She was wating for me…..

My dad died last June, the weekend right after fathers day to be exact. He had a major aneurism a couple of days before Fathers Day, as he walked in to The Roadhouse in Kramer Junction. His Chrysler 300C was sitting beside the diner for a couple of days before my fiancée and I drove her up here. After he died she sat up here for a few months, and then was moved back down to my dads house, where it sat. My siblings and I all agreed (even the ones that do not get along), that the car belong to my brother T. T bought the car for my dad about three years before, and before my dad died he probably put close to 3,000.00 in to the car.

When my brother bought the car for my dad it had a little over 74,000 miles on it. As it sits now, it has over 247,000 miles on it, and still runs pretty strong. Mostly highway and interstate miles. The car had been in really good shape, but as my dads health became worse, his cognitive abilities lessened, the miles grew, and the car became a bit battered and bruised, inside and out. Hence, the 3,000.00 that was put in to it. Water pump, radiator, hoses, alternator, oil pressure sensor, windshield, etc.

My brother T let the car sit, he didn’t want to deal with it at first. I think later he just wanted to let the car “retire.” However, as I am getting married on Friday he agreed to let me have the car for my fiancée. She needs something other than my 21 year old, falling apart Explorer, even if it is only for a couple years until we can afford a decent car for her.

The car has been sitting since June and hasn’t never even been started as I had the only key, no ones else wanted the responsibility of the key. So last night I caught a ride to my dads, jumper cables in tow as I figured the battery would be long since dead. I walked up to my dads car wondering if I would have enough gas to drive the 20 miles to the nearest gas station, wondering if I was going to get pulled over for driving a car that wasn’t registered or insured, wondering how much money this was going to cost me in the long run, wondering if I was even going to be able to get the car registered in my name, worried that something would go wrong, and then I got a strange feeling that I should try the key, so I did.

She unlocked when I hit the button on the key fob and turned over when I started her. She had about a quarter tank of gas and all the tires were fully inflated. She had an oil starved tick from the top end when I started her, but as the oil flowed and she warmed up, she quieted down.

I pulled my dads clothes out of the trunk and put them in his house, along with his glasses and address book. I’m not sure what will happen to them, but I know that my fiancée and I will take care of his car.

As I pulled out of the gate and drove down the road, she started running even better. After using up most of the old gas and replacing it with new gas, she ran even more confidently down the road.

It was like she had been waiting for me to come back and rescue her the whole time.

Categories: Cars, Death, Family, Life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Bank Robber Awarded 165 Million Dollars By A Brooklyn Jury”

desertrat31:

I don’t even know how to respond to this.

Originally posted on The Habanero of Texas:

Brooklyn, NY- (THOT)- In a sentiment reminiscent of the “support the criminals” culture circulating in America; a Brooklyn jury, made up of 11 black and one Hispanic jury members, awarded bank robber Byron “T-Pain” Richsone an astounding 165.5 million dollars.

The settlement stems from a 2013 incident in which T-Pain rushed inside a Wells Fargo bank, armed with a sawed-off shotgun and a .50 caliber Desert Eagle handgun, before ordering the tellers to fill a pillow case with stacks of money. He then stole each of their purses, wallets and jewelry before fleeing the bank.

All bank employee’s were later found dazed and confused while locked inside the bank’s vault wearing only their undergarments.  The bank employees later reported that T-Pain literally, “stole the shirts right off their back,” in addition to their money and valuable possessions.

Bank Robbery money recovered at the scene of the shoot-out with T-Pain Bank Robbery money recovered at the scene of the shoot-out with T-Pain

The crux…

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in the end, it’s just an opinion

desertrat31:

Read this.

Originally posted on Stories that Must Not Die:

I am not an anti-vaxxer, nor do I religiously bow down at the altar of science.

I understand the societal benefits of herd immunity but I don’t like the idea of government mandates to require it.

I do not think that vaccines directly cause autism or other autism spectrum disorders, but I do find it interesting how the incident rate of these diagnoses are increasing right now.  Per the CDC, in 2000 the rate was around 1 in 150 children and in 2010, the rate was 1 in 68 children.  The current recommended vaccine schedule calls for 49 doses of 14 vaccines before the age of 6.    In the 1990’s there were only 9 recommended vaccines administered in far fewer than 49 doses.

Are our medical professionals better trained and is society more accepting of these historically stigmatized disorders, making the current percentages more of an accurate representation of…

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The Phantom: The Unsung Inspiration of Modern Comics

desertrat31:

Wanted to share a little comic book history

Originally posted on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan:

First appearing in newspapers on February 17, 1936, the Phantom was the first character to wear the skintight costume worn by so many superheroes today. He was also the first character to wear a mask with no visible pupils. Creator Lee Falk explained  that Ancient Greek busts inspired the idea of the not showing the Phantom’s pupils when he was wearing his mask, incorrectly believing that  the busts displayed no pupils (in fact they did; originally the eyes would have been painted on, and over time the paint had faded) which he felt gave them an inhuman, awe-inspiring appearance. In an interview published in Comic Book Marketplace in 2005, Falk said the Phantom’s skin-tight costume was inspired by Robin Hood, who was shown wearing tights in films and on stage.

The Phantom has been staring in new stories since his first appearance in 1936, but not every Phantom story is about the same Phantom –…

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The Prospector

The wind whipped his beard and the blowing sand stung his sun and wind leathered face as he kneeled down and picked up the rock. He looked see if it had the right color, a trace of a vein, a fleck of gold, anything to give him hope. It of course had nothing, but he knew this area had already played out.

He stood up and looked towards the setting sun, figuring that this was as good a place as any to set up camp for the night. He didn’t see the beauty of the sunset now, as he did when he was younger. Numb to the bright red, pink, and orange hues that the desert sunset gave, it was just a sunset now. He took the rope to Joseph, his old mule and tied it to a thick Creosote Bush, then tied a feed bag with the last of the oats on to Joseph’s head. He was careful to take care of Joseph, the cantankerous old beast carried all his provisions, including his water. If Joseph wondered off or was injured, he might not make it out of the desert alive.

As he settled down for the night, eating some old jerky and drinking warm, stale water, he thought about the next town he could get supplies and news. He would be there by the end of the next day and would see if their were any new strikes in the area. He didn’t hold out much hope though, he hadn’t heard of any new strikes in years. The big companies owned all the mines now and most everyone he knew had died or gone off to some hospital in the Southern cities.

This was all he knew, all he knew how to be, and he would keep doing it until the buzzards took him.

As he settled in for the evening, a plane went screaming overhead disturbing his reflections. Joseph brayed and bucked, but soon settled back down in to his oats. Jets he thought, last time he had been in town he had seen one streak overhead and asked the woman at the store what it was. She said it was a new type of plane being tested at over at Muroc, it was called a Jet.

He remembered when the Corum family first settled that area, it had been big news when they had brought the post office in. He thought about times gone by as he drifted off and 60 years of prospecting the desert rolled through his brain as he slept.

Categories: History, Stories | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cars and Cats

I like cats. I like Cars. Cars and cats do not go together.

When I stay at my fiancée’s place, where I will soon be living, their is only a small carport to park under. This saddens me as my car is left out in the elements instead of covered by a garage. Then I think about my car in the elements all day at work and I give a small sigh of resignation and move on with my day.

However, this last six months or so cats in the neighborhood have taken to jumping on and off my car, peeing on the powder coated rims, peeing on the wheel wells, peeing on lower parts of the doors, etc. The effect of the cats jumping on my car; all kinds of pay prints and scratches in the clear coat and paint. At the same time, the ammonia in the urine eats up the paint on the body and powder coat on the rims. You can see spots on the rims clear coat that have been totally eaten away already. Not to mention the stench of cat pee around the car when you try and wash it.

I see various cats outside in the morning when I leave for work, so it is hard to pin point which cat is doing it. In fact, it could be more than one cat. I hear cat fights outside the window a lot. I could complain to the owners if I find out which cat(s) are doing it, but I have a feeling my complaints will fall of deaf ears.

Some of you are probably thinking, “get a car cover.” I could, but the car cover in itself is a problem. First, their is just the hassle of putting on and taking off a car cover every day, or multiple times a day. Plus, living in the desert, the dirt and dust that gets under car covers starts acting like sand paper every time the car cover moves. I would be trading cats for a sand paper equivalent. Not a good option.

This leaves me with three option categories:

1.) Extreme measures. Leave out bowels of anti freeze or just stalk them with my 22 rifle.

2.) Try and find some sort of deterrent. Spray, ultrasonic, etc.

3.) Trap them and take them to the pound.

Category one presents many problems: A fiancée/wife that would probably be beyond angry with me. Don’t want to be kicked out of the house weeks within getting married. Plus, can you imagine our little girls reaction when they find out dad is murdering cats? I shudder to think of the tears. There is always the possibility of fines and/or jail for animal cruelty too.

Category two seems like a viable solution. However, when I read the online reviews I can’t seem to find any that always work. Either some cat’s just aren’t affected by them, or the cats learn that the deterrents are more of an annoyance that can be overcome.

Category three would be pretty easy. The fiancée isn’t opposed to it provided that we give a warning to the cat owners first. She likes to play fair for some reason. I’m leaning towards this, but the pound may have issues with me coming in frequently with trapped cats, especially if they have identification of some sort.

Anyone out there face this issue? Anyone have any ideas?

Categories: animals, Cars | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Los Angeles, Owens Valley, and Water

My Maternal family came to the upper Mojave Desert in the 1950’s. During that time my grandfather started talking to the “old timers” as he called them. These were men and women that were in their 50’s -80’s back in the 1950’s. My grandfather tells one story in particular about a man who came to the Antelope Valley and Mojave area with his father when he was a young boy, sometime around the late 1890’s or 1900. The old man said that at the time this part of the Mojave Desert was a very different type of Desert, almost a grassland. There were still some antelope in the Antelope Valley (Lancaster/Palmdale area), and the area was lush with wildlife. The old man, as a boy, had to ride on a mule that his father led. His father wouldn’t let him walk across this high desert/grassland because their were so many rattlesnakes, it was dangerous. These days you have to try to find a snake.

When the Death Valley 49’ers eventually struggled out of Death Valley and Panamint Valley, they came to the Indian Wells Valley. The springs they found there, down along what is now Highway 14 and in to the Antelope Valley is what kept them alive long enough to reach Los Angeles. If you go out on remote parts of what is now Edwards Air Force Base you will find remnants of duck blinds, springs, and artesian wells. That area and in to the Antelope Valley was prime duck hunting through the 1920’s. The whole area had spread out farms and ranches that were irrigated with groundwater. Up through the late 1960′ and early 1970’s there was still just enough groundwater to have a large alfalfa ranch between Boron and California City.

What is now the upper Mojave Desert, from the Antelope Valley to Mojave, to Boron, North to around Ridgecrest, and even some ways east of Boron, wasn’t the desert we know today. Wondering what happened to it? What made it the way it is now? The easiest and most direct answer is this; Los Angeles.

LA was a small and dirty city at the turn of the last century, desperately in need of water. In contrast, the Owens Valley was a farming community and was becoming the fastest growing area in California. The Owens River flowed in to Owens Lake, which was 20 miles long, pretty darn wide, and had steam paddle boats that ferried people and mining products across. There were large farms and ranches in the area, all of which used irrigation farming, and wildlife, especially birds, were abundant. In 1904, two men, Fred Eaton and J.B. Lippincott traveled through the Owens Valley on a camping trip and marveled at the available water.  Fred Eaton was the former mayor of Los Angeles and had also worked as a supervisor for the water company. J.B. Lippincott worked for the Bureau of Reclamation, which was at the time looking at a public irrigation project in the Owens Valley which would have greatly helped out the farmers.

Eaton went back to LA and convinced William Mulholland, the head engineer for the water company, that the answer to LA’s water problem was the Owens Valley, over 250 miles away. Lippincott, working for the Bureau of Reclamation, went out and surveyed the Owens Valley, found out where the water flowed, how it flowed, how much of it their was, and where the key water rights and ranches were. Instead of giving this info to the Bureau, he gave it to Eaton and Mulholland. Eaton and other LA officials were able to pass a bond in LA to get enough cash to buy the key ranches to gain the water rights in the Owens Valley. In these days, news did not travel like it does now, and the Owens Valley had no clue LA was out for its water.

After the bond was passed,at the end of 1905, Eaton and Mulholland, using Eaton’s extensive political contacts, as well as dubious tactics such as bribery and deception, to acquire enough land and water rights in Owens Valley to block the irrigation project. Eaton posed as a rancher that was working for the Bureau of Reclamation. The Owens Valley thought that he was buying land for himself, to be a rancher, and buying land for the irrigation project. By the time they found out the truth, it was too late. by 1907 LA owned the key water rights and the irrigation project was blocked. At this point the rest of the water rights were obtained through bribery and coercion. In 1908 the LA aqueduct began to take life.

When the aqueduct was completed in 1913, the all of the water that had once flowed in to the lower Owens Valley, and Owens Lake, began to flow in to LA. A substantial portion of it was diverted in to the San Fernando Valley, a agricultural community that was not yet part of LA. It just so happens that all of the key players in the purchasing of water right in the Owens Valley and various high powered political and public figures had all recently purchased land in the SFV. The land values skyrocketed, surpassing the purchase prices.

After the aqueduct was completed in 1913, Lippincott immediately quit his job at the Bureau of Reclamation and went to work for the LA Water Department.

In the 1920s, the Owens Valley farmers that had not sold out were watching their farms drained of water, nearly every drop of which was pumped into the steadily growing San Fernando Valley. By the mid 1920’s the Owens Lake had become prematurely and totally dry. In 1924 and again in 1927, protesters blew up parts of the aqueduct. This period of time is known as the California Water Wars.

In the late 1930’s LA again needed more water, so the aqueduct was extended North through the rest of the Owens Valley, Long Valley, and in to the Mono Basin. It was completed by 1940.

It was also during this time that the Antelope Valley and the upper Mojave Desert started to become the desert that it is today. The Owens River and Owens Lake fed a multitude of underground rivers and streams and traveled many many miles South. When the river was diverted, and the lake dried up, the desert took on the form we know now.

What of the Owens Valley? With its giant lake drying up faster than nature intended, their was nothing to hold down the lake bottom and it became a giant unnatural salt flat. For many years it became the single worst source of dust pollution in the United States, it still may be. The wind will create alkali dust storms that that carry away as much as four million tons (3.6 million metric tons) of dust from the lakebed each year. The dust plumes can at times be seen from space, and will travel as far South as LA, can’t say I feel sorry for them though.

A decades long court battle ensued because of these dust storms, with the Owens Valley finally winning in the end. LA has to now put back just enough water to stop the dust storms and create some bird habitat.Not enough to restore Owens Valley. LA wasn’t exactly happy about having to give back water. Last year, they devised a way to till the land and cover it with giant dirt clods. In theory, the clods will hold the dust down and LA will only have to give 1/3  as much water as before. Only time will tell if this method actually works.

Today, NASA says that California only has one year left of water. It seems that in the end, LA raping the Owens Valley didn’t help it. Karma is coming, just too late to actually affect the men who legally stole the water in the first place.

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Me, my Challenger, and the “Mod Bug.”

A while back I was bitten by the “Mod bug” on my car, fairly soon after I drove it off the lot actually. The modifications started out small, cheap, and simple. A drop in K&N filter, dash mat, a Charger air tube to get rid of that stupid “intake silencer,” and durable floor mats. After a time I became irritated at the skip shift feature on my transmission, so I started looking for a way around that. I found a 20.00 resister and wire appropriately called a “Skip Shift Eliminator.” That was ordered and plugged in to my manual transmission right away.

Right now you are probably wondering “What the heck is skip shift?!” My challenger is a 6 speed manual transmission. As an “emissions feature” Dodge, Chevy and other car companies have developed the skip shift; from 19 and 21 MPH, under certain RPM load and I think sometimes certain temperatures, when you attempt to shift out of first and in to second, the computer automatically locks out 2nd and 3rd gear, forcing you to shift in to 4th. This is supposed to bring down emissions under heavy stop and go traffic. It’s annoying.

The skip shift was my last modification for a while; then I needed new tires. Of course that is a perfect time for new rims too! After that I was way too broke to buy anything else. This last year I had a little money saved, refinanced that car for a lower payment and lower interest, and my bumper to bumper warranty expired. A voice in my head cried out LET THE MODS COMMENCE!

The first mod last year was the intake with a Cervinis Ram Air Intake. I took out the existing air filter box, the insulation material under the hood, and the fake hood scoops. I installed a different air box with a conical filter, functional hood scoops, and a panel under the hood with ducting to rout the air from the hood scoops to the air box. When you close the hood, an opening in the panel where the ducting comes together seals to the top of the air box, at least in theory. It seems to work as advertised, but the fit and finish of the air box leave a lot to be desired. I have read of other people installing a Mopar CAI in the air boxes place because it perfectly seals with the Cervinis Ram Air panel. I don’t want to spend another 350.00 on the Mopar CAI though.

At the same time I modified the brakes. Early on I warped my front rotors, which I have since found out is a common problem on the 3.6 SE and 5.7 R/T Challengers. The 6.4 SRT Challengers have upgraded Brembo brakes and they don’t warp. I installed drilled and slotted R1 Performance Rotors all the way around the car and I paired them with HAWK HPS pads. The HAWK’s dust quite a bit and they are semi metallic, so they squeal under low speed braking. However, they stop a lot better than the OEM ones.

After that I put on a Catch Can. A Catch can is basically a canister filter that goes between the EGR valve and the intake manifold. It’s function is to filter out the oil that is the in the gasses that pass through the EGR valve and in to the manifold. These generation three Hemi engines lose a lot of oil in these gasses and it really gunks up the valves.

Just to make things look pretty I put stainless steel braided lines between the EGR valve, the Catch Can, and the manifold. It looks good, but now the engine cover doesn’t quite sit on right.

Next up was a Christmas present to myself; a Barton Industries Short Throw Shifter. I was going to go the traditional route and get a Hurst, but all the reviews were really bad. Evidently Hurst now farms their stuff out to China and the quality isn’t what it used to be. I received my Barton right before Christmas and of course I had to put it in that night. Same night I was supposed to meet my fiancée (then girlfriend) and the girls for dinner. No problem I thought, I read the instructions and watched the YouTube video, this shouldn’t take long.

Two hours later the sun was down, I couldn’t see, and my fiancée had to come over and hold a flashlight for me. She was of course freezing, miserable, cussing me, cussing my car, and not understanding why I was putting in this short throw shifter right now. My response: “because I want it in right now.” She was less than thrilled with me.

I had to re learn to shift my car. Strong centering spring want to bring the shifter back to the center of neutral as soon as you bring it out of a gear. I really had to concentrate to make sure I was staying in 1st and 2nd, not 3rd and 4th. Barton also claims that the shift throw is reduced 40%, I for one believe it.

As a nod to the old school shifters, I went with the classic white shift knob. It looks like an out of place cue ball in my black car, but I love its uniqueness.

The next modification came curtesy of my fiancée; as a gift she purchased a Diablo Trinity Tuner. She informed me that she was going to buy it, and I of course became excited. The tuner actually reprograms the car computer, giving you more performance, gas mileage, etc. A good human tuner can actually take the Diablo Trinity, put your car on a dyno, and give your car a personal tune. This would give you much more horse power and torque vs what the “canned tune” that is already on the Diablo will. Of course, the canned tune is a vast improvement over the stock tune.

My fiancée informed me that she was going to purchase this for me, so I of course jumped the gun and went to a website that specializes in these parts and ordered an A-pillar gauge pod mount and a Trinity adapter. The A-pillar gauge pod mount replaces the cover on your cars A-pillar with one that has a cavity built in to it to mount a gauge. My plan was to permanently mount the Trinity on the A-pillar as it has all kinds of cool gauges, a virtual drag tree, shift light, etc. When I was searching for the gauge pod I found a regular one, and a “Trinity optimized one.” Of course the optimized one was only available through one vendor, was a couple of bucks more than the regular one, and the shipping was 30.00. I went with another vendor on the regular gauge pod to pay a cheaper price and free shipping.

I received the gauge pod about and then the Trinity. I hooked the trinity up to my car, put in the canned 91 octane tune and immediately felt a difference in the throttle response and available power throughout the RPM range. I then customized the tune by making my throttle 20% more sensitive. As Challengers and Chargers have electronic throttles with no throttle linkage of any kind, you can do this. The whole car is basically drive-by-wire.

Once I was satisfied with the throttle sensitivity, I proceeded to put on the A-pillar gauge pod mount. I of course find that the gauge pod is so low on the pillar that it is impossible to correctly mount the trinity. I called up the vendor and they tell me I really should have gone with the Trinity optimized gauge pod from the other vendor. I can send their gauge pod back, but it is a 15% restocking fee, so I won’t get my full 230.00 back. I pull it out, send it back, and order the one I should have ordered. Instead of saving myself 35.00, I ended up costing myself about 50.00 more.

The new gauge pod is in, the trinity is mounted, and it looks good.

Next up was a ported throttle body. OEM throttle bodies are 80mm; I went with a throttle body ported out to 87mm. I went with what I was recommended by the company. I’m not sure if it is doing much of anything HP or Torque wise, but the throttle feels even more consistent now. Either that or it is my imagination trying to justify the purchase. I’m told it will really make a difference if I put on a better exhaust manifold, which I plan on doing some day.

At the moment, sitting in my garage are a set of new spark plugs, and a 180 degree thermostat. The new thermostat is so that I don’t burn my fan up with the new 91 octane tune as the tune changes the fan settings. The Hemi engines are prone to heat soak too, especially out here in the Mojave. A cooler thermostat definitely won’t hurt.

The spark plugs need to go in soon too as I am at 38,000 miles and they are supposed to be changed out at every 30,000 miles.

On order, and probably the last things I will buy for my car this year, are strut braces. They serve to stiffen the suspension on the car and help with body roll and flex. I bought one for the front that mounts in the engine compartment, and an arched one for the back, that mounts in the trunk. They have better ones for the rear, but they take up more trunk room than I want to give up.

What’s all this leading to and why are you doing this you may ask? Well, more modifications! Each mod builds on the next and improving performance. I plan on a whole suspension kit, stainless steel brake lines, shorty headers, better cat back exhaust, and someday a high performance cam and cylinder heads. I live in California so I can’t put high flow catalytic converters on, or I would.

During all of this, I do plan on driving some time trials, the Mojave Mile, autocross, etc. Although I have to say that this big beast of a car on an autocross, amongst Miata’s, Evos, BMW’s, (etc.) will be interesting.

Also…well… I just want to. What better reason should I have?

Categories: Cars, Life, money | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commander, Naval Installations Command. A redundantly named organization of cheap jerks. A rant.

Normally I don’t like to talk or write about work, because it can get me in trouble. However, I need to rant about this.

I work for Commander, Naval Installations Command (CNIC) under Navy Region South West (CNRSW). CNIC is a bunch of cheap jerks.

Last May I went on travel to Yorktown, Virginia. Booking my flight from LAX to Virginia, I had to take the most direct and economical route. This ended up being LAX to Charlotte, a layover in Charlotte, and then a commuter plane from Charlotte to Newport News, Va. Then a 15 minute drive in a rental car to Yorktown Naval Station where I stayed at a horrible Navy Lodge. No big deal, right? Unfortunately due to flights in and out of Charlotte this left very little in the way of choosing flights out of LAX to Charlotte. Their is a 6am flight, an 1130am flight, and an evening flight.

The 6am flight puts you in to Charlotte around 1pm East Coast time, the flight out of Charlotte puts you in to Newport News around 3pm. Get your luggage, rental car, etc. You are in your hotel around 4pm.

An 1130 flight out of LAX will ultimately put you in Newport News at approximately 9:00PM, putting you in your hotel room at about 10:00pm…but wait…the rental car terminal isn’t open at that time. So if you take that flight, you have to take a cab to the gate of the base in Yorktown and then walk to the Navy Lodge with all your luggage. Not a great option.

The evening flight puts you in to Newport News at around 6am the next day, and your class starts at 7am. An even worse option.

Sounds like the only reasonable thing is to leave from LAX at 6am, right?

LAX is 158 miles from my residence and is the closest large airport. On a good 5 Freeway/405 Freeway traffic day, this is a three hour trip. On a bad traffic day it can be up to six hours. For now we will say that it is a good traffic day and it’s only a three hour trip. When you add the TSA recommended two hour before flight arrival time, this makes it a five hour trip. You are taking a rental car to LAX, so you will have to gas the car up, return it to the appropriate rental agency, and then take a shuttle to the terminal; this can add up to another hour. Taking all this in to account, if a flight leaves LAX at 0600 hours, you have to leave here around 1am to make a 6am flight. All in all, you will be traveling for about 12 or 13 hours by the time you reach your destination.

Not horrible…..but the Government travel regulations state that you are not supposed to travel outside your normal work times, nor are you supposed to travel at unreasonable hours. Unreasonable hours are Midnight to 6am.

My supervisor and fiancé did not want me leaving at 1am. So I tried getting a hotel near LAX the night before. My travel orders were denied because of this. Instead of fighting it, I just left at 1am. No big deal to me.

My supervisor a co worker have to make a similar trip to Knoxville Tennessee in a couple of weeks and they are running in to the same issue. Leave here at 2am to get in to Knoxville at a reasonable time, or leave here later in the morning, gamble on LA traffic and leave LAX around noon to get to Knoxville at 10pm. They tried to get authorization for a hotel at LAX the night before. Room cost, with both of them sharing a room, a total of about 110.00. CNIC, located in Washington DC, said no.

We have to have our travel reviewed by people in San Diego, but approved by Approving Officials (AO’s) in Washington DC. These people in DC say No, a hotel is not authorized the night before, it is against travel regulations, leave later. My supervisor told them if they they leave later, they are getting in to an unfamiliar city at night, can’t get a rental car, etc. Washington DC AO’s basically said “tuff.”

If you compare this to another Command here, Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), it doesn’t make sense. NAWCWD employees ROUTINELY get rooms at LAX the night before an early travel and their AO’s are right here on station. Their travel people state that getting a room the night before is NOT against regulations, and is a prudent safety measure. They also state that most other Commands frown upon what CNIC is doing.

I wanted to know if this sort of travel was truly against regulations, so I emailed the GSA and Travel Officials, the people that wrote the travel regulations for all of the Dept. of Defense. First off, they were baffled that any installation is so remotely located, they didn’t understand the situation at first. Once they understood the situation, they basically said that it wasn’t against the travel regulations to stay the night before, you can’t be made to travel outside your normal work times or during unreasonable hours, but the authorization is at the AO’s discretion and they just need to be make to understand the situation.

The AO’s response?  “No.”

So, these AO’s in Washington DC are willing to violate Government regulations on travel and safety to basically save 100.00. A bunch of cheap jerks.

Categories: Work | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Sometimes we wonder

Originally posted on Just Cruisin 2:

rights

A friend shared an article that pushed my buttons.
It was on the ABC News website and talked
of how and Iowa widow had around $19,000
seized from her account because it wasn’t deposited
right.

Because of a law that doesn’t allow large sums
of money to be deposited in amounts less than
$10,000 this poor woman is a criminal. This is to
help investigators track large sums of cash tied
to criminal activity they say. But has it gotten
out of hand?

In seven years the IRS seized $242 million, a
third simply because less than $10,000 was
deposited. About half was returned after those
who lost the money challenged the IRS.

So if I had $20,000 and deposited it in 4 banks
I would be a criminal, but if I deposited it in
2 banks I would be a pillar of the community? How
crazy is that! If…

View original 32 more words

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