Thursday, March 29, 2012


I seem to recall promising to regale you all with the story of how son-in-law #2 had the moniker "TRex" hung on him. (Though my use of "regale" may be a bit of a stretch.)

Also, though TRex is married to my oldest daughter (the Nuke), and is the eldest of my two sons-in-law, TRex and the Nuke were actually married after Big Time and the WSO tied the knot. So he is chronologically son-in-law #2. (Enough with the genealogy already, get on with it!)

At some time in the dim and distant past (at my age that would be anytime over 6 months ago), the Nuke was describing her beau's hobbies and activities to us. As I recall, we were all gathered at Chez Big Time as the Nuke was preparing to move and we had flown in to assist her and bid adieu. At any rate, the Nuke was telling us how her man was very much into physical fitness and did Iron Man Triathlons, etc.

She then mentioned something about him having "small arms", of course, goofball that I am, I immediately thought of  Tyrannosaurus Rex. Not because of the animal's massive power and fearsome aspect, but because of the arms. Note the T-Rex arms in the photo, rather small in relation to the rest of the body. Really small.

Immediately, I leaped to my feet and with my elbows tucked into my body, leaving just the forearms thrust forward and with pseudo-T-Rex claws (hands) all a-dangle, I began to lumber around the room and make what I thought to be appropriate saurian-type noises. CINCHOUSE and the Nuke, thinking perhaps I was perhaps having some sort of brain seizure, just stared at me. On the other hand, the WSO (who shares my goofball sense of humor) immediately started laughing. The Nuke wanted to know, "Dad, what the hell are you doing?"

'Twas then that I explained that I was a T-Rex and I had really tiny arms, just like the Nuke's beloved apparently had. Of course, the Nuke immediately indicated that her beloved's arms were perfectly normal, just not as bulky as one might expect from an Iron Man sort of athlete.

Needless to say, the WSO and I spent the next fifteen minutes or so, lumbering about the room, with simulated T-Rex arms, while growling (in a menacing saurian kind of way) "Nuke, I love you." Growl, growl, roar, roar, etc. etc.

Well, the Nuke was furious, agitated, annoyed and aghast. All at the same time.

CINCHOUSE was just furious. One of her favorite ways of insulting our progeny is to tell them, "You're just like your father." (Which I, of course, do not find insulting, though the kids know exactly what she means by that.) The WSO was catching quite a bit of this paternal comparison heat, while CINCHOUSE was also exclaiming to the world at large that her husband, me that is, was a complete idiot.

Eventually the hub-bub died down, the saurian noises and lumbering ceased and we went back to "business as usual". With imprecations from CINCHOUSE that we were never, ever, to call the Nuke's husband T-Rex nor make saurian noises nor lumber about the place with shortened arms. EVER!

Later, the Nuke and TRex were returning to Chez Big Time from her old place with a car load of her stuff with TRex riding in the back, on top of the Nuke's many possessions. Now I had been posted at the security gate with a key card to let them into the apartment complex upon their arrival. When Nuke and TRex arrived, I hopped into the front seat and handed the Nuke the key card.

Unfortunately, her vehicle was positioned too far away for her to swipe the card. As she struggled trying to swipe it and as I indicated (in a loving, fatherly, kind of snide way) that perhaps she should pull closer to the box, son-in-law (#2), in a calm and controlled, very low-key kind of way, leaned forward into the front seat and said,

"Give me the key, maybe I can reach it with my T-Rex arms."

Hence that is why, for blogging purposes, I refer to son-in-law #2, husband of Nuke and father of Bear, as TRex.

But not T-Rex, for that would be insulting.

I so love that boy.

Hands Aloft! Loose Topsails!

It's about time I got back at it. Haven't posted since Tuesday as I've been all aback, been in irons I have! (And my fellow Lexians will know what I mean!)

Yes, I tend to throw nautical terms about. And most of the time I know what they mean. The Nuke likes to say, "Yeah Dad, you're real salty." (And I don't think she means it in a complimentary way. Oh well.)

Actually ships and aircraft have fascinated me since I was a wee lad. I remember in 1st grade when we got the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" assignment. Of course, none of us could actually read or write back in those days (some claim I still can't) so we had to draw a picture of what we wanted to be.

There were lots of firemen, princesses, a few teachers and a couple of future police officers. One little guy (that would be me) had drawn a very nice picture of an aircraft, machine guns ablaze.

Teacher: "Oh, that's a nice airplane. But what do you want to be when you grow up young man?"

Me: "A fighter pilot!"

At least that's how I remember it. And it was true, I wanted to fly fighters when I grew up. Seeing the Blue Angels for the first time (they were flying the F-11 Grumman Tiger at the time) only confirmed that wish. Yup, that's what I want to do when I grow up!

Then, in the 6th grade, my childhood dreams imploded. Turns out that yours truly had, shall we say, less than perfect vision in his right eye. Left eye was okay, 20-20 as I recall. Right eye, way south of that. Of course, I asked the optometrist if I could still be a fighter pilot. The man had the courtesy to sadly shake his head no, telling me that fighter pilots had to have two good eyes. Oh was I bummed out. (Though that term would not be coined until much later in time, it describes, retroactively, the way I felt. Hey, this is a blog, not an historical novel!)

The Doc explained to my Mom and me that my glasses would be just plain glass for the left eye, with a corrective lens for the right. Of course, I asked my Mom if I could wear a monocle. I thought that would be pretty cool. Ah, no. We're not getting you a monocle. (And yes, I was a strange kid. Strange in an amusing and endearing way, not strange in a creepy or scary kind of way. In case you were wondering.)

So that ended the whole fighter pilot thing. (However, I do get to live that old dream vicariously through my kids, Big Time and the WSO. Both of whom, I can proudly say, wear Navy wings of gold.)

So not too much later, I discovered tanks. You know, the Army kind. Big heavy tracked beasts with a cannon. And wouldn't you know it, one July 4th our town had a tank on display. One you could actually climb around on and get into. While I didn't actually get inside of the monster (too many other kids), I did get to sit on the turret. And that was awesome.

I never did get to be a tanker. But that is a story for another day. And in the future we'll talk boats too, des affaires nautique. (And yes, sometimes I will throw terms around in other languages. And most of the time, I know what they mean.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vale Frater...

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

You will be missed. You will be remembered. With Love Lex, with Love.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It Must Be Monday...

There are days I just have to wonder, "Who is at the helm?" This is one of those days.
I may not always agree with LtCol North, but he does make a point.,15202,243060,00.html

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Food for Thought

Count your blessings instead of your crosses.
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes.
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears.
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean.
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth.
Count on God instead of yourself.

Nuff said.

H/T to Deb L.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Okay, CINCHOUSE was briefed on the content of my last blog. Shortly thereafter I was called onto the carpet where her Ladyship demanded why Nuke and TRex's pup Bear was not mentioned.

Me: Err, beggin' yur pardon M'am. I was just mentioning the immediates you know, us, the kids and grand-kids and our two cats. I didn't mention Naviguesser and DIL's cat, nor was Big Time and the WSO's dog mentioned.

CINCHOUSE: Are you a complete idiot? Naviguesser and DIL have a child, Big Time and the WSO have a child, Nuke and TRex don't have human kids yet, Bear is THEIR CHILD! How could you be so completely insensitive to that? Bear visited us at Christmas, you love that dog - for cryin' out loud you refer to her as your Grand-dog!

Me: (with much shuffling of feet and knuckling of the forehead) Yes, M'am, right away M'am. I'll get right on that. Right away.

CINCHOUSE: Very well, dismissed.

So here I am, rectifying my (apparently) unforgivable error.

Yes, Bear is a sweet lass. Of course, she's much bigger now but I love this picture. So to the Nuke, TRex and, of course, Bear, my sincerest apologies.

For the sake of full disclosure, the Naviguesser and DIL have a long-haired black cat named Wicca. She's a rather large and affectionate feline who likes to get your attention in the middle of the night by sitting on your chest and purring. With her size, it definitely gets your attention. Big Time and the WSO have a dog named Regal, who the Nuke likes to call "Regal-Beagle" (usually in a piercing voice which has been known to burst ear drums). Regal is an excitable, plump canine who makes friends easily. She's currently living with Big Time's parents as Big Time is deployed and the WSO has her hands full with Little Bit, and returning to flight status (the WSO, not Little Bit).

Speaking of Little Bit, she has actually had a few cat shots and traps in the backseat of a Rhino. Huh, you ask, isn't she your grand-daughter, isn't she a bit young for that? Well, that's true. Back a couple of years ago I got a call from the WSO who told me she was "with child". Turns out she was feeling poorly after returning from work-ups, so a visit to the Flight Surgeon was in order. The good Doctor indicated that there was nothing wrong with her, she was just pregnant.

Now of course, Big Time wants to get Little Bit a membership in Tail Hook. I suppose technically she qualifies but I'm not sure if traps and cat shots count, when you're a fetus.

Friday, March 23, 2012

By Way of Introduction

That's the bird I used to work on, the F-4D (also worked on the F-4C, but the Weapons Control Systems are very similar). As a matter of face, in looking at the tail number, I actually did work on this particular jet. When I knew her she had five red stars painted on the left vari-ramp. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was born and raised in the Green Mountain State, a long time ago. Had a variety of jobs, none of which I wanted to do for 30+ years, so in 1975 I enlisted in the United States Air Force. Spent 24 years there and look back at the experience with a great deal of fondness.

Along the way I obtained a family. And they are:

  • CINCHOUSE - My incredible wife of 34 years.
  • The Naviguesser - My oldest son, who did a 5-year stint in the Navy as a SWO and is literally a computer genius
  • The Nuke - My oldest daughter, currently on active duty in Naval Nuclear Propulsion. She is not your typical female officer. Her first department head wondered where she picked up her, shall we say colorful, vocabulary. When she explained that her Dad was a retired Master Sergeant, he then understood. (And yes, that gives CINCHOUSE fits!)
  • The WSO - My youngest daughter, also on active duty in the USN. Backseater in the Super Hornet, something else which keeps CINCHOUSE awake at nights. Especially after a day cruise on the Ike in which an F/A-18F did a low-level supersonic pass very close aboard. Dad was thrilled, Mom, not so much.
  • DIL- My daughter-in-law, wife of the Naviguesser and mother of my first grandchild.
  • Big Time - Son-in-Law #1. He's an honest-to-God Naval Aviator. Flies the F/A-18E. Husband of the WSO and father of my first granddaughter.
  • TRex - Son-in-law #2, husband of the Nuke and also a Nuke and a graduate of the Boat School. I thought about using RingKnocker as his handle, but TRex is a better story. Which I will elaborate on some time down the road.
  • Big O - My grandson, son of the Naviguesser and the DIL.
  • Little Bit - My granddaughter, daughter of Big Time and the WSO.
  • And, as they are glaring at me, wondering why they were not mentioned earlier. Our two cats Anya and Sasha. They are sisters and look very similar. Anya has a lady's sweet, shy demeanor, whereas Sasha thinks she's a Siberian tiger. She would scare the Devil himself when she's in one of her "moods".
After my stint in the, ahem, Chair Force, a term which bugs the hell out of me. (More will be revealed in due time about that but I have to save something for future posts, don't I?) Now where was I? Oh yeah, after my stint in the USAF I went to work for the proverbial "major defense contractor" and still toil there, living not-so-large in cubicle-land. But as my passion is for all things military, the job ties in with my life-long interests. And the pay is way better than it was while on active duty.

So, enough about me. Besides CINCHOUSE is glaring at me because we need to go to the hardware store and Sasha is glaring at me because she wants my computer chair. Her favorite place to sleep. Darn, I'm not in the chain-of-command anymore. To paraphrase Mongo (the blogger and the movie character) "I'm just a pawn in the game of life". Old AF Sarge is RTB at this time...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The First Step

I decided to get into blogging for one reason: the untimely departure from this veil of tears of CAPT Carroll "Lex" LeFon, USN (Ret), known in the blogosphere as Neptunus Lex. He was a husband, a father, a naval aviator, an outstanding writer and a man I called friend. Though I never met him in person, I mourn his loss as much as if I'd known him all my life. Therefore, I created this here blog for Lex and for all of us who call ourselves Lexians. So tread carefully here, this is meant to be a place of dignity and respect. I will not tolerate abusive comments or personal attacks. Though things may get heated at times, I expect a certain amount of civility and decorum. So please, play nice. But definitely, let's have some fun with this. We'll see how it goes. For now, we're kind of "under construction" so bear with me as I decorate, elaborate and experiment wildly. As Lex would say, "Talk among yourselves" while I run down to the hardware store to get some paint and stuff to fix this place up.

Here's to Lex - For Strength!