Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chem Trails and Vapor Trails

H/T to David Dees.

What's the difference between a water vapor trail and a chem trail, you ask? Vapor trails disappear fairly quickly, but chem trails keep spreading out. I don't know the chemical content of chem trails, but it's probably nothing you want to breathe in. Call it a hunch.

Tin foil time. Thanks to David Dees for these pictures. For more of his work, go Here.

Are you snugging up that aluminum chapeau yet?

Mum's the word. Remember, loose lips sink dictatorships.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Of Clouds and Chem Trails

Some purty clouds.

These are chem trails, which differ from vapor trails. Put on your Reynolds Wrap Sombrero and we'll discuss the difference.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What She Said

If you only read people who share your opinions, if you only hear from the folks who think just like you, you will be living in a narrow, colorless and ultimately stupid world, no matter what your ideology.

Roberta X

Carpenter concurs. Go read more of Bobbi's words here.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Modest Proposal

Let's conquer Mexico and add it to the United States.

  1. We already swiped Texas to California from Mexico. Why not "complete the mission"?
  2. No more illegal alien problem. The second that all the Mexicans became citizens of a US possession, they would also become taxpayers. And since the majority of Mexicans are young right now, they can pay the Medicare and Social Security tab.  Is that great or what?
  3. We'd have a whole new cesspool of corruption and poverty to throw borrowed money at and "fix".
  4. While our troops are busy "defending America", they could take great vacations in some beautiful resort towns.
  5. I heard they have oil down there. Call Halliburton.
  6. It would add some really nice beachfront property to the assessor's tax rolls.
  7. No worries about "insurgents". The worst that could happen is that a pissed-off former Mexican might trim your bushes crooked on purpose.

I can't see any objections or negatives here. Politicians should jump all over this.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shooty Goodness, Arizona Style

Since Bobbi and Tam were having so much fun this weekend, Mrs. UC and I likewise exercised our 2nd amendment rights.

The mission: to ventilate these plastic containers on a still Sunday morning in the Arizona desert.

The Smith & Wesson 44 magnum has a little kick and always raises up after a shot. I have a pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-fingers kinda love for this gun.

This is my Grandmother's 16 gauge shotgun.

Mrs. UC clicks off a few with her S&W .38 Special.

My Sweetie shows good form while clearing a stovepipe malf on her Glock 9 mm--notice her finger is off the trigger. Just one of the reasons I love her.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Playing With Block Quotes

To the man with an ear for verbal delicacies — the man who searches painfully for the perfect word, and puts the way of saying a thing above the thing said — there is in writing the constant joy of sudden discovery, of happy accident.

H. L. Mencken

This is just experimentation. Pay no attention. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Star Shots

Mrs. UC took some pictures this morning. This is a shot of the constellation of Orion. Click to embiggen.

A piece of our house in this photo of the star cluster Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. At this time of morning, it's almost directly overhead.



All the trouble in the world, and no shortage of Moses's wanting to lead us out of said trouble.

Richard Mitchell described the goal of a true education, the ability to choose the better from the worse. Seems simple enough, but that choosing can only happen in a mind, a mind quietly asking and answering in turn. Mitchell wrote about "moments" of education, looking-up-from-the-page-and-wondering moments.

The ills of this world will not be solved loudly, e.g., wars, talk-radio, speeches from "leaders". You and I will quietly settle this and let the world continue its shouting match.

Comment Section

Jim from RangerAgainstWar emailed me last week to ask why I commented on one of his posts and not on the one he thought was better. I sat and thought about it. What catches my commenting attention isn't at all predictable. Sometimes it's the overall idea; sometimes just a cleverly-worded sentence; sometimes just to say hey-I'm-out-here-and-I-read-your-blog.

I comment sparingly on posts because I'm loathe to seem a toady. I've seen some blogs where the same fellow comments on every post to the point of nausea. Sometimes I'll want to comment on a post, but I don't, because my comment will be lost among the high number of comments. Some bloggers can write "I went to lunch today" and get 62 comments. Others will sweat over a masterpiece of eloquence and wit, and not receive a single comment.

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
Lord Bacon
Keep on bloggin', dudes and dudettes.


Some Thoughts On Safety

This is Mike. He's modeling a fall-protection system called a retractable lanyard. We call them retracts or yo-yo's, and they are an enormous pain-in-the-ass. Imagine 20 carpenters all trying to work on the same deck area with 20 yo-yo's. But here's the beauty part: Safety rules require lanyard tie-off if you are over 6 feet above ground, and most retracts are 50-footers--got the picture? Yep, it's that stupid. In this picture, Mike is about 15 feet above ground and his yo-yo is fully extended to its 50-foot length. All that retractable does is slow him down, but if he is caught without the damn thing, it's automatic termination.

Yours truly was "suspended" from work for one day last week. His crime? Walking past some red danger tape. Guilty as charged. At the time it seemed the safest way to get from point A to point B, but the superintendent would hear none of it. I enjoyed the day off and was glad the suspension wasn't permanent.

Carpenter's question-of-the-day: Does it make sense to spend millions on production-losing rules and bullshit "devices" to save the even higher cost of insurance and lawsuit? We could unwrap that one all day long and still have leftovers to last the week.

When rules overrule judgement, does individual responsibility vanish? Do carpenters quit thinking about the safest way to do something and just robotically follow the rules? Should safety rules play to the lowest common denominator, or should natural selection have a hand in who keeps working?

Saturday, October 9, 2010


What if you were an inmate in a prison, and you were hatin' life? You decide to make a break for it and try to enlist some of your buddies to join you in your great escape. But they aren't interested; they like the prison system and just want to change it a bit to better suit their needs. One of your friends thinks that the cafeteria should have a better selection of food; one thinks the gym should be open longer; another wants more books in the library. The inmates elected a new warden and replaced some corrupt guards, but strangely, their hoped-for change didn't happen. You try to explain to your fellow prisoners about the animating contest of freedom, but the homeboys ain't buying it--no, no, too scary, they're used to the "services" that the prison provides. Is everyone here insane, you wonder. You feel lonelier than ever.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sun Rays At Sunrise

Mrs. UC snapped this shot just before sunrise a couple of days ago.

'Toon Truths

Safety First

This is a distribution box for temporary construction power at my job. Notice the "Danger" sign.

A little humor drives the point home better.

Astrophotography With A Nikon D3000

This is Jupiter and its moons, taken this morning(about 2 a.m.)--200 mm zoom lens, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1.3 seconds. Notice the blown highlights on Jupiter and a lack of stars. A longer exposure would have brought up more stars but Jupiter would have been brighter and fuzzier. Focus wasn't as crisp as I'd like. I don't know if it's my eyes or the lens. Click any of these photos to make them bigger.

This is the constellation Orion--55 mm zoom lens, ISO 1600, f/4, 20 seconds. There's plenty-o-stars in this shot. Because the exposure time was so long you can see the elongation of the stars, called star trails. The cool thing about Orion is that it has a galaxy and a stunning nebula, but you need a bit more magnification to see them.

This is the star cluster Pleiades, the Seven Sisters--200mm zoom lens, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 4 seconds. You can just see the start of star trails from the 4 second exposure length.

I took almost 100 shots this morning, and these are the best three. All of these pics are full-on manual settings, even manual focus.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Changing Stuff

If you'd like to know how to change the font on your blog, go Here.

Yes, I'm that bored. I've had a few posts rattling around in my head, like bb's in a boxcar, for a couple of weeks; but I just can't seem to spit them out.

Lot Of Weather We're Having

On the way home from work yesterday I took this pic of a localized cloudburst. To the right you can see some of the Eldorado Valley solar power plant, which is in the south end of Boulder City, Nevada. Southern Nevada had some heavy weather, with quarter-sized hail and 60 mph winds in some areas. Anything different from blue-skies and 120 degrees(the norm in Mohave Valley, Arizona) is welcome.

I took this shot Sunday while out on tactical maneuvers with our director-of-security. It's not the most spectacular shot of lightning ever, but how often do you catch lightning in a picture. Clicking on any of these pictures will embigmentize them.

Mrs. UC took this shot of Sunday's sunset. We don't often get 'em this pretty.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend Pics

Groan! UC is gonna give us another damn slide show! Clicking on these pictures will make them bigger, possibly.

This is one of the four burrowing owls that hang out at our place. Their nest is under this metal storage building.

I like contrast in pictures. Especially cloud pictures with lots of contrast.

Here in Arizona, clouds are in short supply. When we get clouds, there is almost a guarantee of a beautiful sunset.

Some purty clouds as the daylight slips away. Oh, and I might add some poetic bullshit about the mountains limning the deepening colors of a fiery sunset.

The coolest house in Arizona. Notice the coyote-proof enclosure around the director-of-security's executive washroom.

You were asleep, right? Wake up. I took this picture. I took it from Bartcop. Where he got it, I couldn't say.

Friday, October 1, 2010


On my drive home today I had to pull over and whip out my little point-n-shoot Nikon, which I keep charged-up and easy-to-get-to in my ride.

This is the view to the east of our home. Normally our sky is monotonously blue, so when these fluffy guys come up, I start clicking.