30 April 2009

Money Down A Rat-hole

Take $500 out of your wallet and set it on fire.
That's basically what our government just did for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. of A.
Instead of forcing Chrysler into bankruptcy months ago, we taxpayers lent them $1.5 Billion to help them over a "rough financial patch". That money was gonna be paid back with interest when Chrysler got healthy.

Ha!
We may as well have put that money into one-armed-bandits in Las Vegas.

General Motors is next.

Update:
Greybeard and
Neil Cavuto are on the same wavelength.

29 April 2009

WHAT'S GOIN' ON?

"LOOK AT HIM!
WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIM?"

I was upstairs getting ready for work, listening to the TV downstairs. She was watching what I was hearing. I ran to the balcony and looked down to see what she was talking about...
"See how he looks? He looks frightened. His cockiness is gone."

My wife has a sixth sense. She's almost never wrong in her character judgments. And I could see she was right. So I said, "Well, you gotta remember, he gets a Top Secret briefing every morning about the status of the world around him. His briefers may have scared the crap out of him today."

But on the way to work tonight I thought of something else-
Two weeks ago in Mexico he was escorted on a tour by a man who is now dead. That man's death has been attributed to various causes, including heart trouble and SWINE FLU.
Is our President(?) beginning to feel a little feverish?
Or is he just beginning to realize how much danger he has exposed himself and the Nation to with some of his poor decision making?

So, what's goin on?
All we can do is wait and watch.

Vanity



There's a mirror like that one on both the passenger and driver's side of our car, complete with adjustable-intensity lights on either side of the thing. So when I climb into the driver's seat, why do I have to adjust the rearview mirror so I'm not looking at my own ugly mug?

28 April 2009

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie



I'm working nights this shift, six nights in a row. I get home in the morning and find my wife and our dog sitting on the sofa, cuppa Joe in Sara Jean's hand, catching up on what's goin' on in the world...
Wife and dog both well rested from a good night's sleep.
Sara Jean will then prepare for work while I sit in bed with laptop, Lucy alongside, napping, as I read email and scan my favorite blogs.

When I'm finished surfing and turn over to close my eyes, she'll crawl under the covers and take her normal position behind the crook of my knees. And there she'll stay until I wake, six or seven hours later.

Lucy obviously enjoys this hot bunking system. She sleeps soundly for eight hours with Sara Jean, then sleeps another seven or so hours with me. I've always known dogs (and obviously cats) sleep a lot, but I've become so much more aware of Lucy's sleeping habits now that she's getting out of bed with Sara Jean and right back into bed with me.

Do dogs not get a headache from too much sleep?

26 April 2009

Four Year Blogiversary

Four years ago I sat at the dining room table in Destin Florida and typed out my first two blog posts.
Four years older...
Four years wiser?

I had hope then.
Now? I'm a nervous Boy Scout, preparing.

25 April 2009

The President = Hitler

How you react to that comparison depends on your political leanings:




CNN-
In the Bozama tank.

23 April 2009

Go Sheriff Joe!

My son's County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, sends his best to
the reverend Al .
Stay tuned.

Ammunition Shortage, April Update

Here's the latest skinny, and it turns out we pretty much had our facts straight from the beginning.
The other issue that I find interesting is the nationwide interest not only in CCW, but open carry.
"And the times- they are a changin'."

(I still haven't received my 1,000 rounds of .30 Carbine ammo from Cabela's.)

I'm An Oddball... Like You?

I admit it, I'm different. I take some pride in that actually.
I don't need you or anyone else to tell me how I should think or feel. I'm pretty good at figuring that out on my own.
I have never been comfortable in large "activist" crowds... the "mob mentality" bothers me.

And for you and me that's a problem.
Because we're not alone. There are lots of folks like us.
We've been called "The Silent Majority". We're the ones that toddle along in life causing few problems, making no waves. We work efficiently and do "a day's work for a day's pay."
And in so doing we pay the taxes that are used to benefit all.

But since we seldom speak out, we are easily ignored. Sometimes others take advantage of us because they know we're uncomfortable with the idea of drawing attention to ourselves...
Unless things get really out of hand we shrug our shoulders and think to ourselves "This too will pass", and it does. But we generally end up paying for our silence in one way or another.

That's why last week's "Tea Parties" are exciting to me. Had I not been working (and therefore paying taxes), I'd have attended one close to me. In the middle of the week, in the middle of the day, (a WORKDAY by the way), over 200,000 (some estimates I have read suggest over 500,000) people assembled peacefully to protest the government's recent huge and wasteful outlays of our tax dollars. Most major media ignored these gatherings. CNN, who I have jokingly called "The Communist News Network" in the past, proved my joke might be true by trying to portray attendees as outliers...
Rednecks, Racists, and "Bible clinging gun crazos".

So we're being marginalized.
Maybe five hundred thousand people attended... how many would have attended if it hadn't been a workday? How many would they be trying to marginalize if these protests had been held on a Saturday?
I think our government and its fawning media are frightened and confused, and I think they're playing with gasoline and matches.


Here's my hope...
I hope you're watching this situation as closely as me.
I hope you are irritated that your complaints are being ignored because you are "stupid".
I hope you are motivated to act.

These Tea Parties are the first step. We now know that there are other "silent majority" types out there who are angry and frustrated with the unsustainable course our government is taking.
We know we can form in numbers that cannot be ignored. We know that "next time" we can increase those numbers.
Next time!

The Tea Parties are the first step. "Change" was such a buzzword in the last election, but we knew for us it wouldn't be change for the better. If we want change that will set this government on a sane, sustainable path, we have to take the next step...

How 'bout the 4th of July, "Independence Day"?
Wouldn't it be nice for those of us that truly are independent to make some noise on the 4th?

(Talk amongst yourselves and then express an independent opinion in comments here.
Then talk to others... We know there are MANY like us. We must be "silent" no more!)

21 April 2009

Progressive-Think

An attorney trying to form a defense team for the surviving Somali pirate made this statement:

"I think there's a grave question as to whether America was in violation of principles of truce in warfare on the high seas," said Kuby. "This man seemed to come on to the Bainbridge under a flag of truce to negotiate. He was then captured. There is a question whether he is lawfully in American custody and serious questions as to whether he can be prosecuted because of his age."

My head almost exploded.
These guys throw a grappling hook over the gunwale of the Maersk-Alabama, and while being doused with the only means the crew has to resist them... a firehose, hoist their AK-47 laden bodies up the rope and onto the deck. In what parallel universe can anyone consider these pirates were wanting to
"negotiate under a flag of truce"?

This is a nightmare.
Someone wake me please.

20 April 2009

Greybeard Beats Dead Horse-

He's a twenty three year old male, unrestrained driver, likely fell asleep on his way to college.
He left the roadway and slid down an embankment, impacting a tree. The airbag deployed, but since he was not wearing his restraining system he rode over the bag and his face created a hole in the windshield. Making the hole probably didn't do near the damage to his face as coming BACK through the hole. The extrication process was relatively minor.
He's a bloody mess. His left eye is lacerated and unsalvageable. His nose is severed and hanging by a thin thread of tissue. The orbit for his left eye and his left cheekbone is badly crushed and will require very technical reconstruction.

All this because his drive to school was short, and for whatever reason he didn't feel his seat belt and shoulder harness were necessary.

Soap box time...
TELL THOSE YOU LOVE TO BUCKLE THEIR "&@*%>+^" BELTS!

18 April 2009

Change You Can Believe In


AP Photo
So let's see where we stand...
Returning Veterans are "potential domestic terrorists."
Same with members of the American Legion.
But this guy Chavez, who shut down newspapers and Radio and TV stations that opposed him?
Like the Castro brothers, he's MUY SIMPATICO!

Idiots.

Keep Your Cards Close To Your Vest


Although I don't play poker, I've heard about the importance of a "Poker Face".
Folks who win at Poker keep their opponents guessing about whether or not they are bluffing.
Apparently, no one in the Bozama administration understands the importance of a Poker Face.

Idiots.

17 April 2009

For The First Time In My Adult Life...

I'm not sure I'm happy to be an American.
What in God's name is going on?

Peacefully Dealing With Pirates?

I'm still puzzled by this problem of pirates boarding big cargo vessels near Somalia...
Sure seems to me it would be easy to ward them off with a small security force on each ship, but maybe I'm unaware of the big picture?

The pirates are approaching in small boats, then they throw a grappling hook into the cargo ship while the crew of that ship sprays them with a fire hose to try to prevent them from boarding.
Here's my suggestion:
The pirates approach and sidle up to the cargo ship. The crew on the cargo ship looks over the side and drops a gallon hefty bag filled with gasoline into the pirate boat, then brandishes a flare gun and asks, "Would you like to see the second part of our new welcoming celebration?"
I think most pirates would decline.

14 April 2009

LURPS

Big ol' ugly thing... (But I love it!)
That one looks a lot like the machines I flew in Viet Nam.

Hang miniguns on the sides instead of the flex M-60's and it's almost an exact match. Notice too the crew chief and gunner hanging out the sides of the aircraft with their
M-60's. This was not a view you sought if you were Viet Cong or a North Vietnamese regular.

My unit,
the Aeroscout Company, had the primary mission of doing reconnaissance for the Americal Division. (If you click on the "1969 Yearbook" and "photo album" tabs at that link, you'll find several pictures of yours truly.) As part of that mission, we frequently transported L.R.R.P.'s (Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrols, pronounced LURP'S) out into bad guy country and dropped them off. Once inserted, their job was to avoid contact with the enemy and observe his movement.
Theirs was risky work, as was inserting them into position.

It was just about this time of year 40 years ago that we took off in the afternoon to do a LRRP insertion. We frequently would do one or two "fake" insertions... landing at other LZ's without disembarking the LRRP's, to confuse anyone watching and provide a little more security for these brave guys. Still fairly new "in country", I was the wingman in the formation, Aircraft Commander of a Gunship like the one pictured, accompanying an AH-1G Cobra and the UH-1H troop carrier (Slick).
We did one fake dropoff, then successfully inserted the team and started back home. The gunships I flew were underpowered and overloaded. So overloaded in fact, on hot days they would not hover. We kept them at absolutely minimum fuel for each mission in order to give us the best power-to-weight ratio possible. But that meant our endurance on each mission was limited.

About 10 minutes after inserting the LRRP's, over the FM radio, we heard this call...
(Whispering)... "Warlord Lead, this is Blue Potato, over."

Our team leader answered, "Blue Potato this is Warlord Lead, over."

"Can you come back and pick us up? There is an enemy unit of approximately battalion size coming toward us from an adjacent hill."

These guys were in big trouble. If we called someone to come get them immediately the response time would be over half an hour. They didn't have that time. Problem was, I was fuel critical, and my team leader knew it.

"Two, what's your fuel status?"
A quick calculation and my pucker factor went to ten on a scale of ten...
"We're gonna be mighty close, but we have no choice."
"Roger that." And with that we turned 180 degrees.
A battalion of bad guys, and they know our scouts are there. When they hear us coming back, they'll be prepared for us.

The slick spotted the LZ and started his approach. Hoping to draw some of the fire away from him I slotted in on the approach with him, loose echelon-right.

From the air, an AK-47 being fired at you sounds like popcorn being popped... a muffled Pop-Pop-Pop-poppity-Pop!
Ten seconds from landing it began...
Poppity-Poppity-Pop-Poppity-Poppity...
Lots of firing, but so far no rounds had made contact with my aircraft. As the slick slowed to land I flew past him, and noticed he lowered his nose to accelerate...
Going too fast, he missed his LZ. We'd have to turn and do it again, and now they'd know exactly where he needed to land.

Go around...
Big circle...
Start the approach again.
This time to change things a little I'm in echelon-left.
...Much more AK fire this time...
Poppity Poppity Poppity Poppity Pop Poppity!
Time almost stopped. The slick dropped into the LZ and I made my break to the left. The Cobra rolled in behind us and provided cover while the troops got aboard. When the slick lifted I turned inbound again, once again hoping to divide Charlie's attention.

As the troop carrier climbed out Lead called, "Slick, you okay?"
"Roger that!"
And with five happy LRRP's aboard, we once again turned for home.

"Two, how's your fuel?"
"I'm indicating 300 pounds. It's gonna be close."
Almost immediately my 20 minute fuel-low warning light came on.
"I've got a 20 minute light."
"Roger that. Keep me advised."

We've all been low on fuel, watching the fuel gauge drop while anxiously peering ahead, hoping for a glimpse of the refueling station. But it's different when you're flying over unfriendly ground, listening for the sudden sound of silence that would mean you had to accomplish an emergency landing in a helicopter that was too heavy to hover when you took off.
Stress?
You bet!

We hovered into our revetment twenty minutes after the 20 minute warning light came on. Everyone flying this mission wondered how much fuel was left in my bird, so we all stood and watched as my tanks were topped off...
...Four gallons left... less than three minutes of fuel.
(Then they drained a bunch of that fuel out for the next day's mission.)

Later that night there was a knock on the door of our hootch and I heard a loud, slurred question...
"WHERE'S GREYBEARD?"

"Here. Who's asking?"

"The guys whose lives you saved today."
All five of 'em standing there, team leader in front.
In one hand he had a bottle of Crown Royal. In the other, a bottle of Chivas Regal.

I think we had a good time...
I don't remember much more about that evening.

13 April 2009

12 April 2009

Pirates

I'm interested in what is happening off the coast of Somalia because I think we're seeing an indication of how many of our enemies will deal with the U.S. in the future...
Unable to compete with our technology, they'll resort to 17th century tactics where our wonderful toys have less power.
Still, I think we could put our gadgets to good use-
I'm sure there are all sorts of tools available to our "negotiators" there, to include a few Seals that are chomping at the bit to get involved. Why not let them?
Send a few over to that powerless lifeboat and attach a line somewhere beneath waterline. Then begin towing that sucker out to deeper water, comforting the pirates all the while that we have no intention whatever of feeding their corpses to swine after we execute them.

Then let's see how brave they are.

11 April 2009

09 April 2009

Bananas

Do you like bananas?
Are you sure?
Back in the "bad old days" of the first Carter admnistration, economist Alfred Kahn incurred the wrath of the President by pointing out we likely were headed into a recession. President Carter didn't want Kahn pointing out his leadership was causing voters extra strife in their lives and asked him not to use the word. Kahn apologized, and announced henceforth when talking about recession he would instead use the word banana. I have always loved this sort of behavior... pointing out the idiocy of idiots.

So now, here in the second Carter administration, we have more idiotic behavior by idiots.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is uncomfortable with the phrase "War On Terror", so she instead uses the term, "Man-Caused Disasters".
Now we all can understand this, can't we? War is such an ugly thing...
It brings to mind stuff like explosives being detonated, or even airplanes crashing into tall buildings. No one wants to be reminded of that.
And "Terror" is no better...
The thought of beheadings or homicide bombers is not something about which I want to be reminded. But "Man-Caused Disasters"?
That's not much of an improvement!


First, there have been plenty of women "homicide bombers", so why blame all this on men?
I'm offended!
Let's change that to "Person-Caused", okay?

And "Disaster"?
How can anyone feel comfortable thinking about disasters? So I can't even be comfortable suggesting the phrase "Person-Caused Disasters". I think we need to follow Alfred Kahn's lead here, and come up with a term that will give everyone the "warm and fuzzies".
He already used "banana", so we can't use that. But how do you feel about "Peach"?
Do peaches make any of you uncomfortable?

So there's my suggestion Secretary Napolitano-
Instead of "War on Terror" or "Man-Caused Disasters", from this point on when referring to the unease caused by Fascist Islamic fundamentalists, please use the phrase "The Peach".
And life will be beautiful all the time!

The country is in good hands, folks.

06 April 2009

The Korean Irritation

First- Pull out an atlas and find the Korean Peninsula.
Second- Notice the proximity of Seoul to the DMZ.
Third- Read one of the
simplest, best explanations about our complex problem in that part of the world.

05 April 2009

What Happens Before-

I frequently write about being knocked out by the true heroes of our industry-
the First Responders.

Dispatch calls and we are put on standby. We sit and wait patiently, knowing there is a flurry of activity going on in the field.
Sometimes, sadly, we're "Canceled, not needed."

God Bless you Epi.
And God Bless all the EMT's, EMTP's, Firefighters, Security Officers, and Law Enforcement personnel out there putting their lives on the line.
It's been a tough week.

From Cabela's

Received this via email two weeks ago:

Thank you for your recent order. We appreciate your shopping at Cabela's and hope that you had an enjoyable shopping experience.
Products Ordered
1 of 21-6948 REMINGTON 30 CARBINE 110GR MC AMMO W/DRY BOX 30CARB 110GR MC1000B
Backorder-Tentative arrival to Cabelas 04/15/09


(This order was placed on 9 March, so although I was not happy with the delay, I was just glad to have some indication I would eventually be able to make my "bang stick" go "BANG".)

Then yesterday, this:

Dear Customer,
Thank you for your recent order. We are very sorry to inform you that we are unable to immediately fill your entire order and the merchandise listed below has been placed on backorder. 21-6948 REMINGTON 30 CARBINE 110GR MC AMMO W/DRY BOX 30CARB 110GR MC1000B
Backorder-Tentative arrival to Cabelas 04/24/09


I'm trying to figure what is going on here. If the rate of manufacture is consistent, what is causing the kink in this supply chain? Also, friend Terry emailed and said the price of the .223 caliber he's trying to buy has almost tripled over the last year, and is also almost impossible to find.

I think
CJ is right when she says the country is sick, and many of us are afraid and on a "hair trigger".
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a leader who could truly unite the country in this difficult time? Do you suppose we'll be mature enough to elect that sort of leader anytime in the reasonable future?

03 April 2009

Obama's Misery, April Update-

Last month, 7.63%.
This month,
8.34%. (Less than one percent? C'mon Bozama, we can do better than that!)
But hang on folks...
I think both the unemployment and inflation figures are about to be Supercharged!

02 April 2009

Ponzi

Ya know, Ponzi schemes work, or I should say SEEM to work, for a while, because everyone WANTS TO BELIEVE they'll do what's promised.
And then they collapse under the weight of their own impossiblity.

It's Called Life.

The telephone rang and I answered. My friend said, "Tomorrow I'm going to join the Navy Reserve. Why don't you join with me?
A weekend a month and two weeks during the summer, and we don't have to worry about being drafted."
"Tomorrow? Man, couldn't you have given me a little more time to cogitate this?"

The "Delayed Entry Program"...
It allowed you to join and drill during your Senior year in High School, then attend "Boot Camp" after graduating. This extra year counted toward pay and promotions... it was tempting.
He went downtown the next day and joined. For whatever reason it just didn't feel right for me and I didn't act. And by not acting, options I could not have imagined would be available to me later.

I often think about the little decisions we make in our lives and how a seemingly simple decision ends up making a major change...
How a decision of no discernible import can have consequences no one could have foreseen...
How some of those decisions are forced upon us as adolescents, when we're ill-equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice.

Aviators learn there generally is a "chain of events" leading to an accident. Reviewing "links" leading to a serious or fatal accident we can see how poor judgment and decision making lead to a sad outcome.

But all our lives are filled with these "events" that are little decisions we make along the way...
Something we say, or don't say...
Something we do, or choose not to do...
A decision we put off, for whatever reason, because we're just not comfortable taking that risk on that day.

I'm now in my 23rd year flying a helicopter ambulance. In those years I've lifted over 13,000 human beings... many of them having the worst day of their lives. Don't take me wrong now, I don't think I'm anything really special...
There are several hundred others doing this same job in airplanes, helicopters, and trucks all over the world. But I, and all those others, have played an important part in the lives of those sick and injured folks we have transported, and I wonder...
Wouldn't it be interesting to be like Jimmy Stewart's "George Bailey" character in "It's a Wonderful Life" and go back to see how life would have changed had I joined the Navy Reserve with my buddy?

How would life's "chain of events" unfold?
Where's that rewind button?