Fukushima – I Finally Wrote It

I don’t know how many times I’ve started, stopped, and deleted trying to write something up on my trip to the Fukushima Hard-To-Return-To Area, AKA the Futaba District of the Fukushima Prefecture. Unfortunately, thanks to COVID-19, I have plenty of time to write this up now. I want to give thanks at the outset to …

Phil vs. The Otago Rail Trail, Part 2

We last left our intrepid heroes at the trailhead of the Otago Rail Trail in Middlemarch. Apologies for the delay getting to part two because one of the hard things in reconstructing this tale is that the websites I used in 2003 have dramatically improved and it’s hard to recreate my old errors. Pretty sure …

Back From Jerusalem & Extra Life 2019

Allow me to fill your life with GOOD NEWS!!! via GIPHY First of all, I’m back from vacation which means the coffee engines have fired up again and some of you should already have received your shipments. My trip summary: If it’s always a good idea to take a Hollywood photographer on vacation with you …

A Stream of Consciousness Rant on D&D Projects

No, not that kind of D&D. I’m feeling all salty today about underground services, subs to the nth degree subcontractors, shitty documentation and the tragicomedy poor communication between them all on Decontamination & Demolition projects. Most D&D projects follow a “graded approach” where they run three major phases: Phase 1: Steal underpants. NO NO NO, …

DEFCON 2018 After Action Report

[looks at calendar] Well, this is only four months late. Been too busy having other adventures. Sorry about that. TL;DR version: I enjoyed the hell out of smart people sharing problems and solutions that I am not directly responsible for doing something about. Somebody else’s problems are the best problems. So, as I mentioned previously, …

Meet Herr Direktor: DEFCON & National Atomic Testing Museum

First, the business matters. Because DEFCON makes things tricky, production of this window is now closed and the production slots for the window ending August 18th are now up for order on the website. At DEFCON proper, the BBotE Ambassador of Flagstaff (Dan Nowak) and the former ambassador of Chicago (Bill Weiss) will be there …

Upcoming Adventures: Sumo & Fukushima Daiichi

In late September, I will be continuing my long standing tradition of visiting new continents by going to their islands first. I went to Britain before I made it to Italy, New Zealand before Australia (don’t start your sunken continent in the Tasman Sea crap), Ross Island before South Pole Station, and now Japan before …

The Tale of the Schrempeltraps

Once upon a time, I worked at a company where the lead scientist/CTO for one of the divisions had some compulsive behaviors. He was a German PhD electrical engineer of the small, wizened tinker gnome persuasion. Whatever Grimm’s fairy tale mental picture you have of a watch/clockmaker is pretty much spot on, though put him …

The 2017 Atomic Heritage Roadtrip, Part 3: Trinity & Titan

As it is July 16th, the anniversary of the dawn of the Atomic Age, I suppose it’s time to get to the third and final part of the Atomic Holiday. The whole genesis of this trip was the fact that we could go visit the Trinity Test Site on April Fools Day, along with all …