How to Prevent Vehicle Theft (Especially if You Like Your Car)

Disclaimer:  I don’t sell insurance, auto or any other variety of insurance, nor am I employed by any entity related to the insurance industry or the company responsible for the press release on which this posting is based.  The press release offers good, sound advice, and for that reason portions of said release are being reproduced here.  The release is available here: Useful Tips for Protecting Your Car Against Thieves.  

This press release is US and Canada centric.  That is to say, its primary audience probably lives in one of these two countries.  Nevertheless, the advice is sound no matter where you live and would wager that most people as a matter of routine perform most of items on the list.  I think that there are a few things that could be added that would make it desirable for thieves to look elsewhere for a ride. 

Thinking back to my college days and one of the many criminal justice classes, a class that was both fun and informative.  The instructor a former police chief waxed on about what I understood or perhaps misunderstood, to be a very accurate predictor of, or at least a indication of any individuals burgeoning criminal career, related to auto theft. 

There is no set single crime that would allow police and other officials to see into the future and see if a life of criminal behavior or criminal intent in an individual is probable.  But torturing small animals and auto theft are better indicators than say a crystal ball reading, astrology, and or tarot card, psychics, and the such.

The first tip is simply this.  Lock your car doors.  Lock them when you leave your car and lock them when you are inside.  Make it the first thing you do before starting the car or even put the key in the ignition.

This will deter most thieves straight off.  It will also go a long way to prevent car-jacking.  Most would be thieves will look for a simpler target.

A good second tip.  If you see a fella dressed like this, find another place to park your car.  Don’t get out of your car, and don’t engage in conversation with him or her.  It probably won’t matter if you lock the car but you should anyway, if you insist on parking near him.

Another often overlooked tip is this:  Avoid if you can, driving a car which someone would want to steal.  Though it won’t stop every thief, some thieves have standards and wouldn’t be caught stealing a winter beater.  True, an unknown number of beginning criminals will take a chance at stealing your vehicle just for the rush.  However, the locking of your doors will go along way towards discouraging this kind of behavior. 

Never leave the keys in the vehicle, nor store a extra key in an easy to find place. You don’t what to make it easy for a penny ante thief to boost your ride.

Along with that goes the tip to stop the engine.  Although given the kind of vehicles that I’ve owned stopping the engine isn’t something I’d take lightly since I’ve gone through a great amount of work and stress just to get it running in the first place.  That and the fact that my engines have a habit of stopping on their own without any additional input from me. 

Of course, one of the most important tips the linked to press release states.  Do not leave valuables in sight in your car.  If you can, and you drive a car like mine, its really helpful to rip the radio out of the dashboard.  Most thieves– at least the really good ones, will spot that straight away and know that the best part of the auto has already been recycled and they should move on. 

The experts also suggest that you use an anti-theft device to deter all but the most advanced criminal.  I agree and suggest that you install or purchase an automobile with a standard transmission.  Yes, you will have to learn to drive a manual transmission if you don’t already know how.  But such devices have befuddled more than one would be criminal, car-jacker.   Plus, it’s funny to watch some clueless SOB stopped cold by a perfectly working stick shift. 

Any way there is more sage advice given in the press release and you might find it useful.

Telephone Scams; Don’t Get Taken for a Ride.

I have the ability if I choose to work from home. There are advantages, and disadvantages. The best part of my job is that I don’t need a telephone for incoming calls, and very rarely do I call out. The land line phone is going the way of the dodo but, we still have one. This even though we have a cell feature phone. Because of the land line we get an enormous number of scam phone calls.

Scam calls are coming in a rate of two per day. Some of those calls are real howlers. Suspicious activity on my Apple account. We don’t have one and that is of course suspicious. Two recent message from the Social Security Administration–they have “released” an arrest warrant and they are coming to get me. The Social Security Admin spotted fraudulent activity on my account and they are going to arrest me pronto. However the situation isn’t hopeless, if I pick up the phone and talk to their specialist, disaster can maybe be diverted. I just need to give them my social security number. But if I don’t. . .

One other call that is probably the most sinister is the home administrator calling and asking . . . now, (pause) can you hear me okay?

What makes this message insidious is that you on a recorded line, and if you answer yes to the question, can you hear me okay? Your voice recored as saying yes give the jerks on the other end the permission to bill or make fraudulent charges on your telephone account.

If you should get one similar to these hang up right away. Don’t answer yes. Or if you like me have a answering machine get take that message and pass it around via social media and let others know that this is a scam.

Something important to know. The Social Security Administration, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) your bank and other financial instutions including your credit card provider don’t need your social security number, or you credit number, they already have it. Don’t give out information over the phone, especially if you didn’t initiate the call. Someone calling you asking for this infromation is out to scam you.

Never dial a number that is given to you. Instead call the number on the back of the credit card or bank statement, or SS statement or IRS. The number they give you may seem legitimate but it isn’t. Don’t trust the caller ID on you phone either. These are easily faked and may appear to be coming from the police, the IRS and your credit provider.

Christmas Tree Ship Myths and Legend

Simmons from Marine Review.

If it Sails on the Great Lakes or the Mississippi River it’s Called a Boat

By convention the sources used typically follow the article or are incorporated within the narrative.  I am placing them up top.  A very good source is–

Myths and Mysteries:
Underwater Archaeological Investigation of the
Lumber Schooner Rouse Simmons, Christmas Tree

State Archaeology and Maritime Preservation Program
Technical Report Series #08-001

Keith N. Meverden and Tamara L. Thomsen

The Christmas Tree Ship

Captain Herman E. Schuenemann and the Schooner Rouse Simmons

Though I haven’t yet read the following, I have seen and read extracts of Pennington’s work.  That her written work is referenced in the above Myths and Mysteries says volumes about the accuracy of her effort, this along with her efforts to preserve the wreck site as a important historical site demonstrate her dedication and professionalism.  If you going to read only one account of this disaster, you can’t go to far wrong in investing your time with–

Pennington, Rochelle
2004 The Historic Christmas Tree Ship: A True Story of Faith, Hope and Love.
Pathways Press, West Bend, WI.

One other readily available source is USGenNet Great Lakes Maritime History. Specifically the page that is dedicated to the Rouse Simmons.   At the bottom of this page there are three news extracts.  These pages consist of news reports from historical archives.  They have been transcribed by Linda Talbot, and contain corrections to errors that have long been reported as truth.

Rather than retell the well known story, which I have done elsewhere on this site.  Which I shame faced, add contain many of the myths discussed here.  I have left the page as it was when I wrote it.

First the numbers.  Nearly every shipwreck story contains these numbers, they give an indication of the size and proportions of the boat in question.  Since the Rouse Simmons, aka The Christmas Tree Ship, was a small wooden fresh schooner it’s helpful to wrap our minds around it’s size.  Of special note, many accounts tell that the Simmons was at the time of her registration, and entry onto Lake Michigan, the largest such boat.  This is simply not true.  She was in the words of Linda Talbot, of moderate size.

At the time of her registry here dimensions were: Length 124.2 feet, 27.6 feet width, and her stated hold depth was listed as 10.1 feet.  Her total tonnage 244.48 with a carrying capacity of 232.30 tons.  Later in June 1870 she is once again measured and subsequently there are some changes.  Her length 123.5 feet, and her depth, 8.4 feet (molded depth or the depth of the cargo hold).  Boats are measured in terms of overall length, the distance between the perpendiculars, and displacement.  Though not specifically stated in the report (Myths and Mysteries) from which I gathered these numbers, it seems that these are measurements between the perpendiculars.   The report give her over hull length as 131.8 feet which is measured from the peak of the main rail at the bow to the aft edge the main rail centered on the transom.  The Vessel’s beam, measured at the mainmast , is 26.8 feet.

So why all these numbers?

Elevation of Wreck

The boat according to eyewitness accounts was overloaded or nearly so.  A condition that must be taken into consideration when discussing her sinking.  As does the age of the boat 44 years of hard use in all manner of weather.  She is said to be able to carry 16,000 bushels of grain.  Her construction suggest that she was built to haul cut lumber.  To this end she is not fitted with hanging knee braces.

. . . The most surprising construction feature was the
complete lack of hanging knees. Unusual for wooden vessels, the lack of hanging knees
was perfectly logical for a vessel designed to carry dimensioned lumber. In vessels that
carried less bulky commodities such as grain or coal, the cargo could be stacked around
and between the hanging knees, resulting in little wasted space in the hold. On a vessel
designed to carry long lengths of dimensioned lumber, however, hanging knees would
have resulted in much wasted space in the corners of the hold where lumber would have to be stacked around the knees, reducing the amount of cargo that could be carried, and thus the profitability of the vessel.

The absence of the hanging knees makes her well suited for hauling Christmas Trees to say nothing of the lumber.  Newspaper accounts written after her foundering state that the Simmons was relegated to hauling cargoes of iron and copper ores, lumber, and piling and rough stock of all descriptions.  This due to the fact that much larger boats of steel construction were now populating the Great Lakes.  Hauling ore cargoes is likely to be an embellishment, there is no evidence that she sailed on Lake Superior, and from an economic stand point it just doesn’t make sense to use a small wooden schooner for such a purpose–to say nothing about the time required to load and unload a boat by hand.  So much for the numbers.

The Weather

That fall she spent several weeks in Thompson, Michigan, loading evergreen trees for her annual trip to Chicago, and she got underway from Thompson on 22 November 1912.  The Simmons many a story of the Simmons relates that she left from Manistique Michigan, as we can see from above, the Simmons spent a considerable amount of time in Thompson Michigan and it’s from there that she embarked for Chicago, IL and her berth on Clark Street.  At least one news account places her leaving the dock at 4:00 PM and others say only  that she departed in the afternoon.

The weather is said to have been deteriorating that afternoon.  The Rouse Simmons is dogged by bad weather.  Below are contemporary weather maps.  The maps and reporting are taken from the Duluth Herald on the 22, November, the Simmons day of departure, a Friday, and Saturday November 23,  The date of the sinking.   Her demise almost certain to have occurred between the hours of 2:50 PM when she is first observed by the Kewaunee Life-Saving station flying her ensign at half mast, a sign of a vessel in distress; and 4:20 PM when the gas powered Life-Savers boat rounded  the Two Rivers Point.  The life boat never caught sight of the distressed boat.

Using the web resource Sunrise  we can see that sunset for November 23, 1912 occurred at 4:17:05 at Two Rivers Wisconsin.  Which is the closest city to the final resting place of The Christmas Tree Ship.

Weather Map Friday Nov. 22, 1912

Weather Map Shows Observations of 34 Degrees and Cloudy Sky’s on November 22, 1912

Weather 23

The trough of low pressure centered on Lake Michigan causes the gale force winds and blizzard which occurs after the sinking.

More Weather

This is the weather observations printed in the Saturday Duluth Herald.  Note the portion that begins: Mr. Richardson makes the following comments.  For a weather report using the archaic methods of that time, Richardson nails the forecast.

The weather and surf conditions observed on the lake that Saturday is the best indication we have of what the Rouse Simmons encountered.  She was observed, and noted as being in distress by an unknown individual who then relayed the critical information to his superior Capt. Craite.  Unable to secure a gas powered boat with which to reach the unknown boat, and the near impossibility of using human powered life boat, Craite, chooses the next best alternative.  He contacts the Two Rivers lifesaving station.  There Captain Sogge, is able to secure a gas powered and sets out soon after being apprised of the situation.  Below are the stories of the respective captains in there own words, taken from station logs.

According to the Kewaunee Life-Saving Station’s logbook, the station’s lookout spotted a schooner at 2:50 P.M. on Saturday, 23 November 1912 flying an ensign at half mast, an accepted distress signal. The schooner was between 5 and 6 miles east southeast of the station and running before a northwest gale. The Kewaunee station had only rowed lifeboats so Captain Craite sent a request to the government tug Industry to aid him in intercepting the unknown schooner, but the tug had already departed Kewaunee earlier that morning. With no other options of aiding the distressed vessel himself, Captain Craite telephoned the Two Rivers Life-Saving Station. The Two Rivers station had a gas-powered lifeboat, putting them in a much better position to render assistance as the distressed vessel passed Two Rivers Point (United States Lifesaving Service 1912a).

“At 3:10 P.M. the Capt. of the Kewaunee Life Saving Station called me (Captain Sogge) by telephone, stating a schooner under short sails heading south and under a good headway and about 5 miles out from his station was displaying a flag at half mast. The wind was blowing W.N.W. and fair weather for the schooner to make good along this shore and I expected the schooner would be near Two Rivers Point around 5 P.M. At 3:20 P.M. I launched the power lifeboat and at 6:20 I was about 13 miles north of this station, but nothing to be seen of the schooner. At this time weather got very misty and started snowing heavy. I considered the schooner had changed her course and steered E. out into the lake. I turned about and came home, arrived at the station 8 P.M. I called up the Capt. of Kewaunee Station and informed him our results.”  Excerpts taken from  Myths and Mysteries

A little over one month later according to an article that appeared in the Sturgeon Bay Advocate on December 26, 1912, Captain Sogge offered his account in greater detail of  the critical events of that Saturday in November. Once again taken from Myths and Mysteries.

“On November 23rd, at 3:10 P.M. I received a telephone message from Captain Craite, keeper of the Kewaunee station, saying that a three- masted schooner was sighted off that harbor, about five miles out, displaying signs of distress, with foresail and jib-top sail set and coming south. I immediately launched my power lifeboat and at 4:20
was rounding the Two Rivers Point six miles north from the station. I then expected to see the schooner. We could see nearly to Kewaunee, but there was nothing to be seen. I kept running north about eight miles from the point; then changed my heading out in the lake for one hour. By this time it was dark. There was nothing to be seen of the
schooner, nor wreckage, nor signals. It started to snow heavy, and considering that we had been making a very thorough search for the distressed vessel, and that I had done all in my power, and all there was in my judgment to do in the case, we set our course for the station. The trip, as may well be imagined, was not a very pleasant one, but
our only regrets were that we had put forth our best efforts in that direction without avail. My opinion about the schooner reported seen off Kewaunee is that the vessel was probably waterlogged, and that the crew was unable to keep the craft afloat. Being loaded with a cargo of green spruce – if this schooner was the Rouse Simmons – she
foundered somewhere in mid-lake, as during the night of November 23rd, a northwest gale was blowing and a very high sea running.”

From the above excerpts we can deduce several important details.  (i) the Rouse Simmons had by this time, sank.  (ii) The weather was fair and Captain Sogge and his crew could nearly see Kewaunee about 12 miles in the distance.  (iii) The winds were out of the WNW and said to be fair weather for the schooner v. making heavy weather of it. (iv) If the Simmons was on the surface she would have been spotted.  The Sun having set only 3 minutes prior (v) It was until after darkness enveloped the lake that the snow started falling, about that time the power boat was making its way back to Two Rivers Lifesaving station.  They never spotted the vessel, never saw the sails in tatters, riding low in the waters, never lost sight of the boat in a blinding snow.

During the daylight hours the air temperatures were sufficiently warm enough that ice and snow could not form.  It was warm enough that morning, 44 degrees at Kewaunee, that precipitation which fell was in the form of a cold rain.  The temperature at Twin Rivers was several degrees cooler at 38 degrees.  The Kewaunee station reported light winds in the range of 4-7 miles per hour.  Two Rivers observed winds in the 13-18 miles per hour range and cloudy sky’s.   As the day worn on the temperature at both stations aligned at 36 degrees.  By sunset the temperatures had dropped one degree and it began to sleet at Two Rivers.

It is true that one of the years worst storms occurred overnight Saturday night and into Sunday.  Captain Dionne  of the Lifesaving station is quoted in the Racine Daily Times  saying  that he had not seen waves larger at the pier entrance then they were Sunday morning. . . Blowing at the rate of sixty miles an hour a severe gale struck  Racine Saturday evening.   It’s noted that several vessels that came into port had claimed that the gale was one of the worst storms they had ever experienced.  Nevertheless by this time the Simmons was already in her watery grave.

Of the waves encountered there is this.  Early in the morning the winds were 13-24 miles per hour — Considered moderately fresh blowing out of the southeast.  Once the low pressure center passed the winds shifted to the west northwest and increased velocity building up to 39-46 miles per hour.  The sudden shift in wind direction 180 degrees created a condition known as confused seas.  The waves began to build as they crashed and were driven into and by the gale force winds.  Three other vessel suffered a similar fate as that of the venerable Christmas Tree Ship.

It’s well worth the readers time and small effort to click on the hyper link and discover for themselves the wealth of information presented by Tamara L. Thomsen and Keith M. Meverden.  Alternatively the reader can download the .pdf therein is contained many stunning photographs of the wreck, and the wreck site.

Theories as to Why She Sank

Now would be a good time to talk about what is and isn’t a theory.  The following quote is taken from Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes.  A very good resource if you are at all interested in Astronomy.

Theory” in the scientific use of the word is different than the everyday language usage today. Most people today use “theory” as just a hunch, guess, belief, or proposal. Science uses the original meaning of “theory“: a logical, systematic set of principles or explanation that has been verified—has stood up against attempts to prove it false. Scientific models and theories must make testable predictions. Like any scientist, the astronomer makes observations, which suggest hypotheses. These speculations are made into predictions of what may be observed under slightly different observing and/or analysis circumstances.

So, why did the Rouse Simmons sink?

The quick and easy answer is that she lost buoyancy.  She had taken on enough water that coupled with her cargo she foundered.  What’s not so easy to answer is how, and what caused her to lose buoyancy.  As is pointed in many critical sources, the Rouse Simmons was an old boat that saw heavy wear and tear throughout her 44 years on Lake Michigan.  The year prior she had to put into port at Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin to have her bottom recaulked.  At that time she was up bound to Thompson, Michigan and presumably running light–no cargo in her hold.

At the very top of this page, and down below is perhaps the very last photograph of the Rouse Simmons.  The photograph appears in the Marine Review February 1913 edition.  You can find the Review on line.  The story surrounding the picture speaks about the loss of the little schooner.  You can see in that photograph that she is no longer the sleek windjammer of her youth.  More importantly you can see the extension added to her cabin.  It looks cobbled onto the weather deck and not at all well done.  Adding to the aft cabin seems to have been a trademark of Captain Schuenemann.  He did the same on other boats that he sailed.  These other boats were in effect also Christmas Tree Ships.  Boats that were enlisted to haul spruce trees for the Christmas Tree business.  Usually the last run of the shipping season.


Page from the Marine Review

This photograph shows the small yawl located at the stern of the boat

There’s one theory covered in the Myths and Mysteries pdf, that I favor i.e., cherry picked.  Is that the Simmons was not a watertight boat.  That the hatch cover that is covered up by the shoddy deck house was either missing or not fully secured.  The waves over the course of the near 24 hours that the Rouse Simmons was in route to Chicago infiltrated the hull at such a rate that she could not be pumped out.  That the Simmons wreck rests on the lake bottom with her bow pointing to 330 degrees which, is the very direction that the winds were blowing from is telling.  The report from which this was taken suggests that Captain Schuenemann was out of options, that he could no longer run before the waves, and making it to port was not a option given the wind and waves.  Schuenemann therefor took the only option left to him.  Point the boat head to it, and let go of the port anchor.  This would result in a significant amount of weight being let go, but more importantly it’s adduced that he was using the larger boat to steady the smaller yawl stowed at the back of the boat.  In other words he attempted to abandon ship.   This and several more theories are covered in Myths and Mysteries: Underwater Archaeological Investigation of the Lumber Schooner Rouse Simmons, Christmas Tree Ship

The List of Victims and the Message(s) in the Bottle

Father and Daughter

There is difficulty ascertaining who and how many individuals lost their lives on that Saturday afternoon those many years ago. Estimates, and that is all are, place the number between 13-19. Of that number those that were crewing the boat including the captains is said to be about 6-7 men. On the low side 7 and possibly as many as 12 lumber jacks being lost.

On Friday, December 6, 1912, a list containing the names of supposed victims was published in

the Chicago Daily Tribune: Thursday December 5, 1912 Front Page. The same news story states that Mrs. Nelson was aboard the ill-fated craft. Mrs. Nelson had died before 1912.

Capt. Frank Schuenemann,

Capt. Nelson’s partner in the Christmas tree venture.

Alex. Johnson, first mate.

Edward Minogue, sailor.

Frank Sobata, sailor.

George Watson, sailor.

Ray Davis, sailor.

Conrad Griffin, sailor.

George Quinn, sailor.

Edward Murphy, sailor.

John Morwauski, sailor.

Stump” Morris, sailor.

Greely Peterson, sailor.

Frank Faul, sailor.

Edward Hogan, sailor.

Phillp Bausewein, sailor.

The following day another list appeared in the THE GOSHEN WEEKLY NEWS-TIMES for Friday December 6, 1912 as well as in several other newspapers.

Those missing and known to be on the Rouse Simmons when she sailed from Thompson’s pier, near Manistique, Mich., November 21, are:

Capt. Charles Nelson, skipper and part owner.

Capt. Herman Scheunemann, owner of cargo.

Steve E. Nelson, mate.

Charles Nelton, sailor.

Gilbert Svenson, sailor.

Frank Carlson, sailor.

Albert Lykstad, cook.

Ingvald Nyhous, sailor.

William Oberg, Lumber shover.

Sven Inglehart, lumber shover.

All from Chicago.

Neither list is considered to be authoritative, according to one source (Pennington) there were many lists published. Of these lists only the erstwhile captains’ names remained the consistent. In one article Mrs. Schuenemann is said to be a victim. Another story has both wives perish along side their husbands. Mrs. Schuenemann was thought to be traveling with her husband so that she and he would be together for Christmas. The Schuenemann’s hailed from Chicago so there was no need for her to travel aboard. The same story was told about Captain Nelson. But his wife had passed away before 1912.

Message in a Bottle

There are at least two messages found in glass bottles. One found weeks after the ship went down. Another found in 1927 and supposedly written by Captain Nelson. There seems to have been something of a cottage industry related to turning out hoaxed bottled messages in the wake of ships lost in violent storms.

The first note was found on the beach at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on December 13, 1912. The note is attributed to Captain Schuenemann. His family believed it to be authentic. The note contains some mistakes and it’s not likely to be real. It read as follows:

“Friday. Everybody goodbye. I guess we are all through. Sea washed over our deck load Thursday. During the night, the small boat washed over. Ingvald and Steve fell overboard on Thursday. God help us. Herman Schuenemann.”

This message includes Thursday as a pivotal day. Thursday see two men washed overboard, and the loss of the Yawl. The Rouse Simmons was known to be tied up at Thompson pier on that day. Friday on the other hand the boat had begun to make its pilgrimage south. It is supposed to have left at noon however, it may have left later at 4:00 pm. The weather dogged the boat but Schuenemann and Nelson have been in tough scrapes before. The real heavy weather occurred much closer to the actual sinking time of the overburdened boat. One researcher identified by last the name Hollister, whose quote appears in the chapter note of Beyond the Windswept Dunes: The Story of Maritime Muskegon. Hollister believes the note to be a hoax because he states, “The names of the Rouse Simmons crewmen are known and no one named Ingvald or Steve was aboard at the time of the ship’s loss”. Which is probably not true, it’s not been established with any degree of certainty that the crew men are known. Record keeping in those days was a fly by night matter. Usually notes say something to the effect that the crew roll is about the same as last time.

There was a yawl found in the lake that appeared identical to the one carried by the Simmons. However, the fact about the boat found adrift was also public knowledge since it was reported in the papers before the message was found. Even so there’s a report by a man named Hoganson that claimed to have deserted boat deciding at the last minute to jump ship. He made the claim that the Simmons didn’t have a life boat, he also stated that he observed rats desert the boat in Chicago, before they sailed. A likely apocryphal story.

Beyond the Windswept Dunes: The Story of Maritime Muskegon

Reliable lists

If that note is a forgery, what of the other note written by Captain Nelson, and discovered in 1927? That note read as follows:

“These lines were written at 10:30 p.m. Schooner R.S. ready to go down about 20 miles southeast of Two Rivers Point, between 15 and 20 miles off shore. All hands lashed to one line. Goodbye.”

By 10:30 p.m. the Rouse Simmons had been on the bottom of Lake Michigan for about 6 hours. Both captains had decades of experience sailing the lakes. As such they were very familiar with landmarks along the way i.e., both would have known the exact location of their boat. Since the boat was found about 6 miles off Twin Rivers, this note can be dismissed as a forgery as well.

Map of Search Area

Combining Captain Sogge’s logbook entry with his later statements, the lifeboat’s approximate search pattern was recreated (Figure 29). It was presumed the Life-Saving crew took a direct route back to Two Rivers after ending their search. The recreated route, superimposed over the location of the Rouse Simmons’ wreck site, shows that the lifeboat’s search pattern completely encircled the Rouse Simmons. With visibility reaching nearly to Kewaunee when the search was commenced, the lifeboat crew should have seen the Rouse Simmons as they rounded Two Rivers Point. Even if they were unable to see the Rouse Simmons when the search commenced, they should have encountered her at some point during their search. Given that the lifeboat crew saw no trace of the vessel, it is likely that the Rouse Simmons was already on the bottom when the lifesaving crew rounded the point at 4:20 P.M., a little over an hour after her sighting by the Kewaunee Life-Saving Station.

The Rouse Simmons rests on the lake bed in 164 feet of ice cold water, about 6 miles from shore. About about 13 miles south southeast of Kewaunee, and 11.4 miles line of sight from Twin Rivers. She had already gone to the bottom before Captain Sogge and his crew rounded Rawly Point. Neither Sogge or his men ever spotted the boat. The could almost  Kewaunee almost 12 miles away. The Simmons would have been about 8.5 to nine miles away had she been on the surface. During the search the crew came with in 3 miles of where she went down. Capt Sogge traveled north and east of the Simmons resting place as well as to the south. If the boat was above the waves they would have spotted her. They never did, they didn’t see tattered sails, they didn’t see her covered in ice, they didn’t lose sight of her in a blizzard.

It was by most accounts including eyewitnesses, that the boat was severely over-burdened. Reliable numbers are almost non-existent, but it’s believed that the boat was carrying 3000-5000 spruce trees although 7000-10,000 and even as many as 27,000. The lower figure is probably the most reliable. She was also carrying as few as 13 and perhaps as many as 19 crew members. The boat was 44 years old, and clearly at the end of her serviceable life. The final picture taken of the boat shows a boat that was well worn.

Would the Simmons have sunk without riding the fringes of the storm?

Weather reports don’t jibe with the narrative. It’s likely that the winds were fresh, and the waves moderate in the hours leading up to her sinking. Writers have stated that the boat encountered a storm shortly after leaving Thompson. An unnamed captain shouted to the captain of another boat, a tug boat saying, “That crazy Dutchman is going out in this”. The strong gale that hit Lake Michigan did so well after the Simmons already hit the bottom. The previous year her hull needed to be caulked doing the shipping season. Perhaps this important step had been neglected in 1912. How trustworthy are the stories of the Simmons riding low in the water, or the rats abandoning ship? Many discrepancies exist in the early sources. None of the extant news reports are accurate, not accurate as we know in hindsight.

The Rouse Simmons rests on the lake bed in 164 feet of ice cold water, about 6 miles from shore. About about 13 miles south southeast of Kewaunee, and 11.4 miles line of sight from Twin Rivers. She had already been on the bottom before Captain Sogge and his crew rounded Rawly Point. Neither Sogge or his men ever spotted the boat. The were able to see almost to Kewaunee almost 12 miles away. The Simmons would have been about 8.5 to nine miles away had she been on the surface. During the search the crew came with in 3 miles of where she went down. Capt Sogge traveled north and east of the Simmons resting place as well as to the south. If the boat was above the waves they would have spotted her. They never did. They didn’t see tattered sails, they didn’t see her covered in ice, they didn’t lose sight of her in a blizzard.

Combining Captain Sogge’s logbook entry with his later statements, the lifeboat’s approximate search pattern was recreated (Figure 29). It was presumed the Life-Saving crew took a direct route back to Two Rivers after ending their search. The recreated route, superimposed over the location of the Rouse Simmons’ wreck site, shows that the lifeboat’s search pattern completely encircled the Rouse Simmons. With visibility reaching nearly to Kewaunee when the search was commenced, the lifeboat crew should have seen the Rouse Simmons as they rounded Two Rivers Point. Even if they were unable to see the Rouse Simmons when the search commenced, they should have encountered her at some point during their search. Given that the lifeboat crew saw no trace of the vessel, it is likely that the Rouse Simmons was already on the bottom when the lifesaving crew rounded the point at 4:20 P.M., a little over an hour after her sighting by the Kewaunee Life-Saving Station.

So what caused the boat to lose buoyancy and sink.

Nearly every account we have from newspapers and people quoted therein which have portray themselves as eyewitnesses to the condition of the boat prior to her departure from Thompson Michigan has one or more errors or they contain language which causes the astute reader to view them as apocryphal stories i.e., rats deserting a sinking ship. They may hold a kernel of truth. The boat, was old, 44 years-old. Those four plus decades of hard service on Lake Michigan had exacted their toll. As she neared the end of her serviceable life, it appears that her necessary maintenance was neglected. The cabin addition made by the two captains, appears ramshackle at best. The cargo hatch which existed underneath structure may not have been in place. Something which would compromise the water tightness of the vessel.

The weather though not extreme at the time and place of her sinking must have played a part. The winds did increase, freshened in sailor parlance but they were hours away from blowing a full gale. The boat was likely to have shipped water due to wave action. Especially is she was in fact riding low in the water and considering her cargo, and the over-burdened load she carried. All boats no matter the construction materials are equipped with pumps. The Simmons was no exception. The year before taking her final plunge the boat was forced to enter a port with a dry dock to have her hull caulked.

One of the reasons given for the extra large load of trees is that Schuenemann was in arrears financially and needed a big haul to catch up and make a tidy profit. With only a few captains and crew willing to run the risk of sailing during November aka the deadliest month. The two captains stood a chance of making a fair profit. The boat so overloaded as it was, was not able to withstand the moderate waves encountered in her trip, and shortly after leaving Thompson, she succumbed to the pounding of the waves. Something had to give, and that something would be the hull plates. They needn’t break away only separate enough to let water infiltrate faster than could be pumped out. The boat sailed when water temperatures had cooled and hence the boat would have taken more of a load than warmer water. That increase was well understood even back then. However, just how much of an increase was acceptable. The Simmons had water line marks similar to the Plimsoll lines. Perhaps both captains ignored these in the rush to get the big load to Chicago.

The boat was carrying extra humans as well. With all the twisting and turning, hogging and sagging, it’s not unreasonable envision the seams opening up. If that happened then it was only a matter time before the cascade of failures grew sufficient in numbers to overcome man and boat. Simply the Simmons reached the end of her serviceable life at precisely the wrong time, and place. No matter as the gale that lashed the lake after she sank would have certainly doomed anyway. It sank three other wooden schooners.

Other Tidbits.

One thing that surprised me. The Rouse Simmons hull was painted light blue. A baby blue in color. In the pictures of her hull taken in 2007 you can clearly see the colored hull. The color of the water no doubt is effecting the color but it appears to be light blue. The light used to photograph the hull no doubt is responsible for a slight shift but it’s blue in color.

As mentioned before her bow is point 330 northwest. The direction of the winds on the lake at that time. This differs from the direction she needed to travel and was witnessed to have traveled. The linked pdf report mentions at one time human remains of at least two people were found shortly after the discovery of the wreck. I assume that they are no longer there. Divers that visited the wreck before she was protected by the law took many souvenirs, and artifacts. Which is a shame but it was legal back then.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Full Face Mask V. Nasal Masks

As the reader will quickly determine, this is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion on the benefits of either mask configuration.  Nevertheless lets get started.

After years of solely using a nasal mask i.e., a mask that covers only the nose leaving the mouth exposed, I decided to test drive a full face mask, which, is a bit of a misnomer since it only covers the area around the nose which also includes the mouth.  There is available masks which do indeed cover the entirety of the face. However, for my purposes here, a full face mask constitutes one which covers the mouth and nose only.

The major draw back to the full face mask is that it makes access to the mouth difficult.  Trying to take a swig of water while donning one is well neigh impossible.  Also for reasons I have not fully determined– they cause me to want to scratch a itch inside of the covered area. This same phenomenon occurs while wearing the nasal mask but since it covers less facial real estate, the itch is fairly constrained.

One advantage for me so far, and I’ve not been wearing the full face mask for more than a few nights, is that my mouth, and tongue have not dried out.   I suppose that this means that I am a mouth breather.  Which is not an appellation that engenders charm.  Rather it brings on visions of one being equated with a neanderthal.  Not that that is a bad thing after all the neanderthals’ were a very successful evolutionary species.  There is however, due to misunderstanding, and stereotyping equates which equates the species with a short, slow witted brute.  Something akin to modern day US politicians, in as much as the pols are slow-witted and brutish.

The nasal mask which makes accessing the pie hole much easier, also makes it quite difficult to engage in conversation.  One is afflicted via air being forced into the voice box via the nasal cavity.  I suppose this results in neanderthal like grunting sounds emanating from the speaker or rather grunting.  Speaking with a full face mask seems to solve this problem in as much as if one is able to vocally project through the mask with enough force to be understood a short distance away.  Neither is ideal, and that necessitates mask removal.  The average wearer needs to adjust the mask several times after fitting it to his or her face.  For this reason it would appear that persons using  a CPAP device would be best advised to communicate via sign language or at the very least some sort of hand signals. It may be the case that modern high tech masks and machine have greatly alleviated this condition.  At some future date an experiment, I will try.

A disadvantage to all manner of CPAP masks is the reduction of the sense of smell.  Not being able to detect the smell of something burning is a major downside. Yes, smoke alarms greatly aid in the this matter but not every whiff of smoke portends a conflagration.  Having set off the smoke alarm hundreds of times while producing dinner, and strictly burning the dinner itself or even a portion of it for that matter, the ability to detect smokey smell is a major downside, to say nothing of the wondrous smell of fresh bread baking in an over, bacon on the stove top and fresh coffee brewing.  If on the other hand you, like me, suffer from seasonal allergies, the filter air and humidity of the CPAP help alleviate the symptoms associated with such allergies.

As discretionary income allows, I will eventually invest in a new nasal mask making us of either depending on my mood.  This will strike many as unnecessary and even onerous, economically wasteful and all that.  To which I say, poppycock.




ResMed AirSense 10 CPAP–New to Me

(Added on October 16, 2019)

This should have been made clear up front.  I do not work for ResMed or aligned companies if such businesses exists.  Furthermore no remuneration was or is in the offing.  I not making a cent from this.  No one in my family is likewise drawing a paycheck from ResMed.  There is no form, whatsoever of compensation for what I have written and may continue to write.  Neither do I own any stock in ResMed Inc.  (NYSE: RMD) I am completely unencumbered, and the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

The time has come to replace my venerable Fishker & Paykel HomeStyle 200.  I’m very fond of this machine and still have it.  It works well and is built like a brick $hit house.  It’s bullet proof.  Yesterday I picked up the replacement machine; a Resmed AirSense 10 My F&P is after all 14 years old.

I don’t intend this missive to be a rigorous review of the AirSense.  This is only the 2nd CPAP machine I’ve owned.  For reasons that are in hindsight obvious, the AirSense is very advanced when compared to my old favorite.  Auto everything practically, like other modern machines, even older machines, the unit turns on when it senses my breathing into the mask.  That little tweak is really nice.  Like my older machine it has a ramp feature, that too have been tweaked.  Unlike the old unit, this one allows the user to choose a time, the time or duration of the ramp up.  I use to use the ramp feature in the past but now charging in full blast is the preferred method.  Full blast that is until last night, the ramp feature required my testing it out.  You can choose to set it for the full 45 minutes of ramp time, and do so in 5 minute increments.  As of right now my machine is set for 10 minutes.

This machine also has a heated hose.  When purchasing accessories for the F&P HomeStyle 200, I came across the heated hose and wondered if it was worth using.  Not that my old machine would or could make use of such a thing.  However, this machine it seems, can only be used with the heated hose.  The purpose of a heated hose it to help increase the humidity i.e., keep the air in the hose warm and moist.  It also means that I will need to stay on top of my game as far as the cleaning regime is concerned.

Cleaning the water chamber on the ResMed AirSense 10 is falling down easy.  The chamber is hinged and it opens up fully.   Allowing a person to get inside with various utensils and swab the innards.  Just as the Fisher & Paykel reservoir has a line demarcating when the unit is full so do this unit.  But unlike the F&P one doesn’t dare to over fill this one.  Not even one extra drop, you will get wet.  It also holds less water than the F&P reservoir.  I haven’t tested it but am judging it on looks alone.  Some slight adjustment to the settings might be necessary in order to keep the chamber from running dry during the overnight.

One other change that will require a little getting used to, is the blow back or exhaling of breath.  The old unit was constantly under pressure so you had to overcome a small amount of resistance as  you exhaled.  The AirSense, cuts off the pressure when it senses that you are exhaling, and the pressure kicks in again when you draw a breath.  Feels awkward at first.

In the past the nasal mask was my strong preference, this time I took the therapists recommendation and went with a full face mask.   Since I have only been acquainted with the nasal mask this one will take some time to get used to.  I have 30 days to decide to make up my mind.  What I miss most about the nasal mask is that using a straw, it was easy to drink from my cup.  One of the many drinking vessels supplied during my several hospital stays.  Then too it was much easier to apply lip balm with the nasal mask.  Living in Wisconsin, with the sometimes brutal winter weather, lip balm is a necessary thing.

As stated above, this isn’t a review, it’s a machine new to me and so far I like it.  Perhaps as time goes by and being sufficiently motivated,  lacking anything else to write I will launch head long into a review listing pros and cons etc.

Panasonic Eluga Live P-08D Tablet Will Likely Stay Unrootable (for now)

I gave it the old college try again this weekend.  Using the DirtyCow exploit.   Not surprisingly some variants of Google’s Android OS are not prone to the attack aka. Copy-On-Write (COW).  And that really wraps up my latest attempt to hack, root the Eluga Tablet.  Even if the exploit were able to gain access to the root directory, that access would be undone upon the next reboot, likewise any changes made such as deleting unwanted bloatware.  Considering the time involved, and the temporal nature of the hack it’s not really pursuing with vigor.

Since undertaking this objective it’s become clear that rootability of any future device will figure greatly in my next purchase.  The need and ability to remove bloatware is sacrosanct, inviolable.  If not at first, certainly after the warranty expires.  Since my concern is for a tablet and not a smart phone I’m okay with that.  The ability to unlock a locked bootloader and fastboot a device in adb is just a couple of the criteria that will lead me to a purchase.

It became painfully evident when the good folks at XDA labored continuously for several weeks to make a viable method for rooting, and maintain root using the DirtyCow (MadCow) exploit.  Even so simply rooting the tablet was a big step but being able to flash a more modern ROM would have been the equivalent of Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-receiving total consciousness on my deathbed, and so I would  that going’ for me, which is nice.  But it’s not like having root privileges on my ancient Eluga tablet.

Panasonic Eluga Android Tablet Cont.

This is likely to be the last post concerning this tablet.  There are those that maintain that all Android devices are rootable (hackable) I am among that crowd.  The are ways around the security that is put in place to prevent most people from accessing and or messing up a perfectly fine operating device.  I, if no others, refer to this as idiot proofing.  I of course speak of myself when using such a term.

There are, as of today, hundreds of sites that delve into the topic of why or why not a person should root their phone or tablet.  I will address that question here.  I have chosen to root.  This Droid is well beyond its warranty period.  Voiding a warranty is not a consideration.  Yes, I could end up bricking the tablet and that would be disappointing but not insurmountable, after all, there’s a possibility of recovering from that least of all desirable outcomes.

As I have mentioned before, I have tried all or nearly all of the one click root methods without success.  If you can find it on the world wide web, I have tried it, tried them several times, over several months and several updates.  If, and when you see something to the effect of “will root any Android device”, it won’t work on the Eluga.  Please try, you shouldn’t simply take my word for it and give up.

One method that was said to be able to root any Android device due to a 9-year-old flaw in the code failed to gain root as well.  Known as the Dirty COW exploit, it nevertheless missed the mark—even after attempting it with several different methods and using Windows and Linux.  The Dirty Cow didn’t render root.  Since I am not a “hacker”, not even close, being able to determine what went wrong with the hack, is beyond me with my current capabilities.

Let me just say, no method yet has allowed me to unlock the bootloader.  No method yet can tell me if my device has a bootloader, even though it does and is locked.  My computer will find the device, it will not find fastboot devices which is what it needs to do to accomplish the unlocking of said bootloader.  Using SUDO (a Linux terminal command) will eventually return a message to the effect unable to mount FOMA device P-08D.  That is as far as I have made it.  Same result using the SUDO command for unlocking the bootloader.  If I can get past this hurdle, root capabilities lie just beyond.  But that is just one small step.

If, after gaining root I want to make an update to the system such as flashing another ROM, I run into the problem of which ROM.  The risk of bricking the unit increases exponentially at this point.  Why?  It’s easy to find ROMs for the popular phones and tablets.  The reason is that by shear dint of numbers there exists greater number of knowledgeable people working on rooting and ROMs.  The Eluga is and was meant mainly for the Japanese market—thus its name NTT DoCoMo Panasonic Eluga P-08D.  This Panasonic Eluga was made for, created in tandem with the Japanese NTT DoCoMo telecommunications company.  They have requested from Panasonic that the device is able to be locked down.  Since it was made before the US passed a law mandating that devices sold in the USA be able to be ported to different telecoms, this device is essentially locked, and legally so.  However, DoCoMo has allowed it’s Eluga phones to be unlocked.  They are unlocked with a SIM Chip and or a code that is entered into the OS.  The Eluga tablet has a port for a SIM chip but it seems that the chip is for telephones and it’s a different size than the chip for a phone.

So even if I manage to get root, there is the ability to remove some apps that are locked in by the current inaccessibility of the root directory.  Still, that is good enough for me at this juncture.



NTT DoCoMo Panasonic Eluga 10 Inch Water Proof Android Tablet P-08D

FOMA which stands for Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access.  Is according to wikipedia: Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access (FOMA) is the brand name of the W-CDMA-based 3G telecommunications services being offered by the Japanese telecommunications service provider NTT DoCoMo. It is an implementation of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and was the world’s first 3G service to commence operation.

After several days of fevered attempts to root my Android device i.e., the device that makes up the headline for this post.  It’s fairly clear that rooting this Android is all but impossible.  Not one single program, the one click variety, nor the programs run from a computer had any effect save one.  The Bin4ary which I found on XDA Developers web site.  This program didn’t root the device, however it managed to effect a change on the tablet itself.  Nevertheless the change was not a positive change–it slowed down the tablet and made it unstable–however, no other program or exploit manged to do even this.  If I manage to get root it will be because of the Bin4ary.  The full name of the rooting app is Root With Restore.

The long and short of this–since the bootloader cannot be unlocked, not using any method currently available on the web, and I’ve tried them all.   To wit I get a message saying the device cannot be accessed.

I like the tablet, except for the inability to upgrade the OS, it’s perfect for me.  I don’t ask for much performance wise.

My Apple Device Has Been Compromised!

“Danger, Will Robinson!” Warning–Warning.

I get a call yesterday, prerecorded voice kindly letting me know that my Apple Device and related accounts have been compromised.  Pretty Scary actually, one only need think how often we use our smart devices, and the information that is held within.  Telephone and bank account information.  Names and numbers of friends business contacts.  So if your account were compromised, hacked, some very nasty things could result.

So it was very nice that I got a land line call informing me of the hack.  Better yet, all I needed to do was pick up that phone and press 1 and the good people on the other end would, after I gave them information they so desperately desired,  spare me, the onerous task of contacting them by dialing the toll free number they gave me,  which wasn’t a toll free number at all.  Which, is strange since the caller ID showed the call emanating from a 800 number but instructed me to call a different number.  However, those nice people are just happy to help me.

Which is very kind of them, and at the same time very strange.  Strange because I don’t own a single Apple device and never have.  I’m not anti-Apple, it’s all good.  I just don’t have the cash to layout for their hardware.

I do wonder how many people especially the elderly fall for this scheme?


How Rooting Doesn’t Get Done

Why to or not to Root is a topic that is covered in great detail elsewhere on the web.  I won’t entertain the topic here, my choice is to root my Panasonic Eluga P-08D tablet.  It’s a Waterproof tablet, and it seems that it’s also root proof.  Those in the know will tell you that there is no such thing as a unrootable Android device, and they are right.  Just as you cannot have encryption with a backdoor built into it that will allow the bad guys (alphabet agencies) access and yet keep out the other bad guys.

What makes my tablet unrootable is not it’s build, it’s that the unit is not so popular and therefore those that can don’t bother with this device.  I am not among those that can investigate and find the exploit.  I can and have rooted devices in the past, and will again in the future.  Among the desirable characteristics of my next tablet purchase will be the ability to root, and upgrade–flash a new ROM.

That my tablet is a dinosaur, it first appeared on the scene in 2012.  Even then it was nothing special, not a bad tablet but for the purchase price of a new unit in those halcyon days of yore it had some pretty stiff competition.  That doesn’t matter to me.  I have owned worse, and far more limited devices.  What chaps my hide is that this is my device, the warranty is as dead as and Egyptian door nail.  I want to be able to unlock, root this bastard.  I am not at a loss from doing so.  Rooting a device, especially a phone can and most certainly will revoke the warranty.  It may even prove disastrous beyond that.  No over the air (OTA) updates etc.  Not that device suppliers are big on pushing out updates.  They may eventually get around to it.

While it cannot be truthfully stated that I’ve tried all known methods for rooting this thing, I can say that the overwhelming number of rooting tools claiming to root all Android devices or 100% of any Android device has a perfect record indeed, in that all of those have failed to open my unit.  Not that my unit has obtained a software update that protected it from all possible exploits not at all.  Neither I nor anyone else that lives in the USA get update, upgrades for their Eluga.  You needed to live in Japan or China for that to happen, and I suspect that you needed to have a Eluga phone and not the tablet.

Even if I am able to rub the magic lamp just right and gain access to the root directory, I still need to flash it with a new, different ROM that will not brick the unit.  That’s pretty much a long short venture.