Sumdood was here…


Or how good is your security, really???

I live in a ‘supposedly’ secured apartment complex, which really isn’t…
Yeah, it has gates, keyed entry and all that stuff, but it’s only as good as the last person through the gate or into the parking garage…

Sunday evening, Sumdood showed up at the door (now realize I live on the 4th floor, never got the first beep/call/nothing). I couldn’t see much through the peep hole, so I didn’t open the door fully, just enough to see who was there. And there he stood, in the flesh- Sumdood!!!

It was the old, “I’ze lookin for Latesha/Latasha (something like that) man.” As he tried to peer around the corner of the door and see who else, if anybody was in the apartment…

I said, “Don’t know anyone by that name, sorry, can’t help you”.

Since I hadn’t opened the door fully, I sorta had him blocked and he couldn’t completely see me, but I wasn’t liking what I was seeing, and I squared up a little bit more behind the door and got my foot braced against it.

He started in again, “Well she used to live here, hey man can I” and I saw him look down and I’m guessing he caught sight of the .45 I had on my hip, because he suddenly decided to be elsewhere…

I closed the door, went back to what I was doing, then decided to go check the truck just in case… (as some of you know, my truck was broken into a week after I moved in here). Got out to the parking garage, and who do I see?

The Police!

It appears Sumdood had talked his way into an apartment in the other building that accesses the parking garage (saying he needed to use the phone) and got chased out by the girl’s boyfriend who happened to be there at the time. She called the police, and they were taking a report/checking the garage too! The officer happened to be the one that had worked my truck break in, and he kinda chuckled when he saw me, never saying word one about the pistol on the hip. When I told him why I was there, I got to fill out the usual witness statement, etc…

5’10” BM, est 200 lbs mid-20s either dreads or cornrows, black hoody (hood pulled all the way up), some kind of blue jersey hanging out the bottom, jeans down to his ass, a big R on the right rear pocket, high $$ sneakers on, and a black puffy ski type jacket.

In reality, I shouldn’t even have opened the door, I didn’t know this guy, he shouldn’t have been there, and I was stupid…

I just got off lucky since he apparently didn’t want to try me…

Security, even in a ‘supposedly’ secure place is STILL up to you, and just because you are sitting fat, dumb and happy in your home, doesn’t mean there are those who will take the opportunity to make it a bad day for you.

Don’t let your guard down, practice good physical security and use common sense when you answer your door!

Flying the Fallen…

Got this from an old Squadron buddy, now a Captain with an airline…

I think it’s worth sharing with all of you.

Cxxxx,

We did another HR today. Don’t know if I ever told anyone, but when Xxxx and Xxxxx boy was killed in the first go round, I was the FO on the flight that took him home. When Xxxx and Xxxxx came onboard I didn’t know what to do, seeing them like that just tore me up. Other than get them and the escort comfortable and let the Capt know, I really felt useless. Thankfully the Capt was ex-AF and knew the drill, and the company was up to speed on procedures, so all I had to do was fly the leg.

Today I had Xxxxxx as FO, and he’s not changed a bit… He took charge, made sure all the hoops were jumped through and got us priorities where he could. I wonder if this has become so commonplace people are not caring anymore, or what. The folks on the flight today were very understanding and made time for the family and escort to get off quickly and we escorted them down to meet the casket as it came off the airplane. I know you’ve seen this, as it’s circulated before, but please send it to the list, and let them know WE are still doing the right thing.
v/r
Xxxxxx

This Airline Captain gets It.

He writes: My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. on this flight.” (H.R. stands for human remains.) “Are they military?” I asked.

‘Yes’, she said.

‘Is there an escort?’ I asked.

‘Yes, I already assigned him a seat’.

‘Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck? You can board him early,” I said.

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.

‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,’ he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. ‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board’, she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia .

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do. ‘I’m on it, I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.’

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, ‘You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft, we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public
address button and said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, Thank you, Be proud!, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA .

And say a prayer for our troops, they are our sons and daughters who are over there…

Another Tool in the Tool Box…

Knives- Last night on Gun Blogger Chat we got off on knives, and I realized pretty much every one of us has, carries and uses knives for any number of reasons.

My first knife was given to me when I was either 8 or 9, just a plain old Schrade pocket knife, nothing special. My first ‘working’ knife was given to me by my Uncle when I visited him on the ranch; that one was a Case Sow Belly, and to this day, that is truly my favorite knife! I still have one and carry it when I don’t want anything showing on my pocket.

Others that I read regularly also post about knives, bayonets and other pointy implements ๐Ÿ™‚

Robert over at Blackfork is a collector and puts up posts on knives, Tam at View from the Porch put up a number of posts, Marko at the munchkin wrangler put up an excellent post about pocket knives, JR over at Wandering Thoughts made some knife gift recommendations, and I know Jay over at MArooned and Brigid at Mausers and Muffins both too, but I couldn’t find them.. And just about ANY pocket MEME you’ll see knives of some ilk in the picture. I have other knives that are in the truck, but I wasn’t going out in the cold just for them…

Edit- I have been chastised by Brigid, HERE is ONE of her links to posts about pointy things ๐Ÿ™‚

“Pocket” Knives-
These are some that were ready to hand, so a quick picture… The bottom left knife is kinda interesting, that is a Remington presentation knife from a bird hunt. The small bottom ‘blade’ is actually a screwdriver and choke tool!

Not “Pocket” Knives ๐Ÿ™‚
The one on the right is interesting, it is an Explorer ZZ I picked up in Japan back in 73, it’s hollow ground and one of the best skinning knives I’ve ever picked up. The knife on the left is a Steve Wood fighter, and was used by AD to skin his infamous deer at Blogorado a couple of years ago… ๐Ÿ™‚

Other…
Well, EVERYBODY should have a bayonet handy… an original issue 1953 M-1 bayonet for my HRA 1953 M-1. The other one is a Gerber Bowie I picked up years ago for unknown reasons, but that one sleeps next to the bed…

Comments? What’s in your pocket, closet, night stand? Do you carry a car/truck knife? How many sets of Leatherman’s or other Multitools do you have laying around (I have at least three)?

The Wooden Bowl…

No humor today, but one to think about as we age…

I don’t know who wrote it, but it DOES make you stop and think…

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

โ€œWe must do something about father,โ€ said the son.

โ€œI’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor..โ€

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, โ€œWhat are you making?โ€ Just as sweetly, the boy responded, โ€œOh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.โ€ The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.. That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family… And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

โ€ข I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

โ€ข I’ve learned that making a โ€œlivingโ€ is not the same thing as making a โ€œlife..โ€

โ€ข I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

โ€ข I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back sometimes.

โ€ข I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you.

Meh… Still on the Road…


Well, I’m STILL on the road, one more set of meetings tomorrow and back to DC tomorrow night on the red-eye…

Weather was lousy (for Hawaii) today, rained and low clouds all day…

Dropped a couple of folks off at the airport for their flights, and back to the hotel. Decided to go over and grab a buffet at the Hale Koa for dinner. Ended up at a table with three generations of Marines, Gramps (WWII/Korea Vet), Dad (Vietnam Vet), Son (active duty, recovering from wounds taken in Afghanistan). To put it mildly, the conversation was ‘interesting’…

Gramps was on Guadalcanal, survived; injured on Iwo Jima and evacuated…

The dad had on one of the ‘funniest’ T-shirts I’ve seen in years, on the front was the Marine emblem, on the back was…

Home is where you dig it!
Khe Sanh ’68

Turns out the Dad was posted to III MAF at Khe Sanh in Dec 67, and survived the battles in Jan-Mar of 68…

Son was on his third tour downrange, having been in Fallujah, Anbar and now Afghanistan. This time he’d been hit pretty bad so was evac’ed via Landstul. He’s an out patient at Tripler now.

Conversation finally turned to current events, media coverage, and the shootings in Tucson. NONE of these gents were happy with the rhetoric that was/is being spewed by the MSM, and the son commented that “Thankfully, the shooter wasn’t a Veteran, or we’d ALL be in more trouble than we already are”. We all agreed to THAT sentiment!!!

Gramps mumbled something, then said, “Even as bad as it was during WWII and Korea, I’ve NEVER seen this kind of BS in my life. Nobody wants to find out the truth, they just want to throw their BS out there and blame anybody but the real shooter; and Congress just sucks, they don’t get it at all…

The Dad was quiet, then brought up the ‘restraint’ that the MSM was pushing when the Ft. Hood shooting took place about not labeling Hasan as a terrorist, and how none of that was happening this time.

The Son then raised an interesting point, there were 19 shot, but all we’ve really heard about are the Congresswoman, the 9 year old, and the Judge… Who are the REST of the victims???

At that point, we just decided to drop it and went back to listening to Gramps tell sea stories about WWII and Korea (and I’d bet his got pictures to back up most if not all those stories)…

I thanked them for letting me join them, wished the son a quick recovery, and came back to play catch up on email…

Peter (Bayou Renaissance Man) has a good follow up post HERE on the subject…

Damn… just found out I missed the BCS game, but looks like Auburn won ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah SEC ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, I’m out of things to say, need to pack, and get some sleep… Be careful out there folks!

Sad Day and Media Stupidity…

Sadly, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot yesterday along with 18 others by 22 year old man ( I will not put his name up and give him any credibility).


Six are dead as of now, and I’d ask for prayers for their families and those who were wounded and their families…

The dead are-

U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, 63

Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.

Christina Taylor Green, 9

Dorwan Stoddard, 76

Dorothy Morris, 76

Phyllis Schneck, 79

Rep. Giffords is in an induced coma, but apparently the prognosis is good at this time. Credit for saving her and the others lives MUST go to the first responders on site, who did a superb job in what was basically a mass casualty ‘drill’. Police, EMS, Fire and bystanders got the situation under control quickly. Among others a 74 year old retired Col Bill Badger, who was shot in the back of the head, assisted in subduing the perp until police arrived.

UMC Trauma also did an outstanding job of triage, although sadly the 9 year old girl could not be saved.

What pisses me off are the media biases that started up within MINUTES of the initial report of the shooting- He was a left wing wacko, he was a right wing wacko, he was associated with THIS group or THAT group; he was/is a mental patient HOW DID HE GET A GUN, BAN ALL GUNS; to it was a STRAW PURCHASE, yada, yada, yada…

This ‘should’ be a time we are all pulling together for those who were killed and injured, not trying to foist the blame on the ‘other’ side, as the Pima County Sheriff is doing…

Personally, I believe we will, like Cho at VT, find this perp slipped through the system, purchased the gun legally, passed the NICS checks etc…

Probably because he was ‘protected’ by the system, just my guess…

I say stop the rhetoric, wait until the investigations are complete, THEN take a look (without biases) at what went wrong, and look at fixing the issue BEFORE enacting any more laws.

Sadly I fear that will not happen…

Travel is fun???


For those who think traveling for a living is fun, this is my week thus far…

Last Saturday, at airport at 1000, airplane breaks, get home at 1700, do it all over again Sunday- at airport at 1000, leave at 1245, fly 14 hours, land in Tokyo Monday afternoon (pickup a day and 14 hours out of sync), kill 1 hour getting through customs/immigration/getting luggage, 3 hour bus ride. (20 hour ‘day’)

Tuesday- WIDE awake at 0400, first meeting 0800, last meeting 1730 (14 1/2 hour ‘day’)

Wednesday- Slept in until 0500 WooHoo… First meeting 0800, last meeting 1700 (13 hour ‘day’)

Thursday- Up at 0400 again, 0800 van to a different location (1 1/2 hours), 1 1/2 hour meeting, 1130 van to airport (1 hour), 5 hour wait for flight to Hawaii, 6 hour flight, land at 0645 Thursday morning (got the day back), SSS at the base gym, first meeting at 0900, last meeting 1600 across the island, back and check into hotel at 1800. (31 hour ‘day’)

Friday- Barely awake at 0600, first meeting 0800- last meeting 1600. (11 hour ‘day’)

All I wanna do it GO TO SLEEP and what do I get???

FIREWORKS… right out side my window… sigh…

Saturday- Slept in till 0700, leisurely breakfast, and played golf…

The 12th hole at Ko Olina on Oahu ๐Ÿ™‚


Guess I’ll survive… ๐Ÿ™‚

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging…

Military News…

Check out this video on the new and improved “Pig”…





New M60-43 Machine gun (.30 Cal). Truly puts the word โ€œmachineโ€ in Machine Gun.


Very impressive and this sustained fire only represents half of the advertized capacity of sustained by the manufacturer !!


This is a vast improvement over the one used in Vietnam! I recall a couple of flights as a Helo door gunner and having a box of barrels for each gun and would pull a barrel when it got โ€œlose or wobbly: under just a short duration of sustained fire, chuck it out the door and then quickly insert another barrel to resume action.


Almost 2 minutes of sustained fire, one continuous pull of the trigger… Gotta pity the ammo bearer, now they’ll have to carry even MORE ammo ๐Ÿ™‚


THIS WILL KEEP OUR FOLKS ALIVE!!!


In other news, CAPT Owen Honors has been fired as the CO of the USS Enterprise just prior to cruise for ‘conduct unbecoming’… Link HERE


We were discussing this at dinner last night, and there are LOT of questions…


Why now? This video sequence was FOUR years old…


Who did he piss off? Or is this a left handed slap by the DADT advocates?


Who ‘released’ this, and when? Or was this a setup by somebody with a grudge?


I’ve viewed them and I’ve seen worse on TV, but “THAT” is okay because that’s entertainment???


Because of the media circus, this officer has lost his career, and a ship is going in harm’s way with a new CO…


In the military, you look for strong leaders that the troops will rally around, and it appears CAPT Honors was such… The Facebook page (HERE) has been up 2 days and has over 17,000 likes and comments… Including many who had served under CAPT Honors when he was XO of the Enterprise.


Sadly, none of that will do one bit of good… What is our military coming to when they are bowing to civilian ‘complaints’, 4 years later?


It’s not MY Navy anymore… Sometimes I think John Q. Public deserves what they are about to get…


Sigh…

Free Stuff…

From Ambulance Driver, the whole post is HERE

It seems fitting that, here on my 4th Blogiversary, I can announce a special deal for my readers, courtesy of the good folks at Kaplan Publishing.

From January 4-10, 2011, Kaplan will offer electronic versions of En Route for free download.

Thatโ€™s right, FREE electronic versions of my book, downloaded directly to your laptop, netbook, Kindle, Nook, iPad or Sony eReader.

So go to AD’s Blog post and get his book, I’ll guarantee you will enjoy it, as he truly tells it like it is!!!

What it’s really like…

This is very unnerving, especially if you know what you are watching…

Landing with deck pitching 30 feet, at night, low on fuel. You will never forget viewing this. These two videos below are undoubtedly the best. Turn on your sound. I guarantee this will definitely hold your attention.

These videos show the difference between Naval Aviation and any other kind. These are two outstanding videos about F-18 carrier operations aboard the USS Nimitz during weather that causes a severely pitching deck, which you can see in the videos. It’s more dangerous than most combat missions and the tension in the pilots and crew is very apparent.

Landing videos from the San Diego PBS station…

Carrier – Landing on a Pitching Deck PART 1- HERE

Carrier – Landing on a Pitching Deck PART 2- HERE