We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, August 23. 2013
Okay, all better. I'll tend to the wounds later.
As BD mentioned a while back, he and the missus are doing their usual summer fling in Italy in a few weeks, so I'll be saving up goodies and not posting much in the interim. I'll have some pretty interesting pieces, though, including an AGW post with a very unique viewpoint, a tutorial on how to make one of those 'slideshow songs' where the pics line up with the lyrics, how to type "I ♥ Maggie's Farm" with a few quick keystrokes, and it only took two hours and 20 years of online expertise but I finally tracked down a copy of the 1974 National Lampoon Stereo Test And Demonstration Record on a backwater P2P site for your listening and stereo testing enjoyment.
On the health front, I just took my blood pressure and it was 135 (high figure), and that's without taking any blood pressure medicine for four days. That's still slightly above average, but compared to its peak of 195 a few months ago, it'll do.
The one main difference has been an almost salt-free diet. I got so curious about the whole salt issue that I purposefully didn't change anything else (exercise, smoking, coffee, etc) just to see what would happen. Despite claims that "salt does not cause these things", I must beg to differ. The blood pressure medicine initially knocked it down to non-life-threatening levels, then I halved the dosage a few weeks ago, then decided to see what would happen if I stopped it altogether four days ago. The results speak for themselves. I'll go back to halving it and get a fresh prescription when I visit the GP in a few weeks.
I also still owe the hospital over a thousand bucks and am desperately low on cash (as I've been since this nightmare started), so if anyone would care to throw a few doubloons into my relief fund, it would certainly be appreciated.
In other news, I heard via email the other day another by-now-typical domain name heartbreak story:
(the names have been changed to protect the innocent, if any)
As I've noted before, once a domain is gone, it's pretty much gone forever because the domain harvesters will snatch it up automatically within milliseconds of it coming back on the market. They figure if somebody wanted it once, then somebody else will want it again one day, at which point they'll be happy to lease it to you for the rest of eternity — unless you want to buy it outright for a mere $4,995, of course.
The bottom line is, if you ever might want your own domain, even if just to post pics of the grandkids on in twenty years, now's the time to get it. At $5.95/mo, it's the cheapest bill in the In Box, and you don't have to actually build a site or anything to hold it.
As for grabbing it, I highly recommend BlueHost. It's run by a nice conservative company based in Provo, Utah. The CEO does a twice-yearly email round-up and the guy's hysterical, always throwing zingers and barbs at Washington and our meddling Congress. I have some tips on domain names here.
For your visual delight, a blast from the past; the incredible footage of that airliner landing on that highway out in L.A. a few years ago. The fact that a TV news crew happened to be right there when it happened was a remarkable stroke of luck, not to mention catching on film the horror of the harrowing landing, itself.
It's a miracle anyone survived.
The details of this breathtaking event are here.
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Well, that gets my vote for the "Best Blog Intro" award for 2013. My own cat typed the identical piece of gibberish on my keyboard just last night. I think there's something about the squishy keys they like.
As for the salt, I think I mentioned this before, but my brother had high blood pressure due 100% to high salt intake. All he did was cut it out and boom, it plummeted. I'm not sure why Dr. B put so much faith in the CDC article -- they also believe in global warming, which shows they're somewhat agenda-driven.
I ♥ Maggie's Farm.
(just making a test)
I would like to ♣ Al Gore!
And I mean that in ♠s!
I've been just ♦ to tell ya that!
(probably still needs a bit of work)
Glad you're feeling better. I'll go toss a nice din-din in the tip jar. The next time I yak with bro, I'll ask him if he took any further steps besides the salt and get back to ya.
Your mentioning your bro was one of the things that got me interested in focusing on salt, alone. I also did a "going without meds" experiment about a month ago, and it was 157 after three days, so, while still a tad high, it was a lot lower than 195 and with no change except lack of salt. And this time it was 135 after four days.
I ♥ the way you use Character Map!
It's like we're in an exclusive ♣!
Where we call a ♠ a ♠!
Unless, of course, we're ♦etrically-opposed!
Oh Doc, we love you! I am so glad you are doing better. There is scientific evidence (and I'll dig it up for you if you really want it) that a small (relatively) population of people of germanic descent are sodium sensitive. My mom's side of the family has that hypertension trait. My dad's side seems to be the standard you're getting older and suddenly you have hypertension.
Thanks for letting us know that you'll be on the quiet side until you have to fill in for the big dog, er bird dog. And thanks for posting the 405- I need that laugh on a regular basis.
"And thanks for posting the 405"
A tragedy, narrowly avoided!
That's interesting what you said about the Germanic origin -- up to this point, no one's mentioned genetics yet, but it's true I'm about 1/8th pure German, so it's an interesting thought. My post on genetics is here. And t'anks for the feedback.
I have long wondered if you would ever post The Landing on the 405.
I LOL every time I watch it.
Of course if the young man had stepped on the brakes at first instead of speeding up..... there would be know funny video.
The 'punchline' is priceless.
And after visiting LA and seeing the 405 running by LAX, there is the added microbe of plausibility added to the video. Who knows, perhaps Asiana Air's next pilot trainee may try this landing?
Feebs - I think I did link to it, ages ago. This one's linked to my Web Vids Take To The Skies page, top shelf. The one below it is fairly jaw-dropping, as well.
"I finally tracked down a copy of the 1974 National Lampoon Stereo Test And Demonstration Record"
I think I had heart palpitations when I read that. The whole thing? For download? I've been looking for that puppy for years.
And I know which track you're going to play. :-)
Yes, that track. Of course!
And yep, I'll have the whole thing for download.
It should really open up a few eyes ears.
That was done in 2000 if you can believe it. I remember it well - I'd be willing to bet that was probably the first viral video ever.
The start of the post was just TOO cute! My cat's the same way. I think BobZ is right, it's something about the bouncy keys they like. I've been trying to stress that "margins count" to the little rascal, but he just doesn't get it.
As for the domain, I've been trying for ages to get my brother to get one. He keeps saying "But I don't know what I'd put on it!", and I keep telling him that's not the point. You don't HAVE to feel obligated to actually use it, it's a matter of having it when you want it some day. I've forwarded this to him and maybe it'll make the difference.
This nearly 15 minute video of an Airbus A380 landing at SFO may interest you if you have the time Doc.
Very cool. And you may have answered exactly why the Asiana flight crashed at SFO a while back. That is, they thought the autopilot was taking care of the speed, so they dropped too low and clipped off the tail fin on the edge of the runway, but that still doesn't answer why they were so near the dangerous edge in the first place, with this immense expanse of runway ahead of them.
Seeing it from the cockpit brought back a haunting memory, which might answer the question. Look for it next week when BD's gone. And much thanks!
The video showed just how far progress has passed me by.
I did not see at 'steering wheel' in the cockpit. The pilots just punched buttons and turned knobs. Sheesh. What do they do if the computer crashes and/or a knob or button fails to work?
As for crashes, remember this?
Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 was a Lockheed L-1011-1 Tristar jet that crashed into the Florida Everglades at 11:42pm December 29, 1972, causing 101 fatalities (99 initial crash fatalities, two died shortly afterward). There were 75 survivors. The crash occurred as a result of the entire flight crew becoming preoccupied with a burnt-out landing gear indicator light and failing to notice the autopilot had inadvertently been disconnected. As a result, the flight gradually lost altitude and eventually crashed while the flight crew was distracted with the indicator problem.
Back in the day when I was in corporate America, the loss prevention people said it was usually the 'safety dogs' and not the 'safety lions' that would bite you. IOW people tended to ignore risks in commonly performed tasks while being extra careful in high risk situations.
At the end of the day, I wonder if that was the problem of the Asiana flight? Landings had become so routine that those in charge of the airplane become complacent?
Yep, I remember that crash from the 'Mayday' series. It's probably on YouTube. Call it the ultimate 'classic' in the Human Error (Cockpit Division) department.
I wrote that piece I mentioned before on the Asiana crash, and thanks again for the lead.
Changing the subject to early air navigation, this is pretty cool Doc, Giant arrows made of concrete for early mail carriers to follow across the country. Well, I guess it was better than breadcrumbs. Here is the story:
On August 20, 1920, the United States opened its first coast-to-coast airmail delivery route, just 60 years after the Pony Express closed up shop. There were no good aviation charts in those days, so pilots had to eyeball their way across the country using landmarks. This meant that flying in bad weather was difficult, and night flying was just about impossible.
The Postal Service solved the problem with the world’s first ground-based civilian navigation system: a series of lit beacons that would extend from New York to San Francisco. Every ten miles, pilots would pass a bright yellow concrete arrow. Each arrow would be surmounted by a 51-foot steel tower and lit by a million-candlepower rotating beacon. (A generator shed at the tail of each arrow powered the beacon.) Now mail could get from the Atlantic to the Pacific not in a matter of weeks, but in just 30 hours or so.
Even the dumbest of air mail pilots, it seems, could follow a series of bright yellow arrows straight out of a Tex Avery cartoon. By 1924, just a year after Congress funded it, the line of giant concrete markers stretched from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Cleveland, Ohio. The next summer, it reached all the way to New York, and by 1929 it spanned the continent uninterrupted, the envy of postal systems worldwide.
Radio and radar are, of course, infinitely less cool than a concrete Yellow Brick Road from sea to shining sea, but I think we all know how this story ends. New advances in communication and navigation technology made the big arrows obsolete, and the Commerce Department decommissioned the beacons in the 1940s. The steel towers were torn down and went to the war effort. But the hundreds of arrows remain. Their yellow paint is gone, their concrete cracks a little more with every winter frost, and no one crosses their path much, except for coyotes and tumbleweeds. But they’re still out there.
Some pics here: