Saturday, July 20, 2019


The family is gathering today, here at PawPaw's house.  Miss Reba, the matriarch of Belle's clan is celebrating her 98th birthday.  Family and friends from all over the state will assemble in the shop to celebrate.

This is one of the reasons we built this venue.  It's a place to gather and celebrate, and we can accommodate plenty of guests.

As soon as I finish coffee, I'll go out to the shop and make final preparations.   Move the lawnmower out, do a final sweep, and ice down the beverages.  We're expencting 30-40 people today, and it's going to be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What Is a Ton?

Not the unit of weight, but the measurement of BTU energy?  We have been talking a lot about air conditioning in the heat of the summer, and I (just this week), added another AC unit to the shop.

But, the conversation wove around to the unit of measurement that measures the cooling capacity of an air conditioning unit, and why do they call it a tom?  Just a little research and we find that it's an archaic term that is based on the amount of energy needed to melt a ton of ice.
A ton is the cooling capacity of an air conditioning system. One ton is equal to the amount of heat required (288,000 Btu) to melt one ton of ice in a 24-hour period. A one-ton air conditioner is rated at 12,000 Btu per hour (288,000/24). A two-ton unit would be rated at 24,000 Btu per hour. Typical residential central heating systems provide up to 5-tons of cooling. Commercial systems can range anywhere from small, three-ton rooftop units, to 1,500-ton chiller systems. Why a ton of ice? The term is leftover from the days before mechanical cooling when ice was an essential part of refrigeration.
So, if a ton is equal to 12,000 BTU/hr, then I have 4.5 tons of cooling hanging in the wall of my shop. (Three 18K units) 

So, now I know what a ton of AC capacity is:  Basically, 12,000 BTU.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Barry is over, which is a good thing.  Now, the aftermath.  There is not a lot of clean-up because as tropical storms go, Barry was a wuss.  He did drop a lot of rain, and we'll have to deal with that for several days as everything dries out.  With temps in the 90s and humidity in the 90s, Louisiana will be a sauna for the next several days.  T here is a lot of water on the ground that needs to evaporate.

Flooding will continue for several days.  As the water that hit the ground during the storm finds its water-course, the streams ad bayous will fill up and backwater will become an issue.  All that water has to go somewhere.

We're planning a party for Belle's mother this weekend.  We're celebrating her 98th birthday.  There is a certain amount of prep work to be done to get ready for the festivities, and I have a crew coming in this morning to help with the installation of another air conditioner to help make the shop more comfortable on a hot summer afternoon.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

John Chapman, USAF

John Chapman was a US Air Force combat controller.  These guys work closely with units on the ground to help deliver assets to the battle. (That's a gross over-simplification).

Early in the Afghan unpleasantness, Chapman was assigned to the theater, and was present at the battle for Takur Ghar, and was involved in an action in which he was killed, and for which he first received the Air Force Cross, and was ultimately up-graded to the Medal o Honor.

What is amazing, other than the valor and intrepidity of Sergeant Chapman was that the entire engagement was caught on film.

Trigger warning.  This is combat footage where men fight and die.

Amazingly, there was another Medal awarded for this action.  Navy Chief Britt Shabinski was also awarded the Medal for this action.

I am in awe of men like this.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Tropical Storm Humor

We're still in the midst of this thing, but if Louisiana knows how to do anything, it is how to weather a storm.  This slow-moving disaster ain't over by a long shot, the center of circulation is somewhere south of me as I type this, but it seems that we may have dodged a bullet.  So ar, it's not nearly as bad as was predicted.

Still, the weather is crappy, and many of us are indoors, having a Saturday afternoon drink which leads me to this weather graphic.

I'm sure the blood alcohol levels are elevated everywhere.

Here's another good one that came out a couple of days ago in the run-up to this train wreck.

They say we're going to get the worst of it tonight.  We'll see.

Decision Making in Uncertainty

That verdamnt storm, Barry, is still wobbling in the Gulf.  We're starting to see squalls in central Louisiaa, but the wind is moderate.  The weather-weenies admit that they're still trying to nail it down, and it's like trying to nail jello.  The current track seems to put it right on top of us, and I'm going to continue to watch, as long as the power company lets me do so.  I'm not expecting a problem, but it would be follish to totally discount the probability that we won't have challenges.  This is a big-frikiing storm, and the entire state of Louisiana will be affected, from the coast, eventually to the Arkansas border.

In other news, second grandson Quinton has his very first drill today wit the Louisiana National Guard.  He doesn't have a vehicle yet, so PawPaw dropped him off at Beauregard this morning in time to make 0645 formation.  The young private is making his very first drill in a tropical storm.  I hope that this is simply an event, and not an ominous omen concerning his military career.

The Louisiana Guard pays tuition at state universities, making it a very attractive option for young people who want to go to college.  He plans to graduate from high school in December, then attend basic training in January, thence to tech school in the spring.  His chosen field is MOS 91F, Small Arms Repairman.

Belle got a little teary-eyed this morning.  Her grandkids are growing up.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Roberts Strikes Again

I've said for years that Chief Justice John Roberts is no conservative.  He's a swing-vote, and sometimes he allies with conservatives, except when it really matters.  It seems that recently, he gave President Trump another solid screwing over a question on the census.
Progressive left interest groups sued the administration and for some inexplicable reason, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the nutters. Do you ever wonder if "certain people" have some dirt on Roberts? He sure delivers for the left on really important issues. I digress. 
No, I don't believe anyone has dirt of Roberts.  He gave us Obama-care not once, but twice.  Under his leadership, he gave us gay marriage.  Not that I care, from a libertarian standpoint, and I know that he dissented, but it happened under his watch.  The man is a liberal, plain and simple.  I do believe that he took the job under false pretenses.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  If I ever have the opportunity, I will spit on his shoes.


The big news this morning is Tropical Storm Barry.  Louisiana is firmly in the bullseye, and we are sure we are going to be affected, but we're not sure just exactly how it is going to play out. 

Is it going to go more east, or more west?  Generally, if you are on the west side of the storm, you're in better shape than if you're on the east side of the storm.  It's a matter of degree, but sometimes those degrees matter. 

We'll be okay, here in central Louisiana.  Yeah some tress will blow over, and some folks my lose shingles, and there will be some property damage, but that's part of the joy of living here.  Other folks have to worry about other natural disasters, we worry about hurricanes.

It's going to be okay, just a huge pain the butt.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Potential Tropical Cyclone 2

This thing still hasn't formed up, but the National Weather Service is warning that we might well have a bona fide storm on out hands by Saturday.

Oh, joy!  This is just what I need.   The church had a rodeo planned for Friday night, but that's been cancelled.  The normal Thursday night events have been cancelled as well.  I have a club shoot Saturday morning.  It's just practice, and I haven't cancelled it yet.

It's probably too far along to hope that this thing just goes away, but we can still hope that the weather folks are over-estimating the effect of this thing.  It's not even a named storm yet. 

I recko it's time to hunker down.