Random stuff…

Geithner has postponed the announcement of the use of appx $350B left of TARP money (link here), so they can concentrate on spending the $850+B of the “new” stimulus (pork) package. Is it just me, or are now looking at OVER $1.4 Trillion dollars going out the door in basically 6 months? And for what, really?

Listening to the news this morning, it appears that John Q. Public is roughly 7:1 against this spending bill; but is anybody listening??? I think not…

On a different note- From a discussion I’ve been in, a different take on the Airbus forced landing in the Hudson. This is STRICTLY a discussion of the airframe, NOT a slam at the pilots or the crew!

Don’t be surprised if the Airbus fly by wire computers didn’t put a perfectly good airplane in the water. In a older generation airplane like the 727 or 737 300/400 the throttles are hooked to the fuel controllers on the engine by a steel throttle cable just like a TBM or a Comanche.

On the Airbus nothing in the cockpit is real. Everything is electronic. The throttles, rudder and brake pedals and the sidestick are hooked to rheostats who talk to a computer who talks to an electric hydraulic servo valve which in turn hopefully moves something.

In a older generation airplane when you hit birds the engines keep screaming or they blow up but they don’t both roll back to idle simultaneously like happened to Flt. 1549. All it would take is for bird guts to plug a pressure sensor or knock the pitot probe off or plug it and the computers would roll the engines back to idle thinking they were over boosting because the computers were getting bad data.

The Airbus is a real pile of crap. I didn’t like flying them. Google Airbus A320 Crash at the Paris Airshow in 1998. Watch the video of an airbus A320 crash into a forest because the computers wouldn’t allow a power increase following a low pass. The computers wouldn’t allow a power increase because they determined that the airspeed was too low for the increase requested so the computers didn’t give them any until it was way too late.

Pushing the throttles forward in a Airbus does nothing more than request a power increase from the computer. If the computer doesn’t like all the airplane and engine parameters you don’t get a power increase. Airbus blamed the dead French crew since they couldn’t defend themselves. A Boeing probably would have still been flying…

On a personal note- I was on an A-320 going into LAX last year in moderate turbulence on final where the auto throttles went to max power at about 10 feet off the deck. The pilot did manage to land that sucker, but talking to him after the flight he told me the airplane tried to wave off, he thought, due to the turbulence and fluctuating airspeed…

AD put up this post a few days ago which prompted me to put these words down on paper (so to speak)…

In the last six months, I have had a friend and two acquaintances die from alcohol and drugs. These were not young kids, these were mature successful adults who had retired and basically decided they had no reason to continue living…

“Ron” was a long time government engineer, divorced, kids grown and gone, who drank himself to death in 60 days. He had NO hobbies, no really close friends, no outside interests- basically his work was his life. When he retired, he basically went home and drank all day every day. Another acquaintance saw him about a week before he was found dead, and said he had put on about 60 lbs, reeked of booze and was staggering around the grocery store at 8am. A week later, they busted down the door to his apartment and he was found dead in a litter of empty fifths of booze…

My friend “John” who lived in Florida, was a bit “different” due to his time in Nam- I think based on what he told me, he had seen and done some things that he never wanted to face. He also was medically retired for many years from the Army and had been treated for years for PTSS. He was one of those folks who didn’t really like people, hated being indoors, and never really held a full time job, but worked 60-70 hours a week.

But he was always ready to help friends with any tasks (and a damn good handyman). Ironically, he was excellent with kids! We finally convinced him to take up golf, and always made sure he was included in our foursomes when we played. He seemed to enjoy it, but I don’t think he had another outlet or hobby.

I’m sure he was taking a variety of drugs, because he would often disappear for days at a time, but he always showed back up if he’d made a commitment to help somebody or we’d told him we were playing golf.

I saw him about a year ago, we talked about golf, work and my kids, whom he remembered when they were little. He seemed tired, and wasn’t taking as good care of himself as he had been. I talked to another friend, who was also concerned; but told me “John” was just giving up on life, and openly doing drugs and booze in combination. He just didn’t care. Two weeks ago I got the call that “John” had been found dead in his apartment.

Last was “Billy” a retired 30 year CWO4 from the Navy. “Billy” was a maintenance wizard, the original go to guy when weird problems cropped up. He was known for working 16-18 hours a day, was almost always in on weekends, and had to be forced to take leave. When “Billy” retired, he was fine for a couple of months, but then we started seeing him at the golf course at lunch, except his lunch was 12 oz at a time, and many of them. It wasn’t long before he was passing out at the bar, and the cops were called a couple of times. When they tried to get him into treatment, he refused and basically told the Docs, “I’m done, nobody wants me and I have no where to go.”

Again, no hobbies, no friends outside work, no social life after his wife died about 5 years ago. A month ago he was found dead, in his car in the golf course parking lot with two fifths…

The moral of this- Work is NOT a substitute for a life! Now some will say I’m the pot calling the kettle black; but please people, find SOMETHING outside work to put your energy into- Travel, golf, shooting, petite point, whatever… But don’t let everything revolve around work to the exclusion of everything else. Stop and smell the roses, or the gunpowder, your choice…

That is all.


Random stuff… — 15 Comments

  1. I’ll find out sometime in the next month whether I’ll be forcibly retired. I’ve been scaling back the last year working exclusively at home, but I still do a couple of extra hours through the week and on the weekend.

    I’m not looking forward to it. I have several hobbies but truthfully I’m tired of them. I am having fun with my blog. We’ll see how that works out.

  2. My mind is mush, and learning something new, perfecting something long ignored and just laughing over coffee and watching the beauty walk by seems to keep me waiting for tomorrow while enjoying today.

  3. We are so often defined by our parents, kids, spouses or careers…Bill’s daughter, Fred’s dad, Mary’s husband, DR. Smith…

    I guess it’s really hard to find the “me” left when all of those things are taken away.

    I sincerely hope when the kids are grown and I’m ready to retire, I can find the Snigs in me again.

  4. Crucis- Yep, we are getting to that age. Find a new hobby too 🙂

    Earl- Watching beauty walk by is a hobby in itself 🙂

    Snigs- too true- But you DO shoot 🙂

  5. I’ve pointed out the same thing before about Airbus and Boeing. Airbus’s engineering attitude is the pilots are idiots and they don’t know what they’re doing. Boeing’s engineering has the attitude that if the pilots ask for 105% power, we’re going to damn well give it to him, now if not sooner, under water, on the moon, give it to him. When you’re sitting in the cockpit which engineering philosophy works for you? I know what my choice is.

  6. NFO- On the Veitnam Vet that had issues with adults but was great with kids… when I was growing up, we knew a guy like that. He had a real problem with flash backs, like, the cops would have to go get him and nobody wanted to go inside.

    Strangely enough, if he started getting a little “weird”, if they could get him to our house, he’d snap out of it when he saw us kids. We never really knew why he’d get that look on his face and all the adults would get nervous… but I think the fact that we never did was what helped him most. We never acted like he was dangerous when he “came back” so to speak, so he didn’t feel ashamed.

    Kids accept people as they are in the moment, which seems to me to be a very valuable thing for those folks who wonder sometimes if they’re monsters because of their past.

  7. Amen, brother.

    I did a study once on retirement and how long people lived. I used a retiree group from a major telecommunications industry. What did I find?

    If a guy or gal had a hobby when they retired, you couldn’t predict when they’d kick off.

    If they retired and went home and sat on the couch, they’d barely last two years.

  8. Ill comment on the Vet first since i was the ” go to ” cop for the fella that fg mentioned and in instead of another 72 hr hold and treat many times i would make a judgment call and just bring him home with me ( or drop him there with the wife and family as need be ) . Was he a ” dangerous man ” HELL YES he was , he was a snake eater with ptsd . Was he dangerous to me … sometimes , to my family NEVER . My family was a calming influence on one of the kindest and most honorable men it has been my privilege to know . If i could i would stay with him thro some of the rough times , if not i honestly feel my family was likely safer with him there than myself.
    I had occasion to get more than a ” peek ” at his file at the VA hospital and i understand why he had issues , and folks if he wanted to create mayhem he did not need a gun, he would have any ones in half a heartbeat . One of the few men i have met that i will say without reservation could best me when i was on my top game and he was having a bad day . Great with the kids tho , and they loved him back . He spent a bit of time as somewhat a steady guest at my house , and to my discredit the kids never got to see him a lot when he was not ” sick ” .

    On the tarp crap , just wait it will get worse . A lot of the funds IMHO will not go out before late 2010 or 2011. Its less a bail out than a vote purchase scheme , the economy does not need bailed out but if Acorn and some other suspect folk can be funded prior to the next election , well look for another ” stimulus” package shortly after the next election lol .

  9. BTW at aprox 1055 the big brown truck of happiness drop shipped one box addressed to you here at casa redneck . Just info i thought you should have .

  10. Pawpaw- Yep, it IS a proven fact, but so many don’t get it.

    Farm Dad- Yep, same with my friend. Thanks for the update on the box.

  11. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  12. Selina, that’s all that is needed. Blog writers want feedback pro and con. If something invites you to visit again, say so. If something in a blog intrigues you, say so.

    Blogs are a means of self-expression for the blog writer. Blogs also are meant to incite thoughts in readers. Blogs are invitations for discussion (mostly in the comments section) between readers and to the writer. Comments are the freest expression of journalism. An editorial by the writer and immediate feedback from the readers.

    Welcome to the world of blogging.

  13. I noticed in my comment earlier in this section were about the possibility of being forcibly retired. I’m happy to report that I’ve dodged that bullet for the time being and will remain fully employed. The downside is that I’ll now have to pick up the work of two other folks who weren’t so fortunate.