Oh, My Father


Oh, my father
Wish you were here
Ready to listen
Now so much is clear.

You led by example
Without ever knowing
The impact you made
While we were still growing.

You never let on
The turmoil inside
The anguish you felt
Always fighting the tide.

Life never was easy
You worked ever so hard
Without recognition
With little reward.

So much I have learned
In the years since you died
All life’s little lessons
That you bottled inside.

You got up every morning
With one thing in mind
To provide for your family
Despite hardships you’d find.

You never let on
How life ground you down
You just carried on
With a smile, not a frown.

I wish I could tell you
How much you are loved
But maybe you know it
From so far above.

The image of this 1940 Buick is almost identical to the car my father used to teach me how to drive. The image is from www.hemmings.com. You can follow the link to find out more information about the picture.

Thursday Doors – June 15, 2017

Today I have a brief tale of dealing with the front door on our home.

Two weeks ago i did my biennial (once every two years) job of sanding and treating the outside surface of our front door. This keeps the door in tip-top shape, especially since the door does not receive much direct sunlight.

While treating the doors, i rediscovered that the flush bolt on the stationary panel was missing a part, so the latch at the bottom of the door would not raise the bolt out of the door sill. This meant that I had to use a screwdriver to slowly pry up the bolt out of the sill so that I could open the non-active panel for treatment.

Well, ignoring the problem for another year was just plain lazy, so I called our home builder to see about replacing the flush bolt. He passed me on to his door agent, who passed me on to DSA Doors in Raleigh, NC where the original door was purchased. When I contacted the service department at DSA doors, they wanted me to text them pictures of the entire door and of the flush bolt so that they could order the correct parts.

So, I decide that this episode would make a decent reintroduction to my usual Thursday Doors posts. The featured image is of the flush bolt extending down into the sill, and the second picture is of my reconditioned front door.



We have since replaced the worn out welcome mat in front of the door and I am still awaiting the arrival of the new flush bolt. Then Donny Mills, our home builder, will send over someone to help me take down the very heavy door panel and install the new part.

Stop over the Norm Frampton’s blog called ‘Norm 2.0’ and see his entry The One-Room Chapels of Ile D’Orleans, Québec.


First Hole-in-One

I have been golfing for years, but not seriously until after I retired 3+ years ago. Today I shot my first hole-in-one. It was on hole number 16 at Iron Play in Summerfield, NC with an 8 iron from 130 yards.

When I hit the ball and looked at the flight, I said “That’s all over the hole”. The ball landed on the green and disappeared down a small valley, but I knew it was close. As my partner and I approached the green, we could not see the ball, so we knew it went in.

Happy Day!

IMG_0712 (2)

Tuesdays of Texture | Week 24 of 2017

Do you sometimes take a picture and not get the result you expect? Here is one of those cases. My camera’s auto-focus chose the background pine straw instead of the small blue spruce tree. I think that the result makes a perfect Tuesdays of Texture example.

Tuesdays of Texture 006 (2)

Come join this weekly challenge hosted by Narami at the blog ‘De Monte Y Mar‘.

Sunday Trees – 291

I have been away from blogging for a few weeks with an overly busy schedule. I really have a fondness for the Sunday Trees challenge from Becca Givens on her blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea‘, so this is an appropriate way to get back into my blogging.

I am going to be photographing a wedding in two weeks and I needed to test out my backup digital camera (the original Canon EOS Digital Rebel from 2003). So I charged up my batteries (I always have two batteries for every camera) and then went outside to see if the camera still functioned. The result is this picture of a Japanese Red Maple in my front yard.

The camera body is heavy compared to my Rebel T3i, and the shutter on the camera sounds sluggish in comparison, but the results came out just fine.


We purchased and planted this tree about seven years ago, and it has really flourished in the front of our house. I had to prune like crazy this year so that you could see the trunk and main branches through the heavy foliage. Now I just have to keep the tree trimmed back so it doesn’t take over the front sidewalk.

Asteroid worth $10,000 quadrillion ‘could transform global economy’

The asteroid 16 Pschye is one of the main settings in Nu Book 1 – The Esss Advance. Now scientists are confirming the value of mining this body. Here is a link to the article in RT News.

I am very excited about the confirmation of my ideas by the scientific community. They are even routing a probe to 16 Pschye in the very near future.

The featured image is copyrighted by NASA from Arizona State University.

Here is Chapter 38 from my book where I first mention the asteroid:


Chapter 34 – HG Rickover Naval Shipyard

HG Rickover Naval Shipyard was named after the longest-serving officer in US naval history. Admiral Hyman George Rickover served sixty-three years and was the man principally responsible for building and deploying nuclear reactors in both submarines and aircraft carriers that had allowed the United States to dominate the world’s oceans for decades. He was often called the “Father of the Nuclear Navy.”

The naming of the shipyard was intended to honor Admiral Rickover’s record of deploying so many ships without one reactor accident. With the job of building humanity’s first interstellar vessels, the Navy hoped to carry on the Admiral’s record of safety. The enormous size of these ships, by necessity, required an enormous shipyard. The large number of personnel involved in building and installing the various systems required a great deal of housing, hydroponic gardening, entertainment facilities, places of worship, meeting halls, office space, and every other facility found in a small city on Earth or the moon.

The Navy’s need for specialty raw materials to build the shipyard and then the ships was driving the mining industry to keep up with demand. Lifting anything out of Earth’s huge gravity well was not cost effective. This had been demonstrated with the development of the International Space Station (ISS) eighty years earlier. Each segment of the space station was assembled on Earth and then lifted, at great expense, into low-Earth orbit before being attached to the ISS framework. Little could be done in Earth orbit to change or improve on any of the module designs. The astronauts in their bulky suits were taxed greatly just trying to put the pieces together to form a viable living environment.

However, humanity learned a great deal from the effort required to assemble the ISS. The lunar naval shipyards had designed and built a core living environment in lunar orbit and then towed this shell out near the M-type asteroid 16 Psyche that would provide the basic iron and nickel needs of the project for the foreseeable future. Inside the shell were all of the tools necessary for taking the raw materials mined on 16 Psych and turning them into the bones and skin of a viable naval shipyard. Then those same tools could be turned toward the building of the first interstellar ships. After all, there was little difference between building an environment that remained permanently in orbit around the sun and an environment that could propel itself to the stars. Just strap on a propulsion system and reinforce the structure to handle the stress of acceleration, and you had an interstellar vessel.

As the Rickover shipyard grew, so did its demand for skilled labor. The Navy hired Lockheed Aerospace to build and operate a shuttle service between the Navy’s base on the moon and their base in the belt. What Lockheed built was more like one of the giant cruise ships plying Earth’s oceans than any shuttle ever deployed in space. This was necessary, because a round trip averaged about four months. For each two-month passage, all on board needed to be housed, fed, entertained, and allowed to communicate with their family and associates on Earth, the moon, and the new shipyard.

The initial shuttle was designed to handle 400 passengers with a crew of ninety on board. This was sufficient to handle the Rickover’s needs for the first ten years while the shipyard’s facilities were under construction. In fact, the first few years of shuttle operation saw very few passengers. Instead, a great deal of pre-manufactured foundry and factory equipment was shipped. Lockheed understood this would happen and designed the interior of the shuttle in a modular fashion. Initially, only one passenger module was utilized out of a total of eight modules contained within the shuttle framework. Over the ten-year life expectancy of the initial shuttle, the number of passenger modules climbed to seven out of eight, and Lockheed compensated by strapping cargo containers to the exterior.

Now, two newly designed Lockheed shuttles were coming into service. This would allow both a lunar-bound and a Rickover-bound shuttle to operate simultaneously. With the laying of the keel for the first interstellar ship, the personnel requirements at the shipyard were changing rapidly, as were the shuttle designs.

From stem to stern, the vessels were designed as true passenger ships that could accommodate the needs of a highly sophisticated clientele. The need for carrying cargo was now relegated to the original shuttle, which was configured once again with only one passenger module and seven cargo modules.

When the AMC Mantis arrived at the Rickover shipyard, Sted was treated with a beautiful view of the new shuttle Endeavour’s first docking. The shipyard had built a new docking facility specifically for the two new shuttles coming into service, so there were many “firsts” happening all at once. Sted hoped these new facilities and the new shuttle did not suffer from any startup glitches, because he was booked on the first return trip aboard Endeavour.

Cam had arranged for the Mantis to arrive in time for Sted to catch the return shuttle. At this point, the return journey would have far fewer passengers than on the outbound trip. Ramping up for shipbuilding talent meant that the shuttle was fully booked on the outbound leg. The return trip was less than half-full, as some of the personnel involved in expanding the shipyard facilities and manning the foundries and factories were completing their rotations at Rickover.

Sted was amazed at the progress of the expansion at Rickover. His last tour aboard the Revere had docked here more than two years before, and the yard had almost doubled in size. In fact, the docking facility for the two new shuttles was still in the planning stages at that point. Now that facility, along with a new commercial residential wing to house non-military personnel, gave the shipyard a whole new look. This was no longer a bare-bones outpost. In fact, Sted could see another new branch that looked to be dedicated to company offices for contractors working at the yard. The whole shipyard had the feel of a self-sufficient island in the middle of the ocean of space.