17 April 2024

Enemy


An enemy is someone trying to destroy you.
This man, his boss, and our Senate leadership fit that description.
IF(!) our country still exists in November, we MUST remember and vote accordingly.


02 April 2024

This Happens Surprisingly Often:

"Wanta sell it?"
I smile. "No, it's not for sale."
We're talking about my '97 3/4 ton, extended cab, long bed, Cummins diesel truck. It has 278,000 miles on it and still runs like a sewing machine.

The research for the purchase began before my retirement in about 2008 or so.
I wanted a vehicle that could safely pull a Recreational Vehicle. A Pickup would fill that need  and the bed of the truck would provide utility even when not being used to pull the RV.
Being able to tow a heavy load meant I'd be limited to a relatively heavy truck (3/4 ton) with a BIG, powerful powerplant... diesel or gasoline? Diesel powered trucks get better fuel mileage, but that benefit is offset by the fact that diesel fuel is much more expensive than gasoline these days. But the reputation of the Cummins/Ram fascinated me.
I searched eBay for months and finally saw a truck that was almost exactly what I was looking for in Palm Desert, California. The young man selling it warned "If you live in California don't bid on this truck. I'm selling it because it will no longer pass California emission requirements". He listed all the improvements he had made to the truck, some of which improved performance but made it pollute more.
He had fixed the "Killer Dowel Pin" problem, which was one of my main concerns.
I won the auction at a selling price that surprised me and could sell the truck at any time for more than I paid for it, even though the truck is now (27 years) old.

It's been an interesting vehicle to own. About once every three months someone who knows these trucks will approach me with an offer to buy it.
The truck in the picture is a half-ton with a gasoline engine, but looks a LOT like my beloved truck.
I know you're envious.
Don't hate me




31 March 2024

Peter's Testimony


I LOVE the Dolly Parton version, but post this version hoping to impact a different audience this Easter.

20 March 2024

Too Old To Drive?

At what point in life should you hand over your keys?
I think that certainly must be examined on an individual basis. I began to be frightened with my Dad's driving when he was 78+-, but that fear was influenced by the fact that macular degeneration  was beginning to be a factor with him. He drove FAST. And I didn't think his vision and reaction time were sufficient for his physical condition.

I just turned 77. Of course, I feel perfectly safe to drive. But am I?
I find myself being distracted by stupid stuff these days. (What's that bright shiny object over there?!)
More and more I'm getting a "buzz" from the rumble strips we find alongside our highways these days-
"Brrrrrrrap"!
Thank Goodness for 'em.

I had a friend (named "Finis", believe it or not. His parents decided he absolutely was their LAST child!)
Finis's car, a BIG Ford LTD, had battle scars all over it. Finis smiled and said he "Parked by feel".
I tried to keep my car as far away as possible from where I knew Finis would be parking his TANK.

I don't wanta be like Finis.
But I sure understand what it is like to be facing the situation where I have to forfeit my key FOB.
What d'ya think? When should it be apparent that a "Seasoned Citizen" should resort to calling a cab?

17 March 2024

"Greetings"

I was kidnapped by my Federal Government in 1966.
The letter informing me I would be kidnapped was quite friendly:
"Greetings.
You are hereby ordered to report for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States, and to report at..."(followed by the place, date, and time I was to be abducted.)

Today I was thinking-
Nineteen year old kids today have nervous breakdowns if they are told "No". They need "Safe rooms" to retreat to if things in life begin to get a little tense.
How would they handle if they received such a letter today, knowing it might result in them giving their life in the defense of the country?

I'll answer that question with a question-
How are all our services doing with recruiting these days?

 

04 March 2024

Becoming "Mig Pilot"-

I read this book several years ago and keep a copy of it on hand to lend to others. If you've not read it you should. It lays out the path that Lt. Belenko followed to realize his government was lying to him and lead to his defection, bringing with him for our examination the airplane maybe most feared by the West.

Suspicious?
I'm almost there with my government today.
Black is white.
Our economy is wonderful.
And there is NO PROBLEM at our border.

My problem? (Maybe my salvation!)
I know about "Winston Smith".
And for that I thank George Orwell.

25 February 2024

Desperately Trying to Please Dad

This is a Donald Trump post.
Stick around.

My Dad was no wimp. To make a little extra money he joined the Indiana National Guard in 1939. So he was already wearing Olive Drab when he heard the news on 7Dec41. He was proud of his Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but we never really talked about it in detail.

My Dad and his contemporaries all seemed to be cut from the same cloth. I think the thing he absolutely hated most in his life was to be embarrassed. Watching old B&W movies now we know why he smoked his entire life  and died of lung cancer. Like Bogart, he was macho

My relationship with my Dad was always distant. Was that the "Macho"coming out? He seemed pleased with my successes but was never demonstrative about it. But he was ALWAYS there when I needed help.
Or protection.
Only in the last years of his life did we force him to accept hugs and
"I love you's". And he reciprocated.

My friend and fellow helicopter pilot, (I'll call him "Steve") is one of those people that you instantly know is strange when you meet him.
I have NO idea what his IQ is, but it is UP THERE.
I now know Steve's Father was mentally abusive to him his entire life. And I also know that abuse is part of what makes Steve seem odd when you meet him. Even today he strives for success, and succeeds.
And seems weird as he does it.
We Christians are taught in our "Operator's Manual" to "Judge a tree by the fruit it bears".
Steve's "fruit" is healthy and sweet.

The comparison to my good friend Steve and Trump seems strong-
Trump was sent off to Military School during his teens. I get the feeling he was trying to please his Dad until the old man died. It's the reason Trump tried so hard to succeed in Manhattan. (And sadly, Manhattan is now trying to destroy him.)

"Personally"... I don't like him. I'm glad he doesn't live next door.
But the fruit of the tree during his presidency was healthy and sweet.

I am an American fighting man. I'm sickened by what I now see happening in our country and hope it is salvageable. We now need a strong, military leader.

If you now find yourself hating, or just having reservations about the man, consider his upbringing.
And be glad he lives in D.C., not next door.
We need a healthy tree producing healthy fruit there.



21 February 2024

Romance Languages-

 My OCS classmate and fellow Viet Nam Veteran Robert "Wiggs"  Wiggins is my "Amigo".
Author and Virtual friend Rain Trueax would be referred to as my "Amiga".
What's the politically acceptable term for someone like Caitlyn Jenner?

17 February 2024

Familiar With The Term "Black Swan"?


You need to know what the term means.
Nineteen evil men from Saudi Arabia were able to commit the worst attack EVER on our homeland.
What damage could 20,000 people from China possibly do?

I hope I'm being paranoid.
But I'm trying to prepare in case I am not.

13 February 2024

"Take The Long Way Home"


This song is one reason I bought the album "Breakfast in America" in 1978.
So I've been listening to this tune nearly 50 years. How is that possible? If you are of my generation you've probably heard the song thousands of times. But have you REALLY listened to it?
In all those years... turns out I had not.
I never realized how sad it is.
Comments?

02 February 2024

"Old Friends"

"When are you coming to town?"
The question was asked by a close friend at my old airport haunt. It's been over a year since I have been present.
"When should I come in?" was my response.
"How 'bout Thursday?" she answered.
She knows my history.

She's been watching events unfold at the airport over 30 years, and she's sort of a helicopter groupie.
She knows I have been instrumental in 30 or so people getting their helicopter pilot's licenses, including at least two that are now actively saving lives flying EMS helicopters.
I arrived at the designated time and place and was immediately handed a glass of premium bourbon with ice.
Straight up.
And the night progressed from there.

Old acquaintances filtered in one by one-
The guy that kept me alive by expertly twisting wrenches on my machine.
Several former students.
Other helicopter jocks that were able to continue flying because I gave them Biennial Flight Reviews.
A couple airplane friends that wanted terribly to be helicopter dudes.
Two hours later there were 12 people seated around the table sharing stories.
My damaged ears could not discern all the individual tales being shared. And that was fine with me.
People were laughing, smiling, and patting one another.

THIS... is the best thing about aging.
I've been absent too long.
And I learned THE lesson.
I won't stay away so long.

30 January 2024

Funk.

The VERY DAY I departed for Viet Nam in 1968 President Johnson stopped the bombing of North Viet Nam trying to show good faith to our enemy.
And on 1Nov68 those of us trying to make the world a better place? We suffered. Some of us died.

I have long been a student of world happenings. When I woke that morning the first thing on my mind was "I'm headed to a land where people will really be trying to kill me."
And that was okay. I had trained for that possibility for months.

But here's the deal-
I was born and raised in central Indiana in a conservative neighborhood. The first presidential election I can remember having any interest in was the Nixon/Kennedy bout. It didn't go the way my parents wanted it to go. (We've since found out that Mayor Daley of Chicago had his thumb on the scale.)

Nevertheless, at that time I didn't think President Kennedy didn't have the best interest of the country at heart. He was a WWII hero after all.
Then his head got in the way of a projectile and Lyndon Johnson took the reins.

Johnson was an ass.
But even taking that into consideration I never thought he didn't love the country and want the best for it.
After all, his wife was making a TON of money with her Bell Helicopter/Textron stock, right?
And in one of those helicopters I went to war to protect my homeland.

There's a point I want to make here, and it is this-
At NO POINT during my seven decades on this earth have I felt the country was being lead by an incompetent.
Until now.
This Commander in Chief is incompetent.
And our wonderful country is at risk.

I do not believe Joseph Robinette Biden will be the Democrat nominee for president in November.
But what terrifies and dismays me is that I do not see anyone with a "D" behind their name that I think really has the country's interest at heart.

I often say, "I'm glad I'm old."
But my son is now 40, and I feel I have failed to leave him a sane world.
And for that reason I feel I will die feeling like a failure.

26 January 2024

The Salvation of Internal Combustion?


Alchemy?
Pyramid building?
Wormholes, (for heaven's sake!)

This sounds too good to be true.
But I sure hope it is.


24 January 2024

Dream Scenario

We are in Tennessee visiting our son, the movie buff.
He has a library of THOUSANDS of movies and as you know, (if you are a regular reader), we love movies old and new.
We just watched "Dream Scenario" with Nicholas Cage. It's a worthwhile expenditure of your time.
But one of the points of the movie is that the College Professor played by Cage experiences something that troubles him:
While terrible things happen in his presence, he does nothing. He's kind of a "non entity". An observer.
And I realized...
My life has impacted the lives of others.
I am not a non entity.
And that made me feel proud.

 

21 January 2024

The Cost of Nostalgia




My Dad supervised several crews of power company line-crews at work.
"Sonny" was on one of those crews. He was a single guy and when going on vacation had no place he could safely store his only vehicle... a WWII Willy's Jeep. Dad agreed to let him leave his Jeep at our home for a week.
And I had access to it.

Three speed manual transmission with "high and low" gearbox it had a top speed of about 50 mph, and was just a hoot to drive.
They were sold "surplus" after the war.
Have you checked on the prices to buy one lately?

01 January 2024

Early 1960's-

"Ask not what your country can do for you... Ask what you can do for your country!"
J.F.K.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
M.L.K. Jr

What the **** happened to my country?
(Happy New Year everyone. Pray for us all.)