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RedFive last won the day on February 12

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About RedFive

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    Herald of the People Retired
  • Birthday August 27

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  1. Duh... it's much closer to 100% of the time. ...also note that the sweatpants are Patriot grey, his sandals are Patriot blue, and the hoodie is Patriot red.
  2. RedFive

    12/02/19 - Cars

    There are interesting articles about automobile sales and why there is a disparity in markets... you can largely blame taxes, regulations/testing, consumer preferences, and purchasing decisions. The short of it is, in Europe, many customers can't afford a gas guzzling beast of steel the way an American would drive a car because they wouldn't be able to afford the gas given the far higher price of gas due to higher taxes in most European countries compared to America (averaging something like four times the price). Further, European regulations often dictate higher performance standards as well, certainly more aggressive than all American regulations (even California liberal policies are considered "behind the times" compared to European policies and they are the most progressive of all American regulations on automobiles). Lastly, given the combination of higher public transportation (as Mitsu graciously indicated above) and different cultural priorities where people are much more likely to live closer to where they work compared to Americans, it further lessens the need for personally owned automobiles. This all helps to tell the story why Europe and personally owned vehicles are much less of a thing compared to the American way of life where almost everyone you meet of age will own a car (as benfro graciously indicated above). It is literally an American past time to "get your first car" when you get your drivers license; usually around age 16.
  3. RedFive

    12/02/19 - Cars

    I am like TCL... I also share two cars with one other person. My wife and I have two American made gas guzzling beasts of steel. A '14 Chevy Equinox (to lug the kids around / 26 mpg or so) A '16 Chevy Cruze (mostly to go to and fro work / 36 mpg or so) (I don't buy new, both were lease returns I got for good deals) In less than 7 years, assuming no issues with vehicles, the Equinox will become my son's car when he turns 16 and we will buy something else (probably another Chevy vehicle). In less than 9 years, assuming no issues with vehicles, the Cruze will become my daughter's car when she turns 16 and I will buy a very manly Chevy truck (because damn it, I want one... for compensation purposes...) Red
  4. RedFive

    11/02/19 - Exams

    I am wrapping up my MBA, so I will have tests in each of my last three classes. Also, I am working on getting a second professional certification. which will require a test or two (not sure yet - just signed up and haven't begun to study for it). I really REALLY look forward to June or so when these are all done. Red
  5. RedFive

    Photo Sharing

    https://ibb.co/GpZJyNf This is my Grandfather in 1944 during training and before heading off to war. He was B-29 pilot in the United States Army Air Corp and flew in the Pacific theater. If you know your history and you understand the intent of the B-29 (the longest range bomber of the day with a range over 5,500 miles) you can understand where his targets resided. He started off of Guam and flew nearly directly north. His first missions from Guam took place while the American's only held a small portion of the island, to the point before his first mission, he walked the dirt hills along side the runway and fell through a hole into a small Japanese soldier's hide-out. It took him a moment to figure out where he was, but the light of a small fire and the light from the hole he had created by falling in, the smell of rice, and the Japanese rising sun on a flag against one wall made him realize immediately where he was - thankfully the soldier who called that position his hideout, was not there at that time. He jumped out, ran back to some soldiers and advised them what he had seen. Soon after, a group of soldiers with weapons, hand grenades, and flame throwers walked that group of dirt hills, and could not find the opening that my Grandfather fell in to, so a series of bulldozers covered the area in dirt to ensure the aircrew's had safety from those hide-outs that had not been known about prior. My Grandfather's first 7 missions were marred with issues. B-29s were shot at by Japanese zeroes, some ditched after losing too much engine thrust after rounds ripped through their engines and were later picked up by American subs between Guam and their targets, but fortunately for him he never lost enough engine power to lose altitude and was always able to make it "back home to Guam". In one of his early missions, flying behind and higher than another group of loose planes and a group of planes in diamond formation, he saw the diamond formation successfully defend and take out some of the Japanese zeroes whereas the group of loose planes were picked off one by one to the zeroes. Seeing this, he told himself when he gained squadron command, he would demand his crews to fly a "loose diamond formation" so they could quickly come together for a "tight diamond formation" when zeroes were sighted. Prior to his 8th mission, my Grandfather became his squadron's leader, a group of 9 planes that were to fly together. (11 men for each plane; 99 men total; he always said the army never trusted a Lieutenant with more than one hundred men! -- each plane had a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, navigator, engineer, two radiomen, and 4 gunners) His first command to his pilots and co-pilots in his squadron was to enact the diamond formation at all times once they were able to come together after take off, until such time that the bombardier took over and split off to their respective target. Once the bomb run was over, the pilots regained control, would turn the planes around, come back together in a diamond formation and return to Guam. This was not received well by his fellow pilots, because it was much more demanding of the pilots for the full duration of the trip, but it did mean a greater chance for survival, and that to my Grandfather meant more that the burden incurred by the pilots. Mission 8-20, they flew in loose diamond formation and were never seriously targeted by the zeroes. Once zeroes were sighted, they were able to come together in a tight diamond formation (nose behind and below the wing of the plane in front by less than ten feet, often as close as three feet apart; 1 in front, then 2, then 3, then 2, and finally 1 to form the "diamond") in a matter of moments and would always have 9 guns to fire at any incoming zero (each B-29 had 4 machine gunners; no matter which direction the zero came in from, there were always 9 guns to fire at them, few zeroes tried, even fewer that did survived. This marked a series of very successful missions for my Grandfather's squadron. Upon his 20th mission, he was told that his job was done and he could head home. However, seeing that his 2nd in command and next squadron leader was not in the same frame of mind in regards to the diamond formation, he felt it necessary to stay on for the sake of "his 99" since he was not able to convince the leadership to select a different squadron leader. The Army Air Corp was more than happy to offer him an additional 10 missions, so he resumed his squadron leader role for missions 21-30. On one of these missions (I don't remember which # - but his log book lists it - I think it is #24), upon take off, his plane had some mechanical issues and almost as soon as they took off had to dump their payload over the ocean, circle around and land since they were not going to make it all the way to their target and back with a weakened set of engines. The remaining portion of his squadron continued on without them, and this time seeing that the squadron leader was not there, the 2nd in command apparently said "hell with the diamond", and a few hundred miles out from their target, his group of loose flying planes were picked off and a few of the planes, including the 2nd in command's, went down in to the sea off the target coast. The remainder turned around and limped back to Guam. My grandfather knew there was an issue immediately seeing them return back hours earlier than they were suppose to and short a few planes. The de-brief made it clear where the blame was to lie. This, along with other situations, led to the military enacting an official policy on flying in a diamond formation in the Pacific. The policies up to this point had been largely following those in Europe for the B-17s where loose flying was the requirement given the air dominance of the American's and British over the Germans at this time (meaning no air to air attacks expected) and the sheer amount of flack that the Germans could shoot in to the air. Any tight pack of planes was actually an easier target for the German anti-air teams, and thus that policy was put in place in the Pacific as well, despite there being drastically different conditions. In the Pacific, their was no anti-air flack being shot at the B-29s as the majority of the trip was over the ocean and often at far higher in altitude, but there were many Japanese zeroes that would swoop in suddenly (often from the sun to avoid being seen). This marked a turning point for the American B-29s where far less were lost and many more zeroes were shot down. Once again, upon completion of mission 30; My Grandfather was advised that he could head home, and he once again turned it down in favor of an additional ten missions. During these ten missions, the Pacific war begin to change dramatically. First, American's began to take full control of the sky because of a combination of factors; partly American bombs from B-29s had destroyed much of the major factories of the Japanese and secondly, the American navy and army had fighters that could compete with and take out what remaining zeroes were left flying. Towards the end of this group of missions, the US Army Air Corp had switched B-29s to incendiary bombs to literally rain fire down on their targets and would lower down to 10,000 feet to better hit their targets. On one such run, planes that were a few minutes ahead of them had hit an explosives factory that caused such a huge explosion that my Grandfather's plane went from 10,000 feet to 20,000 feet just from the uplift of the explosion, he said since they were on the bombing run and not yet released their bombs, that the bombardier had to then quickly re-calculate for their new altitude and realized that they were already beyond the target so they had to switch to a secondary target on their swing back around. Upon regaining control of the plane after the bombardier had released all his bombs, he realized that they had some damage to their full lines, and was happy that the American Marines had recently taken Iwo Jima so they could make an emergency landing there to fix up the equipment before returning a few days later to Guam. On his next mission, his plane was not fully repaired he felt after a full load was placed on it, and he decided to be safe, dropped the payload in to the ocean and landed at Iwo Jima for the second time in a matter of a few days to the "delight" of the mechanics who worked on the plane previously. This time they fixed it proper and my Grandfather was able to fly back to Guam the following day. Once again, upon completion of mission 40, the Army Air Corp command advised him he could head home, and he again stated he was ready for his next ten missions, the Army Air Corp of course obliged him. On mission 41-50; the war had made a dramatic swing since his first missions. By this time, the zeroes were all but gone and they were able to fly low level bombing runs at 10,000 feet and all but ensure targets were hit. During one such run, the bombardier did not hand back the controls to the pilots, left the bomb bay doors open, and made a gradual turn back south. However secondary targets were not targeted, and the bombardier communicated to the pilot and co-pilot; "we've got some bombs stuck up in the bay". The bombardier, a father and the second oldest man in the squadron to my Grandfather (both were 22), was so pale upon the idea of going out in to the bay, that my Grandfather said "I'll take care of it". He proceeded to crawl out in to the bomb bay and kick off 6 bombs that were hung up in the bomb releases. Once all were out, he yelled at the bombardier to close the doors, the doors closed and the wind subsided, and he was able to crawl back out much to his relief. He remembers looking down as the final bomb released remembering that they were going to hit rice fields, and he wondered if that farmer ever cursed his name for destroying part of his crop. After mission 50; the Commander called my Grandfather in expecting to hear him say "sign me up for 10 more missions", but he had seen enough. It was time for him to head home. He was on a ship halfway between Hawaii and California in August of 1945 when he heard of the atomic bombs and soon after heard of the Japanese surrender. Many years later, during the Korean war in the early '50s, my Grandfather was called back, now in to the Air Force (created in 1947 after a spin off from the Army), to help train new pilots to fly the B-29. Soon after, a new plane came in to service, and once again, the Air Force turned to my Grandfather to be a trainer for new pilots of the B-52 SuperFortress. He did that for a while in California, but decided after a conversation with my Grandmother that with multiple children (one of whom was my father) that the best thing to do was to head back home to the farm in rural Central Minnesota and grow the family there. Given his service in the military; NorthWest Orient offered him a pilot position to fly DC-6Bs from Minneapolis to Tokyo. Also at that time, another fine establishment offered him employment, the United States Postal Service. He of course, went with the one that offered him the better deal, and retired as a rural letter carrier in the '80s which allowed him to farm and raise his family on an 80 acre piece he bought sight unseen in 1945, just down the road from his father. For his 75th birthday, in August of 1997, we took a giant family trip to Rapid City and to Ellsworth Air Force Base (My Grandfather, Grandmother, all 6 of his children, their spouses, and their grandchildren). Much to his surprise, they had a working B-29 plane there for an upcoming air show. He asked if they were going to fly it in the air show that was later that week, and they asked around, and it turned out they couldn't because the pilots set to fly it weren't able to attend. He said that it was too bad, he thought it was one of the planes he had trained soldiers on in California in the '50s... and after much discussion, that plane flew in the air show. To this day I'm still surprised they let a 75 year old take that plane up for the air show. I'm pretty sure my whole family was proud, crying, or both when he flew over the crowd and we heard the announcer say "Happy 75th Birthday to this pilot" and his name rang across the loudspeaker. I never saw him with a bigger grin on his face than when he was in that plane or just getting off it. He passed away in early December, 2016; 75 years later and a few days shy of the day that he said changed his life, and the life of his generation. My Grandfather was a pretty amazing man. I am proud to have heard some of his amazing stories, read his diary and log book, and see some of his things he used at that time. It helps me to put in perspective just how good we all have it today. (Sorry for the long write - I didn't intend for it to be this way)
  6. RedFive

    Photo Sharing

    A number of years ago, we went on a trip to Oregon and using an old camera my grandfather passed on to me, I was able to take a picture of this really ugly looking bear amazingly walking on its hind legs. It was the oddest thing ever. I felt like it was a mystical beast of some sort that few others had ever seen before, however, I was advised it had to have been just a really funny bear. Anyways, here is the pic:
  7. RedFive

    20/01/18 - Reddit

    I use it to get ideas for our woodshop build. But, I find more and better info on certain youtube channels, so I rarely use / look at reddit.
  8. RedFive

    06/01/18 - Virtual Worlds

    In case anyone is struggling to find it... LMAO:
  9. RedFive

    06/01/18 - Virtual Worlds

    That story isn't seen by enough people... it should be rehashed annually or something.
  10. RedFive

    06/01/18 - Virtual Worlds

    I remember when I was in elementary school and they created what they called a "lab" and we were all in awe of these things they called computers. We had like 8 for the entire school and we felt damn special to get to go the lab for 45 minutes once a week. My oxen pulled my wagon towards Oregon and I usually died from dysentery, but I didn't care, it wasn't school, it was a computer game in school. In Middle School my Dad found an Atari system all boxed up at a garage sale for like $5. So he bought it, and we set it up and would play PacMan, pong, centipede, and other terribly simple games in the basement for hours on end. In high school I got tetris added to my TI-86 calculator and I am pretty sure I missed out on dating because of that stupid game. So many girls, so much wasted time trying to set a new high score (my TI-86 record was 57k, best in the school, but a little shy of the world records back in those days for that calculator (59k - if you tell me you had a higher score on your TI-83 I will punch you in the face because it wasn't the same game! Let's not re-hash that argument because I will play your TI-83 and crush your record the first time I play it like I did to that stupid Jonathon kid 20 years ago!!!) - I was trying ALL OF THE TIME to eek out just one or two more tetrises at the level 17 or 18 range, it was so fast I never got past the mid 50k range but could almost always get past 40k score.) I also was really good at Dr. Mario on N-64, I never lost to anyone that started on the same level as me in head to head match-ups. Oh, the days when I was good at things. Also in high school I found www.itsyourturn.com and in college I found www.brainking.com which allowed far more games and did that for many many years. Each were turn based board game sites. I played there until I finally gave it up because of some new dumb game I found where it's about war and politics or something like that... I guess I also do clash of clans when I am really bored. There is my life story in the gaming world. It's pretty sad, I know, but work is boring and I have time to kill so why not write a bunch stuff that no one cares about?
  11. RedFive

    17/12/18 - Friends

    You have "all"... and you have a "few random episodes". Where is the "most" option!?
  12. RedFive

    08/12/18 - Work Christmas Party

    Yes, we have a work party, but it won't involve alcohol. It is also an ugly sweater contest, cookie contest, and best "Christmas" story. Each of the winners receives a free paid day off. I am hoping for the trifecta...
  13. I used to listen almost all the time at work. But... my current employer has a block on Spotify, those JERKS!!! So... I listen a little bit at home, when I'm working around the house etc. Not as much as I used to. 12,628 minutes...
  14. RedFive

    4/12/18 - Baseball v Keno v Dice

    Baseball to earn money to play keno... because I am always in bill-lock.
  15. RedFive

    We should get this place going again.

    I'm looking for some good pilots to fight with the rebels... let me know if you are interested... The Death Star needs destruction and we need all the help we can get. Red