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Status Updates posted by efaardvark

  1. GOES-R the Gozarian (sorry) aka GOES-18 launches tomorrow!  Actually reasonable hours for a change.. 10am to 8pm.  Somebody isn't following the SOP!  Not that I'm complaining you understand.  And of course it can always slip due to weather, vehicle problems, etc.

    1. Ohayotaku


      Nice Ghostbusters reference  😆


  2. I have to wonder if Putin would still have invaded Ukraine if he hadn't been enabled by all the oil money paid to Russia by Europe and others. This worldwide practice of funneling money to despots just because they have oil needs to stop. We should not even be burning it anyway. There are alternatives. Why do we keep enabling these assholes?

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. efaardvark


      Sorry for the dup.  I switched from my phone to the desktop and somehow sent essentially the same thing twice.

    3. efaardvark


      @Wodahs I just know physics myself so I might be wrong as well but leaving things like politics aside and just going with the physics I think there’s already a very good economic case for things like big-rig diesel to switch to electricity, either directly on batteries or using ultra clean “synthetic” hydrocarbon fuel via fuel cell technology.  To produce such fuel with nuclear power we could run the chemistry “backward” to make carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuel from water and CO2 from the air.  That way nobody needs to switch right away, yet we still take the geopolitical risk issue(s) off the table.  (Though there would still be the distribution problem and point-of-use pollution issue putting pressure on the phase-out of internal combustion, especially within high-population areas.)

      I'll point out that electrification of the delivery industry is already happening at the short-range end for delivery by entities like fedex or Amazon but give the battery technology a couple years and an infrastructure / environmental demand for it and I think we’ll be seeing even the long-haul stuff switch a lot sooner than most people think.  This is where Tesla is going with their big-rig designs.

      Of course vehicles the size of ships could use nuclear directly.  There are designs for SMRs (small modular reactors) that could even be used without much in the way of training on the part of operators.  They’re designed to be simple, passive heat sources that do their thing for 20 years then get swapped out for another unit.

      Couple that / those to one of Stanford’s supercritical CO2 gas turbines and electric motors and you get a very simple, cheap design.  Simpler even than current diesel/bunker fuel designs.  Economically that’s a no-brainer for the merchant fleet.

      We don’t need to be digging up “fossil” fuels.

      (I do have concerns about nuclear waste because some of these designs are solid-fuel but if we also have larger molten-salt designs for grid power then the “waste” could be destroyed using them.  We just need to be reasonably intelligent about the overall system design.)


      As for the lithium supply issue, there are battery technologies out there that are even better than lithium.  Tesla is already moving away from traditional lithium batteries even for EV applications.  We're where we are now because the production was already there due to the consumer electronics industry.  For instance, Toyota's first Prius models actually used batteries that were taken out of laptop battery assemblies and remanufactured into the automotive assemblies for use in the cars.  Needless to say that was a highly uneconomic way to do it but even so it still made a profit for Toyota.  It also showed Panasonic and others that the demand was there to build dedicated factories for the automotive applications, which of course lead more or less directly to full EVs and Tesla's Gigafactories.

      Lithium will probably continue to be used in mobile applications because it makes for lightweight and energy-dense batteries.  Obviously that has advantages for things like laptops, cellphones, cars, and planes but I think everywhere else will find other battery technologies that are more optimal for those other uses.  For instance, I think that grid power storage and frequency control will probably switch to sodium-ion and/or iron-based batteries eventually simply for economic/profit reasons, especially if EVs become dominant and cheap electricity becomes common.

      Also, even now lithium is not exactly in short supply.  Worldwide there is plenty of the element.  "Reserves" (discovered deposits) are limited because historically there has not been the demand to justify searching for more sources.  Laptops and cellphones only require so much of it after all.  Ultimately there will be more prospecting now because the demand is now higher, which will no doubt lead to more discovered sources, just as it has for oil.

      We will never get into the same situation with lithium as oil in terms of geopolitics however.  Or at least doing so should not be necessary if our "leaders" do their job right.  There's a huge source of lithium readily available worldwide.  With nuclear power we will have enough power to separate things like lithium and sodium from seawater.  There's a lot of other stuff in seawater that we could also pull out at the same time that would help with the economics and make it happen sooner than later.  This would include fresh water, which is also in short supply worldwide.

      Already the Saudis, Israelis, and others are getting a significant amount of their fresh water from desalinization.  I'm in California in the middle of a severe multi-decade drought that's threatening everything from farming and food supply to hydro power generation.  Cheaper power would have an immediate economic benefit for us, and again help with the geopolitical risk issues.  I mean, I've already got solar on the roof (no-brainer here in the southwest US with SoCalEdison's $0.42/kWh electricity) but distributed solar is really only useful for residential power and personal transport.  It does not help much with water or industrial manufacturing/transport power needs.

    4. Wodahs


      i do agree with the there is alternatives that can take the function of oil

      my post was more in the aspect of if ye hadnt given putin money for oil up untill now (as it was the point of how he got the capital for his war) we would have been giving it to Xi Jinping of china , who people would probably claim he would be using it for his expansion of territory's in the south china see and so on

      we (companies in australia and one next door to my company) seem heavy in to producing hydrocarbon fuels for big equipment and have started exporting it (tho its still made by dirty methods) and have a couple of export ships running on gas for fuel which we also export , along with oil and coal and rear earth minerals including lithium (australia is as big as the us size wise we just dont have the population) we do seem to have a fair amount of resources here too most going to china or the asia pacific

  3. Bonked my nose on a Model X yesterday.  :(


    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Dimitrios



      Does your insurance cover for any damages? If not, how much do you plan on spending to fix it? :,(((

    3. efaardvark


      @deaaath yes I’m in California so by law I have to have insurance to drive legally on public roads.  I’ve got comp and collision so it will be covered by insurance - or at least what’s left after a $500 deductible.  The impact speed was very low and I don’t see any visible deformation of the metal.  Hopefully that means no metal/body work.  The cruise control still works too, so the radar emitter/sensor is working as well.  I’m hoping it is just the broken plastic around the radar.  Probably have to special order replacement parts from the manufacturer however so that might still get expensive.  I’ll have to see what the shop says.  The Toyota emblem that covers the radar is about $150 all by itself!

      Too bad I don’t have a 3D printer or I might just print my own replacements.  :) 

    4. Wodahs


      id offer to help with the use of my 3d printer , but im half a world away in the west of australia , so not the cheaper option

      like you i have full on my MY18 Jeep GC Trailhawk and seems bout the same deductible unless im not at fault

      but it can still be a nuance

  4. Roses are red

    Roses are blue

    Depending on their velocity

    Relative to you


    1. Ohayotaku


      Your “Valentines Day poem” reminded me of this

      looking forward to season 2

    2. Wodahs



      woof woof 🤣

  5. Had to explain the term "CRT" today.  Am I really that old?  Didn't everyone at one time stare into a particle accelerator for their motion picture enjoyment?

    1. Wodahs


      whats a CRT

      all i do for enjoyment is to look in to my Kinetograph , tho it hat me stuffed at how they put them little moving people in there

    2. efaardvark


      @Wodahs  Kinetograph??  Even I'm not that old!  :D

      I just tried googling "CRT".  I got "Cross Timbers Royalty Trust", Critical Race Theory", "Cardiac Resuscitation Therapy", and "Community Renewal Team" but no "Cathode Ray Tube" until about 3 pages in.  You know you're too old when even the internet has forgotten what you did when you were young.

    3. Wodahs


      CRT here is also a rural farming supplies store and yes i had heard of most of them but with your comment "time stare into a particle accelerator for their motion picture enjoyment" i had assumed you were going with the Cathode Ray Tube , a part also used in early TV's

      hence going with your statement "Am I really that old" i thought id go for the father of the TV the moving picture unit Kinetograph 😁

      or in short "im explaining im old too" 🤔

      👴 🤣 🤫

      actually i thought i put the old in oLDtaku 😉

  6. This has nothing to do with anime but I thought it worth sharing.  One of my friends used to have a small cabin in the nearby Angeles National Forest. Her cabin, along with a number of others, burned down in the “Bobcat” forest fire a few years ago.  One of her neighbors is an artist and he drew drawings of all the cabins that had burned down.  The drawings are done in charcoal obtained from the remains of the burned-down cabins.  The pictures have been posted online here.

  7. Got a c19 booster shot today.  Heard mixed reviews from my coworkers as to what to expect in terms of side effects.  I got off pretty clean with the original vaccination.  Just some localized muscle soreness around the injection site and maybe a bit of fatigue (or maybe just working too hard) but nothing else.  Hope this goes as well but I took tomorrow off as a comp-day so I get  3-day weekend, just in case.  I figure if I need it, great.  If I don't.. well, there's plenty around the house that needs to be done too.

  8. Now that's a big explosion!  Hope everybody nearby is ok!


  9. Turnspit dogs used to be a thing.  Who knew?


    1. Dimitrios


      I never knew! 
      I looked up what these dogs looked like, and they are FUNNY LOOKING! Yet...quite cute.


  10. Happy New Year!  Hope it's a better one...

    1. RyePotatoes


      Happy New Yeaaaar!! 🎉

  11. Finally starting my vacation!  Theoretically anyway.  Gotta work at 12:10-9AM (pacific time) Christmas day for JWST, then sometime over the weekend move furniture so I can move Mom out of her nursing home and into an assisted-living arrangement next week.  Hopefully the new year will be.. less eventful.

    1. Ohayotaku


      I’ve been hearing some pretty wild things about the weather In Cali recently. Any of that affecting you? Where I am they’re now predicting Christmas will be in the low 60s despite yesterdays high being 34F 😂

    2. efaardvark



      So far I’m good here.  A bit of rain started in the wee hours this morning but that’s fine.  We need the water.  We’re supposed to get a series of fronts coming through but not much intensity.  Other than idiots on the freeways not paying attention to the laws of physics it seems like we’ll just have to deal with several days of rainy weather down here in SoCal.  Up north there might be issues.  They’re talking up to 10 feet of snow in the Sierras.  Again, we need the water, but these days the snow doesn’t stick around and people are worried about it melting and causing flooding once the storm is over.

      Actually, my brother in Wisconsin seems to be having more “fun” with the weather.  He’s reporting that there’s a 100-car pileup on the interstate due to ice and snow.

    3. Ohayotaku


      Sound similar to where I live being fortunate enough to miss out on the tornados that hit Kentucky & other areas to the south recently. So far the wildly varying temps have just resulted in rain & a couple days of wind gusts in my neck of the woods.

  12. I took the offer so next week it’s goodbye Peraton and real-time operations, hello JPL/Caltech and integration/test.

    1. Ohayotaku



      Hope it works out well.

    2. Wodahs


      Gratz hope all goes well

    3. efaardvark


      Thanks.  Going to have to hit the ground running with the test schedule but it should be a good thing long term.

  13. DART launch team photo.  (I’m the guy in back with the lid.)


    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Kit


      Envious XD

      Mad respect for how much schooling and dedication that must have taken. It all paid off and you love your job, can't get any better than that? I don't even know you and I'm proud of you. lol

    3. efaardvark


      Thanks @Kit.  Might be changing jobs in the near future tho.  I’m currently working for a contractor but JPL/Caltech has made me an offer that looks good.  It is in integration and testing and moves me away from real-time ops but it is more in tune with my training as a systems engineer.  Benefits are better and it comes with a bigger paycheck too.

      The downside is it drops me right in the middle of GDS - ground data system - testing for all those cubesats going up on Artemis in a couple/few months.  😱  (Currently there’s one guy doing it full time and one loaner half-timer and they’re apparently not getting much sleep.  How do you schedule testing with JAXA, Goddard, and ESA in the same day and still find time to sleep?)

  14. Here I was thinking that I might actually have a couple hours of discretionary time this afternoon.  Shoulda known better.  Woke up early this morning to crashing noises and found that one of our “Santa Ana” winds had made a mess of the backyard and dumped a bunch of debris in the pool overnight.  We also seem to be missing a patio chair.  Have to go knocking on the neighbors’ doors in a bit I guess. Maybe start a load of laundry first however.  Get that going while I work on coffee and breakfast.  No rest for the weary.

  15. Just applied for a job working for JPL!  I've actually been working -at- JPL for years now but as a contractor, not as a direct employee.  This will mean my paycheck comes directly from JPL.  (Well, CalTech actually since the university manages JPL as a NASA center.)  It will also mean I'll probably wind up being even more busy but it'll be pretty much the same job with more money, better benefits, and fewer contract management chiefs to deal with.  And in fact my immediate boss will probably be one of my old bosses too so that will be a nice side-benefit since I got along pretty well with him back in the day.  🤞 Really hoping I get this "lateral promotion" 🤞

    1. efaardvark


      Looks like it’ll happen.  2 interviews went well and I am currently waiting for an offer.  Should know for sure by next week.  🤞

  16. One day... probably.. maybe..   :D



    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. efaardvark


      @RyePotatoes I’m 5mumble7 so if the day (mentioned at bottom of pic) hasn’t happened yet then chances are it won’t ever.  I might just be stuck with the sense of humor of a teenager for the rest of my life.  :) 

      Is that a good thing or a bad?  🤔

    3. RyePotatoes


      I think it’s a good thing though! Hahahaha 😂😂

  17. A pun has not completely matured until it is full groan.

    Until then it is just puny.

    ok I’m leaving…


    1. Ohayotaku


      I see you are also an alumni of the King Kai School of Comedy :P 


    2. RyePotatoes


      Waaaah, This feels like how my dad jokes 😂 

    3. efaardvark
  18. One of the first season eps, "Doomsday Machine".  Written by Norman Spinrad iirc.... I think he and the director (whose name escapes me atm) got an award for it too.  :D


  19. Yet another pin.  Good thing I recently got a bigger display case!


  20. Working the launch tonight.  Got another pin for the collection, and a patch..


  21. Something tells me that the economic period following the zombie apocalypse might be a bit.. odd this time around.  :)  

    Pacman coin

  22. Gotta like the Major...


  23. LUCY

    Going to be a long "day" Friday night.  They've got me down to work from 9:45PM Friday to 11:45AM Saturday (local) for the LUCY launch.  Why are these things always o-dark hundred, or the weekend?


  24. We had a lot more idle time back before computers and the ‘Net.  :D 



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