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


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rhythms, Part XI

This is a world I used to live in, albeit a lifetime ago, now. The first time I went up on Deck at the tender age of 19 and 1/2 on board The Good Ship USS Independence. Even the films done and the news reel footage cannot do it justice.
My words cannot match Lex, so I leave it to Our Good Captain.......................................

"On the carrier’s flight deck, yellow-shirted flight deck directors stand idly by airplanes packed inboard of the landing area, clear of the foul lines. The yellow shirts are at the pinnacle of achievement for an aviation bosun’s mate – each of them is The Man. He gives orders to pilots, orders the officers must follow. He works day after day in one of the most dangerous environments imaginable, one full of great noise, apparent confusion, and great forces acting in trembling opposition. They collectively know that they are a brotherhood, like many others in the military, an elite: The flight deck elite. They also know that no other 22-year old people in the world routinely has so much responsibility for lives and lucre. They are all of them young, tall and tubular. They are also entirely self-confident, well-trained, almost arrogant – they seem to casual observers to be the rough equivalent of modern-day gunslingers.
Although each aircraft has its wheels chocked, and is tied down with chains at three points, each one also has a tow bar hooked up ready for instant use, once the jet is “broken down,” released from chocks and chains. The 3 1/2 acre flight deck is divided into three zones, Fly One on the bow, Fly Two amidships and Fly Three aft. Across the deck the low growl of tow tractors starting, gunning engines to an animal scream, then idling before shutting down alternates from zone to zone. Apart from that, there is a deceptive quiet, a fraudulent listlessness. While feigning a kind of tropical malaise in the rising summer heat, all are a tip-toe: They are awaiting the recovery of the alert launch, so that they can go to work spotting aircraft for the 1200 go. It will be a rigorous challenge to move the twenty-odd aircraft in an hour’s time, especially moving them on the cramped real estate of an aircraft carrier at sea – they will be moving multiple aircraft in different directions, and moving them very close to one another in passing. The aircraft must not touch – a touch is called a “crunch,” and the aircraft is down until rigorously inspected. There is nothing worse for a yellow shirt than to be directing an aircraft in a crunch."

 Rhythms, Part XI

I added this picture of Final Checker/Troubleshooters of VAQ-140. This squadron was my last command. At retirement, I was a Patriot.


Ron Russell said...

I'm a old Navy man also. Just did a 4 year hitch. Was stationed at NAAS Kingsville and aboard the USS Yorktown CVS 10, many years ago. You've been to my girlie blog at "Guns and Bikinis" and on the blogroll there. My primary blog is Obama Cartoons and I just added you to my blogroll there. I have several blogrolls there, but you are on one if you can find it. Visit me there sometime--I put a number of post in each day. Just short and to the point---nothing fancy!

Anonymous said...

Well said. They are responsible young men in one of the most dangerous environments on earth.

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)