From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Trash Problem! When can I get one of these?
Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2007 16:54:18 -0500
Ah yes, another Golden Fleece candidate.
This is how the military funnels boondoggle dollars to insiders. The
pattern is the same every time. Usually non-competitive contract
award, some large amount of money flows, a press release is made
touting how the results will save the world and then nothing is ever
heard from it again. I mean, can you REALLY imagine a "tactical
digester". "Hey Sarge, cover me while I shovel in enough garbage to
make some gas so we can get out of here." Riiiight.
I worked on a project like that in my youth. The navy awarded a
contract to a minority sham company (a division of Avco) to build a
gadget that would take mess hall wastes, process them and turn them
into dog food. (!) At the same time, the Navy was out-sourcing mess
hall operations to private contractors.
It seems that the token black who headed this division was driving
through the country in SC one day when he ran upon a pig farmer who'd
built a gadget to process and cook restaurant waste that he fed to his
hogs. Our token minority got the navy to buy this gadget from the
farmer for about a million bux (nothing more than a garbage disposer
and a rotary oven made out of a hunk of steel pipe) and had it carted
back to NAS Charleston. Then he got a contract for many million to
"research" the process for use in mess halls. Those mess halls that
were being turned over to private contractors.
They hired me to design the control system for this project. I was
quickly told to do a little work on the project, write weekly progress
reports, buy any nifty test equipment I desired (they got a commission
on everything they bought for the Navy) and otherwise have fun.
I lasted about 3 weeks. I was just out of school and my ethics hadn't
fully matured yet but three weeks was all I could stand of waste and
corruption on that scale. The mechanical engineer they'd hired bailed
within a couple of days of me.
I spent a good deal of time "yard and dock touring" (slang for staying
out of sight of the bosses) around NAS Charleston. These sorts of
boondoggles were common.
It's funny to see people who get fed their opinions by the media
regurgitate bitching about $300 hammers. The real waste is in areas
On Thu, 8 Feb 2007 09:33:29 -0700, "Just plain \"Dusty\""
>About the only thing left that needs doing for me out here (on a flatspot,
>north of 'the Q') is being able to deal with the trash.
>Here's a prototype that I wish they'd hurry up and get into production:
>I wonder how small they can make these and still retain its functionality?