Sunday, June 19, 2016


So Easy To Use
Even Toddlers Can Shoot ‘Em

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Fixed Wing Helicopter

Every so often, flying above the Treehouse there is CHP pilot putting a little fixed wing highway radar plane through an endurance test. It is used in place of a helicopter to spot and track a possible criminal suspect.

Osprey aerobatic fish spotters

The stress of acrobatic maneuvers on that lightweight fixed wing aircraft and it’s engine will soon reduce its ability to pass flight certification inspection. Then again, that may be the intention if there is a newer airplane that the pilots would rather be flying.

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We had some rain in Redding last week

There have been 6,219 shooting deaths in the U.S. at the time of writing this post so far this year. 144 of those killed were the result of what are now called, “mass shootings”.

Gun manufacturers are doing their best to create, (and satisfy), a demand for more lethal weapons after each tragic event.

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The rain was refreshing

The NRA and other agencies have been promoting the image that one needs a gun to protect themselves from “bad guys”. They don’t warn people that the likelihood of your gun actually protecting you in an attack is almost nonexistent.

They also don’t tell you 24 hours a day that there are dire consequences to be faced after you shoot someone. (Hint: You don’t get a medal and the key to the city)

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Nice ending to the rainstorm

I just read a well written essay why one man feels he needs an AR-15. He is a firearms expert who points out the amazing versatility and adaptability that particular rifle provides.

Like most gun enthusiasts, he hasn’t shot and killed anyone, yet. Not one of the gun enthusiasts I know has spent a lot of time thinking about what happens after they have shot and killed someone.

Maybe they need to turn off the NRA sponsored right wing media and think for awhile about the aftermath of being a gun toting murderer.

Today’s Video;

Only ⅓ Of Americans Own Guns

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Air Tankers

For Our Wildfire Filled Future

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Coulson Next Gen Air Tanker 131

Last November the Coulson T-131 C-130 Hercules was in Victoria, Australia.

Saturday I took a picture of the T-131 flying over my apartment in Redding, California.

Air tankers can be contracted by various fire services to augment their fleets during fire seasons. The T-131 is back here now in the northern hemisphere during our summer.

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T-131 over the Treehouse

Later on Saturday, around 5:00, I was near Northpoint drive taking pictures of Mount Shasta. Looking to the west, I noticed a plume of smoke rising in the distance.

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Smoke in the distance

It didn’t look very big from my vantage point. I went home and looked at my pictures on the computer screen and realized it was much larger than I thought. What appeared to be a bird in my camera viewfinder was actually a helicopter.

Helicopter on the scene of the Keswick fire

I had the air conditioner going, keeping my apartment at a cool 80 degrees. That covers most outdoor sounds with its own mechanical symphony.

The sound of jet engines overhead was loud and close enough to get me outside with a camera to see what was happening. I looked up and saw one of the new Neptune jet tankers. They are based in Medford, Oregon. (About 10 - 15 minutes away as the jet flies)

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T-41 Neptune tanker

With the help of the T-41, the firefighters had the 20 acre fire contained in a short time. 

According to reports, the fire likely started at the unsupervised Keswick shooting range. 

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On the way to the Keswick fire

In case you are wondering what that red stuff is that they are dropping, I looked it up on Wikipedia;

Borate salts used in the past to fight wildfires have been found to sterilize the soil and be toxic to animals so are now prohibited.[21] Newer retardants use ammonium sulfate or ammonium polyphosphate with attapulgite clay thickener or diammonium phosphate with a guar gum derivative thickener.

These are not only less toxic but act as fertilizers to help the regrowth of plants after the fire. Fire retardants often contain wetting agents, preservatives and rust inhibitors and are colored red with ferric oxide or fugitive color to mark where they have been dropped. Brand names of fire retardants for aerial application include Fire-Trol and Phos-Chek.

Some water-dropping aircraft carry tanks of a guar gum derivative to thicken the water and reduce runoff.

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Mount Shasta from Northpoint Drive

I knew there was a reason I don’t buy ice cream that contains guar gum besides not wanting non digestible glue in my digestive system; The firefighting air tankers need it for their retardant solutions. (The only ice cream I have found without some kind of gum in it is Haagen Daz vanilla)

Today’s Video;

Shake It

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Where Did I Put It?

Some Place Handy No Doubt

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Fine specimen

I wrote a draft for a blogpost the other day about pollen, senior housing and the allergy irritants being redistributed by leaf blowers.

The document seems to have vanished into cyberspace

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Another blooming cactus or succulent

My well constructed essay included the dynamic properties of particulate matter suspended in the air daily, then settling to earth in the still of the night.

Much of the pollen, dust and other stuff will stay there on the ground unless it is disturbed.

Magic Garden.jpgEnchanted garden

When lead blowers are used to clean up debris they launch clouds of pollen, dust and other irritants into the air where they remain suspended until the next still of the night.

This can't be good for people with breathing problems and allergies.

Patio Red.jpgBeautiful red patio rose

Blowing particulate matter up into the air is a health hazard and should be avoided in places like senior apartments, health care facilities, and schools.

A better solution to keeping things tidy and sidewalks safe would be a good push broom, a grass rake and dustpan.

Pretty n' pink.jpgLovely pink rose

Some of my neighbors and a couple of people on the staff suffer a lot from pollen in the air.

I have to think that some relief would result from removing particulate irritants once they have settled on the ground. It seems counter productive to send additional allergens up to join the suspended pollen and dust already in the air we breathe.

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Now what?

What to do when you’ve caught a bug by a leg. This bird is studying the situation.

To get the bug inside the bird’s mouth to eat it requires opening its beak. The bug might successfully get away when its leg is free. What a quandry.

Today’s Video;

Looking Out For Eachother