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Happy 100th Anniversary of The Miracle of the Sun! October 13, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Our Lady, Tradition.
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Sorry for not posting the past few days, and doing very little on this most auspicious of days.  I’ve had a cold and at this place of work of mine, they don’t let you throttle down at all.  It’s WOT from day one and your engine is supposed to grow more and more powerful as time goes by, always picking up speed.  Pretty competitive environment.  Very little slack.

At any rate, I pray you have had a blessed day and will have a wonderful night.  Let me know if you saw anything miraculous or providential today, on this anniversary.  There is Mass and a big procession tonight at the FSSP parish but I don’t think I’m up for the procession. Still getting over this cold I picked up at church. Hopefully my wife or kids will take some photos or video I can share with you.

Anyway I have tons to post as usual, but some will age out before I get to it.  But I’ve got some local items I hope I get a chance to write about next week.

God bless you and may Our Lady of Fatima intercede for us all and for our Holy Mother Church on this most incredible anniversary.

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Flightline Friday Extra: More Than Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know about APR-25/6 September 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Early in the Vietnam War, partly due to amazingly poor planning, but even more due to unbelievably onerous targeting restrictions, US tactical aircraft started racking up heavy losses to North Vietnamese Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs).  The SAM in question was the SA-2, which had been known about half a decade at that point, the SA-2 having played a role in the shoot down of Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 in 1960.

Since the rules of engagement imposed by the Johnson-McNamara Administration forbade attacks on SAM sites under construction, or even possibly under construction, for fear of “accidentally” killing any Soviet “advisors” present and thus potentially escalating the war, US airmen had to wait until positive proof that a SAM site was operational before they could attack it.  The only positive proof accepted was their being attacked by that very SAM site.  Obviously this gave enormous initiative to the enemy, and made attacking SAM sites when they were most vulnerable impossible.

Defensive measures were needed, and needed quickly.  But how to defend against a radar guided flying robot whose only purpose in life was the kill you?  Fortunately, the problem was well understood. Indeed, specialist aircraft like intelligence gathering types had been equipped with limited numbers of what were then called radar homing and warning receivers (RHAW) for years.  SAC’s big bombers also carried radar warning and electronic countermeasures (ECM) gear of varying degrees of effectiveness, but much of this was far too large and heavy to fit into a tactical aircraft.

Fortunately, a small company in northern California, Applied Technologies, Inc, later part of Litton, now part of Northrop Grumman, came rushing to the rescue, in late 1965, with their “Vector IV” product.  Consisting of 4 roughly equally spaced radio frequency receivers and some very basic analog processing equipment, Vector IV entered service as the AN/APR-25/6.  This equipment was first fitted to specialist “Wild Weasel” SAM hunter aircraft, and later, to almost every tactical aircraft in theater – certainly, every one that went up North.  It was fairly effective, but became much more so when coupled with the North American “SEE SAMS” (clever) system, which added capability to discriminate targeting and launch radar signals from regular radar tracking signals.

The equipment worked pretty well, and losses were reduced.  The seesaw battle of the electronic wizards on both defense and offense continues to this day, but, generally speaking, since the APR-25/6, the US has held the upper hand (we think/hope – we haven’t been seriously tested in 25 years).

The video below is an actual training film for USAF aircrew in APR-25/6 operation and tactics.  It gets way down into the nitty gritty, discussing import of length and intensity of strobe, billboard notifications and their meaning, and the varying sounds the equipment picks up when illuminated by various kinds of search, tracking, and fire control radars (a radar is like any other radio frequency device, and thus its signals can be interpreted as a sound).  Techniques used to spoof APR-25/6 are also discussed.  Very interesting if you are a slavishly devoted geek like me, all others will probably find it mind-numbingly boring.

I post this mostly to keep a record of this highly esoteric material since this video was posted once before but pulled because someone asserted the data therein was still classified.  Of course, it is not.

A picture of what modern radar warning receiver (today’s term) displays looks like.  Gone is the analog signal intensity reading and guessing, replaced by digitally processed symbology indicating the type of threat, distance and bearing, with priority ranking, etc:

 

Footage of AFRES PJs Rescuing Harvey Victims September 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, Society, Virtue.
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Yes this may be getting pretty dated, but the military moves slow.  Several Air Force Reserve Rescue Squadrons were deployed from around the country to help with rescues. Equipped with (now quite long in the tooth) HH-60G Pave Hawk helos and probably the most serious special operators USAF has to offer – Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) – there are many nice scenes of families being rescued.  In fact, I watched the first rescue on the video live streaming on the internet last week from the perspective of the ground.  Quite interesting to see it from the other end:

Were those New York guys from the 101st Rescue Squadron on Long Island being cheeky with their big NY letters on the side of the copter?

This unit has actually historically made some quite impressive at-sea rescues.  They conducted themselves with professional aplomb in everything I saw in the videos.

 

Finally! August 30, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, firearms, fun, non squitur, silliness.
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New plates, baby:

Multi-shot Level IV steel body armor.  Two plates plus sides.  Yikes is it heavy.  My plate carrier now weighs 32 pounds loaded, and that’s without magazines (it’s more than a carrier, more like a tactical vest/carrier combo).

So now my kids like to put it on and engage in punching contests.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this in a post, but when I went to Kansas this summer I took some soft body armor along to target shoot.  It was all Level IIIA stuff, soft kevlar.  Nonetheless, I was impressed with how well it faired.  I had several pieces stop anywhere from 5-10 9mm rounds from about 25 feet.  I had one stop seven 9 mm and about 15 .22LR rounds.  It puffed up like mad but it did very well against the kinds of rounds it was designed to stop – handgun caliber.  I was surprised that this soft-armor was capable of stopping multiple rounds so long as they didn’t hit too close together (within maybe 2″ of a previous hit).

I also took some video of bottle shooting and what not but the end result was not so great.  So much for relying on a giddy 13 year old cameragirl.

We’re Fine But Very Proud of My State August 29, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, disaster, General Catholic, Glory, sadness, Society, Victory, Virtue.
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Sorry I’ve been away the past few days, I even missed my birthday. I’ve gotten some e-mails from people wondering if we’re OK, and of course, we are, thank God.  Not much happened in Dallas, a bit of badly needed rain on occasion but that’s it.  The heavy stuff was all a good 100 miles or more to the south.

We do have family in the area affected by Harvey and all are fine to date.  Only one outlaw nephew lives in the Houston area but they have not been flooded.

Just been too busy with work and life to get on and blog.  I hope to have some time tomorrow, I’ve put some big things behind me the past two days, work-wise.

I am so very proud of my state and the residents of the Houston area.  Dallas and Houston have a sometimes not-so-good-natured rivalry but I have been blown away both by the tremendous outpouring of aid, Texan’s self-reliance (utter opposite of Katrina), and the (to date) very small loss of life in this once in a millennium cataclysm.  I don’t know how many thousands have been rescued by neighbors and other “civilians” but based on the bits of coverage I’ve seen it is quite probable a majority of the rescues have been carried out not by agencies of the state (at whatever level of government) but by private citizens.  #That’sTexas.

I had an exchange with reader Tim via e-mail last week, he forwarded one of the predictions of 30+ inches of rain last Thursday and I kind of pooh-poohed it.  I was right on – tropical weather events virtually never affect the Dallas area more than slightly, we’re just too far inland (close to 300 miles), but I feel terrible thinking this event was going to be more hype than real.  Ooops.  Even though that was a private exchange, I look pretty dumb now.

This natural disaster isn’t over  yet, even though the rains have moved off, for the most part, waters will continue to rise for another day or so as the ground drains.  I’ve certainly been praying for these poor souls along the coast, as I’m sure you have.  Even without loss of life the impact is going to be devastating.

Baby Daughter doing much better thank you and some Flightline Friday content August 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Domestic Church, family, Flightline Friday, non squitur, technology, thanksgiving.
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Thank you so much for your prayers.  My daughter has been home since late Thursday but required another 2 days to really recover.

Aye what a year.  All I can say is thanks so much and your generosity will not be forgottten. She started to really turn around shortly after I put out the mass request for prayers.  Yet another confirmation for how great our God is and how powerful – beyond our understanding – prayer can be.

I know I haven’t posted beans of late, very sorry, I really haven’t time for much of anything today (hopefully tomorrow), but here’s a little something non sequitur to tide you over if you care about this sort of thing – it’s some absolutely amazing footage of an Su-27P, probably of Belorussian origin, dogfighting with a USAF F-16 over Groom Lake/”Area 51″ in Nevada:

More images of the encounter below:

In truth this kind of thing has gone on non-stop since at least the mid-60s with the Constant Peg and Foreign Technology Division programs.  USAF pretended to kill this off in the early 00s but everyone rolled their eyes.

In reality, the fact that this occurred in broad daylight, in perfect clear conditions, and close to the border of the 8,000 square mile Nevada Test and Training Range (or close enough for super telephoto lens to grab these shots – probably no more than  6-8 miles from the Range’s boundary) almost certainly means USAF has far more modern and capable adversary aircraft for evaluation.  Su-27P is OK but dates from the late 80s.  Sukhoi has certainly turned out better variants of the endless Flanker series since (Su-27M Su-27SM Su-32 Su-33 Su-35 Su-30M Su-30MK Su-30MKK/I/M Su-34).

Space alien conspiracy theorists who try to penetrate the Range near “Area 51” report seeing Sukhois fairly regularly.  Some are surprisingly old – Su-22s, for certain.

That Flanker is a big b—h.  It’s got an absolutely enormous RCS, too, especially from the front, from what I have learned.

PS – May put this up with much more detail on Friday, but F-35 is, finally, 5 years late and billions of dollars over budget, starting to shape up.  Several score are in service with more and more active duty squadrons and the reports are extremely, extremely positive.  It’s kinematic/aerobatic performance is not so bad as it long appeared to be, and the integrated avionics/mission system are simply out of this world, a massive quantum leap in capability over everything that’s come before.

Still got fairly short legs and inadequate internal payload for stealth mode (thanks, Marine Corps and Congress!) BUT it is a far cry from the unmitigated disaster its widely been described as being.  I’ve been a very serious critic of the F-35 for nearly 20 years and think improved F-16s and/or Mudhens with a large F-22 buy would have more than sufficed for far less money, but this is what we’re stuck with and it does finally seem to be coming around.  It would be the height of idiocy to scrap the program now after ~$100 billion invested and with the investment finally about to start paying off.

The first practical functional software block (Block 3F) has been undergoing flight testing for months and should start to hit active training and tactical squadrons next month.  Given 6.5 million lines of code it’s hardly surprising it took some time to iron out difficulties, plus the program was very badly managed from a prototype to test to production standpoint, for political reasons the services were induced to place the aircraft in production far before it was really ready, and this has had the effect of adding a huge amount of cost while delaying overall full operational capability.  The good thing is these extremely extended service trials have revealed about all the bugs that could possibly be found.

We also have to note how much the procurement program has been derailed since McNamara royally screwed it up in the 60s, and then was made worse in the 90s.  The standards products have to meet to be qualified are ridiculously onerous, and teeny tiny corner of the envelope issues get turned into showstoppers.  Yes there have been not so teeny tiny problems with the F-35 but most of what is reported are situations that are unlikely to ever repeat themselves in real life.  That is one reason why it costs so much (and takes so long) to get complex systems into service these days, the test requirements are orders of magnitude more extensive (and in many ways just plain asinine) than they were in the 50s, 60s, and even well into the 80s.  Suffice it to say had the F-35 been developed along 1950s or 1970s lines it would have been judged an  unqualified success years ago.

Then again, it’s really an apples to oranges comparison.  Aircraft in the 50s and even early 80s were not nearly so software dependent, as they are today.

And every other engineer knows just how much the software engineers screw everything up.  Right, TE?

Our Year of Trial Continues: Please Pray for Our Baby Daugbter August 17, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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My sweet baby girl, such a great gift of God for parents who thought they were probably too old to expect more children, has been hospitalized since last night.  She has dehydration and probably some kind of chemical/pharmaceutical poisoning.  She’s getting better but slowly.  Not out of the woods yet.

No we don’t know what caused it and yes we have child proofed all medicines and dangerous chemicals but the signs point to probably some kind of medicine ingestion.

Please pray for our sweet adorable baby. She has brought so much light and joy to our family and all her siblings (and parents) are absolutely devastated that an accident like this could have happened.  Yesterday was a rough day.  My son had an accident and got hit in the head with a heavy object and then Josefina just sort of cratered and went unconscious and catatonic.  As I said she is getting better but only slowly.

God bless you for your prayers.  I know I have asked so much tbis year but I also know their power.  You have my gratitude.  Thank you.

 

 

 

Great News on My Son July 13, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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Thank you all so much for your continuing prayers.  The results of his latest MRI were very positive, the tumor/abnormality is stable and the neurosurgeon does not need to see my son for another year!   And we got this news on my boy’s 8th birthday.  We are of course extremely pleased.  We continue to pray he may be entirely healed of this malady without any further medical intervention.

He continues to battle stubborn dyslexia that may be directly caused by this tumor.  We’ve just engaged in a major program to assist with this.  I pray he is able to read with less difficulty.

We have also seen some positive developments in other areas, so your prayers really do help.  Please continue them, this is a long road and while the news regarding my son has been all good since the initial onset of near-fatal seizures, we will, in the best case, probably be dealing with this for years.  But I cannot thank all of those who have prayed for Benedict enough.  I know it is the prayers, and God’s Grace, which is making all the difference right now.  I shall always remember you in my prayers.

I also feel Father’s blessing of Benedict also played a role.  I have so very much to be thankful for.  My words to do not adequately express what I feel.  The outpouring of support for us has been amazing.  My wife and I are so very grateful for all the aid, spiritual and material, we have received.

God bless all of you.

Please Pray for Reader Entering Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles July 11, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, religious, Restoration, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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A young lady I have tremendous concern for, and for whom I have prayed for several years, is entering the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri this weekend.  This reader had a previous experience with the Carmelites in Valparaiso, NE that, in God’s good will, did not work out.  This vocation means everything to her, she has felt a firm calling to the religious life for many years.  I know I ask you for so many prayers, but the growth of traditional religious life is just as vital as the growth of the priestly religious orders. In some senses, the growth of traditional religious orders, particularly women’s religious orders, may be even more important.  I know a number of traditional priests who attribute their own vocations to the prayers of these holy, traditional nuns.

Please pray that it be God’s will that this vocation be her true calling and that she find great happiness and holiness among this wonderful group of nuns.  I have prayed and will continue to pray every day for her.  May Our glorious Lady intercede for this young lady.

Thank you and God bless you.

Update Post July 10, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, Father Rodriguez, fun, General Catholic, Grace, priests, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Lots of people have been asking me for an update offline and on regarding my family.  Things are OK, my son had a follow-up MRI over 2 weeks ago but we still haven’t gotten the results yet.  Partly because my wife took a much needed week off from house and (most) kids, and partly because of scheduling problems with the doctor.  But we have no reason to suspect any change in his tumor status.

It’s just continuing to be a very trying time.  If it’s not one kid it’s another of late.  But we’re hanging in there.

We did have a blessed event July 4, Father Michael Rodriguez came to our house and met my wife and kids for the first time.  He also blessed Benedict, which was very much appreciated.  It was wonderful to spend a couple of hours visiting with Father.  He has a special message he wants me to convey to whatever readers are left after so many long absences on my part of late (yes, both of you), and I pray I get to that tomorrow.  Much of that message will be familiar, but it does contain a proposal I think is as novel as it is important, and has great potential to strengthen the Faith during these times of unprecedented insanity among those charged with care of souls at all levels of the Church.


We are carrying on all right though very busy.  I made a trip to the farm over the past 2+ weeks since I posted, as I said my wife was out, there was a holiday weekend, we have another priest coming over tonight……there’s always something.  One more brief post today, God willing and hopefully I will have more time tomorrow, as well.  Also my work situation will, I pray, really start to calm down within the next month or so.  It’s been nuts all year since early February when I got handed a great stinking pile of manure and was told to turn it into a golden swan by year’s end.  Maybe it’s not quite golden yet but hopefully closer to an aluminum falcon than the dead duck I was given charge over.  At least it’s functional. Making the ill-conceived plans and poorly executed product I was handed into something decently functional is probably one of the biggest accomplishments of my career, and the whole thing was utterly alien from my past experience.  My performance review next year better read like a Roman triumph.

But enough of that. Pray for us, God willing I can post some more substantive things tomorrow.