Happy Hour


Mother, Mother Ocean

Mother, Mother Ocean, I've heard you call
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall
You've seen it all, you've seen it all
Watched the men who rode you, switch from sails to steam
In your belly you hold the treasures, few have ever seen
Most of 'em dream, most of 'em dream
Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred year's too late
The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late


"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."
―Yoda, to Luke Skywalker

Counted the Stars

Counted the stars on the 4th of July
Wishing we were rockets bursting in the sky
Talking about redemption and leaving things behind
I have these pictures and I keep these photographs
To remind me of a time
These pictures and these photographs
Let me know I'm doin' fine
We used to be so happy once upon a time
Once upon a time
But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line
And the sun sank west of the Mendocino County Line


Monday, December 28, 2009

Kings Hockey and Sierra Nevada

The Kings and Wild are on the FSN-West from Staples Center in Los Angeles. It just got started. The Kings have gone from first in the West to fifth. Losing 3 out of 4 will do that in the Western Conference. The Chicago Blackhawks are in first. And the libation of choice is the afore posted Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Available at Albertson's in Rosamond and Tehachapi for a fair price, considering it is the People's Republik of Kalifornistan. But there is that CRV thing.
And on New Year's Day it may be some of the above libations when the Flyers and Bruins meet, outside at Fenway Park. The only way to play......................................on Frozen Ponds.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Shipmates, Reminscing and a tear or two

I was playing on the Facebook a while ago and last night. I have run across men with whom I had the pleasure to serve with a long time ago. And I do mean that, a long time ago. Two of them were in VA-145 with me when I got there aboard Ranger in 1979. The other was a fellow instructor at VA-128 from 82 to 85, he retired in 2004 as a Mustang LCDR. One from 145 is a retired full bird captain. Yeah, I said a long time ago. I even got choked up when they said I could be facebook friends. The Bond, it is still there after all these years. My Dad used to talk of it, The Bond of Common Experience. And now as we are no longer the young men we used to be, it still ties us. Across the years and the miles, it still ties us together.
And I still have most of my hair!

Made a Boo-Boo

I was playing around with possible templates and it went................burp. I had to redo my blogroll. And I am still looking for the simple approach. Bear with me folks. It is the last day of a four day weekend, ya know.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

To all, have a Very Merry Day! With your families and friends.
The Missus and I are headed to Palmdale and the afternoon with Debbie and Ralph. Got him a 12 of Modelo Negra for the drive up a couple of weeks ago to unload. It is pretty good stuff.
Strange with no kids/grandkids for the first time in 27 years, though.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Three months

Today is exactly three months since I had the kidney removed. The one with the big mass/tumor/something on it. The pathology said cancer. It is gone and I have been at the new job since November 9. Getting used to it now. The big incision is a lot smaller now. It was so large then due to swelling up from being opened up. I do have a small tuck and roll but it is quite alright considering the possibilities had it not been found when it was.
Three months. Out of work and in a hospital to moving to the Mojave Desert in California for a job. Once in awhile it is almost one of those, is it real moments. Sounds a little nuts but I am still around for a whole lot longer. The odds say I will watch granddaughters walk down the aisle at some point. That is a good feeling. And one of them is just recently a teenager. Yikes!
So for today, the browbeating I was going to give reid, baucus, dodd and the rest of the new communist party will have to wait.
Remember that perspective post? There it is.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Airplane stuff for Buck and anyone else. And a beer, too!

Just for Buck.
Ain't it just so damn cool. Even us Naval Air and Marine Air guys love this airplane. Tomcat guys do not count for the most part. When I was in the A-6 community, our motto was, Medium Attack, Everything Else Is Just Support.
For the Air Force, these "Hogs" were and still are the best close in attack airplane left in the inventory. I served with Marines who dreamed of a carrier version for those funny, far off, shit holes we always spent time just over the horizon from.
I ran into an engineer from L-M Fort Worth the other day. He described the F-16 Falcon as the "finest multi-role combat aircraft ever built" Old dogs should be wary of the multi thing. And he could have been my son. Jeez, Buck. The engineers are children. And I would have to now argue on the side of the F/A-18E/F. It can also do the tanker thing. I don't think Falcons, Eagles and Raptors can do that.
And a note of somewhat historical significance. The 17th of December would have been my Paternal Grandfather's 106th Birthday. For the uninitiated, that very same day in 1903 was when Orville and Wilbur flew the Wright Flyer at Kill Devil Hill, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
And the top image is of what I am enjoying at present. Got it at Albertson's in Tehachapi. Decent taste and body at a reasonable price.

New Judas Iscariot

I see on the Fox News that the dirtbag from Nebraska has sold his soul to the devil, that being harry reid. ben nelson is as much a whore as mary kay landrieau from cajun-ass land. He sold himself like a whore to get things for his own state as mary kay did. So we now have sixty whores in the senate. Right up there with the two worthless, lying whores that I am stuck with, boxer and feinstein. Personally, I believe all of them are probably guilty of some serious felony. But the cloak of the title supposedly puts them above the law.
I told ya' all that this one could get ugly. At least I do try to keep a lid on the really salty language. Well,,,,sometimes, anyway.
My solution to the current sitting congress? Refer to Cromwell. The man who brought down Charles 1 of England. Look it up. I would put it here but the SS may show up at my door.
The Montana Vigilantes had this, 3-7-77.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The burned toes

The Missus had difficulty with the heater in the Penske Rental Truck. It had two settings. Cold and Blast Furnace. On Sunday we went to the Urgent Care place in Lancaster. It is in a clinic that is a Tricare Provider. Four toes on the right foot and two on the left had blistered up and were very painful. They have been determined to be second class burns. We made two more trips. One each on Monday and last night. Bedtime was late with midnight being sack time on Monday night and last night. She had IV antibiotics and then is on two antibiotics and a pain killer while at the house. We decided not to go tonight as I am bushed and she has an appointment at this same outfit's branch in Tehachapi. It's closer than Lancaster by about 12 to 15 miles. We are a ways from most things here in Cal City.
Penske has been notified but was not really interested. The bills will be sent to them. And it was a very late model International. Amazing lack of quality.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Army-Navy Game No Show

I caught part of it at work during lunch. Just thought I would mention that the community organizer in chief, scumbag, traitor and all around useless empty suit was not at the game. This has been custom for the CinC but I guess the worthless dirtbag from ****cago thinks a nobel prize from my no good norwegian cousins is more important than standing tall for those who will have to someday go in harm's way at his command. What a worthless, no good piece of cow flop. I have know thieves with more honour and character than the magic negro could ever dream of having.
And I consider the 63 or so million of my so called countrymen to be turncoats and low lifes for forgetting what made this Republic what it is. That does include a large number of my own relatives.

My other blog

Be advised, my other blog has a new name. I decided to give it a more relevant title as to the new life. So, it is now Somewhere in The Antelope Valley. The link/address is still the same http:/retiredpo1.wordpress.com/
I am still doing the shakedown cruise on it as well as this one on occasion. As some who are regulars know the ability to read easily is paramount. Me, Buck, kc and the gang are partial to layouts that are easy to read.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Saturday and Sunday for nine hours each day!
This next pay check will be a nice one even with arnold, willie and old moonbeam up in Sacramento doing their level best to hose me out of as much as possible. Something that nancy, harry, dipshit chuckie, babs, dianne and those other two bitches from Washington are already in the process of doing IAW the rat bastard, commie, junkie in the White House.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Made it!

I even got a call at work for the 58 exit out of Barstow. She was stuck in a work zone going from four lanes to one. CalTrans at it's best!
She had gotten to the house just before I did. We went to Chuck's Pizza and had some supper then hit the Rite-Aid for some basic first aid stuff. The rental truck heater caused some problems with the toes. But we got back and I started unloading myself. I got the TVs out and fired up. Even managed to catch the Kings-Sharks game! Kings 5 Sharks 4 in OT.
My Brother-in-Law is coming up this morning to help unload! I shouldn't have to hire anyone but one never knows. I do have a guy's number. Some of the furniture is on the bigger side, like the sofa.
But it is lucky that today is my Rotating Day Off. So I still get a full pay period every two weeks. I don't have much leave/sick leave being here only a month.
So the new life really begins. Blogging will be seriously hit and miss for a few days!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The new weather thingie says...........snow?

Yeah it says snow in the forecast! In the Antelope Valley/Mojave Desert?
It isn't called the high desert for nothing. It beats what the Missus may run into on the way out here in a 26 foot Penske rental. There is a winter storm warning for just to the north of I40 in NM and a blizzard warning for the Flagstaff area for tomorrow. Hopefully it will have passed with just accumulated snowfall by the time she gets there. A day's drive in that with a small dog will be to about Albuquerque or even Grants/Gallup.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Got Map and Weather Thingies!

Did pretty good on that one! I managed to find a map and weather thingies to put on the blog. Do not let the pretty map fool you. There are about 13,000 people in Cal City. Many empty houses and many more empty lots. But it does have thriving small business community. And with the big OHV area, long weekends bring a lot of folks to town. But everyone should see where the proverbial "middle of nowhere" is. Yeah, it's here.
And if you notice the forecast...........it is going to get nasty next week. The locals will be looking like Eskimos. The wind out here can carry a very sharp edge, though. And I have seen snow in the Mojave.
In a short while, I am out the door for some overtime! Just a few hours today and tomorrow. But it will help with the move. Rental Truck is at the house in Wichita as we speak. The Missus figures on being here, sometime on Thursday the 10th.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Elaboration on a comment at instapinch and other observations of a life at sea

Pinch had a really cool shot of the Island on USS Harry S Truman CVN75's Island. It was decorated with all sorts of Departmental Awards. Seems to have it's act together?
The post had comments as to who got what "E"
The black "E" is something familiar to me. I was a recipient twice.
The first was aboard USS Ranger CV61 during the 1980-1981 cycle as a member of the AIMD Hydraulic/Pneumatic Shop. Best in Pac Fleet.
The second was aboard USS Kitty Hawk CV63 for the 1986-1987 cycle including the World Cruise. Best in Pac Fleet, again.
In the early part of 1988, as a member of SeaOpDet Lemoore aboard USS Nimitz, I informed the assistant department head that the black "E" that the Nimitz had won while still in the Atlantic Fleet should be mailed back to ComNavAirLant. He enquired as to why and also desired that I qualify that statement.
First: I told him his Hydraulic/Pneumatic shop LPO, fresh out of the F/A-18 RAG at Cecil Field was out of his league. The man had more of those green government "record" books for things that he spent the bulk of his time in the logs and not running his work center. And I then informed him of the two black "E"s I already had. I even drew my service record to back it up. His answer was: you're right, we don't deserve it.
This was the point in my career that I realized things were changing. And not necessarily for the good. But I was also over 14 years of service and pushing 15. The first draw down was being started and I almost got out. The set up was that if you had an End Obligated Active Service between April and September of 1988, it was re-enlist for two years or get out. I shipped over with a few days left. A lot of men I knew got out and some were very senior second and first class petty officers who were the experience the Navy could ill afford to lose. Understand this is before we had the number and low quality of idiots in the congress that we have now. We are talking 21 years ago. Keep that in mind.
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: The fallout after this was incredible. I was on my last shore tour during this. It was following this that the Graham-Rudman act took effect and the beginning of the most massive draw down since the end of WW2 began. I had to re-enlist to obliserve for a sea tour. I shipped for four years. Six months later, I completed a PCS transfer to a seagoing squadron. It was walk out of one hangar and into another at NAS Whidbey Island, WA. When I checked in, the Command Career Counselor said to me that the window to request transfer to the Fleet Reserve had been opened to 18 months from the projected date. That day was exactly 18 months out. They got rid of us in bunches. I averaged a retirement ceremony per week for those last 18 months, of someone I knew and had served with.
I enlisted on 29 September 1973 at AAFES Butte, Montana. I had a draft lottery number of 343 as a member of the class of 1972. Let that sink in, a lottery number in the draft, the last draft. I am almost 2 generations removed from those who now serve................at a spry age of 55! Think about it. The primary fleet fighter when I first went to sea was the F-4! Three of the five ships I went to sea on are gone, awaiting their fate in Bremerton, Washington. Three of the squadrons I was in at sea and ashore are gone, along with a Naval Air Station.
Buck, Old NFO, MCPO Airdale and my brother-in-law, fair winds and following seas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Things! and how was your weekend?

How about that? I got the weather and location on here now! I have been toying with a blog on Wordpress but I think I will stay here, also. This is the main one along with Jeff and Kath. And as I figure how to get weather and such widgets on that Wordpress blog, I will.
Thursday was great. The visit to Palmdale and cooking other than my own! And back to the grind tomorrow.
And prayers to the families, friends and colleagues of the four Lakewood, WA police officers who were murdered today. I know the area. My in laws lived there.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I never was in a Hornette Squadron but the CAG birds are usually very sharp. One of the sharpest is VFA-102 over there in Atsugi, Japan riding the USS George Washington. A long time ago, they were flying Phantoms from the USS Independence. Used to chock and tie those airplanes.
I did a new shot in the header because it has airplanes that represent 11 years or so of my career. Nine in the A-6 and two in the T-2. The pic is of the bone yard at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson.
There is a site called Air Fighters at http://airfighters.com/ that has a section devoted to bone yards.
I have one down the road in Mojave. ANA 747s, about a half dozen Air Canada 767s including the Gimli Glider.
For the non aircraft enthusiast, places like Davis Monthan, Mojave, Victorville, Kingman and Marana are where airplanes go to die. Sometimes they do get a reprieve, a fair number are given heavy checks and serviced and sold to other countries.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Great Northern and offspring

First things first. The logo is out of my child hood and my sister's. When we were kids, trains had that goat on the front. He has a name, Rocky. The steam locomotive is the only Baldwin S-2 Northern left. When I was just out of diapers, that locomotive was on the local from Havre to Malta. There are three Hills in Montana, Up Hill, Down Hill and Jim Hill.
And last but not least, a BNSF Stack Train going up the hill from Barstow/Lenwood to the Cajon Summit. The locomotives are painted................Great Northern Orange. Santa Fe? Yeah. Right.
Have a Rocky day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Train pics for the Kid Sister

Herzog Plus Train, BNSF 3 on the Red River Sub. This line runs right next to US 287 from just north of Fort Worth to Amarillo.

Airplane nuts and certain differences

As you fine folks have noticed that I do have a fondness for airplanes. I love airplanes, specifically those airplanes with launch bars, tailhooks and folding wings. Kind of obvious don't ya think?
But somewhat over twenty years ago, I was an Argonaut. But of a slightly different type. When we completed the Circumnavigation aboard The Good Ship USS Kitty Hawk CV63, we were flying and maintaining the LTV A-7E Corsair II. After that deployment, I transferred to NAS Lemoore SeaOpDet. But within two years of the completion of that deployment, the original A-7 squadron had become a Strike Fighter Squadron. That being said, I was still an Argonaut so pictures of that squadron's aircraft will be found at Old Retired Petty Officer on occasion. Even if they are Hornettes(that is for Buck!)
When we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the squadron, most of the people in that photo were children!Reference: Bob Dylan, The times they are a changin'.

The Old Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stolen from Steve Beals at the Swordsmen website. This is the Mighty A-6E TRAM doing the Vis Weps at NAS Fallon, Nevada. Can a Hornette do that? Not on a bet!
I was a member of the Swordsmen of Attack Squadron One Four Five from 1979 to 1982. I made one WestPac and then the Jimmy Carter Hostage Cruise from 10 September 1980 to 5 May 1981. Five days shy of nine months.
And it simply looks vicious in Black and White!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Too much time on my hands

Can you tell? It is Thanksgiving and in a couple of hours I will be heading to Palmdale for dinner with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.
But I had to keep messing with the template. It may change again, who knows?
And since a fair number of my readers are sort of airplane nuts, I give to you CVW-5 doing the obligatory shot with Mount Fuji. CVW-5 is forward deployed at NAF Atsugi Japan and embarks in USS George Washington CVN73. As you can tell it is mostly Hornets. These are the "CAG" Birds with the neat paint schemes on them.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Messing with colours and fonts

Trying to make it easy for guys like me..........................and Buck..............and Pinch.........and that Lamps guy Contrast is where it is, maybe? Feed back is welcome!

Have a great Thanksgiving

All of you all out there, have a great day with family and friends!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be in Palmdale tomorrow at my sister-in-law;s for the big meal. And since I sent the Missus back to Kansas to get the rest of our stuff out here, I am tired of my own cooking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rental Agent

The agent finally got someone over here to handle the garage lighting. The overhead is fluorescent tubes and they were mostly flickering. And the garage door opener had no working lights at all. The handyman showed up and it is fixed. I took a list in shortly after we took possession if the keys. The gal is a bit slow on the uptakes at times.
These are from the jaunt to Palmdale yesterday. Buck ought to like them. They were final assembled just up Rancho Vista Ave at the Super Secret Plant 42. The Skunk Works is also here after moving from Hollywood/Burbank Bob Hope Airport. It used to be the Lockheed Air Terminal.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday, What to do?

Here I am in the little town of Cal City on a Saturday before Thanksgiving. There is the occasional helicopter flying by this morning. I haven't looked, not a big helo guy. It is nice out, high thin clouds and the low to mid fifties at this point.
The Moving Wall is in Palmdale, maybe I will head on down. Today is the last day for it, there. It is at the Air Park next to the Airport/Secret Squirrel Plants of the AF/n-Grumman/Lockheed-Martin. It is a decent day for a short jaunt. There is a Harbor Freight Tools store at the fairgrounds exit in Lancaster. Hmmmm?
I do really need to find an In and Out Burger to satisfy the need for Cholesterol and it's associated things that are bad that I love. That is why I take Zocor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All we have in Cal City is a McDonald's, Subway, Quizno's and a Pizza Factory and the local Mom and Pop places. Chucks Pizza and More is pretty good. And I do miss the Wichita Metro local favourite, Spangles! Maybe Rene would think about opening one here or at least in Lancaster/Palmdale for the occasional Walmart run.
And there is always taking pictures of the desert.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Air Force Aircraft Maintenance Documentation

OK, it sucks. It is disorganized from the git go. And for someone who hasn't touched a tactical aircraft since early 1991, it was like being in the maze at Fountainblue outside of Paris. Or more relevant to the generation I am part of, Lost in the Ozone. The Forms class I attended today was designed for those who have been using the system for quite awhile and experienced in the ways of fixing airplanes in this environment. I have nothing to match up with it. Dear NavAirSysCom, any jobs at China Lake or Point Mugu? Hell, even El Centro would work! Hell, I'd even go to Yuma or Twentynine Stumps!
I pray that my mom doesn't read this as my dad was in the Air Force when they got married and I was conceived. Fact, nothing more or less. But he was in the Black World and not airplane maintenance.
And I would have to also infer that I was in the oldest air arm in the service of the Republic. Next May, US Naval Aviation will be 99 years old. We have been doing it longer. And of historical note, Army Aviation was originally a function of the Signal Corps and was not a separate part of the Army until WW1.
And my deepest apologies to Buck. He retired from the Air Force long before most of the former Air Force, Retired Air Force and always AF civil servants were aware of the Air Force.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thinking about what Buck said

I have been thinking about this all day. Buck mentioned all those guys he served with. Here's a few of them. ABH1 Jack Trafton, CWO4 P. Havreleski, LCDR Stuart Seaman, AMS1 Mike Yeckley, AMS2 Pat Yandell, AMHC Jim Russell, AMHC Bob Mann, CAPT David D. Williams, AMH1 Mike Williams, AMCS Larry Max Jones, AMS1 David Christopherson, CDR J.R. Hutchinson, ADCS David "Tiny" Heinitz, GYSGT Dave Dozier, GYSGT L.G. Slater, SSGT Randy Evans, SSGT Al Lester and AD1 Lynn Borger, Best Man on the 11th of June, 1983. These are guys that were integral in my career. My oldest son was a youngster when I served with those Marines and he loved those four guys. He still considers them all to be the ideal examples of an NCO, regardless of branch of service.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Late Veterans Day Entry

Simple. Go to Pixie Place, my sister's blog, read about our DAD. Shut up and do it. The link is in the sidebar to starboard.
Additional notes on it are the Bronze Star that took 20 years for him to receive for a place called the Pescadores, which comprise the rocks/islands called Quemoy and Matsu. Old dogs will know, the rest can look it up, I was four when he was there getting shelled by the ChiComs. And he was in Vietnam before we were "in" Vietnam. Back in 82, I took his medals in to the NAS Whidbey Island tailor shop to get mounted. The little old Korean lady took one look at me and gave me the what for. I had to tell her that they were my Dads. She calmed down then. Remember the perspective post sometime back? Insert here.
And I still remember the day in January of 1967 when Ed White, Roger Chaffee and Gus Grissom died in Apollo 1 and when Joe Walker lost his life later that spring when his F104 chase plane collided with the XB70 Valkeryie over the place I now work. I was in the seventh grade at the time.
The moving wall is in Palmdale until the 21st. I know a couple names on that also. Reid Grayson and Darryl Jewel from Scobey, Montana. A small town on the edge of nowhere. I played junior high basketball with their kid brothers. I may head down on Sunday.
For guys like me and Buck(Exile in Portales), alot of things still have that just yesterday feel, even though it was almost a lifetime ago.

Starting to Settle in?

We finally got internet today! And phone service. It is Verizon DSL and Vonage that we brought from Wichita. It still took ten days and the cable TV is not to be done until the 27th! Yikes.
I did get started at Edwards. Today, I finally did something on an airplane. More info and such to follow. Tomorrow, I take the Missus to Palmdale and her sister is taking her to LAX to fly back to Wichita. Continental via Houston Intercontinental with only an hour or so layover. Later folks1

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The house was found

WE found the house we wanted late yesterday afternoon. It is in that former planned community of California City. It is in Kern County. Think Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, with the county seat of Bakersfield.
We are renting a 1,600 square foot, three bedroom, two bath with a two car garage in a very nice neighborhood. It has an outstanding kitchen and a huge living room. It comes with the refrigerator, range, microwave and dishwasher. And there is a washer and dryer already there! And the rent is only 800 bucks a month! The back yard is just the right size for the sheltie that we have and it has a patio that is out of the evening sun. So those who I hope will show up next spring for a Santa Maria BBQ will have to enjoy the sunset over the Tehachapi Mountains from the driveway.
When we get internet service, we will send pictures to any and all and my facebook account!
Tomorrow will be occupied with getting utilities and such transferred to our name. The water has to be done at city hall.
There is no supermarket in town. The nearest is in Mojave but the commissary at Edwards is an easy trip. We did the Visiting Quarters at the base last night. We may even try to get into the system at the clinic for our primary care. One of those retired earned things, ya know.
On Thursday we are going to rent a U-haul to move a couch, occasional tables, lamps and maybe a small chest freezer from Palmdale. The Missus Old Retired Petty Officer's Sister has some things for us to use. And we can afford a small chest freezer.
I am glad we decided on Cal City over Lancaster/Palmdale. They are just to busy, even though having all the conveniences of a pair of cities that have almost 400,000 people in them just couldn't match the small town atmosphere and lower costs.
The Missus did ask the one rental agent office staff this one: Why do I want to move here? His answer was: low crime and affordable. Sounds good to me. As for flying the Missus back to Wichita, her sister in Palmdale will provide the lift to LAX. It is cheaper to fly out of LAX via DEN or DFW than Ontario or Bakersfield.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Road to Oceanside and such

Well we took off from Wichita on Thursday evening about 1830 hours. We headed west on US 54 to catch I-40 at Tucumcari, NM. We had supper in Liberal at about 2200 and the place closed at 2230. It was cold! The temp was at 32 and the OK and TX Panhandles were about the same. We did a short nap at the Sky City Casino Rest Area. And breakfast was at Earl's in Gallup. It is the only place in Gallup to have breakfast, period. The BNSF Maintenance of Way guys can fill the place up. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me. We did hit some of the tourist shops along the way to get things for granddaughters. We managed to get to Kingman, Arizona by mid afternoon on Friday. Then it was time to call it a day! We did the almost 1100 miles to there and we were bushed. We got a room, some ice beers and Mike's Hard Berrys and both of us were asleep by 1700 hours and didn't wake up until about 0530-0600 on Saturday. The trip from there to Oceanside was a snap. It was a beautiful, cloudless day in the Mojave and the entire LA Basin to San Diego County along I-15.
We had dinner at Claim Jumpers as it was my sister-in-law's birthday. She finally hit the big Five Zero. I had a oiece of salmon that was simply awesome! And two schooners of Sam Adams!
Today is chill out and relax, maybe hit the pool. It is forecast to be in the upper seventies today.I It will be great to take a dip on November 1. And the incisions haven't yet been submerged. And Hector also has a spa/hot-tub. In that, above the world in the Oceanside hills, the possibility of an outstanding day is there, dear readers.
To Jeff, I didn't get a chance to get pics on the way. Sorry. Maybe I will get a few by the pool! And it is a stunning day here in Oceanside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow we head for California City to do the house search and such.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Up Chit/Release

I had to go to the other side of town to pick it up. But it has been faxed to Edwards AFB! Sometimes the paperwork for something is downright amazing. AHHHHHHHH the federal bureaucracy, ain't it amazing sometimes?

The day I went home from the hospital

On the 24th of September, I got to go home. The doc showed up about mid morning to let me know about the pathology. That was when I was told that it was cancer that was on my kidney. But it had been isolated to the kidney itself. And he said I would get a prescription for pain relievers.
The missus and I did stop for lunch on the way home, I had fun with the waitress. She asked us how our day was going. When we told her splendid due to I get to hang around many more years, the young lady almost fell over. It was rich.
We stopped at our local neighborhood convenience store to grab some smokes for the missus and some gatorade for me. I did sort of a rotten thing and showed the gal who works there my stomach with all those wonderful incisions and staples that were yet to come out. She turned a bit pale! The missus was none too impressed. I thought it was kind of funny. Sailors have rather sick and twisted senses of humour, ya know.
As of tomorrow, things may be thin for awhile as the Missus and I are heading west either tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning.
So, until I get settled and have internet service, see ya then!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Staples out and a new look

I told you I would let you know about the staples coming out of my belly! It took about 15 minutes. It was a metallic sound for each one. The ones really close to the belly button did hurt a little bit and I could feel the strain as the nurse cut them but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.
I finally found the template that doesn't cut my ribbons off on the right side(as viewed). So I think I will stay with this one. Bet it was making some of you wonder, wasn't it? I am having fun with it ya know.

Monday, October 26, 2009


As you can see in the sidebar is the Navy widget and connection to The Valour-IT project from Soldier's Angels. It is for voice operated laptops and other tech devices to allow OUR wounded warriors the ability to communicate when wounds have impared that ability. The Old Retired Petty Officer's recent cancer thing ain't shit next to most of these guys and gals conditions. And most of them are on average younger than my kids.
It your service preference is other than Navy then go to Soldiers Angels and donate, whatever amount you can. It will be appreciated. God bless you.

Monday and five weeks since the surgery

Five weeks today. The scars are slowly receeding. The smaller three that were part of the actual laprosocpic/robotic part of the operation are down to just little lines and dots! The big one that was used to take the kidney out is still red/reddish-pink. All the scabs are completely gone. The pain of excessive situps is slowly fading. I will have my release/up chit in hand tomorrow. It gets faxed to Edwards in short order after that.
Just something else to ponder. When the doc says I have good news and bad news doesn't just happen on TV and in the movies. That is how this all got started!
Tomorrow, staple removal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New stuff on the blog!

A Gold First Class Rating Badge and Crossed Mauls and Wings! Getting more nautical as we go!Well as nautical as an Airdale can get, anyway! And they are mauls according to the Bluejacket's Manual, not hammers. Even though they are refered to as hammers and wings. It is the Rating Device of the Aviation Structural Mechanic. It was for all service ratings, S, H and E. S was actual sheetmetal/structural, H was for hydraulic systems and E for canopies and egress systems.
Fair Warning! See what happens when I don't have anything constructive to do!!!!!!!!!!! And as soon as I find that medal and ribbon site, I will put all my junk on the site!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I went and found the stuff as you can see.
And the EA-6B Prowler is assigned to VAQ-140, my last command. It is the unit that I was assigned to at retirement from active duty on 30 September 1993 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.

Hospital routine

The best part was cable TV. I was on the clear diet for chow........Jello, broth, tea and coffee. The best part was the coffee. And young student nurses doing the vitals and such during the day. On the second day the cathater finally came out and I could pee in a relief bottle! They had to keep track of how much and how often. Isn't that exciting! And the dressing came off. First look at the ugly! I have never had staples before, unique sensation when brushed by clothing. And the doc came by and said everything was cool and we were waiting on the pathology. The other lab stuff said that so far so good. In case you are wondering, there is no sensation of the kidney being gone. Really. None. Nada. Oh did I mention the magic button? Yeah, the belly still hurt, alot at times. Then they decided to pull the IVs and go with pills, Percosette!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Say hello to my little friends!!!!!!!!!!! The third day, Wednesday was basically uneventful, I slept on and off, watched alot of Discovery Channel, TLC, A&E, History Channel and Fox News. And more jello and broth for meals. The missus said everyone had gotten back home after the wedding of the number two son. She had her hands full for awhile with a house full of company and me going in for surgery, so her visit was short and sweet. I told her to go home and sack out. She had a very busy and stressfull period with doing the wedding cake, company coming and me. She deifinitely needed the day to herself. And shortly after I sacked out for the night, I was awakened to do the vitals and meds! I told them to just take the BP and to do the temp with an ear probe and wait till morning for the meds. Not impressed. And I did take an unassisted walk around the square made by the elevators and nurses station! The best description is way too many sit-ups! Getting to the vertical was a bit of a chore.
More goodness to follow tomorrow, if it suits me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Red White and Blue!

I think I found the colour palette for this adventure.
For some reason the incision does hurt around the edges. Could be the coughing from the cold/fu that hit me a couple of days ago. I did quit smoking due to the hospitalization but that will be five weeks on this coming Sunday. It could be that I am cleaning out? Possible, ya think?
Anyway on the day of the surgery, it was one of those early mornings. Like the ducks don't even get up this early!(I was a passionate waterfowler) Figure it out, OK?! I hit the check-in desk at 0530 on the morning of September 21. Having been on a clear liquid diet and downing a ten ounce bottle of magnesium citrate the day before, I was in a stirling mood. Hackles up and teeth bared! It went rather assembly line like from that point. Upstairs, shave the belly. Into the nightie and on to preop for all the IV's and then the lights went out! I was in recovery longer than surgery. The surgery started at exactly 0800 and was done at 0945. I didn't get out of recovery until about 1200-1230. I sleep long after general anasthesia.
In the room and hooked up to all kinds of stuff. The Missus was there for the entire show. The nurses were pushing me to take a walk as soon as possible. I had two IVs and a catheter in, for crying out loud! And they wanted me to walk. When I did, it took one RN and two RN students to handle all the tubes! At least when in bed I had a little button to push for pain. Morphine Sulfate, Rah Rah! Push button and feel better! I had visits from two of the kids later that evening. The oldest son and his bride were still in town after the younger son's wedding so they paid me visit before heading home to upstate NY. And the youngest daughter, with granddaughter Piper and the kids' real Dad also stopped by. I can't say I was real good company, if you get my drift. And then there were vitals to be taken. Plus the nexium and zocor that I take regular. The staff had me taking my regular scrips during the wee hours. I finally told them that when they just wanted BP and such to get it and let me sleep. That went over like a lead balloon.
Well that's enough fun for tonight dear readers!

Playing with the blog

Just messing around today. I am trying to find a template that I would be able to say is distinct and Naval Air style? Maybe? Help request goes out to Pinch and Lex. I could always steal from the site of a squadron I was in 30 years ago. I am still looking for good A-6 shots. I could even use my rock train stuff from that adventure. What do you think?
BTW, I had my last cigarette on the 20th of September. The night before I had the surgery. Does it show?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Up Chit/Progress Report

The visit to the urologist was uneventful. He said the incision is doing just fine and I am waiting for him to fill out the three pages that the Air Force sent me. It is the same SF that I had for the initial physical for the job. Gotta love Uncle Sam and the endless paperwork. I guess that comparison to sitting on the porcelain throne comes to mind. The job isn't finished until the paperwork is done! Those of ou who have been in the Armed Forces will completely understand.
Now I wait to get the paperwork back. But the part that actually screwed up the day was waking up with a fever, sore throat and such. In awhile it will be Walmart brand nighttime cold/flu medicine and Powerade.
Thanks to all for the support and encouragement! It is kind of cool being a part of this blogging thing.
As soon as I get this thing to upload my photos, I will toss a few in. It doesn't seem to want mine for some reason.
To Karla, Perri and Ann, Thanks a million. Now all I have to do is twist Pinch's arm and get on the instapinch blogroll!


Please be patient as I am very green at this. Perri, I got you on the roll!!!!!!
As I said the primary purpose of this blog is to give my own perspective of having kidney cancer and getting through it. But on occasion, I may toss something out just because. The Old Retired Petty Officer doesn't need a reason.
Such as this week, as I am looking after my youngest grand-daughter, Piper. The daughter went back to work so Papa gets the call. However she will have to find other help pretty soon. Mom and Dad are moving to California. Yeah. Go figure. It is a job and it pays well. It is an aircraft pneudraulic system mechanic position at Edwards Air Force Base. The retired airdale thing helped but the initial cut was the 30 percent service connected disabled rating. Imagine, an old A6 and A7 tailhook guy at Edwards!
Today is the big day! I should get my release from the doc!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The mass is found on the Left Kidney

On the fourth of September, I went to the doc. I was having digestive issues. It was like lingering intestinal flu. After the pushing on the abdomen, the doc ordered up a CT Scan. About 45 minutes after it was done, I got the good news-bad news thing. The good news was the intestinal thing was diverticulitus. Easily treated at it's early stage. The bad news: You have a mass/tumour on your left kidney.
You know that literative thing about a mule kick to groin? Yeah, it was there. I was seven days shy of my 55th birthday and ten days from starting a new job at Edwards AFB in California. Needless to say it was almost panic mode. I had to go see a urologist the following week on the 10th. The Missus went along with me. Both of us were basically scared shitless. Natural, considering the circumstances, don't ya think. The mass was isolated to the left kidney and no where else. It was however very close to the artery, necessitating it's removal. I had to call Edwards to let them know about the situation and to see if the job would be kept available for me. It is. I start the 9th of November. My appointment to get my release is tomorrow.
It has been just over a month since the surgery. I have soreness around the large incision that was made to take the kidney out. I will add more details in another post. I have come down with a head cold. Itchy eyes, throat, cough and general soreness and feeling like crap.
Wow, Here I am. This is my first attempt at doing this by myself. I owe a great deal to Jeff at Parrothead Jeff and Friends. I will still post there as he gave me the shot! This is just a try for myself. If it works, I will keep it up. If not, I won't do it anymore.
I will not go down and tell my children I didn't have the courage, the conviction, the commitment or the character to fight for this country...Don't go home and let your children down~~ LTC Allen West

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

‎"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.("Therefore, he who desires peace, let him prepare for war")" from "Epitoma Rei Militaris," by Vegetius (Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus)