24 September 2016

Shooting at the SandCastle!

Fortunately not the kind of event the event the TrueBlueSam encountered, but rather it appears someone may have shot at the SandCastle!  Maybe not at the SandCastle, but could be that's where it "landed".
The SCQueen noticed the hole as we pulled a breaker to work on a light circuit in the house: "Hey that wasn't there last week when I mowed the lawn!"

Close up:
The hole is about the size of a dime.  I'm thinking possibly .38/9mm/.40/.45 sized.  The lack of penetration suggest a low terminal velocity impact and/or low impact angle.  Probably some idiot celebrating the Autumnal Equinox by shooting a gun into the air without concern for where those bullets come down.

We haven't found the projectile, nor any fragments so maybe it's much less innocuous.  The SCQueen ended up calling LocalPD on the non-emergency number and they sent an officer to take a report. We don't expect they will investigate any further but rather the report will go into the database and if the scenario starts to trend, maybe they can take action then.  Our expectations are very low...

Shooting into the air is a rule 3 violation!

Arizona has "Shannon's law" which makes such celebratory gun fire a class 6 felony.  So named for Shannon Smith who was standing in her back yard, talking with a friend on the phone when a stray bullet hit her in the head, killing her.  I am 100% on board with this law...  People being stupid with guns should not have access to guns.

MythBusters looked into "shooting a gun into the air" and concluded "inconclusive"... They tested bullets fired near vertical so they have to reverse trajectory and fall at terminal velocity.  They did not test the case where a bullet was fired at a lower angle and fly an arc trajectory.  (And how could they test that?)  I suspect that's the scenario that probably killed Shannon Smith.

Interesting, there is an exception in the law for shooting blanks.  Fair enough.  Don't shoot into the air!  Even with blanks.    Don't be stupid..

23 August 2016

TMI - Update

I survived!  Afterwards couldn't hardly open either eye.  I went home and back to bed.  The SCQueen tried to apply the prescribed antibiotic cream - yea, that's not happening now.  Got up about 4pm and continue to improve.

Thanks all for you prayers & good thoughts!

22 August 2016


I am more than half a century old... and I dread this Tuesday like never before.  I am scheduled for surgery on my right eye.  I cannot think of a single body part I'd rather NOT have surgery....

I'm very sensitive about my eyes.  Eye drops?  Yea.. right down my neck.  The blink reflex is faster than the eyedropper.  I have experienced a scratched cornea and the  ..discomfort associated.  Contacts?  You mean "in contact with the eyeball?"  Yea right, that's not gonna work.  Gimme the cokebottles!  I'm good with that.

So what would make surgery an appealing deal?  The right eye is already effectively inop.  I can only focus both eyes under the best of circumstances.  Surgery can only make things better.  I hope.

The doctor tells me "this is a very simple procedure, 15 minutes and I've been doing them for 20 years.  It will be done under general anesthesia".   "YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT it will be under general... you're not gettin' close any other way!" I replied.  I suspect the first and last 5 minutes are putting me under and reviving me. and the intervening is the actual work.  Maybe less.  I don't actually know, nor do I want to know what he is going to do.  The whole idea of operating on the eye muscles turns my stomach.  He was recommended and has experience.  I trust him.  I have to.

And the procedure is probably the easy part..  The prep and recovery *sucks*! No food or water 8 hours prior and consuming scrambled eggs is just too complex a task afterwards :-(  Gawd I wish I could stack up all the procedures someone of my age starts to need in one swell foop and only go through the pre/post stuff once rather than once per procedure...

Tuesday sizes up to be a trying day.. as in "trying the marital vows, particularly the "..in sickness and in health.."  If you're of the type, please pray/think good thoughts/etc for me... and the SCQueen.

Wish me luck.  Out for now... expect to post the all clear tomorrow!

01 August 2016

"You're missing all the excitement!"

Quoting the SandCastle Queen calling me at $DayJob.

There were 10 fire engines* blocking all access to the street.  Not to mention the 5" water line crossing the driveway that she probably couldn't have driven over.  May as well been a Jersey Barrier at the end of our driveway.

Me:  I'll pick up the SCSon from school.

The "excitement" stemmed from a propane BBQ accident a few doors down the street.  Fortunately no one and no pets were physically hurt.  Rumor has it the cook stepped into the kitchen and heard a Ka-Whump, BAM!  Apparently the "BAM" was the propane take hitting the wall following the "explosion".

Before it was over the windows on the back of the house are blown out and $LocalFD opened up all the walls on that side of the house to ensure no lingering embers.  Damage to the house is probably $50-75K, and probably 2-3 months reconstruction.  This is why we all buy fire insurance.

The street was still blocked by fire engines 30 minutes later attempting to drop off the SCSon.  He got to walk the last 1/8th mile and was happy to do so.

If you have a propane BBQ (and who doesn't?), take a moment to squirt down the tank hose connection and hose with soapy water solution and look for bubbles!   The SandCastle BBQ is on a wooden deck just off the kitchen.  You can bet we will check before next use!

Update 02Aug: I brought this up as an item for consideration to my circle of co-workers as I with this post.  One asked "Does the BBQ sit out in the sun?"  I do not know but "yes.. a BBQ on the back patio would have southern exposure and thus maximum UV exposure.   And UV and Rubber do not play nice together!  He then related his Father's BBQ had some ornate additions that blocked the gas line from direct sun in such situations... and pondered.... maybe that's not just for good looks!  [Hmm.. disclaimer...rampant speculation follows... I am not an expert but I've had sun cooked tires fail...]   Perhaps the sun exposure accelerated the decline of the gas line.   Hmmm..  good point!

* 10 fire engines may seem excessive for a simple house fire where you live, but given the 100+F air temps plus the heavy safety gear they wear, they have to rotate firefighters in on a short rotation.

20 July 2016


That would be "Remember Everyone Deployed".

The $DayJob activity club raised (past and present tense) money to create "care" packages for those deployed with the military.   I am not involved so I have no idea of the contents the packages.  We bought a couple T's to support their efforts.

At present all relatives under contract are stateside so I won't be nominating any recipients.  If you have a relative deployed that might benefit, let me know the contact info and I'll pass it along.  Recommend send your nominations to email to danno oct uno fohr at em es enn dot com.

25 June 2016

Motor Racing

I'm but a tepid fan of "ball" sports.  I've been given seats to a 49'rs game but brought along a Sailing magazine 'cuz I know the last 2 minutes of game play takes at least 20 minutes to play.  I like Baseball a little more, I'll put on a ball game if there is nothing better on.   The family used to split SJ Earthquakes season Tix with a co-worker.  I like Hockey more still because they do substitutions on the fly.  I like that.

But motor sports have always held a special interest.  We used to spend Saturday PMs at the fair grounds outside the fence watching autocross racing.  I even worked a couple races.  I think the Disney movies of my youth ("the Love Bug")  featured road racing in California gold country might have had some influence as well.  Awesome.  I wish these races had become a reality.  Forward to the watching the Indy 500 "Greatest Spectacle in motor racing" in prime time.

Which brings me this year to Memorial day weekend this year...  Possibly the acme of the racing season - we had the Indy 500 + Monaco F1 + NASCAR Coca-Cola-600.  Last weekend was pretty awesome close 2nd as well with F1 in Baku Uzbekistan - F1 of "Europe", plus the 24 hours of Le Mans weekend.    I was happy as a pig in slop (with the exception of the juggling of feeds to keep track of where the racing was covered).

This weekend is a close follow on...  Indy Cars are at Road America, Elkart Wisconsin!  Yea a Road Course!  Woot!  This is real racing.  And NASCAR is up in Sonoma at  (not sure the sponsor name these days.) I only know it as Sears Point!  This is possibly my favorite  NASCAR race of the season.  The track is designed and set up for "sports cars".  Not NASCARs, ostensibly American Muscle Cars particularly designed to turn left.  Still the track set up for cars 2 ft slimmer so it's amusing to watch full sized track cars elbow their way around the track.

Yea.. The VCR is gonna be busy Sunday!..  As it has been the past few weeks..

But every network is missing the "big daddy" of motor racing -  RARA (Reno Air Racing Association) and Red Bull Air Racing!  Both of these deserve more attention!  Don't even get me started on High Tech stuff that makes up America's Cup Sailing today!  (Hint "Awesome!")

FTC disclaimer - I have no connection to any entities mentioned here..  I am a motor racing fan.  While I like watching race cars doing ~150-200 MPH on road courses, I would *love* to see airplanes doing the same or +450MPH on pylons!

21 June 2016

Personal best

I learned the basics of Cribbage long ago courtesy of my Dad and the woman that bore me*.   It was an important tool in learning addition  ("fifteen plus eight is ... twenty three" (fast answers were rewarded over counting fingers))

As a sub teen, I recall asking Dad what's the best hand... he had to think.  Three 5's plus a jack to the  suit of 5 that was cut.  And I think he answered in the negative if he'd ever had such a hand.

A college job featured 12 hour shifts long on boredom on duty to answer a phone that a) if it rang, it was most likely a wrong number. or b) take information on a problem in the network.  Mostly there was nothing to do but wait for the phone to ring.  But in the meantime, I played a lot of games and  saw a lot of crib hands.

I've come to understand Cribbage is Poker without betting and bluffing.  You are playing the cards and not the player instead of the other way around.  But the rest of the mathematical odds still apply.  And there is no fold.

A 2 hand game starts with 6 cards dealt, discarding 2 and a cut for a community card.  It's still playing the percentages on the cut card.  I can't do the math in my head on the fly but have built up a set of ground rules based on experience which makes me a better player.

The game sets up competing reward systems where 3 card runs (2-3-4) reward sequences compete  with 15's (A-4-10) reward non-sequences.  And the best hand depends on the cut card,  But when you can put them together, there is a multiplication effect 4-5-5-6,  That's 2 15's(4) plus a double 3 card run (8). See also 6-7-7-8 and 7-8-8-9.  Given a fortunate cut on either end of the cut 6-7-7-8-9 rewards even more (16).  Not to mention double-double runs on these sequences:  4-5-5-6-6 scores 15 (8)+4 * 3 card runs of 4-5-6 (12) + two doubles (4)= 24 pts.

Tonight I scored a 28.  I got the 5's and the 10 pip, but not a jack nor of the appropriate suit.
I was dealt the three 5's and cut the fourth.  The perfect hand would be the same set of 5's but with the jack of the suit of the 5 that was cut for the 29th point.

Still this 28 is the best cribbage hand I've had in ~45 years of playing.   And thank $DIETY for the internet where I can share it and my enthusiasm for the game with all of you! ;-)

BTW... I have played this game enough to have grave concerns for the randomizer...  The opponent gets the "Jack for his heels" with maddening frequency.  Still... an amusing game.

* There is a big difference between "mother" and "woman who bore me".  "Mother" is an earned title.  As in being there for a youngun.    T'is much more than a night of passion and squirting out a living being.  The woman that bore me failed to earn the title of "Mother".