Search
101Squadron.com
The Web
Archives
Post Categories
Buy my book!
Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Archive for March 2012

Dogs and the family

We never knew this story until Tuesday, when we cracked open a scrapbook that once belonged to my grandfather’s brother, Max.

When Jacques (my grandfather, although he went by “Jack”) was a kid in the Netherlands, he owned a small dog. His father, Bernard, thought that a big photo of their boys and the dog to hang on the wall would make a great present for his wife, Josina.

The photograph was taken, blown up, framed, and presented to Josina. She took one look at it and exclaimed that there was no way she could hang that in her house. She pointed out the dog, which had an erection that the males had somehow overlooked.

That’s one well-endowed terrier. Jack is on the left, Max on the right.

The gift was modified by the 1920s’ version of Photoshop – that is, an artist – and the final product, um, hung in their home for 50 years. I don’t know what happened to that, but thank goodness we have a print of the original. Jack was born in 1914, so I estimate that the photo was taken around 1925.

The dog’s name, even before this photograph, was Dickey.

But 1925 wasn’t Max’s last appearance in a photo with a strange dog.

That’s a trained dog, allegedly, but the look on its face says, “If you take my picture, I’m going to kill somebody.” This has meme potential.

Bonus schadenfreude:

That’s a lot of caulk

In a previous blog, we established that my dad hoarded junk. He also hoarded useful items. Elvi was working on the garage, and she came across my dad’s caulk.

She couldn’t believe how big my dad’s caulk collection was. It was massive: enough caulk for three houses.

Here’s a pic of her and my dad’s caulk:

Elvi needs more than two hands to handle my dad's caulk.

I swear this post was her idea.

Fashion and faux pas

Much of Sunday was spent going through Dad’s clothes with Brother Two. Brother One (both are younger than me, by the way) wasn’t yet in Freeport and the clothes wouldn’t fit him regardless.

We found a lot of clothes… – from the ’70s, let’s say to be charitable. And what better way to celebrate the ’70s than with a slide show!

You may have noticed that I put a modern twist on the jeans. I think my favourite bit of these photos is my brother’s hands clasped with glee in the first picture.

That wasn’t all the clothing-related hilarity. After some delicious snapper and cracked conch (best I ever ate) at Billy Joe’s on the beach, Elvi bent over to wash her hands in the ocean. Two ladies and a man walking by in the right place at the wrong time got an eyeful of her underwear as her shorts ripped from stem to stern. The man cracked up – you can’t blame him – but the helpful ladies gave us a towel to keep.

I used the towel to highlight the damage.

Elvi, learning from my father’s poor example, did not keep the shorts.

Bonus observation:

If you think I’m fat, check out this curly-tail lizard.

At least I signed up for flag football this spring and summer.

Dealing with the hoard

Elvi and I landed in the Bahamas yesterday afternoon and immediately started helping my sister, Brother Two, and Marion (the widow Nyveen) to clean up my dad’s house.

While my dad never hoarded enough to make reality TV, he rarely threw anything out. That’s now our job. For example, there are four fax machines, three printers, and an eight-track player (see pic) occupying shelves.

I spent most of Friday emptying the attic while my brother piled the stuff on the patio. A lot of it was Quorum products (a multi-level marketing scheme) left over from the early 1990s. You never know when old electronics will come back into fashion.

We’re throwing them out. The old phones, too (see other pic)- although I wold have kept a rotary-dial phone had there been any. All we found was a dial.

The photo below shows about three quarters of the attic contents on the patio. Unfortnately, you can only barely make out the five different briefcases we found. They are at the back of the pile.

For the first time ever, we have left the children under their own supervision. The girls have checked in.

Child Two:

Everything’s fine. No problems yet.

Child One:

Nothing much has changed since this morning. I made lunches, we all went to school. Child Two is over at a friend’s for some amount of time, so I’m having a drunken orgy. Other than that, all clear.

Awesome.

Tomorrow, I’ll have pics of Brother Two and I getting jiggy with Dad’s wardrobe. Even more awesome.

My Groupon addiction (and a poll)

I love shopping, and I love shopping for bargains even more. Back in California once, my college friend Alex commented on how nice my suit looked. I told him I found it for only $200. Elvi reproached me about talking cost rather than gracefully accepting the compliment. Had I learned my lesson, I wouldn’t have written that just now.

Groupon has found itself in the news over the past year, mostly due to its failures. I still don’t think it has much of a business model, but great googly moogly, the deals are fantastic.

I was initially lured in by the offer of four 60-minute massages at a reputable spa for a mere $100. Talk about happy endings! After that, I couldn’t turn down a comprehensive auto-detailing package for $85. Nothing polishes off winter like detailing.

I realized I had a problem when I found myself considering a diode-laser hair remover for $200. That’s 80% off retail. No, I let that deal pass.

What I didn’t let pass, at one-tenth the cost ($19 after delivery – there I go again) and 1,000 times the fun of laser hair removal was a VooMote One. Former FCC chairman Michael Powell once called the TiVo “God’s machine“. The VooMote is God’s remote control.

The VooMote One is an infrared device that when couple with an iPhone or iPod Touch turns the latter into a universal remote. It is amazing.

Granted, I could have bought a universal remote but that doesn’t solve my problem, which is that the everyone in my house loses or breaks remotes. This way, I have my VooMote at my desk and I can slip it on when needed.

You can program the VooMote by brand of equipment and a quick test sequence or by teaching it with your remote. It works as advertised, and have I said it is amazing yet?

Not all is perfect, however. I have three issues. Firstly, the app had to attempt the VooMote firmware upgrade three times before it was successful. That happens occasionally, and the company advises you to stop the process and try again if it happens – although the app itself tells you you can ruin the equipment if you do that. Mine is fine.

Secondly, the matte-black plastic case holds onto fingerprints. Mine already looks grubby. It’s not a deal-breaker for me.

The final problem is not the fault of the VooMote. We have an old Sanyo CRT television that the VooMote does not recognize – and I can’t teach the VooMote from the TV remote since the kids have lost it.

Bonus poll:

Buoyed by the success of Nibbler’s teeth, I am considering further customization. I’m thinking of ordering magnetic vinyl decals for the front fenders. On one side would be Nibbler and on the other would be a 101 Squadron badge. Here are the images and a mock-up of what each side would look like. Ignore the positions of the decals for now. We can discuss that later. (I had no side photos with the teeth installed.)

Which, if any, badges should decorate the Mazda?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

I nearly killed myself

Late last night, after everyone else was asleep, I was leaning back in my chair when I heard a resounding crack and all the lights went out. More worrisome, I smelled smoke.

My biggest fear was that the iPhone had blown up due to a power surge, but I had not connected it to its USB cable. It was working fine. Using the trusty Flashlight app on my iPhone, I investigated all major electronics and outlets in the vicinity: iMac, router, modem, external hard disk, printer, throttle, joystick, and rudder pedals. I found nothing wrong or warm.

I went downstairs and discovered that the downstairs was not affected. Only one circuit breaker had tripped. I flipped it on and went back upstairs. There, I noticed a grey patch on the white extension cord that leads to the printer. The cord was sliced down to the copper wire inside.

I examined my $16 folding Home Depot chair. The plastic foot is missing from one of the legs. (I should explain that I hate chairs on wheels. They distract me and are no good for flight simming.)

I conclude that the leg of the chair was on the extension cord and when I leaned back, it cut into the insulation and shorted out the circuit. The insulation melted or burned a bit, but the voltage passed harmlessly through the chair’s metal leg.

I suppose I was in no real danger, but would have read this lame excuse of a blog post if I hadn’t sensationalized the title? Are you even reading it now?

A mystery

What do you get when you take this…

…then add some sheet metal and paint it with this?

If you know me well, this answer is not much of a mystery. It’s happening, slowly, in Arizona.

The big mystery is why anyone would dare to take it for a spin.

Every click…
...contributes to world domination.