Random Stuff, part 422…

The Navy, then and now… For better or worse…

Then – If you smoked, you had an ashtray on your desk.
Now – If you smoke, you get sent outside and treated like a leper, if you’re lucky.

Then – Mail took weeks to come to the ship.
Now – Every time you get near land, there’s a mob topside to see if their cell phones work.

Then – If you left the ship it was in Blues or Whites, even in home port.
Now – The only time you wear Blues or Whites is for ceremonies.

Then – You wore bellbottoms everywhere on the ship.
Now – Bellbottoms are gone and 14 year-old girls wear them everywhere.

Then – You wore a Dixie cup all day, with every uniform.
Now – It’s not required and you have a choice of different hats..

Then – If you said “damn,” people knew you were annoyed and avoided you.
Now – If you say “damn” you’d better be talking about a hydroelectric plant.

Then -The Ships Office yeoman had a typewriter on his desk for doing daily reports (And you only did them ONCE).
Now – Everyone has a computer with Internet access and they wonder why no work is getting done.

Then – We painted pictures of pretty girls on airplanes to remind us of home.
Now – We put the real thing in the cockpit.

Then – Your girlfriend was at home, praying you would return alive.
Now – She is on the same ship, praying your condom worked.

Then – If you got drunk off duty, your buddies would take you back to the ship so you could sleep it off (and if you were lucky, it would even be the RIGHT ship).
Now – If you get drunk off duty, they slap you in rehab and ruin your career.

Then – Canteens were made out of steel and you could heat coffee or hot chocolate in them.
Now – Canteens are made of plastic, you can’t heat them because they’ll melt, and anything inside always tastes like plastic.

Then – Our top officers were professional sailors first. They commanded respect (AMEN).
Now – Our top officers are politicians first. They beg not to be given a wedgie.

Then – They collected enemy intelligence and analyzed it.
Now – They collect our pee and analyze it.

Then – If you didn’t act right, they’d put you on extra duty until you straightened up (BTDT).
Now – If you don’t act right, they start a paper trail that follows you forever.

Then – Medals were awarded to heroes who saved lives at the risk of their own.
Now – Medals are awarded to people who show up for work most of the time.

Then – You slept in a barracks, like a soldier.
Now – You sleep in a dormitory, like a college kid.

Then – You ate in a Mess Hall or Galley. It was free and you could have all the food you wanted (and it really wasn’t bad).
Now – You eat in a Dining Facility. Every slice of bread or pat of butter costs, and you can only have one (and it’s pretty bad).

Then – If you wanted to relax, you went to the Rec Center , played pool, smoked and drank beer.
Now -You go to the Community Center and can still play pool, maybe.

Then – If you wanted a quarter beer and conversation, you could go to the Chief’s or Officers’ Club.
Now – The beer will cost you three dollars and someone is watching to see how much you drink.

Then – The Exchange had bargains for sailors who didn’t make much money.
Now – You can get better merchandise and cheaper at Wal-Mart.

Then – If an Admiral wanted to make a presentation, he scribbled down some notes and a YN spent an hour preparing a bunch of charts.
Now – The Admiral has his entire staff spending days preparing a Power Point presentation.

Then – We called the enemy things like “Commie Bastards” and “Reds” because we didn’t like them.
Now – We call the enemy things like “Opposing Forces” and “Aggressors or Insurgents” so we won’t offend them.

Then – We declared victory when the enemy was dead and all his things were broken.
Now – We declare victory when the enemy says he is sorry and won’t do it again..

Then – A commander would put his butt on the line to protect his people.
Now – A commander will put his people on the line to protect his butt.

A Great Quote From A Sailor:

“I take exception to everyone saying that Bernanke, Obama, Reid and
Pelosi are spending like drunken sailors.. When I was a drunken
sailor, I quit spending when I ran out of money.”

I can’t resist…

An oldie, but a goody that just “might” come true on Sunday…

A Cajun died and went to hell. The devil assigned him the usual punishment…put him in the mass pit where the heat was melting others. The devil came back later surprised to find the Cajun just sitting around, not even misting, much less sweating. “How come you’re not so much as sweating here where everyone else is screaming for relief from the heat?”

The Cajun laughed and said, “Man, I was raised in the bayous of Sout Looziana. Dis ain’t nothin’ but May in Morgan City to me!”

The devil decided to really put the Cajun through it. He put him in a sealed-off cave in the pit with open blazes and four extra furnaces blasting. When he came back, days later, the Cajun was sitting pretty, had barely begun to bead up with sweat. The devil was outraged.

“How is this possible? You should be melted to a shrieking puddle in these conditions!”

The Cajun laughed even harder than before. “Hey man! I done tole you. I was raised in Sout Looziana. You tink dis is heat? Dis ain’t nothin’ but August in Cow Island!”

So the devil thought, ‘Alright, a little reverse ought to do the trick.’ He put the Cajun into a corner of hell where no heat ever reached. It was freezing and to add to the Cajun’s misery, he added massive icebergs and blasting frozen air. When he returned, the Cajun was shivering, ice hung from every part of him but he was grinning like it was Christmas.

Exasperated, the devil asked “HOW!? How is it possible? You’re impervious to heat and here you sit in conditions you can’t be used to…freezing cold and yet you’re happier than if you were in heaven. WHY?”

The Cajun kept grinning and asked, “Don’t dis mean de Saints won da Super Bowl?”

GEAUX Saints!!! πŸ™‚ (especially since my Cowboys got beat)…

Brown Shoes…

This post won’t make a lot of sense to anyone who hasn’t been a Naval Aviator or Aircrew Chief, but I figure it’s better than bitching about NASA being killed, or the current globull warming I’ve been shovelling, or the BS PU shoveled the other night…

Without further ado, a bit of history…

Naval Aviation officially began 08 May 1911 with the first order of a “Flying Machine” from the Wright Brothers. This purchase also included aeronautical training of Naval personnel who would become the first Naval Flying Instructors who would be the founders in spearheading Naval Aviation as we know it today.

To train these future Naval Aeronautical Aviators in the Wright Brother’s flying machine, Rockwell Field (the first Army airfield in the United States, located on the north island of the island chain in San Diego), was selected and jointly shared with the Navy as the most suitable airfield site. In October 1935, Rockwell Field was transferred to the Navy by presidential executive order of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The last Army units departed in 1939. Later, the Army Corps of Engineers was commissioned to dredge the channel and fill the low areas, leveling the island chain, thus the name “North Island” emerged as Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California.

Six commissioned officers were selected from the surface fleet as the first student Naval Aviation Aviator Trainees to be trained by these Naval Flight Instructors.

These pioneer Aviator Trainees coming from the surface fleet wore uniform low quarter, square toed, black rough out leather shoes which served best on the coal burning ships commonly consumed by soot from the ships stacks.

Arriving for duty at the North Island Air Field for training flights, the six students experienced a foreign environment of dust on the soft surface air field. They found themselves being constantly required to remove the dust from their black shoes which was irritating causing them to look for alternatives to this nuisance.

In the midst of their training while often times funding their own petrol expenses, the six discussed alternatives to their problem deciding that brown shoes might serve best to solve their problem with seniors who were putting what they felt was too much into uniform appearance. With that, all six decided that brown high top shoes with brown leggings was their solution. On a Saturday morning, the six located a cobbler shop on 32nd Street in San Diego, California whom they commissioned to produce same at a time and price they could live with.

Upon taking custody of their prize a short time later, the test of practical use of their new Brown Shoes and acceptance from their senior cadre members became a function of time.

Within a few days, the practicality of the Shoes of Brown proved to be an acceptable solution to the student Aviators.. The six then met to discuss how to bring about change of the uniform regulation to include the Brown Shoes and high top leggings as distinctive part of the aviators permanent uniform.

With some discussion on how to approach their proposal, they concluded that a petition to bring about change for a distinctive aviators uniform would best serve their plight.

A few days later, they met to compose a petition which would later be approved and endorsed by their seniors and forwarded to the Navy Bureau for consideration.

On 13 November 1913, the Navy Bureau signed approval to the uniform regulations to include The Shoes of Brown with Brown high top leggings as part of the permanent uniform for Naval Aerial Aviators.

This change carried itself through World War II to 1944 while logistically, the brown shoes were not in production due to priority war efforts. However, in stock supply would be issued and the wearing of same was still authorized. At the end of the war in 1945, production of brown shoes was again continued and issued until July 1976.

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., USN, was a two term CNO from 01 Jul 1970 to 01 Jul 1974. An Admiral from the Surface Navy (Black Shoe) had a desire for significant change within the Navy and its policies. With that, one of his initiatives was to end an era of Naval Aviation with the removal of the Brown Shoes from the Navy.

With the stage set, at 0000, 01 July 1976, the CNO, by instruction to Naval Uniform Department of NMPC, ended an era in tradition of Naval Aviation distinction and pride. “A Naval Aviation tradition came to an end when Brown Shoes were stricken from the Officer’s and Chiefs uniforms. The tradition distinguished the Brown Shoe Navy of the Aviators from the Black Shoes of the Surface Officers.”

Note- Most people just put them in the closet in hopes they would be back when someone at the top got some ‘sense’…

The following is a letter from LCDR William L. Estes, USN (Ret.) to Pat Francis detailing his odyssey to make the higher ups ‘see the light’…

In September 1979, I was assigned to TRARON Ten as a T-2B/C Buckeye flight instructor (The Dirty 100) at MAS Pensacola, Florida. With my keen interest in history, I began initiatives to resurrect The Shoes of Brown as part of the permanent uniform for Naval Aviation in the same spirit as those in lead who first set the initiative.

With several cross country flights to the Naval Archives at NMPC in Washington DC, I researched for the original aviators petition in an effort to author, in kind, the same which would be reborn at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, the Cradle of Naval Aviation.

Receptive and in support of the Brown Shoes initiatives, Captain Jude J. Lahr, USN, Commodore, Training Air Wing 6, gave the “Thumbs Up with a Sierra Hotel” for same.

With that, I drafted a petition which was headed by and reads:

“RESURRECTION OF THE BROWN SHOES – WHEREAS, In the course of history of Naval Aviation, the “SHOES OF BROWN”, first adopted in November 1913, have held a position of revered, cherished esteem in the hearts of all those associated with Naval Air, second only to the “WINGS OF GOLD”, and WHEREAS, in the course of human events it becomes necessary to recognize an overwhelming desire to return the esprit of heritage amongst the cadre of AIRDALES, now – THEREFORE, let the feelings be known that we the undersigned, all duly designated NAVAL AVIATORS, NAVAL FLIGHT OFFICERS, FLIGHT SURGEONS and FLIGHT PHYSIOLOGIST, do hereby affix our signatures and designators to this petition calling for the immediate change to the Naval Uniform Regulations which would allow the “SHOES OF BROWN” to once again take their rightful position below the “WINGS OF GOLD.”

The first and most fitting to sign was Captain Jude J. Lahr, USN followed by senior CNET cadre members to include Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, USN, parent Commanding Officers (NASP, NASC, NAMI, NAMRL) and other command seniors, mid-grades and juniors alike and was unanimously received and signed as presented.

Numerous requests from commands throughout the United States, foreign ashore activities and carriers on the line requested the petition be sent them for signing via telephone, message and post mail.

Upon completion of my shore tour, I was then assigned to USS MIDWAY (CV-41). I continued initiatives with the Brown Shoes petition after receiving a “SH” approval from Commanding Officer, Captain Charles R. McGrail, Jr., USN. After an overwhelming receptive Carrier Air Wing 5 and ships company cadre, Captain McGrail later signed out the petition in Red with “forwarded Most Strongly Recommending Approval” to the CNO/NMPC on commands letterhead stationery with a personal note.

Following my 2.5 year Midway tour, I returned to Training Air Wing 6 as a T-2C Buckeye flight instructor with TRARON Ten. On the morning of 12 Sep 85, while airborne on a APM/Spin Hop with a student, I received a UHF radio call from the squadron duty officer (SDO) to “BUSTER” return to base with no explanation. On return to squadron spaces to meet with the SDO, the Skipper escorted me to his office where he moments later received a telephone call from SECNAV, The Honorable John F. Lehman, Jr. (a Tailhooker himself) who congratulated me as being the spearhead in Resurrecting the Brown Shoes back to the “AIRDALES” of U. S. Naval Aviation. SECNAV Lehman informed me that he was going to announce that month, the return of the Brown Shoes at the 1985 TAILHOOK Convention and that he wanted to personally authorize me to be The First to wear the “Coveted Shoes of Brown” before his announcement.

“When you fight with the spirit, the sword will follow…”

I was one of the many proud aviators that donned brown shoes the following day (not that we had a heads up or anything)…

Remember, it’s always the little things that count… and don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things…

Stick a fork in it…

This trip is just about over… Heading back home after three weeks on the road…

Met up with Julie again, she swears she can cook Roo tail so it’s edible, Roo butt not so much… But I did get a good steak finally!!!
Also found out our favorite place to eat in Perth is in fact in the BAD section of town, she won’t go there unless armed, and since they’re not allowed, she doesn’t (Guess we got lucky as we were going there in groups of four or larger)… Local knowledge HELPS!!!
We also had another interesting conversation on shooting. Come to find out, she is a relatively new shooter, actually got into it as a stress reliever/relaxation to “shut the brain off for a bit”. She said she was immediately hooked by the math and precision requirements that forced her to concentrate
I also figured out how to get meetings done with the DC folks…
Schedule them in Sydney… sigh… Ran into FOUR people out here I needed to talk to- Three from DC and one from Utah. Got more done in sidebars than I could have done in 2 weeks of trying in DC… Also hooked up with a few old friends who are also in the ‘business’ and we had lunch today (except the chicken curry sandwich was inedible). It’s really a pretty sad comment on our lifestyles (or lack of), that we have a better chance of running into each other half way around the world than we do of seeing each other in DC…
It ‘should’ be a fairly quick trip back to the states, as the headwinds caused another flight to turn around today for lack of gas…
I get a whole two days at home, then back on the road in the opposite direction…
A couple of the Aussies were commenting on the SOTU speech and were NOT impressed. Basically asked what was going on in the States, where was the support for the troops, and why was President Unicorn still blaming Bush for the failures. I didn’t have a good answer…
At the airport now, survived an Aussie taxi driver who must have been a stunt driver in the Mad Max movies… I seriously don’t think he ever touched the brakes, just the horn and yelling at the other drivers! I “think” I finally got the seat outta my ass…
Anyhoo, y’all have a good weekend, ya hear!!!

Mini Meets…

Being on the road is ALWAYS interesting… This trip more so than most, as I’ve actually been able to spend a little time with some blogfriends in Hawaii and meet one in Australia.

Farm Mom and Farm Girl from Tractor Tracks took a little trip and ended up in Hawaii the same time I was there, so we got a couple of chances to get together. They got to “enjoy” the vicissitudes of airline travel, with quite a delay getting out of Denver.

They ‘played tourist’ while we worked, and ‘claimed’ they actually went in the water, but I didn’t see it and they ‘claimed’ there were no pictures… πŸ™‚

I did get time to give them da kine local tour of a bit of Oahu, including the North Shore, but Waimea Bay was absolutely flat. Sunset and Pipeline were running pretty good, and I think they got a picture or two. We did get out for one good meal, but no luck on seeing the green flash at sunset.

Down in Sydney, I met up with Julie from Jigsaw Thoughts; for those who haven’t read her blog, she’s a mom, computer/software consultant and instructor, and a shooter out in Western Australia. We met for dinner and I was absolutely amazed at what they have to go through to even GET a pistol much less ammunition… EBRs are a non-starter, you can’t buy a pistol, rifle or shotgun until you have the SERIAL NUMBER of the weapon for the purchase permit (which can take up to 90 days), you can’t buy ammunition unless you have your card proving you own a gun in that caliber, can’t have any pistol with a barrel less than 5 inches long, can’t have any rifle unless it’s a bolt action or single shot, and pretty much the same for shotguns. There is NO concealed carry, and also the travel restrictions are just plain nuts…

For example, if you take your weapon to the police station for updating your permit, and the gun store is next door to the cop shop, you can’t walk next door to get work done, you have to go home, then come back to the gun store to stay within the law. Also, since she flew over, she had to make damn sure there were no spent cases in any luggage, as that would have been a $14,000 fine and possible jail time FOR A SINGLE SPENT CASE!!!

And I’m not even going to go into the stuff she has to go through to get spare parts… sigh…

But she is a super nice lady, very upbeat and working hard to get more people interested, especially women in shooting. We talked about the infamous AD and the Nurse K posts, and she pointed out both her daughters 6 and 8 are shooting now. She does read a lot of our blogs, and got ‘really’ tired of all the Blogorado blog posts, mainly because she was envious of all the shooting, and couldn’t attend, or get most of the guns we were shooting…

Oh yeah, Farm Girl you no longer have the smallest hands… Julie’s hands are TINY- She shoots a single stack 1911 in 9mm because it’s the only gun she can get her hands around…

And I managed to make it though dinner without going face down in the food after 30 mumble hours with no sleep…

Speaking of which… zzzzzz

Fun flying…

This is a variation of the flying that was done by CAPT Dick Schram, better known as the Flying Professor. I saw the original show at Barksdale back in 67 or 68. CAPT Schram was killed flying an airshow in the Northeast in 1969 in a borrowed Cub and his son was actually there as the Narrator with the Blue Angels…

Now that you’ve seen this- Remember this, it is actually very strictly choreographed within very specific guidelines for crowd safety and also visual presentation…

This from an old friend who flew both props and Jets…

Radial Starting (3350 engine on an AD-6)
Be sure you drain both the sumps. (I used to fill my Zippo lighter while doing this)

Look out the left side of the oily cockpit canopy and notice a very nervous person holding a huge fire bottle. Nod to this person.

1. Crack throttle about one-quarter of an inch.

2. Battery on

3. Fuel boost on

4. Hit starter button (The four bladed 13′ 6′ prop will start a slow turn)

5. Begin to bounce your finger on top of the primer button as you count 12 blades.
a. This act requires finesse and style. It is much like a ballet performance. The engine must be seduced and caressed into starting.

6. Mags on

7. Act one will begin: Belching, banging, rattling, backfiring, spluttering, flame and black smoke from the exhaust shooting out about three feet. (Fire bottle person is very pale and has the nozzle at the ready position)

8. When the engine begins to “catch” on the primer. Move the mixture to full rich. The flames from the exhaust will stop and white smoke will come out. (Fire bottle guy relaxes a bit) You will hear a wonderful throaty roar that is like music to the ears.
a. Enjoy the macho smell of engine oil, hydraulic fluid and pilot sweat.

9. Immediately check the oil pressure and hydraulic gages.

10. The entire aircraft is now shaking and shuttering from the torque of the engine and RPM of prop.
a. The engine is an 18 cylinder R-3350 that develops 2,700 HP.

11. Close cowl flaps to warm up the engine for taxi.

12. Once you glance around at about 300 levers, gauges and gadgets, call the tower to taxi to the duty runway.

Take off in the AD-6
1. Check both magnetos

2. Exercise the prop pitch

3. Cowl flaps open.

4. Check oil temp and pressure.

5. Crank 1.5 degrees right rudder trim to help your right leg with the torque on takeoff.

6. Tell the tower you are ready for the duty runway.

7. Line the bird up and lock the tail wheel for sure.

8. Add power slowly because the plane (with the torque of the monster prop and engine power definitely wants to go left).

9. NEVER add full power suddenly! There is not enough rudder in the entire world to hold it straight.

10.Add more power and shove in right rudder till your leg begins to tremble.

11.Expect banging, belching and an occasional manly fart as you roar down the runway at full power.

12.Lift the tail and when it “feels right” and pull back gently on the stick to get off the ground.

13.Gear up

14.Adjust the throttle for climb setting

15.Ease the prop back to climb RPM

16.Close cowl flaps and keep an eye on the cylinder head temp.

17.Adjust the power as needed as you climb higher or turn on the super charger.

Flying with the round engine.

1. Once your reach altitude which isn’t very high (about 8000 feet) you reduce the throttle and prop to cruise settings.

2. The next fun thing is to pull back the mixture control until the engine just about quits. Then ease it forward a bit and this is best mixture.

3. While cruising the engine sounds like it might blow or quit at any time. This keeps you occupied scanning engine gauges for the least hint of trouble.

4. Moving various levers around to coax a more consistent sound from the engine concentrates the mind wonderfully.

5. At night or over water a radial engine makes noises you have never heard before.

6. Looking out of the front of the cockpit the clouds are beautiful because they are slightly blurred from the oil on the cockpit canopy.

7. Seeing lightening the clouds ahead increases the pucker factor by about 10.

a. You can’t fly high enough to get over them and if you try and get under the clouds—-you will die in turbulence.

b. You tie down everything in the cockpit that isn’t already secured, get a good grip on the stick, turn on the deicers, tighten and lock your shoulder straps and hang on.

c. You then have a ride to exceed any “terror” ride in any amusement park ever built. You discover the plane can actually fly sidewise while inverted.

8. Once through the weather, you call ATC and in a calm deep voice advise them that there is slight turbulence on your route.

9. You then scan you aircraft to see if all the major parts are still attached. This includes any popped rivets.

10. Do the controls still work? Are the gauges and levers still in proper limits?

11. These being done you fumble for the relief tube, because you desperately need it. (Be careful with your lower flight suit zipper)

The jet engine and aircraft

Start a jet

1. Fuel boost on.

2. Hit the start button

3. When the TPT starts to move ease the throttle forward.

4. The fire bottle person is standing at the back of the plane and has no idea what is going on.

5. The engine lights off—and—

6. That’s about it.

Take off in the jet

1. Lower full flaps

2. Tell the tower you are ready for takeoff.

3. Roll on to the duty runway while adding 100% power.

4. Tricycle gear—no tail to drag—no torque to contend with.

5. At some exact airspeed you lift off the runway.

6. Gear up

7. Milk up the flaps and fly.

8. Leave the power at 100%

Flying the jet

1. Climb at 100%

2. Cruise at 100%

3. It is silent in the plane.

4. You can’t see clouds because you are so far above them.

5. You look down and see lighting in some clouds below and pity some poor fool that may have to fly through that mess.

6. The jet plane is air conditioned!! Round engines are definitely not. If you fly in tropical areas, this cannot be stressed enough.

7. There is not much to do in a jet, so you eat your flight lunch at your leisure.

8. Few gauges to look at and no levers to adjust. This leaves you doodling on your knee board.

9. Some call girl friends on their cell phones: “Guess where I am etc”

Some observed differences in round engines and jets

1. To be a real pilot you have to fly a tail dragger for an absolute minimum of 500 hours.

2. Large round engines smell of gasoline (115/145), rich oil, hydraulic fluid, man sweat and are not air-conditioned.

3. Engine failure to the jet pilot means something is wrong with his air conditioner.

4. When you take off in a jet there is no noise in the cockpit. (This does not create a macho feeling of doing something manly)

5. Landing a jet just requires a certain airspeed and altitude—at which you cut the power and drop like a rock to the runway. Landing a round engine tail dragger requires finesse, prayer, body English, pumping of rudder pedals and a lot of nerve.

6. After landing, a jet just goes straight down the runway.

7. A radial tail dragger is like a wild mustang—it might decide to go anywhere. Gusting winds help this behavior a lot.

8. You cannot fill your Zippo lighter with jet fuel.

9. Starting a jet is like turning on a light switch—a little click and it is on.

10. Starting a round engine is an artistic endeavor requiring prayer (holy curse words) and sometimes meditation.

11. Jet engines don’t break, spill oil or catch on fire very often which leads to boredom and complacency.

12. The round engine may blow an oil seal ring, burst into flame, splutter for no apparent reason or just quit. This results in heightened pilot awareness at all times.

13. Jets smell like a kerosene lantern at a scout camp out.

14. Round engines smell like God intended engines to smell and the tail dragger is the way God intended for man to fly

Our Lexington???

Well, hell froze over in Mass tonight…

Coakley conceded at 922pm 19 Jan 2010- Mass has a Republican Senator for the first time since the 1970s…

Is Brown’s 53%-46% win in Mass the first shot in the 2010 election cycle???

A quick and dirty analysis of the turnout as shown on various programs indicated even though the Dems have a 3 to 3.5-1 ratio in Mass, many of them did NOT turn out, or even voted for Brown to send a message to Washington.

Once again Obama came to town and was refuted. I personally believe THIS election must be the wake up call to the Conservatives, Independents, Republicans and others to take back our country in 2010.

It will also be interesting to see how the fingers get pointed over THIS loss- We have the examples of VA and NJ governorship losses and how those were treated.

I also believe THIS win is going to be the “shot” heard round the world in 2010 as far as politics is concerned…

Now the ball is in our court- What we do with it is up to we the people.

It’s becoming obvious the administration does not care about what we think, on Cap & Tax, Health Care or anything else. The dems are already posturing that they WILL push through health care regardless of the wishes, and will use Reconciliation if they have to. Obama has also apparently put out veiled (or not so veiled) threats to Dems to toe the line NOW and agree with the Senate bill so it doesn’t have to be voted on again. He has also stated he will “double down” on efforts…

It is incumbent on US to continue to let our legislators know we are NOT happy with their performance and there will be repercussions.

And keep the pressure on, and VOTE THEM ALL OUT IN 2010!!!

Living on the road- The down side…

AD has a great post HERE about training a dog… It’s about being there, and handling the situation day to day.

Sadly, my co-worker got a call early this morning from his wife that one of their dogs was ‘sick’…

After our meetings, he caller her back to get a status, only to find out the dog has terminal cancer and needs to be put down tomorrow…

This dog is 12 years old, the same age as the youngest daughter, and is ‘mommas’ dog. He was in tears, and was telling his wife he could be there tomorrow morning, only to be told no stay on the road.

Now he will have to live with not being there to say good-by to the dog, being there for his wife and daughter, and being able to take care of things that need to be done.

Everybody thinks travel and road trips are ‘fun’ because we get to go all these places, stay in hotels and eat out all the time and don’t do much “real work”…

After 39+ years of this, trust me it’s NOT all fun. What happened today is just a microcosm of the downside… Pets dying, family dying, friends dying, and you’re not there; can’t get there (especially if you’re on active duty and deployed). Missed births, birthdays, anniversaries, parties, football/soccer/recitals/graduations… and the list goes on and on…

All of those things WILL be thrown back in your face sooner or later…

We seldom go anywhere new, frankly we don’t get to stay in the high $$ hotels, we seldom get days off, and the per diem doesn’t really cover the cost of ‘good’ meals; much less cover the cost of ‘real’ entertainment…

The other problems are sleep cycles, adjusting to strange locations (hotels creak and pop, in addition to the occasional “enthusiastic” performers next door banging the walls), food issues (like a seafood allergy in Japan).

And quite honestly just plain old loneliness…

It’s hard to always be the ‘single’ going into a restaurant, you normally carry a book just to break the monotony, and to ‘look’ busy…

I talked yesterday about playing golf- that round of golf means I’m eating cheap (McDonalds or PBJ) for the entire trip just to keep from losing $$…

In addition, we are working off site, which means things are piling up back home, and you can only do so much over the phone and on email without ALL your files available and the time differences. Also the stresses of decision making take their toll after a while…

Most of us don’t ‘choose’ this as a career, so much as be put in a position where travel becomes a ‘limited’ requirement (I can remember the offer letter saying travel less that 10% of the time); then gradually increases either due to increased responsibility or increased taskers…

Then your choice is get off the road (and lose the job) or suck it up and suffer the consequences at home (if you have a life left)…


Kicking the soapbox back in the corner now… say a prayer for my friend and all those others who can’t be home when they really want to and need to…

Back to the salt mines…

I actually got a day off πŸ™‚ No email, no phone calls, NO WORK BS!!! Yea!!!

So what did I do? Woke up at 0530 of course… sigh…

This is the view from my balcony at the hotel at 0600. Since this was a day off, we took a late breakfast/brunch and off to the golf course πŸ™‚

Hey, the Cowboys were losing, so I didn’t want to experience anymore ‘damage’…

We went out and played Ka Olina out past Barbers Point. The course was pretty much empty due to the football games and PGA Sony Open being played here this weekend, so it was nice.

We were paired with a couple of interesting folks, Mike Walters, the CEO of Love’s Bakery and his chief baker JP. Couple of really nice guys, and not bad golfers.

We kinda commiserated over the “type” of business and the hours one has to keep, either in the military or in the bakery business. Turns out Mike was a Marine back in the 60s, so he’s got both sides down.

Love’s does a lot of military support, in addition to providing all of the fresh breads in the Hawaiian Islands! They bake 4800 loaves/hr 24/7! That’s a BUNCH of bread!!!

So the golf pretty much sucked (hey first time on the links in 5 months and NO warmup), but not a bad day. Back to the hotel and retired to the Barefoot Bar on the beach with a small libation… and… maybe… a green flash at sunset???

Of course I missed it by probably 1/4 of a second thanks to the slow shutter on the camera… dammit… This was about a minute before the actual flash…

And finally, a puppy (better known as Vito) my daughter’s new best friend all 6 mos at 40 lbs of him.
Tomorrow? Well, back to the salt mines- Holiday for most, routine for us… sigh…

Hope y’all have a good week!!!

The things we do…

Once again we went is search of food… A chance meeting this afternoon with Kano-san led to directions to his favorite Yakitori restaurant in Yoko, and as always the directions were interesting, to say the least…

Hai (yes), go to the end of the Honch, turn left walk about five minutes, go under the train tracks, when you get to the off limits sign, you turn right. Walk another two minutes, and look for this little sign (he drew the Kanji on a piece of paper), it’s a ‘little’ place on the left called Oo Taka. When you go in, present my card so you will get served.

Soooo, off we went…

And sure enough, there was the little sign (it’s actually about 6×12 inches); so in we go- And he had warned us to get there ‘early’ before the owner/cook got too deep into the Saki…

Now THIS gives you an idea how small this place really was-
There were four of us that filled our side of the ‘bar’, there were four seats at the end of the bar, and four seats on the other side, that was IT!!!

So we ‘manage’ to order with a lot of pointing and nodding, and ended up with chicken, mushrooms and cheese wrapped in BACON and some beef, along with Yakitori Don, which is roughly translated as chicken and rice with veggies…

Here was the ‘stove’, which is basically a little hibachi that was six inches wide and maybe 24 inches long. This was where he did ALL his cooking!!!
Oh yeah, the mushrooms and cheese wrapped in BACON is in the middle of the picture πŸ™‚
He sprayed everything on the hibachi with saki, then dropped a little seasoning on it, and away he went… when things flared up, more saki! And he drizzled a little teriyaki sauce on the bacon and mushrooms, and more saki.

How was it? OUT#$^%STANDING!!!

And we got out for about $10 including the beer… -)

I was a happy camper…