Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sling Shot Man...Kid

I always carried a slingshot in my back pocket when a kid. Became fairly deadly with it. Was shown how to use and make 'em, by Reverand McCartney from Tex-Arkana. Later he was a teacher and the guidance councilor at EVH for a few years. I first met him years before, when he was the new Preacher at the little white Diamond Lake Methodist Church at 59-A and Diamond Lake Rd. He replaced George McGovern...that's right "The" George McGovern of Presidential run fame
  • Became a senator of....hmmm.. South Dakota? if I recall.

    He and his little family were welcome Sunday visitors at our modest little home. Mom fixed chicken mostly. Often Pheasant (Dad was a commissioned Game Warden). We had hundreds of chickens. Our garden was always growng good stuff for everyone to share with. Dad helped George McGovern out from time to time with expenses. George had been a bomber pilot during WWII. Must have been a good one, made it back to the states and became our Preacher Man.

    After Reverand McGovern, is when the new Preacher McCartney taught me the finer points of the slingshot art. Birds ate our cherrys off the trees, so we 'controlled' them. Friend Larry's dad loved his Purple Martins. They would swoop, twist and spiral through the air like "little friends"... fighter aircraft. Hank, Larry's dad, had a big white Martin house in their 'greeting card scene', front yard. It looked like a portaled and balconied hotel with many rooms. One afternoon, Larry and I were in his terraced front yard. I was jokingly challenged to see if I could shoot a flying bird out of the air. Watching for just the right bird, twisting through the sky, I casually fired off a small rock. Killed it dead midflight and it dropped from the sky into the front yard.

    Larry became instantly petrified. His dad treated those Purple Martins like his kids...even better. Larry ran to the feathered heap, and carefully picked it up. Trying to revive the bird was of no avail. Larry then ran deep into the field with it's lifeless body. Not satisfied to just toss it there, he ran and got a shovel to bury it.... About two feet deep. After burying it, we covered it with weeds to hide the digging spot.

    I only used the sling shot as a defensive weapon on the bad natured (to put it mildly) 'Shady Lane' kids living near Diamond Lake. They would threaten to whup up on me as I walked by them on my way to the lake. Didn't do anything until they started throwing rocks. The trusty slingshot ended their rock throwing pretty quick, with a few, rapid fire, well placed shots, they dispersed (to say the least). Not quite as good as the man below, but Rarely missed. :>)

    Happiness is .... opening the door to see the smiling face of an old friend
    Subject: FW: Sling shot champion
    Possibly the most talented slingshot marksman of all time
    Sling shot Man

  • Enjoy Freedom and Life in the great United States of America, "One Nation Under God".
  • Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Truth.... in Media?

    Posted by Robo of California:

    Finding the actual truth is becoming more and more difficult in this Politically Correct, Revisionist, Progressive, society.

    Take the February 7, 2011 issue of Time magazine with Ronald Reagan and Obama shaking hands on the cover. They 'Never' met, but don't let that fact get in the way of media 'spin'. Crux of the article was that Obama has quickly bottomed out, and is moving toward the center, and will soon be like Ronald Reagan?

    The article went on to explain that Obama's 'Far Left' policies were the fault of Nancy Pelosi? and now that she's been thrown under the bus, Obama can fix what Pelosi has ruined in four years, and Obama in two.

    Unfortunately I had neither a bird cage bottom to line, nor a fish to wrap, and make use of this publication. I had met Ronald Reagan, and worked for his election for governor of California, and I can say, "Mr. Obama, you're No Ronald Reagan." Not even close. Truth in media? I think not!

    Someone is starting a scholarship for the most under-served, under appreciated, most discriminated against persons in this country. The Anglo-Saxon honkey-'cracker' male. I mean everyone else has 'preferred' status in jobs, financial assistance, government put asides, and increased and prefered welfare (1999 Community Investment Act). But the Anglo-Saxon 'honkey-cracker' male only gets to pay the bill through ever increasing, excessive taxes.

    Someone is finally starting to appreciate the Anglo-Saxon male? the Demographic who has historically given so much to society. Democracy, Republic form of government, science and patents, medicine, technology, education, religion, philosophy, athletics, etc. They have brought you air flight, space flight, trains, ships, TV, the computer, automobile, cameras, X-ray, CT, MRI, and breast scanning technology. To say nothing of all the luxuries the human race has desired.

    They have provided the laws (although some I wish they hadn't), standards and disciplines that keep things somewhat stable. It's time to have the scholarship money to bring newer and more exciting things to the world. No matter how much they have been knocked around by so many social groups, they still want to be able to return to help get the world we have desecrated, back to some sort of order and saneness.

    Shouldn't our 'new world order' be somewhat grateful for the Anglo-Saxon in history? Their grave sites are all around the world as a reminder of their continued fight for freedom for ALL. This is not to say that others have not contributed, but to recognize that as evil, as everyone seems to try to make us, we are still trying to make things better for all. I wish it wasn't this way, the cry from the Leftists is that we are all equal, EXCEPT...
    "Some are more equal than others." (self elected ruling Pigs quote from 'Animal Farm')

    Go Wisconsin! Talk about Republicans with guts? Of course the headlines from the mainstream media read, "Wisconsin Union Busting Bill" (from AOHELL), "Strip Collective Bargaining Rights," (LA LA Times).

    Of course these headlines are misleading at the least. First the unions aren't busted, they are scaled back in 'how much' they can rob from the helpless taxpayer.

    They still have bargaining rights, 'over' the inflation rate. They have to contribute about 10% more to their very generous medical and retirement package. Medical and retirement benefits the poor taxpayer has to fund, against his will.

    Those two great "Progressive" intellectuals got their 15 seconds of undeserved fame, Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore. Come to think about it, isn't Charlie Sheen another "Progressive Intellectual?" Seemed most of the protesters were students and teachers cutting class. How do you spell Parasites ripping off the taxpayers?

    What is absolutely amazing, is that Anyone within the GOP gets elected... because there is not going to be any truth from the mainstream media to back them up. Media outlets, like Time magazine, Newsweek (should be Newspeak), NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, PBS, etc. are simply AP propaganda arms of the "Progressive Party".

    Congressman Peter King is holding hearings on radical Islam. Of course, true to lock step form, the "Progressive Party" is screaming racism, profiling, and wants the hearings to include all religions. OK, in the name of fairness lets hold hearings for all religions that engage in organised terrorist activity that blow people up.

    Let's hear it for the Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindi, Shinto, and every other religion that advocates organised terrorist activity and destroying human life to appease their gods.

    Ready? Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. What there aren't any others? What could congressman King be thinking of? When so called mainstream Muslims take to the streets with demonstrations, as shown against the GOP government in Wisconsin, then I will believe Islam is a peaceful religion. Obama already believes this, but then look at the source of that belief.

    I have just gone through bureaucratic hell to get a smog certificate for a classic 77 Chevy with only 55,000 original miles. It has cost over $525 plus 5 months of 'jerk around' by the auto and smog industry to certify the car safe to drive in California. The culprit was 5 carbon molecules, per million, more than the bureaucrats in Sacramento allows us serfs.

    Had to have a carburetor overhaul, maybe just replaced the gasket as far as I know. That's 5 carbon molecules per million and 5 months wasted to satisfy some junk science law. I know someone who spent 6 months jumping through this bureaucratic hoop.

    The problem is, if you're a bureaucrat, answerable only to fellow bureaucrats, and your very generous salary provided by taxpayers, dependent on there being smog,.... there will be smog.

    If your mega benefits package is dependent on their being smog, there will be smog.

    If your golden retirement package, paid for by the taxpayers, is dependent on their being smog, guess what? There will be smog.

    No matter how insignificant and no matter how much voodoo science is involved, if not answerable to anyone but fellow bureaucrats, there will be a hazard.
    In all 'Fairness' (the lefts favorite word) I do have to say that Big Brother offered me $1,000 in taxpayers money to junk my classic car. I am so glad Big Bro loves me and looks after me.

    We should ban breathing, or at least exhaling, as it produces CO2, and would imaginably warm the earth.
    No swimming because it causes drowning.
    Driving causes accidents.
    Walking causes tripping.
    Sports cause injury.
    Electricity can cause death.

    And while the Progressive 'elites' are at it, regulating our lives, they should also ban all Dihydrogen Oxide. It's everywhere! In the food chain, in the water we drink, in the soil, in the plants, in our food, It can cause death. Some Progressive should start the, "Society to ban Dihydrogen Oxide". Who knows they might win an Oscar from Hollyweird and a 'Piece' Prize to prop open a door. Might be some useful purpose there?

    On 2001 the "Progressive" County of Los Angeles floated a bond for $5.7 billion (that's right with a "B") to fix up the Jr. Colleges. What could go wrong? The Jr. Colleges get state of the art equipment, the remodeling provides jobs, high paying union jobs, and the taxpayers get stuck with the bill.

    Perfect scenario, what could go wrong? Well, none other than the LA LA Times (wonder upon wonders) has been reporting that 10's of millions of dollars has had to be spent to correct the shoddy workmanship, falling plaster, crooked doors, tilted walls, and just plain wasted funds.

    So much for the union label. The overpaid administrator was fired or resigned, too bad, he would have had a cushier retirement package. Just another countless project to overtax the taxpayer.

    But then actual "Truth" is not in the vocabulary of the "Progressive Party".
    (In Huxley's 'Brave New World', the ruling leftists had their 'Ministry of Truth')


    Monday, March 21, 2011

    JAPAN QUAKE Delta 767 on approach

    Written by a Delta pilot on approach to Tokyo during earthquake...

    For all my friends that think we sit up front doing the crossword!
    A good read.

    I'm currently still in one piece, writing from my
    room in the Narita crew hotel.
    It's 8am. This is my inaugural trans-pacific trip as
    a brand new, recently checked out, international 767 Captain and it
    has been interesting, to say the least, so far. I've crossed the
    Atlantic three times so far, so the ocean crossing procedures
    were familiar.

    By the way, stunning scenery flying over the
    Aleutian Islands. Everything was going fine until 100 miles out
    from Tokyo and in the descent for arrival.
    The first indication of any trouble was that Japan air
    traffic control started putting everyone into holding patterns.
    At first we thought it was usual congestion on arrival.
    Then we got a company data link message advising about the
    earthquake, followed by another stating Narita airport was
    temporarily closed for inspection and expected to open shortly
    (the company is always so

    From our perspective things were obviously looking
    a little different. The Japanese controller's anxiety level
    seemed quite high and he said expect "indefinite" holding time.
    No one would commit to a time frame on that so I got my copilot
    and relief pilot busy looking at divert stations and our
    fuel situation, which, after an ocean crossing is typically low.

    It wasn't long, maybe ten minutes, before the first
    pilots started requesting diversions to other airports.
    Air Canada, American, United, etc. all reporting minimal fuel
    situations. I still had enough fuel for 1.5 to 2.0 hours
    of holding. Needless to say, the diverts started
    complicating the situation.

    Japan air traffic control then announced
    Narita was closed indefinitely due to damage. Planes immediately
    started requesting arrivals into Haneada, near Tokyo,
    a half dozen JAL and western planes got clearance in that
    direction but then ATC announced Haenada had just closed.
    Uh oh! Now instead of just holding, we all had to start looking
    at more distant alternatives
    like Osaka, or Nagoya.

    One bad thing about a large airliner is that you
    can't just be-pop into any little airport. We generally need
    lots of runway. With more planes piling in from both east and
    west, all needing a place to land and several now fuel critical
    ATC was getting over-whelmed. In the scramble, and without
    waiting for my fuel to get critical, I got my flight a
    clearance to head for Nagoya, fuel situation still okay.
    So far so good. A few minutes into heading that way,
    I was "ordered" by ATC to reverse course. Nagoya was
    saturated with traffic and unable to handle more planes
    (read- airport full). Ditto for Osaka.

    With that statement, my situation went instantly
    from fuel okay, to fuel minimal considering we might have
    to divert a much farther distance. Multiply my situation
    by a dozen other aircraft all in the same boat,
    all making demands requests and threats to ATC for clearances
    somewhere. Air Canada and then someone else went to "emergency"
    fuel situation. Planes started to heading for air force bases.
    The nearest to Tokyo was Yokoda AFB. I threw my hat in the ring
    for that initially. The answer - Yokoda closed! no
    more space.

    By now it was a three ring circus in the cockpit, my
    copilot on the radios, me flying and making decisions and
    the relief copilot buried in the air charts trying to figure out
    where to go that was within range, while data link messages
    were flying back and forth between us and company dispatch
    in Atlanta. I picked Misawa AFB at the north end of
    Honshu island. We could get there with minimal fuel remaining.
    ATC was happy to get rid of us, so we cleared out of
    the maelstrom of the Tokyo region. We heard ATC try to
    send planes toward ''''Sendai'''', a small regional airport
    on the coast which was later the one I think that
    got flooded by a tsunami.

    Atlanta dispatch then sent us a message
    asking if we could continue to Chitose airport on the Island
    of Hokkaido, north of Honshu. Other Delta planes were heading
    that way. More scrambling in the cockpit -
    check weather, check charts, check fuel, okay. We could still
    make it and not be going into a fuel critical situation ...
    if we had no other fuel delays. As we approached Misawa we
    got clearance to continue to Chitose. Critical decision
    thought process. Let's see - trying to help company -
    plane overflies perfectly good divert airport for one
    farther away...wonder how that will look in the
    safety report, if anything goes wrong.

    Suddenly ATC comes up and gives us a vector to a fix
    well short of Chitose and tells us to standby for holding
    instructions. Nightmare realized. Situation rapidly deteriorating.
    After initially holding near Tokyo, starting a divert to Nagoya,
    reversing course back to Tokyo then to re-diverting north toward
    Misawa, all that happy fuel reserve that I had was
    vaporizing fast. My subsequent conversation,
    paraphrased of course...., went
    something like this:

    "Sapparo Control - Delta XX requesting immediate
    clearance direct to Chitose, minimum fuel, unable hold."

    "Negative Ghost-Rider, the Pattern is full"
    <<< Top Gun movie quote <<<

    "Sapparo Control - make that - Delta XX declaring
    emergency, low fuel, proceeding direct Chitose"

    "Roger Delta XX, understood, you are cleared direct
    to Chitose, contact Chitose approach....etc...."

    Enough was enough, I had decided to preempt actually
    running critically low on fuel while in another indefinite
    holding pattern, especially after bypassing Misawa, and played
    my last ace...declaring an emergency. The problem with that
    is now I have a bit of company paperwork to do but what the heck.

    As it was - landed Chitose, safe, with at least 30
    minutes of fuel remaining before reaching a "true"
    fuel emergency situation. That's always a good feeling, being safe.
    They taxied us off to some remote parking area where we shut down
    and watched a half dozen or more other airplanes come streaming in.
    In the end, Delta had two 747s, my 767 and another 767 and a 777
    all on the ramp at Chitose. We saw to American airlines planes,
    a United and two Air Canada as well. Not to mention several
    extra Al Nippon and Japan Air Lines planes.

    Post-script - 9 hours later, Japan air lines finally
    got around to getting a boarding ladder to the plane
    where we were able to get off and clear customs. -
    that however, is another interesting story.

    By the way - while writing this - I have felt four
    additional tremors that shook the hotel slightly, -
    all in 45 minutes.

    Cheers, J.D.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Japan Quake described by UAL Captain

    Here’s a very interesting narrative a UAL B-777 Captain’s experience with the 9.0 earthquake

    : This is making the rounds of UALers, so you may have seen it. Pretty Graphic. (love that name)

    This guy is a 777 captain for United.
    — On Sat, 3/12/11, Dan Delight wrote:
    Subject: update from the far side of the world.

    Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011, 9:31 PM

    Hello all. First of all, I’m OK. (I know you’ve heard that one before….) I was in Tokyo for “the big one”. Here’s a bit of narrative and thoughts I have written down during the last day and a half. It’s a bit long. Most of it written starting a few hours after the quake, but is a continuing journal also. (Some of you have already received some of this)

    March 11, 2011, I am just finishing up my 24 hour layover in Tokyo, Japan. The trip from Los Angeles was pretty much uneventful, as is the layover. I am freshly showered, and just finishing dressing and packing my bags for the next leg of my trip to Singapore. I am just starting to put my socks and shoes on, and will be ready for the hour taxi ride back to Narita Airport. Just another exhausting all night flight to look forward to.

    The taxi pickup time is 3:10 in the afternoon, which is 10:10 at night Los Angeles time. At just a couple minutes prior to 3:00 o’clock, it hit. Not very strong at first, but strong enough that I know exactly what it is. An earthquake. Now, Japan just had a pretty strong 7.2 quake a week or so ago, so it’s probably just an aftershock.

    I’ve been through 4 or 5 strong quakes in Los Angeles during my life, so my initial reaction is to just keep getting ready to check out. No big deal.
    This quake seems different though. I’m no expert, but this one is starting to worry me. I’m on the 17th floor of a 37 story hotel, and things are starting to get interesting. One, this quake is getting stronger. And two, it’s not going away. It’s lasting longer than any I have been in. I’m starting to get a bit worried, because it’s going on and on, and getting stronger and stronger. It goes on for seconds, on into minutes.

    I figure I better start to take this one seriously and make plans to bug out of here. Actually, not much planning at all, I decide to get the hell out and rush to get my shoes and socks on. I stand up and find out I can’t stand.

    The building is rocking so hard I fall back down on the bed. I get up and start to run to the door, and figure I better take some provisions with me. So I turn around and head back to grab my bags that have some food bars and water already packed in them. If I’m going to be stuck out on the street I want to have as much provisions as I can carry. Maybe a dumb idea, but maybe not.

    As I try to gather up all my stuff, I notice how bad this earthquake really is. The room is creaking and moaning, cupboards are rattling, drawers are sliding, and I am falling down. This is really a bad one. I look out the window and can’t believe my eyes.

    Another building across the street, maybe about 150 feet away, and another one beyond that, probably another 100 or 150 feet are moving. Really swaying. I mean REALLY swaying. I can see them moving 5 or 10 feet back and forth. The perspective is something that only Hollywood could produce. Massive buildings rocking back and forth.

    Up to this point I wasn’t really scared, that is till I see those buildings moving. That sight brings a new reality to the situation. Now, I actually think that this might be my last moments on earth.
    I am in a tall building that is rocking and rolling, and as far as I’m concerned, is acting like it will fall down any second. The quake has been going on not for just seconds, but for minutes, and seems like hours.

    Now my mind is racing. I am starting to second guess every thought I have. Do I stay? Do I go? Do I leave everything? Do I take everything? What do I do? Where do I go?
    My heart is racing, my adrenalin is pumping, and my legs seem to be getting weaker. This quake rocks on for about four minutes. FOUR MINUTES! That’s an eternity.

    I make my decision and go for it. I grab my two bags and head out. My room is right next to a fire escape, and that’s where I head. I break the plastic lock cover off the door and try to open it. The lock won’t turn. I try harder. It finally turns and I get it unlocked. I try to open the door and it won’t open. The doorknob turns, but the door is wedged shut. I take a step back and put my shoulder into it. It finally pops open with a thud. I’m out on the balcony and head for the stairway door, but it’s hard to open as well. I finally get it open, and grab my bags to head down.

    The second I start down, a hotel employee yells at me to come back. He tells me to go with him. So, I turn around and head back down the hallway, past my room, and into the employee section and stairwell. I start down. Carrying my bags is hard enough, but down stairs is harder, and down 17 flights is really hard. The employee is staying with me though, and offering to carry my bags. But I persevere and continue down, down, down till I finally come out in the lobby level. I’m sweating, winded, and still a bit scared.

    Well, I feel safer now, being out of that building. Well not all the way out, but in the lobby at least. I meet with my co-pilot and some other United crews.
    There are a lot of people all milling around now. We are supposed to go to the airport, but nobody really knows for sure.

    Our taxi is here and ready, but I get hold of a phone and call United to see if they have a plan. Of course not. Well, it has only been 10 or 15 minutes since the quake and…. Oh shit, As I’m talking to the duty manager, an aftershock hits. A big one. I run out to the front of the hotel to get in the clear.

    But in the middle of a big city downtown, there is no clear.
    I can certainly see sky, but on the other hand I can see more buildings than sky. If one of those suckers decides to fall down, there is really no place to go.
    It’s not long, and we find out that the hi-way is closed, the airport is evacuated, and then closed. We really have no place to go, so, we stay.

    We still have water and electricity, so we are not as bad off as those poor people up to the north.
    The rest of my day involves sitting in the hotel, on my computer trying to find out information, and riding out aftershocks. I eventually get another room on the 14th floor, which doesn’t make me very happy, and again ride out aftershocks all night long. Many, many aftershocks. I don’t sleep all night. My legs are still weak. My hands are still shaking.

    Airports closed. Trains and subways stopped. Oil refineries on fire. Eleven nuclear plants shut down. Hi-ways closed.
    Now I hear a nuclear plant not far away is loosing it’s cooling water, and a radiation leak is expected. The area is being evacuated.

    I turn the TV off, turn the lights off and try to get some sleep, but it’s futile. The aftershocks are virtually continuous. They are not real strong, but go on and on and on. I timed a couple of them. One lasted 12 minutes, and another 9 minutes. There are a few moments of inactivity, but for the most part, it’s still rock and roll.

    One reason for no sleep is the constant creaking in the floors, walls and ceiling. It’s amazing, even the slightest movement starts a constant crescendo of creaking. There is just no chance of sleeping, or even relaxing. My adrenalin I think has been pumping for 14 hours now. I’m weak, and shakey. I really gave my legs a workout coming down all those stairs too. They are pretty sore.

    The news on the TV is just devastating. The quake was pretty bad, but the real damage seems to be coming from the tsunami. On top of that, there are a lot of fires breaking out too.
    This is one of those natural disasters of epic proportion. And here I am, smack dab in the middle of it. Crap.

    I phone United in hopes that they have a plan for us. Well, they do, and it’s not what I expect. They have us rescheduled to continue on our original schedule, just a day later. What? They are not getting us home? I can’t believe it. Well, maybe I can.

    But from my perspective, It’s nuts to send us on. I have had about 10 hours sleep in the last 48 hours, with virtually no chance of getting any more. The building is just too noisy and moves too much to get any sleep. I talked to Mark, and he’s pretty much the same. So I’ll have about a day’s worth of sleep in 3 days. That’s just nuts. What the hell are they thinking?

    But stiff upper lip and all that. Damn the torpedoes, and carry on. What a mess.
    We eventually make it down to Singapore, a day late. I pass out once I hit the bed, but only sleep 5 hours. That makes about 20 hours of sleep in the last 85 or so. Mark and I are both exhausted. At least the hotel room isn’t swaying, although while laying in bed it seems like it is. Funny what your mind does to you.

    It’s been 48 hours since the quake now, and I just pulled up my schedule. It shows us heading back to Narita (Tokyo) tomorrow morning. I haven’t talked to anyone at United, but from what I see on the news, I’m thinking that that is not such a great idea. Food shortages and power outages in Tokyo, not to mention at least two, and now maybe three nuclear plants in jeopardy of major damage and meltdowns.

    I’ve had enough radiation exposure over the last year with all the CT scans I’ve had, I don’t want to fly through a radiation cloud and come home glowing green or growing a third eyeball in my forehead. I’ll talk to the co-pilot and we will make a decision before the morning flight. It will be a tough one.
    My immediate plans for the rest of the day is to get a good meal, and a good nights sleep. I hope.

    That’s about it from the war front. I guess I should ask that you don’t reply, at least for a while. I’m behind enough on my emails just being away from home for a week, not even counting all this mess. Hopefully I’ll make it home soon. Thanks for all your prayers, thoughts and support.

    Dan Delight
    “If brute force doesn’t work, you’re not using enough of it”.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011

    IN PLAIN SIGHT, 'on set' Albuquerque NM, Old Town

    I received an email from 'On line casting'. An offer for a casting call with TV's "In Plain Sight"
  • I am a member of OLC, but not the premium paid membership. After getting more instructions of set location and call time, I was hyped. Picked out three sets of 'wardrobe' and left early. The drive was about 30 minutes and 9:30 AM on Monday.

    Arrived early, so I had a chance for a good plate of scrambled eggs and thick bacon. They make great bacon on most sets... especially if Mario's is catering. 'Sign in' completed, wardrobe checked OK, we loaded into the vans for transport to the 'set' in Old Town. Cold vacant 'store' building, but I found a small heater, curled up and took a nap in front of it. Folding chairs were limited, so I hoarded mine.

    The young girls (future starlets) are in great shape anyway, they can sit on the floor, have discussions and repeat their favorite word... "Like"... thousands of times. "'Like' you know, 'Like', he goes....., and 'Like' I go".
    How old do they get before they drop that childish habit?

    After a prolonged wait (always lots of waiting as 'background'), we were eventually called for our scene after the Chapman and the Peewee 'dolly' tracks were reset (this track laying/relocating procedure is performed endlessly during filming).
    The armed arrest with 'Mary', FBI, US Marshals Service and APD officers. At first no real action, just the preliminaries with the 'perp' walking to his clandestine meeting. Lots of angle shots using the 'ARRI' cameras with their large lenses, required a few moves from background table to table as two ladies and I sipped empty coffee cups, read the newspaper and were cordial.

    After that was finished, we returned to the cold 'on set' holding area, while cameras were again set up. After more waiting (lots of waiting in movie work), we were called out for more 'background' action. Many takes of the handcuffed arrest after the 'take down'. 'Perp Walk' was shot from many angles and distances. Lots of vocalization and arguing between the various 'authorities' on this scene. It had to be redone many times due to 'line flubs', bloopers and lapses in timing.

    We did background action while being restrained behind a police line. Met an official commisioned APD officer's wife. Beautiful girl, we discussed aspects of police work. Standing behind police line, pointing and mouthing words for an hour or so during many camera angles, we then eventually were sent to base camp for a fine buffet by Mario's Catering chow crew. Chicken, Fish, Prime Rib and all varieties of side dishes.

    The food was great on this set. Most sets are very good as far as the 'feeding frenzy'. A few movie sets are low budget and poor, with basic protein such as peanut butter and bread. After the late lunch at 'base camp', (we only eat twice a day....but with lots of snacks) We returned to on set 'Extras Holding' for the waiting game. This crew is relatively fast at scene changing.

    During the 'take down' on the second floor, the entire scene was chaos and yelling as they made the arrest. As 'background', I and others were crossing the streets below. Many calls of "Backgrond 'Action', 'Cut' then 'reset'.

    It became routine to cross the street and then the other street, then 'reset' to positon one for another 'take'. About ten times later it was accepted. 'Extras Holding', 'on set', was another cold vacant store. Many portions and buildings in historic Old Town Albuquerque since the 'boom' ended and the economy has stagnated, have never re-started. Using 'Old Town' as a movie set is one use for this once prosperous area of the city.

    During the past the real estate was premium, now it is falling into the realm of 'affordable' in realtor's terms. The crew moved us to a nice warmer loft (also vacant), but nearer the set we worked after dark. The temps fell, so the heated space was welcomed by all.

    I met a few of the 'Background'. None were recognized from other films. I have not worked often during this last year. Few films are 'shooting in NM at this poor time, most are low budget with no pay.. "True Grit" was an exception. The financially strapped state of NM (like others) is intensely reviewing it's financial commitments. The new Governor, Suzana Martinez (R) is looking to save the budget by cutting loose spending practices from the last administration of Bill Richardson.

    Bill Richardson's was the 'free spending', 'run for President' admin (D). Jet plane and all. Suzana has basically grounded the Cessna Citation XLT and put it up for sale (like Sarah Palin did with Alaska's). It is the jet that Bill ordered the Hwy Dept to purchase for his personal 'Politicking...' and close friends transportation immediately after he was elected.

    The last use was for the State Film Commission to scout out a 'site'..figures. They are strongly lobbying and crowding the legislators meetings to save their lavish financial funding.. The state is trying to hold the spending limit within reason. The state's taxpayers kick in 25% of the funding for most films. The return is minimal... after a few sour deals that failed to repay, or spent their taxpayer provided funds out of state. Yep, they are sneaky in Hollywood.

    This set was lastly in the little art and gift shop where Mary stops in periodically.
    One line was an obvious 'put down', as the proprietor saw 'Mary' enter the shop. His remark was syrupy as he noticed her enter. "Mary have not seen you for a while'. 'You look so....Interesting". The scene was repeated several times with 'stand in' and then 'Mary', as the camera distances were measured and marker tape was placed on floor. I primarily had my back to her and was checking out the paintings and artwork as she entered then went into the back room.

    After the last scene, we were 'cut and wrapped' then sent back to base camp for 'sign out'. Mistake, we (certain individuals) immediately were 'Un-wrapped', ordered into the van for return to set, and final re-take' of shop scene. On approval, we 'wrapped' once again and returned to 'base camp for sign out. 13.5 hours after arrival, I left the downtown area tired and wanting my own bed.

    Life is great in NM. The USA is still "One Nation Under God". Lots of possibilities for entertainment while waiting for spring?
  • Saturday, March 05, 2011

    Workhorse-Bosch Recall

    I first received the Holiday Rambler Workhorse Bosch brake recall
  • notice last year. They were not sure just how the problem was to be remedied at the time. The 2004 Holiday Rambler 8.1 Liter gas coach was one of those designated for Bosch service brake caliper assy replacement. We never had any problem with our unit. We live and store the unit in the dry climate of the southwestern USA. New Mexico has all sunny days except for a few. I understand that the problem occurs more often in the higher humidity parts of the country, and then only after long periods of storage.

    Workhorse referred us to ADVANTAGE AUTOMOTIVE
  • John gave us a tentative slot on the extensive list...three/four/five months out. He did say to call him if we were planning a trip. The last days of February came, so I called John as he recomended. The Third of March was open so I drove the Motor Coach to their shop and left it after it's release from winter storage. Marvel Mystery oil in the fuel, seems to ensure a fast start like the engine was just run yesterday. I also fired up the generator just to be sure. The fully automatic battery maintainers from Walmart, kept the cells in the chassis and coach batteries fully charged through the cold winter.

    John explained that the brake problem was with the phenolic piston puck used in the cast iron cylinders of the caliper assys. They swelled slightly in moisture contaminated fluid. The replacement pucks in the caliper cylinder assys, are made of steel, as James showed with a magnet. John asked about several key services, seeing as the coach is at 55,000 miles. We agreed on the fuel filter replacement, being it is a Workhorse proprietary , three line part, original equipment, and soaks the mechanic underneath with gasolene, as it is being unbolted and changed.

    I decided not to get gas soaked while under the coach, changing the filter on the side of a busy highway. John called for my OK at each stage as work progressed. The brake pads were about 3/4ths consumed. Within 15,000 miles, they would most likely require replacement, so I told John to go ahead and change them while installing the four new Bosch disc brake actuators, one at each wheel.

    The large iron rotors were fine and no big cracks, like one set from another coach John showed me. With fuel costs gleefully advancing higher with the refusal of congress and this administration, to approve drilling, we may never be able to sell the coach anyway, so at least we can enjoy it until it is worn out.

    In order to afford the RV lifestyle, I do almost all of my own maintenance, change oil, lube and basic repairs. John mentioned checking the front wheel lubrication reservoirs while they were exposed. I had already drained and replaced the brake fluid with the latest DOT 4 (higher temp rated) Synthetic. He recomended I bring a couple of more qts, if that was what I wanted again. He left me the 2 unopened qts of DOT 3 that Workhorse sent. When I went to pick up the coach at their modern well equipped, well lighted shop, I met Doug and James. Both had done their individual sections of expertise on the recall and service.

    Driving home, the unit worked as new. Brakes may smoke a bit as they lap themselves in, according to John. I would recommend their shop anytime. Having connections to obtain parts, they are the last Workhorse authorised mechanics in Alb NM. The other two shops got fed up with the 'Govt Motors' aspect during the Union bailout fiasco in 2009.

    Now to plan a little trip...after finishing the flood restoration project here at home that is wearing us down. Maybe our neighbor house sitter will finish up? The break will be welcome, away from the job that displaced us from room to room as work progressed.

    The oil changes, I do myself while still agile. 6.5 qts of oil and the 15mm socket wrench for the drain plug, were carried to the coach, along with numerous wiping papers and rags. The five gallon bucket to collect the drain oil, is placed under the engine pan (note: do not drain the transmission fluid by mistake). The filter on the 5 speed Allison Transmission was needing changing. Called ahead for parts, then drove to where I found a Purolator filter at Pep Boys while buying the new Purolator gold premium oil filter for $5. The little Purolator transmission filter is made in China? It sells for $18 including taxes.

    Seems like that simple little twist-on filter could be made in the USA? Of course the legalities, the taxes, the environmental issues and of course union demands, preclude much distasteful 'manufacturing' in the USA of today. Alas, we are being forced by political 'legalities' into the unenviable postion, including the consequences of being a debtor nation of consumers? ....sigh.

    Everytime I crawled under the coach, I noticed something else needing attention. The left rear outside dual tire was flat due to the brake mechanic not getting the small pressure line tight enough on the valve stem (I located the leak with soapy water bubbles). After checking all of the other valve stems for leaks, I refilled all 6 of the tires to 110 PSI as spec.

    The 6 excellent Michelins (22.5's) were all replaced two seasons ago. Crawling under once again, the grease gun's new snap fitting (made in China) did not fit the chassis Zerks. I had to crawl out, get a couple of crescent wrenches and change to the old end fitting for the new hose that I had installed on the gun last fall. Never toss the old 'stuff' until sure of the new 'stuff'.

    The new Purolator transmission filter was then filled with Dexron before installation to prevent 'dry sump' during startup. Same for the oil filter. Zerk fittings are many, on this W-22 Workhorse chassis. Five Zerks on the segmented driveshaft universal joints (including splined slide) and 8 on the front suspension steering gear. Wiping each is mandatory before and after to control dirt contamination of the lubed parts. While in the back yard storage, I roll a carpet runner on the dirt, and move it frequently from position to position. In the street, the creeper works better.

    The batteries showed signs of stress after a week of idleness (in spite of the solar array), so the Schumacher 'Smart Chargers' were again hooked up to maintain the four coach and one chassis battery.

    The cost of fuel is high and rising, but due to political pressures, not going to get any cheaper. The debt ridden dollar is falling in value, so we figure to spend it on some fuel while visiting some history, some geography and great little communities as we are rolling across the United States of America. The greatest Nation ever in history. "One Nation Under God".