Monday, September 29, 2014

Russian live fire and stuff

“The music is atrocious, and the exercises are pretty clearly scripted, but it’s still a pretty good compilation.” –, from whence the link to You Tube.

10 minutes-plus, and the music is atrocious. Good splodey things, though.

Sub school wants millennial recruits to feel more at home

“At the sub school, many of the students are enlisted sailors who arrive in their late teens and early 20s. Jarrett said many come from backgrounds with strong family support, and when they arrive in Groton, there's a sense ‘of “where's my Navy mom and dad?”’

"’That's where we as a submarine force are struggling a bit,’ said Jarrett, who added that some junior officers have had a hard time adjusting to Navy ways.”

(Uh, some junior officers have a hard time adjusting to Navy ways? Why are mean, nasty SOB mustangs and old petty officers not involved in these junior officers' education?)

Wearing of the uniform

Used to, regulations on awards and accoutrements and how to wear the same stated ribbons would not be worn above the lapel notch. Must be now ribbons and such may be worn all the way to the top of the shoulder.

Gen. David Perkins, TRADOC commander.

(Michael, my oldest, said one time, “There is the Army, and then there is TRADOC.”)

Reasons NYC votes Democratic

“New York City provides a lot of extra social services. For example, in 2013, 3.2 million New Yorkers were on Medicaid. That’s almost 40 percent of the population, and that number was expected to expand this year thanks to Obamacare. About 91,000 New York City residents receive Section 8 vouchers. Almost 2 million residents receive food stamps. It is often more feasible to be poor in New York than to have the sort of middling income that doesn’t qualify for public assistance or for a $3,000-a-month apartment.”

1. The writer uses “a lot” far too many times; i.e., more than zero times. That is a sign of lazy writing and lazier editing.
2. “It is often far more feasible to be poor …” Or: “We are poor and we will stay poor because we get more stuff.” Oh well. As Joshua ben Joseph said, The lazy you will have with you always.
3. I don’t really care. If NYC poor people get better housing than people in other areas, more power to them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

That building material made from trees ... What's it called?

Stuff you can’t make up

Environmental scientists build green lab from sustainable wood. What could go wrong?

How about: Fire! Fire!

“Environmental scientists at the University of Nottingham have made a shocking and expensive discovery: eco-friendly buildings made of ‘sustainable’ wood burn much more easily than eco-unfriendly ones made of stone, concrete, steel or glass.

“They made their surprise discovery over the weekend when their new Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry burned to the ground in what local firemen claimed was the biggest blaze in over a decade.”

Link at

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hazardous materials foot chase

The arrest report read “Violation of state hazardous materials law.”

As a newspaper reporter, I figured that could be a good lead story. Used to be, the rule of news placement was “If it bleeds, it leads.” That rule still holds true in some cases, but with simple blood-letting giving way to beheadings and chemical agent attacks, murders have somewhat taken a back seat.

Dumping hazardous materials, though, is a whole ‘nother ball game, and that’s what I thought the arrest report concerned. I asked Janie, the cop shop record clerk, “Did somebody dump hazardous waste somewhere in town?”

“Not that I know of,” Janie said. “Let me see that.” She took the report. She read the report. She laughed. “Naw,” she said, returning the paper. “That’s just (name of arrestee). He got picked up for huffing paint.”


“Yeah,” Janie said. “Read on down and you’ll see the details.”

I did read on down and saw what I should have seen to begin with, had I paid attention to details and not supposition. Details said police received a report of a man with his face impressed in a paint bucket. The RO (responding officer) went to the location and found the arrestee in said position, his face in a paint bucket. RO then took the said man into custody and transported him to the PD. The arrestee was still in city jail.

Well, shucks. There went a lead hazardous materials story. Just another sentence on the police blotter.

The paint huffer did make Page 1 a few months later, but not for sticking his head into a paint bucket.

The neat thing about the last arrest, the newsroom followed the downtown foot chase on the police scanner.

Police were looking for the serial huffer for questioning in another crime. He was spotted downtown and proceeded to lead several officers in a chase that went onto roofs and along sidewalks, from building to building and even at least two times through stores, when the suspect shimmied down drain pipes and burst through back doors, ruffling store clerks and scaring customers, especially when blue-uniformed police followed, running between racks of dresses and dodging displays of purses.

Downtown encompassed only about six blocks, so it wasn’t as though the suspect would get away.

He eventually ran out of breath and was arrested, with the entire day shift of eight police involved.

The chase was fun to listen to, though. Police dispatcher: “Suspect reportedly ran in the back door of Carl’s Hardware,” followed almost immediately by, “Suspect reportedly ran out the front door of Carl’s Hardware.”

Friday, September 19, 2014

Take me out to the ball game

Yesterday at a park I saw a boy walking to a baseball diamond. Over a shoulder the boy carried a long bag, presumably with his baseball equipment – his favorite bat or bats, glove, batting glove and whatever else makes up a boy’s baseball needs these days.

“My first year in Little League,” I said to Priscilla, “the coach had a red and white 1957 Ford convertible, with white leather interior. On out-of-town games those of us not carried by parents piled in the car, and away we went, 80mph and the top down. Not a seat belt even in anybody’s imagination.”

Priscilla said, “And I don’t remember ever reading about a Little League team wiped out from a car crash.”

I don’t either. I do remember speed and wind blowing and the roar of the V-Eight Ford when the coach needed some power for passing or just for speeding up a little more.