Stick a fork in me, I’m done…

FINALLY finished the det I’ve been on, and headed home, just a 12 hour flight left…

A few more insult to injury laughs…

Zero dark 30 order and the greasy spoon at the flight line, been in since 0300, hungry, out of coffee, etc. Order the daily special; Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from the Mamasan- She asks twice if I want bacon, I say I do, with coffee, with OJ… back and forth in pidgin English, Japanese and a lot of pointing… I go sit down and wait, she finally calls my number, and guess what I get?

Three pieces of bacon on a plate, and a little cup of orange sherbet… sigh…

We get a gang together for a final dinner (the token one good meal), go to a nice Japanese restaurant, order the meal for twelve special, only to find out one lady is allergic to shellfish!!!! Of course, EVERY damn course had some form of shellfish… And of course this restaurant has nothing else but miso soup and salad, so she gets that, only to find out the dressing is sesame ginger (which she is also allergic to)… On the way back, we stopped at McDonald’s and bought her a Big Mac…

Get two of four riders off one of the boats, the other two planning to ride and get in a day late; of course the boat gets other tasking, they ‘may’ be back by 20 Dec… sigh…

Fly back up to Tokyo, get on the train for the ride back down to Yoko, sardine can again. Get to Yoko, it’s cold, pouring rain and I end up walking about 3/4 mile to the base with my rain jacket over my bags, so I was just a hair wet… Empty bag when I get to billeting, only to find that water was leaking from a seam I missed, so 0100 in the morning I’m washing/drying clothes and ironing so I have clean pressed clothes for the 0800 meeting. I show up (after about 2 hours of sleep), only to find out the meeting has been moved to 1500!!! ARGGHHHHH!!!

Went back, was going to go to bed, but the Mamasan was cleaning the room, so I couldn’t go back to sleep… sigh…

Now sitting at the airport, waiting for the airplane to show up and hoping nothing else happens this trip!

Please remember our Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen in this holiday season as they are far from home, working to protect the USA and our way of life.

Politically correct 12 days of …er… uh…

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult monogamous relationship gave to me:

~ TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,

~ ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note).

~ TEN melanin-deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,

~ NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

~ EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,~ SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,

~ SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,

~ FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration,(NOTE: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further Animal-American enslavement,the remaining gift package has been revised.)

~ FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,

~ THREE deconstructionist poets,

~ TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses, and

~ ONE Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

~ Merry Christmas.~ Happy Chanukah/Hanukkah.~ Good Kwanzaa.~ Blessed Yule.~ Oh, heck! Happy Holidays!!!! (unless otherwise prohibited by law). Unless, of course, you are suffering from Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD). If this be the case, please substitute this gratuitous call for celebration with a suggestion that you have a thoroughly adequate day.

December 7=Pearl Harbor…

Never Forget- Two cousins lie there today…



Nuff said…

BCS does it again…

BCS DECLARES GERMANY WINNER OF WORLD WAR II US Ranked 4th

After determining the Big-12 championship game participants the BCS computers were put to work on other major contests and today the BCS declared Germany to be the winner of World War II.

“Germany put together an incredible number of victories beginning with the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland and continuing on into conference play with defeats of Poland, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. Their only losses came against the US and Russia; however considering their entire body of work––including an incredibly tough Strength of Schedule––our computers deemed them worthy of the #1 ranking.”

Questioned about the #4 ranking of the United States the BCS commissioner stated “The US only had two major victories––Japan and Germany. The computer models, unlike humans, aren’t influenced by head-to-head contests––they consider each contest to be only a single, equally-weighted event.”

German Chancellor Adolph Hitler said “Yes, we lost to the US; but we defeated #2 ranked France in only 6 weeks.” Herr Hitler has been criticized for seeking dramatic victories to earn ‘style points’ to enhance Germany’s rankings.

Hitler protested “Our contest with Poland was in doubt until the final day and the conditions in Norway were incredibly challenging and demanded the application of additional forces.”The French ranking has also come under scrutiny.

The BCS commented ” France had a single loss against Germany and following a preseason #1 ranking they only fell to #2.”Japan was ranked #3 with victories including Manchuria, Borneo and the Philippines.

There are days…

Yawn… scratch…scratch…itch…scratch… Is it morning yet? What day is it??? I’ve lost track…

Well, yesterday (and this morning) turned into a 20 hour day, I’m “sleeping” right now to go back in at midnight (actually I’m washing clothes since I’m wearing the last pair of clean pants I have…) in three hours.

Some times I wonder if people do stuff just to get my goat… A sample from this morning- Airplane out doing stuff- supposed to be talking to boat A.

Boat A doesn’t answer, but they can talk to boat B, which comes up on chat and tells me the plane can’t raise boat A, can I get hold of them to come up…

So I call, they don’t answer, so I call boat C, which is also in the area. They answer, I ask them if they have heard from boat A? Why yes, we’re talking to them now.

Good, have them come up on their other radio and talk to the plane. They answer, yeah, we were just wondering why they were buzzing boat A… sigh…

Soooo, boat A finally calls back- Hey, are you talking to the plane?
No, why should I?
Ah… you’re in the way!
Huh, I’m not supposed to move for 9 hours…
No, you’re supposed to move NOW!
No I’m not…
Zulu time not local time you &*()_#%
Oh… Did we screw up?
Ah, yeah, kinda sorta… Are you talking to the plane?
Do I have to?
YES!

Sigh…

Plus they send data in, in scientific format, not the normal format… Have you ever tried to write a macro with no sleep? When trying to remember the actual math to do conversions? And then remembering how to actually implement it???

Trust me, that was NOT pretty…

Only 6 or is it 5 more days to go? Are we done yet? Why am I in this handbasket, and where are we going???

The bright spot in all this? Working with the young sailors and officers who really want to learn and are actually asking good questions and pushing the scientists and engineers for answers. They are also bitching, which means they’re happy 🙂

Planes, trains and automobiles X2…

Or how I spent my Sunday…

Okay… I’m officially NOT having fun…

Up at zero dark 30 to head for the airport, oh %^&* the gate’s closed… Howinthehell do I get off this base now??? Finally find the open gate, haul it to the airport, fly to Tokyo, get on the train, change to another train, finally get to Yokosuka, hoof it to the base… pant… pant… pant…

Attend the meeting I had to fly up for, get about three words in edgewise, go back and sit in corner the rest of the meeting… And before you ask, yes I really did have to go to the meeting, couldn’t phone it in dammit!

Hoof it back to the train station, miss the train, wait 20 minutes for the next train, get on the train.

A small digression here- You do NOT want to get on a train in Japan during rush hour… Sardines in the can have more room (and more lubrication). I didn’t even have to hang on, I couldn’t have fallen over if I tried… One lady was asleep standing up (she was snoring). I did note one old gentleman who was lucky enough to be seated sipping what I’d bet was a water bottle full of Saki :-0 I literally saw the gamut of Japanese style, from an older lady in a full blown dress kimono, to kids in ripped jeans, and just about everyone was texting on their phones if they could reach them/move their fingers. And just about everyone, young and old, had earbuds and Ipods or variants…

Anyway, get off that train (not without a little pushing/shoving, change trains, get back to the airport, and MISS THE %^&* flight… Now I’m stuck for two hours.

Meet a nice couple from Dallas, flying into Okinawa to see their son re-enlist in the Marines. Their first times in this part of the world, so I get them something recognizable to eat, get them some $$ changed and we talk deer hunting for an hour or so…

Get on the last flight, fly back to Okinawa, get the parents hooked up with their son and off I go. Get the rental out of hock, drive back to the base, ARGHHH! The damn gate is closed AGAIN… Finally find the open gate, get lost three times getting back to billeting, finally get back to my room at 0100, and I have to be up at 0600 and in at work at 0700…

Just another day at the orifice… kinda, sorta…

Sigh…

100 things Meme

H/T Earl and Julie

It’s 0 dark 30 again and I’m wide awake again… sigh…

In bold are the things I’ve done.

1. Started your own blog- You’re looking at it…
2. Slept under the stars– By choice and NOT by choice… sigh..
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii– Lived there, go back way too often for work…
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland– And Disney World, and Disneyland Tokyo
8. Climbed a mountain– At least pat way… Zuchspitz in Austria
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo– Badly… VERY badly…
11. Bungee jumped- Dumb, but NOT stupid
12. Visited Paris– Dirty, nasty, and that was just the people… Most egocentric people I’ve EVER met
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning– Navy Box lunch… TWICE!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise– Me and 5200 of my closest friends…
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke– Badly… again…
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa– Courtesy of the USN
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching– Not by choice… Work related
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp– The Holocaust DID happen!
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar- Whyinhell do people pay that much money for FISH EGGS???
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square– Damn near got run down by a taxi too!
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous– Issac Asimov, Joseph Wambaugh
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one– Both sets of Grandparents and both parents
94. Had a baby (participated)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day– I do this WAY too often…

One of THOSE trips, part 2

Well, I finally got where I was supposed to be- That’s good. The bad- Only taxi left “said” he could get on base… $42 later, I’m hoofing it from the main gate to Billeting, dragging the bags… lovely…

So I get up in the morning to go get the rental car.- Good; the Bad- they lock the $&* keys IN the car, so I have to wait almost an hour for them to get a master out to unlock it… OBTW, there were about 6 other identical cars sitting there, but they couldn’t give me one of THEM, because they were for other customers… sigh…

The nice- I get this nicky-neat Nav system… The bad- see below…

I can’t read Kanji worth a darn…

It is Thanksgiving, so EVERYTHING is closed on bases, while off base it’s just another workday for the Japanese… tried to get a reservation at one of the clubs no joy… so we are going out in town… Looks like Mongolian BBQ for dinner… sigh…

WX sucks, typhoon condition 4, windy, rainy and mid-60’s; so off I go to try to find this little Mongolian BBQ place somewhere close to the main gate of another base, that I stumbled on two years ago, and I “think” I remember how to get there…

Hmmm. it’s either the first or second right after the main gate, then either the first or second street on the right, next to an open field and across the street from another open field…

Finally find it, after 45 minutes of basically driving is circles… I REALLY hope that was not a one way street… No wonder I can’t find it, the field now contains a 6 story apartment building! Now no place to park, so drive around and finally find a space; parallel parking on the ‘wrong’ side is fun…

One seat left, I grab it and go start filling a bowl or three! No turkey, but plenty of chicken. Papasan says- Hey, baby turkey… just hadn’t grown up yet 🙂

Two bowls of Genghis Khan’s best Mongolian BBQ, sweat is pouring off (went a ‘hair’ strong on the peppers that last bowl).

Back to Billeting and bed!

sigh…

Wide awake at 0400…

It’s one of THOSE trips part 1…

Ever have one of THOSE days, weeks, months???

That’s kinda how my trip is going so far… It’s been a real mix of the good and the bad, and I’m just waiting for the ugly to show up… sigh…

Sunday- 6 hours late leaving DC; The good- the airplane was working, and I knew the pilots so I got a GOOD seat 🙂

Monday- The bad- arriving at Narita after EVERYTHING was shut down. No buses, no trains, only a $300 cab if I wanted to try that… nope, took a ride to the hotel with the pilots, and spent the night at an airport hotel.

Tuesday- The good- I made it to Yokosuka finally (at 1100) and still had a room! The bad- Well, I missed the meeting that was the sole purpose for coming in here… The worse- I spent all day chasing down folks that had been in the morning meeting to get ‘stuff’ resolved…

Wednesday- The good- Finished chasing folks down, got everything “fixed” so far… Line up and earlier flight down to Okinawa; and actually get on the free bus 🙂 The bad- I’m at the wrong airport… dammit… Was told the wrong thing by the lady from ANA, so I’m now sitting and waiting for 6 hours for the original flight, after having driven PAST the correct airport on the way here (and can’t get back there in time to make the flight)… Good/bad at the airport- I got access to the lounge, but all the booze (including the Scotch) is Japanese… and the only coffee is Nescafe instant…

Oh yeah, now the ugly in a phone call that just came in- The crew I’m meeting in Okinawa is delayed in Chicago, so they will NOT be arriving tonight, which means us two old farts have to install all the systems tomorrow by ourselves… sigh…

To be continued…

It is now closer to reality than you think…

You’re sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door. Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way. With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it. In the darkness, you make out two shadows.One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire. The blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside.

As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you’re in trouble. In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few That are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless. Yours was never registered. Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm.

When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter “What kind of sentence will I get?” you ask. “Only ten-to-twelve years,” he replies, as if that’s nothing. “Behave yourself, and you’ll be out in seven.”The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper.

Somehow, you’re portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can’t find an unkind word to say about them. Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both “victims” have been arrested numerous times. But the next day’s headline says it all: “Lovable Rogue Son Didn’t Deserve to Die.” The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters. As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media.

The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.

Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he’ll probably win. The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you’ve been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time.

The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven’t been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you. Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn’t take long for the jury to convict you of all charges. The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened.

On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England , killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term. How did it become a crime to defend one’s own life in the once great British Empire ?

It started with the Pistols Act of 1903. This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license. The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns. Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns.

Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987. Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed Man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the streets shooting everyone he saw. When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead.

The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of “gun control”, demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)Nine years later, at Dunblane , Scotland , Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school.

For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns. TheDunblane Inquiry, a few months later, Sealed the fate of the few sidearm still owned by private citizens.

During the years in which the British government incrementally took Away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism. Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released. Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, “We cannot have people take the law into their own hands.”

All of Martin’s neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences.Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.

When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities. Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law. The few who didn’t were visited by police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn’t comply. Police later bragged that they’d taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens.

How did the authorities know who had handguns? The guns had been registered and licensed. Kinda like cars.

Sound familiar, have we heard this plan lately???