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Comment Re:has it really been nearly thirty years? (Score 1) 42

We were off the coast of Jacksonville, FL doing engineering drills on the USS Koelsch (FF-1043) when the disaster happened. I remember watching a snowy picture of the launch on the mess decks.. Soon after we were "vectored" to the area off the coast of Canaveral and by using Helo's and smoke floats, we proceeded to collect the floating debris using our Captain's Gig and Whaleboat. I remember when that piece (the one on display) was brought on board. In total, we collected nearly 2500 LBS of debris from the disaster, and in the dark of night, pulled into Canaveral and unloaded our cargo. Very sad day.

Comment Re:Original iPads Work Well ... (Score 1) 386

So why would I want to use a new one yet? Apple has set a new standard in lifespan & reliability.

I have a 1st Gen Ipad which has been essentially bricked by Apple's IOS updates. So while it still works fine, I am stuck with a 700.00 64GB digital storage locker for music and photos. I cannot use any new productivity applications (e.g. Google drive) because it is only supported on the newer IOS version which will not install on my old Ipad. For this reason, I am DONE with apple products. Had they continued to support my version, I might feel differently, but this "Microsoft like" tactic of intentionally obsoleting hardware with software will not work with me. My Galaxy tab is more than adequate to do what I need when I am on the go.. and it has an SD slot for expansion.

Comment AMS (smh) (Score 1) 227

As a Former Fed and current contractor, AMS' problems ran so deep, that the only way to resolve the bad name was to change it! While many of their failed efforts were very public, for those of us on the front lines in Govt, their issues ran the gamut from time sheet fraud, contractors in labor categories they were not qualified to fill and kickbacks, much of which was too embarrassing for the Fed to publicize. In most cases, they got a cure notice and/or a slap on the wrist. Towards the "end", the corruption went high up through the ranks and as such they had no choice but to bail...

Comment Re:What is boils down to: (Score 1) 131

I believe this has as much to do with your geographic location as anything.. I used to be Cingular until they were bought out by ATT.. when they reprovisioned their towers to ATT (away from cingular) and left us in the cold I switched to verizon.. everything was great until 4g. I work in DC and I cannot even get web pages to load under verizon 4G.. it has beome a joke to think that with all that "bandwidth" I cannot watch more than 5 seconds of a streaming video until it pauses for 15-30 seconds to buffer.. that is defnintely not 4g speeds. Conversely, my ATT mifi screams in DC. Now text messages are falling into the abyss (nothing like getting yelled at by the wife for not responding when you didn't get it).. Anymore, even FB gives me a "network error" occured numerous times EVERY DAY. So as for verizon being "reliable", NOT IN DC.

Comment Re:Been there before (Score 1) 95

I work for a rather large agency... our initial numbers are coming back at 3X the cost to "consolidate".. So any savings for power, space, etc are trumped by those "for-profit" contractors running the data centers. At this point it almost looks like it was a plan to put money in someone's pocket, not save anything since the "big-boys" are getting all of the work.

Comment Re:will machines be more common? (Score 1) 107

There is a new company trying to break into the market (cannot seem to find their site at the moment due to mother firewall)... I have an Indiana Jones (2006) (12k new, 6k restored) and a Dr Who (1994) in *my* basement. USED pinballs (Adams Family, Lord of the Rings, etc.) can cost upwards of 6k. If you are fortunate enough to live in the Baltimore / DC area, Baltimore has the National Pinball Museum ( They have converted their machines to card readers (think Dave & Busters) and you can buy a card for around 12.00 for unlimited play for 2hrs (or longer on special occassions). They have pins from 50s and up, all playable and keep them all in impeccable condition. My local guy, (Purcellville Pinball and Slots) buys used machines and rehabs them for sale (including the LED light upgrades, protectors, etc), as well as access to parts (some of which are hard to come by). There are active tournaments here in the DC Metro area every few weeks.. so in some places, it is still alive and well!!

Comment Re:I'm a fat bastard.. (Score 1) 388

Yeah, me too.. The wifey and I are going on a 50th Birthday Celebration Cruise (my 50th not hers), and of course we need to "look good". A recent visit from a mid-western (Ohio) friend and his wife who has lost 300lbs using Advocare... Of course the wifey says, IT WORKS! So we dive in... Now, I am not here to extol the virtues of "Programs" as it is an MLM with very little upside and a TON of proprietary (and expensive) supplements that "have not been evaluated by the FDA".. Being the supportive husband, I have embarked on the "Lifestyle Change" with her. I have lost 8lbs in 9 days, she has lost 4... Being a lowcarber for the last 10 years (lost 85lbs), that has ALWAYS worked for me and my doctor approved it... (and from reading some of the comments), I am carb sensitive.. A thorough evaluation of this program has yielded a couple of interesting facts.. 1. Food intake is strictly regulated - meaning PORTION CONTROL. 1/2 cup of this, etc... 2. The program removes all intake of white sugar, white flour, soda, coffee) - effectively low carb or at least low glycemic.. 3. No liquids other than water or their "spark drink"....(the sugar free spark drink is essentially a derivative of any energy drink with a whopping 120mgs of caffeine), While the supplements and drinks are pure sales and marketing, the one realization is this.. while we have been low carbing, we weren't loosing weight (although we weren't gaining either).. however, when you actually see 4oz of meat on a plate with 1/2c of veggies, it is minuscule in comparison to what we WERE eating.. So we are back to: intake vs usage... A hard pill to swallow, but in reality, we just eat TOO MUCH. Period. And I am sure many of us would raise the roof in a restaurant if we were served accurate portion sizes based upon our body size. SO that leaves us with one obvious choice - Paleo - the all natural, fresh food, clean eating, low carb approach to eating.. Of course, who knows what ailment we will end up with next considering all of the chemicals used to GROW food..

Comment Doing my duty (Score 4, Interesting) 236

I was a 24yr old sailor on the USS Koelsch (FF1043).. I happened to see the lauch on the mess decks TV (we were off the coast of Jacksonville doing remedial engineering ops since we failed our last OPPE). It was a snowy picture, since it was antenna reception from off the coast, but I remember seeing it happen. Six hours later we were enroute to Cape Canaveral. The SAR Helos were flying the area and dropping smoke floats into the sea where they identified floating debris. We launched our small boats (Captain's Gig and whaleboat) to recover the flotsam. Over a period of 18 hours, we collected 2500lbs of the wreckage. The entire skin of the shuttle was honeycomb aluminum and floated, as did the cermaic tiles. Some of the pieces we recovered were larger than 4 X 8 sheets of plywood. We stored it all in our hanger bay. Quite a collection of stuff. And yes, we DID take a ceramic tile and test it out with an acetylene torch. Problem was, no one would touch it while it was glowing, but it WAS touchable, we ultimately found out. Then, under cover of darkness at 3am, we moored at Cape Canaveral and silently unloaded everything under the watchful eye of guys in white labcoats and blue hardhats. Fast forward to 2001. I was an invited guest of NASA for STS 103 when my software (Emergency De-Orbit Program) was making its maiden flight into space. Peace be with them all.

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."

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