28 March 2008

Understanding Islam

Some French are beginning to understand.
Some Brits are beginning to understand.
Some Dutch are wondering if it's already too late.

What about you? Do you understand?

This may be the most important film of our lifetime:

If you agree with Wilders views, show your support by posting the film. Numbers may help save his life.
SURRENDER! (The video has been pulled from the 'net!)
Well, I can't say I'm surprised.
But can you think of a better way to illustrate
how much trouble we face?

I can't.
Updated update!
Curmudgeonly Skeptical is my new hero! (Thanks Old Man.)
You can view the video (for a while at least), at this link.

25 March 2008

A Little Trivia, and More:

A couple trivia questions you may find interesting-

1. Who signed Clark Gable's military discharge?

2. The first person to fly the English Channel over and back, he was the first Briton killed in an airplane accident. You know his name, followed by a hyphen. Who was he?

And finally, news we'll all hear soon about someone we thought dead
who might not be so dead after all!

23 March 2008

Surviving Cold

January, 1982

Remind me... why did I volunteer for this?
It's 6 A.M. and I'm wide awake. I'm comfortable in this sleeping bag...
well, except for my feet. There's no way to know the temperature in this coffin-shaped hole I've carved out of the snow but it DOES NOT feel cold, even though it's 30 below zero outside the pine boughs and snow covering my head.

Yeah, I volunteered...
"Cold Weather Survival School" in Ely, Minnesota. I've been corresponding with "Mike", the guy that set up this course for months, asking for advice to establish an all-weather survival course for the Aviators in my command. His challenge...
"Come up and attend the course yourself. You'll learn a bunch and come away with plenty of ideas!"

So here I am, bored, but not all that cold. The temperature actually rose to -15 today, but the sun slipped beneath the horizon just after 4 P.M. and with this clear sky the air got noticeably colder instantly. Several of us stood around the bonfire chatting for a while but there is no way to be comfortable there...
It's the first time I've had the experience of being warm and comfortable on the fire-side of my body, while the side away from the fire begs for me to turn 180 degrees! I'm wearing a polyester snowmobile suit, and in trying to get warm, stood close enough to melt the suit's outer layer from my right knee down. We finally realize we'd be more comfortable in our sleeping bags, wish one another a good night, and head off to our shelters.

We were told we could increase the temperatures of our shelters by 10 degrees if we dug them all the way to earth. I had to dig a little more than four feet to expose the ground, but I'm glad now that I did it... my body temperature actually makes the shelter feel warm. My feet are a different story, however. Our first night in Ely, our group of 20 students all slept in a group shelter. Our accumulated body heat actually melted the snow on the roof of that shelter and the melting snow dripped onto the foot of my sleeping bag, soaking it. I have to sleep in the fetal position to keep my feet out of the wet/icy part of the bag. My legs ache. I try to extend my feet into the bottom of the bag, but the ice/dampness suck the heat from them to the point of pain in just seconds.

And the darkness! Over 15 hours of it!
We're learning "survival" stuff while the sun is shining... learning how to build our individual shelters, how to dress warmly, how to easily build fires, how to keep from losing tools to the "snow monster", how our bodies require far more water than we think because we are in fact experiencing "desert" conditions.
(If the snow is yellow when you pee, you're not drinking enough water.)
But the sun goes down and it gets colder, forcing us all to our shelters. After 8 hours sleep I am rested, but don't want to leave the shelter and be exposed to cold so extreme the bonfire isn't adequate.

One night in the group shelter, two nights in my individual "coffin"...
I graduate.
I'm amazed at what I've done... amazed at what I've learned. Properly prepared, I realize I can survive almost anything if I just don't panic.
I come home, write my school syllabus, request and receive approval for funding, and start my school. There's great satisfaction knowing lives may be saved because of my initiative.

But ask me...
Would I ever go back and experience sleeping outside at 30 below zero again?
Not no, but HELL NO!

20 March 2008

The Quality of Character

I don't understand why so many are surprised at the continuing media focus on Obama's outrageous Pastor, but some are. I found an essay which puts my feelings into words better than I could have written myself.
Caroline Glick writes about
The Quality of Obama's Character.

Whatever your thoughts on BHO, reading it may give you a better understanding.

19 March 2008

And.... Action!

From "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes", an unscripted crash the producers decided to include in the final product.
Pilot and two actors apparently had minor injuries.

Tail rotors aren't efficient at plowing furrows.

15 March 2008

Greybeard, Non-Visionary

Who'd a thunk it?

You went out and bought 'WAY more house than you could afford...
Got yourself a mortgage with an interest rate that had your friends shaking their heads and chuckling behind your back. Everyone thought you were the "fool" that is "soon parted from his money."

Look who's laughing now!
Congress wants to protect you from the predators that sold you the home and forced you to sign that usury note, and there is actually talk in some States of making it illegal to foreclose on you.

Stupid, pedestrian ME!
Someone please... clue me in.
How do I get my share of this action?

12 March 2008

A Question For My Military Readers:

I want to talk about promotions... specifically military promotions.
Let me explain.
One of my High School classmates is now a Major General in the United States Army. He was in many of my classes... smart, but gave no sign at that time of being brilliant. His brilliance was in athletics- Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track. He was good at everything he did athletically, and an All-Stater in Football... he played Linebacker behind me at the left Defensive Guard position.
He was also one of the "good guys". He always seemed to have a smile on his face and a group of classmates around him. I can't think of anyone that disliked him.

My opinion is that it's true in any vocation-
He's the sort that will rise to the top. In NO WAY do I mean this negatively... if you can make those around you comfortable, they're more likely to listen to what you are saying. If you are also good at what you do, you'll be successful. I guess my point is that good salespeople succeed where others fall short, and successful folks are good salespeople.

My experience in the Army was that education and punching the right tickets would get you promotions, up to a certain point. I knew exactly what education, both civilian and military, was expected of me to be promoted to certain ranks. There came a point in my Army Reserve life where I had to make a decision about what was most important... my civilian livelihood, or my military promotion. There simply weren't enough hours in the day to finish the military schooling I needed, by correspondence, to be promoted to the next rank. Thankfully, at that point I was qualified to retire.

So please, those of you with time in the military, your comments-

At what rank do you become more politician than military leader, (if at all) ? Again, this is also true in civilian life, but anyone who has read and enjoyed
"Once An Eagle", (a GREAT book that I recommend to all my friends), knows what I'm talking about... the difference between the "Tommy Franks" and "Wesley Clarks" in our military.
I knew early on that I wasn't enough politician to reach high rank in the ARMY. In my experience, those promoted to Bird Colonel were as much politician as they were military officer.
Promotion to Star Rank meant that officer was a great politician. I am in awe and proud of my classmate and not at all surprised by his success. I guess I'm most surprised I didn't recognize his "all around greatness" earlier!

07 March 2008

Almost A YouTube Addict!

I LOVE YouTube!
I have to limit the amount of time I spend pokin' around the various video sites lest I find myself wondering where the last four hours disappeared. What a powerful medium... from a political viewpoint, getting more and more powerful as both parties realize the possible impact there.

Two examples follow-
Although well done, I couldn't help but visualize German arms raised in the "Heil Hitler" salute as I listened to the background chant in this one:

So I was not surprised... actually comforted, to find that others were equally disturbed:

We've not yet seen the full power of YouTube and other internet video sites, folks. I'm simultaneously thrilled and frightened, trying to see the future there.

"If you care about your kids' future, not cheating on your wife and the mother of your children seems to be of far more importance than, say, who you vote for in the primaries."
That article, worth reading, is here.

02 March 2008

" A Story of Heroes, War, and Tragedy."

I've written many times of my love for the Huey.
I envy Elay, who's still flyin' the wonderful, forgiving old machine. From comments and correspondence, I know several of you share my feelings.

This video is another of those that runs 9+ minutes.
If you have an interest in the Huey, the Viet Nam conflict, or a good human interest story, I think you'll find it worth your time.

Have a hanky or tissue at hand.