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Name: Schmengie
Gender: Male
Hometown: Podunk, FL
Home country: USA
Current location: Various.
Member since: Mon Aug 4, 2003, 03:56 PM
Number of posts: 21,890

Journal Archives

I'm having a COPD episode coming on, the first in 2 years

Great timing, huh?

I quit smoking 2 years ago on the 12th of next month, or rather, 4/12/18 was the last cigarette I smoked. I had seriously cut down, to only a drag now and then, bummed off someone. Last pack I bought was in February of 18.

Prior to that I had a serious episode about every 6 to 8 months, and once a year or so from about 2013 I had to go to an ER because I couldn't breath. The last cigarette started an episode that put me in the hospital for 7 days, and I thought I had seriously screwed the pooch. But I recovered, and haven't had even the inkling of another episode for almost 2 years.

Up until about 4 days ago, that is.

I don't think I ever posted about it on DU because....well....why would I want to tell all you folks about something like that? And perhaps more importantly, why bother now? One thing is for sure, I'm not going to put up an OP about it, so I'll just leave this here on the tail end of a thread that will be soon forgotten.

But the answer to your question, edhopper, is ...

Absolutely without a fucking doubt. I'm a 60 year old COPD patient with sleep apnea, who happens to be a truck driver and has been around numerous individuals over the course of the last 6 weeks who may or may not have been taking any precautions whatsoever. On the 17th of this month I flew back from California where I was running a relay for a mail route, my portion of which was from near Bakersfield up to the Bay Area and back, and I was out there for ten days.

And now, with each passing hour, I have a creeping COPD flare-up that is getting worse. I've talked to my Pulmonologist today and got a script for Prednisone, so hopefully it will stabilize and back off. In case anyone that reads this isn't aware of what a COPD flareup feels like, it is as if I have one of these around my lungs and it is being tightened a little each day.

I have no fever, and I don't have any other symptoms, and for all I know, this could be just one more in the long line of other episodes I've had over the course of the last 7 years that I survived just fine.

I just have no idea at all. But god dammit all to hell about the timing, huh?

I ain't afraid of dying, I just don't want it to be painful or traumatic.

Luckily, I just got a haircut, so there is that.

Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Sun Mar 29, 2020, 08:43 PM (2 replies)

Like quality cookware? Interested in how fine cookware is made? Check this guy out;

Hey folks! Been a while since I posted in here, but I recently found this YouTube channel, and one of the features is this Aerospace Engineer turned Copper Cookware maker.

Check out this 12 minute vid and be as fascinated as I was;

Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Thu Mar 19, 2020, 08:50 PM (4 replies)

I'm about to board a flight from Bakersfield to DFW...

And then on to Jacksonville, FL

Into the teeth of the beast!
Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Mon Mar 16, 2020, 08:31 AM (30 replies)

He LIKES being president. He's no bloody good at it, but he likes doing it....

Of that there can be no doubt.

Notice how often he flies on AF1? It’s almost every fucking day. Finding actual hours he flies is not easy, but I would bet that in the 3 years he has held the office, he has put more hours on Marine 1 and Air Force 1 than Obama did in his entire 8 years. If not, its fucking closing in fast.

A significant amount of the time he interacts with the press is when he stops to talk to the “gaggle” on his way walking to Marine One on the South Lawn.


It is a role he is playing. A role in which he has found that he gets to write the script, do the editing and control the lighting and post production as much as he possibly can. It infuriates him when things spiral out of his control. According to numerous sources and books, he goes ballistic when he feels he is being made to look bad. His skin is thinner than the film between layers of an onion.

That’s why when things like this come along, he feels absolutely ZERO shame or problem with blaming someone else.

He is utterly incapable of taking or assuming blame for ANYTHING. It’s always someone else’s fault, NEVER HIS, and if you have the temerity to question him about it, you’re asking a “Nasty Question”.

Donald Trump is currently living out his ultimate dream; To be in charge and to do what he wants and get away with just about anything. He gets to fly anywhere he wants, on a whim, on the worlds ultimate private jet - a fucking fleet of them in fact, and while doing so, he has a shitload of people who are required to address him with more dignity and respect than he has ever been able to command in his private life. He absolutely ADORES the fact that people call him “Sir” as a default, thinking he somehow deserves it, instead of it simply being the trappings of the Presidency.

If he gets re-elected, and that is a DISTINCT possibility, this country is fucking doomed, plain and simple. We will devolve into a conservative Utopia, which means basically FUCK YOU to anyone not making a quarter million a year or more, screw your healthcare, your vagina is a factory and you had better learn to live with it, you will worship the approved god and if you talk back to anyone with a gun and a badge, you get what’s coming to you, so help me god bless ‘Merica

If he is defeated in November, it will take this country decades to undo the damage he and McConnell have done.

Decades. If we survive it, that is.
Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Fri Mar 13, 2020, 09:56 PM (1 replies)

Remember the ship that capsized off the Georgia coast? They're gonna start cutting it up.


MV Golden Ray has been on its side in shallow water off the coast of Southern Georgia since September 8th, and now salvage crews are getting ready to begin the removal operation, which will take several months.

This accident and recovery is not without precedent, as 2 similar Auto Carrier ships sank in the North Sea in the last number of years.

The MV Tricolor and the MV Baltic Ace both sank in very busy shipping lanes and were salvaged, but with a total loss of cargo.

The Golden Ray has at least 4200 cars still onboard.

The Golden Ray;

As she presently sits, just outside the entrance to the Port of Brunswick, Georgia;

They have apparently removed all her fuel and as much of the lubricants in her main engines as possible, according to stories I have read over the months, but each individual car still has a few gallons of gas and of course, engine oil on board.

They're basically going to cut it up into chunks and haul it away, cars and all!

I hauled cars out of the Port of Brunswick a bunch of times, and I wouldn't be surprised if I carried units that were discharged from the Golden Ray. Brunswick is unique among deep water ports in the US, as it is almost entirely an automobile and rolling stock/heavy equipment port or "RO/RO" ("Roll on/Roll Off" ). The only other ships that call there are bulk cargo vessels, like those that haul grains and other large tonnage, bulk commodities. No containers are trans-shipped at all, as is so common in almost every other port in North America.

If this at all interests you from an engineering perspective, here is a 3:40 minute video of how they removed the MV Baltic Ace from a busy shipping lane near Rotterdam back in 2012;

And a 26 minute vid of the removal of the MV Tricolor off Dunkirk, France;

Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Thu Feb 6, 2020, 07:11 PM (7 replies)

What's wrong is that "these people" have finally found cover to come out.

I am pretty sure you and I are of the same generation, maybe only a few years apart, so we both know who “these people” are;

They are the same 30 to 40% of the electorate that would have followed Nixon to the gates of hell.

The same ones that fought tooth and nail to resist the Civil Rights movement in the ‘60’s

The same ones that thought McCarthy was spot on in his endeavors.

The same ones that thought the British should handle their own squabbles in Europe

The same ones that thought John Thomas Scopes should have been burned at the stake.

The same ones that thought the participants in the UAW Sit Down Strike should have been shot.

The same ones that thought the Suffragettes needed to be jailed.

Who are these people?

The same ones that that thought King George III was getting a bad rap and that those assholes in Philadelphia needed to keep it down.

The ones that think that no one should be allowed to stand in their way, regardless of who it is they are following, as long as that person hates the same people they do.

You know who these people are.

The same ones that have been standing in the way of human progress since time immemorial and think they are right, no matter the time or place.

They are the ones we have been disagreeing with our entire lives.

They are the ones that WE keep dragging, kicking and screaming, into the future.

Just imagine if we didn’t have to drag them anymore.
Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Sun Oct 13, 2019, 09:17 PM (2 replies)

One is the driver and the other is an engineer

A safety driver will sit behind the wheel to intervene if necessary and an engineer will ride in the passenger seat.

Since it is a new program, the presence of an engineer shouldn't come as a surprise.

And FWIW, I do this exact same sort of work - driving trucks transporting US mail intercity and interstate. I physically handle the mail about 10% of the time. All of it is loaded into transport units that are on wheels or palletized.

One of the most common pieces of equipment looks like this, called a "GPC" or "General Purpose Container" ;

Note the yellow device with the round hole at the top. This is a hitch so several can be hooked together and pulled with an electric Tug. The opposite end has a small length of pipe of slightly smaller diameter that the round hole fits onto.

The Tug looks like this, though this is a brand new unit and most in current use are much older designs, but they look very similar;

Others include "BMC" (Bulk Mail Container), Wire baskets (Simply called "Wires" ) and Canvas Hampers.
Here's 3 of the primary and most common containers in one photo;

"CIN BMC" would stand for "Cincinnati Bulk Mail Center". If you look carefully at that aluminum container, you can see a handle that has a mechanism hanging straight down from the center of it, with a pin visible at the bottom. That is a locator pin which can be used in the Distribution and Sorting centers that have in-floor conveyors, basically a chain that runs just under the floor level that is accessible via a channel. The pin is dropped through the channel and a hitch will grab the pin and pull the container along to the various sorting stations it might need to go to.

The mail hauled in the trucks mentioned in the OP travel from one sorting center to another, and is then sorted for street delivery. More often than not, the driver either places the trailer against a doc and drops the trailer or places it in a numbered parking space and a yard jockey truck comes along and places it on a dock.
Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Thu May 23, 2019, 05:43 PM (1 replies)

So who did you drive OTR for?

Or did you spend your entire career driving tractor trailers and using a CB in the only county in the country where calling another truck driver a “Good Buddy” is NOT considered an insult?

So....was it flat or van? If flat, step? Skateboard? Drop? Low boy? Gooseneck? Or were you in the Parking Lots? Lift gate? Or tanks? Smooth bore or baffled? Maybe you did wiggle wagons? Bed bugger? Bulk? Coal bucket? If van, dry? Reefer perhaps. Or was it Hot shots? Did you stay on the big roads or were you most often running through the woods? Being as well versed in trucker vernacular as you clearly are, I’m sure you know precisely what each and every one of those terms refers to without the need to Google them.

You said:
Then there's radio. Do they still use CB ham radio? "Hey, good buddy..." They must have a way to communicate with each other, still.

Which is, for such a short statement, loaded with ignorance.

"Good buddy" has a standard definition. The term has been around for many decades, and is composed of two common words that have existed for centuries. I was referring to the 1970s use of the term, when CB radios were at the height of popularity. Of COURSE, I was using the term as a throw-back to those days, and I used the correct term, which was not a derogatory word.

Using that expression in an off hand way as you did is tantamount to calling a complete stranger a “Faggot”. THAT’S WHAT IT MEANS. “Referring to the 1970’s use of the term” means you are clueless as to how the term has evolved and is currently used, PERIOD. It wasn’t a derogatory term until the movie “Convoy” came out and the popularity of CB’s soared. Then every schmuck with a radio in their car thought they were “The Rubber Duck” and the rest of the industry got sick of it. It took all of 6 months for the meaning to universally change. Using that saying in the way you did, without proper context, displays an understanding of Trucking culture and CB slang as deep as a mud puddle.

"Good buddy"....noun
Citizens Band Radio Slang . the operator of a CB radio; fellow operator (often used as a form of direct address while broadcasting).
Informal . a trusted companion or colleague; friend.

Except that’s not what it means to every truck driver in the country older than 45, which is the vast majority of them.

CB slang is the distinctive anti-language, argot or cant which developed among users of Citizens Band radio (CB), especially truck drivers in the United States during the 1970s and early 1980s.[1]

The slang itself is not only cyclical, but also geographical. Through time, certain terms are added or dropped as attitudes toward it change. For example, in the early days of the CB radio, the term "Good Buddy" was widely used.[2]

That is not only selective editing, it is inaccurate and shows you didn’t really do the research.

Googleling the term “Good Buddy” gives a shitload of results that clearly explain that it is most assuredly a pejorative.

Good buddy...... In the 1970s, this was the stereotypical term for a friend or acquaintance on the CB airwaves.

Yeah. In the seventies.. Do you often make references to disco as if it is common or something that everyone regularly participates in?

"Good buddy" now has an urban dictionary meaning, created by some urbanites. But here in the south, "good buddy" means what it always has. An out of style way to refer to another trucker using a CB radio

Keyword “out of style”. Yeah. No shit. By at LEAST 30 years. “23 Skidoo” and all.

Don't know why you're going on about ham radios, since I didn't mention those at all. A hobby of yours?

Actually, you DID mention those, as I highlited above;

“Do they still use CB ham radio?

There is no such thing as a “CB Ham Radio”. CB and Ham are 2 different radio types, using different frequencies. A Ham radio can call around the planet, basically. A legal (unmodified) Citizens Band will barely reach 5 miles. If you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, at least try and get some understanding of the subject matter.

I took issue with this because I, like millions of other professional drivers, are sick and fucking tired of people thinking that throwing around the term “Good Buddy” makes them sound as if they are in the know, when all it does is display a profound ignorance of the industry and culture shared by over 4 million of your fellow Americans.

If you still think I’m wrong, and that the term is harmless, go to any large truck stop, get on a CB and ask “Are there any good buddies around?”

Try it. I dare you. You’ll get an earful you won’t soon forget.
Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Tue Apr 16, 2019, 01:45 PM (2 replies)

Aviation Enthusiasts! NASA Snaps pictures of Supersonic shockwaves of 2 T-38's VERY cool!

NASA's mission to capture air-to-air images of supersonic shock waves was a long and fraught process that lasted more a decade. But now, the space agency has accomplished the task with flying colors.

On Tuesday, NASA released a series of stunning images that show two T-38 supersonic jetliners tearing through the atmosphere, creating sonic shock waves. The images were made possible by a NASA B-200 King Air aircraft, which ferried an updated camera imaging system up to 30,000 feet. At altitude, it followed the jets from a distance of 2,000 feet, snapping their trek through the sound barrier at 1,400 frames per second.

“I am ecstatic about how these images turned out”

The T-38s flew in tight formation, separated only by 10 feet. Documenting their burst through the sound barrier from such a close vantage point will help NASA accrue more data on supersonic shock waves than ever before, which is a pressing matter given the potential resurrection of supersonic passenger travel.

From here

Here's the NASA Website story;
Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Fri Mar 29, 2019, 09:41 AM (26 replies)

1st, the scene wasn't in the Stock Market, they were in the New York Commodities Exchange

( A minor aside; In the movie at the beginning of this scene, the boys are seen walking in front of the World Trade Center, with the twin towers off their right shoulders. This would mean they were walking East, toward Wall Street and the NY Stock Exchange. The scene to follow takes place ostensibly in the New York Mercantile Exchange where commodities are traded, which is located on the Hudson River, basically behind them. In other words, the movie shows them walking the wrong way, away from the building which houses the trading floor!)

So here's the gist;

The Duke Brothers thought they had information that the Orange harvest was going to be slim, and when that would be announced, the price would spike - simple law of supply and demand.

So they tell their "Pit Trader" to BUY all the FCOJ he can right from the opening bell, thinking that they were going to be able to buy OJ at a lower price initially and after the news report from the Agriculture Department broke, they would have a large position at a lower than market price.

Essentially, they were trying to "Corner the Market" by buying up as many contracts as their trader could. This created a buying frenzy, as the rest of the pit wants to follow the lead of such a well known willing buyer (Bearing in mind the Duke Brothers own a very large commodities trading brokerage. What they do affects everyone else). This causes the price to rise. Simple supply and demand; Lots of buyers, only a few sellers, price rises.

With each buy order, the Duke brothers are laying out real cash from their own account, so they are dependent on the information they have being correct and the price of each contract continue to go up........

BUT....we know it ISN'T correct, and so do Lewis and Billy Ray.

So they wait.....and Billy Ray gets anxious....and they wait....until....

Lewis sees the price get to the level he wants and shouts out that he is selling April contracts at "142!"

Now there is a new seller and the whole pit goes nuts. But do Lewis and Billy Ray actually OWN the FCOJ contracts they are selling? No. They don't. They are "Selling Short" meaning they are selling that which they do not own, but can, or will either borrow from someone else temporarily (which can actually happen when you sell short on the stock market) or the sale is covered before the end of the trading day via a "buy to cover".

With each short sale they make, they are padding their account. Each and every sale is real dollars to them, even though they don't own a thing yet.

The price begins to fall. More sellers than buyers now, so the law stated above is reversed. They want to sell as much as they can as fast as they can because they know the crop report is going to be announced soon and they want as much cash as they can possibly gather because they KNOW the truth and it is the opposite of what the Duke brothers think. This is where the Duke Brothers realize "That's not right" and see our heroes in the pit, selling like mad. They realize the info on the crop report is wrong and hurry down to the pit to get their trader to stop buying and start selling. But alas, he is not successful.

So the announcement comes and the pit goes silent as they all watch the television.

The INSTANT the agriculture rep says "The cold winter has apparently not affected the orange harvest" the pit goes wild again because everyone that had bought at high prices knows now that those prices were too high and they have to unload them or they will have bought FCOJ for way more than market value.

So a selling frenzy ensues. Lewis and Billy Ray fold their arms. They're done selling. The price plummets, because everyone is trying to sell overpriced contracts and there are virtually zero buyers. Lewis watches the price fall to a point he likes (around 46 or so) and says "Buy em'" and now they are one of the only traders in the pit willing to buy what everyone else is desperate to sell.

The price plummets even more all to their advantage. BTW, This is where the money Ophelia and Coleman gave them comes into play, because even though they have all the cash from the short sales from before, now they have the extra cash the other two gave them to buy even more contracts.

A side note pointed out on one blog I read long ago;

In order to really make this hurt the Dukes, at this point the boys would SPECIFICALLY AND PURPOSEFULLY NOT BUY from the Duke's trader or the Dukes themselves. They want to stick the Dukes with a shit load of overpriced contracts, so the entire time they are buying, they are ignoring the Dukes.

And they did. The boys basically did what the Dukes thought they were going to do; Corner the FCOJ market.

The closing bell rings (BTW This was ostensibly an entire trading day of say, 6 hours or so, much longer than the 5 minutes the scene takes) and the boys look up at the board, showing the closing price of 29. They started selling short at 142. The difference is all profit to them.

And then the shit hits the fan.

"Margin call, gentlemen.

Why you can't expect...

You know the rules. All accounts to be settled at the end of the day's trading, without exception.

You know perfectly well we don't have three hundred ninety four million dollars in cash!

I'm sorry, boys. Put the Duke brothers' seats on the exchange up for sale at once, Seize all assets of Duke & Duke Commodity Brokers, as well as all personal holdings of Randolph and Mortimer Duke.....

We're ruined!"

If one were to assume all the losses stated by Randolph ($394,000,000) went to the boys, and that's a good bet and more, adjusted for inflation, $394 mil from 1983 to today comes out to just under a billion. $999.94 million, according to this inflation calculator.

There are several real world issues with this entire scenario of course, the least of which is that it could never happen today because of trading curbs and likely couldn't have back in 1983 either.

But it's a fun scene, and one of my all time favorite movies.

Hope that helps a little.

Posted by A HERETIC I AM | Sat Mar 23, 2019, 07:43 PM (0 replies)
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