ARRRGGGHHHH!!!


I’m stuck at work, waiting on phone calls and emails, not necessarily in that order…

Missing the 9-12/Tea Party on the Mall, bored to tears… Only internet for “play” and that is slow as hell…

A couple of additional pics from Japan for y’all.

This is the ADM Burke O Club at Yoko, they are doing some work around the front to remove a driveway and upgrade the parking. No bid deal, right?

Not so fast, they have taken pictures of the rock garden, and numbered the rocks, so they can replace them in EXACTLY the same position… Gotta admire the Japanese work ethic!!!

And this is a 21 car parking “garage” that is one car deep behind an apartment building just outside the gate…


Now if you count, you’ll note 24 ‘holes’; That is so that the cars on the lower levels can be mechanically moved back and forth to allow the cars above them to be lowered to the road…

It takes about 5 minutes to ‘shuffle’ the cars for a top rack car to actually make it to the ground, but it was interesting to watch while I was drinking my coffee in the mornings…


Sigh… It’s the ‘little’ things…


I REALLY wanted to make it to the mall, and from the Fox site, looks like the turnout is MUCH larger than expected! I hope Turk, Newbius and the others are having fun down there…


I expect good posts from them tonight (hint, hint)!

Oh yeah, one more thing- Georgia Bulldogs will wear a patch honoring the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (who are currently deployed to Afganistan) tonight when they play the South Carolina Gamecocks… Funny thing is, my friend who is an ETT team lead for them is from Columbia, and a USC Grad… That oughta make things interesting in the team hut tonight… 🙂

And a follow up…

Oops, it appears Joe Wilson was right, the Lightbringer DID lie (or at least fudge the hell out of it) about the illegal aliens…

I’m not a lawyer, yada, yada, yada, BUT, according to a couple of Constitutional lawyers that were discussing this in the elevator today; if, in fact a public option is provided for ALL, then it MUST be provided for the illegal aliens under the Constitution. Something to the effect that no one (legal or illegal) can be denied something if it is provided for everyone by Federal Law….

They were going back and forth on which article and pretty much said the 14th Amendment.

They were also discussing the California case (Perpetua of Carthage posted HERE). The 9th Circus overturned the application and SCOTUS refused to hear it, which would further cement the requirement and allow the ACLU to immediately bring suit (and charge the US government lawyers fees)…

The other thing that didn’t quite ring true was the “savings” from Medicare through elimination of fraud, waste and abuse.

Ah…er… if you ALREADY know about the F,W,A to the point you know how much it is, WHYINHELL aren’t they doing something about it??? Oh, never mind, it’s that dirty word, Tort Reform…

Oh yeah, one other thing, how can it be debt neutral IF IT COSTS $900 BILLION??? Now I know I’m not a rocket surgeon, but last time I looked, if you ADD $$, that means COSTS GO UP (and they sure as hell are not going to cut anything, they will just authorize overruns like they do now)!

Or am I missing something here???

Sigh… Going back to my corner now… And I ‘almost’ had my blood pressure back down… dammit

Oh yeah, h/t to Perpetua

The ‘Speech"…

I was NOT impressed…

When you counter your own website that’s not good…

More half truths and evasions- WHERE IS TORT REFORM?

While it was camouflaged, I think he’s STILL pushing single payer. If a company has the choice of continuing health care costs (which can run 8-10%), or paying an 8% penalty, what would YOU do if you were worried about the bottom line???

Especially when that penalty becomes tax deductable???

Sigh…

How did we survive…

First and foremost, Happy Labor Day to all! I hope your most exciting labor was walking to the grill for another burger or dog… 🙂

Black and White- Those of you under age 40? You won’t understand.

You could hardly see for all the snow, spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.

Pull a chair up to the TV set,’Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet.’

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting e.coli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE…and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked’s (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have
happened because they tell us how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option… even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah… and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played ‘king of the hill’ on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn’t sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.

Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn’t act up at the neighbor’s house either, because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off.

Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house.

Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that?

We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes, but we never did.

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?

And in other news,

Jones the power Tsar has resigned, because we slandered him… yeah, right…

And the MSM FINALLY did at least one story on him today, must have been a REALLY slow news day!

Step away from the Sake…


Oh man, I ‘know’ better than to go out running on a weeknight…


A few of us decided to go up to Roppongi last night since we didn’t have anything better to do after the meetings ended for the day…

Soooo, off we go to the train station, two hours later we get up there, and start trying to find any of the old haunts.

Now let me put this in context, the last time ANY of us were up there was at least five years ago. In Tokyo, especially the nightclub district, that is ancient history. In other words, we didn’t find a single place that looked familiar!!!

After taking our bearings on the Tokyo tower (important for later), off we went. And the arguments started…

Cheap beer (well relatively speaking), hostess bars (entertainment, but you have to buy the bar girls drinks), music bars (LOUD, I SWEAR NONE OF THOSE KIDS CAN HEAR A JET PLANE), food (me), and the whole time we are standing in the street arguing, we’re watching people stream around us like water around a boulder, and they are ALL 20 years younger than we are… sigh…

So we finally decide to hit a couple of places, then eat, and then head back. Now the argument was upstairs or downstairs bar. In Roppongi you can have a four-story building with a bar on each floor, or two bars per floor, and they will be different types, have entirely different décor, and wildly different availability of booze and prices.

We started at the Fiesta, an upstairs bar, fairly quiet after sticking our heads in ONE OF THE LOUD BARS. It was actually decent and the beer wasn’t outrageous (about $8 for a one liter Sapporo).

After that beer, we decided to wander again, and ended up in a hostess bar, so that was a $20 beer, and of course one of the guys bites on having some sake…

And the downward spiral began…

Another bar and this time three guys are drinking sake, I’m switching to coffee and wondering if we’re EVER gonna eat. And we’re trying to figure out how we’re gonna get everybody back in one piece. And on to the next bar… Sigh…


By now it’s about 10:00pm, so we finally outvote the drinkers and decide to eat. Yea me! Only problem, one of the guys sweet tooth has kicked in, so he sees these desserts in the window (by the way, they are ALL plastic copies), he just has to have one.

So now dinner has just been reduced to dessert, and oh by the way, the cheap ones were about $8, plus coffee $4, plus liqueur $10. And now the decision process of ‘which’ of the 30 offerings does everybody want starts, and we’re looking at the time, because if we don’t get a move on we’re going to be spending the night down town, which is NOT good, since a cheap hotel in Roppongi is $250 a night…

Finally everybody gets their selections, and we eat standing at the counter (mine WAS good, but that was WAY too much pound cake for the little bit of ice cream and the 1 ½ strawberries I got). The guy with the sweet tooth just HAD to have another, so we left him with one of the soberest guys, agreed to meet back at the train station,and the rest of us hit the street for monkey meat on a stick (about $4).


We’re now trying to get back to the main drag, after wandering around for a couple of hours, so we’re looking for any glimpse of the Tokyo Tower. We finally get back and then have to figure out which way the train station is; thankfully a local took pity on us and pointed us in the right direction!!!

Finally back at the train station, we experienced an Aw S**T moment as we were trying to buy tickets and thought we had missed the last train! Thankfully, we were just screwing up the ticket buying, and again got help from a local, and the ticket was $24. Now the issue was whereinthehell are the other two, and howinthehell did I spend $100 in four hours???

We finally gathered them up and made the platform as the train was pulling in! Turns out the last train is a local, so it stopped at EVERY @#^& station between Tokyo and Yokosuka! We didn’t get back to Yoko until almost 0200!

After a leisurely ¾ mile stroll we made it back to base and I finally got to bed about 0300, only to get up at 0530. And spent ALL day in meetings… AND my head hurts… sigh…

Once again we’ve learned we are NOT 21 anymore… Night all!

40 years…


Geez, it REALLY has been 40 years since we graduated from High School… sigh… We’re officially a bunch of old farts now. I guess you could say we HAVE become our parents!

Why, you may ask, am I bringing this up? Well, last weekend was our 40th reunion and we had roughly 120 of 320mumble classmates show up. It was interesting to “step back in time” so to speak and try to pick up some of those pieces from many years ago.

Thankfully the folks in charge DID put pictures on the nametags, so we had a fighting chance at putting the teenage face with the adult face (of course that assumed we had enough brain cells left that could actually compute the changes); and that was BEFORE the beer… sigh…

On the bright side, all the guys got to look at women’s chests without getting in trouble for a change!!!

The guys were easier, we all still had out names, however the women usually had at least one more name attached, so it got interesting (to put it mildly)! Hairstyles or lack thereof have changed a ‘bit’ over the years for most people, but a couple of folks have got to have a painting of Dorian Gray hanging somewhere in their houses!

From the people watching aspect, the loud ones were still loud, the quiet ones still quiet, the fussy ones still fussy; it was like the personalities were just distilled down a little bit further (okay a LOT further) than 40 years ago. I really didn’t see any of the cliques and everyone was making it a point to talk too as many as they could.

Thankfully we have lost less than 30 classmates over the 40 intervening years, but those losses were remembered with a minute of silence. We also had people there who have been married 40 years too! Now THAT is pretty dang good in this day and age (and one guy that had been married 3 weeks)…

Lots of folks are retired or looking at retiring, some of the folks just didn’t fit their jobs (one guy became a banker, that just blew EVERYBODYS mind, based on what he was like in high school!), some fit to a T and others changed jobs like some people changed underwear!!! ☺

A couple of folks even said this was the first reunion they had made, and figured it would be the only one they would make, because we’re getting older and they didn’t know if they would be around for another one. Interestingly, those were folks that had never left town, and had never really cared to keep up with their classmates. While that is not unusual, it was just a bit weird to hear…

I also heard a lot of proud parents, talking about the kids, grandkids, and in one case great grandkids (they started REAL early).

There was a good bit of nostalgia, and when the school song was sung, most of us actually remembered it! How I remembered it I have NO idea, but I did… ☺
There were lots of pictures taken (by the class photog, who is still in action); lots of folks moving between groups, some bored significant others who didn’t know anyone other than their spouse, but probably got LOTS of ammunition for later on ABOUT their spouses…

I’m glad I went; I’m glad I stayed and talked to folks, and I hope we can stay in touch better than we have. There were good memories, and by and large I think it was a real success. We’ve seen some ups and downs, and more on the horizon as those with parents still living lose them, and as we age out and start losing more classmates we will be forced (yet again) to confront our mortality and what we’ve done in our lives.

Personally, I think we’ve done pretty damn good for our generation and ourselves! No movie stars, no heroes, no big politicians, no Nobel Prize winners; but a damn good bunch of folks who would and have helped another out any way they can.

I guess we really can’t ask for much more than that…

Why ask why…

Well, I’m making a low pass through home, long enough to do laundry and back on the road… Some more oldies but goodies…

1. DON’T SWEAT THE PETTY THINGS AND DON’T PET THE SWEATY THINGS.

2. ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA, FLOOR.

3. ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.

4. IF MAN EVOLVED FROM MONKEYS AND APES, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?

5. THE MAIN REASON THAT SANTA IS SO JOLLY IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE ALL THE BAD GIRLS LIVE.

6. I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, “WHERE’S THE SELF-HELP SECTION?” SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.

7. WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?

8. IF A DEAF CHILD SIGNS SWEAR WORDS, DOES HIS MOTHER WASH HIS HANDS WITH SOAP?

9. IF SOMEONE WITH MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES THREATENS TO KILL HIMSELF, IS IT CONSIDERED A HOSTAGE SITUATION?

10. IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?

11. WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO “GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?”

12. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?

13. IF A PARSLEY FARMER IS SUED, CAN THEY GARNISH HIS WAGES?

14. WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?

15. WHY DO THEY LOCK GAS STATION BATHROOMS? ARE THEY AFRAID SOMEONE WILL CLEAN THEM?

16. IF A TURTLE DOESN’T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED?

17. CAN VEGETARIANS EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS?

18. IF THE POLICE ARREST A MIME, DO THEY TELL HIM HE HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT?

19. WHY DO THEY PUT BRAILLE ON THE DRIVE-THROUGH BANK MACHINES?

20. HOW DO THEY GET DEER TO CROSS THE ROAD ONLY AT THOSE YELLOW ROAD SIGNS?

21. WHAT WAS THE BEST THING BEFORE SLICED BREAD?

22. ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.

23. DOES THE LITTLE MERMAID WEAR AN ALGEBRA? Took me a minute too.

24. DO INFANTS ENJOY INFANCY AS MUCH AS ADULTS ENJOY ADULTERY?

25. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR?

26. IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?

27. IF YOU ATE BOTH PASTA AND ANTIPASTO, WOULD YOU STILL BE HUNGRY?

28. IF YOU TRY TO FAIL, AND SUCCEED, WHICH HAVE YOU DONE?

29. WHOSE CRUEL IDEA WAS IT FOR THE WORD ‘LISP’ TO HAVE ‘S’ IN IT?

30. WHY ARE HEMORRHOIDS CALLED “HEMORRHOIDS” INSTEAD OF “ASSTEROIDS”?

31. WHY IS IT CALLED TOURIST SEASON IF WE CAN’T SHOOT AT THEM?

32. WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON SOUR CREAM?

33. IF YOU SPIN AN ORIENTAL PERSON IN A CIRCLE THREE TIMES, DO THEY BECOME
DISORIENTED?

34. CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD?

Friends and Acquaintances…


Well, another day, another @#&* airplane… sigh… Actually this will be a trains (from Yokosuka to Narita), planes (Narita to Dallas) and automobiles day (Dallas to home)…

It’s been a weird month as far as running into old friends and acquaintances in strange places…

Although I grew up in ARKLATEX area, I left there after HS and pretty much have not been back other than the occasional visit. I’ve stayed in touch with a few folks, but by and large lost touch with most of my classmates.

After a career in the military and then working for them after retirement, along with the travel in conjunction with the job, strange meetings tend to happen.

Four of us went to the same training school in the early 70’s and served together off and on through the early 90’s. We get together every couple of years, usually through all of us being in the same place by accident. Earlier this month, I got a cryptic email giving a time and restaurant where we were going to dinner (in San Diego). We met up and caught up on what was going on with each other; and it was like all of our get togethers- like the last dinner had been last week rather than two years earlier!

Three weeks ago I walked into a meeting in South Florida and the guy across the table was a guy I had gone to boot camp with in 1971! He had done a career in the military, gone off and done other things, and moved home finding a job as the facilities manager for the Air Station. He loved it, and was able to take care of both his parents and his wife’s parents as they aged. He has spent the last year or so reconnecting with his and his wife’s old classmates and was amazed to find they were basically welcomed back with open arms.

Flying out here on Sunday was one of those strange combinations- I walked up front to see who was driving the bus, and two of the three pilots were friends I had flown with in the Navy in the 1970s. While we were standing there talking, the check pilot showed up; and he was also a pilot I had flown with in the 70’s whom I had not seen in 21 years! I did end up getting a GOOD seat for the flight out, and spent most of the flight talking to one or the other of the pilots on their breaks.

Sadly, I found out yet another former pilot, who had gone to the airlines, and had taken mandatory retirement two years ago had committed suicide two months after retirement at his beach house in Hawaii. He had never made any real effort to have a life or hobbies outside work, and I personally think that came back to haunt him…

All the conversations were about what we were going to do when we retired, and when I brought up the 40th HS reunion, it elicited very similar comments, since all of us are either doing one this year or next year. We also commiserated about the loss of friends and loss of contact with folks we grew up with. Two of the three did say they are planning to relocate, if not back where they grew up, to somewhere close.

The other commonality was how many times we seemed to run across each other, and other friends and acquaintances in unusual places or at weird times (Hawk was flying missions in Gulf and his briefer at King Khalid was his former plane captain from 15 years earlier). Another point was how much our outlooks differed from those who had stayed around their hometowns their entire lives, and how both sides envied the other (we envy the stability, they envy the travel).

Yesterday I went to lunch with two friends in Japan, one a retired E9 I’ve known for 25 years and the other an active duty E9 who was one of my students in 1978. The retiree works for the Navy and lives in Tokyo with his Japanese wife, and basically said he cannot afford to come back to the States due to her family issues (Dad with heart problems, Mother with Alzheimer’s). He admitted he will probably die here, and never make it back. He regrets the loss of friends and family connections, but figures his family responsibilities are the overriding consideration.

The active duty E9 has been stationed in Japan for 8 years and put in his papers to retire. As soon as he did, his wife filed for a divorce in California, and he will lose 50% of his retirement to her. She has already left, and she has apparently poisoned the well with both of their kids who are back in the States in college as to who is at fault.

He decided he is going home, and will take over the family farm business and his take was if he NEVER sees the ocean again, that would be fine with him. He is extremely bitter about what has happened, and has no doubts that he will lose contact with his children, thanks to the ex-wife.

Having said that, he said he has managed to reconnect with a couple of friends and is actually looking forward to going home and starting over at age 59!

I think our generation is a ‘bridge’ generation, one that was fated to be the first mobile generation, not staying local after we graduated from school. We have had diverse careers, lived in many places including overseas, and travelled more than any previous generation and been exposed to many more cultures than either our parents OR our children.

We have seen the advent of electronic media, and gone from writing real letters, taking real pictures, and reading real books to sending email, pictures, and books on line. We have learned how to reach out through that media for those we have lost contact with and maintain contact with a variety of folks we have become friends with who are scattered literally world wide. We have learned how to navigate the Internet, the blogsphere, Facebook and are now reconnecting with our past, both figuratively and literally.

It will be interesting to see how all this works out…

Separation of Church and State???

Go read LawDog’s post… Ya just gotta wonder whatinhellarethoseidjitsthinking?


It is yet again another blatant political move, to hell with honesty and playing by the rules! And I agree with LD, this will probably NEVER see the light of day in the MSM.

Still on the road, and 11 hours out of sync with the States, so posting will be a little odd for the next two weeks…