BrianM v2

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About BrianM v2

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  • Birthday 05/29/1968

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  • Location
    Near 36 56N 076 18W
  • Interests
    International Moths, big grey ships, and things with strings.

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  1. BrianM v2


    Winterizing equipment for an in-ground pool. These plugs screw into the skimmer suction lines. Keeps water out of the piping, and if rainwater collected in the skimmer housing tries to freeze, the hollow plug accommodates ice expansion without cracking the housing. Or at least that's what I use them for. You can screw them wherever you like.
  2. BrianM v2

    Wood floor

    Depends on who is doing the install. If you are willing to spend the fiddly time to find the most efficient way to lay it out, you can get by with closer to 5% overage. If contractor just wants to get it done, 10% is close. The key is balancing the pattern at the end of a run - you'll invariably need a smallish cut piece. If you want to be really clean, you try to use the remnants at the start of the next course, and make a point of finding the shortest piece you actually have to cut - not just the next one at hand. Else you just toss the scrap aside. I did something like 3,000 sf in our old house, have put down about 500sf in a new house. Got a huge pile just sitting until we finish a remodel, then off to the races.
  3. BrianM v2


    I drove a 79 MGB as my daily commuter for 12 years. Easy to work on, fun to drive. By 'not smogged' does that mean the air pump and other stuff has been removed? Mine was, eventually changed the ignition, carbs, and exhaust to something like the 65 models to get some performance zing back.
  4. BrianM v2

    Random PicThread

    Known as a bilge keel. Fixed in place. Serves the same kind of purpose (reduce roll) but without moving like a true fin stabilizer does.
  5. BrianM v2

    Does your dinghy have a name?

    To be fair, warships carry boats today - sometimes several. At least one of those boats is typically known as the 'rescue boat' or lifeboat - whichever one is rigged and dedicated to quick launching. We had boats of all sizes. The standard UB (utility boat) ranged from 22 to 65 feet, but the whaleboats were only 26 or 28 feet. Once upon a time they were cleverly named UB 1, UB 2, etc. Today, when most ships carry two RHIBs (rigid hulled inflatables) they tend to have names. Mine were Arleigh and Bobbie (ship was the ARLEIGH BURKE), a sister ship has Pork and Spare.
  6. BrianM v2

    Does your dinghy have a name?

    My foiler is 'Crisis.' Could be applied to either when I bought it (mid-life and all that) or my sailing technique (edge of disaster.) My purpose on the water is to keep the on-lookers entertained. My low-rider moth is 'Three sheets.' Initially because she was rigged for an asym spin (main, port, stbd sheets) but it also fit well for a good evening.
  7. BrianM v2

    carrier landing

    On a four-wire carrier (Nimitz class) you aim for #3 as a good balance. #1 puts the hook closer to the ramp (less vertical clearance) because your touchdown point is further aft; #4 and you risk missing or hook skip...round and round you go. As I recall, the glide slope to the 3 wire puts about 10 feet vertical clearance between the hook and the ramp when you cross the stern. The newer class (Ford) only has 3 wires. I assume they aim for #2 there, but we haven't really operated it full-bore yet. The usual black-shoe approach to CVN flight ops: after watching that for a while, you can keep your flight pay. You earn that. Now, your base pay I have an issue with... (I was an engineer on CVNs for several tours, running the power plants. I've done cats and traps, but only as a passenger.)
  8. BrianM v2

    Anti-Ballistic Missile Anarchy

    We have both land-based and sea-based systems; some work exo-atmosphere, some endo-atmosphere. The sea-based ones have a better track record of actually working (from my admittedly parochial view). The geometry that CF alluded to is key - there are limited engagement opportunities based on track visibility and weapons reach. Basically, the endo systems have to be in position to get either the boost phase or re-entry; the exo systems can get mid-course. Both systems are typically in position or on a time-based tether to be in position, set to defend different regions based on known threats. I don't know where the land systems are, as the floating things are more in my wheelhouse. The Barking Sands range itself doesn't have the capability, but is generally the starting point for many of the test flights.
  9. BrianM v2

    Moth - adding bladder to tramp

    Actually, given the pain that adding bladders is, I'd just stick with the noodles. The point of wing floatation is just to give you a bit more time (~30 sec or so) to recover, not to keep the thing afloat on its side. I'm part-way through replacing my bladder pockets right now (tramps got old and were coming apart anyway). One approach (no idea what the major brands are doing): put a pocket that encapsulates the bladder on the bottom of the tramp. Cut an athwartship slot at the end of it, velcro shut, so you can put the bladders in (or take them back out). Put a hole at the fore end for the inflation nipple. My originals were rip-stop nylon. As the fabric and thread aged, it got too weak and I ripped them off a few times in high-speed crashes. I'm replacing by just doubling the same fabric (using 9oz Dacron) as the tramp, leaving a pocket for the bladder.
  10. BrianM v2

    Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    Yup, windows are key - but only if you actually look through them. I've actually had to invite the CIC Watch Officer to the bridge so that he could see for himself that the contact off our starboard bow wasn't doing 6 knots....because it was the Chesapeake Bay Light House. The dangers of trusting a track data file built by intermittent radar hits. On a more tactical level, we do organize to fight the ship from CIC, but only for medium/long range threats. The near threat (small boats, etc) remains a visual fight from the bridge - it is much easier to scan the area within a mile from the bridge wing and direct gunners from there than trying to do that using video cameras. The usual comparison is "searching through a soda straw."
  11. BrianM v2

    Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    Crash, you are preaching to the choir. The surface world has been complaining about how we grow young SWOs for a while, with direct comparison to the FRS/RAG/nugget training pipeline. Here's the really sad part: - we used to have small craft that lived at Surface Warfare Officer's Basic School. They were called YPs, and baby SWOs did exactly what you describe. Then we killed them off in the name of budget cuts, efficiency, OJT, and computer-based training. - we used to have ship models in a lake, big enough for a baby SWO and his instructor to ride in, that were built to mimic the handling characteristics of the full-size ship. That lake had buoys, channels, piers, and other traffic. Then we killed it off in the name of budget cuts, efficiency, OJT, and computer-based training. - we used to have brick and mortar schools, to at least teach the basics (re-baseline, if you will) to every new surface Ensign before sending them to ships. It was called Surface Warfare Officer's Basic School. Then we killed it off, put training on the backs of the ships, handed all the new Ensigns a box of CDs and said "have at it." You might see the pattern developing here. Some of those changes are being reversed, slowly, but perhaps a larger course correction is required - why don't I get an Ensign onboard who already knows how to do his/her job, just like the Fleet aviation squadron gets nugget pilots who already know how to fly?
  12. BrianM v2

    Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    Couple of thoughts, responding to several prior posts: Agreed that you can't become an expert in ships operations in 3 years, or fully learn a complicated ship in 18 months. The people in command have something like 10 years of sea time - and these days, most of that is in the same ship class (because we only have a few classes out there.) I disagree that "You cannot train a mariner in 18 months." This isn't rocket science, and generally isn't even that hard. The brand-new 3nd mate in the civilian world would be trusted to run the bridge in open waters, expecting that he'd call the Master if things got complicated. Young junior officers in the Navy are trusted the same way. The immediate causes of the FTZ and JSM collisions were individual decision making: on FTZ, the young officer on watch failed to follow the standing orders (and COLREGs) - so the CO never even knew what was coming. On JSM, the CO chose to change the bridge watch manning and configuration while in close proximity to shipping - arguably a bad idea. In other words, on FTZ, the seamanship ability of the CO really wasn't a proximate cause. It may not have been on JSM, either, except that most of us would not have put ourselves in that position to start with. (an old quote from ADM King: the mark of a great shiphandler is to never get into positions that require great shiphandling.) However, in both cases, they (the COs) established (or permitted) an environment where such actions were acceptable. There were other factors involved, like the apparent complete absence of backup from Combat in FTZ, or higher headquarters continuing to task ships that were no longer ready to execute. I do agree that building long-term crew cohesion is a problem, especially when we are tasked with training the next crop of Ensigns every year. You almost always have a new guy on watch, so that he's qualified by the time the senior guy leaves. The challenge before the community now is to first identify the root cause: we had watchstanders on two (four, if you include the other mishaps) ships who made decisions or took actions that were contrary to procedure or common practice. This is either a few bad apples or a symptom of something larger. I'm not convinced that the Comprehensive Review released last week really gets to the "something larger" - we know some pockets of the Fleet have apparently lost their way, but other have not. Why? Then, having nailed down the root cause, make changes. Herein lies the challenge: the people identifying the problem and the changes are products of the system, and thus are not likely to really see the flaws in the same system that made them successful.
  13. BrianM v2

    Tanker hits Destoyer, how is this possible?

    While I agree that the things currently in the spotlight to be "fixed" aren't necessarily the actual root of the problem, you are off base regarding tour lengths. For many years (at least since 2007) our standard command tour is 18 months. In addition, since we are using a 'fleet-up' model, the same person is onboard as the executive officer (XO, 2nd in command) for 18 months first, then relieves the CO for another 18 months. Granted, there are differences from there - some will have shorter rides, others longer. I spent 2.5 yrs in my first command, 18 months in the second.
  14. BrianM v2

    Musical Anarchists Thread?

    I loved the Selmer Mk VI - the first tenor I ever played. Sadly, it belonged to the school, so I only had it for four years doing lead tenor in a jazz band and the occasional pit orchestra. Lucky you for owning one.
  15. BrianM v2

    Steve and Dave Clarks Unidentified Foiling Object

    The other thought, about apparent wind and rolling in to windward. Even more so than in a classic dinghy, you are balancing wind pressure in the sail against your body weight while hiking. As the boat lifts onto the foils, she speeds up (because drag drops dramatically) - which means the apparent wind hauls forward and increases. Generally, that also means you are no longer trimmed correctly for that apparent wind angle (AWA). If you don't change something, the amount of useful pressure in the sail and lift generated drop off - so now you are overbalanced, and she rolls in on top of you. This is the typical pattern of reaching along hull borne: boat starts to lift, pops up, sail stalls, boat rolls in to windward. Corrective action is to maintain pressure in the sail: either sheet in to match the new AWA, or fall off and bring the AWA back to where you had it (but with more wind). There are a few good books and discussions of apparent wind sailing out there that can be useful. It requires a bit of a software upgrade to the driver to build new reactions, because your response to a gust or lull in apparent wind sailing is slightly different that conventional sailing. To use Frank Bethwaite's phrase, "steer for balance." Keep the hull under the stick. An example: you are beam reaching on foils, and a gust arrives. Boat is overpowered and starts to roll to leeward. Classic sailing says 'head up to reduce power' or 'dump main to reduce power'. On foils, that doesn't work - you are fighting two problems. When the gust hit, AWA went forward again. You are undertrimmed for the current AWA, and overpowered because the boat hasn't accelerated yet (because the sail is trimmed incorrectly). If you head up, you stall the sail and probably go in to windward. If you dump the main, you reduce power and come off the foils - and are still overpowered because the boat isn't moving fast enough, probably going in to leeward. Instead, fall off a bit (the stick is going to leeward, so follow it with the hull) - as you fall off, AWA goes aft back to where you had it, boat speed and apparent wind speed build. Once stable, head up back to a reach at a higher speed. That's the same game the top mothies and ice boaters play to get higher pointing speeds - build apparent wind speed on a reach, then bring it with you as you point up. As Dave said above, the same trick works downwind. Eventually you'll find you can 'gust hunt' - because you are moving faster than the wind gusts are. Really kind of odd to chase them down from behind, but fun. The leeward capsize: this is caused by a new problem. If the boat is heeling to leeward as she comes up on foils, the lift generated by the foils is directed up and leeward as well - basically, your lift points the same direction the centerboard is aimed. Now both wind pressure and foil lift are pushing you the same direction. In combination, as the boat starts to fly, AWA goes forward, wind speed picks up, pressure in the sail starts to build (increasing the leeward heel), foil lift kicks in (lifting you to leeward). Left unchecked, she goes in that direction. The typical classical sailing response is to dump the main to reduce heel - which kills your useful sail lift, boat speed drops, she comes back off the foils, and probably rolls in anyway. Flat or windward heel is your friend, coupled with "keep the hull under the stick." Now someone closer to the top or middle of the moth fleet can jump in and fix whatever I screwed up.