April 11, 2013

I Tire of Typing the Word "Ouch"

Well, regards the recent operation...there were, in fact complications.

infection has set it. Not life threatening or anything just a very annoying and painful UT infection. Also the left kidney, which was blocked, (possibly for months) and had become inflated and weird has started working again, but is rather painful at the moment. Finally, there is one final fragment of the stone that caused all this woe working its way down and cutting as it goes.


Anyhoo I should be 100% in a couple of days though I'm really miserable now.

Enough of my whining.

I'm told that the last refuge of the pain addled blogger is cheesecake...so here.

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April 09, 2013

So Would This be a BBG?

Huntington Ingalls is offering a development of their  San Antonio Class LPD this time for Ballistic Missile Defense.

The LPD (Landing Platform Dock) 17 class are very large and complex ships. Early units were plagued by troubles, however, most of those revolved around the complex mechanisms associated with its flood-able drydock. There were other issues too but most of the rest were due to either workmanship issues (Post Katrina) or larger problems with Navy oversight.

However, the hull itself is built to full military specifications and, after over a decade of tweaking has had all the bugs worked out.

So: there is this large, perfectly serviceable, already designed hull with VAST amounts of volume available (if one removes the well dock, marines and tanks) and it is designed for survivability.

We need ships to replace the Ticonderoga class cruisers which are at the end of their lives. Any such replacement is going to need a much bigger radar system than the Aegis to retain full Anti Ballistic Missile capability into the future.

Ingalls has responded by taking the off the shelf LPD-17 hull and removing the extensive cargo and troop handling facilities as well as the damage control nightmare that is the drydock. Thus the ship is made structurally simpler and probably much tougher.  They then slapped a big AMDR radar, 288 mk 57missile tubes, a hangar and flight deck for V-22s some 57mm cannons and a notational railgun mount.

I'd think moving the hangar spaces above deck  athwart the funnels would be better than to rely on a single elevator. But I'm paranoid that way.

The railgun mount is interesting. It doesn't look like a railgun and the gunhouse looks rather bigger than the 8" MK 71 or the 155mm AGS.  In other words they have kept some interesting artillery options open to them.

The navy seems unimpressed:

The Navy, however, has started focusing on developing ships that could carry out multiple missions rather than singular mission vessels, a notion it promotes with the Littoral Combat Ships, which are designed to carry swappable missions packages for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures.

"We have to get away from building single missions ships,” Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, the commander of Naval Surface Forces and Pacific Fleet, told an audience at SNA.

This criticism seems blinkered. And not just in it's use of the term LCS as something other than a punch line or an epithet.

The hangar, the 57s  and the big arse gun show this to be a multipurpose vessel. Railguns and helicopters do not contribute to BDM. Additionally, the large "empty" space amidships that in LPD 17 is used for vehicle ramps would seem to lend itself to something of the sort of C-4I facilities that the Navy only has on  the two remaining (quite elderly) command ships. This last is entirely speculative, but some sort of expanded flagship facilities are sorely needed in the USN. (**but see update)

The big question mark is speed. No speed is given for the above ship though most other offerings in the family move at 20-24 kts.  The USN considers about 30 to be frontline*. Note that speed/power curves go up fast around 24 knots. While it's possible that enough power can be crammed in to boost the ship 6 to 8 knots, it seems unlikely without regiggering the hull. 

Nevertheless, even assuming a speed around 23kts, a large vessel optimized for extended economical cruising is just what is needed for ABM patrols. The fact that this vessel can do other missions, is perfectly capable of keeping up with the Amphibious ships, is off the shelf, steel hulled and relatively roomy would seem to be a very very useful bit of kit that could be obtained for minimal risk and expense compared to it's capability.

*The Brits determined during WW2 that a sustained speed of 23 knts was the minimum adequate for escorting fast carriers, but that was before nuclear carriers and in any event the USN generally requires 28-30 kts for front line vessels to keep up with the CBGs.

It seems that they have a flagship version already designed to replace the Blue Ridge class along with several other auxiliaries. . This doesn't mean that extra C&C space is unwelcome of course.

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April 08, 2013

Well. THAT was Unpleasant.

As mentioned in this post, I was supposed to get the stint removed today.  I'd been unable to get hold of anyone over the weekend and I was a bit concerned because the written instructions almost sounded like this was a "do it yourself" operation....that somehow that string was there for ME to pull. And that's just c..c...CRAZY.

Well I finally got hold of a nurse and they informed me that my suspicion was correct. I was to pull the stint out myself.

This confirmation let me with emotions that are difficult to express adequately. Fortunately this young lady is helpfully summing them up with great eloquence.

Now I had the option of going to the emergency room or having it done at my appointment for tomorrow, but leaving the device in too long would be risking even further complications and this probably falls under the "optional/unnecessary" heading as far as my insurance goes.

I did not intend to get billed extra for being a wuss so.... I pulled...and pulled....and....ouched and well....pulled some more and...
(no really It's kinda graphic)

...and that is how I spent the evening.

I'm still bleeding a bit, but the stint came out in one piece. A few minutes after I removed the entirely too lengthy apparatus I got a call from the actual surgeon and he discussed the procedure with me and explained under what conditions I should immediately report to the emergency room. He gave my info to a nearby hospital just in case. As midnight approaches none of those conditions have yet been met so barring any infection or other complications I should be alright. I've got his pager# if there is any major problem this evening. I've only taken the Percoset once today (an hour before De-stintification) and the resulting  pain is great enough that I'll likely need one around Midnight to sleep. However, that should be just about it for the Percoset. Therefore,  I should be able to return to work Wednesday or Thursday ( one cant't drive on Percoset).

It looks like I'm out of the woods for now.

Thanks to everyone who sent their kind wishes. It meant a lot.

Nearly went to the hospital last night due to bleeding and pain, but the former tapered off this morning. I haven't taken a Percoset in about 9 hours so I'm going to grit my teeth and drive to school and dig myself out of the hole I'm in. I'm looking to return to work tomorrow night.

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The Iron Lady 1925-2013

Margret Thatcher has passed.

She was born the daughter of a grocer and lived her childhood in a modest apartment over his store. In a nation defined by class, she rose from this to become the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 20th century and the only woman to hold that office ever.

She had the moral courage to face down Argintina when that nation seized the Falkland Islands in 1982. She did this over the opposition of many of her advisers who thought the task hopeless or not worth the effort. That last bit sums up what the west faced in the late '70s and early 80s, a sense of utter hopelessness and helplessness. Thatcher fought back against that tenaciously. She helped pull not just her nation but a good chunk of the west out of that  destructive malaise.

With Pope John Paul and Ronald Regan, she was one of the three western leaders absolutely instrumental in helping to win the Cold War without the apocalyptic hellfire we all dreaded.

Economically, her time in office offered her nation a respite from the slide into perdition it was on. On her watch the UK surpassed France in economic activity and has maintained that lead since.  Perhaps even more importantly, she was able to articulate the wisdom of her views on these policies most eloquently.

Thatcher was an advocate for the Common Market, but she developed a deep skepticism of the EU and particularly the Euro. This view was not shared by many in her cabinet and was widely mocked, but events of the last few years seem to have proved her to be frighteningly prescient.

Thank you Lady Thatcher. The world is better for your having lived in it.


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April 07, 2013

Asking the Important Questions

I did not realize they were so resilient.

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It Occurs to Me

...that despite the otherwise satisfying ending of the show, we never did get an explanation for this.

So perhaps that is the hook for any Girls und Panzer sequel, the dark truths behind Miho's plushy cabinet.

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April 06, 2013

I'll Just Leave These Here


All by Yajirushi.

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April 05, 2013

Nothing is EVER Simple (UPDATED)

Well, today I went to get my stones removed. It did not go well.
Below the fold is a rather graphic description of my day.

I suggest you read Gone to Amerikay instead.


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April 04, 2013

Remember Kids. Saftey is Important!

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A Car that Runs off Aluminum

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes ponders the science behind this story over at Phys-Ord.

It seems that an Israeli company called Phenergy has developed a metal/oxygen battery that runs off water.

Sort of...

Actually the aluminum is the anode, the air is the cathode and water acts as the electrolyte needed for the reaction to work. These batteries have huge energy density but the life of the plates is measured in a few thousand miles (about one thousand currently with water fill-ups every 200 miles in the prototype). 

Additionally, Phenergy seems to have licked a CO2 issue that was plaguing this type of battery.

In this scheme the aluminum is an energy carrier for whatever power plant making the plates so it's no different from any other battery in that regard. OTOH this looks to be VASTLY cleaner than most batteries.

This seems to be a big improvement in range and convenience  over normal electric cars. The fact that changing the plates in the battery is going to need to happen about as often as changing ones oil might seem to be a deal breaker except that aluminum is cheap and recyclable and if the plate costs can be kept down it might be doable. ( In this sense the system is a BIG improvement on previous metal/air batteries that used zinc. ) It might well be something a motorist can do themselves if so inclined.

There are a lot of questions here, but this may well have potential. Of course its affordability and practicality depend on how cheaply the aluminum can be recycled and how easily the plates can be replaced. Therefore, a whole  lot depends on how cheap the grid power is.

In any event, it's interesting....

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April 03, 2013

I honestly didn't see this one coming.

Georgia and Tennessee are going to war. Specifficahlleyh they ah havin' a bawdah dispute.


The only solution is to ressurect the state of Nickajack as a buffer.

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Pixy Win

And now, another moment of meta.

Mee.nu seems to support animated .PNGs.
I'm not sure how much I'll use this. i can't make them, few browsers support them and they tend to be hideously large.

However if you have Firefox or another compatible browser you can look below the fold and perhaps be offended.


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There. That helps.

I don't know enough to be sure, but I suspect that concealed withing the overall excellence of Girls und Panzer there might have been just a tiny smidgen of political commentary regards the efficacy of Japanese public works boondoggles.

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Scot Lowther has compiled several videos of professional, credentialed people screwing up their 'splodies.

"Oh God YES! The power lines too!"

( We...don't know her. )

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