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Everything posted by desertdog

  1. desertdog

    This forum is dead.

    The second point of origin still holds my curiosity. I am genuinely glad to hear that signs of life are showing up in what's left of Paradise. It may not be much from the sound of it, but something is better than nothing. Our unit leader has family still living in Chico and Paradise, and one or two even work for PG&E. They rolled up to say hello one afternoon while we were taking a break for food/water. You can tell they're totally conflicted inside, between having a decent paying job and knowing that somewhere in the chain of command, that same company may have cost him his home and nearly 100 lives. She used to spend summers up there, and even drove by some prior family homes during the search. I can't imagine how heartbreaking it was for her, but she's tough (at least on the outside). What I went through was nothing compared to what scene evacuees had to deal with during the fire. The videos alone are horrifying, and I never felt the heat or smelled the fresh smoke. And then there's all the contamination from household chemicals, pesticides, gasoline, tires, oil, synthetics, and whatever else burned or melted. I knew it was bad when, before having lunch, I was wiping my face down with Clorox disinfectant wipes, alcohol, and anything else that would lift the dirt and oils off my face. At a number of the houses, we would often find nice dishes and glassware, something obviously loved and cared about by the owners. For some reason, we almost universally would pick stuff up, place it aside (usually on a foundation or a place no one could walk, and then keep digging. I've heard at least one story of survivors going back to the crater that used to be home, and finding those things. In that case, the plates and dishes belonged to her grandmother and were dear to her. In the middle of all that chaos and destruction, I was constantly looking for that 'one thing' to set aside which might help a survivor or relative realize that not *everything* was gone. No one told us to, no one reminded me to; just some odd, natural instinct. I want to see the town get back on its feet, but I suspect the Feds have other plans. They filed noticed of the possibility, which could happen by the end of the month. Not sure how I feel about that, honestly. I always see crews working on stuff, in very populated areas, and in remote areas. I'll be interested, as a shareholder, to see how everything shakes out.
  2. Those are all blanks. Over near the Project Shoal site, we found a ton of spent 7.62x51 brass with links. It was old - had a black patina - and the headstamp date was '84'. Those were not blanks, so someone was doing live-fire in the area (it's Navy land, but not closed off) with small arms, likely using an M60, given the marks on the brass. I gathered several hundred cases and tumbled them for about a day with stainless steel pins, Dawn dish soap, and Lemishine. The brass came out clean, but not super-shiny. I inspected every piece for incipient head failures, then reloaded a bunch of it with light duty 308 Winchester loads. The stuff shot well, but given it's history, I wouldn't use it in anything semiauto. Still, it made for sub-MOA rounds out of my 700SPS.
  3. It's adjacent to Dixie Valley. USN trains there, as do Marines. When we were there a couple of years ago, we had a nice overflight by a UH-60 on the deck. Pretty awesome stuff.
  4. The gated mine at Hercules is easy to enter. I know this from personal experience. When you make a door, you make a way in for everyone. When you fail to secure that door, it might as well not exist in the first place.
  5. We looked a couple of years ago. We found what MAY have been wood remnants from coffins, but nothing else. We hiked extensively and found basically nothing of the graves.
  6. BH is outside of the proposed takeover area. However, if that alternative goes through, part of 361 will be routed well to the east of its current location, and close to BH. That could be related to the closure. Would love to see some pictures of how they've blocked things off. Access was kinda crappy anyway, though we did send some cameras down a few shafts, nothing of interest popped up. I did rappel down another shaft, well to the south, with a video to document it. Maybe BLM saw that and thought they needed to take action. This really has me rethinking making videos any more. Why give them the satisfaction. Or perhaps I need to further anonymize the locations (though I thought I did a good job of that already).
  7. Hey folks...I saw the recent spate o' spam messages this morning and I think I nuked them all. If I missed any, please let me know. I'm surprised it took this long for the bots to come along, but I knew they would be here eventually. I know there are other mods that can delete content, but I'll be danged if I can remember who those might be. Though I don't post as much as I'd like to, I do try to check in at least once a day for reasons like this. I've been out of town though, so it has been a little difficult during the past week. Bob really has his hands full with 'life', so I'll be doing what I can in his place (just for now) to keep LAW n' ORDER!!! Lol. The junk should be gone (for now).
  8. desertdog

    Youtube taking views away from videos

    YT claims it's because they are removing bot/scam/non-human accounts. I know recently that Bob promoted one of my videos, and it got a lot of views. It also got some oddball comments, likely from bots/spam accounts. I'd imagine that's part of it. But, YT is about as transparent as a fresh batch of sewage (and their management has about the same IQ as a floating turd), so who knows. I have noticed over time that my firearms-related videos, especially reloading ones and ones relevant to CA's stupid laws, have gotten the most views. I'm sure part of that is driven by active search and Google's search result rankings. I've typed in terms to find something on Google and actually had a few of my vids come out as the 1/2/3 results, and I wasn't even keywording to find them. This was on a fresh Windows 10 install, using Edge, in a virtual environment, so no cookie/tracking/analytics magic, either. I don't understand it, and you really can't either. It's a black box, and until they let people poke around the innards, it remains a mystery.
  9. Concussions are bad things, to say the least. Delaminating rock is probably the one thing that freaks me out the most. I've stood in stopes where waste rock is 80-100 feet above, held in place by a floor or wall of timbers, and that doesn't bother me nearly as much as little cracks in huge slabs.
  10. Better off to not go in alone if you don't know much about the underground layout. If you have a map, and know of multiple exits, it's less dangerous, on two counts. First, you have the possibility of escape and second you have a greater chance of good air and replenishment of bad air. Beyond that, after a while studying the older methods of cut-and-fill, false flooring, and split-leveling, you can spot the dodgy stuff and proceed accordingly. Most people die in mines because they fall, and most falls are because they have inadequate light sources. Some die of hypothermia (flooded mines, but I've been in dry mines that got me close), and very few die from rockfall. But, odds are made better by being prepared. I usually have no less than 3 sources of powered lighting, an O2 meter (which I need to replace soon), a bunch of glowsticks (usually the white ones), a small can of compressed 'pilot' oxygen, gloves, a helmet, good boots, and a stout knife. If I'm going down into a hole, then a descent/ascent system will be built according to proper TRT practices where possible. If not doable, then I'll settle for good mountaineering rope setups as well. I've been in mines where people used shitty 3/8" Home Depot rope (left behind) for going down winzes as a backup handhold. Crappy knots on crappy anchors = sudden death. If possible, I like to get a truck up close and personal (safely) to the shaft and use it as an anchor. If it's good enough for fire/RS1, it's good enough for me.
  11. SAR teams head into mines frequently (in 'mine country', at least). Most recent one I can think of was in AZ this past summer. I saw pictures and footage of the rescuer going down to recover the victim (alive, but hurt), and they rigged some stuff that at least looked dicey (may have been perfectly safe for a 1-2kN rescue load, for all I know). I keep telling our unit people that we need to do some confined space/cave rescue practice, in the very least. Either would come in handy during a USAR event, especially in quake country. I think the idea is finally starting to get a little traction, too. Granted, caves are far less likely to be overcome by gravity, but many of the same principles apply (light sources, air monitoring gear, unstable edges/surfaces, water, etc.) That's not to say you won't die, and I generally don't like to enter mines without at least one responsible adult on the outside. At the same time, when I'm looking at a 50-100 year old mine that's accessible, I figure it didn't fall in on itself since the last person walked out. So there is no logical reason it's suddenly going to be that "today is the day". Honestly, between going into mines and driving in the Bay Area, I'll take the mines. At least desert mines.
  12. Point me in the right direction and let's go! Does he know anything about ropes/climbing/technical rescue? If so, he'd probably be fine. If not, don't encourage him until he does know something. Lol.
  13. That would be neat to visit. I'm starting to think that 'getting there' isn't so bad, at least in terms of mines. The harder thing is rigging up a safe rope system to descend. If I ever get around to publishing my 2nd 'Thompson' mine video from a few months ago, you'll see that getting down was a bit of a nail-biter. I have training and experience in using the equipment. But in the end, I went single rope with an anchor I would use again (but which wobbled a bit). Most of the time the challenge is anchors deep inside a mine. I have limited trust in timbering, primarily for two reasons. First, it's timbering that may be 50-100 years old. That always spooks me. Second, if something gives, you have to be really aware of how the dominoes are going to come down and what comes down with them. An overhead set of braces for a winze is easy enough. A few pieces of wood come down, wedge across the opening, and that's it. If they form the bottom of some greater support structure, then you're more likely to have a bad day. That's another reason I research mines as much as possible. I'm always thinking of an escape plan, should everything utterly go to shit in a hurry.
  14. desertdog

    UTV's? Suggestions?

    The Roxor seems like a waste of money. $16k base for a CJ-something clone? I'd rather drop 1/3 of that on something like this: https://reno.craigslist.org/cto/d/78-j-5-jeep-v8-4-sp-very/6773583646.html And spend another 5k going through it. And keep the last 5k for gas. More fun, more flexible, immense aftermarket. Or I might even consider going to something with the 4.0L HO and doing the same. All you miss out on is a Indian-tweaked French 4 cylinder diesel motor. And if you really, really want a diesel in a Jeep, buy cheap and do a swap. No, it's not turnkey. Yes, it will take time and effort. Most things worth doing take time and effort, though. Oh, and I have yet to see a CJ/YJ/XJ, etc.-style Jeep that didn't have a spare mounted on the back end. Have they stopped doing that recently?
  15. desertdog

    Youtube taking views away from videos

    All my views-per-day on my channel dropped by 40% 8 or 9 months ago. Can't figure out why. Subscribers only went up. Granted, my vids have been few and far between lately (no time to edit) but that doesn't explain it. Plus I have a hard time getting subscribers, which doesn't help.
  16. I've been happy with my Mavic Pro, so far. But it's also a previous generation. The DJI software is pissing me the hell off, though. All sorts of registration hoops to deal with. Luckily on the first day, I had 2 bars of service, so I set my phone up as a hotspot, joined the tablet to the WiFi, and got that taken care of. A few miles further out and I'd have been stuck using the phone for the controller. Really surprised there are no 3rd-party controllers for the DJI's.
  17. desertdog

    I Have Been Gone For A Long Time

    That's precisely what I try to do. I have put off a lot of "wants" (though not all of them) since I got married 19 years ago, and so has the wife. She comes from a big family, and I'm an only kid, so she is wayyyy more frugal than I am. Even so, I'm pretty good at saving money and putting off unimportant stuff. For the first time in a long time, she asked for something rather expensive for the holidays (a Silhouette Cameo for her craft stuff), so I ended up buying it, and lots of related goodies, for her. Plus with 2 little ones, we are saving money to put them through good grammar schools, good high schools, and eventually decent colleges. At least as much as we can with college, we want them to both avoid the debt trap. They can pay that forward for their own babies, some day. I really wish they taught debt avoidance in school, too. And watching the stock market lately, I know that shitstorm is coming, How big and bad it will be, I do not know. But it's coming, and with the market looking like a 5-6 month lead indicator, summer 2019 may prove to be very interesting....
  18. I've only used borrowed detectors, but I find it lots of fun. It's really an ear-training hobby more than anything else. When I've been able to borrow one, I've found all sorts of neat stuff. A friend of mine, using the exact same model (I was borrowing his spare) found a commemorative medal of the US Pacific Squadron's 1903 voyage at Seven Troughs. The stuff is out there for sure, definitely requires some time and effort though. Lots of junk gets dug up, but when I would pull out YET ANOTHER CAN, I'd have fun with it, show it off, explain it was a 'late '73 Pepsi can, the only year they had blue #54 instead of blue #53 on the can, etc. It's what you make of it, I suppose.
  19. desertdog

    I Have Been Gone For A Long Time

    The advice given a century ago is the advice my father gave me, and the advice I'll give my kids. Go to school, work hard, don't spend your money on stupid crap. Save as much as you reasonably can and invest wisely where you can. When the shitstorm hits, and we all know it will again, use your brains to make money and use your saved money frugally to weather the storm.
  20. desertdog

    I Have Been Gone For A Long Time

    I have had a similar discussion with people for decades, and it always centers on observable effects vs. lack of a control. It's hard to tell if advertising or lack thereof creates much of an impact, especially on established brands. The marketeers measure all the 'soft' data, and the bean counters measure the bottom line. But neither can tell you what happened if there was no advertising published for a brand/product. The infer or assume that advertising is a necessity for sales growth, but they can never actually prove it. Since they can't prove it, they err towards allocating dollars for advertising budgets - sometimes more, sometimes less. Non-advertising brands do exist, though they are sort of rare animals. So I suspect advertising will continue unabated. But, I concede that newer technologies (ML, AI) could allow for gathering of data, or even conducting experiments, in which there is a true "no advertising" control in some sort of simulation. If that's the case, I would expect the results to shift behaviors in some unknown direction. As for an exit strategy, that's an excellent question and one I'd never considered (never needed to). For that I would start looking at the market for 'exploration', demographics, disposable income, and probably some other factors I can't think of. That, or else start working on a new profession. If I had it to do all over again, I would probably become a certified maritime welder and keep that skill fresh and in my back pocket. As it stands, if plans work out, I hope to get some formal welding training and CNC training. The cool stuff doesn't build itself. As well as it can. Things take too long, and I don't have a lot of time to play with. Holidays are impacting schedules drastically.
  21. desertdog

    I Have Been Gone For A Long Time

    Bob, I'm glad you followed your dream. Or more to the point, that you had the courage to do it and you had the support of your family to do it. It's not easy making massive changes like that, especially multiple changes at the same time. I'm in the same boat now, not with YT, and it's not easy. I thought it would be, but I was wrong. It's good to see you back around these parts, but I think we all understand that work, whatever form it takes, comes first.
  22. Hey folks, Just wanted to get this out there: https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/10/30/missing-hiker-alpine-county-bradford-dozier/ I know at least a few regulars explore and hike in Alpine County (California), I'm sure the family would appreciate all the help they can get. The Alpine County Sheriff's Office put out a call for mutual aid earlier this week and received help from several counties. They put out a second MA request yesterday to tap more distant county SAR teams, including mine. We couldn't make a presence today (short notice), but we're sending a team (including me) up early tomorrow AM for the 11/1 operational period. Information is thin and I won't know more until briefing tomorrow at 0700 (which means leaving town between 0200 and 0300). I have spent a lot of time in the area where his vehicle was found, usually during and before deer season, so I have a small advantage compared to searchers that are not familiar with the area. In the end, I'm just a grunt, and I don't make search decisions for Incident Command staff. We go where we're told and search until we're done or told to come back. If anyone is out there (even this weekend), and sees him, mark a waypoint, make contact, or let someone (Deputy, SAR team, etc) know. If you find anything that might be his (pack, shirt, hat, etc.), leave it in place, mark a waypoint, and get that info to the Sheriff's Office ASAP. Leaving things in place can be helpful if there are K9 resources to deploy for tracking. Thanks folks.
  23. desertdog

    This forum is dead.

    Genuinely sorry to hear that you're still not in, but glad your home survived. I was on a SAR team doing search and recovery up until they called off the search efforts. Very strange walking down a cul-de-sac of 10 homes, 9 of them piles of ash, and one of them still standing. Even asking the Fire guys, they said for many surviving homes there was no particular reason they should have survived. Been watching vids of escapes, seeing homes on fire that I later ended up searching and tearing apart with various Fire crews. When we had our forward CP at Tall Pines, there was an older Toyota Minivan at the corner of Clark and Village with a big orange cone on top. That was our outbound marker to make the turn onto Village for debrief and decon (another unpleasant process). For a month we tried to figure out the deal with that van, to no avail. Watching a video Friday night, a guy who evacuated from the KMart once Clark Road was clear drove right past it on 11/8. Van was there, w/out the cone. So in typical SAR fashion, someone turned an abandoned car into a CP marker for those not familiar with the area. I don't know how many SAR teams I saw that picked up old burned tools (pry bars, breaker bars, even chunks of steel pipe) to use in the search. SAR teams aren't equipped for that sort of thing by default, and though our unit trains for USAR, we focus on shoring and building stabilization so we can go in and get survivors out. Some nights we slept in tents (15-20 in a tent), other nights in the mobile sleeper bunk trailers. I hate those trailers, now. Next time I'll sleep in one of the Sheriff's rigs or in my own tent. Everything was fine until they activated FEMA. Staffed by decent people, but organizationally they are a total clusterfuck. And throwing people into leadership roles that have zero clue how to handle any sort of search led to a lot of duplicated effort. What a mess for the people that live there. I'm pretty sure they'll be finding remains for months to come as the ash washes/blows away and the bone bits remain. Fucking horrible sight. Bones found right next to front doors. Folks tried to run out to their cars and took their first, and last, breath of super-heated air, fried their lungs, and died in minutes, writhing in agony. I'm convinced, given the location and position of a few finds, some folks saw the horror coming, knew they couldn't get out, and decided to punch out with a .38 or .357. I don't blame them one bit. I've washed uniforms and gear countless times now, and I'll never get the stench out. It's a mix of a wood burning stove, burned tires, sorrow, and despair. Fuck.
  24. Looks like a nice bike. Too bad I'm not on the tall side.
  25. One of the mine explorers in British Columbia did just that - he took a raft into a mine and paddled around. I forget how that ended up.
  • Our picks

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    • Exploration Field Trips - March 31-April 2, 2000 - Into the Nevada Triangle with Lew Shorb
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    • Exploration Field Trips: May 1-3, 2000 - Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
      Exploration Field Trips:
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