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355 F'n Saint

About Lark

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    Small boats, water, wilderness, and those who travel far.

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  1. Lark

    US could lose a war with China

    I agree with your concern chips may have Easter Eggs. An Air Force major told me they were screened by the military, but when the news story broke that the military was leaving default passwords on its weapons systems, or using passwords the GAO could guess, I guessed the truth. The ability to operate ships, aircraft and RC planes may be limited by loss of satellite networks and GPS if we fight anybody with rockets able to reach orbit. A friend met a squad of reservists on maneuvers in a state park when he was a teenager. They were lost, so he led them back to the road. Can the modern military do better without electronics? Since we only fight wars we are certain to win (even though we never seem to) we haven't tested ourselves for decades. We discovered destroyers were vulnerable to runabouts a couple decades ago. A National Geographic? video I posted a year ago showed the military corrected this, when the computers and automated guns work. I can no longer find the video. It showed a frustrated skipper, a weapons test aborted, a ship returning to port, and a repeat after the contractor fixed the guns. I'm sure our enemies will sportingly reschedule battles to allow us extra port time when needed. We don't really know if CVNs are vulnerable until the next Jimmy Doolittle comes along to prove they are BBs. @Fakenews is right and the quoted commission in his article is wrong. Trump is predictably wrong. Its not a funding issue. If we spend as much as five nations the problem isn't lack of money. Are we equipping ourselves with the 2018 version of Norton bombsights and Mark 14 torpedoes? We don't need another Commander O'Kane sacrificing his crew with a boomerang weapon, nor a Lt Commander Dapsit testing ordinance in enemy waters because the military determined that under theoretical conditions they work fine. The officers have a vested interest in keeping the contractors happy, since many enjoy a second career in the military industrial complex after retirement. As long as we only fight terrorists with improvised explosives nobody fears faulty weapons. I believe the military spends too much money and gets too little. They need a mixture of cutting edge weapons and basic reliable systems, a fleet of frigates to back up the superships that might work. The procurement process is so screwed up they spend a fortune refitting antique airplanes. Mothballed frigates are too ill prepared and worn out to rotate them into service when ships him ump in the night, but we cannot afford to build new ones since so much is invested in the superships. Even if the military was all we pay for, it guards against the wrong enemy in this era of cyberwarfare.
  2. Lark

    How many lines are on your boat?

    The most important one is the grab line for the water bottle.
  3. Lark

    forming a new business model who wants in

    You aren’t a pimp if you sell franchises bundled with the advertising and phone app. There could also be a subscription based security service available in select markets.
  4. Why do we have such a great schism? The left behind are angry, frustrated and scared for a variety of reasons. Some (Kansas) are self inflicted wounds form stupid policy. Some is the consequence of religious zealotry and fundamentalism. Just as despair and lack of opportunity in the middle East create a violent and intolerant superstition where so much math and science began, we also decay into superstition. But its not just our own choices that left us behind. It's not really a farmer thing in rural areas anymore. In the heart of dairy country or the corn belt, half an hour from the nearest interstate, most people don't make a living from the land these days. Maybe a couple cousins help make hay four times in a summer. Even in real rural areas such as are found in Western Kansas or Nebraska there are people living off natural gas, oil, preaching, SS or military pensions. Ag equipment has high tech systems and proprietary software, making user modifications and repairs not only difficult but sometimes illegal. More work for the authorized dealer hundreds of miles away, less local farm related work. People have been displaced by manufacturing loss just as in the rust belt cities. First plants moved to Mexico. A 5000 person town I used to live in had four close. Then a couple others were lost to Chinese competition. Automation and economy of scale encourages one big plant instead of a couple smaller ones, so a couple more were consolidated to the larger or newer plant on the west coast. Schools are funded by property taxes. Rural schools where land is relatively cheap are just as bad as the worst inner city schools, though discipline problems are less common. Kansas schools were sometimes claiming English was a foreign language to meet state requirements, since they couldn't find a Spanish speaking teacher. They certainly didn't offer other language choices. Its hard to compete for information jobs when the education is substandard. Lack of proper high speed makes it hard to compete there as well. Drugs. We love our drugs. Prescription and illegal both. Part of that is poor health choices, the rest is despair. So these real problems have caused the grandkids to leave for college, the military or a city job, and not come back. Maybe this caused some unfair blaming of liberal institutions. The end result is a fear based suspicious culture easily manipulated both by preachers and politicians for their own benefit. They do it well, creating an 'us against them' and 'need my gun to be safe' mentality. Add a few meth heads, some feral pigs, the occasional bear, or bobcat, and at times a gun really is nice to have. As society becomes more dysfunctional problems only get worse. Democrats generally worry about inner city poor, and ignore the 'poor white trash'. Trump may do nothing to help, but he 'does things' (stupid things) and talks about the problems, so he seemed the better choice. People look for simple solutions and jump at what they want to hear. Ask any salesman.
  5. Trump should not have meddled in the post office by Presidential Pronouncement (Tweet). It likely was just a petty attack on Amazon. That said, the Post Office rates for international imports (i.e. Amazon products imported from China) are so low a Chinese company pays less to ship a product from a warehouse in Shanghai to a door in Toledo then a manufacturer does to ship the same weight packet from a factory in Cleveland to your door in Sandusky. The 'final mile' cost from a US distribution center to the consumer is the most expensive portion of delivery, not the ocean crossing with a lot of other packages going to the same distribution center. The cost is negotiated by international treaty, so the shipper doesn't have to pay multiple countries. The system is good but currently creates an uneven playing field that enriches foreign manufacturing and Amazon at the expense of US origin products that might ship directly to the consumer. It should be investigated and final mile rates of international delivery should be reevaluated. Although I am not a fan of Trump's trade war, it also raises the concern that if large amounts of product are shipped individually from China to the consumer via online shopping many may be misidentified, creating a large government revenue leak and consumer cost savings compared to brick and mortar retail buying by the properly declared container. Since the post office is not independent of the Federal government, and its activities are regulated by Congress, there is justification to make sure major financial arrangements are truly in the American interest. If Amazon or other megacompanies whose business model depends on this pricing artifact use improper influence to prevent correction it is a problem. Its not just international shipment that should be scrutinized. A recent purchase from Newegg was shipped by DXL to the USPS and then by the USPS to the mailbox. The contracts involved are a legitimate area for public scrutiny.
  6. Lark

    they call it slightly drizzly Monday

    Florida has four times the murder rate, and far more mass shootings. Trump isn’t afraid to play golf...a lot.
  7. Nice. Could give first responders a keyless entry combo as well, saving the need to buy a new front door between hospital visits.
  8. True on the CG having to take risks, Medicare might have spent just as much for a couple years of chemo, radiation, surgery and the inevitable complications. Why not take risks when you are old, there is less downside. Dealing with the long slide isn’t easy on family either. I won’t judge.
  9. At least the Norwegians have adequate salvage ability. The Russians are in a bit of a pickle since they sank their floating drydock from underneath their aircraft carrier. The Ukrainians aren’t going to let them use Mykolaiv, Europe doesn’t have much love for Putin.
  10. No doubt. Also some fast decisions must have been made to call the tugs and have them ground her before it was too late. The right people must have had the authority and made the right calls. This article, if accurate, sheds more light on the errors preceding the wreck. It matches the quote KC375 provided. I know COLREG always attaches some blame to both vessels, but if a stand on visiting civilian vessel radios a government vessel and is basically told to hold course, doesn’t that change things? "The tanker, which was heading northbound, contacted the frigate, heading southbound, to ask if they had a plan to safely pass them as they seemed to be on a collision course," Kjetil Stormark, top editor at, told the BBCin a subsequent interview. "The response was: 'We have everything under control.'" "The tanker, which was heading northbound, contacted the frigate, heading southbound, to ask if they had a plan to safely pass them as they seemed to be on a collision course," Kjetil Stormark, top editor at, told the BBCin a subsequent interview. "The response was: 'We have everything under control.'" more galling, it appears likely that the Helge Ingstad was in constant communication with the Fedje Maritime Traffic Center, or Fedje VTS, which is responsible for coordinating all maritime traffic in the fjord in question. The congested nature of the waterway, especially with all the traffic coming out of Sture and the main port in Bergen, means that any ship over 80 feet long, including military vessels, has to get approval from Fedje at least an hour in advance in order to enter the area, to begin with. The Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates are 440 feet long, well over this length requirement. Per's sources, Fedje VTS was indeed in contact with both ships and issued repeated warnings about a possible collision to no avail. It is not clear if either ship made a mayday call once it became clear the accident was inevitable. It does appear that Helge Ingstad only turned on her Automatic Identification System (AIS) transporter after the mishap had occurred.
  11. She has a steel hull and 13 compartments, but the gash looks like it may involve several machinery spaces. At least some of the electronics may have stayed dry. The slick was reportedly helicopter fuel, so it evaporated faster then diesel.
  12. We’ll trade him for blow. (It’s less corrosive to society).
  13. We are assuming it’s a home shop and not a commercial / agricultural account? Those may bill differently based on a formula of peak demand as well as total kw hr used.
  14. Nah, it’s just nose plugs applied incorrectly. Russel Moore / James Savage. '
  15. I think my council was preparing me for a reality that being honest, right, and possessing good records is not always enough.