October 17, 2021 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
Hold on a minute. Are you mingling with Kyoko, Martin, Jill, Dave, Marilyn, Gregg, and Andre' because you subscribed in the past week? My goodness, you're in good company as you're one of over 100 new subscribers that have joined my virtual family in the past seven days. Thanks for your trust!
This is an unusual newsletter as I just returned from a long trip and have some interesting information to share about it.
Three days ago, I got back from ten days of solo travel. Thirteen days ago, I jumped in my Ford F-250 4x4 and headed west from central New Hampshire towards Cincinnati, Ohio. The primary reason for the trip was my 51st high school reunion. CLICK or TAP HERE to see all those photos. Keep in mind my high school is almost 100 years old. Note the remarkable condition of the building.
About a month before leaving, I took possession of a new cell phone - the Google Pixel 5a. The camera inside this phone is remarkable. It has a special night mode as many modern cell phone cameras now sport. Look at this photo I took from the outdoor eating deck of the Incline House on the western flank of Cincinnati.
CLICK or TAP HERE to see the original high-resolution version. I can't say enough good things about the Pixel 5a. I'm only paying $15 per month for it over a two-year contract and that includes the damage/lose-it insurance! BTW, I use Google Fi as my cell phone provider. I immediately shaved 50% off my phone bill switching to Fi. If you want to know more about Google Fi, just ping me.
In just a bit, you're going to see about 130+ other incredible high-resolution photos and videos shot by the Pixel.
I want to give a huge shout out to Steve Flannery who manages the Ace Hardware store in the Dillonvale shopping center on E. Galbraith Road in Cincinnati. I was in desperate need of three moving blankets and Steve made sure I got what I needed! Thanks, Steve!
Tiny Black Dots
The secondary reason I was in Cincinnati was a very important business meeting. It was with two brothers I've known for 45 years!
We had lunch and as we were chit chatting, one of them asked me if I knew anything about these small black dots on his home. Look:
Do you have this problem on your home? He wanted to know if Stain Solver would clean them off. I said, "Of course it will, but it's going to take a little work."
It turns out the cause of the black dots is the wretched mulch he placed around his house. For years, he always used pine needle straw and never had an issue. This year he switched to mulch and now he's got a mess.
What causes the dots? Artillery fungus. These tiny organisms in the mulch can shoot very small blobs of spores and goop almost 20 feet up from the ground. Once the goop sticks to the house, it forms a hardened shell, the black dot, that's tough to remove.
When you compare that feat - shooting a tiny blob of goop up 15 feet - to what an Iowa-class battleship can do, it's a pretty good scaled comparison. The nine 16-inch artillery battleship guns could hurl a 2,000-pound shell about 20 miles.
Oh, you want to know more about battleships? I thought you'd never ask!
USS New Jersey 62-BB
Each day I was gone on my trip, I had lots of things planned. One was a photography assignment. I took countless photos of the neighborhood where I grew up. You'll see those photos another time after I add captions. But in the meantime, here's one of the Esquire, my neighborhood theater that's been saved from the wrecking ball.
The last day of my trip I took care of a bucket-list item shooting over 130 photographs and a few videos. Many, I think, will make you say "WOW!" out loud.
I had always wanted to board and tour an Iowa-class battleship. It turns out the USS New Jersey is docked across the river from Philadelphia in Camden, NJ. I had to drive through Pennsylvania to get back to New Hampshire, so why not make a slight detour?
Two months before, by chance, I made radio contact with a ham operator on the ship. The New Jersey radio club has the vanity call sign: NJ2BB. I was so excited I went to their website and discovered they have a guest-operator opportunity. I immediately reached out and Dave set up the time to meet him when I boarded the ship.
How cool would it be to operate in the radio room of a battleship? To actually use the antennas on the ship! Let me tell you, it was thrilling!
I like to think of the New Jersey when it was active on the high seas as 45,000 tons of steel that did a fantastic job of preserving freedom and liberty. If you're a pacifist, you may look at her as a highly efficient killing machine that prevents you from kneeling by a large open trench. It was both.
President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Walk softly, but carry a big stick." Trust me, the USS New Jersey is one heck of a big stick. I URGE YOU TO DO ALL POSSIBLE to go visit the ship and tour it. It's a day you'll never forget.
You simply have no idea as to how BIG this ship is. In wartime, it had a crew of nearly 2,700 men. It was a small city.
CLICK or TAP HERE to see all my photos and videos of my tour experience. You'll see quite a few photos of signs that explain what you're looking at. Be sure to read all that information.
Would you like to see some videos that will entice you to make the trip to the ship? I thought so.
CLICK or TAP HERE to see the USS New Jersey's YouTube channel.
I think you've got plenty to do now looking at all the links above. I'll be back next Sunday with a more-normal newsletter.
Do It Right, Not Over!
P.S. What's the biggest flaw in your garage? CLICK or TAP HERE to see if it matches what I think it is.