Random Road stuff…


Oh boy, this road trip is finally at an end…  My butt is draggin…


I get to go home for a whole thirty mumble hours before I have to leave again… sigh…

Main thing is everybody is going home in one piece, so I’m happy about that. A few more random pics from the road for ya.

Now you may have thought I was a little overboard about the rain in LA last week, but when I saw this thing come taxiing by, I really began to wonder!  It’s a Grumman Albatross (better known as a Coast Guard HU-16).  It is beautifully restored! 


And while we were sitting on our butts waiting for our bird to come back, I took a little walk… I call this one a Pearl amongst the Swine…


What kind of pearl one asks?  It’s a J-3 Cub with the tip mods for even shorter takeoff and landing…  It is down here from Alaska to be refurbished for next winter.  And yes, those are real Alaskan brand tires!  What that means is this little airplane cannot land on a regular runway, because it will blow the tires out, so it lands on grass or snow (or in between the runway, which is what this guy did)…  I can just see the guy in the Tower now…  “You want to land WHERE???”

And one of the traffic… This is NOT rush hour!  
You know how to tell??
The cars are more than six feet apart… sigh…

And a little humor.

A beautiful fairy appeared one day to a destitute refugee claimant outside a U.S. immigration office.

‘My good man,’ the fairy said, ‘I’ve been sent here by President Obama and told to grant you three wishes, since you just arrived in the United States with your wife and three children.’

The man told the fairy. ‘Well, where I come from we don’t have good teeth, so I want new teeth, maybe a lot of gold in them.’

The fairy looked at the man’s almost toothless grin and —

PING! — he had a brand new shining set of gold teeth in his mouth!

‘What else?’ asked the fairy, ‘two more to go.’

The refugee claimant now got bolder. & said; ‘I need a big house with a three car garage on the water, with eight bedrooms for my family and the rest of my relatives who still live in my country. I want to bring them all over here..

PING! – In the distance there could be seen a beautiful mansion with a three car garage, a long driveway, a walkout patio with a BBQ in an upscale neighborhood overlooking the bay.

‘One more wish’, said the fairy, waving her wand. ‘Yes, one more wish.

I want to be like an American with American clothes instead of these torn clothes, and a baseball cap instead of this turban. And I want to have white skin like Americans.

PING ! – The man was transformed, wearing worn out jeans, a Yankees T-shirt and a baseball cap. He had his bad teeth back and the mansion had disappeared from the horizon.

‘What happened to my new teeth?’ he wailed. ‘Where is my new house?’

The fairy said ‘Tough luck, Mac, Now that you are a White American, you have to fend for yourself.’

Tiger Woods Speech…

Tiger Woods accepted the invitation to speak at the inauguration…….. But he didn’t deliver the message his inviters had expected!

Tiger Woods spoke Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during “We Are One,” an inauguration celebration for President-elect Barack Obama. Below is the text of his speech, entitled “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as posted on his Web site:

I grew up in a military family — and my role models in life were my Mom and Dad, Lt. Colonel Earl Woods.My dad was a Special Forces operator and many nights friends would visit our home. They represented every branch of service, and every rank.

In my Dad, and in those guests, I saw first hand the dedication and commitment of those who serve. They come from every walk of life. From every part of our country. Time and again, across generations, they have defended our safety in the dark of night and far from home.

Each day — and particularly on this historic day — we honor the men and women in uniform who serve our country and protect our freedom. They travel to the dangerous corners of the world, and we must remember that for every person who is in uniform, there are families who wait for them to come home safely.

I am honored that the military is such an important part, not just of my personal life, but of my professional life as well. The golf tournament we do each year here in Washington is a testament to those unsung heroes. I am the son of a man who dedicated his life to his country, family and the military, and I am a better person for it.

In the summer of 1864, Abraham Lincoln, the man whose memorial we stand, spoke to the 164th Ohio Regiment and said:”I am greatly obliged to you, and to all who have come forward at the call of their country.”Just as they have stood tall for our country — we must always stand by and support the men and women in uniform and their families.

Thank you, and it is now my pleasure to introduce the U.S. Naval Glee Club.

You know he was greatly pressured to be there. You know the liberals have been mad at him for a decade for not joining their ranks. You know he didn’t want to be there. So instead of paying homage to Obama, he paid tribute to our soldiers. Not one time did Tiger mention Obama or the inauguration or the new administration. You know, he knew he would disappoint, even anger, many, many liberals. but Tiger is his own man. His old man taught him to be his own man. Somewhere in that cold, gray Washington sky, old Earl was smiling down on his son.

Good on ya Tiger!

I’ll play along…



Here is the link to the Hero Factory, go play 🙂

Ironically, the logo is actually our shooting team logo, minus a bullet hole…

Random Road stuff…

On the way in this morning, everybody was ducking/dodging something in the road; as I get up close, move over and get ready to dodge… There is a student driver!


That poor sucker was doing 55 and everybody else was doing 80…  He was up on that wheel like a NASCAR veteran and the instructor was kinda crouched down like he was expecting them to get hit any minute…

The cat herding is going about as well as can be expected, minor changes have cause major perturbations with the cats, but at this point I am expecting nothing less… sigh…

I also screwed up, forgot what day it is, and missed going to the California NASCAR race at Pomona. What’s even worse, I had a %$^&* free ticket…   (pardon me while I go bang head against wall)

AND it’s Oscar night in LA, so all the industry people are in town, some staying at the same hotel I’m at.  How do I know this, you ask?  Well, when I come back and see NINE extended limos in the parking area near the lobby, and bunches of people in Tuxes and designer dresses.  A couple I “think” I recognize, including one older woman with a 20 something boy toy in slavish attendance…

That means there is no way in hell I’m going anywhere near down town tonight!

In the insult to injury category- My work computer (which is the only one I brought) decided to die last night, so among other things, I had to go buy a computer today… Since Circus City is going out of business, I thought I might get lucky, but Noooo.  That place looked like scavengers had attacked it!!!  There was not a single thing left I would have paid money for…  

Anyhoo, I’m sitting here trying to reconfigure a computer, download updates, and salvage address books, in addition to getting work going.  Guess this is gonna be a room service salad night…. sigh…


Whales…

No- not THAT kind…

A3D Skywarriors, also known as Whales, also known as All Three Deads… Built in the 1950’s, accepted by the Navy in 1956, still flying in 2008. Er… Do. The. Math… 52 years and tens of thousands of hours later, they are still serving.

Since I had a little time and access, a couple of pics for those airdales who read this blog.

Steam gauges… This is Ron’s office, Ron is the high time pilot in the world on this aircraft… The yellow handle is the blade fold handle, which blocks the throttles- Not a bad idea, as this sucker won’t fly too well with the wings folded…


And the unofficial call sign for both the pilot and airplane is Dinosaur…

This is why it was called an All Three Dead- This was the only way in/out of the aircraft, no ejection seats, just an escape slide that went out the bottom of the aircraft …

AND this was the largest aircraft to routinely fly on/off the carrier. On the older boats (CV-41/43) there was about four feet of clearance between the wing tip and parked aircraft when landing this thing…
A side note- One of my co-workers is one of the few to survive a water landing in an A3- And that is the way they logged it… 🙂

To see this airplane in flight, and read more, go to the A3 Skywarriors site – HERE and start the A-3 Takeoff video on the front page.

It’s all good…


Zero dark 30- the bird has been prepped, unplugged from “shore power” and is being towed from the hangar. As it bounces over the door tracks, the wings flex, almost as if stretching and getting ready for flight.

We step out into the pre-dawn chill of the ramp, enjoying a pilot’s breakfast (a cigarette, cup of coffee, and a donut) talking about the flight, what needs to be done, and the weather. As we talk, we start laughing about it, remembering how many times and places we have done this before…

Greg walks back into the hangar, gets geared up and climbs into the cockpit as the NC-8 cart starts into its load cycle. The ground crewman gives the thumbs up, and master power is turned on, the cockpit comes alive as the displays, radios and nav systems start spinning up.

One last walk through the kneeboard cards on powering up the package, and I have to get down, not able to go flying. dammit…

The package is cycled, checks good, the engine started and one more check of the package is done. Greg gives a thumbs up, the ground crew and pilot do the dance of checks, wipeouts and minutia of the pre-taxi routine. Chocks are pulled, and off he goes.

We stand on the ramp, once again silent in the early morning. Just as the sun starting to peek over the hills, we hear the power come up, and the bird lifts off cleanly, climbing into the new day…

We turn around to walk back to the hangar, the sound of a radial engine in full pitch causes us to turn around. It’s an old Navy T-28 doing a break for the field…

Not a bad way to start the morning…

GImme a minute…

Gimme a minute, I’m trying to get the seat cushion outta my ass…

Sigh… Let me count the ways I hate LA… Traffic, traffic TRAFFIC!!! 1.5 inches of rain, 4 lanes wide, STILL doing 65mph bumper to bumper, wrecks everywhere and these idjits are honking and cussing each other; and this is at 0630 BEFORE rush hour starts! “Best” wreck seen, Mercedes AMG55 rear ended one of the big 7 series Bimmers- Two blondes out in the middle of the lane, yelling at each other as their hair styles melted and their $1000 dresses got soaking wet. I just kept on driving…

The Grapevine is snowed in, CHP is kicking people off, radio is saying don’t even go that way… Any bets there will be 5-6 hour traffic delays???

Finally get off on the surface streets, one section is about 3-4 inches deep, I’m poking along through it; here comes a little lowered fart mobile, he hits the water at probably 50mph and goes for a hydroplane ride, until he gets stopped by a palm tree… sigh…

We do our conference call, find out there are four of us in the same building, all calling in from different offices… yep, this day is gonna be a REAL winner…

So, we decide to go to lunch, I end up driving, and damned if I don’t get pulled over for a turn signal being out! At least I didn’t get a ticket, but now I’ve got to hassle with that sometime today!

Oh joy- just checked the weather, calling for an inch or more rain later today! LA’s gonna be swimming!

Edit- This was actually from yesterday, this morning was not much better… sigh…

And on the Lightbringer’s rule, we have this…

Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 – December 19, 1968), and some of us are old enough to remember him running for President, was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

Norman Thomas said this in a 1944 speech: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of “liberalism,” they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” He went on to say: “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”

Heard probably the best description of the porkulus bill a while ago- Congressional ReAllocation Program- CRAP! Yep, works for me, cause they are sure as hell reallocating my money from MY pocket into theirs in the form of more taxes!!!

A dumb question here- IF this CRAP is so important, why has the Lightbringer waited until Tuesday to sign it? Why is the trip to Denver being called a “campaign” appearance?

It looks like our total debt is over $78 Trillion dollars when you add the national debt, Social Security, and Medicare/Medicaid costs together. That exceeds the economy of the ENTIRE world…

We will be working for the rest of our lives to try to pay this off. Retire? I think not…

Oopsie…

Big ocean, small (well relatively speaking) submarines…

The HMS Vanguard was towed back to a submarine base in Scotland with visible dents and scrapes, the BBC reported. The Le Triomphant suffered damaged to a sonar dome in the front of the submarine but returned under its own power to its base on L’Ile Longue on France’s western tip, according to the French military.

Neither France nor Britain would confirm the exact date of the collision, but said it took place earlier this month. France issued a brief statement Feb. 6 saying the Le Triomphant had struck “a submerged object” that was probably a shipping container.
Yep, submerged object alright… Sigh… SOMEBODY was WAY out of their box. Suffice to say, this should never have happened, but as usual, I’m betting the French were off the reservation because they are notorious for this kind of crap…

And of course all the media is in full O.M.G. mode… they have Nuclear MISSLES aboard, why it could have been a world wide DISASTER. HOW could this possibly have happened…

Without going into detail, their entire goal is to be invisible from the time they submerge until the return to port. They don’t use their SONAR at all, the move slow, etc. to minimize their noise signature, and move randomly in (well, supposedly in) their assigned boxes.

Except the USSR has lost four Nuc subs on the bottom over the years and we have lost two (USS Thresher and USS Scorpion). Link is here.

More Chi-town politics…
Horror of horrors, a Chicago politician lied! Burris is now questioning what the definition of is is after being caught up in the Blago scandal, after saying he was squeaky clean…

Taking Chance…

HBO will be showing Taking Chance this weekend. If you can either watch it or TiVo it do so. This is a very special story written by LT Col Michael Stroble, the officer who volunteered to escort the body of PFC Chance Phelps home in 2004 after Pvt. Phelps was killed in Iraq.

This was originally posted in 2004 on Blackfive’s blog (here) and I do not know a single person who read it that was not in tears… Now, five years later, HBO will show it Saturday night in prime time. Talking to folks in the business, it’s about 95% correct.

I will tell you, having been a CACO twice while on active duty, this is if not the hardest, one of the hardest duties there is in the military. After you watch it and dry your tears, say a prayer for those still fighting for our freedom around the world and those who take on the duty of bringing those who die in the line of duty home.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, please go watch!

Old NFO

Trillion with a T…

This evening (Feb. 14th), Fox News will be airing an exclusive investigative report “Trillion With a ‘T’: How to Spend $1,000,000,000,000“.

Since I don’t have anything better to do, I’m gonna watch and see where my money is really going…

h/t JR over a Keyboard and a .45

And in honor of Valentines Day… a little humor-

My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.
I turned to her and said, “Do you want to have sex?” “No,” she answered. I then said, “Is that your final answer?” She didn’t even look at me this time, simply saying “Yes.” So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”

And that’s when the fight started….

I asked my wife, “Where do you want to go for our anniversary?” It warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation. “Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!” she said. So I suggested, “How about the kitchen?”

And that’s when the fight started….

A man and a woman were asleep like two innocent babies. Suddenly, at 3 o’clock in the morning, a loud noise came from outside. The woman, bewildered, jumped up from the bed and yelled at the man ‘Holy Crap. That must be my husband!’
So the man jumped out of the bed; scared and naked jumped out the window. He smashed himself on the ground, ran through a thorn bush and to his car as fast as he could go.

A few minutes later he returned and went up to the bedroom and screamed at the woman, ‘I AM your husband!’ The woman yelled back, ‘Yeah, then why were you running?’

And then the fight started….

I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Miller Light for $14.95. Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95. I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.

And then the fight started….

A woman was standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She was not happy with what she saw and said to her husband, ‘I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.’ The husband replies, ‘Your eyesight’s damn near perfect.’

And then the fight started….

I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason,took my order first. “I’ll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.” He said, “Aren’t you worried about the mad cow?” “Nah, she can order for herself.”

And then the fight started….

My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asked, ‘Do you know her?’ ‘Yes,’ I sighed, ‘She’s my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago,and I hear she hasn’t been sober since.’ ‘My God!’ said my wife, ‘who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?’

And then the fight started…

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, ‘I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.’ I bought her a scale.

And then the fight started…

My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping channels. She asked, ‘What’s on TV?’ I said, ‘Dust.’

And then the fight started…

Feinstein is a #@$%* idiot and security risk…

The disclosure by Feinstein, as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, marked the first time a U.S. official had publicly commented on where the Predator aircraft patrolling Pakistan take off and land.

At a hearing, Feinstein expressed surprise at Pakistani opposition to Predator-launched CIA missile strikes against Al Qaeda targets along Pakistan’s northwest border. “As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base,” she said.

The CIA declined to comment, but former U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, confirmed that Feinstein’s account was accurate.

Phil LaVelle, a spokesman for Feinstein, said her comment was based solely on previous news reports.

Previous news reports, my dying ass… Thank you Congresscritter Feinstein for putting EVEN MORE of our troops at risk and in harms way with your incompetence and stupidity!

Can we charge her with treason? Please?

Ye Gods, do any of those idjits up there have ANY sense? Oh yeah, one more good one on the porkulus bill-

Not only was it not published for 48 hours as promised, the Senators ONLY got hard copy, no electronic copy so they couldn’t search the bill the way they normally do for keywords (read PORK)… It does appear Reid stuck his multi-million dollar fairy tale Maglev Train from Anaheim to Las Vegas in the bill, but no according to the Lightbringer, there is no earmarks…

Oh and THIS is even better… the Lobbyists on K Street got electronic copies!

I give, I’m gonna go have a Scotch or three (dozen).