"Sound Beats Print ... Pictures Beat Sound"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How I Became A " Flying Squirrel "

Bob The Juggie

In the spring of 1978, I was busy drinkin' myself to death in Estes Park, Colorado. My friend Lewis, was engaged in the same effort, but I was having far more success. Then one day Lewis disappeared, nothing unusual for a town like Estes, people come and go in the mountains constantly. Later on in August he showed up at The Wheel Bar, buying people beers, wearing new jeans, and a big ole' Nepalese Temple Ball in his front pocket. He had been driving a lumber truck in Estes, so I sensed that he had made a career change. Over David Bowie singing " Fame " for the zillionth time I shouted. " Lewis what are you doin' ?"
" Robert, I'm jumpin' outa helicopters in Utah, and scaring the shit out of the wild life."

Lewis then proceeded to tell me how he'd got on with a company called Mountain Geophysical, and how they were exploring for oil and gas on a huge geological formation in the western U.S. called the Over Thrust Belt. Like many American males before me, the idea of joining a boom sounded like the cure to my present situtation, so I told him to get in touch if an opening came up. I had just about forgotten the whole affair, when in September, a message came on a Thursday evening via a mutual friend saying, " Be in Morgan Utah on Monday morning at the Como Springs Resort by 6:00 am...... I was two hours late, but I got the job. The next day, I took my helicopter safety lesson at Lost Canyon Reservoir. Being a new hire with zero geophysical experience, I was assigned to the " Jug Line ". Perhaps a little background is in order here on what oil exploration is, and why we were looking for oil in the mountains on the " backside " of the Wasatch Front.

If you drop a rock, or an earthquake happens, there are two types of waves produced. Makes no difference on the size of the amount of energy produced, each event sends out these waves in the earth. They are called :
P Waves..... The Primary set of waves produced by the event. These waves travel fast through the earth, are high frequency, and always arrive at point on the surface first.
S Waves ..... The Secondary set of waves produced by the event. These waves travel more slowly through the earth, are low frequency, and arrive after the P wave.
Because of this, a great deal of information can be learned about what the earth looks like on the inside. As each set waves moves through rock some hit different layers and bounce off the layers, and return to the surface. This is why the USGS can say that an earthquake was at so and so location, was X miles deep, and was X size in power, and happened X hours ago. It can also tell an oil company that a geological formation known as a trap is present. Now, the people watching Mt. St. Helens for example, have geophones set out to record the activity of the volcano. These are big single set-ups, and a few will work for watching the mountain. Seismic exploration companies use thousands of little geophones { See inset photo above } all wired together on strings. These geophones are called "Jugs", the crew people that lay them out are called " Juggies ".

When the search for oil was just getting started a lot of snake oil was passed off as a sure fire way to find where to drill for the stuff. One of these ways was called a " Doodle Bug " as the seismic industry developed this nickname stuck to seismic crews, and they became " Doodle Buggers".

This whole technology was invented in the 1930's, but was limping along until the Vietnam War came along. This is how we "heard" the North Vietnamese coming down the Ho-Chi-Min Trail. In the beginning, these recordings were very crude and hard to read, but as the electronic/computer revolution moved along the "pictures" coming from the earth got better and better. Some assumptions about how different rocks affected the P & S waves were always baked into the cake. Then in the late 70's some very smart computer people in Denver working for the Anschutz Corporation asked if these assumptions were true. They weren't, and bingo. The " pictures " coming from the earth came into a much sharper focus. Suddenly, the extremely complex geology of the Over Thrust Belt was seen for the first time at depth, and huge gas deposits were found at great depths. The boom was on. Fortunately for me this party was still roaring a long when I showed up " Behind The Mormon Curtain ".

These mountains had been explored for years, the problem had been getting the energy source to make the P & S waves. I saw places deep in the woods where a crew had pulled truck drills through the woods with bull dozers. Then crews would explode 150 lbs, of dynamite on the surface. The French, who were leaders in this field, even experimented with dropping huge concrete blocks, and chunks of lead out of helicopters. Now, that's all fine and dandy if you're on private land, but Uncle Sam owned most of the real estate in question, and they frowned on blowing up 150 lbs. of 60% high velocity nitropel every 330 ft. through the woods. Like Lewis said, it " Scares the shit out of the wildlife ". But it was done and done a lot. Companies experimented with all kinds of man portable drills to bury the explosives, not out of a real concern for the woods, but a real need to get the "Boom" buried as deep as possible in order to get good readings from the shot. There was a problem with this tack, where we were looking has the word Rocky in it. Mountain Geo. was the first to develop small helicopter portable drills that could actually make holes in the Rockies.

The HP #2 shot hole drill Opened up millions of acres to oil exploration, 30 days after our crews went through the woods, you could never tell we had been there. { The L.Z. at Morgan Utah } >>>

The HP drill set up on a hole, ready for the next day. The red object on the left is support basket it carried ..... drill bits, pipe, dynamite, 25 gals of gas, ATF, loading poles, tools etc. That thing was the heaviest object we fooled with,,Some weighed as much as 1,300 lbs. You haven't lived until one of those comes down through the trees, rotating on the end of a 100' long line, and when it finally gets within reach .... you touch it and it shocks the shit out of ya ...... I mean it'll " Wilt your Lily".

Next time ..What we didn't say at the safety lesson's

Sunday, October 29, 2006


This is the turn out off U.S. 40 we were using for an L.Z.

That's me standing on the skids of a Bell Jet Ranger III, it's the first week of January 1979. At 40 below, it was too cold to work. About 1,000 ft above my head it was 16 above. We always worked until it got to 35 below at the drill. I'm really glad I have this picture, about 25 yds. to my left I would nearly be killed about a week after this shot was taken.

I've have a pretty interesting life, at least some parts were interesting . For nearly four years I was a , " Helicopter-Portable-Seismic-Shot-Hole-Driller ". Then when I knew my luck with helicopters was all played out, I switched to truck-drills.

There's something great about a job that everyday when you put on your boots, you know you can get killed.

Now about these helicopters.

The Jet Ranger was at the time the most widely used ship in the world. We've all seen these things over the years. Seismic crews use them to fly the surveyors around, and to move the " Juggies " crap and people. I took my first helicopter safety lesson at the Lost Canyon Reservoir Utah, roughly about 75 miles north and a little west of this spot in the picture. There were three of us that day, so the whole crew sat in on it. My friend Lewis, whom I had pestered to get the job, leaned over and pointed at a Jet Ranger, and whispered, " That's a Death Ranger III." I whispered back, " Why is it called that ?" " Because they tend to burn, when they crash."
I was hooked..... But I learned to hate the Jet Rangers .... all body, no engine.

This is the L.Z. at Afton Wyoming, and that is an Aerospatiale
SA.315B Lama

One will note that is all engine and no body. In fact, here's it's record,

June 21, 1972 :
A Lama reaches major height for an helicopter: (12.442 m ~ 41,000 ft)

This is the machine the drill crew used . For a small ship it is extremely powerful .

Now, back to that safety lesson at Lost Canyon . I've been tryin' to remember that pilot's name, and it just won't pop out of the grey matter. But I remember his words, which is one reason I'm still here. He patted the nose of his ship, and said the following : " This is a helicopter, it is not a whirly-bird, it is not a chopper, it is not an eggbeater. You may call it a ship, a helo, or a helicopter. Do not walk up hill from the ship. Do not walk down hill to the ship. Do not walk back of the doors when the rotors are turning." There was some other stuff ... wear your seat belt. Don't track dirt into the cabin. Be careful with the doors. Here's the air vents. A laundry list of things about the ship . That was a pretty big contract .... we had nearly 40 people in that parking lot that morning. So it wasn't long before the 2 Lamas, a Hughes 500 D, and that Death Ranger were flyin' people out to the field. The three of us squirrels were the on the last load to the field. That's what we called new people squirrels .... flying squirrels. I got the best seat possible for my low station that day .... in the middle of the back seat, looking right out the front with all that plexiglass around me.

This is a shot out of the back seat of the Lama, looking down the tail boom to the tail rotor. Those are the mountains near Park City. We're probably at about 11,000 ft.

That pilot knew exactly who he had on board that day .... and he didn't hold back . First he did a classic move , we came straight up from the parking lot to a hover of about 50 ft. And then he rotated the the ship 90 degrees, like it was sitting on a lazy susan, tilled that nose down, and boom .... we were going 75 mph out across that lake. 5 seconds after that move, we were 6 ft. above the water , headed straight for the far shore which had a small ridge along it , covered with 100 ft. spruce trees ... and just when we all thought we were gonna make matches out of those trees. He popped that thing up, and we just cleared the tops.
I was hooked.
Then the ride started. Because as we cleared the ridge, a canyon opened up, and we went down that thing at a 100 mph standing one one edge of the main rotor and then the other. Going around curves in the canyon, first the right side of the ship was "down" then the left side. By this point the guys on either side of me were white as sheets. I had a great big ole' grin on my face.
Those two never finished out the week .... But I was hooked.

Lamas at the Afton Wyoming airport fall of 79'
Next time the drills.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Jose' & Nadine

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Johnny Winter

Last night at C&L someone linked the You Tube clip of Johnny Winter at Woodstock ... Well that jogged my memory. I was working in the light show at the Vulcan Gas Co. on lower Congress Ave, in the spring of 69'. I was there the night the Atlantic record people came to see Johnny play. Here's one of his best from later on ..... Johnny Guitar :

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


As the media's obsession with grinding the smallest of the most trivial of human endeavors to dust. Let us consider the following :

The World Wildlife Fund reports that we will need TWO EARTHS every year to support the modern world by the year 2050

"If everyone around the world lived as those in America, we would need five planets to support us,"

U.N.: Ocean 'dead zones' increasing fast.

Experts estimate 200 worldwide, up from 149 just two years ago

"We've just come off a second summer in Canada in which we've had next to no whales show up,"

"We know that the Bering Sea has taken a beating over the last ten years, and that productivity has plummeted there, forcing the whales into new habitat,"

Hippos in Africa reserve being wiped out

Conservationists estimate rebels slaughtered 400 in last two weeks

Antarctic waters see fishing pressure

First, there is a growing demand for krill, which can be used as feed for farmed salmon, and second, the latest technology for catching krill, with ships that continuously vacuum them up, could deplete their numbers.

Scientists: World's coral reefs in danger

Researchers fear more than half the world's coral reefs could die in less than 25 years

Now, we can all get back to chattering about Tom Cruise's wedding.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tony Greer

I mentioned My friend Tony on the last post, here's some more of his work :

Tony Greer's Plasma Tubes and Neon

Tony Greer's Tesla Coil

Friday, October 20, 2006

Electric Buffalo Skull #1

This is a piece I did with a friend of mine .... Tony Greer. He's the neon man. Tony has a Tesla Generator .

The last I time checked this piece was still in the up stairs of the bar on the square in Santa Fe. And for the life of me I can't remember the name of the joint.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Take a look at Neil Young's jacket in this clip. Seeing Neil that spring when this song broke is one reason I took up leather work in 1967. I stood right next to the stage at the " Linger Longer", and saw the Springfield do this song .... 5 ft. from Mr. Young. The Seeds were the headliner that night ....... "You're Pushin' Too Hard"

Here's a jacket I made in the early 90's :
It's made from split oil tanned deer skin ... The Air Force uses this leather for helmet lining. It's the softest leather you'll ever feel. The fasteners are the tips of deer antlers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This Is What I Want My Funeral To Look Like :

Clip from redhaio


Ever since Crosby, Stills, and Nash wrote "Wind on the Water ", those whales have been getting away with far too much ! I hear it's because they've been quietly getting funding from George Sorros under the table. I'm glad to see that the sons of the Vikings are taking this bold step. I mean we nearly had those liberal creatures wiped out in the last century, and we let a ragged few slip through our harpoons. I have word that it was Bill Clinton's fault this happened.

I also have it on good authority that whales are promiscuous, and have been seen rubbing each other's genetialia, and they're for same sex marriage.
So I'm all for these sneaky liberal animals chased to the brink again, it's just sound management if you ask me. These animals are far more valuable as Kroners or Rubles or what ever those Icelanders use for dollars. So I say hunt em' down and convert their flesh to money. Then we'll have a way to measure their true worth.
And if these brave son's of the Vikings get out there and find these " Cunning Minkes " are gone, because the water temperatures are just too high for whales to survive, I say great ! The boys in the pits at the New York Merc need a raise .... they're only making $300,000 a year .
The BBC story : Iceland begins commercial whaling
The BBC guide to : Endangered Whales

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Monday, October 16, 2006

Good Bye Little Friends

Last spring, the first reports came out on what was happening in the Cloud Forests in Costa Rica . If you or I walked into them we wouldn't know anything was amiss. But subtle changes have already wiped out dozens of it's residents. This post is prompted by this weeks Newsweek story :

Why the Frogs Are Dying
Climate change is no longer merely a matter of numbers from a computer model. With startling swiftness, it is reordering the natural world.

From the story ....... A study by 75 scientists published earlier this year in the journal Nature estimated that two thirds of the 110 known species of harlequins throughout Central and South America have vanished. And that may be just the beginning.

Like I said ... Good Bye Little Friends

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday Funnies

It's Sunday, Need to smile ? Here's a site that's just people playing with their Photoshop. This is the link to the Propaganda page ..... There's more : Worth 1000

Saturday, October 14, 2006

From airforceone.net via Prof. Smartass

Bush & Rove dance

Thursday, October 12, 2006

From Joe Galloway to Tom Lasseter

Joe Galloway 1965
"I looked over and saw Joe Galloway sitting with his back against a small tree, camera in his lap, rifle across his knees. I knew why I was there. I'm a professional military man and it's my job. But what the hell was HE doing there? Turned out he was doing his job too."
-Lt. Gen. (ret.) Hal Moore-

I never read Joe Galloway's reports from Vietnam, but I do read him now ...... Joe Galloway War Reporter He's a columnist for McClatchy newspapers.

I also read Tom Lasseter ..... Iraqi civil war has already begun, U.S. troops say..He's a 28 year-old reporter for the same chain.

Someday the compliment that was paid to Joe by -Lt. Gen. (ret.) Hal Moore- will be paid to Tom. Things are a lot different in these two wars. I'm sure Tom isn't carrying a rifle, and he sure isn't wearing a uniform. But he's been in the field with our troops since the 101st Airborne landed in Iraq, and his reports have always been from the ground with direct style of what he sees. Joe would be proud.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Lubbock, Cemetery

I went out to see my mom this evening. I didn't have a camera with me. So I don't have a picture of her headstone. On the way to her site is this, The Holly family plot. The rest of the family have markers like Buddy ..... musical notations among the carvings. I got this shot off a Glasglow message board I found at google. The photographer is a fellow in San Francisco named, " Super Resident ". This evening, there were no guitar picks, but there was a poker chip, British Union Jack, pennys, and a stuffed rabbit that was almost too real with 4 necklaces with white crosses around his neck.......It was a beautiful sunset. I miss my mom. I miss talking with her.





If you want to see which poll breaks which way over the long run ...... Visit : PROFESSOR POLLKATZ's

I Think, Therefore I Countdown
TGos | | 10.09.06 - 1:47 pm | #

Monday, October 09, 2006


Note the Depth of this event as recorded by the USGS :
Magnitude 4.2 - NORTH KOREA

4.2 earthquakes don't occur at zero depth boys and girls.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Earthquake Details

Magnitude 4.5 (Light)
Sunday, October 8, 2006 at 02:48:26 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Saturday, October 7, 2006 at 7:48:26 PM
= local time at epicenter
Location 46.850°N, 121.600°W
Depth 3.8 km (2.4 miles) set by location program
33 km (20 miles) S (177°) from Greenwater, WA
34 km (21 miles) ENE (72°) from Ashford, WA
43 km (27 miles) SE (127°) from Carbonado, WA
78 km (49 miles) ESE (123°) from Tacoma, WA
103 km (64 miles) SSE (147°) from Seattle, WA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst= 96, Nph= 96, Dmin=10 km, Rmss=0.35 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=2
Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network
Event ID uw10080248
This event has been reviewed by a seismologist

Saturday, October 07, 2006


My republican uncle lives in the north Dallas suburbs. He was serving in the Pacific off the coast of the Philippines, and witnessed some of Japan's first Kamikazi attacks on our fleet . The men on his ship called them " Crash Divers " ...... they had never heard the word Kamikazi .

I recommended that he start reading Juan Cole on the very day that Cole puts up some list of stuff that attacks Bush. { Stupid move on my part } He emailed me about who Cole was .
His last email to me :

After emailing you did some rather quick research and did find out a good bit abt his credentials...nott many around taht speak Arabic and other related languages...interesting abt his joining then leaving the Bahaii faith...one of their National hdgs is located close to us...

As to the debt; it makes me cry to see how the debt has been piled on...it also ticks me off that Bush has not vetoed one spending bill...hope you have not overlooked the process required to appropriate the money...both houses and both parties have made contributions to the fiscal debacle...should the demos get back into control Pelosi says every tax relief bill passed will be repealed...that is a scary thought for the economy...

Noticed your referring to Foley as a hypocrite...you left off the part abt being homosexual...you have to admit that
Republicans at least resign when caught and the Democrats not only stay in office they flip off the public...a pox on both their houses...PB

My reply :

RE :
Pox ..... Amen .... I wouldn't follow Nancy Pelosi into a 7-11.
Credentials ... Where can I find Hannity's credentials ,,,,, Oh that's right, he was contractor ......Coulter's ? Of coarse, she's a child of Conneticut lawyer's that jokes about rat poisoning supreme court justices ........ Limbaughs ? That's the fellow who for years cried for years " Off to Jail " for poor assholes who got trapped in drug abuse. But he got into treatment, when he got caught. Shall I go on ? Because I can fill-up this page and several more if I really get started .
Why stop now .....
Duke Cunningham "TOP GUN" traded votes for hookers.
Some of my favorite's :
The guy that wrote " Bush's Brain " got on the No-Fly list ......
The "conservative" mayor of Spokane Washington, strongly anti-gay while trying to hire young men on the internet for city offices.
The city government of San Diego Calf. strongly republican, looted the city workers pension fund to pay for the Republican National Convention.
They're in the red to the tune of billions of dollars.
Same sort of story in Ohio now with workers comp. fund.
Same sort of story in "Conservative" Orange county Calf. they declared bankruptcy.
And a real stand out :
The republican governor of Kentucky " Pre-Pardoned" some of the cronies he put on the state payroll !!
Matt Drudge ...... He's another fellow..... that guy lives in West Hollywood. Do you know who lives in West Hollywood ?
David Dryer ....... Haven't seen him on TV defending that fat bastard we call Mr. Speaker.
Here's a clue for you .... There's a whole block gay bashing gays in the republican ranks........ That's like you bashing insurance salesmen.
What are Dobson's people gonna do with them, when they find out ? Grind em' up and feed em' to the children at Christian Boot Camps ?
Don't hand me republican talking points Uncle, I eat that stuff for breakfast.

Polly Klass's father was on Countdown tonight, His quote :
" Foly was the go to guy in congress on children's issues; for the last 10 years, he made the subject his own."
The "Leadership" knew about this guy and did nothing for much longer than they are saying. And that's not Bill Clinton's fault, or Barney Frank's or some congressmen from 23 years ago .... It's the current " Leadership's" fault.
The " Johnny jumped off the roof too " defense is pretty thin by now.

AS for Cole, I've been reading him for over a year, and not so much for his comment's as the details he finds out about the war. Example:
Basara ...... If you think things are better there, well, you might want to start reading him too. Because it's from Basara that the Iranian's will cut our lines of resupply from Kuwait. At a time of their choosing. And we will have to FLY every gallon of gas, bean, bullet, and truck tire OVER 300 kilometers of
" Indian Country " to our big forts in the middle of the country. At that point our people will be surrounded by millions of very very angry " Indians".
Why ? Because George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Don Rumsfailed are fucking idiots.
The night of this invasion ...... Ted Kopple was standing in Kuwait at the line of departure, In the background our army rolled into Iraq ....... Koppel quoted William Shakespeare's : " CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR…" Julius Caesar
Well the dogs of war are loose. I'm not against fighting bad people. I'm against fighting bad people stupidly. If this is a "long war" as the president keeps reminding us. Why has this congress set aside $20 million for the victory party ? And cut in half the $14 million for traumatic brian injury research .... Traumatic brain damage is the #1 injury from this war.
We have a father here who just gave his second son to this war, and Karl Rove and Grover Norquist have played him for a sucker. This whole thing has the stink of the Roman Senate at a time when they refused to send their sons off to stand duty on the Danube. I got that from Victor Davis Hansen .
I attended Nick's graduation at that Christian School, and it's founder, a little ole lady from Alabama made a few remarks about supporting Bush and Cheney. Then the kids got up and their bright shiney plans were read off. Not one was going to enlist to go to Iraq.

You and I agree on far more than you might guess. I think our culture is a sewer too. MTV being one of the bigger turds in it . But it's not liberals that did it, capitalists own Viacom stock. I can make money buy selling kids on the idea that ignorance is " Cool ", That to pursue the next ring tone at a dollar a pop is a virtue ..... Well that's not liberalism that's marketing ..... the tawdry hand maiden of capitalism..... At the end of the 19th century we began to turn away from laissez' faire capitalism for good reason. It eats people.

Well, this gets me two things done; an email to you and a post on my site.....Don't worry, I won't reveal your name. You shall remain my republican uncle from the north Dallas suburbs.

Seneca on religion :
" To believers it is true .....
To the wise it is false .....
To the leaders it is useful "


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Farewell B-15A

From The Age :

Andrew Darby, Hobart
October 4, 2006

The break-up of a giant Antarctic iceberg has been linked to an Alaskan storm in a finding that raises new concern over climate change's effect on floating ice.

On a calm day in October last year, the world's largest free-floating iceberg, known as B15A, split into giant shards off Cape Adare at the entrance to the Ross Sea.

What was an 11,655-square-kilometre iceberg in 2000 was reduced to a tenth of its size.......Alaska storm hits Antarctic iceberg

The birth of B-15, and it's off spring, B-15A and B-15B were one of the first things I really began to follow on the internet. I stumbled across this picture back in 2000 ....... And I say stumbled. Remember, in 2000 you couldn't "google" B-15. Oh, there were search engines, but entering B-15 in their search boxes would've given you vitamins, not chunks of ice the size of Delaware.

I kept an eye on B-15A for the last 6 years. Kinda like a nephew growing up in another town. Now it's gone, broken into smaller pieces ....... Smaller pieces, some of them are the size of the county I'm sitting in.

But the death of B-15A points to something else I've been following that first grew out of my interest in this far of chunk of ice. The break-up of this berg may be another one of Dr. Hasen's "Monsters Behind the Door" .....
This from the article on the B-15A :

"One of the things we're debating in the world right now is whether global warming might increase the storminess in the oceans," he said.

"The question we then pose is: could global storminess have an influence on the Antarctic ice sheet that we had never thought of?"

B15A broke off the 520,000-square-kilometre Ross Ice Shelf. An ice shelf's melting does not alter the water level, but it holds back much of the Antarctic ice cap, which would raise the sea level if it melted.

Already the spectacular break-up of the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen B ice shelf, which featured in Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, has unleashed onshore glaciers behind it, which are surging down to the sea eight times faster than before.

From :" Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O'Reilly "

Well, if the rumors are true, there's going to be a sequel to the popular
O'Reilly Factor For Kids this spring. Bill O'Reilly and one of his favorite
fellow culture warriors are teaming up for a comprehensive guide for
teens, written from the perspective of a couple of creepy old guys.

According to insiders, O'Reilly gives valuable dating advice for young
boys in chapters such as "Helping Her Relax… by feeding her wine

But this book doesn't play it safe. The authors, who both profess to be
"looking out for kids," tackle the tough issues. And while masturbation
techniques are often considered taboo topics for mainstream
authors, these two traditionalists grab the subject by the balls.
From O'Reilly's story of his vibrator that's.............