Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indoor pool bad ideas

Winterize the construction or turn off the water ...


Medical upgate

Dick emails:
Sorry about the IV stuff.

How’s the ‘bone?  Started therapy yet?
He's not the only one who's asked, so here's the latest.

The bone seems to be doing pretty well.  I've been off the pain meds for over a week, and the X-Rays looked good yesterday.  Doctor says another 4 weeks is likely, but thinks that the bone graft is taking.

I got a therapy to do, although it's baby steps.  It does get me out of the sling and feels pretty good - my muscles were feeling like they were atrophying, and actually the only pain I've had has been muscle twinges.  I'm working on restraining my enthusiasm, but feeling frustrated is a sign that I'm bettter.

The PICC in my chest is a pain in the tail end.  I tried to talk the doc into removing it early but she wasn't having a any of that.  The cultures have eliminated the really nasty stuff like Mersa, but it's still daily doctor visits.  Getting a lot of reading done thought!

UPDATE 28 February 2015 10:22: There's quite a bit of fatigue still, which is making my mental processes dull.  You can tell this from the blog post output.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rest In Peace, Col. Paul Green

In all the news about the passing of Leonard Nemoy, take a moment to remember a real hero.  Stephen emails to point out the passing of another World War II hero - one who flew P-51 Mustangs over enemy airspace:
Green got his chance after he was drafted into the Army and sent to [redacted - Borepatch], for pilot training. Green flew 25 combat missions with the 99th Fighter Squadron in Italy, escorting bombers.
I've posted frequently on the Greatest Generation who left home and hearth to fight the Nazi and Imperial Japanese menace.  But this one is different.  This one left a  society that despised Black Americans, to fight that same fight.  The story starts out with this:
Col. Paul L. Green, one of the Tuskegee Airmen — the legendary black pilots who escorted U.S. aircraft during World War II — has died in a Southern California senior care home. He was 91.
Col. Green flew 25 sorties against the Nazi ubermensch.  Then he came home to 1945 America, as a Black War Veteran.  And he continued his career in the Air Force, for 30 more years, serving in Vietnam.  He saw the change in Europe, and elsewhere in the world.  But most especially here.

God speed, Colonel.  You saw this Republic with its warts and you stepped up anyway.  That's something worth of respect in itself

Nova Scotia Gothic

You think they're mad?  Wait a month ...


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Douglas T. Jacobson

Doug Jacobson joined the Marines as a 17 year old in 1943. He fought in the Pacific in several campaigns. He survived the war, was in and out of the service, was eventually commissioned and retired in 1967.

70 years ago today, on February 26th, 1945, he was involved in combat on Iwo Jima and was responsible for taking 16 positions of various sizes and killing about 75 of the enemy.

You can think about just what sort of over the top action it must have been to get noticed on Iwo Jima to the extent that the Marine Corps would push forward documentation for a Medal of Honor. Here's what Harry Truman signed for the award:

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS DOUGLAS T. JACOBSON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Third Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, Fourth Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, February 26, 1945. Promptly destroying a stubborn 20-mm. antiaircraft gun and its crew after assuming the duties of a bazooka man who had been killed, Private First Class Jacobson waged a relentless battle as his unit fought desperately toward the summit of Hill 382 in an effort to penetrate the heart of Japanese cross-island defenses. Employing his weapon with ready accuracy when his platoon was halted by overwhelming enemy fire on February 26, he first destroyed two hostile machine-gun positions, then attacked a large blockhouse, completely neutralizing the fortification before dispatching the five-man crew of a pillbox and exploding the installation with a terrific demolitions blast. Moving steadily forward, he wiped out an earth-covered rifle emplacement and, confronted by a cluster of similar emplacements which constituted the perimeter of enemy defenses in his assigned sector, fearlessly advanced, quickly reduced all six positions to a shambles, killed ten of the enemy and enabled our forces to occupy the strong point. Determined to widen the breach thus forced, he volunteered his services to an adjacent assault company, neutralized a pillbox holding up its advance, opened fire on a Japanese tank pouring a steady stream of bullets on one of our supporting tanks and smashed the enemy tank's gun turret in a brief but furious action culminating in a single-handed assault against still another blockhouse and the subsequent neutralization of its firepower. By his dauntless skill and valor, Private First Class Jacobson destroyed a total of sixteen enemy positions and annihilated approximately seventy-five Japanese, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his division's operations against the fanatically defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His gallant conduct in the face of tremendous odds enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
(Signed) HARRY S. TRUMAN

Single OCD seeks same

There's a lot of sorting to do.


I lauged and laughed

Biker chicks.  Grrrr, Baby!  Very grrr!

The best reason ever to not have antivirus software.

The theological reason to drink during Lent.  I mean, you can't argue with theology.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pegging the Meter

Guns don't stop sexual assaults, at least according to the USAToday column published today. I'm not sure what this based on and unsure how it would change the 2nd Amendment even if it were true. But my first thought was that if your firearm didn't prevent you being sexually assaulted, you aren't using it correctly.

It's true enough on reflection. A gun is a tool. It sits in a safe or a holster until used for whatever purpose. A well trained, determined, sober, alert woman with a loaded firearm and the will to use it is not going to be anyone's victim.

A drunk coed in the upstairs of a frat with a guy she met two hours ago is at the mercy and whim of the man she is with. The fact that she owns a firearm, currently in the closet of her apartment ten blocks away, doesn't have anything to do with the situation she has put herself in.

As far as "allowing" guns on campus, which was the real point of the article, there are plenty of guns (and other weapons) on college campuses. The penalties for getting caught with one can be severe, but that doesn't mean some people don't have them. Honest people see those rules as important and follow them. Criminals just see those rules as creating a pasture where they can pick their victims without any personal risk.

Ingenuity

It's not what you have, just what you can imagine. Once someone figures out how to make a spear/bow/club/sword/knife/cannon/rifle/bomb/nuke and teaches someone, the knowledge exists. Getting rid of the knowledge takes more than passing a law.

Here's page after page of pictures of man's ingenuity in making homemade guns, and just one pic of a fairly well made example in .22LR.


Well played, Internet

Well played.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You can tell it's been a long winter


Seems like it's warming up, though.

Genocide I

The Nazis didn't start with thousands of death camps, train schedules, IBM tabulating machines, and giant crematoria. They started small and worked up. It wasn't until Kristallnacht in November of 1938 that they got organized enough to kill 91 Jews at one time.

ISIS has kidnapped 90 Assyrian Christians this week. They beheaded 21 Christians last week. They're a new government, recently formed. They're starting small and already talking about working up.

We can wait. Unless some miracle happens, we will wait. But we shouldn't expect the outcome to be anything other than the obvious. It's the same evil manifesting itself under a new name.

It will be the Jews, the Christians, the homosexuals, the intellectuals, Muslims from different sects and any one who doesn't go along. They will die, deaths by every mutilating, degrading means, wiped out along with the ideas, thoughts and dreams they had. They will be erased. And when it gets rolling, we will not be able to say we didn't see it coming because they are proud of it and they are posting for the world to see. (WARNING! Graphic images).
“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
--Winston S. Churchill

The Atlanta commute

33 degrees and snowing pretty good.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 23, 2015

70 Years Ago, D+4

On February 23rd, 1945, Joe Rosenthal took a picture you might have seen somewhere. It is only the 4th day, and while the outcome may no longer be in doubt, there are 30 days of combat operations to go. It looks like victory as they are raising the flag, but there's a long way to go. Three of the men in this picture will never see it.





Look! The first flowers of the season!


Glad he cleared the path ...

Proof that the NSA despises the courts

NSA steals billions of mobile phone SIM encryption keys:
The Intercept has an extraordinary story: the NSA and/or GCHQ hacked into the Dutch SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, stealing the encryption keys for billions of cell phones. People are still trying to figure out exactly what this means, but it seems to mean that the intelligence agencies have access to both voice and data from all phones using those cards.

Me in The Register: "We always knew that they would occasionally steal SIM keys. But all of them? The odds that they just attacked this one firm are extraordinarily low and we know the NSA does like to steal keys where it can."
Now why would they do that?  After all, it's trivially easy for them to get a warrant from the lap dog FISA court.  But even that is too much interference, and so they hack the GSM companies.

Me thinks it's time to put some of those people out to pasture.

Maybe It's Past For Another Year

It was Tam that first alerted me to the insidious program to make all things in Pumpkin Spice. It seems the program went further than even she suspected.

Look, on Thanksgiving, a slice of pumpkin pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, okay. I might prefer pecan pie or apple, but if pumpkin is offered, I'll go along.

But Pumpkin Spice potato chips? Vodka? Chewing gum?

Here's fifteen real, but absolutely unnecessary products flavored in Pumpkin Spice.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Forgot my damn book

It will be 3 1/2 hours of boredom getting the antibiotics. Not happy.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Richard Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

The problem with cliches is that they distil the most easily memorable and discard 90% that remains.  In the case of Strauss' Also spracht Zarathustra, the cliche is here:



So what does the cliche leave behind?  Lots.

To start with, Strauss composed this as a tone poem, inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's novel of the same name.  The score included the text of "Zarathustra's Prologue" from Nietzsche, which is worth a read to get the feel of the German mysticism of the day (1896).

The music above is only the beginning of the piece, more properly called Einleitung, oder Sonnenaufgang (Introduction, or Sunrise); actually, Stanley Kubrick caught this mood very well indeed.  But it's only the opening 90 seconds of a 30 minute piece, which is a delight.



The cliche of Strauss himself was that he was a Nazi, and in fact Hitler's favorite opretaist.  This isn't true.  In fact, Josef Goebels (Propaganda and Culture Minister) considered him decadent and partly jewish.  Strauss survived the war, and conducted one of the first HiFi versions of this, available on the Vanguard label.

Bootnote: Kubrick also included a Strauss Waltz in 2001: A Space Opera.  It was by Josef Strauss, not Richard Strauss.