Honoring those who gave everything for our country

Posted By on May 30, 2016

Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of warm weather, longer days and for some, in this sluggish Obama economy, maybe even a summer vacation? “Enjoying summer” is privilege we Americans have because so many before us gave their lives for the protection, prosperity and freedom we all enjoy. Looking at our short history, we’ve fought way too many wars and lost far too many brave patriots.

A single day and a posthumous thank you is hardly enough. Why again do we humans continue to fight wars??? (Come on people now … — Youngblood’s lyrics)

While reflecting on those who died fighting for democracy, protecting the United States and our way of life, I couldn’t help but think about this past week’s debate again over the use of the atomic ObamaHugsHiroshimaSurvivorbomb to expedite the end of World War II. The renewed interest was spurred on after President Obama’s historic trip to Hiroshima and I couldn’t help thinking about all the lives on both sides that were saved … but also at the same time the millions who died in WWII all around the world — it is just sickening. Thanks to the difficult decision made by our President Harry S. Truman to drop that awful weapon” (as he called it), we do NOT have another million American graves to put flags on.

I’m including a letter  below (click for larger) written by Truman demonstrating he understood the weighty decision … and in my opinion it was the right one. It particularly hit home as I realized that it would have likely my dad (US Army) that would have been called up to be in the Japanese invasion force. (more…)

Finally finished spring 2016 patio/pool deck cleaning

Posted By on May 29, 2016

The spring cleaning chore in getting the pool desking and patio furniture cleaned after a winter and heavy pine pollen season never gets any easier. I’ve almost got it down to a full, long day and I’m convinced the heavy teak adirondack chairs are getting heavier? The weather was for the most part perfect for the work, although the rain started and stopped a few times giving me a break for lunch AND to sit on the pool house porch with the iPhone in panorama mode (click photo above).

BMW X5 35d update: Shedding some weight plus a new item

Posted By on May 28, 2016


It is amazing just how many exhaust parts find their way onto modern cars. They do a good job of making diesel exhaust clean, but the expensive and complex DPF_X535dprocess is going to kill the internal combustion engine, in my opinion. I’m amazed at just how much "junk" I had to remove (above) in repairing my BMW X5 35d (click DPF filter at right to see particulates that would not regenerate). After adding up the parts and labor, it is no wonder I was able to purchase for a better than expected price (A word of warning to potential BMW diesel buyers … know what you are getting into).

That said, the new tune and performance gains are impressive … although I haven’t really pushed anything as it is not back together yet. I’ve got a couple more "fixes" to do in the next couple of weeks and am hoping to see a few mpg gains on road trips?  Time to do it is the problem, as between graduations, estate sale and a birthday party for Taylor at our house, I will probably continue to drive the Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel love driving it anyway.


TechFriday archive: Using your tablet or iPad on the boat

Posted By on May 27, 2016

Top ways to use your tablet or iPad on board your boat
— Matthew Sheahan 12/15/2015

How are sailors using their iPad or tablet on board? Matthew Sheahan talks to cruising sailors, racers and industry professionals

Photo: Tor Johnson (more…)

A memorable Lakota East High School party 9 years ago #TBT

Posted By on May 26, 2016

Katie and TaylorLooking back on this #ThrowbackThursday, we must have been nuts!

Brenda and I never really hesitated to have parties at the house until text messaging, social networking, the ubiquitous cellphone and DRIVING became a way for invitees to broadcast what they were doing and where they were at. Although the end of school Memorial Day Taylor (and Katie) Birthday Bash started out semi-controlled (as were other parties over the years when they were younger), by evening the streets were full of parked cars and the crowd of kids grew. Thankfully they were a respectful bunch and for the most part responsible … but these were high school age kids.

Now that 9 years have passed, we can smile without remembering that it did get a bit out of control. One line from someone to Taylor stood out … "how did you find out about this party?" Taylor’s reply, "it’s my birthday party and I live here!" Parents beware.

Airline litigation lawyer Jerry Skinner explains the case – #MH17

Posted By on May 25, 2016

My brother-in-law Jerry Skinner has been busy working on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 case in order to bring closure for the families of victims. It is hard to imagine that shooting down of a commercial airliner was anything but a mistake, but who should be held accountable for Buk missiles capable of this kind of destruction … and what is “just satisfaction and justice?” Unfortunately when nations are involved, litigation is unusually messy and difficult.

Lockerbie lawyer seeks $330 million from Putin, Russia for MH17 disaster

The U.S. aviation lawyer who won compensation for victims of the 1988 Lockerbie aircraft bombing and is now seeking $330 million from Russia for the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 in 2014, says Russian President Vladimir Putin must be held responsible.

Jerry Skinner, who is leading Australian law firm LHD’s compensation claim against Russia and Putin in the European Court of Human Rights, says he is confident of success but admits the case, like that of Lockerbie, may take years.

The Malaysian Airlines’ Boeing (BA.N) 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine in pro-Russian rebel-held territory on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board, including 28 Australians. (more…)

The Raspberry Pi 3 overheated and stopped working

Posted By on May 25, 2016

The Raspberry Pi 3 acting as the American Pi Apache server may have over heated last week. I detected a slow and steady rise in processor temperatures near the time it flickered the monitor on and off three times before it gave up the ghost (solid red light only); it was over 70 degrees Celsius 24/7 by that time even with the heatsinks … even without as load. I should have known something was up.

I fidgeted with a couple of Micro SD card since the solid red light without any green like activity indicates an SD reading problem … but was pretty sure it was not a corrupted card (it was not). After picking up another Pi 3 ($29+ Tax) and setting a new static IP, everything was back as it should be. I’ll be interested to see if there are any other complaints or problems with overheating Raspberry Pi 3s?

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.