More on the F35: Disaster? or, depends on magic?

I will give three pointers to articles on the F35 and a recent dogfight test done, apparently, in the USA.

The forty-year old F16 outmanoeuvred the F35. Simple as that. The F35 pilot said, it’s simply not there for close combat. It can’t do it.

Even more, the F35 was carrying nothing and the F16 was carrying extra fuel tanks.

IMHO the F35 was made using ‘management’ techniques somewhat like those used in the Dreamliner. Even worse, the requirements included essentially three plane designs for three versions: standard, short-takeoff, and vertical landing. At one point the last of these was on hold due to serious challenges with the ‘nozzle’ that redirects the jet blast to allow vertical landing.

The plane is late, horribly over budget, and possibly inadequate. It is certainly of lower speed and less lift per pound than the F16. It has only one engine. As I recall, the fire extinguisher was removed to save weight.

But, there is hope. The F35 proponents say, with stealth paint, magic long-range weapons, and tons of technology (a super helmet that makes it hard to look behind one’s self) – the proponents say, it can shoot down a fleet of F16s that it cannot see.

So, one might cynically say, it depends on magic.

I note that the F35 is also supposed to replace the A10, which apparently is a fabulous ground support plane. Nicknamed the Warthog, it has a Lot of armour and carries a seven-barrel Gatling gun with a muzzle velocity of 3500 feet per second. For comparison, the speed of sound is some 1124 feet per second, almost exactly the muzzle velocity of a .22 long rifle (standard cartridge) which has a range of about 1.25 miles when fired from the ground.

The F35 can’t do ground support. It depends on long-distance missiles. In stealth mode, its weapons must be inside the hull (otherwise the radar-invisibility is compromised.)


we’re about to see the military-industrial complex replace powerful aircraft with new ones that seem to depend on long-distance radar intelligence and intelligent missiles. How accurate is that? How safe?

Finally, how happy are the American people (and their UK helpers) in spending all this money on this technological ‘magic?’ That’s the dumb question.

Why I am disappointed with Bell Canada

If you have a problem with your Bell Canada land line, you will have to walk through an IVR ‘conversation’ that asks you if it’s your phone, for the number of the phone you’ve a problem with (you’re probably not calling on it, eh?) and then it will ask you again if it’s a phone you have a problem with.

That’s small potatoes, but an annoyance, especially if you have to call back over and over.

In October my wife noticed that our ‘line 1’ seemed to be busy occasionally when nobody was using it. (light on 2-line phone on.) On Thursday October 29 it was on solid and that line could do nothing. So I called 1-866-310-BELL and was told there would be a service person coming the next day, Friday the 30th, between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.

I have had a broken arm and am still doing physiotherapy. I had an appointment for 2:20 on that day. However my daughter (adult) said she’d watch in case the service person came before we could get back (expected about 3:30).

At 2:35 the Bell service person called me on my cell phone to say he was at the door and there was no answer. This is twenty-five minutes before he was expected; my daughter was downstairs in the shower and had to get dry and sort-of dressed to answer the door. I did not know this, of course, and told him I’d call her on her cell phone.

My daughter did not answer her cell phone because she was answering the door. Nevertheless the service person simply left without waiting. (I assume that meant, an early start to his/her weekend.)

At 3:30 I was back home from physiotherapy, called Bell, and was told the line would be fixed by 5:00 that day (still Friday the 30th. Nothing happened. I was also told that the problem was ‘nearly always outside the house.’

On Saturday, October 31 I called Bell again and was told a service person would appear between 12:00 and 5:00 on Sunday, November 1.

Nobody showed up.

On November 2 through 9 I was out of the country.

On November 10 I called Bell and was told a service person would be there between 3:00 and 5:00 that day.

The problem, as my son and I figured out later, was a short in the line between the house and the pole out back.

The two lines in use both entered the house near the side door.

There was another entry at the back of the house, which had been used about 18 years ago when my son lived in the basement and had his own phone line(s).

The Bell service person insisted on connecting to the unused back-of-house entry. There is only one jack on this set of wires as it all got disconnected when my son moved out and cancelled his own phone lines. I do not understand why even one jack still was connected.

Net Net result of Bell assistance:

  • Arrived early once and left without waiting
  • Failed to show up twice
  • Connected to wrong lines
  • Short in line 1 from old house entry to back pole precluded getting any phones to work
  • only one jack now working on line 1

Net result of my son’s time and effort:

  • Shorted line removed from line one connection
  • Acceptable connection from working line to others (one standard cord)
  • Everything works


  • I am not impressed
  • The phones are all working, both lines
  • If I find a reasonable alternative to Bell, I’m taking it. As we have cell phones now as well, we don’t need the ‘reliable’ land lines quite so much. Rogers, anyone?