Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Since in the past I have been plagued(no pun intended) with pneumonia on occasion I am following the advice given here just in case. The way I see it if it only costs me $6.00 for some supplemental Vitamin D it is worth the price. I am going to take 1000IU a day from now on except when I am able to get the natural stuff from the good old Sun. We have 11" of snow so far and its still snowing so pills will have to do for now. According to this paper you get about 12,000IU after 20 minutes of sun over the entire body(naked?) I think I will stick to shorts and no shirt thank you. Don't need the neighbors getting sick on my account.
Ultraviolet B light works too but use eye protection or you will burn your eyeballs!
OK I have to tell this story about ultraviolet light. In the 1980's I was stationed in Iceland. They have hot water pools that are formed by the output of the geothermal plants that produce electricity and steam heat for the country. This was way before they were made to look like the resorts they are now. This was just a silt bottomed huge pond of hot silty sulphur smelling water that locals laid around in anytime of the year. The only building was a small trailer about 8' by 12" long with chairs and a tanning bank of lights. Most of the Icelander's went in nude and then went into the trailer during the winter and hit the tanning light. My Ex wife and I tried this pool several times and found it relaxing. On one trip she decided to try the tanning light. She had been using the one on base and thought it would be the same. Since we were alone in the trailer and the pond was empty she tried it nude. She only stayed 5 minutes on each side. It was a vertical type lamp bank that you stood in front of. That evening she started to feel like she had a bad sunburn. When she looked in the mirror she was red everywhere. We went to the ER and they wanted to admit her since she had 2nd degree burns on over 90% of her body. The only places she was not burned was the bottom of her feet, top of her head and between her legs. Needless to say I was the lotion master for the next few days. They gave her pain meds since it was so severe. So be careful of the eyes and your skin if you use UV lights. Even the ones that are used for finding minerals will burn your eyes. That's why the cop shows wear the red glasses when using UV.
Just thought I would pass this on for those who have need for the info. I have already informed my extended family in other parts of the country. Better than a kick in the butt or a shot in the arm.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
My current home is in a relatively secure environment. No gangs, crime is extremely low, abundant resources, low cost of living, semi rural with lots of farm land surrounding it, with locally grown vegetables, dairy, beef, chicken, wheat, barley and more. We have many local farms that raise anything needed and several organic farms for both meat and veggies. Water is very abundant since we live near a Major river.
The surrounding area has vast amounts of wildlife, dove, pheasant, geese, ducks, deer, elk, moose, rabbit, antelope, grizzly bear, black bear, mountain lions, wolves, Great fishing in lakes, rivers and streams. Lets just say paradise for the outdoors type. I can sit on my front porch and see Bald or Golden eagles fly by, hawks of all kinds looking for food and the occasional owl. Lets just say we have it all here.
We have 4 seasons with moderate winters. As I type it is snowing and we expect about 1' total for the next few days. Its a wet snow and that's good for the local farmers.
The population of the surrounding area is about 80,000 which includes the 50,000 in my town. Now that may be a lot of people to some but that 80,000 is spread out over a VAST area.
While driving around town you may see people riding their horse on the same street. Not a strange sight here just your average day. When trying to change lanes here on a busy road people wave you in instead of speeding up to keep you out. There are still gentleman here who hold the doors for ladies. If a motorist has car trouble here at a stop light or anywhere folks go out of their way to help. It is not odd to see maybe 4 big guys pushing a car out of the intersection that has stalled. People shovel each others sidewalks in the winter when needed not when asked. People helping people that's what we do here.
This state is one of only a handful that has a budget surplus and we even got check from the surplus.
Natural resources abound from coal, timber, gold, platinum, palladium, copper, oil, natural gas, sapphires, diamonds, water as already mentioned and hydroelectric power right in town. We even have 6 HUGE wind turbines that I can see from my house with more to be installed soon. We also have a local oil refinery.
The unemployment here is about 5.9% but several surrounding areas have 3.5% or so. Both my wife and I are lucky to have great jobs. I consider my job the best in the NATION. Its just my boss and I and the business is BOOMING! The business relates to one of the above mentioned natural resources. No its not oil.
Now I am not on a bragging rant here but with everything that is going on in the world and the recent events I consider myself VERY fortunate to be living where I do in these times. This was one of my better decisions. So to quote that Indiana Jones movie again "I CHOSE WISELY."
Monday, April 27, 2009
I went into work on the 17th of April and the boss said she wanted to take some time off so I was given 10 days paid vacation and I took full advantage of it. I headed to my Happy Place pronto! For those who do not know my Happy place is a Ghost town in Nevada. I have been in bliss the entire time. No phone calls, no computer, no TV, no liberals, nothing but fresh air and peacefulness! Perfect weather and great scenery are great for the soul too. Simple is good and I had many days of that. Watching sunsets and sunrises without a care is what we were all meant to do on occasion. Being able to hear the sound of a hawks wings cutting through the air as he dives for his breakfast is a thing of beauty and the sight of wild horses just going about life without a care is what God gives us at its best. Even the rattlesnakes were a sight to behold. They are Gods creatures too and I say live and let live. They have a place in this world as much as you and I. Needless to say I am rejuvenated and at this point nothing could get me down.
I made it back in time to do the local Gun show and what a show it was. As usual I made out like a bandit in the precious metals department and bought a few things along the lines of the Second Amendment. Ammo shortage my BUTT! I found anything I wanted! Supplies for the .50's and all the other .......'s, mm's and ga.'s were plentiful. Plenty of buying as expected and much money to be made.
The line for entry was wrapped around the corner of the building for 2 hours. and was long most of the day on Saturday!
I was a seller this time and its been a while since I have done this. I sell as you might expect jewelry, antiques and collectibles.
Well there were many great items for sale and some unusual things too. Saw a Carbon 15, new never fired($800), a BRAND NEW NEVER FIRED MODEL SP1 COLT($1995!!!!), I forget the designation but a Pea green polymer($1050) AR-15 clone made in Lake Havasu AZ. interesting to say the least, the new HK AR-15 upper ($1650)that has three rails on it, again I forget the designation, the one that handles dirt, grime, water, gunk and keeps going and many .50's but whats new with that.
I pride myself on having the most unusual items at the show even if I do say so myself. Pride is a terrible thing I know but what the heck I deserve to have some once in a while. I have for many years been holding on to three very unique items I have acquired. First I had, (had the operative word) two 20mm barrels from an F-5E. Then there is my favorite and I am still the proud owner of a GAU-8/A barrel. All 92 pounds 8' of it. Just thought I would give them some daylight from hibernation as it were. I will continue to hold on to the big one for now. Maybe someday it will find a new home but I am in no hurry. I only wish I had more of the smaller ones to get rid of, they went FAST!
Since I was in my dreamland for so long I missed the Flu thing, and anything else that happened while I was being happy. Maybe I should have stayed put. I am glad that TEOTWAWKI held off while I was far from family. Thank you Lord!
Well I do not go back to work till Wednesday so I will be taking care of business around the house. Maybe do some treasure hunting or the such at the local junk shops since I have not made the rounds in a long time.
I hope all was fine for you and yours and you were in my thoughts and prayers. I hope all of you will get some quality time as I did and get back to what matters, LIVING! Taking a break from the real world is the best medicine I can prescribe for anyone.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Susan Boyle is a prime example of the old adage at its best. She was welcomed by the audience and the judges of this show with great apprehension for only one reason her looks. This was further justified in the minds of all present by her actions, a little dance she did and the singer she admired and aspired to be like. But those in attendance soon got a dose of Reality when she started to sing.
I was amazed when I heard her sing and yes I teared up too. I say you go girl! I predict that she will run away with a win in this talent contest.
I hope that Susan Boyle's experience will make every person in the world think twice before they judge anyone for what they see and not whats hidden.
I can name two prime examples of how people might judge someone just on appearances. If you did not know them for their accomplishments they would be judged immediately by their looks.
Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Both brilliant men who have an outward appearance of not fitting in with what is considered the NORM in appearance.
I bet that if you took photos of these two people out on the street and asked people what they thought of them most of the responses would be negative. Now I know that Einstein is fairly recognizable to most but there are many who would focus on his appearance and nothing more.
Since I am a big fan of precious metals as most of you know and gems too I have a couple of prime examples of making judgements from appearances alone.
In Russia during the 1800's gold fever found many people panning the rivers for GOLD nuggets. In one area the prospectors were finding grayish nuggets that they considered to be not yet Gold since they had the density of gold but the color was wrong. So thinking that this was gold that had yet to change color threw them back to continue the transformation into Gold. Well these nuggets they threw back were actually PLATINUM NUGGETS. But since they did not know what they were and perceived them to be worthless they were dismissed for looks alone.
A local gold mine near me during the same time frame had a similar event. Prospectors were complaining about something they called "Riffle Clutter". For those of you that do not know the Riffle is the ridged tray on a sluice box or a dredge that collects the gold when the prospector washes the material he or she thinks contains gold. All of the lighter material passes over these riffles and the gold being heavier than the other material is caught by these Riffles. Well this Riffle Clutter was considered to be just a nuisance and was thrown back into the river. The belief among all the prospectors was that the BLUE Riffle Clutter was nothing but broken bottles that had been disposed of in the river. Back in the day Blue glass was a popular type of glass for many liquids.
Well one enterprising prospector thought that it was strange that this Glass would be trapped in the riffles along with the gold. He was told by the owner of a local lapidary shop that these Blue pieces of glass might be sapphires so he gathered up a cigar box full of the little blue riffle clutters and sent them off to Tiffany and Co. He later received a letter and a very large check. In the letter Tiffany wanted more of the Finest Sapphires they had ever seen.
So remember that judging anything by its looks could cost you more than you think. I bet Simon Cowell is dreaming of the money he can make.
Good Luck Susan Boyle!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Now lets take the Eskimo of days gone by and the tribes in the jungles of South America or Africa Saharan desert they live day to day without any of the above modern trappings we depend on.
These people even today live with almost nothing and they still survive(except modern Eskimo's who have adopted modern ways). I am sure some of you have seen the series on TV with two guys who live with these so called PRIMITIVE tribes in the jungle. These people have survived in almost the same manner for who knows how long and my point is that they have SURVIVED! With none of the items we consider essential for the very same task LIVING!
Now I am not suggesting that we ditch the clothing and use just bows and arrows or blow guns but we need to take a step back and really get back to the basics of survival.
The Survivor Man series or the other guy who uses his survival knowledge are good examples of what I mean.
How many of us have actually tried to start a fire with the methods used on these shows? Or have built a shelter and searched for food in the environment that was around you? How easy would it be if you were truly in a survival situation? I mean survival with NOTHING but your brain and the clothes on your back.
I for one have tried some of the things shown on these series and I will say that it is much harder than it looks. I think I have some general knowledge of these techniques but if it came down to me having nothing available except my brain I would be hard pressed to make it happen with a positive outcome. I mean try starting a fire in the ways portrayed on these shows when you are tired, hungry, cold maybe and possibly injured. These all make using these techniques much harder. The psychological factor is also a MAJOR player.
I mean most of us are soft and lets face it as a society LAZY. We expect too much from technology to make our lives easier. In a survival situation things change dramatically. Those with military survival training or the folks in the military who tramp all over hell and half of Georgia carrying everything they need in a pack are better suited than most. But lets be honest the majority of us myself included are in no way prepared for this type of slogging around the country side on foot for days on end even without a pack.
A case in point was the story of a young girl around the teen years who was on an aircraft that crashed in the middle of some South American jungle. She was if I remember right the only survivor of the crash. Now she had NOTHING with her for obvious reasons. She was fortunate since she was raised in this environment and knew a little about what she was facing. Her father had taught her some of the things to look for in the jungle and what to avoid. These basic skills are what gave her the ability to survive and make it back to civilization. By the way she knew better than to stay put at the site of the crash and wait for help. In the jungle a crash site is swallowed up by the thick growth of vegetation. She eventually made it to a river and was helped by some river traffic. I believe she was alone in the jungle with nothing but her brain for if I remember about two weeks or so. An amazing case of true survival. Yes she had to do this in order to LIVE but the point is she did it!
I am not suggesting that we throw ourselves into a jungle and try to duplicate this brave girls feat. But the next time you go camping or go for a hike. Practice the skills that are the basics and see what it really takes to survive.
I mentioned in my BIO that I enjoy winter camping. I have spent 4 days in -20 degree F or greater weather with some of the modern items mentioned above and it was to say the least a challenge just staying comfortable. I was not alone during this and with shift work on the part of my fellow campers we kept a fire going the entire time to help with staying warm. I had no stove, no heat other than a fire. I did have a proper sleeping bag, tent, ground cover, a mat under my bag and proper clothing. Other than that we made due with the basics. We had lighters of course, axes, knives, utensils, pots and pans and store bought food stuffs, just the basics. We cooked over the fire, melted snow for water and heated rocks for warmth at night. I really enjoyed the experience and gained a lot of incite as to what is good to have and what is not.
This is the kind of thing I think will be useful for all of us to experience. You do not have to do without the basics and use whale oil for light and heat or kill a caribou for clothing but actually putting some of our gear to use on a regular basis is very important. Even if you just set up camp in your yard for a couple of days and get accustomed to using everything. Not much different than going to the range to sharpen your marksmanship skills.
Well enough of that but I hope some will take my advise and use the things that we WILL depend on when needed. This modern stuff and our brains are no good to anyone unless we use them regularly.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This was linked on http://www.stevequayle.com/start.html
My old grandpa said to me “son, there comes a time in every man’s life when he stops bustin’ knuckles and starts bustin’ caps and usually it’s when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin’.”
I don’t carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to keep from being killed.
I don’t carry a gun to scare people. I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid. I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil. I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.
I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government. I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry. I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.
I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.
I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy. I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.
I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.
I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.
I don’t carry a gun because I love it. I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.
Police Protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves.Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.
Personally, I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old totake an ass whoopin’.
…author unknown (but obviously brilliant)
Monday, April 13, 2009
JULY 1, 1937
MARTIN NIEMOELLER, CHURCH DISSIDENT LEADER, ARRESTED
Martin Niemoeller, one of main opponents of Nazi racial ideology in the Lutheran church and one of the founders of the oppositional "Confessional Church," is arrested. He is sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1938 and spends the next seven years in concentration camps. After the war, Niemoeller's condemnation of bystanders to Nazi policies will become a call to early action. His words: "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist - so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat - so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew - so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me."
From the following website http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/prisochr.htm
How do they get the ships to stop? Do they threaten the vessel with RPG'S, AK'S
or other small arms. Can an RPG or even an anti tank weapon stop a large vessel? They do not want to disable the vessel since they have taken most into a Somali port to be held for ransom or used later as a mother ship.
Lets say they do stop it, how do they get on board? Can't the crew raise any boarding device such as a ladder, or other means of boarding a moving ship to prevent them from getting on board? Am I missing something? These are not your average weekend river boat or for that matter a houseboat. The deck is many feet up from the waterline. How do they get up to the deck? Do the crews fear them in the those tiny boats that much?
A while back there was a special on TV that addressed Pirates in that very area. There was a cruise ship that was "attacked" by pirates in a tiny boat with RPG'S and AK's. The crew had filmed the attack. They managed to get off a couple of RPG rounds that did not explode. The crew used one of those new Sonic devices and the pirates fled. Now if the crew of a Cruise ship can avoid stopping then why not a cargo ship?
Now to the meat of the question. Have some of these ships stopped and been boarded for reasons we are unaware of? Not to say the the American Flagged Vessel was one of these. Lets say that it would be unseemly for any ship to just dock in Somalia and start to unload on the up and up. But if a ship is HIJACKED and it is taken into port and unloaded who is going to question this action as anything more than pirates taking some bootie? What has been ON some of those ships that were "Hijacked?" It has been put out there that the Chinese have been supplying these pirates and the Somali warlords with weapons. What better way to get them to these people than to make it look the ship was attacked by pirates.
If my scenario is true then where are these weapons going? How many AK'S, RPG'S and the such can they use at any given time? A ship load of weapons could be unloaded and sent to who knows where with the approval of and payment to the local warlord. Last time I saw images of Somalia and its residents they all seemed well armed. Remember Black Hawk Down?
Lets say they go to neighboring countries like Kenya-unstable, Sudan-unstable, Uganda-unstable, Ethiopia-no better you get the point. What if it is PEOPLE that are the cargo? Does not need to be many to cause havoc. I mean TERRORISTS when I say people. What about explosives, chemicals? You get my drift.
I just think it is strange that the shipping companies have not provided some security when passing this area. It would be much less expensive to have a couple of guys with .50 caliber rifles to stop these guys. Even a few shots at them with something lighter would send them looking for an easier target. These pirates are getting $MILLIONS$ for the return of the ship and crew. How much can it cost to hire some security guys for the entire trip to act as a deterrence?
Something is not right about this whole pirate thing. It smells FISHY.
The first incident was I believe(been wrong before) was an oil tanker that caught fire due to an "explosion?" Was this pirates or as reported terrorists or was it insurance money at work? I forget the details but I believe it was near Yemen. Why destroy a tanker FULL of oil? How much is the oil itself worth even to non pirate terrorists? What political message would be gained by destroying a tanker and killing a few people? Was this a suicide bombing or did they just pull along side set some charges in a small boat and cruise away? They did find small boat wreckage at the scene. The French are glad to pay ransom as are many other nations. Why blow it up?
It just seemed strange to me.
My whole point is why have the governments of the other countries not done what we have just done? Is the thought of killing a few pirates that sickening to them that they would rather pay the ransom? It is not the governments that are paying the ransoms its the ship owners or the insurance companies. Why don't the other countries cry out for protection from the respective governments naval forces. I am sure that these countries have at least a cruiser or a destroyer or some warship bigger than the pirate vessels.
I just think there is more to this than meets the eye. Something is not right about the whole pirate thing.
Just my thoughts and I am sticking to them!
These are most of the patches worn by team members. I cannot locate the non-subdued patch for the Ghost Riders 416 FTR Squadron.
Spacing is not working again, sorry.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
When cable TV had NO commercials and good programming.
When we knew our enemies by the flags they flew.
When news casters reported and left opinions to themselves.
When cartoons were for kids.
When children played outside.
When Gay meant Happy.
When getting the clap was a major thing.
When the Military were the GOOD GUYS.
When religion wasn't vilified.
When school was for learning not indoctrination.
When the dollar was backed by GOLD.
When silver coins were given as change.
When baseball hats were worn properly.
When pay phones were enclosed.
When America made things.
When slide rules got us to the MOON.
When Hank Aaron Beat Babe Ruth's Home run record without STEROIDS.
When movie stars made movies not speeches.
When commercial airplanes were not buses with wings.
When drive-in theatres were THE place to go.
When there were no BLEEPS on TV.
When Woolworths sold M1 Carbines and Garands!
When the President of the United States did not bow to ANYONE!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Now many of you know that Nevada has a large population of wild horses. The Test Range is loaded with them. A great sight to see to be sure. Huge herds(is that the right term) roam all over the area I was privileged to see. When taking the bus to work they would be just grazing on the sparse vegetation the desert provides or playfully running around like a bunch of colts. As for colts there were many to be seen. These horses were not a bother to anyone and it felt good to know that at least here no one could harm them. The range gave them the ultimate protection from losers who thought they made good targets. The only problem they presented was to vehicles at night. Every now and then one would stray onto the road and become a casualty of fate. This got to be a big concern for the Commander of this base. He of course was mainly concerned about the safety of his troops and the expense of losing the numerous vehicles that were trashed by hitting a horse. He put out a proclamation that the next person that hit a horse would face his wrath.
First let me say that TTR was black as black at night no lights could be seen anywhere. To be able to see a horse crossing the road at night there was IMPOSSIBLE. Well two days after this proclamation by the Commander, He hit a horse and trashed his truck. Needless to say the cat was out of the bag and the fun started. Now this Commander was a great guy and had the respect and admiration of all. He was the kind of man that knew how to treat everyone as PEOPLE. He could also take a joke. Several days after his horse episode some folks had made a sort of trophy for him. It was a diorama of sorts. It had his Red truck(the only red truck on TTR) all crumpled up and a dead horse, the road, grass, cactus the whole nine yards on this thing and a little plaque with the proclamation on it . They presented it to him and he laughed his butt off. This kind of thing would not have been acceptable anywhere but at TTR. We had a special relationship that allowed us to do things that others in the USAF could not. After this event he understood the hazards of driving on the range and made no further proclamations about hitting horses.
There was as I have said two bus systems at TTR. One that operated in and around the housing area and also took us to work. Then there was one that served the secure area only. On the secure area bus I struck up a conversation with one of the drivers and learned he was a FAMOUS KNIFE maker. I believe his last name was King but I could be wrong, its been a long time. Anyway he was a great guy and carried one of his knives with him a folder. This was strange since having a weapon on TTR was a no no. But I think he was given special consideration because of who he was. A great guy with many stories to tell to anyone who would listen. Many just passed him off as just a bus driver. But a few who knew better listened. I have always learned to listen to those with life experience no matter who there are. I mainly asked about his knife making and what he thought about the Black Jet. The ride was never a long one since his route was short but it made the ride even shorter when he was driving.
Now everyone knows that the F-117 is a single seat aircraft and there are no two seat versions, not enough room in the airframe. So for a new pilot there is no chance to fly with an instructor pilot. This is where the simulator comes in. Now it is no secret that all aircraft have a simulator of some kind. But the F-117 had THE simulator. I will not go into details but lets just say when I flew the Simulator it was like flying. During desert Storm the simulator was not being used much for obvious reasons. We were given the opportunity to use it any time we wanted. I took FULL advantage of this and logged much time on it. I took off, flew missions and landed it with no problem. I am no pilot but years of being familiar with aircraft gave me a basic understanding of how they work and how to use the instruments. Something that will never be duplicated again. I am happy to have had the experience. I must say that to this day I laugh at the graphics of even today's modern video games. I will leave it at that.
I can say that I have flown two real jets before while serving in the USAF. An F-4E and and A-7K. I did not land them or takeoff but I was allowed to take the controls of both. On the A-7K flight I was able to fly the entire length of the Grand Canyon only turning around when we reached the airport closest to the end, I forget the name of it. We were at an altitude of only 1000' and I followed the winding canyon all the way. What a thrill. After the canyon we did some aerobatics. I was allowed to do an Immelman (look it up and see what it is)and vertical a figure eight and the best of all a full loop. No I did not lose my lunch. I love roller coasters and this was just a really fast one. Pulled 6 g's at one point YEAH.
In the F-4E I became a member of the Mach Club by achieving Mach 1.2. The crossing of the sound barrier was to say the least exciting. Now the plane we were in had external wing tanks and this required us to go into a shallow dive to achieve Mach 1+. We started at about 2000' and when we recovered we were only at 800'. Being in the cockpit of any fighter aircraft is a noisy event even with the helmet on. Engine noise mainly. When we broke through the sound barrier all of a sudden all I could hear was the noise of the instruments and gyros whirring nothing else. Almost total quiet. What an amazing thrill and experience. The pilot maintained mach1.2 for less than a minute but due to the fuel consumption he said that it was prudent to slow down before we became a glider. F-4E's do not glide. During our Mach run at 800' off the deck everything was a blur to me. The ground was whizzing by and you had to look forward to keep you brain from crashing while trying to focus on anything. You know what it is like when you look out a car window at the close objects they make your eyes dart back and forth if you try to actually see anything , well magnify that just a little and you know what I mean. I will never forget that ride.
Shortly before the Mach flight I was allowed to fly the length of Death Valley. Our altitude was a bit higher around 4000' but still a marvelous view. I ran an intercept on the other aircraft and since I was a Radar guy I knew how to operate the system with ease. But being on the ground and tracking something is way different than being in a moving plane with a closing rate 0f about 1000MPH. Needless to say I did not even come close to getting a lock-on.
Then the pilot took me to his favorite spot to fly He called it flying the gap and when he said gap I had no idea how small it would be. We were part of a two ship flight and the other plane took lead and I am happy they did. I got to see the most fantastic view ever in an aircraft. When the lead plane went over the hump of the gap I had a full view of the leads bottom as he went over the top. What a sight that was. We were VERY close to each other and I mean close. When we exited the gap we were over someones mining claim with a small trailer and we broke out VERY low. So low I could see great detail of the people on the ground. When going through the Gap we were no more than FEET away from walls and dirt. I mean literally only a couple of feet. What a rush! We continued this low level thing for quite a while playing grab ass with the other plane over hills and down hills the best roller coaster I have ever been on PERIOD. The ground was very close and the ejection seat I was in was just a seat at that point since there was no chance of using it, there was no time to react fast enough. Thankfully I am writing this and not some stain in the desert.
Well Time to do the work thing. More later. Mark
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Today I will focus a little on what we did at Nellis as part of the cover story for the Stealth program.Being at Nellis and having a BIG secret was kind of exciting to say the least. We for obvious reasons felt privileged and at the same time special in relation to others on the base. We weren't any better than the rest but our mission was entirely different and required at times thinking on our feet as it were.The operations on Nellis were many times multinational and this caused some apprehension on our part many times.
A great tradition among Air Force's worldwide is patch trading. Now since we were not very visitor friendly this was a little difficult for us when someone would POP in for a chat and to get one of our patches. As as I mentioned before when someone who we did not recognize came into our building we would instantly do a MEET AND GREET before they got to far into the building. We would approach the person and ask politely if we could help them. This was odd I am sure to them since in most places you could wander for some time before someone would even notice you. On one occasion a British group came for a visit and we went into action. They just wanted to get some patches which we gave them and then they wanted to see our planes and talk shop. Well that was not going to happen. Try getting a fellow airman to kindly leave as soon as possible in a polite manner and they begin to feel unwanted. This was not our purpose but in our building things could change at a minutes notice and someone could be discussing classified or the such. These poor Brit's I am sure thought how rude of the colonists to rush us out.
Another time a Brit who had purchased of all things a Harley had been driving down the flight line road a no no to begin with towing his prized possession on a trailer and drove right into our red line area where the planes were parked. He was stopped by a maintenance crew they called security and he was given a polite lashing I am sure. The Security Police on Nellis were not briefed on our mission and any breach of the RED LINE was handled the same as anywhere else on the flight line. For those who do not know there is a red line painted the entire length of the flight line. As with anything red it means stop, no crossing. This type of infraction happens often at bases worldwide. Some times it is a civilian driver who is lost and wanders into the flight line area by mistake.
Being part of the 4450th was also different in that we had different rules from the regular AF. For instance in the USAF every year everyone has to qualify on a 1 1/2 mile run in a certain time for your age. In our unit we got permission to do long hikes in the mountains nearby instead and that was great. One time we went up a trail that led to the area where the oldest living things on earth live the Bristlecone pine said to be over 5000 years old. These hikes would be a family affair with a picnic afterwords and a great time for us all to get together. Of course there would be more than one of these events since our schedules would not allow for everyone to do it on the same day.
The agencies on base were familiar with us but anytime we dealt with them they knew we were odd sorts since we always got what we wanted no questions asked. We had priority in everything we did. This at times caused some discontent among the MASSES but they never gave us a hard time just the LOOK. I am sure they resented us in some small way but they could do nothing about our special status.
A good example of this special treatment was when we needed some new recruits from a tech school in Denver Colorado, Lowry AFB. Myself and two others a Chief Master Sergent and a Master Sergent flew out to Lowry with the task of finding two people to join the A7's.Now when we showed up at the school the we went directly to the Commander's office. Since we were SPECIAL he had no notice of our arrival or what we were doing at HIS school. The Chief just handed him a letter that basically said COOPERATE. Now I know that this was unprofessional sounding to just show up with no notice but that is how we operated to preserve as much secrecy as possible. The Commander, after reading the letter, said what do you need and asked us how he could help. I do not know who signed the letter but they had much pull. We were given a room to interview some folks and also given their service records and school records. Each candidate was questioned at length, even as far as asking them if they had any problems with flying. These poor folks were very new in the military and a few asked when they entered the room if they were in trouble since their instructor could not give them any idea what we were doing. We would put them at ease and we even went so far as to put them on a first name basis for the interview so as to relax them further.
When we had found our two people it was time to let them know they were selected and that we would take care of getting their assignments changed. This is where the fun started. We went to the assignment section of the personnel department at the base and the Chief handed the letter that he had shown the Commander of the school to the Chief of the Personnel section. The Chief of this section being a Chief said I cannot change their assignments and gave our Chief the brushoff. Our Chief being the diplomatic type asked to use the phone. He promptly called someone, to this day I have no idea who he called, and handed the phone to the Chief. The Chief simply said yes sir several times and hung up. He then asked our Chief how he could help. Amazing what one phone call can do.
This is my favorite example of how our unit was different from even other A7 units. Our A7's were the only active duty planes of this type. All others were assigned to the National Guard. Since our planes were no different in appearances to those in the Guard we got any and all modification or time compliance orders that they got. The only problem was that ours did not have the cannon installed and some of the armour plating(for weight and balance). These were removed to make the aircraft lighter. There were also systems that we did not use. I will leave it at that. So if we had a new mod or the such that pertained to these areas we could not perform that task.
This lack of systems or non use of systems proved interesting on one occasion for me. As the head of my specialty on the aircraft I was sent TDY (temporary duty) to Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton Ohio for a conference on a digital conversion of the system I was responsible for and several other system it would affect. Since some of this stuff was not used I hoped that nothing would come up that I could not explain away.
The first awkward moment was when all the other Guard folks and I met. The first thing they asked was, so why do you guys fly A7's and what do you do? Our cover was that we were testing advanced avionics (not a lie - F-117). So that's what I told them. I could tell right off that was not good enough for them but they let it be, for now. I was going to be at this conference for 7 days so I just hoped that that was the end of the awkwardness, Not. Everything was going great until someone mentioned some problems with a NON use system on our planes. When I was asked if I had a similar problem which they all had experienced I simply said NO (not a lie). Needless to say they wanted to know why and I told them I could not discuss this any further. Luckily the chief in charge of this conference understood my situation and changed the subject.
One other great thing about that conference is my visit to the Air Force Museum at Wright Paterson AFB in Dayton Ohio. I was like a kid in a candy store. Planes I had only seen pictures of were now inches away. I was overwhelmed. I say all my favorites, the XB-70, X-15, B-58, B-29, (FW-190, ME -109 German WWII) P-51, Spitfire, P-39, P-47, P-40, P-62, B-1, B-36 HUGE the list goes on and on. If you are ever in Dayton this is worth the trip.
One thing that I will mention here is that I had a relative who was a Major General attached to Wright Pat when the Roswell thing went down. This is the base that the supposed Alien bodies were brought to. He was at the time in charge of a Scientific unit at the base. I asked him many years ago if he knew about the rumor. He said he did and that to his knowledge nothing of the sort ever came to that base. Take that for what it is worth. I will say that he had a very high security clearance. One more interesting thing about him is that he also participated in the Nuremberg Trials as a younger officer. He was a West Pointer. Was moved over to the USAAF during WWII and went on to the USAF in 1947. He was a pilot, P-51s. One of my TTR buddies reminds me of him a little, this relative once buzzed his mothers house in NEW YORK CITY. He was a great guy. He has passed now but he was alive well after 9/11. Here is something he said to me after 9/11. Mark its been two days now how come Afghanistan still exists! Every so often he would call and mention the time since 9/11 and ask the same question. He lived to see something happen there but he felt it was way to little to late! He passed at the age of 95 and is buried at Arlington. Sharp as a tack to the end!
Now for one of the characters I worked with. I will not use his real name. Derek was by far the most exciting of the bunch. I remember a trip I took with him in a Government owned vehicle, GOV, up North as we called it. One of only two trips where I got to drive up instead of fly. The trip up was uneventful if you could call a high speed run uneventful. Derek was the driver ALWAYS he insisted and who am I to argue at being a passenger. Its a long drive. Anyway the speedometer was not much use for him. To put it simply the mile markers were going by every thirty seconds! Yes I know it was wrong but we were young and fearless let alone the abuse of a GOV. Needless to say he had an ulterior motive for this. He wanted to make it before dinner, it was surf and turf night. We arrived on time for his dinner of choice and unscathed. This was just a parts run of sorts for the A-7's there and to bring some other items back to Nellis. It was an overnighter of course.
On the return trip Derek wanted to take a Short Cut. Now you must understand there are no shortcuts across CLASSIFIED RANGE. Our security badges allowed us to access only certain parts of the the Test Range. But Derek new better and proceeded to drive where we were NOT SUPPOSED to be. He said it would cut many miles off our trip back. I said maybe not if we get stopped and they check our badges. He was not phased by my words one bit. So here we were about to Trespass on areas of classified Range and he was excited. As we went along suddenly a sign read area such and such badges only. I looked at my badge and it was not there. Here we go. I will not be able to describe where we were or what we saw but I can tell you this, I was keeping an eye on the sky for a very good reason! After what seemed FOREVER a new sign proclaimed we were leaving that area and we were in the clear. Thank you Lord!
Now the fun was not over and now I got to play a little. I am sure you are all aware that Nevada has what is called the EXTRATERRESTIAL Highway. Well we ended up coming out on that road. Now Speed racer had a new game he wanted to play. At the speeds mentioned before. He had brought along many very small steel juice cans, you know the ones you see in the markets with pineapple juice in them they are about 3" high and about 1/1/2" in DIA. perfect for the palm of the hand. He called them juice grenades and we had all flavors, prune, apple, pineapple you name it. Now these were full cans. His idea was to try and hit things with them as he drove. I was the launcher and he would toss a few too. Well I am not very good at hitting things at the speed he was going so I never made contact with any targets. The idea was sound but we had no way of judging when to release. I have to admit it was kind of a rush trying to hit billboards and the such. None of his lobs by him made it either. I bet somewhere out there there are many burst juice cans along the south bound lane of that highway. We did not stop in Rachel NV we blew by like a flying saucer. Made the trip back in record time, for who I do not know but it was fast.
Years later I saw Derek back in Vegas at a Reunion of sorts. He had flown in under his own power. He had a PILOTS license now, a REAL one and had rented an aircraft. He wanted me to go up with him. I declined for obvious reasons.
Well I will stop for now. More later. Thanks for reading Mark
Monday, April 6, 2009
The loser station MSNBC, the HOMOSEXUAL, Transgender and Losers channel you know the one with that Madcow he/she and the is he or isn't he Heir Olberman. Well I am still looking for the name of the Lisping LOSER who is a replacement for the usual LOSER on softball. He just called a Minnesota State Representative a WING NUT for her views on the political environment.
I have tried to stay away from the negative but just surfing channels got me mad. How did I manage to catch this loser at the exact moment of his dribble?
These folks are wetting themselves over that Obamanation, non citizen, LOSER.
He JUST CALLED us WING NUTS again, meaning the right.
Yeah I called them names too but they have a NATIONAL audience and should have higher standards! My standards were lowered to prevent from having to buy a new TV!
Make note to self DELETE MSNBC as was done with CNN. There I feel better.
Thank you for letting me get that out I needed it.
By the way the person in the Happy place image is my Big Little brother. He is a great guy who makes me laugh constantly. In that image you can see the ruins of one of the ghost towns near where we are camped(camped, well not really camping in an RV) there are two within a short distance of each other. The RV even gives more detail too. Check out the sunset image and look at the Joshua trees in the foreground. Boy I miss this place BAD!
I love revelations like this one. Simple pleasures are the best!
WOW, I just found out that if you click on the image it enlarges! Way cool this will give you a better look.
Well yet again here are today's treasures form the same antique/junk shop. The stick pin is 14kt with an amethyst and the ring is also 14kt with great open work, mill graining and carved designs all the way around even the shank. It also has some great enamel work too. The ring dates from the 1800's probably around 1890's or so. The image does not do the ring justice since the stone is blood red and marvelous. I have to break out the refractometer to see what I have. But I would say without a doubt it is a ruby, the question is Synthetic or natural. They started making synthetic rubies and sapphires in the 1800's. By the way the stone is about 6 carats or so by measurement. It measures about 13mm long and 10mm wide and 6mm deep. The gold value minus the weight of the stone is about $70 dollars, I paid $12.00. The actual value of the entire ring is much more. The stick pin has about $45 dollars in gold content and I paid $12.00, but again it is a 1920's era piece and worth much more than that.
Mill Graining is a type of very tiny bead like decorations usually on the edge of a ring. Think of them looking like little drops of gold in a line all along the edge of a ring. On this ring they are around the bezel(hold the stone in place). The open work is similar to that you might find on a very ornate wrought iron fence with patterns throughout or a stainglass window without the glass and on a very tiny scale. The pattern is flowers and leaves surrounded by tiny little holes for lack of a better word that make the designs appear to float on the ring.
Along the shank of the ring(part that wraps around your finger) there is intricate carving of flowers and leaves intertwined, same as the open work but carved. Very delicate and beautiful carving.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Now don't get me wrong G.O.O.D. is fine for natural disasters, man made types like chemical spills, nuclear waste problems or reactors you get the idea. But as far as "THEM" or "THEY" go I am staying put! I have come to the conclusion that G.O.O.D. under the "THEM" or "THEY" scenario is Bad for My Home, Bad for MY town and Bad for the Country as a whole and here is my reasoning.
What if those brave souls at the Alamo, many of which were not native to the area, had seen what they were about to face and said later guys? What about another brave group during the War of 1812 who in New Orleans fought British troops while being out gunned and out trained but still had an ENORMOUS victory in the face of these odds. Those in N.O. were a, pardon the saying, a rag tag, bunch of soldiers, citizens and even pirates who stood their ground to defend this young nation from the attacking forces of the British. They stood their ground and WON a major battle(I know the war was over but that is not the point).
Then take the Revolutionary War. What if the signers of the Declaration had not seen fit to carry out that very dangerous task? Or what if simple farmers, cobblers, printers, doctors and the rest of the plain old citizens had decided to mind their own business and not get into the fight? Except the TORRES of course.
The groups that I mention here were for the most part ill equipped and greatly outnumbered. They were lucky during the Revolutionary War if they had shoes, food, shelter, proper clothing etc. Yes we had help from the French and the British were involved in a war with France etc., but without the resolve of a few patriots we would be singing praise to the Queen as I type.
Who in these UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is better suited to follow in the footsteps of these great patriots than those of us who are PREPARED? I am not suggesting anything like a revolution or the such. But take for instance posts I have read that state it is a good idea to have extra food stuffs for neighbors and family. Well forget helping your neighbors if you G.O.O.D. They are left to fend for themselves. And what about the less fortunate among us the elderly, infirm, children, poor, sick or the doctors and nurses who stay behind to honor their oath, Fireman, Policeman, Clergy you get the point. As a former military member it would be like leaving a fellow Airman behind to save my own BUTT. How many of you ex military would do that? This G.O.O.D. situation is no different. These are the very people who I swore an oath to protect. No matter what their background.
When I joined the military at the age of 17 I did not do it for adventure, glory or financial gain. I did it because I believed it was the right thing to do for my COUNTRY! Just because I am no longer wearing the uniform does not mean that I am no longer a protector of this GREAT Country that I love! On the contrary I have even more responsibility now than when I was a civilian and my eyes have be opened significantly. I have seen how other countries treat their citizens and how wonderful it felt to touch U.S. soil again after being gone. You cannot remove the Olive Drab or what have you from my blood!
Now I know there are those thinking that the Police or even our own military may move against us. I have a sneaky suspicion that "THEY" don't know them very well. I served for 20 years and in that time I met more like minded people serving with me than I did prior or since. How many of the millions of military members have similar beliefs? Why do you think that politicians always try to keep their absentee votes from counting? They know where they stand and do not want them to make a difference in any election. I have also experienced the anger expressed by fellow military members when a liberal President or Congress is sworn in. They know that they will be the first targets of oportunity for budget CUTS.
I do not believe I can leave when fellow Americans who have no choice but to stay and face the wrath of whatever "THEY" want to dish out.
Here is a good scenario that played out on LIVE TV and it made me very angry. How about the Hurricane that hit New Orleans. When I saw all the empty school buses up to the doors in water I was stunned. How could that be, why were they not used to get people out of town? I will tell you why "THEY" did not care what happened to anyone but themselves. Even police officers left town when they were needed most. I say let those types leave and those of us with the fortitude and morals stick around and make a difference in a strangers life.
Then there was the U.S. Congressman who in the same disaster above decided to get himself a deuce and a half and save his belongings from the flood. He could care less about those who were in the same situation. Self serving LOSER.
Sure there may be some in the government agencies who respond similarly to what happened to Ruby Ridge or Waco Texas. But I believe that America has reached a turning point and that this scenario would be less likely now. I am an optimist at heart but a realist too.
Well I guess you get my point I hope. I think it would be better for all of US to make a stand and deny "THEM" the outcome they dream of and that we fear the most, The end of this Great Country as we know it.
May God Bless America
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Oathkeepers in Lexington
Here it is:http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/2009/03/oath-keepers-will-muster-on-lexington.htmlHow about us Texans in Gonzales on April 19th?Anyone up for that? Maybe we could get Chuck Norris to say a few words too?YeOldFurt http://yeoldfurt.blogspot.com/