Will Smith will announce he is attending "Anger Management" rehab therapy in 3...2...1...
29 March 2022
28 March 2022
My part of the world is greening up now.
Willow trees. Tulip trees and Dogwoods are in full bloom.
Winter Wheat fields look gorgeous. (And with Ukraine's fields lying fallow the farmers that have wheat and soybeans in the ground have big smiles on their faces today!)
I grew up just South of Indianapolis, Indiana. During my formative years FEW had air conditioning in their cars because most simply thought a few summer months could be survived by simply rolling the car windows down.
And the resulting breeze required a BIG clockwise-twist of the volume knob on the radio!
During the "brass monkey alert" months of January it was this time of year everyone looked forward to.
Windows down meant Spring smells; Spring sounds; and the air hitting you in the face and blowing your hair wasn't uncomfortable.
Today? We isolate ourselves from the world, and we don't have to turn the volume up so loud to hear our Sirius/XM multi-speaker sound systems.
I have FOND memories of windows down AND radio blaring.
Just don't ask me if I'd like to go back there. ;)
23 March 2022
22 March 2022
19 March 2022
For several years I owned a company that was the Training/Sales/Service dealership for Robinson helicopters. In 1990 we purchased a new R22 (like the model pictured above) to use to teach people to fly. In four years we put 2000 hours on that bird and sent it back to the factory for a complete overhaul.
When the rebuild was completed my business partner and I were supposed to go pick the bird up and fly it back to the MidWest. The flight back from California is quite an experience...
Almost 20 hours in the little bird across the desert, through mountain passes, and requiring some fairly high-altitude landings/takeoffs.
A week before the day we were scheduled to pickup our rebuilt helicopter my partner called:
"Something has come up. I cannot make the trip."
I asked... "Do you mind if my Dad fills the empty seat?"
"Sounds like a plan..." he responded.
My Dad was a WWII Veteran and Purple Heart recipient of the Pacific theater, wounded in the Philippines. After the war he used his GI benefits to take flight training. I flew many times with him in various airplanes, from a Piper Super Cruiser he owned to a Stearman Biplane owned by a friend of his.
But he had NO helicopter experience at all. He jumped at the chance to make the trip with me.
The day before departure from home I plunked a new Garmin GPS in his lap...
"Dad, I need you to be familiar with how to use that thing to help me safely get out of the Los Angeles basin. We'll need to pass through the airspace of a BUNCH of airports, and you can help me with directions and radio frequencies."
I set the GPS up on "Demo Mode" and told him, "You cannot break this thing. Play with it and learn how it works until you're comfortable with it."
And I left him alone with the device.
Returning 15 minutes later I saw the GPS laid over on the end table next to his chair.
"So you're comfortable with how to use that thing?"
"No, I was afraid I'd break it."
So we departed with the newly rebuilt R22 from Torrance, California and I was a "one-armed wallpaper hanger" trying to fly/navigate/communicate/avoid getting my ticket pulled until we got East of Corona, California.
Stressful. And yes, I was aggravated with him. But...
We'd approach something on the ground like a Railroad track or a major highway, and as it passed beneath the aircraft he'd look at the display on the GPS and shake his head- marveling at how accurate the device was.
Reaching our destination he asked, "How much does this thing cost?"
And he bought one within a week.
My Old Man hated to be embarrassed. It was the worst thing you could do to him. The new technology scared him and he was frightened he'd make a fool of himself during our flight home.
He WOULD NOT HAVE, but that is beside the point.
That flight home with my Dad took three days.
Three days of sharing airtime with a fellow pilot.
And those days are a memory I would not trade for all the treasure in the world.
16 March 2022
Lola Albright, 1924-2017
Lois Nettleton, 1927-2008
We've been watching a lot of old-time TV lately. "The Fugitive". Alfred Hitchcock's half hour and hour long show. "Route 66". "The Twilight Zone". "Thriller". "The Outer Limits".
It's fun to watch the (first?) appearance of some folks that became BIG stars later in these shows.
You're lookin' at three I had a teenage crush on "back when". And I bet all three vied for the same roles in these shows.
Susan Oliver's life was too short... I think I commented in an earlier post about the amount of smoking in these shows. She was a heavy smoker and died of lung CA.
I was surprised to read she co-piloted the winning aircraft in the 1970 Powder Puff Derby after overcoming a big scare in a commercial aircraft a few years earlier.
All their stories are interesting and worth a little research.
"...we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
All too many are ignorant of history.
At some point we must say, "NO MORE"...
Or we'll be burying our own human treasure.
14 March 2022
11 March 2022
Twenty minutes in length, and I have questions:
If "the people" have access to information, can leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Putin, etc. survive?
Will advances in technology finally make warfare so ugly that we learn to get along with our neighbors?
Are we entering an era similar to that portrayed by "Star Trek"?
We live in interesting times!
10 March 2022
A BAD guy.
It can be argued, at one point he RAN Chicago.
But his reach extended way beyond the city limits of Chicago. I have heard stories of conflicts between "Bosses" in St. Louis and Chicago.
About what? Yes, money. But what did that money bring?
Young readers won't remember the TV series "The Untouchables". They MAY remember the movie of the same name starring Sean Connery and Kevin Costner.
Big Al had his tracks pretty well covered. He laundered his money through legitimate businesses. All the nasty stuff... keeping underlings and others under control, was done through subordinates.
They kept his hands clean so he could use some of the money coming into his organization to do philanthropic things. He could appear to be a "Robin Hood" in his neighborhood.
So since he was "clean", the FBI went after his Capos.
And knowing the extent of the funds that were coming into his organization they found a way to get to him via the tax code.
I'm thinking today of Vladimir Putin, and how much his place in this world resembles Alfonse Capone.
Yes, he has lots of money coming into his coffers. But that's not what he really desires.
What he wants is to be considered a player on the biggest stage in the world. A BOSS.
And to show the rest of the world he is a powerful man, Ukraine suffers.
I think he's made a horrific mistake, but right now he's certainly showing he has power.
And we need to figure out a way to stop him. Hurting the Russian people will be counterproductive.
They're NOT our enemy.
I think we must find a way to hurt him through his Capos... his Oligarch friends.
We've started that process. Taking away their spoils will eventually hurt Pootie.
And then I hope at some point Putin says, "Et Tu Brutus"?
(And as an aside, of interest maybe only to me... Capone died on the day I was born.)
09 March 2022
08 March 2022
07 March 2022
A friend of mine got married and had children immediately after High School. He won't admit it, but I know he did it to avoid being drafted and risk being sent to fight in Viet Nam.
I also know he condemned himself to a lifetime of wondering "How would I have reacted in Combat? How would my life be different today had I served my country like so many of my peers?"
He will never know.
The handsome man above is Ukrainian. He's one of the pro dancers from "Dancing With The Stars". Sara Jean and I have enjoyed watching him perform on the show.
When things began to be heated in his home country he flew home to Ukraine. When it was VERY obvious the Russkies were gonna invade, he tucked-tail and flew back to the U.S..
I can't judge him.
But like my friend who got married and became a father immediately after High School, I think he may always feel like a coward. Coming home while his countrymen are fighting (and dying) to protect their friends, family, and country...
He's gonna regret this decision until the day he dies.
05 March 2022
04 March 2022
03 March 2022
I'm watching this conflict with avid interest. When I wake in the morning it is the first thing I check on.
Before I shut the idiot tube off at night it's the last thing I check on. I'm aggravated that there's not a Channel I can turn to and get "up to the minute" news.
I'm now reminded about how "Uncle Ho", when asked "How do you intend to defeat the United States?" responded, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
Watching the way this conflagration is unfolding I now have no doubt this will turn out for Russia much the way our experience in Viet Nam proceeded...
Russian soldiers don't really want to be there.
Ukraines are fighting on their own soil.
Supply lines for Russkies will be a major factor.
World opinion will be a factor.
The Russian people are embarrassed and their input will soon be a major factor.
Sanctions? I'm no expert, but when everyone in Russia begins to feel the pinch, that too will be a factor.
To me, all this means that Putin, feeling like he was leader of one of the World's Superpowers and could do pretty much anything he wanted to do, has soiled his nest.
Russian paranoia is a mental illness for all those old Soviet Union personnel.
Putin needs a face-saving "off ramp".
Can we provide one for him?
I'm wagering he'll end up having a glass of wine with Jeffrey Epstein soon.