Notes for Tuesday – February 14, 2017

February 14 is the birthday of Medal of Honor recipient Jack Lucas (born 1928, died June 5, 2008). During the Iwo Jima campaign, this 17-year-old won the Medal of Honor for unhesitatingly hurling himself over his comrades upon one grenade and for pulling another one under himself. One of the grenades exploded, and Lucas absorbed the entire blasting force of it with his own body. PFC Lucas was the youngest Marine ever to receive the Medal of Honor. (He was just 13 when he forged his mother’s signature to enlist.)

Observations and Lessons from the Oroville Dam Evacuation

I felt obliged to pass on some observations and potential lessons on the developing problems at the Oroville Dam here in northern California.

For those who may not have heard, the Oroville Dam has had some major structural issues with the spillways, resulting in mandatory evacuations for as many as 180,000 people. It is an earth fill embankment dam on the Feather River east of the city of Oroville, California, in the United States. At 770 feet (230 m) high, it is the tallest dam in the U.S. and serves mainly for water supply, hydroelectricity generation, and flood control. It is supplied by the impoundment of the Feather River, and the Oroville Dam also manages an incredible amount of water; its full capacity measures 3,537,577 acre-feet, and it has a drainage area of 3,607 square miles.

News media had been reporting on some erosion in the main spillway … Continue reading

Letter Re: Sad and Silent

Dear Sad and Silent:

I have learned to speak in terms of resilience and not prep. I regularly engage in DIY projects because of the mental stimulation. I seek to know about all things, saying that I am a very curious fellow. Every fifth person laughs.

When I buy, I grab a little extra of nails, screws, oil, filters, et cetera. Commonly, I do household projects out of inventory, in terms of screws and nails, making sure to replace them. That does not mean it did not take three trips to the hardware store to finally get the stove installation parts right. Why is 15/16ths smaller than a ¾ fitting? My problem is that it seldom spontaneously occurs to me that I am wrong, scrounging electronic parts and tools in conjunction with what my Ham radio license teaches me.

Scrounging tools, dealing with metal cutting, and welding will eventually teach … Continue reading

News From The American Redoubt:

Many folks living in North Idaho and Northwestern Montana are probably already familiar with a great old-fashioned military surplus store in Sandpoint, Idaho called Army Surplus 1. It was probably the inspiration for the fictional “Grogan’s War Surplus”, in the humorous books written by Patrick McManus. Their motto is: “We probably have it.” And in my experience, that is true. A great store with a 40 year history of fine customer service and a great selection. Stop by and check it out. – JWR

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We note with interest that Primary Weapons Systems (of Boise, Idaho) has greatly expanded their product line. Their fully ambidextrous AR-15 upper and lower receiver sets are a left-hander’s dream come true. And their PicMod rail system (A Picatinny rail that also accepts Key Mod attachments) is a great solution.

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Idaho custom knife maker … Continue reading

Economics and Investing:

EU Bureaucrats Escalate the War on Cash: Will Precious Metals Be in the Crosshairs? – DSV

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Are Gold Prices Finally Beginning To Crack?

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Artificial Intelligence To Reveal The Biggest Secret In Oil. No one really knows how much oil the countries around the world are storing, but a new satellite technology may soon bring those numbers to light.

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The most depressing chart showing US imports and exports in 2016 with top trading partners.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Video: Gun Control’s Racist History – D.B.

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11 Reasons You Should Drink A Tbsp Of Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day – DSV

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Sharp Rise Reported in Older Americans’ Use of Multiple Psychiatric Drugs – DSV

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Nearly 200K Remain Under Evacuation As Concerns Remain Over Oroville Dam Spillway. Note the mention of “gridlock”. Wait too long and you’re in trouble. – RFJ

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If you are thinking about building a large boat, but wondering how you launch it without a crane, then you might want to read this: Parbuckle and Launch