I don’t believe I’d heard this before but it is truly a testimonial to what the mind of a submariner can conjure up when not otherwise occupied… not to mention ingenuity!


U.S.S. Barb: The Sub That Sank a Train

Early morning July 23, 1945

1:47 A.M. The darkness was shattered by brilliant light and the roar of the explosion. The boilers of the locomotive blew, shattered pieces of the engine blowing 200 feet into the air. Behind it the cars began to accordion into each other, bursting into flame and adding to the magnificent fireworks display.

Five minutes later the saboteurs were lifted to the deck by their exuberant comrades as the Barb turned to slip back to safer waters. Moving at only two knots, it would be a while before the Barb was into waters deep enough to allow it to submerge.

Read the entire story at Veterans Today.

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Big Lake, Alaska is a popular recreation area near Wasilla, Alaska. Both are located within the Matanuska-Susitna valley just north of Anchorage, Alaska.

So why did I tell you all that?

Easy answer, because our vacation rental on Jade Lake in the Big Lake community is more popular than ever this year. The location is secluded yet close to “civilization”. Big Lake hosts several local businesses like a grocery store, video rental, thrift stores, restaurants and even a local airstrip.

Big Lake, Alaska is an easy drive from Anchorage north through Wasilla and it’s well worth the drive to this popular spot of fishing, water sports, boating or just relaxing.

When you get a chance stop by our web site at ( and check out the write-up of some of the activities we have enjoyed in the area over the years.

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Ok, I am posting this a few days early for those who are prone to such things.
Saturday, March 31 is World Backup Day.- so proclaimed by ???
A trip to World Backup Day 2012 why inform you about the why’s and how’s of backup.
My question is, “If I have only done a handful of backups in my 5 1/10 decades around the sun, why should I start now?”
I’m guessing my portion of the 1.8 zettabytes that will be generated this year is inconsequential.  Now I’ll bet you never knew it would take about 1.8 zettabytes to store 210 billion movies.
Until now I have never said zettabyte.  Is it really a word?  Wikipedia says yes.
Guess it’s a 10 with 21 0’s – that’s a lot but a long ways from a googol.
kilobyte (kB)
megabyte (MB)
gigabyte (GB)
terabyte (TB)
petabyte (PB)
exabyte (EB)
zettabyte (ZB)
yottabyte (YB)
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I have wondered this for a long time…
How much caffeine is in decaf?
Now I know.  AND I can give side-by-side comparison of various caffeinated liquids.

Qty (ml)
Caffeine (mg)
Caffeine / standard container
Red Bull
Chocolate Milk
Decaf Coffee
The above table tells me that a cup (8oz) of decaf has 1% of the caffeine of it’s full-bodied brother.
Additionally, since my source data purported to compare caffeine/ml it did not use a standard so I could not see the relative ranking of each.
For all the hype of Red Bull it’s only 1/3 the caffeine of a standard cup of coffee, and a cola is 1/2 of that.
Even a 16 ounce can of Red Bull does not match the caffeine in one cup of coffee at my diner down the street.
So tell me, why are we so concerned about our kids and their consumption.  Many coffee drinkers I know consume more than 1,700mg of caffeine daily.
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What do you say when the first birthday you’ve had the privilege of acknowledging took 265 years to happen?
Tonight the planet Neptune completes its first trip around the sun since humans first discovered the gas giant planet.
Neptune is the only planet to have been discovered by mathematics. French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier noticed irregularities in the motions of other planets, and from these perturbations calculated that there must be an eighth planet lurking out beyond Uranus.
Using Le Verrier’s calculations, German astronomer Johann Galle at the Berlin Observatory located the new planet on Sept. 23, 1846.
Now it’s 265 years later and the planets’ aligned as it was when James K. Polk was president.  The same year the United State House of Representatives says “No more!” to sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom.  Also, that is the year the Liberty bell was cracked while being rung on George Washington’s birthday.
I guess it was a pretty big year – just too bad my great-great-great grandparents forgot to remind me to keep a look out.
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Finally space tourism has opened beyond low-Earth orbit!  For only a 9 digit figure one can book a trip to the moon and back.  Let’s see… that’s $100,000,000+  I guess I won’t be on that first trip.
Sounds like there is one taker to date and as soon as number 2 signs the contract it will be 3 to 5 years and they’ll get to journey to within 62 miles of the moon and see what only 24 other people have ever seen.
I’ll bet those Apollo astronauts did not have itemized on their annual Benefits Summary page “Value of: ‘All expenses paid round trip to the moon = $100,000,000’
Moon&Back.jpg (49.9KB; 575x406 pixels)
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Does this mean you need to manually activate the automatic door, thus nullifying the name automatic?

ManAutoDoor.jpg (8.0KB; 150x192 pixels)

Or does this mean that the manual door will automatically function, thus contradicting the meaning of the word manual?

Maybe the door is semi-automatic.  Maybe it only opens automatically when you reach out to pull on the door – or maybe it opens manually just after you walk into the glass and discover that it is not in automatic mode.

What would you call this door if it were locked?

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News that the Internet is out of addresses leaks out on the same day Punxutawney Phil sticks his head out of the ground?  I smell a rat.
Ok, here are two “seemingly” unrelated news stories.  You conspiracists should be all over this, but remember you heard it here first.

The top-level authority that governs such addresses will distribute the last batches on Thursday, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The current Internet address system, Internet Protocol version 4, has been in place since the 1980s. It allows for a theoretical maximum of 4.3 billion addresses in use, far beyond what was thought necessary for what was then mainly a network for academic use.


… On Wednesday, National Geographic gave us a giant lesson on Phil that totally buried the lead: “Romans also believed that conditions during the first days of February were good predictors of future weather, but the empire looked to hedgehogs for their forecasts.”


Hedgehogs? Hedgehogs?! We’ve been looking to the wrong animal all this time? Turns out when German settlers came to the United States, they couldn’t find any hedgehogs, so they settled on groundhogs instead. So that’s why we get 40 percent accuracy!

I knew it all along.  We’ve become all too complacent that the Internet would be there.  We’ve relied on it for our news, for our trivia and for communicating with one another.  We take it for granted.  Isn’t this the lesson of the groundhog?  We’re lulled into believing life is moving forward, that everything is OK.
40% accuracy and we trust Phil.  4.3 billion addresses and we assume things won’t come to a grinding halt.  It’s not mere coincidence these two news articles present themselves on the same day.  The paths have crossed in the year the Mayan calendar ends.  Think about it.
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