The boss sent this around this morning- For those of you who are interested, when you watch this, I would ask that you remember two things.

1. EVERY person you see in uniform is a VOLUNTEER.

2. This was NOT scripted by the Navy!

If you watch, take a minute and give thanks that these young men and women are out there on the pointy end of the stick for YOU!!!


I would like to give you some background on this weekend’s airing of Discovery’s Military Channel 3-part documentary entitled “At Sea.” We approached Discovery late last year and pitched them on doing a major documentary about the Navy and the Maritime Strategy. As part of our pitch, we offered tremendous access to the Navy and proposed that, in addition to the major documentary to air on Military Channel, they would produce a 30 minute documentary that could be shown at the Navy Memorial and the more than 100 nautical/maritime centers around the country. Additionally, we pitched that they produce twelve 3-5 minute videos that will tell the Navy story and could be used during speeches, presentations, etc. They accepted and the main product will air beginning Sunday night.

Edit- I’m dumber than dirt, forgot to put a link in, so now the link is HERE.

SECNAV and CNO have both viewed the aviation hour and came back with very favorable reviews. And this past Monday evening at the Navy Memorial, the Under SECNAV expressed his excitement about the documentary after viewing the premiere screening with 150 other guests.

For six months, Military Channel production crews captured rarely documented operations, weapons, and technologies across the breadth of naval operations, while embarked aboard U.S. Navy ships, submarines and aircraft.

The first part of the project was originally due to be complete in late fall. During the spring we asked to accelerate the product in order to get our story out there. We were able to coordinate schedules with C4F and C5F for OPS in that AOR, but due to the compressed production timeline we fell shy of capturing OPS in C6F and C7F. However, Military Channel made the impossible – possible, and produced a three-hour mini-series (Aviation, Surface, and Undersea) that demonstrates the entirety of the US Navy’s power, flexibility and interoperability within today’s global maritime environment. It is a great snapshot of what the US Navy brings to the fight – today – around the world.

“At Sea” will highlight operations such as: antipiracy efforts; drug smuggling interdiction; control and international terrorism prevention. Some of the ships and aircraft that were featured are:

USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) – San Diego, CA USS Boxer (LHD 4) – San Diego, CA USS Annapolis (SSN 760) – Groton, CT USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) – Norfolk, VA USNS Comfort (T AH 20) – Baltimore, MD USS Florida (SSBN 728) – Kings Bay, GA USS Chinook (PC 9) – Manama, Bahrain

Carrier Air Wing 7, NAS Oceana, VA
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 Pukin’ Dogs NAS Oceana, VA Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103 Jolly Rogers NAS Oceana, VA Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 83 Rampagers NAS Oceana, VA Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 Wildcats NAS Oceana, VA Carrier Airborne Early Warning (VAW) 121 Bluetails NAS Norfolk, VA Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140 Patriots NAS Whidbey Island, WA Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS-5) Nightdippers NAS JAX, FL Patrol Squadron (VP-45) Pelicans NAS JAX, FL

Military Channel will begin airing the series Sunday-Tuesday, Aug. 9-11 at 10 p.m. Sunday will focus on aviation dominance, Monday will focus on surface dominance, and Tuesday will focus on undersea dominance.

And if the P-3 looks like the one at the top of the page, it’s because it’s the SAME model I flew, and I did 10 years in Jax (hell I probably flew on that BUNO at some point or the other)!

Go. Watch. Enjoy!

Ring… Ring… It’s 0300 again….

Just an FYI, Norman Polmar really IS an expert…

WASHINGTON — A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military.

The episode has echoes of the cold war era, when the United States and the Soviet Union regularly parked submarines off each other’s coasts to steal military secrets, track the movements of their underwater fleets — and be poised for war.

But the collapse of the Soviet Union all but eliminated the ability of the Russian Navy to operate far from home ports, making the current submarine patrols thousands of miles from Russia more surprising for military officials and defense policy experts. “I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert.

The submarines are of the Akula class, a counterpart to the Los Angeles class attack subs of the United States Navy, and not one of the larger submarines that can launch intercontinental nuclear missiles.

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. One senior official said the second submarine traveled south in recent days toward Cuba, while another senior official with access to reports on the surveillance mission said it had sailed away in a northerly direction. The Pentagon and intelligence officials spoke anonymously to describe the effort to track the Russian submarines, which has not been publicly announced.

President Obama spoke by telephone with President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia on Tuesday, but it was not clear whether the subject of the submarines came up, although another source of friction between the two countries did. Mr. Medvedev called Mr. Obama to wish him a happy birthday and the White House said the president used the opportunity to urge Russia to work through diplomatic channels to resolve rising tensions with Georgia.

The submarine patrols come as Moscow tries to shake off the embarrassment of the latest failed test of the Bulava missile, a long-range weapon that was test fired from a submarine in the Arctic on July 15. The failed missile test was the sixth since 2005, and some experts see Russia’s assertiveness elsewhere as a gambit by the military to prove its continued relevance.
“It’s the military trying to demonstrate that they are still a player in Russian political and economic matters,” Mr. Polmar said.

One of the submarines is the newer Akula II, officials said, which is quieter than the older variant and the most advanced in the Russian fleet. The Akula is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels as well as missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.

Defense Department officials declined to speculate on which weapons might be aboard the two submarines. While the submarines have not taken any provocative action beyond their presence outside territorial waters of the United States, officials expressed wariness over the Kremlin’s motivation for ordering such an unusual mission. “Anytime the Russian Navy does something so out of the ordinary it is cause for worry,” said a senior Defense Department official who has been monitoring reports on the submarines’ activities.

The official said the Navy was able to track the submarines as they made their way through international waters off the American coastline. This can be done from aircraft, ships, underwater sensors or other submarines. “We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.”

‘Scuse me while I throw the Bulls**t flag here… They’ve cut the Navy budget, using those funds to pay for the Army, so less days at sea, less money for maintenance, less for training; and what ever else the Soviets, er… Russians are putting their “best” drivers out there, not the trainees…

Once among the world’s most powerful forces, the Russian Navy now has very few ships regularly deployed on the open seas. Moscow has contributed warships to the international armada searching for Somali pirates. In addition, a flotilla of Russian warships participated in exercises with Venezuela last year.

But they are NOT our friends, don’t believe for a minute they will not take every opportunity to go right back to trying to do the same stuff they did as the “Soviet Union”. Putin is a former KGB officer, and he IS a hardliner. Russia now has real money, from oil, and have the capability to succeed where they failed before.


Looks like the silent majority is no longer silent… Average Americans are getting up in their congresscritter’s faces, and they are NOT being polite about it in these town hall meetings when the congresscritters try to read their talking points and ignore the questions coming from the audience (also known as their constituents).

The congresscritters are whining about not being “respected” in these meetings.
Gee, I wonder why...

Note to the congresscritters- You have to EARN respect, and y’all haven’t done a really good job of that over the last few years…

Some Democrats are blaming Republicans and lobbyists for stirring up the hornet’s nest. Yeah, right…

Brian Smoot, who served as political director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, warned Republicans about engaging in these kinds of ambushes. Excuse me???

“It’s a risk that they align themselves with such a small minority in the party … They risk alienating moderates,” he said.

Press Secretary Gibbs said today this is “manufactured anger”, and admitted the Lightbringer hasn’t and won’t read the bill…

Interestingly, I got a call from a friend at one of the three letter places, he heard on the radio yesterday that one of MD’s finest is going to hold a “town hall” but its by invitation only and all questions must be submitted in advance.

Anybody else see something wrong with this???

Go over to Cranky Prof she has an excellent post up about equal treatment… 🙂

Back to your regularly scheduled BS…

A blast from the past…

Does anybody have any memory of the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter Administration waaay back in 1977?



Beuhler? Beuhler??


Didn’t think so!

Bottom line… we’ve spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency, the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember.


It was very simple … And at the time everybody thought it very appropriate.

The ‘Department of Energy’ was instituted on 8-04-1977


Hey, pretty efficient, huh? We still don’t have any more nuclear power plants, we still can’t drill off Florida, California, Texas or in the Bakkan field in the Northwest…



Ah, yes, bureaucracies. They take our tax dollars in and we get NOTHING in return.

And NOW we are going to turn the Banking System, Health Care & the Auto Industry over to government???

Just my .02, but I “think” we REALLY need to look at that again…

But I’m just a dumb ol’ country boy, so I don’t know anything…

Hell in a handbasket…

Well, I’m stumbling back through home for one whole day before I leave again, but based on the last trip, we ARE going to hell in a handbasket…

Sat next to a fleamale environmental lawyer (you know the type, frizzy hair, fat, hairy legs, dressed in her height of fashion hemp stuff and Birkenstocks; needing a bath), who was reading the new cap and trade bill and chuckling, hi lighting and sometimes even mumbling something to the effect of “we got em now”.

When breakfast got served she complained to the flight attendant about MY meal, because she objects to people eating meat around her!!!

Since I decided to eat it anyway, she became even more obnoxious, snapping each page as she turned it and taking over the armrest/center of the seat. When I told her I didn’t appreciate it, she complained to the flight attendant that I was harassing her!

The flight attendant basically told her there was nothing she was going to do, as she HAD noticed the noise all the way up in the galley; now the fleamale was pissed, so she wanted to speak to the purser, since she wasn’t getting the answer she wanted…

Soooo, the flight attendant went and got the purser, who came mincing up and was roundly criticised for his “delay” in responding to a customer complaint!

Now that got HIS panties in a wad, so he unloads on her to the effect that, “Honey, we ALL have to get along, but obviously you are NOT trying, and you are NOT one of our elite fliers like this gentleman, and if you don’t like it up here, I’m sure I can find a seat in back for you with open space so you can spread out to your little heart’s desire”.

I damn near choked trying to keep from laughing… Especially when she came back in a whiny voice with, “But WE WON”!

Needless to say, I spent the next three hours getting up about every 20 minutes, just to continue to piss her off…

When we landed in SFO, she stormed off (and forgot her stuff in the overhead)… When I deplaned she was trying, without success, to push her way back on…

In other news-

Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the Presidential election:
• Number of States won by: Democrats: 19 Republicans: 29
• Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000 Republicans: 2,427,000
• Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million Republicans: 143 million
• Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2 Republicans: 2..1
Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country. Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare…”

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twelve million illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years…

And lastly…

By Dr. Paul Williams, in the Canada Free Press.

Michele Obama does not get paid to serve as the First Lady – and she does not perform any official duties, but this hasn’t deterred her from hiring an UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER of staffers to cater to her every whim and to satisfy HER every request in the midst of the ‘Great Recession’.
Just think, Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing CHINA for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for HER (1) personal secretary.

If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans facing certain destitution, earning less than subsistence wages stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart or serving up McDonald cheeseburgers, prepare to scream and then come to realize that the benefit package for these ‘servants’ of Miz Michelle are the same as members of the National Security and Defense Departments – and the BILL for these assorted LACKEYS is paid by YOU and ME:
1. $172,2000 – Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff & Assistant to First Lady, Michelle)
2. $140,000 – Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and ‘Director of Policy & Projects’ For The First Lady)
3. $113,000 – Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and ‘White House Social Secretary’ for Miz Michelle)
4. $102,000 – Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and ‘Director of Communications’ for our First Lady, Michelle)
5. $100,000 – Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to (the President) and ‘DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF’ to FIRST LADY, Michelle)
6. $90,000 – Medina , David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady Michelle)
7. $84,000 – Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director & Press Secretary to the First Lady, Michelle)
8. $75,000 – Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady, Michelle)
9. $70,000 – Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for First Lady, Michelle)
10. $65,000 – Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary For First Lady, Michelle)
11. Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary for First Lady, Michelle)
12. $62,000 – Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For First Lady, Michelle)
13. $60,000 – Fitts, Alan O.. (‘Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director’ for First Lady, Miz Michelle)
14. Lewis, Dana M. (‘Special Assistant and Personal Aide’ to First Lady, Michelle)
15. $52,500 – Mustaphi, Semonti M. (“Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary” To First Lady, Michelle)
16. $50,000 – Jarvis, Kristen E. (“Special Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide” To First Lady, Miz Michelle)
17. $45,000 – Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (“Associate Director of Correspondence” For First Lady, Michelle)
18. Tubman, Samantha (“Deputy Associate Director, Social Office” for First Lady, Miz Michelle)
19. $40,000 – Boswell, Joseph J. (“Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff” to First Lady, Michelle)
20. $36,000 – Armbruster, Sally M. (“Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary” for First Lady, Michelle)
21. Bookey, Natalie (“Staff Assistant”)
22. Jackson, Deilia A. (“Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence” for the First Lady, Miz Michelle)
There has never been anyone in the White House AT ANY TIME who has created such an Army of “staffers” – whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life.
One wonders why she needs so much help – AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE – that means YOU and I are paying all of these people!! –
Even Hillary had only three;
Jackie Kennedy had only one;
Laura Bush had only one;
Prior to Mamie Eisenhower, social help came from the President’s own pocket
Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and “First Hairstylist” Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom travelled aboard Air Force One to Europe with Miz Michelle, her mom and the two daughters. You wouldn’t even WANT to know what the tab was for THAT excursion!

Courteous of:

You know, ya just CAN’T make this stuff up, nobody would believe it… sigh…
And I get to spend the next three weeks in various places on the Left Coast… Oh joy…

Say what???

Some “interesting” WWII facts…

The first German serviceman killed in WW II was killed by the Japanese ( China , 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians ( Finland 1940); highest ranking American killed was Lt Gen Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps… so much for allies.

The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. His benefits were later restored by act of Congress.

At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced ‘sink us’), the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the Swa stika, and Hitler’s private train was named ‘Amerika.’ Al l three were soon changed for PR purposes.!

More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%.

Generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese Ace, Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.

It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was urinate in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and GEN Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).

German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but they decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet. Correction thanks to PE- Sunk by a toilet?
In many sources it is stated the U-120 was “sunk by a toilet” (probably a very bad way to go! :). However this story should be attributed, with changes, to the U-1206 which was one of the late war boats fitted with the new deep water high-pressure toilets (enabling the boat to use its toilet at greater depth than before).

On 14 April 1945, only 8-10 miles off the British coast line, the boat was safely cruising at 200 feet when the commander, Schlitt, decided to use the toilet without the help of a trained specialist (the system was complicated). Something went wrong and when the specialist arrived he misunderstood something and opened the wrong valve with the end results that large amount of seawater got into the boat. The seawater reached the batteries directly under the toilet causing chlorine gas to form and the boat had to be surfaced immediately right under the enemy. When the boat reached the surface they managed to blow clean air into the boat but at the same time an aircraft bombed the boat causing extensive damages leaving the boat unable to dive. Seeing the hopeless situation Schlitt had no choice but to destroy his secret material and abandon ship to safe his crew. (Brennecke, J. (2001). Jager and Gejagte)

Thanks PE!

Among the first ‘Germans’ captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.

After the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, a lone Japanese pilot crashed his plane on Niihau and took the entire village of Puuwai hostage. Two men, Hawila Kaleohano and Beni Kanahele, were able to disarm and kill the intruer. Kanahele, who was shot three times in the incident, later received a Purple Heart for his heroics. This was probably one of the few times civilians took matters into their own hands. Even today, Niihau is a restricted area, it is privately owned and the Robinson family does not allow tourists and visitors…

Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 United States and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. 21 troops were killed in the assault on the island. It could have been worse if there had been any Japanese on the island…

Open letter to Obama…

Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America ‘s true living legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world’s highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as “partnering.” Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.


Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me. You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you. You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American. You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll. You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and ‘class’, always blaming others. You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the ‘blame America ‘ crowd and deliver this message abroad. You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one. You scare me because you prefer ‘wind mills’ to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves. You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use ‘extortion’ tactics against certain banks and corporations. You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals. You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people. You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do. You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O’Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view. You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

And if you think this a fake, here is the link to Snopes…

I’m still on the road, now in Hawaii. Got in yesterday afternoon, woke up at 0430, and that was it…

Meetings early and all day, just got back to the hotel and lemme tell ya, I thought the spandex was bad at the airport; well I didn’t realize Omar the tentmaker worked in Spandex… I saw ‘things’ walking through the parking lot that make we want to get a brain scrub… sigh…

It’s also interesting to sit on the balcony and just people watch…

Newly married- hanging on to each other for dear life, never more than three feet from each other…

Married vacationers- walking together, kinda sorta…

Families with young kids- Mom’s trying to control the kids who are running in opposite directions, Dad is draggin the bags…

Families with teens- Mom is screaming at the kids, who are ignoring Mom and acting like they are by themselves; Dad is draggin the bags…

Retirees- I have to caveat this that Hilton DOES take good care of military retirees with good rates; a number of older couples, he is usually wearing a gimme hat from a ship, squadron, submarine, Army unit, Marine unit. They are moving slowly, but obviously enjoying themselves. Some of them have Grand kids, the kids are surprisingly well behaved, they may wander off, but always come back to the Grandparents.

Japanese tourists- EVERYWHERE… stand out mainly because they run in groups of 4-40, all of them have cameras, and take pictures of everything (including others in the group taking pictures of something else). Japanese wedding party just walked by in full dress Kimonos (that’s gotta be hot) it’s 94 and a little bit of breeze…

Now comes the struggle to stay up long enough to eat dinner, and hopefully NOT go face down in the plate, crash for a few hours, and get up and do it again… sigh…

Random thoughts…

I was gonna stay the hell away from the whole Health Care debacle, but after reading ppgs 424-430 I just have to say one thing!

Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
• Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time?
• Page 425: Goverment provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
• Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
• Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient’s health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
• Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.


If anyone hasn’t read it, you can go HERE.

For those of us getting up there in years, this pretty much sucks… The government is effectively telling us to go F-off and die, and tell us how via the bureaucracy…

For you youngsters, is this REALLY what you want for your parents? And yourselves in 30-40 years? Think about it!!!
In other thoughts, I spent a whole bunch of time in airports yesterday (like 9 hours between Miami and Charlotte). There are some just flat weird people traipsing through airports these days…

Yes, you DID get that ticket for lighting up that cigarette and leaning against the No Smoking sign…

The record baggage load- 7 extra large bags, four roll aboards and four backpacks- For a family of, are you ready for this??? FOUR people! Mom, Dad, two pre-teen kids!

The heaviest bag- 132 lbs and the woman was absolutely screaming at the counter agent about the overweight costs (something like $600)…

Bunches of folks high on something besides life… And badly in need of a bath…

Speaking of which, bathing in the “odor” of your choice is not attractive either…
You may love it, but the rest of us don’t want to smell it from 10 feet away…

Spandex above a size 10 should be outlawed, period, end of subject…
Two puppies in a sack is cute, two Labrador Retrievers is not…

If you’re 30 lbs or more overweight, short shorts and a halter top are NOT attractive…
(male OR female)

Old folks have the right of way…

Just because you’re a group grope of 40, there is NO reason to block and entire concourse, there ARE people who need to get through…

Taking someone else’s bag down from the overhead so you can put your POS bag up and not under your seat is a non-starter; and you’re lucky your ass even stayed on the airplane…

If the SIX people sitting around you ALL complain to the flight attendant about your children, maybe, just maybe, you need to control them; the rest of us are NOT babysitters…

Cost is inversely proportional to quality in any airport food shop…

This is AMERICA- Speak ENGLISH if you work in the airport!!!

And I get to do this all over again tomorrow… sigh…

A different perspective…

I received this from a former CO of mine, who knew Cernan and the others “back in the day” when they were just regular test pilots and “working” for a living. It points out the stark (to me) difference in the way military people treat their jobs and the results of those jobs, and the way celebrities chase fame and fortune…

It’s a safe bet that 100 years from now most half-way educated people will know about Neil Armstrong. It’s also a safe bet that in a century the name Michael Jackson will be familiar only to five or six cultural anthropologists and, possibly, a medical historian. So what does it say about the United States in 2009 that the late moon-walker is a household name but the living one is not?

Plenty has been written about the Apollo program: the technological wonder; its place in history; the fact that we haven’t gone very far since. Not enough has been written about the Apollo astronauts and, in particular, about their place in the history of American character. That’s a pity: What they have, or had, is something Americans could use.

That something is “The Right Stuff,” which in the movie version means fearlessness, ambition, unblinking patriotism and a penchant for understated irony. Most of us would probably think of the Right Stuff as some combination of piloting skills and a barrelful of guts.

But the really essential ingredient is personal modesty, if not in private than certainly in public. “One day you’re just Gene Cernan, young naval aviator, whatever,” recalls the commander of Apollo 17 in the documentary, “In the Shadow of the Moon.” “And the next day you’re an
American hero. Literally. And you have done nothing.”

Mr. Cernan is the last man to have walked on the moon. Nobody can accuse him of lacking for courage. He is simply expressing the very human bewilderment of a sentient person caught in the blandishments of modern celebrity culture. Does America make men like Gene Cernan anymore?

Then again, Mr. Cernan is positively boastful compared to Mr. Armstrong. The flesh-and-blood “first man” is nowhere to be seen in the documentary. His media availability is nearly zero. He hasn’t pitched a product on TV for 30 years, and only then for Chrysler during its last bankruptcy. When he speaks of the moon, he never fails to mention the 400,000 people who
worked to get him there. He doesn’t unload about his politics, pet causes or personal “issues,” including family tragedies.

None of this is because Mr. Armstrong is a recluse living in his own Neverland. He seems to have a normal family life—including divorce and remarriage. He’s made money, though not the kind of money that comes from endorsing every golf ball, hemorrhoidal cream and sugar substitute thrown his way. You likely wouldn’t recognize him if he sat across from you at a diner, which is just as he wants it to be.

Modern parlance allows us the term “private person” to describe people like Mr. Armstrong. Closer to the mark, I suspect, is that he abides by a private code of conduct. He understands that fate has assigned him a historic, if somewhat fortuitous role, and he means to honor the terms of
the bargain.

That this should seem at all peculiar tells us something about the age. Codes of personal conduct were once what Americans—great ones, at least—were all about. In his superb book “American Heroes,” Yale historian Edmund S. Morgan writes about Benjamin Franklin and George Washington that “both men cared enormously about their reputations, about their honor. Their deliberate refusals to do things, employed to great advantage in serving their country, originated in a personal ambition to gain honor and reputation of a higher order than most people aspired to.”

This is not the way we live now. Modern culture has severed many of the remaining links between merit and celebrity. We make a fetish of uninteresting, detestable, loud or unaccomplished people: Paris Hilton, Princess Di, Keith Olbermann, Michael Jackson. Disgrace can be a ticket for even greater celebrity, particularly when mixed with confession. Stoicism, on the other hand, is regarded as a form of denial, meaning borderline lunacy.

I detest anti-Americanism, but I’ll concede this: It’s hard to watch American celebrity culture at work and not feel revolted. By contrast, much of what made the Apollo missions such a tribute to America was the character of the astronauts: their clipped exchanges between Houston and the spacemen; or Lovell, Anders and Borman reading from Genesis on Apollo 8; or the unflappable Flight Director Gene Kranz working the problems of Apollo 13 to triumph.

These sorts of people are still around, often in the military. Perhaps too often. Great democratic civilizations can’t survive on values that emerge from a single, undemocratic cultural stream. A century from now, who will be remembered as the early 21st century’s Neil Armstrong, the one who had all the Right Stuff? Barack Obama? Tiger Woods? LT Matt Murphy? Somebody we have never heard of???

You tell me…

Well damn…

Tom Watson, at age 59 almost won the British Open, if just one more putt had fallen, we would be talking history being made. But it didn’t happen; what did happen was he gave all of us hope and reminded us that we are capable of doing anything we desire, regardless of our ages…

When you consider that most of the commentators are YOUNGER than Tom Watson, and that Tiger Woods didn’t even make the cut, it just makes the performance more special. Tom Watson won his first major golf tournament before many of the players had even been born!

Thank you Tom Watson!

In other news, 40 years ago Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and Neil Armstrong uttered those immortal words, “one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind”. I remember being in a bar in Rome, off Via Barberini, sitting with a few other American kids, huddled around the bar. We were watching the landing on Italian TV, and finally found a guy and his daughter walking up the street about 9pm that spoke English. We offered him money to come translate for us, and he and his daughter came and sat in the bar until something like 2am, with him translating the Italian into English for us. I remember us cheering the landing and those first steps, but to me the iconic picture was Buzz Aldrin standing by the American flag…

The other thing I remember is walking back to the Pensione at about 3am and the streets being filled with people of all ages, and every store with a TV having that TV in the front windows of the stores with people crowded around them…

The little bar was down the street in the right background, and this piazza was filled with people. And the statue is the statue of Triton by Bernini for his patron Maffeo Barberini, who had become pope as Urban VIII (just a bit of history).

Now we have to go back to the normal battles… sigh…

Y’all have a good week and remember, you CAN do anything you want, don’t let the assholes hold you back!!!