It's amazing what people throw away. Today I acquired four pairs of leather gloves. They are just plain gloves with a pull string to tighten them. One pair was probably worn for a day and the others were still brand new. Two pairs were large and two were medium. I gave one of the large pairs away to a coworker. The person who had these gloves needed to get them put away which meant finding the correct box and completing paperwork that stated they were returned. Instead of doing that he chose to put them into a pile that was going to the trash. Having an ever open eye for stuff I could use I asked if I could have them. I also snagged a half case of MREs. If more things of interest come in he'll put them aside for me. It never hurts to ask!
Now I made light of the fact that all he had to do was open a box and do a little paperwork. I know that it isn't always that straight forward. I remember one time I purchased a book from Amazon using a government credit card. Great book and good use of taxpayer money. I needed it for researching whatever I was researching. When the bill comes I have to fill out my paperwork and send it up the line. That person looks at it, approves it and sends it up the line. After all the reviews by all the people to make sure my $25 book was something that could be bought with a government credit card, it probably cost the state another $200 in wages to make sure I was honest with the state money. Whatever. The real problem came the next month. I got an email from Amazon saying that they realized they overcharged me on taxes and needed to refund me FIVE CENTS. I told them to keep it! They said they couldn't. This cost the state another $200 in wages of people. First I had to do my paperwork, then pass it up the line for them to do their paperwork, etc. So the guy doesn't want to do the paperwork to put the gloves away. I don't blame him. And I get new gloves.
Today I had a former state senator try to get in touch with me. We didn't connect but will try again tomorrow. He's got some interesting information that he wants to share (sorry I can't share it with anyone) so I hope we can connect before I leave for home next week.
I also ran into someone who is an expert in infrared thermal imaging. He was telling me that the planes that do thermal imaging can not see under certain plants in the desert. I don't know if it's a desert thing or if it is this way everywhere. Also the imaging works better when there is at least a 20 degree difference between the two items being imaged. For example, if you are trying to see if you have leaks in your doors or windows, the imaging works better if the air in the house is 70 if it's at least 90 out. It will work if there is less than a 20 degree difference but not as well. Of course our conversation wasn't about air leaks in the house but about people hiding under bushes or plants when someone is trying to seek them out. If you are in the desert and it's hot outside then your body temperature is going to be similar to the air and ground and it will be difficult to spot using the thermal imaging. I'm not sure how the plants stuff works because it seems that the plant would cool the ground which would then provide that larger difference of temperature but maybe the ground just gets too hot and then it would be cooled to body temperature under the plants. I just don't know and he wasn't being real specific. I don't think I'll ever have the money to buy a night scope but at least I know that it won't work as well in the desert. I'm sure the real expensive ones would be more sensitive than the 20 degree difference that we were discussing, but still, it's an interesting subject.