About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Super Video from a Camera Onboard A Solid Rocket Booster

NASA put a cammera on a Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster and took video and sound of its return to Earth. Really a cool ride. Very interesting footage and technology!

Blogger can't seem to embed the player, so HERE IS THE LINK to Glumbert.com

Wow -- Let's Spin the Jet !

So, Air Force pilots at Edwards take this hardware and try to break it! And for this a a major gets a base pay of about $64,000 a year while the executive idiots they are cramming into every corner of Washington DC start at a minimum of $117,787.

Ah well, enjoy the great flying video and and imagine what it was like in the cockpit. And I thought that two turn spin training was tough!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The MOTHER of the last Pilot to Fly a KC-135 Has Not Been Born Yet!

A super piece.. though way too short... in the Wired Danger Room on the KC-135! Although, one comment points out that the B-52 is even older!

"Still, taking a tour of these planes only reinforces that utter and complete negligence of the folks in the Pentagon and in Congress who have managed for the better part of a decade to screw up the project to replace these creaking gas-haulers. The nearly $100-billion contract for the next generation of tankers has been awarded yet, despite countless attempts. And the current crop is going to be around for a whole lot longer.

“They tell us the mother of the last 135 pilot hasn’t been born yet. We expect to be flying these planes quite a few years longer,” LaPlant says." See the whole thin HERE

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Dumb and Energetic are to be Watched Closely!

Napoleon was supposed to have once explained to an inquirer, "There are four types of soldiers. The first are the dumb and lazy. These I make my infantrymen. The second are the smart and energetic. These I make my field commanders. The third type are the smart and lazy. These I make my generals."

The inquirer, then replied, "That's just three types. What of the dumb and energetic?"

Napoleon, without skipping a beat replied, "I have them shot."

Unfortunately, today the dumb and energetic become politicians. Numerous examples, starting with Barney Frank and Harry Reid come to mind.

-- FJD

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The ULTIMATE Fighter Pilot Heresy

ooooooohhh this is SO BAD that I'm going to have to erase it from my computer the minute I post it. Proposing an aerial demonstration team made up of Drones! Ahhhh... I have to go wash my fingers. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/07/teaching-drones-to-fly-in-formation/

But, if aviation and military technology interest you, I recommend a book I've already purchased for my grand son.  "Wired for War" is a great story about the integration of remote-presence, "robotics", and other neat technologies into military operations today and tomorrow.  Highly recommended! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

61 Pages of Great Plane Pix

http://xplanes.tumblr.com/ This site has 61 pages of great airplane/ spaceplane art and pictures. Lots of neat stuff.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dead Pilot at the Controls: Private Pilot Save

This happened on Easter Sunday at an airfield and in airspace I frequently use. The lone pilot of a King Air dies at the controls while the plane is in an autopilot-controlled climb. A low-time single engine pilot in the right seat. His wife and two children are in the cabin. He sees that the pilot is dead and takes the controls from the right seat. This is real stuff and listening to the audio will increase your heart rate.

There are two versions of the audio: A shortened podcast and the real full length FAA tape. Pilots interested in the problems associated with taking over a twin engine turbine aircraft in flight should listen to the long version.

The shortened podcast from AVWeb is AT THIS LINK.
The longer (and more interesting) FAA tape is AT THIS LINK
Note that the FAA tape is an MP3 audio and you might need to load a player on your computer if you don't normally listen to MP3s.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

from apathy to dependency -from dependence back into bondage" See the whole story http://ping.fm/EprBu


EVERY CONSERVATIVE needs to watch this once a day.  Mornings would be good.  I love it! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wisdom of Robert Heinlein

This post from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit did its job.  It made me think.  Heinlein's "Star Ship Trooper" was a bookend with "Atlas Shrugged".  

In my mind it stressed the responsibility of citizenship and the value of honor.  I was horrified to see the modern movie that was so full of Nazi / Fascist images that it made me want to puke.  Those images were exactly the last thing Heinlein intended, but then the lens belongs to Hollywood.  (more our shame!) .   

This is probably a good time to go back and re-read some Heinlein.. if ONLY because it gets our brains out of the crap happening now!  

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: From Robert Heinlein:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

I’m just sayin’.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Always Think This is a Joke, But It's Very Real!

Somehow, this always looks like two guys in a horse costume, but it's very real.  It's cool, but noisy.  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Kind of Handgun Are You -- A Quiz

This is an online quiz you can take from an outfit called Frontsite.   It's mildly interesting.  It says that I am a: Glock Model 22 in 40 cal.  That's probably right, although I like Berettas too.  
Firearms Training
What kind of handgun are YOU?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Excellent Article on AWACS in Caribbean Drug Fight

National Defense has an excellent article on the role of AWACS in fighting Caribbean drug smugglers.  See THIS LINK    "Drug runner flights depart daily from South America and head toward Central America, the Caribbean islands and even West Africa. More than 90 percent of these flights originate in Venezuela." 

Gee, I wonder who the bad guys are?? 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Have you SEEN BHO's Signature?? It's a cartoon! Pure Ego on display. http://ping.fm/uamuX

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stimulus and The Red Dawn Scenario

It's the "Red Dawn" scenario. A force hostile to most things the US stands for takes over, limits civil liberties ("fairness doctrine" for example), confiscates guns (Google H.R. 45 if you doubt that), and loots the treasury in the form of reparations. At this point in our story Governor Crist of Florida has flown the white flag and surrendered the state. Will Texas save the US? (Yes I know it was Colorado that saved the US in the original story, but I have my doubts... too much Californication.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Landing Light Comprison

I typically have to replace at least one incandescent bulb per year (who just said something about my landings?).   I do put them on a lot for recognition... and I never fly at night.   The LED landing light has a lot of appeal for me.  But, $500?  Oh my.  That's a whole lot of incandescent bulbs!  

Okay -- This is Just Fun

So, the concept is that there is a big fire main type pump on he beach.   The guy is dragging a big hose.  So this is nothing but a local beach toy.  But, I could do this at my house.  Fun to play with.  

Monday, February 9, 2009

What Somali Pirates Could Teach our COngress

Somali pirates know that you 1. board, 2. rape, 3. pillage and 4. burn- in that order. Our Congress is doing it to us all at once! 
An academically interesting non-political analysis of financial crisis. Expand your brain. http://ping.fm/ZBLte

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson always makes so much sense. It's for sure he isn't inside the Beltway.http://ping.fm/yXz8E
God only gives you a certain number of good flying days, and I'm missing a beauty today!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Installed an ELITE IFR flight simulator at the EAA Hangar. I'm now the local expert. Worked fine except for a dusty DVD.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

USAF Special Operations Command Video

A little pop from my USAF.  Cool airplane pix. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

F-16 Deadstick Landing..

This is an old video..  I believe it dates back to 1996.  But, that does not reduce the tension.  If you are a pilot... this will have your heart beating.   The video is hosted at a good site named "Patrick's Aviation"  See THIS LINK

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good Video of US AIR 1549 -- Including Landing

Here is good video from a USCG camera showing the water landing and the ferry boat rescue activity.  The landing video is brief and the camera is on wife focus at that point, but it didn't take long for someone to get the picture.  

Let's hear it for the ferry boat captains too!  They boldly motored in to get those people off when they had only a cursory view of the situation.  No woosie bureaucrats there!  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A grand speech. Well done. Bet he is glad to get out of there!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The USAF "Band"

I know that "military music" is considered an oxymoron, but, in fact,  only uninformed morons think that.  In the mid 1980s I was stationed in Washington DC and my wife and I had the immense pleasure of hearing the USAF Band and the Singing Sergeants perform many times.  I even hired the some of the Singing Sergeants in their off-duty time to entertain guests at some parties.  They are superb people and musicians.  

Here is some proof.  

THIS LINK will take you to some of the newest songs written and performed by the USAF Band. 

THIS LINK will take you to video of the USAF Band practicing suffering.  ...getting ready for the inauguration ceremonies..  
Blackfive re-posted a 2004 story. If you read it without crying, you are..not much. In these times, we need to have this perspective. http://ping.fm/3Gkjj
Just posted my video review of "Final Theory" an excellent adventure/science book based on Einstein's work. http://ping.fm/yGYZ7

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thoughts on Panetta for CIA

I am a pretty strong conservative and no fan of the Democrats, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the Obama appointments, with the notable exception of the Attorney General, and I think the negative commentary about Panetta at the CIA is uninformed and just plain silly. 

If I was in the Agency right now, I would be thrilled that the new boss understands and is connected to the levers of power inside the Beltway.  I would NOT want some "Intelligence Professional" at the top.  I want someone who can call the legislators on the Intelligence Committees and the Appropriations Committees by their first names and who knows the names of all of their kids.  That's Panetta

The job of CIA Director is more about getting money and forgiveness than it is about issuing analysis. There are card-carrying certified Intelligence Analysts for that.  There are plenty of bright Agency folks who can sit at the Director's shoulder and whisper Intelligence things in his ear.  People who can successfully navigate the Beltway are much more rare.  

As far as comments about Panetta being a human rights type?  He is certainly more of a realist than he is being painted and ...by the way... they did win.  They get to play their agendas.  Save your outrage for stuff that matters.  There will be plenty of it.  
Posted my video book review of "Stranger to the Ground" a great flying story.http://ping.fm/pJ07X

Monday, January 5, 2009

Just posted my video review of "Flight of Passage" a great pilot's book. http://ping.fm/jeiyv

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Call from the Nice Man at Government Healthcare

Wonder about the spin-off impact of government funded and controlled health care? It's pretty clear. Just like the power to tax, the power to control medical services must inevitably lead to control of other items on the agenda.

Here is the phone call I expect to receive from a Faceless Bureaucrat (FB in the dialogue below) quite soon.
FB: Hello, Mr. Deffler?
ME: It's Derfler
FB: Mr. Doorfler, my name is Mr. Putz and I'm from the Department of National Healthcare. I would like to ask you a few questions.
ME: Okaaay.. I guess
FB: We have all of your personal information, but I need to check on a few items for our files that popped up on a routine review.
ME: Hmmmmm
FB: You have listed a daughter, age 12, as a dependant for healthcare purposes?
ME: Okay....
FB: We do not have a record of her vaccinations from your local school district.
ME: She doesn't go to public school.
FB: Oh.. well, if you will give me the name of her private school, we can check those records.
ME: She is home schooled. We feel that at this time she is learning more in home schooling than she would in the public schools and we can't really afford private school.
FB: Ah... well... you see, Sir, if she is not attending a school, then we can not be sure that she is receiving appropriate healthcare, can we? You can teach her at home, but we can't provide health care. I'll pass that to the review committee to deal with.
ME: You do that..
FB: There were just one or two more things. I see that you have a concealed weapons permit. Does that mean you own guns?
ME: It might.
FB: Well, you see, the right to own guns is, more or less I guess, mentioned in the Constitution, but the policy now is that you are not eligible to government healtcare if you decide to own guns. After all, guns injure people and that would raise the cost of healthcare to all tax payers wouldn't it? I'll show you as owning guns and I'm afraid that healthcare coverage will immediately cease for everyone in your household. If you would like to change your status, you can download a form from our Website, certify that you are gun-free, and your healthcare coverage will resume within a couple of weeks.
ME: But, but, that's unconstitutional. The second Amendment....
FB: Oh, Sir, you can have your guns. Certainly, you can have guns, but no healthcare. There is, after all, no constitutional right to healthcare, is there?
FB: Let's see... there was one more item... according to your tax return, your occupation is online journalist. Is that like a ... what are they called? Blogger?
ME: Yes, in fact, it is like that.
FB: Ah, that is considered a high risk occupation. I'm afraid that Government Healthcare doesn't cover people in high risk occupations.
ME: What do you mean, high risk? It's just words...
FB: Ah yes, Sir, but words have meaning. Someone could take offence and harm you. That would raise the cost of healthcare to everyone. That would be unfair.
ME: But the First Amendment... freedom of speech.
FB: Oh, Sir, again you do not understand. You may say anything you like. That is your right. But, the government doesn't have to cover your healthcare if you choose to say controversial things. It would not be fair? Would it?
FB: Well, Sir, that about covers it. As I said, if you want to change your status, then simply download an affidavit, swear to change your ways, and we will reconsider your status. You have a nice day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hoppin John, grilled pork chops, and corn muffins for my New Year's supper.If you don't understand that, then I'm sorry fer ya.