Friday, July 24, 2015


While this picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post it is here because I like it. There are many photos of roses but this one is mine.
Well, I had a chat with the surgeon's office on Thursday. I will be checking into the hospital next Friday for to undergo the "procedure."

I put it in quotes because the medical people keep trying to explain things to me.

I have assured them, more than once, that that is quite alright. I don't really need to know.

Nor do I really want to know.

I guess it would be like me explaining the radar on the Phantom to the aircrew just before I open the toolbox and have at it.

I mean sure, they were highly educated men (for in those days the flyers were all men, though we had a number of ladies doing maintenance, to fly one needed to be male, not "identify" as male mind you, but actually be male) and I have no doubt that they would have understood completely the intricacies of the AN/APQ-109A radar set and the AN/APA-165 intercept computer.

Well, other than the WSO who showed up at the neighboring jet and wandered over to my jet where we were industriously (and quite professionally) tweaking, aligning and adjusting the radar synchronizer. The radome was open and the radar package was fully extended. Okay, minds out of the gutter, it's not as erotic as it sounds. [Oh, it's just me who was thinking that? Never mind...]

Well, this fairly junior officer in a flight suit wanders over and stands there contemplating the radar in all its naked glory. After a while we noticed him staring intently.

"Can I help you Sir?" my SSgt inquired.

"Gee, that looks pretty complicated..." the lieutenant said.

At that point, the pilot came over, grabbed his back seater by the elbow to lead him back to his own jet.

I imagine there might have been one of these installed in the back seat...


Or not. I mean eventually these fellows look back on their junior days and remember some of the dumb things they said or did.

Like the WSO who wrote the radar up for not functioning in the O.F.F. mode.


At any rate, I prefer to remain somewhat ignorant of what the doc plans to do once he has me under. I trust he knows what he's doing. After all, it's not like I'm going to be awake to ask such things as...

"Why are you cutting there?"

"Gee, that looks complicated."


"Oh my screaming blue heavens that bloody hurts please knock me out!"

Or words to that effect.

I trust the experience won't be anything like the following.

But ya never know...


  1. You'll have the thoughts and prayers of all in this household, and Murphy is screaming "Run while you can!" because he remembers his first--and only--vet trip that included "minor" surgery, that being of a non-reproductive nature..

    1. I hope you explained to Murphy that my surgery will be different.

      "Doc, my surgery is different. Right? Doc?"

      Tell Murphy I'm considering his advice.

      (And thank you for the kind thoughts and prayers!)

  2. No sweat man. They'll load you up with various pain killers. I literally never felt a thing--well, until about three days later when I overdid the exercise bit (started doing pushups too early--which was way stupid).

  3. Your post op post should be entertaining...looking forward to it. Hmmm...Post op Post...good title.

    1. Now don't go getting any surgery so you can get there first.

      That is a good title!

  4. Re: radar -
    The Navy spent thousands of dollars and many days training me (and any number of others) on the intricacies of radar.
    They taught us basic electricity for three weeks solid.
    Then, for seven weeks, we learned basic electronics.
    Another six weeks was spent on radar special circuits.
    Two more weeks were spent teaching us how to turn it on (the AN/SPS6 didn't just have one on/off switch
    It had various modules which were to be run up in specific order).
    The next six weeks were spent on operations.
    It was during the last of those weeks that we learned just how little we knew.

    Then we were sent to the fleet, where the AN/SPS6 was being phased out.
    The stuff we were taught was just background and all we were to do was operate the equipment and call an ET, who was specifically trained to work on the gear we broke.
    The 6 was a long range search radar that, in a pinch, could double as a surface search.
    In the fleet we had a fully transistorized, water cooled unit with a (theoretically) ginormous range, that even the tech reps from Lockheed had difficulty repairing.

    We also had the surface search/navigation radar (AN/SPS10), which only occasionally had a problem.
    The problem was usually a magnetron that needed replacing.
    The ETs were good at that.
    What they hated was when they had to fix one of the repeaters (radar scopes) because they were placed strategically in such a way the nothing needing replacement was easily accessible.
    It seemed it always took at least three ETs to do any job and they seemed to never agree.

    The advantage of having been to the radar school was, when we were queried by a watch officer, we could dazzle them with electronics BS and we knew what the ETs were talking about so they couldn't feed us and BS.

    So I guess we were kinda like your GP and the ET is kinda like the specialist.
    I hope they get along better than the ETs.

    1. They lost me with wave guides and traveling wave tubes and totally lost me when I found that one of the ETs was hoarding magnetrons in his locker while we our sweeping mines.

    2. Well, you never know when you might need an extra magnetron Cap'n..

  5. Get well soon. Send us a postop note. We'll be looking forward to it.

  6. I'll be pullin' for ya, Sarge!

    In every Monty Python sketch there is something that is forever -- and solely -- England. None of the rest of us will ever completely get it.

    Just as none of the rest of the world (and 99.98 percent of Americans) will ever get the third amendment.

    1. Yup, you've got that absolutely right.

      As to the Third Amendment, the people around Boston understood the need for that in the years leading up to the Revolution.

  7. You'll be fine, Sarge. One thing that amazed me - for a similar "procedure" a few yewars ago - is how advanced the anesthetics had become. It's like they put a temporary on-off switch on you. One minute you are awake - next minute out - then awake with no after-effects.

    1. You're right about the anesthetics Bill. I've had hernia and gall bladder surgery and when they said, "Count backwards from a hundred..." I seldom got past "One-..."

      Then to awaken wondering what all the fuss was about.

      On/Off switch describes it well!

  8. Stay strong through this. You know that we-all (slight Southern touch there) will be praying for your speedy recovery.
    Oh, I always wondered what was inside that black thingee on the front of the plane. AN/APQ-109A radar set and the AN/APA-165 intercept computer. WOW! I should have been more careful. Did it have an "on-off" switch somewhere in the cockpit? Was it part of the round TV whatchamacallit?

    1. Thanks Dave. I look upon it as relief from a once-a-year nagging pain and the inability to eat certain things.

      As to the radar, we once told a young pilot that the knobs on his scope in the front seat didn't do anything, they were just there to let him feel like he could control something.

      He looked askance at us, then realized we were messing with him. He was heard to proclaim "a$$holes" as he climbed up the ladder.

      His WSO thought it was hysterical...

    2. And I just sprayed the monitor...

  9. Thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)