Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Looks like Russia's first fifth-generation fighter is a bust

We've talked about the PAK-50 and Russia's problems with their effort at a fifth-generation fighter here and here, and maybe more, but it is becoming more and more apparent that the PAK-50, now apparently known as the Sukhoi Su-57, is a steaming heap of shit, at least as fifth-generation fighters go. (Spoiler alert: The United States remains the only country that actually has developed a fifth-generation fighter.) That singular status seems to remain unchallenged by the newly named Su-57:
On August 11, Russia named its new stealth fighter the Su-57, but despite having a name, a finalized design, and a tentative date for its delivery, it already looks like a huge disappointment.
Russia first flew the Su-57 in 2010, demonstrating that it would enter the race towards fifth-generation aircraft after the US revolutionized aerial combat with the F-22, and later the F-35.
But in the years since, the Su-57 has failed to present a seriously viable future for Russian military aviation. Russia already fields some of the most maneuverable planes on earth. It has serious firepower in terms of missiles and bombs, and long-distance bombers and fighters. But what Russia doesn't have is a stealth jet of any kind.
Building a stealth jet is not easy. The sophisticated electronics involved in a fifth-generation fighter are beyond the capabilities of any nation besides the U.S., unless, of course, another nation is able to steal the technology. Anyone who has seen first-line U.S. fighters through the years side-by-side with Soviet fighters knows that this happens a lot. Yes, the MiG-15 was a clone of the F-86, both of them Korean War-era planes. Coincidence? I think not. The Tu-160 looks just like a U.S. B-1 bomber, the Su-27 bears an uncanny resemblence to the F-15. The list goes on. The Soviets routinely stole  the basic design plans for our front-line aircraft.

What they were unable to steal, or at least unable to duplicate, was the complex avionics that made all of those aircraft dramatically superior to the clones the Soviets put in the air.

That is the problem that faces Russia today. They can't develop a fighter that actually can compete with the fighters we are seeking to retire, much less the aircraft that we are bringing on line. Nor can China, which still has to buy aircraft engines from Russia because the ones they build on their own suck.

On a qualitative level, no one can compete with U.S. air power. However, the Chinese apparently are willing to concede a qualitative edge and attempt to overcome that with a quantitative advantage. If our fighters can impose a 10-to-1 kill advantage, then China will simply make sure that their fighters outnumber ours by 20-to-1. Simple math: they win. Therein lies the problem of relying on superior technology. You still need numbers.

We don't have them. Someone at the Pentagon needs to wake up. When the Huns sacked Rome, they weren't relying on technology.

Friday, August 25, 2017

I have, in fact, been to The Farm recently

I went on Sunday, just to harvest. It was a quick-hit visit, so I had no time to weed, etc. Still, the harvest was good. I got okra, tomatoes and cucumbers:

Got a bunch of beans:

The okra looks good and continues to produce prodigiously:

The corn that Farmer Tom didn't want me to plant looks good:

Really good:

On the other hand, some of the squash-related crops just burned out:

Not a happy time. Anyway, tons of okra:

Also peppers and cukes:

Wax beans, of course:

And purple beans, because they look cool when you can them with green beans and wax beans:

Oh, shit, more green beans:

Probably going to The Farm again tomorrow, and if not, certainly Sunday. We'll see what we see.

I think Shep Smith drinks on the job

Is there some other way to explain this:

The dude is not right.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

So, Donald Trump gave a speech in Arizona

Naturally, the Antifa (short for anti-fascists, making them the most ironically named group in the history of mankind) folks turned out, prepared to do violence. For at least one of them, things did not go as planned. This guy took a tear-gas shot to the nuts, and lots o' people mocked him for it here.

Always sad to see a leftie take a shot to the vagina.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Yes, this is a real sign

Unfortunately, in Temp Town, this is the kind of sign that actually is necessary. It ranks up there with "Please Don't Eat Other People's Food." This stuff happens all the time, on every project, because temps are animals, and so we get signs like this:

I wish this were the worst thing that happens on projects in Temp Town. It isn't. I get it, it happens in the real world, too, but not so often that building management feels the need to put up a sign. I'm still waiting for a sign in the bathroom that says, "Please do not take a dump on the floor. Use the toilet." Three projects and counting that needed that sign, and one of them was this year. Never underestimate how low temps will sink when it comes to failure to observe socially acceptable norms.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

And the backyard pets get bigger

As I mentioned previously, Mrs. Wolves is housesitting (mostly dogsitting, really) for a friend who lives even more out in the sticks than we do. Naturally, then, more nature stuff happens in their yard than in ours, right? Wrong.

Yeah, we have a groundhog and a bunny as backyard pets. But we get much larger backyard pets, even if they aren't exactly in our backyard. Mrs. Wolves came home from housesitting on Monday (to let Jeb the Wonderdog out to pee and stuff like that) and caught these two guys, not in our backyard, but in the area behind our backyard:

Mother and child, right? Bambi and mama. We got it.

Butterflies are still free

Mrs. Wolves is housesitting for a friend who lives in an area that apparently has other butterflies not present here. Which means she got a picture of a Monarch butterfly:

And another picture of some kind of swallowtail butterfly:

So there you have it.

Friday, August 11, 2017

She does like her clouds

Mrs. Wolves recently shared a couple pictures with me that, naturally, I have to put on the blog. The first was taken last Wednesday after she dropped me off at the commuter bus stop. It was sunrise, and it looked like this:

The second was taken near home. Different day, I think, but also a sunrise, looking out over Farmer John's (whose name is almost certainly not John) cornfield next to our house:

Quite nice, I think.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The backyard pets get together

We have a couple wild animals that apparently consider our backyard to be their personal domain. Both are juveniles, born this season, and both apparently have set up burrows under the shed of my neighbor, since they come out from under the fence. One of them is a groundhog:

The other is a rabbit:

Mrs. Wolves considers both of them to be her "pets," even though they both pretty much are ignorant of our existence. Nonetheless, she takes a motherly attitude toward them and will not let me mow the backyard for fear of reducing their food supply.

The other day, we had what amounted to a once-a-century alignment of the planets. Both of Mrs. Wolves' "pets" were eating in the backyard, and could be fit in the same picture frame:

I certainly hope they move on so that I can mow the back yard before the homeowmers' association jacks me up for having my grass too long.

Butterflies are free

Mrs. Wolves likes to wander the wilderness, or at least our local version of it, searching for things to take pictures of. Like butterflies. Like this oen:

She told me what kind of butterfly this is, but I forgot:

But it is a purdy butterfly:

Is it not?

Monday, August 7, 2017

I went to The Farm today

OK, so it was yesterday, because I am slow to post, but anyway, there it is. The Farm is proving to be both very rewarding and a little discouraging. Several crops are doing well -- most, really -- including the early crops such as peas, lettuce, Swiss chard and kale. Others have done well, but below expectations, such as the potatoes, onions and garlic. Others, like the beans, okra and carrots, have blown up and been great. Still others, such as the squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes, are not setting the world on fire but have time to recover. Not sure what is going on with those crops. Hope we can turn them around.

In any event, I went to The Farm yesterday and did some harvesting. Here is what we got.

The corn is growing nicely. I expect a harvest se=ometime around the end of September:

Okra coming in well, producing big fruit:

And more on the way:

Beans like you wouldn't believe:

Second-crop kale and Swiss chard, but I am not convinced:

Yes, I brought in a boatload of beans:

Also squash, zucchini, garlic and our first tomato:

The carrots come from thinning the field; can't wait for the actual crop:

The peppers are starting to come in. These are drying as we speak:

All in all, I am not unhappy with the garden. Hoping some of the crops improve, but I guess we'll see. Deer are a big problem, and I am not allowed to deal with them the way I would like, alas. Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Last farming catch-up post

I didn't make it to The Farm last weekend because of work and stuff, but I still have an update from the previous weekend. I also expect to get to The Farm this weekend at some point, so you have that to look forward to, but right now, I have some stuff that is two weeks behind.

The corn I planted is doing nicely. We are trying to protect it from the deer, but I think we are looking good for a late September/early October harvest:

Wasn't much to do around the beds last time I was at The Farm except to harvest stuff. So I did. got a bunch of onions:

A decent amount of green beans:

Some garlic:

A few bell peppers:

Some carrots, as well. These are just the carrots I get because I am thinning the bed. The real thing will come later, but for now we have these:

And, of course, okra. Can't wait to make some gumbo:

More harvest stuff coming.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sadie has left the building

Sadie, the Auxiliary Back-up Dog, died today at the age of 13.

We will miss Sadie, but we will never forget her. She was, I think, the sweetest dog ever. All she ever wanted was a belly rub:

A little more than a year ago, we gave Sadie to Cpl. Wolves and Married Into Wolves, because they wanted a pet but wanted to take baby steps. Both of them loved Sadie, so it was a natural fit. Over at the new place, Sadie enjoyed many an hour playing the sock game with Cpl. Wolves, who would taunt her with a sock while she tried to kill it:

She was very happy in her new home, back with the boy she loved so much and getting more attention than she had in years.

Unfortunately, she died today from cancer. I know she's in a better place. Her decline was rapid, and I don't think she suffered -- she went from apparently fine to not in just two weeks. She was a love muffin, and we will miss her. Best auxiliary back-up dog ever.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Another boring traffic post

July turned out to be the fifth-best month for the blog in terms of visitors. This despite the fact that I didn't even post once a day (29 out of 31 days). Go figure.

On the other hand, I am now ahead of the game for August, at least as far as posting goes. So I have that going for me.