thread.

  5. Anyone have a good recipe for a snot locker solvent? With the lung issues, I find if I can loosen the slurm in them, I have a decent chance of a good day with the O₂ harvest.

    Currently on tap is thyme tea ➡ 1/4 tsp each of thyme and ginger steeped in hot water at least 10 minutes.
    and elderberry syrup ➡ budgetmachining blog has the recipe

    1. I've had good results in using one of those Neil Med squeeze bottles. I boil the water in a microwave to make sure that I don't get a dose of brain eating bugs and I add their additive powder. (Yep, I know the chances of the brain eating bug are low, but zero chance with brain eating bugs is better than low chances!)

    2. STxAR,
      Agree with JiP. The pharmacy department at HEB should be able to set you up with the bottle as well as the salt packets that you mix with the distilled (and boiled) water that should be used. After I had my nasal surgery last year, I did that 2/day religiously. Got through the Texas Pollen season with a lot less problems than this year. May start back up. It's a little weird and takes a bit of getting used to, but seems to work.
      Good luck.

    3. That, and using Flonase (or the generic equivalent) after you blast your snot-producers well. Hot shower with the heat as hot as you can stand on the sinus areas of the face will help, too, along with the accompanying steam.

      And if you use a CPAP, make sure to clean the air hose and the face mask really well at least once a month. Like stick the face mask, broken down in to its pieces parts, in a large ziploc full of Hydrogen Peroxide (with it mostly closed, but held up in a bowl) and let it soak for a couple hours, and then rinse it. You can use the used H2O2 to fill up the airhose and slosh it back and forth for 10 minutes or so, and then pour the H2O2 into the water tank and let it sit for a couple hours. And rinse everything very well. A couple drops of H2O2 in the water (not much more than a couple drops) will help things not grow in the tank.

    4. Beans/STxAR,
      Check with your doctor before using Flonase if you are on any blood thinners. Had to go to the ER when I was prescribed it after my nasal surgery. I was bleeding profusely and it wouldn't stop. Not sure what they used to stop the bleeding, but it took quite a while in the ER. When they sent me home, they put me on Afrin (which is generally a no-no) because it would stop the bleeding. YMMV.

    5. I'm still on oxygen at night, so no need for a cpap. Thanks for the notes. If I go that route, I'll be ready.
      I'll see what HEB has for the water boarding supplies. I have some squirt bottles from Arm and Hammer that spritz salt water in the cavities. It seems to help, but it isn't like a turd floater or a frog strangling flood.

  6. After destroying the threads, successfully heat damaging the cylinder, and breaking a few large wrenches, someone decided to the call about the torque for a nut holding the packing in a large excavator hydraulic cylinder. I think it was somewhere around 450 ft lbs, and only a special hydraulic tool could remove the nut.

    I was young, but the mechanics supposedly had years of experience. We all learned something new that day.

    1. Jess.
      I hear you.
      I know from personal experience that three shipyard mechanics, a 48" steel pipe wrench, and a ten foot long staging pipe resulted in a broken pipe wrench and the fastener didn't move at all.
      Main steam pressure for older warships and support ships used to be 600 psi and the piping was made up of flanged joints and spiral wound Flexitallic gaskets. The flange bolts were heat treated studs and nuts, and we used a slugging wrench and a sledgehammer to tighten the fasteners.
      Tight enough meant that a full arm blow with a sledge would not move the wrench at all.
      I don't miss that part at all.

    2. 600 PSI sea was the easy stuff to work on. But, most of the 1200 PSI piping was welded rather than flanged.
      PNSY did good work on my DDG when we were in the yards there circa 1979. Too bad the politicians BRAC'd the base and have let it mostly turn to crap since then. Just waiting for an opportunity to develop the entire area, including the Mustin Field end into Condos or something.
      "Blindman's" sandwich concession did a good job in the yard, but nothing beats a good South Philly Hoagie.
      John Blackshoe

  7. No aspirations for a job, but Sage indicated “stories” could be acceptable.
    This is one of my 40 year old memories I’ll keep and chuckle about as long as I’m in my right mind.

    After several years of flying in and out of the Magic Kingdom, which is situated along the Tropic of Cancer, I had the following experience as I flew British Airways into one of the Kingdom’s major cities on the west coast. Due to the number of BA flights I’d taken and a number of trips to London, I’d already become used to dry British/English humor. So as we deplaned I was just half listening to the various conversations going on around me. However, one conversation caught my attention when a very proper Englishman, who obviously was on his first trip to the Kingdom, was having a detailed conversation with an equally very English Stewardess. I could hear them discussing local customs etc., and finally he asked what he should do with his watch since we’d made several time zone changes. Set it forward or backward? Without hesitation and in a very serious tone, she replied “Sir, I’d suggest you set your watch back about 2,000 years”. Was about all I could do to maintain my composure. In some aspects of life there, I have to agree she was correct in her assessment.

    1. Cletus,
      Great story. Although I'd think a more accurate answer would be 247 years and counting. Just sayin'

    2. Dang, I wasn't thinking about the Tropic of Cancer running through Florida and the 2nd modern Magic Kingdom...had I mentioned the Kingdom's major city was on the Red Sea it would have nailed the location down. Sorry for the confusion.

    3. Cletus,
      Course it IS possible for us BOTH to be right!

    4. What Cletus was talking about is why if I ever become a world traveller, there isn't much of the world I'd really want to see. Specific chunks of it, preferably with an armed escort. Not that I'm paranoid, because I know They are out to get me.

    5. Juvat, right!
      Beans, had the privilege to do it all basically on someone else's money. Lots of interesting things to see and people to meet. But there are a lot out to get you in "certain" spots and in other places there are those out to get only your money. A lot like being in some big US cities.

  8. I seldom comment directly to a blog post unless I happen to bo on the PC.
    Details for that aren't important.
    Anyway, it was the Larraburu sourdough that sent me off into a search for more.
    I'm pretty sure I was weaned on that bread.
    There was seldom a day we didn't have at least part of a loaf close at hand, although when we first moved from The City it wasn't always easy to find, but by the mid-fifties most grocers on the SF Peninsula carried it.
    My folks had a close friend who worked for a rival baking outfit in SF, but it just wasn't the same, as they weren't just sourdough bakers.
    My brother and I liked it so much, as teens, that we'd buy our own loaves, so we didn't have to share.
    We also bought our own butter, so we didn't have to use margarine.
    It was one of the things I missed the most when I was in the Navy, except, of course for family members.
    It was a sad day when they had to close their doors.

    1. Skip,
      I had similar feelings. Dad got back on flying status when we moved to Webb AFB in Texas. Mom being the SF born and raised lady she was, was a bit shocked at West Texas, but then she'd also just left North Dakota and Montana so...Dad could now get regular cross country flights in the T-38 as he was one of the Squadron's Flight Commanders. He and another IP and two students would fly to the San Francisco area and meet up with member's of Mom's Family who would bring LOT's of loves of Larrabaru bread. They'd put it into the travel pods and then fly home. Win Win. The student's got the training they needed, the IP's and their families got to eat Excellent French Bread. And that's where I developed the taste for it.
      Agree about the Sad Day.

  9. Crusty Old TV Tech here. Places I'd like to visit...I've been blessed, I've visited all the places I'd like to visit (mostly on the AFCC Government Tour Plan early in my career), except maybe Hungary. A place with such history, and a people from beyond the Urals originally, speaking a non-Indo-European language...and the gulyas...and the paprikash...and the to visit there.

    Stories...well, the year I graduated from the Ruston State School for Wayward Electricians, a friend graduated ahead of me. He needed to get his 1974 Ford Pinto back to SoCal after graduation. Well, we devised a Grand Tour, from NWLA to Yellowstone and down the CA coast to LA. Took 2 weeks more or less. Oh, did I mention we started off the trip 2 weeks earlier with a cylinder head replacement in my parent's back yard? Anyway, we went through 3 regulators, one exhaust pipe gasket (changed in a parking lot in Idaho Falls) and two LOCA's (Loss of Cooling Accident), one partial, one complete. The partial was heading into Yellowstone, and involved a broken spot weld on a heater pipe elbow bracket. Pushed the heater hose up to stop the leak, but what to do about coolant? Well, 100' down a 30 degree slope was a spring, and we had an old oil can. 30 scrambles down (and up) the slope later, the Pinto was back in service, wheels up and outbound. The second LOCA was a bolt backing out of an A/C idler pulley bracket. Said bolt was threaded into the block, and was wet. So, when it came out (in Winnemucca, NV in August, yep, of course!) coolant pissed out of that hole like a propane tank shot with a 30-06! OK, I found the bracket, and my spare parts kit had an appropriate bolt...but what to do about coolant? Hmmm, a case of Coors in the boot. Well, I can attest that Coors is a better engine coolant and cleaner than libation! Once again, wheels up and outbound. Getting short of geedus in Tahoe, and we just happen to hit the slot and win $50, so we keep rolling. Saw the Golden Gate bridge three times (once on purpose, twice by mistake, grrr). Big Sur, very nice. That Italian restaurant in San Luis Obispo with the excellent deep fried artichoke hearts. And, on to Sin City, we made it at last!

  10. OK, to heed the order of a senior officer, I write of bread. Sourdough bread. BTW, that only means no yeast.
    The starter is the first thing. You can easily make your own. I made mine from scratch several times by adding water to flour, aerating it, watch it with patience, throw most of it out, add more flour and water (no chlorine, please). In about a week you’ll have a living, literally breathing jar of sticky stuff that has been the site a bacterial orgy. The starter will reflect the bacteria et al in the local air. Mine’s 76° Florida Condo air. I’ve heard that even if you manage to sneak some SF starter through TSA, it will, over time, revert to your local bacterial load. For better or for worse, usually worse, if you’re from the Bay Area. Once you’ve got that baby in the house, you can start thinking about what kind of bread you want to make. You know, rye, whole wheat, etc. I’m stuck with a bread that is made from 90% AP, 10% whole wheat (King Arthur. Only because I can’t find the stuff from SF or afford the shipping.). I make what could be called a “levaine” the night before baking. This is a mixture of 200g 50/50 AP/WW and a spoonful of the starter with some water. The purpose here, as I understand it, is to whip your starter people (did I mention that many people name their starters? I haven’t. One woman one the house is enough.) into a frenzy. It’s sort of like foreplay (can I say that, Sarge?). Then in the morning, you add it to the kilo of flour and it goes crazy! After about 6 hours of caressing it and kneading it, you form the loaves and leave them alone for a while, then pop them in a 500° oven for somewhere around forty minutes. Half the time you’re keeping the humidity in the oven high, then let it bake until the internal temp is 209-210°. See if you can refrain from cutting it for an hour or more (it’s actually quite liquid-ey inside at the finished temp.). There ya go, sure as Bob’s your uncle- there’s bread to eat and give away. (Kudos to the Tartine Method which I try to follow.)


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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