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


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.
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)