After a Manic Bounce? Monday

Stock markets will be interesting this week on a number of levels.

On one, we may get some insight into how “News and Wars” drive markets.  As Germany goes for MONEY over PEACE as Minister: Germany won’t block Poland giving Ukraine tanks reports the Associated Press.

The Russians, of course, seeing this coming, have been bracing at home: Preparations for conflict with NATO: Anti-aircraft systems in every corner of Moscow-Kremlin fortified, V.Putin’s residence, government buildings, reports the Greek site War 24/7.

War is – like a deadly cancer – metastasizing in lower Europe.  As Ukraine up-armors, the Turks are trying to get some Cold War era British missile frigates to bulk up its naval forces in the short-term.  All while the U.S. is selling arms to both sides of the (energy-based) war pending between Greece and Turkey.  F-35s for Greece and F-16s for Turkey.

The war business is, pardon this: booming.

Walls Work

With demonicrats losing a bit of sway in the District of Corruption, we see evidence continuing to build about the effectiveness of WALLS to define and secure a Nation.

Previous examples we’ve pointed to include the Great Wall of China (one reason China has a 2,500-year history), the also famous Berlin Wall which until 1989 divided Germany since WW II.  And sensible Israeli’s have walled off Palestine; whose behavior has been so bad that neither Egypt nor Israel want the land and people.

All historical context for the story over here: Greece Expanding Border Wall, Calls for EU Help on Migration.  Which is a tale totally full of wall irony.  Especially poignant upon a review of the story on Filmmaker this morning that ““We Had To Shoot the African Scenes in Greece” | Anthony Chen, Drift.”

Irony never gets rusty.

Musical Chairs, Biden Style

Slow Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff is out. Jeff Zients to be named Biden’s next chief of staff, replacing Ron Klain.  I’m reminded of a song, now.. Thomas Dolby,  wasn’t it? She Blinded Me With Science.  We expect to be “Blinded by Zients” now…

Biden apologists are making the best of it Biden’s Cabinet is sticking around, bucking the turnover trend of his predecessors. We are told more changes at the Cabinet are coming as Joe’s Ship of Fools sets sail for the polls in 2024.

If there’s a world left.

I Didn’t Mention?

OK, there’s just one problem not covered so far.

As you might expect (since Ure’s been a reporter for north of half a century) I know a few people who know a few things.

As SOME of the people I (might) know have been real, by-God serious (as in working for Uncle) people of the Men Who Stare at Goats” variety yuou hear things.

What I’m hearing now is sometime between, oh, first week of April to about the 20th of April – somewhere in there – we are in for some massive “entertainment.”

Not sure what this means but picture a world that is gold on the inside and then expands out to white on the surface such that there is “no safe place.”

The term “divine intervention” is used.  Some see different colors (white to purple).  Thing is, while (sorry) we can’t be more specific other than to offer the proximate date range, something big…as in REALLY big…is 74-days ahead popping in remote seeing circles.

To paraphrase one (since we talked of other things) “We don’t need to worry about money, now.  It simply doesn’t matter….”

We have a number of very sensitive readers  so watch the Comments section for feedback and maybe Andy can inquire of The DUDE on our behalf.  HE is seen driving this.  (DUDE, not Andy, just so we’re clear…)

For Now, Money Matters

Eventually, we have to get to the subject of our headline:  For now, Money Matters, although perhaps to a lessening degree, depending on what the looking glass crowd sees and what you Believe in, if you follow.

Dow futures were down 26 earlier while the S&P was down 7.  Giving us a view ahead of:

So, the next pause should be down in the area of the white “3” in the lower right.  IF our intuition about such things works out.

But the commercial hype is in ahead of the open, so no telling – yet.

For Whom the Axe Swings

There was a hint of times ahead as the National Association of Business Economics issues its outlook Sunday:  January 2023 Business Conditions Survey Summary reporting that the “NABE Survey Panel Suggests Probability of 2023 Recession Remains Elevated; Continued Wage Growth and Weaker Sales to Put Pressure on Profit Margins.”

Right in line comes the latest HR grenade in tech as Spotify Seen Cutting Staff as Soon as This Week as Tech Layoffs Mount – Bloomberg.

Seeing a trend?

Tomorrow morning, we get Purchasing Managers and the Richmond Fed’s lookahead after the open.  Wednesday (spine-tingling stuff here) Business Uncertainty mid-morning (and Korea’s GDP if you care in the afternoon).

Thursday is Data Dump Day this week:  Durable Goods, GDP, new UI Filings, International Trade and perhaps the cherry on top will be retail inventories and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index.  Friday has Personal Income and Expenses scheduled, but these are always framed as “too little of the first and too much of the second…”

Silly Parties

With the demonicrats tearing down the Constitution and with repugnantcans putting up (at best) a half-assed defense, we look at the future of American Politics as needing a new Marketing Schtick.

We think it’s made a guest appearance as Fox reported VP Harris required people to sign ‘attestation of vaccination’ paper to attend her Florida speech: reports.

Clear?  Democrats are moving in the direction of being the Broke, Borderless, and Vaccinated Party.  Obviously, no ticky, no laundry at Kam’s hoe-down (a dandy, double-entendre, don’tcha think?).  This could go one of two ways for the repugnant’s: They could become the Real Border, Data, and Science Party, OR they could keep up the infighting and continue back-stabbing one-another to death.

The Repugnant’s incompetence continues to be a national embarrassment as Santos’s financial woes pile up, threatening his political career   | The Hill.  Which we view as another rerun of political expediency triumphing over morality, honesty and sanity.  You go, Pugs.

Digital Scrap Heap

10-dead from a Chinese New Year’s Party in Monterey Park this weekend.  Sad, but we’re not clear on a few things.  BERNAMA – Flags in US shall be flown at half-mast following Monterey Park shooting – Biden.  Have we just failed to notice national flag lowering’s for previous mass shooting victims?  Meantime, California lefties are selling the idea it “could have been worse except for our gun laws...”  Yeah, sure, you betcha.  “Don’t wake the woke to the fact Criminals and Crazies don’t follow Laws,” writes the man whose office is 160-feet from his shooting table on his 100-meter range and a Gunfighter’s Inc. Kenai holster…

Lights Out!  No, not an odd reference to my friend Delilah Rene from back in my broadcasting days.  Nope.  Talking about Pakistan suffers big power outage after second grid failure in three months | Reuters.  Things keep edging toward the shitter, over there:  There’s the possibility of a very hot religious war.  See last week’s post on Reddit: First pakistan map proposed by muslim league’s Rahmat Ali to divide India for Muslims : MapPorn.

Cryptomeria is still making the rounds.  As seen in Binance SWIFT partner to ban USD transfers below USD 100k – ThePaypers and as XRP price gathers steam for 45% upswing as Brad Garlinhouse prepares for landslide victory against the SEC (  Us?  Still no crypto (and no vax, either).  Feeling more Amish every day – not a bad thing, that.  With BTC knocking on $23,000 we wonder again why the CROOKED/WOKE movement hasn’t turned on this energy squandering, climate wrecking Ponzi scheme.  But again, don’t wake the woke.

ATR: ShopTalk Follow-Up

My friend, Dr. J, is sending me the plans for the 50 Cal. Ammo Can (tall) bug-out VHF ham station based on the Radioddity DB25 which will be cool.

I’d passed along the contributed Ammo Can kit from William of the Radio Ranch.  Dr. J’s very key point:  It’s not in an EMP proof can…

While we were talking, it occurred to me that an equivalent could be made for a low power HF radio, too.  So I’m working on that in background.  I’ve already got an HF Signals uBitX 6.0 and looks like it could be shoehorned in. (Measurements pending)

The idea would be to package the radio, mini tuner, a 4:1 QRP balun, and an 80-10 OCFD out of thin but strong wire.  Mini coax for feeding it (30 feet do?), mic, power cable, and Morse code key would round it out.

This leaves only the power problem in either case (the VHF or the HF radio can):  How much battery could go in a third can?  You’d want as much lithium ion as possible, charge controller and power leads.  Three ammo cans and a solar panel, or two, and seems like that would be pretty good coms.

For some great presentations on NVIS HF, search Youtube.

Toss in one of those cheap $100-class laptops that pop up on Best Buy deals now and then, ported over in advance to Linux, and loaded with FLDigi which then gives you voice, Morse, and all the main digital modes.  FLDigi is supported on Linux, Mac, BSD, and Windows.

(Tired of Ham Radio talk yet?)

Being into Retro Radio Restorations, I’m excited as hell about the scheduled delivery this week of an old BK Dyna Jet 606 tube checker I snagged last week on eBay.  Have an old Heathkit TC-2 and a Precision Apparatus Company (PACO) unit but the BK is simple to calibrate and handles a few transmitter finals, like 6146’s, for example.

OK, on that note off to work on what is quickly turning into an ebook on Future Forecasting with a HUGE amount of material contributed by G.A. Stewart of the Age of Desolation website. On Wednesday.

Write when you get rich,

ShopTalk Sunday: Industrial Arts Revival?

I keep looking for Educators to get sick of re-dividing America.  Rather than tell us how we are “All different” and “All special” it would be refreshing – as we see it – to bring back at least some baseline “Not a Victim” hands-on skills.

I looked over the last month of two of Amazon orders to see what kind of goods we were buying.  Beyond cans of excellent Canadian maple syrup.  When the nukes go off, we want some flapjacks, by God.  Some canned bacon and a cup of coffee would be good, too.

But this review got me to wondering “How much do people really know about “hands on?”  Thought we could do an overview today on a few projects and get you thinking along those lines…

Ham Radio section is the last part of the column. We begin with the “general interest” stuff, first.

Greenhouse in Winter

A year ago, we had just finished our lean-to greenhouse and were at the “getting compost and dirt in” stage.  Today? Harvestable munchies!

As we explained in the article on the “Chineseum” diesel heater we installed, the name of the game in winter is soil temps and keeping ambient air above freezing.  Light matters, so grow lights.  We monitor the soil temps closely, too:

Even when we had our 9F overnight low, a few weeks back, the soil temp was held in the 50-degree range.  This was done by preheating to the 60F range and then running the heater at 17C (about 62.6F) overnight.  Used about 1.5 gallons of diesel and while that doesn’t make sense on the surface, we only run the heater when the soil cools to 50 F, or so.

Remember, the heater runs only about 50% of the time, and almost always at night, so there’s not much impact from heating costs.  Certainly, not compared with electric heat for the same space!

What really makes a difference is the grow lights put in a few weeks back.  “Except, there’s just one problem,” as our favorite physics lecturer puts it.

See, when there’s warm soil, but the plant thinks it’s time to go to seed based on lighting, you get bolting.  Common in Lettuces, but even more so with the bok choi.  Nice flowers from which we may try to collect some of the seeds.

Speaking of “just one problem” we did lose the temp controller on the Vevor brand heater a few weeks back.  The replacement control head from Amazon (off brand) didn’t work (as it’s a crap shoot, seems, with such devices, QC and Covid, right?).

But the one from a seller on plugged and played nicely. About $18 bucks and I’ll likely order two more (one per heater as spares) once the second heater goes into service.

In the meanwhile, the non-op unit was cheerfully returned by Amazon.  However!  They now charge a $7.99 “pick-up fee” if you have them send out UPS.  Which was coming here anyway but don’t get me started…

Hose Notes

Canadians have long called me a “fair weather hoser” and it must be true.  The drinking-water safe white hose in the greenhouse is damn hard to coil up neatly when we’re in 40F and colder temps.  The answer?

This is one of those self-coiling jobs and it’s much more flexible.  On Amazon here for a penny off a $30 bill.  I’m not saying it will work in freezing weather.  Just much more flexible in cold temps, making it easier to hang up and keep the greenhouse neat. Hate tripping on hoses!

Tree Trim Before Sap!

This is the time of year for serious tree shaping work outdoors.  Leaves are off and that really makes pruning trees a lot easier.  We have two 100-foot-high trees between the house and shop, A couple of professionals will be out this week to bid the job.  Falling 100-foot trees single-handedly OVER the house, shop, and electric service entrance – when (almost) 74 – argues my IQ isn’t as high as it once claimed.  After thinking it through, I’m willing to write a four-figure check to keep up the illusion. Four figures for pro’s beats a hospital bed, or worse.

RAS Progress

More parts have landed for the radial arm saw refurbishment project, scheduled to begin after the sheetrock project in the guest quarters this week.

I’d always wondered why the Sears saw (197.19771) was made with four pieces of wood for its top.  Now (helps to read the manual, huh?) it all makes sense.

Notice the blue lines here:

To the left of the left-most blue line is where the front table piece goes; about 20-inches wide.

The double line at the front of the saw (left side) is where the table top meets the back fence rail. To move the saw into the (right feed) ripping position, you rotate the saw head 180 degrees which puts the blade at the fence.

In the ALT (left feed) ripping mode, the boards are rearranged with the table top front meeting one.  Then, the blade (now further in) meets the repositioned fencer. Which makes the front board about a 6 to 7-inch piece. This explains why the 2 back pieces, not one.  Where the “normal” rip (feed from right) is Big up to about 24 inches with the boards just so.

ALL of which is clamped into place with two of these guys at the back of the saw:

Which will operate smoothly after a few days in the Aerokroil Spa. Followed by some Boeshield or other anti-corrosion juice from the metal shop side.

Ham Radio Time

The K4TR version of the W5GI “Mystery Antenna” will be going up to the top of the tower in the next week, or two.

Speaking of which, if you do ever get to the towering insanity part of ham radio (maybe you win the Lotto or marry a goddess) don’t forget to space your low band wire antennas out from the top about 2-feet, or more.  This will vary by budget, common sense, and materials on hand:

The reason for this is when you have twin lead (high impedance ladder line) it tends to unbalance (thus lose power) into the (grounded metal) tower which is not a good use of energy.

While the antenna waits for a block of time (and a break in showers) I will be getting some parts of the antenna super-doped up with silicone conformal coating.

The stuff isn’t widely use in consumer gear.  But the first time I ran into it was as a varnish on old radio gear.

A reader, while back, gave me a vintage (I mean cherry!) BC-348-Q receiver and as all BC-348s it was coated with “tropical varnish” on damn near everything in the component section.  It wasn’t parylene (discussed here) but damned if I can remember what it was called.

Ran into “modern” conformal coating when I was at Cruising Equipment in Seattle.  Production Boss whiz, Bill M. had found some really great spray-on conformal coating – just the ticket for keeping solid-state boards safe (and operating) in the presence of water and salt spray.  Made a note then to remember this for antennas.

Conformal is a little different than Corona Dope, which we also keep on hand.  But looks from the spec sheet like it may provide good additional weather resistance at the parts of the “Mystery Antenna” where there are tubing covered solder joints.

Not free – about $25-bucks and change.  But only slightly more expensive than MG’s corona dope which is about $22-bucks.

Main thing when putting up new antennas is to use the right products.  CoaxSeal is great over the feed line connectors.  on bare antenna wire, corona dope around the center insulator is not a bad idea when running higher power. I occasionally run 1.3 kw out on the low end of 20-meters working far-away DX stations in code mode.

My expectation is the W5GI will provide a bit better receiving compared to the big OCFD.  But really curious to see if it’s better than the Beverage’s which are great on 20.

Two Other Radio Notes

One of these days, we will have a whole write up on the Radioddity mobile unit that’s on the way.  A seller on eBay had the Radioddity QB25 Pro Quad Band 25W Car Mobile Radio Transceiver + Long Antenna for $107 and free shipping, so around $116 with the Texas Tax Bite.

This is not portable (needs a 12V source) but in value?  Can’t beat it – right up with the earliest of the Baofeng handhelds.

My friend, Dr. J (there a “j” in his name somewhere, lol) has a really slick write up on how to get this (tiny, small) radio into an ammo can along with everything you’d need to pack it about in a grab and go kit.  I’ll see if I can talk him into permission to share on here.  Meantime, though, part of my calamitous computer collapse mess will involve reinstalling CHIRP which you can download from here.  Makes it so you can have a comprehensive set of choice frequencies on all kinds of mobile/portable VHF gear including like GMRS and weather and cops and fire and…and….

Still, setting up CHIRP and loading up 2-meters and 440-MHz  is only one of the neat things about the radio.  (Comes with a programming cable, antenna, and mobile mount and mic…)  The other is that I may use it as a dedicated 137 MHz NOAA Weather Satellite receiver.  Promises to be fun.  I’ve already got the 137 MHz quadrifilar for Wefax with a preamp in it, so may only need to add a bias-T to get power up to the antenna.

The QFAs come up on eBay used, from time-to-time.  Mine came off a Chilean commercial fishing boat which went to a different (direct from space) weather fax distro system.

Final point, I expect my buddy (The Major) had a great time with the Mic and Key Club doing a Zom conf. intro to NVIS antennas. Near Vertical Incident Skywave antennas. He’ll be down here sometime this spring. No telling what kind of trouble we can get into.

He doesn’t think the ground counterpoise under an NVIS adds much, but that’s one of those gentleman (or beer) bets to be settled with data collection.

For the shack (radio room section of office): Got some marine-grade tabletop casting resin coming.  Figure the Major will need shades just to look at the ham station when rebuilt…

World’s Still Crazy!

Remarks in passing:

Don’t forget prayers tomorrow morning for our Houston Bureau chief.  She’s got surgery coming Monday.

Our backup consigliere out in Century City (Boss Angeles as local 1960s radio once called it) sent this along Saturday as ongoing evidence of the pending world decline into collapse: British Museum bans the word ‘MUMMY’ out of ‘respect’ for 3,000-year-old dead.  Seriously? If I can’t call ’em “mummies” can I call ’em “daddies?”  Does anyone (*not in woke rehab) honestly believe a spirit 3,000 years into their afterlife adventures gives a shit?  “Not I,” said the fat man at the keyboard.

For another input from George’s circle of brain feeding stations, take a gander at Kit Webster’s column today.

Peoplenomics subscribers will be interested to see that Kit, along with me as discussed in the Saturday ChartPack, sees a POSSIBLE optimistic change of direction as POSSIBLE this spring, although two important points here:  1) We haven’t compared notes at all – but remarkably interesting timing.  2) the underlying news flow sure isn’t confidence inspiring in the least.

Lumber prices are rising, now on the commodity markets. Recovery or a bigger invasion from Mexico coming?  Ask stupid slow Joe.

We shall see if the world includes a lot of “flash parts” shortly.

For this morning’s third cup of coffee, off to the 3806 LSB hangout while reading the new Micro-Mark hobby catalog.  If yours hasn’t landed yet, the PDF is here so you will be able to waste the entire day in “hobby research!”

A boy can dream, can’t he?

Write when normal returns,