Thursday, January 24, 2019
Mexican Border Tunnels ► Unfinished Tunnel Running Under California Discovered
Mexican and U.S. law enforcement agencies discovered a highly sophisticated underground tunnel—featuring a rail system and solar-powered lighting—running underneath the border between Mexico and California. The San Diego sector of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are investigating an unfinished tunnel they believe drug smugglers and human traffickers were building that was found starting at a residence in Jacume, in the Mexican state of Baja California. On 19 SEP, Mexico State Police, Policia Estatal Preventiva (PEP), and Mexican military forces found the tunnel opening approximately 221 feet south of the border. The tunnel continued north, running underneath the border between the two countries, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) report released 8 JAN.
A motorcycle is adapted to a rail that was used by Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to move through a tunnel that, according to authorities, he used to escape from El Altiplano, a Mexican maximum-security prison, in Mexico City, on July 15, 2015.
Those building the tunnel had not yet created an exit point at a U.S. location yet, but the underground passage did feature two sump pumps, a solar-powered lighting system and comfortable ventilation. Additionally, a rail system ran the entire length of the tunnel into the United States. U.S. Homeland Security, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol agents determined the tunnel had an entry point shaft that went approximately 31 feet down into the soil. The tunnel was 627 feet in length and an exit under the U.S. side went about 15 feet toward the surface but did not break the topsoil. Tunnels are commonly used by drug traffickers and others looking to cross the border illegally, with law enforcement officials from both Mexico and U.S. routinely finding new but often incomplete tunnels running under the border wall.
[Source: Newsweek | Benjamin Fearnow | January 10, 2019]
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Notes of Interest ► 01 thru 15 JAN 2019
Norway’s Cars. Almost a third of new cars sold in Norway last year were pure electric, a new world record as the country strives to end sales of fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025.
Boogie Woogie. To start the New Year on a lighter foot check out https://youtu.be/IkKh4O1-F8k. A compilation of old movie scene dances set to Boogie Woogie Country Girl.
Weight Loss. Check out the Dyson Vacuum Cleaner commercial at https://youtu.be/t_3oIy5jAG0 and see how to suck those pounds off.
Ford Carriers. The US Navy has announced its intention to block-buy two Ford-class aircraft carriers, US Senate Armed Services Committee member Tim Kaine has confirmed. The navy expects to spend around $43bn to build the first three ships in the class.
Mexico. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador used his first news conference of 2019 to start recruitment of 50,000 personnel for his new National Guard, which will become the country's primary security force.
Recycling. New means under development that will convert trash to hot water or oil in the kitchen. Check out https://youtu.be/hAZBXxhqMD4 and https://youtu.be/qPIHJRIpLRk.
Comedy. The ability to improvise and create comedy is one that very few comedians are truly gifted with and Jonathan Winters was one of the best. You can only imagine the laughs he provided for his fellow Marines that he served with in the Pacific during World War Two. I’m sure heaven just got a whole lot funnier as I have no doubt Jonathan talked his way past Saint Peter and the pearly gates. Here is one of his skits from the 1964 Jack Parr show: https://youtu.be/wwWDa1xPTPA
Lucky Escape. Why a man should always let a woman speak first when discussing anything serious is exemplified at https://youtu.be/E3pjq0WAupc.
Pearl Harbor. At https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD7dh6lCYpg is a 45 minute clip titled, “Pearl Harbour The New Evidence Secret History” which allegedly recounts the truth about the attack.
Health Care Fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, it recovered $2.5 billion in settlements and judgments in False Claim Act cases related to the health care industry, which includes drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories, and physicians. This is the ninth consecutive year in which more than $2 billion was recovered in health care fraud cases. Most of the recovery arose from whistle-blower suits in which company insiders disclosed the wrongdoing.
Car Theft. An amazing look at how car thieves were able to steal a car by intercepting the Key FOB signal at http://newsletter.biggeekdad.com/t/i-l-nthkiz-bhukrhuhd-b. Something to consider on how you are going to keep your car keys in your house.
VA is Hiring! Looking for a new career in the new year? VA is hiring! Learn about VA’s career opportunities at www.va.gov/jobs. Go to USA Jobs website at https://www.usajobs.gov/search?a=VALA if you’re looking for Veterans Benefits Administration opportunities specifically.
Last Imperial Soldier. At https://youtu.be/ZzFxZwt-8zQ is a 32 min video based on a true story. It tells a tale of a WWII Japanese soldier who refuses to surrender even after the war has ended but one day a man approaches him and from that day onward his life changes forever. P.S. This short is a fictionalization of a historical event.
USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62). The owners of the massive merchant vessel that collided with the warship Fitzgerald in 2017, drowning seven sailors, have agreed to pay the U.S. government nearly $27 million as part of a settlement agreement.
Niagara Falls. Many people have visited Niagara Falls and enjoyed the view but when you see Niagara Falls from above https://youtu.be/cfoLYTKObiU you truly realize how spectacular it is.
Corvette Heaven. At https://vimeo.com/55461336 is a short video about a young boy who falls in love with a Corvette and spends the rest of his life pursuing his dream car.
Tiny Apartment. At https://vimeo.com/109832468 check out the 86 sq ft really functional and easy to live in Paris, France apartment. At https://vimeo.com/99643183 is a renovation plan for a similar size room in your home.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Black-Eyed Peas ► Why Southerners Eat Them on New Year’s
It was the winter of 1864 when the devil went down to Georgia. William Tecumseh Sherman issued special field order no. 120 which commanded his soldiers to forage liberally. The 60,000 man army would forcefully live off the people of the South; foragers rode off in all directions looking for loot. According to Sherman’s own estimates, his armies seized over 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules and 13,000 head of cattle, while confiscating 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of livestock fodder.
Unfortunately, there was much more involved than an entire army stealing food from homesteads. A scorched earth policy existed to ensure military, as well as, industrial targets, infrastructure and civilian property were destroyed to disrupt the Confederacy’s economy, transportation networks and ability to wage war. Sherman decided that the time had come to widen the pain with what he called the hard hand of war to include Southern civilians. In the same way he later targeted Indian villages- Southern towns, cities and homesteads were laid waste. The horses, cows, pigs and chickens were stolen while Southerners found their homesteads, barns and fields completely devastated and burned to the ground.
Originally planted for livestock, northerners considered black-eyed peas, often called field or cow peas, as not fit for human consumption. Since the Union Army already stole all the livestock, there was no need to take the time nor trouble to destroy the animal food. As Sherman’s troops stole or laid waste to all other crops, luck had it that complete fields of black-eyed peas were left standing. The little black-eyed pea soon became a crucial staple for Southerners to survive. So this is how the Southern Tradition began. Every New Year’s Eve our people still eat a healthy dose of black-eyed peas for good luck…and to always remember.
[Source: Identity Dixie | Tex Wood | December 31, 2018)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Dishwasher Tips Update 01 ► Non-Dish Uses
It may be called a “dishwasher,” but the handy kitchen appliance can clean a lot more than dishes. Think creatively when you’re on a cleaning spree, and you might be able to combine a number of washing tasks all thanks to that one handy machine. In fact, your dishwasher not only saves you time, but it uses hotter water than your poor dishpan hands can stand. Of course, there are limits to what your dishwasher should handle. Be careful, too, when loading items.
Most dishwashers feature heating elements on the bottom. So, lightweight plastic items could warp or melt if you load them on the bottom level. Small items can often fit in your silverware caddy. A top-rack-only Munchkin dishwasher basket (about $7) is good for anything you fear might jump around inside the machine.
Here are some surprising items you might not have realized you can clean in your dishwasher:
1. Some Instant Pot parts -- The Company states that the following parts are dishwasher-safe: Lid, sealing ring, inner pot, and steaming rack.
2. Oven mitts -- Oven mitts take a beating, with everything from gravy to hot caramel accidentally decorating them with new, unwanted designs. Silicone mitts can go in the dishwasher, while cloth ones can be tossed in your washing machine.
3. Dish scrubbers and sponges -- Don’t forget to clean the items you clean with. Stash sponges on the top rack, while long-handled brushes can go in your utensil holder.
4. Trivets -- Stoneware and earthenware trivets and spoon rests are often top-rack dishwasher safe. But use common sense — as you should for many items in this list. Grandma’s gift with the hand-painted sunflowers is too gorgeous to gamble with.
5. Microwave turntables -- Glass turntables can generally go in the dishwasher. If you’re nervous about it, first check your microwave owner’s manual.
6. Refrigerator shelves and bins -- You may have to run that load by itself, as these items can be bulky.
7. Trash can lids and wastebaskets -- Do you have one of those plastic trash cans with a swinging lid? Swing the lid in the dishwasher. Do you have wastebaskets that are small enough to fit in your dishwasher and are from a dishwasher-safe material like hard plastic? Toss them in, too.
8. Toothbrush and soap holders -- When soap and toothpaste drip and dry on bathroom accessories, they leave an unsightly and sometimes germ-ridden mess. Give them a good shower on the dishwasher’s top shelf.
9. Hairbrushes and hair accessories -- First, strip as much hair from the brush as you can. Then, pop the brush into your silverware holder. Keep ponytail holders, barrettes and similar hair accessories pristine by washing them in the dishwasher, too. Be sure to secure small items so they don’t fall through the shelf.
10. Shower poofs
11. Contact-lens cases and pill boxes.
12. Vent covers -- Cleaning the dust out of all the little nooks and crannies of ceiling and floor air vent covers is time consuming drudgery. To prevent metal covers from rusting, run them through a short dishwasher cycle and promptly dry them by hand.
13. Dustpans, broom heads and vacuum attachments -- Use the top rack and a low-heat cycle if they have rubber rings or other parts inside, or if you’re just unsure.
14. Pet bowls and toys
15. Flower or plant pots -- Run terracotta and hard plastic planters through the dishwasher after brushing off any clumps of dirt that could clog pipes. The super-heated water will help kill any plant diseases that might linger.
16. Hubcaps -- First, gently hose off your hubcaps if they’re especially muddy or grimy. You might also want to pour a cup of white vinegar into your dishwasher’s rinse-aid compartment before you start, and make sure they ride through the dishwasher alone.
17. Golf balls -- Putt them into the utensil holder or a mesh lingerie bag,
[Source: MoneyTalksNews | Gael F. Cooper | January 9, 2019}
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Vet Myths ► Five | Ways The Public Views Vets Isn’t Always Accurate.
Here’s something everyone can agree on: The way the public views veterans isn’t always accurate. Take the assumption that all veterans have served in combat and have post-traumatic stress disorder, for example. Or that people only go into the military because they can’t get into college. Those are just a couple of the “persistent, recycled myths” about veterans that Syracuse University researchers addressed during a session at the Student Veterans of America National Conference 4 JAN, using both federal data and an 8,600-person survey of the military community to debunk some of the most common misconceptions about the nation’s youngest generation of veterans.
On one hand, studies by Gallup, Pew Research and others have shown there is “enormous public support (for the military) but at the same time a tremendous gap in knowledge about who we’re supporting,” said Corri Zoli, director of research at Syracuse’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. “They don’t have a lot of granular detail about who they’re supporting and why.”
Myth 1: Veterans are a small subset of the population.
The number that’s often thrown out is 1 percent, but that applies to active duty troops, researchers said. As of 2017, federal data show veterans make up 8 percent of the U.S. population, with post-9/11 veterans the fastest growing group among them.
Myth 2: Veterans join the military because they could not get into college and are uneducated.
According to federal data collected in the 2017 Current Population Survey, 35 percent of post-9/11 veterans have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 31 percent of all veterans and 32 percent of the general U.S. population. Rosalinda Maury, a researcher with the Syracuse Institute for Veterans and Military Families, said education benefits tend to be a top recruiting incentive, and the military promotes and prepares service members for post-secondary education. Other research has found this to be true as well. A 2017 RAND Corporation study found education to be one of the most commonly cited reasons new recruits gave for joining the military.
Myth 3: The military is a homogeneous population.
“The fact of the matter is the military is the most diverse, ethnically and racially diverse, public institution,” Zoli said. “That’s a fact.” Not everyone is male, white and has the so-called “Ra Ra USA” attitude so often attributed to veterans, she said. While, yes, veterans are predominantly male, and the majority are white, women are the fastest growing group of veterans, Zoli said, and racial minorities make up a higher proportion of the post-9/11 veteran population than older veterans. They also come from a variety of states, family backgrounds and life experiences that add to their diversity.
Myth 4: Veterans have a limited skill set and pursue careers similar to their military specialization.
“There’s this common misconception that what you did in the military is what you’re going to do post military life,” Maury said. “What we found is that the majority actually wanted to pursue something completely different.” In the researchers’ survey of more than 8,500 service members, veterans, reservists and military dependents, 55 percent said they wanted to pursue a different career not related to their MOS. Maury said there was a similar split among entrepreneurs, about half of whom started a business related to their military skills.
Myth 5: Veterans are broken heroes.
This myth has made its way even to college campuses, where veteran advocates like Sarah Skelton, a psychologist at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, are working hard to change the narrative. In an interview following her session at the conference, “Destigmatizing Veterans on Campus,” Skelton said when she first arrived at her university a few years ago, the tab for veterans on the school’s website was essentially just a list of PTSD symptoms. And although well-intentioned, that carried with it a lot of assumptions about student veterans. “One of the things that I educate people on is: We are less likely to see somebody (in counseling) for service-connected disability … than we are for stress related to being a nontraditional student,” she said.
In other words, the normal stressors of being a first-generation college student or balancing a full-time job and family life with school, as many veterans do, can have more of an impact on their education than PTSD, a diagnosis that also has varying degrees of impact, she said. Through staff training, peer-to-peer networks and various other engagements with stakeholders, Skelton said she has worked to reframe the conversation on veterans from a starting point of “They’re broken and disabled” to “This is what they bring to campus.” “They bring the leadership skills that we really want to see for our students,” she said.
In the Syracuse study, researchers found that while more than 3.9 million veterans have a recorded service connected disability that takes a toll on their personal and professional lives, they’re not living as though they’re broken. In spite of these challenges, 88 percent of veterans surveyed said joining the military was a good decision, and 79 percent gave credit to the military for their success. Many are civic-minded, pursuing careers in social work, law enforcement and other fields in which they can continue to serve others. They support existing veteran service organizations and create new ones, including Student Veterans of America, which will celebrate its 11th year later this month. “All across the board you’re seeing it, in all of their decisions,” Zoli said. “This idea that folks want to contribute to public life and are engaged and participating in a public way debunks this idea of the broken hero.”
[Source: MilitaryTimes | Natalie Gross | January 4, 2019 ++]
Monday, January 14, 2019
The Irish Divorce
A man in Ireland calls his son in London the day before Christmas Eve and says, "I hate to ruin your day but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough".
"Dad, what are you talking about?'" the son screams.
"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer", the father says. "We're sick of each other and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Leeds and tell her".
Frantically, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, "Like hell, they're getting divorced", she shouts, "I'll take care of this".
She calls Ireland immediately and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Done! They're coming for Christmas - and they're paying their own way.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
A Japanese couple is arguing about how they will have sex.
Husband: "Sukitaki. Mojitaka!"
The wife replies: "Kowanini! Mowi janakpa!"
The husband says angrily: "Toka a anji rodi roumi yakoo!"
The wife is on her knees, literally begging: "Mimi nakoundinda tinkouji!"
The husband shouts angrily: "Na miaou kina tim kouji!"
I can't believe you just sat there trying to read this!
You don't know Japanese!
You'll read anything as long as it's about sex....
Sometimes I worry about you.
You're in need of serious help!
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Try Being Stupid
This story from an Army vet could well be true: Pocket Tazer Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife. A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:
Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized Tazer.
The effects of the Tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long term adverse effect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety...?? WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs. AWESOME!!! Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.
Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two AAA batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and then thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong? So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and Tazer in another.
The directions said that: A one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; A two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; A three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.
All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference (loaded with two itsy, bitsy AAA batteries); pretty cute really, and thinking to myself, 'no possible way!'
What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best. I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side so as to say, 'Don't do it stupid,' reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny lil ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad.. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and... HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. WHAT THE... !!!
I'm pretty sure Hulk Hogan ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs! The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.
Note: If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a Tazer, one note of caution: There is NO such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor! A three second burst would be considered conservative!
A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh, and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88lbs. I had no control over the drooling. Apparently I had crapped in my shorts, but was too numb to know for sure, and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head, which I believe came from my hair. I'm still looking for my testicles and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!
PS: My wife can't stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift and now regularly threatens me with it! If you think education is difficult, try being stupid!!!!
Monday, January 7, 2019
RAY THOMAS, FLUTIST FOR THE MOODY BLUES FROM 1964-2002 HAS JOINED THAT HEAVENLY BAND.
RAY WAS A FOUNDING MEMBER AND HAD CEASED TOURING IN 2002 DUE TO HEALTH REASONS WHICH HAVE APPARENTLY LED TO HS DEATH.
WHILE HE PROVIDED HIS UNIQUE SOUND IN ALMOST EVERYRTHING THE MOODIES RECORDED, HE IS MOST FAMOUS FOR HIS SOLO ON NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN.
THANKS FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL MUSIC.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Happy New year to everyone. I hope it is as awesome as you desire.
2019 is definitely a year of wonder for me.
January 4 I start a new round of tests with various specialists at the VA. My new Primary Care Physician has me set up with Endocrinology, Heptalogy, and Dermatology in addition to Audiology, Cardiology, and Optometry.
February looks to be almost as busy.
I will try harder to do better this tear. Thanks for putting up with my Vietnam induced problems.