My favorite Airplanes

Since everybody ELSE is playing… NRAhab posted an interesting twist on Kim’s meme about beautiful cars. Since I’m off early, I’ll jump in too- Mine are a little different, in that I have personal connections to each of my selections…

5. DC-3 easy to fly and very forgiving, I flew one for the first time in 1967 as a 16 year old. Morphed into a damn good weapons platform (Puff the Magic Dragon). Callsign in Nam was Spooky. My Uncle flew them 1964-66 at England AFB and later in Nam.

4. P-47 Butt ugly, airborne tank, but brought a lot of folks home, including a close family friend. Callsign was usually Jug, since they resembled milk jugs from the 1930’s. Our friend had a picture of himself sitting on the wing of his bird, dangling his feet THROUGH a hole in the wing after he landed. He said he was jokingly called Lead Ass, because he almost always returned with holes in the airplanes from a variety of things including at least one tree limb.

3. AD-1 Built as a one way nuclear bomber, performed superbly as CAS in Nam. One of my co-workers calls this the best airplane he ever flew in combat. The Navy called them Spads or Sandy’s depending on the mission. This one is loaded for a CAS alert 5 on the Connie sometime in 1964. Centerline is 1000lb bomb, outboard are 300 gal. drop tanks, 2-500lb and 4-250lb bombs per wing. Callsign in Nam was normally Sandy.


2. F-4 Phantom II, a refrigerator with wings, negative glide ratio, did it all- interception, CAS, pinpoint bombing, and ugly as hell too! Came aboard the boat at 157 kts (180 mph) in a clean configuration. I have about 20 hours in the back seat, including a couple of supersonic passes. Known as Big Smokey, because you could see the smoke trails for 4-5 miles from the J-79’s when not in burner.

1. And my number one favorite- P-3 Orion, I had 7700 hours in them on active duty and another 1000 or so as a Special Missions crewman; and they always got me home 🙂 And yes, we routinely flew rather low… This pic is from 1974, inbound to start a TORPEX off Kauai. The P-3 entered service in 1962 and is still flying today, doing a multitude of jobs. Overland supporting the troops in the sandbox, ASW around the world, SAR around the world, and comms, EW and Customs support worldwide.

Veterans Day

This is a WWII 4″ gun emplacement on Garden Island in Western Australia. The only thing removed were the barrels of the guns, otherwise it remains as it was in 1942. It had communications with a spotting battery located about 500 yards away and up on a rise.
Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislature that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War II veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

We are not the only ones who celebrate Veterans Day, here in Australia they call it Remembrance Day. I was privileged to be allowed to observe the ceremony onboard HMAS Parramatta III this morning. It was very moving and commemorated the loss of HMAS Parramatta II during WWII off Tobruk, and other crewmembers who have died while serving aboard.
A toast to all the other Veterans, where ever they may be! Salute!

I’m so confused…

Now I want one of you LEO’s out there to ‘splain this one to me…

And yes, that no entry really is for the right hand lane…

sigh…

Just one more of those ‘little’ things we are running into out here.

The other interesting thing is the language gap… Yes, they do speak English english, but with an Australian twist. Basically it leaves me wondering what the hell they just said…

The ones I still haven’t figured out are no worries and no drama… Those words are usually used at the end of a statement, so I’m ‘guessing’ they are about like no biggie and no problem. So if something comes back to bite me in the ass, I’ll know for sure.

The other fun thing, if you want to call it that, is the area we are operating in is an environmentally protected area- One of the guys pointed out a sign today that had both a kangaroo and a snake on it. We had a meeting with one of the Rangers and I asked if snakes were really protected, he said they were!!!!

He then showed us a Tiger Snake (very poisonous and very agressive), that he had in a glass cage. Every time you moved your hand near the glass, that sucker was striking the glass! It can also swim in salt water AND climb trees.

There goes any thoughts of going to the beach… sigh…

Next he reaches in and pulls out a Carpet Python, just a little one, about 4 1/2 feet long. It was a female and NOT in a good mood- First time I have ever heard a snake hiss! That sucker can and does eat animals up to and including Tamars (think small kangaroos)…

Then to top everything else, he takes us out to where we will be working; it’s in the middle of an old WWII bombing area! We are working in the middle of $#%^* unexploded ordanance… Lovely, just lovely…

sigh… I think I’ll go home now… Either that or drink heavily…

More from Australia

I can see it now, the puppy is praying- “Oh thank you, thank you for sending me to little Timmy and not to Michael Vick…. I promise I’ll only pee on the paper, and not chew Mommies shoes…”
Well, the land down under continues to amaze me, either that, or I’ve fallen into the Twilight Zone and can’t get up…

I know they are proud of their multi-culturalism, but sometimes… well…

We went to a restaurant called A Fishy Place which is a Greek seafood restaurant; with me so far? Now here is where it gets interesting…

The hostess was East Indian, the manager was Sumatrian, the cook was Egyptian, the waitress was Chinese and the cashier was Australian AND they were serving Czech beer… There wasn’t a Greek to be found ANYWHERE!!!

But the food was excellent ethnic Greek… Go figure…

The other thing, well one of the other things that is weird, is that you don’t see anyone speeding like you always do in the states! Even the young kids with the hot cars and motorcycles don’t go over 10 klicks over the speed limit, even out in the country.

The current score is turn signals 12, windshield wipers 8 for lane changes… And so far this trip, I have not turned the wrong way yet; but those $%^* roundabouts and traffic circles drive me NUTS!!!! I am soooooo tempted to go right instead of left it’s not funny… sigh…

Of course there IS a bright side… None of the guys riding with me are dozing off…

On the Road again, part 238

Sunrise descending into Sydney- 90nm NE of Sydney descending through FL 280 yesterday.

Well, it’s 0400 here in Perth and I’m wide awake, it’s 9 degrees Centigrade… Must. Do. The. Math… errr… 48??? Yeah, close enough…

Lemme see- Thirteen hours difference, so… Ah, dinner time for the body, but breakfast isn’t for another three hours. Whats’s in the mini-bar? Hmm, peanuts, candy bar, little can of Pringles potato(e) chips… Now, where is the price list???

ELEVEN %^&* DOLLARS???? I don’t think so!!! /Grumble/

Okay, instant coffee, I can live with that (not a lot of choice). This is going to be an interesting three weeks…

No US TV, just replays of Cricket (which I STILL don’t have a clue about), Aussie rules football, rugby, soccer and that’s about it.

Brrr… went out and walked around, it’s chilly out. There is absolutely no one out, just a couple of police cars crusing around. Looks like two Aussie versions of street malls within walking distance, not much else, just the business district, but I did find a coffee house (opens at 0700) that apparently serves real brewed coffee, or so the sign says…

More later, hopefully a little more coherently thought out… sigh…

Random junk again…

Well, I had a pretty good blog going, and our entire subdivision lost power, so y’all are getting leftovers…

First, let me say my thoughts and prayers go out to those in California who have lost homes, property and memories in the fires this week. Also, prayers go out for the firefighters, pilots and others who are on the line fighting the fires…
It is not a pretty job, nor fun, but is VERY important to our safety.

Now THIS is what you call space utilization…

This is a train track coming into Bangkok, Thailand which doubles as a mall when there are no trains…

And just for fun, note the row number I got assigned on the JAL 747-400…

Yes, there really is a row 85! This particular 747 was used as a shuttle between the mainland and Okinawa and Guam, it is set up for 530 seats…

Oh yeah, and I was NOT in the last row, that was row 87!

Well, I finally got back on US time, just in time to leave tomorrow for Australia for work, just a nice little 30 hour jaunt from here to Perth… I’m getting WAY too old for this…

Sometimes you just have to wonder…

Well, we have a winner. The auction is over. The final bid remained at $2,100,100. The winning bidder, the high bidder: Betty Casey.

Rush Limbaugh auctioned off the smear letter sent to him by dingy harry and 40 other democrap Senators today- Who would have thought it????

The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation is going to get in excess of $4.2 million because Limbaugh is matching Betty Casey’s bid on eBay of $2.1 million.

Something tells me that letter is going to show up again…

In other bits and pieces, can you believe this Portland, ME school district that is going to give contraceptives to both male and female 11 year olds? AND show them how to use them!!!

What ever happened to parental rights? Sure, there is now a lot of spin about how, oh the parent can opt out, etc…

Lemme see, voluntary prayer is outlawed, but 11 year old sex is okay?

I thought underage sex was still illegal- or am I just stoopid???

I know I’m an old fart, but something here just doesn’t make sense… If somebody had tried to give my daughters contraceptives at age 11, I’d have been after them with a shotgun!

Why is it the ACLU and their minions are after anything that even remotely resembles Christianity in any environment today? Public schools, Court Houses, places of Government… Is the next thing going to be removing the crosses from the Veterans’ Cemeteries?

But yet push a liberal agenda/message and that’s all right? This case in Portland, the case about the video showing homosexual parents that was being shown to third graders as a REQUIRED video, algore’s Inconvenient Lie… Bashing the troops…

Would somebody please tell me what happened to the USA I grew up in?

sigh…

kicking my soapbox back into the corner now…

Idjits and Assholes…

Ever have ‘one’ of those days??? Now I’ll admit I’m a little short of sleep today…
I had one today, of course the two hours of sleep ‘might’ have had something to do with it…

First the day starts with idjit neighbor in her little Prius, which can’t get up the hill to the Interstate at anything approaching 50 mph… So I pull out to pass, and she promptly cuts me off!!! Now there are a line of cars going by on the right at normal speeds and I’m hung out to dry… Lovely, just $%^& lovely…

I finally manage to duck between two cars and hit the on ramp, and promptly come to a screeching halt… Another lovely day on 395 North.

Sigh…

So I finally get to work and everyone is talking about Rep Stark’s comments on the floor of the House. I can only say this…

That sumbitch should be horsewhipped at noon on the Capital steps, tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Or maybe he should go down to Quantico and make the same remarks and see if he gets out alive. But then again, he IS from the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia

To make things even better, my email goes down at work, so I call the help desk- The kid says, “Well, send an email trouble ticket in with your problems.” Say what???

Uh, the email is down, that’s what I’m calling to complain about!

“Well mine is working fine, so it must be your machine.”

Okay, fine… hang up on him and go check around. Half our floor is without, but at this point, what the hell, I have other stuff to do…

So after nodding off a couple of times, I decide to sneak out early, since I wasn’t supposed to be in today anyway…

So coming home, I timed it exactly wrong and wound up being the first person in the leftmost left turn lane–and a little Prius pulled up next to me with a blonde bimbo behind the wheel (think REALLY bad dye job, black eyebrows and you know what me RED lipstick). Now, most of the people in the right lane there know that left turn lane ends in a right turn lane, which means they’ve got to merge left in that uphill 150 yards, so I don’t mind letting people take turns. The light went green and the chick (of course) in the Prius decided she wanted to make a dash for it and get out in front of me.

Didn’t work, needless to say. (For y’all who don’t know, I’ve got an 07 GTO 400+ horses and I’m NOT afraid to use them.) But as I watched her merge in behind me, flipping me off and screaming through the windshield; I was trying to remember what percentage of Prius owners it was who said they were willing to accept reduced performance for the “prestige” of owning a Prius, or so they could be environmental snobs. Fairly high percentage of ’em, though. So I try whenever I can to demonstrate what “reduced performance” is all about….

And I have the bumper sticker that says- Hybrid Owners- Thanks for saving gas so I don’t have to…

Anyhoo, I get home and realize since I’ve been on the road three weeks, I have no food, so back out and fight traffic to the local stupermarket… Guess who?

Blond bimbo in the Prius sees me pull in and drives around and starts berating me as I walk to the store for cutting her off, being a chauvinist pig, etc. I just ignored her and kept walking, and purposly walked out in front of a BIG F-350 Ford. Bimbo was so intent on yapping at me, she never even noticed the truck until he hit is air horn!

I gotta admit, I even jumped… But bimbo is probably having to clean her car seat about now. And I never said a word to her 🙂


Teamwork…

Take 80+ people from a dozen different organizations, stick them halfway around the world, throw in one Typhoon, language barriers, multiple locations and still get the job done???

Hell yes 🙂

Sometimes you get lucky and everything falls into place- Old farts and young kids (mid-20’s is young to us) working together; scientists, engineers and operators (did I mention language barriers?) can co-exists…

For some of us, it was a return to a place we have been before; for others, their first time out of the US. It’s about work ethics and generations; just because it’s five o’clock doesn’t mean you knock off for the day. It’s about sea legs and lack of privacy and two to eight to a room only separated by male and female. 12 on, 12 off which really meant about 14 hours a day at work; and everything else done off shift.

It’s about ironies, one ships cook got sick and there was no replacement, so the crew took turns cooking. The US riders said to a person, it was the best food they have ever had on a Japanese RV…

It’s about the informal debriefs that never end up in the reports, but impact the way business will be done going forward. It’s about cooperation and pitching in to help even when it’s not your project…

It’s keeping way too many balls in the air simultaneously and actually making it work; even when the brass are looking over your shoulder…

As everybody disburses back to their various locations, I think everyone will hold their heads a little higher, because they know they have done a good job; been part of something a little bit special, and know they are capable of more than they thought when they arrived.

Ya done good!

Today was not a good day…

This morning, when I went in to work out here, I learned that one of the folks I had trained in 1991 as a young pup in the Navy was in the hospital in Jacksonville, FL with a brain aneurysm. I had worked with him out here the last two years. He had just made E-8, had the dream set of orders he wanted in JAX, and was about a month from getting married. Things just could not have been much better.

As the word got around, we were all stunned, as Todd was the picture of health, never smoked, never drank, was a runner and in great shape.


Three hours later, we learned he had died of a heart attack while in surgery.

I just don’t have the words to express how this loss affected not only me, but the folks here… You never expect something like this, and how must his family and fiancee feel now?

Go with God shipmate… Go with God.