ICBT | SpaceX

Inter-Continental Balistic Transport

From today’s SpaceX presentation (see previous post)

“Fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60. Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft. Forgot to mention that.” ~ Elon Musk via twitter

 

This will revolutionize travel.

This is how SpaceX funds the Mars missions.

SpaceX OTV-5

SpaceX launch of the US Air Force “minishuttle” Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) X-37B

Another successful launch and landing for Falcon 9. It is beginning to remind me of watching planes take off and land at the airport.

 

 

Side note: the contract to launch OTV-5 was awarded to SpaceX directly, without bid

SpaceX Press Kit

How many?

Reblogging in light of North Korea’s latest nuclear test …

Contrafactual

Can you guess?

How many nuclear devices has humanity detonated since the first one at Trinity New Mexico?

I’ll give you a hint …

1 – Trinity NM
2 – Hiroshima
3 – Nagasaki
4 – that one in the Pacific
10 – a few more in the Pacific (Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands)
50 – a bunch at the US Nevada Test Site
100? 200? 500? (All of the testing by all of the nations)
1091?

View original post 31 more words

Academy

Like a scene from the sci-fi movies Arrival or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, National Guard Black Hawk and heavy twin-blade Chinook helicopters fly over my house inbound to and outbound from the Academy corporate headquarters that is adjacent to my subdivision. The top floor of the parking garage serves as a makeshift heliport. Other floors of the parking garage serve a sleeping areas for a variety of first responders, including Texas State Troopers, who have come in from all over the state. Elsewhere in the parking lots, the National Guard has established bivouac with tents, trucks, and communications equipment. Several fuel tankers are also deployed.

Academy Sports and Outdoors (http://www.academy.com/shop/en/store/company-info) is a sporting goods and outdoor equipment company headquartered in Katy Texas next to my subdivision. The first Academy store opened as a tire shop in San Antonio in 1938. It turned into a military surplus store, then began offering sports and outdoors equipment as it evolved into the present day Academy Sports + Outdoors. They have more than 230 stores in 16 states, supported by more than 23,000 team members throughout the South, Southeast, and Midwest. My next door neighbor is the director (manager) of one of the nearby stores. Several of their IT folks also live in my subdivision.

I recently spoke to one of their corporate accountants who estimated that Academy had already donated over a million dollars worth of supplies, equipment, and services to the ongoing Hurricane Harvey relief effort. The photos below attest to part of this contribution. In addition to providing lodging and logistics for first responders, the Academy corporate headquarters and distribution center has also opened their cafeteria to their guests providing both room and board. 

I am very proud to have Academy as my neighbor. If you live near an Academy store, stop by and thank them for the support they are giving the greater Houston area in this time of need.

View of the Academy headquarters from the south

 

View from the west (street view)




 
 One of the back parking lots

High and “Dry”

Still high and relatively dry. Street in front of house has drained. Some nearby stores have reopened. Hillary is napping comfortably in my lap.


 

CatBeard Manor and its surroundings are an island in the midst of the flood. As the rainfall dissipates things will only get better here.

HOWEVER – life in general will take a long time getting back to normal. In all directions away from us roads are closed due to flooding.  

Apple Map screen shots showing road closures.


 

Uh oh – Internet just went out. Uploading via my cellular data link …

Rising Water

Nothing too sensational to report (thank God). House has developed a minor leak – drip – drip – drip. Street in front of house has flooded. Back yard is OK.





As I write this the rain has stopped. Some neighborhood kids are out barefoot in the street splashing around.

There are plenty of more sensational Houston flooding stories for those interested, but Catbeard Manor is so far so good.

Aftermath …

Hurricane Harvey is now a tropical storm, but the rain continues unabated in many areas.


Fortunately Catbeard Manor remains high and (relatively) dry. We lost a few small limbs on our oak trees (alive and dead), but no other damage. A drive around the subdivision showed evidence of high water encroaching on a few lawns. Note the high water mark in the photo below.


The retention pond for our subdivision is brim full,


as is the creek that flows past our subdivision.


We were VERY lucky. Other folks downstream of us not so much. National news will continue to show Houston flooding for many days. My heart goes out to them.

NPR news on Houston flooding

Washington Post news on Houston flooding

Little Friends Update 

Yesterday I told you about my visit to Little Friends Pet Memorial

Today I got a call from Greg at Little Friends. He told me that Jane (the nice woman I spoke to yesterday) told him about my question about K2’s missing plaque. He told me that he was the most senior employee and that ten to fifteen years ago the site had been vandalized and all of the plaques had been ripped off of the memorial walls and tossed into the fish ponds. He was the one who rescued the plaques, but he wasn’t sure he had gotten all of them. He also told me that they had even replaced several of the plaques that had been damaged.
Greg then told me that they would make up a new plaque for K2 and try to place it as close to Anna’s plaque as possible.


He asked me what I wanted K2’s plaque to say. I suggested “K-2 With Anna Forever” since I didn’t remember what the original plaque said. Greg agreed and told me it would take about ninety days to get the new plaque made and they they would give me a call when it was up so I could come out and view it. He also told me that if I had any questions or concerns to please not hesitate to give them a call. It was an emotional conversation for me (as is typing this out now).

I will provide an update once K2’s plaque is up. More to come …

Nostalgia …

nos·tal·gia

[näˈstaljə, nəˈstaljə]

NOUN
a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations

Hanging in our master bathroom is a picture we picked up in a junk antique store somewhere in rural Texas. It is a fit starting place for today’s tale.

In 1981 the Mrs and I moved from Bergen Park Colorado (Bergen Park Dreams, Olde Time Radio) to John Rolfe Lane, a rent house in the suburbs west of Houston to begin my career in the oil patch. We lived at John Rolfe Lane from 1981 to 1989, when we moved into the current Catbeard Manor, using the severance package from my first employer as down payment. Both of our sons were born at John Rolfe Lane.

The John Rolfe Lane residence is a but a few blocks north of Catbeard Manor in a different subdivision, yet sufficiently out of my way that I must intentionally drive past it. I rarely do so, maybe once every ten years. I did so today. Gone was the large tree in the front yard and the red tip photinia growing between the windows of what were the two boys bedrooms. Gone were the shrubs up against the front of the house. Gone was the flower bed around the mail box. In their place was a newly planted tree (looks like an oak of some sort) and an otherwise barren, but well cared for, front yard. I have many photos of John Rolfe Lane … somewhere. If I find them, perhaps I will post them in the future.


 

We moved from Bergen Park with two dogs, K2 (male) and Anna (female). Their tale is one that deserves a much more detailed elaboration, but I will give you the condensed version now … 

K2 was a wedding present from Jeff and Cheryl. His name came from pen 2K at the Dumb Friends Society in Denver. He was alleged to be part Collie / part Australian Shepherd, but I actually think that the “Australian Shepherd” part was in fact coyote. K2 was the smartest dog I have ever known. As a puppy he had enormous ears. I remember noting that he did not bark when we picked him up (turned out to be a nasty case of kennel cough). I vividly remember the drive home when we stopped by a Dairy Queen for a burger. Not sure what followed next but I recall wondering if K2 was hungry only to discover him in my lap devouring my burger. One could not have wanted for a more loyal dog. He would defend us to the death against small children (we think he has abused). Yet he easily accepted his role in our pack as the defender of our children. We used to keep him on a long lunge line attached to the front door of John Rolfe Lane where he would sleep in the entry way. One night we heard a muffled grunt and we ran to the entry way to find the door open and blood on K2’s muzzle. We think that someone had kicked in the front door and a surprised K2 had “taken a bite out of crime”. Only the lunge line had kept him from pursuit. I reinforced the locks after that.

K2 is also the name of the mountain next to Mount Everest. Our next adoptee occurred courtesy of our vet in Bergen Park, Dr. Nealy. She was the only pet we never had neutered, a cat we named Everest. Not long after we got Everest, we were grocery shopping in Evergreen south of Bergen Park and a young boy had a grocery cart full of mixed Samoyed / Golden Retriever puppies. I bought a bag of dog food and came home with Anna Purna (another mountain near Everest). Anna was the stereotypical dumb blond, a Samoyed with floppy gold tipped ears. She was the sweetest, gentlest, most patient creature you could ever have. In Bergen Park the drive way was paved in smooth river rocks. I threw them for her and she loved to chase them. One day I threw one for her from the second story balcony. It went through the driver side window of our new car. Below is a picture of Anna (foreground) and K2 taken by my dad. It hangs above our stairway next to the picture of Bob.


 

Regarding Everest … she got pregnant at Bergen Park, had kittens, and promptly disappeared. The Mrs and I bottle-fed the kittens and Anna adopted them as her own. She would carry each of them around with its head in her mouth ever so gently. She would clean them with her tongue and let them nurse on her until she was raw. We would go on outings with Anna in the lead followed by “her kittens”. She grieved when we gave them all away. I have slides of Anna and her kittens that I need to get scanned. When (if) I get around to it I will post them. So-oh cute!

K2 and Anna got old as all pets do and each had to be put down in time. K2 died while we were at John Rolfe Lane. Anna died after we moved to Catbeard Manor. She really missed K2. The bard said “It is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all”. No where is that more true than with our pets. They give us all of their love, unconditionally, but we out-live them. 

We had both K2 and Anna cremated and their ashes scattered at Little Friends Pet Memorial out in the country west of us. Today the Mrs and I took a road trip to visit them. We drove past it at first and I thought maybe it was gone, but we spotted it on the way back on the dead end road. It is in farm country, surrounded by cotton fields. It was an extremely hot and dry day. Too hot for the Mrs. She waited in the car with the AC on while I walked around the deserted memorial. It was very peaceful and serene. Several people had left their pets toys at the memorial. It was quite emotional for me, but I have always been emotional.





 

I found Anna’s plaque …


but try as I would. I could not find K2’s. I did note that some plaques appear to have fallen off in the almost thirty years that have transpired. K2’s plaque was there when we last visited with the boys in the early 90’s when I thought we might all be moving to Russia for work. That never happened and the Mrs diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis put the kibosh on any thought of foreign assignment.

I called the main number and talked to a very nice lady who told me that Little Friends had a new owner. The original owner was doctor, certainly now deceased, who established it when his pet died and he discovered that no facility of this sort existed. He would collect the pets and take them to the memorial to be cremated and then scatter the ashes. Anyway she asked for my phone number and promised to get back to me.

More to come …

Rattlesnake | Līve

So … twenty years ago Number One Son and I went to a Līve concert. I have been re-listening to Throwing Copper and Secret Samadhi. One song in particular, Rattlesnake (from Secret Samadhi) deserves mention. 

I really like this song. The tune itself is powerful. So are the vocals. I particularly like the guitar solo at 3:08. As with many of the songs by Līve, the lyrics are enigmatic, but I find the entire song quite stirring.

I Alone | Līve

Nostalgia

Twenty years ago (circa 1997), Number One Son and I went to a Līve concert at the Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion. Number One Son was 14. The forecast was for rain. Our seats were in the uncovered part of the Pavilion. We brought rain ponchos and a large umbrella. We needed them. We sat in a torrential rain throughout the concert.

The Mrs had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis the year before. My life, all of our lives, were changing in unpredictable ways. The Mrs was going downhill and I was grieving the loss of her quality of life, our quality of life. The medical bills and hospitalizations were taking a toll. Little did I know that it would get worse.

We sat in the pouring rain listing to Līve blast out their songs. I have very fond memories of that concert. I bought two of their albums, Throwing Copper and Secret Samadhi  (I think I even bought Secret Samadhi at the concert). I used to listen to those albums in the CD player of the Ford Windstar we owned at the time. Perfect music for grieving. I actually own a large collection of CDs that I no longer listen to because we have switched to iTunes. I should probably invest in an external CD drive for my MacBook and begin ripping my old CDs to iTunes, but have avoided doing so.

I heard I Alone earlier this evening in the playlist of a local sporting goods store’s PA system. It brought all those memories back with a vengeance. Music has a way of doing that for me.

Epilogue (Twenty years later …)

The Mrs and I have been married forty-one years. She still battles MS and the diabetes she developed as a result of massive dosage steroid treatments she has received over the years. Twenty years of MS have eaten up all of our finances … and continue to do so. If you and your family are in good health you have no idea how fortunate you are. If you are battling a life altering illness, you know what we have been going through.

I may go dig out my Līve CDs and put them in my car to listen to. I still have grieving to do …

The Nudist War 2017

I started writing this four years ago when Zombie Apocalypse stories, TV shows, and movies were all the rage. The first post was in July of 2013, titled Day 42. The final post of the Day 42 series occurred in January of 2014 titled Day 53. After some consideration, I realized that Day 42 was too vague and decided to re-post as The Nudist War which was a better, more descriptive title. I reworked each of the chapters, adding additional flourishes and expanding on the plot. Individual chapters were titled TNW – Day xx

TNW – Day 56 was originally posted in mid-2014. For various personal reasons the story has been on hiatus since the original TNW – Day 56 was published. 

I began work on TNW – Day 57 a few days ago after re-reading the entire series. I soon realized that the content I had written had actually occurred on Day 56, so I merged the old TNW – Day 56 with the new Day 57 material. I posted the new and expanded TNW – Day 56 earlier today. It is my intention to continue adding to The Nudist War on a semi-regular basis. I have already written portions of the ending chapters. Now I need to get from here to there.

If you are new to this blog and unfamiliar with The Nudist War, you can start at the beginning by simply reading on below. If you are a long time follower you might still want to start at the beginning to refresh your memories of the story line. 

Zombie Apocalypse stories aren’t for everyone, but I think you will find that this is not your typical Zombie Apocalypse story. Give it a chance. I have also written several short stories that you can find under the Fiction tab. If you like Sci-Fi with a twist, you might enjoy these as well. 

So without further ado, I give you The Nudist War…

• • •

Originally posted January 2014 …

This is the beginning of a serialized novel. I hope you like it. Portions of The Nudist War were previously published as the Day 42 series.

Copyright © 2017 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

The Nudist War

Would real Zombies wear clothes? The answer could go either way. But depending on the circumstances surrounding the Zombification, the answer could very easily be no. If the Zombification occurred to a hospitalized subject after a period of illness, the subject would be wearing at most a hospital gown. Anyone who has worn a hospital gown knows how easily they fall off. If the subject turned at home, they might be wearing little or no clothing. Either way, once an item of clothing fell off … or was ripped off … it is unlikely that it would be replaced. It is even possible that a newly turned Zombie would preferentially rip it’s clothes off because they were foreign and unnatural.

The incidents below really happened. A quick internet search will readily confirm this. Might this not give us an inkling of how the Zombie Apocalypse begins?

• • •

Miami, FL May 26, 2012

A naked man was shot and killed by police after attacking a homeless man; chewing off most of his face, his nose, and one of his eyes. Dubbed the ‘Miami Zombie’ and the ‘Causeway Cannibal’ he sparked a local concern that the Zombie Apocalypse was at hand. This prompted the CDC to release a statement downplaying the reality of any Zombie Apocalypse and any connection to the ‘Miami Cannibal’.

~ CBS News Miami, 5/26/2012

• • •

Delray Beach, FL February 4, 2014

A crazed, naked man with “superhuman strength” was shot and killed by a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s sergeant after attacking several people including a retired NYPD officer, a 16-year-old female, and an 18-year-old male. The 18-year-old male, who was protecting his 16-year-old sister, suffered bite marks on his face and a lacerated ear.

~ The Palm Beach Post, 2/4/2014

• • •

>> NEXT: TNW – Day 42

TNW – Day 56

This is the sixteenth chapter.
Start at the beginning or read the previous chapter.

Copyright © 2017 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

The Nudist War – Day 56

In the long run, we are all dead.

~ John Maynard Keynes, 1923

• • •

Sleep. Sweet delicious sleep. Warm, safe, clarity regenerating sleep. In 2013, researchers determined that sleep is critical for flushing neurotoxins and other metabolic waste from the brain and spinal column. These toxins accumulate during the day as a result of normal brain and neurological processes. If not flushed away every night they begin to poison the brain, inhibiting clear thought, reasoning, and memory. This more than anything else explains the importance and the necessity of getting a quality night’s sleep.

The new and amazing part of this was the discovery that nerves, the spinal column, and the brain shrink in size during sleep and re-expand during wakefulness. It is this expansion and contraction cycle of wake and sleep that flushes the cerebrospinal fluid through the brain and spine, carrying away toxins and metabolic waste. Anyone who has been awake over twenty-four hours doesn’t need the results of clinical studies to know that sleep is necessary for clear thinking.

Continue reading TNW – Day 56

The waiting …

I have been dealing with a variety of issues over the past year and a half that have been stressful, to say the least. My life has been plagued with, let us say … uncertainty. I used to say it was like being on a roller coaster, but now I think it is becoming more like a ride on the Vomit Comet.

To quote Arlo Guthrie (totally out of context) … “you may know somebody in a similar situation or you may be in a similar situation, and if you’re in a situation like that, there’s only one thing you can do … sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar …”

List of Falcon 9 Launches

OK … somebody had to do it. The complete list of every Falcon 9 launch is on Wikipedia!

As of June 25, 2017

  • 37 launches
  • 2 failures (one in flight, one on the launch pad pre-flight)
  • 13 successful landings (8 droneship, 5 Landing Zone 1)
  • 2 resused Falcon 9 boosters (both of which re-landed successfully – one on droneship, the other at LZ-1)
  • 1 reused Dragon capsule

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches

 

So … compare this to the Blue Origin numbers also care of Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Origin)

  • 1 launch and crash landing of the New Shepard 1
  • 5 launches and landings of the same New Shepard 2 booster (up and down – no payload to orbit)

 

    Just sayin’

    80 Seconds

    Watch (almost) EVERY SpaceX Falcon 9 landing attempted … in 80 seconds 

    https://youtu.be/Gum4EVbg7_0

    And that doesn’t even count two back-to-back landings last week on an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (Atlantic AND Pacific) plus the landing at LZ-1 at the beginning of June. Oh … and don’t forget the May 1st landing at LZ-1. So that makes it 18 landings?

     

    See also

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/25/spacex-iridium-2/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/23/bulgariasat-1/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/13/yaf9lv/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/07/crs-11-falcon-9-landing-close-up/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/04/crs-11-falcon-9-landing/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/05/01/best-footage-ever/

    SpaceX – Iridium 2

    And another successful launch and recovery – this time from Vandenburg CA (polar orbit). Back to back launch and landings.

    New titanium grid fins (as opposed to the original aluminum grid fins) for better heat tolerance.

     

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_spaceport_drone_ship (ASDS)

    http://www.teslarati.com/spacex-set-second-weekend-launch-new-titanium-grid-fins-tested/

    http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/06/24/iridium-2-press-kit

    BulgariaSat-1

    SpaceX does it again … relaunch and landing of another Falcon 9

    Falcon 9’s first stage for the BulgariaSat-1 mission previously supported the Iridium-1 mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in January of this year. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will attempt a landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Link to the Press Kit

     

    Personal observation … I cannot believe the bozos who comment that this is all faked based on video dropouts. When I “watched” the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions live video was rare to non-existent after the initial live launch video.

    You go SpaceX!

    PS


    3rd Wave of E&P Software

    Houston, TX, October 13, 2016 – Bluware Inc., Hue AS and Headwave Inc. will soon join forces to form the most capable and innovative organization in the field of geoscience and engineering software. The new company will boast more than 100 technology professionals spread across offices in Houston, Oslo, Paris and Vietnam.

    “Now is the time to move forward,” said Rick Jones, Bluware CEO. “We see major computing innovations in the form of Multicore Processing, GPUs, Cloud, IIoT, Analytics and Machine Learning. These new capabilities will drive the 3rd Wave of E&P software—bringing new solutions to current problems and empowering industry leaders to tackle a completely new range of challenges.”

    “Over the years the Industry has extracted great value from Nvidia technologies, but the GPU revolution has just begun. The full value of the GPU requires truly modern software architecture to enable interactive and intuitive workflows for rapid and more accurate decision making. We are delighted to see some of our best partners joining forces to extract and deliver more business value from our leading-edge technology investment,” said Paul Holzhauer, Director of Oil & Gas Segment for Nvidia.

    About BLUWARE

    Bluware is a software consulting firm focused exclusively on the upstream oil and gas industry. Founded in 1987, we have worked with the world’s leading operators to create software solutions that maximize the contribution of geoscience disciplines to the business of finding and producing oil. While many other consulting companies center their efforts on business operations, Bluware works with the people who drive the science behind the drilling. We are passionate about finding new ways to use computing technology in pursuit of a better well plan. Our software engineers understand the complex technical concepts involved in subsurface applications and data. Most importantly, we continuously strive to extend the impact of geoscience throughout the well lifecycle. For more information, visit http://www.bluware.com.

    About Hue AS

    Hue develops unique and tailored software and services to solve the most complex visualization and compute challenges for oil and gas E&P. Hue has developed HueSpace, the only software development toolkit created exclusively for E&P that combines exceptional data management, advanced compute capabilities, and state-of-the-art visualization into a single, easy-to-use toolkit, unified by a Core Engine. By working with Hue, oil companies can develop both in-house and commercial solutions that go far beyond what the market and users currently expect. For more information, visit http://www.hue.no.

    About Headwave, Inc.

    Headwave, Inc. is a US / Norwegian company, which aims to augment and ultimately replace the two preceding generations of geoscience software with the third wave geoscience software. The company is headquartered in Houston, TX with offices in Norway and Vietnam. The company recently introduced Headwave 3, the first Third Wave geoscience software product and Foundation for geoscience research, along with products for handling and interactive analysis of unlimited wide-azimuth datasets; stratigraphic and quantitative interpretation; pre- and post-stack interpretation and analysis; and velocity model building for domain conversion. The software is available on Windows or Linux, and takes full advantage of all compute resources (CPUs and GPUs). The Foundation provides fully documented APIs for geoscience and workflow R&D. For more information, visit http://www.headwave.com.

    • • •

    I usually don’t comment on technologies or companies related to my profession on this blog, but in this case I feel that the innovation that the merger/collaboration of these three companies brings to the table is worth commenting on. Just watch the four minute video below and realize that this type of data and performance can be accessed from the cloud. “[the] user only needs a browser … from anything … from an iPad, from a PC, from a Mac, wherever they are in the world.”

    From 2017 Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference (March 15-16)

     

    This could well be a paradigm shift in oil & gas exploration. 

    Extant

    Smart, sexy, intriguing sci-fi. Starring Halle Berry. Deep and multi-threaded. Well written and well acted.

    I’m watching it via AmazonPrime. You should watch it any way you can.

    http://m.imdb.com/title/tt3155320/

    On second thought don’t start watching it. You won’t be able to stop … and sleep will be a thing of the past.*

     

     

    * if you have the ability to binge-watch it as I am doing via AmazonPrime.

    Thunderstorms

    This is another Father’s Day tribute to Bob (aka Dad).

    From Welcome to the Future …

    Despite the fact that my parents love for me caused them to be overly protective, my dad did something equally amazing for me. I have always loved thunderstorms. I love the lightning and I love the thunder. I think that thunderstorms are one of the most exhilarating of all natural phenomenon. There is a reason for this. My dad grew up in an orphanage. It was not uncommon at the time for single mothers who could not care for their children to abandon them at an orphanage. Summertime in Florida produces severe afternoon thunderstorms. The nuns at the orphanage were afraid that lightening would hit the building and set fire to it. Rather than face the possibility of an orphanage full of trapped children burning to the ground, whenever a thunderstorm approached, the nuns would make the children go outside and lie facedown in the grass until the storm passed. Needless to say, my dad was terrified of thunderstorms; shaking, vomiting, fetal position terrified of thunderstorms. Dad swore to himself that I was never going to be afraid of lightning and thunder like he was. From my earliest days my dad would pick me up and bounce me on his knee during storms. “See the lightning,” he would say, “now wait, here it comes … BADDA BOOM.” I would giggle and laugh. He showed no fear, why should I. Of course, I remember none of this. I was too young. But I do know that I love lightning and thunder. Whenever my dad told this story he would add one more thing … by making sure that I was never afraid of thunderstorms he had cured his own fear too.

      
    Trying to proof-read the above is difficult through tear filled eyes. If there are typos, cut me some slack.

     Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and to their children!

    Bob

    Robert Francis (Bob) Bergman 

    Circa mid 1970s

    [Click the images to zoom to full size]


    YOKS (Ye Olde Kid Sister) posted the photo above of our Dad to Facebook today.

    I took that photo during my “Black & White” photography period. My camera bag is prominently visible in the foreground. This is a classic Bob photo – beer in hand. Note the old school disposable “pop top” beer can and Bob’s signature white cowboy hat.

    Below is another picture I took on a different fishing trip. This is actually a cropped digital image of a framed picture I have hanging on my staircase. It is my favorite photo of Dad.


     

    Bob loved to fish and I frequently went along with him always getting on the road before sunrise. I was heavily into photography in the 70s and would go “fishing” with him just to get out and away from everything and to spend time alone with him. I am not sure exactly when these pictures were taken – I could probably find the negatives and give you the exact dates, but that would be irrelevant – mid 1970s is close enough. 

    I put “fishing” in quotes because I mostly went for the solitude, sandwiches, beer, and photography. Fishing was very “zen” for Bob. Peace, quiet, solitude … and beer. Bob loved beer. Fishing wasn’t so much about catching fish as it was the entire experience. Sure he loved actually catching fish, but not catching fish was OK too. How does that old saying go … “the worst day fishing is better than the best day of work.”

    Our “worst day of fishing” was the time we were out in Florida Keys in a rented boat and sheared the propeller shear pin on a sand shoal – with no extra shear pins. After several hours of trying to row back to shore with the single oar we had – including realizing we had snagged the line of a lobster/crab pot on the outboard motor, thus going nowhere – Bob decided to fashion a shear pin out of a heavy gauge fish hook. That did the trick and we limped back to the marina. Speaking of “lobsters” I was wearing shorts, no shirt, and no hat. Although by some miracle I did not blister, I was “cooked lobster red” for many days afterwards. Still better than “the best day of work.”

    Bob would have loved this song …

    Bob is no longer with us. Time may heal all wounds, but we still miss him.

    Bob, wherever you are, this one’s for you …


     

    Happy Father’s Day