The Ally Can Be the Enemy

TRC90-A Comm Van
TRC90-A Radio Van

One night I was working in my van (TRC-90A on stilts) when the power shut down unexpectedly. All the lights, AC, carrier & radio gear went dark. As a main radio relay station between Ubon (RK-7) and Chiang Mai (RK-9) we were expected to keep the comm lines open all the time from our station in Udorn. There was an emergency generator that didn’t come on so I blasted out the door to see if I could get it started.

Before I flung the door open I hadn’t realized that there was a Thai guard that had put a chair on the top step and was apparently taking a snooze with his carbine loaded with the safety off. The door knocked him and the chair asshole over tea kettle and about 5 rounds from the carbine whizzed by my head before I had a clue as to what was going on.

After I composed myself, the guard and I had a little coming to Jesus meeting that involved more than just yelling. Never again did I just blast the door open from the inside without stopping half-way to see if someone was camped-out on the steps. If I said it didn’t scare the crap out of me I’d be lying!

Back to top

Carrying the Water

When I posted the photos of the little US Army compound that was located within the Thai Army Base that again was just a few klicks down the road from the Udorn Air Base, I remembered an incident that scared the heck out of me.

There was no potable water on the army compound and all the enlisted soldiers below E-5 were required to make water runs in a deuce and a half tanker truck that held at least 1000 gallons. I didn’t have my regular duty at the communications site this particular day so I was ‘volunteered’ to make the water run to town. I received about 15 minutes of training on the vehicle, how to shift, brake, fill the water tank, etc..


It is bad enough driving a vehicle with the steering wheel on the left side when you drive on the left side of the road as in Thailand, but this vehicle is huge and blind spots all over the place with the tank on back. After picking up my load I headed back to the compound alone driving this big green monster with 8000 pounds of water on board.

 I got to within a couple miles of the compound and a samlar driver swerved out in front of me and I slammed on the brakes and the pedal went to the floor with no resistance and absolutely no slowing down. I turned the truck to the right as much as I thought I could without losing control, forced the transmission into second gear, and operated the emergency brake. The water shifted a lot back and forth, the engine screamed (me too!), but I was able to avoid the samlar driver and passenger and bring the vehicle to a stop some distance down the road. I drove the truck in low first gear the rest of the way using the e-brake when necessary.


That was my first and last water run.

M-50 Water tanker truck

Back to top

Qualifying on the M60

 About four months after I arrived in Udorn an edict was handed down that the Stratcom tropo guys had to qualify on the M60 machine gun. Are you kidding me? I hadn’t had a rifle in my hands since basic training some 14 months ago. Even then I had never held a machine gun in my hands. I knew this was not going to be good.

In 1965 when I was going though basic training at Fort Ord in Monterey California, the main battle rifle was the M14, using a 7.62mm NATO compatible round. It replaced the M1 and was the precursor to the M16 which is still in use today.

All during basic training we were not allowed to put the M14 in full automatic mode so I never knew what is was like to fire an automatic rifle not to mention a 600 round a minute, 2800 feet per second muzzle velocity fire breathing killing machine like the M60.

On qualifying day about 8 guys were hauled out to a range near the Thai Army compound and given the instructions on how to operate the gun. All the safety precautions were first, how to load the gun, how to fire, how to change the barrel with the asbestos glove, and where the safe areas were down range to shoot. A berm or knoll about 50 meters away was the target.

I was the fourth or fifth guy to shoot. I laid in a prone position, legs spread apart, the stock up against my shoulder, two metal legs held the barrel up, and my finger on the trigger. Taking aim through one eye I squeezed the trigger and rounds were flying out of the barrel a lot faster than I thought possible. The WWII iron helmet over the plastic helmet liner I was wearing began to slide forward and in a flash was over my eyes. The proper thing to do would have been to stop firing and regain the target down range but I was fighting the helmet and not seeing what I was shooting. I don’t know how many rounds I cracked off but at least several dozen maybe more.


The sergeant had seen enough and told me I had qualified as he stood well behind me all the while I was in command of the M60. Two Thai soldiers in a Jeep sped up to where the Stratcom boys were, sliding to a halt in the dirt, yelling “My, my, my” (meaning “No, no, no” in Thai speak). They were yelling that rounds were landing on the other side of the knoll and the natives were complaining. That pretty much ended the qualifying for that day.

 

Stratcom Army Patch
M60 Machine Gun

 

 

 

 

 

Back to top

The Fuck You Lizard

One of those stories that get passed along from GI to GI in Thailand is the famous Fuck You Lizard.  It is actually a gecko  called the Tokay.  Herpetologists say their call is “Tokay” thus the name, but to a GI with too much time of their hands in a foreign land it is easy to get the translations “Fuck You”.  I can attest that a many of nights while in the barracks writing a letter while sitting on my bunk the sounds from outside the louvered slats on the window the insulting lizard would be calling out.  “Fuck Que, Fuck Que, Fuck Que”, well into the night the sounds would reverberate throughout the compound.

The gecko was smart also, knowing we were Americans, they spoke in English to us.  How nice!

Back to top

 

The Reason I Don’t Buy From Best Buy

I ordered an in stock piece of electronic gear online from Best Buy. On checkout the delivery date was to have been the next day. Now, I really didn’t need it the next day but I was impressed with their commitment and it set my expectations.

The following day around 4:30 in the afternoon I received a text message from Best Buy letting me know my item was being delayed in shipment but would arrive the following day. I thought that was nice of them to let me know and the next day would be fine.

It’s now day three and the item still has not arrived and there’s no word from Best Buy or the carrier OnTrac.

Again, I really didn’t need the item and it’s actually a Christmas gift for someone but when you tell someone you’re going to do something and you don’t follow through an explanation is warranted. I wonder why Amazon is so successful?

Follow-up post.

I Hate Best Buy

i contacted the customer service department via online chat to see about the delivery of my equipment that’s been delayed 3 times. It was supposed to have been delivered on Wednesday December 11th. I recieved a text message Wednesday afternoon telling me my order was delayed and would be delivered the next day.

OnTrac is the carrier and they never showed up or notified me in anyway. That night their website simply said my item was delayed but there was no ETA. I called the customer service center for OnTrac and after going through the automated call center I was put in queue with an estimated 75 minute wait time with no option for a call back.

I tried Best Buy again to see if I could get an update on the delivery. Their virtual chat dropped me two times after waiting approximately 25 minutes each time.

The third time I was able to connect and was told that the delivery was now scheduled three days from now on Monday the 16th. So a Next Day delivery will be a 5 day delivery if it happens then.

Neither Best Buy nor OnTrac seems to care at all about customer service. Other than a text message three days ago I have not heard from anyone pro-actively.

Previous Best Buy post.

Information for new WBB scorer

Women’s Basketball Scoring Procedures

 

Pre-game Duties

  • Gather the rosters and countdown sheet from the athletics department game management
  • Enter the players in the book by order of jersey number
    • It does not matter which side the home and away teams are placed. It is a good idea to consistently use the same side of the scorebook for the home and away teams throughout the season
  • The starters are indicated with a stroke by the players number, by quarter, in the “Starter” box. Refer to pages 5 & 6
    • The starting players for the 2nd and 4th quarters are the same ones ending the 1st and 3rd quarters unless instructed otherwise. After intermission the default is the game starters and if that is changed by the coach the scorekeeper must be notified.  Try to confirm that with the coach to prevent an administrative technical foul
  • Add the names of the officials and the other score table personnel. Add the date and time of the game
  • The team coach or coach designee must have the starting lineup and the approved roster in the book 10 minutes before the game starts. Sometimes they forget and a friendly reminder is helpful but not required. It is an administrative technical foul if this is not done.
    • The coach normally will pencil the starters in the book, or they may ask you to do it. In either case have them initial the “Roster Approval”1 box after the starters are noted and the entire roster is approved.
  • Be prepared to meet the games officials in their locker room 45 minutes before tipoff.
  • Sit as close to center-court as possible. The black and white stripped “referees” shirt is required to be worn
  • Select, or have a home player select, a ball and present it to the head official for approval
  • Work with the scoreboard operator and the PA person with last minute changes or player number discrepancies
  • Be impartial showing the same courtesy, understanding, and benefit of doubt, to both teams. If you can avoid a penalty being assessed, try to do so.
  • The scorebook should always remain at the table after the rosters have been approved. Game management will retrieve the scorebook after the game

 

 

Starting the game

  • A jump ball starts the game
  • At the bottom of the left hand page, in the first Alt Pos Box2, write the color of the team possessing the ball and ”TIP” in the first “Time” box. An arrow showing the direction the tip went may be helpful
  • If you have responsibility for the LED “Possession Arrow”. Flip it toward the basket of the team that did not win the tip.
  • Similarly note each change of possession and the time in the appropriate box throughout the game.
  • Each quarter the possession arrow determines the possessor of the ball and should be flipped after the throw-in and noted in the appropriate box
  • After the second quarter ends, while the referees are looking flip the LED arrow to the opposite direction since the team’s baskets change after intermission.
  • You can also note this in the Alt Pos Box by writing “Half” and the color of the team’s jersey being awarded the ball to start the 3rd quarter
  • Remember! The scorebook Alt Pos Box shows the team awarded the last possession. The LED arrow shows the direction for the next possession.

Scoring

  • You are responsible for keeping the running score, players scoring, players fouls, team fouls, alternating possessions, team time-outs, quarterly scores, field goals made, free throws attempted and made, and media timeouts. Most of those mentioned have a timestamp associated with them.
  • When the game concludes all the individual scores, fouls, etc., are to be tallied and should match the final score when added together in the “Summary”3
  • When a field goal is successful put a line through the appreciate box in the “Scoring” line (See Running Score Section)4, Write the number of the player that scored the goal or free throw in the “Player Scoring” box and note the time in the “Time Of Scoring” box.
  • Find the players number in the “Player” column and mark a 2 or 3, as appropriate, in the “FG” column for either the “First”, “Second”, “Third”, or “Fourth” quarter
  • For free throws, draw a small circle in the “FT” box for the number of free throws awarded. If successful fill-in the circle or “X” it out.  Leave blank if the free throw is not successful.  As was done for the field goal, mark the “Score”, “Player Scoring”, and “Time Of Scoring” boxes as required.
  • When shooting multiple free throws, use a bottom connecting loop to indicate those free throws are the same appearance at the line.
  • The “1 and 1” is not used in women’s play so the only time a stand-alone circle would be when a free throw is awarded after a made shot when a foul is committed. Or a lane violation against the shooting team and the free throw is nulled.
  • After the 5th team foul in each quarter the fouled player is awarded 2 free throws per incident. That count starts over again after each quarter.
  • After each quarter tally the FG’s and FT’s for that period and note them in the “Totals”5 section

Fouls

  • Players get 5 fouls before elimination
  • Cross off the fouls on the players number line as they occur. Write down the time the foul occurred.  It is helpful to indicate the quarter in which the foul occurred when resolving errors but not required.
    • A combination of forward and backward slashes, X’s and O’s to indicate quarters may be used but not mandated
  • It is required to note the team fouls by quarter and the offending players number until five team fouls have occurred. The Bonus (2 shots) is awarded after 5 team fouls.
  • In the “Team Fouls” section mark the 1st and 3rd quarter team fouls with a preferred backward slash and the 2nd and 4th quarters with a forward slash. It can be the exact opposite but be consistent
  • Technical fouls also count as team fouls.
  • In the event of a player being charged with 5 personal fouls (or some other disqualifying infraction) alert the officials as soon as possible. Indicate a 5th foul by raising a hand with all fingers extended.  Coaches have 20 seconds to substitute the offending player.
    • To alleviate confusion between the 5th team foul and the 5th personal foul, the former is indicated by raising two fingers to the officials as in “shooting two”.

Miscellaneous

  • Write any miscellaneous notes in the “Technical/Notes”6sections provided on both team’s page
    • These would include technical fouls by any player or coach. Notes the officials dictate (i.e. signals to review a play at a dead ball), warning of delay of game, etc…  Include a time and quarter with those notations
  • There are locations for team and media timeouts. Track those in the appropriate locations on both pages.
  • To the best of your ability keep track of the players on the floor. At the least do not allow a substituted player to re-enter the game until the clock had started and stopped again. Make sure a player entering the game is in the book. Notify the referee if this is an issue

After the game

  • The officials may come to the table to verify that there are no issues. The score on the scoreboard should match the score in the book.  They may only look toward you for confirmation.  If all is OK a “thumbs up” or head nod will suffice.
  • For each player tally the total field goals made (TFG), the 3 point field goals made (3FG), free throws made (FT), free throws attempted (FTA), fouls (F), and finally, total points for the game (TP). See the “Summary”3 section
  • The “Totals”5 section sum should match the bottom line of the “Summary”3 section which in turn should match the final score when tallied
  • The stat keeper may compare your totals with theirs as a double check
  • Links  –  Free Download

Women’s Basketball Scoring Procedures

 

Pre-game Duties

  • Gather the rosters and countdown sheet from the athletics department game management
  • Enter the players in the book by order of jersey number
    • It does not matter which side the home and away teams are placed. It is a good idea to consistently use the same side of the scorebook for the home and away teams throughout the season
  • The starters are indicated with a stroke by the players number, by quarter, in the “Starter” box. Refer to pages 5 & 6
    • The starting players for the 2nd and 4th quarters are the same ones ending the 1st and 3rd quarters unless instructed otherwise. After intermission the default is the game starters and if that is changed by the coach the scorekeeper must be notified.  Try to confirm that with the coach to prevent an administrative technical foul
  • Add the names of the officials and the other score table personnel. Add the date and time of the game
  • The team coach or coach designee must have the starting lineup and the approved roster in the book 10 minutes before the game starts. Sometimes they forget and a friendly reminder is helpful but not required. It is an administrative technical foul if this is not done.
    • The coach normally will pencil the starters in the book, or they may ask you to do it. In either case have them initial the “Roster Approval”1 box after the starters are noted and the entire roster is approved.
  • Be prepared to meet the games officials in their locker room 45 minutes before tipoff.
  • Sit as close to center-court as possible. The black and white stripped “referees” shirt is required to be worn
  • Select, or have a home player select, a ball and present it to the head official for approval
  • Work with the scoreboard operator and the PA person with last minute changes or player number discrepancies
  • Be impartial showing the same courtesy, understanding, and benefit of doubt, to both teams. If you can avoid a penalty being assessed, try to do so.
  • The scorebook should always remain at the table after the rosters have been approved. Game management will retrieve the scorebook after the game

 

 

Starting the game

  • A jump ball starts the game
  • At the bottom of the left hand page, in the first Alt Pos Box2, write the color of the team possessing the ball and ”TIP” in the first “Time” box. An arrow showing the direction the tip went may be helpful
  • If you have responsibility for the LED “Possession Arrow”. Flip it toward the basket of the team that did not win the tip.
  • Similarly note each change of possession and the time in the appropriate box throughout the game.
  • Each quarter the possession arrow determines the possessor of the ball and should be flipped after the throw-in and noted in the appropriate box
  • After the second quarter ends, while the referees are looking flip the LED arrow to the opposite direction since the team’s baskets change after intermission.
  • You can also note this in the Alt Pos Box by writing “Half” and the color of the team’s jersey being awarded the ball to start the 3rd quarter
  • Remember! The scorebook Alt Pos Box shows the team awarded the last possession. The LED arrow shows the direction for the next possession.

Scoring

  • You are responsible for keeping the running score, players scoring, players fouls, team fouls, alternating possessions, team time-outs, quarterly scores, field goals made, free throws attempted and made, and media timeouts. Most of those mentioned have a timestamp associated with them.
  • When the game concludes all the individual scores, fouls, etc., are to be tallied and should match the final score when added together in the “Summary”3
  • When a field goal is successful put a line through the appreciate box in the “Scoring” line (See Running Score Section)4, Write the number of the player that scored the goal or free throw in the “Player Scoring” box and note the time in the “Time Of Scoring” box.
  • Find the players number in the “Player” column and mark a 2 or 3, as appropriate, in the “FG” column for either the “First”, “Second”, “Third”, or “Fourth” quarter
  • For free throws, draw a small circle in the “FT” box for the number of free throws awarded. If successful fill-in the circle or “X” it out.  Leave blank if the free throw is not successful.  As was done for the field goal, mark the “Score”, “Player Scoring”, and “Time Of Scoring” boxes as required.
  • When shooting multiple free throws, use a bottom connecting loop to indicate those free throws are the same appearance at the line.
  • The “1 and 1” is not used in women’s play so the only time a stand-alone circle would be when a free throw is awarded after a made shot when a foul is committed. Or a lane violation against the shooting team and the free throw is nulled.
  • After the 5th team foul in each quarter the fouled player is awarded 2 free throws per incident. That count starts over again after each quarter.
  • After each quarter tally the FG’s and FT’s for that period and note them in the “Totals”5 section

Fouls

  • Players get 5 fouls before elimination
  • Cross off the fouls on the players number line as they occur. Write down the time the foul occurred.  It is helpful to indicate the quarter in which the foul occurred when resolving errors but not required.
    • A combination of forward and backward slashes, X’s and O’s to indicate quarters may be used but not mandated
  • It is required to note the team fouls by quarter and the offending players number until five team fouls have occurred. The Bonus (2 shots) is awarded after 5 team fouls.
  • In the “Team Fouls” section mark the 1st and 3rd quarter team fouls with a preferred backward slash and the 2nd and 4th quarters with a forward slash. It can be the exact opposite but be consistent
  • Technical fouls also count as team fouls.
  • In the event of a player being charged with 5 personal fouls (or some other disqualifying infraction) alert the officials as soon as possible. Indicate a 5th foul by raising a hand with all fingers extended.  Coaches have 20 seconds to substitute the offending player.
    • To alleviate confusion between the 5th team foul and the 5th personal foul, the former is indicated by raising two fingers to the officials as in “shooting two”.

Miscellaneous

  • Write any miscellaneous notes in the “Technical/Notes”6sections provided on both team’s page
    • These would include technical fouls by any player or coach. Notes the officials dictate (i.e. signals to review a play at a dead ball), warning of delay of game, etc…  Include a time and quarter with those notations
  • There are locations for team and media timeouts. Track those in the appropriate locations on both pages.
  • To the best of your ability keep track of the players on the floor. At the least do not allow a substituted player to re-enter the game until the clock had started and stopped again. Make sure a player entering the game is in the book. Notify the referee if this is an issue

After the game

  • The officials may come to the table to verify that there are no issues. The score on the scoreboard should match the score in the book.  They may only look toward you for confirmation.  If all is OK a “thumbs up” or head nod will suffice.
  • For each player tally the total field goals made (TFG), the 3 point field goals made (3FG), free throws made (FT), free throws attempted (FTA), fouls (F), and finally, total points for the game (TP). See the “Summary”3 section
  • The “Totals”5 section sum should match the bottom line of the “Summary”3 section which in turn should match the final score when tallied
  • The stat keeper may compare your totals with theirs as a double check

 

Links  –  Free Download

NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules 2019-2020  –  2020-2021

Women’s Scorebook

 

 

 

Skip Harrison

Skipharrison44@gmail.com

 

 

NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules 2019-2020  –  2020-2021

Women’s Scorebook

 

 

 

 

Skip Harrison

Skipharrison44@gmail.com

 

A graduation gift!!

K-cup coffee pod holder

This was the prototype of the coffee pod holder that I made for my granddaughter. The final one was a gift to her for graduating from Sacramento State summa cum laude in December 2018. She had to wait until May of 2019 to actually go through ceremonies. Very proud of her.

 

Pacific Telephone & Pacific Bell

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and a couple years after high school I moved to Davis, California and began working at the newly opened National Primate Center on the campus of the University of California, Davis.  I worked as an animal technician there for a couple years before I was drafted but eventually enlisted in the US Army. 

I was drafted originally for two years, but if you enlisted you had to do three years but you were offered an incentive.  That incentive was  that you could choose your advanced training path  that could carry over to civilian life.  I wanted to get into electronics so I opted for that enlistment option.  My active military career started on June 14, 1965 and ended exactly three years later

I began my career with Pacific Telephone and all the other spin-off companies on July 8, 1968 and ended on August 15th, 1991, a little over 23 years later,

and then a three-year stint in the Army before beginning my career with the Bell System. I began my employment in Sacramento Main with Pacific Telephone in 1968 working in the High Frequency Multiplex and Microwave Radio department as a Tollie. As the title implies, we were mostly concerned with toll and long-distance services and had the opportunity to work with other telephone folks throughout the country. Back in the 60’s and early 70’s before satellites were as prevalent as they are today, Pacific Telephone provided many video services to the major networks and local TV stations. In Sacramento we had a television operating center (TVOC) and coaxial cable connections to all the local TV stations, the State Capitol Building, many theaters, arenas, and other select buildings around the city. One of the most exciting things we got to do was provide video feeds to the local theaters when pay per view events were held. I did many of Mohammed Ali’s fights that were fed to the Memorial Auditorium from a video backbone that was microwaved from the origination point. I watched a many other sports events while keeping an eye on the quality of the transmission, somebody had to do it.

 After 23 years with Pacific Telephone, American Bell, and finally Lucent, I was let go in 1991. I was working in PBX installation when they decided my services were no longer needed. I then worked for 15 years at a software/hardware company in El Dorado Hills, Ca as a Telecom manager and retired in 2006. I live in Davis Ca, about 15 miles west of Sacramento off Interstate 80.·        

 After ten years of working in the central office I decided to transfer outside to Special Services 4-Wire Voice. I took the mandatory pole climbing school training sessions and other related aptitude and physical tests and then was assigned to the 24th and S Streets office in Sacramento.

After working with another tech for a few months I was considered fully qualified to pretty much work on my own in all facets of the job. Boy were they wrong. I could handle the technical part OK but some of the protocol issues were a little weak. One of the accounts we had was the command post of the Strategic Air Command at Mather Air Force Base. The command post controlled the B-52 nuclear equipped bombers that were always on standby for immediate take-off if the call was given.

Some of the bombers were always idling and when the klaxon sounded flight crews would literally run out to the planes and take off, no questions asked. My crew had the responsibility of providing support to the command posts shout-down, ring-down, and other specialized circuits such as the dreaded, feared, and revered klaxon circuit. The horror stories passed down from tech to tech had everyone afraid to even go in the room where that particular circuit resided let alone work on it for actual outages or preventive maintenance. Without getting too technical there was a wire spring relay (the S relay) that was to be blocked in the non-operated position or a false alarm would cause the klaxon to go off and scramble the B-52s. This story is getting too long I will post more later.

 More on the klaxon circuit. – Don’t know if it was urban legend or fact but the story was that every year or so Pacific Telephone Special Services 4-wire technicians would inadvertently set off the klaxon and start the process of the air force doing what their SOP’s called for, which was getting the jets off the ground for a retaliatory strike against the enemy, the Soviet Union at the time. This was not looked upon favorably by the command post personnel, the flight crews that may have been sleeping, or the tax payers footing the bill from a false alarm. The story goes on to say that on occasion the technician would be escorted at gunpoint to a holding area to explain the situation when it was shown to be technician error. It is said that the trip to the holding area was not always a friendly hands-off stroll.

This leads up to my story. I was given a service order for a minor modification to improve the operation of the klaxon. As instructed I called the command post to arrange for a date and time to do the modification. One thing I had learned was to get a firm date and time, and to be sure they knew what my explicit reason was for the visit. The last but not least knowledge was indelibly ingrained in my mind, block the klaxon “S” relay in the non-operated position not the operated position like a few of my predecessors had done.

I must have been nervous that day. I arrived at the facility, provided ID and was escorted into an anteroom. This little room was about 4X4 feet and once inside doors locked you in both front and rear. True story here. The airman controlling the locks asked again for my ID, had me state my name, company, and other identifying questions. Then the 64 dollar question was “Are you under duress?” I could have sworn he asked me if I was “under dressed” and I said “No, this is what I usually wear when I come out here, it’s been OK in the past”. He must have thought I was trying to be funny and told me that I wasn’t. He made it clear that his question related to my state of mind and being not my attire. I knew what duress meant, but I had never been asked that before and I really misunderstood the question. He made me cool my heels in the little prison for about 45 minutes before finally letting me through. I say cool my heels but with the bright lights and lack of ventilation in that little “room” was nowhere near cool. I hadn’t even gotten into the command room yet and I’m sweating like a pig. More later.

·        

 I finally made my way into the command post and talked to the officer on duty that had no idea who I was nor what I was doing there. More calls were made and more waiting ensued but I was able to get the OK to do what I had come there to do. When everyone realized what my work order was for I had to sign a document in a folder that stated that I was qualified to work on the equipment and I knew about blocking the “S” relay in the non-operated position. The problem some techs got into was that the relay was already in the non-operated position and you merely had to insure I would stay that way by putting a relay blocking tool or more commonly a toothpick in the armature opening not visa-versa.

I should have had an assistant tech with me because the telephone equipment room was back out through the anteroom I mentioned above and I wound up making a number of trips back and forth between the command post main office and the communications room testing the changes incrementally as I preceded. The airmen in charge of the little prison and I made a truce and he was letting me in and out with no issues or challenges.

I finished my work in the telecom room and on my last trip into the command post I was buzzed through the “duress” capture room and as I entered the war room to make my last test I was greeted with a cross body block by an airmen that tried to put me in a hammer lock. I was hurt a little but shocked beyond belief. I heard “What the f**k are you doing in here”? Before I could say anything, another airmen came over and put his forearm under my chin on my throat. I saw and heard a third airmen with a big red book at the console reading codes into a headset from a page that looked to be laminated or in a plastic sleeve. I told them I had been there a good part of the day in and out and I was getting packed up to leave as soon as I made my final check on the klaxon.

The airmen that had questioned me earlier was now in the room too. He explained that he had summarily buzzed me in and that I was working on the telephone gear. They apologized but wouldn’t let me in the room because they said a high level secret training exercise was going on and that book was only to be eyed by a very select group of people. I wanted to test the klaxon through simulation but they said the exercise could go on for awhile and I should leave and would restrict the aircrews to their quarters until the next day when I could get back out to verify everything was OK.

I left that early evening and returned the next day, made my tests which were AOK and hoped that I didn’t have to set foot out there again, but I didn’t get my wish. I was now the klaxon expert!

Anyway, 4-wire was a challenge in those days. In Sacramento we were known as the ‘junkyard dogs’ since a lot of our work was at the wrecking yards keeping their shoutdown circuits up and running. I became familiar with their terminology, especially the term telephone front end, meaning a totally messed up front of a car. The rats would eat the 25 and 50 pair cables running from the equipment with urine and feces al over the place.


We installed a lot of 829 4-wire data interfaces and worked at the FAA at Sacto International Airport up in the control tower. We also did a lot of telemetering circuits for the Water Resources and Dam Projects (Folsom and Nimbus). Adding tie-lines to PBX’s was another of the many things that kept us busy.

One day I get bit in the ass by a real junkyard dog as I was scouting around trying to find the 1.1 terminal which was hidden behind some crap at one auto recycling joint. I never saw him until it was too late.

At another place I fell through the sheet rock ceiling mounting an 829 data interface while stepping back to make sure it was mounted perpendicular on a wall in the overhead. Before I knew what happened I was up to my crotch in drywall. Ouch!

June 14 at 9:38pm · Delete Post My neighbor was a maintenance cable splicer. He got more darn deals from his customers. He got an almond farmer near Winters, Ca to allow us to cut down all the old trees we wanted for firewood and collect all the almonds in the shell that were in nice little rows for clearing the brush.