About Me

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I live in the Florida Keys. I've been in the military and worked inside the Beltway. I've had 22 technical books and two novels published. I fly, boat, dive, shoot, and swim pretty damn well.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quick Thoughts on Obama

Rockets and bombs in Gaza.  A future quagmire in Afghanistan. Energy crisis coming back.  Financial crisis never leaving. Noisy Russians. Obnoxious Iranians. Ugly Venezuelans.    

The poor schlubs who have turned Obama into a  Rorschach test are doomed.. although their own mental debility will keep them sanguine for a long time.  

The man might be bright and he might be sincere, but he faces challenges that would make real Gods cry.  And the tools he has are:  executive experience... no   foreign policy experience... no    Financial management experience... no.   Support from the Speaker of the House .. no    

Well, faith is.. after all.. about hope.  And folks, that's all he's got.  -- Derf

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fusion Project: UK Knows More Than We Do

 HERE is an article from the United Kingdom's "Telegraph" describing an upcoming Fusion test, with a good chance of success, at Livermore Labs in California.  If controlled Fusion is practical, well... the sky is the limit!  

HERE is a a piece at one of my favorite sites, "Power and Control" about a totally different of type of STEAM powered fusion generator.. but the device could have the same results.  

Nice to see something moving forward other than ethanol and similar junk science.  But, WHY is this in a UK paper when I've seen nothing in the US Mainstream Media about this promising nuclear energy source.  Oh... never mind.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Visit to The Local Gun Store

I visited Shoot Straight Tampa, a great gun store here in Tampa, the other morning.  I got into the parking lot at 0945.  You would have thought I was at a CrackerBarrel on I75 at high noon.  The parking lot was jammed all the way to the back and folks were leaning against the poles on the porch.  When the doors opened at 1000 it was like the day after Thanksgiving at WalMart.  

I noted that for the Holidays they only have three concealed firearms permit classes in the week.  
There is clearly a political statement to be made here, but I'll refrain.  
As a member of the range, I was able to rent a Beretta PX4 in 9mm to fire.   One of the  characters in my book, "A Glint In Time" (available through Amazon.com) carries a PX4 and she likes shooting it, so I had to try it.  (Yes, I talk to my characters all the time.. that's the advantage of being a writer.. I actually benefit from my imaginary friends!)  

I was thrilled with the sight picture, the comfort, and the smoothness of the PX4.  Everything about this weapon is perfect for me.  Next visit to the range, I'll try it in .40 caliber.    

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Man-Made Global Warming Fans -- This is for you

This video is only a minute and 38 seconds.  That's much less time than a man-made global warming believer spends worshiping ALGORE.   Please, get over man-made global warming.  Move on to some other non-issue. 

If You Are a Soldier - or have been one - Happy Christmas

If you are a soldier, or have ever been one, thank you and Happy Christmas...

Will anyone in our ADD world REMEMBER this weather when ALGORE calls again? Why do I doubt that Al is freezing his butt off today?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Interesting contrast between "Princess Caroline" and commoner Sarah Palin.http://ping.fm/HYrAz

Do You Know the Story of Wrong Way Corrigan?

Do you know the story of Wrong Way Corrigan?  It's interesting as a piece of aviation history. Corrigan only died in 1995.  The video is about 8 minutes long, but it's a relaxing and informative break.   

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Nice F-22 Demo...

A video on the F-22 that any airplane buff will like.  Note the subtle comments about being able to "position the nose" and "push another airplane ahead of us".   All very much an air-to-air scenario.  The Air Force misses CAS again.  However, the 80 knot pass would work against UAVs!  


Monday, December 15, 2008

A Cheap Shot at Dayjet

In THIS ARTICLE from the Palm Beach Post an "analyst" (from Fairfax, VA... a Beltway Pundit) takes a cheap shot at DayJet, claiming it was "doomed" from the beginning. If the braying ass had said this early on, then I'd have given him credit for being smart. Now, I'd penalize him 15 yards for piling on.

Frankly, I was fascinated by the idea. It had real appeal to me. Yes, I'm sure that everyone underestimated the cost of operating the fleet, but it was a sound and appealing idea. I know I could have marketed the heck out of it and my wife and I discussed the idea several times. We actually did numbers on the back of an envelope and liked what we saw.

I've met Ed Iacobucci enough times that I can pronounce his last name without a struggle. I followed his Citrix Corporation for a couple of decades. Ed's smart.

Hopefully, the idea will come back bigger than ever as the economy improves and the Very Light Jets earn their wings. ANYTHING to avoid ORD and ATL!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Electric Car -- French Study Shorts Out ..

THIS LINK gives you the whole story, but the bottom line is that the French Govt paid big bucks for a study on car propulsion alternatives. The conclusion is that the Electric Car isn't going to cut it.. even in France. It's a political hot potato. -- FJD

Yet all those who have managed to glimpse at the document agree that it makes interesting reading. It concludes that there is not much future in the much vaunted developed of all electric-powered cars. Instead, it suggests that the traditional combustion engine powered by petrol, diesel, ethanol or new biofuels still offers the most realistic prospect of developing cleaner vehicles. Carbon emissions and fuel consumption could be cut by 30-40 per cent simply by improving the performance and efficiency of traditional engines and limiting the top speed to about 170km/hr. Even that is well above the average top speed restriction in Europe, with the notable exception of Germany. New so-called “stop and start” mechanisms can produce further 10 per cent reductions that can rise to 25-30 per cent in cities. Enhancements in car electronics as well as the development of more energy efficient tyres, such as Michelin’s new “energy saver” technology, are also expected to help reduce consumption and pollution.

Overall, the Syrota report says that adapting and improving conventional engines could enhance their efficiency by an average of 50 per cent. It also argues that new-generation hybrid cars combining conventional engines with electric propulsion could provide an interesting future alternative.

By combining electric batteries with conventional fuel-driven engines, cars could run on clean electricity for short urban trips while switching over to fuel on motorways. This would resolve one of the biggest problems facing all electric cars – the need to install costly battery recharging infrastructures.The report warns that the overall cost of an all-electric car remains unviable at around double that of a conventional vehicle. Battery technology is still unsatisfactory, severely limiting performance both in terms of range and speed. The electricity supply for these batteries would continue to come from mostly fossil sources.

The misgivings over the future of the electric car may explain why the French government appears to have spiked the report

You've Seen this on "CSI" .. No More Keyboards

You have to admit that this is Superb "demoware". What's even better is that they have actors using it on CSI Miami and CSI New York. (Yes, I record CSI and watch it in 2X fast forward) Neat video. All kinds of possibilities. Although, I hope you'll note that I used the same technology in my novel "A Glint in Time" written about a year ago. (Yeah.. go buy the book!)

If you like Political Cartoons...

I have always envied cartoonists. I have so much to say, but no NO no talent. This guy, Daryl Cagle, keeps an updated index of political cartoons by topic. Gee, it's like a candy store. See http://www.cagle.msnbc.com/news/SenateSeatSale/main.asp to start.

Wow - What a SMART piece of Engineering!

I love well-engineered stuff. This device is part of an anti-ballistic missile system. Just watching it maneuver should cause you to quit thinking about spending all the money to develop a missile! Think of all of the fast processing power this thing requires. And here, it is working in full gravity. I'd guess that it would have a much longer maneuver life in lower gravity.

EAA Marathon Aviation Day 2008

Our local EAA Chapter held its second successful Aviation Day at the Marathon, FL airport last month. The goal of the event is to promote aviation among the general public and to inspire youths who have an interest in aviation. The short clip tells the story.